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

The Argument.
The English armie furth before their King
To ma[illeg.]ter comes and all their foraigne aid
Douglas returnd recounteth eurie thing
Ditchis t'intrap his foes greate Bruce hath made
Randolphs rare fight fair conquest first doth bring
Bruce Beaumout kills the English dooth vpbraid
 The Scots with tants two Brabanders defend theme
 For which the King vnto the Scots doth send theme.

Strong Beruiks toun on Scotlands fronteir stands
Their wheir with siluer streams the Riuer Tueid
Diuyds oure kingdome from the English lands
And wasts his waus t'enritch the Ocean flood
Heir broght the Monarch all his warlick bands
At whoes great name all Europe trembling stood
 And eurie Lord and eurie Prince and King
 Some gold sume gifts and all greate aid did bring.


This mightie Prince his poure assembling sought
To kill the Scots or send them all in rout
O're whome he streachd his Empyre with a thought
Nor for to work the thing had anie dout
Douglas his way eu'ne at that hour him broght
When this hudge armie Bervicks walls about
 Incamped lay and when to sie eche crue
 The regall, throne reard on the walls they view.


Him self in glorie sat vpon the throne
A diaddeime vpon his head he wore
A paill aboue of glistring gold cloth shone
He trod on carpets, ritche in pratious store
Poudred with stones the robs which he had on
And streight in ranks repeared him before
 His armed guard, thus set each troup he knoes
 Whilst on the plaine ther Martiall glorie floes.


Their Squadrons first the cheirfull English shoes
In thrie Battallions eche a seu'rall guide
By Seuerns streams from waills and Cornvaill rose
Some threttie thousand stronge that did prouide
Armd with their piks swords targets to oppose
Their thretning force against their foe defide
 By Moumouths hardie erlle this host was led
 He raignd, he reulled in his Princes sted.


And fiftie thousand horsmen soldiors good
From Trent that pairteth England Iust in two
To Thams and thence vnto he British flood
These rose in glistring arms a warlick sho
Like Mars him self eche breathed warr and blood
Whoes sight wold vanquhish eune the boldest foe
 Led by two Princes of heighe fameleis
 Greate Arrandell old Oxfoord graue and wise.


To Humbers tumbling waus from siluer Trent
And thence to pleasant Tueids cleir christall streams
Came fiftie thousand Arches with Intent
To die or win in midst of most extreams
All these were of approued hardiment
These Englands most triumphant conquests cleams
 As theirs; and this greate host commanded be
 By Glocester the bold and Hartfoord slie.


From threttein regions fertill fair and good
Of Scotlands Kingdome which did yet obey
To Englands King and held in seruitude
By his all conquering force vntill that day
Came fiue and tuentie thousand warriors rude
All Horsmen braue and bold for eche essay
 Sir Jngrhame Omphrauell led these along
 A subtill warriour craftie wise and strong.


Nixt vnto them came fiftie thousand more
Grose men of shaip weill limd both strong and tall
They croc'd the seas from Jrelands craggie shore
But slightlie armd sum weirs no arms at all
Their cheifest strengths ar woods and montans hore
The English deput was their generall
 And vnder him Fits geralds cheif kil-deir.
 With greate Oneill and Desmont reull did beir.


Then came his subiects and confed'rats greate
Whoes limits stretche along the Baltik cost
And these ritche cuntreis Charls the fift did quite
To his deir sone but soone that reull was lost
By Spanish tirrany which heigh dispite
All Europe since her deirrest blood hath cost
 And warr that els wheir doth distroy and waist
 Their both ciuilitie and wealth hath plaic'd.


Allong the foote of Piriane montans faire
A ritche and fertill region doth remaine
Famous by that greate Battell lost of aire
Against the Infidells by Charle maine
His famous Nephew Rolland lost he their
Still famous made by Ariostos vene
 Furth of this land vpon their oune expence
 Ten thousand cam to aid the english prence.


