Scottish Poetry Selection
- Life of Sir William Wallace (Part)

Here are the opening lines of "The Life of Sir William Wallace" written in the 15th century by the poet "Blind Harry". They were translated into modern English by William of Gilbertfield in 1722. The book became the most popular volume in Scotland after the bible. It inspired Burns to write "Scots Wha Hae" and Randall Wallace also read them prior to his involvement in creating the film "Braveheart." A modern edition of this epic poem was published in 1998.

Life of Sir William Wallace

Of our ancestors, brave true ancient Scots,
Whose glorious scutcheons knew no bars or blots;
But blood untainted circled ev'ry vein,
And ev'ry thing ignoble did disdain;
Of such illustrious patriots and bold,
Who stoutly did maintain our rights of old,
Who their malicious, invet'rate foes,
With sword in hand, did gallantly oppose:
And in their own, and nation's just defence,
Did briskly check the frequent insolence
Of haughty neighbours, enemies profest,
Picts, Danes, and Saxons, Scotland's very pest;
Of such, I say, I'll brag and vaunt so long
As I have power to use my pen or tongue;
And sound their praises in such modern strain
As suiteth best a Scot's poetic vein,
First, here I honour, in particular,
Sir William Wallace, much renown'd in war,
Whose bold progenitors have long time stood,
Of honourable and true Scottish blood.

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