An Old Strathnaver Man's Ballad

Composed on the occasion of opposing the nomination of a certain
Nobleman as Patron of the Glasgow Northern Benevolent Society.

TUNE -"Wha'll be King but Charlie
           When I was a young, a thoughtless lad,
             Along the banks of Naver -(!)           
           Soldiering was then the trade
             That got us lands and favour !
       Come Angus, come Ronald, come Iver and Donald,
         No men on earth are braver;
       If you but list, the lands then, trust,
         Are your's, said Factor Shaver.

           It was our fate to take the bait
             Laid out by Factor Slaver;
           With coats of red, to fire and blood,
             We sped from Shin and Naver !
       Yes, Angus and Ronald, and Iver and Donald,
         To Ireland went to save her;
       The croppies fled, with wounds and dread -
         No corps than ours was braver.

           When peace came round, our lands we found,
             By Donnan, Shin, and Naver;
           Where our forbears, for thousand years,
             Had crops, and flocks, and favour.
       Then Angus and Ronald, and Iver and Donald,
         Had mutton and beef of flavour,
       Had sheep and wool, and pantries full,
         And dainties sweet of savour.

           But soon, alas! it came to pass,
             That sheep got high in favour;
           The lady grand, that claimed our land,
             Was led by Factor Slave-her!
       When Angus and Ronald, and Iver and Donald
         Who'd fight and die to save her,
       In sad dismay, were forced away
         From Donnan, Shin and Naver!

           This, then, the promise of the land.
             Was broke by Factor Shaver;
           His rude command none could withstand,
             Or plans, his wealth to favour!
       Though Angus and Ronald, and Iver and Donald,
         Might say the lands of Naver
       Were their's, deserved as long preserved,
         By their forefathers' valour!

           Theories, ready to dupe our lady,
             Were broached by Factor Clave-her;
           To his command she did attend,
             To heartless plans he drave her!
       Poor Angus and Ronald, and Iver and Donald,
         Distressed, perplexed, did waver;
       While Factor Greed, with reckless speed,
         Seized on the best of Naver!

           Factor Vaults, with Jezebel faults
             Has never lost her favour.
           Nor Factor Lake, who wrote and spake
             That sour of sweet did savour!
       While Angus and Ronald, and Iver and Donald,
         The men the lands that gave her,
       Must now give place to southron race,
         Nor better yet nor braver!

           Far worse than Egypt's wasting plagues,
                   Wrought dismal desolation,
           Glens, straths - yes, parishes at once -
             Were swept of population!
       Yet Angus and Ronald, and Iver and Donald,
         Thus brought to faint starvation,
       Were told that now, without a plough,
         Their state was exaltation.

           The Factors crammed them on hard moors,
             Unfit for fir plantation,
           Where neither sheep, nor hen, could keep
             Itself from bleak starvation!
       Where Angus and Ronald, and Iver and Donald,
         Sunk deep in degradation
       (To Highland race, a foul disgrace),
         As paupers on the nation!

           Yet finest land, is left to stand,
             Quite in a state of nature,
           Without a dyke, or drain, or plough,
             Or trace of human creature!
       While Angus and Ronald, and Iver and Donald,
         Men of strength and stature,
       Are languishing without a plough,
         On moors of grimest feature!

           Twenty thousand, 'long the shores,*
             'Mongst the rocks and moors are starving,
           Without a prospect any more
             To rise by their deserving!
       While trampled o'er they're by a score,
         Who all the power reserving,
       Of hoarding princely wealth in store,
         As clear to all observing!

           Some went down to Glasgow town,
             Got on, though some are weavers -
           But suiting best, the more went west,
             To chase the elks and beavers!
       Where Angus and Ronald, and Iver and Donald,
         Who did their best endeavour,
       Got to their feet, with crops of wheat,
         Far off from Factor Shaver!

*Dornoch and elsewhere along the Coast.

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