BBWB 8: Peace Rally

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THE BALLAD OF BLACK WATCH BRODICK

CANTO 8

Peace Rally


The fireworks did swoop & soar,
Each spark a supernova,
“’Tis War! War! Glorious War!”
Uproar’d the world all over

“For God, for Kingdom, for Country”
Urge the churches gladly,
“Go sacrifice, win victory!”
The masses clap back madly

A beacon on the edge of night
A lighthouse in rough weather
The fiery cross is burning bright
Across the Scottish heather

On Arran isle the government
Explores the horse resources
Finds eighty’s worth o’ procurement
Their fate the auld arm’d forces

As farmers to the piers convey
This cavalry compile
It felt just like a market day –
The Duchess of Argyle

Fill’d up her decks, the horses hooves
A solemn dirge did beat
With neighs & whinnies in the grooves
Til boarding was complete

Then off they steam’d to fight the Hun
Far from their gentle grazes
To face grim shellfire & the gun
That at their gallop blazes

& Sarah Fullarton was there
Sensing she’d no more see
Those horses roaming here & there
Oer moor, field, glen, freely

& she remembers Sylvermane
From up East Mayish Farm
That took eternal time to time
Thro’ bruise & broken arm

How she stood out, that grey steed scout
With sylver mane down streaming
With bonnie eyes & topaz pout,
& nostrils jazzbeat steaming

Now Sarah caught the next boat out
& eighty minutes later
The Glasgow Central station shout
Sparks movement activator

She sprinted to the meeting place
Dismissing all decorum
& swore & elbow’d thro the race
Not caring if she’d floor ‘em

She reach’d the rooms, but not too late,
She’d even got a greeting,
Then listen’d to the stern debate
Of Suffragettes unmeeting

As Helen Crawford led one side
Claiming war cruel & crude
Tough Helen Fraser signified
A polar attitude

This was no time for calm discourse
The women firm divided
To offer flowers, offer force,
Each others’ cause derided

When Helen Fraser led her half
Out of that bubbling hall
The Suffragette flag, badge & scarf
Were scrunch’d into a ball

To be unfurl’d some future day
When all of this was over
“By Christmas” all the folk would say
Clutching a lucky clover

But Sarah Fullarton remain’d
A friend to Helen Crawford
& thro’ the Glasgow streets explain’d
Alternate visions offer’d

By Glasgow’s Peace Society
Condemning profiteers
Wide posing patriotically
Always stoking pride & fears

For war means money to these men
& loss of life means nothing
(Like Christian & Saracen
Never heard the angels sing)

Five thousand flock to Glasgow Green
At twenty four hours’ notice,
“This war disgusting & obscene!
Vigour not rigor mortis!”

“Imagining’s impossible
The miseries of some
But those we’ll count responsible
Untouchable become

The rally-gather’d all agreed
The people merely pawns
To feed the perfum’d pedigreed
With suppliance & fawns

But as pressmen akin with those
Whom from the wars make fortunes,
Knowing vast sales always arose
From dashing tales of dragoons

The congress ignor’d totally
Its sentiments disregard
Of sharing Earth in harmony
Humanity’s lifeguard

Prefer’d instead to promulgate
Destruction of the species
The foreign friend you’d once call mate
Now hate as stinking faeces

Upon the train to Ardrossan
Sarah flick’d thro the papers
& found no stories, no, not one,
“With gags they’ve tried to tape us!”

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