Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID, by ROBERT HENRYSON

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THE TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ane doolie sessoun [season] to ane cairfull dyte
Last Line: Finis.
Alternate Author Name(s): Henderson, Robert+(1)
Subject(s): Love

ANE doolie sessoun to ane cairfull dyte
Suld correspond, and be equivalent.
Richt sa it wes quhen I began to wryte
This tragedie, the wedder richt fervent,
Quhen Aries, in middis of the Lent,
Schouris of haill can fra the north discend,
That scantlie fra the cauld I micht defend.

Yit nevertheles within myne oratur
I stude, quhen Titan had his bemis bricht
Withdrawin doun, and sylit under cure
And fair Venus, the bewtie of the nicht,
Uprais, and set unto the west full richt
Hir goldin face in oppositioun
Of God Phebus direct discending doun.

Throw out the glas hir bemis brast sa fair
That I micht se on everie syde me by
The Northin wind had purifyit the Air
And sched the mistie cloudis fra the sky,
The froist freisit, the blastis bitterly
Fra Pole Artick come quhisling loud and schill,
And causit me remufe aganis my will.

For I traistit that Venus, luifis Quene,
To quhome sum tyme I hecht obedience,
My faidit hart of lufe scho wald mak grene,
And therupon with humbill reverence,
I thocht to pray hir hie Magnificence;
Bot for greit cald as than I lattit was,
And in my Chalmer to the fyre can pas.

Thocht lufe be hait, yit in ane man of age
It kendillis nocht sa sone as in youtheid,
Of quhome the blude is flowing in ane rage,
And in the auld the curage doif and deid,
Of quhilk the fyre outward is best remeid;
To help be Phisike quhair that nature faillit
I am expert, for baith I have assailit.

I mend the fyre and beikit me about,
Than tuik ane drink my spreitis to comfort,
And armit me weill fra the cauld thairout:
To cut the winter nicht and mak it schort,
I tuik ane Quair, and left all uther sport,
Writtin be worthie Chaucer glorious,
Of fair Creisseid, and worthie Troylus.

And thair I fand, efter that Diomeid
Ressavit had that Lady bricht of hew,
How Troilus neir out of wit abraid,
And weipit soir with visage paill of hew;
For quhilk wanhope his teiris can renew
Quhill Esperus rejoisit him agane,
Thus quhyle in Joy he levit, quhyle in pane.

Of hir behest he had greit comforting,
Traisting to Troy that scho suld mak retour,
Quhilk he desyrit maist of eirdly thing
Forquhy scho was his only Paramour;
Bot quhen he saw passit baith day and hour
Of hir ganecome, than sorrow can oppres
His wofull hart in cair and hevines.
Of his distres me neidis nocht reheirs,
For worthie Chauceir in the samin buik
In gudelie termis and in Joly veirs
Compylit hes his cairis, quha will luik.
To brek my sleip ane uther quair I tuik,
In quhilk I fand the fatall destenie
Of fair Cresseid, that endit wretchitlie.

Quha wait gif all that Chauceir wrait was trew?
Nor I wait nocht gif this narratioun
Be authoreist, or fenyeit of the new
Be sum Poeit, throw his Inventioun,
Maid to report the Lamentatioun
And wofull end of this lustie Creisseid,
And quhat distres scho thoillit, and quhat deid.

Quhen Diomeid had all his appetyte,
And mair, fulfillit of this fair Ladie,
Upon ane uther he set his haill delyte
And send to hir ane Lybell of repudie,
And hir excludit fra his companie.
Than desolait scho walkit up and doun,
And sum men sayis into the Court commoun.

O fair Creisseid, the flour and A per se
Of Troy and Grece, how was thou fortunait!
To change in filth all thy Feminitie,
And be with fleschlie lust sa maculait,
And go amang the Greikis air and lait
Sa giglotlike, takand thy foull plesance!
I have pietie thou suld fall sic mischance.

Yit nevertheless quhat ever men deme or say
In scornefull langage of thy brukkilnes,
I sall excuse, als far furth as I may,
Thy womanheid, thy wisdome and fairnes:
The quhilk Fortoun hes put to sic distres
As hir pleisit, and nathing throw the gilt
Of the, throw wickit langage to be spilt.

