The Brus Book III Poem by John Barbour
The lord of Lorn attacks the king's men]
The lord off Lorne wonnyt thar-by
That wes capitale ennymy
To the king for his emys sak
Jhon Comyn, and thocht for to tak
5 Vengeance apon cruell maner.
Quhen he the king wyst wes sa ner
He assemblyt his men in hy,
And had intill his cumpany
The barounys off Argyle alsua.
10 Thai war a thousand weill or ma
And come for to suppris the king
That weill wes war of thar cummyng.
Bot all to few with him he had
The-quhethir he bauldly thaim abaid,
15 And weill ost at thar fryst metyng
War layd at erd but recoveryng.
The kingis folk full weill thaim bar
And slew and fellyt and woundyt sar,
Bot the folk off the tother party
20 Faucht with axys sa fellyly,
For thai on fute war everilkane,
That thai feile off thar hors has slayne,
And till sum gaiff thai woundis wid.
James off Douglas wes hurt that tyd
25 And als Schyr Gilbert de le Hay.
The king his men saw in affray
And his ensenye can he cry
And amang thaim rycht hardyly
He rad that he thaim ruschyt all
30 And fele off thaim thar gert he fall.
Bot quhen he saw thai war sa feill
And saw thaim swa gret dyntis deill
He dred to tyne his folk, forthi
His men till him he gan rely
35 And said, 'Lordyngis, foly it war
Tyll us for till assembill mar,
For thai fele off our hors has slayn,
And giff yhe fecht with thaim agayn
We sall tyne off our small mengye
40 And our selff sall in perill be.
Tharfor me thynk maist avenand
To withdraw us us defendand
Till we cum out off thar daunger,
For our strenth at our hand is ner.'
45 Then thai withdrew thaim halely
Bot that wes nocht full cowartly
For samyn intill a sop held thai
And the king him abandonyt ay
To defend behind his mengye,
50 And throu his worschip sa wrouch he
That he reskewyt all the flearis
And styntyt swagat the chassaris
That nane durst out off batall chas,
For alwayis at thar hand he was.
55 Sa weile defendyt he his men
That quha-sa-ever had seyne him then
Prove sa worthely vasselage
And turn sa oft-sythis the visage
He suld say he aucht weill to be
60 A king off a gret reawté.
[Comparisons from Celtic and classical legends with the king's
defence of his men]
Quhen that the lord off Lorne saw
His men stand off him ane sik aw
That thai durst nocht folow the chase
Rycht angry in his hart he was,
65 And for wondyr that he suld swa
Stot thaim him ane but ma
He said, 'Me think Marthokys sone
Rycht as Golmakmorn was wone
To haiff fra Fyn all his mengne,
70 Rycht swa all his fra us has he.'
He set ensample thus mydlike,
The-quhethir he mycht mar manerlik
Lyknyt hym to Gaudifer de Larys
Quhen that the mychty Duk Betys
75 Assailyeit in Gadyrris the forrayours,
And quhen the king thaim maid rescours
Duk Betys tuk on him the flycht
That wald ne mar abid to fycht.
Bot Gaudifer the worthi
80 Abandonyt him so worthyly
For to reskew all the fleieris
And for to stonay the chasseris
That Alysander to erth he bar
And alsua did he Tholimar
85 And gud Coneus alsua
Danklyne alsua and othir ma,
Bot at the last thar slayne he wes.
In that failyeit the liklynes,
For the king full chevalrusly
90 Defendyt all his cumpany
And wes set in full gret danger
And yeit eschapyt haile and fer.
[The king kills the two Mac na Dorsair brothers and their fellow]
Twa brethir war in that land
That war the hardiest off hand
95 That war intill all that cuntre,
And thai had sworn iff thai mycht se
The Bruys quhar thai mycht him our-ta
That thai suld dey or then hym sla.
Thar surname wes Makyne Drosser,
100 That is al-so mekill to say her
As the Durwarth sonnys perfay.
Off thar covyne the thrid had thai
That wes rycht stout ill and feloune.
