Hardy Stock

I come from hardy stock
What does this mean, I ask
A line of sturdy cattle is implied
But we are not cattle. Quite the
Opposite, if truth be known.
Rebellious, independent, defiant!
We are toughened in more ways
Than just our resistance to disease
Stress, pestilence or bitterness
We endure hardship, yes
We are bold and daring in battle
But I think this is more a pretext
An unwillingness to be seen as weak
But in our hearts, beauty draws us
We crave the warmth of hearth
And home no matter how we scowl
Somewhere in our past we learned
To put on a stern exterior, growl in
Low tones, stand with shoulders
Squared against any challenge
Even when no challenge came
Some Irish warriors, so I’m told
Were kin in such a time
When boldness may have been
Sharper than a sword.
History speaks of others
Captains on the sea, buccaneers,
Some mutineers, even pirates
And later, men of uncommon faith
Who stood against the Royal Rule?
And signed, as if in blood, an even
Deeper growl proclaiming with
Shoulders square, our freedom right
With them we stood to fight

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