The poem for Trump by Joseph Charles MacKenzie

“Come out for the Domhnall, ye brave men and proud, 

The scion of Torquil and best of MacLeod! 

With purpose and strength he came down from his tower

To snatch from a tyrant his ill-gotten power. 

Now the cry has gone up with a cheer from the crowd:

 “Come out for the Domhnall, the best of MacLeod!”

 When freedom is threatened by slavery’s chains

And voices are silenced as misery reigns, 

We’ll come out for a leader whose courage is true 

Whose virtues are solid and long overdue. 

For, he’ll never forget us, we men of the crowd 

Who elected the Domhnall, the best of MacLeod!

When crippling corruption polluted our nation

 And plunged our economy into stagnation,

As self-righteous rogues took the opulent office 

And plump politicians reneged on their promise

 The forgotten continued to form a great crowd 

That defended the Domhnall, the best of MacLeod! 

The Domhnall’s a giver whilst others just take, 

Ne’er gaining from that which his hands did not make. 

A builder of buildings, employing good men,

 He’s enriched many cities by factors of ten. 

The honest and true gladly march with the crowd 

Standing up for the Domhnall, the best of MacLeod! 

True friend of the migrant from both far and near,

 He welcomes the worthy, but guards our frontier, 

Lest a murderous horde, for whom hell is the norm,

 Should threaten our lives and our nation deform. 

We immigrants hasten to swell the great crowd.”

Coming out for the Domhnall, the best of MacLeod! 

Academe now lies dead, the old order rots, 

No longer policing our words and our thoughts; 

Its ignorant hirelings pretending to teach

 Are backward in vision, sophomoric in speech.

Now we learnèd of mind add ourselves to the crowd 

That cheers on the Domhnall, the best of MacLeod!

 The black man, forgotten, in poverty dying, 

The poor man, the sick man, with young children crying, 

The soldier abroad and the mother who waits, 

The young without work or behind prison gates, 

The veterans, wounded, all welcome the crowd 

That fights for the Domhnall, the best of MacLeod! 

Whilst hapless old harridans flapping their traps 

Teach women to look and behave like us chaps, 

The Domhnall defends the defenseless forlorn; 

For, a woman’s first right is the right to be born. 

Now the bonnie young lassies that fly to the crowd 

Have a champion in Domhnall, the best of MacLeod!

(Joseph Charles MacKenzie)

I have copied the above from a newspaper source. I am not sure about some of the punctuation, but whether that is a problem in the original, or in the newspaper version, or in my interpretation, I don’t know.

Of course, the poem has been panned as “doggerel” and “terrible” by people in the media. Apparently the poet has had some previous success.

I think it is not bad as a Scottish ballad or call-to-arms. It has a certain rousing rhythm.

However bad or good it may be, it will inevitably be pilloried by the media.


5 responses to this post.

  1. It’s not terrible. The binding Scottish metaphor is a little strange. Some of the references to Trump seem rather cackhanded – ‘The Domnhall’s a giver while others just take/Never gaining from that which his hands did not make’ – this of a guy who built his fortune on casinos!’ In a way it’s returning right back to the roots of western political rhetoric – you’ll find stuff like this with similar turns of phrases – ‘ignorant hirelings’, ‘plump politicians’, ‘self-righteous rogues’ – right through 18th and 19th century poetry.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on January 18, 2017 at 1:52 am

      It reads to me like a traditional panegyric to a Celtic chief. Including the excessive and in part unlikely praise.

      It’s interesting and may be remembered if only as a reflection of these strange times.

      Trump apparently didn’t commission it.


    • I’m sure it’ll be quoted in anthologies for many years, often mockingly. I wonder if it really is going to be read at the Inauguration.


      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on January 18, 2017 at 3:46 am

        I don’t think so.

        I think it has a certain energy. And I suspect it is about average for verse of this kind.

  2. Posted by Julian O'Dea on January 19, 2017 at 3:59 am

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