Ballads eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 65 pages of information about Ballads.
But never the name of his fears —
Never, in east or west,
The name that rang in his ears: 
Names of men and of clans;
Names for the grass and the tree,
For the smallest tarn in the mountains,
The smallest reef in the sea: 
Names for the high and low,
The names of the craig and the flat;
But in all the land of Scotland,
Never a name like that.


And now there was speech in the south,
And a man of the south that was wise,
A periwig’d lord of London, {3b}
Called on the clans to rise. 
And the riders rode, and the summons
Came to the western shore,
To the land of the sea and the heather,
To Appin and Mamore. 
It called on all to gather
From every scrog and scaur,
That loved their fathers’ tartan
And the ancient game of war.

And down the watery valley
And up the windy hill,
Once more, as in the olden,
The pipes were sounding shrill;
Again in highland sunshine
The naked steel was bright;
And the lads, once more in tartan
Went forth again to fight.

“O, why should I dwell here
With a weird upon my life,
When the clansmen shout for battle
And the war-swords clash in strife? 
I cannae joy at feast,
I cannae sleep in bed,
For the wonder of the word
And the warning of the dead. 
It sings in my sleeping ears,
It hums in my waking head,
The name—­Ticonderoga,
The utterance of the dead. 
Then up, and with the fighting men
To march away from here,
Till the cry of the great war-pipe
Shall drown it in my ear!”

Where flew King George’s ensign
The plaided soldiers went: 
They drew the sword in Germany,
In Flanders pitched the tent. 
The bells of foreign cities
Rang far across the plain: 
They passed the happy Rhine,
They drank the rapid Main. 
Through Asiatic jungles
The Tartans filed their way,
And the neighing of the war-pipes
Struck terror in Cathay. {3c}

“Many a name have I heard,” he thought,
“In all the tongues of men,
Full many a name both here and there. 
Full many both now and then. 
When I was at home in my father’s house
In the land of the naked knee,
Between the eagles that fly in the lift
And the herrings that swim in the sea,
And now that I am a captain-man
With a braw cockade in my hat —
Many a name have I heard,” he thought,
“But never a name like that.”


There fell a war in a woody place,
Lay far across the sea,
A war of the march in the mirk midnight
And the shot from behind the tree,
The shaven head and the painted face,
The silent foot in the wood,
In a land of a strange, outlandish tongue
That was hard to be understood.

Project Gutenberg
Ballads from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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