The Brus Book X

John Barbour

 Next Poem          

[Preparations for battle against John of Lorn]

Quhen Thomas Randell on this wis
Wes takyn as Ik her devys
And send to dwell in gud keping
For spek that he spak to the king,
5 The gud king that thocht on the scaith
The dispyt and felny bath
That Jhone off Lorne had till him doyn
His ost assemblyt he then sone
And towart Lorn he tuk the way
10 With his men intill gud aray.
Bot Jhone off Lorn off his cummyng
Lang or he come had wittering,
And men on ilk sid gadryt he
I trow twa thousand thai mycht be
15 And send thaim for to stop the way
Quhar the gud king behovyt away,
And that wes in an evill plas
That sa strayt and sa narow was
That twasum samyn mycht nocht rid
20 In sum place off the hillis sid.
The nethyr halff was peralous
For schor crag hey and hydwous
Raucht to the se doun fra the pas,
On athyr halff the montane was
25 Sua combrous hey and stay
That it was hard to pas that way.
I trow nocht that in all Bretane
Ane heyar hill may fundyn be.
30 Thar Jhone off Lorne gert his menye
Enbuschyt be abovyn the way,
For giff the king held thar away
He thocht he suld sone vencussyt be,
And himselff held him apon the se
35 Weill ner the pais with his galayis.
Bot the king that in all assayis
Wes fundyn wys and avisé
Persavyt rycht weill thar sutelte,
And that he neid that gait suld ga.
40 His men departyt he in twa
And till the gud lord off Douglas
Quham in herbryd all worschip was
He taucht the archerys everilkane
And this gud lord with him has tane
45 Schyr Alysander Fraser the wycht,
And Wylyam Wysman a gud knycht
And with thaim syne Schyr Androw Gray.
Thir with thar mengne held thar way
And clamb the hill deliverly
50 And or thai off the tother party
Persavyt thaim thai had ilkane
The hycht abovyne thar fayis tane.

[The battle beneath Ben Cruachan]

The king and his men held thar way,
And quhen intill the pas war thai
55 Entryt the folk of Lorne in hy
Apon the king raysyt the cry
And schot and tumblit on him stanys
Rycht gret and hevy for the nanys,
Bot thai scaith nocht gretly the king
60 For he had thar in his leding
Men that lycht and deliver war
And lycht armouris had on thaim thar
Sua that thai stoutly clamb the hill
And lettyt thar fayis to fulfill
65 The maist part of thar felny.
And als apon the tother party
Come James of Douglas and his rout
And schot apon thaim with a schout
And woundyt thaim with arowis fast,
70 And with thar swerdis at the last
Thai ruschyt amang thaim hardely,
For thai of Lorn full manlely
Gret and apert defens gan ma.
Bot quhen thai saw that thai war sua
75 Assaylit apon twa partys
And saw weill that thar ennemys
Had all the fayrer off the fycht
In full gret hy thai tuk the flycht,
And thai a felloun chas gan ma
80 And slew all that thai mycht ourta,
And thai that mycht eschap but delay
Rycht till ane water held thar way
That ran doun be the hillis syd.
It was sa styth and depe and wid
85 That men in na place mycht it pas
Bot at ane btyg that beneuth thaim was.
To that brig held thai straucht the way
And to brek it fast gan assay,
Bot thai that chassyt quhen thai thaim saw
90 Mak arest, but dred or aw
Thai ruschyt apon thaim hardely
And discumfyt thaim uterly,
And held the brig haile quhill the king
With all the folk off his leding
95 Passyt the brig all at thar ese.
To Jhone off Lorne it suld displese
I trow, quhen he his men mycht se
Oute off his schippis fra the se
Be slayne and chassyt in the hill,
100 That he mycht set na help thartill,
For it angrys als gretumly
To gud hartis that ar worthi
To se thar fayis fulfill thhar will
As to thaim selff to thoke the ill.

