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Subscription Fund 

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The religious dnd civil institutions, and the state of society among the 
patriarchal or Highland Clans, have been so misunderstood and misrepresented, 
as to have made on the English-speaking public the impression that these 
Clans were in a state of lawless barbarity at the dawn of authentic history, and 
continued in that condition until a period within the memory of men still living. 
Several untoward circumstances, chiefly resulting from the translation of 
Ossian's poems, have occurred to confirm this impression. One learned and 
talented Englishmen, with a direct reference to these poems, contended that such 
ideas and feelings could not be expressed in the rude gibberish of a barbarous 
people; and several English-speaking Lowlanders and Highlanders, taking 
up this view of the subject, and having the same conviction as to the rude 
uncultivated character of the language, maintained that the Highland Clans 
had no poetry, and could not have had any poetry, excepting that which had 
been recently forged for them in English, by writers of so unscrupulous a 
character as to father their patched-up plagiarisms on mythic bards, known 
only to the vulgar lore of a people who had never emerged from a state of 
lawless barbarity. That these gentlemen were in total ignorance of the subject 
on which they wrote so dogmatically, did not lessen the influence of their 
opinions on readers who had no means of detecting that ignorance, and who 
naturally gave them credit for too much honesty and decency, to believe them 
capable of writing so confidently on a subject of which they knew nothing. 
It is very true, that, on a recent occasion, the achievements and conduct of the 
Highlanders were such as could not fail to cause doubt in the minds of an 
enlightened people, on the ex parti statements of those who represented the 
Highland Clans as plundering barbarians ; since it is impossible to believe that 
a mere handfiil of barbarians could, not only encounter, but defeat a regularly 
trained army, or that lawless marauders, in overunning a country, should have 
committed fewer outrages than were ever known to have been committed by 
any disciplined army in similar circumstances. These facts were known to the 
writers above referred to, when they were writing down the Highlanders ! It 


may, I think, very fairly be assumed, that the age which witnessed these achieve- 
ments and that conduct, and preferred believing ill-natured and dishonest assump- 
tions to &irly interpreting these well known facts, was neither intelligent nor 
generous. Nevertheless, the succeeding age approved of, and followed their 
example, if we may judge by the unabated prejudices against the HigUandeis. 
When modem wealth and relSnement created such a demand for all kinds ci 
literature, it was naturally interpreted as unfstvouiable to the pretensions of the 
Gael, that that literature was found apparently nil; nor, untQ within these few 
years did a single writer wield the pen to explain the reason, although it was 
quite easy to do so, by throwing light on the ancient institutions and tenures 
of the Celtic Clans, and showing that, when the patriarchal system was struck 
down by the disasters of Culloden, the rights and privileges of the people were 
violated, and the same effect given to feudal charters over the unconquered 
lands of the Highlanders, which they had long previously attained over the 
conquered lands of the people of England, and diat the Qael had been thus 
placed in a state of transitioii and eviction, which was equally un&vourable to 
the pursuit or the remuneration of literature. 

The melodies, reels, and strathspe3rs of the Q^d met with no better fiy» than 
the ''Ossian" of Macpherson, and the "Sean Dana" of theBev. Dr Smith; nobody 
believed in their antiquity. For how, it was philosophically argued, could a 
rude and barbarous people carry down from remote ages in llieir oral kce and 
every day amusements, such poetry and such music ? This was sound reason- 
ing ; for it is impossible to believe, (1.) that the music and poetry of a s^Mirate 
and distinct people could have two separate and distinct characters, from the 
indissoluble connexion between poetry and music, until within a very recent 
period. (2.) It was equally imposnble to believe that the poetry and music of a 
people, and the people themselves, should be of two di£Eerent and dktinct 
characters; that the people should be rude and barbarous, and their poetry 
and music not only intelligent, but refined. Either of the two postulates 
must be conceded, therefore, to Dr Johnson, by whom the question of the 
authenticity of the poems was put on this sound and philosophic basia The 
Doctor does not seem to have had the music of the Highlanders under 
consideration ; but I submit that the music and the poetry were twins, — ^bom 
of the same parentage, nursed at the same bosom, and leared among the same 
glens and mountains ; and that whoever believes in the one, is bovnd to believe 
in the other. I therefore thoroughly agree with Doctor J<Anson, so br as he goes ; 
but submit that die music forms sn inseparable dement in ihe question. The 
state of society that could have produced, and have in its every day amuaementa 
preserved such music, might well produce such poetry ; and that state of society 
could not have been either rude or barbarous. But the copiers and pubfidxers 
of the music had by their own vile saobbeyy contributed to the scepticism on 
the subject They deprived the melodies and tones of the signet of antiquity 
contained in the hereditary names, and rebaptised them, in compliment to their 
patrons and patronesses, and thus stamped them, exjiune, as modem instead of 
ancient music. 


The tranBition state o! the Gael is now past. The feudal historians and 
clearance-makers have done their worst ; but the Clans have their Lakquagb, 
their Postst, and their Music still left, and in these they have ample materials, 
if prqperly handled, to vindicate the memory of their noble ancestors against 
the chai^ of lawless barbarity. Hence this treatise. I was not, while writing 
it, insensible of the difficulty of finding purchasers and readers for any work on 
a fflibject BO prgudiced and prejudged. And I could not venture to incur 
liability for a large amount of advertisements. But I published my proposal in 
a few of the newspapers most likely to meet liie eyes of Highlanders, as I 
never doubted, shcmld my object be made generally known, that there are 
thousands of Highlanders who are as anxious as I possibly can be, to remove 
the chaige of lawless barbarity made against the memory of our ancestors, and 
the sentence of proscription under which their language and poetry in effect 
lie, and that such Highlanders would willingly use their influence to procure 
subscribers to guarantee the expenses.* Subscription lists have been taken up 
with llieir usual qpirit by a few worthy Highlanders in Ghreenock, Paidey, and 
Glasgow ; I, accordingly, placed the treatise in the hands of the printer, without 
waiting for the result, but have no doubt that a sufficient number of subscribers 
have been obtained to cover die expenses ; and, in that case, my conviction is, 
that the qpirit of fair play which has hitherto characterized, and which I trust 
vrill ever continue to dieyracteriae the peoi^e of this country, will procure for a 
work having such an object, at least a fair hearing — and I ask no more. 

With regard to the phonetic e|)6lling, I am sorry to find that all the 
Highlanders whom I have ccHUuUed, excepting two literary gentiemen,t are 
opposed to the " innovation." Sorely those who object to the phonetic spelling 

* A HigUander who had Been one of these adtertiiements by mere acddent, wrote me (alihoagh 
we were total itraii^ien) reoommendiBg tfiat I shovld advertise mora ezteBiiyely, expreuing hii coayio- 
Hod. that there were thonaaiidfl of Highlanden that, like himself, would feel anziona to get subscribers for 
the purpose of haying snoh a work pubUshed, who might never know anything about the proposal, unless 
more eztenahrely advertised. Feeltng that I met here with a kindred spirit, I oandi^ told him that On 
tide of pr^udice was so strong against Gaelic and Gaelio literature, as to make it too dangerous for a 
retired officer with a small military income, to incur an account for advertisements on the chance of the 
success of such a work. The noble Gael then wrote me a characteristic letter, inclosing a pound note, 
and beflsiiiig tiiait I would lay it out on additlooal adveitlsemantB. 

f One of the Gentlemen above referred to is Mr M 'Nanghton, TiUyfourie, who delivered and published 
a Lecture on the authenticity of Ossian's Poems, which for research, dear and impartial reasoning, and 
good taste and sense, is superior to anything that had previoody appeared on the subject ; and flie other fs 
Mr Maedonald, GnndtnUy, whose letter on the various dialeots and so-cailed races of Europe I ha^e 
inserted with his kind permission, at page 27. Mr M'Naughton recommended that I should adopt the 
principles of pronunciation as illustmted in Mr Walker's Dictionary for my phonetic spelling, and I 
woidd have done so had my aim been merely to quote specimeiui of GaeKc poetry ; but Ihadanollierand 
totally different ol^ect in view, namely , to enable the English reader to peruse the poems already in print. 
I sutenit Mr Macnaughton's specimen, however, to the reader, and sincerely hope that it will be adopted 
by some younger Highlander who sympathizes with my anxious wishes to see this beantiftil language 
popokoiMd; and I have no doubt aeleotions of Gaelio poetry so written would be aooeptoble to 
thousands of the English-speaking puUio. 

414S4S4t SS194S4 

A ne-an donn na bua]>e, Yyal hu me liad hug-ra, 

414: S4 4444 S4 144f4flS 

Ga vel ang g^luasad ikr-«sd-a, Liad vre-dal as liad chiun-e, 

4,^4Sia4 191414 

Ang gaol a hug me buan dfaut, Lub hu me mar yur-an, 

s ■ t : S4a 4«a4 4144 144 4 

Cha ve-ich cmai-dias yar-ich-an. Gha duch-as a vi fal-an dhov. 


forget that the Graelic has been subjected to a thorough innovation long before 
this, and that it now appears before the public, not in its native and graceful 
tartans, but in a Soman garment, grotesquely shaped for the purpose of swad- 
dling, and not of developing its noble lineaments I This has hitherto evidently 
formed the stumbling-block to the study of the Gkielic language, for every 
person who has already learned the English names of the Boman letters, in per- 
using Gaelic books as now printed, must be subjected to the complicated process 
of unlearning the English, and learning the Gaelic sounds of the same letters, 
and the former is fully as difficult as the latter. Had the native alphabet been 
preserved, the Gaelic student would only have to go through the simple process 
of learning a new alphabet 

The Gaelic bards, as is shown elsewhere, were the great conservatives of 
ancient times. They stood firmly, and to the death, in the defence of the 
rights and liberties of the people ; and, hence, wherever despotism was put up, 
Gaelic bards and Gaelic poetry were put down. The kindly feelings, liberal 
sentiments, and high tone of independence which breathes through Gaelic 
poetry — (the monks' written ursgeuls excepted) — could not find sympathy 
among a feudal people, without proving destructive of despotism. The feudal 
despot and his assessors knew this well. Hence the Gaelic language, although 
one of the oldest in Europe, has been studiously excluded fix)m every university 
or collegiate institution endowed by kings or queens, or presided over by priests, 
whether Catholic or Protestant, to the present day ; and is the only European 
dialect which is now taught in no higher seminary than a charity-supported 
hedge-school I Do my Highland fiiends wish the language of their ancestors to 
be continued in this state of absolute proscription? We have, in Gaelic, 
grammars and dictionaries, which, to say the least, have been the works of 
men of as much learning, research, discrimination, and talent as those of our 
neighbours ; but who profits by them ? Not one in a thousand, even among 
Highlanders, can read or write Gaelic. In short, past experience shows that 
the Gkielic will not be an object of acquisition to the public, or even to learned 
men devoted to philological researches, while it continues under its present 
deformed mask. I have therefore considered it a worthy mission so to shake, 
if I do not shatter that mask, as to enable scholars and gentiemen to get, at 
least a glimpse of the beaming form which is being crushed to death under it. 
And I know that there is to be found in the language, which has been thus 
thrown into obscurity by a forbidding-looking disguise, a poetry which clearly 
proves that the people whose sympathies were so accordant witii the generous, 
heroic, kind, and benevolent feelings and sentiments therein contained, as to 
make them cherish and preserve it by oral recitation for nearly two thousand 
years, must have been as civilized, during that period, as the middle classes of 
the people of this country are at the present day ;— ^unless civilization means 
something else than intelligence, and a lively sympathy with generous, heroic, 
kind, and benevolent feelings and sentiments? I know that this assertion will be 
put down as paradoxical by those who form decided opinions on subjects of which 
they know nothing, and tiiat such parties are peculiarly tenacious of foregone 


conclusions, not the less when they result from ignorance and prejudice ; but I 
also believe that there is in this country enough of justice, candour, learning, 
and talent, to test this question on the merits. I submit ample materials for 
the investigation, and am convinced that whoever shall peruse them with the 
care necessary to enable him to decide intelligently on the subject, will agree 
with me. But, to enable those who are unacquainted with the language to 
form a sound opinion on the question, I considered a more simple orthography, a 
sine qua nan. Hence the system adopted in this treatise. Although unaccustomed 
to write Gaelic, I believe I understand the language well, and have kept faith 
with such subscribers as are enamoured of the present orthography by spelling 
the specimens which I quote in accordance with that orthography, although, as 
already stated, want of practice may have occasioned many mistakes, which 
the verbal critic will be glad to pounce upon ; but I have under-written every 
word so spelt phonetically, for the English reader, convinced that this will enable 
him to form a more sound opinion of the language and poetry than he could 
otherwise have formed of them without a vocal teacher, and much trouble and 

The writing of Gaelic, and especially phonetically, being new to me, I 
take it for granted that innumerable mistakes and omissions may have escaped 
me in correcting the proofs. Any critic but the merely verbal one will, how- 
ever, I think, find enough to convince him that such mistakes and omissions 
are more to be ascribed to want of practice than to want of knowledge of the 
subjects. For the former I might expect to be excused ; for the latter I could 
not. The phonetic spelling is on a carefully considered uniform plan, but being 
thoroughly new to myself, there is no doubt that many letters will be found 
undetected that are inconsistent with uniformity, and unnecessary to the 
pronunciation. This will, I trust, be excused in the first edition of a new system of 
orthography. I am aware that my phonetic spelling will give the English reader 
but a very imperfect idea of the beauty of the language when compared to a 
chaste and elegant pronunciation by the living voice ; but every well-educated 
person knows that letters without a vocal teacher never can teach any foreigner 
to speak any language like a native. I have endeavoured to make this Preface 
embrace my whole case, and submit it to the public with perfect confidence in 
its truth and honesty ; and therefore I have some hopes that it may assist in 
creating among English readers some interest in the Language, Poetry, and 
Music of the Highland Clans, 

PoTtrOhsgow, ^dJuly 1862. 


The Gaelic is a language of monosyllables or roots. Hence, in order to 
have a key to the etymon, the Druids preserved the initial letter of every root 
in compound words, which has so loaded them with consonants, as to give the 
language an unpronounceable and forbidding look ; but, by rules equally simple 
and beautiful, the aspirate letter, A, is so managed as to silence or euphonize 
the consonants wherever their initial sound would injure the easy flow or graceful 
cadence of a word, a verse, or sentence. The knowledge of the power and 
propec nse of the a&pirate is, therefore, the most important requirement of the 
Gaelic student ; and this can, I think, be very easHy learned, by comparing 
the present mode of spelling to the phonetic spelling of the following pages, 
after carefully perusing the brief lesson submitted in illustration. 

The higher class of Highlanders have, in a great measure, given up 
speaking the Gaelic within these hundred years, there being no object sufficiently 
accordant with the utilitarian character of the age to induce them to devote 
the necessary time to its study ; and the educated among the lower classes con- 
sist chiefly of clerical students, doctors, lawyers, &c. The former, instead of 
having availed themselves of their classical opportunities to become more perfect 
in their knowledge of their native language, generally lost in the Lowlands all of 
Gaelic which they had acquired at the firesides of their Highland parents. 
These remarks apply to a period when Dissent was little more than a name in 
Scotland ; and as the Church patronage was in the hands of the higher classes, 
and these students, with extremely few exceptions, were of the lower, they 
found it, in the general case, their interest to cultivate a spirit of diplomacy 
rather than of independance. Hence, with some noble exceptions, the students 
of Divinity returned from the seats of learning in the Lowlands, where the 
" gibberish" was of ill repute, to their native districts, every way qualified to 
conciliate the dispensers of Church patronage, but scarcely qualified to address 
from the pulpit a congregation of intelligent Highlanders ; and thus, betweefi 
toadyism and bad Gaelic, the Church of Scotland in the Highlands lost the respect 
of the people, and was at length merely regarded as the Church of the Heritors. 
Three-fourths of the clergy of Presbyterian and Dissenting churches were 
bom of plebeian parents, and reared, during the years in which the feelings and 
the manners are most susceptible, among the callousness and rudeness almost 
inseparable from poverty, coarse living, and labour. They almost invariably, 
while going through their curriculum, had to hire themselves out during their 
vacation-time as teachers, for the purpose of procuring funds to pay their class 
fees, &c. Hence, the egotism of the dominie was usually superinduced on the 
callousness and coarseness of the plebeian, before the generality of clergymen 
became placed ministers. Naturally looking to a position which had been the 
object of such a struggle and such privations, as the highest that, in his view, 


can be attained on earth, a clergyman, when he is a placed minister, considers 
himself a most lordly personage, and wants nothing, in his own opinion, to estab- 
lish his dignity and fix his status, but a few lordly or at least lairdly acquaintances. 
And although every branch of the Protestant Church furnishes men of heads, 
hearts, and manners, which make them true specimens of scholars and gentlemen, 
no intelligent person can regard the clergy as a body, otherwise than as pre- 
suming, intermeddling, rude, and greedy. Surely when society, as now 
constituted, consists of three classes, means might be found to secure a greater 
number of the higher and middle classes for the Church. It would be a pity 
to exclude men of fine hearts and high talents from the Church, merely because 
their parents were poor and low-born ; but such men are rare, and will push their 
way up hill ; as for the common herd of plebeian ministers, they would be more 
happy, and certainly more suitably employed and useful to their country, as 
artisans and labourers, than in their present position. When so great a body of the 
clergy showed a decidedly popular leaning, and proved their honesty by the Dis- 
ruption, the Highlanders followed them in a body ; but if what is said about the 
mission of a popular Free Church minister to the country of the great Clearance- 
maker, be true, I am afraid that that section of the Presbyterian Church has not 
left the whole spirit of snobbery and of time-serving policy behind them, at the 

The bard and seannachie, who were guardians of the Gaelic, ceased to 
live as an order on the accession of the King of Scotland to the throne of the 
British Empire; and there were no means provided at the Reformation for 
educating ministers or schoolmasters for the GaelicHspeaking part of the people. 
But this was not all. Corruption was added to the neglect of the language ; 
for since the patriarchal governments of the clans were dissolved by the disasters 
of Culloden, and Highland tenures have been subjected to the feudal laws, the 
people have been in a transition state, and the country so inundated with a 
Lowland peasantry, as scarcely to leave a single locality in which the Gael or 
his language are to be found in their native purity. The clerical student that 
really wished to qualify himself for the native pulpit, had another formidable 
difficulty to surmount besides the want of Gaelic professors and schoolmasters, 
namely, the hostility of the Reform Clergy, Episcopalian as well as Presbyterian, 
to the poetry and tales, in which alone it is to be found in its purity. 

The priesthood who succeeded the Culdees, showed far more tact and 
knowledge of human nature than those who succeeded the Reformation ; for, 
instead of entering into hostility against the traditional poems and heroes that 
had such a hold on the hearts and such an influence over the lives of the people, 
they went deliberately and systematically to work so to reconstruct as to render 
em subservient to the ** pious fraud" by which they sought to convert man- 
kind to the new religion. The Protestant historians of the Catholic Church, in 
accounting for many of its feasts, &c. say that they availed themselves of 
" established superstitions." Had they said that they invented superstitions, 
which afterwards became established, they had been nearer the truth. At any • 
rate, they composed new versions of the traditional poems of the north and east 
of Erin and of Albin, where the druid or natural religion, and the patriarchal 


system, prevailed ; into which they introduced saints, sorcerers, witches, giants, 
and dwarfs ; together with their miracles, necromancies, witchcrafts, cannibal- 
isms, and tricks. By these singularly seductive legends, they emasculated the 
minds, corrupted the tastes, and bewildered the ideas of the people ; and thus 
made them forget that knowledge of the God and laws of Nature which had 
been taught them by the Druids, and prepared them to believe any thing. 
Hence the success — not of a pure Christianity— but of an ambitious and des- 
potic priest-craft, and its sometimes fosterchild and sometimes benefactor and 
champion. Feudalism ; hence also the superstitious credulity which, until this 
day, believes in the improvised miracles of the Catholic, and the rival but 
coarser and less poetic Bevivals of the Dissenting priesthood ; and in the witch- 
crafts and prophecies of crazed old women, gipsies, and table-rappera 

The class of Ursgeuls, or new tales, composed by the monks, bear intrinsic 
evidence of being not the work of the Graelic bards, but of dabblers in Greek 
and Roman literature ; for they have their metamorphosis, &c., which are totally 
foreign to the national poetry. There is another class of Ursgeuls, quite distinct 
from these forgeries, which are much more honest and amusing, having been 
written by the bards of the Scottish or Gothio clans of the south and west of 
Ireland and Scotland, in ridicule of the pride of descent from the Fingalians 
of the Celtic clans of the north and east of both countries. These consist of 
parodies and burlesques on passages of historical and genuine poems, carried 
down by oral recitations, and are very much too graphic to leave any doubt 
of their object But so" stubborn are facts,^' and so tenacious were the ancient 
Celtic clans of their oral poetry and traditions, that neither the monkish 
forgeries nor the Scottish burlesques have ever been able wholly to corrupt or 
supplant them in the north of either Ireland or Scotland. Hence, many of the 
valuable historical poems still exist in their purity. Indeed, these forgeries and 
humourous burlesques and parodies have never attained a more dignified name 
either in Erin or Albin than Ursgeuls, a word formed from the roots ure^ new^ and 
sgeul^ a tale. See Cumhadh Mhic Leoid, by Mari Nighean Alisdair Buaidh, 
who lived until nearly the end of the sixteenth century, at page 159 ; and Mr 
C Keemey's introductory or explanatory remarks in reference to the battle of 
Cath Garbha, published by the Ossianic Society of Dublin, in 1860 ; in which 
he expressly designates these remains as Ursgeuls, and propounds the amusing 
paradox, that they are ^'historically'* more true than the ancient poems of 
Ossian, from which he admits them to have been derived. The name Ursgeul^ 
necessarily implies that there were old tales on which the Ursgeuls were founded, 
as the *' New Testament" implies that there was also an '' Old Testament." 

A reviewer, in the " Times," of the Dean^of Lismore's book on the Ur- 
sguels, or monkish legends of Ossian, lately published at Edinburgh, remarks, 
that in that great mass of poetry there is no mention of Wallace and Bruce, 
and no hatred of the English; but, although these tales or ursgeuls are evident- 
ly monkish legends, in which the traditional poems and heroes of the people are 
made subservient to " pious fraud," they profess to be, and I believe really are, 
older than the age of Wallace and Bruce. The Emperors of Rome are men- 
tioned in them as " kings of the world ;" and Oscar's traditional battle of 


Carron, or Fintry, out of which few of the '' people of the kings of the world 
escaped/' is especially mentioned. Iain Lom speaks of both Wallace and 
Bruce ; but expresses no hatred of the English. Even the bards who wrote on 
the massacre of Glencoe and CuUoden, do not express hatred of the English. 
The Gael was too magnanimous to hate his enemies. There is not such a thing 
as hatred or revenge to be found in Gtielic poetry. 

Bishop Carsewell of Argyle fulminated against the poetry and tales of the 
Gael, an age before their still more formidable enemy, Dr Johnson, was bom ; 
and, in so far as the Bishop is concerned, for a more honest reason, namely, as he 
indignantly expresses it, because the Highlanders of his day would rather listen 
to poems and tales about " Fin M'Coul, Oskir Mac Oishin, and the like," than 
to psalms and sermons ; and the disciples of Calvin were not less hostile to the 
language and poetry of the Gaelic bards than those of Luther. Extreme zeal, 
and some excesses, were to be expected from the emancipated slaves of spiritual 
and civil despotism, and the British Reformation was not free of examples of 
such excesses, any more than the French Revolution ; but it was scarcely to be 
expected that these holy reformers would carry their spiritual intolerance so far 
as to make war on a literature in which the most diligent research will not 
detect a verse or a paragraph offensive to morality or religioa This intolerance 
among the old school class of the Highland clergy came down to Dr Blair's 
time. It is, therefore, difficult to understand how he and the other learned 
gentlemen who interested themselves in the Ossian controversy, were so oblivious 
of the hostility of the Highland clergy to the poetry and tales of the Gael, as 
to apply to them for information on the subject The information collected by 
the Highland Society is, in my humble opinion, quite sufficient to satisfy any 
impartial inquirer as to the authenticity, substantially, of Mr Macpherson's 
elegant and spirited translation of the poems ; and some of them, such as Fingal, 
had been found in manuscripts of considerable antiquity ; and surely it will be 
admitted that the author of Fingal was qualified to write any other poem in 
Macpherson's translation ? But had they applied to the tailors, who at that 
time itinerated from house to house, making the clothes of the people, and were, 
I might almost say, professional reciters of poems, tales, and traditions, instead 
of the clergy, the result would have been more conclusive and satisfactory. 

Mr Campbell of Islay, in the last volume of his interesting and (to the 
biologist and antiquary) most valuable Highland tales, has, in his own happily 
piquant, discriminating, and gentlemanly style, put the whole controversy 
pro and c(m before the public, with a judgment and impartiality which gives 
the enemies of Ossian fair play, and leaves his friends nothing to fear, and little 
additional to say on the authenticity of the poems, in so far as the subject had 
been developed up to that date. But I observe, with no small surprise and 
regret, that the learned and talented author of the Introduction and Notes to 
the ursgeuls or monkish legends of Ossian, collected by the Dean of Lismore, 
before alluded to, thinks he has now fairly discovered the author of the 
originals of Ossian's poems, in Mr Macplierson, Strathmashie I The poems 
of Ossian collected by James Macpherson and his friends (as all who know 
anything of the collection and publication of oral poetry must be aware of) must 


necessarily have consisted of different versions and different detached pieces, 
according as different reciters were more or less correct or more or less retentive 
in their memories of the different poems or parts of poems fnmished by them 
to the collectors. The preliminary steps to the translation, therefore, necessarily 
were the collation, proper arrangement, and careful copying of these different 
versions and different parts. The translator was assisted in this process by two 
gentlemen, Mr Macpherson of Strathmashie, and Captain Morison of Greenock, 
— two gentlemen of education and position in society, against whose honour and 
integrity not one syllable had been breathed during the hundred years these 
poems have been under a controversy more or less intense, until Mr Skene, who 
has attained a diBtinguished position in the historical and antiquarian literature 
of his country, suddenly discovers, from somebody too insignificant to be 
remembered, that the whole three were fraudulent conspirators, and one of 
them a great poet I His words are : " Some years ago, I happened to pass a 
couple of months in the neighbourhood of Strathmashie, and I recollect having 
been informed at that time, hut by tohom I cannot now telly that after Lachlan 
Macpherson's death, a paper was found in his repositories, containing the Gaelic 
of the seventh book of Temora, in his own hand writing, with numerous 
corrections and alterations, with this . title, — * First rude draft of the seventh 
book of Temora.' " 

I will not stop to remark on the inadequacy of the above to justify 
the grave inference of Mr Skene. The poems published by the Bev. Dr Smith 
were all, or many of them, claimed by a schoolmaster of the name of Kennedy, as 
his own composition. Few believed him, and many knew that the claim was 
false, the poems being known before he was bom> to old men still living ; but 
the collection of ursgeuls by the Dean of Lismore, which gave occasion for Mr 
Skene's Notes, exposed Kennedy to an infamy which might, I think, have warned 
Mr Skene against claiming the authorship of these poems for a man nameless 
in literature. Mr Skene's claim for Strathmashie is fortunately exposed to a 
similar discomfiture by the singular circmnstance, namely, that the Seventh 
Book of Temora referred to by Mr Skene, was published by Macpherson 
himself in 1762, and used fifty-five years ago in this controversy by the 
Bev. Dr Patrick Graham of Aberfoyle. Dr Graham proves by his translation 
of Homer, of this book of Temora, and by his poem of the '^ Highlander,'' 
which failed to obtain even a mediocre circulation, that Macpherson was 
enturely incapable of writing such poem& The '' Highlander" contains many 
beautiful ideas, borrowed from Ossian and other ancient Gaelic bards; but 
Macpherson (like all plagiarists) was destitute of the genius and taste neces- 
sary to compose a work in which his plagiarism would tell. The ^' Highlander" 
and Macpherson's Homer, thus fell still-bom from the press ; and clearly show 
that Macpherson was not qualified to write Ossian's poems, Dr Graham gives 
the original as publisAed by Macpherson himself^ with a literal translation in 
parallel lines, and Macpherson's translation under them, and clearly shows that 
the Gaelic version is infinitely superior to the English version. He also shows 
that Macpherson omitted or glossed over many passages of the originals, which, 


from his imperfect knowledge of the language, he did not understand. This 
corroborates Captain Morison's statement to his friend Mr Irvine, as recorded by 
Dr Graham from Mr Irvine's own mouth, — " that Mr Macpherson understood 
the Gaelic language very imperfectly; that he (Mr Morison) wrote out the 
Gaelic for him for the most part, on account of Mr Macpherson's inability to 
write or spell* it properly ; that he assisted him much in translating ; and that 
it was their general practice, when any passage occurred which they did not 
well understand, either to pass it over entirely, or to gloss it over vnth any 
expressions that might appear to coalesce easily with the context'* The Bev. 
Dr Smith, in a letter to Dr Graham, says, '^ I have no interest in disputing his 
allegation," (meaning Kennedy's claim to the authorship of the poems referred 
to above ;) if I had, I would try if he could write such verses as he claims {no 
doubt the best) on any other suhjecty 

Dr Graham took Dr Smith's advice, and thus tested not only Macpherson's 
translation of Ossian, but also Dr Smith's own translations of the Seandana ; and 
he shows that neither the one, nor the other could possibly have been the authors 
of the originals, which they translated so inadequately. Let Mr Skene try Strath- 
mashie's capacity to write the poems of Ossian by the same test, and the result 
will be at least equally negative, and harmless to the memory of Ossian. There 
is no want of materials to enable Mr Skene to subject Strathmashie's qualifications 
to this test, — many of his poems being published. I would recommend him to 
compare *' A bhrigis lachdan" and *' Trod na'm ban," (I forget the name of the 
place) to any passages he likes of Ossian, as a criterion ; and should he require 
other specimens, I can procure him a whole bundle, some of which have never 
been published. The fact is, that not one single individual among those 
connected with the translation of Ossian can be shown to have left behind him 
anything calculated to prove that he was capable of writing these poems. On 
the contrary, Strathmashie and Mr James Macpherson have left poetry which 
proves beyond all doubt that they were quite disqualified to write a single one 
(good or bad) of these poems. But I will go further, (and have no doubt that 
I will be borne out by every literary man in the kingdom) when I say, that it 
is impossible to believe that any person qualified to write such poetry, could 
have exhausted his literary enjoyments in two or three years, and have lived 
for such a length of time afterwards, without producing any farther evidence of 
his poetic temperament, genius, and capacity. A Highland bard in account- 
ing for the melancholy fact that some of the lowest and basest specimens of 
the genus homo have been produced among the Highland clans, remarks, that 
the best blood when tainted becomes doubly corrupt; but I do not believe that 
all the clans in the Highlands could produce a second Kennedy; and it 
would require something more than Mr Skene's forgotten somebody to make me 
believe that Strathmashie's was no better. 

* The Seventh Book of Temora is published in Macpherson'i own spelling, and clearly proves 
Captain Morison's statement, that he ooold " not write or spell ((Helic) properly.*' It also proves, by 
irresistible inference, that the Seventh Book of Temora was hot written by Mr Macpherson of Strath- 
mashie ; for although he was a coarse and wretched bard, and could write nothing tender or refined, be 
could both ** write and speU" Gaelic, while the Seventh Book of Temora is miserably misspelt. 






The letters of the Gaelic language consist of seventeen, (originally sixteen,) 
besides the letter h, which is used as an aspirate. Only three of the consonants, 
1, n, and r, retain their power at all times, the aspirate so often used having 
the effect of either depriving the others of their power, or of rendering their 
sounds more vocal, sweet, and mellow. Hence the Gaelic vowels are more 
numerous than the consonants which at all times retain their power ; yet this 
peculiar feature of the language, although it necessarily renders it more soft, 
does not deprive it of its vigour either in tone or expression, as no two Gaelic 
vowels are ever pronounced in one syllable excepting ao, whose combined 
sound can be acquired properly only from the living voice. 

The construction of the Gaelic is extremely simple, yet I venture to say 
that any person who will study it, even with the assistance only of phonetic 
spelling, and what I can only call a literal translation for want of words to 
express my meaning, (for there can be no literal translation without equivalent 
words, and the words I use in rendering Gaelic into English are not equivalents — 
there being no such to be found in the English language,) will come to the 
conclusion that it has been cultivated by philosophic grammarians and philolo- 
gists at some prehistoric age, — ^for the Gaelic is literally an ancient language, 
into which modem or coined words cannot be introduced without being detected 
as discordant and unnatural. The ancient Celtic clans, from the character of 
their language, religion, laws, the constitution of their local or clan governments 
and brehon-courts, from their poetry, tales, music, manners, and customs, must 
have attained a comparatively high state of civilization at some very remote 
period. Striking traits of polished manners, generous hospitality, and stern 





patriotiBm, have been shown, and still are shown by the mountaineers of all parts 
of Europe, as well as of the Highlands of Scotland, notwithstanding the Soman 
and feudal corruption and oppression to which even the people of the moet 
inaccessible districts had been more or less subjected. But the demeanor, if 
not even the character of the EUghlander, has greatly deteriorated within my 
own time. For no Highlander, even within these forty years, would pass a 
stranger, on a country road, without speaking to him, if a common man, or 
saluting him, if a gentleman ; but now, the singular thing is his noticing either 
the one or the other, unless with a sullen or suspicious look. The reason is, 
that gentlemen, unacquainted with the social position of the Highlander in his 
own country, which was above that of a labourer, until very recent times, regard 
his salute as merely the natural obeisance of the serf to his lord, and never 
notice it any more than they would notice the wag of the colley's tail ; and the 
pride of the Highlander has taken the alarm. Hence, I have no doubt, the 
change that has struck me so forcibly in my recent visits to the Highlands.* 

The Gaelic alphabet is called BitMuiseanean, — ^the life of plants, — being 
compounded from the roots bith, life, luia, plants, and eon the plural affix. 


















Andent Names, 
ailm, palm 
beith, birch 
caul, hazel 
dair, oak 
eadh, elm 
feam, alder 
gort. ivy 
iogha, yew 
luis, aspen 
muiD, vine 
nuin, ash 
oir, broom 
peith, pine 
ruis, elder 
seal, willow 
teine, gorse 
ur, myrtle 



Sounds in EngUah. 
like a in far 

'' lam Ml 
ca in oat 
da in dallt 
e in th^me 
fa in^l 
ga in ^1 
i in ptn 
U in qniU 
ma in madam 
na in narrow 
o in broke 
pa in path 
r in rare 
to in far 
u in true 








The English letters, as sounded in the above words, represent the initial 
sounds of the Gaelic letters as nearly as it can be represented by individual 
English letters ; but the Gaelic consonants, when in action, are sounded much 
broader, deeper, and softer, than their initial names. These initial sounds are, 
I have no doubt, to be ascribed to a modem innovation, and ought to be cor- 
rected, because so apt to mislead. The distinction is so great and so essential, 

* Mr Campbell of Islay, in his beantifiil and gentlemanly preface to the Gaelic Tales, ha^ found the 
Gael a gentleman of Nature's own making ; bat he was travelling where the country is not yet wholly 
inundated by the stranger. 


however, as to render it absolately necessary for any person who is desirous of 
acquiring anything like an approximate knowledge of the pronunciation of 
Craelic words, to forget these foreign sounds, or to make himself perfectly 
master of this important distinction, as a preliminary step. This lesson could 
be acquired in a few minutes firom the living voice ; but from the difficulty of 
finding a qualified teacher, and from my horror of a vulgar pronunciation, I 
dare not recommend the experiment to the reader. Indeed, as the Gaelic is a 
natural, not an artificial language, I am of opinion that it is more safe for any 
person of good taste, who will really take the trouble of learning the Gaelic 
sound of the letters, to instruct himself, with the assistance of a written key to 
the pronunciation, than to risk the employment of an incompetent teacher, by 
whom he would, in all probability, either be disgusted, or reconciled to a 
spurious pronunciation. This treatise aims only at furnishing the reader, 
through the medium of phonic spelling and literal translations, with the means 
of perusing the works of the Gaelic bards ; yet I am not without the con- 
fident hope that the natural good taste of every accomplished reader will 
intuitively suggest, with that aid, a more chaste and elegant pronunciation than 
he could acquire from most Highlanders, owing to the circumstances already 
explained. There is no difficulty with the Gaelic vowels, excepting in one 
diphthong and two triphthongs ; and even in two of these, all the letters are 
perceptibly pronounced, but with a slight elision. A very short lesson firom a 
competent teacher might be very useful in this case, and also in learning the 
pecuUar sound of a few of the Gaelic consonants. A sbort and simple lesson 
would serve ; yet, although very anxious to preserve two of these combinations 
as a characteristic of the language, and also the sound of the letters b, c, d, g, 
and t, I had much rather the reader should trust to his own intuitive taste, 
aided by the lesson for sounding these letters and phonetic spelling, than that 
he should take spurious imitations on trust, from a coarse and vulgar speaker. 
It is quite easy for a lady or gentleman (I use these words in contradistinction 
to gents and mems, who are ladies and gentlemen artificially^ or by imitation 
only,) to judge whether a teacher be qualified or not, by making him recite a 
few verses of Gaelic poetry. Unless he can do so without uttering a sound that 
would be offensive to the ear even of the Queen, he is not a chaste or elegant 
speaker of the Gaelic language, and should at once be rejected as a vocal 
teacher. I have made a distinction between ladies and gentlemen, and gents 
and meims ; I can assure the reader that I have not done so from any 
affectation of aristocracy, but because gents and Toems glory in ridiculing 
peculiarities with which they are not familiar, while ladies and gentlemen do not 
Owing to the very great difference between the sounds of the letters in 
the language with which I am anxious to make the reader acquainted, and their 
sounds in the language through whose medium I am attempting to do so, I can 
only expect, at best, to give him merely an approximate idea of the pronuncia- 
tion of many of the words quoted in these pages. With the vowels, (excepting 
the diphthong already mentioned, ao, and the triphthongs aoi and eoi,) there 
is no difficulty ; and I trust that a careful perusal of the following instructions, 


and a frequent practical application of them in pronouncing the letters, will 
make him a perfect master of the consonant sounds : — 

B is called beith-bhog, (bey'-vog) soft b, by grammarians. It is sounded 
more like the English p than b. It is pronounced by pressing the lips 
together, and emitting a sound when in the act of opening them, like ba in 
ball, as in bad, a cluster of trees, buail, (buyl) strike, and ban, the feminine 
prefix, and ban, (ban) fair. C is always pronounced like the English k in 
the beginning, (and generally like g or k at the end of syllables,) as in car, 
(kar) a turn, ceann, (kenn) a head, and cluas, (klu-as) the ear. D and t are 
sounded so like one another as to afford no room for any distinction. D is 
pronounced by pressing the tongue against the upper foreteeth and palate, but 
in such a way that it« tip may be lightly closed on by the teeth, and emitting a 
sound when in the act, as it were, of jerking them open, like the sound of da 
in daft, but softer and deeper, as in dall, blind, dana, bold, and dur, obstinate. 
F is sounded by pressing the under lip against the slightly closed foreteeth, and 
emitting a sound when separating them, like Jh in fall, but softer and deeper, 
as in feda, long, foil, (foyl) softly, and foill, (foyll) deceit. G is pronounced by 
pressing the tongue against the centre of the palate, the back teeth being 
slightly closed on it, and emitting a sound like ga in gall, when in the act of 
opening them, as in gath, a dart, gall, a stranger, and geal, white. L is always 
liquid, like double 11 in quill, as in Ian, full, lus, strength, and las, light. M is 
pronounced like ma in madam, as in mall, slow, mor, large, and mas, a base. 
N has always a slightly aspirated sound, like n in narrow, as in niir, when, 
(at the time,) nis, now, nail, hither (to this side,) null, thither (to that side.) 
P is pronounced like pa in path, as paidh, (pay) pay, peall, (pell) hair, (covering) 
and pailt, plenty. E is pronounced, but with a more decided vibration, like r 
in rare, as in rath, (ra') luck, rann, (rann) a distich, and rian, (ri-an) orderly. 
S is sounded like a in salad, as sail, (sayl) heel, sonn, (soghnn) a warrior, and 
sar, a surpassing hero. The sound of T and d is so nearly the same as scarcely 
to admit of any difference ; d deviates occasionally from his every day 
uniformity and formality, like all honest fellows who have hearts in their 
bosoms, but t never does : he is like the decent, thriving men described by 
Bums, with " blood like a standing pool, lives like a dyke." It is invariably 
pronounced by pressing the tongue pretty hard against the forepart of the 
palate and the back of the upper foreteeth, and emitting suddenly, while, as it 
wore, jerking them open, a sound like ta in tar, tair, (tayr) mockery, (contempt,) 
tairis, (tayrish) stop, tarn, a loch without a regular outlet, and tuairn, (tu-aym) 
turning. My esteemed friend, Finlagan, the nam de plume of the most fervidly 
patriotic, yet the most calmly philosophic and gentlemanly of all the writers on 
the untoise Highland and Irish clearances, (judged even exclusively with a 
reference to the interests of the clearance-makers themselves,) suggests th as 
the English representative of t ; but as t is one of the mutable letters, and so 
often subject to being euphonised by being combined in the same form (th) with 
the aspirate, the adoption of th to represent t would lead to confusion. On the 
whole, therefore, the best I can do for the reader is to beg that he will commit 

\ i. 


the aboye iostructions for pronomiciDg t, to memory, and apply them practically, 
not once but frequently, to the pronunciation of the Gteelic words beginning 
with t, above quoted. 

AH the consonants, as already stated, excepting 1, n, and r, are occasion- 
ally ruled by the aspirate h. Hence they are divided into mutable and 
immuta.ble consonants, the former being immutable. The mutable consonants 
admit of being changed, silenced, or rendered more soft and harmonious in 
sound by the aspirate, as bh, ch, dh, fh, gh, mh, ph, and th. Mh and bh 
sound like v at the beginning of syllables, but I do not know any letters 
that can really represent the aspirated sound of dh, th, and gh, at the end of 
syllables. By pressing the tongue against the palate at the back of the fore- 
teeth, and emitting a faint whisper, like that represented by the stoccato sign in 
music ('), when in the act of parting the teeth, something su£Sciently resembling 
it will, however, be produced. I will, therefore, use the stoccato sign for these 
consonants when aspirated at the end of syllables, in my phonic spelling. 
There is no English letter that can represent the aspirated ch of the Gaelic 
at the beginning of syllables ; but the Greek x will do so pretty accurately. I 
beg that the reader will remember this. C may be aspirated at the beginning 
of syllables, but must always be preserved at the end of syllables, as it is then 
guttural. The Gaelic is not encumbered with guttural sounds ; and a slight 
mixture of them is, in my opinion, necessary, interesting, and desirable, as 
preserving the vigour as well as the air of antiquity of the language, for the 
apparent tendency of the modems, especially the English, is to*dispense with 
sounds that cannot be pronounced on the very slender scale of articulation 
which has been bestowed by Nature on lower races of animals than mankind. 
The author of the nursery puzzle, — ** Abir tri uairen Mac-an-aba gun do ghab a 
dhunadh," — (say Macnab three times without shutting the mouth,) — never, I 
dare say, expected that a whole people, with the royal household troops at their 
head, should, at some future period, set seriously to work in reconciling the pro- 
nunciation of their language to the principle indicated by his amusing proposition. 

Dh and gh are pronounced y at the beginning, but aspirated at the end 
of words and syllables. Being exceedingly anxious that the reader should 
commit these brief lessons thoroughly to his memory, 1 would recommed it to 
him not to read another word until he shall have done so. 

The letter F is always silent before h ; and Th and Sh are always pro- 
nounced h. Ph has always the sound of the English f. The following lines 
from different poems will form an appropriate exercise for the preceding lesson 
as to the effect of the aspirate : — 

Bha mi 'n de 'm Beinn-dorain. I was yesterday in Bendoren. 

Ta mi 'n de 'm beyn-doreyn 

A Mhari bhan gur barrail u. Mary, fair surpassing art thou. 

a van van gur barrayl u 

Chaidh mi do'n choil 'n robh croin is gallain. I went to the wood in which were tall 

chay* mi do'n choyl n rov croyn is gall-ayn young trees. 

A dheanadh slan gach dochartas. Making heal every malady. 

a ycna' slan gach do-chartas 



Theid sinn thair na bealaichen. 

heyd sinn hayr na belaych-en 

Fhuair fasan is foghlum. 

hu-ayr fasan is foghlum 

Shiubhladh tu fasach airidh-glinne. 
hi-uvla' tn fa-sach ayri'-gilinne 

Gheibhte roinn ague orain is iomadh comh- 

yeyr-te roynn agns orayn u i-oma' ooy- 

radh* na measg. 

ra' na meeg 

Cha phill, cha phill, cha phill sin tuille. 

cha fihll, cha fihU, . cha fihll tin tuylle 

Go we (shall) over the defiles. 

Beceived accomplishments and learning. 

Travel you would the desert sheiling-glen. 

Got would be (humorous) distiches, songs, 
and anecdotes, them among. 

Return, return, return shall we never. 

The immutable consonantSy 1, n, r, have slightly aspirated sounds, like 1 
in leek, n in knit, and r in rung. The double nn has always a decidedly 
aspirated sound. 

The Gaelic, like the Greek, has only the definite article, and speaks 
indefinitely, by mentioning an object by itself, — as, duine, (duynef) a man, an 
duine, the man ; dun, a fort or castle. The article is declined by gender, 
number, and case, as follows : — 






Mas. & Fem 

Nom. An, am. 

an, a\ 


Gen. An, a. 


nan, nam. 

Dat An, a', *m. 

an, a'. 



The rule whereby the initial letter of every root forming compound words 
is preserved, is traditionally ascribed to the Druids, but of this there is no 
written evidence, any more than there is for ascribing to them many practices, 
medicinal aud agricultural, which must have originated in an extensive acquaint- 
ance with natural science, and which have been carried down to the present 
day. The absence of Druid records is ascribed to the deadly enemies their 
patriotism had made them in the Bomana The enmity thus provoked not only 
brought destruction on their great college and manuscripts in Anglesea, but 
also on their wives and families ; and all that had escaped the Bomans of these in 
all probability most valuable manuscripts, were afterwards destroyed by Columba 
and his monks at lona, where they established the seat of learning after the 
destruction of Anglesea. But retribution seems to be an ordinance of Nature. 
If the manuscripts of the Druids have not been preserved, neither have those 
of the Culdees, with very few exceptions, been preserved by their Boman 
Catholic successors ; nor have theirs, in their turn, escaped the priesthood of 
the Beformation ; so true it is that '' priests of all religions are the same.*' But, 

* This and similar words are in general contracted and pronounced thus, comhradh, co'ra, comh- 
nuidh, co'nay, &c. &c. 

t The vowels are always pronounced at the end of syllables or words. The English reader should 
especially remember this. There are no silent letters in ray phonetic spelling. 


althongh the Culdees and their successors have thus shown that no reli^ous 
order of men, however pure and holy, are above human prejudice and human 
frailty, they did not subserve the civil despotism which, in subsequent ages, 
chiefly through a perverted Christianity, crushed the ancient rights and liberties 
of the people. At the same time, there is little doubt that they initiated the spirit 
of self-abasement, which was made subservient to that purpose by feudalism. 

The fundamental principle of the Culdee religion, namely, the sacrifice 
of the chief to appease a feud, was substantially interwoven in the very con- 
stitution of clanships. There are. many very touching instances of such 
voluntary sacrifices by chiefs ; and the feudal law of Scotland acted on the 
principle of sacrificing one member of a clan for the rest, until subsequently to 
the year 1745. When a doctrine so accordant with clan afifection and 
magnanimity, and so touc^ingly poetic as the sacrifice of the Son of God 
to atone for the siiis of mankind, was preached to them by men of pure lives, 
great benevolence, genuine disinterestedness, and touching piety and eloquence, 
it is not to be wondered at that the clans yielded their whole hearts to this 
religion of faith and feeling, and became indifierent to the colder one of science, 
reason, and common sense. It is therefore, a fact, — and a strange fact, — ^that it 
was the unpretending simplicity and touching tenderness and benevolence of 
the religion of the holy Culdees which found acceptance with the Gael, and 
prepared the way for the despotism which ultimately degraded the people of the 
British Isles into the tools and victims of a pampered and rampant feudalism. 
At the same time, I am not one of those who regard even the perverted 
Christianity of the dark ages as wholly evil in its efiects. It was a superhuman 
organization, which sounded every secret, and played on every chord, of the 
human heart, and could mould or subdue every human being within its influence ; 
but the clergymen even of these ages have left us many illustrious examples of 
piety, patriotism, and virtue. Although the Pope, for instance, was in favour 
of Edward, and against Wallace, and although Bruce was excommunicated, yet 
Wallace had not a more staunch supporter than Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, 
or under his banner a more faithful follower, or a more incorruptible patriot, 
than priest Blair ; and a priest, Barbour, was the biographer of Bruce, while a 
dignitary of the Church consecrated his banner, and blest his army on the field 
of battle. 

The great drawback in the Church of Bome, as in the Church of England, 
is its despotic system of Church government. Being governed by a despotism, 
which, like every other despotism, claimed a Divine origin, it was as undoubting 
in its action as it was all but omnipotent in its power. But whenever its 
despotic and unwise leaders assumed an intolerant persecuting spirit, and used 
the civil power in its persecutions, its greatest and most powerful antagonists 
were the nobler spirits nursed and educated within its own bosom. The Catholic 
priesthood never wholly quenched the love of liberty in the hearts of the 
people. They wanted to govern by a theocracy ; but where are the clergy that 
would not establish a theocracy, or render religion subservient to the sovereignty 
of their Church ? I believe in the existence of no such clergy. The Catholic 


priest was the great and leading reformer, and would be so at this day, but for 
the sectarianism which excites his combativeness, and fastens him to his colours ; 
but the Catholic laity never sat down in contentment under a civil despotism. 
Had the intolerant, persecuting spirit witnessed by Knox in the Lowlands, been 
witnessed by Ian Lorn among the Highland clans, he would not, of the two 
have been the least distinguished reformer. He was as much the Mend of 
religious liberty and the bible as Enox, although a staunch Catholic. And do 
we not see in the long struggle of our Catholic ancestors for civil liberty, on every 
opportunity that offered itself, down to the period of the Revolution, as well as in 
that now completed in Italy, that Catholicism never quenched the love of liberty 
in the hearts of the most bigoted nations. Nor does the parallel between the 
struggle for liberty in our country and in Italy hold good only in the case of 
the people : on the contrary, the Wallace and Bruce of Italy, like the Wallace 
and Bruce of Scotland, found their staunchest followers among the Catholic 
clergy. The following verse bears me out in what I have stated as to Ian Lom's 
love of religious liberty and the bible : — 

Noir bu sgith do luchd theud e, When tired the race of (tuneful) strings, 

noyr bu egi* do luc heyt e 

Gheibhte biobuil ga*n leughadh, Bibles are found there reading, 

yevte bi-o-buyl gan ley'-a' 

Le fior chreidimh na ceile, In a wise spirit of faith, 

le fl-or chiejdeT na ceyle 

Mar a dh-orduich Mac Dhe dhuinn. As was ordained by the Son of God, 

mar a yorduych mao ye yuyn 

Agus teagasg na cleire le sith. And the worship of the clergy in peace. 

agus tegaag na cleyre le d' 

In short, it seems pretty clear that the unpopularity of the Catholic Church 
after the establishment of feudalism, was to be ascribed, in all ages, to the 
despotism and wealth of its dignitaries. Hence we find that that Church has 
always been more respected in poor than in rich countries. The Church was 
the handmaiden of feudalism, and helped to fasten her yoke on the necks of the 
people ; but the working priest has ever been the friend of the poor and the 
oppressed. It was the despotic dignitaries of the Church that, like all other 
pampered despots, were but too generally tyrants and oppressors. 

The Culdees were in spirit evangelical, and, like the evangelical clergy of 
the present day, not attached to, or, perhaps, even tolerant of natural theology. 
Hence, probably, their hostility to the Druid priesthood. But they were 
incapable of misrepresenting them either in their lives or doctrines. The 
statement that the Druids offered human sacrifices may have been believed by, 
but did not originate with the Culdees. The report may have arisen firom the 
circumstance that the Druids were the criminal judges among the Celtic clans, 
and that the criminals sentenced to capital punishment were executed by 
phlebotomy, within the Druid circle. The corrupt Boman theologist that could 
not comprehend a worship without a sacrifice, may have believed that these 
criminals were innocent victims sacrificed to superstition, and the basin-like 


hollow to be found in all the Druid . altar stones, to receive the blood of the 
executed criminaK (who were solemnly sacrificed on the altar of their god to 
the justice of their country,) may have confirmed, if it did not even give rise to 
that belief. Had the Culdees been capable of misrepresenting the religion of 
the Druids, they would not have preserved their names for God, the soul, the 
good, the bad, &&, since these names are descriptive, and refute every falsity 
circulated in reference to their religion and morality. They had three names 
for God : deo^ from the roots tt, a great being, and eol^ knowledge ; dia^ from ii 
and agh^ pronounced a', good ; and, i^hruUe^ abbreviated hdy from hith^ life, 
and u%U^ alL It is thus seen that the Druid represented God as the great, the 
good being, the life of all. He had two names also for the soul, deo^ from his 
regarding the soul as an emanation of Gk)d. Hence, when a person dies, the 
Highlander does not say, '* thuair (hu-ayr) e 'm has,'' as he would say of a 
beast ; but " chai ah deo as," — ^the «oul has gone out of him. The other name 
of the soul is still more striking, anam^ from an^ antagonism, defiance, and am, 
time ; that is, the antagonist or defier of time, or in other words, the immortal. 

It is a very singular coincidence, that the indolatrous priesthood of the 
East, by preserving the inscriptions on ancient monuments, have furnished the 
philologist with the means of proving that they also had derived their know- 
ledge of the attributes of Grod from Nature. This is a reasonable inference 
from these inscriptions, and from the significant and accordant fact, namely, 
that they i^^bolised His diflferent attributes, — ^wisdom, power, benevolence, 
&c., by different and distinct statues and figures. It is difficult to believe that 
man could have allowed himself to be juggled out of such knowledge by priest- 
craft, after having once attained it ; yet the inscriptions in the East, and the 
names of God in the West, can leave no doubt that the Druid priesthood, both 
in the East and the West, had a knowledge of the omnipotent power, wisdom, 
and benevolence of God, at a period beyond the date of revealed religion. For 
instance, an inscription under an ancient statue of Isis has been translated, " I 
am all that is ;" and the inscription on a monument at Sais has been translated, 
*' I am all that is or was.'' The Jehovah of Scripture would, according to Gaelic 
etymon, have been spelt Ti-ha-va ; viz., <t, the Great Being, £a, is, and va, 
was, — ^the Great Being that is and was. This is identical with the inscription 
at Sais. It is a legitimate inference from this inscription, that the monument 
or pyramid at Sais was erected to symbolise the origin and unity of all sublime 
attributes and enduring power in one living and eternal God. No one was 
allowed to enter the Temple of Serapis without having the name Jehova 
(abbreviated Jaiu) in these inscriptions) inscribed on his breast. Circumcision 
was a preliminary to the study of the philosophy of symbols, being probably 
intended to impress indelibly on the mind of the student that most ancient of 
all symbols of God, — the circle. Moses, according to Philo, was initiated in the 
philosophy of symbols as well as Plato. He had thus acquired a knowledge of 
God from the natural theology of the Eastern Druids before he became the 
legislator of the Jews. 

There is no evidence that natural theology, or the Druidal religion of 



Egypt, had ever become the handmaiden of despotism ; but the religion revealed 
through man certainly had, first among the Jews, and since then among the 
feudal Christians. Indeed, we cannot conceive a state of society in which the 
people can be free and their spiritual government a despotism. No free people 
ever will submit to a spiritual despotism. A spiritual despotism can make 
hypocrites, but not Christians, as was proved by the French Revolution, where 
a priest-ridden people proved a nation of infidels. There is no evidence of the 
existence of any despotism, until God revealed his will to man through man. 
Hence we find from the day that Joseph availed himself of Pharaoh's dream 
for the establishment of despotism in Egypt, until Calvin and Knox gave a 
representative government to the Presbyterian Church, that the clergy of all 
countries and all religions were the deadly foes of civil and religious liberty. 
Feudalism, unaided by priestcraft, never could have defrauded and disorganized 
the Celtic clans of Scotland. " Prior to the marriage of Malcolm Canmore," says 
a clerical historian, ** and subsequently to that event, many families of Norman 
and Saxon lineage found their way from the northern dii^ricts of England into 
Scotland, where they settled, and became proprietors of land by feudal tenure. On 
the property so acquired they erected fortresses" (to coerce the people.) " These 
settlers were probably, without exception, the friends of Christianity, being 
favourable to all influences likely to civilize their rude retainers," (or, in other 
words, to that exhorbitant power of priestcraft, without which the people never 
could have been made to submit to the feudal usurpation.) " Hence," continues 
the historian, (who seems quite unconscious of the real motives of the feudal 
lords fbr being, ** without exception, the friends of Christianity,") " one of their 
primary objects would be the building of a church in such a position as might 
be most convenient for the inhabitants of the town or village which sprung up 
in the immediate vicinity, and under the protection of their own castles." The 
progress of the ** well-matched pair,"— civil usurpation and spiritual despotism, 
— in denuding and making serfs of the people, are indelibly impressed on the 
face of the country by these castles and churches ; but when the usurpation was 
established, and the submission of the people insured, the castles battered down 
the churches, and ungratefully resumed their well won wealth. We thus see that 
a just retribution ultimately overtakes the inheritors of unjustly acquired wealth, 
however saintly their garb or profession. 

The Bev. Dr Blair, in his beautiful Dissertation on Ossian's poems, tries to 
account for the singular circumstance that there are no traces of religion in 
these poems ; but the Druids, whose religion was founded on natural science, 
could not believe in especial acts of Providence, and make God give a victory 
to one hero and one army to-day, and to an opposite hero and army to-morrow. 
In short, the religion of Nature, reason, and common sense, could not be made 
subservient to the real exigencies of man, much less to the imaginary exigencies 
of poetry. On the contrary, the mixing up of God's name and power with 
human affaii-s, would, in all probability, have been regarded as an impiety in 
the days of Ossian, — ignorance and barbarity. 

When the reader shall have acquired sufficient knowledge of the Gaelic to 


be able to resolve compound words into their simple elements or roots, as 
exemplified in the etymon of the foregoing words, every step of progress will 
become to him a source of intellectual recreation. He will then scarcely find 
in literature a more ludicrous figure than their egotism made of Dr Johnson, 
Sir James Macintosh, and Lord Macaulay, when, without having even a reading 
knowledge of the Ghielic, they constituted themselves dictators on questions 
involved in the language and literature of the Highland clans. At the same 
time, it must be admitted, that, with the exception of the ancient poems trans- 
lated and published by the elegant and spirited Mr Macpherson, and the learned, 
honest, and patriotic Dr Smith, the Gael have done little to put their language 
or poetry in an attractive or even accessible form before the English reader. 
Our dictionary-makers knew that Gaelic words are descriptive, and that by 
resolving them into their primitive roots, they would furnish the antiquary and 
historian with the means of forming a true estimate, not only of the language, 
but also of the state of society or condition of the ancient Celtic nations ; but, 
probably, to make their gigantic labours more easy, they preferred following 
the example of other learned lexicographers, by giving us a string of what 
they call synonymous words, to explain the meaning of one ! We all know the 
amusing error into which the foreign clergyman fell, who on being told that 
pickling meant preserving, prayed with great fervour of devotion that Dr 
Chahners' soul might be pickled. But those who will peruse Gaelic dictionaries 
and Gaelic grammars, will find that the English are not the only scholars who 
have laboured to the utmost of their power to render their language complicated, 
and its acquisition a life-labour to foreigners. The Gaelic lexicographers give 
a string of words '^ as long as my arm,'' differing essentially from one another, 
to explain the meaning of one word, instead of reducing the word to its roots', 
and leaving it to explain itself ; and the grammarian has determined, that to 
learn Gaelic, a man must not only be a profound scholar, but devote his life 
exclusively to the study of his exquisite labours. 

Different Sounds of the Gaelic Vowels. 


'' a long, as in far ; as ard, high ; bard, a poet, 
a short, like a in fat ; as cas, a foot ; tasdan, a shilling, 
a long, like eux in French ; as adh, (a-ugh) joy, 
a short, like eux ; as lagh, law ; tagh, chose, 
a faint, like e in risen ; as an, the ; mar, as. 

e long, like e in there ; as e in se, A^ ; re, during. 
e short, like e in met ; as leth, half\ teth, hot, 
e long, like a in fate ; as ce, the earth ; te, a female, 
e short, like e in her ; as duine, a man ; filte, folded. 

i long, like ee in see ; as cir, a comb ; mir, a piec-e, 
i short, like i in pin ; as inin, meal] bith, being, 
i faint, like i in this ; as is, am. 



long, like o in oak ; as or, gold ; brdg, a shoe. 

o Bfaort, like o in on ; as mo, my ; grod, roUen, 

long, like o in how ; as tonn, a wave ; poll, a puiL 

o short, like o in not ; lomadh, dipping ; connadh, fuel. 

o long, like o in owl ; as sogh, luxury] foghlam, learning. 

o short, like 6 in ndw ; as foghar, autumn ; roughuinn, choice. 


n long, like H in tube ; as ur, fresh ; tur, a tower. 

u short, like u in bush ; as rud, a thing ; guth, a voice. 

u faint, like a faint, or u in run ; as mur, if not. 

'* In words of more than one syllable, the vowels, chiefly the broad, have an 
indefinite short quality of obscure sound in the second or final syllables ; this 
has occasioned an indiscriminate use of the vowels as correspondents, and henoe 
the reason that the same word is sometimes spelt in two different ways, as 
iarrtas or iarrtus, a request ; canain or canuin, a language ; dichiall or dichioll, 
diligence. The spelling of the same word by different vowels is chiefly confined 
to the final syllable or syllablea A single vowel in the initial syllable of a word 
never assumes this obscure sound, and when the initial syllable contains an 
improper diphthong, one of the vowels is always pronounced in full, and the 
other is faint or quiescent." — Forbes. 

