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/ Give them the peace of Edinburgh, Lord, / And let its light shine upon them.
(Compare the "dew in Aprille" [line 15] of the Marian lyric "I syng of a Maiden" - , p.
170.) While the poem focuses primarily on Christ's Nativity, it also contains many traditional images and symbols that occur in literary and visual depictions of the Annunciation and the Incarnation. 1-2 Verse 2 is the English paraphrase of the Latin in verse 1, which comes from Isaias 45:8, the Introit for the fourth Sunday in Advent.
/ He thinks I yearn eagerly for young folk, since he is senile 40 I think the delay dearly bought, so feeble are his works 41 He has a body without strength and appearance without energy 42 And how it suits him so widely to boast of such matters 43 To such a coward without desire who possessed my splendid beauty 44 She should not flinch at his stroke a straw's breadth of earth 45 Laughing loudly the others commended her greatly 46 They quaffed the sweet wine, those swan-white ladies 47 If you do not wish to be abandoned to faithless deceivers 48 Lines 275-77: Well could I scratch his crooked back and comb his cropped head, / And with puffed out cheeks make a face at him from behind, / And with a look of respect turn about and blear his old eye 49 Lines 298-99: But we were not equals in friendship nor in descent, / Nor generosity nor conduct, nor personal beauty 50 That lower-class person was never of such worth as to presume ever 51 He dared not once disregard my summons, for before a second command 52 If not for the injury to my reputation and the people's disapproval 53 Lines 346-47: That my anger nearly erupted before the contract was established.
/ But when my legal documents and formal reproaches were all fully sealed 54 Until after the death of that drooper who was useless in bed 55 When he a whole year was curbed and needed sexual passion 56 As if with man's sexual dealings I were done for the rest of my life 57 Lines 429-30: To see what man is best brawned or broadest in shoulders / Or forged is most strongly to provide a [sexual] banquet 58 We present ourselves in such a way as to deceive men of the truth 59 I am so piteous to the poor when there are many people 60 And many glance inside who sit far on the outside Abbreviations Ar: Arundel MS As: Asloan MS B: Bannatyne MS BD: Bannatyne Draft MS Bw: Bawcutt, theme, the voices of all Creation blend together in celebration of this most special occasion, Christ's Nativity.
1 Of lechery, gluttony, with sloth always to be overcome 2 Friends, prosperity, here peace, then Heaven's bliss 3 Lines 71-72: Where burning souls / Are always crying, Woe Woe!
4 "With the holy, holy you shall be" (Psalm in the Vulgate) 5 to show mercy to the downtrodden 6 While the most valuable effects they grab for themselves 7 Some with a large number [of churches] play dice 8 Lines 65-66: It might by this [time], had it been [according to] the natural order of things, / Coming out of (all the way from) the deserts of India 9 That I should be a Yuletide nag (i.e., a horse put out to pasture/a "holiday" horse too old to work) 10 I was anxious until a certain lord (the Lord Treasurer) came home 11 Such strikings and strugglings were on [the] stair 12 Lines 9-10: For to have ridden away would have been less humiliating / Than to have allowed their wives to have been infected with the pox 13 Lines 103-18: And do not lead us into the temptation of Stirling, / But deliver us from its evil.