The Brus by John Barbour


[The conspiracy against King Robert; its discovery]

	Than wes the land a quhile in pes,
	Bot covatys, that can nocht ces
	To set men apon felony
	To ger thaim cum to senyoury,
5	Gert lordis off full gret renoune
	Mak a fell conjuracioun
	Agayn Robert the douchty king,
	Thai thocht till bring him till ending
	And to bruk eftre his dede
10 	The kynrik and to ryng in hys steid.
	The lord the Soullis, Schyr Wilyam,
	Off that purches had mast defame,
	For principale tharoff was he
	Off assent of that cruelte.
15	He had gottyn with him sindry,
	Gilbert Maleherbe, Jhone of Logy
	Thir war knychtis that I tell her
	And Richard Broun als a squyer,
	And gud Schyr Davy off Breichyn
20	Wes off this deid arettyt syne
	As I sall tell you forthermar.
	Bot thai ilkane discoveryt war
	Throu a lady as I hard say
	Or till thar purpos cum mycht thai,
25	For scho tauld all to the king
	Thar purpose and thar ordanyng,
	And how that he suld haf bene ded
	And Soullis ryng intill his steid,
	And tauld him werray taknyng 
30	This purches wes suthfast thing.
	And quhen the king wist it wes sua
	Sa sutell purches gan he ma
	That he gert tak thaim everilkan,
	And quhar the lord Soullis was tane
35	Thre hunder and sexty had he
	Off squyeris cled in his lyvere
	At that tyme in his cumpany
	Outane knychtis that war joly.
	Into Berwik takyn wes he
40	That mycht all his mengne se
	Sary and wa, bot suth to say
	The king lete thaim all pas thar way
	And held thaim at he takyn had.
[The trial in parliament; the fate of the conspirators]

	The lord Soullis sone eftre maid
45	Plane granting of all that purchas.
	A parlement set tharfor thar was
	And brocht thidder this mengne war.
	The lord the Soullis has grantyt thar
	The deid into plane parleament,
50	Tharfor sone eftre he wes sent
	Till his pennance to Dunbertane
	And deit thar in a tour off stane.
	Schyr Gilbert Maleherbe and Logy
	And Richard Broune thir thre planly
55	War with a sys thar ourtane,
	Tharfor thai drawyn war ilkane
	And hangyt and hedyt tharto
	As men had dempt thaim for to do.
	And gud Schyr Davy off Breichyn
60	Thai gert chalance rycht straitly syne,
	And he grauntyt that off that thing
	Was wele maid till him discovering
	Bot he thartill gaf na consent,
	And for he helyt thar entent
65	And discoveryt it nocht to the king
	That he held of all his halding
	And maid till him his fewte
	Jugyt till hang and draw wes he.
	And as thai drew him for to hing
70	The pepill ferly fast gan thring
	Him and his myscheyff for to se
	That to behald wes gret pite.
[Sir Ingram Umfraville's reaction and decision to leave Scotland]

