The Brus by John Barbour


[King Robert in Northumberland]

	Sone eftre that the erle Thomas
	Fra Wardaill thus reparyt was
	The king assemblyt all his mycht
	And left nane that wes worth to fycht,
5	A gret ost than assemblit he
	And delt his ost in partis thre.
	A part to Norame went but let
	And a stark assege has set
	And held thaim in rycht at thar dyk,
10	The tother part till Anwyk
	Is went and thar a sege set thai,
	And quhill that thir assegis lay
	At thir castellis I spak off ar,
	Apert eschewys oft maid thar war
15	And mony fayr chevalry
	Eschevyt war full douchtely.
	The king at thai castellis liand
	Left his folk, as I bar on hand
	And with the thrid ost held hys way
20	Fra park to park hym for to play
	Huntand as all hys awn war,
	And till thaim that war with him thar
	The landis off Northummyrland
	That neyst to Scotland war liand
25	In fe and heritage gave he,
	And thai payit for the selys fe.
[The peace with England]

	On this wys raid he destroyand
	Quhill that the king of Ingland
	Throu consaill of the Mortymar
30	And his moder that that tym war
	Ledaris of him that than young wes
	To King Robert to tret off pes
	Send messyngeris, and sua sped thai
	That thai assentyt on this way
35	Than a perpetuale pes to tak,
	And thai a mariage suld mak
	Off the King Robertis sone Davy
	That than bot fyve yer had scarsly
	And off Dame Jhone als off the Tour
40	That syne wes of full gret valour,
	Systre scho wes to the ying king
	That had Ingland in governyng,
	That than of eild had sevyn yer.
	And monymentis and lettrys ser
45	That thai of Ingland that tyme had
	That oucht agayn Scotland maid
	Intill that tretys up thai gaff,
	And all the clame that thai mycht haff
	Intill Scotland on ony maner,
50	And King Robert for scaithis ser
	That he to thaim off Ingland
	Had done off wer with stalwart hand
	Full twenty thousand pund suld pay
	Off silver into gud monay.
55	Quhen men thir thingis forspokyn had
	And with selis and athis maid
	Festnyng off frendschip and of pes
	That never for na chaunc suld ces,
	The mariage syne ordanyt thai
60	To be at Berwik and the day
	Thai haff set quhen that this suld be,
	Syne went ilk man till his countre.
	Thus maid wes pes quhar wer wais ar
	And thus the segis raissyt war.
[The marriage of the king's son, David]

65	The King Robert ordanyt to pay
	The silver, and agane the day
	He gert wele for the mangery
	Ordane quhen that his sone Davy
	Suld weddyt be, and Erle Thomas
70	And the gud lord of Douglas
	Intill his steid ordanyt he
	Devisouris of that fest to be,
	For a malice him tuk sa sar
	That he on na wis mycht be thar.
75	His malice off enfundeying
	Begouth, for throuch his cald lying
	Quhen in his gret myscheiff wes he
	Him fell that hard perplexite.
	At Cardros all that tyme he lay,
80	And quhen ner cummyn wes the day
	That ordanyt for the weddyn was
	The erle and the lord of Douglas
	Come to Berwik with mekill far
	And brocht young Davy with thaim thar,
85	And the queyn and the Mortymer
	On other part cummyn wer
	With gret affer and reawte,
	The young lady of gret bewte
	Thidder thai brocht with rich affer.
90	The weddyn haf thai makyt thar
	With gret fest and solempnyte,
	Thar mycht men myrth and glaidschip se
	For rycht gret fest thai maid thar
	And Inglismen and Scottis war
95	Togidder in joy and solace,
	Na fellouné betwix thaim was.
	The fest a wele lang tym held thai,
	And quhen thai buskyt to far away
	The queyn has left hyr douchter thar
100	With gret riches and reale far,
	I trow that lang quhile na lady
	Wes gevyn till hous sa richely,
	And the erle and the lord Douglas
	Hyr in daynte ressavyt has
105	As it war worthi sekyrly
	For scho wes syne the best lady
	And the fayrest that men thurft se.
	Eftre this gret solemnyte
	Quhen of bath half levys war tane
110	The queyn till Ingland hame is gane
	And had with hyr Mortymar.
	The erle and thai that levyt war
	Quhen thai a quhill hyr convoyit had
	Towart Berwik again thai raid,
115	And syne with all thar cumpany
	Towart the king thai went in hy,
	And had with thaim the young Davy
	And Dame Jhone als that young lady.
[Coronation of David, settlement of the succession]

