Monday, June 24, 2013

To A "Warrior Poet" on Bannockburn Day

Robert the Bruce faced an English army on the field of Bannockburn on 23-24th June, 1314.
At the end of the movie Braveheart, Bruce (Angus MacFadyen) tells how the Scots took to the field and won the day, fighting like "Warrior Poets".  I still think that is one of the most ridiculous lines I've ever heard in a film, but as I got to thinking about it I decided to have a go at writing a "warrior poem"...

Crichton Castle, near Edinburgh Scotland ~photo ©Robert Ramsay 2013

In true Robert Burns style, I give you my own work...

To a Warrior Poet
By Ian Hall

I come upon this field o’ emerald green,
The sky sae blue, a shade that’s rarely seen,
Aroon’ us a’, jus’ perfect an’ pristine,
But aye, we’ll change it
By end o’ Day we’ll tak’ its calm serene
An’ re-arrange it.

I watch the mist that puffs oot frae ma’ moo’
The mornin’ cauld, grass glintin’ wae the dew
Then gallops on a flag o’ purest blue,
Wi’silver cross
We cheer, call “King!” an’ swear anew
For England’s loss.

Sword heavy, jammed in belt pulled tight
Axe ready, sharpened, shinin’ bright
Face paintit, an unco rachit sight
We stand an’ cheer
In front, the hale o’ bloody England’s might
We’ll end it here.

We wait oor turn, an’ watch the conflict lour
We ken that soon will be the mighty hour
That chargin’ doon the hillside Scottish power
Will win the day
Tae see the English cut an’ run an’ cower
We’ll hold the sway

I reach the foe an’ cut him doon wi’ swing o’ sword
I hack him up an’ doon wi’oot a word
Nae care o’ favour if he’s serf or Lord
An’ none expectit
I tak’ the work of the almighty God
An’ aye but wreck it

I swing ma axe in arcs aboon ma heid
An’ crash an’ slice, until he’s doon or deid
Stomp onward, an’ on the a’ the violence feed
I drink ma fill
Then suddenly we reach the end o’ oor stampede
An’ a’ is still

Silence fa’s like blankets thrown upon the bed
The moans o’ strangers that we cut an’ bled
The field no green, but stained an eerie dirty red
In English Blood
An’ thankfu’ still alive, an’ no' lyin' dead
Gi thanks tae God.

Robert Bruce, 23-24th June, 1314, Field of Bannockburn, Near Stirling, Scotland... "They fought like Warrior Poets!"
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