Quhen thai the king off gud renoune
105 Saw sua behind his mengne rid
And saw him torne sa mony tid,
Thai abaid till that he was
Entryt in ane narow place
Betwix a louch-sid and a bra
110 That wes sa strait Ik underta
That he mycht nocht weill turn in his sted.
Then with a will till him thai yede
And ane him by the bridill hynt,
Bot he raucht till him sic a dynt
115 That arme and schuldyr flaw him fra.
With that ane other gan him ta
Be the lege and his hand gan schute
Betwix the sterap and his fute,
And quhen the king feld thar his hand
120 In his sterapys stythly gan he stand
And strak with spuris the stede in hy,
And he lansyt furth delyverly
Swa that the tother failyeit fete,
And nocht-for-thi his hand wes yeit
125 Undyr the sterap magré his.
The thrid with full gret hy with this
Rycht till the bra-syd he yeid
And stert behynd hym on his sted.
The king wes then in full gret pres,
130 The-quhether he thocht as he that wes
In all hys dedys avisé
To do ane outrageous bounte,
And syne hyme that behynd him was
All magré his will him gan he ras
135 Fra behynd him, thocht he had sworn,
He laid hym evyn him beforn,
Syne with the swerd sic dynt hym gave
That he the heid till the harnys clave.
He rouschit doun off blud all rede
140 As he that stound feld off dede.
And then the king in full gret hy
Strak at the tothir vigorusly
That he efter his sterap drew
That at the fyrst strak he him slew.
145 On this wis him delyverit he
Off all thai felloun fayis thre.
[Mac Nachtan praises the king]
Quhen thai of Lorne has sene the king
Set in hym selff sa gret helping
And defendyt him sa manlely,
150 Wes nane amang thaim sa hardy
That durst assailye him mar in fycht,
Sa dred thai for his mekill mycht.
Thar wes a baroune Maknauchtan
That in his hart gret kep has tane
155 To the kingis chevalry
And prisyt him in hert gretly,
And to the lord off Lorne said he,
'Sekyrly now may ye se
Be tane the starkest pundelan
160 That evyr your lyfftyme ye saw tane,
For yone knycht throu his douchti deid
And thro his outrageous manheid
Has fellyt intill litill tyd
Thre men off mekill prid,
165 And stonayit all our mengye swa
That eftyr him dar na man ga,
And tournys sa mony tyme his stede
That semys off us he had na dred.'
Then gane the lord off Lorn say,
170 'It semys it likis ye perfay
That he slayis yongat our mengye.'
'Schyr,' said he, 'sa Our Lord me se,
To sauff your presence it is nocht swa,
Bot quhether-sa he be freynd or fa
175 That wynnys prys off chevalry
Men suld spek tharoff lelyly,
And sekyrly in all my tyme
Ik hard never in sang na ryme
Tell off a man that swa smertly
180 Eschevyt swa gret chevalry.'
Sic speking off the king thai maid,
And he eftyr his mengye raid
And intill saufte thaim led
Quhar he his fayis na-thing dred,
185 And thai off Lorne agayn ar gayn
Menand the scaith that thai haiff tayn.
[The king comforts his men with the example
of the recovery of Rome from Hannibal]
The king that nycht his wachis set
And gert ordayne that thai mycht et,
And bad conford to thaim tak
190 And at thar mychtis mery mak.
For disconford, as then said he,
Is the werst thing that may be,
For throu mekill disconforting
Men fallis oft into disparing,
195 And fra a man disparyt be
Then utraly vencusyt is he,
And fra the hart be discumfyt
The body is nocht worth a myt.
'Tharfor,' he said, 'atour all thing
200 Kepys you fra disparyng,
And think thouch we now harmys fele
That God may yeit releve us weill.
Men redys off mony men that war
Fer harder stad then we yhet ar
205 And syne Our Lord sic grace thaim lent
That thai come weill till thar entent.
For Rome quhilum sa hard wes stad
Quhen Hanniball thaim vencusyt had
That off ryngis with rich stane
210 That war off knychtis fyngeris tane
He send thre bollis to Cartage,
And syne to Rome tuk his viage
Thar to distroye the cite all.
