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New Poems

I

Two miles above rural Kirkenburgh,

At Tanguelard where the Tarffe's furrow

Meets the River Dee; and, great rocks and crags,

Prevent the salmon as the water sags;

I have heard it said (how true I know not)

That this was the place, and thereof well sought,

That the Captain in quickening of fancie,

“The Cherie and the Slae”, intituled he.


II

My best beloved Captain of the band,

I groan to outlive all of their empathy;

This is no life I lead far from your land,

And like not the barrel of fish I see;

Since I am subject to hypocrisy,

And daily denied Le bon mot que juste.


III

As Lyndesay proved, and I also would find true,

That Courteours’ kindness lasts but for awhile,

For once good turns be sped, why then adieu,

Or promised friendship passes in exile.

As Hudsone, faith, never did quite beguile -

We’d hoped for him, as any of the brave,

If he had a hilt, he had plenty of style -

Yet made himself well-known to be a knave.

O Captain, that thy pleasure did conceive,

In all good-will, then found all was forgotten;

A petty humour encouraged that man’s leave,

And showed that friendship as it ripens is rotten;

And though you were sometimes subject to be sick,

You needn’t had been faced with such a prick.


IV

If loss of goods, if greatest grudge or grief,

If poverty, imprisonment, or pain,

If good will for ingratitude again,

If languishing in languor but relief,

If debt, if dolour, and I say if chief

Of sorrows so, the labour lost in vain

Does properly to poets appertain.

To share that skill, if any I have lief,

To be for unknown patrons in regard,

Who like the best of our age to relate,

The spectre found in nature, and that is hard;

If come and go, as few might celebrate.

Tonight, I am not like them in art,

I match them perfectly in that part.


V.i

O Captain

Dare not Jove strike you with his thunder clap,

Though he kild you not in the midwife’s hand;

Nor dare Mercury with his scripted wand,

Deprive you of your senses, wit, and shape;

For Heaven hindering once, could prove the hap.


 ii

Dare not they’d rather’d stopped your breath,

Though ne’er your mother’s bowels your last bed;

Nor her burden prove twas delivery of death,

Nor choked you well, so soon as tears were shed;

Dare not the Muses to your cradle led

Weren’t moved as Vestal Virgins you to wrap,

For Heaven hindering once, could prove the hap.


 iii

Dare not thy mother unblythe when you were born,

Though thy Norths gave you welfare to advance;

Say withal your birth was Easter day at morn;

Dare not Apollo who then appear’d to dance,

Gave not to you good morrow with a glance,

Nor raised you in his golden chair and lap,

For Heaven hindering once, could prove the hap.


 iv

He made you for a Helicon to have,

Then were you novice to the nobles nine,

Also the Gods a god-made gift then gave,

Ambrosian bread and heavenly nectar wine,

For quintessence, a grave-bed just as fine,


VI

Howsoever Beauty in ourselves is blown,

I thank my God, I shame not of my glass;

If we be good, the better is our own,

And he that’s good, the better shows his sass;

I would not find men in your semblance pass,

With visage unfair, nor do I fear you lack;

Therefore, I would you gaze on, bonnie lass,

As that mirror of your own, shall never crack.