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Hark the bowmen's quivering strings !
Drunk in hero's gore.
them from the shore.
See how red the streamlets flow !
Yet we shall be free!
Bruce has victory!
Bruce has victory!
Who set their country free. +
* The brave Edward Bruce, whose intrepidíty and valour contributed 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 engaging in close combat with Henry de Bohun, a gentleman of the family of Hereford, and with one stroke of his battle-axe cleft his adversary to the chin. The English horse fled with precipitation; and the Scots, exulting in the valour of their monarch, regarded 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; and undaunted by the gigantic power of their enemy, were determined 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 rge 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 writers allow that 4000 of them fell, among whom there were only two of equestrian rank.
Such was the great battle of Bannockburn, which completely secured the independence of Scotland, established the family of Bruce on the throne, and inspired the English with such a dread of Scottish valour, that for many years they never would venture to oppose any number of Scotsmen in the field. Robert arailing himself of his present advantage, marched directly to England, and ravaged, without opposition, all the northern counties; besieged Carlisle, and took Berwick by assault. In return for some of his noble prisoners, he received his wife, his daughter, and sister, and all the Scottish nobles and gentlemen who had been prisoners since the reign of Edward I.; the liberty of his other captives was purchased at immense ransoms, which were a new accession of wealth to the kingdom.
ADIEU TO FAIR SCOTLAND.
Adieu to fair Scotland, the land of my birth,
dear husband's hands;
And when settld there in health, sickness, or mirth,
* This beautiful piece, which breathes the air of Arcadian simplicity and tenderness, has been transmitted to us by a young Gentleman, with the following remarks:-“ The subject of these verses is a young lady, lately resident in Fifeshire, whose amiable disposition, as well as her great personal and mental accomplishments, had commanded the esteem of all her acquaintance. A Gentleman from the West Indies, a friend of the author, had engaged her heart; and upon their marriage she left the land of her nativity, and all those mountains and valleys which the place of her birth had rendered dear to her, and which ever will be associated in her mind with the days of her youth, and with those companions, who, in the enjoyment of her company, used to ramble through the woods of Balgonie, and along the banks of the water of Leven, to accompany the object of her affections to the sultry climate of Jamaica, leaving many a youthful swain to lament her departure, and many a friend to feel the sensible blank her absence has produced. The author, conceiving what must be the struggle of her feelings upon such an occasion-feelings of parental and kindred affection, grappling with those of youthful love, and at the same time being well aware which of them would have the ascendency, composed the above verses, and sent them to the young lady immediately after her marriage. They are here offered for insertion, without the knowledge of the lady or her husband; and conceiving that the same feelings must have a place in the bosom of every one who is situated in similar circumstances, it is supposed that they will be read with interest by many an individual, each associating with them in his own mind those friends whom his ardent wishes may still pursue over the trackless path of the mighty ocean."