This is a poem of Neil Munro; I've know about it for a long time, but I turned it up again lately among my files and thought we might enjoy the evocation of ancient Scottish identity.
To the make of a piper
To the make of a piper go seven years of his own learning,
and seven generations before.
At the end of his seven years
one born to it will stand at the start of knowledge,
and leaning a fond ear to the drone
he may have parley with old folks of old affairs.
Playing the tune of the Fairy Harp,
he can hear his fore folk, plaided in skins,
towsy-headed and terrible,
grunting at the oars and snoring in the caves;
he has his own whittle and club in The Desperate Battle
(my own tune, my darling),
where the white-haired sea-rovers are on the shore,
and a stain's on the edge of the tide;
or, trying his art on Laments,
he can stand by the cairn of kings,
ken the colour of Fingal's hair,
and see the moon-glint on the hook of the Druids.
- Neil Munro