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Sixteenth century

In castle high
upon a stony Highlands ridge,
I lived for my clan;
my father and I septs, outsiders
accepted by the chief, allowed
into the brotherhood, blood brothers
I would give my life for; the clan
meant everything to me, to all:
home, family, safety.

One evening, as we rowdied
in the dining hall over venison and beer,
my closest friend, returning wounded
on his horse, named the clan
that did it, and then died.

While mother and sisters wailed,
so young, seventeen, dying
for a blood feud centuries old,
cause long forgotten,
bagpipes skirled,
the chief planned our revenge.

With moonlight
guiding us on rocky trail
around the mountain,
we found their camp,
guarding cattle;
as we attacked, they sprang
to their feet, ready;
with dirk across my throat,
I passed from this world,
my day of honor:
I died for my clan.

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