Scots Wha Hae, or, Robert Bruce’s Address to His Troops at Bannockburn
Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled, Scots, wham Bruce has aften led, Welcome to your gory bed,— Or to victorie.— Now ’s the day, and now’s the hour; See the front o’ battle lour; See approach proud Edward’s power, Chains and Slaverie.— Wha will be a traitor-knave? Wha can fill a cowards’ grave? Wha sae base as be a Slave? —Let him turn and flie.— Wha for Scotland’s king and law, Freedom’s sword will strongly draw, Free-Man stand, or Free-Man fa’, Let him follow me.— By Oppression’s woes and pains! By your Sons in servile chains! We will drain our dearest veins, But they shall be free! Lay the proud Usurpers low! Tyrants fall in every foe! Liberty ’s in every blow! Let us Do—or Die!!!
If ever a poet understood the character of his nation, he was Robert Burns. The language he was most fluent in wasn’t so much Scots or English – it was the language of the heart. All too human in his personal life, he carried that humanity over onto the page. Nothing was too small or too large to escape his notice, from a mouse in the mud to God in his heavens. A poet for all seasons, Burns speaks to all, soul to soul.Read more about this poet