And thai within bath gret and small
215 Had fled quhen thai saw his cummyng
Had nocht bene Scipio the king,
That or thai fled wald thaim haiff slayn,
And swagat turnyt he thaim agayn.
Syne for to defend the cite
220 Bath servandis and threllis mad he fre,
And maid thaim knychtis everilkane,
And syne has off the templis tane
The armys that thar eldrys bar,
In name off victory offeryt thar.
225 And quhen thai armyt war and dycht
That stalwart karlis war and wycht
And saw that thai war fre alsua,
Thaim thocht that thai had lever ta
The dede na lat the toun be tane,
230 And with commoune assent as ane
Thai ischit off the toune to fycht
Quhar Hannyball his mekill mycht
Aganys thaim arayit was.
Bot throu mycht off Goddis grace
235 It ranyt sa hard and hevyly
That thar wes nane sa hardy
That durst into that place abid,
Bot sped thaim intill hy to rid,
The ta part to thar pailyounys,
240 The tother part went in the toune is.
The rayne thus lettyt the fechtyn,
Sa did it twys tharefter syne.
Quhen Hanibal saw this ferly
With all his gret chevalry
245 He left the toune and held his way,
And syne wes put to sik assay
Throu the power off that cite
That his lyff and his land tynt he.
Be thir quheyne that sa worthily
250 Wane sik a king and sa mychty,
Ye may weill be ensampill se
That na man suld disparyt be,
Na lat his hart be vencusyt all
For na myscheiff that ever may fall,
255 For nane wate in how litill space
That God umquhile will send grace.
Had thai fled and thar wayis gane
Thar fayis swith the toune had tane.
Tharfor men that werrayand war
260 Suld set thar etlyng ever-mar
To stand agayne thar fayis mycht
Umquhile with strenth and quhile with slycht,
And ay thynk to cum to purpos,
And giff that thaim war set in chos
265 To dey or to leyff cowartly,
Thai suld erar dey chevalrusly.
[The king cites the example of Caesar]
Thusgat thaim comfort the king
And to comfort thaim gan inbryng
Auld storys off men that wer
270 Set intyll hard assayis ser
And that fortoun contraryit fast,
And come to purpos at the last.
Tharfor he said that thai that wald
Thar hartis undiscumfyt hald
275 Suld ay thynk ententily to bryng
All thar enpres to gud ending,
As quhile did Cesar the worthy
That traveillyt ay so besyly
With all his mycht folowing to mak
280 To end the purpos that he wald tak,
That hym thocht he had doyne rycht nocht
Ay quhill to do him levyt ocht.
Forthi gret thingis eschevyt he
As men may in his story se.
285 Men may se be his ythen will,
And it suld als accord to skill
That quha tais purpos sekyrly
And folowis it syne ententily
Forout fayntice or yheit faynding,
290 With-thi it be conabill thing,
Bot he the mar be unhappy
He sall eschev it in party,
And haiff he lyff-dayis weill may fall
That he sall eschev it all.
295 For-thi suld nane haff disparing
For till eschev a full gret thing,
For giff it fall he tharoff failye
The fawt may be in his travailye.
[Atholl asks to be left; the king sends him,
Neil Bruce and the ladies to Kildrummy]
He prechyt thaim on this maner
300 And fenyeit to mak better cher
Then he had mater to be fer,
For his caus yeid fra ill to wer,
Thai war ay in sa hard travaill,
Till the ladyis began to fayle
305 That mycht the travaill drey na mar,
Sa did other als that thar war.
The Erle Jhone wes ane off tha
Off Athole that quhen he saw sua
The king be discumfyt twys,
310 And sa feile folk agayne him rys,
And lyff in sic travaill and dout,
His hart begane to faile all-out
And to the king apon a day
He said, 'Gyff I durst you say,
315 We lyff into sa mekill dreid,
And haffis oftsys off met sic ned,
And is ay in sic travailling
With cauld and hunger and waking,
That I am sad off my selvyn sua
320 That I count nocht my liff a stra.
Thir angrys may I ne mar drey,
For thoucht me tharfor worthit dey
I mon sojourne, quharever it be.
Levys me tharfor par cheryte.'
