The Brus by John Barbour


[The lord of Lorn attacks the king's men]

	The lord off Lorne wonnyt thar-by
	That wes capitale ennymy
	To the king for his emys sak
	Jhon Comyn, and thocht for to tak
5	Vengeance apon cruell maner.
	Quhen he the king wyst wes sa ner
	He assemblyt his men in hy,
	And had intill his cumpany
	The barounys off Argyle alsua.
10	Thai war a thousand weill or ma
	And come for to suppris the king
	That weill wes war of thar cummyng.
	Bot all to few with him he had
	The-quhethir he bauldly thaim abaid,
15	And weill ost at thar fryst metyng
	War layd at erd but recoveryng.
	The kingis folk full weill thaim bar
	And slew and fellyt and woundyt sar,
	Bot the folk off the tother party
20	Faucht with axys sa fellyly,
	For thai on fute war everilkane,
	That thai feile off thar hors has slayne,
	And till sum gaiff thai woundis wid.
	James off Douglas wes hurt that tyd
25	And als Schyr Gilbert de le Hay.
	The king his men saw in affray
	And his ensenye can he cry
	And amang thaim rycht hardyly
	He rad that he thaim ruschyt all
30	And fele off thaim thar gert he fall.
	Bot quhen he saw thai war sa feill
	And saw thaim swa gret dyntis deill
	He dred to tyne his folk, forthi
	His men till him he gan rely
35	And said, 'Lordyngis, foly it war
	Tyll us for till assembill mar,
	For thai fele off our hors has slayn,
	And giff yhe fecht with thaim agayn
	We sall tyne off our small mengye
40	And our selff sall in perill be.
	Tharfor me thynk maist avenand
	To withdraw us us defendand
	Till we cum out off thar daunger,
	For our strenth at our hand is ner.'
45	Then thai withdrew thaim halely
	Bot that wes nocht full cowartly
	For samyn intill a sop held thai
	And the king him abandonyt ay
	To defend behind his mengye,
50	And throu his worschip sa wrouch he
	That he reskewyt all the flearis
	And styntyt swagat the chassaris
	That nane durst out off batall chas,
	For alwayis at thar hand he was.
55	Sa weile defendyt he his men
	That quha-sa-ever had seyne him then
	Prove sa worthely vasselage
	And turn sa oft-sythis the visage
	He suld say he aucht weill to be
60	A king off a gret reawté.
[Comparisons from Celtic and classical legends with the king's
defence of his men]

	Quhen that the lord off Lorne saw
	His men stand off him ane sik aw
	That thai durst nocht folow the chase
	Rycht angry in his hart he was,
65	And for wondyr that he suld swa
	Stot thaim him ane but ma
	He said, 'Me think Marthokys sone
	Rycht as Golmakmorn was wone
	To haiff fra Fyn all his mengne,
70	Rycht swa all his fra us has he.'
	He set ensample thus mydlike,
	The-quhethir he mycht mar manerlik
	Lyknyt hym to Gaudifer de Larys
	Quhen that the mychty Duk Betys
75	Assailyeit in Gadyrris the forrayours,
	And quhen the king thaim maid rescours
	Duk Betys tuk on him the flycht
	That wald ne mar abid to fycht.
	Bot Gaudifer the worthi
80	Abandonyt him so worthyly
	For to reskew all the fleieris
	And for to stonay the chasseris
	That Alysander to erth he bar
	And alsua did he Tholimar
85	And gud Coneus alsua
	Danklyne alsua and othir ma,
	Bot at the last thar slayne he wes.
	In that failyeit the liklynes,
	For the king full chevalrusly
90	Defendyt all his cumpany
	And wes set in full gret danger
	And yeit eschapyt haile and fer.
[The king kills the two Mac na Dorsair brothers and their fellow]

