By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Bruce
Author: Barbour, John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bruce" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)













The poem _The Bruce_, by John Barbour, is preserved in only two
manuscripts, one in the library of St. John’s College, Cambridge,
and the other in the Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh. The former is
hereafter denoted by the letter C, the latter by E. Of these E alone
is complete in the sense of having both beginning and end; the first
three Books and Book IV. 1-56 are missing in C. On the other hand, C
bears to have been completed in 1487, E in 1489. Other things being
equal, the earlier MS. must, of course, be preferred. Here, however,
intervenes a series of extracts, numbering 280 lines from Books I.
and II., embedded in Wyntoun’s _Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland_, and
the two MSS. of the _Cronykil_ are actually older than those of _The
Bruce_. This raises a difficulty, as Wyntoun’s extracts show a goodly
proportion of variations in language from the corresponding passages
in E, the only other MS. which covers the same ground. Professor Skeat
considers that Wyntoun’s lines are “in a better form (in the main)”
than those of E;[1] but, on the other hand, we do not know Wyntoun’s
method of working in such a case--how far he transcribed verbatim, how
far “he modified the language of the MS. which he must have had before
him.”[2] Many lines he omits, and others he obviously paraphrases;
he incorporates matter from another source; and his version of _The
Bruce_ lines may quite well be due to memorial reproduction after a
hurried reading. It is not otherwise easy to account for scraps of
a few lines of the poem being here and there embedded in narrative
independently worded or derived. There is thus no warrant for erecting
this chopped-up, second-hand version of the lines in question into a
canon or standard for a purely scribal transcript made for its own
sake. It is needful to enter this plea in view of the separatist theory
of Mr. J. T. T. Brown, for whom the passages in Wyntoun represent so
much of the original or _ur_-Bruce, out of which our MS. and printed
versions have been elaborated by a fifteenth-century editor, who, to
do so, borrowed freely and with no great cunning from the works of
contemporary authors.[3]

[1] Preface, S.T.S. edition, p. lxxv.

[2] Skeat, p. xxxvii.

The earliest printed versions of _The Bruce_ raise yet another issue
bearing on the purity of the text. The first is apparently of the year
1571, and only one copy is known to exist.[4] It does not, however,
differ materially from that of “Andro Hart” (H), published at Edinburgh
in 1616. In this the language is modernized; still more so is it in the
edition of four years later from the same publisher. And these seem
to have been the basis of the gradually worsening issues so common in
the eighteenth century, until in 1790 Pinkerton reverted to the sound
critical method of having a transcript made directly from the Edinburgh
MS. This again was the origin of Jamieson’s more careful edition of
1820, reprinted with a few corrections in 1869. Meantime Cosmo Innes
had prepared for the Spalding Club (1856) a version which, for the
first time, introduced readings from the Cambridge MS., but which, in
being dressed up in a “consistent orthography,” so far reverted to the
evil example of Hart. Subsequently, for the Early English Text Society,
and later, for the Scottish Text Society, Professor Skeat, basing on
C, but also utilizing E and H with a few readings from Wyntoun and
Anderson’s issue of 1670, produced, for the first time, a full and in
all respects competent text. To Skeat’s edition the present one is
essentially indebted.

[3] _The Wallace and The Bruce Restudied_, p. 74 and _passim_. See also
Appendices E, F.

[4] For a detailed account of the different editions see Skeat’s
_Preface_ to the E.E.T.S. or S.T.S. issues.

The main point about Hart’s edition (H) is that it supplies 39 lines
not found in either MS., with an expansion of two others into eight,
45 new lines in all. The expanded portion Skeat perforce relegates to
the footnotes. Twelve lines from Hart in the last book he at first
accepted as genuine, but finally discarded as an interpolation.[5] He
might justifiably have gone further, for he seems to me to have erred
in attaching undue importance to Hart’s unsupported contributions.

[5] See Appendix D.

This is made clear by considering the question as between C and E. Each
MS. has portions not found in the other. The scribe of E furnishes
his own excuse; his copy was “hurriedly written” (_raptim scriptus_).
Consequently we are not surprised to find that he has dropped 81 lines
found in C. On the other hand, the more careful Cambridge scribe has
overlooked, as the best of copyists might, 39 lines preserved in the
Edinburgh version. Upon analysis of these two groups a satisfactory
test of character emerges. In one case only--C, Bk. VI. *85-*92, E,
Bk. VI. 101-106--do we find an unexplained confusion, traces of two
alternative accounts of one incident, a possibility to which Barbour
refers in several instances. One line from C Skeat rejects because it
results in a triple rhyme.[6] Having eliminated these, we find that of
the remaining omissions in E two lines are the result of the misplacing
of one;[7] eight lines are couplets which have been overlooked; four
lines are necessary to complete couplets, so that their loss is due
to sheer carelessness; while the bulk of the missing lines, 57 out of
80, is accounted for by the recurrence of the same word or words at
the beginning or end of the line, whereby the eye of the scribe has
run on from, _e.g._, “Toward the toun” in Bk. IX. *374 to “Toward the
toun” in 374, and from “thai fand” in Bk. XIII. 446 to “thai fand,”
in *450, missing all between. A parallel result is given by analysis
of the 39 lines wanting in C but present in E. Six are involved in
the mutual perplexity of Bk. VI.; one is merely a careless oversight,
and the remaining 32 come under the main category of omission through
recurrence, within a short space, of the same word or rhyme. On the
whole, then, with the reservation noted above, the condition of
things as between the two MSS. is quite normal; the omissions are
explicable on ordinary grounds, and as the missing lines, with but one
real exception, take their places again without disturbance of their
neighbours, we may conclude that C and E are individual versions of a
single original poem, and complementary to each other. But copyists
were only mortal; an author too might see cause to alter a MS.; and the
variations of reading, even with those of Wyntoun thrown in, after all
supply a less serious illustration of such possibilities than do the
MSS. of the _Canterbury Tales_ from the Ellesmere to the so disturbing

[6] XVIII. *537; and see note on p. 277.

[7] VIII. *493, *495.

As for the lines found only in Hart’s edition, their every feature
arouses distrust and suspicion. Skeat’s judgment of “almost certainly
genuine” he has had to retract for 18 out of the total of 45, including
the eight-line version of a couple in the MSS.[8] Those on the
heart-throwing episode, Bk. XX. *421-*432, have been referred to above.
Not a single example of the remaining accretions meets the test of
repetition operative in the case of the MSS., or suggests its own
explanation. The couplet in Bk. II., p. 25, is nothing either way;
that on p. 283 is awkward; the intrusive lines on p. 321 are neither
sense nor grammar; those on pp. 215, 216 can find a place only by an
unwarrantable alteration of the succeeding line in both MSS., a liberty
which Mr. Brown, on purely speculative grounds, lightly accepts from
the very passage in question.[9] On the untimeous harangue into which
Bruce is made to pass on p. 239 I have spoken in its place. In general
it may be said that Hart’s contributions are clear misfits. Moreover,
the circumstantial evidence seems to clinch the main conclusion.
Hart, or his editor, had a turn for rhyme: to him are due the rhyming
rubrics, and he added at the close of the poem a halting colophon of
six lines, which in the later corrupt editions was simply merged in the
poem, and is quoted as a specimen thereof in a critical historical work
of 1702.[10] In XX. 610 he has barefacedly substituted a line for that
of the MSS., which introduces a detail not found before the time of
Bower and no doubt taken from him.[11] This throws a strong light on the
origin of other lines in the same Book.[12] Thus we prove capability and
inclination. Hart “modernized” the language of _The Bruce_, and from
“modernization” to “improvement” is a tempting transition.

[8] XVII. 887, 888.

[9] _The Wallace and The Bruce_, pp. 133, 134.

[10] _The Scottish Historical Library_, by W. Nicholson, Archdeacon of
Carlisle, p. 147.

[11] See note on passage.

[12] See Appendix D.


The Cambridge MS. bears witness that it was completed on August 18,
1487, by the hand of “John de R., chaplain”; the Edinburgh MS. that
it was “hurriedly written” by “John Ramsay” in 1489, for a Fife
vicar; and the latter signature is attached to the only MS. of _The
Wallace_, which accompanies that of _The Bruce_ but was transcribed
two years earlier. Skeat immediately pronounces that the names signify
but one person, that “John de R.” is also “John Ramsay,” apparently
on the logic of Wonderland, because both surnames begin with the
same letter.[13] Mr. Brown, however, points out that this equation
of alternative forms was highly improbable for fifteenth-century
Scotland, and substitutes a reading of his own whereby the scribes are
still merged in one personality as “John Ramsay” otherwise “Sir John
the Ross,” one of Dunbar’s _makars_, the real author of _The Wallace_,
and the wholesale redactor of _The Bruce_. The details of Mr. Brown’s
argument and all that flows therefrom must be read in _The Wallace
and The Bruce Restudied_.[14] Mr. Brown (if I may say so) never fails
to be suggestive and interesting, and even the light which led him
astray was real critical illumination; but John Ramsay, who, “as a
chaplain”--which _he_ does not claim to have been--“was entitled to
the courtesy title of _Sir_,”[15] and took his alternative name from
his office as “Ross Herald or Ross Secretary”;[16] who lightened the
toil of transcribing Acts of Parliament by dropping into verse on the
margin--an unjustifiable accusation;[17] and who, from the seed of
Blind Harry’s “gests,” raised the prickly bloom of _The Wallace_, and
grafted enough borrowed material on to the rough stock of the original
Bruce to make it something substantially different, and did all this
without leaving even a cipher as a hint to posterity--of this complex
and composite personage Mr. Brown is the only begetter, and his brief
and inglorious career may be followed in _The Athenæum_, November
17-December 8, 1900, February 9, 1901. Mr. Brown, of course, can still
claim that the problem of late redaction remains, whoever the guilty
one may have been.[18] On this understanding I deal with it

[13] The Bibliography of the _Cambridge History of English Literature_,
vol. ii., recklessly says: “As the colophon informs us (!) all three
MSS. were written by John Ramsay” (p. 447).

[14] Bonn, 1900.

[15] Brown, p. 82.

[16] _Ibid._, p. 68.

[17] See _Athenæum_, November 17, 1900.

[18] _Athenæum_, December 8, 1900.

[19] Appendix F.

For the MSS., it needs but a slight examination to show that they
are from different hands. The fifteenth century had no “consistent
orthography,” but a scribe would probably have of himself; would
not, at the least, exhibit the systematic differences that mark the
MSS. in question. That the differences _are_ due to the scribes is
indicated by their occurrence even in proper names where E is, on the
whole, much more accurate than C.[20] Add that C offers more traces
of southern English influences; that it invariably gives the weak
form _I_ for the _Ic_ or _Ik_ of E, and substitutes _can_ for the
latter’s _gan_; that it regularly prefers _of_ to the _off_ which
distinguishes E and in certain positions _i_ for _y_--these with other
minor peculiarities, not being vital in character, are certainly due
to individual idiosyncrasies in spelling. Ramsay is an honest scribe,
who, at places, cannot read his original, and leaves a blank which
must be supplied from the copy of the chaplain.[21] There is thus not
the faintest reason for supposing but one scribe to have been at work.
At the same time the essential agreement of the two transcripts shows
that we are dealing with a single, complete, familiar poem which has
suffered in precision of copying from the usual mishaps incident to its
manner of publication and preservation.

[20] And Koeppel, while granting the general superiority of C, gives as
his opinion that in not a few cases E, nevertheless, where it differs
from C, preserves the genuine, original reading (_Englische Studien_,
x., p. 377, note).

[21] IX. 492, XIX. 459, XX. 396.


The present edition of _The Bruce_ is based upon the printed text of
the Cambridge MS., collated throughout with that of E--that is, upon
the versions of Skeat and Jamieson. I have, however, adopted rather
more readings from E than does Skeat, also a few more from Wyntoun, and
offer some slight emendations--_e.g._, _luffys_ for _liffys_ in Bk. II.
527, _oft_ for _off_ in III. 194, _Fyn all_ for _Fyngall_ in II. 69,
etc. I have profited, too, by criticism of the published text as in the
adoption of Dr. Neilson’s _corn-but_ in Bk. II. 438. The question of
Hart’s version has been discussed above; it is valid only as a check
upon the MSS. Variants of any interest or importance are given in the

There has been no modernization of the language save in the case of the
rubrics, which are no part of the text proper and have been contributed
by the scribes or editors in order to facilitate the understanding
of the poem. I have thus adhered to the spirit while modifying the
letter of their work. But while avoiding any change in the language
of the poem or even any attempt at a uniform spelling, I have taken
a few harmless liberties with its alphabet and restricted certain of
the letters to their modern values, substituting for others a modern
equivalent. Skeat did this in the matter of the ancient “thorn” letter
= _th_. In consideration of the general reader, I have gone somewhat
farther, viz.:

1 The _s_ with the ornamental curl I read as merely _s_; Jamieson and
Skeat take it as, generally, = _ss_. But such alternative forms as
_Parys_,[22] _purches_,[23] and _purpos_,[24] on the one hand, and the
actual use of the tailed letter following the ordinary type in _dress_,
_press_,[25] fix the usage I have adopted.[26] There are a few
exceptions in which this letter is probably a contraction for
_is_--_e.g._, II. 366, 459.

[22] I. 345.

[23] II. 572.

[24] III. 287.

[25] XIV. 246; XVI. 253.

[26] _Cf._ also in Gregory Smith’s _Specimens of Middle Scots_, p. xxx.

2. I have distributed their modern values to _i_, _j_, _u_, _v_, _w_.
There is no advantage in preserving such forms as _iugis_, _Evrope_,
_wndyr_: the hedge of the language--to use Lowell’s simile--is prickly
enough without these accessories. Moreover, I have throughout written
_Edward_ for _Eduuard_ or _Eduard_ and _Inglis_ for _Ynglis_ (C).

3. As Skeat has substituted “_th_” for the “thorn” (þ), I have done
likewise with the ancient English _g_ (ȝ), the “yok” letter, resolving
it into the digraph _yh_. As ultimately, in almost every case,
significant of the consonantal _y_, I might have simply replaced it
by that letter. But alternative forms, nearly without exception, show
the digraph, both in _The Bruce_ and in Wyntoun, giving _yhe_, _yhet_,
_yharnit_, _fenyhe_, etc., and in Wyntoun’s extracts _feyhnnyng_,
_senyhoury_, _yhystir-day_, _bayhllys_, etc. Even with the original
letter the _h_ is added as often as not. Apparently the usage, which
had practically disappeared from the southern practice, was in a
transitional stage on its way to its full revival in later Scots, where
it became fixed, at the hands of the printers, as _z_, and survives in
such forms as _Cadzow_, _capercailzie_, etc.[27] In I. 16, however, it
has been read as _g_ in _forget_, though _foryhet_ is to be found in
_Ratis Raving_, and in XV. 75 it is obviously _z_ in _Fi(t)z-Waryne_.

[27] _Cf._ Murray’s _Dialect of the Southern Counties of Scotland_, p.
*92; and _New. Eng. Dict._, G.

4. The placing of the capital letters and the punctuation are, of
course, modern.

Further, the poem in MSS. is not divided into Books, but paragraphs
are denoted by the insertion of a large capital; these, as in C, are
similarly marked in the text. The division into twenty Books was first
made by Pinkerton, and, as the most convenient, has been adopted by
Skeat in his editions. From Pinkerton also Skeat adopts the numbering
of the lines. Jamieson, however, made a division into fourteen Books
with a numbering to suit. Cosmo Innes gave up the Books in favour of
Cantos, with a fresh renumbering. To avoid confusion I have adhered
to Skeat’s divisions and numbering, which are those of Pinkerton;
inconvenient though the duplicate numbers certainly are, a totally new
and fourth arrangement would be much more so. To break up and make more
accessible the matter, I have also introduced, where possible, the
paragraphs of Jamieson distinguished by spaces, some of these, however,
being found in C. They are merely for the convenience of the reader. I
may, perhaps, draw attention to the critical treatment of _The Bruce_
as an historic document without which we move greatly in the dark. The
historical notes of the early editors are few and superficial. Skeat
does not profess to deal with the work strictly on this line (_note_,
vol. ii., p. 224), though he does not fail to pass unnecessary censure
at several places. But some such examination as I have tried to make
seems necessary in the interests of Scottish historiography.


PREFACE                                                 v-xii
   1. MSS. and Editions                                     v
   2. The Scribes                                        viii
   3. The Present Edition                                   x

INTRODUCTION                                         xv-xxiii
   1. _The Bruce_ as Romance                               xv
   2. John Barbour                                        xvi
   3. Historic value of _The Bruce_                        xx

TEXT OF “THE BRUCE.” BOOKS I-XX.                        1-377

NOTES TO TEXT                                             378

APPENDIX A.--The Site of the Battle of Bannockburn        496
    „    B.--Bruce’s Speech at Bannockburn                497
    „    C.--The Numbers at Bannockburn                   498
    „    D.--The Throwing of the Heart                    502
    „    E.--The _Alexander_ and _The Bruce_              505
    „    F.--Mr. Brown’s “Sources” for _The Bruce_        506
    „    G.--Language and Orthography                     511
    „    H.--Grammar                                      513

GLOSSARY                                                  519

LIST OF PRINCIPAL WORKS                                   545



The literary relationships of _The Bruce_ may be briefly indicated. It
stands at the beginning of Scottish literature; of its predecessors
and contemporaries we have but the names, or possible versions whose
place of origin is in dispute. In form and technique, including the
octosyllabic couplet, it plainly depends on the French metrical
romance, the most fruitful branch of a literature which, for quite two
centuries, had been the mother of literatures in Western Europe. The
opening line of _The Bruce_ characterizes at once the poem itself,
and what was best and most abundant in the literature of the Middle
Ages. Barbour, too, it is never overlooked, announces his work as
a “romance,” but as such, we gather from what precedes, only in a
technical sense; and no mediæval writer would consider this popular
method of treatment incompatible with strict accuracy and reality of
subject: that is a modern refinement. Barbour certainly did not, nor
did those who followed and used him; his selection of the model is
simply the expression of his desire to do his work in “gud manere.”
He anticipated Macaulay’s ambition in that his history was to differ
from the most attractive literary matter only in being true. There were
already in French many examples of contemporary history presented in
this way as a succession of incidents on the lines of personal memoirs,
though history had in the end succeeded in widening its outlook, and
consequently found more fitting expression in prose. But that was of
Barbour’s own age, and indeed Froissart had made his first essay, as an
historian, in verse, which later he recast and continued in the form
we know. All the necessities of Barbour’s case, however, led him the
other way--the despised condition of the prose vernacular as a literary
medium, from which, indeed, it never fully emerged; the character of
his audience, which would be either learned or aristocratic; and the
nature and associations of his subject, for which only the literature
of romance could furnish a parallel or supply the appropriate setting.
The literary qualities of _The Bruce_ are, therefore, those of its
model; it is a clear, vivid, easy-flowing narrative, and if it is also,
as romances tended to be, loose in construction and discursive, it
is never tedious, for it deals with real persons and events of real
interest, depicted with an admiring fidelity.


The year of John Barbour’s birth we do not know, an item which is
lacking also for Chaucer: 1320 is a good round guess. Nor have we any
knowledge of his family. If, however, the _St. Ninian_ in the _Legends
of the Saints_ be of Barbour, a claim for which there is much to be
said,[28] it may give us a clue. The adventure of Jak. Trumpoure,
there told, connects with the fact that Jaq. (James) Trampour had
land in Aberdeen bordering on that of an Andrew Barbour.[29] It may be
conjectured that the latter was John Barbour’s father, or other near
relative, since the vivid personal details of the affair in the _St.
Ninian_ must have come from Trumpour himself, and the fact that he was
a neighbour of the Barbours would explain how.

The name Barbour (_Barbitonsoris_) is obviously plebeian. Some ancestor
followed the business of barber, as some one of Chaucer’s possibly
did that of “hose-making.” The established spelling, Barbour, shows
a French termination which takes also the form Barbier, whence Mr.
Henderson concludes that John Barbour “was of Norman origin.”[30] But
the spelling is merely an accident of transcription; the oldest form is
Barber(e) (1357, 1365),[31] which the scribe of the Edinburgh MS. also
uses, and which Wyntoun rhymes with _here_ and _matere_; in a few cases
it is Barbar. As we might expect, the name was common enough in the
English-speaking districts of Scotland.

[28] See Neilson in _Scottish Antiquary_, vol. xi., p. 102 ff., and
Buss, _ex adverso_, in _Anglia_, Band ix., p. 495.

[29] Jamieson’s _Memoir_, p. iv.

[30] _Scottish Vernacular Literature_, p. 41.

[31] For this reason Buss always gives the name as Barbere.

All our information about John Barbour, except the little to be
gleaned from the complimentary references of later authors, is drawn
from official sources,[32] and is thus, of course, perfectly precise,
but meagre and uncharacteristic. We learn something of what Barbour
did and got, but not what sort of man he was, or what he was like. By
1357, at the latest, he is Archdeacon of Aberdeen, the most important
official of the diocese after the bishop, having as his prebend the
parish of Rayne, in Garioch; and in the same year (August 13) he has
a safe-conduct to go with three scholars, for purposes of study, to
Oxford, where he may have seen John Wycliffe. There was, of course,
no University in Scotland as yet, and scholars desirous of academic
advantages had to seek them at least across the Border, a patronage
which Edward III., in his own interests, readily encouraged. Seven
years later he is again in England on a similar mission with four
horsemen,[33] and on October 16 of the year following he goes to St.
Denis, near Paris, this time with six companions on horseback; in
1368-69 he once more visits France “with two servants (_vallettis_)
and two horses.” The University of Paris had the highest reputation
for the study of philosophy and canon law, and Barbour, whose duty it
was to administer the jurisdiction of his bishop, would necessarily
be something of a lawyer, though his allusion to the clerkly
“disputations” in this field does not suggest much personal interest in
legal refinements.

[32] These have been brought together by Skeat in his first volume, pp.

[33] Skeat here takes _equitibus_ to be “knights,” but this is not a
military business. They were, we may judge, the attendants proper to
his rank.

His next appearance is in a different though related capacity. In 1372
he is clerk of the audit of the King’s household, that of Robert II.,
who had come to the throne in the previous year as the first of the
Stewart Kings. The year after he is also an auditor of exchequer. The
Stewarts were good friends to Barbour, and we see the result in his
kindly, almost affectionate, references to the family in his poem.
He wrote up their genealogy, but that piece of work is lost. After a
long interval he reappears as an auditor of exchequer in 1382, 1383,
1384. For some part, at least, of this interval he was engaged upon
_The Bruce_, and its completion in the course of 1376[34] suggestively
approximates to a grant of £10, by the King’s order, from the customs
of Aberdeen, first recorded in the accounts of March 14, 1377. So also
does a pension of twenty shillings sterling from certain revenues of
the same city, granted on August 29, 1378, to himself and his assignees
for ever.[35] Accordingly, two years later Barbour assigned his pension,
on his death, to the cathedral church of Aberdeen, as payment for a
yearly mass for his own soul and for the souls of his relatives and all
the faithful dead. The practice of these payments can be traced for a
considerable time afterwards, but the financial readjustments of the
Reformation sent Barbour’s legacy elsewhere.

[34] See on Bk. XIII. 702.

[35] The account of 1429 is the first to state expressly that this
perpetual pension was “for the composition of the book of the deeds of
the erstwhile King Robert the Bruce” (_Excheq. Rolls_, iv., p. 520).

But the royal bounty had not dried up. In 1386 the poet had gifts
of £10 and £6 13s. 4d., no doubt in recognition of further literary
labours. And on December 5, 1388, he had a fresh pension of £10 for
life “for faithful service,” to be paid in equal portions at Pentecost
and Martinmas. This he enjoyed for only a few years. On April 25, 1396,
the first payment of twenty shillings is made to the Dean and Chapter
of Aberdeen, so that Barbour must have been dead before April 5, 1395,
when the accounts for the year began. As his “anniversary” fell on
March 13, that date in 1395 was, in all probability, the day of his
death. Thus born under the great Bruce, he had lived through the reigns
of David II. and Robert II., and five years of Robert III.

Some stray notices of Barbour in other connections add nothing of
importance. One, however, lets us know that he was responsible for the
loss of a volume on law from the library of his cathedral.

We have really learned nothing as to the personality of the poet. That
he was a keen student and a great reader as well as a trustworthy
official, and stood high in the royal favour, may be inferred. The
respectful and admiring references of Wyntoun and Bower attest his
high reputation as a writer and authority on history. But _The Bruce_
of itself would suggest neither the cleric nor the accountant. His
pious reflections would be commonplaces even for a lay writer, and his
handling of figures is not in any way distinctive. Even of Scotland
in the background we get but casual, fleeting glimpses. Barbour is
occupied entirely with his heroes and their performances. It is these
he undertakes to celebrate, not, primarily, even the great cause which
called them forth; and personal loyalty is his master virtue.[36] That
he so conceived and developed his subject, his hurried passage from
incident to incident, his grim, practical humour, his impatience
of inaction or commonplace achievement, his actively descriptive
vocabulary, and his vivid realization of the details of movement
and conflict--all contribute to the impression of a man of lively,
energetic temperament, with a delight in action and the concrete,
and so, as his time and circumstances would make him, an amateur and
idealist of chivalry.

[36] “His theme was Freedom,” writes Mr. Cosmo Innes. Barbour gives out
his “theme” in the first thirty-six lines, and never once mentions it.

Besides _The Bruce_, Wyntoun credits Barbour with _The Stewartis
Oryginalle_, a metrical genealogy starting from “Sere Dardane, lord
de Frygya”(!), which has not survived.[37] Skeat has also suggested,
basing on certain references by Wyntoun, that Barbour wrote a _Brut_
on the mythical colonization of Britain by Brutus, but the inference
is disputed by Mr. Brown,[38] and Wyntoun’s language is too vague for a
definite opinion. On better grounds there has been attributed to him a
_Trojan War_ or _Troy Book_, portions of which have been used to fill
up gaps in a MS. of Lydgate’s _Siege_ with the rubric, “Here endis
Barbour and begynnis the monk,” and again conversely. An independent
MS. gives a larger number of lines in continuation. These fragments
have been subjected to close linguistic and metrical criticism by P.
Buss in _Anglia_, ix., pp. 493-514, and by E. Koeppel in _Englische
Studien_, x., pp. 373-382, and their reasoning on differences of verbal
and grammatical usages has been summarized by Skeat,[39] who concurs
with their conclusion against Barbour’s authorship. But there are other
elements of evidence, and the sceptical discussion of Medea’s alleged
astronomical powers with the affirmation,

  Bot na gude Cristene mane her-to
  Sulde gif credence--that I defend,[40]

is significantly similar to the argumentation on astrology in _The
Bruce_, Bk. IV. 706 to end.[41] Faced with the plain statement of the
fifteenth-century scribe, Skeat can only suggest that the poem was not
by our Barbour, but by another person of the same name--surely the
extremity of destructive literary criticism. And every argument of the
German scholars against the _Troy_ fragments would clinch the case
for Barbour’s claims on the _Alexander_, with which I deal elsewhere.
The garrulous and dreary _Legends of the Saints_ probably contain, at
least, contributions by Barbour; even Buss admits peculiar features in
the _St. Ninian_,[42] and _St. Machar_ is a purely Aberdeen worthy, in
whom the poet, too, professes a special interest; these may well have
come from Barbour’s pen as the uncongenial but meritorious labour of
his old age. Such, at any rate, was the normal progress of a poetic
clerk, from translation to original work, to decline at the close upon
versions of saintly biographies.

[37] The editor of _The Exchequer Rolls_, vol. ii. p. cv., says: “Bower
accuses Barbour of misrepresenting the origin of the Stewarts.” That
is not so. According to the summary in Bower, Barbour had it that they
came from Wales, and in fact the family was settled in Shropshire
on the Welsh March. It had its origin, he said, from one who was
called “Le Fleanc de Waran,” who may equate with Alan FitzFlaald,
who, however, apparently did not marry a daughter of Warine, the
sheriff of that county (Round, _Studies in the Peerage_, p. 116).
He affirms, rightly enough, that the first of them in Scotland was
Walter, in the days of King William (twelfth century). Where he goes
wrong genealogically, according to Bower, is in saying that Walter’s
son, Alan, was in the First Crusade, which was obviously impossible;
but Alan FitzAlan, uncle of Alan FitzFlaald, was in that expedition.
Barbour was dealing with remote personages through family tradition,
and whatever his errors as represented by Bower, he does not appear,
as is too lightly assumed, to have been the source of the myths of
later historians in this connection. Bower’s language does not admit of
a Banquo. See _Cupar and Perth MSS._, in _Scotichronicon_, Lib. IX.,
chap. xlviii.

[38] _The Wallace and The Bruce_, pp. 88-90.

[39] Preface I., xlix-lii.

[40] Edit. Horstmann, ii., p. 226.

[41] See further, Neilson’s _John Barbour_, p. 2.

[42] _Anglia_, as cited.


A comparison of judgments on the value of _The Bruce_ as a contribution
to history plunges us into a thicket of contradictions. Green’s verdict
that it is “historically worthless”[43] is but a petulant aside.
It repeats itself, however, in the pronouncement of Mr. Brown that
“in no true sense is it an historical document,”[44] but Mr. Brown
selects, as illustrative of this, examples, such as the Simon Fraser
identification,[45] and the Stanhope Park inference,[46] which recoil
to the confusion of the critic.[47] Mr. Cosmo Innes has sought to
discriminate, unfortunately upon wrong lines. Of Barbour as historian,
he writes: “Satisfied to have real persons and events, and an outline
of history for his guide, and to preserve the true character of things,
he did not trouble himself about accuracy of detail.”[48] As it happens,
it is just in his outline--that is, in his dates and succession of
events--that Barbour may be adjudged most careless; his details contain
the most remarkable examples of his accuracy. The latest expression of
opinion on this head is not even self-consistent. In the _Cambridge
History of English Literature_ it is thus written of _The Bruce_:
first, that “it is in no real sense a history ... though, strange
to say, it has been regarded from his own time to this as, in all
details, a trustworthy source for the history of the period”--a clear
exaggeration;[49] and then a few pages farther on: “While Barbour’s
narrative contains a certain amount of anecdotal matter derived from
tradition, and, on some occasions, deviates from the truth of history,
it is, on the whole, moderate, truthful, and historical”[50]--which is
quite another pair of sleeves.

[43] _Short History_, p. 211.

[44] _The Wallace and The Bruce_, p. 93.

[45] See on II. 239.

[46] XIX. 486.

[47] An article on Barbour’s _Bruce_ in the _Saturday Review_, 1872,
vol. xxxiii., p. 90, has all the marks of the “belabouring” method
of Professor Freeman. Barbour’s “historical value,” it is affirmed,
“is as low as value can be,” and there are intermittent shrieks of
“shameless falsehood,” “conscious liar,” etc. The usual play is made
with the supposed identification of the two Bruces, and it is declared
that on this “the whole story hangs,” which, in its own way, is a
statement just as unwarranted and absurd. It is easy to fix on the
error as to Edward being in the Holy Land when the question arose as
to the succession, and the antedating of his death. But the critic,
with full opportunity for being correct, can sin as to dates quite as
egregiously. “In authentic history,” he says, “somewhat more than three
years passed between the death of Alexander III. in Lent, 1289, and the
coronation of John Balliol on St. Andrew’s Day, 1292.” Quite wrong.
In “authentic history” Alexander was killed on March 19, 1286 (1285
by old reckoning). This is a criticism of Barbour’s “six years” in I.
39! He objects to the statement that the Queen was put “in prison,”
because she was entertained in one of her husband’s manors. But she
is always officially spoken of as “in custody,” and the stone walls
of a manor even make a good enough prison. This is mere carping, and
most of the rest is of the same sort, where it does not depend on a
forcing or misunderstanding of the text. Barbour, he complains, makes
the difference between Bruce and Balliol “one between male and female
succession.” So, in a sense, it was (see on I. 54), but the critic has
not taken the trouble to understand how. Barbour, however, is certainly

[48] _The Brus_, Spalding Club edition, 1856, p. ix.

[49] Vol. ii., p. 104.

[50] P. 108.

The fact is that these wayward judgments rest upon too narrow a
basis of induction, and that induction, too, usually irrelevant or
uncertain--considerations as to the nature of Romance, Barbour’s
literary awkwardness and literary dressing, with inadequate examination
of the external evidence. But if Barbour professes to write history,
as he does profess, and as he gives every evidence of honestly trying
to do, he can surely claim to be tried by the appropriate tests--those
of official records or other contemporary accounts, and, in the last
resource, by his performance so far as these carry us, and by an
estimate of the probable sources of what is peculiar to himself. Nor
must the quality of his critical equipment be overlooked; he frankly
lets us know that of certain incidents different versions were in
circulation--some said that the fatal quarrel between Bruce and Comyn
fell otherwise than as he has related, and he includes the divergent
accounts of how Bruce and his man escaped the hound; and there are
other matters for which, lacking certainty himself, he is content to
cite popular report. Towards prevailing and attractive superstitions,
necromancy, astrology, and the like, his attitude is bluntly sceptical;
yet an apparently well-attested case of prophecy--not one, it must
be owned, exhibiting any exceptional degree of penetration--he does
record, with very distinct reservation of judgment.[51] There is no
supernatural machinery in _The Bruce_, no visions, miraculous agencies,
or other such distractions: for these we must go to sober prose. But
such is not the manner of popular romance with which it has been
usual to class the manner of _The Bruce_. Barbour is not writing a
conventional romance with historic persons and incidents for his
material; he is writing history which has all the qualities of romance
in real life. Of the same type were the exploits of Edward Bruce, which
of themselves, he says, would furnish material for many romances.[52]

So comes it, then, that a careful and most competent investigator like
Joseph Bain can authoritatively pronounce _The Bruce_ to be “of the
highest value for the period,”[53] and affirm that “in these details
he is almost always correct, with occasional errors in names.”[54]
Barbour’s errors, indeed, lie on the surface, and are typical of his
time, not wilful perversions on his part--events are transposed, wrong
dates given, figures almost always exaggerated. On the other side a
study of the notes to the present volume will show how trustworthy he
is in the main, and, repeatedly, how strikingly and minutely accurate.
His profession to tell a truthful story, so far as his knowledge will
take him, must be accepted as fully borne out.

[51] Bk. IV. 767-774. Contempt for astrology, indeed, had already gone
pretty far--Chaucer’s _Franklin_ has it (_F.s’_ Tale); but the contrary
opinion still held most ground, and prophecy was in the enjoyment of
full respect. Theological authority was divided and uncertain on the

[52] IX. 492.

[53] _Calendar of Documents_, vol. iii., p. ix, note. Book I. is a
hasty introduction.

[54] _Ibid._

Moreover the reflection is forced upon us at many points that, in
addition to the oral accounts of which he makes use, those of actual
participators like Sir Allan of Cathcart, and John Thomson for the
Irish campaigns, besides relations and reminiscences otherwise derived,
Barbour had various contemporary writings at his command. Such was
certainly the case with Sir Thomas Gray, who wrote, a prisoner in
Edinburgh Castle, twenty years before. His _Scalacronica_ embodies
the results of research in the library of his prison where he found
Scottish chronicles in verse and prose, in Latin, French, and English,
and he expressly refers to such chronicles in his account of Bruce,
letting us know that there was in existence a description of the
Battle of Bannockburn, and, incidentally, that Barbour even has not
exhausted the fund of stories of adventure told of the fugitive King.
More curious and suggestive is the citation, in the bye-going, by Jean
le Bel, Canon of Liège, of a “history made by the said King Robert”
(_en hystoire faitte par le dit roy Robert_), that is the King Robert
whom, he tells us, Edward I. had chased by hounds in the forests.[55]
It is an allowable inference that these accessible materials were
known to the learned and inquiring Barbour, when he took to deal with
a subject familiar to him from his earliest years, and so congenial to
his instincts, literary and national.

It is worth noting that Sir Walter Scott, on the publication of the
_Lord of the Isles_, which draws so handsomely upon _The Bruce_,
was accused of a lack of proper patriotism, meaning the pungent and
rather aggressive patriotism of a long-irritated Scotland distinctive
of _The Wallace_ and certain subsequent productions, but not of _The
Bruce_, the spirit of which, too, was in harmony with that of the great
reviver of romance. There is no malice in _The Bruce_; the malice and
bitterness are in the contemporary war-literature of the other side.
And Barbour is no sentimentalist; his patriotism is not pretentious
or exclusive, nor such as leads him to depreciate an opponent, and
is therefore not a distorting influence on facts, as Mr. Henderson
postulates it must have been.[56] It is not possible to point to a
single error on Barbour’s part which is fairly traceable to this cause.
And his faults and errors, such as they are, may be paralleled over and
over again from the most reputable of that century’s historians, to say
nothing of those who, in later times, had to weave their web from less
tangled and broken material.

[55] _Chronique_, I, chap. xxii.

[56] _Scottish Vernacular Literature_, p. 43.



Storys to rede ar delitabill,
Suppos that thai be nocht bot fabill:
Than suld storys that suthfast wer,
And thai war said on gud maner,
Have doubill plesance in heryng.                                       5
The fyrst plesance is the carpyng,
And the tothir the suthfastnes
That schawys the thing rycht as it wes:
And suth thyngis that ar likand
Tyll mannys heryng ar plesand.                                        10
Tharfor I wald fayne set my will,
Giff my wyt mycht suffice thartill,
To put in wryt a suthfast story,
That it lest ay furth in memory,
Swa that na tyme of lenth it let,                                     15
Na ger it haly be forget.
For aulde storys that men redys,
Representis to thaim the dedys
Of stalwart folk that lyvyt ar,
Rycht as thai than in presence war.
And certis, thai suld weill have prys                                 20
That in thar tyme war wycht and wys,
And led thar lyff in gret travaill,
And oft, in hard stour off bataill,
Wan richt gret price off chevalry,                                    25
And war voydyt off cowardy.
As wes King Robert off Scotland,
That hardy wes off hart and hand;
And gud Schyr James off Douglas,
That in his tyme sa worthy was,                                       30
That off hys price and hys bounte,
In fer landis renownyt wes he.
Off thaim I thynk this buk to ma:
Now God gyff grace that I may swa
Tret it, and bryng it till endyng,                                    35
That I say nocht bot suthfast thing!

[15: S following H reads _lenth of tyme_, characterising the
expression in E “an obvious error.” But _cf._ analogous phrase in line
531, and see note.]

How the Lords of Scotland took the King of England to be Arbiter at the

[Sidenote: 1290] _Discord over the Succession_]

[Sidenote: 1291] _The Dispute is referred to Edward I_]

Quhen Alexander the King was deid,
That Scotland haid to steyr and leid,
The land sex yher, and mayr perfay,
Lay desolat eftyr hys day;                                            40
Till that the barnage at the last
Assemblyt thaim, and fayndyt fast
To cheys a king thar land to ster,
That, off awncestry, cummyn wer
Off kingis that aucht that reawte,                                    45
And mayst had rycht thair king to be.
Bot envy, that is sa feloune,
Maid amang thaim discencioun.
For sum wald haiff the Balleoll king;
For he wes cummyn off the offspryng                                   50
Off hyr that eldest systir was.
And othir sum nyt all that cas;
And said, that he thair king suld be
That wes in als nere degre,
And cummyn wes of the neist male,                                     55
And in branch collaterale.
Thai said, successioun of kyngrik
Was nocht to lawer feys lik;
For thar mycht succed na female,
Quhill foundyn mycht be ony male                                      60
That were in lyne evyn descendand;
Thai bar all othir wayis on hand,
For than the neyst cummyn off the seid,
Man or woman, suld succeid.
Be this resoun that part thocht hale,                                 65
That the lord off Anandyrdale,
Robert the Bruys Erle off Carryk,
Aucht to succeid to the kynryk.
The barownys thus war at discord,
That on na maner mycht accord;                                        70
Till at the last thai all concordyt,
That all thar spek suld be recordyt
Till Schyr Edward off Ingland King;
And he suld swer that, but fenyheyng,
He suld that arbytre disclar,                                         75
Off thir twa that I tauld off ar,
Quhilk sulde succeid to sic a hycht;
And lat him ryng that had the rycht.
This ordynance thaim thocht the best,
For at that tyme wes pes and rest                                     80
Betwyx Scotland and Ingland bath;
And thai couth nocht persave the skaith
That towart thaim wes apperand;
For that at the King off Ingland
Held swylk freyndschip and cumpany                                    85
To thar King, that wes swa worthy,
Thai trowyt that he, as gud nychtbur,
And as freyndsome compositur,
Wald have jugyt in lawte:
Bot othir wayis all yheid the gle.                                    90
A! blynd folk full off all foly!
Haid yhe umbethoucht yhow enkrely,
Quhat perell to yhow mycht apper,
Yhe had nocht wrocht on that maner:
Haid yhe tane keip how at that King                                   95
Alwayis, for-owtyn sojournyng,
Travayllyt for to wyn senyhory,
And, throw his mycht, till occupy
Landis that war till him marcheand,
As Walis was, and als Ireland;                                       100
That he put to swylk thrillage,
That thai that war off hey parage
Suld ryn on fute, as rebaldaill,
Quhen he wald ony folk assaill.
Durst nane of Walis in bataill ride;                                 105
Na yhet, fra evyn fell, abyd
Castell or wallyt toune with-in,
That he ne suld lyff and lymmys tyne.
In-to swilk thrillage thaim held he,
That he ourcome throw his powste.                                    110
Yhe mycht se he suld occupy
Throw slycht, that he ne mycht throw maistri.
Had yhe tane kep quhat was thrillag,
And had consideryt his usage,
That gryppyt ay, but gayne-gevyng,                                   115
Yhe suld, for-owtyn his demyng,
Haiff chosyn yhow a king, that mycht
Have haldyn weyle the land in rycht.
Walys ensample mycht have bene
To yhow, had yhe it forow sene.                                      120
And wys men sayis he is happy
That be othir will him chasty.
For unfayr thingis may fall, perfay,
Als weill to-morn as yhisterday.
Bot yhe traistyt in lawte,                                           125
As sympile folk, but mavyte;
And wyst nocht quhat suld eftir tyd.
For in this warld, that is sa wyde,
Is nane determynat that sall
Knaw thingis that ar for to fall:                                    130
But God, that is off maist poweste,
Reservyt till his majeste
For to knaw, in his prescience,
Off alkyn tyme the mowence.

[48: E inserts _gret_ before _discencioun_, but W and H omit.]

[54, 55: E gives _war_ and so in J: but _wes_ from W is preferable.
For _als nere_ (W) E has _alsner_.]

[61: From H. E has _How that in his evyn descendand_, which does
not make sense. W gives _That be lyne war dissendand_, which halts
metrically. See note.]

[77: _Sulde_ in W. E omits.]

[129: Skeat adopts _determynatly_ from H, with the meaning
“certainly.” But this reading cumbers the metre; and Barbour’s word to
this effect is “certis.”]

[130: _For_ is from W and H. E omits.]

On this maner assentyt war                                           135
The barownis, as I said yhow ar:
And throuch thar aller hale assent,
Messingeris till hym thai sent,
That was than in the haly land,
On Saracenys warryand.                                               140
And fra he wyst quhat charge thai had,
He buskyt hym, but mar abad,
And left purpos that he had tane;
And till Ingland agayne is gayne.
And syne till Scotland word send he,                                 145
That thai suld mak ane assemble;
And he in hy suld cum to do
In all thing, as thai wrayt him to.
But he thoucht weile, throuch thar debate,
That he suld slely fynd the gate                                     150
How that he all the senyhowry,
Throw his gret mycht, suld occupy.
And to Robert the Bruys said he;
“Gyff thow will hald in cheyff off me
“For evirmar, and thine ofspryng,                                    155
“I sall do swa thou sall be king.”
‘Schyr,’ said he, ‘sa God me save,
‘The kynryk yharn I nocht to have,
‘Bot gyff it fall off rycht to me:
‘And gyff God will that it sa be,                                    160
‘I sall als frely in all thing
‘Hald it, as it afferis to king;
‘Or as myn eldris forouch me
‘Held it in freyast rewate.’
The tothir wreythyt him, and swar                                    165
That he suld have it nevir mar:
And turnyt him in wreth away.
Bot Schyr Jhon the Balleoll, perfay,
Assentyt till him, in all his will;
Quhar-throuch fell eftir mekill ill.                                 170
He was king bot a litill quhile;
And throuch gret sutelte and ghyle,
For litill enchesone, or nane,
He was arestyt syne and tane,
And degradyt syne wes he                                             175
Off honour and off dignite.
Quhethir it wes throuch wrang or rycht,
God wat it, that is maist off mycht.

[Sidenote: 1292-1296] _Edward takes Possession of Scotland_]

Quhen Schyr Edward, the mychty king,
Had on this wys done his likyng                                      180
Off Jhone the Balleoll, that swa sone
Was all defawtyt and undone,
To Scotland went he than in hy,
And all the land gan occupy:
Sa hale, that bath castell and toune                                 185
War in-till his possessioune,
Fra Weik anent Orknay,
To Mullyr-snuk in Gallaway;
And stuffyt all with Inglis men.
Schyrreffys and bailyheys maid he then;                              190
And alkyn othir officeris,
That for to govern land afferis,
He maid off Inglis nation;
That worthyt than sa ryth fellone,
And sa wykkyt and covatous,                                          195
And swa hawtane and dispitous,
That Scottis men mycht do na thing
That evir mycht pleys to thar liking.
Thar wyffis wald thai oft forly,
And thar dochtrys dispitusly:                                        200
And gyff ony thar-at war wrath,
Thai watyt hym wele with gret scaith;
For thai suld fynd sone enchesone
To put hym to destructione.
And gyff that ony man thaim by                                       205
Had ony thing that wes worthy,
As hors, or hund, or othir thing,
That plesand war to thar liking,
With rycht or wrang it have wald thai.
And gyf ony wald thaim withsay,                                      210
Thai suld swa do, that thai suld tyne
Othir land or lyff, or leyff in pyne.
For thai dempt thaim eftir thar will,
Takand na kep to rycht na skill.
A! quhat thai dempt thaim felonly!                                   215
For gud knychtis that war worthy,
For litill enchesoune or than nane,
Thai hangyt be the nekbane.
Alas that folk, that evir wes fre,
And in fredome wount for to be,                                      220
Throw thar gret myschance and foly,
War tretyt than sa wykkytly,
That thar fays thar jugis war:
Quhat wrechitnes may man have mar?

[218: S _nek[ke]bane_.]

  A! fredome is a noble thing!                                       225
Fredome mays man to haiff liking;
Fredome all solace to man giffis:
He levys at es that frely levys.
A noble hart may haiff nane es,
Na ellys nocht that may him ples,                                    230
Gyff fredome failyhe: for fre liking
Is yharnyt our all othir thing.
Na he, that ay has levyt fre,
May nocht knaw weill the propyrte,
The angyr, na the wrechyt dome,                                      235
That is cowplyt to foule thyrldome.
Bot gyff he had assayit it,
Than all perquer he suld it wyt;
And suld think fredome mar to prys,
Than all the gold in warld that is.                                  240
Thus contrar thingis evir-mar,
Discoveryngis off the tothir ar.
And he that thryll is has nocht his;
All that he has enbandownyt is
Till hys lord, quhat-evir he be.                                     245
Yheyt has he nocht sa mekill fre
As fre liking to leyve, or do
That at hys hart hym drawis to.
Than mays clerkis questioun,
Quhen thai fall in disputacioun,                                     250
That gyff man bad his thryll owcht do,
And in the samyn tym come him to
His wyff, and askyt hym hyr det,
Quhethir he his lordis neid suld let,
And pay fryst that he awcht, and syne                                255
Do furth his lordis commandyne;
Or leve onpayit his wyff, and do
It that commaundyt is him to?
I leve all the solucioun
Till thaim that ar off mar renoun.                                   260
Bot sen thai mek sic comperyng
Betwix the dettis off wedding,
And lordis bidding till his threll,
Yhe may weile se, thoucht nane yhow tell,
How hard a thing that threldome is.                                  265
For men may weile se, that ar wys,
That wedding is the hardest band,
That ony man may tak on hand:
And thryldome is weill wer than deid;
For quhill a thryll his lyff may leid,                               270
It merrys him, body and banys;
And dede anoyis him bot anys.
Schortly to say, is nane can tell
The halle condicioun off a threll.

[247: _Liking_ from H. E has _wyll_, which leaves the line metrically
short of a syllable.]

[258: _It_ from H. E has _Thai thingis_, which turns the line into

[Sidenote: 1298-1299] _Harsh Treatment of the Scots_]

Thus-gat levyt thai, and in sic thrillage;                           275
Bath pur, and thai off hey parage.
For off the lordis sum thai slew,
And sum thai hangyt, and sum thai drew;
And sum thai put in hard presoune,
For-owtyn caus or enchesoun.                                         280
And, amang othir, off Dowglas
Put in presoun Sir Wilyham was,
That off Dowglas was lord and syr;
Off him thai makyt a martyr.
Fra thai in presoune him sleuch,                                     285
Hys landis, that war fayr inewch,
Thai to the lord off Clyffurd gave.
He had a sone, a litill knave,
That wes than bot a litill page,
Bot syne he wes off gret vaslage;                                    290
Hys fadyr dede he vengyt sua,
That in Ingland, I underta,
Wes nane off lyve that hym ne dred;
For he sa fele off harnys sched,
That nane that lyvys thaim can tell.                                 295
Bot wondirly hard thingis fell
Till him, or he till state wes brocht.
Thair wes nane aventur that mocht
Stunay hys hart, na ger him let
To do the thing he wes on set;                                       300
For he thocht ay encrely
To do his deid avysily.
He thocht weill he wes worth na seyle,
That mycht of nane anoyis feyle;
And als for till escheve gret thingis,                               305
And hard travalyis, and barganyngis,
That suld ger his price dowblyt be.
Quharfor, in all hys lyve-tyme, he
Wes in gret payn, et gret travaill;
And nevir wald for myscheiff faill,                                  310
Bot dryve the thing rycht to the end,
And tak the ure that God wald send.
Hys name wes James of Douglas:
And quhen he heard his fadir was
Put in presoune sa fellounly,                                        315
And at his landis halyly
War gevyn to the Clyffurd, perfay
He wyst nocht quhat to do na say;
For he had na thing to dispend,
Na thar wes nane that evir him kend                                  320
Wald do sa mekill for him, that he
Mycht sufficiantly fundyn be.
Than wes he wondir will off wane;
And sodanly in hart has tane,
That he wald travaile our the se,                                    325
And a quhile in Parys be,
And dre myscheiff quhar nane hym kend,
Till God sum succouris till hym send.
And as he thocht he did rycht sua,
And sone to Parys can he ga;                                         330
And levyt thar full sympylly.
The-quhethir he glaid was and joly;
And till swylk thowlesnes he yheid,
As the cours askis off yhowtheid;
And umquhill in-to rybbaldaill:                                      335
And that may mony tyme availl.
For knawlage off mony statis
May quhile availyhe full mony gatis;
As to the gud Erle off Artayis
Robert, befell in-till his dayis.                                    340
For oft feynyheyng oft rybbaldy
Availyheit him, and that gretly.
And Catone sayis us, in his wryt,
That to fenyhe foly quhile is wyt.
In Parys ner thre yher duellyt he;                                   345
And then come tythandis our the se,
That his fadyr wes done to ded
Then wes he wa, and will of red;
And thocht that he wald hame agayne,
To luk gyff he, throw ony payn,                                      350
Mycht wyn agayn his heritage,
And his men out off all thryllage.

[279: _Hard_ from W improves the line. It is not given in E or H.]

[286: So Skeat reads, following H. E has _land that is_, which is
clearly wrong. _Cf._ line 316.]

[287: _To_ from H. E omits.]

[300: E has _thing that_, but H omits as here; the line then goes more

[309: _Et_ or _ec_ is clearly a Latin rendering of ‘&’ = and: a
scribal error.]

[319: E has _for to_. H omits.]

[344: H omits _that_, and S follows.]

The First Rising of Lord Douglas.

[Sidenote: 1299-1303] _James Douglas returns from Paris_]

  To Sanct Androws he come in hy,
Quhar the byschop full curtasly
Resavyt him, and gert him wer                                        355
His knyvys forouch him to scher;
And cled him rycht honorabilly,
And gert ordayn quhar he suld ly.
A weile gret quhile thar duellyt he;
All men lufyt him for his bounte;                                    360
For he wes off full fayr effer,
Wys, curtais, and deboner;
Larg and luffand als wes he,
And our all thing luffyt lawte.

  Leaute to luff is gretumly;                                        365
Throuch leaute liffis men rychtwisly:
With a vertu of leaute
A man may yheit sufficyand be:
And but leawte may nane haiff price,
Quhethir he be wycht, or he be wys;                                  370
For quhar it failyheys, na vertu
May be off price, na off valu,
To mak a man sa gud that he
May symply callyt gud man be.

  He wes in all his dedis lele;                                      375
For him dedeynyheit nocht to dele
With trechery, na with falset.
His hart on hey honour wes set:
And hym contenyt on sic maner,
That all him luffyt that war him ner.                                380
Bot he wes nocht so fayr, that we
Suld spek gretly off his beaute:
In vysage wes he sumdeill gray,
And had blak har, as Ic hard say;
Bot off lymmys he wes weill maid,                                    385
With banys gret, and schuldrys braid.
His body wes weyll maid and lenye,
As thai that saw hym said to me.
Quhen he wes blyth he wes lufly,
And meyk and sweyt in cumpany:                                       390
Bot quha in battail mycht him se
All other contenance had he.
And in spek wlispyt he sum deill;
Bot that sat him rycht wondre weill.
Till gud Ector of Troy mycht he                                      395
In mony thingis liknyt be.
Ector had blak har, as he had,
And stark lymmys, and rycht weill maid;
And wlyspit alsua as did he,
And wes fulfillyt of leawte,                                         400
And wes curtais and wys and wycht.
Bot off manheid and mekill mycht,
Till Ector dar I nane comper
Off all that evir in warldys wer.
The-quhethyr in his tyme sa wrocht he,                               405
That he suld gretly lovyt be.

[Sidenote: 1304-1305] _Edward refuses Douglas_]

He duellyt thar, quhill on a tid,
The King Edward, with mekill prid,
Come to Strevillyne with gret mengyhe,
For till hald thar ane assemble.                                     410
Thiddirwart went mony baroune;
Byschop Wylyhame off Lambyrtoun
Raid thiddyr als, and with him was
This squyer James of Dowglas.
The byschop led him to the King,                                     415
And said: “Schyr, heyr I to yhow bryng
“This child, that clemys yhour man to be;
“And prayis yhow par cheryte,
“That yhe resave her his homage,
“And grantis him his heritage.”                                      420
“Quhat landis clemys he?’ said the King.
“Schyr, giff that it be yhour liking,
“He clemys the lordschip off Douglas;
“For lord tharoff hys fadir was.”
The King then wrethyt him encrely,                                   425
And said; ‘Schyr byschop, sekyrly
‘Gyff thow wald kep thi fewte,
‘Thow maid nane sic speking to me.
‘Hys fadyr ay wes my fay feloune,
‘And deyt tharfor in my presoun;                                     430
‘And wes agayne my majeste:
‘Tharfor hys ayr I aucht to be.
‘Ga purches land quhar-evir he may,
‘For tharoff haffys he nane, perfay:
‘The Cliffurd sall thaim haiff, for he                               435
‘Ay lely has servyt to me.’
The byschop hard him swa ansuer,
And durst than spek till him na mar;
Bot fra his presence went in hy,
For he dred sayr his felouny:                                        440
Swa that he na mar spak tharto.
The King did that he com to do;
And went till Ingland syn agayn,
With mony man off mekyll mayn.

[428: H _mak_, which seems more likely.]

The Scots are likened to the Holy Maccabees.

Lordingis, quha likis for till her,                                  445
The Romanys now begynnys her,
Off men that war in gret distres,
And assayit full gret hardynes,
Or thai mycht cum till thar entent:
Bot syne our Lord sic grace thaim sent,                              450
That thai syne, throw thar gret valour,
Come till gret hycht, and till honour,
Magre thair fayis evirilkane,
That war sa fele, that ay for ane
Off thaim thai war weill a thowsand.                                 455
Bot quhar God helpys quhat may withstand?
Bot, and we say the suthfastnes,
Thai war sum tyme erar may then les.
Bot God that maist is of all mycht,
Preservyt thaim in his forsycht,                                     460
To veng the harme and the contrer,
At that fele folk and pautener
Dyd till sympill folk and worthy,
That couth nocht help thaim self: for-thi,
Thai war lik to the Machabeys,                                       465
That, as men in the Bibill seys,
Throw thair gret worschip and valour,
Fawcht in-to mony stalwart stour,
For to delyvir thar countre
Fra folk that, throw iniquite,                                       470
Held thaim and thairis in thrillage:
Thai wrocht sua throw thar vassalage,
That, with few folk, thai had victory
Off mychty kingis, as sayis the story,
And delyveryt thar land all fre;                                     475
Quharfor thar name suld lovyt be.

[Sidenote: 1305-1306] _Bruce accepts Comyn’s Proposal_]

Thys lord the Bruys, I spak of ayr,
Saw all the kynryk swa forfayr;
And swa trowblyt the folk saw he,
That he tharoff had gret pitte.                                      480
Bot quhat pite that evir he had,
Na contenance thar-off he maid;
Till, on a tym, Schyr Jhone Cumyn,
As thai come ridand fra Strevillyn,
Said till him; “Schir, will yhe nocht se,                            485
“How that governyt is this countre?
“Thai sla our folk but enchesoune,
“And haldis this land agayne resoune,
“And yhe tharoff full suld lord be.
“And gyff that yhe will trow to me,                                  490
“Ye sall ger mak yhow tharoff king,
“And I sall be in yhour helping;
“With-thi yhe giff me all the land
“That he haiff now in till yhour hand:
“And gyff that yhe will nocht do sua,                                495
“Na swylk a state upon yow ta,
“All hale my land sall yhouris be;
“And lat me ta the state on me,
“And bring this land out off thyrllage.
“For thar is nothir man na page,                                     500
“In all this land that ne sall be
“Fayn to mak thaim-selvyn fre.”
The lord the Bruis hard his carping,
And wend he spak bot suthfast thing.
And, for it likit till his will,                                     505
He gave sone his assent thartill:
And said, ‘Sen yhe will it be swa,
‘I will blythly apon me ta
‘The state, for I wate I have rycht;
‘And rycht mays oft the feble wycht.’                                510

[489: _Full_ is from Wyntoun. E omits.]

[501: E has _than thai_, which is obscure. Wyntoun gives _that thaiy
ne_ (S): _thaiy_ seems superfluous.]

[506: E and S have _his assent sone_: Wyntoun as above, which
preserves the correct accentuation of _assent_.]

[509: E reads and S adopts _wate that_.]

The barownys thus accordyt ar;
And that ilk nycht than writyn war
Thair endenturis, and aythis maid
To hald that thai forspokyn haid.
Bot off all thing wa worth tresoun!                                  515
For thar is nothir duk ne baroun,
Na erle, na prynce, na king off mycht,
Thocht he be nevir sa wys na wycht,
For wyt, worschip, price, na renoun,
That evir may wauch hym with tresoune.                               520
Wes nocht all Troy with tresoune tane,
Quhen ten yheris of the wer wes gane?
Then slayn wes mone thowsand
Off thaim with-owt, throw strenth of hand;
As Dares in his buk he wrate,                                        525
And Dytis, that knew all thar state.
Thai mycht nocht haiff beyn tane throw mycht,
Bot tresoun tuk thaim throw hyr slycht.
And Alexander the Conqueroure,
That conqueryt Babilonys tour,                                       530
And all this warld off lenth and breid,
In twelf yher, throw his douchty deid,
Wes syne destroyit throw pusoune,
In his awyne hows, throw gret tresoune.
Bot, or he deit, his land delt he:                                   535
To se his dede wes gret pite.
Julius Cesar als, that wan
Bretane and Fraunce, as dowchty man,
Affryk, Arrabe, Egipt, Surry,
And all Europe halyly;                                               540
And for his worschip and valour
Off Rome wes fryst maid emperour;
Syne in hys capitole wes he,
Throw thaim of his consaill prive,
Slayne with punsoune, rycht to the ded:                              545
And quhen he saw thair wes na rede,
Hys eyn with his hand closit he,
For to dey with mar honeste.
Als Arthur, that throw chevalry
Maid Bretane maistres and lady                                       550
Off twelf kinrykis that he wan;
And alsua, as a noble man,
He wan throw bataill Fraunce all fre;
And Lucius Yber vencusyt he,
That then of Rome was emperour:                                      555
Bot yheit, for all his gret valour,
Modreyt his systir son him slew;
And gud men als ma then inew,
Throw tresoune and throw wikkitnes;
The Broite beris tharoff wytnes.                                     560
Sa fell off this conand-making:
For the Cumyn raid to the King
Off Ingland, and tald all this cas;
Bot, I trow, nocht all as it was.
Bot the endentur till him gaf he,                                    565
That soune schawyt the iniquite:
Quharfor syne he tholyt ded;
Than he couth set tharfor na rede.

[511: Wyntoun has _Thus thir twa lordis_.]

[512: _Than_ is from Wyntoun. S following E omits.]

[Sidenote: 1306] _Edward sends for Bruce_]

Quhen the King saw the endentur,
He wes angry out of mesur,                                           570
And swour that he suld vengeance ta
Off that Bruys, that presumyt swa
Aganys him to brawle or rys,
Or to conspyr on sic a wys.
And to Schyr Jhon Cumyn said he,                                     575
That he suld, for his leawte,
Be rewardyt, and that hely:
And he him thankit humyly.
Than thocht he to have the leding
Off all Scotland, but gane-saying,                                   580
Fra at the Bruce to dede war brocht.
Bot oft failyheis the fulis thocht;
And wys mennys etling
Cummys nocht ay to that ending
That thai think it sall cum to;                                      585
For God wate weill quhat is to do.
Off hys etlyng rycht swa it fell,
As I sall efterwartis tell.
He tuk his leve, and hame is went;
And the King a parlyament                                            590
Gert set thareftir hastely;
And thidder somownys he in hy
The barownys of his reawte.
And to the lord the Bruce send he
Bydding to come to that gadryng.                                     595
And he that had na persavyng
Off the tresoun, na the falset,
Raid to the King but langir let;
And in Lundon hym herberyd he
The fyrst day off thar assemble;                                     600
Syn on the morn to court he went.
The Kyng sat into parleament;
And forouch hys consaile prive,
The lord the Bruce than callyt he,
And schawyt hym the endentur.                                        605
He wes in full gret aventur
To tyne his lyff; bot God of mycht
Preservyt him till hyer hycht,
That wald nocht that he swa war dede.
The King betaucht hym in that steid                                  610
The endentur, the seile to se,
The askyt, gyff it enselyt he?
He lukyit the seyle ententily,
And answeryt till hym humyly,
And sayd; “How that I sympill be,                                    615
“My seyle is nocht all tyme with me;
“Ik have ane othir it to ber.
“Tharfor giff that yhour willis wer,
“Ic ask yhow respyt for to se
“This lettir, and avysit be,                                         620
“Till to morn that yhe be set:
“And then, for-owtyn langir let,
“This lettir sall I entyr heyr,
“Befor all yhour consaill planer;
“And thair-till in-to bourch draw I                                  625
“Myn herytage all halily.”
The King thocht he wes traist inewch,
Sen he in bowrch hys landis drewch;
And let hym with the lettir passe,
Till entyr it, as for-spokin was.                                    630

[604: E and S _thar_: Wyntoun _than_.]

[620: E and S have _and tharwith_: Wyntoun omits _tharwith_.]

[625: E and S give _boruch_ (_borwch_), but Wyntoun has it as above,
and it so appears in line 628. Skeat’s Glossary is at variance with his
text: he refers _borwch_ to 628 also.]


How the Bruce avoided King Edward’s Deceit.

[Sidenote: JAN. 1306] _Bruce and the Clerk Escape_]

The Bruys went till his innys swyth;
Bot, wyt yhe weile, he wes full blyth,
That he had gottyn that respyt.
He callit his marschall till him tyt,
And bad him luk on all maner,                                          5
That he ma till his men gud cher;
For he wald in his chambre be
A weill gret quhile in private,
With him a clerk for-owtyn ma.
The marschell till the hall gan ga,                                   10
And did hys lordys commanding.
The lord the Bruce, but mar letting,
Gert prively bryng stedys twa.
He and the clerk, for-owtyn ma,
Lap on, for-owtyn persavyng:                                          15
And day and nycht, but sojournyng,
Thai raid; quhill, on the fyften day,
Cummyn till Louchmaban ar thai.
Hys brodyr Edward thar thai fand,
That thocht ferly, Ic tak on hand,                                    20
That thai come hame sa prively:
He tauld hys brodyr halyly,
How that he thar soucht was,
And how he chapyt wes throw cas.

[23: Wyntoun gives--reversing the lines--_How before all hapnyd was_,
from which Skeat suggests as an improvement on 23 _How that before al
hapynd was_.]

Here John Comyn and Others are Slain in the Friars’ Kirk.

Sa fell it in the samyn tid,                                          25
That at Dumfres, rycht thar besid,
Schir Jhone the Cumyn sojornyng maid;
The Brus lap on and thiddir raid;
And thocht, for-owtyn mar letting,
For to quyt hym his discoveryng.                                      30
Thiddir he raid, but langir let,
And with Schyr Jhone the Cumyn met,
In the Freris, at the hye awter,
And schawyt him, with lauchand cher,
The endentur; syne with a knyff,                                      35
Rycht in that sted, hym reft the lyff.
Schyr Edmund Cumyn als wes slayn,
And othir mony off mekill mayn.
Nocht-for-thi yheit sum men sayis,
At that debat fell othir wayis;                                       40
But quhat sa evyr maid the debate,
Thar-throuch he deyt, weill I wat.
He mysdyd thar gretly, but wer,
That gave na gyrth to the awter.
Tharfor sa hard myscheiff him fell,                                   45
That Ik herd nevir in romanys tell
Off man sa hard frayit as wes he,
That eftirwart com to sic bounte.

[34: Wyntoun gives _hevy chere_; but see note.]

[38: For _mony_ S reads _als_ from H.]

[39: S begins _And_ from H.]

[47: For _frayit_ in E Skeat reads _sted_ from H.]

Here the King of England seeks for Robert Bruce, but does
not find Him.

Now agayne to the King ga we,                                         50
That on the morn, with his barne,
Sat in-till his parlement;
And eftyr the lord the Bruys he sent,
Rycht till his in, with knychtis kene.
Quhen he oft tyme had callit bene,
And his men eftir him askit thai,                                     55
Thai said that he, sen yhytirday,
Duelt in his chambyr ythanly,
With a clerk with him anerly.
Than knokyt thai at his chamur thar;
And quhen thai hard nane mak ansuar                                   60
Thai brak the dur; bot thai fand nocht,
The-quhethir the chambre hale thai socht.
Thai tauld the King than hale the cas,
And how that he eschapyt was.
He wes off his eschap sary;                                           65
And swour in ire, full stalwartly,
That he suld drawyn and hangit be.
He manausyt as him thocht: bot he
Thoucht that suld pas ane othir way.

Here Robert Bruce sends Letters for an Assembly.

[Sidenote: FEB. 1306] _Douglas hears Bruce’s Letter_]

And quhen he, as ye hard me say,                                      70
In-till the kyrk Schyr Jhone haid slayn,
Till Louchmabane he went agayne;
And gert men, with his lettres, ryd
To freyndis apon ilke sid,
That come to hym with thar mengyhe;                                   75
And his men als assemblit he:
And thocht that he wald mak him king.
Our all the land the word gan spryng,
That the Bruce the Cumyn had slayn;
And, amang othir, lettres ar gayn                                     80
To the byschop off Androws towne,
That tauld how slayn wes that baroun,
The lettir tauld hym all the deid:
And he till his men can it reid;
And sythyn said thaim; “Sekyrly                                       85
“I hop that Thomas prophecy
“Off Hersildoune sall veryfyd be
“In him; for, swa our Lord help me!
“I haiff gret hop he sall be king,
“And haiff this land all in leding.”                                  90

[74: _Ilke_ is from H: S adopts the form _ilka_. E gives _ilk_, a
syllable short.]

[84: E has _gert_ for _can it_ read by S from H.]

[86: _That_ is from H.]

[87: S following H reads _verray_ for _veryfyd_.]

The Douglas meeting with King Robert.

[Sidenote: MARCH 1306] _Meeting of Bruce and Douglas_]

James off Dowglas, that ay-quhar
All-wayis befor the byschop schar,
Had weill hard all the lettir red;
And he tuk alsua full gud hed
To that the byschop had said.                                         95
And quhen the burdys doun war laid,
Till chamyr went thai then in hy;
And James off Dowglas prively
Said to the byschop; “Schyr, yhe se
“How Inglis men, throw thair powste,                                 100
“Dysherysys me off my land;
“And men has gert yhow undirstand,
“Als that the Erle off Carryk
“Clamys to govern the kynryk:
“And, for yhon man that he has slayn,                                105
“All Inglis men ar him agayn,
“And wald disherys hym blythly;
“The-quhethir with him dwell wald I.
“Tharfor, Schir, giff it war yhour will,
“I wald tak with him gud and ill.                                    110
“Throw hym I trow my land to wyn,
“Magre the Clyffurd and his kyn.”
The byschop hard, and had pite,
And said; ‘Swet son, sa God help me!
‘I wald blythly that thow war thar,                                  115
‘Bot at I nocht reprovyt war.
‘On this maner weile wyrk thou may,
‘Thow sall tak Ferrand my palfray;
‘And for thair na is hors in this land
‘Sa wycht, na yheit sa weill at hand;                                120
‘Tak him as off thine awyne heid,
‘As I had gevyn thar-to na reid.
‘And gyff his yhemar oucht gruchys,
‘Luk that thow tak hym magre his;
‘Swa sall I weill assonyheit be.                                     125
‘Almychty God, for his powste,
‘Graunt that he thow passis to,
‘And thow, sa weill all tyme may do,
‘That yhe yhow fra yhowr fayis defend!’
He taucht him silver to dispend;                                     130
And syne gaiff him his benisoun.
And bad him pass his way off toun;
For he na wald spek till he war gane.
The Dowglas then his way has tane
Rycht to the hors, as he him bad:                                    135
Bot he, that him in yhemsell had,
Than warnyt hym dispitously.
Bot he, that wrethyt him encrely,
Fellyt hym with a suerdys dynt.
And syne, for-owtyn langir stynt,                                    140
The hors he sadylt hastely,
And lap on him delyverly;
And passyt furth but leve-taking.
Der God, that is off hevyn king,
Sawff hym, and scheld him fra his fayis!                             145
All him alane the way he tais
Towart the towne off Louchmabane;
And, a litill fra Aryk-stane,
The Bruce with a gret rout he met,
That raid to Scone, for to be set                                    150
In kingis stole, and to be king.
And quhen Dowglas saw hys cummyng,
He raid, and hailsyt hym in hy,
And lowtyt him full curtasly;
And tauld him haly all his state,                                    155
And quhat he was, and als how-gat
The Clyffurd held his heritage:
And that he come to mak homage
Till him as till his rychtwis king;
And at he boune wes, in all thing,                                   160
To tak with him the gud and ill.
And quhen the Bruce had herd his will,
He resavyt him in gret daynte,
And men and armys till him gaff he.
He thoucht weile he suld be worthy;                                  165
For all his eldris war douchty.
Thusgat maid thai thar aquentance,
That nevir syne, for nakyn chance,
Departyt quhill thai lyffand war.
Thair frendschip woux ay mar and mar:                                170
For he servyt ay lelely;
And the tothir full wilfully,
That was bath worthy, wycht, and wys,
Rewardyt him weile his service.

[95: H _all that_ (S).]

[128: In E clumsily _in all tyme sa weill to do_. The reading is from

[131-2: E has _gaiff him gud day_, two syllables short, and _pass
furth on his way_. S reads as in text from H.]

The Crowning of King Robert.

The lord of the Bruce to Glaskow raid,                               175
And send about him, quhill he haid
Off his freyndis a gret menyhe.
And syne to Scone in hy raid he,
And wes maid king but langir let,
And in the kingis stole wes set;                                     180
As in that tyme wes the maner.
Bot off thar nobleis gret affer,
Thar service, na thar realte,
Yhe sall her na thing now for me;
Owtane that he off the barnage                                       185
That thiddir come, tok homage;
And syne went our all the land,
Frendis and frendschip purchesand,
To maynteym that he had begunnyn.
He wyst, or all the land war wonnyn,                                 190
He suld fynd full hard barganyng
With him that wes off Ingland King:
For thar wes nane off lyff sa fell,
Sa pautener, na sa cruell.
And quhen to King Edward wes tauld,                                  195
How at the Bruys, that wes sa bauld,
Had brocht the Cumyn till ending,
And how he syne had maid him king,
Owt off his wyt he went weill ner;
And callit till him Schir Amer                                       200
The Vallang, that wes wys and wycht,
And off his hand a worthy knycht,
And bad him men off armys ta,
And in all hy till Scotland ga,
And byrn, and slay, and rais dragoun:                                205
And hycht all Fyfe in warysoun
Till him, that mycht othir ta or sla
Robert the Bruce, that wes his fa.
Schir Aymer did as he him bad,
Gret chevalry with him he had;                                       210
With him wes Philip the Mowbray,
And Ingram the Umfravill perfay,
That wes bath wys and averty,
And full of gret chevalry;
And off Scotland the maist party                                     215
Thai had in-till thar company.

[204: _All_ is from H.]

The First Speaking of King Robert with Sir Aymer.

[Sidenote: 1306] _Valence occupies Perth_]

For yheit then mekill off the land
Wes in-till Inglis mennys hand.
Till Perth then went thai in a rout,
That then wes wallyt all about                                       220
With feile towris, rycht hey bataillyt,
To defend giff it war assaylit.
Thar-in duellyt Schir Amery,
With all his gret chevalry.
The King Robert wyst he wes thar,                                    225
And quhat-kyn chyftanys with him war,
And assemblyt all his mengyhe.
He had feyle off full gret bounte;
Bot thar fayis war may then thai,
Be fifteene hunder, as Ik herd say.                                  230
The-quhethir he had thar, at that ned,
Full feill that war douchty off deid;
And barownys that war bauld as bar.
Twa erlis alsua with him war;
Off Levynax and Atholl war thai.                                     235
Edward the Bruce wes thar alsua,
Thomas Randell, and Hew de le Hay,
And Schyr David the Berclay,
Fresale, Somerveile, and Inchmertyn;
James of Dowglas thar wes syne,                                      240
That yheyt than wes bot litill off mycht;
And othir fele folk forsye in fycht:
Bot I can nocht tell quhat thai hycht.
Thocht thai war qwheyn, thai war worthy,
And full of gret chevalry.                                           245
And in bataill, in gud aray,
Befor Sanct Jhonystoun com thai,
And bad Schyr Amery isch to fycht;
And he, that in the mekill mycht
Traistyt off thaim that wes him by,                                  250
Bad his men arme thaim hastily.
Bot Schir Ingram the Umfravill
Thocht it war all to gret perill
In playne bataill to thaim to ga,
Or quhill thai war arayit sa:                                        255
And till Schyr Amer then said he;
‘Schir, giff that yhe will trow to me,
‘Yhe sall nocht ische thaim till assaile,
‘Till thai ar purvayt in bataill.
‘For thar ledar is wys and wycht,                                    260
‘And off his hand a noble knycht;
‘And he has in his cumpany
‘Mony a gud man and worthi,
‘That sall be hard for till assay,
‘While thai ar in sa gud aray.                                       265
‘For it suld be full mekill mycht
‘That now suld put thaim to the flycht:
‘For quhen thai folk ar weill arayit,
‘And for the bataill weill purvait,
‘With-thi that thai all gud men be,                                  270
‘Thai sall fer mar be avise,
‘And weill mar for to dreid, then thai
‘War set sumdele out off aray.
‘Thairfor yhe may, schir, say thaim till,
‘That thai may this nycht, and thai will,                            275
‘Gang herbery thaim and slep and rest;
‘And at to morn, but langar frest,
‘Yhe sall isch furth to the bataill,
‘And fecht with thaim bot gyf thai faile.
‘Sa till thar herbery wend sall thai,                                280
‘And sum sall wend to the forray;
‘And thai that duellis at the logyng,
‘Sen thai come owt off travelling,
‘Sall in schort tyme unarmyt be.
‘Then on our best maner may we,                                      285
‘With all our fayr chevalry,
‘Ryd towart thaim rycht hardyly;
‘And thai that wenys to rest all nycht
‘Quhen thai se us arayit to fycht,
‘Cummand on thaim sa sudanly,                                        290
‘Thai sall affrayit be gretumly.
‘And or thai cummyn in bataill be,
‘We sall speid us swagat that we
‘Sall be all redy till assembill.
‘Sum man for erynes will trymbill,                                   295
‘Quhen he assayit is sodanly,
‘That with avisement is douchty.’

[*243-245: H has

_Als was good Cristall of Setoun,
And Robert Boyde of great renoun,
And other feill men of meekle might._

These lines are from H, and are not in E. See note.]

[255: H gives _While that_ and S adopts.]

[256: E omits _then_ in H.]

[265: E _Till thai_.]

[280, 281: E _went_; _wend_ is from H.]

[292: For _cummyn_ S reads _knit_ from H.]

The Lodging of King Robert in the Park of Methven.

[Sidenote: JUNE 26, 1306] _The Scots are Surprised_]

As he avisyt now have thai done;
And till thaim utouth send thai sone,
And bad thaim herbery thaim that nycht,                              300
And on the morn cum to the fycht.
Quhen thai saw thai mycht no mar,
Towart Meffayn then gan thai far;
And in the woud thaim logyt thai;
The thrid part went to the forray;                                   305
And the lave sone unarmyt war.
And skalyt to loge thaim her and thar.
Schyr Amer then, but mar abaid,
With all the folk he with him haid,
Ischyt in-forcely to the fycht;                                      310
And raid, in-till a randoun rycht,
The strawcht way towart Meffen.
The King, that wes unarmyt then,
Saw thaim cum swa inforcely;
Then till his men gan hely cry,                                      315
“Till armys swyth, and makys yhow yhar!
“Her at our hand our fayis ar!”
And thai did swa in full gret hy;
And on thair hors lap hastily.
The King displayit his baner,                                        320
Quhen that his folk assemblyt wer;
And said, “Lordingis, now may yhe se
“That yhone folk all, throw sutelte,
“Schapis thaim to do with slycht,
“That at thai drede to do with mycht.                                325
“Now I persave he that will trew
“His fa, it sall him sum tyme rew.
“And nocht-for-thi, thocht thai be fele,
“God may rycht weill our werdis dele;
“For multitud mais na victory,                                       330
“As men has red in mony story,
“That few folk has oft vencusyt ma.
“Trow we that we sall do rycht sua.
“Yhe are ilkan wycht and worthy,
“And full of gret chevalry;                                          335
“And wate rycht weill quhat honour is.
“Wyrk yhe then apon swylk wys,
“That yhour honour be savyt ay.
“And a thing will I to yow say,
“That he that dois for his cuntre                                    340
“Sall herbryit in-till hevyn be.”
Quhen this wes said, thai saw cumand
Thar fayis ridand, ner at the hand,
Arayit rycht avisely,
Willful to do chevalry.                                              345

[340: S _deis_ for “an obvious error”; but see note.]

The Battle of Methven and the First Discomfiture of
King Robert.

[Sidenote: JUNE 26, 1306] _The Scots give way_]

On athir syd thus war thai yhar,
And till assemble all redy war.
Thai straucht their speris, on athir syd,
And swa ruydly gan samyn ryd,
That speris all to-fruschyt war,                                     350
And feyle men dede, and woundyt sar;
The blud owt at their byrnys brest.
For the best and the worthiest,
That wilfull war to wyn honour,
Plungyt in the stalwart stour,                                       355
And rowtis ruyd about thaim dang.
Men mycht haiff seyn in-to that thrang
Knychtis that wycht and hardy war,
Undyr hors feyt defoulyt thar,
Sum woundyt, and sum all ded:                                        360
The gress woux off the blud all rede.
And thai, that held on hors, in hy
Swappyt owt swerdis sturdyly;
And swa fell strakys gave and tuk,
That all the renk about thaim quouk.                                 365
The Bruysis folk full hardely
Schawyt thair gret chevalry:
And he him-selff, atour the lave,
Sa hard and hevy dyntis gave,
That quhar he come thai maid him way.                                370
His folk thaim put in hard assay,
To stynt thar fais mekill mycht,
That then so fayr had off the fycht,
That thai wan feild ay mar and mar:
The Kingis small folk ner vencusyt ar.                               375
And quhen the King his folk has sene
Begyn to faile, for propyr tene
Hys assenyhe gan he cry;
And in the stour sa hardyly
He ruschyt, that all the semble schuk;                               380
He all till-hewyt that he our-tuk;
And dang on thaim quhill he mycht drey.
And till his folk he criyt hey;
“On thaim! On thaim! Thai feble fast!
“This bargane nevir may langar last!”                                385
And with that word sa wilfully
He dang on, and sa hardely,
That quha had sene him in that fycht
Suld hald him for a douchty knycht.
Bot thocht he wes stout and hardy,                                   390
And othir als off his cumpany,
Thar mycht na worschip thar availyhe;
For thar small folk begouth to failyhe,
And fled all skalyt her and thar.
Bot the gude, at enchaufyt war                                       395
Off ire, abade and held the stour
To conquyr thaim endles honour.

[Sidenote: 1306] _Fate of the Prisoners_]

  And quhen Schyr Amer has sene
The small folk fle all bedene,
And sa few abid to fycht,                                            400
He releyt to him mony a knycht;
And in the stour sa hardyly,
He ruschyt with hys chevalry,
That he ruschyt his fayis ilkane.
Schir Thomas Randell thar wes tane,                                  405
That then wes a yhoung bacheler;
And Schyr Alexander Fraseyr,
And Schyr David the Breklay,
Inchmertyne, and Hew de le Hay,
And Somerveil, and othir ma;                                         410
And the King him-selff alsua
Wes set in-till full hard assay,
Throw Schyr Philip the Mowbray,
That raid till him full hardyly,
And hynt hys rengyhe, and syne gan cry;                              415
“Help! help! I have the new maid king!”
With that come gyrdand, in a lyng,
Crystall of Seytoun, quhen he swa
Saw the King sesyt with his fa;
And to Philip sic rout he raucht,                                    420
That thocht he wes off mekill maucht,
He gert hym galay disyly;
And haid till erd gane fullyly,
Ne war he hynt him by his sted.
Then off his hand the brydill yhed;                                  425
And the King his enssenyhe gan cry,
Releyt his men that war him by,
That war sa few that thai na mycht
Endur the fors mar off the fycht.
Thai prikyt then out off the pres;                                   430
And the King that angry wes,
For he his men saw fle him fra,
Said then; “Lordingis, sen it is swa
“That ure rynnys agane us her,
“Gud is we pass off thar daunger,                                    435
“Till God us send eftsonys grace:
“And yheyt may fall, giff thai will chace,
“Quyt thaim corn-but sum-dele we sall.”
To this word thai assentyt all,
And fra thaim walopyt owyr mar.                                      440
Thar fayis alsua wery war,
That off thaim all thar chassyt nane:
Bot with prisoneris, that thai had tane,
Rycht to the toune thai held thar way,
Rycht glaid and joyfull off thar pray.                               445
That nycht thai lay all in the toun;
Ther wes nane off sa gret renoun,
Na yheit sa hardy off thaim all,
That durst herbery with-out the wall.
Sa dred thai sar the gayne-cummyng                                   450
Off Schir Robert, the douchty King.
And to the King off Ingland sone,
Thai wrate haly as thai haid done;
And he wes blyth off that tithing,
And for dispyte bad draw and hing                                    455
All the prisoneris, thocht thai war ma.
Bot Schyr Amery did nocht sua;
To sum bath land and lyff gaiff he,
To leve the Bruysis fewte,
And serve the King off Ingland,                                      460
And off him for to hald the land,
And werray the Brus as thar fa.
Thomas Randell wes ane off tha,
That for his lyff become thar man.
Off othir, that war takyn than,                                      465
Sum thai ransownyt, sum thai slew,
And sum thai hangyt, and sum thai drew.

Here the King and his Men Suffer Great Want.

In this maner rebutyt was
The Bruys, that mekill murnyn mais
For his men that war slayne and tane.                                470
And he wes als sa will off wane,
That he trowit in nane sekyrly,
Owtane thaim off his cumpany;
That war sa few that thai mycht be
Five hunder ner off all mengyhe.                                     475
His brodir alwayis wes him by,
Schyr Edward, that wes sa hardy;
And with him wes a bauld baroun,
Schyr Wilyham the Boroundoun;
The Erle off Athole als wes thar.                                    480
Bot ay syn thai discomfyt war,
The Erle off the Levenax wes away,
And wes put to full hard assay
Or he met with the King agayn:
Bot always, as a man off mayn,                                       485
He mayntemyt him full manlyly.
The King had in his cumpany
James alsua of Dowglas,
That wycht, wys, and averty was.
Schyr Gilbert de le Hay alsua,                                       490
Schir Nele Cambell, and othir ma,
That I thar namys can nocht say,
As utelauys went mony day;
Dreand in the Month thar pyne;
Eyte flesch, and drank watir syne.                                   495
He durst nocht to the planys ga,
For all the commownys went him fra;
That for thar liffis war full fayn
To pas to the Inglis pes agayn.
Sa fayris it ay commounly;                                           500
In commownys may nane affy,
Bot he that may thar warand be.
Sa fur thai then with him; for he
Thaim fra thar fais mycht nocht warand:
Thai turnyt to the tothir hand.                                      505
Bot threldome, that men gert thaim fele,
Gert thaim ay yharne that he fur wele.

Here King Robert with his Men goes as far as Aberdeen.

[Sidenote: 1306] _Of the Scottish Ladies_]

[Sidenote: 1306] _The Labours of Douglas_]

Thus in the hyllis levyt he,
Till the maist part off his menyhe
Wes revyn and rent; na schoyne thai had,                             510
Bot as thai thaim off hydys mad.
Tharfor thai went till Abyrdeyne,
Quhar Nele the Bruys come, and the Queyn,
And othir ladyis fayr and farand,
Ilkane for luff off thar husband;                                    515
That for leyle luff, and leawte,
Wald partenerys off thair paynys be.
Thai chesyt tyttar with thaim to ta
Angyr, and payn, na be thaim fra.
For luff is off sa mekill mycht,                                     520
That it all paynys makis lycht;
And mony tyme mais tendir wychtis
Off swilk strenthtis, and swilk mychtis,
That thai may mekill paynys endur,
And forsakis nane aventur                                            525
That evyr may fall, with-thi that thai
Thar-throw succur thair luffys may.
Men redys, quhen Thebes wes tane,
And King Adrastus men war slane,
That assailyt the cite,                                              530
That the wemen off his cuntre
Come for to fech him hame agayne,
Quhen thai hard all his folk wes slayne;
Quhar the King Campaneus,
Throw the help off Menesteus,                                        535
That come percas ridand tharby,
With three hunder in cumpany,
That throw the kingis prayer assailyt,
That yheit to tak the toun had failyheit.
Then war the wiffys thyrland the wall                                540
With pikkis, quhar the assailyheours all
Entryt, and dystroyit the tour,
And slew the pupill but recour.
Syn quhen the duk his way wes gayne,
And all the kingis men war slayne,                                   545
The wiffis had him till his cuntre,
Quhar wes na man leiffand bot he.
In wemen mekill comfort lyis;
And gret solace on mony wis.
Sa fell it her, for thar cummyng                                     550
Rejosyt rycht gretumly the King;
The-quhethir ilk nycht him-selvyn wouk
And his rest apon daiis touk.
  A gud quhile thar he sojournyt then,
And esyt wondir weill his men;                                       555
Till that the Inglis men herd say
That he thair with his mengyhe lay,
All at ese and sekyrly.
Assemblit thai thar ost in hy,
And thar him trowit to suppris.                                      560
Bot he, that in his deid wes wys,
Wyst thai assemblyt war, and quhar;
And wyst that thai sa mony war,
That he mycht nocht agayne thaim fycht.
His men in hy he gert be dycht,                                      565
And buskyt of the toune to ryd:
The ladyis raid rycht by his syd.
Then to the hill thai raid thar way,
Quhar gret defaut off mete had thai.
Bot worthy James off Dowglas                                         570
Ay travailland and besy was,
For to purches the ladyis mete;
And it on mony wis wald get.
For quhile he venesoun thaim brocht:
And with his handys quhile he wrocht                                 575
Gynnys, to tak geddis and salmonys,
Trowtis, elys, and als menounys.
And quhill thai went to the forray;
And swa thar purchesyng maid thai.
Ilk man traveillyt for to get                                        580
And purches thaim that thai mycht ete.
Bot off all that evir thai war,
Thar wes nocht ane amang thaim thar,
That to the ladyis profyt was
Mar then Jamys of Dowglas.                                           585
And the King oft confortyt wes,
Throw his wyt and his besynes.
On this maner thaim governyt thai,
Till they come to the hed of Tay.

[527: I read _luffis_ without any MS. or printed authority; but surely
the sense, a eulogium of love and what it may make women do, demands
this reading. _Cf._ III., 351.]

[534: S, following H, inserts _that_ after _Quhar_.]

[558: S from H reads _At alkyn_. E as given.]


Here the Lord of Lorn attacks the King because of the
Death of John Comyn.

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
Vengeance apon cruell maner.                                           5
Quhen he the King wyst wes sa ner,
He assemblyt his men in hy;
And had in-till his cumpany
The barownys off Argyle alsua,
Thai war a thowsand weill or ma:                                      10
And come for to suppris the King,
That weill wes war of thair cummyng.
Bot all to few with him he had,
The-quhethir he bauldly thaim abaid;
And weill ost, at thar fryst metyng,                                  15
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 tothir party
Fawcht with axys sa felounly                                          20
For thai on fute war evir-ilkane,
That thai feile off thar hors has slayne;
And till sum gaiff thai woundis wid.
James off Dowglas wes hurt that tyd;
And als Schyr Gilbert de le Hay.                                      25
The King his men saw in affray,
And his ensenyhe can he cry;
And amang thaim rycht hardyly
He rad, that he thaim ruschyt all;
And fele of thaim thar gert he fall.                                  30
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,
And said; ‘Lordyngis, foly it war                                     35
‘Tyll us for till assembill mar,
‘For thai fele off our hors has slayn;
‘And gyff we fecht with thaim agayn
‘We sall tyne off our small mengyhe,
‘And our-selft sall in perill be.                                     40
‘Tharfor me thynk maist avenand
‘To withdraw us, us defendand,
‘Till we cum owt off thar daunger,
‘For owr strenth at our hand is ner.’

Then thai withdrew thaim halely;                                      45
Bot that wes nocht full cowartly;
For samyn in-till a sop held thai;
And the King him abandonyt ay
To defend behind his mengyhe.
And throw his worschip sa wroucht he,                                 50
That he reskewyt all the flearis,
And styntyt swagat the chassaris,
That nane durst owt off batall chas
For alwayis at thar hand he was.
Sa weile defendyt he his men,                                         55
That quha-sa-evir had seyne him then
Prove sa worthely vasselage,
And turn sa oft sythis the visage,
He suld say he awcht weill to be
A king of gret rewate.                                                60

[Sidenote: 1306] _Bruce compared to Gaudifer_]

Quhen that the Lord of Lorne saw
His men stand off him ane sik aw,
That thai durst nocht folow the chase,
Rycht angry in his hart he was;
And for wondyr that he suld swa                                       65
Stot thaim, him allane but ma,
He said; “Me think, Marthokys sone,
“Rycht as Golmakmorn was wone
“To haiff fra Fyn all his mengne,
“Rycht swa all his fra us has he.”                                    70
He set ensample thus mydlike,
The-quhethir he micht, mar manerlik,
Lyknyt hym to Gaudifer de Larys,
Quhen that the mychty duk Betys
Assailyheit in Gadyrris the forrayours.                               75
And quhen the King thaim made rescours,
Duk Betys tuk on him the flycht,
That wald ne mar abid to fycht.
Bot gud Gaudifer the worthi
Abandonyt him so worthyly,                                            80
For to reskew all the fleieris,
And for to stonay the chasseris,
That Alysandir to erth he bar;
And alsua did he Tholimar,
And gud Coneus alsua,                                                 85
Danklyne alsua, and othir ma.
But at the last thar slayne he wes:
In that failyheit the liklynes.
For the King, full chevalrusly,
Defendyt all his cumpany,                                             90
And wes set in full gret danger;
And yheit eschapyt haile and fer.

How the King slew the Three Men that swore his Death.

  Twa brethir war into that land,
That war the hardiest off hand
That war in-till all that cuntre;                                     95
And thai had sworn, iff thai micht se
The Bruys, quhar thai mycht him our-ta,
That thai suld dey, or then hym sla.
Thar surname wes Makyne-drosser;
That is al-so mekill to say her                                      100
As “the Durwarth sonnys” perfay.
Off thar covyne the thrid had thai,
That wes rycht stout, ill, and feloune.
Quhen thai the King of gud renoune
Saw sua behind his mengne rid,                                       105
And saw him torne sa mony tid,
Thai abaid till that he was
Entryt in ane narow place,
Betuix a louchside and a bra;
That wes sa strait, Ik underta,                                      110
That he mycht nocht weill turn his sted.
Then with a will till him thai yhede;
And ane him by the bridill hynt:
But he raucht till him sic a dynt,
That arme and schuldyr flaw him fra.                                 115
With that ane othir gan him ta
Be the lege, and his hand gan schute
Betuix the sterap and his fute:
And quhen the King felt thar his hand.
In sterapys stythly gan he stand,                                    120
And strak with spuris the stede in hy,
And he lansyt furth delyverly,
Swa that the tothir failyheit fete;
And nocht-for-thi his hand wes yheit
Undyr the sterap, magre his.                                         125
The thrid, with full gret hy, with this
Rycht till the bra-syd he yheid,
And stert be-hynd hym on his sted.
The King wes then in full gret pres;
The-quhethir he thocht, as he that wes                               130
In all hys dedys avise,
To do ane owtrageous bounte.
And syne hyme that behynd hym was,
All magre his will, him gan he ras
Fra be-hynd hym, thocht he had sworn,                                135
He laid hym evyn him beforn.
Syne with the suerd sic dynt hym gave,
That he the heid till the harnys clave.
He rouschit doun off blud all rede,
As he that stound feld off dede.                                     140
And then the King, in full gret hy,
Strak at the tothir vigorusly,
That he eftir his sterap drew,
That at the fyrst strak he him slew.
On this wis him delyverit he                                         145
Off all thai felloun fayis thre.

[Sidenote: 1306] _Macnaughton praises Bruce_]

Quhen thai of Lorne has sene the King
Set in hym-selff sa gret helping,
And defend him sa manlely;
Wes nane amang thaim sa hardy                                        150
That durst assailyhe him mar in fycht:
Sa dred thai for his mekill mycht.
Thar wes a baroune Maknauchtan,
That in his hart gret kep has tane
Unto the Kingis chevalry,                                            155
And prisyt hym in hert gretly.
And to the Lord off Lorne said he;
‘Sekyrly now may yhe se
‘Betane the starkest pundelan,
‘That evyr yhour lyff-tyme yhe saw tane.                             160
‘For yhone knycht, throw his douchti deid,
‘And throw his owtrageous manheid,
‘Has fellyt in-till litill tyd
‘Thre men of mekill mycht and prid:
‘And stonayit all our mengyhe swa,                                   165
‘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;
“It semys it likis the perfay,                                       170
“That he slayis yhongat our mengyhe.”
‘Schyr,’ said he, ‘sa our Lord me se!
‘To sauff yhour presence it is nocht swa.
‘Bot quhethir sa he be freynd or fa,
‘That wynnys prys off chevalry,                                      175
‘Men suld spek tharoff lelyly.
‘And sekyrly, in all my tyme,
‘Ik hard nevir, in sang na ryme,
‘Tell off a man that swa smertly
‘Eschevyt swa gret chevalry.’                                        180
Sic speking off the King thai maid:
And he eftyr his mengyhe raid;
And in-till saufte thaim led,
Quhar he his fayis na thing dred.
And thai off Lorne agayn ar gayn,                                    185
Menand the scaith that thai haiff tayn.

[Sidenote: 1306] _How Hannibal failed at Rome_]

The King that nycht his wachis set,
And gert ordayne that thai mycht et;
And bad thaim comford to thaim tak,
And at thar mychtis mery mak.                                        190
‘For disconford,’ as then said he,
‘Is the werst thing that may be.
‘For throw mekill disconforting
‘Men fallis oft in-to disparyng.
‘And fra a man disparyt be,                                          195
‘Then utterly vencusyt is he.
‘And fra the hart be discumfyt,
‘The body is nocht worth a myt.
‘Tharfor,’ he said, ‘atour all thing,
‘Kepys yhow fra disparyng:                                           200
‘And thynk, thouch we now harmys fele,
‘That God may yheit releve us weill.
‘Men redys off mony men that war
‘Fer hardar stad then we yhet ar;
‘And syne our lord sic grace thaim lent,                             205
‘That thai come weill till thair entent.
  ‘For Rome quhilum sa hard wes stad,
‘Quhen Hanniball thaim vencusyt had,
‘That, off ryngis with rich stane,
‘That war off knychtis fyngerys tane,                                210
‘He send thre bollis to Cartage:
‘And syne to Rome tuk his viage,
‘Thar to distroye the cite all.
‘And thai with-in, bath gret and small,
‘Had fled, quhen thai saw his cummyng,                               215
‘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,
‘Servandis and threllis mad he fre;                                  220
‘And maid thaim knychtis evirilkane:
‘And syne has off the templis tane
‘The armys, that thar eldrys bar,
‘In name off victory offerryt thar.
‘And quhen thai armyt war and dycht,                                 225
‘That stalwart karlis war and wycht,
‘And saw that thai war fre alsua,
‘Thaim thocht that thai had levir ta
‘The dede, na lat the toun be tane.
‘And with commowne assent, as ane,                                   230
‘Thai ischit off the toune to fycht,
‘Quhar Hannyball his mekill mycht
‘Aganys thaim arayit was.
‘Bot, throw mycht off Goddis grace,
‘It ranyt sa hard and hevyly,                                        235
‘That thar wes nane sa hardy
‘That durst in-to that place abid;
‘Bot sped thaim in-till hy to rid;
‘The ta part to thar pailyhownys,
‘The tothyr part went in the toune is.                               240
‘The rayne thus lettyt the fechtyn:
‘Sa did it twys thar-eftir syne.
‘Quhen Hanibal saw this ferly,
‘With all his gret chevalry
‘He left the toune, and held his way;                                245
‘And syne wes put to sik assay,
‘Throw the power off that cite,
‘That his lyff and his land tynt he.
‘Be thir quheyne, that sa worthily
‘Wane sik a king, and sa mychty,                                     250
‘Yhe may weill be ensampill se,
‘That na man suld disparyt be:
‘Na lat his hart be vencusyt all,
‘For na myscheiff that evir may fall.
‘For nane wate, in how litill space,                                 255
‘That God umquhile will send his grace.
‘Had thai fled and thar wayis gane,
‘Thar fayis swith the toune had tane.
‘Tharfor men, that werrayand ar,
‘Suld set thair etlyng evir-mar                                      260
‘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,
‘To dey, or to leyff cowartly,                                       265
‘Thai suld erar dey chevalrusly.’

[189: E omits the first _thaim_. H has _thaim comfort_ which S adopts;
but _cf._ line 191. J reads _conford_ in E.]

[194: J and S _off_; but surely it should be _oft_.]

[210: E reads and J prints _stanys_, _taneys_; but, as S points out,
the latter word is impossible. H gives as above.]

[216: E has _king_. H gives _ying_, which S adopts; but _cf._ line
250. Hannibal was not a king, either. King is, of course, historically
wrong, but Barbour has already made Julius Cæsar Emperor! See note.]

Thusgat thaim confortyt the King;
And, to confort thaim, gan inbryng
Auld storys off men that wer
Set in-tyll hard assayis ser,                                        270
And that fortoun contraryit fast,
And come to purpos at the last.
Tharfor he said, that thai that wald
Thar hartis undiscumfyt hald
Suld ay thynk ythandly to bryng                                      275
All thar enpres to gud ending:
As quhile did Cesar the worthy,
That traveillyt ay so besyly,
With all his mycht, folowing to mak
To end the purpos that he wald tak;                                  280
That hym thocht he had doyne rycht nocht,
Ay quhill to do him levyt ocht:
For-thi gret thingis eschevyt he,
As men may in his story se.
Men may se be his ythand will,                                       285
And it suld als accord to skill,
That quha tais purpos sekyrly,
And followis it syne ythandly,
For-owt fayntice, or yheit faynding,
With-thi it be conabill thing,                                       290
Bot he the mar be unhappy,
He sall eschev it in party.
And haiff he lyff-dayis, weill mai fall,
That he sall eschev it all.
For-thi suld nane haiff disparing                                    295
For till eschev a full gret thing:
For giff it fall he thar off failyhe,
The fawt may be in his trawailyhe.

[275, 288: _Ythandly_ (S): E has _ententily_.]

[Sidenote: 1306] _The Ladies are worn out_]

He prechyt thaim on this maner;
And fenyheit to mak bettir cher,                                     300
Then he had matir to, be fer:
For his caus yheid fra ill to wer.
Thai war ay in sa hard travaill,
Till the ladyis began to fayle,
That mycht the travaill drey na mar;                                 305
Sa did othir als that war thar.
The Erle Jhone wes ane off tha,
Off Athole, that quhen he saw sua
The King be discumfyt twys,
And sa feile folk agayne him rys;                                    310
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 to yhow say,
“We lyff in-to sa mekill dreid,                                      315
“And haffis oft-sys off met sik ned,
“And is ay in sic travailling,
“With cauld, and hungir, and waking;
“That I set off my-selvyn sua,
“That I count nocht my liff a stra.                                  320
“Thir angrys may I na mar drey,
“For thoucht me tharfor worthit dey,
“I mon sojourne, quhar-evir it be.
“Levys me tharfor par cheryte.”
The King saw that he sa wes failyt,                                  325
And that he ik wes for-travaillyt.
He said; ‘Schir Erle, we sall sone se,
‘And ordayne how it best may be.
‘Quhar-evyr yhe be, our Lord yhow send
‘Grace, fra yhour fais yhow to defend!’                              330
With that in hy to him callyt he
Thaim, that till him war mast prive:
Then amang thaim thai thocht it best,
And ordanyt for the liklyest,
That the Queyne, and the Erle alsua,                                 335
And the ladyis, in hy suld ga,
With Nele the Bruce, till Kildromy.
For thaim thocht thai mycht sekyrly
Duell thar, quhill thai war victaillit weile:
For swa stalwart wes the castell,                                    340
That it with strenth war hard to get,
Quhill that thar-in were men and mete.
As thai ordanyt thai did in hy:
The Queyne, and all hyr cumpany,
Lap on thar hors, and furth thai far.                                345
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,
Baith sich, and wep, and murnyng mak.                                350
Thai kyssyt thair luffis at thair partyng,
The King umbethocht him off a thing;
That he fra-thine on fute wald ga,
And tak on fute bath weill and wa;
And wald na hors-men with him haiff.                                 355
Tharfor his hors all haile he gaiff
To the ladyis, that mystir had.
The Queyn furth on hyr wayis rade;
And sawffly come to the castell,
Quhar hyr folk war ressavyt weill;                                   360
And esyt weill with meyt and drynk.
Bot mycht nane eys let hyr to think
On the King, that sa sar wes stad,
That bot twa hunder with him had,
The quhethir thaim weill confort he ay:                              365
God help him, that all mychtis may!

[319: _Set_ from H (S). E has _am sad_. Perhaps _And I sad_.]

[365: E gives _The quhethir thaim weill confortyt he ay_. H _The
whilke them wel governed ay_, whence Skeat reads _The quhilk_ with E
less _he_. See note.]

The Pains of King Robert among the Mountains.

[Sidenote: 1306] _Bruce will go to Kintyre_]

The Queyne duelt thus in Kyldromy:
And the King and his cumpany,
That war twa hunder, and na ma,
Fra thai had send thar hors thaim fra,                               370
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,
That all the countre thaim werrayit.                                 375
Sa hard anoy thaim then assayit,
Off hungir, cauld, with schowris snell,
That nane that levys can weill it tell.
The King saw how his folk wes stad,
And quhat anoyis that thai had;                                      380
And saw wynter wes cummand ner;
And that he mycht on na wys der,
In the hillys, the cauld lying,
Na the lang nychtis waking.
He thocht he to Kyntyr wald ga,                                      385
And swa lang sojowrnyng thar ma,
Till wynter weddir war away:
And then he thocht, but mar delay,
In-to the manland till aryve,
And till the end hys werdis dryve.                                   390
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,
Quhen he suld meite him at the se.                                   395
Schir Nele Cambel, with his mengyhe,
Went his way, but mar letting,
And left his brothir with the King.
And in twelve dayis sua traveillit he,
That he gat schippyne gud plente,                                    400
And victalis in gret aboundance:
Sa maid he nobill chevisance.
For his sibmen wonnyt thar-by,
That helpyt him full wilfully.

[399: E _xij_. H _ten_.]

How the King passed over Loch Lomond.

The King, eftir that he wes gane,                                    405
To Lowchlomond the way has tane,
And come thar on the thrid day.
Bot thar-about na bait fand thai,
That mycht thaim our the watir ber:
Than war thai wa on gret maner:                                      410
For it wes fer about to ga;
And thai war in-to dout alsua,
To meyt thair fayis that spred war wyd.
Tharfor, endlang the louch his syd,
Sa besyly thai socht, and fast,                                      415
Tyll Jamys of Dowglas, at the last,
Fand a litill sonkyn bate,
And to the land it drew, fut-hate.
But it sa litill wes that it
Mycht our the wattir bot thresum flyt.                               420
Thai send thar-off word to the King,
That wes joyfull off that fynding;
And fyrst in-to the bate is gane,
With him Dowglas; the thrid wes ane
That rowyt thaim our deliverly,                                      425
And set thaim on the land all dry:
And rowyt sa oft-sys to and fra,
Fechand ay our twa and twa,
That in a nycht and in a day,
Cummyn owt-our the louch ar thai.                                    430
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 thair thing.

[Sidenote: 1306] _Bruce reads aloud a Romance_]

The King, the quhilis, meryly                                        435
Red to thaim, that war him by,
Romanys off worthi Ferambrace,
That worthily our-cummyn was,
Throw the rycht douchty Olyver;
And how the Duk-Peris wer                                            440
Assegyt in-till Egrymor,
Quhar King Lavyne lay thaim befor,
With may thowsandis then I can say.
And bot eleven within war thai,
And a woman: and war sa stad,                                        445
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,
Till that Rychard off Normandy,                                      450
Magre his fayis, warnyt the King,
That wes joyfull off this tithing:
For he wend thai had all bene slayne.
Tharfor he turnyt in hy agayne,
And wan Mantrybill and passit Flagot;                                455
And syne Lavyne and all his flot,
Dispitusly discumfyt he:
And deliveryt his men all fre,
And wan the naylis, and the sper,
And the croune that Jesu couth ber;                                  460
And off the croice a gret party
He wan throw his chevalry.
The gud King, apon this maner,
Comfortyt thaim that war him ner;
And maid thaim gamyn and solace,                                     465
Till that his folk all passyt was.

[465: E has again _et_, as in I., 309.]

Quhen thai war passit the watir brad,
Suppos thai fele off fayis had,
Thai maid thaim mery, and war blyth;
Nocht-for-thi full fele syth                                         470
Thai had full gret defaut off mete,
And tharfor venesoun to get
In twa partys ar thai gayne.
The King him-selff was in-till ane,
And Schir James off Dowglas                                          475
In-to the tothir party was.
Then to the hycht thai held thar way,
And huntyt lang quhill off the day;
And soucht schawys, and setis set;
Bot thai gat litill for till ete.                                    480
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,
He had wondir quhat it mycht be;                                     485
And on sic maner spyryt he,
That he knew that it wes the King
And then, for-owtyn mar duelling,
With all thaim off his company,
He went rycht till the King in hy,                                   490
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,
That he durst rest in-to na place                                    495
Na, sen the King discumfyt was
At Meffan, he herd nevir thing
That evir wes certane off the King.
Tharfor in-to full gret daynte,
The King full humyly haylsit he;                                     500
And he him welcummyt rycht blythly,
And kyssyt him full tendirly.
And all the lordis, that war thar,
Rycht joyfull off thar meting war,
And kyssyt him in gret daynte.                                       505
It wes gret pite for till se
How thai for joy and pite gret,
Quhen that thai with thar falow met,
That thai wend had bene dede; forthi
Thai welcummyt him mar hartfully.                                    510
And he for pite gret agayne,
That nevir off metyng wes say fayne.

[495: E reads _nocht rest_.]

[502: E has _askyt_. H _kyssyt_.]

[508: H has _fellowes_, whence _falowis_ (S).]

[Sidenote: 1306] _How men weep_]

  Thocht I say that thai gret, sothly
It wes na greting propyrly:
For I trow traistly that gretyng                                     515
Cummys to men for mysliking;
And that nane may but anger gret,
Bot it be wemen, that can wet
Thair chekys quhen-evir thaim list with teris,
The-quhethir weill oft thaim na thing deris.                         520
Bot I wate richt weill, but lesyng,
Quhat-evir men say off sic greting,
That mekill joy, or yheit pete,
May ger men sua amovyt be,
That watir fra the hart will rys,                                    525
And weyt the eyne on sic avys,
That it is lik to be greting,
Thocht it to be nocht sua in all thing.
For quhen men gretis enkrely,
The hart is sorowfull or angry.                                      530
Bot for pite, I trow, gretyng
Be na thing bot ane opynnyng
Off hart, that schawis the tendirnys
Off rewth that in it closyt is.
The barownys apon this maner,                                        535
Throw Goddis grace, assemblyt wer.
The Erle had mete, and that plente,
And with glaid hart it thaim gaiff he;
And thai eyt it with full gud will,
That soucht nane othir sals thar-till                                540
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,
And thankit him, with full gud cher,                                 545
That thai war met on that maner.
The King then at thaim speryt yharne,
How thai, sen he thaim saw, had farne;
And thai full petwysly gan tell
Aventuris that thaim befell,                                         550
And gret anoyis, and poverte.
The King thar-at had gret pite:
And tauld thaim petwisly agayne
The noy, the travaill, and the payne,
That he had tholyt, sen he thaim saw.                                555
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.
For, quhen men oucht at liking ar,                                   560
To tell off paynys passyt by
Plesys to heryng wonderly;
And to rehers thar auld disese,
Dois thaim oft-sys confort and ese;
With-thi thar-to folow na blame,                                     565
Dishonour, wikytnes, na shame.

[521: H gives _right_, which seems necessary for the metre. E and S

How the King passed to the Sea, and how the Earl of Lennox was chased.

[Sidenote: 1306] _The Knights at the Oars_]

Eftir the mete sone rais the King,
Quhen he had levyt hys speryng;
And buskyt him, with his mengyhe,
And went in hy towart the se;                                        570
Quhar Schir Nele Cambell thaim mete,
Bath with schippis, and with meyte;
Saylys, ayris, and othir thing,
That wes spedfull to thar passyng.
Then schippyt thai, for-owtyn mar;                                   575
Sum went till ster, and sum till ar,
And rowyt be the ile of But.
Men mycht se mony frely fute
About the costis thar lukand,
As thai on ayris rais rowand:                                        580
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.
For all war doand, knycht and knave;                                 585
Wes nane that evir disport mycht have
Fra steryng, and fra rowyng,
To furthyr thaim off thar fleting.

Here the Earl of Lennox is followed by Traitors.

  Bot in the samyn tyme at thai
War in schipping, as yhe hard me say,                                590
The Erle off the Levenax was,
I can nocht tell yhow throw quhat cas.
Levyt behynd with his galay,
Till the King wes fer on his way.
Quhen that thai off his cuntre                                       595
Wyst that so duelt behynd wes he,
Be se with schippys thai him soucht;
And he that saw that he wes nocht
Off pith to fecht with thai traytouris,
And that he had na ner socouris                                      600
Then the Kingis flote, for-thi
He sped him eftir thaim in hy.
Bot the tratouris hym folowyt sua,
That thai weill ner hym gan our-ta.
For all the mycht that he mycht do,                                  605
Ay ner and ner thai come him to.
And quhen he saw thai war sa ner
That he mycht weill thar manauce her,
And saw thaim ner and ner cum ay,
Then till his mengyhe gan he say;                                    610
“Bot giff we fynd sum sutelte,
“Ourtane all sone sall we be.
“Tharfor I rede, but mar letting,
“That, owtakyn our armyng,
“We kast our thing all in the se:                                    615
“And fra our schip swa lychtyt be,
“We sall swa row, and speid us sua,
“That we sall weill eschaip thaim fra;
“With that thai sall mak duelling
“Apon the se, to tak our thing;                                      620
“And we sall row but resting ay,
“Till we eschapyt be away.”
As he devisyt thai have done;
And thar schip thai lychtyt sone:
And rowyt syne, with all thar mycht;                                 625
And scho, that swa wes maid lycht,
Raykyt slidand throw the se.
And quhen thar fayis gan thaim se
Forowth thaim alwayis, mar and mar,
The thingis that thar fletand war                                    630
Thai tuk; and turnyt syne agayne,
Swa that thai lesyt all thar payne.

Quhen that the Erle on this maner,
And hys mengyhe, eschapyt wer,
Eftyr the King he gan hym hy,                                        635
That then, with all his cumpany,
In-to Kyntyr aryvyt was.
The Erle tauld him all his cas;
How he wes chasyt on the se,
With thaim that suld his awyn be;                                    640
And how he had bene tane but dout,
Na war it that he warpyt owt
All that he had, him lycht to ma;
And swa eschapyt he thaim fra.
“Schyr Erle,” said the King, “perfay                                 645
“Syn thow eschapyt is away,
“Off the tynsell is na plenyheing.
“Bot I will say the weile a thing;
“That thar will fall the gret foly
“To pas oft fra my cumpany.                                          650
“For fele sys, quhen thow art away,
“Thow art set in-till hard assay.
“Tharfor me thynk it best to the
“To hald the alwayis ner by me.”
‘Schyr,’ said the Erle, ‘it sall be swa.                             655
‘I sall na wys pas fer yhow fra,
‘Till God giff grace we be of mycht
‘Agayne our fayis to hald our stycht.’

[647: _The_ is in E. S reads _thi_ from H.]

[658: J reads _flycht_ from E, but the two first letters are not
clear, and S prefers _stycht_, though an unusual word.]

[Sidenote: 1306] _Angus of Islay joins Bruce_]

  Angus off Ile that tyme wes syr,
And lord and ledar off Kyntyr.                                       660
The King rycht weill resavyt he;
And undretuk his man to be:
And him and his, on mony wys,
He abandownyt till his service.
And, for mar sekyrnes, gaiff him syne                                665
Hys castell off Donavardyne,
To duell tharin at his liking.
Full gretumly thankyt him the King,
And resavyt his service.
Nocht-for-thi, on mony wys,                                          670
He wes dredand for tresoun ay:
And tharfor, as Ik hard men say,
He traistyt in nane sekyrly,
Till that he knew him utraly.
Bot quhatkyn dred that evir he had,                                  675
Fayr contenance to thaim he maid.
And in Donavardyne dayis thre,
For-owtyne mar, then duellyt he.
Syne gert he his mengyhe mak thaim yhar,
Towart Rauchryne be se to far,                                       680
That is ane ile in-to the se;
And may weill in mydwart be
Betuix Kyntyr and Irland:
Quhar als gret stremys ar rynnand,
And als peralous and mar                                             685
Till our-saile thaim in-to schipfair,
As is the rais of Bretangyhe,
Or strait off Marrok in-to Spanyhe.

  Thair schippys to the se thai set;
And maid redy but langer let,                                        690
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.
Thai raysyt saile, and furth thai far;                               695
And by the mole thai passyt yhar,
And entryt sone in-to the rase,
Quhar that the strem sa sturdy was
That wavys wycht, that brekand war,
Weltryt as hillys her and thar.                                      700
The schippys our the wavys slayd,
For wynd at poynt blawand thai had.
Bot nocht-for-thi quha had thar bene,
A gret stertling he mycht haiff seyne
Off schippys; for quhilum sum wald be                                705
Rycht on the wavys, as on mounte;
And sum wald slyd fro heycht to law,
Rycht as thai doune till hell wald draw;
Syne on the wav stert sodanly.
And othyr schippis, that war thar-by,                                710
Deliverly drew to the depe.
It wes gret cunnannes to kep
Thar takill in-till sic a thrang,
And wyth sic wavis; for, ay amang,
The wavys reft thar sycht of land.                                   715
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
Wald refe thaim oft off thar sycht.                                  720

[699: J reads _wavys wyd wycht_, as E probably has it. H has _with_.
S puts in _wavys wyd that_, but _wycht_ seems necessary and answers
better to _sturdy_.]

[706: _On mounte_ in E. H has _summitie_, whence S reads _summite_.]

