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Poem by David Macbeth Moir


The Field of Pinkie


Written on the Tricentenary of the Battle, Sept. 10, 1847

A LOVELY eve! as loath to quit a scene
  So beautiful, the parting sun smiles back
From western Pentlands summits, all between
  Bearing the impress of his glorious track;
His last, long, level ray fond Earth retains;
  The Forth a sheet of gold from shore to shore;
Gold on the Esk, and on the ripened plains,
  And on the boughs of yon broad sycamore.

Long shadows fall from turret and from tree;
  Homeward the laborer through the radiance goes;
Calmly the mew floats downward to the sea;
  And inland flock the rooks to their repose:
Over the ancient farmstead wreathes the smoke,
  Melting in silence mid the pure blue sky;
And sings the blackbird, cloistered in the oak,
  His anthem to the eve, how solemnly!

On this green hillyon grovethe placid flow
  Of Eskand on the Links that skirt the town
How differently, three hundred years ago,
  The same sun oer this selfsame spot went down!
Instead of harvest wealth, the gory dead
  In many a mangled heap lay scattered round;
Where all is tranquil, anguish reigned and dread,
  And for the blackbird wailed the bugles sound.

Mirrored by fancys power, my sight before
  The past revives with panoramic glow;
Scotland resumes the cold rough front of yore,
  And England, now her sister, scowls her foe:
Two mighty armaments, for conflict met,
  Darken the hollows and the heights afar,
Horse, cannon, standard, spear, and burgonet,
  The leaders and the legions, mad for war.

Shrilly uprises Warwicks battle-cry,
  As from Falsyde his glittering columns wheel;
Hark to the rasp of Greys fierce cavalry
  Against the bristling hedge of Scotlands steel!
As bursts the billow foaming on the rock,
  That onset is repelled, that charge is met;
Flaunting, the bannered thistle braves the shock,
  And backward bears the might of Somerset.



David Macbeth Moir


David Macbeth Moir's other poems:
  1. An Evening Sketch
  2. Kelburn Castle
  3. Thomsons Birthplace
  4. Langside
  5. Lines Written in the Isle of Bute


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