Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Wallace

Poem By Blind Harry

The Wallace (also known as The Actes And Deidis Of The Illustre And Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace) (English Translation: Acts and Deeds of the Illustrious and Valiant Champion Sir William Wallace), is a long "romantic biographical" poem written by the fifteenth-century Scottish makar of the name Blind Harry (Henry The Minstrel, c. 1440-1492) probably at some time in the decade before 1488.

As the title suggests, it commemorates and eulogises the life and actions of the Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace who lived a century and a half earlier.

The poem is historically inaccurate, and mentions several events that never happened. For several hundred years following its publication, The Wallace was the second most popular book in Scotland after the Bible.

Related Scottish Country Dances

Braveheart (Drewry)
Braveheart (Laidlaw)

The Opening Lines Of The Wallace By Blind Harry

Our antecessowris that we suld of reide,
And hald in mynde thar nobille worthi deid,
We lat ourslide throu verray sleuthfulnes,
And castis us ever till uther besynes.
Till honour ennymyis is our haile entent,
It has beyne seyne in thir tymys bywent.
Our ald ennemys cummyn of Saxonys blud,
That nevyr yeit to Scotland wald do gud,
But ever on fors and contrar haile thar will,
Quhow gret kyndnes thar has beyne kyth thaim till.
It is weyle knawyne on mony divers syde,
How they haff wrocht in to thar mychty pryde,
To hald Scotland at undyr evermar,
Bot God abuff has maid thar mycht to par.
Yhit we suld thynk one our bearis befor,
Of that parablys as now I say no mor.
We reide of ane rycht famous of renowne,
Of worthi blude that ryngis in this regioune,
And hensfurth I will my proces hald,
Of Wilyham Wallas yhe haf hard beyne tald.

The Wallace Poem
A Page From The Ramsay Manuscript Text Of "The Wallace", National Library Of Scotland, c. 1488

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original The Wallace Poem article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright The National Library Of Scotland [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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