Although I consider it proper to make a few quotations, showing the 
niceties of the language, as illustrated by the grammarians, I do not consider 
the perfect knowledge of them necessary to enable any foreign lady or gentleman 
to speak and to read Gaelic. Had I thought so, I should not have undertaken 
to write a naked key, firee of even the common points in use, to mark the 
different sounds of the Gaelic vowels. My object is to strip the language of all 
the impediments to the easy acquisition of such a plain, simple knowledge of it, 
as will enable a foreigner to make himself understood. I do not think it is 
possible to teach any person by the mere use of letters to speak any foreign 
language like a well educated native, otherwise I would have left the field in 
the possession of grammarians, whose works for learning, research, and 
discrimination, if equalled, are not surpassed. 


" Ao has no similar sound in English ; it is like the French eu or eux, or 
the Latin au, in aurum ; as gaol, love, saor, a vyright. En ; the letter e in 
eu is always long, and has a compound sound, as if e was preceded by a short 
i, thus, teum, feum, pronounced tiem, flem. The letter e has a shade of this 
sound also in the improper diphthong ea, as cead, deas, pronounced keid, dies. 

" There are five triphthongs formed from the long diphthongs ao, eo, ia, 
ua, by adding the vowel L These diphthongs preserve their own sounds, and 
the final i is always short; aoi, as caoidh, (kao-y) lament; laoidh, (lloo-y) 
calves ; eoi, as treoir, (tred-yr) strength ; as geoidh, (keo-y) geese ; iai, as 


ciuin, (M-nyn) meek; fliuiche, (fli-iuch-e) wetter; uai, as fuaiui, (fua-ym) 
sound ; cruaidh, (crua-y) hard." — Ibid. 

There are I know not how many diphthongs and triphthongs, but I do not 
consider it neoessary to submit them to the reader. Indeed, with the exception 
of the one previously mentioned, the whole difficulty appears to me to have 
been created by the grammarians themselves. 

A and o will not yield to one another, and have compelled the bards to 
concede to them a combined and peculiar sound ; but with the other vowels the 
case is quite different When a small and a broad vowel meet, they neither 
disagree nor assume a combined sound. In air, on, for instance, the a being the 
primary or leading vowel, is treated with due deference by i, who accordingly al* 
lows him the benefit of his position or precedence, and speaks himself in a subdued 
voice : hence the monosyllable is pronounced ayr. But when the small vowel 
is the primary and the broad the secondary, the latter is silent It would thus 
appear that the small letters are the gentlemen, and the broad the plebeians of 
the Gaelic alphabet : hence when one of these gentleman is preceded in a triph- 
thong by two broad vowels, one of them, out of deference to him, remains silent, 
and he accordingly modifies his style, and condescends to speak (n a voice accor- 
dant with the vulgar intonation. No unseemly argument, looking for victory in 
a masterful voice, can take place between a Celtic gentleman and plebeian, even 
symbolically or by their representative letters. He recognises their value in 
the commonwealth, and they show due deference to his superior rank and 
position. Thus, buail, atrtkej is pronounced buyl; tuaisd, bungler^ tuyst; 
buaidh, victory^ buy ; loidh, Aymn, loy. But to show that he has not subdued 
his voice or modified his style out of any fear of the physical superiority of two 
to one, when he and a brother aristocrat meet a single plebeian under similar 
circumstances, he is treated with due consideration, and allowed to speak for 
himself. Thus, stiuir, helm^ is pronounced sti-uyr; ciuin, mUdy ki-uyn, 
&C. On the other hand, when two broad vowels meet, — o and a excepted, — 
they treat one another like two navvies, without any regard to conventional 
rules of politeness or etiquette ; on the contrary, they treat one another like 
two sturdy radicals, as on a footing of perfect equality. Thus, fuar, cold^ is 
pronounced fu-ar ; tuar, oamplexion, tu-ar ; raud, greedy ra-ut, &c. &c. But 
when two small letters meet, they not only treat one another, but also their 
Celtic brother, o, the aristocrat of Ireland, with the utmost cordiality and con- 
sideration. Thus, feoil, Jlesh^ is pronounced fe-oyl ; theid, vnU ffo, heyt ; 
treoir, strength^ tre-oyr, &c. &c. 

The names of inanimate objects which take an or am before them are 
generally masculine ; as, an dorus, (dorus) the door ; an tigh, (ti') the house ; 
an t-ord, the hammer; am baile, (bayle) the town; am bradan, (bradan) the 

Nouns which have a prefixed are, in general, feminine; as, a ghrian, 
(yri-an) the sun ; a ghealach, (yel-ach) the moon ; a chraobh, (chra-ov) the tree ; 
a bheinn, (veynn) the mountain. 

Nouns beginning with a vowel insert t after the prefixed article for the 



sake of euphony ; as, an t-nan, (a-an) the lamb ; an t-iasg, (i-ask) the fish ; an 
t-ubh, (iiv) the egg ; an t-olc, the eviL Many nocms beginning with s, which 
is sUent before h, insert i after the article ; as, an saoghal, (sao'-al) the world, 
is written in the genitive case, an t-shaoghail, (tao'-ayl) of the worid ; an 
tHshlait, (tlayt) of the rod ; an t-shneachd, (tnechd) of the snow, &c. 

The above rnles have, however, many exceptions, the article a being 
prefixed to names masculine ; as, a monadh, (mona') the hill ; a meal, (mell) the 
knoll ; and an to nouns feminine ; as, an amhuin, (avnyn) the river ; an reul, 
(reyll) the planet, &c 

There is in Gkielic no accusative case difierent finom the nominative ; nor 
is the ablative different fix>m the dative case. 


a poet) Masc. 

With the Article. 





N. Bard. 


N. am bard. 

na baird. 



am bard 

na bayrd 

G. Baird. 


6. a bhaird. 

nam bard. 




nam bard 

D. Bard.* 


D. do'n bhaird. do bhardaibh. 



don vayrd 


V. Bhard. 


V. bhainL 






Beak, a woman. Fern 

With the Article. 





N. Bean. 

mnai or mnathan. 


a bhean. 

na mnai or na mnathan. 


mnay moa'-an 


mnay mna'-an 

6. Mna. 




nam ban. 




nam ban 

D. Mnaoi. 



do n mhnaoi. 

do na mnathaibh. 





V. Bhean. 









The follovring rales are quoted, substantially, from Currie : — 
" Gaelic nouns generally form the plural eitheir by changing the broad 
vowels a, o, u, into the small e, i, or simply by the insertion of i into the 
last syllable," in accordance with the principle which makes the small vowels 
the superiors of the broad : — as 



Earrach, spring 

Doras, door, 



Damh, an ox. 

Daol, a beetie. 




Darag, an oak. 



iath, a shield. 


each, a horse, 

creag, a rock, 

fearg, wrath, 

coileach, a cock, 












Fraoch, heather. 


Bas, death, 

Fuaran, a spring. 


Laoch, a hero, 





grian, the bud. 

iasg, fish. 


dias, an ear of com. 

fiadh, a deer, 






/^ Some nouns ending in ea are changed into i; and those ending eo or 
into ui, — as : 

Breac, a trout. 


Fear, a man. 
Ceann, head. 


Preas, a bush. 

Breac, small-pox. 

Cearc, a hen. 

Leac, a flag, 

Gleann, a valley. 












broc, a badger, 

ceol, music, 

seol, a sail, 

cnoc, a knoll, 

soc, a ploughshare. 


lorg, a stick. 


long, a ship, 











Nouns in eu, followed by a liquid, change u into o, and insert i after it 
There are many irregular nouns ; but I do not consider it necessary to quote 
many examples. The following may, I think, suflSce, — my chief reliance being 
on phonic spelling and literal translations : — 


Neul, a cloud. 

Ian, a bird. 


Feur, grass. 


Meur, a finger. 


Leus, a torch. 


Beul, a mouth, 

Sgeul, a tale. 


neoil, clouds. 


eoin, birds, 

feoir, grasses. 


meoir, fingers, 

leois, torches, 

beoil, mouths, 

sgeoil, tales. 



feoil, flesh, 

sron, the nose. 


muir, the sea. 


fuil, blood. 

druim, a ridge. 


suil, the eye. 



feola, of the flesh, 

sroine, of the nose. 


mara, of the sea. 


fola, of the blood, 

droma, of the back. 


sula, of the eye. 

meala, of the honey. 


mil, honey, 

Bannais, a wedding, bainnse, wedding. duthaich,acountry.ducha, of the country. 

bann-aysh ba3rnD8e du'-ayich du-cha 

Coluinn, the body. coUa, coll. gualainn,the shoulder. guaille,of the shoulder, 
coluynn colla gu-alaynn guylle 


' General Bule. — The nominative plural is formed by adding a or on to 
the nominative singular ; as nom. sing, bard, a poet, plu. bardan or baird. 

Piobair, a piper. piobairean. 

pipftyr pipayren 

Buachail, a shepherd. buaohaillean. 

bu-achayl bn-achayllen 

Aimsir, weather. aimsirean. 

aymishir aymi-sir-en 

Craobh, a tree. craobhan. 

cra-ov craoyan 

"Particular Rule. — ^Masculine nouns which insert % in the genitive 
singular, have the nominative plural like the genitive singular ; as nom. sing. 
oglach, (oglach) a servant-man, gen. oglaich, (oglaych) nom. plu. oglaich ; so, — 

N. Fear, a man. G. sin. fir. N. cluaran, a thistle. G.sin.& clnarain. 

fer fir cln-aran cla-aren 

Bradan, a salmoa bradain. croman, a kite. cromain. 

brad-an brfttayn crSman cromen 

Cleireach, a clerk. cleirich. clacfaan, a village. clacbain. 

cley-rech dey-rich clachan dachen 

" The changes marking the relations of adjectives to other words are, like 
those to which nouns are subjected, sometimes partly made on the beginning 
and partly on the termination. The changes at the beginning are made by 
aspirating the initial consonant ; those at the end, by partly changing the 
terminations. The object of both is to indicate numbers and cases." — But I 
must stop, lest tiie reader should think that I am going to seduce him into the 
study of Gaelic grammar, and thus stultifying myself. 

The Gaelic bards of modem times, — that is, since they ceased to live as a 
separate and distinct order, at the introduction of Christianity, though they 
continued to be recognised and retain power as a class, — ^knew nothing of 
letters, much less of grammar, with very few exceptions ; but they were orally 
educated, and, the Gaelic being a natural instead of an artificial language, per- 
fectly masters of all its simple peculiarities, as is proved by the very works on 
which such profound, complicated, and apparently endless disquisitions have been 
founded. I cannot, therefore, see any reason why an educated gentleman 
should not, by the assistance of a phonic key to the pronunciation, be able to 
make himself sufficiently master of the Gaelic language to become thoroughly 
acquainted with the works of the Graelic bards, without devoting a lifetime — if 
a lifetime would suffice for the purpose — to the study of GJaelic grammar. For 
myself, I am satisfied that any educated person who may feel disposed to take a 
little trouble in the matter, can easily acquire as much knowledge of Gaelic 
from the preceding pages, and the phonetic spelling and literal translations in 
the following pages, as will enable him both to peruse and to appreciate the 
poetry and tales of the Gael. 

The Gaelic has no neuter gender, and it is difficult precisely to see the 
grounds on which grammarians distinguish between the feminine and masculine 


gender of inanimate objects ; bat their language, as well as traditions, show that 
devotion to the fair sex was a striking characteristic of the ancient Gael, and I 
rather think that the gender of inanimate objects has been determined by them 
in accordance with their predilections, and that everything which they regarded 
as bright and beautiful, magnificent and sublime, in the first degree, is feminine, 
and everything which they considered so only in the secondary degree, is 
masculine. We accordingly find that the sun and moon are feminine, so also 
are all the chief mountains and rivers ; while broach, (bm-ach,) a bank, alt, a 
rivulet, monadh, (mona',) a hill, &c. &c., are masculine. Their poetry bears 
me out in this view of the subject ; nay, more, the feminine may generally 
be distinguished fix)m the masculine in the poetry of the bards by the beauty 
of the very names of the objects personified as feminine, which sound more 
pleasingly to the ear than those personified as masculine. The grammarians 
do not seem to have recognised this feature of Ghielic poetiy ; but, unlike the 
bards, the grammarians had all the advantages of what Uie Times calls *' Anglo- 
Saxon civilization,'* and despised a weak deference to sex : hence they seem to 
have determined the gender of inanimate objects by their adjectives. Thus as 
the adjective proper to duine mor^ (duyn^ more) a man big, may be appropriately 
joined to dun mor^ a castle big, they concluded that castle is masculine. In 
like manner, as the adjective proper to gerran^ (ger-ran) a cart-horse, is also 
proper to ciuin, (cu-an) a sea, they regard the sea also as masculine. My object 
does not, however, require that I should lead the reader through details ; but I 
consider it proper and necessary to point out to him some of the peculiarities of 
the language, and leave him to form conclusions for himself. 

The parts of speech in Gaelic are nine : the article, (already declined,) 
the noun, pronoun, adjective, and verb, which are declinable, and the adverb, 
preposition, interjection, and conjunction, which are not declinable. '* These 
parts of speech, except the conjunction, are exemplified in the first verse of the 
118th Psalm. 

85 2 712 65436 6 

" thugive buidheachas do 'n Tigheam, oir tha e maith, oir gu brath 

hogive bay'-chaa to 'n ti-^ni oyr ha e may' oyr ga bra' 
5 4 2 

mairidh a threocair.* ^* 
majrri' a h-re-ocsyr 

The role for spelling Gaelic is embodied in the following verse, which is 
ascribed to the Draids, who have credit in Highland tradition for every axiom 
good and wise in conception, and useful and simple in practice, that have come 
down to the people from remote ages : — 

Leathan ri leathan. Broad to broad, 

le'-an ri le'-an 

'S caol ri caol. And small to small, 

'i caol ri caol 


A chaoidh Bgriobh Ever write 

a ehajT akriT 

Le hrigh Gaelic. With meaning Gaelic. 

le bri' gft-lic 

Some grammariaos think the above rule were more honoured in the breach 
than the obeervance, becanae it requires, that, if the hist vowel cS any syllable 
in a compound word is broad, the initial vowel in the next syllable should also 
be broad, and thus leads to the employment of silent vowels. This is true, 
but it leads to no confusion, and to very few silent vowels. Instead, therefore, 
of desiring to do away with the rule, my wish is that other dialects had an 
equally clear rule of spelling. Had the English student a rule for spelling that 
language in four lines of four and five syllables each, the saving for the last two 
hundred years in time and money would have been incalculable. It is to this 
rule for spelling, — ^the preservation of the initial letter of the roots of compound 
words, — and the itinerating labours of the bards and seanachies among the dans, 
that the preservation of the Gaelic in its simplicity and purity, for thousands of 
years, is to be ascribed. 

Clanships were founded in identity of blood and pedigree from the original 
patriarch of their respective districts. Hence, any persons acquainted with 
their traditions must be aware that the old Highlanders did not consider the 
sons of existing chiefs any higher in pedigree, or one iota more aristocratic than 
the descendants of any other chief in the long line of descent from the founder 
of the clan. The ancestral honours and blood were regarded as the common 
inheritance, in which none had any preference. The dan district was also 
regarded as the common property of the clan. The common interest required 
them to have local clan or district governments ; but the officials were elected 
by the clan, and strictly limited to the deaehda^ or use and wont Their laws 
or cleachda (custom) were traditional, and known to every member of the clan, 
and could not be altered or violated with impunity, even by the most popular 
chie& They were administered by a judge called Mdheamky (bri'-ev) 
(modernised hrehon in Ireland and Wales,) and by a jury, consisting of the 
heads of the different families of the clan. The chief was the executive ; but 
he was not a member of the brehon court The judge was, of old, appointed 
by the Druids, and probably a member of the Druid order ; but the Droids 
constituted, not the civil but the criminal court of the clans. The chief and 
chieftains were elected from the nearest in descent to ihBJbunier of the clan or 
family, not to the last chief or chieftain, as in the feudal succession. Hence, in 
general, the brother succeeded to the brother, and the nephew to the uncle, 
instead of the son succeeding in lineal descent, as in feudal successions. I am 
satisfied that it was the organization of the dans of the north of Europe for 
the conquest of the Roman Empire, under partially despotic leaders, on a system 
of military subordination, which originated all the essential differences between 
the Celts and Goths, although they have since then been ascribed by historians 
to a difference of race. These leaders, though at the first elected by their 


followers on patriarchal principles, natnrally established their power over tliem 
permanently, when territories were conquered and districts divided into estates 
among their officers. In such cases, the ceannccUhf or war-chief, naturally became 
king, and his officers feudal vassals ; and the heirs of both secured the succession. 
This really seems to have originated feudalism and the manners and customs 
which distinguished the so-called Gothic from the Celtic clans. There is no 
historical evidence of the emigration to Europe of two races of mankind from 
the East ; and feudalism is certainly first known as a system under the Emperor 
Alexander Several^, in Germany, and not in the East. I have never been able 
to discover any grounds on which to assign to the Gothic a different lineage 
from the original Celtic colonists of the localities from which Gothic clans take 
their name& Had they been a different race, and come from the East at a more 
recent period, they would have carried their names along with them, instead of 
taking the names of different localities in the land to which they had emigrated. 
To assume that they are of a different race fit)m the first Celtic colonists of 
Europe, merely because of the difference in their political institutions, dialects, 
manners, and customs, appears to me to be neither accordant with probability 
nor analogy. Language is the great argument of those who hold most firmly 
to the idea of different races. Yet Max Miiller and the more eminent philolo- 
gists of the present day, seem convinced that all languages, or, in this sense, 
more properly dialects, may be traced to one source ; and to do so seems to be 
the great object of comparative philology. The idea that the Sanscrit, Greek, 
and Latin, are derived the one from the other, has been fairly given up, and the 
conclusion seems to be that they are derived from a common source. So ftigitive 
is the character of language known to be, as to have been thus illustrated by 
Miiller : " We read of missionaries in Central America who attempted to write 
down the language of savage tribes, and who compiled with great care a 
dictionary of all the words they could lay hold of ; returning to the same tribe, 
after the lapse of only ten years, they found that this dictionary had become 
antiquated and useless. Old words had sunk in the ground, and new ones had 
risen to the surface, and, to all outward appearance, the language was completely 
changed." In short, mankind are the creatures of training and circumstances, 
and the difference in these between the Celtic and Gothic tribes, accounts for 
every other difference between them. 

I have much pleasure in submitting the following letter from a learned and 
eminent antiquary and philologist,* in conroboration, substantially, of my views 
on the subject of the cognate character of the languages and peoples of Europe. 

'* I beg to return my kindest thanks for the lecture on the Highlanders and 
Scots, you have been so kind as to send me. I have read it with much attention, 
and with great pleasure indeed. With the exception of one point, you have 
anticipated all my conclusions and deduction& It occasioned much surprise 
and pleasure thus to find two individuals, wholly unknown to one another, and 
pursuing the same studies quite independent of each other, arriving at conclu- 

* H. Macdonald, Esq., GrnndtQlly, Dankeld. 


Bions almost the same. The reaacHis yoa have giTcn for the differenoe in the 
laDguages of Europe are precisely mine — ^preferably worded by you. 

" I have studied to a certain extent the connexion of Latin and Greek witk 
our Gaelic, and find that no writer has yet done justice to this part of philology. 
It is now known that Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French, are all the 
direct offsprings of the language of Borne, and that both Greek and Latin enter 
largely iuto the Teutonic or Gothic dialects. I can say nothing of the Sclavonic, 
though it is considered one of the Arian tongnesi Our own language ia now, 
with apparent grudge, admitted to belong to this Indo^Iurqiean class of 
language& We are told that Professor Hiiller, of Cambridge, has traced out 
some seven or eight himdred words of Latin in the Gaelic, or vice vtrwi; and 
we have been informed that Pezron, the antiquaiy, found that number in the 
Greek, and from 1200 to 1400 words in Latin, though, like MiiUer, he was 
quite unacquainted with our tongue. I have traced out lately 2600 Latin terms 
in our Gaelic, and am fully aware that I am far from having exhausted the 
subject In one letter of the Greek alphabet I detected 200 Gaelic woid& I 
believe the Greek is replete with Gaelic, for its numerous aspirated pronuncia- 
tions and consonant combinations bear great aflSnity to our language. The 
German or Teutonic is said to aboimd in it 

*' Now when we find that our Celtic language pervades the whole languages 
of middle and western Europe, is it mere enthusiasm that hems us in to the 
conclusion, that our people and language have founded the existing races and 
tongues of Europe ? Some of the great English savans of the last century 
doubted the connexion of £r»e (as they termed it) with any language in 
Europe— such was Dr Johnson's view ; but Whitaker left recorded that he 
found 3000 British words in the old Sa;xon tongue ; and the more we examine 
every dialect of the Teutonic, we find that it was reared on a Celtic foundation. 
The recent assertions of some, that the Hindu and Sanscrit languages are 
fellows of the European, is not satisfactoiy. At one time these races were 
brothers, but since their dispersion on the plains of Asshur, they never yet 
met, and have no more claim for identity of race than the Patagonians and we 
have ; there are, notwithstanding, many things in their language common to 
ours. This is the case with the Arabic and Persic also. The term Indo- 
European is a misnomer; neither is the &ncy of such as term the Celts 
Turanian, a shade happier. 

'' But how, it may be asked, are we to account for the extent to which 
our language has pervaded the other languages of Europe ? The reply is 
simple, namely, that our race had passed over the Hellespont first of all others, 
with the language they had spoken in Chaldea. Greece became their earliest 
European settlement, notwithstanding the waves of emigrants sent out 
thence as pioneers to cultivate and inhabit the remaining wastes of Europe. 
Neither did the race or language ever wholly abandon Pelasgia. The same 
occurred in Italy. I would ask where had the Latin tongue its origin? In Italy. 
Allowing the fables connected with the transmission of iEneas from Troy to 
have some germs of truth in them, what was his language? Greek. The 


Trojans were a Ionic tribe, and spoke the Helenic. The Latin consequently 
was generated in Italy, and we need not wonder that so much Celtic enters into 
its formation. 

** You remark that theie is no vestige of evidence that a Gothic conquest 

of the Celts took place. It took place in the brain of would-be Gothic people 

only^ never in fact These writers have laid much stress on a passage from 

Herodotus, which, as he was traditionally told, bore that the Scythes were driven 

by the MessagetsB from the south and eattt of the Araxes, and betook themselves 

to the north of liie Euxine, then occupied by the Cimbri, — the other great 

cognate branch of the Celts, — ^and that they drove out the Cimbri, who, it 

would appear, were obliged to cross the Euxine back to Asia Minor, from which 

place they were expelled by Croesus ; in which circumstance they were compelled 

to fall back on their own native country. This latter story of the Father of 

History is overlooked by the Gothic writers. Research has done away with the 

Scy thse-Gothic myth, and the term is now understood to have been an appellative 

generally applied to all people living on the produce of the chace. A people 

tenned Scythse, or archers, (from saighead^ an arrow) may have followed in the 

wake of the still earlier Cimbri, but the conquest of the latter by the former is 

still a guess of no foundation. An almagamation of a kindred race may have 

taken place. But to descend to our British and Irish people, I am at a loss to 

see how we are justified in designating tribes either in Britain or Ireland, 

Gothic or Saxon, before these designations became known in the world or in 

history. The Gothic nations of the south of Ireland, you frequently mention 

as different from the Celts of the north, staggers me ; for the Milesians, Clanna- 

Neimhidh, &c, of the Emerald Isle, I entertain the greatest doubt. I believe 

that the sister Isle was originally peopled by Celts from the British Isle, and I 

know that no Goth could exist there before the name existed any where else. 

The Gothic champions have chosen to metamorphose the Geeti into Goths in 

and after the seventh century, but the term was unknown before the Christian 

era. As for the Belgae, they occupied a section of Gaul, and were real Celts, 

although some tribes of them in Cs&sar's time preferred being considered 

Germans, ignorant that in that case they were of the Celtic race. What 

holds true with the Goths as a separate people does the same with the Saxons. 

They werq unknown as such before the fourth century. Both they and the 

Germans were the same race originally. At the commencement of the present 

era, the portions of Germany occupied by the Angles and Saxons were inhabited 

by Celts. The former could be none other than tribes of the latter. 

*' The Goths issued from Scandinavia early in the present er& How are 
we to trace them in any portion of the British dominions prior to that time ? 
Ireland, like all the northern states of Europe, no doubt, received tribe after 
tribe ; but I cannot discover how we can call them but mere Celts. Then as 
to the difference in dialect, I presume there was none before the English 
invasion in the I2th century ; such variety as may have existed would be no 
greater than that in Britain before the Roman invasion. That the north and 
south of Ireland fought against one another during the Fingalian period is 


not an uncommon circumstance : the English heptarchies fought and 
slaughtered each other indiscriminately; yea, the brothers have been often 
bent on destroying one another for power, among the Celts as well as other 
people. I conceive, therefore, that no national difiference existed among the 
Irish, save that of the periods at which tribes of the same people arrived there. 

*' I observe you remark that Columba required an interpreter between 
himself and the Picts. This would have the effect of my reconciliation wiih 
your system in reference to the Picts and Scots. I would feel obliged by 
a trace of good evidence in support of it ; for I maintain that both were one 
and the same people, bearing at a certain period two distinctions, — equivalent 
to Clan Campbell and Clan Donald. My acquaintance with Gaelic literature 
does not afford me a proof that their language was not the same identical one. 
The Boman poet in his panegryric in the third century, alludes to Scots and 
other Picts ; and Bishop Winfred, in 664, in his disputes before Oswy, king 
of Northumbria, with Colman, the Scot from lona, about the keeping of Easter, 
says, " We found the same practised in all the world, except only those and 
their accomplices in obstinacy, I mean the Picts and the Britons, who foolishly 
oppose all the rest of the universe.'* — Bede, p. 156. This Scot from lona and 
his people, are designated here, the Picts. 

'' The writing of Gaelic in Scotland scarcely differed from that of Ireland, 
until the end of last century. The Gaelic of 800, of 1057, and subsequently, 
was the same. See *^Incitatum BeUt'' of 1411 ; Kilbride's MS. Genealogy of 
1460 ; Carswell's Gaelic Liturgy of 1567 ; and Kirk's Gaelic Psalm Book of 
the last century. 

*^ I conceive the Scots to be the present Highlanders. They amalgamated 
with the Picts in the ninth century, and have since formed the occupants both 
of the east and the west of Scotland. I heartily admit the marked difference you 
have drawn between the Lowlanders and Highlanders in shape and symmetry. 
I have long observed it, but the distinction arises as much from the habits of 
the people as it does from race. The Saxons and the Northmen of England 
having mixed with the Lowlanders, contributed to the change both in symmetry 
and language. Every inch of Britain was once peopled by Celts. Topography 
is proof of- this. The names of rivers, mountains, hills, straths, &c., in the 
Lowlands, both south and east, prove the same. Some, and Highlanders among 
them, find Welsh and British names in Scotland, which are plain Gaelic. The 
Dalriads retained their Gaelic at court till Canmore's time, and the bards 
traced the genealogy of the latter Alexanders, in Gaelic, at their coronations, 
to 1482." 

The word Gael has been preserved as the distinctive name of the first tide 
of emigrants from the East, by whom Europe was inhabited. The word means 
tchite. This name, then, which was given or adopted at a period too remote 
for our research, implies that, at that time, mankind were of different colours ; 
and that one of these was white. This word was accordingly given to, or 
assumed by, the white, in contradistinction to the coloured races of mankind ; 


and certainly the Saxon, and every other family now to be fonnd in Europe, 
appear to be the descendants of the Gkiel or white race. 

Although I hold by the above opinion, namely that all the varieties of 
white men are of one and the same race, I regard the question, which has 
frequently been under public discussion of late, as to the cause of the difference 
in comparative wealth and poverty of the classes who inhabit the richer and 
poorer districts of Great Britain and Ireland, as extremely interesting ; but I 
greatly doubt whether the conclusion at which the writers on the subject seem 
to have arrived, — that it is to be ascribed to the inferiority of the Celtic race in 
mental and physical capacity — is borne out by the military or civil history of 
the races, even in those kingdoms. The so called Gothic race, for instance, where 
they are supposed to be of pure lineage, as in Holland, have generally been 
characterized as of phlegmatic temperaments, and heavy or unwieldy frames ; 
and the Celtic race have uniformly been represented as of fiery temperaments 
and active frames. Yet, these writers ascribe to the phlegmatic race all that is 
intellectually great and physically energetic ; while to the Celts they ascribe 
all that is mentally feeble and physically indolent. I do not think these premises 
and conclusions reconcilable. 

Caesar describes the Gauls, who were Celts, as far advanced beyond the 
Germans, (who are assumed to have been Saxons,) in civilization; and 
civilization is the result of the exercise of what is termed *' the industrial 
virtues.*' Are not the industrial virtues acquirements ? If so, may not the 
difference between the habits and circumstances of the inhabitants of the richer 
and poorer districts of Great Britain and Ireland at this day, as well as the 
difference between those of the Gauls and Germans of the days of Caesar, be 
accounted for separately altogether firom any supposed difference in the mental 
and physical capacity of the German and Celtic races? 

Is it pot the fact, that the more nearly we find mankind (no matter of 
what race,) to their primitive and uncultivated state, the more are they 
characterized by apathy and indolence ? Nay, is it not the &ct, that, in the 
bosom of the most active seats of enterprise and industry, whole fiEimilies are 
to be found whose deficient education in the industrial virtues, stamps them 
with all the characteristics of indolence and apathy ? Now, it wQl not be denied 
that the inhabitants of the more cold, sterile, and inaccessible districts of all 
countries, (by whatsoever race inhabited,) continue much longer in a primitive and 
uncultivated state than those of the more fertile, genial, and accessible districts. 
The origin of wealth is in the abundance of Nature. It is almost spontaneously 
produced in the more fertile, and can only be produced by extreme industry in 
the more sterile districta Now, wealth is essential to, if not the parent of, com- 
mercial and manufacturing industry. It creates artificial wapts, and searches for 
« and rewards the enterprise and industry whereby they may be supplied. A people 
living in a barren country, and who know no wants excepting those of nature, 
are contented with milk and potatoes, Iroguea and hodden greysy and do not 
possess within themselves the means nor the stimulus necessary for the creation 
of commerce and manufacturing wealth and industry. 


The 80-called Saxon and Celtic inhabitantB of Great Britain and Ireland, 
in addition to the great adyantages the former had over the latter, in tha 
possession of rich and fertile plains, intersected with navigable rivers, bays, acl 
estuaries, whereby the wealth and commerce of the whole worid was drawii 
among them, have not set out on the career of commercial and mann&ctaring 
enterprise on equal terms. The Saxons of Great Britain and Ireland wei^,| 
hereditarily, less or more, accustomed to servitude and commerce, at a period 
when the Celtic race possessed the soil of their native land in common, and 
when the exercise of their industrial virtues was only necessary for the cultiva- 
tion of their own lands and the domestic manufacture of their own produce for 
their own use. Their industrial virtues were, therefore, in those days eqaal to 
their wants ; and they lived contented and happy. The acquisitiveness and 
injustice of the stranger changed the scene. S% overturned the laws and 
institutions of their country, and made others, regardless of their wants^ castomg, 
and habits, and without allowing them to have a say in the case. By these 
new laws the Celt was denuded of his right of property in the soil, which con- 
stituted his whole earthly possession, and reduced to the condition of a serf, to 
grinding and oppressive landlords, whose unjustly acquired wealth went to the 
employment and the enrichment of the Saxon, because his hereditary knowledge 
of commerce and servitude made him the more eligible and ready-handed to 
supply their artificial wants and luxuries. In short, the whole property of 
the Celtic inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland was, in effect, confiscated to 
a dassy for the employment and enrichment of those of the people who had been 
then accustomed to servitude and commerce ; and now Ae poor Celtic race, 
dentided of all they possessed, thinly scattered over a barren and rocky sea-coast, 
or among the isolated glens and mountains of broken and sterile wastes — 
depressed by poverty and even deserted by the accustomed bounties of Nature,* 
are blamed for not having, in this state of transition, made the same progress 
in the arts and sciences of civilized life, as a people hereditarily initiated in 
servitude and commerce ; and who, moreover, at the outset had virtually helped 
themselves to their lands — the foundation of the whole wealth of the country — 
to carry on their trade. 

That the difference in the habits and circumstances of the inhabitants of 
the richer and poorer districts of Great Britain and Ireland cannot with jastice 
be ascribed to anything inherent in the Celtic character, is proved by the iact, 
that there is no part of these kingdoms in which persons of undoubted Celtic 
lineage are not to be found, standing pre-eminenUy forward among the most 
distinguished individuals of the Saxon race, in every department of Uterature 
and the fine arts, as well as in all the sciences and inventions, or discoveries, 
which have resulted in their great mercantile and manufacturing prosperity. 

Nor is the comparison of the emulation of individuals of the Saxons and 
Celts with one another less fiivourable to the latter than the emulation of towns 
and cities, if we take progress in commerce and manufactures as the criterion. 

* Two or three of theie pages were written at the time of the potato failure. 


Let US take, for example, the city of Glasgow. Now, we find that Glasgow, so 
recently as the year 1668, did not possess a single merchant who was a ship- 
owner. Gibson, the father of her mercantile prosperity, made that year the first 
venture in foreign trade. He cured and exported to St Martin's in France, 
300 lasts of herring, (containing six barrels,) and received a barrel of brandy and 
a crown for each. Such was the extent of the foreign trade of Glasgow in 1668. 
Compare this with the foreign trade of Glasgow at the present time, and will 
it be found that she has loitered behind her neighbours in mercantQe and manu- 
facturing industry and enterprise? The statistics of Glasgow, and of many 
other towns and cities in Great Britain and Ireland, (whether Celtic or Saxon)^ 
show that great progress has been made by the country in mercantile and manu- 
&cturing enterprise within these two hundred years; and where is the writer 
who will venture to assert that that progress, in the towns and cities in which 
it has taken place, be ascribed, not to a change in the habits of the people, 
but to a change of the race by which they were, or are inhabited ? Are we to 
come to the conclusion that Glasgow in 1668 was inhabited by a fiery race of 
Celts, and that she is now inhabited by a phlegmatic race of Dutchmen? The 
statistics of towns and cities afford no evidence in confirmation of the charge of 
indolence and apathy made against the Celtic race of Great Britain and Ireland ; 
and the biography of eminent men does not show that the Celtic race has failed 
to fiimisb its due share of all that is intellectually great and physically energetic. 
But, perhaps, it is in their military qualities that these writers find the great 
superiority of the Saxon over the Celtic race ? Let us take a glance at the ques- 
tion in a military point of view, then, and see how it stands ; but in order to 
clear it of all that might mislead the general reader, we must beg him to favour 
us witii his attention to a short sketch, in reference to Wallace, and the history 
and military strength of the king-made nobility of his time. 

North Britain, previous to the arrival of the Scoto-Irish in the western 
parts of Argyleshire, was governed on the patriarchal cleachda of all the ancient 
Celtic nations. This system is defined by the great (though sometimes not 
immaculate) Chalmers, in his Oaledania^ as affording to every tribe the privilege 
'' of being each independent of the whole.'" By this cleachda, the power ?f the 
kings, chiefs, and chieftains, who constituted the patriarchs, was so bound down 
a& to have led Roman and other ancient writers into the supposition that clan* 
ships were pure democracies. They were not democracies ; but they were pro- 
bably as nearly so as was consistent with the purity and independence of the 
rulers of the people. The Scots,* who ultimately succeeded to the supremacy, do 
not appear to have carried with them the patriarchal system (judging fix>m their 
feuds and questions of succession among themselves) into the country ; at least 

* That the Scots were the feudal, and the CaledoniaxiB the patriarchal people, is prored bj the Cact, that 
the former had a king styled the King of Scots, that his^ns were styled princes, that he created from time 
to time, dnkes, marquises, earls, &c. ; but the Caledonians never had Mugs or tides until they were created 
for them by feudal historians and foreign priests. Theee, however, did not know their language. Hence 
we have in Gaelic no words to express the titles which these sapient writers were pleased to oonfer on 
our remote ancestors. 



in ite purity. We accordingly find that Malcolm Canmore, who appears to have 
been the first Scoto-Irish king that acquired any thing like an effectual 
dominion over the Picts, took immediate steps for the establishment of the 
feudal system. The disruption consequent on this process, threw a great portion 
of the country into the hands of new possessors. Hence the Scottish nobility 
of the days of Wallace were, in every essential, a foreign nobility. They 
were foreigners in their lineage, language, titles, tenures, manners, and customs. 
There were thus elements of the most irreconcilable enmity in existence be- 
tween the people and the nobility of Scotland in the days of Wallace. Being 
however, only the growth of the two previous centuries, fortunately for the 
people, the nobility were not in the possession of great military strength. 
Their following consisted of men-at-arms, as may be seen from their charters • 
and the men-at-arms of Scotland were never very formidable, and much less so 
at the above period. We accordingly find that Cumyn, one of the oldest 
and most powerful among them, when he had to rely upon his own feudal friends 
and vassals, (for the clans were only willing and voluntary soldiers in defensive 
warfare,) as in his silly invasion of England, did not dare to encounter the 
hostility of the citizens even of Carlisle. When the stalwart burghers showed 
face, he abandoned his resentment against King Edward, and fled. We also 
find, when the great Stewart, with Lennox " and other barons," joined the army 
at Stirling, that their strength consisted only of sixty men 1 Douglas, Lorn &a 
who were chiefs, and followed by the people of their respective clans are not 
to be confounded with the nobility referred to. Neither should we allow our 
estimate of the power of the nobihty of those days to be exaggerated by the 
vulgar error of supposing that the schtUrons, or divisions, which they commanded 
in battle, were formed of their own vassals. These schiltrons were composed 
of the clans, and officered by their chiefs and chieftains ; but " divide and 
conquer" being the ruling principle of the feudal kings of Scotland, they sowed 
the seeds of distrust and division so sedulously among the clans, that one clan 
would not be commanded by the chief of anothpi>«»k ^H---..c;hen.j:pymis 
of the m were form ed togetheL«>*a schfltron, or division, some neutral person- 
^SfeSwWSPWgerthe command. The king, or his representative in the field, 
therefore, usually appointed some nobleman, popular in the districts of the 
respective schiltrons, to command them in battle. We must not, therefore, allow 
our estimate of the military strength of the nobility of the days of Wallace, to 
be magnified by the importance of the stations they occupied in the field of 
battle, or by the power to which, by the successful carrying out of the feudal 
organization, they afterwards attained. The power was only in its birth at that 
period ; and we accordingly find that their assistance to the invader consisted 
chiefly of intrigues, whereby they divided or betrayed the patriots, — as witness 
the battle of Falkirk. 

The derivation of the name, as well as the genealogy of Wallace, id 
involved in obscurity ; but its absence from bonds and charters, like those of 
other Celtic chiefs, and its identity, as originally spelled, Walens, with that of 
the heroic Walenses of Clydesdale, of which district he was a native, furnishes, 


at least, exjacie evidence of his Celtic lineage. To be of the same lineage and 
language with the natives, would also seem elements absolutely necessary to 
popularity among a people so constituted as the people of Scotland of the 
days of Wallace. Nay, we cannot shut our eyes to the fact, that, even 
at so late a period as '* the forty-five,*' no small share of the enthusiasm in 
favour of " the Prince," may be ascribed to the zeal and address with which he 
assumed their national dress and arms, and cultivated their habits and their lan- 
guage. These were the means whereby he rooted himself in their hearts, and 
effectually awakened their ancient loyalty and fidelity to their old race of kings. 

We also see that the tone of determined enmity in which Wallace is 
made to speak of his foemen, has in it something far more bitter than could 
have risen from the hostility of two warlike kingdoms. It implies hatred to 
the race much more distinctly than to the invader. Nor is the intense hostility 
of the Scottish nobility to Wallace satisfactorily explained when ascribed merely 
to the supposed pride of rank and birth. For Wallace was himself of knightly 
rank and family ; and, therefore, even according to their own feudal distinctions, 
qualified to enter the lists against the best and noblest of their race or order. 
Neither is it to be understood that the nobility of that age — that is, the king- 
made nobility — ^possessed that prestige which power and antiquity of family 
confer on their descendants. No doubt, some of them were descended of the 
nobility of England ; but these were only the ofispring of the then recent 
conquest of that kingdom by the Normana But, at any rate, the best and 
noblest of either the English or the Scottish nobility of that day, were not to be 
compared to the chiefs and chieftains of Scotland, in purity of blood, or an- 
tiquity of family. We must therefore look elsewhere than to their pride, for 
the cause of the hatred and affected contempt entertained by the nobility 
against Wallace. May they not rather have arisen from his Celtic lineage and 
popularity with the people, who hated and repudiated their rank and tenures, 
and whom they, in return, both hated and feared? 

When circumvented, or defeated on the plains, where the feudal nol)ility 
had some show of influence, and where they sometimes joined, in order to 
thwart and betray him, we find that Wallace invariably retired beyond the 
Clyde and Forth, among the glens and mountains occupied by the native 
Celtic race, and that he never failed to return thence with thousands of true 
hearts and strong arms, able and willing, as at the battle of Stirling, to pave 
his way to glory and to victory. These were the men with whom he thrice 
swept the invader from the land, and with whom his triumph had been com- 
pleted, but for the persevering, and, alas, ultimately successful treachery of the 
nobility. These facts lead to the conclusion that Wallace and his followers found 
their mutual patriotism and confidence in one another cemented by the ties of 
language and of lineage, — that they were equally the lineal descendants and 
true representatives of the illustrious tribes who, of old, repelled the Boman and 
Danish invaders of their country, in the same spirit in which they, their off- 
spring, were then resolute to conquer or to die in the sacred cause of her liberty 
and independence. We have, therefore, reason to believe that the opponentn 


of the Englighy in the days of Wallace, were the patriarchal clans of Scotland ; 
the same race whom they long afterwards encountered at Prestonpans and 
Culloden. We shall now, therefore, proceed with a brief sketch of the more 
prominent arenas on which the Saxon and Celtic races have met each other in 
battle, beginning with the wars of the first Napoleon. 

The Continental Saxons have frequently met the half-Celtic French in 
battle, and certainly did not show their superiority to them in mental and 
physical energy. During that war, in particular, the Continental Saxons 
gained no laurels from the representatives of the ancient Gaula It is not to 
their Saxon blood, therefore, that the English owe their military superiority over 
the French, but to the blood of their British mothers, otherwise why did not 
the Continental Saxons (who certainly must possess more Saxon blood than the 
English) beat the French ? The descendants and representatiyes of the Celtic 
Ghiuls are, at this day, the greatest of all the Continental nations. 

The last occasion on which the Celtic and Saxon races of Great Britain 
met one another in warfare, was^ as already mentioned, in the " forty-five," 
and we certainly do not find that the Saxon manifested any superiority to the 
Celtic race* either physically or mentally, on that occasion. We must, therefore, 
proceed backward with our researches before we can find any evidence of the 
military superiority of the Saxon to the Gael. 

It is said that the Saxon subjugated the Briton. This statement is now 
discredited, but supposing it true, the Briton had become efieminate by several 
centuries of subjection to the Bomans, before he achieved that triumpk Over 
the Caledonian and the Dane he failed to achieve any permanent superiority or 
advantage : on the contrary, his country was overrun repeatedly, and finally 
conquered, by the Dane ; and the Dane, the Saxon's conqueror, was as repeatedly 
defeated in battle, and driven by the Caledonians into the sea. 

Nor was the superiority of the Saxon to the Celt manifested in the war ot 
independence under Wallace and Bruce, although that war occurred after he had 
been again improved in his breed, and elevated in his military character, by an 
accession of blood bom the half, if not wholly, Celtic and warlike Norman. 
But to show the difierence between the Celt and Saxon, in their military qualities, 
it is only necessary to refer to the historical fact, that, by the loss of the single 
battle of Hastings, the Saxon was cowed and subjugated ; whereas the Celt, 
instead of yielding on a single defeat, maintained a disastrous war of thirty years 
duration, not only against a powerful foreign invader, but against the still 
more fatal treachery of the Anglo-Saxon nobility, planted by his own kings, in 
the bosom of his country, for the extinction of his rights and liberty. 

Nor did these thirty years of ruinous warfare either cool bis patriotism or 
tame his courage. On the contrary, he faced the whole Anglo-Saxon and 
Anglo-Norman power, not only of England, but of Wales and Ireland also, on 
the field of Bannockbum, and, with one Celt against three Saxons, overthrew 
them with a slaughter, to which that of Waterloo, — the Bannockbum of 
European warfare, — ^is scarcely to be compared ; and with that crowning victory 
he secured and consolidated the independence of his country. The military 
history of the Saxon and Celtic races, «i8suming them to be different races, 


relatively to one another, does not therefore afford any evidence of the mental 
or physical superiority of the Saxon race. 

We do not, and cannot see any reason for coming to the conclusion, that 
the Saxons and the Celts are descended of two distinct races. Every shade of 
difference between them, may — we would say, must — have been produced by 
education and circumstances. But be that as it may, so complete is the 
amalgamation of the two now in Great Britain and Ireland, as to render it 
impossible to draw a line of demarcation between them. However, it is not 
either necessary or desirable to do so, and I may venture to predict that no 
honest patriot will ever attempt it Tndeed, I question if twenty families of 
British-bom subjects can be found, who can trace themselves through six 
generations of an unmixed Saxon lineage. 

I have already stated that the Gaelic vowels are sounded by grammarians 
like the English vowels in far, theme, pin, broke, true. Every one of these 
vowels have, however, according to these gentlemen, as many sounds and shades 
of sound, hard and soft, broad and small, thin and thick, as, with the numerous 
signs or accents by which they are distinguished, might enable a clever teacher 
to retain an ordinary pupil in his hands for an age ; but, of course, they con- 
sidered the acquisition of such an invaluable knowledge cheaply purchased by 
the sacrifice of a life-time to the study of Gkielic grammar. But the singular thing 
is, how Duncan Ban Macintyre and the other bards, who could neither read nor 
write, contrived to leave behind them the learned works on which such elaborate 
disquisitions have been founded by these great philologists ! My space will not 
permit me to trouble the reader with many extracts, but I could have shown him, 
by voluminous quotations, that the Highlanders were not the ignorant barbarians 
they are represented to have been ; and I must remark, as a sufficiently striking 
corroboration of this statement, that Csesar ascertained from the natives that 
the coast of Britain was two thousand miles in circumference, (and I question 
whether the Government Surveyors will show that they were very far wrong,) 
yet our learned historians have been repeating, one after another, — on the 
authority of Latin books too, — for the last two thousand years, that it was the 
Romans who first ascertained that Britain was an island I and I have no doubt 
that they will continue to repeat this, and a hundred other fallacies, and that 
the good-natured public will not only continue to believe, but also to buy these 
precious books, and pay dominies for teaching them to their children, for two 
thousand years more. 

I have stated, that Gaelic consonants, when not aspirated or in action, are 
pronounced like the English consonants in the following words : b in iad, c in 
cant, d in cMt, f in ^11, g in gM^ 1 in feek, m in mad, n in narrow, p in 
path, r in rare, s in «alad, and t in ^ but much thicker, softer, and deeper. 
As the purity of the reader's pronunciation depends entirely on his making 
himself a complete master of this peculiarity, I beg of him to go once more 
over the. instructions for pronouncing the consonants when in action, already 
given, before addressing himself to the following words, otherwise he is sure to 
acquire a spurious pronunciation. 



Tir-mhor, a contineDt. 


Duthaich, a country, 

Eillen, an island, 

Doirlinn, an isthmus, 

Traigh, coast, 

Cladach, beach. 


Cuan, sea. 

Muir, ocean. 


Camas, bay. 


Calla, harbour, 

Geob, a creek, 

Caolas, a strait. 


Loch, a lake. 

Abhuinn, a river, 

Alt, a rivulet. 
Eas, a waterfall. 


Linne, a pool 


Sruth, a current, 

Dall-bhog, a quagmire. 


Frith, a deer forest, 

Grianan, a sunny knoll, (a 
gri-an-an fairy brugh.) 

Sithean, a fairy knoll or 
sbi'-en brugh. 

Bniach or brugh, a bank 
bru-ach bru' 

or ridge ; also a clachan. 

Cloadh, burying ground, 
clo' or salmon spawn- 

mor-shruth, a rapid, 

adhadh, a ford, 

coileam, a rapid rushing through a narrow rock- 
coylem bound channel. 

tober, a spring. 

srath, the lower part of a glen, a valley. 


dael, a plain in the curve of a river, 

gleann, a glen. 


coire, a semi-glen in the face of a hill. 


bealach, a defile or pass. 

aisre, a steppe among rocks. 


beinn, a mountain. 


cruach, a conical or stack-shaped mountain, 

sliabh, a wold or inclined table-land. 


slios, the flank or side of a moontain. 


scur, a cliE 

mointeach, a moor. 

carr, a dry moor, rutted with winter water-courses. 

Ion, a moist plain or meadow. 

cos, a cleft 

cnagan, a knag in a tree or rock. 


innis, an island ; also a roosting place. 

i, an island (obsolete.) 

airidh, a shieling or Highland summer residence. 


fasach, a deer-forest, or preserved pasture. 

* Ao. Here the phonic spelling is a failure ; for aw is a horrid imitation, and I can find no letters 
that more nearly represents the sound in English. 



Stuc, a peak. 
Uamh, a cave. 


Bo, a cow. 

Ba-thigh, a cow-house, 

Bualaidh, a fold. 


Lao^h, a cal£ 
Arladh, a qney. 


Gamhainn, a stirk. 


Damh, an ox. 


Tarbh, a bull, 

Gearran^ a work-horse, 

Steud, a war-horse. 

Marc, a riding-horse. 


Falare, a riding-mare, 

Capuly a brood-mare, 

Caora, a ewe. 


Boc-earba, a roebuck, 

Sionnach, a fox. 


Dorani an otter. 


Broc, a badger, 

Eoin-fhraoich, moorfowls. 

Coilleach-fraoich, a moorcock, 

Cearc-fhraoich, a moorhen. 

Coillich-dhu, blackcocks. 


Liadh chearcean, grey hens. 

li-a' chercan 

Eala, a swan, 

garbh-fhonn, a rough rocky country, (a 
garv-onn cognomen of Arasaig.) 

geamhrachadh, a wintering-place, 

mult, a wether, 
reithe, a ram. 


nan, a lamb, 

oisg, a hogg or year-old sheep, 

athbhlianach, a two-year-old sheep. 


cloimh, wool, 

gabhar, a goat. 


boc, a he-goat 

laosboc, a wether goat, 

meann, a kid. 


fiadh, a stag, 

maoisleach, a hind. 


minnean, a calf-deer. 


earba, a roe-deer, 

banag, a grilse. 


geallabhreac, a salmon-trout 

breac, a trout 

slatiasgaich, a fishing-rod. 


morbha, a fishnspear or leister. 


clic, a gaff 


driamlach, a fish-line. 


dubhan, a hook. 


cuilleag, a fly. 

rodhan, a pirn. 




Lach^ a wQd-dack. 

Malard, a wQd-drake. 


Tnnnagy a dnck. 

Drac, a drake, 

Geadli^ a goose. 

Ghmradhy a gander, 

Feadagi a plover, 

Adharcag, a lapwing. 


Ouilbneach, a curlew. 


Corr, a heron, 

Bndag, a snipe. 


Creothar, a woodcock, 

lafig, a fish. 
Bradan, a salmon. 


Leinne-chrio8,t a fihirt of mail 

S^ath, a shield or wing. 

Dag, a pistol, 

Beudagy a dirk, literally, the little 
Wydag deadly one. 

Boghadh-shai^head, an arrow-bow. 

Taifead, a bow-string, 

Ganna, a gnn. 


Claishneach, a rifle. 


Camus, a mould for casting bullets, 

leabhar-chnilleag, a fly-book. 


claidheamh, a sword. 


daidh-mor, a broadsword. 


claidh-da-Iaimh, two-handed ^ord. 


cludh-cinn-ais-nich, a rib-hilted sw^d. 


claidh-cuil, a backsword, 

claidhrcaol, a small sword. 


clogaid, a helmet 


clogaid stailin, a steel helmet. 

dogayt rtalin 

Inireach, a buff cloak, 

dealg-gualain,* a shoulder pin or skewer, 

braisd, a broocL 

Inirech mhaaleach, a mail-cloak. 

layrech Tayledi 

claidh-cinn-niich, an Islay hilted sword. 


feile, a kilt, 

triubhas, trews worn by equestrians and 
tri-n-yaa aged men. 

brigis, short trews, buckled at the knee, 

bonaid, a bonnet 


peiteag, a waistcoat 


peitag-mhuillchen, a jacket, literally a 
peytag-vnylidien waistcoat with sleeves. 

brog, a shoe, 

cnaran, a sandal. 


cuarag, a knapsack. 


* A akewer of gold or nlyer, with a head nsnally large and highly omamental, for fastening the 
wanior's plaid on the sbonlder. The bioodi waa only used by women. 

t Leine-chrioe was the diatingoiahing name of the cfaoeen waniors who attended the chief fn. battle, 
moved with him from side to tide of the field, pnihing erery advantage, and aaataining the party 
inclining backward or in Jeopardy. 


Fudar, powder. balgan-peallach, a goatskin haversack. 

fadar balkgan-pellach 

Carbat, a war-chariot. dornlach, a quiver. 

carbat domlach 

S^aD, a knife. diollaid, a saddle. 

8gi-an di-ollit 

Sporran, a purse. pillean, a pad. 

spomui pQlen 

OsaOi hose. summaCy a pack-saddle. 

oaan sommac 

BreacaOi a plaid, 

Breacan am feile, a belted plaid. 

t«ecaa am feyliS 

The Lowland Caledonians, as well as the Lowland Scots, wore the trews, 
both long and shorL The short trews ultimately degenerated into the hrigia 
or tight shorts, probably an 'innovation by some court dandies of the early days 
of feudalism. The short tartan trews of the Caledonians and Scots was buckled 
or open at the knee, according to taste or pleasure. The Caledonians wore a 
broad blue bonnet, cocked, and pretty high, a jacket without skirts, tartan hose, 
reaching barely over the calf of the leg, where they were fastened with showy 
garters ending in a graceful tie, like that of the modem neck-tie or stock, on the 
outside of the leg. The space between the short trews (which, like the kilt, 
merely descended over the cap of the knee,) and the hose, was bare. The Biscay- 
men, on both sides of the Pyrenees, wore a similar dress. This dress, a little 
degenerated, especially the bonnet, which was small and flat, was in existence 
when the British army wintered there in 1813-14. I have no doubt this was the 
common garb of the Continent before our ancestors crossed the Channel. I could 
not converse with the people in their native dialect, but the nouns in the Basque 
were the same as in Gaelic, slightly differing in pronunciation only. Suchet and 
his division were Biscayans ; and when the British army were on the Pyrenees, 
the people talked of him and them with the same enthusiasm with which the 
Highlanders talked of Sir Colin Campbell and his brigade at the time of the 
Crimean war. They met the British for the first time at Hellette, in the south 
of France, on the opening of the campaign of 1814, and faced us manfully ; but 
WeUington turned their position, and made them retire before their stamina 
was £Eurly tested, which I was then young enough to regret, for I wished much 
to see whether they possessed the obstinate firmness of the Gael. Two of their 
officers, however, while the light troops were scattered skirmishing, found an 
opportunity of coming into combat, in the old Highland fashion, with Lieutenant 
Lambrecht of the 66th regiment, and another light company officer. Lieutenant 
Lambrecht's sword was broke in two near the hilt, by a musket shot, just as 
they were in the act of closing with each other, and the noble Biscayan instantly 
saluted him with his sword, and drew back ; nor did he offer to take part with 
his companion, though it was evident that he was a very inferior swordsman to 
his opponent, (who was also, like himself, a Celt,) and had no chance. 



The Bhort trews and hoBe, as above described, were worn by a few old men 
in Strathspey and Straiherrick sixty years ago. The Biscayans, at the above 
period, instead of tartan hose, wore a long worsted stocking folded down mid- 
legy and tied with red tape, like some very fat-legged strangers whom I have 
recently seen aping or caricatoring Highlanders, in a species of gaberlanzie 
dress, which they, no doubt, innocently suppose to be the same with that worn 
by the Highlanders when in an uncivilized state. The Lowland Scots certainly 
wore the short trews ; but the long trews was their costume. The trews and 
hose were in one piece, the part below the knee being fitted to the leg, and 
ending in a foot like hose. The knickerboker, when worn with a boot, is 
exactly like the trews when worn with a riding-boot, as it always was by 
equestrians. The trews were buttoned in front, like modem trousers ; but that 
part was covered with a small gold or silver laced apron, having the wearer's 
crest and badge, tastefully combined with tracery, embroidered on it The 
bonnet of the Lowland Scot was broad and flat ; but not high and cocked like 
that of the Caledonian. Both wore the plaid ; but the Scot wore his generally 
doubled round his shoulders, and fastened with a broocL The old Caledonians 
occasionally wore the belted-pldd, that is, the plaid divided at the waist by a 
broad belt^ the upper part being wrapped round the shoulders, and fiistened on 
the breast with the dealg-ghualainn or shoulder skewer, and the lower part 
gathered round the loins and thighs in plaits, like a kilt This is the dress 
described in a work published in London in 1630, called, I think, '^ The 
Belations of the most celebrated Nations," as the dress worn by Henry the 
YIIL's Irish troops on his visit to France. It is a remarkable circumstance that 
ihe Antiquarian Societies of Ireland have lost eight of this the ancient native 
dress of the northern IrisL It is evident^ however, from the name of this dress, 
which, in contradistinction to^/iiZe, is called breaccm am fetle, that wearing the 
plaid and kilt in one piece was not the rule, but the exception. The usual way 
was to wear the plaid and kilt separately, the plaid thrown over the left shoulder, 
as in the regiments whose colonels, while clothiers to their respective corps, did 
not cabbage the men's plaids, and substitute square pieces of tartan, fixed, like 
^' baby-^iUnUsy^ behind their backs, to dangle, transversely, between the hip and 
shoulder. The plaid of the Highland warrior was fastened on the shoulder 
with a silver or gold skewer, whose head was usually shaped like his crest 
Only the Highland ladies and the Lowland Scots wore the brooch, which was 
altogether unsuitable for the Highlander of warlike times, from the difficulty of 
unfastening it, — ^for he always fought stripped to the waist. Hence his first 
motion, when '' descending" to battie, was to firm his bonnet on his head, by 
an emphatic '^ acrug /" — his second, to cast off his plaid, &c. ; — ^his third, to 
incline his body horizontally forward, cover it with his target, rush to within 
fifty paces of the enemy's line, discharge, and drop his fusee or rifie ; — his fourth, 
to iart forward till within twelve paces, discharge, and fling his ironnstocked 
pistols at the foeman's head ; — ^his fifth, to draw claymore, and at him. This 
was done by the Gael at the battle of E[illiecrankie, the moment Dundee fell, 
and they found themselves at liberty to take their own course. Their conduct 



IB 80 described by one of Dnndas's officers, who published a short and interesting 
memoir of the hero, which was published in London four years after his death. 
[Lord Macanlay does not seem to have seen this book, for he calls some of the 
facts stated in it an invention of recent times.] This writer's description of the 
battle is corroborated by Ian Lorn, and other bards, who state that Dundee 
caused great loss to the Highlanders by the slow pace at which he led them 
into battle. By this injudicious process, which shows that Dundee did not know 
the Highlanders as well as Montrose, they received three volleys before drawing 
their swords. Left to their own tactics, they would have received only one, . 
and the battle would have been decided in ten minutea It lasted only two 
minutes, according to this officer, and to the bard Ian Lom, after Dundee's 
death. Had he not been killed, it might, like the battle of CuUoden, have been 
protracted until two thirds of his clans had been killed or wounded. 

Athair, father. 

Mathair, mother, 

Brathair, brother, 

Piuthair, sister. 


Seannaer, grandfather. 


Seannamhair, grandmother, 

Mac, son. 


Nigheann, daughter. 


Ceili, husband, 

Banacheili, wife, 

Tiechele,throughother, ^'helter-skelter. 

Lechele, together, '' hand-in-hand.'' 

Ochele, separately, from one another, 

Friomh-athair, patriarch, 

Gann, a clan, (literally children,) the 
clann descendants of one priomh- 
athair or patriarch. 

Ceann-cinnith, head of a tribe, chief. 


Bana-cheann-cinnith, female head of a 
bana-chen-cini' clan, chiefcss. 


balaochan, a cow-boy, literally a cow- 
ba-laochao hero, hence balach. 

caile, a stout young woman, 

caileag, a lassie, 

boireineach, a woman, (pronoun.) 


fireneach, a man, (pronoun.) 


duine, a man. 


bean, a woman, 

bodach, an old boor. 


cailleach, an old female boor. 


deo-dhuine, a good man, literally, a 
de-o-yun^ god-man. 

dorch-dhuine, a bad man, literally, a 
dorch-yim6 man of darkness. 

duine-coir, a kindly, honest man, liter- 
duyn^-coir ally, a surpassing man. 

duine-carrach, a quirW-man, literally, 
duyn^-carrach a crooked or twisted man. 

amadan, a fool, literally, the waif of 
am-a-dan time. 

burraidh, a blustering loquacious fool, 

benmluagbael, a precious woman. 


benaillidh, a beautiful woman. 




Ceanntaigh, head of a house or branch, 
cen-tar chieftaia 

Bana-cheami-taighy female head of a 
banachen-ta-i' house, chieftainesfi. 

Ceauntealaich, head of a household. 

Banacheanntealoich, female head of a 
banachentelaych household. 

Uachdaran, the superior of the land, 
a-achdaran the tamister. 

Banuchdaran, a female superior of lands, 
baD-u-achdaran or a female tainister. 

Banathainister, a female tainister. 


oiseach, a sOly woman, literally a 
oy-sech strayed young woman. 

buidseach, a witcL 

duineraitechael, a vain-glorious man. 


cladhaire, a coward, 

duinecrinn, a niggardly man. 


duine fial, a social, hospitable man. 

1, aon, or, a h-aon. 

2, da, a dha. 


3, tri, a tri. 

4, ceitheir, a ceitheir. 


5, coig, a coig. 

6, sia, a sia. 


7, seachd, a seachd. 

8, ochd, a h-ochd. 

9, naoidh, a noidh. 


10, deich, a deich. 