	Twa brethir war in that land
	That war the hardiest off hand
95	That war intill all that cuntre,
	And thai had sworn iff thai mycht se
	The Bruys quhar thai mycht him our-ta
	That thai suld dey or then hym sla.
	Thar surname wes Makyne Drosser,
100	That is al-so mekill to say her
	As the Durwarth sonnys perfay.
	Off thar covyne the thrid had thai
	That wes rycht stout ill and feloune.
	Quhen thai the king off gud renoune
105	Saw sua behind his mengne rid
	And saw him torne sa mony tid,
	Thai abaid till that he was
	Entryt in ane narow place
	Betwix a louch-sid and a bra
110	That wes sa strait Ik underta
	That he mycht nocht weill turn in his sted.
	Then with a will till him thai yede
	And ane him by the bridill hynt,
	Bot he raucht till him sic a dynt
115	That arme and schuldyr flaw him fra.
	With that ane other gan him ta
	Be the lege and his hand gan schute
	Betwix the sterap and his fute,
	And quhen the king feld thar his hand
120	In his sterapys stythly gan he stand
	And strak with spuris the stede in hy,
	And he lansyt furth delyverly
	Swa that the tother failyeit fete,
	And nocht-for-thi his hand wes yeit
125	Undyr the sterap magré his.
	The thrid with full gret hy with this
	Rycht till the bra-syd he yeid
	And stert behynd hym on his sted.
	The king wes then in full gret pres,
130	The-quhether he thocht as he that wes
	In all hys dedys avisé
	To do ane outrageous bounte,
	And syne hyme that behynd him was
	All magré his will him gan he ras
135	Fra behynd him, thocht he had sworn,
	He laid hym evyn him beforn,
	Syne with the swerd sic dynt hym gave
	That he the heid till the harnys clave.
	He rouschit doun off blud all rede
140	As he that stound feld off dede.
	And then the king in full gret hy
	Strak at the tothir vigorusly
	That he efter his sterap drew
	That at the fyrst strak he him slew.
145	On this wis him delyverit he
	Off all thai felloun fayis thre.
[Mac Nachtan praises the king]

	Quhen thai of Lorne has sene the king
	Set in hym selff sa gret helping
	And defendyt him sa manlely,
150	Wes nane amang thaim sa hardy
	That durst assailye him mar in fycht,
	Sa dred thai for his mekill mycht.
	Thar wes a baroune Maknauchtan
	That in his hart gret kep has tane
155	To the kingis chevalry
	And prisyt him in hert gretly,
	And to the lord off Lorne said he,
	'Sekyrly now may ye se
	Be tane the starkest pundelan
160	That evyr your lyfftyme ye saw tane,
	For yone knycht throu his douchti deid
	And thro his outrageous manheid
	Has fellyt intill litill tyd
	Thre men off mekill prid,
165	And stonayit all our mengye swa
	That eftyr him dar na man ga,
	And tournys sa mony tyme his stede
	That semys off us he had na dred.'
	Then gane the lord off Lorn say,
170	'It semys it likis ye perfay
	That he slayis yongat our mengye.'
	'Schyr,' said he, 'sa Our Lord me se,
	To sauff your presence it is nocht swa,
	Bot quhether-sa he be freynd or fa
175	That wynnys prys off chevalry
	Men suld spek tharoff lelyly,
	And sekyrly in all my tyme
	Ik hard never in sang na ryme
	Tell off a man that swa smertly
180	Eschevyt swa gret chevalry.'
	Sic speking off the king thai maid,
	And he eftyr his mengye raid
	And intill saufte thaim led
	Quhar he his fayis na-thing dred,
185	And thai off Lorne agayn ar gayn
	Menand the scaith that thai haiff tayn.
[The king comforts his men with the example
of the recovery of Rome from Hannibal]

