The Pool Of The Iron Shirt.

A poem by John Campbell

Colin, Chief of Diarmid's kin,
Strode alone to Ederlinn.

Night, and heath, and deep morass
Hear the chain-mailed warrior pass.

Ambushed lay the treacherous foe,
Ear to earth, and dart on bow.

Vain their arrows' ringing hail
Fell on pointed helm and mail.

As he backward leaped, there flew
Moonlight down the sword he drew.

In his front the lonely man
Saw approach the hostile van:

Near him on the moor a tarn;
On a knoll a wattled barn.

Refuge bad, yet near its door
Sank the hot pursuit's uproar.

For, unsheathed his battle brand,
There they saw great Colin stand.

Dauntless cried he: "Here within
Rest I, then to Ederlinn!"

Yelled the circling hounds in ire,
Set the woven wall on fire.

Sword in hand he stood, the light
Gleaming on his limbs of might,

Like a cloud-built column high,
Red, in sunset's flaming sky.

All too hot for mortal frame
Glowed his armour, wrapped in flame.

Hidden by the wreaths of smoke,
Hewing through the wall, he broke,

Felling seven, onward sped
Plunging through the lake's reed-bed.

Hiss the waters where he springs,
Hatred's yell again forth rings.

But he throws his mail away,
Dives, and darkness hides his way.

Smiling hears their lessening din;
Onward strides to Ederlinn.

Ages since have passed, yet still
Tales recount his dauntless will.

"Pool of the Iron shirt," thy name
Keeps, in Erse, the hero's fame.

Look you, race of ancient Gael,
Never let such memories fail!

Set them far o'er gems and gold,
For your sons to have and hold.

Steadfast Will its goal shall win.
Fairer e'en than Ederlinn!

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