Poetry Corner: Back O’er The Border

On 23rd of June, 1314 Robert I, King of Scots, killed Henry de Bohun at the commencement of the Battle of Bannockburn.

In retaliation for the defeat of English garrisons at Edinburgh and Roxburgh castles, Edward II led a massive invasion force into Scotland, where they met the Scots army at Bannockburn, near Stirling. The battle continued until the next day. Scot Clans


Back O’er The Border

High over Bannockburn, battle of no return
Bruce ranked his Scottishmen, all in good order
Down on the other side – fifty divisions wide
Edward of England, had crossed o’er the border
Armour from head to fist, glimpsed through the morning mist
Soldiers of Robert Bruce, waiting the order
Down on the lower ground, trumpets and bugles sound
Edward of England had crossed o’er the border

Proud was the English king, loud did his harvest sing
Scatter the Scottishmen all in disorder
‘Death’ answered Robert Bruce, ‘Death ere we sign a truce
Chase the sassenach, back o’er the border.
‘Now’ shouted Bruce the king ‘We’ll either die or win
Into the enemy strike in good order
Freedom for Scotland, and death to King Edward’s band.
Chase the sassenach back o’er the border’.

Face, to face, across the Bannockburn ;
Spears and swords are held in good order.
Lines of steel in waves, begin to move,
Grim and steady, to die for the border.
‘On them! On them!’ hear the Douglas shout.
‘Smash, their ranks, in utter disorder’.
Swords and spears, and shields, together clash.
Screams of death are heard o’er the border.

Slashing, and clashing, the Bannockburn flows with blood.
Horses and soldiers in mangled disorder.
Yelling, and felling, the grass is a gory red.
Out with the sassenach. Out o’er the border.
Freedom and right was the slogan of Robert Bruce.
Chains for the slaves shouted Edward the murderer.
Death to the sassenach, we’ll be free at last.
Chase the sassenach, back o’er the border.
Chase the sassenach, back o’er the border.

Alastair McDonald – Bannockburn (1314)

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