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The Brus Book XV

John Barbour 1320 – 1395 (Aberdeen)

The Scots win a great battle at Connor]

Quhen thai within has sene sua slayn
Thar men and chassyt hame agayn
Thai war all wa, and in gret hy
'Till armys!' hely gan thai cry.
5 Than armyt thaim all that thai war
And for the bataill maid thaim yar
Thai ischyt out all wele arayit
Into the bataill baner displayit
Bowne on thar best wis till assaile
10 Thar fayis into fell bataill.
And quhen Schyr Philip the Mowbra
Saw thaim ische in sa gud aray
Till Schyr Edward the Bruys went he
And said, 'Schyr, it is gud that we
15 Schap for sum slycht that may availe
To help us into this bataill.
Our men ar quhoyne, bot thai haf will
To do mar than thai may fulfill,
Tharfor I rede our cariage
20 Foroutyn ony man or page
Be thaimselvyn arayit be
And thai sall seyme fer ma than we,
Set we befor thaim our baneris,
Yone folk that cummys out of Coigneris
25 Quhen thai our baneris thar may se
Sall trow traistly that thar ar we
And thidder in gret hy sall thai rid.
Cum we than on thaim at a sid
And we sall be at avantag,
30 For fra thai in our cariag
Be entryt thai sall combryt be,
And than with all our mycht may we
Lay on and do all that we may.'
All as he ordanyt done haf thai,
35 And thai that come out of Coigneris
Addressyt thaim to the baneris
And smate with spuris the hors in hy
And ruschit thaim sudandly.
The barell-ferraris that war thar
40 Cumbryt thaim fast that ridand war,
And than the erle with his bataill
Come on and sadly gan assaill,
And Schyr Edward a litill by
Assemblit sua rycht hardely
45 That mony a fey fell undre fete,
The feld wox sone of blud all wete.
With sa gret felny thar thai faucht
And sic routis till other raucht
With stok with stane and with retrete
50 As ather part gan other bet
That it wes hidwys for to se.
Thai mantemyt that gret melle
Sa knychtlik apon ather sid
Giffand and takand routis rid
55 That pryme wes passyt or men mycht se
Quha mast at thar abov mycht be,
Bot sone eftre that prime wes past
The Scottismen dang on sa fast
And schot on thaim at abandoun
60 As ilk man war a campioun
That all thar fayis tuk the flycht,
Wes nane of thaim that wes sa wicht
That evyr durst abid his fer
Bot ilk man fled thar wayis ser.

[Slaughter in Connor; the prisoners and wounded]

65 To the toun fled the mast party,
And Erle Thomas sa egrely
And his route chassyt with swerdis bar
That amang thame mellyt war
That all togidder come in the toun.
70 Than wes the slauchter sa felloune
That all the ruys ran of blud,
Thaim that thai gat to ded all yhud
Sua that than thar weill ner wer dede
Als fele as in the bataill-stede.
75 The fys Warine wes takyn thar,
Bot sua rad wes Richard of Clar
That he fled to the south countre,
All that moneth I trow that he
Sall haf na gud will for to fycht.
80 Schyr Jhone Stewart a noble knycht
Wes woundyt throu the body thar
With a sper that scharply schar,
Bot to Monpeller went he syne
And lay thar lang intill helyne
85 And at the last helyt wes he.
Schyr Edward than with his menye
Tuk in the toun thar herbery,
That nycht thai blyth war and joly
For the victour that thai had thar.

[Siege of Carrickfergus Castle; a truce is broken by ships from Dublin]

90 And on the morn foroutyn mar
Schyr Edward gert men gang and se
All the vittaill of that cite,
And thai fand sic foysoun tharin
Off corne and flour and wax and wyn
95 That thai had of it gret ferly,
And Schyr Edward gert halily
Intill Cragfergus it caryit be,
Syne thidder went his men and he
And held the sege full stalwartly
100 Quhill Palme Sonday wes passit by.
Than quhill the Twysday in Pays wouk
On ather half thai trewys touk
Sua that thai mycht that haly tid
In pennance and in prayer bid.
105 Bot apon the Pasche evyn rycht
To the castell into the nycht
Fra Devillyne schippis come fyften
Chargyt with armyt men bedene,
Four thousand trow I weill thai war,
110 In the castell thai entryt ar.
The Maundveill auld Schyr Thomas
Capitane of that menye was.
Intill the castell prively
Thai entryt for thai had gert spy
115 That mony of Schyr Edwardis men
War scalyt in the contre then,
Tharfor thai thocht in the mornyng
Till isch but langer delaying
And to suppris thaim suddanly,
120 For thai thocht thai suld traistly
For the trewys that takyn war,
Bot I trow falset evermar
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:08 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 4,220
Words 829
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 1, 64, 1, 25, 1, 34

John Barbour

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

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