11, aon-deug, or, a h-aon-deug, 21, aon thair fichead, one 

aoD-deyg one over ten. oyer twenty. 

12, dha-dheug, a dha-dheug. 22, dha thair fichead. 


13, tri-deug, a tri-deug. 23, tri ** 


14, ceiihir-deug, a ceithir- 24, ceitheir 

cey-ir-deyg deug. 

15, coig-deug, a coig-deug. 25, coig '' 

16, Sia-deug, a sia-deug. 26, sia " 

17, seachd-deug, a seachd- 27, seachd 

Bhechd-deyg deug. 

18, ochd-deug, a h^chd-deug. 28, ochd ** 


19, noidh-deug, a noidh-deug. 29, naoidh 


20, fichead, a fichead. 30, deich '^ 










40, da fhichead, two twenties, 
da iched 

41, da fhichead sa h-aon, two twenties and one. 
da iched sa haon 

50, da fhichead sa deich. 
da iched sa deych 

60, tri fichead, three twenties, 
tri fiched 

61, tri fichead sa h-aon. 

tri fiched sa haon 

70, tri fichead sa deich, three twenties and ten. 

tri fiched sa deych 

80, ceithir fichead, four twenties, 
cey'lr fiched 

90, ceithir fichead sa deich. 
cey'-ir fiched sa d93rch 

100, ceud. 

200, da cheud. 

da ched 

300, tri cheud* 

tri ched 

400, ceithir cheud. 

cey'-ir ched 

500, coig ceud. 
coyg chdd 

600, sia ceud. 

sia chSd 



700, deachd ceud. 

shechd chSd 

800, ochd ceud. 

ochd cSd 

900, naoidh ceud. 

noy' cSd 

1000, mQe. 

2000, da mhile. 

da tU-^ 

3000, tri mile. 

tri mil-^ 

4000, ceithir mile. 

cey'-ir mil-^ 

5000, coig mile, 
coyg mil-d 

6000, Bia mile, 
fihe-a mil-^ 

7000, seachd mile. 

shechd mii-^ 
8000, ochd mile. 

ochd mil-^ 

9000, noidh mile. 

noy' mil-^ 

10,000, deich mile. 

deych mil-^ 

Cabdikal Nuhbebs joined to a Noun. 

Aon fbear, one man. 

aon & 

Da fhear, two men. 
da ^ 

Tri fir, three men. 

tri fir 

Ceithir fir, four men. 
cey'-fr flip 

Coig fir, five mea 

coyg fir 

Sia fir, six men. 

Seachd fir, seven men. 

shechd fir 

Ochd fir, eight men. 
ochd fir 

Naoidh fir, nine men. 

noy* fir 

Deich fir, ten men. 

deych fir 

An cead latha, the first day. 

an ced la'-^ 

An dara latha, the second day. 
an dJkC'i W'& 

An treas latha, the thbd day. 

an tree W-i 

An ceithreamh latha, the fourth day. 
an cey'-rey la'-d 

An coigeamh latha, the fifth day. 
an coyg-ev W-i 

an cead fhear, the first man. 

an cSd er 

an dara fear, the second man. 

an dSr-^ &r 

an treas fear, the third man. 
an tres fdr 

an cearamh fear, the fourth man. 

an c^r-ay fdr 

an coigeamh fear, the fifth man. 
an coyg-ey fdr 

an siathamh fear, th sixth man. 

an shi'-ay {4i 

an seachamh fear, the seventh man. 
an shechd-ay £§r 

an t-ochdamh fear, the eigth man. 

an tochd-ay fS§r 

an noidhamh fear, the ninth man. 

an noy'-ay Ut 

an deicheamh fear, the tenth man. 
an deych-ey Uir 

an sdathamh latha, the sixth day. 

an shi'-ay la -^ 

an seachdamh latha, the seventh day. 
an shechday la'-^ 

an t-ochdamh latha, the eighth day. 
an tochdav la'-^ 

an noidheamh latha, the ninth day. 
an noy'-ey la'-£ 

an deicheamh latha, the tenth day. 
an deych-ey W-i 

Ban, fiur, 

Crion, little, 

Cruin, round, 


The Compabative. 
baine, fiEiirer, 


crine, less, 

cruinne, rounder, 


bainead, &imes& 

ciined, littleness. 


cruinnead, roundness, 



Daor, dear. 

doiie dealer, 

doiread, deamess. 




JDearg, red. 

deu-ge, redder, 

deir^;ead, redness. 




Geal, white. 

gile, whiter, 

gilead, whitenesa 




Trom, heavy, 

trmme, heavier. 

traimead, heaviness. 




Eatrom, light, 

eatmime, lighter. 

eatmimead, lightness. 




Faom, vam, 

faoine, vainer, 

faoinead, vainness. 



fiu>yned « 

Binn, sweet. 

binne, tweeter. 

binnead, sweetness. 




Ibbegulab Compabison. 

Borb, fierce. 

buirbe, fiercer. 

buirbead, fierceness. 




01c, bad. 

miosa, worse, 

miosad, badness. 




Beag, litde, 

laffha, less, 

laghad, littleness. 

Dnilich, difficult, 

duiliche, more difficult. 

duilichead, more difficult 




Farasda^ eai^. 

fasa, more easy. 

fasaid, easinesa 




Gtearr, short, 

giorra, shorter, 

giorrad, shortness. 




Qenr, shaip, 

geire, sharper. 

geiread, sharpnesa 




Laidear, strong. 

treasa, stronger. 

treasad, strongness. 




Math, good, 

feothas, better, 

maitheas, goodness. 




Mor, big. 

motha, bigger, 

mothad, bigness. 





teotha, hotter. 

teothad, hotnesa 




Se, ye& 

moran, much. 

daonan, alwaya 




Cha 'n e, no, not him. 

osoeann, above, overhead. 

feasda, forever. 

cha 'n h 



Haiih, good. 

fo, under. 

diugh, to-day. 




Donadh, bad, evlL 

roimh, before. 

maureach, to-morrow. 




Fallain, healtihy, well. 

deigh, behind. 

moch, early. 




Began, few, a little. 

gle, very. 

anmoch, late. 




Suas, up, ascend. 

trie, often. 

SO, here. 






EIrich, get up, arise. 

tearc, rare. 

sin. thera 




SioB, down. 

ainmig, seldom. 

stigh, within. 




Mach, oat. 

sith, peace. 

caite, where. 




Bith, paoe. 

fada, long. 

solasach, happy. 




Cian, remote. 

muladach, fiorrowfal. 

pailteas, plenty. 




Fc^hlamta, learned. 


oha mhor, not mnch. 

oha Tore 

taitneach, delightfaL 

Deigh, after. 

gealtach, oowaidly. 


fearr, better. 


Sgathadby timid. 

mise, worse. 

gaolach, lovely 




Careon, why. 

baighealy compassionate. 

rithisty again. 





ciamer, how. 

lag, feeble, also, a hollow. 




GreaSy haste. 

malL slow. 

tra, early. 




Grad« quick. 

cnine, when. 

saibhear, wealthy 




Cia-as, whence. 

ainnis, want 

cinnteach, certain. 




Modhafl, mannerly. 

£alamh, empty. 

falbh, walk off. 




Mimhodhail, unmannerly. 

duin, shut. 

foil, broil, 





foill, gently. 

ol, drink. 




Falach hid. 

caidil. sleep. 

folais, seen. 




Doifig, awak& 

foras, assamption. 

eirich, rise. 




Fosgail, open« 

bi mach, be onb 

dean cabhag, make haste. 


bi maoh 

de-an c&-Tig 

Ma se air toil e, if it is your will. 

ma 86 ayr toyl 6 

Thn^bh dhomh, give ye me. 

bnk-iv JOY 

Ha se do thoil e, if it be thy will. 

ma 86 do boy] 6 

Thoir da mi aran, give to me bread. 

boyr da mi aiaa 

Thoir dhomh cS, give me cream. 

boyr yo7 oi 

Thoir da mi im is caise, give to me butter and cheese. 

boyr da mi im 

Thoir dhoin gmth is nachdar, give as cords and cream. 

boyr ynyn gro' ia a-ioiid-ar 


Ab crninne ce, the round earth. 

an crajim^ c^ 

Bainne blath is aran coirce, warm milk and oat-cake. 

bayiine blath is aran ooirod 

A ghaoil mo chridhe, love of my heart 
a yaojl mo chri'-^ 

A chuiale mo chridhe, pulse of my heart 

a choyahle mo ohri'-^ 

Mo leannan fallaich, my secret sweetheart 

mo lennan f^Qlajoh 

Mo chuid dhe'n t-shaoghal, my share of llie waAd. 

mo ohnyd yen tao'-U 

Thoir da mi (or dhomh) iasad, ^ve to me the loan. 

hoyr da mi yov i-a-sad 

Ni mi sin gu toilleach, I'll do that willingly. 

ni mi rin ga toyUeoh 

Moran taing dhoibh, many thanks to you. 

moran tajng yoyy 

Se air beatha gu dearbh, ye are welcome certsSnly. 

86 ayr be'-e gn de-arv 

Tha sibh aig moran dragh, you are at much trouble, 
ha ahiv ayg m6-r^ dra' 

Tha mi moran na 'r comain, I am much to you obUged. 

ha mi moran nar oomajn 

Tha sibh tuille *s coineal, ye are too kind. 

ha ahiv tayU^ aooynd 

Cha dragh leom idir e, that is no trouble with me at alL 

oha dnr le-ome i-dir e 

Tha mi aig air seirbheis, I am at your service. 

ha mi ayg ayr sherv-eBh 
Tha mi duilich trioblaid a thoirt dhoibh, I am sorry trouble to give ye. 

ha mi dnjlioh triob-lajt a hoyrt 707Y 

An coimhneas thig bho^n chridhe paidh e fhein, the kindness that comes from 

an oojY-nea hig toVi ohri'-^ pa-i' e heyn 
the heart pays itself 

A bheil cuimhne agibh air Donnacha ban nan oran, have you (a) recoUectioD 

a Yeyl ooyn^ ag-iy ayr Donna-cha bBn nan oritk 

of Duncan fieur of the songs. 
Tha gun teagaibh, 's b-ann aige a bha'n aigne shaibhir *8an guth binn, 

ha gun tegiy ib bann eg'6 a Ya*n ayg-nd hay^ sa*n ga' binn 

yes, without doubt ; and 'twas he who had tlie wealthy mind and sweet voice. 

De tha dhith oirbh a cho-lionadh gach uireasaibh nadurraal, what lack ye to 
de ha ye' oyrv a cho-li-ona' gaoh nyr-eBeyy nadanel 
supply all natural wants ? 

Bannarcheile aillidh, beusach, maith, a spouse beautiful, modest, good. 

bini-oheyle ahli, bey-saoh may' 

'S aineamh sin ; ach sir is gheibh u i 'n tir nam beann, nan gleann 's nam breacan, 

18 ayney shin aoh shir is yeyv a 1 'n tir nam benn nan glenn 'a nam breo-an 

That is rare ; but seek and you'll find her in the land of mountains, glens, 
and (tartan) plaids. 

BheO eolas agaibh air uaishleann a bhraigh, have you knowledge of the 

veyl e-o-hu ag-iv ayr n-ayah-lenn a m-i 

gentlemen of the braes (of Lochaber.) . 



Thath, 's b-ann a sin a bha na h-tiaisleann an laidhimh m' oige ; yes, and in that 

W '8 b-ann a shin a Ta na hu-ayaUenn an la'-iv mojg-4 

place it was that there were gentlemen in the days of my youth. 
Ce as a thainig fear liadh na cruite, whence the man grey of the violin. 

oe as a haynig fer fi-a' na arajii 

Thainig a duthaich Mhic C-aoidh-tir Bob-dhuin, came from the district of 

haynig a dn'-kh tio oaoy-tir rab jnynn 

Mackay, the country of Bob-dona 
Tha na speuran a sile gu trom an diugh, the skies are filtering heavily to-day. 

ha na spejran a afl^ ga trome an di-u' 

A sile I tha iad a taomadh, filtering I They are pouring. 

a ahil^ ha i-ahta taoma' 

Cha taomadh e ach fras an aigh, (it is) not a pouring, but a shower genial (good.) 

cha taoma' h ach fras an ah-i' 

Chi mi, air leom, na duilleagan ogadh is milse aineal, I see, as it were, the 
ohi mi ayr le-ome na dnyUa^ og-a' is milsh^y aynel 

young leaves of sweetest breath, 
A fosgladh a billibh maoth le fiamh gaire, opening their tender lips with a 

a foBgla' a Inlliv mao' le fi*av gfiyr^ 

smile (literally, the image of a laugh,) 
Is a toirt dha failte mhin le sanas maighdeannael, and giving him a gentle 

is a toyrt ya fhyllte yinn le tXixiia mSy'-dennel 

welcome, with a whisper maidenly. 

Ob, ob,* mo laochan am bard I a ni boireannaich do na preasan, a bheir billibh 
ob ob mo la-o-ohan am bard a oi boyr-en-ioh do na prossan a yep bill-iT 
maoth do na duilleagan gonna, 's a ni sanas maighdeannel de m mona- 

ma-o' do na dnyllagan gonna s a ni sanas ma-i'-den-el de 'm mon-a- 

mhor cadalacL 
vor eadalaoh 

Ob, ob, my hero the bard ! who makes women of bushes, gives tendet lips to 

blue leaves, and makes a whisper maidenly of their murmur sleepy. 

Rionnag, a star. 


Beul, a planet 


Dubhar-gealaiche, an eclipse of the 

da-vai-gd-aych moon. 

Dubhar^greine, an eclipse of the sun. 


Taladh, attraction, 

Aisil, axle. 


La, day ; oidhche, night. 
la oy'-che 

Gaoth-malairt, trade-winds. 


Lan, flood ; traigh, ebb. 

Lm traigh 

reothart, spring-tide. 


contraigh, neap-tide. 


reultagan, small stars. 


reultan uaireach, na seachranach, comets. 

reyltan n-ayr^eoh sbechranach 

latha,day; seachduin, week; mios, month. 

la'-a shecdid'tiin mios 

raidhe, quarter of a year. 


mios reultail, the lunar month. 

mi-OS reylt-ayl 

mios gealachail, this month is five hours 
mi-OS yel-aoh-ayi longer than the former. 

mios chitmanta, the common month. 

mi-OS chnm-an-ta 

* An ambignout, untranslateable Barcasm. 



Bliadhna ghrianal, the sun year. Diluain-an-t-BhaiDseil, Hanfiel-Monday. 

bli'-na yri-and dile-a-ayn-an-tayn-icyl 

Bliadhna, the common year. Latha-feil-Bride, Candlemas-day. 

bli-a'-na la'-a fejl bride 

Bliadhna leum, the leap-year. Dimairt Inid, ShroTe Tuesday. 

bli-a'-na lejm di-mayrt in-id 

Latha nallaig, Christmas-day. Dirdaoin a bhrochain mhoir, Wednesday 

la'-a nallayg dir-daoyn a yroch-ajn voyr 

Latha coinnle, New-year's-day. of the porridge feast 

la'-a ooyn-le 

On this day there was a branch of mountain-ash dipped in the porridge, 
which was placed over the byre door, to save the cattle from witchcraft. The 
priest encouraged superstition as the great fosterer of religion ; and although 
the Protestant priest does not do so, his ministrations accord, unconsciously, 
with the latent traditions of the primitive pulpit ; for the fundamental doctrines 
of his pulpit oratory are merely those of the Church of Rome, and are no more to 
be found in the Bible than in the Koran, — ^if he make plain common sense bis 
interpreter. The last half of December and first half of January, were called, 
a mhios mharbh, (a vi-os varv) the dead month. The mios faoiltich (mi-os fa- 
oyl-tich) was the first half of January and the first half of March. 

Seachdain feadaig coig-la-deug gerrain, tri latha sguabaig, suas e t-earrach, 

sheohd-aTn fedayg cojg-la-dejg gerrajrn tri la'-a sgu-a-bayg su-aa e tearradi 

are Lochaber sayings on this subject ; but the Bev. Gregor Macgregor, Lismore, 

has &voured me with a sketch which shows that the feadag preceded the 

faoiltich. It also contains the following wise advice : " Be the weather good or 

bad, sow the grain in the month of March, [old style,] that is, before the middle 

of April, new style. The following are the quaint lines on the subject of the 


Feadag, mathair faoiltich fhuair, Feadag, the mother of faoilteach cold, 

fedag ma'-ayr fa-oyl-ioh u-ajr 

Marbhaidh caoirich agus uain ; Kills ewes and lambs, 

manray' cao^rrioh agna a-ayn 

Thig an sm an gearran gearr. Then comes the gearran sharp, 

hig an ain an gerran gerr 

Is ni easan rud nach fearr ; Which will do things that are no better ; 

18 ni esan md nach ferr 

Cuiridh e mart caoileadh am poll. He will put the lean cow in a bog, 

oayri' e mart caojl-e' am poll 

Gus an tig tonn thair a ceann. Until the wave comes over its head. 

gas an tig toon hajr a oenn 

Mr Macgregor places faoilteach in the new style relatively to February, 
and mart, March in the old style. 

Cha tig a mach sa mhart nach d* theid an stigh sa ghiblein. 

oha tig a maoh sa vart nach d-eid an stigh sa yiblen 

What comes out (grass) in March goes in in ApriL 
Latha-caisg, Easter-day. Caingis, Whitsunday. 

la-a' caysg ca-ing-gis 

Latha-Bealtain, first day of May. Latha-feil-Eoin, (St John's day) Mid- 

la'-a beltayn Ja'-a feyl e-oyn summer. 



Latha-feil-MartaiDiiy Martinmas-day. 

la'-a feyl mar-taynn 
Samhain, feil-Bride, Bealtain, and 

sa-vayn fey 1- bride bel-tayn 

Lunasdal, are the beginning of 


the four quarters. 

Lunasdali Lammas, first of August. 


Damhair, (deer-routing) Mid-harvest 


Latha-feil-Michael, St Michael's day, 
la'-a feyl mi-ohd 29th September. 

Latha Samhnadh, Halloween-day. 

la'-a sav-na' 

There was a week only of the feadag and gearran, according to Mr 
Macgregor, and the catlleach^ (kayll-ech) carlin, is represented as sitting on 
the ground, beating it with a mell, to keep down the grass ; and when, in 
defiance of her grim and "vigorous exertions, the grass sprung up all around her, 
she threw away the mell in despair, and vanished into air. Then came the 
day of the aisgean^ when grass became abundant The people of old used to 
say that the furrows should be filled thrice during the faoilteach, — once with 
snow, once with rain water, and once with house-thatch. 
Faoilteach, faoilteach, lamh an crios ; Faoilteach, faoilteach, a hand in the belt ; 

fiiojlteoh faoylteoh lay an ens 

Is mor an fhaoilde bu choir bhi ris ; 

IB mor an aoyl-de ba ohoyr yi ria 

Faoilteach, faoilteach, crobh air theas ; 

finoylteoh faoyltech orov ajr hes 

Gul is gaoir bi daonnan leis. 

gal is gaoyr bi daonnan leys 

Tri latha do'n fhaoilteach san luchar 

Faoilteach, faoilteach, 'tis right to resist 

Faoilteach, &oilteach, cows (racing) in 


Crying and lamentions are often hi& 
Three days of faoilteach in the dog-days ; 

tri la'-a do*n aoylteoh ean i*n-char 

Is tri latha do'n luchar san fhaoilteach. And three days of the dog-days in 

18 tri la'-a' do*n i-a-cbar san aojltech faoilteach. 

Thunder in the afternoon, the thunder 
of plenty, 

Taimeineach an deidh tra neoin, 

taymeTneoh an dey' tra nojn 

Taimeineach an torraidh mhoir, 

tajrnejnedi an torra/ voyr 

Taimeineach roimh thra neoin, 

tajincTnech roj h-ra noyn 

Taimeineach gort is fuachd. 
taynieynech gort u fii-achd 

With these few exercises I have concluded all of this treatise which I 
deemed it necessary to submit to the Header, before introducing him to the Bards, 
that being the main object of the work. 

Thunder in the forenoon, the thunder of 
scarcity and conflict 



It is a fact corroborative of the tradition that Oolumba destroyed all the 
manuscriptB which he found in the great Druid College of lona, (to which the 
Druids fled after the massacre by the Romans at Anglesea,) that the Irish and 
Welsh continued much longer in possession of their ancient manuscripts than 
the Highlanders, whose country was never efiectually subjected and plundered 
by enemies. The barbarous policy of the Norman despots of England ultimately, 
no doubt, robbed tbese countries of their manuscripts; but they were preserved 
in the Tower of London for ages afterwards. Those belonging to Wales were 
destroyed on the occasion of Owen Glendower's rebellion; but those taken 
from b^land, from the systematic and unscrupulous manner in which the Lords 
of the Pale searched for and seized on them wherever they could be found, 
must have been equally numerous. Many of these were carried to England, 
and Lqgan has found no record of their destruction. Indeed, I am of opinion 
that a careful search in the Tower and the seats of learning in England, would 
result in the discovery of many Lish manuscripts, which have escaped destruction. 
In the great library at Stowe, there were many Irish manuscripts, which cannot 
surely have been lost Dr Johnson may not have been aware of these facts, 
for he does not seem to have been devoted to historical or antiquarian re8earche& 
He preferred jumping at conclusions, and enforcing his views on the acquiescence 
of his literary *' tail" in egotistical epigrammatical sentences, as rude as they 
were self-sufficient He was like the pedant to whom it never occurred that all he 
himself did not know would make a very large book ; but who complacently 
expressed his belief that ^' all he knew," and all which his pupils '^ did not Jcnow^ 
would make a very lai*ge book." Johnson may not, therefore, have been aware, 
when he was denouncing the Gaelic as " the rude gibberish of a barbarous 
people, who, as they conceived grossly, were contented to be grossly understood," 
that he wa3 only exposing his ignorance of the subject At the same time, I 
can see no reason to doubt that Johnson, with all his reputed candour and honesty. 


M^as playing false with Macpherson ; for when Macpherson deposited the manu- 
scripts from which his translations were made, with his publishers, and intimated, 
in public advertisements, that they were in their hands, and open to the inspection 
of all who felt any interest in their authenticity, neither Johnson nor any of his 
friends, as we are informed by Sir John Sinclair, ever looked near them. It is 
thus evident that it was not the truth, but a victory over Macpherson, and the 
discrediting of Gaelic literature, that Dr Johnson wanted. The advertisement 
referred to, has recently been copied in Cassells's newspaper. It is signed by 
Macpherson's publishers, and could not have escaped the Doctor's notice ; but, at 
any rate. Sir James Macintosh and Lord Macaulay, who denounced Macpherson 
as an impostor, cannot be acquitted of dishonesty, on the ground of ignorance. 
These historians must have been aware that it was a policy systematically 
adopted, and ruthlessly pursued for ages, by the kings of England, to seize on 
all tiie manuscripts that could possibly be found by their generals, in Ireland 
and Wales, and that a vast mass of these manuscripts had been at one time 
accumulated in the Tower of London. They must also have known the facts 
about Macpherson's manuscripts and the advertisment by his publishers, inviting 
an inspection, and that the Highland Society afterwards published the poems 
from these very manuscripts. Nay more, they must have been aware of the 
massacre of the Welsh bards by Edward the First, and of the cruel penal 
enactments passed against the bards of Ireland by the Lords of the Pale, as 
well as those which stain the statute books of Scotland, as passed against the 
bards of the Highlands, by the Scoto-Irish usurpers of feudalism in Scotland. 
Indeed, the bards were subjected to the most cruel persecution, not only by all 
the despots of the British, but also by the worst despots of the Boman empire. 
Had Gaelic poetry been a mere tissue of disjointed ribbald rhymes, and 
the bards mere scribblers, — in short, had Celtic poetry not been a great fact, 
and even omnipotent in its influence over the spirit of patriotism and independence, 
of people struggling against invasion and usurpation ; — ^had the bards not been 
regarded as the last and greatest enemies of tyranny and despotism ; — the worst 
and most cruel sovereigns that ever sat upon the thrones of Bome, England, and 
Scotland, never could have risked, even in the most savage ages, the odium of 
practising the atrocities to which they had been subjected in Anglesea, Wales, 
Ireland, and Scotland. Hence Sir James Macintosh and Lord Macaulay, when 
stating that Gaelic poetry of any merit never had any existence, and that the 
Poems of Ossian were an imposture and a fraud, were stating what they must 
have known substantially to'be false. They were historians, and had access to 
historical evidence which proves, beyond all doubt, that Gaelic poetry was a 
great fact, hateftd alike to the Boman invader of Britain, the Norman invader 
of Wales and Ireland, and to the usurpers of feudal powers in Scotland. That 
the bards were subjected to persecution and massacre, and their poems to the 
dungeon or the flames, because they were the deadly enemies of feudal despotism, 
and kept alive in the hearts of mankind the love of their ancient rights and 
liberties, are historical facts, which speak volumes as to the merit of their poetry 
and its influence on the people. In consequence of the systematic destruction 


of the works of the Celtic bards, by the enemies of the independence of the 
Celtic clans, Logan believes the Black Book of Caermarthen, written in the 
sixth century, to be the oldest Celtic manuscript now in existence. In this 
however, he is mistaken, ''Leabhar nan Ceart,^' &c., being still in existence 
in Ireland. 

The Druidal orders were, according to Marcellinus, formed into societies, 
who devoted themselves to the investigation of matters of divine and hidden 
import, and confidently affirmed that the souls of men are immortal. The 
different societies referred to by Marcellinus, were the Druids, the Bards, and 
the EuBHATES* These names being descriptive, in accordance with the genius 
of the language, supply the place of records, in defining the difierent depart- 
ments of Druid literature. Let us, then, resolve each of these names into its 
primitive elements or roots, that we may clearly ascertain the meaning of it — 
for alleged synonymous words, jumped at haphazard, as if it did not signify a 
single pin whether they originaUy meant "preserving or pickling," will not do 
in an inquiry like this. 

Druidh is compounded of the roots dru^ to absorb or eliminate, and agh^ 
good, pronounced a'. His duty, therefore, was to search for good, and to eliminate 
and render it available. Bard is compounded of hiik^ life, pronounced it, and 
ard^ higL His duty, therefore, was to elevate the lives of the people. Eubhates 
is compounded of eXbh^ proclaim, pronounced eyv^ and aiuaa^ joy, pronounced 
ayUa. His duty, therefore, was to proclaim the joyous discoveries of the Druid 
to the people. There is no ambiguity or mystery here. The Dnrid was devoted 
to the study of natural science ; and his traditional character in the Highlands 
shows that the good he discovered from the study, was faithfully eliminated 
and made available for the benefit of the people : " Close as is a flag [stone] to 
the earth, is the succour of Covi,"* (the Arch-Druid,) says the proverb. The 
correctness of this view is confirmed by Marcellinus, who describes them as 
*' deeply considering Nature, attempting to discover the highest arcana, and 
laying open its most sacred workings ;" and as confidently affirming, fi*om the 
analogies afforded by their researches, that '' the souls of men are immortaL" 
To elevate or exalt the character of the people, as his name implies, was the 
duty of the Bard, and as this could best be done by cultivating their hearts, he 
applied to that purpose the most unfailing of all means, poetry and music ; but 
as man cannot be exalted in his character, unless his morals are cultivated, 
fiction was strictly forbid to the Gkielic bard. His subject must be substantially 
true, but in the treatment of it he ,was left to his feelings and his genius. The 
Eubhates, or proclaimers of joy, as their name implies, were the preachers among 
the Druid orders. The creation, and God*s manifest design in the creation, as 
indicated by Nature and the laws whereby Nature is governed, were their bible 
and testament^ and their names for God and the soul, and for good and bad 

* Gobhith, pronoonoed Go-vi, is oomponnded of the roots, co^ who or what, and M(A, (bi') life, 
the name impliea that Biology waa the study of the Arch-Draid. Hia names for God, the soul, the 
g«M>d, the bad, show, so fiur, the saooess of his researohes. He does not represent God as a being of 
almighty power with the passions and failings of a man. 


men, shpw that they did not render theology sabservient to priestcraft. Their 
name, e{hh-<dtesy shows what was the object of their mission, namely, to proclaim 
foy, or joyous tidings to the people ; and joy indeed it was to demonstrate from 
the scheme revealed by God through Nature, which cannot lie, and the laws 
whereby Nature is governed, that He is almighty in power and infinite in 
wisdom, and that His wisdom and power have been put forth to reveal to man 
such a scheme of infinite benevolence as can leave no doubt on any rational mind, 
that every being endowed with reason, by conforming in his character and con- 
duct to that scheme of benevolence, must be happy both here and hereafter. 

The course of the '^ Bardic study" says Logan, ^' was long and arduous : so 
rigid was the term of probation, that the education of a student, in the science 
of druidism, was not completed in a shorter period than twenty years, during 
which time he was obliged to commit to memory twenty thousand verses ; but 
Chambray, the Celtic professor at Paris, says the number for those of the high- 
est class, was not less than sixty thousand. In later ages, as we learn fix>m Irish 
authorities, the time occupied in acquiring the necessary bardic instruction, wae 
twelve years, three of which was devoted to each of the four principal branches 
of poetry. The Irish Oirfidigh, or musical order, was, in like manner, classified, 
taking tiieir names from the instruments on which they played, the cruitirich, 
the cirterigh, the tiampanich, the cuilleanaich, &c. The whole of these, how- 
ever, went under the general name of Fillidhiach, or Minstrelsy. Giraldus 
Cambrensis, who wrote in the beginning of llie twelfth century, gives the 
following lively and characteristic description of Irish music : — '* It is in the 
cultivation of instrumental music that I consider the proficiency of this people 
to be worthy of commendation; and in this their skill is, beyond aU com^ 
parison, above that of any nation I have ever seen ; for llieirs is not the slow 
and heavy style of melody, like that of the instrumental music of Britain to 
which we are accustomed, but rapid and abrupt^ yet, at the same time, sweet 
and pleasing in its efiect It is wonderful how in such precipitate rapidity of 
the fingers, the musical proportions are preserved, and, by their art, faultless 
throughout, in the midst of the most complicated modulation and most intricate 
arrangement of notes, by a velocity so pleasing, a regularity so diversified, a 
concord so discordant, the harmony is expressed and the melody perfected ; and 
whether a passage or transition is performed in sequence of fourths or fifths, 
(by a diatesseran or a diapente) it is always begun in a soft and delicate 
manner, and ended in the same, so that all may be perfected in the sweetness 
of delicious sounds. They enter on, and again leave their modulations with so 
much Bubtilty, and the vibrations of the smaller strings of the treble sport with 
so much articulation and brilliancy along with the deep notes of the bass ; they 
delight with so much delicacy, and soothe so charmingly, that the greatest 
excellency of then: art appears in the perfect concealment of the means by which 
it is accomplished." — " In the opinion of many, however, Scotiand has not only 
attained to the excellence of Ireland, but has, in musical science and execution, 
far surpassed her, in so much that it is to that countiy they now resort who 
wish to attain proficiency in music, as the genuine source of the art." 


The above was written in the beginning of the twelfth century, while the 
people of Ireland and Scotland were yet sunk in ragged misery, filth, and 
barbarity, before that enlightened and civilizing myth of penny-a-line creation, — 
the Saxon, — ^had brought every thing beautiful, enlightened, great and lovely, to 
spread intelligence and happiness over these rude and benighted countries! 
Let those who assert that Italy is the source of this divine art, try if they can 
quote fix)m any Latin or Italian work of the twelfth century, such a proof of the 
civilization of the Boman and his Italian descendants, as the above paragraph 
furnishes of the civilization of the barbarous Celtic nations of Ireland and 
Scotland in that age. 

Extraordinary honours were paid to the Bards, who thus elevated the 
lives of the people. Their persons were inviolable, their houses sanctuaries, 
their lands and flocks carefully protected. Compare this to the estimation in 
which the poet and his productions are held in this ^par excellence age of 
civilization, and there can remain no doubt that the Celtic race of the twelfth 
century were regular savages ! " As those who entered the order were of un- 
blemished character, they were eminent in the practice of the virtues they 
inculcated." " Within this bosom there is a voice,'' says the blind bard of Selma 
— *^ it comes not to other ears — ^that bids Ossian succour the helpless in their hour 
of need." In the same poem he expresses other sentiments, equally noble and 
magnanimous. "Tour fathers have been foes," he says to two unfriendly warriors; 
" but forget their enmity, — ^it was the cloud of other years." And Fingal, who is 
celebrated for his poetry, often expresses similar sentiments. " None," he calmly 
says to his grandson, Oscar, ^' none ever went sad from Fingal — my hand never 
injured the weak, nor my steel the feeble in arms. Oscar, bind the strong, but 
spare the feeble hand. Be thou a sea of many tides against the foes of the 
people, but like the gale that moves the grass to those who seek thine aid. So 
Trenmor lived, such Trathel was, and such has Fingal been. My arm was the 
support of the injured, — ^the weak rested behind my steel." In the denounced, 
and all but proscribed, Macpherson's Ossian, are to be found the most generous, 
the most heroic, and the most tender and benevolent sentiments ever uttered by 
bard. Beautiful, indeed, is the civilization of the people that could allow them- 
selves to be prejudiced against such poetry 1 

The Boman emperors and the English and Scottish kings, as already 
mentioned, passed atrociously penal enactments against the Bards, who have 
ever been the friends of liberty, and the deadly foes of all despotism. Under 
the pretext of putting down a mischievous superstition, the former struck at 
the Bards, through the Druids, and subjected both themselves and their wives 
and children to an indiscriminate massacre in Anglesey Similar massacres of 
the Bards were committed by the kings of England, both in Ireland and Wales ; 
and the following, among many similar enactments, shows that the feudal kings 
of Scotland treated those of the Bards who adventured within the Lowland 
Pale, in a similar spirit ; for in Scotland, as well as in Ireland, the feudal kings 
and their laws were happily kept for ages within a Pale, or circuit, beyond 
which the rights and liberties of the people were conserved, — although the 



feudal historians of both countries, taking no accounts of the clans or people, 
assume that those of Ireland were conquered, and those of the Highlands sub- 
jected. That Ireland was not conquered, is shown in a small work by Spenser, 
published in London, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Until Ulster was colonized 
by King James the First, the Irish maintained their patriarchal local goTem- 
mentfi; and the Highlanders maintained theirs down to the period of the 
disastrous battle of CuUoden. In the reign of James IL of Scotland, it was 
enacted that '^ Gif there be ony that inakis them fuiles, and are bairdes, they 
be put in the king's waird, or in his irons, for their trespasses, as lang as they 
have onie gudes of thair awin to live upon ; that thair ears be nailed to the trone 
or till ane uther tree, and thair ears cutted off and banished the cuntrie." The 
banishment of the ears, after being '^ cutted off," was surely very cruel I By a 
statute of James YI. in 1579, those who were gamesters, tale-tellers, &a, 
and not in special service of lords of parliament or boroughs, as their common 
minstrels, were to be scourged, and burnt through the ear with a red-hot iron. 
Yet the son and other descendants of this heartless king, when dethroned and 
distressed, engaged the sympathies of Ian Lom, AUastair M'Mhaighstear, 
Allaster, Bob Donn, and others, whose spirit-stirring effusions were the very 
soul of their cause, both in the Highlands and in the Lowlands. 

Although the Bards ceased to exist as an order, on the extinction of the 
Druids, they continued to flourish, and to have great power and influence m 
Scotland as a class, down to the period at which the kings of the Scots or 
Scuits succeeded to the supreme authority over the Pfcts or Caledonians, as 
well as the Britons of Strathclyde. The kings of the Caledonian and Briton 
clans, down to that period, were merely war-chiefs ; but after that date, the 
ceanncaths of Scoto-Irish descent assumed the style of kings. The Bards 
are never afterwards heard of as ofScers of the Scottish court, excepting when 
the ceremonial of the coronation rendered it necessary for the king of the Scots 
to conciliate the Caledonians or Picts, by having his title to the throne proved 
by the rehearsal of his pedigree tiirough Caledonian chie&, by the Bard. The 
Albanic duan, repeated at the coronation of Malcolm II. is not in the dialect 
of the Caledonians, but in that of the Scoto-Irish or Earse. Nevertheless, 
the historians of Scotland quote it as Gaelic ; but the fact is, that the historians 
of Scotland knew nothing of the dialect either of the Caledonians or Scoto-Irish. 
They considered it much more necessary to be acquainted with Greek and 
Latin, and the records of Greece and Rome, than with either the Gaelic or 
Earse, or the poems and tales which constituted the more truthful records of the 
people whose history they presumed to write. Hence the history of Scotland, 
down to the days of feudalism, has been written, in effect, on the authority of 
foreign writers, totally unacquainted with the language and records of the 
people, and whose self-evident contradictions are sufficient to destroy their 
authority in the estimation of every person predisposed to consult their works 
with impartiality, intelligence, and judgement. And from the days of feudalism 
down to the present day, the history of Scotland has been founded on feudal 
enmity, and the consequent misrepresentation of all who did not humbly submit 


to the usurpation by the crown of despotic power over the lands, rights, and 
liberties of the people. Hence, the readers of the history of Scotland will look 
in vain in that history for anything calculated to throw light on the social condi- 
tion of the people of Scotland, previously to the inU'oduction of feudalism. Nor 
does that history detail as it should, the step-bynstep means by which feudalism 
-was insidiously substituted amongst the Scottish Lowlandens for their apparently 
semi-patriarchalism ; or the obstinate stand which the Caledonian clans made 
against that barbarous despotism, or the " wild justice'* with which they retaliated 
on their oppressors in extreme cases. And since feudalism assumed the ascend- 
ancy in the Lowlands, the Highland clans have been literally ignored as a 
people in the history of Scotland, and their organized and systematic opposition 
to the despotism whose object was to defraud them of their lands, rights, and 
liberties, represented as '' rebellion against the Lord's anointed." Such, in 
effect, is the manner in which the people of Scotland are treated by the so-called 
history of their country. 

There is no question in which history more uniformly agrees with tradition, 
than that which assigns an Irish origin to the colony of Dalriada or Erraghall. 
Eochaid, who brought that colony from Erin, is called Eochaid Beuda, This 
addition to his name {Re^ida)^ appears to me to be a mere misspelling of reite^ 
which would mean Eochaid of the treaty of peace. Now, Bede, and a Latin 
author (whose name I for the moment forget) mention, that Eochaid, had entered 
into a regular treaty with the Caledonians. Dalriada or Erraghall seems to 
have been assigned to the Scots by this treaty as their place of arms. As all 
Graelic words are descriptive, let us see what light the etymon of these names 
are capable of throwing on this subject. Dal^ in the Gothic dialect, which I 
hold to have been that of the Scots, Belgs, Anglo-Saxons, &c., of Ireland and 
England, means a part, or district ; riade is presumed to be merely the Qothic 
spelling of Eochaid's additional name of retVe, or, of the peace. Dalriada, in the 
Gothic dialect, therefore means the district of Epchaid of the peace. Erra^ 
again, means a part or district, in the Gaelic of the Caledonians, and galU a 
stranger; Erraghall, therefore means the stranger's part or district And in 
point of fact, the Scot was never called by any other name than Oall^ by the 
Caledonian, from the day he landed in Kintyre until this day, when his descend- 
ants occupy the whole Lowlands of Scotland. Hepce, if it be the Scot or Gall 
who landed at Kintyre under Eochaid Reite, that now occupy the glens and 
mountains of the Highlands, and not the Caledonians, who assigned to them 
that district under a treaty, this is the first instance in the history of the 
world in which the aboriginal people of a country have been replaced by 
strangers in their mountain fastnesses. 

How the Firbolg or Belgs, who occupied the whole Lowlands of England, 
ages before Caesar crossed the Channel, the Scoto-Irish, and Walense Britons, who, 
together with the Cruine of Galloway, originally of Ulster, conquered and 
colonized the Boman province, from the Clyde to Stamford in England, as well 

* See ** The GaledoDiAng and Scots, or the Highlanders and Lowlandert of Scotland," a lecture 
delivered before the Young Men's Literary and Scientific Association of Oban, by D. Oampbel], lat« 
Lieutenant 57th Begiment. Edinburgh, London, and Publin. 


as the CaledoDians w&o occupied die south-east part of Scotland, from the Firth 
of Forth by the Catrail to Berwick, afterwards became Anglo-Saxons, would 
puzzle any other writers to explain, excepting the Scottish historians of the 
dark ages, and the penny-a-liners of this enlightened age of manufacturers 
and weavers. 

But, disqualified as these feudal writers must have been to write the history 
of peoples whose language and records they did not understand, it is difficult to 
believe that it was not more from design than ignorance that they introduced 
the Anglo-Saxon myth into the histories of England and Scotland ; be that 
as it may, the myth has introduced a brave confusion into pedigrees, and made 
kindred peoples lose sight of the history of their fraternal origin. The Catnul, 
(formed from the combination of the roots, cath^ war or battle, and trial, journey 
or path, the war-path) from Penvahl, by Galashiels, &c. to Berwick, divided 
the Caledonians on the south of the Frith of Forth from their neighbours on 
the west and south ; a line from Penvahl to the head of Lochetive, between 
the sources of the waters that ran in contrary directions, and by Lochetive 
and Lochlinne, to the Irish Channel, divided them from the Britons (Walenses) 
and Scoto-Irish on the north of the Frith of Forth ; and a similar line of ditches 
and ramparts as the Catrail, or war-path, drawn from the head of Lochryan by 
Kempshill, near Sanquhar, through Nithsdale, and along the south side of the 
river by South Mains and Carlisle, which can still be traced, divided the Cruitfani 
or Caledonians of Galloway (originally of Ulster) from their neighbours. 

Beasoning from analogy, there must also have been an intrenchment 
between the Scoto-Irish and their neighbours on the south of the Clyde. To 
corroborate this view, I may state, that traces of such a war-p^th are still 
visible near Dalmellington, not fiu: from the scene of the battle fought between 
Alpin, the ceanncath or war-chief of the Scoto-Irish (called king by feudal 
writers) and the Caledonians of Galloway and Britons of Strathclyde, in which 
Alpin lost his life. I have not had an opportunity of tracing this war-path to 
a length sufficient to instruct a boundary, but have no doubt this may yet 
be done.* With these war-paths^alone before their eyes, marking distinctly the 
warUke boundaries between the districts of the separate clans or peoples who 
divided the Boman province south of the firths of Scotland between them, it is 
difficult to ascribe to ignorance the romance that would make the Caledonians 
south of the Frith of Forth, the Scoto-Irish, the Brito- Walenses, and the Gallo- 
wegian Cruithni of the Lowlands of Scotland, and the Belgians or Firbolg, (men 
of tiie quiver) ancient Britons, and Roman progeny of the Lowlands of England, 
Anglo-Saxons. And it is still more difficult to see how the Caledonians ot the 
glens and mountains of Albin can be made Scoto-Irish, especially as the 
difibrence between the Scoto-Irish and both the Caledonians and so-called 
Anglo-Saxons, in language, manners, and customs, continued not only distinct 
but irreconcilable, firom the day that Eochaid Keite (or Eochaid of the peace) 
and his Scots landed at Eintyre, until the last oi his representatives in Scotland 
ascended the throne (^England. 

* M 7 mndi «8l«em«d friend. Mr Patenon, in the new edition of his Tnlvnble and moEt interettiBg 
kbIoiT of ** Aynhire Fnauliee/' will irery lilLely throw wome light on the isbject. 


The Anglo^-Saxon romance has introduced a singular confusion into the 
pedigree of the peoples of Scotland and England ; and a similar confusion has 
been introduced, no doubt with the same object, into the pedigrees of the Cale- 
donian clans of Lethcuin and the Firbolg, or Milesian clans of the other half or 
Leth-ugain-mhoir of Ireland ; — '^ Divide and conquer" being an adage as well 
known to, and as cunningly acted on by, the feudal usurper as the Roman con- 
queror ; and it must be confessed that the clans offered the very best materials 
for such a policy, being equally slow to suspect treachery, and quick in resenting 
it, whether in friend or foe. The descendants* of Conn of the hundred battles 
had, by these means, been made to believe themselves to be of Milesian de- 
scent, although the history of Ireland clearly shows that it was the southern 
clans of Ireland that weie of Spanish descent: for, when reduced to an 
extremity, as the learned and candid editor of Cambrensis Eversus shows, 
Eugaine Mor, their ceanncath, went personally to the mother country Spain, 
where he received such reinforcements as enabled him, not only to maintain 
the southern clans in their half of Ireland, but also to turn the defensive into 
an offensive war, and to establish one of his clans in Ulster and another in Ein- 
tyre. Both these colonies were established by Eochaid, and under the same 
name, spelt by historians, Dalriada or Dalreada. As all Graelic names are 
descriptive, and the southern and northern Irish were of the same Celtic race, 
and have ever spoke cognate dialects of the same language, this name, by being 
reduced to its roots, has thrown some light on the subject Although the 
learned editor of Cambrensis Eversus has thrown much light on the work of Dr 
Lynch, much still requires explanation ; and I trust that he will yet apply his 
able pen to the illustration of all that is obscure in that valuable book. One 
great cause of the obscurity or confusion in this and other learned works on the 
histoiy of Ireland, as of writers on the history of Scotland, seems to have arisen 
from the ignorance of modem writers of the important fact, that, down to the 
date of feudal charters, or rather to the establishment of the feudal system in 
Europe, surnames were unknown. The chiefs of the clans, Gothic (as I must 
call some of the peoples for distinction) as well as Celtic, were elected, and the 
cearmcath or war-chief was elected out of each clan in successioa The clan, 

* It is a singTiIar circumstance, and shows that there was no want of method in the means whereby 
the cadets of noble families preserved evidence of their pedigree, that the tartans of the M'Callums, the 
Qnns, Hacraes, ftc., show that they are of the same pedigree with the Campbells. I have not had time 
to extend my researches on this subject so fiu as to entitle me to give a decided opinion, but I am firm in 
this belief, and would strongly advise some of the Highland Societies to appoint a committee to investi- 
gate a question which promises very interesting results. Such an inquiiy should embrace the antiquity 
of the leading daa-tartana, and on the state of the manufacturing arts among the Highland Olans at the 
probable date of their invention. Mr Hair, the most successful manufacturer of fancy tartans Sn 
Paisley, told me that nothing could be more perfect in colour and pattern than the ancient dan-tartan ; 
that he felt convinced, however great his success, and however often he was complimented on the 
subject, that he never improved in a single instance on the original pattern from which his fancy tartans 
were a variety. If manufacturing skill, therefore, be any criterion of civilization, in what state of 
civilization were the mothers of the Highland clans, whose home manufactures it has defied the most 
spirited manufacturer in the most spirited manufacturing town in Scotland, to exceed, either for the 
elegance of the pattern or the harmony of the coburs. Surely the penny-«rline historians of Highland 
ignorance and barbiaity, have been veiy remiss in not finding some heavy-headed Fleming ancestors for 
tiie tartans, as well as for the Douglasses and other old and noble Scottish familie9 ! 


although always known by one hereditary name, was locally called by the name 
of the chief for the time ; and the confederation, though it retained one character- 
istic name, was locally called after the name of the ceanncath for the tinae, in 
the same way in which Greek and Boman armies were called by the name of 
the general-in-chief, and the different divisions of them by the names of the 
officers by whom they were respectively commanded. Hence the clan that was 
called by one name, under one chief, was called by other names, under another 
chief. It was the same with the confederation. The Macdonalds, before 
assuming that surname, were called by the proper names of different chiefs, 
Siol Uistein, Siol Ghillidh-bride, Siol Ghuthraidh, &c. &c. ; but they were still 
known by the name of their original ancestor Conn ; and so with the Camerons, 
Campbells, &c. &c. The southern confederation of the clans of Ireland were 
called Scuit or Scots, seven hundred years before the Christian era. The same 
name occurred again and again at long intervals. It was the same with the 
Firbolgs or Belgs. Ignorance of this custom has led to much confusion, and 
makes Irish historians of modem times represent their country as the subject of 
an endless succession of invasions and conquests by armies, which come* nobody 
knows whence, and go nobody knows where ; when the only invasion and con- 
quest seem to have been the peaceful succession of one ceanncath, who gave 
his name to the confederation, to another whose name died with him, at least 
for the time. Who, for instance, can make sense of the following note by the 
above learned editor, without the above explanation ? but with that explanation 
it becomes intelligible. 

'^ Without intending to deny positively,'' says the learned and candid 
editor of Cambrensis E versus, ^* that an Eirimonian, named Eugaine Mor, may 
have preceded Labhraidh Loingseach, the first Eirimonian king, by some 
years, and conquered these fair districts, which always have been the first 
seized by invaders," namely, Louth, Meath, Dublin, Eildare, Carlow, Kilkenny, 
Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick, Roscommon, Sligo, Down, and Antrim, the 
fat of the land, and the most accessible to invaders ; '^ I would fix the real 
origin of the Eirimonian power in Ireland at the invasion of Labhraidh 
Loingseach, A. C. 89, 63. According to tradition, Labhraidh came from Gaul, 
and as Lemster and Connaught, which anciently included a large portion of 
Meath province, were, according to all authorities and Charles O'Conor's map, 
the principal seat of the Firbolg or Belgse, it is but natural to conclude that 
Labhraidh's followers were the Belgaa, who had long been in possession of the 
south of Britain and the greater part of Gaul. But here a great difficulty 
arises : what are we to think of the colony of Belgse which, under the conduct 
of Slainghe, seized Ireland even before the Tuatha de Dananns ?" " Now, in 
forming his opinion here, the reader must remember that Ireland was divided 
into five provinces by Slainghe, and a similar division was made by the 
Eirimonian Eochaidh Feidleach, nearly contemporary with king Labhraidh 
Loingseach ; Srdly, that, according to Keating, the Firbolgs, who had been 
expelled by the Tuatha de Dananns, suddenly return to Ireland, no one knows 
how, after more than a iJiouaand years, and acquire lands in Leinster and 


Connaught, at the very time when the pentarchy was revived by Eochaidh 
Feidleach ; 4thly, that the best soldiers of the great Eirimonian, Cormac Mac 
Art, and of his father and son, were Firbolg, and that he found a retreat from 
enemies among the Connaught Belgse ; 5thly, that the Firbolg Gamonradii are 
expressly styled the ' great Milesians ;' finally, that the soldiers of the three 
CoUas, who destroyed the palace of Eomania, and conquered the greater part 
of larian Ulster, were all Belgse. These may be only coincidences in the 
history of the traditionary Firbolgs of Slainghe, with the historic invasion of 
Labhraidh Loingseach ; but they are coincidences sufficiently strong to justify 
great doubts of the former, especially as Dr 0*Conor admits, in another place, 
that some of the best authorities do not mention the first colony of Firbolgs. 
Moreover, nothing is more common in merely traditional history than an 
inversion of dates and events. When the conquering Belgse and the conquered 
had been amalgamated into one people, and began, after some centuries, to 
digest their history, it would not be unprecedented in bardic story, to find them 
ante-dating, by some thousand years, the Firbolg invasion, — an event which 
occurred shortly before the commencement of the Christian era, and adopting €is 
their own the genealogy of another race settled with them in Ireland. Thus, 
because the Romans, who conquered Britain, were descended from iEneas, the 
Britons soon discovered that their own ancestor, Britus, belonged to the same 
family. And, when about the middle of the fourteenth century, nearly all the 
rural strong-bownians had adopted Irish names and the Irish dress, they found 
no difficulty in tracing their origin to Milesian, or to any stock but the English, 
though the cpntinued presence of the English power in Ireland, and the constant 
influx of the English blood, must have counteracted powerfully the process of 
amalgamation, and the general adoption of the Milesian ideas. I think it 
manifest, from Irish history, that, if new Irish colonies had not been planted in 
the country in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the term ^ Saxon/ or 
' Englishman,' or ^ Norman,' would have been, long since, even in the baronial 
halls of the Butlers, the Burkes, and the Fitzgeralds, as opprobrius an epithet as 
' Firbolg' ever was in the ancient raths and cathirs of the so-called Eirimonian 
nobles." " But there are two means of explaining how Firbolg and Eirimonian, 
though really the same race, might not have been distinguished : by admitting 
that, at difierent intervals, from A. C. 300 cir. colonies of Belgae may have 
landed in Ireland from Britain or Gaul, but that they were subdued (conquered) 
by the great Belgic colony in the year A C. 83, 69, or, what appears to me a 
more probable supposition, that the Beiges of Leath-Ouin, that is, the race of 
Crimthan, AD. 79, gradually extended their conquests over their kindred in 
Connaught and Leinster, during the course of the three following centuries, and 
that thus the conquered Belgae of Leinster and Connaught came to be regarded 
as Firbolgs, while the conquerors were metamorphized into Eirimonians. But 
however these matters may be explained, no advocate for the antiquity of the 
Eirimonian colonizing can explain how it happened that Tighemac could not 
find a regular succession of Eirimonian kings before the Christian era, though 
be gave a list of Irians from the foundation of Omania, A.C. 305, 226." 


The foUowiDg were the qualificaiioiis required for the different ranks of the 
order of the Bards. The FocalaOy being the youngest student, was required 
to repeat twenty historical poems and tales. The Macfuinni, forty tales : the 
Doe, fifty ; the Canaith, also fifty ; the Clith, one hundred and seventy compoei- 
tioDS ; the Ollamh, three hundred and fift^ ; the Aos-dona, an equal number. 
The Aos-dona led the Bards and Minstrels into the circle; but when the 
meetiDg was formed, all were on a footing of perfect equality. Saint Columba 
and St Benean were both bards, the former apparently the aos-dona or chief-bard 
of Ireland, for he returned there after the settlement at lona as referee in a 
serious dispute between the king of Ireland and the Bards. The Fillidh, or 
minstrel gra^e, were all of the order and rank of the Barda The minstrels played 
on all kinds of instruments, but the Bards only on the harp, which was considered 
as the higher musical instrument The Fillidhean became Christians under the 
influence of Saint Patrick, and aided, or rather formed, the baud of choristera 
in the Irish cathedrals, and added much to the impressiveness and acceptability 
of the Christian service in the public estimation. Thus, when the Druid 
religion gradually yielded to Christianity in Ireland, the minstrel branch of the 
bardic institution was preserved and fostered by the Culdees, who considered 
it more politic to accomplish what they of course considered a great object, by 
''wisely retaining many of its established superstitions" These words are 
Logan*8, not mine, for I have been unable to discover that the Druids employed 
superstitious devices to influence the people. Indeed, it cannot be conceived 
that natural theology, which admits of and requires being demonstrated, could 
be inculcated by superstition, like religions which must play on men's feelings, 
because they cannot appeal either to natural science or common sense. The 
Irish, like the Welsh bardic institution, had its triennial celebration, where an 
august meeting of the order assembled, to regulate all matters connected with 
the profession. These assemblies, although presided over by a king or prince, 
were assemblies of the people, and in which every motion was carried by a 
majority of all present The last of these meetings on record in Ireland, took 
place in 1792, the object of which was to revive the periodical meetings (for 
some years discontinued) for perpetuating the '' music, poetry, and oral traditions" 
of Ireland. Mr Dugan, whose memory deserves to be respected, offered in 1778 
two munificent prizes to performers on the harp ; but only two competed at the 
meeting. This sorrowful decline of an order associated with all their high and 
holy feelings, roused the dormant patriotism of Ireland ; and a society was 
formed for supporting a professor and students, in the year 1807, but it has 
not met with the encouragement it deserved. 

In Wales, we find that Anuren, a prince of the Ottadini, and others 
illustrious for rank and patriotism, gloried more in their bardic qualifications 
than nobility of rank. King Cadwaladir, about 670, presided at a meeting 
assembled for the purpose of hearing the Bards reciting old compositions, and 
also their own productions. These meetings were called Eisted-vodas. They 
are continued in Wales, (to the honour, be it stated, of the Ancient Britons) to 
this day. The Druids having disappeared before the Culdees, the Bards were 


no longer an organized order under collegiate discipline, and became the 
creatures of the Church, less strict in their morals. Hence, Gruffadd and his 
'* Gaelic Mends'' laid down rules at this meeting of 670, to correct abuses, 
and introduce improvements in Celtic poetry and music, and for regulating 
the mode of competition, qualification cf candidates, &c. ; " the proper obser- 
vance of which was expected to restore discipline among the Bards, and to 
perpetuate the true history of transactions ;*' the Bards having become less strict 
in adhering to the truth in their poetry. Accordmgly, at the above meeting, 
we find that invention (which was not permitted by the Druids) was declared 
punishable by fine and imprisonment ; and the like penalty was exacted for 
mockery, derision, or undeserved censure. Byhs ap Gruffiidd, prince of South 
Wales, gave a magnificent entertainment to King Henry II., when a large 
assemblage of Bards attended, and received a confirmation of all their franchises. 
Similar meetings have been held at various times and places, sometimes by 
royal summons, and at others by the nobility. Henry YIIL issued a com- 
mission for one to be held at Caerwys, ^ for the purpose of instituting order 
and government among the professors of poetry and music, and regulating 
their art and profesedon, according to the old statute of Grufiudd ap Cynan, 
prince of Aberfiraw.'* Queen Elizabeth appointed another to assemble at the 
same place. In 1792, ^' a congress of the Bards of the Isles of Britain," was held 
on Primrosehill, near London, with the view of restoring druidal mythok^ and 
bardic learning," according to the Grentieman*s Magazine, L. xiL ^nce then, the 
Cynuodorian Society has given frequent eistid-vodas in the metropolis, and, as 
already stated, they are held periodically in Wales. The kindred people of 
Bas Bretagne have lately been desirous of a similar convention, and I hope, 
from what I have recently heard from a Welsh gentleman, that at no distant 
date, arrangements will be made by the literati of that spirited Principality to 
have a gathering of the remnant of the Bards from aJl countries, in some 
central locality, to revive andent customs, and renew ancient ties and associa- 
tions among tiie now scattered, but still attached and warm-hearted remnants of 
the gresft Celtic claiffi. 

The historical value of Celtic poetry is proved by the fact, that a poem of 
the bard Talicsen, who lived anno 540, and which described the death of King 
Arthur, and the place of his interment-, was repeated to Henry IL, about the 
year 1187. The King, to test the historical value of the poem, ordered a search 
to be made for King Arthur's tomb, in the churchyard of Glastonbury ; and 
there it was found and identified, in the presence and to the satisfaction of the 
King 1 A similar discovery was made by the recitation by a harper of a duan 
on Cathgarbha, where Oscar and Cairbear both fell, in which an account is given 
of the burial of King Conan, a provincial chief or king, who fell also there. 
The Irish Academy, to verify the bardic record, had the spot excavated, when 
the grave was found as described in the song. According to tradition, Cohmal, 
(pronounced Cole) the father of Fingal, fell in Ayrshire, in a battie fought 
between himself and Momi, the father of Gaul, who was supported by a clan 
of the Britons of Strathclyde. The grave being pointed out by tradition, the late 


Bev. Dr Memes, then Sector of the Ayr Academy, and other gentlemen, had 
it opened, when it was found to verify Ossian's description. The nm contain* 
ing the ashes of the ancient hero, was surrounded and covered by ** four grey 
stones," and completely answered the description of the bard. The report of 
this discovery went the round of the newspapers thirty years ago. Ronald 
Glas of Keppoch, having estranged his clan, by accepting or declaring his 
intention to accept a feudal charter of the clan district, was killed by a family 
of the name of Clan-Dughail, whom he deeply and treacherously injured. 
The clan declined to interfere ; but the celebrated bard, Ian Lorn, determined 
to punish the murderers of his chieftain, obtained a warrant for their apprehen- 
sion from the Privy Council, which they eluded for. a considerable time ; but 
they were at length taken by surprise by a party obtained by the bard from his 
chief. Sir James Macdonald, in a block-house, which they defended until it was 
set in fire over their heads, when, being compelled to rush out, they were 
overpowered and killed. As the warrant required that they should be pro- 
duced '' dead or alive" in Edinburgh, their heads were cut off and sent there, 
and their bodies buried in a sand-hill in the vicinity. The late Dr Smith of 
Fort-William, who was very sceptical on the subject of Ossian's Poems, and all 
Highland traditions, thought that ho had in this tradition (owing to the dryness 
of the ground in which the Clan-Dughail were said to have been buried) an 
opportunity of striking a blow at, as he assumed, the public credulity ; and he 
got the hill excavated ; when, lo ! to his surprise, he found seven skeletons, 
but not a single skull. Nay, more, the skeleton of the old man, who was repre- 
sented by tradition as of gigantic size, and lame in consequence of having had 
his thigh-bone broken, and ill set in his youth, was found to confirm the tradi- 
tion to the letter, for the bones of one of the skeletons were much larger than 
the others, and one of ite thigh-bones was shorter, and had a knot on it where 
it had been broken and joined again. In short, Dr Smith became so impressed 
with a conviction of the truth of the poetry and traditions of the Highland 
clans, in consequence of this incident, as to have applied himself immediately to 
the acquirement of the language, and he prosecuted its study until he could 
peruse Ossian's Poems in the original. He got a statement of the result of his 
exploration of the grave of Clan-Dughail drawn up, printed, and distributed 
among his friends, and was, ever afterwards, an earnest advocate of the authen- 
ticity of Ossian^s Poems, and also an able adversary to the absurd views of 
ancient Highland institutions and society assumed by feudal historians. He 
contended,- that without a knowledge of the poetry and traditions, which are 
the only true expositors of the history of the Highland clans, no stranger had 
any reliable means of forming a just opinion on the subject. He agreed 
with me as to the danger of attempting to pass off a fiction for tradition, 
while the same clans continued to occupy the same localities for ages; 
and that it is the historian who writes in the privacy of his library, and 
who can adopt the recorded fictions that suit his views, that is under no 
check, and not the traditional historian. Surely it cannot be denied, for 
instance, that this treatise is written under the check of public opinion, in so 


far as traditional, but not in 60 far as leaning on extracts already published. The 
Celtiberians asserted, according to Theocritus, quoted by Logan, that they had 
poems, containing their laws and history, for a period of six thousand years. 
Tacitus mentions that the poems which contained the annals of the Germans were 
ancient in his days. Some of the poems mentioned in express terms by Taci- 
tus, as carried down orally for hundreds of years before his time, were in exist- 
ence seven hundred years after his death. One of the pursuits in which 
Charlemagne took great delight, was searching for these relics of antiquity, and 
committing them to memory. The same may be said of the great Alfred of 
England. Logan refers to a fragment which he holds to be the oldest speci- 
men of the bardic genius of the ancient Celts. Lucemius, king of the Avemi, 
was wont to court popularity by *' extraordinaiy muniJScence." A bard once 
arriving long after the others, saluted the prince with a poem, extolling his vir- 
tues and benevolence, but lamented his misfortune in being too late to share his 
bounty. The song procured the gift of a purse of gold to the happy bard, who 
then chaunted loudly and extemporaneously, saying, '' that Lucemius' chariot 
wheels, as they rolled along, scattered wealth and blessings among the children 
of men." Gildas and Nemius were bards, and profess to have compiled their 
histories from ancient poems ; but they complain of, and deplore the destruction 
of many old records by the enemy. Among the remains of poetry, quoted by 
Bosworth and others, is that of Merddin or Merlin, the Caledonian, who flourished 
in 470. The antiquaries of Wales go much farther back with the history of 
their extant poetry than the Christian era, and so do those of Hibemia. Fingin 
and Fergus, Hibernian bards, belonged to the second century, and are not 
doubted ; and, since the Christian era^ numerous individuals distinguished in 
the science, are mentioned by monkish writers of undoubted authority. Toma, 
Dubbach, Feich, Cronan, Benean, Columba, Adamnan, Dalian, Seanachan, 
Angus, Amergen, were all Hibernian bards ; and the Welsh can furnish a list 
as brilliant and as much beyond suspicion ; while an equal number, among 
whom, Orran, Ullin, Caril, &c., with Ossian at their head, were Caledonian 
bards : two large volumes of whose poems, now in print, have come down, 
chiefly by oral recitation, to the middle of the last and the beginning of the 
present century. The former were published by the learned and talented 
clergyman, Dr Smith ; the latter by the Highland Society, with a literal Latin 
translation from the manuscripts found in Macpherson's repositories, and to pub- 
lish which he bequeathed £1000 by his will. 

