King Stag’s Last Charge, by Cass Wright

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A crown of tines, his antlers shine, as downward goes the day,
From the banks of the Coe, he rises slow, in mists o’ dour grey;
Then scales he the slopes of lofty Buachaille Etive Mor,
And challenging west, bellows forth this roar;
“Blow mighty winds, flow free rivers bright,
For returning in season, by the Salmon Moon’s light,
Come the Daughters & Sons o’ the Shipwright’s folk,
Hewers of trees, raisers of smoke;
Coming home to dance, to dream, to walk,
By stone & bone, summon ghostly stock;
Beckon back their own, through soil and through marrow,
Those crafters of galleys, those masters of arrow,
Keepers of deer, drovers of kyne,
Netters of fish, trackers of sign;
At sea, or on the lochs, or on beinns bare swept,
A Clan apart, they, and no tribe’s sept;
Pledged to but few, broken by none,
Strong & straight standing, by moon or sun!
So roll shining, Etive, and herald them home!
Cruachan, beam proudly, and crown them your own!
Old Taranis, wheel northward, make your thunder a loom,
Over Creran and Leven, over Linnhe and Broom!
For their blood weaves a tartan, by starlight or storm,
From the coasts of wild Skye, to the high trails of Lorn;
They sail back from afar now to forge here their wills,
So ye bards and ye seannachies, sharpen your quills!
Through flood and through hardship, past strife and past fire,
Scrawl the name that burns like a brand –
Mac an tSaoir!