The Brus by John Barbour


[The king in Kyle]

	The king fra Schyr Aymer wes gane
	Gadryt his menye everilkan
	And left bath woddis and montanys
	And held hys way strak till the planys
5	For he wald fayne that end war maid
	Off that that he begunnyn had,
	And he wyst weill he mycht nocht bring
	It to gud end but travalling.
	To Kyle went he fryst and that land
10	He maid all till him obeysand,
	The men maist force come till his pes.
	Syne efterwart or he wald ses
	Of Conyngayme the maist party
	He gert held till his senyoury.
15	In Bothweill then Schyr Aymer was
	That in hys hart gret angre has
	For thai off Cunyngame and Kile
	That war obeysand till him quhile
	Left Inglismennys fewte.
20	Tharoff fayne vengyt wald he be,
	And send Philip the Mowbray
	With a thousand as Ik herd say
	Off men that war in his leding
	To Kile for to werray the king.
[Douglas defeats Sir Philip Mowbray at Edirford]

25	Bot James of Douglas that all tid
	Had spyis out on ilka sid
	Wyst off thar cummyng and that thai
	Wald hald doune Makyrnokis way.
	He tuk with him all prevely
30	Thaim that war off his cumpany
	That war fourty withoutyn ma,
	Syne till a strait place gan he ga
	That is in Makyrnokis way,
	The Edirford it hat perfay,
35	It lyis betwix marrais twa
	Quhar that na hors on lyve may ga.
	On the south halff quhar James was
	Is ane upgang, a narow pas,
	And on the north halff is the way
40	Sa ill as it apperis today.
	Douglas with thaim he with him had
	Enbuschyt him and thaim abaid,
	He mycht weile fer se thar cummyng
	Bot thai mycht se of hym na thing.
45	Thai baid in buschement all the nycht,
	And quhen the sone was schynand brycht
	Thai saw in bataillyng cum arayit
	The vaward with baner displayit,
	And syne sone the remanand
50	Thai saw weile ner behind cummand.
	Then held thai thaim still and preve
	Till the formast off that mengye
	War entryt in the ford thaim by,
	Then schot thai on thaim with a cry
55	And with wapnys that scharply schar
	Sum in the ford thai bakwart bar,
	And sum with arowis barblyt braid
	Sa gret martyrdome on thaim has maid
	That thai gan draw to voyd the place,
60	Bot byhynd thaim sa stoppyt was
	The way that thai fast mycht nocht fle,
	And that gert mony off thaim de,
	For thai on na wys mycht away
	Bot as thai come bot giff that thai
65	Wald throu thar fayis hald the gat,
	Bot that way thocht thaim all to hat.
	Thar fayis met thaim sa sturdely
	And contenyt the fycht sa hardily
	That thai sa dredand war that thai
70	That fyrst mycht fle fyrst fled away,
	And quhen the rerward saw thaim sua
	Discumfyt and thar wayis ga
	Thai fled on fer and held thar way.
[The flight of Sir Philip Mowbray to Inverkip]

	Bot Schyr Philip the Mowbray
75	That with the formast ridand was
	That entryt wes in the place,
	Quhen that he saw how he wes stad
	Throu the gret worschip that he had
	With spuris he strak the steid off pryce
80	And magre all his ennymys
	Throu the thikkest off thaim he raid,
	And but challance eschapyt had
	Ne war ane hynt him by the brand,
	Bot he the gud steid that wald nocht stand
85	Lansyt furth deliverly.
	Bot the tother sa stalwartly
	Held that the belt braist off the brand
	And swerd and belt left in hys hand,
	And he but swerd his wayis raid
90	Weill otouth thaim and thair abaid,
	And beheld how that his menye fled
	And how his fayis clengyt the steid
	That war betwix him and his men.
	Tharfor furth the wayis tuk he then
95	To Kylmarnok and Kilwynnyne
	And till Ardrossane eftre syne,
	Syne throu the Largis him allane
	Till Ennirkyp the way has tane
	Rycht to the castell that wes then
100	Stuffyt all with Inglismen
	That him resaiffyt in daynte,
	And fra thai wyst howgat that he
	Sa fer had rydin him allane
	Throu thaim that war his fayis ilkan
105	Thai prisyt him full gretumly
	And lovyt fast his chevalry.
[The reactions of Valence and King Robert]