It has, I think, been shown in the above short sketch of the druidal and 
bardic institution of the Caledonian, Irish, and Welsh Celtic clans, that oral reci- 
tation was not so uncertain a medium for carrying down important events, in 
poems and tales composed by men of genius and highly cultivated minds, as 
the gentlemen who (in total ignorance of the language in which these poems 
and tales were written) constituted themselves judges of their merit and authen^ 
ticity, seemed to think. 

lomarba, were the names of the professional competitions, which were 
common and periodical both in Scotland and Ireland. They were suppressed in 


Ireland, at least within the Pale, by a penal statute ; bnt they came down in 
the Highlands to the days of Dr Johnson ; who, while denying the existence 
of Gaelic poetry, mentions that I(»narba were at that time held in the Highlands, 
as eisted-vodas are now held in Wales, to recite and celebrate this non-exttting 
poetry ! In Anglia Sacra, mention is made of a Scot who was acquainted with 
a hundred different measm:es of verse ; and GinJdna, not only states that the 
Highlanders and Irish were superior musicians, but they also sung and played 
" in parts,'* — ^which was totally new to him. This implies that there was no 
dramatic poetry then in England. The Druid morality, which was very strict, 
forbade, as already stated, the use of fiction, and, consequently of satirical and 
dramatic poetry by the Barda They required that the subject of all poems 
should be stricfly true, and told by the Bards in accordance with the troth ; but 
they were not only allowed, but required, to relate these events in a maimer 
worthy of men of genius, feeling, and good taste. The strict exclusion oS fiction 
from Celtic poetry was no doubt unfiekvourable to dramatic poetry, and I do not 
think the ancient Celtic clans had — ^what we understand as — dramatic poetry ; 
but we are assured by tradition, that their historical poems were dramatically 
represented and recited at their lomarba ; and this tradition is sufficiently 
corroborated by Giraldus Cambrenses* statement, that the Highlanders and the 
Hibernians sung and played musical pieces ^' in parts." Major, a historian who 
was evidently disinclined to give any credit to his ^^ upthrough'* countrymen, (as 
he called the Highlanders,) in speaking of the musical taste and attainments 
of James the First, could only illustrate their excellence by comparing his 
performances with those of the '* Hibernians and the Highlanders, who were the 
best of all players on the harp.*' Now, I would pause and ask the reader here, 
whether it is possible for him to believe that the Hibernians and the Highland- 
ers had arrived at such eminence as players on the harp, without having a 
poetry worthy of the music which they sung to the harp ? Poetry was the 
very soul of music, until modem taste substituted harmony for melody, and, 
by smothering the song in singing, devorced feeling firom music, after a long life 
of wedded happiness. Was it only in Hibemia and the Highlands (where the 
best players on the harp known to learned musicians and antiquaries like 
Giraldus and Mcgor were to be found) that the music and poetry were unequal, 
and altogether unworthy of one another ? The best answer to this strange 
assumption is to lay before the reader some specimens of Gaelic poetry of 
unquestionable antiquity. But before submitting these specimens from TJllin, 
Orran, and Ossian, three of our most celebrated bards, I beg leave to premise 
that the poems fi'om which I quote have been before the public, in print, and in 
the native language, those of UUin and Orran for more than eighty, and those 
of Ossian for more than fifty years. I also beg leave to refer to the West of 
Scotland Magazine, and to say that I have proved in my articles pubHshed 
in that perodical, — 

1. That poems bearing the same characteristic features with those after- 
wards published and ascribed to Ossian by Macpherson, had been nniversally 
known for time immemorial in the Highlands ; and that they were referred to 


in innumerable poems (many of the verseB of which I translated and quoted m 
English) by the Gaelic Bards, ages before Macpherson was bom, in ^e same 
manner in which Greek and Boman poems are referred to by the contemporary 
poets of England. 

2. 1 showed, from Irish and Northern historians, whose works could scarcely 
hare been seen by Macpherson, because they were not then published, although 
the materials existed in manuscript, and m a Latin history of Ireland, published 
in France in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, — ^that the heroes and events cele- 
brated in the poems of Fingal and Temora, are historical heroes and events ; 
and that they are named by the same names, and narrated substantially in the 
same manner, by these historians and by Ossian. I considered the above as 
satisfactory evidence of the authenticity of the poems as could be required by 
any impartial antiquary under the circumstances, especially when taken in 
connexion with the copious literal translations by which I showed, that the 
Gaelic poems found in Macpherson's repositories after his death, bear, intrin- 
fflcally, undoubted evidence of having been the work of a superior poet to the 
author of the English version of these poems. 

I may, in corroboration of these facts, remark, that the poems pubUdied 
by the Bev. Dr Smith, above eighty years ago, and by the Highland Societies 
of London and Scotland from Macpherson's manuscripts, under the editorship 
of Sir John Sinclair, more than fifty years ago, bear unquestionable intrinsic 
evidence that the authors of these poems were superior for genius, taste, and a 
knowledge of the language, to the parties by whom these poems were copied 
from oral recitation, and prepared for the press. The poems substantially bear 
eridence of being the production of men of great genius, refined tastes, 
patriotic, benevolent, noble, and generous feelings and sentiments ; while, taking 
them as prepared for the press and published, a line or two lines will be found 
on a page, a word or two words in a verse, and a verse or two verses in a duan 
or canto, whidi form a contrast miost striking for coarseness, tautology, or 
ambiguity, to the chasteness and elegance of the rest Dr Smith thus accounts 
for the exceptions to the version published by him : ** The poems," says Dr 
Smith, '' having been collected fi^m various editions, they may, perhapi, appear 
in some places inelegant or abrupt ; it being sometimes necessary to take half 
a stanza, or perhaps half a line, firom one edition, to join to so much of another. 
As the poems were, for the most part, taken down fi^m oral recitation, firequeut 
mistakes may have been made in the proper division of the lines, and in the 
assigning of its due quantity to eacL Those who recited ancient poems took, 
frequendy, the opportunity of mibeUMi^ such wards as ihty were hwt aequauUed 
totlfA, in the room of aueh as were more Jbreign or obeoUte. To expunge these 
words, when none of the copies in the editor's hands supplied him with better, 
was a task which he did not consider as any part of his province." 

I cannot help regretting that the learned and patriotic Doctor took so strict 
a view of his duties as editor of poems carried down, as he himself shows, 
by oral tradition from a remote antiquity, through various channels, some of 
them, to say the least, not very competent. The poema being uniformly 


of such a character as legitimately to lead to the conclusion, that ihe authors 
were incapable of writing these exceptional parts, the inference is inevitable, 
that they were interpolations by some incompetent reciters. I cannot help 
regretting, therefore, that the Eev. Doctor did not feel it to be his duty to 
expunge these passages and restore the original, since no writer was more 
competent to do so than himself. To publish the poems without expunging 
these obvious interpolations, was more scrupulous than just to the fame of the 
departed Bards, who had surely a right to expect that the editors of their works 
in future ages should feel it to be their sacred duty to do them justice. The^ 
remarks apply only to the Gaelic version; for the Rev. Doctor allowed no 
tautology or obscurity to deform the translation, which is every thing that could 
be desired. Indeed, it is only fair to say, that, if the Gaelic antiquities, or 
Seanna-dh&na of Dr Smith, had been illustrative of the religion and poetry of 
any other part of the* British Empire excepting the Highlands, they could 
scarcely fail, not only to have made his fortune, but also to raise him to the very 
summit of popularity. But, instead of being remunerated for his great work, 
the Doctor lost so much money by the publication, as seriously to burden his 
small income ; and, instead of its raising him to the very height of popularity 
with his fellow-countrymen, it simply subjected him to the rapacious appetites 
for detraction, characteristic of the small fiy of parasites who prey on men of 
genius after they are dead ; and, although many of his relations have been 
literary men, or belong to professions that ought to be literary, and although I 
am no relative, I am, so far as I know, the only Highlander that ever took up 
the pen to do him justice. Dr Smith either met with ingratitude on the part 
of his fellow-countrymen, who were surely as interested as he was in doing 
justice to the literature of their ancestors, or he was the generous victim of his 
own noble enthusiasm, — a fate to be envied rather than regretted. But, alas for 
the modem Highlanders who will go any distance to see Gillie-callum danced, 
and to shake hands, by proxy, with a lord or a duke, but who have never yet 
recorded their grateful recognition of the honour done to their country by the 
labours of Dr Smith, by " putting a stone in his cairn." 

With reference to Mr Macpherson's English translation, and also to the 
version of the Gaelic originals found in his repositories prepared for the press, 
it is to be remembered, that Macpherson was only a mere school-boy or student, 
when he was employed by the Rev. Dr Blair and other patriotic gentlemen, to 
collect and translate these poems. Now, it will not, I think, be denied that it 
is the uniform tendency of persons of an ardent and poetic temperament, 
especially before having attained to a maturity of judgement, to imagine that 
they cannot too highly exaggerate or colour the subjects on which they write, 
" Oh," exclaimed a worthy Gkiel of my acquaintance, " what would this 
country be but for Sir Colin Campbell and his Highlanders !" In this spirit of 
enthusiasm we find Macpherson continually repeating the epithets and phrase- 
ology which he considered best calculated to make his heroes not only great, 
but even marvellous I have no doubt that a critic of good taste and discrimina- 
tion could point out, in the English version, every instance in which such 


epithets and phraseology were thrust into the poems by Macpherson, as they 
stand out in bloated relief among the more chaste and elegant passages of his 
translation. But these meretricious interpolations appear still more prominent 
in the original, as prepared for the press by Macpherson himself, — ^for in these 
the style and the measure of the verses are every now and again inflated and 
forced out of joint by the obtrusion of ill-conditioned tautological epithets, 
and a sounding, but most empty phraseology. With these drawbacks, natural 
to a youth so sensitive and enthusiastic, when portraying, to parties ignorant 
of the original, poetry so descriptive of all that is tender, generous, and heroic 
in the human character, in a language different from the original, Mr Mac- 
pherson's translation is not only chaste and elegant, but graphic and exceedingly 
beautiful. He who would take the trouble of purifying Macpherson's ti'anslation 
of Ossian from his interpolations or fancied improvements, and of publishing 
the rest without changing a word, would, in my opinion, merit the gratitude 
of mankind. 

It seems necessary, before submitting to the reader specimens from the 
ancient poets, to make a few remarks on the poetry floating traditionally in Ireland 
under the name of Ossian, although I really cannot enter into the spirit of the 
controversy between the Irish and the Highlanders on this subject, my Celtic 
sympathies being so catholic as to make me look on it as a matter of indiffer- 
ence whether the great representative of the ancient Celtic bards was bom in 
Erin or Albin. Indeed, my opinion is, that the Greeks, in disputing about the 
locality of Homer's birth, showed themselves to be destitute of the true clan- 
spirit and patriotism that ought to characterize the conduct of kindred and noble 
races one toward another, and, therefore, that they deserved the fate their con- 
ceited, selfish, and intemperate divisions brought upon them. But the Irish do not 
claim the poems ascribed to Ossian by Macpherson as the productions of their 
Ossian; they only want to deprive their Caledonian brethren of the credit of having 
had a bard who could have produced such poetry, nearly two thousand years ago. 
This, to be sure, is somewhat less generous than we could be disposed to give 
our fellow Celts of Erin credit for, and it cuts both ways ; for, if the state of so- 
ciety in Albin was at that time as civilized as the production and popularity of 
these poems instruct, the state of society among their brethren of Leth-cuin 
could not have been so barbarous as their so-called Saxon neighbours assert, and 
vice versa. But the fact is, that the poems of the Highland Ossian show that 
he lived before priestcraft and feudalism dwarfed the souls and corrupted the 
tastes and judgements of mankind ; while the Irish Ossian is shown, by the 
productions ascribed to him, to have been the very personification of the dwarfed 
souls and corrupted tastes and judgements resulting from the spiritual and civil 
despotism of the dark ages. It is but too well known that the priests of the 
above period cultivated superstition as the great ally or handmaiden of 
religion : hence in these Irish '^ Ursgeuls'' or new tales, ascribed to Ossian, 
(as they are called both in Erin and Albin,) the adventures of the traditional 
heroes of the people are mixed up with magicians, mountebanks, saints, giants, 
and witches, — ^but with a design and a method well calculated to emasculate the 


minds, aud corrupt the taste of the people, and so prepare them for swallowiDg 
the monkish legends, however extravagant and marvellona Nay, more, these 
XJrsgeuls show that the fabricators of them were the monkish dabblers in Grreek 
and Boman literature, and not the Celtic bards ; for they have their allegories, 
monsters, and metamorphosis, — ^although rude, maudlin, feeble, unnaturally Can- 
tastic, obscene, and ludicrous. 

Mr O'Eierney, one of the editors of the Ossianic Society, who calls 
these alleged poems of Ossian ^' Ursgeuls," — or, new tales, states, that '^ thej 
are founded on ancient poems, but more authoritative,*' historically, than the 
originals from which they are derived ! and I question not that they are as 
authoritative as can be desired on the subject of the Heathen and Christian 
controversies between Ossian and St Patrick, — ^the pilgrimages to Borne, - 
the wars between the Fingalians and the kings of Erin about the feudal tribute 
of mulier merchetc^ &a &c. But Mr O'Kiemey has not submitted the originals 
from which the XJrsgeuls are alleged to have been derived, to the public, whom 
he wishes to enlighten ; so that we must necessarily wait until he shall have 
had another literary engagement from the Ossianic Society, before we are in a 
condition to solve this puzzle. Mr O'Eiemey, perhaps, takes for granted that 
his readers have undergone the process of emasculation which his Ursgeub 
are so well calculated to produce, and that they will believe his curious paradox 
without requiring any evidence of its truth I But, to speak without sarcasm, a 
more humiliating proof of the perverting influence of combativeness on the 
human intellect than is instructed by the collection and pubtication of these 
(JiSgeuls, at great expense, by a society of learned Irish gentlemen, under the 
delusion that they are the productions of a man of genius, and an honour to 
Ireland, is not to be found on the records of any other country in Europe I That 
to combativeness, and not dishonesty, is to be ascribed the publication of this 
unnatural trash ascribed to Ossian by the Irish, is shown by the fieict, that, 
along with it they have published works by St Benean, Dr Lynch, &c., 
containing a whole mass of evidence, which csxx leave no doubt that the Feinn 
spoke a different dialect, wore a different dress, and were different in their 
manners and customs from the people of Leth-Eugain-mhoir, or the southern 
half of Ireland. These are called Milesians, Firbolgs, Belgs, &a ; while the 
people of Leth-cuin are called Cruithni, Picti, Tuatha-de-dannans, &c. 

I have stated elsewhere, that it was the custom of the clans to take the 
names of the chiefs and ceanncaths, or war-chiefs, — ^that is, chiefs of confedera- 
tions of clans, — ^for the time ; and, hence, that clans, and confederations of 
clans, were continually changing their names. In reading recent publications 
by learned societies of Irish gentlemen, in illustration of the traditional poetry 
and history of their country, it will be observed that confederations of claos, 
and clans also, disappear and appear in a manner which puzzled the very 
editors, because they did not know that such was the custom of clans down to 
the date of feudalism, when feudal tenures led to fixed sumamea That the 
comparatively ancient feudal writers on the histories of Ireland and Scotland 
did not qualify themselves better for their self-imposed task, by devoting some 


portion of their research to the poetry and traditions, >yhich throw so much 
light on the ancient local clan governments and customs of countries known to 
have been occupied down* to the age of feudalism by patriarchal clans, shows 
that they really were not very anxious to ascertain the truth. They do not, 
therefore, inspire us with much confidence either in their narratives or opinions. 
There is nothing staggering in the fact, that clans and confederations took the 
Dames of their chiefs and ceanncaths for the time, and thus frequently took 
new, and occasionally assumed old names, according to the new or old names 
of the chiefs and ceanncaths for the time. There is, I repeat it, nothing in the 
above to stagger writers who knew that Soman divisions and armies did the 
same, and that a similar practice prevailed in England even after England had 
a standing army. 

In the southern, or Leth Uigean-mhoir's half of Ireland, the clans and con- 
federations had, from time to time, so many names, as to puzzle the very editors 
of works recently published to illustrate the traditional poetry and history of the 
country.* The clans of Leth Cuinn, or Conn's half of Ireland, were less numerous, 
and being of Caledonian descent, and maintaining their position only through 
assistance from the mother country in every extremity, they were naturally 
more tenacious of the names by which they were identified with the great clans 
of their native land. We accordingly find them almost invariably called by 
historians, Cruithni, Picti, Tuath-de-danans, &c., like their kindred Caledonian 
tribes. That the southern clans frequently changed their names, may 'be 
inferred pretty confidently even by comparing Ptolomy and Richard, who did 
not write at such very distant periods from one another, as on any other rational 
grounds to account for the circumstance, that the people of the same district 
are called by different names by these topographical writers. As I cannot 
enter at greater length here into so ample a subject, the following quotations 
must serva 

Ptolomy, Geo. Hib. states, that the Minapee and the Canaeci were " nati- 
ones Teutanici originea /* and Orocius, a Spanish priest, who wrote a valuable 
compendium of history, which has been misunderstood or mis-translated into 
Anglo-Saxon by King Alfred, and which translation is again misunderstood or 
mis-translated by Bosworth, states that Ireland was occupied (meaning, no 
doubt, the part opposite to Spain) by families (clans) of the Scota Bede, who 
speaks from his personal knowledge, states, that the people of the British Isles 
had the same theology, but received it through the medium of five different dia- 
lects, viz. that of the Angles, Britons, Scots, Picts, and Latins. He also dis- 
tinctly states that the Scots came from Ireland. Nobody doubts that Columba 
was a Scot, and came from Ireland ; and the Irish writers above referred to, 
show that Ireland was called Scotland, when the Scots were ceanncaths of the 
southern confederation there. Alfred distinctly describes Ireland as an island, 
and says it was called Scotland. Erchad, a saint bom in Kincardine, preached 
to the Scots on his way home from Rome. This implies that the Scots then 
occupied the Lowlands, The Scots probably called the country Scotland on 

* See page G2. 


being fairly established there ; for Alfred calls it Scotland, which implies that 
they transferred to it the name they had previously given to Ireland. But, be 
that as it may, the new name shows that the Scots were a new power in Scot- 
land ; otherwise, why was not the country known by the name of Scotland 
before the days of Alfred ? Land is a Gothic or Teutonic word, and nothing 
can be more certain than that the Picts and Scots spoke different dia1ect& 
Erchad, as already stated, (Aberdeen Breviary,) preached to the Britons and 
Scots, naming them in that order, which surely implies that the country of the 
Scots was situated between those of the Britons and the Picts. Here we have 
a distinct people between the Britons and Picts, who give a new name to the 
country, and that name, too, in a foreign language. Nay, more, the ceanncath 
or war-chief of this people takes the title of king of Scots ; his sons are called 
princes, and he creates dukes, earls, lords, baronets, &c. ; and, land, king, prince, 
earl, lord, and baronet, are all names foreign to the Pictish or Caledonian lan- 
guage, and cannot be expressed in it, until this day. Yet historians fancy that 
they have established it as a fact, that the Highlanders, in whose language not 
a single one of these names or titles can be expressed, are Scots, and that the 
people of the Lowlands, in whose language they originated, and can be appro- 
priately expressed, are the descendants of the Picts or Caledonians. But let us 
see whether the life of Columba, published jointly by the Bannatyne Club and 
the Irish Celtic Association, confirms or contradicts my views on this subject 
Adamnan, according to this authoritative book, states that when one of the 
Pictish chiefs was baptised, he received the word through an interpreter : *' verbo 
Die a sancto per interpretem reciptoy — ^Ware s ** Vita Sancti Columbae" by 
Adamnan, page 62. Again, he says that Columba, having tarried at that time for 
some days in the " province" of the Picts, the word of life was preached to the 
people through the medium of an interpreter. — Ibid., page 145. Here we find 
Bede, Erchad, Adamnan, all writing to the effect that the Scots were situated 
between the Britons and the Picts, and spoke a different dialect from the latter. 
Indeed, Adamnan's words imply that the Picts were shorn of the supremacy, 
and reduced to " a province ;" while Alfred's words imply that the country was 
called by the Scots after their own name, Scotland. I will not argue with those 
who require farther evidence on the above subject, but may quote Ossian and 
Cormac, grandson of Conn, — the former from the Highland Society's edition of 
Ossian, edited and published by Sir John Sinclair, more than fifty years ago ; and 
the latter on the authority of Father O'Keef, from a work published more than 
two hundred years ago. My version is from my mother's oral recitation ; but 
it agrees substantially with those of the Father. I beg to premise that Adam- 
nan is corroborated by St Benean, Dr Lynch, &c. who state that the Malmuta 
laws of Ireland were written in the Feinian or Pictish language. Ptolomy, the 
very best authority, states that the south of Ireland was inhabited by " nationes 
Teutonid origtnes" The Editor of an edition of Cambrenses Eversus shows 
that the soldiers of the three CoUas were Firbolg, and that the Firbolg and Belga* 
were identical in Ireland. The people of Leth-Cuinn were never called Firbolg, 
Belgs, &c. &c. in Ireland, but they are uniformly called Cruithni, Picti, Tuatha- 


de-danans ; all indicating their identity with the clans of Caledonia. Let us 
now see what Ossian (I don't mean the Ossian of Mr O'Kearney's " Ursgeuls," 
but the Ossian whose ancient poems he so clumsily and grossly caricatures) says 
on the above quotation of the different confederations of the southern and 
northern clans of Ireland : — 


Chruinich cinnicheadh mor Uillin, Gathered the great clans of Ulliu, 

'S chuir iad cuireadh gu righ nan lann, And sent an invitation to the king of 

swords, — 

Righ do shinnsreadh mor nam beann, A king of the race of their mountain 

ancestors, — 

Siol Shealma nan cniaidh gu'n f haillein, The race of Selma, of steel unfailing, 

'S triadhadh Erin aig eiridh. The chiefs of Erin having risen (in 


This movement was, of course, inimical to the great southern confedera- 
tion, so they also convened a meeting of all their great tribes : — 

'^Cuim," thuirt iad, ** bhiodh Conn na ** Why," said they, " should Conn be 

righ, king, 

Siol coigrich nan strith OMhorbhein?" The race hostile of strangers from 

Morven ?" 

Thainig iad mar shruthaibK shliabL They came like a spate from the wold. 

Here we have the simple graphic statement of the great Celtic historian 
and bard, which singularly coincides with the above quotations. In short, all 
the statements collected and published by learned Irish societies, and all facts 
stated by such ancient historians as were neither Caledonian or Irish, agree 
with Ossian, and vice versa. We shall never have a consistent history of 
Ireland or Scotland, until the authenticity of our ancient poems is recognised, 
and until, like the Northern sagas, they are made the foundation of our histories. 

The following verses were substantially published by Father O'Keef, in 
1684. I have it not in my power at present to consult the Father's work, (as I am 
writing on a tour in the Highlands) but I have read it, and, to the best of my 
recollection, the only important difference between the following verses, as 
repeated by my mother, and his, is, that the Father makes Fergus, and not 
Cairbear, the fourth in descent from Conn. Both the Father and my mother 
ascribed the vei'ses to Cormac, grandson of Conn. The verses show that the 
people of Leth-Cuin, or Temora, and their ancient kings, were (Jaidheil, which 
is the historically recognised cognomen of the Highlanders, and not the Irish. 
The Hibernian clans of Leth-Cuin are always designated Gaidheil Eirneach. 

'S mise Cormac, ogha Chuinn, I am Cormac, grandson of Conn, 

Ard righ fhear Theamhair chruinn ; High king of the men of the circuit of 

Temora ; 



Bo f beallasacfa orm rinneadh foil, Very treacherously I have been betrayed 

Le mo mhnaoidh *s le m' reachdadair. By my ^ife and judge. 

'S eol dhomhsa rud gun gaoid, 
Tri nithean a mhilleas mnaoidh, — 
Am fear fein gu'n bhi ga 'n reir, 
Leannanas lag, luidean mean. 

'S eol dhomh rud eile gu'n ghaoid, 
Na tri nidhean a riaghlas mnaoidh, — 
An cial fein, co-mhochadh am fear, 
'S leannas fiughantach, laidir. 

I know three things without a flaw,— 
Three things that ruin women : — 
A husbemd not their equal, 
A small drudge, and faint love. 

I know three things without a flaw, 
Three things that rule women : — 
Good sense, a sympathizing husband. 
Love generous and strong. 

Mo mhallachd an diugh is gu brath. My curse to-day and for ever 

Air duine uasal na air flatb, On the gentleman or chief 

A gheileas do las mhnadh, Who yields to woman's flame, 

Mar bith iad beusach nan ghniomhadh. Unless she be modest in her conduct 

Cearthar gu'n bheud ri 'n linn, 
Thainig na Gaidheil ghrinn,1 
Conn oilleil ceud-chathach, 
Art, mi fein, is Cairbeir. 

Four have in their generations 
Descended from the sprightly Gael, 
Illustrious Conn of a hundred battles, 
Art, myself, and Cairbear. 

Dan an fhir leidh le Obran. — (The first duan only.) 

Aig ceuma mall a chaochain chiuin, 
eg ceyma mall a chaochayn chi-uyn 

Le d' chruit, gu 'n ghleus, na tosd, 
led chmyt gu 'n yleys na toad 

Tha usa, mhic Arair nan tend, 
ha usa vio arayr nan teyht 

Gu 'n phong ciuil bho d' laimh a nochd ? 
gun phong cuyl vod la-yv a nochd 

Tha taibhsean tiamhidh a trial, 

ha tayysen ti-avi' a tri-al 

Mu *n cuairt air nialaibh nan speur, 

mun ca-ayrtayr ni-aliv nan speyr 

Dh-eisteachd am molaidh d' bheul, 
yeystechd am molay' o d veyl 

'S cha chluinn iad air aile an cliu. 
's cha chluynn i-ad ayr ay-le an din 

A mhic Arair c'om a d' thosd, 
a vie ar-ayr com ad hosd 

Is taibhsean nan treun co dluth ? 
is tayv-8en nan trdyn co din' 

'' Co is fhearr fios na u fein, 
CO is err fios na u feyn 

Orrain, air beus na fhalbh ? 
orr-ayn ayt bSys na yalv 

At the slow steps of the mild streamlet. 

With thy harp untuned, silent, 

Art thou, son of Aiair of strings. 

Without a note of music from thy 
hand to-night ? 

Melancholy ghosts are travelling 

Around on the clouds of night, 

To listen to their praise from thy lipe, 

And they hear not on air their fame. 

Son of Arair, why in silence. 

When the spirits of the night are near? 

" Who better knows than thyself, 

Orran, of the habits of those that are 




Tha 'n cnimhnte a dearse air t-anatn. 

ha'n cuyn^ a d^raa ayr tan-am 

Call an dain chianael aa teiAhachd, 
can ail dayn chi-a-nel an te'-avachd 

Guir an cliu gn linnte cein, 

cuyr an cliu gu linnt^ ceyn 

Mar dheo-greine air anam nam bard, 

mar ye-o-gren^ ayr anam Dam bard 

Tra bhios Orran sa chlarsach nan suain. 
tra vis orr-an sa chlarsach nan sa-ayn 

Caidlidh Orran sa chlarach, 

cayd-li' orran sa chlar 

Ach mairjdh a dhain na dheigh.'* 
ach man' a yayn na yey' 

An so thamh Dumoir nan sleagh, 

an BO hay dumor nan slegh 

'Sna theach, mar sholns, ani^hean chaoin, 

'sna hech mar holos a ni'-en chaoyn 

B* aillidh a cruth 's bu bhinn a ceol, 
baylli' a era' aba yinn a ceol 

Thag Lamha do'n oigb a ghaol. 
hag lava don oy' a yaol 

Am feachd Dhumoir bha Lamha treun. 
am fechd yny-moyr ya laya treyn 

Is Min-shnil an rij^h dha cha d'enr, — 

is min-huyl an n' ya cha dSyr 

Cha d'enr an ri^h ach dh-eur i fein, 

cha dSyr an n' ach ySyr i f^yn 

Aig miad a speis do Bonan ailtidh, 

ayg mi-ad a speys do ronan ayli' 

Bonan bho Shrath-thorman nan stead. 
ronan yo ra'-horman nan steyd 

Chuir fio6 air a cheili bhaiffheil ; 
chayr fioB ayr a cheyli yay^yl 

Dh-imich ise le fear iuil. 
yi-mich ish-^le ferr i-nyl 

Bha Lamha dlu air an raon. 
ya laya din ayr an raon 

Cheangael a 'm fear iuil ri craoibh, . 
chengel am ferr i-nyl ri croyy 

'S thng 6 leis na luing a ghaol. 
's hog e les na luyng a yaol 

Chlainti air stuidhean ard a glaodh, — 

chloynti ayr stay'en ard a glao' 

'^ A Ronain^ mo ghaoil, thig le cobhair !^' 

a Tonen mo yaoyl hig le coyayr 

Cha chluinn e t-eibh air cuan annrach, 
ha chlaynn e teyy ayr cu-an annrach 

Their memory is shining on thy soul. 

Sing their lays pensive, with sym- 

Send their fame to ages remote, 

Like a sunbeam on the souls of the 

When Orran and his harp are asleep ; 

For sleep will Orran and his harp, — 

His lays will survive after him." 

Here dwelt Dumor of spears, 

And in his house, as a light, his 
daughter mild, (Orran sings.) 

Beautiful her face, s^eet her music. 

Lava gave to the maiden his love. 

In Dunmor^s host Lava was a hero. 

Sulmina the king did not grudge him ; 

The king did not, but she did herself, 

From the greatness of her love to 
Bonan, the handsome 

Bonan from the Struthormon of steeds. 

He sent a messenger to his chosen, 
the afifectionate ; 

She accompanied the guide. 

But Lava was (watchful) on the heath. 

He tied the guide to a tree, 

And in his ship carried away his 

Her cry was heard over the waves, — 

** Ronan, my love, come with help !" 

He hears not thy voice on a sea 



'S e aig srutbaD ad luaidh an oran : — 

^86 ajg Bru'-an ad lay' an orkn 

'* 'S mall do chenmaibh a ghaoil, — 

*8 mall do cheymiv a yaojl 

'8 cian o 'm chaochain mo leannan. 

^8 ci-an *m chochayn mo lenan 

Cha chluinn do chemn air an raon, 

cha chluyB do cheym ayr an raon 

'S tha ghaoth fuaimer 's na meangain. 

'sha yao' fuymer 's na meangen 

Thig, a Shiiil-mhina, mo ghaoil, 

hig a huyl-min^ mo yaoyl 

Mar eilid an aile san eibhneas ; 
mar ellid an ayl^ 8an eyvnes 

C om a bbeil do cheuma co mall 

com a veyl do cheym& co mall 

Air Gk)rm-mheall nan gleann eildeach ? 
ayr gorm-vel nan glenn eyltech 

'S cian an oiche, *8 mi m-onar. 

's ci-an an oych^ *8 mi monar 

A lucbd iomachd nan speara gorma, 

a lachd i-omachd nan speyra gorma 

BheU sibhse feithibh r' ar annsachd? 

▼eyl shivse fey-iv rar ann-sachd 

*S do chail sibh eolas ar cursa? 

^8 do cha-il siv e-olas ar cursa 

Ciod a rug ort, a gbrian na maidne, 

ced a rug ort a yri-an Da mad-n^ 

Noir tba u co fada gu 'n eiridh? 

noyr ha a co fada gun eyri' 

'N do cboinnicb u Minsbail do ghraidh. 

'n do choynnich n minhuyl do yra-i' 

Noir dbi-chuimhnich a aird nan speuran? 

noyr yichuynnich a ayrd nan 8pSyran ? 

A shoillsean aillidh le'r teaghlacb deal- 
a hoylshen ayli' ler telach tel- 


Is maiseacb sligbe sa 'n iarmailt aigb, 

is maysy'ech sli -^ 8an iarmelt a' 

A bbeil sibh ga'r falach nar paillin 
a veyl siv gar falach nar payllyn 

's na neoil, 
'sua ne-oyl 

A chionn gur gearr libh an oiche? 
a chi-onn gur gerr liv an oyche 

Ach leamsa cha n'eil i gearr, 
ach leamsa cha neyl i gerr 

At the side of the stream praisiDg 
thee in song : — 

'* Slow is the steps of my love, — 

Far from my streams is my fair one. 

I hear not thy steps on the heath, 

And the wind is resounding in the 

Come, Sulmina, my beloved, 

Like a roe in beauty and joyousness ; 

Why are thy steps so slow 

On Gormal of roe-frequented glens. 

Long is the night, and I am alone. 

Travellers of the blue skies, 

Are ye also waiting for your beloved ? 

Or have ye wandered from your 
course ? 

What has overtaken thee, sun of the 

When thou art so slow in rising? 

Hast thou met Sulmina of thy love, 

That thou hast forgotten the heights 
of the sky ? 

Lights beautiful of the radiant family. 

Whose journey is lovely in the fir- 
mament, genial : 

Are ye hiding in yom* pavilion in 
the clouds, 

Because you deem the night too short? 
But to me it is not short, 



'S mo Mhinshuil dhonn air seacharan, 
'smo vinhayl yonn ayr secharan 

Tog tror-cheann a ghrian eibhinn, 

tog tor-chenn a yri-an eyvinn 

Is feach dhomh gu luadh, a ceumadh." 

is fe-ach yov ga lu-a' a ceyma' 

Dhealraich a nhaduinD aobhach, 

yelrich a yaduynn aovach 

Ach cha *n f haicear leis a h-aoga& 

ach chaa aycer leys a h-aogos 

Dh-eirich ceo aillidh dlu dha, 
yeyrich ce-o ayli' dlu ya 

A giulan samhla gaolach Shuilmin, 

a guylan savla gaolach huylmin 

Sgaoil e ghlacaibh na comhail. 
Bgoyl e ylachiv na covel 

Ach threig e air an aile dhobhaidh. 
adi h-reyg e ayr an ilh-le yovi' 

Dh-imich Bonan Ian do dhoruinn, 

yi-mich ronan Ian do yorayn 

Gu fear aosda nan creag casach. 

ga fer aosda nan creyg cosach 

Fhuaireas e *n taice ri luirg fein 
hnyres e 'n tayce ri luyrig feyn 

Sa 'n doire dhoillear fo sgail gheug, 

aan doyr^ yoyller fo sga-il yeyg 

Lan oglnchd, a crom-aomadh, 
lao og-luychd a crom-a-om-a' 

Le fheusalg ghlais mu bhroilleach aosda. 
le ey-sayg ylaysh ma yroyll-ech a-os-da 

Air an lar bha- shuil a dearca, 

ayr an lar ya hayl a derc-c^ 

Ach anam bha'n comhnuidh, thaibhsean. 

ach anam ya'n cov-nuy' hayy-sen 

" Ciod arsa Ronan," a chi u 
ci-od, ar-sa ronan, a chi u 

" Mu Chulmina mo leannan gaolach ?" 

ma cholmina mo lenn-an ga-ol-ach 

'^ Macan ceangailte ri craoibh, 
macan ceng-aylt-^ ri croyy 

Barca na deann thair cuan. 
harc-a na de-ann hayr cn-^ 

A Shuilmina 's cruaidh leam do ghlaodh, 
* hnyl-mina 'a cmy' iem do yla-o' 

A taomadh air, luin gn'n chomhnadb," 
a taom-a' ayr tuynn gun choy-na 

And my brown-haired Snlmina wan- 

Lift thy golden head of joy, sun, 

And quickly let me see her steps." 

Brightened the morning delightful, 

But he sees her not. 

A beautiful wreath of mist arose near 

Bearing the resemblance of Sulmina. 

He spread his arms to meet her, 

But it faded away on the unfriendly 

Ronan sped, full of disquiet. 

To the aged recluse of the rock ; 

He was found leaning on his crutch, 

In the dark grove under the shade of 
the boughs. 

Awe struck and bending low. 

With his grey beard floating on his 
aged breast ; 

On the ground his eye was fixed. 

But his soul was in the land of spirits. 

" What know you," said Ronan, 

** Of Sulmina, my sweetheart, be- 
loved ?" 

** A little youth," he replied, " tied to 
a tree, 

A ship speeding over the sea ; 
Sulmina, sad is thy cry. 

Pouring on the waves without help. 




" 'S deacair a shean-f hir do Bgeul/* 

'8 dec-ayr a ben-ir do Bgeyl 

" Cha chualas leat olcas gu leir." 

cha chu-al-as le-at olc-as gu leyr 

Dh-imich an laoch tursach deurach 

yim-ich an la-och tor-sach d^y-rach 

Toirt bhuillean borb do'n chopan bheom- 

toyrt bayll-en borb don chop-an y^ym- 



Ghrad phill bho raonaibh nan eilteaD, 

yrad fill yo raon-iy nan eyl-ten 

Prasgau corr do dh-ogain threubhach. 
prasg-an corr do yog-ay n h-reyv-ach 

Dh-f ban iad mar ris an laocb, 

yan i-ad mar ris an laoch 

Toedach teamhaidh fad na h-oiche ; 

tosdach ti-av-ay' fad na hoy-che 

Fonn clarsaich, na fuaim slige, 

fonn chlar-saych na fuym slige 

Fleadh na tiene cba b-f bin leinn. 
fie na tejm-e cha b-i-a-linn 

Fuar, fiiucb gu'n cbeol gu'n eibhneas, 

fa-ar flench gun chy-ol gnn eyv-nes 

^Cbaith, sinn ann sa bbein an oiche, 

* chay' sinn ann bsl veynn an o-i-che 

Sa mbaduinn leum sin air lear. 
sa va-duynn leym sin ayr ler 

Ar n-oigbean gu'n gbean air an trai^b. 

a noy'-en gnn yen ayr an tra-i' 

Bu cbo-ambluidb, a Dbumoir docbor-sa 
ba cho-av-luy' a yu-moyr do chor-sa 

Sa mbaduin an am dbuit eiridb ; 
sa ya-dnynn an am yuyt ey-ri' 

Minsbuil bboidbeacbnan ciabb orbbuidb, 
min-huyl YO-i'-ech nan ci-aY or-Yuy 

Cba 'n f baic na d' tballa dorcb gab-eide, 
chan ayo na halla d-orch ga hey-de 

Cbruinnicb na b-oigbean le'n iugbair, 
chniynn-ich na hoy'-en len i-ir-ayr 

Sa mbaduinn a sbealg nan sleibbtein ; 
sa Ya-dnynn a helg nan sleyy-ten 

Db-iar iad Suilmina na teacb dimbair, 
yi-ar i-aht sayl-mina na tech di-yeyr 

Db-iar 's .cba do cbud i 'n eibbidb. 

yi-ar *s cha doh chu-al i Vieyy-i' 

'^ I^bean Dbumboir is cian do cblos. 
I'-en yuy-moyr is oi-an do chlos 

" Severe, old man, is tby tale f" 


"Tbou bast not beard tbe whole evil! 
Tbe bero retired sorrowful, tearful, 

Striking fierce blows on the boss of 

Quick from tbe heath of deer returned, 

His band surpassingof youths, warlike. 

They remained, along with tbe hero, 

Silent, sad, during the long night ; 

The music of tbe harp, the sound of 
the shell. 

Banquet nor fire, they valued not 

Cold, wet, without lay or joy, 

They spent the night on the mountain. 

In the morning we sprang on the sea, 

Leaving our young women on the 
shore in grief. 

Similar was the condition of Dumor, 

When rising early in the morning, 

Lovely Suhnina of the golden hair, 

Is not seen in tby dark halls dressing. 

Gathered tbe maidens for the chase 
with their arrows, 

In tbe morning to hunt over the wolda 

They sought Suhnina in her secret 

They sought, but she heard not their 

" Daughter of Dumor I long is thy sleep; 




Duisg a shealg nan earba ciara ; 
Aujtg a helag nan er-ba ki-ar-a 

Cha b-abhaist dhnit bhith air dheire, 

cha b-ay-aayht yuyt vi' ayr yiy-rt 

Duisg, duisg tha ghrian ag eiridh. 
dujsg duysg ha yri-an ag ^y-ri' 

Duisg 's na h-eiltean a mosgladh ; 
daysg sua heyl— ten a mosg-la 

Crath a nighean Dhumoir do chiabhan, 
era' a ni'en yny-moyr do chi-av-an 

A shealg nan sliabh, gairm do ghaothar. 
a helg nan Bli-av gayrm do yao'-ar 

Och tha *n oigh-ghraidh air ioundrain/' 

och han oy-yra-i ayr i-on-trayn 

Chaidh mar shaighead tre chluais Dhu- 

chay' mar hay'ed tre chlaysh ya- 


Bu tursach Dumor san lo sin, 

ba tur-sach du-mor san lo sin 

Ach bu tursaich gu mor Bonan. 
ftch bu tur-saych ga mor ronan 

Chruinnich an oiche mu 'n cuairt dhith, 
chraynn-ich an oycbe man cuyrt yi' 

Dall-bhrat ceo air traigh gu 'n leirsinn 

dall-Traht ce-o ayr tray' gon leyrsinn 

Gu toedach, tiamhaidh f haair sin cala, 
gu tost-ach ti-ay-ay' hayr sin oala 

A falach an taobh an t-shleibhe. 
a fsl-aoh an ta-ov an tleyr-^ 

Doiller gu'n f hasgadh chaidh sin, 
doyll-er gnn asg-a' ohay' sin 

An oiche f badadb san tir chein. 
an o-i-obe ad-a' san tur oheyn 

Bha soluis nan speur air uaireabh, 

V8 so-lnys nan speyr er a-aynr 

A sealtuinn truaillidh tre na neultaibh ; 

a sel-tnynn truylU' tre na neyl-tayv 

Bu dobhnidh neo-choineal an dreach, 

ba do-vny' ne-o-choyn-el an drech 

'S bha chomhachag bho chraig ag eibh- 

▼a cho-vaohag to ohra-lg ag ey?- 



'S chite air uair taibhsean tiamhaidh, 
'b chik-e er n«ayr layT*shen ti-av-i' 

Ag amharc ciar tre cheo na h-oiche 

ag a-YSTO ci-ar tre ebe-o na ba>oyohe 

Shuidh Ronan samhach air lie coinich, 
hu}' ronan saT-ach er lio ooy-nich 

Awake to hunt the dun roes ; 
Thou art not wont to be the last, — 
Awake, awake, the sun is rising I 
Awake ! the hinds are up and away ; 
Shake thy locks, daughter of Dumor, 
To hunt the wolds, call thy hound/* 

'^ Alas ! the lovely maid is amissing ! 


Went like an arrow through Du- 
mor's ear. 

Sad was Dumor on that day, 

But sadder, by far, was Ronan. 

The night gathered around her. 

A mantle of mist impenetrable to 
sight # 

Silent, pensive we discovered a bay. 
Hid in the side of the mountain. 
In darkness, without shelter, we spent 
The long night in the land remote. 
The lights of the sky occasionally 
Looked gloomily through the clouds ; 
Troubled and unkindly they looked. 
The owl was wailing from a rock ; 

And at times were seen pensive ghosts 

Gazing sideways through the mist of 

Bonan sat in silence on a mossy stone, 



A sgia air geug oscionn an trein-f hir. 

a 8gi-a er gejg os-ci-onn an treyn-ir 

Chluinnt'na h-iallaibh fead na gaoithe, 

chlnynt na hi-all-ayv fed na goy-e 

'S mise ri thaobh gu cianael. 

'fl mishe ri haov gu ci-a-nel 

Thog mi, a monmhur dan athar, 

hog mi a mon-vur dan a'-jr 

A ghleachd an Ullan ri Coniiar. 

a ylechd an ullan ri cor-mar 

Leig dhiot, area 'n laoch an dan, 

lejg ji-ht arsan laooh an dan 

Gus am pill a mhaduinn lia-ghlas ; 

gu8 am pill a Taduynn li-a-ylass 

Oir tog a d' sgeul mo chorruich fein, 

oyr tog ad ageyl mo choruych feyn 

Tha manam ag eiridh gu iorguill. 

ha manam ag ey-ri' gu i-ar-guyll 
Tra phill Cormar o'n chomhrag bhorb, 

tra fill cormar o^n chov-rag yorb 

Sa lean e 'n Snithorman an rua-bhoc, 

aa len e 'n sro'-honn-an an rn-a-voo 

Bha thi air mise a sgrios ; 
va hi er mise a egris 

^'S nach d' thaining mo chlaidheamh a 

'g nach dayn-ig mo chla-ey a'h 



Ghabh aon da laoich truas ri 'm oige, 

yav a-on da loych truas rim oyg-e 

Is shoar e mi o bbeum nan eleagh, 
is hoar e mi o veym nan slea' 

Ar 'n airm tha fathasd aig Lamha, 

a naynn ha fa'-ast ag la-va 

Le bas neo-thrathail m' athar ghaolaich. 

le bas ne-o-ra'-el ma'ar ya-ol-iob 

Ach ciod tha monmhur thair an raon ? 
aoh ced ha mon-vur h-ayr an raon 

Chi mi laoch a tarruinn dlu, 

chi mi laoch a tarr-uyn diu 

Lennibh ga stiuradh air leth-laimh, 

lenn-OY ga sti-u-ra' er le'-layv 

Sa shleagh nach h-eatrom san laimh eile. 

sa le-a' nach he-trome san layv eyl-e 

Tha chas a failneacha san f hraoch, 

ha chas a fiiyUnach-a san roach 

San caochan da mar thuil-bheum gail- 
san co-ach-an da mar huyl-yeym yayl- 


His shield suspended on a bough 
above his head. 

The wind is heard sounding among 
its thongs ; 

And I was by his side sorrowful 

I breathed, in murmurs, his father's 

When he fought in Ullin agaimt 

*' Drop," said the hero, '* the lay, 
Until the dark-grey mornings return; 
Or exalt my own indignation in thv 


My soul is rising to destroy." 

When Cormar (the bard speaks as 
Bonan) returned from the fierce 

And in Struthormon pursued the deer, 
He was bent on my destruction ; 

For my sword had not left its sheath. 

One of his heroes took pity on my 

And saved me from the stroke of the 

Our arms are in the possession of 

Since the untimely death of my be- 
loved father. 

But what murmur do I hear on the 
heath ?— 

I see a warrior drawing near, — 

A child leading his steps, 

And his spear, which is not light, in 
his other hand. 

His foot is failing in the heather. 

And the streamlet is to him like a 
terrible spate. 



" Coim a shiubhlas t-u an oiche a t-oanar, Why travellest thou in the night alone, 
ooym a hi-nv-Ias ta an 07-che a ton-ar 

Le'dcheumaibhaosdaairraon tiamhaidh? With thy aged steps through the dis- 

led cheyayv aos-da ayr roan ti-avi' inal moor ? 

Am bheil u mar mise fo bhron ? 

am veyl n mar mise fo vron 

'N do chail u t-oige do bhean ?" 

'n do chayl u tojg^ do ven 

** A sheannair," are an leannaibh caoin, 

a hen-ayr ars an lenn-ay^ coyn 

** An e guth m' athair ghaoil a th' ann. 

an e ga' ma'jr yoyl a hann 

Ga'r gairm o dubhradh an raon, 

ga'r gayrm o dav-ra' an raoyn 

Far nach tarrain, ar namhaid lann.. 

far nadi tarr-uyn ar na-vayd lann 

Art thou, like me, in sorrow ? 

Hast thou lost thy betrothed in thy 
youth ? 

*' Grandfather," said the lovely child, 

** Is that the voice of my father, 

Calling us from the darkness of the 

To where our foes will not draw the 
sword ? 

S amhuil na h-alrm ud 's airm m'athair. His arms are like the arms of my 

^8 avnyl na haynn nd seyrm ma'yr 
Ach 's eug-samhuil an guth," 

ach seyg-say-uyl an gn' 

** A fiiic u'n airm ? a leinnibh teich ! 
a fayo un eynn a lenn-iv tcyoh 

Fag mise gun ghalt, am oanar ; 

&g miahe gnu yeylt am onar 

Deanadh Lamha rium na 's aill ; 
den-a' lava rnym nas ayll 

Si'm iarrtas bas air uaigh mo mhic." 

sem i-ar-taa baa ayr n-ay' mo vio 

Theich an leannaibh gu luath, 

heych an lenn-iv go la- a' 

Le uamhunn ri uchd an raoin. 

le n-a-ynynn ri nchd an raoyn 

Fo chritheach na h-aois, na aite, 

fo chri'-ech na haoys na ayte 

Sheas daingean dana an shenna-laoch. 

hes dayng-en dan-a an ahenna-laoch 
Chuir Bonan failt air an aosda, 

chnjr Tonan faylt yr an aos-da 

'S ghlac mise gu caoin an leannabh ; 
's ylao miad gn caoyn an lenn-av 

" Cha bhuin sinne do Lamha nam blar, 

cha vnyn sinne do lava nam blar 

S cairdean sinn do shuidh na eigin, 

's cajr-den sinn do hny na eyginn 

Na laig air cul ar sgia tha sabhailt ; 
^ ^7g ayr col ar sgi-a ha sav-aylt 

Gabhsa tamh, is innis dhuin t-iarguin." 
gav-sa tav is innis ynyn ti-ar- gnyn 

But unlike my father's is his voice/' 

" Dost thou see arms ?" (the old man 
speaks) ** Child, run ! 

Leave me without fear alone ; 

Let Lava do as he will, — 

My desire is to die on the grave of 
my son," 

The child fled with speed 

And terror, against the breast of the 

Trembling with age, in his place, 
Stood firm and daring the aged hero. 
Bonan saluted the aged. 

While I pursued, and kindly caught 
the child. 

" We do not belong to Lava of bat- 
tles ;" (Bonan speaks) 

" We are the friends of the distrest ; 
The weak are safe behind our shields : 
Best, and tell us thy need." 



'' Suidheam air an leabaidh chre, 

aaj'em ayr aa leb'ay obre 

Far an caidel seamh mo mhac. 

fiir aacaydgb-el shev mo vac 

Cia iofidach e'n drasd* fo 'n lie, 

oe toed-adh e*n drasd fo*n lie 

Bn trie sa chath e mar ehuairt-ghaoith. 

bu trie Ba cba' e mar ehu-aTrt joy' 

's balbh a noehd 's a ghairden lag, 

ob 'a ballv a nocbd 'b a yayr-den lag 

An suidh nach meatfaadh 'n am cruadail. 

aD sny' naeb me-a' nam cni-a-del 


Cha rnig e na feidh *8 na gleannaibh, 

cba myg e na fey' 'a na glenn-ayv 

'S cha dirieh e fraoeh fo armaibh. 

'a cba du'-ich e fr5ach fo arm-ayr 

C'ait a bheil aobhar nail 

ca-yht a Teyl ao-var n-ayl 

Is Lamhor san naigh na ehineadh? 

is layer san n-ay' na bin-e' 

Bi iomacbd aonach na greine, 

ti i-o-machd aon-aob na greyn-^ 

B-eibhinn do chrath a laoieh liomhaidh, 

b-ey-Tinn do cbm' a laoyeb llv-a/ 

Toirt solus fan do sbmllean t-athar, 

toyrt solos fiuin do bnyll-en ta'-ar 

Tha 'n diu^h gnn latha gun leirsinn. 

ban di-ir gon la'-k gon leyr-sinn 

Pillidh a ghrian gu h-ait a ritbist, 

pill'-i a yri-an ga ba-yt a ri'-ist 

Sa gruag oir na stioma dualach ; 

sa gm-ag oyr na sU-o-ma da-a-lacb 

Ach *8 cian, cian an oiehe fo*n lie ; 

aoh 's oi-an d-an an oy-die fi>*n lie 

Cha d' thig crioch, a mhic, air do 

eba d-ig ori-ocb a yio er do 



Aeh tha t-iomaehd an saoghail ehein, 

acb ba tim-acbd an sa-o'yl cbeyn 

'S tn eibhinn le laoieh nan aracL 

'stn ey-vinn le loyeb nan ar-aob 

Aeh 's muladach sinne ar son an laoieh, 

acb 's mnl-a-daob sinn^ ar son an loych 

Bha teagh-ehridheach ri sgeul anrach/^ 

va te-a'-cbri'-edi ri sgeyl an-raob 

** Innis,*' arsa Ronan, " f hir-aosda, 

innis arsa ronan ir-aos-da 

" Let me sit on the bed of clay, 

Where ealmly sleeps my son. 

How silent to-night, under the flag, 

Is he who was often in battle like a 

Dumb to-night, and weak of arms, 

Is the hero that would not soften in 
the hard eonflict 

He will not chase the deer in the glens, 

Nor ascend the mountain in arms. 

Where is there cause for exaltation, 

When Lamor is stretched in the grave? 

Travelling in the sunshine of the 

Beautiful wert thou, hero liUie, 

Giving light to the eyes of thy father, 

Who is now without day or eyesight 

The sun will again return on her own 

Her golden hair spreading b'ghtlj, 
(far and wide ;) 

But long, long is the night of the grave; 

Thy sleep, my son, will not come to 
an end. 

But thy steps are in the country remote, 

Rejoicing among the heroes of battle- 

But sorrowful are we without thee, 

Who was tender-hearted on hearing 
of oppression." 

** Tell," said Bonan, '' aged man, 



Aobhar a bhais ? — ^Am b'e Lamha ?" 

«o-var a vajs am be lava 

'^ Be Lamha a mharbh e gon chas, 

be lava a varv e gan cbaa 

Ach feotfaas a ruin do 'a lag : 

ach fe-o'-as a rayn don lag 

Be HOB a fihinnsear, 'a gach linn, 

be Dte a hiim-sir 'a gaoh linn 

Gun bhi tiomadh a chasgairt foirneart ; 

gon vi ti-om-a' a chas-ga-irt fojr-neart 

Bu chomhla phrais ar sgia gu *n dian, 

ba ohov-la frajsh ar sgi-a ga^n di-an 

'S bu chrann-dionaidh dhoibh ar sleagb. 
aba ohnum-di-on-ay' yo'v ar sle-a' 

Tia bha mi fein am og-«ide, 

tni va mi fejn am og-ey-de 

Mar bha 'n de an laoch iha*n dorchas, 

mar va 'n de an laoch Wn dor-chas 

Le athar Lamha chaidh mo cbemna, 
le a'-ar lava cbaj' mo diejm-a 

Gu creach tigh eibhinn Struthormoin. 
ga ore^ ti' ey-vinn m'-hor-men 

Chronnnich mi fein an gniomh, 

Ghronn-uydi mi feyn an gni-av 

'S gun neach aig eiridh nar h-aghaidh, 

8guQ nech eg ey-ri' nar ha-i' 
Ach leannaibh bha 'g iomairt saighde, 

ach lenn-iy va ag i-om-brt aayt-e 

'S ga tilge mar lann nar comhail. 

6ga tilig-e mar lann nar co-vel 

Thuit an t-ehaighead gu faoin 

hnyt an ta'-ed gu fii-oyn 

Air cois Chomair na'm baoth-bhcus. 

er coys cho-moyr nam bao'-veya 

Sheal e air an leannaibh le gruaim, — 

hd e ayr an lenn-iv le gmym 

" Sa'n Eillean XJaigneach bith do chomh- 

8a*n eyll-en n-aygneoh bi' do chov- 


Thugus an Irog do 'n Eillean XJaigneach. 

hogaa an tog don eyllen n-aygneoh 

Bha deagh Chomair shuas os a chionn 

va de-a' eho-moyr hn-as oe a chi-on 

Leth-thoghta trie. ' 

1e-hog-te liio 

Bu deacair leam bas an leinnibh chaoin ; 

bn deo-ayr le-am bas an lenn-iv choyn 

The cause of his death? — ^Was it 

" 'Twas Lava who killed him, 
without a fault 

But the goodness that made him love 
the helpless : 

It was our nature, in every generation, 

Not to be timid in rebuking injustice ; 

Our shields were gates of brass to 
save (the injured,) 

Our spears their shaft of protection. 

When I myself was young in armour, 

As was yesterday the warrior who is 
now in darkness, 

With Lava's father went my steps, 

To plunder the joyous dwelling of 

I myself rebuked the deed, 

None having risen against us, 

But a child that was wielding his 

And flinging it like a lance against us. 

The arrow fell harmlessly 

On the foot of Comar of evil habits. 

He looked at the child with a scowl, — 

" In the Secret Isle shall be thy 

He was carried to the Secret Isle, 
Comar's spear over him, 
Was repeatedly half lifted (to strike.) 
I deemed the death of the child cruel. 



Thainig diu *n tra chnal e m' osnadh, 

hajn-ig cDa 'n tra oha-al e moe-na 

B-iogna leis m' airm a dearsa : 

bi-ogn-a leys mayim a der-sa 

Glais e laimh gu teann mu m' chosabh, 

ylayah e lajv ga teon mam cho6-av 

'S aheal e 'm ghnuis le ghonn sbuil 

8 hd e 'm ynnjs le jonn hnyl 


Mheataich mo chridhe le baigh ; 

ve-tajoh mo chri-e' le ba-i' 

Bha mo dheoir a sile diamhair 

va mo yey-oyr a sile di-av-ayr 

Na or-chiabhan, sa cheann fo m' sgeith. 

na or-chi-ay-an sa ohenn fo m sgey 

Mar gboideas earba le minDein ciar 

mar yoyd-es e-ar-bale minn-en ci-ar 
Bho shuil an t-8hea]gair tre 'n fhraocb, 

TO huyl an te-la-gayr tre *d roach 

Na iolaire gu carraig dhiamhair 

na i-olayr-^ ga oarr.ig yi-a-vir 

A h-al gu 'm falach san oiche, 

a ball gam fal-aoh san oy-che 

'S arohail a gbiulain mi tre thuinn 

'aay-il a yayl-en mi tre haynn 

An leannaibh gu mbathau: san oiche. 

an lenn-iv ga va'-ir sao oy-che 

Mar nial frois bha is air an traigh, 

mar ni-al froys va ish ayr an tra*i' 

'S do radh i rium fein, gu h-ait, 
8 do ra'i raym feyn ga bayt 

" 'So dhuit sleagh (an t-shleagh tha'm 

sho yayt deagh (an tleagh ha'm 


*S theirir Ronan gu brath ri'm mhac.*' 

'a her-ir ronan ga bra' ri'm yao 

Air Bonan, cha chulas Bgeula, 

ayr ronan cha cha-a-las sgeyUi 

Gus *n do chluinn an deigh bho Lamha, 

gas 'n do ohlayn an dey' to laya 

Gu 'm be f hagail na thir leonte 

ga *m be ag-ayl na hir le-on-te 

Fa bron oigh nan ciabhan aillin 

fa bron oy' nam d-ay-an ah-linn 

An speis thug mise do Bonan, 

an speysh hag mi-ae do ronan 

B'aithne do'm mhac. Esa dhuraichd, 
bay'-ne dom yac esa yay-iichd 

He came close to me, bearing my sigh, 

Wondering at my aims shining : 

He locked his arms around my legs, 

And looked in my face with his bine 
and tearful eye. 

My heart melted with pity ; 

My tears fell unseen 

Amid his golden locks, his head under 
my shield. 

As steals the roe away with her kid 

From the eye of the hunter through 
the heather, 

Or as the eagle carries to a secret 

Her b^ood in the midnight darkness, 

So did I carry over the waves^ 

The child to his mother through night 

Like the cloud of the shower, she was 
on the beach, 

And said to me, brightening with joy, 

'' Take this spear (the spear now in 
my hand,) 

And Bonan, for ever, will my son be 

Of Bonan I received no news, 

Until I heard yesterday from Lava, 

That, leaving him wounded in bis 

Was the cause of the grief of the 
maiden of the beautiful hair. 

My friendship for Bonan 

Was known to my son. He wished 


That he had been present to assist him, 
With the great spear of Struthormon. 
Lava heard what he had said, 

And gathered his people around the 

Behold his grave ! With tears falling. 

Say, here is the bed of Lamor ! 

It will also be the bed of his father, 

For brief the time until Runma will 

But let me beseech you, warriors, 
To bear my child and spear to R<man." 

Gu'n robh e lathair ga chomhnadh, 

gun rov e la'-ajr ga chov-na' 
Le sleagh mhor Sruththormain. 

3e de-a vor sru'-hor-maja 

Chuladh Lamha a chomhradh, 

cha-al-a' lava a obov-ra' 

'S chruinnich ashloigh mu'm aon mhac. 

