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The Brus

The following is from The Brus by John Barbour (c.1316-1395):

Book 9

[The king goes to Inverurie and falls ill]

Now leve we intill the Forest
Douglas that sall bot litill rest
Till the countre deliveryt be
Off Inglis folk and thar powste,
And turne we till the noble king
That with the folk off his leding
Towart the Month has tane his wai
Rycht stoutly and intill gud array,
Quhar Alysander Frayser him met
And als his broder Symonet
With all the folk thai with thaim had.
The king gud contenance thaim made
That wes rycht blyth off thar cummyne.
Thai tauld the king off the convyne
Off Jhone Cumyn erle of Bouchane
That till help him had with him tane
Schyr Jhon Mowbray and other ma,
Schyr David off Brechyn alsua,
With all the folk off thar leding,
'And yarnys mar na ony thing
Vengeance off you, schyr king, to tak
For Schyr Jhone the Cumyn his sak
That quhylum in Drumfres wes slayn.'
The king said, 'Sa our Lord me sayn,
Ik had gret caus him for to sla,
And sen that thai on hand will ta
Becaus off him to werray me
I sall thole a quhile and se
On quhat wys that thai pruve thar mycht,
And giff it fall that thai will fycht
Giff thai assaile we sall defend,
Syne fall eftre quhat God will send.'
Eftre this spek the king in hy
Held straucht his way till Enrowry,
And thar him tuk sik a seknes
That put him to full hard distress.
He forbar bath drynk and mete,
His men na medicyne couth get
That ever mycht to the king availe,
His force gan him halyly faile
That he mycht nother rid na ga.
Then wyt ye that his men war wa,
For nane wes in that cumpany
That wald haiff bene halff sa sary
For till haiff sene his broder ded
Lyand befor him in that steid
As thai war for his seknes,
For all thar confort in him wes.
Bot gud Schyr Edward the worthy
His broder that wes sa hardy
And wys and wycht set mekill payn
To comfort thaim with all his mayn,
And quhen the lordis that thar war
Saw that the ill ay mar and mar
Travaillyt the king, thaim thocht in hy
It war nocht spedfull thar to ly,
For thar all playne wes the countre
And thai war bot a few menye
To ly but strenth into the playne.
Forthi till that thar capitane
War coveryt off his mekill ill
Thai thocht to wend sum strenthis till.

[A reflection on leadership; the king goes to Slioch]

For folk foroutyn capitane
Bot thai the better be apayn
Sall nocht be all sa gud in deid
As thai a lord had thaim to leid
That dar put him in aventur
But abaysing to tak the ure
That God will send, for quhen that he
Off sic will is and sic bounte
That he dar put him till assay
His folk sall tak ensample ay
Off his gud deid and his bounte,
And ane off thaim sall be worth thre
Off thaim that wikkyt chifftane hais,
His wrechytnes sa in thaim gais
That thai thar manlynes sall tyn
throu wrechitnes of his convyn.
For quhen the lord that thaim suld leid
May do nocht bot as he that war ded
Or fra his folk haldis his way
Fleand, trow ye nocht than that thai
Sall vencusyt in thar hartis be.
Yis sall thai, as I trow per de,
Bot giff thar hartis be sa hey
That thai na will for thar worschip flei,
And thaocht sum be of sic bounte
Quhen thai the lord and his menye
Seys fley, yeit sall thai fley apayn
For all men fleis the deid rycht fayne.
Se quhat he dois that sua foully
Fleys thus for his cowardy,
Bath him and his vencusys he
And gerris his fayis aboune be.
Bot he that throu his gret noblay
Till perallis him abandounys ay
To recomfort his menye
Gerris thame be off sa gret bounte
That mony tyme unlikly thing
Tha bring rycht weill to gud ending.
Sa did this king that Ik off reid,
And for his utrageous manheid
Confortyt his on sic maner
That nane had radnes quhar he wer.
Thai wald nocht fecht till that he wes
Liand intill his seknes,
Tharfor in litter thai him lay
And till the Slevauch hald thar way
And thocht thar in that strenth to ly
Till passyt war his malady.

