The Brus by John Barbour


[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.	587
	On this maner thaim governyt thai
	Till thai come to the hed off Tay.

Book 3

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