Jean Blewett

(4 November 1872 - 1934 / Scotia, Lake Erie, Ontario)

The Lad From Inverness


He would go, they could not keep him, for he came of fighting stock;
Though his widowed mother pleaded, he was firm as any rock.
Well he loved the patient woman who had nursed him on her breast,
Been quite blind to all his follies,-but he loved his country best.
'I'll come home again,' he told her; 'I'll come home again some day,'
Laid his face to her's and kissed her, said good-bye and marched away.
Stronger than the voice that pleaded, 'Laddie, laddie, bide at home,'
Was the shrill voice of the bugle and the deep voice of the drum,
Calling to him all the day, calling to him in his dreams:
'Come, lad! Come, lad! Come! Come! Come!'

His face was like a maiden's face, so smooth it was, and fair;
The laughter in his eyes of gray, the sunshine in his hair;
But a man's heart, true and gallant, beat beneath the tartan plaid,
And a strong right arm he boasted, did this bonnie Highland lad.
Oh, the battlefield is gruesome, with its dying and its dead,
But 'twas to the field of battle that the drum and bugle led-
Magersfontein-and the bullets biting fiercely left and right,
And the lad in kilt and hose there in the thickest of the fight.
Fearful odds, and none to help them, fight they boldly, undismayed,
Gallant clansmen of the north land! Brave old Highlander brigade!
Someone blundered, this we know,
When you met the ambushed foe,
But you fought as heroes fight, and died as heroes die;
This we know, this we know.

Where the fighting had been fiercest, as the sun sank in the west,
Did they find the widow's laddie, with a bullet in his breast,
And his smiling face turned upward. Did he dream at last-who knows-
Of the far-off hills of Scotland? Lying there in kilt and hose,
With the gold hair gleaming brightly underneath the bonnet blue,
And the tartan plaid laid gently o'er the heart so brave and true.
Stilled forever! With death's coming did there fall upon his ear
Music that he loved to list to, bugle call so high and clear,
Thrilling, stirring, sweeter, shriller, and the deep voice of the drum,
Calling to him through the shadows, calling softly through the shadows,
'Come, lad! Come, lad! Come! Come! Come!'

Submitted: Tuesday, May 08, 2012

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