[The skirmishing at Slioch]

Bot fra the erle of Buchane
Wyst that thai war thidder gane
And wyst that sa sek wes the king
That men doutyt off his covering,
He sent eftre his men in hy
And assemblyt a gret cumpany,
For all his awine men war thar
And all his frendis with him war,
That wes Schir Jhonne the Mowbray
And his brodyr as Ik hard say
And Schyr David off Brechynge
With fele folk in thar ledyng.
And quhen thai all assemblit war
In hy thai tuk thar way to far
To the Slevauch with all thar men`
For till assaile the king that then
Wes liand intill his seknes.
This wes eftyr the Martymes
Quhen snaw had helyt all the land.
To the Slevauch thai come ner-hand
Arayit on thar best maner
And thane the kingis men that wer
War off thar come thaim apparaylyt
To defend giff thai thaim assaylyt
And nocht-forthi thar fayis war
Ay twa for ane that thai war thar.
The erlys men ner cummand war
Trumpand and makand mekill far
And maid knychtis quhen thai war ner,
And thai that in the woddis sid wer
Stud in aray rycht sarraly
And thocht to byd thar hardyly
The cummyng off thar ennymys,
Bot thai wald apon nakyn wys
Ische till assaile thaim in fechting
Till coveryt war the nobill king,
Bot and othir wald thaim assailye
Thai wald defend vailye que vailye.
And quhen the erlis cumpany
Saw that thai wrocht sa wisely
That thai thar strenth schupe to defend,
Thar archeris furth to thaim thai send
To bykkyr thaim and men off mayn,
And thai send archeris thaim agayne
That bykkyrryt thaim sa sturdely
Till thai off the erlis party
Intill thar bataill dryvyn war.
Thre dayis on this wys lay thai thar
And bykkyryt thaim everilk day
Bot thar bowmen the war had ay.
And quhen the kingis cumpany
Saw thar fayis befor thaim ly
That ilk day wox ma and ma,
And thai war quhone and stad war sua
That thai had na thing for till eyt
Bot giff thai travaillit it to get,
Tharfor thai tuk consale into hy
That thar wald thai na langer ly
Bot hald thar way quhar thai mycht get
To thaim and tharis vittaillis and mete.

[The king withdraws from Slioch]

In a littar the king thai lay
And redyit thaim and held thar way
That all thar fayis mycht thaim se,
Ilk man buskyt him in his degre
To fycht giff thai assaillyt war.
In myddis thaim the king thai bar
And yeid about him sarraly
And nocht full gretly thaim gan hy.
The erle and thai that with him war
Saw that thai buskit thaim to far,
And saw how with sa litill effray
Thai held furth with the king thar way
Redy to fycht quha wald assaile.
Thar hartis begouth all to faile
And in pes lete thaim pas thar way
And till thar housis hame went thai.

[The king goes to Strathbogie then to Inverurie]The erle his way tuk t

o Bouchane,
And Schyr Edward the Bruce is gane
Rycht to Strabolghy with the king
And sua lang thar maid sojorning
Till he begouth to covyr and ga,
And syne thar wayis gan thai ta
Till Innerroury straucht agane
For thai wald ly into the plane,
The wynter sesone, for vittaile
Intill the plane mycht thaim nocht faile.
The erle wyst that thai war thar
And gaderyt a mengne her and thar.
Brechyne and Mowbray and thar men
All till the erle assemblyt then
And war a full gret cumpany
Off men arayit jolyly.
Till Auld Meldrum thai yeid the way
And thar with thar men logit thai
Befoir Yhule evyn a nycht but mar,
A thousand trow I weile thai war.
Thai logyt thaim all thar that nycht
And on the morn quhen day wes lycht
The lord off Brechyn Schyr Davy
Is went towart Innerroury
To luk gyff he on ony wys
Mycht do skaith till his ennymys,
And till the end off Innerroury
Come ridand sa sodanly
That off the kingis men he slew
A part, and other sum thaim withdrew
And fled thar way towart the king
That with the maist off his gadryng
On the yond half Doun wes than lyand.

