Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Ballad of Heroes

I apologize for not posting anything this week, but for some reason I just ran out of time and when I realized it was already Sunday, I was surprised to find I had forgotten to post anything else! As it is, here is another poem I thought I would post for you to read. It's not necessarily about Wallace, but I always liked it in reference to him. I found this one in an old poem anthology from the 1920s and it's one of my favorites. It's Called "A Ballad of Heroes" by Austin Dobson.

Because you passes, and now are not,--
Because, in some remoter day,
Your sacred dust from doubtful spot
Was blown of ancient airs away,--
Because you perished,--must men say
Your deeds were naught, and so profane
Your lives with that cold burden? Nay,
The deeds you wrought are not in vain!

Though, is may be, above the plot
That hid your once imperial clay,
No greener than o'er men forgot
The unregarding grasses sway;--
Though there no sweeter is the lay
From careless bird,--though you remain
Without distinction of decay,--
The deeds you wrought are not in vain!

No. For while yet in tower or cot
Your story stirs the pulses' play;
And men forget the sordid lot--
The sordid care, of cities gray;--
While yet, beset in homelier fray,
They learn from you the lesson plain
That Life may go, so Honor stay,--
The deeds you wrought are not in wain!


Heroes of old! I humbly lay
The laurel on your graves again;
Whatever men have done, men may,--
The deeds you wrought are not in vain!

This poem could easily go to any hero through history, and I think it is particularly beautiful. So many people now days think on heroes from history as simply that: History. They say 'it happened so many years ago. Why think about them?' But I'll give you the answer to that. We think on our heroes of old so we have someone to look up to and follow by seeing their accomplishments and defeats and learning from them. Wallace is a talisman for freedom in Scotland. We remember him today as Scots have remembered him centuries ago as the hero who gave Scotland the right of freedom. And without him, Scotland would be in a very poor shape right now with no one to look up to and admire. That's why we need to remember our heroes. And we need to teach kids about them as well. Kinds need to find heroes like Wallace or George Washington to look up to, not the days leading actors and actresses!

As I have said in earlier posts, I am open for any questions, comments or stories concerning William Wallace and would love to hear your insight and feelings about the man. Even if you read these posts late and the month is over, please comment or email me from my profile with anything you wish to say. I would appreciate it very much!

Slainte, Hazel

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