To the Ghosts of Glen Coe

Sleep, you brave, you innocent,
you warriors and women strong.
Dread William’s days are now all spent,
and memory is long.

On the glen, the snow lies deep,
as once it lay those years ago,
the night it witnessed traitors creep
on sleeping Invercoe.

Great MacIain ope’d his doors
to Campbells shiv’ring in the night.
He had grown tired of English wars
and looked not for a fight.

Sleep, you brave, you innocent,
you warriors and women strong.
Dread William’s days are now all spent,
and memory is long.

Screams of children drowned the storm
when Campbell blades came slicing down
on bloody tartan, rent and torn,
all for a foreign crown.

Donald blood can turn to ice,
though noble hearts beat hot and fierce –
a man, a frozen sacrifice –
a mother’s dying tears.

Sleep, you brave, you innocent,
you warriors and women strong.
Dread William’s days are now all spent,
and memory is long.

Under trust you met your ends;
within your walls they laid you low.
The men you welcomed as your friends
left blood upon the snow.

Seventy and eight you were,
the martyrs of that winter night,
left to char in homes afire
or cut down in your flight.

Still, the gloaming holds you here,
when February nights are still,
the skirl of Donald pipes rings clear
and echoes in the rill.

Sleep, you brave, you innocent,
you warriors and women strong.
Dread William’s days are now all spent,
and memory is long,
yes, memory is long.

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