Last month I attended the Edinburgh Festival and went to the Military Tattoo on Saturday night. At the end of the tattoo, in the dark and silence a deep voice came over the public address and read a poem or fragment of a poem. It was about the freedom, land, people, customs of the Scots- I think and it was about the struggle for freedom. It began with or contained the lines..."Lives there a man............" and "beats there a heart..." I assume the author is a Scot. Does some one know who that author is? Can you quote the text or direct me to that full text?
This one perhaps, Stephen:
Remorse: A Fragment
Of all the numerous ills that hurt our peace,
That press the soul, or wring the mind with anguish
Beyond comparison the worst are those
By our own folly, or our guilt brought on:
In ev'ry other circumstance, the mind
Has this to say, "It was no deed of mine:"
But, when to all the evil of misfortune
This sting is added, "Blame thy foolish self!"
Or worser far, the pangs of keen remorse,
The torturing, gnawing consciousness of guilt-
Of guilt, perhaps, when we've involved others,
The young, the innocent, who fondly lov'd us;
Nay more, that very love their cause of ruin!
O burning hell! in all thy store of torments
There's not a keener lash!
Lives there a man so firm, who, while his heart
Feels all the bitter horrors of his crime,
Can reason down its agonizing throbs;
And, after proper purpose of amendment,
Can firmly force his jarring thoughts to peace?
O happy, happy, enviable man!
O glorious magnanimity of soul!
Post Edited (09-03-04 00:58)
This one perhaps:
My Native Land
by Sir Walter Scott
Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
Ian, I think you have found it, and I am grateful to you. My visit to Scotland was no less than grand. That moment at the tattoo when the poem was recited was the emotional highpoint, and now I can recapture it, and read the poem.
Thanks. I will be sharing this widely.
Simi Valley, California, USA