	Schyr Ingrahame the Umfravill that than
	Wes with the king as Scottisman,
75	Quhen he that gret myscheiff gan se
	He said, 'Lordingis, quharto pres ye
	To se at myscheiff sic a knycht
	That wes sa worthi and sa wicht
	That Ik haff sene ma pres to se
80	Him him for his rycht soverane bounte
	Than now doys for to se him her.'
	And quhen thir wordis spokyn wer
	With sary cher he held him still
	Quhill men had done of him thar will,
85	And syne with the leve of the king
	He brocht him menskly till erding.
	And syne to the king said he,
	'A thing I pray you graunt me,
	That is that ye off all my land
90	That is intill Scotland liand
	Wald giff me leve to do my will.'
	The king that sone has said him till,
	'I will wele graunt that it sua be,
	Bot tell me quhat amovis the.'
95	He said agane, 'Schyr, graunt mercy
	And I sall tell you planely,
	Myne hart giffis me na mar to be
	With you dwelland in this countre,
	Tharfor bot that it nocht you greve
100	I pray you hartly of your leve.
	For quhar sua rycht worthi a knycht
	An sa chevalrous and sa wicht
	And sa renownyt off worschip syne
	As gud Schyr David off Brechyn
105	And sa fullfyllyt off all manheid
	Was put to sa velanys a ded,
	Myn hart forsuth may nocht gif me
	To dwell for na thing that may be.'
	The king said, 'Sen that thou will sua
110	Quhenever the likys thou may ga,
	And thou sall haiff gud leve tharto
	Thi liking off thi land to do.'
	And he thankyt him gretumly
	And off his land in full gret hy
115	As hym thocht best disponyt he,
	Syne at the king of gret bounte
	Befor all thaim that with him war
	He tuk his leve for evermar,
	And went in Ingland to the king
120	That maid him rycht fayr welcummyng
	And askyt him of the north tithing.
	And he him tauld all but lesing
	How thai knychtis destroyit war
	And as I tauld till you ar,
125	And off the kingis curtassy
	That levyt him debonarly
	To do off his land his liking.
	In that tyme wes send fra the king
	Off Scotland messyngeris to trete
130	Off pes giff that thai mycht it get,
	As thai befor oft-sys war send
	How that thai coutht nocht bring till end.
	For the gud king had in entent,
	Sen God sa fayr grace had him lent
135	That he had wonnyn all his land
	Throu strenth off armys till his hand,
	That he pes in his tyme wald ma
	And all landis stabill sua
	That his ayr eftre him suld be
140	In pes, gif men held lawte.
[Sir Ingram Umfraville advises a long truce, which is made]

	Intill this tyme that Umfravill
	As I bar you on hand er quhill
	Come till the king of Ingland
	The Scottis messingeris thar he fand
145	Of pes and rest to haiff tretis.
	The king wist Schyr Ingrahame wes wis
	And askyt consaile tharto
	Quhat he wald rede him for to do,
	For he said him thocht hard to ma
150	Pes with the King Robert his fa
	Quhill that he off him vengit war.
	Schyr Ingrahame maid till him answar
	And said, 'He delt sa curtasly 
	With me that on na wis suld I
155	Giff consaill till his nethring.'
	'The behovis nedwayis,' said the king,
	'To this thing her say thine avis.'
	'Schyr,' said he, 'sen your willis is
	That I say, wit ye sekyrly
160	For all your gret chevalry
	To dele with him yhe haf na mycht.
	His men all worthyn ar sa wicht
	For lang usage of fechting
	That has bene nuryst in swilk thing
165	That ilk yowman is sa wicht
	Off his that he is worth a knycht.
	Bot, and ye think your wer to bring
	To your purpos and your liking,
	Lang trewys with him tak ye.
170	Than sall the mast off his menye
	That ar bot simple yumanry
	Be dystrenyit commonaly
	To wyn thar mete with thar travaill,
	And sum of thaim nedis but faill
175	With pluch and harow for to get
	And other ser crafftis thar mete,
	Sua that thar armyng sall worth auld
	And sall be rottyn stroyit and sauld,
	And fele that now of wer ar sley
180	Intill the lang trew sall dey
	And other in thar sted sall rys
	That sall conn litill of that mastrys.
	And quhen thai disusyt er
	Than may ye move on thaim your wer
185	And sall rycht well as I suppos	185*
	Bring your entent to gud purpos.'	186*
	Till this assentyt thai ilkane,	185
	And eftre sone war trewis tane
	Betwix the twa kingis that wer
190	Tailyeit to lest for thretten yer	188
	And on the marchis gert thaim cry.
	The Scottismenn kepyt thaim lelely,
	Bot the Inglismen apon the se
	Distroyit throu gret inyquyte
195	Marchand schippis that sailand war	193
	Fra Scotland till Flaundris with war,
	And destroyit everilkane
	And to thar oys the gud has tane.
	The king send oft till ask redres,
200	Bot nocht off it redressyt wes	198
	And he abaid all tyme askand,
	The trew on his half gert he stand
	Apon the marchis stabilly
	And gert men kep thaim lelely.
[The death of Walter the Steward]