325 The king saw that he sa wes failyt
And that he ik wes for-travaillyt.
He said, 'Schyr erle, we sall sone se
And ordayne how it best may be.
Quharever ye be, Our Lord you send
330 Grace fra your fais you to defend.'
With that in hy to him callyt he
Thaim that till him war mast preve.
Then amang thaim thai thocht it best
And ordanyt for the liklyest
335 That the queyne and the erle alsua
And the ladyis in hy suld ga
With Nele the Bruce till Kildromy,
For thaim thocht thai mycht sekyrly
Dwell thar quhill thai war vittaillit weile,
340 For swa stalwart wes the castell
That it with strenth war hard to get
Quhill that tharin war men and mete.
As thai ordanyt thai did in hy,
The queyne and all hyr cumpany
345 Lap on thar hors and furth thai far.
Men mycht haiff sene quha had bene thar
At leve-takyng the ladyis gret
And mak thar face with teris wet,
And knychtis for thar luffis sak
350 Bath bsich and wep and murnyng mak,
Thai kyssyt thar luffis at thar partyng.
The king umbethocht him off a thing,
That he fra thine on fute wald ga
And tak on fute bath weill and wa,
355 And wald na hors-men with him haiff,
Tharfor his hors all haile he gaiff
To the ladyis that myster had.
The queyn furth on hyr wayis rade
And sawffly come to the castell
360 Quhar hyr folk war ressavyt weill
And esyt weill with meyt and drynk,
Bot mycht nane eys let hyr to think
On the king that wes sa sar stad
That bot twa hunder with him had,
365 The-quhethir thaim weill comfortyt he ay.
God help him that all mychtis may.
[The king plans to go to Kintyre; Neil Campbell sent to find ships;
the king and his men cross Loch Lomond; he reads a romance to them]
The queyne dwelt thus in Kyldromy,
And the king and his cumpany
That war twa hunder and na ma
370 Fra thai had send thar hors thaim fra
Wandryt emang the hey montanys,
Quhar he and his oft tholyt paynys,
For it wes to the wynter ner,
And sa feile fayis about him wer
375 That all the countre thaim werrayit.
Sa hard anoy thaim then assayit
Off hunger cauld with schowris snell
That nane that levys can weill it tell.
The king saw how his folk wes stad
380 And quhat anoyis that thai had,
And saw wynter wes cummand ner,
And that he mycht on na maner
Dre in the hillys the cauld lying
Na the long nychtis waking.
385 He thocht he to Kyntyr wald ga
And swa lang sojournyng thar ma
Till wynter wedder war away,
And then he thocht but mar delay
Into the manland till aryve
390 And till the end his werdis dryv.
And for Kyntyr lyis in the se
Schyr Nele Cambel befor send he
For to get him navyn and meite,
And certane tyme till him he sete
395 Quhen he suld meite him at the se.
Schir Nele Cambell with his mengye
Went his way but mar letting
And left his brother with the king,
And in twelf dayis sua traveillit he
400 That he gat schippyne gud plente
And vittalis in gret aboundance.
Sa maid he nobill chevisance
For his sibmen wonnyt tharby
That helpyt him full wilfully.
405 The king efter that he wes gane
To Louch Lomond the way has tane
And come on the thrid day,
Bot tharabout na bait fand thai
That mycht thaim our the water ber.
410 Than war thai wa on gret maner
For it wes fer about to ga,
And thai war into dout alsua
To meyt thar fayis that spred war wyd.
Tharfor endlang the louchhis syd
415 Sa besyly thai socht and fast
Tyll James of Douglas at the last
Fand a litill sonkyn bate
And to the land it drew fut-hate,
Bot it sa litill wes that it
420 Mycht our the watter but a thresum flyt.
Thai send tharoff word to the king
That wes joyfull off that fynding
And fyrst into the bate is gane,
With him Douglas, the thrid wes ane
425 That rowyt thaim our deliverly
And set thaim on the land all dry,
And rowyt sa oftsys to and fra
Fechand ay our twa and twa
That in a nycht and in a day
430 Cummyn out-our the louch ar thai,
For sum off thaim couth swome full weill
And on his bak ber a fardele.