	Schyr Philip thus eschapyt was,
	And Douglas yet wes in the place
	Quhar he sexty has slayne and ma,
110	The layff fouly thar gat gan ga
	And fled to Bothwell hame agayne
	Quhar Schyr Aymer wes na thing fayn
	Quhen he herd tell on that maner
	That his mengne discumfyt wer.
115	Bot quhen to King Robert wes tauld
	How that the Douglas that wes bauld
	Vencussyt sa fele with fewe menye
	Rycht joyfull in his hart wes he,
	And all his menye confortyt war
120	For thaim thocht weille bath les and mar
	That thai suld less thar fayis dreid
	Sen thar purpos sa with thaim yeid.
[Valence challenges the king to open battle at Loudoun hill]

	The king lay in Galliston
	That is evyn rycht anent Loudoun
125	And till his pes tuk the cuntre.
	Quhen Schyr Aymer and his menye
	Hard how he ryotyt the land
	And how that nane durst him withstand
	He wes intill his hart angry,
130	And with ane off his cumpany 
	He send him word and said giff he
	Durst him into the planys se
	He suld the tend day of May
	Cum under Loudoun hill away,
135	And giff that he wald meyt him thar
	He said his worschip suld be mar,
	And mar be turnyt in nobillay,
	To wyn him in the playne away
	With hard dintis in evyn fechtyng
140	Then to do fer mar with skulking.
	The king that hard his messynger
	Had dispyt apon gret maner
	That Schyr Aymer spak sa heyly,
	Tharfor he answeryt irusly
145	And to the messynger said he,
	'Say to thi lord giff that I be
	In lyfe he sall me se that day
	Weyle ner giff he dar hald the way	
	That he has said, for sekyrly
150	Be Loudoun hill mete him sall I.'
	The messinger but mare abaid
	Till his maistre the wayis raid
	And his answer him tauld alswith
	Quharof he wes bath glaid and blyth,
155	For he thocht throu his mekill mycht
	Gyff the king durst cum to fycht
	That throu the gret chevalry
	That suld be in his cumpany	
	He suld sua ourcum the king
160	That thar suld be na recovering.
[The king chooses and prepoares a battle field]

	And the king on the tother party
	That was all wis and averty
	Raid for to se and cheis the place,
	And saw the hey gat liand was
165	Apon a fayr feild evyn and dry,
	Bot apon athir sid tharby
	Wes a gret mos mekill and braid
	That fra the way wes quhar men raid
	A bow-draucht weile on ather sid,
170	And that place thocht him all to wyd
	Till abyd men that horsyt war.m
	Tharfor thre dykys our-thwort he schar
	Fra baith the mossis to the way
	That war sa fer fra other that thai
175	War ytwyn a bow-draucht or mar.
	So holl and hey the dykys war
	That men mycht nocht but mekill pane
	Pas thaim thocht nane war thaim agan,
	Bot sloppys in the way left he
180	Sa large and off sic quantite
	That fyve hunder mycht samyn rid
	In at the sloppis sid be sid.
	Thar thocht he bataile for to bid
	And bargane thaim, for he na drede
185	Had that thai suld on sid assaile
	Na yeit behind giff thaim battaile,
	And befor thocht him weill that he
	Suld fra thar mycht defendyt be.
	Thre dep dykys he gert thar ma,
190	For gyff he mycht nocht weill ourta
	To mete thaim at the fyrst, that he
	Suld havve the tother on his pouste,
	Be than the thrid gyff it war sua
	That thai had passyt the tother twa.
195	On this wys him ordanys he,
	And syne assemblit his mengne
	That war sex hunder fechtand men,
	But rangale that wes with him then
	That war als fele as thai or ma.
200	With all that mengne gan he ga
	The evyn or that the bataill suld be
	Till litill Loudoun quhar that he
	Wald abid to se thar cummyng,
	Syne with the men of his leding
205	He thocht to sped him sua that he
	Suld at the dyk befor thaim be.
[The armies before the battle of Loudoun]