205	In this tyme that trewis war	203
	Lestend on marchis as I said ar
	Schyr Walter Stewart that worthi was
	At Bathgat a gret seknes tas.
	His ivill ay woux mar and mar
210	Quhill men persavit be his far	208
	That him worthit nede to pay the det
	That na man to pay may let,
	Schryvyn and als repentit weill
	Quhen all wes doyn him ilkdeill
215	That Crystyn man nedyt till have	213
	As gud Crystyn the gast he gave.
	Then men mycht her men gret and cry
	And mony a knycht and mony a lady
	Mak in apert rycht evill cher,
220	Sa did thai all that ever thai war,	218
	All men him menyt commounly
	For off his eild he wes worthy.
	Quhen thai lang quhill thar dule had maid
	The cors to Paslay haiff thai haid,
225	And thar with gret solempnyte	223
	And with gret dule erdyt wes he,
	God for his mycht his saule bring
	Quhar joy ay lestis but ending.
[The truce is given up; Moray and Douglas harry Weardale]

	Efftre his dede as I said ar
230	The trewys that sua takyn war	228
	For till haff lestyt thretten yer,
	Quhen twa yer of thaim passyt wer
	And ane halff as I trow allsua
	The King Robert saw men wald nocht ma
235	Redres of schippys that war tane	233
	And off the men als that war slane,
	Bot contynowyt thar mavtye
	Quhenever thai met thaim on the se.
	He sent and acquit him planly
240	And gave the trewis up opynly,	238
	And in the vengeance of this trespas
	The gud erle of Murreff Thomas
	And Donald erle of Mar alsua
	And James of Douglas with thai twa,
245	And James Stewart that ledar wes	243
	Efter his gud brotheris disceis
	Off all his bruderys men in wer,
	He gert apon thar best maner
	With mony men bowne thaim to ga
250	In Ingland for to bryn and sla,	248
	And thai held furth till Ingland.
	Thai war of gud men ten thousand,
	Thai brynt and slew intill thar way,
	Thar fayis fast destroyit thai
255	And suagat southwart gan thai far	253
	To Wardaill quhill thai cummyn war.
	That tyme Edward off Carnaverane
	The king wes ded and laid in stane,
	And Edward his sone that wes ying
260	In Ingland crownyt wes to king	258
	And surname off Wyndyssor.
	He had in France bene thar-befor
	With his moder Dame Ysabell,
	And wes weddyt as Ik herd tell
265	With a young lady fayr of face	263
	That the erlis douchter was
	Off Hennaud, and off that cuntre
	Brocht with him men of gret bounte,
	Schyr Jhone the Hennaud wes thar leder
270	That was wys and wycht in wer.	268
	And that tyme that Scottismen wer
	At Wardaile, as I said you er,
	Intill York wes the new-maid king,
	And herd tell of the destroying
275	That Scottismen maid in his countre.	273
	A gret ost till him gaderyt he,
	He wes wele ner fyfty thousand,
	Than held he northwart in the land
	In haill battaill with that mengne,
280	Auchtene yer auld that tyme wes he.	278
	The Scottismen a day Cokdaile
	Fra end till end had heryit haile
	And till Wardaile again thai raid.
[Edward III's army approaches; Douglas prepares an ambush;
the skirmish by the Wear]