That land that west from Tours doth stretche along
To wasche his feit within the Ocean Sea
Whoes Induellers take much delight among
The Moorish fens to sie ther falcons flie
And in their montans woods and forrests strong
The Princelie Game of hunting vsed be
 That pleasant land that Poictue hecht to name
 Send to this warr fiue thousand men of fame.


That land which Loir from Poictou doth divide
From whence the Britons erst the Gaulls displac'd
And changd the name from Armorick beside
To Britangnie and all their laus defac'd
Wheirin thrie sundrie languages abide
And Masteius for sanct Molois Guard is plac'd
 From thence to aid their great auncestors old
 Come fifteen thousand warlick soldiors bold.


From that most frutfull orchard fair of france
Which Rollo great and his Noruegians stout
Of simple Charls got for Inheritance
Of them it still yet bears the name about
From thence a galland did him self aduance
And conquerd England with a warrlike rout
Of thousands ten: heigh heauns such wonders wroght
 Like number now to Englands aid was broght.


From that ritche land whoes chalkie swan like schoirs
Fair kent beholds best when the Sune goes doune
Whoes cheif toun vieus fair Douers cleif and gloir's
To sie the tours that her fair front doth croune
And thence wheir Cesars monument restoir's
His neuer deing memoreis renoune
 Came thrice ten hundreth soldiors to this warr
 Bold strong and braue that neuer dreamd of fear.


From that fair land wheir smoothlie slyding soam
Waters the medous and the pleasant plains
And from that citie wheir two floods do come
T'vnload their waus from euer springing vains
Seu'ne thousand warlik soldeors came and some
From that old famous toun that yet retains
 Pairt of the Guseane famelie and thence
 Sprong that greate houses glorious excellence.


From Henolt came fiue thousand men of fame
Led by their erlle in whoes greate might they gloird
From their cheif toune eune Mons that hecht to name
Four hundreth came with shining arms decorde
All these were youths not moud with fear or shame
That gaird the persone of their mightie Lord
 And came to spoyll the Garland of the Maine
 But few or none at all returne agane.


That land which hath within his borders plac'd
The holie empirs Marquesad of old
By Skeld, cutt of, from Flaunders in the west
Wheiron stands Antwerp glorius to behold
This land the Maiss so louinglie hath grac'd
She in her bossome doth the same enfold
 From whence the hope of gaine and praise did bring
 Ten thousand Soldeors to the englishe King.


This warr on Europs fairest Erldome calls
Wheir stands vpon the banks of Skeld and ley
That toun so hudge in circuit of hir walls
Famous for that but famous more for why
That euer famous monarch which apalls
Ronoune, Fame, Glorie, Praise, and Uictorie,
 As his Iust dew, was their both borne, and bred
 Thence to his warr, was fourtene thousand led.


From these strong Illands made so strong by arte
Gainst Neptun who still proous their greatest foe
Becaus his floods ouerfloud the greatest parte
Of all these lands as some thinks long ago
But when els wheir his swelling streams conuert
The lands to seas these lands the sea did sho
 Six thousand thence vnto this warr was send
 Vpone the Etglish Monarch that depend.


Their lyis a land along the Germane flood
Throu which the Mais and Rhine their course doth hold
Vnto their Lord whoes rage is still with stood
By sandie douns els all shold be enrold
In waues, thus sand that els wheir eats for food
The fatest soill, heir serus for bulwarks bold
 Of cuntrie-men and wageirt soldeors thence
 Come fiftine thousand to the English Prince.


When these greate regiments all were past and gone
Doun from his throne, the monarch did discend
Inuirond round with Lords and knights anone
Vnto a royall tent his course he bend
That stood in midst of all the camp allone
Without the walls and did him their attend
 And their him self first by him self was plac'd
 Then all his Princes at a royall feast.


All that was past the Douglas weill espyis
Now throu the camp from tent to tent he goes
Hearing straunge tongs but straunger harmonyis
Of drums and Trumpets which to heaune arose
He hears their brags their braues and their defyis
The Scotts were now their slaws and not their foes
 And oft he hears him self condemd to die
 A crwell death in shamefull Infamie.


