Poem: The Clan of Delzell

Early American Dalzells and Delzells

Poem: The Clan of Delzell

One of the thrills of delving into family history is to discover another member of the family who has creatively added to the lore of the Delzell clan. This happened to me when I received the following poem from the author William A. Dalzell of Portland, Oregon:

The Clan of Dalzell

In the highlands of Scotland there once dwelt a clan,
Whose Chieftain was peer to the best fighting man,
That ever drew sword in defense of his heather,
Or wore in his bonnet a gray eagles feather.

When his son by an enemy clan was once held,
And hanged to a tree--so the story is telled,
This Chieftain thus spoke to his warriors bold,
Who dares to bring back my son’s body so cold?

Then out stepped a clansman, his hand on his steel,
And speaking the tongue of the clan said “Dal Zheal,”
Which spoken in English, and translated with care,
Is the soul-thrilling challenge of ages “I dare.”

He fought through to the enemy’s camp and cut down,
The son’s body and gained great renown,
He brought back the son’s body from the camp in the dell,
And his Chief in return gave him the name of Dalzell.

Aye ‘tis a name that’s well known, for dinna ye kin,
When old Charles the First was needen gude men,
To defend him his crown gainst sturdy Cromwell,
That his weel trusted general was Thomas Dalziel

And whenever his country had needed his arm,
To save it from enemies, to protect it from harm,
At Bannockburn, Shiloh or Argonne’s red hell,
Ye’ll find in the records the name of Dalzell

Aye, tis an honorable name in the old Scottish heather,
So fill up your cups and we’ll all drink thegither,
To the health of our kinsman whaur ere they may dwell,
Gude luck and God bless ye to every Delzell.



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