Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Scotch-Irish - A poem from 1890

A poem by Mrs. Kate Brownlee Sherwood, of Canton, O.  First published in The Scotch Irish In America 1891.

The Scotch-Irish

From Scot and Celt and Pict and Dane, 
And Norman, Jute, and Frisian,
Our brave Scotch-Irish come; 
With tongues of silver, hearts of gold, 
And hands to smite when wrongs are bold,
At call of pipe or drum.

By king and priest and prelate racked, 
By pike and spear and halberd hacked,
By foes ten thousand flayed; 
They flung Drumclog and Bothwell Brig 
An answer to the gown and wig,
And freedom's ransom paid.

They fell, alas! on marsh and moor; 
They signed their covenants firm and sure
With letters writ in blood; 
With sword and Bible on their knee 
They taught their sons of liberty,
And felt the foeman's thud.

Upon the sodden heath they lay, 
Hard harried like the beast of prey,
In hunger and in pain; 
Their goods and gear were scattered sore, 
The exile ship its traffic bore;
But Scotia lived again.

The Cameronian cry arose
Above the jeers of friends and foes:
"Scotland forever free! 
No priestly yoke, no tyrant's chain, 
Christ's crown and covenant again
Upon our banners see!"

And some set sail across the sea 
To lift the flag of liberty,
At Derry and at Boyne; 
The slopes of Ulster and of Down 
To people with the bold renown
Of Cleland and Lochgoin.

Heaven speed the Caledonian Scot! 
The land is lean that knows him not,
His banners bright unfurled; 
For hark! the Bruce and Wallace cry: 
"For liberty we dare or die! "
He echoes through the world.

So Patrick Henry sped the word 
That thoughts of revolution stirred
In forum and in school; 
And Carolina's Irish-Scot 
His burning declaration brought,
Defying kingly rule.

Heaven speed the Caledonian Scot!
He bears free speech, he bears free thought,
He manumits the soul; 
Beneath his feet let error die, 
Above his head God's guidons fly,
The while the seasons roll!

Canton, O., May 30, 1890.

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