The Poems of William Dunbar

BookThe Poems of William Dunbar

The Poems of William Dunbar

Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies


January 1st, 1989

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A selection of some fifty of Dunbar’s poems, with introduction, notes, glossary, and six pages of “appreciations” ranging from John Pinkerton’s (1786) to C.S. Lewis (1954). The notes to this edition gave a great deal of historical and linguistic information as well as much critical interpretation of individual poems.

James Kinsley was formerly Professor of English Studies at the University of Nottingham

An excellent selection of some fifty of Dunbar’s poems, with introduction, notes, glossary... An admirable volume that deserves to be widely used.

Review of English Studies

Author Information

James Kinsley was formerly Professor of English Studies at the University of Nottingham.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
Biographical and Textual Note21
Divine Poems30
1. Rorate celi desuper30
2. Amang thir freiris within ane cloister31
3. Done is a battell on the dragon blak36
4. Hale sterne superne, hale in eterne37
5. Quhen Merche wes with variand windis past ('The Thistle and the Rose')39
6. Blyth Aberdeane, thow beriall of all tounis45
7. Renownit, ryalI, right reverend and serene47
8. Lang heff l maed of ladyes quhytt49
Poems of Love50
9. Sweit rois of vertew and of gentilnes50
10. Sen that l am a presoneir ('Bewty and the Presoncir150
11. Ryght as the stern of day begouth to schyne ('The Goldyn Targe')54
12. Apon the Midsummer evin. mirriest of nichtis ('The Tretis of the tua mariit Wemen and the Wedo')62
13. In secreit place this hyndir nycht69
Visions and Nightmares72
14. This nycht befoir the dawing cleir ('How Dumbar wes desyrd to be ane Freir')72
15. As yung Awrora with cristall haile ('The fenye it freir of Tungland')73
16. Lucina schynnyng in silence of the nicht77
17. Off Februar the fyiftene nycht ('The Dance of the sevin deidly Synnis')79
18. Nixt that a turnament wes tryid82
19. Betuix twell houris and ellevin86
20. He that hes gold and grit riches88
21. I seik about this warld unstabille89
22. My heid did yak yester nicht89
23. I that in heill wes and gladnes ('Lament for the Makaris')90
24. In to thir dirk and drublie dayis93
25. Full oft I mus and hes in thocht95
26. Quhat is this lyfe bot ane straucht way to deid96
27. Salviour, suppois my sensualitie96
28. Now culit is dame Venus brand97
29. To speik of science, craft, or sapience98
30. Do verrit with drerne, devysing in my slummer99
31. Ane murlandis man of uplandis mak102
32. Quhy will ye marchantis of renoun103
33. Airlie on As Wodnisday106
Life at Court108
34, Schir Joh ine the Ros, ane thing thair is compild ('The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie')108
35. Sir Jhon Sinclair begowthe to dance ('Of a Dance in the-Quenis Chalmer')112
36. Now lythis off ane gentill knycht114
37. The wardraipper of Venus boure116
38. O gracious princes, guid and fair117
39. Schir, ye have mony servitouris117
40. Schir, for your grace bayth nicht and day120
41. Schir, yit remembir as of befoir121
42. Schir, lett it nevir in toun be tald123
43. I, Maister Andro Kennedy125
44. We that ar heir in hevins glory ('Dirige to the King')127
Poems of Uncertain authorship130
45. My gudame wes a gay wif, bot scho wes ryght gend ('The Ballad of Kynd Kittok')130
46. Harry, harry. hobbillschowe131