He smild and to the royall tent agane
He turnd, assembleis greate neus affoords
The feast was done and to the counsail then
Set was the King with Princes duks and Lords
He could haue wishd to heir them but in vaine
No cuning slight could mak him heare their words
 For round about the tent the gaurd did stand
 And none from thence Approcheth nearer hand


Wherfore for oght that he could find at all
By conferrence with English Frensh or Dutche
He seis to trains nor slight they wold not fall
So proud they were of strength their force was such
This Kingdome lairge by lots too greate and small
Was geuen, nor would of Scotts be left so much
 As one, that monarchs wraithe was so extrame
 From of the werie earth too raise their name


The counsail rais and furth the heraulds went
Chairging that spatious hoist in arms to be
Raising to morrow with a full intent
To march derectlie to their enemie
The Douglas heirs and vould their haist preuent
From thence that night departing secretlie
 Vntoo his Lord he haistelie with drew
 Longing too shou all that he learnd or knew.


Thus furth he ryds through silence of the night
Fair Cinthea seimd to fauour his intent
Wrapping her self and all her beautie bright
In duskie clouds which oft in two she rent
Where throu she pri'd to sie iff he were right
Oft wishing him vp in the firmament
 Beside the whirlling Pole their stellefyid
 His bright aspect might gilt her swartish side.


When golden haird Apollo first did light
Earths better half then could he weill discry
The Scottsh camp which enterd once he might
Perceaue the soldeors giue a ioyfull cry
Heir drums and trumpets their ror's furth on highe
His ioyfull welcum thundett throu the skie
 All to the royall tent did him conuoy
 Whom his good Lord receaud with woundrous ioy.


Vp was the King that night no rest he got
Such sad confused thoghts his brains did fill
Of greate effairs and many mightie plot
Of Douglas he hade dreamd and fearing still
His Lords and Princes round about did not
His loue to him and Ioy'd in his goodwill
 The knight kneld doune and kist his Princes hand
 Who reasd him vp and thus did him demand.


Where haue you bein why haue you staied so long
What haue you veiud hou faires fair Englands Prince
My royall Lord quod he att Berwike strong
I stayde til Englands armie came from thence
I veiud and walkt their squadrons all among
I saue that monarchs greatt magnificence
 Whoes Royall pomp and mightie pouer in warr
 Surmonts all, Europeian Princes farr.


The number greate of that so mightie host
Passeth thrie hundreth thousand as I think
They couer all the land from cost to cost
They spoyle the cuntreis dry the floods they drink
Thither all Europe gatherd is almost
And if proud vaunts be deads they scorne to shrink
 But in a word such their confussioun is
 Joue be our aid they shall the Garland mis.


For of the greatest part of all their bands
Both horse and fute their disciplein is small
They keip no ranks their captains stil with stands
They knou no drum nor trumpets sound at all
Naiked vn armd their wapins few commands
Onlie the English archers bold and tall
 All valiant men so weill traind vp in warrs
 Or pace should raigne from heauin they'll tear the starrs.


And their is twentie thousand horsmen more
That alway on the King him self auait's
Earth can no brauer men then these restore
The rest of English knoes no war lik feates
Nor were they euer vsd to warre before
But hope of Lordships rents and heigh estaits
 Hath broght them furth for all this Kingdome great
 Is geu'ne and Scotts by thoght distroyed quit.


And that your grace should not eschaip their hands
Two knights vnto that mightie King hath sworne
Dead or aliue to bring yow bound in bands
T'abid what Death he list impose inscorne
Of your new croune, which each of them demands
In meir disdaine their trophes to adorne
 Greate Glocester is one as doth apeir.
 Sir Henrie Boem the vther hight I heir.


They to your brother and my self applyis
Greate torments too for our so bloodie mind
This said furth from the Princes angrie eies
Fleu sparks of wrath flams from his face furth shind
Praise be to god quod he our enemies
He blinded hath and that Kings hautie kind
 He hardnes still with Pharaos, so his shame
 And fall I wish may glorefie his name.


Now stronglie were the Scotts encamped their
Where Banoghes burne mongst shaddie bankes doeth plaie
The Torwood neir within a valley fair
And for the battell their they neids wold stay
Whill as this worthie Generall did prepair
To stoppe their foes least they should find away
 Them to encompas round, which threatning storme
 Their multitude might easilie performe.


Wherfore eune their where their great host should stand
With ditches deep the plaine he overcl[illeg.]d
Wherein sharp Staiks were pitcd at his command
Then cuninglie againe al couered
The enemie by this was hard at hand
Whoes squadrons lairge ouer al the land was spred
 When their for-front was at the valeis end
 Their last Battaillon did thrie leagues extend.


Wherefore the King his matcheles Nepheu sent
With him fiue hundreth Martiall men of warr
Doune to a way that throu the valey went
To sterling castell and would neids debarr
That hold of aid yee he would still preuent
His foes great slight or strength thus broght from farr
 But this his forsight did the sootherne know
 That would ou'r shoot him self in his oune bow.


Cliffords braue Lord a bold and warlik knight
They sent before the hoist a mille and more
With twice four hundreth horsmen swift and light
That choos'd from all the armie martchd before
Ane other way to Sterling go they right
Bruce seis and sends Randolph this chek full sore
 Thy, Garlands, cheifest flour is lost this day
 If those haue past the way, wheir thou doest stay,


They craftilie escheud wher he did ly
Nor feard they him nor anie erthly foe
But they another secret way wold try
And by him were they past er he could kno
Yet he his vncles bitter tant doth wey
Which stung full deip but he concealls his wo
 His silence shoes he bears a generous mind
 That of a Iust reprooff best fruct will find.


For with his band he follous hastelie
And ouerraichst them like a storme of wind
They scorne from fewer then themselfs to flie
And for to giue them battell turns around
One knight ambitious of some victorie
That for his valour had bein much renound
 Before the rest him self did fare aduance
 And challengd Randolph for to brek a launce


Glaidlie the erlle accepts and furth he goes
A strong stiff launce into his hand he bore
Swiftlie their steids bore furth these noblle foes
Yet their desirs farr swifter came before
As Bo[illeg.]eas brok from erthin prison bloes
Eune from the Toples heights and craggie shore
 Of Coucasus, the clifted rocks a sunder,
 Such furie bring they, Earth-resounding vnder.


Sir Williame Hauecourt hight the English knight
Whoes speir too weake to harme so strong a foe
Breaks on his breist but his stif launce doth light
Beneth his curas sklenting vp ward so
As from his head of heuines it got a sight
His helme then lights vpon the earth belo
 Furth at his croune the spears point lookt and thence.
 Bears him to earth then breks with violence.


This deed prouocks the Scotts aduancing light,
And doth inflame the English all with Ire,
A shout the Scotts encurage to the fight,
Of English wrath still silence blous the fire,
Braue Randolph cairs nor fears not all their might
Nor for his men wold stay nor once retire
 But throgh the rout he breaks with wondrous force
 And stronglie bears to earth both men and horse.


Rudlie both Syds togidder rushith in
And blow on blow they giue and wound on wound
Death Horror Blood from rank to rank doth rinn
Yet nather side wold shrink or lose their ground
Whill Scotts thus striue to keip what they had winn
And English to repair their lose new found
 The valiant Bruce was sodainlie assaild
 With in his camp yet his awin worth preuaild.


And thus it was the wantgaird of his foe
Still marcht two leagues before that mightie host
Straight touards him they cume or he culd kno
Who sheam'd within his trenchis to be forst
But in the plaine him self did quiklie sho
Drew foorth his bands in haist no tyme he lost
 Nor could his foes refrean from fight at all
 Still as they marcht for battell still they call.


