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

The Argument.
A messinger vnto the King doth scho
Sad news that doth incense his wrathfull Ire
From Roxbrughs tours braue Douglas beats the foe
Eduards bold answer Quenshd his brothers fire
To view the Englis camp doth Douglas go
The Scots obey their Princes Iust desire
 Few men they send but valiant fierce and bold
 Chusde furth of eurie Region vncontrold,

Scotlands great King that all this tyme had gone
From toun to toune from citie strength and tour
Throgh fiffe, Stratherne, Merns, Angus one by one
And Goureis cars which all vnto his pou'r
Did glaidlie yeild, and he eune he allone
Their natiue Lord was their greate conquerour
 But he to Edinbrughe returnd at last
 Till Isickles his chilling breth furth blast.

No greater pompe, Solempnitie, nor glorie,
Magnificence, Praise, ritches, nor renowne
Got Cesar as records the Romane storie
When as he made the westerne world bow doune
To Rooms proud reull wheirof he might be sorie
Nor entred he more brauelie in that toune
 Then oure greate Lord when first he enterd heir
 Whoe was more lou'd whom all as much did fear.

Whill heir he stayd admeird feard lou'd of all
To him braue Randolph did the Castell yeild
Which to the ground he raizd both tour and wall.
That their his foe agane sould haue no beild
And on a day set in his Princelie hall
He to his knights and Lords his will reueild
 When straght a messinger doth to him bring
 Tydings of Ioy wheirof new trubbles spring.

The Messinger vpon his face doth fall
And sayis great King and my most Gratious Prence
All praise be geune to God that doth enstall
Vpon oure throne thy worth thy excellence
God grant that in thy seid he may recall
Thy glorie and resume thy greatnes thence
 Thy brother Eduard humblie greiteth thee
 And warns the thus of what is past by me.

Rugleins strong peill is tane by Eduard bold
That warrlike toun Dundie by him is winn
And also royall Stirling vncontrold
Gladlie receau'd his conquring armie Inn
But that inpregnable and matchles hold
Stirlings strong Castell wold not once begin
 To heare of peace till famein forcd at last
 They parle thus, and thus their peace is past,

A yeir to keip the hold he them permits
And if within that tyme greate Englands King
Releius them noght but cairles them omits
Then in his hands they shall the place resing
Sir Philip Moubray their in reuling sitts
He's gone to England Succor thence to bring
 And now that mightie King prouids we heare
 By Gaine and gold to bring all Europe heir.

For he by proclamatioun great hath sworne
Through eu'rie kingdome cuntrie toune and shire
That Scotlands name by him shall be out worne
He will distroy that nation in his Ire
And all that comes of vther nations borne
To keip that day shall haue what they desire
 And of this Kingdome greate without extorsioun
 Eche equall to his worth shall haue his portioun,

Greate multitude of straungers day by day
Broght by these means in England doth ariue
So that they think ritche England scarslie may
Find store ynuch to keip them all alliue
Besids those cuntreis greate that him obey
In France all Princes his confedrats striue
 Whoe shall the best and greatest armeis raise
 OS willing seims all Europe him to please.

And thus in time your grace wold neids be ware
To sue with guifts the angrie King to please
Or giue you mind to try the chance of Warr
Prouide in time your forces for to raise
Wheir with the Kings eies brunt with wraeths teid star
Should we his Iyre with guifts quod he appease
 Why villane what base fear so timerous
 Ere till this day hath thow espy'd in vs

Haue wee till now sustaind such endles pane
And storms of Warrs sad tempests hath out worne
Oure Kingdome croune and cuntrie to obtane
And raisd oure self in spight of Englands scorne
For braggs thus for to fold with shame agane
When Fortune to oure foot the Ball hath borne
 No heauins forbid such clouds of fear and shame
 Sould so obscuir oure mornings rising beame.

What tho the pride of oure imperious foe
With euer soll destructioun doth vs bost
Oure forces mene his multituds doth kno
Yea tho a world of men augment his host
Oure mite incresseth with his talent lo
The widous oill when blisd tho leist was most
 He must be many still and still be glorious
 And feu we must be still, and still victorious.