	Thar discourriouris that sycht has haid
285	Off cummyn of the Inglismen	283
	To thar lordis thai tauld it then.
	Than the lord Douglas in a ling
	Raid furth to se thar cummyng
	And saw that sevyn bataillis war thai
290	That cum ridand in gud aray,	288
	Quhen he that folk behaldyn had
	Towart his ost agayn he rad.
	The erle speryt gif he had sene
	That ost. 'Ya, schyr,' he said, 'but wene.'
295	'Quhat folk ar thai?' 'Schyr, mony men.'	293
	The erle his ayth has sworn then,
	'We sall fecht with thaim thocht thai war
	Yeit ma eftsonys than thai ar.'
	'Schyr, lovyt be God,' he said agayn,
300	'That we haiff sic a capitayn	298
	That sua gret thing dar undreta,
	Bot, be saynct Bryd, it beis nocht sua
	Giff my consaill may trowyt be,
	For fecht on na maner sall we
305	Bot it be at our avantage,	303
	For methink it war na outrage
	To fewar folk aganys ma
	Avantage quhen thai ma to ta.'
	As thai war on this wis spekand
310	Our ane hey rig thai saw ridand	308
	Towart thaim evyn a battaill braid,
	Baneris displayit inew thai haid,
	And a nothyr come eftre ner
	And rycht apon the samyn maner
315	Thai come quhill sevin bataillis braid	313
	Out-our that hay rig passyt haid.
	The Scottismen war than liand
	On north halff Wer towart Scotland.
	The dale wes strekyt weill Ik hycht,
320	On athyr sid thar wes ane hycht	318
	And till the water doune sumdeill stay.
	The Scottismen in gud aray
	On thar best wis buskyt ilkane
	Stud in a strenth that thai had tane,
325	And that wes fra the water of Wer	323
	A quartar of a myle weill ner,
	Thar stud thai battaill till abid,
	And Inglismen on athyr sid
	Come ridand dounwart quhill thai wer
330	To Weris water cummyn als ner	328
	As on other halff thar fayis war.
	Than haf thai maid a rest rycht thar
	And send out archerys a thousand
	With hudis off and bowys in hand
335	And gert thaim drink weill of the wyn,	333
	And bad thaim gang to bykker syne
	The Scottis ost in abandoun
	And ger thaim cum apon thaim doun,
	For mycht thai ger thaim brek aray
340	To haiff thaim at thar will thocht thai.	338
	Armyt men doune with thaim thai send
	Thaim at the water to defend.
	The lord Douglas has sene thar fer,
	And men that rycht weill horsyt wer
345	And armyt a gret cumpany	343
	Behind the bataillis prevely
	He gert howe to bid thar cummyng,
	And quhen he maid to thaim taknyng
	Thai suld cum prekand fast and sla
350	With sperys that thai mycht ourta,	348
	Donald off Mar thar chiftane was
	And Archebald with hym of Douglas.
[Douglas drives back the English; the two sides encamp; novelties seen]

	The lord Douglas towart thaim raid,
	A gowne on his armur he haid,
355	And traversyt all wayis up agayn	353
	Thaim ner his bataillis for to trayn,
	And thai that drunkyn had off the wyne
	Come ay up lingand in a lyne
	Quhill thai the battaill come sa ner
360	That arowis fell amang thaim ser.	358
	Robert off Ogill a gud squyer
	Come prikand than on a courser
	And on the archeris criyt agane,
	'Ye wate nocht quha mays you that trayn,
365	That is the lord Douglas that will	363
	Off his playis ken sum you till,'
	And quhen thai herd spek of Douglas
	The hardyest effrayit was
	And agayn turnyt halely.
370	His takyn maid he than in hy,	368
	And the folk that enbuschit war
	Sa stoutly prekyt on thaim thar
	That weile thre hunder haiff thai slane
	And till the water hame agane
375	All the remanand gan thai chas.	373
	Schyr Wilyam off Erskyn that was
	Newlyngis makyn knycht that day	375*
	Weill horsit intill gud aray	376*
	Chasyt with other that thar war	375
380	Sa fer furth that hys hors him bar	376
	Amang the lump of Inglismen,
	And with strang hand wes takyn then,
	Bot off him wele sone chang wes maid
	For other that men takyn haid.
385	Fra thir Inglis archeris wes slane	381
	Thar folk raid till thar ost agane,
	And rycht sua did the lord off Douglas.
	And quhen that he reparyt was
	Thai mycht amang thar fayis se
390	Thar pailyounys sone stentyt be,	386
	And thai persavyt sone in hy
	That thai that nycht wald tak herbery
	And schup to do no mar that day,
	Tharfor thaim alsua herbryit thay
395	And stent pailyounys in hy,	391
	Tentis and lugis als tharby
	Thai gert mak and set all on raw.
	Twa novelryis that day thai saw
	That forouth in Scotland had bene nene,
400	Tymmeris for helmys war the tane	396
	That thaim thoucht thane off gret bewte
	And alsua wondyr for to se,
	The tother crakys war off wer
	That thai befor herd never er,
405	Off thir twa thingis thai had ferly.	401
	That nycht thai walkyt stalwartly,
	The mast part off thaim armyt lay
	Quhill on the morn that it wes day.
[Douglas foils an English ambush]

	The Inglismen thaim umbethocht
410	Apon quhat mener that thai moucht	406
	Ger Scottis leve thar avantage,
	For thaim thocht foly and outrage
	To gang up till thaim till assaill
	Thaim at thar strenth in plane battaill,
415	Tharfor of gud men a thousand	411
	Armyt on hors bath fute and hand
	Thai send behind thar fayis to be
	Enbuschit intill a vale,
	And schup thar bataillis as thai wald
420	Apon thaim till the fechtyn hald,	416
	For thai thocht Scottismen sic will
	Had that thai mycht nocht hald thaim still,
	For thai knew thaim off sic curage
	That tharthrouch strenth and avantage
425	Thai suld leve and mete them planly.	421
	Than suld thar buschement halily
	Behind brek on thaim at the bak,
	Sa thocht thai wele thai suld thaim mak  
	For to repent thaim off thar play.
430	Thar enbuschment furth send haiff thai	426
	That thaim enbuschit prevely,
	And on the morn sum-dele arly
	Intill this ost hey trumpyt thai
	And gert thar braid bataillis aray,
435	And all arayit for to fycht	431
	Thai held towart the water rycht.
	Scottismen that saw thaim do swa
	Boune on thar best wis gan thaim ma
	And in bataill planly arayit
440	With baneris till the wynd displayit	436
	Thai left thar strenth, and all planly
	Come doune to mete thaim hardely
	In als gud maner as thai moucht
	Rycht as thar fayis befor had thocht.
445	Bot the lord Douglas that ay was war	441
	And set out wachis her and thar
	Gat wyt off thar enbuschement,
	Than intill gret hy is he went
	Befor the bataillis and stoutly
450	He bad ilk man turn him in hy	446
	Rycht as he stud, and turnyt sua
	Up till thar strenth he bad thaim ga
	Sua that na let thar thai maid,
	And thai did as he biddyn haid
455	Quhill till thar strenth thai come agayne,	451
	Than turnyt thai thaim with mekill mayn
	And stud redy to giff battaill
	Giff thar fayis wald thaim assaill.
	Quhen Inglismen had sene thaim sua
460	Towart thar strenth agayne up ga	456
	Thai criyt hey, 'Thai fley thar way.'
	Schyr Jhone Hennaud said, 'Perfay
	Yone fleyng is rycht degysé,
	Thar armyt men behind I se
465	And thar baneris, sua that thaim thar	461
	Bot turne thaim as thai standand ar
	And be arayit for to fycht
               Giff ony presyt thaim with mycht.
	Thai haiff sene our enbuschement
470	And agane till thar strenth ar went.	466
	Yone folk ar governyt wittily,
	And he that ledis is worthi
	For avisé worschip and wysdome
	To governe the empyr off Rome.'
475	Thus spak that worthi knycht that day,	471
	And the enbuschement fra that thai
	Saw that thai sua discoveryt war
	Towart thar ost agane thai fair,
	And the bataillis off Inglismen
480	Quhen thai saw thai had faillyt then	476
	Off thar purpos to thar herbery
	Thai went and logit thaim in hy.
	On other halff rycht sua did thai,
	Thai maid na mar debat that day.
[The Scots camp in a walled park; the English follow]

485	Quhen thai that day ourdrevyn had	481
	Fyris in gret foysoun thai maid
	Alsone as the nycht fallyn was.
	And than the gud lord off Douglas,
	That had spyit a place tharby
490	Twa myile thin that quhar mar traistly	486
	The Scottis ost mycht herbery ta
	And defend thaim better alsua
	Than ellys in ony place tharby,
	It wes a park all halily
495	Wes envyround about with wall,	491
	It wes ner full of treys all
	Bot a gret plane intill it was,
	Thidder thocht the lord of Douglas
	Be nychtyrtale thar ost to bring.
500	Tharfor foroutyn mar dwelling	496
	Thai bet thar fyris and maid thaim mar,
	And syne all samyn furtht thai far
	And till the park foroutyn tynseill
	Thai come and herbryit thaim weill
505	Upon the water and als ner	501
	Till it as thai beforouth wer.
	And on the morn quhen it wes day
	The Inglis ost myssyt away
	The Scottismen and had ferly,
510	And gert discourriouris hastily	506
	Pryk to se quhar thai war away,
	And be thar fyris persavyt thai
	That thai in the park of Werdale
	Had gert herbry thar ost all hale.
515	Tharfor thar ost but mar abaid	511
	Buskyt, and evyn anent thaim raid
	And on athyr halff the water of Wer
	Gert stent thar palyounys als ner
	As thar befor stentyt war thai.
520	Aucht dayis on baith halff sua thai lay	516
	That Inglismen durst nocht assaill
	The Scottismen with plane battaill
	For strenth of erd that thai had thar.
	Thar wes ilk day justyn of wer 
525	And scrymyn maid full apertly	521
	And men tane on athyr party,
	And thai that war tane on a day
	On ane other changyt war thai,
	Bot other dedis nane war done
530	That gretly is apon to mone,	526
	Till it fell on the sevynd day
	The lord Douglas had spyit a way
	How that he mycht about thaim rid
	And com on the ferrer sid.
[Douglas rides round the English camp and surprises it on the far side]

