John Barbour

The Brus Book XVIII

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Only Berwick remains in English hands; a burgess offers to betray it]

The lordis off the land war fayne
Quhen thai wist he wes cummyn agan
And till him went in full gret hy,
And he ressavit thaim hamlyly
5 And maid thaim fest and glaidsum cher,
And thai sa wonderly blyth wer
Off his come that na man mycht say,
Gret fest and fayr till him maid thai.
Quharever he raid all the countre
10 Gaderyt in daynte him to se,
Gret glaidschip than wes in the land.
All than wes wonnyn till his hand,
Fra the Red Swyre to Orknay
Wes nocht off Scotland fra his fay
15 Outakyn Berwik it allane.
That tym tharin wonnyt ane
That capitane wes of the toun,
All Scottismen in suspicioun
He had and tretyt thaim tycht ill.
20 He had ay to thaim hevy will
And held thaim fast at undre ay,
Quhill that it fell apon a day
That a burges Syme of Spalding
Thocht that it wes rycht angry thing
25 Suagate ay to rebutyt be.
Tharfor intill his hart thocht he
That he wald slely mak covyne
With the marchall, quhays cosyne
He had weddyt till him wiff,
30 And as he thocht he did belyff.
Lettrys till him he send in hy
With a traist man all prively,
And set him tym to cum a nycht
With leddrys and with gud men wicht
35 Till the kow yet all prively,
And bad him hald his trist trewly
And he suld mete thaim at the wall,
For his walk thar that nycht suld fall.

[The marischal shows the letter to the king,
who seeks to avoid jealousy between Douglas and Moray]

Quhen the marchell the lettre saw
40 He umbethocht him than a thraw,
For he wist be himselvyn he
Mycht nocht off mycht no power be
For till escheyff sa gret a thing,
And giff he tuk till his helping
45 Ane, other suld wrethit be.
Tharfor rycht to the king yeid he
And schawyt him betwix thaim twa
The letter and the charge alsua.
Quhen that the king hard that this trane
50 Spokyn wes intill certayne
That him thocht tharin na fantis
He said him, 'Certis thou wrocht as wis
That has discoveryt the fryst to me,
For giff thou had discoveryt the
55 To my nevo the Erle Thomas
Thou suld disples the lord Douglas,
And him alsua in the contrer,
Bot I sall wyrk on sic maner
That thou at thine entent sall be
60 And haff of nane of thaim mawgre.
Thou sall tak kep weill to the day,
And with thaim that thou purches may
At evyn thou sall enbuschit be
In Duns Park, bot be preve,
65 And I sall ger the Erle Thomas
And the lord alsua of Douglas
Ather with a soume of men
Be thar to do as thou sall ken.'
The marchell but mar delay
70 Tuk leve and held furth on his way
And held his spek preve and still
Quhill the day that wes set him till.
Than of the bast of Lothiane
He with hym till his tryst has tane
75 For schyrreff tharoff than wes he.

[The Scots take the wall of Berwick, but discipline breaks down]

To Duns Park with his menye
He come at evyn prively,
And syne with a gud cumpany
Sone eftyr come the Erle Thomas
80 That wes met with the lord Douglas.
A rycht fayr cumpany thai war
Quhen thai war met togidder thar,
And quhen the marchell the covyn
To bath the lordis lyne be lyne
85 Had tauld, thai went furth on thar way.
Fer fra the toun thar hors left thai,
To mak it schort sua wrocht thai then
That but seyng off ony men
Outane Sym of Spaldyn allane
90 That gert that deid be undertane
Thai set thar leddrys to the wall,
And but persaving come up all
And held thaim in a nuk preve
Quhill that the nycht suld passit be,
95 And ordanyt that the maist party
Off thar men suld gang sarraly
With thar lordis and hald a stale,
And the remanand suld all hale
Skaill throu the toun and tak or sla
100 The men that thai mycht ourta.
Bot sone this ordynance brak thai,
For alsone as it dawyt day
The twa partis off thar men and ma
All scalyt throu the toun gan ga.
105 Sa gredy war thai to the gud
That thai ran rycht as thai war woud
And sesyt housis and slew men,
And thai that saw thar fayis then
Cum apon thaim sa suddanly
110 Throu-out the toun thai raissyt the cry
And schot togidder her and thar,
As ay as thai assemblyt war
Thai wald abid and mak debate.
Had thai bene warnyt wele I wate
115 Thai suld haiff sauld thar dedis der
For thai war gud men and thai wer
Fer ma than thai were that thaim socht,
Bot thai war scalyt that thai mocht
On na maner assemblyt be.
120 Thar war gret melleys twa or thre,
Bot Scottismen sa weile thaim bar
That thar fayis ay ruschyt war
And contraryit at the last war sua
That thai haly the bak gan ta,
125 Sum gat the castell bot nocht all
And sum ar slydyn our the wall
And sum war intill handis tane
And sum war intill bargane slane.
On this wis thaim contenyt thai
130 Quhill it wes ner none of the day,
Than thai that in the castell war
And other that fled to thaim thar
That war a rycht gret cumpany
Quhen thai the baneris saw simply
135 Standand and stuffyt with a quhone
Thar yattis haff thai opnyt sone
And ischit on thaim hardely.
Than the Erle Thomas that wes worthi
And the gud lord als of Douglas
140 With the few folk that with thaim was
Met thaim stoutly with wapnys ser.
Thar mycht men se that had bene ner
Men abandoune thaim hardely.

