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The Dance consists of ten stanzas. Mahoun (that is, Mahomet, a kind of incarnation of the Evil One) summons his principal servitors to make an entertainment before him. The Seven Deadly Sins make their appearance, and each of them recites a verse satirizing the vices of the times:

THE DANCE OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS.

III.

Lets see, quoth he, now wha begins :
With that the foul Seven Deadly Sins

Begoud to leap at anis.
And first of all in Dance was Pride,
With hair wyld back, and bonnet on side,

Like to make vaistie wanis ;
And round about him, as a wheel,
Hang all in rumples to the heel

His kethat for the nanis :
Mony proud trumpour with him trippit
Through scalding fire, aye as they skippit

The girned with hideous granis.

IV.

Then ire came in with sturt and strife ;
His hand was aye upon his knife,

He brandished like a beir :
Boasters, braggars, and bargainers,
After him passit in two pairs,

All boden in feir of weir;
In jacks, and scryppis, and bonnets of steel,
Their legs were chainit to the heel,

Frawart was their affeir :
Some upon other with brands beft,
Some jaggit others to the heft,

With knives that sharp could shear.

V.
Next in the Dance followit Envy,
Filled full of feud and felony,

Hid malice and despite :
For privy hatred that traitor tremlit;
Him followit mony freik dissemlit,

With fenyeit wordis quhyte :
And flatterers into men's faces;
And backbiters in secret places,

To lie that had delight;
And rownaris of false lesings,
Alace ! that courts of noble kings

Of them can never be quit.

VI.

Next him in Dance came Covetyce,
Root of all evil, and ground of vice,

That never could be content :
Catives, wretches, and ockeraris,
Hudpikes, hoarders, gatheraris,

All with that warlock went: Out of their throats they shot on other Het, molten gold, me thocht, a futher,

As fire-flaucht maist fervent; Aye as they toomit them of shot, Fiends filled them new up to the throat

With gold of all kind prent.

VII.

Syne Sweirness, at the second bidding, Came lik a sow out of a midding,

Full sleepy was his grunyie : Mony swear bombard belly huddroum, Mony slut, daw, and sleepy duddroun,

Him servit aye with sonnyie ; He drew them furth intill a chain, And Belial with a bridle rein

Ever lashed them on the lungie : In Daunce they were so slaw of feet, They gave them in the fire a heat,

And made them quicker of cunyie.

VIII.

Then Lechery, that laithly corpse,
Came berand like ane baggit horse,

And Idleness did him lead;
There was with him ane ugly sort,
And mony stinking foul tramort,

That had in sin been dead :
When they were enterit in the Dance,
They were full strance of countenance,

Like torches burning red.

IX.
Then the foul monster, Gluttony,
Of wame insatiable and greedy,

To Dance he did him dress :
Him followit mony foul drunkart,
With can and collop, cup and quart,

In surfit and excess;
Full mony a waistless wally-drag,
With wames unwieldable, did furth wag,

In creesh that did incress :
Drink ! aye they cried, with mony a gaip,
The fiends gave them het lead to laip,

Their leveray was na less.

THE TRUE LIFE.

Be merry, man, and tak not sair in mind
The wavering of this wretched world of sorrow;
To God be humble, to thy friend be kind,
And with thy neighbor gladly lend and borrow;
His chance to-night, it may be thine to-morrow;
Be blythe in hearte for my aventure,
For oft with wise men it has been said aforow
Without Gladness availes no Treasure.

Make thee gude cheer of it that God thee sends,
For warld's wrak but welfare nought avails ;
Nae gude is thine save only that thou spends,
Remanant all thou bruikes but with bails ;
Seek to solace when sadness thee assails ;
In dolour lang thy life may not endure,
Wherefore of comfort set up all thy sails ;
Without Gladness availes no Treasure.

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VOL. IX.-2

And Idleness did him lead;
There was with him ane ugly sort,
And mony stinking foul tramort,

That had in sin been dead :
When they were enterit in the Dance,
They were full strance of countenance,

Like torches burning red.

IX.
Then the foul monster, Gluttony,
Of wame insatiable and greedy,

To Dance he did him dress :
Him followit mony foul drunkart,
With can and collop, cup and quart,

In surfit and excess ;
Full mony a waistless wally-drag,
With wames unwieldable, did furth wag,

In creesh that did incress :
Drink ! aye they cried, with mony a gaip,
The fiends gave them het lead to laip,

Their leveray was na less.

THE TRUE LIFE.

Be merry, man, and tak not sair in mind
The wavering of this wretched world of sorrow;
To God be humble, to thy friend be kind,
And with thy neighbor gladly lend and borrow;
His chance to-night, it may be thine to-morrow;
Be blythe in hearte for my aventure,
For oft with wise men it has been said aforow
Without Gladness availes no Treasure.

Make thee gude cheer of it that God thee sends,
For warld's wrak but welfare nought avails ;
Nae gude is thine save only that thou spends,
Remanant all thou bruikes but with bails ;
Seek to solace when sadness thee assails ;
In dolour lang thy life may not endure,
Wherefore of comfort set up all thy sails ;
Without Gladness availes no Treasure.

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