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Across The Glen ©

Martin Traynor
Essex, England
2005

Since first I roamed across the glen
that rugged land has called to me.
The wind-blown glades, the boggy fen,
the air, the very stones there ken
that callous Lairds and bloody men
have drenched its soil with history.

Where Celtic giants once had bled
stand craggy hills' adopted bairns;
though no more are their stories spread,
there's none to talk amongst the dead,
what savage deeds of glory led
to building of those ancient cairns!

Some fought for honour, some for greed,
in days when life was short and harsh;
for kith, for clan, in pride or need;
for freedoms they would not concede;
the land asked not why men should bleed
but welcomed all beneath its marsh.

When with that air my lungs expand,
the dead arise to fight anew.
Once more, as pipers call, they'll band
to re-enact some fateful stand,
then fade again beneath the land,
as ruddy mists clear from my view.

Lang syne this earth received that doom;
how many now recall their toil?
Who knows which hillock hides a tomb
or realises sweet perfume
of Scottish Thistle's purple bloom
is scented from that blood-rich soil?

I'll blithely visit Highland spring,
a bonny loch or crofter's den,
I'll tap along to Highland fling,
a taste of Scotland each will bring;
yet none can make my blood so sing
as when I roam across yon glen.



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