[Preparation for battle]

And quhen men tauld him tithand
How Schyr Davy had slayn his men
His hors in hy he askyt then
And bad his men all mak thaim yar
Into gret hy, for he wald far
To bargane with his ennymys.
With that he buskyt for to rys
That wes nocht all weill coveryt then.
Then said sum off his preve men,
'Quhat think ye thusgat to far
To fycht and nocht yeit coveryt ar.'
'Yhis,' said the king, 'withoutyn wer,
Thar bost has maid me haile and fer,
For suld na medicyne sa sone
Haiff coveryt me as thai haiff done.
Tharfor, sa God himself me se,
I sall othir haiff thaim or thai me.'
And quhen his men has hard the king
Set him sa hale for the fechting,
Off his coveryng all blyth thai war
And maid thaim for the battaill yar.

[The battle of Old Meldrum]

The nobill king and his mengye
That mycht weile ner sevin hunder be
Towart Auld Meldrum tuk the way
Wuhar the erle and his menye lay.
The discurrouris saw thaim cummand
With baneris to the wynd wavand
And yeid to thar lord in hy
That gert arme hys men hastely
And thaim arayit for battaile,
Behind thaim set thai thar merdale
And maid gud sembland for to fycht.
The king come on with mekill mycht
And thai abaid makand gret fayr
Till thai ner at assembling wayr,
Bot quhen thai saw the nobill king
Cum stoutly on foroutyn fenyeing
A litill on bridill thai thaim withdrew,
And the king that rycht weill knew
That thai war all discumfyt ner
Pressyt on thaim with his baner
And thai withdrew mar and mar.
And quhen the small folk thai had thar
Saw thar lordis withdraw them sua
Thai turnyt the bak all and to-ga
And fled all scalyt her and thar.
The lordis that yeyt togydder war
Saw that thar small folk war fleand
And saw the king stoutly cummand,
Thai war ilkane abaysit swa
That thai the bak gave and to-ga,
A litill stound samyn held thai
And syne ilk man has tane his way.
Fell never men sa foule myschance
Eftre sa sturdy contenance
For quhen the kingis cumpany
Saw that thai fled sa foulyly
Thai chasyt thaim with all thair mayn
And sum thai tuk and sum has slayn.
The remanand war fleand ay,
Quha had gud hors gat best away.
Till Ingland fled the erle of Bouchquhane
Shyr Jhon Mowbray is with him gane
And war resett with the king,
Bot thai had bath bot schort lesting
For thai deyt sone eftre syne.
And Schyr David off Brechyne
Fled till Brechyne his awine castell
And warnyst it bath fayr and weill,
Bot the erle of Atholl, Davy,
His sone that wes in Kildromy
Come syne and him assegyt thar,
And he that wald hald were ne mar
Na bargane with the nobile king
Come syne his man with gud treting.

[The ravaging of Buchan; the taking of Forfar Castle]

Now ga we to the king agayne
That off his victory wes rycht fayn,
And gert his men bryn all Bowchane
Fra end till end and sparyt nane,
And heryit thaim on sic maner
That eftre weile fyfty yer
Men menyt the herschip off Bouchane.
The king than till his pes has tane
The north cuntreys that humbly
Obeysyt till his senyoury
Sua that benorth the Month war nane
Then thai his men war everilkan,
His lordschip wox ay mar and mar.
Towart Angus syne gan he far
And thocht sone to mak all fre
That wes on the north halff the Scottis se.
The castell off Forfayr wes then
Stuffyt all with Inglismen,
Bot Philip the Forestar of Platane
Has off his freyndis with him tane
And with leddrys all prevely
Till the castell he gan him hy
And clam up our the wall off stane
And swagate has the castell tane
Throu faute off wach with litill pane,
And syne all that he fand has slayne
Syne yauld the castell to the king
That maid him rycht gud rewarding,
And syne gert brek doun the wall
And fordyd well and castell all.