	The king that nycht his wachis set
	And gert ordayne that thai mycht et,
	And bad conford to thaim tak
190	And at thar mychtis mery mak.
	For disconford, as then said he,
	Is the werst thing that may be,
	For throu mekill disconforting
	Men fallis oft into disparing,
195	And fra a man disparyt be
	Then utraly vencusyt is he,
	And fra the hart be discumfyt
	The body is nocht worth a myt.
	'Tharfor,' he said, 'atour all thing
200	Kepys you fra disparyng,
	And think thouch we now harmys fele
	That God may yeit releve us weill.
	Men redys off mony men that war
	Fer harder stad then we yhet ar
205	And syne Our Lord sic grace thaim lent
	That thai come weill till thar entent.
	For Rome quhilum sa hard wes stad
	Quhen Hanniball thaim vencusyt had
	That off ryngis with rich stane
210	That war off knychtis fyngeris tane
	He send thre bollis to Cartage,
	And syne to Rome tuk his viage
	Thar to distroye the cite all.
	And thai within bath gret and small
215	Had fled quhen thai saw his cummyng
	Had nocht bene Scipio the king,
	That or thai fled wald thaim haiff slayn,
	And swagat turnyt he thaim agayn.
	Syne for to defend the cite
220	Bath servandis and threllis mad he fre,
	And maid thaim knychtis everilkane,
	And syne has off the templis tane
	The armys that thar eldrys bar,
	In name off victory offeryt thar.
225	And quhen thai armyt war and dycht
	That stalwart karlis war and wycht
	And saw that thai war fre alsua,
	Thaim thocht that thai had lever ta
	The dede na lat the toun be tane,
230	And with commoune assent as ane
	Thai ischit off the toune to fycht
	Quhar Hannyball his mekill mycht
	Aganys thaim arayit was.
	Bot throu mycht off Goddis grace
235	It ranyt sa hard and hevyly
	That thar wes nane sa hardy
	That durst into that place abid,
	Bot sped thaim intill hy to rid,
	The ta part to thar pailyounys,
240	The tother part went in the toune is.
	The rayne thus lettyt the fechtyn,
	Sa did it twys tharefter syne.
	Quhen Hanibal saw this ferly
	With all his gret chevalry
245	He left the toune and held his way,
	And syne wes put to sik assay
	Throu the power off that cite
	That his lyff and his land tynt he.
	Be thir quheyne that sa worthily
250	Wane sik a king and sa mychty,
	Ye may weill be ensampill se 
	That na man suld disparyt be,
	Na lat his hart be vencusyt all
	For na myscheiff that ever may fall,
255	For nane wate in how litill space
	That God umquhile will send grace.
	Had thai fled and thar wayis gane
	Thar fayis swith the toune had tane.
	Tharfor men that werrayand war
260	Suld set thar etlyng ever-mar
	To stand agayne thar fayis mycht
	Umquhile with strenth and quhile with slycht,
	And ay thynk to cum to purpos,
	And giff that thaim war set in chos
265 	To dey or to leyff cowartly,
	Thai suld erar dey chevalrusly.
[The king cites the example of Caesar]

	Thusgat thaim comfort the king
	And to comfort thaim gan inbryng
	Auld storys off men that wer
270	Set intyll hard assayis ser
	And that fortoun contraryit fast,
	And come to purpos at the last.
	Tharfor he said that thai that wald
	Thar hartis undiscumfyt hald
275	Suld ay thynk ententily to bryng
	All thar enpres to gud ending,
	As quhile did Cesar the worthy
	That traveillyt ay so besyly
	With all his mycht folowing to mak
280	To end the purpos that he wald tak,
	That hym thocht he had doyne rycht nocht
	Ay quhill to do him levyt ocht.
	Forthi gret thingis eschevyt he
	As men may in his story se.
285	Men may se be his ythen will,
	And it suld als accord to skill
	That quha tais purpos sekyrly
	And  folowis it syne ententily
	Forout fayntice or yheit faynding,
290	With-thi it be conabill thing,
	Bot he the mar be unhappy
	He sall eschev it in party,
	And haiff he lyff-dayis weill may fall
	That he sall eschev it all.
295	For-thi suld nane haff disparing
	For till eschev a full gret thing,
	For giff it fall he tharoff failye
	The fawt may be in his travailye.
[Atholl asks to be left; the king sends him,
Neil Bruce and the ladies to Kildrummy]