[The taking of Dunstaffnage and the surrender of Alexander of Argyll]

105 At sic myscheiff war thai of Lorn,
`For fele the lyvys thar has lorne
And other sum war fled thar way.
The king in hy gert sese the pray
Off all the land, quhar men mycht se
110 Sa gret habundance come of fe
That it war wonder to behauld.
The king that stout wes stark and bauld
Till Dunstaffynch rycht sturdely
A sege set and besily
115 Assaylit the castell it to get,
And in schort tym he has thaim set
In swilk thrang that tharin war than
That magre tharis he it wan,
And ane gud wardane tharin set
120 And betaucht hym bath men and met
Sua that he lang tyme thar mycht be
Magre thaim all off that countre.
Schyr Alerandir off Arghile that saw
The king dystroy up clene and law
125 His land send treyteris to the king
And cum his man but mar duelling,
And he resavit him till his pes,
Bot Jhone off Lorne his sone yeit wes
Rebell as he wes wont to be
130 And fled with schippis on the se,
Bot thai that left apon the land
War to the king all obeysand.
And he thar hostage all has tane
And towart Perth agayne is gane
135 To play him thar into the playne.

[The plan to take the peel of Linlithgow]

Yeit Lothyane was him agayne,
And at Lythkow wes than a pele
Mekill and stark and stuffyt wele
With Inglismen, and wes reset
140 To thaim that with armuris or met
Fra Edynburgh wald to Strevelyn ga
And fra Strevelyng agane alsua,
And till the countre did gret ill.
Now may ye her giff that ye will
145 Entrmellys and juperdyis
That men assayit mony wys
Castellis and peyllis for to ta,
And this Lithquhow wes ane off tha
And I sall tell You how it wes tane.
150 In the contre thar wonnyt ane
That husband wes, and with his fe
Oftsys hay to the peile led he,
Wilyame Bunnok to name he hicht
That stalwart man wes into ficht. 154
155 He saw sa hard the contre staid 154
That he gret noy and pite had 155
Throw the gret force that it was then 155
Governyt and led with Inglismen,
That travalyt men out-our mesure.
160 He wes a stout carle and a sture 158
And off himselff dour and hardy,
And had freyndis wonnand him by
And schawyt ti sum his prevete,
And apon his convyne gat he
165 Men that mycht ane enbuschement ma 163
Quhill that he with his wayne suld ga
To lede thaim hay into the pele
Bot his wayne suld be stuffyt wele,
For aucht men in the body
170 Off his wayn suld sit prevely 168
And with hay helyt be about,
And himselff that wes dour and stout
Suld be the wayne gang ydilly,
And ane yuman wycht and hardy
175 Befor suld dryve the wayne and ber 173
Ane hachat that war scharp to scher
Under his belt, and quhen the yat
War apynnyt and thai war tharat
And he hard him cry sturdely,
180 'Call all, call all,' than hastyly 178
He suld stryk with the ax in twa
the soyme, and than in hy suld tha
That war within the wayne cum out
And mak debate quhill that thar rout
185 That suld nerby enbushyt be 183
Cum for to manteyme the melle.

[The taking of the peel of Linlithgow]