[The king goes to Perth and besieges it]

Quhen that the castell off Forfar
And all the towris tumblyt war
Down till the erd as Ik haiff tauld
The king that wycht wes wys and bauld
That thocht that he wald mak all fre
Apon the northhalff the Scottis se
Till Perth is went with all his rout
And umbeset the toun about
And till it a sege has set.
Bot quhill it mycht haiff men and met
It mycht nocht but gret payne be tane
For all the wall wes then of stane
And wycht towris and hey-standand,
And that tyme war tharin dwelland
Muschet and als Olyfard,
Thai twa the toun had all in ward
And off Straitherne als the erle wes thar,
Bot his sone and off his men war
Without intill the kingis rowt.
Thar wes oft bekering styth and stout
And men slayne apon ilk party,
Bot the gud king that all wytty
Wes in his dedis everilkane
Saw the wallis sa styth off stane
And saw defens that thai gan ma
And how the toun wes hard to ta
With opyn sawt strenth or mycht.
Tharfor he thocht to wyrk with slycht,
And in all tyme that he thar lay
He spyit and slely gert assay
Quhar at the dyk schaldest was,
Till at the last he fand a place
That men mycht till thar schuldris wad.
And quhen he that place fundyn had
He gert his men busk ilkane
Quhen sex woukis off the sege war gane,
And tursyt thar harnes halyly
And left the sege all opynly
And furth with all his folk gan fayr
As he wald do tharto no mayr.
And thai tha war within the toun
Quhen thai to fayr sa saw him boun
Thai schoutit him and skornyn mad,
And he furth on his wayis rad
As he ne had will agayne to turn
Na besyd thaim mak sojourn.

[The assault on Perth]

Bot in aucht dayis nocht-forthi
He gert mak leddrys prevely
That mycht suffice till his enent,
And in a myrk nycht syne is went
Toward the toun with his menye
Bath hors and knafis all left he
Fer fra the toun, and syne has tane
Thair ledderis and on fut ar gane
Towart the toun all prevely.
Thai hard na wachys spek na cry
For thai war within may-fall
As men that dred nocht slepand all.
Thai haid na dreid then off the king
For thai off him herd na thing
All thai thre dayis befor or mar,
Thairfor sekyr and traist thai war.
And quhen the king thaim hard nocht ster
He was blyth on gret maner,
And his ledder in hand gan ta
Ensample till his men to ma,
Arayit weill in all his ger
Schot in the dik and with his sper
Taistyt till he it our-woud,
Bot till his throt the watyr stud.
That tyme wes in his cumpany
Aknycht off France wycht and hardy,
And quhen he in the watyr sua
Saw the king pas and with him ta
His ledder unabasytly,
He saynyt him for the ferly
And said, 'A, lord, quhat sall we say
Off our lordis off Fraunce that thai
With gud morsellis fayrcis thar pawnce
And will bot ete and drink and dawnce
Quhen sic a knycht and sa worthy
As this throu his chevalry
Into sic perell has him set
To win a wrechyt hamillet.'
With that word to the dik he ran
And our efter the king he wan,
And quhen the kingis menye saw
Thar lord out-our intill a thraw
Thai passyt the dik and but mar let
Thar leddrys to the wall thai set
And to clymb up fast pressyt thai,
Bot the gud king as I herd say
Was the secund man tuk the wall
And bad thar till his mengye all
War cummyn up in full gret hy.

[The king takes Perth; his treatment of the townsfolk]

