John Barbour

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

The Brus Book X

[Preparations for battle against John of Lorn]
Quhen Thomas Randell on this wis
Wes takyn as Ik her devys
And send to dwell in gud keping
For spek that he spak to the king,
The gud king that thocht on the scaith
The dispyt and felny bath
That Jhone off Lorne had till him doyn
His ost assemblyt he then sone
And towart Lorn he tuk the way
With his men intill gud aray.
Bot Jhone off Lorn off his cummyng
Lang or he come had wittering,
And men on ilk sid gadryt he
I trow twa thousand thai mycht be
And send thaim for to stop the way
Quhar the gud king behovyt away,
And that wes in an evill plas
That sa strayt and sa narow was
That twasum samyn mycht nocht rid
In sum place off the hillis sid.
The nethyr halff was peralous
For schor crag hey and hydwous
Raucht to the se doun fra the pas,
On athyr halff the montane was
Sua combrous hey and stay
That it was hard to pas that way.
I trow nocht that in all Bretane
Ane heyar hill may fundyn be.
Thar Jhone off Lorne gert his menye
Enbuschyt be abovyn the way,
For giff the king held thar away
He thocht he suld sone vencussyt be,
And himselff held him apon the se
Weill ner the pais with his galayis.
Bot the king that in all assayis
Wes fundyn wys and avisé
Persavyt rycht weill thar sutelte,
And that he neid that gait suld ga.
His men departyt he in twa
And till the gud lord off Douglas
Quham in herbryd all worschip was
He taucht the archerys everilkane
And this gud lord with him has tane
Schyr Alysander Fraser the wycht,
And Wylyam Wysman a gud knycht
And with thaim syne Schyr Androw Gray.
Thir with thar mengne held thar way
And clamb the hill deliverly
And or thai off the tother party
Persavyt thaim thai had ilkane
The hycht abovyne thar fayis tane.

[The battle beneath Ben Cruachan]

The king and his men held thar way,
And quhen intill the pas war thai
Entryt the folk of Lorne in hy
Apon the king raysyt the cry
And schot and tumblit on him stanys
Rycht gret and hevy for the nanys,
Bot thai scaith nocht gretly the king
For he had thar in his leding
Men that lycht and deliver war
And lycht armouris had on thaim thar
Sua that thai stoutly clamb the hill
And lettyt thar fayis to fulfill
The maist part of thar felny.
And als apon the tother party
Come James of Douglas and his rout
And schot apon thaim with a schout
And woundyt thaim with arowis fast,
And with thar swerdis at the last
Thai ruschyt amang thaim hardely,
For thai of Lorn full manlely
Gret and apert defens gan ma.
Bot quhen thai saw that thai war sua
Assaylit apon twa partys
And saw weill that thar ennemys
Had all the fayrer off the fycht
In full gret hy thai tuk the flycht,
And thai a felloun chas gan ma
And slew all that thai mycht ourta,
And thai that mycht eschap but delay
Rycht till ane water held thar way
That ran doun be the hillis syd.
It was sa styth and depe and wid
That men in na place mycht it pas
Bot at ane btyg that beneuth thaim was.
To that brig held thai straucht the way
And to brek it fast gan assay,
Bot thai that chassyt quhen thai thaim saw
Mak arest, but dred or aw
Thai ruschyt apon thaim hardely
And discumfyt thaim uterly,
And held the brig haile quhill the king
With all the folk off his leding
Passyt the brig all at thar ese.
To Jhone off Lorne it suld displese
I trow, quhen he his men mycht se
Oute off his schippis fra the se
Be slayne and chassyt in the hill,
That he mycht set na help thartill,
For it angrys als gretumly
To gud hartis that ar worthi
To se thar fayis fulfill thhar will
As to thaim selff to thoke the ill.

[The taking of Dunstaffnage and the surrender of Alexander of Argyll]

At sic myscheiff war thai of Lorn,
`For fele the lyvys thar has lorne
And other sum war fled thar way.
The king in hy gert sese the pray
Off all the land, quhar men mycht se
Sa gret habundance come of fe
That it war wonder to behauld.
The king that stout wes stark and bauld
Till Dunstaffynch rycht sturdely
A sege set and besily
Assaylit the castell it to get,
And in schort tym he has thaim set
In swilk thrang that tharin war than
That magre tharis he it wan,
And ane gud wardane tharin set
And betaucht hym bath men and met
Sua that he lang tyme thar mycht be
Magre thaim all off that countre.
Schyr Alerandir off Arghile that saw
The king dystroy up clene and law
His land send treyteris to the king
And cum his man but mar duelling,
And he resavit him till his pes,
Bot Jhone off Lorne his sone yeit wes
Rebell as he wes wont to be
And fled with schippis on the se,
Bot thai that left apon the land
War to the king all obeysand.
And he thar hostage all has tane
And towart Perth agayne is gane
To pla