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The Brus Book 19

John Barbour 1320 – 1395 (Aberdeen)

[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 tau
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:09 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme a bbaaccddeeffaeaghaCcaibjddeeddbfccaacaabbxx b xbbixekccglccemCcddkeddeaddbe x ccbaeebehallddaaxellaxalaanneecceeaabxemljaeiaddde
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 4,226
Words 836
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 1, 43, 1, 29, 1, 50

John Barbour

John Barbour, was a Scottish poet and the first major named literary figure to write in Scots. more…

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