Yeit than rais nother noyis na cry,
Bot sone efter thai noyis maid
That off thaim fyrst persaving had
Swa that the cry rais throu the toun,
Bot he that with his men wes boun
Till assaill to thte toun is went
And the maist off his menye sent
All scalyt throu the toun, bot he
Held with himselvyn a gret mengne
Sa that he moucht be ay purvayit
To defend giff he war assayit.
Bot thai that he send throu the toun
Put to sa gret confusioun
Thar fayis that in beddis war
Or scalyt fleand her and thar
That or the sone rais thai had tane
Thar fayis or discumfyt ilkane.
The wardanys bath tharin war tane,
And Malice off Straithern is gane
Till his fadyr the Erle Malice
And with strenth tuk him and his,
Syne for his sak the noble king
Gave him his in governyng.
The lave that ran out-throu the toun
Sesyt to thaim into gret fusoun
Men and armyng and marchandis
And other gud on syndry wys,
Quhill thai that er war pour and bar
Off that gud rych and mychty war,
Bot thar wes few slayne for the king,
That thaim had gevyn in commanding
On gret payne that thai suld slay nane
That but gret bargane mycht be tane.
That thai war kynd to the countre
He wyst and off thaim had pite.

[The king controls Scotland north of the Forth]

On this maner the toun wes tane
And syne towris everilkane
And wallis gert he tumble down.
He levyt nocht about that town
Towr standand na stane na wall
That ne haly gert stroy thaim all,
And presonerys that thar tuk he
He send quhar thai mycht haldyn be,
And till his pes tuk all the land.
Wes nane that durst him than withstand
Apon northhalff the Scottis se,
All obeysyt till his majeste
Outane the lord of Lorn and thai
Off Arghile that wald with him ga.
He held him ay agayne the king
And hatyt him atour all thing,
Bot yete or all the gamyn ga
I trow weill that the king sall ta
Vengeance off his gret cruelte,
And that him sar repent sall he
That he the king contraryit ay,
May-fall quhen he it mend na may.

[Edward Bruce's reputation; he goes to Galloway]

The kingis broder, quhen the toun
Wes takyn thus and dongyn doun,
Schyr Edward that wes sa worthy
Tuk with him a gret cumpany
And tuk his gayt till Galloway,
For with his men he wald assay
Giff he mycht recover that land
And wyn it fra Inglismennys hand.
This Schyr Edward forsuth Ik hycht
Wes off his hand a noble knycht
And in blythnes suete and joly,
Bot he wes outrageous hardy
And of sa hey undretaking
That he haid never yeit abaysyng
Off multitud off men, forthi
He discumfyt commounly
Mony with quhone, tharfor had he
Out-over his peris renomme.
And quha wald rehers all the deid
Off his hey worschip and manheid
Men mycht a mekill romanys mak,
And nocht-forthi I think to tak
On hand Off him to say sum thing
Bot nocht tende part his travalyn.
This gud knycht that I spek off her
With all the folk that with him wer
Weill sone to Galloway cummyn is,
All that he fand he makyt his
And ryotyt gretly the land.
Bot than in Galloway war wonnand
Schyr Ingrahame the Umfravill that wes
Renommyt off sa hey prowes
that he off worschippassyt the rowt,
Tharfor he gert ay ber about
Apon a sper a rede bonet
Into takyn that he wes set
Into the hycht off chevalry,
And off Saynct Jhone als Schyr Aymry.

[The battle by the Cree]

Thir twa the land had in stering,
And quhen thai hard off the cummyng
Off Schyr Edward that sa playnly
Oure-raid the land, thare in gret hy
Thai assemblyt all thar mengne,
I trow tuelf hunder thai mycht be.
Bot he with fewar folk thaim met
Besyd Cre and sa hard thaim set
With hard battaill and stalwart fycht
That he thaim all put to the flycht
And slew twa hunder wrill and ma,
And the chyftanys in hy gan ta
Thar way to Buttill for to be
Thar resavyt to sawfte,
And Schyr Edward thaim chasit fast,
Bot till the castell at the last
Gat Schyr Ingrahame and Schyr Amery,
Bot the best off thar cumpany
Left ded behind thaim in the place.
And quhen Schyr Edward saw the chace
Wes falyt he gert seys the pray
And sua gret cattell had away
That it war wonder for to se.
Out of Buttill thai saw how he
Gert his men dryve with him thar pray
Bot na let tharin mycht thai.
Throu his chevalrous chevalry
Galloway wes stonayit gretumly
And he dowtyt for his bounte.
Sum off the men off the countre
Cum till his pes and maid him aith.
Bot Schyr Amery that had the skaith
Off the bargane I tauld off er,
Raid till Ingland till purches ther
Off armyt men gret cumpany
To veng him off the velany
That Schyr Edward that noble knycht
Him did by Cre into the fycht.
Off gud men he assemblit thar
Weill fyften hunder men and mar
That war rycht of gud renowne.
His way with all that folk tuk he,
And in the land all prevely
Entryt with tha chevalry
Thynkand Schyr Edward to suppris
Giff that he moucht on ony wis
For he thocht he wald him assaile
Or that he left in playn bataill.