[Sidenote: 1306] _The King settles in Rathein_]

  Bot in to Rauchryne, nocht-forthi,
Thai aryvyt ilkane sawffly:
Blyth, and glaid, that thai war sua
Eschapyt thai hidwyss wavis fra.
In Rauchryne thai aryvyt ar;                                         725
And to the land thai went but mar,
Armyt upon thar best maner.
Quhen the folk, that thar wonnand wer,
Saw men off armys in thar cuntre
Aryve in-to sic quantite,                                            730
Thai fled in hy, with thar catell,
Towart a rycht stalwart castell,
That in the land wes ner thar-by.
Men mycht her wemen hely cry,
And fle with cataill her and thar.                                   735
Bot the Kingis folk, that war
Deliver off fute, thaim gan our-hy;
And thaim arestyt haillely,
And brocht thaim to the King agayne,
Swa that nane off thaim all wes slayne.                              740
Then with thaim tretyt swa the King,
That thai, to fullfill hys yharning,
Become his men evirilkane:
And has him trewly undretane
That thai and thairis, loud and still,                               745
Suld be in all thing at his will:
And, quhill him likit thar to leynd,
Evirilk day thai suld him seynd
Victalis for three hunder men:
And ay as lord thai suld him ken;                                    750
Bot at thar possessioune suld be,
For all his men, thair awyn fre.

[738: _Haillely_ is from H. S from E accepts _hastely_, but the former
fits in better with line 740.]

[750: H has _And ay for Lord they sould him ken_. E _And thai as lord
suld him ken_, which S follows. _Ay_ is metrically necessary. _Cf._

  The cunnand on this wys was maid.
And on the morn, but langir baid
Off all Rauchryne bath man and page                                  755
Knelyt, and maid the King homage;
And tharwith swour him fewte,
To serve him ay in lawte:
And held him rycht weill cunnand.
For quhill he duelt in-to the land,                                  760
Thai fand meit till his cumpany;
And servyt him full humely.


How the Queen and Other Ladies were taken and imprisoned,
and her Men slain.

In Rauchryne leve we now the King
In rest, for-owtyn barganying;
And off his fayis a quhile spek we,
That, throw thar mycht and thar powste,
Maid sic a persecucioune,                                              5
Sa hard, sa strayt, and sa feloune,
On thaim that till hym luffand wer,
Or kyn, or freynd on ony maner;
That it till her is gret pite.
For thai sparyt, off na degre,                                        10
Thaim that thai trowit his freynd wer,
Nothir off the kyrk, na seculer.
For off Glaskow byschop Robert,
And Marcus off Man thai stythly speryt,
Bath in fetrys and in presoune.                                       15
And worthy Crystoll off Seytoun
In-to Lochdon betresyt was,
Throw a discipill off Judas.
Maknab, a fals tratour, that ay
Wes off his duelling, nycht and day;                                  20
Quhom-to he maid gud cumpany.
It wes fer wer than tratoury
For to betreys sic a persoune,
So nobill, and off sic renoune.
Bot thar-off had he na pite:                                          25
In hell condampnyt mot he be!
For quhen he him betrasyt had,
The Inglis men rycht with him rad
In hy, in Ingland, to the King,
That gert draw hym, and hede, and hing,                               30
For-owtyn pete, or mercy.
It wes gret sorow sekyrly,
That so worthy persoune as he
Suld on sic maner hangyt be.
Thusgate endyt his worthynes.                                         35
And off Crauford als Schyr Ranald wes.
And Schyr Bruce als the Blar,
Hangyt in-till a berne in Ar.

[17: Pinkerton read it _Loudon_ (S). E has _London_. H _Lochdon_: on
which see note.]

[Sidenote: 1306] _The Queen goes to Tain_]

  The Queyn, and als dame Marjory,
Hyr dochtyr that syne worthily                                        40
Wes coupillyt in-to Goddis band
With Walter, Stewart off Scotland;
That wald on na wys langar ly
In the castell off Kyldromy,
To byd a sege, ar ridin raith                                         45
With knychtis and with squyeris bath,
Throw Ros, rycht to the gyrth off Tayne.
Bot that travaill thai maid in vayne;
For thai off Ros, that wald nocht ber
For thaim na blayme, na yheit danger,                                 50
Owt off the gyrth thame all has tayne;
And syne has send thaim evirilkane
Rycht in-till Ingland, to the King,
That gert draw all the men, and hing;
And put the ladyis in presoune,                                       55
Sum in-till castell, sum in dongeoun.
It wes gret pite for till heir
Folk till be troublyt on this maneir.

[51: E _hame_ (S).]

[58: E has _the folk_. Reading is from the Cambridge MS., which begins
at line 57 (see Introd., 27). C has _tribulit_. C also has _Kyndrumy_
throughout. I have kept the more familiar form in E.]

How Prince Edward of England besieged Kyldrumy.

That tyme wes in-to Kyldromy,
With men, that wycht war and hardy,                                   60
Schyr Neile the Bruce: and I wate weile
That thar the Erle wes off Adheill.
The castell weill victalyt thai,
And mete and fuell gan purvay;
And inforsit the castell sua,                                         65
That thaim thocht na strenth mycht it ta.
And quhen that it the King wes tald
Off Ingland, how thai schup to hald
That castell, he wes all angry;
And callit his sone till hym in hy,                                   70
The eldest and apperande air,
A yhoung bachiller, stark and fair,
Schyr Edward callit off Carnavirnane,
That wes the starkest man off ane
That men fynd mycht in ony cuntre;                                    75
Prynce off Walys that tym wes he.
And he gert als call erlis twa,
Glowsister and Herfurd war thai;
And bad thame wend in-to Scotland
And set a sege, with stalward hand,                                   80
To the castell of Kildromy.
And all the haldaris halely
He bad distroy, without ransoun,
Or bring thame till him in presoune.

[60: C omits _with_, but the garrison was more than two! See note.]

[61: C omits _and_, giving line 62 as _And thar wes_, etc.]

[63: E begins _In_. C omits.]

[64: C begins _With_.]

[66: C begins _Thaim_. E as above.]

[83: E _for-owtyn_.]

Here the King of England collects his Men in Scotland.

  Quhen thai the mandment all had tane,                               85
Thai assemblit ane ost on-ane,
And to the castell went in hy,
And it assegyt vigorusly;
And mony tyme full hard assalit;
Bot for to tak it yheit thame falit.                                  90
For thai within war rycht worthy,
And thame defendit douchtely;
And ruschit thair fayis oft agayne;
Sum best woundit, and sum wes slayne.
And mony tymes ysche thai wald,                                       95
And bargane at the barras hald;
And wound thair fayis oft and sla.
Schortly thai thaim contenyt swa,
That thai without disparit war,
And thoucht till Ingland for to far;                                 100
For thai sa stith saw the casteill,
And wist that it wes warnist weill;
And saw the men defend thame swa,
That thai na hop had thame to ta.

[88: C has _rygorusly_.]

[94: E has _Sum best, sum woundyt, sum als slayne_, where _slayne_ as
a past tense is impossible. The reading is from C, Skeat interpreting
as _Some of the best were_, etc.]

[104: E has _nane_. C _na_.]

[Sidenote: SEP. 1306] _Kildrummy is set on Fire_]

Nane had thai done all that sesoune,                                 105
Gyff na had beyn thair fals tresoune.
For thar within wes a tratour,
A fals lurdane, ane losengeour,
Osbarn to name, maid the tresoun,
I wate nocht for quhat enchesoun,                                    110
Na quham-with he maid that covyne:
Bot as thai said, that war thar-in,
He tuk a culter hat glowand,
That het wes in a fyre byrnand,
And went in-to the mekill hall,                                      115
That than with corne wes fillit all,
And heych up on a mow it did,
Bot it full lang wes thar nocht hyd.
For men sais oft that fyr, na pryd,
But discovering may na man hyd.                                      120
For the pomp oft the prid furth shawis,
Or ellis the gret bost that it blawis.
Na mar may na man fyr sa covyr,
Than low or rek sall it discovyr.
So fell it heir, for fyre all cleir                                  125
Soyn throu the thik burd can appeir,
Ferst as a sterne, syne as a moyne,
And weill bradar thar-efter soyn
The fyre out syne in blasis brast;
And the reik rais rycht wounder fast.                                130
The fyre our all the castell spred,
Thar mycht no fors of men it red.
Than thai within drew till the wall,
That at that tym wes battalit all
Within, rycht as it wes with-out.                                    135
That battalyng, withouten dout,
Saffit thair liffis, for it brak
Blesis that wald thame ourtak.
And quhen thair fayis the myscheiff saw,
Till armys went thai in a thraw;                                     140
And assalit the castell fast,
Quhar thai durst come for fyris blast,
Bot thai, within that myster had,
Sa gret defens ande worthy maid,
That thai full oft thair fayis ruschit,                              145
For thai nakyn peralis refusit.
Thai travaill for to sauf thair lifis:
Bot werd, that to the end ay driffis
The warldis thingis, sua thame travalit,
That thai on twa halfis war assalit.                                 150
Within with fyr, that thame sa brulyheit;
Without with folk, that thaim sa tulyheit,
That thai brynt magre thairis the yhet,
Bot for the fyre, that wes so het,
Thai durst nocht enter swa in hy.                                    155
Thar folk thar-for thai can rely,
And went to rest, for it wes nycht;
Till on the morn that day wes lycht.

[123: C begins _And thair may_.]

How King Edward died in Burgh-in-Sand.

[Sidenote: SEP. 1306] _Kildrummy is surrendered_]

At sic myscheiff, as yhe herd say,
War thai within; the-quhethir thai                                   160
Evir thame defendit worthely,
And thame contenit sa manfully,
That thai or day, throu mekill pane,
Had muryt up the yhet agane.
Bot on the morn, quhen day wes lycht,                                165
And sone wes ryssyn schynand brycht,
Thai without in hale battale,
Com purvait, reddy till assale.
Bot thai within, that sa war stad,
That na wittaill na fuaill had,                                      170
Quhar-with thai mycht the castell hald,
Tretit ferst, and syne thame yhald
To be in-to the Kyngis will,
That than to Scottis wes full ill;
As soyn efter wes weill knawin,                                      175
For thai war hangit all and drawin.

Quhen this cunnand thus tretit wes,
And affermit with sekirnes,
Thai tuk thaim of the castell soyn.
And in till schort tyme has swa done,                                180
That all a quarter off Snawdoune,
Rycht to the erd, thai tumlit doune.
Syne toward Ingland wend thar way.
Bot quhen the King Edward herd say
How Neyll the Bruce held Kildrummy                                   185
Agane his sone sa stallwardly;
He gaderit a gret chevelry,
And toward Scotland went in hy.

[183: C has _thai wend_ (S). E omits _thai_.]

And as in-to Northumbirland
He wes, with his gret rowt, rydand,                                  190
A seiknes tuk him in the way;
And put him in sa hard assay,
That he mycht nouthir gang no ryde.
Him worthit, magre his, abyde
In-till ane hamelat neir thair-by,                                   195
A litill toune, and unworthy.
With gret payn thiddir thai hym brocht;
He wes sa stad that he na mocht
Hys aynd bot with gret panys draw;
Na spek bot gif it war weill law.                                    200
The-quethir he bad thai suld him say
Quhat toune wes that, that he in lay.
“Schir,” thai said, “Bowrch-in-the-Sand
“Men callis this toune, in-to this land.”
‘Call thai it Burch? Allace!’ said he,                               205
‘My hope is now fordone to me.
‘For I wend nevir to thole the payn
‘Of dede, quhill I, throu mekyll mayn,
‘The Burch of Jerusalem had tane;
‘My lif wend I thair suld be gane.                                   210
‘In Burch I wist weill I suld de:
‘Bot I was nouthir wis, no sle,
‘Till othir burchis kepe to ta.
‘Now may I no wis forthir ga.’
Thus plenyheit he off his folye;                                     215
As he had mater sekirly,
Quhen he wend to wit certante
Of that at nane may certane be.

[218: C has _that that_ (S). E _that at_.]

  The-quhethir, men said enclosit he had
Ane spirit, that hym ansuer mad                                      220
Of thingis that he wald inqueir.
Bot he wes fule, forouten weir,
That gaf treuth to that creature.
For fendis ar of sic nature,
That thai to mankynd has invy;                                       225
For thai wat weill and wittirly,
That thai that weill ar liffand heir
Sall wyn the segis, quhar-of thai weir
Tumlit doune throu thair mekill pryde.
Quharfor oftymis will betyde.                                        230
That quhen fendis distrenyheit ar
For till apper and mak answar,
Throu force of conjuracioune,
That thai sa fals ar and felloune,
That thai mak ay thair ansuering,                                    235
In-till dowbill undirstanding,
Till dissaf thame that will thame trow.
Ensampill will I set heir now
Of a were, as I herde tell,
Betuix France and the Flemynnis fell.                                240

[234: C has _sa felloune_ (S).]

[Sidenote: 1306] _How Ferrand’s Mother was deceived_]

  The Erll Ferrandis moder was
Ane nygramansour; and Sathanas
Scho rasit; and him askit syne,
Quhat suld worth off the fichtyne
Betuix the Franch king and hir sone.                                 245
And he, as he all tyme wes wone,
In-to dissat maid his ansuer;
And said to hir thir versis heir.

[244: C has _fichtyne_ (S), and (254) _fichting_.]

The Lines about the War of Bosbek.

  _Rex ruet in bello tumulique carebit honore
Ferrandus, comitissa, tuus, mea cara Minerva,                        250
Parisius veniet, magna comitante caterva._
This wes the spek he maid, perfay;
And is in Inglis for to say;
“The king sall fall in the fichting,
“And sall fale honor of erding;                                      255
“And thi Ferrand, Mynerff my deir,
“Sall rycht to Paris went, but weir;
“Followand him gret cumpany
“Of nobill men and of worthy.”
This is the sentens off the saw,                                     260
That he in Latyne can hir schaw.
He callit hir his deir Mynerfe,
For Mynerfe ay wes wont to serfe
Him fullely at his devis.
And for scho maid the samyn service,                                 265
His Minerf hir callit he:
And als, throu his gret sutelte,
He callit hir deir, hir till dissaf,
That scho the titar suld consaf
Of his spek the undirstanding,                                       270
That plesit mast to hir liking.

[265: C gives _maid him the sam_ (S).]

[268: For the second _hir_, C has _sone_ (S).]

  His doubill spek hir sua dissavit,
That throu hir feill the ded resavit;
For scho was of his ansuer blith,
And till hir sone scho tald it swith;                                275
And bad him till the battale spede,
For he suld victor haf but drede.
And he, that herd hir sermonyng,
Sped hym in hy to the fichting;
Quhar he discumfit wes and schent,                                   280
And takyn, and to Paris sent.
Bot in the fechting nocht-for-thi
The kyng, throu his chevelry,
Wes laid at erd, and lamyt bath,
Bot his men horsit hym weill rath.                                   285
And quhen Ferrandis moder herd
How hir sone in the battale ferd,
And that he swa wes discumfit,
Scho rasit the evill spirit als tit:
And askit quhy he gabbit had                                         290
Of the ansuer that he hir mad.
And he said that he suth said all;
“I said the that the kyng suld fall
“In the battale, and sua did he;
“And falys erding, as men may se.                                    295
“And I said that thi sone suld ga
“To Paris, and he did he rycht sua;
“Followand him sic a mengyhe,
“That nevir, in his lif-tyme, he
“Had sic mengyhe at his leding.                                      300
“Now seis thow I maid na gabbing.”
The wif confusit wes, perfay,
And durst no mair on-till him say.

[301: C has _mak_ (S).]

[Sidenote: JULY 7, 1307] _Edward I. dies at Burgh-on-Sand_]

  Thusgat, throu doubill undirstanding,                              304
That bargane come to sic ending,
That the ta part dissavit was:
Richt sua-gat fell it in this cas:
At Jerusalem thus trowit he                                          308
Gravyn in the burch to be;
The-quethir at Burch in-to the Sand
He suelt rycht in his awne land.
And quhen he to the ded wes ner,                                     312
The folk, that at Kyldrummy wer,
Com with the presoners at thai had tane,
And syne unto the Kyng ar gane.
And for to confort him thai tald                                     316
How thai the castell to thame yhald;
And how thai to his will war brocht,
Till do of thame quhat-evir he thocht;
And askit quhat thai suld of thaim do.                               320
Than lukit he angyrly thame to,
And said gyrnand, “Hangis and drawis.”
It wes gret wounder of sic sawis;
That he, that to the ded wes neir,                                   324
Suld ansuer apon sic maneir
Forouten menyng of mercy,
How mycht he trastly on hym cry,
That suthfastly demys all thing                                      328
To haf mercy for his crying
Of him that, throu his felony,
In-to sic poynt had no mercy?
His men his mandment has all done:                                   332
And he deit thar-eftir sone;
And syne wes brocht till berynes:
His son syne eftir kyng he wes.

[321: C has _awfully_ (S).]

How James of Douglas passed into Arran.

To Kyng Robert agane ga we,                                          336
That in Rauchryne, with his menyhe,
Lay till the wyntir neir wes gane,
And of that ile his met has tane.
James of Douglas wes angry                                           340
That thai so lang suld ydill ly;
And to Schir Robert Boyd said he;
“The pouir folk of this countre
“Ar chargit apon gret maner                                          344
“Of us, that ydill lyis her.
“And I heir say that in Arane,
“Intill a stith castell of stane,
“Ar Inglis men that with strang hand                                 348
“Haldis the lordschip of the land.
“Ga we thiddir; and weill may fall,
“Anoy thame in sum thing we sall.”
Schir Robert said, “I grant thar-till.                               352
‘To ly heir mair war litill skill:
‘Tharfor till Arane pass will we,
‘For I knaw rycht weill that cuntre.
‘And the castell alsua knaw I.                                       356
‘We sall come thair sa prevely,
‘That thai sall haff na persavyng,
‘Na yheit witting of our cummyng.
‘And we sall neir enbuschit be,                                      360
‘Quhar we thair out-cummyng may se.
‘Sa sall it on na maner fall,
‘Than scath thame on sum wis we sall.’

[Sidenote: 1307] _Douglas is in Ambush_]

  With that thai buskit thame on-ane:                                364
And at the Kyng thair leyf has tane,
And went thaim furth syne on thair way.
In-to Kentyre soyn cumin ar thai:
Syne rowit all-wayis by the land,                                    368
Till at the nycht wes neir at hand;
Than till Arane thai went thair way,
And saufly thair arivit thai.
And under ane bra thair galay dreuch,                                372
And syne it helit weill ineuch;
Thair takill, ayris, and thair stere,
Thai hyde all on the samyn maner:
And held thair way rycht in the nycht,                               376
Sa that, or day wes dawyn lycht,
Thai war enbuschit the castell neir,
Arayit on the best maneir.
And thouch thai wate war and wery,                                   380
And for lang fastyng all hungry,
Thai thoucht to hald thame all preve,
Till that thai weill thair poynt mycht se.

[372: _In a glen_, E H.]

[375: C has _sam_ (S) as in 265.]

  Schir John the Hastyngis, at that tyde,                            384
With knychtis of full mekyll pryde,
And squyaris and gude yhemanry,
That war a weill gret cumpany,
Wes in the castell of Brathwik.                                      388
And oftsis, quhen it wald him lik,
He went to hunt with his menyhe
And sua the land abandonit he,
That nane durst warn to do his will.                                 392
He wes in-to the castell still,
The tym that James of Douglas,
As I haf tald, enbuschit was.
  Sa hapnyt at that tyme, throu chans,                               396
With vittalis and ek purvians,
And with clething, and with armyng,
The day befor, in the evynnyng,
The undirwardane arivit was,                                         400
With thre batis, weill neir the place
Quhar that the folk I spak off ar
Prevely enbuschit war.
Soyn fra the batis saw thai ga                                       404
Of Inglis men thretty and ma,
Chargit all with syndry thing,
Sum bare wyne, and sum armyng:
The remanand all chargit were                                        408
With thingis on syndry manere:
And othir syndry yheid thame by,
As thai war masteris, ydilly.
Thai that enbuschit war thame saw,                                   412
Ande, for-outen dreid or aw,
Thair buschement apon thame thai brak,
And slew all that thai mycht ourtak.
The cry rais hydwisly and hee:                                       416
For thai, that dredand war to de,
Rycht as bestis can rair and cry,
Thai slew thaim for-outen mercy;
Swa that, in-to the samyn sted,                                      420
Weill neir to fourty thar war ded.

[398: C omits second _with_ (S).]

[402, 403: C has _ere ... were_ (S).]

[414: C and S omit _thai_.]

[419: C has _And thai slew fast without_ (S).]

  Quhen thai, that in the castell war,
Herd the folk sa cry and rair,
Thai yschit furth to the fechtyng;                                   424
Bot quhen Douglas saw thar cummyng,
His men till hym he can rely,
And went till meit thame hastely.
And quhen thai of the castell saw                                    428
Hym cum on thaim forouten aw,
Thai fled forouten mair debate;
And thai thame followit to the yhate,
And slew of thame, as thai in past.                                  432
Bot thai thair yhet barrit so fast,
At thai mycht do at thame no mair:
Tharfor thai left thame ilkane thair,
And turnit to the see agane,                                         436
Quhar that the men war forrow slane.
And quhen thai that war in the batis
Saw thair cummyng, and wist how-gatis
Thai had discumfit thair menyhe,                                     440
In hy thai put thame to the se,
And rowit fast with all thare mayn.
Bot the wynde wes thame agayn,
That it gert sa the land-brist rys,                                  444
That thai mycht weld the se na wis.
Na thai durst nocht cum to the land,
Bot hald thame thair so lang hobland,
That of thre batis drownyt twa,                                      448
And quhen Dowglas saw it wes swa,
He tuk the armyng, and cleything,
Vittalis, wyne, and othir thing
At thai fand thar; and held thair way                                452
Rycht glad and joyfull of thair pray.

The Coming of King Robert Bruce to Arran.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce gets News of Douglas_]

On this wis James of Douglas,
And hys menyhe, throu Goddis grace,
War weill releyit with armying,                                      456
With vittale als and with clething;
Syne till a strenth thai held thair way,
And thame full manly governit thai;
Till on the tend day at the King,                                    460
With all that war in his ledyng,
Arivit in-to that cuntre,
With thretty small galais and thre.
The King arivit in Arane;                                            464
And syne to the land is gane,
And in a toune tuk his herbery:
And sperit syne full specialy,
Giff ony man couth tell tithand                                      468
Of ony strange men in that land.
“Yhai,” said a woman, “Schir, perfay,
“Of strange men I can yhow say,
“That ar cumin in this cuntre,                                       472
“And schort quhile sen, throu thare bounte,
“Thai haff discumfit our wardane,
“And mony of his folk has slane.
“In-till a stalward place heir-by                                    476
“Reparis all thair cumpany.”
‘Dame,’ said the King, ‘wald thou me wis
‘To that place quhar thair repair is,
‘I sall reward the but lesing,                                       480
‘For thai ar all of my duelling;
‘And I richt blithly wald thame se,
‘And richt sua trow I thai wald me.’
“Yhis,” said scho, “Schir, I will blithly                            484
“Ga with yhow and yhour cumpany,
“Till that I schaw yhow thair repair.”
‘That is eneuch, my sister fair;
‘Now ga furthwardis,’ said the Kyng.                                 488
Than went thai furth but mair letting,
Followand hir as scho thame led,
Till at the last scho schewit a sted
Till the King, in a woddy glen,                                      492
And said; “Schir, heir I saw the men,
“That yhe speir eftir, mak luging:
“Heir trow I be thair reparyng.”

[456: _Relevit_ in E.]

[458: C gives _strate_ (S). H _strait_. E as above, which seems more

[481: C _I wald_ (S).]

  The King than blew his horn in hy;                                 496
And gert the men, that war him by,
Hald thaim still, and all prive;
And syne agane his horn blew he.
James of Dowglas herd him blaw,                                      500
And he the blast all soyn can knaw;
And said, “Suthly yhon is the Kyng:
“I knaw lang quhill syne his blawyng.”
The thrid tym thar-with-all he blew,                                 504
And than Schir Robert Boyde it knew,
And said, “Yhon is the King, but dreid;
“Ga we furth till hym bettir speid.”
Than went thai till the King in hy,                                  508
And him salusit full curtasly;
And blithly welcumit thame the Kyng,
That joyfull wes of thair meting,
And kyssit thame, and sperit syne                                    512
How thai had farn in thair huntyne.
And thai hym tald all but lesyng:
Syne lovit thai God of thair meting.
Syne with the Kyng to his herbry                                     516
Thai wend, bath joyfull ande joly.

[498: C gives _Hald thame all still than preve_ (S). E as in text.]

[513: C has _ontyne_, whence _hontyne_ (S).]

How the King sent his Man to spy in Carrick who were to him Friendly.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Reasons for Vengeance_]

The King apon the tothir day
Can till his preve menyhe say;
“Yhe knaw all weill, and wele may se,                                520
“How we ar out of our cuntre
“Banyst, throu Inglis mennys mycht;
“And that, that ouris suld be of richt,
“Throu thair mastrice thai occupy;                                   524
“And wald alsua, without mercy,
“Gif thai had mycht, distroy us all.
“Bot God forbeid that it suld fall
“Till us, as thai mak mannasyng!                                     528
“For than war thair na recoveryng.
“And mankynd biddis us that we
“To procur vengeans besy be.
“For yhe may se we haf thre thingis                                  532
“That makis us amonestyngis
“For to be worthy, wis, and wicht,
“And till anoy thame at our mycht.
“Ane is our liffis savite,                                           536
“That suld on na wis savit be,
“Gif thai had us at thair liking.
“The tothir that makis us egging,
“Is that thai our possessioune                                       540
“Haldis with strinth agane resoune.
“The thrid is the joy that we abyde,
“Gif that it hapyn, as weill may tyde,
“That we haf victor and mastry                                       544
“Till ourcum thair felony.
“Tharfor we suld our hertis rais,
“Sua that na myscheif us abais;
“And schape all-wayis to that ending                                 548
“That beris mensk and ek lovyng.
“And tharfor, lordis, gif yhe se
“Emang yhow that it spedfull be,
“I will send a man to Carrik,                                        552
“To spy and speir how the kynrik,
“Is led, or quha is frend or fa.
“And gif he seis we land may ta,
“On Turnberys snuke he may                                           556
“Mak a fyre, on a certane day,
“And mak taknyng till us, that we
“May thair ariffe in-to saufte.
“And gif he seis we may nocht swa;                                   560
“Luk on na wis the fyre he ma.
“Swa may we thar throw haff wittering
“Of our passage, or our duelling.”

[523: C gives _And it_ (S).]

[525: E _for-owtyne_.]

[536: E _sawfte_.]

[556: C _Turnberyis nuk_ (S); but see note.]

  To this spek all assentit ar.                                      564
And than the King, withouten mair,
Callit till him ane that wes preve,
And born of Carrik his cuntre:
And chargit him, in les and mare,                                    568
As yhe herd me devis it are;
And set him certane day to may
The fyr, gif he saw it wes sway
That thai had possibilite                                            572
To manteme were in that cuntre.
And he, that wes richt weill in will
His lordis yharnyng to fulfill,
As he that worthy wes and leill,                                     576
And couth secretis rycht weill conceil,
Said, he wes boune in-till all thing
For till fullfill his commaunding:
And said he suld do sa wisly,                                        580
That na repreif suld eftir ly,
Syne at the King his leif has tane;
And furth apon his way is gane.

Now gais the messinger his way,                                      584
That hat Cutbert, as I herd say.
In Carrik soyn arivit he,
And passit throu all the cuntre.
Bot he fand few thair-in, perfay,                                    588
That gud wald of his mastir say.
For feill of thame durst nocht for dreid,
And othir-sum rycht in-to ded
War fais to the nobill Kyng,                                         592
That rewit syne thair barganyng.
Bath hye and law, the land wes then
All occupyit with Inglis men;
That dyspitit, atour all thing,                                      596
Robert the Bruce the douchty Kyng.
Carrik wes gevyn than halely
To Sir Henry the lord Persy;
That in Turnberyis castell then                                      600
Wes, with weill neir thre hundreth men;
And dantit suagat all the land,
That all wes till hym obeysand.
This Cutbert saw thair felony,                                       604
And saw the folk sa halely
Be worthyn Inglis, rich and pure,
That he to nane durst hym discure.
Bot thoucht to leif the fyre unmaid,                                 608
Syne till his mastir to wend but baid,
And all thair covyne till hym tell,
That wes sa angry and sa fell.

Of the Fire the King saw Burning.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce sees the Fire_]

The Kyng, that in-to Arane lay,                                      612
Quhen that cumin wes the day,
That he set till his messyngere,
As I devisit yhow lang ere,
Eftir the fyre he lukit fast;                                        616
And als soyn as the moyn wes past,
Hym thoucht weill that he saw a fyre,
By Turnbery byrnand weill schyre;
And till his menyhe can it schaw:                                    620
Ilk man thoucht weill that he it saw.
Than with blith hert the folk can cry;
“Gud king, speid yhow deliverly;
“Swa that we soyn in the evynnyng                                    624
“Arif, withouten persavyng.”
‘I grant,’ said he, ‘now mak yhow yhair.
‘God furthir us in-till our fair!’

[616: E _none_. H _noone_.]

  Than in schort tym men mycht thaim se                              628
Schute all thair galais to the se,
Ande beir to se bath ayr and steir,
And othir thyngis that mystir weir.

Here the King’s Hostess foretells what is to be, and gives him
her Two Sons.

  And as the King apon the land                                      632
Wes gangand up and doun, bydand
Till that his menyhe reddy war,
His hostes come rycht till hym thar.
And quhen that scho him halsit had,                                  636
A preve spek till hym scho mad,
And said, “Ta gude tent to my saw:
“For or yhe pas I sall yhow schaw
“Of yhour fortoun a gret party.                                      640
“And atour all thing specialy
“A wittering heir I sall yhow may,
“Quhat end that your purpos sall ta.
“For in this warld is nane trewly                                    644
“Wat thingis to cum sa weill as I.
“Yhe pas now furth on yhour viage,
“To venge the harme and the outrage
“That Inglis men has to yhow done;                                   648
“Bot yhe wat nocht quhat-kyn forton
“Yhe mon dre in yhour warraying.
“Bot wit yhe weill, without lesing,
“That fra yhe now haf takyn land,                                    652
“Thair sal no micht, no strinth of hand,
“Ger yhow furth pas of this cuntre
“Quhill all to yhow abandonyt be.
“Within schort tym yhe sall be king,                                 656
“And haf the land at yhour liking,
“And ourcum yhour fayis all;
“Bot feill anoyis thoill yhe sall,
“Or that yhour purpos ende haf tane;                                 660
“Bot yhe sall thame ourdriff ilkane.
“And, that yhe trow this sekirly,
“My twa sonnys with yhow sall I
“Send to tak with yhow yhour travell;                                664
“For I wat weill thai sall nocht fale
“Till be rewardit weill at rycht,
“Quhen yhe ar heyt on to yhour hicht.”

[644: E _land_.]

[Sidenote: 1307] _Of Astrology_]

[Sidenote: 1307] _Of Necromancy_]

  The Kyng, that herd all hir carpyng,                               668
Than thankit hir in mekill thing;
For scho confortit hym sumdeill:
The-quhethir he trowit nocht full weill
Hir spek, for he had gret ferly                                      672
How scho suld wit it sekirly:
As it wes wounderfull, perfay,
How ony man throu steris may
Knaw the thingis that ar to cum                                      676
Determinabilly, all or sum,
Bot gif that he enspirit war
Of him, that all thing evirmar
Seis in his presciens,                                               680
*As it war ay in his presens:
As David wes, and Jeromy,
Samuell, Joell, and Ysay,
That throu his haly grace can tell
Feill thingis that eftirward befell.                                 684
Bot thai prophetis so thyn ar sawin,
That nane in erd now is knawin.
Bot feill folk ar sa curious,
And to wit thingis sa covatous,                                      688
That thai, throu thair gret clergy,
Or ellis throu thair devilry,
On thir twyn maners makis fanding
Of thingis to cum to haf knawing.                                    692
Ane of thame is astrology,
Quhar-throu clerkis, that ar witty,
May knaw conjunctione of planetis,
And quhethir that thair cours thaim settis                           696
In soft segis, or in angry;
And of the hevyn all halely
How that the disposicioune
Suld apon thingis wirk heir doune,                                   700
On regiones, or on climatis,
That wirkis nocht ay-quhar a-gatis,
Bot sum ar les, sum othir mair,
Eftir as thair bemys strekit air,                                    704
Owthir all evin, or on wry.
Bot me think it war gret mastry
Till ony astrolog to say
This sall fall heir, and on this day.                                708
For thouch a man his liff haly
Studeit swa in astrology,
That on the sternis his hed he brak,
Wis men sais he suld nocht mak,                                      712
His liftyme, certane domys thre;
And yheit suld he ay dout quhill he
Saw how that it com till ending:
Than is thar na certane demyng.                                      716
Or gif thai men that will study
In the craft of astrology,
Knaw all mennis nacioune,
And als the constillacioune                                          720
That kyndly maneris giffis thaim til,
For till inclyne to gud or ill;
How that thai throu craft of clergy,
Or throu slicht of astrology,                                        724
Couth tell quhatkyn perell apperis
To thame that haldis kyndly maneris;
I trow that thai suld faill to say
The thingis that thame happyn may.                                   728
For quhethir sa men inclynit be
Till vertu or to mavite,
He may richt weill refrenyhe his will,
Outhir throu nurtour or throu skill,                                 732
And to the contrar turne him all.
And men has mony tymis seyn fall,
That men, kyndly to ivill giffin,
Throu thair gret wit away has drivin                                 736
Thair evill, and worthyn of gret renoune,
Magre the constillacioune.
As Arestotill, gif, as men redis,
He had followit his kyndly dedis,                                    740
He had beyn fals and covatous;
Bot his wit maid him virtuous.
And syn men may on this kyn wis
Wirk agane that cours, that is                                       744
Principal caus of thair demyng,
Me think thair dome na certane thing.
  Nigramansy ane othir is,
That kennys men on syndry wis,                                       748
Throw stalward conjuraciones,
And throw exorcizaciones,
To ger spiritis to thame apeir,
And gif ansuer on seir maneir.                                       752
As quhilom did the Phitones,
That, quhen Saull abasit wes
Of the Philistianis mycht,
Rasit, throu hyr mekill slycht,                                      756
Samuelis sperit als tit,
Or in his sted the evill spirit,
That gaf rycht graith ansueir hir to.
Bot of hir-self rycht nocht wist scho.                               760
And man is in-to dreding ay
Of thingis that he has herd say,
And namly of thingis to cum, quhill he
Have of the end the certante.                                        764
And sen thai ar in sic wenyng,
Fourouten certane witting,
Me think, quha sayis he knawis thingis
To cum, he makis gret gabbingis.                                     768
Bot quhethir scho that tald the King
How his purpos suld tak ending,
Wenit, or wist it witterly;
It fell eftir all halely                                             772
As scho said: for syne king wes he,
And of full mekill renomme.

[* Pinkerton, whose numbering of the lines is followed by Skeat, omits
this line by an oversight.]

[686: C has _That thair in erd now nane is knawin_ (S). Reading from
E. H has _nane in eird_.]

[753: C _That_ (S): _As_ E H.]

[764: _Knaw_ in E H.]


Of the King’s Handseling in Carrick at his First Arrival.

This wes in vere, quhen wyntir tyde,
With his blastis hydwis to byde,
Wes ourdriffin: and byrdis smale,
As thristill and the nychtingale,                                      4
Begouth rycht meraly to syng,
And for to mak in thair synging
Syndry notis, and soundis sere,
And melody plesande to here.                                           8
And the treis begouth to ma
Burgeonys, and brycht blumys alsua,
To wyn the heling of thar hevede.
That wikkit wyntir had thame revede;                                  12
And all grevis begouth to spryng.
In-to that tyme the nobill King,
With his flot and a few menyhe,
Thre hundir I trow thai mycht weill be,                               16
Is to the se, furth of Arane
A litill forrow the evyn gane.

[13: E _gressys_.]

[17: _Is_ in E. C and H give _Went_, which must be wrong. S alters to
_Wes_. _Cf._ 254.]

[Sidenote: 1307] _Who made the Fire?_]

  Thai rowit fast with all thar mycht,
Till that apon thame fell the nycht,                                  20
That it wox myrk on gret maner,
Swa that thai wist nocht quhar thai wer.
For thai na nedill had na stane;
Bot rowyt alwayis in-till ane,                                        24
Stemmand alwayis apon the fyre,
That thai saw byrnand licht and schire.
It wes bot aventur that thame led:
And thai in schort tym swa thame sped,                                28
That at the fyre arivit thai,
And went to land but mair delay.
And Cuthbert, that has seyn the fyre,
Wes full of angir and of ire,                                         32
For he durst nocht do it away;
And he wes alsua doutand ay
That his lord suld pas the se.
Tharfor thair cummyng watit he,36
And met thame at thair ariving.
He wes weill soyne brocht to the King,
That sperit at hym how he had done.
And he with sair hert tald him sone,                                  40
How that he fand nane weill willand,
Bot all war fais that evir he fand:
And at the lord the Persy,
With neir thre hundreth in cumpany,                                   44
Was in the castell thar besyde,
Fulfillit of dispit and pride.
Bot mair than twa part of his rowt
War herbreit in the toune tharout;                                    48
“And dispisis yhow mair, Schir King,
“Than men may dispis ony thing.”
Than said the Kyng, in full gret ire,
‘Tratour, quhy maid thou on the fyre?’                                52
“A! Schir,” said he, “sa God me se!
“That fyre wes nevir maid on for me.
“Na, or this nycht, I wist it nocht;
“Bot fra I wist it, weill I thocht                                    56
“That yhe, and haly yhour menyhe,
“In hy suld put yhow to the se.
“Forthi I com to meit yhow her,
“To tell peralis that may aper.”                                      60

[25: E _Sterand all tyme_.]

[27: E omits _that_, and with _aventur_ accented as in line 69 it
seems superfluous.]

  The King wes of his spek angry,
And askit his preve men in hy,
Quhat at thame thocht wes best to do.
Schir Edward ferst answerd thar-to,                                   64
His brothir that wes so hardy,
And said: “I say yhow sekirly
“Thar sall na peralis that may be,
“Dryve me eftsonis to the se.                                         68
“Myne aventure heir tak will I,
“Quhethir it be eisfull or angry.”
‘Brothir,’ he said, ‘sen thou will sa,
‘It is gud that we sammyn ta                                          72
‘Dises or ese, or pyne or play,
‘Eftir as God will us purvay.
‘And sen men sais that the Persy
‘Myne heritage will occupy,                                           76
‘And his menyhe sa neir us lyis,
‘That us dispytis mony wys;
‘Ga we venge sum of the dispit,
‘And that we may haf don als-tit;                                     80
‘For thai ly trastly, but dreding
‘Of us, or of our heir-cummyng.
‘And thouch we slepand slew thaim all,
‘Repreif us tharof na man sall.                                       84
‘For weriour na fors suld ma,
‘Quhethir he mycht ourcum his fa
‘Throu strynth, or throu sutelte;
‘Bot at gud faith ay haldin be.’                                      88

[65: E _brodyr_.]

Here the King secretly enters the Town and slays All.

  Quhen this wes said thai went thare way;
And till the toun soyn cumin ar thai,
Sa prevely, bot noys making,
That nane persavit thair cummyng.                                     92
Thai scalyt throu the toune in hy,
And brak up dures sturdily,
And slew all that thai mycht ourtak:
And thai that na defens mycht mak,                                    96
Full pitwisly couth rair and cry;
And thai slew thame dispitwisly,
As thai that war in-to gud will
To venge the angir and the ill,                                      100
That thai and thairis had to thaim wrocht;
Thai with so felloun will thaim socht,
That thai slew thame evirilkane,
Outtak Makdowall hym allane,                                         104
That eschapit throu gret slicht,
And throu the myrknes of the nycht.

[Sidenote: 1307] _The Carrick Men are Overawed_]

  In the castell the lorde Persy
Herd weill the noyis and the cry:                                    108
Sa did the men, that with-in wer,
And full effraytly gat thair ger.
But off thaim wes nane sa hardy,
That evir ischyt fourth to the cry.                                  112
In sic afray thai baid that nycht,
Till on the morn that day wes licht:
And than cesit in-to party
The noyis, slauchtir, and the cry.                                   116
The King gert be departit then
All haill the reif amang his men;
And duelt all still thair dais thre.
Sic hansell to the folk gaf he,                                      120
Richt in the first begynnyng,
Newly at his arivyng.

[109-112: From E. C omits by an oversight, reading on from the second

A Certain Lady, a Relative of the King, comes to him with Forty Men.

  Qwhen at the King and his folk ware
Arivit, as I tald yhow are,                                          124
A quhill in Carrik lendit he,
To se quha frend or fa wald be.
Bot he fand litill tendirnes:
And nocht-for-thi the pepill wes                                     128
Inclynit to hym in-to party;
Bot Inglis men sa angirly
Led thame with danger and wyth aw,
That thai na frendschip durst him schaw.                             132
Bot a lady of that cuntre,
That wes till hym in neir degre
Of cosynage, wes wounder blith
Of his arivale, and als swith                                        136
Sped hir till hym, in full gret hy,
With fourty men in cumpany,
And betacht thame all to the King,
To help hym in his warrayng.                                         140
And he resavit thame in daynte,
And hir full gretly thankit he;
And sperit tithandis of the Queyn,
And of his frendis all bedeyn,                                       144
That he had left in that cuntre,
Quhen that he put hym to the se.
And scho hym tald, sychand full sair,
How that his brothir takyn wair                                      148
In the castell of Kildrummy,
And syne destroyit sa vilonysly;
And of the Erll Adell alsua:
And how the Queyn and othir ma                                       152
That till his party war heldand,
War tane and led in-to Ingland,
And put in-to feloun presoune.
And how that Cristole of Setoun                                      156
Wes slane, gretand scho tald the King,
That soroufull wes of that tithing;
And saide, quhen he had thoucht a thraw,
Thir wordis that I sall yhow schaw:--                                160
“Allas,” he said, “for luf of me,
“And for thair mekill laute,
“Thai nobill men and thai worthy,
“Ar distroyit sa vilonisly!                                          164
“Bot and I lif in lege pouste,
“Thair ded sall rycht weill vengit be.
“The King the-quhethir of Ingland
“Thoucht that the kinrik of Scotland                                 168
“Wes to litill to hym and me;
“Tharfor I will it all myn be.
“Bot of gud Cristal of Setoune,
“That wes of sa nobill renoune,                                      172
“That he suld de war gret pite,
“Bot quhar worschip mycht prufit be.”

[138: E and H _fourty_: xv. (S); but Skeat inserts the rubric
containing xl. from E.]

[162: C omits _thair_, and adds _gud_ after _mekill_ (S).]

Here Henry Percy flies to England.

[Sidenote: 1307] _The Englishmen are Afraid_]

The Kyng thus sychand maid his mayn,
And the lady hir leif has tane,                                      176
And went hyr hame to her wonnyng.
And feill sis confort scho the Kyng
Bath with silver and with met,
As scho in-to the land mycht get.                                    180
And he oft ryot to the land,
And maid all his that evir he fand;
And syne he drew him to the hicht,
To stynt bettir his fayis mycht.                                     184
In all that tym wes the Persy,
With a full sympill cumpany,
In Turnberyis castell lyand;
For the King Robert sua dredand,                                     188
That he durst nocht ysche out to fair,
Fra thine to the castell of Air,
That than wes full of Inglismen;
Bot lay lurkand as in a den,                                         192
To the men of Northumberland
Suld cum armyt, and with strang hand,
Till convoy him till his cuntre.
For his saynd till thame send he:                                    196
And thai in hy assemblyt then,
Passand, I trow, a thousand men,
And askit avisment thame emang.
Quhethir at thai suld duell or gang.                                 200
Bot thai war schonand wounder sair
So fer in Scotland for to fair.
For a knycht, Schir Gawter the Lile,
Said it wes all to gret perell                                       204
So neir the schavalduris to ga.
His spek discomfort thame all sua,
That thai had left all that viage,
Na war a knycht of gret corage,                                      208
That Schir Roger of Sanct Johne hicht,
That thame confort with all his mycht;
And sic wordis can till thame say,
That thai all sammyn held thair way                                  212
To Turnbery; quhar the Persy
Lap on, and went with thaim in hy
In-to Ingland his castell till,
Without distrowbilling or ill.                                       216

[181: For _to_ E gives _all_. H omits and reads _ryoted_.]

[204: C omits _all_ (S).]

Now in Ingland is the Persy,
Quhar he, I trow, a quhill sall ly,
Or that he schap hym for to fair
To warray Carrik ony mar.                                            220
For he wist that he had no richt;
And als he dred the Kyngis mycht,
That in Carrik wes travalland,
Quhar the mast strynth wes of the land.                              224
Quhar James of Douglas, on a day,
Com to the Kyng, and can him say;
“Schir, with yhour leiff, I wald ga se
“How that thai do in my cuntre;                                      228
“And how my men demanit are.
“For it anoyis me wounder sare,
“That the Clyffurd sa pesabilly
“Brukis and haldis the senyhory,                                     232
“That suld be myn with alkyn rycht.
“Bot quhill I liff, and may haf mycht
“To lede a yheman or a swane,
“He sall nocht bruk it but bargane.”                                 236
The Kyng said; ‘Certis I can nocht se
‘How that thou yheit may sekir be
‘In-to that cuntre for to fair.
‘Quhar Inglis men sa mychty are;                                     240
‘And thou wat nocht quha is thi frend.’
He said, “Schir, neidwais I will wend,
“And tak aventur that God will giff,
“Quhethir sa it be till de or liff.”                                 244
The King said, ‘Sen that it is sua,
‘That thou sic yharnyng has to ga,
‘Thou sall pas furth with my blessing.
‘And gif the hapnys ony thing                                        248
‘That anoyus or scathfull be,
‘I pray the, speid the soyne to me;
‘Tak we sammyn quhat-evir may fall.’
“I grant,” he said; and thar-with-all                                252
He lowtit, and his leyf has tane,
And is towart his cuntre gane.

[220: E _ony_. C has _than no_ (S).]

The Passing of James of Douglas to Douglas-dale, his Heritage.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Douglas sends for Dickson_]

Now takis James his viage
Toward Douglas, his heritage,                                        256
With twa yhomen, forouten ma;
That wes a sympill stuff to ta,
A land or castell for to wyn!
The-quhethir he yharnyt to begyn                                     260
To bryng his purpos till ending;
For gude help is in begynnyng.
For gude begynnyng and hardy,
And it be followit wittely,                                          264
May ger oftsis unlikly thing
Cum to full conabill endyng.
Sa did it her: bot he wes wis,
And saw he mycht, on nakyn wis,                                      268
Warray his fais with evyn mycht;
Tharfor he thoucht to wirk with slight.
In Douglasdaill, his awn cuntre,
Apon ane evynnyng enterit he,                                        272
And with a man wonnit thar-by,
That wes of frendis richt mychty,
And rich of mubill and catell,
And had been till his fader lele;                                    276
And till him-self, in his yhoutheid,
He had done mony thankfull deid.
Thom Dicson wes his name, perfay.
Till him he send and can him pray,                                   280
That he wald cum all anerly
For to spek with hym prevely.
And he but danger till him gais:
Bot fra he tald him quhat he wes,                                    284
He gret for joy and for pite,
And hym richt till his hous had he;
Quhar in a chalmer prevaly
He held him and his cumpany,                                         288
That nane of him had persaving.
Of mete and drink and othir thing,
That mycht thaim eis, thai had plente.
Swa wroucht he than throu sutelte,                                   292
That all the leill men of the land,
That with his fader wes duelland,
This gud man gert cum, ane and ane,
And mak him manrent evirilkane;                                      296
And he him-self first homage maid.
Douglas in hert gret blithnes had,
That the gud men of his cuntre
Wald swa-gat bundin till him be.                                     300
He sperit the covyn of the land,
And quha the castell had in hand.
And thai him tald all halely;
And syne emang thame prevaly                                         304
Thai ordanit, that he still suld be
In hyddillis, and in prevate,
Till Palme Sonday that wes neir hand,
The thrid day eftir followand.                                       308
For than the folk of the cuntre
Assemblit at the kirk wald be;
And thai that in the castell were,
Wald als be thar, thar palmys to bere,                               312
As folk that had na dreid of ill;
For thai thoucht all wes at thar will.
Than suld he cum with his twa men.
Bot, for that men suld nocht him ken,                                316
He suld a mantill haf, ald and bare,
And a flaill, as he a taskar war.
Undir the mantill nocht-for-thi
He suld be armyt prevaly;                                            320
And quhen the men of his cuntre,
That suld all bown befor him be,
His ensenyhe mycht heir him cry,
Than suld thai, full enforsaly,                                      324
Richt in myddis the kirk assale
The Inglis men with hard batale,
Swa that nane mycht eschap thaim fra;
For thar-throu trowit thai to ta                                     328
The castell, that besyde wes neir.
And quhen this, that I tell yhow her,
Wes devisit and undirtane,
Ilkane till his hous is gane;                                        332
And held the spek in prevate,
Till the day of thair assemble.

[298: _Blithness_ in C (S). E _glaidschip_. H _gladnesse_.]

Here James of Douglas slays them in the Kirk.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Douglas! Douglas!_]

The folk apon the Sononday
Held to Sanct Brydis kirk thair way;                                 336
And thai that in the castell were
Ischit out, bath les and mare,
And went thair palmys for to bere;
Outane a cuke and a portere.                                         340
James of Douglas of thare cummyng
And quhat thai war, had wittering;
And sped him to the kirk in hy.
Bot, or he com, to hastely                                           344
Ane of his cryit, “Douglas! Douglas!”
Thomas Dicsone, that nerest was
Till thame that war of the castel,
That war all innouth the chancell,                                   348
And quhen he “Douglas!” sa herd cry,
Drew out his suerd, and fellely
Ruschit emang thame to and fra.
And ane othir forouten ma;                                           352
Bot thai in hy war left lyand.
With that Douglas com rycht at hand,
That than enforsit on thame the cry.
Bot thair chancer full sturdely                                      356
Thai held, and thaim defendit weill,
Till of thair men war slayne sumdeill.
Bot the Douglas so weill him bare,
That all the men that with hym ware,                                 360
Had confort of his weill-doing;
And he him sparit na-kyn thing,
Bot prufit swa his foris in ficht,
That throu his worschip, and his mycht,                              364
His men sa kenly helpit he than,
That thai the chanser on thame wan.
Than dang thai on thame sa hardely,
That in schort tym men mycht se ly                                   368
The twapart ded, or than deand.
The laiff war sesit soyn in hand.
Swa that of threttie wes levit nane,
Na thai war slane ilkane, or tane.                                   372

[354: E _Quhill Dowglas_.]

[355: E _And then_.]

[371: _Threttie_ is from H. Others give numerals.]

Here makes he “the Douglas Larder.”

[Sidenote: 1307] _Douglas burns his Castle_]

  James of Douglas, quhen this wes done,
The presoners has tane alsone;
And with thame of his cumpany
Towart the castell went in hy,                                       376
Or ony noys or cry suld ris.
And for he wald thame soyn suppris,
That levit in the castell were,
That war but twa forouten mare,                                      380
Fiffe men or sex befor send he,
That fand all oppyn the entre;
And enterit, and the portar tuk
Richt at the yhat, and syne the cuk.                                 384
With that Douglas come to the yhet,
And enterit in forout debat,
And fand the met all reddy grathit,
With burdis set, and clathis layit.                                  388
The yhettis than he gert thame spare,
And sat and ete all at lasare.
Syne all the gudis tursit thai,
Thai thoucht that thai mycht haf away;                               392
And namly wapnys and armyng,
Silver, tresour, and ek clethyng.
Vittalis, that mycht nocht tursit be,
On this maner distroit he.                                           396
All the vittale outakin salt,
As quhet, flour, meill and malt,
In the wyne-sellar gert he bryng;
And sammyn on the flure all flyng.                                   400
And the presoners that he had tane
Richt tharin gert he hed ilkane;
Syne of the tunnys the hedis out-strak:
A foull melle thair can he mak.                                      404
For meill, malt, blude, and wyne,
Ran all to-gidder in a mellyne
That wes unsemly for to se;
Tharfor the men of that cuntre                                       408
For sic thingis thar mellit were,
Callit it “the Douglas Lardenere.”
Syne tuk he salt, as I herd tell,
And ded hors, and fordid the well;                                   412
And syne brynt all, outakyn stane;
And is furth with his menyhe gane
Till his reset; for him thocht weill,
Gif he had haldin the casteill,                                      416
It suld have beyn assegit rath,
And that him thoucht to mekill vath;
For he na hop had of reskewyng.
And it is to perelous thing                                          420
In castell till assegit be,
Quhar that ane wantis of thir thre,
Vittale, or men with thair armyng,
Or than gud hop of reskewing.                                        424
And for he dred thir thingis suld fale,
He chesit forthward to travale,
Quhar he mycht at his larges be,
And sua driff furth his destane.                                     428

[388: C has _laid_ (S), which is no rhyme.]

On this wis wes the castell tane,
And slane that war tharin ilkane.
The Douglas syne all his menyhe
Gert in seir placis departit be;                                     432
For men suld les wit quhar thai war,
That yheid departit here and thar.
Thame that war woundit gert he ly
In-till hyddillis all prevely;                                       436
And gert gud lechis to thame bryng,
Quhill that thai war in-to helyng.
And him-self, with a few menyhe,
Quhile ane, quhill twa, and quhile thre,                             440
And umquhile all hym allane,
In hyddillis throu the land is gane.
Sa dred he Inglis mennys mycht,
That he durst nocht weill cum in sicht;                              444
For thai that tyme war all weldand
As mast lordis our all the land.

Here Clifford builds the Castle again.

  Bot tythandis, that scalis sone,
Of the deid Douglas had done,                                        448
Com to the Cliffurdis ere in hy,
That for his tynsale wes sary,
And menit his men that he had slayne,
And syne has till his purpos tane                                    452
To byg the castell up agane,
Tharfor, as man of mekill mane,
He assemblit gret cumpany,
And till Douglas he went in hy.                                      456
And biggit up the castell swith,
And made it rycht stalward and stith;
And put thar-in vittale and men.
Ane of the Thrill-wallis then                                        460
He left behynd hym capitane,
And syne till Ingland went agane.

[447: Is from E. C reads _Bot the tithandis war scalit sone_ (S),
which leaves _Com_ (449) without a subject.]

[448: Is from C. E has _Off this deid that Douglas has done_.]

How one Man and his Two Sons undertook to slay King Robert.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce in Carrick_]

  In-to Carrik yheit wes the King,
With a full sympill gaderyng;                                        464
He passit nocht twa hundreth men.
Bot Schir Edward his brothir then
Wes in Galloway, weill neir tharby;
With hym ane othir cumpany.                                          468
Thai held the strynthis of the land;
For thai durst nocht yheit tak on hand
Till our-ride the land planly.
For of Vallanch Schir Amery                                          472
Wes in-till Edinburgh lyand,
That wes wardane of the land
Under-neth the Inglis kyng.
And quhen he herd of the cummyng                                     476
Of King Robert and his menyhe
In-to Carrik; and how that he
Had slane of the Persyis men;
His consell he assemblit then,                                       480
And, with assent of his consale,
He send till Are, hym till assale,
Schir Ingerame Bell, that wes hardy,
And with hym a gret cumpany.                                         484

[483: Name a misreading: see note.]

Here the English Knight fees a Traitor.

  And quhen Ingerame cumin wes thair,
Him thoucht nocht speidfull for to fair
Till assale hym in-to the hicht.
Tharfor he thoucht to wirk with slycht,                              488
And lay still in the castell than,
Till he gat spering at a man
Of Carrik, that wes sle and wicht,
And als a man of mekill mycht,                                       492
As of the men of that cuntre
And to King Robert wes preve.
As he that wes his sib-man neir,
And quhen he wald, for-out danger,                                   496
Micht to the Kyngis presens ga.
The-quhethir he and his sonnis twa
War wonand still in the cuntre,
For thai wald nocht persavit be,                                     500
That thai war speciall to the King;
Thai maid him mony tyme warnyng,
Quhen that thai his tynsale mycht se;
For-thi in thame affyit he.                                          504
His name I can nocht tell perfay;
Bot I herd syndir men oft say
*Forsuth that his ane e wes out;
*Bot he sa sturdy wes and stout,
That he wes the mast dowtit man
That in-to Carrik liffit than.                                       508
And quhen Schir Ingerame gat wittering
Forsuth that this wes no gabbing,
Eftir him in hy he sent,
And he com at his commandment.                                       512
Schir Ingerame, that wes sle and wis,
Tretit with hym than on sic wis,
That he maid sekir undirtaking
In tresone for to slay the King;                                     516
And he suld have for his service,
Gif he fulfillit thair devis,
Weill fourte pundis worth of land
Till hym and his ayris lestand.                                      520

[*: In C and H. E omits.]

[507: C has _worthy_ (S) for _dowtit_ in E.]

Here King Robert is in Great Peril.

[Sidenote: 1307] _The King is Warned_]

The tresone thus is undirtane;
And he hame till his hous is gane,
And watit opportunite
For to fulfill his mavite.                                           524
In gret perell than wes the King,
That of his tresone wist na thing.
For he, that he trowit mast of ane,
His dede falsly had undirtane:                                       528
And nane may treson do titar than he
That man in trowis leawte.
The King in hym trastit; for-thi
He had fulfillit his felony,                                         532
Na war the King, throu Goddis grace,
Gat hale wittering of his purchas,
And how, and for how mekill land,
He tuk his slauchtir upon hand.                                      536
I wat nocht quha the warnyng maid,
Bot in all tym he sic hap had,
That quhen men schupe him to betrais,
He gat witting tharof alwayis:                                       540
And mony tyme, as I herd say,
Throu women, that he wald with play,
That wald tell all that thai mycht here.
And sua mycht happyn that it fell here.                              544

  Bot how that evir it fell, perde,
I trow he sall the warrar be.
Nocht-for-thi, this tratour ay
Had in his thocht, bath nycht and day,                               548
How he mycht best bring till ending
His tresonabill undirtaking;
Till he umbethocht him at the last,
In till his hert can umbecast,                                       552
That the King had in custum ay
For to ris airly evirilk day,
And pas weill fer fra his menyhe,
Quhen he wald pas to the preve,                                      556
And seik a covert him alane,
Or at the mast haf with him ane.
Thair thoucht he, with his sonnys twa,
For to suppris the King, and slay,                                   560
And syne wend to the wod away:
Bot yheit of purpos falyheit thai.
And nocht-for-thi thai com all thre
In a covert that wes preve,                                          564
Quhar the King wes oft wount to ga,
His preve nedis for to ma.
Thair hid thai thame till his cummyng.
And the King in the mornyng,                                         568
Rais quhen that his liking wes,
And richt towart that covert gais,
Quhar liand war the traitouris thre,
For till do thar his prevate.                                        572
To treson tuk he than no heid:
But he wes wount, quhar-evir he yheid,
His suerd about his hals to bere;
that avalit hym gretly ther.                                         576
For had nocht God, all thing weldand,
Set help in-till his awne hand,
He had ben ded withouten dreid.
A chalmir page thar with him yheid.                                  580
And sua, forouten followis ma,
Towart the covert can he ga.

[576: C _thar_ (S).]

[577: C _all-weldand_ (S), which is a syllable short.]

Here the Noble King slays three Traitors, Himself, Alone.

[Sidenote: 1307] _The King Fights with Three_]

  Now, bot God help the nobill King,
He is neir hand till his ending!                                     584
For that covert that he yheid till,
Wes on the tothir syde a hill,
That nane of his men mycht it se.
Thiddirward went his page and he;                                    588
And quhen he cummin wes in the schaw,
He saw thai thre cum all on raw
Aganis him full sturdely.
Than till his boy he said in hy,                                     592
“Yhone men will slay us and thai may!
“Quhat wappyn has thou?” ‘A Schir! perfay,
‘I haf a bow bot and a vyre.’
“Gif me thame smertly baith.” ‘A! Syre,                              596
‘How-gat will yhe than that I do?’
“Stand on fer and behald us to.
“Gif thow seis me abovin be,
“Thou sall haf wapnys in gret plente:                                600
“Ande gif I de, withdraw the soyne.”
With thai wordis, forouten hoyn,
He tit the bow out of his hand,
For the tratouris wes neir cumand.                                   604
The fader had a suerd but mair,
The tothir bath suerd and hand-ax bair,
The thrid a suerd had and a speir.
The King persavit, be thair effeir,                                  608
That all wes suth men till hym tald.
“Tratour,” he said, “thou has me sald.
“Cum na forthir, bot hald the thair,
“I will thou cum na forthir mair.”                                   612
‘A! Schir, umbethinkis yhow,’ said he,
‘How neir to yhow that I suld be;
‘Quha suld cum neir to yhow bot I?’
The King said, “I will sekirly                                       616
“That thou at this tym cum nocht ner,
“Thou may say quhat thou will on fer.”
Bot he, with fals wordis flechand,
Wes with his sonnys ay cumand.                                       620
Quhen the King saw he wald nocht let,
Bot ay cum on fenyheand falset,
He tasit the vyre and leit it fle,
And hit the fader in the e,                                          624
Till it rycht in the harnys ran;
And he backward fell doun rycht than.
The brothir, that the hand-ax bar,
That saw his fader lyand thar,                                       628
A gyrd rycht to the King can mak,
And with the ax he him ourstrak.
Bot he, that had his suerd on hicht,
Raucht him sic rout in randoun richt.                                632
That he the hed to harnis clafe,
And him doun ded to the erd drafe.
The tothir brothir, that bare the spere,
Saw his brothir sa fallin ther,                                      636
With his speir, as angry man,
In a rais till the King he ran.
Bot the King, that him dred sum-thing,
Watit the sper in the cummyng,                                       640
And with a wysk the hed of-strak;
And or the tothir had toym to tak
His suerde, the King sic swak him gaiff,
That he the hede till harnys claif:                                  644
He ruschit doune of blude all rede.
And quhen the King saw thai war ded,
All thre lyand, he wyppit his brand.
With that his boy com fast rynand,                                   648
And said; “Our Lord mot lovit be,
“That grantit yhow mycht and powste
“To fell the felony and pride
“Of thir thre in sa litill tyde.”                                    652
The King said; ‘Sa our Lord me se!
‘Thai had beyn worthy men all thre,
‘Had thai nocht beyn full of tresoune;
‘Bot that maid thair confusione.’                                    656

[586: C and H have _syde of_. E omits.]


  The King is went till his luging.
And of his dede soyn com tithing
To Schir Ingerame the Umphrevell,
That thoucht his sutelte and gyle                                      4
Had all falyheit in-to that place.
Tharfor anoyit swa he wes,
That he agane to Lowdiane
To Schir Amer his gate has tane;                                       8
And till him tald all haill the cas,
That tharof all forwounderit was,
How ony man sa suddandly
Micht do so gret a chevelry,                                          12
As did the King, that, him alane,
Vengeans of thre tratouris has tane.
He said, “Certis I may weill se
“That it is all gret certante                                         16
“That ure helpis ay hardy men;
“As be this deid yhe may weill ken.
“War he nocht outrageous hardy
“He had nocht swa unabasitly                                          20
“Sa smertly seyn his avantage.
“I dreid that his gret vassalage,
“And his travell will bring til end
“That at men quhile full litill wend.”                                24

[7: C gives _sair_ (S): E _swa_, which is needed to correlate with

[14: C has _the thre_ (S).]

[18: C has _by_ (S). E _be_, which is the correct Scots form.]

[24: _It that_ in C and S.]

Here Galloway Men seek him.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce has only Sixty Men_]

  Sik speking maid he of the King,
That ay, forouten sudjornyng,
Travalit in Carrik heir and thair.
His men fra him sua scalit war,                                       28
Till purches thame necessite
And als the cuntre for to se,
That thai left nocht with him sexty.
And quhen the Gallowais wist suthly                                   32
That he wes with a few menyhe,
Thai maid a preve assemble
Of weill twa hundreth men and ma;
Ane sluth-hund with thaim can thai ta,                                36
For thai thoucht him for to suppris;
And gif he fled on ony wis,
To follow him with the hunde swa,
That he suld nocht eschape thaim fra.                                 40

[31: E _thai_. C _thair_ (S).]

  Thai schupe, thame in ane evynnyng,
Suddandly to suppris the King,
And till him held thai straucht thare way.
Bot he, that had his wachis ay                                        44
On ilk syde, of thar cummyng,
Lang or thai com, had wittering,
Quhat and how feill at thai mycht be.
Tharfor he thoucht, with his menyhe,                                  48
To withdraw him out of the place,
For the nycht neir fallyn was.
And for nycht wes he thoucht that thai
Suld nocht have sicht to hald the way                                 52
Quhill he war passit with his menyhe.
And as he thoucht rycht sua did he:
And went hym doune till a marras,
Our a wattir that rynand was;                                         56
And in a bog he fand a place
Weill strate, that weill twa bowdraucht was
Fra thai the wattr passit had.
He said, ‘Heir may yhe mak abade,                                     60
“And rest yhow all a quhile and ly.
“I will ga wach all preuely,
“Giff I heir oucht of thar cummyng;
“And gif I may heir ony thyng,                                        64
“I sall ger warn yhow, sua that we
“Sall ay at our avantage be.”

[56: C has _On_ (S), but _cf._ line 86, where S adopts _our_ from H.]

Here he fights alone against Two Hundred.

[Sidenote: 1307] _The King hears a Hound_]

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce beats them off_]

The King now takis his gat to ga,
And with him tuk he servandis twa.                                    68
And Schir Gilbert de la Hay left he
Thar, for to rest with his menyhe.
To the wattir he com in hy,
And lisnyt full ententily                                             72
Gif he oucht herd of thare cummyng;
Bot yheit than mycht he heir na thing.
Endlang the wattir than yheid he
On athir syde gret quantite;                                          76
And saw the brayis hye standand,
The wattir holl throu slike rynand,
And fand na furd that men mycht pas
Bot quhar himself our passit was.                                     80
And sua strate wes the up-cummyng
That twa men mycht nocht sammyn thryng,
Na on na maner pres thame sua
That thai sammyn the land mycht ta.                                   84
His twa men bad he than in hy                                        *85
Ga to thair feris to rest and ly;
For he wald wach thar com to se.
“Schir,” said thai, “quha sall with yhow be?”                        *88
“God,” he said, “forouten ma;
“Pas on, for I will it be swa.”
Thai did as he thame biddin had,
And he thar all allane abaid.                                        *92
Quhen he a quhile had biddin thare,
And herbryit, he herd as it war
A hundis quhistlyng apon fer,
That ay com till him ner and ner.                                     88
He stude still for till herkyn mair,
And ay the langer quhill he wes thair,
He herd it ner and ner cumand:
Bot he thoucht he thair still wald stand,                             92
Till that he herd mair taknyng,
For, for a hundis quhestlyng,
He wald nocht walkyn his menyhe.
Tharfor he walde abyde and se                                         96
Quhat folk thai war, and quethir thai
Held toward him the richt way;
Or passyt ane othir way fer by:
The moyn wes schynand rycht cleirly.                                 100
Sa lang he stude, that he mycht her
The noyis of thaim that cummand wer.
Than his twa men in hy send he
To warne and walkyn his menyhe.                                      104
And thai ar furth thar wayis gane;
And he left thar all hym allane.
And sua lang stude he herkynand,
Till that he saw cum at his hand                                     108
The haill rowt, in full gret hy;
Than he umbethoucht him hastely,
Gif he yheid to feche his menyhe,
That, or he mycht reparit be,                                        112
Thai suld be passit the furde ilkane.
And than behufit he chesit him ane
Of thir twa, outhir to fle or de.
Bot his hert, that wes stout and he,                                 116
Consalit hym allane to byde
And kep thame at the furdis syde,
And defend weill the up-cummyng,
Sen he wes warnysit of armyng                                        120
That he thair arrawis thurt nocht dreid.
And gif he war of gret manheid,
He mycht stonay thame evirilkane,
Sen thai mycht cum bot ane and ane.                                  124
He did rycht as his hert hym bad;
Stark outrageous curage he had,
Quhen he sa stoutly hym allane,
For litill strynth of erd, has tane                                  128
To ficht with twa hundreth and ma.
Thar-with he to the furd can ga.
And thai, apon the tothir party,
That saw him stand thair anerly,                                     132
Thryngand in-till the wattir raid,
For of him litill dout thai had;
And raid till him in full gret hy.
He smat the first sa rygorusly                                       136
With his spere, that richt scharply schare,
Till he doun to the erd hym bare.
The laif com than in a randoune;
Bot his hors, that wes born doune,                                   140
Cummerit thaim the upgang to ta.
And quhen the Kyng saw it wes sua,
He stekit the hors, and he can flyng,
And syne fell at the upcummyng.                                      144
The laif with that com with a schowt;
And he, that stalward wes and stout,
Met thame richt stoutly at the bra,
And sa gud payment can thaim ma                                      148
That fiff-sum in the furd he slew.
The laif than sumdeill thaim with-drew,
That dred his strakis woundir sare,
For he in nathing thame forbare.                                     152
  Than ane said: “Certis, we ar to blame;
“Quhat sall we say quhen we cum hame,
“Quhen a man fechtis agains us all?
“Quha wist evir men sa fouly fall                                    156
“As us, gif that we thusgat leif?”
With that all haill a schout thai geve,
And cryit, “On hym! he may nocht last.”
With that thai presit hym so fast,                                   160
That, had he nocht the bettir beyn,
He had beyn ded forouten weyn.
Bot he sa gret defens can mak,
That, quhar he hit with evin strak,                                  164
Thar mycht no thing agane it stand.
In litill space he left lyand
Sa feill, that the upcom wes then
Dittit with slayn hors and men;                                      168
Swa that his fayis, for that stopping,
Micht nocht cum to the up-cummying.
  A! deir God! quha had beyn by,
And seyn how he sa hardely                                           172
Adressit hym agane thame all,
I wat weill that thai suld him call
The best that liffit in-till his day.
And gif that I the suth sall say,                                    176
I herd nevir in na tyme gane
Ane stynt sa mony hym allane.

[84: E gives _thai to gidder mycht lang ga_, and H similarly.]

[: *85-92 are from C. They are not consistent with 103-106, and these
again are not in agreement with 295, 296. E omits the first set.]

[92: C arranges _Bot he thair still thoucht_ (S).]

Example: how Tydeus slew Forty-nine Men,
And the Lieutenant tholed Shame and Paine.

Suth is, quhen till Ethiocles
Fra his brothir Polynices                                            180
Wes send Thedeus in-to message
Till ask haly the heritage
Of Thebes till hald for a yheir,
For thai cummyn of a byrth weir;                                     184
Thai straif, for athir kyng wald be.
Bot the barnage of thar cuntre
Gert thame assent on this maner,
That the tane suld be kyng a yhere;                                  188
And than the tothir, na his menyhe,
Suld nocht be fundin in the cuntre,
Quhill the first brothir ryngand were.
Syne suld the tothir ryng a yhere;                                   192
Ande syne the first suld leif the land,
Quhill that the tothir war ryngand.
Thus ay a yheir suld ryng the tane,
The tothir a yheir fra that war gane.                                196
To ask halding of this assent,
Thedeus wes to Thebes went;
And sua spak for Polynices,
That of Thebes Ethiocles                                             200
Bad his constabill with hym ta
Fifty weill armyt, and forouth ga
To meit Thedeus in the way,
And slay hym but langar delay.                                       204
The constabill his way is gane,
And nyne and fourty with him has tane,
Swa that he with thame maid fifty.
In-till the evynnyng, prevely                                        208
Thai set enbuschement in the way,
Quhar Thedeus behufit away
Betuix ane hye crag and the se.
And he, that of thair mavite                                         212
Wist na thing, his way has tane,
And toward Grece agane is gane.
And as he raid in-to the nycht,
Sa saw he, with the monys licht,                                     216
Schynyng of scheldis gret plente;
And had woundir quhat it mycht be.
With that all haill thai gaf a cry,
And he, that herd sa suddanly                                        220
Sic noyis, sumdeill affrayit was;
Bot in schort time he till him tais
His spiritis full hardely;
For his gentill hert and worthy,                                     224
Assurit him in-till that neide.
Then with the spuris he strak his steide,
And ruschit in amang thame all.
The first he met he gert him fall,                                   228
And syne his suerd he swappit out,
And raucht about him mony a rout,
And slew sex-sum weill soyn and ma,
Than undir him his hors thai sla.                                    232
And he fell; bot he smertly rais,
And, strikand, rowm about him mais,
And slew of thame a quantite:
Bot woundit woundir sair wes he.                                     236

[184: E and H give _twynnys_, _twynnes_ for _cummyn_.]

[Sidenote: 1307] _How Tydeus overcame Fifty_]

  With that a litill rod he fand,
Up toward the crag strikand.
Thiddir went he in full gret hy,
Defendand him full douchtely,                                        240
Till in the crag he clam sum-deill;
And fand a place enclosit weill,
Quhar nane but ane mycht him assale.
Thair stude he and gaf thame battale:                                244
And thai assalit evirilkane;
And oft fell, quhen that he slew ane,
As he doun to the erd wald driff,
He wald beir doun weill four or fiff.                                248
Thair stude he and defendit swa,
Till he had slane thame half and ma.
A gret stane than by him saw he,
That throu the gret anciente,                                        252
Was lowsyt reddy for to fall;
And quhen he saw thaim cumand all,
He tumlit doun on thaim the stane;
And aucht men tharwith has he slane,                                 256
And sua stonait the remanand,
That thai war weill neir recryand.
Then wald he preson hald no mare,
Bot on thame ran with suerd al bare,                                 260
And hewit and slew with all his mayn
Till he had nyne and fourty slane.
The constabill syne can he ta,
And gert him suere that he suld ga                                   264
To King Ethiocles, and tell
The aventure that thame befell.
Thedeus bare him douchtely,
That our-com him allane fyfty.                                       268

  Yhe that this redis, jugis yhe,
Quhethir that mair suld presit be:
The King, that, with avisment,
Undirtuk sic hardyment                                               272
As for to stynt, him ane but fer,
Thai folk that weill twa hundreth wer;
Or Thedeus, that suddanly,
Fra thai had rasit on him the cry,                                   276
Throu hardyment that he had tane,
Wan fifty men all him allane.
Thai did thair dede bath in the nycht,
And faucht bath with the monys licht;                                280
Bot the King discumfit ma,
And Thedeus the ma can sla.
Now demys, quhethir mair lovyng
Suld Tedeus haf, or the King!                                        284

In this maner that I haf tald,
The King, that stout wes, stark and bald,
Wes fechtand on the furdis syde,
Gyffand and takand rowtis ryde;                                      288
Till he sic martirdome thair maid
That he the furde all stoppit had,
That nane of thame mycht till him ryde.
Than thoucht thame foly for to byde,                                 292
And halely the flicht can ta,
And went hamward quhar thai com fra.
For the Kingis men with that cry
Walknyt, and full affraitly,                                         296
Com for to seik thair lord the King.
The Galloway men herd thair cummyng
And fled, that durst nocht byde no mair.
The Kingis men, that dredand wair                                    300
For thair lord, full spedaly
Com to the furde, and soyn in hy
Thai fand the Kyng sytand alane,
That of his basnet than had tane,                                    304
To tak the air, for he wes hate;
Than sperit thai at him of his stat;
And he tald thaim all haill the cas,
Howgat that he assalyheit was;                                       308
And how that God hym helpit sua,
That he eschapit haill thame fra.
Than lukit thai how feill war ded,
And thai fand liand in that sted                                     312
Fourteyn, that slayn war with his hand.
Than lovit thai God fast, all-weldand,
That thai thar lord fand haill and feir;
And said, “Thaim byrd on na maner                                    316
“Dreid thair fayis, sen thair chiftane
“Wes of sic hert and of sic mane,
“That he for thame had undertane
“With sa feill folk to ficht him ane.”                               320

[288: C has _woundis wyde_ (S), but there is no hint of the King’s
wounds; _cf._ line 315. E has _rowtis roid_. H _routes red_. _Cf._,
however, Bk. XV., 54, which indicates that the line is a stock one in
both forms.]

[Sidenote: 1307] _True Courage is a Mean_]

Syk wordis spak thai of the Kyng:
And, for his hye undertaking
Farlyit, and yharnyt hym to se,
That with hym ay wes wount to be.                                    324
A! quhat worschip is prisit thing!
For it makis men to haf loving,
Gif it be followit ythandly.
For pris of worschip nocht-forthi                                    328
Is hard to wyn but gret travale;
Oft till defende and oft assale,
And till be in thair dedis wis,
Gerris men of worschip wyn the pris.                                 332
That may no man haf worthyhede,
Bot he haf wit to steir his stede
And se quhat is to leif or ta.
Worschip extremyteis has twa;                                        336
Fule-hardyment the formast is,
And the tothir is cowardis:
And thai ar bath for to forsak.
Fule-hardyment will all undertak,                                    340
Als weill thingis to leiff as ta;
Bot cowardis dois na thing sua,
Bot uterly forsakis all;
And that war woundir for to fall,                                    344
Na war falt of discrecione.
For-thi has worschip sic renoune,
That it is mene betuix thai twa,
And takis that is till undirta,                                      348
And levis that is to leif; for it
Has so gret warnasyng of wit,
That it all peralis weill can se,
And all avantagis that may be.                                       352
It wald till hardyment hald haly,
With-thi away war the foly.
For hardyment with foly is wis.
Bot hardyment that mellit is                                         356
With wit, is worschipay, per de,
For, but wit, worschip may nocht be.

[325: E _perfyt_. H _a perfite_.]

  This nobill Kyng, that we of reid,
Mengit all tyme with wit manheid;                                    360
That may men be this melle se.
His wit hym schawit the strat entre
Of the furde, and the ysche alsua;
He thoucht that thai mycht nevir our-ga                              364
Apon a man that wes worthy.
Tharfor his hardyment hastely
Thoucht weill it mycht be undirtane,
Sen that anis mycht assale bot ane.                                  368
Thus hardyment, governit with wit,
That he all tym wald sammyn knyt,
Gert him off worschipe haf the pris,
And oft our-cum his enymys.                                          372

[360: E _Mellyt_.]

[364: E has _That, as him thocht, war hard to ta_. H _That him thought
was hard to ta_.]

How Douglas slew Thirlwall.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Thirlwall would seize the Castle_]

The King in Carrik duelt all still:
His men assemblit fast him till,
That in the land war travalande,
Quhen thai of this deid herd tithand.                                376
For thai thar ure with him wald ta,
Gif he war eft assalyheit swa.
  Bot yheit than James of Douglas
In Douglasdaill travaland was;                                       380
Or ellis weill neirhand thar-by,
In hiddillis sum-deill prevely.
For he walde se his governyng,
That hade the castell in keping:                                     384
And gert mak mony a juperdy,
To se quhethir he wald ysche blithly.
Quhen he persavit weill that he
Wald blithly ysche with his menyhe,                                  388
He maid a gaddering prevely
Of thame that war of his party;
That wes so feill that thai durst ficht
With Thrillwall and all the mycht                                    392
Of thame that in the castell were.
He schup him in the nycht to fare
To Sandylandis; and neir thar-by
He him enbuschit prevely,                                            396
And fand a few a trayn to ma;
That sone in the mornyng can ta,
Cattale, that wes the castell by,
And syne with-drew thame halely                                      400
Toward thame that enbuschit ware.
Than Thrillwall, forouten mare,
Gert arme his men forouten baid;
And yschit with all the men he had,                                  404
And followit fast eftir the ky.
He wes arayit at poynt clenly,
Outakyn that his hede wes bair.
Than, with the men that with him war,                                408
The cattale followit he gude speid,
Richt as a man that had no dreid,
Till that he of thame gat a sicht.
Than prikit thai with all thair mycht,                               412
Followand thame out of aray;
And thai sped thame fleand, quhill thai
Fer by thar buschement war all past;
And Thrillwall evir chasit on fast.                                  416
And than thai that enbuschit war
Yschit till him, bath les and mar,
And rasit suddandly the cry;
And thai that saw sa suddandly                                       420
That folk sa egirly cum prikand
Betuix thame and thair warrand,
Thai war in-to full gret affray.
And, for thai war out of aray,                                       424
Sum of thaim fled, and sum abaid:
And Douglas, that thar with him had
A gret menyhe, full egirly
Assalit, and scalit thame hastely,                                   428
And in schort tym cummerit thaim sua,
That weill nane eschapit thaim fra.
Thrillwall, that wes thair capitane,
Wes thair in-to the bargane slane,                                   432
And of his men the mast party;
The laif fled full affrayitly.
Douglas his menyhe fast can chas,
And the flearis thair wais tais                                      436
To the castell in full gret hy;
The formast enterit spedely,
Bot the chassaris sped thame so fast,
That thai ourtuk sum at the last,                                    440
And thame forout mercy can sla.
And quhen thai of the castell swa
Saw thaim slay of thair men thaim by,
Thai sparit the yhettis hastely,                                     444
And in hy to the wallis ran.
James of Douglas his menyhe than
Sesit weill hastely in hand
At thai about the castell fand;                                      448
Till thair reset syne went thair way.
Thusgat yschit Thrillwall that day.

Qwhen Thrillwall on this maner
Had yschit, as I tell yhow heir,                                     452
James of Douglas and his men
Buskit thame all sammyn then,
And went thair way toward the Kyng
In gret hy; for thai herd tithyng                                    456
That of Vallanch Schir Amery,
With a full gret chevelry
Bath of Inglis and Scottis men,
With gret felony war reddy then                                      460
Assemblit for to seik the Kyng,
That wes that tym with his gaderyng
In Cumnok, quhar it stratest was.
Thiddir went James of Douglas,                                       464
That wes richt welcum to the Kyng.
And quhen he tald had that tithing,
How that Schir Amer wes cumand
For to hunt hym out of the land                                      468
With hund and horn, rycht as he were
A wolf, a theif, or thefis fere;
Than said the King: “It may weill fall,
“Thouch he cum and his power all,                                    472
“We sall abyde in this cuntre;
“And gif he cumis we sall him se.”

[373: E _ay still_.]

[397: E _And send_.]

Here Sir Aymer and John of Lorn follow King Robert with
a Sleuth-hound.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Valence goes to hunt Bruce_]

  The King spak apon this maner;
And of Vallanch Schir Amer                                           476
Assemblit a gret cumpany
Of nobill men and of worthy,
Of Ingland and of Lowdiane.
And he has alsua with him tane                                       480
Johne of Lorn and all his mycht,
That had of worthy men and wicht
With him aucht hundreth men and ma.
A sleuthhund had he thar alsua,                                      484
Sa gude that change wald for na thing.
And sum men sayis yheit that the King
As a strecour him nurist had,
And ay sa mekill of hym maid,                                        488
That with his hand he wald hym feyd.
He followit hym quhar-evir he yheid;
Swa that the hund hym lufit swa,
That he wald part na wis him fra.                                    492
Bot how that John of Lorn him had,
I herd nevir mencione be made.
Bot men sais it wes certane thing
That he had him in his sesing,                                       496
And throu hym thoucht the Kyng to ta;
For he wist he hym luffit swa,
That fra he mycht anys feill
The Kyngis sent, he wist rycht weill                                 500
That he wald change it for na thyng.
This John of Lorn hatit the King
For Schir John Cumyn his emys sak;
Micht he him outhir sla or tak,                                      504
He wald nocht pris his liff a stra,
With-thi he vengeans on hym mycht ta.

How Sir Aymer and John of Lorn
Chased the King with Hound and Horn.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce divides his Men_]

  The wardane than, Schir Amery,
With Johne of Lorne in cumpany,                                      508
And othir of gud renoune alsua,
Thomas Randale wes ane of thai,
Come in-till Cumnok to seik the King,
That wes weill war of thar cummyng,                                  512
And wes up in the strenthis then,
And with hym weill thre hundreth men.
His brothir that tyme with him was,
And alsua James of Douglas.                                          516
Schir Ameryis rout he saw,
That held the playn ay and the law,
And in haill battale alwayis raid.
The Kyng, that na supposing had                                      520
That thai war mair than he saw thair,
Till thame, and nouthir ellis-quhar,
Had ey, and wroucht unwittandly.
For Johne of Lorn full sutelly                                       524
Behynd thoucht to suppris the Kyng.
Tharfor with all his gaderyng,
About ane hill he held his way,
And held hym in-to covert ay,                                        528
Till he so neir com to the Kyng,
Or he persavit his cummyng,
That he wes cummyn on hym weill neir.
The tothir host and Schir Amer                                       532
Presit on the tothir party.
The Kyng wes in gret juperdy,
That wes on athir syde umbeset
With fayis that to slay hym thret,                                   536
And the lest party of thame twa
Was starkar fer na he, and ma.
And quhen he saw thame pres him to,
He thoucht in hy quhat wes to do,                                    540
And said, “Lordis, we haf no mycht
“As at this tyme for to stand and ficht.
“Thar-for departis us in thre,
“All sall nocht swa assalyheit be:                                   544
“And in thre parteis hald our way.”
Syne till his consall can he say,
Betuix thame in-to prevate,
In quhat stede thar repair suld be.                                  548

[511: From E. C has _That cum in Cumnok to seik the King_ (S), which
leaves the first group of subjects without a predicate. H has _Came

[514: H _three_. E iiij, a stroke too many.]

  With that thair gat all ar thai gane,
Ande in thre partis thair way has tane.
Than John of Lorn com to the plas
Quhar-fra the Kyng departit was,                                     552
And in his trais the hund he set,
That than, forouten langar let,
Held evyn the way eftir the Kyng,
Richt as he had of him knawing,                                      556
And left the tothir parteis twa,
As he na kepe to thame wald ta.
And quhen the Kyng saw his cummyng,
Eftir his route in-till a lyng,                                      560
He thoucht thai knew that it wes he:
Tharfor he bad till his menyhe
Yheit than in thre depart thame sone;
And thai did sua forouten hoyn,                                      564
And held thair way in thre parteis.
The hund did than sa gret mastris,
That he held ay, forout changing,
Eftir the rout quhar wes the Kyng.                                   568

[561: C has _he knew_ (S). E and H as text.]

  And quhen the Kyng has seyn thaim sua
All in a rout eftir hym ta
The way, and follow nocht his men,
He had a gret persavying then                                        572
That thai knew him; for-thi in hy
He bad his men richt hastely
Scale, and ilk man hald his way
All be hym-self, and sua did thai.                                   576
Ilk man a syndri gat is gane,
And the King has with him tane
His forstir brothir, forouten ma,
And sammyn held thair gat thai twa.                                  580
The hund alwais followit the Kyng,
And changit nocht for na parting,
Bot ay followit the Kyngis tras,
But wavering, as he passit was.                                      584
And quhen that Johne of Lorn saw
The hund so hard eftir hym draw,
And followit straucht eftir thai twa,
He knew the Kyng wes ane of thai,                                    588
And bad five of his cumpany,
That war richt wicht men and hardy,
And als on fute spediast ware
Of all that in that rout war thar,                                   592
Ryn eftir hym, and him our-ta,
And lat him na wys pas thaim fra.

Here Five Chosen Men are sent to take the King.

  And fra thai herd had the biddyng,
Thai held the way eftir the Kyng.                                    596
And followit hym so spedely,
That thai him weill soyn can our-hy.
The King than saw thame cumand ner,
And wes anoyit in gret maner,                                        600
For he thoucht, gif thai war worthy,
Thai mycht hym travale and tary,
And hald hym suagat taryand
Till the remanand suld cum at hand.                                  604
Bot had he dred bot anerly
Thame five, I trow all sekirly
He suld nocht haf full mekill dreid.
And till his fallow, as he yheid,                                    608
He said, “Yhon five ar fast cumand:
“Thai ar weill neir now at our hand.
“Swa is thair ony help with the?
“For we sall soyn assalit be.”                                       612
‘Yha, Schir,’ he said, ‘all that I may.’
“Thou sais weill,” said the Kyng, “perfay.
“I se thame cumand till us neir.
“I will na forthir, bot richt heir                                   616
“Byde, quhill that I am in aynd,
“And se quhat fors that thai can faynd.”

[594: From E. C has _And let hym na-wis pas yhow fra_ (S), passing
suddenly to direct speech. H has _you_.]

*How the King slew the five men
That John of Lorn sent to him then.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce and Another against Five_]

[*: The rubric is from H, inserted at line 598. C runs on.]

  The Kyng than stude full sturdely,
And the five soyn, in full gret hy,                                  620
Com with gret schoyr and mannasyng.
Thre of thame went on-to the Kyng;
And till his man the tothir twa
With swerd in hand can stoutly ga.                                   624
The Kyng met thame that till hym socht,
And till the first sic rowt he rocht,
That ere and cheik doun in the hals
He schare, and of the schuldir als                                   628
He ruschyt doun all desaly.
The twa, that saw sa suddanly
Thair fallow fall, effrayit war,
And stert a litill ouirmair.                                         632
The Kyng with that blenkyt him by,
And saw the twa full sturdely
Agane his man gret melle ma.
With that he left his awn twa,                                       636
And till thame that faucht with his man
A lowp richt lychtly maid he than,
And smat the hed of of the tane.
To mete his awn syne is he gane.                                     640
Thai com on hym rycht hardely.
He met the first sa egyrly,
That with his swerd, that scharply schare,
The arm he fra the body bare.                                        644
Quhat strakis thai gaf I can nocht tell,
Bot to the Kyng so fair befell,
That, thouch he travale had and payn,
He of his famen four has slayn.                                      648
His fostir brothir eftir soyn
The fift has out of dawis done.

  And when the King saw that all fiff
War on that wis broucht out of lif,                                  652
Till his fallow than can he say,
“Thou has helpit richt weill, perfay.”
‘It likis yhow to say sua,’ said he,
‘Bot the gret part to yhow tuk yhe,                                  656
‘That slew four off the fyve, yhow ane.’
The Kyng said; “As the glew is gane,
“Bettir than thou I mycht it do,
“For I had mair lasair thar-to.                                      660
“For the twa fallowis that delt wyth the,
“Quhen thai me saw assalyheit with thre,
“Of me richt na kyn dout thai had;
“For thai wend I wes stratly stad.                                   664
“And for-thi that thai dred me nocht,
“Noy thaim fer out the mair I moucht.”
With that the Kyng lukyt hym by,
And saw of Lorn the cumpany                                          668
Neir, with thair sleuthhund fast cumand;
Than till a wod, that wes neir hand,
He went with his fallow in hy.
God sauf thame for his gret mercy!                                   672

[656: C _Bot till_ (S). E gives _the_. Skeat in his note suggests to =
too for _till_!]

[657: C has _That slew four or I slew ane_ (S). E as in text, and H

[661: C begins _The_ (S).]


How John of Lorn sought the Good King Robert Bruce with
the Sleuth-hound.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce takes to the Water_]

The Kyng toward the wod is gane,
Wery, for-swat, and will of wayn.
In-till the wod soyn enterit he,
And held doun toward a vale                                            4
Quhar throu the wod a wattir ran.
Thiddir in gret hy went he than,
And begouth to rest hym thair,
And said he mycht no forthirmar.                                       8
His man said; “Schir, that may nocht be:
“Abyde yhe heir, yhe sal soyn se
“Five hundreth yharnand yhou to sla,
“And thai ar fele aganis twa;                                         12
“And, sen we may nocht deill wyth mycht,
“Help us all that we may wyth slycht.”
The King said; ‘Sen that thou will swa,
‘Ga furth, and I sall with the ga.                                    16
‘Bot I haf herd oftsis say,
‘That quha endlang a wattir ay
‘Wald wayd a bow-draucht, he suld ger
‘Bath the sleuthhund and the ledar,                                   20
‘Tyne the sleuth men gert him ta,
‘Pruf we gif it will now do swa.
‘For war yhon devillis hund a-way,
‘I roucht nocht of the layff, perfay.’                                24

Here the Sleuth-hound lost his Scent.

  As he devisit thai haf done,
And enterit in the wattir sone,
And held on endlang it thar way,
And syne to the land yheid thai,                                      28
And held thair way as thai did ere.
And John of Lorn, with gret effere,
Com with his rout richt to the place,
Quhar that his five men slan was.                                     32
He menyt thame quhen he thaim saw;
And said, eftir a litill thraw,
That he suld wenge in hy thar blude:
Bot othir wayis the gammyn yhude.                                     36
Thair wald he mak no mair duelling,
Bot furth in hy followit the King,
Richt to the burn thai passit ar;
Bot the sleuth-hund maid stynting thar,                               40
And waveryt lang tyme to and fra,
That he na certane gat couth ga;
Till at the last than Johne of Lorn
Persavit the hund the sleuth had lorn,                                44
And said; “We haf tynt this travell;
“To pas forthir may nocht avale;
“For the wode is bath braid and wyde,
“And he is weill fer be this tyde.                                    48
“Tharfor I rede we turn agane,
“And wast no mair travale in vayn.”
With that releyt he his menyhe,
And his way to the host tuk he.                                       52

Or else he was Slain with an Arrow.

[Sidenote: 1307] _The King Escapes_]

Thus eschapit the nobill Kyng.
Bot sum men sais, this eschaping
Apon ane othir maner fell
Than throu the wading; for thai tell                                  56
That the Kyng a gud archer had,
And quhen he saw his lord swa stad,
That he wes left swa anerly,
He ran on fut alwayis him by,                                         60
Till he in-till the wod wes gane.
Then said he till hym-self allane,
That he arest rycht thair wald ma,
And luk gif he the hund mycht sla.                                    64
For gif the hund mycht lest on lif,
He wist full weill that thai wald drif
The Kyngis tras till thai hym ta;
Than wist he weill thai wald him sla.                                 68
And for he wald his lord succour,
He put his lif in aventur.
And stud in-till a busk lurkand
Quhill that the hund com at his hand,                                 72
And with ane arrow soyn him slew,
And throu the wod syne hym withdrew.
Bot quhethir his eschaping fell
As I tald first, or now I tell,                                       76
I wat it weill, without lesyng,
At that burn eschapit the King.

How the Three Men that bare the Wedder Sheep thought
to have slain King Robert Bruce.

The King has furth his wayis tane.
And Johne of Lorn agane is gane                                       80
To Schir Amer, that fra the chas
With his men than reparit was,
That litill sped in thair chassing;
For thow that thai maid following                                     84
Full egirly, thai wan bot small;
Thair fayis neir eschapit all.
Men sais, Schir Thomas Randale than,
Chassand, the Kyngis baner wan;                                       88
Quhar-throu in Ingland wyth the Kyng
He had rycht gret price and lovyng.
Quhen the chaseris releit war,
And Johne of Lorn had met thaim thar,                                 92
He tald Schir Amer all the cas,
How that the King eschapit was;
And how that he his fif men slew,
And syne he to the wod hym drew.                                      96
Quhen Schir Amer herd this, in hy
He sanyt hym for the ferly,
And said; “He is gretly to pris;
“For I knaw nane that liffand is                                     100
“That at myscheif can help hym swa.
“I trow he suld be hard to sla
“And he war bodyn all evynly.”
On this wis spak Schir Amery.                                        104

Here Three Traitours meet the King, with a Wedder.

  And the gud Kyng held furth his way,
He and his man, ay quhill that thai
Passit owt throu the forest war;
Syne in a mure thai enterit ar.                                      108
That wes bath hee and lang and braid;
And or thai half it passit had,
Thai saw on syde thre men cumand,
Lik to licht men and waverand.                                       112
Swerdis thai had and axis als,
And ane of thame apon his hals
A mekill bundyn weddir bare.
Thai met the Kyng, and halsit him thar:                              116
And the Kyng thame thar halsing yhald,
And askit thame quhethir thai wald.
Thai said, Robert the Bruce thai socht,
To meit with hym gif that thai mocht,                                120
Thair duelling with hym wald thai ma.
The King said, “Gif that yhe will swa,
“Haldis furth yhour way with me,
“And I sall ger yhow soyn him se.”                                   124

[Sidenote: 1307] _The King goes with the Men_]

  Thai persavit be his spekyng
And his effer, he wes the Kyng.
Thai changit contenans and late,
And held nocht in the first stat;                                    128
For thai war fayis to the Kyng;
And thoucht to cum in-to scowkyng,
And duell with hym quhill that thai saw
Thar tym, and bryng hym than of daw.                                 132
Thai grantit till his spek for-thi,
Bot the Kyng, that wes witty,
Persavit weill be thair havyng
That thai lufit hym in na thing:                                     136
He said; “Fallowis, yhe man all thre
“Forthir aquynt quhill that we be,
“All be yhour-self forrouth ga,
“And, on the sammyn wis, we twa                                      140
“Sall fallow yhow behynd weill neir.”
Quod thai; ‘Schir, it is na mysteir
‘To trow in-till us any ill.’
“Nane do I,” said he, “bot I will                                    144
“That yhe ga forrow us, quhill we
“Bettir with othir knawyn be.”
‘We grant,’ thai said, ‘sen yhe will swa:’
And furth apon thair gat can ga.                                     148

[126: In E _That he wes the selvyn Robert king_.]

  Thus yheid thai till the nycht wes neir.
And than the formast cumin weir
Till a wast husbandis hous; and thar
Thai slew the weddir at thai bar,                                    152
And slew fyre for to rost thar met,
And askit the Kyng gif he wald et,
And rest hym till the met war dicht?
The Kyng, that hungry wes I hicht,                                   156
Assentit to thair speke in hy:
Bot he said, he wald anerly
Betuyx hym and his fallow be
At a fyre, and thai all thre                                         160
In the end of the hous suld ma
Ane othir fyre; and thai did swa.
Thai drew thame in the hous end,
And half the weddir till him send;                                   164
And thai rostit in hy thair met,
And fell rycht frakly for till et.
The King weill lang he fastyt had,
And had rycht mekill travale made:                                   168
Tharfor he ete richt egyrly.
And quhen he etyn had hastely,
He had to slepe sa mekill will,
That he mycht set na let thar-till.                                  172
For quhen the wanys fillit ar,
The body worthis hevy evirmar;
And to slepe drawis hevynes.
The Kyng, that all for-travalit wes,                                 176
Saw that hym worthit slep neidwais;
Till his fostir brothir he sais,
“May I trast the me to walk,
“Till I a litill slepyng tak?”                                       180
‘Yha, Schir,’ he said, ‘till I may dre.’
The Kyng than wynkit a litill we,
And slepit nocht full ynkurly,
Bot gliffnyt up oft suddandly;                                       184
For he had drede of thai thre men,
That at the tothir fyre war then.
That thai his fais war he wyst;
Tharfor he slepit as foul on twist.                                  188

[153: H _And strake_ (S). C E as text.]

[174: E _Men worthis_.]

[181, 182: E _drey--wey_.]

Here he slew the three traitors.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce’s Foster-Brother is Slain_]

  The Kyng slepit bot litill than,
Quhen sic a slepe fell on his man
That he mycht nocht hald up his e,
Bot fell on slepe and routit he.                                     192
Now is the King in gret perell:
For slepe he swa a litill quhile,
He sall be ded, forouten dred.
For the thre tratouris tuk gud hede,                                 196
That he on slep wes and his man.
In full gret hy thai rais up than,
And drew thair swerdis hastely,
And went toward the King in hy,                                      200
Quhen that thai saw he slepit swa,
And slepand thoucht thai wald hym sla.
*Till hym thai yheid a full gret pas,
Bot in that tym, throu Goddis grace,                                *204
The Kyng blenkit up hastely,
And saw his man slepand him by,                                      204
And saw cumand the tratouris thre.
Delyverly on fut gat he,
And drew his suerd out and thame met,
And, as he yheid, his fut he set                                     208
Apon his man weill hevaly.
He walkynt, and rais all desaly:
For the sleip maisterit hym swa,
That, or he gat up, ane of thai,                                     212
That com for to sla the Kyng,
Gaf hym a strake in his rysyng,
Swa that he mycht help hym no mair.
The Kyng so stratly stad wes thair,                                  216
That he wes never yheit swa stad;
Na war the armyng that he had,
He had beyn ded foroutyn weyr.
Bot nocht-for-thi on sic maneir                                      220
He helpit hym swa in that bargane,
That thai thre tratouris he has slane,
Throu Goddis grace and his manheid.
His fostir-brothir thair wes ded.                                    224
Than wes he wounder will of wayn,
Quhen he saw he wes left allane.
His fostir-brothir menyt he,
And waryit all the tothir thre,                                      228
And syne his way tuk hym allane,
And richt toward his trist is gane.

[*203, 204: Not in E, but in C and H (S).]

[210: E omits _all_.]

Here the King goes to his Tryst.

The Kyng went furth wrath and angry,
Menand his man full tendirly,                                        232
And held his way all hym allane,
And richt toward the hous is gane,
Quhar he set trist to mete his men;
It wes weill lat of nycht be then.                                   236
He come soyn in the hous, and fand
The gud wif on the bynk sytand
Scho askit hym soyn quhat he wes,
And quhyne he com, and quhar he gais.                                240
“A travalland man, dame,” said he,
“That travalys heir throu the cuntre.”
Scho said, ‘All that travaland ere,
‘For saik of ane, ar welcom here.’                                   244
The Kyng said, “Gud dame, quhat is he
“That garris yhow have sik specialte
“Till men that travalis?” ‘Schir, perfay,’
Quod the gud wif, ‘I sal yhow say;                                   248
‘Gud Kyng Robert the Bruce is he,
‘That is rycht lord of this cuntre.
‘His fayis him haldis now in thrang;
‘Bot I thynk to se or oucht lang                                     252
‘Hym lord and kyng our all the land,
‘That na fayis sall hym withstand.’
“Dame, lufis thou hym sa weill?” said he.
‘Yha Schyr,’ scho said, ‘sa God me se!’                              256
“Dame,” said he, “lo! hym her the by,
“For I am he”;--‘Sa yhe suthly?’
“Yha, certis, dame.”--‘And quhar are gane
‘Yhour men, quhen yhe ar thus allane?’                               260
“At this tyme, dame, I have no ma.”
Scho said, ‘It may no wis be swa;
‘I have twa sonnys wicht and hardy,
‘Thai sall becum yhour men in hy.’                                   264
As scho devisit thai have done,
His sworn men becom thai sone.
The wif gart soyn him syt and et.
Bot he had schort quhil at the met                                   268
Sittyn, quhen he herd gret stampyng
About the hous; than, but lettyng,
Thai stert up, the hous to defend;
Bot soyn eftir the Kyng has kend                                     272
James of Douglas: than wes he blith,
And bad oppyn the dures swith:
And thai com in, all at thai ware.
Schir Edward the Bruce wes thare,                                    276
And James als of Douglas,
That wes eschapit fra the chas,
And with the Kyngis brothir met.
Syne to the trist that thame wes set                                 280
Thai sped thame with thair cumpany,
That war ane hundreth and fyfty.

[236: E _inwith nycht_.]

Here meets he with his Company.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce Plans a Surprise_]

  And quhen at thai has seyn the Kyng,
Thai war joyfull of thair metyng:                                    284
And askit how he eschapit was,
And he thaim tald all haill the cas;
How the five men him presit fast,
And how he throu the wattir past,                                    288
And how he met the thevis thre,
And how he slepand slayn suld be,
Quhen he walknyt, throu Goddis grace;
And how his fostyr-brothir was                                       292
Slayne, he tald thame halely.
Than lovyt thai God all comonly,
That thair lord wes eschapit swa.
Than spak thai wordis to and fra,                                    296
Till at the last the Kyng can say;
“Fortoun has travalit us this day,
“That scalit us sa suddandly.
“Our fayis this nycht sall trastly ly;”                              300
For thai trow we so scalit ar                                       *301
*And fled to-waverand her and thar,
*That we sall nocht thir dayis thre
All to-giddir assemblit be                                          *304
*Tharfor this nycht thai sall trastly.
“But wachis, tak thair eis and ly.
“Quharfor, quha knew thair herbery,
“And wald cum on thame suddanly,
“With few menyhe mycht soyn thame scath,                             304
“And yhet eschape withouten vath.”
‘Perfay,’ quoth James of Douglas,
‘As I com hiddirward, per-cas
‘I com so neir thair herbery,                                        308
‘That I can bring yhow quhar thai ly.
‘And wald yhe speid yhow, yheit or day
‘It may sa happyn that yhe may
‘Do thame a gretar scath weill soyn                                  312
‘Than thai us all the day has done,
‘For thai ly scalit as thame lest.’
Than thocht thai all it wes the best
To speid thame to thaim hastely;                                     316
And thai did swa in full gret hy,
And com on thame in the dawyng,
Richt as the day begouth to spryng.

[Linenote: *301-305 not in E, running on from the second _trastly_.]

Here the King and his Company come hastily upon their Enemies,
and slay Many.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Sir Aymer praises Bruce_]

  So fell it that a cumpany                                          320
Had in toune tane thair herbry,
Weill fra the host a myle or mair;
Men said that thai twa thousand war.
Thar assemblit the nobill Kyng.                                      324
And soyn eftir thair assemblyng,
Thai, that slepand assalyheit war,
Rycht hyduisly can cry and rar;
And othir-sum, that herd the cry,                                    328
Ran furth rycht swa effraytly,
That sum of thame all nakyt war,
Fleand to-waverand heir and thair;
And sum thair armys with thaim drew:                                 332
And thai without mercy thame slew;
And swa cruell vengeans can ta,
That the twa part of thame and ma,
War slayn rycht in that ilk sted;                                    336
Till thar host the remanand fled.
The host, that herd the noyis and cry,
And saw thair men sa wrechidly
Cum nakit, fleand heir and thair,                                    340
Sum haill, and sum woundit sair,
In-to full gret affray thai rais,
And ilk man to his baner gais:
Swa that the host wes all on steir.                                  344
The Kyng and thai that with hym weir,
Quhen thai on steir the host saw swa,
Toward thair warrand can thai ga,
And tharin swith cummyn ar thai.                                     348
And quhen Schir Amery herd say
How that the Kyng thar men had slayn,
And how thai turnit war agane,
He said, “Now may we cleirly se                                      352
“That nobill hert, quhar-evir it be,
“Is hard till ourcum throu mastry.
“For quhar a hert is rycht worthy
“Agane stoutnes it is ay stout;                                      356
“And, as I trow, thair may na dowt
“Ger it all out discumfit be,
“Quhill body liffand is and fre;
“As be this melle may be seyn.                                       360
“We wend Robert the Bruce had beyn
“Swa discumfit that, be gud skill,
“He suld nouthir haff hert no will
“Swilk juperdy till undirta;                                         364
“For he wes put at undir swa
“That he wes left all hym allane,
“And all his folk war fra hym gane;
“And he wes sa fortravalit,                                          368
“To put of thame that hym assalit,
“That he suld haf yharnit restyng
“Mair than fechtyng or travalyng.
“Bot his hert fillit is of bownte,                                   372
“Swa that it vencust may nocht be.”

[323: E _hundir_.]

[331: E _to warrand_.]

[359: C has _all fre_ (S).]

[371: E _This nycht atcur all othir thing_. H as in C.]

Here Sir Aymer passes to Carlisle.

On this wis spak Schir Amery.
And quhen thai of his cumpany
Saw how thai travalit had in vane,                                   376
And how the Kyng thar men had slane,
That at his larges wes all free,
Thame thoucht it wes a nyste
For to mak thair langer duellyng,                                    380
Sen thai mycht nocht anoy the Kyng;
And said that to Schir Amery,
That umbethoucht hym hastely
That he to Carleill than wald ga,                                    384
And a quhill thar-in sojorn ma;
And haf his spyis on the Kyng,
To knaw alwais his contenyng.
For quhen that he his poynt mycht se,                                388
He thoucht that with a gret menyhe
He suld schute on hym sodanly.
Tharfor, with all his cumpany,
Till Ingland he the way has tane,                                    392
And ilk man till his hous is gane.
In hy till Carleill went is he.
And thar-in thynkis for to be
Till he his poynt saw of the Kyng,                                   396
That than with all his gaderyng
Wes in Carrik, quhar umbestount
He wald went with his men till hount.

[378: E _And that his wes gane al fre_.]

Here the King meets three Traitors.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce taunts the Bowmen_]

  Swa hapnyt it that on a day                                        400
He went till hunt, for till assay
Quhat gammyn wes in that cuntre.
And swa hapynt that day that he
By a wode-syde to sett is gane,                                      404
With his twa hundis, hym allane;
Bot he his swerd ay with hym bare.
He had bot schort quhill syttyn thare,
Quhen he saw fra the wode cumand                                     408
Thre men with bowis in thar hand,
That toward hym com spedely;
And he persavit that in hy,
Be thair effeir and thair havyng,                                    412
That thai lufit hym na kyn thyng.
He rais and his leysche till him drew he,
And leit his houndis gang all fre.
God help the Kyng now for his mycht!                                 416
For bot he now be wis and wicht,
He sall be set in mekill pres.
For thai thre men, withouten les,
War his fayis all utrely:                                            420
And had wachit so besaly,
To se quhen thai vengeans mycht tak
Of the Kyng for Jhone Cumynys sak,
That thai thoucht than thai laser had;                               424
And, sen he hym allane wes stad,
In hy thai thoucht thai suld him sla:
And gif that thai mycht chevis swa,
Fra that thai the Kyng had slayn,                                    428
That thai mycht wyn the wode agayn,
His men, thai thoucht, thai suld nocht dreid.
In hy towart the Kyng thai yheid,
And bend thair bowis quhen thai war neir;                            432
And he, that dred in gret maneir
Thar arowis, for he nakit was,
In hy ane spekyng to thame mais,
And said; “Yhe aucht to shame, perde,                                436
“Syn I am ane and yhe ar thre,
“For to schut at me on fer.
“Bot haf yhe hardyment, cum ner
“With yhour swerdis me till assay;                                   440
“Wyn me on sic wis gif yhe may;
“Yhe sall weill mair all prisit be.”
‘Perfay,’ quod ane than of the thre,
‘Sall no man say we drede the swa,                                   444
‘That we with arrowis sall the sla.’

  With that thair bowis away thai kest,
And com on fast, but langar frest.
The Kyng thame met full hardely,                                     448
And smat the first so rigorusly,
That he fell ded doun on the greyn.
And quhen the Kyngis hounde has seyn
Thai men assale his mastir swa,                                      452
He lap till ane and can hym ta
Richt be the nek full felonly,
Till top our taill he gert hym ly.
And the Kyng, that his swerd up had,                                 456
Saw he so fair succour hym maid,
Or he that fallyn wes mycht rys,
He hym assalyheit on sic wis,
That he the bak strak evyn in twa.                                   460
The thrid, that saw his fallowis swa
Forouten recoveryng, be slayne,
Tuk till the wod his way agane.
Bot the Kyng followit spedely;                                       464
And als the hound that wes hym by,
Quhen he the man saw gang hym fra,
Schot till hym soyn, and can him ta
Richt be the nek, and till hym dreuch;                               468
And the Kyng, that wes neir eneuch,
In his risyng sik rowt hym gaf,
That stane-ded till the erd he draf.

[459: C _Had hym_.]

  The Kyngis menyhe that war neir,                                   472
Quhen at thai saw on sic maneir
The Kyng assalit sa suddandly,
Thai sped thame toward hym in hy,
And askit how that cas befell?                                       476
And he all haly can thaim tell,
How thai assalyheit hym all thre.
“Perfay,” quod thai, “we may weill se
“That it is hard till undirtak                                       480
“Sic mellyng with yhow for to mak,
“That so smertly has slayn thir thre
“Forouten hurt.” ‘Perfay,’ said he,
‘I slew bot ane forouten ma,                                         484
‘God and my hund has slane the twa;
‘Thair tresoune cumrit thame, perfay,
‘For richt wicht men all thre war thai.’

[484: Not in E, which has after 485 _The thrid eschapyt nocht alsua_.
H as in C.]

Here Sir Aymer sets the King in Great Jeopardy.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce is in Glentrool_]

  Qwhen that the Kyng, throu Goddis grace                            488
On this maner eschapit was,
He blew his home, and than in hy
His gud men till hym can rely;
Than hamwardis buskit he to fair,                                    492
For that day wald he hunt no mair.
In Glentruell a quhile he lay,
And went weill oft to hunt and play,
For to purchase thame venysoun,                                      496
For than the deir war in sesoun.
In all that tyme Schir Amery,
With nobill men in cumpany,
In Carleill lay, his poynt to se;                                    500
And quhen he herd the certante
That in Glentruell wes the King,
And went to hunt and to playing,
He thoucht than with his chevelry,                                   504
To cum apon hym suddanly;
Fra Carleill all on nychtis ryde,
And in covert on dayis byde.
And swagat, with sic tranonting,                                     508
He thoucht he suld suppris the Kyng.
Than he assemblit a gret menyhe
Of folk of full gret renowne.
Bath of Scottis and Inglis men.                                      512
Thair way all sammyn held thai then,
And raid on nychtis so prevaly,
Till thai com to the wode neir by
Glentruell, quhar lugit wes the Kyng,                                516
That wist richt nocht of thair cummyng.
In-to gret perell now is he,
For, bot God throu his gret powste,
Saif hym, he sall be tane or slane;                                  520
For thai war sex quhar he wes ane.

[494: C has _all a quhile_ (S), where _all_ seems a duplication of the
preceding syllable.]

How Sir Aymer Valence sent the Woman to spy King Robert in Glentrool.

  Qwhen Schir Amer, as I herd tald,
With his men that wes stout and bald,
Wes cum so neir the Kyng that thai                                   524
War bot a myle fra hym away,
He tuk avisment with his men,
On quhat maner thai suld do then.
For he said thame, that the King wes                                 528
Lugit in-to so strate a place,
That hors-men mycht hym nocht assale;
And gif fut-men gaf hym battale,
He suld be hard to wyn, gif he                                       532
Of thair cummyng ma warnit be:
“Tharfor I rede, all prevaly
“We send a woman hym to spy,
“That pouerly arayit be.                                             536
“Scho may ask met per cherite,
“And se thair covyne halely,
“And on quhat maner at thai ly,
“The quhilis we and our menyhe,                                      540
“Cumand throu-out the wod may be
“On fut, all arayit as we ar.
“May we do swa, that we cum thar
“On thaim or thai wit our cummyng                                    544
“We sall fynd in thame no styntyng.”

[Sidenote: 1307] _The Woman Discloses the Plot_]

  This consall thoucht thaim wes the best,
Than send thai furth, but langar frest,
The woman that suld be thar spy,                                     548
And scho hir way can hald in hy
Richt to the logis, quhar the King,
That had no dreid of supprising,
Yheid unarmyt, mery and blith.                                       552
The woman has he seyn alswith,
He saw hir uncouth, and for-thi
He beheld hir mayr ynkirly,
And by hir countenans hym thoucht                                    556
That for gud cummyn wes scho nocht.
Than gert he men in hy hir ta;
And scho, that dred men suld hir sla,
Tald thame how that Schir Amery,                                     560
With the Cliffurd in cumpany,
And the flour of Northumbirland,
War cummand on thame at thar hand.

[556: C has _And by_ (S).]

  Quhen at the King herd that tithing,                               564
He armyt hym but mair duelling;
Sa did thai all that evir thar war,
Syne in a sop assemblit ar:
I trow they war thre hundreth ner.                                   568
And quhen thai all assemblit wer,
The King his baner gert display,
And set his men in gude aray.
Thai had nocht standyn bot a thraw,                                  572
Richt at thair hand quhen at thai saw
Thair fayis throu the wod cumand,
Armyt on fut, with sper in hand,
That sped thame full enforsaly.                                      576
The noyis begouth soyne and the cry;
For the gud King, that formast was,
Stoutly towart his fayis gais,
And hint out of a manis hand,                                        580
That neir besyde him wes gangand,
A bow and a braid arrow als,
And hyt the formast in the hals,
Till throppill and wassand yheid in twa,                             584
And he doune to the erd can ga.

Here were Fifteen Hundred discomfited with Few Scots.

  The laiff with that maid a stopping;
Than, but mair baid, the nobill King
Hynt fra his baneour the banar,                                      588
And said, “Apon thame! for thai ar
“Discomfit all!” and with that word
He swappit swiftly out his sword,
And on thame ran so hardely,                                         592
That all thai of his cumpany
Tuk hardyment of his gud dede.
For sum, that first thar wayis yhede,
Again com to the ficht in hy,                                        596
And met thair fayis so rigorusly,
That all the formast ruschit war.
And quhen thai that war hendirmar
Saw that the formast left the stede,                                 600
Thai turnit soyn the bak and fled,
And of the wod thai thaim with-drew.
The King a few men of thame slew,
For thai rycht soyn thair gat can ga;                                604
It discomfortyt thame all swa,
That the King with his menyhe was
All armyt to defend that plas,
That thai wend throu thar tranonting                                 608
Till have wonnyn for-out fichting,
That thai effrayit war suddanly.
And he thame soucht so angyrly,
That thai in full gret hy agane                                      612
Out of the woud ran to the plane.
For thai falyheit of thair entent,
Thai war that tym sa fowly schent,
That fiften hundreth men and ma                                      616
Wyth fewar war rebutit swa,
That thai with-drew thaim schamfully.
Tharfor emang thame sudanly
Thair rais debate and gret distans                                   620
Ilkane with othir of thar myschans;
Clyffurd and Vaus maid a melle,
Quhar Cliffurd raucht him a cole;
And athir syne drew to partis.                                       624
Bot Schir Amer, that wes wis,
Departit thame with mekill pane,
And went till Ingland hame agane.
He wist, fra stryff rais thame amang,                                628
He suld thame nocht hald sammyn lang
For-outen debat or melle;
Tharfor till Ingland turnit he
With mar schaym than he com of toune;                                632
Quhen sa mony of sic renoun
Saw sa few men bid thaim battale,
Quhar thai ne war hardy to assale.

[605: C _discumfit_ (S), which is metrically short, and does not suit
the context or the sense.]

[623: E _roucht nocht him to lee_. H _raught him routes three_, which
so far supports the reading of the text.]


