Scots Wha Hae

By Robert Burns 1759–1796 Robert Burns
Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;
Welcome to your gory bed,
         Or to victory!

Now's the day, and now's the hour;
See the front o' battle lour;
See approach proud Edward's power—
         Chains and slavery!

Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave!
Wha sae base as be a slave?
         Let him turn and flee!

Wha for Scotland's king and law
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand, or freeman fa',
         Let him follow me!

By oppression's woes and pains!
By your sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
         But they shall be free!

Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty's in every blow!—
         Let us do or die!

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Poet Robert Burns 1759–1796

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects War & Conflict, Heroes & Patriotism, History & Politics, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Robert  Burns

Biography

Born on 25 January 1759 in Alloway, Scotland, to William and Agnes Brown Burnes, Robert Burns followed his father's example by becoming a tenant farmer. Unlike William Burnes, however, Burns was able to escape the vicissitudes and vagaries of the soil in two ways: toward the end of his life he became an excise collector in Dumfries, where he died in 1796; and throughout his life he was a practicing poet. As a poet he recorded . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT War & Conflict, Heroes & Patriotism, History & Politics, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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