John Barbour

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

The Brus Book V

The king goes to Carrick; he upbraids Cuthbert] 

Thys wes in ver quhen wynter tid 
With his blastis hidwys to bid 
Was ourdryvyn and byrdis smale 
As turturis and the nychtyngale 
5 Begouth rycht sariely to syng 
And for to mak in thar singyng 
Swete notis and sounys ser 
And melodys plesand to her 
And the treis begouth to ma 
10 Burgeans and brycht blomys alsua 
To wyn the helynd of thar hevid 
That wykkyt wynter had thaim revid, 
And all gressys beguth to spryng. 
Into that tyme the nobill king 
15 With his flote and a few mengye 
Thre hunder I trow thai mycht be, 
Is to the se oute off Arane 
A litill forouth evyn gane. 
Thai rowit fast with all thar mycht 
20 Till that apon thaim fell the nycht 
That woux myrk apon gret maner 
Sua that thai wyst nocht quhar thai wer 
For thai na nedill had na stane, 
Bot rowyt alwayis intill ane 
25 Sterand all tyme apon the fyr 
That thai saw brynnand lycht and schyr. 
It wes bot aventur thaim led 
And thai in schort tyme sa thaim sped 
That at the fyr aryvyt thai 
30 And went to land but mair delay. 
And Cuthbert that has sene the fyr 
Was full of angyr and off ire, 
For he durst nocht do it away 
And wes alsua doutand ay 
35 That his lord suld pas to se. 
Tharfor thar cummyng waytit he 
And met thaim at thar aryving. 
He wes wele sone brocht to the kimg 
That speryt at him how he had done, 
40 And he with sar hart tauld him sone 
How that he fand nane weill luffand 
Bot all war fayis that he fand, 
And that the lord the Persy 
With ner thre hunder in cumpany 
45 Was in the castell thar besid 
Fullfillyt of dispyt and prid 
Bot ma than twa partis off his rowt 
War herberyt in the toune without, 
'And dyspytyt you mar, schyr king, 
50 Than men may dispyt ony thing.' 
Than said the king in full gret ire, 
'Tratour, quhy maid thou than the fyr?' 
'A schyr,' said he, 'Sa God me se 
The fyr wes nevyr maid for me, 
55 Na or the nycht I wyst it nocht, 
Bot fra I wyst it weill I thocht 
That ye and haly your menye 
On hy suld put you to the se, 
For-thi I come to mete you her 
60 To tell perellys that may aper.' 

[The king decides to stay to attack Percy's men in a village by Turnberry] 

The king wes off his spek angry 
And askyt his pryve men in hy 
Quhat at thaim thocht wes best to do. 
Schyr Edward fryst answert tharto 
65 His brodyr that wes sua hardy, 
And said, 'I say you sekyrly 
Thar sall na perell that may be 
Dryve me eftsonys to the se. 
Myne aventur her tak will I 
70 Quhethir it be esfull or angry.' 
'Brother,' he said, 'sen thou will sua 
It is gud that we samyn ta 
Dissese or ese or payne or play 
Eftyr as God will us purvay. 
75 And sen men sayis that the Persy 
Myn heritage will occupy, 
And his menye sa ner us lyis 
That us dispytis mony wys, 
Ga we and venge sum off the dispyte, 
80 And that may we haiff done als tite 
For thai ly traistly but dreding 
Off us or off our her-cummyng, 
And thocht we slepand slew thaim all 
Repruff tharoff na man sall 
85 For werrayour na fors suld ma 
Quhether he mycht ourcum his fa 
Throu strenth or throu sutelte, 
Bot that gud faith ay haldyn be.' 
Quhen this wes said thai went thar way, 
90 And to the toune sone cummyn ar thai 
Sa prevely but noyis making 
That nane persavyt thar cummyng. 
Thai skalyt throu the toun in hy 
And brak up duris sturdely 
95 And slew all that thai mycht ourtak, 
And thai that na defence mocht mak 
Full petously gan rar and cry, 
And thai slew thaim dispitously 
As thai that war in full gud will 
100 To venge the angyr and the ill 
That thai and thairis had thaim wrocht. 
Thai with sa feloun will thaim soucht 
That thai slew thaim everilkan 
Owtane Makdowell him allan 
105 That eschapyt throu gret slycht 
And throu the myrknes off the nycht. 
In the castell the lord the Persy 
Hard weill the noyis and the cry, 
Sa did the men that within wer 
110 And full effraytly gat thar ger, 
Bot off thaim wes nane sa hardy 
That ever ischyt fourth to the cry. 
In sic effray thai baid that nycht 
Till on the morn that day wes lycht, 
115 And than cesyt into party 
The noyis the slauchtyr and the cry. 
The king gert be departyt then 
All hale the reff amang the men 
And dwellyt all still thar dayis thre. 
120 Syk hansell to that fokk gaiff he 
rycht in the fyrst begynnyng 
Newlingis at his aryvyng. 

[A kinswoman gives him news and forty men] 

Quhen that the king and his folk war 
Aryvyt as I tauld you ar, 
125 Aquhile in Karryk leyndyt he 
To se quha freynde or fa wald be, 
Bot he fand litill tendyrnes, 
And nocht-forthi the puple wes 
Enclynyt till him in party, 
130 Bot Inglismen sa angrely