How James of Douglas discomfited then
At Ederford Philip Mowbray with many men.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce leaves the Mountains_]

  The King, fra Schir Amer was gane,
Gadert his menyhe evirilkane;
And left bath woddis and montanis,
And held his way straucht to the planys.                               4
For he wald fayn that end war maid
Of that at he begonnyn had,
And he wist weill he mycht nocht bring
It to gud end but travalyng.                                           8
To Kyle first went he, and that land
He maid till him all obeysand:
The men mast fors com till his pes.
Syne eftirward, or he wald ces,                                       12
Of Cunyngame the mast party
He gert helde till his senyhory.

  In Bothwell than Schir Amer was,
That in his hert gret angyr has;                                      16
For thai of Cunyngame and Kyle,
That war obeysand till hym quhile,
Left the Inglis menis fewte:
Tharof fayn vengit wald he be;                                        20
And send Schir Philip the Mowbray,
With a thousand, as I herd say,
Of men that war in his leding,
To Kyle to warray the nobill Kyng.                                    24

  Bot James of Douglas, that all tyde,
Had spyis out on ilka syde,
Wist of thar cummyng, and that thai
Wald hald doune Makyrnokis way.                                       28
He tuk with hym all prevely
Thame that war of his cumpany,
That war sexty withouten ma.
Syne till a strate place can he ga,                                   32
That is in Makyrnokis way,
The Edry-furd it hat perfay;
It lyis betuix marras twa,
Quhar that na hors on lif ma ga.                                      36
On the south half, quhar James was,
Is ane upgang, ane narrow plas,
And on the north half is the way
Sa ill, as it apperis to day.                                         40

[28: C _Machyrn-noxis_.]

[31: E _fourty_. H _sixtie_.]

[34: E _Nether-foord_, and so in H, differing from his own rubric.]

[Sidenote: 1307] _Mowbray escapes with Difficulty_]

  Douglas, with thame he with hym had,
Enbuschit hym, and thame abaid.
He mycht weill fer se thair cummyng,
Bot thai mycht se of hym na thing.                                    44
Thai maid enbuschement all the nycht,
And quhen the sone wes schynand brycht,
Thai saw in battale cum arayit
The vaward with baner displayit,                                      48
And syne soyn the remanand
Thai saw weill neir behynd cumand.
Than held thai thaim still and preve,
Till the formast of thair menyhe                                      52
War enterit in the furde thame by;
Than schot thai on thame wyth a cry;
And with wapnys that scharply schare
Sum in the furde thai bakward bare,                                   56
And sum, with arrowes barblyt braid,
Sa gret martirdome on thame maid,
That thai gan draw to voyd the place;
Bot behinde thame so stoppit was                                      60
The way, that thai fast mycht nocht fle,
And that gert of thaim mony de.
For thai on na syde mycht away
Bot as thai com, bot gif at thai                                      64
Wald throu thair fayis hald thar gat;
Bot that way thoucht thame all to hat.
Thair fayis met thame so sturdely,
And continit the ficht so hardely,                                    68
That thai so dredand war at thai
Quha first mycht fle, first fled away.
And quhen the reirward saw thaim swa
Discumfit, and thair wayis ga,                                        72
Thai fled on fer, and held thair way.
Bot Schir Philip the Mowbray,
That with the formast rydand was,
That enterit war in-to the plas,                                      76
Quhen that he saw how he wes stad,
Throu the gret worschip that he had,
With spurys he strak the steid of pris,
And, magre all his enymys,                                            80
Throu the thikkest of thame he raid,
And but challans eschapit had,
Ne war ane hynt hym by the brand;
Bot the guid steid, that wald nocht stand,                            84
He lansit furth deliverly;
Bot the tothir sa stalwardly
Held, that the belt brist of the brand,
That swerd and belt left in his hand.                                 88
And he but swerd his wayis raid,
Weill otow thame, and thair abaid,
Behaldand how his menyhe fled,
And how his fais clengit the sted                                     92
That war betuix him and his men;
Tharfor the wayis tuk he then
To Kylmernok and Killwynnyn,
And till Ardrossan eftir syne.                                        96
Syne throu the Largys, him allane,
Till Ennirkyp the way has tane,
Richt till the castell that wes then
Stuffit all with Inglis men,                                         100
That him resavit in gret dante.
And fra thai wist how-gat that he
Sa fer had ryddyn, hym allane,
Throu thame that war his fais ilkane,                                104
Thai prisit him so gretumly,
And alsua lovit his chevelry.

[59: From E (S). _Thoucht throu the wode to pass_ (C).]

[75: C _wes_ (S).]

Schir Philip thus eschapit was,
And Douglas, that wes in the plas,                                   108
Quhar he sexty has slane and ma;
The laiff fouly thar gat can ga,
And fled to Bothwell hame agane;
Quhen Schir Amer wes na thing fane,                                  112
Quhen he herd tell on quhat maner
That his menyhe discumfit wer.
Bot quhen to King Robert wes tald,
How the gud Douglas, that wes bald,                                  116
Vencust sa feyll with few menyhe,
Richt joyfull in his hert wes he.
And all his men confortit war:
For thame thoucht weill, bath les and mair                           120
That thai suld les thar fayis drede,
Sen thair purpos sa wyth thaim yheide.

Here Sir Aymer urges a Fight on the Plain.

[Sidenote: 1307] _Bruce accepts the Challenge_]

  The Kyng lay in-to Gawlistoun,
That is rycht evyn anent Lowdoun;                                    124
And till his pes tuk the cuntre.
Quhen Schir Amer and his menyhe,
Herd how he rewlit all the land,
And how that nane durst him withstand,                               128
He wes in-till his hert angry;
And with ane of his cumpany
He send him word ande said, gif he
Durst hym in-to the planys se,                                       132
He suld the tend day of May
Cum undir Lowdoun hill away:
And gif that he wald met him thair,
He said, his worschip sulde be mair,                                 136
And mair be turnit to nobillay,
To wyn him in the playn away,
With hard dyntis in evyn fichting,
Than till do fer mair in scowking.                                   140
The King, that herd his messinger,
Had despit apon gret maner,
That Schir Amer spak sa hely,
Tharfor he ansuerd irusly,                                           144
And till the messynger said he;
“Sa to thi lord that, gif I be
“In lif, he sall me se that day
“Weill neir, gif he dar hald the way                                 148
“That he has said; for sekirly
“By Lowdoun hill mete hym sall I.”

[144: C has _ernystfully_ (S). H _angerly_, agrees with E.]

Here King Robert provides for Advantage in the Place where they should

  The messinger, but mair abade,
Till his mastir his wais raide,                                      152
And his ansuer him tald alswith;
Than wes na neid to mak him blithe.
For he thoucht, throu his mekill mycht,
Gif the King durst apeir to ficht,                                   156
That, throu the gret chevelry
That suld be in his cumpany,
He suld swa ourcum the Kyng,
That thar suld be na recoveryng.                                     160
And the Kyng, on the tothir party,
That wes ay wis and a-verty,
Raid for to se and ches the plas,
And saw the hye-gat lyand was                                        164
Apon a fair feild, evin and dry;
Bot apon athir syde thar-by
Wes a gret mos, mekill and braid,
That fra the way wes, quhar men raid,                                168
A bowdraucht neir on athir syde:
And that place thocht hym all to wyde
Till abyde men that horsit war.
Tharfor thre dykis ourthwort he schar,                               172
Fra bath the mosis to the way:
That war sa fer fra othir, that thai
War in-twyn a bow-draucht and mar.
Sa holl and hye the dykis war,                                       176
That men mycht nocht, but mekill pane,
Pas thaim, thouch nane war thaim agane.
Bot sloppis in the way left he,
So large, and of sic quantite,                                       180
That fyffe hundir mycht sammyn ryde
In at the sloppis, syde for syde.
Thar thoucht he battale for to beid,
And bargane thaim; for he na drede                                   184
Had at thai suld on syde assale,
Na yheit behynd gif him battale.
And befor hym thocht weill that he
Suld fra thar mycht defendit be.                                     188
Thre deip dykis he gert thar ma;
For gif he mycht nocht weill our-ta
To met thame at the first, that he
Suld haf the tothir at his pouste;                                   192
Or than the thrid, gif it war swa
At thai had passit the tothir twa.
On this wis him ordanit he,
And syne assemblit his menyhe,                                       196
That war sex hundreth fechtand men,
But rangald, that wes with him then,
That war als feill as thai, or ma.
With all that menyhe can he ga,                                      200
The evyn befor the battale suld be,
To litill Lowdoun, quhar that he
Wald abide to se thair cummyng;
Syne with the men of his leding                                      204
He thoucht to speid hym, swa that he
Suld at the dik befor thaim be.

[154: E _Quharof he was bath glaid and blyth_. H agrees with C.]

Here Sir Aymer comes with his Host in Sight.

[Sidenote: 1307] _The Splendid Array of the English_]

  Schir Amer, on the tothir party,
Gaderit so great chevelry,                                           208
That he mycht be thre thousand neir,
Armyt and dicht in gud maner;
And than, as man of gret noblay,
He held toward the trist his way.                                    212
And quhen the set day cumin was,
He sped him fast toward the place
That he had nemmyt for to ficht.
The sone wes rysyn schynand bricht,                                  216
That blenknyt on the scheldis braid.
In twa eschelis ordanit he had
The folk that he had in leding.
The Kyng, weill soyn in the mornyng,                                 220
Saw first cumand thair first eschele,
Arrait sarraly and weill,
And at thair bak, sum-deill neirhand,
He saw the tothir followand:                                         224
Thair basnetis burnyst war all brycht,
Agane the sone glemand of licht;
Thair speris, thair pennownys, and thar scheldis
Of licht illumynit all the feldis.                                   228
Thair best and browdyn bricht baneris,
And hors hewit on seir maneris,
And cot-armouris off seir colour,
And hawbrekis, that war quhit as flour,                              232
Maid thame glitterand, as thai war lik
Till angellis he of hevinis rik.

Here King Robert meets him with Few.

The King said; “Lordingis, now yhe se
“How yhon men, throu thar gret pouste,                               236
“Wald, and thai mycht fulfill thar will,
“Slay us, and mak sembland thar-till.
“And sen we knaw thair felony,
“Ga we and meit thame hardely,                                       240
“That the stoutest of thair menyhe,
“Of our metyng abaysit be.
“For gif the formast egirly
“Be met, yhe sall se suddanly                                        244
“The henmast sall abasit be;
“And thouch that thai be ma than we,
“That suld abais us litill thing;
“For quhen we cum to the fichting,                                   248
“Thar may met us no ma than we.
“Tharfor, lordingis, ilkane suld be
“Of worschip and of gret valour,
“For till maynteme heir our honour.                                  252
“Thinkis quhat gladschip us abydis,
“Gif that we may, as us betydis,
“Haf victour of our fayis heir!
“For thar is nane her, fer no neir,                                  256
“In all this land that us thar dout.”
Than said thai all that stude about,
‘Schir, gif God will, we sall sa do,
‘That no repruf sall ly thar-to.’                                    260
“Than ga we furth now,” said the King,
“And he, that maid of nocht all thing,
“Leyd us, and sauf us for his mycht,
“And help us for till hald our richt!”                               264
With that thai held thar way in hy,
Weill sex hundreth in cumpany,
Stalward and stout, worthy and wicht:
Bot thai war all to few, I hicht,                                    268
Agane so feill to stand in stour,
Ne war thair outrageous valour.

[Sidenote: MAY 10, 1307] _The Battle of Loudoun Hill_]

Now gais the nobill Kyng his way,
Richt stoutly and in gude aray,                                      272
And to the formast dyk is gane,
And in the slop the feld has tane.
The cariage-men and the pouerale,
That wes nocht worth in the batale,                                  276
Behynd him levit he al still,
Standand all sammyn on the hill.
Schir Amery the King has seyn,
With his men that war cant and keyn,                                 280
Cum to the playn doune fra the hill,
As him thoucht in-to full gud will
For to defend or till assaill,
Gif ony wald hym byde battale.                                       284
Tharfor his men confortit he,
And bad thame wicht and worthy be;
For gif at thai mycht wyn the Kyng,
And victor haf of the fechting,                                      288
Thai suld richt weill rewardit be,
And gretly ek thair renownee.
With that thai war weill neir the Kyng,
And he left his amonystyng,                                          292
And gert trumpe to the assemble;
And the formast of his menyhe
Enbrasit with that thar scheldis braid,
And rycht sarray to-gidder raid,                                     296
With hedis stowpand and speris straucht
Richt to the Kyng thar way thai raucht;
That met thame with sa gret vigour,
That the best and of mast valour                                     300
War laid at erd at thair metyng;
Quhar men mycht her sic a brekyng
Of speris that to-fruschyt war,
And the woundit so cry and rar,                                      304
That it anoyus wes till her.
For thai, that first assemblit wer,
Funyheit and fawcht full sturdely;
The noyis begouth than and the cry.                                  308

Here King Robert wins in Plain Battle.

  A! mychty God! quha thair had beyn,
And had the Kyngis worschip seyn,
And his brothir that wes hym by,
That contenit thame so hardely,                                      312
That thair gud deid and thar bounte,
Gaiff gret confort to thair menyhe;
And how Dowglas so manfully
Confortit thame that war hym by;                                     316
He suld weill say that thai had will
To wyn honor and cum thair-till.
The Kingis men, that worthy war,
With thair speris that scharply schar,                               320
Stekit men and stedis bath,
Till red blud ran of woundis rath.
The hors that woundyt war can fling,
And ruschit the folk in thair flynging,                              324
Swa that thai that than formast war
War skalyt in soppis heir and thar.
The King that saw thame ruschit swa,
And saw thame reland to and fra,                                     328
Ran apon thaim so egirly,
And dang on thame sa hardely,
He gert feill of his fayis fall.
The feld wes weill neir coverit all                                  332
Bath with slayn hors and with men;
For the gud King thame followit then,
With weill fif hundreth that wapnys bar,
That wald thair fayis no thing spar.                                 336
Thai dang on thame so hardely,
That in schort tyme men mycht se ly
At erd ane hundreth and wele mar;
The remanand the waykar war,                                         340
Than thai begouth thame to withdraw;
And quhen thai of the reirward saw
Thair vawarde be sa discomfit,
Thai flede withouten mair respit.                                    344
And quhen Schir Amer hes seyn
His men fleand haly bedeyn,
Wit yhe weill he wes full way;
Bot he mycht nocht amonist swa                                       348
That ony for him wald turne agane.
And quhen he saw he tynt his pane,
He turnit his bridill, and to-ga:
For the gud King thame presit swa                                    352
That sum war dede, and sum war tane;
The remanand thar gat ar gane.

[326: C _stekit_ (S) for _skalyt_.]

[339: C _weill and_ (S).]

Here Sir Aymer passes to England.

[Sidenote: MAY, 1307] _The Rejoicing of the Scots_]

The folk fled apon this maner
For-outen arest, and Schir Amer                                      356
Agane to Bothwell is he gane,
Menand the scath that he had tane;
Sa schamfull that he vencust wes,
That till Inglande in hy he gais                                     360
Richt till the King, and schamfully
He gaf up thar his wardanry.
Na never syne, for na kyne thing,
Bot gif he com richt with the King,                                  364
Com he to warra Scotland.
Sa hevely he tuk on hand,
That the King, in set battalyhe,
With a quheyn lik poueralyhe,                                        368
Vencust him with a gret menyhe,
That wes renownit of gret bounte.
Sic anoy had Schir Amery:
And King Robert, that wes hardy,                                     372
Abaid all still in-to the plas,
Till that his men left all the chas;
Syne with presoners that thai had tane,
Thai ar towart thair innys gane,                                     376
Fast lovand God of thair weillfair.
Men mycht haf seyn, quha had beyn thair,
A folk that mery war and glad
For thair victour; and als thai haid                                 380
A lord so swet and deboner,
So curtas, and of sa fair effer,
So blith als, and so weill bowrdand,
And in battale so stith to stand,                                    384
So wis, and richt sua avise,
That thai had gret caus blith to be.
So war thai blith forouten dout;
For feill, that wonnyt thaim about,                                  388
Fra thai the King saw help him swa,
Till him thar homage can thai ma.
Than wox his power mair and mair,
And he thoucht weill that he wald fair                               392
Outour the Month with his menyhe,
To luk quha that his frend wald be.
In-to Schir Alexandir the Freser
He trastit, for thai cosyngis wer,                                   396
And his brothir Symon, thai twa.
He had myster weill of ma,
For he hade fais mony ane;
Schir Johne Cumyne Erll of Bouchane,                                 400
And Schir Johne the Mowbray syne,
And gud Schir David of Brechyne,
With all the folk in thair leding,
War fayis to the nobill King.                                        404
And, for he wist thai war his fayis,
His viage northwardis he tais;
For he wald se quhat-kyn ending
Thai walde mak of thair manasing.                                    408

[375: C _he had_ (S).]

[381: C _debonar_ (S).]

How the Good King Robert the Bruce passed North beyond the Mounth.

The king buskit and maid him yhar,
Northwardis with his men to fair.
His brothir can he with hym ta,
And Schir Gilbert de le Hay alsua;                                   412
The Erll of Lennax als wes thar,
That with the King was our all quhar;
Schir Robert Boyd and othir ma.
The King can furth his wais ta,                                      416
And left James of Douglas,
With all the folk that with him was,
Behynd hym, for till luk gif he
Micht recover his cuntre.                                            420
He left him in-to gret perill;
Bot eftir, in ane litill quhill,
Throu his gret worschip sa he wrocht,
That to the Kingis pes he brocht                                     424
The forest of Selcryk all hale,
And alsua did he Douglasdale,
And Gedword forest alsua.
And quha sa weill on hand couth ta                                   428
To tell his worschippis ane and ane,
He suld fynd of thaim mony ane.
For in his tym, as men said me,
Threttene tymes vencust wes he,                                      432
And victory wan sevin and fifty.
He semyt nocht lang ydill to ly,
Be his travale he had na will;
Me think men suld him luf of skill.                                  436

[427: E _Jedworthis_.]

Here Sir James wins Many Men, and makes First a Train on the Castle.

[Sidenote: 1307] _The Activity of Douglas_]

  This James, quhen the King wes gane,
All prevely his men has tane,
And went to Douglasdaill agane,
And maid all prevely a trane                                         440
Till thaim that in the castell war.
A buschement slely maid he thair;
And of his men fourteyn and ma
He gert, as thai war, sekkis ta                                      444
Fillit with gyrs, and syne thame lay
Apon thair hors, and hald thair way
Richt as thai wald to Lanrik fair,
Otow quhar the enbuschement war.                                     448
And quhen thai of the castell saw
So feill ladis gang on raw,
Of that sight war thai wondir fayn,
And tald it to thair capitane,                                       452
That hicht Schir Johne off Webitoune.
He wes bath yhoung, stout, and felloun,
Richt joly als, and volageous;
And for that he was amourous,                                        456
He wald ysche fer the blithlyer.
He gert his men all tak thar ger,
And yschit to get that vittale,
For thar vittale all fast couth fale.                                460
Thai yschit all abaundanly,
And prikit furth sa wilfully
To win the ladis at thai saw pas,
Quhill that Douglas with his men was                                 464
All betuix thame and the castell.
The layd-men that persavit weill
Thai kest thair ladis doun in hy,
And thair gownys deliverly,                                          468
That helit thame, thai kest away,
And in gret hy thair hors hint thai,
And stert upon thame sturdely,
And met thair fayis with a cry;                                      472
That had gret woundir, quhen thai saw
Thaim that war ere lurkand full law,
Cum apon thame so hardely,
Thai wox abasyd suddandly,                                           476
And at the castell wald haf beyn.
Quhen thai, on the othir haf, has seyn
Douglas brek his enbuschement,
That agane thame rycht stoutly went,                                 480
Thai wist nocht quhat till do no say.
Thar fayis at thair hand saw thai,
That strak on thame forout sparing,
And thai mycht help thaim-self no thing,                             484
Bot fled to warrand quhar thai mocht;
And thai so angirly on thame socht,
That of thame all eschapit nane.
Schir Jhone of Webitoun thar wes slaine;                             488
And quhen he ded wes, as yhe her,
Thai fand in-till his awmener
A letter, that him send ane lady
That he lufit per drowry;                                            492
The letter spak on this maner                                       *493
That said, quhen he had yhemyt a yher
In wer, as ane gud bachiller,
And governit weill, in all maner,                                   *495
The aventurus castell off Douglas,
That to kepe so perelous was,                                        496
Than mycht he weill ask ane lady
Hir amouris and hir drowry.

[482: E has _on othir sid_.]

[491: E _his coffer_.]

[*493, *495: From C (S); not in E or H. The first is probably
misplaced to begin with, and the second inserted to complete the
couplet (see note).]

[Sidenote: 1307] _Douglas destroys his Castle_]

  The letter spak on this maner.
And quhen thai slayn on this wis wer,                                500
Douglas richt to the castell raid,
And thair so gret debate he maid,
That in the castell enterit he.
I wat nocht all the certante,                                        504
Quhethir it wes throu strinth or slicht,
Bot he wrocht swa, throu his gret mycht,
That the constabill and all the lafe
That war thar-in, bath man and knaf,                                 508
He tuk, and gaf thame dispending,
And send thame hame, but mair greving,
Till the Cliffurde in thair cuntre.
Ande syne so besely wrocht he,                                       512
That he all tumlit doune the wall,
And distroit the hous all:
Syne till the Forest held his way,
Quhar he had mony harde assay,                                       516
And mony fair poynt of wer befell;
Quha couth thame all rehers and tell,
He suld say that his name suld be
Lestande in full gret renoune.                                       520

[506: E _with mekill mycht_.]

[520: C _ranowne_ (S). H _renounie_.]


How Good King Robert lay Sick in Inverury.

Now leif we in-to the Forest
Douglas, that sall haf litil rest,
Till the cuntre deliverit be
Of Inglis men and thair pouste:                                        4
And turne we to the nobill Kyng;
That, with the folk of his leding,
Toward the Month has tane the way
Richt stoutly, in-to gud aray;                                         8
Quhar Alysandir Freser him met,
And als his brothir, Symon het,
With all the folk thai with thaim hade.
The Kyng gud counternans thaim maid,                                  12
That wes richt blith of thair cummyng.
Thai tald the King all the covyng
Of Jhone Cumyne the Erll of Bouchane,
That till help him had with him tane                                  16
Schir John Mowbra and othir ma,
Schir David the Brechyne alsua,
With all the folk of thair leding,
“And yharnis mair than ony thing                                      20
“Vengeans on yhow, Schir Kyng, to tak,
“For Schir John the Cumynis sak,
“That quhilom in Drumfreis wes slayn.”
The King said, ‘Sa our lord me sayn,                                  24
‘I had gret caus hym for to slay.
‘And syn that thai on hand will ta,
‘Becaus of hym, to warra me,
‘I sall thoill all a quhile, and se                                   28
‘On quhat wis that thai preif thar mycht.
‘And gif it fall at thai will ficht,
‘Giff thai assalyhe we mon defend;
‘Syne fall quhatevir that God will send.’                             32

  Eftir this spek the Kyng in hy
Held straucht the way till Enverrowry:
And thair him tuk sic ane seiknes,
That put him till full hard distres,                                  36
That he forbare bath drink and met.
His men no medicine couth get
That evir mycht to the King availyhe.
His strinth so haly can him falyhe,                                   40
That he mycht nouthir ryde no ga.
Than, wit yhe weill his, men wes wa!
For nane wes in that cumpany,
That wald haf beyn half so sary                                       44
For till half seyn his brothir ded
Lyand befor hym in that sted,
As thai war all for his sekness;
For all thair confort in him wes.                                     48

  But gud Schir Edward the worthy,
His brothir that wes so hardy,
And wis and wicht, set mekill payn
To confort thame with all his mayn.                                   52
And quhen the lordis that war thair
Saw that the evill ay mair and mair
Travalit the King, thai thoucht in hy
It war nocht speidfull thair to ly:                                   56
For thair all playn wes the cuntre,
And thai war bot ane few menyhe
To ly, but strinth, in-to the playn.
For-thi, till that thair capitane                                     60
War coverit of his mekill ill,
Thai thoucht to wend sum strinth soyn til.

[Sidenote: 1307] _The Importance of a Captain_]

  For folk for-outen capitane,
Bot thai the bettir be a-pane,                                        64
Sall nocht be all so gud in deid,
As thai ane lord had thame to leid,
That dar put him in aventure,
But abasing, to tak the ure                                           68
That God will send: for quhen that he
Is of sic will and sic bounte,
That he dar put him till assay,
His folk sall tak ensampill ay                                        72
Of his gud deid and his bounte,
That ane of thame sall be worth thre
Of thame that wikkid chiftane has;
His wrechidnes so in thame gais,                                      76
That thai thair manlynes sall tyne
Throu wrechidnes of his covyne.
For quhen the lord at thame suld leid,
May do nocht bot as he war ded,                                       80
Or fra his folk haldis his way
Fleand, trow yhe nocht than that thai
Sall vencust in thair hertis be?
Yhus, sall thai, as I trow, per de,                                   84
Bot gif thair hertis be so hye
Thai will nocht for thair worschip fle.
And thouch sum be of sic bounte,
Quhen thai the lord and his menyhe                                    88
Seis fle, yhit sall thai fle a-payn;
For all men fleis the ded richt fayn.
Se quhat he dois, that swa fowly
Fleis thus for his cowardy!                                           92
Bath him and his, vencust is he,
And gerris his fayis abovin be.
Bot he that, throu his gret nobillay,
To perellis him abawndonys ay                                         96
For to reconfort his menyhe,
Gerris thame be of so gret bounte,
That mony tym unlikly thing
Thai bring richt weill to gud ending.                                100

  So did this King that I of reid,
And, for his outrageous manheid,
Confortit his men on sic maneir,
That nane had radnes quhar he wer.                                   104
*Thai wald nocht ficht quhill that he wes
Liand in-till sic seiknes;
Tharfor in littar thai him lay,
And till the Slevach held their way,
And thoucht thair in that strinth to ly,                             108
Till passit war his malady.

Here the Earl of Buchan gathers against the King.

[Sidenote: NOV.-DEC. 1307] _Skirmishing at Slevach_]

Bot fra the Erll of Bouchane
Wist that thai war thiddir gane,
And wist that swa seik wes the King                                  112
That men doutit of his coveryng,
He send eftir his men in hy,
And assemblit gret cumpany.
For all his awne men war thar,                                       116
And als frendis with him war;
That wes Schir Johne the Mowbray,
And his brothir, as I herd say,
And als Schir David of Brechyne,                                     120
With fele folk in thair leding.
And quhan thai all assemblit war,
In hy thai tuk thair way till fair
To the Slevach, with all thar men,                                   124
For till assaill the King, that then
Wes liand in-till his seiknes.
This was eftir the Martymes,
Quhen snaw had helit all the land.                                   128
To the Slevach thai com neirhand,
Arayit on thair best maneir.
And than the Kingis men, that wer
War of thair com, thame apparalit                                    132
Till defend, gif thai thame assalit.
And nocht-for-thi thair fayis war
Ay twa for ane that thai war thair.
The Erlis men neir cumande war,                                      136
Trumpand and makand mekill fair,
And maid knychtis quhen thai war neir.
And thai, that in the wodsyde weir,
Stude in aray richt sarraly,                                         140
And thoucht to byde thair hardely
The cummyng of thair enymys.
Bot thai wald apon nakyn wis
Ysche till assale thame in fichting,                                 144
Till coverit war the nobill Kyng.
Bot gif othir wald thame assalyhe,
Thai wald defend, avalyhe que valyhe.

[147: E _vailyhe quod vailyhe_.]

  And quhen the Erlis cumpany                                        148
Saw that thai wroucht so besaly,
That thai that strinth schup to defend,
Thair archaris furth to thame thai send
To bykkir thame, as men of mayn.                                     152
And thai send archaris thame agayn,
That bykkirrit thame so sturdely,
Till thai of the Erlis party
In-to thair battale withdrawin war.                                  156
Thre dayis on this wis lay thai thar,
And bikkirrit thame evirilke day:
Bot thar bowmen the wer had ay.
And quhen the Kingis cumpany                                         160
Saw thair fayis befor thame ly,
That ilka day wox ma and ma,
And thai war quhoyn, and stad war swa
That thai had no-thing for to et,                                    164
Bot gif thai travalit it to get,
Tharfor thai tuk consale in hy
That thai wald thar no langer ly,
Bot hald thair way quhar thai mycht get,                             168
Till thaim and thairis vittale and met.

  In a littar the Kyng thai lay,
And redyit thame and held thar way,
That all thair fayis mycht thame se;                                 172
Ilk man buskit in his degre,
To ficht gif thai assalyheit war.
In myddis thame the King thai bair,
And yheid about hym sarraly,                                         176
And nocht full gretly can thame hy.
The Erll, and thai that with him war,
Saw that thai buskit thame to fair;
And saw how with so litill affray                                    180
Thai held furth with the King thar way,
Reddy to ficht quha walde assale,
Thair hertis all begouth to fale,
And in pes let thame pas thar way,                                   184
And till thair hous hame went thai.

How the King discomfited at Inverury
The Earl of Buchan shamefully.

[Sidenote: DEC. 23, 1307] _Brechin attacks at Inverury_]

The Erll his way tuk to Bouchane;
And Schir Edward the Broys is gane
Richt to Strabogy, with the Kyng;                                    188
And swa lang thair maid sojornyng,
Till he begouth to cover and ga,
And syne thair wayis can thai ta
Till Enverrowry straucht agane;                                      192
For thai wald ly in-till the plane,
The wyntir sesoune; for vittale
In-to the playn mycht nocht thame fale.
The Erll wist that thai war thar,                                    196
And gaderit his menyhe heir and thar,
Brechyne, Mowbra, and thair men,
All to the Erll assemblit then,
And war a full gret cumpany                                          200
Of men arayit jolely.
Till Ald Meldrom thai held the way,
And thar with thair men lugit thai,
Before Yhoill-evyn ane nycht bot mair;                               204
And thousand, trow I weill, thai war.
Thai lugit thame all thair that nycht;
And on the morn, quhen day wes licht,
The lord of Brechine, Schir Davy,                                    208
Is went towart Inverrowry,
To luk gyff he on ony wys
Mycht do skaith till his ennemys.
In-to the end of Enverrowry                                          212
He com ridand so suddandly,
That of the Kingis men he slew
A part, and othir-sum thaim withdrew,
And fled thair way toward the King,                                  216
That, with the mast of his gaderyng,
On yhond half doun wes than lyand.
And quhen men tald him the tithand,
How Schir David had slayn his men,                                   220
His hors in hy he askit then,
And bad his men all mak thame yhare
In-to gret hy, for he wald fare
To bargane with his enymys.                                          224
With that he buskit for to ris,
That wes nocht all weill coverit then.
Then said sum of his preve men;
“Quhat think yhe, Schir, thusgat to fair                             228
“To ficht, and yheit nocht coverit ar?”
‘Yhis,’ said the Kyng, ‘forouten wer;
‘Thair bost has maid me haill and fer.
‘For suld no medicine so soyne                                       232
‘Haff coverit me, as thai haf done.
‘Tharfor, sa God him-self me se!
‘I sall outhir haf thaim, or thai me.’
And quhen his men has herd the King                                  236
Set him so haill for the fechting,
Of his covering all blith thai war,
And maid thame for the battale yhar.

[210, 211: C omits; in E and H.]

Here the Earl of Buchan flies, and Sir David Brechin yields himself to
the King.

The nobill King ande his menyhe,                                     240
That mycht weill neir sevin hundreth be,
Toward Ald Meldrome tuk the way,
Quhar the Erll and his menyhe lay.
The discurrouris saw thame comande                                   244
With baneris to the wynd wafand;
And tald it to thar lord in hy,
That gert arm his men hastely,
And thame arayit for battale.                                        248
Behynd thame set thai thar merdale,
And maid gude sembland for the ficht.
The King com on with mekill mycht;
And thai abaid, makand gret fair,                                    252
Till thai neir at assemble war.
Bot quhen thai saw the nobill King
Cum stoutly on without stinting,
A litill on bridill thai thaim with-drew;                            256
And the King, that rycht weill knew
That thai war all discumfit neir,
Pressit on thame with his baneir;
And thai with-drew thaim mair and mair.                              260
And quhen the small folk thai had thar,
Saw thair lordis with-draw thame swa,
Thai turnit thar bak all, and to-ga;
And fled all scalit heir and thair.                                  264
The lordis, that yheit to-giddir war,
Saw that thair small folk war fleand,
And saw the Kyng stoutly cumand,
Thai war ilkane abasit swa,                                          268
That thai the bakkis gaf, and to-ga.
A litill stound sammyn held thai,
And syne ilk man has tane his way.

[257: E gives _rycht_ (S). C has _thame_.]

[Sidenote: DEC. 23, 1307] _Buchan is Defeated_]

  Fell nevir men so foull myschans                                   272
Eftir so sturdy cuntyrnans.
For quhen the Kyngis cumpany
Saw at thai fled so fowlely,
Thai chasyt thame with all thar mayn,                                276
And sum thai tuk, and sum war slayn.
The remanand war fleand ay;
Quha had gud hors gat best away!
Till Ingland fled the Erll of Bouchane,                              280
Schir Johne Mowbray is with him gane,
And war resettit with the King.
Bot thai had bath bot schort lesting,
For thai deit soyn eftir syne.                                       284
And Schir David of Brechyne
Fled to Brechine, his awn castele,
And warnyst it bath fair and wele.
Bot the Erll of Adell Davy,                                          288
His sone that wes in Kyldromy,
Com syne, and him assegit thar.
And he, that wald hald weyr no mair,
Nor bargane with the nobill Kyng,                                    292
Com syne his man with gud treting.

Here the King burns all Buchan, and gets the Castle of Forfar
and destroys it.

Now ga we to the King agane,
That of his victor wes richt fane,
And gert his men burn all Bouchane                                   296
Fra end till end, and sparit nane;
And heryit thame on sic maneir,
That eftir that, weile fifty yheir,
Men menyt “the heirschip of Bouchane.”                               300
The King than till his pes has tane
The north cuntre, that humylly
Obeysit till his senyhory.
Swa that be north the Month war nane                                 304
That thai ne war his men ilkane.
His lordschip wox ay mair and mair.
Toward Angus than couth he fair,
And thoucht soyn to mak all fre                                      308
Apon north half the Scottis Se.
The castell of Forfer wes then
Stuffit all with Inglis men.
Bot Philip the Forster of Platan                                     312
Has of his frendis with him tane,
And with ledderis all prevely
To the castell he can hym hy,
And clam out-our the wall of stane,                                  316
And swagat has the castell tan,
Throu falt of wach, with litill payn.
And syn all that he fand has slayn:
Syne yhald the castell to the King,                                  320
That maid hym richt gud rewarding,
And syne gert brek doune the wall,
And fordid well and castell all.

[299: C _neir fifty_ (S). E _weile_.]

[309: Skeat reads _Apon_ from _All on_ in C; _cf._ lines 329, 460. E
has _That wes on the_: H similarly.]

How Good King Robert the Bruce besieged the Town of Perth.

[Sidenote: JAN. 1313] _Perth is too Strong for Assault_]

Qwhen that the castell of Forfar,                                    324
And all the towris tumlit war
Doun to the erd, as I haf tald,
The wis king, that wes wicht and bauld,
That thoucht that he wald mak all fre                                328
Apon north half the Scottis Se,
Till Perth is went with all his rout,
And umbeset the toune about,
And till it has ane sege soyn set.                                   332
Bot quhill it mycht haf men and met,
It mycht nocht, but gret payn, be tane
For the wallis war all of stane,
With thik towris and hye standand.                                   336
And that tym war thar-in duelland
Moffat, and als Olyfard;
Thai twa the toun had all in ward.
Of Strathern als the Erll wes thar;                                  340
Bot his sone and of his men war
Without, in-to the Kingis rout.
Thar wes oft bikkyrring stith and stout,
And men slayn apon ilk party.                                        344
Bot the gud King, that all vitty
We in his dedis evirilkane,
Saw the wall so stith of stane,
And saw defens at thai can ma,                                       348
And how the toun wes hard to ta
With oppyn assale, be strinth or mycht,
Tharfor he thoucht to wirk with slicht.
And all the tym that he thair lay                                    352
He spyit, and slely gert assay
Quhar of the dik the schawdest was;
Till at the last he fand a place
That men mycht to thair schulderis waid.                             356
And quhen he that place fundyn had,
He gert his menyhe busk ilkane,
Quhen sex woukis of the sege wes gane.
Thai tursit thair harnas halely,                                     360
And left the sege all oppinly,
And furth with all his folk can fair,
As he wald do thar-to no mair.

[338: C has _Olifert_ (S), but _Olifard_ on record as in E.]

[359: C gives _owkis_ (S).]

Here he gets it with Jeopardy.

  And thai that war within the toune,                                364
Quhen thai to fair so saw him boune,
Thai schowtit hym and scornyng maid;
And he furth on his wayis raid,
As he na will had agane to turne,                                    368
Na besyde thame to mak sojorne.
Bot in aucht dais nocht-for-thi,
He gert mak ledderis prevely,
That mycht suffice till his entent,                                  372
And in a myrk nycht syne is went
*Toward the toun with his menyhe.
*Bot hors and knafis all left he
Fer fra the toun, and syne has tane                                 *376
*Thair ledderis, and on fut are gane
Toward the toune all prevely.
Thai herd no wachis spek no cry:
For thai that war within, ma fall,                                   376
As men that drede nocht, slepit all.
Thai had no dreid than of the King,
For thai of hym herd no tithing
All thai thre dais befor and mair;                                   380
Tharfor sekir and trast thai war.
And quhen the King herd thame nocht steir,
He wes blith apon gret maneir;
And his leddir in hand can ta,                                       384
Ensampill till his men till ma,
Arayit weill in all his geir,
Schot in the dik, and with his speir
Tastit, quhill he weill our woude,                                   388
Bot till his throt the wattir stude.

[*374-*377: Four lines from C and H. E omits for usual reason.]

[Sidenote: JAN. 1313] _Perth is captured_]

  That tym wes in his cumpany
A knycht of France, wicht and hardy;
And quhen he in the wattir swa                                       392
Saw the King pas, and with him ta
His leddir unabasitly,
Ha sanyt him for the ferly,
And said; “A Lord! quhat sall we say                                 396
“Of our lordis of France, that ay
“With gud morsellis farsis thair panch,
“And will bot et and drynk and dance,
“Quhen sic a knycht, sa richt worthy                                 400
“As this is throu his chevelry,
“In-to sic perill has hym set,
“To wyn ane wrechit hamlet?”
With that word to the dik he ran,                                    404
And our eftir the Kyng he wan.
And quhen the Kyngis menyhe saw
Thar lord pas our, in-till a thraw
Thai passit the dik, and, but mar let,                               408
Thair ledderis to the wall thai set;
And to clym up fast pressit thai;
Bot the gud Kyng, as I herd say,
Was the tothir man that tuk the wall,                                412
And baid thair, till his menyhe all
War cummyn our in full gret hy;
Yheit rais thar nouthir nois nor cry.
Bot soyn eftir thai noyis maid,                                      416
That of thame first persaving had,
So that the cry rais throu the toune;
Bot he, that with his men wes boune
Till assale, to the toune is went,                                   420
And the mast of his menyhe sent
All scalit throu the toun, bot he
Held with him-self a gret menyhe,
Swa that he mycht be appurvait,                                      424
To defend, gif he war assayit.

  Bot thai, that he send throu the toune,
Put soyn to gret confusioune
Thair fayis, that in beddis war,                                     428
Or scalit, fleand heir and thair;
That, or the sone rais, thai had tane
Thair fayis, or discumfit ilkane.
The wardanis bath tharin war tane:                                   432
And Malis of Strathern is gane
Till his fader, the Erll Malis,
And with strinth tuk him and all his;
Syne, for his sake, the nobill King                                  436
Gaf hym his land in governyng.
The laif, that ran out throu the toune,
Sesit to thame in gret fusioune
Men, armyng and marchandis,                                          440
And othir gudis on syndri wis;
Quhill thai, that war eir pouer and bare,
Of that gude rych and mychty war.
Bot thair wes few slayne; for the King,                              444
Had gevin thame in commandyng,
On gret payn, thai suld slay nane,
That, but gret bargane, mycht be tane;
That thai war kynde to the cuntre                                    448
He wist, and had of thame pite.

On this maner the toun wes tane.
And syne the towris everilkane
And wallis gert he tummyll doune:                                    452
He levit nocht about that toune
Tour standand, stane no wall,
That he na haly gert distroy all.
And presoneris, that thair tuk he,                                   456
He send quhar thai mycht haldin be,
And till his pes tuk all the land;
Wes nane that durst him than withstand.

Here All Scots obey the King except Lorn.

  Apon north half the Scottis Se                                     460
Obeysit all till his majeste,
Outane the Lord of Lorn, and thai
Of Argile that wald with him ga.
He held evir agane the King,                                         464
And hatit hyme atour all thing.
Bot yheit, or all the gammyn ga,
I trow weill that the King sall ta
Vengeans of his gret cruelte,                                        468
And that him sair repent sall he,
That he the King contraryit ay,
May fall, quhen he no mend it may.

Here Sir Edward Bruce is much commended.

[Sidenote: JUNE 1308] _Edward Bruce is in Galloway_]

  The Kingis brothir, quhen the towne                                472
Wes takyn thus and doungyn doune,
Schir Edward, that wes so worthy,
Tuk with him a gret cumpany,
And tuk his gat toward Galloway.                                     476
For with his men he walde assay
Gif he recover mycht that land,
And wyn fra Inglis mennys hande.
This Schir Edward, forsuth, I hicht,                                 480
Wes of his handis a nobill knycht,
And in blithnes swet and joly;
Bot he wes outrageous hardy,
And of so hye undirtaking,                                           484
That he had nevir none abasing
Of multitude of men; for-thi
He discumfit commonly
Mony with quheyn: tharfor had he                                     488
Outour his peris renowne.
And quha rehers wald all his deid,
Of his hye worschipe and manheid
Men mycht mony romanys mak;                                          492
And, nocht-for-thi, I think till tak
On hand off hym to say sum thing,
Bot nocht the tend part his travaling.

  This gud knycht, that I spek of heir,                              496
With all the folk that with hym weir,
Weill soyn to Galloway cummyn is,
All that he fand he maid it his;
And ryotit gretly the lande.                                         500
Bot than in Galloway war wonnand
Schir Ingerame Umphrevell, that wes
Renownit of so hye prowes,
That he of worschip passit the rout:                                 504
Tharfor he gert ay ber about
Apon a sper ane red bonat,
In-to the takyn that he wes set
In-to the hicht of chevelry;                                         508
Of Sanct Johne als Schir Amery.
Thai twa the land had in stering,
And quhen thai herd of the cummyng
Of Schir Edward, that so planly                                      512
Our-raid the land, than in gret hy
Thai assemblit all thair menyhe.
I trow twelf hundreth thai mycht be.

Here Sir Edward Bruce discomfits the Englishmen at Cree.

  Bot he with fewar folk thaim met                                   516
Besyde Cre, and so hard thame set,
With hard battale in stalwarde ficht,
That he thame all put to the flicht,
And slew twa hundreth wele and ma,                                   520
And the chiftanis in hy can ta
Thair way to Buttill, for till be
Resavit in-to gude savite.
And Schir Edward thame chasit fast;                                  524
Bot till the castell at the last
Gat Schir Ingerame and Schir Amery;
Both the best of thair cumpany
Left ded behynd thame in the plas.                                   528
And quhen Schir Edward saw the chas
Wes falit, he gert seys the pray;
A swa gret cattell had away,
That it war woundir for till se.                                     532
Of Buttill tour thai saw how he
Gert his men drif with him thar pray,
Bot no let set tharin mycht thai.

[Sidenote: JUNE 1308] _Umfraville thinks to surprise Edward_]

  Throu his chevelrous chevelry                                      536
Galloway wes stonayit gretumly,
And doutit hym for his bounte.
Sum of the men of the cuntre
Com till his pes, and maid him ath.                                  540
Both Schir Amery, that had the scath
Of the bargane I tald of er,
Raid till Ingland, and purchast ther
Of armyt men gret cumpany,                                           544
To venge hym of the velany
That Schir Edwarde, the nobill knycht,
Him did by Cre in-till the ficht.
Of gude men he assemblit thair                                       548
Weill fyftene hundreth men and mar,
That war of rycht gude renowne.
His way with all that folk tuk he,
And in the land, all prevely,                                        552
He enterit with that chevelry;
Thinkand Schir Edward to suppris,
Gif that he mycht on ony wis:
For he thoucht he wald him assale,                                   556
Or that he left, in playn batale.
Now may yhe heir of gret ferly,
And of richt hye chevelry.
For Schir Edward into the land                                       560
Wes with his menyhe neir at hand;
And in the mornyng richt airly
He herd the cuntre men mak cry,
And had wittering of thair cummyng.                                  564
Than buskit he him but delaying.
And lap on hors deliverly.
He had than in his rowt fifty,
Apon gude hors armyt richt weill.                                    568
His small folk gert he ilk deill
With-draw thame till a strate neir by:
And he raid furth with his fifty.

Here he discomfits far more manfully, that is to say, Fifteen
Hundred with Fifty.

  A knycht, that than wes in his rout,                               572
Worthy and wicht, stalward and stout,
Curtas and fair, and of gude fame,
Schir Alane of Catkert be name,
Tald me this taill as I sall tell.                                   576
Gret myst in-to the mornyng fell,
Swa that men mycht nocht se thaim by,
For myst, ane bow-draucht fullely.
Sa hapnyt that thai fand the trais,                                  580
Quhar at the rout furth passit was
Of thair fayis, that forouth raid.
Schir Edward, that gret yharnyng had
All tyme for till do chevelry,                                       584
With all his rout in full gret hy,
Followit the tras quhar gane war thai:
And, before myd-morne of the day
The myst wox cleir all suddanly;                                     588
Than he and all his cumpany
War nocht ane bow-draucht fra the rout.
Than schot thai on thame with a schout;
For gif thai fled, thai wist that thai                               592
Suld nocht weill ferd part get away.
Tharfor in aventure till de
He wald him put or he wald fle.
And quhen the Inglis cumpany                                         596
Saw on thame cum so suddanly
Sic folk, forouten abasing,
Thai war stonayit for affraying.
And the tothir, but mair abaid,                                      600
So hardely emang thame raid,
That fele of thame to erde thai bare.
Richt gretly thus stonayit thai ware
Throu the fors of that first assay,                                  604
That thai war in-to gret affray,
And wend be fer thai had beyn ma,
For that thai war assalyhit swa.
And syne Schir Edwardis cumpany,                                     608
Quhen thai had thrillit thame hastely,
Set stoutly in the hedis agane,
And at that cours borne doun and slane
War of thair fais a gret party,                                      612
That than affrait war so gretly,
That thai war scalit gretly then.
And quhen Schir Edward and his men
Saw thame in-to so ill aray,                                         616
The thrid tyme on thame prikid thai.
And thai that saw thame so stoutly
Cum on thame, dred thame gretumly,
That all thair rout, bath les and mair,                              620
Fled, ilkane scalit, heir and thair.
Wes nane emang thame so hardy
To byde, bot all comonly
Fled to warand; and he can chas,                                     624
That wilfull till distroy thame was:
For sum he tuk, and sum war slayn,
Bot Schir Amery with mekill payn
Eschapit, and his gat is gane.                                       628
His men discumfit war ilkane;
Sum tane, sum slayn, sum gat away.
This wes a richt fair point, perfay!

[575: C _Carcat_: S adopts _Catcart_.]

Sir Edward Bruce in a Year won Thirteen Castles.

[Sidenote: 1308] _Edward Bruce subdues Galloway_]

  Lo! how hardyment tane suddanly,                                   632
And drivin syne till end scharply,
May ger oft-sis unlikly thyngis
Cum to richt fair and gud endingis!
Richt as it fell in this case heir;                                  636
For hardyment, withouten weir,
Wan fyftene hundreth with fifty,
Quhar ay for ane thai war thretty:
And twa men ar a manis her;                                          640
Bot ure thame led on sic maner,
That thai discumfit war ilkane.
Schir Amery hame his gate is gane,
Richt blith that he so gat away.                                     644
I trow he sall nocht mony day
Have will to warra that cuntre,
With-thi Schir Edward tharin be!
Ande he duelt furth in-to the land,                                  648
Thame that rebelland war warrand,
And in a yheir so warrait he,
That he wan quytly that cuntre
Till his brothiris pes, the king;                                    652
Bot that wes nocht but hard fichting.
For in that time thair him befell
Mony fair poynt, as I herd tell,
The quhilk that ar nocht writin heir.                                656
Bot weill I wat that, in that yheir,
Thretten castellis with strynth he wan,
And ourcom mony a mody man.
Quha-sa the suth of hym wald reid;                                   660
Had he had mesur in his deid,
I trow that worthyar than he
Micht nocht in his tyme fundyn be,
Outakyn his brothir anyrly,                                          664
To quhom, in-to gude chevelry,
I dar peir nane wes in his day.
For he led hym with mesure ay,
And with gret wit his chevelry                                       668
He governit ay sa worthely,
That he oft full unlikly thing
Brocht rycht weill to gud ending.

[666: E _Lyk wes nane in his day_. Neither reading is quite
satisfactory. Skeat puts a comma after _nane_, but what, then, is the
subject of _wes_? Is it not a suppressed relative?--that? _Cf._ x. 86.]

[671: C omits _rycht_ and inserts _full gud_. Skeat adopts both, but
one is surely superfluous.]

Here Sir James Douglas meets with Sir Alexander Stewart, Lord Bonkill.

  In all this tym James of Douglas                                   672
In the Forest travaland was,
And it throu hardiment and slicht
Occupyit, magre all the mycht
Of his feill fayis, the-quhethir thai                                676
Set him full oft in hard assay.
Bot oft throu wit and throu bounte
His purpos to gud end brocht he.
In-till that tym him fell, throu cas,                                680
A nycht, as he travaland was,
And thought for till have tan restyne
In a hous on the wattir of Lyne;
And as he com with his menyhe                                        684
Neirhand the hous, swa lisnyt he,
And herd thair sawis ilke deill,
And be that he persavit weill
At thai war strange men at thair                                     688
That nycht thar-in herberyit wair.
And as he thoucht it fell, per cas;
For of Bonkill the lord thar was,
Alysander Stewart hat he,                                            692
With othir ma of gret bounte,
Thomas Randole of gret renown,
And Adame alsua of Gordoun,
That com thair with gret cumpany,                                    696
And thoucht in the Forest to ly,
And occupy it throu thar gret mycht,
Bath with travale and stallwart ficht,
To chas Douglas of that cuntre;                                      700
Bot othir wayis than yheid the gle.

[686: E has _And herd ane say tharin, “The devill!”_ H like C.]

[Sidenote: 1308] _Randolph is Taken_]

  For quhen James had witteryng
That strange men had tane herbreyng
In the place quhar he schupe to ly,                                  704
He till the hous went hastely,
And umbeset it all about.
Quhen thai within herd sic a rout
About the hous, thai rais in hy,                                     708
And tuk thair geir rycht hastely,
And schot furth, fra thai harnast war.
Thair fayis thaim met with wapnys bar,
And assalyheit richt hardely;                                        712
And thai defendit douchtely
With all thair mycht, till at the last
Thar fais pressit thame so fast,
That thair folk falyheit thame ilkane.                               716
Thomas Randoll thar wes tane;
And Alexander Stewarde alsua
Wes woundit in a place or twa.
Adame of Gordoun fra the ficht,                                      720
Quhat throu slicht and quhat throu mycht,
Eschapit, and feill of his men;
Bot thai that war arestit then,
War of thair taking woundir wa;                                      724
Bot nedlyngis thame behufit be swa.

Here Sir James Douglas comes to the King with Sir Alexander
Stewart and Thomas Randolph.

  That nycht the gud lord of Douglas
Maid to Schir Alysander, that was
His emys son, richt gladsum cheir:                                   728
Sa did he als, forouten weir,
Till Thomas Randole, for that he
Wes till the King in neir degre
Of blude, for his sister him bare.                                   732
And on the morn, forouten mare,
Toward the nobill King he raid,
And with him bath thai twa he had.
The King of his cummyng wes blith,                                   736
And thankit him tharof feill sith.
And till his nevo can he say,
“Thou has a quhill renyit thi fay;
“Bot thou reconsalit now mon be.”                                    740
Then to the King soyn anseurd he,
And saide, ‘Yhe chasty me, bot yhe
‘Aw bettir chastyit for till be.
‘For sen that yhe warrait the King                                   744
‘Of Ingland in-to playn fichting
‘Yhe suld pres till derenyhe yhour richt,
‘And nocht with voidre na with slicht.’
The King said; “Yheit may fall it may                                748
“Cum, or oucht lang, to sic assay.
“Bot sen thou spekis so ryaly,
“It is gret skill at men chasty
“Thi prowd wourdis till at thou knaw                                 752
“The richt, and bow it as thou aw.”
The King, for-out mair delaying,
Send hym to be in ferm keping,
Quhar that he all a quhill suld be,                                  756
Nocht all apon his awn pouste.


Here the King passes against John of Lorn.

[Sidenote: 1308] _John of Lorn occupies a Pass_]

Qwhen Thomas Randol, on this wis
Wes takyn, as I heir devis,
And send to duell in gud keping,
For the speke he spak to the King;                                     4
The gud King, that thoucht on the scath,
The dispit and felony bath,
That John of Lorne had till him done,
His host assemblit he than soyn,                                       8
And toward Lorn he tuk the way,
With his men in-to gude aray.
Bot Johne of Lorn of his cummyng,
Lang or he com, had witteryng;                                        12
And men on ilk syde gaderit he,
I trow twa thousand thai mycht be;
And send thame for to stop the way,
Quhar the King behufit to ga:                                         16
And that wes in ane evill place,
That so strat and so narrow was,
That twa men sammyn mycht nocht ryde
In sum place of the hyllis syde.                                      20
The nethir half wes perelous;
For a schoir crag, hye and hyduous,
Raucht till the se, doun fra the pas.
On the owthir half ane montane was                                    24
So cumrous and ek so stay,
That it wes hard to pas that way.
Crechanben hecht that montane.
I trow that nocht in all Bretane,                                     28
Aye hyer hill may fundyn be.
Thar Johne of Lorne gert his menyhe
Enbuschit be abovyn the way;
For, gif the gud King held that way,                                  32
He thoucht he suld soyn vencust be;
And hym-self held hym on the se,
Weill neir the pas with his galays.
Bot the King, that in all assays                                      36
Wes fundyn wis and averte,
Persavit thair subtilite,
And that he neid that gat suld ga.
His men departit he in twa;                                           40
And to the gud lorde of Douglas,
Quham in all wit and worschip was,
He taucht the archaris evirilkane.
And this gud lord has with him tane                                   44
Schir Alysander Freser the wicht,
And Williame Wisman, a gud knycht,
And with thame gud Schir Androu Gray:
Thir with thair menyhe held thar way,                                 48
And clam the hill delyverly.
And, or thai of the tothir party
Persavit thame, thai had ilkane
The hicht abovyn thair fayis tane.                                    52

Here the King meets with John of Lorn’s Company.

[Sidenote: 1308] _The Fight for the Bridge_]

  The King and his men held thar way,
And quhen in-to the pas war thai
Enterit, the folk off Lorne in hy
Apon the King rasit ane cry,                                          56
And schot, and tumlit on hym stanys,
Richt gret and hevy for the nanys.
Bot thai scathit nocht gretly the King;
For he had thar, in his leding,                                       60
Men that licht and delyver war,
And licht arming had on thaim thar,
Swa that thai stoutly clam the hill,
And lettit thair fayis to fullfill                                    64
The mast part off thar felony.
And als, apon the tothir party,
Com James of Douglas and his rout,
And schot apon thame with a schout,                                   68
And woundit thame with arrowis fast.
Syne with thair swerdis, at the last,
Thai ruschit emang thame hardely.
For thai of Lorn, full manlely,                                       72
Grete and apert defens can ma.
Bet quhen thai saw at thai war swa
Assalyheit apon twa parteis,
And saw weill that thair enymyis                                      76
Had all the farer off the ficht,
In full gret hy thai tuk the flicht.
And thai a felloun chas can ma,
And slew all at thai mycht ourta.                                     80
And thai that mycht eschap, perfay,
Richt till ane wattir held thair way,
That ran doun by the hillis syde,
And wes rycht styth, bath deip and wyde,                              84
That men in na place mycht it pas
Bot at ane brig beneth thaim was.
To that brig held thai fast thair way,
And till brek it can fast assay.                                      88
Bot thai that chassit, quhen thai thaim saw,
Mak thair arest, but dreid or aw
Thai ruschit apon thame hardely,
And discumfit thame utrely,                                           92
And held the brig haill, quhill the King,
With all the folk of his leding,
Passit the bryg all at thair ese.
Till Johne of Lorne it suld displese,                                 96
I trow, quhen he his men mycht se,
Out of his schippis fra the se,
Be slayn and chassit fra the hill,
And he mycht set no help thar-till.                                  100
For it angeris als gretumly,
To gud hertis that ar worthy,
Till se thair fais fulfill thair will,
As to thame-self to thole the ill.                                   104

[72: C _manfully_ (S), which is not a rhyme.]

[81: E _but delay_.]

Here the King besieges and wins Dunstaffnage Castle.

At sic myscheiff war thai of Lorne;
For feill the lyffis thair has lorne,
And othir sum thai flede away.
The Kyng in hy gert ses the pray                                     108
Of all the land; quhar men mycht se
So gret aboundans cum off fe,
That it war woundir till behald.
The King, that stout wes, stark and bald,                            112
Till Dunstaffynch richt suddanely
He past, and segit it sturdely
And assalyheit, the castell to get.
And in schort tyme he has thame set                                  116
In sic thrang, that tharin war than,
That, magre tharis, he it wan,
And a gud wardane thair-in set,
And betaucht hym bath men and met,                                   120
Swa that he thair lang tym mycht be,
Magre thaim all of that cuntre.
Schir Alexander of Argill that saw
The King distroy up, cleyn and law,                                  124
His land, send tretis to the King,
And com his man but tarying;
And he resavit him till his pes.
But Johne of Lorn his son yheit wes                                  128
Rebell, as he wes wont to be,
And fled with schippes to the see.

[113-115: E has--

A sege set; and besyly
Assaylit_, etc.]

[118: C _is wan_ (S), which is certainly wrong.]

[126: E _mar duelling_.]

[Sidenote: 1313] _William Bunnock’s Stratagem_]

  Bot thai that left apon the land
War to the King all obeysand;                                        132
And he thar homage all has tane;
Syne toward Perth is passit agane,
To play hym thair in-to the playn:
Yheit Lowdyan wes him agayn.                                         136
And at Lythkow wes than a peill,
Mekill and stark, and stuffit weill
With Inglis men, that wes reset
Till thaim that with armouris or met                                 140
Fra Edinburgh wald to Strevilling ga,
And fra Strevilling again alsua;
And till the cuntre did gret ill.
Now may yhe heir, gif that yhe will,                                 144
Interludys and juperdys,
That men assayit on mony wis,
Castellis and pelis for till ta.
And this Lithkow wes ane of thai;                                    148
And I sall tell how it wes tane.
In the cuntre thar wonnyt ane
That husband wes, and with his fee
Oftsis hay to the peill led he.                                      152
Wilyhame Bunnok to nayme he hicht,
*That stalward man wes in-to ficht.
He saw sa hard the cuntre stad,
*That he gret noy and pite had
Throu fortrassis that war then
Governit and led with Inglis men,                                    156
Thai travalit men outour mesur.
He wes a stout carle and a sture,
And of him-self dour and hardy,
And had frendis wonnand hym by,                                      160
And schew till sum his prevate;
That apon his covyn gat he
Men that mycht ane enbuschement ma,
Quhill that he with his wayn suld ga                                 164
Till lede thaim hay in-to the peill.
Bot his wayn suld be stuffit weill:
For aucht men armyt in the body
Of his wayn suld syt prevaly,                                        168
And with hay helyt be about.
And hym-self, that wes dour and stout,
Suld by the wayn gang ydilly;
And ane yheman, wicht and hardy,                                     172
Befor suld dryf the wayn, and ber
Ane hachit, that war scharp to scher,
Undir his belt; and quhen the yhet
Wes opnyt, and thai war thar-at,                                     176
Quhen he herd hym cry sturdely,
“Call all! Call all!” than hastyly
He suld stryk with the ax in twa
The hede-soyme; than in hy suld thai,                                180
That war within the wayn, cum out,
And mak debat, quhill at thar rout,
That suld neir by enbuscht be,
Cum for to manteyme the melle.                                       184

[*154, *156: E omits. In C and H.]

  This wes in-till the harvist tyde,
Quhen feldis, that war fair and wyde,
Chargit with corne assoverit war;
For syndri cornys that thai bair                                     188
Woxe rype to wyn to mannys fude;
And the treis all sammyn stude
Chargit with froytis on syndri wis.
That sammyn tym, as I devis,                                         192
Thai of the peill had wonnyn hay,
And with this Bunnok spokin had thai
To leid thair hay, for he wes neir;
And he consentit but dangeir,                                        196
And said that in-to the mornyng
Weill soyn ane fudyr he suld bring,
Farer and greter, and weill mor
Than eny he broucht that yher befor:                                 200
And held thaim cunnand sekirly.
For that nycht warnyt he prevaly
Thaim that in the wayn suld ga,
And bad the buschement be alsua.                                     204
And thai so grathly sped thaim thar,
That or day thai enbuschit war
Weill neir the peill, quhar thai mycht heir
The cry alsoyne as ony weir,                                         208
And held thame swa still but stering,
That nane of thame had persavyng.

[192: E and H have _In this swete tyme_.]

[Sidenote: 1313] _Linlithgow Castle is Taken_]

  And this Bunnok fast can him payn
Till dres his menyhe in his wayn;                                    212
And all a quhile befor the day,
He had thaim helit with the hay;
Than maid he him to yhok his fee,
Till men the sone schynande mycht se.                                216
And sum that war within the peill
War yschit, on thair awn unseill,
To wyn thair harvist neir thar-by.
Than Bunnok, with the cumpany                                        220
That in his wayn closit he had,
Went on his way but mair abaid,
And callit his wayn toward the peill.
And the portar, that saw hym weill                                   224
Cum neir the yhat, it opnyt soyn:
And than Bunnok, forouten hoyn,
Gert call the wayn deliverly.
And quhen it wes set evinly                                          228
Betuix the chekys of the yhet,
Swa that men mycht it spar na gat,
He cryit, “Theif! Call all! Call all!”
And he than leyt the gadwand fall,                                   232
And hewit in twa the soym in hy.
Bunnok with that deliverly
Raucht till the portar sic ane rout
That blude and harnys bath com out.                                  236
And thai that war within the wayn
Lap out belif, and soyn has slayn
Men of the castell that war by.
Than in a quhill begouth the cry:                                    240
And thai that neir enbuschit war
Lap out, and com with swerdis bar,
And tuk the castell all but payn,
And thame that tharin wes has slayn.                                 244
And thai that war went furth beforn,
Quhen thai the castell saw forlorn,
Thai fled to warrand to and fra;
And sum till Edinburgh can ga,                                       248
And till Strevilling ar othir gane,
And sum in-to the way war slayn.

[230: C has _And he that wald no longer let_.]

How Earl Thomas Randolph became Man to the Good King Robert the Bruce.

Bunnok on this wis, wyth his wayn,
The peill tuk, and the men has slayn;                                252
Syne taucht it to the Kyng in hy,
That hym rewardit worthely;
And gert doun driff it to the ground;
And syne our all the land can found,                                 256
Settand in pes all the cuntre,
That till hym obeisand wald be.

  And quhen a litill tym wes went,
Eftir Thomas Randale he sent,                                        260
And with hym so weill tretit he,
That he his man hecht for till be.
And the king him soyn forgaf:
Ande, for till hye his stat, hym gaf                                 264
Murref, and tharof Erll hym maid
And othir syndri landis braid
He gaf him in-till heritage.
He knew his worthy vassalage,                                        268
And his gret wit and his avis,
His trast hart and his leill servis.
Tharfor in hym affyit he,
And maid him rych of land and fee,                                   272
As it wes certis richt worthy.
*For, and men spek of him trewly,
*He was so curageous a knycht,
*So wis, so worthy, and so wycht,
And of so soverane gret bounte,
That mekill of him may spokin be.
Therfor I think of hym to reid,                                      276
And till schaw part of his gud deid,
And till discryve yhow his fassoun
With part of his condicioun.
He wes of mesurabill stature,                                        280
And portrait weill at all mesure,
With braid visage, plesand and fair,
Curtas at poynt, and debonar;
And of richt sekir contenyng.                                        284
Laute he lufit atour all thing;
Falsade, tresoune, and felony,
He stude agayne ay ythandly.
He hyet honour and larges,                                           288
And ay mantemyt richtwisnes.
In cumpany solacious
He wes, and thar-with amorus.
And gud knychtis he lufit ay.                                        292
For gif that I the suth sall say,
He wes fullfillit of all bunte,
And off all vertuis maid wes he.
I will commend him heir no mar,                                      296
Bot yhe sall weill heir forthirmar
That he, for his dedis worthy,
Suld weill be prisit soveranly.

[*274-*276: In E, but omitted by Pinkerton.]

[Sidenote: 1314] _Randolph besieges Edinburgh Castle_]

Qwhen the King wes thus with him saucht,                             300
And gret lordschippis had him betaucht,
He wex so wis and avise,
That his land first weill stablist he;
And syne he sped him to the were,                                    304
Till help his eym and his effere.
With the consent of the gud Kyng,
Bot with a sympill apparalyng,
Till Edinburgh he went in hy,                                        308
With gud men in-till cumpany,
And set a sege to the castele,
That than wes warnyst wondir wele
With men and vittale at all richt,                                   312
So that it dred no mannis mycht.
Bot this gud Erll nocht-for-thi
The sege tuk full apertly:
And presyt the folk that thar-in was                                 316
Swa that nocht ane the yhet durst pas.
Thai may abyde thar-in and et
Thair victaill, quhill thai oucht mai get:
Bot I trow thai sall lettit be                                       320
To purchas mair in the cuntre.

[305: E _in his myster_.]

[316: C _wes_ (S).]

[319: C _mycht get_ (S).]

That tym Edward, of Ingland Kyng,
Had gevin the castell in keping
Till Schir Peris Lumbard a Gascoun.                                  324
And quhen thai of his warnysoun
Saw the sege set thair stithly,
Thai mystrowit hym of tratory,
For that he spokin had with the King.                                328
And, for that ilk mystrowing
Thai tuk him and put in presoun;
And off thair awne nacioun
Thai maid a constabill thaim to leid,                                332
Richt war and wis and wicht of deid.
And he set wit and strinth and slicht
To kepe the castell at his mycht.

  But now of thame I will be still,                                  336
And spek a litill quhill I will
Of the douchty lord Dowglas,
At that tym in the Forest was.
Quhar he full mony a juperdye,                                       340
And fair poyntis off chevelry,
Previt, als weill be nycht as day,
Till thame that in the castellis lay,
Off Roxburgh and Jedworth; bot I                                     344
Will let fele of thame pas forby.
For I can nocht rehers thame all,
And thouch I couth, trow weill yhe sall,
That I might nocht suffice thar-to,                                  348
Sa mekill suld be thair ado.
Bot thai that I wat wittirly,
Eftir my wit rehers sall I.

The winning of the Castle of Roxburgh by the Douglas
through the Sleight of John Ledhouse.

[Sidenote: FEB. 27, 1314] _The Scots are taken for Oxen_]

This tym that the gud Erll Thomas                                    352
Assegit, as the lettir sais,
Edinburgh, James of Douglas
Set all his wit for till purchas
How Roxburgh throu subtilite                                         356
Or ony craft, mycht wonnyn be;
Till he gert Sym of the Ledows,
A crafty man and a curious,
Of hempyn rapis ledderis ma,                                         360
With treyn steppis bundin swa,
That wald brek apon nakyn wis.
A cruk thai maid, at thair devis,
Of irn, that wes styth and square;                                   364
That, fra it in ane kyrnaill ware,
And the leddir thar-fra stratly
Strekit, it suld stand sekirly.
This lord of Douglas than, alsoyn                                    368
As this devisit wes and done,
Gaderit gud men in prevate;
Thre score I trow at thai mycht be.
And on the Fasteryn evyn rycht,                                      372
In the begynnyng of the nycht,
Till the castell thai tuk the way.
With blak froggis all helit thai
The armouris at thai on thame had.                                   376
Thai com ner by thar but abaid,
And send haly thair hors thame fra,
And on range in ane rod can ga
On handis and feit, quhen thai war neir,                             380
Richt as thai ky and oxin weir,
That war unbondyn left therout.
It wes richt merk forouten dout:
The-quhethir ane, on the wall that lay,                              384
Besyde him till his feir can say,
“This man thinkis to mak gude chere,”
(And nemmyt ane husband thar-by neir)
“That has left all his oxyne out.”                                   388
The tothir said, ‘It is na dout
‘He sall mak merye this nycht, thouch thai
‘Be with the Douglas led away.’
Thai wende the Douglas and his men                                   392
Had beyn oxyne, for thai yheid then
On handis and feit, ay ane and ane.
The Dowglas rycht gud tent has tane
Till all thar speke, bot als-soyn thai                               396
Held carpand inward on thar way.

[359: C has _That wes a man rycht craftyus_. Text from E and H (S).]

  The Douglas men thar-of wes blith.
And till the wall thai sped thame swith,
And soyn has up thair ledderis set,                                  400
That maid a clap, quhen the cleket
Wes festnyt fast in the kyrnell.
That herd ane of the wachis wele,
And buskit thiddirward but baid;                                     404
Bot Ledous, that the leddyr maid,
Sped hym to clym first to the wall:
Bot, or he wes up gottin all,
He at that ward had in keping,                                       408
Met him rycht at the up-cummyng;
And for he thoucht to dyng hym doune,
He maid na noyis na cry na sowne,
Bot schot till him deliverly.                                        412
And he that wes in juperdy
Till de, a lans till him he maid,
And gat him be the nek but baid,
And stekit him upward with ane knyff,                                416
Quhill in his hand he left the liff.
And quhen he ded sa saw him ly,
Upon the wall he went in hy,
And doune the body kest thame till,                                  420
And said, “All gangis as we will.
“Speid yhow upward deliverly.”
And thai did swa in full gret hy.
Bot, or thai wan up, thar com ane,                                   424
And saw Ledows stand him allane,
And knew he wes nocht of thar men.
In hy he ruschit till hym then,
And hym assalyheit sturdely;                                         428
Bot he hym slew deliverly,
For he wes armyt and wes wycht,
The tothir nakyt wes, I hicht,
And had nocht for till stynt no strak.                               432
Sic melle tharup can he mak,
Quhill Douglas, and his menyhe all
War wonnyn up apon the wall.

[Sidenote: FEB. 27, 1314] _Douglas holds the Hall_]

Than in the tour thai went in hy.                                    436
The folk that tym wes halely
In-to the hall at thair dansyng,
Synging, and othir wayis playing:
As apon Fastryn evyn is                                              440
The custom to mak joy and blis,
To folk that ar in-to savite;
Swa trowit thai that tym to be.
Bot, or thai wist, rycht in the hall                                 444
Douglas and his men cummyn war all.
And cryit on hicht, “Douglas! Douglas!”
And thai, that ma war than he was,
Herd “Dowglas!” cryit richt hidwisly,                                448
Thai war abasit for the cry,
And schupe richt na defens to ma.
And thai but pite can thame sla,
Till thai had gottyn the ovir hand.                                  452
The tothir fled to seyk warrand,
That out-our mesure dede can dreid.
The wardane saw how that it yheid,
That callit wes Gylmyne de Fenis,                                    456
In the gret toure he gotten is,
And othir of his cumpany,
And sparit the entre hastily.
The layff, that levit war without,                                   460
War tane or slane, forouten dout,
Bot giff that ony lap the wall.
The Douglas held that nycht the hall,
All-thouch his fais thar-of wes wa.                                  464
His men war gangand to and fra
Throu-out the castell all that nycht,
Till on the morn that day wes lycht.
  The wardane that wes in the tour,                                  468
That wes a man of gret valour,
Gylmyne the Fynis, quhen he saw
The castell tynt, bath hye and law,
He set his mycht for till defende                                    472
The tour; but thai without him send
Arrowes in so gret quantite,
That anoyit tharof wes he.
Bot to the tothir day nocht-for-thi                                  476
He held the tour full sturdely,
And than at ane assalt he was
Woundit so felly in the face,
That he wes dredand of his lif:                                      480
Tharfor he tretit thame belif,
And yhald the tour on sic maner,
That he and all that with hym weir
Suld saufly pas in-to Ingland.                                       484
Douglas held thame gud cunnand,
And convoyit thame to thair cuntre.
Bot thar full schort tym liffit he;
For throu the wound in-till the face                                 488
He deit soyn, and beryit was.
Douglas the castell sesit all,
At than wes closit with stalward wall,
And send this Leydous till the Kyng,                                 492
That maid hym full gret rewarding.
And his brothir in full gret hy,
Schir Edward, that wes sa douchty,
He send thiddir to tummyll it doune                                  496
Bath tour, castell, and dungeoune.
And he com with gret cumpany,
And gert travale so besaly,
That tour and wall rycht to the ground                               500
War tumlyt in ane litill stound:
And duelt still thar, quhill Tevydaie
Com to the Kyngis pes all haill,
Outane Jedworth and othir that neir,                                 504
The Inglis mennis bowndis weir.

[471: E has _be clene_; _cf._ line 124.]

Here Sir Thomas Randolph besieges Edinburgh.

Qwhen Roxborgh won wes on this wis,
The Erll Thomas, that hye enpris
Set ay apon soverane bounte,                                         508
At Edinburgh with his menyhe
Was lyand at the sege, as I
Tald yhow befor all oppynly.
Bot fra he herd how Roxburgh was                                     512
Tane with a trane, all his purchas,
With wit and besynes, I hicht,
He set to purches him sum slicht,
How he mycht help hym throu body                                     516
Mellit with full hye chevelry,
To wyn the wall of the castell
Throu sumkyn slicht; for he wist weill
That no strinth mycht it planly get,                                 520
Quhill thai within had men and met.
Tharfor prevely sperit he
Gif ony man mycht fundin be,
That couth ony gude jupardye                                         524
To clym the wallis prevelye;
And he suld haf his warisoune.
For it wes his entencioune
Till put him in-to aventure,                                         528
Or at that sege on him forfure.

[516: C has _throu vietory_, from which S adopts _voidry_ = “cunning”
as “a shrewd guess.” Text from E.]

[Sidenote: MARCH, 1314] _William Francis offers to Guide_]

  Than wes thair ane William Francas,
Wicht and apert, wis and curtas,
That in-till his yhouthede had beyn                                  532
In the castell; quhen he has seyn
The Erll sa ynkirly hym set
Sum sutelte or wile to get,
Quhar-throu the castell haf mycht he,                                536
He com till hym in prevate,
And said; “Me think yhe wald blithly
“That men fand yhow sum juperdy,
“How yhe mycht our the wallis wyn:                                   540
“And certis gif yhe will begyn
“For till assay on sic a wis,
“I undirtak, for my service,
“For to ken yhow to clym the wall,                                   544
“And I sall formast be off all;
“Quhar with a schort leddir may we,
“I trow of tuelf fut it may be,
“Clym to the wall up all quytly.                                     548
“And gif that yhe will wit how I
“Wat this, I sall yhow lichtly say.
“Quhen I wes yhoung this hendir day,
“My fader wes kepar of yhon hous,                                    552
“And I wes sumdele volageous,
“And lufit ane wench her in the toune;
“And for I, but suspicioun,
“Micht repair till hir prevely,                                      556
“Of rapis ane leddir to me maid I,
“And tharwith our the wall I slaid.
“Ane strat rod, that I spyit had
“In-till the crag, syne doune I went;                                560
“And oftsis com to myne entent;
“And quhen it neir drew to the day,
“I held agane that ilke way,
“And ay com in but persaving.                                        564
“I oysit lang that travailing,
“So that I can that rod ga richt,
“Thouch men se nevir so myrk the nycht.
“And gif yhow thinkis yhe will assay                                 568
“To pass up eftir me that way,
“Up to the wall I sall yhow bring,
“Gif God us kepis fra persaving
“Of thame that wachis on the wall.                                   572
“And gif that us so fair may fall,
“That we our leddir up may set,
“Giff a man on the wall may get,
“He sall defend, gif it beis neid,                                   576
“Quhill the remanand up thaim speid.”
The Erll wes blith of his carping,
And hicht him full fair rewardyng;
And undirtuk that gat to ga,                                         580
And bad him soyn his leddir ma,
And hald him preve quhill thai mycht
Set for thair purpos on ane nycht.

[529: E H _mysfure_.]

[531: In C _pert_, E _curyus_ (S).]

[568: E _yhe think_.]

The winning of the Castle of Edinburgh by Good Earl Thomas Randolph.

[Sidenote: MARCH 14, 1314] _A Dangerous Climb_]

  Soyne eftir wes the leddir maid;                                   584
And than the Erll, but mair abaid,
Purvait hym on a nycht prevaly,
With thritty men, wicht and hardy;
And in ane myrk nycht held thar way.                                 588
Thai put thame in full hard assay,
And to gret perell sekyrly.
I trow, mycht thai haf seyne cleirly,
That gat had nocht beyn undirtane,                                   592
Thouch thai to let thame had nocht ane.
For the crag wes hye and hidwous,
And the clymbyng rycht perelus:
For hapnyt ony to slyde or fall,                                     596
He suld be soyne to-fruschit all.
The nycht wes myrk, as I herd say,
And till the fut soyn cummyn ar thai
Of the crag, that wes hye and schore,                                600
Than Williame Francous thame befor
Clam in the crykis forouth thaim ay,
And at the bak him followit thai,
With mekill payne, quhill to, quhill fra;                            604
Thai clam in-to the crykis swa,
Quhill half the craggis thai clummyn had,
And thair ane place thai fand so braid,
That thai mycht syt on anerly.                                       608
And thai war ayndles and wery,
And thair abaid thair aynd to ta.
And richt as thai war syttand swa,
Abovyn thame, apon the wall,                                         612
The chak-wachis assemblit all.
Now help thame God that all thing may!
For in full gret perell ar thai.
For, mycht thai se thame, thair suld nane                            616
Eschap out of that place unslane;
Till ded with stanys thai suld thaim dyng,
That thai mycht help thame-self no thing.

  Bot wondir myrk wes all the nycht,                                 620
Swa that thai had of thame na sycht.
And nocht-for-thi yheit wes thar ane
Of thame that swappit doun a stane,
And said, “Away! I se yhow weill.”                                   624
The-quhethir he saw thame nocht a deill.
Out-our thair hedis flaw the stane,
And thai sat still, lurkande ilkane.
The wachis, quhen thai herd nocht stere,                             628
Fra that ward passit all sammyn were,
And carpand held fer by thair way.
Erll Thomas than alsoyne, and thai
That on the crag thar satt hym by,                                   632
Toward the wall clam hastely,
And thiddir com with mekill mayne,
And nocht but gret perell and payne.
For fra-thine up wes grevousar                                       636
To clym up, na be-neth be fer.
Bot quhatkyn payn at evir thai had,
Richt to the wall thai com but baid,
That had weill neir tuelf fut on hicht.                              640
And, for-owt persaving or sicht,
Thai set their ledder to the wall,
And syne Francous, befor thame all,
Clam up, and syne Schir Androu Gray,                                 644
And syne the Erll him-self, perfay,
Wes the thrid man the wall can ta.
Quhen thai thair doun thair lord swa
Saw clymen up apon the wall,                                         648
As wood men thai clame eftir all.

  Bot or up cummyn all wer thai,
Thai that war wachis till assay
Herd bath stering and ek speking,                                    652
And alswa fraying of armyng,
And on thame schot full sturdely:
And thai met thame richt hardely;
And slaw off thame dispitwisly.                                      656
Than throu the castell ras the cry,
“Tresoune! Tresoune!” thai cryit fast.
Than sum of tham war sa agast,
That thai fled and lap our the wall.                                 660
Bot to say suth, thai fled nocht all;
For the constabill, that wes hardy,
All armyt schot furth to the cry,
And with him feill hardy and stout.                                  664
Yheit wes the Erll with his rout,
Fechtand with thame apon the wall;
Bot soyn he thame discomfit all.
Be that his men war cummyn ilkane                                    668
Up at the wall, and he has tane
His way doune to the castell soyne.
In gret perell he has hym done;
For thair wes fer ma men tharin,                                     672
And thai had beyn of gude covyn,
Than he; bot thai effrayit war.
And nocht-for-thi with wapnys bar,
The constabill and his cumpany                                       676
Met hym and his richt hardely,

[650: E _clumbene_.]

[Sidenote: MARCH 14, 1314] _The Fight for the Castle_]

  Thar men micht se gret bargane rys,
For with wapnys, on mony wis,
Thai dang on othir at thar mycht,                                    680
Quhill swerdis, that war fayr and brycht,
War till the hyltis all bludy.
Then hidwisly begouth the cry;
For thai that fellit or stekit war                                   684
With gret noyis can cry and rar.
The gud Erll and his cumpany
Faucht in that ficht so sturdely,
That all thair fayis ruschit war.                                    688
The constabill wes slayn richt thar:
And fra he fell, the remanand
Fled quhar thai best mycht to warrand:
Thai durst nocht byde na mak debat.                                  692
The Erll wes handlyt thair sa hat,
That had it nocht hapnyt throw cas,
That the constabill thair slayn was,
He had beyn in gret perell thar;                                     696
Bot than thai fled, thar was no mar,
Ilke man for to sauf his lif,
And furth his dayis for to drif;
And sum slaid doune out our the wall.                                700
The Erll has tane the castell all,
For than wes nane durst him withstand.
I hard nevir quhar in ane land,
Wes castell tane so hardely,                                         704
Outakyn Tyre all anerly,
Quhen Alexander the Conquerour,
That conquerit Babilonys tour,
Lap fra a berfrois on the wall;                                      708
Quhar he emang his fayis al
Defendit him full douchtely,
Quhill that his noble chevelry
With ledderis our the wallis yheid,                                  712
That nouthir left for ded no dreid;
For fra thai wist weill at the king
Wes in the toune, ther wes no thing
In-till that tyme that stint thame mocht,                            716
For all perell thai set at nocht.
Thai clam the wallis, quhar Arestee
Com first to the gude king, quhar he
Defendit him with all his mycht,                                     720
That than wes set so hard, I hicht,
That he wes fellit on a kne:
He till his bak had set ane tre,
For dreid thai suld behynd assalyhe.                                 724
Arestee then to the battalyhe
Sped him in all hye sturdely,
And dang on thame so douchtely,
That the king weill reskewit was.                                    728
For his men, in-to syndry plas,
Clam our the wall and soucht the kyng,
And him reskewit with hard fichting;
And wan the toune deliverly.                                         732
Outakyn this takyng all anerly,
I herd nevir in na tyme gane
Quhar castell wes sa stoutly tane.

[Sidenote: 1314] _The Prophecy of Queen Margaret_]

  And of this takyng that I meyne,                                   736
Sanct Mergaret, the gud haly queyne,
Wist in hir tyme, throw reveling
Of him that knawis and wat all thing.
Tharfor, in stede of prophesye,                                      740
Scho left ane takyne richt joly,
That is that scho in hir chapell
Gert weill be portrait ane castell,
A leddir up to the wall standand                                     744
And a man thar-on clymande,
And wrat owth him, as old men sayis,
In Franch, _Gardis vous de Francois_.
And for this word scho gert writ swa,                                748
Men wend the Franch-men suld it ta.
Bot for Francois hattyn wes he,
That swa clam up in prevate,
Scho wrat that as in prophesy:                                       752
And it fell eftirward suthly
Richt as scho said; for tane it was,
And _Francois_ led thame up that place.

[742: E _That is yheit in-till_; but _cf._ line 746.]

On this wis Edinburgh wes tane;                                      756
And thai that war tharin ilkane
War tane, or slane, or lap the wall;
Thair gudis haff thai sessit all,
And soucht the housis evirilkane.                                    760
Schir Peris Lumbard that wes tane,
As I said ere befor, thai fand
In presoune, fetterit with boyis, sittand.
Thai broucht hym to the Erll in hy,                                  764
And he gert lows hym hastely;
Than he becom the Kingis man.
Thai send word to the King rycht than,
And tald how the castell wes tane;                                   768
And he in hy is thiddir gane,
With mony men in cumpany,
And gert myne doune all halely
Bath tour and wall richt to the ground:                              772
And syne our all the land can found,
Sesand the cuntre till his pes.
Of this deid, that so worthy wes,
The Erll wes prisit gretumly.                                        776
The King, that saw him sa worthy,
Wes blith and joyfull our the laif,
And to manteym his stat, him gaff
Rentis and landis fair eneuch.                                       780
And he to sa gret worschip dreuch,
That all spak of his gret bounte.
His fayis gretly stonayit he,
For he fled nevir throu fors of ficht.                               784
Quhat sall I mair say of his mycht?
His gret manheid, and his bountee
Gerris him yheit oft renownyt be.

How Sir Edward won Ru’glen peel
And Dundee, then Stirling, besieged well.

In this tyme that thir juperdyis                                     788
On thir castellis, that I devis,
War eschevit swa hardely,
Schir Edward the Brois, the worthy,
Had all Galloway and Nyddis-daill                                    792
Wonnyn till his liking all haill;
And doungyn doune the castellis all
Richt in the dik, bath tour and wall.
He herd than say, and knew it weill,                                 796
That in Ruglyne wes ane peill.
Thiddir he went with his menyhe,
And wonnyn it in schort tym has he.
Syne till Dunde he tuk the way,                                      800
That than wes haldin, as I herd say,
Agane the King; tharfor in hy
He set ane sege thar-to stoutly,
And lay thar quhill it yholdyn was.                                  804
Till Strevilling syne the way he tais,
Quhar gud Schir Philip the Mowbra,
That wes full douchty at assay,
Wes wardane, and had in keping                                       808
That castell of the Inglis Kyng.
Thar-till ane sege he set stythly;
Thai bykkirrit oftsis sturdely;
Bot gret chevelry done wes nane.                                     812
Schir Edward, fra the sege wes tane,
A weill lang tyme about it lay,
Fra the Lenteryne, that is to say,
Quhill forrouth the Saint Johnnis mes.                               816
The Inglis folk, that tha-rin wes,
Begouth to fale the vittale than.
Than Schir Philip, the douchty man,
Tretit, quhill thai consentit weir,                                  820
That gif at Mydsummer tyme ane yheir
To cum, it war nocht with bataill
Reskewit, that than, withouten faill,
He suld the castell yheld quytly.                                    824
That cunnand band thai sekirly.


[Sidenote: 1313] _The Compact about Stirling_]

  And quhen this cunnand thus wes maid,
Schir Philip in-to Ingland raid,
And tald the King all haill this tale,
How he a tuelf moneth all hale
Had, as it writtin wes in thair tale,                                  5
Till reskew Strevilling with battale.
And quhen he herd Schir Philip say
That Scottis men had set ane day
To fecht, and at sic space he had
Till purvay hym, he wes rycht glad;                                   10
And said, it wes gret succuddry
That set thame apon sic folye;
For he thocht to be, or that day,
So purvait, and in sic aray,
That thair suld na strinth him with-stand.                            15
And quhen the lordis of Ingland
Herd at this day wes set planly,
Thai jugit it to gret foly,
And thoucht till haff all thair liking,
Giff men abaid thame in fechting.                                     20
Bot oft falyheis the fulys thoucht:
And wis mennis etling cumis nocht
Till sic end as thai weyn alwayis.
A litill stane oft, as men sayis,
May ger weltir a mekill wane.                                         25
Na manis mycht may stand agane
The grace of God, that all thing steris;
He wat quhat-to all thing efferis,
And disponis at his liking,
Eftir his ordinans, all thyng.                                        30

The winning of Stirling by Sir Edward the Bruce, though the
Battle was set over a Year and a Day, betwixt him and
Sir Philip the Mowbray.

Qwhen Schir Edward, as I yhow say,
Had gevyn sa outrageous a day
To yheld or reskew Strevilling,
Richt soyne he went on-to the King.
And tald quhat tretis he had maid,                                    35
And quhat day he thame gevyn had.
The King said, quhen he herd the day,
“That wes unwisly done, perfay;
“I herd nevir quhar so lang warnyng
“Wes gevin to so mychty ane Kyng                                      40
“As is the Kyng of England.
“For he has now in-till his hand
“Ingland, Irland, and Walys alsua,
“And Akatane yhet, with all tha
“That duellis undir his senyhory,                                     45
“And of Scotland a gret party.
“And off tresour so stuffit is he,
“That he may wageowris haf plente.
“And we ar qwheyn agane so fele;
“God may richt weill our werdis deill,                                50
“Bot we ar set in juperdy
“To tyne or wyn than hastely.”
Schir Edward said; ‘Sa God me reid!
‘Thouch he and all that he may leid
‘Cum, we sall fecht, all war thai ma.’                                55
Quhen the King herd his brothir swa
Spek to the battale so hardely,
He prysit hym in his hert gretly,
And said; “Brothir, sen swa is gane
“At this thing thus is undirtane,                                     60
“Schap we us tharfor manfully;
“And all that lufis us tendirly
“And the fredome of this cuntre,
“Purvay thaim at that time to be
“Bowne with all mycht that evir thai may;                             65
“Swa that gif our fayis assay
“To reskew Strevillyng throu battale,
“That we of purpos ger thame faill.”

The assembling of the English host,
That with great power came and boast.

[Sidenote: 1314] _The Preparations in both Countries_]

[Sidenote: JUNE, 1314] _The English Host at Berwick_]

Till this all thai assentit ar,
And bad thair men all mak thaim yhare                                 70
For to be boune agane that day
On the best wis that evir thai may.
  Than all, that worthi war to ficht
Of Scotland, set all haill thair mycht
Till purvay thame agane that day;                                     75
Wapnys and armowris purvayit thai,
And all that efferis to fichting.
And of Ingland the mychty Kyng
Purvait hym on so gret aray,
That certis nevir I herd yheit say                                    80
That Inglis men mair aparaile
Maid, than thai did than for battale.
And quhen the tym wes cummyn ner,
He assemblit all his power.
And, but his awne chevelry,                                           85
That wes so gret it wes ferly,
He had of mony a fer cuntre
With hym gud men of gret bounte.
Of Frans ane worthy chevelry
He had in-till his cumpany;                                           90
The Erll of Hennaut als wes thar,
And wyth him men that worthy war;
Of Gascon and of Almanyhe;
Of Duche als and of Bretanyhe
He had wicht men and weill farrand,                                   95
Armyt clenly at fut and hand.
Of Ingland hale the chevelry                                         *97
He had thair gaderit so clenly,                                      *98
That he left nane mycht wapnys welde,
Or worthy war to ficht in felde.
Of Walis als wyth hym had he,
And of Irlande ane gret menyhe;                                      100
Of Pouty, Aquytane, and Bayon
He had full mony of gret renoun.
And of Scotland he had yheit then                                   *103
*A gret menyhe of worthy men.
*Quhen all thir sammyn assemblit war,
He had of fechtaris with hym thar.                                  *106
Ane hundreth thousand men and ma:
And fourty thousand war of tha
Armyt on hors, bath hede and hand.                                   105
And yheit of thai war thre thousand
Wyth helit hors in plate and mailyhe,
Till mak the front of the batailyhe
And fifty thousand of archerys
He had, forouten hoblerys;                                           110
With men on fut and small rangale,
That yhemyt harnas and vittale
He had so fele it wes ferly.
Of cartis als that yheid thame by
So feill that, but all thai that bar                                 115
Harnas, and als that chargit war
Of palyheonys and veschall with-all,
And apparall of chalmyr and hall,
And wyne and wax, schot and vittale,
Four scor wes chargit with fewale.                                   120
Thai war so fele quhar at thai raid,
And thar batalis war ek so braid,
And so gret rowme held thar charre,
That men that mekill host mycht se
Our-tak the landis so largely.                                       125
Men mycht se than, that had beyn by,
Mony ane worthy man and wycht,
And mony ane gayly armyt knycht,
And mony ane sturdy sterand steid
Arayit in-till so ryche weid;                                        130
And mony helmys, and hawbyrschownys,
*Scheldis and speris, and pennownys,
And so mony a cumly knycht,
At semyt weill that in-to ficht
Thai suld vencus the warld all hale.
Quhy suld I mak to lang my tale?                                     135
Till Berwik ar thai cummyn ilkane,
And sum thar-in thar innys has tane,
And sum lugit without the townys,
In tentis and in palyheownis.

[93: E has _And off the worthyast of Bretangny_.]

[*97, *98: omitted by P.]

[*103, *106: Not in E. In C. H.]

[109: C _in-till playn male ... battale_ (S). H as in E.]

[120: E viii.: _pulaile_. H as in C.]

How Englishmen menaced at will
The Scots and dealt their lands till.

And quhen the Kyng his host has seyne                                140
So gret, so gud men, and so cleyne,
He wes richt joyfull in his thoucht,
And weil presumyt thar wes nocht
In warld a Kyng mycht him withstand.
Hym thoucht all wonnyn till his hand,                                145
And largely emang his men
The landis of Scotland delt he then.
Of othir mennis landis large wes he.
And thai, that war of his menyhe,
Mannausit the Scottis men halely                                     150
With gret wordis; but, nocht-for-thi,
Or thai cum all to thair entent,
Howis in haill clath sall be rent!

In ten battles the English men
Were dealt and taught to chieftains then.

  The Kyng, throu consall of his men,
His folk he delt in battalis ten.                                    155
In ilkane war weill ten thousand,
That thoucht thai stalwardly suld stand
In the battale and stoutly ficht,
And leif nocht for thair fayis mycht.
He set ledaris till ilk battale,                                     160
Knawyn war of gud governale.
And till renownyt erllis twa,
Of Glowcister and Herfurd war thai,
He gaf the vangard in ledyng,
With mony men at thar bydding,                                       165
Ordanit in-till full gret aray.
Thai war so chevelrus, that thai
Trowit, gif thai com to the ficht,
Thair suld no strynth with-stand thar mycht.
And the Kyng, quhen his menyhe wer                                   170
Devisit in-to battalis ser,
His awne battale ordanit he,
And quha suld at his bridill be.
Schir Gylys de Argente he set
Upon ane half, hys renyhe to get;                                    175
And of Vallanch Schir Amery
On othir half, that wes worthy;
For in thair soverane gret bownte
Atour the layff affyit he.

[161: E _That knawin_.]

How all the noble chivalry
At Edinburgh took harbery.

[Sidenote: JUNE 18, 1314] _The Splendour of the English March_]

And quhen the Kyng, apon this wis,                                   180
Had ordanit, as I heir devis,
His battalis and his stering,
Arly he rais in ane mornyng,
And fra Berwik he tuk the way.
Bath hyllis and valayis helit thai,                                  185
And the battalis that war so braid
Departit, our the feldis raid.
The sonne wes brycht and schynand cler,
And armys, that new burnyst wer,
So blenknyt with the sonnys beyme,                                   190
That all the land wes in ane leyme
With baneris richt freschly flawmand,
And pensalis to the wynd waffand,
So fele thai war of ser quyntis,
That it war gret slicht to devis.                                    195
For suld I tell all thar effer,
Thair countynans and thar maner,
Thouch I couth, I suld cummerryt be.
The King, with all that gret menyhe,
Till Edinburgh he raid on rycht.                                     200
Thai war all out to fele to ficht
With few folk of ane sympill land;
Bot quhar God helpis quhat may withstand?

[191: C _felde_ (S). E H _land_.]

How in this time assembled then,
To King Robert have certain men.

The Kyng Robert, quhen he herd say
That Inglis men in sic aray                                          205
And in-to sa gret quantite,
Com in his land, in hy gert he
His men be summond generaly;
And thai come all full willfully
To the Torwod, quhar at the Kyng                                     210
Had ordanit to mak thar meting.
Schir Edward the Bruce, that wes worthy,
Com with a full gret cumpany
Of gud men, armyt weill and dicht,
Hardy and forsy for the ficht.                                       215
Waltir, Steward of Scotland, syne,
That than wes bot ane berdlas hyne,
Com with a rout of nobill men,
That all be contynans mycht ken.
And the gud lord Dowglas alswa                                       220
Brocht with him men, I undir-ta,
That weill war oysit in fichting;
Thai sall the les haf abaysing,
Giff men betyd in thrang to be;
And avantage sall tytar se                                           225
For till stonay thar fayis mycht,
Than men that oysis nocht to ficht.
The Erll of Murreff, with his men
Arrayit weill, com alsua then
In-to gud covyne for to ficht,                                       230
In gret will to maynteyme thar rycht;
With othir mony gud baroune,
And knychtis of full gret renoune,
Com with thair men full stalwardly.
Quhen thai assemblit halely,                                         235
Of fechtand men I trow thai ware
Thretty thousand and sum deill mare,
Foroutyn cariage and pouerale,
That yhemyt harnas and vittale.

[235: C has _assemblit worthely_ (S). H _hailly_, as in E.]

  Our all the host than yheid the Kyng,                              240
And beheld to thair contenyng,
And saw thame of full fair effer;
Of hardy contynans thai wer,
Be liklynes the mast cowart
Semyt till do richt weill his part.                                  245
The King has seyn all thair having,
That knew hym weill in-to sic thing,
And saw thame all comonly
Of sekyr contynans and hardy,
Forouten effray or abaysyng.                                         250
In his hert had he gret liking.
And thoucht that men of sa gret will,
Gif thai wald set thair mycht thair-till,
Suld be full hard till wyn, perfay.
Ay as he met thame in the way,                                       255
He welcummyt thame with gladsum fair,
Spekand gud wordis heir and thair.
And thai, that thar lord so mekly
Saw welcum thame and so hamly,
Joyfull thai war, and thoucht at thai                                260
Micht weill put thame in-till assay
Of hard fechting in stalwart stour,
For till maynteym weill his honour.

[259: E _hamly_. H _hamely_. C _myldly_ (S).]

The parting of the Scots men,
That in four battles dealt were then.

[Sidenote: JUNE, 1314] _Bruce explains his Plan_]

The worthy Kyng, quhen he has seyn
His host assemblit all bedeyn,                                       265
And saw thame wilfull to fulfill
His liking, with gud hert and will;
And to maynteym weill thair franchis,
He wes rejosit on mony wis;
And callit all his consell preve,                                    270
And said thame; “Lordingis, now yhe se
“That Inglis men with mekill mycht
“Has all disponit thame for the ficht;
“For thai yhon castell wald reskew.
“Tharfor is gud we ordane now                                        275
“How we may let thame of purpos,
“And swa to thame the wayis clos
“That thai pas nocht but gret lettyng.
“We haf heir with us at byddyng
“Weill thretty thousand men and ma.                                  280
“Mak we four battalis of all thai;
“And ordane us on sic maner,
“That, quhen our fayis cummys neir,
“We till the New Park hald our way;
“For thair behufis thaim pas, perfay,                                285
“Bot gif that thai beneth us ga
“And our the marras pas, and swa
“We sall be at avantage thair.
“For me think that richt speidfull war
“To gang on fut to this fechting,                                    290
“Armyt bot in-to licht armyng;
“For schupe we us on hors to ficht,
“Syn our fayis ar mar of mycht,
“And bettir horsit than ar we,
“We suld in-to gret perell be.                                       295
“And gif we fecht on fut, perfay,
“At avantage we sall be ay;
“For in the park emang the treis,
“The hors men alwais cummerit beis.
“And the sykis alswa thair doune,                                    300
“Sall put thame to confusioune.”

[285: E _nede away_. C _neidwais gay_. Reading from H (S).]

[287: E _passand_. There is a difficulty in either reading.]

  All thai consentit to that saw,
And than, in-till ane litill thraw,
Thair four battalis ordanit thai.
And to the Erll Thomas, perfay,                                      305
He gaf the vaward in leding;
For in his nobill governyng
And in his hye chevelry
Thai assoueryt rycht soveranly.
And, for to maynteym his baner,                                      310
Lordis, that of gret worschip wer,
War assignit with thair menyhe,
In-till his battale for till be.
The tothir battale wes gevin to lede
Till hym that douchty wes of dede,                                   315
And prisit of gret chevelry,
That wes Schir Edward the worthy;
I trow he sall manteyme him swa
That, how sa evir the gammyn ga,
His fayis to plenyhe sall mater haf.                                 320
And syne the thrid battale he gaf
To Waltir Stewart for to leid,
And till Dowglas douchty of deid.
Thai war cosyngis in neir degre,
Tharfor till hym betaucht wes he,                                    325
For he wes yhoung; but nocht-for-thi
I trow he sall sa manfully
Do his devour, and wirk so weill,
That hym sall neyd no mar yheymseill.
The ferd battalle the nobill Kyng                                    330
Tuk till hym-self in governyng,
And had in-till his cumpany
The men of Carryk all halely,
And of Argile and of Kentyre,
And of the Ilis, quhar-off wes syre                                  335
Angus of Ile, and But, all tha.
He of the playne-land had alsua
Of armyt men ane mekill rout;
His battale stalward wes and stout.
He said the rerward he wald ma,                                      340
And evyn forrouth hym suld ga
The vaward, and on athir hand
The tothir battalis suld be gangand
Behynd, on syde a litell space:
And the Kyng, that behynd thaim was,                                 345
Suld se quhar thair war mast mystir,
And relief thaim with his baneir.

[309: C _Thai had assouerans, trast trewly!_ (S). H _Thai had affiance

[326: C _and nocht_ (S).]

[336: C _of Ilis_ (S). He was “_of Islay_.”]

How King Robert gart pots make
And cover them well, I undertake.

[Sidenote: JUNE 21, 1314] _The Scots march to the New Park_]

The King thus, that wes wicht and wis,
And richt worthy at all devis,
And hardy als atour all thing,                                       350
Ordanit his men for the fechting.
And on the morn, on Settirday,
The King herd his discurrouris say
That Inglis men with mekill mycht
Had lyin at Edinburgh that nycht.                                    355
Tharfor, forouten mair delay,
He to the New Park held his way
With all that in his leding war,
And in the Park thame herbryit thar.
And in ane playne feld, by the way,                                  360
Quhar he thoucht neid behufit away
The Inglis men, gif that thai wald
Throw the Park to the castell hald,
He gert men mony pottis ma,
Of a fut breid round, and all tha                                    365
War deip up till ane manis kne,
Swa thik, that thai mycht liknyt be
Till ane wax-cayme that beis mais.
All that nycht travaland he was;
Swa that, or day wes, he had maid                                    370
Thai pottis, and thame helit had
With stikis and with gyrs al greyne,
Swa that thai mycht nocht weill be seyne.

[350: E omits. In C and H. E gives after line 351 _In gud aray in
alkin thing_.]

  On Sonday than in the mornyng,
Weill soyn eftir the sonne-rising,                                   375
Thai herd the mes full reverently.
And mony shraf thame devotly,
That thoucht till de in that melle,
Or than to mak thar cuntre fre.
To God for thair richt prayit thai.                                  380
Thair dynit nane of thame that day,
Bot, for the vigill of Sanct Johne,
Thai fastit bred and wattir ilkone.
The King, quhen that the mes wes done,
Went for to se the pottys soyne;                                     385
And at his liking saw thaim maid.
On athir syde the way weill braid
It wes pottit, as I haf tald.
Gif that thair fais on hors will hald
Furth in that way, I trow thai sall                                  390
Nocht weill eschew foroutyn fall.
Throu-out the host syne gert he cry
That all suld arme thame hastely,
And busk thame on thar best maner.
And quhen thai all essemblit wer,                                    395
He gert aray thame for the ficht,
And syne our all gert cry on hicht,
That quhat sa evir he war that fand
His hert nocht sekir for till stand
To wyn all or de with honour,                                        400
For to maynteyme that stalward stour,
That he be tyme suld tak his way;
And nane suld duell with him bot thai
That wald stand with him to the end,
And tak the ure that God wald send.                                  405
Then all ansuerd with a cry,
And with a voce said generaly;
That nane for dout of dede suld fale,
Quhill discumfit war the battale.

[376: E _thair mess commounaly_.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 23, 1314] _The Camp-followers in a Valley_]

Qwhen the gud King had herd his men                                  410
Sa hardely him ansuer then,
Sayand that nouthir ded no dreid
Till sic discomfort suld thame leid,
That thai suld eschew the fechting,
In hert he had gret rejosyng.                                        415
For him thoucht men of sic covyne,
So gud so hardy and so fyne,
Suld weill in battall hald thair rycht
Agane men of full mekill mycht.
Syne all the small folk and pouerale                                 420
He send with harnase and vittale
In-till the Park, weill fer him fra,
And fra the battall gert thame ga;
And as he bad, thai went thair way;
Twenty thousand weill neir war thai.                                 425
Thair way thai held till ane vale,
The King left with ane clene menyhe;
The-quhethir thai war thretty thowsand.
I trow they stalwardly sall stand,
And do thair devour as thai aw.                                      430
Thai stude than rangit all on raw,
Reddy for till byde battale,
Gif ony folk wald thame assale.

How the King bad the Earl Murray
To keep beside the Kirk the way.

  The King gert thame all buskit be,
For he wist in-to certante                                           435
That his fayis all nycht lay
At the Fawkirk, and syne at thai
Held toward him the way all straucht,
With mony men of mekill mawcht.
Tharfor till his nevo bad he,                                        440
The Erll of Murreff, with his menyhe,
Besyd the kirk till kepe the way,
That na man pass that gat away,
For-out debat, to the castele.
And he said, that him-self suld wele                                 445
Kepe the entre with his battale,
Gif that ony wald thair assale.
And syne his brothir, Schir Edward,
And yhoung Waltir, the gud Steward,
And the lord Dowglas alsua,                                          450
With thair menyhe, gud tent suld ta,
Quhilk of thaim had of help mister,
And help with thame that with him weir.

[440: C _said he_ (S).]

[443: C _past_ (S). H _sould passe_.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 23, 1314] _The Scots are Encouraged_]

  The King send than James of Douglas
And Schir Robert of Keth, that wes                                   455
Marshal of all the host of fee,
The Inglis mennys com to se.
And thai lap on and furth thai raid;
Weill horsit men with thame thai had:
And soyn the gret host haf thai seyne                                460
Quhar scheldis schynand war so scheyne,
And basnetis weill burnyst bricht,
That gaf agane the sonne gret licht.
Thai saw so fele browdyn baneris,
Standartis, pennownys and speris,                                    465
And so feill knychtis apon stedis,
All flawamand in-to thair wedis,
And so fele battalis and so braid,
That tuk so gret rowme as thai raid,
That the mast host and the stoutest                                  470
Of Crystyndome, and ek the best,
Suld be abasit for till se
Thair fais in-to sic quantite,
And swa arayit for to ficht.
Quhen the discurrowris has had sicht                                 475
Of thair fais, as I herd say,
Towart the King thai tuk the way,
And tald him, in gret prevate,
The multitude and the bewte
Of thair fais, that comme so braid,                                  480
And of the gret mycht at thai had.
Than the King bad thame thai suld ma
Na contynans that it war swa;
Bot bad thame in-to commoune say
That thai com in-till evill aray,                                    485
And confort his man on that wis.
For oftsis of ane word may ris
Discomfort and tynsall with-all.
And throu a word, als weill may fall,
Confort may ris and hardiment,                                       490
That gerris men cum to thair entent.
And on the sammyn wis it did her;
Thair comfort and thair hardy cher
Confortit thame so gretumly,
That of thar host the lest hardy                                     495
Be countinans, wald formast be
For till begin the gret melle.

[453: C _Suld help_ (S).]

How with a hundred the Earl Murray
To eight hundred battle gave.

Apon this wis the nobill King
Gaf all his men reconforting,
Throu hardy countynans and cher                                      500
That he maid on sa gud maner.
Thame thoucht that na myscheif mycht be
Sa gret with-thi thai him mycht se
Befor thame, that suld swa engreiff,
That na hys worschip suld thame releif.                              505
His worschip thame confortit swa,
And contenans that he can ma,
That the mast coward wes hardy.
On athir half, full stalwardly,
The Inglis men, in sic aray                                          510
As yhe haf herd me forouth say,
Com with thair battalis approchand,
The banerys to the wynd waffand.
And quhen thai cummyn war so neir,
That bot twa myle betuix thaim wer,                                  515
Thai chesit ane gud cumpany
Of men that wicht war and hardy,
On fair courseris armyt at rycht:
Thre banrentis of full mekill mycht
War capitanys of all that rout:                                      520
The lord Clyffurd, that wes so stout,
Wes of thame all soverane ledeir,
Aucht hundreth armyt, I trow, thai weir.
Thai war all yhong men and joly,
And yharnand till do chevelry;                                       525
The best of all the host war thai
Off contenans and of aray:
Thai war the farast cumpany
That men mycht find of sa mony.

[519: E _Four lordys off_.]

[527: C _Be_.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 23, 1314] _The English pass Murray_]

  To the castell thai thoucht to fair:                               530
For, gif that thai mycht weill cum thair,
Thai thoucht it suld reskewit be.
Furth on thair way held this menyhe,
And toward Strevilling tuk the way.
The New Park all eschewit thai,                                      535
For thai wist weill the King wes thair;
Beneth the New Park can thai fair,
Quhill neuth the kirk, in-till a rout.
The Erll Thomas, that wes so stout,
Quhen he saw thame swa tak the playne,                               540
In gret hye went he thame agane
With fif hundreth, forouten ma,
Anoyit in his hert and wa
That thai so fer war passit by.
For the King had said hym roydly,                                    545
That ane rose of his chaplet
Wes faldyn; for, quhar he wes set
To kep the way, thai men war past.
Tharfor he hastit hym so fast
That cummyn in schort tyme wes he                                    550
To the playn feld with his menyhe.
For he thoucht that he suld amend
That he trespassit had, or than end.
And quhen the Inglis men him saw
Cum on, forouten dreid or aw,                                        555
And tak sa hardely the playne,
In hy thai sped thame him agane,
And strak with spuris the stedis stith,
That bar thame evyn hard and swith.
And quhen the Erll saw that menyhe                                   560
Cum so stoutly, tiil his said he;
“Beis nocht abasit for thair schor,
“Bot settis speris yhow befor,
“And bak to bak set all yhour rout
“And all the speris poyntis out;                                     565
“Swagat defend us best may we,
“Enveronyt with thame gif we be.”

[537: C _And beneth_, but S drops the _And_. E _And newth_. H _And

[538: E _Weill newth_.]

[547: E _fallen_.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 13, 1314] _The Dusk darkens the Air_]

  And as he bad thame thai haf done;
And the tothir come alsoyne.
Before thame all thair com prikand                                   570
A knycht, hardy of hert and hand;
He wes a weill gret lord at hame,
Schir Wilyhame Dencort wes his name;
He prekit on thame so hardely,
And thai him met so sturdely,                                        575
That he and hors war born all doune
And slayne rycht thair for-out ransoune.
With Inglis men gretly wes he
Menyt that day, and his bountee.
The layffe com on thame sturdely;                                    580
Bot nane of thame so hardely
Ruschit emang thame as did he.
Bot with fer mair maturite,
Thai assemblit all in ane rout,
And enveronyt thame all about,                                       585
Assalyheand thame on ilka syde.
And thai with speris woundis wyde
Gaf to the hors that com thame neir:
And thai that rydand on thame weir,
That doune war born, lossit the lyvis.                               590
And mony speris, dartis and knyvis,
And wapnys apon seir maneir,
Kest emang thame that fechtand weir,
That thame defendit so wittandly
That thair fayis had gret ferly.                                     595
For sum wald schut out of thar rout,
And of thame that assalyheit about,
Stryk stedis, and ber doune men.
The Inglis men so roydly then
Kest emang thame swerdis and mas,                                    600
That inwith thame ane montane was
Of wapnys, that war warpit thair.
The Erll and his thus fechtand war
At gret myscheiff, as I yhow say;
For quhenar, be full fer, war thai                                   605
Than thair fayis, and all about
Enveronyt war, quhar mony a rout
War roucht, and full dyspitfully--
Thair fayis demanit thaim rycht stratly.
On athir half thai war so stad,                                      610
For the rycht gret heit that thai had
Of fechting and of sonnys het,
That all thair flesche of swat wes wete.
And sic ane stew rais owth thame then
Of aynding, bath of hors and men,                                    615
And of powdir, that sic myrknes
In-till the ayr abovyn thame wes,
That it wes woundir for till se:
Thai war in gret perplexite.
Bot with gret travale nocht-for-thi                                  620
Thai thame defendit manfully,
And set bath will and strenth and mycht
Till rusch thair fais in that ficht,
That than demanit thame angrely.
Bot gif God help thame hastely,                                      625
Thai sall thar fill haf of fechtyng!

How good James of Douglas asked of King Robert the Bruce
Leave to go to support Earl Thomas Randolph.

  Bot quhen the nobill renownyt Kyng,
With othir lordis that war hym by,
Saw how the Erll abaundonly
Tuk the playn feld, James of Douglas                                 630
Come to the Kyng richt quhar he was,
And said; “A Schir! Sanct Mary!
“The Erll of Murreff oppynly
“Takis the playne feld with his menyhe.
“He is in perell bot giff he be                                      635
“Soyne helpit, for his fayis ar ma
“Than he, and horssit weill alsua.
“And, with yhour leif, I will me speid
“To help him, for that he has neid;
“All enveronyt with fayis is he.”                                    640
The King said; ‘Sa our Lord me se,
‘A fut till hym thou sall nocht ga.
‘Giff he weill dois, let him weill ta.
‘Quhethir him happin to win or los,
‘I will nocht for him brek purpos.’                                  645
“Certis,” he said, “I will no wis
“Se that his fayis him suppris,
“Quhen that I may set help thar-till.
“With yhour leiff, sekirly I will
“Help hym, or de in-to the payne.”                                   650
‘Do than, and speid the soyn agane,’
The King said: and he held his way.
Gyff he may cum in tyme, perfay,
I trow he sall hym help so weill,
That of his fayis sum sall it feill!                                 655

[655: _It_ in E H. C omits (S).]


How the King slew Sir Henry Boune,
With his handaxe, and struck him down.

Now Douglas furth his wayis tais,
And in that self tyme fell, throu cas,
That the Kyng of Ingland, quhen he
Wes cummyn with his gret menyhe
Neir to the place, as I said air,                                      5
Quhar Scottis men arayit war,
He gert arest all his battale
At othir als to tak consale,
Quhethir thai wald herbery thame that nycht,
Or than, but mair, ga to the ficht.                                   10
The vaward, that wist no kyn thing
Of this arest na thair duelling,
Raid to the Park all straucht thar way,
Forout styntyng, in gude aray.
And quhen the Kyng wist at thai weir                                  15
In haill battale cummand so neir,
His battale gert he weill aray.
He raid apon ane gray palfray,
Litill and joly, arayande
His battall, with ane ax in hande;                                    20
And on his basnet hye he bar
Ane hat off quyrbolle ay-quhar,
And thar-upon, in-to taknyng,
Ane hye croune, that he wes ane kyng.

[18: C _ane gay_. E _a litill_. H _a gray_ (S).]

[Sidenote: JUNE 23, 1314] _Bruce and De Boune_]

  And quhen Glowcister and Herfurd wer,                               25
With thair battalis, approchand ner,
Befor thame all thar com rydand,
With helme on hed and sper in hand,
Schir Henry of Boune, the worthy,
That wes ane gud knycht and hardy,                                    30
And to the Erll of Herfurd cosyne,
Armyt in armys gude and fyne;
Com on a steid, a merk-schote neir
Before all othir that thair wer,
And knew the King, for that he saw                                    35
Hym swa araynge his men on raw,
And be the croun that wes set
Abovin his hed on the basnet;
And toward him he went in hy.
And quhen the Kyng so apertly                                         40
Saw hym cum forrouth all his feris,
In hy till hym his hors he steris;
And quhen Schir Henry saw the Kyng
Cum on for-outen abaysyng,
Till him he raid in full gret hy.                                     45
He thoucht that he suld weill lichtly
Wyn him, and haf hym at his will,
Sen he hym horsit saw so ill.
Than sprent thai sammyn in-till a lyng;
Schir Henry myssit the nobill Kyng;                                   50
And he, that in his sterapis stude,
With ax that wes bath hard and gude
With so gret mayn roucht hym ane dynt,
That nouthir hat no helm mycht stynt
The hevy dusche that he him gaf,                                      55
That he the hed till harnys claf.
The hand-ax-schaft frushcit in twa,
And he doune till the erd can ga
All flatlyngis, for hym falyheit mycht;
This wes the first strak of the ficht                                 60
That wes perfornyst douchtely.
And quhen the Kingis men so stoutly
Saw him, richt at the first metyng,
For-outen dout or abaysing,
Have slayn ane knycht swa at ane strak,                               65
Sic hardyment than can thai tak,
That thai com on richt hardely.
Quhen Inglis men saw thame stoutly
Cum on, thai had gret abaysyng;
And specialy, for that the Kyng                                       70
So smertly that gud knycht had slayne;
Than thai with-drew thaim evir-ilkane,
And durst nocht than abyde to ficht,
Sa dred thai the Kyngis mycht.

[25: C omits _quhen_ (S).]

[33: E H _bow-schote_.]

[57: C _ruschit_ (S).]