	The king maid thaim fair welcumyng
120	And efter but langer delaying
	He has gert set a parleament
	And thidder witth mony men is went,
	For he thocht he wald in his lyff
	Croun his young sone and his wyff
125	And at that parleament sua did he.
	With gret fayr and solemnyte
	The King Davy wes crownyt thar,
	And all the lordis that thar war	127*
	And als off the comynyte	128*
130 	Maid him manredyn and fewte.	129*
	And forouth that thai crownyt war	130*
	The King Robert gert ordane thar,	128
	Giff it fell that his sone Davy
	Deyit but ayr male off his body
135	Gottyn, Robert Stewart suld be	131
	Kyng and bruk all the realte
	That hys douchter bar Marjory,  
	And at this tailye suld lelely
	Be haldyn all the lordis swar
140	And it with selys affermyt thar.	136
	And gyff it hapnyt Robert the king
	To pas to God quhill thai war ying,
	The gud erle of Murreff, Thomas,
	And the lord alsua off Douglas
145	Suld haiff thaim into governyng	141
	Quhill thai had wyt to ster thar thing,
	And than the lordschip suld thai ta.
	Her-till thar athys gan thai ma
	And all the lordis that thar war
150	To thir twa wardanys athis swar	146
	Till obey thaim in lawte
	Giff thaim hapnyt wardanys to be.
[The king's illness and last will]

	Quhen all this thing thus tretit wes
	And affermyt with sekyrnes
155	The king to Cardros went in hy,	151
	And thar him tuk sa fellely
	The seknes and him travailit sua
	That he wyst him behovyt to ma
	Off all this liff the commoun end
160	That is the dede quhen God will send,	156
	Tharfor his lettrys sone send he
	For the lordis off his countre
	And thai come as thai biddyng had.
	His testament than has he maid
165	Befor bath lordis and prelatis,	161
	And to religioun of ser statis
	For hele of his saule gaf he
	Silver in gret quantite.
	He ordanyt for his saule weill,
170	And quhen this done wes ilkadele	166
	He said, 'Lordingis, sua is it gayn
	With me that thar is nocht bot ane,
	That is the dede withoutyn drede
	That ilk man mon thole off nede.
175	And I thank God that has me sent	171
	Space in this lyve me to repent,
	For throuch me and my werraying
	Off blud has bene rycht gret spilling
	Quhar mony sakles men war slayn,
180	Tharfor this seknes and this payn	176
	I tak in thank for my trespas.
	And myn hart fichyt sekyrly was
	Quhen I wes in prosperite
	Off my synnys to sauffyt be
185	To travaill apon Goddis fayis,	181
	And sen he now me till him tayis
	Sua that the body may na wys
	Fullfill that the hart gan devis
	I wald the hart war thidder sent
190	Quharin consavyt wes that entent.	186
	Tharfor I pray you everilkan
	That ye amang you ches me ane
	That be honest wis and wicht
	And off his hand a noble knycht
195	On Goddis fayis my hart to ber	191
	Quhen saule and cors disseveryt er,
	For I wald it war worthily 
	Brocht thar, sen God will nocht that I
	Haiff power thidderwart to ga.'
[Douglas is chosen to take the king's heart against God's enemies]

