Scottish Poetry Selection
- Bannockburn

Sir Walter Scott (1771- 1832) wrote this graphic account of the Battle of Bannockburn (June 23/24, 1314) in his epic poem "Lord of the Isles" (Canto vi, stanza 26).


Unflinching foot 'gainst foot was set,
Unceasing blow by blow was met;
   The groans of those who fell
Were drown'd amid the shriller clang
That from the blades and harness rang,
   And in the battle-yell.
Yet fast they fell, unheard, forgot,
Both Southern fierce and hardy Scot;
And O! amid that waste of life,
What various motives fired the strife!
The aspiring Noble bled for fame,
The Patriot for his country's claim;
This Knight his youthful strength to prove,
And that to win his lady's love;
Some fought from ruffian thirst of blood,
From habit some, or hardihood.
But ruffian stern, and soldier good,
   The noble and the slave,
From various cause the same wild road,
On the same bloody morning, trode,
   To that dark inn, the Grave!

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