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The Brus Book V

John Barbour 1320 – 1395 (Aberdeen)

The king goes to Carrick; he upbraids Cuthbert]

Thys wes in ver quhen wynter tid
With his blastis hidwys to bid
Was ourdryvyn and byrdis smale
As turturis and the nychtyngale
5 Begouth rycht sariely to syng
And for to mak in thar singyng
Swete notis and sounys ser
And melodys plesand to her
And the treis begouth to ma
10 Burgeans and brycht blomys alsua
To wyn the helynd of thar hevid
That wykkyt wynter had thaim revid,
And all gressys beguth to spryng.
Into that tyme the nobill king
15 With his flote and a few mengye
Thre hunder I trow thai mycht be,
Is to the se oute off Arane
A litill forouth evyn gane.
Thai rowit fast with all thar mycht
20 Till that apon thaim fell the nycht
That woux myrk apon gret maner
Sua that thai wyst nocht quhar thai wer
For thai na nedill had na stane,
Bot rowyt alwayis intill ane
25 Sterand all tyme apon the fyr
That thai saw brynnand lycht and schyr.
It wes bot aventur thaim led
And thai in schort tyme sa thaim sped
That at the fyr aryvyt thai
30 And went to land but mair delay.
And Cuthbert that has sene the fyr
Was full of angyr and off ire,
For he durst nocht do it away
And wes alsua doutand ay
35 That his lord suld pas to se.
Tharfor thar cummyng waytit he
And met thaim at thar aryving.
He wes wele sone brocht to the kimg
That speryt at him how he had done,
40 And he with sar hart tauld him sone
How that he fand nane weill luffand
Bot all war fayis that he fand,
And that the lord the Persy
With ner thre hunder in cumpany
45 Was in the castell thar besid
Fullfillyt of dispyt and prid
Bot ma than twa partis off his rowt
War herberyt in the toune without,
'And dyspytyt you mar, schyr king,
50 Than men may dispyt ony thing.'
Than said the king in full gret ire,
'Tratour, quhy maid thou than the fyr?'
'A schyr,' said he, 'Sa God me se
The fyr wes nevyr maid for me,
55 Na or the nycht I wyst it nocht,
Bot fra I wyst it weill I thocht
That ye and haly your menye
On hy suld put you to the se,
For-thi I come to mete you her
60 To tell perellys that may aper.'

[The king decides to stay to attack Percy's men in a village by Turnberry]

The king wes off his spek angry
And askyt his pryve men in hy
Quhat at thaim thocht wes best to do.
Schyr Edward fryst answert tharto
65 His brodyr that wes sua hardy,
And said, 'I say you sekyrly
Thar sall na perell that may be
Dryve me eftsonys to the se.
Myne aventur her tak will I
70 Quhethir it be esfull or angry.'
'Brother,' he said, 'sen thou will sua
It is gud that we samyn ta
Dissese or ese or payne or play
Eftyr as God will us purvay.
75 And sen men sayis that the Persy
Myn heritage will occupy,
And his menye sa ner us lyis
That us dispytis mony wys,
Ga we and venge sum off the dispyte,
80 And that may we haiff done als tite
For thai ly traistly but dreding
Off us or off our her-cummyng,
And thocht we slepand slew thaim all
Repruff tharoff na man sall
85 For werrayour na fors suld ma
Quhether he mycht ourcum his fa
Throu strenth or throu sutelte,
Bot that gud faith ay haldyn be.'
Quhen this wes said thai went thar way,
90 And to the toune sone cummyn ar thai
Sa prevely but noyis making
That nane persavyt thar cummyng.
Thai skalyt throu the toun in hy
And brak up duris sturdely
95 And slew all that thai mycht ourtak,
And thai that na defence mocht mak
Full petously gan rar and cry,
And thai slew thaim dispitously
As thai that war in full gud will
100 To venge the angyr and the ill
That thai and thairis had thaim wrocht.
Thai with sa feloun will thaim soucht
That thai slew thaim everilkan
Owtane Makdowell him allan
105 That eschapyt throu gret slycht
And throu the myrknes off the nycht.
In the castell the lord the Persy
Hard weill the noyis and the cry,
Sa did the men that within wer
110 And full effraytly gat thar ger,
Bot off thaim wes nane sa hardy
That ever ischyt fourth to the cry.
In sic effray thai baid that nycht
Till on the morn that day wes lycht,
115 And than cesyt into party
The noyis the slauchtyr and the cry.
The king gert be departyt then
All hale the reff amang the men
And dwellyt all still thar dayis thre.
120 Syk hansell to that fokk gaiff he
rycht in the fyrst begynnyng
Newlingis at his aryvyng.

[A kinswoman gives him news and forty men]

Quhen that the ki
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:13 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 4,214
Words 851
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 1, 60, 1, 62, 1, 1

John Barbour

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

All John Barbour poems | John Barbour Books

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