[The town of Berwick falls]

The Inglismen faucht cruelly
145 And with all mychtis gan thaim payn
To rusche the Scottis men agayn.
I trow thai had done sua perfay
For thai war fewar fer than thai
Giff it na had bene a new-mad knycht
150 That till his name Schyr Wilyam hycht,
Off Keyth and off Gallistoun
He hycht throu difference of sournoune,
That bar him sa rycht weill that day
And put him till sua hard assay
155 And sic dyntis about him dang
That quhar he saw the thikkest thrang
He pressyt with sa mekill mycht
And sua enforslye gan fycht
That he maid till his mengne way,
160 And thai that ner war by him ay
Dang on thar fayis sua hardely
That thai haff tane the bak in hy
And till the castell held the way,
And at gret myscheiff entryt thai
165 For thai war pressyt thar sa fast
That thai fele lesyt of the last.
Bot thai that entryt nocht-forthi
Sparyt thar yattis hastily
And in hy to the wallis ran
170 For thai war nocht all sekyr than.

[Men flock to Berwick; the castle holds out but eventually surrenders]

The toun wes takyn on this wis
Throu gret worschip and hey empris,
And all the gud that thai thar fand
Wes sesyt smertly intill hand.
175 Vittaill they fand in gret foysoun
And all that fell to stuff off toun
That kepyt thai fra destroying,
And syn has word send to the king,
And he wes off that tything blyth
180 And sped him thidderwart swith
And as he throu the cuntre raid
Men gaderyt till him quhill he haid
A mekill rout of worthi men,
And the folk that war wonnand then
185 Intill the Mers and Tevidaill
And in the Forest als all hale
And the est end off Lothiane
Befor that the king come ar gane
To Berwik with sa stalwart hand
190 That nane that wes that tyme wonnand
On yond half Tweid durst weil apper.
And thai that in the castell wer
Quhen thai thar fayis in sic plente
Saw forouth thaim assemblyt be
195 And had na hop of reskewing
Thai war abaysit in gret thing,
Bot thai the castell nocht-forthi
Held thai fyve dayis sturdely
Syne yauld it on the sext day,
200 And till thar countre syne went thai.

[The king plans to hold Berwick; Walter Stewart given command there;
the garrison and its arms]

Thus wes the castell and the toun
Till Scottis mennys possessioun
Brocht, and sone eftre he king
Come ridand with his gadering
205 To Berwik, and in the castell
He wes herbrid bath fayr and weill
And all his lordis him by,
The remanand commonaly
Till herbry till the toun ar gane.
210 The king has then to consaill tan
That he wald nocht brek doun the wall
Bot castell and the toun witthall
Stuff weill with men and with vittaill
And alkyn other apparaill
215 That mycht availe or ellis myster
To hald castell or toun off wer,
And Walter Stewart of Scotland
That than wes young and avenand
And sone-in-laucht wes to the king
220 Haid sa gret will and sic yarnyng
Ner-hand the marchis for to be
That Berwik to yemsell tuk he,
And resavit of the king the toun
And the castell and the dongeoun.
225 The king gert men of gret noblay
Ryd intill Ingland for to pray
That brocht out gret plente of fe,
And sum contreis trewyt he
For vittaill, that in gret foysoun
230 He gert bring smertly to the toun
Sua that bath castell and toun war
Well stuffyt for a yer and mar.
The gud Stewart off Scotland then
Send for his frendis and his men
235 Quhill he had with him, but archeris
And but burdouris and awblasteris,
Fyve hunder men wycht and worthi
That bar armys of awncestry.
Jhone Crab a Flemyng als had he
240 That wes of sa gret sutelte
Till ordane and mak apparaill
For to defend and till assaill
Castell of wer or than cite
That nane sleyar mycht fundyn be.
245 He gert engynys and cranys ma
And purvayit Grec fyr alsua,
Spryngaldis and schot on ser maneris
That to defend castellis afferis
He purvayit intill full gret wane,
250 Bot gynnys for crakys had he nane
For in Scotland yeit than but wene
The us of thaim had nocht bene sene.
Quhen the toun apon this wis
Was stuffyt as Ik her divis
255 The nobill king his way has tane
And riddyn towart Lowthiane,
And Walter Stewart that wes stout
Be-left at Berwik with his rout
And ordanyt fast for apparaill
260 To defend giff men wald assail.