Swa with swymmyng and with rowyng
Thai brocht thaim our and all thar thing.
435 The king the quhilis meryly
Red to thaim that war him by
Romanys off worthi Ferambrace
That worthily our-cummyn was
Throu the rycht douchty Olyver,
440 And how the duk-peris wer
Assegyt intill Egrymor
Quhar King Lavyne lay thaim befor
With may thousandis then I can say,
And bot ellevyn within war thai
445 And a woman, and war sa stad
That thai na mete thar-within had
Bot as thai fra thar fayis wan.
Yheyte sua contenyt thai thaim than
That thai the tour held manlily
450 Till that Rychard off Normandy
Magré his fayis warnyt the king
That wes joyfull off this tithing,
For he wend thai had all beyne slayne.
Tharfor he turnyt in hy agayne
455 And wan Mantrybill and passit Flagot,
And syne Lavyne and all his flot
Dispitusly discumfyt he,
And deliveryt his men all fre
And wan the naylis and the sper
460 And the crowne that Jhesu couth ber,
And off the croice a gret party
He wan throu his chevalry.
The gud king apon this maner
Comfort thaim that war him ner
465 And maid thaim gamyn and solace
Till that his folk all passyt was.
[Lennox joins the king; a reflection on weeping]
Quhen thai war passit the water brad
Suppos thai fele off fayis had
Thai maid thaim mery and war blyth.
470 Nocht-for-thi full fele syth
Thai had full gret defaut of mete,
And tharfor venesoun to get
In twa partys ar thai gayne.
The king himselff wes intill ane
475 And Schyr James off Douglas
Into the tother party was.
Then to the hycht thai held thar way
And huntyt lang quhill off the day
And soucht schawys and setis set
480 Bot thai gat litill for till ete.
Then hapnyt at that tyme percas
That the erle of the Levenax was
Amang the hillis ner tharby,
And quhen he hard sa blaw and cry
485 He had wonder quhat it mycht be,
And on sic maner spyryt he
That he knew that it wes the king,
And then foroutyn mar duelling
With all thaim off his cumpany
490 He went rycht till the king in hy,
Sa blyth and sa joyfull that he
Mycht on na maner blyther be
For he the king wend had bene ded,
And he wes alsua will off red
495 That he durst nocht rest into na place,
Na sen the king discumfyt was
At Meffan he herd never thing
That ever wes certane off the king.
Tharfor into full gret daynte
500 The king full humyly haylist he,
And he him welcummyt rycht blythly
And askyt him full tenderly,
And all the lordis that war thar
Rycht joyfull off thar meting war,
505 And kyssyt him in gret daynte.
It wes gret pite for til se
How thai for joy and pite gret
Quhen that thai with thar falow met
That thai wend had bene dede, forthi
510 Thai welcummyt him mar hartfully,
And he for pite gret agayne
That never off metyng wes sa fayne.
Thocht I say that thai gret sothly
It wes na greting propyrly,
515 For I trow traistly that gretyng
Cummys to men for mysliking,
And that nane may but angyr gret
Bot it be wemen, that can wet
Thair chekys quhenever thaim list with teris,
520 The-quhethir weill oft thaim na thing deris,
But I wate weill but lesyng
Quhatever men say off sic greting
That mekill joy or yeit pete
May ger men sua amovyt be
525 That water fra the hart will rys
And weyt the eyne on sic a wys
That is lik to be greting,
Thocht it be nocht sua in all thing,
For quhen men gretis enkrely
530 The hart is sorowful or angry,
Bot for pite I trow gretyng
Be na thing bot ane opynnyng
Off hart that schawis the tendernys
Off rewth that in it closyt is.
535 The barounys apon this maner
Throu Goddis grace assemblyt wer.
The erle had mete and that plente
And with glad hart it thaim gaiff he,
And thai eyt it with full gud will
540 That soucht na nother sals thar-till
Bot appetyt, that oft men takys,
For rycht weill scowryt war thar stomakys.
Thai eit and drank sic as thai had
And till Our Lord syne lovyng maid,
545 And thankit him with full gud cher
That thai war mete on that maner.
