John Barbour

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

The Brus Book VII

[The king escapes from the hound]

The king towart the wod is gane
Wery forswayt and will of wane
Intill the wod sone entryt he
And held doun towart a vale
5 Quhar throu the woid a watter ran.
Thidder in gret hy wend he than
And begouth for to rest him thar
And said he mycht no forthirmar.
His man said, 'Schyr, it may nocht be.
10 Abyd ye her ye sall son se
Fyve hunder yarnand you to sla,
And thai ar fele aganys us twa.
And sen we may nocht dele with mycht
Help us all that we may with slycht.'
15 The king said, 'Sen that thou will sua,
Ga furth, and I sall with the ga.
Bot Ik haiff herd oftymys say
That quha endlang a watter ay
Wald waid a bow-draucht he suld ger
20 Bathe the slouth-hund and his leder
Tyne the sleuth men gert him ta.
Prove we giff it will now do sa,
For war yone devillis hund away
I roucht nocht off the lave perfay.'
25 As he dyvisyt thai haiff doyn
And entryt in the watter sone
And held down endlang thar way,
And syne to the land yeid thai
And held thar way as thai did er.
30 And Jhone off Lorn with gret affer
Come with hys rout rycht to the place
Quhar that his fyve men slane was.
He menyt thaim quhen he thaim saw
And said eftre a litill thraw
35 That he suld veng thar bloude,
Bot otherwayis the gamyn youde.
Thar wald he mak na mar dwelling
Bot furth in hy folowit the king.
Rycht to the burn thai passyt war,
40 Bot the sleuth-hund maid styntyn thar
And waveryt lang tyme to and fra
That he na certane gate couth ga,
Till at the last that Jhon of Lorn
Persavyt the hund the slouth had lorn
45 And said, 'We haiff tynt this travaill.
To pas forthyr may nocht availe
For the void is bath braid and wid
And he is weill fer be this tid,
Tharfor is gud we turn agayn
50 And waist no mar travaill in vayne.'
With that relyit he his mengye
And his way to the ost tuk he.

[An alternative account of the escape]

Thus eschapyt the nobill king,
Bot sum men sayis this eschaping
55 Apon ane other maner fell
Than throu the wading, for thai tell
That the king a gud archer had,
And quhen he saw his lord sua stad
That he wes left sa anerly
60 He ran on sid alwayis him by
Till he into the woude wes gane.
Than said he till him selff allane
That he arest rycht thar wald ma
To luk giff he the hund mycht sla,
65 For giff the hund mycht lest in lyve
He wyst rycht weile that thai wald dryve
The kingis trace till thai him ta,
Than wyst he weile thai wald him sla.
And for bhe wald his lord succur
70 He put his liff in aventur,
And stud intill a busk lurkand
Till that the hund come at his hand
And with ane arow sone him slew
And throu the woud syne him withdrew.
75 Bot quhether this eschaping fell
As I tauld fyrst or I now tell,
I wate weill without lesing
That at the burn eschapyt the king.

[Three men with a wethertry to kill the king
and kill his foster-brother]

The king has furth his wayis tane,
80 And Jhon of Lorn agayne is gane
To Schyr Aymer that fra the chace
With his men repayryt was
That sped lytill in thar chassyng
Thoucht at thai maid gret folowing
85 Full egrely thai wan bot small,
Thar fayis ner eschapyt all.
Men sayis Schyr Thomas Randell than
Chassand the kingis baner wan,
Quharthrou in Ingland with the king
90 He had rycht gret price and loving.
Quhen the chasseris relyit war
And Jhon of Lorn had met thaim thar
He tauld Schyr Aymer all the cas,
How that the king eschapyt was
95 And how that he his fyve men slew
And syne to the wode him drew.
Quhen Schyr Aymer herd this, in hy
He sanyt him for the ferly
And said, 'He is gretly to prys,
100 For I knaw nane that liffand is
That at myscheyff gan help him sua.
I trow he suld be hard to sla
And he war bodyn evynly.'
On this wis spak Schyr Aymery,
105 And the gud king held furth his way
Betwix him and his man quhill thai
Passyt out throu the forest war.
Syne in the more thai entryt ar
That wes bathe hey and lang and braid,
110 And or thai halff it passyt had
Thai saw on syd the men cummand
Lik to lycht men and waverand,
Swerdis thai had and axiys als
And ane off thaim apon his hals
115 A mekill boundyn wether bar.
Thai met the king and halist him thar,
And the king tthaim thar hailsing yauld
And askyt thaim quhether thai wauld.
Thai said Robert the Bruys thai socht,
120 For mete with him giff that thai moucht
Thar dwelling with him wauld thai ma.
The king said, 'Giff that ye will sua,
Haldys furth your way with me
And I sall ger you sone him se.'
125 Thai persavyt be his speking
That he wes the selvyn Robert king,
And chaungyt contenance and late
And held nocht in the fyrst state,
For thai war fayis to the king
130 And thocht to cum into Sculking