When Wallace them beheld, he hush'd in
And kindly bade their growing sorrows cease.
"This waste of tears, alas!" he cried, "is vain,
Nor can recall the fleeting shade again;
Could that vain thought afford the least relief,
How would I mourn! but impotent is grief.
Then let those tears, to war's rough
toil give way,
And the fierce sword perform what words would say.
Hear me, brave Graham, companion of my arms,
Whose soul alike is fired with glory's charms;
To thee I swear, this sword I'll never sheath,
Till I revenge my dearest, dearest's death.
Heavens! what new toils of death and war remain!
Rivers of floating blood, and hills of slain!
But steel'd with rage, to slaughter let us fly,
And for her sake there shall ten thousand die.
When men thus weep, their courage grows
It slacks the ire of wrong they should redress.
But let us haste while yet the dusky night
Extends her friendly shade and drowns the infant light."
He said; the melancholy troops around,
With pleasing anguish catch the mournful sound.
A fierce revenge bends ev'ry warrior's
For now the armed warriors careful tread,
And march undaunted through the mirky shade:
No light in the high firmament was seen,
And like their vengeance low'ring was the scene;
To Lanark swift they shape the destin'd way,
The town defenceless, all before them lay.
Opprest with sleep, the weary English lie,
Nor knew, sad wretches! that their death drew nigh.
Now in two bands, they part
their hostile force,
And to their sleeping tyrants bend their course;
Where Hasilrig, the cruel murd'rer lay,
Eager on slaughter, Wallace wings his way;
A thousand ills the traitor's mind infest,
And warring furies combat in his breast;
There slaughter, rage, rapine together roll,
And guilt sits heavy on his dreadful soul.
Full on the gate a stone the Hero
Swift to the stroke the rocky fragment flew.
Bars, bolts, and brazen hinges soon were broke,
And tumbl'd down before the sweepy stroke.
Surpris'd he stood, and list'ning to the noise,
With beating heart he heard the warrior's voice:
Anon, beheld the distant beaming lance,
And trembling saw the iniur'd man advance;
"And thought'st thou,
traitor," fierce the hero cried,
"When by thy murd'ring steel she cruel died;
When thy fell hand her precious blood did spill.
Wallace though absent, would be absent still?"
Furious he spoke, and rising on the foe,
Full on his head discharg'd the pond'rous blow;
Down sinks the felon headlong to the ground,
The guilty soul flew trembling through the wound.