	He prechyt thaim on this maner
300	And fenyeit to mak better cher
	Then he had mater to be fer,
	For his caus yeid fra ill to wer,
	Thai war ay in sa hard travaill,
	Till the ladyis began to fayle
305	That mycht the travaill drey na mar,
	Sa did other als that thar war.
	The Erle Jhone wes ane off tha
	Off Athole that quhen he saw sua
	The king be discumfyt twys,
310	And sa feile folk agayne him rys,
	And lyff in sic travaill and dout,
	His hart begane to faile all-out
	And to the king apon a day
	He said, 'Gyff I durst you say,
315	We lyff into sa mekill dreid,
	And haffis oftsys off met sic ned,
	And is ay in sic travailling
	With cauld and hunger and waking,
	That I am sad off my selvyn sua
320	That I count nocht my liff a stra.
	Thir angrys may I ne mar drey,
	For thoucht me tharfor worthit dey
	I mon sojourne, quharever it be.
	Levys me tharfor par cheryte.'
325	The king saw that he sa wes failyt 
	And that he ik wes for-travaillyt.
	He said, 'Schyr erle, we sall sone se
	And ordayne how it best may be.
	Quharever ye be, Our Lord you send
330	Grace fra your fais you to defend.'
	With that in hy to him callyt he
	Thaim that till him war mast preve.
	Then amang thaim thai thocht it best
	And ordanyt for the liklyest
335	That the queyne and the erle alsua
	And the ladyis in hy suld ga
	With Nele the Bruce till Kildromy,
	For thaim thocht thai mycht sekyrly
	Dwell thar quhill thai war vittaillit weile,
340	For swa stalwart wes the castell
	That it with strenth war hard to get
	Quhill that tharin war men and mete.
	As thai ordanyt thai did in hy,
	The queyne and all hyr cumpany
345	Lap on thar hors and furth thai far.
	Men mycht haiff sene quha had bene thar
	At leve-takyng the ladyis gret
	And mak thar face with teris wet,
	And knychtis for thar luffis sak
350	Bath bsich and wep and murnyng mak,
	Thai kyssyt thar luffis at thar partyng.
	The king umbethocht him off a thing,
	That he fra thine on fute wald ga
	And tak on fute bath weill and wa,
355	And wald na hors-men with him haiff,
	Tharfor his hors all haile he gaiff
	To the ladyis that myster had.
	The queyn furth on hyr wayis rade
	And sawffly come to the castell
360	Quhar hyr folk war ressavyt weill
	And esyt weill with meyt and drynk,
	Bot mycht nane eys let hyr to think 
	On the king that wes sa sar stad
	That bot twa hunder with him had,
365	The-quhethir thaim weill comfortyt he ay.
	God help him that all mychtis may.

[The king plans to go to Kintyre; Neil Campbell sent to find ships;
the king and his men cross Loch Lomond; he reads a romance to them]

	The queyne dwelt thus in Kyldromy,
	And the king and his cumpany
	That war twa hunder and na ma
370	Fra thai had send thar hors thaim fra
	Wandryt emang the hey montanys,
	Quhar he and his oft tholyt paynys,
	For it wes to the wynter ner,
	And sa feile fayis about him wer
375	That all the countre thaim werrayit.
	Sa hard anoy thaim then assayit
	Off hunger cauld with schowris snell
	That nane that levys can weill it tell.
	The king saw how his folk wes stad
380	And quhat anoyis that thai had,
	And saw wynter wes cummand ner,
	And that he mycht on na maner
	Dre in the hillys the cauld lying
	Na the long nychtis waking.
385	He thocht he to Kyntyr wald ga
	And swa lang sojournyng thar ma
	Till wynter wedder war away,
	And then he thocht but mar delay
	Into the manland till aryve
390	And till the end his werdis dryv.
	And for Kyntyr lyis in the se
	Schyr Nele Cambel befor send he
	For to get him navyn and meite,
	And certane tyme till him he sete
395	Quhen he suld meite him at the se.
	Schir Nele Cambell with his mengye
	Went his way but mar letting
	And left his brother with the king,
	And in twelf dayis sua traveillit he
400	That he gat schippyne gud plente
	And vittalis in gret aboundance.
	Sa maid he nobill chevisance
	For his sibmen wonnyt tharby
	That helpyt him full wilfully.
405	The king efter that he wes gane
	To Louch Lomond the way has tane
	And come on the thrid day,
	Bot tharabout na bait fand thai
	That mycht thaim our the water ber.
410	Than war thai wa on gret maner
	For it wes fer about to ga,
	And thai war into dout alsua
	To meyt thar fayis that spred war wyd.
	Tharfor endlang the louchhis syd
415	Sa besyly thai socht and fast
	Tyll James of Douglas at the last
	Fand a litill sonkyn bate
	And to the land it drew fut-hate,
	Bot it sa litill wes that it
420	Mycht our the watter but a thresum flyt.
	Thai send tharoff word to the king
	That wes joyfull off that fynding
	And fyrst into the bate is gane,
	With him Douglas, the thrid wes ane
425	That rowyt thaim our deliverly
	And set thaim on the land all dry,
	And rowyt sa oftsys to and fra
	Fechand ay our twa and twa
	That in a nycht and in a day
430	Cummyn out-our the louch ar thai,
	For sum off thaim couth swome full weill
	And on his bak ber a fardele.
	Swa with swymmyng and with rowyng
	Thai brocht thaim our and all thar thing.
435	The king the quhilis meryly
	Red to thaim that war him by
	Romanys off worthi Ferambrace
	That worthily our-cummyn was
	Throu the rycht douchty Olyver,
440	And how the duk-peris wer
	Assegyt intill Egrymor
	Quhar King Lavyne lay thaim befor
	With may thousandis then I can say,
	And bot ellevyn within war thai
445	And a woman, and war sa stad
	That thai na mete thar-within had
	Bot as thai fra thar fayis wan.
	Yheyte sua contenyt thai thaim than
	That thai the tour held manlily
450	Till that Rychard off Normandy
	Magré his fayis warnyt the king
	That wes joyfull off this tithing,
	For he wend thai had all beyne slayne.
	Tharfor he turnyt in hy agayne
455	And wan Mantrybill and passit Flagot,
	And syne Lavyne and all his flot
	Dispitusly discumfyt he,
	And deliveryt his men all fre
	And wan the naylis and the sper
460	And the crowne that Jhesu couth ber,
	And off the croice a gret party
	He wan throu his chevalry.
	The gud king apon this maner
	Comfort thaim that war him ner
465	And maid thaim gamyn and solace
	Till that his folk all passyt was.
[Lennox joins the king; a reflection on weeping]

	Quhen thai war passit the water brad
	Suppos thai fele off fayis had
	Thai maid thaim mery and war blyth.
470	Nocht-for-thi full fele syth
	Thai had full gret defaut of mete,
	And tharfor venesoun to get
	In twa partys ar thai gayne.
	The king himselff wes intill ane
475	And Schyr James off Douglas
	Into the tother party was.
	Then to the hycht thai held thar way
	And huntyt lang quhill off the day
	And soucht schawys and setis set
480	Bot thai gat litill for till ete.
	Then hapnyt at that tyme percas
	That the erle of the Levenax was
	Amang the hillis ner tharby,
	And quhen he hard sa blaw and cry
485	He had wonder quhat it mycht be,
	And on sic maner spyryt he
	That he knew that it wes the king,
	And then foroutyn mar duelling
	With all thaim off his cumpany
490	He went rycht till the king in hy,
	Sa blyth and sa joyfull that he
	Mycht on na maner blyther be
	For he the king wend had bene ded,
	And he wes alsua will off red
495	That he durst nocht rest into na place,
	Na sen the king discumfyt was
	At Meffan he herd never thing
	That ever wes certane off the king.
	Tharfor into full gret daynte
500	The king full humyly haylist he,
	And he him welcummyt rycht blythly
	And askyt him full tenderly,
	And all the lordis that war thar
	Rycht joyfull off thar meting war,
505	And kyssyt him in gret daynte. 
	It wes gret pite for til se
	How thai for joy and pite gret
	Quhen that thai with thar falow met
	That thai wend had bene dede, forthi
510	Thai welcummyt him mar hartfully,
	And he for pite gret agayne
	That never off metyng wes sa fayne.
	Thocht I say that thai gret sothly
	It wes na greting propyrly,
515	For I trow traistly that gretyng
	Cummys to men for mysliking,
	And that nane may but angyr gret
	Bot it be wemen, that can wet
	Thair chekys quhenever thaim list with teris,
520	The-quhethir weill oft thaim na thing deris,
	But I wate weill but lesyng
	Quhatever men say off sic greting
	That mekill joy or yeit pete
	May ger men sua amovyt be
525	That water fra the hart will rys
	And weyt the eyne on sic a wys
	That is lik to be greting,
	Thocht it be nocht sua in all thing,
	For quhen men gretis enkrely
530	The hart is sorowful or angry,
	Bot for pite I trow gretyng
	Be na thing bot ane opynnyng
	Off hart that schawis the tendernys
	Off rewth that in it closyt is.
535	The barounys apon this maner
	Throu Goddis grace assemblyt wer.
	The erle had mete and that plente
	And with glad hart it thaim gaiff he,
	And thai eyt it with full gud will
540	That soucht na nother sals thar-till
	Bot appetyt, that oft men takys,
	For rycht weill scowryt war thar stomakys.
	Thai eit and drank sic as thai had
	And till Our Lord syne lovyng maid,
545	And thankit him with full gud cher
	That thai war mete on that maner.
	The king then at thaim speryt yarne
	How thai sen he thaim seyne had farne,
	And thai full petwysly gan tell
550	Aventuris that thaim befell
	And gret anoyis and poverte.
	The king tharat had gret pite
	And tauld thaim petwisly agayne
	The noy, the travaill and the payne
555	That he had tholyt sen he thaim saw.
	Wes nane amang thaim hey na law
	That he ne had pite and plesaunce
	Quhen that he herd mak remembrance
	Off the perellys that passyt war,
560	Bot quhen men oucht at liking ar
	To tell off paynys passyt by
	Plesys to heryng petuisly,
	And to rehers thar auld disese
	Dois thaim oftsys comfort and ese,
565	With-thi tharto folow na blame
	Dishonour wikytnes na schame.
[They row past Bute; Lennox's boat escapes pursuers]