The king then at thaim speryt yarne
How thai sen he thaim seyne had farne,
And thai full petwysly gan tell
550 Aventuris that thaim befell
And gret anoyis and poverte.
The king tharat had gret pite
And tauld thaim petwisly agayne
The noy, the travaill and the payne
555 That he had tholyt sen he thaim saw.
Wes nane amang thaim hey na law
That he ne had pite and plesaunce
Quhen that he herd mak remembrance
Off the perellys that passyt war,
560 Bot quhen men oucht at liking ar
To tell off paynys passyt by
Plesys to heryng petuisly,
And to rehers thar auld disese
Dois thaim oftsys comfort and ese,
565 With-thi tharto folow na blame
Dishonour wikytnes na schame.
[They row past Bute; Lennox's boat escapes pursuers]
Efter the mete sone rais the king
Quhen he had levyt hys speryng,
And buskyt him with his mengye
570 And went in hy towart the se
Quhar Schyr Nele Cambell thaim mete
Bath with schippis and with meyte
Saylys ayris and other thing
That wes spedfull to thar passyng.
575 Then schippyt thai foroutyn mar
Sum went till ster and sum till ar,
And rowyt be the ile of But.
Men mycht se mony frely fute
About the cost, thar lukand
580 As thai on ayris rais rowand,
And nevys that stalwart war and squar,
That wont to spayn gret speris war,
Swa spaynyt aris that men mycht se
Full oft the hyde leve on the tre.
585 For all war doand, knycht and knave,
Wes nane that ever disport mycht have
Fra steryng and fra rowyng
To furthyr thaim off thar fleting.
Bot in the samyn tyme at thai
590 War in schipping, as ye hard me say,
The erle off the Levenax was,
I can nocht tell you throu quhat cas
Levyt behynd with his galay
Till the king wes fer on his way.
595 Quhen that thai off his cuntre
Wyst that so duelt behynd wes he
Be se with schippys thai him socht,
And he that saw that he wes nocht
Off pith to fecht with thai traytouris
600 And that he had na ner socouris
Then the kingis flote, forthi
He sped him efter thaim in hy,
Bot the tratouris hym folowyt sua
That thai weill ner hym gan ourta
605 For all the mycht that he mycht do.
Ay ner and ner thai come him to,
And quhen he saw thai war sa ner
That he mycht weill thar manance her
And saw thaim ner and ner cum ay,
610 Then till his mengye gan he say,
'Bot giff we fynd sum sutelte
Ourtane all sone sall we be.
Tharfor I rede but mar letting
That outakyn our armyng
615 We kast our thing all in the se,
And fra our schip swa lychtyt be
We sall row and speid us sua
That we sall weill eschaip thaim fra,
With that thai sall mak duelling
620 Apon the se to tak our thing
And we sall row but resting ay
Till we eschapyt be away.'
As he divisyt thai have done
And thar schip thai lychtyt sone
625 And rowyt syne with all thar mycht,
And scho that swa wes maid lycht
Raykyt slidand throu the se.
And quhen thar fayis gan thaim se
Forouth thaim alwayis mar and mar,
630 The thingis that thar fletand war
Thai tuk and turnyt syne agayne,
And leyt thai lesyt all thar payne.
[Arrival in Kintyre; Angus of Islay submits at Dunaverty;
they sail for Rathlin]
Quhen that the erle on this maner
And his mengye eschapyt wer,
635 Eftyr the king he gan him hy
That then with all his cumpany
Into Kyntyr aryvyt was.
The erle tauld him all his cas,
How he wes chasyt on the se
640 With thaim that suld his awyn be,
And how he had bene tane but dout
Na war it that he warpyt out
All that he had him lycht to ma
And swa eschapyt thaim fra.
645 'Schyr erle,' said the king, 'perfay,
Syn thou eschapyt is away
Off the tynsell is na plenyeing.
Bot I will say the weile a thing,
That thar will fall the gret foly
650 To pas oft fra my cumpany,
For fele sys quhen thou art away
Thou art set intill hard assay,
Tharfor me thynk best to the
To hald the alwayis ner by me.'
