The Undying Race

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A Highland Regiment and Other Poems by Ewart Alan Mackintosh
The Undying Race

HERE in the narrow broken way
  Where silently we go.
Steadfast above their valiant clay
  Forgotten crosses show.
Our whispers call to many a ghost
  Across the flare-light pale,
And from their graves the Breton host
  Stand up beside the Gael.

Year upon year of ancient sleep
  Have rusted on our swords,
But once again our place we keep
  Against the Saxon hordes.
Since Arthur ruled in Brittany,
  And all the world was new.
The fires that burned our history,
  Bum in our spirits too.

One speech beyond their memory
  Binds us together still,
One dream of home wherein we see
  River and sea and hill.
When in the night-time Fingal's peers
  Fight their old wars again,
The blood of twice two thousand years
  Leaps high in every vein.

Old songs that waked King Arthur's knights
  Stir in our memory yet.
Old tales of olden heroes fights
  That we cannot forget,
To die as Fingal's warriors died
  The great men long ago,
Breton and Gael stand side by side
  Against the ancient foe.

La Boisselle, 1915