Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
Extracts from the Aeneid: A Scottish Winter Landscape
By Gawain Douglas (c. 1474–1522)
[From the Prologue to the Aeneid, Bk. vii.]

THE FROSTY regioun ringis of the ȝeir,
The tyme and sessoune bitter cald and paill,
Thai schort days that clerkis clepe brumaill;
Quhen brym 1 blastis of the northyne art 2
Ourquhelmit had Neptunus in his cart,        5
And all to schaik the levis of the treis,
The rageand storm ourwalterand wally seis; 3
Reveris ran reid on spait with watteir broune,
And burnis hurlis all thair bankis downe,
And landbrist rumland 4 rudely wyth sic beir, 5        10
So loud ne rummist wyld lioun or beir.
Fludis monstreis, sic as meirswyne or quhailis, 6
For the tempest law 7 in the deip devallyis. 8
Mars occident, retrograide in his speir,
Provocand stryff, regnit as lord that ȝeir;        15
Rany Orioune wyth his stormy face
Bewalit of the schipman by his rays;
Frawart Saturne, chill of complexioune,
Throw quhais aspect derth and infectioune
Bene causit oft, and mortale pestilens,        20
Went progressiue the greis 9 of his ascens;
And lusty Hebe, Junois douchtir gay,
Stud spulȝeit 10 of hir office and array.
The soill ysowpit into wattir wak, 11
The firmament ourkest with rokis 12 blak,        25
The ground fadyt, and fauch wolx 13 all the feildis,
Montayne toppis sleikit wyth snaw ourheildis,
On raggit rolkis of hard harsk quhyne stane, 14
With frosyne frontis cauld clynty clewis 15 schane;
Bewtie wes lost, and barrand schew the landis,        30
With frostis haire 16 ourfret the feildis standis.
Soure bittir bubbis, 17 and the schowris snell
Semyt on the sward ane similitude of hell,
Reducyng to our mynd, in every steid,
Goustly schaddois of eild and grisly deid,        35
Thik drumly scuggis 18 dirknit so the hevyne.
Dym skyis oft furth warpit feirfull levyne, 19
Flaggis of fyir, and mony felloun flawe,
Scharp soppis of sleit, and of the snypand 20 snawe.
The dowy 21 dichis war all donk and wait,        40
The law vaille flodderit 22 all wyth spait,
The plane stretis and every hie way
Full of fluschis, doubbis, 23 myre and clay.
*        *        *        *        *
Our craggis, and the front of rochis seyre,
Hang gret isch schoklis 24 lang as ony spere;        45
The grund stude barrand, widderit, dosk and gray,
Herbis, flouris, and gersis wallowit away;
Woddis, forestis, wyth nakyt bewis blout, 25
Stud strypyt of thair weyd in every hout. 26
So bustuysly Boreas his bugill blew,        50
The deyr full dern 27 dovne in the dalis drew;
Smal byrdis, flokand throw thik ronnis 28 thrang,
In chyrmyng and with cheping changit thair sang,
Sekand hidlis and hirnys 29 thaim to hyde
Fra feirfull thudis of the tempestuus tyde.        55
The wattir lynnis 30 routtis, and every lynde
Quhyslyt and brayt of the swouchand wynde.
Puire laboraris and byssy husband men
Went wayt and wery draglyt in the fen;
The silly scheip and thair lytill hyrd gromis        60
Lurkis vndir le of bankis, wodys, and bromys;
And wthir 31 dantit gretar bestial, 32
Within thair stabillis sesyt into stall,
Sic as mulis, horsis, oxin and ky,
Fed tuskit baris, 33 and fat swyne in sty,        65
Sustenit war by mannis gouernance
On hervist and on symmeris purviance.
Widequhair 34 with fors so Eolus schouttis schyll
In this congelyt sessioune scharp and chyll,
The callour 35 air, penetrative and puire,        70
Dasyng the bluide in every creature,
Maid seik 36 warm stovis, and beyne 37 fyris hoyt,
In double garmont cled and wyly coyt, 38
Wyth mychty drink, and meytis confortive,
Agayne the storme wyntre for to strive.        75
Note 1. violent. [back]
Note 2. quarter of the heaven. [back]
Note 3. overwhelming the wavy seas. [back]
Note 4. the flood roaring. [back]
Note 5. cry, noise. [back]
Note 6. porpoises or whales. [back]
Note 7. low. [back]
Note 8. descends. [back]
Note 9. degrees. [back]
Note 10. spoiled. [back]
Note 11. wet. [back]
Note 12. mists. [back]
Note 13. became reddish. [back]
Note 14. rough whin-stones. [back]
Note 15. stony cliffs. [back]
Note 16. hoar. [back]
Note 17. blasts. [back]
Note 18. gloomy shadows. [back]
Note 19. lightning. [back]
Note 20. nipping. [back]
Note 21. dreary. [back]
Note 22. valley flooded. [back]
Note 23. pools. [back]
Note 24. icicles. [back]
Note 25. naked. [back]
Note 26. holt, wood. [back]
Note 27. secretly. [back]
Note 28. brambles. [back]
Note 29. corners. [back]
Note 30. waterfalls. [back]
Note 31. other. [back]
Note 32. frightened cattle. [back]
Note 33. boars. [back]
Note 34. Wherever. [back]
Note 35. fresh. [back]
Note 36. made men seek. [back]
Note 37. genial. [back]
Note 38. secret under-garment. [back]
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