This wes intill the hervyst tyd
Quhen feldis that ar fayr and wid
Chargyt with corne all fully war,
190 For syndry cornys that thai bar 188
Wox ryp to wyn to mannys fud,
And the treys all chargyt stud
With ser frutis on syndry wys.
In this swete tyme that I devys
195 Thai off the pele had wonnyn hay 193
And with this Bunnok spokyn had thai
To lede thar hay, for he wes ner,
And he assentyt but daunger
And said that he in the mornyng
200 Weile sone a fothyr he suld bring 198
Fayrer and gretar and weile mor
Than he brocht ony that yer befor,
And held thaim cunnand sekyrly.
For that nycht warnyt he prevely
205 Thaim that in the wayne suld ga 203
And that in the buschement suld be alsua,
And thai sa graithly sped thaim thar
That or day thai enbuschyt war
Weile ner the pele quhar thai mycht her
210 The cry als sone as ony wer, 208
And held thaim sua still but stering
That nane off thaim had persaving.
And this Bunnok fast gan him payne
To dres his menye in his wayne
215 And all a quhile befor the day 213
He had thaim helyt weile with ha
And maid him to yok his fe
Till men the son schynand mycht se,
And sum that war within the pele
220 War ischyt on thar awne unsele 218
To wyn thar hervyst ner tharby.
Than Bunnok with the cumpany
That in his wayne closyt he had
Went on his way but mar abaid
225 And callit his wayne towart the pele, 223
And the portar that saw him wele
Cum ner the yet, it opnyt sone,
And then Bunnok foroutyn hone
Gert call the wayne deliverly,
230 And quhen it wes set evynly 228
Betwix the chekis of the yat
Sua that men mycht it spar na gat
He cryit hey, 'Call all, call all,'
And he than lete the gad-wand fall
235 And hewyt in twa the soyme in hy. 233
Bonnok with that deliverly
Roucht till the portar sic a rout
That blud and harnys bath come out,
And thai that war within the wayne
240 Lap out belyff and sone has slayne 238
Men off the castell that war by
Than in ane quhile begouth the cry,
And thai that ner enbuschyt war
Lap out and come with swerdis bar
245 And tuk the casell all but payn 243
And has thaim that war tharin was slayn,
And thai that war went furth beforn
Quhen thai the castell saw forlorn
Thai fled to warand to and fra,
250 And sum till Edinburgh gan ga 248
And sum till Strevilline ar other gane
And sum inyill the gat war slayne.

[A profile of Thomas Randolph, earl of Moray]

Bonnok on this wis with his wayne
The pele tuk and the men has slane,
255 Syne taucht in till the king in hy 253
That him rewardyt worthely
And gert dryve it doun to the ground,
And syne our all the land gan found
Settand in pes all the countre
260 That at his obeysance wald be. 258
And quhen a litill time wes went
Eftre Thomas Randell he sent
And sa weile with him tretit he
That he his man hecht for to be,
265 And the king his ire him forgave 263
And for to hey his state him gave
Murreff and erle tharoff him maid,
And other syndry landis braid
He gave him intill heritage.
270 He knew his worthi vasselage 268
And his gret wyt and his avys
His traist hart and his lele service,
Tharfor in him affyit he
And ryche maid him off land and fe,
275 As it wes certis rycht worthi. 273
For and men spek off him trewly
He wes sua curageous ane knycht
Sa wys, sa worthy and sa wycht
And off sa soverane gret bounte
280 That mekill off him may spokyn be, 278
And for I think off him to rede
And to schaw part off his gud dede
I will discryve now his fassoun
And part off his condicioun.
285 He wes off mesurabill statur 283
And weile porturat at mesur
With braid vesage plesand and fayr,
Curtais at poynt and debonayr
And off rycht sekyr contenyng.
290 Lawte he lovyt atour all thing, 288
Falset tresoun and felony
He stude agayne ay encrely,
He heyit honour ay and larges
And ay mentemyt rychtwysnes.
295 In cumpany solacious
He was and tharwith amorous,
And gud knychtis he luffyt ay,
And giff I the suth sall say
He wes fulfilly off bounte
300 As off vertuys all maid was he. 298
I will commend him her no mar
Bot ye sall her weile forthyrmar
That he for his dedis worthy
Suld weile be prisyt soverandly.

[Moray sets siege toi Edinburgh Castle]

305 Quhen the king thus was with him sauch 303
And gret lordschyppis had him betaucht
He wox sa wyse and sa avysé
That his land fyrst weill stablyst he
And syne he sped him to the wer
310 Till help his eyme in his myster 308
And with the consent off the king
Bot with a symple aparaling
Till Edinburgh he went in hy
With gud men intill cumpany,
315 And set a sege to the castell 313
That than was warnyst wonder weill
With men and vyttalis at all rycht
Sua that it dred na mannys mycht.
Bot this gud erle nocht-forthi
320 The sege tuk full apertly 318
And pressyt the folk that tharin was
Sua that nocht ane the yet durst pas.
Thai may abid tharin and ete
Thair vittaill quhill thai oucht mai get
325 Bot I trow thai sall lettyt be 323
To purchas mar in the contre.

