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Whilst English oaths from line to line did like to mil
dew flee, The little Scottish army was found upon their knee, The aid of heaven imploring for a distressed land; Then starting to their feet, they grasp'd their weapons
in their hand.
Towards Stirling a march the lord Clifford did steal,
pass'd round, That many gallant Englishmen lay gasping on the ground. The sacred love of liberty did like
a god inspire, And made their haughty num'rous foes most prudently
retire; Precipitate inglorious flight was all they could attempt, While th' hardy Scots harrass'd their rear almost to
King Robert gave his orders in front of the line,
fight; With ardour on the wings of hope, advancing with his
spear, But Robert with his battle-axe met him in full career, And thro' the temper'd shining helm did cleave his head
Till reeling to the earth with a thud he did go.
Such two successful preludes did raise king Robert's
heart, And fir'd each Scottish warrior his courage to exert; Then brazen trumpets flourishing with peals of death
did ring, Each army join'd in loud huzza's, and cry'd, Long live
our king !
The hurricane of doubtful war began on ev'ry side,
scene, Else description will be lost in so lofty a theme. From twanging strings the deadly shafts did fly as thick
as hail, The jav'lins, spears, and faulchions, as fiercely did pre
vail. Each combatant on either side such valour did display, As on his single arm had hung the success of the day. Renowned chiefs in shining steel bestrow'd the gory plain, Till room was hardly left to fight for mountains of the
slain; The limpid stream of Bannockburn, which wont 80
smooth to glide, Was totally converted to a sanguinary tide. As a rock in the ocean with fortitude braves Th' impetuous assault of the proud swelling waves, When with formidable efforts they beat the solid stone, Which repels the angry surges in white lashing foam; Thus the hardy Scots intrepidly their numn'rous foes
repella, On right and left with total rout their boasted courage
quell'a. This Edward in the centre saw, and grieved at the sight, To find no other safety left but in a speedy flight. On a hill a little distant unarmed swains beheld The huge devastation and carnage of the field; Exulting they gave a shout which made the hills resound, And the fluctuating enemy did totally confound. A gen'ral panic then prevail'd, inglorious flight ensu'd, Lord Douglas with light-armed horse most vigorously
pursu'd, Till Edward reached to Dunbar, where joyously he saw A scurvy fishing-boat, in which he meanly sneak’d awa'.
Thus ended the dread campaign of Edward the great, Thus vanish'd into smoke every formidable threat; While the riches of his camp did repay the victors toil, Who gloriously expos’d their lives to guard the Scottish
soil. The generous love of liberty, our country and our laws, Thus fir'd our noble ancestors to fight in freedom's
cause; They boldly fought for liberty, for honour and applause, And defy'd the power of England's king to alter their
Bannockburn is a name that fires every Scottish bosom, and might be supposed to awaken, in all who have any thing like' poetic inspiration, conceptions the most briliant, and a flow of expression the most vivid and expressive. So far however is this from being the case, that writers of the first order have sunk into mere mediocrity when they have touched upon it, while those of mediocre powers have generally fallen into the most childish and contemptible puerility. Nor can it well be otherwise upon a theme so important and so clearly understood, the plain narrative of which perfectly fills the imagination, leaving no room for the illusions of fancy or the embellishments of art. Whoever has stood upon the Boar. Stone (the stone into which the colours of the Scottish army were fixed on that memorable day) and cast his eye over that field forever consecrated to Independance and Liberty, has a fancy without fire, and a heart without feeling, if he was not in a state of rapturous extacy which left all poetry immeasurably behind it. The foregoing Ballad, though not by any means equal to the subject, is not without merit; but the best poetical description of the Battle of Bannockburn, is, probably, the oldest, that of Barbour; and perhaps the only piece it has called forth altogether worthy of the subject, is that inimitable effusion by Burns,
Scots! wha hae wi' Wallare bled;
Or to victorie!
Chains and slaverie!
Wha will be a traitor knave!
Coward! turn and flee!
Wha for Scotland's king and law
Caledonian! on wi' me!
Dny oppression's woes and pains !
But they shall be free!
Onward, do or die!
FAIR ANNIE OF LOCHROYAN, “ O wha will shoe my fair foot, And wha will glove my
han'? And wha will lace my middle jimp
Wi' a new-made London ban'?
« Or wha will kemb my yellow hair
Wi' a new-made silver kemb?
Till love Gregor come bame?"
Your mother glove your han’; Your sister lace your middle jimp
Wř a new-made London ban';
“ Your brethren will kemb your yellow hair
Wi' a new-made silver kemb; And the King o' Heaven will father your bairn,
Till love Gregor come hame.” “ O gin I had a bonny ship,
And men to sail wi' me,
Sin he wiona come to me!”
Her father's gien her a bonny ship,
And sent her to the stran';
And turn'd her back to the lan'.
She hadna been on the sea sailin'
About a month or more,
Near her true-love's door.
The nicht was dark, and the wind blew cauld,
And her love was fast asleep,
Fu' sair began to greet.
And lang tirld at the pin;
Says, « Wha's that wad be in ?" “O, it is Annie of Lochroyan,
Your love, come o'er the sea,
So open the door to me.”
“ Awa, awa, ye
ill woman, You're nae come here for gude; You're but a witch, or a vile warlock,
Or mermaid o' the flude."
* I'm nae witch or vile warlock,
Or mermaiden," said she; “ I'm but your Annie of Lochroyan;
O open the door to me!”
As I trust not ye be,
I kept your companie ?”
“ Whan we sat at the wine, How we changed the napkins frae our necks,
It's nae sae lang sinsyne?