[Edward II comes to besiege Berwick with land and sea forces]

Quhen to the king of Ingland
Was tauld how that with stalwart hand
Berwik wes tane and stuffyt syn
With men and vittaill and armyn
265 He wes anoyit gretumly
And gert assermbill all halely
His consaill, and has tane to reid
That he hys ost will thidder leid
And with all mycht that he mycht get
270 To the toune ane assege set,
And gert dyk thaim sa stalwartly
That quhill thaim likyt thar to ly
Thai suld fer out the traister be.
And gif the men of the contre
275 With strenth of men wald thaim assaill
At thar dykis into bataill
Thai suld avantage have gretly,
Thocht all Scottis for gret foly
War till assaill into fechting
280 At hys dykis sa stark a thing.
Quhen this consaill on this maner
Wes tane he gert bath fer and ner
Hys ost haly assemblyt be,
Ane gret folk than with him had he.
285 Off Longcastell the Erle Thomas
That syne wes sanct as men sayis
In his cumpany wes thar
And all the erllys that als war
In Ingland worthi for to fycht,
290 And baronys als of mekill mycht
With him to that assege had he,
And gert his schippis by the se
Bring schot and other apparaill
And gret warnysone of vittaill.
295 To Berwik with all his menye
With his bataillis arayit come he,
And till gret lordis ilkane sindry
Ordanyt a feld for thar herbry.
Than men mycht sone se pailyounys
300 Be stentyt of syndry fassounys
That thai a toune all sone maid thar
Mar than bath toun and castell war.
On other half syne on the se
The schippis come in sic plente
305 With vittaill armyng and with men
That all the havyn wes stoppyt then.
And quhen thai that war in the toun
Saw thar fayis in sic foysoun
Be land and se cum sturdely,
310 Thai as wycht men and rycht worthi
Schup thaim to defend thar steid
That thai in aventur of deid
Suld put thaim or than rusch agane
Thar fayis, for thar capitane
315 Tretyt thaim sa luflely,
And thar-with-all the mast party
Off thaim that armyt with him wer
War of his blud and sib him ner,
Or ellis war his elye.
320 Off sic confort men mycht thaim se
And of sa rycht far contenyng
As nane of thaim had abaysing.
On dayis armyt weill war thai
And on the nycht wele walkyt ay,
325 Weill sex dayis sua thai abaid
That na full gret bargane haid.

[The English assault the town by land]

