Monday, October 17, 2011

Grit So Grand

This is my first post in a while, I know. But school's growing increasingly territorial (as if it wasn't in the first place) of my time.

Thankfully, one of my professors gave us the option of writing either:

a) a comparative essay detailing contemporary theatrical methods with those of earlier days


b) a ballad of our own creation based on whatever subject we so whimsically chose.

Yeah. The choice was clear: ESSAY... (No, not actually.)

With that in mind, I wanted to write an epic ballad rather than one about budding flowers, fluttering butterflies and other boring shit. So, I figured I'd write about William Wallace - being the traditional rebellious badass (and because I love the movie Braveheart)- and the underdog-Scottish victory at Stirling Bridge during the First Scottish War of Independence.

The battle took place in September 1297. The English forces, led by John de Warenne, numbered over 12,000 infantry, archers and cavalry. Across the river Forth awaited the Scottish army with William Wallace and Andrew Murray at the head of almost 2,500 men.

Here goes:

Grit So Grand

The Forth, she still flows free and strong,
To courage she’s bore witness.
But ne’er did she see grit so grand,
As that of William Wallace.
The Sun sat high upon her throne,
Clouded servants clothed in gold,
Awaiting on her hand and foot
As she watched this scene unfold.
The Scots, they all stood arm to arm,
Their breath, it grew thin and light.
‘Cross the wide Forth waited their doom:
De Warenne’s fierce English knights.
The Scots, they had fought long and hard,
To be where they were that day.
‘Gainst bondage and for freedom’s sake,
They had shed brave blood and prayed.
But the English they knew battle
And stood ten thousand strong.
Against Wallace and his two grand,
Who burst in merry song:
“Ye English bastards, come along.
Bring spears and horses again.
But take good heed and mind yourselves,
For ye face and fight free men!”
Yet all that stood ‘twixt Scot and Brit
Across that mighty river:
A path hewn of wood and timber,
Would the battle deliver.
Orders given: cross and advance!
The English, their attack pressed. 
Yet this narrow bridge just allowed
but two lone horsemen abreast.
Wallace halted and stayed his men,
“Wait, my friends, to start this fight.
We’ll bide our time and sit in wait,
Until the moment is right.”
Oh, beautiful Fortune has smiled!
The English crossed the water.
De Warenne sent his hardened knights,
Just two by two to slaughter. 
Wallace grinned to see such folly:
He knew the battle was theirs. 
And so he loosed his ready men,
Like mad dogs upon weak hares.
Their numbers counting for nothing,
The English were torn to shreds. 
What poor souls could, ran for their lives.
Those that could not lost their heads.
De Warenne, he watched in terror,
To see his strong knights bested.
His ego had cost him dearly,
As England’s strength was tested.
“Retreat!” he called “Retreat at once!”
Before he turned tail and ran. 
What English remained joined him too:
  Save those across the Forth’s span. 
Blood caked the river’s mighty shores,
Victory did the Scots reap.
The Sun, now weary of this scene,
Lay her royal head to sleep. 
The Forth, she still flows free and strong,
To courage she’s bore witness.
But ne’er did she see grit so grand,
As that of William Wallace.

If this was absolute pigswell for you, didn't make a word-of-sense and you feel the need to waste your time even more, go ahead and click on the link below to know more about the Battle of Stirling Bridge.

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