One of our favorite sites in Scotland is Dunnottar Castle. The area is stunningly beautiful and it’s history is rich. One aspect of its history is the fact that Covenanters were imprisoned here because of their allegiance to Christ (see photo below). Shep Shepherd recently pointed out to me this wonderful poem which reflects on the suffering of the Covenanters here.
THE SONG OF THE PRISONERS
BY the walls of old Dunnottar
Booms the breaking billow’s roar,
O’er the whitening crest of surges
Sounds the ocean dirge of yore;
As they, rushing, burst in thunder
On Dunnottar’s stormy shore.
Oft the music of the billows
Mingled with the covenant psalm,
When the dungeons of Dunnottar
Held the followers of the Lambs
Men who now in heaven are wearing
Round their brows the victor’s palm.
For the westland wild and moorland,
Hunted by the fierce Dundee,
Bound and bleeding, now they listened,
As the surging of the sea
Shoreward broke, and breaking, mingled
With their westland melody.
Deem not, tyrants, ye have conquered,
Though our sires and sons are dead,
And our limbs are bound and bleeding,
We have triumphed in our Head!
For the bridge and braes of Bothwell
With the blood of Christ are red.
But a time the time is coming,
When the mosses of the West,
And the dungeons of Dunnottar,
And the Bass’s rocky breast,
Shall, upheaving, gladly usher
Forth, an army of the blest.
Sing, then sing, ye solemn surges!
Shout thy thunders, mighty main!
Ours is but a light affliction,
Fitting us for glory’s strain,
When we meet our slaughter’d kindred,
With the Lamb who once was slain!
We shall rise above Dunnottar,
Rise above the sounding sea;
Rise above the western moorlands,
Glorious, beautiful, and free;
Meet in cloud of light the Bridegroom
None so beautiful as He!
He shall say, “Arise, my fair one!”
And the shades shall flee away,
And the sleep of death be broken,
And the grave be light as day.
And the sunshine of the “ages
Never ending,” round us play.