an icy reception from the Bruce.
when a people are on their knees and suffering the tyranny of immoral dictators, the prayers of the righteous are sometimes answered in the form of a champion. One such champion was the fourteenth Century hero Robert Bruce King of Scotland. he was a true one-off in his time, for courage, strength, spirit and achievement he stands above all Scottish heroes, and ranks with the greats of the world. He was a contemporary of William Wallace of Mel Gibson fame, and yet a Hollywood blockbuster of Robert Bruce’s life would make the film ‘Braveheart’ look like an episode of ‘Will and Grace’ – anyone wishing to read a history book that stirs the heart should read a translation of the fourteenth century book ‘The Bruce’ by John Barbour – I thought history books were boring till I read this.
the trees and foreground are from the Jeff Schauss painting a winter’s eve showing the ghostly silence of a heroic age now lost in the past- it also reflects the icy-quiet determination of Bruce and his men who – unlike the stereotypes – prayed before battle and fought silently – this silent determination of Bruce’s warriors uneased the larger hosts they battled against.
the sky is a mirroring of stormy clouds over Stirling
the image of Bruce on horseback is from his statue at Bannockburn – Stirling – where his finest hour came against the greatest English Army some one hundred-thousand strong, they swarmed northwards from the cheering streets of London, the audacious Bruce had given the English King a year’s notice to prepare for battle – so the English warriors were armed to the teeth and included the finest knights of Europe, who were invited to share in the spoils of a conquered Scotland- it was agreed back then that this awesome English host could have conquered any army in the world – so up they came even followed by wagons full of furniture ready to move in – when they were met by the Bruce and his men.
’…..the Scots most devoutly
knelt down, and made a short prayer to God to
help them in that fight. And when the English
king saw them kneeling, he quickly said, “Yonder
folk kneel to ask mercy!”
“Ye say truth now,” said Sir Ingraham; “they
ask mercy, but not at you. They cry to God for
forgiveness. I tell you one thing for certain,
yonder men will win all or die. None there shall
flee for fear of death.”’ – ——-from ‘The Bruce’ by John Barbour