  And quhen the Kyngis men thame saw                                  75
Swa in haill battale thame withdraw,
A gret schot till thame can thai mak,
And thai in hy tuk all the bak,
And thai, that followit thame, has slayne
Sum of thame that thai haf our-tane.                                  80
Bot thai war few, forsuth to say;
Thar hors fete had ner all away.
Bot, how sa quheyn deit thair,
Rebotyt fellely thai war,
And raid thair gait with weill mair schame,                           85
Be full fer, than thai com fra hame.

Qwhen at the King reparit was,
That gert his men leif all the chas,
The lordis of his cumpany
Blamyt him, as thai durst, gretly,                                    90
That he hym put in aventure
To mete so stith a knycht and sture,
In sic poynt as he than wes seyn;
For thai said, weill it mycht haf beyne
Caus of thair tynsale evirilkane.
The King thame answer maid he nane,                                   95
Bot menyt his hand-ax-schaft, that swa
Wes with ane strak brokyn in twa.

[Sidenote: JUNE 23, 1314] _Randolph’s Success_]

  The Erll Thomas wes yheit fechtand
With fayis apon athyr hand,                                          100
And slew of thame ane quantite,
Bot wery war his men and he.
The-quhethir with wapnys sturdely
Thai thame defendit manfully,
Quhill that the lord Dowglas come neir,                              105
That sped hyme apon gret maneir.
The Inglis men, that war fechtand,
Quhen thai the Douglas saw at hand,
Thai wayndist and maid ane opnyng.
Schir James Dowglas, be thair relyng,                                110
Knew at thai war discumfit neir:
Than bad he thame that with him weir
Stand still, and pres no forthirmar;
“For thai that yhondir fechtand ar,”
He said, “ar of sa gret bounte,                                      115
“That thair fayis weill soyn sall be
“Discumfit throu thair awn mycht,
“Thouch no man help thaim for to ficht.
“And cum we now in-to fechting,
“Quhen thai ar at discumfyting,                                      120
“Men suld say we thame ruschit had,
“And swa suld thai, that caus has mad
“With gret travaill and hard fechting,
“Leis ane part of thair lovyng.
“And it war syn to leis his prys,                                    125
“That of sa soverane bounte is,
“That he, throu playn and hard fechting,
“Has heir eschewit unlikly thing;
“He sall haf that he wonnyn has.”
The Erll with thame that fechtand was,                               130
Quhen he his fayis saw brawll swa,
In hy apon thame can he ga,
And pressit thame so woundir fast
With hard strakis, quhill, at the last,
Thai fled and durst nocht byde no mar.                               135
Bath men and horse slayn left thai thar,
And held thair way in full gret hy,
Nocht all to-gidder bot syndrely,
And thai that war ourtane war slayne.
The layff went to thair host agane,                                  140
Off thair tynsall sary and wa.
The Erll, that had hym helpit swa,
And his men als that war wery,
Hynt of thair basnetis in-till hy
Till avent thame, for thai war hat,                                  145
Thai war all helit in-to swat.
Thame semyt men forsuth, I hicht,
That had fayndit thair fayis in ficht;
And swa thai did full douchtely.
Thai fand of all thair cumpany                                       150
That thar wes bot ane yheman slayn,
Than lovit thai God and war full fayn,
And blith that thai eschapit swa.
Toward the King than can thai ga,
And till him soyne weill cumin ar.                                   155
He askit thame of thair weill-fair,
And gladsum cher to thame he maid,
For thai so weill than born thame had.
Than all ran in-to gret dantee
The Erll of Murreff for till se;                                     160
For his hye worschip and valour
All yharnit till do him honour.
So fast thai ran till se hym thair,
That neir all sammyn assemblit war.
And quhen the gud King can thaim se                                  165
Befor him swa assemblit be,
Blith and glad that thair fayis war
Sa reboytit, as said wes ar,
A litill quhil he held him still,
Syne on this wis he said thame till.                                 170

[87: C _wes_ (S).]

[119: C _For_ (S). _And_ E H.]

[121: E _fruschit_.]

[134: C _sad_ (S). E H _hard_.]

[168: E _Rabutyt apon sic maner_. H similarly.]

“Lordyngis,” he said, “we aucht to luf
“Almychty God that sittis abuf,
“That sendis us so fair begynnyng.
“It is ane gret disconfortyng
“Till our fais, that on this wis                                     175
“Sa soyn reboytit has beyn twis.

[Sidenote: JUNE 23, 1314] _The Scots determine to Fight_]

“For quhen thai of thair host sall heir,
“And knaw suthly on quhat maneir
“Thair avaward, that wes so stout,
“And syne yhon othir joly rout,                                      180
“That I trow of the best men war
“That thai mycht get emang thame thar,
“War reboytit so suddandly,
“I trow, and knawis it all cleirly,
“That mony ane hert sall waverand be                                 185
“That semyt ere of gret bounte.
“And fra the hert be discumfite,
“The body is nocht worth a myt.
“Thar-for I trow that gud ending
“Sall follow till our begynnyng.                                     190
“The-quhethir I say nocht this yhow till,
“For that yhe suld follow my will
“To ficht, for in yhow sall all be.
“For gif yhe think spedfull that we
“Fecht, we sall ficht; and gif yhe will,                             195
“We leiff, yhour liking to fulfill.
“I shall consent on alkyn wis
“Till do richt as yhe will devis;
“Tharfor sais on yhour will planly.”
Than with ane voce all can thai cry;                                 200
‘Gud King, forouten mair delay,
‘To-morn als soyn as yhe se day,
‘Ordane yhow haill for the battale,
‘For dout of ded we sall nocht fale;
‘Na nane payn sall refusit be                                        205
‘Quhill we have maid our cuntre fre!’

[206: C _Till_ (S).]

[Sidenote: JUNE 23, 1314] _Bruce’s Address to his Men_]

Qwhen the King herd thaim so manly
Spek to the ficht and hardely,
In hert gret gladschip can he ta,
And said; “Lordyngis, sen yhe will sa,                               210
“Schapis us tharfor in the mornyng
“Swa that we, be the sonne-rysing,                                  *212
“Haf herd mes, and be buskit weill
“Ilk man in-till his awne yscheill,
“Without the palyhownys arayit                                       215
“In battales with baneris displayit.
“And luk yhe na way brek aray;
“And, as yhe luf me, I yhow pray
“That ilk man for his awne honour
“Purvay hym a gud baneour.                                           220
“And quhen it cummys to the ficht,
“Ilk man set his hert and mycht
“To stynt our fais mekill pryd.
“On hors thai sall arayit ryd,
“And cum on yhow in weill gret hy;                                   225
“Meit thame with speris hardely,
“And wreik on thame the mekill ill
“That thai and tharis has done us till,
“And ar in will yheit for till do,
“Gif thai haf mycht till cum thar-to.                                230
“And, certis, me think weill that we,
“Forout abasyng, aucht till be
“Worthy and of gret vassalage;
“For we have thre gret avantage.
“The first is, that we haf the richt;                                235
“And for the richt ay God will ficht.
“The tothir is, thai ar cummyn heir
“For lypnyng in thair gret power,
“To seik us in our awne land;
“And has broucht her, richt till our hand,                           240
“Riches in-to so gret plentee,
“That the pouerest of yhow sall be
“Bath rych, and mychty thar-with-all,
“Gif that we wyn, as weill may fall.
“The thrid is, that we for our lyvis                                 245
“And for our childer and our wyvis,
“And for the fredome of our land,
“Ar strenyheit in battale for to stand.
“And thai for thair mycht anerly,
“And for thai leit of us lichtly,                                    250
“And for thai wald distroy us all,
“Mais thame to ficht: bot yhet ma fall
“That thai sall rew thar barganyng.
“And, certis, I warne yhow of a thing,
“That happyn thame (as God forbeid).                                 255
“Till fynd fantis in-till our deid,
“Swa that thai wyn us opynly,
“Thai sall haf of us no mercy.
“And, sen we knaw thar felloune will,
“Me think it suld accorde till skill                                 260
“To set stoutnes agane felony,
“And mak swagat ane juperdy.
“Quharfor I yhow requeir and pray,
“That, with all mycht that evir yhe may,
“Yhe pres yhow at the begynnyng,                                     265
“But cowardis or abaysing,
“To meit thame that first sall assemmyll
“So stoutly that the henmast trymmyll.
“And menys on yhour gret manheid,
“Yhour worschip, and yhour douchty deid,                             270
“And of the joy that yhe abyd,
“Giff that us fallis, as weill may tyd,
“Hap to vencus the gret battale.
“In-till yhour handis, forouten faill
“Yhe ber honour, pris, and riches,                                   275
“Fredome, welth, and gret blithnes,
“Gif yhe conteyn yhow manfully;
“And the contrar all halely
“Sall fall, gif yhe let cowardis
“And wikkidness yhour hertis surpris.                                280
“Yhe mycht haf lifit in-to thrildome,
“Bot, for yhe yharnyt till haf fredome,
“Yhe ar assemblit heir with me;
“Tharfor is neidful that yhe be
“Worthy and wicht but abaysing.                                      285
“I warne yhow weill yheit of a thing,
“That mair myscheif may fall us nane
“Than in thair handis to be tane:
“For thai suld slay us, I wat weill,
“Richt as thai did my brothir Neill.                                 290
“Bot quhen I meyn of yhour stoutnes,
“And on the mony gret prowes
“That yhe have done so worthely,
“I trast and trowis sekirly
“Till have playne victor in this ficht.                              295
“For thouch our fayis have mekill mycht,
“Thai haf the wrang, and succudry
“And covatis of senyhory
“Amovis thame forouten mor.
“Na us thar dreid thame bot befor;                                   300
“For strynth of this place, as yhe se,
“Sall let us enveronyt to be.
“And I pray yhow als specialy,
“Both mor and les all comonly,
“That nane of yhow for gredynes                                      305
“Haf e till tak of thair riches,
“Na presoners yheit for till ta,
“Quhill yhe se thame cumrayit swa,
“That the feld planly ouris be.
“And than, at yhour liking, may yhe                                  310
“Tak all the riches that thar is.
“Gif yhe will wirk apon this wis,
“Yhe sall haf victor sekirly.
“I wat nocht quhat mar say sall I;
“Yhe wat weill all quhat honour is,                                  315
“Conteyn yhow tharfor on sic wis
“That yhour honour ay savit be.
“And I hecht heir, in my lawte,
“Gif ony deis in this battaill,
“His air, but ward, releif, or taill,                                320
“On the first day his land sall weild,
“All be he nevir so yhoung of eild.
“Now makis yhow reddy till the ficht.
“God help us, that is mast of mycht!
“I red armyt all nycht yhe be,                                       325
“Purvait in battale, sa that we
“To meit our fais ay be boune.”
Than ansuerd thai all with a sowne,
‘As yhe devis sa sall be done.’
Than till thair innys went thai soyne,                               330
And ordanit thame for the fichting;
Syne assemblit in the evynnyng,
And swa-gat all the nycht baid thai
Till on the morn that it wes day.


_Saying that nouther life nor dead      *209
To sik discomfort sould them lead
That they sould eschew the feghting.
In heart he had great rejoycing._       *212

These lines in H only, not in C E. They do not fit into the text. Line
*212 is a doublet of 209.]

[214: C _yscheill_ (S).]

[216: C _battale_ (S). E _bataillis_.]

[234: C _ilk man suld_ (S). E H _ay God will_.]

[246: C _wifis_ (S).]

[255: C _To_ (S). E _That_. H _Gif_.]

[256: E _That deyt on roid for mankyn heid_. H _For to prevaile into
this steed_.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 23, 1314] _The English are Discouraged_]

[Sidenote: JUNE 24, 1314] _The English encamp on the Carse_]

Qwhen the Cliffurd, as I sayd air,                                   335
And all his rowt reboytit war,
And thar gret vaward alsua
Wes distrenyheit the bak till ta,
And thai haf tald thair reboyting,
Thai of the vaward, how the King                                     340
Slew at a strak, sa apertly,
A knycht that wycht wes and hardy;
And how all haill the Kyngis battaill
Schupe thame richt stoutly till assaill,
And Schir Edward the Brus alsua,                                     345
Quhen thai all haill the bak can ta:
And how thai lessit off thair men:
And Cliffurd had tald alsua then,
How Thomas Randall tuk the playne
With few folk, and how he has slayne                                 350
Schir Wilyhame Dancort the worthy;
And how the Erll faucht manfully,
That, as ane hyrcheoune, all his rout
Gert set out speris all about;
And how at thai war put agane,                                       355
And part of thair gud men wes slane:
The Inglis men sic abaysing
Tuk, and sik dreid of that tithing,
That in fyve hundreth placis and ma
Men mycht thame sammyn se rownand ga,                                360
Sayand; “Our lordis, for thar mycht,
“Will all-gat ficht agane the richt.
“Bot quha sa warrayis wrangwisly,
“Thai faynd God all too gretumly,
“And thai may happin to mysfall;                                     365
“And sa may tyd that her we sall.”
And quhen thir lordis had persaving
Of the discomford, and the rownyng,
That thai held sammyn twa and twa,
Throu-out the hoost soyne gert thai ga                               370
Heraldis, for till mak ane crye,
That nane discomford suld it be;
For in punyheis is oft hapnyne
Quhill for to wyne, and quhill to tyne;
And that, in-to the gret battale,                                    375
That apon na maner may fale;
Bot, gif the Scottis flee away,
Sall all amendit be, perfay.
Tharfor thai monyst thame to be
Of gret worschip and of bounte,                                      380
And stithly in the battale stand,
And tak amendis at thair hand.
Thai may weill monyss as thai will,
And thai may als hecht till fulfill
With stalwart strakis thair byddingis all;                           385
Bot nocht-for-thi I trow thai sall
In-till thair hertis dredande be.
The King, with his consell preve,
Has tane to rede that he wald nocht
Fecht or the morne, bot he war socht.                                390
Thair thai herbryit thame that nycht
Doune in the Kers, and gert all dicht,
And mak reddy ther apparale,
Agane the morne for the battale.
And, for in the Kers pulis war,                                      395
Howsis and thak thai brak, and bar
To mak bryggis quhar thai mycht pas.
And sum sais yheit, the folk that wes
In the castell, quhen nycht can fall,
For at thai knew thair myscheiff all,                                400
Thai went furth neir all at thai war,
And durys and wyndowis with thaim bar,
Swa that thai had befor the day
Briggit the pollis, swa that thai
War passit our evir-ilkane,                                          405
And the hard feld on hors has tane                                  *406
All reddy for till gif battale,                                     *407
Arayit in till thair apparaill.

[342: C _The best knycht of thair chevelry_ (S). H as E.]

[371: C _Herrodis_ (S). _Cf._ _Language: l_.]

[395: C _For in the Kers pollis ther war_ (S).]

[397: C _Ta mak_ (S), where _ta_ is clearly a slip.]

[Linenote: For 405 E has _ilkane all hale_.]

[*406, *407: Not in E, but in C and H.]

The Battle of Bannockburn.

The Scottis men, quhen it wes day,
Thair mes devotly herd thai say,
Syne tuk a sop, and maid thame yhar.
And quhen thai all assemblit war,                                    410
And in thair battalis all purvait,
With thair braid baneris all displayit,
Thai maid knychtis, as it afferis
To men that oysis thai mysteris.
The Kyng maid Walter Stewart knycht,                                 415
And James of Douglas, that wes wicht,
And othir als of gret bounte
He maid, ilkane in thair degre.
Quhen this wes done, that I yhou say,
Thai went all furth in gud aray,                                     420
And tuk the playne full apertly.
Mony wicht man, gud and hardy,
That wer fulfillit of gret bounte,
In-till thair rowtis men mycht se.
The Inglis men in othir party,                                       425
That richt as angelis schane brichtly,
War nocht arayit on sic maner;
For all thair batalis sammyn wer
In a schiltrum; bot quhethir it wes
Throu the gret stratnes of the plas                                  430
That thai war in, till byd fichting,
Or that it wes for abaysing,
I wat nocht; bot in a schiltrum
It semyt thai war all and some,
Outane the vaward anerly,                                            435
That with ane richt gret cumpany
Be thame-selvin arayit war.
Quha had bene by mycht have sene thar
That folk ourtak ane mekill feld
On breid; quhar mony a schynand scheld,                              440
And mony a burnyst bricht armour,
And mony man of gret valour,
And mony a baner bricht and scheyne,
Micht in that gret schiltrum be seyne.

[431: C _war rad_ (S).]

[438-9: C _And till the battale maid thame yhar_ (S). H as in E.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 24, 1314] _The Scots kneel in Prayer_]

  And quhen the Kyng of Ingland                                      445
Saw Scottis men saw tak on hand
To tak the hard feild sa opynly,
And apon fut, he had ferly,
And said, “Quhat! will yhon Scottis ficht?”
‘Yhaa sekirly, Schir!’ than said a knycht,                           450
Schir Ingerame the Umphrevell hat he,
And said, ‘Forsuth, Schir, now I se
‘All the mast ferlifull sycht
‘That evir I saw, quhen for to ficht
‘The Scottis men has tane on hand,                                   455
‘Agane the gret mycht of Ingland,
‘In plane hard feild to gif battale.
‘Bot and yhe will trow my consale,
‘Yhe sall discomfit thame lichtly.
‘Withdraws yhow hyne suddanly,                                       460
‘With battalis, baneris and pennownys,
‘Quhill that we pas our palyheownys;
‘And yhe sall se als soyne at thai,
‘Magre thair lordis, sall brek aray,
‘And scale thame our harnes to ta.                                   465
‘And, quhen we se thame scalit swa,
‘Prik we than on thame hardely,
‘And we sall haf thame weill lichtly.
‘For than sall nane be knyt to ficht,
‘That may withstand our mekill mycht.’                               470
“I will nocht,” said the King, “perfay,
“Do sa: for ther sall no man say,
“That I suld eschewe the battale,
“Na withdraw me for sic rangale.”
Quhen this wes said that er said I,                                  475
The Scottis men full devotly
Knelyt all doune, till God to pray,
And a schort prayer thair maid thai
Till God, till help thame in that ficht.
And quhen the Inglis King had sicht                                  480
Of thame kneland, he said in hy--
“Yhon folk knelis till ask mercy.”
Schir Ingerame said; ‘Yhe say suth now;
‘Thai ask mercy, bot nocht at yhow:
‘For thair trespas to God thai cry.                                  485
‘I tell yhow a thing sekirly,
‘That yhon men will wyn all or de,
‘For dout of ded thar sall nane fle.’
“Now be it swa,” than said the Kyng.
And than, but langar delaying,                                       490
Thai gert trump up to the assemble.
On athir syd than men mycht se
Full mony wycht men and worthy,
All ready till do chevelry.

[447: C _So plainly_ (S).]

[460: C _Yhe sall withdraw_ (S); so too in H. E as in text.]

[473: E _sall_.]

[490: C _We sall it se but delaying_ (S). E H as in text.]

Thus war thai boune on athir syde;                                   495
And Inglis men, with mekill prid,
That war in-till thar avaward,
Till the battall that Schir Edward
Governyt and led, held straucht thair way.
The hors with spuris hardnyt thai,                                   500
And prikit apon thame sturdely;
And thai met thame richt hardely:
Swa that, at the assemble thair,
Sic a frusching of speris wair
That fer away men mycht it her.                                      505
At thar metyng, for outen wer,
Wer stedis stekit mony ane;
Mony gud man borne doune and slane,
And mony ane hardyment douchtely
Wes thair eschevit full hardely.                                     510
Thai dang on othir with wapnys ser;
Sum of the hors, that stekit wer,
Ruschit and relit rycht roydly.
Bot the remanant, nocht-for-thi,
That mycht cum to the assembling,                                    515
For that lat maid rycht no stynting,
Bot assemblit full hardely.
And thai met thame full sturdely,
With speris that wer scharp to scher,
And axis that weill grundyn wer,                                     520
Quhar-with wes roucht full mony rout.
The ficht wes thair so fell and stout,
That mony worthy men and wicht
Throu fors wes fellit in that ficht,
That had no mycht to rys agane.                                      525
The Scottis men fast can thame payne
Thair fais mekill mycht to rus.
I trow thai sall no payne refus,
Na perell, quhill thar fais be
Set in-till herd proplexite.                                         530

[527: E _frusch_. H _frush_.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 24, 1314] _The Earl of Murray attacks_]

And quhen the Erll of Murref sa
Thair avaward saw stoutly ta
The way to Schir Edward all straucht,
That met thame with full mekill maucht.
He held his way with his baner                                       535
Till the gret rout, quhar sammyn wer
The nyne battales that wes so braid,
That so feill baneris with thame had,
And of men sa gret quantite,
That it war wonder for to se.                                        540
The gud Erll thiddir tuk the way
With his battale in gud aray,
And assemblit so hardely,
That men mycht her, that had beyn by,
A gret frusche of the speres that brast.                             545
For thair fais assalyheit fast,
That on stedis, with mekill prid,
Com prikand as thai wald our-ryd
The Erll and all his cumpany.
Bot thai met thame so sturdely,                                      550
That mony of thame till erd thai bar.
For mony a steid wes stekit thar,
And mony gud man fellit undir feit
That had no power to ris yheit.
Ther men mycht se ane hard battale,                                  555
And sum defend and sum assale,
And mony a riall rymmyll ryde
Be roucht thair, apon athir syde,
Quhill throu the byrneis brist the blud,
That till the erd doune stremand yhud.                               560
The Erll of Murreff and his men
So stoutly thame contenit then,
That thai wan plas ay mair and mair
On thair fais; the-quhethir thai war
Ay ten for ane, or ma, perfay;                                       565
Swa that it semyt weill that thai
War tynt emang so gret menyhe,
As thai war plungit in the se.
And quhen the Inglis men has seyne
The Erll and all his men be-deyne                                    570
Fecht sa stoutly, but effraying,
Rycht as thai had nane abaysing,
Thai pressit thame with all thar mycht.
And thai, with speris and suerdis brycht,
And axis that rycht scharply schar,                                  575
In-myd the visage met thame thar.
Thar men mycht se a stalwart stour,
And mony men of gret valour
With speris, macys, and with knyvis,
And othyr wapnys, vissill thair lyvis,                               580
Swa that mony fell doune all ded;
The gyrs wox with the blude all red.
The Erll, that wicht wes and worthy,
And his men faucht so manfully,
That quha sa had seyne thaim that day,                               585
I trow forsuth that thai suld say
That thai suld do thair devour wele,
Swa that thair fayis suld it feill.

[544: C _Quhill_ (S).]


How Walter Stewart and Douglas
Came with their battle that worthy was.

Qwhen that thir twa first batellis wer
Assemblit, as I said yhow er,
The Steward, Walter that than was,
And the gud lord als of Douglas,
In a battale quhen that thai saw                                       5
The Erll, for outen dreid or aw,
Assemmyll with his cumpany
On all the folk so sturdely,
For till help him thai held thar way
With thar battale in gud aray,                                        10
And assemmyllit so hardely
Besyd the Erll a litill by,
Thair fais feld thair cummyng weill;
For with wapnys stalwart of steill
Thai dang on thame with all thar mycht.                               15
Thar fayis resavit them weill, I hycht,
With swerdis, speris, and with macys.
The battale thair so felloune was,
And sua richt gret spilling of blud,
That on the erd the flus it stud.                                     20
The Scottis men so weill thame bar,
And sua gret slauchtir maid thai thar,
And fra so feill the livis revit,
That all the feild wes bludy levit.
That tym thir three battalis wer                                      25
All syde be syde fechtand weill neir.
Thar mycht man her richt mony dynt,
And wapnys apon armour stynt,
And see tummyll knychtis and stedis,
With mony rich and ryoll wedis                                        30
Defoulit roydly under feit.
Sum held on loft, sum tynt the suet.
A long quhill thus fechtand thai wer,
That men no noyis na cry mycht her;
Men hard nocht ellis bot granys and dyntis                            35
That slew fire, as men dois on flyntis.
Sa faucht thai ilkane egirly,
That thai maid nouthir noyis no cry,
Bot dang on othir at thar mycht,
With wapnys that war burnyst brycht.                                  40
The arrows als so thik thai flaw,
That thai mycht say weill, at thaim saw,
That thai ane hydwis schour can ma:
For quhar thai fell, I undirta,
Thai left eftir thame taknyng                                         45
That sall neid, as I trow, lechyng.

[3, 4: C _wes ... Dougles_ (S).]

[Sidenote: JUNE 24, 1314] _The English Archers dispersed_]

[Sidenote: JUNE 24, 1314] _Bruce brings up his Reserve_]

  The Inglis archeris schot so fast,
That, mycht thar schot haf had last,
It had beyne hard to Scottis men.
Bot King Robert, that weill can ken                                   50
That the archeris war perelous,
And thar schot hard and richt grevous,
Ordanit forrouth the assemble
His Marschall with a gret menyhe,
Fiff hundreth armyt weill in steill                                   55
That on licht hors war horsyt weill,
For to prik emang the archeris,
And sua assailyhe thame with speris
That thai no laser haf to schute.
This Marschall that I of mut,                                         60
That Schir Robert of Keth wes cald,
As I befor has to yhow tald,
Quhen that he saw the battalis swa
Assemmyll and to-giddir ga,
And saw the archeris schut stoutly,                                   65
With all thame of his cumpany
In hy apon thame can he ryde,
And our-tuk thame at a syde,
And rushit emang thame sa roydly,
Strikand thame sua dispitfully,                                       70
And in sic fusioune berand doune,
And slayand thame without ransoune,
That thai thame scalit evirilkane;
And fra that time furth ther wes nane
That assemlit sic schot till ma.                                      75
Quhen Scottis archeris saw at swa
Thai war rebutit, thai wox hardy,
With all thar mycht schot egirly
Emang the hors-men that thar raid,
And woundis wyde to thame thai maid,                                  80
And slew of thame a wele gret dele;
Thai bar thame hardely and weill.
For fra thair fais archeris were
Scalit, as I have said yhow ere,
That ma than thai war be gret thing,                                  85
Swa that thai dred nocht thar schuting,
Thai wox so hardy that thame thoucht
Thai suld set all thair fais at noucht.

The Marschall and his cumpany
Wes yheit, as to yhow ere said I,                                     90
Amang the archeris, quhar thai maid
With speris rowme quhar at thai raid,
And slew all that thai mycht ourta.
And thai weill lichtly mycht do swa,
For thai had nocht a strak to stynt,                                  95
Na for to hald agane a dynt.
And agane armyt men to ficht
May nakit men haff litill mycht.
Thai scalit thame on sic maner,
That sum to thar gret battelis wer                                   100
Withdrawin thaim in full gret hy,
And sum war fled all utrely.
Bot the folk that behynd thame was,
That for thair awne folk had no space
Yheit than to cum to the assemblyng,                                 105
In agane smertly can thai ding
The archeris, that thai met fleand,
That than war maid so recryand,
That thair hertis war tynt cleirly,
I trow thai sall nocht scath gretly                                  110
The Scottis men with schot that day.
And the gud King Robert, that ay
Was fillit of full gret bounte,
Saw how that his battellis thre
So hardely assemblit thar,                                           115
And so weill in the ficht thame bar,
And so fast on thair fais can dyng
That him thoucht nane had abaysing,
And how the archeris war scalit then,
He was all blith, and till his men                                   120
He said; “Lordingis, now luk that yhe
“Worthy and of gud covyne be
“At this assemble, and hardy;
“And assemmyll so sturdely
“That no thing may befor yhow stand.                                 125
“Our men so freschly ar fechtand,
“That thai thair fais has cumrait swa
“That, be thai presit, I undirta,
“A litill fastar, yhe sall se
“That thai discumfit soyn sall be.”                                  130

[109: E _tynt clenly_.]

[116: C _That so_ (S).]

[127: E _grathyt sua_. H _cumbred_.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 24, 1314] _The English Van driven back_]

  Quhen this wes said, thai held thar way,
And on a syde assemblit thai
So stoutly, that at thar cummyng
Thair fais wer ruschit a gret thing.
Ther men mycht se men freschly ficht,                                135
And men that worthy war and wycht
Do mony worthy vassalage;
Thai faucht as thai war in a rage.
For quhen the Scottis ynkirly
Saw thair fais sa sturdely                                           140
Stand in-to battale thame agane,
With all thar mycht and all thar mayne
Thai layd on, as men out of wit;
And quhar thai with full strak mycht hit,
Thar mycht no armyng stynt thar strak;                               145
Thai to-fruschit thame thai mycht our-tak,
And with axis sic duschis gaff
That thai helmys and hedis claff.
And thair fais richt hardely
Met thame, and dang on douchtely                                     150
With wapnys that war stith of steill:
Thar wes the battell strikyn weill.
So gret dynnyng ther wes of dyntis,
As wapnys apon armor styntis,
And of speris so gret bristing,                                      155
And sic thrawing and sic thristing,
Sic gyrnyng, granyng, and so gret
A noyis, as thai can othir bet,
And cryit ensenyheis on everilk syd,
Gifand and takand woundis wyd,                                       160
That it wes hydwiss for till her
All four the bataillis wicht that wer
Fechtand in-till a front haly.
Almychty God! how douchtely
Schir Edward the Brus and his men                                    165
Amang thair fais contenyt thame then!
Fechtand in-to sa gud covyne,
So hardy, worthy and so fyne,
That thar avaward ruschit was,
And, magre tharis, left the plas,                                    170
And to thar gret rowt to warrand
Thai went, that than had apon hand
So gret not, that thai war effrait,
For Scottis men thame hard assait,
That than war in ane schiltrum all.                                  175
Quha hapnit in that ficht to fall,
I trow agane he suld nocht ris.
Ther men mycht se on mony wis
Hardyment eschevit douchtely,
And mony that wicht war and hardy                                    180
Doune under feit lyand all dede,
Quhar all the feild of blud wes red.
Armoris and quyntis that thai bare,
With blud wes swa defowlit thar,
That thai mycht nocht discrivit be.                                  185
A! mychty God! quha than mycht se
The Steward, Walter, and his rout
And the gud Douglas that wes stout
Fechtand in-to that stalward stour,
He suld say that till all honour                                     190
Thai war worthy, that in that ficht
Sa fast presit thair fais mycht,
That thai thame ruschit quhar thai yheid.
Thair mycht men se mony a steid
Fleand on stray, that lord had nane.                                 195
A! Lord! quha than gud tent had tane
To the gud Erll off Murreff
And his, that swa gret rowtis gaf,
And faucht sa fast in that battale,
Tholand sic payne and sic travale,                                   200
That thai and thairis maid sic debat,
That quhar thai come thai maid thaim gat.
Than mycht men heir ensenyheis cry,
And Scottis men cry hardely,
“On thame! On thame! On thame! Thai faill!”                          205
With that so hard thai can assaill,
And slew all that thai mycht our-ta.
And the Scottis archeris alsua
Schot emang thame so sturdely,
Ingrevand thame so gretumly,                                         210
That quhat for thame that with thame faucht
And swa gret rowtis to thame raucht,
And presit thame full egirly;
And quhat for arrowes that felly
Mony gret woundis can thame ma,                                      215
And slew fast of thair hors alsua,
That thai wayndist a litell we;
Thai dred so gretly thane till de
That thair covyne wes war than eir:
For thai that with thame fechtand weir,                              220
Set hardyment and strynth and will
And hart and corage als, thar-till,
And all thair mayne, and all thar mycht,
To put thame fully to the flycht.


_Now ga we on them sa hardely,              *131
And ding on them sa doughtely,
That they may feele, at our comming,
That we them hate in meekle thing:
For great cause they have us made,          *135
That occupied our landis brade,
And put all to subjectioun:
Your goodis made all theirs commoun:
Our kyn and frendis, for their awne,
Dispitteously hanged and drawne:            *140
And wald destroy us gif they might.
Bot, I trow, God, through his foresight,
This day hes granted us his grace
To wrek us on them in this place._          *144

From H: not in C E. These remarks seem quite out of place. The spirit
of animosity is not in harmony with the tenour of Bruce’s other
speeches; the language at certain points is not Barbour-like; and the
whole passage is thus of questionable authenticity. See _Preface_, pp.

[144: C _For quhar_ (S).]

[164: C _full douchtely_ (S). E H _how_, in accord with the
exclamatory phrase.]

[173: E _gret anoy_.]

[183: E _quhytys_. H _coates_. (See note.)]

[209: E _deliverly_.]

[224: C _thame fouly_ (S). H _fully_.]

How the Yeomen and the Poor Men made of Sheets the Manner of Banners in
Support of King Robert the Bruce and his Folk.

[Sidenote: JUNE 24, 1314] _The Camp-followers appear_]

In this tyme that I tell of her,                                     225
That the battall on this maner
Wes strikin, quhar on athir party
Thai war fechtand richt manfully,
Yhemen, swanys, and poueraill,
That in the Parc to yheyme vittale                                   230
War left; quhen thai wist but lesing
That thair lordis, with fell fichtyng,
On thair fais assemblit war,
Ane of them-selvyne that wes thar
Capitane of thame all thai maid;                                     235
And schetis, that war sum-deill braid,
Thai festnyt in steid of baneris
Apon lang treis and on speris,
And said that thai wald se the ficht,
And help thar lordis at thar mycht.                                  240
Quhen her-till all assentit war,
And in a rowt assemblit ar,
Fiften thousand thai war and ma.
And than in gret hy thai can ga
With thair baneris all in a rout,                                    245
As thai had men beyn stith and stout.
Thai com, with all that assemble,
Richt quhill thai mycht the battale se;
Than all at anys thai gaf ane cry,
“Sla! sla! Apon thaim hastily!”                                      250
And thar-with all cumand ar thai:
Bot thai war yheit weill far away,
And Inglis men, that ruschit war
Throu fors of ficht, as I said air,
Quhen thai saw cum with sic a cry                                    255
Toward thame sic ane cumpany,
That thai thoucht weill als mony war
As at war fechtand with thame thar,
And thai befor had thame nocht seyne,
Than, wit yhe weill, withouten weyne,                                260
Thai war abasit so gretumly,
That the best and the mast hardy
That war in-till the oost that day,
Wald with thair mensk have beyn away.

[250: C _Apon thame! on thame hardely!_ (S). H as in E.]

  The King Robert be thair relyng,                                   265
Saw thai war neir discomfyting,
And his ensenyhe can hely cry.
Than, with thame of his cumpany,
His fais presit so fast that thai
Wer than in-till sa gret effray,                                     270
That thai left place ay mar and mar.
For all the Scottis men that war thar,
Quhen thai saw thame eschew the ficht,
Dang on thame swa with all thar mycht,
That thai scalit in tropellis ser,                                   275
And till discumfitur war ner;
And sum of thame fled all planly.
Bot thai that wicht war and hardy,
That schame letit till ta the flicht,
At gret myschef mantemyt the ficht,                                  280
And stithly in the stour can stand.
And quhen the King of Ingland
Saw his men fle in syndry place,
And saw his fais rout, that was
Worthyn so wicht and so hardy,                                       285
That all his folk war halely
Swa stonayit, that thai had no mycht
To stynt thair fais in the ficht,
He was abaysit so gretumly
That he and all his cumpany,                                         290
Fif hundreth armyt weill at rycht,
In-till a frusche all tuk the flycht,
And till the castell held ther way.
And yheit, as I herd sum men say,
That of Vallanch Schir Amer,                                         295
Quhen he the feld saw vencust ner,
By the renyhe led away the King,
Agane his will, fra the fichting.

[Sidenote: JUNE 24, 1314] _Death of Argentine_]

  And quhen Schir Gelis de Argente
Saw the King thus and his menyhe                                     300
Schape thame to fle so spedely,
He com richt to the King in hy
And said; “Schir, sen that it is swa
“That yhe thusgat yhour gat will ga,
“Haffis gud day! for agane will I:                                   305
“Yheit fled I nevir sekirly,
“And I cheis heir to byde and de
“Than till lif heir and schamfully fle.”
His brydill than but mar abaid
He turnyt, and agane he raid,                                        310
And on Schir Edward the Brusis rout,
That wes so sturdy and so stout,
As dreid of nakyn thing had he,
He prikit, cryand, “Argente!”
And thai with speris swa him met,                                    315
And swa feill speris on hym set,
That he and hors war chargit swa
That bath doune to the erd can ga:
And in that place than slayne wes he.
Of his ded wes rycht gret pite.                                      320
He wes the thrid best knycht, perfay,
That men wist liffand in his day:
He did mony a fair journe.
On Sarisenis thre derenyheis did he;
And in-till ilk derenyhe of thai,                                    325
He vencust Sarisenis twa;
His gret worschip tuk thar ending.
And fra Schir Amer with the King
Wes fled, wes nane that durst abyde,
Bot fled, scalit on ilka syde.                                       330
And thair fais thame presit fast,
Thai war, to say suth, all agast,
And fled swa, richt effrayitly,
That of thame a full gret party
Fled to the wattir of Forth; and thar                                335
The mast part of thame drownit war.
And Bannokburn, betuix the brais,
Of hors and men so chargit was,
That apon drownit hors and men
Men mycht pass dry atour it then.                                    340
And laddis, swanys, and rangall,
Quhen thai saw vencust the battall,
Ran emang thame, and swa can sla
Thai folk that na defens mycht ma,
That it war pite for to se.                                          345
I herd nevir quhar, in na cuntre,
Folk at swa gret myschef war stad;
On a syde thai thair fais had,
That slew thame doune without mercy,
And thai had on the tothir party                                     350
Bannokburne, that sa cummyrsum was
Of slyk and depnes, for till pas,
That thair mycht nane atour it ryde.
Thame worthit, magre tharis, abyde;
Swa that sum slayne, sum drownit war;                                355
Micht nane eschap that evir com thar.
The-quhethir mony gat away,
That ellis-whar fled, as I herd say.

[299: E _the Argente_.]

[308: E _Than for to lyve schamly, and fley_.]

[311: C _Brysis_ (S); _y_ too in 165.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 24, 1314] _The Flight of King Edward_]

  The Kyng, with thame he with him had,
In a rout till the castell raid,                                     360
And wald have beyn tharin, for thai
Wist nocht quhat gat to get away.
Bot Philip the Mowbray said him till,
“The castell, Schir, is at yhour will;
“Bot, cum yhe in it, yhe sall se                                     365
“That yhe sall soyne assegit be.
“And thar sall nane of all Ingland
“To mak yhow rescours tak on hand.
“And, but rescours, may no castele
“Be haldin lang, yhe wat this wele.                                  370
“Tharfor confort yhow, and relye
“Your men about yhow richt straitlye,
“And haldis about the Park the way.
“Knyt yhow als sadly as yhe may,
“For I trow that nane sall haf mycht,                                375
“That chassis, with so feill to ficht.”
And as he consalit thai have done;
Beneth the castell went thai soyne,
Richt by the Rownde Tabill thair way,
And syne the Park enveronyt thai,                                    380
And toward Lithkew held in hy.
But, I trow, thai sall hastely
Be convoyit with folk that thai,
I trow, mycht suffer weill away!
For Schir James, lord of Douglas,                                    385
Com till his Kyng and askit the chas,
And he gaf him leif but abaid.
Bot all to few of hors he hade;
He had nocht in his rowt sexty,
The-quhethir he sped him hastely                                     390
The way eftir the King to ta.
Now let him on his wayis ga,
And eftir this we sall weill tell
Quhat till hym in his chas byfell.

[377: E _And his consaill_.]

How Good Douglas chased the King of England after the Battles of

  Qwhen the gret battell on this wis                                 395
Wes discumfit, as I devis,
Quhar thretty thousand thar wes ded,
Or drownit in-to that ilk sted;
And sum war in-to handis tane;
And othir sum thair gat wes gane;                                    400
The Erll of Herfurd fra the melle
Departit, with a gret menyhe
And straucht to Bothwell tuk the vay,
That than at Inglis mennys fay
Wes, and haldin as place of wer.                                     405
Schir Walter Gilbertson wes ther
Capitane, and it had in ward.
The Erl of Herfurde thiddirward
Held, and wes tane in our the wall,
And fyfty of his men with-all,                                       410
And sett in housis syndrely,
Swa that thai had thar no mastry.
The layff went toward Ingland.
Bot of that rout, I tak on hand,
The thre parteis war tane or slayne:                                 415
The layff with gret payne hame ar gane.

[406: C _Gilbertstoune_ (S), but see note.]

Schir Moris alsua de Berclay
Fra the gret battell held his way,
With a gret rout of Walis men;
Quhar-evir thai yheid men mycht tham ken;                            420
For thai weill neir all nakid war,
Or lynyng clothis had but mair.
Thai held thair wayis in full gret hy;
Bot mony of thair cumpany,
Or thai till Ingland com, war tane,                                  425
And mony als of thame war slane.
Thai fled als othir wais ser,
Bot to the castell, that wes ner,
Of Strevilling fled sic a menyhe,
That it wes wonder for to se;                                        430
For the craggis all helit war
About the castell, heir and thar,
Of thame that, for strinth of that sted,
Thiddirward till warrande fled.
And for thai war sa feill that thair                                 435
Flede under the castell war,
The King Robert, that wes witty,
Held ay his gude men neir him by,
For dreid that ris againe suld thai.
This wes the caus, forsuth to say,                                   440
Quhar-throu the King of Ingland
Eschapit hame in-to his land.

[417: E H _the Berclay_.]

Qwhen that the feld so cleyn wes maid
Of Inglis men, that nane abad,
The Scottis men soyne tuk in hand                                    445
Of tharis all that evir thai fand,
As silver, gold, clathis, and armyng,      *447
With vessel and all other thing
That evir thai mycht lay on thar hand;
So gret a riches thair thai fand,          *450
That mony man wes mychty maid
Of the riches that thai thar had.

[*447-*450: In C H. Not in E.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 24, 1314] _The Knights who fell_]

  Quhen this wes done that ere said I,
The King send a gret cumpany                                         450
Up to the crag, thame till assale
That war fled fra the gret battale;
And thai thame yhald for-out debat,
And in hand has thame tane fut-hat,
Syne to the Kyng thai went thar way.                                 455
Thai dispendit haly that day
In spoulyheing and riches taking,
Fra end wes maid of the fechting.
And quhen thai nakit spulyheit war
That war slayne in the battale thar,                                 460
It wes forsuth a gret ferly
Till se sammyn so feill dede ly.
Twa hundreth payr of spuris rede
War tane of knychtis that war dede.
The Erll of Glowcister ded wes thar,                                 465
That men callit Schir Gilbert of Clar;
And Schir Gelis de Argente alsua,
And Payne Typtot, and othir ma,
That thair namys nocht tell can I.
And apon Scottis mennis party                                        470
Thar wes slayne worthy knychtis twa;
Wilyhame Vepownt wes ane of tha,
And Schir Walter the Ros ane othir,
That Schir Edward, the Kyngis brothir,
Lufit, and held in sic dante                                         475
That as him-self him lufit he.
And quhen he wist that he wes dede,
He wes so wa and will of rede,
That he said, makand full evill cher,
That him war levar that journye wer                                  480
Undone, than he swa ded had bene.
Outaken him, men has nocht seyn
Quhar he for ony man maid menyng;
And the caus wes of his lufing,
That he his sistir paramouris                                        485
Lufit, and held all at rebouris
His awyne wif dame Esobell.
And tharfor swa gret distans fell
Betwix him and the Erll Davy
Of Adell, brother to this lady,                                      490
That he, apon Sanct Johnnis nycht,
Quhen bath the Kyngis war boune to ficht,
In Cambuskynneth the Kyngis vittale
He tuk, and sadly gert assale
Schir Wilyham of Herth, and him slew,                                495
And with hym ma men than enew.
Quharfor syne in-till Ingland
He wes banyst, and all his land
Was sesit and forfalt to the Kyng,
That did tharof syne his likyng.                                     500

[463: C _Sevin hundreth paris_ (S). _Twa_ E H.]

[485: C _That he_ (S).]

[490: E H _Athole_.]

[493: R _Camyskynnell_.]

[495: E _Keth_. H _Airth_.]

[Sidenote: JUNE 25, 1314] _Stirling Castle is surrendered_]

Qwhen the feld, as I said air,
Wes dispulyheit and left all bair,
The King and all his cumpany
Joyfull and blyth war and mery
Of the grace that thame fallyn was,                                  505
Towards thar innys thair wayis tais
Till rest thame; for thai wery war.
Bot for the Erll Gilbert of Clar,
That slayne wes in the battale-place,
The king somdeill anoyit was,                                        510
For till hym neir syb wes he.
Than till a kirk he gert hym be
Brocht, and walkit all that nycht.
And on the morn, quhen day wes licht,
The king rais, as his wille was;                                     515
Than till ane Inglis knycht, throu cas,
Hapnyt that he yheid waverand,
Swa that na man laid on hym hand,
And in a busk hyd his armyng,
And waytit quhill he saw the Kyng                                    520
In the mornyng cum forth airly:
Till him than is he went in hy.
Schir Marmeduk the Twengue he hecht.
He rakit till the Kyng all richt,
And halsit hym apon his kne.                                         525
“Welcome, Schir Marmeduk,” said he,
“Tui quhat man art thou presoner?”
‘To nane,’ he said, ‘bot till yhow her
‘I yheld me at yhour will to be.’
“And I resaiff the, Schir,” saide he.                                530
Than gert he trete hym curtasly.
He dwelt lang in his cumpany:
And syne in Ingland him send he
Arayit weill, but ransoune fre,
And gaf hym gret giftis thar-to;                                     535
A worthy man that wald swa do
Micht mak him gretly for to pris.
Quhen Marmeduk, apon this wis,
Wes yholden, as I to yhow say,
Than com Schir Philip the Mowbray,                                   540
And to the king yhald the castele;
His cunnand has he haldyne wele,
And with him tretit swa the King,
That he become of his duellyng;
And held him lelely his fay                                          545
Quhill the last end of his lyf-day.

[516: C _wille wes_ (S).]

[523: C _Marmadak Betung_ (S), but see note.]

Now will we of the Lord Dowglas
Tell, how that he followit the chas.
He had quheyne in his cumpany,
Bot he sped him in full gret hy,                                     550
And as he by the Torwode fur,
Sa met he, rydand on the mur
Schir Lowrens of Abyrnethy,
That, with four scor in cumpany,
Com for till help the Inglis men,                                    555
For he was Inglis man yheit then.
Bot quhen that he herd how it wes,
He left the Inglis mennys pes,
And till the lord Douglas richt thar
For till be leill and trew he swar;                                  560
And than thai bath followit the chas.
And, or the Kyng of Ingland was
Passit Lythkew, thai com so neir,
With all the folk that with thame wer,
That weill emang thame schut thai mycht;                             565
Bot thai thoucht thame our few to ficht
With the gret rowt that thai had thar,
For fif hundreth men armyt thai war.
To-giddir sarraly raid thai,
And held thame apon brydill ay.                                      570
Thai war governit full wittely;
For it semit ay thai war redy
For till defend thame at thar mycht,
Gif thai assalyheit war in ficht.
And the lord Douglas and his men                                     575
Thoucht thai wald nocht purpos then
For to ficht with thame all planly,
He convoyit thame so narrowly,
That of the henmast ay tuk he:
Micht nane behynd his fallowis be                                    580
Nocht a stane cast, bot he in hy
Wes ded, or tane delyverly,
That nane rescours wald till hym ma,
All-thouch he lufit hym nevir swa.

[581: _A pennystane cast_ E H.]

[Sidenote: 1314] _The English King escapes_]

  On this wis thame convoyit he,                                     585
Quhill at the Kyng and his menyhe
To Wynchburch all cummyne ar.
Than lichtit thai, all that war thar,
Till bayt thar hors that war wery;
Then Douglas and his cumpany                                         590
Baytit alsua besyde thame neir.
Thai war so feill, withouten weir,
And in armys so clenly dicht,
And swa arayit ay to ficht,
And he so quheyne and but gadering;                                  595
That he wald nocht in playne fichting,
Assaill thaim; bot ay raid thame by,
Waytand his poynt ay ythandly.
A litill quhile thai baitit thar,
And syne lap on, and furth thai fair;                                600
And he wes alwais by thame neir;
He leit thame nocht haf sic laseir
As anys wattir for to ma;
And gif ony stad war swa,
That behynd war left ony space,                                      605
Sesit all soyne in hand he was.
Thai convoit thame apon this wis,
Quhill that the King and his rout is
Cummyn to the castell of Dunbar,
Quhar he and sum of his men war                                      610
Resavit richt weill; for yheit than
The Erll Patrik wes Inglis man,
That gert with met and drink alsua
Refresche thame weill, and syne gert ta
A bate, and send the King by se,                                     615
Till Balmeburch in his awne cuntre.
Thair hors thar left thai all on stray,
Bot sesit wele soyne I trow war thai:
The laiff, that levit war without,
Adressit thame in-till ane rout,                                     620
And till Berwik helde straucht the way
In rout; bot, and we suth sall say,
Thai levit of thair rout party,
Or thai come thar; bot nocht for-thi,
Thai come till Berwik weill; and thar                                625
In-till the toune resavit war;
Ellis at gret myscheiff had thai beyne.
And quhen the lord Douglas has seyne
That he had lesit thar his payne,
Toward the King he went agane.                                       630

[595: E _but supleyng_. H as in C.]

[616: E _Bawmburgh_.]

[623: E _Stad thai war full narrowly_.]

The Kyng eschapit on this wis.
Lo! quhat falding in fortoune is!
That quhile apon a man will smyle,
And prik him syne ane othir quhile.
In na tyme stabilly can sche stande.                                 635
This mychty Kyng of Ingland
Scho had set on her quheill on hicht,
Quhen, with so ferlifull a mycht,
Of men of armys and archeris,
And of fute men and hobleris,                                        640
He com rydand out of his land,
As I befor has borne on hand.
And in a nycht syne and a day,
Scho set hym in so hard assay,
That he, with sevintene, in a bat,                                   645
Wes fayne for to hald hame his gat!
Bot of this ilk quhelis turnyng
Kyng Robert suld mak no murnyng;
For on his syd the quheyle on hycht
Raiss, quhen the tothyr doun gan lycht.                              650
For twa contraris yhe may wit wele,                                 *651
*Set agane othir on a quhele;
*Quhen ane is hye, the tothir is law,
*And gif it fall that fortoune thraw
*The quheill about, it that on hicht
Was ere, on force it most doune lycht;                              *656
And it, that wondir lawch were ere,
Mon lowp on loft in the contrere.
So fure it of thir Kyngis twa;
Quhen that King Robert stad wes sua,
That in his gret myscheiff wes he,                                   655
The tothir wes in his majeste.
And quhen the Kyng Edwardis mycht
Wes lawit, Kyng Robert lap on hicht:
And now sic fortoune fell hym till,
That he wes hye and at his will.                                     660

[643: C _on_ (S). E H _in_.]

[645: E H _with few men_.]

[649, 650: C--

_For his syde, throu the quhele on hicht,
Vencust thar fais, wes mekill of mycht._

H as in E.]

[*651-*656: In C H. Not in E. Similar rhymes occur just before and at

[654, 655: C _two-so_ (S); _two_ only here. Text from E.]

[Sidenote: 1314] _The Exchange of Prisoners_]

  At Strevilling wes he yheit lyand;
And the gret lordis that he fand
Ded in the felde, he gert berye
In haly placis honorabilly;
And the laiff syne that dede war thar                                665
In-to gret pittes erdit war.
The castell and the towrys syne
Richt to the grund doune gert he myne,
And syne to Bothwell send has he
Schyr Edward with a gret menyhe;                                     670
For thar wes fra thine send him worde
That the riche Erll of Herfurde,
And othir mychty als, wes thar.
Soyne tretit he with Schir Waltar,
That Erle and castell and the laiff                                  675
In-to Schir Edwardis hand he gaf.
And to the King the Erll send he,
That gert him richt weill yhemyt be,
Quhill at the last thai tretit swa
That he till Ingland hame suld ga                                    680
Without paying of ransoune, fre;
And that for hym suld changit be
Bischop Robert, that blynd wes maid,
With the queyne, that thai takin had
In presoune, as befor said I,                                        685
And hyr douchtir dame Marjory.
The Erll wes changit for thir thre;
And, quhen they cummyn hame war fre,
The Kyngis douchter, that wes fair,
And wes als his apperand air,                                        690
With Walter Stewart can he wed;
And thai weill soyne gat of thar bed
Ane knaiff child, throu our Lordis grace,
That eftir his gude eld-fadir was
Callit Robert, and syne wes King,                                    695
And had the land in governyng,
Eftir his worthy eyme, Davy,
That regnyt twa yher and fourty;
And in tyme of the compyling
Of this buk, this Robert wes Kyng.                                   700
And of his kynrik passit was
Fif yheir; and wes the yher of grace
Ane thousand thre hundreth and sevinty
And fif, and of his elde sexty.
And that wes aftir that the gud King,                                705
Robert, wes brocht till his ending,
Sex and fourty wyntir but mar.
God grant that thai, that cummyne ar,
Of his ofspring, maynteyme the land,
And hald the folk weill to warrand;                                  710
And manteyme rycht and ek laute,
As weill as in his tyme did he!

[707: C H _Six_; E v.]

[Sidenote: 1314-15] _The Scots abound in Riches_]

Kyng Robert now wes weill at hycht,
For ilk day than grew mair his mycht.
His men war rich, and his cuntre                                     715
Aboundanit weill of corne and fee,
And of alkynd othir riches:
Myrth, solas and ek blithnes
Wes in the land all comonly,
For ilk man blith wes and joly.                                      720
The King, eftir the gret journee,
Throu consell of his folk preve,
In seir townys gert cry on hicht,
That quha so clamyt to haf richt
To hald in Scotland land or fe,                                      725
That in that tuelf moneth suld he
Cum and clayme it; and tharfor do
To the King that pertenyt thar-to.
And gif thai come nocht in that yher,
Than suld thai wit, withouten weir,                                  730
That herd thar-eftir nane suld be.
The King, that wes of gret bounte
And besynes, quhen this wes done,
Ane hoost gert summond eftir sone,
And went syne soyne in-till Ingland,                                 735
And our-raid all Northumbirland,
And brynt hous, and tuk the pray,
And syne went hame agane thar way.
I let it shortly pass for-by;
For thair wes done na chevelry                                       740
Provit, that is till spek of heir.
The King went oft on this maneir
In Ingland, for till riche his men,
That in riches aboundanit then.


How the Earl of Carrick passed into Ireland to win it, and with
him Earl Thomas Randolph and Sir Philip the Mowbray,
Sir John Stewart, Sir John Soulis, and Ramsay of Ochterhouse.

The Erll of Carrik, Schir Edward,
That stowtar wes than ane libbard,
And had no will till be in pes,
Thoucht that Scotland to litill wes
Till his brothir and him alsua;                                        5
Tharfor till purpos can he ta,
That he of Irland wald be kyng.
Tharfor he send and had treting
With the Erischry of Irland,
That in thar lawte tuk on hand                                        10
Of Irland for to mak hym king,
With-thi that he with hard fechting
Micht our-cum the Inglis men,
That in the land war wonnand then;
And thai suld help with all thair mycht.                              15
And he, that hard thame mak sic hicht,
In-till his hert had gret liking:
And, with the consent of the King,
Gaderit hym men of gret bounte,
And at Air syne schippit he,                                          20
In-till the next moneth of Maii;
Till Irland held he straucht his way.
He had thair in his cumpany
The Erll Thomas that wes worthy,
And good Schir Philip the Mowbray,                                    25
That sekir wes in herd assay;
Schir Johne the Sowlis, a gude knycht,
And Schir Johne Steward that wes wicht;
The Ramsay als of Ouchtirhous,
That wes richt wicht and chevelrous;                                  30
And Schir Fergus de Ardrossane,
And othir knychtis mony ane.

  In Wokingis Fyrth arivit thai
Saufly, but bargane or assay,
And send thair schippis home ilkane.                                  35
A gret thing have thai undertane,
That with sa quheyne as thai war thar,
That wes sex thousand men but mar,
Schupe for to warray all Irland,
Quhar thai sall se mony thousand                                      40
Cum armyt on thame for to ficht.
Bot thouch thai quheyne war, thai war wicht,
And, for-outen dreid or effray,
In twa battelis thai tuk the way
Toward Cragfergus it to se.                                           45
Bot the lordis of that cuntre,
Maundwell, Byset, and Logane,
Thar men assemblit evirilkane;
The Savagis wes alsua thair.
And quhen thai all assemblit war,                                     50
Thai war weill neir tuenty thousand.
Quhen thai wist that in-till thar land
Sic a menyhe arivit war,
With all the folk that thai had thar
Thai went toward thame in gret hy.                                    55
And fra Schir Edward wist suthly
That neir till him cumand war thai,
His men he gert richt weill aray.
The vaward had the Erll Thomas,
And in the rerward Schir Edward was.                                  60

[33: C _Wavering Fyrth_ (S). _Wolyngs_ H.]

[49: C _De Savagis_ (S).]

The first battle that Sir Edward
Won in Ireland, with fighting hard.

[Sidenote: 1315] _The Flower of Ulster defeated_]

  Thar fais approchit to the fichting,
And thai met thame but abaysing.
Thar mycht men se a gret melle
For Erll Thomas and his menyhe
Dang on thair fais sa douchtely,                                      65
That in schort tym men mycht se ly
Ane hundreth that all bludy war.
For hobynis, that war stekit thar,
Rerit, and flang, and gret rowme maid,
And kest thame that apon thame raid.                                  70
And Schir Edwardis cumpany
Assemblit syne so hardely
That thai thar fais ruschit all.
Quha hapnyt in that ficht to fall,
It wes perell of his risyng.                                          75
The Scottis men in that fechting
Swa apertly and weille thame bar,
That thair fayis swa ruschit war,
That thai haly the flicht has tane.
In that battale wes tane or slane                                     80
All hale the flour of Ullister.
The Erll of Murreff gret pris had ther;
For his richt worthy chevelry
Confortit all his cumpany.
That wes a full fair begynnyng;                                       85
For, newlyngis at thair arivyng,
In playne ficht thai discomfit thar
Thar fais, that ay fowr for ane war.
Syne to Cragfergus ar thai gane,
And in the toune has innys tane.                                      90
The castell wele wes stuffit then
Of-new with vittale and with men;
Thar-till thai set ane sege in hy.
Mony ysche full apertly
Wes maid, quhill thar the sege lay,                                   95
Quhill trewis at the last tuk thai.

The Withletting of the Pass of Endnellan

  Quhen that the folk of Ullister
Till his pes haly cummyn wer,
For Schir Edward wald tak on hand
Till ryde forthirmar in the land,                                    100
Thair come till hym and maide fewte
Sum of the kyngis of that cuntre,
Weill ten or tuelf, as I herd say:
Bot thai held hym schort quhile thar fay.
For twa of thame, ane Makfulchiane,                                  105
And ane othir hat Makartane,
With-set ane place in-till his way,
Quhar him behufit neyd away,
With twa thousand of men with speris,
And als mony of thair archeris;                                      110
And all the cattale of the land
War drawin thidder to warrand.
Men callis that place Endwillane:
In all Irland strater is nane.
For Schir Edward that kepit thai;                                    115
Thai thoucht he suld nocht thar away.
Bot he his viage soyne has tane,
And straucht toward the plas is gane.
The Erll of Murreff, Schir Thomas,
That put hym ay first till assayis,                                  120
Lichtit on fut, with his menyhe,
And apertly the plas tuk he.
Thir Erische kyngis I spak of ar,
With al the folk that with thame war,
Met him richt sturdely; bot he                                       125
Assalyheit swa with his menyhe,
That, magre thairis, thai wan the plas:
Slayne of thair fayis fele thar was.
Throu-out the wod thame chasit thai,
And sesit in sic fusione thar pray,                                  130
That all the folk of thar host war
Refreschit weill ane owk or mair.

[Sidenote: 1315] _Edward Bruce marches to Dundalk_]

  At Kilsaggart Schir Edward lay;
And thar weill soyne he has herd say,
That at Dundawk wes ane assemble                                     135
Maid of the lordis of that cuntre;
In host thai war assemblit thar.
Thar wes first Schir Richard of Clare,
That in all Irland luf-tenand
Was off the King of Ingland.                                         140
The Erll of Desmownt als wes thar,
And the Erll alsua of Kyldare;
The Bremayne with the Wardoune;
Thir war lordis of gret renoune.
The Butler alsua thair was,                                          145
And Schir Moris le Fyss-Thomas.
Thir with thair men ar cummyn thar,
A rycht gret hoost forsuth thai war.
And quhen Schir Edward wist suthly
That thar wes sic ane chevelry,                                      150
His host in hy he gert aray,
And thiddirwardis he tuk the way;
And neir the toune he tuk herbery.
Bot for he wyst all utirly
That in the toune wes mony men,                                      155
His battalis he arrayit then,
And stude arayit in battale
To kep thame, gif thai wald assale.

[148: C _thair wes_ (S).]

  And quhen that Schir Richard of Clare,
And othir lordis that war thare,                                     160
Wist at the Scottis men so neir
With thar battellis than cummyne weir,
Thai tuk to consell at that nycht,
For it wes layt, thai wald nocht ficht:
Bot on the morne in the mornyng,                                     165
Weill soyn eftir the sone-rysing,
Thai suld ysch furth all that war thair;
Therfor that nycht thai did no mair:
Bot herbreyt thame on athir party.
That nycht the Scottis cumpany                                       170
War wachit rycht weill, all at richt;
And on the morn, quhen day wes licht,
In twa battellis thai thame arayit;
Thai stude with baneris all displayit,
For the battell all reddy boune.                                     175
And thai that war within the toune,
Quhen sone wes rysyn schynand clere,
Send furth of thame that within were
Fifty, till se the contenyng
Of Scottis men and thar cummyng.                                     180
And thai raid furth and saw thaim soyne,
Syne come agane forouten hoyne.
And quhen thai sammyn lichtit war,
Thai tald thair lordis that wes thar,
That Scottis men semyt to be                                         185
Worthye and of full gret bounte,
“Bot thai ar nocht, withouten wer,
“Half-deill ane dyner till us here!”
The lordis had of this tithyng
Gret joy and gret reconforting;                                      190
And gert men throu the cité cry
That all suld arme thame hastely.

[178: C _that with him_ (S).]

[Sidenote: JUNE 29, 1315] _The Scots enter Dundalk_]

  Quhen thai war armyt and purvayit,
And for to ficht all haill arayit,
Than went thai furth in gude aray;                                   195
Soyn with thair fayis assemblit thai,
That kepit thame richt hardely.
The stour begouth thair cruelly;
For athir part set all thair mycht
Till rusche thair fayis in the ficht;                                200
And with all mycht on other dang.
The stalward stour lestit weill lang,
That men mycht nocht persave, no se,
Quha mast at thar abovin mycht be.
For fra soyn eftir the sone-rysyng,                                  205
Quhill eftir mydmorne, the fichting
Lestit in-till sic ane dout;
Bot than Schir Edward, that wes stout,
With all thame of his cumpany,
Schot apon thame so sturdely,                                        210
That thai mycht thole no mar the ficht.
All in a frusche thai tuk the flicht,
And thai followit full egirly:
In-to the toune all comonly
Thai enterit bath intermelle.                                        215
Thair mycht men felloune slauchtir se;
For the richt nobil Erll Thomas,
That with his rout followit the chas,
Maid sic a slauchtir in the toune,
And swa felloune occisioune,                                         220
That the rewis all bludy war
Of slayne men that war liand thar.
The lords war gottin all away.
And quhen the toune, as I yhow say,
Wes throu gret fors of fechting tane,                                225
And all thair fayis fled or slane,
Thai herbryit thame all in the toune,
Quhar of vittale was sic fusione,
And swa gret aboundans of wyne,
That the gud Erll had gret dowtyne                                   230
That of thair men suld dronken be,
And mak in drunkynnes sum melle.
Tharfor he maid of wyne lufre
Till ilk man, that he payit suld be;
And thai had all yneuch, perfay.                                     235
That nycht rycht weill at eis war thai,
And richt blith of the gret honour
That thame befell for thair valour.

The third battle in Ireland
That good Sir Edward took on hand.

Eftir this ficht thai sojornyt thair,
In-to Dundawk, thre dayis and mar;                                   240
Syne tuk thai southwardis thar way.
The Erll Thomas wes forrouth ay.
And, as thai raid throu the cuntre,
Thai mycht apon the hillis se
Sa mony men, it wes ferly.                                           245
And quhen the Erll wald sturdely
Dress him to thame with his baner,
Thai wald fle all that evir thai wer,
Swa that in ficht nocht ane abaid.
And thai southwardis thair wais raid,                                250
Quhill till a gret forest come thai;
Kilros it hat, as I herd say:
And thai tuk all thar herbiry thair.
In all this tyme Richard of Clare,
That wes the Kyngis luf-tenand,                                      255
Of all of the barnage of Irland
A gret hoost he assemblit had.
Thai war fyve bataillis, gret and braid,
That soucht Schir Edward and his men;
Weill neir him war thai cummyn then.                                 260
He gat soyne wittyng that thai weir
Cumand on him, and war so neir.
His men addressit he thame agane,
And gert thame stoutly tak the plane;
And syne the Erll thar come to se,                                   265
And Schir Philip the Mowbra send he,
And Schir Johne Steward went alsua,
Furth till discovir thair way thai ta.
Thai saw the host cum soyne at hand;
Thai war, to ges, fiffty thousand.                                   270
Haym to Schir Edward raid thai then,
And said weill thai war mony men.
He said agane, “The ma thai be,
“The mair honour allout have we,
“Gif that we beir us manfully.                                       275
“We are set heir in juperdy
“Till wyn honour, or for till de.
“We ar fra hayme to fer to fley,
“Tharfor let ilk man worthy be.
“Yhone ar gadering of the cuntre;                                    280
“And thai sall fle, I trow, lichtly,
“And men assail thaim manfully.”
All said thai than, thai weill suld do.
With that approchand neir thame to,
The battellis come, reddy to ficht;                                  285
And thai met thame with mekill mycht,
That war ten thousand worthy men.
The Scottis all on fut war then,
And thai on stedis trappit weill,
Sum helyt all in irne and steill.                                    290

[Sidenote: 1315] _The Scots make merry in the Forest_]

  Bot Scottis men, at thair metyng,
With speris perssit thar armyng,
And stekit hors, and men doune bar.
Ane felloune fechting wes than thair.
I can nocht tell thair strakis all,                                  395
Na quha in ficht gert othir fall;
Bot in schort tyme, I undirta,
Thai of Irland war cummyrrit swa
That thai durst nane abyde no mar,
Bot fled scalit, all that thai war,                                  300
And levit in the battell-stede
Weill mony of thar gud men ded.
Of wapnys, armyng, and ded men
The feld wes haly strewit then.
That gret hoost roydly ruschit wes;                                  305
Bot Schir Edward leit no man chas;
Bot with presoners, that thai had tane,
Thai till the wod agane ar gane,
Quhar that thair harnes levit wer.
That nycht thai maid thame mery cher,                                310
And lovit God fast of his grace.
This gud knycht, that so worthy was,
Till Judas, Machabeus that hicht,
Micht liknyt weill be in that ficht;
Na multitud he forsuk of men,                                        315
Quhill he hade ane aganis ten.

Thus, as I said, Richard of Clare
And his gret hoost rebutit war.
Bot he about him nocht-for-thi
Wes gaderand men ay ythandly:                                        320
For he thoucht yheit to covir his cast.
It angerit him richt ferly fast,
That twis in-to battell wes he
Discumfit with ane few menyhe.
And Scottis men, that in the forest                                  325
War ryddin, for till tak thair rest,
All thai twa nychtis thair thai lay,
And maid thame myrth, solace, and play.
Toward Odymsy syne thai rayde,
Ane Erische kyng, that ayth had mayd                                 330
Till Schir Edwarde of fewte.
For forrouth that him prayit he
To se his land, and na vittale,
Na nocht that mycht him help, suld fale.
Schir Edward trowit in his hicht,                                    335
And with his rout raid thiddir richt.
A gret revar he gert hym pas;
And in a richt fair place, that was
Lawch by a brym, he gert thame ta
Thair herbry, and said he wald ga                                    340
To ger men vittale to thame bring.
He held his way but mair duelling:
For till betrais thame wes his thoucht.
In sic ane place he has thame broucht,
Quhar of journeis weill twa and mair                                 345
All the cattell withdrawin war.
Swa that thai in that land mycht get
No thing that worth war for to et.
With hungyr he thoucht thaim to feblis,
Syne bring on thame thair enymys.                                    350

[339: E _bourne_. H _burne_.]

[Sidenote: 1315] _Thomas of Dun rescues the Scots_]

  This fals tratour his men had maid,
A litell owth quhar he herbryit hade
Schir Edward and the Scottis men,
The ysche of a louch to den;
And leit it out in-to the nycht.                                     355
The wattir than, with sic a mycht,
On Schir Edwardis men come doune,
That thai in perell war till droune;
For, or thai wist, on flot war thai;
With mekill payne thai gat away,                                     360
And held thar livis, as God gaf gras,
Bot of thair harnes tynt ther was.
He maid thame na gud fest, perfay,
And nocht-for-thi yneuch had thai.
For thouch thame failit of the met,                                  365
I warne yhow weill thai war weill wet.
In gret distres thair war thai stad,
For gret defalt of mete thai had;
For thai betuix thai riveris tway
War set, and mycht pas nane of thai.                                 370
The Bane, that is ane arme of se,
That with hors may nocht passit be,
Wes betuix thame and Ullister.
Thai had beyn in grett perell ther,
Ne war ane scummar of the se,                                        375
Thomas of Dun hattyn wes he,
Herd that the host so stratly than
Wes stad, and salyt up the Ban,
Quhill he com weill neir quhar thai lay.
Thai knew him weill, and blith war thai.                             380
Than, with four schippes that he had tane,
He set thame our the Ban ilkane.
And quhen thai come in biggit land,
Vittale and mete yneuch thai fand:
And in a wode thame herbryit thai.                                   385
Nane of the land wist quhar thai lay;
Thai esyt thame and maid gud cher.

[354: H _to dem_.]

[376: E _Downe_. H _Dun_.]

  In-till that tyme, besyde thame ner,
With a gret host, Richarde of Clar,
And othir gret of Irlande, war                                       390
Herbryit in-till a forest syde.
And ilke day thai gert men ryde
To bring vittalis, on ser maneris,
Till thame fra the toune of Coigneris,
That weill ten gret myle wes thaim fra.                              395
Ilk day, as thai wald cum and ga,
Thai come the Scottis host so ner,
That bot twa myle betuix thaim wer.

How Sir Thomas of Randell
Won from the Irish their Vittell.

  And quhen Erll Thomas had persaving
Of thair come and thair gaderyng,                                    400
He gat him a gud cumpany,
Thre hundreth on hors, wycht and hardy.
Thar wes Schir Philip the Mowbray,
And Sir Johne Stewart als, perfay,
With Schir Alane Stewart alsua,                                      405
Schir Robert Boyde, and other ma.
Thai raid till meit the vittelleris,
That with ther vittale fra Coigneris
Com, haldand to the host the way.
So suddanly on thame schot thai,                                     410
That thai war sa abaysit all,
That thai leit all thair wapnys fall,
And mercy pitwysly can cry.
And thai tuk thame in thair mercy,
And has thame up so clenly tane,                                     415
That of thame all eschapit nane.

[406: E H _Robert_. C _Gilbert_.]

  The Erll of thame gat wittering
That of thair host, in the evynnyng,
Wald cum out at the woddis syde
And aganis thair vittale ryde.                                       420
He thoucht than on a juperdy,
And gert his menyhe halely
Dicht thame in the presoners aray;
Thair pennownys als with thame tuk thai.
And quhill the nycht wes neir thai baid,                             425
And syne toward the host thai raid.
Sum of thair mekill host has seyne
Thair come, and wende weill thai had beyne
Thair vittelouris; tharfor thai raid
Agane thame scalit, for thai hade                                    430
Na dreid that thai thair fayis wer;
And thame hungerit alsua weill sair;
Tharfor thai come abandonly.
And quhen thai neir war, in gret hy
The Erll, and all that with him war,                                 435
Ruschit on thame with wapnys bar,
And thair ensenyheis hye can cry;
Than thai, that saw so sudandly
Thair fayis dyng on thame, wes rad,
That thai no hert till help thame had;                               440
Bot to thar host the way can ta;
And thai chasit, and feill can sla,
That all the feldis strowit war;
Ma than ane thowsand ded wes thar.
Rycht to thar hoost thai can thame chass,                            445
And syne agane thair wayis tais.

[Sidenote: 1315] _Irish Spies are captured_]

On this wiss wes the vittal tane,
And of the Erysche men mony slane.
The Erll syne, with his cumpany,
Presoners and vittalis halely                                        450
Has brocht till Schir Edward als swith;
And he wes of thair cummyng blith.
That nycht thai maid thame merye cher;
Richt all than at thair eis thai wer.
Thai war all wachit sekyrly,                                         455
And thair fais, on the tothir party,
Quhen thai herd how thar men was slane,
And how thar vittal all wes tane,
Thai tuk to consell at thai wald
Thair wayis towart Coigneris hald,                                   460
And herbry in the cite ta.
And in gret hye thai have done swa;
And raid on nycht to the cite.
Thai fand thair vittale of gret plente,
And maid thame merely gud cher;                                      465
For all trast in the toune thai wer.
Apon the morn thai send to spy
Quhar Scottis men had tane herbery.
Bot thai war met with all, and tane,
And brocht richt till the hoost agane.                               470
The Erll of Murreff richt mekly
Sperit at ane of thar cumpany,
Quhar thar host wes, and quhat thai thoucht
Till do; and said him, gif he moucht
Fynd that till hym the suth said he,                                 475
He suld gang hame but ransoune fre.
“Forsuth,” he said, “I sall yhow say,
“Thai thynk, the morn, quhen it is day,
“To seik yhow with all thair menyhe,
“Giff thai may get wit quhar yhe be.                                 480
“Thai haf gert throu the cuntre cry,
“On payne of liff, full felounly,
“That all the men of this cuntre
“This nycht in-to the cite be.
“And trewly thai sall be so feill,                                   485
“That yhe sall no wis with thame deill.”
‘De pardew,’ said he, ‘weill may be!’
To Schir Edward with that yheid he,
And tald hym utrely this taill.
Than haf thai tane for consell haill,                                490
That thai wald ryde to the cite
That ilk nycht, swa that thai mycht be
Betuix the toune, with all thar rout,
And thame that war the toune without.

[478: E _to-morn_.]

[Sidenote: 1315] _A Great Gathering against the Scots_]

  As thai devisit swa have thai done;                                495
Befor the toune thai come alsoyne:
And bot half deill a myle of way
Fra the cite, thar rest tuk thai.
And quhen the day wes dawin licht,
Fifty on hobynis, that war wicht,                                    500
Com till a litill hill, that was
Bot fra the toune a litill spas,
And saw Schir Edwardis herbery,
And of the sicht had gret ferly,
That sa quheyn durst on ony wis                                      505
Undertak sa hye empris,
As for till cum sa hardely
Apon all the gret chevelry
Of Irland, for till byde battale.
And swa it wes, forouten fale;                                       510
For agane thame war gaderit thair,
With the wardane Richard of Clar,
The Butler, with the Erllis twa,
Of Desmund and Kildar war tha,
Bruman, Wardun, and Fiz-Waryn;                                       515
And Schir Pascalle a Florentyn,
That wes ane knycht of Lumbardy,
And wes full of gret chevelry.
The Maundvilis war thar alsua,
Besatis, Loganys, and othir ma;                                      520
Savagis als; and yheit wes ane,
Hat Schir Nycholl of Kylkenane.
And with thir lordis so feill wes then,
That, for ane of the Scottis men,
I trow that thai war fiff or ma.                                     525
Quhen thair discurrowris seyne has swa
The Scottis host, thai went in hy
And tald thair lordis all opynly,
How thai till thaim wer cummand ner;
To seik thame fer wes na myster.                                     530
And quhen the Erll Thomas had seyne
That thai men at the hill had beyne,
He tuk with him a gude menyhe,
On hors ane hundreth thai mycht be,
And till the hill thai tuk the way.                                  535
In a slak thame enbuschit thai:
And, in schort tyme, fra the cite
Thai saw cum rydand a menyhe,
For till discovir, to the hill.
Than war thai blith, and held thame still                            540
Quhill thai war cummyn to thame ner;
Than in a frusche, all that thar wer,
Thai schot apon thame hardely.
And thai that saw so suddandly
That folk cum on, abaysit war.                                       545
And nocht-for-thi sum of thame thar
Abaid stoutly to mak debat;
And othir sum ar fled thar gat.
And in-to weill schort tyme war thai,
That maid arest, cumrayit swa,                                       550
That thai fled halely thair gat;
And thai thame chassit richt to the yhate,
And a gret part of thame has slane,
And syne went till thar host agane.

[501: C _that wes_ (S).]

[515: C _Syr Waryn_; but _cf._ xv., 75.]

[522: C _Kyllvanane_ (S); but see note.]


The fourth battle in Ireland
That Sir Edward won with strong hand.

  Qwhen thai within has seyn swa slane
Thair men, and chassit hame agane,
Thai war all wa, and in gret hy
“Till armys!” hely can thai cry.
Than armyt thame all at thar war,                                      5
And for the battale maid thame yhar.
Thai yschit out, all weill arayit,
In battale with baneris displayit;
Bowne on thar best wis till assale
Thair fayis in-to fell battale.                                       10
And quhen Schir Philip the Mowbray
Saw thame ysche in sa gud aray,
Till Schir Edward the Brus went he
And said, “Schir, it is gude that we
“Schape for sum slicht that may availl                                15
“Till help us in this gret battaill.
“Our men ar quheyn, bot thai haf will
“Till do mair than thai may fullfill.
“Tharfor I rede, our caryage,
“Forouten ony man or page,                                            20
“By thame-selvyne arayit be;
“And thai sall seyme fer ma than we.
“Set we before thame our baneris;
“Yhon folk that cummys out of Coigneris,
“Quhen thai our baneris thair may se,                                 25
“Sall trow trastly that thair ar we,
“And thidder in gret hy sall ryde.
“Cum we than on thame at a syde,
“And we sall be at avantage;
“For, fra thai in our caryage                                         30
“Be enterit, thai sall cummyrrit be;
“And than with all our mycht may we
“Lay on, and do all that we may.”
All as he ordanit done haf thai.
And thai that com out of Coigneris                                    35
Adressit thame to the baneris;
And smat with spures the hors in hy,
Ruschand emang thame sodanly.
The barell-ferraris that war thar
Cumrayd thame fast that rydand war.                                   40

[34: C _And_ (S).]

[Sidenote: SEPT. 1315] _Battle of Connor_]

  And than the Erll, with his battale,
Com on, and sadly can assale.
And Schir Edward, a litill by,
Assemblit swa richt hardely,
That mony fey fell under feit;                                        45
The felde wox soyne of blud all weit.
With so gret felony thar thai faucht,
And sic rowtis till othir raucht,
With stok, with stane, and with retrete,
As athir part can othir bet,                                          50
That it wes hidwys for to se
How thai mantemyt that gret melle
So knychtlik apon athir syde,
Giffand and takand woundis wyde,
That pryme wes passit, or men mycht se                                55
Quha mast at thair abovin mycht be.
Bot soyne eftir that pryme wes past,
The Scottis men dang on so fast,
And schot on thame at abandoune,
As ilk man war a campioun,                                            60
That all thar fayis tuk the flicht.
Wes nane of thame that wes so wicht,
That evir durst abyde his fere;
Bot ilkane fled thair wayis sere.
Till the toune fled the mast party.                                   65
And Erll Thomas sa ynkirly,
And his rout, chassit with swerdis bar,
That all emang thame mellit war,
And all to-gidder come in the toune.
Than wes the slauchter so felloune,                                   70
That all the rewis ran of blude.
Thame that thai gat to dede all yhude,
Swa that than thar weill neir wes ded
Als feill as in the battell-sted.

[54: E _rowtis roid_; _cf._ Bk. VI., 288.]

  The Fizwaryne wes taken thar;                                       75
Bot so rad wes Richard of Clar,
That he held to the sowth cuntre.
All that moneth I trow that he
Sall haf no gret will for to ficht.
Schir Johne Steward, ane nobill knycht,                               80
Wes woundit throu the body thair
With a sper that richt scharply schair.
To the Mont-peleris went he syne,
And lay thair lang in-to helyne,
And at the last helit wes he.                                         85
Schir Edward than, with his menyhe,
Tuk in the toune thair herbery.
That nycht thai blith war and joly
For the victory that thai had thar.
And on the morn, forouten mar,                                        90
Schir Edward gert men gang and se
All the vitalis of that cite.
And thai fand sic fusioune thar-in
Of corn and flour and wax and wyne,
That thai had of it gret ferly;                                       95
And Schir Edward gert halely
To Cragferguss it cartit be.
Syne thidder went his men and he,
And helde the sege full stalwardly,
Quhill Palme Sonday wes passit by.                                   100
Than, quhill the Tysday in Pask-owk,
On athir half thai trowis tuk;
Swa that thai mycht that haly tyd
In pennance and in prayer byd.

[Sidenote: APRIL 10-11, 1316] _Attempt to surprise the Scots_]

  Bot apon Paske evin all richt                                      105
To the castell, in-till the nycht,
Fra Devilling come schippis fyftene,
Chargit with armit men bedeyne;
Four thousand, trow I weill, thai war:
In the castell thai enterit thair.                                   110
The Mawndvell, ald Schir Thomas,
Capitane of that menyhe he was.
In the castell all prevaly
Thai enterit, for that thai gert spy
That mony of Schir Edwardis men                                      115
War scalit in the cuntre then.
Tharfor thai thoucht in the mornyng
Till ysche, but langer delaying,
And till suppris thame suddanely;
For thai thoucht thai suld traistly ly,                              120
For the trewis that taken war.
Bot I trow falsat evirmar
Sall have unfair and evill ending.
Schir Edward wist of this na thing,
For of tresoune had he na thoucht.                                   125
Bot for the trewis he lefit noucht
Wachis till set to the castele;
Ilk nycht he gert men wach it wele.
And Neyll Flemyng wachit that nycht
With sexty men worthy and wicht.                                     130
And als soyne as the day wox cleir,
Thai that within the castell weir
Had armyt thame, and maid thame boune,
And syne the bryg avaled doune,
And yschit in-till gret plente.                                      135
And quhen Neyll Flemyng can thaim se,
He send ane till the Kyng in hy;
And said to thame that war hym by,
“Now sall men se, I undirtak,
“Quha dar de for his lordis sak!                                     140
“Now beir yhow weill, for sekirly
“With all thir menyhe fecht will I.
“In-till bargane thame hald sall we,
“Quhill that our mastir armyt be.”
And with that worde assemblit thai;                                  145
Thai war to few all out, perfay,
With sic a gret rout for to ficht.
Fot nocht-for-thi with al thar mycht
Thai dang on thame so hardely,
That all thair fayis had gret ferly,                                 150
That thai war all of sic manheid,
That thai no dreid had of thar dede.
Bot thar fell fayis sa can assaill,
That thar mycht no worschip availl
That thai ne war slayn evirilkane                                    155
So cleyn, that thar eschapit nane.

How the King of Ireland called Edward came upon the Scotsmen

  And the man that went till the Kyng,
For till warn hym of thair ysching,
Warnit him in-till full gret hy.
Schir Edward wes comonly                                             160
Callit the Kyng of Irland,
Quhen that he herd sic hy on hand,
In full gret hast he gat his ger.
Tuelf wicht men in his chalmer wer
That armyt thame in full gret hy.                                    165
Syne with his baneris hardely
The myddis of the toune he tais.
With that neir cummand war his fais,
That had delt all thar men in thre.
The Mawndvell, with a gret menyhe,                                   170
Richt throu the toune his way held doune;
The layff on athir syde the toune
Held to meit thame that fleand war;
Thai thoucht that all that thai fand thar
Suld de but ransoune evirilkane:                                     175
Bot othir wayis the gle is gane.
For Schir Edward, with his baner,
And his men that I tald of ere,
On all that rout so hardely
Assemblit, that it wes ferly.                                        180
For Gib Harpar befor him yheid,
That wes the douchtyest of deid
That than wes liffand of his stat,
And with ane ax maid him sic gat
That he the first fellit to the grounde;                             185
And eftir, in a litill stounde,
The Mawndvell be his armyng
He knew, and roucht him sic a swyng
That he till erd yheid hastely.
Schir Edward, that wes neir hym by,                                  190
Reversit hym, and with a knyff
Richt in that place him reft the liff.

[187: C _by his_ (S).]

[Sidenote: APRIL 11, 1316] _The Maundevilles are slain_]

  With that of Ardrossane Fergus,
That wes ane knycht rycht curageous,
Assemblit with sexty and ma.                                         195
Thai pressit than thair fayis swa,
That thai, that saw thair lord slayne,
Tynt hert, and wald have beyn agane.
And ay, as Scottis men mycht be
Armyt, thai come to the melle;                                       200
And dang apon thai fayis swa,
That thai all hale the bak can ta,
And thai thame chassit to the yhat;
Thar wes hard ficht and gret debat.
Thar slew Schir Edward, with his hand                                205
A knycht, that of all Irland
Wes callit best, and of mast bounte,
To surname Mawndvell hecht he,
His propir nayme I can nocht say.
Bot his folk till so hard assay                                      210
War set, that thai of the dungeoune
Durst oppyn no yhat, na bryg let doune.
And Schir Edward, I tak on hand,
Soucht thame that fled thar to warrand,
So felly, that of all, perfay,                                       215
That yschit apon hym that day,
Eschapit of thaim nevir ane,
That thai ne war outhir tane or slane.
For to the ficht Maknakill then
Come with twa hundreth of gude sper-men,                             220
And slew all they mycht to wyn.
This ilk Maknakill, with a gyn,
Wan of thair schippes four or fiff,
And halely reft the men thair liff.
Quhen end wes maid of this fechting,                                 225
Yheit then wes liffand Neill Fleming.
Schir Edward went him for to se;
About him slayne lay his menyhe
All in a lump, on athyr hand,
And he, redy to dey, throwand.                                       230
Schir Edward had of him pite,
And him full gretly menyt he,
And regratit his gret manhede,
And his worschyp with douchty dede.
Sic mayn he maid, thai had ferly;                                    235
For he wes nocht custumabilly
Wount for till meyne ony thing,
Na wald nocht heir men mak menyng.
He stude thar by quhill he wes ded,
And syne had him till haly sted,                                     240
And him with worschip gert he be
Erdit, with gret solempnite.

[221: C _slow_ (S).]

How King Robert Bruce passed through the Tarbats, and
won the Isles.

[Sidenote: 1315] _King Robert is drawn Overland_]

  On this wis yschit the Mawndvele;
Bot sekirly falsat and gyle
Sall evir have ane evill ending,                                     245
As weill wes seyn be this ysching.
In tyme of trewis yschit thai,
And in sic tyme as on Paske day,
Quhen God rais for to sauf mankyne
Fra wem of ald Adammis syne.                                         250
Tharfor sic gret myschans thame fell,
That ilkane, as yhe herd me tell,
War slane up, or than takyn thar.
And thai that in the castell war
War set in-till sic fray that hour,                                  255
For thai couth se quhar na succour
Suld come to releif thame, that thai
Shortly swa tretit, and on a day
The castell till him yhald thai fre,
Till sauf thame thair liffis; and he                                 260
Held thame full well all his cunnand.
The castell tuk he in his hand,
And vittalit it weill, and has set
A gud wardane it for to get;
And a quhile thair than restit he.                                   265
Of him no mair now spek will we,
Bot till King Robert will we gang,
That we haf left unspokyn of lang.
Quhen he convoyit had to the se
His brothir Edward, and his menyhe,                                  270
With his shippes he maid him yhar                                   *271
*In-till the Ilis for till fare.
*Walter Steward with hym tuk he,
His mawch, and with him gret menyhe;                                *274
And othir men of gret nobillay.
Till the Tarbard thai held thar way
In galayis ordanit for thair fair.
Bot thame worthit draw thar schippes thar:
And a myle wes betuix the seis,                                      275
Bot that wes lownyt all with treis.
The Kyng his schippis thar gert draw,
And for the wynd can stoutly blaw
Apon thair bak, as thai wald ga,
He gert men rapis and mastis ta,                                     280
And set thame in the schippis hye,
And salys to the toppis te,
And gert men gang thar-by drawand.
The wynd thame helpit, that wes blawand;
Swa that, in-till a litill spas,                                     285
Thar flot all weill our-drawyn was.

[246: C _by_ (S).]

[*271-*274: From C H. Not in E.]

[276: E _lompnyt_.]

  And quhen thai that in the Ilis war,
Herd tell how the gud Kyng had thar
Gert schippis with the salys ga
Out-our betuix the Tarbartis twa,                                    290
Thai war abasit all utrely.
For thai wist throu ald prophesy
That he that suld ger schippis swa
Betuix the seis with salis ga,
Suld wyn the Ilis swa till hand,                                     295
That nane with strynth suld him withstand.
Tharfor thai come all to the Kyng;
Wes nane that withstude his biddyng,
Outaken Johne of Lorne alane.
Bot Weill soyne eftir he wes tane,                                   300
And presentit wes to the Kyng.
And thai that war of his leding,
That to the King had brokyn fay,
War all ded, and distroyit away.
The Kyng this Johne of Lorne has tane,                               305
And send soyne him till Dumbertane,
A quhile in presone thair till be,
And to Louchlevin syne send wes he,
Quhar he wes lang tyme in festnyng:
Thair-in, I trow, he maid endyng.                                    310
The King, quhen all the Iles war
Brocht till his liking, les and mar,
Still all that sesoune thar duelt he
At huntyng, and gammyne, and gle.

The Battle betwixt the Lord Douglas and the Lord Nevill
of England.

[Sidenote: FEB. 14, 1316] _Douglas attacks the Forayers_]

  Qwhen the King on this maner                                       315
Dantit the Iles, as I tell her,
The gud Schir James of Dowglas
In-till the Forest duelland was,
Defendand worthely the land.
That tyme in Berwik wes wonnand                                      320
Edmound de Cailow, a Gascoune,
That wes a knycht of gret renoune;
And in-till Gascone, his cuntre,
Lord of gret senyheroy wes he.
He had than Berwik in keping,                                        325
And maid ane preve gaddering,
And gat him a gret cumpany
Of wicht men armit jolely.
And the nethir end of Tevydaill
He prayit doune till him all haill,                                  330
And of the Mers ane gret party;
Syne toward Berwik went in hy.
Schir Adam of Gordoune, that than
Wes becummyne a Scottis man,
Saw thame swa drif away thar fe,                                     335
And wend thai had beyn quheyn, for he
Saw bot the fleand scaill, perfay,                                  *337
*And thame that sesyt on the pray.
*Than till Schir James of Douglas
In-to gret hye the way he tais;                                     *340
*And tald how Inglis men thair pray
*Had tane; and syne went thar way
*Toward Berwik with all thar fee,
*And said they quheyn war; and gif he
Wald speid him, he suld weill lichtly
Wyn thame, and reskew all the ky.
Schir James richt soyne gaf his assent                              *345
*Till follow thame, and furth is went,
*Bot with the men that he had thair,
*And met hym by the gat but mair.
*Thai followit thame in full gret hy,
And com weill neir thame hastely;                                   *350
*For, or thay mycht thame fully se,
*Thai come weill neir with thair menyhe.
*And than bath the forreouris and the scaill
*In-till a childrome knyt all haill,
*And wes a richt fair cumpany.
Befor thame gert thai driff the ky                                  *356
With knavis and swanys, that na mycht
Had for till stand in feild to ficht.                                340
The laiff behynd thame maid a staill.
The Dowglass saw thair purpos haill,
And saw thame of sa gud covyne,
And at thai war sa mony syne,
That thai for ane of his war twa.                                    345
“Lordingis,” he said, “sen it is swa
“That we haff chassit on sic maner,
“That we now cummyn ar so ner
“That we may nocht eschewe the ficht
“Bot gif we fowly tak the flicht,                                    350
“Lat ilk man on his luf than meyne,
“And how he mony tyme has beyne
“In grat thrang, and come weill away.
“Think we till do richt swa this day;
“And tak we of this furde heir-by                                    355
“Our avantage, for in gret hy
“Thai sall come on us for to ficht.
“Set we than will, and strynth, and mycht
“For till meyt thame richt hardely.”
And, with that word, full hastely,                                   360
He hes displayit his baner;
For his fayis war cumand neir,
That, quhen thai saw he wes so quhoyne,
Thai thoucht with thame soyne till haf done,
And assemblit full hardely.                                          365
Thar men mycht se men fecht felly,
And richt ane cruell melle mak,
And mony strakis giff and tak.

[321: C _Ewmound_ (S). H _Edmound_. C _Calion_ (S). H _Calhow_. (See

[*337-*344 and *345-*356: From C H; not in E.]

[Linenote: *347-*348 in C only.]

[338: C _in the_ (S); but Skeat suggests that ‘perhaps it should be

[341: C _scaill_ (S); but S in note seems to prefer _staill_.]

[351: E _his lemman_ (love).]

[366: C _Thair mycht men se ficht fellely_ (S).]

[Sidenote: 1316] _Neville is jealous of Douglas_]

  The Douglass thair weill hard wes stad,
Bot the gret hardyment that he had                                   370
Comfort his men apon sic wis,
That no man thoucht on cowardis;
Bot faucht so fast with all thar mayne,
That thai feill of thair fayis has slayne.
And thouch thai wer be fer full ma                                   375
Than thai, yheit ure demanyt thaim swa,
That Edmound de Cailow wes ded
Richt in that ilk fechting-sted.
And all the lave, fra he wes done,
War planly thair discumfit sone;                                     380
And thai that chassit sum has slayne,
And turnyt the prayis haill agane.
The hardest fechting forsuth this wes
That evir the gud lord of Dowglas
Wes in, as of sa few menyhe.                                         385
For, had nocht beyne his gret bounte
That slew thair chiftane in the ficht,
His men till ded had all beyne dicht.
He had in-till custum all-way,
Quhen evir he com till hard assay,                                   390
To press hym the chiftane to sla;
And hap him fell that he did swa,
That gert him victor have feill sis.
Quhen Schir Edmound apon this wis
Wes ded, the gud lord of Douglas                                     395
Till the Forest his way he tais.
His fayis gretly can hym dreid;
The word weill fer sprang of this deid,
Swa that in Ingland neir thar-by
Men spak of it weill comonly.                                        400
Schir Robert de Nevell in that tyde
Wonnyt at Berwyk, neir besyde
The marchis, quhar the lord Dowglas
In the Forest reparande was,
And had at him full gret invy,                                       405
For he him saw so manfully
Mak his boundis ay mar and mar.
He herd the folk that with him war
Spek of the lorde Dowglasis mycht,
And how forsy he wes in fycht,                                       410
And how hym oft fell fayr fortoune.
He wrethit him thar-at all soyne,
And said, “Quhat weyn yhe, is thar nane
“That evir is worth bot hym alane?
“Yhe set hym as he war but peir:                                     415
“But I avow, befor yhow heir,
“Gif evir he cum in-till this land,
“He sall fynd me neir at his hand.
“And giff I evir his baneir
“May see displayit apon wer,                                         420
“I sall assembill on hym but dout,
“All thouch yhe hald him nevir sa stout.”

[371: C _confortit_ (S).]

[377: C _Ewmound de Caleone_ (S).]

Of this avow soyne bodword was
Brocht till Schir James of Douglas,
That said, “Giff he will hald his hicht,                             425
“I sall do swa he sall haf sicht
“Of me and of my cumpany,
“Yheit or oucht lang, weill neir hym by.”
His reten new than gaderit he,
That war gud men of gret bounte,                                     430
And to the marchis in gud aray
Apon ane nycht he tuk the way;
Swa that, in the mornyng airly,
He wes, with all his cumpany,
Before Berwyk; and thair he maid                                     435
Men to display his baner braid.
And of his menyhe sum send he
For till burne townys twa or thre,
And bad thame soyn agane thame speid;
Swa that on hand, gif thar com neyd,                                 440
Thai mycht be for the ficht redy.
The Nevell that wist verraly.
That Dowglas cummyn wes so neir,
And saw all braid stand his baneir,
Than with the folk that with hym wer,                                445
(And he had a gret menyhe thar;
For all the gud of that cuntre
In-till that tyme with hym had he;
Swa that he with hym thar had then
Weill may then wes the Scottis men)                                  450
He held his way up till ane hill,
And said; “Lordyngis, it war my will
“Till mak end of the gret deray
“That Dowglass makis us ilk day.
“Bot me think it speidful that we                                    455
“Abyde, quhill his men scalit be
“Throu the cuntre to tak the pray:
“Than fersly schute on hym we may,
“And we sall have thame at our will.”
Thus all thai gaiff consent thar-till,                               460
And on the hill abaid huvande.
The men fast gadderit of the land,
And drew till hym in full gret hy.
The Douglas than, that wes worthy,
Thoucht it wes foly mair till byde.                                  465
Toward the hill than can he ryde;
And quhen the Nevell saw at thai
Wald nocht pass furth to the forray,
Bot pressit till thame with thar mycht,
He wist weill than that thai wald ficht,                             470
And till his menyhe can he say;
“Lordingis, now hald we furth our way.
“Heir is the flour of this cuntre,
“And ma than thai alsua ar we.
“Assemmyll we than hardely:                                          475
“For Douglas with yhon yhemanry,
“Sall haf no mycht till us, perfay.”
Than in a frusche assemblit thai.
Than mycht men heir the speris brast,
And men dyng apon othir fast,                                        480
And blude brist out at woundis wyde.
Thai faucht fast apon athir syde;
For athir party can thame payne
Till put thair fais on-bak agane.

[Sidenote: 1316] _The Fight between Douglas and Neville_]

  The lordis of Nevell and Douglas,                                  485
Quhen that the fichting fellest was,
Met to-giddir richt in the pres.
Betuix thame than gret bargane wes;
Thai faucht felly with all thair maucht,
Gret rowtis athir till othir raucht.                                 490
Bot Douglas sterkar wes, I hicht,
And mair usit alsua to ficht,
And he set hert, and will alsua,
For till delyver him of his fa;
Quhill at the last, with mekill mayne,                               495
Throu fors the Nevell has he slayne.
Than his ensenyhe he can hye cry,
And on the laiff so hardely
He ruschit, with all his menyhe,
That in-till schort tym men mycht se                                 500
Thair fayis tak on thame the flicht.
And thai thame chassit with all thar mycht.
Schir Ralf the Nevell, in the chas,
And the Baroun of Hiltoun was
Takin, and othyr of mekill mycht.                                    505
Thar wes fele slayne in-to that fycht,
That worthy in thar tyme had beyn.
And quhen the feld wes clengit cleyn,
Swa that thair fayis evirilkane
War slayn, or chassit away or tane,                                  510
Than gert he forray all the land,
And sessit all that evir he fand,
And brynt the townys in thar way;
Syne haill and feir haym cummyn ar thai.
The pray soyne emang his menyhe,                                     515
Eftir thar meritis, delit he,
And held no thing till his behuf.
Sic dedis aucht till ger men luf
Thair lorde, and swa thai did, perfay.
He tretit thame so wisly ay,                                         520
And with so mekill luf alsua,
And sic a countenans wald ma
Of thair deid, that the mast coward
Stoutar he maid than a libard;
With cherising thusgat maid he                                       525
His men wicht, and of gret bounte.

[506: C _That wes slayn thair in-to the ficht_ (S), which does not
seem to explain the context.]

[Sidenote: 1316] _The English dread of Douglas_]

  Qwhen Nevell thus wes broucht to ground,
And of Cailow Schir Edmound,
The dreid of the lorde Dowglas,
And his renoun, swa scalit was                                       530
Throu-out the marchis of Ingland,
That all that war thar-in duelland
Thai dred him as the devill of hell.
And yheit haf I herd oftsis tell,
That he so gretly dred wes than                                      535
That quhen wiffis wald thar childir ban,
Thai wald with rycht ane angry face,
Beteche thaim “to the blak Dowglas.”
*For, with thair taill, he wes mair fell
*Than wes ony devill in hell.
Throu his gret worschip and bounte,
Swa with his fayis dred wes he                                       540
That thaim growyt till heir his name.
He may at eis now duell at hame
A quhile, for I trow he sall nocht
With fais all a quhile be socht.
Now let him in the Forest be:                                        545
Of him no mair spek will we.
Bot of Schir Edward the worthy,
That with all his gude chevelry,
Wes at Cragfergus yheit liand,
To spek mair will we tak on hand.                                    550

[528: C _Calyheoun_ (S). H _Calhow_. C _Ewmond_. H _Edmound_.
Names in text from E.]

[*539, *540: In C only. These lines seem to be a repeat of 533, 534.]

[541: C _grevit_ (S). H _groowed_. E H give the more effective


Here passed in Ireland the noble King
To his brother with great gathering.

  Quhen Schir Edward, as I tald air,
Had discumfit Richard of Clair,
And of Irland all the barnage
Thris, throu his worthy vassalage,
And syne with all his men of mayne                                     5
Till Cragfergus wes cummyn agayn,
The gud Erll of Murreff, Thomas,
Tuk leiff in Scotland for till pas.
And he hym levit with a gruching,
And syne him chargit to the King,                                     10
Till pray him specialy that he
Suld cum in Irland him to se.
For, war thai bath in-to that land,
Thai suld fynd nane suld thaim withstand.
The Erll furth than his way has tane,                                 15
And till his schippes is he gane,
And salit out weill our the se,
In Scotland soyne arivit he.
Syne to the king he went in hy:
And he resavit hym gladsumly;                                         20
And sperit of his brotheris fair,
And of journeis that he had thair;
And he him tald all but lesyng.
Quhen the King had left spering,
His charge to the gud king tald he.                                   25
And he said, he wald blithly se
His brothir, and als all the effeire
Of that cuntre and of thar were.
A gret menyhe than gaderit he:
And twa lordis of gret bounte,                                        30
The tane the Steward Walter was,
The tothir, James of Dowglas,
Wardanis in his absens maid he,
For till manteym weill the cuntre.
Syne to the se he tuk his way;                                        35
And at Lowchryan in Galloway
He schippit, with all his menyhe;
Till Cragfergus soyne cummyn is he.
Schir Edward of his com wes blith,
And went down for to meit him swith,                                  40
And welcummyt him with gladsum cher:
Sa did he all that with him wer;
And specialy the Erll Thomas
Of Murreff, that his nevo was.
Syne to the castell went thai thar,                                   45
And maid thame mekill fest and far.
Thai sojournyt thair dayis thre
In gret myrth and in rialte.

[16: E _shipping_.]

[46: C _He maid_ (S). E H _And maid_.]

[47, 52: C _sudjornyt_ (S).]

[48: E _And that in myrth and jolyte_. H _royaltie_.]

How King Robert the Bruce passed in Ireland with his
brother Edward.

[Sidenote: 1316] _The Month of May_]

King Robert, apon thiskyn wis,
In-till Irland arivit is:                                             50
And quhen in Cragfergus had he
With his men sojournyt dais thre,
Thai tuk to consell that thai wald,
With all thar folk, thar wayis hald
Throu all Irland, fra end to othir.                                   55
Schir Edward than, the Kingis brothir,
Befor in the avaward raid;
The Kyng him-self the reirward maid,
That had in-till his cumpany
The Erll Thomas, that wes worthy.                                     60
Thair wayis furthwarde haf thai tane,
And soyne are passit Inderwillane.
This wes in the moneth of May,
Quhen byrdis syngis on the spray;
Melland thair notys with sydry sowne,                                 65
For softnes of that sweit sesoune;
And levis on the branchis spredis,
And blomys bricht besyd thame bredis
And feldis florist ar with flowris
Well savourit, of seir colowris;                                      70
And all thing worthis blith and gay;
Quhen that this gud king tuk his way
To ryd furthward, as I said are.
The wardane than, Richard of Clare,
Wist the Kyng wes arivit swa,                                         75
And wist that he schupe for till ta
His way toward the south cuntre.
Of all Irland assemblit he
Bath burges and chevalry
And hobilleris and yhumanry;                                          80
Quhill he had neir fourty thousand.
Both he wald nocht yheit tak on hand
With all his fayis in field to ficht,
But umbethoucht him of a slicht;
That he with all that gret menyhe                                     85
Wald in a wode enbuschit be,
And prevely besyde the way,
Quhar at thar fayis suld pas away,
And let the vaward pas fer by,
And syne assemmyll hardely                                            90
On the reirward, with all thar men.
Thai did as thai devisit then.
In a wode thai enbuschit wer:
The Scottis hoost raid by thame nere;
For thai na schawing of thame maid.                                   95
Schir Edward weill fer forrouth raid
With thame that war of his menyhe;
To the reirward na tent tuk he.

[61: E _southwart_. H _fordward_.]

[64: E _in ilk spray_. H _on ilk_.]

[65: E H _seymly_.]

[69: E _ar strowyt_. H _strowed ar_.]

[70: E _saverand_. H _savouring_.]

[73: E _southwart_. H _southward_.]

[79, 80: C gives--

_Till him a full gret chevelry
Of squyaris, burges and yhemanry_ (S).

But burgesses and yeomanry would not be _chevelry_, and H agrees
with E.]

  And Schir Richard of Clare in hy,
Quhen Schir Edward wes passit by,                                    100
Send wicht yhomen, that weill couth schut,
To bikkir the reirward apon fut.
Than twa of thame that send furth war
At the wode-syde thame bykkirrit thar,
And schot emang the Scottis men.                                     105
The King, that had thar with him then
Five thousand wicht and ek hardy,
Saw thai twa sa abaundonly
Schut emang thaim, and cum so neir;
He wist richt weill, withouten weir,                                 110
That thai weill neir suppowal had.
Tharfor a bydding has he mad,
That no man suld be so hardy
Till prik till thame, but sarraly
Ryde reddy ay in-till battale,                                       115
Till defend gif men wald assale.
“For we sall soyne, I undirta,”
He said, “haf for till do with ma.”

[Sidenote: 1317] _Bruce strikes Sir Colin Campbell_]

  Bot Schir Colyne Cammell, that ner
Wes by quhar thai twa yhomen wer,                                    120
Schutand emang thame hardely,
Prikit on thame in full gret hy,
And soyne the tane he has our-tane,
And with his sper him soyne has slayne.
The tothir turnyt and schot agayne,                                  125
And at a schot his hors has slayne.
With that the King come hastely,
And, in his gret malancoly,
With ane trunsione in-till his nave
To Schir Colyne sic dusche he gave,                                  130
That he dynnyt on his arsoune.
The King bad smertly tyt hym doune,
Bot othir lordis, that war him by,
Ameyssyt the King in sum party.
He said, “The breking of bydding                                     135
“Micht caus be of discomfiting.
“Weyn yhe yhon rebaldis durst assale
“Us so neir, in-till our battale,
“Bot gif thai had suppowale neir?
“I wat richt weill, forouten weir,                                   140
“That we sall have till do in hy;
“Tharfor luk ilk man be reddy.”
With that weill neir thretty and ma
Of bowmen com, and bykkyrrit swa
That thai hurt of the Kyngis men.                                    145
The King has gert his archeris then
Schute for till put thaim than agayne.
With that thai enterit in ane playne,
And saw arayit agane thame stand,
In four battellis, fourty thousand.                                  150

[134: C _Avisit_ (S). H _Hes meased_.]

[Sidenote: 1317] _Success of the Scots_]

  The king said, “Now, lordingis, lat se
“Quha worthy in this ficht sall be.
“On thame forouten mair abaid!”
So stoutly than on thame thai raid,
And assemblit so hardely                                             155
That of thair fayis a gret party
War laid at erd at thar meting.
Thar wes of speris sic bristing,
As athir apon othir raid,
That it a weill gret frusche has maid.                               160
Hors com thair fruschand, hed for hed,
Swa that feill on the grund fell ded.
Mony a wycht and worthy man,
As athir apon othir ran,
War duschit ded doune to the ground;                                 165
The rede blude out of mony a wound
Ruschit in sa gret fusioune than,
That of the blude the stremes ran.
And thai, that wrath war and angry,
Dang on othir so hardely,                                            170
With wapnys that war bricht and bar,
That mony a wicht man ded wes thar.
For thai that hardy war and wicht,
And frontly with thar fayis can ficht,
Pressit thame formast for till be.                                   175
Thair mycht men cruell bargane se,
And hard battall, I tak on hand.
In all the weir of Irland
So hard ane fichting wes nocht seyne:
The-quhethir of gret victoris nynteyne                               180
Schir Edward had, withouten wer,
In-till les than in-to thre yheir;
And in syndry battelis off thai
He vencust twenty thousand and ma,
With trappit hors richt to the feit.                                 185
Bot in all tymis he wes yheit
Ay ane for fyve, quhen lest wes he,
Bot the Kyng, in-to this melle,
Had allwayis aucht of his famen
For ane, bot he swa bar him then,                                    190
That his gud deid and his bounte
Confortit swa all his menyhe,
That the mast coward hardy wes.
For, quhar he saw the thykkest pres,
So hardely on thame he raid,                                         195
That ay about hym rowme he maid.
And Erll Thomas, the worthy,
Wes in all tymis neir hym by,
And faucht as he war in a rage;
Swa that, throu thar gret vassalage,                                 200
Thar men sic hardyment can tak,
That thai no perell wald forsak;
Bot thame abaundonyt so stoutly,
And dang on thame so hardely,
That all thair fayis afrayit war.                                    205
And thai, that saw weill, be thair fair,
That thai eschewit sumdeill the ficht,
Thai dang on thame with all thar mycht,
And pressit thame dyngand so fast,                                  *209
*That thai the bak gaf at the last,
*And thai, that saw thaim tak the flicht,
Pressit thame than with all thar mycht,                             *212
And in thair fleying feill can sla.
The Kingis men has chasit swa,                                       210
That thai war scalit evirilkane.
Richard of Clare the way has tane
To Devillyng, in full gret hy,
With othir lordis that fled him by,
And warnyst bath castell and townys                                  215
That war in thair possessiownis.

[177: C _I undirstand_ (S). E H _tak on hand_.]

[178: C _In-til_ (S). S also inserts _all_, which C omits here, but
inserts before _Irland_, which it gives as _Ingland_. C is clearly

[*197, *198:

_That he slew all he might ourtak
And rudely rushed them abak._--In H only.]

[184: E _xxx_. H _twentie_.]

[206: C _by thair_ (S).]

[*209-*212: In C H, not in E; owing to occurrence of two _mychts_.]

  Thai war so felly fleyit thar,
That, as I trow, Richard of Clar
Sall haf no will to faynd hys mycht
In battell, na in fors of fycht,                                     220
Quhill King Robert and his menyhe
Is duelland in-to that cuntre.
Thai stuffit strynthis on this wis;
And the King, that wes sa till pris,
Saw in the feild richt mony slayn.                                   225
And ane of thame that thar wes tane,
That wes arayit jolely,
He saw greit wondir tendirly,
And askit him quhy he maid sic cher:
He said him, “Schir, forouten wer,                                   230
“It is no wonder thouch I grete,
“I se feill heir fellit to fete,
“The flour of all north Irland,
“That hardyest wes of hert and hand,
“And mast doutit in hard assay.”                                     235
The King said, ‘Thou has wrang, perfay;
‘Thou has mair caus myrthis till ma,
‘For thou the ded eschapit swa.’

[229: C _He askit_ (S).]

[232: E _lossyt the suet_. H _slain at my feete_.]

[Sidenote: 1317] _The King and the Laundress_]

Rychard of Clare on this maner,
And all his folk, discumfit wer,                                     240
With few folk, as I to yhow tald.
And quhen Edward the Bruce so bald,
Wist at the King had fouchten swa,
With sa feill folk, and he thar-fra,
Micht no man se ane wrathar man.                                     245
Bot the gude King said till hym than,
That it wes in his awn foly,
For he raid sa unwittandly
So fer befor, and no avaward
Maid to thame of the reirward,                                       250
For, he said, quha on were wald ryde
In the vaward, he suld na tyde
Press fra his rerward fer of sycht;
For gret perell so fall thair mycht.
Of this ficht will we spek no mair.                                  255
The King, and all that with him war,
Raid furthwarde in-to bettir aray,
And neir to-giddir than ere did thai.
Throu all the land planly thai raid;
Thai fand nane that thame warnyng maid.                              260
Thai raid evin forrouth Drouchyndra,
And forrouth Devilling syne alsua:
Bot to gif battale nane thai fand.
Syne thai went forthwarde in the land,
And sowth till Lynrike held their way,                               265
That is the southmast toune, perfay,
That in Irland may fundyn be.
Thair lay thai dayis twa or thre,
And buskit syne agane to fare.
And quhen that thai all reddy war,                                   270
The King has herd ane woman cry,
He askit quhat that wes in hy.
“It is ane landar, schir,” said ane,
“That hir childyne richt now has tane;
“And mon leve now behynd us her,                                     275
“Tharfor scho makis yhon evill cher.”
The King said; ‘Certis, it war pite
‘That scho in that poynt left suld be;
‘For certis, I trow, thar is no man
‘That he ne will rew a woman than.’                                  280
His host all than arestit he,
And gert ane tent soyne stentit be,
And gert her gang in hastely,
And othir women till be hir by,
Quhill scho delyver wes, he bad;                                     285
And syne furth on his wayis raid;
And how scho furth suld caryit be,
Or evir he fure, than ordanit he.
This wes a full gret curtasy,
That sic a Kyng and swa mychty,                                      290
Gert his men duell on this maner
Bot for a full pouir laynder.
Northward agane thai tuk the way,
Throu all Irland thus passit thai,
Throw Conage richt to Devilling,                                     295
And throu all Myth, and Irell syne,
And Monester, and Lenester,
And syne haly throu Ullister,
To Cragfergus, forout battell;
For thar wes nane durst thame assale.                                300
The kingis than of the Eryschrye
Come to Schir Edwarde halely;
And thair manrent till him ma,
Bot gif that it war ane or twa.
Till Cragfergus thai come agane;                                     305
In all that way wes no bargane,
Bot gif that ony punyhe wer,
That is nocht for till spek of her.
The Erische kyngis than evirilkane
Hayme till thar awne repar ar gane,                                  310
And undirtuk in all-kyn thyng
For till obeys till the biddyng
Of Schir Edward, that thar king call thai.
He wes weill set now in gud way
To conquest the land all halely;                                     315
For he had apon his party
The Eryschry and Ullister,
And he wes swa furth of his wer
That he was passit throu all Irland,
Fra end till end throu strynth of hand.                              320
Couth he haf governit hym throu skill,
And fallowit nocht to fast his will,
Bot with mesour haf led his deid,
It wes weill lik, withouten dreid,
That he mycht haff conquerit weill                                   325
The land of Irland everilk deill.
Bot his outrageous succudry
And will, that mar wes than hardy,
Of purpos letit hym, perfay,
As I heir-eftir sall yhow say.                                       330

[260: E _obstakill maid_.]

[264: E _southwart_.]

[265: E _rycht till_.]

[265: C _Lunyk_ (S). E _Kynrike_. H _Lynrike_. In Anderson’s edition
we find _Lymrik_.]

[280: C _up-on woman_ (S). H like E.]

[293: E H _lavender_.]

[295: E _Connach_. H _Connoch_.]

[296: E _Methy_. H _Mich_. E _Iereby_. H _Irrelle_.]

How the Good Douglas slew the Earl Richmond of England.

[Sidenote: APRIL 1317] _Douglas at Lintalee_]

Now leiff we heir the nobill King
All at his eis, and his liking,
And spek we of the lord Douglas,
That left to kep the marchis was.
He gert get wrichtis that wes sle,                                   335
And in the hawch of Lyntoun-le
He gert thame mak a fair maner.
And quhen the housis biggit wer,
He gert purvay him richt weill thar;
For he thoucht for till make infair,                                 340
And till mak gud cher till his men.
In Rychmond wes thar wonnand then
Ane Erll men callit Schir Thomas.
He had invy at the Dowglas,
And said, gif that he his baner                                      345
Micht se displayit apon wer,
That soyn assemble on it suld he.
He herd how Dowglas thoucht to be
At Lyntoun-le ane fest till ma.
And he had wittyng weill alsua,                                      350
That the King and a gret menyhe,
War passit than of the cuntre,
And the Erll of Murref, Thomas.
Tharfor he thoucht the cuntre was
Febill of men for till withstand                                     355
Men that thame soucht with stalward hand:
And of the marchis than had he
The governale, and the pouste.
He gaderit folk about hym then,
Quhill he wes neir ten thousand men,                                 360
And wode-axis gert with hym tak;
For he thoucht he his men wald mak
Till hew doune Jedward forest cleyne,
That na tre suld tharin be seyne.

[336: E _Lyntaile_. H _Lyntalle_.]

