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Few young men I know write poetry; it is an art well worth undertaking, as well as fencing. Here is a poem I wrote recently on the subject of the Massacre of Glencoe. It should be informative enough but if it isn’t; look at this website: Glencoe. As one should know, this event should bring some interesting issues to mind, such as injustice, murder, or even Jacobite sympathies. I am not a Jacobite but an infamous deed like this is certainly brutal, and this act of betrayal was very disfavored by the Scots.

In 1692, a winter mean and cold

swept the braes o’  Glencoe.

Oft times in history, tales are told

Of treacherous deeds and blows aimed low.

Yet this is a tale that none surpass

For the bravest men shiver and women beat their breasts

To hear the tale of cold Glencoe

Our tale begins a few years before the massacre of Glencoe

For the rising of ’69 enlisted far and wide

All those who called King Willie their foe

Among the Highlanders on the Jacobite side

Twas Alasdair MacIain Macdonald of Glencoe

A proud man to fight along side his leader

Bonny Dundee, Willie’s greatest foe.

Macdonald and his men of Glencoe

Were beaten at Killiecrankie and Dunkeld

They fought well but lost to the foe

Their brothers hewn down like grass in the field

But Old Alasdair and his Macdonald men

Made it back to their families and bothies

While stealing cattle from the Campbell clan

King Willie twas pleased with his victory

So he pardoned all those who enlisted with Dundee

But the Stewart sovereign wasn’t a Tory

So he huffed and puffed and delayed his subjects’ plea.

Till he agreed they’d swear the oath

four days before the deadline twas due.

So poor Macdonald was late to take the oath.

Sir John Dalrymple, the Lord Advocate

gave orders that such a poor, popish clan

Be made example of and be eliminate’

So that all highlanders strong and wan

Be subject to Willie’s title and crown

And no more play the Jacobite

Or subject of the Stewart crown.

That Dalrymple lord issued a plan

That “proper vindication of publick justice”

Be executed on the Macdonalds by Campbell of Glenlyon

Two companies of Argyll regiment were to render “justice”

A time to sup at the sheep’s board before slaughtering them in the morn

With a warrant from the king they quartered in the homes

Of those whom they were to slaughter ere the morn

A fortnight passed with joy and very kind words

British soldiers and Macdonalds enjoying their fellowship

Drinking usige beatha and playing cards

But on the twelfth of February’s cold nip

An order came from Ballachulish

To slay all under the age of seventy

For it was the king’s wish

At five o’ the clock on the dawn of the 13th

The government troops with gruesome intent

Shot old Alasdair in his bed of heath

And killed thirty eight of Macdonald mint

Men, women and bairns all killed

In cold blooded murder by the English Crown

Many more died in the hills whereto they fled

Though the massacre of Glencoe

Did not “extirpate that sept of thieves”

It raised the hopes of the Crown’s foe

And forged the way for the Rising of Highland thieves

Who supported the Stewart king

In hopes that Scotland might at last be free

And have, at last, its own sovereign king.

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