^8 chraynii-ich a loy mam o-an vac 

Feach uaigh I L^'r deoir a sile, 

feych u^ay' le'r de-ojr a sQe 

Abraibh-'an sin iha leaba Laimhoir ! 

ab-riv an sin ha leba lajvojr 

Si cuideachd leaba athair, 

81 cayt-achd leba a'-a/r 

. Oir 's gearr gus an caidil Bunmath. 

ojr Bger gns an cjd-il run-ma 

Ach. cuiream comraich oirbh a sheotaibh, 

ach cayrem oom-rich ojnr a he-ot-ajy 

Mo leannabh *s ma shleagh thoirt do 

mo knn-ay sma le-a' hoyit do 



" 'S mise Bonan," ars an laoch, 

fl mi-ae ronan an an loaoh 

'S e g' aoma tiamhaidh gu Bunmath. 

B e gaoma ti-a-vay' ga ron-ma^ 

Gail iad mar aon air uaigh Lamhoir. 

yoyl i-ad mar oan ayr n-ay^ lav-voyr 

Ach ciod tha tighinn mar f huaim chao- 

ach ced ha ti'-inn mar nym oho- 



Tia bhruchdas doinnean a neulaibh ? 

tra Ymchd-aa doynn-en nan ni-al-ayv 

Feachd Lamhale'n shleagheanliomhaidh, 
fechd lava len alea'-en li-ovay' 

^S iad lionar a taoma na'r comhail, 

ai-ad ti*on-ar a to*ama nar cov-ayl 

A dealradh mar lannaibh air carraig, 

a del-ra' mar lann-ayv er carr-ig 

Tra dhearcas a ghrian a neulaibL 

tra yeyr-es a yri-an a ni-al-ayv 

Chualadh Bonan copan nan cath, 

> chu^ila' ronan oopan nan ca' 

'S learn e gu tapadh le eibhneas. 

8 lem e ga tapa' le eyy-nes 

Am beum sgeithe thionail a shlugh, 

am beym agey-e hi-o-nel a la-a 

Marnialgruamachmu'ndaraiggheugaich; Like an angry cloud round the 
mar dUI gra-a-mach man darr-ayg yeyg-ioh branchy oak ; 

^* I am Bonan," said tie hero, 

Bending in grief over Bunma. 

We wept, like one, over the grave of 

But what approaches like the sound 
of streams. 

When bursts the storm from the 

The host of Lava with their spears 

And they numerous, pouring to meet us, 
And shining like blades on a rock. 
When the sun breaks through cloud& 
Struck Bonan the boss of battle, 
As he sprang to deeds with joy. 
The alarm-stroke gathered his people, 



Mar thannas na h-aoiche ag imeachd, 

mar bannas na boy-che ag im*echd 

An co-thionneal nan doinnean eite, 

ao co-bi-onn-el nan dojDnen ^jte 

Gn dortadb air doireachan Ardbhein, 

ga dor-ta' er doyr-ech-ao ard.veyn 
San darach fairrel ga h-eisteachd ; 

flan darr-ach fayrrd ga heys-techd 

B-amhuil Bonan dol sios do'n araicb. 

bav-il ronan dol si-os don ar-aych 

'Sa locbri laidir na cbenmadh. 

*8a lo-chri lajdir na cheym-a' 
• • * « 

'Sa reir sin, le neart 's le fuathas, 

aa reyr sinn le nert tie fn-a'«aa 
Sbiubhail, is lean a shbiagb, Lamba 

hi«av-ayl is len a lu-a' lava 

Mar tbam buaireal a neal dorcba, 
mar ham bajiel a ni-al dor-cha 

Tra 's dnaicbnaidb faicbe na Lara, 
tra *0 dn-ayoh-naj' faych-e na lara 

Tba mile clogaid is sbleagb ard, 
ha mil«e dogayd b sle-a' ard 

A dealradb mar dboire na cbaoiribb. 

a dd-ra' mar yojrh na cboy-ri?' 

Acb CO db'innseas citb a cbatbadb? 
acb CO a yinn-aea ci' a d>a'.a' 

Tba sgiatban leatban ga'n sgolta 

ha 8gi-ft'-an lo'-an gan Bgolta 

Le neart gabbaidb, nan claidbean ; 

le nert ga-vay nan clay '-an 
Cinn is cinn-bbeirt a tuiteam, 

cinn ifl dnn-y^yrt a tnyt-em 

'S na mairbb a mncbadb nan leonte. 

ana mayrv a mu-cba' nan le-on-te 

Fuil a niitb mar mbile caocban, 

fnyl a my' mar vil-e caoch«an 

'S anama Laocb dol suas an smuidibb. 

18 anama loach dol sn-as an BmoyUir 

Acb CO iad 'n da iolaire sgiatbacb, 

aob 00 i-ad an da i-ol-er-e Bgi-a'*acb 

Tba gleacbda co fiadbaicb san roan ? 

ha gleohd«a oo-fi-a'-idi Baa roan 

Cba mbinnean og, na coileacb fraoicbe, 

oba Tinn-en og na ooy»lacb fo-a-che 

Mu bbeil an stri len lannaibb bas-mbor. 

mn yeyl an Btri le lannayr bae-Tor 

f eucb fear dbiu air a gblun ag aoma, 
feych fer yi-o er a yloa ag aom-a 

Like the spirit of night, careering 

Amid tbe congregated gbosts in a 
tempest dismal, 

To pour on tbe groves of Ardven, 

Witb tbe monarcb oak watcbfally 
listening ; 

So descended Bonan to battle 
Witb bis cbivalry strong in bis steps. 

Equal in strength, and in dreadfal 

Lava led, and bis people followed. 

Like fierce thunder in a dark cloud, 

When gloom rests on^ tbe plain of 

A thousand helmets and spears shone 
on high. 

Blazing like a grove on fire. 

But who can relate the tug of battie? 

Broad shields are being split 

By tbe wonderful strength of swords : 

Heads and helmets falling, 

And the dead smothering the wounded. 

Blood is running like rivulets. 

And tbe souls of heroes ascending in 

But who are they, tbe two eagles, 

broad winged, 
That are wrestling so wildly on the 

^is not for a young kid nor tbe poult 

of tbe moor-cock 
They contend witb tlieir deadly 

Behold, one on bis knee stooping, 


Sa thaice laba a shieagha. 
sa liajo^ loba a lea'-a 

" Gefl," area Ronan, " do shleagh, 

g^jl ana ronan do lea' 

Is mar rithidh Salmipa ; 

is mar ri-i' anyl-mina 

Bas mo naimb cha mhian leam fein, 

bas mo nayr cha yi-an le-am fSjn 

Noir chi mi fo chreuchd e na shine." 

nojr du mi fo ohrejo e na hin-e 

'' Tha m' uilsa taomadh mar shruth ; 

ha mnyl-fla toama mar m' 

Dh-aindeon beiream dhuit do gbaol. 
yajD-en beyr-am juyt do yoal 

Air cul na carraig ud tha uaimh, 

ayr col na carrayg nd ha n-ajr 

Air bmaich chlnanean ghiurm a cha- 

ayr broyoh cUn-an-en ynyrm a cho- 

ochain ; 

Ach togadh, an ainnir mo leac, 
adi toga an ayn-ir mo leo 

Oir ge bu deacair thug mi gaol dhith." 

oyr ge ba decayr hug mi goal yi' 

Ohreis Bonan a dh-iarruidh a ghaoil. 

yreys ronan a yi-ar-uy' a yaoyl 

Fhuair e'n caochan 's f huair e'n uaimh, 

ha*ayr en oaooh-an 'shu-ayr en n-ayv 

Ach ainnir a ghaoil cha d' fhuair. 
ach a-inn-ir a yaoyl oha du-ayr 

Cha chluinnte ach fiiaim na h-osaig, 

cha ehlaynnte aoh fb-aym na hoeayg 

Is monbhm: an duillich sheargte. . 

is mon-bnr an duyU-ich berg-t^ 

" CTait a ghaoil abheil do thamh ? 
cayt a yaoyl a veyl do hav 

C*oim nach d' ig u dian am chomhail ? 

ooym nach dig n di*an am cho-vel 

Thig a ghoil 'o d' ionad diamhair, 

big a yoyl o din-ad divayr 

Cloinn a Shuilmina do Bonan.'* 

dajmn a hnyl-mina do ronan 

Och 'b diomhain a laoich do ghuth, 

och adi-ovayn a loyoh do yu' 

Cha toir ach na creagan dhuit eistiachd. 

cha doyr aoh na cr^-an yuyt fey-etechd 

Climm sgal cuilean sa'n arich, 

doynn sgal cny-Ien san ar-ich 

Sud an Jrait 'n do thuit Suilmina. 

fihnd an tayt 'n do hnyt snyl-mina 


Sustained on his bending spear. 
" Yield," said Ronan, " thy spear, 
And with it Salmina ; 


The death of an enemy is not my 

When I see him wounded and low." 

" My blood is pouring like a stream ; 

I must of necessity yield thee thy love. 

At the back of yonder ipck there is 

a cave 
On the meadowy green bank of the 

stream ; 

But let the nymph rear my tomb ; 

For though I used severity, I gave her 
my love." 
Bonan hastened in search of his love. 

He found the rivulet and the cave, 

But the nymph of his love he found not ; 

Nor could he hear, save the sound of 

the breeze, 
And the rustle of the decaying leaves. 

" Where is thy dwelling, my love? 

Why dost thou not hasten to meet me? 

Come, my love, from thy hiding ; 

Answer to thy Bonan, Sjihnma/' 

Alas ! vain is thy voice, hero : 

The rocks alone reply. 

He heard the wail of a hound in the 

(battle) field. 
In the spot where fell Sulmina. 

M • 



Dh-iar i'n ar a chomhnadh Bonain ; 

yi-ar i n ar a chov-na' ronayii 

'S choinnich a h-uchd corran saighde. 

'a dioyiiii-ioh a huohd oorran say'-de 

Ohaochail an solns na suil, 

chaoohayl anflol-na na sajl 

*S shearg na gnnis ros na h-aille. 

*a her-ag na gnajs ros na hayll^ 

Thrdt Bonan gu'n tnar, ga*n deoir, 

hoyt ronan gan ta-ar gon de-ojr 

Air a muineal leth-f huar fo'n eng, 

ajr a majn-el le'-n-ar fon ejg 

Amhoil eitheann a dh-aomas gn lar, 

avnyl ej'-en a yom-aa gn lar 

Noir thniteas a dharag gheugach. 
noyr huyin a yarag y^-gaoh 

Thug Suilmina plaoeg air a sailean, 

hog soyl-mina ploag ayra saj-len 

'S ghrad dhoin iad le aiteas sa bhas. 
's yrad yuyn i-ad le ayt-aa la vaa 

Ba chian thug Binne ri bron, 

ba ohi-an bug rinn^^ ri bion 

'Sar deoir a smthadh mu'n coidrt dhoibh, 

's ar de-oyr a sra'-a' man oa-ayit yoyy 

Gns 'n do labhair Bunma gu ghlic, 

gna 'n do laT-er nm*ma ga glic 

'8 e tighinn dluth, le mhall cheumaibh : 
'a e ti'-inn din le mall ohejmaTy 

*'An gairm cumhadh air daimhich o'n eug? 

an geyrm cn-va' ajr dayr-ioh o*n ejg 

An cluinn iad nan snain air caoineadh ? 

an oluyn i-ad nan mayn ajr oaoy-ne' 

Ach 's geur gas an lean sin an ceum, 

aob 'a geyr gns an len sin an oeym 

Do thalabh an clos 's nan neoil, 

do bal*ay an doe 'snan ne-oyl 

Tra leagheas ar laidhean tearc 

tra l?-ei ar lay'-en tero 

An sruth nam bliadhn' tha bras ga*r 

an era' nam bli-a'-n ha bras gar 


Nach faic sibh cheannadh an f haUuing 

naoh &yo Ay obenn-a an ailing 


Feathamh ri Bunma 's na neoil deas? 
fe'-ay ri nm-ma 'sua neoyl dea 

She had sought the field in aid ot 

She was met by a barbed sbaCL 

The light fiuied in her eye, 

Beauty fled from her fiice. 

Bonan fell, without colour, without 

On her bosom, half cold in death, 

As ivy inclines to the earth. 

When falls its blooming oak. 

Sulmina's eyes opened for a moment 

With a blink of loy, then closed, 

pleased in deatn. 
Long did we remain in grief, 

Our tears falling around .them. 

Until Bunma wisely spoke. 

Approaching with slow steps : — 

" Can sorrow recal our friends from 

the grave ? 
Do they hear our wails in their sleep ? 

But we will shortly follow their steps, 

To their halls cahDci among the clouds, 

When our short days have melted away 

In the stream of years that are fleeting 
from us. 

Do you not already see the garb of 


That awaits Bunma ready in the dcy ? 



*S cha 'n f hada Uiios Bonan na dbeigh, 

^8 cha 'n a-da vis ronan na yey * 

!Ma gheighleas e do bhron a feasd. 

mu yey'-les e do vron a fesd 

Tha 'm broB mar an arothan diamhair, 

ha m bron mar an ara'-aQ di-vayr 

Dh-iaras fo iochdar na bniaiche ; 

yi-ar-as fo i-ochd-ar na bniy-che 

Tha'n galUm cheanadh ag aomadh 

ban *gallan chen-a' ag oam-a' 

Thog ri thaobh a gheugan aillidh. 
hog ri hac? a yeyg-an aylli' 

Bimin am bron, dieadh ar cliu ; 

vnyn am bron ej-rh ar cli-a 

^S ar uioe midh air sgiathan gabbaidh." 

'sar nyn^ ray' ayr sgi-a'-an gav-i' 

Dh-ekich Bonan, sa ohneas fo bhron ; 

yey-rich ronan sa chnes fo Tron 

'S thug teach a naimh do^ og 'a do'n 
's bag tedi a Ba3r? don og *b don 


o-as-da • 

Dh-f hag e f hirnofihor a dhion an toir ; 

yag e ir-vor a yi-on an tuyr 

Mar sin is fear iul na h-oiche. 

mar sin is fer i-ul na bo-ich^ 

Ghaireas an oigh an king an laoich ; 
cbuyr-es an oy' an luyingan laoych 

Is thogair, caointeach, an so a leac. 
is bogayr ooyn-tecb an 85 a lee 

Ah so tha leaba Bonain faraon, 
an sd ha leb-a ronan £ur-oan 

An laoch bu treune 'sa b-aillidh. 
an laoch ba treyn-5 'sa ba^ylli' 

Bn tursach a laithean san xaon ; 
bn tnr-sach a lay'^en san roan 

Ach 'n deigh a gbaoil cha b-f hada beo e. 
ach 'n d^' a yoyl cha ba-da be-o h 

Nis tha leaba, fo'n chloioh choinich, 
nis ha leb-a fon chloycb choyn-tich 

Bi taobh a ghoil, 
ri taoT a yoyl 

Tha feusag a cUaairean aosda 
ha fey-aag a ohla-ar-en oasnla 

A taomadh tiambaidh mii'n onairl dhoibh. 
a toam-a' ti-ayay' man (m-ayrt yoyv 

'» trie mise, ri solus nan reul, 
'stric mi-se ri sol-us nan reyl 

.Nor will Bonan be long after him, 

If he yields to endless ^ef. 

Sorrow is like a secret streamlet, 

Undermining its flourishing bonks ; 

Making the young trees bend oy», 

That exalted their blooming boughs 
by its sida 

Dismiss sorrow, earn fame ; 

Our days are flying on matchleas 

Bonan arose with a bosom sad ; 

He gave the house of his foe to the 
young and the aged, 

And left his big men to defend the 



And likewise the guide of (the 
previous) night 

We placed the maid in the ship of 
the hero ; 

And here, weef>ing, we reared her ' 

Here also is the grave of Bonan, 

The hero strong and baautifiiL 

Sad were his days on the heath ; 

But he did not live long after his 

Now his head is under the mossy stone, 
By the side of his love, 
The beard of the aged thistle 
Pouring moumtfuily around. 
Often am I in the light of the stars. 



Ag eisteacbd ri comhradh an taibhse%n. 

ag eyst-achd ri cov-ra* an ta-iv-shen 

'S eibhein air na neoil an imeachd, 

's eyy-ejn ayr na ne-oyl an im-achd 

Tra chluinneas iad fonn mo chlarsaich. 

tra chluynn-es i-ad fonn mo chlar-saych 

A mhic Arair, tha'n taibhsean dlutb, 

a yic ar-er han tayy-sen dlu' 

Na ceil orra t-oran tiamhaidh ! 
na c^yl orra tor-an ti-av-ay 

Listening to their spirits convemng. 
Joyous is their course in the clonds, 
When they hear the sound of nay harp. 
Son of Arair, their spirits are nigh. 
Deny them not thy song pensive ! 

(From the Bey. Dr Bmith'i Seaoaona Dhana. — The flnt Dnon only.) 

^San la ad bha Comhal na'm buaidh, 
'san la ad va coval nam buy 

Le cheol 's le shlua^h air an leirg — 
le che-ol ^s le la-a ayr an leyrig 

Qe iosal an cluainean an f heidh, 

ge i-o-sal an duy-nen an ey' 

An diugh an laoch nach b-f haoin am 

an di-u' an laoch nach baoyn am 

feirg ; 

A leaba fo chos nan clach, 
a lebk fo chos nan clach 

A fasga na daraig aosda. — 

a fasg^ na darayg aos-da 

Bha laoich ri 'n sleaghan an taic, 
va laoych ri'n sle'-an an tayc 

An suilean laiste 's an aghaidh aoimte, 
an say-len layste san a'ay oymte 

Ag eisteacbd ri sgeula gaisge, 

ag eystec ri sgeyla gaysg^ 

Air Comhal is righ Innsefail ; 
ayr coval is ri' innae-fftyl 

'N tra sguab iad an arach le cheile ; 
'n tra sgn-ab i-ad an arach le chey-l^ 

Noir chunnacas linn luadh bharca 

noyr chuma-cas linn lu-a' varca 

Seola gu traigh na neul-eide. 

seo-la ga tray' na neyl-§yde 

Dh-f hainaich Comhal an long, 

yanich coval an long 

'S an copan o'n bhnail an beum-sgeithe* 
's an copan bn vuyl an beym sgey'-^ 

'^ Grad leumaibh air aigeal nan tonn, 

grad leymayv ayr aygel nan tonn 

A chomhair righ tha na eigein." 

a cho-ver n' ha na eyginii 

Bu gharbh an doinnean o dheas, 
ba yarv an doynnen o yes 

On that day was Coval of victories, 

With his people and music on the 

Though, on the meadows of the deer. 

To-day is (the grave of) the hero that 
was not feeble in his anger ; 


His bed in a hollow beneath stones, 

In the shelter of the aged oak. 

His warriors were leaning on their 

Their eyes kindled, their faces looking 

Listening to a tale of heroism, 

Of Coval and the king of Innes&il ; 

While, together, they swept the battle- 

When seen was a svrift bark 

Steering to the shore under its cloud- 
like array. 

Coval knew the ship, 

And (meaning of) the boss that re- 
sounded on the shield. 

*' Quickly (he cried) leap on the 
waves of the sea 

To the relief of the king in extremity." 
Bough was the storm from the south, 



A gleachd gu duaiohnidh ri'r suil 

a glee gu duych-ni' rir royl 


Oir thaom an oiche na'r comhail, 

oyr haom an oychd. nar ooveyl 

Air cuam dobhuidh nan tonn beuchdael. 

ayr ca-«n dovay' nan tonn beychdell 

'' Ciod," arsa Comhal na'm buaidfa, 
ci-od ana coval nam buy' 

'* Am & dhnin bhi 'g oadal caain, 

am & ynyn yi gadal cuyn 

Is eillean fuar nan camus crom, 

1b eyllen fu-arnan camns crom 

A sgaoileadh a sgiathan foil, 
a agoyle' a sgi-a'-an foyl 

Gu'r dion 'o dhoinnean na h-oiche. 

gar di-on o yoynen na hoyche 

Tha e crom mar bhogh' air ghleos, 

ha e crom mar to ayr yleys 

Tha e seimh mar nchd ma ghaoiL 
ha e Bheyy mar nchd ma yaoyle 

Caitlieadh mid an oiche fo sgeith, 

cay* . mid an oych^ fo sgey' 

lonad eibfaeinn nan aisling ciuin.'' 

i-onayd eyrinn nan ayshlin d-ayn 

Chualas comhacbag a creig, 

cha-alas coTachag a creyg 

^S gath broin ga freagaurt a uaimL 

Bga broyn ga freygayrt a u-ayv 

^*J3e guth Dheirg," arsa Comhal, 

86 ga' yey'ng ar-sa coval 

Wrestling with our sails, kerch-white/ 




For the night ponred in our faces, 
On a fierce sea of bellowing waves. 
" Why," said Coval of victories, 
'* Should weremainrockingon the sea, 
And the cold island of bending bays 
Spreading its wings calm 
To shelter us from the storms of night. 
It bends like a bow in action, 
And is mild as the bosom of my love. 
Let us spend the night under its wing, 
Thepleasingisland of peaceful dreams." 

Ab owl IB heard from a rock. 
And a mourofiil voice fix)m a cave. 
^' It is the voice of Dargo," says Coval, 


Chail sinn sa chuan onf bach, 

chayllsinn sa cha-an on-a-Tach 

^N tra tbiU sinn o Lochlan nan crann, 

^n tra hill sinn o lochlan nan crann 

^S gach doinnean gu teann gar rnctgadh. 

Bgach doynnen ga tenn gar mga' 

Thog na tumn an cinn *s na. neoil| 

hog na taynn an cinn *8 na noyl 

Dh-as sleibhtean ceo air an lear^ 

yaa slave-ten ce-o ayr an ler 

Bha mhuir mholach le stuaidh ^hlas, 
Ta yayr volach le stay' ylas 

Fo bhuaireadh bho iar gu ear. 

fo yayi^ yo i-ar ga err 

* The head-drefls of Highland fenulee was called " breid,^ a kerchief. Being snowy-white, the brdd 
is often used as a simile, as in the aboye case, for snowy-whiteneBS. 

'' Who was lost on a sobbing sea, 

When we were returning from Loch- 
lan of masts, 

With every storm closely pursuing us. 

The waves lifted their heads to the 

Wolds of mist covered the face of the 

The ocean was rough with grey waves. 
And under fury from west to east 



Bha Dearg ga h-ard aDn sa chrami ; 

va dejrag ga hard anD 8a chrann 

Is bhrist an ial ris an d* earb e ; 
IB vrist an i-al ris an d-erab h 

Morbhein cha'n f hide e gu brath ; — 

morvejn chan aye e ga bra' 
Dh-f halaich tonna-gaireach bh'uin e.*' 

yalaych tonn-garrech Tuyn h 

Dh-aithnich Geallachos guth an Deirg, 
yayn'ich gella-chos ga* an deyreg 

'S mar bu ghna leis air an leir^, 

8 mar bu yna leys ayr an leyng 

Rinn e miolaran 's thug leum gabhaidh, 

rinn e milaran '8 hug leym gavay' 

Le mor oibhneas, ghios na traigb, — 
le mor oyynes yi-OB na tray' 

Mar shaighead a glaic an iughair, 
mar hay'd a glyc an i-u'-ayr 

Tha chasan ag suibhal tre bhar-thninn : 

ha chasan ag si-uval tre Tar huynn 

B-aite leis na mac na h-eilde, 

b-ayht^ leys na mac na heyl-t^ 

A Dheirg a bhith leum ri d' bhraigh. 
a yeyrig a yi* leym ri d yra-i' 

Chunnacas liennedh an aoibhneas, 

chunnac-as linne' an oyy-nes 

Le solus bristeach nan reultan, 

le solus bristach nan reyltan 

A caidreamh ri cheile mar cbairdean, 

a caydrev ri cheyle mar chayrden 

A thachair gu'n duil an tir naimbdean. 
a hach-ayr gu*n duyl an tir nayyten 

'S noir f haichte le Dearg ar loingeas 

'snoyr aych-te le deyrag ar loyngas 

Aig ro-mhiad aighear s'a sholais, 
ayg ro vi-ad ay'er sa holays 

Mar tugadh Gealchossa air Icdmh e ; 

mar tuga' gelchossa ayr layv e 

Ghios na tragha sior nar coaiL 

yis na tra-ya si-or nar co'-ayl 

*' Am beo u Dheirg," arsa Comhal, 
am be-o u yeyrig ar-sa c6val 

" A chail sinn an cuan salach gharbh- 
a chayl sinn an cu-an salach yarv- 


*S ioghna do thiamadh o'n Bha-shrath, 
8 i-o'-na do hi-ama' o*n Taru' 

Dargo was high on the mast ; 

The thong broke to which he had 

Morven he will never behold, — 

He was concealed from us under tur- 
bulent wavea" 

Q^allachos knew the voiee of Dargo, 

And, as was his wont, on the hill, 

He whined with excitement, made a 
leap, astonishing. 

In his excess of joy, for the shore, 

And, like an arrow from the embrace 
of the yew, 

Cut his course through the top of the 
waves : 

More joy had he than in the scm of 
the hind. 

In leaping oa thy bosom, Dargo. 

By us was witnessed their joy. 

In the broken light of the stars, 

Embracing one another like friends, 

Unexpectedly met in the land of foes. 

Nor would Dargo have noticed our 

From the excess of his joy, . 

Had not Geallachosa pulled him by the 

Toward the shore to meet oa 

" Art ihou living, Dargo," said Ooval, 

'^ Whom we lost amid drumUe rough 
waves ? 

Thy escape from Ba-ru was wonderfnl, 



A shlaig le gamdch a suas u/' 

a heujg le garr-aych a suaa a 

" Le tulga thoim/' tbuirt Dearg, *' ga'm 

le tulga honn huryt deyrag gam 




Bha mise an oich f huar sin ga latha, 

▼a miae an oych u-ar sin ga W-a' 

Seachd geaUachain, 'egach 

sechd gellaohayn sgach 



Le'n tragha 's le'n liona chaidh tharum. 

len tn/a 'a len li-o-na cfaa-i' harom 

Chaidh mi 'n latha a sealg a chuim ; 
chay mi n la'-i a selag a ohuyrn 

'San oich be manran ciul mo mhian ; 

Ban oyoh be-manran ci-ul mo yi-an 

Ach V ei^in iala, mar thaibhse, 
ach beygmn i-ala mar hayyse 

Le ceil^,* air eunlaidh na h-oiche. 
le ceylig ayr eynlay' na hoyche 

Sa'n tirsa 's neo ait a ghrian, 
saa tina *8 ne-o ayt a yri-an 

*S gur mall a ghealach do thriall. 

'a gar mall a yelach do h-ri-al 

Ach ciod 80 aobhar air broin ? 
ach cy-od so aovar ayr broyn 

Chi mi air deoir a srutha. 

chi mi ayr de-oyr a ara'-^ 

Nach beo Crimora mo ghaoil, 
nach be-o crimora mo yaoyl 

An aiUeag chaoin bu tlathaidh cruth? 
an ayl-eg choyn ba tla-i' cru' 

Chunna mi i seola na'n nial 
channa mi iae-o-la nan ni-al 

A dh-iadh ma sholus na h-oiche, 

a yi-a' ma holoa na hoycb^ 

Tra dh-amhairc i nuas ro'n f hrois, 
tea yaT-ayrc i na-aa ron roya 

Air gnnis thiamhidh na doine. 
ayr goa-ia hi-av-i' na doyne 

Bha i ann an caochla dreach, 
ya i ann an caochla drech 

That swallowed thee up with a roar." 

"Floating on waves," said Dargo, 
^* that tossed me (about,) 

I was during that cold night until 

Seven moons, each of them like a year, 

With their waning and growing, 
passed over me. 

I spent the day in the chase on the 
crest of the hill ; 

At night my desire was tuneful mins- 
trelsy ; 

But I was compelled to stalk like a 

Treacherously* on the birds of night. 
In this country the sun is unhappy. 
And the moon slow on its course. 
But what is the cause of your grief? 
I see your tears falling ; 
Is Crimora of my love no more, 
The little beauty of the mildest face ? 
I saw her sailing on the clouds 
That winded round the light of night, 
When looking down through a shower. 
On the calm face of the deep. 
She was in a different array, 

* The andent Higlilaiider pnnaed his aporta on the manly pzindploB of detexmined pene- 
Tennoe and daring intrepidity. He foUowed the stag for days and weeks, deeping in hia plaid among 
the heather, and snatched the sahnon, between the linn and the aky, ataading on tiie dizzy ledge of the 
rock with hia long gaff, in a podtion daogeroua and magnificent; but aothiag ahoit of atarration would 
make fatal take part in the fanital Genaan battne, or in any mode of fishing or killing game, which did 
not maka it a sporting and ohivalKHia afiair, worthy of a gentleman, and inconsistent with the greed 
and blood-thiiatiness of the yenison-butcher or game-poulterer, who degrades sport into a mercantfle 
tranaaotioB of profit and loss, in the present day. 



A snilean graidh a sile dhenr ; 

a sayll-en gray' a al4 yeyr 

Ach dh-aithnicb mi crath mo ghaoil, 
ach yayn'ich mi cm' mo yaoyl 

*S an taobhar thair cuan i dh-ebidh. 
Ban taovar hayrcha-ani yeyri' 

• • • • 

^* Nach troagb leat mise, a Chrimora ? 
nach (ra-a' let mise a chrimora 

Och ! na fag mi so am oanar." 

och na fig mi so am oan-ar 

Oigh-thaibsean chaartaicb i le 'n orain, 
oy' hayysen chn-artaych i len oren 

Is db-fhag iad mise tursacb, bronacb. 
18 yag i-admi.8e tnnaoh bronach 

** Thig le d' cbeol bimi, a Cbritb-mora, 

hig led che-oi bimi a chrimora 

Gu talla nan oigbean fial, 
ga tiUU nan oy'-en fi-al 

'Sa bbeil Soil-mbalda is Trennmor, 
Ba yeyl suyl-Talda is treyn-mor 

A sealg feidh dboillear nan nial. 

a sel-ag fey' ^yoyll-er nan ni-al 

Cbualas i le b-osna leointe, 
chn-alas i le hosna le-oynte 

*S i sealtam bronacb na deigb." 

18 i seltayn bron-ach na dey' 

Sguir an ceol, an taibbse a tbreig, 

Bguyr an ce-ol an tayy-se a hreyg 

'S dbag iad mise a site dbeur, 
*B yag i-ad mi-se a si-le yeyr 

Air traigb ainel ^s mi leom fbein. 

ayr tray' ayn-el '8 mi le-om feyn 

O'n og-mbadain gu dall-oicbe, 

o'n og-vadayn ga dall-oyche 

Mo cboidb o sin cba do sgair. 
mo choy' o sin cha do sguyr 

C'uin a cbi mi n, a Cbrimora ? 
cnyn a ohi mi n a chrimora 

Bi ^m bbeo bidb mise fo eislean ! 
rim Te-o bi' mi-se fo eys-len 

Tba m* anam a snamb an ceo : 

ha man-am a snav an ce-o 

Inn^bb fior an doigb a db-eug i ?" 

innsiy fi-or an doy' a ySyg i 

*' An sgeula truagb tra f buair do bbean, 
an sgeyk tni-a' tra huyr do ven 

Tri latbain bba i na tosd gu 'n gbean : 
tri la'-ayn ya i na tosd iru^n yen 

Her eyes of love sbedding tears ; 
But I knew ber lovely face, 
And wby sbe rose over tbe sea. 

• •••«- 

** Dost tbou not pity me, Crimora ? 


Ocb ! leave me not alone. 

Maiden gbosts gatbered around her 
with songs, 

And tbey left me, grief-struck, 

** Come witb tby sweet music, Cri- 
mora, (tbey sung) 

To tbe ball of tbe social maidens, 

Wbere is Sul-malla and Trenmore, 

Coursing dusky deer in cloud& 

I beard ber, witb a wound-dgb, 

Wben looking witb sorrow behind 

Tbe music ceased, tbe spirits vanished, 

And tbey left me sbedding tears. 

On a strapge shore by myself. 

From tbe young morning until the 

blind night, 
My lamentations have not ceased since 


Wben shall I see thee, Crimora ? 
While living, sorrow must be mine ! 
My soul is swinuning in mist : 
Tell me truly bow died she ?" 

" When the woful news came to thy 

She was three days incapable of speech 

or motion : 



Ao ceathramb dh-fhiar i a mhuir gu'n 
an ce'rav yi-ar i a Tttyr gun 


^S fbaaras i ga'n deo air traigb : 

's hu-aras i gun de-oayr trft-y' 

Mar sbneacbda sa'n f hireacb f buar, 

mar nechda' san irech n-ar 

Na eala air Lanna, gu*ii tuar. 
na ella ayr lanna gun tu-ar 

Fhuaras i le b-oigbibb gaoil, 

ha-aras i le hoyiv' gaoyl 

A theirinn o cbaocbain nan sliabb, 

a her-inn o chaochen nan ali-av 

Le 'm basaibh min a siabadb dbeur, 
lem basayv min a si-aba' yeyr 

'S le*n osnicb a seide an ciabb. 

»Ien osnich a sheyt^ an ci-av 

Le lie is gorm-fhoid na traigh, 

le lie is gorm-oyd na tray' 

Thog sinne combnuidb do mbnoi. 

hog 8inn^ covni' do vnoy 

B' iomad bba 'n latba sin dubbacb, 
bi-omad va'n la'-^ sin duvach 

'S bu tiambaidb cumbadb gacb aon. 
's ba ti-avi' cuya' gacb aon 

Mar aile a seinn an cuilc na Leige, 

mar ayll a seynn an cuylc na ley-g^ 

Dh-eiricb mall is fann a cliu. 
yey-rich mail is fann a di-ii 

Ach ciod so 'n solus an Innse-fail ? 
ach ci-od so'n solus an ionse-fayl 

Feucb crann-taraidb* an fbuatbais ! 

feych craun-taray' an u'-aysh 

Togaibb air siuil, tarnaibb ur raimb, 
togiv' ayr si-uyl tarn-ayv ur rayv 

Sgiursaibb a bbarc tre cbaaintaibb. 
sgi-ursir a varc tre chu-ayntayv 

Sheid gaotb dbileas na'm beann, 
heyd gao' yil-es - nam beynn 

On tbe fourtb, sbe sougbt tbe sea, cold 
and pitiless, 

And was found on tbe sbore soulless : 

Like a wreatb of snow on tbe bleak 

Or like a swan on Lanna, breatbless. 

Sbe was found by ber maidens beloved, 

As tbey descended from tbeir mountain 

Wltb tbeir soft bands wiping away 

And tbeir sigbs lifting tbeir locks. 

Witb flags and the green turf of tbe 

We raised tbe dwelling of tby wife. 

Many on tbat day were in grief. 

And melancboly were tbe lamentations 
of all. 

Like a soft breezein tbe reeds of Lega, 

Slowly and faintly was raised ber 

But wbat ligbt is tbat in Innesfail ? 

Bebold tbe cross of speed and battle !* 

Exalt our sails, draw your oars, 

Scourge tbe bark tbrougb tbe seas. 

Tbe faitbful wind blew from our 

'S chab-fbann airbuillean gu combnadb ; Nor faint were our strokes to aid it ; 
'8 cha bann ayr buyllen gu cov-na' 

Thug siun muigb air braigb nan tonn, 

hug sinn mlly ayr bray' nan t5nn 

'S gacb sonn is a sbuil ri combraig. 
8 gadh Bonn is a huyl ri covrig 

Bba uilean Dbeirg air slios a sgeitb, 

va uyllen yeyrig ayr slis a sgey' 


• "Ctmui," asbaft of wood; ("tar," ahould bo 
beam or shaft of lurpiuuiDg running or speed. 


We cburned tbe tops of tbe waves, 
Every bero's eye looking for battle. 
Tbe elbow of Dargo was on his sbield, 

Har,") surpassing ; and " ruith," runniog : viz., the 


i ' 



^8 a dheoir a erutha sios ri taobh. 

Ba yoyr a sro'-ii si-os ri taoY 
" Chi mi Dearg gu tiamhaidb, tosdach ; 

obi mi deyrg ga ti-avi' tosdach 

Tog UUainn nan teud Bprochd an laoch. 

tog ullayn nan tSyd sprochd an laoych 


And his teais sta-eamed dowo by its 

" I see Dargo in sorrow, and silent, 
(said Coval ;) 

Ullain of the chords, lift tiie grief uf 
the hero.** 



Ki linn Threin-mhoir nan sgiath, 

ri limi hrSyn-YOjr nan Bgey'-^ 

Buaig Caoilte am fiadh ma Eite ; 

rayg oaoylt^ am fi-a' ma ejt^ 

Thuit leis daimh-chabrach nan cnoc ; 
bnyt leys dayv-obabraoh nan cnochd 

'S cho-fhreagair gach slochd da eighe. 

'a cho-regayr gach slochd da ej'-h 

Chunnaic Min-bheul, a gaol, 

dmnnajo minYoyl a gad 

'S le curach faoin chaidh na choel. 

sle curach fii-oyn chay' na cho-el 

Sheid osna choimheach gu'n bhaigh, 

heyd osna ohoyvech gun vay 

'Chuir druim an aird air a bharca. 

ehnyr dmym an ayrd ayr a varca 

Chualas le Caoilte a glaodh, — 

chu-alas le ooylt^ a glao' 
"A ghaoil,a ghaoil, dean mo comhnadh! 

a yaoyi a yaoyl den mo chovna' 

Ach ihuirling dalla-bhrat na h-oiche, 

ach huyrling dallkvrat na bojche 

^S dh-fhailnich air a chluis a comhradh : 
'b yaylxdoh ayr a chluys a oovra' 

Mar fhuaim sruthain an cein, 

mar u-aym sru'-en an ceyn 

Michinteach thain a h-eibh na choail. 

mi-ohinnteeh hayn a heyy na eho-ayl 

'Sa mhadainn an onfha na traigh, 

sa vad-ayn an ona na tra'-i 

Fhuaras gu*n chail an og-bhean. 

hu-aras gun chayl an og-ven 

Thog e 'n cois na traigh a leac, 
bog e *n coys na tra/ a lee 

Aig anithan bronach nan glas-gheugan : 

aig em'-an bronach nan glas-yeygan 

*S eol do'n sealgair an traite ; 

■ eol don eel-ager an tayt^ 

*Se baigheal an teas na greine. 
ae^ bay'el an tea na greynb 


In the days of Trenmor of shields, 

Chased Caoilte the deer on Eite ; 

Fell by him the antlered stags ; 

Every valley answering to his call 

Minvel saw her love, 

And in a weak curach she went to 
meet him. 

A fierce and pitiless blast 
Turned the bark back upwards. 
Heard by Caoilte was her cry, — 

" My love, my love, save me ! 


But the blind panoply of night 

And her plaint failed on his ear : 

Like the sound of a distant streamlet^ 

"Uncertain reached him her cry. 

In the morning, by the murmuring 

Was found without strength the 
young wife. 

He raised her tomb at the side of the 

By the plaintive streamlet of the aged 

grove : 
The hunter knows the place ; 

It is genial when the nxm is high. 



Ba chian do Chaoilte ri bron, 

ba cbi-an do cliaojlt^ ri brdn 

Na aonar an coille Eite. 

na oanar an ooyli^ eyth 

Ach bhnail Trenn-mor beum-sgeithe : 

ach Tuayl treynmore beym-sgey'-^ 

'S le lochraidh ghluabCaoilte na threune. 

ale lochray' ylu-ajsh coylt^ na hreyn^ 

High air uigh pbill a sholas. 

ay' ayr ny' fill a holSa 

Chual 6 cUiu is lean e an Irsheilge. 

cha-al e chli-u la len e an teyleg^ 

**'Sciiimlmleom," arsaDearg, "anlaoch, 

^8 cuyn le-om ana deyrag an laooh 
Mar aisIiDg choiinhneil a threig ; 

mar aa-Iing ohoyv-neyi a hreyg 

'N tra stuir e gu h-og mi air Eite, 

'n ira sti-nyr e gu hog mi ayr eytfe 

Sa dheoir a fliucbe a sgeitbe. 
sa ye-oyr a fli-ncha a agey'-^ 

** Ciod fa do thuireadh, a Chaoilte ? 

d-od fa do hnyr^ a chaoylt^ 

Com' a bheil t-aois bronacb, dubhach?" 
oom a T«yl toya bronaoh dn-aoh 

" Mo ghaol tha fo 'n f hold na sineadh." 

mo yaol ha ib\i 6ghd na am^ 
" ! dean an t-aite so tbaogbal 

oh den an tayt^ ao ha'-ol 

Marroghainn do chuairtaibh na frithe ?" 
mar ro'-aynn do chn-ayrt-iv na fn'-h 

Na dh-iarradb do Chaoilte thugadh ; 
na yi-ara' do chaoylt^ huga' 

A chunnie bu trie am oran. 

a choynn^ ba trie ain oran 

nach ro' mo chliusa co marionn, 

nach rb mo chli-naa co mar-inn 

'S mi le Crimora 's na neuil chairdel." 
imi le crimora ana ne-oyl chayr del 

"*8 dearbh gu'm bith do chliu mairionn," 
8 dcrv gnm bi' do chK-a mayrina 

Area Comhal bu chaoin labhairt ; 
area coval bu chaoyn kvayrt 

" Ach CO Slid le'n sgiathaibh gabhaidh, 
ach CO and le'n sgia'yv gavi' 

Toirt a sholuis bho'n cheud fhaire ? 

toyrt a holuya von cheyd ayr^ 

Lochlan, ma 's maitb mo bheachd, 
lochlan mai laay' mo yeehd 

A cuartach Innse-fail le'm feachd. 

a ea-ar-tach innse-fayl lem ftchd 

Long was Caoilte under sorrow, 

Alone among the woods of Eite. 

But Trenmor struck the shield (of 
alarms :) 

With his chivalry came mightj 

By degrees returned his tranquillity. 

He won f&me, and followed the chase. 

" I remember," said Dargo, " the hero, 

Like a kindly dream that has passed 

When a youth he steered with me on 

His tears falling on his shield. 

" What is the cause of thy sorrow, 
(I said) Caoilte ? 

Why is thine age in sadness ?" 

** My love is stretched under the turf." 

" Do thou frequent this place 

In preference to all the bounds of the 

What he asked was conceded to 

Caoilte ; 
His memory has been often in my 


Oh, that my fame were as lasting, 

And myself with Crimora on clouds 

*• Thy fame will assuredly be lasting," 

Said Coval of the mildest converse } 

" But who are those with their broad 

Taking from us the light of the 

horizon ? 
Lochlin, if I judge aright. 

Is surrounding Innesfail with m 



'S aa rigb, bho ard uinneig stuadhaich, 

san ri TO ard ayn-eyg Bta-a'ych 

Ag amharc air sod a cbairdean buadhacli, 

ag aT-arc ayr son a chayrden buy'ach 

Tbeir e, le aigbear na sbuil : 

heyr e le ay'-er na hayl 

" Tba Combal am fagus le shiuil !'* 

ha caval am fagus le hi-uyi 

Fench Locblan a nuas nar codhail, 

feych locblan a no-aa nar oo'-ayl 

Is Armour ro' pa mar dhamh croice ; 

ia armor ro pa mar yav croyc^ 

Air traigh Eirein, a Iamb ge bras, 

ayr tray' eyreyn a lav ge brass 

Mise dh-f huasgail a teann-gblais. 

mise yu-asgayl a tenn-ylays 

Taimibb, mo gbaisgeicb, o 'r leis 

taymiv mo yaysgich or leys 

An lann gblas, 's air cladach leumaibh ; 
an lann ylas sayr da-dach leymiv 

Le suil 's ]e cridbe laiste, eucbdail, 

le soyl sle cri'-^ layst^ eyohdel 

An diugb dearbbar neart na Feinne. 

an d-i-a' dervar nert na feynnd 

Tog, a Dbeirg, do sgia leatban ; 
tog a yeyrig do sgi-a le'-an 

Cratb, a Cbonaill, to cbraosnacb ; 

era' a chonayl to chraosnaoh 

Buail,aCbaoirill, beamleMcblaidheamh; 

bnyl a oharyll beym led chlay-ev 

Is seinnsa, Ullainn, dan chatb-baoisge/** 

is seynn-sa nlaynn dan oha'-boysge 

Cboinnich sinn Locblan, 's cha b-agb 

ohoynnich sinn locblan *s cha ba' 

dbuinn ; 

Sbeas iad rombain daingean, laidir, 

hes i-ad rov-aynn dayng-en lay-dir 

Mar dhoire daraich air ucbd Mbeall- 

mar yoyr^ daraych ayr ucbd vell- 


Nach lub do db-ailgbeas nan siataibb. 
nach lub 6» yayl-yes naa shi-at-ayv 

And tbe king, from the highest 

Looking for bis friends Tictorious, 
He exclaims with joy in his eye : 

^' Yonder approaches Coval with his 

Behold, Locblan descends to meet 

Armor before them like the antlered 

On the shore of Erin, though bold 
his band, 

Twas I that relieved it out of a tight 

Draw, my heroes, from your ihigha 

Your grey blades, and spring on shore ; 

With eyes and hearts kindling for 
deeds illustrious, 

This day prove the strength of the 

Exalt, Dargo, thy broad shield ; 
Connal, shake on high thy crosnach ; 
Strike, Carril, with thy deadly sword ; 

Ullin, sing thou the battle-eong* of 

We met Lochlin, and not for our 

They stood before us, compact aod 

As a grove of oak on the breast of 


Which bends not at the pleasure of 
the storms. 

* ** The GermaoB," says Tacitus, " have poems which are rehearsed in the field, and kindle the booI 
into flame. The spirit with which these songs are sung predicte the fortune of the approaching fight 
In the compositions they study a roughness of sound, and a peculiarly abrupt and broken cadence. 
They lift the shield to their months, that the yoice may swell and be rendered more load and scmoioQi bj 



Chunnaic Innse-fail* sinn an sarach, 

chunn^ic innae-fayl sin an sa-rach 

Is bhruchd iad gu'n dail ga'r comhnadh. 

ia ynichd i-ad gun dayl gar coT-na' 

Chaidh Lochlan a sgapa o chiele, 

cbay' loohlan a sgap^ o cbeyle 

'S cha mhor gu'u chreuchdan bha beo 

8 oha Tor gun ohrejchdan va be-o 


Choinnich Armour 's righ Innse-faile, 

choynn-ioh armor sri innse-fiiyl 

'S bn duaichnidhy gabhaidh an iomairt. 

abn dn-ayoh-ni' gav-i' an i-om-irt 

Chaidh sleagh an righ an uchd a mhor- 

chay' de-a' an ri an uchd a vor- 


Innesfail saw us in extremity, 
And rushed in haste to aid us. 
Lochlin was scattered asunder, 
And few of them survived unwounded. 

Armor and the king of Innesfail 

And dark and dreadful was the con- 

The king's spear pierced the breast 
of the big man, 


Ged bu tiugh a sgia 's i laidir. 

ged bu ti-n' a agi-a 'a i ladir 

Ghuil Lochlan is Innse-fail, 

ynyl lodilan is innshe-iayl 

*S thuit deor le baigh o shuinn na Feinne. 

's buyt de-oyrle bay' o huyn na feynn^ 

Is sheinn am bard an t-oran tursaoh, 

is heynn am bard an toran tnr-saoh 

Tra chunnas gu'n deo an ceann-feadhna. 

tra cbnnnaa gun de-o an oen-feyna 

Bha airde mar dharaig sa ghleann, 

va ayrd4 mar yarayg aa yie-ann 

A luas mar iolair nam beann, gun gheilt, 

a In-as mar i-ol-ayrnam benn gun yeylt 

A spionna mar Loda na fheirg, 

a apionna mar loda na eyrig 

A bhuille gun bhaigh, gun leigheas. 
a Yuyllfe gun vay' gun ley-aa 

O's moch do thuras gu d* neoil, 

o'a moch do hnras gu d* ne-oyl 
Is og leinn, a laoich a thuit u. 

is og Ujnn a Uoyoh a buyt n 

Co dh^innseas an sgeula do'n aosda ? 

00 yimues an sgeyla don a-os-da 

Co do'n og-mhnaoi gu'n d' eug u ? 

00 don og-ynoy gun deyg u 

♦ Inn«5.fidL-ItiiWoittiyofwmark.tiuitttieldngoroeann.a^ 
eaUed by hi. temtorial tiUe, whUe the king or ceMm^»thof the CaledonianB ia imiply caUed by hit 
proper name, like any of hia men. 

(Though) thick and strong was his 

Lochlan wept and so did Innesfail, 

And tears of pity fell itom the heroes 

of the Feinn. 
Their bard sung the song of sorrow, 

When was seen the head of the people 
had fallen. 


He was in height the oak of the vale, 

In speed the mountain-eagle, without 

In strength, Loda in his rage, 

His strokes pitiless and cureless. 

Oh, early is thy journey to the clouds, 

Too young we deem thy fall, hero. 

Who will tell the tale to the aged? 

Who to thy young wife that thou art 



Chi mi t*athair fo eithir na h*aoise, 

chi mi ta'yr fo ey'-er na ha-ojse 

Gu faoin an dochas ri thigheachd ; 

go faoyn an dochas ri hi-achd 

A lamh air an t-BhIeagh *s i air chridh, 

a lav ajr an tle-a' 's i ayr chri' 

Sa cheann mar chrithean *n am sine ; 

ia cheon mar chri-en an am ain^ 

Meallaidh gach nial a shuil, 

mellay' gach ni-al a hayl 

*S e*n duil gu faic e do bhata, 

a e'n dajl ga fayc c do vata 

Seallaidh a chlann air an lear, 

aell-ay' a cblann ajr an Igr 

'S chi iad an ceatheach a seala. 

a chi i-ad an o^-ech a ae-o-la 
Crathaidh easan a cheann liadh, 

cra'-ay' eaan a chenn li-a' 

Osna tiamhaidh *8a ghnuis bronack 

oana ti-avay' aa ynuja brOnaoh 

Tha Crimin fo f faiamh a ghaire, 

ha crimin fo i-ay a ytLjih 

A bmadar bhith air trai^h a'd chomhail : 
a bra-adar vi' ajr traj ad oho-ajl 

A bilibh fosgailt a cuir failt ort, 

a bill-iv foK^jlt a cnjr fajlt ort 

*8 lamhan sgaoilte gn d' ghlachadh, 

a lavan aga-ojlte gn d ylaoboa' 

Och, a bhean-ghaoil, 's faoin do bhraadar ; 
ooh a Ten yaoyl 'afaoyn do Tru-a-dar 

An t-uasal gu brath cha'n f haic u ; 

an tu-a-aal gn bra' chan ajo n 

Fad dhachaidh thuit do ghradh, 

lad o jaohay' hujht do jra' 

An Innse-fail fo smal tha mhaise. 

an innae-fayl fb amSl ha vaya^ 

Dnisgidh t-nsa a Chrimine, 

dnjagi' tnaa a ohrimin^ 
*S chi a gn'n robh Iraisling mealta ; 

a ohi u gnn rov tayah-ling-melta 

Ach c^uin a dhuisgeas a shuain, 

ach onjn a ynysgea a hu-ayn 

An laoch thuit gu'n tuar san arich ? 

an laoch hnyt gnn tn-ar aan arich 

Gnth nan gaotbar na beum-figeithe^ 

gn' nan ga'oar na beym-agey-^ 

Chachluinnerleatsa chria-thighfhiurain. 
ofaa chloynner let aa chri<-a hi' i-njren 

A shiol na leirge fagaibh an treun, 
a bi-ol na leyr^ fagi? an treyn 

I see thy fether under the burden of 


In vain hoping for thy return ; 

His hand on the spear, and it trembling, 

His grey head the aspen in the wind ; 

The clouds deceive him for thy sails, 

And he thinks he sees thy ship ; 

But the youth look over the sea. 

And see the mist sailing. 

He shakes his grey head, 

His sigh penfidvOy his face sorrovfuL 

Crimina smiles in her sleep. 

Dreaming that she is on the shore to 
meet thee : 

Her lips are parted to salute thee. 
Her arms extended to embrace thee. 

Alas! lovely spouse, thy dream is 

The (thorough) gentleman wilt thou 
never see ! 

Far from home thy love has fallen ; 

In Innestail, a cloud fell on his beauty. 

Thou shalt awake, Crimina* 

And see that thy dream was deceitful, 

But when will awake from his slum- 
The hero who fell pale on the field ? 

The voice of the hounds, or the sound 
of the alarm-giving shield, 

He hears not in his house of clay. 
Race of the sea depart, 

Gath seamh oa maidue cba chluimi e ; 

gu' aa-v Da mayyd-ne cba chlayn e 

Cba dean e air oomhnadb le ainn, 

cba dea h ajr covna le ayrni 

Is coiaig nan deagh cba duisg e. 

is oor-ajg nan sle-a' cba ynysg^ 

Beannacbd do dh-anam an laoicb, 

bennao do yan-am an laoycb 

6u gbarg colg a dol an gbniomb, 

bu yarg colag a dol an gni-av 

Ard rigb Locblas, ceann an t-sbluaigb ; 

ard ri' lochlan oenn an tla-ay' 

^S ioma ruig a tbug a riamb. 

B i-oma niyg a hag a ri-av 

Bba airde mar dbaraig sa ^leann, 

va ayrde mar yarayg sa ylenn 

A luas mar iolair na'm beann gu'n gbeilt, 

a la-as mar i-olayr nam beann gun yeylt 

A spioDna mar Loda na f beirg^ 

a spi-ona mar ' loda na eyrig 

A bbuille ga'n bbaigb gu'n leagbeas. 

a vnylle gun yay' gon le'-aa 


Tbe mild voiceof momiDghe bears not; 
He will not assist you in battle ; 

Tbe conflict of spears will not awake 

Blest be tbe soul of the hero, 

Wbose aspect was firm wben inaction, 

Tbe bigb king of Lochlan, head of 
tbe people ; 

Many a victory did he achieve. 

He was in height tbe oak of tbe vale ; 

In speed the mountain-eagle, without 

In strength, Loda in his rage, — 
His strokes pitiless and cureless. 

The following, being tbe first duan of tbe Poem of Temora, by Ossian, is 
called Catbgarva, both in Albin and Erin. I consider it as &ir an average 
specimen of Ossian's style, as tbe foregoing is of the poetry of Ullin and Orran. 
I regret that want of i^aoe puts it out of my power to give similar specimens 
from tbe other ancient bards, especially Carril, tbe sweetest of them all ; but his 
poems are too lengthy for my space, as tbe phonetic spelling takes up so much 
room, and adds so greatly to the expense. 

Thagorm thonna na h-Eirinn an soilse, 

ha gonn bonna na bey-rin an soyl-te 

A beannaibb am boillsge an la, 

a bennayv am boyhge an la 

Croibb chiara ag aomadh fo ghaoidh, 
eroyy cbi-ar>a ag soma' fo yftoy' 

Liatb-shruthain a taomadh o cbaim ; 
li-a'-m-'ayn a taoma' o cbayrn 

Feuch ! da thom aillidh le^n darach uaine, 

fe'ch da bom ayB len darach n-ayn^ 

Og aoma mu'n cuairt do chaol-ratb, 
og aoma mon eoayrt do chaol-ra' 

Tha tarruin a chocbain rd gbleannaibh. 
ha taimyn a cbocbayn ro ylenntv 

Air bruaich an u'ilt tha Cairber fein, 
ayr bniayofa an aylt ba oayiher %n 

A sbleagh, fo chomas an treun, ri thaobb, 
a jte-a' fo chomas n tmyn ri botr 

The blue waves of Erin are in light, 

Her mountains in the brightness of 

Dusky woods waving in the wind, 

Grey streams pouring from rocky 

Behold, two beautiful hillocks with 
their green oaks 

Bending round a narrow vde. 
That draws its streamlet from glens. 

On the bank of tbe burn is Cairber of 

His spear ready by bis side ; 



A dhearg shuil fo ghiorraig, 's e bron. 

a yerag huyl fo yirrayg te bron 

Dhe-eirich Connag an anam an righ, 




an anam an 

Gun chli, is a lot na thaobh. 

gun chli 18 a 16t na hauv 

Le f haichte, bha 'n t-og an diibbra, 

le aychte va'n tog an davra 

Fbuil cbraobbach a srutha bho chliabb, 

uyl chrovach a sru'-a to obli-av 

Thog Cairber a shieagb tri uairen, 

hog cayrber a le-a' tri nayren 

Tri uairen chuir e f heusag fo laimh ; 

tri n-ayren ohuyr e eysag fo layv 

Cbaisg e tri uaireau a cheum, 

chaysg e tri n-ayren a cheym 

'S chrath e ruigh na'm bend gu b-ard. 

• chra' e rny nam bSyd ga hard 

Mar niol am fasach a mor thriath, 

mar ni^ol am fasaoh a mor ri-a' 

A caocbladh fo'n gbaoidh a dheaibb, 

a oaochla' fo^n yaoy' a yel-av 

Na gleannaibh a bron fo*n f hirich, 

na glenni? a bron fo'n iricb 

Ma seach fo ghiorraig nam braon. 

ma aech fo yirrig nam braon 

Ghabb an rigb a mbor anam dha fein, 

yav an ri' a vor anam ya fgyn 

Gblac e sleagh nan treun na laimh, 

ylac e sleagh nan treyn na layv 

Thiondaidh e shuil air cul magh Lena, 

hi-onday' e hnyl ayr onl ma' lena 

Far a bheil luchd faire nan gorm thonn. 

far a veyl Inchg fayrrd nan gorm honn 

Thainig iad Ie*n ceumaibh fo f hiamh, 
haynig i-ad len oeymayv fo i-av 

A coimhead trie air slios an t-shaile : 
a coyved trio ayr alia an tayl^ 

Dh-aithnich Cairber gu*n d* thainig 

yaynioh cayrber gun daynig 

an ri^h. 
an ri 

Ghairm e dorchadh na triadh gu laimh. 

yayrm e doroha' na tri-ay' ga lay? 

Grad thainig ceum f huaimer nan sonn, 

yrad haynig ceym n-aymer nan sonn 

An ghlas-lannaibh lomadh nan laimhibh. 

an glasa-Iannayy loma' nan l&y'iv 

An sin bha Morla uaibh-riach ciar, 
an ain va morla a-ayr-rich d-ar 

His red eye is cowed ; he is in grief. 

Cormak rises on the soul of the king, 

Feeble, with a wound in his side. 

Half seen, in the shade, is the youth; 

The blood pouring from his boeom. 

Cairber thrice lifted the spear. 

Thrice stroked his beard with his 

Thrice checked his (forward) step. 

And shook his deadly arm on high. 

Like a cloud in the desert is the great 

Changing its shape in the wind. 

The glens darken below their hills, 

Alternately expecting the shower. 

The king resumed his mighty soul 

He grasped the spear of heroes in his 

He turned his eye on the back of 
Lena's hill, 

Where are placed the watchers of the 
blue waves. 

They approach in the steps of fear, 
Often looking on the face of the sea. 

Cairber knew that the king was come. 

He, darkly, called his warriors to his 

Quickly came the i*esounding steps 
of the warriors. 

With their grey blades bare in their 

There was Morla, fierce and swarthy, 



An sin Dalla le chiobhan sa ghoidh ; 

an sin dalla le obi-av-an sa yay' 

Cormar raadh ag aomadh air sleagh, 

oonnar in-a' ag oama' ajr ale-a' 

A sealtain o thaobh borb fo gbroaim. 

a seltajn o hoav borb fo Tra-ajm 

B-alluidh do shuil chrom a Mhalthnis, 

balliiy' do buyl chrom a' valhnys 

Fo f haileas do mhor f habhraid, 

fo ajles do vm avrayd 

Sheas Foldath mar charraig an srath, 

hea folda' mar charrayg an 0ra' 

A falach fo chothar a dubh^chrath, 

a fidaoh fo cho'-ar a ynv-chra' 

A shleagh f hada mar ghiubhas an 

a le-a' iaSk mar yvjyu an 



A thachras ri doinnean nan spetxr ; 

a baoh-raa ri dojnnen nan sp^yr 

A sgiath dearcach le benmibh oomhraig ; 

a 8gi-a' dercaoh le beymiy ooY-rayg 

A dhear^-shuil riamh ga^n f hiamh. 

a yerag-huyl ri-av gun i-av 

lad sin is triath eille gu^n chontas, 

i-ad Bin is tri-a' eylle gun ohnntas 

Thionail dluth mu righ Eirinn, 

hi-nel din' mn ri' Syrinn 

Noir thainig fear faire a chuain, 

noyr haynig fer fayrre a chnyn 

Mor-aineal bho chruach Moilena, 

mor-aynd to chm-aoh moHena 

A shuilean sealtinn claon o chean, 

a hnylen seltinn daon o obenn 

A ghnth air chrith, gu'n tuar a bhenl. 
a yn' ayr cbri' gun tn-ar a Teyl 

*' An seas triadhaith na h-Eirinn air chul, 

an sea tri-a'-ay na heyrinn ayr obul 

Balbh mar bbadain san oiche chinin, 

baly mar vadayn san oyohe chnyn 

Na mar gbarbh-choille fo mhnig ; 

na mar yar?-oboyn^ fo vnyg 

Is Fionngbal air an traigh a boilsge, — 

IB fionn-yal ayr an tray' a 

Fionn is namhasaicbe beum, 
fionn ia n-av-aflsycb^ beym 

Ard righ nan treun bho shruthaibh 

ard ri' nan treyn to 



There Dalla with his locks on the 

Red Cormar bending on his spear, 

Looking sideways from his surly face. 

Wild was the down-looking eye of 

Under the shade of his large helmet. 
Foldath stood like a rock in the flood, 
With its dark form covered in foam, 
His spear, like a pine of the wold, 


That has often met the storms of the 

His shield is marked with the strokes 
of battle ; 

His red eye ever fearless. 

These, and other innumerable chiefs, 

Gathered close round the king of 

When came the watcher of the sea, 

Moranel, from the height of Moilena, 

His eyes aslant in his head, 

His voice trembling, his lips colourless. 

" Stand the chiefs of JSrin apart, 

Silent as a grove in a calm night, 

Or like a rough forest under a cloud ; 

And Fingal on the beach gleaming, 

Fingal of dreadftil sword-cuts. 

The lofty king of the heroes of Mor- 
ven of streams ?" 



