John Barbour (c.1320 – 13 March 1395 / Aberdeenshire or Galloway, Scotland)
The Brus Book II
[Bruce escapes to Lochmaben]
The Bruys went till his innys swyth,
Bot wyt ye weile he wes full blyth
That he had gottyn that respyt.
He callit his marschall till him tyt
5 And bad him luk on all maner
That he ma till his men gud cher,
For he wald in his chambre be
A weile gret quhile in prevate,
With him a clerk foroutyn ma.
10 The marschell till the hall gan ga
And did hys lordys commanding.
The lord the Bruce but mar letting
Gert prevely bryng stedys twa,
He and the clerk foroutyn ma
15 Lap on foroutyn persavyng,
And day and nycht but sojournyng
Thai raid quhill on the fyften day
Cummyn till Louchmaben ar thai.
Hys broder Edward thar thai fand
20 That thocht ferly Ic tak on hand
That thai come hame sa prevely.
He tauld hys brodyr halyly
How that he thar soucht was
And how that he chapyt wes throu cas.
[The killing of Comyn and his uncle]
25 Sa fell it in the samyn tid
That at Dumfres rycht thar besid
Schir Jhone the Cumyn sojornyng maid.
The Brus lap on and thidder raid
And thocht foroutyn mar letting
30 For to quyt hym his discovering.
Thidder he raid but langer let
And with Schyr Jhone the Cumyn met
In the Freris at the hye awter,
And schawyt him with lauchand cher
35 The endentur, syne with a knyff
Rycht in that sted hym reft the lyff.
Schyr Edmund Cumyn als wes slayn
And othir mony off mekill mayn.
Nocht-for-thi yeit sum men sayis
40 At that debat fell other-wayis,
Bot quhat-sa-evyr maid the debate
Thar-throuch he deyt weill I wat.
He mysdyd thar gretly but wer
That gave na gyrth to the awter,
45 Tharfor sa hard myscheiff him fell
That Ik herd never in romanys tell
Off man sa hard frayit as wes he
That efterwart com to sic bounte.
[Edward hears of Bruce's flight; news of Comyn's death
reaches the bishop of St Andrews]
Now agayne to the king ga we
50 That on the morn with his barne
Sat intill his parleament,
And eftyr the lord the Bruys he sent
Rycht till his in with knychtis kene.
Quhen he oft-tyme had callit bene
55 And his men efter him askit thai,
Thai said that he sen yhysterday
Dwelt in his chambyr ythanly
With a clerk with him anerly.
Than knokyt thai at his chamur thar
60 And quhen thai hard nane mak answar
Thai brak the dur, bot thai fand nocht
The-quhethir the chambre hale thai socht.
Thai tald the king than hale the cas
And how that he eschapyt was.
65 He wes off his eschap sary
And swour in ire full stalwartly
That he suld drawyn and hangit be.
He manansyt as him thocht, bot he
Thoucht that suld pas ane other way
70 And, quhen he as ye herd me say
Intill the kyrk Schyr Jhone haid slain,
Till Louchmabane he went agayne
And gert men with his lettres ryd
To freyndis apon ilk sid
75 That come to hym with thar mengye,
And his men als assemblit he
And thocht that he wald mak him king.
Our all the land the word gan spryng
That the Bruce the Cumyn had slayn,
80 And amang other, lettres ar gayn
To the byschop off Androws towne
That tauld how slayn wes that baroun.
The letter tauld hym all the deid,
And he till his men gert reid
85 And sythyn said thaim, 'Sekyrly
I hop Thomas prophecy
Off Hersildoune sall veryfyd be
In him, for swa Our Lord help me
I haiff gret hop he sall be king
90 And haiff this land all in leding.'
[Douglas leaves St Andrews on the bishop's horse and joins Bruce]
James off Douglas that ay-quhar
Allwayis befor the byschop schar
Had weill hard all the letter red,
And he tuk alsua full gud hed
95 To that the byschop had said.
And quhen the burdys doun war laid
Till chamyr went thai then in hy,
And James off Douglas prevely
Said to the byschop, 'Schyr, ye se
100 How Inglismen throu thar powste
Dysherysys me off my land,
And men has gert you understand
Als that the erle off Carryk
Clamys to gevern the kynryk,
105 And for yon man that he has slayn
All Inglismen ar him agayn
And wald disherys hym blythly,
The-quhether with hym dwell wald I.
Tharfor, schir, giff it war your will
110 I wald tak with him gud and ill.
Throu hym I trow my land to wyn
Magré the Cliffurd and his kyn.'
