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Bardic Arts

Lord Alberic’s Kilt: A Cautionary Tale
(with apologies to Lord Macaulay)
Kellyn Firesinger (Joan W. Rosel, 1997)

Lord Alberic McShea, the Scot
By all his gods he’d sworn
His regimental kilt should show
The finest ever worn

By all his gods he swore it
And reverently did fold
Each pleat with care, as they did wear
The plaid in days of old.

So fold on fold the black and white
At last lay smooth and fair.
With boots and sporran all complete,
All ready he at last to meet
Lord Felix’s measuring stare.

     O Scotland, mother Scotland,
     To whom your children pray,
     A Scotsman’s kilt, a Scotsman’s pride
     Do honor thee today!


Lord Alberic McShea did pace
With stately martial stride
From end to end throughout the camp
To reach Lord Felix’s side.

The night was glorious with stars,
And everywhere he went
In pairs did youth and maid recline,
The better, comfortably entwined,
To observe the firmament.

But safe did Alberic achieve
Lord Felix’s camp at last.
He won his meed of praise, and eke
A cup of mead, to crown his days,
The fearsome test he’d passed.

     O Scotland, mother Scotland,
     To whom your children pray,
     A Scotsman’s kilt, a Scotsman’s pride
     Do honor thee today!


Oh, well did Alberic sleep that night!
But on the morrow’s date
A maid did timidly approach,
All blushing redly with reproach,
A miracle to relate

For she had seen so strange a sight
She scarce believed her eyes
Gazing at stars beneath a pine,
Upon a night no moon should shine,
A full moon did arise.

And now, whenever Alberic’s kilt
Is seen, so fair and fine,
Fair ladies lie in every dell,
Each hoping that for her as well
That wondrous moon shall shine.

     O Scotland, mother Scotland,
     Let all thy sons beware,
     Lest they too carelessly reveal
     The wonders that their kilts conceal,
     Those honored kilts they wear!

NOTE: Lord Alberic himself gave me the details of this ... event, and asked that it be celebrated in bardic fashion. It was first performed at a Golden Rivers banquet; and, since he was not quite sure just HOW it would come out, through the entire recital his head was buried in his arms and the back of his neck was bright red. Since then, however, he himself has many times requested that it be performed at bardic circles, and he has given his gracious permission to include it on the West Kingdom History Website. -- Kellyn Firesinger

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