[The situation in Edinburgh; Douglas's activity]

That tyme Edward off Ingland king
Had gevyn that castell in keping
Till Schyr Perys Lombert a Gascoun,
330 And quhen thai of his varnysoun 328
Saw the sege set thar sa stythly
Thai mystrowit him off tratoury
For that he spokyn had with the king,
And for that ilk mystrowing
335 Thai tuk him and put in presoun, 333
And off thar awine nacioun
Thai maid ane constable thaim to lede
Bath wys and war and wycht off deid,
And he set wyt and strenth and slycht
340 To kep the castell at his mycht. 338
Bot now off thaim I will be still,
And spek a litill quhill I will
Off the douchty lord off Douglas
At that tyme in the Forest was
345 Quhar he mony a juperty 343
And fayr poyntis off chevalry
Servyt als weill be nycht as day
Till tthaim that in the castellis lay
Of Roxburch and Jedwort, bot I
350 Will let fele off thaim pas forby 348
For I can noucht rehers thaim all,
And thoucht I couth, weill trow ye sall
That I mycht nocht suffice tharto,
Thar suld mekill be ado,
355 Bot thai that I wate utterly 353
Eftre my wyt rehers will I.

[Douglas plans to take Roxburgh Castle]

This tyme that the gud erle Thomas
Assegyt as the lettre sayis
Edinburgh, James off Douglas
360 Set all his wit for to purchas 358
How Roxburch throu sutelte
Or ony craft mycht wonnyn be,
Till he gert Syme off the Leidhous
A crafty man and a curious
365 Off hempyn rapis leddris ma 363
With treyn steppis bundyn sua
That brek wald nocht on nakyn wis.
A cruk thai maid at thair divis
Off irne that wes styth and squar
370 That fra it in a kyrneill war 368
And the ledder tharfra straitly
Strekit, it suld stand sekyrly.
This gud lord off Douglas alsone
As this divisit wes and dome
375 Gaderyt gud men in prevete 373
Thre scor I trow thai mycht be,
And on the fasteryngis evyn rycht
In the begynnyng off the nycht
To the castell thai tuk thar way.
380 With blak frogis all helyt thai 378
The armouris that thai on thaim had.
Thai come nerby thar but abad
And send haly thar hors thaim fra,
And thai on raunge in ane route gan ga
385 On handis and fete quhen thai war ner 383
Rycht as thai ky or oxin wer
That war wont to be bondyn left tharout.
It wes rycht myrk withoutyn dout,
The-quhether ane on the wall that lay
390 Besid him till his fere gan say, 388
'This man thinkis to mak gud cher,'
And nemmyt ane husband tharby ner,
'That has left all his oxyn out.'
The tother said, 'It is na dout
305 He sall mak mery tonycht thocht thai 303
Be with the Douglas led away.'
Thai wend the Douglas and his men
Had bene oxin, for thai yeid then
On handis and fete ay ane and ane.
400 The Douglas rycht gud tent has tane 398
Till thar spek, bot all sone thai
Held carpand inwart thar way.

[The taking of the enclosure of Roxburgh Castle]

Douglas men tharoff war blyth
And to the wall thai sped thaim swith,
405 And sone has up thar ledder set 403
That maid ane clap quhen the cruchet
Wes fixit fast in the kyrneill.
That herd ane off the wachis weill
And buskyt thidderwart but baid,
410 Bot Ledehous that the ledder maid 408
Sped him to clymb fyrst to the wall,
Bot or he wes up gottyn all
He at that ward had in keping
Met him rycht at the up-cummyng,
415 And for he thocht to ding him doun 413
He maid na noys na cry na soun
Bot schot till him deliverly.
And he that wes in juperty
To de a launce he till him maid
420 And gat him be the nek but baid 418
And stekyt him upwart with a knyff
Quhill in his hand he left the lyff.
And quhen he ded sua saw him ly
Up on tthe wall he went in hy
425 And doun the body kest thaim till 423
And said, 'All gangis as we will,
Spede you upwart deliverly.'
And thai did sua in full gret hy.
Bot or thai wan up thar come ane
430 And saw Ledhous stand him allane 428
And knew he wes nocht off thar men.
In hy he ruschyt till him then
And him assailit sturdely,
Bot he slew him deliverly
435 For he wes armyt and wes wycht, 433
The tother nakyt wes, Ik hicht
And had nocht for to stynt the strak.
Sic melle tharup gan he mak
Quhill Douglas and his mengne all
440 War cummyn up apon the wall, 438
Than in the tour thai went in hy.