[In a second encounter Edward Bruce defeats a much larger force]

Now may ye her off gret ferly
And off rycht hey chevalry,
For Schyr Edward into the land
Wes with his mengne rycht ner-hand,
And in the mornyng rycht arly
Herd the countre men mak cry
And had wyttryng off thar cummyng.
Than buskyt he him but delaying
And lapp on hors deliverly,
He had than in toute fyfty
All apon gud hors armyt weill,
His small folk gert he ilk-deill
Withdraw thaim till a strait thar-by,
And he raid furth with his fyfty.
A knycht that then was in his rowt
Worthi and wycht stalwart and stout
Curtais and fayr and off gud fame
Schyr Alane off Catkert be name
Tauld me this taile as I sall tell.
Gret myst into the mornyng fell
Sa thai mycht nocht se thaim by
For myst a bow-draucht fullely.
Sa hapnyt that thai fand the trais
Quhar at the rowt furth passyt wais
Off thair fayis that forouth raid.
Schyr Edward that gret yarnyn had
All tymys to do chevalry
With all his rout in full gret hy
Folowyt the trais quhar gane war thai,
And befor mydmorne off the day
The myst wox cler all sodanly
And than he and his cumpany
War nocht a bowdraucht fra the rout.
than schot thai on thaim with a schout,
For gyff thai fled thai wyst that thai
Suld nocht weill feyrd part get away,
Tharfor in aventur to dey
He wald him put or he wald fle.
And quhen the Inglis cumpany
Saw on thaim cum sa sodanly
Sik folk foroutyn abaysyng
Thai war stonayt for effrayng,
And the tother but mar abaid
Swa hardely amang thaim raid
That fele off thaim till erd thai bar.
Stonayit sa gretly than thai war
Throu the force off that fyrst assay
That thai war intill gret effray,
And wend be fer thai had bene ma
For that thai war assailit sua.
Quhen thai had thyrlyt thaim hastily
Than Schyr Edwardis cumpany
Set stoutly in the heid agayne,
And at that cours borne doune and slayn
War off thar fayis a gret party
That thai effrayit war sa gretly
That thsi war scalyt gretly then.
And quhen Schyr Edward and his men
Saw thaim intill sa evill aray
The thrid tyme on thaim prekyt thai,
And thai that saw thaim sa stouly
Come on dred thaim sa gretumly
That all thar rowt bath les and mar
Fled prekand scalyt her and thar.
Wes nane amang thaim sa hardy
To bid, bot all comonaly
Fled to warand, and he gan chas
That wilfull to distroy thaim was
And sum he tuk and sum war slayn,
Bot Schyr Amery with mekill payn
Eschapyt and his gat in gayn.
His men discumfyt war ilkane,
Sum tane, sum slayne, sum gat away,
It wes a rycht fayr poynt perfay.

[A comment on Edward Bruce in Galloway]

