Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
III. War
Song of Clan-Alpine
Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
 
From “The Lady of the Lake,” Canto II.

  LOUD a hundred clansmen raise
  Their voices in their chieftain’s praise.
  Each boatman, bending to his oar,
  With measured sweep the burthen bore,
  In such wild cadence, as the breeze        5
  Makes through December’s leafless trees.
  The chorus first could Allen know,
  “Roderigh Vich Alpine, ho! ieroe!”
  And near, and nearer, as they rowed,
  Distinct the martial ditty flowed.        10
 
Hail to the Chief who in triumph advances!
  Honored and blessed be the evergreen Pine!
Long may the tree, in his banner that glances,
  Flourish, the shelter and grace of our line!
      Heaven send it happy dew,        15
      Earth lend it sap anew,
  Gayly to bourgeon, and broadly to grow,
      While every Highland glen
      Sends our shouts back again,
  “Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!”        20
 
Ours is no sapling chance-sown by the fountain,
  Blooming at Beltane, in winter to fade;
When the whirlwind has stripped every leaf on the mountain,
  The more shall Clan-Alpine exult in her shade.
      Moored in the rifted rock,        25
      Proof to the tempest’s shock,
  Firmer he roots him the ruder it blow;
      Menteith and Breadalbane, then,
      Echo his praise again,
  “Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!”        30
 
Proudly our pibroch has thrilled in Glen Fruin,
  And Bannachar’s groans to our slogan replied;
Glen Luss and Ross-dhu, they are smoking in ruin,
  And the best of Loch-Lomond lie dead on her side.
      Widow and Saxon maid        35
      Long shall lament our raid,
  Think of Clan-Alpine with fear and with woe;
      Lennox and Leven-glen
      Shake when they hear again,
  “Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!”        40
 
Row, vassals, row, for the pride of the Highlands!
  Stretch to your oars for the evergreen Pine!
O that the rosebud that graces yon islands
  Were wreathed in a garland around him to twine!
      O that some seedling gem,        45
      Worthy such noble stem,
Honored and blessed in their shadow might grow!
      Loud should Clan-Alpine then
      Ring from the deepmost glen,
  “Roderigh Vich Alpine dhu, ho! ieroe!”        50
 
 
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