Let him bring furth his England, Jreland, Waills,
With Britange Gascon and fair Aquitane
Poitew and Guian and all cuntreis els
With Scotlands better pairt yet all in vane
God vs protects gainst whoes strong arme preuaills
No Earthlie pour in him oure hopes remane
 Trew Scotts we bring and brings this prais with all
 Gainst Scotts allone all Europs thoght too small

Thus spak the King whill all his Lords and peers
Reioisd thereat and hoped in heauins reuenger
Whill he not onlie fearles bold appeirs
But also ware and wyislie weyis the danger
He for each captain sends who sone compeirs
Consulting all how to bear af the straunger
 The conquering knight came their whoes worthie actes
 My tird quill mends and my dull Museawaiks.

How soone the King returned was from Lorne
And progres took through eurie regione faire
To vieu the land wheirto him self was borne
As righteous King iust Prince and onlie heire
Douglas that rest and ease did euer scorne
Did bak vnto the south agane repair
 Wheir he the English oft did ouerthrou
 But Roxbrugh how he wan Iyll onlie shoun.

And thus it was on fastingeuins dark night
Thrie scoir he brings in armour pitchie blak
All on their hands and feit doth creip out right
No noyse no sound no word bewraid their tract
The watch them seis but so as in their sight
They seimd a heard of bews and this they spak
 This night good Rodger lets his heard at learg
 Whereof er long blak Douglas may tak chearg.

He smils to sie their sight disceaued so
But hard below the wall arriu'd at last
In goes the watch such thundring tempests blo
Ledhous a Ledder made of Touis vp cast
Whoes cleiks of jron soundeth with the thro
Yet full of euraige he ascendith fast
 This ingine he deuisd wherebe to gaine
 Him self sume glorie and his foe fume paine.

The Sentinell that hears the sound espyis
Ledhous ascend and quiklie to him goes
Who doth not only on the walls arise
But kills him too; then doun the carkas throes
When all was mounted Douglas quiklie hyis
Doun to the hall for to assail his foes
 Who now amid their feastuall Ioyis var caght
 Sum play to death sum drink their leatest draght

With lyf devoring swords the Scotts, ariue
That Douglas Douglas cryis whoes verey name
So dreadfull seimd, that few for wapins strine,
But flei to saue their lius not cairing shame
Or day thrie hundreth they of life depriue
The captane with the rest them selfs reclame
 In an strong tour but Douglas kept the feild.
 Till famien forcd them all at last to zeild.

And then braue Douglas they intreat for peace
To whom anon they render vp the hold
Them selfis their liwes and all vnto his grace
Who was as wise and mild as feirce and bold
Them of that bondaige streight he did relace
And send them home with all their wealth their gold
 And then to Edinbruche his cours he bent
 Wher warlik Bruce for all his Lords hade sent.

Their Edward their greate Stewarde might he sie
Trew Marr wise Lenox, Hey, and Randolph strong,
With manie more graue counsalours that be
To their braue Prince who satt them all among
All silence keipt he muisd with maiestie
Whill one his throne he satt att last of wrong
 Acuisd his brother who with reuerend fear
 Too this his wise and solid words gaue ear.

Brother what haist what raschnes did you guide
What folie causd you giue so long a day
To Englands mightie king for to prouide
His forces greate when weill you know he may
Bring furth for euerie one vpon our side
A hundreth warlik knights in good aray
 How could yow think that we culd him gainstand
 Who yet most parte of Scotland doth command.

Yea thoght he wold no vther forces raise
But onlie Scots for to releiue the hold
Eu'ne these can ouermatche vs if he please
Much more with Irish English Welshmen bold
With Almans Frenshe and Dutchis by all these
Whom in subiection he in France doth hold
 All these shall come and with a world of men
 Shall we be able to encounter then.