Yet did the rest of this great armie stay
Two leagues from thence encamped one a plaine
The King comandit so, so they obay
The day neir spent to fight war all in waine,
The wantgard knew not of this new delay
Nor with such strength d[illeg.]rs leasie dout remaine
 One hors and foote they fiftie thousand wer
 Led by that mightie erlle of Glocester.


The Scotts broght furth by their braue worthie Prence
His cheirful looks did conquests hope restore
Encuraging each one to mak defence
From band to band he rode the ranks before
The English knew him by his countenance
A Mass or Brasen staf in hand he bore
 Whill thus he rode Sir Henrie Beome espi'd him
 And to performe his promeis past he tri'd him.


This was the one that should him tak or kill
And furth before the host he doth aduance
Toward the King he bent his course so ful
He hops to mak him yeild beneth his lance
But quiklie doth the King auoid this Ill
And with a more then manlie countenance
 Gaue with his Brasen-staf so hudge a blo
 As kild the knight and brak the mass in two.


In th'English that hath sene their campeon fall
Disdane and Wrath with Shame and feir contends
Disdane and Wrath for dread Reuenge doth call
But shame and fear bewrays their want of freends
That they were thus allone now knew they all
A spur to haist both shame and fear it lends
 Thus in amazement long they stand in dout
 If they should flie reteir, or fight it out


Yet heighe disdain did fearis faint strok rebatt
Now they wold force the Scotts to fight or flie
Eache to him self these words doth ruminat
Oure number farr exceideth theirs we sie
But lo their leader strenght repins their at
Softlie reteir and keip your ranks quod he
 Oure last commissioun is expird of right
 We had in chairge to martche but not to fight,


Wheir with the Scots so fircelie doeth persew
As they war vrgd a forcd retreatt to take
And scattered in disordered flight with drew
When wislie Bruce, his galland troups drew bake
Ill to preuent, deceate for to eschew
He thinkst, to tymlie fortune to awake
 Haist wanteth witt, rashnes, shall loose his winning.
 And maks greate lose attend a fair beginning,


Now wer the Scots reteird and left their wrathe
When all the Lords thus to their King doth say
What may this natioun look for els but death
What may this Kingdome look for but decay
In yow consists oure being life and Breath
Yow gone we die yow lost we'r lost for ay
 Yet yow your self and ws in yow expose
 To Danger still and hazards all to lose.


To this was answerd ah my Lords quod he
I broke the brauest staf that eure was made
I must confes: O wisdome worth to flie
On golden wings of fame for euer laid
This answer seimd no answer for to be
And yet theirin both witt and patience stayed
 He clois'd their mouthes ere half their speach was doun
 For what he did vnkilld, he could not shune.


Yea he the daunger braulie did awoid
And Iust praise merits not vniust reproof
He deimd no lose, if he hade keipt his rod
But all this tyme Randolph without releif
Inuirond with his mightie foes abod
Which to the worthie Douglas breid such greif
 That when the King refuisd him leaue to aid him
 To braek furth throu the camp in raige it made him.


But as he neirer to the Battell drew
He saw the Englishe bands begin to reill
O then quod he it wer noe freindschip trew
To reaue the glorie thou deserus so weill
Then stood he with his band a fare to view
The will of Mars and works of cutting steil
 Mars blisd him oft that wapins first inuented.
 But Pitie cursd and wishd him oft tormented.


At last he seis them whollie put to flight
And bak vnto their camp they haist with speed
The Scots for to persew them seimd not light
So werrie they so fant so much they bleid
Many of them were wounded in the fight
Tho none but one was kild and for that deid
 Thrie hundreth foes lay dead into the place
 Or eu'r their fellous wold the flight embrace.


Lo onlie heir trew valor might be seine
Blew Theetis boundles arms did noght contein
More worth in warr more strength more curage kein
Then in thoes gallant English did remaine
No falt in them: no conquerours to haue bein
One earth to striue with fortune is but vaine
 What Mars requeris, was theiris without Intrutione
 Only ou'r matcht in constant resolusione.


