by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

O cam ye here the fight to shun
Language: Scottish (Scots) 
O cam ye here the fight to shun,
  Or herd the sheep wi' me, man,
Or were ye at the Sherra-moor,
  Or did the battle see, man. 
I saw the battle, sair and teugh, 
And reekin-red ran mony a sheugh; 
My heart, for fear, gae sough for sough, 
To hear the thuds, and see the cluds 
O' clans frae woods in tartan duds,
Wha glaum'd at icingdoms three, man.

The red-coat lads wi' black cockauds,
  To meet them were na slaw, man,
They rush'd and push'd, and blude outgush'd,
  And mony a bouk did fa', man:
The great Argyle led on his files, 
I wat they glanc'd for twenty miles, 
They hough'd the clans like nine-pin kyles, 
They hack'd and hash'd, while braid-swords clashed, 
And thro' they dash'd, and hew'd and smash'd,
Till fey men di'd awa, man. 

But had ye seen the philibegs,
  And skyrin tartan trews, man,
When in the teeth they dar'd our Whigs,
  And covenant Trueblues, man;
In lines extended lang and large, 
When baiginets o'erpower'd the targe, 
And thousands hasten'd to the charge;
Wi' Highland wrath and frae the sheath 
Drew blades o' death, till, out o' breath
They fled like frighted dows, man.

O how deil Tam can that be true,
  The chace gaed frae the north, man;
I saw mysel, they did pursue
  The horse-men back to Forth, man: 
And at Dunblane, in my ain sight
They took the brig wi' a' their might,
And straught to Stirling wing'd their flight,
But, cursed lot! the gates were shut
And mony a huntit poor Red-coat,
For fear amaist did swarf, man.

My sister Kate came up the gate
  Wi' crowdie unto me, man;
She swoor she saw some rebels run
  To Perth and to Dundee, man:
Their left-hand general had nae skill;
The Angus lads had nae gude will,
That day their neebour's blude to spill;
For fear by foes that they should lose
Their cogs o' brose, they scar'd at blows,
And hameward fast did flee, man. 

They've lost some gallant gentlemen
  Amang the Highland clans, man;
I fear my Lord Panmuir is slain,
  Or in his en'mies hands, man:
Now wad ye sing this double flight,
Some fell for wrang, and some for right,
But mony bade the warld gudenight;
Say pell and mell wi' muskets knell
How Tories feil, and Whigs to hell
Flew off in frightened bands, man.

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This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 60
Word count: 398