Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MORAL FABLES: THE TALE OF THE COCK, AND THE JEWEL, by AESOP

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE MORAL FABLES: THE TALE OF THE COCK, AND THE JEWEL, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Ane cok sum tyme with feddram fresch and gay
Last Line: Ga seik the jasp, quha will, for thair it lay.
Subject(s): Scottish Translations

Ane cok sum tyme with feddram fresch & gay,
Richt cant and crous, albeit he was bot pure,
Flew furth upon ane dunghill sone be day;
To get his dennar set was al his cure.
Scraipand amang the as, be aventure
He fand ane Jolie Jasp, richt precious,
Wes castin furth in sweping of the hous.

As Damisellis wantoun and Insolent,
That fane wald play, and on the streit be sene,
To swoping of the hous thay tak na tent,
Thay cair na thing, swa that the flure be clene.
Jowellis ar tint, as oftymis hes bene sene,
Upon the flure, and swopit furth anone --
Peradventure, sa wes the samin stone.

Sa mervelland Upon the stane (quod he)
'O gentill Jasp! O riche and Nobill thing!
Thocht I the find, thow ganis not for me.
Thow art ane Jowell for ane Lord or King.
Pietie it wer, thow suld ly in this mydding,
Be buryit thus amang this muke on mold,
And thow so fair, and worth sa mekill gold.

'It is pietie I suld the find, for quhy
Thy grit vertew, nor yit thy cullour cleir,
It may me nouther extoll nor magnify:
And thow to me may mak bot lyttill cheir.
To grit Lordis thocht thow be leif, and deir,
I lufe fer better thing of les availl,
As draf, or corne, to fill my tume Intraill.

'I had lever ga scrapit heir with my naillis,
Amangis this mow, and luke my lifys fude,
As draf, or corne, small wormis, or snaillis,
Or ony meit wald do my stomok gude,
Than of Jaspis ane mekill multitude:
And thow agane, Upon the samin wyis,
For les availl may me as now dispyis.

'Thow hes na corne, and thairof haif I neid,
Thy cullour dois bot confort to the sicht,
And that is not aneuch my wame to feid.
For wyfis sayis, lukand werkis ar licht.
I wald have sum meit, get it geve I micht,
For houngrie men may not leve on lukis:
Had I dry breid, I compt not for na cukis.

'Quhar suld thow mak thy habitatioun?
Quhar suld thow dwell, bot in ane Royall Tour?
Quhar suld thow sit, bot on ane Kingis Croun,
Exaltit in worschip and in grit honour?
Rise, gentill Jasp, of all stanis the flour,
Out of this midding, and pas quhar thow suld be;
Thow ganis not for me, nor I for the.'

Levand this Jowell law upon the ground,
To seik his meit this Cok his wayis went.
Bot quhen, or how, or quhome be it wes found,
As now I set to hald na Argument.
Bot of the Inward sentence and Intent
Of this (as myne Author dois write)
I sall reheirs in rude and hamelie dite.

This Jolie Jasp had properteis sevin:
The first, of cullour it was mervelous,
Part lyke the fyre, and part lyke to the hevin.
It makis ane man stark and victorious.
Preservis als fra cacis perrillous.
Quha hes this stane, sall have gude hap to speid,
Or fyre nor water him neidis not to dreid.


This gentill Jasp, richt different of hew,
Betakinnis perfite prudence and cunning,
Ornate with mony deidis of vertew,
Mair excellent than ony eirthly thing;
Quhilk makis men in honour for to Ring,
Happie, and stark to wyn the victorie
Of all vicis, and Spirituall enemie.

Quha may be hardie, riche, and gratious?
Quha can eschew perrell and aventure?
Quha can Governe ane Realme, Cietie, or hous,
Without science? no man, I yow assure.
It is riches that ever sall Indure,
Quhilk Maith, nor moist, nor uther rust can screit;
To mannis saull it is eternall meit.

This Cok, desyrand mair the sempill corne
Than ony Jasp, may till ane fule be peir,
Quhilk at science makis bot ane moik and scorne,
And na gude can: als lytill will he leir.
His hart wammillis wyse argument to heir,
As dois ane Sow, to quhome men for the nanis,
In hir draf troich wald saw precious stanis.

Quha is enemie to science and cunning,
Bot Ignorants, that understandis nocht?
Quhilk is sa Nobill, sa precious, and sa ding,
That it may not with eirdlie thing be bocht.
Weill wer that man over all uther, that mocht
All his lyfe dayis in perfite studie wair
To get science; for him neidis na mair.

Bot now (allace) this Jasp is tynt and hid:
We seik it nocht, nor preis it for to find.
Haif we richis, na better lyfe we bid,
Of science thocht the Saull be bair and blind.
Of this mater to speik, it wer bot wind.
Thairfore I ceis, and will na forther say.
Ga seik the Jasp, quha will, for thair it lay.

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