The Lion o’ Scotland – a poem by Matt O’Neill


The Lion o’ Scotland.

Where is the Lion that used tae be Scotland,
that never wis conquered – never wis tamed,
that chased aw the legions o’ Rome ower the border
an’ daured them aw ever tae meddle again?

An’ where are the hearts that marched wi’ the Wallace,
an’ charged wi’ the Bruce across Bannockburn field?
Where is the nation that roared its defiance –
’neath the yolk o’ the English, never tae yield?

Sold intae wedlock by lackeys an’ traitors,
wi’ coin in their pockets – the price o’ their pain;
while an army o’ English stood watch at the border
tae make sure the bride widnae greet or complain.

An’ where are the sodgers that opened their Empire?
The clansmen, in glory, fae battle returned
tae find in their glens a quiet desolation –
their families evicted, their cottages burned.

So don’t sing the praises o’ Bruce or the Wallace
while embracin’ a Union they heroes wid curse –
or hae we been reduced tae a land o’ Wee Fearties,
contented wi’ coppers fae Westminster’s purse?

Noo there’s nae need for claymores, nae need for guns,
nae need for bloodshed in cross-border raids.
If we hae but the courage tae stand on oor feet,
the will o’ the people is the sharpest o’ blades.

So show them the strength o’ the Lion o’ Scotland –
it wakes fae its slumber, it never wis chained.
For oor lost independence, oor pride an’ oor honour,
wi’ the stub o’ a pencil, can aw be regained.


© Copyright Matt O’Neill 2008.