200	Than war thar hartis all sa wa	196
	That nane mycht hald him fra greting.
	He bad thaim leve thar sorowing
	For it he said mycht not releve
	And mycht thaim rycht gretly engreve,
205	And prayit thaim in hy to do	201
	The thing that thai war chargit to.
	Than went thai furth with drery mode,
	Amang thaim thai thocht it gode
	That the worthi lord of Douglas
210	Quham in bath wit and worschip was	206*
	Suld tak this travaill apon hand,	207*
	Heir-till thai war all accordand,	208*
	Syne till the king thai went in hy	209*
	And tald hym at thai thocht trewly	210*
215	That the douchty lord Douglas	211*
	Best schapyn for that travaill was.	206
	And quhen the king hard that thai sua
	Had ordanyt him his hart to ta
	That he mast yarnyt suld it haff
220	He said, 'Sa God himself me saiff	210
	Ik hald me rycht weill payit that yhe
	Haff chosyn him, for his bounte
	And his worschip set in my yarnyng
	Ay sen I thocht to do this thing
225	That he it with him thar suld ber,	215
	And sen ye all assentit er
	It is the mar likand to me.
	Lat se now quhat thar-till sayis he.'
	And quhen the gud lord of Douglas
230	Wist that thing thus spokyn was	220
	He come and knelit to the king
	And on this wis maid him thanking.
	'I thank you gretly lord,' said he,
	'Off the mony larges and gret bounte
235	That yhe haff done me fel-sys	225
	Sen fyrst I come to your service,
	Bot our all thing I mak thanking
	That ye sa dyng and worthy thing
	As your hart that enlumynyt wes
240	Off all bounte and all prowes	230
	Will that I in my yemsall tak.
	For you, schyr, I will blythly mak
	This travaill, gif God will me gif
	Layser and space sua lang to lyff.'
245	The king him thankyt tendrely,	235
	Than wes nane in that cumpany
	That thai na wepyt for pite,
	Thar cher anoyis wes to se.
[The death of King Robert; his burial at Dunfermline]

	Quhen the lord Douglas on this wis
250	Had undretane sa hey empris	240
	As the guid kyngis hart to ber
	On Goddis fayis apon wer
	Prissyt for his empris wes he.
	And the kingis infirmyte
255	Woux mar and mar quhill at the last	245
	The dulfull dede approchit fast,
	And quhen he had gert till him do
	All that gud Crystyn man fell to
	With verray repentance he gaf
260	The gast, that God till hevyn haiff	250
	Amang his chossyn folk to be
	In joy solace and angell gle.
	And fra his folk wist he wes ded
	The sorow rais fra steid to steid,
265	Thar mycht men se men ryve thar har	255
	And commounly knychtis gret full sar
	And thar newffys oft samyn dryve
	And as woud men thar clathis ryve,
	Regratand his worthi bounte
270	His wyt his strenth his honeste	260
	And our-all the gret cumpany
	That he maid thaim oft curtasly. 
	'All our defens,' thai said, 'allace
	And he that all our comford was
275	Our wit and all our governyng	265
	Allace is brocht her till ending.
	His worschip and his mekill mycht
	Maid all that war with him sa wycht
	That thai mycht never abaysit be
280	Quhill forouth thaim thai mycht him se.	270
	Allace! what sall we do or say,
	For on lyff quhill he lestyt ay
	With all our nychtbouris dred war we,
	And intill mony ser countre
285	Off our worschip sprang the renoun	275
	And that wes all for his persoune.'
	With swilk wordis thai maid thar mayn
	And sekyrly wounder wes nane,
	For better governour than he
290	Mycht in na countre fundyn be.	280
	I hop that nane that is on lyve
	The lamentacioun suld discryve 
	That that folk for thar lard maid.
	And quhen thai lang thus sorowit had,
295	And he debowaillyt wes clenly	285
	And bawmyt syne richly,
	And the worthi lord of Douglas
	His hart as it forspokyn was
	Has ressavyt in gret daynte
300	With gret fayr and solemnyte,	290
	Thai haiff had hym to Dunferlyne
	And him solemply erdyt syne
	In a fayr tumb intill the quer.
	Byschappys and prelatis that thar wer
305	Assoilyeit him quhen the service	295
	Was done as thai couth best devis
	And syne on the tother day
	Sary and wa ar went thar way.
[Douglas goes to Seville with the king's heart]

	Quhen that the gud king beryit was
310	The erle of Mureff, Schyr Thomas,	300
	Tuk all the land in governyng,
	All obeyit till his bidding,
	And the gud lord of Douglas syne
	Gert mak a cas of silver fyne
315	Ennamylyt throu sutelte,	305
	Tharin the kingis hart did he
	And ay about his hals it bar
	And fast him bownyt for to far.
	His testament divisyt he
320	And ordanyt how his land suld be	310
	Governyt quhill his gayn-cummyng
	Off frendis, and all other thing
	That till him pertenyt ony wis
	With sik forsych and sa wys
325	Or his furth-passing ordanyt he	315
	That na thing mycht amendyt be.
	And quhen that he his leve had tane
	To schip to Berwik is he gane,
	And with a noble cumpany
330	Off knychtis and off squyery	320
	He put him thar to the se.
	A lang way furthwart saylit he,
	For betwix Cornwaill and Bretaynne
	He sayllyt, and left the Grunye of Spainye
335	On northalff him, and held thar way	325
	Quhill to Sabill the Graunt com thai,
	Bot gretly war his men and he
	Travaillyt with tempestis of the se,
	Bot thocht thai gretly travaillit war
340	Hale and fer ar thai cummyn thar.	330
	Thai aryvyt at Gret Sabill
	And eftre in a litill quhill
	Thar hors to land thai drew ilkane
	And in the toun has herbry tane,
345	He hym contenyt rychly	335
	For he had a fayr cumpany
	And gold ynewch for to dispend.
	The King Alfons him eftre send
	And hym rycht weill ressavyt he
350	And perofferyt him in gret plente	340
	Gold and tresour hors and armyng,
	Bot he wald tak tharoff na thing
	For he said he tuk that vaiage
	To pas intill pilgramage
355	On Goddis fayis, that his travaill	345
	Mycht till his saule hele availl,
	And sen he wyst that he had wer
	With Saryzynys he wald dwell thar
	And serve him at hys mycht lely.
360	The king him thankyt curtasly	350
	And betaucht him gud men that war
	Weill knawyn of that landis wer
	And the maner tharoff alsua,
	Syne till his innys gan he ga
365	Quhen that the king him levit had.	355
[The repute of Douglas in Spain]

	A weill gret sojourne thar he mad,
	Knychtis that come of fer countre
	Come in gret hy him for to se
	And honouryt him full gretumly,
370	And out-our all men fer soveranly	360
	The Inglis knychtis that war thar
	Honour and company him bar.
	Amang thai strangeris was a knycht
	That wes haldyn sa worthi and wicht
375	That for ane of the gud wes he	365
	Prissyt off the Cristiante,
	Sa fast till-hewyn was his face
	That it our-all ner wemmyt was.
	Or he the lord Douglas had sene
380	He wend his face had wemmyt bene	370
	Bot never a hurt tharin had he.
	Quhen he unwemmyt gan it se
	He said that he had gret ferly
	That swilk a knycht and sa worthi
385	And prissyt of sa gret bounte	375
	Mycht in the face unemmyt be,
	And he answerd tharto makly
	And said, 'Love God, all tym had I
	Handis my hed for to wer.'
390	Quha wald tak kep to this answer	380
	Suld se in it understanding
	That, and he that maid that asking
	Had handis to wer, hys face
	That for faute of defence sa was
395	To-fruschyt intill placis ser	385
	Suld have may-fall left hale and fer.
	The gud knychtis that than war by
	Pryssyt hys answer gretumly,
	For it wes maid with mek speking
400	And had rycht hey understanding.	390
[Douglas does battle with the Saracens]

	Apon this maner still thai lay
	Quhill throu the countre thai hard say
	That the hey king of Balmeryne
	With mony a mody Saryzine
405	Was entryt intill the land off Spanye	395
	All hale the countre to manye.
	The king off Spaynye on other party
	Gaderyt his ost deliverly
	And delt hym intill bataillis thre,
410	And to the lord Douglas gaff he	400
	The avaward to led and ster,
	All hale the strangeris with him wer,
	And the gret maister off Saynct Jak
	The tother bataill gert he tak,
415	The rerward maid himselvyn thar.	405
	Thusgat divisyt furth thai far
	To mete thar fayis that in bataill
	Arayit redy till assaill
	Come agayn thaim full sturdely.
420	The Douglas that wes sa worthi	410
	Quhen he to thaim of his leding
	Had maid a fayr monesting
	To do weill and na deid to dred,
	For hevynnys blys suld be thar mede
425	Gyff that thai deyt in Goddis service	415
	Than as gud werrayouris and wis,
	With thaim stoutly assemblit he.
	Thar mycht men felloun fechtyn se,
	For thai war all wicht and worthi
430	That war on the Cristyn party	420
	And faucht sa fast with all thar mayne
	That Saryzynys war mony slayne,
	The-quhether with mony fele fachoun
	Mony a Cristyn dang thai doun,
435	Bot at the last the lord Douglas	425
	And the gret rout that with him was
	Pressyt the Saryzynys sua
	That thai haly the bak gan ta,
	And thai chassyt with all thar mayn
440	And mony in the chas has slayn.	430
	Sa fer chassyt the lord of Douglas
	With few, that he passyt was
	All the folk that war chassand then,
	He had nocht with him our ten
445	Off all men that war with him thar.	435
	Quhen he saw all reparyt war
	Towart hys ost than turnyt he,
	And quhen the Saryzynys gan se
	That the chasseris turnyt agayn
450	Thai relyit with mekill mayn.	440
[Douglas seeks to rescue another knight and is killed]

	And as the gud lord of Douglas
	As I said er, reparand was
	Sa saw he rycht besid thaim ner
	Quhar that Schyr Wilyam the Sanctecler
455	With a gret rout enveround was.	445
	He was anoyit and said, 'Allace!
	Yone worthy knycht will sone be ded
	Bot he haff help, and our manheid
	Biddys us help him in gret hy
460	Sen that we ar sa ner him by,	450
	And God wate weill our entent is
	To lyve or de in hys service,
	Hys will in all thing do sall we.
	Sall na perell eschewyt be
465	Quhill he be put out of yone payn	455
	Or than we all be with him slayn.' 
	With that with spuris spedely
	Thai strak the hors and in gret hy
	Amang the Saryzynys thai raid
470	And roume about thaim haf thai maid,	460
	Thai dang on fast with all thar mycht
	And fele off thaim to ded has dycht.
	Grettar defens maid never sa quhone
	Agayne sa fele as thai haf done,
475	Quhill thai mycht last thai gaf battaill	465
	Bot mycht na worschip thar availl
	That thai ilkan war slayn doun thar,
	For Saryzynys sa mony war
	That thai war twenty ner for ane.
480	The gud lord Douglas thar was slane	470
	And Schyr Wilyam the Sanct Cler alsua
	And other worthy knychtis twa,
	Schyr Robert Logane hat the tane
	And the tother Schyr Walter Logane,
485	Quhar our Lord for his mekill mycht	475
	Thar saulis haff till his hevynnys hycht.
	The gud lord Douglas thus wes ded,
	And Sarazynys in that sted
	Abaid no mar bot held thar way,
490	Thai knychtis dede thar levyt thai.	480
	Sum off the lord Douglas men
	That thar lord ded has fundyn then
	Yeid weill ner woud for dule and wa,
	Lang quhill our him thai sorowit sua
495	And syne with gret dule hame him bar.	485
	The kingis hart haiff thai fundyn thar
	And that hame with thaim haf thai tane,
	And ar towart thar innys gane
	With gretyng and with ivill cher,
500	Thar sorow wes angry for till her.	490
[Sorrow at Douglas's death; his love of loyalty,
compared to that of Fabricius]