[Sidenote: APRIL, 1317] _Douglas slays Richmond_]

  Thai held thaim furthward on thar way;                             365
Bot the gud lord of Dowglas ay
Had spyis out on ilka syde,
And had gud witting that thai wald ryde,
And cum apon hym suddanly.
Than gaderit he richt hastely                                        370
Thame that he mycht of his menyhe.
I trow that than with hym had he
Fifty, that worthy war and wicht,
At all poynt armyt weill and dicht;
And of archeris a gret menyhe                                        375
Assemblit als with hym had he.
A place thar was thar in the way,
Quhar he wist weill thai wald away,
That had wode apon athir syde;
The entre wes weill large and wyde;                                  380
And as ane schelde it narrowit ay
Quhill that, in-till ane place, the way
Wes nocht a penny-stane cast of breid.
The lord of Douglas thidder yheid,
Quhen he wist thai war neir cumand,                                  385
And in a clewch on the ta hand,
All his archeris enbuschit he,
And bad thame hald thame all preve
Quhill that thai herd him rais the cry,
And than suld thai schute hardely                                    390
Emang thar fayis, and hald thame thar
Quhill that he throu thame passit war;
And syne with him furth hald suld thai.
Than byrkis on athir syde the way,
That yhoung and thik wes growand ner,                                395
He knyt to-giddir on sic maner,
That men mycht nocht weill throu thame ryde.
Quhen this wes done, he can abyde
Apon the tothir half the way:
And Richmond in-till gude aray                                       400
Com rydand in the first escheill.
The lorde Dowglas has seyn him weill,
And gert his men all hald thame still,
Quhill richt at hand thai com thame till
And enterit in the narrow way.                                       405
Than with a schout on thame schot thai,
Cryand on hicht, “Douglas! Douglas!”
Than Richmonde, that rycht worthy was,
Quhen he has herd sa ris the cry,
And Dowglas baner saw planly,                                        410
He dressit him thiddir-ward in hy.
And thai come on sa hardely,
That thai throu thame maid thame gud way;
All at thai met till erd bar thai.
The Richmond borne doune thar was;                                   415
On hym arestit the Dowglas,
And him reversit, syne with a knyff
Richt in that place hym reft the liff.
Ane hat apon his helm he bare,
And that tuk Douglas with him thar                                   420
In taknyng, for it furrit was.
And syne in hy his way he tais,
Quhill in the wode thai enterit war.
The archeris weill has borne thame thar;
For weill and hardely schot thai.                                    425
The Inglis rout in gret effray
War set, for Douglas suddandly,
With all thame of his cumpany,
Or evir thai wist, war in thar rout,
And thrillit thame weill neir throuout;                              430
And had almast all done his deid,
Or thai till help thame couth take hede.

[391: E _and sow thaim sair_. H _saile them saire_.]

[401: C _battale_ (S). H _eshell_.]

[402: C _seyn weill all_ (S). H as E.]

[408: _Rycht_ is from H alone (S).]

  And quhen thai saw thar lord wes slayne,
Thai tuk him up, and turnyt agayne
Till draw thame fra the schot away.                                  435
Than in ane playne assemblit thai;
And, for thar lord that thar wes ded,
Thai schupe thame in that ilke sted
For till take herbery all that nycht.
And than the Douglas, that wes wicht,                                440
Gat wittering that ane clerk, Elys,
With weill thre hundreth enymys,
All straucht till Lyntoun-le war gane,
And herbery for thair host had tane.
Than thiddir is he went in hy,                                       445
With all thame of his cumpany,
And fand clerk Elis at the met,
And all his rout about him set.
And thai com on thaim stoutly thair,
And with suerdis that scharply schar                                 450
Thai servit thame full egyrly.
Thai war slayn doune so halely,
That thar weill neir eschapit nane;
Thai servit thame in sa gret wayne
With scherand swerdis and with knyvis,                               455
That weill neir all lesyt thar livis.
Thai had ane felloune entremas,
For that surcharge to chargeand was!
Thai that eschapit thair throu cas
Richt till thar host thar wayis tais,                                460
And tald how that thar men war slayne
So cleyne that neir eschapit nane.
And quhen thai of the host has herd
How that the Dowglas with thame ferd,
That had thar herbreouris all slayne,                                465
And ruschit als thame-self agane,
And slew thar lord in-myd thar rowt,
Ther wes nane of thame all sa stowt,
That mair will had than till assale
The Dowglas; tharfor till consale                                    470
Thai yheid, and till purpos has tane
Till wend hamward, and haym ar gane;
And sped thame swa apon thair way,
That in Ingland soyne cummyn ar thai.
The forest left thai standand still;                                 475
Till hew it than thai had no will:
And specialy quhill the Dowglas
So neir hand by thair nychtbour was.
And he, that saw thame turn agane,
Persavit weill thar lord wes slane,                                  480
And by the hat that he had tane
He wist alsua weill; for ane,
That takyn wes, said him suthly,
That the Richmond commonly
Wes wount that furrit hat to were.                                   485
Than Dowglas blithar wes than ere;
For he weill wist that the Richmond,
His felloune fa, wes broucht to ground.

[434: C _and went_ (S). H _turned_.]

[449: C _on hym_ (S). H as E.]

[Sidenote: 1317] _Three Feats by Fifty Men_]

Schir James of Dowglas, on this wis,
Throu his worschip and gret empris,                                  490
Defendit worthely the land.
This poynt of weir, I tak on hand,
Wes undirstane so apertly,
And eschevit richt hardely.
For he stonayit, withouten weir,                                     495
The folk that weill ten thousand weir,
With fifty armyt men but ma.
I can als tell yhow othir twa
Poyntis, that weill eschevit weir
With fifty men; and, but all weir,                                   500
Thai war done swa richt hardely,                                    *501
*That thai war prisit soveranly,
*Atour all othir poyntis of wer
That in thar tym eschevit wer.                                      *504
This wes the first, that sa stoutly
Wes broucht till end weill with fifty.
In Galloway the tothir fell;
Quhen, as yhe forrouth herd me tell,
Schir Edward the Bruys, with fifty,                                  505
Vencust of Saint Johne Schir Amery,
And fifteene hundreth men be tale.
The thrid fell in-to Eske-dale,
Quhen that Schir Jhone the Sowlis was
The governour of all that plas,                                      510
That to Schir Androu the Herdclay
With fifty men withset the way,
That had thar in his cumpany
Thre hundreth horsit jolely.
This Schir Jhone in-to plane melle,                                  515
Throu hardyment and soverane bounte
Vencust thame sturdely ilkane,
And Schir Androu in hand has tane.
I will nocht rehers all the maner;
For quha sa likis, thai may heir                                     520
Yhoung women, quhen thai will play,
Syng it emang thame ilke day.
Thir war the worthy poyntis thre,
That, I trow, evirmar sall be
Prisit, quhill men may on thaim meyn.                                525
It is weill worth, forouten weyn,
That thar namys for evirmar,
That in thar tyme so worthy war
That men till heir yheit has dantee
Of thair worschip and gret bounte,                                   530
Be lestand ay furth in lovyng:
Quhare he, that is of hevyn the king,
Bring thame hye up till hevynnis blis,
Quhar alway lestand loving is!

[*501-*504: Not in E. In C H.]

[505: C _Brys_ (S).]

[507: E _fyfty_. H _fifteene_. C _xv_ (S).]

[Sidenote: 1317] _An English Fleet in the Forth_]

In-till this tyme that the Rychmond                                  535
Was on this maner broucht to ground,
Men of the cost of Ingland,
That duelt on Hummyr or neirhand,
Gaderit thame a gret menyhe,
And went with schippes to the se,                                    540
And toward Scotland went in hy,
And in the Firth com hastely.
Thai wend till haf all thar liking:
For thai wist richt weill at the King
Wes than fer out of the cuntre,                                      545
And with him mony of gret bounte.
Tharfor in-to the Firth com thai
And endlang it up held thai thar way,
Quhill thai, besyde Enverkethyne,
On west half, toward Dunfermlyne,                                    550
Tuk land, and fast begouth to reif.
The Erll of Fiff and the schirreff
Saw till thar cost schippes approachand:
Thai gaderit till defend thair land,
And ay forgane the schippis ay,                                      555
As thai salit, thai held thar way,
And thoucht till let thame land to tak,
And quhen the schipmen saw thame mak
Sie contenans in sic aray,
Thai said emang thaim all, that thai                                 560
Wald nocht let for thame land to ta,
Than to the land thai sped thame swa,
That thai com thair in full gret hy
And arivit full hardely.
The Scottis men saw thair cummyng,                                   565
And had of thame sic abasyng,
That thai all sammyn raid thame fra,
And the land letles leit thame ta.
Thai durst nocht fecht with thame, for-thi
Thai withdrew thame all halely;                                      570
The-quhethir thai war fyve hundreth ner.
  Quhen thai away thus ridand wer,
And na defens begouth to schop,
Of Dunkelden the gude bischop,
That men callit Willyhame Syncler                                    575
Com with a rout in gud manere,
I trow on hors thai war sexty.
Hym-self wes armyt jolely,
And raid apon a stalward steid.
A chemeyr, for till heill his weid,                                  580
Above his armyng had he then;
And als weill armyt wes his men.
The Erll with the schirreff met he,
Awayward with thar gret menyhe:
And askyt thame weill soyn, quhat hy                                 585
Maid thame till turne so hastely.
Thai said, thair fais with stalward hand
Had in sic fusioune takyne land,
That thai thoucht thame allout to fele,
And thame to few with thame to dele.                                 590
Quhen the bischop herd it wes sa,
He said; “The King aucht weill to ma
“Of yhow, that takis sa weill on hand
“In his absens till wer the land.
“Certis, gif he gert serve yhow weill,                               595
“The gilt spuris, richt by the heill,
“He suld in hy ger hew yhow fra;
“Richt wald with cowardis men did swa.
“Quha lufis his lord and his cuntre,
“Turne smertly now agane with me!”                                   600
With that he kest of his chemer,
And hynt in hand a stalward sper,
And raid toward his fayis in hy.
All turnyt with hym halely;
For he had thame reprevit swa,                                       605
That of thame all nane went him fra.
He raid befor thame sturdely,
And thai hym followyt sarraly,
Quhill that thai com neir approchand
To thar fais that had tane land.                                     610
And sum war knyt in gud aray,
And sum war set to the forray.

[548: C _endlang furth held thai thar way_. E _it up held thai_. H _it
held up their way_.]

[549: E _Enverkething_.]

[550: E _Dunferling_.]

[Sidenote: 1317] _The Wonderful Feat of an Englishman_]

  The gud bischop, quhen he thame saw,
He said; “Lordingis, but dreid or aw,
“Prek we apon thame hardely,                                         615
“And we sall haf thame weill lichtly,
“Se thai us cum but abaysing,
“Swa that we mak heir na stynting,
“Thai sall weill soyne discumfit be.
“Now dois weill; for men sall se,                                    620
“Quha lufis the Kyngis mensk to-day.”
Than all to-giddir in gud aray
Thai prekit apon thame sturdely.
The bischop, that wes richt hardy
And mekill and stark, raid forrouth ay.                              625
Than in a frusche assemblit thai.
And thai that, at the first metyng
Of speris, feld so sair sowing,
Wayndist and wald haf beyn away;
Toward thar schippis in hy held thai,                                630
And thai com chassand felonly,
And slew thame sa dispitfully,
That all the feldis strowit war
Of Inglis men that slayn wes thar.
And thai that yheit held unslayn,                                    635
Pressit thame to the se agane.
And Scottis men, that chassit swa,
Slew all that thai mycht our-ta.
Bot thai that fled yheit, nocht-for-thi,
Swa till thar schippis can thame hy,                                 640
And in sum bargis sa feill can ga,
And thair fais thame chasit swa,
That thai ourtummyllit, and the men
That war thar-in all drownit then.
Thar did ane Inglis man, perfay,                                     645
A weill gret strynth, as I herd say.
For quhen he chassit wes to the bat,
A Scottis man, that him handlyt hat,
He hynt than by the armys twa;
And, war him weill or war him wa,                                    650
He evin apon his bak hym flang,
And with hym till the bat can gang,
And kest him in, all magre his.
This wes ane weill gret strynth, i-wis.
The Inglis men, that wan away,                                       655
Till thair schippes in hy went thai.
And salit hayme, angry and wa
That thai had beyn reboytit swa.

How Good King Robert the Bruce came Home again from

[Sidenote: 1318] _King Robert returns from Ireland_]

Qwhen that the schipmen on this wis
War discumfit, as I devis,                                           660
The bischop, that so weill hym bare
That he all hertit that was thar,
Wes yheit in-to the fechting-sted,
Quhar that fyve hundreth neir wes ded,
Forouten thame that drownyt war.                                     665
And quhen the feld wes spulyheit bare,
Thai went all hayme to thar repare.
To the bischop is fallen faire,
That, throu his pris and his bounte,
Has eschevit sa gret journee;                                        670
The Kyng tharfor, ay fra that day,
Hym lufit, honorit and prisit ay,
And held hym in-to sic daynte
That “his awne bischop” him callit he.
Thus thai defendit the cuntre                                        675
Apon bath halfis the Scottis Se,
Quhill that the King wes out of land,
That than, as I have borne on hand,
Throu all Irland his cours had maid,
And agane to Cragfergus raid.                                        680
And quhen his brothir, as he war King,
Had all Erischry at his bidding,
And halely Ulcister alsua,
He buskit hame his way to ta.
Of his men that war mast hardy                                       685
And prisit of all chevelry,
With his brothir gret part left he,
And syne he went on-to the se.
Quhen thair levis on athir party
Wes tane, he went to schip in hy.                                    690
The Erll Thomas with him he had;
Thai rasit salys but abaid,
And in the land of Gallowa,
Forouten perell, arivit thai.


The Winning of the Town of Berwick by the Scots Men,
through the Means of Sim of Spalding.

  The lordis of the land wes fayne
Quhen thai wist he wes cummyn agane,
And till him went in full gret hy,
And he resavit thame richt gladly,
And maid a fest and gladsum cher.                                      5
And thai so wondirly blith wer
Of his come, that na toung mycht say;
Gret fest and fair till him maid thai.
Quhar-evir he raid, all the cuntre
Gaderit in daynte him to se.                                          10

  Gret gladschip than wes in the land;
All than wes wonnyne till his hand;
Fra Redis Swyr till Orkynnay
Wes nocht of Scotland fra his fay,
Outaken Berwik it allane.                                             15
That tyme thar-in wonnyt ane,
That capitane wes of the toune.
All Scottis men in suspicioune
He held, and tretit thame richt ill;
He had ay at thame hevy will,                                         20
And had thame fast at undir ay.
Quhill that it fell, apon a day,
That a burges, Sym of Spaldyng,
Thoucht it wes richt ane angry thing
Ay swagat till reboytit be;                                           25
Tharfor in-till his hert thoucht he,
That he wald slely mak covyne
With the marschall, quhais cosyne
He had weddit on-till his wiff;
And as he thoucht he did beliff.                                      30
Letteris till him he send in hy
With a trast man all prevaly;
And set hym tym to cum a nycht
With ledderis and gud men and wicht,
Till the Kow-yhet all prevely;                                        35
And bad him hald his trast treuly,
And he suld meit thame at the wall;
For his wach thar that nycht suld fall.
Quhen the marschall the letteris saw,
He umbethoucht him than a thraw;                                      40
For he wist, be him-selvin he
Micht nocht of mycht na power be
For till escheve so gret a thing:
And gif he tuk till his helping,
Ane or othir suld wrethit be.                                         45
Tharfor richt till the King yheid he,
And schawit him betuix thai twa
The lettir and the charge alsua.
Quhen that the King herd that this trane
Wes spokin in-to sic certane,                                         50
That him thoucht thar-in na fantys,
He said him; “Certis, thou wroucht has wis,
“That thou discoverit first till me;
“For gif thou had discoverit thee
“Till my nevo, the Erll Thomas,                                       55
“Thou suld disples the lord Douglas;
“And him alsua in the contrer.
“Bot I sall wirk on sic maner,
“That thou at thine entent sall be,
“And have of nane of thame magre.                                     60
“Thou sall tak kep weill to thi day,
“And with thame that thou purches may
“At evin thou sall enbuschit be
“In Duns park; bot be preve.
“And I sall ger the Erll Thomas,                                      65
“And the lord alsua of Dowglas,
“Athir with ane quheyne of men,
“Be thair till do as thou sall ken.”

[33: C _at_ (S). H _ane_. E _a_.]

[Sidenote: APRIL, 1318] _The Scots enter Berwick secretly_]

  The marschall than but mair delay
Tuk lief, and held on furth his way;                                  70
And held the spek preve and still,
Quhill the day that wes set him till.
Than of the best of Lowdyane
He with him till his trist has tane;
For schirreff thar-off than wes he.                                   75
Till Duns park with his menyhe
He come at evyn all prevely.
And syne, with a gude cumpany,
Soyne eftir come the Erll Thomas,
That wes met with the lord Douglas.                                   80
A richt fair cumpany thai war,
Quhen thai war met to-giddir thar.
And quhen the marschall the covyne
Till bath the lordis, lyne be lyne,
Had tald, thai went on furth thar way;                                85
Fer fra the toune thar hors left thai.
Till mak it schort, swa thai wroucht than
That, but seying of ony man,
Outane Sym of Spaldyne allane,
That gert the deid be undirtane,                                      90
Thai set thair ledderis to the wall,
And, but persaving, com up all;
And held thame in ane nuke preve,
Quhill at the nycht suld passit be.
And ordanit that the mast party                                       95
Of thair men suld gang sarraly
With thar lordis, and hald a staill,
And the remanand suld all haill
Scaill throu the toun, and tak and sla
The men that thai mycht our-ta.                                      100

[Sidenote: APRIL, 1318] _The Bravery of Sir William Keith_]

  Bot soyn thar ordinans brak thai;
For, als soyn as it dawit day,
The twa part of thair men and ma,
All scalit, throu the toun to-ga;
Sa gredy war thai till the gude,                                     105
That thai ran richt as thai war woude,
And sesit housis and slew men.
And thai that saw thair fais then
Cum apon thame suddanly,
Throu-out the toun thai rasit the cry,                               110
And schot to-gidder heir and thair:
And ay, as thai assemblit war,
Thai wald abyde and mak debat.
Had thai beyn warnyt, weill I wat,
Thai suld haf sald thair dedis der;                                  115
For thai war gud men, and thai wer
Fer ma than thai war at thame soucht;
Bot thai war scalit sa at thai moucht
On na maner assemblit be.
Thar wes gret melleis twa or thre;                                   120
Bot Scottis men so weill thame bar
That thair fais ay ruschit war;
And cumrayit at the last war swa
That thai haly the bak can ta.
Sum gat the castell, bot nocht all;                                  125
And sum ar slyddin our the wall,
And sum war in-to handis tane,
And sum war in the bargane slane.
On this wis thame contenit thai,
Quhill it wes neir noyne of the day;                                 130
Than thai that in the castell war,
And othir that fled to thame thar,
That war a richt gret cumpany,
Quhan thai the baner saw sympilly
Swa standand, stuffit with sa quhoyn,                                135
Thar yhettis haf thai opnyt soyn,
And yschit on thame hardely.
Than Erll Thomas, that wes worthy
And als the gude lord of Douglas,
With the few folk that with thame was,                               140
Met thame stoutly with wapnys seir;
Thar men mycht se, that had beyn neir,
Men abaundoune thame hardely.
The Inglis men faucht cruelly,
And with all mychtis can thame payne                                 145
Till rusche the Scottis men agane.
I trow thai had swa done, perfay,
For thai war fewar far than thai,
Gif it ne had beyn ane new maid knycht,
That till his name Schyr Wilyhame hicht                              150
Of Keth, and of the Gawlistoune
He hecht, throu difference of sur-noune,
That bair him sa rycht weill that day,
And put him till sa hard assay,
And sic dyntis about him dang,                                       155
That, quhar he saw the thikast thrang,
He prikit with sa mekill mycht,
And sua enforsaly can ficht,
That he maid till his menyhe way:
And thai that neir war by him ay                                     160
Dang on thair fayis sa hardely,
That thai haf tane the bak haly
And till the castell held thair way.
And at gret myscheiff enterit thai,
For thai war pressit thair so fast,                                  165
That thai feill lesit of the last;
Bot thai that enterit, nocht-for-thi,
Sparit thair yhettis hastely;
And in hy to the wallis ran,
For thai war nocht all sekir than.                                   170

The toune wes takyn on this wis
Throu gret worschip and hye empris;
And all the gud that thai thar fand
Wes sesit smertly in-till hand.
Vittaill thai fand in gret fusionne,                                 175
And all that fell till stuff of toune;
That kepit that fra distroying,
And syne has word send to the King.
And he wes of that tithing blith,
And sped him thiddirward full swith.                                 180
And as he throu the cuntre raid
Men gaderit till him, quhill he had
A mekill rout of worthy men.
And the folk that war wonand then
In-till the Mers and Tevidaill,                                      185
And in the Forest als all haill,
And the est end of Lowdiane,
Befor that the King com, ar gane
To Berwik with a stalward hand,
That nane that wes that tyme wonand                                  190
On yhond half Tweid durst weill apeir.
And thai that in the castell weir,
Quhen thai thair fais in sic plente
Saw forrouth thame assemblit be,
And had na hope of reskewyng,                                        195
Thai war abasit in gret thing.
Bot thai the castell, nocht-for-thi,
Held thai fiff dayis sturdely,
Syne yhald it on the sext day,
And till thair cuntre syne went thai.                                200

[172: C _With gret_. H _Through_.]

Here Walter Stewart took of the King
Both town and castle in keeping.

  Thus wes the castell and the toune
Till Scottis mennys possessioun
Broucht: and soyn eftir the King
Com ridand with his gadering
Till Berwik; and in the casteill                                     205
He herbryit is, bath fair and weill
And all his gret lordis hym by.
The remanand all comonly
Till herbry in the toun ar gane.
The King has than till consell tane,                                 210
That he wald nocht brek doune the wall,
Bot castell, and the toune with-all,
Stuff weill with men and with vittaill
And alkynd othir apparaill
That mycht availl, or yheit mysteir                                  215
Till hald castell or toune of wer.

And Walter, Steward of Scotland,
That than wes yhoung and avenand,
And sone-in-law wes to the King,
Had sa gret will and sic yharnyng,                                   220
Neirhand the marchis for till be,
At Berwik to yhemsall tuk he;
And resavit of the Kyng the toune,
Bath the castell and the dungeoune.

[202: C _Scottis men_ (S).]

[Sidenote: 1318] _Berwick prepared for Siege_]

The king gert men of gret nobillay                                   225
Ryde in-till Ingland for till pray,
That broucht out gret plente of fee;
And sum cuntreis trewit he
For vittale, that in gret foysoune
He gert bring smertly to the toune,                                  230
Swa that bath toune and castell war
Weill stuffit for ane yheir and mair.
The gude Steward of Scotland then
Send for his frendis and his men,
Quhill he had with him, but archeris,                                235
But burges and botoblesteris,
Fiff hundreth men wicht and worthy,
That armys bar of ancistry.
Johne Crab, a Flemyne, als had he,
That wes of gret subtilite,                                          240
Till ordane till mak aparale
For till defend and till assale
Castell of wer or than cite,
That nane slear mycht fundin be.
He gert engynis and trammys ma,                                      245
And purvait grec fyre alsua;
Spryngaldis and schotis on seir maneris
That till defend castell afferis,
He purvait in-till full gret wane.
Bot gynis for crakkis had he nane;                                   250
For in Scotland yheit than, but wene,
The oys of thame had nocht beyn sene
And quhen the toune apon this wis
Wes stuffit, as I heir devis,
The nobill King his way has tane                                     255
And ryddin toward Lowiane.
And Walter Steward, that wes stout,
He left in Berwik with his rout,
And ordanit fast for apparaill
Till defend gif men wald assaill.                                    260

[245: C _trammys_ or _crammys_. E _cranys_ or _tranys_. H _trames_.
Owing to the similarity of ‘t’ and ‘c’ in MSS. the reading is

[246: For the reason explained above it is doubtful whether we should
here read _gret_ or _grec_--_i.e._, Greek--probably the latter.]

[Sidenote: AUG.-SEPT., 1319] _Berwick beset by Land and Sea_]

Qwhen till the King of Ingland
Wes tald how that, with stalward hand,
Berwik wes tane, and stuffit syne
With men and vittale and armyne,
He wes anoyit gretumly;                                              265
And gert assembill hastely
His consale, and has tane to rede
That he his host wald thiddir leid,
And, with all mycht that he mycht get,
To the toune ane assege set,                                         270
And gert dik thame so stalwardly,
That, quhill thame likit thair to ly,
Thai suld fer out the traster be.
And gif the men of the cuntre
With strynth of men wald thame assale,                               275
At thair dykis in-to battale,
Thai suld avantage have gretly,
And thouch all suth, for gret foly
War till assaill in-to fechting
At his dikis so stark a thing.                                       280
Quhen his consell on this maneir
Wes tane, he gert bath fer and neir
His host haly assemblit be:
A gret folk than with him had he.
Of Lancister the Erll Thomas,                                        285
That syne wes sanctit, as men sais,
In-till his cumpany wes thar,
And all the erllis als that war
In Ingland worthy for to ficht,
And baronis als of mekill mycht,                                     290
With him to that assege had he:
And gert the schippes by the se
Bring schot and othir apparale,
With gret warnysing of vittale.
To Berwik with all this menyhe,                                      295
With his bataillis arayit, come he;
And till gret lordis, ilkane syndri,
Ordanit ane felde for thar herbry.
That men mycht se soyne palyheonis
Be stentit on syndry fassownys,                                      300
So feill that thai a toune maid thair
Mair than bath toune and castell war.
On othir half syne, on the se,
The schippis com in sic plente,
With vittale, armyng, and with men,                                  305
That all the havyn wes stoppit then.

[271: C E _gert_. H _gart_. Skeat says these are “all wrong,” and that
the proper reading is _ger_.]

[285: E H _Longcastill_.]

[296: C _vittalis_ (S). H _battels_ as in E.]

  And quhen thai that war in the toune
Saw thair fais in sic foysoune
By land and se cum sturdely,
Thai, as wicht men and richt worthy                                  310
Schupe thame for till defend thar stede,
That thai in aventur of dede
Suld put thame, or than rusche agane
Thar fais; for thair capitane
Tretit thame sa lusumly,                                             315
And thar-with-all the mast party
Of thame that armyt with hym wer,
War of his blude and sib him ner,
Or ellis thai war his allye.
Of sic confort men mycht thaim se,                                   320
And of sa richt fair contenyng,
As nane of thame had abasing.
On dayis arayit weill war thai,
And on the nycht weill wachit ay.
Weill sex dais thai swa abaid,                                       325
That thai na full gret bargane maid.

[318: C _sib men_ (S).]

How Walter Stewart was assailed in Berwick by the King of England.

In-till this tym that I tell here,
That thai withouten bargane wer,
The Inglis-men sa closit had
Thar host with dikis at thai maid,                                   330
That thai war strynthit gretumly.
Syne with all handis besaly
Thai schupe thame with thar apparale
Thame of the toune for till assale.
And of our Ladeis evin Mary,                                         335
That bare the byrth that all can by,
That men callis hir Nativite,
Soyn in the mornyng men mycht se
The Inglis host arme thame in hy,
And display baneris sturdely;                                        340
And assemmyll till thar baneris
With instrumentis on seir maneris,
As scaffaldis, ledderis, and coveryngis,
Pykis, howis, and ek staff-slyngis;
Till ilk lord and his battale                                        345
Wes ordanit quhar he suld assale.
And thai within, quhen that thai saw
That menyhe raynge thame swa on raw,
Till thar wardis thai went in hy,
That war stuffit rycht stalwardly                                    350
With stanys, schot, and othir thing
That nedit till thair defending:
And in-to sic maner abaid
Thair fais that till assayl thame maid.

[343: C _scaffatis_ (S). H _scaffolds_.]

[Sidenote: SEPT. 7, 1319] _A Fierce Attack and Defence_]

  Quhen thai without war all redy,                                   355
Thai trumpit till ane sawt in hy;
And ilk man with his apparale,
Quhar he suld be, went till assaile.
Till ilk kyrneill that wes thair
Archeris till schute assignit war.                                   360
And quhen on this wis thai war boune,
Thai went in hy toward the toune,
And fillit dykis richt hastely,
Syne to the wallis hardely
Thai went with ledderis that thai haid;                              365
Bot thai so gret defens has maid,
That war abovin apon the wall,
That oft ledderis, and men with-all,
Thai gert fall flatlynges to the grounde.
Than men mycht se in litill stound                                   370
Men assalyheand richt hardely,
Dressand up ledderis douchtely,
And sum on ledderis pressand war;
Bot thai that on the wall wes thar
Till all perellis can abandoune                                      375
Thame, till thair fais war doungyn doune.
At gret myschef defendit thai
Thair toune; for, gif we suth sall say,
The wallis of the toune than wer
Sa law, that a man with a sper                                       380
Micht strike ane othir up in the face.
And the schot als so thik thar was
That it wes wonder for till se.
Walter Steward, with a menyhe,
Raid ay about, for to se quhar                                       385
That for till help mast myster war:
And quhar men pressit mast, he maid
Succoure till his that myster had.
The mekill folk that wes without
Haid enveronyt the toune about,                                      390
Swa that na part of it wes fre.
Thar mycht men the assailyheouris se
Abandoune thame richt hardely;
And the defendouris douchtely
With all thar mychtis can thame payne                                395
Till put thair fais fors agane.

[Sidenote: SEPT. 7, 1319] _The Assault is abandoned_]

  On this wis thame contenit thai
Quhill noyne wes passit of the day.
Than thai that in the schippes war
Ordanit a schip with full gret far                                   400
Till cum with all hir apparale
Richt to the wall, for till assale.
Till myd-mast up thair bat thai drew,
With armyt men tharin inew:
A brig thai had for till lat fall                                    405
Richt fra the bat apon the wall.
With bargis by hir can thai row,
And pressit thame full fast to tow
Hir by the brighous to the wall:
On that entent thai set thame all.                                   410
Thai broucht hir quhill scho com weill neir:
Than mycht men se on seir maner
Sum men defend, and sum assale
Full besaly with gret travale.
Thai of the toune so weill thame bare,                               415
That the schipmen sa handillit war,
That thai the schip on na maner
Mycht ger cum till the wall so neir,
That thar fall-brig mycht reik thar-till,
So lang abaid thai fechtand still                                    420
Quhill that scho ebbit on the ground;
Than mycht men, in a litill stound,
Se thame be fer of war covyne
Than thai war eir, that war hir in.
And quhen the se wes ebbit sa,                                       425
That men all dry till hir mycht ga,
Out of the toune yschit in hy
Till hir a weill gret cumpany,
And fyre till hir has kendlyt soyne:
In-till schort tyme swa haf thai done,                               430
That thai in fyre has gert hir bryn.
And sum war slayn that war hir in,
And sum fled and away are gane.
Ane engynour thair haf thai tane,
That sleast wes of that mister                                       435
That men wist outhir fer or ner;
In-to the toun syne enterit thai.
It fell thame happely, perfay,
That thai gat in so hastely;
For thar come a gret cumpany                                         440
In full gret hy up by the se,
Quhen thai the schip saw byrnand be.
Bot or thai com, the tothir war past,
The yhet thai barrit and closit fast.
That folk assalyheit fast that day,                                  445
And thai within defendit ay
On sic a wis, that thai that war
With gret enfors assalyheand thar
Mycht do thar will on na maner.
And quhen that evynsang-tym wes neir,                                450
The folk without, that wer wery,
And sum woundit full cruelly,
Saw thame within defend thaim swa;
And saw it wes nocht eyth till ta
The toune, with sic defens wes maid                                  455
By thaim, that it in stering had.
The host saw that thar schip wes brynt,
And of thame that thar-in war tynt,
And thar folk woundit and wery;
Thai gert blaw the retret in hy.                                     460
Fra the schipmen reboytit war,
Thai let the tothir assale no mar;
For throu the schip thai wend ilkane
That thai the toune weill suld haf tane.
Men sais that ma schippis than swa                                   465
Pressit that tyme the toune till ta;
Bot for that thar wes brynt bot ane,
And the gynour tharin wes tane.
Now heir tharfor mencione maid I
Bot off a schip all anerly.                                          470

[420: From C H. E _For oucht thai mycht, gud or ill_.]

[455: E _quhill sik_. H _while_.]

Qwhen thai had blawen the ratret,
Thai folk, that tholit had panys gret,
Withdrew thame haly fra the wall;
The assalt haf thai levit all.
And thai within, that wery war,                                      475
And mony of thame woundit sar,
War blith and glad quhen at thai saw
Thair fais swagat thame withdraw.
And, fra thai wist suthly that thai
Held to thair palyheonys thair way,                                  480
Thai set gud wachis to thar wall;
Syne to thar innys went thai all,
And esyt thame that wery war.
And othir, that war woundit sar,
Had lechis gude forsuth, I hicht,                                    485
That helpit thame as thai best mycht.
On athir syde wery war thai;
That nycht thai did no mair perfay.
Fiff dayis thar-eftir thai war still,
That nane till othir did mekill ill.                                 490

[Sidenote: 1319] _The Scots raid England_]

  Now leiff we thir folk heir liand
All still, as I haf borne on hand,
And turn the cours of our carpyng
Till Schir Robert the douchty King,
That assemblit bath fer and neir,                                    495
Ane host, quhen that he wist, but weir,
That the king swa of Ingland
Had assegit with stalward hand
Berwik, quhar Walter Steward was.
Till purpos with his men he tais,                                    500
That he wald nocht sa soyne assale
The King of Ingland with battale,
And at his dykis specially,
For it mycht weill turn to foly.
Tharfor he ordanit lordis twa,                                       505
The Erll of Murreff wes ane of tha,
The tothir wes the Lord Dowglas,
With fyftene thousand men to pas
In Ingland, for till burn and sla,
And swa gret ryot thar till ma,                                      510
That thai that lay segande the toune,
Quhen thai herd the distructione,
That thai suld in-till Ingland ma,
Suld be sa dredand, and sa wa
For thair childir and for thair wiffis,                              515
That thai suld dreid suld leis thar liffis,
And thar gudis alsua, that thai
Suld dreid than suld be had away,
That thai suld leif the sege in hy,
And wend to reskew hastely                                           520
Thair gude, thair frendis, and thair land.
Tharfor, as I haf borne on hand,
Thir lordis send he furth in hy;
And thai thair way tuk hastely,
And in Ingland gert byrn and sla,                                    525
And wroucht tharin so mekill wa
As thai forrayit the cuntre,
That it wes pite for to se
Till thame that wald it ony gude,
For thai distroyit all as thai yhude.                                530
So lang thai raid distroyande swa,
As thai traversit to and fra,
That thai ar cummyne till Repoune,
And distroyit haly that toune.
At Burrow-brig syne thar herbry                                      535
Thai tuk, and at Mytoun thar-by.

[496: C _that, quhen_ (S), but there is no predicate for _that_.]

  And quhen the men of that cuntre
Saw thar land sa distroyit be,
Thai gaderit, in-till full gret hy,
Archeris, burges, with yhemenry,                                     540
Prestis, clerkis, monkis, and freris,
Husbandis, and men of all mysteris,
Quhill at thai sammyn assemmyllit war
Weill tuenty thousand men and mair.
Richt gud armyng eneuch thai had.                                    545
The archbischop of York thai maid
Thair capitane; and to consale
Has tane, that thai in playn battale
Wald assale the Scottis men,
That fer fewar than thai war then.                                   550
Than he displayit his baneir,
And othir bischoppes, that thar wer,
Gert display baneris alsua.
All in a rout furth can thai ga
Toward Mytoune the reddy way;                                        555
And quhen that Scottis men herd say
That thai war till thame cumand neir,
Thai buskit thame on thar best maneir,
And delit thame in-till battellis twa.
Dowglas the vaward he can ma;                                        560
The reirward maid the Erll Thomas,
For chiftane of the host he was.
And, sua ordanit in gude aray,
Toward thair fais thai held their way.
Quhen athir had of othir sicht,                                      565
Thai pressit on bath halfis to ficht.
The Inglis men com on sadly
With gud contenans and hardy,
Rycht in a frount with a baner,
Quhill thai thair fayis com so neir,                                 570
That thai thar visage weill mycht se.
Thre sper-lynth, I trow weill, mycht be
Betuix thame, quhen sic abasing
Tuk thame, but mar, in-to a swyng,
Thai gaf the bak all, and to-ga.                                     575
Quhen Scottis men has seyn thame swa
Affrayitly fle all thar way,
In gret hy apon thame schot thai,
And slew and tuk a gret party.
The laiff fled full effrayitly                                       580
As thai best mycht, to seik warrand.
Thai war chassit so neir at hand,
That weill ane thousand deit thar;
And of thaim yheit thre hundreth war
Prestis, that deit in-to that chas.                                  585
Tharfor that bargane callit was
“The Chaptour of Mytoune;” for thare
Slayn sa mony prestis ware.

[Sidenote: 1319] _The ‘Sow’ and the ‘Crane’_]

Qwhen thir folk thus discumfit was,
And Scottis men had left the chas,                                   590
Thai went thame furthwarde in the land
Slayand, distroyand, and byrnand,
And thai that at the sege lay,
Or it wes passit the fift day,
Had made thame syndry apparale                                       595
To gang eftsonis till assale.
Of gret gestis ane Sow thai maid,
That stalward heling owth it had,
With armyt men enew thar-in,
And instrumentis als for to myne.                                    600
Syndry scaffaldis thai maid with-all,
That war weill hyar than the wall,
And ordanit als that by the se
The toune suld weill assalyheit be.
And thai within, that saw thame swa                                  605
So gret apparale schap till ma,
Throu Crabbis consale, that wes sle,
Ane cren thai haif gert dres up hey
Rynand on quhelis, that thai mycht bring
It quhar neid war of mast helping.                                   610
And pik and ter als haf thai tane,
And lynt and hardis with brynstane,
And dry treis that weill wald brin;
And mellit syne athir othir in:
And gret flaggatis tharof thai maid,                                 615
Gyrdit with irne bandis braid.
Of thai flaggatis mycht mesurit be
Till a gret tunnys quantite.
Thai flaggatis byrnand in a baill
With thair cren thoucht thai till availl.                            620
And gif the Sow come to the wall,
Till lat thame byrnand on hir fall,
And with ane stark cheyne hald thame thar
Quhill all war brint up that thar war.
Engynys alsua for till cast                                          625
Thai ordanit, and maid redy fast,
And set ilk man syne till his ward.
And Schir Walter, the gude Steward,
With armyt men suld ryde about,
And se quhar at thar war mast dout;                                  630
And succur thar with his menyhe.
And quhen thai in-to sic degre
Had maid thame for thair asaling,
On the Rude-evyn, in the dawing,
The Inglis host blew till assale.                                    635
Than mycht men with ser apparale
Se that gret host cum sturdely;
The toune enveremyt thai in hy,
And assalit with sa gud will,
For all thair mycht thai set thar-till,                              640
That thai thame pressit fast of the toune.
Bot thai, that can thame abandoune
Till ded, or than till woundis sare,
Sa weill has thame defendit thare,
That ledderis to the ground thai flang,                              645
And with stanys so fast thai dang
Thair fais, that feill thai left lyand,
Sum ded, sum hurt, and sum swonand.

[601: C _scaffatis_ (S).]

[Sidenote: SEPT. 13, 1319] _The ‘Sow’ is smashed_]

  Bot thai that held on fut in hy
Drew thame away deliverly,                                           650
And skunnyrrit tharfor na-kyn thing,
Bot went stoutly till assalyng.
And thai abovin defendit ay,
And set thame till so harde assay,
Quhill that feill of thame woundit war:                              655
And thai so gret defens maid thar,
That thai styntit thair fais mycht.
Apon sic maner can thai ficht,
Quhill it wes neir noyne of the day;
Than thai without, in gret aray,                                     660
Pressit thair Sow toward the wall;
And thai within weill soyne gert call
The engynour that takyne was,
And gret manans till him mais;
And swoir that he suld de, bot he                                    665
Provit on the Sow sic sutelte,
That he to-fruschyt hir ilke deill.
And he, that has persavit weill
That the dede wes weill neir hym till,
Bot gif he mycht fulfill thar will,                                  670
Thoucht that he all his mycht wald do;
Bendit in gret hy than wes scho,
And till the Sow wes evin set.
In hye he gert draw the cleket,
And smertly swappit out the stane                                    675
That evyn out-our the Sow is gane,
And behynd hir a litill we
It fell, and than thai cryit hey
That war in hir, “Furth to the wall.
“For dreidles it is ouris all!”                                      680
The engynour that deliverly
Gert bend the gyne in full gret hy,
And the stane smertly swappit out:
It flaw out, quhedirand, with a rout,
And fell richt evin befor the Sow.                                   685
Thair hertis than begouth till grow;
Bot yheit than, with thair mychtis all,
Thai pressit the Sow toward the wall,
And has hir set thar-to juntly.
The gynour than gert bend in hy                                      690
The gyne, and wappyt out the stane,
That evin toward the lift is gane,
And with gret wecht syne duschit doune
Richt by the wall, in a randoune,
And hyt the Sow in sic maner,                                        695
That it, that wes the mast summer
And starkast for till stynt a strak,
In-sundir with that dusche he brak.
The men ran out in full gret hy,
And on the wallis thai can cry,                                      700
That thair Sow ferryit wes thair.
Johne Crab, that had his geir all yhar,
In his fagattis has set the fyre,
And our the wall syne can thame vyre,
And brynt the Sow till brandis bair.                                 705
With all this, fast assalyheand war
The folk without with felloune ficht,
And thai within with mekill mycht
Defendit manfully thar stede,
In-till gret aventur of dede.                                        710

[689: C _juntly_ (S), but suggesting _justly_ ( = exactly) as right
reading. H _cunningly_. E _gentilly_.]

[691: C _swappit_ (S).]

  The schipmen, with gret apparale,
Com with thair schippes till assale,
With top-castellis warnist weill,
And wicht men armyt in-till steill.
Thair batis up apon thair mastis                                     715
Drawyn weill hye and festnyt fast is,
And pressit with that gret atour
Toward the wall, bot the gynour
Hit in ane espyne with a stayne,
And the men that war thar-in gane,                                   720
Sum dede, sum dosnyt, come doun wyndland.
Fra thine-furth durst nane tak on hand
With schippes pres thame to the wall.
Bot the laiff war assalyheand all
On ilka syde sa egyrly,                                              725
That certis it wes gret ferly,
That thai folk sic defens has maid,
For the gret myscheif that they had.
For thair wallis so law than weir,
That a man richt weill with a sper                                   730
Micht strik ane othir up in the face,
As eir befor tald till yhow was.
And feill of thame war woundit sare,
And the layf so fast travaland war,
That nane had tume rest for till ta,                                 735
Thair adversouris assailyheit swa.

[735: E _tyme_.]

[Sidenote: SEPT. 13, 1319] _The Drawbridge is burnt down_]

  Thai war within sa stratly stad
That thar wardane, that with him had
Ane hundreth men in cumpany
Armyt, that wicht war and hardy,                                     740
And raid about for till se quhar
That his folk hardest pressit war,
To relief thame that had mister,
Com syndry tymes in placis ser
Quhar sum of the defensouris war                                     745
All dede, and othir woundit sare;
Swa that he of his cumpany
Behufit to leiff thair party:
Swa that, be he a cours had maid
About, of all the men he had                                         750
Thar wes levit with him bot ane,
That he ne had thame left ilkane
To releve quhar he saw mister.
And the folk, that assalyheand wer
At Mary-yhet, to-hewyn had                                           755
The barras, and a fyre had maid
At the draw-brig, and brynt it doune;
And war thringand in gret foysoune
Rycht to the yhet ane fyre till ma.
Than thai within gert smertly ga                                     760
Ane to the wardane, for till say
How thai war set in hard assay.
And quhen Schir Walter Steward herd
How men sa stratly with thame ferd,
He gert cum of the castell then                                      765
All that war thar of armyt men,
For thar that day assalyheit nane,
And with that rout in hy is gane
To Mary-yhet, and till the wall
Is went, and saw the myscheif all:                                   770
And umbethoucht him suddandly
Bot gif gret help war set in hy
Thar-to, thai suld burne up the yhet
That fra the wall thai suld nocht let.
Tharfor apon gret hardyment                                          775
He suddanly set his entent;
And gert all wyde set up the yhet,
And the fyre that he fand thar-at
With strinth of men he put away.
He set him in full hard assay;                                       780
For thai that war assalyheand thar
Pressit on hym with wapnys bair,
And he defendit with all his mycht.
Thar mycht men se a felloune sicht,
With staffing, stoking, and striking.                                785
Thar maid thai sturdy defending;
For with gret strynth of men the yhet
Thai defendit, and stude thar-at,
Magre thair fais, quhill the nycht
Gert thame on bath halfis leif the ficht.                            790

[774: C and H (S). _With the fire that he fand thar-at._ Seems an
anticipation of 778. Text from E.]

[785: E _Off stabing_.]

Thai of the host, quhen nycht can fall,
Fra the assalt with-drew thame all,
Woundit, and wery, and forbeft.
With mate cher the assalt thai left,
And till thar innys went in hy                                       795
And set thar wachis hastely.
The laif thame esit as thai mycht best;
For thai had gret myster of rest.
That nycht thai spak al comonly
Of thame within, and had ferly                                       800
That thai sa stout defens has maid
Agane the gret assalt thai had.
And thai within, on othir party,
Quhen thai thair fayis so halely
Saw thame withdraw, thai war all blith,                              805
And wachis has ordanit swith;
And syne ar till thar innys gane.
Thar wes bot few of thame wes slaine,
Bot feill war woundit wikidly,
The laiff our mesur war wery.                                        810
It wes ane hard assalt, perfay,
And certis, I hard nevir say
Quhar quheyn men mair defens had maid,
That swa richt hard assalyheing had.
And of a thing that thair befell                                     815
I haf ferly, that I of tell;
That is, that in-till all that day,
Quhen all thair mast assalyheit thai,
And the schot thikkest wes with-all,
Women with child and childir small                                   820
In arme-fullis gaderit up, and bair
Till thame that on the wallis war
Arowes, and nocht ane slayne wes thar,
Na yheit woundit; and that wes mar
The myrakill of God Almychty,                                        825
And to nocht ellis it set can I.

[809: E _woundyt uttrely_.]

[812: C _certanly_, but E is admittedly better.]

[Sidenote: SEPT. 14, 1319] _A Division in the English Council_]

[Sidenote: SEPT., 1319] _The Return of the Scots_]

  On athir syde that nycht thai war
All still, and on the morne, but mar,
Thar come tithandis out of Ingland,
Till thame of the host, that bare on hand                            830
How that by Borrow-brig and Mytoune
Thair men war slayne and dungin doune;
And at Scottis-men throu-out the land
Raid yheit byrnand and distroyand.
And quhen the King has herd this taill,                              835
His consell he assemblit haill,
Till se quhethir farar war him till
Till ly about the toune all still,
And assaill quhill it wonnyne war,
Or than in Ingland for till fare                                     840
And reskew his land and men.
His consell fast discordit then;
For Southren men wald that he maid
Arest thar, quhill he wonnyn had
The toune and the castell alsua.                                     845
Bot Northir men wald no-thing swa,
That dred thar friendis for till tyne,
And mast part of thar gudis syne
Throu Scottis mennys cruelte;
Thai wald he leit the sege be                                        850
And raid for till reskew the land.
Of Longcastell, I tak on hand,
The Erll Thomas wes ane of thai
That consalit the King hame to ga.
And, for that mair enclynit he                                       855
Till the folk of the south cuntre
Than till the northir mennys will,
He tuk it to sa mekill ill
That he gert turs his geir in hy,
And with his batall halely,                                          860
That of the host neir thrid part was,
Till Ingland hame his way he tais.
But leiff he hame has tane his gat:
Tharfor fell eftir sic debat
Betuix him and the King, that ay                                     865
Lestit quhill Androu Herdclay,
That throu the King wes on him set,
Tuk hym syne in-to Pomfret,
And on the hill besyde the toune
Strake of his hede but ransoune;                                     870
Tharfor syne drawin and hangit wes he,
And with him weill a fair menyhe.
Men said syne eftir, this Thomas,
That on this wis maid martir was,
Was sanctit and myraclis did,                                        875
Bot envy syne gert thame be hid.
Bot quhethir he haly wes or nane,
At Pomfret thusgat was he slane.
And syne the King of Ingland,
Quhen that he saw hym tak on hand                                    880
Till pass his way sa oppinly,
Hym thoucht it wes perell to ly
Thar with the laiff of his menyhe;
And his harnas tursit has he
And in-till Ingland hame can far.                                    885
The Scottis men, that distroyand war
In Ingland, herd soyne tell tithyng
Of this gret sege the departing.
Tharfor thai tuk westward the way,
And by Carlele hame went ar thai                                     890
With prayis and with presoneris,
And othir gudis on seir maneris.
  The lordis till the King ar gane,
And the laiff has thar wayis tane;
Ilk man till his repair is gane.                                     895
The King, iwis, was woundir fayne
That thai war cummyn haile and feir,
And at thai sped on sic maner,
That thai thair fais discumfit had,
And, but tynsale of men, had maid                                    900
Reskowris to thame that in Berwik
War assegit richt till thar dik.
And quhen the Kyng had sperit tithand
How thai had faryne in-till Ingland,
And thai haf tald hym all thar fair,                                 905
How Inglis men discumfit war,
Richt blith in-till his hert wes he,
And maid thame fest with gammyn and gle.

[887, 888: H expands these two lines into eight.

_Throughout England full cruelly,
Burning and wasting right rigorously,
When that they have heard tythings tell
Of this great Siege that was sa fell:
That they all skailed were and gane,
Unto England hame againe:
Sa that their folks relieved were
And set now free from all danger._

Skeat relegates this expansion of two lines to a footnote, and rightly.]


_That into full gret danger wes,               *903
Through strength of them that sieged hes.      *904
And of their journey what progresse,           *905
That thai have had, and with successe._        *906

These, too, are from H only. Skeat brackets them in the text, but they
are surely spurious.]

Berwik wes on this maner
Reskewit, and thai that thar-in wer.                                 910
He wes worthy ane prince till be,
Throu manheid and subtilite,
That couth throu wit sa hye a thyng,
But tynsale, bryng till gude ending.
Till Berwik syne the way he tais:                                    915
And quhen he herd thar how it was
Defendit swa richt apertly,
He lovit thame that war thar gretly.
Walter Stewardis gret bounte
Atour the laif commendit he,                                         920
For the richt gret defens he maid
At the yhet, quhar men brynt had
The brig, as yhe herd me devis.
And certis he wes weill till pris,
That sa stoutly with playne fecthing                                 925
At oppyn yhet maid defending.
Mycht he haf lifit quhill he had beyne
Of perfit elde, withouten weyne,
His renoune suld haf strekit fer.
Bot dede, that wachis ay to mar                                      930
With all hyr mycht waik and worthy,
Had at his worschip gret invy;
That in the flour of his yhoutheid
Scho endit all his douchty deid,
As I sall tell yhow forthirmar.                                      935
Quhen the King had a quhill beyne thar
He send for masonis fer and neir,
That sleast wes of that misteir,
And gert weill ten fute hye the wall
About Berwikis toune our all.                                        940
And syne soyne toward Lowdyane
With his menyhe his gat has gane;
And syne he gert ordane in hy
Bath armyt men and yhemanry
In-till Irland in hy till fair                                       945
Till help his brothir that wes thair.

[922: C _quhar that_. E H omit _that_.]

[940: C _Berwyk his_ (see note).]


How Sir Edward the Bruce was slain in Ireland.

[Sidenote: OCT. 14, 1318] _Edward Bruce is bent on Fighting_]

  Bot he, that rest anoyit ay,
And wald in travaill be all-way,
A day forrouth thair arivyng
That war send till hym fra the King,
He tuk his way south-wart to fare                                      5
Magre them all that with hym war.
For he had nocht than in that land
Of all men, I trow, twa thousand,
Outane the kyngis off Erischry
That in gret rowtis raid hym by.                                      10
Toward Dundawk he tuk the way:
And quhen Richard of Clare herd say
That he com with ane few menyhe,
All that he mycht assemblit he,
Of all Irland, of armyt men:                                          15
Swa that he had thar with him then
Of trappit hors tuenty thousand,
But thaim that war on fut gangand;
And held furth northwarde on his way.
And quhen Schir Edward has herd say                                   20
That cummyn neir till hym wes he,
He send discurrouris hym till se:
The Sowlis and the Steward war thai,
And als Schir Philip the Mowbray.
And quhen thai seyn had thar cummying,                                25
Thai went agane to tell the King,
And said weill thai war mony men.
In hie Schir Edward ansuered then,
And said that he suld fecht that day
Thouch tryplit or quadruplit war thai.                                30
Schir Johne Steward said, “Sekirly,
“I red ye nocht ficht in sic hy.
“Men sais my brothir is cumand
“With fyftene hundreth men neir hand;
“And war thai knyt with yhow, yhe mycht                               35
“The trastlyar abyde to ficht.”
Schir Edward lukit richt angrely,
And till the Sowlis said in hy,
‘Quhat sais thou?’ “Schir,” he said, “perfay,
“As my fallow has said, I say.”                                       40
And than till Schir Philippe than said he,
“Schir,” said he, “sa our Lord me se!
“Me think it na foly to byde
“Yhour men, that spedis thame to ryde.
“For we ar few, our fais ar feill;                                    45
“God may rycht weill our weirdis deill;
“Bot it war woundir that our mycht
“Suld ourcum so feill in ficht.”
Than, with gret ire, ‘Allas,’ said he,
‘I wend nevir till here that of the!                                  50
‘Now help quha will, for sekirly
‘This day, but mair baid, fecht will I.
‘Sa na man say, quhill I may dre,
‘That strynth of men sall ger me fle!
‘God scheld that ony suld us blame,                                   55
‘That we defoull our noble name.’
“Now be it swagat than,” quod thai,
“We sall tak that God will purvay.”

[5: C _furthwarde_ (S). H _southward_.]

[30: E _tribill and quatribill_.]

[34: E _thowsand_. H as in C.]

[Sidenote: OCT. 14, 1318] _Edward Bruce is slain_]

  And quhen the kyngis of Erischry
Herd say, and wist all sekirly,                                       60
That that King, with sa quheyn, wald ficht
Agane folk of sa mekill mycht,
Thai come till him in full gret hy,
And consalit hym full tendirly
For till abid his men; and thai                                       65
Suld hald thar fais all that day
Doand, and on the morne alsua,
With thar saltis that thai suld ma.
Bot thair mycht na consel availl,
He wald all-gat haff the battaill.                                    70
And quhen thai saw he wes so thra
To fecht, thai said; “Yhe may weill ga
“To ficht with yhon gret cumpany;
“Bot we acquyt us utirly,
“That nane of us will stand to ficht,                                 75
“Assuris nocht tharfor in our mycht.
“For our maner is of this land
“To follow and ficht, and ficht fleand,
“And nocht till stand in plane melle
“Quhill the ta part discumfit be.”                                    80
He said; ‘Sen that your custum is,
‘Ik ask no mair at yhow bot this,
‘That is, that yhe and yhour menyhe
‘Wald all to-giddir arayit be,
‘And stand on fer, but departing,                                     85
‘And se our ficht and our endyng.’
Thai said weill at thai suld do swa,
And syne toward thair men can ga,
That war weill forty thousand neir.
Edward, with thame that with him weir,                                90
That war nocht fully twa thousand,
Arayit thame stalwardly till stand
Agane fourty thousand and ma.
Schir Edward that day wald nocht ta
His cot-armour; bot Gib Harper,                                       95
That men held als withouten peir
Of his estat, had on that day
All haill Schir Edwardis aray.
The ficht abaid thai on this wis;
And in gret hy thair enymys                                          100
Com, till assemmyll all reddy,
And thai met thame richt hardely.
Thai war sa few, forsuth to say,
That ruschit with thair fais war thai;
And thai that pressit mast to stand                                  105
War slane doune, and the remanand
Fled till Erischry for succour.
Schyr Edward, that had sic valour,
Wes ded, and Johne Steward alsua;
And Johne de Sowlis als with thai,                                   110
And othir als of thair cumpany.
Thai vencust war sa suddanly
That few in-till the place war slayne;
For the laif has thair wayis tane
Till the Erische kyngis that wes thar,                               115
And in haill battale howand war.

[89: E _twenty_. H _twettie_ (!).]

  Johne Tomassun, that wes leder
Of thame of Carrik that thair wer,
Quhen he saw the discumfiting,
With-drew him till ane Erische king                                  120
That of his acquyntans had he;
And he resavit him in lawte.
And quhen Johne cummyn wes to that king,
He saw be led fra the fechting
Schir Philipe the Mowbray, the wicht,                                125
That had beyne doysnyt in the ficht.
And be the armys led was he
With twa men, apon the cawse
That wes betuix thame and the toune,
That strekit lang in a randoune.                                     130
Toward the toune thai held thair way,
And quhen in myd cawse war thai,
Schir Philip of his desynais
Ourcome, and persavit he wes
Tane, and swagat led with twa:                                       135
The tane he swappit soyne him fra,
And syne the tothir in gret hy;
Syne drew his suerde deliverly,
And till the fecht the way he tais
Endlang the cawse, that than was                                     140
Fillit in-to sa gret foysoune
Of men that than went to the toune.
And he, that met thame, can thame ma
Sic payment, quhar he can ga,
That weill ane hundreth men gert he                                  145
Leiff, magre thairis, the cawsee;
As Johne Tomassun said suthly,
That saw his deid all halely.
Toward the battall evyn he yheid.
Johne Tomassun, that tuk gud heid                                    150
That thai war vencust all planly,
Cryit on hym in full gret hy,
And said, “Cum heir, for thar is nane
“On liff, for thai ar dede ilkane.”
Than stude he still a quhile, and saw                                155
That thai war all done out of daw;
Syne went toward him sarraly.
This Johne wroucht syne sa wittely
That all that thidder fled than wer,
Thouch that thai lesit of thair ger,                                 160
Com till Cragfergus haill and feir.
And thai, that at the fechting weir
Soucht Schir Edward, to get his hede,
Emange the folk that thar wes ded;
And fand Gib Harper in his ger:                                      165
And, for sa gude his armys wer,
Thai strak his hed of; and syne it
Thai haf gert saltit in-till a kyt,
And send it syne in-till Ingland,
To Edward King in-till presand.                                      170
Thai wend Schir Edwardis it had beyne;
Bot, for the armyng that wes scheyne,
Thai of the hed dissavit war,
All-thouch Schir Edward deit thar.

[117: E _Thomas sone_. H _Thomson_.]

[Sidenote: OCT., 1318] _The Skilful Retreat of the Scots_]

  On this wis war thai nobill men                                    175
Throu wilfulnes all losit then;
And that wes syn and gret pite.
For had thair outrageous bounte
Beyne led with wit and with mesure,
Bot gif the mair misadventure                                        180
Befell thame, it suld richt hard thing
Be till leid thame till outrayng.
Bot gret outrageous succudry
Gert thame all deir thair worschip by.
And thai, that fled fra the melle,                                   185
Sped thame in hy toward the se,
And to Cragfergus cummyn ar thai.
And thai that war in-to the way,
To Schir Edward send fra the King,
Quhen thai herd the discumfiting,                                    190
Till Cragfergus thai went agane:
And that wes nocht forouten pane.
For thai war mony tymes that day
Assalit with Erischry, bot thai
Ay held to-gidder sarraly,                                           195
Defendand thame so wittely
That thai eschapit oft throu mycht,
And mony tymes als throu slycht;
For oft of thairis till thame gaf thai
Till let thame scathles pass thar way,                               200
And to Cragfergus com thai swa.
Than batis and schippes can thai ta,
And salit till Scotland in hy,
And thar arivit all saufly.
Quhen thai of Scotland had wittering                                 205
Of Schir Edwardis discomfiting,
Thai menyt hym full tendrely
Our all the land comonly;
And thai that with him slane war thar
Full tendrely als menyt war.                                         210

[184: E _all her_.]

How King Edward came again to Scotland with his Power, to Edinburgh,
after the Death of Good Sir Edward the Bruce in Ireland.

[Sidenote: AUG., 1322] _The English invade Scotland_]

Edward the Bruce, as I said air,
Wes discumfit on this manare.
And quhen the feld wes clengit cleyne,
Sa that na resisteris wes seyne,
The wardane than, Richard of Clare,                                  215
And all the folk that with him war,
Toward Dundawk has tane the way;
Swa that richt na debat maid thai
At that tyme with the Erischrye,
Bot to the toune thai held in hy.                                    220
And syne has send furth to the King,
That Ingland had in governyng,
Gib Harperis hed in-till ane kyt.
Johne Mawpas till the King had it.
Quhilk he resavit in gret dayntee;                                   225
Richt blith of that present wes he;
For he was swa glad that he wes swa
Deliverit of sic felloune a fa.
In hert tharof he tuk sic pryde,
That he tuk purpos for to ryde                                       230
With a gret host in-till Scotland,
Till revenge hym, with stalward hand,
Of the tray, travaill, and of teyne
That done till hym thar-in had beyne.
And a richt gret hoost gaderit he,                                   235
And gert his schippes by the se
Cum with gret foysoune of vittale;
For at that tyme he thoucht all hale
For till distroy so cleyn Scotland
That nane suld be thar-in liffand;                                   240
And with his folk, in gret aray,
Toward Scotland he tuk the way.
And quhen King Robert wist that he
Com on hym with sic ane menyhe,
He gaderit men, bath fer and neir,                                   245
Quhill sa feill till him cummyn weir,
And war als for till cum hym to,
That him weill thoucht he suld weill do.
He gert with-draw all the catele
Of Lowdiane, evirilk deill,                                          250
And till strynthis gert thame be send,
And ordanit men thame to defend.
And with his hoost all still he lay
At Culros, for he walde assay
Till ger his fais throu fasting                                      255
Be feblist, and throu lang walking;
And fra he feblist had thair mycht
Assemmyll he wald with thame till ficht.

[225: E _And he it_ (see note).]

[239: E _To dystroy up sa clene the land_. H as C.]

[Sidenote: AUG.-SEPT., 1322] _The Skirmish at Melrose_]

  He thoucht till wirk apon this wis;
And Inglis men with gret mastris                                     260
Com with thar hoost in Lowdiane,
And soyne till Edinburgh ar gane,
And thair abaid thai dayis thre.
Thair schippes that war on the se
Had the wynd contrar till thame ay,                                  265
Swa that apon no maner thai
Had power till the Fyrth till bring
Thair vittale, till releiff the King.
And thai of the host that falit met,
Quhen thai saw that thai mycht nocht get                             270
Thair vittalis to thame by the se,
Than send thai furth a gret menyhe
For till forray all Lowdiane;
Bot cattell haf thai fundyn nane,
Outane a kow that wes haltand,                                       275
That in Tranentis corne thai fand;
Thai broucht hir till thair hoost agane.
And quhen the Erll of Warane
That cow saw anerly cum swa,
He askit gif thai gat no ma.                                         280
And thai haf said all till him, “Nay.”
“Than, certis,” said he, “I dar say
“This is the derrest beiff that I
“Saw evir yheit; for sekirly
“It cost ane thousand pund and mar!”                                 285
And quhen the King and thai that war
Of his consell saw thai mycht get
Na catell till thar host till et,
That than of fasting had gret payne,
Till Ingland turnyt thai hame agayne.                                290
At Melros schupe thai for till ly,
And send befor ane cumpany,
Thre hundreth neir of armyt men.
Bot the lord Dowglas, that wes then
Besyde in-till the Forest neir,                                      295
Wist of thar com and quhat thai weir;
And with thame of his cumpany
In-till Melros all prevely
He hufit in-till ane enbuschement.
And a richt sturdy frer he sent                                      300
Without the yhet, thar com till se,
And bad him hald him all preve,
Quhill that he saw thame cumand all
Richt till the cunyhe of the wall,
And than crye hye, “Dowglas! Dowglas!”                               305
The frer furth than his way he tais,
That wes derff, stout, and ek hardy;
His mekill hude helit haly
The armyng that he on hym had;
Apon a stalward hors he raid,                                        310
And in his hand he had a spere,
Abydand apon that maner
Quhill that he saw thame cumand neir.
And quhen the formast passit weir
The cunyhe, he cryit, “Dowglas! Dowglas!”                            315
Than till thame all ane cours he mais,
And bare ane doune deliverly;
And Dowglas, with his cumpany,
Yschit apon thame with a schout.
And quhen thai saw sa gret a rout                                    320
Cum apon thame sa suddanly,
Thai war abaysit richt gretumly,
And gaf the bak but mar abaid.
The Scottis men emang thaim raid,
And slew all thaim thai mycht ourta;                                 325
Ane gret martirdome thair can thai ma.
And thai that eschapit unslayne
Ar till thar gret host went agane,
And tald thame quhat kyn welcummyng
Dowglas thaim maid at thair metyng,                                  330
Convoyand thame agane roydly,
And warnyt thame the playn herbery.

[275: E _a bule_. H as C.]

[283: E _best_. H _beast_.]

How the Good King Robert the Bruce followed King Edward of England
South into his own Land.

[Sidenote: OCT. 21, 1322] _The Fight at Byland_]

The King of Ingland and his men,
That saw thair herbreouris then
Cum reboytit on that maneir                                          335
Anoyit gretly in hert thai wer,
And thoucht that it war gret foly
In-to the wode till tak herbery.
Tharfor by Driburgh, in the playne,
Thai herbryit thame; and syne agane                                  340
Ar went till Ingland haym thar way.
And quhen the King Robert herd say
That thai war turnyt hame agane,
And how thair herbreouris war slane,
In hy his host assemblit he,                                         345
And went south our the Scottis Se,
And till Ingland his way he tais.
Quhen his host all assemblit was,
Auchty thowsand he wes and ma,
And aucht battellis he maid of tha:                                  350
In ilk battell wes ten thousand.
Syne went he furth on to Ingland,
And in hale rout followit sa fast
The Inglis King, quhill at the last
He com approchand to Byland,                                         355
Quhar, at that tyme, thar wes liand
The King of Ingland with his men.
Kyng Robert, that had wittering then
That he lay thair with mekill mycht,
Tranontit swa on hym ane nycht,                                      360
That, be the morne that it wes day,
Cummyn in-till playn feld war thai,
Fra Biland bot ane litill space.
Bot betuix thaim and it thar was
Ane craggy bra, strekit weill lang,                                  365
And a gret peth up for to gang.
Othirwayis mycht thai nocht away
Till pass till Bilandis abbay,
Bot gif thai passit fer about.
And quhen the mekill Inglis rout                                     370
Herd at King Robert wes so neir,
The mast part of thame that thar weir
Went to the path and tuk the bra,
Thair thoucht thai thair defens to ma.
Thair baneris thair thai gert display                                375
And thair battellis on breid aray,
And thoucht weill to defend the place.
Quhen King Robert persavit has
That thai thame thoucht thair to defend,
Eftir his consell has he send,                                       380
And askit quhat wes best till do.
The lord Dowglas ansuerd thar-to,
And said, “Schir, I will undir-ta
“That in schort tyme I sall do swa,
“That I sall wyn yhon place planly,                                  385
“Or than ger all yhon cumpany
“Cum doun till yhow heir in this plane.”
The King than said till him agane,
‘Do than,’ he said, ‘and God the speid!’
Than he furth on his wayis yheid,                                    390
And of the host the mast party
Put thame in-till his cumpany,
And held thar way toward the plas.
  The gud Erll of Murreff, Thomas,
Left his battell, and in gret hy                                     395
Bot with thre men of his cumpany,
Com till the lordis rout of Dowglas;
And, or he enterit in the plas,
Befor thame all the place tuk he;
For he wald that men suld him se.                                    400
And quhen Schir James of Dowglas
Saw that he swagat cummyn was,
He prisit him thar-of gretly,
And welcummyt hym full humylly,
And syne the place can sammyn ta.                                    405
Quhen Inglis men saw thaim do swa,
Thai lichtit and agane thame yheid.
Twa knychtis, that douchty war of deid,
Thomas Ouchtre ane hat to name,
The tothir Schir Rauf of Cobhame,                                    410
Com doune befor all thair menyhe.
Thai war bath of full gret bounte,
And met thair fais richt manly;
Bot thai war pressit gretumly.
Thair mycht men se men weill assale,                                 415
And men defend with stout battale,
And arrowes fle in gret foysoune,
And thai that owth war tummyl doune
Stanis apon thame fra the hicht.
Bot thai that set bath will and mycht                                420
To wyn the peth, thame pressit swa,
That Schir Raulf of Cobhame can ta
The way richt till his host in hy,
And left Schir Thomas manfully
Defendand with gret mycht the plas,                                  425
Quhill that he swa supprisit was,
That he wes tane throu herd fechting.
And tharfor syne, quhill his ending,
He wes renownyt for best of hand
Of a knycht wes in all Ingland.                                      430
For this ilk Schyr Raulf of Cobhame,
In all Ingland he had the name
For the best knycht of all the land;
And for Schir Thomas duelt fechtand
Quhar Schir Raulf, as befor saide we,                                435
With-drew him, prisit our hym wes he.

[Linenote: 377, 393, 398, etc., E _the pass_.]

[391: E _mast hardy_.]

[396: E _four_. H _few_.]

[404: E _hamlyly_.]

[409: C _Arthyn_ (S), but see note.]

[399, 405, 425: E _the pass_. H as C.]

[410, 422: C _Coubane_: H _Cowbane_.]

The discomfiting of Englishmen
At Bylands Path into the glen.

Thus war thai fechtande in the plas;
And quhen the King Robert, that was
Wis in his deid and averty,
Saw his men ay swa douchtely                                         440
The peth apon thair fayis ta;
And saw his fais defend thame swa,
Than gert he all the Erischry
That war in-till his cumpany,
Of Argyle and the Ilis alsua,                                        445
Spede tham in hy on-to the bra:
He bad thame leiff the peth haly
And clym up in the craggis by,
And speid thame fast the hicht to ta.
And thai in gret hy has done swa,                                    450
And clymb allgait up to the hycht,
And leve nocht for thair fayis mycht.
Magre thair fayis, thai bar thaim swa,
That thai ar gottyn aboun the bra.
Than mycht men se thame ficht felly,                                 455
And rusche thair fais sturdely.
And thai that till the pass war gane,
Magre thair fais, the hycht has tane.
Than layd thai on with all thar mycht:
Thair mycht men se men felly ficht.                                  460
Ther wes ane perelus bargane:
For a knycht, hat Schir Johne Bretane,
That lichtit wes abovyn the bra,
With his men gret defens can ma.
And Scottis men sa can assaill,                                      465
That gaf thame so felloune battale,
That thai war set in sic affray
That thai, that fle mycht, fled away.
Schir Johne of Bretane thar wes tane,
And richt feill of his folk war slane.                               470
Of Frans thar tane wes knychtis twa;
The lord of Souly wes ane of tha,
The tothir wes the marschall Bretane,
That wes a weill gret lord at hame.
The laiff sum deid and sum war tane,                                 475
The remanand thai fled ilkane.

[439: C _ek verty_ (S).]

[450: E _Than mycht men see thaim stoutly ga_. H like C.]

[451-454: not in C but in E H.]

[451: H _clamb_ (S).]

[452: H _left_ (S).]

[Sidenote: OCT. 21, 1322] _The King of England flies_]

  And quhen the King of Ingland,
That yheit at Biland wes liand,
Saw his men discumfyt planly,
He tuk his way in full gret hy,                                      480
And southwardis fled with all his mycht.
The Scottis men chast hym herd, I hycht,
And in the chas has mony tane.
The king quytly away is gane,
And the mast part of his menyhe.                                     485
Walter Stewart, that gret bounte
Set ay on hye chevelry,
With fyve hundreth in cumpany,
Till Yorkis yhettis chas can ma,
And thair sum of thair men can sla,                                  490
And abaid thair quhill neir the nycht,
To se gif ony wald ysche to ficht.
And quhen he saw nane wald cum out,
He turnyt agane with all his rout,
And till the host is went in hy,                                     495
That than tane had thair herbery
In-till the abbay of Biland
And Riveus that wes by neir hand.
Thai delt emang thame that war ther
The King of Inglandis ger,                                           500
That he had levit in-to Biland;
All gert thai lepe out our thar hand,
And maid thame all glaid and ek mery.
And quhen the King had tane herbery,
That broucht till him the presoneris                                 505
All unarmyt, as it efferis;
And quhen he saw Johne of Bretane
He had at hym richt gret disdeyne;
For he wount wes to spek hely
At hayme, and our dispitfully;                                       510
And bad haf him away in hy,
And luk he kepit war stratly,
And said, “War it nocht that he war
“Sic a catiff, he sulde by sair
“His wourdis that war sa angry;”                                     515
And mekly he hym cryit mercy.
Thai led him furth, forouten mair,
And kepit hym weill ay quhill thai war
Cummyn hame to their awne cuntre.
Lang eftir syne ransonyt wes he                                      520
For tuenty thousand pund to pay,
As I haf herd mony men say.

[498: E _Ryfuowis_.]

[Sidenote: OCT., 1322] _The Scots return with much Plunder_]

Qwhen that the King this spek had maid,
The Franche knychtis, that tane men had,
Wes broucht richt thar byfor the King;                               525
And he maid thame fair welcummyng,
And said; “I wat richt weill that yhe,
“For yhour gret worschip and bounte
“Com for till se the fichting heir.
“For sen yhe in the cuntre war,                                      530
“Yhour strinth, yhour worschip, and yhour mycht
“Wald nocht thoill yhow escheve the ficht.
“And sen that caus yhow led thar-till,
“And nouthir wreth na evil will,
“As frendis yhe sall resavit be,                                     535
“Quhar welcum heir all tym be yhe.”
Thai knelit, and thankit him gretly,
And he gert tret thame curtasly;
And lang quhill with him thaim had he,
And did thaim honour and bounte.                                     540
And quhen thai yharnyt to thair land,
To the King of Fraunce in presand
He sent thaim quit, but ransoun fre,
And gret gyftis to thaim gaff he.
His frendis thusgat curtasly                                         545
He couth ressave, and hamely,
And his fais stoutly to-stonay.
At Biland all that nycht he lay.
For thair victor all blith thai war.
And on the morn, forouten mair,                                      550
Thai haff furthwarde tane thair way.
So fer at that tyme travalit thai,
Byrnand, slayand, and distroyand,
Thair fayis with thair mycht noyand,
Quhill to the Wald cummyn war thai.                                  555
Syne northwarde tuk thai hame thar way;
And distroyit, in thair repair,
The vale haly of Beauvare.
And syne with presoners and catele,
Riches, and mony fair jowele,                                        560
Till Scotland tuk thai hame thar way,
Blith and glad, joyfull and gay.
And ilk-man went to thair repair,
And lovit God thame fell so fair,
That thai the King of Ingland,                                       565
Throu worschip and throu strinth of hand,
And throu thair lordis gret bounte,
Discumfit in his awne cuntre.

[536: C _yhe be_ (S). Buss considers E better here (_Anglia_ ix. 511).]

[537: For next line C has--_Of the grace he thame did suthly_ (S). But
this gives a triple rhyme, which is not Barbour-like; and C, in any
case, is defective here, giving but one line between 538 and 547 for
the eight found in E and H.]


How the Lord Soulis thought through Treason with his Accomplices to
have put down Good King Robert the Bruce, and how he was warned by a

[Sidenote: AUG., 1320] _The Conspiracy against King Robert_]

Than wes the land a quhile in pes;
Bot covatis, that can nocht ces
Till set men apon felony,
Till ger thame cum till senyhory,
Gert lordis of full gret renoune                                       5
Mak a fell conjuracioune
Agane Robert, the douchty King;
Thai thoucht till bring him till ending,
And for till bruke, eftir his dede,
The kynrik, and ryng in his sted.                                     10
The lord of Sowlis, Schir Wilyhame,
Of that purchas had mast defame;
For principall tharoff wes he,
Bath of assent and cruelte.
He had gert be with him syndri:                                       15
Gilbert Male-herbe, Johne of Logy,
Thir war the knychtis I tell of heir,
And Richard Broune als, a squyeir;
And gud Schir David the Brechyne
Wes of this deid arettit syne,                                        20
As I sall tell yhow forthirmair.
Bot thai ilkane discoverit war
Throu ane lady, as I herd say,
Or till thair purpos cum mycht thai.
For scho tald haly to the King                                        25
Thair purpos and thair ordanyng,
And how that he suld haf beyn ded,
And Sowlis ryng in-till his sted;
And tald him werray takynnyng
That this purches wes suthfast thing.                                 30
And quhen the King wist it wes swa,
Sa sutell purchas can he ma,
That he gert tak thame evirilkane.
And quhar the lord Sowlis wes tane,
Thre hundreth and sexte had he                                        35
Of squyeris, cled in his liverye,
At that tyme in his cumpany,
Outane knychtis that war joly.
In-to Berwik than takyn wes he;
Than mycht men all his menyhe se                                      40
Sary and wa; for, suth to say,
The king leit thame all pass thar way;
And held thame that he takyn had.
The lord Sowlis syne eftir maid
Playn granting of all that purchas.                                   45
A parliament tharfor set thar was,
And thiddir broucht thir menyhe war.
The lord Sowlis has grantit thar
The deid in-to plane parliament.
Thar soyn eftir he wes sent                                           50
Till his penans till Dumbertane,
And deit in that tour of stane.

[1: C _Thus_ (S).]

[16: C _Mayle-Erle_ (S), but see note.]

[Sidenote: 1320] _Umfraville returns to England_]

  Schir Gilbert Maleherbe, and Logy,
And Richard Broune, thir thre planly
War with ane assis than ourtane.                                      55
Tharfor thai drawin war ilkane,
And hyngit and hedit als thar-to,
As men had demyt thame till do.
And gud Schir David the Brechyne
Thai gert challans richt stratly syne;                                60
And he grantit that of that thing
Wes maid till hym discoveryng,
Bot he thar-till gaf na consent.
And for he helit thair entent
And discoverit it nocht to the King,                                  65
That he held of all his halding,
And had maid till him his fewte,
Jugit to hang and draw wes he.
And as thai drew him for to hyng,
The pepill ferly fast gan thring,                                     70
Him and his myscheiff for to se,
That to behald wes gret pite.
Schir Ingerame Umphravell, that than
Wes with the King as Scottis man,
Quhen he that gret mischeif can se,                                   75
“Lordis,” he said, “quhar-to press yhe?
“To se at myscheiff sic a knycht,
“That wes so worthy and so wicht,
“That I haf seyn ma pres to se
“Him for his richt soverane bounte,                                   80
“Than now dois for till se him heir!”
And quhen thir wordis spoken weir,
With sary cher he held him still
Quhill men had done of him thar will.
Syne, with the leiff of the King,                                     85
He broucht him menskfully till erding.
And syne to the King thus said he;
“A thing, pray I yhow, grant to me;
“That is, that yhe of all my land,
“That in-to Scotland is lyand,                                        90
“Wald gif me leiff till do my will.”
The King than soyne has said him till,
‘I will weill graunt that it swa be;
‘Bot tell me quhat anoyis the?’
He said agane, “Grant me mercy,                                       95
“And I sall tell yhow it planly.
“Myne hert giffis me no mor to be
“With yhow duelland in this cuntre.
“Tharfor, bot at it nocht yhow greiff,
“I pray yhow hertly of yhour leiff.                                  100
“For quhar sa richt worthy a knycht,
“And sa chevelrus and sa wicht,
“And sa renownit of worschip syne
“As gud Schir David the Brechyne,
“And sa fulfillit of all manheid,                                    105
“Wes put to sa felloune a ded,
“My hert forsuth may nocht gif me
“Till duell, for na thing that may be.”
The King syne said; ‘Sen thou will swa,
‘Quhen-evir thou likis thou may ga,                                  110
‘And thou sall haiff gud leiff thar-to
‘Thi liking of thi land till do.’
And he him thankit gretumly,
And of his land, in full gret hy,
As him thoucht best, disponit he.                                    115
Syne at the King of gret bounte,
Befor all thai that with him war,
He tuk his leyff for evirmair;
And went in Ingland to the King,
That maid him richt fair welcummyng,                                 120
And askit him of the north tithing.
And he him tald all, but lesing,
How thai knychtis distroyit war.
And all as I tald till yhow air;
And of the Kyngis curtasye,                                          125
That levit him debonarly
Till do of his land his liking.
In that tyme war send fra the King
Of Scotland messingeris to tret
Of pes, gif that thai mycht it get,                                  130
As thai oftsis befor war send,
Quhar that thai couth nocht bring till end.
For the gud King had in entent,
Sen God sa fair grace till him sent,
That he had wonnyn all his land                                      135
Throu strinth of armys till his hand,
That he pes in his land wald ma,
And all the landis stabill swa,
That his air eftir hym suld be
In peis, gif men held thair laute.                                   140

[106: E _velanys_. H _villanous_.]

[110: E _the likys_.]

[134: E _Had him lent_.]

[Sidenote: MAY-JUNE, 1323] _A Thirteen Years’ Truce_]

In this tyme now that Umphrevele,
As I bair yhow on hand eir-quhil,
Com till the King of Ingland,
The Scottis messingeres thar he fand
Of pes and rest to haf tretis.                                       145
The King wist Schir Ingerame wes wis,
And askit his consell thair-to,
Quhat he wald rede him for till do.
For him, said he, thoucht herd to ma
Pes wyth King Robert Bruce his fa,                                   150
Quhill that he of him vengit war.
Schir Ingerame till hym maid ansuar
And said, “He delt sa curtasly
“With me, that on na wis suld I
“Giff consell till his merring.”                                     155
‘The behufis neid-way,’ said the King,
‘To this thing heir say thine avis.’
“Schir,” said he, “sen yhour willis is
“That I say, wyt yhe sekirly,
“For all yhour gret chevelry,                                        160
“Till deill with hym yhe haf no mycht.
“His men ar worthyn all sa wicht
“For lang usage of gret fechting,
“That has beyne norist in sic thing,
“That ilk yheman is sa wicht                                         165
“Of his, that he is worth a knycht.
“Bot and yhe think yhour weir to bring
“Till your purpos and gud liking,
“Lang trewis with hym tak sall yhe.
“Than sall the mast of his menyhe,                                   170
“That ar bot sympill yhemanry,
“Be distrenyheit all comonly
“To wyn thair met with thair travale.
“And sum of thame neid mon thame call
“With plewch and harrow for to get,                                  175
“And othir ser craftis, thair met;
“Swa that thair armyng sall worth ald,
“And sall be rottyn, distroyit, or sald;
“And feill, that now of weir ar sle,
“In-till a lang trewis sall de,                                      180
“And othir in thair sted sall ris
“That sall cun litill of sic mastris.
“And quhen thai thus disusyt ar,
“Than may yhe move on thame yhour wer,
“And sall richt weill, as I suppos,                                 *185
“Bring yhour entent to gud purpos.”                                 *186
Till this assentit thai ilkane.                                      185
And eftir syne war trewis tane,
Betuix the twa Kyngis, that wer
Talit to lest for thretten yheir:
And on the marchis gert thame cry.
The Scottis men kepit thame lely,                                    190
Bot Inglis men apon the se
Distroyit, throu gret iniquite,
Marchand-schippis, that saland war
Fra Scotland to Flandris with war,
And distroyit the men ilkane,                                        195
And till thar oys thar gude has tane.
The King send oft till ask redres,
Bot nocht thar-of redres ther wes;
And he abaid all tyme askand.
The trewis on his half gert he stand                                 200
Apon the marchis stabilly,
And gert men kep thame lelely.

[177: C _thai armyng_ (S).]

[*185, *186: Omitted in Pinkerton’s edition.]

[188: E _viii._ (for _xiii._). H _threttene_.]

The Death of Good Sir Walter Steward.

In this tyme that the trewis war
Lestand on marchis, as I said ar,
Walter Steward, that worthy was,                                     205
At Bathket a gret seknes tais.
His evill it wox ay mair and mair,
Quhill men persavit by his fair,
That hym worthit neyd to pay the det
That na man for till pay may let.                                    210
Schrevyn, and als repentand wele,
Quhen all wes done him ilke deill
That nedit Cristin man till haf,
As gud Crystyn the gast he gaf.
Than mycht men heir folk gret and cry,                               215
And mony a knycht and ek lady
Mak in apert richt evill cher;
Sa did thai all that evir thair wer:
All men hym menyt comonly,
For of his elde he wes worthy.                                       220
Quhen thai lang tyme thar dule had maid,
The cors to Paslay haf thai had,
And thar with gret solempnite,
And with gret dule, erdyt wes he.
God, for his mycht, his saull he bring                               225
Quhar joy ay lestis but endyng!

[206: E _Bathgat_.]

[224: C _entyrit_ (S). H _eirded_.]

Eftir his ded, as I said air,
The trewis that swa takyn war,
For till haf lestit thretten yheir,
Quhen twa yheir of thame passit weir,                                230
And ane half, as I trow, alsua,
Kyng Robert saw men wald nocht ma
Redres of schippes that war tane,
And of the men als that war slane;
Bot continuit thair mavite                                           235
Quhen evir thai met thame on the se.
He send and acquyt hym all planly,
And gaf the trewis up oppinly.
And, in vengeans of this trespas,
The gud Erll of Murreff, Thomas,                                     240
And Donald Erll of Mar alsua,
And James of Douglas with thaim twa,
And James Steward, that ledar wes,
Eftir his gud brother disses,
Of all his brothir men in weir,                                      245
He gert apon thar best maner
With mony men bown thaim to ga
In Ingland, for to burne and sla.
And thai held furth soyn till Ingland--
Thai war of gud men ten thousand--                                   250
Thai brynt and slew in-to thair way;
Thair fais fast distroyit thai.
And swagat furthward can thai fair,
Till Wardill quhill thai cummyn war.
That tyme Edward of Carnavarane,                                     255
The King, wes ded, and laid in stane;
And Edward, his sone, that wes yhyng,
In Ingland crownyt wes for Kyng,
And surname had of Wyndissoyr.
He had in France beyn of befor                                       260
With his moder dame Isabell;
And wes weddid, as I herd tell,
Till a yhoung lady fair of face
That the Erllis douchter was
Of Hennaut; and of that cuntre                                       265
Broucht with him men of gret bounte.
Schir Johne of Hennaut wes thar leder,
That was richt wis and wicht in wer.

[253: E _southwart_.]

[Sidenote: JUNE, 1327] _The Scots in Weardale_]

[Sidenote: AUG., 1327] _Attack by the English Archers_]

  And that tym that Scottis men war
At Wardale, as I said yhow ar,                                       270
In-to York wes the new maid King,
And herd tell of the distroying
That Scottis men maid in his cuntre.
A gret host till him gaderit he:
He wes weill neir fifty thousand.                                    275
Than held he northwarde in the land
In haill battale with that menyhe.
Auchtene yheir ald that tyme wes he.
The Scottis men all Cokdaill.
Fra end till end thai heryit haill,                                  280
And till Wardaill agane thai raid.
Thar discurriouris that sicht has had
Of cummyng of the Inglis men,
To thair lordis thai tald it then.
Than the lord Douglas, in a lyng,                                    285
Raid furth for till se thair cummyng;
And saw that sevyn battellis war thai,
That com rydand in gud aray.
Quhen he that folk behaldin had,
Toward his host agane he raid.                                       290
The Erll sperit giff he had seyne
The Inglis host; “Yha, Schir, but weyne.”
‘Quhat folk ar thai?’ “Schir, mony men.”
The Erll his ayth has suorn him then,
‘We sall ficht with thame, thouch thai war                           295
‘Yheit ma eftsonis than thai ar.’
‘Schir, lovit be God,’ he said agane,
‘That we have sic ane capitane,
‘That swa gret thyng dar undirta.
‘Bot, be Saint Bryde, it beis nocht swa,                             300
‘Giff my consaill may trowit be.
‘For fecht on na maner sall we
‘Bot be it at our avantage.
‘For me think it war nane outrage
‘Till fewar folk aganys ma                                           305
‘Avantage, quhen thai ma, to ta.’
As thai war on this wis spekand,
Our ane hye rig thai saw rydand,
Toward thame evyn, a battell braid;
Baneris displayit enew thai had.                                     310
And ane othir come eftir neir:
And rycht apon the sammyn maner
Thai com, quhill seven battellis braid
Out-our that high ryg passit had.
The Scottis men war thar liand                                       315
On north half Wer, toward Scotland.
The daill wes strekit weill, I hicht;
On athir syde thar wes ane hicht
Till the wattir doune, sum-deill stay.
The Scottis men in gud aray,                                         320
On thair best wis buskit ilkane,
Stude in the strynth that thai had tane;
And that wes fra the wattir of Wer
A quartir of ane myle weill ner:
Thai stude thar battell till abyd.                                   325
And Inglis men on athyr syd
Com ridand dounward, quhill thai wer
To Weris wattir cummyn ner,
And on othir half thair fais war.
Than haf thai maid a-rest richt thar:                                330
And send out archeris a thousand
With hudis of, and bowis in hand,
And gert thaim weill drink of the wyne,
And bad thaim gang to bykkyr syne
The Scottis host in abandoune                                        335
And luk if thai mycht dyng thaim doun:
For mycht thai ger thame brek aray,
Till have thaim at thar will thoucht thai.
Armyt men doune with thame thai send,
Thame at the watter till defend.                                     340

[282: C _had had_ (S). H _hes_.]

[304: C _me to think_ (S).]

[336: E _Thai ger thaim cum apon thaim doun_: which does not make

  The lord Dowglas has seyn thair fair,
And men, that richt weill horsit war
And armyt, a gret cumpany,
Behynd the battell prevely
He gert hufe, to byd thair cummyng:                                  345
And quhen he maid to thame taknyng,
Thai suld com prikand fast, and sla
With speris that thai mycht our-ta.
Donald of Mar thar chiftane was,
And Archbald with hym of Dowglas.                                    350
The lord Dowglas toward thaim raid;
A gown on his armyng he had,
And traversit alwayis up agane
Thame neir his battell for till trayne.
And thai, that drunkyn had of the wyne,                              355
Com ay up endlang in a lyne,
Quhill thai the battell com so neir
That arrowis fell emang thaim seir.
Robert of Ogill, a gud squyer,
Com prekand than on a courser,                                       360
And on the archeris cryit agane,
“Yhe wat nocht quha mais yhow that traine!
“It is the lord Dowglas, that will
“Sum of his playis ken yhow till.”
And quhen thai herd spek of Dowglas,                                 365
The hardyest affrayit was,
And agane returnit halely.
His takyn maid he than in hy;
And the folk that enbuschit war
So stoutly prekit on thame thar,                                     370
That weill thre hundreth haf thai slayne,
And till the wattir hame agayne
The remanand all can thai chas.
Schir Williame of Erskyn that was
Newlingis makyn knycht that day,                                    *375
Weill horsit intill gud aray,                                       *376
Chassit with othir that war thar                                     375
Sa fer-furth, that his hors him bar
Emang the lump of Inglis men,
That with strang hand he tane wes then.
Bot of hym weill soyn chaynge wes maid
For othir that men takyn had.                                        380
Fra thir Inglis archeris wer slayne,
Thai folk raid till thar host agane.
And richt swa did the lord Douglas;
And quhen that he reparit was,
Thai mycht emang thair fayis se                                      385
Thair palyheownys soyne stentit be.
Than thai persavit soyne in hy
That thai that nycht wald tak herbery,
And schap till do no mar that day.
Tharfor alsua thame herbreit thai,                                   390
And stentit palyheownys soyn in hy;
Tentis and luggis als thair-by
Thai gert mak, and set all on raw.
Twa novelreis that day thai saw,
That forrouth in Scotland had beyn nane:                             395
Tymbrys for helmys wes the tane,
That thame thoucht than of gret bewte,
And alsua wounder for to se;
The tothir crakkis war of wer,
That thai befor herd nevir eir.                                      400
Of thir twa thyngis thai had ferly.
That nycht thai wachit stalwardly:
The mast part of thame armyt lay,
Quhill on the morne that it wes day.

[341: C _that fair_. Has E.]

[368: C _he thaim_ (S). H _then_. E seems to give the more probable

[*375, *376: In C H. E omits.]

[394: E _noveltyis_.]

[Sidenote: AUG., 1327] _The English try an Ambush_]

The Inglis men thame umbethoucht,                                    405
Apon quhat maner that they moucht
Ger Scottis leve thair avantage;
For thame thoucht foly and outrage
To gang up to thame till assale
Thame at thar strynthis in playn battale.                            410
Tharfor of gud men ane thousand,
Armyt on hors bath fut and hand,
Thai send, behynd thair fayis to be
Enbuschit in-till a vale:
And schup thair battellis, as thai wald                              415
Apon thame till the fechting hald.
For thame thoucht Scottis men sic will
Had, that thai mycht nocht hald thaim still:
For thai knew thame of sic corage,
That thai trowit strenth and avantage                                420
That suld leyff, and meit thame planly;
Than suld thar buschement hastely
Behynd prek on thame at the bak;
Sa thoucht thai weill thai suld thaim mak
For till repent thame of thair play.                                 425
Thair enbuschement furth send haf thai,
That thame enbuschit prevaly.
And on the morn, sum-deill airly,
In-till the host syne trumpit thai,
And gert thair battell braid aray;                                   430
And, all arayit for to ficht,
Thai held toward the wattir richt.
Scottis men, that saw thame do swa,
Bown on thair best wis can thaim ma;
And in battell planly arayit,                                        435
With baneris to the wynd displayit,
Thai left thair strynth, and all planly
Com doune to meit thame hardely,
In als gud maner as thai mowcht,
Richt as thair fayis befor had thoucht.                              440
Bot the lord Dowglas, that ay-quhar
Set out wachis heir and thar,
Gat wit of thair enbuschement.
Than in gret hy soyn is he went
Befor the battellis, and stoutly                                     445
He bad ilk man turn hym in hy,
Richt as he stud, and turnit swa
Up till thair strynth he bad thaim ga,
Swa that na let thar-in be maid.
And thai did as he biddin had,                                       450
Quhill to thair strynth thai com agayn.
Than turnyt thai thame with mekill mayn,
And stude reddy to giff battale,
Giff thair fayis wald thame assale.
Quhen Inglis men has seyn thaim swa                                  455
Toward thar strynth agane up ga,
Thai cryit hey, “Thai fley thar way!”
Schir Johne de Hennaut said: “Perfay,
“Yhone fleying is richt degyse.
“Thair armyt men behynd I se,                                        460
“And thair baneris, swa that thai thar
“Bot turne thame as thai standand war,
“And be arayit for the ficht,
“Gif ony pressis thame with mycht.
“Thai haf seyne our enbuschement,                                    465
“And agane to thar strinth ar went.
“Yhone folk ar governyt wittely;
“And he that ledis thame war worthy
“For a-vis, worschip, and wisdome,
“To governe the empyre of Rome.”                                     470
Thus spak that worthy knycht that day;
And the enbuschement, fra that thai
Saw that thai swa discoverit war,
Toward thar host agane thai far.
And the battell of Inglis men,                                       475
Quhen thai saw thai had falit then
Of thar purpos, to thair herbery
Thai went, and lugit thame in hy.
On othir half richt swa did thai,
Thai maid no mar debat that day.                                     480

[Sidenote: AUG., 1327] _The Scots shift to a New Position_]

Qwhen thai that day ourdrivyn had,
Fyres in gret foysoune thai maid,
Als soyne as the nycht fallen was.
Than the gud lord of Dowglas,
That spyit had a plas thar-by,                                       485
Twa myle fra thine, quhar mar trastly
The Scottis host mycht herbery ta,
And defend thame bettir alsua
Than ellis in ony place thar-by;
It wes a park, that halely                                           490
Wes enveronyt about with wall;
It wes neir full of treis all,
Bot a gret plain in-till it was;
Thiddir thoucht the lord Dowglas
Be nychtyrtale thair host to bryng.                                  495
Tharfor, forouten mair duelling,
Thai bet thair fyres and maid thame mair,
And syne all sammyn furth thai fair,
And till the park, without tynsele,
Thai come, and herbryit thaim richt wele                             500
Upon the wattir, and als neir
Till it as thai be forrouth weir.
And on the morn, quhen it wes day,
The Inglis host myssit away
The Scottis men, and had ferly,                                      505
And gert discurriouris hastely
Prek to se quhar thai war away.
And, by thair fyres, persavit thai
That thai in the park of Wardale
Had gert herbery thar host all hail.                                 510

[502: _that_ inserted by S for metre. C _forrouth_ (S). _Cf._ 515.]

[Sidenote: AUG., 1327] _A Night Attack on the English_]

  Tharfor thair host but mair abaid
Buskit, and evin anent thaim raid,
And on othir half the watter of Wer
Gert stent thair palyheownys, als neir
As that befor stentit war thai.                                      515
Aucht dayis on bath halffis swa thai lay,
That Inglis men durst nocht assale
The Scottys men with playne battale,
For strinth of erd that thai had ther.
Thar wes ilk day justyng of wer,                                     520
And scrymmyng maid full apertly,
And men tane on ather party.
And thai that tane war on a day
On ane othir changit war thai.
Bot othir dedis nane war done,                                       525
That gretly is apone till mone;
Quhill it fell, on the nynt day,
The lord Dowglas had spyit a way,
How that he mycht about thame ryd,
And cum apon the ferrest syd.                                        530
And at evyn him purvayit he,
And tuk with him a gude menyhe,
Fyve hundreth on hors, wicht and hardy;
And in the nycht, all prevely,
For-out noyis so fer he raid,                                        535
Quhill that he neir enveremyt had
Thar host, and on the ferrer syd
Toward thame slely can he ryd,
And half the men that with hym war
He gert in hand have suerdis bar;                                    540
And bad thaim hew rapys in twa,
That thai the pailyhownys mycht ma
To fall on thaim that in thaim war.
Than suld the laiff, that forouth ar,
Stab doune with speres sturdely.                                     545
And, quhen thai herd his horne, in hy
To the wattir hald doun the way.
Quhen this wes said that I here say,
Toward thair fais fast thai raid,
That on that syd no wachis had.                                      550
And as thai neir war approchand,
Ane Inglis man, that lay bekand
Hym by a fyre, said to his feir,
“I wat nocht quhat may tyd us heir,
“Bot a richt gret growyng me tais;                                   555
“I dred me sair for the blak Dowglas.”
And he, that herd him, said, ‘Perfay,
‘Thou sall haf caus, gif that I may!’

[527: E _sevynd_. H _nynth_.]

[533: C _wes richt hardy_ (S). H as E.]

[544: E _folowit thar_.]

  With that, with all his cumpany,
He ruschit on thame hardely,                                         560
And prowd palyheownys doune he bare,
And with speris that scharply schar
Thai stekit men dispituisly.
The noyis weill soyn rais, and the cry;
Thai stabbit, stekit, and thai slew;                                 565
And mony palyheownys doun thai drew.
A felloun slauchtir maid thai thair,
That thai, that liand nakit war,
Hed na power defens to ma;
And thai but pite can thame sla.                                     570
Thai gert thame wit that gret foly
Wes, neir thair fayis for to ly,
Bot gif thai trastly wachit war.
The Scottis men war slaand thar
Thair fayis on this wis, quhill the cry                              575
Rais throu the gret host comonly,
That lord and othir war on steir.
And quhen the Dowglas wist thai weir
Armand thame all comonly,
He blew his horne for till rely                                      580
His men, and bad thame hald thar way
Toward the wattir, and swa did thai;
And he abaid henmast, to se
That nane of his suld lefit be.
And, as he swa abaid hufand,                                         585
Swa come ane with a club in hand,
And swa gret rowtis till him raucht,
That, had nocht beyn his mekill maucht
And his richt soverane gret manhede,
In-till that plas he had beyne ded.                                  590
Bot he, that na tyme was affrayit,
Thouch he weill oft wes herd assayit,
Thou mekill strynth and gret manheid,
Has brocht the tothir on-to ded,
His men, that to the wattir doune                                    595
War rydyn in-till a randoune,
Myssit thar lord quhen thai com thar.
Than war thai dredand for him sar;
Ilkane at othir sperit tithing,
Bot yheit of hym thai herd no thing.                                 600
Than can thai consale sammyn ta,
That thai to sek hym up wald ga.
And, as thai war in sic affray,
A tutlyng of his horne herd thai.
And thai, that has it knawin swith,                                  605
War of his cummyng woundir blith,
And sperit at him of his abaid;
And he tald how a carll him maid
With his club richt ane felloune pay,
That met him stoutly in the way,                                     610
That, had nocht ure helpit the mair
He had beyn in great perell thair.
Thusgatis spekand thai held thar way,
Quhill till thar host cummyn ar thai,
That on fut, armyt, thame abaid,                                     615
For till help, gif thai myster had.
And, als soyne as the lord Dowglas
Met with the Erll of Murreff was,
The Erll sperit at hym tithing
How he had farn in his outyng.                                       620
“Schir,” said he, “we haf drawyn blude.”
The Erll, that wes of mekill mude,
Said, ‘And we had all thiddir gane,
‘We had discumfit thame ilkane.’
“It mycht haf fallyn weill,” said he,                                625
“Bot sekerly enew war we
“To put us in yhon aventur.
“For, had thai maid discumfitur
“On us, that yhondir passit wer,
“It suld all stonay that ar heir.”                                   630

[612: C _I had_ (S). H as E.]

[Sidenote: AUG., 1327] _Douglas restrains Murray_]

  The Erle said, ‘Sen that it swa is,
‘That we may nocht with juperdis
‘Our felloune fais fors assale,
‘We sal it do in playn battale.’
Lord Douglas said then; “Be Saint Bryd,                              635
“It war gret foly, at this tyd,
“Till us with sic ane host till ficht,
“That ilk day growis of mycht,
“And vittale has thar-with plente.
“And in thar cuntre heir ar we,                                      640
“Quhar thar may cum us na succours;
“Herd is to mak us heir rescours;
“Na we may forra for to get met,
“Sic as we haf heir mon we et.
“Do we with our fayis tharfor                                        645
“That ar heir liand us befor,
“As I herd tell this othir yher
“How that a fox did with a fischer.”

How the Fox played with the Fisher.

  ‘How did the fox?’ the Erll can say.
He said; “A fischar quhilome lay                                     650
“Besyde a ryver for till get
“His nettis that he had thar set.
“A litill luge thar had he maid;
“And thar-within a bed he had,
“And ek a litill fyre alsua;                                         655
“A dure ther wes, withouten ma.
“A nycht, his nettis for till se
“He rais, and thair weill lang duelt he.
“And quhen that he has done his ded,
“Toward his luge agane he yhed,                                      660
“And with licht of the litill fyre,
“That in the luge was byrnand schyre,
“In-till his luge a fox he saw,
“That fast can on a salmond gnaw.
“Than till the dure he went in hy,                                   665
“And drew ane swerd deliverly
“And said, ‘Reiffar, thou mon heir out.’
“The fox, that wes in full gret dout,
“Lukit about sum hoill to se;
“Bot nane ysche thar couth he se,                                    670
“Bot quhar the man stude sturdely.
“A lawchtane mantill than hym by,
“Lyand apon the bed, he saw;
“And with his teyth he can it draw
“Atour the fyre; and, quhen the man                                  675
“Saw his mantill ly byrnand than,
“Till red it ran he hastely.
“The fox gat out than in gret hy,
“And held his way his warand till.
“The man leit hym begilit ill,                                       680
“That he his salmond swa had tynt,
“And alsua had his mantill brynt,
“And the fox scathles gat his way.
“This ensampill I may weill say
“By yhon folk and us that ar heir;                                   685
“We ar the fox, and thai the fischer,
“That stekis forouth us the way.
“Thai weyne we may nocht get away,
“Bot richt quhar that thai ly; perde,
“All as thai think it sall nocht be.                                 690
“For I haf gert spy us a gat,
“Suppos that it be sum-deill wat,
“A page of ouris we sall nocht tyne.
“Our fayis, for this small tranontyne,
“Wenys we sall weill pryd us swa,                                    695
“That we planly on hand sall ta
“To gif thame oppynly battale;
“Bot at this tyme thair thoucht sall fale.
“For we to-morne heir, all the day,
“Sall mak als mery as we may,                                        700
“And mak us boune agane the nycht;
“And than ger mak our fyres bricht,
“And blaw our hornys, and mak fair
“As all the warld our awne it war,
“Quhill that the nycht weill fallyn be.                              705
“And than, with all our harnas, we
“Sall tak our way hamward in hy.
“And we sall gyit be richt graithly
“Quhill we be out of thair danger,
“That lyis now enclosit her.                                         710
“Than sall we all be at our will,
“And thai sall let thame trumpit ill,
“Fra thai wit weill we be away.”
To this haly assentit thai;
And maid thame gud cher all that nycht                               715
Quhill on the morn that day was licht.

[667: C _Tratour_ (S).]

[Sidenote: AUG., 1327] _The Scots prepare to depart_]

[Sidenote: AUG., 1327] _King Robert sends a Relief_]

Apon the morne, all prevaly,
Thai turst harnas and maid reddy;
Swa that, or evyn, all boun war thai.
Thair fayis, that agane thame lay,                                   720
Gert haf thair men that thar wes ded
In cartis till ane haly sted.
All that day caryand thai war
With cartis, men that slayne war thar.
That thai war feill men mycht weill se,                              725
That in carying so lang sud be.
The hostis bath all that day wer
In pes; and quhen the nycht wes ner,
The Scottis folk, that lyand war
In-till the park, maid fest and far;                                 730
And blew hornys and fyres maid,
And gert thame bryn bath bricht and braid,
Swa that thair fyres that nycht war mair
Than ony tyme befor thai war.
And quhen the nycht wes fallyn wele,                                 735
With all thair harnas ilke deill
All prevaly thai raid thair way.
Soyn in a mos enterit ar thai,
That had weill a lang myle on breid;
Out-our that moss on fut thai yheid,                                 740
And in thair hand thair hors led thai.
It wes richt ane noyus way;
And nocht-for-thi all that thar wer
Com weill outour it, haill and fer,
And tynt bot litill of thar ger,                                     745
Bot gif it war ony summer
That in the mos wes left liand.
Quhen all, as I haf born on hand,
Out-our the mos, that wes so braid,
War cummyn, a gret gladschip thai had,                               750
And raid furth hamwarde on thar way.
And on the morn, quhen it wes day,
The Inglis men saw the herbery,
Quhar Scottis men war wount to ly,
All voyd; thai wonderit gretly then,                                 755
And send furth syndry of thar men
To spy quhar thai war gane away,
Quhill at the last thair tras fand thai,
That till the mekill mos thame had,
That wes so hidwis for till waid,                                    760
That aventur thame thar-to durst nane;
Bot till thar host agane ar gane,
And tald how that thai passit war,
Quhar nevir man wes passit ar.
Quhen Inglis men hard it wes swa,                                    765
In hy till consale can thai ta,
That thai wald follow thaim no mar.
Thair host richt than thai scalit thar,
And ilk man till his awn he raid.
Kyng Robert than that witteryng had                                  770
That his men in the park swa lay,
And at quhat myscheiff thar war thai,
Ana host assemblit he in hy.
And ten thousand men, wicht and hardy,
He send furth has with Erllis twa,                                   775
Of Marche and Angous war thai,
The host in Wardale till releiff;
And, gif thai mycht so weill escheiff
That sammyn nycht be thai and thai,
Tha thoucht thair fayis till assay.                                  780

[739: E _twa myle of_. So, too, in H.]

[742-744: After line 742 H inserts:

_But flaikes in the wood they made
Of wands, and them with them had:
And sykes therewith brigged they:
And sa had well their horse away,
On sik wise, that all that there were,
Came through the mosse baith haill and feire._

[774: C _Of twenty thousand richt hardy_ (S). H like E.]

[776: E _the Merse_.]

  So fell it that, on the sammyn day
That the mos, as yhe herd me say,
Wes passit, the discurrouris that thar
Rydand befor the hostis war,
Of athir host has gottin sicht.                                      785
And thai, that worthy war and wicht,
At tha metyng justit of wer.
Ensenyheis hye thai cryit ther;
And be thair cry persavit thai,
That thai war frendis, and at a fay.                                 790
Than mycht men se thame glad and blith;
And tald it to thair lordis swith.
The hostis bath met sammyn syne;
Thar wes richt hamly welcummyne
Maid emang gret lordis thar;                                         795
Of thair metyng joyfull thai war.
The Erll Patrik and his menyhe
Had vittale with thame gret plente,
And thar-with weill relevit thai
Thar frendis; for, the suth to say,                                  800
Quhill thai in Wardall liand war,
Thai had defalt of met, bot thar
Thai war relevit with gret plente.
Toward Scotland, with gammyn and gle,
Thai went, and hame weill cummyn ar thai;                            805
And scalit syne ilk man thar way.
The lordis ar went on-to the King,
That maid thame richt fair welcummyng.
For of thar come richt glad wes he;
And that thai sic perplexite.                                        810
For-out tynsale eschapit had.
Thai war blith all and mery made.


How Good King Robert the Bruce crowned his Young Son
David and Dame Johann, his Spouse.

[Sidenote: 1327-28] _A Treaty of Peace_]

Soyne eftir that the Erll Thomas
Fra Wardale thus reparit was,
The King assemblit all his mycht,
And left nane that wes worth to ficht.
A gret host than assemblit he,                                         5
And delt his host in parties thre.
A part to Norhame went but let,
And thair ane strat assege was set,
And held thame in, richt at thar dik.
The tothir part on to Awnwyk                                          10
Is went, and thar ane sege set thai;
And quhill at thir assegis lay
At the castellis, I spak of ar,
Apert assaltis maid thai thar:
And mony fair gud chevelry                                            15
Eschevyt wes full douchtely.
The king at thai castellis liand
Left his folk, as I bare on hand,
And with the thrid ost held his way
Fra park to park, hym for to play,                                    20
Huntand as all his awn it war.
And till thame that war with him thar
The landis of Northumbirland,
That next Scotland thar wes liand,
In fe and heritage gaf he,                                            25
And thai payit for the selys fee.
On this wis raid he distroyand,
Quhill that the Kyng of Ingland,
Throu consell of the Mortymer
And his moder, at that tym wer                                        30
Ledaris of hym, that than yhoung wes,
To Kyng Robert, till tret of pes
Send messyngers, and swa sped thai
That thai assentit on this way,
Than a perpetuall pes to tak,                                         35
And thai a mariage suld mak
Of King Robertis sone, Davy,
That than bot fiff yheir had scarsly,
And of dame Johane als of the Tour,
That syne wes of full gret valour.                                    40
Sistir scho was to the yhoung King
That Ingland had in governyng,
That than of eild had sevin yher.
And monymentis and lettrys ser,
That thai off Ingland that time had,                                  45
That oucht agayn Scotland maid,
In till that tretys up thai gaff;
And all the clame that thai mycht haff
In-till Scotland on ony maner.
And King Robert, for scathes ser,                                     50
That he till thame of Ingland
Had done of weir, with stalward hand,
Full twenty thousand pund suld pay
Of sylvir in-to gude monay.
Quhen men thir thyngis forspokin had,                                 55
And, with selys and athis, maid
Fesnyng of frendschip and of pes,
That nevir for na chans suld ces;
The maryage syne ordanit thai
Till be at Berwyk, and the day                                        60
Thai have set quhen that it suld be;
Syne went ilk man till his cuntre.

[16: E _war_. H _was_. C omits line. S reads _wes_ as more usual form.]

[41: E _yhing_.]

[44-49: In E only. C H omit.]

  Thus maid wes pes quhar wer wes air,
And syne the assegis rasit wair.
The Kyng Robert ordanit till pay                                      65
The silvir, and, agane the day,
He gert weill for the mangery
Ordane, quhen that his sone Davy
Suld weddit be; and Erll Thomas,
And the gud lord als of Douglas,                                      70
In-till his stede ordanit he
Devysouris of that fest till be;
For ane male-es tuk hym so sare,
That he on na wis mycht be thar.
His mail-eis of ane fundyng                                           75
Begouth; for, throu his cald lying,
Quhen in his gret myschef wes he,
Him fell that herd perplexite.
At Cardros all that tym he lay;
And quhen neir cummyne wes the day                                    80
That ordanit for the wedding wes,
The Erll and the lord Dowglas
To Berwik come with mekill fair,
And broucht yhoung Davy with thame thair.
And the Queyne and Mortymer,                                          85
On othir party cummyn wer
With gret affeir and rialte,
The yhoung lady, of gret bewte,
Thidder thai broucht with rich affeir.
The wedding have thai maid richt ther                                 90
With gret fest and solempnite,
Thair mycht men myrth and gladschip se:
For full gret fest thai maid richt thar,
And Inglis men and Scottis war
To-gidder in joy and in solas:                                        95
Na felloune spek betuix thame was.

[Sidenote: JULY 12, 1328] _The Marriage of Prince David_]

  The fest a weill lang tyme held thai;
And quhen thai buskit till fair away,
The queyn hes left hir douchter thar
With gret riches and ryall far.                                      100
I trow that lang quhill no lady
To hous wes gevin so richly.
The Erll and the Lord Dowglas,
Hir in dante resavit has,
As it wes worthy, sekyrly;                                           105
For scho wes syne the best lady
And the farest, that men mycht se.
Eftir this gret solempnite,
Quhen on bath halfis levis wes tane,
The queyne till Ingland hame is gane,                                110
And had with hir the Mortymer.
The Erll and thai that levit wer,
Quhen thai a quhile hir convoyit had,
Toward Berwik agane thai raid,
And syne, with all thar cumpany,                                     115
Toward the King thai went in hy,
And had with thame the yhoung Davy,
And als dame Johane the yhoung lady.
The Kyng maid thame fair welcummyng,
And eftir, but lang delaying,                                        120
He has gert set ane parliament,
And thiddir with mony men is went.
For he thoucht he wald, in his liff,
Croune his yhoung sone and his wif
At that parliament, and swa did he;                                  125
With gret fair and solempnite,
The kyng Davy wes crownyt thar,
And all the lordis at thar war,                                     *127
*And als of the comminite,
*Maid hym manrent and fewte.
And forouth that thai crownit war,                                  *130
The King Robert gert ordane thar,
Gif it fell that his sone Davy
Deit, but air male of his body                                       130
Gottyn, Robert Stewart suld be
Kyng, and bruk all the rialte
That his douchter bar, Marjory.
And at this tailyhe suld lelely
Be haldin, all the lordis swar,                                      135
And it with selys affermyt thar.
And gif it hapnyt Robert the Kyng
To pass till God, quhill thai war yhyng,
The gud Erle of Murref, Thomas,
With the lord alsua of Dowglas,                                      140
Suld have thame in-to governyng,
Quhill thai had wit to steir thar thing;
And than the lordschip suld thai ta.
Heir-till thar athis can thai ma.
And all the lordis that wes thar                                     145
To thir twa wardanys athes swar
Till obeis thame in-to lawte,
Gif thame hapnyt wardanys to be.

[*127-*130: Found in C, E, H, but omitted by Pinkerton.]

[131: C _Robert Stiward_ (S).]

[134: C _tale_ (S). H _tailyie_.]

[Sidenote: MAY-JUNE, 1329] _The Mission of the King’s Heart_]

Quhen all this thing thus tretit wes,
And affermyt with sekirnes,                                          150
The king till Cardross went in hy;
And thar hym tuk sa felonly
The seknes, and him travalyt swa,
That he wist him behufit ma
Of all this liff the commoune end,                                   155
That is the ded, quhen God will send.
Tharfor his lettres soyne send he
For the lordis of his cuntre,
And thai com as he biddyn had.
His testament than has he maid,                                      160
Befor bath lordis and prelatis;
And till religioune of seir statis,
For heill of his saull, gaf he
Silvir in-to gret quantite.
He ordanit for his saull richt weill.                                165
And quhen at this wes done ilk deill,
“Lordingis,” he said, “swa is it gane
“With me, that thar is nocht bot ane
“That is, the ded, withouten dreid,
“That ilk man mon thole on neid.                                     170
“And I thank God that has me sent
“Spas in this liff me till repent.
“For throu me and my warraying
“Of blud thar has beyne gret spilling,
“Quhar mony sakles men wes slayne;                                   175
“Tharfor this seknes and this payne
“I tak in thank for my trespas.
“And my hert fyschit fermly was,
“Quhen I wes in prosperite,
“Of my synnys till savit be                                          180
“To travell apon Goddis fayis.
“And sen he now me till hym tais,
“That the body may on na wis
“Fulfill that the hert can devis,
“I wald the hert war thiddir sent,                                   185
“Quhar-in consavit wes that entent.
“Tharfor I pray yhow evir-ilkane,
“That yhe emang yhow cheis me ane
“That be honest, wis, and wicht,
“And of his hand ane nobill knycht,                                  190
“On Goddis fayis myne hert to bere
“Quhen saull and cors disseverit er.
“For I wald it war worthely
“Broucht thar, sen God will nocht that I
“Have power thiddirward till ga.”                                    195
Than war thair hertis all so wa,
That nayne mycht hald hym fra greting.
He bad thame leiff thair sorowyng;
For it, he said, mycht nocht releif,
And mycht thaimself gretly engreif.                                  200
And prayit thame in hy till do
The thyng that thai war chargit to.
Than went thai furth with drery mude.
And emang thame thai thoucht it gude
That the worthy lord Dowglas                                         205
Quham in bath wit and worschip was                                  *206
*Suld tak this travaill apon hand;
*Heir-till thai war an accordand.
*Syne till the Kyng that went in hy
*And tald hym at thai thoucht trewly,
That the douchty lord Dowglas                                       *211
Best schapen for that travell was.
And quhen the King hard at thai swa
Had ordanit hym his hert till ta,
That he mast yharnit suld it haf,
He said, “Sa God him-self me saff!                                   210
“I hald me richt weill payit that yhe
“Has chosyn hym; for his bounte,
“And his worschip set my yharnyng,
“Ay sen I thoucht till do this thyng,
“That he it with hym thar suld ber.                                  215
“And sen yhe all assentit er,
“It is the mar likand till me.
“Lat se now quhat thar-till sayis he.”
And quhen the gud lord of Dowglas
Wist at the Kyng thus spokyn has,                                    220
He com and knelit to the Kyng,
And on this wis maid him thanking.
‘I thank yhow gretly, lorde,’ said he,
‘Of mony large and gret bounte,
‘That yhe haf done till me feill sis                                 225
‘Sen fyrst I come to yhour servis.
‘Bot our all thing I mak thanking,
‘That yhe so digne and worthy thing
‘As yhour hert, that illumynyt wes
‘Of all bounte and worthynes,                                        230
‘Will that I in my yheemsell tak.
‘For yhow, Schir, will I blithly mak
‘This travell, gif God will me gif
‘Laser and space so lange till liff.’
The Kyng him thankit tendirly.                                       235
Than wes nane in that cumpany
That thai ne wepit for pite;
Thair cher anoyus wes to se.

