bardachd: (Default)
[personal profile] bardachd
Chan fhaca mi Lannes aig Ratasbon
no MacFill-Fhinnein aig Allt Eire
no Gill-Iosa aig Cuil-Lodair,
ach chunnaic mi Sassanach 'san Eiphit.

Fear beag le gruaidhean pluiceach
is gluinean a'bleith a cheile,
aodann guireanach gun tlachd ann-
comhdach an spioraid bu treine.

Cha robh buaidh air''san tigh-osda
'n am nan dorn a bhith 'gan dunadh',
ach leoghann e ri uchd a'chatha,
anns na frasan guineach mugach.

Thainig uair-sin lis na sligean
leis na spealgan-iaruinn bearnach,
anns an toit is anns an lasair,
ann an crith is maoim na h-araich.

Thainig fios dha 'san fhrois pheileir
e bhith gu spreigearra 'na dhiulnach:
is b' e sin fhad 's a mhair e,
ach cha b'fhada fhuair e dh'uine.

Chum e ghunnachan ris na tancan,
a'bocail le sgriach schracaidh stairnich,
gus an d'fhuair e fhein mu 'n stamaig
an deannal ud a chuir ri lar e,
bial sios an gainmhich 's an greabhal,
gun diog o ghuth caol granda.

Cha do chuireadh crois no meadal
ri uchd no aimn no g' a chairdean:
cha robh a bheag dhe fhoirme maireann,
's nan robh cha bhiodh am facal laidir;
's co-dhuibh, ma sheasas ursann-chatha,
leagar moran air a shailleabh
gun duil ri cliu, nach iarr am meadal
no cop sam bith a bial na h-araich.

Chunnaic mi gasgeach mor a Sassainn,
fearachan bochd nach laigheadh suil air;
cha b' ALasdair a Gleanna Garadh-
is thug e gal beag air mo shuilean.




I did not see Lannes at Ratisbon
nor MacLennan at Auldearn
nor Gillies MacBain at Culloden,
but I saw an Englishman in Egypt.

A poor little chap with chubby cheeks
and knees grinding each other,
pimply unattractive face -
garnment of the bravest spirit.

He was not a hit 'in the pub
in the time of the fists being closed
but a lion against the breast of battle,
in the morose wounding showers.

His hour came with the shells,
with the notched iron splinters,
in the smoke and flame,
in the shaking and terror of the battlefield.

Word came to him in the bullet shower
that he should be a hero briskly,
and he was that while he lasted,
but it wasn't much time he got.

He kept his guns to the tanks,
bucking with tearing crashing screech,
until he himself got, about the stomach,
that biff that put him to the ground,
mouth down in sand and gravel,
without a chirp from his ugly high-pitched voice.

No cross or medal was put to his
chest or to his name or to his family;
there were not many of his troop alive,
and if there were their word would not be strong.
And at any rate, if a battle post stands,
many are knocked down because of him,
not expecting fame, not wanting a medal
or any froth from the mouth of the field of slaughter.

I saw a great warrior of England,
a poor manikin on whom no eye would rest;
no Alasdair of Glen Garry;
and he took a little weeping to my eyes.

Profile

bardachd: (Default)
bardachd

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios