Baron Braemar


" I'm lord of the Corrie, I'm chief of the Ben,
I rule like a kaiser o'er mountain and glen;
The people may tramp over city and town,
But their feet shall not tread on my moorlands so brown.
Their presence would trouble the tremulous deer,
And grouse, and not men, shall be denizens here,
As long as my title holds good against bar,
And all for my pleasure," quoth Baron Braemar.

" I've drained off the peasants, I've banished them forth,
There is scarcely a Celt on the hills of the North;
And the few that remain by the shores of the sea,
May die or live on without hindrance from me.
And, thanks to the law, while my land is my own
I'll keep it for grouse, or the red-deer alone,
And roam o'er my mountains supreme as a czar,
And meet not a pauper," quoth Baron Braemar.

" The land may be lovely, most pleasant its paths,
Most lordly its mountains, most verdant its straths,
Most beauteous the torrents that scatter their spray,
Or dash down in foam, o'er the rocks in the way;
What matters its beauty to cockneys or snobs,
To Jones or to Jenkins, to Smith or to Hobbs?
The region is mine, both the near and the far;
They shall not behold it," quoth Baron Braemar.

" What business have they in my glens or my woods,
To clamber my mountains, to roam by my floods,
To tread my wild heather, or wander at will
From the vale to the mist-covered cope of the hill?
Did I not inherit? am I not the lord?
Let them place but a foot upon moorland or sward,
And my dogs and my gillies shall " nose " them afar,
And hunt them for pastime," quoth Baron Braemar.

" 'T'is true that a murmur resounds from the crowd,
A murmur fast spreading, indignant, and loud,
That starts ugly questions of " Justice " and " Right, "
And doubts to be solved by the popular might; —
A murmur which hints that such questions should sleep
If those who still hold are desirous to keep ; —
But let them rail on — 'tis with words that they war;
My weapons are stronger," quoth Baron Braemar.

O mighty Lord Baron, great dealer in deer,
Great owner of moorlands, a word in your ear: —
Would you like, in your fulness of insolent pride,
To farm out the sea and take rents for the tide?
Would you like the Earth's fatness to grow but for you?
Would you shut us from sunshine, the air, and the dew?
Would you fence out the sky from us vulgar afar? —
You would if you could, my Lord Baron Braemar.

One word as a warning: — We think 'twould be wise
If you'd come from your deserts and open your eyes; —
Free foot on the mountain, free path in the glen —
Not all for your cattle — leave something for men.
And if from the tourist you shrink with dismay,
Turn the wilds into cornfields and keep him away:
Our isle is too narrow for Nimrods, by far;
We cannot afford them, my Lord of Braemar.

Were Commerce extinct — were our Trade at a stand —
Were the mouths to be fed growing few in the land —
Were we back to the point of a century agone —
We might leave you your moors to go shooting upon.
But e'en in such case 't would be worse than insane
To refuse us a sight of the hills where you reign.
Is it safer just now? — Look at things as they are,
And be wise while there's time, my Lord Baron Braemar
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.