Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BRUCE: INTRODUCTION, by JOHN BARBOUR



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BRUCE: INTRODUCTION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Stories we read right willingly / altho' they naught but fables be
Last Line: Aught but the truth therein shall be.
Subject(s): Robert I. King Of Scotland (1274-1329); Bruce, Robert; The Bruce


STORIES we read right willingly,
Altho' they naught but fables be,
So should a truthful tale of old,
An it were well and fitly told,
Be doubly good to hear, I trow --
Pleasant the telling were enow,
Twofold that pleasure, if right well
Ye tell the thing as it befell;
And truth, when it shall please the ear
Is found by men right good to hear.
Therefore I fain would set my will,
If so my wit suffice me still,
To write a story true of old
That men may aye in memory hold,
So that it live in this, my rhyme,
Nor be forgot thro' length of time.
For such old tales, to him who reads,
Do represent the valiant deeds
Of stalwart folk, who lived of yore,
E'en as they chanced their face before;
And we their memory sure should prize
Who in their days were brave and wise,
And in great travail passed their life --
In battle oft, and sternest strife
Did win of chivalry the praise
Avoiding false and cowardly ways.
For such was our King Robert's part,
Hardy was he of hand and heart,
And good Sir James of Douglas, who
Was in his time a knight so true,
So valiant, and so free of hand,
Men sang his praise in many a land.
Of them this book I fain would write,
God give me Grace that I, aright
May treat my theme that ne'er thro' me
Aught but the truth therein shall be.





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