Surlie you had no foresight heir at all
And to oure rising state you wronged much
What we haue conquest yet is verie small
Nor ar we siure of these, the commouns such
Inconstant minds do beare, and so oure fall
Is neir, if one the brokin reid but tuche,
 Better had bein we neu'r had soght with paine
 To clim so hie so soone to fall againe.

His brother answers heauins forbid that so
Should fall, what I haue done we can not mend,
Not neid we much to feare oure mightie foe,
Thoght he bring armeis from the worlds end,
His Sunne is at his Sommerr Solsteice lo
And neids he must returne for to discend
 Fortun must Froune when she too long hath smild
 Who surest hopeth oft is oft begild.

Yea tho he hed a hundreth Kingdoms more
And could a hundreth Englands bring to warr
By heaune he shall haue Battell once before
He come to Stirling if to come he dare
This spak bold Edward whoes bold words restore
The shining light of Gloreis darkned Starr
 In many hearts which to greate loue doth raise him
 His Brother in his heart doth greatlie praise him.

But grauelie thus agane the King began
My Lords my captains and my chiftains all,
I gladlie wold we were assured when
Oure foes should come, and when oure troups recall,
For oure meane force must be made stronger then
To catche occasioun and giue vantage small
 Then Douglas sai's my Lord let one be sent
 That war he can perceaue whaat's their intent

And surlie I my self the man must be
Iyll slilie walk through all their squadrons braue
A Frensh man of a Scot they all shall sie
With Almans Erensh and Dutch I can disceaue
I Knou their Lords and Princes of degrie
Through all their camp the secrets I will haue
 Iyll raise my beard and bazane mak my face
 Iyll change my voice my gesture and my Grace

Loth was the King that he should vndergo
This fearfull task he for him self prouids
But neids he wold be gone at last and so
Disguised like a Frensh man forth he rids
His face straik with ane oile no paint did sho
Of his first Grace his countenance it hids
 The accents hard of Frensh he sounds so right
 That eune the Frensh them selfs mistak their sight

The worthie Bruce his tyme not idlie spent
But forth to muster calls his men of warr
Furth to the flourie banks of forth they went
Vnto a pleasant Medou lairge and squair
Deir Muse tho time hath in obliuion pent
These wortheis names that heir did armour beit
 And made their of springs nams to differ fare
 Thou knows bothe what they were & what they are.

But what they were, were longsome to repeat
Onlie as they ar now to vs vnfold
That tho their names be some what changd of laie
Yet we may know them for the of spring bold
That yet remains stand not on points of stait
But lat eche land eche prouince be enrold
 With their Lords name and these such Tinktor lend
 As mightie time nor age may efter spend.

Vnto the camp their worthie King forth goes
Their King their Captane and their Gen'rall great
Whill all the commoun soldeors arose
With Ioyfull shouts and signs of Loue perfyit
Pleasd with their salutatiouns sweit, he shoes
A cheirfull smyle, their loue for to requyit,
 Then gius command against the following morne,
 Their glorious standarts should the plaine adorne.

No sooner Titan Butneist Neptuns vawe
And spred his beams ou'r Earths enameld brest
When forth the wortheis warlick bold and braue
Came all in shining Steill, their glistring crest
Adorn'd with plums, their armed horse whoes show
With stairlie prausing seemd with pryde possest,
 Before their Lord, he from a rocks proude height
 One eurie troup doune bent his curious sight.

Now Eduards, Douglas, Randolphs troups remaind
About the King nor marchd they to the plaine
And all on Douglas absence much complaind
But most of all his owne men thoght in vaine
A sight be of the English camp obtaind
Nor fea[illeg.]d he oght nor wold he turne againe
 Whome to his fortun leaue we now to sho
 These troups that martchd vnto the plaine belo.

From Skieland orknay Caittnes faire and wyde
Furth stretcht to the great north theis, cuntries lyes
Came furth two thousand led in martiall pryde
By two bold erlls of Antient families
That long these cuntries lairge did wishe gyde
And tho farr of they ly yet they aryiss
 To help their noblle prince ther minds so hautie
 Showing therby their faith, loue, zeall ther deutie.

