The Gay Gordons

A poem by Henry Newbolt

(Dargai, October 20, 1897)

Whos for the Gathering, who's for the Fair?
(Gay goes the Gordon to a fight)
The bravest of the brave are at deadlock there,
(Highlanders! march! by the right!)
There are bullets by the hundred buzzing in the air,
There are bonny lads lying on the hillside bare;
But the Gordons know what the Gordons dare
When they hear the pipers playing!

The happiest English heart today
(Gay goes the Gordon to a fight)
Is the heart of the Colonel, hide it as he may;
(Steady there! steady on the right!)
He sees his work and he sees his way,
He knows his time and the word to say,
And he's thinking of the tune that the Gordons play
When he sets the pipers playing.

Rising, roaring, rushing like the tide,
(Gay goes the Gordon to a fight)
They're up through the fire-zone, not be be denied;
(Bayonets! and charge! by the right!)
Thirty bullets straight where the rest went wide,
And thirty lads are lying on the bare hillside;
But they passed in the hour of the Gordons' pride,
To the skirl of the pipers' playing.

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