Why lies this mighty serpent here,
Let him who knoweth tell —
With its head to the land and its huge tail near
The shore of fair Loch Nell?
Why lies it here? — not here alone,
But far to East and West
The wonder-working snake is known,
A mighty god confessed.
Where Ganga scoops his sacred bed,
And rolls his blissful flood,
Above Trimurti’s threefold head
The serpent swells his hood.
And where the procreant might of Nile
Impregned the seedful rood,
Enshrined with cat and crocodile
The holy serpent stood.
And when o’er Tiber’s yellow foam
The hot sirocca blew,
And smote the languid sons of Rome
With fever’s yellow hue,
Then forth from Esculapius’s shrine
The Pontiff’s arm revealed,
In folded coils, the snake divine,
And all the sick were healed.
And Wisest Greece the virtue knew
Of the bright and scaly twine,
When winged snakes the chariot drew
From Dame Demeter’s shrine.
And Maenad maids, with festive sound,
Did keep the night awake,
When with three feet they beat the ground,
And hymned the Bacchic snake.
And west, far west, beyond the seas,
Beyond Tezcuco’s lake,
In lands where gold grows thick as peas,
Was known this holy snake.
And here the mighty god was known
In Europe’s early morn,
In view of Cruachan’s triple cone,
Before John Bull was born.
And worship knew of Celtic ground,
With trumpets, drums, and bugles,
Before a trace in Lorn was found
Of Campbells or Macdougalls.
And here the serpent lies in pride
His hoary tale to tell,
And rears his mighty head beside
The shore of fair Loch Nell.Poem written by Prof. Blackie, accompanying the description of the Loch Nell serpent by Miss Cummin, quoted in The Serpent Mound by E.O. Randall