Thursday, 21 March 2013

Poetry at Carberry

Carberry Tower Hotel
A very enjoyable afternoon last Sunday at Carberry Tower Hotel near Musselburgh - certainly something a bit different for the Society.

Among Mary's many talents was a certain ability to compile verse and a number of these works are included in the Society's publication "Poetry for a Queen"

Most of course were in 16th. century French or in Latin and these have been very sensitively translated and set out in Robin Bell's book "Bittersweet within my Heart"  published in 1992.

Mary's own works and a number of others relating to Mary were enthusiastically recited, pondered over and discussed by Society members. Some of the readings were in the original French or Latin - some on broad Scots! Also greatly appreciated were fine renditions on the hotel's grand piano by Society member Lilian Cameron of some musical pieces of the period

To add to the completeness of the afternoon a fine room afforded us in this historic hotel and an afternoon tea per excellence.

Subsequent to the meeting I received from Society member Linda Root (who has written the book "The First Marie and the Queen of Scots") of the following poem written by Sir William Kirckaldy of Grange in February 1571 during the siege of Edinburgh Castle.

Kirkcaldy of Grange
Perhaps not the greatest of works poetically but a most interesting one historically.

Kirkcaldy had converted to the reformed faith and had fought on the Confederate side at the Siege of Leith and was also in their ranks at Carberry - indeed he was one proposed to settle the matter in the chivalric fashion of 'trail by champions' and to fight a duel with Bothwell - what an interesting contest that would have been.

However he changed sides and became the leader of the Queen's Party holding Edinburgh Castle in her name (at the time of the writing of this poem).

Interesting his philippic invective against the Reformed Church, his former allies and all who now fail to lend full allegiance to Mary.

Ane Ballat of the Captain of the Castle

At the castell of Edinburch
Upon the bank baith green and rouch
As mine alne I lay
With paper, pen and ink in hand,
Musing, as I could understand
Of the suddane decay
That unto this puir nation
Appeirandly does come
I fand our Congregatioun
Was cause of all an dsome,
whose authors, instructors,
Has blindit them so lang,
That blameless and shameless
Both rich and puir they wrang

These wicked vain venerians,
Proud poisonit Pharisians,
With their blind guides but grace,
Has causit the puir country
Assist unto their traitory
Their prince1 for to displace:    
For tene I cannot testify
How wrangously they wrocht
When they their prince1 so piteously
In prison strang had brocht,
Abusit her, accusit her
With serpent wordis fell
             of schavels2 and rebels,                
Like hideous hounds of hell.
1= Mary, Queen of Scots        2 rogues

These despard birds of Belial
Thoucht not bot to advance themsell
Frea they had her doun thrown
With error and hypocrisy
To commit open traitory,
As clearly now is known:
Bot the great God omnipotent
That secret thochts does search,
Releivit has that innocent
Out of their rage so fierce
Providit and guidit
Her to an uncouth land
Where wander and slander
With enemies name she fand

Sen time of which ejectioun
This country is come in subjectioun
And daily servitude,
With men of weir in garrison
To the commons oppressioun
By slicht and Soudron blood,
Whose craft, ingyne and policy
Full ready bent is ever
By treason under amity
Our nobles to dissever
Some rubbing, some buddin
Their study they employ
That slichtly, unrichtly
They may this realm enjoy.

This guiding gart great grief arise
In me, whaq nae ways could devise
To mend this greatr mischance:
As as I arguit all the case
I heard ane say within this place:
"With help of God and France
I shall within a little space,
Thy dolours all to-dress;
With help of Christ thou shallo, or Pace
Thy kindly prince possess
Detrusers, refusers
Of her authority
Nae carand or sparand
Shall either die or flee.

Though God in his just judgment
Thole them to and punishment
To her, their supreme heid
Yet, sen they were participanty
With her, and she now penitent
Richt surely they may dried
As wicked scourges has been seen
Get for the scourging hire,
When sinners repents from the spleen
The scourge cast in the fire:
Sae Morton by fortune
May get the same reward
His boasting, nor posting
I do not regard.

Baith him and all their company,
Though England wad them fortify,
I care them nocjht a leek
For all their great munitioun
I am in sure tuitioun
This hauld3 it shall me keep                           
My realm and prince's liberty
Therein I shall defend
When traitors shall be hangit hie
Or mak some shamefulend.
Assure them I cure them
Ev'n as they do deserve
Their treason,this season
It shall not make me swerve.
3 Castle
For I have men and meat eneuch
They know I am ane tuilyeour teuch                               
And will be richt soon grievit
When they have tint as mony teeth
As they did at the siege of Leith
They shall be fan to leave it
Then wha I pray you shall be boun
Their tinsall to advance
Or gie sic compositioun
As they gat then of France
Thus splitm beguilit
They will but get the glaiks5                               
Come they here thir twa year
They shall not miss their paiks6                             
 4 'a bonny fighter'     5 trickery   6 deserved punishment

As for my neighbours Edinbruch toun,
What shall be their part, up or dounn
I can no yet declare;
But ane thing I mak manifest
Gif they me ony thing molest
Their booths shall be made bare
Gif fire may their building sack
Or bullet beat them doun,
They sahll not fail that end to mak
the stairs made in this toun
Sae use them and chuse them
What part they will ensue
Forsake me or tak me
They shall drink as they brew.

He bade me rise and muse nae mair,
But paray to God baith late and air
To save this noble ludge
Which is, in all prosperity
And likewise in adversity
Our prince's plain refuge
Therefore all true men I exort
That ye with me accord
That we all, baith in earnest and sport
Ask at the living Lord
That hangit or mangit
Mot ilk man mak his end
Wha duly and truly
Wad nocht this house defend.

Ronald Morrison


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