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

The Argument.
Both Armeis Ioyne in long and doubtful fight
And threttie thousand in the ditches die
King Edwards deids encurage eurie knight
And Scotts for to preuent their victorie
Is forcd to Ioyne with them in Singill fight
When th'Argentine greate Bruce hath kill'd they flie
 Their King abids and wold the flight restore
 But seis new aid and fleis his foes before.

When bright Hiperion's goldine carr arose
Both armes soone were cled in glistring armes
Whoes golden splendor gainst the Sune furth shoes
Earthes lightning hote the Aers cold region warmes
First eche braue Scot to diuine seruice goes
No trumpets blast was heard nor drumes allarmes
 The sacrament they take to heaune vpfleis
 Eche humbled hearts best pleasing sacrafice.

The English squadrons marchd vnto the plaines
And all the land with arms doth ouerflo
A iust half moone their battells forme containes
Sharp to eche point brod to the mids they gro
In battells fiue their mightie Host remaines
Two on the right and on the left hand two
 Of their greate King that in his battel large
 A hunderth thousand horsmen led to charge:

Greate Arrandell nixt him on his right hand
The chairge our fiftie thousand Archers bore
Those English wer all come from English-land
No brauer warriors could the earth restore
Nixt vnto him did valiant Hairtfoord stand
On horse and futt that led as many more
 From Scotland, England, France, and Jreland broght
 With Sheilds, with Launces, Piks, & Swords, they foght

Nixt on the left hand valiaunt Oxfoord stood
That fiftie thousand footmen broght to fight
All these did seim approued Souldiors good
With dairts sword Piks and vther Ingins wight
And Glochester nixt him that thrists for blood
Had in his battell many warlick knight
 Like to the vther wing his wing was pleac'd
 With arms and curage both alik ar greac'd

In the greate battel with the King abod
Henolis greate Erle and many Princes mo
On his right hand that warlick campioun rode
Whoes fame so much out all the world did go
Of Argentine sir Giles that gaind abrod
So many conquests our the pagane foe
 Greate Pembroks Erle on his left band did stay
 His saiftie onlie in their valors lay.

And then greate Bruce came to the plane at last
And this new moone thus for to perse essayis
First brod behind his battells forme was cast
Then stretched furth to a point Pirameid wayis
Seuin thousand warriours in the vantgard past
With the feirce knight in warr more bold then wyise
 Whome Scotlands Stewart seconds in command
 His feirce and firie nature to withstand.

Manie braue knights vnto this battell drew
Bold warlick, ferce and men of worthie fame
And then the second battell did ensew
Morais stout Erle them led whoes famous name
Shall neuer die and many werlick crew
With him: whoes hearts did fleit in valors streame
 Their number like the first and these did beare
 Spears Piks and Suords and all Ingins of warr

The conquering knight the third Batallione broght
Seauin thousand also did this host containe
Scotlands greate Constabill vnto him soght
Braue Hay and these that did with him remaine
The Boid and vther Lords still worthie thoght
But last of all did marche vnto the plaine
 The greatest battell which the King commands.
 Wheir fourtein thousand armed warreors stands.

Many of all the noble men ware their
And all these hosts on fut did march to fight
To eurie battell did the King repair
Whoes quick cleir eies send furth a cheirfull light
His visard vp he mildlie doth declair
The price of conquest punishment of flight
 And with a countenance which wold haue, made
 Euen cowardis hardie thus into them said.

My freinds quod he behold this glorious day
Wheirin the heauins to croune oure Ioys hath sworne
Let none of yow their multituds effray
Gainst God and querrells Iust force seims forlorne
In Scotland fiftie thousand yet doth stay
Meit for the warre whome we haue all forborne
 And yow we chuisd whoes hearts could neuer fail-yow
 Nor could base fear of death, at all assaill yow.

The worst of yow his Gentreis will declair
And of his reputatioun still will bost;
A Gentleman may with a Lord compair
But what is he if honor once be lost
And heir on honor waiteth ritches fair
These two that all the world so much do cost
 Which if yow wish, do now but cair for fame
 He neuer deis that winns a famous name.

What is that armie which yow now behold
But eune a new raisd Babell of confusioun
The Soldeors mistak their captans bold
To colonels reull the captans mak intrusioun
Thus eurie one by vther is controld
And Iarring foundeth forth a ghostlie visioun
 All kind of beasts wold in one heard confound
 Their reullers witt with their confused sound.