	Efter the mete sone rais the king
	Quhen he had levyt hys speryng,
	And buskyt him with his mengye
570	And went in hy towart the se
	Quhar Schyr Nele Cambell thaim mete
	Bath with schippis and with meyte
	Saylys ayris and other thing 
	That wes spedfull to thar passyng.
575	Then schippyt thai foroutyn mar
	Sum went till ster and sum till ar,
	And rowyt be the ile of But.
	Men mycht se mony frely fute
	About the cost, thar lukand
580	As thai on ayris rais rowand,
	And nevys that stalwart war and squar,
	That wont to spayn gret speris war,
	Swa spaynyt aris that men mycht se
	Full oft the hyde leve on the tre.
585	For all war doand, knycht and knave,
	Wes nane that ever disport mycht have
	Fra steryng and fra rowyng
	To furthyr thaim off thar fleting.
	Bot in the samyn tyme at thai
590	War in schipping, as ye hard me say,
	The erle off the Levenax was,
	I can nocht tell you throu quhat cas
	Levyt behynd with his galay
	Till the king wes fer on his way.
595	Quhen that thai off his cuntre
	Wyst that so duelt behynd wes he
	Be se with schippys thai him socht,
	And he that saw that he wes nocht 
	Off pith to fecht with thai traytouris
600	And that he had na ner socouris
	Then the kingis flote, forthi
	He sped him efter thaim in hy,
	Bot the tratouris hym folowyt sua
	That thai weill ner hym gan ourta
605	For all the mycht that he mycht do.
	Ay ner and ner thai come him to,
	And quhen he saw thai war sa ner
	That he mycht weill thar manance her
	And saw thaim ner and ner cum ay,
610	Then till his mengye gan he say,
	'Bot giff we fynd sum sutelte
	Ourtane all sone sall we be.
	Tharfor I rede but mar letting
	That outakyn our armyng
615	We kast our thing all in the se,
	And fra our schip swa lychtyt be
	We sall row and speid us sua
	That we sall weill eschaip thaim fra,
	With that thai sall mak duelling
620	Apon the se to tak our thing
	And we sall row but resting ay
	Till we eschapyt be away.'
	As he divisyt thai have done
	And thar schip thai lychtyt sone
625	And rowyt syne with all thar mycht,
	And scho that swa wes maid lycht
	Raykyt slidand throu the se.
	And quhen thar fayis gan thaim se
	Forouth thaim alwayis mar and mar,
630	The thingis that thar fletand war
	Thai tuk and turnyt syne agayne,
	And leyt thai lesyt all thar payne.
[Arrival in Kintyre; Angus of Islay submits at Dunaverty;
they sail for Rathlin]