[The taking of the hall at Roxburgh Castle; the garrison in the tower]

The folk wes that tyme halily
Intill the hall at thar daunsing
Syngyng and other wayis playing,
445 And apon Fasteryngis evyn this 443
As custume is to mak joy and blys
Till folk that ar into pouste.
Sua trowyt thai that tyme to be,
Bot or thai wyst rycht in the hall
450 Douglas and his rout cummyn war all 448
And cryit on hycht, 'Douglas! Douglas!'
And thai that ma war than he was
Hard 'Douglas!' criyt hidwysly,
Thai war abaysit for the cry
455 And schup rycht na defens to ma, 453
And thai but pite gan thaim sla
Till thay had gottyn the overhand.
The tother fled to sek warand
That out off mesure ded gane dreid.
460 The wardane saw how that it yeid 458
That callyt wes Gilmyn de Fynys,
In the gret toure he gottyn is
And other off his cumpany
And sparryt the entre hastily.
465 The lave that levyt war without 463
War tane or slayne, this is na dout,
Bot giff that ony lap the wall.
The Douglas that nycht held the hall
Allthocht his fayis tharoff war wa,
470 His men was gangand to and fra 468
Throu-out the castell all that nycht
Till on the morn that day wes lycht.

[Surrender of the tower at Roxburgh Castle; slighting of the castle]

The wardane that was in the tour
That wes a man off gret valour
475 Gilmyn the Fynys, quhen he saw 473
The castell tynt be clene and law
He set his mycht for to defend
The tour, bot thai without him send
Arowys in sa gret quantite
480 That anoyit tharoff wes he, 478
Bot till the tother day nocht-forthi
He held the tour full sturdely,
And than at ane assalt he was
Woundyt sa felly in the face
485 That he wes dredand off his lyff. 483
Tharfor he tretit than beliff
And yauld the tour on sic maner
That he and all that with him wer
Suld saufly pas in Ingland.
490 Douglas held thaim gud conand 488
And convoid thaim to thar countre,
Bot thar full schort tyme levyt he
For throu the wound intill tthe face
He deyt sone and beryit was.
495 Douglas the castell sesyt all 493
That thane wes closyt with stalwart wall,
And send this Leidhous till the king
That maid him full gud rewarding
And hys brother in full gret hy
500 Schyr Edward that wes sa douchty 498
He send thidder to tumbill it doun
Bath tour and castell and doungeoun.
And he come with gret cumpany
And gert travaile sa besyly
505 That tour and wall rycht to the ground 503
War tumblit in a litill stound,
And dwelt thar quhill all Tevidale
Come to the kingis pes all haile
Outane Jedwort and other that ner
510 The Inglismennys boundis wer. 508

[Moray seeks a means of taking Edinburgh Castle]

Quhen Roxburgh wonnyn was on this wis
The Erle Thomas that hey empris
Set ay on soverane he bounte
At Edynburgh with his mengne
515 Wes lyand at a-sege as I 513
Tauld you befor all opynly.
Bot fra he hard how Roxburgh was
Tane with a trayne, all his purchas
And wyt and besines Ik hycht
520 He set for to purches sum slycht 518
How he mycht halp him throu body
Mellyt with hey chevalry
To wyn the wall off the castell
Throu sumkyn slycht, for he wyst weill
525 That na strenth mycht it playnly get 523
Quhill thai within had men and met.
Tharfor prevely speryt he
Giff ony man mycht fundyn be
That couth fynd ony juperty
530 To clymb the wallis prevely 528
And he suld have his warysoun,
For it wes his entencioun
To put him till all aventur
Or that a sege on him mysfur.

