My Sunday Poem … # 20

My Sunday Poem … # 20

There is just a wee bit of background to today’s poem. About 700 years’ worth to be precise.

The early Wars of Scottish Independence produced some great leaders such as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. I have no romantic illusions about these Scottish heroes. They fought a vicious, ruthless and bloody campaign in very violent times. But they were both passionate and spirited individuals who stood up for what they believed in. Robert the Bruce was born in 1274 at Turnberry Castle on the south- west coast of Scotland. He rose to become the King of Scotland and led his army to a decisive victory against the English at Bannockburn in 1314. This was a landmark in Scottish history.

Exactly 700 years later, in 2014, there was a Scottish referendum to decide if Scotland should become an independent country again. The result was close, with a narrow majority choosing to remain part of the United Kingdom.

Then, in June 2016, following a UK wide referendum vote, the decision was made that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union. The ‘leave’ campaign won by the narrowest of majorities and the withdrawal process formally began in March 2017 with the triggering of Article 50.

Two-thirds of Scottish voters had said they’d wanted to stay in the European Union. The leader of the Scottish National Party and First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, stated that the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum is “highly likely”. She announced on 13 March 2017, that the following week she would seek authority from the Scottish Parliament to agree with the UK Government initial arrangements, for a second referendum to be held between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019. The Scottish Parliament voted in favour of this and Westminster was duly informed. Prime Minister Theresa May stated that her government would not agree to this.

And so Scotland now finds itself in an unenviable position. Should it remain part of the United Kingdom and not belong to the European Union ? Should it secure a second independence referendum and seek to remain within Europe ?

The choice will not be easy and the outcomes uncertain and far-reaching. It is somewhat ironic that so many of the politicians at Westminster expect the European Parliament to play fair with them while they don’t seem prepared to extend the same courtesy to the Scottish Parliament at Hollyrood. Scotland will prevail. Of that I am sure. Her people still possess that same passion and spirit as those heroes of old. The campaign for independence is alive and well and hope dwells in peaceful hearts. May they always be with us.

This poem can be set to the music ‘Be Thou My Vision‘.

“At Turnberry in starlight”

At Turnberry in starlight
A warrior stood
A King for all Scotland
A soldier for good
With eyes looking landwards
His thoughts they did turn
To freedom won dearly
At yon Bannockburn.

Would we have the courage
To stand in his stead
Where hundreds have fallen
And thousands have bled
The hope of our Nation
One day we shall see
Our homeland forever
United and free.

© C.M. White 2017


8 responses to “My Sunday Poem … # 20

  1. Wow, a great tribute and a very powerful and majestic message, Chris!

  2. It’s going to be very interesting because although Scotland has always expressed strong nationalistic leanings for so many years, the Irish “pot” is probably currently simmering… and perhaps even the Welsh are watching developments with interest. I cannot believe how little thought went into Brexit, but “One reaps the rewards of what one sows!”

    • It makes me weep. The so called ‘leaders’ of the Brexit campaign misled the electorate. One of them is now British Foreign Secretary. Brexit is a job creation scheme for the senior ranks of the Civil Service.

  3. We don’t usually get to hear this side as much in the United States, at least I haven’t. Thanks for sharing.

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