|The Meeting on the Turret Stair|
The Chieftain and His Lady
Come live with me across the Glen
I'm chieftain of a thousand men
Marry me and be my wife
And I will love you all my life
I cannot marry you Chief so brave
I must wed a lord and not a knave
And though my heart is yours forever
My hand is promised to another
Who is this rich and mighty lord?!
I'll fight for you at point of sword
Tell me where he lies this night
I'll duel with him come morning light!
A lady must not her duty shirk;
Pray, put away your Chieftain's dirk
My word was given long ago
To your offer of marriage, I must say no
Gentle lady, sweet lassie so fair
You gave to me a lock of hair
And now you say you are not free
To pledge your hand unto me?
I gave my hair, that is true
It was wrong of me and this I knew
Pray, keep it as a token
Of three words once softly spoken
Come flee with me across the Glen
You'll be protected by a thousand men!
Our marriage bed shall be the heather
From this day forth we'll be together!
I cannot run; I dare not flee
I dare not run away with thee
There is nowhere safe for us to go...
Though I truly wish it were not so
You love me then, that much is true
You love me then as I love you
You're my lassie, can't you see
That I would give my life for thee?
I love you, yes, with all my heart
But still you know we have to part
Even now I quake with fear
That my father may yet find you here
Then come with me! We'll go tonight
By cover of darkness we'll both take flight
We'll leave your clothes by Loch Ness-side
They'll think you swept beneath the tide
He held his hand out to his love;
She grabbed her bonnet, cloak and gloves
Then fast across the Glen they rode
Eloping to true love's abode.
By Marie Bruce
I wrote this poem many years ago, inspired by a handsome Scots soldier. Although circumstances meant that we couldn't be together at the time, I used poetry to give us the chance we never had. I like to think that in another time and space, we are living out our own happy ever after. For now, it's enough that our liaison is captured forever in poetry.