Ross Sutherland Stranauer nixt to them
As many men as braue as stout as strong
Led by two worthie erlls of auntient fame
Greate Sutherland and Ros right famous long
Of Irish Scotts in clanns that keipt the name
Fiue hundreth thrice their chieftans broght along
 From all these montane cuntreis north that ly
 And plesaunt shoirs that coasts the Jrish sey.

Randolph broght forth all Morrays shire almost
These wait on him he waits vpon the King
The men of Buchane thogh their Lord was lost
To shew their loue and duetie forth did bring
A thousand bold broght from that pleasant cost
That still beholds the German Ocean spring
 For Graine a fertill land for pastor good
 The men a people of Bellonas brood.

From Marr two thousand came of warlik fame
Led by that euer famous erlle of Marr
Whoes faithfull heart whoes much redoubted name
Yet neuer left his Prince in Peace nor Warr
Whoes Starr of Glorie euer casts a beame
Which still Illuminats both neir and farr
 The men of atholl then their Ensigne spred
 A thousand by their gallant erlle forth led.

From Merns their came of Squiers and of knights
A thousand warlick, hardie, fearles bold
Led by their Erlle traind vp in marti'all fights
Their erlle whoes worth my Muse can not vnfold
Whoes great ancestors shind still glorious lights
And whoes first father did the land vp hold
 From bondage wild for which they still command
 As onlie greate Lord Merschalls of the land.

But Angous heght the Region nixt that lyes
A famous fertill fair and plesant land
From which two thousand did in arms aryse
Led by greate Lords that by them selfs command
As Ogiluy and Brechin bold and wyse
Montrois greate erlle that led a valiant band
 But he that led the most pairt of that host
 Was Craufurds mightie erlle who reuled most

Nixt Goureis Carss a pleasant cuntrie lyes
Vpone the northerne banks of famous Tey
And to the North the Eist and West aryse
Pleasant grein hills vp to the cloudie sky
That like a wall impregnable defyes
The boasting foe or foragne enemie
 Streaching their ragid arms aloft ascending
 The pleasant plains from tempests still defending,

Wheir Barlie Wheat and all the sorts of Graine
That pleasant cuntrie plentefullie yeilds
In all the valeys meids and eurie plaine
The frutfull Treis ar strou'd through all the feilds
The Regions round about that doth remane
Ar still suppleid from thence wheir plentie weilds
 By heau'ne and nature greac'd with all thing sels
 That eu'ne the famous Normandie excels.

The port or entres to this pleasant land
Is strong Dundie weill cituat and fair
Betuixt it and the German laek that stand
Wheir as Tays mightie floud with murm'ring cair
Like Tagus rolling our the golden sand
Doth cast him self away as in dispair
 From this fair land came foorth a thousand good
 That in their cuntreis caus wold spend their blood.

By mightie Erroll wer these troups forth led
Whoes greate begining gloriouslie was wrought
When as the bloodie Danes their ensigns spred
Heir to distroy oure natioun whill they soght
As endles swarms in thousands Bie-hyus bred
Such endles swarms these rude Barbariens broght
 Of armed sauageis tho still with stood
 And fild the land with Famine Warr and blood

But when their Moone was full their Tyde at hight
Oure Eb so low that hope and all was lost
Thy first fotbe'r stout Hey came to the fight
Who with two sones allone their fortune crost
Whoes valours onlie put them all to flight
O wonder thrie our cums a mightie host
 But so Joue wild that from so fair a spring
 Scotlands greate Constabill his stream should bring.

Then fertill Fife nixt musterd foorth hir brood
A land by Nature fair and ritche by arte
From Tay's great streame to Forths cleir christall flood
She gathers furth her bands in eurie parte
Erlles Lords and knights they all ar horsmen good
Thrie thousand chosen men of heighe desarte
 Rothes greate erlle and many erlls beside
 Amid these troups spred furth their Ensigns wide.

