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The Ghillie Callum ©

Josephine Duthie
Aberdeen, Scotland
1999

Malcolm Mor
the King o' Scots
laid doon his michty shield,
tae spring aroon
wi' supple shoon
upon the battlefield.
Amang the deid
he whirl'd an' skirl'd
the fray wis focht an' won,
a'tween the blades
o' fallen knaves
a legend wis begun.

The winnin' glaive
wis laid tae rest
across a bluided man,
wi' spirits high
a heighlin' cry
swept thro' King Malcolm's clan.
They louped roon
wi' muckle struchs
their shankies flashed wi' mirth,
an' sin' that day
the Scottish say
the Dance o' Swords gied birth.

Noo heighlin' sodgers
used this dance
tae keep their kisties warm,
an' mony reels
o'er blades o' steel
shone thro' a Winter's storm.
A' doon the years
we've jigged an' pranced
the 'Ghillie Callum' way,
tae celebrate
wi' muckle gait,
a dance that steered the day.



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