[The plan suggested by William Francis]

535 Than wes thar ane Wilyame Francus 533
Wycht and apert wys and curyus
That intill hys youtheid had bene
In the castell. Quhen he has sene
The erle sua enkerly him set
540 Sum sutelte or wile to get 538
Quharthrou the castell have mycht he
He come till him in prevete
And said, 'Me think ye wald blythly
That men fand you sum jeperty
545 How ye mycht our the wallis wyn, 543
And certis giff ye will begyn
For till assay on sic a wys
Ik undertak for my service
To ken you to clymb to the wall,
550 And I sall formast be off all, 548
Quhar with a schort ledder may we,
I trow off tuelf fute it may be,
Clymb to the wall up all quytly,
And gyff that ye will wyt how I
555 Wate this I sall you blythly say. 553
Quhen I wes young this hendre day
My fader wes kepar of yone hous,
And I wes sumdeill valegeous
And lovyt a wench her in the toun,
560 And for i but suspicioun 558
Mycht repayr till hyr prevely
Off rapys a leddre to me mad I
And tharwith our the wall I slaid.
A strait roid that I sperit had
565 Intill the crage syne doun I went 563
And oftsys come till myn entent,
And quhen it ner drew to the day
Ik held agayne that ilk way
And ay come in but persaving.
570 Ik usyt lang that travaling 568
Sua that I kan that roid ga rycht
Thoucht men se nevyr sa myrk the nycht.
And giff ye think ye will assay
To pas up efter me that way
575 Up to the wall I sall you bring, 573
Giff God us savys fra persaving
Off thaim that wachys on the wall.
And giff that us sua fayr may fall
that we our ledder up may set,
580 Giff a man on the wall may get 578
He sall defend and it be ned
Quhill the remanand up thaim sped.'
The erle wes blyth off his carping
And hycht him fayr rewarding
585 And undretuk that gat to ga 583
And bad him sone his ledder ma
And hald him preve quhill thai mycht
Set for thar purpos on a nycht.

[The climbing of Edinburgh Castle rock]

Sone efter was the ledder made,
590 And than the erle but mar abaid 588
Purvayt him a nycht prevely
With thretty men wycht and hardy,
And in a myrk nycht held thar way
That put thaim till full hard assay
595 And to gret perell sekyrly. 593
I trow mycht thai haiff sene clerly
That gat had nocht bene undretane
Thoucht thai to let thaim had nocht ane,
For the crag wes hey and hidwous
600 And the clymbing rycht peralous, 598
For hapnyt ony to slyd and fall
He suld sone be to-fruschyt all.
The nycht wes myrk as Ik hard say,
And to the fute sone cummyn ar thai
605 Off the crag that wes hey and schor, 603
Than Wilyame Fransoys thaim befor
Clamb in crykes forouth ay
And at the bak him folowyt thai.
With mekill payne quhile to quhile fra
610 Thai clamb into thai crykys sua 608
Quhile halff the crag thai clumbyn had
And thar a place thai fand sa brad
That thai mycht syt on anerly,
And thai war ayndles and wery
615 And thar abaid thar aynd to ta, 613
And rycht as thai war syttand sua
Rycht aboune thaim up apon the wall
The chak-wachys assemblyt all.
Now help thaim God that all thing mai
620 For in full gret perell ar thai! 618
For mycht thai se thaim thar suld nane
Eschape out off that place unslane,
To dede with stanys thai suld thaim ding
That thai mycht halp thaimselvyn na thing.
625 Bot wonder myrk wes the nycht 623
Sua that thai off thaim had na sicht,
And nocht-forthi yete wes thar ane
Off thaim that swappyt doun a stane
And said, 'Away, I se you weile,'
630 The-quhether he saw thaim nocht a dele. 628
Out-our thar hedis flaw the stane
And thai sat still lurkand ilkane.
The wachys quhen thai herd nocht ster
Fra that ward samyn all passit er
635 And carpand held fer by thar way. 633
The erle Thomas alsone and thai
That on the crag thar sat him by
Towart the wall clamb hastily
And thidder come with mekill mayn
640 And nocht but gret perell and payn. 638
For fra thine up wes grevouser
To clymb up ne beneth be fer.