Besids they came oure natioun to distroy
And from the earth to roote and rais oure name
Look not by flight your life for to enioy
But rather thousand torments most extreame
Your Maids and Wyfs to death they shall convoy
When in your sight they raueishd ar with shame
 Yee all must die and they inioy as theirs
 What yow haue buld or planted for your heyrs.

Then if yow wold preuent their crueltie
And endles praise and endles wealth obtaine
Let eurie one of yow mak one to die
So one triumph and conquest shall we gaine
As for ten thousand which among yow be
We know such valor doth in them remaine
 Eche shall kill two and whoe of yow be is soft
 We sweare his Airs their wairds shall nothing cost.

Yea what I seik yow may performe at will
For what ar they a Chaos heap confuisde
Naiked or slightlie armd and wanting skill
To till the ground and keip their flocks more vsd
How can their King preuent their following Ill
When feare and ignorance hath reull abusde
 In danger who wants skill hath curage lost
 One coward disconforts a mightie host.

The English King (his armie in array)
Thus by him self and by his Trinshmen spak
If I were not so weill assuirde too day
Of victorie and of these Dastards wrak,
An other forme of speache I wold essay,
But Bruce that Fox now may not turne his bak,
 God doth him thus within this feild inclose
 That we may giue what death we list impose.

His brether by oure Princelie Syir was taine
And Iustlie punishd were as they deserud
And onlie but these two doth yet remaine
By ws it rests they should alike be seru'd
These Scotts which yet their small host doth containe
Ar noght but Robbers poore and hunger sterud
 Thefe ar not they that hath so oft before
 Fors'd oure bold English from the northern shore.

In this long warr all these ar spent and lost,
Noght but the dregs remains run is the wine
Distroy them kill them scatter all their host,
We sie them els to fearfull flight incline,
This kingdome, fair and lairge from cost to cost
Tak yow for eu're: Noght but the name is mine
 Dare one poore slaue gainst thousand Captans fight.
 No no oure shad shall put them all to flight.

Whill thus he spoke the Scots on kneis doun fall
And prayd to Christ, whill as they did espy
His Croce reard vp on hight before them all
By him that reuld Sanct Androes Priorie
Si[illeg.] quod the King how they for mercie call
Wheir at the English armie gius a cry
 But thus that Antient Graue and warlik knight
 Did answer him Sir Omphrauell that hight.

Your maiestie indeid hath spokin trew
They call for mercie to the Lord of grace
But at your grace they do no pardon sew
Nor will they flie this mightie host a space
The more their wounds the more their strength renew
To sie their blood their valor doth increes
 But if your maiestie wold ouerthrow them
 Vse this devise for surlie best I know them.

Before them let your armie feim to flie
And yow shall sie them brak their Battells strong
None with his Captane will commanded be
Thus quyte disordred shall they be er long
Tush quod the King, I scorne they flight should sie
When both oure force and valor is too strong
 Let these that feare them vse such craft or flie them
 We mind if they darr fight at all, to sie them.

Thus martching on the English armie goes,
The Scots enflamd with furie hate and Ire
Wold giue the Chairge, but their wise Lord that knoes
Their haist doth Curb and brydill their Desire,
Vntill the pits prepaired for his foes,
They could not shune: and then he bloes the fire
 Of their feirce Curage, when his will was done:
 And both the armeis rush togither sone.

It was a wondrous straunge and dreadfull sight,
To sie these squadrons meit vpon the plaine,
How eurie soldior Captane Lord and knight,
Straue endles praise and glorie to obtaine,
The Scotts schrill trumpets thunders furth the fight,
Their foes send furth heaune deafning sound againe,
 Both armeis seimd two woods their leaus that cast
 When Winter foorth his bitter breath doth blast.

Both sides approche their blooddie rage to glutt
And terrible the coward seemes to be
Hote furie flammes within and burnes without
Blood heates their heart fire from their brests do flie
Trew Curage and Desire had banishd Doubt
Their hand and foote stroue with their thoght and Eie
 In gesture this they were alreddie ioynd
 By thought their triumphes all were quikly ioynd.

Earth shrinkes and aer was darkned with the dust
Tumult ascendes whill thunder shaekes the ground
Both armeis rudelie meet and brauelie iust
Braue yet in show till terror beautie dround
Swords sheeldes and helmes glistred like heaune almost
Horror it self seemd first with pleasure cround
 Blood had not garde their armes, caskes keep their head
 No members cutt, nor murdred heapes lay dead.

