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Ode to William Wallace ©

by Stacey Cameron David
New York, USA
2002

His past was shrouded in mystery
But his destiny was crystal clear.
He fought for justice and liberty
Without hesitation or fear.
He was a legend among his kinsmen
A giant among his foes
He died for his people and his land
This destiny he chose
While Scottish nobles were bickering
The English made their claim
But despite King Edward's daring
There were Scots he could never tame
For out of the shadows came this man
Whose stature was like none other
A younger son without wealth or land,
Who would become Scotland's greatest brother
For when the nobles quit their fight
Wallace held his ground
And stood 'gainst the English burning bright
But when searched for he could never be found
At Stirling Bridge he made his stand
And despite all odds prevailed
The Scottish won at his command
And the English knew they'd failed
It was there in September 1297
The English made a key mistake
And many were sent to Hell or Heaven
By Wallace's victory for Scotland's sake
There was a ford a ways ahead
But the English met their foe
'Tween rivers Forth and Clyde instead
When Earl Surrey gave the order "Go."
So the English crossed the bridge and spurned the ford
And were condemned to their bloody fate
For the glory of their vile lord
Their power broke on that wond'rous date
Now Edward, Hammer of the Scots,
In his mind did plan
To avenge this battle lost
And re-establish his command
And though some magnates deserted then
Most Scots knew their place
And hence from Scotland drove Edward's men
And then in England continued the chase
When Wallace returned he was made a knight
And then Guardian of Scotland all
But within a year, to Falkirk he brought the fight
And only then did Wallace fall.
The Hammer of the Scots had come himself
Vengeance in his every thought
He burnt and looted Scotland's wealth
Using treachery he fought
Though Edward's camp was sick and hungry too
Numbers were firmly on his side
And faithless nobles brought him news
That William Wallace was nearby
No great speech did Wallace give
But simply did he speak
For he knew his men could not live
Though the Scots were far from meek.
From that battle Wallace fled
Scotland's ruler no more was he
And over Wallace it could be said
That Edward had a victory.
For now Wallace was out of the scene
And other leaders fought their war
Scottish defeats would be terribly keen
But freedom they were fighting for.
In this time it would not be
Though Comyn and the others tried
Success Scotland did not yet see
For o'er power, magnates still vied
And when these leaders did submit
Wallace was the last one standing tall
'gainst him now Edward turned all his wit
But Wallace would be the last to fall
Even then Edward's victory was without faith
But overlain with lies and deceit
Accomplished by one Menteith
Who through treachery achieved this feat
Menteith was Wallace's former friend
Who had switched to the English
And now lured Wallace to his end
But not for nothing Wallace died.
He was captured and to London taken
Where his trial was untrue
But soon Scots would again awaken
And rally to their cause anew
Fealty Wallace never swore
To England or her lord
As did nobles who had come before
Then gone back on their word
For all his life Wallace was true
To his noble cause
And he followed his heart in lieu
Of following King Edward's laws
Cruel the death that Wallace died
But he bore it with all his worth
And though death in Scotland he was denied
His dead hand would guide him north
Oh Wallace, Wallace! How cruel thy fate
But through this the English did learn
That Scots were not so easy to bait
But to whom now would Scotland turn?

Footnote:

An Ode is a lyrical poem written in a dignified style and marked by a noble feeling


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