The Brus Book XVI

John Barbour 1320 – 1395 (Aberdeen)

[King Robert goes to Ireland]

Quhen Schyr Edward, as Ik said ar,
Had discomfyt Richard of Clar
And of Irland all the barnage
Thris throu his worthi vasselag
5 And syne with all his men of mayn
Till Cragfergus wes cummyn agayn,
The gud erle of Murreff Thomas
Tuk leyff in Scotland for to pas,
And he him levyt with a gruching,
10 And syne him chargyt to the king
To pray him specialli that he
Cum intill Irland him to se,
For war thai bath into that land
Thai suld fynd nane suld thaim withstand.
15 The erle furth thane his way has tane
And till his schipping is he gayn
And sayllyt weill out-our the se.
Intill Scotland sone aryvit he,
Syne till the king he went in hy,
20 And he resavyt him glaidsumly
And speryt of his brodyr fayr
And of journayis that thai had thar,
And he him tauld all but lesing.
Quhen the king left had the spering
25 His charge to the gud king tauld he,
And he said he wald blythly se
Hys brother and se the affer
Off that cuntre and off thar wer.
A gret mengye then gaderyt he,
30 And twa lordys of gret bounte
The tane the Stewart Walter was
The tother James of Douglas
Wardanys in his absence maid he
For to maynteyme wele the countre,
35 Syne to the se he tuk the way
And at Lochriane in Galloway
He schippyt with all his menye,
To Cragfergus sone cummyn is he.
Schyr Edward of his come wes blyth
40 And went doun to mete him swyth
And welcummyt him with glaidsome cher,
Sa did he all that with him wer
And specially the erle Thomas
Off Murreff that his nevo was,
45 Syne till the castell went thai yar
And maid thaim mekill fest and far.
Thai sojournyt that dayis thre
And that in myrth and jolyte.

[The Scots march south and an ambush is prepared for them]

King Robert apon this kyn wis
50 Intill Irland aryvit is,
And quhen in Cragfergus had he
With his men sojournyt dayis thre
Thai tuk to consaill that thai wald
With thar folk thar wayis hald
55 Throu all Irland fra end till other.
Schyr Edward than the kingis brother
Befor in the avaward raid,
The king himselff the rerward maid
That had intill his cumpany
60 The erle Thomas that wes worthi.
Thar wayis southwart haff thai tane
And sone ar passyt Inderwillane.
This wes in the moneth of May
Quhen byrdis syngis in ilk spray
65 Melland thar notis with seymly soune
For softnes of the swet sesoun,
And levys off the branchys spredis
And blomys brycht besid tham bredis
And feldis ar strowyt with flouris
70 Well saverand of ser colouris
And all thing worthis blyth and gay,
Quhen that this gud king tuk his way
To rid southwart as I said ar.
The wardane than Richard of Clar
75 Wyst the king wes aryvyt sua
And wyst that he schup him to ta
His way towart the south contre,
And of all Irland assemblit he
Bath burges and chevalry
80 And hobilleris and yhumanry
Quhill he had ner fourty thousand.
Bot he wald nocht yet tak on hand
With all his fayis in feld to fycht
Bot he umbethocht him of ane slycht,
85 That he with all his gret menye
Wald in a wod enbuschit be
All prively besid the way
Quhar that thar fayis suld away,
And lat the avaward pas fer by
90 And syne assembill hardely
On the rerward with all thar men.
Thai did as thai divisyt then,
In ane wod thai enbuschit wer,
The Scottis ost raid by thaim ner
95 Bot thai na schawing of thaim maid.

[The ambush of King Robert's men; the folly of Colin Campbell]

Schyr Edward weill fer forouth rad
With thaim that war of his menye,
To the rerward na tent tuk he,
And Schyr Richard of Clar in hy
100 Quhen Schyr Edward wes passyt by
Send lycht yomen that weill couth schout
To bykkyr the rerward apon fute.
Then twa of thaim that send furth war
At the wod sid thaim bykkerit thar
105 And schot amang the Scottismen.
The king that had thar with him then
Weill fyve thousand wicht and worthi
Saw thai twa sa abandounly
Schut amang thaim and cum sa ner.
110 He wist rycht weill withoutyn wer
That thai rycht ner suppowall had,
Tharfor a bidding has he mad
That na man sall be sa hardy
To prik at thaim, bot sarraly
115 Rid redy ay into bataill
To defend gif men wald assail,
'For we sall sone, Ik undreta,'
He said, 'haf for to do with ma.'
Bot Schyr Colyne Cambell, that ner
120 Was by quhar thai twa yhumen wer
Schoutand amang thaim hardily,
Prykyt on thaim in full gret hy
And son
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

4:06 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 4,220
Words 822
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 1, 48, 1, 47, 1, 28

John Barbour

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

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