An excerpt from The Grameid
by James Philip of Almerieclose
Hinc procul arctoi veniens a lillore ponti
Evenus Cameronus Eques, Marte inclytus Heros,
Secum mille viros in praelia saeva ferebat,
Aspera belligeros quos Abria nutrit alumnos,
Infractos et in arma Duces, semperque recentem
Quos agitare juvat praedam, atque assuescere furto.
Ipse securigero sublimis in agmine surgit
Aere rigens, geminumque latus cinxere clientum
Agmina Grampiadum, cognatorumque suorum
Fida cohors; unaque gener Balhadius ibat.
Puniceo Pater altus equo Cameronus amictu
Tricolore micat, tenuis quem bractea fulvi
Auri obit, et rutilum circumdedit orichalcum.
Casside frons tegitur, laterique accingitur anceps
Framea, sanguineaeque volant in vertice cristae,
Pectora cingebat thorax adamante morocci
Durior, a laevo dependet parma lacerto;
Discolor et medias subnectit fascia suras.
Obnubit lorica humeros, et ahenea dorsum
Tegmina munierant, solidoque ex aere rigebant
Arma, coruscantem jactantque ad nubila lucem.
Ipsa vel indomitum frons aspera terreat hostem,
Obtutusque oculi, barba et mystace reflexa
Cornua seu lunae, aut ansatae forcipis instar,
Agmina semiviri poterant terrere Sycambri.
Ille olim ut calido stagnabant sanguine venae,
Et juveni viguere animi, Duce Monte Rosarum
Regia castra petit, Midletoniumque sectus
Cum ferus arctois fremeret Crombellus in oris,
Infecit patrios hostili sanguine campos.
Nunc quoque cum Batavi rabies scelerata Tyranni
Ingrueret Socerum, sexagenarius ultro,
In conjuratos sacrati Caesaris hostes
Induit arma ferox, et aperta in bella ruebat.
Maximus huic natu paribus comes ibat in armis
Filius egregiae primaevo in flore juventae,
Et generis decor, et gentis tutela paternae
Assuescit duros castrorum ferre labores;
Militiaeque locum tenet a genitore secundum.
Emicat hinc toto sublimior agmine natus
Martini, cui fusca genas lambitque tegitque
Caesaries fulgentque micantibus aemula stellis
Lumina, candidulis certant et colla corymbis.
Quem genitor, longeque clientum exercitus ingens
Ambiit, et fratrum sequitur pulcherrimus ordo,
Atque illum ex omni circumstant parte manipli.
Ipse colorato graditur succinctus amictu
Arduus incessu, cui pendula fascia crurum
Corrycio fucata croco, Tyrioque rubebat
Murice tincta chlamys, pinnisque volantibus ardet
Cassidis altus apex, et pixidis ornamenta
Sulphureae phalerata micant procul aere corusco.
At tunicam rutilo soror intertexerat auro,
Et geminata humeros circum Meliboea cucurrit.
Terribilis, membrisque valens, et viribus ingens,
Eruere annosas poterat radicibus ornos,
Et solo rigidum morsu convellere ferrum.
Et quocunque caput mota cervice ferrum.
Arma sonant, rupesque cavae mugire videntur
Dum graditur, nimioque gemit sub pondere tellus.
Hinc Tanachaeus adest Cameronae stirpis alumnus
Horridus in jaculis, qui tendere spicula cornu
Noverat, et certis transfigere pectora telis.
Seu libuit celeres nervo intentare sagittas,
Machina sulphureo reboat seu ferrea bombo,
Nemo illum sumptis impune lacesseret armis.
Post hos ingenti Glendishrius agmine campum
Arduus ingreditur, magnoque per agmina plausu
Explicuit patrio vexilla rubentia ritu.
Here now Sir Ewen Cameron, a hero of martial fame,
coming from the distant shores of the northern waters,
carried with him to the field a thousand men, whom,
a warlike offspring, rugged Abria nourishes,
chiefs unconquered in war,
whom it ever delights to lift the recent prey,
and to apply themselves to robbery.
He himself, stiff in brazen armour,
rises high above his axe-bearing line,
and on each side of him a faithful guard
and Grampian clansmen are gathered.
And with him goes his son-in-law, Balhaldy.
The Cameron chief himself, mounted on a grey horse,
shines in a tri-coloured tunic trimmed all round with gold lace.
A helmet covers his head, to his side is girt a
blood-red plumes float on his crest. A cuirass of leather,
harder than adamant, girds his breast,
and on his left arm hangs his shield.
His tartan hose are gartered
round his calf, mail
covers his shoulders,and a brazen plate his back.
All his trampings are rigid with solid brass,
and throw back to the clouds the reflected light.
His very look, so fierce, might fright the boldest
His savage glance, and the swarthy hue of his Spanish
countenance, his flashing eyes, his
beard and moustache
curled as the moon's horn, or the handle of the
terrify the bands of half-human Sycambrians.
He, ere age had chilled his blood, and while youth
was still hot within him -
Montrose being his leader - sought the royal camp,
and when fierce Cromwell raged in the North, he followed
Middleton, and dyed with hostile gore
the paternal plains.
And now, when the Dutch tyrant in his
assails his father-in-law, Lochiel, through
past his sixtieth year,
fiercely dons his armour, and rushes into open war
against the allied enemies of the sacred Caesar.
In like arms his eldest son accompanies him,
in the first flower of peerless youth.
He, the ornament of his race, and guardian
of his father's clan,
has accustomed himself to bear the hard service of the
and holds the place in command, second to his father.
Here, too, is MacMartin rising high above
his whole line.
His dark locks hand around his face and cover his
and his dark eyes shine like the start, while
his neck rivals the white flowers.
His father and a great force of dependants accompany
and an illustrious company of his brethren in
their ranks surround him on every side.
He himself in variegated array advances with
The garter ribbons hanging at his leg were dyed with
and with the tint of the Tyrian shell, as was his
The crest of his helmet glows with floating plumes,
and the trappings of his mounted powder-horn
gleam in shining brass.
But his sister had embroidered his tunic with red gold,
and a double line of purple went round his
Mighty of limb, mighty in
strength, he could uproot the old ash-tree,
or with his teeth alone tear away the hard iron.
Whenever he turns his head and neck his arms rattle,
and the hollow rocks seem to moan, and as he
treads the plain the earth groans under his weight.
Here also is Tannachy, a scion of the Cameron clan,
bristling with darts, who knew how to speed the arrow from
and by bolt or bullet transfix the breast with
No one might attack him when armed, with impunity.
After these, stalwart Glendessary with his
company advances on the plain, and with applauding shouts
he unfurls mid his clansmen his ruddy banner, with ancestral
Editor's Notes: This
work, composed entirely in Latin, is too lengthy to include in its
entirety. It makes detailed mention of all of Dundee's
supporters at the approximate time of the Battle of
Killiecrankie, which took place on July 27, 1689. Many
credit Sir Ewen's biographer, John Drummond of Balhaldie, with if
not preserving this poem then drawing attention to it so many
years ago. It should be noted that Sir Ewen's son, John
Cameron, Younger of Lochiel, along with 500 additional clansmen
and also his cousin, Cameron of Glendessary, arrived two days
after the battle. Their inclusion within the poem is perhaps
in respect to their participation in the campaign, not the battle