[*206-*211: E omits, apparently on account of double termination
_Douglas_. In C H.]

Death of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland.

[Sidenote: JUNE, 1329] _The Sorrow for the King’s Death_]

Quhen the Lord Dowglas, on this wis,
Had undirtane so hye empris,                                         240
As the gud Kyngis hert till ber
On Goddis fayis apon wer,
Prisit for his enpris wes he.
And the Kingis infermite
Woxe mair and mair, quhill at the last                               245
The dulfull dede approchit fast.
And quhen he had gert till hym do
All that gud Cristin man fell to,
With werray repentans he gaf
The gast, that God till hevin couth haf,                             250
Emang his chosyn folk till be
In joy, solace, and angell gle.
And fra his folk wist he wes ded,
The sorow rais fra sted to sted.
Thair mycht men se men rif thar hare,                                255
And cumly knychtis gret full sar,
And thar nevis oft sammyn driff,
And as wode men thair clathes rif,
Regratand his worthy bounte,
His wit, strynth, and his honeste;                                   260
And, our all, the gret cumpany
That he oft maid thame curtesly.
“All our defens,” thai said, “allas!
“And he that all our confort was,
“Our wit, and all our governyng,                                     265
“Is brought, allas! heir till ending.
“His worschip and his mekill mycht
“Maid all that war with him so wicht,
“That thai mycht nevir abaysit be,
“Quhill forouth thame thai mycht him se.                             270
“Allas! quhat sall we do or say?
“For in liff quhill he lestit ay,
“With all our fais dred war we:
“And in-till mony fer cuntre
“Of our worschip ran the renoune:                                    275
“And that wes all for his persoune.”
With sic wordis thai maid thair mayne;
And sekirly wonder wes nane:
For better governour than he
Mycht in na cuntre fundyn be.                                        280
I hop that nane that is on lif
The lamentacioune suld discrif
That thai folk for thair lord maid.
And quhen thai lang thus sorowit had,
And he debowalit wes clenly,      [293] 285
And bawlmyt eyne full richly,
And the worthy lord Dowglas      [295]
His hert, as it forspokyn was,
Has resavit in gret dantee,
With gret fair and solempnite      [298] 290
Thai have him had till Dunfermlyne,      [285]
And hym solempnly erdit syne,
And in a fair towne in the queyr.
Bischoppes and prelatis that thar weir
Assolyheit hym, quhen the servis                                     295
Wes done as thai couth best devis;      [290]
And syne, apon the toder day,
Sary and wa ar went thar way.      [292]

[273: E _our nychtbowris_. H _faes_.]

[285-298: The arrangement here is from C H. E sets differently and
illogically. The numbers in brackets follow Pinkerton.]

[Sidenote: JULY-AUG., 1330] _Douglas reaches Spain_]

Quhen at the gud King beriit was,
The Erll of Murreff, Schir Thomas,                                   300
Tuk all the lande in governyng;
All obeysit till his bidding.
And the gud lord of Dowglas syne
Gert mak ane cas of silvir fyne
Anamalyt throu subtilite:                                            305
Thar-in the Kyngis hert did he,
And ay about his hals it bare,
And fast him bownyt for his fare.
His testament devisit he,
And ordanit how his land suld be                                     310
Governit, quhill his agane-cummyng,
Of frendis; and all othir thing,
That till him partenit ony wis,
With sa gude forsicht and sa wis,
Or his furth-passyng, ordanit he,                                    315
That na thing mycht amendit be.
And quhen that he his leif has tane,
To schip till Berwik is he gane;
And with ane nobill cumpany
Of knychtis and of squyary,                                          320
He put him thar in-to the se.
A lang way furthwarde salyt he;
Betuyx Cornwale and Bretanyhe
He salit, and left the Grunye of Spanyhe
On north half hym; and held thar way                                 325
Quhill till Savill the Graunt com thai.
Bot gretly war his men and he
Travaled with tempest on the se;
Bot, thouch thai gretly travalit war,
Haill and feir thai cummyn ar.                                       330
Thai arivit at gret Savill;
And eftir, in a litill quhill,
Thar hors to land thai drew ilkane,
And in the toune has herbery tane.

[324: C _grund_ (S).]

[326: C _Sebell_ (S).]

[331: C _at Graunt Sebell_. H _the great Sebell_.]

  He hym contenyt richt richly;                                      335
For he had a fayr cumpany,
And gold eneuch for till despend.
The Kyng all soyne eftir hym send,
And him richt weill resavit he,
And profferit hym in gret plente                                     340
Gold and tresour, hors and armyng;
Bot he wald tak thar-of na thyng;
For, he said, he tuk that viage
To pass in-till his pilgrimage
On Goddis fais, that his travale                                     345
Micht eftir till his saull avale.
And sen he wist that he had were
With Sarazenis, he wald dwell ther,
And help him at his mycht lely.
The King him thankit curtesly,                                       350
And betaucht him gud men that were
Weill knawin of that landis wer,
And the maner thar-of alsua.
Syne till his innys can he ga.

  Quhen that the King him levit had,                                 355
A weill gret sojourne thar he mad.
Knychtis that com of fer cuntre
Com in gret rowtis hym to se,
And honorit him full gretumly.
And our all men mast soveranly,                                      360
The Inglis knychtis that war thar
Honour and cumpany him bar.

[356: C _sudiorne_ (S).]

  Emang thame wes ane strange knycht,
That wes haldyn so woundir wicht,
That for ane of the gude wes he                                      365
Prisit of all the Cristianite.
Sa fast till-hewyn wes all his face
That it our all neir wemmyt was.
Or he the lord Dowglas had seyne,
He wend his face had wemmyt beyne,                                   370
Bot nevir ane hurt in it had he.
Quhen he unwemmyt can it se,
He said that he had gret ferly
That sic a knycht and sa worthy,
And prisit of sa gret bounte,                                        375
Mycht in the face unwemmyt be.
And he ansuerd thar-till mekly,
And said, “Love God, all tym had I
“Handis myne hede for till were.”
Quha wald tak tent to this ansuer                                    380
Suld se in it undirstanding,
That, and he that maid askyng,
Had had handis to wer, his face,
That, for defalt of fens so was
To-fruschit into placis ser,                                         385
Suld haf, may fall, left haill and fer.
The gud knychtis, that than war by,
Prisit this ansuer gretumly;
For it wes maid with meke speking,
And had richt hye undirstanding.                                     390

[378-386: For these lines H gives:

_And said, “God lent me hands to beare,
Wherewith I might my head weere.”
Thus maid he courteous answering,
With a right hie understanding:
That for default of fence it was,
That sa evill hewen was his fall._

[380: E _tak kep_.]

[Sidenote: AUG. 25, 1330] _A Battle with the Saracens_]

Apon this maner still thai lay,
Quhill throu the cuntre thai herd say
That the hey King of Balmeryne,
With mony a mudy Sarasyne,
Wes enterit in the land off Spanyhe                                  395
All haill the cuntre till demanyhe.
The Kyng of Spanyhe, on othir party,
Gaderit his host delyverly,
And delt thame in-to battellis thre.
And to the lord Dowglas gaf he                                       400
The vaward for to leid and steir;
All haill the strangeris with him weir,
And the gret mastir of Saint Jak
The tothir battell gert he tak.
The reirward maid him-selvyn thar.                                   405
Thusgat devisit, furth thai war
To mete thair fayis, that in battale
Arayit, reddy to assale,
Com agane thame full sturdely.
The Dowglas than, that wes worthy,                                   410
Quhen he to thame of his ledyng
Had maid ane fair amonestyng
Till do weill and na dede to dreid,
For hevynnis blis suld be thair meid,
Gif that thai deit in Goddis servis;                                 415
Than, as gud werriours and wis,
With thame stoutly assemblit he.
Thar mycht men felloune fechting se;
For thai war all wicht and hardy
That war on the Cristyn party;                                       420
So fast thai faucht, with all thar mayne,
That of Sarasenys war mony slayne;
The-quhethir, with mony fell fachoune,
Mony Cristyn thai dang thar doune.

[393: _Hey_ from E. C H omit.]


_But ere they joyned in battell,          *421
What Dowglas did, I sall you tell.
The Bruce’s Heart, that on his brest
Was hinging, in the field he kest,
Upon a stane-cast and well more:          *425
And said, “Now passe thou foorth before,
As thou wast wont in field to be,
And I sall follow, or els die.”
And sa he did withoutten ho,
He faught even while he came it to,       *430
And tooke it up in great daintie;
And ever in field this used he._          *432

*421-*432. In H only; not in C E. See Appendix D.

[Sidenote: AUG. 25, 1330] _The Death of Douglas_]

  Bot at the last the lord Douglas,                                  425
And the gret rout that with hym was,
Pressit fast the Sarasenys swa
That thai haly the bak can ta.
And thai chassit with all thar mayn,
And mony in the chas has slayn.                                      430
So fer chassit the lord Dowglas,
With few folk, that he passit wes
All the folk that wes chassand then.
He had nocht with him atour ten
Of all men that war with him thar.                                   435
Quhen he saw all reparit war
Toward his host than turnit he.
And quhen the Saryzynys gan se
That the chasseris turnyt agane,
Thai relyit with mekill mayne.                                       440
And as the gud lorde Dowglas,
As I said air, reparand was,
So saw he, richt besyd him ner,
Quhar that Schir Willyhame de Sancler
With a gret rout enveremyt was.                                      445
He wes anoyit, and said; “Allas!
“Yhone worthy knycht will soyn be ded,
“Bot he haf help throu our manhed.
“God biddis us help him in gret hy,
“Sen that we ar so neir him by.                                      450
“And God wat weill our entent is
“Till lif and de in his servis;
“His will in all thing do sall we,
“Sall na perell eschevit be
“Quhill he be put out of yhone payne,                                455
“Or than we all be with hym slayn.”
With that with spurris spedely
Thai strak the hors, and in gret hy
Amang the Saracenys soyne thai raid,
And rowme about thame haf thai maid.                                 460
Thai dang on fast with all thair mycht,
And feill of thame to ded has dicht.
Gretar defens maid nevir sa quhoyne
Agane so feill, as thai have doyne.
Quhill thai mycht lest to gif battale.                               465
Bot mycht no worschip thar avale
That tym, for ilkan war slayn thar;
For Sarasynys sa mony war
That thai war tuenty neir for ane.
The gud lord Douglas thar wes slane,                                 470
And Wilyhame Sancler syne alsua;
And other worthy knychtis twa,
Schir Robert Logan hat the tane,
And the tothir Walter Logane;
Quhar our Lord, for his mekill mycht,                                475
Thar saulys have to hevynnis hycht!

[438: C H _And as he turnit, he can weill se_ (S). Text from E.]

[440: C _And thai_ (S).]

[476: C _licht_ (S). H as E.]

The gud lord Douglas thus wes ded;
And the Sarasenys in that sted
Abaid no mair, bot held thar way;
Thai knychtis ded thar levit thai.                                   480
Sum of the lord Douglassis men,
That thar lord ded had fundyn then,
Yheid weill neir wood for dule and wa.
Lang quhile our hym thai sorowit swa,
And with gret dule syne hame him bar.                                485
The Kyngis hert have thai fundyn thar,
And that haym with thame have thai tane,
And ar toward thair innys gane
With greting and with evill cher;
Thair sorow angyr wes to her.                                        490
And quhen of Keth gud Schir Wilyhame,
That all that day had beyn at hame--
For at sa gret myschef wes he,
That he come nocht to the journee,
For his arme wes brokyne in twa--                                    495
Quhen he that folk sic dule saw ma,
He askyt quhat it wes in hy.
And thai him tauld all opynly,
How that thair douchty lord wes slayn
With Sarazynys that releyt agayn.                                    500
And quhen he wyst that it was sua,
Atour all other he wes mast wa,
And maid so woundir evill cher
That all wounderit that by him wer.
Bot till tell of thair sorowyng                                      505
Anoyis, and helpis litill thing.
Men may weill wit, thouch nane thaim tell,
How angry, sorowfull, and how fell
Is till tyne sic ane lord as he
Till thame that war of his menyhe.                                   510
For he wes swete, and debonar,
And weill couth tret his frendis far,
And his fais richt felonly
Stonay, throu his gret chevelry.
The-quhethir of litill effer wes he,                                 515
Bot our all thing he lufit lawte;
At tresoune growyt he so gretly,
That na tratour mycht be hym by,
That he mycht wit, na he suld be
Weill punyst of his cruelte.                                         520

[496-501: From E H. Not in C, owing to _cher_ twice.]

[Sidenote: 1330] _How Fabricius punished a Traitor_]

  I trow, the leill Fabricius,
That fra Rome to warray Pirrus
Wes send with a gret menyhe,
Hatit tresoune na les than he.
The-quhethir quhen the Pirrus had                                    525
On him and on his menyhe, mayd
Ane outrageous discumfitour,
Quhar he eschapit throu aventour,
And mony of his men war slane,
And he gaderit ane host againe,                                      530
A gret mastir of medicyne,
That Pirrus had in governyne,
Profferit to this Fabricius
In tresoune for to slay Pirrus;
For, in his first potacioune,                                        535
He suld him gif dedly poysoune.
Fabricius than, that wondir had
That he sic proffer till hym maid
Said; “Certis, Rome is wele of mycht
“Throu strynth of armys in-to ficht,                                 540
“Till vencus weill thar fais, thouch thai
“Consent to tresoune be na way.
“And for thou wald do sic tresoune,
“Thou sall, to get thi warisoune,
“Ga to Pirrus, and lat hym do                                        545
“Quhat evir in hert hym lyis the to.”
Than till Pirrus he sende in hy
This mastir, and gert him oppenly
Fra end till end tell all this tale.
Quhen Pirrus had it herd all hale,                                   550
He said; ‘Wes nevir man that swa
‘For laute bar hym till his fa,
‘As heir Fabricius dois till me;
‘It is als ill to ger hym be
‘Turnyt fra way of richtwisnes,                                      555
‘Or to consent till wikidnes,
‘As at mydday to turne agane
‘The sone that rynnis his cours all playn.’
Thus said he of Fabricius,
That syne vencust this ilk Pirrus                                    560
In playne battell throu hard fechting.
His honest lawte gert me bryng
In this ensampell her, for he
Had soverane pris of his lawte.
And richt sua had the lord Douglas,                                  565
That honest, leill, and worthy was;
That ded wes, as befor said we;
All menyt hym, strange and preve.

  Quhen his men lang had maid murnyng,
The debowellit hyme, and syne                                        570
Gert seth him, swa that mycht be tane
The flesche all haly fra the bane.
The carioune thair in haly plas
Erdit with richt gret worschip was.
The banys have thai with thame tane,                                 575
And syne ar till thair schippes gane.
Quhen thai war levit of the Kyng,
That dule had of thar sorowyng.
Till se thai went, gud wynd thai had,
Thair cours till Ingland haf thai maid,                              580
And thair saufly arivit thai;
Syne toward Scotland held thar way,
And thar ar cummyne in full gret hy.
And the banys richt honorabilly
In-till the kirk of Dowglas war                                      585
Erdit, with dule and mekill car.
Schir Archibald his sone gert syne
Of alabast bath fair and fyne
Ordane a towme full richly,
As it behufit till swa worthy.                                       590

[Sidenote: JULY 20, 1332] _Death of the Earl of Murray_]

Qwhen that on this wis Schir Wilyhame
Of Keyth had broucht his banis hame,
And the gud Kyngis hert alsua,
And men had richly gert ma
With fair affeir his sepulture,                                      595
The Erle of Murreff, that the cure
That tyme of Scotland had haly,
With gret worschip has gert bery
The Kyngis hert at the abbay
Of Melros, quhar men prayis ay                                       600
That he and his haffe paradis.
Quhen this wes done that I devis,
The gud Erll governit the land,
And held the pure weill to warand.
The law sa weill mantemyt he,                                        605
And held in pes swa the cuntre,
That it wes nevir led or his day
So weill, as I herd ald men say.
Bot syne, allas! poysonyt wes he;
To se his ded wes gret pite.                                         610

  The lordis deit apon this wis.
He, that hye Lord of all thing is,
Up till his mekill blis thame bryng,
And grant his grace, that thar ofspryng
Leid weill the land, and ententif                                    615
Be to folow, in all thair liff,
Thair nobill elderis gret bounte!
The afald God in Trinite
Bring us hye up till hevynnis blis,
Quhar all-wayis lestand liking is!--AMEN.                            620

[610: In H _By a false Monk full traiterously_.]


_For fuller details of the more important works referred to see
Bibliographical List._


4 _on gud maner._ The best expansion of this phrase as an expression of
Barbour’s ideal of style is in the _Alexander_:

  “To mak it _on sa gud manere,
  Sa oppin sentence and sa clere
  As is the Frenche_” (p. 441).

15 _tyme of lenth._ In modern phrase, “length of time,” and Skeat
accordingly follows Hart’s edition in so reading it. But “of lenth”
is a common attributive phrase and may quite well stand here, though
awkward to modern ears. In line 531 we have _this warld of lenth_ for
“the length of this world,” which is a close enough parallel, and will
not admit of alteration. In _Wyntoun_, too, occur such phrases as, “a
merke schot large of lenth” (_Bk._ ix. 27, 419).

37 _Quhen Alexander the King was deid._ As in the first line of the
well-known double verse given by Wyntoun as a fragment of the time;
“Quhen Alexander our Kinge was dede.” Wyntoun, in his extract from _The
Bruce_, here reads _oure_. Alexander III. was killed by falling, with
his horse, over the cliff at Kinghorn in Fife, on March 19, 1286.

39 _six yher._ Rather less. Alexander “was dead” on March 19, 1286,
which Barbour would reckon as 1285. The dispute over the succession
began on the death of Queen Margaret on September 26, 1290.

40 _lay desolat._ Barbour, it may be from considerations of space or
symmetry, or as a Bruce partisan, omits all mention of the child-Queen
Margaret (1286-1290); Bruce “the Competitor,” indeed, held that his
claim was superior to hers, and on Alexander’s death started a rising
apparently against the succession of a female contrary to the ancient
customs of the country. In his pleadings before Edward he claims to be
“higher in degree and more worthy in blood” even than she (_Palgrave_,
pp. 30-31). To the reign of Balliol (1292-1296) there is reference
later; but no notice is taken of the rising under Wallace (1297-1298)
nor of the Barons’ War (1299-1304); the former was carried on in the
name of King John, and the latter was mainly a Comyn affair. Robert
Bruce (King) took a fitful share in both operations on the national
side, but ended as an active partisan of Edward I. (but see note on

49 _sum wald haiff the Balleol king._ The active heads of his party
were Sir John Comyn of Badenoch and William Fraser, Bishop of St.
Andrews, two of the Guardians (_Palgrave_, p. 18). These two had
assumed the control of the government (p. 16).

51 _eldest systir was._ The direct line of William the Lyon having
failed, recourse was had to that of his brother, David Earl of
Huntingdon. David’s only son died without issue. His eldest daughter,
Margaret, was the mother of Devorgoil, or Devorgilla, mother of John
Balliol who was thus the great-grandson of the Earl, and of the senior
female branch. David’s second daughter, Isabella, had married Robert
Bruce of Annandale father of the Competitor, who was thus the son of
the second daughter, as Devorgilla was the daughter of the first.

54 _in als nere degree._ The legal phraseology used throughout by
Barbour corresponds with the pleadings submitted by Bruce. These
(Anglo-French) are given in full by Palgrave in his _Documents and
Records_, vol. i.; the Latin version from the _Great Roll_, printed
in Rymer’s _Fœdera_, vol. i., is only a notarial summary. Barbour,
however, does not put the issue clearly. In the “branch collaterale”
(_en lyne collateral_) of Earl David, Bruce was “in als nere degre”
(_aussi pres en degre_) as Devorgilla. But Devorgilla was dead before
the vacancy in the throne occurred; she had never been vested in the
succession, and thus had no rights to transmit to her son (_cf._ 59,
60). The heritage, therefore, on the death of its possessor, came
by law to him who was then nearest in blood--that is, to Bruce, as
grandson of Earl David; for John Balliol, as great-grandson, was a
degree further away (_qe en Sire Roberd de Brus meilleur dreyt deit
reposer qe est plus procheyn du saunk qe en Sire Johan de Balliol qe
est en plus loyngteyn degree._--_Palgrave_, p. 34, § 8). Though modern
historians have scouted Bruce’s plea, it was quite sound for the Middle
Ages. Bruce himself cites a contemporary case in Castile, where a
younger brother was, by the law of the Visigoths--_i.e._, their version
of Roman law--preferred to the son of the elder.

58 _nocht to lawer feys lik._ Balliol urged that the same law applied
to kingdoms as to earldoms, and that thus a kingdom should pass to the
next heir by seniority, “without any regard to nearness of degree”
(_Palgrave_, 27, § 3). To this Bruce replies that kings are above the
laws, and that the right to a kingdom should not be judged by common
law, nor by laws applying to subjects and subject fiefs (29, § 5; 27,
§ 3), but by “the laws by which kings reign,” the “law of nations”
(_dreit naturel_, 25, § 5); and he therefore appeals to Edward as “his
Emperor” to judge accordingly (29, § 6), on the analogy of the German
or Holy Roman Emperor, who was, in theory, the superior of Christian
kings in temporal matters (_cf._ on 153). Balliol rebuts this with
the further contention that the issue is not one of “imperial law,”
since “the kingdom of Scotland is held of the Crown of England and of
no Empire”; and that it would be to the prejudice of Edward’s Crown
rights (_en prejudice de la coroune notre Seigneur le Roi_) if he
judged the matter in his Court by imperial law (p. 43). Bruce, it will
be observed, takes higher ground than Balliol, and presents a special
interpretation of the (alleged) overlordship, on which see further note
on 153. The distinction may seem over-refined to modern minds, but to
the medieval mind, with its own “imperial” idea, it was both real and
important. Bruce had other pleas in support of his main position, but
on these Barbour does not touch (_cf._ on 153).

61 _in lyne evyn descendand._ The correct reading is fixed by the legal
phrase, _en la dreyte lyne descendant_ (_Palgrave_, p. 31, § 2).

62 _Thai bar ... on hand._ Skeat says that “to bear on hand often
signified to ‘assert strongly,’” and interprets it here as, “They
asserted.” But this is meaningless in the present context, and the
correct significance is as in Chaucer, “For _he bar hir on honde_ of
trecherye” (_Complaynt of Faire Anelida_, line 158); and in _Troilus_
(1154-1155), “She _bar him on honde_ that this was don for malice”:
hence, here “accused” in the sense of “controverted,” on the lines laid
down in 59-64. The weaker sense is probably seen in _Prologue of the W.
of B.’s Tale_, 380, 575, etc.

67 _Erle off Carryk._ The Competitor was not Earl; it was his son,
father of King Robert, who married the widowed Countess of Carrick.

71-5. _thai all concordyt._ “The nobles, by unanimous consent, decreed
among themselves to send serious (_solemnes_) messages to Edward King
of England that in this cause he should be their higher judge” (Fordun,
_Gesta Annalia_, lxx.). The parties were at bitter variance, and there
was no other authority strong enough to enforce a decision (_ibid._).
In fact, civil war was impending. On this account, Bishop Fraser of St.
Andrews had already written to Edward on the matter (October, 1290).
From this letter we gather that Balliol was about to approach Edward
on his own behalf. The “Seven Earls” appealed in support of their own
rights to elect a king (_Palgrave_, p. 14). Bruce submitted his claim
to Edward, as against the guardians, who favoured Balliol (_ibid._,
pp. 17, 18). Hemingburgh says that the Guardians of Scotland, fearing
a popular outbreak, by the advice of the magnates sent to the King
of England, that in a matter of such great doubt they might have the
benefit of his advice (_ejus consilio fruerentur_, ii., p. 31).

88 _as freyndsome compositur_--_i.e._, “as a friendly arbiter” (_cf._
Hemingburgh in previous note). Fordun urges that the appeal did not
imply any confession of overlordship, but Edward was appealed to as
a “friendly and distinguished neighbour” (_amicabilis et vicinus
præstantior_), to settle the difference “in the manner of a friendly
compositor and for the sake of neighbourliness” (_Gesta Annalia_,
lxx.). The first notice in Sir Thomas Gray’s _Scalacronica_ puts it
that the Scots asked Edward to interfere in the interests of peace,
and that he replied that he would consider the matter. At Norham
the Scottish magnates are said to have asked him to try the case as
sovereign lord (pp. 112, 119).

100 _Walis ... Ireland._ Edward I. crushed the main Welsh rising in
1282, and in 1284 annexed the principality. He took no special part in
the conquest of Ireland, which belongs to the reign of Henry II. (1171).

103 _ryn on fute._ This, I take it, reflects the fact that Edward
usually drew upon Wales and Ireland for the foot in his army. At
Falkirk, indeed, Hemingburgh says that nearly all the English foot were
Welsh. _Cf._ also XIII. 419 _ff._

140 _on Saracenys warryand._ Edward was in England. His crusading took
place before he ascended the throne (1270-1272). The _Scalacronica_
says he was at Ghent (p. 112).

146 _ane assemble._ Edward met the prelates and barons of Scotland at
Norham, May 10, 1291. In his safe-conduct granted to these, Edward
declares “that this shall not be a precedent to the prejudice of
Scotland” (Bain’s _Calendar_, ii., No. 474): _i.e._, their meeting him
on English ground.

151 _all the senyhowry._ Edward had meanwhile (March 8, 23) sent writs
to the cathedrals and chief monasteries of England, requesting to be
furnished with extracts from histories and chronicles respecting the
relations between England and Scotland. The responses are given in
_Bain_, ii., No. 478, and _Palgrave_, pp. xcvii-cxv (see next note).

153 _to Robert the Bruys said he._ Palgrave points out that Bruce
was the first to appeal to Edward as overlord, in conjunction
with the “Seven Earls” with whom he was acting; all submitting
themselves--relatives, friends, adherents, lands and goods--to the
protection of the King and Crown of England (pp. xlviii, 15, 18). In
this he finds nothing inconsistent with the speech here attributed to
Bruce, which he takes, not from Barbour, but from Fordun, who gives the
same account as Barbour of Edward’s offer and Bruce’s reply (_Gesta_,
lxxii.). For Palgrave regards the original historic supremacy as a
vague imperial relation, to which Edward tried to give a narrow feudal
precision (p. xliii). Bruce, he says, could properly regard himself “as
the _Laensman_ of the Monarch who represented the Bretwald, the Emperor
or Basileus of Albion, or of Britain, and not the vassal of the King of
England and Duke of Normandy” (p. xlix). Bruce, indeed, in one section
of his pleadings addresses Edward as “his Sovereign Lord and his
Emperor” (p. 29, § 6), but his pleading was against the purely feudal
relationship (see on 58), the holding “_in cheyff_” (154), which would
allow Edward the _dominium_ or ownership of Scotland, as contrasted
with the _suzerainty_, which would grant a power of control. Edward
insisted on the former.

169 _Assentyt till him._ After a delay of three weeks (June 2-3, 1292),
nine of the Competitors made full acknowledgment of the supremacy of
the King of England; the others acquiesced on August 3 (_Bain_, ii.
483, 507). The issue was finally narrowed down to a consideration of
the respective claims of Balliol and Bruce. Barbour is misleading.

171 _He was king._ Judgment in favour of Balliol was given on November
17, 1292, at Berwick. Balliol resigned “his kingdom and people to” the
King of England on July 7, 1296, “a litill quhile,” three years and
seven months after.

173 _For litill enchesone._ Balliol was treated as an ordinary vassal,
and finally summoned, with the Scottish magnates, to attend Edward on
an expedition into France (June 29, 1294). Balliol, however, made a
treaty with King Philip IV. In October he wrote Edward renouncing “the
homage extorted from him by violence” (_Bain_, ii., No. 722). This was
followed up by a raid into England in the spring of 1296. Meantime the
government had been taken out of Balliol’s hands, and was administered
by twelve Scottish barons and prelates.

189 _And stuffyt all._ The list of castles and towns committed to
Englishmen and Scottish supporters of Edward is given in _Bain_,
ii., No. 853. Gray says Edward took possession of all the castles of
Scotland (_Scala._, p. 123).

193 _He maid off Inglis nation._ The offices of Governor, Treasurer,
and Justiciar, as well as minor ones, were filled by Englishmen. Some
of the appointments of Sheriffs, etc., are given in _Bain_ as above,
and in Stevenson’s _Historical Documents_, II., pp. 90, 91. Barbour
overstates the case.

194 _That worthyt than sa ryth felloune._ Gray says that the revolt of
the conquered territories in Scotland under Robert Bruce was in great
measure due to “the bad government of the ministers of the King, who
governed them with too great harshness for their own personal gain”
(_qi trop asprement lez governoient pur singuler profit._--_Scala._, p.

250 _in disputacioun._ For the “disputations” of clerks, _cf._ Chaucer,
_Nun’s Priest’s Tale_ and _Franklin’s Tale_, 162.

259 _I leve all the solucioun._ As Mr. Neilson has pointed out (_An
English Miscellany_, p. 383), this is a quite serious reference to a
class of questions discussed by ecclesiastical lawyers. A whole book
(ix.) is devoted to the _Redditio Debiti Conjugali_ in the volume by
Thomas Sanchez, one of the Salamanca doctors (_De Sto. Matrimonii
Sacramento_; Venice, 1625). Chaucer’s _Wife of Bath_ has some
characteristic remarks on the same subject:

  “Why sholde men elles in hir bookes sette
  That man shal yelde to hys wyf hire dette?”

  (_Prologue_ to _Tale_, 129, 130. _Cf._ also 154, 155).

282 _Put in presoun Sir Wilyham was._ Sir William Douglas, “the bold”
(_le Hardi_), joined Bruce and the other lords who followed Wallace in
rising, and formed a camp at Irvine in July, 1297. When these submitted
and surrendered, Douglas, for not fulfilling his terms of surrender,
was confined in Berwick Castle. Thence he was taken to the Tower, where
he died before January, 1299. His Scottish lands were given to Sir
Robert de Clifford (_cf._ lines 285-7).

293 _that hym ne dred._ _Cf._ note on _Bk._ XX. 514.

313 _James of Douglas._ “James is, in general, dissyllabic in Barbour”

323 _will off wane._ See glossary, and note on _Bk._ II. 471.

339 _Erle off Artayis._ This is probably the Count Robert of Artois,
who was a friend of Queen Isabella and her son Edward III. He was
driven from France (_Le Bel_, i., chap. xix., and notes in ed. 1904).
He wandered from place to place, after quarrelling with King Philip,
for three years; then crossed to England, disguised as a merchant
(1334), which fact Barbour probably has here in his mind (_Mémoires de
l’Académie Royale_, vol. x., p. 635. Paris, 1733).

343 _Catone sayis._ Dionysius Cato, a writer of the fourth century.
The reference is to his line, “To pretend foolishness is, at times,
the highest wisdom” (_Stultitiam simulare loco prudentia summa est._
_Disticha de Moribus_, Bk. ii. xviii; Ed. Amsterdam, 1754, p. 178).

346 _then come._ See on 282.

354 _the byschop._ William Lamberton. Edward sent to the Pope a lengthy
list of charges against Lamberton, who had broken his most solemn oaths
of fealty and shared in the “rebellions” against him. He had, when
Chancellor of Glasgow, supported Wallace, and had himself chosen Bishop
of St. Andrews, on Fraser’s death, without Edward’s consent. Then,
with other lords, he went to France to do all the mischief he could
there against Edward, and sent letters of encouragement to Wallace.
After the suppression of the rising, he again submitted and took the
oaths (see on 412), and was made chief of the Guardians of Scotland. He
was suspected of complicity in the murder of Comyn (see on 611), and
immediately supported Bruce. Arrested after Methven, he was imprisoned
with Bishop Wishart of Glasgow, though not guilty of so many perjuries
as he. These two bishops (with the other Scottish clergy), were the
principal “abettors and maintainers” of Bruce’s rising (_Palgrave_, pp.
331-340; also _Bain_, ii., as indexed). Lamberton was released in 1308,
on giving securities for good behaviour and swearing fealty to Edward
II. (_Bain_, iii., No. 50). Thereafter he acted as a negotiator between
England and Scotland (_Bain_, iii.). He was excommunicated, and was one
of the four bishops (St. Andrews, Dunkeld, Aberdeen, Moray) summoned by
the Pope in 1319 to answer for their support of Bruce (_Lanercost_, p.
423). He died some time before June, 1329 (_Bain_, iii., p. 316).

356 _forouth him to scher._ So did Chaucer’s Squire: “And carf biforn
his fader at the table” (_Prologue_, 100).

381-2. _But he wes nocht so fayr, etc._ _Cf._ of Porrus, in the

  “Bot he was nocht so fare suthly,
  That men _need_ speke of him gretly,
  For he was broun red in visage” (p. 176).

399 _And wlyspit alsua._ Guido delle Colonne says that Hector
“stammered a little in his speech” (_parum vero erat balbutiens in
loquela._ See on 525): and so in the _Gest. Hystoriale_ of Hector, “a
little he stotid” (stammered) (line 3881).

403 _Till Ector._ In the _Alexander_ that monarch is the incomparable

  “Bot Alexander I tak beforne,
  To him I mak na man compeir” (p. 110).

406 _lovyt._ “praised” (see Glossary).

412 _Byschop Wylyhame._ Lamberton, as Edward says, went to him at
Stirling on May 4, 1304, and again took the oath of fealty, receiving
from Edward’s hands the temporality of his bishopric (_Palgrave_, p.
334). “Strevellyne,” with several variations of spelling, is the usual
form in contemporary records.

429 _my fay feloune._ See on 282.

455 _thaim thai._ “Thaim” refers to the Scots; “thai” to the English.
Barbour is particularly careless in the use of this pronoun. In 458
“thai” is again the English, who were sometimes rather more (“erar
may”) in proportion; in 460 “thaim” is the Scots.

466 _in the Bibill._ The deeds of the Jewish patriots, as recorded in
the apocryphal Books of the Maccabees, were, of course, included in
the Vulgate Bible of the Church. The rising of the Maccabees and their
supporters against the over-rule of the Seleucids in the latter half
of the second century B.C. was, for the medieval writers, the prime
example of a national uprising against foreign dominance. (See also
_Bks._ II. 330; XIV. 313.)

477 _I spak of ayr._ Here Barbour appears to refer to the Competitor,
last mentioned in line 153, thereby confusing him with his grandson
Robert the King. Much grave reproof has accordingly been wasted upon
the poet. According to Maxwell, the poem “has been almost irretrievably
discredited as a chronicle by a monstrous liberty which the author
takes in rolling three personages” (Competitor, Robert “the elder,” and
the King) “into one ideal hero” (_Robert the Bruce_, p. 6). Mr. Brown
accuses Barbour of having “deliberately and consciously perpetrated the
fabrication” of making his hero a trinity of these three (_The Wallace
and Bruce Restudied_, p. 93). Barbour, it is to be observed, at worst
only combines two, grandson and grandfather--he says nothing of the
intermediate Robert; unless we force what is said in line 67 to this
sense. One chronicler alone distinctly achieves the feat of making the
three one person--Geoffrey Baker of Swinbroke (pp. 100-1)--but so far
he has escaped censure, and no one rejects his work on that account.
Surely in Barbour’s case it is but a striking case of his frequent
carelessness of reference (see on 445). He started with King Robert,
his subject, in line 25, and it is not too much to ask that “I spak
of ayr” goes back to that point. This is a simpler way out than that
inconsistently taken by Mr. Brown, who argues that, after all, the
reading is probably wrong, and proposes to restore “the original”
from Wyntoun’s lines, a paraphrase of Barbour (p. 95). Wyntoun was
not deceived, nor was anyone likely to be. Barbour had nothing to
gain by purposeless perversity, not even a literary point as has been
suggested, for the “Romance” proper begins at line 445, and for it
there is but one Robert.

478 _swa forfayr._ “Going to ruin.” _Cf._ _Gest. Hystoriale_, “Fele
folk _forfaren_,” ready to perish (1438). Modern Scots in sense of
“neglected,” as in Thom’s _Mitherless Bairn_; “sairly _forfairn_.”

485 _Said till him._ Gray gives a similar account of the alternative
proposals here made, putting them, however, into the mouth of Robert
Bruce, who, with him, takes the initiative, and stating that they
were made upon the occasion of the meeting in the Greyfriars Church,
where Comyn refused to listen to them. It must be remembered that
Barbour admits the existence of various accounts. Gray supplies also
the significant motive: “for now is the old age of the present English
King” (_qar ore est temps en veillesce de cesty roy Engles_, p. 130).
Bruce, in this account, speaks of the land being in servitude to the
English by fault of Balliol, “who suffered his right and his freedom
of the kingdom to be lost” (_qe son droit et la fraunchise du realme
ad lesse perdre_, p. 129). The account in Fordun gives Bruce the
initiative in making the offer on the ride from Stirling, and dates it
1304 (_Gesta Annalia_, cxiii.). See note on _Bk._ II. 35.

525-6 _Dares ... and Dytis._ These two represented to the medieval mind
the more trustworthy authorities on the Siege of Troy; Homer, whom they
knew only through the Latin classics, being obviously biassed in favour
of the Greeks, a strong objection to historians who loved to attribute
the beginnings of their nation to a colony of Trojan fugitives--_e.g._,
Brutus, who founded Albion or Britain. Dares Phrygius, whose _De
Excidio Trojæ_ is merely a good-sized pamphlet, here comes first as
the favourite. Figuring as a priest of Hephæstus, he gives the Trojan
side. The point of the present reference is that he makes Troy fall
by the treachery of Æneas and others, who admit the Greeks by night
at the Scæan gate on the outside of which “was painted the head of a
horse” (ed. London, 1825, p. 336); thus rationalizing the story of the
wooden horse as he does Homer’s other remarkable incidents. The book
is in Latin, and is late--not much earlier than the twelfth century.
It professes, however, to have been translated from a Greek manuscript
found at Athens by the translator, Cornelius Nepos! Dictys Cretensis,
styled companion of Idomeneus, stands for the Greek side, giving,
however, a more impartial account than Homer. His MS. (_Ephemeris
Belli Trojani_) was found, it is alleged, in Gnossus, Crete, in one
of the tin (lead) coffers, examples of which have been found in the
recent explorations of the great palace. It was translated from the
original Punic into Greek in the time of Nero and again translated
into Latin. It is the older production of the two by a few centuries;
both, of course, are fabrications. On them Benoit de Sainte-More based
his _Roman de Troie_, which Guido delle Colonne turned into a Latin
_Historia Trojana_ and successfully passed off on the Middle Ages as
his own work. Scotland came under the spell of Guido, and it is from
him Barbour takes his information.

533 _throw pusoune._ The account of the medieval romances of Alexander.
He really died in 323 B.C., of a combination of malarial fever and hard
drinking--which was much too tame an end for his admirers.

542 _fryst maid emperour._ A usual medieval error, but Julius Cæsar
did not become Emperor. Chaucer says the same thing (_Monk’s Tale_).
Geoffrey of Monmouth speaks of “Julius Cæsar and the rest of the Roman
kings”--a double error (_Edit. Giles_, 1844, p. 176). See below on 554.

549 _Als Arthur._ Arthur’s European conquests are enumerated in the
contemporary, _Morte Arthure_, p. 2. The Eastern ones, such as “Surry”
(Syria), follow the triumph over Rome.

554 _Lucius Yber._ “Sir Lucius Iberius, the Emperor of Rome,” is a
leading figure in _Morte Arthure_. Wyntoun observes that his correct
title was Procurator, as the Emperor proper was Leo, but excuses the
earlier author for calling him Emperor on that ground that,

  “Ane empyroure in propyrté (in especial)
  A comawndoure suld callyt be” (_Bk._ v., Chap. xii.):

_i.e._, Emperor is simple _imperator_. In fact, Geoffrey styles him
“Lucius Respublicæ procurator” to begin, but in the account of his
death, “Lucius imperator” (ed. cited, pp. 174, 198). In the _Gest.
Hystoriale_, Agamemnon is “Emperor” of the Greeks. On conclusions from
this passage, see _Appendix_ F.i.c.

611 _The endentur, the seile to se._ Fordun, too, tells of “endentures”
(_indenturas_) between the barons, and of Comyn’s disclosure to Edward,
but gives a different account of Edward’s action and Bruce’s escape.
Wyntoun adopts Barbour’s version in his own words, so that we may
take it that, substantially, the story was the current explanation
in Scotland. Gray, too, it must be remembered, drew upon a Scottish
chronicle (see on 485 and _Introd._, ii.). It may just be that there
was a confusion as to the origin of the indenture which caused the
mischief. There actually was an indenture or bond between Bruce and
Bishop Lamberton, drawn up, too, in 1304, the year to which Fordun
attributes that between Bruce and Comyn. In this the parties bound
themselves to act together, in matters affecting them, against all
persons whatever, and provided that neither should attempt any
“difficult business” without consulting the other, and that, in the
case of any peril threatening, each should warn and shield the other
to the utmost of his power. The implication is clear: a fresh rising
was in contemplation, probably on the death of Edward I. (_cf._
Gray in note on 485). A copy of this document came into Edward’s
hands--certainly not, however, through the agency of Comyn--and
Lamberton was charged before witnesses at Newcastle on August 3, 1306.
He was asked whether the seal was his (_cf._ line 612), and whether it
had been affixed with his will and knowledge; to which he answered in
the affirmative (_Palgrave_, 323-5). The story of this endenture may
have got worked into what was known of Comyn’s refusal to co-operate
with Bruce. The records give no hint of anything else of the kind in
Edward’s possession, and the knowledge of it, had it existed, would not
have been suppressed (see also note on _Bk._ II. 17).

625-6 _into bourch, etc._ _I.e._, Bruce pledges his lands as bail for
his appearance. There is no record of such a Parliament, nor is any
such procedure at all probable.


17 _Thai raid._ The account in Fordun is that one night, “when the wine
was giving its colour in the cup” (_cum merum splenderet in calice_),
Edward, on his way to bed, explained that on the morrow Bruce would
lose his life. Thereupon the hint of his danger was conveyed to Bruce
by the Earl of Gloucester (_i.e._, Randolph or Ralph de Monthermer), in
the form of twelve silver pennies and a pair of spurs (_Gesta Annalia_,
cxiv.). Gloucester was presently in the field against Bruce. Edward
declared that up to the time of the rupture, Bruce had enjoyed his
“full confidence” (_Fœdera_, ii., p. 988).

17 _on the fyften day._ Bower says the seventh day (_Scotich_, Lib.
xii., Cap. vii.). But the news of Comyn’s murder on February 10 seems
to have reached Edward (at Winchester) not long before the 23rd,
probably only a day or so (_Bain_, ii., No. 1746), and this would be
carried quickly.

18 _Louchmaban._ Bruce’s castle in Annandale.

32 _Schyr Jhone the Cumyn._ According to both Gray and Hemingburgh,
Bruce first sent his two brothers, Thomas and Neil, to ask Comyn
to meet him at Dumfries; Gray says that they might kill him on the
way, which, to Bruce’s disquiet, they failed to do; Hemingburgh that
he might discuss with Bruce certain matters affecting them both
(_Scala._, p. 129; _Chronicon_, ii., p. 245). Sir John Comyn “the Red”
was Balliol’s nephew, the son of his third sister (_Scala._, p. 121),
and his wife was a sister of Aymer de Valence. He came to Dumfries from
Dalswintion, not far away.

33 _In the Freris, at the hye awter._ Edward informed the Pope that
Comyn was murdered “in the church of the Friars Minor (Franciscans)
of Dumfries, near the high altar” (_Palgrave_, i., pp. 335, 346). The
“high altar” is part of the setting in all the accounts. The date is
February 10, 1306.

34 _with lauchand cher._ Hemingburgh says they embraced in the cloister
(_mutuo se receperunt in osculum_, p. 245).

35 _The endentur._ According to Fordun, Bruce, on his way home, had
met a messenger of Comyn carrying to Edward letters advising the
imprisonment or death of Bruce. He had killed the messenger and taken
the letters, and it was with these he now confronted Comyn (_Gesta
Annal._, cxv.). Gray relates that Bruce now made Comyn the proposal
described in note on _Bk._ I. 485, which Comyn refused to entertain,
whereupon Bruce said: “I had other hopes of you from the promises of
both you and your friends; _you have betrayed me to the King by your
letters_, and, since you cannot live to accomplish my wish, take your
reward” (_pur quoi viaunt ne pusse eschever moun voloir, tu auras toun
guerdon._--_Scala._, p. 130). Hemingburgh’s version is that Bruce
accused Comyn of treason, _in that he had denounced him to the King
of England_, and lowered his standing to his loss (p. 246). Edward’s
account to the Pope is that Comyn would not assent to the treason
which Bruce proposed--that is, to renew the war against him, and make
himself, by force, King of Scotland (_Palgrave_, 335).

36 _hym reft the lyff._ The other accounts are more detailed, and agree
in stating that Bruce merely wounded Comyn, and that his followers
completed the work: “In the middle of the church, before the altar,”
says Gray; “on the steps of the high altar, which was stained with his
blood,” according to Hemingburgh (as cited).

37-38 _Schyr Edmund Comyn ... And othir mony._ Barbour is wrong in the
name; it was Sir Robert Comyn, John’s uncle (_Fordun_, _Lanercost_,
_Gray_, _Hemingburgh_, _Palgrave_, as cited). Sir Edmund fell at
Bannockburn (_Annal. London_, p. 251). No other fatalities are
mentioned. Hemingburgh adds that Bruce took the Castle and forced the
English justices, then holding court, to surrender, but allowed them to
depart in safety (p. 246).

40 _that debat fell othir wayis._ “That the quarrel came about
otherwise.” Barbour was familiar with, at least, another version. _Cf._
previous notes.

67 _drawyn and hangit._ See note on _Bk._ IV. 322.

81 _the byschop of Androws towne._ On June 9 Lamberton writes to Aymer
de Valence, Edward’s lieutenant in Scotland, that no blame attached to
him in the matter of the death of John Comyn and his uncle, or for the
beginning of this war (_Palgrave_, p. 322).

86 _Thomas prophecy._ Thomas of “Hersildoune” is Thomas of Ercildoune
(now Earlston), or Thomas Rhymer whose alleged prophecies had a great
vogue in Scotland for hundreds of years, especially at a national
crisis. One such was current with the Jacobites of the Forty-Five.
A MS. of the first quarter of the fourteenth century gives a long
prediction by Thomas in answer to the question when the Scottish War
should end (_Thomas of Ercildoune_, E.E.T.S., pp. xviii, xix). It
contains the line, “When Bambourne (? Bannockburn) is donged wyth dede
men.” _Cf._ _Bk._ XIII. 336-340.

92 _befor the byschop schar._ See note on _Bk._ I. 356.

96 _the burdys down war laid._ _I.e._, the boards which formed the
table were removed from the trestles after dinner.

107 _wald disherys._ Bruce’s lands had been immediately confiscated and
distributed to others (_Bain_, ii.; s.v. Earl of Carrick).

112 _the Clyffurd._ See note on _Bk._ I. 282.

118 _Ferrand._ Also the name of the horse of Emynedus, Alexander’s
comrade, in the _Alexander_. “Ferrand” means “iron-grey,” as in _Morte
Arthure_: “one _ferant_ stedez” (2259, etc.). Like “Blanchard” (white)
a common name for a horse.

148 _Aryk stane._ At the head of Annandale.

179 _wes maid king._ On the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 1306
(_Lanercost_, 203; _Hemingburgh_, 247; _Scala._, 130).

187 _went out our the land._ Malise, Earl of Strathearn, presented
a memorial to the King of England, explaining how Bruce, after his
coronation, had summoned him to give homage, how he had refused at
first, but was apprehended, and submitted in order to save his life
(_Palgrave_, pp. 319-21). According to Hemingburgh, it was after
Comyn’s murder that Bruce went round Scotland (_circuivit terram
Scociae_), seizing and fortifying castles, etc. (II., p. 246). There
was scarcely time at that stage.

200-1 _Schir Amer the Vallang._ Sir Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke,
sent to put down Robert Bruce, etc., April 15, 1306 (_Bain_, ii., No.
1762). In Barbour’s spelling the “g” is soft. Valence had taken an
active part in the Scots’ war since Falkirk, and figures, as before
that date, in the _Wallace_. He was now about twenty-six years of age
and practically a professional soldier.

204 _in all hy._ Valence was to enter Scotland at once; the Prince of
Wales and then Edward himself were to follow. Edward, however, wished
to hear of “some good exploit, if possible, before their arrival”
(_Bain_, ii., No. 1773).

205 _And byrn, and slay, and rais dragoun._ Edward, writing to Valence
on June 12, is “well pleased to hear he has burned Sir Simon Fraser’s
lands in Selkirk Forest.” He is “to do the same to all enemies on his
march,” “to burn, destroy, and waste their houses, lands, and goods”
(_Bain_, ii., No. 1782). In later letters these commands are repeated
for specific instances. On June 28 he is “referring to his orders to
put to death all enemies and rebels already or hereafter taken” (No.
1790). The expression “rais dragoun” has been fully explained and
illustrated by Mr. Neilson in the _Scottish Antiquary_, vol. xii.,
No. 48. His summary is as follows: “In the middle of the fourteenth
century, and later, there was still prevalent the conception ...
that the dragon banner was a token of hostility more deadly than the
ordinary conditions of feudal and chivalric warfare countenanced.
Its display in every example adduced was against subjects in revolt,
however supposititious, as at Crecy, the claim of sovereignty might be”
(p. 151). The origin and development of this association is the subject
of Mr. Neilson’s article. _Cf._ also in _Morte Arthure_, “For thare es
noghte bot dede _thare the dragone es raissede!_” (line 2057).

211 _Philip the Mowbray._ He is among those with Valence given by Gray
(_Scala._, p. 130). See on Mowbray, _Bk._ XIII. 363.

212 _Ingram the Umfravill._ He had taken an active part in previous
years on the national side. He is among the “Scotsmen and late rebels”
who, on October 10, 1305, had their lands in Scotland and England
restored on renewing their fealty to Edward (_Bain_, ii., No. 1696).

215 _off Scotland the maist party._ It is not clear what Barbour
precisely means. But, according to Gray, Valence had with him several
Scottish barons, friends of Comyn, opposed to Bruce (_Scala._, p.
130); and a fortnight before the battle Edward was requesting Valence
“to inform the King’s foresters of Selkirk how they have loyally and
painfully served the King, and done well” (_Bain_, ii., No. 1782).
Fordun says that Valence had in Perth “a great power of both English
and Scots” (_Gesta Annalia_, cxix).

235 _Levynax._ _I.e._, Lennox, otherwise _Levenauch_. Malcolm “Comte de
Levenaux” is on _Ragman Roll_ (_Bain_, ii., p. 209). He was the fifth
in the line of Celtic Earls. _Cf._ on 482.

Atholl is John de Strathbogie, Earl of Atholl. He was among the first
to join Bruce, and it was by his advice that the safe-conduct to
Strathearn was broken and the Earl confined in Inchmacolm (see on 187).
He was captured after Methven, and, as he was of royal blood, was
spared torture, but was hanged “higher than the rest” (_Hemingburgh_,
ii., p. 250): on a gallows thirty feet higher (_Scala._, p. 131). He
was alleged to be the son of Edward’s aunt, but see _Genealogist_, N.S.
xxii., p. 105.

236 _Edward the Bruce._ Robert’s brother.

237 _Thomas Randell._ Thomas Randolph, the King’s nephew, afterwards
Earl of Moray. For his change of side, see on 463. _Hew de le Hay_ is
on Ragman Roll, apparently of Fife (_Bain_, ii., p. 204); brother of
Gilbert de la Hay, afterwards Constable of Scotland and ancestor of the
Earls of Errol.

238 _David the Berclay._ David de Berkele on Ragman Roll (_Bain_, ii.,
209); of Cairns, in Fife (_Hailes_, ii., p. 2. Ed. 1797). _Cf._ on
_Bk._ XIX. 19.

239 _Fresale, Somerveile, and Inchmertyn._ _Fresale_ is “Alexander
Fraser” (see line 407). Jamieson identifies him as “the brother of
Simon Fraser, of Oliver Castle, in Tweeddale,” which is Hailes’s
statement (_Annals_, vol. ii., p. 2), and Skeat follows, whence arises
a serious confusion in _Bk._ VIII. 397. Sir Simon Fraser, “filius,” of
Oliver, to distinguish him from his father (“pater”), and grandfather
of the same name, the hero of the English defeat at Roslin in 1302,
was captured and executed as a traitor in 1306. His brother was Thomas
Fraser, and neither seems to have left any descendants (Lord Saltoun’s
_Frasers of Philorth_, ii., p. 94). This Alexander Fraser was of the
same stock, but was the elder son of Sir Andrew Fraser of Touch-Fraser,
Stirlingshire, Sheriff of Stirling in 1293, and was afterwards
Bruce’s Chamberlain of Scotland (_ibid._, p. 125). He was not “Sir”
Alexander till after 1312 (_ibid._, i., pp. 49, 54). Bruce granted him
“Tulch-fraser” afresh (_Reg. Mag. Sig._, p. 17, 86). He had a brother
Simon, but a different Simon from the one Jamieson refers to (see note
on _Bk._ VIII. 397). “Fresale,” Jamieson adds, “is still the vulgar
pronunciation of the name in Lothian.” _John de Somerville_ was second
son of Sir Walter de Somerville of Linton and Carnwath (_Memorie of
the Somervills_, i., 83, 86). _Inchmertyn_ is David de Inchmartyn, who
was, according to Hailes, the ancestor of the Earls of Findlater and
Airlie, and of Lord Banff (_Annals_, vol. ii., p. 3, note. Ed. 1797).
_John de Somerville_ and _David de Inchmartyn_ are among the fifteen
Scots captured at Methven and sentenced to death at Carlisle on August
4, without being allowed to plead, under the charge of “feloniously and
wickedly slaying some of the King’s liegemen” at that battle. They were
all hanged (_Bain_, ii., No. 1811).

*243 _Cristall of Setoun._ See line 418 and note on _Bk._ IV. 16. He
was married to Cristina Bruce, Robert’s sister (_Bain_, ii., No. 1910):
twenty-eight years of age.

*244 _Robert Boyd._ Ancestor of the Viscounts of Kilmarnock
(Robertson’s _Index of Charters_, p. 6, No. 46). He was captured at
Kildrummy (_Bain_, ii., No. 1829), but must either have escaped or been
released, as he appears again. See _Bk._ IV. 342; VIII. 415.

247 _Sanct Johnstoun._ Perth. The church was dedicated to St. John.

248 _bad Schyr Amery isch to fycht._ Hemingburgh writes that Bruce
sent a message that the English should either come out to fight or
surrender (ii., p. 248); Gray that Bruce offered battle to the Earl
(of Pembroke), and remained before the town from the early morning
till after noon (_Scalacronica_, p. 130). Noon would be dinner-time.
Trivet briefly says that Bruce “invited” Valence to come out and fight
(_Annals_, p. 409); similarly Rishanger (_Chronica_, p. 230).

252 _Schir Ingram._ According to Gray, Pembroke acted on the advice of
his Scottish lords, and lay low (_se teint tot coy_, p. 130).

279 _bot gyf thai faile._ “If they do not fail on their part.”

301 _on the morn cum._ The English, “seeing they were fewer in number,
cautiously replied that they would not come out then, because it was
a feast day (Sunday, June 26), but would gladly fight with him on the
morrow” (_Hemingburgh_, ii., p. 249. _Cf._ also Trivet’s _Annals_, p.
410; Rishanger, _Chronica_, p. 230).

305 _went to the forray._ The English had calculated that the Scots
would be occupied in preparing food (_Hemingburgh_).

310 _Ischyt in-forcely._ At vespers (_Hemingburgh_: _Trivet_).

313 _wes unarmyt then._ Had put off his armour. Hemingburgh says they
found the Scots carelessly resting (_recumbentes secure_: as cited);
Trivet that they came on the Scots suddenly, and slew many unarmed (p.
410). Bruce and some others speedily armed themselves and resisted

319 _on thair hors lap._ According to Hemingburgh, the English attacked
before all the Scots could mount. Gray says they formed up hastily, and
all on horseback attacked the English (_Scala._, p. 131).

330 _For multitud mais na victory._ “For the victory of battle standeth
not in the multitude of an host” (I. _Maccabees_, Chap. iii., 19).

340-1 _Cf._ in _Alexander_:

  “Quha for his Lord dois he sall be
  Harbreid with Angellis gle” (p. 21).

365 _all the renk._ Skeat has a note on this word explaining renk as “a
rank of fighting men,” and citing “the plur. form renges” in Chaucer’s
_Knight’s Tale_ (Globe, _Chaucer_, A 2594). But while there is a form
_renk_ = rank, that is not the word or the sense here. The proper
explanation comes from the _Alexander_, in such examples as:

  “Ane _renk_ about him hes he made,
  Quhair evir he straik nane him abade” (p. 145, 8-9).


  “Ane _renk_ about him hes he maid,
  He sparit nane that him abaid” (p. 231, 20-21);

while we have a similar use in the _Morte Arthure_:

  “Ryde thrughte all the rowtte, rerewarde and other,
  Redy wayes to make, and _rennkes full rowme_.”

Another passage from the _Alexander_ gives us the sense in the setting
and phraseology of the passage on hand:

  “The woundit gave cryis and granes,
  Trumpettis and hornes blew atanes,
  _It seemit all the countre quok_” (p. 412, 29-31).

_Renk_, then, has nothing to do with “rank,” but signifies “an open
or clear space”; here “all the place about them quaked.” It is, in
fact, our modern “rink,” and appears to be a form of “ring,” as in
“prize-ring” (Skeat’s _Etymol. Dict._). It has nothing to do with
“range” in the sense of “rove,” as Mr. Amours thinks (_Alliterative
Poems_, S.T.S.). H actually reads _rinke_.

415 _hynt hys rengyhe._ The account in Gray is that Bruce’s rein was
seized by John de Haliburton, who let him go immediately when he saw
who he was. The difficulty about recognition was due to the fact that
Bruce showed no coat of arms, having on a white tunic (_un chemys
blank._--_Scalacronica_, p. 131). Hemingburgh says that all the mounted
Scots, in their approach to Perth, had these white overalls (_super
omnia arma vestem lineam_), so that they could not be identified (ii.,
p. 248).

438 _corn-but._ This reading for the obscure _torn-but_ of E (_t_ and
_c_ are often indistinguishable in MS.) and _combat_ of H is due to Mr.
George Neilson, basing on a passage in the _Morte Arthure_ (_Scottish
Antiquary_, July, 1902, p. 51). The “heathen king” is down with a
mortal wound from Sir Cador, who exclaims:

  “Thow has _corne botte_, sir kynge, there God gyfe the sorowe,
  Thow killyde my cosyn, my kare is the less” (1837-8).

Though the general meaning of “revenge,” “tit-for-tat,” is clear,
no satisfactory analysis of the phrase has been offered. Skeat and
Gollancz think that the first part of the term is French--_corne_,
a horn “as the symbol of pride”--and that the compound signifies
“a requital for pride, a taking down.” The passages will scarcely
bear this. Moreover, _bōt_ is admittedly old English--“remedy,
atonement”--and one shies at a solitary compound in such a case.
_Mann-bōt_ was a fine paid to the lord of a murdered man; _brycgbot_
was a levy for the repair of bridges; _corn-gesc(e)ot_ was a
contribution of corn. _Corn-bot_ may thus have been a fine for the
destruction of corn, and have taken on a general sense of requital or
revenge. It does not seem to require the force of a specially intense
revenge (_auserlessene busse._ Holshausen), but appears to have been a
slang term, whence its rare occurrence in literature. It is not given
in the _New English Dic._ (See further _Scottish Antiquary_. June,
1903, pp. 121-123; _Notes and Queries_, 9 Series, x. 61, 115, 253).

463 _Thomas Randell._ He was given in ward to Sir Adam de Gordon to
be kept till the King’s arrival in Inverkip Castle (_Bain_, ii., No.
1807). Gray says he was released at the instance of Gordon, when he
remained English till his recapture (_Scala._, p. 131).

467 _sum thai hangyt._ See on 235, 239.

471 _will of wane._ “Astray in thought (weening); distracted, at
a loss. _Will_ = modern English _wild_, astray, bewildered (Icel.
_villr_). _Cf._ in the _Gest. Hystoriale_: “All wery I wex and _wyll of
my gate_” = out of my way (line 2369).

479 _the Boroundoun._ This name has puzzled editors and given rise to
a good deal of conjecture. But a Sir Walter de Borondone was constable
of Carstairs Castle in 1305-1306 (_Bain_, ii., No. 1880), and he is the
same person as Sir Walter de Bourghdon, constable there in 1301-1302
(_ibid._, No. 1290), of Roxburghshire (_ibid._, p. 199). He was an
English officer.

482 _The Erle of the Levenax wes away._ Fordun, however, says that
Lennox and De la Hay alone followed Bruce, and became “his inseparable
companions (_comites individui_) in every tribulation” (_Gesta Annal._,
cxxi.). _Cf._ _Bk._ III. 591.

491 _Schir Nele Cambell._ Ancestor of the Campbells of Lochow, or Loch
Awe, and so of the Argyll family. He married Mary Bruce, the King’s
sister, but not, it would seem, before 1312 (_Scots Peerage_, i., p.
323; but see on xvi. 119). The grant of “Lauchaw” was to their son
Colin (Robertson’s _Index_, pp. 16, 18).

494 _the Month._ “The mountain which is called the Mound, which
stretches from the western to the eastern sea” (_De Situ Albaniae_, MS.
Paris; cited in _Historians of Scotland, Innes’ Essay_, p. 412). The
modern Grampians.

513 _Nele the Bruys ... and the Queyn._ _Neil_ or Nigel (Nigellus)
Bruce was the King’s brother. His Queen was Bruce’s second wife, a
daughter of Richard de Burgh Earl of Ulster.

514 _othir ladyis._ Fordun says all the ladies went with their husbands
and the King, hiding in the woods, etc. (_Gesta Annal._, cxix.).

529 _King Adrastus._ One of “the Seven against Thebes,” and the only
one who returned home in safety. Barbour follows neither the Greek
sources nor the Thebaid of Statius, but one of the many French romances
on the subject. See _Appendix_ F.

534 _Campaneus._ Properly _Capaneus_, who was struck with lightning by
Zeus, whom he had defied, while attempting to scale the walls of Thebes.

542 _the tour._ See note on _Bk._ XVII. 224.


1 _The Lord of Lorne._ Strictly this should be Alexander Macdougall of
Argyll or of Lorn, but probably his son, John of Lorn, is meant, as
on September 14 Edward writes to the Prince of Wales how “Sir John of
Argyll has well served him and the Prince” (_Bain_, ii., No. 1830).

3 _his emys sak._ Alexander of Argyle, according to Wyntoun (_Bk._
viii., Chap, vi., 1171) had married an aunt of the murdered John
Comyn, a daughter of Sir John Comyn “the Red” (!), of Badenoch, his
grandfather. He was thus the “eym” or uncle of Comyn, not his nephew
(_Scots Peerage_, i., 507).

15 _thar fryst metyng._ According to Fordun, this skirmish took
place at Dalry (“the King’s field”), near Tyndrum, in the west of
Perthshire, on August 11, 1306 (_Gesta Ann._, cxx.). Bruce was making
his way westwards by Glen Dochart. There is the usual “King’s Cave” in
Balquhidder (Jamieson).

62 _ane sik aw._ “In such awe.” For this form, _cf._ _Alexander_ (78,
5), “he stude of thame lytill aw,” and _Wallace_ (_Bk._ v. 929), “On
thaim he raid, and stud bot litill aw.” This usage is a stage in the
grammatical development of the modern phrase from the original type,
“Awe of one stood men” (_dat._), for which see N.E.D.

67 _Marthokys sone._ Jamieson suggests _Marthok_ to be for
_Muratach_ (_Muredach_) = _Murdoch_; so “Marthokys sone” = MacVurich

69 _Fyn all._ Here E gives _hym all_, which is clearly wrong. Skeat
adopts _Fyngall_ from H and A. Better, however, is the more ancient
and correct form, _Fyn_, which the scribe has turned into _hym_,
while the “all” is preserved to balance the “all” in the next line.
Golmakmorn is _Goll mac Morna_, head of the Clann Morna, the rivals of
the _Fianna_, and the reference is to the detachment of members of his
band from Finn by Goll; Finn, indeed, perished in a conflict with rebel

75 _in Gadyrris the forrayours._ The reference is to one of the later
episodes in the _Romance of Alexander_, appearing in the Scottish
_Alexander_ as _The Forray of Gadderis_ (_La Fuerre de Gadres_).
Alexander, while besieging Tyre, sends out a body of men to forage in
the “vale of Josaphas.” On their return with the cattle, they are set
upon by a large army under Betys of “Gaderis,” one of whose followers
was Gaudifer. Only the timely arrival of Alexander saved his men,
and, on the flight of Betys, Gaudifer maintained the struggle till he
was slain. Skeat says that Barbour could not have used the Scottish
translation, dated 1438, but “must have seen it in an earlier form.”
Lines 81, 82, however, correspond literally, with one exception, to the
passage in the _Alexander_, and, according to Neilson, they have no
place in the original French (_John Barbour_, p. 55):

  “For to defend all the flearis
  And for to stony the chassaris” (p. 88, 20).

_Coneus_ (line 85) is there _Corneus_ (pp. 88, 89), and _Danklyne_,
_Danclyne_ or _Danclene_--in the French original _Corneus_ and _Dans
Clins_. _Cf._ Brown’s _Wallace_ and _Bruce_, p. 101, where, however,
Mr. Brown’s transcription of the names in the _Alexander_ must be
checked; and see further _Appendix_ E. In the _Wallace_ there is a
similar reference to _The Forray_, _Bk._ x. 340-2.

101 _“the Durwarth sonnys.”_ “The Durward or door-ward’s sons,” a
translation of the Gaelic name _Mac-na-dorsair_, “son of the door-man.”
Skeat has a long note, contributed by Dr. Murray, claiming that “no
writer seems to have seen the point of this passage.” Reference is
accordingly made to the trouble caused by Alan Durward in the reign
of Alexander III., and the connection of Durward with Nicholas de
Soulis, one of the Competitors (see also on _Bk._ XIX. 11). Whence it
is inferred that these “men were the clansmen of Alan the Durward,
who, like the Comyns of Badenoch, the Baliols, and others, were almost
more dangerous to Bruce than the arms of England.” That can scarcely
have been the case, since it must also be taken into account (1) that
the Bruces were of the Durward party in the reign of Alexander III.,
and (2) that an Alan Durward was hanged with Nigel Bruce at Berwick,
having, apparently, been captured at Kildrummy (_Scala._, p. 131).

153 _a baroune Maknauchtan._ The chief of the Macnaughtons (? Ferchar
or Farquhar), whose father was of the time of Alexander III., an
ancient clan having lands near Loch Awe (_Cf._ _Coll. de Reb. Alb._, p.
51). There is no “Duncan” (Jamieson following Nisbet, _Heraldry_) in
the genealogy.

162 _his owtrageous manheid._ _Cf._ in _Alexander_, “outtragius
hardement” (p. 184, 16). This use of “outrageous” = extreme or
excessive, is common, if not peculiar, to the _Alexander_ and the
_Bruce_. _Cf._ in _Bruce_, vi. 126; viii. 270; ix. 101; xi. 32:
_Alexander_, 235, 8; 258, 30; 335, 9.

172 _“sa our Lord me se.”_ “May our Lord watch over me,” as in
Chaucer’s _Pardoner’s Tale_, “Now, lordes, God yow see” (Group C, line

208 _Hanniball._ The reference is to Hannibal’s crushing defeat of
the Romans at Cannae, 216 B.C. Barbour takes his details in a rather
huddled fashion from _Martinus Polonus_, a popular monkish historian
of the thirteenth century (_Chronicon de Gestis Romanorum_, etc.),
who again bases on _Paulus Orosius_, of the beginning of the fifth
century. Wyntoun confessedly reproduces the chapters of Polonus at
greater length and more accurately than Barbour, and on this fact,
viewed in the light of the general relation of Wyntoun to Barbour, and
certain peculiarities in the present case, Mr. Brown bases an argument
that the Hannibal passage is “derived from the _Cronykil_” and “an
interpolation” in the _Bruce_. On this see _Appendix_ F, v. Mr. Brown
gives in full the relevant portions of the text of Polonus and Orosius
(_Wallace and Bruce_, pp. 120-7).

211 _thre bollis, etc._ “Tres modios aureorum anulorum Carthaginem
misit, quos ex manibus interfectorum nobilium extraxerat” (_Mart.

216 _Scipio the king._ For the medieval usage in titles, _cf._ also
note on _Bk._ I. 554. Polonus calls Scipio _Tribunus militum_; Barbour
(and Wyntoun) translate _milites_, from the contemporary use of the
word, as “knights”; whence “the Tribune of the knights” naturally
suggests the title “King,” Wyntoun preferring “chyftane.” _Cf._ also
what is said in the footnote. It may, however, be considered that in
the _Alexander_ we have “Gaudifer the yhing” (121, 20), and “Ideas the
yhing” (161, 26).

221 _knychtis._ Really only “soldiers” (_milites fecerunt_).

231 _Thai ischit._ Barbour hurries over the interval of four years
between the Battle of Cannae and Hannibal’s appearance before the walls
of Rome, 212 B.C.

234 _throw mycht of Goddis grace._ _Divina miseratio_ in _Mart. Pol._
and _Orosius_.

242 _twys thar-eftir._ No; only twice altogether. But Barbour is
apparently summarizing from memory, though Mr. Brown repudiates the
suggestion (p. 126).

281-2 _That hym thocht, etc._ From Lucan’s _Pharsalia_: _Nil actum
credens, si quid superesset agendum_ (ii. 657).

337 _Kildromy._ Kildrummy Castle, in Aberdeenshire, on the Don, a royal
castle which Edward had ordered Bruce, in September, 1305, to place “in
the keeping of one for whom he shall answer” (_Bain_, ii., No. 1691).

365 H has flatly misunderstood this line, and Skeat’s partial
emendation therefrom introduces a use of _the quhilk_ rare in Barbour
(see on XVIII. 225). Moreover, as Koeppel further points out, the
sense of the passage implies an antithesis such as E gives. The only
difficulty is the redundant syllable _yt_, and for _confort_ alone,
_cf._ V. 210, XV. 371 (_Englische Studien_, x., p. 380, note).

373 _to the wynter ner._ Kildrummy fell before the middle of September,
1306, but August is scarcely “near” winter, even in Scotland.

390 _hys werdis, etc._ “Follow out his fate (werdis) to the end.”

392 _Nele Cambel._ See note on _Bk._ II. 491.

437 _Ferambrace._ The romance of _Fierabras_ or _Ferumbras_ (_ferri
brachium_, “iron-arm” or “strong-arm”) was the most popular of the
Charlemagne romances. It still circulates among the French peasantry.
There are two versions of it in English of the fifteenth century, _Syr
Ferumbras_ (E.E.T.S.) and _The Sowdone of Babylone_ (E.E.T.S.). The
latter also has the peculiar form _Lavyne_ from _Laban_ for _Balan_,
the Sowdone or Sultan and father of Fierabras. On these points see
_Appendix_ F, iii. _Olyver_ (439) is Oliver, one of the “duk-peris”
(440) or “twelve peers” (_douze pairs_) of Charlemagne, and _Syr
Ferumbras_ opens with the account of how he defeated Fierabras in
single combat, which also begins the second division of the Sowdone.
The French knights are, however, trapped by the Saracens and confined
in the castle of _Egrymor_ (441), or Aigremont, in Spain, but are
released and joined by Floripas, the daughter of Balan, and make
themselves masters of “the tower” (449). They are the twelve peers,
though Barbour makes them “bot eleven” (444), probably with reference
to the one who was slain in the defence. But they lack provisions, and
news of their plight is carried to Charlemagne by Richard of Normandy
(450). Charlemagne, who, supposing them slain, was on his way home to
France, turned back with his army, seized the marble bridge over the
river _Flagot_, which was warded by a giant, and captured the great
tower of _Mantrible_ on the other side (445). Thereafter Lavyne, or
Balan, is defeated and captured, and, later, executed; the Christians
recover from Floripas the sacred relics carried off by Fierabras from
St. Peter’s, Rome. The “sper” (459) is the spear with which the side
of the crucified Jesus was pierced by the Roman soldier; the crown is
the crown of thorns; “the naylis” are the nails with which he was fixed
to the cross. In the _Complaynt of Scotlande_ (E.E.T.S., p. 63) is a
reference to the _Tail_ (tale) _of the Brig of the Mantrible_. Readers
of _Don Quixote_ will recall “the balsam of Fierabras,” which also
figures in the romance. On Mr. Brown’s treatment of this passage, see
_Appendix_ F, iii.

493 _will of red._ “At a loss what to do”; _red_ = “rede,” counsel,
advice. See note on _Bk._ II. 471.

517 _but anger._ “Without trouble or sorrow.”

561 _To tell of paynys, etc._ An allusion to Virgil: _Forsan et haec
olim meminisse juvabit_ (_Æneid_, i. 203).

578 _mony frely fute._ “Many a handsome _child_” is Skeat’s
explanation, taking “fute = fode, one fed or nourished up.” But in
the _Morte Arthure_, Gawain says to Mordred, who was no child, “Fals
fosterde _foode_, the fende have thy bonys” (3376); and “frely” also
occurs as in, “Thow arte _frely_ and faire,” etc. (970); whence Barbour
just means, “many a goodly or handsome person.”

584 _the hyde leve on the tre._ “They left the skin on the wood of the
oars,” being unaccustomed to the rough work of rowing.

588 _To furthyr thaim, etc._ “To carry them on in their floating.”

658 _our stycht._ “Our fixed purpose or determination.” _Cf._ A.S.
_stihtan_, to establish (Skeat). The _Morte Arthure_ has the related
verb, “styhtyll tha steryn men”--_i.e._, “place these stern men” (line
157): _styhtlen_, to dispose.

659 _Angus of Ile._ Angus Macdonald, known as Angus Oig (“the
younger”). His elder brother, Alexander of Islay, or of the Isles,
was in the English interest, and had married Juliana of Lorn, sister
of John of Lorn. Their father, Angus Mor (“the big or elder”), had
supported the Bruce party during his life, taking an active part with
it in 1286. Angus also was English (_Rot. Scot._, i., 40, 41) till the
appearance of Bruce. His lands were in Kintyre (see further _Scots
Peerage_, i., 36, 37).

666 _Donavardyne._ The castle of Dunaverty, at the south end of
Kintyre. It was being besieged, for some days at least, before
September 22, by the English pursuing Bruce (_Bain_, ii., Nos. 1833,
1834), who believed that he was inside (_Hemingburgh_, ii. 249;
_Trivet_, p. 410).

680 _Rauchryne._ Now Rathlinn, off the north coast of Ireland towards
Kintyre. Dean Monro (1549) calls it _Rachlinn_, but Jamieson gives
ten variations of the name from Archdall’s _Monastic. Hibern._,
including _Rachryne_ and _Rochrinne_, “from the multitude of trees
with which it abounded in ancient times.” Surprise has been expressed
that Bruce should have chosen for retreat an island four miles off the
Irish coast, which was within the territory of the Bissets of Antrim,
strong English partisans, and in which he could be trapped by a fleet.
Not, however, till January 29-30, 1307, do we find a fleet in being,
supplied by Hugh Bysset and John de Mentieth, which was to operate in
“the Isles on the Scottish coast” “in putting down Robert de Brus and
his accomplices lurking there, and destroying their retreat” (_Bain_,
ii., p. xlix, Nos. 1888, 1889). Hemingburgh says (and _Trivet_, 410)
that Bruce had gone “to the farthest isles of that region” (_in
extremas insulas_, ii. 249). “Was lurking in remote island” is the
account in _Lanercost_, p. 205.

688 _strait off Marrok._ The Strait of Gibraltar, so called also by
Chaucer in the _Man of Lawes Tale_.

696 _the mole._ The “Mull” of Kintyre. Gaelic _maoil_ = a promontory, a
borrow of the Norse _múli_. It is “le Moel de Kintyr” in an indenture
in _Bain_, ii., No. 1941.

745 _loud and still._ A romance phrase for “in all ways,” “under all
circumstances.” Henryson has it in his _Robene and Makyne_, “I haif
thee luvit _loud and still_.”


10-12 _off na degree ... Nothir of the kyrk_, etc. The Lanercost writer
notes that among those hanged at this time were not only “common folk
and countrymen” (_simplices laici et rurales_), but also “knights,
clerics, and prebendaries”--the latter in spite of their profession
that they were “members of the church” (p. 204).

13 _byschop Robert._ Robert Wischard, or Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow
since 1273. He had been, at one time, a Guardian of the Kingdom, and up
to 1306 had taken the oath of fealty to Edward six times. He had taken
a share in the rising of Wallace, had absolved Bruce for his murder
of Comyn, and had furnished the robes for his coronation, further
stirring up the people by declaring that to fight against Edward was as
meritorious as to go on a Crusade. Edward sent to the Pope a long list
of charges on these lines (_Palgrave_, pp. 340-350). He was captured,
“as a man of war,” in the castle of Cupar, Fife, shortly before June
18 (_Bain_, ii., No. 1780; _Palgrave_, p. 349); at which Edward was
“almost as much pleased as if it had been the Earl of Carrick” (_Bain_,
ii., 1786). He was kept a prisoner till after Bannockburn (see note on
_Bks._ I. 354, XIII. 687; and _Scot. Hist. Rev._, vol. v., pp. 86-88).

14 _Marcus of Man._ Mark, Bishop of Sodor (_i.e._, of the “Sudereys,”
the “South Isles,” or Hebrides, or of Man and the Isles), had been
imprisoned with Wishart in 1299. He had taken a prominent part in
Scottish affairs on the national side, and had been one of the
“auditors” in the case of the Competitors (_Palgrave_, p. 53).
Apparently, however, he had died some years before, in 1303, so that
Barbour is post-dating his imprisonment (Keith’s _Catalogue of Scottish
Bishops_, ed. 1824, p. 301).

16 _Crystoll of Seytoun._ See note on _Bk._ II. *243. Hemingburgh
says he was captured in “the castle of Lochdor,” for which we should
probably read “Lochdon,” which fixes the reading in the text (_Hem._,
ii. 250). Lochdon or Loch Doon, source of the river Doon, in Ayrshire,
had a castle of which Sir Gilbert de Carrick, ancestor of the Earls
of Cassilis, was hereditary keeper. Its traitorous surrender was the
subject of a remission “of all rancour of mind conceived” on this
account by King Robert to Sir Gilbert (_Reg. Mag. Sig._, i., p. 115,
8). The castle was being besieged on August 10 by Sir Henry de Percy,
and had fallen before October (_Bain_, ii., Nos. 1819, 1841). Jamieson
had identified his “London” with Lochdon, and has a long note on the

19 _Maknab._ In the remission above referred to, the castle is said to
have been surrendered “into the hands of the English” by Sir Gilbert’s
son-in-law, when Seton was given up.

29 _in Ingland._ In this Barbour seems to be wrong. Hemingburgh says
Edward ordered him to be taken to Dumfries, and there to be drawn,
hanged, and beheaded (ii. 251). Gray, too, says he was executed at
Dumfries, but erroneously adds that he had been captured at Kildrummy
(_Scala._, p. 131). He was “the late” Christopher de Seton on October 4
(_Bain_, ii., No. 1841). Hemingburgh and Gray both explain that Seton
was an Englishman, and had killed a knight at Dumfries. Bruce founded
and endowed a chapel to his memory near that town (Robertson’s _Index_,
p. 13, No. 89).

36 _Schyr Ranald Crauford._ Sir Ranald, or Reginald, Crauford, Edward’s
Sheriff of Ayr in 1296 (_Bain_, ii., No. 853). Under March, 1307,
there is a list of rewards by Edward to Dougal Macdowall and others of
Galloway for the capture of “Sir Ranald de Crauford and other enemies”
(_Bain_, ii., No. 1915), these being Robert’s brothers Alexander and
Thomas, and their friends, who made a descent on Galloway, with the
result stated above, February 17, 1307 (_Lanerc._, p. 205; _Bain_ iv.
p. 489).

37 _Schyr Bruce the Blair._ As Jamieson points out in his note, the
reading “Bruce” (S) should more properly be _Bryce_ or _Brice_. Sir
Bryce was an ancestor of the Blairs of Blair, in Ayrshire. In the
_Wallace_ it is “Schyr Bryss the Blayr” (_Bk._ vii. 209). Conversely
Brys for Bruce (IV. 61, etc.).

38 _a berne in Ar._ The _Bruce_ being undoubtedly one of the sources
of the _Wallace_ this is--in part, at least--the origin of the famous
outrage of “The Barns of Ayr,” there told in _Bk._ VII. as before the
Battle of Stirling Bridge, 1297. Crawford and Blair are expressly named
among the sufferers on that occasion. Crawford is claimed as Wallace’s
uncle (_Bk._ i. 25-27).

39 _dame Marjory._ Bruce’s daughter by his first wife, Isabel, daughter
of Donald Earl of Mar. She afterwards married Walter, the High Steward
(see _Bk._ XIII. 689).

47 _the gyrth of Tayne._ The enclosure or “sanctuary” attached to
the chapel of St. Duthac, at Tain, Ross-shire, a favourite place of
pilgrimage with the Scottish kings, especially James IV. There was,
however, no privilege of sanctuary for treason. William Earl of Ross
was in the English interest, and on May 20, 1308, is the recipient of
thanks from Edward II. “for faithful service to his father and himself”
(_Bain_, iii., No. 43). Hemingburgh says “the new Queen” was taken
in Kildrummy (ii. 249); Gray that Cristina Bruce was captured there,
and the Queen and Nigel Bruce in Dunaverty (_Scala._, p. 131); Trivet
agrees with the second statement, but obviously confuses (p. 410);
according to Fordun the Queen was taken at Tain, and many ladies at
“Kyndrumy” (_Gesta Ann._, cxx.).

49 _thai of Ros._ Fordun says the Queen was seized at St. Duthac’s by
the Earl of Ross (_Gesta Ann._, cxx.).

55 _put the ladyis in presoune._ On November 7, 1306, there are
“further orders for the custody of the Countesses of Carrick (the
Queen) and Buchan, Marie, and Christine, the sisters, and Margerie the
daughter, of Robert de Bruce ... three of the ladies to be in ‘kages.’”
(_Bain_, ii., No. 1851). The Countess of Buchan, who had crowned Bruce,
was to be placed in a cage of wooden bars and lattice in one of the
turrets of Berwick Castle (_Palgrave_, p. 358; _Scala._, p. 131); Marie
Bruce in a “kage” in Roxburgh (_Palgrave_, 359); Marjory in a “kage” in
the Tower of London (359); Cristina in ward in England (_ibid._). The
Queen was to be in custody at “Brustewik” (p. 357); was removed thence
by an order of June 22, 1308 (_Bain_, iii., No. 48). Marjory was in
ward at Wattone in March, 1307 (_Bain_, ii., 1910). By 1311-1312 Maria
de Brus is a prisoner in Newcastle (_Bain_, iii., 227, 340).

57-65 The Cambridge MS. begins at line 57. Lines 59-66 do not read
satisfactorily in either MS., and the text is a composition from both
with a view to clearness.

80 _And set a sege._ The Prince of Wales was in command at Kildrummy
when it fell, shortly before September 13 (_Bain_, ii., No. 1829). Gray
says the castle was invested by Thomas Earl of Lancaster and Humphrey
de Bohun, Earl of Hereford (_Scala._, p. 131).

83 _He bad distroy._ _Cf._ note on _Bk._ II. 205.

96 _bargane at the barras._ “Barras” or “barrace” is a “barrier” or
outwork before a fortress, usually of wood. _Cf._ _Wallace_:

  “Off hewyn temyr in haist he gert thaim tak
  Syllys off ayk, and a stark _barres_ mak” (_Bk._ x. 829-30).

115 _the mekill hall._ One form of the tradition is that the corn or
forage was stored in the chapel of the castle and there set on fire
(O.S.A., xviii. 417); another, that on the east side is the “Black
Lardner,” so called because it was burnt in the siege (Macfarlane’s
_Geog. Coll._, i., p. 29). Fordun says simply that the castle was lost
by treachery (_Gesta Annalia_, cxx.).

134 _wes battalit all_, etc.--_i.e._, had battlements on the inside of
the wall, as well as on the outside. The former case was unusual, but
fortunate here because the besieged could thus shelter themselves from
the fire within.

181 _Snawdoune._ Kildrummy is said to have had seven towers, of which
one on the west side still stands, with the name of the “Snow Tower”
(_Geog. Coll._, i., p. 28). There was a “Snowdoun” also at Stirling,
and Sir David Lindsay, in the _Complaynt of the Papingo_, addresses
Stirling Castle as “fair Snowdoun.” Nisbet speaks of a Snowdoun Castle
in the county of Ross as an ancient residence of the Scottish kings
(_Heraldry_, ii. 166). The name is, undoubtedly, old, and in its
present form probably a corrupt assimilation to more familiar syllables.

189 _in-to Northumberland._ Edward was certainly in Northumberland in
the autumn of 1306, being at Newcastle on August 8 (_Bain_, ii., No.
1816), at Newburgh, in Tynedale, August 28 (_Fœdera_, ii., p. 1018).
He was delayed in Northumberland by sickness but passed the winter of
1306-1307 at Lanercost, near Carlisle, to which, on “account of old age
and weakness,” he came by easy stages in a horse-litter, arriving on
September 29, and staying till Easter of the following year, March 26,
1307 (_Chron. de Lanercost_, p. 205). Barbour thus antedates his death,
which took place at Burgh-on-Sand, “three (about five) miles north of
Carlisle,” on July 7, 1307 (_ibid._, 207; _Hem._, ii., p. 266).

211 _In Burch I wist weill_, etc. This is a familiar type of story, the
“dowbill undirstanding,” told of several historic personages: of Henry
IV., to whom it had been prophesied that he should die in Jerusalem,
and who died in the “Jerusalem chamber,” Westminster (Shakespeare’s _2
Henry IV._, Act IV., Scene 5); of Cardinal Wolsey, and others.

220 _Ane spirit._ Archbishop Sharpe was reported to have a “familiar
spirit,” which he carried in a snuff-box in the form of a bee!

241 _Erle Ferrandis moder._ Ferrand was an historical personage, a
Prince of Portugal, who, by marriage, became Earl of Flanders. The
story of the oracle which can be read in two ways, is also one of which
there are many examples from that of the utterance of the Delphic
oracle to Crœsus, as told by Herodotus. Ferrand is in the _Morte

  “One sir Feraunt before, upon a fayre stede,
  Was fosterde in Famacoste, _the fend was his fadyre_”


_Famacoste_ is Famagosta, in Cyprus.

249 _Bosbek_ or Busbecq was in Flanders, west of Courtrai.

253 _in Inglis._ Barbour calls his own language English, as the Scots
poets do down till the fifteenth century (see on _Language_, _Appendix_

256 _Mynerff._ Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, etc. For the early
and mediæval Christians, the ancient deities were demons.

282 _in the fechting._ Ferrand and the Emperor Otho IV. were defeated
at Bouvines, between Lille and Tournai, July 27, 1214.

322 _“hangis and drawis.”_ It was Edward I. who regularized the
horrible form of punishment allotted to traitors, several examples of
which have already been noted. The victim was first drawn by horses
on a rough cart through the principal streets, as Fraser was through
the streets of London, then hanged, next taken down before he was dead
and decapitated. The head was then stuck up on a public place, if the
victim was sufficiently notorious, and the limbs might be similarly
exposed, as was done with Wallace. Fraser’s heart and entrails
were burned, and his body was again hung up till about three weeks
afterwards, when it and the gallows were burned together. For Fraser’s
case, see _Ann. Paul_, pp. 148, 149. For the grammatical forms, see
_Appendix_ H.

336 _To King Robert._ The narrative now goes back to the closing months
of 1306.

338 _till the wyntir neir wes gane._ Too long a period. On February
1, 1307, Edward is ordering out ships to hunt for Bruce “towards Ayr”
(_Bain_, ii., 1893).

367 _In-to Kintyre._ Hemingburgh has it that about September 29, 1306,
Bruce came back from the islands and waited in Kintyre, and sent
some men over to Carrick, who lifted his rents for Martinmas. Trivet
has an account which is simply a careless abridgment of Hemingburgh
(_Hemingburgh_, ii. 251; _Trivet_, 410). Nothing is said of Arran, but
these writers are not strong in geography. Hemingburgh says Bruce had a
force of “Irish” (_Hibernicis_) and Scots (_ibid._). “Irish” suggests
Rathlin, or they may be west-islanders.

384 _Schir John the Hastyngis._ Sir John de Hastings had been the most
important of the Competitors, next to Balliol and Bruce, being the
grandson of the youngest daughter of the Earl of Huntingdon. On May 22,
1306, he received from Edward a grant “of the Earldom of Mentethe in
Scotland, with the Isles” (_Bain_, ii., No. 1771). In July or August,
1307, he is one of the garrison of Ayr Castle (_ibid._, 1901).

388 _Brathwik._ Brodick.

421 _neid to fourty._ In line 405 he says the English were in all
“thretty and ma”!

464 _The King arivit._ On the west side of the island, opposite
Campbelltown, is the _King’s Cove_, where, as tradition says, “King
Robert de Bruce and his retinue lodged ... for some time when taking
shelter in retired places” (_Old. Stat. Acct._, vol. ix., p. 167).

466 _in a toune._ Not “in a town” in the modern sense, but in the Scots
meaning of any group of houses or buildings--_e.g._, a farm “toun.”

556 _Turnberys snuke._ Turnberry Point, on the coast of Ayrshire,
the site of the castle of the Earls of Carrick. The castle was in
possession of Henry Percy, to whom Edward had granted Bruce’s Earldom,
as is stated in lines 599-600 (_Hem._, ii. 251). The point at Berwick
was known as “le Snoke” (_Hist. Docts._, ii. p. 160). S reads “nuk”
from C.

682-3 _Jeromy_ = Jeremiah. _Ysay_ = Isaiah.

720-1 “The constellation that gives to them kindly manners”--_i.e._,
natural dispositions. _Cf._ “kyndly” = naturally, in line 735. For
“manners” = character, _cf._ Chaucer. _The Dethe of Blaunche_:

  “She used gladly to do wel,
  These were hir _maners_ everydel” (1012-13).

747 _Nigramansy._ “Necromancy,” or the art of revealing the future
through communication with the dead (Gr. _nekros_, a dead body);
appearing in mediæval Latin as _nigromanteia_; O.F., _nygromancie_, the
first part of the compound being confused and identified with Latin
_niger_, black--whence “the black art.”

753 _the Phitones._ The _Pithoness_ or _Pythoness_, which usually
appears in the M.E. writers as in the text. _Cf._ Chaucer’s _Hous of
Fame_, iii. 171: “And _phitonesses_, charmeresses,” etc. Pythia was
the oracle-giving priestess of Apollo at Delphi; hence a woman who
prophesies or divines. The name was given, as in the reference here, to
the witch of Endor (1 _Chron._ x. 13), as in Bacon, _Prophecies_, etc.,
“Said the _Pythonissa_ to Saul,” etc.


1 _in vere._ “In spring”--February, 1307 (see note on _Bk._ IV. 338.)
The description here is really of the “Poets’ May.”

23 _na nedill had na stane_; _i.e._, neither an actual needle
magnetized, nor a piece of magnetic iron, loadstone, to serve as a

24 _in-till ane._ “In a straight course,” guiding themselves by the

90 _till the toune._ _Cf._ note on III. 556. Hemingburgh’s account is
that Bruce, coming on him suddenly, attacked Percy by night and slew a
few of his company (ii. 251). _Cf._ 95, etc. Fordun says Bruce captured
and destroyed one of his own castles, slew the garrison, and divided
arms and other spoils among his men (_Gesta Annalia_, cxxi.). This is
not Barbour’s version, which is the right one. _Cf._ on 107, 118.

104 _Makdowall._ Probably, as Jamieson suggests, the Dougall Macdowall
who, about this time, defeated and captured Bruce’s brothers in
Galloway. See on _Bk._ IV. 36.

107 _In the castell._ See above on 90. According to Hemingburgh, “Bruce
besieged Percy in the castell till the siege was raised by an English
army” (ii. 251). There were desertions, February 18, among troops
called out to deal with Bruce (_Parliam. Writs_, i., p. 379).

118 _All haill the reif._ Bruce had captured their steeds and silver
plate (_Hemingburgh_, as cited); steeds and much other spoil (Trivet’s
_Annals_, p. 410).

133 _a lady of that cuntre._ Fordun says that Bruce was assisted in
returning to Carrick by Christian “of the Isles,” who “had a kindness
for him” (_Gesta Annalia_, cxxi.), but the lady here would seem to be
of Carrick, and a relative. _Cf._ on _Bk._ IV. 367. Fordun is probably
right as to the name, and Barbour as to the location, for “Cristiane de
Carric” had, afterwards, a pension of forty shillings “at the King’s
(Robert’s) pleasure” (_Excheq. Rolls_, i., p. 114).

151 _the Erle Adell._ See on _Bk._ II. 235.

153 _till his party war heldand._ There were others who were no longer
“inclining” to his party; Allan, “late Earl of Menteith,” Sirs Patrick
de Graham, Hugh Lovel, William de Moray of Sandford, Walter de Moray,
and other adherents, had “come to the King’s (Edward’s) peace to be in
law” in November of the previous year; and Thomas Randolph, too, had
gone over (_cf._ _Bk._ II. 463 note).

156 _Cristole of Setoun._ See note on _Bk._ IV. 16.

174 _Bot quhar worschip_; _i.e._, in fair fight on the field of battle.

192 _Bot lay lurkand._ On February 6 there is a letter from Edward
to the Bishop of Chester, his Treasurer, expressing “great wonder at
hearing no news of Sir Aymer de Valence and his forces since he went to
Ayr,” and requesting him to order Valence, Percy, Sir John de St. John
and others to send particulars of what they are doing and of the state
of affairs. He states also that “he hears they have done so badly that
they do not wish him to know” (_Bain_, ii., No. 1895). On February 11
there are letters to the same effect, sent direct to Valence, the Earls
of Gloucester and Hereford, St. John, and Percy (_ibid._, 1896).

203 _Schir Gauter the Lile._ Sir Walter de Lisle.

205 _schavalduris._ Skeat explains this as “wanderers,” and says “the
right form seems to be _shaveldour_, a vagrant” (Glossary). Jamieson
takes it to mean “wanderers in the woods, subsisting by hunting.” There
were bands of “schavaldurs” on the Border, who robbed and plundered
(_Bain_, iii., No. 675); but John de Harcla had “schavaldurs” in his
employment (_ibid._, p. 128). Clerk “Helias” was a _schavaldus nobilis_
(_Stevenson_, p. 2; _Bk._ XVI. 441 note). The exact force of the word
is not yet clear. Probably they were what later times knew as “broken

231 _the Clyffurd._ _Cf._ note on _Bk._ I. 282. Ancestor of the
Cliffords, Earls of Cumberland.

256 _Toward Douglas._ In the valley of the Douglas (Gael: _dubh glas_,
black water), a tributary of the Clyde, in Upper Lanarkshire. In Bain’s
_Calendar_ is a petition from one of the garrison in Douglas Castle,
“when Sir Robert de Brus and Sir James de Douglas attacked it, the year
when the late King (Edward I.) died” (iii., No. 682).

296 _manrent._ “Homage”; Scots form of “manred” (A.S. _mannraéden_,
homage, allegiance). “Bonds of manrent” are a familiar form of
association with some great noble in later Scottish history.

307 _Palme Sonday._ March 19, 1307.

317 _mantill._ For long a mantle or cloak was the upper garment of the
Scots, rich and poor.

336 _Sanct Brydis._ The church of Douglas was dedicated to St. Bridget,
or Bride, a Celtic Saint.

388 _With burdys set._ On trestles, as the dinner-table. _Cf._ note on
_Bk._ II. 96.

403 “Knocked out the heads of the wine barrels.”

410 _the Dowglas Lardenere._ “The Douglas Larder,” a North English
and Scottish form of A.F. _lardiner_: here with the double meaning of
a store of food and a slaughter. For the latter, _cf._ “The knyghtes
of the round table made soche _lardare_ through the field” (_Merlin_,
cited N.E.D.). In the _Alexander_ it is said of the slaughter
accomplished by Porrus:

  “Of handis and heidis baith braune and blude
  He maid ane _lardnare_ quhare he stood” (p. 233, 5).

Dr. Neilson says, “there is nothing corresponding in the French,” and
claims that the lines in the _Bruce_ are the source of the “lurid and
telling phrase” (_John Barbour_, p. 56). But this does not follow, as
the word occurs in this sense elsewhere (see N.E.D.), and the simple
sense of “slaughter” in the _Alexander_ is not quite parallel to the
full significance of the word in the _Bruce_, where the “meile, malt,
blude and wyne” fill out the suggestiveness of its use. According to
Hume of Godscroft, the Douglas historian, the “wyne-sellar” of line 399
is identified with a cellar “called yet the Douglas Lairder” (_History
of the House of Douglas_, p. 28, ed. 1644).

460 _The thrill-wallis._ May be “John de Thirlewal, vallet of Sir Adam
de Swynburne,” who, “with a barbed horse,” was one of a company hunting
Bruce in Glentrool, April, 1307 (_Bain_, ii., p. 572).

483 _Schyr Ingrame Bell._ Evidently a misreading of “Ingrame
Umphrevell,” as is clear from _Bk._ VI. 3; not the other way, as Skeat
puts it. There was no such person as “Bell.” Umfraville was holding
Cumnock Castle on May 18 (_Bain_, ii., 1931). Later in the year he is
at Ayr, July or August, sent there by Valence (_ibid._, No. 1961).

575 _about his hals._ Hung from his neck. A two-handed sword too long
to be supported by a waist-belt.

642 _toym._ “Leisure.” Modern Scots _toom_ = empty; not time. The
distinction is clearly marked in the _Gest. Hystoriale_: “But this
_tyme_ is so tore (inconvenient), and we no _tome_ have” (644).


3 _the Umphrevell._ See _Bk._ V. 483, 513, etc.

69 _Gilbert de la Hay._ See note on _Bk._ II. 237.

120 “Since he was provided with armour.”

121 _thurt._ “Needed.” The word occurs once in _Morte Arthure_, in the
present impersonal: “Hym _thare_ be ferde (afraid) for no faces” (403).
_Cf._ also _Bk._ VIII. 257.

128 _For litill strynth of erd._ “On account of a slight natural
defence in the character of the ground.”

149 _fiff-sum._ “Five together.” The compound is still familiar in
Scotland--_e.g._, a “three-some reel,” a “four-some” in golf. _Cf._
“sex-sum” in line 231.

179 The story is from the _Thebaid_ of Statius through some
intermediate source which cannot now be identified. See _Appendix_ F, §

195-6 “First the one should reign a year, then the other for a year
from the expiry of the previous term,” and so on.

201 _his constabill._ Defined in the _Alexander_:

  “That of the duke’s hoist all hale,
  Was _constabill_ and chief ledere” (73; 14, 15).

252 _the gret anciente._ “Through its great antiquity.”

314 “Then they praised greatly God the all-mighty.” The comparative
_fastar_ is in _Bk._ XIII. 129.

316 _Thaim byrd._ “It behoved or was necessary for them.” (O.E.
_byrian_, impersonal verb). _Cf._ “Sa _byrd_ al Galouya hyme honoure”
(_Lives of the Saints, Ninian_, 932): “Me byrd be blyth” in same
(_Martha_, 152). Frequent in the _Alexander_. _Cf._ on _Bk._ I. 381.

336 _Worschip extremyteis has twa._ Valour as a mean between two
extremes is an Aristotelian notion (_cf._ line 347).

339 “And they are both to be avoided.”

341 “Things which should be left alone as well as those which should be
done” (_cf._ lines 348-9).

463 _In Cumnok._ A town and parish in Kyle, Ayrshire.

481 _Johne of Lorn._ See note on _Bk._ III. 1.

483 _aucht hundreth men and ma._ On July 19, 1307, there is a command
from Aymer de Valence, the King’s lieutenant, for aid to John of Lorn
“guarding the town of Ayr and parts adjacent.” Lorn had 22 men-at-arms
and 800 foot, so that Barbour’s statement is remarkably accurate, while
his details enable us to fix the date of the events (_Bain_ ii., No.

484 _A sleuthhund._ Jean le Bel has a reference to some such occurrence
as this, though he credits it to Edward I., and distorts the course
of events. He explains that one time Edward had Robert Bruce chased
through great forests for the space of three or four days, “by dogs and
sleuth-hounds” (_par chiens et limiers_), and gives as his authority
not only popular report (_ce dit on_), but also “an account composed by
the said King Robert” (_et le treuve on en hystoire faitte par le dit
roy Robert._ _Chronique_ i., chap. xxii.). Sleuth-hounds were common
for police purposes: “That thar sal nane lat (obstruct) a sluthe hund
passand or the men that are cumand with hym for to follow theyffis or
to tak mysdvaris,” etc. (1289) (_Acta Parl. Scot._, I. 108). See on
VII. 17.

487 _a strecour._ A fast runner, a dog for the chase; from the verb
_streke_, to go rapidly (Skeat).

503 _his emys sak._ See note on _Bk._ III. 3.

507 _Schir Amery._ Valence is at Glenken, Kirkcudbrightshire, on July
24, and at Doon-side on July 31, 1307 (_Bain_ ii., Nos. 1958, 1959).

510 _Thomas Randale._ Thomas Randolph, on the English side. See note on
_Bk._ II. 463.

558 “He would pay no attention to the others.”

650 _Out of dawis doyn._ “Done out of days”--_i.e._, killed.

657 _yhow ane._ “Yourself alone”--a rather awkward expression, but the
reading in H supports E.

665-6 “As they did not fear me, I could do them much more harm.”


2 _will of wayn._ “Wild of weening” or thought--_i.e._, quite at a
loss. See on II. 471.

10 _yhe._ _Ye_ from an inferior to a superior; _you_ on the part of the
latter, as in line 15.

17 _I haf herd_, etc. In a note to the _Wallace_, _Bk._ v. 25, Jamieson
cites from “Bellenden, after Boece,” a long passage on bloodhounds,
in which this occurs: “And thocht the thevis oftymes cors the wattir,
quhair thai pas, to caus the hound to tyne the sent of thaym and
the guddis, yit he serchis heir and thair with sic deligence, that
be his fut he fyndis baith the trace of the theiff and the guddis”
(_Description of Albion_, chap. xi.). See on VI. 484.

48 “And he is a good distance off by this time.”

90 _price and loving._ “Honour and praise.” _Cf._ 99, 294.

103 _war bodyn all evynly._ “Were armed equally well,” equipped for

132 _bryng hym than of daw._ “Bring him then out of day”--_i.e._, kill
him. _Cf._ on _Bk._ VI. 650.

163 _housis._ MSS. give “hous” with flourished “s,” here expanded to
“is.” See _Preface_ 3.

177 _slep._ “To sleep,” infinitive, not a substantive.

188 _as foul on twist._ “Like a bird on a bough.”

*302 _to-waverand._ “To-wavering”--_i.e._, distracted, uncertain.
_Waverand_ occurs in line 112 above, and in the _Wallace_ in “waverand
wynd” (_Bk._ iv. 340). “To” is intensive = German _zer_. In _Morte
Arthure_ we have “to-stonayede” = astounded (1436) and “to-briste” =
burst asunder (3982). Skeat gives for the text, “wandering uncertainly
in different directions,” but “her and thar” follows.

330 _nakyt._ “Without armour,” as always in the poem.

423 _for Jhon Cumyng’s sak._ That this feeling did operate in certain
quarters we gather, further, from a story told in the _Scalacronica_,
citing “the chronicles of his (Bruce’s) actions,” in which two men
ferry Bruce, whom they did not know, over a passage between two
islands. They ask about Bruce, and express a wish that they had him
in their hands, that they might kill him. Bruce inquired why, and the
answer is, “Because he murdered John Comyn, our lord.” This incident is
placed after Loudon Hill, and the precise locality is not mentioned.
Bruce discloses his identity in parting from them (_Scala._, pp. 132-3).

455 _top our teill._ “Top over tail,” head over heels. The phrase
occurs in the _Alexander_ (72, 8).

468 _till him dreuch._ “Drew the man towards him.”

494 _Glentruell._ Glen Trool and Loch Trool are in the west of
Kirkcudbright. See below on 622.

497 _the deir war in sesoun._ June or July, and so after Loudon Hill in
_Bk._ VIII.

561 _the Clyffurd._ Sir Robert Clifford. See note on 622 and on _Bk._
I. 282.

588 _his baneour._ “His banner-bearer,” as in _Morte Arthure_, “He
byddys his _baneoure_, Buske yow,” etc. (3732).

622 _Vaus._ “Vaux” = _de vallibus_, like Clifford, a Cumberland family.
Sir John de Vaus is on service under Valence against Bruce in June,
1307 (_Bain_, ii., No. 1938). We have a set of memoranda relative to
expeditions against Bruce in Galloway, dated February 12 to May 3,
1307, for wages to horse, foot, and archers under different commanders,
“in the valley of Nith,” “beyond the water of Cree,” “Glentruil, riding
in search of Robert de Brus,” “on the raid to Glentruyl, against said
Sir Robert,” “in Carrick and Glentruyl”; and among the leaders is Sir
Robert de Clifford (_Bain_, ii., No. 1923).

623 _raucht him a colè._ “Reached him a blow.” Skeat explains _colè_ as
from O.F. _colee_, from _col_ (_cou_), the neck. _Cf._ _accolade_, a
blow with the flat of a sword in dubbing a knight.

624 “Both drew up their men in sides,” for a fight.

632 _than he com of toune._ “Than when he set out,” a general phrase.


9 _Kyle._ The central division of Ayrshire, between _Carrick_ to the
south and _Cunningham_ (13) in the north.

14 _He gert helde._ “He made to submit” (O.E., _hieldan_, to incline;
Anglian _haeldan_). _Cursor Mundi_, “All folk to Rome suld _heild_”
(22,235, N.E.D.).

15 _Bothweill._ Bothwell Castle, on the Clyde. It had seen a good deal
of fighting in the earlier war. In August, 1301, the castle and barony,
which had belonged to William de Moray, were presented to Aymer de
Valence and his heirs (_Bain_, ii., No. 1214). See also note on _Bk._
xiii. 409.

21 _Philip the Mowbray._ More probably Sir John de Mowbray serving in
Ayr for Valence, with others, in June to August, 1307 (_Bain_, ii.,
Nos. 1938, 1961).

28 _Makyrnokis way._ Godscroft gives the name in the form _Machanacks_;
but David Macpherson, supporting the spelling in the text, says it is
“a narrow pass on the bank of Makyrnok wattyr,” which he located near
Kilmarnock (_Geog. Illust._, s.v.).

34 _Edry-furd._ The meaning of this name appears to be given in the
line below, “betwix marras twa,” in which case _Edry_ is for Gaelic
_Eadar_, “between,” as in other ancient names--_e.g._, _Eddirdail_ for
the Black Isle, being _Eadar-da-dhail_, “between two dales.” “Furd,”
of course, is English, and we may conjecture that the place was first
known as “the ford,” with a Gaelic name beginning with _Eadar_, and
signifying “between the marshes”; then that the unwieldy title was
telescoped, the latter part of the Gaelic compound dropping out, and
reduced to the hybrid “Eadar-ford,” finally to the form given.

95 _Kilwynnyn._ Kilwinning is west of Kilmarnock, near Ardrossan. At
Ardrossan they turned north by the coast road and passed Largs on to
Inverkip, where are still the remains of the castle. In 1301 Edward I.,
after capturing Bothwell Castle, went on to besiege that of Inverkip,
and in July, 1306, after Methven, Thomas Randolph was imprisoned there
(_Bain_, ii., Nos. 1224, 1807).

123 _Gawlistoun._ Galston is a little east of Kilmarnock. Beyond it
rises Loudon Hill.

133 _the tend day of May._ May 10. The memoranda cited in note to _Bk._
VII. 622, relating to the pursuit of Bruce in Galloway, extend to May
3. The battle of Loudon Hill was fought before May 15. See note on 362.

164 _The hye-gat._ “The high-road” to Ayr, as we learn also from the
_Wallace_, _Bk._ iii. That hero, with his men, there lay in wait for
“Persey’s caryage,” which was being convoyed up Avondale (78) to Ayr
(63). The waggons of supplies “took Loudon Hill” (116), on which
Wallace had prepared a position (100). Loudon Hill itself is a bold,
outstanding eminence commanding the valley of the Avon. The road must
have crossed the lower slope (line 165).

172 _thre dykis._ On each side of the road, but a bowshot (150 to 200
yards) away (169), was a moss, impassable for horsemen. Further to
narrow the hard ground (170), Bruce dug inwards from “the mosses” three
ditches up to the road (173), each a bowshot behind the other (175). In
the ditches he left gaps (“stoppis”) for the road (179), wide enough
for 500 men to ride abreast (? 650 to 700 yards). Thus he could not be
outflanked (185) or attacked in the rear (186), and he had sufficient
men to deal with a frontal attack (187, 188). If he could not check
the English at the first ditch, he could retreat to the next, and so
to the third, if necessary (189-194). Bruce’s tactics was thus to make
a position defensible by a small number on foot, and open only to an
attack in front. Maxwell’s suggestion that the ditches were to shelter
the Scots from the archers has no warrant in the text (_Robert the
Bruce_, p. 164). In the _Wallace_:

  “A maner _dyk_, off stanys thai had maid,
  _Narrowyt the way_ quhar throuch thair thikar raid”

  (iii. 133-4).

The incident in the _Wallace_ is certainly derived from _The Bruce_,
but Barbour’s “dykis” = ditches, as in the modern English sense, has
become a stone dike in the _Wallace_, where “dyk” has been taken in its
modern Scots sense = a wall.

216 _The sone wes rysyn schynand bricht._ So too in the _Wallace_.
He took up his position “in the gray dawing,” and then “The sone was
rysyne our landis schenand brycht” (_Bk._ iii. 119).

232 _quhit as flour._ See on _Bk._ II. 415; XI. 131. Barbour here must
mean the white linen garment covering the armour--the surcoat.

257 _that us thar dout._ “Whom it needs us to fear.” See for “thar” =
needs, note on _Bk._ VI. 121.

280 _cant and keyn._ _Cant_ = lively, brisk; _cf._ _canty_. _Keyn_
(keen) is probably in the sense of “bold” or “valiant.” The words are
almost synonymous. _Cf._ _Morte Arthure_:

  “The knyhte coveride (got) on his knees with a _kaunt_ herte” (2195).

326 _skalyt in soppis._ “Scattered in groups.” The _Wallace_ simply

  “The Inglissmen, that besye was in wer,
  _Befors ordand in sondyr thaim to ber_” (163-4).

339 _At erd ane hundreth and weill mar._ So in _Wallace_:

  “A hundreth dede in feild was levyt thar” (205).

351 _to-ga._ A past tense: “went off in a hurry.” See note on _Bk._
VII. *302.

362 _He gaf up thar his wardanry._ Loudon Hill was fought in May, 1307;
Valence was still “warden of Scotland” in July 31 (_Bain_, ii., No.
1959), but was replaced by Sir John de Bretagne, Earl of Richmond, on
September 13 (_Foedera_, iii., p. 10). An anonymous letter of May 15
says that “the King (Edward I.) was much enraged that the guardian and
his force had retreated before ‘King Hobbe’”; also that James Douglas
“sent and begged to be received, but when he saw the King’s forces
retreat, he drew back” (_Bain_, ii. 1979).

380 _For that victour._ There exists a letter written by “some high
official” at Forfar on May 15, which appears to refer to the events
of this year. Bain gives it in full in Anglo-French in vol. ii., pp.
536-7, and an abstract on p. 513. The writer says that “the news of
these parts are as follows: so far as I am able to understand, Sir
Robert de Bruys has never before had the good will of the people even
half so fully as at the present moment” (_ne avoyt onkes sa en arere
si avaunt la volunte des gentz ne la moyte si entierement cum il ad
ore aparmeymes_); “and that now they consider it manifest that he is
in the right, and that God is clearly on his side, since he has now
discomfited and defeated the full power of the King, as well English as
Scots” (_ausint bien les Engleis cum les Escoteys_), “on which account
the power of England is in full retreat before his men, not to return.”

391 _Than wox his power._ According to Hemingburgh, who sets Bruce
riding through Lothian “a little after Easter,” before the battle of
Loudon Hill, many then joined him who had been “exiled” by the English
justiciars in the former year when they “sat” upon malefactors and
supporters of “the new king.” “And because, according to the English
law, they were sentencing them to burning, being drawn on horses and
hanging, on that account they rose unanimously and went with him
(Bruce), preferring to die rather than be judged by English laws” (ii.,
p. 265). Then follows the account of Valence’s defeat at Loudon Hill,
the driving of the Earl of Gloucester into Ayr Castle, and Bruce’s
subsequent defeat, after which he lurked “in moors and marshes” with
ten thousand foot; and how Bruce always “slipped out of the hands” of
his pursuers--clearly a misplaced account of the Galloway operations.
Of the late summer and autumn of this year the Lanercost chronicler
says that “Robert Bruce, with his brother Edward and many others
adhering to him, without any opposition from the English guardians,
wanders about in Scotland wherever he wished, and especially in
Galloway, and took tribute from that country on condition that it
should be left in peace; for, _on account of the number of people who
then adhered to him_, they were not able to resist him” (_Chron._,
p. 210). See also _Foedera_, iii., p. 14, for the official English
description of Bruce’s raids on Galloway in August to September of this

393 _Outour the Month._ The writer of the letter cited above says that
he learns from those who are watching the place beyond and on this side
of the mountains, “that if Sir Robert Bruce is able to get away in any
direction without inconvenience” (_saun dreytes_), “or towards the
districts of Ross, he will find them all ready to his will more wholly
than ever.” For “the Month,” see note on _Bk._ II. 494.

395 _Sir Alexander the Fraser._ See note on _Bk._ II. 239, and next

397 _his brother Symon._ See on _Bk._ II. 239. Skeat thinks this
mention and that in _Bk._ IX. 10 “odd,” because he identifies him
with the Sir Simon executed in 1306. Hence one of Barbour’s “errors.”
Sir Alexander Fraser, sheriff of Kincardine, and “Simon Fraser his
brother” are witnesses to a charter not dated, but later than 1312.
(_Fraser’s of Philorth_, ii., p. 126). Simon Fraser is one of the
honorary burgesses of Aberdeen in 1317 (_Miscellany of Spalding Club_,
v., p. 283). He fell at Halidon Hill, 1333. In line 396 C reads
_frendis_ where E gives _cosyngis_ and H _cousings_ in the general
sense of “relatives.” Bruce gifted the Earl of Atholl’s lands in part
to Alexander Fraser’s wife, Marie, his own sister (Robertson’s _Index_,
p. 19, 105). The gift must be after 1315 (_Bk._ XIII. 490).

400 _Schir Johne Cumyne._ On September 26, 1306, John Comyn, Earl of
Buchan, is forgiven his debts to the Exchequer (England), on account of
the loss sustained “in the death of Sir John Comyn his cousin” (_Bain_,
ii., No. 1835).

401 _Schir Johne the Mowbray._ Had the custody of “the late John
Comyn’s” lands in England from February 23, 1306; on duty in Ayr, June
and July, 1307 (_Bain_, ii., Nos. 1746, 1938, 1961).

402 _Schir David of Brechyne._ Also serving Edward in Ayr, July or
August, 1307 (_ibid._, No. 1961); of Forfarshire (_ibid._, p. 199). See
on _Bk._ IX. 293.

413 _The Erle of Lennox._ See on _Bk._ II. 235. With line 414 _cf._
extract from Fordun on _Bk._ II. 482.

415 _Schir Robert Boyd._ See on _Bk._ IV. 342.

425 _The forest of Selcryk._ Sir Walter Scott has a note (45) to _The
Lord of the Isles_ on “The forest of Selkirk, or Ettrick,” which, he
says, “embraced the neighbouring dales of Tweeddale, and at least the
upper ward of Clydesdale.” But Gray distinguishes between “the forests
of Selkirk and of Etryk” (_Scala._, p. 127); and Douglas, later, had
a grant of the forests of Ettrick, Selkirk, and Traquair (Robertson’s
_Index_, p. 10, No. 24).

427 _Gedward Forest._ “Jedworth,” or Jedburgh Forest. “The vulgar, and,
indeed, almost universal, pronunciation, Jethart” (Jamieson on the
_Wallace_, _Bk._ vii. 1277). See further on _Bk._ XVI. 363.

447 _Lanrik fair._ No doubt “Lanark” fair, as it appears in Godscroft’s
account (_History_, p. 30, ed. 1644). “Lanerik” is an old form of the
name in charters, etc.

449 _gang on raw._ “Go in a row.”

453 _Schir Johne of Webitoune._ In Godscroft “Sir John Walton,”
under which name Sir John de Walton, he figures in Scott’s _Castle
Dangerous_. The citation from Godscroft will be found in the Appendix
to the Introduction to that tale.

492 _per drowry._ _Drowry_ is O.F. _druerie_, _droerie_, love,
friendship; here = “as a sweetheart,” apparently in a sinister sense.
_Cf._ Chaucer:

  “To be loved is not worthy,
  Or bere the name of _druerie_.”

  (_Romaunt of the Rose_, 5063).

