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The Brus Book XI

John Barbour 1320 – 1395 (Aberdeen)



[Criticism of the compact about Stirling Castle]

And quhen this connand thus wes mad
Schir Philip intill Ingland raid
And tauld the king all haile his tale,
How he a tuelf moneth all hale
5 Had as it writyn wes in thar taile
To reskew Strevillyne with bataill.
And quhen he hard Schyr Philip say
That Scottismen had set a day
To fecht and that sic space he had
10 To purvay him he wes rycht glaid,
And said it wes gret sukudry
That set thaim apon sic foly,
For he thocht to be or that day
Sa purvayit and in sic aray
15 That thar suld nane strenth him withstand,
And quhen the lordis off Ingland
Herd that this day wes set planly
Thai jugyt all to gret foly,
And thoucht to haiff all thar liking
20 Giff men abaid thaim in fechting,
Bot oft faillys the fulis thocht
And yeit wys mennys ay cummys nocht
To sic end as thai wene allwayis.
A litill stane oft, as men sayis,
25 May ger weltyr a mekill wayn,
Na mannys mycht may stand agayn
The grace off God that all thing steris,
He wate quhat till all thing afferis
And disponys at his liking
30 Efter his ordynance all thing.

[King Robert criticises his brother]

Quhen Schyr Edward, as I you say,
Had gevyn sa outrageous a day
To yeld or reskew Strevillyne,
Rycht to the king he went him syne
35 And tauld quhat tretys he had mad
And quhat day he thaim gevyn had.
The king said quhen he hard the day,
'That wes unwisly doyn, perfay.
Ik herd never quhar sa lang warnyng
40 Wes gevyn to sa mychty a king
As is the king off Ingland,
For he has now intill hand
Ingland, Ireland and Walis alsua
And Aquitayngne yeit with all tha,
45 And off Scotland yeit a party
Dwellis under his senyoury,
And off tresour sa stuffyt is he
That he may wageouris haiff plente,
And we are quhoyne agayne sa fele.
50 God may rycht weill oure werdys dele,
Bot we ar set in juperty
To tyne or wyn then hastely.'
Schyr Edward said, 'Sa God me rede,
Thocht he and all that he may led
55 Cum, wes sall fecht, all war thai ma.'
Quhen the king hard his broder sua
Spek to the bataile sa hardyly
He prisyt him in hys hart gretumly
And said, 'Broder, sen sua is gane
60 That this thing thus is undretane
Schap we us tharfor manlely,
And all that luffis us tenderly
And the fredome off this countre
Purvay thaim at that time to be
65 Boune with all mycht that ever thai may,
Sua giff that our fayis assay
To reskew Strevilline throu bataill
That we off purpos ger thaim faill.'

[Both sides prepare for an English invasion; King Edward's resources]

To this thai all assentyt ar
70 And bad thar men all mak thaim yar
For to be boun agayne that day
On the best wis that ever thai may.
Than all that worthi war to fycht
Off Scotland set all hale thar mycht
75 To purvay thaim agane that day,
Wapynnys and armouris purvayit thai
And all that afferis to fechting.
And in Ingland the mychty king
Purvayit him in sa gret aray
80 That certis hard I never say
That Inglismen mar aparaile
Maid than did than for bataill,
For quhen the tyme wes cummyn ner
He assemblit all his power,
85 And but his awne chevalry
That wes sa gret it wes ferly
He had of mony ser countre
With him gud men of gret bounte.
Of Fraunce worthi chevalry
90 He had intill his cumpany,
The erle off Henaud als wes thar
And with him men that worthi war,
Off Gascoyne and off Almany
And off the duche of Bretayngny
95 He had wycht men and weill farand
Armyt clenly bath fute and hand,
Off Ingland to the chevalry 97
He had gaderyt sa clenly 98
That nane left that mycht wapynnys weld 97
100 Or mycht war to fecht in feild, 98
All Walis als with him had he
And off Irland a gret mengne,
Off Pouty Aquitane and Bayoun
He had mony off gret renoune,
105 And off Scotland he had yeit then 103
A gret menye of worthy men. 104

[The appearance of the English host]

Quhen all thir sammyn assemblit war 105
He had of fechtaris with him thar 106
Ane hunder thousand men and ma 103
110 And fourty thousand war of tha 104
Armyt on hors bath heid and hand,
And of thai yeit war thre thousand
With helyt hors in plate and mailye
To mak the front off the batailye,
115 And fyfty thousand off archeris 109
He had foroutyn hobeleris,
And men of fute and small rangale
That yemyt harnays and vittaile
He had sa fele it wes ferly.
120 Off cartis als thar yeid thaim
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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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