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Poem by Clinton Scollard


Ballad of Protestant's Leap


  It was Sir Frederick Hamilton's men
    Were hungry for the fray,
  And it was a son of the bog and fen
    Would guide them on their way.

  By the good book an oath he took,
    This glib and open guide,
  And so it was over bent and brook
    They needs must up and ride.

  They rode them fast, they rode them far,
    By day's last fitful flame,
  Until, by the light of the evening star,
    To a heathery slope they came.

  Then spake the guide, with a glint of pride,
    With a catch of his breath spake he,
  "Ye may fall, if over the crest ye ride,
    On the Irish enemy!

  "When I drop my cloak by yon stunted oak,
    Do ye ply the lash and spurs,
  And there 'll be no one see another sun
    Of the popish worshippers!"

  He has gone to the crest by the dwarfËd tree,
    He has crept on foot and hand,
  And now with a wave his cloak drops he
    As a sign to the waiting band.

  Oh, it 's ride, Sir Frederick Hamilton's men,
    Ye men of ire and brawn,
  And it 's smile, ye son of the bog and fen,
    To see them urge swift on!

  Did they purge with the sword the Irish camp?
    Nay, for the story saith
  Through the evening dusk, through the evening damp,
    They rode to a tryst with death.

  It was over a cliff that was black and sheer
    To the vale of fair Glencar
  That they plunged with frenzied shrieks of fear
    'Neath the eye of the mountain star.

  Oh, it was Sir Frederick Hamilton's men
    Set forth to smite and slay,
  And it was a son of the bog and fen
    That guided them on their way!



Clinton Scollard


Clinton Scollard's other poems:
  1. The Mist and the Sea
  2. The Wind and the Sea
  3. The Cripple
  4. Abbeydorney
  5. The Little Creek Coonana


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