The byschop hard and had pite
And said, 'Swet son, sa God help me
115 I wald blythly that thou war thar
Bot at I nocht reprovyt war.
On this maner weile wyrk thou may.
Thou sall tak Ferrand my palfray,
For thar is na hors in this land
120 Sa swytht na yeit sa weill at hand.
Tak him as off thine awyne hewid
As I had gevyn tharto na reid,
And gyff his yhemar oucht gruchys
Luk that thou tak him magré his,
125 Swa sall I weill assonyeit be.
Mychty God for his powste
Graunt that he that thou pasis to
And thou in all tyme sa weill to do
That ye you fra your fayis defend.'
130 He taucht him siluer to dispend
And syne gaiff him gud day
And bad him pas furth on his way,
For he ne wald spek till he war gane.
The Douglas then his way has taine
135 Rycht to the hors, as he him bad,
Bot he that him in yhemsell had
Than warnyt him dispitously,
Bot he that wreth him encrely
Fellyt hym with a swerys dynt,
140 And syne foroutyn langer stynt
The hors he sadylt hastely,
And lap on hym delyverly
And passyt furth but leve-taking.
Der God that is off hevyn king
145 Sauff hym and scheld him fra his fayis.
All him alane the way he tais
Towart the towne off Louchmabane,
And a litill fra Aryk stane
The Bruce with a gret rout he met
150 That raid to Scone for to be set
In kingis stole and to be king.
And quhen Douglas saw hys cummyng
He raid and hailsyt hym in hy
And lowtyt him ffull curtasly,
155 And tauld him haly all his state
And quhat he was, and als how-gat
The Cliffurd held his heritage,
And that he come to mak homage
Till him as till his rychtwis king,
160 And at he boune wes in all thing
To tak with him the gud and ill.
And quhen the Bruce had herd his will
He resavyt him in gret daynté
And men and armys till him gaff he.
165 He thocht weile he suld be worthy
For all his eldris war douchty.
Thusgat maid thai thar aquentance
That never syne for nakyn chance
Departyt quhill thai lyffand war.
170 Thair frendschip woux ay mar and mar,
For he servyt ay lelely,
And the tother full wilfully
That was bath worthy wycht and wys
Rewardyt him weile his service.
[Bruce becomes king; Edward I sends Aymer de Valence against him;
King Robert's force at Perth]
175 The lord the Bruce to Glaskow raid
And send about him quhill he haid
Off his freyndis a gret menyhe,
And syne to Scone in hy raid he
And wes maid king but langer let,
180 And in the kingis stole wes set
As in that tyme wes the maner.
Bot off thar nobleis, gret affer,
Thar service na thar realté
Ye sall her na thing now for me,
185 Owtane that he off the barnage
That thidder come tok homage
And syne went our all the land
Frendis and frendschip purchesand
To maynteym that he had begunnyn.
190 He wyst or all the land war wonnyn
He suld fynd full hard barganyng
With him that wes off Ingland king,
For thar wes nane off lyff sa fell
Sa pautener na sa cruell.
195 And quhen to King Edward wes tauld
How at the Bruys that wes sa bauld
Had brocht the Cumyn till ending,
And how he syne had maid him king,
Owt off his wyt he went weill ner,
200 And callit till him Schir Amer
The Vallang that wes wys and wycht
And off his hand a worthy knycht,
And bad him men off armys ta
And in hy till Scotland ga,
205 And byrn and slay and rais dragoun,
And hycht all Fyfe in warysoun
Till him that mycht other ta or sla
Robert the Bruce that wes his fa.
Schir Aymer did as he him bad,
210 Gret chevalry with him he had,
With him wes Philip the Mowbray,
And Ingram the Umfravill perfay
That wes bath wys and averty
And full off gret chevalry,
215 And off Scotland the maist party
Thai had intill thar cumpany,
For yheit then mekill off the land
Wes intill Inglismennys hand.
Till Perth then went thai in a rout,
220 That then wes wallyt all about
With feile towris rycht hey bataillyt
To defend giff it war assaylit,
Tharin dwellyt Schyr Amery
With all his gret chevalry.
225 The King Robert wyst he wes thar
And quhatkyn chyftanys with him war
And assemblyt all his mengye.
He had feyle off full gret bounte
Bot thar fayis war may then thai
230 Be fyften hunder as Ik herd say,
The-quhether he had thar at that ned
Full feill that war douchty off deid
And barounys that war bauld as bar.
Twa erlis alsua with him war,
235 Off Levynax and Atholl war thai.
Edward the Bruce wes thar alsua,
Thomas Randell and Hew de le Hay
And Schyr David the Berclay
Fresale, Somerveile, and Inchmertyn.