This fair Lady, in this wyse destitute
Of all comfort and consolatioun,
Richt privelie, but fellowschip, on fute
Disagysit passit far out of the toun
Ane myle or twa, unto ane Mansioun
Beildit full gay, quhair hir father Calchas
Quhilk than amang the Greikis dwelland was.

Quhen he hir saw, the caus he can Inquyre
Of hir cumming; scho said, siching full soir:
'Fra Diomeid had gottin his desyre
He wox werie, and wald of me no moir.'
Quod Calchas, 'douchter, weip thou not thairfoir;
Peraventure all cummis for the best;
Welcum to me, thou art full deir ane Gest.'

This auld Calchas, efter the Law was tho,
Wes keiper of the Tempill as ane Preist,
In quhilk Venus and hir Sone Cupido
War honourit, and his Chalmer was thame neist,
To quhilk Cresseid with baill aneuch in breist
Usit to pas, hir prayeris for to say.
Quhill at the last, upon ane Solempne day,

As custome was, the pepill far and neir
Befoir the none, unto the Tempill went,
With Sacrifice, devoit in thair maneir:
Bot still Cresseid, hevie in hir Intent,
Into the Kirk wald not hir self present,
For giving of the pepill ony deming
Of hir expuls fra Diomeid the King:

Bot past into ane secreit Orature
Quhair scho micht weip hir wofull desteny,
Behind hir bak scho cloisit fast the dure
And on hir kneis bair fell doun in hy.
Upon Venus and Cupide angerly
Scho cryit out, and said on this same wyse,
'Allace that ever I maid you Sacrifice.

'Ye gave me anis ane devine responsaill
That I suld be the flour of luif in Troy,
Now am I maid ane unworthie outwaill,
And all in cair translatit is my Joy,
Quha sall me gyde? quha sall me now convoy
Sen I fra Diomeid and Nobill Troylus
Am clene excludit, as abject odious?

'O fals Cupide, is nane to wyte bot thow,
And thy Mother, of lufe the blind Goddes!
Ye causit me alwayis understand and trow
The seid of lufe was sawin in my face,
And ay grew grene throw your supplie and grace.
Bot now allace that seid with froist is slane,
And I fra luifferis left and all forlane.'

Quhen this was said, doun in ane extasie,
Ravischit in spreit, intill ane dreame scho fell,
And be apperance hard, quhair scho did ly,
Cupide the King ringand ane silver bell,
Quhilk men micht heir fra hevin unto hell;
At quhais sound befoir Cupide appeiris
The seven Planetis discending fra thair Spheiris,

Quhilk hes power of all thing generabill
To reull and steir be thair greit Influence,
Wedder and wind, and coursis variabill:
And first of all Saturne gave his sentence,
Quhilk gave to Cupide litill reverence,
Bot, as ane busteous Churle on his maneir,
Come crabitlie with auster luik and cheir.

His face [fronsit], his lyre was lyke the Leid,
His teith chatterit, and cheverit with the Chin,
His Ene drowpit, how sonkin in his heid,
Out of his Nois the Meldrop fast can rin,
With lippis bla and cheikis leine and thin;
The Iceschoklis that fra his hair doun hang
Was wonder greit, and as ane speir als lang.

Atouir his belt his lyart lokkis lay
Felterit unfair, ouirfret with Froistis hoir,
His garmound and his gyis full gay of gray,
His widderit weid fra him the wind out woir;
Ane busteous bow within his hand he boir,
Under his girdill ane flasche of felloun flanis,
Fedderit with Ice, and heidit with hailstanis.

Than Juppiter, richt fair and amiabill,
God of the Starnis in the Firmament,
And Nureis to all thing generabill,
Fra his Father Saturne far different,
With burelie face, and browis bricht and brent,
Upon his heid ane Garland, wonder gay,
Of flouris fair, as it had bene in May.