^' Am facadh t-u an gaisgeach nach fann," '^ Hast thou seen the hero that is not 

Said Cairber from his labouring breast ; 


faca' ta an gajBh-gech nach &nn 

Arsa Cairber o spairn a chleibh ; 

arsa cajrber o spajra a chlejy 

'' A bheil a laoich lionar air an traigh ? 

a vhjl a laoych H-o-nar ayr an tra-i 

An tog e sleagh comhraig o dheigh, 
an tog e sle-a' oov-rig o yey' 

No'n d' thainig an treun an sith?'' 

non d-ajnig an trejn an si' 

''An sith cha d'thainig e, a righ 

an fii' cha daynig e a ri' 



Bha roinn a shieagh roi' 'n treun a suas, The point of the spear was before him 

*'Are his warriors numerous on the 
shore ? 

Does he advance the battle^ear, 
Or comes the mighty in peace ?" 
'' In peace he comes not, king of Eria, 

▼a rojnn a le-a' roy an trejn a ni-as 

Mar mhall dhreag* a bhais ag eiridh, 

mar vail jreg a vaysh ag eyri' 

'S fuil mhiltean a taomadh mu chruaidh. 

' 8 fuyl Tilten a taoma' ma chrny 

B-es' a leum an tus air tir, 

bei a leym an ttLs ayr tir 

Laidir fo leadan liadh na h-aois. 

la-dir fo ledan li-a' na haoys 

*S Ian, feitheach, garbh-<;hallapanach an 

'8 Ian fey'-eoh ganr chaUa-pan-aoh 



Ach 's eatrom gu'n strith a cheum. 

aoh 8 e-trom gnn stri' a cheym 

Air taobh an treun tha chlaidheamh fiar, 
ayr ta-ov an treyn ha chlay-ev fi-ar 

An dara beum a choidh nach iarr ; 

an dara be3rm a choy' nach i-arr 

A sgiath leathan uamhasach na laimh, 

a 8gi-a le'-an n-a-vas-ach na layv 

Mar chearcal fuileach re 's i Ian, 

mar cher-cal fiiyl-ech re si Ian 

Geiridh gu dana tre stairm. 

gey-ri' ga dana tre stayrm 

Lean Oissian, righ caoin nam fonn, 

len oiflsian xi' caoyn nam fonn 

'S mac Mhoimi sonn oscion nan triath. 

8 mac momi sonn os-d-on nan tri-a' 

Leum Coxmal air shieagh o thuinn ; 

leym connal ayr le-a' o hnynn 

Is Diarmaid donn nan trom chiabh. 

18 di-ar-mid donn nan trom chi-av' 

on high, 
Like the meteor* of death ascending, 

(Prognosticating) the fall of thousands 
in death. 

He was the first to spring on shore, 

Strong in the grey locks of age. 

Full, sinewy, brawny-legged is the 

But light and free are his steps. 

Aslant, on the side of the mighty, is 

the sword 
That never needs to repeat a cut ; 

His broad and dreadful shield on his 

Like the bloody circle of the fall-orbed 

Advancing daringly through the storm. 

Ossian followed, mild king of lays, 

And the son of Momi, a hero above 

Connal leaped on his spear over the 

And brown Diarmid of the heavy 


• A meteor which, when seen on any road leading to a biuying-ground. ia raperstitiouBly ammned to 
portend the death of wme one, who will soon be carried on that path to his or her grare. 



Lub Fillean a bhogfaa le morchuis, 
lab fillen a to' -a le mor-choys 

Og shealgair Mhora nan sliabh ; 

og he-lager Toni nan sli-av 

Ach CO sud air ceann nan treun, 

ach 00 sod ayr oenn nan treyn 

Mar gharbh-shiubhal shruth o bheinn ? 

mar yarv-hi-uval hrn' o veynn 

Co ach mac Oissean an triath ; 

CO ach mao oiasean an tri-a' 

Mar bboisge teine misg a chiabh, 

mar Toyag^ t^jn^ nuag a ohi-a^ 

A leadan fada tha Ian chuach, 

a led-an fa-da ha Ian chn-ach 

Fhabhaid dhubh le chielt' an cruaidh, 
a-ayd yw le oheflt an crGj' 

A lann air ial a trial ri thaobh, 
a lann ayr i-al a tri-al ri hoaV 

A shleagh a siubhal boilsgeadh baoth. 
a le-a' a si-a-val boyl-sge' bao' 

Theich mi o gharg shuil an t-sheoid, 

heych mi o yarg hnyl an te-oyd 

A righ Thiffhmora is mor cliu." 

a ri' hi -mora la mor di-n 

"Teich usa, fhir dhonadh, gu'n 

teych iwa ir yona' gun 



Arsa Foldatb, gruamach am feirg ; 
ana fd-da' gra-am-aoh am feyrig 

** Teich-sa gu d' liath-shrutbaibh f hein, 

fiych-sa gu d' li-a'-hm'ayv heyn 

Anamain is goinne, is meirg an diamhair. 

an-am-ayn is gSynn^ is meyrig an di-yar 

Nach facar linn an t-Oscar donn ? 

naoh fiic-ar linn an toe-oar donn 

Chunnaic mise an triath an comhraig. 

chmm-io mis an tri-a' an cov-rayg 

An cunnart, dheth na trein tha'n sonn ; 

an connart ye' na treyn han sonn 

Ach 's iomadh sleagh is sonn an Eirinn. 

aoh si-oma' sle-a' is sonn an eyrinn 

A righ Thighmora nan ard chraobh, 

a ri' hi'-mora nan ard ohra-ov 

Leig dhomhsa tachairt ris an t-sheod ; 

leyg yoYsa taoh-ayrt ris an te-od 

Is caisgidh mi 'n sruth mor na dheann. 
is cays-gi' min sru' mor na yenn 

Ma shleagh tha nighte am fail, 
ma le-a' ha ni'-te am fnyl 

Fillan bent with pride his bow. 

The youthful hunter of Moru of wolds. 

But who is he that is at the head of 
the hosts, 

Moving impetuous as a spate from the 

Who but the son of Ossian, the hero ; 

Glowing amid his locks 

His long hair is fall of curls 

His black helmet half hid in steel, — 

His sword is restless on his side. 

His eager spear gleams wickedly. 

I fled from the fierce eye of the hero. 

King of Temora of great renown." 

**Fly, then, mannikin unfit for 

Said Foldath, frowning and wrathful ; 

" Fly thou to thy own grey streams, 

Scant soul, and rust in secret. 

Have I not seen this Oscar ? 

I have seen the hero in battle. 

In danger he is of the mighty ; 

But there are many spears and heroes 

in Erin. 
King of Temora of lofty woods, 

Let me meet the hero ; 

I will stop this mountain spate in its 

My spear has been washed in Wood, 



'S tha mo sgiath mar bhalla Thuradh." 

8 ha mo 8gi-a' mar valla hor-a' 

''An coumich Foldath na aonar na 

an oojmi-ich fol-da' na o-anar na 



Area Malthas Da fabhrad ciar ; 

ana mal-thas na fiEty-rad oi-ar 

'' Nach 'eil iad cho laidir air an txaigh 

naoh eyl i-ad oho lajd-ir ayr an tra-i 

Ri co-thional garbh-shrath nan sliabh ? 

ri oo-binal garv-hm' nan eli-ay 

Nach iad sud na trein thug boaidh 

nach i-ad sad na trejn hng boy' 

Thair Snaran nan craaidh-bheum, 

hayr sn-ar-an nan cray'-Teym 

Noir ghabb sliochd Eirinn an maig ? 

noyr yav shliochd eyrinn an ra-ayg 

'S an tachair Foldath ri'n corr-threun ? 

san tachayr fol-da' rin oorr-hreyn 

A chridhe bhosdail is ciar bens, 

a ohri-e' yoadayl ia d-ar beya 

Gabh spionnadh dluthach an t-luaigh, — 

gay api-onn-a' dln'-ach an tla-ay' 

Gabh Malthas maille ri threnn. 

gay malthaa mayU^ ri hreynn 

Bha mo chlaidheamh le beumaibh madh, 

ya mo chla'-ey le beym-eyy rn-a' 

Ach CO a chualadh gu fear mo ghuth ?" 

ach 00 a oha-al-a' gu fi-ar mo yn' 
" A shliochd Eirinn is naine raon/' 

a hll-ochd eyrinn ia n-ayne roan 

Thuirt triath Ghlaonrath nan caoin 

hnyrt tri-a' chlaon-ra' nan ca-oyn 



" Na cluinneadh Fion air briaraibh faoin ; 

na daynn^' fi-onn ayr bri-arayv fo-oyn 

Na biodh soLu air naimhdean an diugh, 

na bi-o' aolas ayr nayy-den an di-n' 

A cnir spionnadh nan laimh san tir. 

a onyr spi-onna' nan layy aan tir 

'S treun siUi fein a shiol na'm blar, 

atr^yn dy feyn a hi-ol nam Uar 

Mar ghaillen o ghair a chaain, — 

mar yayllen o yayr a din-ayn 

Mar stairm a thachrais ri sgeir aird, 

mar atayrm a hach-ria ri ageyr ayrd 

A bheir a coille ga lar 'o cruaich ; 

a yeyr a choyllfe gu lar o ohm-ayoh 

My shield is like the wall of Tara.*" 

''Will Foldath alone meet the 
strangers ?" 

Said Malthas of the dun helmet ; 

" Are they not as strong on the shore 

As the congregated waters of the 

Are not these the mighty who con- 

Swaran of hardy sword-cuts, 

When the race of Erin fled ? 

And will Foldath meet their snrpasabg 

Man of the boasting heart and dusky 

Take the united strength of the 
people, — 

Take Malthas and his warriors. 

My sword with strokes has been red, 

But who has heard from me crooked 

" Race of Erin of green hills,' 


Said the chief of Clonrath of mild 

" Let not Fingal hear your words vain ; 

Let not the enemy rejoice to-day, 

And be stren^ened in the land (by 
your divisions.) 

Mighty are ye, race of battles. 

As a storm on the roaring sea, — 

A storm that meets a lofty sea-rock, 

Or tears forests from the breasts of 
mountains ; 



Ach glauiseadh mid nar neart gu leir, 

ach gluys-e' mid nar nert gu leyr 
Mall mar mhor cho-thional nial, 

mall mar vor cho-henal ni-al 

Bidh georrag air sar mbac nam beum, 

bi' girrag ayr sar yac nam beym 

Is tuitidh a shleagh gu'n fheum 'o'n 

ifl tuyti' a hle-a' gan eym on 


' Chi sinn dubb nial a bbais/ 

chi sinn day ni-al a Tayis 

Their iad, is failas a fas m' an tuar. 

heyr i-ad is faylas a fas man tu-ar 

Bidh bron air Fionn aoeda na baigb, 
bi' bron ayr fi-onn aos-da na bay' 

Sa chlia a doladb air traigb ga*n bbuaidb: 

sa chli-u a si-ol-a' ayr tray' gan va-ay' 

Cha'n fbaicear a Morbbein ceum an 

cban ayo-er a mor-yeynn ceym an 


'S bidh coineach na 'm bliadhnadb an 

B bi' coynech nam bli*an-a' an 



An sambcbair dh-eisd Cairber roadb, 

an say-chir yeysd cerber ra-a' 

Mar dhatb-nial nan stnadb air raon, — 

mar ya'-ni-alnan stu-a' ayr raon 

Nial a sheasas dorcb air Cromleac, 

ni-al a hesas dorch ayr crom-lec 

6u8 am brist dealan a tbaobh. 

guB am brist dellan a haoy 

Laiseaidh gleanna ri boilsge nan speur, 

^yv-i' glenna ri boilsge nan speyr 

Bidh tannais gu'n fheum fo sbolas. 
bi' tann-ayshgan eym fo hol-aa 

Mar ^n an sambcbair sheas an ri^b, 
mar sin an say-chir hes an n' 

Gob 'n do gbluais le bri^b a gbuih : 
gtts n do yla-aysh le bn' a ya' 

" Sgaoilear a diuirm an: Moilena ; 
sgoyler a cbayrm ayr moilena 

Thi^eadb mo cbeud bard a nail 
bige' mo cheyd bard a nail 

Olla, nan ciabb dubb-ruadb, eiricb, 
olla nan ci-ay day-ra-a' ey-rich 

Oabh clarsacb ri^b Eirinn a'd laimb ; 
gay darsach n' eyriim ad la-iy 

But let us move in combined strength, 

Slowly as a great gathering of clouds, 

So shall fear fall on the surpassing 
son of the sword, 

And the spear fall deedless from bis 

' We see tbe dark cloud of death,' 

Tbey will say, while a shade spreads 
over their faces. 

Sorrow will overtake Fingal tbe com- 
passionate and aged, 

While his fame melts away without 
victory : 

In Morven will not be seen tbe steps 
of tbe bero, 

The mess of years will coVer Selma." 

Bed Cairber listened in silence, 

Like a dark cloud, from tbe waves, on 
the heath, — 

A cloud that stands darkly on Cromlay 

Unto tbe lightning breaks from its 

The glens are lighted by the flash, 

And deedless spirits under rejoicing. 

Thus in silenoe stood the king, 

Until his voice was heard significantly : 

'' Spread the feast on Moilena ; 

Approach my hundred bai^fL 

Bise, Olla of the dark-brown locks, 

Take the harp of Erin's king in thy 



Siubhail gu Oscar nan lann, 

Bi-uv-ayl gu Ofloar nan lann 

'S thoir caire dha gu fleagh an righ. 

8 hojT cnjre ya ga fle-a' an n' 

An diugh biodh cuirm is fonn sa ghleann, 
an di-u' bi-o' cujrm is fonn sa jlenn 

A maireach bristear linn na sleaigh. 

a mayrech blister linn na sle-ay' 

Innis gu'n d' thog mi suas 

innis gun d hog mi su-as 

Uaigh Chathail fo luaidh na'm bard, 
a-ay' cha'-ayl fo la-ay' nam bard 

Thug mi cbaraid truagh do'n ghaoith. 
hog mi charid tru-a' don yaoy' 

Innis dha gu'n chaalas mu'n bhuaidh 
innis ya gun chu-al-as mun yn-ay' 

A choisinn e aig fiiar-^hruth Charuinn. 
a choysin e ayg fu-ar-hm' charuynn 

Cha'n f haic mi 'n so mo bhrathair 
ohan aye min so mo yra'yr 


Cha* neil Cathmor le cheudaibh ri'm 
cha-neyl ca'-mor le oheydayy rim 


Tha air lamhan gann fo airm. 
ha ayr lavan gann fo ayrm 

'S namhaid Cathmor do strith nam fteagh, 
8 nav-id ca'-mor do stri' nam fle-a' 

Tha anam mor mar dhearsadh greine ; 
ha anam mor mar yersa' greymi^ 

Ach bristeaidh Cairber sleagh ri Oscar, 
ach brist-i' cerber sle-a' ri oscar 

A ihriathaidh Thighmora, air comhnard 

a hri-a'-ay' hi-mora ayr coY-nard 



Labhair e dana ma Chathnl, 
layayr e dana ma cha'-ol 

'S tha manam a lasadh le feirg. 

8 ha manam a lasa' le feyrig 

Tuitidh Oscar air Moilena, 

tnyti' oscar ayr moylena 

*S eiridh na f huil mo chliu.'* 

8 eyri' na uyl mo chli-u 

Shoilsich solas an aghaidh nan trean, 

hoylsich solas an a'-ay' nan treyn 

Is sgaoil iad misg crianach Moilena. 
is Bgoyl i-ad misg cri-aynach moylena 

Go to Oscar of swords, 

Invite him to the kmg's feast. 

To-day we will have a banquet in the 

To-morrow we will break spears. 

Tell him that I raised on high 

The tomb of Caihul amid the songs 

of bards. 
I have ^ven his poor friend to the 

Tell him that I heard of the victory 

He gained at the cold stream of Carron. 

I see not here my mighty brother. 

Cathmor and his hundreds are not 
with us. 

And our hands are few in war. 

Cathmor is a foe to conflicts at feasts. 

His great soul is aQ sunshine ; 

But Cairber will break a spear against 

' Chiefs of Temora, on the plain of Lena. 

He spoke daringly of Cathul, 

And my soul is kindled with indig- 

Oscar shall fall on Moilena, 

And my &me rise from his fall.*' 

Joy glowed in the faces of the 

They spread themselves among the 
coppice of Moilena. 



Tha cainn is slige ga deasachadh shiias, 

ha cnyrm is slig^ ga desacha' hu-as 

'S fonn nan clar 's nan duan ag eiridh. 
s fonn nan clar s nan dn-an ag eyri' 

Chnala triathaidh Shelma an solas, 

cha-al-a tri-a'-ay' helma an soIsub 

*S shaoil Cathmor coir gu'n d'thainig, 
8 haoyl ca'-mor corr gun dayn-ig 

Cathmor corr, ceann-nidhe nan daimh, 
ca'-mor corr cenn-ny' nan dayy 

Brathair Chairber nan madh chiabh ; 
bra'ayr cayr-ber nan ra-a' chi-av 

Cha bn choimeas an da anam. 

cha ba choymes an da anam 

Bha solus nan speur an ucbd Chathmoir. 

ya solus nan speyr an uchd cha'-moyr 

Do dh-Atha na'm bmach, a thuir ard, 
do ya'-a nam bmach a hnyr ard 

Tha seachd aisereann a sine, 
ba sechd ayseren a sin^ 

'S air gach aisra bard na sheasaibh, 

s ayr gach aysh-re bard na hesayr 

A cuireadh dhaimh do thalla na fial ; 
a cuyr^ yayr do halla na fi-al 

Ach shoidh Cathmor an naigneas, 

ach buy' ca'-mor an a-ayg-nes 

A seachnadh bhi ag eisteachd ri chlia. 
a sech-na' tI ag eyst-achd ri chli-a 

Thainnig 011a roadh le dhain. 

haynig olla ra-a' le yayn 

Ghluais Oscar ga*n dail ga cnirm, 

ylays oscar gun dayl ga cuyrm 

Le tri cend gaisgeach, ri laimh, 

le tri ceyd gaysgech ri layy 

Roi Lena nan lan-shruth gonna, 

roy lena nan lan-hm' gorma 

A liath-choin a leum san fhraoch, 
a U-a'-ohoyn a leym san ^raoch 

'S tre^n garbh-chonas a sgaoile thaU. 

stren yary-chonas a sgoyle hall 

Chunnaic Fionn an sonn a trial, 

channayc fi-onn an sonn a trl-al 

'S thnit anam an treun fo bhron, 

8 hnyt aaam an treyn fo Tron 

Neo-chinteach ma Chairber cealgach, 

ne-o-chinntech ma chayrber ce-la-gach 

Le smuaintean fiar misg cairm is oil. 

le smn^ten fi-ar misg cnyrm is oyl 

The feast and the shell are preparing 

And the sonnd of harps and lays 

The chiefs of Selma heard the re- 

And thought that Cathmor had ar- 

Cathmor the surpassing, the host of 

The brother of red-haired Cairber ; 

But unlike were their two souk 

The light of heaven was in the bosom 
of Cathmor. 

To Atha of banks where (rises) his 
high turrets, 

Seven passes (ravines) lead. 

And on each pass a bard is placed, 

To invite strangers to the social hall ; 

But Cathmor kept aloof from the 
(fulsome) voice of praise. 

To avoid listening to his fame. 

Bed Olla came with his lays. 

Oscar went without hesitation to the 

With three hundred warriois in his 

Through Lena of blue and ample 

His ^ey dogs boundmg through the 

And the strong gorse of the wold, 

Fingal saw the hero departing, 

And his soul sunk in grief. 

Uncertain of Cairber the treacherous, 

And his oblique thoughts at the feast 
and the drinking. 



Thog mo mhac sleagh Chormaic na My son carried the spear of Cormak 

in his hand ; 

There were a hundred bards anging 
On the wold, 

But Cairber concealed the death that 
was swimming 

In the dark thoughts of his bosom. 
The feast is spread, the shells sound, 

hog mo vec sle-a' chormayc na 

laimfa ; 

Bha ceud baird a seihn air sliabh, 

va ceyd bayrd a sejnn ayr sli-av 
Ach cheil Cairber am has bha snamh 

ach cheyl cayrber am has va snav 

Fo dhubhradh san am, na chliabh. 

fo yuvra' Ban am na chli-av 

Fleagh tha sgailte, sligean a fuaim, 

fle-a' ha sgaylt^ slegen a fa-aym 

'S eudain an t-shluagh an solus dealrach : And the faces of the people are in a 

8 eydayn an tluy' an solus delrach blaze of light : 

Ach chitear solus* mall is fann But a light* slow and faint is seen 

ach chiter solas mall is feinn 

A dearsadh fada thall air Lena, 
a dersa' fada haU ayr lena 

Sa cheann dearg le*chleite an dorchas. 
sa chenn derag le-chleyte an dor-chas 

Dh-eirich Cairber thall an airm, 

yeyrich cayrber hall an ayrm 

'S dubhradh a bhais na ghruaidh. 
8 duvra' a vaysh na yra-ay' 

Chaisg fonn chlarsaichean nan teud, 

chayig fonn chlarsaychen nan teyd 

Chualas screadan nan sgiath m'an cuairt 

chu-al-as scredan nan sgi-a' man oa-ayrt 

Fada thall air uchd an t-shleibh, 
fada hall ayr uchd an tleyr 

Thog 011a dubh-ruadh guth a bhroin. 
hog oUa duT-m-a' gu' a Troyn 

Dh-aithnich Oscar comhara bhais : 

yay'nich oscar covara vays 

Ghluais is ghlachd gu'n dail a shleagh. 
yla-ays is ylachd gun dayl a le-a' 

" Oscair," arsa Cairber ruadh, 
oscayr arsa cayrber ru-a' 

'^Tha mi faicean sleagh buaidh na 

ha mi faycen sle-a' bu-ay' na 


Sleagh f hada Thighmora nan stuadh, 
sle-& ada hi' -mora nan stu-a' 

Afar on Moilena, 

With its red head half hid in the 

Cairber started opposite in arms, 

The darkness of death on his cheek. 

The tuneful sound of the harp ceased, 

And the harsh sound of shields was 

At a distance, on the breast of the 

Dark-red OUa raised the song of 

Oscar knew the sign of death : 

He rose in haste, and seized his arms. 

" Oscar," said red-haired Cairber, 

**I see the spear of victorious Erin 
in thy hand, 

A boillsgeadh a t-laimh noir dh-eirich. 

a boylsga' at layv noyr yeyrich 

A mhic Morbhein nan coiltean ciar, 
a vie mor-veynn nan coylten ci-ar 

* See a preyioiu note on the death-meteor. 

The long spear of Timora of waves, 
Shining in thy hand, when thou arose. 
Son of Morven of dusky woods, 



Sleagh dhuchais nan cead ri^h, 

sle-a' 3rachay8 nan ceyd n' 

Bas'an strith do threin 'o shean ; 
baB an stri' do hrSyn o hen 

Geil i, a mhic Oissian, gu'n spaim, — 

geyl i a vie oyshen gun spayrn 

Geil i do Chairber nan carabad/' 
geyi i do cayrber nan carabad 

**An geil mi," fhreagair an treun, 

an geyl mi regayr an treyu 

" Sleagh ri Eirinn na'm beim cruaidh ; 

sle-a' ri eyrinn nam beym cruy' 

An t-shleagh a thug Cormac dhomh fein, 

an tie-a' a hug cormac yov feyn 

Noir sgap sin a naimhdean *o thuath ? 
noyr sgap sin a nayvden o ha-a' 

Tbainig mi gn talla na feile, 

haynig mi gu talla na feyl^ 

Noir theich iad 'o Fhionn na'm buadh. 

noyr heych i-ad o i-onn nam bu-a' 

Dh-eirich solas an aghaidh na h-oige ; 
yeyrich solas an k^' na hoyg-^ 

Chair e*m laimh sleagh Thi^hmora. 

chuyr em layv sle-a' himora 

Cha d'thug e i do lag fo dhoruin, — 
cha d hng e i do lag fo yoniyn 

Do dh-anam ni basd gu'n ghniomh. 

do yanam ni basd gun yni-ov 

Cha'n eagal dhomhsa do ghruaim, 
chan egal yov-se do yruym 

Cba theine bais do shuil dhomh fein : 
cha heyn^ bays do hayl yov feyn 

A Cairber cuir giorrag air traill, — 

a chayrber cnyr giorag ayr trayl 

Tha anam Oscar mar charraig." 

ba anam oscayr mar charrayg 

" Geil dhomsa an t-shleagh gu'n dail," 
geyl yoYsa an tle-a' gun dayl 

Thuirt Cairber, is ardan ag eiridh, 

hnyrt cayrber is ard-an ag eyri' 

" Bheil t-f hocail morchuiseach ard, 
yeyl tocayl morchuysheoh ard 

Chionn Fiohn bhith air traigh na 
chi-onn fi-onn Ti' ayr tra-i na 



Fionnghal nan leadan h'adh, 

fi-onnyal nan ledan li-a' 

chailltean ciara na Morbheann ? 
cfaaylten ci-ara na morvenn 

It is the hereditary spear of the first 

The death, in conflicts of heroes of old ; 
Yield, son of Ossian, without a straggle, 

Yield it to Cairber of the cars. 


** Shall I yield," answered the hero, 

" The spear of the kings of Erin of 
hard strokes, — 

The spear given by Cormac to myself, 

When we scattered his foes from the 

I came to the hospitable mansion, 

When they fled before victorious 
Fingal ; 

Joy arose in the face of the youth : 

He placed in my hand the spear of 

Nor did he give it to the feeble and 

Nor to the little soul who boasts with- 
out deeds. 

Thy frown is no terror to me. 
Nor thine eye the fire of death. 
Cairber, frighten thralls, — 
The soul of Oscar is like a rock." 


" Yield, on the instant, the spear, 
Said Cairber, his rage arising. 
** Are thy words so big and lofty, 

Because Fingal is on the shore of 

Fingal of the grey locks. 

From the dusky woods of Morven ? 



Bha chogadh riamh ri doine fann ; 
va choga' ri-ay ri doyn^ fann 

Ach thi^eadh e nail gu Cairber ! 

ach hig-e' e nail gu cayrber 

Mar f haileas a snamh an gleann, 

mar aj-lui a snav an glenn 

Na ceathach a leu^hadh a fasach, 
na ce'-ach a le -a' a fas-ach 

Aomaidh e gu'n chliu o Atha." 
aomay' e gun chli-u o a' -ha 

** Na'm biodh a fear thog beum air 

nam bi-o' a fer hog beym ayr 



A tarruin a loin air Cairber, 

a tarruyn aloyn ayr cayrber 

Bheiridh e Eirinn uaine nan gleann 

y^yr^ e Syrinn uynb nan glenn 

Air son sabhalath 'o laimh an ri^h. 

ayr son eayala' o layy an n' 

Na labhair ma Fbionn a Chairber, 

na layayr ma i-onn a cayrber 

Tog do 8giath *b do chlaidheamh riumsa. 
tog do 8gi-a' a do ohlayey ri-umsa 

An spionnadh theagaibh gu'n coimeas 

an spi-onn-a' hegayy gun coym-as 

sinne ; 


Ach tha righ na Morbheann cliutach, — 

ach ha ri' na mor-yenn di-n-taoh 

Ceannard flathail nan ard thriatL'' 

cennard fla'-ayl nan ard ri-a' 

Chunnaic an cairdean maraon, 

dinnoio an cayrden maroan 

Dubhradh ag eiridhnan ghruaidhean, 

duyra' ag Syri' nan gruay'-en 

Dh-aom iad an comhair a cheile. 

yoam i-ad an ooyayr a cheyl^ 

An Builean laiste, an ceumaibh du- 

an saylen layst^ an oeym-ayy dn- 



Leum-claidhean 'o mhile alios, 

leym chlay'-en o yi-le bUs 

Chaisg 011a na fios a fonn, — 
chaysg oUa na fis a fonn 

011a ruadh na'm brosnachadh dana ; 
oUa m-a nam bros-nacha' dana 

Chrith anam Oscair le solas, 
chri' anam oacayr le lolas 

He ever fought against the feeble ; 

But let him come to meet Curber! 

Like a shadow swimming in a glen. 

Or Uke mist melting away in the 

He will incline, without fame, from 
" If he who made war on the feeble 

Were to draw his sword on Cairber, 

He would give green Erin with its 

To escape the hand of the king. 
Speak not, Cairber, of Fingal ; 
Bise thy shield and 6W<»rd against me. 
Our strength may, perhaps, be equal, 


But the king of Morven is famed, 
As head chief, among exalted heroes. 

Their friends alike saw 
Darkness growing on their cheeks. 
They bent toward one another ; 

Their eyes flashing, their 6t«ps 
threatening : 

Swords sprang from a thousand thighs, 
OUa, the prophetic, ceased the song, 
Bed OUa, of daring war-songs ; 

The soul of Oscar swelled 



With joy, — the joy the hero used to 

When the boss of alarms was struck 
by the king. 

As waves pour noiselessly on the 

Leis an t-sholas bu ghna do'n triath, 

leys an tokB ba yna don tri-a' 

Noir bhuail com-caismachd an righ. 

noyr vuyl oorn-cajs-mao an ri' 

Mar thuinn a taomadh air traigh gu'n 

mar hujun a (aoma ayr tray' gun 


Mu'n cluinnear gairich cuain fo ghaoidh, Before is heard the roar of the sea 

under the wind, 

Gathered his people round Cairber, 
Silent, dark, obstinate, wicked. 
Daughter of Toscar, why that tear ? 
The hero did not fall helplessly. 

Many deaths encompassed the hill, 

Before the surpassing man leaned on 
his side. 

Behold how they fall before the hero. 

Like the forest of the wold. 

When the spirit of the (embattled) 

To frighten the children of the shiel- 
Seizes on the lofty tops of the trees. 

And dashes them violently to the 

Morla and Mathronan fell dead ; 

Conacher slowly bent down in his 

blood, — 
Cairber fled from the blade of the hero, 

And hid himself in the shade, 

Behind the stone of bending ghosts.* 

There he lifted the spear in secret. 

mnn dnynner gayrich cnyn fo yaoy 

Thional ma Chairber a shluagh, 

hi-o-nel ma chayrber a h-la-a' 

Samhach dorcha, dur is baoth ; 

savach dorofaa dnr U bao 

A nighean Thoscair, c'iume do dheoir ? 

a ni'en hosgayr ohnym^ do ye-oyr 

Cha do thuit an triath nach faoin ; 

cha do hnyt an tri-a' naoh tuojn 

'S iomadh has a dh-iadh mu'n tor, 

Bi-oma' baa a yi-a' man tor 

Ma*n d'aom a fear corr air a thaobh. 

man dacnn a fer corr ayr a haov 

Faic iad a tuite roimh 'n triath, 

fayc i-ad a tuyt^ loyv n tri-a' 

Mar choille air sliabh san f hasach, 

mar choylle ayr ali-av san aaach 
Noir thig taibhse nan sian na f heirg, 

Doyr hig tayvs^ nan si-an na eyr-ig 

A chuir giorraig air cloinn na h-airidh, 

a chayr girrayg ayr cloynn na hayri' 

A glachdadb baraibh nan crann, 
a glao-a' barayy nan crann 

'S ga'n sgaradh le neart gu lar. 

sgan sgara le nert gn lar 

Thait Morla 's Mathronan fo bhas, 

hayt morla s ma'-ronan fo yaa 

Dh-aom Conachair gu lar na f huil, 

yaom chonachayr gu lar na nyl 

Theich Cairber 'o lain an t-shair, 
heych cayrber o layn an tayr 

Cra f halach fein san dubhrodh, 

ga alach feynsan davra' 

Air calabh cloiche nan cruth crom. 

ayr culay cloych nan cm' crom 

*N sin thog e gu diamhair an t-shleagh, 

'n sin hog e ga di-avayr an tle-a' 

* The worshipping altar, or pillar of the Gothic clanB, it always called fhe stone of bending ghost by 
Oasian. This battle must therefore have been foaght in the territory of the southern or Gothic dans of 



Is Lhuail niiuhael i 'n taobb Oecair. 

is YUjl niv-el i'n taov oscayr 

Thnit an gaisgeach air a gluD, 

hayt an gaysgach ayr a ylun 

A sgiath fo uillin, a shleagh na laimh ; 
a 8gi-a fo nyllin a hle-a'^ na la-iv 

Faic Cairber na sbine 'san smnir, 

fayc cayrber na hine san smnyr 

Bar genr na cruaidb cbaidb tre cheann, 

bar geyr na cruay' cbay tre chenn 

Is sgoilt an ruadb-cbiabh air a cbul. 

is Bgoylt an ra-a'-chi-av ayr a chnl 

Mar cbarraig a bristeadb bbo shliabb 

mar cbarr-ayg a brista' to li-ay 


Tbnit an sonn bu dorchadh gniomh. 
bayt an sonn ba dorcha' gni-ay 

Noir chratbas Eirinn uain i fein, 

noyr chra'-as eyrinn ayn^ i feyn 

bheian gu beinn 's o mbuir ga muir : 

o veyn gu beyn 'a o vttyr gu mtiyr 

Cba^n eirich Oscar donn a choidh ! 

chan eyrich oscar donn a choy' 

Tha e ag aoma n taic a sgeitbe, 

ha e ag aoma ri tayc a 0gey-'e 

Is sleagb nan ceud bas na laimb. 

is sle-a' nan ceyd bas na layy 
Sheas Eirinn tball air an t-shliabh, 

hes eyrinn ball ayr an tli-av 

Le fuim mar mbonbbar nan srutb ; 

le fuym mar yonyar nan sru' 

Fhreager Lena nan cmth fo'n cenm. 

reger lena nan cm' fon ceym 

Chnala Fionnghal thall an toum, 

chu-ala fi-onnyal ball an toyrm 

Ghlac e sleagh Shelma nam beam, 
ylac e sle-a' helma nam beym 

Sgaoil a cheum ri ucbd an t-shleibh. 
Bgoyl a cbeym ri uc an tleyy 

Gu broin a taomadh o bheol : 
gu broyn a to-ama' o yeyl 

'' Cluinneam iargail is comhrag, 

cluynnam i-argayl is coy-rag 

Tba Oscar na oanar sa bhlar ; 

ha oscar na o-anar sa ykr 

Gluaiseabh f hearaibh na Morbheann, 

glu-aysey erayy na mor-yenn 

'S buailibh an comhnadh a lainn/' 
s buyliy an coyna' a kynn^ 

And struck it fiercely into the side uf 

The hero fell on his knee, 

His shield under his elbow, his spear 
in his hand. 

Lo ! Cairber, stretched in the dust; 

The sharp point of the steel went 
through his head, 

And split die red locks behind. 
Like a rock falling from the cliff, 

Fell the hero of dark deeds. 

When green Erin shakes herself, 

From mountain to mountain and sea 
to sea. 
Brown-haired Oscar will never rise! 

He is leaning down on his shield, 

With the spear of a hundred deaths 
in his pand. 

Erin stood aloof on the wold. 

With a noise like the murmur of 

Lena of ghosts answered to their steps. 

Fingal heard the distant sounds ; 

He seized the deadly spear of Selma. 

He stretched his steps against the 

breast of the wold, 
The voice of sorrow bursting from 

his mouth : 
** I hear the sound of conflict, — 

Oscar is alone in battle : 

Move, men of Morven, 

And strike in aid of his sword." 




Bu luadh mo cheum ris an raon, 
bu la-a' mo cheym ris an raon 

Leum Fillan thair fraoch Moilena, 

leym fillan hayr fraoch moylena 

Na neart ffhluis Fonnghal nach faoin : 

Da nert yluysh fionn-yal naoh fiioyn 

B-namhain an dealradh bha 'g eiridh, 

bn-ayayn an delra' ya geyri' 

O'n Bgeith air guaillin an laoich ; 
on sgey' ayrga-aylin an laoych 

Cbunnaic »ol Eirinn fada thall, 
chunnayc d-ol eyrinn &da ball 

Dealradh mall 'o cheann na leir^, 

ddra' mall o cbenn na l^yng 
Dh-aithnich iad nach d'eirich gann, 

yaynich i-ad nach deyrich gann 

Bigh nan lann na^throm f heirg. 

ri' nan lann na r5m eyr-ig 

Bha'm has ag iadhadh mall ma smu- 
Tam bas ag i-a-ya' mall mu smu- 



Bainig sinne ; bhuail sin comhraig ; 

raynig ainn^ ytiyl sin cov-rayg 

Chaisg triathaibh na h-Eirinn air cursa ; 

chaysg tii-a'y-iv na beyrinn ayr cona 

Ach noir thainnig an righ na neart, 

ach Doyr hayn-ig an ri' na ne-art 

Chlisg an cridhe bu danaidhbho chruaidh. 
chlisg an cri'-^ bn danay' vo cbra-ay 

Theich iad *o chruachaibh Moilena, 

heych i-ad o ehra-aoh-ayy moylena 

Am bag a beumadh nan raaig. 

am bas a bSym-a' nan ni-ayg 

Fhuair mnn Oscar air a ageith, 

ha-ayr sinn oecar ayr a sgey' 

Fhial ag iadhadh ma thaobh. 

nyl ag i-a'-ha' ma haov 

Trom iomaguin laidh air na treadha ; 

trom i-oma'-guyn lay' ayr na tri-a-i 

A tiondadh an cuFaobh fo dheoir. 

a ti-onda' an colay fo yoyr 

Bha'n righ a ceiltein a dhenr fein, 

Tan ri' a oeyltayn a yeyr feyn 

Sa ghaoth 'o'n bhein na fhiasaig leidh. 

sa yao' on yeyn na i-as-ayg ley' 

Dh-aom oscion an oig laoich 

yaom oe-ci-on an oyg laoydi 

Le guth broin 's le osnadh chianaeL 
le gu' broyn a le oana' chi-a-nel 

Swift were my steps on the hill ; 

Fillin cleared the heath of Moilena 
m bounds. 

In his strength advanced Fingal the 

Dreadful was the glare emitted 

From the shield aloft on his shoulder. 

The race of Erin saw, at a distance, 

The slow gleam at the bend of the 

And knew that arose, not unequal, 

The king of swords in his anger. 

Their deaths were swimming calmly 
in his thoughts* 

We reached ; we struck in the conflict. 

Erin stopped our course ; 

But when the king came in his might, 

Shrunk the heart most daring under 

They fled from the heights of Moilena, 

Death striking in their rear. 

We found Oscar on his shield, 

His blood flowing around him. 

Heavy anxiety lay on the chiefs ; 

They turned their backs in tears. 

The king was concealing his own tears. 

The mountain breeze in his white 

He bent over the young hero 

With a grieving voice and a pensif e 



*' *N do thait Oscar sar nau lann, 

'a do hajt oscar sar nan lann 

A meadhain astair dhealraich fein ! 

a me'-ajn aa-tayr jelraych feyn 

Tha cridhe na h-aoise fo spairn, 

ha ori'-^ na haoys fo apayni 

A faicain na'm buaidh nach d'thainig 

a (ajdn nam buy' nach dayn-ig 

do'n treun, — 

do'n treyn 

Na blair a thigheadh a nail, 

na blajr a hig-a' a nail 

'S a ghearradh gu gann o chliu. 

sa yerra' ga gann o ohlin 

O'uin a dh-eires solas an Selma ? 

cuyn a yeyres aolaa an selma 

C*uin a ghluaises broD a Morbhein ? 

cayn a ylayses bron a morveynn 

Mo chlann thuit 'o am ga am ; 

mo ohlann hnyt o am ga am 

Biodh Fionn an deireadh a shliochd ! 

bi-o' fii-onn an deyr^' a hlio 

Mo chliu siolaidh sios 'o laaidh, 

mo chli-n Bi-oUy' si-os o In-ay' 

Bidh m*aois fo thruaighe gQ*n chairdean. 

bi' maoys fo hrn-ay' gnn chayrden 

Mar Dial do cheo am thalla fein, 

mar ni-al do ohe-o am halla feyn 

Cha chluinn mi tuille ceum mic, 

cha chlaynn mi tnyll^ oeym mio 

A teamadh le morchuis 'o 'n bheinn, 

a te*ar-na' le morchuys on veynn 

Le chomhlaen nan airm fo smachd. 

le covlen nan aynn fi> smao 

Toiteadh air deoir 'o ghaisgech Morbhem, 

tayt^ ayrde-oyr o yaysgioh morveyn 

Cha *n eirich Oscar og a choidh." 

cha n eyrich oecar og a ohoy' 

Thuit an deoir a righ nan lann, 

hnyt an de-oyr a ri' nan lann 

Oir b* ionmhuinn le*n anamaibh an triath. 

oyr bi-on-vnyn len anamayv an tri-a' 

Noir ghluais e gu comhraig nan lann, 

noyr yla-aysh e ga oovrayg nan lann 

Cha bu dion do namhaid sgiath. 

cha bu di-on do navayd sgi-a' 

Measg solais thiUeadh e le sith. 
^esg sol-aysh hill-e' e le si' 

Cha bhith bron athair ma mhac, 

cha yi' bron a'-ayr ma vac 

" Has Oscar, the surpassing, fallen 

In the midst of his own iUustrious 
course ! 

The heart of the aged is distressed, 

Seeing the victories that have m 
come to the mighty, — 

The battles that would have come, 

Bat which are cut off short from his 

When will joy rise in Selma ? 

When will grief depart from Morven? 

My children Ml from time to time ; 

Fingal will be the last of his race ! 

My fame is ebbing away from notioe, 

My age will be in sorrow, without 

Like a cloud of mist in my own hall, 

I shall no more hear the step of a son, 

Returning in splendour from the hill, 

With a band of armed warriors ander 

his command. 
Let your tears fall, heroes of MorveD, 

Young Oscar will rise no more." 

Their tears fell, king of swords, 

For dear was the hero to their souls. 

When he went to the conflict d 

The foe found no safety in his shield. 

He returned amid rejoicings, with 

No &ther lamented his son, 



Thait Ban ar an tlachd oige ; 

hayt aan ar an tlao oygb 

Chaidb iadsan gu'n bhron fo'n f hail, 

chaj' i-ad-san gan vron fon ayl 

'0 'd thill an og cheann fo bhuaidb. 

on hill an og chenn fo vn-ay' 

Bha Bran a donnaldch ri thaobh, 

VI bran a donnal-ajoh ri hoav 

Laalh groamach *s an fhraoch fo bhron ; 

la-a' gra-amach 8 an raooh fo vron 

Is minic a ghlnais iad maraon, 

is minnio a jlojs i-ad mar-oan 

A shealg nan ruadbaibh leis an laoch. 

a belag nan m-a'yy leys an loaoh 

Noir chunnaic Oscar bron a chairdean, 

noyr chnnnayo ofloar bron a cbajrden 

Labhair e an spaim a chleibh : 

lavajr e an apaym a oblejv 

'^ Osnaich nan ard-thriadh fo aois, 

osnaych nan ard-ri-a' fo aoya 
Caoine nan con, is a fonn 

caoyn^ nan oon ia a fonn 

A bristeadh trom 'o bheul nam bard, 

a bziat-d' trom o veyl nam bard 

Leagh iad manam le bron, — 

leagh i-ad manam le bron 

Manam nach do leagh riamh, 

manam naoh do le-a ri-ay 

An comhstri nan sgiath 's nan lann. 

an QOYStri nan sgi-a' a nan lann 

Bha coltach ri cruaidh mo laine. 

va ooltach ri cm-ay' mo layne 

Guilainibh mi gu'm chruaich,athreinibh ; 

gaylayn-iy mi gum ohru-aych a hreyn-iv 

Togaibh clach sa bheinn do'm chliu, 

togayy daoh aa yeynn dom ohli-u 

Coiribh cabar san uaigh leam fein, 

cuyriv caber aan u-ay' le-am feyn 

'S lann thana na'm beum ri'm thaobh. 

sUnn hana nam beym ri*m haoy 

Togaidh sruth am an cein an uir, 

togay' ani' am an ceyn an nyr 

Chi an sealgaer gu cul a chruaidh, 

chi an aellager gn cnl a chni-ay' 
" So cljddheamh Oscair, fo smuir, 

BO chlayey oacayr fo amnyr 

Suidh mor na'm bliadhna chaidh uainn." 

say mor nam bli-a'-na chai' uynn 

'N do thuit u mhic a thug dhomh cliu? 
ndo huyt u vie a hug yoy diu 

Fallen in battle in the bloom of youth ; 

They went unlamented under the 

Since their young commander re- 
turned with victory. 

Bran was howling at his side, 
Luath on the heath surly in his grief ; 


For often did they follow alike, 

To course the red-mantled race with 
the hero. 

When Oscar saw the sorrow of his 

He spoke from his labouring bosom : 

*' The sigh of high and aged chiefs, 

The weeping of the dogs, and the lay 

Breaking spontaneously from the 

mou&s of the bards, 
Have dissolved my soul in grief, — 

My soul that never melted 

In the conflict of shields and spears. 

It was like the steel of my sword. 

Carry me to my mountains, heroes ; 

Raise a stone to my fame, 

Place the horn of a deer in my grave, 

And the thin blade of deadly cuts by 

my side. 
The stream, in the course of ages, may 

remove the soil, 
The hunter will see the sword to its 

" It is the sword of Oscar in the dust, 

A great worthy, of times long passed 
Has the son, who gave me fame, 
fallen ? 



Nach faic mi u Oscair a choidh ? 

naoh fajo mi a oscajr a chojr' 

Noir cUuinneas triathain m'an cloinn, 

Dojr ohlajDnes tri-a'-en man dojn 

Nach cluinn mise luaidh ort Oscair? 

Daoh dajmi mi-se lo*ay' ort osoajr 

Bidh coineach air do chlachaibh liadh ; 
bi' oSjnech ayr do cblach-ajv li-a' 

*S gaoth a measg mo chiabh fo bhron ; 

ga'a a mesg mo chi-ay fo vron 

Cuirer cath gu'n us' air sliabh ; 

cnjrer ca' gan ns ayr ali-ay 

'S cha lean u eillid chiar iian torr. 

8 cha' len n eyllid chi-ar nan torr 

Noir thilleas na gaisgich o'n stri, 

noyr hillas na gajsgich on atri 
'G imasidh sgeul ma thir nan gall, 

ginnsi' sgeyl ma hir nan gall 

Chunnachas, their iad, uaigh aig sruth ; 

ohmmao-aB b^yr i-ad n-ay' ayg ara' 

A thaom a nuas bho thaobh nan earn, 
a baom ann-aa to baov nan cam 

Comhnuidh gu'n leus do thriath, 

ooT-nny' gon leys do ri-a' 

A thuit le Oscair nan carabad. 

a bnyt le osoayr nan carabad 

Theagamh gu'n cluinneam a ghuth, 

heg-av gnn duynnem a yn' 

'S gu'n eirich solas air dubbar mo 

B gnn eyr-ioh solas ayr davar mo 



Chaidheadh mid an oiche fo bhron, 

obayV mid an oyche fo Tron 

'8 cha'n eireadh le solas a ghrian, 
B cfaan eyra' le solas a yri-an 

Sheasadh na triatha mar scorra, 

hesa' na triay mar soorra 

Air Moilena nan torr fo mhuig. 

ayr moylena nan torr fo viiyg 

Ou'n f harraid, gu'n luaidh air comhrag. 

gon arrayd gnn In-ay' ayr coTrayg 

Sgaoil an righ gu caoin am bron, 

sgoyl an ri' gn cOyn am bron 

'S thog e le treoir a ghuth ; 

s hog e le tre-oyr a yn' 

Mhosgail na treuna na choir, 
Tosgd na trqma na oboyr 

Mar gu'm b-ann a uamhainn bruadair. 
mar gam bann a u-a-vaynn bru-a-dayr 

Shall I never see thee, Oscar ? 

When chiefs hear of their sons, 

Shall I not hear mention of thee ? 

Moss will cover thy grey stones, 

The wind be amid my locks in sorrow; 

The battle shall be fought withoutthee, 

And thou shalt not pursue the deer on 
the hilL 

When the warriors return from battle, 

Telling tales of the land of strangers ; 

We have seen, they will say, a grave 
at a stream 

That poured down from the cliffs : 
It is the torchless dwelling of a chief 

Who fell by Oscar of cara 

Perhaps I may hear the voice, 

And that light will rise on the dark- 
ness of my bosom. 

The night would have been passed 
in sorrow, 

Nor would the sun have risen in joy ; 

The chiefs would have stood like 

On Moilena of dusky woods, 

Unasking for, unmindful of war. 

The king mildly banished our grief. 

And raised his voice with firmness : 

The heroes started and drew near. 

As from a horrid dream. 



Gia fada thuiteas na deoir, 

cia fada haytes na d-oyr 

Balbh, bronach, air Moilena ? 

baly bron-ach ajr mojlena 

Cha till dhuin na trenna ni's mo, 

cha till yuyn na trejna nis-mo 

Neart Oscair a cfaoidh cha*n eirich. 

nert osoayr a ohoy' chan eyr-ioh 

Taitidh gaisgich can laithibh fein, 

tayti' gayabgich nan la'-iv fejm 

'S cha'n f baicer sa bheinn an trial. 

8 chan ayoer sa vejnn an tri-al 

Cait a bheil air 'n athraichean treana, 

cayt a Tejl ajr na'-rajch*en treyna 

Siol na'm beum o'n am a dh-iadh ? 

U'Ol nam bejm on am a yi-a' 

Thnit iad mar renltan air cul thorr, 

htijt i-ad mar reyltan ayr cnl horr 

A bha nan soluis mhor da'n tir fo mbuig. 

a va nan aolnys vor dan tir fo vnyg 

Cha chlninn sinn ach faaim an din, 

cha chloynn sinn ach faym an cfi-n 

'S bu cbliuteach iad nan am fein, 

8 ba ohH-a-tech i-ad nan am feyn 

Am blianaibh nan gniomh an cein. 

am bli-an-ayv nan gni-oy an ceyn 

'S uabbasach is baoth na dh-f balbh ; 

8 n-a-vasach is bao' na yaly 

Theid sinne mar iadsan o'n raon, 

heyd nnne mar i-adean on raon 

Do leabanan caola na*m marbb. 

do leb-anan caola nam marr 
Bith mid na'r latha fo chliu, 

hi' mid nar W'& fo chli-u 

'S fagadh mid air 'n ainm na'r deigh ; 

8 £iga mid ayr nayn-im nar day' 

Mar dhealradh greiu an speur gu'n smuir, 

mar yel-ra' greyn an apeyr gnn smnyr 
Noir cheiller fo dhubhradh i fein, 

noyr cheyller fo ynv-ra' i feyn 

Fear astair fo bhron a trial, 

fer aatayr fo vron a tri-al 

Cuinicbidh an miiamhadli dealrach. 


caynichi' an gni-ava' 

UUin, ma bhard fein fo aois, 

nll-ayn ma vard feyn fo oysh 

Gabh long is tboir dbachaidh an righ ; 
ga long b hoyr yach-a/ an -' 

Thoir Oscar gu Selma nan raon. 

hoyr oBC-ar ga fldma nan raon 

an n 

How long will ye sbed tears. 

Dumb, sad, on Moilena ? 

The heroes will return to us no more. 

The strength of Oscar no more arise. 

Warriors will fall in their own day. 

And will no more be seen on our 

Where are our mighty fathers. 

The sons of deadly sword-cuts in bye- 
gone times ? 

They fell like stars behind wooded 

Who'were great lights to their coun- 
try when in gloom (adversity.) 

We hear but the sound of their fame, 

Though so renowned in iheir own 

In the years of great deeds (now) re- 

Dreadful and evil were the times that 
are gone ; 

We, like them, shall pass away from 
the heath. 

To the^narrow beds of the dead. 

Let us be renowned in our day, 

And leave our names after us, 

Like^the reflected rays of the sun in 

the sky. 
When she is herself hid in darkness. 

The stranger, travelling in grief, 

Will remember our bright achieve- 
Ullain, my own aged bard, 

Take one of the king*s ships. 

And carry Oscar to heathy Selma, 



Sileadh deoir *o oigfaean na frith, — 

Bile' de-oyr o oy'-en na fri' 

oigheanan aillidh na MorbheaniL 

o ojmnen Ajlli' na mor-venn 

Buaille sinne a'n comhraig na h-EirinD, 

bujUi Burne an ooy-rayg na bey-rinn 

Mu 8hiol nan treun a thuit le Cairber. 

mn hi-ol nan treyn a hoyt le cajrber 

Tha laithean mo bhlianaibh fo nial ; 

ha lay' -en mo vli-an-ayy fo ni-al 

Tha mo ruigh aosda fas fann, 

ha mo ray' a-oe-da fiu iann 

'8 m athrichean a sealtain 'o nial, 
B ma'-rioh-en aBe-altayn o ni-al 

Air faoin astar an liadh-mhic ; 

ayr iaoyn astar an U-a'-vic 

Ach cha treig e'n aiach gu'n bhuaidb, 

aoh oha treyg en araoh gon Tny' 

6u*n dealradh f hagail ma chliu, — 

gm dehra' agayl ma chli-n 

Gu*n ainm fhagail mar sholus nan speur, 

gun ayn-em agayl mar holoB nan Bpeyr 

Do bhardaibh nan tend cuin." 
do yard-ayr nan teyd oi-uyn 

Let tears fall horn the maidens of 
the forest, 

The beautifol maidens of Morvea 

We most strike in the battles of Erin, 

For the race of the mighty who fell 
by Cairber. 

The days of my years are under a 
cloud ; 

My aged arm is becoming weak, — 

My fathers are looking froDi their 

On the feeble course of their grey- 
haired son ; 

But I will not resign without Tictory, 

Without leaving a blaze of fame,— 

Without leaving my name like die 
light of heaven, 

To the bards of tuneful strings.'* 

Down to the period at which the whole ^* pomp and circumstance" of 
warfare was changed by the discovery and universal use of gunpowder, the 
chief bard acted as aid-de-camp of the ceann-cath, and the clan bard as the 
adjutant of the chief. The former was often dispatched to an overmatched or 
receding division, for the purpose of rekindling their fire and energy with his 
war-song or prosnachadh, as reinforcements are now sent We have an instance 
of this in the poem of Fingal, where the bard is sent to encourage the over- 
matched division of GuaL This prosnachadh or war-song has been carried 
down by oral recitation more fally than in the version of it found in Mr Mac- 
pherson's repositories, and is now submitted to the reader. 

A shiol mharcaichean nan steud Descendant of the riders of steeds 

a hi-ol yaicaych-an nan Bteyd 

Is airde leum 'sas fiate srann, 

18 ayr-d^ leym sas fi-a-t^ srann 

Arighnan claidheamhgeur'snan sleagh; 

a ri' nan day'v geyr *b nan ale-a' 

A lamh threun an cruaidh-chas, 

a lav hreyn an cni-ay'-chaB 

A chridhe aird nach eur bas, 

a chii'-d ayrd naoh eyr bas 

A cheannaird shonn is euchdar toirt ; 

a chenn-ayrd hOnn ia eyc-ar toyrt 

Cuir sgrios air marachean nan stuadh, 

cayr sgria ayr mara-ohen nan Bta-a' 

Of highest bounds and wildest snorts, 
King of sharp swords and spears ; 
Strong arm in extremity, 
High heart that fears not death, 
Chief of heroes of deeds illustrioas ; 
Destroy the mariners of the waves. 



The bloody foe from the north, 

The navy and the people of Inniatore. 

Be thine eye fire in thy head, 

Thy sword the h'ghtning's flash, 

And the bolt, before the thunder, to 

Exalt thy victorious shield. 

Blood-edged crot?i*-coloured. 

Like the star of death, to doubting 

Bace of the riders of steeds 

Of the highest bounds and wildest 

Cut down the foe to death. 

Air naimhdean fuileach o'n tir thuadh, 

ajr nayv-den fnjl-eoh on tir ha -a' 
Air cabhiach is sluagh Innistor. 

ayr cav-laoh ia aln-a' inmstor 

Biodh do shuil mar choar a'd' cheann, 

bi-o' do hnyl mar choar a*d chenn 
Mar chith 'o'n dealan do lann, 

mar chi' o^n dd-an do lann 

'S mar bheithir', ro' tharn, gu lot. 

*8 mar vey'-ir ro ham gu lot 

Ardaich gu buaidh do sgiath, 
ard-ayeh ga boy' do 8gi-a' 

Is fuileach tnar 's as crobhui* neul, 
is fnyl-ech tn-ar sSs ctoyuj neyl 

Mar real a bbais do naimh fo sprochd. 

mar re-al a Tays do nayy fo sproc 

A shiol mharcaichean nan steud, 

a hi-ol varoajoben nan steyd 

Is airde leum 's as fiate srann, 
'u ayrde leym sas fi-a-t^ Brann 

Sgrios naimhdean sios gu has. 

sgris na-iv-den si-os gn bas 

Macmhuirech's prosnacha at the battle of Harlaw, is the most remarkable 
now extant. It is accessible to the reader, — a considerable part of it having 
been published by the Hills, the Stewarts, and othera It consisted of a verse 
of eight lines for every letter of the Gaelic alphabet, the initial letter of the 
first and of every other word in every line of each verse, having the same 
initial letter. This seems to have been the last prosnacha actually repeated in 
battle; the introduction of powder having caused the substitution of the 
pifUnreao for the vocal war-song. The pic^eac^ (peeb-rec) a name compounded 
from ptbJ, pipe, and reoc, law, — ^that is, the war-pipe law, — seems to have been 
introduced immediately after the battle of Harlaw, in Macmhuirech^s own day, 
and apparently to the infinite disgust of the bard, whose verses descriptive of 
the bagpipe and its lineage are more graphic and humourous than gentlemanly 
and elegant. Indeed, generally speaking, the Gaelic bards, like their contem- 
poraries of the Lowlands and of England, though very happy in their broadly 
bnmourous pieces, were wretched satirists. Domhnul Mac-raonuil, Rob Donn, 
and AiUean Ball, almost comprise the sum total of elegant and gentlemanly 
Gaelic satirists : these were true satirists, keen and cutting, but as clear, and 
polished, and sharp as steel blade& With these exceptions, I scarcely can at 
this moment remember a Gtielic satire that does not degenerate more or less 
into scurrility. Even Iain Lom and Donnachadh Ban were scurrilous in their 
satires. Indeed, scurrility seems to have been the hangman's whip of the 
bards, as *' the fear o' hell" was that of the clergy of the dark ages ; and the 
forms for banning the excommunicated used by the priest, seems really to have 
furnished the model for the execrable compositions meant for satires by the bards. 

* Thi0 word ieema to be obiolete. 


Although the war-pipe was apparently detested by the older bards, whose 
prosnachadh it superseded in battle, no other instrument can actually speak so 
thoroughly understood and felt a language to the hearts of those who have a 
key to its articulations. Those who have not, may flatter themselves that 
superior refinement and civilization satisfactorily account for the distaste with 
which they turn away from the war-pipe music, with something like disgust, 
struggling to find the means of expressing itself on their inane plebeian faces; 
but I have never yet seen a gentleman of sensibility and intelligence, however 
much a stranger to such music, who did not regard it as both eloquent and 
picturesque, and strikingly accordant with the warlike character of the people 
of Scotland. I have in one of my papers in the West of Scotland Magazine, 
described an instance of exalted devotion on the part of the piper of Colla-ciotach, 
or left-handed Coll, father of the heroic Sir Alexander Macdonald, the lieatenant 
of Montrose. The piper landed with a party on Islay in advance of the ex- 
pedition from Ireland, with instructions to take the castle of Dun-a-verty by 
surprise, should he find the Campbells off their guard, and that this might be 
attempted with the prospect of success. The Campbells, however, were 
apprised of the expedition, and on the alert, and drew the unfortunate piper 
and his party into an ambush, and made them prisoners. Here the inhuman 
character of the war began, the whole party, excepting the piper, being hang 
up off hand. The piper asked leave to play a lament over the fate of his 
companions, and the chieftain who commanded the Campbells being himself 
enthusiastically fond of pipe music, and anxious to hear so celebrated a musician, 
granted the boon ; but, in the meantime, he caused some cattle to be pnt in 
the way of the approaching Birlins, while he posted a strong party in ambush 
to fcdl upon them should they land another party to take the castle, as the 
piob-reac instructs The piper, watchful of these movements, adapted his 
piob-reac to the situation with the most consummate art The warning notes 
are poured forth in separate strains, having cdl the appearance of unmeaning, 
unconnected vagaries ; but they breathe a melancholy spirit, and the warning 
and lamenting notes could not fail to be understood by those who knew the 
style of the musician so intimately. The bards have put all these piob-reaca 
into imitative syllables and words for illustration, and I submit those assigned 
to this celebrated warning, as I am anything but pleased with the version I have 
got of the piob-reac itself. The chieftain understood the meaning of the 
sixth verse or part of the piob-reac, and, on finding himself overreached by 
the piper, he plunged his dirk into him ; and tradition states that the devoted 
minstrel smiled proudly in death, on seeing, by the deviating course of the 
Birlins, that his warning was understood, and saved his fiiend& The warning 
notes, seachain an dutij avoid the castle ; and the lamenting notes, tha smne an 
latmh, we are prisoners, are exceedingly touching ; but, indeed, when properly 
played, this noble piece of music is literally an epic in epitome, and perfectly 
unique as a piob-reac. I grieve exceedingly at being obliged to publish so 
contemptible a version of it Pipe music is known to have been heard at the 
distance of six, and under favourable circumstances, ten miles. 





A Cholla, cuir umad ; bi uUamfa, bi Falbh ; 
Bi ullarah, bi falbh ; bi uUamh, bi falbh ; 
A ChoUa, cuir umad; bi uUamh, bi falbh; 
Tha sinne an laimh, tha sinne an laimh. 

Fag an ni, fag an ni, fag an ni, 
Fag an ni, fag an ni, fag an ni, 
Fag an ni, fag an ni, fag an ui ; 
Tha sinne an laimh, tha sinne an laimh. 

Samh is taoman, ramh is taoman, 

Hamh is taoman, ramh is taoman, 
Bamh is taoman, ramh is taoman ; 
Tha sinne an laimh, tha sinne an laimh. 

(Wordfl symbolical of embarkiiig quickly.) 

Lamh dhearg, lamh dhearg, lamh 

Lamh dhearg, lamh dhearg, lamh 

Lamh dhearg, lamh dhearg, lamh 
dhearg ; 

Tha sinne an lahnh, tha sinne an laimh. 

(Waniing to call the Macdonalds to his standard 
before attacking the castle.) 

Cholla, mo ghaoil, seachain an caol, 
Seachain an caol, seachain an caol ; 
Cholla, mo ghaoil, thoir ort a Mhaol, — 
Baidhinn an ath, buidhinn an ath. 