Intill this tyme that I tell her
That thai withoutyn bargayne wer
The Inglismen sa clossyt had
330 Thar ost with dykis that thai maid
That thai war strenthit gretumly.
Syne with all handis besely
Thai schup thaim with thair apparaill
Thaim of the toun for till assaill,
335 And of our ladys evyn Mary
That bar the byrth that all gan by
That men callis hyr nativite
Sone in the mornyng men mycht se
The Inglis ost arme thaim in hy
340 And display baneris sturdely,
And assembill to thar baneris
With instrumentis of ser maneris
As scaffoldis leddris and covering
Pikkys, howis and with staff-slyng.
345 Till ilk lord and his bataill
Wes ordanyt quhar he suld assaill.
And thai within, quhen that thai saw
That mengne raung thaim sua on raw
Till thar wardis thai went in hy
350 That war stuffyt rycht stalwartly
With stanys and schot and other thing
That nedyt to thar defending,
And into sic maner abaid
Thair fayis that till assail thaim maid.
355 Quhen thai without war all redy
Thai trumpyt till asalt in hy,
And ilk man with his apparaill
Quhar he suld be went till assaill,
Till ilk kyrnell that war thar
360 Archeris to schut assignyt war,
And quhen on this wys thai war boun
Thai went in hy towart the toun
And fillyt the dykis hastily,
Syne to the wall rycht hardely
365 Thai went with leddris that thai haid.
Bot thai sa gret defend has maid
That war abovyne apon the wall
That oft leddris and men with-all
Thai gert fall flatlingis to the ground,
370 That men mycht se in a litill stound
Men assailand hardely
Dressand up leddris douchtely
And sum on leddris pressand war.
Bot thai that on the wall war thar
375 Till all perellis gan abandoun
Thaim till thar fayis war dongyn doun.
At gret myscheff defendyt thai
Thar toun, for, giff we suth sall say,
The wallis of the toun than wer
380 Sa law that a man with a sper
Mycht stryk ane other up in the face,
And the schot alsa thik thar was
That it war wondre for to se.
Walter Stewart with a menye
385 Raid ay about for to se quhar
That for to help mast myster war,
And quhar men presit mast he maid
Succour till his that myster haid.
The mekill folk that wes without
390 Haid enveronyt the toun about
Sua that na part of it wes fre.
Thar mycht men the assailiaris se
Abandoun thaim rycht hardely,
And the defendouris douchtely
395 With all thar mychtis gan thaim payn
To put thar fayis with force agayn.

[The assault by sea; it fails, and an engineer is taken prisoner]

On this wis thaim contenyt thai
Quhill none wes passit off the day,
Than thai that in the schippis wer
400 Ordanyt a schip with full gret fer
To cum with all hyr apparaill
Rycht to the wall for till assaill.
Till myd-mast up thar bat thai drew
With armyt men tharin inew,
405 A brig thai had for to lat fall
Rycht fra the bat apon the wall,
With bargis by hir gan thai row
And pressyt thaim rycht fast to tow
Hyr by the brighous to the wall,
410 On that entent thai set thaim all.
Thai brocht hyr quhill scho come well ner,
Than mycht men se on seir maner
Sum men defend and sum assaill
Full besyly with gret travaill.
415 Within sa stoutly thai thaim bar
That the schipmen sa handlyt war
That thai the schip on na maner
Mycht ger to cum the wall sa ner
That thar fall-brig mycht neych thartill
420 For oucht thai mycht gud or ill,
Quhill that scho ebbyt on the grund,
Than mycht men in a litill stound
Se thaim be fer of wer covyn
Than thai war er that war hyr in.
425 And quhen the se wes ebbyt sua
That men all dry mycht till hyr ga,
Out off the toun ischit in hy
Till hyr a weill gret cumpany
And fyr till hyr has keyndlyt son.
430 Into schort tyme sua haif thai done
That thai in fyr has gert hyr bryn
And sum war slayn that war hyr in
And sum fled and away ar gane.
Ane engynour thar haif thai tane
435 That wes sleast of that myster
That men wist ony fer or ner,
Intill the toun syne entryt thai.
It fell thaim happily perfay
That thai gat in sa hastily
440 For thar come a gret cumpany
In full gret hy up by the se
Quhen thai the schip saw brynnand be,
Bot or thai come, the tother war past
The yat and barryt it rycht fast.
445 That folk assaylyt fast that day,
And thai within defendyt ay
On sic a wis that thai that war
With gret enforce assailland thar
Mycht do thar will on na maner.
450 And quhen that evynsang tym wes ner
The folk without that war wery
And sum woundyt full cruelly
Saw thaim within defend thaim sua,
And saw it wes nocht eyth to ta
455 The toun quhill sic defens wes mad,
And thai that intill stering had
The ost saw that thar schip war brynt
And of thaim that tharin wes tynt,
And thar folk woundyt and wery,
460 Thai gert blaw the retreit in hy.
Fra the schipmen rebotyt war
Thai lete the tother assaill no mar,
For throu the schip thai wend ilkan
That thai the toun wele suld haf tane.
465 Men sayis that ma schippis than sua
Pressyt that tym the toun to ta,
Bot for that thar wes brynt bot ane
And the engynour tharin wes tane
Her-befor mencioun maid I
470 Bot off a schip allanerly.