His voice was cleir, as Cristall wer his Ene,
As goldin wyre sa glitterand was his hair;
His garmound and his gyis full [gay] of grene,
With golden listis gilt on everie gair;
Ane burelie brand about his midill bair;
In his richt hand he had ane groundin speir,
Of his Father the wraith fra us to weir.

Nixt efter him come Mars, the God of Ire,
Of strife, debait, and all dissensioun,
To chide and fecht, als feirs as ony fyre;
In hard Harnes, hewmound and Habirgeoun,
And on his hanche ane roustie fell Fachioun;
And in his hand he had ane roustie sword;
Wrything his face with mony angrie word,

Schaikand his sword, befoir Cupide he come
With reid visage, and grislie glowrand Ene;
And at his mouth ane bullar stude of fome
Lyke to ane Bair quhetting his Tuskis kene,
Richt Tui[t]lyeour lyke, but temperance in tene;
Ane horne he blew, with mony bosteous brag,
Quhilk all this warld with weir hes maid to wag.

Than fair Phebus, Lanterne & Lamp of licht
Of man and beist, baith frute and flourisching,
Tender Nureis, and banischer of nicht,
And of the warld causing, be his moving
And Influence, lyfe in all eirdlie thing,
Without comfort of quhome, of force to nocht
Must all ga die that in this warld is wrocht.

As King Royall he raid upon his Chair
The quhilk Phaeton gydit sum tyme upricht;
The brichtnes of his face quhen it was bair
Nane micht behald for peirsing of his sicht.
This goldin Cart with fyrie bemis bricht
Four yokkit steidis full different of hew,
But bait or tyring, throw the Spheiris drew.

The first was soyr, with Mane als reid as Rois,
Callit Eoye into the Orient;
The secund steid to Name hecht Ethios,
Quhitlie and paill, and sum deill ascendent;
The thrid Peros, richt hait and richt fervent;
The feird was blak, callit Philologie
Quhilk rollis Phebus doun into the sey.

Venus was thair present that goddes [gay],
Hir Sonnis querrell for to defend and mak
Hir awin complaint, cled in ane nyce array,
The ane half grene, the uther half Sabill black;
Quhyte hair as gold kemmit and sched abak;
Bot in hir face semit greit variance,
Quhyles perfyte treuth, and quhyles Inconstance
Under smyling scho was dissimulait,
Provocative, with blenkis Amorous,
And suddanely changit and alterait,
Angrie as ony Serpent vennemous
Richt pungitive, with wordis odious.
Thus variant scho was, quha list tak keip,
With ane Eye lauch, and with the uther weip.

In taikning that all fleschelie Paramour
Quhilk Venus hes in reull and governance,
Is sum tyme sweit, sum tyme bitter and sour
Richt unstabill, and full of variance,
Mingit with cairfull Joy and fals plesance,
Now hait, now cauld, now blyith, now full of wo,
Now grene as leif, now widderit and ago.

With buik in hand than come Mercurius,
Richt Eloquent, and full of Rethorie,
With polite termis and delicious,
With pen and Ink to report al reddie,
Setting sangis and singand merilie:
His Hude was reid, heklit atouir his Croun,
Lyke to ane Poeit of the auld fassoun.

Boxis he bair with fine Electuairis,
And sugerit Syropis for digestioun,
Spycis belangand to the Pothecairis,
With mony hailsum sweit Confectioun,
Doctour in Phisick cled in ane Skarlot goun,
And furrit weill, as sic ane aucht to be,
Honest and gude, and not ane word culd le.

Nixt efter him come Lady Cynthia,
The last of all, and swiftest in hir Spheir,
Of colour blak, buskit with hornis twa,
And in the nicht scho listis best appeir.
Haw as the Leid, of colour nathing cleir;
For all hir licht scho borrowis at hir brother
Titan, for of hir self scho hes nane uther.

Hir gyse was gray, and ful of spottis blak,
And on hir breist ane Churle paintit full evin,
Beirand ane bunche of Thornis on his bak,
Quhilk for his thift micht clim na nar the hevin.
Thus quhen thay gadderit war, thir Goddes sevin,
Mercurius thay cheisit with ane assent
To be foirspeikar in the Parliament.

