On Reading an Account of the Re-Interment of King Robert Bruce.

Alike the mean and mighty fall,1
The prince and peasant die ;2
Time, like a tyrant, levels all,3
And sweeps unheeding by !4
Down to oblivion and decay,5
The countless thousands pass away,6
For one, whose honours high7
Remain—a morning star—to shine,8
With light undying, and divine.9
True—that the world is sunk in crime ;10
That error walks abroad ;11
Yet Virtue ever soars sublime12
O’er every pressing load.13
A cloud may veil the lord of Day,14
But glows he, when it glides away,15
Less brightly than he glowed ?16
Or can opposing tempests bend17
The giant from his journey’s end ?18
Thus is it with the great in soul,19
The mighty of our race,20
Who onward pant to glory’s goal,21
Their only resting place.22
Amid the sapient, and the brave,23
Thy destiny survives the grave,24
Nor e’er shall time efface25
The halo round thine honoured urn,26
Immortal chief of Bannockburn !27
Five centuries have rolled along28
In silence o’er mankind,29
Since thou, in youthful vigour strong,30
As danced upon the wind31
Thy war-crest on the battle eve32
Did’st to the chin De Bohun cleave,33
And all the hosts behind34
Shouted, and hostile camps did view35
With wonder, and with trembling too !36
But yet thy fame hath nobly stemmed37
The cataract of years ;38
In Honour’s sacred temple gemmed39
Thy kingly worth appears ;40
For thou wert not of those, who take41
Delight in impious war, and slake42
Their wrath with human tears ;43
So, when the sword was sheathed, thy mind44
Was gentle as the summer wind.45
Thy Scotland shall forget thee not,46
Brave champion of her right !47
Thou art her praise ; to every Scot48
A glory and delight ;49
And countless thousands yet to come,50
Shall kneel in reverence at thy tomb,51
And kindle at the sight,52
To think that there the dust remains53
Of him that broke his Country’s chains !54