The themes of all his more ambitious poems can be traced to Chaucerian sources.
On the other hand, there are elements in the poem which show that it is not entirely the work of a poor crowder; and these (notably references to historical and literary authorities, and occasional reminiscences of the literary tricks of the Scots Chaucerian school) have inclined some to the view that the text, as we have it, is an edited version of the minstrel's rough song story.
He belongs, with James Henryson and Douglas, to the Scots Chaucerian school.
His wilder humour and greater heat of blood give him opportunities in which the Chaucerian tradition is not helpful, or even possible.
These are plain manly compositions in the seven-lined Chaucerian stanza.
In our own day, when the literary medium of Scotland is identical with that of England, the term Scottish literature has been reserved for certain dialectal revivals, more or less bookish in origin, and often as artificial and as unrelated to existing conditions as the most " aureate " and Chaucerian " Ynglis " of the 1 5th century was to the popular speech of that time.
The later Scots Chaucerian type is less directly derivative in its treatment of allegory and in its tricks of style, and less southern in its linguistic forms; but, though it is more original and natural, it nevertheless retains much of the Chaucerian habit.
The greater portion of this Middle Scots " Chaucerian " literature is courtly in character, in the literary sense, that it continues and echoes the sentiment and method of the verse of the tours d'amour type; and in the personal sense, that it was directly associated with the Scottish court and conditioned by it.
Even Henryson, perhaps the most original of these poets, is in his most original pieces strongly " Chaucerian " in method, notably in his remarkable series of Fables, and his Testament of Cresseid, a continuation of the story left untold by Chaucer.
The non-Chaucerian verse of this period is represented by (a) alliterative romance-poems and (b) verse of a rustic, domestic and " popular " character Of the historical romance-poem there is little or nothing beyond Henry the Minstrel's Wallace (supra).
Strong as the Chaucerian influence was, it was too artificial to change the native habit of Scots verse; and though it helps to explain much in the later history of Scots literature, it offers no key to the main process of that literature in succeeding centuries.
Our knowledge of this non-Chaucerian material, as of the Chaucerian, is chiefly derived from the MS. collections of Asloan, Bannatyne (q.v.) and Maitland (q.v.), supplemented by the references to " fugitive " and " popular " literature in Dunbar, Douglas, Lyndsay and, in especial, the prose Complaynt of Scotlande.
So far in our treatment of the Middle Period we have taken account of the " Chaucerian " and more popular verse and of the prose.
Hoccleve imitated her Epitre au dieu d'amour, in his "Letter of Cupid" (Chaucerian and other Pieces, ed.
24 in the Bodleian) is an allegorical poem of the cours d'amour type, written in seven-lined Chaucerian stanzas and extending to 1379 lines.
Though in many respects a Chaucerian pastiche, it not rarely equals its model in verbal and metrical felicity.
Its language is an artificial blend of northern and southern (Chaucerian) forms, of the type shown in Lancelot of the Laik and the Quair of Jelusy.