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THE LEGEND OF DUNCAN CAMPBELL
(Margaret MacArthur)

He was a lord of high degree,
Was Duncan Campbell of Inverawe.
There came a knock one stormy night,
As he sat alone in his Great Hall.
There came a stranger to the door,
All covered with blood was he.
"I've killed a man all on this night,
Avengers now do follow me."

"Shield me, shield me from all harm,
Oh give me hospitality.
Swear, oh swear it on your dirk."
With him the laird did then agree.
He scarcely had him hid away,
Two men came ringing at the bell.
"We seek the murderer
Of your cousin Donald Campbell."

"He is not here," he lied to them,
Thinking upon his bitter oath.
That night to his bedside there came
His cousin Donald's bleeding ghost.
Cried, "Do not shield the murderer,"
Ere he vanished from sight.
Duncan bade the unwelcome guest
To be gone at the first light.

"Shield me, shield me from all harm,
Oh give me hospitality.
You swore, you swore all on your dirk,"
With him the laird did then agree.
His heart was sore, but an oath he'd sworn.
That night his cousin in all his gore,
Said, "Farewell, Inverawe, farewell,
Till we meet again at Ticonderoga."

He wrote it down, this Ticonderoga,
A strange name unknown to all.
The Black Watch regiment it called to him,
He left his home, he left Argyll.
The years did come, the years did go,
His son joined the company.
In seventeen hundred and fifty-eight,
Oh they sailed for Amerikee.

The Black Watch marched to fight the French,
From Lake George toward the border,
To the fort the French called Carillon,
But the Indian guide called Ticonderoga.
Though Duncan Campbell did not hear,
His friends kept the dread name from him
His bloody cousin did appear,
"We meet again at Ticonderoga."

They reached the fort, the lines were drawn,
French gained o'er British and American.
And then they charged, the Black Watch charged,
With all the wildness of the Highlands.
Retreat was sounded once, twice, thrice,
Ere they harkened to the call.
Duncan and his son lay dead,
"Farewell House of Inverawe."

"Farewell, Inverawe, farewell.
Farwell many a Highland soldier."
His friends remembered the oft told tale,
"Till we meet again at Ticonderoga."
"Farewell, Inverawe, farewell.
Farewell a thousand Highlanders slain."
In the clouds above far off Argyll,
They saw that battle on Lake Champlain.


In Duncan Campbell, the first of three songs dealing with war [on this
recording],
we are told of a legend closely tied to the British general James Abercromby's
defeat at Ticonderoga in 1758, during the French and Indian War. Duncan Campbell
was
one of the 1,100 soldiers in the Black Watch Regiment, part of an army of 15,000

commanded by the inept Abercromby. Following his orders, his troops again and
again
attacked the fort, which was held by 3,600 French under Montcalm. The British
lost
1,600 men, including more than half the Black Watch Regiment. Among the dead was

Campbell, to whom the strange name "Ticonderoga" had been spoken 18 years before

by the ghost of his cousin.

When my husband and I visited the House of Inverawe in Argyll, Scotland, in
1984,
the present Mrs. Campbell showed us the room in which Duncan was sleeping when
he
saw the ghost. And in nearby Inverary, we walked in the castle grounds from
which
observers had seen the terrible battle reflected in the clouds.

Katie Brown of Winooski sent me a Scottish version of this legend. It is also
discussed
in Ralph Nading Hill's book, Lake Champlain. MM

See also: Piper’s Refrain

Copyright: Margaret MacArthur
@war @ghost @myth
filename[ DCAMPBL2
BiT
Feb07



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