Here’s an often overlooked little slice of Edinburgh for you to behold – Walter Scott’s poem “Flodden” is engraved onto the paving in Grassmarket at the foot of Granny’s Green Steps. The poem is actually an extract from the nineteenth canto of a greater work of poetry by Scott called “Marmion”. The poem refers to a great battle that took place in 1513 between the Scots and the English and the engraving runs along where Flodden wall used to be, traces of which can be seen around other parts of Edinburgh such as Greyfriars Kirkyard and The Pleasance.
From Flodden ridge,
The Scots beheld the English host
Leave Barmoor Wood, their evening post
And headful watched them as they crossed
The Till by Twizell Bridge.
High sight it is, and haughty, while
They dive into the deep defile;
Beneath the cavern’d cliff they fall,
Beneath the castle’s airy wall.
By rock, by oak, by Hawthorn tree,
Troop after troop are disappearing;
Troop after troop their banners rearing
Upon the eastern bank you see.
Still pouring down the rocky glen,
Where flows the sullen Till,
And rising from the dim-wood glen,
Standards on standards, men on men,
In slow procession still,
And sweeping o’er the Gothic arch,
And pressing on in ceaseless march,
To gain the opposing hill.
That is all. Today I went for a walk around Edinburgh on this dreich day. I needed a break from job applications, taking my mind off waiting for results from an important interview(s), and generally festering indoors.