240 James off Douglas thar wes syne
That yheyt than wes bot litill off mycht,
And othir fele folk forsye in fycht
Als was gude Cristell of Setoun 243
And Robert Boyd of greit renoun, 244
245 And uther feill of mekill micht 245*
Bot I can nocht tell quhat thai hycht. 243
[At Perth; Umfraville's advice to Valence]
Thocht thai war quheyn thai war worthy
And full off gret chevalry,
And in bataill in gud aray
250 Befor Sanct Jhonystoun com thai 247
And bad Schyr Amery isch to fycht,
And he that in the mekill mycht
Traistyt off thaim that wes him by
Bad his men arme thaim hastily.
255 Bot Schir Ingram the Umfravill 252
Thocht it war all to gret perill
In playne bataill to thaim to ga
Or-quhill thai war arayit sa,
And till Schyr Amer said he,
260 'Schir, giff that ye will trow to me, 257
Ye sall nocht ische thaim till assaile
Till thai ar purvayt in bataill,
For thar ledar is wys and wycht
And off his hand a noble knycht,
265 And he has in his cumpany 262
Mony a gud man and worthi
That sall be hard for till assay
Till thai ar in sa gud aray,
For it suld be full mekill mycht
270 That now suld put thaim to the flycht, 267
For quhen folk ar weill arayit
And for the bataill weill purvait
With-thi that thai all gud men be,
Thai sall fer mar be avisé
275 And weill mar for to dreid then thai 272
War sumdele out off aray.
Tharfor ye may, schyr, say thaim till
That thai may this nycht and thai will
Gang herbery thaim and slep and rest,
280 And to-morn but langer lest 277
Ye sall isch furth to the bataill,
And fecht with thaim bot gyf thai faile.
Sa till thar herbery went sall thai
And sum sall went to the forray,
285 And thai that dwellis at the logyng 282
Sen thai cum out off travelling
Sall in schort tyme unarmyt be.
Then on our best maner may we
With all our fayr chevalry
290 Ryd towart thaim rycht hardyly. 287
And thai that wenys to rest all nycht
Quhen thai se us arayit to fycht
Cummand on thaim sa sudanly,
Thai sall affrayit be gretumly,
295 And or thai cummyn in bataill be 292
We sall speid us swagat that we
Sall be all redy till assembill.
Sum man for erynes will trymbill
Quhen he assayit is sodanly
300 That with avisement is douchty.' 297
[The Scots go to Methven to camp; the English advance on them]
As he avisyt have thai done,
And till thaim utouth send thai sone
And bade thaim herbery thaim that nycht
And on the morn cum to the fycht.
305 Quhen thai saw thai mycht no mar 302
Towart Meffayn then gan thai far
And in the woud thaim logyt thai.
The thrid part went to the forray,
And the lave sone unarmyt war
310 And skalyt to loge thaim her and thar 307
Schyr Amer then but mar abaid
With all the folk he with him haid
Ischyt inforcely to the fycht,
And raid intill a randoun rycht
315 The straucht way towart Meffen. 312
The king that wes unarmyt then
Saw thaim cum swa inforcely,
Then till his men gan hely cry,
'Till armys, swyth, and makis you yar,
320 Her at our hand our fayis ar.' 317
And thai did swa in full gret hy
And on thar hors lap hastily.
The king displayit his baner
Quhen that his folk assemblyt wer
325 And said, 'Lordingis now may ye se 322
That yone folk all throu sutelte
Schapis thaim to do with slycht
That at thai drede to do with mycht.
Now I persave he that will trew
330 His fa, it sall him sum-tyme rew. 327
And nocht-for-thi, thocht thai be fele
God may rycht weill our werdis dele
For multitud mais na victory,
As man has red in mony story
335 That few folk has oft vencusyt ma. 332
Trow we that we sall do rycht sua.
Ye ar ilkan wycht and worthy
And full of gret chevalry,
And wate rycht weill quhat honour is.
340 Wyrk yhe then apon swylk wys 337
That your honour be savyt ay.
And a thing will I to you say,
That he that deis for his cuntre
Sall herbryit intill hevyn be.'
345 Quhen this wes said thai saw cumand 342
Thar fayis ridand ner at the hand
Arayit rycht avisely
Willfull to do chevalry.
[The battle of Methven]
On athir syd thus war thai yhar
350 And till assemble all redy war. 347
Thai straucht thar speris on athir syd
And swa ruydly gan samyn ryd
That speris al to-fruschyt war
And feyle men dede and woundyt sar,
355 The blud out at thar byrnys brest, 352
For the best and the worthiest
That wilfull war to wyn honour
Plungyt in the stalwart stour
And routis ruyd about thaim dang.
