John Barbour

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

The Brus Book VIII

[The king in Kyle]

The king fra Schyr Aymer wes gane
Gadryt his menye everilkan
And left bath woddis and montanys
And held hys way strak till the planys
5 For he wald fayne that end war maid
Off that that he begunnyn had,
And he wyst weill he mycht nocht bring
It to gud end but travalling.
To Kyle went he fryst and that land
10 He maid all till him obeysand,
The men maist force come till his pes.
Syne efterwart or he wald ses
Of Conyngayme the maist party
He gert held till his senyoury.
15 In Bothweill then Schyr Aymer was
That in hys hart gret angre has
For thai off Cunyngame and Kile
That war obeysand till him quhile
Left Inglismennys fewte.
20 Tharoff fayne vengyt wald he be,
And send Philip the Mowbray
With a thousand as Ik herd say
Off men that war in his leding
To Kile for to werray the king.

[Douglas defeats Sir Philip Mowbray at Edirford]

25 Bot James of Douglas that all tid
Had spyis out on ilka sid
Wyst off thar cummyng and that thai
Wald hald doune Makyrnokis way.
He tuk with him all prevely
30 Thaim that war off his cumpany
That war fourty withoutyn ma,
Syne till a strait place gan he ga
That is in Makyrnokis way,
The Edirford it hat perfay,
35 It lyis betwix marrais twa
Quhar that na hors on lyve may ga.
On the south halff quhar James was
Is ane upgang, a narow pas,
And on the north halff is the way
40 Sa ill as it apperis today.
Douglas with thaim he with him had
Enbuschyt him and thaim abaid,
He mycht weile fer se thar cummyng
Bot thai mycht se of hym na thing.
45 Thai baid in buschement all the nycht,
And quhen the sone was schynand brycht
Thai saw in bataillyng cum arayit
The vaward with baner displayit,
And syne sone the remanand
50 Thai saw weile ner behind cummand.
Then held thai thaim still and preve
Till the formast off that mengye
War entryt in the ford thaim by,
Then schot thai on thaim with a cry
55 And with wapnys that scharply schar
Sum in the ford thai bakwart bar,
And sum with arowis barblyt braid
Sa gret martyrdome on thaim has maid
That thai gan draw to voyd the place,
60 Bot byhynd thaim sa stoppyt was
The way that thai fast mycht nocht fle,
And that gert mony off thaim de,
For thai on na wys mycht away
Bot as thai come bot giff that thai
65 Wald throu thar fayis hald the gat,
Bot that way thocht thaim all to hat.
Thar fayis met thaim sa sturdely
And contenyt the fycht sa hardily
That thai sa dredand war that thai
70 That fyrst mycht fle fyrst fled away,
And quhen the rerward saw thaim sua
Discumfyt and thar wayis ga
Thai fled on fer and held thar way.

[The flight of Sir Philip Mowbray to Inverkip]

Bot Schyr Philip the Mowbray
75 That with the formast ridand was
That entryt wes in the place,
Quhen that he saw how he wes stad
Throu the gret worschip that he had
With spuris he strak the steid off pryce
80 And magre all his ennymys
Throu the thikkest off thaim he raid,
And but challance eschapyt had
Ne war ane hynt him by the brand,
Bot he the gud steid that wald nocht stand
85 Lansyt furth deliverly.
Bot the tother sa stalwartly
Held that the belt braist off the brand
And swerd and belt left in hys hand,
And he but swerd his wayis raid
90 Weill otouth thaim and thair abaid,
And beheld how that his menye fled
And how his fayis clengyt the steid
That war betwix him and his men.
Tharfor furth the wayis tuk he then
95 To Kylmarnok and Kilwynnyne
And till Ardrossane eftre syne,
Syne throu the Largis him allane
Till Ennirkyp the way has tane
Rycht to the castell that wes then
100 Stuffyt all with Inglismen
That him resaiffyt in daynte,
And fra thai wyst howgat that he
Sa fer had rydin him allane
Throu thaim that war his fayis ilkan
105 Thai prisyt him full gretumly
And lovyt fast his chevalry.

[The reactions of Valence and King Robert]

Schyr Philip thus eschapyt was,
And Douglas yet wes in the place
Quhar he sexty has slayne and ma,
110 The layff fouly thar gat gan ga
And fled to Bothwell hame agayne
Quhar Schyr Aymer wes na thing fayn
Quhen he herd tell on that maner
That his mengne discumfyt wer.
115 Bot quhen to King Robert wes tauld
How that the Douglas that wes bauld
Vencussyt sa fele with fewe menye
Rycht joyfull in his hart wes he,
And all his menye confortyt war
120 For thaim thocht weille bath les and mar
That thai suld less thar fayis dreid
Sen thar purpos sa with thaim yeid.

[Valence challenges the king to open battle at Loudoun hill]

The king lay in Galliston
That is evyn rycht anent Loudoun
125 And till his pes tuk the cuntre.
Quhen Schyr Aymer and his menye
Hard how he ryotyt the land
And how that nane durst him withstand
He wes intill hi