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Saturday poem: Bruce's Address to his troops, at the Battle of Bannockburn, by Robert Burns

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by Robert Burns

SCOTS, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, whom BRUCE has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to glorious victorie!

Now's the day, and now's the hour!
See the front o' battle lour!
See approach proud EDWARD's pow'r!
EDWARD, chains and slaverie!

Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Traitor, coward, turn and flie!

Wha for Scotland's King and Law,
FREEDOM's sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand or Freeman fa?
CALEDONIAN! on wi' me!

By Oppression's woes and pains!
By your sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins –
But they shall – they SHALL be free!

Lay the proud usurpers low;
Tyrants fall in every foe;
LIBERTY'S in every blow!
Forward let us do or die!

Robert Burns: Selected Poems & Songs is published by Oxford University Press, RRP £14.99. To order a copy for £11.99 with free UK p&p go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop or call 0330 333 6846.


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