Guiding Light - Poem by Sheena Blackhall
As King Robert the Bruce lay dying in 1329 he asked Sir James Douglas to take his heart on crusade against the enemies of Christ. Douglas carried Bruce’s heart into battle against the Moors in Spain before it was returned to Scotland and finally buried at Melrose Abbey. In the 1990s a team from Historic Scotland investigated a lead casket containing an embalmed heart found at Melrose Abbey. A stone plaque bearing the words ‘A noble hart may have nane ease gif freedom failye’ marks the spot where the heart was reburied.
The Bruce’s Heart, no greater and no less
Than any other man’s, can still express
Brave heart, the common mortal’s will to fight
When freedom is suppressed by tyrant’s might
And still, across the world, wrong smothers right
Beats down the poor, the refugee, the slight
And feeble women, shot because they seek
For education, denied to the meek
By powerful bigots and misguided laws
Lacking a guiding light to plead their cause
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