Quha had bene thair, and liken for to heir
His facound toung, and termis exquisite,
Of Rethorick the prettick he micht leir,
In breif Sermone ane pregnant sentence wryte:
Befoir Cupide veiling his Cap alyte,
Speiris the caus of that vocatioun,
And he anone schew his Intentioun.

'Lo!' (quod Cupide), 'quha will blaspheme the name
Of his awin God, outher in word or deid,
To all Goddis he dois baith lak and schame,
And suld have bitter panis to his meid.
I say this by yone wretchit Cresseid,
The quilk throw me was sum tyme flour of lufe,
Me and my Mother starklie can reprufe.

'Saying of hir greit Infelicitie
I was the caus, and my Mother Venus,
Ane blind Goddes, hir cald, that micht not se,
With sclander and defame Injurious;
Thus hir leving unclene and Lecherous
Scho wald returne on me and my Mother,
To quhome I schew my grace abone all uther.

'And sen ye ar all sevin deificait,
Participant of devyne sapience,
This greit Injurie done to our hie estait
Me think with pane we suld mak recompence;
Was never to Goddes done sic violence.
Asweill for yow, as for myself I say,
Thairfoir ga help to revenge I yow pray.'

Mercurius to Cupide gave answeir
And said: 'Schir King my counsall is that ye
Refer yow to the hiest planeit heir,
And tak to him the lawest of degre,
The pane of Cresseid for to modifie;
As god Saturne, with him tak Cynthia.'
'I am content' (quod he), 'to tak thay twa.'

Than thus proceidit Saturne and the Mone,
Quhen thay the mater rypelie had degest,
For the dispyte to Cupide scho had done,
And to Venus oppin and manifest,
In all hir lyfe with pane to be opprest,
And torment sair, with seiknes Incurabill,
And to all lovers be abhominabill.

This duleful sentence Saturne tuik on hand,
And passit doun quhair cairfull Cresseid lay,
And on hir heid he laid ane frostie wand;
Than lawfullie on this wyse can he say:
'Thy greit fairnes and all thy bewtie gay,
Thy wantoun blude, and eik thy goldin Hair,
Heir I exclude fra the for evermair.

'I change thy mirth into Melancholy,
Quhilk is the Mother of all pensivenes;
Thy Moisture and thy heit in cald and dry;
Thyne Insolence, thy play and wantones
To greit diseis; thy Pomp and thy riches
In mortall neid; and greit penuritie
Thou suffer sall, and as ane beggar die.'

O cruell Saturne! fraward and angrie,
Hard is thy dome, and to malitious;
On fair Cresseid quhy hes thou na mercie,
Quhilk was sa sweit, gentill and amorous?
Withdraw thy sentence and be gracious
As thou was never; so schawis thow thy deid,
Ane wraikfull sentence gevin on fair Cresseid.

Than Cynthia, quhen Saturne past away,
Out of hir sait discendit doun belyve,
And red ane bill on Cresseid quhair scho lay,
Contening this sentence diffinityve:
'Fra heit of bodie I the now depryve,
And to thy seiknes sal be na recure,
Bot in dolour thy dayis to Indure.

'Thy Cristall Ene minglit with blude I mak,
Thy voice sa cleir, unplesand hoir and hace,
Thy lustie lyre ouirspred with spottis blak,
And lumpis haw appeirand in thy face.
Quhair thou cumis, Ilk man sal fle the place.
This sall thou go begging fra hous to hous
With Cop and Clapper lyke ane Lazarous.'

This doolie dreame, this uglye visioun
Brocht to ane end, Cresseid fra it awoik,
And all that Court and convocatioun
Vanischit away, than rais scho up and tuik
Ane poleist glas, and hir schaddow culd luik:
And quhen scho saw hir face sa deformait
Gif scho in hart was wa aneuch God wait.

Weiping full sair, 'Lo quhat it is' (quod sche),
'With fraward langage for to mufe and steir
Our craibit Goddis, and sa is sene on me!
My blaspheming now have I bocht full deir.
All eirdlie Joy and mirth I set areir.
Allace this day, allace this wofull tyde,
Quhen I began with my Goddis for to Chyde.'