Lo! how hardyment tane sa sudandly
And drevyn to the end scharply
May ger oftsys unlikly thingis
Cum to rycht fayr and gud endingis
As it fell into this cas her.
For hardyment withoutyn wer
Wan fyften hunder with fyfty
Quhar ay for ane thar wes thretty,
And twa men ar a mannys her,
Bot ure thaim led on swilk maner
That thai discumfyt war ilkane.
Schyr Amery hame his gat is gane
Rycht blyth that he swa gat away,
I trow he sall nocht mony day
Haiff will to werray that countre,
With-thi Schyr Edward tharin be.
And he dwelt furth into the land
Thaim that rebell war werrayand,
And in a yer sa werrayit he
That he wane quyt that countre
Till his broderys pes the king.
Bot that wes nocht but hard fechting,
For in that tyme thar him befell
Mony fayr poynt as Ik herd tell
The quhilk that ar nocht writyn her,
Bot I wate weile that in that yer
Thretten castellis with strenth he wan
And ourcome mony a mody man.
Quha-sa off him the south will reid,
Had he had mesure in his deid
I trow that worthyar then he
Mycht nocht in his tym fundyn be
Outakyn his broder anerly,
To quham into chevalry
Lyk wes nane in his day,
For he led him with mesur ay,
And with wyt his chevalry
He governyt sa worthily
That he oft full unlikly thing
Broucht rycht weill to gud ending.

[Douglas in the Forest surrounds and takes enemy Scots in a house]

In all this tyme James of Douglas
In the Forest travaland was,
And it throu hardiment and slycht
Occupyit all magre the mycht
Off his fell fayis, the-quhether thai
Set him full oft in full hard assay,
Bot oft throu wyt and throu bounte
His purpos to gud end brocht he.
Intill that tyme him fell throu cas
On ane nycht as he travaland was
And thocht till haiff tane resting
In ane hous on the watyr off Lyne
And as he come with his mengne
Ner-hand the hous sua lysnyt he
And herd thair sawis ilke deill,
And be that he persavyt weill
That thai war strang men that thar
That nycht tharin herbryd war.
And as he thocht it fell per cas,
For off Bonkle the lord thar was
Alexander Stewart hat he
With other twa off gret bounte,
Thomas Randell off gret renowne
And Adam alsua off Gordoune,
That thar come with gret cumpany
And thocht into the Forest to ly
And occupy it throu thar mycht,
And with travaill and stalwart fycht
Chace Douglas out of that countre.
Bot otherwayis then yeid the gle
For quhen James had wittering
That strang men had taken herbryng
In the place that he schup him to ly
He to the hous went hastily
And umbeset it all about.
Quhen thai within hard swilk a rout
About the hous thai rais in hy
And tuk thar ger rycht hastily
And schot furth fra thai harnasyt war.
Thar fayis thaim met with wapnys bar
And assaylit rycht hardely
And thai defendyt douchtely
With all thar mycht, till at the last
Thar fayis pressyt thaim sa fast
That thar folk failyt thaim ilkane.
Thomas Randell thar wes tane
And Alexander Stewart alsua
Woundyt in a place or twa.
Adam of Gordoun fra the fycht
Quhat throu his strenth and his mycht
Eschapyt and ser off thar men,
Bot thai that war arestyt then
War off thar taking wondre wa,
Bot neidlingis behovit it be sua.

[Thomas Randolph upbraids the king]

That nycht the gud lord off Douglas
Maid to Schyr Alysander that was
His emys sone rycht glaidsome cher,
Sua did he als withoutyn wer
Till Thomas Randell for that he
Wes to the king in ner degre
Off blud, for his sistre him bar,
And on the morne foroutyn mar
Towart the noble king he raid
And with him bath thai twa he haid.
The king off his present wes blyth
And thankyt him weill fele syth,
And till his nevo gan he say,
'Thou has ane quhill renyid thi fay,
Bot thou reconsalit now mon be.'
Then till the king answerit he
And said, 'Ye chasty me, bot ye
Aucht bettre chastyt for to be,
For sene ye werrayit the king
Off Ingland, in playne fechtyng
Ye suld pres to derenyhe rycht
And nocht with cowardy na with slycht.'
The king said, 'Yeit may-fall it may
Cum or oucht lang to sic assay.
Bot sen thou spekys sa rudly
It is gret skyll men chasty
Thai proud wordis till that thou knaw
The rycht and bow it as thou aw.'
The king foroutyn mar delaying
Send him to be in ferme keping
Quhar that he allane suld be,
Nocht all apon his powste fre.

Book 10


Copyright Scotland from the Roadside 2019