(Warning to keep aloof from the strait, and 
hasten to secure a landing on MnlL) 

Cholla, mo rain, seachain an dan, 
Seachain an dan, seachain an dun, 
Cholla, mo ruin, seachain an dun ; 
Tha sinne an laimh, tha sinne an laimh. 

(Warning not to attempt to sare the prisoners 
in the castle.) 

Coll, array ; be ready, depart ; 

Be ready, depart ; be ready, depart ; 

Coll, array ; be ready, depart ; 

We are in their hands, we are in their 

Leave the cattle, leave the cattle, 
leave the cattle. 

Leave the cattle, leave the cattle, 
leave the cattle, 

Leave the cattle, leave the cattle, 
leave the cattle ; 

We are in their hands, we are in their 

An oar, a baler, (baling dish) an oar, 
a baler. 

An oar, a baler, an oar, a baler. 

An oar, a baler, an oar, a baler ; 

We are in their hands, we are in their 

The red hand, the red hand, the red 

The red hand, the red hand, the red 

The red hand, the red hand, the red 
hand ; 

We are in their hands, we are in their 

Coll of my love, avoid the strait, 

Avoid the strait, avoid the strait ; 

Coll of my love, go to Mull, — 

Gain the landing-place, gain the 

Coll of my love, avoid the castle, 

Avoid the castle, avoid the castle. 

Coll of my love, avoid the castle ; 

We are in their hands, we are in their 

The Highlander who understands pipe-music will find in the piob-reac of 
Daorach Bobbi the most keen and cutting satire ever levelled at the low vice of 
drunkenness. The ludicrous imitation of the coarse and clumsy movements, 
the maudlin and staring pauses, the helpless imbecility of the drunkard, cus he is 





pilloried in the satire, with the ever-recurring, sneering notes, seed a n£r m*, 
(*' look at him now !") are enough to annihilate any person possessing the least 
sensibility, who, while hearing them, is conscious of having been in so degrading 
a condition even for once in his life. Gillie-Callum,<'the composition of which 
is by some witty bard ascribed to Noah, who first danced the hilarious dance 
himself over two cross vines while " glorious," on discovering the virtue of their 
fruit, presents a striking contrast to Daorach BobbL The total abstainer could 
hardly find a better text for his lecture than Daorach Bobbi ; while the temper- 
ance lecturer would not be far wrong in adopting Oillie-Callum. Both tunes 
strikingly illustrate the descriptive character of the music of the Gael He 
who, when in his cups, staggers, stops, stares at vacancy, and sprawls in the 
mud, like Bobbi, is worse than a fool, unless he totally abstain ; while he whose 
worst exhibition when in his cups is to dance Gillie*Callum, like father Noah, 
would not be wise were he to totally abstain. At least, so thought the baid, 
William Boss, who wrote the following verses, which I submit as a fair average 
specimen of the legion of Highland drinking carols. Whisky is personified in 
Gaelic poetry under the name of 


Co a shamhladh fear do bheusan, 

00 a hAvla' fer do YejBan 

Bi fion, tanadh, geur na Fraing? 

li fi-on tana' geyr na frayng 

Na dhi-moladh Mac-an-Toisaich, 

na yi-mola' mao-an-toysaych 

Ach leibid nach oladh dram ? 
ach lebid naoh ola' dram 

Fonn: — 

Glac an t-shearrag, lion a ghloinne, 

glao an teiag: li-on a jloynh 

Bh-uain am balach, gruamach, gann ; 
▼n-ayn am balach gru-am-ach gann 

Gille gasda, mac-na-bracha, 

gilli gasda mao-na-bra-cha 

'S ioma gaisgeach ort an geaL 

*8 i-oma gajBg-eob ort an geU 

logain crabhaidh bidh dhat dhiteadh, 

i-og-ayn cravay' bi' yat yite' 

Le cul-chaint tha daicheal feall ; 
le col-ohaynt ha day-chel fell 

Ged a chaineas iad le'm beoil u, 
ged a chaynes i-ad lem be-oyl a 

Olaidh iad u mar an t-alt. — Glac, &c. 

ohiy' i-ad u mar an talt 

A chleir fein ge seunt' an cota, 

a chleyr f eyn ge seynt an oota 

Tha na's leoir dhiu ort an geall, 
ha nas le-oyr yi-n ort an gell 

Who would compare a man of thy 

smeddum (spirit) 
To wines thin and sharp of France? 

Or dispraise Macintosh, 

Save a sneak that will not take a 

Chonta: — 

Seize the bottle, fill the glass. 

Hence, the boor churlish and scant ; 

Noble youth, son of malt, 

Many warriors pay court to thee. 

Lecturing hypocrites may abuse thee 

Behind thy back, in plausibly deceit- 
ful words ; 

But although they slander, 

They drink thee like brook water. — 
Seize, &c. 

The clergy themselves, although their 
garb is saintly. 

Are, many of them, among thy 



'S tha cuid ac' a ghabhas froileadh And some of them enjoy a bouse 

's ha cajd aca yavas froyl^ 

Chomathrisaighdearsachamb.-GlaCjiSMX As well as any soldier in the camp.rr- 

cho ma' ri say'-der sa oham Seize, &C. 

C'oim mar a nitear dhuin banais, How could we wake a wedding, 

e'oym mar a nitoar ynjn l>an-ay8 

Cnmhnanta na eeangal teann ? Or a binding contract ? 

eaynanta na oengal tenn 

Mar bi dram againn do'n chleireach, Unless we have a dram for the clerk, 

mar bi dram agajn don ohley-rech 

Chabhimoran8preignapheann.-Glac,&c. There will be little vigour in his 

cha ▼! moran epnji; na fenn pen. — Seize, &c. 

B\\ mhian leam fein, fhir mo chridhe, It is my own desire, son of my heart, 

ba Ti-an le-am feyn ir mo ohri'-d 

A bhi na d' chomunn nach gann ; To be in thy generous company ; 

a vi na d* ohomnnn nach gann 

'S trie a bha sinne nar dithis. Often have we two been together, 

^strio a va sinne nar di'-ia 

Ounphiobgunfhideil,adanns.-GIac,&a Without a pipe or fiddle, dancing. — 

gm fi-ob gun i'-eyl a danna Seize, &C. 

The next specimen of the piob-reac which would have been submitted, 
had I been able to get a proper version of it, is that mentioned in the foot-note, 
Cill-a-Chriosd, (the Cell of Christ,) which originated thus : — The Mackenzies 
having adopted feudalism, adopted, of course, along with it the vital principle 
of the system, namely, that "might is right" Their chief, accordingly, 
determined to extend his possessions at the expense of his neighbours, the 
Macdonells of Glengarry. Having obtained a charter from the crown, which 
was ever ready to substitute feudal for patriarchal clans, he assembled his clan 
and feudal allies at difierent remote points, where they were <»)ncealed during 
the day, with the view of advancing under the cloud of the following night, 
for concentration on the borders of the doomed clan, who were to be taken by 
surprise. One of these parties was concealed in a church near Beauly. The 
illustrious loyalist, Allastair Dubh (duv) of Glengarry, being apprised of these 
secret movements, quietly collected his clan and fnends, and determined to 
anticipate the enemy. He dispatched the celebrated Aillen Mac Baoil (ayllen 
mac raoyl) against tibe party hiding in Cill-a-Chriosd, (kill-a-chri-osd) while he 
himself, with his no less celebrated friend, Aillen Dubh na Fiadh, (ayllen duv na 
fi-a') preceded against the castle, where Mackenzie, in the blind confidence of 
security, had assembled, and was feasting, his chieftains, preparatory to a deadly 
attack on, as he supposed, his unprepared neighbours. Glengarry and his 
friends, when the feasting and mirth were at the highest, contrived to possess 
themselves of the stairs and all the passages to and from the hall, which was 
filled with hilarious bands of the clan Mackenzie, totally unconscious of their 
position. The late Sir Thomas Dick Lauder tells the result in an admirable 
paper in Tait's Magazine ; but he does not seem to have obtained a proper 



version of the tradition. Indeed, the writer of Highland tradition cannot be 
too cautions or particular in his inqniries, before committing himself to a 
tradition, for there are frequently different versions of the same ; and although 
every one of them substantially agree, yet they may, and often do, diflFer in 
details creditable or discreditable to individusJs. For instance, there was 
nothing more natural than that the indignant foes of Aillean Mac Baoil, as well 
as the religious fanatic, horrified at the destruction of Cill-a-Chriosd, should so 
tell the story as to lead to the belief that the church was burnt, in revenge, over 
the heads of a worshipping congregation, instead of over those of enemies, 
lurking there for the purpose of stealing more securely, and with more deadly 
success, on an unsuspecting clan. I had myself been misled by this yersion of 
the tradition ; but with this explanation, the versions of the tradition publidied 
in the New Monthly and in Tait's Magazines are unexceptionable. Indeed, 
judging from tradition, there never were a people who, with all their injuries 
under the feudal usurpation, were less given to revenge than the old Highland 
clans. Two or three constitute all the instances recorded by tradition of 
Highland revenge, — ^the testimony of Sir Walter Scott and other feudalists 

The piob-reac commemorative of any striking event, was descriptive. 
Hence this tune contradicts the version of the tradition which makes Aillean 
Mac Raoil set fire to the church over the heads of a worshipping congregation ; 
for although we cannot help fancying, when the tune is properly played, that 
we hear the flames rustling and bellowing through the blazing timbers of the 
resounding church, mingled with the angry remonstrances and half-smothered 
shouts of the warriors, while the wail of the sympathizing and generous 
minstrel himself permiates and inspires the whole piece, we do not find in it 
any representation of the more feeble plaints and moans of women. The 
absence of these, which, in all probability, would have formed the burden of 
the tune, had there been women among the victims, confirms the version of the 
tradition which states that there were none present excepting warriors who had 
been placed in ambush there. 

I have been able to procure something resembling *^ A Cholla ma ruin" 
firom a Highland friend, which I have submitted to the reader for want of a better 
Perhaps it will enable him to conceive (with the aid of the illustrative words) 
what this piob-reac was when properly played. The above description of 
Cill-a-Chriosd has been written from my recollection of my father's description 
of it to an English gentleman, who had strong prejudices against bagpipe music ; 
but who, on getting a key to its descriptive character, and bearing this noble 
tune played by John MacdoneU, Glengarry's piper, became a perfect enthusiast 
for the music. I have not had an opportunity for some years of hearing the 
music of the war-pipe under circumstances which entitle me to speak with 
confidence on this subject, as the meetings of Highlanders are now held under 
patronage, and I cannot be a party to such repudiation of the feelings which 
characterized our ancestors as that implies. They clung endearingly and 
tenaciously to the patriarchal chleachda, which fostered and secured the manly 


independeooe of spirit that could recognise no superiors exo^ptiBg in the officials 
elected by themselyes. But I greatly suspect, since the piper has become a 
domestic musician^ that he finds it lus interest to cultivate the tastes of strangers ; 
and hence that this warlike music has been so toned down as to be a totally 
different thing from what it has been. Amazing loudness, which alone could 
enable it to give reachd or law to the movements of conflicting armies in the 
field of battle, was its peculiar characteristic ; but the wonderful thing was, the 
scientific knowledge of sound by which these noble muricians so regulated the 
accompanying modulations of the three drones, as to render the piercing sound 
of the chanter, in a properly tuned pipe, under the fingers of a '^ Padruig,*' as 
sweet as that sweetest and best of all musical instruments — the violin. I have 
said that I may possibly be mistaken as to the total degeneracy of bagpipe 
music ; but be that as it may, I went to a gentleman's piper recently, to get the 
piob-reachd of Cill-a-Chriosd for this work, and received a specimen, which is 
a much better imitation of the inexpressive notes, eternally repeated, that would 
be made by three unfortunate bumbees or blue-bottles imprisoned in a tin snuff- 
box, and struggling to get out by too narrow a slit in its cover, than a torrent 
of flame rushing and bellowing through the crashing timbers of resounding 
aisles, mingled with the angry remonstrances and maddened war-cries of 
burning and smotliering warriors, strong and unyielding even in that extremity. 
I cannot caricature the warlike music of my country by publishing this 
specimen. If bagpipe music is reduced to this, let it die, and leave us to cherish 
its memory as aD unmatched warlike national music 

Although the illustration of the variety and beauty of the numerous styles 
and measures of Gaelic poetry was not embraced by the plan of this treatise, 
I wrote- some twelve pages between quotations and remarks on this very curious 
and interesting subject, which I find myself compelled to omit, owing to the 
limits originally assigned to the work. I regret this less, as I think that the 
songs to be submitted along with the melodies, wil] enable the English reader 
to form a pretty &ir idea of the diversity of measures and styles cultivated by 
the barda They did not cultivate metre, or lines ending in corresponding 
syllables; but they have much poetry which has such terminations, more, 
however, from accident than design. The art, apparently artless, with which 
they interspersed words of corresponding yet varied vowel and liquid sounds 
through their verses, is truly wonderful. Some of these variations are not less 
curious than pleasing, having a concord of vowels, without alliteration, running 
through the whole, and occurring in different parts of lines forming corresponding 
rhymes* I must forbear quotations ; but cannot help submitting the following 
few verses from a warrior of some distinction in the wars of Montrose and 
Dundee, on a subject on which volumes have been written,— the praise of the 
different clans* Each of these pieces was usually called 


Si so'n aimsir an dearbhar Now is the time to prove 

n io*n aym«rir an der^TSr 

An targanach dhuin, Tl^ stability of the goYemsient, 

an taraganaoh jvyn 




'S bras meamneacli fir Alba 

'8 bras memenach fir alaba 

Fo'n armaibh, 's nan luth ; 

fon arm-ayv 'a nan lu' 

Noir dh-eires gach treun laoch 

noyr yeyres gach treyn laoch 

Na eide glan ur, 
na eyd-i gian tir 

Le nm feirge is gairge 

le run feyrigd U gairgd 

A thearmuin a chruin. 

a her-majn a chruyn 

Theid maithabh na Galltachd 

hejd maj'-av na gall-tac 

Gle sbanntacb an gleus ; 

gld hann-taoh an glejs 

Gur lionar steud sheang-mbear 

gur li-on-ar stejd heng-ver 

A dbannsas le speis. 
a jann-saa le spejB 

Biodh Sassanaicb cailte, 

bi' sasaan-ayoh cayltd 

Is tboil iad an tein, 

is bojl i-ad an teyn 

'S bidb na Frangaicb le'n cambaibb 

'a bi' na frang-ajch len camb-ayv 

Gle theann air an deigb. 

gle henn ajr an dey' 

Tbe men of Alba baving risen 

Under arms, and in tbeir vigour and 
migbt ; 

Now, wben every strong hero 
Is in bis clean, new costume, 
Indignantly and fiercely zealous 
For tbe restoration of tbe crown. 

Tbe good men of tbe Lowlands 
Enter eagerly into action ; 

Many is tbe steed slender and meny 

Tbat will prance under tbem. 

Tbe Englisb will be losers, 

And deserve to be put to an extremity, 

And tbe Frencb in tbeir encampments 

Will be closely after tbem. 

Before quoting tbe otber two or tbree verses, wbicb is all I can make room 
for of tbis song, I cannot belp remarking, tbat tbe feeling toward tbe English 
expressed in tbe above verses, came down, at least among tbe adberents of the 
Stuart family, to my own time, — tbe commencement, I mean, of tbe war 
resulting from tbe Frencb Revolution. Tbis was sbown by tbe 79tb regiment, 
at a critical moment, on its first meeting witb tbe Frencb, under its illustrious 
founder and cbief, Aillean of Earracbt. Tbis splendid oflScer beard a murmur 
passing tbrougb tbe ranks of tbe regiment as tbe Frencb advanced, — "The 
Frencb are tbe friends of our clan. Tbey covered our retreat at Culloden. Let 
us figbt tbe Red Coats." Tbe colonel did not say a word ; but he made a slight 
movement, wbicb brougbt tbe Locbaber men witbin range of a distant volley 
from tbe Frencb, wben be exclaimed, in bis own tbundering voice, — ** There tbey 
are, my lads ; and if you don*t kill tbem, by Gl — , they'll kill you.'* " Diol!" 
(ran with equal speed through tbe ranks,) " they have attacked our clan !" The 
Camerons, on finding themselves thus used, gave a speedy account of their 
French friends ; and, from tbat day, there has not been in tbe army a more 
distinguished regiment for loyalty or bravery. The above feeling was reversed 
during the Peninsular war, as a consequence of the many glorious battles in 


which the Englishman and the Highlander fought " shoulder to shoulder," not 
less than by the many generous and kindly acts that passed between them on 
the march and in the bivouac, in privation and festivity, during many a trying 
campaign, in which patriotism and glory were the compensation for toil and 
starvation. But in every, not merely Highland, but Scottish, Welsh, and Irish 
heart, worthy of their ancestors, there is a reaction against the English since 
the Peace. The vulgar and the ignorant, who are the cause of the reaction, of 
course cannot, or will not, see it, until too late. Nevertheless, no intelligent or 
gentlemanly Englishman can be ignorant of, or wonder at it. It is chiefly to 
be ascribed to the many English newspapers, conducted by editoi*s who postpone 
gentlemanly feeling and an honest regard to the treaties by which the peoples 
of these kingdoms have been united on equal terms, to the ignoble purpose of 
catering for the tastes of the millions. These, to the discredit of journalism, 
avail themselves of every opportunity of levelling oflFensive, nay, insulting 
paragraphs at their fellow subjects of Wales, Ireland, and Scotland ; and, in 
contradistinction, they extol to the skies the mythic Anglo-Saxons, as demigods, 
whose destiny, — ^as they loudly proclaim, — is to conquer and extirpate all other 
races of mankind ! That the rude and ignorant should be the puppets of these 
ill-bred sycophants was to be expected ; but that Governors of Colonies, Generals 
commanding armies. Admirals commanding navies, and not only Members of 
Parliament, but also the Members of Her Majesty's Government, should counte- 
nance these low writers, by adopting such a style to designate the Army and 
Navy^ her Majesty's Government, and her Majesty's peoples, as ignores the 
Union, and is at once an illegal usurpation of supremacy by England over 
countries that she never conquered, and who formed an alliance with her on 
equal terms, is dishonourable and discreditable. This illegal, unpatriotic, and 
most ungentlemanly conduct, is most assuredly alienating every Welsh, Irish, 
and Scottish heart that cherishes for the nationalities for which our fathers 
fought, bled, and died, the high and holy feelings which their history is so well 
calculated to inspire. The time, therefore, will assuredly come, when the 
Welsh, the Irish, and the Scotch, will remember ancient and kindred ties, and 
feel bound in honour to break up the Union, for the purpose of getting quit of 
the degraded position in which they are thus placed in the empire. If they do 
not revive and cement ancient ties, and assert their right to have the empire 
called ** The British Empire," the Government called " The British Govern- 
ment," and the Army and Navy called " The British Army and Navy," they 
will sink into nominal serfage, and lose every high and noble feeling to which 
man owes independance and freedom : for no people can be worthy of, or 
maintain their freedom, who are capable of allowing themselves to be swindled 
out of the nationality which is its sole guarantee. 

Eiridh Clan-Dhomhnuil Clan-Donuill will rise 

eyri' oUn-yov-nnyl 

Mar leoghainn am fearg, Like lions enraged, 

mar le-o-inn am ferag 



Na 'm beo-bhethir ; mor leathunn 

na'iii be-o-ve-ir mor le'-ann 

Connspanach garg. 

ooim-8pan-ach gang 
Lochd a sbeasaibh na corach, 

lao a hes-ajT na oorach 

Ga'n ordngh lamb-dbearg. 

gan ord-a' lav-yerag 

Mo-dhoigh ! bhiodh iad gorach 
mo-yoy' vi' i-ad gor-aoh 

A thoisicheadh ovbh. 
a boya-ioh-a' oyrr 

Or live tbnndei^bolte ; tall and etont 

Are the heroes fierce. 

They are the men to stand by the 

Whose cognizance is the red hand. 

Mo yoy I they would be mad 

Who should begin the battle bj 
attacking you. 

6ur liouar lamh theoma 

gnr li*o-iiar lav be-o-ma 

Thaig Eoghan Lochial. 

hayg e'-o-an loob-i-al 

For cholganta, bhorganta, 

fir oholag-anta Torg-aota 

Is oirdheirce gniomh. 

18 oyr-yejro-d gni-av 

lad mar thuil-bheum, air chorr-ghleus, 

i-ad mar bDyl-Tejm ajr obonr-yleys 

Air chonfbadh ro dhion. 

ajr obona-ba' ro yi-on 

Se mo dhuilsa 'n am msgaidh, 

86 400 jayl-sa nam mig-^' 

Naoh diult sibh dot sios. 

nacb di-idt ny dol u-ob 

Many are the warriors 

Of Owen of Lochiel. 

Bough and broad 

Are the heroes of deeds illustriQtt& 

Like the spring-tide, or a mountaio- 

They advance to T)atile. 

It is my opinion that, at stripping- 

They will not hesitate to descend. 

The Highlanders of Druidal times placed something like a religious valoe 
on the orations delivered over their graves by the bards. Hence, as they always 
fought stripped to the kilt, they used to paiut their crests on their bosoms, so 
as they might be recognised and distinguished in the conflict, as well as among 
the slain, should that be their fate. They so fought on the Grampians agaiost 
the Bomans, and at Eilliecrankie against the Lowlanders and the English. 
Hence the bardic expression, ** nam rusgaidh," stripping-time, which is synony- 
mous with the command to charge. The Bomans, on whose ignorance or 
dishonesty as regarded their enemies, modem philology is beginning to throw 
a light that will stagger some of their school-boyish admirers, represent the aimy 
of the Grampians, notwithstanding their own admission that they had swords, 
spears, poniards, standards, and chariots, as painted savages ; but the English, 
who seem to have been equally ignorant or prejudiced, and who affected to 
regard the kilt as a mere rag tied round the loins, represent them only as naked 
savages. Both statements are of equal value for their historical honesty or truth. 
They have served their day. The practice of the pugilists to strip before 
setting-to, and of seamen to have devices painted on their arms by their 
comrades or sweethearts, before braving the dangers of ^* the battle and the 



breeae," are, in all probability, only traditional relics of the old chivalrons 
Caledonian custom. I have known a young Highland gentieman of aristocratic 
birth and ideas, who, before going into battle along with our Yankee cousins 
against the Mexicans, got the crown and British ensign painted on his arm 
by a friend, that he might not be mistaken for a republican even after death ; 
so much was he disgusted with the coarse manners resulting from the levelling 
principles of republicanism. 

Our guineach na Duimhnich, 

gar guyn-eoh na doy-moh 

'Nam rusgadh nam lann, 

luun inB-ga' luun lann 

Bidh naimhdean ga'n ruagadh 

bi' najv-din gao ni-a-ga' 

Le'n cruadal nach fann ; 

kn cni-ardal naeh fium 

Dream nasal ro uaibhreach, 

drem n-a-Ml ro n-ajv-reoh 

Dh-fhag dual ann ean Fhraing ; 
yag dn-al ami san nyng 

'S ann Dhiarmaid a shiolaich 

aann o yi-ar-majd a hi-ol-ajoh 


'M por miaghael nach gann. 

'm por mi-a'-yel naoh gann 

Fierce are the Campbells, 

When swords are drawn frmi their 

Enemies will be scattered 
By their hardihood and might ; 
The tribe high-blooded and illustrious, 
Has left a branch in France ; 
From Diarmdd are descended 
The clan noble and numerous. 

Ayrshire was the original district in Scotland of the CampbeUs, or, as 
they were called, Clan DuibhnidL The burial-place of the patriarch of the 
clan is near the village of Barr, on the banks of the Dian-char ; dian^ from 
rapid, and car, from sudden windings, now called Stinchar. The name of the 
burial-place was Cill Dhuibhnidh, (kill yuyv-ni) the grave of Duibhnidh, corrupted 
into Eirk-damdi. The etymon of Duibhnidh, Latinized damni by the Romans, 
resolves itself into the roots, dubh, (duv) black, and nibhidh^ (ni-vi) venomous ; 
that is, the black and fierce, pronounced duiHfiivi. Bums, in " The Vision," 
refers to the traditional power of the Campbells in Ayrshire. 

Having been born at Creaguaine, the very centre of the scenery made 
classical by the '^ Aged Bard," Domhnul Mac-Innlaidh, and Iain Lom, I may be 
excused in giving precedence to my native bards in the following quotations, 
which may be said to form separate links in a connected chain of Gaelic poems, 
from the time of Ossian to tiie present day. I regret the necessity of so limiting 
my quotations as to do a manifest injustice to tliese three Brae-lochaber bards. 


6u socair sin san fheur mo thaobh. Lay me gently on my side in the grass, 

ga 8004jr sin lan ejr mo baor 

Airbruachnandithean*snangaodh-tlath, On a bank of flowers and soft winds, 
air bni-aoh nan di-en 'i nan gao'Ua' 



Mo chas ga slioba sa bhraon mhaoth, 

mo cho0 ga ilib-a m Traon yao' 

A lubas mal is caoin tre'n bhiar. 

a labas mal is oaojn tre'n vlar. 

My feet laved by the mild streainkt 

That winds slowly and genially throogb 
the meadow. 

Aig iadhadh mu bhraaichaibh mo ghlinn, 

ayg i-a'-a' mn yni-ach-ajT mo ylum 

Biodh luba gheugan 's orra blath ; 

tn-o' laba yejg-aa *8 orra bla' 

*S clann bheag nan preas a tabhairt seinn, 

's dami veg nao pres a tav-ayrt seynn 

Air creagan aosd' le 'n orain ghraidL 

ajr creg-aa aoed le 'n o-rajn jray' 

Bidh ard oscion dosan na *m beann, 

bi ard oe-d-on dosan na m benn 

Le cumhadh do ghaoil na d' mhin bheul, 

le cava' do yaoyl na d* vin-veyl 

Eala thrial o thir nan stuadh, 

ella h-ri-al o hir nan stu-a' 

Is seinn dhomh ceol an aird nan speur. 

is seynn 707 oe-ol an ayrd nan speyr 

Tog na 's airde t-oran cinin, 

tog na 8 a3rrd^ t-or-an ct-njn 

*S cuir sgeala do bhroin an ceil, 

8 cnjr sgey-Ui do vroyn an oejl 

'S glacaidh mactallaidh* gach ciuil, 

's glac-ay' mac-tall-ay' gao oi-njl 

Gach sgeul tursach d' bhinn-bheul. 

gach sgeyl tor-saoh d' yinn-veyl 

Tog do sgiath is trial their cuan, 

tog do Bgi-a' is tri-al hayr cu-an 

Glac do luathas bho neart na gaoidh. 

glao do lu-a'-as to nert na gaoy' 

'S taitneach, ce bronach am chluais, 

's tayt-neoh oe bronach am chla-ays 

d' chridhe leointe t-oran gaoil. 

d* chri'-^ le-oynt^ t-oran gaoyl 

Cairibh mi dluth do'n Eas-mhor, 
oayr-iv mi dlu' do'n es Tor 

Bhristeas ann an tarn o*n chreig, 

yiis-tes ann an tarn on chreyg 

Biodh emit agus slige ri *m thaobh, 

bi-o dirayt agns sleg-^ ri m haov 

^S an sgiath dhion mo shinnsir sa chath. 

's an sgi-a' yi-on mo hinn-sir sa cha' 

Around the lofty borders of my glen, 
Be the bending of boughs in full leaf, 

And the little children of the coppice, 

Making the aged rocks reusing their 

lays of love. 

High above the wood-crowned moun- 

With thy song of love in thy tender 

Be thou swan, from the land of waves, 

Singing music to me high among the 
fleecy clouda 

Higher raise thy lovely song, 

And disclose thy cause of grief, 

The son* who fascinates all music. 

Will learn every tale of sorrow from 
thy sweet voice. 

Spread thy wings, fly over the sea, 

Catch speed from the strength of tbe 

Pleasant, though mournful, to my ear 

Is the song of love from thy wounded 

Lay me by the side of Eas-mor, 

That bursts in thunder over the rock, 

Let the lyre and shell be by my side, 

And the shield that covered my sires 
in battle. 

# " Hac-tallaidli," echo ; literally, &e fascinator. 

Thig le cairdes thair a chnan, 

hig le oayr-des thayr a chu-an 

Osag mlun a ghluaises, mall, 

08-ag yin a ylo-ajs-es mall 

Tog mo cheo air sgiath do luathais, 

tog mo ch^-0 ajr sgi'-a' do In-ajs 

'S dian trivH gu eillean nam flath, 

^8 di-an U-al gu eyllen nam fla' 

Far bhiel na sain bn chrnaidh o shean, 

bar yeyl na sajn ba chra-aj o hen 

Air cul nan lann a dhionadh slaaigh, — 

ajT col nan lann a yi-on-a' aln-aj' 

Oissian, Oscar, GoU, is Fion. — 

oj88-en oecar goll is fi-on 

Thig am feasgar 's cha bhi *m bard air 
hig am fe8g-ar 'a cha vi m bard ajr 



Oome in kindness over the sea, 
MDd breeze that travels slow ; 

Lift my mist on the wing of thy 

And make thy way to the Isle of 

Where dwell the warriors who stood 
hardily of old, 

Behind their weapons to defend the 
peoples, — 

Fion, Ossian, Oscar, and Gk)ll. — 

When evening comes, the bard will be 

The above is simply the opening and closing verses of this admirable poem. 
The next specimen is from the poem of ** The Hunter and the Owl," the scene 
of which is also in Brae-lochaber. I regret the injustice of giving mere 
extracts from these poems, but console myself in the hope that the educated 
reader will make an allowance for the injury done to the fame of these bards, 
both by that and the severe translation, and that I am giving them a chance of 
becoming known to a class of new readers, who may ultimately appreciate their 
poetry, and do them justice. 


Poor owl of Srone, 

Thine is a pitiful bed ; 

If thou hast lived (here) since the 
days of Donnagall, 

I wonder not that thy mind is heavy. 
&c. &c. 

A chomhachag bhochd na Sroine, 

a obo-ach-ag too na sroyn^ 

Gar a bronach loom do leabadh, 

gar a bion-ach le-om do lev-a' 

Ma tha u ann bho linn Donnaghaill, 

ma ha n ann bho linn donn-yayll 

Chan ioghnadh leam ge trom u t-aig- 
cfaan i-o'n-a' le-am ge trom a tayg- 

neadh, &c. &c. 

I cannot follow the long traditional and very interesting discourse between 
the hunter and the aged and intelligent owl, but must confine myself to a few 
such Terses as may enable the reader to form some estimate of the rude and 
savage character of the Highland deer-stalkers and warriors of the fifteenth 

* Tradition assigns this bard to the age immediately preceding the introdnotioii of Christianity to 



'S mi *m shuidhe air sith-bhrogh Ba'm 

'a mim haj'-i ajv si'-vra' nam 



Aig amharc air ceann Locha-treig, 

ajg av-aro ajrr oenn locha-trejg 

Creag-uaine am biodh an t-shealg, 

oreg-a-ajn^ am bi-o' *ii tei-ag 

Grianan ard am bidh na feigh. 
gri-an-an ard am bi' na fey' 

Chi mi braigh Bhidean nan dos, 

chi mi bray' vid-en nan doe 

An taobhsa bhos do Sgurra-lidh, 

an taoY-sa yo8 do sgnra-fi' 

Sgurra-chointich nan damh seang. — 

Bgnrra-choyn-tioh nan day leng 

'S ionmhuin leam an dingh na chi ! 

's i-on-Yoyn le-am an di-u' na ohi 

Chi mi Strath-farsuin a chraidh, 

ahi mi stra'-fiHr-sayn a ohray' 

Far an labhm- guth nan sonn» 

fitf an la-vnr ga' nan sonn 

Is coire creagach a Mhaim. 

is ooyr^ creg-ach a vaym 

^Sa *n trie a leag mo lamh damh donn. 

sa'n trio a leg mo lav day donn 
Soirridh gu Bein-alta bh-uam, 

Boyrr-i' ga beyn-alta vu-am 

O'n si fhnair urram na'm beann, 
o'n n hn-ayr niram nam benn 

Gu slios Locherroch an fheidh. — 

ga dia looh-errooh an ey' 

Ga*m ionmhuin leam fein bhi ann. 

gam i-oa-ynyn le-am feyn vi ftnn 

'S tiamhaidh trom mo chridhe fein ; 

'a ti-av-ay' trOm mo chri'-6 feyn 

Chuir an aois mo cheum fo lot, 

ohayr an aoys mo cbeym lb lot 

Cha dirich mi tulach an fheidh, 
oha &-ioh mi tnl-aoh an ej' 

'S gu la bhrath cha leig mi coin, 
^a ga la via' oha leyg m ooyn 

Mise is t-usa ghaodhair bhain, 

uM 18 tos-a yao'ayr vayn 

'S tUTsach dhnin an diugh na threig ; 
'a tnnaoh ynyn an di-n' na h-reyg 

I am sitting on the fuxy-hill of Ae 

Gazing at tfie bead of Lochtreig, 

Craig-uaine, sacred to the chase,— 

The lofty sunny residence of the deer. 

I see the crest c^ wooded Bidean, 
This side of Scurra-li, 
Sgurra-chointich of slender stags.— 
Dear to me are all I this day see ! 

I see Strath-fiursun of milk-kine, 

Where loudest is the bay of the gallant 

And the rocky corrie of Mam, 

Where my arm often struck down the 
brown stag. 

Bear my salute to Benalta, 
The praised aboTe all mountains^ 
And to Locherroch of many stags.— 
Dearly I loved to be there. 

Pensive and heavy is mine own heart; 

Age has put my step under a wound, 

No more will I ascend the mountains 

of the deer, 
Never again slip my d(^. 

Me and ihee, my white hound, 

Soorrowful is all we have this day fo^ 



Cliail sinn an tathunn 's an dan, 

chayl rinn ao ta'-ann san dan 

Ged bha am a b-ard air gleus. 

ged ya am a b-ard ajr gleys 

We have lost the baying voice and the 

Though the day has been when lofty 
was our condition. 

The wood from thee has taken the roe, 

The heights from me have taken the 

But that is no reproach, my hero, 
Since age has settled on us alike. 

Thug a choille dhiotsa'n earb\ 

bog a choylle yi-ot-aan erab 

'S an airde dhiom 'sa na feidh ; — 

's an ayr-de yi-om aa na fey' 

Cha'n eil naire dhuin a laoich, 
cha'n eyl nayre ynyn a laoyeh 

O'n laidh an aois oim le chul. 

OD lay' an aoya oyrn le chuyl 

As we have in " The Ancient Bard's Desire," " The Hunter and the Owl," 
Iain Lom, &c.y different and distinct specimens of Lochaber poetry, until within 
these three hundred years, I may almost say from Ossian's time, perhaps, to 
illustrate what has been stated as to the preservation of the language in un- 
changed purity for ages, it may interest the reader if I here submit verses written 
by myself on the subject of a traditional interview between a hunter from the 
Isle of Skye and a Lochaber fairy. This ballad was written immediately after 
hearing " Cailleach Beinne-bric ho ro," played on the piano in Mrs Macdonell 
of Kippoch's peculiarly touching and fairy-like style ; and I thought that I 
had written the words to suit her set of the air precisely, but on hearing it 
played, from Mrs Macdonell's copy, by Miss Macgregor, Lismore Manse, I 
found that I had adapted the words of the chorus, unconsciously, to the version 
sung by my mother, which is different. On crooning that version to Miss 
Macgregor, (for I no longer sing,) she found that it corresponded with the 
version of the chorus sung by Captain Boss, an uncle of her mothers, — another 
true-hearted descendant of the chivalrous Sir Ewen of Lochiel. Miss Macgregor 
having kindly jotted down this set of the chorus for me, I substituted it for 
the chorus of Mrs MacdonelPs version. I had no opportunity of consulting 
her before doing so ; but I hope she will not disapprove of the change, since it 
harmonizes pretty well with her own version. Every other note of her version 
has been faithfully preserved in the following set, kindly arranged for me by 
Miss Macgregor. 


An Sealgair. 
an aella-ger 

A mhaighdeann shith is milse tend, 

a Tay'den hi ia mUae teyd 

Air tolman min a frith nan trend, 

ayr toloman min a fri' nan treyd 

Leis a mian a bhiolair uaine, — 

lejs a mi-an a vil-ayr u-ayne 

Solar buain na fuaran fas ; 

solar bn-ayn na fti-ar-an fti 

The Hunter. 

Maiden &iry of the w^eteat chords, 

(When) on a hillock smooth, in the 
forest of the herd. 

Whose delight is the cresses green, — 

The bounty lasting of springs in the 




Thainig mi a tir nan stuaidh, 

bayn-ig mi a tir nan stu-ay' 

Is gairge sgread air sgearraen criiaidh, 

is gajrege sgred ayr sgerren cra-ay' 

A dh-asla sgeul air am nan cian 

yasla sgejl ayr am nan ci-an 


'0 d' bheulan seante 's miaghail dain. 

od Toylan se-ante 'a mi-a-yayl dayn 

Fonn: — 

Seinn da mi oran cianael, 

sejnn da mi oran d-an-el 
Shith-bhrugfa aillidh nan tend sianael ; 

hi' Vni' ayli' nan tejd ai-an-el 

Seinn da mi oran cianael, 

Bejnn da mi oran d-an-el 

Shith-bhrugh aillidh nan tor* ard. 
hi' vm' ayli' nan tor ard 

I have come from the land of the 

That fiercest shriek on sea-rocks hard, 

To entreat tales of times of old 

From thy charmed mouth of precious 

Chorus: — 
Sing to me the song pensive 

Of the fairy-knowe beautiful, of 
charmed strings ; 

Sing to me the song pensive, 

Of the fairy-knowe beautiful of 
wooded mountains high. 

A Mhaighdeann Shith. 

vajden hi' 


Noir thionaeles a mhaighdeann shith 

noyr heneles a yay'den hi' 

Treud a gaoil air raon san f hrith, 

treyd a gaoyl ayr raon san ri' 

Gu mire-chleas an comhstri mhin, 

gn mire-ddes an ooY-stri vin 

Se 'm bas a bhinn bheir airm nan dail. 

sem bas a vinn veyr ajrm nan dayl 

Tilg air lar gorm lann na'm beum, 

tilig ayr hir gorm lann nam bejm 

A bheudagt ghlas is sgaiteach teum, 

a veyd-ag ylas is sgayt-ech tejm 
'S do shaighead bhorb is trie, a leum, 

8 do hay-ed vorb is trie a leym 

An cridhe feil, ceann-treud mo ghraidh. 
ori'-e feyl oenn-treyd mo yray' 

Fonn : — 
Cha sheinner leom oran cianael, 

dia heynner le-om oran d-an-d 
Shith-bhrugh aillidh nan tend sianael ; 

hi'*vru' ayli nan teyd d-on-d 

Cha sheinner leom oran cianael, 
dia heynner le-om oran d-an-d 

Gus an tilg u t-airm air lar. 

gas an tilig n tayrm ayr lar 

The Fairy Maiden. 

When gatners the maiden faiiy 

The herd she loves, on a level space 
in the forest 

To compete in merry feats and kindly 

Death is his doom who approaches 

Fling on earth thy blue blade keen, 

Thy dirkf grey of deadly bites, 

Thy arrow fierce, that often leapt 

Into the mild heart of the head of the 
herd I love. 

Ohorua: — 

I sing not the song plaintive 

Of the fairy knowe b6autifiil,of channed 

I sing not the song plaintive, 

Until you fling your arms on the 

» " Tor," a wooded hilL 

t " Dirk ;" literally, the little deadly one, as aboye spdt. 



An Sealgair. 
Na tairg a mhaighdeann riomhach tair, 

na tajr-ig a vayden ri-yach tajr 

Do f hriamh de ihealach Chainn nan air, 

do ri-av de hel-ach chajnn nan ayr 

Cha dual gu'n gabh e fiamh na fath, 

cha da-al gnn gav e fi-av na fa' 

'S fo bhagradh choidh cha treig e lann ; 

8 fo vag-ra' choy oha treyg e lann 

Ach bu trice a gheil bho'n chein, 
ach ba trice a jeyl Ton oheyn 

Do chumhachd graidh an t-armunn trein, 

do chn-ao gray an tannann trejn 

A bhuail an ioma gabhadh steinn, 

a Yn-ajl an i-oma gava' stejnn 

Na'm balach breun 's an ceillean fann, 

nam balaoh breyn aan cejUen fann 
Seinn da mi, et cetera. 

A Maighdeann Shith. 
Oh 's taitneach loom do cholg 's do 

oh a tayt-nech le-om do cholg a do 



A shealgaer bhuirb bho thir nan stuadh I 

a hellager ynyrb yo bir nan stn-a' 

Ach fear fo aim 8{m diorohair reidh, 

adi fer fo ajrm aan di-yayr rey' 

Tha siant am f heith cha'n f haidh mo 

ha Bi-ant am ey' chan ay' mo 


T31 ga'n dail do'n eillean Sgiathach,* 

tfll gun dayl don eyllen agi'-ach 

Far am bith na roin 'g easgach, 

far am bi' na royn ag i-as-gaoh 

'S ceigagan na cota stiallach, 

8 oeyg-ag-an na cota sti-al-aoh 

Tional maorach liadh air traigh. 
tenal maor-ach li-a' ayr tray' 

Cha sheinner loom, et cetera. 

The Hunter. 

Oflfer not, maiden queenly, an in- 

To a root of the family of Conn of 

It is not natural that he should take 
(either) fear or an advantage, 

And never, under a threat, will he 
forsake his blade ; 

But more often has yielded, from re- 
mote ages, 

To the power of love, the hero strong, 

Who has struck hard (blows) in many 

Than the boor coarse, or the poltroon 

Sing to me, &c. 

The Maiden Fairy. 

Oh 1 delightful to me is thy bearing 
and aspect, 

Hunter fierce from the land of waves ! 

But to a man under arms in the secret 

Consecrated to my deer, I give not 
my love. 

Return without delay to the Isle of 

Where seals (will be) fishing, 

And dumpy ones (women) with strip- 
ped petticoats. 
Gathering grey shellfish on the beach. 

I sing not, &c. 

An Sealgair. The Hunter. 

Si anacain 's ionmhain ghuidh mi riamh, It is the dearest wish I ever prayed, 

si an ao-ayn a i-on-yayn yny' mi ri-ay 

U thighinn a ghaoil le d' bhaidean That you should come, love, with your 
n hi'nn a yaoyl le d yayden parcel of deer 



* Tho lale of Skye ; literally, the isle of wingp, m above spelt. 



Do Shleibhte tlath, na fasach fial, 
do leyv-te tla' na fa-sach fi-al 

Na glacan, mianar biadhar trath ; 

na glac-an mi-an-ar bi-a-jar tra' 

Sa bheil ioma coire baadhar, 

sa vejl i-oma oojre bn-a-yar 

'S torrach cluain 's as airde fdarain, 

8 toxrach ola-ayn sas ajide fb-a-rajm 

Sgeideachte le biolair uaine, 
sgejd-ech-te le bil-ayr n-ajne 

Is blaiste sugh sas uire sgiamh. 

ia blayste ea' sas njrre s^-ay 
Seinn da mi, et cetera. 

A MhaighdeaDQ ShitL 

'S mor a b-annsa Buachail-eite, 
8 mor a bann-sa bu-a-chayl-eyte 

'N Coire-ba, Ba'm Binnein eatrome, 

n oojre-ba sam binn-ejm e-trom 

Craach-nam-beunn is airde nan Creisein, 

cra-ach-nam-beynn ia ajrd nan creyseyn 

'S Beinn-na-doirrean * mian nam bard ; 

8 beynn-na-doyrren mi-an nam bard 

'S cha bu diubfaaidh Beinn-a-cbrulaist, 

8 cha bu di-nvay beynn-a-chm-layst 

Na Beinn-bhreacnan aigheanlndhmhor, 

na beyn-vreo nan ay'-en lu'-vor 

Strath-Oissian nan luban curaidh, 

sra'-oys-oyn nan Inban cur-ay' 

'S Creagaaine nan uigean tlath. 

8 creg-n-ayne nan uygen tla' 

Cha sheinnear, et cetera. 

An Sealgair. 
Oh, thig do dh-namh Strathard nan send, 

oh big do yn*ay Btra'ard nan seyd 

Far am binne ceol nan teud, 

far am binne ce-ol nan teyd 

A dh-eisteachd sgeul air deuchaingraidh, 

a yeysteo Bgeyl ayrdey-chayn gray' 

A thiondas cridhe caoin gu baigh, 

a hi-on-daa cri'-e caoyn ga bay' 

A leaghaes is a laises suil, 

fa le-as is a laysee snyl 

A bheir air cuisle eridh dluth, 
a veyr ayr cnysle eyri' dlu' 

To Sleat mild, of forests hospitable, 

Of hollows desirable, grassy, early ; 

Where there are many corries fertile, 

Of beautiful meadows, and lofty 

Arrayed with cresses green, 

Of tasteful juice and the freshest 

Sing to me, &c. 

The Fairy Maiden. 
Much more I love Buachail-eite, 

The Corrie-ba and Binnein wry, 

Cruch-nam-ben and tlie heights of 

And Bendoran,* the delight of die 

Nor less valued is Ben-a-chrulaist, 

Or Benvreac of hinds nimble, 

Strath-Ossian of the holms sweet, 

And Creaguaine of mild (sheltered) 

I sing not, &c. 

The Hunter. 
Oh, come to Strathard's cave of geras, 

Where sweetest is the music of the 

To listen to a tale of ill-&ted love, 

That will turn the tender heart to 

Melt and kindle the eye, 

Make the pulse beat quick, 

* Bendoran ; literally, the mountain of stormB. 



Air maighdeaia f hiata cinntinn tlatfa, 

ajr maj'dayn i-a-ta ointiiin tla' 

Is geiltein foil do bhoidean blath. 
IS geylt-eyn Ibjl do vojden bla' 

Seinn da mi, et cetera. 

The maiden shy become sympathetic, 
And yield kindly to vows warm. 

Sing to me, &c. 

A Mhaighdeann Shith. 

B-annsa leom rith-bhmgh Lochtreig, 
b-amin le-om ri'-ym' loob-trayg 

Far a bbeil na suinn a threig, 
&r a veyl na soyn a h-rejg 

Euchd nam blar is tart nam buaidh, 
ejo Dam blar is tart nam bn-aj 

Fo gheisean* gaoil a maoin san laaidh ; 

fo jreys-^n gaoyl a maojn san la-ay 

lad gu*n uidh air frith na raoin, 

i-ad gnn vf ajr fin' na raoyn 

Gach suidh air uchd a leannean chaoin, 

gach any ayr no a lennan chaoyn 

A claisteinn comhstri dhan is theud, 
a chlayrteynn oov-stri yan la heyd 

Fo sgail-bhrat laist le mile send. 

to Bgayl-yrat layat la mile aeyd 
Cha sheinnear, et cetera. 

The Maiden Fairy. 

More I love the fairy-knowe of Loch- 

Where dwell the heroes who forsook 

The pomp of battle-fields and the 
thirst of victories. 

Under the enchanting* love of their 
treasured, their cherished ; 

Unmindful of forest or moor. 

Each worthy reclines on the bosom 
genial of her he loves, 

Listening to the competition of song, 
witn the music of chords, 

Under a canopy lighted with a thou- 
sand gema 

I sing not, &c. 

* The idea of heioea being put under enchantment by malignant or amorona sapematnial beings, 
8eema familiar to the lore of aU conntries, since the days of Homer and the Syrens ; bat it is not in the 
biiigh of lioebtreig, bat in that of Tom-na-hiuirioh that the Feinn were pat onder enchantment Alex- 
ander Gillies, the great Olengarry tale-reciter, ased to recite a touching romance of the Feinn ; who, 
cms day, when hunting on Meal-fnar-mhonaidh, had been enticed on an adTenture of exploration into the 
Sith-bhmgh of Tom-na-hioirich, near Inyemess, by a sorceress c£ Lochlin, and were there placed under 
enchantment. Here they were doomed to lie stretched aroond the cave, side by side, in a profound sleep, 
arreyed in their full costume and arms, with the hand of each warrior on the hilt of his swoid« ready for 
action, the moment the charm should be torminated ; which, howeyer, it never would, until three blasts 
should be blown on a war-trumpet, suspended behind the gate of the cave. The legend gave an exceedingly 
graphic description of a chivalrous tailor who took upon MwM»lf, on a Halloween-night, when ail fairy- 
knowes are open, to attempt the adventure of setting the Feinn free. He entered the brugh of Tom-na- 
hinirich, in which darkness was made visible by a lurid glare of supernatural light, which exposed to the 
the eyes of the startled tailor a row of warriors of a supernatural size, stretched prone on their shields, but 
in their complete war panoply, around the cave. Though staggered by their enormous size, and the fleroe 
Bcowl which contracted their brows and compressed their lips, (and he had some misgiving as to the fate 
of mankind should such savage-looking giants be set loose upon them,) he screwed up his courage, and dfr- 
tennined at least to soand one blast of the trumpet, and have a parley with them. He blew a blast, 
and 80 loud and terrific was the sound, that Tom-na-hiuirich shook to its base, and the distant mountains 
reveiberated. The great warriors opened their eyes, and stared at the tailor with an incomprehensible 
look ; but they did not move. He was greatly frightemed, and had sad misgivings ; but rallying his stag- 
gered senses by degrees, he blew a second blast. The great warriors rose slowly to their left knees, and 
leant forward in an incumbent position on their elbowa, their hands grasping the hilts of their half- 
onsheathed swords, and cast eager but indefinable glances at the tailor, who felt himself impelled by a 
radden panic, dadied the trumpet to the ground, and sprang out of the cave. Here he stood for a moment 
in compassion and doubt, hearing a moan spreading through the cave, whOe the following words were 
nttered in a voice in which scorn struggled with sorrow, ** A leabeadean 's mise dh-f hag na thuir;" — 
poltroon, wone you left than found (us.) 



An Sealgair. 
B-annsa seasabh leat a ruin, 

b-annsa sesav let a rayn 
Gu allail ard air braigh an duin, 

ga allayl ard ayr bray' an dayn 

Noir dh-eires muir na morachd f hein 
Doyr yeyres mayr na mor-ac feyn 

Thoirt dubhian do na dailean trein ; 
hoyrt daylao do na duylen treyn 

Noir laises dealan slios a chnain, 
noyr layses delan bUs a chu-ayn 

Sa mhosglas tarn le beucan buain, 

sa YOBglaa tarn le beyc-an bu-ayn 

Sa ruaigeas tuinn na cabhUich aigh, 

aa ru-ayges taynn na cav-laych ay' 

Air sgearraen cruaidh gun toar gun 
ayr Bgerren cm-ay' gun ta-ar gun 


Seinn da mi, et cetera. 

A Mhaighdeann Sfaith. 
B-annsa a bhith an sgjort na stairm, 

b-annsa a vi' an sgirt na staynn 

Air uchd Sgureilt is uamhain gainn, 

ayr uc sgoreylt is n-av-ayn gayrm 

Noir chluinnear, sior san dubhradh, tarn 

noyr chluynner si-or san duvra' tarn 

Nach caomhain le bheathir creag na caiii, 
nach oovayn le ve'-ir creg na cam 

Noir theid an dealan dearg na thein, 

noyr heyd an delan derag na beyn 

Sa labhras reachdar beinn ri beinn, 
sa layras rec-ar beynn ri beynn 

Toirt caismeachd ghairbh do thaibhsean 

toirt cays-mec yayrv do hayv-sen 


Is gairge siann sas oiltel tuar. 

is gayrge si-ann sas oyltel ta-ar 

Cha sheinnear, et cetera. 

An Sealgair. 

Oh, thig a thuni leom a ghaoil, 
oh big a huni le-om a yaoyl 

Do'm bhuthean seal aig taobh a chaoil, 

do m Tu'-an sel ayg taov a cbaoyl 

Bho faicer dluth is fada bh-uain, 
YO fayc-er din' is fada va-ayn 

Sealla bheann, is ghleann, is chuain. 
sella veynn is ylenn is chu-ayn 

The Hunter. 

Bather would I take my stand with 
thee, love, 

Proudly and loftily on the dun. 

When rises the ocean in majesty (all) 
his own, 

To give defiance to the elements 
strong ; 

When lightning kindles the bosom of 
the deep, 

And thunder opens with continuous 

And the waves drive routed and mag- 
nificent navies, 

On sea-rocks hard, sightless and piti- 

Sing to me, &c. 

The Maiden Fairy. 

More I love to be in the skirt of the 

On the treast of Scureiltof the terrible 

When is heard, straight in the pro- 
found darkness, thunder 

That with his bolts spares not rock 
nor avalanche ; 

When goes the lightning red into 

When mountain speaks haughtily to 

Giving a warning surly to ghosts 

Of horrid shrieks and the most hideous 

I sing not, &c. 

The Hunter. 
Oh come and dwell with me, love, 

In my booth of osiers beside the strait, 

Where is seen, near and afar, 

A sight of mountains, glens, and seas. 



'S noir theid a ghrian na pailluinn shiar, 

8 noyr heyd a yri-an na paylluynn hi-ar 

Sa che fo Bgail an f heasgair chiair, 

sa chS fo sgayl an esgayr dii-ayr 

Clninnear linn ceol binn nan tend, 

clajnner linn ce-ol binn nan teyd 

Is eachdridh shair am blair nam bend, 
is ec-ri' hayr am blayr nam beyd 

Seinn da mi, et cetera. 

A Mhaighdeann Shitk 
'S tuille 's fada 'n diugh air ceiUidh, 

8 tuylle 8 fada 'n di-u' ayr ceyli' 

A Mam-mor na fasach feille, 

a mam-mor na fasach feylli' 

Siubhladh mid gu h-eatrom eibhein, 
si-uv-la' mid gu he-trom eyveyn 

Gu Lochtreig nan reidhlean tlatL 
gu loch-treyg nan reylen tla' 

Siabfaladh mid fiamhaidh, fairrel, 
ai-av-la' mid fi-avi' fayrrel 

Fiamhaidh, fairrel, fiamhaidh, fairrel, 

fi-ayi' fayrrel fi-avi' fayrrel 

Shiubhladh mid fiambaidh, &]rrel, 
ai-QY-W mid fi-aTi' &yrrel 

Go Locbtreig nan reidblein tlath, 
ga loch-treyg nan rey'-leyn tla' 

Far an seinnear orain cbianael, 
fiur an seynner o-rayn chi-an-el 

Shith-bhrugb aillidh nan tend seunael ; 
hi-vm ayli' nan teyd seynnel 

Far an seinnear orain chianael, 

far an seynner o-rayn cbi-anel 

Shith-bhrugh aillidh nan tor ard. 
hi-yra' ayle nan tor wrd 

And when goes the sun into his pavi- 
lion in the west, 

And the world under the mantle of 
evening swarthy, 

Will be heard by us music from the 
sweetest chords, 

And the history of heroes in the bat- 
tles of wounds. 

Sing to me, &c. 

The Fairy Maiden. 
Too long, to-day, have we tarried 

In Mam-mor of forests genial ; 

Travel we lightly and joyously, 

To Lochtreig of pleasant meadows. 

Travel we warily, shyly, 

Warily, shyly, warily, shyly ; 

Travel we warily, shyly, 

To Lochtreig of pleasant meadows, 
Where sung is the song plaintive 

Of the fairy-knowe beautifiil, of charm- 
ed chords ; 

Where sung is the song plaintive 

Of the fairy-knowe beautiful, of wooded 
mountains high. 

Before entering on the song part of the work, I beg to submit a specimen 
of Duncan Ban's descriptive poem of Corriecheathaich, to enable the reader to 
appreciate the correctness of Lord Macaulay's statement, that a love of land- 
scape is a taste of modem times. Had he read Gaelic poetry, he might have 
been saved from the utterance of this and many opinions that do him little 
credit, either as a man or a historian. I regret giving only a few lines of this 


Sa mhadain chiun-gheal an am dhomh In the morning mild and bright, 

sa vad-ayn chi-nn-yel an am yov when 




Aig bun na stuice be 'n sugra leom, Kising at the foot of a rock, it was my 

ayg ban na Btxtyc-h be'n sn-gra le-om delight 

A chearc le sgiucan a gabhail tuchain, To hear the heath-hen plaintivdv 
a ohero le sgi-nc-an a ga-vayl to-chayn murmuring her carrol, 

'S an coileach curtail a durdail trom ; And the black-cock courteously croon- 
'san ooylfich cnrt-ayl a durd-ayl trom ing his response deep ; 

An dreathan surdail 's a ribhid chiuil aige, The wren merrily tuning her chanter 

an dre'-an sard-ayl sa ri-vid chi-uyl ayg-^ mUsical 

A cuir nan smuid dheth gu luthar binn ; And piping (" with might and main") 

a cuyr nan smayd ye' gu lu'-ar binn nimbly and sweetly ; 

An truid 's am bru-dhearg le moran The linnet and the red-breast oeten- 

an truyd sam bru-yerag le moran tatiously, 



Bi ceileir sundach bu shiubhlach rann. Breathing joyous lays in flowing 

ri oeyleyr Bondach ba hi-al-aoh rann numbers. 

Thamaladhghruamachdobhiolairuaine There is a shaggy brow of green 

ha mal-a' ym-a-maoh do vil-ayr n-ayn^ cresses 

Mu na h-uile fuaran a tha san fhonn, Around every spring in the forest, 

mn na h-nyle fh-a-ran a ha aan onn 

Is doire shealbhag am bun nan garbh- A grove of sorrel around the rough 

18 doyr hela-yag am bun nan garv stones, 


Is grinneal gainbhich gu minibh-gheal And in every channel a thick covering 

18 giinnel gaynv-ich gu min-W-yel of powered sand, 



Nan glugabh plumbach air ghoil gun With basin-like hollows, in wlucli, 

nan glug-av plum-baoh ayr yoyl gun boiling without heat, 


Ach coileach buimtighin a grundeas-lom; Bubbles up a cock of water from its 
ach ooyleoh buym ti'-in a grand es-lom polished fountain ; 

Gach sruthan uasal le chuailean* du- Eveiy gentle streamlet, with its dark- 

gaoh arn'-an u-a-sal le ohn-ayl-en dn blue cuy-len,* 


A ruith tre luib na thair stuic nan steall. Meandering through meadows, or leap- 
• ray' tre Inyb na hayr atnyo nan ste-all ing over rocks in mimic waterfall& 

* There are some Gaelic words that cannot be translated into English without a violatioD of the 
characteristic delicacy and refinement of feeling which they imply. It would occupy too much ipsce to 
Illustrate here a question of philology which invoWes a peculiarity in the character of a people. I maj 
obserre, howeyer, that it would shook the delicacy of an ancient Highlander to designate the natunJ 
oorering of a woman's head and a cow's tsil by the same name. Nay, more : he could not caU the hair 
of a grey-headed harridan and of a modest and beautiful woman, by the same name. His genersi namd 
for the human hair is "* fdt," and for the hair of animals, *" fiouna ;** but he calls the flowing ringlets 
of the young and beautiful, " cuailean," and the hair of the aged and plain, '* folt." I am, therefore, at 
a loss how to render either *' cuailean" or ** cuaineal," which occur in these verses, into Bnglish, vithoat 
doing violence to the good taste of the bard and the genius of the lang^uage. I must» therefore, beg to 
be excused for retaining a few of these peculiar words, and leaving the text to explain their mesnisg. 





Tha 'm bradan tara-gheal sa choire 

ha'm bradan tara-yel w ohojre 



A tighiH bho'n fhairge bu ghailbheach 

a ti'-in tod ayrg-^ ba yaylv-eoh 


Le Imnneas meamneach a ceapa mhenibh* 

le luyimeB mema-nech a oepa veniy 



6u neo-chearbach le chamghob crom. 

gu n6-o-chai)-aoh le ohama-yob crom 

Air bhoinne borb is e learn gu foirmel, 

ayr yojnn^ borb is e lem gu fbjrm-el 

Na eideadh cholgail bu ghorm-ghlas ligb, 
na eyd-e' cholg-ayl ba yorm-ylaa li' 

Le shoilsein airgid gu h-iteach menibh- 

le hoyl-aen ayrg-id ga hit-ech meniy 


Gu lannach dearg-bhallach earrgheal 

ga lannadi derag-vallach erra-yeal 


The white-bosomed salmon is seen in 
the come rugged, 

Fresh from the sea of stupendous 

Sportful in his proud career, he springs 
at the midges, 

Snatching them unerringly with his 
crooked beak. 

Through the fierce rapids he bounds 

In his armour of blue-grey mail. 

Traced with silver; he is finny, 
minutely speckled, 

Scaly, crimson-spotted, breast white, 

Gheibhte daonan mu d'ghlacaibh faoine 
yeyy-te daooan ma d'ylac-ayv fiioyn^ 

Na h-aighean maoladh, na laoigh 's na 

na .hay'-en maol-a' na laoy' 'a na 

maing ; — 

Se bu mhian linn a madainn ghrianaich, 

86 ba yi-an linn a ma-^ynn yri-an-ich 

Bhi dol ga'n ialadh miasg shliabh is 

▼i dd gan i-al-a' mesg li-av is 

ghleann ; 


Qed thigeadh siantan oim an dile, 

ged l^-e' n-an-tan oym an dile 

Bhiodh seol gar didean sa chrioch nach 

Ti-o' se-ol gar ^d-en sa chiich naeh 

An uibheig iosail am bun na frithidh, 

an ny-yeyg i-sayl am ban na fri-i' 

Le leobain diomhjdr gu sineadh teann. 

le leb^yn fi-ov-ayr ga sin-e' tenn 

Found always in the sequestred 

Are the bold hinds, with their calves 

and yearlings ; — 

It is our delight in the sunny morning, 

To stalk for them the wolds and 
glens ; 

Though the embattled elements should 
come on us in a deluge. 

There are means of shelter in the 
bounds ample, — 

Little caves at the foot of the forest, 

With secret beds in which to stretch 
ourselves in close confinement. 



