The Ghosts of Glencoe

by Archie Graham
(Glasgow Scotland)

The Ghosts of Glencoe

The bard arrived within the house
The seer sat down with them

A dram to warm his heart was given
A meal for hunger’s pangs

People gathered close to him
His voice reached deep within

He told the story of the Ghosts
The Ghosts of ole Glencoe

Winter’s blanket covered all
Its wind so biting cold

To MacIan’s home the redcoats came
Captain Campbell led them there

Hospitality they did claim
MacIan welcomed them

Shelter from the blizzards blast
Food and drink as well

Warm the beds they made for them
Sharing all they had

Macdonald ever a gentleman
Their every need did tend

Unknown to him his fate was sealed
His trust would broken be

Major Fergusson dispatches brought
For Captain Campbell to obey

Dalrymple ‘Master of Stair’ had penned
King William he did sign

An example made they all did need
The MacDonalds chosen were

The Oath they’d signed, but they’d been late
So death it was for them

All males of 70 or less
Put to the sword, none spared

The homes to burn, destroy the clan
In ink the orders stood

A horror that would stain the land
Murder under Trust

To eat and dine, to shelter there
And then to slay their hosts

Within the snow clad highland homes
Evil dwelt therein

Death disguised as friends did sleep
Before the warm log fires

Meals they ate and drinks did share
The MacDonald entertained

Two weeks they stayed as guests therein
Tended hand and foot

Until the day of evil came
When treachery revealed

As night did fall the shots rang out
Screams filled night’s cold air

Blood did flow upon the moors
White snows ran red with blood

Smells of sweat and blood were thick
Carnage everywhere

MacIan slain in his bed
His wife was murdered too

Blades did clash and steel did ring
As reason fled into the night

Blood red drops on whitened snow
The smell of fire and shot

O the evil that prevailed
O the horrors seen

Men’s senses dulled and calloused now
Treachery so vile

Women, children, old and young
Fell beneath the sword

Burn the houses, slay all life
The orders did declare

Yet some were warned and some escaped
Through the snow clad hills

Wild the wind and freezing snow
Yet better that than sword

Thirty-eight were slain there
Another forty froze

Muskets shots did echo round
While blood spurted on the snow

Satan wrote upon Glenlyon’s heart
When all was said and done

His whisky could not blot the deed
Ghosts did haunt his dreams

Every night they came to him
The Ghosts of auld Glencoe

Screaming in the night to him
The dead of auld Glencoe

Captain Campbell heard each scream
Haunted by his deeds

The evil replayed every night
The Ghosts did follow him

Twas then the bard did stop his tale
He sipped his dram he rose and left

The wind it howled as he did leave
Then silence did prevail

Comments for The Ghosts of Glencoe

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Oct 03, 2011
the ghost
by: Anonymous

thought this was really good

Jun 05, 2010
Very Graphic Description
by: May

Gosh, this poem really took me there! It was indeed a very graphic description.
Thanks for sharing with us.

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