Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MORAL FABLES: THE PROLOG, by AESOP



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THE MORAL FABLES: THE PROLOG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thocht feinyeit fabils of ald poetre
Last Line: Of quhome the fabill ye sall heir anone.
Subject(s): Scottish Translations


Thocht feinyeit fabils of ald poetre
Be not al grunded upon truth, yit than
Thair polite termes of sweit Rhetore
Richt plesand ar Unto the eir of man;
And als the caus that thay first began
Wes to repreif the haill misleving
Off man be figure of ane uther thing.

In lyke maner as throw the bustious eird,
(Swa it be laubourit with grit diligence)
Springis the flouris, and the corne abreird,
Hailsum and gude to mannis sustenence,
Sa dois spring ane Morall sweit sentence,
Oute of the subtell dyte of poetry:
To gude purpois quha culd it weill apply.

The nuttes schell, thocht it be hard and teuch,
Haldis the kirnill, and is delectabill.
Sa lyis thair ane doctrine wyse aneuch,
And full of fruit, under ane fenyeit Fabill.
And Clerkis sayis it is richt profitabill
Amangis ernist to ming ane merie sport,
To light the spreit, and gar the tyme be schort.

Forther mair, ane Bow that is ay bent
Worthis unsmart, and dullis on the string;
Sa dois the mynd that is ay diligent,
In ernistfull thochtis, and in studying:
With sad materis sum merines to ming,
Accordis weill: thus Esope said I wis,
Dulcius arrident seria picta Iocis.

Of this Authour, my Maisteris, with your leif,
Submitting me in your correctioun,
In Mother toung of Latyng I wald preif
To mak ane maner of Translatioun;
Nocht of my self, for vane presumptioun,
Bot be requeist and precept of ane Lord,
Of quhome the Name it neidis not record.

In hamelie language and in termes rude
Me neidis wryte, for quhy of Eloquence
Nor Rethorike, I never Understude.
Thairfoir meiklie I pray your reverence,
Gif that ye find it throw my negligence,
Be deminute, or yit superfluous,
Correct it at your willis gratious.

My Author in his Fabillis tellis how
That brutal beistis spak, and Understude,
In to gude purpois dispute, and argow,
Ane Sillogisme propone, and eik conclude.
Put in exempill, and in similitude,
How mony men in operatioun,
Ar like to beistis in conditioun.

Na mervell is, ane man be lyke ane Beist,
Quhilk lufis ay carnall and foull delyte;
That schame can not him renye, nor arreist,
Bot takis all the lust and appetyte,
And that throw custum, and daylie ryte,
Syne in thair myndis sa fast is Radicate,
That thay in brutal beistis ar transformate.

This Nobill Clerk, Esope, as I haif tauld,
In gay metir, as poete Lawriate,
Be figure wrait his buke: for he nocht wald
Lak the disdane off hie, nor low estate.
And to begin, first of ane Cok he wrate,
Seikand his meit, quhilk fand ane Jolie stone,
Of quhome the Fabill ye sall heir anone.





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