Elizabeth Melville

Bruce manuscript lyrics

Contributor: Associate Professor Sarah Ross

Material: MSS

Description: Other MS contents: Robert Bruce, 29 unpublished sermons on Hebrews XI, preached at St Giles, Edinburgh, in late 1590 and spring 1591. Editorial assistance provided by Anna Plumridge. See also, Dictionary of the Scots Language.

Source: New College Library, Edinburgh University, MS Bru 2, p. 170

Permissions: Edinburgh University Library. Reproduced with permission.

Images Transcription

Page of Melville manuscript.


Ane Anagram


Sob sille cor* and grone since lyke ane pilgrime pure

Thow livis below and can not sie thy love

Och wounded hairt quho* sall thy seiknes cure

Sin hes thee slaine thow braithis* to be aboue

och sorrowing saull that murnis and wold remove

Braik throw those bondis assay* thy self and flie

That efter paine those pleasuris thou may prove*

that in his word that prince hes promis’d thee

Chryst is thy King, none hes thy hairt bot he

He is not heir then lerne for to lament

pearce throw those cludis* and seik vntill thou sie

that sicht so sweit that sall thy saull content

Heir is thy hell and sin assaillis thee sore

sob sille cor and grone to sie that glore

Anagram: The phrase Sob sille cor, occurring in lines 1 and 14, is an anagram of Isbel Colros. Isobel is an attested variation of Elizabeth in Scottish texts (Reid Baxter).

sille, silie foolish; cor heart

quho who

braithis breathes

assay test, try one’s strength

prove undergo, enjoy

cludis clouds


In hope to sie the sicht that thou desyris

Some courage tak tho clogged heir wt clay

Aboue the cludis thy soaring saull asspyris*

Bot be content a litill tyme to stay

End out thy ficht then sall thou sie that day

Long luikit* for, then sall thy sorrow ceace

Licht, lyfe, and love sall dryve thy dumpis away

Chryst sall the[e] croun wt gladnes glore and grace

o then be still and clive* to chryst thy scheild

Rejoyce thy fill for faith sall win the feild

This dixain operates as an anagram on the name ISABELL COR.

asspyris aspires

luke, luik to look

clive cleave


O Pilgrime pure quhat mervell* tho thou murne

Thy deirest spous hes now forsaikin thee

Tho thou intreat yit will he not returne

The more thou murnis the faster doth he flie

Thow plungit, art into perplexitie

most lyke ane wofull widow* left alone

Thow seimis to live yit dois thow daylie die

Quhat* hope of helth since inward joy is gone

O hardnit* hairt live still in peirles* paine

and vaill* for wo till he returne again


O Loyall love quhy linger I so long

O faithfull freind art thow becum my fo

In siching* sore now chainged is my song

my greivous grones ar hard quhair evir* I go

Wilt thow foirsaik thy simple servand so

that hes so oft thy favour felt befoir

O hardnit hairt will thow not burst in two

Och will thy wraith be kendled* evirmore

O siching saull live &c


My eyis ar dim my feible hairt is fant

my braith is spent my throt is hoars and dry

The rockis resound at my most pitious plaint

Yit heiris thow not thy captivis cairfull* cry

Thy promeis sweit thow nevir can deny

Wilt thow foirsaik the hevie humble hairt

Tho for for a tyme tholl do thy childrein try

With frowning face yit will thow not depairt

O hevie hairt live still &c


Tho thou me slay yit will I in thee trust

for thow can rais me from the lowest grave

Thou art almichtie mercifull and just

and siching saull yit did thou nevir leave

my humbell sute* mak haist for to receave

Thy holie spirit yit once againe restore

No gold nor gude* nor worldlie welth I crave

Give me thy self and I desyre no more

O siching saull live still &c


Remember on thy worthie word so sweit

Come vnto me all ye with paine opprest

I sall refresche your faint and feble spirit

Learne to be meik then sall yor saull find rest



mervell a miracle

wedow widow

quhat what

hardnit hardened; peirles unequalled

vaill to utter cries of grief

siching sighing

quhair evir wherever

kendle to ignite, to kindle

cairfull anxious

sute suit, supplication

gude possessions, goods