[The taking of Edinburgh Castle]

Bot quhhatkyn payne sua ever thai had
Rycht to the wall thai come but bad
645 That had weile ner twelf fute of hycht, 643
And forout persaving or sycht
Thai set thar ledder to the wall,
And syne Fransoys befor thaim all
Clamb up and syne Schyr Androw Gray,
650 And syne the erle himselff perfay 648
Was the thrid that the wall can ta.
Qhuhen thai thar-doune thar lord sua
Saw clumbyne up apon the wall
As woud men thai clamb eftre all,
655 Bot or all up clumbene war thai 653
Thai that war wachys till assay
Hard steryng and preve speking
And alsua fraying off armyng
And on thaim schot full sturdely,
660 And thai met thaim rycht hardely 658
And slew off thaim dispitously.
Than throu the castell rais the cry,
'Tresoun! Tresoun!' thai cryit fast.
Than sum of thaim war sua agast
665 That thai fled and lap our the wall, 663
Bot to sa swyth thai fled nocht all,
For the constabill that wes hardy
All armyt schot furth to thte cry
And with him fele hardy and stout.
670 Yeyt wes the erle with his rout 668
Fechtand with thaim apon the wall
Bot sone he discumfit thaim all.
Be that his men war cummyn ilkan
Up to the wall and he has tane
675 His way doun to the castell sone. 673
In gret perell he has him doyn
For thai war fer ma men tharin
And thai had bene of gud covyn
Than he, bot thai effrayit war,
680 And nocht-forthi with wapnys bar 678
The constabill and his cumpany
Met him and his rycht hardely.
Thar mycht men se gret bargane ris,
For with wapnys of mony wis
685 Thai dang on other at thar mycht 683
Quhill swerdis that war fayr and brycht
War till the hiltis all bludy.
Then hydwysly begouth the cry
For thai that fellyt or stekyt war
690 Hidwysly gan cry and rar. 688
The gud erle and his cumpany
Faucht in that fycht sa sturdely
That all thar fayis ruschyt war.
The constable wes slane rycht thar,
695 And fra he fell the ramanand 693
Fled quhar thai best mycht to warand,
Thai durst nocht bid to ma debate.
The erle wes handlyt thar sa hat
That had it nocht hapnyt throu cas
700 That the constable thar slane then was 698
He had bene in gret perell thar,
Bot quhen thai fled thar wes no mar,
Bot ilk man to sauff his lyff
Fled furth his dayis for to dryve,
705 And sum slaid doune out-our the wall. 703

[Comparison with the taking of Tyre by Alexander the Great]

The erle has tane the castell all
For then wes nane durst him withstand.
I hard nevyr quhar in nakin land
Wes castell tane sa hardely
710 Outakyn Tyre all anerly, 708
Quhen Alexandir the conquerour
That conqueryt Babylonys tour
Lap fra a berfrois on the wall
Quhar he amang his fayis all
715 Defendyt him full douchtely 713
Quhill his noble chevalry
With leddris our the wall yeid
That nother left for deid no dreid,
For thai wyst weill that the king
720 Wes in the toune thar wes na thing 718
Intill that tym that stynt thaim moucht,
For all the perell thai set at nocht.
Thai clamb the wall and Aristé
Come fyrst to the gud king quhar he
725 Defendyt him with all his mycht 723
That then sa hard wes set Ik hycht
That he wes fellit on a kne,
He till his bak had set a tre
For dred thai suld behind assaile.
730 Aristé then to the bataile 728
Sped him in all hy sturdely
And dang on thaim sa douchtely
That the king weiiile reskewit was,
For his men into syndri plas
735 Clamb our the wall and soucht the king 733
And him reskewit with hard fechting
And wane the toun deliverly.
Outane this taking anerly
I herd nevyr in na tym gane
740 Quhar castell wes sa stoutly tane. 738

