Suggested by a Conversation with a Friend,

On the Battle of Bannockburn.

Thou glorious field where Bruce once fought1
Where vanquished foemen fled amain ;2
Each blade of grass on thee forth brought3
Could tell a tale of tyrants slain.4
On thee, too, patriot blood was shed ;5
Our great forefathers died on thee,6
That their posterity might wed7
That heaven-born maiden—liberty.8
Yet, what avails the battle shock ?9
Or what avails the blood that flow’d ?10
Since millions to the galling yoke11
Their servile necks have basely bow’d.12
The lordly few now heartless tread13
The suffering many to the earth,14
As if destruction’s widest spread15
Were the only object of their birth.16
Ye men of wealth, lords of the soil,17
Who nought produce, yet ne’er endure18
The ills that haunt the sons of toil,19
Who by your robberies are poor.20
Does shame ne’er mantle o’er your face,21
When ye behold the sweat that’s pour’d22
From more than half the human race,23
To load with luxury your board,24
When ye approach heaven’s awful throne,25
To supplicate God’s mercy still,26
Think, ere ye breathe the prayer, on27
The hoards that languish at your will.28
Think on those vile restrictive laws29
That circumscribe kind nature’s hand30
On all your acts, the fruitful cause31
Of half the woes that fill our land,32
And shall the poor for ever toil,33
To fertilize each barren road ?34
Without an interest in the soil35
Without their portion of the good36
Without one gleam of joy to cheer37
Their souls throughout their pilgrimage38
To where equality shall rear39
Its standard to the latest age ?40
No! by the heart-corroding woes41
Of those who pine in dungeon gloom,42
For grapling with their country’s foes43
Such shall not ever be our doom,44
Forth, then, in moral conflict meet,45
And hurl oppression from his throne ;46
To sue for mercy at the feet47
Of those who now in anguish groan.48