Слике страница


Tune-" Good night and joy be wi' you a'.
Adieu! a heart-warın, fond adieu !

Dear brothers of the mystic tye!
Ye favoured, enlighten’d few,

Companions of my social joy:
Tho' I to foreign lands must hie,

Pursuing fortune's slipp’ry ba',
With melting heart, and brimful eye,

l'll mind you still, tho' far awa.

Oft have I met your social band,

And spent the cheerful festive night;
Oft, honour'd with supreme command,

Presided o'er the sons of light;
And, by that hieroglyphic bright,

Which none but craftsmen ever saw !
Strong mem’ry on my heart shall write

Those happy scenes when far awa.

May freedom, harmony, and love,

Únite you in the grand design,
Beneath th' Omniscient Eye above,

The glorious Architect Divine !

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

of his country. But far otherwise is the lot of the man of family and fortune. His early follies and extravagance are spirit and fire; his consequent wants are the embarrassinents of an honest fellow; and when, to remedy the matter, he has gained a legal commission to plunder distant provinces, or massacre peaceful nations, he returns, perhaps, laden with the spoils of rapine and murder; lives wicked and respected, and dies a ******* and a That you may keep th' unerring line,


A a 3

Still rising by the plummet's law, Till order bright completely shine,

Shall be my pray'r when far awa. And you farewell! whose merits claim,

Justly, that highest badge to wear, Heav'n bless your honour'd, noble name,

To masonry and Scotia dear! A last request permit me here,

When yearly ye assemble a', One round, I ask it with a tear,

To him, the Bard that's far awa.


TUNE—" Hey tuttie taitie.
Wide o'er Bannock's heathy wold
Scotland's deathful banners roll’d,
And spread their wings of sprinkled gold

To the purpling east:
Freedom beam'd in ev'ry eye;
Devotion breath'd in ev'ry sigh:
Freedom heav'd their souls on high,

And steel'd each hero's breast.
Charging, then, the coursers sprang;
Sword and helmet clashing rang ;
Steel-clad warriors' mixing clang

Echo'd round the field. Deathful see their eye-balls glare! See the nerves of battle bare ! Arrowy tempests cloud the air,

And glance from ev'ry shield.



Hark the bowmen's quivering strings !
Death on grey-goose pinions springs !
Deep they dip their dappled wings,

'Drunk in hero's gore.
Lo! Edward, * springing on the rear,
Plies his Caledonian spear;
Ruin marks his dread career,

And sweeps them from the shore.
See how red the streamlets flow!
See the reeling, yielding foe,
How they melt at every blow!

Yet we shall be free!
Darker yet the strife appears ;
Forest dread, of flaming spears !
Hark, a shout the welkin tears !

Bruce has victory!

Join the Caledonian lyre,
In strains of bold celestial fire,
Till the sound to Heav'n aspire,

Bruce has victory!
Give the world, O Bard! their praise;
Crown with glory's brightest bays;
Sing them in eternal lays,

Who set their country free. +

* The brave Edward Bruce, whose intrepidíty and valour con. tributed so highly to the fortune of the day.

+ The battle of Bannockburn, ever memorable for the glorious struggle the Scots made for their independence, was fought between Robert Bruce and Edward the II. king of England. The former, after his escape from the English court, whither he had accompanied Edward the I. resolved at once to rescue his country from the thraldom of the English, and to vindicate his own claims to the Scottish throne. His efforts were at first crowned with considerable success, but the slenderness of his resources rendered him unable to cope with so powerful and military a prince as Edward the first; accordingly, after a hard struggle Robert was compelled, with a few of his followers, to take refuge in the western isles : but while Edward was hastening with a large army to accomplish the final subjugation of Scotland, he was attacked by a mortal disease about Carlisle; however, before his death he had enjoined upon his son to make the reduction of Scotland a primary object of his reign. In compliance with the injunctions of his father, Edward raised a large army, amounting to upwards of a hundred thousand men, while the Scots were not able to bring into the field more than thirty thousand, but all men of the most approven valour. Robert foreseeing that the English king would march directly upon Stirling, which was held for him by Philip Mowbray, determined to intercept him, and for that purpose fixed upon a most advantageous position for giving him battle, with a hill on his right, a morass on his left

, and a rivulet in front; but as he was greatly inferior in cavalry, he fell upon a stratagem to remedy this defect, by causing deep pits to be dug on the banks of the rivulet, in which he fixed pointed stakes, and covered the whole over with moss and rushes On the evening of the 24th of June, 1314, the English arrived on the opposite bank of the river; and the two armies, fired with all the rancour of national animosity, rushed immediately to battle. A smart conflict ensued between two bodies of cavalry. That of the Scots was headed by Robert in person, who engag. ing in close combat with Henry de Bohun, a gentleman of the family of Hereford, and with one stroke of his battle-axe cleft bis adversary to the chin. The English horse fled with precipitatios; and the Scots, exulting in the valour of their monarch, regard. ed the favourable result of this encounter as a presage of a more complete victory. Darkness gave a short respite from hostilities; and never was suspense more interesting than that in which the armies were now placed. The English, elated with former victories, and exasperated by the least appearance of defeat from a people whom they had already considered as subdued, longed eagerly for a combat, which was to annihilate the power of their enemies. The Scots saw their independence, and even their ex. istence as a nation, depending on the issue of a single battle;

d undaunted by the gigantic power of their enemy, were de

[ocr errors]

termined to restore the glory of their country, or not to survive its fall. The night, short as it is at that season of the year, appeared extremely tedious to the impatience of the combatants. At break of day Edward drew out his army, and advanced against the Scots. His nephew, the Earl of Gloucester, who commanded the left wing of cavalry, impelled by the ardour of youth, and disputing the post of honour with the Earl of Hereford, rushed impetuously to the attack, and fell among the covered pits which Bruce had prepared on the banks of the river. Gloucester himself was dismounted and slain ; his cavalry were thrown into disorder; and Sir James Douglas, who commanded the Scottish body of horse, giving them no time to recover from their consternation, drove them off the field with great slaughter. The infantry, alarmed by this unfortunate commencement of the action, and afraid of some similar stratagem against themselves, were yet hesitating to advance, when they perceived another army marching slowly along the heights as if with the intention of surrounding them. This was a number of waggoners and sumpter boys, whom Robert had provided with military standards, so as to give them at a distance the appearance of a large army. The stratagem succeeded: the English, distracted by various fears, threw down their arms and fled; the slaughter was prodigious; and as they were at least eighty miles from any place of safety, very few of them would have escaped, had not the Scots returned from the pursuit to seize on the rich spoil of the English camp. Various accounts are given of the number slain in this decisive battle. Some of the Scottish historians assure us that fifty thousand English perished in the action, or were destroyed in flight; and, according to the most moderate calculations, the number of captives amounted to 154 lords and knights, 700 gentlemen, and 10,000 common soldiers. During the whole of the engagement Edward showed no want of personal bravery, and was with difficulty persuaded to quit the field : he was closely pursued by Sir James Douglas, who was eager to revenge the wrongs of his family; and narrowly escaped by reaching Dunbar, whose gates were opened to him by the Earl of March ; and from thence he took shipping for Berwick. The loss of the Scots, too, was by no means inconsiderable; for even their own

[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »