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THE BANKS O'DOON.
Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair;
And I sae weary, fu' o' care !
That wantons through the flowering thorn:
Departed-never to return!
To see the rose and woodbine twine:
And fondly sae did I o' mine.
Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree;
But, ah! he left the thorn wi' me.
At the battie of Bannockburn, June 24, 1314, Edward II., King of England, was completely defeated by a small force of Scots under Bruce.
At Bannockburn the English lay,
That glinted in the east.
His heralds thus addressed:
Or to victorie.
Chains and slaverie !
“Wha will be a traitor knave?
Let him turn and flee !
Let him follow me!
“By oppression's woes and pains !
But they shall be free !
Let us do, or die!”
EDINBURGH AFTER FLODDEN.
WILLIAM EDMONDSTOUNE AYTOUN.
The battle of Flodden was fought September 9, 1513, between the army of King James IV., of Scotland, and an English force under command of the Earl of Surrey. King James was killed and his army completely overthrown.
News of battle !-news of battle!
Hark ! 'tis ringing down the street:
Bear the clang of hurrying feet.
News of triumph? Who should bring
Greetings from our gallant King ?
Blazing on the hills afar,
Message of the opened war.
Shot across the trembling sky:
Save when kings or heroes die.
News of battle! Who hath brought it?
All are thronging to the gate; “Warder—warder ! open quickly!
Man-is this a time to wait ?' And the heavy gates are opened:
Then a murmur long and loud, And a cry of fear and wonder
Bursts from out the bending crowd. For they see in battered harness
Only one hard-stricken man, And his weary steed is wounded,
And his cheek is pale and wan. Spearless hangs a bloody banner
In his weak and drooping hand-
Captain of the city band?
Randolph Murray, sworn to you?
Have they met the English foe ?
Is it weal, or is it woe?"
Looks from out his helm of steel;
Only with his armed heel
Up the city streets they ride;
Shrieking, praying by his side. “By the God that made thee, Randolph !
Tell us what mischance hath come;": Then he lists his riven banner,
And the asker's voice is dumb. The elders of the city
Have met within their hall The men whom good King James bad charged
To watch the tower and wall. “Your hands are weak with age,” he said, “ Your hearts are stout and true; So bide ye in the Maiden Town,
While others fight for you.
“My trumpet from the Border-side
Shall send a blast so clear,
That stirring sound may hear.
That back I never come,
Ye hear the English drum,-
Then gird you to the fray,
And fight while fight you may. 'Twere better that in fiery flame
The roofs should thunder down, Than that the foot of foreign foe
Should trample in the town !”
Then in came Randolph Murray,–
His step was slow and weak;
The tears ran down his cheek:
And on his mailed hand,
Leaning sorely on his brand.
But straight were smote with fear,
Had never couched a spear.
Some ghastly news must bring:
And their sons were with the King.
And up then rose the Provost
A brave old man was he,
And chivalrous degree.
Oh woeful now was the old man's look,
And he spake right heavily“Now, Randolph, tell thy tidings,
However sharp they be!
Woe is written on thy visage,
Death is looking from thy face: Speak, though it be of overthrowIt cannot be disgrace !”
Right bitter was the agony
That wrung that soldier proud: Thrice did he strive to answer,
And thrice he groaned aloud. Then he gave the riven banner
To the old man's shaking hand, Saying—“That is all I bring ye
Froin the bravest of the land ! Ay! ye may look upon it
It was guarded well and long, By your brothers and your children,
By the valiant and the strong. One by one they fell around it,
As the archers laid them low,
With their faces to the foe.
There is more than honor there,
From the field of dark despair. Never yet was royal banner
Steeped in such a costly dye; It hath lain upon a bosom
Where no other shroud shall lie. Sirs ! I charge you, keep it holy,
Keep it as a sacred thing, For the stain ye see upon it
Was the life-blood of your King!”
Woe, woe, and lamentation !
What a piteous cry was there ! Widows, maidens, mothers, children,
Shrieking, sobbing in despair !
“O the blackest day for Scotland
That she ever knew before !
Shall we see him never more ?