535	And at evyn purvayit him he	531
	And tuk with him a gud mengne
	Fyve hunder on hors wicht and hardy,
	And in the nycht all prevely
	Forout noyis sa fer he raid
540	Quhill that he ner enveronyt had	536	
	Thar ost and on the ferrar sid
	Towart thaim slely gan he rid.
	And the men that with him war
	He gert in hand have swerdis bar
545	And bad thaim hew rapis in twa	541
	That thai the palyounys mycht ma
	To fall on thaim that in thaim war,
	Than suld the lave that folowit thar
	Stab doune with speris sturdely,
550	And quhen thai hard his horne in hy 	546
	To the water hald doune thar way.
	Quhen this wes said that Ik her say
	Towart thar fayis fast thai raid
	That on that sid na wachis haid.
555	And as thai ner war approchand	551
	Ane Inglisman that lay bekand
	Him be a fyr said till his fer,
	'I wat nocht quhat may tyd us her
	Bot rycht a gret growyng me tais,
560	For I dred sar for the blak Douglas,'	556
	And he that hard him said, 'Perfay
	Thou sall haiff caus gif that I may.'
	With that with all him cumpany
	He ruschyt in on thaim hardely
565	And pailyounys doune he bar,	561
	With sperys that scharply schar
	Thai stekyt men dispitously.
	The noys weill sone rais and cry,
	And thai stabbyt stekyt and slew
570	And pailyounys doun yarne thai drew.	566
	A felloune slauchter maid thai thar
	For thai that liand nakit war
	Had na power defens to ma
	And thai but pite gan thaim sla.
575	Thai gert thaim weill wyt that foly	571
	Wes ner thar fayis for to ly
	Bot giff thai traistly wachit war.
	The Scottismen war slayand thar
	Thar fayis on this wis quhill the cry
580	Ras throu the ost commonaly	576
	That lord and other war on ster,
	And quhen the Douglas wyst thai wer
	Armand thaim all commonaly
	He blew his horn for to rely
585	His men and bad thaim hald thar way	581
	Towart the water and sua did thai,
	And he abaid henmast to se
	That nane of hys suld levyt be.
	And as he bade sua howand
590	Sua come thane ane with a club in hand	586
	And sua gret a rout till him raucht
	That had nocht bene his mekill maucht
	And his rycht soverane manheid
	Intill that place he had bene dede,
595	Bot he that na tyme wes effrayit	591
	Thocht he weill oft wes hard assayit 
	Throu mekill strenth and gret manheid
	Has brocht the tother to the ded.
	His men that till the water doun
600	War ridyne intill a raundoun	596
	Myssyt thar lord quhen thai come thar,
	Than war thai dredand for him sar,
	Ilkan at other speryt tithing
	Bot yeit off him thai hard na thing.
605	Than gan thai consaill samyn ta	601
	That thai to sek him up wald ga,
	And as thai war in sic effray
	A tutilling off his horne hard thai
	And thai that has it knawyn swith
610	War of his cummyn wonder blyth	606
	And speryt at him of his abaid.
	And he tauld how a carle him maid
	With a club sic felloun pay
	That met him stoutly in the way
615	That had nocht fortoun helpit the mar	611
	He had bene in gret perell thar.
[Douglas and Moray debate; the fable of the fox and the fisherman]