But as in Autums first and fairest Prime
The angrie wrath of heauins reuengefull King
For hell bred sinns, furth of sterne Boreas clime
Scharp shouts of hail with blustring winds doth bring
So heir the shours of arrous lairger tyme
Darkins heauins face whill throw the air they sing
 A heaune new framd of yron cloudes they view
 Whoes pearsing beames the vitall blood furth drew

Ther stormes pourd doune whoes haell wer yrone stinges
And funde no earth but couerd horse and men
And eche a wakning wound or death furth bringes
Heaune sends doune suddane harme nor know they whe
Chance seemis trew fate hape killith hopes disignes.
But aim the archer spends no shalt in vane
 The brauest kills triumphing our his foe
 But he is kild of whome he doeth not kno.

Scotts worthie King that seis the harmefull wrong
Done to his men by English archers kene
Fiue hundreth horsmen sends freshe hardie strong
Led by the euer famous Keith I wene
Who goes about and at their baks ere long
With stiff strong launces all in reast were sene
 Through all their ranks they brak with furious might
 And beats them to the earth with sad affright.

Scotlands greate Merschall heir suche Ualor shew
As maks his glorie leiue in endles fame
For more then seauintie tims he did renew
Vnequall fight with Danger most extreame
Greate Arandell in fight he did subdew
And by his onlie valors lightining beame
 Foyld fiftie thousand warlik men of pride
 Whill sears fiue hundreth did with him abide.

Thus whill the fronts of both the armeis fight
The greate Battalion of the English Host
Fourth ouer the couered ditchis mairchith right,
Wheir more then threttie thousand horse almost,
With groning Earth doth shak, and turns to flight,
But such dreid Thunders earths wid bowells tost
 As tumbling in her brest, doth vaune a way
 To suellow them in darknes hid from day

Some break their necks legs arms their horse below
Some smoird some crushd to Death with vthers weight
Some horse and men with shairp stroks persid throw
The liueles truncks semis carued stone in sight
This fearfull accident doth ouerflow
Their fellous hearts with Horror Fear and Flight
 They stand: not mairtch amazd they look at lairge
 Till their bold foes gaue them a furious chairge.

Thronging throu tanks & ech wheir strous their way
With Herror Terror Slaughter blood and Feare
In harvest so reapers reap without delay
A feild of Wheite of Oars of Rie or Beare
And raizeth all the pleane nor maks no stay
Till want of Corne mak them their task forbeare
 And Ceres locks cut doun in heaps doth ly
 Such heaps the Scotts still kills and passeth by.

Their angrie King that led them this doth view
And brauelie from his troups doth furth aduance
And wheir his steid he turnd or sword he drew
The kild fell doun hurt fled his countenance
From his fair eies dread Maiestie furth flew
Manie fell doun struk with the lightning glance
 But better he whom he had kild before
 For these with teith and feit his curto tore

And their were killed by his Princelie hand
Seuin valiant knights whoes names hath time forgot
From rank to rank he martchd from band to band
And whome he meits death sure must be his lot
Stratherns old Erle their deid beneth his brand
Whoes sone with sorrow prickd with furie hote
 Did ferslie him assaill but all in vaine
 Death made him soone forget his fathers paine

Now I almost forgot the wondrous deids
Of these bold campions set on ather hand
Of this greate King who after him furth speids
When first he left his battel guarde and stand
And still on death on blood and murder feids
Marching from troup to troup from band to band
 Yea these thrie campions fearles bold and strong
 Cut furth thrie bloodie lains their foes among.

So doth thrie mightie Cannons shot at once
A front an armie standing all in gro
The heaune with lightning earth with thunder grons
Eche firie bullet cuts the ranks in two
Heir lyis the head and their the helmet shons
A furlong thence the Bodie fells a foe
 Scheilds Arms and Legs heir monts and their doth mank
 And mak wid windoes deip in curie rank.

And now the greate Battallion which they led
Wheir yet remand thrice twentie thousand horse
By their example all encuraged
Rushd foreward on their foes with wondrous forse
And in a moment all the plaine vas cled
With corps whereon they tred without remorse
 Proud fortun seimd to froune vpone the Scot
 And victorie to croune the English lor.

Now seimd the Scotts too walk against their foe
Squadrons of barded horse still beats them doun
And these thrie campiouns that before them goe
Thrie Wonder-wirkers conquering a croun
Greate Bruce espyis this Danger wrak and woe
With noble wrath Ielous of their renoune
 Wold with the strongest cop by fatall chance
 And to the Argentine doth furth aduance.

O who had sene that fight so bold and strong
Their was the Scool that taught the arte of warr
These Masters were and had beine Loureat Long
Nor Mars nor Pallas could the fight forbear
Wondring on earth the mortalls all among
To find such two as eune them selfs wold fear
 And think if these two onlie took in hand
 To conquer earth none could their force gainstand.

These matchles Lords these warriors bold did weild
Two heauie masts rather then lances strong
Two horse of Spaine forth bear them trough the feild
With force alike they meit amid the throng
O sacred Mase some golden phraises zeild
T'enritch my verse and guild my lais along
 Make of those lines a heaune reard throne renound
 Where lett this famous fight for aie be cround.

The fureous stroke made all the earth to quaik
And Woods and montains echod bak the sound
Yet could it not these valiant champions shak
Nor beare them from their seat nor force a wound
In fleinders flie their spears their horses brak
Their neks, and both the riders lay on ground
 Yet vp they they flie with swords they soone addres
 By death warrs dreadfull sound for to suppres.

Both swordes weill couch'd eche at his ward doth ly
Their eies their handes their feit they wische guide
Then ceasles stroakes thrustes foines and bloues they try
They ward trauerse retoir marchd leape a side
Both giues and both receaues both falsefie
Both shunes and both lyife garding wardes prouide
 Both oppin stand for death like despirat louers
 Which craft in th'one the others art discouers.

The Prince on futt was readie suift and light
And could with stand the Argentins bold sute
Who was on hots more skilfull in the fight
But he more stong more quik to execute
Sir Gilles hade more art and cunning slight
The King more painfull kein and resolute
 More fearce he was this foe more could and slie
 And yet in arte both seemd a like to bee.

The Prince vpone the Argentine would enter
Shuning his doun-right blow his strength to teame
Then at his heart the Argentine doth ventre
Which whill the Prince strikes by he doth reclame
And paintes his brest too cuning was the painter
For show of blood floues furth a bloodie streame
 Which so inflammed the King with curage fire
 Arte now reteird shaine bringes reuenge and yre.

This knew the knight but would not seeme to know
Whill as greate Bruce his brest to daunger laid
Whereat the Argentine soone reacht a blow
But left his syid quite nacked to inuade
The worthe King first shunes his furious throw
And then a wound both large and deip he made
 This his reuenge the prouerb old belied
 Heir cunning Arte and furious Raige agreid.

Whill thus they striue and double wound on wound
Bold Edward matcht with Pembrocks Erle in fight
Of whome fames sweit shrill trumpet shall resound
From Jude to Ockades their praise their might
Deseruing weill with Glorie to be cround
And in all age to shine with glorious light
 Their woundrous strength their Curage ech did sho
 But nather side aduantage yet doth kno.

Now Englands King not one darres match at all
Whome blood and death attends throu all the feild
But woorthie Hay his curage did appaill
No daunger maks him shrink or fear or yeild
Alcides club with more strength did not fall
Vpone that mightie Tirrant Brouseirs sheild
 Then on the helmett of this dreadfull King
 The Erle his feirce and furious bloes doth bring

Eune their wheir goold and perll and pratious stone
Vpon the Prince his curious helm was wroght
He lightis and cleft the cask which brightlie shone
And to his horses crest his head doune brought
For paine th'inraged King sendes furth a grone
Trembling for Ire whill droid reuenge he soght
 And on his helme he gius a blo so rood
 That from his noise and mouth Isht crimsone blood

But to repay him when the warr-lik knight
Hade lift his sword gone was the Prince in rage
Still where his furie ledd him through the fight
No generall ought a combat for to waige
But all this while in equall ballence right
Both armeis stand conquest departes the staige
 But in the left winge with the Douglas bold
 Great Glocester a bloodie fight did hold.

This was the man that swear to Englands King
To bring the Bruce capteiw in chaines and cordes
The Douglas fand him aiming at the thing
A band of knights with him thairto accords
But furth to combat Douglas did him bring
In spight of all these Sold'ors knights and Lords
 A squadron strong at his command had foght
 With them and both almost were broght to noght

These campions strong thus fought a Battell bold
Troy neuer vieud the like in all her wrack
Their Skill their Strength their valor to vnfold
My slender Muse darts noght in hand to tak
But sure I know the worthie Douglas wold
Noght leaue the fight till his proud foe he mak
 To yeild his nek beneth his conquring bled
 And for his fault his guiltie blood he shed.

This done he marcheth throw the host at last
Working new wonders still wheir euer he goes
Close ranks he breaks and oppins as he past
Before his face still fleis his fearfull foes
He seis braue Randolph haisting conquest fast
And craftie Omphrauell beat by his bloes
 Steward the great with Hartefurd striuing standes
 Whoe first should gett a kisse of conquests handes.

