The Scots under Leslie followed him, occupied Doon Hill commanding the town, and seized the passes between Dunbar and Berwick which Cromwell had omitted to secure.
The cycle of Guillaume has more unity than the other great cycles of Charlemagne or of Doon de Mayence, the various poems which compose it forming branches of the main story rather than independent epic poems. There exist numerous cyclic MSS.
Not far distant, on a conspicuous position close by the banks of the Doon, stands the Grecian monument to Burns, in the grounds of which is the grotto containing Thom's figures of Tam o' Shanter and Souter Johnnie.
Of the Brock is Doon Hill (650 ft.), which overlooks the lower course of the stream and indeed the whole field.
Cromwell, after a war of manoeuvre near Edinburgh, had been compelled by want of supplies to withdraw to Dunbar; Leslie pursued and took up a position on Doon Hill, commanding the English line of retreat on Berwick.
The cavalry of his left wing stood fast, west of Doon Hill, as a pivot of manoeuvre, the northern face of Doon (where the ground rises from the burn at an average slope of fifteen degrees and is even steeper near the summit) he left unoccupied.
The centre of infantry stood on the forward slope of the long spur which runs east from Doon, and beyond them, practically on the plain, was the bulk of the Scottish cavalry.
Before dawn the English advanced troops crossed the ravine, attacked Doon, and pinned Leslie's left; under cover of this the whole army began its manoeuvre.
The artillery was posted on the Dunbar side of the burn, directly opposite and north of Doon, the infantry and cavalry crossed where they could, and formed up gradually in a line south of and roughly parallel to the Berwick road, the extreme left of horse and foot, acting as a reserve, crossed at Brocksmouth House on the outer flank.
In the words of an English officer, "The sun appearing upon the sea, I heard Nol say, ` Now let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered,' and following us as we slowly marched I heard him say, `I profess they run.'" Driven into the broken ground, and penned between Doon Hill and the ravine, the Scots were indeed helpless.
Gradually most of the chansons de geste were attached to the name of Charlemagne, whose poetical history falls into three cycles: - the geste du roi, relating his wars and the personal history of himself and his family; the southern cycle, of which Guillaume de Toulouse is the central figure; and the feudal epic, dealing with the revolts of the barons against the emperor, the rebels being invariably connected by the trouveres with the family of Doon de Mayence.
The wars of Charlemagne with his vassals are described in Girart de Roussillon, Renaus de Montauban, recounting the deeds of the four sons of Aymon, Huon de Bordeaux, and in the latter part of the Chevalerie Ogier, which belong properly to the cycle connected with Doon of Mayence.