	And quhen of Keth gud Schyr Wilyam
	That all that day had bene at hame,
	For at sua gret malice wes he
	That he come nocht to the journé
505	For his arme brokyn wes in twa,	495
	Quhen he that folk sic dule saw ma
	He askyt quhat it wes in hy
	And thai him tauld all opynly
	How that thar douchty lord wes slayn
510	With Sarazynys that releyt agayn,	500
	And quhen he wyst that it was sua 
	Out-our all othyr him was wa
	And maid sa wondyr yvill cher
	That all wondryt that by him wer.
515	Bot to tell off thar sorowing	505
	It noyis and helpis litill thing,
	Men may weill wyt thoucht nane thaim tell
	How angry for sorow and how fell
	Is to tyne sic a lord as he
520	To thaim that war off his mengne,	510
	For he wes swete and debonar
	And weill couth trete hys frendis far,
	And his fayis rycht fellounly
	Stonay throu his chevalry
525	The-quhether off litill affer wes he.	515
	Our all thing luffit he lawte,
	At tresoun growyt he sa gretly
	That na traytour mycht be him by
	That he mycht wyt that he ne suld be
530	Weill punyst off his cruelte.	520
	I trow the lele Fabricius
	That fra Rome to werray Pyrrus 
	Wes send with a gret mengne
	Luffyt tresoun na les than he,
535	The-quhether quhen Pirrus had	525
	On him and on his mengne maid
	Ane outrageous discumfitour
	Quhar he eschapyt throu aventour
	And mony off his men war slayne,
540	And he had gadryt ost agayne,	530
	A gret maistre off medicyne
	That had Pyrrus in governyne
	Perofferyt to Fabricius
	In tresoun to sla Pyrrus,
545	For intill his neyst potioun	535
	He suld giff him dedly pusoun.
	Fabricius that wonder had
	Off that peroffre that he him maid
	Said, 'Certis, Rome is welle off mycht
550	Throu strenth off armys into fycht	540
	To vencus thar fayis, thocht thai
	Consent to treusoun be na way,
	And for thou wald do sic trewsoun
	Thou sall to et a warysoun
555	Ga to Pyrrus and lat him do	545
	Quhatever him lyis on hart tharto.'
	Than till Pyrrus he send in hy
	This maistre and gert opynly
	Fra end till end tell him this tale.
560	Quhen Pyrrus had it hard all hale	550
	He said, 'Wes ever man that sua
	For leawte bar him till his fa
	As her Fabricius dois to me.
	It is als ill to ger him be
565	Turnyt fra way of rychtwisnes	555
	Or ellis consent to wikkitnes
	As at midday to turne agayn
	The sone that rynnys his cours playn.'
	Thus said he off Fabricius,
570	That syne vencussyt this ilk Pyrrus	560
	In plane bataill throu hard fechting.
	His honest leawte gert me bring
	In this ensample her, for he
	Had soverane price off leawte,
575	And sua had the lord of Douglas	565
	That honest lele and worthy was
	That wes ded as befor said we,
	All menyt him strang and preve.
[The body of Douglas brought home and buried]

	Quhen his men lang had mad murnyn,
580	Thai debowalyt him and syne	570
	Gert seth him sua that mycht be tane
	The flesch all haly fra the bane
	And the carioune thar in haly place
	Erdyt with rycht gret worschip was.
585	The banys have tha with thaim tane	575
	And syne ar to thar schippis gane
	Quhen thai war levit off the king
	That had dule for thar sorowing.
	To se thai went, gud wind thai had,
590	Thar cours till Ingland haiff thai maid	580
	And thar sauffly aryvyt thai,
	Syne towart Scotland held thar way
	And thar ar cummyn in full gret hy,
	And the banys honorabilly
595	Intill the kyrk off Douglas war	585
	Erdyt with dule and mekill car.
	Schyr Archebald his sone gert syn
	Off alabast bath fair and fyne
	Ordane a tumbe sa richly
600	As it behovyt to sua worthy.	590
[The death of Moray]

	Quhen that on this wis Schyr Wilyam
	Off Keth had brocht his banys hame
	And the gud kingis hart alsua,
	And men had richly gert ma
605	With fayr effer his sepultur,	595
	The erle off Murreff that had the cur
	That tyme off Scotland halely
	With gret worschyp has gert bery
	The kingis hart at the abbay
610	Off Melros, quhar men prayis ay	600
	That he and his have paradys.
	Quhen this wes done that I devys
	The gud erle governyt the land
	And held the power weill to warand,
615	The lawe sa weill mantemyt he	605
	And held in pes sua the countre
	That it wes never or his day
	Sa weill, as Ik hard auld men say.
	Bot syne, allace! pusonyt wes he,
620	To se his dede wes gret pite.	610
	Thir lordis deyt apon this wis.
	He that hey Lord off all thing is
	Up till his mekill blis thaim bring
	And graunt his grace that thar ofspring
625	Leid weill the land, and ententyve	615
	Be to folow in all thar lyve
	Thar nobill eldrys gret bounte.
	Quhar afauld God in trinyte
	Bring us hey till his mekill blis
630	Quhar alwayis lestand liking is.	620

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