Long foght the knights but neither side wold yeild
Equall their hope and equall was their feare
Spears helms & swords were stroud through all the feild
Heads arms and legs by headles bodeis were
Some dieing look to heauin leans on their shield
In deaths pane some blood from their wounds furth tear
 These ranks to marche reteir or chairge that minds
 Trods on the bodeis of their slauchtred freinds.

Their horses kild lay with their masters dead
And he to death that did his foe persew
Now in his bosome laid his heauie head
The conqueror by him he ouerthrew
Is prest to death and findeth no remeid
O're all confusione tumult and terror flow
 Their nather silence was nor noyse perfite
 But sounds of Death paine pitie rage dispight.

The Glorious arms that lait did glistring show
Now blood and dust and myir had dinid their beams
Fear Herror Terror on sw[illeg.]h hight doth grow
That sullen pryde sunck doune no honor clames
Her glorie strond vpon the earth below
O're all her beautie blood floues furth in streames
 Now Greif and Sorrow beats Delight fra thence
 And all doth look with wofull countenence.

Earths rairest King that all this while had fought
With his fierce foe and geuin him many a wound
Yet doubts who thence with conquest will be broght
Such valor greate was in that knight renound
At last to kill or die him self he thoght
And with a strength far more then erst he found
 He thrustis againe and from his side furth tore
 A deadlie stream, a flood of blood and Gore.

Ah matchles Prince when thow hes knoune the man
Whoes days by the must now be broght to end
Thow shalbe like to burst for sorrow then
No confort shall thy conquest to the lend
He was thy frend thy deir companioun when
In th'Englishe court thy youth thow hapt to spend
 No Fauor he at all to the did sho
 But Vertuous minds lous Vertue in their foe.

The Argentine that seis this bloodie sight
Bathd in his louk-warme blood him self doth stay
Ire in his fanting hairt prolongs his might
Feble his force for to renew the fray
Furie Disdane and Raige mantaind the fight
For strength was gone and Curage was away
 Lyfe leaues his toure and in the breache remaines,
 That death should gaine so braue a hold disdaines.

Vnitting his spent pours a blow he lendes
The Prince, that woundes his head and cuttes his cask
With whoes last force and weyght doune he discendes
Death winnes the breache, beginnes his endles task
Furth from his lippes lifes aged Syre he sendes
Then on his face he spreds his doolfull mask
 To heaune his soulle fleis throw the cloudie Air
 Whoes greate name som tyme all the Eist did fear.

In thrie set Battells thrice he did with stand
The Sarasins and still with conquest cround
And twice beneath his all victorious hand
With chains of death their cheifest Lords he bund
But now when endles sleip did him command
No longer durst proud Fortun their be fund
 Wheir English fight but she and victorie
 Rankt with the Scotts, vpon ther enemeis flie.

The English Irckt and wiered then disrank
All flie yea eu'ne the boldest yeilds to flight
Their Cullors throune away with thankles thank
Threats Cryes and Plaints redoubles their Affright
Their King still threats but still away they shrank
For yet with him vnbrokin byds the fight
 Whole tuentie thousand horse with whom he wold
 Their Fight, or Die or, Conquer vncontrold.

But as the seas when tempests past and gone
That rold her tombling waus vnto the shoars
Of lait past storms retanes some shoues anone
And heir and their sume swelling Billow roars
So thoght faint feare triumph'd do're these allone
Some sponks of their spent Ualor hope restors
 Wheiron sustaind their task they new beginn
 But wound on wound and death on death doth rinn.

The Carriers of the Scottish camp arose
And see their Masters still mantane the fray
Both Lak[illeg.]ys Carters Wemen Slaues and those
That carage keept, came in their best array
And disperatlie wold assaill their foes
So al should winn or al should lose the day
 Long napkins white vnto their staues they bind
 These seru'd for Ensigns wauing in the wind.

Whill thus the English fighting loth to flie
Eune suddandlie appears into their sight
An armie freshe that seimd in arms to be
With th'eir their siluer Ensigns wauing bright
They haste their pace and with a shout they sie
That these curagiouslie intend to fight
 Disconfeit quite they now resist no more
 But flees that wold haue fled long time before.

The Scotts persew them in a dispirat sort
Some through the plains some to the montans flie
Wheir eu'r their headles fear doth them transport
A whirll wind seims to beare them haistelie
Thousands the tumbling forth of lyfe cuts short
And thousands mo in flight their foes our hy
 Base deaths they seik but fleis the death which lend
 In Glorious fight a fare more Glorious end.