Once more unto the bealach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with the Old Dog stragglers.
In calm there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest as oars lashed to stanchions:
But when the blast of wind blows in our sails,
Then imitate the action of the gazelle;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let’fly through the harbour of Salen
Onto Ben More, and like Leith Hill o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful Clyde.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest dogs.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of marathons!
Fathers that, like so many McCaffreys,
Have in these parts from morn till even run
And donned their trainers for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be dust now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to run. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for McCaffrey, Firebird, and Old Dogs!’
GAME ON !