On the heights of Killiecrankie
Yester-morn our army lay:
Slowly rose the mist in columns
From the river’s broken way;
Hoarsely roared the swollen torrent,
And the Pass was wrapped in gloom,
When the clansmen rose together
From their lair amidst the broom.
Then we belted on our tartans,
And our bonnets down we drew,
And we felt our broadswords’ edges,
And we proved them keen and true;
And we prayed the prayer of soldiers,
And we cried the gathering-cry,
And we clasped the hands of kinsmen,
And we swore to do or die!
Then our leader rose before us
On his war-horse black as night –
Well the Cameronian rebels
Knew that charger in the fight! –
And a cry of exultation
From the bearded warriors rose;
For we loved the house of Claver’se,
And we thought of good Montrose.
But he raised his hand for silence –
‘Soldiers! I have sworn a vow :
Ere the evening star shall glisten
On Schehallion’s lofty brow,
Either we shall rest in triumph,
Or another of the Graemes
Shall have died in battle-harness
For his Country and King James!
Think upon the Royal Martyr –
Think of what his race endure –
Think of him whom butchers murdered
On the field of Magus Muir: –
By his sacred blood I charge ye,
By the ruined hearth and shrine –
By the blighted hopes of Scotland,
By your injuries and mine –
Strike this day as if the anvil
Lay beneath your blows the while,
Be they covenanting traitors,
Or the brood of false Argyle!
Strike! And drive the trembling rebels
Backwards o’er the stormy Forth;
Let them tell their pale Convention
How they fared within the North.
Let them tell that Highland honour
Is not to be bought nor sold,
That we scorn their prince’s anger
As we loathe his foreign gold.
Strike! And when the fight is over,
If ye look in vain for me,
Where the dead are lying thickest,
Search for him that was Dundee!’