THE GAEL A Poem By Bob Shepherd

My pilgrimage as an ex SAS soldier to Robert Rogers training and fighting grounds of Up State New York.

As I sit on the banks of the Hudson upstream, I close my eyes and go into a dream

It’s never been my land as home is so far away, but it’s all mine now as I’m here to stay

As the wind from the west blows through my grey beard, I hear the sounds of The Gael and the people they feared

Long long ago against the French in a fight, to keep open trade routes but who had the right?

The Seven Years War included others who fought, and a man called Robert Rogers who also taught

A Colonial Scots Irish woodsman of great skill, He founded Rogers’ Rangers to go into the kill

Scots soldiers, Colonials, free Black slaves, and native tribesmen all joined his ranks, and later in history their kin would become the Yanks

They shunned the red tunics for green like the woods, and the camouflage allowed them to come up with the goods

Wonderful tales from the Seven Years War, along the great Hudson River to the Lake George shore

The Scots are in those tales, those young men are The Gael, just wee boys when they boarded and began to set sail

From Scotland to Ireland and across that great sea, they learnt to leave the singular and think…in the we

Arriving in the new world to fight for the King, they left family and livestock yes gave up everything

At the end of the fight some were still in their teens, do I remain in this land or return home with no means?

Many stayed and married the enemy’s daughter, just yesterday the French were there for the slaughter

Today, much of the land is known as New York State, of course that’s not known by those who met their fate

The Iroquois and Mohican and others of this land, were given nothing, not even a hand

Most were forced away to make a rough life, but a few switched sides and took a new wife

So those that came together took a parcel of land and stayed around, and eventually a kind of peace was found

Even today in Up State their names tell a tale, those Scots and Irish, Colonials, free Black slaves, and native tribesmen didn’t fail

From Canada to Crown Point, Ticonderoga and Hudson Falls, close your eyes and you hear the ghost calls

Through the beautiful Adirondacks and south to the city of New York, at every river junction and every road fork

There’s a feeling inside of me of the history of the day, it’s magnetic, it’s the attraction of what happened along the way

As I sit on the banks of the Hudson upstream, it’s The Gael that closes my eyes as I go into that dream

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit

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