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The Brus Book VI

John Barbour 1320 – 1395 (Aberdeen)

[Sir Ingram Umfraville praises the king;
the men of Galloway pursue him with a tracker dog]

The king is went till his logyng
And off this deid sone come tithing
Till Schyr Ingrame the Umfravill
That thocht his sutelte and gyle
5 Haid al failyeit in that place.
Tharfor anoyit sua he was
That he agayne to Lothyane
Till Schyr Amer his gate has tane
And till him tauld all hale the cas,
10 That tharoff all forwonderyt was
How ony man sa sodanly
Mycht do so gret chevalry
As did the king that him allane
Vengeance off thre traytouris has tane,
15 And said, 'Certis, I may weill se
That it is all certante
That ure helpys hardy men
As be this deid we may ken.
War he nocht outrageous hardy
20 He had nocht unabasytly
Sa smertly sene his avantage.
I drede that his gret vassalag
And his travaill may bring till end
That at men quhile full litill wend.'
25 Sik speking maid he off the king
That ay foroutyn sojournyng
Travaillit in Carrik her and thar.
His men fra him sa scalit war
To purches thar necessite
30 And als the countre for to se
That thai left nocht with him sexty.
And quhen the Gallowais wyst suthli
That he wes with sa few mengye
Thai maid a preve assemble
35 Off wele twa hunder men and ma,
And slewth-hundis with thaim gan ta,
For thai thocht him for to suppris
And giff he fled on ony wys
To folow him with the hundis sua
40 That he suld nocht eschaip thaim fra.
Thai schup thaim in ane evynnyng
To suppris sodanly the king
And tillhim held thai straucht thar way,
Bot he, that had his wachis ay
45 On ilk sid, off thar cummyng
Lang or thai come had wyttering
And how fele that thai mycht be,
Tharfor he thocht with his menye
To withdraw him out off the place,
50 For the nycht weill fallyn was
And for the nycht he thocht that thai
Suld nocht haiff sycht to hald the way
That he war passyt with his menye.
And as he thocht rycht sua did he
55 And went him down till a morras
Our awatter that rynnand was,
And in the bog he fand a place
Weill strait that weill twa bow-draucht was
Fra the watter thai passit haid.
60 He said, 'Her may ye mak abaid
And rest you all a quhile and ly,
I will ga wach all prevely.
Giff Ik her oucht off thar cummyng
And giff I may her onything
65 Isall ger warn you sa that we
Sall ay at our avantage be.'

[The king alone defends the ford]

The king now takys his gate to ga
And with him tuk he sergandis twa
And Schyr Gilbert de le Hay left he
70 Thar for to rest with his menye.
To the watter he come in hy
And lysnyt full ententily
Giff he herd oucht off thar cummyng
Bot yeit then mocht he her na thing.
75 Endlang the watter then yeid he
On ather syd a gret quantite
And saw the brayis hey standand,
The watter holl throu slik rynnand
And fand na furd that men mycht pas
80 Bot quhar himselvyn passit was,
And sua strait wes the up-cumming
That twa men mycht nocht samyn thring
Na on na maner pres thaim sua
That thai togidder mycht land ta.
85 His twa men bad he than in hy 85
Ga to thair feris to rest and ly 86
For he wald wach thar com to se. 87
'Schyr,' said thai, 'Quha sall with you be?' 88
'God,' he said, 'forouten ma 89
90 Pas on, for I will it be sua.' 90
Thai did as he thame biddin had 91
And he thar all allane abaid, 92
And quhen he a lang quhile had bene thar 85
He herknyt and herd as it war
95 A hundis questyng on fer 87
That ay come till him ner and ner.
He stud still for till herkyn mar
And ay the langer he wes thar
He herd it ner and ner cummand,
100 Bot he thocht he thar still wald stand 92
Tyll that he herd mar takynnyng.
Than for ane hundis questyng
He wald nocht wakyn his menye,
Tharfor he wald abid and se
105 Quhat folk thai war and quhethir thai 97
Held towart him the rycht way
Or passyt ane other way fer by.
The moyne wes schynand clerly, 100
[no no.] [Sa lang he stude that he mycht her 101
[no no.] The noyis off thaim that cummand wer 102
[no no.] Than his twa men in hy send he 103
[no no.] To warn and wakyn and walkyn his menye 104
[no no.] And thai ar furth thar wayis gane 105
[no no.] And he left thar all hym allane] 106
109 And sua stude he herknand 107
110 Till that he saw cum at his hand 108
The hale rout intill full gret hy.
Then he umbethocht him hastily
Giff he held towart his menye
That or he mycht reparyt be
115 Thai suld be passit t
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:21 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 4,244
Words 878
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 2, 66, 1, 55

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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