HAVE YE HEARD? ©
Sgt. IAN E. KAYE,
1st Battalion The Black Watch, R.H.R., formerly of the 93rd.
There upon the Esplanade, I saw a ghostly form.
The sweat stood out upon my brow, although the night was warm ....
I tried to turn and flee away, but my limbs seemed made of stone,
As the clammy, long-dead fingers, reached out to grasp my own!
I saw the bloodstained Doublet, the Feather Bonnet too:
I swear the tattered Hackle glistened with the early dew,
As the Spectre gripped me fiercely, and whispered ('' Have ye heard?
They're at the Gates o' Lucknow, Lad. God bless the Ninety-third.")
He dragged me from the sentry-box, and bade me watch the skies.
A page of Highland History was there before my eyes ....
As kilted, bearded Campbells fought with Sepoys in the dusk,
And above the noise of battle rang the lilt of "Monymusk."
The Ensign of the Colour, with broadsword dripping red:
A Drummer-Boy, who played until he dropped among the dead.
I saw the Colonel's bright sword flash, and heard a scream of pain;
His horse reared up, a severed hand, still clinging to the rein!
As inch by inch, and yard by yard, they forced the Mutineer ....
When the Victory was in sight, I heard a mighty cheer.
Such a flash of steel and cannon that would chill you to the bone.
Then suddenly, it all faded, and I found myself alone.
The Corporal of the Guard came out. Said he, "Ye look pale.. What's wrong?
Och, move up an' doon yer beat a bit. Ye've been standin' ower long."
From the Moat, a ghastly chuckle! And faintly then I heard ....
" They've stormed the Gates o' Lucknow, Lad! The Gallant Ninety-third !!! "