Be this was said ane Chyld come fra the Hall
To warne Cresseid the Supper was reddy,
First knokkit at the dure, and syne culd call:
'Madame your Father biddis yow cum in hy.
He hes mervell sa lang on grouf ye ly,
And sayis your prayers bene to lang sum deill:
The goddis wait all your Intent full weill.'

Quod scho: 'Fair Chyld ga to my Father deir,
And pray him cum to speik with me anone.'
And sa he did, and said: 'douchter quhat cheir?'
'Allace' (quod scho), 'Father my mirth is gone.'
'How sa' (quod he); and scho can all expone
As I have tauld, the vengeance and the wraik
For hir trespas, Cupide on hir culd tak.

He luikit on hir uglye Lipper face,
The quhilk befor was quhyte as Lillie flour,
Wringand his handis oftymes he said allace
That he had levit to se that wofull hour,
For he knew weill that thair was na succour
To hir seiknes, and that dowblit his pane.
Thus was thair cair aneuch betuix thame twane.

Quhen thay togidder murnit had full lang,
Quod Cresseid: 'Father, I wald not be kend.
Thairfoir in secreit wyse ye let me gang
Into yone Hospitall at the tounis end.
And thidder sum meit for Cheritie me send
To leif upon, for all mirth in this eird
Is fra me gane, sic is my wickit weird.'

Than in ane Mantill and ane bawer Hat,
With Cop and Clapper wonder prively,
He opnit ane secreit yet, and out thair at
Convoyit hir, that na man suld espy,
Into ane Village half ane myle thairby,
Delyverit hir in at the Spittaill hous,
And daylie sent hir part of his Almous.
Sum knew her weill, & sum had na knawledge
Of hir becaus scho was sa deformait,
With bylis blak ouirspred in hir visage,
And hir fair colour faidit and alterait.
Yit thay presumit for her hie regrait
And still murning, scho was of Nobill kin:
With better will thairfoir they tuik hir in.

The day passit, and Phebus went to rest,
The Cloudis blak ouirquhelmit all the sky.
God wait gif Cresseid was ane sorrowfull Gest,
Seing that uncouth fair and Harbery:
But meit or drink scho dressit hir to ly
In ane dark Corner of the Hous allone.
And on this wyse weiping, scho maid her mone:

The Complaint of Cresseid

'O sop of sorrow, sonkin into cair:
O Cative Creisseid, for now and ever mair,
Gane is thy Joy and all thy mirth in Eird,
Of all blyithnes now art thou blaiknit bair.
Thair is na Salve may saif the of thy sair,
Fell is thy Fortoun, wickit is thy weird:
Thy blys is baneist, and thy baill on breird,
Under the Eirth, God gif I gravin wer:
Quhair nane of Grece nor yit of Troy micht heird.

'Quhair is thy Chalmer wantounlie besene?
With burely bed and bankouris browderit bene,
Spycis and Wyne to thy Collatioun,
The Cowpis all of gold and silver schene:
The sweit Meitis, servit in plaittis clene,
With Saipheron sals of ane gud sessoun:
Thy gay garmentis with mony gudely Goun,
Thy plesand Lawn pinnit with goldin prene:
All is areir, thy greit Royall Renoun.

'Quhair is thy garding with thir greissis gay?
And fresche flowris, quhilk the Quene Floray:
Had paintit plesandly in everie pane,
Quhair thou was wont full merilye in May,
To walk and tak the dew be it was day
And heir the Merle and Mawis mony ane,
With Ladyis fair in Carrolling to gane,
And se the Royall Rinkis in thair array,
In garmentis gay garnischit on everie grane.

'Thy greit triumphand fame and hie honour,
Quhair thou was callit of Eirdlye wichtis Flour,
All is decayit, thy weird is welterit so.
Thy hie estait is turnit in darknes dour.
This Lipper Ludge tak for thy burelie Bour.
And for thy Bed tak now ane bunche of stro,
For waillit Wyne, and Meitis thou had tho,
Tak mowlit Breid, Peirrie and Ceder sour:
Bot Cop and Clapper, now is all ago.

