John Campbell

Gaelic Legends

John Campbell Shairp (30 July 1819 - 18 September 1885) was a Scottish poet, literary critic and academic. From his youth Shairp was a writer, but he did not publish early. In 1856 he issued a vigorous pamphlet on ‘The Wants of Scottish Universities and some of the Remedies.’ After settling at St. …

Oft the savage Tale in telling
Less of Love than Wrath and Hate,
Hath within its fierceness dwelling
Some pure note compassionate.
Mark, if rude their nature, stronger,
Manlier are the minds that keep
Thought on rightful vengeance longer
Than on those who can but weep.
Better sing the horrid battle
Than its cause of crime and wrong;
Sing great life-deeds! the death-rattle
Is too common for a song.
Lays where man in fight rejoices
Sang our Sires, from Sire to Son;
Heard and loved the hero voices,
"Dare, and more than life is won!"