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Clan Donnachaidh Annual
The Highland Crofter


The Marquis of Breadalbane once owned half a million acres of Highland perthshire and Argyllshire. This poem was written in 1840, attacking the eviction of some 2,500 people round Loch Tay.

The Highland Crofter by James Kennedy

Frae Kenmore tae Ben More
 The land is a' the Marquis's;
The mossy howes, the heathery knowes
 An'ilka bonnie park is his;
The bearded goats, the towsie stots,
 An' a' the braxie carcases;
Ilk crofter's rent, ilk tinkler's tent,
 An ilka collie's bark is his;
The muir-cock's craw, the piper's blaw,
 The ghillie's hard day's wark is his;
Frae Kenmore tae Ben More
 The warld is a'the Marquis's.

The fish that swim, the birds that skim,
 The fir, the ash, the birk is his;
The castle ha' sae big an' braw,
 Yon diamond crusted dirk is his;
The roofless hame, a burning shame,
 The factor's dirty wark is his;
The poor folk vexed, the lawyer's text,
 Yon smirking legal shark is his;
Frae Kenmore tae Ben More
 The warld is a'the Marquis's.

But near, mair near, God's voice we hear
 The dawn as weel's the dark is his;
The poet's dream, the patriot's theme,
 The fire that lights the mirk is His.
They clearly show God's mills are slow
 But sure, the handiwork is His;
And in His grace our hope we place;
 Fair Freedom's sheltering ark is His.
The men that toil should own the soil
 A note as clear's the lark's is this
Breadalbane's land - the fair, the grand
 Will no'be aye the Marquis's.


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