The Middle Scots poets of the fifteenth and early sixteenth century form a group whose fresh originality and inventiveness stand out from most of the literary productions of their period. It is more than regrettable that, mainly because of simple linguistic difficulties, this rich chapter of British literary history is usually neglected by all but a small band of devoted specialists. Yet the chief Middle Scots writers have produced a number of poems of extraordinary power and creative energy, texts that also show an impressive familiarity with European literary traditions.1