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    Culloden

    by Andrew Lang
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    Dark, dark was the day when we looked on Culloden
    And chill was the mist drop that clung to the tree,
    The oats of the harvest hung heavy and sodden,
    No light on the land and no wind on the sea.

    There was wind, there was rain, there was fire on their faces,
    When the clans broke the bayonets and died on the guns,
    And 'tis Honour that watches the desolate places
    Where they sleep through the change of the snows and the suns.

    Unfed and unmarshalled, outworn and outnumbered,
    All hopeless and fearless, as fiercely they fought,
    As when Falkirk with heaps of the fallen was cumbered,
    As when Gledsmuir was red with the havoc they wrought.

    Ah, woe worth you, Sleat, and the faith that you vowed,
    Ah, woe worth you, Lovat, Traquair, and Mackay;
    And woe on the false fairy flag of Macleod,
    And the fat squires who drank, but who dared not to die!

    Where the graves of Clan Chattan are clustered together,
    Where Macgillavray died by the Well of the Dead,
    We stooped to the moorland and plucked the pale heather
    That blooms where the hope of the Stuart was sped.

    And a whisper awoke on the wilderness, sighing,
    Like the voice of the heroes who battled in vain,
    "Not for Tearlach alone the red claymore was plying,
    But to bring back the old life that comes not again."
    If you're writing a Culloden essay and need some advice, post your Andrew Lang essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

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