360 Man mycht haiff seyn into that thrang 357
Knychtis that wycht and hardy war
Under hors feyt defoulyt thar
Sum woundyt and sum all ded,
The gres woux off the blud all rede.
365 And thai that held on hors in hy 362
Swappyt out swerdis sturdyly
And sa fell strakys gave and tuk
That all the renk about thaim quouk.
The Bruysis folk full hardely
370 Schawyt thar gret chevalry 367
And he him selff atour the lave
Sa hard and sa hevy dyntis gave
That quhar he come thai maid him way.
His folk thaim put in hard assay
375 To stynt thar fais mekill mycht 372
That then so fayr had off the fycht
That thai wan feild ay mar and mar.
The kingis small folk ner vencusyt ar,
And quhen the king his folk has sene
380 Begouth to faile, for propyr tene 377
His assenyhe gan he cry
And in the stour sa hardyly
He ruschyt that all the semble schuk.
He all till-hewyt that he ourtuk
385 And dang on thaim quhill he mycht drey. 382
And till his folk he criyt hey,
'On thaim, on thaim, thai feble fast,
This bargane never may langer last.'
And with that word sa wilfully
390 He dang on and sa hardely 387
That quha had sene him in that fycht
Suld hald him for a douchty knycht.
But thocht he wes stout and hardy
And othir als off his cumpany,
395 Thar mycht na worschip thar availye 392
For thar small folk begouth to failye
And fled all skalyt her and thar.
Bot the gude at enchaufyt war
Off ire abade and held the stour
400 To conquyr thaim endles honour. 397
And quhen Schyr Amer has sene
The small folk fle all bedene
And sa few abid to fycht
He releyt to himm mony a knycht
405 And in the stour sa hardyly 402
He ruschyt with hys chevalry
That he ruschyt his fayis ilkane.
Schyr Thomas Randell thar wes tane
That then wes a young bacheler
410 And Schyr Alexander Fraseyr 407
And Schyr David the Breklay
Inchmertyne and Hew de le Hay
And Somervell and other ma.
And the king him selff alsua
415 Wes set imtill full hard assay 412
Throu Schyr Philip the Mowbray
That raid till him full hardyly
And hynt hys rengye and syne gan cry,
'Help! Help! I have the new-maid king.'
420 With that come gyrdand in a lyng 417
Crystall off Seytoun quhen he swa
Saw the king sesyt with his fa,
And to Philip sic rout he raucht
That thocht he wes of mekill maucht
425 He gert him galay disyly, 422
And haid till erd gane fullyly
Ne war he hynt him by his sted,
Then off his hand the brydill yhed.
And the king his enssenye gan cry,
430 Releyt his men that war him by 427
That war sa few that thai na mycht
Endur the fors mar off the fycht.
Thai prikyt then out off the pres,
And the king that angry wes
435 For he his men saw fle him fra 432
Said then, 'Lordingis, sen it is swa
That ure rynnys agane us her,
Gud is we pas of thar daunger
Till God us send eft-sonys grace.
440 And yeyt may fall giff thai will chace 437
Quyt thaim corn-but sumdele we sall.'
To this word thai assentyt all
And fra thaim walopyt ovyr-mar.
Thar fayis alsua wery war
445 That off thaim all thar chassyt nane, 442
Bot with presoneris that thai had tane
Rycht to the toune thai held thar way,
Rycht glaid and joyfull off thar pray.
That nycht thai lay all in the toun,
450 Thar wes nane off sa gret renoun 447
Na yeit sa hardy off thaim all
That durst herbery with-out the wall,
Sa dred thai sar the gayne-cummyng
Off Schyr Robert the douchty king.
455 And to the king off Ingland sone 452
Thai wrate haly as thai haid done,
And he wes blyth off that tithing
And for dispyte bad draw and hing
All the presonneris thocht thai war ma.
460 Bot Schyr Amery did nocht sua 457
To sum bath land and lyff gaiff he
To leve the Bruysis fewte
And serve the king off Ingland
And off him for to hald the land
465 And werray the Brus as thar fa. 462
Thomas Randell wes ane off tha
That for his lyff become thar man.
Off other that war takyn than
Sum thai ransounyt, sum thai slew
470 And sum thai hangyt and sum thai drew. 467
[The king goes to the Mounth as a refugee]
In this maner rebutyt was
The Bruys that mekill murnyn mais
For his men that war slayne and tane,
And he wes als sa will off wane
475 That he trowit in nane sekyrly 472
Outane thaim off his cumpany,
That war sa few that thai mycht be
Fyve hunder ner off all mengye.