	Schyr Aymer on the tother party
	Gadryt sua gret chevalry
	That he mycht be thre thousand ner
210	Armyt and dycht on gud maner,
	Than as man off gret noblay
	He held towart his trist his way
	Quhen the set day cummyn was.
	He sped him fast towart the place
215	That he nemmyt for to fycht,
	The sone wes ryssyn schynand brycht
	thyat schawyt on the scheldis brade
	In twa eschelis ordanyt he had
	The folk that he had in leding.
220	The king weile sone in the mornyng
	Saw fyrst cummand thar fyrst eschele
	Arrayit sarraly and weile,
	And at thar bak sumdeill ner-hand
	He saw the tother folowand,
225	Thar bassynettis burnyst all brycht
	Agayne the son glemand off lycht,
	Thar speris pennonys and thar scheldis
	Off lycht enlumynyt all the feldis,
	Thar best and browdyn brycht baneris
230	And hors hewyt on ser maneris
	And cot-armouris off ser colour
	And hawbrekis that war quhyt as flour
	Maid thaim gleterand as thai war lyk
	Till angelys hey off hevynnys ryk.
235	The king said, 'Lordis now ye se
	How yon men throu thar gret poweste
	Wald, and thai mycht fulfill thar will,
	Sla us, and makys sembland thartill,
	And sen we knaw thar felny
240	Ga we mete thaim sa hardily
	That the stoutest of thar mengye
	Off our meting abaysit be,
	For gyff the formast egrely
	Be met ye sall se sodanly
245	The henmaist sall abaysit be.
	And thoucht that thai be ma than we
	That suld abays us litill thing,
	For quhen we cum to the fechting
	Thar may mete us no ma than we.
250	Tharfor lordingis, ilkan suld be
	Off us worthi off gret valour
	For to maynteyme her our honour.
	Thynkis quhat glaidschip us abidis
	Gyff that we may aqs weile betidis
255	Haff victour off our fayis her,
	For thar is nane than fer na ner
	In all thys land that us thar doute.'
	Then said thai all that stud about,
	'Schyr gyff God will we sall sa do
260	That na reprov sall fall tharto.'
	'Now ga we furth than,' said the king,
	'Quhar He that maid off nocht all thing 
	Lede us and saiff us for his mycht
	And help us for till hald our rycht.'
265	With that thai held thar way in hy
	Weill sex hunder in cumpany
	Stalwart and stout, worthi and wycht
	Bot thai war all to few Ik hycht 
	Agayne sa fele to stand in stour
270	Ne war thar utrageous valour.
[The battle at Loudoun]

	Now gais the nobill king his way
	Rycht stoutly and in gud aray,
	And to the formast dyk is gane
	And in the slop the feld has tane.
275	The cariage and the povyrall
	That war nocht worth in the bataill
	Behynd him levyt he all still
	Syttand all samyn on the hyll.
	Schyr Aymer the king has sene
280	With his men that war cant and kene
	Come to the playne doune fra the hill
	As him thocht in full gud will
	For to defend or to assaile
	Gyff ony wald him bid bataill.
285	Tharfor his men confortit he
	And bad thaim wycht and worthi be,
	For gyff that thai mycht wyne the king
	And haiff victour off his fechting
	Thai suld rycht weile rewardyt be
290	And ek gretly thar renomme.
	With that thai war weill ner the king
	And he left his amonesting
	And gert trump to the assemble,
	And the formest off his mengne
295	Enbrasyt with the scheldis braid
	And rycht sarraly togydder raid
	With heid stoupand and speris straucht
	Rycht to the king thar wayis raucht,
	That met thaim with sa gret vigour
300	That the best and off maist valour
	War laid at erd at thar meting
	Quhar men mycht her sic a breking
	Off speris that to-fruschyt war
	And the woundyt sa cry and rar
305	That it anoyus wes to her
	For thai that fyrst assemblyt wer
	Fwyngyt and faucht full sturdely.
	The noyis begouth then and the cry.
[The victory of King Robert]