'My cleir voice, and courtlie carrolling,
Quhair I was wont with Ladyis for to sing,
Is rawk as Ruik, full hiddeous hoir and hace,
My plesand port all utheris precelling:
Of lustines I was hald maist conding.
Now is deformit the Figour of my face,
To luik on it, na Leid now lyking hes:
Sowpit in syte, I say with sair siching,
Ludgeit amang the Lipper Leid allace.

'O Ladyis fair of Troy and Grece, attend
My miserie, quhilk nane may comprehend.
My frivoll Fortoun, my Infelicitie:
My greit mischeif quhilk na man can amend.
Be war in tyme, approchis neir the end,
And in your mynd ane mirrour mak of me:
As I am now, peradventure that ye
For all your micht may cum to that same end,
Or ellis war, gif ony war may be.

'Nocht is your fairnes bot ane faiding flour,
Nocht is your famous laud and hie honour
Bot wind Inflat in uther mennis eiris.
Your roising reid to rotting sall retour:
Exempill mak of me in your Memour,
Quhilk of sic thingis wofull witnes beiris,
All Welth in Eird, away as Wind it weiris.
Be war thairfoir, approchis neir the hour:
Fortoun is fikkill, quhen scho beginnis & steiris.'

Thus chydand with hir drerie destenye,
Weiping, scho woik the nicht fra end to end.
Bot all in vane; hir dule, hir cairfull cry
Micht not remeid, nor yit hir murning mend.
Ane Lipper Lady rais and till hir wend,
And said: 'quhy spurnis thow aganis the Wall,
To sla thy self, and mend nathing at all?

'Sen thy weiping dowbillis bot thy wo,
I counsall the mak vertew of ane neid.
To leir to clap thy Clapper to and fro,
And leir efter the Law of Lipper Leid.'
Thair was na buit, bot furth with thame scho yeid,
Fra place to place, quhill cauld and hounger sair
Compellit hir to be ane rank beggair.

That samin tyme of Troy the Garnisoun,
Quhilk had to chiftane worthie Troylus,
Throw Jeopardie of Weir had strikken doun
Knichtis of Grece in number mervellous,
With greit tryumphe and Laude victorious
Agane to Troy [richt] Royallie they raid
The way quhair Cresseid with the Lipper baid.

Seing that companie thai come all with ane stevin
Thay gaif ane cry and schuik coppis gude speid.
Said 'worthie Lordis for goddis lufe of Hevin,
To us Lipper part of your Almous deid.'
Than to thair cry Nobill Troylus tuik heid,
Having pietie, neir by the place can pas:
Quhair Cresseid sat, not witting quhat scho was.

Than upon him scho kest up baith hir Ene,
And with ane blenk it come into his thocht,
That he sumtime hir face befoir had sene.
Bot scho was in sic plye he knew hir nocht,
Yit than hir luik into his mynd it brocht
The sweit visage and amorous blenking
Of fair Cresseid sumtyme his awin darling.

Na wonder was, suppois in mynd that he
Tuik hir flgure sa sone, and lo now quhy?
The Idole of ane thing, in cace may be
Sa deip Imprentit in the fantasy
That it deludis the wittis outwardly,
And sa appeiris in forme and lyke estait,
Within the mynd as it was figurait.

Ane spark of lufe than till his hart culd spring
And kendlit all his bodie in ane fyre.
With hait Fewir ane sweit and trimbling
Him tuik, quhill he was reddie to expyre.
To beir his Scheild, his Breist began to tyre
Within ane quhyle he changit mony hew,
And nevertheless not ane ane uther knew.

For Knichtlie pietie and memoriall
Of fair Cresseid, ane Gyrdill can he tak,
Ane Purs of gold, and mony gay Jowall,
And in the Skirt of Cresseid doun can swak;
Than raid away, and not ane word [he] spak,
Pensive in hart, quhill he come to the Toun,
And for greit care oft syis almaist fell doun.

The lipper folk to Cresseid than can draw,
To se the equall distributioun
Of the Almous, bot quhen the gold thay saw,
Ilk ane to uther prevelie can roun,
And said: 'Yone Lord hes mair affectioun,
How ever it be, unto yone Lazarous
Than to us all, we knaw be his Almous.'