[St Margaret's prophecy]

And off this taking that I mene
Sanct Margaret the gud haly quene
Wyst in hyr tyme throu reveling
Off him that knawis and wate all thing,
745 Tharfor in sted of prophecy 743
Scho left a taknyng rycht joly,
That is that intill hyr chapele
Scho gert weile portray a castell,
A ledder up to the wall standand
750 And a man up thar-apon climband, 748
And wrat outht him as auld men sais
In Frankis, 'Gardys vous de Francais.'
And for this word scho gert writ sua
Men wend the Frankis-men suld it ta,
755 Bot for Fraunsois hattyn wes he 753
That sua clamb up in prevete
Scho wrat that as in prophecy,
And it fell efterwart sothly
Rycht as scho said, for tane it was
760 And Fraunsoys led thaimup that pas. 758

[Treatment of Piers Lubaud; rewards of the earl of Moray]

On this wis Edinburgh wes tane
And thai that war tharin ilkane
Other tane or slane or lap the wall.
Thar gudis haiff thai sesyt all
765 And souch the hous everilkane. 763
Schyr Peris Lubaut that wes tane,
As I said er, befor thai fand
In boyis and hard festnyng sittand.
Thai brocht him till the erle in hy
770 And he gert lous him hastily,
Then he become the kingis man.
Thai send word to the king rycht than
And tauld how the castell wes tane,
And he in hy is thidder gane
775 With mony ane in cumpany 773
And gert myne doun all halily
Bath tour and wall rycht to the grond,
And syne our all the land gan fond
Sesand the countre till his pes.
780 Off this deid that sa worthy wes 778
The erle wes prisyt gretumly,
The king that saw him sa worthi
Wes blyth and joyfull our the lave
And to manteyme his stat him gave
785 Rentis and landis fayr inewch, 783
And he to sa gret worschip dreuch
That all spak off his gret bounte.
Hys fayis gretly stonayit he
For he fled never for force off fycht.
790 Quhat sall I mar say off his mycht? 788
His gret manheid and his bounte
Gerris him yeit renownyt be.

[Places taken by Sir Edward Bruce; his siege of Stirling Castle]

In this tyme that thir jupertys
Off thir castellis that I devis
795 War eschevyt sa hardely, 793
Schyr Edward the Bruce the hardy
Had all Galloway and Nydysdale
Wonnyn till his liking all haile
And doungyn doun the castellis all
800 Rycht in the dyk bath tour and wall. 798
He hard then say and new it weill
That into Ruglyne wes a pele,
Thidder he went with his menye
And wonnyn it in schort tyme has he,
805 Syne to Dunde he tuk the way 803
That then wes haldyne as Ic herd say
Agayne the king, tharfor in hy
He set a sege tharto stoutly
And lay thar quhill it yoldyn was.
810 To Strevillyne syne the way he tais 808
Quhar gud Schyr Philip the Mowbray
That wes sa douchty at assay
Wes wardane and had in keping
That castell of the Inglis king.
815 Thartill a sege thai set stythly, 813
Thai bykyrrit oftsys sturdely
Bot gret chevalry done wes nane.
Schyr Edward fra the sege wes tane
A weile lang tyme about it lay,
820 Fra the Lentryne that is to say 818
Quhill forouth the Sanct Jhonys mes.
The Inglis folk that tharin wes
Begouth to failye vitaill be than.
Than Schyr Philip that douchti man
825 Tretyt quhill thai consentit war 823
That gyff at mydsomer the neyst yer
To cum it war nocht with bataile
Reskewyt, then that foroutyn faile
He suld the castell yauld quytly,
830 That connand band thai sickerly.

Next Poem 

 Back to John Barbour

To be able to leave a comment here you must be registered. Log in or Sign up.