07 February 2009

Ard Choille! Remembering Glen Fruin: 7 February 1602

The Rout of Glen Fruin
Sir Walter Scott

Auld Scotia's page inhuman turn
And read if man was made to murn,
See reivers hang and witches burn and clans proscribed,
See treachery the faithful spurn and justice bribed.

Twa Gregarach on an evil day
Hungered, a mountain sheep did slay;
The Clan Colquhoun made muckle play and vengeance sware
Ere noon-tide upon Luss dool-brae they breathed nae mair.

Frae Stronachlacher to Glen Strae
The fiery cross went nicht and day
To muster Gregarach's wild array frae cot and clachan;
At dawn or mist had left the brae they quat the bracken.

The reek gaed up frae roof and stack
What they found white they left it black,
The claymores clang, the muskets crack, in this wild hership
There's neither hoose, nor kirk, alack, for rest or worship.

Buchanan, Graham, and Colquhoun
Gaed to the King to crave his boon
To gaither horse and foot richt soon to quell Macgruther
To slaughter man and bairn and loon and stain the heather.

Or lang baith armoured knichts and foot
Are banded up frae miles aboot
And rowed I orra tartan cloot frae green to yellow,
And ilka roque frae Ayr to Bute here has his fellow.

Clan Gregor's chief ne'er grat nor swore
But loupit bareserk to the door
While beltin on his guid claymore and bull-hide targe
Syne doon the wild Fruin's craggy shore he led the charge.

Noo what a scene o' wild turmoil
The Gregarach's blood was on the boil
And ilka time they screamed "Ard Choille" slashed a het haggis;
Wi' little thoucht e'en for the spoil louped rocks and craggies.

It's thoucht a deed maist sinister
Was wroucht upon a minister
Wha soucht the smell of sin astir and cam to view
The slaughterin o' Alastair and a' his crew.

Agin the wild Clan Gregor gents
It seems the clerical comments
Upon these bellicose events were ower severe
Macintauch stopped a' arguments; breath, too, I fear.

King Jamie Saxt got up a greet
He drooled and slavered to his feet
And bade them send a burning peat to roose Argyll;
Syne clapt upon his royal seat near chokt wi' bile.

A fearsome weird maun Gregor dree
To hang on ilka gallows tree
Nae meat nor drink but cauld snaw-bree and Campbell's hounds;
Nae succour in extremity frae plaque or wounds.

Nae name, nae land, nae folk, nae grace,
But what they seek at graceless face,
Buried like beasts beyond a trace or help o' kirk;
Between them and a savage race a pointless dirk.

But outlawry's a t wa-edged blade,
Ane law is lost, anither's made;
Ilka outrage Clan Gregor paid in measure full,
Life for a life and head for head, their golden rule.

Intrigued? Read more: http://www.clangregor.org/macgregor/article-glenfruin.html

1 comment:

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