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Music is:
"Sun in the Stream"

 

HERITAGE

 

 

Dedicated to the memory of those soldiers of Scotland who,

Down the ages, have died fighting for the causes in which they believed.

I would also dedicate this poem and page to those warriors not only of Scottish descent but also of all nationalities, who have given their lives for their beliefs.

'Black Watch in action eleven hours today. Severe casualties inflicted on enemy. Own killed: two officers,

twenty-four men. Details later'- Chindit Official Telegram

 

 

Heritage

 

Another field is fought; a little fight

Not to be famed in chronicles of war,

Not to be noticed in the News tonight

Nor cabled eagerly to lands afar.

Only upon the regimental scrolls

Begun long since, the day of Fontenoy,

Among old skirmishes and lost patrols

They will record tonight this latest ploy.

 

Now where today the sun blazed overhead,

In the cool evening moving to and fro

Their comrades bury the immortal dead

For ever from the sight of friend and foe,

And round them in the darkness sentries stand

And watch with tired eyes and straining ears,

Even as long ago in our old land.

Their weary kinsfolk leaned upon their spears.

 

In old wild days, if one should chance to fall,

The son caught up the broadsword of the slain,

Girt on the dirk and the accoutrements all

And saw to it the ranks were whole again;

So now, as sure as when in ancient days

Brave youth espoused the patriarchal feud,

Still, in the fashion of our modern ways,

The oath of Aberfeldy is renewed.

 

We know not yet the comrades who are down,

Who are the two and who the twenty-four

That shall not see again the country town,

The pithead or the cothouse or the moor,

From whence they came to fill their father's place,

To keep the long heroic line unbroke,

The seed, the fruit, the harvest of their race,

The latest warriors of a fighting folk.

 

From such small battles was a Kingdom built,

By such bold forays was a Border held,

By men in hodden gray or tattered kilt

Who knew defeat, but knew not to be quelled;

And they that fell today were of a blood

That cannot all be drunk by greedy earth,

And whoso fell in honour where he stood

Fulfilled the purpose of his warrior birth.

 

Bernard Fergusson

 

 

From the book Soldiers of Scotland written by John Baynes

With John Laffin

Published by Barnes and Nobles Inc.

By arrangement with Brassey's (UK) LTD

 

 


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