[The English withdraw from the walls; King Robert invades England, ravaging]

Quhen that thai blawyn had the retret
Thar folk that tholyt had paynys gret
Withdrew thaim haly fra the wall,
The assalt have thai left all.
475 And thai within that wery war
And mony of thaim woundyt sar
War blyth and glaid quhen that thai saw
Thar fayis on that wis thaim withdraw,
And fra thai wyst suthly that thai
480 Held to thar pailyounys thar way
Set gud wachys to thar wall,
Syne till thar innys went thai all
And essyt thaim that wery war,
And other that had woundis sar
485 Had gud lechys forsuth Ik hycht
That helpyt thaim as thai best mycht.
On athyr sid wery war thai,
That nycht thai did no mar perfay.
Fyve dayis eftyr thai war still
490 That nane till other did mekill ill.
Now leve we thir folk her lyand
All still as Ik have borne on hand
And turne the cours of our carping
To Schyr Robert the douchty king,
495 That assemblyt bath fer and ner
Ane ost quhen that he wist but wer
That the king sua of Ingland
Had assegyt with stalwart hand
Berwik quhar Walter Stewart was.
500 To purpose with his men he tais
That he wald nocht sua sone assaile
The king of Ingland with bataill
And at his dykis specially,
For that moucht weill turne to foly.
505 Tharfor he ordanyt lordis twa,
The erle of Murreff wes ane of tha
The tother wes the lord of Douglas
With fyften thousand men to pas
In Ingland for to bryn and sla
510 And sua gret ryote thar to ma
That thai that lay segeand the toun
Quhen thai hard the destructioun
That thai suld intill Ingland ma,
Suld be sua dredand and sua wa
515 For thar childer and for thar wiffis
That thai suld drede to lese the lyvis,
And thar gudis alsua that thai
Suld dreid than suld be had away,
Thai suld leve thar sege in hy
520 And wend to reskew hastily
Thar gud thar frendis and thar land.
Tharfor, as Ik haf born on hand,
Thir lordis send he furth in hy
And thai thar way tuk hastily
525 And in Ingland gert bryn and sla,
And wrocht tharin sa mekill wa
As thai forrayit the countre
That it wes pite for to se
Till thaim that wald it ony gud,
530 For thai destroyit all as thai yhud.

[The battle at Myton-on-Swale]

Sua lang thai raid destroyand sua
As thai traversyt to and fra
That thai ar cummyn to Repoun
And destroyit haly that toun,
535 At Borowbrig syne thar herbry
Thai tuk and at Mytoun tharby.
And quhen the men of that countre
Saw thar land sua destroyit be
Thai gaderyt into full gret hy
540 Archeris burges and yhumanry
Preystis clerkys monkis and freris
Husbandis and men of all maneris
Quhill that thai samyn assemblit war
Wele twenty thousand men and mar,
545 Rycht gud armys inew thai had.
The archebyschop ofYork thai mad
Thar capitane, and to consaill
Has tane that thai in plane bataill
Wald assaill the Scottismen
550 That fewar than thai war then.
Than he displayit his baner
And other byschappis that thar wer
Gert display thar baneris alsua,
All in a rout furth gan thai ga
555 Towart Mytoun the redy way.
And quhen the Scottismen hard say
Thai war to thaim cummand ner
Thai buskyt thaim on thar best maner
And delyt thaim in bataillis twa,
560 Douglas the avaward gan ma,
The rerward maid Erle Thomas
For chyftane of the ost he was
And sua ordanyt in gud aray
Towart thar fayis thai held thar way.
565 Quhen athyr had on other sycht
Thai pressyt on bath half to the fycht.
The Inglismen come rycht sadly
With gud contenance and hardy
Rycht in a frusch with thar baner
570 Quhill thar fayis come sa ner
That thai thar visag mycht se,
Thre sper lenth I trow weill mycht be
Betwix thaim, quhen sic abasing
Tuk thaim that but mar in a swyng
575 Thai gaff the bak all and to-ga.
Quhen the Scottismen had sene thaim sua
Effrayitly fle all thar way
In gret hy apon thaim schot thai
And slew and tuk a gret party,
580 The laiff fled full effrayitly
As thai best moucht to sek warand.
Thai chassyt sa ner at hand
That ner a thousand deyt thar.
Off thaim yet thre hunder war
585 Preystis that deyt in that chas,
Tharfor that bargane callit was
The chaptur of Mytone for thar
Slayn sa mony prestis war.