Thrie thousand more came furth of Louthean fair
All Princes Lords and knights and men of fame
Wheir Setons Lord euine Weintons erlle did bear
Not meanest reull with vthers of greate name
Angous greate erlle ard Morton bothe was their
Tho other cuntries fair might them reclame
 Wheir they bore reull with many barrons more
 As Gems doe ringis whose worths that land decore.

Then Lithgoes schire and Stirlings pleasant land
Seauin tims five hundreth men of armes forth send
Their Liuingston our Lithquhow did comand
Lord Elphingstoun his aid did likewaies lend
Monteiths old erlle broght furth a chosen band
A gallant rout on Erskins Lord depend
 From Cyde that cam all thes and many mo
 As floods to th'ocean to their soueraing flow.

Perth and Stratherne two regions fair and bred
Send furthe two thousand hardie knights on horse
Strathern and Drumond erlle of perth furth led
The greatest pairt of all this martiall force
And heir the Morrayis furth ther ensigne spred
Who from Morauia bring ther ancestors
 A doughtie race of people bold and sterne
 Led by that valiant Lord of Tulliberne.

And Bunkills Lord their cam, that Stewart hight
Whom Douglas with braue Randolph took of yore
When Huntles mightie Lord by honord flight
Eschaipt from Jedward as you hard before
He broght a gallant troup and wroght so right
That to his Princes peace he did restore
 This Adam Gordone huntlies noble Lord
 With virtue and with valour much decorde.

He in the Mers a mightie reull did bear
Eune he of whom heauns maker had decred
Such Branches still should Spring as should vp rear
That house to such a height as now his seid
Ring's in the North nor can tims aig out weare
Their greatnes worth and vell deseruing meid
 Nor can it be amise for to repeat
 From South to North what causd them cheange their seat.

This Lords braue sone in Mars his bloodie feild
In spight of thou sands of his armed foes
With conquering suord made Atholls er'll to yeild
That in dispight of Scotlands King arose
And to the English foe became a sheild
Till they the secound time procuird new woes
 For which braue deid his Prince did him declaire
 Lord of Strathbogis fertill region faire.

His race ay since oft mixt with Princelie blood
In the greate North doth worthelie comand
From Bogyis stream too Speyis greatt famous flood
And famous made their name in manie a land
And to their Prince hath done suche seruice good
As in the hight of Glorie still they stand
 So litill springs of fair cleir christall fontains
 Become greate floods and sueill ore toples montains.

From thence greate Lords arose, whoes virteus rare
Might well by fames eternall beayes be cround
Of whom our cuntreis vriters ar so speare
That in obliuions floods their deads ar dround
Whoes worth greate woloms cold not all declare
Deseruing well for ay to be renound
 Yet vriters bleamles ar eas may be seine
 For of renoune all Scotts hath carles beine.

Which maks them yet vnto the wordle obscure
So that most parte of Europe doeth not know them
Altho their woorthie actions might procure
Our all the Earth in glorie for to shou them
What Homers paines can make their name indure
Prais them aliue lett death quite ouerthrow them
 They scorne their wealth should cherish learning treu
 And after death to look for paiment deu.

But soft my Muise faint not for all they paine
This famelie doth for the wordle prepare
A youth who seiks too waish away that staine
From this greate hous with Magnanimious care
Whoes Martiall heart heauen neuer framd in vaine
Like to his valiant Syres that might compare
 With fortuns knight for happie succes still
 So fortune shall his braue desings furth fill:

O this is he that most one day propine
Me with the flowing subiect of my song
Vpon whoes brou such glorie greate shall shine
O Muise my zeall inflame with furie strong
His cheracter to paint with tinktor fine
Transparent neate and cleir my laies among
 All mistereis thou knowis beneath the skies
 Then lead me in whear his rare fortuns lies.

What is he then O bodlie may thou say
In his ritch Soull all faculties inshrind
Whoes sweitt complexion beares a mutuall suay
Of all the elements in peace conioind
With such a loue and fraudles sinpathie
As all commands yet all obeis the mind
 His temper fine doeth moddell furth aparte
 The rare ingine of nature heaune and arte.