	Thusgat spekand thai held thar way
	Quhill till thar ost cummyn ar thai
	That on fute armyt thaim abaid
620	For till help giff thai myster haid,	616
	And alsone as the lord Douglas
	Met with the erle off Murreff was
	The erle speryt at thaim tithing
	How thai had farne in thar outing.
625	'Schyr,' said he, 'we haf drawyn blud.'	621
	The erle that wes of mekill mude
	Said, 'And we all had thidder gayne
	We haid discumfyt thaim ilkan.'
	'That mycht haff fallyn weill,' said he,
630	'Bot sekyrly ynew war we	626
	To put us in yone aventur,
	For had thai maid discumfitur
	On us that yonder passyt wer
	It suld all stonay that ar her.'
635	The erle said, 'Sen that it sua is	631
	That we may nocht with jupertys
	Our feloune fayis fors assaill
	We sall do it in plane battaill.'
	The lord Douglas said, 'Be saynct Brid
640	It war gret foly at this tid	636
	Till us with swilk ane ost to fycht
	That growys ilk day off mycht
	And has vittaill tharwith plente,
	And in thar countre her ar we
645	Quhar thar may cum us na succourys,	641
	Hard is to mak us her rescours
	Na we ne may ferrar mete to get,
	Swilk as we haiff her we mon et.
	Do we with our fayis tharfor
650	That ar her liand us befor	646
	As Ik herd tell this othyr yer
	That a fox did with a fyscher.'
	'How did the fox?' the erle gan say.
	He said, 'A fyscher quhilum lay
655	Besid a ryver for to get	651
	Hys nettis that he had thar set.
	A litill loge tharby he maid,
	And thar-within a bed he haid
	And a litill fyr alsua,
660	A dure thar wes foroutyn ma.	656
	A nycht, his nettis for to se
	He rase and thar wele lang dwelt he,
	And quhen he had doyne his deid
	Towart his loge agayn he yeid,
665	And with licht of the litill fyr	661
	That in the loge wes brynnand schyr
	Intill his luge a fox he saw
	That fast on ane salmound gan gnaw.
	Than till the dur he went in hy
670	And drew his swerd deliverly	666
	And said, 'Reiffar thou mon her out.'
	The fox that wes in full gret dout
	Lukyt about sum hole to se,
	Bot nane eschew persave couth he
675	Bot quhar the man stud sturdely.	671
	A lauchtane mantell than him by
	Liand apon the bed he saw,
	And with his teth he gan it draw
	Out-our the fyr, and quhen the man
680	Saw his mantill ly brinnand than	676
	To red it ran he hastily.
	The fox gat out than in gret hy
	And held his way his warand till.
	The man leyt him begilyt ill
685	That he his gud salmound had tynt	681
	And alsua his mantill brynt,
	And the fox scaithles gat away.
[Douglas proposes a method of withdrawal]

	This ensample weill I may say
	Be yone ost and us that ar her,
690	We ar the fox and thai the fyscher	686
	That stekis forouth us the way.
	Thai wene we may na-gat away
	Bot rycht quhar thai ly, bot perdé
	All as thai think it sall nocht be,
695	For I haff gert se us a gait	691
	Suppos that it be sumdele wate,
	A page off ouris we sall nocht tyne.
	Our fayis for this small tranountyn
	Wenys weill we sall prid us sua
700	That we planely on hand sall ta	696
	To giff thaim opynly battaill.
	Bot at this tyme thar thocht sall faill,
	For we to-morne her all the day
	Sall mak als mery as we may,
705	And mak us boune agayn the nycht,	701
	And than ger mak our fyris lycht
	And blaw our hornys and mak far
	As all the warld our awne war
	Quhill that the nycht weill fallin be.
710	And than with all our harnays we	706
	Sall tak our way hamwart in hy,
	And we sall gyit be graithly
	Quhill we be out off thar daunger
	That lyis now enclossyt her.
715	Than sall we all be at our will	711
	And thai sall lete thaim trumpyt ill
	Fra thai wyt weill we be away.'
	To this haly assentyt thai,
	And maid thaim gud cher all that nycht
720	Quhill on the morn that day wes lycht.	716
[The Scots withdraw secretly by night, leaving fires burning;
the English give up the chase]

