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Conscience

Gavin Douglas 1474 (Tantallon Castle) – 1522 (London)



QUHEN halie Kirk first flurist in Ȝouthheid,
Prelatis wer chosin of all perfectioun;
For Conscience than the brydill had to leid,
And Conscience maid the hale electioun,
Syne eftir that come schrewit correctioun,
And thocht that Conscience had our large ane weid,
And of his habite out cuttit thay ane skreid.

And fra Conscience the Con thay clip away,
And maid of Conscience Science and na mair;
Bot ȝit the Kirk stude weill, full mony day, 10
For it wes rewlit be mene of wit and layre;
Syn eftir that Sciens began to payr,
And thocht at Sciens was our lang ane jaip,
The Sci away fast can thay rub and scraip;

And fra Sci of Science wes adew,
Than left thai nocht bot this sillab Ens,
Quhilk in our language singnifies that schrew
Riches and geir, that gart all grace go hens;
For Sciens baith and faythfull Consciens
Sa corruptit ar with this warldis gude,
That falset joukis in everie clerkis hude.

O hungrie Ens! cursit with cairis calde,
All kynd of folk constrenis thow to wirk;
For thé that thief Judas his Maister said;
For thé Symon infectit Halie Kirk;
To poysoun Justice thow dois nevir irk;
Thow fals Ens, go hens, thou monsture peralous,
God send Defens with Conscience in till ws!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Gavin Douglas

Gavin Douglas was a Scottish bishop, makar and translator. Although he had an important political career, he is chiefly remembered for his poetry. His main pioneering achievement was the Eneados, a full and faithful vernacular translation of the Aeneid of Virgil into Scots, and the first successful example of its kind in any Anglic language. Other extant poetry of his includes Palice of Honour, and possibly King Hart. more…

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