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BRUCE: JAMES OF DOUGLAS, by             Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Thus douglas to saint andrews came
Last Line: Much love and honour to him brought.
Subject(s): Douglas, Sir James De Douglas, Lord Of; Douglas The Good; Black Douglas, The

THUS Douglas to Saint Andrews came,
The Bishop, courteous, at that same
Received him, gave unto his care
His knives, to carve before him there.
He clad him well, in raiment fit,
And gave him lodging fair to wit.
There many days did Douglas dwell;
Men for his bounty loved him well
For he was in his ways most fair,
Courteous and wise and debonaire,
True and large-hearted aye was he,
And o'er all things loved loyalty.
'T is well if men their love thus give,
By loyalty men righteous live;
A man, if he but loyal be
Of virtue hath sufficiency,
Without it, none his worth shall prize,
Altho' he valiant be and wise,
For nothing else where that doth fail
May be of value, nor avail
To make a man so good that he
Shall for "a good man" holden be.
But Douglas was in all things leal,
At all times he disdained to deal
In treachery, or falsehood's part,
But on high honour set his heart,
And bare him in such wise that dear
Was he to all who came him near.
Yet was he not so fair to see
That he for beauty praised might be,
In visage was he somewhat gray,
And had black hair, as I heard say;
But in his limbs well-shapen all,
Large-boned, broad-shouldered, he, withal:
Lean was his body, shapen well
As those who saw him love to tell;
When he was blithe, then gracious he,
Gentle and meek in companie,
On battlefield, his folk declare
Another countenance he ware!
And in his speech he lisped somewhat,
But that became him well, I wot,
With Hector good, of Troy, might he
In many things well likened be;
For Hector's hair was black, I trow,
Strong-limbed was he, well made enow,
And Hector lisped, e'en as did he,
And was fulfilled of loyaltie,
And was a wise and courteous knight
Of manhood true, and mickle might.
Yet none who lived on earth I dare
With Hector, truly, to compare
For in his days the deeds he wrought
Much love and honour to him brought.

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