[The men in Berwick prepare engines, the English a sow;
a second English assault]

Quhen this folk thus discomfyt was
590 And Scottismen had left the chas
Thai went thaim forthward in the land
Slayand sua and destroyand,
And thai that at the sege lay
Or it wes passyt the fyft day
595 Had maid thaim syndry apparal
To gang eftsonys till assaill.
Off gret gestis a sow thai maid
That stalwart heildyne aboun it had
With armyt men inew tharin
600 And instrumentis for to myne,
Syndry scaffaldis thai maid withall
That war weill heyar than the wall,
And ordanyt als that be the se
The toun suld weill assaillyt be.
605 Thai within that saw thaim sua
Sua gret apparaill schap to ma
Throu Crabys consaill that wes sley
A crane thai haiff gert dres up hey
Rynnand on quheillis that thai mycht bring
610 It quhar that nede war of helping,
And pyk and ter als haiff thai tane
And lynt and herdis and brynstane
And dry treyis that weill wald brin
And mellyt ather other in,
615 And gret fagaldis tharoff thai maid
Gyrdyt with irne bandis braid,
The fagaldis weill mycht mesuryt be
Till a gret townys quantite.
Thai fagaldis brynnand in a baill
620 With thar cran thocht thai till availl,
And gyff the sow come to the wall
To let it brynnand on hyr fall
And with stark chenyeis hald it thar
Quhill all war brynt up that thar war.
625 Engynys alsua for to cast
Thai ordanyt and maid redy fast
And set ilk man syne till his ward,
And Schyr Walter the gud Steward
With armyt men suld rid about
630 And se quhar that thar war mast dout
And succour thar with his menye.
And quhen thai in sic degre
Had maid thaim for defending,
On the Rud Evyn in the dawing
635 The Inglis ost blew till assaill.
Than mycht men with ser apparaill
Se that gret ost cum sturdely,
The toun enveround thai in hy
And assaillyt with sua gret will
640 For all thar mycht thai set thartill
That thaim pressyt fast on the toun.
Bot thai that gan thaim abandoun
To dede or than to w oundis sar
Sa weill has thaim defendit thar
645 That leddrys to the ground thai slang,
And with stanys sa fast thai dang
Thar fayis that fele thar left liand
Sum dede sum hurt and sum swonand.
Bot thai that held on feyt in hy
650 Drew thaim away deliverly
And scounryt nocht for that thing
Bot went stoutly till assailling,
And thai aboun defendyt ay
And set thaim to sa hard assay
655 Quhill that fele of thaim woundyt war,
And thai sa gret defens maid thar
That thai styntit thar fayis mycht.
Apon sic maner gan thai fycht
Quhill it wes ner none of the day,
660 Than thai without on gret aray
Pressyt thar sowe towart the wall.

[The Scots force the engineer to destroy the sow]

And thai within sone gert call
The engynour that takyn was,
And gret mannance till him mais
665 And swour that he suld dey bot he
Provyt on the sow sic sutelte
That he to-fruschyt hir ilk-dele,
And he that has persavyt wele
That the dede wes weill ner him till
670 Bot giff he mycht fulfill thar will
Thocht that he at his mycht wald do.
Bendyt in gret hy than wes scho
That till the sow wes evyn set,
In hy he gert draw the cleket
675 And smertly swappyt out a stane.
Evyn our the sow the stane is gane
And behind it a litill wey
It fell, and than thai criyt hey
That war in hyr, 'Furth to the wall,
680 For dredles it is ouris all.'
The gynour than deliverly
Gert bend the gyn in full gret hy
And the stane smertly swappyt out,
It flaw out quhetherand with a rout
685 And fell rycht evyn befor the sow.
Thar hartis than begouth to grow,
Bot yeyt than with thar mychtis all
Thai pressyt the sow towart the wall
And has hyr set tharto juntly.
690 The gynour than gert bend in hy
The gyne and wappyt out the stane
That evyn towart the lyft is gane
And with gret wecht syne duschit down
Rycht be the wall in a randoun,
695 And hyt the sow in sic maner
That it that wes the mast summer
And starkest for to stynt a strak
In sunder with that dusche it brak.
The men ran out in full gret hy,
700 And on the wallis thai gan cry
That thar sow wes feryt thar.
Jhone Crab that had his ger all yar
In his fagaldis has set the fyr
And our the wall syne gan thaim wyr
705 And brynt the sow till brundis bar.
With all thys fast assailyeand war
The folk without with felloun fycht,
And thai within with mekill mycht
Defendyt manlily thar steid
710 Into gret aventur off deid.

