Patrick Gordon Poems >>
The Famous Historie: Cap. VIII

The Argument.
Scotlands great King from treasone ill contriued
By heauens and his oune valour is relieued
Inspight of twyce two hundreth he repriued
The victorie which he alone atchiued
He resteth their till all his knightes aryud
The wittie Hay is with his hast agrieud
 Ferce Eduard ayd vnto his brother lendes
 Douglas to winn his strength agane in tendes.

Whill fame with brasen breath did souud o're all
What she had heard in Scota's faerest land
Of Bruce returne, whoes arme imperiall
Now our the westerne regions did command
Greate Eduards Uiceroy did a consall call
Wherin with graue aduise he chuisd a band
 Of warlik Soldiers and ther Captane bold
 Sir Jngrham Bell, A champion wife and old.

Now these for to gane stand his poure he sends
And for to keip him still Into the wast
For he him self with greater poure intends
To pull the wyde vp be the root at last
That squadron then their Warlick poure extends
And marcheing to the toune of air they past
 Wheir as their warie captane minds be slight
 To work his valiaunt foe a foull dispight.

Within this land an antient kinght did dwell
Whoe of oure prince had secret frendscip got
He liebail heght whome th'Englishe did compell
Of his sad death for to contriue the plot
Two valiant sons he had nay sons of hell
Who stainis thair fame with filthie treassons blot
 Nor this their treassone wold at all reveale
 But waits to tak occatioun by the heale.

Neir to king Roberts camp a Groue their lay
Low by a riuers side and out of sight
Wheir aiged oaks their branshed arms display
And maks dimm shaids with dark and glomie light
Heir oft oure prince in secret vft to pray
Heir lay the murtherers till on a nicht
 Doune to this groue the Prince allone descended
 On whois returne a paige without attended

No sooner mong these thickets did he go
When he beheld wheir thay had cloislie lyen
By what intelligence I do not know
Or rather reuelatioun most diwyne
He calls his paige and from his hand does throw
A crosbow and a bolt both sharp and fyne
 The auntient knight he killeth with the same
 As he vnwar's too rashlie fordward came,

All armed the vther tuo in wraith and rage
Began him cruellie for to assaill
But his good sword did both their wraiths assuage
And did so much against them both preuaill
Eu'ne then expird the daits of both their aige
They in their death dispaering curse and raill
 Against their fate and fortuns bad decree
 Of God who cairles leues shall cairles die.

Thus to the camp the Prince returns agane
Loud, honord, feard, admird, and praisd of all
When night of day the victorie did gane
The Scoutts returnd befoir his feit thay fall
Whill in his Regall Tent he did remane
Presenting their a prisoner with all
 Whoe to this worthie Prince in secret shoes
 That he should be assailed by his foes.

And how they wold aproche that veray night
Vnder thik darknes blak and cloudie vaile
And wold assault his Camp with suddain fight
Nor wold strong Trenches noght at all preuaill
With fire throune furth their Tents shold burne so bright
Yet could not this his wonted curage quaill
 But with a glaide and cheirfull countenance
 He doth inquir what way they wold aduance.

Beyond this riuer ar they yet said he
And by a secreit foord they pas vnknoune
Then quod the Prince heauins oure Protector be
As is oure caus such be oure fortons shoune
Now he commands his captans for to sie
That his small armie from the Camp be drowne
 And rank't in Battell furth vpone the plane
 Wheir they in arms must all that night remane.

To Guarde the Camp he sixtie maks to stay
And brings four hundreth foorth with speir and sheild
With this small armie he wold neids essay
To force his subtill foe to flie or yeild
And that braue Lord that bears the name of hay
He doth creat as Gen'rall of the feild
 Him self with onlie two wold go and view
 The foord wheir they sould pas that wold persew.

Now doun the Riuer side his course he bent
From whoes steip banks heig he crags and rocks arise
And still he seis the farther that he went
Heigher the Shoir louer the streame still lyis
At last wheir as the rocks in two was rent
Their nature did a narrow path devyiss
 So to the Riuer doun or vp might go
 But one in rank or at the most but two.

When this braue Prince this strength did weil behold
Quicklie these two that with him thither went
He bak derects and prays in haist they wold
Drow vp the rest his foes for to preuent
For heir quod he oure foes to ws ar sold
To die what death we list for to inuent
 Craft without craft we should with stand in vane
 Heir wil I stay till you returne agane.

When they were gone he softlie nerer drew
Whill as he hears a noise and ratling sound
Which still the longer heard the greater grew
At last horse Braying mens shrill voice confound
Yet these he vous his flight shall neu'r persew
Nor oght but death sall mak him lose his ground
 When lo paill Phebe shynd so bright and cleir
 That he discryis four hundreth horse well neir.

These crossing ou'r the Riuer did ascend
The passage wheir with sword heighe borne he stands
And with an bloth first bright Crest doth rend
Nor head nor breist the mortall blaid with stands
Doun falls the knight his reilling horse doth bend
And fordward leaps but lo in both his hands
 The Prince his sword sheirs throu his hoarie syds
 And for his Lord a bloodie Tomb prouyds,

Now with a shout the rest of this proud crue
Throngs vp the path and stronglie him Inuaid
Part climing vp the crags vpon him flew
And at his feitt they fall Leam'd, Bruisd dismayd
Troad by their frends they die the rest furth drew
Their swords each other hurts, hast Loue betraied
 Strait waie, darke night, firce raige doth blind them so
 Each hurts his frend, for haste to harme his foe.