	A! mychty God quha thar had bene
310	And had the kingis worschip sene
	And his brodyr that waine him by
	That stonayit thaim sa hardely
	That thair gud deid and thair bounte
	Gaiff gret confort to thar mengye,
315	And how Douglas sa manlily
	Confortyt thaim that war him by,
	He suld weile say that thai had will
	To wyn honour and cum thar-till.
	The kingis men sa worthi war
320	That with speris that scharply schar
	Thai stekit men and stedis baith
	Till rede blud ran off woundis raith.
	The hors that woundyt war gan fling
	And ruschyt thar folk in thar flynging
325	Sua that thai that the formast war
	War skalyt in soppys her and thar.
	The king that saw thaim ruschyt sua
	And saw thaim reland to and fra
	Ran apon thaim sa egrely
330	And dang on thaim sa hardely
	That fele gart off his fayis fall.
	The feild wes ner coveryt all
	Bath with the slane hors and with men,
	For the gud king thar folowit then
335	With fyve hunder that wapnys bar
	That wald thar fayis na thing spar.
	Thai dang on thaim sa hardely
	That in schort tyme men mycht se ly
	At erd ane hunder and wele mar.
340	The remanand sa fleyit war
	That thai begouth thaim to withdraw,
	And quhen thai off the rerward saw
	Thar vaward be sa discumfyt
	Thai fled foroutyn mar respyt
345	And quhen Schyr Aymer has sene
	His men fleand haly beden
	Wyt ye weile him wes full way
	Bot he moucht nocht ammonys sway
	That ony for him walde torne agane,
350	He turnyt his bridill and to-ga,
	For the gud king thaim presit sua
	That sum war dede and sum war tane
	And the laiff thar gat ar gane
[Valence resigns his keepership and returns to England]

355	The folk fled apon this maner
	Forout arest and Schir Aymer
	Agane to Boithweill is gane
	Menand the scaith that he has tane
	Sa schamfull that he vencusit wais
360	That till Ingland in hy he gais
	Rycht to the king and schamfully
	He gaff up thar his wardanry,
	Na nevyr syne for nakyn thing
	Bot giff he come rycht with the king
365	Come he to werray Scotland,
	Sa hevyly he tuk on hand
	That the king into set battaill
	With a quhone lik to poverall
	Vencusyt him with a gret menye
370	That war renonyt off gret bounte.
	Sic anoy had Schyr Amery,
	And King Robert that wes hardy
	Abaid rycht still into the place
	Till that his men had left the chace, 
375	Syne with presonaris that thai had tane
	Thai ar towart thar innys gane
	Fast lovand God off thar weilfar.
	He mycht haiff sene that had bene thar
	A folk that mery wes and glaid
380	For thar victour, and als thai haid
	A lord that sa swete wes and deboner
	Sa curtais and off sa fayr effer
	Sa blyth and als weill bourdand
	And in bataill sa styth to stand
385	Sua wys and rycht sua avisť
	That thai had gret cause blyth to be.
	Sua war thai blyth withoutyn dout,
	For fele that wynnyt thaim about
	Fra thai the king saw help him sua
390	Till him thar homage gan thai ma.
[The king decides to go north across the Mounth]

	Than woux his power mar and mar,
	And he thoucht weile that he wald far
	Oute-our the Mounth with his menye
	To luk quha that his frend wald be.
395	Into Schyr Alexander Fraser
	He traistyt for thai cosyngis wer
	And his broder Symon, thai twa.
	He had mystre weile of ma
	For he had fayis mony ane.
400	Schir Jhon Cumyn erle off Bouchquhane
	And Schyr Jhon the Mowbray syne
	And gus Schyr David off Brechyne
	With all the folk off thar leding
	War fayis to the noble king,
405	And for he wyst thai war his fayis
	His viage thidderwart he tais,
	For he wald se quhatkyn ending
	Thai wald set on thar manassing.
	The king buskyt and maid him yar
410	Northwartis with his folk to far,
	His brodyr gan he with him ta
	And Schyr Gilbert de le Hay alsua,
	The erle off Levenax als wes thar
	That with the king was our-all-quhar,
415	Schyr Robert Boyd and other ma.
[Douglas returns to Douglasdale, to trick the
garrison of Douglas Castle]