	Quhen that the erle on this maner
	And his mengye eschapyt wer,
635	Eftyr the king he gan him hy
	That then with all his cumpany
	Into Kyntyr aryvyt was.
	The erle tauld him all his cas,
	How he wes chasyt on the se
640	With thaim that suld his awyn be,
	And how he had bene tane but dout
	Na war it that he warpyt out
	All that he had him lycht to ma
	And swa eschapyt thaim fra.
645	'Schyr erle,' said the king, 'perfay,
	Syn thou eschapyt is away
	Off the tynsell is na plenyeing.
	Bot I will say the weile a thing,
	That thar will fall the gret foly 
650	To pas oft fra my cumpany,
	For fele sys quhen thou art away
	Thou art set intill hard assay,
	Tharfor me thynk best to the
	To hald the alwayis ner by me.'
655	'Schyr,' said the erle, 'it sall be swa.
	I sall na wys pas fer you fra
	Till God giff grace we be off mycht
	Agayne our fayis to hald our stycht.'
	Angus off Ile that tyme wes syr
660	And lord and ledar off Kyntyr,
	The king rycht weill resavyt he
	And undertuk his man to be,
	And him and his on mony wys
	He abandounyt till his service,
665	And for mar sekyrnes gaiff him syne
	His castell off Donavardyne
	To duell tharin at his liking.
	Full gretumly thankyt him the king
	And resavyt his service.
670	Nocht-forthi on mony wys
	He wes dredand for tresoun ay,
	And tharfor, as Ik hard men say,
	He traistyt in nane sekyrly
	Till that he knew him utraly.
675	Boy quhatkin dred that ever he had
	Fayr contenance to thaim he maid,
	And in Donavardyne dayis thre
	Foroutyne mar then duellyt he.
	Syne gert he his mengye mak thaim yar
680	Towart Rauchryne be se to far
	That is ane ile in the se,
	And may weill in mydwart be
	Betuix Kyntyr and Irland,
	Quhar als gret stremys ar rynnand
685	And als peralous and mar
	Till our-saile thaim into schipfair
	As is the rais of Bretangye
	Or Strait off Marrok into Spanye.
[The stormy crossing; the panic and the submission of Rathlin]
	Thair schippys to the se thai set,
690	And maid redy but langer let
	Ankyrs rapys bath saile and ar
	And all that nedyt to schipfar.
	Quhen thai war boune to saile thai went,
	The wynd wes wele to thar talent.
695	Thai raysyt saile and furth thai far,
	And by the Mole thai passyt yar
	And entryt sone into the rase
	Quhar that the stremys sa sturdy was
	That wavys wyd wycht brakand war
700	Weltryt as hillys her and thar.
	The schippys our the wavys slayd
	For wynd at poynt blawand thai had,
	Bot nocht-forthi quha had thar bene
	A gret stertling he mycht haiff seyne
705	Off schippys, for quhilum sum wald be
	Rycht on the wavys as on a mounté
	And sum wald slyd fra heycht to law
	Rycht as thai doune till hell wald draw,
	Syne on the wav stert sodanly,
710	And other schippys that war tharby
	Deliverly drew to the depe.
	It wes gret cunnanes to kep
	Thar takill intill sic a thrang
	And wyth sic wavis, for ay amang
715	The wavys reft thar sycht of land
	Quhen thai the land wes rycht ner-hand,
	And quhen schippys war sailand ner
	The se wald rys on sic maner
	That off the wavys the weltrand hycht
720	Wald refe thaim oft off thar sycht.
	Bot into Rauchryne nocht-forthi
	Thai aryvyt ilkane sawffly,
	Blyth and glaid that thai war sua
	Eschapyt thai hidwys wavis fra.
725	In Rauchryne thai aryvyt ar
	And to the land thai went but mar
	Armyt apon thar best maner.
	Quhen the folk that thar wonnand wer
	Saw men off armys in that cuntre
730	Aryve into sic quantite
	Thai fled in hy with thar catell
	Towart a rycht stalwart castell
	That in the land wes tharby.
	Men mycht her wemen hely cry
735	And fle with cataill her and thar.
	Bot the kingis folk that war
	Deliver of fute thaim gan our-hy
	And thaim arestyt hastely
	And brocht thaim to the king agayne
740	Swa that nane off thaim all wes slayne.
	Then with thaim tretyt swa the king
	That thai to fulfill his yarnyng
	Become his men everilkane,
	And has him trewly undertane
745	That thai and tharis loud and still
	Suld be in all thing at his will,
	And quhill him likit thar to leynd
	Everilk day thai suld him send
	Vittalis for thre hunder men,
750	And thai as lord suld him ken,
	Bot at thar possessioune suld be
	For all his men thar awyn fre.
	The cunnand on this wys was maid,
	And on the morn but langer baid
755	Off all Rauchryne bath man and page
	Knelyt and maid the king homage,
	And tharwith swour him fewté
	To serve him ay in lawté,
	And held him rycht weill cunnand,
760	For quhill he duelt into the land
	Thai fand meit till his cumpany
	And servyt him full humely.

Book 4

Back to Contents Page