Time shall not cheange his purpose soleid ground
His course no course shall let or bear awry
Fortune in chains his fortitude hath bound
Nor Iudgements sharpest cleir and subtill eie
Can pry when danger once his heart shall wound
His matchles mind is Eleuat so hie
 Yea Nature of her Treasure Wealth and Store
 Giues him the key and lets him opp the dore,

But o how am I thus with pleasure led
Amide the wildernes of his perfection
Where hauing thousand sondrie waies to tred
My self may lose my self without derection
From such a laborinth I most be fred
To hold my wandering wits in some subiection
 Their wher thow left deir Muse retourne in haist
 When Gordons Prince him in the North had plac'd.

He did not leue by south his seatt so beare
But of a younger brother is discended
From that same Stook a race whoes virteus rare
Hath worthie still bein iudg'd to be comended
But pardon me that stands for to declare
The race of which I not so much intended
 Yet if I bring more from obliuions brink
 What reasone ist they should in Lethe sink.

This Huntlies Lord greate Gordone with him broght
A thousand horsmen clade in glistring arms
All these cast of the English yock and soght
After the dreadfull sound of warrs allarms
From Huntlie and long Gordone some all thoght
The Mers obeid and feard greate Englands harms
 But lo Argill coms with their Erll whoes sone
 Yet to repent his wrongs hade not begone.

Scotlands greate Iustice is that aged knight
And oure the Jrish-Scotts greate reul he beir
These men ar active nimble quik and light
Light is their raiment armour none they weir
At all tims reddie for to flie or fight
Weill made weill fauord cleinlie smooth and fair
 Their som what rude yet mild if mildlie vsd
 Most cruell in reuenge if once abusd.

Of these two thousand Archers broght he furth
And with tuo handit-suords and schirts of maill
A thousand more of much redouted worth
Fiue hundreth horsmen bold for to assaill
Barrons and knights all sprong of noble birth
Guards him gainst whom his foes could not preuail
 These Gallants braue were much to be commended
 All of his name and of his line discended.

And from the west came furth a valiant band
Which did consist of twise fiue hundreth horse
Quik, agill, reddie for to chairge at hand
With sword or lance all of approued force
From Lennox and Dumbretons plesant land
Whoes flourie Mairg still seimeth Amorous
 Of tumbling Clid whoes Billous striue in vaine
 To wond the bossome of the western Maine

These to obey their gallant Lord was glade
Lennox good Erle that neu'r serud in vane
The last brane troup was also brauelie led
A thousand horsmen they did weill contane
By Glasco Jruing and Ranfrew wer bred
These men, in Boots strong Ile did some remane
 Scotlands greate Stewart was their Lord and heght
 Walter by name wise valiaunt bold in fight

These ar the troups and bands that heir wer broght
And all were bred so neir the artik Starr
That cold keips in the heat whoes pours hath wroght
Strength in the heart and their vnited ar
Which maks them fierce curagious bold for oght
Matcheld for bloodie Mars and meit for warr
 But yet seaune Erles and threttein Lords did sho
 Them selfs in Arms to aide the English foe.

Yea manie Lords and Erlls haue I forgot.
That to the mightie Bruce assembled heir
Whoes geatnes vntill now no pen did not
Englands good fortun did so weill appeir
Whill Joue him self did fauour still their lot
Wherfore they wise he did them selfs reteir
 As cannons fird gois bak that earthe may wonder
 When they aduance, their all distroying thonder.

So these inflamd with fire of hot disdaine
Reteird with greif with hate with lose with ire
That with the greater force they might againe
Aduance their lightning wraths-consuming fire
And then a thundring tempests wold they raine
Crushd from the suelling clouds of their desire
 Which to the King and all should weill declair
 That barren treis could now both bude and bare.

Now passed was eche troup eche squadron strong
When to the camp their Prince his course furth bent
And all his Princes go with him along
To hold a counsall in the royall Tent
Meane while the Douglas all his foes among
Walkt for to kno their number, pour intent
 At Beruick fair he had arriu'd vn-sein
 For their this mightie host did all conuein.