The Brus by John Barbour


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book 18

Back to Contents Page