This paper considers an anonymous, untitled poem, opening “We lordis hes chosin a chiftane mervellus,” known in only one text, in the Bannatyne Manuscript (fols 78v–79r), among “ ballatis full of wisdome and moralitie.” Its enigmatic nature and place among the moral ‘ballatis’ have gone largely unstudied. Focus on the author’s identity (with William Dunbar seen as likely) has excluded the interesting question of possible deliberate anonymity. The poet’s Franco-Scots linguistic agility, and careful play of political interests (Scottish, French and English) are striking, the more so because, unusually, “We lordis” can be dated with some precision to a period within the minority of James V (1513–c. 1526/28). Through “We lordis,” written when government leadership was contested and loyalties were constantly shifting, we can study closely and fruitfully the connections that a poem might make and the poetic methods that were judged most useful to further those objectives.
Hadley Williams, Janet
"Anonymity with Intent? 'We lordis hes chosin a chiftane mervellus',"
Studies in Scottish Literature:
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/ssl/vol48/iss2/4