[An attack by a ship is repulsed]

The schipmen with gret apparaill
Come with thar schippis till assail
With top-castell warnyst weill
Off wicht men armyt into steill,
715 Thar batis up apon thar mast
Drawyn weill hey and festnyt fast,
And pressyt with that gret atour
Towart the wall, bot the gynour
Hyt in the aspyne with a stane,
720 That the men that tharin war gane
Sum ded sum dosnyt come doun wynland.
Fra thyne furth durst nane tak on hand
With schippis to preys thaim to the wall,
Bot the lave war assailyeand all
725 On ilk sid sa egrely
That certis it wes gret ferly
That that folk sic defens has maid
With the gret myscheiff that thai had,
For thar wallis sa law than wer
730 That a man rycht weill with a sper
Mycht stryk ane other up in the face
As her-befor said to you was,
And fele of thaim war woundit sar,
And the laiff sa fast travaillyt war
735 That nane had tyme rest for to ma,
Thar adversouys assaillyt sua.

[The Steward's defence of the Mary gate]

Thai war within sa straitly stad
That thar wardane, that with him had
Ane hunder men in cumpany
740 Armyt that wicht war and hardy
And raid about for to se quhar
That his folk hardest presyt war
To releve thaim that had myster,
Come sindry tymys in placis ser
745 Quhar sum of the defendouris war
All dede and other woundyt sar,
Sua that he of his cumpany
Behuffyt for to leve thar party,
Sua that be he a cours had maid
750 About, of all the men he haid
Thar wes levyt with him bot ane
That he ne had left thaim everilkan
To releve quhar he saw myster.
And the folk that assailland wer
755 At Mary yat tohewyn haid
The barrais and a fyr had maid
At the drawbrig and brynt it doun,
And war thringand in gret foysoun
Rycht to the yat a fyr to ma.
760 Than thai within gert smertly ga
Ane to the wardane far to say
How thai war set in hard assay,
And quhen Schyr Walter Stewart herd
How men sa straitly with thaim ferd
765 He gert cum of the castell then
All that thar war off armyt men,
For thar that day assaillyt nane,
And with that rout in hy is gane
To Mary yate and to the wall
770 He send and saw the myscheff all,
And umbethocht him suddanly
Bot giff gret help war set in hy
Tharto, thai suld bryn up the yet
That fra the wall thai suld nocht let.
775 Tharfor apon gret hardyment
He suddanly set his entent,
And gert all wyd set up the yat
And the fyr that he fand tharat
With strenth of men he put away.
780 He set him to full hard assay,
For thai that war assailyeand thar
Pressyt on him with wapnys bar
And he defendyt with his mycht.
Thar mycht men se a felloun sycht
785 Off stabing, stocking and striking,
Thair maid thai sturdy defending
For with gret strenth of men the yat
Thai defendyt and stud tharat
Mawgre thar fayis, quhill the nycht
790 Gert thaim on bath half leve the fycht.

[The assault ends, but the garrison prepares for another]

Thai off the ost quhen nycht gan fall
Fra the assalt withdrew thaim all.
Woundyt and wery and forbeft
With mad cher the assalt thai left
795 And till thar innys went in hy
And set thar wachis hastily,
The lave thaim esyt as thai mycht best
For thai had gret myster of rest.
That nycht thai spak commonaly
800 Off thaim within and had ferly
That thai sua stout defens had maid
Agayne the gret assalt thai haid.
And thai within on other party
Quhen thai thar fayis sa hastily
805 Saw withdraw thaim thai war all blyth,
And has ordanyt thar wachis swith
And syne ar till thar innys gane.
Thar wes bot full few of thaim slane
Bot fele war woundyt utterly,
810 The lave our mesur war wery.
It was ane hard assault perfay,
And certis I herd never say
Quhar quheyn mar defence had maid
That sua rycht hard assailling haid,
815 And off a thing that thar befell
Ik haff ferly that I sall tell,
That is that intill all that day
Quhen all thar mast assailyeit thai
And the schot thikkerst wes withall
820 Women with child and childer small
In armfullis gaderyt up and bar
Till thaim that on the wallis war
Arrowes, and nocht ane slayne wes thar
Na yeit woundyt, and that wes mar
825 The myrakill of God almichty
And to noucht ellis it set can I.

