Traditional Scottish Songs
- The Gathering

John Imlah, the author of the rousing, patriotic song below, was born in Aberdeen in 1799 - only 54 years after the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. He joked that being the youngest of seven successive sons, he had supernatural powers of some sort - exactly what powers, though, "he could not undertake to say." He became piano tuner - a job that took him to many parts of Scotland. Imlah died in Jamaica in 1846, while visiting one of his brothers.

A manuscript copy of this song had been sent by Imlah to James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd. It was found among the Shepherd's papers after his death and was assumed to be his composition. It even appeared in a posthumous collection of Hogg's songs. But it had been published eight years earlier, in Imlah's "May Flowers."

            The Gathering

Rise, rise! Lowland and Highlandman,
      Bald sire to beardless son, each come and early;
Rise, rise! mainland and islandmen,
      Belt on your broad claymores — fight for Prince Charlie;
            Down from the mountain steep,
            Up from the valley deep,
Out from the clachan, the bothie, and shieling,
            Bugle and battle-drum
            Bid chief and vassal come,
Bravely our bagpipes the pibroch is pealing.

Men of the mountains — descendants of heroes!
      Heirs of the fame as the hills of your fathers;
Say, shall the Southern—the Sassenach fear us
   When to the war-peal each plaided clan gathers?
            Too long on the trophied walls
            Of your ancestral halls,
Red rust hath blunted the armour of Albin;
            Seize then, ye mountain Macs,
            Buckler and battle-axe,
Lads of Lochaber, Braemar, and Breadalbin!

When hath the tartan plaid mantled a coward?
      When did the blue bonnet crest the disloyal?
Up, then, and crowd to the standard of Stuart,
      Follow your leader—the rightful—the royal!
            Chief of Clanronald,
            Donald Macdonald!
Lovat! Lochiel! with the Grant and the Gordon!
            Rouse every kilted clan,
            Rouse every loyal man,
Gun on the shoulder, and thigh the good sword on!

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