Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The Saga of the Heart of the King of Scots!
The stories about the Republic of Texas I have entered the past few days have all been inspired by one Dr. John Washington Lockhart, who wrote his accounts of these happenings first hand. From a proud and noble Scottish family, Lockhart’s daughter inserted a poem about how the Lockharts got their name, which really grabbed me...
The story goes back to the Fourteenth Century, and is so reflective of everything we have lost in our culture, that I thought it would be great to share as much of this poem as I or you can stand …
Get comfortable in your padded throne, Oh forgotten Celtic seed, and let the blood of your fathers warm your memory of glories of mighty men of old, who knew what precious price was paid in their lifeblood for our unbroken spirits, our unique impact on the whole world, and our very legacy of liberty.
That’s just me. Now here is the real thing! Just quit reading it whenever you have had enough. But for a few friends and myself, with Scottish heritage, we will not be able to stop ourselves, and will read every blood soaked word of it, with a lump in our throats, as we peer through the mists at our ancestors….
“The Heart of the Bruce”
It was upon an April morn,
While yet the frost lay hoar,
We heard Lord James’s bugle-horn,
Sound by the rocky shore.
Then down we went, a hundred knights,
All in our dark array,
And flung our armor in the ships
That rode within the bay.
We spoke not as the shore grew less,
But gazed in silence back,
Where the long billows swept away
The foam behind our track.
And aye the purple hues decayed
Upon the fading hill,
And but one heart in that ship
Was tranquil, cold and still.
The good lord Douglass paced the deck,
And oh, his face was wan!
Unlike the flush it used to wear,
When in the battle-van.
“Come hither, come hither, my trusty Knight,
Sir Simon of the Lee:
There is a freit lies near my soul,
I fain would tell to thee.
“Thou know’st the words King Robert spoke,
Upon his dying day:
How he bade me take his noble heart
And carry it far away.
“And lay it on the Holy soil
Where once the Savior trod,
Since he might not bear the blessed Cross,
Nor strike one blow for God.
“Last night as in my bed I lay,
I dreamed a dreary dream:-
Methought I saw a Pilgrim stand
In the moonlight’s quivering beam.
“His robe was of the azure dye,
Snow white his scattered hairs,
And even such a cross he bore,
As good Saint Andrew bears.
“Why go ye forth, Lord James he said,
With spear and belted brand?
Why do you take its dearest pledge
From this our Scottish land?
“The sultry breeze of Galilee,
Creeps through its groves of palm,
The olives on the Holy mount
Stand glittering in the calm.
“But tis not there that Scotland’s heart
Shall rest by God’s decree,
Till the great angel calls the dead
To rise from earth and sea!
“Lord James of Douglass, mark my rede!
That heart shall pass once more,
In fiery fight against the foe,
As it was wont of yore.
“And it shall pass beneath the Cross,
And save King Robert’s vow:
But other hands shall bear it back,
Not James of Douglass, thou!’
“Now by thy knightly faith, I pray,
Sir Simon of the Lee-
For truer friend had never man,
Than thou has been to me-
If ne’er upon the Holy Land,
‘Tis mine in life to tread,
Bear thou to Scotland’s kindly earth,
The relics of her dead.”
The tear was in Sir Simon’s eye
As he wrung the warrior’s hand-
“Betide me weal, betide me wo,
I’ll hold by thy command.
“But if in battle –front, Lord James,
‘Tis ours once more to ride,
Nor force of man, nor craft of fiend,
Shall cleave me from thy side!”
And aye we sailed and aye we sailed,
Across the weary sea,
Until one morn the coast of Spain
Rose grimly on our lee.
And as we rounded to the port,
Beneath the watch-tower’s wall,
We heard the clash of the atabals,
And the trumpets wavering call.
“Why sounds yon Eastern music here
So wantonly and long?
And whose the crowd of armed men
That round yon standard throng!”
“The Moors have come from Africa
To spoil and waste and slay,
And king Alonzo of Castile
Must fight with them today.”
“Now shame it were,” cried good Lord James,
Shall never be said of me,
That I and mine have turned aside
From the Cross in jeopardie!”
“Have down, have down, my merry men all-
Have down unto the plain;
We’ll let the Scottish Lion loose,
Within the fields of Spain!”
“Now welcome to me, noble lord,
Thou and thy stalwart power:
Dear is the sight of a Christian Knight
Who comes in such an hour!
“Is it for bond or faith you come,
Or yet for golden fee?
Or bring ye France’s lilies here,
Or the flower of Burgundie!
“God greet the well, thou valiant king,
Thee and thy belted peers,
Sir James of Douglass am I called,
And these are Scottish spears.
“We do not fight for bond or plight,
Nor yet for golden fee:
But for the sake of our blessed Lord,
Who died upon the Tree.
END OF PART I
The heartwrenching ending coming soon!