655 'Schyr,' said the erle, 'it sall be swa.
I sall na wys pas fer you fra
Till God giff grace we be off mycht
Agayne our fayis to hald our stycht.'
Angus off Ile that tyme wes syr
660 And lord and ledar off Kyntyr,
The king rycht weill resavyt he
And undertuk his man to be,
And him and his on mony wys
He abandounyt till his service,
665 And for mar sekyrnes gaiff him syne
His castell off Donavardyne
To duell tharin at his liking.
Full gretumly thankyt him the king
And resavyt his service.
670 Nocht-forthi on mony wys
He wes dredand for tresoun ay,
And tharfor, as Ik hard men say,
He traistyt in nane sekyrly
Till that he knew him utraly.
675 Boy quhatkin dred that ever he had
Fayr contenance to thaim he maid,
And in Donavardyne dayis thre
Foroutyne mar then duellyt he.
Syne gert he his mengye mak thaim yar
680 Towart Rauchryne be se to far
That is ane ile in the se,
And may weill in mydwart be
Betuix Kyntyr and Irland,
Quhar als gret stremys ar rynnand
685 And als peralous and mar
Till our-saile thaim into schipfair
As is the rais of Bretangye
Or Strait off Marrok into Spanye.
[The stormy crossing; the panic and the submission of Rathlin]
Thair schippys to the se thai set,
690 And maid redy but langer let
Ankyrs rapys bath saile and ar
And all that nedyt to schipfar.
Quhen thai war boune to saile thai went,
The wynd wes wele to thar talent.
695 Thai raysyt saile and furth thai far,
And by the Mole thai passyt yar
And entryt sone into the rase
Quhar that the stremys sa sturdy was
That wavys wyd wycht brakand war
700 Weltryt as hillys her and thar.
The schippys our the wavys slayd
For wynd at poynt blawand thai had,
Bot nocht-forthi quha had thar bene
A gret stertling he mycht haiff seyne
705 Off schippys, for quhilum sum wald be
Rycht on the wavys as on a mounté
And sum wald slyd fra heycht to law
Rycht as thai doune till hell wald draw,
Syne on the wav stert sodanly,
710 And other schippys that war tharby
Deliverly drew to the depe.
It wes gret cunnanes to kep
Thar takill intill sic a thrang
And wyth sic wavis, for ay amang
715 The wavys reft thar sycht of land
Quhen thai the land wes rycht ner-hand,
And quhen schippys war sailand ner
The se wald rys on sic maner
That off the wavys the weltrand hycht
720 Wald refe thaim oft off thar sycht.
Bot into Rauchryne nocht-forthi
Thai aryvyt ilkane sawffly,
Blyth and glaid that thai war sua
Eschapyt thai hidwys wavis fra.
725 In Rauchryne thai aryvyt ar
And to the land thai went but mar
Armyt apon thar best maner.
Quhen the folk that thar wonnand wer
Saw men off armys in that cuntre
730 Aryve into sic quantite
Thai fled in hy with thar catell
Towart a rycht stalwart castell
That in the land wes tharby.
Men mycht her wemen hely cry
735 And fle with cataill her and thar.
Bot the kingis folk that war
Deliver of fute thaim gan our-hy
And thaim arestyt hastely
And brocht thaim to the king agayne
740 Swa that nane off thaim all wes slayne.
Then with thaim tretyt swa the king
That thai to fulfill his yarnyng
Become his men everilkane,
And has him trewly undertane
745 That thai and tharis loud and still
Suld be in all thing at his will,
And quhill him likit thar to leynd
Everilk day thai suld him send
Vittalis for thre hunder men,
750 And thai as lord suld him ken,
Bot at thar possessioune suld be
For all his men thar awyn fre.
The cunnand on this wys was maid,
And on the morn but langer baid
755 Off all Rauchryne bath man and page
Knelyt and maid the king homage,
And tharwith swour him fewté
To serve him ay in lawté,
And held him rycht weill cunnand,
760 For quhill he duelt into the land
Thai fand meit till his cumpany
And servyt him full humely.
John Barbour's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (The Brus Book III by John Barbour )
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(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
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