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He feares no poysons in his meates and drinkes,
He needs no guard to watch about his bed,
No teacher undermines him, what he thinkes,
No dangerous projects hammer in his head,
He sits and sees how things are managed,
And by observing what hath earst beene done,
He levels oft, how future things will run.
ON the suggestion of my friend Mr. George Chalmers, I give the following Poetical Tract a place in this Collection:
- A. GODLY DREAM,
By Elizabeth Melvill,
Lady Culros Younger,
At the request of a speciall Friend.
Matthew vii. 13. and Luke xiii. 24. Enter in at the strayt gate, for wyde is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and manie there bee which
Aberdene. Imprinted by E. Raban, Laird of Letters, and are to bee sold at his shop, at the end of the Broad Gate. 1644."
There are two circumstances, not a little remarkable, of this Publication. It was, as my friend Mr. Chalmers informs me, the first book printed at Aberdeen; and perhaps no printer or publisher, before or since, has assumed so strange and singular a title as Mr. Raban, who scruples not to stile himself LAIRD OF LETTERS.
I looked up into that castle fayte,
Glistryng lyke gold, and shyning silver bright.
The statelie tour did mount above the
They blinded mee, they cast so great a light;
Mine heart was glad to see that joyfull sight;
My voyage then I thought was not in vayn,
I him besought to guyde mee there aright,
With manie vowes, never to tyre agayn.
Though thou bee near, the way is verie hard;
Sayd hee agayn, thereforr thou must bee stout,
Faynt not for fear. For cowards are debard,
That have no heart to go their
Pluck up thyne heart, and grype mee fast about,
Out through the trance, together must wee go,
The way is low, remember for to lout,
If this were past, wee have not manie mo.
I held him fast, as hee did give command;
And throgh the traunce, together then wee went.
Where in the midst great pricks of yron did stand;
feet were all betorn and rent.
courage now, sayd hee, and bee content
To suffer this. The pleasure comes at last.
I answered not, but ran incontinent
Out through the fyre, and so the payni was past.
When this was done, myne heart did daunce for joy,
I was so near, I thought my voyage ended;
I ran before, and sought not his convoy;
Nor askt the way, because I thought I kend it.
On statelie steps, most stoutly 1 ascended;
Without his help, I thought to enter there;
Hee followed fast, and was right sore offended,
And hastilie did draw me down the staire.
What haste, said hee? Why runnst thou so before?
Without myne help, thinkst thou to climb so hie?
Come down again; thou yet must suffer more,
If thou desyre that dwelling place to see.
This statelie staire, it was not made for thee.
Holdst thou that comes, thou shalt be thrust aback,
Alace, sayd I! Long wandring wearies mee,
Which makes mee run the nearest way to take.
Then hee began to comfort mee agayn,
And sayd, my friend, thou must not enter heere;
Lift up thyne heart : thou yet must suffer payn;
The last assault of force must needs bee saire,
This goodlie way, although it seem so faire,
It is too high; thou canst not climb, so stay.
But look below, beneath this statelie stayre,
And thou shalt see another kind of way.
I looked down, and saw a pit most black;
Most foull of smoke, and flaming fyre so fell.
That uglie sight made mee to start aback;
I feard to hear so manie shouts and yell,
I him besought that hee the trueth would tell.
Is this, sayd I, the Papists purging place?
Where they affirm that sillie souls do dwell,
To purge their sinnes before they rest in peace?
This Poem has been reprinted by Pinkerton.
Pinkerton says the Authoress was not the Mother of Colvill the Poet. Ritson makes it clear, that she was from Douglases Peerage. p. 146.
The first edition was printed at Edinburgh, 1603.
AS this personage has been frequently. confounded with Sir John Davies, and the works of the one erroneously ascribed to the other, I mention him here, and give a place to the following work of his, which I have no where
The period at which it was written, and the scarcity of the tract, seem to justify a specific account and extract.
“ Humours Heavn on Earth,
The Civili Warres of Death and Fortune,
The Triumph of Death,
The Picture of the Plague, according to the Life, as it was in Anno Domini 1603. By John Davies, of Hereford.
O'tis a sacred kind of excellence
That hides a rich truth in a tales pretence:
Printed at London, by A. T.
1605." The Poem is dedicated “ To the Right Noble Algernon, Lord Percy, Sonne and Heire Apparen. to the Right Honorable Henry, Earle of Northumberland.”
The author was a Writing Master, who calls the Ladie Dorothie and Ladie Lucy Percies, his pupils.
The following short extract may suffice.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE WANTONS
Epithymus the wanton on his crowne
A crowne of roses wore lasciviously,
A falling band of cutworke richly sowne,
Did his broad shoulders quite ore-canopy ;
A waste-coate wrought with floures as they had growne,
In coloured silke lay open to the eie;
And as his bosome was unbuttoned quite,
So were his points untrusst for ends too light.
His doublet was carnation cut with greene
Rich taffetae quite through in ample cuttes
That so his wastcoate might ech where be seene,
When lusty dames should eie this lusty guttes,
And many favours hung the cuttes-betweene,
And many more more light in them he shuttes i
So that a vacant place was hardly founda
About this fancy so well favourd round.