But as a Roke, a Craig, or Cap of lande,
That fire air watter raiging wold diuide
Doth stedfast still and vnremoued stand
Gainst thunder lightning tempests storme or tide
Eu'ne so the Prince ganstands this warlick band
And all their raige their wrath their strength doth bide
 Still as they came in troups confoosd to find him
 He marcheing leau's them slaine in heaps behind him.

Their Leader formest now to speak began
Ah shame quod he now neuer leiue we more
So manie hundreth beat by one poore man
Should die a thousand deaths death cloisd the dore
An organe of his speache he staggring ran
And relling twice he fall's the Prince before
 Whoes sword had perst his hart he lifts his eies
 With half groned words he threats & threatning deis.

The captains Brother thristing for reuenge
Thrusts throu the throng and to the Prince he hyis
Wrath from his eies foorth sparkled lightning straunge
And with an Angrie voice he sternlie cryis
Ah villans you your credet thus infreinge
Ah soldiers you no soldiers thus that seis
 Your captane slane ah now returne yow neuer
 You Fasards wretches Ourcasts curst for euer

Waik feble faint for horse for sword or spear
More fit for iron toolls then Armour bright
Your heads Breists baks should hauie burdens bear
No helms nor sheilds should you adorne with light
In curage place, is entred shame and fear
No hope is left but in your feit and flight
 In darkest night your cheifest strenth abyds
 Darknes your shame your feare and faintnes hyds.

And full of raige for eu'rie word a stroak
He gius oure Prince whoes sword bears eurie blo
And whill he yet enraig'd wold more haue spok
He cuts his words and with them cuts in two
His Iaws on him death spreads his mistie cloak
He on his brother falls whoe leiuing lo
 Him doth imbrace both kish both soules remoue
 O! Pitie, great, O! Blesd, O! wandrous love

Now foreward rushd this single Campioun stout
And maks such hauock alway wheir he goes
As Boreas when he has blasted out
His storms: of Herbs, Treis, Beists, and Foulls, the foes
Or as the raiging Floods that rore and rout
Gainst Rooks or Thunders that heigh Tours doun throes
 As Earthquaks threat to burst the eairh a sunder
 His force so shaks thois bands O Strenth! O wonder

Whill thus he kills and driu's them bak by force
And all their bloes vn-harm'd vn-hurt sustaind
Horse bruisd their Maisters whill he treds the horse
In and beyond the stream they all remaind
Forst doun with might the passage quite they lose
When lo the armie cums and quiklie raind
 A storme of swords whill trumpets roaring blast
 Warr's thundring tempests foorth with lightning cast.

Death, horror, murther, feare Greif sorrou Paine
Came fare before aud with thier tallons wide
Sease on their hearts and chilid in eurie vaine
Their vitall Breath, that fleis it self to hide:
Nou ar they so benoum'd that scarce remiane
Strenth for to flie Or force for to abide
 Some flee some fall some droun dispaird allone
 Eche vther hurts for haist for to be Gone

The Prince by this of al his foes was cleird
And setts him doune vpone a stone to rest
Sueat on his face Blood on his arms appeird
His breath was short faint heat his hairt opprest
Wearie his arms his hands so stiflie steird
He could not weild his sword which he possest
 And lo the sword did seeme no sword at all
 So blunted was the Edge and hack't so small.

By this his Troups were come vnto the place
And for him calls and for him loudlie cryis
But when they fand him when they kneu his face
In heaps they run to feid their longing eies
And doun they fall his feitt for to imbrace
With thanks and praise to God they rend the skeis
 That hee allone overcums a thousand foes
 They doubt who wonders most or most reioes.

They find the captaine and his Brother slane
And fiftein more ly wallowing in their blood
Some English were some Scotts who felt the pane
They gane who gainst their king and cuntrie stood?
In Gallowoy these Troups did all remane
Holding that cuntrie in great seruitude
 They took King Edwards pay their captane bold
 Broght them in hope of gane praise, Glorie, gold.

But the Lord hay and vthers graue and wise
Against his rashnes bitterlie did chide
Quod they what proue you in this interprise
No Generall nor no captane Prince nor Guide
In whoes deir lose eu'ne all oure losse non lyis
Nor ours allone but all this all beside
 Ah should you not to mind oure natioun call
 That but for yow no natioun were at all.

Allace do you of Glorie so at count
That It to gane ane Empire you wold lose
Nor can you not to endles glorie mount
But to all dangers you your self expose
In vaine poore valor doth for Glorie hount
If noght for Goode of wisdome he maks choise
 Be wise deare Lord since of our croun and camp
 You ar the head the heart the life the lamp.

He litle answere to these speeches made
But said he forcd was ether fight or flee
Now to the camp triumph and waies they ryid
Whil day shuttes furth his siluer hornes on hie
Fame flees oure all on Warr's winges sanguino reid
And stroues the seid of this great victorie,
 Which back vnto the camp brought manie skore
 Who crost with fortunes bad hade fled before,

Edward the bold in Lennox nou remiand
And with thrie hundreth did that land subdeu
Who hearing what his brother late hade gaind
Returnes vnto the campe with all his creu
The Douglas with his traine that late obtaind
His oune cheef strenth which last he ou'r threu
 Heares that the Clifford hade with wondrous care
 Reedified the bulding much more faire.

And left a warr-like man a valiaunt knight
To keep the hold with him three hundreth strong
And he who thus commanded Thirswall hight
A man who hade in warre experience long
Yet wold the Douglas needs essay his might
And to the world mak knowne his right their wrong
 To sixtie now his traine augmented werre
 With those he wold essay the chance of warre.