Wild Rover Lads

Wild Rover Lads
Uncovenanted godless race,
Astray and under spells, 
We left for you the promised grace, 
       And sought nane for oursels. 

Our souls might be in jeopardy 
As lang's our blood ran hot, 
But surely we're assoiled and free 
       Now that we've paid our shot.

Mickle we missed, be it confessed, 
That brings auld age content; 
Blaw the wind East, or blaw it West, 
       'Twas there wi' a sang we went. 

Moon in the glen, youth in the blood,
Sent us stravaigin' far ; 
Ower late! ower late in the whisperin' wood, 
       So we saw nae morning star. 

Deep, deep we drank in tavern lands, 
For the sake o' companie, 
And some of us wrecked on Young Man Sands, 
       Ere ever we got to sea. 

We had nae heed for the parish bell, 
But still — when the bugle cried, 
We went for you to Neuve Chapelle, 
We went for you to the yetts o' Hell, 
And there for you we died! 


Neil Munro

from The Poetry of Neil Munro (William Blackwood & Sons, 1931) 
(poem written in 1916) 

Neil Munro

Highlander Neil Munro left his native Argyll to find work in Glasgow, but the Highlands stayed in his heart, and featured in most of his literary work, most famously in his Para Handy stories.

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