	Apon the morn all prevely
	Thai tursit harnays and maid redy
	Sua that or evyn all boun war thai,
	And thar fayis that agane thaim lay
725	Gert haiff thar men that thar war ded	721
	In cartis till ane haly sted.
	All that day cariand thai war
	With cartis men that slayn war thar,
	That thai war fele mycht men well se
730	That in carying sa lang suld be.	726
	The ostis baith all that day wer
	In pes, and quhen the nycht wes ner
	The Scottis folk that liand war
	Intill the park maid fest and far
735	And blew hornys and fyris maid	731
	And gert thaim mak brycht and braid,
	Sua at that nycht thar fyris war mar
	Than ony tym befor thai war.
	And quhen the nycht wes fallin weill
740	With all the harnayis ilka-dele	736
	All prevely thai raid thar way.
	Sone in a mos entryt ar thai
	That had wele twa myle lang of breid,
	Out-our that mos on fute thai yeid
745	And in thar hand thar hors leid thai.	741
	It wes rycht a noyus way
	Bot flaikkis in the wod thai maid 	no no.
	Of wandis and thame with thame had	no no.
	And sykis thairwith briggit thay,	no no.
750	And sua had weill thair hors away	no no.
	On sic wyse that all that thair weir	743
	Come weill out-our it hale and fer,	
	And tynt bot litill off thar ger
	Bot giff it war ony summer
755	That in the mos wes left liand.	747
	Quhen all as Ik haff born on hand
	Out-our that mos that wes sa braid
	War cummyn a gret glaidschip thai haid
	And raid furth hamwart on thar way.
760	And on the morn quhen it wes day	752
	The Inglismen saw the herbery
	Quhar Scottismen war wont to ly
	All void. Thai wondryt gretly then
	And send furth syndry off thar men
765	To spy quhar thai war gayn away	757
	Quhill at the last thar trais fand thai
	That till the mekill mos thaim haid
	That wes sua hidwous for to waid
	That awntyr thaim tharto durst nane,
770	Bot till thar ost agayne ar gayn	762
	And tauld how that thai passyt war
	Quhar never man passit ar.
	Quhen Inglismen hard it wes sua
	In hy to consaill gan thai ta
775	That thai wald folow thaim no mar,	767
	Thar ost rycht than thai scalit thar
	And ilk man till his awn raid.
[King Robert sends a relief force;the two Scottish forces meet;
the king rejoices]

	And King Robert that wittering haid
	At his men in the park sua lay
780	And at quhat myscheiff thar war thai,	772
	Ane ost assemblyt he in hy
	And ten thousand men wicht and hardy
	He has send furth with erllis twa
	Off the Marche and Angus war tha
785	The ost in Werdale to releve,	777
	And giff thai mycht sa weill escheve
	That samyn mycht be thai and thai
	Thai thocht thar fayis till assay.
	Sua fell that on the samyn day
790	That the mos, as ye hard me say,	782
	Wes passyt, the discourrouris that thar
	Ridand befor the ost war
	Off athyr ost has gottyn sycht,
	And thai that worthy war and wicht
795	At thar metyng justyt of wer,	787
	Ensenyeys hey thai criyt ther.
	And be thar cry persavyt thai
	That thai war frendys and at a fay,
	Than mycht men se thaim glaid and blyth
800	And tauld it to thar lordis swith.	792
	The ostis bath met samyn syne,
	Thar wes rycht hamly welcummyn
	Maid amand thai gret lordis thar,
	Off thar metyng joyfull thai war.
805	The erle Patrik and his menye	797
	Had vittaillis with thaim gret plente
	And tharwith weill relevyt thai
	Thar frendis, for the suth to say
	Quhill thai in Wardale liand war
810	Thai had gret defaut off mete, bot thar	802
	Thai war relevyt with gret plente.
	Towart Scotland with gamyn and gle
	Thai went and hame wele cummyn ar thai
	And scalyt syne ilk man thar way.
815	The lordis ar went to the king	807
	That has maid thaim fair welcumyng,
	For off thar come rycht glaid wes he,
	And that thai sic perplexite
	Forout tynsaill eschapyt haid
820	All war thai blyth and mery maid.	812

Book 20

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