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Buke of the Howlat
Richard [de] Holland
All thus our ladye they lofe, with liking and list
Menstralis and musicians mo than I mene may,
The psaltery, the citholis, the soft cytharist,
The croude, and the monycordis, the gythornis gay,
The rote, and the recordour, the ribup, and rist,
The trump, and the taburn, the tympane but tray;
The dulsate, and the dulsacordis, the schalm of assay;
The amyable organis usit full oft,
Clarions loude knelis,
Portativis and bellis,
Cymbaclanis in the cellis
That soundis so soft.
is preserved in two manuscripts, the Asloan, dating from about 1515, and the Bannatyne, written in 1568. The poem is 60-70 years older than the earlier manuscript. It is a comic allegory telling a comic fable of an owl's borrowed feathers, his pride and ultimate fall, and a bird parliament which decides his fate.
Holland was a Scottish writer, secretary or chaplain to Archibald Douglas, Earl of Moray (c. 1450) and rector of Halkirk, near Thurso. He was afterwards rector of Abbreochy, Loch Ness, and later held a chantry in the cathedral of Norway. He was an ardent partisan of the Douglases, and on their over-throw retired to Orkney and later to Shetland.
Welch (1911/1961: 11-12)
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