In the _Alexander_, as here, “And yharnes to lufe _be droury_” (126,


34 _Enverrowry._ Inverury, on the Don, fifteen miles north-west of

64 _a-pane._ A curious use of the French adverbial phrase _a peine_,
in, or with, difficulty; here = “hardly,” “scarcely.” The sense seems
to be that even in a case in which a company is successful without a
captain, which they can be only with difficulty, still they will not
accomplish as much as if they had one.

107 _the Slevach._ Sliach in Drumblade parish, about sixteen miles
north-west of Inverurie. Certain archæological features in the district
are connected with Bruce’s visit, the “Meet-hillock,” “Robin’s Height,”
etc. (_Old. Stat. Acct._, iv., p. 55; Macpherson’s _Geograph. Coll._,
i., pp. 8, 19).

117 _And als frendis._ According to Fordun, whose account is
independent of that of Barbour, Buchan had many nobles, both English
and Scots, when he went to attack Bruce at Sliach (_Gesta Annalia_,

118 _Schir Johne the Mowbray._ See note on _Bk._ VIII. 21.

127 _Martymes._ Martinmas, November 11, 1307.

153 _thai send._ This second “thai” refers to the Scots of Bruce’s

183 _begouth to fale._ “They retired, overcome with shame and in
confusion” (_Gesta Annalia_, cxxii.). But in Fordun the reference is to
Christmas Day. See below, 204.

188 _Strabogy._ Strathbogie.

190 _cover and ga._ “Recover and go about.”

202 _Ald Meldrom._ About five miles north-east of Inverury.

204 _Before Yhoill-evyn nycht._ “One night before Christmas Eve.”
Fordun records an attack by Brechin on Bruce on Christmas Day (see
above on 183), but the battle of Old Meldrum he puts on to 1308
(cxxiv.). But he sends Bruce north right away after his landing in
Carrick and capture of Turnberry to destroy Inverness and other
fortresses (cxxi.), whereas Bruce could scarcely go north before the
autumn, as he was in Galloway on September 30 (_Foedera_, iii., p. 14).
After his victory at Inverury, Bruce ravages Buchan, subdues the north,
and, according to Fordun, is in Argyll by August, 1308 (cxxvi.). This
would be quick work, even for Bruce, and Lord Saltoun therefore argues
that Barbour is right in his chronology (_Frasers of Philorth_, ii.

221 _His horse ... he askit._ When the King heard of the attack, says
Fordun, “though he was still prostrated by great weakness, he rose from
the litter on which he was constantly carried, and ordered his men to
arm him and place him on his horse” (_Gesta Annalia_, cxxiv.).

249 _merdale._ “Rabble”; O.F. _merdaille_, “a dirty crowd.” _Cf._
_Alexander_, “For thay war pure, small _mardale_” (379; 14); also
_Lives of the Saints; Ninian_, 921.

289 “The son of him (the Earl of Atholl) that was in Kildrummy.” But
see note on _Bk._ XIII. 489. Atholl was English, and Barbour must be

293 _Com syne his man._ But on May 20, 1308, Edward II. was expressing
his thanks to “David de Breghyn,” etc. (_Bain_, iii., No. 43). This
would support Fordun’s date for the battle, if, as Barbour says,
Brechin submitted soon after. But “Sir David de Breghyn” is receiving
wine from Edward II. on July 12, 1310 (_Bain_, iii., No. 121). See
further on _Bk._ XIX. 19.

296 _all Bouchane._ The district of Buchan is in the north-east of

307 _Toward Angus._ In the north of Forfarshire.

309 _the Scottis Se._ The Firth of Forth (see on 461). Of old it marked
the boundary between the land of the Gaelic-speaking Scots and the
English Lowlands.

312 _Philip the Forster of Platan._ Jamieson explains that there is
still a _Forest-muir_ in Angus, “the name of a great track of waste
ground a few miles to the north of Forfar” and about two miles east of
it, “a village vulgarly named _Forster-seat_ ... said to be properly
designed _Forester-seat_, as having been the place where the forester
anciently resided.” He identifies _Platan_ with _Platter_, a forest
which is the subject of a grant by Robert Bruce (_Index Chart._, p. 4,
No. 43); while a charter of Robert II. confers on Alexander de Lindsay
the office of Forester of the Forest of Plater, “in the sheriffdom of
Forfar” (_ibid._, p. 120, 63).

330 _Till Perth is went._ According to Gray, it was the Earl of Atholl
who captured Perth for Bruce (_Scala._, p. 140). This is quite wrong;
Atholl was English.

335 _the wallis war all of stane._ Perth was an exceptional case, the
larger Scottish towns, except Berwick, being fortified only with ditch
and palisade (_de bons fossez et de bons palis._ _Le Bel_, I., xxii.).
And so was Berwick till 1296.

338 _Olyfard._ Barbour is about four years too soon with the capture
of Perth. William de Olifard (modern Oliphant) was still holding it
for Edward II. in February, 1312 (_Bain_, iii., No. 247). Oliphant
was a Scot, and the state of the garrison for July, 1312, shows a
great number to have been Scotsmen (_ibid._, pp. 425-7). Fordun says
Perth fell on January 8, 1313; the _Chron. de Lanercost_ gives the
date as January 10, 1313 (_Gesta Annalia_, cxxix., _Lanerc._, p. 221).
According to the Lanercost writer, the Scots climbed the walls on
ladders during the night, and captured the place through the neglect
or lack of sentinels and defenders (_propter defectum vigilum et
custodum_, p. 222).

340 _Of Stratherne als the Erll._ But see below on 433.

354 _the dik._ The burgesses of Perth had, by order, made “a pielle and
fosse”--_i.e._, a tower and a ditch--“when Robert de Brus broke the
peace” (_Bain_, iii., No. 68).

371, 373 _mak ledderis ... in a myrk nycht._ See above on 338.

377 _slepit all._ See on 338.

391 _A knycht of France._ In the _Wallace_ it is explained that this
was Sir Thomas de Longueville, a French pirate and a friend of Wallace.
Such an identification is in the usual plagiarising fashion of the
author of the _Wallace_.

405 _eftir the Kyng._ _Cf._ preceding note.

412 _the tothir man that tuk the wall._ “The second man to reach the
top of the wall.”

433 _Malis of Strathern._ Barbour is quite wrong in placing the Earl
of Strathearn in Perth, and his son on the Scottish side. Both were
still in the English interest. Malise of Stratherne, son of the Earl
of Stratherne, is in English pay November, 1309 (_Bain_, iii., No.
121). The Earl appears to have been at Berwick during the winter of
1310-1311 (_Bain_, iii., No. 208); and it is no doubt his son who on
January 28, 1313, after the fall of Perth (see on 338), is still in
receipt of an allowance from Edward II. (_ibid._, No. 299). Malis, Earl
of Strathearn, is among the signatories to the 1320 letter to the Pope
(_Act. Parl. Scot._ I., p. 114).

448 _thai war kynde to the cuntre._ “They were related to the
country”--_i.e._, they were Scots (see on 338). The _Lanercost_
account is the contrary of this; it is there said that on the morrow
of the capture, a Tuesday, Bruce had the chief burgesses of the town
(_meliores burgenses_), who were of the Scottish nation, put to death,
but allowed the English to depart in freedom. This writer errs,
however, as to the fate of Olifard, a Scot, who, he says, was sent in
bonds (_ligatus_) far off to the Isles (p. 222); for Olifard was in
England a few months afterwards, and there is no mention of any escape
or exchange (_Bain_, iii., p. xviii). Fordun’s version is that the
treacherous folk (_perfida gens_), both Scots and English, were slain,
but that Bruce, in his mercy, spared the common people (_plebi_), and
gave pardon to those who asked for it (_Gesta Annalia_, cxxix.).

452 _wallis gert he tummyll doune._ Bruce’s usual policy with fortified
places. See on _Bk._ X. 496. The _Lanercost_ chronicler says he
completely destroyed the town (p. 222); Fordun that he destroyed the
wall and ditches, and burned everything else (_ibid._).

461 _Obeysit all._ Not quite, in 1308. Dundee was in English hands
in April, 1312, when reinforcements were being sent to its “rescue”
(_Bain_, iii., p. 401); and in 1313, according to Barbour himself
(_Bk._ X. 800-1). So was Banff (Watt’s _History of Aberdeen and Banff_,
p. 68). Bain assigns to June, 1308, a note of instructions regarding
Scotland, in which two wardens are appointed for “beyond the Scottish
sea between the Forth and Orkeneye,” with 120 men-at-arms, “besides
garrisons.” The “guardians of Scotland,” however, are told “that it
is the King’s pleasure they take truce from Robert de Bruys, as from
themselves, as long as they can”--an indication of the growing power of
Bruce, emphasized by Barbour (_Bain_, iii., No. 47).

497 _With all the folk_, etc. The _Lanercost_ writer explains this
raid as being on account of the discord between the English King and
his barons. With Edward Bruce, he says, went Robert himself, Alexander
de Lindsay, and James Douglas, with their following, which they had
brought together “from the remote isles of Scotland” (p. 212).

500 _ryotit gretly the lande._ The people of Galloway had paid tribute
to be left alone (see on _Bk._ VIII. 391), but, says the _Lanercost_
writer, they made no account of this, and in one day slew many of the
more noble men of Galloway, and subjugated nearly the whole country,
the Galloway men who could escape flying to England (p. 212).

502 _Ingrame the Umphrevell._ In June, 1308, Umfraville, with two
others, was made a warden of Galloway, Annandale, and Carrick (_Bain_,
iii., No. 47).

509 _als Amery._ Amery St. John; but there is no one on record of this
name. Aymer de Valence was still a warden, but in September, 1307, when
Bruce was raiding Galloway (see on _Bk._ VIII. 391), John de St. John
was one of “the greater men” there (_Bain_, iii., No. 15). “Amery St.
John” is referred to again in _Bk._ XVI. 506.

517 _Besyde Cre._ The River Cre divides Kirkcudbrightshire from
Wigtown. Fordun says the battle was on the Dee, and dates it June
29, 1308 (_Gesta Annalia_, cxxv.). The Dee flows into the Solway at
the town of Kirkcudbright. Though Barbour’s position is universally
accepted, Fordun is probably right. See next note.

522 _Buttil._ Here, at least, C is more correct in a place-name than
E, which gives Bothwell, on the Clyde, an absurd distance away, across
mountains. The castle is that at Buittle, near Dalbeattie, a Balliol
hold. It is a few miles east of the Dee, which seems to bear out Fordun
as in the preceding note; _cf._ also lines 533-5. Edward’s operations
by the Cree could hardly be seen from Buittle.

547 _by Cre._ A second battle by the Cree, or, more probably, one
following on the English reverse by the Dee.

575 _Schir Alane of Catcart._ Cathcart is near Glasgow. Sir William
de Cathcart (Kethker) is a knight of Roxburgh garrison (English) in
December, 1309 (_Bain_, iii., No. 121).

610 “Directed their heads inwards again”--_i.e._, turned their horses
to make a fresh charge from the rear.

658 _Thretten castellis._ Small castles, Border “peels”--ditch and

683 _the wattir of Lyne._ In Peeblesshire, flowing into the Tweed from
the north, a short distance west of Peebles.

692 _Alysander Stewart._ In C, _Alexander Bonkill_. Son of Sir
John Stewart, who married the heiress of Sir Alexander de Bonkyl
in Berwickshire, and grandson of the fourth High Steward. He died,
apparently, in 1319, and his son John was created by Bruce Earl of
Angus (_Scots Peerage_, i. 13, 169).

694 _Thomas Randole._ Randolph. See note on _Bk._ II. 463.

695 _Adame ... of Gordoun._ See note on _Bk._ II. 463; XI. 46; XV. 333.

728 _His emys son._ The mother of Douglas was Elizabeth, daughter of
Alexander, the fourth High Steward, and her elder brother was Sir John
Stewart, father of Alexander Stewart, of Bonkil. _Cf._ on 692. Thus
Douglas and Sir Alexander were cousins.


9 _toward Lorn._ Barbour’s chronology is here not specific, but he
apparently places the expedition against Lorn in the late summer or
autumn of 1308. So does Fordun (see on _Bk._ IX. 204). On the other
hand, there exists a letter from John of Lorn to Edward II., clearly
referring to the present expedition. Unfortunately, it is not dated
further than as an acknowledgment of the receipt of the King’s letters
of March 11. About that date, in 1308, Bruce must have been in the
North, beyond the Mounth (see on _Bk._ IX. 204). On June 16, 1309,
Alexander of Lorn and John are in council with Edward at Westminster
(_Bain_, iii., No. 95). Meantime Alexander of Argyll is in the sederunt
of Bruce’s first Parliament, March 16, 1309, at St. Andrews (_Act.
Parl. Scot._, vol. i., p. 160). Either, then, Bruce’s expedition is to
be placed in the spring and early summer of 1309, or, after the defeat
at Loch Awe, John of Lorn held out during the winter, and Dunstaffnage
fell at some date between March 11, 1308, and June 16, 1309.

14 _twa thousand._ In the letter referred to above, John of Lorn says
that “Robert Bruce had approached his territories with 10,000 or 15,000
men, it was said, both by land and sea. He had no more than 800 to
oppose him, 500 of these being in his pay to keep his borders, and the
barons of Argyll gave him no aid.... He has three castles to guard,
and a lake 24 leagues (miles) long on which he has vessels properly
manned, but is not sure of his neighbours” (_Bain_, iii., No. 80).
Lorn’s estimate of Bruce’s strength is clearly exaggerated. Hemingburgh
similarly gives Bruce 10,000 men in his Galloway wanderings (ii., p.

17 _Ane evill place._ From the description, the Pass of Brander through
which the River Awe flows from Loch Awe to Loch Etive, a sea-loch. The
Callander-Oban Railway follows this route. The Pass is three miles long.

27 _Crechanben._ Cruachan Ben, or Ben Cruachan, on the north side,
3,689 feet.

34-35 _on the se ... with his galays._ Skeat says this must be “Loch
Etive, a sea-loch, not the inland Loch Awe, from which the ships could
not have escaped.” He is thinking of line 130, but the flight there
mentioned has no connection with the present case. Loch Etive is not
“weill neir the pas” (35; _cf._ also 97, 98), but Loch Awe is, and we
see from Lorn’s letter (note on 14) that he had ships on that loch.
He says further that he “was on sick-bed” when he received Edward’s
letters, “and had been for half a year”; which probably accounts for
his presence in a galley, or large Highland row-boat, as the Marquis of
Argyll was, for a like reason, when his forces were cut to pieces by
Montrose at Inverlochy in 1645.

46 _Williame Wisman._ A “William Wysman” was made Edward’s Sheriff at
Elgin in 1305 (_Bain_, ii., p. 458). The wife of “Monsieur William
Wysman” was among the ladies captured in 1306, and was sent to Roxburgh
(_Foedera_, ii., p. 1014). William Wyseman was at the St. Andrews
Parliament, 1309 (_Act. Parl. Scot._, i., p. 160). It was a Moray name.

47 _Schir Androu Gray._ Ancestor of the Lords Gray. Sir Andrew Gray
received from Bruce in 1315 the barony of Longforgan and other lands
in Perthshire and Forfarshire, which had belonged to Edmond Hastings
(Robertson’s _Index_, p. 26, No. 19; Crawford’s _Peerage_, p. 179, ed.

82 _ane wattir._ The River Awe. The river here is wide, deep, and
broken by rapids.

88 _till brek it._ The bridge, of course, was of wood. It was probably
beyond the lower extremity of the Pass, somewhere near the present

113 _Dunstaffynch._ In Fordun _Dunstafynch_; Dunstaffnage Castle at the
mouth of Loch Etive.

126 _And com his man._ As has already been noted (see on 9), Alexander
of Arygll is, with the other “barons” of Argyll and the Hebrides,
present at Bruce’s Parliament at St. Andrews, which, if correct,
indicates that Barbour, so far, is right. Lorn wrote to Edward that,
“though he and his were few in respect of his power, Robert de Brus
had asked a truce from him, which he granted for a short space, and
received the like, till the King sends him succours. He hears that
Robert, when he came, was boasting and saying that the writer had come
to his peace at the report that many others would rise in his aid,
which God and the writer know is not true. Should the King hear this
from others, he is not to believe it” (_Bain_, as cited). Fordun’s
story is that Bruce besieged Alexander of Argyll in Dunstaffnage, that
the castle was surrendered, but Alexander refused to do homage and
was allowed a safe-conduct for himself and friends to England (_Gesta
Annalia_, cxxvi.).

137 _at Lythkow wes than a peill._ Linlithgow “peel” was constructed
by Edward I. in 1301-1302. Barbour’s chronology is again at fault, or
he is not concerned about it. Linlithgow was still being munitioned
against the Scots in August, 1313 (_Bain_, iii., No. 330). Barbour
appears to be simply grouping the different captures of castles
together (see lines 144-7). Strictly a “peel” was a fortification
consisting of a stockade and ditch, enclosing the buildings of the
garrison (see lines 144-7).

153 _Wilyhame Bunnok._ See note on 254. C reads _Bowne_ here, but
_Bunnok_ in line 194.

180 _the hede-soyme._ That is, the “trace” or “traces” connecting the
animals with the cart would be cut, when the waggon would block the
gateway. By a similar trick, in which the agents are dressed as carters
and the traces are loosened by withdrawing the pins, Oudenarde was
captured in 1384 (_Froissart_, Johnes, ii., chap. cli.).

185 _the harvist tyde._ September or October, 1313. See above on 137.

195 _To leid thair hay._ To “lead” the hay, still the usual country
phrase, is to bring it in from the field to the place of storage.
Bunnok was to gather the hay and cart it to the castle.

196 _but dangeir._ “Without difficulty,” readily.

223 _callit his wayn._ “Drove” or “urged forward” his waggon. The word
occurs in this sense in the _Wallace_ “Thir cartaris ... _callyt_ furth
the cartis weill” (_Bk._ ix. 717-8), where, as usual, the incident is
borrowed from the _Bruce_. _Cf._ Burns: “Ca the yowes to the knowes.”

232 _he leyt the gadwand fall._ “He” is not Bunnock, but the driver,
who drops his goad and cuts the trace.

254 _hym rewardit worthely._ According to Nisbet’s _Heraldry_,
Bunnock is the same name as _Binning_, and the arms of Binning of
Easter-Binning are “placed on the bend of a waggon argent”; and he
gives as an explanation that “one of the heads of that family, with his
seven sons, went in a waggon covered with hay, surprised and took the
castle of Linlithgow, then in the possession of the English, in the
reign of David II.” (I. 100, ed. 1816). The reference is clearly to the
present incident, though “sons” is a later development, and the date is
wrong. Jamieson is highly suspicious over the identification, and it
seems, in fact, to be a case of ancestry manufacture.

265-6 _Murref ... And othir syndri landis braid._ “Murref” is English
transcription of the Gaelic form, _muiraibh_, dative plural of _muir_,
the sea. The grant to Randolph was most extensive, including lands
from the mouth of the Spey to Lochaber and Mamore, and “the marches
of northern Argyll,” and covering 2,550 square miles in Banff, Elgin,
Nairn, and Inverness (Robertson’s _Index of Charters_, p. xlix;
Rampini’s _Moray and Nairn_, p. 140).

324 _Schir Peris Lumbard._ Peter de Loubaud (Lybaud, Libaut) was
constable of Edinburgh Castle and the peel of Linlithgow in March, 1312
(_Bain_, iii., No. 254). Edinburgh Castle was captured during Lent,
1314 (_Chron. de Lanercost_, p. 223; Fordun says March 14, 1314), by
Randolph (_Gesta Annalia_, cxxx.); March 24, apparently, in _Gesta
Edw. de Carn._ (p. 45), where it is said that Roxburgh and Edinburgh
fell between February 29 and March 24, 1314. Hailes goes a year wrong
in these dates, and Skeat adopts. For the intrusion of “m” before “b,”
_cf._ _Ferumbrace_ for _Fierabras_ in _Bk._ III. 437.

327 _mystrowit hym of tratory._ So we have it in the _Vita Edw. Sec._
that Edinburgh Castle was captured “by the betrayal of a certain
Gascon, who was known as Peter de Gavestone, to whom the King had
committed the custody of the castle. He, a perjured traitor, adhered to
Robert the Bruce, and betrayed the castle” (p. 199). _Cf._ on 766.

360-1 _ledderis ... With treyn steppis_, etc. Ladders of this sort
are carefully described by the Carlisle friar as having been used at
an unsuccessful siege of Berwick by Bruce in 1312. Two strong ropes
were taken, of a length according to the height of the wall. These
were knotted at intervals of a foot and a half; on these knots rested
wooden (_treyn_) steps two and a half feet long by half a foot broad,
sufficient for one man at a time, and every third step had a projection
inwards, to keep the ladder out from the wall. At the top end was a
curved iron (_cf._ “a cruk ... of iron”), one end of which, about a
foot long, lay on the top of the wall, while the other hung down, was
pierced with a hole, and had a ring on each side for the rope. In the
hole a sufficiently long spear was inserted, by which the ladder was
put in position by two men. When the Scots had placed two ladders for a
night attack, a dog barked, and Berwick was saved, the Scots making off
and leaving their ladders behind to be hung up in derision of the Scots
by the garrison (p. 221).

372 _on the fasteryn evyn._ “Fastern’s Eve,” Shrove Tuesday, February
27, 1314. So, too, in Fordun (_Gesta Annalia_, cxxx.), and in
_Scalacronica_, the night of Shrove Tuesday (p. 140); in _Lanercost_
the capture is dated the day after, February 28, the first day of Lent,
1314 (p. 223). The castle was still in English hands on February 7,
1314 (_Bain_, iii., No. 352), but lost before May 29 (No. 358), in 1314

400 _up thair ledderis set._ “For James (Douglas) himself on a certain
night secretly approached the castle (of Roxburgh), and placed ladders,
which had been carried up in concealment (_latenter_) against the wall,
and so by these ascended the wall,” etc. (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 200).

441 _The custom._ It was the custom to spend the day before the
beginning of the fast of Lent in feasting and jollity. This practice
continued in Scotland long after the Reformation, when Lent was no more
observed. The _Vita Edw._ says that the garrison were sleeping or off
their guard.

456-7 _Gylmyne de Fenis ... in the gret toure_, etc. “They (the Scots)
took the whole castle except one tower, to which, with difficulty,
had escaped the warden of the castle, Sir Gilminus de Fenes, a Gascon
knight, and his men with him, but that tower the Scots had soon
afterwards” (_Lanercost_, p. 223). Sir William de Filinge (Filling,
Felynges) was constable of Roxburgh since 1312 at least (_Bain_, iii.,
Nos., 332, 337, 351). On the conduct of Roxburgh garrison see on _Bk._
XI. 46.

479 _Woundit so felly._ According to Gray, “Guillemyng Fenygges” was
killed by an arrow while holding the great tower (_Scala._, p. 140).

496 _to tummyll it doune._ “And all this beautiful castle, as with all
the other castles which they were able to get, they laid level with the
ground, that the English might never afterwards by holding the castles
be able to dominate the country” (_Lanercost_, p. 223). So also _Vita
Edw. Sec._, p. 199, and _Gesta Edw._, p. 45, where it is alleged that
Bruce did this to prevent the Scottish nobles taking refuge therein
instead of helping him. See on _Bk._ IX. 452, and below on 771.

504 _Outane Jedworth._ There was fighting about Jedburgh in 1315, 1316
(_Bain_, iii., No. 494), but it was still in English hands in 1321
(_ibid._, 746).

509 _At Edinburgh._ Edinburgh Castle was still in English hands in
August, 1313 (_Bain_, iii., No. 330). See further note on 324.

513 _all his purchas._ “By his own procurement.”

516 _voidry._ Skeat’s suggestion. See footnote. It means “cunning,
stratagem” (S).

529 “Ere that siege should miscarry, or go wrong.” _Cf._ on _Bk._ I.
478. The mood here is subjunctive, past tense.

530 _William Francas._ Francis or “Fraunceys” appears from Bain to have
been a common name in the Lothians. A “William Francis” got lands from
Bruce in Roxburgh in 1322. His grant just precedes one to John Crab
(Robertson’s _Index to Charters_, p. 15, No. 20; _cf._ _Bk._ XVII. 239).

701 _The Erll has tane the castell all._ The _Lanercost_ historian
says the castle was captured in this manner: “Those besieging the same
castle, one day in the evening, made a bold assault on the south gate,
because on account of the position of the castle, there was no other
place where an assault could be given. But those within, all collecting
at the gate, resisted them stoutly; meanwhile, however, others of the
Scots climbed the rock on the north side, which was very high and
steep, up to the foundation of the wall, and there, placing their
ladders against the wall, they climbed up in such numbers that those
within could make no resistance; and so they (the Scots) opened the
gates and brought in their friends, and took the whole castle and slew
the English” (p. 223). The _Scalacronica_ account is that Moray took
the castle at the highest part of the rock, where there was no thought
of danger (_a quoi il ne se dotoit_) (p. 140).

708 _Lap fra a berfrois._ For a “beffroi,” see on _Bk._ XVI. 597. O.F.,
“berfroi,” etc. For form “belfry,” _cf._ “pilgrim,” from “peregrinus”;
in English not before the fifteenth century. French dropped the “r”
(N.E.D.). The reference here is to one of the _Alexander_ romances,
of which there was no translation, and is indicative of Barbour’s
familiarity with this literature. _Cf._ _Appendix_ E.

740 _in stede of prophesye._ “In the way of, or as, a prophecy.”

742 _hir chapell._ St. Margaret’s Chapel, built for Queen Margaret,
wife of Malcolm Canmore. She died in Edinburgh Castle in 1093. In 1336
the chapel was fitted with four windows of glass (_Bain_, iii., p.

746 _as old men sayis._ The picture and inscription were, therefore, no
longer extant.

747 “Gardez-vous de Francois.” “Beware of Francis or of the French.”

766 _he becom the Kingis man._ Gray tells how “Lebaud” went over to
Bruce, but, because he was in heart English (_qil estoit Engles qe
quer_), Bruce had him accused of treason and hanged (_Scala._, p. 140).
The official record is that he was convicted of treason, and, from his
forfeitures, he seems to have received large holdings in Lothian (_Reg.
Mag. Sig._, where he is styled _Peter Luband_, p. 3, 3; p. 13, 63, 64,

771 _myne doune all halely._ The _Lanercost_ writer adds that the Scots
levelled Edinburgh Castle to the ground, as they had done Roxburgh.

815 _Fra the lenteryne._ Lent, 1313. In the _Vita Edw._ it is said that
Mowbray brought the news of his pact at the beginning of Lent, which
must be Lent, 1314, suggesting a considerable difference in dates (p.

816 _Quhill ... Saint Johnnis mess._ That is, by June 24, 1313, the
English garrison began to find their food running short. “Their victual
was insufficient” (_Vita Edw._, p. 200).

822-3 _it was nocht with battaill Reskewit._ So, too, in _Vita Edw.
Sec._, where the agreement is that Mowbray “would either procure the
King of England to come to the defence of the castle, or, if he should
not be able to induce the King to do this, that he would summarily
(_indilate_) surrender the castle.” St. John’s day is fixed as the
limiting date. The writer makes Robert Bruce himself conduct the siege
(p. 200). So does Gray, who says that the castle was to be surrendered,
“unless the English army came within three leagues of the said castle
within eight days after St. John’s day in the summer next to come”
(_dedenz viii jours apres le Saint Johan en este adonques procheine
avenir_, p. 141). But _cf._ _Bk._ XI. 8-9.


32 _outrageous a day._ “Day” has here the meaning of “a space of time,”
as in Berners’ _Froissart_. “The truce is not expired, but hath _day_
to endure unto the first day of Maye next” (I. ccxiii., N.E.D.): a
sense of the Latin _dies_. For “outrageous,” see on _Bk._ III. 162.

44 _Akatane._ Aquitaine, the ancient southern duchy of France, the
hereditary possession of the Kings of England.

46 The _Lanercost_ chronicler affirms (1311) that in the war the Scots
were so divided that sometimes a father was with the Scots and his son
with the English, or brothers were on opposite sides, or even the same
person at one time on the Scottish side, at another on that of England;
but that it was a pretence, either because the English seemed to get
the better or to save their English lands, “for their hearts, if not
their bodies, were always with their own people” (p. 217). Thus, at
this time, there were still to be found among supporters of the English
King such names as Stewart, Graham, Kirkpatrick, Maxwell, St. Clair,
etc. (_Bain_, iii., _Introd._, pp. xvi, xvii). As many of these were
Border lairds--some, indeed, are of Annandale--even their Scottish
lands were specially exposed to English attack. Late in 1313 (October
or November) we have a _Petition to the King_ (of England) _from
the People of Scotland, by their envoys, Sir Patrick de Dunbar, Earl of
March, and Sir Adam de Gordon_, complaining of the great losses they
have suffered “by their enemies”--_i.e._, the Bruce party--also of the
brigandage of the English garrison in Berwick and Roxburgh (_Bain_,
iii., No. 337). One of the results of Bannockburn was to bring many of
these waverers over to the national side. Adam de Gordon, indeed, was
already under suspicion, and apparently was a waverer. He had, in fact,
a grant of the lands of Strathbogie in 1309, according to Robertson
(_Index_, p. 2; 40). _Cf._ also 103-4.* For Gordon, see also _Bk._ IX.
720, etc.; XV. 333; and on March, _Bk._ XIX. 776, note.

79-82 _Cf._, as bearing out Barbour’s assertion, the comment by the
author of the _Vita Edwardi Secundi_ on the army when assembled at
Berwick: “There were in that assemblage amply sufficient men (_satis
sufficientes_) to traverse all Scotland, and, in the judgment of some,
if the whole of Scotland had been brought together, it could not make
a stand against the army of the King (_cf._ line 150). Indeed, it was
confessed by the whole host that, in our time, such an army had not
gone out of England” (_Chronicles of Ed. I. and Ed. II._, ii., pp.

91 _Erll of Hennaut._ Count William of Hainault, Flanders. _Cf._ on
_Bk._ XIX. 262.

93. _Almanyhe_: Germany. Friar Baston says four German knights came
“gratis” (_Eng. Hist. Rev._, vol. xix., p. 507).

100 _of Irlande ane gret menyhe._ In _Foedera_ we have the list
of twenty-five Irish chiefs summoned to the campaign against the
Scots--O’Donald, O’Neil, MacMahon, O’Bryn, O’Dymsy, etc. The Irish
contingent was commanded by Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, Bruce’s
father-in-law (III., pp. 476-478).

*103-4 See note on 46.

103 _Ane hundreth thousand men and ma._ See _Appendix_ C.

105 _Armyt on hors._ That is, the men alone wore armour, being thus
distinguished from the knights “with helit hors,” or horses armoured
also in _bardings_ of leather or mail. Skeat rejects the reading of
E in favour of “playn male,” taking “playn” to represent the French
_plein_ = “complete mail,” on the ground of Innes’s remark that the
distinction between mail or ring-armour and plate, “if known, was not
so specific in Barbour’s age.” But plates had been coming into use
since the last quarter of the thirteenth century, and by 1300 the
practice of attaching such additional defences was rapidly developing.
See note on 131. In 1316 we read of “200 men armed in plate,” who were
sent to Ireland from England (_Bain_, iii., p. 99, No. 519).

114 _Of cartis._ “The multitude of waggons (_multitudo quadrigarum_),
if it had been extended in a line one behind the other, would have
taken up a space of twenty leagues” (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 202). The
meaning of “league” is uncertain; apparently it was just a mile.

117 _veschall._ In _Vita Edw. Sec._ (pp. 206-7) the author speaks of
“costly garments and gold (or gilt) plate” (_vasa aurea_). Baker of
Swinbroke, in his _Chronicon Angliæ_ (p. 55), also mentions the “plate
of gold and silver,” and affirms that, in addition to an abundant
supply of victuals, the English brought with them things which were
wont to be seen only in times of peace on the luxurious tables of
princes. Among the ornaments of the high altar of Aberdeen Cathedral in
1549 was “an old hood made of cloth of gold ... from the spoil of the
Battle of Bannockburn” (_Reg. Episc. Aberd._, ii., p. 189).

119 _schot._ Arrows, and bolts for cross-bows. _Cf._ _Bk._ XIII. 311,
and below, note on 544.

130 _ryche weid._ The rich flowing housings or drapery of the steeds,
covering the armour, if any, as the “surcoat” of the knight did his.

131-*132. Armour was in a state of rapid transition, and so at this
time is very complicated. An English brass of 1325 shows a knight
wearing (1) a _gambeson_, or close-fitting quilted tunic, to ease the
pressure of the armour; (2) a _hauberk_ of _banded_ or _chain mail_,
with half-plates on the upper arm; (3) an _habergeon_ (“hawbyrschown”),
or lighter hauberk, apparently of small plates; (4) a _haketon_,
another padded coat like the gambeson; (5) and a short _surcoat_.
He has leggings of mail covering also the feet, and half-plates in
addition from the knees to the toes: a hood of mail continued upward
from the hauberk and a _bascinet_, or pointed, nut-shaped helmet, with
no visor. Over this he would wear in battle such a heavy, closed,
flat-topped _helm_ as we see on the seal of Robert I. He carries a
small triangular shield on his left arm, and his sword, a little more
than half the body in length, hangs in front from a waist-belt. Such
was probably the equipment of the leading knights at Bannockburn.

136 _Till Berwick._ The army was to assemble at Werk on the Tweed by
Monday, June 10, 1314 (_Foedera_, iii., p. 481). But the start was made
from Berwick on June 17 or 18 (_Vita Edw._, 201).

150 _Mannaustt the Scottis._ _Cf._ note on 79-82.

163 _Glowcister._ Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford,
nephew of the King, and a young man of twenty-three. _Herfurd._
Humphrey de Bohun, or Boun, Earl of Hereford and Essex, and Constable
of England. “The Earl of Gloucester and the Earl of Herford commanded
the first line” (_primam aciem_, _Vit. Edw. Sec._, p. 202). The
_Scalacronica_ says Gloucester commanded “the advance guard” (p. 141),
but does not mention Hereford (see note on _Bk._ XIII. 466).

174 _Schir Gylys de Argente._ Sir Giles d’Argentine, popularly regarded
as one of the three most eminent men of the time, the others being
the Emperor Henry and Robert Bruce (_Scotich. Lib._, xiii. 16). He
“guided the King’s bridle” (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 204). _Cf._ also
_Scalacronica_ (p. 143), _votre reyne me fust baillez_--“your rein was
entrusted to me”: among others (p. 142).

210 _the Torwood._ Stretching north and west from Falkirk. It reached
to near Bannockburn, a little south of which is “Torwoodhead” Castle.

237 See note on 103.

250 _abaysing._ Fear which grew to panic. _Morale_, or firm courage, is
always an important element in warfare, but in medieval times it seems
to have been specially important (_cf._ IV. 191-200, and XII. 184-8).
The remarkable successes of the Scots against larger numbers were often
due to the “abaysing,” for one reason or other, of their opponents.
Footmen were peculiarly liable to this loss of nerve, as they received
no mercy, as a rule, from the mounted knights. Bruce was all along most
anxious to guard against the rise of any such spirit of “funk” among
his men. “Success in battle,” said Napoleon, “depends not so much upon
the number of men killed as upon the number frightened.”

277 _the wayis._ As Bruce explains in the lines that follow, there were
two “ways” of advance to Stirling; one through the wooded New Park, and
the other by the level below St. Ninian’s, extending to the “pools” or
lagoons along the side of the Forth. The trees of the New Park seem to
have extended from above the banks of the burn to St. Ninian’s on the
one side and Stirling, or near it, on the other (_cf._ note on _Bk._
XII. 58). It was made as late as 1264 by Alexander III., and enclosed
with a paling in 1288 (_Excheq. Rolls_, I. 24, 38); whence the name

291 _licht armyng._ “Everyone of them (the Scots) was protected by
light armour” (_levi armatura_). (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 203). See
further, note on _Bk._ XII. 448.

296 _ficht on fut._ Fighting was still regarded as almost entirely the
business of armoured men on horseback, the footmen serving only for
minor purposes. That an army all on foot should oppose chivalry was a
new departure. Bruce was an original general. Sir Thomas Gray says that
the Scots “took example from the Flemings,” who, in 1302, at Courtrai
had in this way defeated the French knights (_Scalacronica_, p. 142).
But this is an after-thought. The _Vita Edwardi Sec._ also draws the
parallel with Courtrai (p. 206). But the Scots could take the hint from
the tactics at Falkirk in 1298, where Wallace was only defeated by the
English archers. An English chronicler of about 1330 suggests that the
Scots were made to fight on foot to avoid the mischance at Falkirk when
their little body of cavalry fled at the sight of the English advance
(_Annales Johannis de Trokelowe_, p. 84).

300 _the sykis._ No doubt shallow lagoons with a muddy bottom, about
the Bannock, where it entered the Forth, flooded by the tide. Jamieson,
in his _Dictionary_, defines _syk_ as “a marshy bottom, with a small
stream in it.” A rivulet in Selkirkshire is known as the Red Syke
(Chambers’ _Popular Rhymes_, p. 17, ed. 1826).

333-6 Pinkerton suggests in his edition that Bruce could not trust the
Highlanders and Islesmen, and so put them in the rear, and stiffened
their ranks with his own followers from Carrick. For this there is no
warrant. The “barons of Argyll and Inchgallye” (the Hebrides) attended
Bruce’s Parliament at St. Andrews in March, 1309 (_Acts Parl. Scot._,
i. 99). _Cf._ also note on X. 14. In any case on the Sunday afternoon
Bruce took the _front_ position in the New Park with these very men
(445, 446).

360 _ane playne feld by the way._ _I.e._, an open, level part by the
road through the park, just outside the wood. The historians have
shifted the position to suit their various and erroneous ideas of the
field of battle. Barbour, it is to be noted, says nothing of bogs, nor
of Buchanan’s “calthrops of iron” (_Scot. Hist._, ed. 1762, p. 213).
Friar Baston, captured at Bannockburn, in his Latin poem, says there
were stakes in the pits (_Scotichronicon_, lib. xii., chap. xxii.).
Geoffrey Baker, of Swinbroke, enlarges them to long ditches covered
with hurdles, an utter misapprehension (_Chronicon_, pp. 56, 57. _Cf._
notes on _Bk._ XII. 536, 537). At Cressy (1346) the English dug “many
pits” (_multa foramina_) of the depth and width of a foot in front
of their first line as a defence against possible pursuit by the
French cavalry (_Baker_, p. 166). An analagous device is described by
Herodotus as having been successfully used by the Phocians to destroy
Messalian cavalry (Book viii., chap. xxviii.).

426 _till ane vale._ Apparently in the valley behind Coxet Hill.
“Gillies Hill” is said to have taken its name from these “gillies,” or
servants (Nimmo’s _History of Stirlingshire_, second edition, p. 219).
Barbour never calls them “gillies,” and why a Gaelic name? The writer
of the description of the district in the _Old Statistical Account_
(1796) makes no mention of this “tradition,” and suggests a derivation
from the personal name Gill or Gillies. “The names both of Gillies and
Morison occur in the muirlands” (vol. xviii., p. 392).

437 _the Fawkirk._ A Scots translation of the original Gaelic name
(in twelfth century) _Eaglais breac_, “the speckled or particoloured
church,” in reference to the stone of which it was built. In “Falkirk”
the “l” has been substituted for “w,” as a sign of length in the vowel
(see _Language l_, App. G). Local pronunciation does not sound the “l.”
The English chroniclers write the name _Foukyrk_ (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p.
205), or _Faukirke_ (_Annales London._, p. 104).

440-453 Acting on the information received, and unaware, as yet, which
road the English would choose for an advance to Stirling, Bruce makes
a fresh disposition of his troops, departing from that laid down in
lines 305-347, so as to be ready for either line of advance. He himself
occupies the “entry” to the Park road, which was a continuation of
the medieval (Roman?) highway passing west of St. Ninian’s, with
his mixed brigade of Highlanders and Lowlanders; while Randolph is
posted at St. Ninian’s Kirk overlooking the level about seventy feet
below. Apparently (see below) both divisions are masked by the wood.
The others are in reserve to reinforce when it should turn out to be
necessary. The historians, ignoring this alteration in dispositions,
land themselves, as a result, in unintelligible confusion. Douglas
later trapped an English column in the “entre” of Jedburgh Forest
(_Bk._ XVI. 310 _et seq._).

486 _confort his men._ See note on 250.

523 _Aucht hundreth._ Gray says they were only three hundred,
under the command of Robert Lord de Clifford and Henry de Beaumont
(_Scalacronica_, p. 141). We learn from the same author that Philip de
Mowbray, constable of Stirling, went out and met Edward when the army
was _three leagues_, or miles, from the castle, and suggested that
he should advance no farther as, the English having come so far, and
being within touch, he considered himself relieved; besides, he said,
the Scots had blocked the narrow ways (_lez estroitz chemyns_) of the
wood--_i.e._, of the New Park. But from the conditions, as we have seen
(_Bk._ X. 822), the castle could not be held to be relieved so long as
the Scots were in force before it. We note that Mowbray also expected
the army to come by the Park roads. Now Barbour says that Clifford’s
detachment left the main body _two miles_ away (515). Apparently,
then, this movement was the result of Mowbray’s information (see next
note). However, it was known to Edward when he summoned his army that
the Scots had taken up a position between him and Stirling in strong,
marshy places difficult for horsemen (_Foedera_, ii., p. 481).

532 _it suld reskewit be._ So the Scots might conclude, but the version
of the _Lanercost_ chronicler better fits the case: “After dinner”
(_post prandium_--say, about midday) “the army of the King (Edward)
came to the neighbourhood of the Torwood” (he takes the Park to be an
extension of the larger forest), “and when it was known that the Scots
were in the wood” (from Mowbray), “the first line (_prima acies_) of
the King, whose leader was Lord Clifford, wished to surround the wood
so that the Scots should not escape in flight” (p. 225). This is in
harmony with the self-confidence of the English, and explains why the
horsemen did not, as they might have done, avoid Randolph’s foot, if
they were only making for the castle. There was apparently no obstacle
to Mowbray communicating personally with the relieving army, and he
cannot have gone alone; so that the parties were actually in touch,
and, as Mowbray argued, a technical “relief” had been performed.

536 _thai wist weill._ From Mowbray probably, but _cf._ note on 523.
Aymer de Valence, too, had gone on before the army to prepare its line
of march and carefully examine the stratagems of the Scots (_insidias
Scotorum._ _Vit. Edw._, p. 201).

537 _Beneth the Park._ “Made a circuit upon the other side of the wood
towards the castle, keeping the open ground” (_as beaux chaumps._
_Scalacronica_, p. 141).

544 _thai so fer war passit by._ The English writers report the matter
as it appeared to them. “The Scots, however, suffered this” (Clifford’s
advance) “until they had placed a considerable distance between
themselves and their friends, when they showed themselves, and cutting
off that first line of the King from the middle and rear divisions (_a
media acie et extrema_), rushed on it,” etc. (_Chron. de Lanercost_,
225). “Thomas Randolph, ... who was leader of the advance guard of
the Scots, having heard that his uncle had repulsed the advance guard
of the English on the other side of the wood, thought that he must
have his share, and issuing from the wood with his division” (Barbour
says “five hundred men,” line 542), “took the level plain” (_le beau
chaumpe_--Barbour’s “playn feld”) “towards the two lords aforesaid”
(_Scalacronica_, p. 141). Note that both Bruce at the “entry,” and
Randolph at “the Kirk,” were _in the wood_ (see on this also note on
_Bk._ XII. 58); and the reiterated use of the term “playn feld” for the
level below St. Ninian’s.

546 _ane rose of his chaplet._ Hailes suggests a far-fetched
explanation of this: “I imagine that _rose_ implies a large bead
in a rosary or chaplet,” when the dropping of a rose would imply
carelessness of duty (_Annals_, ii. 51, note). The _New English
Dictionary_ defines _chaplet_ as “A wreath for the head, usually a
garland of flowers or leaves,” and cites this passage. Randolph in the
wood, keeping his eyes on the main body, could easily miss an advance
by his flank, which had started independently two miles away, and
probably kept to cover as far as possible.

547 _Wes faldyn._ Skeat explains this form as “fallen” with an
“excrescent _d_, due to Scandinavian influence,” citing also _Bk._
XIII. 632. A form, _foolde_, occurs in _The Sowdone of Babylone_,
line 1428, where Hausknecht explains it as from _fealden_, “to fold,”
meaning “folded, bent down, fallen”; citing also “_Folden_ to grunde”
and “Fiftene hundred _Folden_ to grunden,” from _Layamon_, 23,894 and
27,055-6. The result as to meaning is the same either way.

548 _war past._ Clifford then had passed the Kirk before Randolph made
a move. The scene of the conflict is usually placed at a position
half-way between St. Ninian’s and Stirling, now known as Randolph’s
Field. But this name is not older than the end of the eighteenth
century (_Old Stat. Acct._, vol. xviii., p. 408). The origin of the
nomenclature is two standing stones said to have been erected in memory
of the victory (Nimmo’s _History of Stirlingshire_, ed. 1817, p. 216).
But standing stones are no uncommon feature in Scotland, and various
traditions attach to them; and why this preference in commemoration?
“Standing stones,” on the other side of the Forth, are mentioned in the
_Wallace_ (_Bk._ v. 298).

557 _In hy thai sped thame._ Gray gives an account of this affair,
in which his father was taken prisoner, in the _Scalacronica_ (edit.
Maitland Club. p. 141): “Sir Henry de Beaumont said to his men, ‘Let us
retire a little; let them [the Scots] come on; give them room [_donez
les chaumps_.]” His father, Sir Thomas, charging on the Scots, was
carried off a prisoner on foot, his horse having been slain on the
pikes. He, too, mentions the death of Sir William Deyncourt (line 573),
and says the squadron was utterly routed. If Beaumont--to whom, with
Deyncourt, Gray gives the command--proposed to allow the Scots more
room by retiring, his detachment cannot have gone far past Randolph’s
original position (_cf._ also line 538). The remark seems absurd if
applied to the ground at Randolph’s Field. Buchanan says Randolph had
horse, in which he is clearly wrong (_Rerum Scotic. Hist._, ed. 1762,
chap. xxxix.), and he is followed on this point in White’s _History of
the Battle of Bannockburn_ (Edinburgh, 1871), p. 55.

573 _Schir Wilyhame Dencort._ See previous note.

598 _Styk stedis, and ber doune men._ An unhorsed knight in his heavy
suit of full armour was a cumbrous unit, and if he fell, might find
it impossible to rise in the press, or be assisted to do so, so as to
be remounted on a fresh steed by his squire, whose duty it was to see
to this, among other things. The author of the _Vita Edw._ notes as
a mischance deserving remark that in this day’s fighting the Earl of
Gloucester was unhorsed (p. 202; see also on _Bk._ XII. 504).


22 _quyrbolle._ _Cuir-bouilli_, or “boiled leather,” was not really
boiled, as in that case it would become horny and brittle and so quite
unsuitable for the purposes to which it was put--the strengthening of
armour in the transition period of the fourteenth century prior to the
full use of plate, and the making of sheaths, bottles, caskets, etc.
The leather was steeped in a warm mixture of wax and oil, which made it
pliable and fit to receive the designs cut or embossed on it. It was
then slowly dried. Helmet crests or other fittings were also made of
it, as here.

29 _the Boune._ Henricus de Boun in _Vita Edw. Sec._ (see below). The
name is variously spelled--_Bowme_ (C), _Bohun_, etc. He was the nephew
of Hereford. Barbour says “cosyne” in 31, but this, formerly, very
frequently denoted a nephew or niece (N.E.D.).

33 _merk-schot._ Jamieson’s _Dictionary_ gives as explanation: “Seems
the distance between the _bow markis_ which were shot at in the
exercise of archery.” In the _New English Dictionary_: “The distance
between the butts in archery” (citing this passage). E and H read
_bow-schote_ = 150 to 200 yards.

36 _his men._ That is, the men of his own battle at the “entry,” not
the whole army drawn up in line, as is generally assumed. _Cf._ _Bk._
XI. 440-53, and note.

42 _his hors he steris._ _Cf._ with the account, professing to be based
on Barbour, in Scott’s _Lord of the Isles_, canto vi., XV.: “The Bruce
stood fast,” etc.

49 _in-till a lyng._ “They quickly took their positions so as to come
at each other in a line.”

58 _And he doune till the erd can ga._ _I.e._, De Boun; but Sir Herbert
Maxwell says Bruce! (_Robert the Bruce_, p. 205). With this Scottish
version of the event _cf._ the following English one (_c._ 1326):
“When the English had now passed the wood”--_i.e._, the Torwood--“and
were approaching Stirling, behold! the Scots were moving about, as if
in flight, on the edge of the grove” (_sub memore_, _i.e._, the wood
of the New Park), “whom a certain knight, Henry de Boun, with the
Welshmen, pursued up to the entry” (_introitum_, Barbour’s “entre”) “of
the grove. For he had it in his mind that, if he should find Robert
Bruce there, he would either slay him or bring him back his captive.
But when he had come hither, Robert himself issued suddenly from the
cover of the wood” (_a latebris silvæ_); “and the aforesaid Henry,
seeing that he could not resist the crowd of Scots, and wishing to
retire to his friends, turned his horse; but Robert withstood him, and
with the axe which he carried in his hand, smashed in his skull. His
squire, while endeavouring to shield and avenge his lord, is overcome
by the Scots” (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 202). Gray says the advanced guard
under the Earl of Gloucester entered the road within the Park and were
repulsed (_tost furvont recoillez._ _Scala._, p. 141) by the Scots;
and that, as was reported, Robert Bruce here slew a knight, Peris de
Mountforth, with an axe. A John de Mountfort was slain at Bannockburn,
and in the list cited his name immediately precedes that of Henry de
Boun (_Annales Londonienses_, p. 231, in _Chronicles of Edward I. and
Edward II._, vol. i.). Buchanan places this incident at the beginning
of the main battle on Monday as something scarcely worth mentioning
(_parum quidem dictu_) (_Rer. Scot. Hist._, ed. 1762, chap. xxxix.).
Barbour, of course, concentrates on Bruce’s performance, but the _Vita
Edwardi_ incidentally corroborates Gray in remarking that in this day’s
fighting Gloucester was unhorsed (p. 202), which could have happened
only in the Park affair.

67 _thai com on._ As we see, the De Boun affair was part of a serious
skirmish, an attempt to force the road to Stirling through the Park,
in which the English van was repulsed. See above on 58, and hereafter
on 176. This important fact is usually overlooked, as in Hume Brown’s
_History_, i., p. 158.

140 _The layff went._ Some, says Gray, fled to the Castle of Stirling
(_au chastel_), the others to the King’s host (_Scala._, p. 141).

144-6 “Quickly took off their helmets to get air, for they were hot,
and covered with perspiration.”

176 _twis._ _I.e._, repulsed in the De Boun skirmish, and in that of
Randolph and Clifford. These successes were clearly of the greatest
importance, in so far as they put heart into the Scots, and prevented
their being overawed, as they might well have been, by the greatness
and terrifying appearance of the English host. The author of the _Gesta
Edw. de Carnarvon_ thus notes that at Bannockburn “they fought on
both days” (_utrisque diebus pugnaverunt_), and the Scots “prevailed”
(_Chron. Edw. I. and Edw. II._, ii. 46).

194 _gif yhe think_, etc. Bruce here offers his men alternative
courses, either to stay and fight or to retreat. Gray tells us that
the Scots were on the point of retiring to a stronger position in
the Lennox, when Sir Alexander Seton, secretly deserting the English
side--no doubt because he saw that the chances of success were now with
the Scots--came to Bruce and told him of the shaken condition of the
English army, pledging his head that if Bruce attacked next day, he
would win easily, and with little loss (_Scala._, p. 141). Bruce did
attack. Seton was an English partisan in February, 1312 (_Bain_, iii.,
No. 245). Later he appears on the Scottish side (_ibid._, 767, etc.).

210 _Lordyngis_, etc. For Bruce’s speech, see _Appendix_ B.

255-6 The various readings here show that to the scribes the sense was
somewhat obscure. Bruce says that, should the English find them weak,
and defeat them, they would have no mercy upon them. Skeat, by reading
_To_ in 255, and putting a period after _oppynly_, misses the point.
_That happyn_ and _that wyn_ are hypothetical subjunctives. E and H
have altered 256.

290 _my brothir Neill._ Nigel Bruce. See IV. 61, 176.

302 _enveronyt._ “The strength of this place shall prevent us being
surrounded”--always Bruce’s special fear, his men being few in
comparison with the enemy. See note on _Bk._ XIII. 275.

357 _The Inglis men sic abaysing, Tuk._ Similarly Gray writes that the
English had “sadly lost countenance and were in very _low spirits_”
(_etoint de trop mal covyne_) from what had taken place (_Scala._,
p. 142). “And from that hour,” says the _Lanercost Chronicle_, “fear
spread among the English and greater boldness among the Scots” (p.
225). The rhetorical John de Trokelowe, however, declares that the
English were “exasperated” (_exacerbati_), and firmly determined to be
revenged or vanquished on the morrow (_Chronica et Annales_, p. 83).
The last statement, though it would seem to be only a presumption on
the chronicler’s part, may apply to the lords, who, Barbour says, urged
on their men to “tak a-mendis.” Barbour, Gray, and the _Lanercost_
writer speak for the general mass, and their agreement establishes the

390 _bot he war socht._ The English certainly feared a night attack.
According to Gray, they passed the night under arms, with their horses
bitted (p. 142). In the _Vita Edwardi_ also we read that there was
no rest for them, and that they spent a sleepless night. “For they
thought the Scots would rather attack by night than await battle in the
daytime” (pp. 202-3).

392 _Doune in the Kers._ The Carse is the low-lying ground along Forth
side, on which were the “pools” (see note on _Bk._ XI. 300), and
which was thus in a generally marshy condition. The ancient limits
of the Carse proper seem to be indicated in the O.S. map by the
names Kerse Patrick, Kerse Mill, and Springkerse, all on the 40-feet
level. Eastwards the land sinks towards the Forth; westwards it rises
slightly to the 50-feet level at the foot of the ridge on which stands
St. Ninian’s. This middle division is called “the dryfield lands” in
the _Old Stat. Act_, xviii., p. 388. Friar Baston also has the name:
“The dry land (_arrida terra_) of Stirling” (see note on XI. 360).
The English had to keep to the marshy land of the east in order to
be clear of the Scottish leaguer in the Park. They thus crossed the
Bannock (see below), and kept the “dryfield land” between them and the
Scots. Having crossed, they could advance to the “hard feld” (Barbour)
from their front. It is of the first importance to understand that
the English did camp here, for, if so, the battle was fought on the
strip of level, firm ground separating the armies. Gray corroborates
Barbour: “The host of the King ... had arrived on a plain towards the
water of Forth, _beyond Bannockburn_--a bad, deep morass with pools”
(_ruscelle_, _Scala._, p. 142.). Mr. Lang, seeing the difficulty of
reconciling this statement with the site of battle as fixed by him
and the other historians, says that Gray, in “_beyond Bannockburn_”
(_outre Bannockburn_), must mean “_south_ of Bannockburn, taking the
point of view of his father, at that hour a captive in Bruce’s camp”
(_History_, i., p. 221). But Gray’s hour of writing was forty years
later; and Barbour, who says the same thing, cannot be explained away
by supposititious hallucination.

407 _quhen it wes day._ “About the third hour of the day” (_Trokelowe_,
p. 84). On June 24 the sun rises about 4 a.m.

413 _Thai maid knychtis._ A usual ceremony before an important battle.
Those receiving the honour for distinguished conduct in the field were
known as “knights-banneret.” Previously they had been only “bachelors,”
for which see Glossary.

421 _tuk the playne._ Note the reiteration of this expression, and
_cf._ what is said on _Bk._ XI. 544, and above on 392; also _Vita Ed._,
p. 203: “When he (Bruce) learned that the English battles had occupied
the plain (_campus_), he led out his whole army from the grove” (_de

426 _richt as angelis schane brichtly._ Probably in reference to the
white “surcoats” worn by the knights over their armour (_cf._ _Bk._
VIII. 232-35). Baston writes: “The English folk, like Heaven’s folk,
in splendour shine” (_Anglicolæ, quasi cœlicolæ, splendore nitescunt_,
_Scotich._ ed. Goodall, ii., lib. xii., chap. xxii.).

429 _a schiltrum._ A close-packed body of men of any order or size
(see Glossary). _Cf._ _Morte Arthure_, line 2, 922: “Owte of the
_scheltrone_ they schede (separated themselves), as schepe of a folde”;
also several other uses in the same poem. Hemingburgh says that
Wallace’s “schiltrouns” at Falkirk were round (_qui quidem circuli
vocabantur “schiltrouns,”_ ii., p. 180). Skeat questions this, for
philological reasons! (see note here).

448 _apon fut._ _I.e._, the Scots left the cover of the wood, and
advanced to meet the English chivalry on foot, contrary to all
contemporary rules of the art of war. _Cf._ what is said on _Bk._
XI. 296. “None of them (the Scots) mounted a horse, but every man of
them was protected by light armour such as a sword could not easily
penetrate.... They marched close-packed like a thick hedge, and such a
body could not be easily broken into” (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 203). Also
of the Scots: “On their side all were on foot: moreover, chosen men of
the highest courage, suitably equipped with very sharp axes and other
weapons of war, packing their shields close together in front of them,
made the column (_cuneum_) impenetrable” (_Trokelowe_, p. 84). The
formation, in fact, was that of the famous “shield-wall” of Hastings
and other early English battles.

477 _Knelyt all doune._ So, too, in _Chron. de Lanercost_: “But when
the two armies had come very close all the Scots fell on their knees
to say a _Paternoster_, and committed themselves to God, and asked
help from heaven; when they had done this they advanced boldly against
the English” (p. 225). This ceremony was directed by Maurice, Abbot of
Inchaffray, afterwards Bishop of Dunkeld (Bower, _Scotich._, lib. xii.,
ch. xxi.).

488 _dout of ded._ “Fear of death.”

498 _Schir Edward._ The author of _Vita Edw._ says it was commanded by
James Douglas, but in this he is wrong (p. 203).

504 _frusching of speris, etc._ The _Lanercost_ writer, who derived his
information, as he himself says, from a trustworthy eyewitness, has a
very similar description. The English chargers, he writes, galloped
against the Scottish spears as against a thick wood, “whereupon arose
an exceeding great and terrible noise from breaking spears and steeds
mortally wounded” (p. 225). The Scots, of course, would “stick” the
horses, so as to unseat the heavily armoured riders--a serious accident
for them (see note on _Bk._ XI. 598).

519 _With speris ... and axis._ Of the Scots it is said in _Vita Edw._:
“They had an axe by the side, and carried spears (_lanceas_) in their
hands” (p. 203). For the “weill grundyn” axes, _cf._ _Trokelowe_ above,
line 448.

535 _He held his way._ The Scots appear to have attacked with
successive battles, each coming up later than, and to the left of, its
predecessor--in echelon by the right. So we may infer from Barbour,
as well as from the rather obscure description in the _Lanercost_
chronicle: “But they so ordered their army, that two divisions (_duæ
acies_) of it should precede the third, the first on the flank of
the second, so that neither should go in front of the other (_una ex
latere alterius, ita quod neutra aliam præcederet_), to be followed by
the third, in which was Robert” (p. 225). Gray simply says that the
advance guard of the Scots came on in line of schiltrons and engaged
the English (_Scala._, p. 142). Baker alone states that the Scots stood
drawn up in solid array behind an artificial “hurdle” covered ditch,
and waited the English attack (_Chron._, p. 56).

537 _The nyne battales._ Probably, as Mr. Oman suggests (_Art of
War_, p. 574), in the way the French were at Creçy, in three lines of
three battles each, the advance guard under Gloucester and Hereford
thus forming a separate body (_cf._ lines 435-7). Mr. Oman gives the
tenth, however, to “a reserve under the King” (_ibid._). Baker, whose
account is the latest and is really a summary essay on tactics, divides
the English army into three “wards” (_custodias_): first, the heavy
horsemen, which he tumbles into the “fragile” ditch (see above on 536,
and note on _Bk._ XI. 360); next, the foot with the archers reserved to
deal with the enemy in flight (see on _Bk._ XIII. 51); and, third, the
King himself, with the bishops and other “religious” men (_Chronic._,


32 _tynt the suet._ “Lost their lives.” The phrase in this sense occurs
also in the _Wallace_: “The Scottis on fute gert mony _loiss the
suete_” (_The Wallace_, Jamieson’s edition, _Bk._ xii., line 194).

36 _slew fire._ “Struck out fire.” Also in _Wallace_, iv. 285: “_slew
fyr_ on flint.” _Cf._ from _The Buik of Alexander_: “thare dyntis, That
_kest fyre_ as man dois flyntis” (p. 236, line 24).

51 _the archeris war perelous._ Baker says that the archers were not
given a suitable position, as in his time, being placed behind the
first line instead of on the wings (_cf._ note on _Bk._ XII. 537, and
below lines 102-5, and note on 104). “Some,” he adds, “shot upwards
so that their arrows fell fruitlessly (_incassum_) on the helmets of
their adversaries; those who shot straight wounded a few Scots in the
breast, but more English in the back” (_Chron._, pp. 57-58). At Falkirk
(1298), after the failure of the first attack by the horsemen, Edward
I. brought up his archers to play on the Scottish masses till these
were broken, and then charged and dispersed them. Bruce anticipated
this manœuvre, and made provision for it (see note on 98).

61 _Robert of Keth._ The Kethes or Keiths took their name from the
barony of Keith, in Lothian. This Robert was still in the English
service on May 23, 1308 (_Bain_, iii. 44), yet his name appears among
those present at Bruce’s Parliament of March 16, 1309, as Robert de
Kethe, Marshall (_Acts Parl. Scot._, i., p. 99). Elsewhere he is said
to have joined Bruce at Christmas, 1308 (_Bain_, No. 245). He received
from Bruce the office of Earl Marshall as its holders, one of the
branches of the “Mareschals,” were adherents of England, and continued
to be (_Bain_, iii., p. lxviii).

68 _at a syde._ “On one side,” as in line 163, “in-till a front.” This
movement is too vaguely described to be located exactly. Most probably
it was to the left of the three “battles” now engaged (English right),
on ground presently occupied by Bruce with his own division.

98 _nakit._ “Without defensive armour,” as in _Bk._ VII. 330. The
two previous lines mean that the Scottish horsemen did not have to
stop a stroke or hold against a blow; _i.e._, the archers offered no
resistance. Bruce’s intention, we may gather from lines 58-60, was
so to harass the archers on the flank as to occupy them with their
own defence and restrain their shooting. The attack, however, was so
successfully pushed home that the archers were wholly scattered.

104 _thair awne folk had no space._ We gather that the archers had
taken up a position on the right front of the main body, where they
blocked the advance of the horsemen directly behind. These received the
flying archers with blows, and pushed forward to take their place. The
_Lanercost_ chronicler says the battle began with a skirmish between
the opposing archers, and that the Scots archers were driven back.
This, again, suggests that the archers were somewhere in front. Mr.
Oman follows Baker in placing them behind the first line. See note on

132 _on a syde._ See above on 68.

162 _All four the battelis._ The _Vita Edw. Sec._ (p. 203) and the
_Chron. de Lanercost_ (p. 225) divide the Scots into three battles
(_turmas_, _acies_), the usual medieval arrangement. The latter also
gives Robert the rear division, as here.

175 _in ane schiltrum all._ Gray says that the “battles” of the English
were crowded close together (_entassez estoint_), and could not repeat
their attacks upon the Scots (_remuerent devers eaux_), as their horses
were impaled by the pikes (p. 142). In the _Lanercost_ chronicle we
read that the English behind (_sequentes_) “were not able to reach
the Scots because of the interposition of the first line, nor in any
way to help themselves” (p. 224). The English, indeed, were too many
to be manœuvred according to the simple tactics of the day, and were,
in addition, crowded on too narrow a front. There was no generalship.
These were Bruce’s chief advantages. He was protected by the hill
and wood behind from being surrounded (_cf._ note on _Bk._ XI. 300).
Besides, his rapid and successive advance prevented the English from
developing any such intention. They could not well deploy among the
“pools” and marshes.

183 _quyntis._ “_Quyntis_ is merely the French _cointises_, signifying
finery or _quaint_ attire” (Skeat); generally, ornamental attachments
to the armour. E reads _quhytys_, and H _coates_, so that we may
have to do with the “white” surcoats. In viii. 232 Barbour speaks of
hauberks “quhit as flour.”

208 _the Scottis archeris._ The effective part played by the Scottish
archers is usually overlooked.

283 _quhen the King of England saw his men fle._ The English writers
make no mention of the appearance of the camp-followers. They date the
break-up from the failure of Gloucester’s attack with the van. As those
behind, says the _Lanercost_ chronicler, could not get forward (see
note on 275), nothing remained but to take measures for flight (pp.
225-6). The front line had fallen back only to add to the confusion
(_cf._ line 170, etc.). “When those who were with the King saw the
Earl’s division smashed up (_contritum_) and their friends making
ready to fly, they said it was dangerous to stay longer,” etc. (_Vita
Edw. Sec._, p. 205). Gray says the King went much against his will (as
Barbour reports one version in line 298), and that he knocked over
with his mace the Scots that were catching at his charger’s housings
(_Scala._, p. 142). Trokelowe affirms that he laid about him “like a
lion,” and brandished a sword dripping with blood (_Annales_, p. 86).

297 _By the renyhe._ “Those who had been assigned to the King’s rein
were drawing the King forward by the rein out of the plain (_hors du
chaumpe_) towards the castle” (_Scala._, p. 142).

307 _I cheis heir to byde and de._ In _Vita Edw. Sec._ it is said he
hastened to assist the Earl of Gloucester when he saw him fall, and
perished with him, “thinking it more honourable to perish with such a
man than to escape death by flight” (p. 204). _Cf._ also _Scala._: “I
have never been accustomed to fly” (p. 143).

321 _thrid best knycht._ See note on _Bk._ XI. 174. He is highly spoken
of by both Baston and the _Vita Edw._ writer. According to Bruce’s
English eulogist in the _Scotichronicon_, the other two were Bruce
himself and the Emperor Henry (lib. xiii., ch. xvi.).

328-9 _fra ... the King Wes fled, wes nane that durst abyde._ “When
the King’s banner is seen to depart the whole army quickly disperses”
(_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 205).

335 _Fled to the wattir of Forth._ On no hypothesis other than that
the battle was fought on the plain between the Forth and the Bannock
can this fact be explained. Of the fact itself there is no question.
The _Lanercost_ chronicler, in his _Versus_, says: “Forth swallowed up
many well furnished with arms and horses” (p. 227). They were probably
seeking for a ford.

337 _And Bannokburn._ “The folk in the English rear fell back upon the
ditch (_fosse_) of Bannockburn, one tumbling over the other” (_Scala._,
p. 142). “Another unfortunate thing happened to the English, because,
since a little before they had crossed a great ditch into which the
tide flows--Bannockburn by name--and now in confusion wished to retire,
many knights and others, on account of the pressure, fell into it with
their horses (_cf._ Barbour, line 338), and some with great difficulty
got out, and many were quite unable to clear themselves of the ditch;
and on this account Bannockburn was on English lips for many years to
come” (_Lanercost_, 226). In _Vita Edw._ also mention is made of a
“certain ditch” (_fovea_) which “swallowed up (_absorbuit_) many,” and
where a great part perished (p. 205). The Bannock turns sharply north
near the English rear, but the description in Barbour and the reference
above to the tide with the inclusion of the Forth, indicate the part
nearer the mouth.

341 _laddis_, etc. _I.e._, the camp-followers.

352 _Of slyk._ In _Chron. de Lanercost_ (p. 226) “Bannock’s mud”
(_Bannoke limus_). Edmund de Malolacu (Mauley), Edward’s steward,
met his death “in a certain slimy hollow” (_in quodam antro lutoso._
_Flores Historiarum_, iii., p. 159).

363 _Philip the Mowbray said._ Different interpretations were put
upon Mowbray’s action, but the fact and the quite satisfactory reason
given by Barbour are borne out by the English chroniclers. “When the
King comes to the castle, thinking he will find refuge there, he is
repulsed like an enemy; the bridge is drawn up and the gate closed. On
this account the keeper of the castle was believed by many to be not
unacquainted with treason, and yet he was seen that very day in his
armour on the field, as it were ready to fight for the King. However,
I neither acquit nor accuse the keeper of treason, but confess that in
the providence of God the King of England did not enter the castle,
because if he had then been admitted he could not have failed to be
captured” (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 205). In _Gesta Edw. de Carnarvon_ the
Governor is wrongly called Alexander de Mowbray, and the account is:
“The foresaid keeper, knowing that his supplies were not sufficient
for himself and his men, and also fearing that Robert Bruce, having
got the victory, would attack and capture the castle, did not wish to
expose his King of England to such great danger, and, preferring to
incur misunderstanding, refused on this account to open the castle of
the King” (p. 47). The castle was surrendered, and Mowbray entered the
service of Bruce.

379 _the Rownde Tabill._ Usually and quite wrongly identified with
the King’s Knot--_i.e._, garden--a regular mound below the castle
rock. It is mentioned by Sir David Lindsay in the sixteenth century.
In 1302 Edward I. had a “Round Table” (_la table rounde_) ordained
(_ordinari_) at Falkirk (_Ann. Lond._, p. 104). To “hold a Round Table”
was a sporting function among knights; here some sort of building may
be referred to, like that described by Murimuth (1344), intended to be
built for the purpose at Windsor (_Chronicle_, p. 155). Probably, in
that case, it was only of Barbour’s own time. I incline, however, to
the belief, from its associations in Lindsay’s verse, that it was a
natural feature--the circular crags enclosing the western division of
the modern King’s Park. It would thus be a place-name, like “Arthur’s

380 _the Park enveronyt thai._ Gray says the King was taken round the
Torwood and by the plains of Lothian (Lownesse, p. 143).

381 _held in hy._ The _Lanercost_ chronicler says that they had “as
guide a Scottish knight who knew by what route they could escape” (p.

409 _wes tane in._ The _Lanercost_ chronicler writes that Hereford and
those with him were making for Carlisle when they were captured at
Bothwell Castle: “For the sheriff, the keeper of the castle, who up
to that time had held the castle for the King of England, seeing that
his countrymen had been victorious in the war, suffered the more noble
of them who had come there to enter the castle as if to have a safe
retreat, and when they entered seized them,” afterwards surrendering
them to Bruce (p. 228). In the anonymous chronicle used by Stevenson
we have a similar account. Hereford and a few nobles were allowed to
enter the castle, where they found themselves in custody. The rest
remained outside the walls, and were suddenly set on by the Scots, who
slew them, except a few who surrendered (_Illustrations of Scottish
History_, p. 2). Barbour says three-fourths were taken or slain (416).
In _Ann. Lond._ Hereford is said to have been accompanied by a thousand
men-at-arms (p. 231). The _Lanercost_ estimate is 600 horse and 1,000
foot, Umfraville being of the company (_ibid._). Walsingham gives the
total of earls, barons, and baronets captured and slain as 154; of
clerics and squires an excessive number (_Historia Angl._, i., p. 154).
The name of the keeper was Gilbertson as in E; he appears on record as
“Fitz-Gilbert” (_Bain_, iii. No. 243, etc.). He joined Bruce and was
the ancestor of the great Hamilton family. Bothwell Castle is on the

417 _Moris de Berclay._ In _Vita Edw._ (p. 206) he is among those
captured at Bothwell. According to the _Lanercost_ historian, it was
Pembroke (Valence) who fled “on foot” with the Welshmen, and escaped
(p. 228). In _Ann. Lond._ de Valence is said to have fled _nudis
pedibus_ (bare-footed); that is, apparently, he removed his foot and
leg armour (p. 230).

456 _Thai dispendit haly that day, In spoulyheing._ The author of _Vita
Edw._ declares that it was the preoccupation of the Scots with the
plunder that allowed many English to escape. In his precise way, he
estimates that the valuable equipment which fell to the Scots was worth
£200,000 (p. 206), or at the ratio of 1:15 about £3,000,000 present day
(_cf._ note on 667-8).

463 _spuris rede._ _I.e._, gilt or gold spurs worn only by knights.
The 700 pairs of C would give us 700 knights slain; E’s 200 is
probably nearer the truth. In _Ann. Lond._, (p. 231) we get a list of
thirty-seven knights slain at “the battle of Stirling.” Of the foot and
squires, it is said, the most part (_maxima pars_) was not slain. Baker
says about 300 men-at-arms (_viri militares_) were among the slain
(57). Bower gives 200 knights slain besides Gloucester (_Scotich._
Goodall, edition 1759, ii., p. 250). Walsingham, from his MS. source,
fixes the number of knights and squires who fell at 700 (_Historia
Anglicana_, p. 141); Capgrave the lords, barons, and knights slain and
captured at 154. More than 500 were reported dead who were afterwards
found to be captives (_Chronicle_, p. 180) and had to be ransomed
(_Vita Edw._, p. 206). Fabyan gives forty-two noblemen slain, and
sixty-seven knights and baronets, while twelve “men of name” were taken
prisoner (_New Chronicles_, p. 420).

466 _Gilbert of Clar._ About twenty-three years of age (_Ann. Lond._,
p. 231). He fell in the first charge (_Vita Edw._; _Baker_). Baker says
the Scots would have gladly taken him alive for ransom had they known
who he was, but that he did not wear his surcoat (_toga_) with his coat
of arms (p. 57). _Cf._ lines 510-11. _That men callit_, says Barbour,
having in mind Ralph de Monthermer, his step-father who had previously
borne the title.

468 _Payne Typtot._ Paganus Typetot (_Vita Edw._) or Tybetot (_Ann.
Lond._). “Paganus Typetoft,” or “Typetot,” is the name in _Chron. de

472 _Wilyhame Vepownt._ Sir William de Vepont (Veteriponte) was a
Scotsman in the service of England till 1312, having been imprisoned on
capture during the Comyn resistance in 1302. He was under Valence in
Ayr in 1307 (_Bain_, ii., Nos. 1,283, 1,294; iii., No. 263). _Walter
the Ros_ was serving England in Linlithgow in 1312 (_Bain_, iii., p.

486 _at rebours._ _I.e._, treated badly, held “in great dislike”
(Skeat). See Glossary. Edward had a son, Alexander, by Isabella of
Atholl (_Exchq. Rolls_, II. cxxxii.).

489-90 _Erll Davy of Adell._ Lord Hailes did not know “what judgment to
form of this story,” in view of the fact that sentence of forfeiture
was not passed against Atholl till 1323 (_Annales_, ii. 58 note). But
his lands were forfeited by October, 1314, and granted to Sir Neil
Campbell (Robertson’s _Index_, p. 26; ii. _Scots Peerage_), and he,
then being in England, received three manors from Edward II. “till he
recovers his Scottish possessions” (_Bain_, iii., p. 75). Atholl’s
career is, however, puzzling. His wife was Johanna, daughter of the
murdered Comyn of Badenoch. Up till 1312 he is a supporter of England,
and in December of that year even seems to have sat in the English
Parliament. But in the previous October he is among those present in
Bruce’s Parliament at Inverness (_Acta. Parl. Scot._, vol. i., 103);
next appears as Constable of Scotland, and, early in 1313, is a witness
to charters to the Abbey of Arbroath (_Scots Peerage_). Then comes a
blank till October, 1314, as above. There is thus room for Barbour’s
story: Atholl did give a short-lived support to the national cause,
and a forfeiture of his lands did follow soon after Bannockburn. He
remained an active adherent of England till his death, January, 1327.

495 _Wilyhame of Herth._ Apparently William Mareschal of Erth (_Bain_,
iii. 343; _cf._ note on 61). Sir William de Erth was a supporter of
Comyn in the Barons’ War, and capitulated with him and others at
Strathorde on February 9, 1304 (_Bain_, ii., No. 1,741). William de
Erth, knight, was alive in 1333 (_Bain_, iii. 1,099). Erth, or Airth,
is on the east of Stirlingshire, on the Forth.

510 _somdeill anoyit._ _Cf._ note on 466.

512 _till a kirk he gert hym be Brocht._ John de Trokelowe says that
Bruce sent the bodies of Gloucester and Clifford to King Edward while
at Berwick, to be buried as he wished, and this without demanding any
payment as ransom (_Annales_, p. 87).

533 _Betung_ in C is certainly wrong; E gives the correct form
_Twenge_. Marmaduke de Twenge appears on the list in _Foedera_ and
elsewhere. He was the hero of Stirling Bridge (1297), who cut his way
back over the bridge.

531 _trete hym curtasly._ Trokelowe says that Bruce caused his noble
prisoners to be treated so becomingly and courteously (_decenter ac
civiliter_) “that the hearts of many who were opposed to him he turned,
in a wonderful way, to feeling an affection for him” (_Annales_, p. 87).

544 _become of his dwelling._ “Became one of his company,” as in _Bk._
IV. 481, where Bruce says of Douglas and his men in Arran: “Thai ar all
of my duelling.”

553 _Lowrens_ = Lawrence. Probably the same Sir Lawrence de Abernethy
who in 1338 had provisions sent him by Edward III. for the Castle of
Hawthornden. He was thus “Inglis man” again (_Bain_, iii., p. 235, No.

578-85 _He convoyit thame so narrowly, etc._ “Some, however, lagging
in the flight, were slain by the Scots, who followed them swiftly
(_velociter_)” (_Chron. de Lanercost_, p. 227). “The King escaped with
great trouble” (_a graunt payn_, _Scala._, p. 143).

587 _Wynchburch._ On the road from Linlithgow to Edinburgh.

592 _so feill._ According to the _Lanercost_ historian, the King was
accompanied by many knights and footmen (p. 227).

612 _Erll Patrik._ Of March. See note on _Bk._ XI. 46. “Patrick Earl of
March received him honourably, etc., for at that time he was his man”
(_soun homager_. _Scala._, 143.).

615-16 _A bate_, etc. “When he came thither (Dunbar) he embarked on a
ship, and with his own company put in at Berwick” (_Vita Edw. Sec._,
p. 205). “Thence the King went by sea to Berwick and afterwards to the
south” (_Scala._, 143). “At Dunbar the King, with his special friends,
embarked on a boat (_scapham_) for Berwick” (_Lanercost_, p. 227).
Barbour says they landed at Bamborough on the coast of Yorkshire, and
in line 645 gives the number who thus accompanied the King as seventeen.

619-21 _The laiff_, etc. “The others (see above), not having a ship,
come (to Berwick) by land” (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 205). The King,
says the _Lanercost_ writer, left all the others to their fate, who,
however, came safe and sound to England (p. 228).

631 _The Kyng eschapit._ According to Baker, “no mortal ingenuity,
neither the swiftness of the horses nor the cover on the way
(_involucra locorum_) could have kept the King from capture by the
Scots,” had not Christ Himself, at the intercession of His Mother,
brought him out of Scottish territory, as both the King and his
companions afterwards confessed. In his peril Edward vowed to found a
monastery dedicated to the “Mother of God,” where twenty-four friars
might study theology (_Baker_, p. 58); and, in fulfilment thereof,
established Oriel College at Oxford (_Hailes_, ii. 57 note).

667-8 _The castell and the towrys ... doune gert he myne._ Stirling
Castle thus lay in ruins till 1336-7, when it was rebuilt for Edward
III. “after the conquest,” probably on the old plan. Stone walls
and towers were erected, a “peel” of wood, to the north the walls
(_parietes_) of which were plastered over, and various inner buildings
for the garrison, etc., also of wood daubed with mortar and roofed with
turf (_Bain_, iii., pp. 364-8). The rebuilding and repairs cost £280,
equal to about £4,000 now (_Bain_, lviii.).

676 _he gaf._ See note on 409.

687 _The Erll wes changit._ In _Vita Edw. Sec._ (pp. 208-9) is recorded
the exchange of the Earl for the wife of Bruce and other Scottish
captives, including the Bishop of Glasgow. On October 2, 1314, “Robert,
Bishop of Glasgow, the Countess Carrick, wife of Robert de Brus, with
his sister and daughter and Donald de Mar,” were at Carlisle Castle,
“to be taken thence to a place arranged by the Earl of Essex and
Hereford and the Sheriff” (_Bain_, iii., No. 393). Mar is, no doubt,
the “young earl” referred to in the _Vita Edw._, which says further
that Edward gave to his sister, Hereford’s wife, all the Scottish
captives since the time of Edward I.--fifteen and more--to procure the
release of her husband (p. 208).

695 _wes King._ Robert II.

697 _Davy._ David II. (June 7, 1329 to February 22, 1371). He scarcely
deserved Barbour’s epithet “worthy.”

702 _Fif yheir._ In 1375 Robert was in the fifth year of his reign; he
would not have “passit” it till February 22, 1376. He was born March
2, 1316, and in 1375 was in his sixtieth year. The year in Scotland,
however, began on March 25, so that Barbour’s cross-dating really
stands for what we should call the early spring of 1376. He was then
engaged on _The Bruce_.

705-6 _the gud King Robert._ _I.e._, Robert I. the Bruce, dead
forty-six years. It is curious to find this elaborate dating “of
the compyling of this book” here, and not at the end. Evidently the
mention of the marriage of the Steward, the reigning King’s father, is
Barbour’s cue. There is no reason to suppose that this was a subsequent
insertion, and we may conclude that the poem was completed somewhat

736 _our-raid all Northumbirland._ “They (the Scots) plundered
the northern bounds of England as far as Richmond and returned,
devastating the country with fire and carrying off with them many
captives” (_Gesta Edwardi_, p. 47). _Cf._ Barbour, lines following. On
July 1, 1314, the Bishop of Durham writes the King regarding Scottish
preparations for an invasion of England, of which he has heard. On
October 7, 1314, the Prior and Convent of Durham pay the Earl of Murray
eight hundred marks to secure the bishopric immunity from invasion
for a stated period (_Letters from Northern Registers_, Nos. cxliv.,
cxlix.). According to the _Lanercost_ chronicler, the Scots entered
by Berwick, and burned almost all Northumberland, spared Durham for a
monetary consideration, penetrated to the Tees and to Richmond, and
returned, via Lanercost, with a great body of cattle and captives (pp.
228, 229).


4 _Scotland to litill wes._ According to the Annalist, it was the Scots
who were not satisfied with their own country; but this is merely
a rhetorical comment (_Annals of Ireland_, p. 344). The anonymous
Chronicle in Stevenson’s _Illustrations_ says that Edward Bruce,
elated by the success of the Scots, aspired to the name of King (_ad
nomen regium aspirans_, p. 3). Fordun’s version is the same as that
of Barbour: “Edward Bruce was not willing to live in peace with his
brother unless he got half the kingdom for himself, and for this reason
the war was started in Ireland” (_Gesta Annalia_, cxxxiii.).

8 _had treting With the Erischry._ It was afterwards (1316-17) made a
charge against Walter de Lacy and Hugh de Lacy, Earl of Ulster, that
they had sent messengers and letters to invite Edward Bruce to Ireland.
The legal documents in the case are given in _Chartularies, etc., of
St. Mary’s Abbey_ (vol. ii., pp. 407-9). This charge is also noted in
the _Annals of Ireland_ (Fragment), under February 2, 1317, where it is
said that, on inquiry, the Lacys were acquitted (p. 298). Nevertheless,
they and their relatives were fined £200 (_Preface_, p. cxxix). The
_Chronicle_ in Stevenson appears to refer to the same case, when it
says that Edward Bruce was persistently (_sæpissime_) invited by a
certain Irish magnate with whom he had been educated in his youth (p.

21 _Maii._ “The Scots first entered Ireland on May 26, 1315” (_die
Sancti Augustini Anglorum, mense Maii._ _Annals of Ireland_, p. 344).
The _Annals of Ulster_ fix his landing at the beginning of the year
(ii., p. 423); as do also _Annals of Loch Cé_ (i., p. 563). Edward
Bruce had a fleet of 300 ships (_Annals of Clonmacnoise_, p. 268).

25 _Philip the Mowbray._ _Cf._ _Bk._ XIII., line 544. Mowbray’s name
does not appear in the _Annals_ as accompanying Edward Bruce, nor that
of Soulis or Ramsay, but others are mentioned (p. 344). Mowbray is
mentioned later (_Annals, Fragment_, p. 299), and in _Knighton_, i., p.

28 _Schir Johne Steward._ Brother of Sir Walter Steward. See _Bk._
XVIII. 33 (_Annals_, 344).

29 _Ouchtirhouss_, or Auchterhouse, is in the south of Forfarshire.
From the _Wallace_ we learn that this was Alexander Ramsay, son of Sir
John Ramsay Wallace’s friend.

  “His sone was called the flour of courtlyness;
  As witnes weill in to the schort tretty
  Eftir the Bruce, quha redis in that story.”

  (_The Wallace_, _Bk._ vii. 900-2.)

31 _Fergus de Ardrossane._ Ardrossan is on the coast of Ayr. Fergus
had at first joined Bruce, was captured, and procured his release by
going over to Edward II., from whom he in 1312 received the “barony of
Bisshoplande,” near Kirkintilloch (_Bain_, iii., Nos. 51, 227, 265).
Probably he reverted to Bruce after Bannockburn. He is among those
mentioned in the _Annals_ (p. 344). He received a fresh grant of the
lands of Ardrossan and others apparently in 1316 (_Reg. Mag. Sig._, pp.
10, 51).

33 _Wokingis Firth._ This name is evidently corrupt. Innes identifies
it with Larne Lough, and so also do Bain and Skeat, citing from Reeves
(_Eccles. History of Down and Connor_) forms such as Wolderfrith,
etc., and the present Olderfleet Castle on that Lough (_Bain_, iii.
xxxiv, note). In a letter of Edward II., 1311, we have “Wolrikesford,
near Knacfergus (Carrickfergus), in Ulster,” whence a fleet is to sail
against Robert Bruce (_Bain_, iii., No. 216). In 1327 King Robert is
to get corn from the Ulster men delivered at “Ulringfirth” (_ibid._,
922). The _Annals_ say, first, that the Scots put it at “Clondonne,” or
Glen Dun, in Antrim, south of Torr Head, the nearest point (eighteen
miles) to the Scottish coast, and, immediately after, that they entered
Ireland “near Cragfergus, in Ulster” (p. 344). Robert Bruce was at
“Glendouyne” when he executed the agreement mentioned above. Probably
the Scots touched at Glendun, and then coasted down to Larne Lough.

38 _sex thousand men._ Six thousand is the number in the _Annals_ (p.

47 _Maundvell._ The Scots “drove out Sir Thomas de Maundevile and other
loyal men from their own land” (_Annals of Ireland_, p. 344). The
Bysets were descended from John Byset, who was banished from Scotland
by Alexander II., and who got land in Antrim under the de Burghs. The
Logans were large proprietors in the north of Ireland (Reeves’s _Down
and Connor_ in _Innes_), as also were the Savages (_ibid._). John Logan
and Sir Hugh Byset are the heroes of a great slaughter of the Scots
in Ulster on November 1, 1316 (_Annals, Fragment_, p. 298). Sir Hugh
afterwards joined the Scots (_Bain_, iii., No. 632).

80 _In that battale._ Near the river Bann (_Annals_, 344). “_tane or
slane._”--The Earl of Ulster, Richard de Burgh, was put to flight; his
son, William de Burgh, and John de Statona were captured, and many
English slain. The Scots were successful (_Annals_, pp. 344-5).

102 _the kyngis._ _Reguli_, petty kings or important chiefs, a usual
Gaelic equivalent. _Cf._ _Bk._ XVIII. 9 and note.

105 _Makfulchiane_ (C), _Makgullane_, _Makgoulchane_ (H). Jamieson says
Irish Macleans (MacGillian); Innes suggests MacCoolechan: “MacEthelan”
is among the chiefs in _Foedera_ (iii., p. 476). Most likely we have
to do with _O’Fuillchain_ in the form _MacFuillchain_, from which, by
_MacFhuillchain_, could also come _MacGuillchain_, as in H.

106 _Makartane_, _Makmartane_ (C), _Macarthane_ (H). “Macartan” was one
of “the septs of Ire, son of Miletus” (_Annals of Clonmacnoise_, p. 30).

113 _Endwillane._ Innes suggests “the Pass of Emerdullam” (1343), which
he identifies with Moiry Pass, where Moiry Castle is about a quarter
of a mile from Kilnsaggart, or Kilsaggart. Apparently this is Moiry
Castle, north of Dundalk.

133 _At Kilsaggart._ Kilnasaggart (“cell of the priest”), about a
quarter of a mile from Moiry Castle; for which see on _Bk._ XVI. 62.

135 _Dundawk._ Dundalk, within the English Pale. For spelling, _cf._ in
XI. 437 and _Appendix_ G.

138 _Richard of Clare._ Barbour has been censured by his editors,
following the cue of Lord Hailes (_Annals_, ii. 70, note), for the
prominence given to Richard de Clare in the opposition to the Scots.
True, as Hailes pointed out and reasons from, he was not the Justiciar
of Ireland, a post occupied at this time by Sir Edmund de Butler
(_Historic and Munic. Docts., Ireland_, p. 328); after November 23,
1316, by Roger de Mortimer (_Patent Rolls_); and so was not technically
“in all Irland luf-tenand.” Nevertheless it is perfectly certain that
Clare took the leading part, at this stage at least, in the defence
of English interests, and that Barbour’s statement to this extent
is justified. Thus, in a letter to Edward of February 15, 1316, it
is mentioned, with respect to the operations of the Scots, that the
writer, to protect the King’s honour, will take counsel with certain
lords and Richard de Clare, a reference which Bain (Index) interprets
to mean that Clare was in command in Ireland. The writer, too, thinks
it worth mentioning that Clare was not at the battle (of Arscoll).
Again, on May 16, Clare is pardoned an ancestral debt for his great
labour and cost repelling the disturbance stirred up in Ireland by
the Scottish enemies” (_Bain_, iii., Nos. 469, 488; _Patent Rolls_,
p. 459). And there is a further grant of same date to de Clare, “in
consideration of his great labours as above,” of certain privileges,
castles, and lands, “to hold during pleasure, and the continuance of
the disturbance by the Scots, in aid of his maintenance on the King’s
service” (_Patent Rolls_, p. 459).

142 _Erll of Kyldare._ The Geraldines, or Fitz-Geralds, had been Earls
of Kildare since 1294 (_Annals of Ireland_, p. 323 and Index).

143 _The Bremayne with the Wardune._ This pair appear in later
operations as “Richard de Birmingham” and “Robert de Verdon” (_Annals_,
p. 350). But on May 18, 1316, Nicholas de Verdun gets 200 marks for
losses sustained against the Scots (_Patent Rolls_).

145 _The Butler._ Edmund de Butler, Justiciary (_cf._ on 138).

146 _Moris le Fyss Thomas._ Maurice Fitz-Thomas, who married, in 1312,
the daughter of the Earl of Ulster, and afterwards (1329) was created
Earl of Desmond (_Annals_, p. 341).

172 _on the morn._ June 29, 1315 (_Annals_, p. 345).

188 _Half-deill ane dyner._ In the _Alexander_ Clarus says of the army
of Alexander:

  “And thay ar anely till dynare
  To our great hoste” (pp. 308-9).

224-6 “The Scots took the town, spoiled and burned, and slew all who
resisted” (_Annals_, 344).

252 _Kilross._ “(Cill-rois of Adamnan) is now Maghross, or
Carrickmacross” (_Innes_).

254 _Richard of Clare._ According to the _Annals_, Edmund de Butler (p.

257 _A gret hoost._ “A great army”; and Richard de Burgh with “an
innumerable army” as well. They came together to the district of
Dundalk (p. 345).

270 _to ges._ Barbour usually “guesses” ten thousand to “a battle,” as
here and elsewhere.

280 _gadering of the cuntre._ _I.e._, “mere countrymen not skilled
soldiers.” This great army was raised from Munster, Leinster, and
Connaught (_Annals_, p. 345), and Edward Bruce’s description is no
doubt right.

289 _stedis trappit._ See note on _Bk._ XI. 130.

300 _fled scalit._ “They fled--how is unknown” (_Annals_, p. 345). The
date is _circa_ July 22, 1315.

313 _Judas Machabeus._ See note on _Bk._ I. 466.

329 _Odymsy._ “Fyn O’Dymsy” among those summoned to Bannockburn
(_Foedera_, iii. 476). O’Dempsy was “dux Reganorum,” or chief of the
_Ui’ Riagain_; Iregan in Queen’s County (_Annals_, p. 333). In the
_Annals of Clonmacnoise_ Bruce is taken north “by the procurement of
O’Neal and Ulstermen” (p. 269).

332 _To se his land._ _I.e._, in Leinster. He, of course, takes them
out of the way (_cf._ on 360).

337 _A gret revar._ Skeat holds that this is the Blackwater flowing
into the southern end of Lough Neagh, which was the boundary between
the English Pale and the independent country of the Tyrone O’Neils,
and was of old known as the Avon More, “the great river.” But this
is inconsistent with lines 369-371, where one of the rivers is the
northern Bann, “ane arme of se,” and Skeat’s ingenious explanation
of the latter phrase, taking sea = Lough, Beg or Neagh, is quite
superfluous. In fact, he is astray as to vital details, as witness what
is said on Thomas Dun (line 376). Barbour himself is unsatisfactorily
vague in his geographical matter, and none of the _Annals_ makes any
mention of the trick here descanted upon, nor of the intervention of
the pirate Thomas. But the main features can be found in the _Annals of
Clonmacnoise_, pp. 269-271, and _Annals of Loch Cé_, 265-7. The Scots
and the Ulster men (Antrim and Down) were at Innis Kaeyne (Innishkeen),
seven miles west of Dundalk. The English marched to Louth, just south
of them. The Scots retired through Ulster (Antrim and Down), not, as
Skeat suggests, by the west shore of Lough Neagh, until they came
to Coleraine, not far from the Bann estuary. Then they crossed the
river by the bridge, which they broke down so that the English who
followed them could not cross, and the Bann lay between the two armies.
Thereupon the English plundered on the Ulster side, apparently among
the sympathizers with the Scots, finally retreating to Connor (_cf._
lines 396, 460). In the interval must have occurred the attempted
drowning out of the Scots and the passage back over the river by means
of Thomas of Dun, who had sailed up the estuary of the Bann (line 371).

354 _The ysche of a louch._ “The outlet of a loch”; from the hurried
nature of the operation necessarily a small loch or a narrow outlet;
possibly, too, a loch since drained off. It cannot be Lough Beg, for
that would be too far away for Thomas Dun. On the other hand, they must
have been brought some distance up the west side of the Bann, for after
they had crossed it was still not known where they were (line 386),
and they soon got in touch with the English, who were ten miles from
Connor, to which they afterwards retreated (460).

360 _With mekill payne._ To add to the difficulties of this passage,
the misleading of the Scots seems to be claimed for the Lacys in the
case regarding them (see on line 8). The Lacys explain that on the
occasion on which they had a conference (_parliamentaverunt_) with
Edward Bruce they, by their cunning (_per eorum cautelam_), led Edward
Bruce with his army among the Irish who were felons to the King--that
is, apparently, the North Ulster men (see on 337). Among them Edward
Bruce marched for fourteen days, and lost a great number of men and
horses on the march towards Leinster, to which he could have come in
two days if he had been rightly directed (_Chartularies of St. Mary’s_,
I., p. 408). It is scarcely likely that Edward Bruce was twice tricked
in this way, and the Irishman, Dempsy or another, may have been the
agent of the Lacys. But to be able to follow the whole operation we
should require much more information than is available.

373 _Ullister._ Ulster in the ancient sense of Antrim and Down.

376 _Thomas of Dun._ Skeat compiles an hypothetical biography for
this “scummar of the se,” but Thomas was an uncomfortably well-known
personage. He was the most notorious pirate on the west coast, as
John Crab was on the east (see _Bk._ XVII. 239). We learn from Bain’s
_Calendar_ that on September 12, 1315, Thomas Dun and others, “with
a great ‘navye’ of Scots,” plundered a ship in Holyhead Harbour (No.
451). He kept on his depredations with a crew of Scots (No. 549;
_Patent Rolls_, i., p. 696). He was captured in July, 1317, and gave
information about an intended attack by the Earl of Moray on the Isle
of Man (No. 562). Thereafter he disappears from notice, probably via
the gallows. He was hovering about between Ulster and Scotland at this
time, and Edward was ordering the Mayor and bailiffs of Drogheda to
chase him (_Hist. and Munic. Docts., Ireland_, p. 377).

380 _Thai knew him weill._ See previous note.

382 According to the _Annals_, Edward Bruce cautiously or cleverly
(_caute_) crossed the Bann in pursuit of the English army, retiring to
Connor (_Annals_, p. 346).

383 _in biggit land._ “Land with houses on it”--_i.e._, cultivated.

389 _With a gret host, Richarde of Clar._ In the _Annals_ it is the
Earl of Ulster (Richard de Burgh), with the Justiciar (Butler) and
other magnates, who had undertaken to bring Edward Bruce to Dublin
alive or dead. So, too, in _Annals of Clonmacnoise_ and of _Loch Cé_ it
is De Burgh, the “Red Earl.”

394 _Coigneris._ Connor, to the north of the town of Antrim. “Conyers”
in _Annals_.

405 _Alane Stewart._ Cousin of Walter Stewart, and ancestor of the
Darnley Stewarts, Earls of Lennox. He is mentioned later in the
_Annals_ among the Scottish leaders (p. 359).

406 _Schir Robert Boyde._ Both E and H read _Robert_, probably
correctly, as there is no notice of the _Gilbert_ of C.

447 _On this wis._ This, or one of the later skirmishes, must be that
referred to in the _Annals_ when the Earl and some of his side were put
to flight, and several captured (p. 359).

460 _Thair wayis towart Coigneris._ After Edward Bruce crossed the Bann
the English army withdrew to Connor (_Annals_, p. 359).

515 _Fize Warin._ No doubt the Alan FitzWarin captured later by the
Scots (_Annals_, 349). See on xv. 75.

522 _Nycholl of Kylkenane._ Kilkenane was before the Reformation a
parish in Island Magee, the outer limb of Larne Lough (_Innes_). A
“Michael of Kylkenan” is on record in 1310 (Reeves, _History of Down_,
etc., _ibid._). Hart’s edition here gives _Michell_, which is perhaps
the correct reading.


8 _In battale._ The date of the English defeat at Connor is on or
shortly after September 10, 1315. The _Annals_ are not clear on the
point, and the capture of William de Burgh on the 10th seems to refer
to one of the earlier skirmishes mentioned in the previous book
(_Annals_, p. 346).

39 _The barell-ferraris._ See _Glossary_. _Cf._ “_Barell-ferrers_ they
brochede, and broghte them the wyne” (_Morte Arthure_, line 2714).

56 _Quha mast_, etc. “Who most would get the upper hand.”

63 _That evir durst_, etc. “No one dared to wait for his comrade.”

75 _Fizwarine._ The _Annals_ suggest that he was not captured till
early in the following year, and he is not mentioned among the captives
at “Conyers” (pp. 349, 346).

83 _Mont-peleris._ Apparently Montpelier, then famous for its School of
Medicine, an Arab foundation.

98 _Syne thidder._ The account in the _Annals_ states that “Baron de
Donull” made head against the Scots, but that they chased his men
boldly as far as “Cragfergus” (p. 346). The castle had been provisioned
against the Scots (_Bain_, iii., No. 479).

100 _Palmesonday._ April 4, 1316. The garrison was suffering great
privations from lack of food (_Annals, Fragment_, p. 297).

101 _Tysday._ Tuesday in Easter-week, 1316, was April 13.

105 _Paske evin._ Saturday night, April 10.

107 _Devilling._ Dublin. According to the _Annals_, Maundeville came
with men from Drogheda, arriving at Carrickfergus on April 8, and
inflicting a defeat upon the Scots, who lost about thirty men (p. 350).

111 _The Mawndvell, ald Schir Thomas._ So also in _Annals_ (p. 350).

131 _the day._ April 11. The _Annals_ place this (the second) attack on
the Scots upon Easter-eve, April 10 (_in vigilia Pasche._, p. 350).
Similarly _St. Mary’s Annals_, p. 282. Nothing is said about a breach
of truce. Barbour, however, gives evidence of having been thoroughly
well informed. See below on 205-9.

137 _the Kyng._ _I.e._, Edward Bruce, apparently not crowned King till
some weeks later, May, 1316, “a little after the feast of Philip and
James” (May 1). The _Annals_ really seem to fix it in 1315 (p. 345),
but they have already stated that Edward did not land till May 26. The
chronology is confused (_cf._ on _Bk._ xiv. 21). See also line 161.

181 _Gib Harpar._ Probably Gilbert the Harper, or minstrel. His fate is
told in _Bk._ XVIII.

183 _of his stat._ These words suggest that he was of some special

192 _reft the liff._ Sir Thomas Maundeville was slain (_Annals_, p.
350; _St. Mary’s Annals_, p. 282).

205-9 Skeat evidently thinks that these lines refer to the same
incident as that described above in lines 190-2, and actually prints
in his rubric “as I said” as a summary of Barbour, though Barbour has
nothing to suggest these words. But the person previously slain is
“_the_ Mawndvell”--_i.e._, Sir Thomas himself, whom Barbour has already
so denominated (111). The present victim is a Maundeville whose “propir
nayme” he does not know, but who, we learn from _St Mary’s Annals_, was
“John Maundevyll,” brother of Sir Thomas (p. 282).

259 _The castell till him yhalde._ Carrickfergus Castle was surrendered
(_Annals, Fragment_, p. 297; _Bain_, iii. 970) apparently in September,
1316 (_Fragment_, _ibid._). Thus, if begun after Connor, the siege must
have occupied the Scots for a year--the greater part of 1316.

260 _Till sauf thame thair liffis._ The defenders were granted life and
limb (_vita et membrum._ _Fragment_, p. 297).

272 _the Tarbard._ Tarbert, Kintyre: Gaelic _Tairbeart_, a portage, an

274 _draw thar schippes._ According to the _Magnus Saga_, chap. xx.,
Magnus, King of Norway, agreed with the King of Scotland, Edgar, in
1102, that he should have “all the islands to the west of Scotland,
between which and the mainland a helm-carrying ship could pass.” Magnus
then had “a small ship” drawn across the isthmus at Tarbert, with
himself sitting at the helm, and so secured Kintyre. “There is a narrow
ridge between it (Kintyre) and Scotland, so that ships are often drawn
across it.”

292 _Ald prophesy._ This probably derives from the incident told of

299 _Johne of Lorne._ Barbour is quite wrong as to the career and fate
of John of Lorn or Argyll (“de Ergadia,” “Daragille,” in records). He
had escaped to England in 1309 (see _Bk._ 128), and was Admiral of
Edward’s fleet in the west by 1311 (_Bain_, iii., No. 203). In the
summer of 1314 he went to the Irish coast with a fleet (355), and was
in command there in 1315-1316 (No. 479, _Hist. and Municip. Docts.,
Ireland_, p. 344). He returned from the Irish service in 1316 “impotent
in body,” and received a pension from Edward II., but died a year and a
half later, probably towards the end of 1317, in London (_Bain_, iii.,
No. 912).

318 _the Forest._ Ettrick Forest.

321 _Eumond de Calion, a Gascoune._ Correctly, as in records, “Remon
Caillau,” or “Reymound Cailough” (_Bain_, iii., Nos. 470, 477). He
was perhaps a relative of the Bishop of Durham who died in the same
year, 1316, “Recardus Kellow” (_Lanercost_, p. 233). Other Gascons
are mentioned as having taken part in this sally--Arnant de Poillant,
Pierres de Logar, etc. (_ibid._). The information in _Bain_ is
contained in letters from the Governor of Berwick (see next note), and
petitions to the King from some of the townspeople.

325 _He had than Berwik in keping._ No; Sir Moryz or Maurice de
Berkele(y) was “warden of Berwick-on-Tweed.” Caillou was only one of
“the King’s sergeant-at-arms” (_Bain_, iii., No. 477)--_i.e._, an
officer of the royal household.

327 _a gret cumpany._ A “great part of the garrison” went out on this
foray. They had been forbidden to go out by the warden, but Berwick
was in desperate straits for want of food, and they replied that “it
was better to die fighting than starve” (_Bain_, 477). The date of the
foray is February 14, 1316.

329 _the nethir end of Tevydaill_, etc. Teviotdale, locally so
pronounced. The forayers went as far as “within two leagues (miles)
of Melros Abbey” (_Bain_, 477). The Merse is South Berwickshire, the
“March,” or frontier.

333 _Schir Adam of Gordoun._ See note on _Bk._ XI. 46. He became a
“Scottis man” apparently after Bannockburn. His lands of Gordon were in
East Lothian.

335 _drif away thar fe._ “They took many prisoners and cattle” (_Bain_,

*337-*338. These lines mean that Gordon saw only small bodies
(“scaill”; _cf._ line 344*) of the English in retreat, and the “swains”
in possession of the prey--_i.e._, driving the cattle. _Cf._ lines
*353-*354 and 339-341. “Scaill” is a noun here as in *353.

*354 _a childrome._ The scattered bands assembled in one body to
deal with the Scots in pursuit, and sent on the cattle in front. For
“childrome,” or “schiltrome,” see note on _Bk._ XII. 249.

341 _made a staill._ “Staill” is certainly to be preferred to “scaill,”
which is contrary to the sense of the passage. Skeat, in his note,
admits as much. _Cf._ similar use in _Bk._ XVII. 97. The forayers
“made a stand” to defend the cattle from the Scots. The fight was at
Scaithmoor. (_Scala._, p. 143).

351 _on his luf, etc._ “Let each man think on his love.”

375-6 _thai wer, etc._ “Though the English were very many more than the
Scots.” Barbour’s usual reckless use of “thai.”

377 _wes ded._ The writer in _Bain_ did not know whether Caillou was
dead or only a prisoner (No. 470).

381 _sum has slayne._ The foragers lost 20 men-at-arms and 60 foot,
killed or prisoners (_Bain_, No. 470). “The Gascons were slain to a
man” (_furount mors toutes playnes de Gascoins._ _Scala._, p. 143). The
Scots, of course, recovered the castle, and the Berwick garrison were
soon dying of hunger on the walls (_ibid._, No. 477).

392 _hap him fell._ “If it so happened.”

393 _That._ _I.e._, the killing of the “cheftune,” or leader of his

405 _full gret invy._ Neville appears to have had a weakness in this
way. He had already slain a cousin of Robert Bruce in a quarrel as to
which was the greater lord (_Scala._, p. 143). He was known as “the
Peacock of the North,” which significantly describes him (_Bain_, iii.,
p. xxv).

435 _Befor Berwyk._ The fight between Douglas and Neville took place at
Berwick (_Scala._, p. 143; _Gesta Edw. de Carn._, p. 56). The _Gesta_
dates it June, 1319; Barbour seems to place it in 1316, but says
nothing definite; nor does Gray, “another time” (_Scala._, p. 143),
introducing it, like Barbour, after the Skaithmoor fight, but unlike
Barbour, also after Lintalee.

477 _no mycht till us._ “Douglas with his yeomanry shall have no power
compared with ours.”

503 _Schir Ralf the Nevell, etc._ There is on record a petition by
“Rauf de Neville” to the King asking for assistance in ransoming
himself, and explaining that he, with two of his brothers, was taken
prisoner on the day on which his brother Sir Robert was killed by the
Scots (_Bain_, iii., No. 527).

504 _the Baroun of Hiltoun._ Apparently Sir Robert de Hilton, who is
a witness in 1310 to a grant by the Bishop of Durham of a manor in
Scotland (_Bain_, iii., No. 1147). Hilton is near Berwick.

505 _othir of mekill mycht._ “Many of his (Neville’s) company were
captured, and the rest put to flight” (_Gesta_, p. 56). _Cf._ line 510.


8 _in Scotland for till pas._ Barbour, as he himself explains, now goes
back to the beginning of the siege of Carrickfergus after the victory
at Connor. According to the _Annals of Ir._, Moray crossed to Scotland
on September 15, 1315, to procure more soldiers, “at which time the
said Bruce was besieging the Castle of Carrickfergus” (p. 346). Moray
was back in November with five hundred men (p. 347). Barbour mentions
but one trip on which he returned with King Robert (line 43), but that
would have to be a year later. Further, he dates this journey _after_
the fall of Carrickfergus (see on 38).

16 _till his schippes._ He had four pirate vessels laden with Irish
plunder, of which one was sunk (_Annals of Ir._, p. 346). The Scots had
sent back their own ships (_Bk._ xiv. 35).

38 _Till Cragfergus._ According to Barbour’s chronology, Robert Bruce
crossed to Ireland at some time after the fall of Carrickfergus, as
related in the previous book. But the news of King Robert’s arrival
appears to have reached Dublin about the first week in September, 1316.
Carrickfergus fell some time later in the same month (_Frag._, p.
297). The _Annals of Ulster_ date the arrival about the end of 1316 or
beginning of 1317 (II., p. 429, and note). The _Annals of Clonmacnoise_
(p. 279) and the _Annals of the Four Masters_ (III., p. 515) place it
in 1317, by which time Carrickfergus, of course, was in possession of
the Scots.

62 _Inderwillane._ “Dr. Reeves believes this to be an old garbled name
for that pass, known later as _Bealach an Maghre_, or Moyry Pass. It
was on the old road; indeed, the only possible one, from Leinster to
Ulster. It is in the parish of Killevy, county of Armagh, but only a
few perches from the boundary of Lowth” (_Innes_).

63 _the moneth of May._ Must have been much earlier (see on 262).

74 _The wardane thair._ See on _Bk._ XIV. 638.

119 _Schyr Colyne Cammell._ Sir Colin Campbell, Bruce’s nephew, as son
of his sister Marie by her marriage with Sir Neil Campbell (Robertson’s
_Index_, p. 26; 11, 18). Bain strangely says that of Sir Neil’s two
wives on record neither was a Bruce (_Calend._, ii., lix). Marie’s
marriages are somewhat ravelled (see on _Bk._ viii. 397), but this one
is certain. Colin got the grant of Lochaw (Robertson, _ibid._). There
was another nephew of the same marriage, John (_Index_, p. 19; 105),
who also went on this occasion to Ireland (_Annals_, p. 344).

131 _That he dynnit on his arsoune._ “Knocked heavily against his
saddle.” _Cf._ _Alexander_, where Gaudifer is struck with spears.
“Quhill on his arsoune dintit he” (p. 99).

132 _tyt hym doune._ “The King bade (the others) remove him quickly
from his horse,” apparently because his horse was killed (line 126)
and he stunned; or, as Skeat suggests, that he should fight on foot,
instead, I suppose, of being rash on horseback.

141 _That we sall have, etc._ “That we shall have plenty to do

150 _In four battellis, fourty thousand._ _Cf._ on _Bk._ XIV. 270. The
numbers, of course, are improbable; but see next note.

179 _So hard ane fichting._ This battle I cannot trace in the _Annals_,
but Butler, the Justiciary, is said to have assembled an army of
30,000 against the Bruces, which did nothing; not, however, till April
(_Fragment_, p. 301).

182 _thre yheir._ Spring, 1315, to October, 1318.

185 _trappit horse._ See note on _Bk._ XI. 130.

187 _quhen lest wes he._ “He was always at the very least one to five.”

262 _forrouth Devillyn._ The Scots and the Ulster men were at Swords,
eight miles north of Dublin (_Hist. and Municip. Docts._, p. 451); at
Castleknock in the immediate neighbourhood on the west (_St. Mary’s
Annals_, p. 282; _Fragment_, 299), on the eve of St. Matthew’s Day,
February 23, 1317 (_Fragment_). They moved to a position in the
vicinity, where they stayed for four days, burned a part of the town,
and spoiled the churches (_ibid._).

265 _Lunyk._ Correctly Limerick, which is not, however, the “southmast
toune” in Ireland. The Scots came to Limerick, but were defeated at
Castle Connell (_Annals_, p. 353).

293 _Northwarde agane._ On May 1, 1317, Bruce took the road to Ulster
(_Fragment_, p. 302).

295 _Conage._ Connaught; _Myth_, Meath; _Irell_, _i.e._, Uriel or Oriel
= Louth, Armagh and Monaghan; _Munser_, Munster; _Lainenser_, Leinster.
Limerick is, of course, in Munster, which should come first.

301 _The kyngis._ See note on _Bk._ XIV. 102.

336 _hawch of Lyntoun-le._ A “haugh” is low-lying level ground,
generally beside water, river, or sea. “Lentalee, in the forest of
Jedworth” (Jedburgh), as Gray has it, is about two miles south of that
town. Gray groups this incident, as Barbour does, with the Scaithmoor
and Berwick fights, but in a different position (see note on _Bk._ XV.
435; and _Scala._, p. 143). “Lentelee” in Stevenson (_Illustrations_,
p. 3). “Near Jeddeworth” is the location of the “foray” in _Bain_
(iii., No. 576).

337 _a fayr maner._ The anonymous chronicler in Stevenson says
that Douglas was passing the time (_moram traxit_) in a sort of
fortification (_municioni quadam_) with 200 men (_Illustrations_, p. 3).

339 _gert purvay him richt weill._ The English found “much victuals” in
the place (_Stevenson_, p. 3).

342 _wonnand then._ The date of the fight is about April 23, 1317
(_Stevenson_, p. 3).

343 _Schir Thomas._ Sir Thomas Richmond was not an earl, but a
Yorkshire knight, owner of Burton-Constable, and a well-known figure
on the Border (_Bain_, iii., p. xxv, No. 178). The “Earl” in command
was the Earl of Arundel, appointed guardian of the district between
the Trent and Roxburgh on February 2, 1317 (_Rotuli Scotiæ_, i. 169;
_Illustrations_, p. 3). “Sir Edmund, Earl of Arundel, warden of the
March” (_Bain_, iii., No. 576).

352 _War passit than of the cuntre._ That is, King Robert and many
with him were in Ireland. So, too, in _Stevenson_: “The leaders of the
Scots being then engaged in war in Ireland, and Scotland being almost
destitute of men” (_Illustrations_, p. 3).

354-55 _the cuntre was Febill of men._ _Cf._ previous note.

357 _of the marchis._ But _cf._ note on 343.

360 _ten thousand men._ In Stevenson’s chronicler “thirty thousand men”
(_Illust._, p. 3). Officially it was called “a foray” (_Bain_, iii.,
No. 576). The English exaggeration is worse than Barbour’s.

363 _Till hewe doune Jedward forest._ Since the time of the Romans
and the disastrous march of Septimius Severus (third century) the
forests of Scotland had been recognized as the natural defences of the
country. They are, for the most part, the “strengths” which figure so
prominently in Barbour. See on Jedward, _Bk._ VIII. 427.

375 _And of archeris a gret menyhe._ _Cf._ note on 377.

380 _The entre._ As in the wood of the King’s Park (_Bk._ XI. 446).

383 _a penny-stane cast._ A “penny-stane” was a flat stone used as a
quoit, hence “as wide only as the throw of a quoit.”

384 _Douglas thiddir yheid._ “Douglas abandoned his position and
retired” (_Illustrations_, p. 3).

406 _on thame schot thai._ In _Stevenson_ this, the main attack,
follows the surprise at Lintalee (p. 4).

418 _reft the liff._ Richmond was slain (_Scala._, p. 143; _Stevenson_,
p. 4).

419 _Ane hat._ Hailes notes that “In _Histoire de Bretagne par
Lobineau_, t. i., p. 665, there is a portrait of Arthur de Richemont,
Duke of Brittany, with a _furred hat_, such as is described by Barbour”
(_Annals_, ii., p. 82 note). Richmond was identified by the hat on the
word of a prisoner. See lines 480-5.

441 _ane clerk, Elys._ “A clerk called Helias” (_Stevenson_, p. 3).
Stevenson says he was a “noble ‘schavaldur.’” See on this _Bk._ V. 205

442 _thre hundreth enymys._ “With thirty comrades” (_Stevenson_, p. 3).

444 _herbery had tane._ Ellis and his companions occupied Douglas’s
house, and took their fill (_se saciavit_) of the victuals there
(_Stevenson_, _ibid._).

450-1 _with suerdis.... Thai servit thame._ They despatched them with
the sword (_reliquos gladio jugulavit._ _Stevenson_, p. 4). The head of
Ellis was cut off, and placed in a humiliating position beside the body

458 “That addition to the repast was overmuch.”

472 _Till wend hamward._ “The said Earl (Arundel) retreated southwards
without doing more” (_Scala._, p. 143).

504 _forrouth._ Before, in _Bk._ IX. 570-630.

509 _Schir Johne de Sowlis._ _Cf._ _Bk._ XIV. 25, and note.

512-4 _With fifty men_, etc. _I.e._, Soulis had the fifty, Harcla the
three hundred.

518 _Schir Androu ... has tane._ Harcla was a prisoner with the Scots
at some date in November, 1316, when he asks the King of England for
help towards his ransom (_Bain_, iii. 514, 515, 697). He was ransomed
with difficulty (_Scala._, p. 149). He was executed in 1323 for
treasonable dealings with the Scots.

549 _besyde Enverkethyne._ Inverkeithing, Fife. Near Donibristle, says
Fordun’s continuator, showing that here he follows another source than
Barbour (_Scotic._, _Bk._ xii., chap. xxv.).

552 _The Erll of Fiff._ Duncan de Fife, the young Earl, with his mother
and step-father joined the Scots some little time before August 2,
1317, when his mother had her English manor forfeited (_Bain_, iii.,
No. 566). He came with a troop of five hundred armed men (_Scotic._, as

575 _Willyhame Syncler._ William St. Clair was the brother of Sir Henry
St. Clair of Roslin. He had been a canon of Dunkeld, and was elected
Bishop in 1312 (Dowden in _Scot. Hist. Rev._, vol. i., pp. 316-17). On
his return from Rome Edward II. tried to keep him in England (_Bain_,
iii. 301). In the _Wallace_ he figures as a Bishop already, and a
friend of the patriot (vii. 932; viii. 1225). He was among the four
bishops specially summoned to Rome to answer for their support of Bruce
in defiance of the Church.

