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William Dunbar

All love is lost but upon God alone.

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London, thou art the flower of cities all!

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A lawyer who does not know men is handicapped.

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Our pleasance here is all vain glory, This false world is but transitory.

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To God be humble, to thy friend be kind, and with thy neighbors gladly lend and borrow; His chance tonight, it maybe thine tomorrow.

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Scotsmen are metaphisical and emotional, they are sceptical and mystical, they are romantic and ironic, they are cruel and tender, and full of mirth and despair.

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Your law may be perfect, your knowledge of human affairs may be such as to enable you to apply it with wisdom and skill, and yet without individual acquaintance with men, their haunts and habits, the pursuit of the profession becomes difficult, slow, and expensive.

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To a Lady

SWEET rois of vertew and of gentilness,
Delytsum lily of everie lustynes,
   Richest in bontie and in bewtie clear,
   And everie vertew that is wenit dear,
Except onlie that ye are mercyless

Into your garth this day I did persew;
There saw I flowris that fresche were of hew;
   Baith quhyte and reid most lusty were to seyne,
   And halesome herbis upon stalkis greene;
Yet leaf nor flowr find could I nane of rew.

I doubt that Merche, with his cauld blastis keyne,
Has slain this gentil herb, that I of mene;
   Quhois piteous death dois to my heart sic paine
   That I would make to plant his root againe,--
So confortand his levis unto me bene.

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To the City of London

London, thou art of town{.e}s A per se.
Soveraign of cities, semeliest in sight,
Of high renoun, riches, and royaltie;
Of lordis, barons, and many goodly knyght;
Of most delectable lusty ladies bright;
Of famous prelatis in habitis clericall;
Of merchauntis full of substaunce and myght:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Gladdith anon, thou lusty Troy Novaunt,
Citie that some tyme cleped was New Troy,
In all the erth, imperiall as thou stant,
Pryncesse of townes, of pleasure, and of joy,
A richer restith under no Christen roy;
For manly power, with craftis naturall,
Fourmeth none fairer sith the flode of Noy:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Gemme of all joy, jasper of jocunditie,
Most myghty carbuncle of vertue and valour;

[...] Read more

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On the Nativity of Christ

RORATE coeli desuper!
   Hevins, distil your balmy schouris!
For now is risen the bricht day-ster,
   Fro the rose Mary, flour of flouris:
   The cleir Sone, quhom no cloud devouris,
Surmounting Phebus in the Est,
   Is cumin of his hevinly touris:
   Et nobis Puer natus est.

Archangellis, angellis, and dompnationis,
   Tronis, potestatis, and marteiris seir,
And all ye hevinly operationis,
   Ster, planeit, firmament, and spheir,
   Fire, erd, air, and water cleir,
To Him gife loving, most and lest,
   That come in to so meik maneir;
   Et nobis Puer natus est.

Synnaris be glad, and penance do,
   And thank your Maker hairtfully;

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