John Barbour

Here you will find the Long Poem The Brus Book IV of poet John Barbour

The Brus Book IV

[English harshness to prisoners]

In Rawchryne leve we now the king
In rest foroutyn barganyng,
And off his fayis a quhile speke we
That throu thar mycht and thar powste
5 Maid sic a persecucioune
Sa hard, sa strayt and sa feloune
On thaim that till hym luffand wer
Or kyn or freynd on ony maner
That at till her is gret pite.
10 For thai sparyt off na degre
Thaim that thai trowit his freynd wer
Nother off the kyrk na seculer,
For off Glaskow Byschop Robert
And Marcus off Man thai stythly speryt
15 Bath in fetrys and in presoune,
And worthy Crystoll off Seytoun
Into Loudoun betresyt was
Throu a discipill off Judas
Maknab, a fals tratour that ay
20 Wes off his dwelling nycht and day
Quhom to he maid gud cumpany.
It wes fer wer than tratoury
For to betreys sic a persoune
So nobill and off sic renoune,
25 Bot tharoff had he na pite,
In hell condampnyt mocht he be.
For quhen he him betrasyt had
The Inglismen rycht with him rad
In hy in Ingland to the king,
30 That gert draw him and hede and hing
Foroutyn pete or mercy.
It wes gret sorow sekyrly
That so worthy a persoune as he
Suld on sic maner hangyt be,
35 Thusgat endyt his worthynes.
Off Crauford als Schyr Ranald wes
And Schyr Bryce als the Blar
Hangyt intill a berne in Ar.
The queyn and als Dame Marjory,
40 Hyr dochter that syne worthily
Wes coupillyt into Goddis band
With Walter Stewart off Scotland,
That wald on na wys langar ly
In the castell off Kyldromy
45 To byd a sege, ar ridin raith
With knychtis and squyeris bath
Throu Ros rycht to the gyrth off Tayne.
Bot that travaill thai maid in vayne,
For thai off Ros that wald nocht ber
50 For thaim na blayme na yeit danger
Out off the gyrth thame all has tayne
And syne has send thaim everilkane
Rycht intill Ingland to the king,
That gert draw all the men and hing,
55 And put the ladyis in presoune
Sum intill castell sum in dongeoun.
It wes gret pite for till her
The folk be troublyt on this maner.

[The siege of Kildrummy Castle]

That tyme wes in Kyldromy
60 Wyth men that wycht and hardy
Schyr Neile the Bruce and I wate weile
That thar the erle was off Adheill.
The castell weill vittalyt thai
And mete and fuell gan purvay
65 And enforcyt the castell sua
That thaim thocht na strenth mycht it ta.
And quhen it to the king was tauld
Off Ingland how thai schup till hauld
That castell, he wes all angry
70 And callyt his sone till hym in hy
The eldest and aperand ayr
A young bacheler and stark and fayr
Schyr Edward callyt off Carnauerane,
That wes the sterkast man of ane
75 That men fynd mycht in ony countre
Prynce of Walys that tyme wes he.
And he gert als call erlys twa
Glosyster and Harfurd war tha
And bad thaim wend into Scotland
80 And set a sege with stalwart hand
To the castell off Kyldromy.
And all the halderis halyly
He bad distroy for-owtyn ransoun
Or bryng thaim till him in presoune.
85 Quhen thai the commaundment had tane
Thai assemblyt ane ost onane
And to the castell went in hy
And it assegyt vigorusly
And mony tyme full hard assaylyt.
90 Bot for to tak it yeit thai failyt
For thai within war rycht worthy
And thaim defendyt douchtely
And ruschyt thair fayis oft agayne
Sum beft sum woundyt sum alslayne
95 And mony tymys ische thai wald
And bargane at the barrais hald
And wound thar fayis oft and sla.
Schortly thai thaim contenyt sua
That thai withoute disparyt war
100 And thocht till Ingland for to far
For thai sa styth saw the castell
And with that it wes warnyst weill
And saw the men defend thaim sua
That thai nane hop had thaim to ta,
105 Nane had thai done all that sesoune
Gyff it ne had bene fals tresoun
For thar with thaim wes a tratour.
A fals lourdane a losyngeour
Hosbarne to name maid the tresoun,
110 I wate nocht for quhat enchesoun
Na quham with he maid that conwyn
Bot as thai said that war within
He tuk a culter hate glowand
That yeit wes in a fyr brynnand
115 And went him to the mekill hall
That then with corn wes fyllyt all
And heych up in a mow it did,
Bot it full lang wes nocht thar hid
For men sayis oft that fyr na prid
120 But discovering may na man hid,
For the pomp oft the prid furth schawis
Or ellis the gret boist that it blawis,
Na thar may na man fyr sa covyr
Than low or rek sall it discovyr.
125 Sa fell it her, for fyr all cler
Son throu the thak-burd gan apper
Fyrst as a stern syne as a mone
And weill bradder tharefter sone
The fyr out syne in bles brast
130 And the rek rais rycht wondre fast.
The fyr our all the castell spred
That mycht na force of man it red.
Than thai within drew to the wall
That at that tyme wes bataillit all
135 Within rycht as it wes withoute