[The English debate whether to continue, but withdraw;
the fate of Thomas earl of Lancaster; the return of King Robert]

On athyr syd that nycht thai war
All still, and on the morn but mar
Thar come tythandis out off Ingland
830 To thaim of the ost, that bar on hand
How that by Borowbrig at Mytoun
Thar men war slayn and dongyn doun,
And at the Scottismen throu the land
Raid yeit brynnand and destroyand.
835 And quhen the king had hard this tale
His consaile he assemblyt haile
To se quhether fayr war him till
To ly about the toun all still
And assailye quhill it wonnyn war,
840 Or than in Ingland for to fayr
And reskew his land and his men.
His consaill fast discordyt then,
For sotheroun men wald that he mad
Arest thar quhill he wonnyn haid
845 The toun and the castell alsua,
Bot northyn men wald na thing sua
That dred thar frendis for to tyn
And mast part of thar gudis syne
Throu Scottismennys cruelte,
850 Thai wald he lete the sege be
And raid for to reskew his land.
Off Longcastell I tak on hand
The Erle Thomas wes ane of tha
That consaillyt the king hame to ga,
855 And for that mar inclynyt he
To the folk of the south countre
Na to the northyn mennys will,
He tuk it to sa mekill ill
That he gert turs his ger in hy
860 And with his bataill halily
That off the ost ner thrid part was
Till Ingland hame his way he tais.
But leve he hame has tane his gat,
Tharfor fell efter sic debat
865 Betwix him and the king that ay
Lastyt quhill Androw Hardclay
That throu the king wes on him set
Tuk him rycht in Pomfret,
And on ane hill beside the toun
870 Strak off his hede but ransoun,
Tharfor syne hyngyt and drawyn wes he
And with him a weill gret menye.
Men said syne efter this Thomas
That on this wis maid marter was
875 Was saynct and myrakillis did,
Bot envy syne gert thaim be hid,
Bot quhether he haly wes or nane
At Pomfret thus was he slane.
And syne the king of Ingland
880 Quhen that he saw him tak on hand
To pas his way sa opynly,
Him thocht it wes perell to ly
Thar with the lave of his menye
Hys harnays tharfor tursit he
885 And intill Ingland hame gan he far.
The Scottismen that destroyand war
In Ingland sone hard tell tithing
Off this gret sege departing,
Tharfor thai tuk westwart the way
890 And till Carlele hame went ar thai
With prayis and with presoneris
And other gudis on ser maneris.
The lordis to the king ar gain,
And the lave has thar wayis tain
895 Ilk man till his repayr agayne.
The king i-wys was wondre fayn
That thay war cummyn hale and fer,
And that thai sped on sic maner
That thai thar fayis discomfyt hade
900 And but tynsaill of men has maid
Rescours to thaim that in Berwik
War assegyt rycht till thar dyk.
And quhen the king had speryt tithand
How thai had farne in Ingland
905 And thai had tauld him all hale thar far
How Inglismen discumfyt war,
Rycht blyth intill his hart wes he
And maid them fest with gamyn and gle.

[Praise of Walter Stewart; help is to be sent to Edward Bruce]

Berwik wes on this maner
910 Reskewyt and thai that tharin wer
Throu manheid and throu sutelte.
He wes worthi a prynce to be
That couth with wit sa hey a thing
But gret tynsaill bring till ending.
915 Till Berwik syne the way he tays
And quhen he hard thar how it ways
Defendyt rycht sua apertly,
He lovyt thaim that war thar gretly.
Walter Stewart his gret bounte
920 Out-our the laiff commendyt he
For the rycht gret defens he maid
At the yat quhar men brynt had
The brig as ye herd me dyvis,
And certis he wes weill to pris
925 That sa stoutly with plane fechting
At opyn yate maid defending.
Mycht he haff levyt quhill he had bene
Off perfyt eild, withoutyn wene
His renoun suld have strekyt fer,
930 Bot dede that walkis ay to mer
With all hyr mycht waik and worthy
Had at his worschip sic invi
That in the flour of his youtheid
So endyt all his douchti deid,
935 As I sall tell you forthermar.
Quhen the king had a quhill bene thar
He send for maysonys fer and ner
That sleast war off that myster
And gert weill ten fute hey the wall
940 About Berwykis toune our-all,
And syne towart Louthyane
With his menye his gat is gane.
And syne he gert ordane in hy
Bath armyt men and yhumenry
945 Intill Irland in hy to fayr
To help his brother that wes thar.

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