592-3 _aucht weill to ma Of yhow._ “Should think highly of you!”

596 _The gilt spurs._ The sign of knighthood; to hew them off was a
ceremony of degradation (_cf._ line 598). So, too, in _Scotic._, as

635 _that yheit held unslayn._ “That had held or kept themselves from
being slain.”

676 _the Scottis Se._ The Firth of Forth. See on IX. 309.


13 _Redis Swyr._ The pass over Cheviot to the valley of the Rede, a
tributary of the Tyne. By it went the road from Jedburgh, and in it is
the site of the Battle of Otterburn, 1388. _Swyr_ is A.S. _swira_ or
_swera_, the neck.

15 _Outakin Berwik, it allane._ “One town in Scotland was left to the
King” (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 234). On September 20, 1317, and January
30, 1318, certain burgesses were going to England and France to
purchase provisions “for the munition of the town” (_Bain_, iii., Nos.
575, 588). To save expense (_Scala._), the defence of the town itself
had been entrusted to the mayor, bailiffs, and burgesses (_ibid._, No.
593; _Vita Edw._, p. 234; _Scala._, p. 148). According to Stevenson’s
Chronicler, the citizens had begged to be entrusted with the defence
because of their ill-treatment by the royal garrison, August 1, 1317
(p. 5).

17 _That capitane was._ Roger de Horslee, Keeper of the Castle (_Bain_,
iii., No. 607). He had been appointed, August 19, 1317, to command the
castle when the city was committed to the burgesses (_Stevenson_, p. 5;
_Rot. Scot._, i., p. 175). _Cf._ on 224.

19 _tretit thame richt ill._ On February 4, 1318, Edward appointed a
commission of three to “inquire into the disputes arisen, or likely to
arise, between the burgesses and the garrison of Berwick, to the danger
of the town” (_Bain_, iii., No. 589). _Cf._ note on 15.

23 _a burges, Sim of Spaldyng._ “Peter de Spalding” in _Scala._, p.
144; _Lanerc._, p. 234; _Illustr._, p. 5; _Trokelowe_, p. 103, etc.
The _Annales Paulini_ adds John Drory and other accomplices (p. 282).
“Peter de Spalding” is on the roll of the garrison of Berwick in 1312
(_Bain_, iii., p. 399). He was an Englishman living in the town, and
received a large sum of money in addition to the promise of lands
(_Lanercost_, pp. 234-235). “A royal sergeant retained by the citizens
in the defence of the town.” Douglas, it was said, “corrupted” him with
promises of £800 (_Stevenson_, p. 5). Spalding’s request for his money
was “obnoxious” to the Scots, and he was put to death on a trumped-up
charge of treason (_ibid._).

28 _the marschall._ Sir Robert Keith.

35 _the Kow-yhet._ Still the Cow-port (gate) in the middle of the north
side of the town.

45 _Ane or othir suld wrethit be._ _I.e._, “if he chose anyone to help
him, somebody else was sure to be offended.” Apparently he would have
to choose between Moray and Douglas. _Cf._ lines 55-7.

64 _Duns park._ A favourite rendezvous in that neighbourhood for the
Scots army. The “park” would be wooded. In June, 1315, Bruce was
reported to be collecting an army in “the Park of Duns,” either to
invade England or to besiege Berwick (_Bain_, iii., No. 440).

67 _Athir with ane quheyne of men._ Bruce gets out of the dilemma by
choosing both leaders, each to bring a small party of his men.

72 _the day._ April 2, 1318 (_Lanerc._, p. 234; _Ann. Paul._, p. 282).
_Circa_ March 25 (_Illustrations_, p. 5). Edward is preparing to retake
Berwick on April 18, 1318 (_Rot. Scot._, i., p. 181).

94 _the nycht._ The Scots entered “about midnight after the Sabbath
day” (_Lanerc._, p. 234). Edward, “much enraged,” reports that the
mayor and bailiffs “allowed the Scottish rebels to enter and take
possession,” “through carelessness,” and orders goods belonging to the
community of Berwick to be everywhere arrested; April 13, 15 (_Bain_,
iii., Nos. 593, 594).

97 _hald a staill._ “Occupy a position.” _Cf._ _Bk._ XV. 341.

105 _till the gude._ “For the goods.” Singular form as plural; see
Grammar. _Cf._ also _twa part_ in 103 for two parts.

125 _gat the castell._ “Got to the castle.”

128 _in the bargane slane._ Few were slain apart from those who
resisted (_Lanerc._, p. 235; _Stevenson_, p. 5). According to Baker, in
the capture of the town and castle no one was slain who was willing to
submit (_qui voluit obedire_, p. 59).

134 _the baner._ Apparently the Scots had assembled (“stuffit”) round
their banner in the “staill” (97).

150-1 _Wilyhame ... of Keth, and of the Gawlistoune._ Sir William Keith
of Galston, known by either surname, of Keith or of Galston (152).
Galston was in Kyle, Ayrshire, and there were Keiths in it at least a
hundred years after (_Reg. Mag. Sig._, p. 228; 17).

176 _all that fell_, etc. “All that would serve to provision the town.”
_Cf._ on 15.

185 _the Mers and Tevidaill._ The part of Berwickshire next the Border,
“the March,” and Teviotdale.

198 _on the sext day._ Gray says the castle held out for eleven weeks,
and as his father was then in garrison at Norham, he is probably about
right. The castle surrendered for lack of food (_Scala._, p. 144).
The account in Stevenson’s _Chronicle_ also implies a siege longer
than five days; for he speaks of King Robert assailing the castle with
siege-engines, and failing, and of the Scots then settling down to
starve out the garrison (_Illust._, p. 5). Horslee was at Newcastle
with the garrison on July 20--that is, about sixteen weeks after the
fall of the town--so that the surrender of the castle must have taken
place somewhat earlier in the month. Horslee and his garrison had to
be supported by the town, and the account therefore would begin with
their arrival (_Bain_, iii., No. 607). _Cf._ on line 226.

200 _till thair cuntre syne went thai._ Life and goods were granted
them on surrender (_Stevenson_, p. 5). _Cf._ previous note.

203 _soyn eftir._ But, according to the account in _Stevenson_, King
Robert assisted at the attack on the castle. See on 198.

222 _At = that._ “That he took in hand to hold Berwick.”

224 _Bath the castell, and the dungeoune._ In his former references
Barbour has used the term “castle” to include both the tower or
“donjon” or keep and the surrounding wall, apart from the wall of the
town proper. The wall (or “wallis”), he says in 169, 170, was not then
in a very defensible state. Here he goes back to an older and more
technical usage before these two independent elements--donjon and
enclosure fortified with a wall--had quite coalesced. The evidence
for this differentiation is given at length by Mr. Round in his
_Geoffrey de Mandeville_, Appendix O. One of the citations is precisely
parallel to Barbour’s expressions here, the description of a grant of
Dublin--town, castle, and donjon--in 1172 to Hugh de Lacy:

  “Li riche rei ad dunc baillé (has then entrusted)
  Dyvelin en garde, _la cité
  E la chastel e le dongun_,
  A Huge de Laci le barun.”

These, then, are the three elements here: the town, which had its own
wall; the “castle,” strictly speaking, or walled enclosure; and the
“donjon” within the latter.

226 _Ryde in-till Inglande._ The _Lanercost_ writer places this raid
in the month of May, and, it would seem, after the fall of the castle
(see on line 198). The Scots on this occasion penetrated England
farther than usual, reaching Ripon, Knaresborough, and Skipton, in
Craven--_i.e._, covering a large part of Yorkshire (p. 235). The _Gesta
de Carn._ also dates this raid in May, “soon after Easter,” and says
the Scots went as far as Bolton Abbey (p. 55).

227 _gret plente of fee._ They brought back “a crowd of cattle
past numbering” (_Lanerc._, p. 236). They searched the woods of
Knaresborough for the cattle hidden there, and got possession of them
(p. 235).

228-9 _sum cuntreis trewit he For vittale._ _I.e._, “he made a truce
with some districts in return for a supply of victual.” The Scots
spoiled Ripon, but refrained from burning the town on payment of 1,000
marks (_Lanerc._, p. 235).

236 _But burges and but oblesteris._ Skeat takes exception to
“burgesses,” but the town had previously been defended by the burgesses
(_cf._ on 15), and some, no doubt, were willing “to obey” the Scots
(_cf._ on 128). E reads _burdowys_, which Jamieson supposed to mean
“men who fought with clubs,” while Skeat suggests that it is “_burdouis
for burdonis_--_i.e._, mules!” Mules are a less probable part of
the garrison than burgesses. “Oblesteris” are _arblasters_--_i.e._,
crossbow-men, a minor but constant part of both English and Scottish
armies of the time.

239 _Johne Crab._ A famous sea-rover of the east coast, as on the west
was Thomas Dun (_Bk._ XIV. 376, note). In 1319 Edward was complaining
to the Count of Flanders of his “outrages,” and the Count answered
(November 19) that “Crabbe” had been banished for murder, and that
“he will punish him on the wheel if he catches him” (_Bain_, iii.,
No. 673). He was captured in 1332 near Roxburgh, and because the
“ungrateful Scots” refused to ransom him he transferred his services to
the English (_Lanerc._, p. 270), and for his assistance at the Siege
of Berwick in 1333 was pardoned “all his homicides, felonies, etc., by
sea or land” (_Bain_, iii., 1090). He therefore cannot be the “Cryn, a
Fleming, an admiral of the sea, a robber,” killed by Sir Thomas Gray
in 1321-2, as is supposed by Sir Herbert Maxwell (_Robert the Bruce_,
p. 267, note; _The Scalacronica_, trans., p. 63, note). Crab is on
record till 1347 (_Bain_, No. 1504). But “Cryn” may be his nephew “John
Crabbekyn” (_Bain_, iii., No. 417). The Scots slew his son (_Lanerc._,
p. 270). A John Crab gets lands from Bruce in Aberdeen, which, with
those in Berwick, are transferred to another in the reign of David II.
(Robertson’s _Index_, 15, 21, etc. ... 32, 9), apparently on his going
over to England. He is not, therefore, likely to be the John Crab, a
burgess of Aberdeen in later times, and a member of Parliament (1365,
1367), as the editor of the _Exchequer Rolls_, II., postulates (p.
lxxxii., note: Index).

245 _engynis and trammys._ “Siege-engines and structures of wood.”

246 _grec fyre._ In all probability “Greek fire,” as Skeat suggests;
“t”and “c” are almost indistinguishable in the MSS. of the time. “Greek
fire” was the mother of gunpowder; it was a liquid made of sulphur and
saltpetre, with the addition of inflammable oils, and its purpose was
to set woodwork on fire (_cf._ Oman’s _Art of War_, pp. 546, 547). It
was used at the Siege of Stirling in 1304 (_Bain_).

247 _Spryngaldis and schotis._ The _springal_ (_espringale_) was a
great crossbow on a frame, whose cord was drawn back by a winch; the
“shots” were its bolts, or “long darts”: _springaldis, ad longa spicula
emittenda_ (_Lanercost_, p. 231) at the siege of Carlisle in 1315.

250 _gynis for crakkis._ Contrivances for making explosions--_i.e._,
guns, which at first seem to have been valued for this quality.

271 _ger dik thame._ _I.e._, the English were to surround their own
encampment at Berwick with a rampart for further security, and to keep
off the Scots who might come to its relief.

278 _thoucht all suth._ “Thought quite rightly.”

285 _Of Lancister the Erll Thomas._ Bain says that, though Lancaster
was clearly summoned (_Fœdera_, iii., p. 784), “Walsingham, who was
not contemporary, seems the only authority for his presence, and
if his men had been there they would have been found on the roll,”
where they are not given (iii., p. xxvi). But a letter from Hugh le
Despenser, the younger, printed by Stevenson in his notes to the
_Chronicle of Lanercost_, expressly names the Earl of Lancaster as
having been present (p. 422). Despenser also was at Berwick, and his
letter (Anglo-French) is dated September 21 at Newcastle. Strangest
fact, Bain, who knew the _Chron. de Lanerc._, overlooked the mention of
Lancaster having accompanied the King to Berwick on p. 239. In _Vita
Edw. Sec._, too, Lancaster is among those at Berwick (pp. 241, 244).
Also in _Annal. Paul._, p. 286; _Illustrations_, p. 56. _Cf._ notes
below. Maxwell, too, cites Barbour only for Lancaster’s presence (p.
265, note).

286 _That syne wes sanctit._ See note on 874.

295 _all this menyhe._ According to the pay-sheet, August 1 to
September 24, 8,080 men, apart, however, from the following of
Lancaster (_cf._ on 285 and 852) and the sailors (_Bain_, iii., No.
668). In _Annal. Paul._ 30,000 horse! (p. 286).

298 _Ordanit ane felde._ The “Magdalen Fields” surrounding the town.
“The army was spread ont, on the land side, round the circuit of the
town” (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 242).

306 _all the havyn wes stoppit._ “On the side of the sea the sailors
present from the Cinque Ports (_Quinque Portubus_) so watched the
entries and exits that no one could possibly get out” (_Vita Edw._, p.

318-9 _sib him ner, Or ... his allye._ “Either near relatives or those
closely attached to him by some personal tie.” “Allye,” Fr. _allié_,
is a trisyllable. It does not seem to signify, as Skeat suggests,
allied “by various marriages,” but only the latter part of the phrase,
“relatives and personal friends.”

335 _our Ladeis evin._ September 7, 1319. So Despenser, in his letter,
says Edward came before Berwick on September 7, and “laid siege to the
town, with all his host, by sea and by land” (_par myer et par terre._
_Lanerc._, p. 422). The English army entered Scotland on August 29
(_Ann. Paul._, p. 286).

343 _coveryngis._ Special protective dresses, such as the miner’s
“basket” of wicker for those breaching the wall.

344 _howis ... staff slyngis._ The first were possibly picks on
long poles, so resembling hoes, used for pulling down defences. The
staff-sling consisted of a wooden shaft about a yard long, to one end
of which was attached a sling. The slinger held it by the other end
with both hands, and so could discharge a stone or bullet with great

359 _ilk kyrneill._ Each casement or open interval of the battlement.
In the repairs of the castle in 1344 the portion of the wall renewed
was to be 8 feet broad at “the kernels” (_Bain_, iii., No. 1434).

380 _Sa law._ Edward I. had begun to surround Berwick with a stone
wall, but Hugh de Cressingham, his Treasurer (1297), had not spent on
it the money given for its completion (_Hemingburgh_, ii., p. 127).

409 _the brighous._ A barbican or outwork on which the drawbridge
rested. In January, 1316, Bruce tried to enter Berwick _inter brighous
et castrum_ (_Lanercost_, p. 232).

421 _scho ebbit._ _I.e._, the tide ebbed, and she grounded. A ship
grounding in a very low tide (neap) is still said to be “neaped.”

501 _he wald nocht sa soyne assale._ The English chroniclers say he
would not venture to fight with the army of their King (_Lanerc._, p.
239; _Illust._, p. 6). On September 9 Edward writes to the Chancellor
that “he hears that Robert de Brus and his allies and supporters
(_fautours_) are bound by oaths and hostages to relieve the garrison of
Berwick on a fixed day, and will do everything they can” (_Bain_, iii.,
No. 664). He therefore summons to Berwick the whole array of York, but
Bruce took his own way of relieving.

505 _lordis twa._ As here, Moray and Douglas (_Lanerc._, p. 239; _Gesta
de Carn._, p. 57).

508 _xv. thousand._ “A very great army” (_Illustr._, p. 6); “no
small army” (_Gesta de Carn._, p. 57); “xx. thousand of the Scottis”
(_Capgrave_, p. 184).

515 _thair wiffis._ In their previous raid (see on 226) the Scots took
captive both men and women (_Lanerc._, p. 236).

528 _it wes pite._ “The Scots were raiding savagely in England”
(_Scotis in Anglia sæventibus._--_Trokelowe_, p. 103). “Clearing
(_depopulantes_) Northumbria, the bishopric of Durham and Alvertonshire
(York), they came as far as Burghbrig” (_Illust._, p. 66). “They burnt
the country and took captives and booty of animals, advancing as far as
Burghbrigge” (_Lanercost_, p. 239). “Burning and spoiling the country
on all sides” (_Gesta de Carn._, p. 57).

535 _Burrow-brig._ Boroughbridge, on the Ure, near its junction with
the Swale, Yorkshire; see previous note. According to Fordun, Moray
was at “Boru-brig” at the end of the month of August (_Gesta Annalia_,

536 _Mytoun thar-by._ Myton is on the Swale, near its junction with the
Ure, and so a little east of Boroughbridge.

541 _Prestis, clerkis, monkis, and freris, etc._ There were two abbots,
monks, friars, many priests, with countrymen and townsfolk (_Illustr._,
p. 7; _Lanerc._, p. 239; _Scala._, p. 148).

544 _Weill twenty thousand._ Ten thousand in _Trokelowe_, p. 103; both
numbers excessive.

546 _The Archbischop of York._ William de Melton (_Gesta de Carn._,
p. 57; and _Lanercost_, _Illustr._, etc., as cited). He lost much
furniture in the battle, including silver and brass plate (_North.
Reg._, p. 295).

552 _other byschoppis._ Only the Bishop of Ely, then staying at York
(_Illust._, p. 7; _Lanerc._, p. 239).

559 _in-till battellis twa._ “The Scots gathered together, as their
wont was, in a single schiltron” (_Lanerc._, p. 239). They “divided” to
take up the chase (_ibid._).

573-4 _sic abasing Tuk thame._ The English accounts give it that
their men had no proper leader nor skill in war, while the Scots were
excellently equipped in both respects. The strangely assorted array
advanced in no proper order of battle, so that the Scots said: “These
are not soldiers, they are sportsmen; they won’t be much good” (“_Hi
non bellatores sed venatores; non multum proficient._”--_Vita Edw._,
p. 244). The Scots then gave a great shout, and the English in terror
turned and fled (_Lanerc._, p. 239).

583 _weill ane thousand._ All accounts agree that there was a
considerable slaughter of the priestly and inexpert warriors, but the
English estimates of the slain are much higher than Barbour’s: more
than a thousand, besides the drowned (_Ann. Paul._, p. 287); “2,000
slain with the sword” (_Illustr._, p. 7); 3,000 (_Trokelowe_, p. 103);
4,000 (_Lanerc._, p. 239); besides those drowned in the Swale, about
a thousand, says the _Lanercost_ writer (_ibid._); “more than the
sword slew” (_Gesta de Carn._, p. 58). There were also many captives,
afterwards redeemed; _cf._ line 579 (_ibid._, _Vita Edw._, p. 244). A
chantry chapel was afterwards erected for the souls of the slain, and
endowed by their friends; to this end a piece of ground was asked from
the King in October, 1325 (_Bain_, iii., No. 875).

597 _Of gret gestis ane Sow._ Probably, as Skeat hints, for
“gestis”--_i.e._, joists, great beams, which is more likely than Fr.
_gestes_, “deeds” to which it is hard to give, in this connection,
a suitable meaning. The famous “Sow” is referred to in _Lanercost_
(_suem_), p. 239. See below. It was otherwise known as the _cat_,
and was constructed of stout beams, being strictly a penthouse or
shelter for the men mining the wall. So here in line 600, and in the
_Lanercost_ account (_ad murum suffodiendum_, p. 239). But in the
present case it is combined with the _beffroi_, or movable tower (lines
601-2), giving the “sow-castle” or “cat-castle” (_cf._ Oman’s _Art of
War_, pp. 548, 549). Hailes and Skeat miss this point.

598 _stalward heling._ A strong covering of hides, or, possibly, of
iron plates.

634 _the Rude-evyn._ The eve of the Exaltation of the Rood, September

674 _draw the cleket._ Probably then “she” was a _mangonel_, in which
a movable beam, between uprights, was pressed back by ropes, and then
suddenly let go from a catch (“cleket”), discharges a stone; or a
_trebuchet_, in which the same result was obtained by poising the beam
in the middle, and loading the other end with a heavy weight, which
added to the force of the missile.

689 _set thar-to juntly._ “Set close up to.” _Cf._ line 704. In the
_Wallace_, Stirling Bridge “off gud playne burd was weill and _juntly_
maid” (vii. 1148).

690 _bend in hy._ _Cf._ on 674.

691 _wappyt._ The correct Scots form. C has _swappit_. _Cf._ _Gest.
Historiale_, “_wappid_ (knocked) to ground” (7297), and “A _wap_ wi a
corner-stane o’ Wolf’s Crag wad defy the doctor” (Scott’s _Bride of
Lammermoor_, Border edit., P. 349).

713 _top-castellis._ “Fighting-tops” on the mast, in addition to the
structures rising fore and aft above the deck, “fore-castle” and

756 _The barras._ The “barriers,” a fortified post at the outer end of
the drawbridge. See _Glossary_.

757 _and brynt it doune._ Skeat, in his rubric, explains that they
“burnt the drawbridge”--a foolish thing to do if they wanted to cross
the ditch! But what seems to have happened was this: the besiegers
first seized the “barras,” then brought “doune” the bridge by burning
the tackle, probably of ropes and beams, by which it was drawn up
against the gate, and so were able to cross, and make their attempt to
burn their way through the gate itself. So, too, they could retreat
(790) over the fallen bridge. _Cf._ in _Morte Arthure_:

  “Brittenes (destroys) theire barrers with theire bryghte wapyns,
  Bett down a barbycan, and the brygge wynnys.”


828 _on the morne._ _I.e._, of September 14, seven days after the
first attack. Despenser says that the news from England came “before
he had been at Berwick (_demorce_) eight days” (as cited), practically
corroborating Barbour.

829 _Thar come tithandis._ So in Despenser’s letter; in _Lanercost_ (p.
239); _Gesta de Carn._ (p. 58).

842 _His consell fast discordit then._ The _Lanercost_ writer says the
King wished to send a part of his army into England to deal with the
Scots, and keep on the siege with the remainder; but the nobles were
unwilling to divide their army and not fight with the returning Scots,
and so the whole army started south for this purpose (p. 239).

852 _Loncastell._ Despenser attributes the raising of the siege to the
“procurement” of Lancaster (_Lanerc._, p. 422). Stevenson’s chronicler
says the siege would have been successful “had not disturbers of
the peace sown discord between the King and the Earl of Lancaster”
(_Illust._, p. 6). As is here suggested, the friction had been going
on for some time according to the author of the _Gesta_, who explains
in detail how the mischief-making was done (p. 57). In the _Vita Edw.
Sec._ various accounts are collected regarding Lancaster’s action,
including the “vulgar” story that he had been bribed by Bruce, and
there is a discourse of several pages on treason and avarice (p. 244
_et seq._).

855 _he._ Here is the King; in 858 _he_ is Lancaster. The King was
inclined to side with the Southerners, whose homes, of course, were in
no danger from the Scots. _Cf._ previous note.

862 _his way he tais._ According to the _Vita Edw._, the King went one
way to meet the retreating Scots, Lancaster another (as cited).

864 _fell eftir sic debat._ In 1321 Lancaster and his supporters took
up arms against the King and his advisers, the Despensers, on account
of misgovernment. Each party blamed the other for the misfortunes of
the Scottish war. In March of the following year the Lancastrians were
defeated at Boroughbridge by Sir Andrew de Harclay, himself afterwards
executed for alleged treasonable dealings with the Scots. Lancaster was
captured, and beheaded at Pomfret (_cf._ line 868).

869 _on the hill besyde the toune._ “On a certain little hill”
(_monticulo_) beside Pomfret (_Lanerc._, p. 244).

871 _syne drawin and hangit._ Though this was in the sentence, it
was, by special favour of the King, not carried out. Lancaster, being
a relative, was simply beheaded. In any case the drawing and hanging
would have come before the beheading. See on IV. 322.

872 _a fair menyhe._ Many others suffered capital punishment for their
share in this rising. The _Lanercost_ writer gives one baron and three
knights as having been drawn and hanged in Pomfret at this time, with
further details of other victims (p. 245). _Cf._ also _Baker_, pp. 65,
66. The names of five hanged on the same day at Pomfret are given in
_Annal. Paul._, p. 303.

874 _martir was, Wes sanctit and myraclis did._ Lancaster was popularly
regarded as a saint, a martyr for righteous government; he having been
also a liberal man to the Church and the poor. There were, of course,
doubters of his sanctity (_Vita Edw. Sec._: contin., p. 290). A chapel
was erected on the hill on which he was beheaded; crowds of pilgrims
flocked to it, and miracles were said to be worked by God through him
(_Lanerc._, pp. 244-5; _Fœdera_, iv., p. 421). There was a special
service for him--an “Office of St. Thomas of Lancaster,” printed in
Wright’s _Political Songs_ (pp. 268-272). Edward III., whose accession
was the triumph of the opposition to his father, requested the Pope to
give Thomas regular canonization (_Fœdera_, iv., p. 421). Capgrave says
he was canonized in 1389, when all concerned in his execution were dead
(p. 253).

889 _thai tuk westward the way._ The Scots in England retired about
September 14, going westwards (_versus occidentem tendentes_) by
Airedale and Wharfdale, and so home by “Gratsehals” (_Gesta Edw.
Carn._, p. 58). When they heard the siege was raised they returned
to Scotland by Staynmore and Gillesland and “those western parts”
(_Lanerc._ p. 240). _Cf._ also _Illustrations_, p. 7.

891 _With prayis, and with presoneris._ “With prisoners and plunder of
cattle” (_Lanerc._, p. 240). Also _Gesta Edw._, p. 58; _Vita Edw._, p.
244. _Prayis_ is a plural signifying different kinds of “prey.”

922-3 _brynt had The brig._ _Cf._ on 757.

940 _Berwyk his toune._ As the reading from E shows, this is a
possessive of a type usually confined to proper names. _Cf._ III. 232;
VI. 435, etc.; and _Grammar_.

946 _Till help his brothir._ Wrong by a year. The siege of Berwick was
in September, 1319; Edward Bruce was killed in the previous year. The
succours here sent were dispatched in September or October, 1318. See
on _Bk._ XVIII. 3, 110.


3 _A day forrouth thair arivyng._ So, too, Gray declares that Edward
Bruce “from over-boldness (_pur surquidery_) was not willing to wait
his reinforcements (_soun poair_) which had lately arrived, and were
within six leagues (miles) of him” (_Scala._, p. 143)--_i.e._, within
a day’s march. Gray, it will be observed, applies the same quality
to Edward Bruce as Barbour does in line 183. The same explanation
occurs in the _Annals of Clonmacnoise_ (pp. 281, 282). The _Lanercost_
chronicler, on the contrary, says that the “great army” which had
“newly come” from Scotland to his assistance had joined Edward before
his advance to Dundalk (p. 238).

8-9 _twa thousand, Outane the Kyngis of Erischry._ The _Annals of
Ireland_ give the Scots 3,000 (p. 359), so that Barbour is probably
about right. The chronicler in Stevenson’s _Illustrations_ makes the
Scots 30,000 (p. 3)! The “Irish Kings” here include MacRory, “King” of
the Hebrides (“Insi-Gall”), and MacDonald, “King” of Argyll, who were
both slain (_Annals of Ulster_, ii., p. 433; _Annals of Clonmacnoise_,
p. 281. _Cf._ note on line 443).

12 _Richard of Clare._ Barbour is misinformed; Richard de Clare was
killed five months before, May 11 (_Annals of Ulster_, ii., pp. 433 and
432, note 5; _Annals of Ireland_, p. 35). The English were commanded by
Sir John de Birmingham (_Annals of Ireland_, p. 359; _Baker_, p. 58).

17 _tuenty thousand._ Such a number of horse is obviously absurd, as is
also the total of “forty thousand” below.

33 _Men sayis._ _Cf._ on 3: “My brothir” is Walter, the High Steward.

75 _nane of us._ Not true of the Scots-Irish. _Cf._ note on 8-9.

89 _fourty thousand neir._ _Cf._ line 93, and note on 17. The
_Lanercost_ chronicler says the English were but “a few country-folk”
(_paucis et popularibus_; p. 238), probably an exaggeration the other

95 _cot-armour._ The surcoat over his armour, bearing his coat-of-arms.

101 _till assemmyll._ The battle took place near the hill of Faughard
or Fagher, about two miles from Dundalk. The spot where Edward Bruce
fell is still shown by the natives. The date is given by Hailes,
Bain, and others, following the version of the _Annals_ in Camden’s
_Chronicle_ as October 5; but in the later edition of the _Annals_ and
in the _Annals of Ulster_ and of _Clonmacnoise_ it is precisely fixed
as Saturday, October 14, 1318, from which the _Lanercost_ chronicler
differs by a day only, October 13 (_Lanercost_, p. 238; _Annals of
Ulster_, p. 433; _Annals of Ireland_, p. 359; _Annals of Clonmacnoise_,
p. 281); Fordun also October 14 (_Skene_, i., p. 348).

104 _ruschit with thair fais._ In the _Lanercost Chronicle_ it is
explained that the Scots were in three battles too far apart, and that
thus each as it attacked was disposed of before the next could come to
its assistance. Edward was with the third battle (p. 238).

110 _Johne de Sowlis als._ But John de Soules appears to have been dead
_circa_ 1316, when the husband of his “daughter and heir” petitioned
Edward II. for his Scottish lands (_Bain_, iii., No. 530). The date,
however, is doubtful.

113 _That few ... war slayne._ According to the _Vita Edw. Sec._, five
hundred stout men-at-arms (_valentes armati_) were slain, besides
Edward Bruce (p. 238); almost all were slain, says _Lanercost_,
except those only who escaped by flight (p. 238); not a single one
escaped, declares _Knighton_ (i., p. 412), but this is absurd. Two
thousand, almost all the Scots, were slain, but a few got away (_Annals
of Ireland_, p. 360). Only a few escaped out of thirty thousand
(Stevenson, _Illustrations_, p. 3).

117 _Johne Tomassun._ No doubt the same John Thomson (_Johannes
videlicet Thomæ_), a stout commoner (_valens vernaclus_), who in
1333 was holding out in the “peel” of Lochdoon against Edward III.
(_Scotichr._, lib. xiii., chap. xxviii.).

123 _Johne cummyn._ Skeat prints the verb with a capital, as if
“cummyn” was a personal name. Obviously “Johne” is Thomson.

125 _Schir Philipe the Mowbray._ The defender of Stirling Castle before
Bannockburn: mortally wounded (_Annals of Ir._, p. 360).

167 _strak his hed of._ The _Lanercost_ writer says Edward Bruce was
beheaded after death, and his body divided into four parts, which were
sent to the four chief towns of Ireland (p. 238). According to Barbour,
it was Gilbert Harper’s head. For the beheading, see also _Trokelowe_,
p. 103, and Stevenson’s _Illustrations_, p. 3.

183 _owtrageous succudry._ _Cf._ extract from _Scalacronica_ in note on

215 _Richard of Clare._ But see note on 12.

224 _Johne Mawpas._ According to the _Annals_, John Mawpas slew Edward
Bruce, and was himself found dead over his body. John de Birmyngham
brought the head to Edward III. (p. 360). Probably he thus earned the
reward offered for injury to Edward in life or limb, on September 3,
1316 (_Patent Rolls_, p. 551).

225 _Quhilk._ Koeppel points out that this is the only example of
this word otherwise than in the form _the quhilk that_, and therefore
suggests that E gives the original reading (_Englische Studien_, x.

230 _tuk purpos._ 1322. Barbour passes over four years, and says
nothing of a destructive raid of the Scots on the West March in
June-July of this year, in which they went as far south as Preston
(_Lanercost_, p. 246; _Knighton_, i., p. 428; _Bain_, iii., No. 761;
_Fœdera_, iii., p. 960).

235 _richt gret hoost._ “A very great army” (_Lanercost_, 247). “With
a very large army ... having an armed foot-soldier from each town in
England, besides his knights and esquires” (_Scala._, p. 149. So also
_Gesta Edwardi de Carnarvon_, p. 78; _Knighton_, i. 428; _Baker_, p.

249 _with-draw all the catele._ “The Scots fled with all their
possessions, at their approach (_a facie eorum_), to safe places;
stripped their own land wholly bare, and cleared the districts of all
the goods” (_Trokelowe_, p. 125). “The Scots, having cleared away or
conveyed with them beyond the Scottish Sea (the Forth) everything that
could be easily carried, left for the English a land bare of victuals”
(_Baker_, p. 66). Edward told the Archbishop of Canterbury that he
found neither “man nor beast” (_Bain_, iii., No. 778). So also in
_Knighton_, i., p. 428.

253 _with his hoost als still he lay._ “The Scots, in their usual
fashion, withdrew, and did not dare to fight with him” (_Lanercost_,
p. 247). The English traversed the country, meeting with no resistance
(_Baker_, p. 66).

254 _At Culros._ In Fife, on the Forth, opposite Boness (_cf._ note on

261 _in Lowdiane._ Edward was at Gosford, in Haddingtonshire, on August
5 (_Bain_, iii., No. 761). He had taken the coast-road in order to do
more damage (_ibid._, 778).

262 _till Edinburgh._ _Scala._, p. 149; _Fordun_; _Skene_, i., p. 349.
There is a record of a grant by Edward at Edinburgh on August 22, and
of payments made at Leith on August 23, so that he may have been there
longer than three days; _cf._ above on 261 (_Bain_, iii., Nos. 764,
765). On August 17, however, a pardon is dated from Lauder (_ibid._,

264 _Thair schippes._ At some date in August, probably later than
above, for the King, it would appear, had left, a cargo of medicine
came by sea to Edinburgh (Leith) from Newcastle (_ibid._, 766). Fordun
speaks of a vast multitude of ships (_copiosa multitudine_: _Fordun_,
i. 349).

268 _Thair vittale._ “Having used up the food on land, and that by sea
everywhere failing them” (_Trokelowe_, p. 125).

276 _Tranentis corne._ Tranent is between Musselburgh and Haddington.

283 _derrest beiff._ In Bower, “That this beef was too dear,” Warenne
punning in the Latin, _Quod illius tauri caro erat nimis cara_
(_Scotichr._, ii., p. 278).

289-290 _of fasting had gret payne, etc._ “A very great part of the
army was wasted with hunger, and a great number perished from want of
food,” and so they returned (_Trokelowe_, p. 125). The _Lanercost_
writer speaks of lack of victuals, and illness, dysentery, among the
soldiers, from both of which many died (p. 247). _Scalacronica_ concurs
(p. 149), also Fordun (_Skene_, i. 349). The English were thus forced
to retreat (_ibid._). Knighton puts the English losses at about fifteen
thousand (i., p. 428); 30,000 (!) from starvation (_Flores Hist._,
iii., p. 210).

291 _In-till Melros._ “The King’s hobelers (light horse) foraging at
Melrose were defeated by James Douglas” (_Scala._, p. 149). _Cf._
lines 292-3. Knighton says the English came to Melrose, when, most
unexpectedly, the Scots rushed on them from the mountains, and slew
three hundred and more (i., p. 428). According to Fordun, the English
slew and wounded several of the monks, and committed other sacrilege
(_Gesta Annal._; _Skene_, i., pp. 349, 350).

339 _by Driburgh._ They burned the monastery to the ground (_Fordun_,

341 _till Ingland._ Edward is at Fenham, on the coast of
Northumberland, by September 4, or thereabout (_Bain_, iii., No. 767).

346 _our the Scottis Se._ _Cf._ note on 249.

349 _Auchty thousand._ Certainly an exaggerated number. Each “battle,”
as almost invariably with Barbour (_cf._ note on _Bk._ XI.), represents
ten thousand men. Bruce had, however, a considerable force (_exercitu
non modico_; _Gesta Edw. de Carn._, p. 79), having, according to
Gray, assembled the whole power of Scotland, of the Isles, and of the
Highlands (_dez autres pays hautz_; _Scala._, p. 149). Exactly parallel
is the statement in _Lanercost_, p. 247.

352 _on to Ingland._ By the Solway on October 1, 1322 (_Lanercost_, p.
247; _Gesta Ann._, p. 350).

355 _to Byland._ Byland is in the North Riding of Yorkshire, near
Helmsley, on the right bank of the Rye. In _Gesta Edw._ “Bella-landa”
(p. 79). The affair at Byland was on October 21 (note in _Stevenson_
from Cotton MS., c. 1325, p. 55); October 14 (_Flores Hist._, iii., p.

356-7 _wes liand The King of Ingland, etc._ So placed, too, in _Gesta
Edw. de Carn._: the King “in monasterio de Bella-landa,” and the army
on a high mountain above the monastery (p. 79); by Fordun (_Skene_,
i. 350); and by Higden (_Polychron._, viii., p. 316). Trokelowe, too,
suggests the same, saying the Scots followed the King as far as Byland
Abbey, in the district of “Rye Valley” (_Realis Vallis_, p. 125). The
escape was “near Byland, close to the Abbey of Rievaulx,” when the King
was crossing over (_Flores Hist._, iii., p. 210). But the _Lanercost_
chronicler locates the King in Rievaulx Abbey (Rievaulx = Realis
Vallis), on the opposite bank of the Rye (p. 247); and an order from
Edward to the Earl of Pembroke “to raise the country towards Byland” is
dated from Rievaulx, October 13 (_Bain_, iii., No. 790). In Stevenson’s
_Chronicle_, too, the King is at Rievaulx, while Pembroke (Valence) and
Richmond and other lords are at “Beghland” (_Illustrations_, p. 7).

365 _Ane craggy bra._ _Cf._ preceding note. “A strength (_un
forteresce_) on a hill near Biland” (p. 149). “A certain mountain
between the Abbey of Biland and the Abbey of Rievaulx” (_Lanercost_, p.

366 _a gret peth._ “A certain path (_viam_) on the mountain, narrow and
confined” (_arctam et strictam_; _Lanercost_, p. 247). “A very narrow
road where scarce ten could go abreast” (_vix 10 in fronte meabile._
Stevenson’s _Illustrations_, p. 7).

373-4 _Went to the path, etc._ The Earl of Richmond, John of Brittany,
was sent with his followers to examine the Scottish army “from a
certain mountain, etc.” (_cf._ on 365. _Lanercost_, _ibid._).

409 _Thomas Ouchtre(d)._ “Arthyn,” as in C., is not known, and is
clearly wrong, for Sir Thomas Ughtred, or Ouchtred, was captured here,
as Barbour says in line 426 (_Bain_, iii., No. 806).

419 _Stanis apon thame._ “He (Richmond) strove with them by throwing
down stones” (_per lapides projectos._ _Lanercost_, p. 247).

427 _he wes tane._ _Cf._ on line 409.

443 _all the Erischry._ _I.e._, the Highlanders and Islesmen, who spoke
Gaelic or Irish. _Cf._ on line 349.

454 _aboun the bra._ The Scots ascended above them (_super eos._
_Lanercost_, _ibid._).

458 _the hycht has tane._ “The Scots ascended between the trees through
the middle of the grove” (_Gesta Edw._, p. 79). The fight took place
“on the summit of a hill near Byland” (_ibid._, p. 82).

462-4 _Johne Bretane, etc._ _Cf._ on line 373.

469 _thar wes tane._ John of Brittany, Earl of Richmond, a prisoner
in Scotland, October 27 (_Bain_, iii., Nos. 792, 793). Still detained
in Scotland, December 10 (_ibid._, No. 795). Captured at Byland
(Stevenson, _Illustrations_, p. 7).

472 _lord of Souly._ Henry, Lord of Sully, a prisoner (_Bain_, No.
796): “the lord of Sully, a baron of France” (_Scala._, p. 149);
“the lord of Sully (_Siliaco_), an ambassador of the King of France”
(_Baker_, p. 66).

478 _yheit at Biland._ But _cf._ note on 356-7.

480 _in full gret hy._ “The King himself scarcely escaped from Rivaulx”
(_Scala._, p. 149). “The King fled swiftly from Biland” (_Gesta Edw._,
p. 79; _cf._ also _Lanercost_, p. 248; _Baker_, p. 66). “To Scarborough
Castle” (Stevenson, _Illustrations_, p. 7).

489 _Till Yorkis yhettis._ The Scots made their way to York (_Scala._,
p. 150; _Lanercost_, p. 248; _Gesta_, p. 81).

493 _nane wald cum out._ The English were quite demoralized. They had
fled like “a hare before the hounds” (_Scala._, p. 150). “The people
were collapsing (_corruentem_) before the enemy like sheep without a
shepherd” (_Gesta_, p. 81).

498 _Rivens._ Rievaulx; see above.

500 _The King of Inglandis ger._ A note in _Bain_ describes the harness
lost at “Ryvaux” by the sudden attack of the Scots there on October 14
(iii., No. 791). According to _Lanercost_, the King in his hurry left
in Rievaulx Monastery his silver plate and great treasure, all which
the Scots carried off, spoiling the monastery besides (p. 248). The
royal treasure taken at Byland (_Higden_, viii., p. 316).

520 _Lang eftir._ In October, 1323, and May, 1324, negotiations for
Richmond’s release were still in progress (_Bain_, iii., No. 829; _Pat.

543 _but ransoun free._ This seems to have been the transaction which
resulted in the “Emerald” charter of the Douglases, giving them
extraordinary powers of jurisdiction within their territories. The
grant was in lieu of 4,400 merks sterling, the ransoms of three (not
two) French knights and their valets captured by Douglas at Byland, and
liberated at the instance of the King of France, “our very dear friend”
(Fraser’s _Douglas_, _Bk._ iii., p. 11).

553 _Byrnand, slayand, and distroyand._ From all accounts the Scots
did terrible mischief. “They did damage at their pleasure, with no
one to oppose them” (_Scala._, p. 150). They spoiled and burned the
neighbouring districts, carried off the cattle, and wasted on all
sides with fire and sword (_Gesta Edw._, p. 80; _Trokelowe_, p. 126;
_Northern Registers_, p. 318).

555 _to the Wald._ The Yorkshire Wold (_Scala._, p. 150). “Le Wald”
(_Lanercost_, p. 248; Stevenson’s _Illustrations_, p. 7).

558 _The vale ... of Beauvare._ The valley of the river Hull in
which is Beverley. “They destroyed that country to about the town of
Beverley, which purchased immunity from being burned” (_Lanercost_,
p. 248). Murimuth and Baker say it cost Beverley four hundred pounds
sterling (_Baker_, p. 66).

561 _Till Scotland._ They returned on October 22 (_Gesta_, p. 80).
In _Lanercost_, November 2 is given as the date (p. 248). It may be
inferred, from a reference in _Bain_ to the Earl of Richmond as “a
prisoner in Scotland” on October 27, that the Scots had got home by
that date.


6 _a fell conjuracione._ Barbour post-dates this conspiracy. It took
place in 1320.

11 _The lord of Sowlis._ Probably the grandson of Sir Nicholas Soulis,
one of the competitors in 1292. Sir Nicholas claimed through his
mother, a niece of Alexander III. (_Bain_, ii., liv.). His forfeited
lands in Liddesdale were given to Bruce’s illegitimate son Robert
(Robertson’s _Index_, p. 12; 54, etc.); others to Robert Stewart, son
of Walter (_ibid._, 10; 13).

16 _Male-herbe._ As in E, is the correct form; or Malerb (_Fordun_),
Malherbe (_Scala._) and on record in _Bain_, and in _Robertson_, where
the Stirlingshire lands forfeited by “Gilbert de Malherbe” are gifted
to another (_Index_, 21; 19). The land of “Malerbe” was in Perthshire
(_Reg. Mag. Sig._, pp. 30, 61). The other names occur in these sources
also, as in Barbour.

19 _David the Brechyne._ _Cf._ on _Bk._ VIII. 402; IX. 293. Some of the
forfeited lands of Brechin, such as Rothmay, Brechine, Kinloch, etc.,
were granted to Sir David de Barclay (_Robertson_, pp. 26, 34).

23 _Throu ane lady._ The lady in the affair was Countess of Strathearn
(_Gesta Annal._, cxxxv.). But Gray (_Scala._, p. 144) gives a different
discoverer, Murdoch of Menteith, who was in the English service as
late, at least, as January, 1317 (_Bain_, iii. 534). The Countess could
not have turned King’s evidence, as she was condemned to imprisonment
for life (_Fordun._ _Ibid._). In an extract from the Cotton MS. in
_Stevenson_, Menteith is again given as the discoverer (_Illust._, p.

45 _playn granting._ Soulis made a full confession (_Scala._, p. 144).

49 _plane parliament._ At Scone, August, 1320 (_Fordun_; _Skene_, i.
348; _Scala._, p. 144). It was known as the Black Parliament.

51 _Till his penance till Dumbertane._ “Confined in Dumbarton Castle
for punishment in prison” (_a sa penaunz en prisoun._--_Scala._, p.
144); “for life” (_Fordun_; _Skene_, i. 348). Gray says that Dumbarton
was the only castle in Scotland not now dismantled (_ibid._).

56 _thai drawin war._ As in Fordun: “first drawn with horses and
finally executed” (_Skene_, i. 348). Gray says Brechin, Logy, and
Maleherbe were hanged and drawn in Perth. Fordun adds Richard Brown, a

74 _Scottis man._ Umfraville was a prisoner since Bannockburn. At this
date (1320) he was still in Scotland, though on July 24, 1314, Edward
was granting safe-conducts to some of his friends for a journey to
France in quest of money for his ransom (_Bain_, iii., No. 374). On
April 20, 1320, there is a safe-conduct for Sir Ingelram de Umfraville,
“a Scottish knight passing through England on his affairs beyond seas,”
with a considerable following, which was cancelled for one in October
(_ibid._, 694). Meantime his name is on the record of the Arbroath
Parliament in April, 1320 (see below). On January 26, 1321, he is being
restored to his estates, “as Ingelram, who was a prisoner in Scotland,
has escaped, and shown that he never left his allegiance” (_ibid._,
721). These facts have been held to invalidate Barbour’s statement
(Maxwell’s _Robert the Bruce_, pp. 276-7), but they have obviously a
suspicious air. He appears to have somewhat prolonged his escape; there
was clearly a doubt as to his loyalty; and the date fits in curiously
with the narrative. Finally, it has to be explained how Umfraville’s
name appears in the list of signatories to the famous letter to the
Pope from the barons and Community of Scotland on April 6, 1320: “While
there exist a hundred of us we will never submit to England” (_Acts
Parl. Scot._, i., p. 114).

125 _the Kyngis curtasy._ _Cf._ note on _Bk._ XIII. 531.

131 _oftsis._ There had been frequent negotiations for peace since
immediately after Bannockburn (_cf._ _Fœdera_ iii., p. 495).

186 _war trewis tane._ The truce was arranged at Thorpe, near York, to
last for thirteen years (see line 188) from June 12, 1323.

191-6 _Bot Inglis men apon the se Distroyit, etc._ Of such cases,
probably those referred to here, we have precise details in Bain’s
_Calendar_, vol. iii. On September 7, 1326, an inquiry is ordered by
Edward II. into the case of certain Scottish merchants who, on their
way to Flanders, took refuge in an English ship from fear of pirates,
and were brought to Scarborough, where they were all arrested by the
Sheriff of York and the magistrates of Scarborough, and put in prison
(No. 887). On September 28 three justices are commissioned to inquire
into the seizure of a Flemish vessel at Whitby, when nine Scottish
merchants, sixteen Scottish pilgrims, and thirteen women were murdered
(lines 195, 234), and the cargo and goods to the value of £2,000
carried off (line 196); the vessel being cast adrift, and afterwards
captured by others, when the rest of the cargo was appropriated.
Apparently this inquiry was fruitless, for another is ordered at
Yarmouth on October 15 (No. 889). Then, on October 12, there was the
case of a Scottish clerk arrested on the high seas, brought with his
two servants and goods to Scarborough, and imprisoned by the Sheriff of
York, to be discharged later by the King’s order (No. 889). And Adam
Rolok and other Scots had been taken from a ship touching at Brunham
and lodged in Norwich prison, from which they were not released till
September 24, 1328 (No. 965). Neglecting Barbour’s full explanation,
confirmed as it is by Bain’s _Calendar_, historians profess to find the
origins of this campaign obscure, or lay all the blame upon the Scots
(Hume Brown, _History_, i., p. 166; Lang, _History_ i. 232; Le Bel,
_Chronique_, ed. 1904, i., p. 37, editorial note).

205 _Walter Steward._ Died April 9, 1326.

230-1 _twa yheir ... and ane half._ Nearly four years after; _cf._ note
on 188.

238 _gaf the trewis up._ Le Bel, the Flemish chronicler, says he
“defied” Edward about Easter because he saw Edward II. deposed, his
Government upset, and that the new King was but a boy; and therefore
hoped to conquer a part of England (_Les Vrayes Chroniques_, i., p. 34,
edit. 1863; _Froissart_, trans. Johnes, i. 15).

241 _Donald Erll of Mar._ _Cf._ note on _Bk._ XIII. 687. He had been
brought up at the Court of Edward II., and had served for him against
the Scots, but, on his deposition, returned to his native land. The
Scots readily received him and restored him to his earldom (_Gesta
Edw. Tertii_, p. 96; _Bain_, iii. 744; _Scala._, p. 151). He hoped
to get Scottish aid in restoring Edward II. (_Chron. de Lanercost_,
p. 259). The leaders of this expedition are given as in Barbour in
_Scalacronica_, _Chron. de Lanercost_, and _Gesta Edwardi Tertii_,
with the exception of the Steward, who is not mentioned. Le Bel, who
was present with the troops of John of Hainault, names only Moray and
Douglas, whom he erroneously styles William, here as elsewhere (i., p.

248 _In England._ June 15; and a second raid to Weardale in August
(_Fordun._ _Skene_, i. 351-2). Before July 20 (_Lanercost_, p. 259).
By the West March, says Hailes, citing Froissart (_i.e._, le Bel), but
this is certainly not clear. No one seems to have known how they came:
“They had passed the river (? Tyne, Eden) so quietly that neither they
of Carlisle nor they of Newcastle knew anything of it” (_Le Bel_, i.,
p. 46, edit. 1863).

250 _ten thousand._ Le Bel says there were three thousand men-at-arms,
knights, and squires, and about twenty thousand variously armed upon
little hackneys (p. 48). These numbers are clearly in excess. It is
from Jehan le Bel in this connection that Froissart has taken his
famous and familiar description of a Scots Border raid (_Johnes_, ch.

254 _Wardill._ Weardale, in Durham (_Fordun_, _Gesta Annalia_, cxl.).

256 _The King wes ded._ Edward II. was in ward since January 7, but did
not die till September 21.

257 _that wes yhing._ Edward III. was fifteen.

261 _Isabel._ Daughter of Philip IV. of France.

262 _wes weddid._ Not till January 28, 1328, to the second daughter
(Philippa) of Count or Earl William of Holland and Hainault. Barbour,
of course, writes about fifty years after.

267 _Schir Johne of Hennaut._ John of Hainault, lord of Beaumont,
brother of the Count, then “in the flower of his age” (_Le Bel_, i., p.
12). He came at Edward’s request, and brought five hundred well-mounted
men-at-arms from Hainault, Flanders, Bohemia, Cambresis, and Artois:
later he was joined by fifty more (_Le Bel_, i. 36, 37). Jehan le Bel
and his brother were in the company.

271 _In-to York._ The English army assembled at York, and there awaited
the arrival of the Hainaulters (_Le Bel_, p. 36); or of the chief lords
(_Gesta Edw._, p. 96). There was a wait at York of more than six weeks
until news should come about the Scots (_Le Bel_, p. 45). The English
preparations seem to have anticipated the Scottish raid, though Barbour
puts it otherwise.

275 _neir fifty thousand._ According to _Le Bel_, it was said the
English had seven thousand knights and squires, thirty thousand armed
men, half of whom were mounted on little hackneys, and twenty-four
thousand archers on foot--sixty-one thousand men (i., p. 49). The
English were three times the number of the Scots (_Murimuth_, p. 53;
_Baker_, 97). Froissart, modifying _Le Bel_, gives in another place
more than forty thousand men-at-arms (i., p. 17).

278 _Xviii yheir._ Edward, born November, 1312, was only fifteen.

279 _Cokdaill._ The Cock flows into the Wharfe, a tributary of the
Yorkshire Ouse. Sir Herbert Maxwell says Coquetdale (_Robert the
Bruce_, p. 311).

287 _sevyn battellis._ According to Le Bel, the English were in three
battles of infantry, each battle having two wings of five hundred
men-at-arms (p. 49).

316 _north half Wer, toward Scotland._ Maxwell insists that the Scots
were on the south bank, on account of an order from Edward on August
3, located at Stanhope, to which may be added a later reference to his
having been there (_Robert the Bruce_, p. 312 and note; _Bain_, iii.,
Nos. 929, 933). But the Scots were certainly at Stanhope Park, on the
north bank (see below on 490 and 513). Mr. J. T. T. Brown, also on the
strength of the first citation from _Bain_, says that “Froissart and
the Scottish poet are both alike in error in placing the Scottish army
on the north bank and the English on the opposite of the Wear” (_The
Wallace and Bruce Restudied_, p. 144). In what he writes, Froissart
simply follows _Le Bel_, who was present. Neither expressly says that
the Scots were on the north bank, but it is made clear in both that
the river separated the forces. Nothing is said by Barbour of how the
English hunted for the Scots, but could not find them; of their rough
and hurried ride to the Tyne at Hexham to cut off the expected Scottish
retreat; or of their rush south when it was discovered by a squire that
the Scots were on the Wear--all of which is graphically described by
Le Bel and transferred to his own work by Froissart (_Le Bel_, i., ch.
xii.; _Froissart_, ch. xvii.).

322 _Stude in a strynth._ They were drawn up in three battles on the
slope of the mountain on which they were encamped (_Le Bel_, p. 62).
Gray says the Scots were in three divisions on a fine plain, and calls
this first position also Stanhope (_Scala._, p. 154). But it is clear
from the detailed accounts of Barbour and Le Bel that the Scots were on
a hill.

328 _Weris wattir._ “Below this mountain was a strong, swift river”
(_Le Bel_, p. 62). “The King took up a position before them on the Wear
wattir for three days” (_Scala._, p. 154).

350 _Archibald ... of Douglas._ Youngest brother of Sir James, “the
Tineman” (_i.e._, the Loser), afterwards Regent of Scotland; killed at
Halidon Hill, 1333. His especial share in this raid was to plunder the
bishopric of Durham (_Scala._, p. 154; Maxwell’s _History of the House
of Douglas_, vol. i., pp. 70, 71, 75).

353-4 These lines appear to mean that Douglas alternately advanced
and retired so as to draw the English on. The Scots on the next day,
according to Le Bel, “ran forwards and backwards in skirmishing”
(_couroient et racouroient tout en eshcarmuchant_, p. 64).

374 _Schir Williame of Erskyn._ It is noted that Bruce died in debt to
Erskine (_Excheq. Rolls_, i., p. 404).

396 _Tymbrys for helmys._ Wooden crests on helmets, common in the
fourteenth century. Apparently the novelty was not in the crests, but
in the material; hitherto they would have been made of _cuir-bouilli_
(see _Bk._ XII., 23, note). Edward III. bore an eagle: “Tymbre de legle
(? l’aigle)” (_Bain_, iii., p. lxviii.).

399 _crakkis of war._ Early cannon (_cf._ on _Bk._ XVII., line 250). It
is not easy to understand how the English carried these with them in
their forced marches over hill and dale. Le Bel does not mention them.
They do not appear again in warfare till Creçy (1346), if then (Oman,
_Art of War_, p. 611).

402 _That nycht._ “The night of St. Peter in August” (_la nuit
Saint-Pierre d’aoust_, _Le Bel_, 64). St. Peter’s Day was August 1, but
as Mass was heard on the morrow, the “night” was probably that of July
31, St. Peter’s Eve.

405 _The Inglis men._ Le Bel (_Froissart_) does not relate the
incidents given by Barbour, or these operations, except in general
terms. Many “companions,” he says, with the assistance of their horses,
crossed the river, and some on foot; prisoners were taken, and others
wounded or killed on both sides; and this went on continuously for
three days (p. 64). The English learned from their prisoners that the
Scots had neither bread, salt, nor wine, and so they hoped to starve
them out; but they had plenty of beef, and were not particular about
how they ate it, without salt or bread, “boiled or roasted as it liked
them;” as well as some oatmeal, of which they made cakes (i., p. 65).

431 _all arayit._ Each of the first two days, Le Bel tells us, the
English were drawn up in order of battle, though it came only to
fruitless skirmishing.

482 _Fyres in gret foysoun._ The Scots, writes Le Bel, always made a
wonderful number of fyres between night and morning; and by this and
their blowing of horns and shouting together it seemed as if all the
devils of hell were assembled there (pp. 64, 65; _Johnes_, i., ch.

486 _Twa myle._ “Two small leagues” (_Le Bel_). “A short league”
(_Scala._). “League,” as usual, signifies just a mile, as when Le
Bel credits the Scots with an average day’s march of from twenty to
thirty-two “leagues” (p. 4).

488 _defend thame bettir._ “A much stronger place than before” (_Le
Bel_, 65).

490 _a park._ Stanhope Park, a hunting-ground of the Bishop of Durham,
on the north bank of the Wear. “The Scots entered the park of Stanhope
and there lodged; likewise also the English on the other side of a
certain stream pitched camp and rested” (_Gesta Edw._, p. 96). The
Scots moved to “within the park of Stanhope” (_dedenz le park de
Stanhope_, _Scala._, p. 154). “The Scots betook themselves to the
park of Stanhope” (_Lanercost_, p. 259). The Scottish army was “at
Stanhope Park” (_apud Stanhop park_, _Contin. Chron._, _Murimuth_, p.
53; _Chron._, _Knighton_, i., p. 445; _Baker_, p. 97; _Hemingburgh_,
ii., p. 298). And those who have rejected Barbour’s statement as to
the northward position of the Scots, resting on a single citation
from Bain (see on 316), would have found, a few pages farther on, an
express reference to the time when the Scots were surrounded and beset
(_circumdati et obsessi_) _in the park of Stanhope_ by the King’s army
(_Bain_, No. 957, June 29, 1328). Edward, being so near, could very
well speak of himself as “at Stanhope.” Bain later admits the Scots
were at Stanhope (_Edwards in Scotland_, p. 77).

492 _full of treis._ At Stanhope Park “they were lodged in a wood” (_Le
Bel_, 65). “In the woddys of Stanhop park in dyverse busshementis”
(_Fabyan_, p. 439).

495 _Be nychtyrtale._ _I.e._, by night-time, as in Chaucer:

                          “by _nightertale_
  He sleep namore than doth a nightingale.”

  (_Prologue_, 97, 98).

501 _Upon the wattir._ “On another mountain ... also on the river” (_Le
Bel_, i. 65).

503 _on the morn._ Barbour gives the Scots only two days in the first
position opposite the English, not saying how long they had been
already “liand” there, which Le Bel says was eight days. Le Bel says,
further, that they left on the third, not the second, night, and that
their departure was discovered on the morning of the fourth day (p.
65). If the English arrived on July 31 (_cf._ on 402), and Edward was
at Stanhope on August 3 (_cf._ on 316), this would be right. Gray says
the Scots shifted camp on the fourth night (_Scala._, p. 154). Fordun
suggests only one position, the second (_Gesta Annalia_, cxl.).

513 _on othir half the wattir of Wer._ _Cf._ _Gesta Edwardi_ in note on
490. In Le Bel the river is still between the armies, (pp. 65, 66).

516 _Aucht dayis._ Maxwell affirms that, in saying this, Barbour
“either draws on his imagination, or has been misled by his informants”
(_Robert the Bruce_, p. 314); and the chronology of the various
writers is hard to reconcile. Gray gives six days for the second
position (p. 154); Le Bel (Froissart) eighteen (68); Knighton fifteen
(_Leycestrensis Chron._, i. 445); Hemingburgh says the Scots were
besieged for fifteen days in Stanhope Park (ii., p. 298). But the
author of _Gesta Edwardi_ agrees with Barbour in assigning eight days
(_octo diebus dicursis_, p. 97), and so does the _Lanercost_ writer (p.
259) and Fordun (_Gesta Annalia_, cxl.). Yet Mr. Brown accuses Barbour,
in fixing that term, of “always lauding his own side,” though these
English chroniclers support him (_The Wallace and The Bruce_, p. 145).
One document suggests that Edward was at Durham on August 5 (_Bain_,
iii., No. 930), but dates and places on legal documents do not always
signify what they suggest. The order from Durham was issued in the
King’s name. Edward was still at Stanhope on August 7 (_Calendar of
Patent Rolls_, Edward III. _s. d._).

520-1 _ilk day justyng of Wer. And scrymming._ “Every day skirmishing
by those who wished to skirmish” (_Le Bel_, 67). _Cf._ throughout
Froissart, ch. xviii.

527 _on the nynt day._ “The _first_ night that our lords were lodged
upon this (second) mountain” (_Le Bel_, p. 67). In _Scala._ apparently
the third night (p. 155).

533 _V. hundreth._ “Two hundred men-at-arms” (_Le Bel_, p. 67). “A few”
(_Lanercost_, 260; _Gesta Edw._, 96).

534 _in the night._ “About midnight” (_Le Bel_).

535 _so fer he raid._ “He passed this river a good distance (_bien
loin_) from our host” (_Le Bel_).

538 _slely can he ryd._ “Wherefore no one perceived him” (_Le Bel_).

541 _hew rapys._ See below on 561.

550 _no vachis._ “He suddenly passed through the sentinels of the
English” (_Gesta Edw._, pp. 96-7).

560 _He ruschit on thame hardely._ He fell on the English host most
boldly, crying: “Douglas! Douglas! you shall die all, lords of England”
(_Le Bel_, _ibid._). In _Froissart_ it becomes “thieves of England”
(_Berners_, _Johnes_), a version due, apparently, to Froissart’s later
re-editing of his own work. In Lettenhove’s edition (1863) it is
“_’Glas, ’Glas_” (i., p. 102). Knighton says that when Douglas was seen
by some English he began to cry in English (_Anglica voce_), “‘No warde
a seynt Jorge!’ as if he were an Englishman” (i. 445).

561 _doune he bare._ Le Bel (Froissart) says Douglas got so far
that “he cut two or three cords of the King’s tent.” “He penetrated
(_intravit_) a great part of the army of the King, and came nearly to
the King’s tent” (_Lanercost_, 260). “He passed through the midst of
the English army” (_Gesta Edwardi_, 97).

565 _Thai stabbit, stekit, and thai slew._ “They began, he and his
company, to make a great attack. (À faire une grand envaïe et à coper
et mehagnier gens et à abatre (car ce fus sus le point dou premier
somme) et porterent grand damage a l’oost” (_Froissart_ in Vatican MS.,
ed. Lettenhove, i., chap, xxxiii., p. 102. 1863).

567 _A felloun slauchtir._ “Douglas and his company slew more than
three hundred” (_Le Bel_). “Some he slew, some took captive” (_Gesta
Edw._, p. 97). They “slew a great part of the people of the Earls”
(_Scala._, p. 155).

568 _liand nakit._ _I.e._, unarmoured. “And he slew or he seased
ccc. men, some in their beddes, and some skant redy” (from Berner’s
_Froissart_, but not in Johnes nor in any of the known editions of
_Froissart_ nor in _Le Bel_; not, however, a very unusual exercise
of the imagination). Barbour’s descriptive detail is evidently due
to his information. “He gave very many a rude awakening” (_plurimos
terribiliter evigilavit._ _Gesta Edw._, p. 97). “On his return he slew
many in their amazement” (_attonitos._ _Lanercost_, 260).

577 _That lord, etc._ _I.e._, “First one lord and then another was

614 _cummyn ar thai._ “He himself (Douglas) returned unhurt to his own
army” (_Gesta Edw._, 97); “with very great difficulty” (_Knighton_, i.

638 _ilk day growis._ Edward was still summoning men to his host. Such
a summons is dated at Stanhope, August 3 (_Bain_, No. 929).

639 _vattale has._ Le Bel, on the contrary, says the English army was
suffering severely from want of food, and that provisions were at a
famine price (_toudis avions nous paour de plus grand famine_, pp.
66-68). The final Froissart does not have these passages, but suggests
the same thing (p. 24). The _Lanercost_ chronicler speaks of their
failing victuals (p. 259).

644 _Sic as we haf._ See notes on 405 and 735. Le Bel says the English
expected the Scots would be forced by famine to make a night attack (p.
68; _Froissart_, Johnes, p. 24).

657 _A nycht._ “One night.”

667 _thou mon heir out._ “You can get out only here.”

712 _thai sall let thame trumpit ill._ Evidently in allusion to line
680. “Trumpeting” seems to have been the prelude to any operation. Or
the phrase may be in French idiom, introducing the verb _tromper_, to
deceive, which, however, would be unusual for Barbour.

731 _blew hornys and fyres maid._ _Cf._ note on 482.

735 _the nycht wes fallyn._ According to Le Bel, a Scottish knight was
that day captured, who, much against his will, informed them that in
the morning the Scots lords had arranged that every man was to be armed
at vespers (68), and that each was to follow the banner of Douglas
wherever he should go, and that every man was to keep it secret; but
the Scots knight did not know for certain what their purpose was. The
English judged that the Scots, forced by unendurable famine, were about
to make an attack on their host (p. 68). Next day it was found that
the Scots had departed “before midnight” (p. 69), “leaving the park
by night” (_Gesta Edw._, p. 97). Certain allusions would lead us to
infer that the English had, to some extent, got round the Scots. Le Bel
declares that the Scots were thought to be planning an attempt to break
through the English on two sides (_brisier nostre ost à deux costés_,
pp. 68-9). The _Lanercost_ writer says the Scots got away to their
own country “by moving round the army of the King” (_circueundo regis
exercitum versus Scotiam pertransirent_, p. 259). They were surrounded,
according to Knighton (i., 445). _Cf._ also extract 957 from _Bain_
in note on 490, and lines 800, 801. Le Bel says that he and some
“companions” had to cross the river next day to get to the Scottish
encampment, where they found abundance of beef in various forms. The
account in the _Scalacronica_ is simply that, the third night after
the Douglas affair, the Scots broke camp and marched to their own
country (_Scala._, p. 155). Several English chroniclers attribute the
escape of the Scots to treachery on their own side (_Murimuth_, 53, 64;
_Knighton_, i. 445; _Gesta Edw._, 97, etc.).

746 _summer._ “Sumpter-horse,” as, with a different spelling, in
_Wallace_, iv. 53; “Thar tyryt _sowmir_ so left thai in-to playne.”

766-7 _till consale, etc._ “When the lords heard this they took counsel
... and said that to chase after the Scots would profit them nothing,
for they could not be overtaken” (_Le Bel_, p. 69).

770 _Kyng Robert than._ If so, Bruce must have hurried back from
Ireland, for on July 12 he granted a truce of one year to the people
of Ulster (_Bain_, iii. 922). This Irish campaign appears to have been
a failure (_ibid._, 1191). These are our only allusions to it. In
_Scala._ it is said that it was the Earls who heard they were besieged
(p. 155).

774 _tuenty thousand._ “Five thousand” (_Scala._, p. 155).

776 _Marche and Angous._ “Patrick, Earl of March, and John the Steward,
who styled himself Earl of Angous” (_Scala._, p. 155). March (_cf._
note on _Bk._ XI. 46) had joined the Scots some time before February,
1317 (_Bain_, iii. 536). Sir John Stewart of Boncle, or Bonkill, son
of Sir Alexander (see on _Bk._ IX. 692), was created Earl of Angus by
Bruce (_Scots Peerage_, i. 169).

781 _the sammyn day._ “The very day of their departure” (_Scala._, 155).

798 _Had vittale with thame._ On the contrary, Gray declares that if
they had had enough provisions they would have gone back; they were
such fierce warriors (p. 155).


1 _Soyne eftir._ “Not long after” (_nec multum post._ _Gesta Edw._, p.
97). It was “lately,” on September 22, 1327 (_Northern Registers_, p.

5 _A gret host._ “With a great army” (_North. Reg._, p. 344).

7 _to Norhame._ Besieged Norham Castle (_ibid._; also _Fœdera_, iii.,
p. 975; and _Scala._, p. 155). Robert himself was at Norham (_Scala._).
For this and next note, _cf._ _Scotichronicon_, ii., p. 288.

10 _Awnwyk._ Alnwick. “Besieged the castle of Alnwick for more than
fifteen days” (_Gesta Edw._, p. 97). Alnwick besieged by Moray and
Douglas (_Scala._, 155).

15 _mony fair gud chevelry._ At Alnwick “there were great jousts of war
by formal agreement” (_estoient grantz joustes de guere par covenaunt
taille._ _Scala._, p. 155).

23-25 _The landis of Northumberland ... gaf he._ “And lands, it is
claimed, within the kingdom of England, the said King Robert confers
on certain of his followers, and causes charters to be prepared for
the grantees” (_North. Reg._, p. 344; _cf._ “thai payit for the seliys

27 _raid he destroyand._ The Scots “destroyed Northumberland almost
entirely, except the castles, and remained there a long time”
(_Lanercost_, p. 260).

31 _Ledaris of hym._ “The Queen and Mortimer arranged everything” (_la
royne et le Mortimer le firent tout_, _Scala._, 156). “By the evil
advice of his mother and Roger, Lord of Mortimer” (_Lanercost_, p.
261); “his mother then ruled the whole kingdom” (_ibid._).

33 _Send messyngers._ The “messengers” (_nuntios_; in _Acts._,
messages) and procurators of the King of England were the Bishops
of Lincoln and Norwich, Henry Percy, William of Ashby-de-la-Zouch
(a Mortimer), and Geoffrey Scrope. The negotiations took place at
Edinburgh, and were concluded March 17, 1328 (_Gesta Edw._, p. 98;
_Acts Parl. Scot._, i., p. 124). A parliament at Northampton finally
agreed to the treaty, May 4, 1328 (_Exchequer Rolls_, i. ciii.).

38 _fiff yheir ... scarsly._ David Bruce was born on March 5, 1324.

39 _Johane ... of the Tour._ Having been born in the Tower of London.
“Johanam de Turre” (_Lanercost_, p. 261); “Johannam de Turribus”
(_Scotich._, ii., p. 290).

43 _sevin yher._ Born 1321.

44 _monymentis and lettrys ser._ Especially the _Ragman Roll_
(Icelandic, _ragmanr_, a coward?), containing a list of the homages
to Edward on August 28, 1296, at Berwick, by the churchmen, earls,
barons, knights, burgesses, and whole community of Scotland, as well
as earlier submissions (_Bain_, ii. xxv., pp. 193-214; _cf._ also
_Lanercost_, p. 261; _Knighton_, i. 448-9; _Scotichr._, ii., p. 289;
_Baker_, p. 103). Baker says the Roll was publicly burned at the
marriage at Berwick (_ibid._). The only copies of it that exist are
in the _Tower Rolls_ (_Bain_, _ibid._), with portions of the original
instruments of homage; so that this stipulation was never carried out
(_Acts Parl. Scot._, i., p. 19).

48 _all the clame._ “Omnem clameum (_sic_) seu demandam” (_Lanercost_,
p. 261). _Cf._ for terms of the “Relaxation of Superiority.” _Fœdera_,
iv., p. 338; York, May 1, 1328.

53 _Fully xx thousand pund._ Twenty thousand pounds sterling to be paid
in three years (_Acts Parl. Scot._, i., p. 125). Fordun says 30,000
marks out of King Robert’s “mere goodwill,” in compensation for English
losses (_Gesta Annalia_, cxli.). The last payment was in 1331 (_Excheq.
Rolls_, cx.).

67 _for the mangery._ The _Exchequer Rolls_, I, cxiv.-cxvii., contain
a long list of purchases in the Low Countries for the household of the
young people--food, furniture, utensils, etc.

73 _male es._ Fr. _mal aise_, illness. According to Le Bel, Bruce was
suffering from the “great sickness” (_la grosse maladie_) in 1327
(p. 48; see also 79). The _Lanercost_ chronicler says it was leprosy
(_factus fuerat leprosus_, p. 259). Johnes translates Froissart’s
“grosse maladie” as leprosy (i. 18, 26).

79 _Cardross._ On the Clyde, half way between Dumbarton and
Helensburgh, acquired by the King in 1326 in exchange for other lands
(_Exchequer Rolls_, I., cxix.).

83 _To Berwik._ The marriage took place on Sunday, July 19, 1328
(_Lanercost_, p. 261); July 17 (_Gesta Annalia_, cxlii.).

85 _the Queyne and Mortymer._ Edward III. himself was not present
(_Lanercost_, p. 261).

125 _At that parliament._ The arrangement as to the succession of the
Steward and a possible regency were made in a parliament of 1318.
Randolph was to be regent, and, failing him, Douglas (_Acts Parl._,
i. 105). Barbour divides the regency; Fordun makes no mention of this
(_Gesta Annalia_, cxxxix.).

*129 _Maid hym manrent and fewte._ Some such ceremony in all likelihood
did take place; Barbour’s statement is not to be rejected lightly. Le
Bel (_Froissart_) says that when the King felt the approach of death he
summoned his barons (see below), and charged them, on their fealty, to
guard loyally the kingdom for his own David, and when he came of age
obey him, and crown him King, and marry him suitably--in which last
detail Le Bel is, of course, astray (p. 79; _Johnes_, i. 27).

151 _Till Cardross went._ He had paid a visit to Galloway, and was at
Glenluce on March 29, 1329.

158 _For the lordis._ See note on 129.

167 _Lordingis._ An alternative account of this speech and of the whole
circumstances up to the death of Douglas is given by Le Bel (ch. xxv.),
and adapted from him by Froissart (_Johnes_, i., ch. xx.). Divergencies
or close parallels are noted as they occur. See on these Appendix, F.
vi. Baker also has a brief account, citing, as a witness of the doings
of Douglas in Spain, Thomas Livingstone, a Carmelite friar, at that
time a civilian serving under his command in the Christian army (p.

177 _my trespass._ This sounds like a clerical interpretation; _cf._
_Bk._ II. 43-5 for a similar comment. In _Le Bel_ Bruce opens with
the remark that all knew that he had much to do in his time, and had
suffered much to maintain the rights of this kingdom (as cited).

178 _my hert fyschit firmly was._ “I made a vow which I have not
accomplished and which weighs upon me” (_Le Bel_). “I vowed,” etc.
(_Baker_, p. 105).

181 _to travell apon Goddis fayis._ “To make war upon the enemies of
our Lord and the adversaries of the Christian faith beyond the sea”
(_Le Bel_). Froissart does not have the closing phrase. “That I would
fight with my body against the enemies of Christ” (_Baker_, p. 105).

183-5 _the body may on na wis, etc._ “Since my body is not able to go
or accomplish that which the heart has so long desired, I wish to send
the heart for the body to make satisfaction for me and my wish” (_pour
moy et pour mon vueil acquittier._ _Le Bel_, 1904, I., chap. xv.); “to
fulfil my vow” (_pour mon voeu achever._ _Froissart_); “Because alive I
shall not be able”--_i.e._, to go (_Baker_, 105).

188 _cheis me ane._ Le Bel and Baker represent Bruce as himself
choosing Douglas for the mission; so, too, does Bower (_Scotichr._,
ii., p. 300).

191-2 _On Goddis fayis, etc._ _Cf._ above on line 181. Le Bel gives
the commission differently and in fuller detail: “That you take my
heart and have it embalmed, and take as much of my treasure as will
seem good to you for performing the journey, for yourself and all
those whom you will wish to bring with you; and that you will carry my
heart to the Holy Sepulchre, where our Lord was buried, since the body
is not able to go thither; and that you do it as magnificently (_si
grandement_) and as well provided with all things and with attendance
sufficient, as belongs to your estate; and wherever you come let it be
known that you carry as a commission (_comme message_) the heart of
the King of Scotland for the reason that his body cannot go thither.”
In Johnes it is, from _Froissart_, “you will deposit your charge at
the Holy Sepulchre”; in Berners, “present my heart to the H.S.” The
Vatican (final) MS. of _Froissart_, however, has “that you carry (the
heart) beyond the sea against the heathen (_mescreans_) _and as far as
to the Holy Sepulchre and leave it there, if you have the fortune to
go so far_” (_si l’aventure poes avoir d’aler si avant_, Lettenhove,
I., chap. xxxviii., p. 119). Bain summarizes a Protection “for seven
years,” given by Edward III. on September 1, 1329, for James Douglas,
“on his way to the Holy Land with the heart of the late Robert K. of
Scotland, in aid of the Christians against the Saracens” (No. 991);
who also, on the same date, commends Douglas, on this mission, to
Alfonso K. of Castile, Leon, etc. (990). In the Pope’s absolution
for the ecclesiastical offence of mutilating a dead body, dated at
Avignon, August 6, 1331, which, of course, proceeds on a narrative
furnished from Scotland, it is explained that King Robert had expressly
commanded that “his heart should be carried in battle against the
Saracens” (_in bello contra Saracenos portaretur_), and that, in
accordance with the wish of the King himself, it was carried by Douglas
into Spain in battle against the said Saracens (Theiner, _Vetera
Monumenta_, No. 498). Baker has it, “that you carry my heart against
the enemies of the name of Christ to Gardiavia on the frontier” (_ad
fronterii Gardiaviam_, p. 105). Later chroniclers distort the details
somewhat, Bower alleging that the heart was to be buried in Jerusalem,
and sending both Alfonso and Douglas to the Holy Land; referring the
reader, nevertheless, to “Barbour’s Bruce” (“Barbarii Broisacus,”
_Scotichr._, ii., p. 301); while the _Book of Pluscarden_ simply
paraphrases Bower, expanding the reference to the Bruce (_legendam
dicti excellentissimi principis in nostro vulgari compositam_). _Cf._
also note in Brown’s _Wallace and Bruce_, pp. 136-7, where, however,
Mr. Brown’s hand is being forced by his theory. Doubtless Bruce’s words
might be alternatively interpreted; but, from what we know of Douglas,
we may conclude that he fulfilled his commission to the letter, and
that Barbour is, so far, right. The Vatican _Froissart_ shows us how,
also, the confusion arose. Scott, in his final note on _The Abbot_,
prints a commendation (May 19, 1329) of Melrose Abbey by Bruce to his
son David and his successors, in which he says that he has arranged
that his heart should be buried there, but makes no mention of a prior
destination. Edward I. also had “bequeathed” his heart to the Holy
Sepulchre (_Trivet_, p. 413; Wright’s _Political Songs_, p. 247).

197 _greting._ “All those who were there began to weep with much
compassion” (_Le Bel_).

212 _his bounty._ “I shall now die in peace, when I know that the most
suitable man in my kingdom and the most worthy will perform that which
I have not been able to perform” (_Le Bel_).

223-231 “Noble sire, a hundred thousand thanks for the great honour you
do me, when you charge and entrust to me so noble and so great a thing
and such a treasure; and I shall do very willingly what you command
concerning your heart, doubt it not, to the best of my power” (_Le
Bel_). In Baker, “I swear by the heart of Jesus Christ that I shall
carry your heart as you have asked me and die fighting with the cursed
enemies” (_contra prædamnatos hostes moriturum_, p. 105).

253 _he wes ded._ June 7, 1339, aged fifty-four years and eleven months.

276 _all for his persoune._ This, as may be gathered from all that here
precedes, was fully the case. Le Bel, in his earliest reference (ch.
i.), refers to him as “the noble King Robert the Bruce, who was King
of Scots, and had given often so much trouble to the good King Edward,
spoken of above” (Edward I.); and later says that from their exploits
these two Kings were reputed “the two most worthy in the world” (p.
107). On the English side: “Indeed, I would speak of Lord Robert the
Bruce with the greatest praise, did not the guilt of his homicide and
the knowledge of his treason compel me to be silent,” and the writer
drops into a couplet to the same effect (_Vita Edw. Sec._, p. 166).
Baker is of the same mind; Bruce was “every inch a soldier” (_per omnia
militarem_), save that he was disloyal to his natural lord, which no
knight should be (p. 101).

286 _bawlmyt syne._ According to Le Bel, the heart was taken out and
embalmed (p. 81).

292 _solempnly erdit syne._ “He was buried in the honourable manner
that became him, according to the usage of the country” (_Le Bel_,
_ibid._). Froissart adds that “he lies in Dunfermline Abbey.” His
skeleton was brought to light in digging in the Abbey in 1819, showing
the breastbone sawn up to get at the heart. It is that of a man about
six feet high. The mass of the wide, capacious head is to the rear,
and the forehead is rather low; the marks of the muscles on the head
and neck are very pronounced, and the cheekbones particularly strong
and prominent. Four front teeth in the upper jaw are missing, three,
apparently, as the result of a blow, the socket being much fractured.
The lower jaw is exceptionally strong and deep. For full details see
_Archæol. Scot._, vol. ii., pp. 435-453. The _fair toume_ was brought
from Paris to Bruges, and thence, by England, to Dunfermline; the
expense of this conveyance and of many other items in connection with
the interment are to be found in the _Exchequer Rolls_, vol. i.

318 _To schip till Berwik._ “En Escoce” (_Le Bel_, i., p. 83);
“Montrose,” adds Froissart (_Lettenhove_, I., chap. xxxix.)

324 _the Grunye of Spanyhe._ Bain makes this comment, reading _Grunye_
from E. “The ‘Grunye’ is probably Coruna, called by sailors the
‘Groyne.’ Mr. Skeat’s text makes the word ‘grund,’ taking no notice of
the other reading” (iii., p. xxxvii, note). Le Bel takes Douglas first
to Sluys in Flanders, making him hear in that port of the operations in
Spain (p. 84). In Sluys, he says, he hoped to meet with some going to
Jerusalem (p. 83).

326 _Sebell the Graunt._ Seville the Grand, on the Guadalquiver. “First
at the port of Valence (Valentia) la Grande” (_Le Bel_, 84). Seville
was then the base of operations against the Moors.

336-7 _a fair company, And gold eneuch._ According to Le Bel,
Douglas had with him the knight-banneret and six others of the most
distinguished men of his country. His plate was of silver (and gold,
adds Froissart), and all of his own rank who visited him at Sluys
were treated to two kinds of wine and two kinds of spices (ch. xvi.;
_Johnes_, i., ch. xx.).

338 _The Kyng._ Alphonso XI. of Castile and Leon, to whom Douglas had
been commended by Edward III.; see note on 190. There was another
Alphonso, IV. of Arragon, but he gave no assistance on this occasion
(_Mariana_, _Bk._ xv., ch. x., p. 255).

361 _The Inglis knychtis._ Prussia and Spain were the favourite resorts
of English knights anxious to war against the infidels. Chaucer’s
knight had been in both countries on this errand (_Prologue_, 53-56).

393 _Balmeryne._ A Moorish kingdom in Africa; or, more correctly, of
the reigning dynasty, the Banu-Marin. In Chaucer’s _Prologue_ it is
“Belmarye” (line 57); in _Froissart_ the name appears more correctly as
Bellemarie (_Johnes_, ii., p. 484; _Letten._, I., p. 121, chap. xxxix.).

401 _The vaward._ In Le Bel (_Froissart_) Douglas betakes himself to
one of the wings “the better to do his business and display his power”
(_son effort_, p. 84).

402 _the strangeris with him weir._ So we gather also from Baker, whose
informant served under Douglas. _Cf._ note on 167.

403 _mastir of Saint Jak._ The Master, or head, of the Order of St.

407 _To mete their fayis._ On March 25, 1330, at _Tebas de Hardales_, a
strong town in Granada (_Mariana_, _Bk._ xv., ch. x., p. 255). Fordun,
however, dates the battle August 25 (cxliv.).

*421-32 _Bot ere they joyned, etc._ See on these lines _Appendix_ D.

431 _So fer chassit._ The account in _Le Bel_ is to the effect that
Douglas attacked prematurely, thinking that Alphonso was about to
do so, and that he was being followed up. But Alphonso did not move
for the reason, we learn from _Mariana_, that the frontal attack of
Moorish cavalry was but a feint, and that the real attack, as the King
said, was to be in the rear on the Christian camp (_Le Bel_, p. 84;
_Mariana_, as cited). Alphonso was better acquainted than Douglas with
the Moorish methods of fighting. Fordun’s narrative is that Douglas
and his company were cut off by an ambuscade which, though superior in
numbers, they readily attacked (_Gesta Annalia_, cxliv.).

440 _That relyit._ _I.e._, the Moors rallied. It was their usual
tactics to attempt to draw after them a body of the enemy in pursuit,
and then surround the pursuers.

467 _ilkane war slayn thar._ “Not a single one of them escaped, but
they were all slain” (_Le Bel_, p. 84).

521 _the leill Fabricius._ Roman consul, 278 B.C. A traitor offered
to poison Pyrrhus, but the Roman refused the proposal, and sent
information to Pyrrhus (_Plutarch_).

585 _the kirk of Dowglas._ St. Brides, Douglas.

587 _Schir Archibald his sone._ Skeat, in his note on this passage, is
all astray. He says that Douglas was never married, that he left only a
natural son William, and that this Archibald was his third or youngest
brother. But Sir William Fraser is of opinion that Sir James was
married, though Sir Herbert Maxwell doubts, and certainly no record of
it survives; but he was succeeded in the estates by William, while his
brother Archibald “Tineman” (Loser) was killed at Halidon Hill in 1333.
He, however, had another son, certainly illegitimate, the Archibald
referred to here, who succeeded in 1388 as third Earl of Douglas, and
died, after a varied career, in 1400 (Fraser’s _Douglas Book_, I.,
188-9; _Scalacronica_; Maxwell’s _History of the House of Douglas_, i.,
p. 67 and 114-124; _Acts Parl._, i. 193-4; _Reg. Mag. Sig._, i., p.
177). Archibald was known as “the Grim.” Mr. Brown cites Fraser to the
effect that Archibald erected the tomb “probably about the year 1390,
after his succession as third Earl of Douglas” (_Douglas Book_, I., p.
181); and adds the proposition that he could not have done so before
his succession, because, according to the _Book of Pluscarden_ (1462),
his friends “held him in small account because he was a bastard,”
and because his succession to the estates was disputed (_Acts Parl.
Scot._, i., p. 194; _The Wallace and Bruce_, pp. 154-5). Mr. Brown’s
contention, therefore, is that the statement in the text could not
have been penned by Barbour in 1375, and that it is not due to him,
but to his redactor. The reasoning is not all conclusive; against the
plain statement of Barbour there is only an assumption on Fraser’s
part, and inferences on the part of Mr. Brown which are not necessarily
contained in his premisses. Archibald was, no doubt, only a child when
his father was killed; but he became Lord of Galloway in 1369, and Earl
of Wigtown in 1372. What was there to prevent his erecting a tomb for
his distinguished father, except a delicacy of feeling on the side of
the “legitimates,” which is rather modern than late mediæval? Archibald
bought his earldom, built and endowed a hospital near Dumfries, erected
Thrieve Castle, and had extensive lands in various parts of Scotland,
so that he must have been a man of considerable wealth, besides being,
as Warden, the most important figure on the Border. Who or what was
then to prevent him honouring the congenial memory of his great father
before 1375-6?

600 _Melros._ _Cf._ note on 191-2.

604 _And held the pure weill to warrand._ _I.e._, “And carefully
guarded or looked after the interests of the poor.”

609 _poysonyt was he._ Moray died at Musselburgh, July 20, 1332. Fordun
says nothing of poisoning (_Gesta Annalia_, cxlvi.). But there appears
to have been a popular story to this effect, to which, later, was added
the detail that his poisoner was an English monk (_Scotichr._, ii.,
lib. xiii., ch. xix.). Moray died of the stone from which he suffered
towards the close of his life; the rest Hailes considered “a silly
popular tale” (_Annals_, vol. iii., App. 2).




It will be noticed that the conception of this battle, alike as to
position and tactics, elaborated in the notes in strict conformity
with Barbour, differs entirely from that now universally accepted. The
engagements of the first day (Sunday) were the outcome of attempts
to clear the two paths of approach to Stirling--that through the New
Park, and the other on the level below St. Ninians. Both failed,
and the means by which their failure was brought about determined
the operations of the following day (Monday). This main engagement,
however, it has been hitherto held, took place on the banks of the
Burn, below or in the neighbourhood of Brock’s Brae, with the Burn
separating the forces. This is pure misconception. There can be no
doubt that the battle was fought on a position roughly at right angles
to this--on “the playne,” “the hard feld,” or level ground east of
St. Ninians, reaching back into the angle formed by the Forth and the
Bannock. The main data for such a conclusion are these: (1) The English
passed the night on the Carse, having crossed the Bannock; (2) the
Scots _attacked_ early next morning, and to do this “tuk the playne,”
leaving their camp-followers in the Park, so that they astonished the
English by their audacity; (3) in the rout many English were drowned
in the Forth and in the Bannock; (4) Edward II., unable to get away,
fled to the castle; (5) so did many of his men, as the castle “_wes
ner_.” These facts, fully substantiated from both sides, are wholly
inconsistent with a site of battle south of St. Ninians, and fix its
position between the Forth and the Bannock. Barbour’s “pools” are the
“polles” in which, according to Hemingburgh,[57] the English baggage was
bogged and captured after the battle of Stirling Bridge. The English
and French (and Irish) chroniclers invariably speak of the battle as
that of “Stirling,” and Trokelowe calls it the Battle of _Bannockmoor_.
For a full discussion of the matter, see my paper on “The Real
Bannockburn” in _Proceedings of the Glasgow Archæological Society_,

[57] Vol. ii., p. 140.



BOOK XII. 210-327

It is the privilege of early historians to equip their leading
personages with speeches, and in its pertinent, practical character
the speech here provided for King Robert is a good example of such--so
good, indeed, as to suggest the probability that Barbour is working up
some transmitted material. There is on record another speech attributed
to Bruce, which formed part of a Latin poem on Bannockburn by Abbot
Bernard of Arbroath, Bruce’s Chancellor, portions of which are quoted
in the _Scotichronicon_.[58] This speech consists of twenty-five
hexameter lines, and is a rhetorical flourish on Scottish liberty,
the miseries inflicted by the English on the country, and the hapless
condition of “mother Church,” closing in strains of ecclesiastical
exhortation. Moreover, it immediately precedes the opening of the
battle, while Barbour’s version is of the evening before. In the latter
a special interest attaches to lines 263-268 and 303-317, which may
be compared with the following extracts from a speech by Alexander
the Great in _The Vowes_, one of the three romances which make up the
Scottish _Buik of Alexander_, the translation of which from the French
was probably the work of Barbour himself.[59] Alexander says:

  “Be thay assailyeit hardely,
  And encountered egerly,
  The formest cumis ye sall se,
  The hindmest sall abased be.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Forthy I pray ilk man that he
  Nocht covetous na yarnand be,
  To tak na ryches that thay wald,
  Bot wyn of deidly fais the fald;
  Fra thay be winnin all wit ye weill
  The gudis are ouris ever ilk deill;
  And I quyteclame yow utrely
  Baith gold and silver halely,
  And all the riches that thaires is,
  The honour will I have I wis.”[60]

[58] Lib. xii., chap. xxi.

[59] See Appendix E.

[60] P. 318.

To the same purport as these latter lines is a portion of a subsequent
address;[61] and lines 325, 334 find a similar parallel in:

  “Thus armit all the nicht thay lay,
  Quhile on the morne that it was day.”[62]

Of the cardinal sentiment in the speech, the origin is probably to be
found in the familiar story of the Maccabees, referred to more than
once in _The Bruce_. Judas Maccabeus was one of the typical heroes of
French romance, and had one metrical romance, at least, devoted to his
career. And in 1 Maccabees, chap. iv., we have:

“17. (Judas) said to the people, Be not greedy of the spoils, inasmuch
as there is a battle before us.

“18. And Gorgias and his host are here by us in the mountain; but stand
ye now against our enemies, and overcome them, and after this ye may
boldly take the spoils.”[63]

[61] P. 339.

[62] P. 350, lines 12, 13.

[63] _Cf._ also Neilson on _The Real “Scots Wha Hae”_ in _Scottish
Antiquary_, vol. xiv., No. 53, July, 1899.



ENGLISH: _One hundred thousand men and ma._

SCOTS: _Thretty thousand, and sum deill mare._

These figures have given rise to much discussion, without any very
certain result. Yet official data are not wanting--sufficient, at
least, to check what is only another example of the wild conjectures
of mediæval chroniclers when dealing with numbers. Hemingburgh gives
Wallace at Falkirk “about three hundred thousand men”[64]--rather more,
probably, than the whole male population of Scotland. We need not be
surprised, then, at how all such estimates shrink in the cold light of
Exchequer figures.

[64] II. p. 180.

Edward II. summoned all owing him military service,[65] which
corroborates the statement of the author of the _Vita Edw. Sec._ that
“the King exacted from all the service due,”[66] as well as that of
Barbour--“of England hale the chivalry.” The Earls of Lancaster,
Warenne, Arundel, and Warwick did not attend, for a particular reason,
but sent their contingents.[67] Now, by Mr. Round’s calculations, the
whole number of knights’ fees in England did not exceed 5,000;[68] Mr.
Morris raises the figure to something short of 7,000.[69] The important
point is, however, that in practice the assessment was only a nominal
or conventional one. Thus Gloucester, with 455 fees, was assessed at
ten knights.[70] Including all grades of horsemen, Mr. Morris puts
“the maximum of the cavalry arm” at “about 8,000”; but, all things
considered, no such number could ever take the field.[71] Edward I. had
summoned his full feudal array (_omnes sui fideles_) for the Falkirk
campaign, and Hemingburgh says that, when counted, it came to 3,000 men
on armoured horses (Barbour’s “helit hors”), and more than 4,000 on
unarmoured horses--say, roughly, 7,000 in all.[72] Mr. Morris, however,
by a generous calculation from the rolls, arrives at 2,400 as the
highest possible figure.[73] Now, it is to be noted that the author of
the _Vita Edw. Sec._, while lauding the size and magnificence of the
host that went to Bannockburn, gives 2,000 men-at-arms as apparently
the total of the cavalry, since he simply adds “a considerable body
of footmen.”[74] On the whole, 3,000 to 4,000 English horse is a
higher limit for Bannockburn, when we consider all the difficulties
of sufficient armour, remounts, and forage. Mr. Morris thinks 10,000
“impossible,” though he is here calculating on yards of frontage on a
site where the battle was not fought.[75] About 7,000 is Mr. Round’s
free estimate, adopting Hemingburgh’s figure for Falkirk.[76] Bain
accepts Barbour’s 3,000 heavy horsemen, and suggests 10,000 light
horse, but proceeds on no data.[77] Mr. Oman calculates that “three
thousand ‘equites coperti,’ men-at-arms on barded horses,” means,
probably, 10,000 for the whole cavalry,[78] but this traverses his
Falkirk figures. England never put, nor could maintain, on the field
such a mounted force, to say nothing of the difficulty of handling and
manœuvring it.

[65] _Fœdera_, iii., p. 464, etc.

[66] P. 201.

[67] _Vita Edw._, p. 201.

[68] _Feudal England_, p. 292.

[69] _The Welsh Wars of Edward I._, p. 41.

[70] _Welsh Wars_, p. 59.

[71] _Ibid._, pp. 81, 82.

[72] II. p. 173.

[73] _Welsh Wars_, p. 292.

[74] _Peditum turba copiosa_, p. 201.

[75] _Engl. Hist. Rev._, vol. xiv., p. 133. _Cf._ Appendix A.

[76] _Bannockburn_ in _The Commune of London_, p. 298.

[77] _Calendar_, iii., p. xxi.

[78] _Art of War_, p. 575 note.

For the foot we have, fortunately, exact figures in the
_Fœdera_[79]--21,540 men all told, which would include the archers.
Only the northern counties--but not all--and Wales are drawn upon, as
those of the south would be for a French campaign.[80] Such had been
the practice of Edward I., whose levies from the northern counties
and Wales ranged from 29,400 foot in 1297 to 12,000 in 1301.[81] Mr.
Morris contends that not till 1322 were infantry drawn from all England
for a Scottish campaign (_as cited_), but in this he is wrong. It was
done by a special vote of Parliament, and according to a prescribed
form, as early as March, 1316, when every township, with some special
exceptions, furnished one soldier,[82] and again in 1318.[83] These are
clearly new and special arrangements, and there is thus no reason to
believe that the list in _Fœdera_, etc., is not complete, as Mr. Oman
suggests, adding, accordingly, a southern contingent of about 30,000
men, though he doubts if “the extreme South” sent its full muster.[84]
This is quite gratuitous. Lord Hailes, too, contended that the official
records are imperfect, and that the numbers given by Barbour “are
within the limits of probability.”[85] Bain’s authoritative reply is
that, “as a rule, the writs were always enrolled, and the Patent Rolls
of the time are not defective.”[86] This, however, is not always true,
and Bain, applying this principle absolutely, is once, at least, led to
a wrong conclusion.[87]

[79] Vol. iii., p. 482, etc.; also in _Rotuli Scotiæ_, i., p. 127; and
_Parliamentary Writs_, book ii., div. 2, p. 117.

[80] _Cf._ _Commune of London_, p. 296; _Engl. Hist. Rev._, xiv., p.

[81] _Bain_, ii., Nos. 956, 1202, 1092, 1136.

[82] _Writs as cited_, pp. 176, 177.

[83] _Trokelowe_, p. 102; _Rot. Scot._, i., p. 183.

[84] _Art of War_, p. 573 and note.

[85] _Annals_, ii., p. 48.

[86] _Calendar_, iii., p. xx.

[87] See note on Book XVI., 285.

An important question now suggests itself, but no one has so far raised
it: did the levies in these full numbers turn up? They are allotted
in round figures: what proportion was actually furnished? That there
would be some trouble in securing the conscripts is anticipated and
provided for in severe measures for the contumacious.[88] This was
usual, and even the strong hand of Edward I. could not prevent men
from deserting after they had received their wages.[89] Here we have,
also, a sufficient basis for an estimate. On May 12, 1301, Edward I.
summoned for midsummer 12,000 men from nine of the counties included
in the Bannockburn levy--York, as in that case, being assessed at
4,000.[90] On July 12 we have the numbers from these counties as they
appear on the pay-roll, when it is stated that they had contributed
in proportions which give only 5,501 all told; York having sent only
1,193, and Northumberland, assessed at 2,700, providing the largest
proportion--2,019.[91] The numbers vary slightly on other days, but
seem never to have exceeded, if they reached, 50 per cent. of the
nominal levy. Mr. Morris works out the same result for the Caerlaverock
Campaign of 1300.[92] There are no grounds for assuming that things
went differently in 1314, and thus over 21,540 men are reduced by
about half. It is quite a fair conclusion that not more than 12,000
English foot--which exceeds the proportion above--were actually present
at Bannockburn.

[88] _Writs_, ii., p. 185.

[89] _Palgrave_, cxxvii.; _Welsh Wars_, pp. 95, 98.

[90] _Bain_, ii., No. 1202.

[91] _Bain_, ii., 1229.

[92] _Welsh Wars_, p. 301.

For the foreign contingents no figures exist. Bain thinks they were
not “more than a few thousands.”[93] The Gascon corps in the Falkirk
army should have been 106 mounted men.[94] The Hainault and Flanders
auxiliaries who shared in the campaign of 1327 amounted to 550
men-at-arms, and were an expensive item.[95] The Irish contingent which
came to Edward I. in 1304 amounted at most, for a few weeks only, to
3,500 men,[96] but to merely 361 in the army of 1300.[97]

[93] III., p. xxi.

[94] _Welsh Wars_, p. 289.

[95] _Cf._ Book XIX., 267 note.

[96] _Bain_, ii., p. xxxix, note.

[97] _Welsh Wars_, p. 301.

I would suggest, therefore, for the English army the following
round numbers: 3,000 to 4,000 horse of all sorts, 12,000 English
and Welsh foot, 3,000 (?) Irish, 1,500 (?) foreigners, or, in a
lump sum, 20,000 men of all arms, to which must be added a crowd of
non-combatants--servants, traders, and camp-followers generally. Bain
(as cited) proposes 50,000; Round, 30,000; Oman, 60,000 to 70,000.
I consider 18,000 to 20,000 the most probable range. With even the
lower of these numbers, the English commanders in organization and
commissariat would have rather more than they could manage.

Barbour’s figure for the Scottish army must be similarly reduced. More
than 30,000 would be a huge proportion of the Scottish population
of that time, especially as the whole does not seem to have been
drawn upon, and of that, as Barbour insists, a good many were still
hostile.[98] William the Lion was credited in 1173 with a national
host of 1,000 armoured horsemen, and 30,000 unarmoured footmen,[99]
and the latter unit is surely over the score. At Halidon Hill, 1333,
the Scots are said to have had 1,174 knights and men-at-arms and
13,500 light-armed men or foot;[100] and this chronicler consistently
exaggerates. Yet these figures represent a united kingdom. Forty
thousand at Bannockburn is the estimate for the Scots of the _Vita
Edw._ writer, but the English writers, on their side, grossly overstate
the numbers of the enemy, as witness what is said of Hemingburgh above.
Bain’s figure of 15,000 to 16,000 is no doubt nearer the mark; “perhaps
twenty-five thousand men in all” is Mr. Oman’s conjecture.[101] Possibly
6,000 to 7,000 is as near as we can go, adopting Barbour’s ratio, which
gives a proportion of 1 to 3 of the English army. The non-combatants
here, too, would be numerous. Up to this time Bruce’s men in the field
could be numbered only in hundreds, so that as many thousands would
represent a very special effort. And note that after Murray’s success
over Clifford nearly the whole Scots army gathered round him to see him
and do him honour--a fact which is suggestive[102] as to its size.

[98] See note on 46.

[99] _Chronique de Jordan Fantosme_, lines 328-9.

[100] _Hemingburgh_, ii., pp. 308-9.

[101] _Art of War_, p. 575.

[102] XII. 159-164.



BOOK XX. *421-*432

These lines are found only in Hart’s printed edition. Pinkerton
thought there was “no reason to view them as an interpolation,” and
Jamieson regarded their agreement with the account in the _Howlat_[103]
“a strong presumption of authenticity.” By Skeat they were at first
accepted as genuine, but afterwards, influenced by the reasoning on
Barbour’s rhymes of P. Buss in _Anglia_,[104] he surrendered them as an
interpolation. In the passage of twelve lines three rhymes occur, which
are unusual--more strongly, impossible--for Barbour on the basis of
his admitted work. These are _battell--tell_, _to be--de_, _ho--to_.
In the first case, Barbour, it is claimed, elsewhere always uses the
“liquid” form _bataill_ (_battalyhe_) to rhyme with another word of
the same character as _assaile_ or _travaill_ (_travailyhe_).[105] In
the second, he “never rhymes _be_ with _de_ (correctly _dey_),” as
Skeat puts it, for _de_ (Icel. _deyja_) was still influenced by the
terminal semi-guttural, giving it an “impure” sound, whereas “be,”
with no ghostly after-sound, is quite “pure.” The final example brings
together two different values of “o,” and, it may be added, in the four
cases in which Barbour uses the word, it is in the form _hoyne_.[106]
These rhyme-tests had also been applied to the same result by Mr. W. A.

[103] See below.

[104] First Series, vol. ix., 493-514.

[105] But note _battell_, two syllables, in xiii. 395, 418; xiv. 175;
and _battell-stede_ (xiv. 301).

[106] V. 602; vi. 564; x. 226; xiv. 152.

[107] _Scottish Review_, 1893, p. 192 note.

With this conclusion Mr. Brown agrees, “although on slightly different
grounds.”[108] Hart’s edition, of course, takes a place in his general
scheme of redaction. But he would “hesitate to reject the lines
on the rimes alone,” and “The _be, de_ test” seems to him “quite
untrustworthy.”[109] Skeat thinks it unanswerable.[110] Mr. Neilson
pleads “that this canon begs the whole question of the text of the
Bruce ... first you find your canon; then you edit out of your text
all that is disconform.”[111] Arguing specially on its application to
_The Legends of the Saints_, he points out that “There are not a few
metrical and other solecisms in the Bruce,” and that the “exceptional
_e_-rhyme” is the stamp of transition.[112] It is to be observed
also that Chaucer, Barbour’s contemporary, and more careful in such
matters than he, rhymes _ho, y-do_ in the _Knight’s Tale_.[113] In the
_Alexander_ occurs the _tell--battell_ rhyme.[114] On the whole, the
test is perhaps not so conclusive--out of Germany--as Skeat imagines.
Further, from the indubitable reference in the _Howlat_ to the _Bruce_,
Neilson accepts the latter as the sole source of its digression, and
the lines as therefore authentic.[115]

[108] P. 135.

[109] P. 135.

[110] _Pref._, liv.

[111] _John Barbour_, p. 50.

[112] _The Scottish Antiquary_, vol. xi., p. 107 note.

[113] Group A, 2533-2534.

[114] P. 308; 26, 27.

[115] Chambers’s _Cyclopædia of English Literature_, i. 175.

If, however, what has already been said of the passages from Hart
hold good,[116] then this one must go with the rest. Fortunately, in
this specific case that argument can be greatly strengthened, for the
lines have never been tried by their relation to the context and their
historic implications, and that obvious and indisputable test puts the
question beyond doubt. They have but an outside connection with the
narrative of Barbour, and otherwise are in flat contradiction thereto.
So much is at once evident from the closing couplet:

  “And took it up in gret daintie;
  And _ever in field_ this used he.”

[116] _Pref._, pp. vi-viii.

It is a series of performances of this kind that is contemplated, not
a single example, which is all that Barbour’s account gives room for.
Douglas is credited with a habit of this sort, “ever in field”; while
Barbour, like Froissart, knows of only one battle in which Douglas
fought while bearing the heart of Bruce.[117] Nor is Barbour likely to
have omitted such a “point of chivalry” on the part of his twin hero,
had a valid tradition of it existed in his day.

[117] _Cf._ notes on Book XX. 393, 431.

The problem becomes clearer when we consider alternative and later
accounts of the expedition of Douglas, for which see note on Book
XX. 191, 192. Evidently the idea of his going to the Holy Land, as
Froissart explains the commission,[118] and as it occurs in Bower, gave
an opening for embellishment, which expands in the hands of Boece to
the extent of thirteen victories achieved by Douglas over the Turks!
This, however, is only to give more precision to a composite account
contained in the _Buke of the Howlat_ of the middle of the fifteenth
century, a poem written in glorification of the Douglases. The author,
supposed to be Richard Holland, speaks of the great friendship Bruce
had for Douglas: “Reid the writ of thar work to your witness”[119]--a
clear reference to the _Bruce_, especially as in xxxv. and xxxvi. he
paraphrases the reply of Douglas to the King in Book XX. 223, 234.
Thereafter, however, he strikes off from Barbour. Douglas goes to “the
haly graif,” where--

[118] In part; but see the reconciling passage in note on xx. 191-2.

[119] Stanza xxxi.


  “He gart hallowe the hart, and syne couth it hyng
  About his hals[120] (neck) full hende (respectfully), and on his
        awne hart.”

[120] But _cf._ xx. 307, where this comes before.

The story then proceeds:


  “Now bot I semble for thi saull with Sarasenis mycht,
  Sall I never sene be into Scotland!”

An extension of the original commission, be it noted, and a motive for
what follows:

  “Thus in defence of the faith he fure to the fecht
  With knychtis of Cristindome to kepe his command.
  And quhen _the batallis_ so brym, brathly and bricht,
  War _joyned_ thraly in thrang, mony thousand,
  Amang the hethin men the hert hardely he slang,
  Said: ‘Wend on as thou was wont,
  Throw the _batell_ in bront,
  Ay formast in the front,
  Thy fays amang;’


  “‘And I sall followe the in faith, or feye to be fellit,--
  As thi lege man leill, my lyking thow art.’

         *       *       *       *       *

  Thus frayis he the fals folk, trewly to tell it,
  _Aye quhile he coverit_ (recovered) _and come to the Kingis hart,
  Thus feile feildis he wan, aye worschipand it_,
  Throwout Cristindome kid (known)
  War the dedis that he did,
  Till on a time it betid
  As tellis the writ.”[121]

[121] _Cf._ also xlii.

So we go back to Barbour (“the writ”), but in the final scene there is
no mention of throwing the heart, any more than in the genuine _Bruce_,
though it is stated that “His hardy men tuk the hart syne upon

[122] XLI. _Cf._ _Bruce_, xx. 486, 487.

Obviously we have in these stanzas, and especially in the words
underlined, the source of the lines in the _Bruce_, which are further
in express contradiction to Barbour’s narrative, and have no place
in it. The threefold argument leads inevitably to the one conclusion
that these lines are an interpolation, and, as a corollary, that their
source is the _Howlat_. Mr. Amours, in editing that poem,[123] has gone
so far as to say that this is “almost certain.” I would remove the

[123] Ed. S.T.S.

[124] _Cf._ also _Preface_, pp. vii-viii.



_The Buik of the Most Noble and Vailyeand Conquerour, Alexander the
Great_ is an anonymous Scots translation of three French romances in
the Alexander cycle, dated, in a rhyming colophon, 1438, and published
for the Bannatyne Club in 1831. Between this translation and the
_Bruce_ there is a remarkably intimate and undisguised connection, not
only in spirit and method, but in “the diction as a whole, the choice
of words and the arrangement of the sentences, (and) the abundant
use of alliteration,” to such an extent that “in reading the _Buik
of Alexander_ one would often think that he discerned the singer of
the _Bruce_.”[125] A few examples have been given in the notes, but for
a full survey of this literary phenomenon the reader must go to the
dissertation quoted from above, or to Mr. J. T. T. Brown’s _The Wallace
and the Bruce Restudied_, pp. 100-112 (Bonn, 1900), or Mr. Neilson’s
_John Barbour, Poet and Translator_ (London, 1900), which is devoted
to the subject; or, for the parallels in the Bannockburn account, to
Mr. Neilson’s article on Barbour in Chambers’s _Cyclopædia of English
Literature_, vol. i.

[125] _Untersuchungen über das schottische Alexanderbuch._ Albert
Hermann, Halle, 1893, pp. 26, 27.

On the facts there is no dispute; for explanation three hypotheses
have been put forward. Hermann, accepting the 1438 date, concludes
that the translator of the _Alexander_ was so familiar with the
language of the _Bruce_--“here and there, indeed, knew it by heart”
(_stellenweise es wohl auswendig wusste_)--that his translation was
necessarily strongly influenced thereby.[126] This is inadmissible; the
French poems are earlier than the _Bruce_, and to these the links of
connection ultimately go back. The relationship is really deeper than
the mere language of the translation, as Hermann himself indicates.
Mr. Neilson, accordingly, in a detailed and forcible argument, claims
Barbour himself as the translator of the _Alexander_, arguing that,
the literary proofs being so conclusive, the date given must be an
error, “scribal or printer’s.”[127] Given Roman numerals to begin with,
such a slip is not in the least unlikely; variations of this sort
occur in the _Bruce_ itself,[128] and 1438 may have been a misreading of
1338, or the date may be that of the scribe’s copy, not of the actual
work. Mr. Neilson has an ingenious section on the wayward fortunes of
dates.[129] Thus, reversing Hermann’s thesis, he holds that “Barbour’s
mind and memory had been steeped in the _Alexander_ when he wrote the
_Bruce_.”[130] Mr. Neilson’s argument and conclusion are vigorously
contested by Mr. Brown in a _Postscript_ to the work cited. His more
elaborate hypothesis is that David Rate translated the _Alexander_ in
1437, and that “John Ramsay, Sir John the Ross, wishful to improve the
plain song of John Barbour, used the translation of the _Alexander_
extensively, taking freely whatever he required.”[131] Mr. Brown’s
negative criticism is independent of this proposition which is involved
in his wider theory regarding the construction of the _Bruce_. The
eclectic conclusion of the writer in the _Cambridge History of English
Literature_, vol. ii., is: “Either the book (_i.e._, the _Alexander_)
is the work of Barbour preserved in a somewhat later form, or the
author was saturated with Barbour’s diction, so that he continually
repeats his phrases.”[132]

[126] As cited, p. 35.

[127] As cited, p. 45.

[128] _Cf._ p. 292.

[129] Pp. 43-47.

[130] P. 56.

[131] P. 162.

[132] P. 448.

In the dust of the conflict a crucial fact has gone unobserved--namely,
that one of the parallel lines enumerated by Brown and Hermann
appears in the portion of the _Bruce_ incorporated in his own work by
Wyntoun.[133] _Here, then, we have a line of the alleged translation of
1438 occurring in the “Bruce” as it existed before 1420._ Thus the only
outstanding difficulty of Mr. Neilson’s proposition disappears. The
effect on the rival propositions is obvious.

[133] The _Bruce_, I. 160; _Alexander_, 8, 8; _Wyntoun_, Book viii.
chap. ii. 246; _Brown_, p. 110.



In pursuance of his “hypothesis of fifteenth-century redaction” of the
_Bruce_, Mr. Brown applies what he claims to be “fair and ordinary
tests” to six “selected examples,” in order to show that his hypothesis
“has a basis in demonstrable fact.”[134] I shall notice such of these
very briefly, premising that I do not consider Mr. Brown’s use of his
tests either “fair” or “ordinary.” So much, I think, will appear.

[134] _The Wallace and The Bruce Restudied_, p. 92.

1. _The Trojan War_, _Alexander the Great_, _Julius Cæsar_, and _King

(_a_) The only thing urged against the _Trojan War_ passage[135] is
that it is in the suspicious company of the others, and these, Mr.
Brown suggests, are derived from Chaucer’s _Monk’s Tale_, from which
he produces a selection of lines to parallel those in the _Bruce_. It
may be urged,[136] at the outset, that two contemporary poets dealing
with the same set of historical events are very likely to display
similarities. As Chaucer himself begins by saying--

  “The storie of Alisaundre is so commune,
  That every wight that hath discrecioune
  Hath herd somwhat or al of his fortune.”

[135] I. 521-8.

[136] _Bruce_, I. 529-548; _Monk’s Tale_, Group B., 3821-3908.

But even in Mr. Brown’s “selected” lines it is the divergencies
rather than the similarities that stand out. Chaucer says nothing
of “Babilony’s tour”; “his awyne hows” is no parallel to “of thyne
owne folk”; and “Bot, ar he deit, his land delt he” has no equivalent
whatsoever in the _Monk’s Tale_. Yet Chaucer has forty lines to
Barbour’s eight. In fact, the “example” is a stock one, even to its
phraseology, as witness these excerpts from sources half a century and
more earlier than either poet: _Commendatio Lamentabilis_ on Edward I.
in 1307, “magnus Alexander ... Nam ille annos regnans duodecim veneno
hausto vita defungitur (15); _Vita Edwardi Sec._ (c. 1326). Sed ille
magnus Græcorum imperator Alexander, _totius orbis domitor, cum cunctas
nationes orbis subicit, per familiares proditores toxicatus occubuit_.”
Do such close parallels prove that either Barbour or Chaucer borrowed
from chronicles which they never saw?

(_b_) Mr. Brown argues that the _Julius Cæsar_ parallels are “not
less remarkable for significant agreement, as regards the sequence of
the narrative,”[137] and that “so far as concerns the diction it (the
_Bruce_ passage) approaches even nearer the Chaucerian original.”[138]
But where Chaucer speaks of Cæsar conquering “thoccident” and “the
orient,” Barbour enumerates the countries. Is this similarity of
diction? According to Mr. Brown, he is giving “simply an expansion
of the Chaucerian phrases.”[139] Elsewhere, in such a case, Barbour is
convicted of “summarising” or “assimilating,” here of “expanding.” This
is Mr. Brown’s “fork” from which no author could escape. In twelve
lines Barbour comments on Cæsar’s conquests, his imperial position,
and his death, and in forty-eight Chaucer gives a detailed biography
introducing Pompey, of whom Barbour says nothing, and Barbour is
thereupon charged with following “the sequence of the narrative”--as if
he could avoid doing so! That Cæsar by both poets is styled “Emperor”
goes for nothing; that was the medieval way; as also was the statement
that he was killed in “the Capitol,” as Shakespeare, too, believed. But
the most striking note of difference remains. Barbour says of Cæsar--

  “Hys eyn with his hand closit he,
  For to dey with mar honeste.”[140]

[137] P. 98.

[138] P. 99.

[139] P. 97, note.

[140] I. 548, 549.

Now Chaucer remarks: “Of honestee yet had he remembrance,”[141] and Mr.
Brown enrols the word “honestee” among the things “not to be explained
either as commonplaces or as mere coincidences.”[142] We see Barbour’s
idea of his “honeste”; this is Chaucer’s:

  “His mantel over his hypes casteth he
  For no man sholde seen his privetee.”[143]

[141] 3908.

[142] P. 99.

[143] 3904-5.

Mr. Brown here seems to have followed Cæsar’s example and “closit hys

(_c_) The only point made with regard to the _Arthur_ lines[144] is the
calling of Lucius “Emperor,” and regarding this see my note on the
passage. Geoffrey of Monmouth does the same. That Wyntoun corrects
Huchown, and not Barbour, in this usage--well, Mr. Brown can make all
he can of that. Barbour’s dozen lines on the familiar _Arthur_ story is
charged with being “an excellent summary of the _Morte Arthure_,”[145] a
poem of 4,364 lines! No “expansion” here!

[144] I. 549-561.

[145] P. 99.

2. The _Alexander_ allusions in Bks. III., X. With reference to these
see Appendix E. But why should Mr. Brown speak of “the famous grey
palfrey of Lord Douglas” on the strength of one notice in Bk. II. 118?
There is nothing to justify the epithet “famous”; and _Ferrand_ was no
more an unusual name for a “