gavin douglas

from Book 7 of Eneados

english translation

from Book 7 of Eneados

original Scots poem

from Book 7 of Eneados

Unsterit lang tyme and unmovit, Itale
Now birnis into fury bellicall.
Sum grathis thame on fute to gae in feild,
Sum hie montit on hors bak under scheild
The dusty pouder updrivand with ane stoure,
And every man socht wappinnis and armoure:
Thare schynand scheildis sum did burnis wele,
And sum polist scharp spere hedis of stele,
To mak thame bricht with fat creische or same,
And on quhitstanis thare axis scharpis at hame:
To bere pyncellis it gladis thame up and doun,
And are rejocit to here the trumpettis soun.
Five of the gretest and maist cheif cieteis,
Thare wappinnis to renew in all degreis,
Set up forgis and stele styddyis fyne,
Riche Atina, and the proude Tiburine,
Ardea the ciete, and Crustumerie
And eik Antemne with strang towris hie,
And werelie wallis battellit all about:
The sikkir helmes penys and forgis out,
Thare targis bow thay of the licht sauch-tre,
And bos bukleris coverit with corbulye:
Sum stele hawbrekis forgis furth of plate,
Birnyst flawkertis and leg harnes fut hate,
With latit sowpyl silver weil ammelyt:
Al instrumentis of pleuch graith irnit or stelit,
As culturis, sokkys, and the sowmes grete,
With sythis and all hukis that scheris quhete,
War thidder brocht, and tholis tempyr new,
The lust of all sic werklomes wer adew:
Thay dyd thame forge in swerdis of mettal brycht,
For to defend thare cuntre and thare richt.
Be this thare armour grathyt and thare gere,
The draucht trumpet blawis the brag of were:
The slughorn, ensenye, or the wache cry
Went for the battall all suld be reddy:
He pullis doun his sellat quhare it hang,
Sum dele affrait of the noyis and thrang:
He drivis furth the stampand hors on raw
Unto the yoik, the chariotis to draw:
He clethis him with his scheild and semys bald,
He claspis his gilt habirihone and thrinfald:
He in his breistplait strang and his birnye,
Ane sovir swerd beltis law doun by his the.
Ze Musis now, sueit Godessis ichone . . .


Gavin Douglas

Gavin Douglas (c. 1474 – 1522) represented, along with William Dunbar and Robert Henryson, the flowering of the golden age of the Northern Renaissance in Scotland. Douglas studied for the priesthood and traveled widely, absorbing both contemporary and classical virtues and resources. Completed in 1513, his monumental translation of Virgil’s Aeneid was the first complete verse rendition of a classical text to be produced in Scotland.


Kent Leatham

Kent Leatham holds an MFA in poetry from Emerson College and a BA in poetry from Pacific Lutheran University. His translations of medieval/Renaissance Scots-language poetry have appeared or are forthcoming from InTranslation, Rowboat, Anomalous Press, and Ezra. His original poetry has appeared in dozens of journals nationwide, such as Ploughshares, Fence, Zoland, and Poetry Quarterly. Previously a poetry editor for Black Lawrence Press, Kent currently teaches at California State University Monterey Bay.



Syndicate content