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The Brus Book II

John Barbour 1320 – 1395 (Aberdeen)



[Bruce escapes to Lochmaben]

The Bruys went till his innys swyth,
Bot wyt ye weile he wes full blyth
That he had gottyn that respyt.
He callit his marschall till him tyt
5 And bad him luk on all maner
That he ma till his men gud cher,
For he wald in his chambre be
A weile gret quhile in prevate,
With him a clerk foroutyn ma.
10 The marschell till the hall gan ga
And did hys lordys commanding.
The lord the Bruce but mar letting
Gert prevely bryng stedys twa,
He and the clerk foroutyn ma
15 Lap on foroutyn persavyng,
And day and nycht but sojournyng
Thai raid quhill on the fyften day
Cummyn till Louchmaben ar thai.
Hys broder Edward thar thai fand
20 That thocht ferly Ic tak on hand
That thai come hame sa prevely.
He tauld hys brodyr halyly
How that he thar soucht was
And how that he chapyt wes throu cas.

[The killing of Comyn and his uncle]

25 Sa fell it in the samyn tid
That at Dumfres rycht thar besid
Schir Jhone the Cumyn sojornyng maid.
The Brus lap on and thidder raid
And thocht foroutyn mar letting
30 For to quyt hym his discovering.
Thidder he raid but langer let
And with Schyr Jhone the Cumyn met
In the Freris at the hye awter,
And schawyt him with lauchand cher
35 The endentur, syne with a knyff
Rycht in that sted hym reft the lyff.
Schyr Edmund Cumyn als wes slayn
And othir mony off mekill mayn.
Nocht-for-thi yeit sum men sayis
40 At that debat fell other-wayis,
Bot quhat-sa-evyr maid the debate
Thar-throuch he deyt weill I wat.
He mysdyd thar gretly but wer
That gave na gyrth to the awter,
45 Tharfor sa hard myscheiff him fell
That Ik herd never in romanys tell
Off man sa hard frayit as wes he
That efterwart com to sic bounte.

[Edward hears of Bruce's flight; news of Comyn's death
reaches the bishop of St Andrews]

Now agayne to the king ga we
50 That on the morn with his barne
Sat intill his parleament,
And eftyr the lord the Bruys he sent
Rycht till his in with knychtis kene.
Quhen he oft-tyme had callit bene
55 And his men efter him askit thai,
Thai said that he sen yhysterday
Dwelt in his chambyr ythanly
With a clerk with him anerly.
Than knokyt thai at his chamur thar
60 And quhen thai hard nane mak answar
Thai brak the dur, bot thai fand nocht
The-quhethir the chambre hale thai socht.
Thai tald the king than hale the cas
And how that he eschapyt was.
65 He wes off his eschap sary
And swour in ire full stalwartly
That he suld drawyn and hangit be.
He manansyt as him thocht, bot he
Thoucht that suld pas ane other way
70 And, quhen he as ye herd me say
Intill the kyrk Schyr Jhone haid slain,
Till Louchmabane he went agayne
And gert men with his lettres ryd
To freyndis apon ilk sid
75 That come to hym with thar mengye,
And his men als assemblit he
And thocht that he wald mak him king.
Our all the land the word gan spryng
That the Bruce the Cumyn had slayn,
80 And amang other, lettres ar gayn
To the byschop off Androws towne
That tauld how slayn wes that baroun.
The letter tauld hym all the deid,
And he till his men gert reid
85 And sythyn said thaim, 'Sekyrly
I hop Thomas prophecy
Off Hersildoune sall veryfyd be
In him, for swa Our Lord help me
I haiff gret hop he sall be king
90 And haiff this land all in leding.'

[Douglas leaves St Andrews on the bishop's horse and joins Bruce]

James off Douglas that ay-quhar
Allwayis befor the byschop schar
Had weill hard all the letter red,
And he tuk alsua full gud hed
95 To that the byschop had said.
And quhen the burdys doun war laid
Till chamyr went thai then in hy,
And James off Douglas prevely
Said to the byschop, 'Schyr, ye se
100 How Inglismen throu thar powste
Dysherysys me off my land,
And men has gert you understand
Als that the erle off Carryk
Clamys to gevern the kynryk,
105 And for yon man that he has slayn
All Inglismen ar him agayn
And wald disherys hym blythly,
The-quhether with hym dwell wald I.
Tharfor, schir, giff it war your will
110 I wald tak with him gud and ill.
Throu hym I trow my land to wyn
Magré the Cliffurd and his kyn.'
The byschop hard and had pite
And said, 'Swet son, sa God help me
115 I wald blythly that thou war thar
Bot at I nocht reprovyt war.
On this maner weile wyrk thou may.
Thou sall tak Ferrand my palfray,
For thar is na hors in this land
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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John Barbour

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

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