Poetry Corner: The Brus

Robert the Bruce by Andrew SmithOn this day March 25th  1306, Robert the Bruce, Earl of Annandale, was crowned King of Scots at Scone. Bruce was crowned in the presence of four bishops, five earls and the people of the land by the Countess of Buchan, performing the hereditary duties of her brother, the Earl of Fife, who was imprisoned at the time. Bruce was forced into hiding soon after his coronation, however, and the Countess of Buchan was imprisoned in a cage on the walls of Berwick castle. Scot Clans

The Brus by John Barbour

The Brus (Bruce) is a long narrative poem in Early Scots and written c1375. It  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 lord of the Bruce to Glaskow raid,

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;

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

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,

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,

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

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:

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;

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

Thai had in-till thar company.

Download of Full Text: The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Bruce, by John Barbour

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