His broder alwayis wes him by
480 Schyr Edward that wes sa hardy, 477
And with him wes a bauld baroun
Schyr Wilyam the Boroundoun.
The erle off Athole als wes thar,
Bot ay syn thai discomfyt war
485 The erle off the Levenax wes away 482
And wes put to full hard assay
Or he met with the king agayn,
Bot always as a man off mayn
He mayntemyt him full manlyly.
490 The king had in his cumpany 487
James alsua of Douglas
That wycht wys and averty was,
Schyr Gilbert de le Hay alsua
Schir Nele Cambell and other ma
495 That I thar namys can nocht say, 492
As utelawys went mony day
Dreand in the Month thar pyne,
Eyte flesch and drank water syne.
He durst nocht to the planys ga
500 For all the commounys went him fra 497
That for thar liffis war full fayn
To pas to the Inglis pes agayn.
Sa fayris ay commounly,
In commounys may nane affy
505 Bot he that may thar warand be. 502
Sa fur thai then with him, for he
Thaim fra thar fais mycht nocht warand
Thai turnyt to the tother hand,
Bot threldome that men gert thaim fele
510 Gert thaim ay yarne that he fur wele. 507
[The king goes to Aberdeen; the queen joins him;
a Theban analogy; they ride to the hills and live rough]
Thus in the hyllis levyt he
Till the mast part off his menye
Wes revyn and rent, na schoyn thai had
Bot as thai thaim off hydis mad.
515 Tharfor thai went till Aberdeyne 512
Quhar Nele the Bruys come and the queyn
And other ladyuis fayr and farand
Ilkane for luff off thar husband
That for leyle luff and leawté
520 Wald partenerys off thar paynys be. 517
Thai chesyt tyttar with thaim to ta
Angyr and payne na be thaim fra,
For luff is off sa mekill mycht
That it all paynys makis lych,
525 And mony tyme mais tender wychtis 522
Off swilk strenthtis and swilk mychtis
That thai may mekill paynys endur
And forsakis nane aventur
That evyr may fall, with-thi that thai
530 Tharthrou succur thair liffys may. 527
Men redys, quhen Thebes wes tane
And Kyng Aristas men war slane
That assailyt the cite,
That the wemen off his cuntre
535 Come for to fech him hame agayne 532
Quhen thai hard all his folk wes slayne,
Quhar the King Campaneus
Throu the help off Menesteus
That come percas ridand tharby
540 With thre hunder in cumpany 537
That throu the kingis prayer assailyt
That yeit to tak the toun had failyeit.
Then war the wiffys thyrland the wall
With pikkis, quhar the assailyeis all
545 Entryt and dystroyit the tour 542
And slew the pupill but recour.
Syn quhen the duk his way wes gayne
And all the kingis men war slayne
The wiffis had him till his cuntre
550 Quhar wes na man leiffand bot he. 547
In wemen mekill comfort lyis
And gret solace on mony wis,
Sa fell yt her, for thar cummyng
Rejosyt rycht gretumly the king.
555 The-quhether ilk nycht himselvyn wouk 552
And rest apon daiis touk.
A gud quhile thar he sojournyt then
And esyt wonder weill his men
Till that the Inglis-men herd say
560 That he thar with his menye lay 557
All at ese and sekyrly.
Assemblit thai thar ost in hy
And thar him trowit to suppris
Bot he that in his deid wes wys
565 Wyst thai assemblyt war and quhar, 562
And wyst that thei sa mony war
That he mycht nocht agayne thaim fycht.
His men in hy he gert be dycht
And buskyt of the toun to ryd,
570 The ladyis raid rycht by his syd. 567
Then to the hill thai raid thar way,
Quhar gret defaut off mete had thai.
Bot worthy James off Douglas
Ay travailland and besy was
575 For to purches the ladyis mete 572
And it on mony wis wald get,
For quhile he venesoun thaim brocht,
And with his handys quhile he wrocht
Gynnys to tak geddis and salmonys
580 Trowtis elys and als menounys, 577
And quhill thai went to the forray,
And swa thar purchesyng maid thai.
Ilk man traveillyt for to get
And purches thaim that thai mycht ete.
585 Bot off all that ever thai war 582
Thar wes nocht ane amang thaim thar
That to the ladyis profyt was
Mar then James of Douglas,
And the king oft comfort wes
590 Throu his wyt and his besynes.
On this maner thaim governyt thai
Till thai come to the hed off Tay.
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