	The king gan furth his wayis ta,		
	And left James off Douglas
	With all the folk that with him was
	Behind him for to luk giff he
420	Mycht recover his countre.
	He left into full gret perill,
	Bot eftre in a litill quhile
	Throu his gret worschip sa he wrocht
	That to the kingis pes he brocht
425	The forest of Selcrik all hale,
	And alsua did he Douglasdale
	And Jedworthis forest alsua.
	And quha-sa weile on hand couth ta
	To tell his worschippis ane and ane
430	He suld fynd off thaim mony ane,
	For in his tyme as men said me
	Thretten tymys vencusyt wes he
	And had victouris sevin and fyfty.
	Hym semyt nocht lang ydill to ly,
435	Be his travaill he had na will,
	Me think men suld him love with skill.
	This James quhen the king wes gane
	All prevely his men has tane
	And went to Douglas daile agane,
440	And maid all prevely a trane
	Till thaim that in the castell war.
	A buschement slely maid he thar,
	And off his men fourtene or ma
	He gert as thai war sekkis ta
445	Fyllyt with gres, and syne thaim lay
	Apon thar hors and hald thar way
	Rycht as thai wald to Lanark far
	Outouth quhar thai enbuschyt war.
[The garrison comes out]

	And quhen thai off the castell saw
450	Sa fele ladys gang on raw
	Off that sycht thai war wonder fayn
	And tald it to thar capitane
	That hate Schyr Jhone of Webetoun.
	He wes baith yong stoute and felloun
455	Joly alsua and valageous,
	And for that he wes amorous
	He wald isch fer the blythlyar.
	He gert his men tak all thar ger
	And isch to get thaim vittaille,
460	For thar vittaile gan fast thaim faile.
	Thai ischyt all abandounly
	And prykkyt furth sa wilfully
	To wyn the ladys that thai saw pas
	Quhill that Douglas with his was
465	All betwix thaim and the castell.
	The laid-men that persavyt weill,
	Thai kest thar ladys doun in hy,
	And thar gownys deliverly
	That heylyt thaim thai kest away,
470	And in gret hy thar hors hint thai
	And stert apon thaim sturdely
	And met thar fayis with a cry
	That had gret wonder quhen thai saw
	Thaim that war er lurkand sa law
475	Cum apon thaim sa hardely.
	Thai woux abaysit sodanly
	And at the castell wald haiff bene,
	Quhen thai on other halff has sene
	Douglas brak his enbuschement
480	That agayne thaim rycht stoutly went.
	Thai wyst nocht quhat to do na say,
	Thar fayis on athir sid saw thai
	That strak on thaim foroutyn sparing,
	And thai mycht help thaim selvyn na thing
485	Bot fled to warrand quhar thai mocht,
	And thai sa angryly thaim socht
	That off thaim all eschapyt nane.
[The letter of Webiton, the taking of the castle and the freeing of its

	Schyr Jhoun Webetoun thar wes slane,
	And quhen he dede wes as ye her
490	Thai fand intill his coffeir
	A lettyr that him send a lady
	That he luffyt per drouery,
492a	The letter spak on this maner	493*
	That said quhen he had yemyt a yer
	In wer as a gud bachiller
494a	And governit weill in all maner	495*
495	The aventuris castell off Douglas
	That to kepe sa peralus was
	Than mycht he weile ask a lady
	Hyr amouris and hyr drouery,
	The lettyr spak on this maner.
500	And quhen thai slayne on this wyse wer
	Douglas rycht to the castell raid
	And thar sa gret debate he maid
	That in the castell entryt he,
	I wate nocht all the certante
505	Quhethyr it was throu strenth or slycht,
	Bot he wrocht sua with mekill mycht
	That the constabill and all the laiff
	That war tharin, bath man and knav
	He tuk and gaiff thaim dispending
510	And sent thaim hamr but mar greving
	To the Cliffurd in thar countre.
	And syne sa besily wrocht he
	That he tumblyt doun all the wall
	And destroyit the housis all,
515	Syne till the Forest held his way
	Quhar he had mony ane hard assay
	And mony fayr poynt off wer befell.
	Quha couth thaim all rehers or tell
	He suld say that his name suld be
520	Lestand into full gret renoune. 

Book 9

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