WW1 Border Poem
The Border Men . . .
A poem from WW1 days from Berwick
Sons of the Border. Where are they ?
The South of Scotland’s men.
That bore the weight of Scotland ’s wars –
Stand they now as then ?
Mosstrooper, Border reiver race,
That plied the axe and spear.
How often did their foeman learn
The war-note, “Jethart’s here !”
Not once, nor twice, by Coldstream’s ford
No mean marauding band,
But England ’s hosts have plashed through Tweed
To gain the Northern strand.
Tonight on Berwick’s ancient walls
The fiery beacons glow,
The borderers are up and armed
Against as fierce a foe.
From castle, cot and farm they come
From silver Solway’s side,
The yeoman from the farthest rhynns
Of Galloway sae wide.
As Gala, Ettrick, Teviot rush
In spate to swell the Tweed ,
So each old town sends out its sons
In this country’s need.
The Johnstone’s, Maxwells, Scotts and Kerrs,
And every border Clan;
The Douglas ’. Armstrongs, Elliots, Humes,
Are out to their last man.
Mid Britain ’s battled host they stand,
In all the rut of war;
The Borderers are at the front,
The men to do and daur.
J. R. Russell in “Border Standard,” Edinburg