These loses throgh the English camp do flie
Whill Terror fear and Conscience leads the way
Confusioun follous after spedelie
Of these when Curage hears he maks no stay
Furth from the camp he stelleth secretlie
And to the Scotts he came er braek of day
 But Pride and h[illeg.]ighe Disdane behind abaid
 That all the world could to distructioun leid.


Yet heir and their in twoes and threis they go
Their leaders conscience large accusing thus
He wold an antient natioun ouerthro
A frie croune reaue, O this is dangerus
Joue fights for them Gods thundring wrath we kno
What heart so bold but heaune maks timerus
 If heir we fall as we must surlie fall
 Heigh iustice dealls with vs with them and all.


Vthers that on Disdaine and Pride still fed
Thus say, tush Scotts what ar these Scotts to vs
Meire dunces grose by simple outlaus led
Wild sauage naked poore and barbarous
Their Lord a montain climber baslie cled
More like a cloune then King victorius
 A hundreth thousand doth adorne our hoast
 In whoes sterne face he darrs not look allmost.


No sooner we shall in the feilds appeir
When they in Caues and Dens them selfs shall hide
Gainst flights of Egills darres poore Crous compeir
Or sillie sheip the dreadfull Lions bide
Dare a poore band of cuntrie swans draw neir
Vnto a world of martiall soldeors tride
 In bloodie fights, no no if we but sight them
 Oure veray drums and trumpets shall affright them.


Thus brage the English whill two courteous knights
Whois chaist ears still abhord vane glorious bosts
Replied, these Scotts whome your cleir day benights
A handfull ay compaird with your greate hosts
Poore sauage simple whom your neame afrights
These many hundreth yeirs hath keipt these costs
 And throu the wordle haue wone a famous name
 Their trophes darkning oft your gloreis beame.


And sure these Crous do merit double praise
That beat the Princelie Egills from their nest
These scheip aboue all beasts them selfs doth raise
That tear the Lions which disturb their rest
If a poore band of fermors nou adais
Of conquests wrong, great Kings hath dispossest
 Eune in dispight of such great strenght so neir
 They merit most whoes worth doth most appeir.


As for the Bruce whome you so much disdaine
And rather termis a ruffian then a roy
We heir that he but with a simple traine
Eune Englands mightie armeis doth distroy
And tho the Scotts them selfs be him againe
He conquers still a Greek in midst of Troy
 Ah if he be so worthles as you mak him
 Why trouble you all Europe thus to tak him.


In Brabant borne these knights were both that mak
Their parte so good whome yet they neuer knew
Such indignatioun heighe the English tak
Both Sids leap furth to arms and wapins drew
But soone commanders wise their furie brak.
And both wer broght to that greate Monarchs view
 Who when he hard what they had boldlie said
 This hauie punishment vpone them laid.


We chairge you quiklie from oure camp quod he
And presentlie vnto the Scotts repare.
Their hinder what you can oure victorie
Both with your counsail valour strenth and care
And who soeuer too morrou lets vs sie.
Their Sotish heads cut from their trunks I swear
 Gainst eurie head a hundreth punds to set
 And think the dead good seruice to oure state.


Then wheir the Scotts encamped were they go
A guard of horsmen did them their conuoy
When greate and worthie Bruce their cause did kno
He did receaue them with exceiding Ioy
And when the battell endit was did sho
Suche bountie high as ritche without annoy
 To Antuerp they returnd and bulded their
 In honor of the Scoots a Mansion fair.


Each Armie now for battel sterne prouids
Each on their Lord and maker loudlie call
Long time the Scotts in zealous pray'r abids
Before the Lord in humble wise they fall
That Faith that Trueth that Right and Justice gids
In which they pray him to protect them all
 Whill heauins gold spongled Gannob[illeg.] was spred
 And silent Morpheus broght them to their bed.