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The Brus Book XIV

John Barbour 1320 – 1395 (Aberdeen)

[Edward Bruce goes to Ireland]

The erle off Carrik Schyr Edward,
That stoutar wes than a libard
And had na will to be in pes,
Thocht that Scotland to litill wes
5 Till his brother and him alsua,
Tharfor to purpos gan he ta
That he off Irland wald be king.
Tharfor he send and had tretyng
With the Irschery off Irland,
10 That in thar leawte tuk on hand
Off all Irland to mak him king
With-thi that he with hard fechting
Mycht ourcum the Inglismen
That in the land war wonnand then,
15 And thai suld help with all thar mycht.
And he that hard thaim mak sic hycht
Intill his hart had gret liking
And with the consent of the king
Gadryt him men off gret bounte
20 And at Ayr syne schippyt he
Intill the neyst moneth of Mai,
Till Irland held he straucht his wai.
He had thar in his cumpany
The Erle Thomas that wes worthi
25 And gud Schyr Philip the Mowbray
That sekyr wes in hard assay,
Schyr Jhone the soullis ane gud knycht
And Schyr Jhone Stewart that wes wycht
The Ramsay als of Ouchterhous
30 That wes wycht and chevalrous
And Schyr Fergus off Ardrossane
And other knychtis mony ane.
In Wolringis Fyrth aryvyt thai
Sauffly but bargan or assay
35 And send thar schippis hame ilkan.
A gret thing have thai undretane
That with sa quhoyne as thai war thar
That war sex thousand men but mar
Schup to werray all Irland,
40 Quhar thai sall se mony thousand
Cum armyt on thaim for to fycht,
But thocht thai quhone war thai war wicht,
And forout drede or effray
In twa bataillis tuk thar way
45 Towart Cragfergus it to se.

[The Scots defeat the lords of Ulster]

Bot the lordis of that countre
Mandveill, Besat and Logane
Thar men assemblyt everilkane,
The Savagis wes alsua thar,
50 And quhen thai assemblit war
That war wele ner twenty thousand.
Quhen thai wyst that intill thar land
Sic a menye aryvyt war
With all the folk that thai had thar
55 Thai went towart thaim in gret hi,
And fra Schyr Edward wist suthly
That ner till him cummand war thai
His men he gert thaim wele aray,
The avaward had the Erle Thomas
60 And the rerward Schyr Edward was.
Thar fayis approchyt to the fechting
And thai met thaim but abaysing.
Thar mycht men se a gret melle,
For Erle Thomas and his menye
65 Dang on thar fayis sa douchtely
That in schort tym men mycht se ly
Ane hunder that all blody war,
For hobynys that war stekyt thar
Relyt and flang and gret rowme mad
70 And kest thaim that apon thaim rad,
And Schyr Edwardis cumpany
Assemblyt syne sa hardely
That thai thar fayis ruschyt all.
Quha hapnyt in that fycht to fall
75 It wes perell off his rysing.
The Scottismen in that fechting
Sua apertly and wele thaim bar
That thar fayis sua ruschyt war
That thai haly the flycht has tane.
80 In that bataill wes tane or slane
All hale the flur off Ulsyster.
The Erle off Murreff gret price had ther,
For his worthi chevalry
Comfort all his cumpany.
85 This wes a full fayr begynnyng,
For newlingis at thar aryving
In plane bataill thai discomfyt thar
Thar fayis that four ay for ane war,
Syne to Cragfergus ar thai gane
90 And in the toune has innys tane.
The castell weill wes stuffyt then
Off new with vittaill and with men,
Thartill thai set a sege in hy.
Mony eschewe full apertly
95 Wes maid quhill thar the sege lay
Quhill trewys at the last tuk thai,
Quhen that the folk off Hulsyster
Till his pes haly cummyn wer,
For Schyr Edward wald tak on hand
100 To rid furth forthyr in the land.

[Defeat of two Irish kings; the Lieutenant assembles an army at Dundalk]

Off the kingis off that countre
Thar come till him and maide fewte
Weill ten or twelf as Ik hard say,
Bot thai held him schort quhile thar fay,
105 For twa off thaim, ane Makgullane
And ane other hat Makartane,
Withset a pase intill his way
Quhar him behovyt ned away
With twa thousand off men with speris
110 And als mony of thar archeris,
And all the catell of the land
War drawyn thidder to warand.
Men callys that plase Innermallane,
In all Irland straytar is nane.
115 For Schyr Edward that kepyt thai,
Thai thoucht he suld nocht thar away,
Bot he his viage sone has tane
And straught towart the pas is gane.
The erle off Murreff Schyr Thomas
120 That put him fyrst ay till assayis
Lychtyt on fute with his menye
And apertly the pase tuk he.
Thir Ersch kingis that
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:01 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 4,220
Words 805
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 1, 45, 1, 55, 1, 23

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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