'Quhat Lord is yone' (quod scho), 'have ye na feill,
Hes done to us so greit humanitie?'
'Yes' (quod a Lipper man), 'I knaw him weill,
Schir Troylus it is, gentill and fre:'
Quhen Cresseid understude that it was he,
Stiffer than steill, thair stert ane bitter stound
Throwout hir hart, and fell doun to the ground.

Quhen scho ouircome, with siching sair & sad,
With mony cairfull cry and cald ochane:
'Now is my breist with stormie stoundis stad,
Wrappit in wo, ane wretch full will of wane.'
Than swounit scho oft or scho culd refrane,
And ever in hir swouning cryit scho thus:
'O fals Cresseid and trew Knicht Troylus.

'Thy lufe, thy lawtie, and thy gentilnes,
I countit small in my prosperitie,
Sa elevait I was in wantones,
And clam upon the fickill quheill sa hie:
All Faith and Lufe I promissit to the,
Was in the self fickill and frivolous:
O fals Cresseid, and trew Knicht Troilus.

'For lufe, of me thou keipt gude continence,
Honest and chaist in conversatioun.
Of all wemen protectour and defence
Thou was, and helpit thair opinioun.
My mynd in fleschelie foull affectioun
Was inclynit to Lustis Lecherous:
Fy fals Cresseid, O trew Knicht Troylus.

'Lovers be war and tak gude heid about
Quhome that ye lufe, for quhome ye suffer paine.
I lat yow wit, thair is richt few thairout
Quhome ye may traist to have trew lufe agane.
Preif quhen ye will, your labour is in vaine.
Thairfoir, I reid, ye tak thame as ye find,
For thay ar sad as Widdercock in Wind,
'Becaus I knaw the greit unstabilnes
Brukkill as glas, into my self I say,
Traisting in uther als greit unfaithfulnes:
Als unconstant, and als untrew of fay.
Thocht sum be trew, I wait richt few ar thay,
Quha findis treuth lat him his Lady ruse:
Nane but my self as now I will accuse.'

Quhen this was said, with Paper scho sat doun,
And on this maneir maid hir Testament.
'Heir I beteiche my Corps and Carioun
With Wormis and with Taidis to be rent.
My Cop and Clapper and myne Ornament,
And all my gold the Lipper folk sall have:
Quhen I am deid, to burie me in grave.

'This Royal Ring, set with this Rubie reid,
Quhilk Troylus in drowrie to me send,
To him agane I leif it quhen I am deid,
To mak my cairfull deid unto him kend:
Thus I conclude schortlie and mak ane end,
My Spreit I leif to Diane quhair scho dwellis,
To walk with hir in waist Woddis and Wellis.

'O Diomeid, thou hes baith Broche and Belt,
Quhilk Troylus gave me in takning
Of his trew lufe,' and with that word scho swelt.
And sone ane Lipper man tuik of the Ring,
Syne buryit hir withouttin tarying:
To Troylus furthwith the Ring he bair,
And of Cresseid the deith he can declair.

Quhen he had hard hir greit infirmitie,
Hir Legacie and Lamentatioun,
And how scho endit in sic povertie,
He swelt for wo, and fell doun in ane swoun,
For greit sorrow his hart to brist was boun:
Siching full sadlie, said: 'I can no moir,
Scho was untrew, and wo is me thairfoir.'

Sum said he maid ane Tomb of Merbell gray,
And wrait hir name and superscriptioun,
And laid it on hir grave quhair that scho lay,
In goldin Letteris, conteining this ressoun:
'Lo, fair Ladyis, Crisseid, of Troyis toun,
Sumtyme countit the flour of Womanheid,
Under this stane lait Lipper lyis deid.'

Now, worthie Wemen, in this Ballet schort,
Made for your worschip and Instructioun,
Of Cheritie, I monische and exhort,
Ming not your lufe with fals deceptioun.
Beir in your mynd this schort conclusioun
Of fair Cresseid, as I have said befoir.
Sen scho is deid, I speik of hir no moir.


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