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Notwithstanding she was well set in eild; Her age I hold of seven score of winters held;
Then set she me to lear little at the school;
And saw some deal, but, for to say the Of her tales, and to conclude, in short,
She said, my son, by this said tale thou shall Learn five wits.
Or, as we would say, lessons, which she illustrates by the incidents of the foregoing stories. The first of them is to avoid the company of fools and knaves, who lose what they get dishonestly, by a silly cry.
The second lesson is, never to presume that poverty may not attain to wealth and power, as this poor pig, which is held up as an example of courage overcoming difficulties, and, by monks' logic, its career is made to engender the expectation that God will assist the man who maintains a just quarrel.
The third lesson, drawn from the fortunes of Adria, is to respect wit and virtue, whether in old or young, rich or poor.
The fourth is, never to let money nor goods be master of thee:
Therefore hold not pennies over precious, But suffer them pass prospering commodious,
For sooth, a time, a penny thou may spend, That may avail thee to thy life's end; Therefore, my son, gif thou think to en
Spend with measure, for luck, wit, and
The fifth lesson is, never to make a hoard of your money, for
At least in the hoard while it lies
It serves neither the world nor multiplies.
How little wat thou, ane other time, who He said, "I shall keep them to my god
Where Bodyvincant castle standis now in And his lady, Partlot, sister and wife;
For why, folk lived by natural laws then. The tother brother was clepit Cokade
He took to wife his fair true sister Toppok.
And to compt just, the fourt Coklykouris,
And Feklefaw, fairest of all the flock,
Cokky the aucht, his lady clepit Lerock. Coknolus the nynt, spoused his sister
Cokobenar the levint, his maik1 they call
And their fair sisters, I cannot say myself.
And coft 4 therewith other ware, and so, it turned,
This penny, that fifteen year it not fowrnit, He multiplied more than a thousand pound. Then his godson he called to him a stound,5 Before his father, mother, and friends
I allege none other authority.
God that us bought with his own blessèd blood,
Both you and me to conserve, he diden, Through meek meritis of his only son, Amen.
THE MURNING MAIDEN.
PINKERTON, who first drew attention to the beauties of this very fine love ballad, in terms if somewhat characteristic of the fervour of a discoverer, yet hardly an exaggeration of the truth, says:-"This capital piece, narrated with exquisite simplicity and beauty, is a kind of rival of the Ephesian Matron; and, for the age in which it was written, is almost miraculous.
pathos is finely recommended by an excellent cadence. An age that produced this might produce almost any perfection in poetry."
It is referred to in The Complaynt of Scotland, 1548, by its first line “Still under the levis grene;" and has been preserved in the Maitland MS., 1586. It was first printed by Pinkerton, and afterwards by Sibbald and by Dr Laing; but by none of these editors is there any author assigned to it.
Sibbald ventures a conjecture in reference to its authorship, to the effect "that no poet of that age was equal to the task, but one who could produce such a poem as 'Robene and Makyne'
1 Revelling, raillery.