The Bruce, Being the Metrical History of Robert the Bruce King of Scots

John Barbour. From The Bruce; or, the History of Robert I. King of Scotland, by John Pinkerton. 1790.

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John Barbour, called the father of Scottish poetry, completed this poem on the life of Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland, in 1375. This edition is based on a manuscript dated 1489.

Therefore presently he sent letters to the lords of his country and they came as he bade them. Then before these lords and prelates, he made his testament, and to many religious bodies he gave money in great quantity for the saving of his soul. He provided right well for his soul, and when this was done, he said, “Sirs, so far as the day is gone with me that there is only one thing left, that is, without fear to meet death, as every man must needs do. I thank God that He has given me space to repent this in life…”

Translated by George Eyre-Todd (http://www.electricscotland.com/history/brucendx.htm).

Image of The Bruce, Being the Metrical History of Robert the Bruce King of Scots

“… for through me and my wars there has been a great spilling of blood, and many an innocent man has been slain. Therefore I take this sickness and this pain as reward for my trespass.”

“My heart was firmly fixed, for the saving of my sins, to make a crusade against God’s enemies when I should come to prosperity. And since He now takes me to Him, so that the body cannot fulfill the device of the heart, I would that the heart, wherein that resolve was conceived, were sent thither. Therefore, I pray you, every one, that among you ye choose one who is honest, wise, doughty [fearless], and a noble knight of his hand, to carry my heart against the enemies of God, when my soul and body shall be parted. I would that it were brought there worthily, since God will not that I have the strength to go thither.”

Translated by George Eyre-Todd (http://www.electricscotland.com/history/brucendx.htm).

Metadata Details
Item Type book section
Title The Bruce, Being the Metrical History of Robert the Bruce King of Scots
Publication Title The Bruce; or, the History of Robert I. King of Scotland
Short Title Robert the Bruce, 1489
Creator John Barbour
Publication Creator John Pinkerton
Publication Date 1790
Language Middle English
Call Number Case Y 185 .B218
Location Special Collections 4th floor