The Solemn League and Covenant

The Solemn League and Covenant Now brings a smile, now brings a tear. But sacred Freedom, too, was theirs; If thou 'rt a slave, indulge thy sneer.


John Bett

About this work

This is a poem by Robert Burns. It was written in 1794 and is read here by John Bett.

Themes for this poem

religion life

Selected for 23 July

With her cry of, 'daur ye say mass in ma lug!', Jenny Geddes passed into Presbyterian legend. It was the first use in Scotland of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer on this day in 1637 that had so riled the street seller. The ensuing riot is said to have provoked the so called 'wars of the three kingdoms' which encompassed the epoch-making English Civil War. Here is the poem Burns wrote in praise of the anti-Episcopal Covenanters who would go on to victory in the Presbyterian cause both the market trader and the poet believed in.

Donny O'Rourke

Skip to top

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.