Biodh eoin an tHshleibhe nan ealtain 

Ti*o' e-ojn an ileyv-^ nan elt-ayn 


A claich air geugaibh 's a seinn sa choil ; 

a dnyoh ayr jeyg-ayr sa seynn sa ohoyl 

An uiseag cheutach'saluinneag fhein aic\ 

an nys-ag che-taoh sa Injrnn-eg ' bejn aye 

An fheadag speiseil gu reidh a seinn ; 

an ed-ag Bpeys-eyl ga rvf a aejmi 

A chnach 's an smeorach a'm bar nan 

a chn-aoh aan sme-or-aofa am bar nan 


A gabhail orain gu ceolar bion ; 

a gav-ayl or-ajn gu oe-ol-ar binn 

Noir gboireas baileach an cuanal tairis, 

noyr joji-m bayl-ech an on-an-al tajiis 

Ni creagan sanas is gleannaibh failt I 

ni cragan sanas is glenn-ajy hy\l 

The birds of the wolds forming i 
pure eltayn, 

Sport and sing among the boughs of 
the wood ; 

The tuneful lark smgs with a carol all 
her own, 

The plover, with her clear notes, 
responds afar ; 

The cushet and the thrush, high on 
the trees, 

Sing their lays harmonious and sweet; 

When the loving cuaineal sing 

The rocks whisper and the gleoB 
smile ! 


The difference between the Highland and Lowland versions of many of our 
sweetest melodies, and between the songs sung to them in either dialect, afford 
fair data for forming an opinion as to the state of society and refinement of the 
one people on a comparison with the other ; — ^and as one of the objects of this 
treatise is to submit the necessary materials on the part of the Caledonian or 
Highlander, — ^ihose of the Scot or Lowlander are akeady, and have long been 
before the world, — I challenge a comparison, and leave the public to decide the 
question. The Gaelic song, in a literal translation, cannot justly be compared 
to the Lowland song in its native language ; and in comparing my translations 
to the Lowland song, due allowance must be made for the severe translation ; but 
the melodies may be compared. The Lowland melody bears intrinsic evidence 
of the genius of her rich, smooth, genial, native district, being characterized 
by a yielding warmth and a pliant softness, which contrast with the wayward 
pathos and unbending spirit of Highland melody. The Lowland nymph finds 
leisure now and again to breathe a heavy sigh over the bier of a husband, or to 
faint away with a long-drawn sob of joy on a lover's bosom ; while her High- 
land sister, whether she pours out her soul in a heart-rending wail of grief, or 
quivers in every nerve and pulse with joyful ecstacy, sweeps along on her airy 
course, with the lofty bearing and undoubting steps of her native mountain 
race. No doubt, she pants once or twice, now and again, in every natural 
pause in the line or verse, from excess of feeling and excitement, and the 
emphatic single and double notes, which represent these pants, disturb the som- 
nolency of tone desiderated in plaintive Lowland melodie& But these are 
characteristic and peculiar marks of Highland melodies, and have been ignored, 
accordingly, by the Lowland minstrel and bard, in such Highland melodies aa 
have been effectually changed into Lowland melodies ; the single note bein^ 
lengthened into a drawl, and the double note into an interminable slide. This 
seems'to have been the initiating step in the system of harmony which, under 


the scientific knowledge of time and tune attained by the great Masters of 
modem times, had revolutionized the whole materials out of which has beea 
re-composed the music now fashionable in Europe.* Though anything but 
versant in the science of music, I am not, I think, altogether incapable of ap- 
preciating the wonderful variety of adverse sounds, the playful eccentricitiei 
and ethereal vagaries methodized and combined into musical pieces by the 
great masters; and, when listening to them in the modem drawing-room, 
although amused rather than delighted, I cannot help admiring the wonderful 
effects of a musical education on persons peculiarly organized, and of highly 
artificial tastes. I may remark, however, that M. Jullien did not attempt to 
perform any of these pieces on any single musical instmment, but considered it 
necessary to have the combined force of a thousand different instruments to 
represent them ; and the managers of concerts in the York and other Cathedrals, 
also formed choirs of several thousand voices to produce the like effect This, 
however, only shows that M. Jullien and these managers were destitute of 
musical genius, when compared to the bald-headed or wigged gentlemen aud 
loud or shrill-voiced ladies, who set themselves down with such complacency to 
conjure thunder-storms, earthquakes, and other convulsions q£ Nature, oat 
of the piano ! 

But this subject is too grave for sarcasm. I am satisfied that the music of 
the great Masters has now become the capital or stock-in-trade of the most 
injurious quackery, — ^I should say ludicrious quackery, — and has thoroughly 
corrapted the musical taste and education of the fashionable, or, rather, would- 
be fashionable part of society. It has unquestionably been lessening the 
attachment of sense and sound, until music has become so whimsical, or nunaUe- 
barikishy so estranged from all natural and hereditary feeling, as to forget that 
poetry is her twin-sister, and of equally divine birth with hersel£ Hence, die 
is, as now cultivated in our schools, and practised in our drawing-rooms, become 
incapable of affording pleasure to any person of fine feelings and natural tastes. 
I can scarcely forgive Harmony, although she is the ofiBspring of (renins, for 
having thus so perverted and denationalized Melody, as to render her no longer 
capable of thrilling the hearts and elevating the lives of the people ; and when 
she puts forth her hand to manipulate on my own dear, wild, wayward, touching, 
native airs, — altering, substituting, shortening, lengthening, or sliding notes mto 
one another, or rending them into quavers or demi-quavers of all sounds and 
dimensions, I abhor her very shadow! Indeed, although many gentlemen 
possess, or affect a taste for modem music, and may well be excused for bendmg 
with pleasure over the fair creatures who ply the piano with a self-satisfied dr, 
on the assiurance of their lisping foreign teachers, that they have attained per- 
fection in musical science, — of which they, of course, constitute themselves and 

* The Pxince of Gamno wrote to a Mend in the days of James I., a letter descriptiTe of Seottiih 
or Lowland melody, and expressing his intention of introducing that style of mndc, on his return home, u 
an improYement on that of his native land. Tassoni also describes Scottish music as of a touching sad 
melancholy or lamenting character, and states that he had himself adapted and composed many pieces in thst 
style. It does not, therefore, seem presomptoons to say that Scottish Melody had been bonowed fay Hanuny 
tQ improve the music of Italy, and that modem music is the result of tiiis iU-avorted maniage between the 
natural and the artiflciaL 



their pupils the sole judges, — laughing or sneering at the ignorance of all who 
differ from them : yet the &ct is, that the sound of the piano has a regularly 
Buirs-run effect on most gentlemen. I have myself no doubt, that horror of 
this musical infliction, rather than of the curtain lecture, is at the root of the 
distaste for a married life, so apparent at present in gentlemen who have not 
attained either a self-sufficient initiation into the science of modem music, or 
that position in society where the artificial totally supercedes the natural. 
Young ladies may take my word for it, that the music which does not touch 
the heart, will never win a heart worth loving. 

The Highlanders are much indebted to the Bev. Mr Macdonald, and to 
Messrs Grow, Marshall, and others, for having rescued so much of the music of 
their ancestors from comparative obscurity ; but they baptized it anew, after 
their patrons and patronesses, and have thus made on strangers the impression 
that they were the composers of the music which they only copied and 
published. I do not think that they intended to do this ; but it was in very 
bad taste to give new names to these old tunes and airs, and thus to deprive 
them of the signet of antiquity which descended with them from remote ages. 
At the same time, they thus left to their musical successors a lesson of snobbery 
and servility, which they, in their turn, have not been slow in stamping on the 
very forehead of the national music, — a lesson only equalled by the fulsome and 
nauseous dedications of the feudal bards of the Lowlands of Scotland and England. 

The first verse of the following song, Nighean Donn na Buaile, was quoted 
by Logan as one of the specimens by which he illustrated the great variety of 
measures of Gaelic poetry. As this song is a fair average specimen of the Gaelic 
love song, which was characterized more by a dignified tenderness and a fixed 
constancy than by a wayward fervor, I will make it my first specimen of its 
class. The melody is, in the Highlands, called '' Feil Chill Andraes,'' (feyl chill 
andras) St Andrew's Fair, and has been naturalized in the Lowlands under the 
more homely name of " Johnny's Grey Breeks," which, though certainly very 
beautiful, is no improvement on the original. I have no wish to detract from 
Scottish or Lowland melodies, but must say that the great body of those of them 
which have an unquestionably Caledonian or Highland origin, have been any- 
thing but improved by their transformation. 


A nighean donn na buaile. Brown-haired maiden of the fold, 

a ni'-en donn na bn-ayle 

G€k bheil an gluasad farasda, Whose movements are so graceful, 

ga vqrl an gla-as-ad iaraada 

* FoT the melody of " Nighean Donn na Buaile/* and many otihen, I am indebted to Mn MacdoneU, 
Keppoch, whoM exquisite taete for Gaelic musio worthily represents the genius of the House of Eeppoch, 
which has been so long the residence of music, poetxy, and heroism. To Mrs Macdonell and her 
daughter Miss Jessie, I am under deep obligations, not only for the number of melodies with which 
they have £sToured me, but for the unwearied kindness with which they consulted my wishes, and cheer- 
foUy met the incteasing demands their possession of the same sets of the melodies with which I was 
acquainted in my youth, made mo Yentaxo to make on their indulgence ; and I beg their aoceptanoe of 
my liBeei* and giateAU thanks. 



Thug mi gaol ro-bhuan dhut 

hag mi gaol ro-ya-ajn jut 

Nach dian le cruidh-chas meathachadh. 

naoh di-an le oniy'-chas me'-a-cha' 
Mheall n mi le d' shugradh, 

veil a mi le d' hn-gra' 

Le d' bhriodal is le d' chiune ; 
le d' vri-dal is le d* chi-n-ne 

Lub u mi mar iuran, — 

lab a mi mar i-a-ran 

Cha duchas a bhi fallain dhomh. 
cfaa da-chas a vi fidlayn joy 

Do chul doD, maiseach ordail, 

do cbol doa majBh-aoh ordajl 

Gu bachlach, boidheach, camaga^h ; 
ga bach-lach boy-ech oama-gach 

T-aghaidh flathail, comhnard, 

ta'-ay' fla'-ayl cov-nard 

Mar itean loin do mhalaichean ; 

mar iten lojn do yal-aych-en 

Do shuillean gorma miogach, 

do hajll-en gorma mi-gaoh 

Boisg fhada cumail dionn orr ; 
fojBg ada camajl dionn ozr 

Do bheulan meachair maoth-dhearg ; 

do yeylan me-chayr mao'-yerag 

Do ghruaidh mar chaoran mheaganaD. 

do yrn-ay' mar ehaoran yeng-an-an 

Mar reul a measg an t-Bhluaighe u, 

mar re-ol a me-asg an da-ay a 

Nam glaasad a chum lionalaidh ; 
pa m glu-a-Bad a cham tinal-ay' 

Tha trailleachd a toirt buaidh, 

ba tayll-echd a toyrt ba-ay' 

Air each uille an snuadh 's an ceanaltas ; 

ayr each nylle an mu-a' san oenaltas 
Do chiochan, mingeal, arda, 

do ohi-o*6ban min-yel ard-a 

Fo sgaile sroil a deahradh ; 

fo Bgayle sroyl a del-ra' 

'S mar eala snamh air Baile, 

smar ella snav ayr aayle 

Tha ceumaibh graidh na h-ainnire. 
ha oeym-ayy gray' na haynnire 

0' d' bheul gur binn hig orain, 
o' d' yeyl gnr binn lug or-ayn 

Manran, ceol, is ceilerean. 
man-ran oe-ol ia oeyleren 

I have given thee a love 

Too constant to be subdued by 

Thy gay converse has enticed me, 
Thy sportful minstrelsy, thy mildness; 
Thou hast bent me like a sapling, — 
Health without thee cannot be mine^ 

Thy hair brown, beautifully arranged 

In bonny bending curls ; 

Thy face noble, symmetrical, 

Thy eye-brows as the feathers of a 
blackbird ; 

Thy eyes blue, fascinating. 
Covered with long lashes ; 
The lips mellow, red ; 
Thy cheek like the rowan berry. 

Thou art like a planet among the 

When going to a gathering ; 

Thy beauty triumphs over all others, 

Thy complexion, the pleasantry ; 

Thy bosom soft, white, high. 

Under a veil of gauze shining ; 

And as a swan swimming on the sea, 

Are the lovely steps of the maiden. 

From thy lips sweet come the song, 

The carol, melody, and sportful 



Gar binne leom do chomhiadh 

gor binne k-em do ohov-ra' 

Na'n smeoil a *m bar na meanganan. 

nan ame-oyl am bar na mengaoan 

0*n chnir mi 'n tos ort eolas, 

00 diiijr mi Hi toB ort e-o-laa 

Gn'n d'thng mi gaol cbo mor ort, 

gun dog mi gad oho mor ort 

Mar fbaidh mi a ri phosadb, 

mar faif mi u ri fosa' 

Ga*n cair do bhroD fo'n talamh mL 

gnn cayr do vroo fon talav mi 

Sweeter to me is thy conversation 

Than the thrash on the topmost 

Since I first made thy acqaaintance. 

So great has been my love to thee. 

That unless I receive thee in marriage. 

Sorrow for thee will put me under 
the sward. 

Mari Nighean Alisdair Buaidh, (Mary the Daughter of Bed Alexander,) 
&t)m whose works Logan selected many of the verses of his able introduction 
to Mackenzie's Collection, among many others which may justly be called the 
moBt exquisite remains of our sixteenth century poems, without excepting those 
of the Piobaire Dall himself, left several laments. One of these, called '* Cumha 
Mhic Leoid,*' is very touching. I will submit a few verses of it, to show the 
variety of measures at her command. She was bom in the Island of Harris, 
about the beginning of the sixteenth century. 


'S trom a mulad a shugh 
8 trom a mulad a Imy 

'M aiteas, 'm aille, 's mo lugh ; 

maytee mxyXh 'a mo la' 

'S trie snithe bho'm shuil 

*8 tiic 8iii'-^ vom hajl 

A tnitam gu dlu ; 
a tnytam ga dla 

Chail mi altraman m' iuil, 

cfaayl mi altmman mi-oyl 

Fear deacidh mo chiuil ; 
fer dec-ay' mo chi-ojrl 

Ou mire na muim cha teid mi. 

go mii^ na muyni cha teyd mi 

Si'n fhras nach ciain, 

sin raa naoh d-ajn 

A chreach air muir, 

a chreoh ajr mnyr 

A ^hiac air siuil, 

a h-rac ayr n-nyl 
Sa bhrist air stiuir, 

sa Trist ajr iti-njrr 

Ib cairt air iuil, 
ia cayrt ayr i-nyl 

Heavy is the grief that absorbed 

My happiness,my beauty,my strength ; 

Often tears from my eyes 

Fall in quick succession ; 

I have lost the nursling of my lore. 

The inspirer of my lays ; 

To banquet or merry-making I will 
not go. 

Twas a hail-storm, not mild, 

That desolated our homes, 

That rent our sails, 

And broke our helm, 

Our card of knowledge, (compass) 


'S air taice cnil, 

sayr tftjc^ cajl 

Bha again san Dun eibhinn. 

ya agen san dan ey-vlnn 


The Stay at oar bark, 
We bad at the Dan of joy. 

Mo mhisneach 's mo tbreoir, 
mo Tuneoh 's mo h-re-oyr 

Fo thasgadh a bhord, 

fo hasg-a' a Tord 

Sar mhac mhic Leoid 
sar Tao vie le-oyd 

Na'm bratach sroil, 

nam biatach srojl 

Bha fial le or, 
▼a fi-al le or 

'S bu bhinne sgeoil 

'a ba Tiun^ age-ojl 

Na clarsach is ceol Erin. 

na olar-Mch is oe-d ejr-rin 

My courage, my strength, 

(Is) wrapped in boards, 

The surpassing son of Leod 

Of silken banners, 

That was liberal with gold, 

Whose lays were more sweet 

Than the harps and music of Erin 

The Highland chiefs, on the succession of the king of Scotland to the 
throne of England, seem to have forgot that it was not the object of fendal 
charters in Scotland, to deprive the people of their immemorial right of property 
in the soil, but to assimilate the patriarchal system to that subordination of 
ranks which made the feudal system, introduced into England by the Normans, 
so much more efficient for warfare. The intention of the Scottish kings 
evidently was, by making chiefships hereditary and dependant on the crown, 
instead of elective and dependant on the people, to assimilate the chie& to the 
crown vassals, and make them thus amenable to the despotism at which they 
aimed. That the charters had no other object than this, to subserve the regal 
despotism, is proved by the fact, that, while the crown continued despotic, the 
feudal superior was not allowed to oppress, increase the rents, or alter the fixed 
tenures of the clans ; and that the charters were, in innumerable instances, 
recalled or transferred at the pleasure of the king. A change seems now to 
have come over king and chiefs alike, however, and it was evidently determined 
to give the same effect to charters granted over the unconquered lands of 
the clans of Scotland, which they had received over the conquered lands of the 
people of England. The bards were the first victims of the change. I have 
not space to detail the evictions, but may remark that Olanranald's bard was 
ejected from Balivaird, which was possessed for ages by his ancestors under the 
cleachda, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, as is shown in a most 
interesting statement made on oath by his son, and which has been published 
by the Highland Society, to account for the destruction of the manuscript of 
the Clanranald family. When the other children of song were thus stripped 
and ejected, and wandered through the country, living on the hospitality of the 
people, Man received a pension from her chief, Sir Norman Macleod, and lived 
in compcSftiti^e wealth. Her house was always open to, and formed t^e head* 


quarters of the bards. This being distasteful to other chiefs, who, like less 
dignified wrong-doers, conceived a deadly hostility to their victims, Sir Norman 
was prevailed on to place Mari in the more inaccessible island of Scarba; 
exacting from her, at the same time, a promise that she would compose no 
more orotn, or songs. Mari found it impossible to keep this promise ; but, by 
way of a compromise with her honour, I presume, she called all her subsequent 
compositions, not orain or songs, but cronain or croons. The good-natured 
chief charged her with a breach of her promise, but she logically maintained, 
DO doubt much to his amusement, that she only wrote " croons," not songs, 
and did not break her promise. The following croon seems to have led to her 
recal and reconciliation with .her chief, who, I have no doubt, longed as much 
to see her home as she did to see him, 


Tha mi 'm shuidhe air tulaich, I am sitting on an eminence, 

ha mrm huy' ayr tulaych 

Fo mhulad 's fo imecheist. In sorrow and perplexity, 

fo Yolad' sfo ime-cheyst 

A coimhead air Isla, Gazing at Islay, 

a ooyv-ed ayr I -la 

(San do'm iognadh gu dearbh e.) (To my own astonishment certainly.) 

san do*m i-ona' gu derav' e 

Bha mi uaire nach do shaoil mi, The time has been when I did not 

va mi u-ayr naoh do haoyl mi expect 

Gu *a caochladh air m aimsir My condition would be so changed 

go 'a caochla' ayr m^aymeair 

'S gu 'n Aighinn an taobh so. As to make me come in this direction, 

'sgon tig-inna n taov 00 

A dh-amharc lura a Sgarba. To look at Jura from Scarba. 

a yav-aro i-ora a soaraba 

FmtL—l h-urabh 0, i horinn 0, The object of the Gaelic chorus 

i hu-rav o i horinn (which in this instance may be con- 

I h-urabh 0, i horinn ; sidered as a corranach, and is untrans- 

I hn-rav i horinn lateable) was to make the audience 

I hu-uirabh 0, i-hogaidh ho ro, realize the emotions the song was 

i hu-ray o i-hogay' ho ro . . -x i. 1 • at. 

® ^ meant to excite, by making them 

Hi ri-rithibh 0, jag 0. ^j^^ ^^^ j^^ ^^lq singing. The songs 

mtended for public singing were 
therefore generally adapted to airs carried down by tradition, and which were 
already known to, and favourites with the people. In the absence of the 
chorus, which was only the case in triads, or songs of three lines, the verse 
was first sung by the professional vocalist, or the best amateur singer present, 
and then by the audience, who usually stood in a circle, their hands joined 
by means of bonnets and scarfs, which they kept waving in accordance with 
the time and spirit of the melody. This custom came down to my younger 
days; and I have seen numerous companies joining in singing songs in the 
above style, with a sympathy which leaves no doubt on my mind that the 




Draid system of cultiyating the hearts of the people by meaus of poetiy and 
music, was bfinitely superior, in so far as the masses were concerDed, to a 
lettered education. 

With these remarks, I submit to the reader one or two more yeises of 
this poem. The last line, or two lines of every verse of this and similar songs, 
were repeated to aid the memory, — ^for when songs of a narrative or historical 
character were intended for being sung, their length suggested such repetitions 
as rendered it almost impossible for the singer to forget the succeeding lines. 
The airs of the historical poems were, properly speaking, not melodies, but a 
musical and pleasing style of reciting poetry. The historical poems of Ossian, 
and the other ancient bards, were thus recited. 

Gu 'n thighinn an taobh so, 

ga 'n dig-inn an taov ao 

A dh-amharc lura a Scarba ! 

a yayaro i-ura a soaraba 

Thoir mo shoraidh do'n dnthaich, 

hojr mo horay' do*n dn-'ajoh 

Tha fo dhubhar nan garbh-bheunn, 

ha fo TQvar nan gEurv-veyxm 

6u Shir Tormaid ur ailleal, 
gn dr toro-mayd or ajllel 

Fhuair ceannais air armailt ; 
h-n-ajr oennas ayr ann-ayh 

'S gu'n caint ann 's gach fearann* 

a gu*n oaynt anns gach ferrann, 
Gu*m b-airidh fear t-ainm air. 

ga^m bayr-i' fer taynim ayr 

Hi iurabh, etc. 

That I should come in this direction, 

To look at Jura from Scarba ! 

Bear my salutation to the country, 

That (nestles) under the shadow d 
the rough mountains, 

To Sir Norman, lofty and illustrious, 

Who has obtained the leading of an 

And they say in every land 
It is deserved by a man of his name. 
It is, etc. 

Gu'n caint ann *s gach fearann, 

ga'n caynt anna gaoh ferrann 

Gu 'm b-airidh fear t-ainm air : 
ga 'm b-ayri' fer t-aynim ayr 

Fear do cheille do ghliocais, 

fer to oheyll^ do yli-ocayBh 

Do mhisnich do mheamneadh, 
do Tianich do vemene' 

Do chruadail do ghaisge, 

do chro-atayl do yoysge 

Do dhreachadh 's do dhealbha, 
do yrech-a' a do yel-ava 

Is t-olachd is t-uaisle, 
18 tolac is t-n-ayale 

Gha bu shuarach ri leanamhuin. 
cha bu hu-a-racb ri lena-ynyn 

Hi iurabh, eta 

They say in every land 
It is deserved by a man of his name : 
His understanding, his wisdom. 
His courage, his magnanimity. 
His hardihood, his heroism, 
His bearing, his figure. 
And his blood and pedigree 
Are not unworthy of being recorded. 
Are not, etc. 



I cannot part with Mari witboat quoting a verse or two of the ^^ croon, 
or chaunt : — 


Gu don turaideach ard, 

gn dun tnrajdaoh ard 

Am bidh tnnaidh nam bard, 

am bt' tmMf nam bard 

'S na fillidh 's binn dain, 

a na filli' a binn dayn 

'S na'n cupaichean Ian, 

a nan oapayohen lann 

Aig ol slainte mo ghraidh, Tormaid. 

njg ol alajnt^ mo yray' tonnajd 

Aig ol, eta 
B'e sin arcs nach crion, 

b'e ain aros nadi ori-on 

Am biadh gandch na 'm piob, 

am bi' garajch na *m pi-ob 

'S nan clarsach a stridh, 

a nan daraaoh a atri' 

Is dearsa na 'm pios, 

18 dersa na 'm pi-oa 
Air in strachdadh, le fion, 

ajr in straca' le fi-on 

Ni soils' ann an ghniomh or-<^eard. 

ni soylah ann an gni-oy or-oherd 

Ni, etc. 

B'e do dhnchas 's do dhual, 
be do jnchaa s do yn-al 

Bhi gu fantalach bnain, 

yi gu fimtalaoh bn-ayn 

Ann an carraid 's an cruadhas ; 

ann an oairayt a an cni-a'as 

Qsrg a profinachadh sluaigh ; 

garag a proa-naoha' slu-ay' 

Baighael am bnaidh ; 

bay'el am bnay' 

Mosglach an uair foimeart. 
moeglaoh an a-ajrr fojrrnert 

Mosglach, eta 

Leansa, 's na treig, 
lenaa a na tieyg 

Cleachda is beus, 
dechda' ia beya 

To the castle tnrreted, lofty, 

The home of the bards, 

And minstrels of sweet lays, 

(Who) with flowing cups, 

Toast healths to my beloved Norman. 

Toast, etc. 

That is the mansion not paltry, 

Where is heard the streaming notes of 
the pipe 

And of the harp, in competition ; 
And is seen the gleaming of cups. 
Charged to the brim with wine, 
Badiant in the work of the goldsmiths. 

Badiant, etc. 
It is thy native and hereditary right 
To be patient, stedfast, 
In extreme conflicts ; 
Fierce when excitmg the people ; 
Compassionate in victory ; 
Vigilant in the time of oppression. 

Vigilant, etc. 
Follow, and forsake not 
The customs and virtues 



T-aiteam gu leir ; 

tajtem gu lejr 

Macanta seamh, 

maoanta sejr 

Pailt ri luchd theud, 
pajit ri lao heyd 

Ghaigeal an gleus, 
gay^ an gleys 

Neartmhor an deigh torachd. 
nertvor an dej torao 

Neartmhor, etc. 

Of thy race, unfailingly ; 
Modest and mild, 
Liberal to the tunefiil profession. 
Heroic in deeds, 

Strong in the pursuit of spoilers. 
Strong, etc. 

I cannot aflford room for the whole of the song called " Fuaim an t-Shaimh/* 
(the Voice of Silence,) by Mari, which I regret, as an extract breaks the con- 
nexion between the solemn and touching reflections forming the introductory 
verses and the descriptive panegyric, which is so combined and perfect as to 
make their separation very injurious ; but they are so long as to compel me to 
insert only a small portion of the middle and the concluding verses. 


Beir an t-shoraigh so bh-uam 

beyr an to-ray' so vn-am 

Gu talla nan cuach, 

ga talla nan cn-aoh 

Far'm bi tathaich nan truadh daimhail. — 

fiir'm bi ta'-ayoh nan tru-a' dajT-ajl 

Far, etc. 
Thun an taighe nach gann, 

hnn an tay'-e nach gann 

Fo'n leathad ad thall, 
fo*n le'-ad ad hall 

Far bheil aighear is ceann mo mhanrain. 

far veyl aj'-er it oenn mo van-rayn 

Far, etc. 
Tormaid, mo ruin, 

tor-mayd mo myn 

Ollaghaireach u, 

oUa-yayr-eoh n 

Foirmeil o thus t-abhaisi — Foirmeil, etc. 

fojr-mejl o hns tav-ajit 

Cha'n 'eil cleachdadh bheil bri^h 
cha'n ejl deo-a' yeyl bn' 

Gaisge na gniamh 
gaysg-e na gni-av 

Nach eil aigneadh mo ghaoil Ian deth. — 

nach eyl ayg-ne' mo jaoyl Ian de' 

Nach, etc. 


Bear this salute from me 

To the hall of (social) cups, 

Where the needy find a friendly 
welcome. — 
Where, etc. 

To the house where there is no 

Under the opposite declivity, 

Where dwells my delight, the inspirer 
of my minstrelsy.— 
Where, etc. 

Norman, beloved. 

Learned art thou. 

And energetic in thy every action.— 
And, etc. 

There is nothing excellent 

That is not inherent in his mind 

Or realized in his actiona — 
Or, etc. 



Ann an treine san lugb, 

ann an treyDe san la' 

Ann an centaidh 's an cliu, 

ann an oej-taj' 'a an di-n 

Ann am feile *s an gnuis naire.- 
ann am fejle aan gnuya nayr^ 

-Ann, etc. 

Ann an gaisge 's an cial, 

ann an gaya-ge aan d-al 

Ann am pailte neo-chrion, 
ann am payl-te ne-OHsbri-on 

Ann a maise 'sa migh ailleachd.- Ann, etc. 

ann a mayaa aa mi-a' ayll-ec 

Ann an cmadal 's an toil, 

ann an oni-a-dal aan toyl 

Ann am buaidh thoirt air sgoil, 
ann am bn-ay' hoyrt ayr agoyl 

Ann an naisle gu'n chion caileachd. — 

ann an n-ayale gnn ohi-on oayl*eo 

Ann, etc. 
Fhuair n fortan Dhia 

hn-ayr a fortan o yi-a 

Ben bu shocraiche cial, 

ben bn hoc-rayoh-e d-al 

Si gu foisteanach iSal narach. — Si, etc. 

a gn fbyat-en-aoh fi-al naraob 

'S bheil cannaich is fin, 

^1 Teyl oannayoh la fi-n 

Gu'n sgaile na gnuis, 

gnn agayle na gnuya 

Suairce, ioriosail, cinin, cairdeil — 

sn-aypoe ir-ia-al d-uyn cayr-deyl 

Suairce, etc. 
I gun dolaidh fo'n ghrein, 

i gnn dol-ay' fon yreyn 

Gu toileachadh trend ; 

gn toyl-eoh-adh treyd 

8a h-olachd a reir ban-rigk — Sa, etc. 

aa hol-ao a reyr ban-ri' 

'8 trie a riaraich n cuilm, 

Bfcrio ari-ar-ayoh u cnylem 

Gun trioblaid, gnn tuilg, 

gun tri-o-blayd gnn tnylig 

A nighean tainist Dun-tuilm, slan leat.— 

a ni'-en tayniat dun-tnylfim slan le-at 

A nighean, etc. 

Daring, strength, 

Elegance, pure fame, 

Hospitality unpretending. — 
Hospitality, etc. 

Warriorism, wisdom, 
Social liberality, 


Grace, beauty. — Grace, etc. 

Hardihood, activity, 

The conquest of knowledge, 

High breeding, without eflfeminacy.- 
High, etc. 

God has made thee fortunate in a 

Calmly prudent, 

Vigilently prescient, kind, modest. — 
Vigilently, etc. * 

In whom there are attractions and 

Without a frown on her face, 

Affable, lady-like, mild, friendly.— 
AflEable, etc. 

Without one defect under the sun. 

Inconsistent with the happiness of 

the people ; 
With blood (pedigree) equal to that 

of the queen. — ^With, etc. 

Often didst thou preside over the 

Without fuBsiness, without confusion, 

Daughter of the tainister of Duntuilm, 
fare-thee-welL— Daughter, etc. 



My quotations from Mari Nigbean Alisdair Buaidh have already trenched on 
the space intended for other bards, her equab for elegance and tenderness, and 
her superior for strength and sublimity ; but I must submit two or three verses 
of '' An Talla 'm bu gna le Macleoid/' as a specimen of the nomeroos class d[ 
triads that seem to have been such favourites with the bards. 


Thy delight was swift dogs 


Leat bu mheanach coin luthmhor 

let ba yi-anaoh oojn la'vor 

Dhol a shiubhal nan stuc-bheinn, 

70I a hi-H-yal nan stao-veynn 

'Sa gunna nach diulta ri ord, — 
sa gnnna nach di-olta ri oid 

Leat, etcw 
Si do lamh nach robh tuisleach 

a do lay nach iot tnjBhleoh 

Dhol a chaitheamh a chuspair, 
70I a chay'-ev a chnspayr 

Le d' bhoghadh caol ruiteach deo neoil. 
le d* to' -a' caol roTtech de-o ne-oyi 

Si, etc. 
Olac chrom air do shliosaid, 

glao chrom ayr do h-li-asayd 

Do shaighdean snaighte gu'n iaradh, 

do bay'-den anay'te gun i-ar-a' 

'M bar dosrach le sgiathain an fheoin.* — 

'm bar doeraoh le sgi-a'-ayn an e-oyn 

Glac, etc. 
Bhiodh ceir ris na crannaibh, 

vi' c^ ris na crann-ayv 

Bu neo-eisleanach tarruinn, , 

ba neo-eyalenech tarraynn 

Noir a leamadh an taifead d' mheoir. — 
noyr a lem-a' an tayf-ed od* ye-oyr 

Bhiodh, eta 
Noir a leigte bho d* laimh i, 

noyr a leygte to d* layv i 

Cha bhiodh oirleach gu'n bhathadh 

oha yi' oyr-ledi gnn va'-a' 

Eader corran a gaine sa ^n smeoim. — 

eder corran a gayn^ san sme-oym 

Nair, etc. 
Nam dhuit tighinn gu d' bhaille, 

nam yayt ti'-mn ga d' vaylle 


Among the rough 

And the gun that denies not the 
hammer, (never misses fire.) 

Thy, etc. 
Thy hand is not erring 

In the competition (of archery,) 

With ihy bow slender, ruddy, beanti- 
fuL— Thy, etc. 

The bending quiver on thy hip. 

Of arrows polished and straight. 

Their tops rough with the wing of 
the eagle. — The, etc. 

The waxed shaft 

Is not dubious in its flight 

When the bow-string springs from 
thy fingers. — The, etc. 

When released from thy hand, 

Not an inch remains uninserted 

Between the barbed point and the 
cleft. — When, etc. 

On coming to thy residence. 

* The eagle is, par ezcellenoe, called ** eoin,** or ** flar^ian,'*— the bhrd, or true bird,— in (Gaelic poetry. 
Iti other name if deecriptiYe, ** eolaire ;" being compounded of the roots " eol, "or ** iul/* knowledge, and 
** athar," pronounced a'-«r, sky. 


'S du bu tighearnail gabhail, Chief-like is thy hospitality, 

^8 da ba ti'-ernajl g^vayl 

Noir bhiodh tionneal gach caraid mu As gathers every friend around thy 

noyr vi' ti-o-nd gach oarayd iinu table. — On, etc. 

d' bhord. — ^Nan, eta 
d' vord 

Gu'm biodh farum air thaileasg, There will be the rattling of back- 

gum K' fiumm ayr haylesg gammon, 

Agus fnim air a chlarsaich, And the sound of the harp, 

agnsfii-aymayr a chlanaych ^' 

Mur bu dhuchas do shar-mhac Mhic Leoid. As hereditary (custom was) of the sur- 
iDor ba yafOias do har-yao vio le-oyd passing son of Leod.— There, etc. 

Gu'm, etc. 

Se bu chleachda na dhei^h sin The custom was afterwards 

80 ba ohleo-a na yey' sin 

Bhi seinn uir-sgeul na Feinne, To sing the new tales of the Fin- 

vi sheynn nyr-sgeyl na feynnfe galians, 

Is eachdraidh graigh cheir-ghil nan And anecdotes of wild adventures 

ia eeh-ray' gray cheyr-yil nan after the race of white badges, 

crochd. — Se, eta (the deer.) — The, etc. 


Iain Lorn, or John the bare, a nickname fastened on the bard, who lived 
to a very old age, from his sarcastic humour and the severity of his political 
poems, was royal Celtic bard to Charles the First and Second. His biography 
has never been written, nor his poems collected or published, there being no 
encouragement for Gaelic writers, in consequence of the prejudices of strangers, 
and the scattered state of the Highlanders, which precludes the necessary sales 
to make Gaelic literature a paying literature. From the energetic and active 
character of the bard, the disturbed times in which he lived, his great influence 
with the clans, his zealous loyalty, and his singularly romantic and adventurous 
spirit, no bard better deserves, or has left more ample materials, in the poetry 
and traditional lore of his country, for an interesting biographical sketch than 
Iain Lorn. My space does not admit of my even slightly glancing at the lives 
of the bards noticed in this small work ; but I cannot help telling an anecdote 
of Iain Lom, in connexion with my Covenanting chief, Gillespig Gruamach, • 
whose memory has hitherto, in my opinion, met with little justice from friend 
or foe. An idle report having been set on foot, to the effect that a reward had 
been offered for the apprehension and production of Iain Lom at Inverary 
Castle, the earl was called on one morning before breakfast by a Highlander, 
whose ostentatious and ample dress, spare and angular figure, sharp yet shy and 
suspicious looks, appeared both singular and striking. The bard, for the strange 
visitor was no other than Iain Lom himself, asked the chief whether he had not 
lately offered such a reward to any one who should produce Iain Lom before him 
at Inverary. The chief, laughing, replied he had ; when the bard, stretching out 
his hand to receive the money, exclaimed, '^ Give it to me, then, for here I am, 
produced by himself" The earl was exceedingly amused ; but instead of lodging 

160 THE MD810 

the bard in a dongeoD, as a celebrated novelist (who has more credit for the 
truthful delineation of the characters who figure in his works than he deserves) 
makes him treat an officer who came to him with a flag of truce, he took the 
bard by the hand, and led him into the castle, where he detained and enter- 
tained him for a week, with great courtesy and hospitality. 

The steward of the household, however, was not so easily to be reconciled 
to the enemy of the clan ; and, the earl being absent one day while the bard 
remained at the castle, determined on playing him a trick. The bard, like most 
men of good taste, was a bit of an epicure, and from the gusto with which he 
enjoyed choice things, the steward became aware of his sensitiveness on the 
subject Taking advantage of his master^s absence, he served up to the bard, 
with much ostentation and ceremony, an apparently sumptuous dinner, all in 
covered dishes of '' radiant plate." To detail the contents of the varioos dishes 
were ludicrous enough, but it exceeds my space. One of them, a dish of peri- 
winkles or whelks, excited the bard's risibility ; so he took it off the table bodily, 
— squatted down before the fire in the most ludicrous attitude he could assame, — 
placed it between his legs, — and snatching the golden skewer which fasteoed the 
plaid to his shoulder, set to, picking out the wormy fish, and ever and anon 
spouting an extemporaneous verse, satirically and humourously descriptive of 
his attitude and dinner, and representing it as the fare usually given to stranger 
guests at Inverary Castle. The steward, alarmed at the unenviable position into 
which he brought his master and household, found means to ocmcilitate the 
bard, and the poetry has been suppressed ; but the anecdote has got a lasting 
hold of tradition, and shows that the chief was not the grim bigot he is 
represented to have been. 

The bards, in their quick-step songs, fulling, shearing, rowing, and, indeed, 
all songs whose object was to cheer or assimilate labour to an amusement, only 
desired to bring before their hearers objects familiar and agreeably associated 
in their minds with localities, heroes, and traditions, cherished by their clan or 
class. 'Impassioned thought and deep feeling were considered inappropriate^ 
As my object is to give the reader an honest or fair average sample of Graelic 
poetry, I cannot select verses to confirm special remarks like these, and must 
refer to the song when in print. When my remarks refer to songs not in print, 
I will submit all or some of the verses. In the following boat-song, Iain Lom 
refers to the chief, as it were, merely incidentally. The measure of praise is 
implied rather than expressed ; and the localities most striking and traditionally 
celebrated for sports and events in the districts of the various branches of his 
great clan, and their traditionally dearest kinsmen or allies, fall into the verses 
so naturally as to appear wholly unintentional. The air is also equally 
appropriate and characteristic. It begins with an unaffected but bold note, 
swells gradually upwards in tones loud, sonorous, and haughty, ending literally in 
a gairm or shout of triumph. I must preserve the word gairm in my translations ; 
for shout, the nearest corresponding English word, does it anything but 




On rising in the morning, 

Moch 's mi 'g eiridh sa mhaduinn, 

mooh 's mi gejri' sa vadaymi 

'S trom euslainteach m' aigne, 
's trom ejs-layn-tech majgne 

'O nach t-eibh iad mi'n caidreamh nam Since they ^ did not call me to the 

o nach teyv i-ad min oaydrev nam 

braithrean. — nach, etc 

Heavy and sorrowful was my mind, 

fellowship of the brethren. — 
Since, etc. 

Leom is aith-ghearr a cheillidh 

le-om is ay'-yerr a cheyll-i' 

Binneas mar ris an t-Sheumas,* 

rinnes mar ris an teymas 
His 'n do dhealaich mi'n de moch la 

ris *n do yel-aych min de moch la 

caisge. — Bis, etc, 
Dia na stiuir air an darach 

di-a na ati-nyr ayr an daradi 

A dh-f halbh air tus an t^hiuil mhara, 

a yalv ayr toa an ti-uyl vara 

Seal mu'n tug i cheud bhoinne de 
ael mnn tog i cheyd voynnd de 

Ihraghadh. — Seal, etc. 

Qe Ve am cuir a choiro e, 
ge be am cayr a choyrc e 

*S mi nach tille o stoc uat, 

'a mi naoh tUle o stoc n*at 

'S ann a shuidhinn an toiseach do bhata. 

'a ann a hny'-inn an toys-eeh do vata 

'S ann, etc. 
Nuair bhiodh each cuir ri gniamhadh, 

nn-ayr vi'-o each cuyr ri gni-a-va' 

Bhiodh mo chuidsa dheth diomhain, 

vi-o' mo chuyd-sa ye' di-o-vayn 

'G ol na'n gucagan fion air a faradh. 
gol nan guc-ag-an fi-on ayr a fera' 

'G ol, etc. 
An Dubh-chnoideartach riabhach, 

an dav-chnoydertach ri-a-vach 

Luchdmhor ardghuailleach dhionar, 
luc-yor ard-yu-aylleoh yi-onar 

Too short has been the time 

I remained on my visit to James,* 

With whom I parted yesterday, on 
the morning of Easter-Sunday. — 
With, etc. 

May God guide the helm of the oak 
That sailed on the sea, 
Before it began to ebb. — 
Before, etc. 

Although it had been seed-time, 
I would not have returned bom thee ; 
I should sit in the bow of thy boat— 

I should sit, etc. 
When, the rest would be in action, 
My employment would be a pastime, 
Drinking bumpers of wine in the cabin. 

Drinking, etc. 
The Duv-cnoydertach, swarthy. 
Broad, high-shouldered, tight, 

* The Highland chief was always addreesed hy hia Chmtian name by hia own clanamen. 




'S ioma sleagh is lann iaruinn na h-earach. With many spears and iron blades in 

'ai-o-mo ale-a' is lann i-aruyn na her-ach [j^r bosom. 

'S ioma, etc. With, etc. 

Cha b'e marcaich na'n steudain It is not the rider of steeds 

oh a be marc-aych naa steydayn 

A bhuineadh geal reis ort, That would gain the racing bet of 

a vny-ne' gel reye ort thee, 

Noir is ard do shiuil bhreid-gheal air When thou spreadest thy curch-white* 

nojr ia ard do hi-uyl vreyd-yel ayr sails over the sea. — 

saile. — Noir, etc. When, etc. 


Noir is ard do shiul bhronnach When high are the bellying sails 

noyr ia ard do hi-nyl Yronuach 

Air cuan meamnach nan dronng, Over the ridges of the proud ocean, 

ayr ca-an memenach naa dronnag 

'S tuinn uaibhreach a stealladh ma And numerous waves are spouting 

'a tuynn n-ayvrech a steUa' ma beneath the keel. — 

h-erach. — 'S tiunn, etc. And, etc. 


Gur mor mo chion fein ort Great is my love to thee, 

gar mor mo chi-on feyn ort 

Car an cuirin an ceil e, Though I will not make a di^lay 

car an cayrin an oeyl e of it 

Mhic an fhir leis an eiridh na Braigh'ich. Son of the man with whom the 

vie an ir leya an eyri' na bray'-ich Breabreans would rise (in arms.) 

Mhic, etc. Son, etc. 

Ceist na'm ban 'o Lochtreig u Beloved of thQ women of Lochtreig 

oeyat nam ban o looh-treyg n 

'S 'o Strath-Oissian nan reidhlean. And Strath-Ossian of pleasant 

'a Btra'-oyaai-an nan rey'len meadows, 

Gheibhtebroicagusfeidhairamf-aruinn. Who have badgers and deer in their 

yeyv-te broyc agoa fey' ayr am fa-rnynn pantries. — 

Gheibhte, etc. Wno, etc. 

Dh-eireadh buidhean 'o Buaidh leat, A band would arise with thee from 

yeyre' buy'-cn o ni-ay' let Roy, 

A lubas iudhar mu'n guaillean. With the bent yew on their shoulders, 

a labaa i-a'-ar mon ga-ayllen 

'S 'o bhruighean fuar Cham-na-Iairge. — And from the cold hills of Cam-na- 

*fl o vruy'-cn fu-ar cham-na-layrge lairge. — 

'S 'o, etc. And, etc. 

Dream eile dhe d' chinnidh, — Another tribe of the clan, — 

drem eyle ye d* chinne' 

Clann Iain 'o 'n Innean, The Clan-Iain from Innin (the anvil,) 

clann i-ayn on innen 

* See note page 93. 



'Siadarachfldhsa'niomairtneosgathach. They are the men that would go into 

8i-ad a raoh-a' aan imayrt ne-o aga'-ach the conflict feai'lessly. — 

'S iad, etc. Who, etc. 

'S ioma oganach treubhach, 

si-oma ogaa-aoh treyv-ach 

'S glac-chrom air cul sgeith air, 
's giac-chrom ayr cul sgej' ayr 

Thig a stigh ort o shleibh Meal-na-larig. 

big a 8ti ort o h-hyv mel-na-larig 

Thig, etc. 
'S iad a fhreagradh an t-eibheidh 

ffl-ad a h-reg-ra' an teyvey' 

Gu'n eagal, gu'n eislean, 

gun egal gun eys-len 

Noir a thogaer gu euchd do chroistaraidh. 

Doyr a hogar gu eyo do chroyB-taray' 

Noir, etc. 

Many a youthful hero, 

With the quiver behind his shield, 

Will come to thee from the wings of 
Mel-na-larig. — 
Will, etc. 

That would answer thv call 

Without fear, without ailment, 

When thou risest the fiery cross for 
deeds illustrious. — 
When, etc. 

In the following song by Iain Lorn, on the death of the hero, Alisdair 
Dubh of Glengarry, he is bold, fervid, and pathetic. I cannot desecrate this 
song by attempting to render it into English, word for word and line for line, 
because, there being in English no words equivalent to the Graelic words, such a 
translation would not really be a literal one in the proper sense of the 
word ; at the same time, I am satisfied that word for word and line for line, 
notwithstanding the want of equivalent words, will enable the English scholar 
to form a more critical estimate of Gaelic poetry than imitations, but, as I have 
and will give a sufficient number of specimens of the former, perhaps I may be 
permitted to imagine myself for a moment Iain Lom, and to address myself to 
the English reader in the same style and spirit in which he addresses the 
Gaelic reader, without any strict adherence to the order of words and lines. 
Peculiar expressions, very striking and beautiful, will be lost in this mode 
of translation, but I trust the reader will feel sufficiently interested by this 
attempt to qualify himself to appreciate the original. I merely adopt this plan 
to give a more true idea of the spirit and style of the bard than I could possibly 
give by a rigid adherence to the order of the words and lines. I do Iain Lom 
only one injustice by this treatment, viz., to desecrate or omit the chorus, which 
I regard as among the finest specimens of the chorus to be found in Gaelic 
poetry ; and I regard the choruses as the most wonderful of all the efibrts of 
the Celtic Muse, from their great variety and the felicity with which words or 
simulating sounds are so blended and modulated into measured lines and 
cadences, so strikingly accordant with the subject and the melody, as to heighten 
and intensify the effect of both. The chorus here, as indeed in every song, 
may be regarded as a solemn amen to the feeling and the sentiment of every 
verse of the song, bursting spontaneously from the heart of hearts of the 
audience, who always joined in singing the chorus. I will quote the chorus in 
Gaelic, but will not attempt to render it into English. 



'Nam eridh sa mhaduinn, 

nam eri' aa vad-ajrnn 

Gur beg m-aitea 's mo shugradh, 

gnr beg m-aytea 's mo hugra' 

Bho'n dh-f halbh Uachdaran fearael, 

▼on yalv n-aoh-anm ferel 

Gblinne-garraidh air ghiulan ; 

jlinne-garray' ayr yi-olan 

'S ami am flaitbeas na slainte, 
sann am flay'-es na alaynte 

Tba ceannart aillidb na dutbcbadb, 

ha oennart aylli' na dn'-cha' 

Sar Cboiroealair soilleur, 

sar choyrnel-ayr soylleyr 

Nach robb foilleal do'n chrun u. 

nach rov foyllel don ohnm n 

Fonn: — 
'S cianael trom agas fada, 

's ot-an-d trom agns fada 

'S cianael fada mo bbron, 

'fl ci-an-ei &da mo yron 

O'n la charadb gu b-iosal, 
on la cfaara' gu hi-o-sal 

Do pbersa phriesail fo'n fboid, 

do fersa fri-seyl fon oyd 

Tba mo cbridbsa ciairte, 

ha mo cri'-sa ci-nyrt^ 

Cba dean mi sngradb ri*m bheo, 

cha de-an mi Bn-gra' rim ve-o 

0*n db-fbalbb ceannart nan uaislean 
on yaly oennart nan n-ayalen 

Oigbie dnalcbais na Troim. 

oyie dn-al-cbays na troym 

'S mairg a tharladb roi d' dbaoine, 

8 mayrg a haria' roy d ya-oynd 

Noir thagte fraoch ri do bhartaich, 

noyr hag-te fra-ooh ri do yra-tayoh 

Ph-eireadb staadh an clar t-aodainn, 

yeyre' sta-a' an dar t-aod-ayn 

Le neart feirge is gaisge ; 

le nert feyreg^ is gaysgd 

Sad a pbearsa neo sgatbacb, 
Bod a fena neo sga'-ach 

A gbnnis ba bhlaithidb gu'n taise, 
a ynnys bn vlay'-i' gan tayee 

Wben in tbe morning I arose. 
Pleasure was not my aim. 
Is tbere no end to Albin's woes, 
To deatbs 'mong men of fiEune? 
Tbe manly leader of tbe race 
Wbo own the Garrian-glen, 
Is off to bis last resting-place, 
Borne bigb by sorrowing men,- 
Tbe cbieftain lofty, true, and bold, 
Wbo never bis allegiance sold. 

Not safe were tbey wbo rasbly met 
Tby warriors stem and true, 
Wben tbe proud beather-badge was 

In all tbeir bonnets blue ; 
Wben tby brave banner waved on 

And thou thyself wert seen, 
With battle kindling in thine eye, 
To draw thy broadnsword keen ;— 
Then, then 'twas time for Albin's 




Ga 'm bi maoim air do naimlidean, 

gnm bi ma-oym ajr do nayv-den • 

Noir ni u 'n spamte€u;h a ghlachadh. 
uoyr ni a n spayn-teoh a ylaac-a' 

Ho, etc. 
Fhuair u 'n cliu sin o' thoiseach, 

hu-ajr a 'n di-o sin a hojseob 

'S cha *n olc e ri innseadh, 

8 chan olc e ri innae' 

Craobh a cosgairt sa bhlair u, 

craoy a ooegairt sa vlayr u 

Nach gathadh sga roi lac phicean ; 

nach gava' sga roj luo fio-en 

Na roi 'shaighdearean deargadh, 

na roy hay^-deran de-arg-a' 

Ged a b*armailtean righ iad, 
ged a bar-maylten ri' i-ad 

Le'n ceannardan fuileach, 

lea oennardan fbylach 

'S le'n gannaichean cinnteach. — Ho, etc. 

8 len ganna-ohaii oiimteoh 
Gur ainmeul do shinnsridh, 

gnr ayninel do hinns^ri' 

Ri innsidh 's ri shlainneadh, 

ri iim-ae' s ri h-loynna' 

'S tu oighre an larl Isleaich, 

s tQ oy're an i-arl i-lich 

Nact togadh cis an cuis f hoilleil, 

nsch toga' cu an cays oylleyl 

Marcaich ard nan steud lughmhar, 

marc-aych ard nan stcyd lu'-var 

Ceannard shninn nan lann soilleir, 

cennard hnynn nan lann soyUeyr 

Gaisgaich threinn an cruaidh-ghabhadh, 
gays-gaych hreynn an crn-ay'-yava 

Le'm b-annea stail na airm-theine. 

lem bannaa stayl na ayrm-heyn4 

Ho, etc. 
'8 goirt an t-earcal a thachair, 

8 goyrt an teroal a hacb-ayr 

0*n chaidh an iomairt so tnadhal, 
o*D chay' an i-o-mayrt bo tn-a'-al 

To fly their fierce, their deadly 

That praise, that early praise was 

And spread thy well-known fame afar, 
Thou didst on all occasions shine, 
The wisest leader in the war. 
No serried red-coats daunted thee, 
Although their well-aimed voUies 

Upon thy ranks, from musketry 
That oft in deadly slaughter told : 
Thy just distinctions ever were 
The wise to lead, the bold to dare. 

Thy lineage is for blood and length 

In Albinos annals unexcelled, 

And formed of chieftains famed for 

Who in the deadly charge compelled 
Steeds fierce and fleet, that harnessed 

Like meteors coursing through the 

While in their sells, as on a throne, 
They towered in their war panoply ; 
And none of them has been con- 
To deeds that have that lineage 

Since some in battle* have forgot 
How their brave fathers plied their 

No refuge has our country got 

* Sbireff-muir. 



0' latba blar sliabh an t-Shiarradh, 

U'-a blar 8li-av an hirra' 

Chail air cinneadh an uaislean, 

chajl ayr cinne' an u-ajslen 

6ed a sheasaibh Clanndombnuill, 

ged a hes-ayy dann-dov-nnyll 
Mar bu cboir dhaoibh 8a chruadal, 

mar ba choyr yoyv sa chm-a-dal 

Chail sinD roghuinn nan cairdean, 

chayl sinn ro'-iann nan cayr-den 

An fheul ard 's i gun truailleadh. — Ho, 

an nyl ard b i gun tm-aylle' 

From ruthless Fortune's crushing wheel, 
Although Clanndonnill on that day, 
As ever, clothed them with renown ; 
Our heroes have been toede away, 
In fruitless battles one by one ; 
And now we've lost the worthiest lord 
That in these battles drew his sword. 


Nise dh-fhalbh an triuir bhraithrean, 

nise yalv an tri-uyr vray-ren 

A chleachd mar abhaist an uailse, 
a ohiechd mar av-ayst an n-aylae 

Triadh Ghlinn-garraidh nam bradan, 

tri-a' ylinn-garray' nam bradan 

'S caibtein smachdail na buaidhean, 

B cayb-teyn Bmaohd-ayl na bu-ay-en 

Domhnul morchuiseach Shleibhte, 
dovnnl mor-chuysech leyv-te' 

Fear na ceile 's na suairce, 

for na oeyle b na su-ayrce 
Chabhith gu brath aig Clann-dhomhnuill, 

cha vi' gu bra' ayg clann-yov-nuyll 

Triuir chonn-spunn cho cruaidh riu. — Ho, etc. 

tri-uyr chonn-spunn cho cruaidh riu 

It was our country's destiny 
To lose three pillars of the throne,— 
Heroes who, in adversity. 
For daring, proudly, greatly shone : 
Sir Donald, our leader, when com- 
Clanronald, captain of our men, 
Alisdair, generous, good, and kind, 
Chief of the Garry's far-famed glen; 
Clanndonnill's ranks no more will 

Leaders illustrious as the three. 

Noir threig each an cuid fearainn, 

noyr h-reyg each an ouyd fer-aynn 

'S nach d-f ban iad san rioghachd, 

B nach d-an i-ad san ri-oc 

Sheas iadsan gu daingean, 

hes i-ad-san gu dayn-gen 

'S cha b-ann le sgainneal a shin iad, 

8 cha b-ann le Bgaynnel a bin i-ad 

Chuir iad fuaradh na froyse, 

chuyr i-ad fu-a-ra' na ' froya^ 

Seach air dorsaibh gar dianadh ; 

sech ayr dor-sayv gar di-an-a' 

Na flaith bu chiunne na maighdeann, 

na flay bu chi-uyn^ na may-deun 

'S bu ghairge nan lasair. — Ho, etc. 
B bu yayrg-e nan las-ayr 

When other chiefs fled from their 

Our heroes, stern and unsubdued, 
Rallied their bold, their kindred bands, 
And for their king and country stood ; 
Aye stood prepared in arms to die. 
When War should his fierce tocsin 

Or to achieve a victory 
That should their treacherous foes 

confound ; 
Such were our chiefs, than maidens 

But, roused to war, than beacons wild. 



Archibald, better known by his poetic name of Ciaran Mabach, was brother 
to Sir James Macdonald, and stood high in his confidence. When Iain Lom 
obtained from him a party to execute the warrant from the Privy Council against 
the murderers of Keppoch, Archibald was appointed to the command. He left 
his residence in Uist on Wednesday, travelled on foot over the mountains, then 
covered with snow, at the head of his party ; stormed and set fire to the block- 
house, and slew the murderers at Inverlair in Braelochaber on Sunday ; and 
dispatched messengers from Invergarry to Edinburgh with the heads, the same 
day, — a feat not even surpassed by Montrose's march from Fort-Augustus by 
Glenbuick, Glenroy, Dalnabi, and Lianachan, to Inverlochy, in one day. The 
defenders of the blockhouse consisted only of the uncle and six nephews ; yet 
they killed and wounded sixty of the besiegers before being conquered. Iain 
Lom, who was the guide of the party, says that there was not one of the seven 
who, '' in an equal fight, was not a match for ten." Some incidents of the 
storming are very romantic, and one of them in particular highly characteristic 
of the stem sense of honour found united with the most deadly passions, in the 
warriors of the olden time ; but it were an episode here, and would intrude on my 
space, Iain Lom, in his verses commemorative of the achievement, gives great 
praise to the Ciaran Mabach for the skill and hardihood with which he conducted 
the expedition. A verse or two of this song may perhaps be acceptable to the 

Slan fo d' thrial, a Chiarain Mhabaich, 

dan fo d' li-all a obi-aren vab-ajoh 
Shiubhlas sliabh gu'n bhiadh gu'n chadal, 

hi-avlas sli-av gun vi-a' gon cha-dal 

Fraoch fo d' shin, gu'n bhosd, gu'n 

fraoch fod hin gnn yoad gan 



Chuir u ceo fo'n roisheal ladam'. 

chayr n oe-o fon roysel la-dam 

Diciadain chai e na uidheam 

di-ci-a-deii chay e na nj'em 

Le bhrataich ard do ghillean dubha. 

le Tratych ard do yillen duva 

Sgriob Ghilleaspuig ruaidh a Uist 

8gri-ob yillespeyg ra-ay' a nyst 

Bhuail e meal an ceann na h-uidhe. 

Ta-ayl e mel an oeon na bny' 

Cha d' iar e bata na long dharaich 
cha di-ar e TatA na long yar-aych 

Bi am geamhraidh an tus na gaillean. 

ri am ge-av-ri' an tna na gayllen 

An triubheas teann feadh bheann is 

an tri-n-Tes tenn fe-a' venn is 


Hail to thy course, Ciaran Mabach, 

Who travellest over the wolds, without 
food or sleep. 

Heather thy bed ; nor vaunt nor threat 
(was thine.) 

Thou hast wasted the stronghold of 
the bad and daring. 

On Wednesday was equipped 

Thy lofty banner of black-haired 

The expedition of red Archibald from 

Struck a blow at the end of its rout 

Neither a boat nor a ship of oak didst 

thou ask. 
In winter, when storms began. 

In tight trews through mountains and 



'S tu b-eatrom bonn ge trom do mheallag. 

8ttt b-6-trom boon ge trom do Tellag 
A Sheumais nan tur 's Da*m baideal, 

a heymajsh nan tar 'b nam bajdel 

Gheibhluchd muirne cuirm a t-aitreabh ; 

yejy lac mnyrn^ oajrm a tajtrev 

Ged do rinD n 'n duiseal cadail, 

ged do rinn a 'n daj-sel oadajl 

'S eibhinn leom do dfausgadh maiduinn. 

'a eyvinn le-om do jusga' majdajnn 

Light were thy footsteps though great 
thy might. 

James of towers and battlements, 

Thy tuneful race will in the hall Sod 
a festive welcome ; 

Though thou didst doze for a time, 
Joyful to me was thy morning vigil. 

John the bare was certainly not less distinguished as a political poet amcmg 
those who understood his language than Dryden. The following is a free 
imitation of one specimen of his poems on political subjects. The imitatioD is 
so free as not to pay the least attention to die order of words and lines; but it 
is true to his thoughts and feelings, and makes him express them in the sane 
style and spirit in English as in the Gkelic. I cannot afford space for the 
original, but versions of it, less or more correct, will be found in every ooUectioD 
of (laelic poetry. 


Upon my elbow calmly leaning, Wtich, through the royal bard im- 

Within the lovely mountain glen, parted, 

My mind indulged itself in dreaming Should warn him to respect the 

Of the strange deeds and lives of men ! laws ; 

And wherefore should my voice be silent, 
While my heart bounds with pride 
and joy, 

ilor tell the Whigs, the base and violent, 
Their greedy, rampant reign is bye ? 

Their reign who fidsely tried and 

The true, the loyal, and the brave ; 
Who, with their sophistry, bewildered 

The people whom they would enslave. 

With staff in hand, the while I hasten 
To welcome home my native king, 

Why should I doubt that he will listen 
To the leal counsel I may bring ? — 

Counsel from clans and chiefs true- 
Who suffered in their country's cause, 

But not the men whose conduct 
Has scattered ruin o*er the land, 
And answered but with taunts dis- 
Those whom they robbed of wealth 
and land. 

Eemember, Charles Stuart, ever, 
The lesson taught thee by the past, 

Forgetting truth and justice never, 
If thou wouldst that thy reign ma; 
last. « 

Think, since the throne thou hast 
Without the aid of spear or sword, 
How thy own rights may be defended, 
And, eke, thy people's rights re- 



No Machiavel has yet propounded 
The means to make the throne secure, 

Save when the people's rights are founded 
On a just basis, broad and sure. 

But leniency is not now wanted ; 

A wise severity were just : 
Let those who are already sainted, 

E'en go where they have placed their 

Why should we grudge these men to 


That have their treasure hoarded 

there ? 

Since they h^ve made their road so even, 

Dismiss them while accounts are 



That will with many a sage petition, 
Crave boons, and laud thy right 
divine : 

But right divine did not defend thee. 
When thou and Cromwell were at 
blows ; 
Then try what force wise rule may 
lend thee. 
And make thy people friends — not 


No doubt, thy nobles would defend 
At cost of all their lands and lives, 
But, och ! it would not do, to 'tend 
And leave their children and their 
wives ! 

Thou subjects hast of high condition, 
Whose hearts are not more true than 

But I must stop. The royal bard, as stated elsewhere, believed that the 
feudal nobility only wanted to limit the power of the king, that they might lord 
it over the people. Hence a severity which I think they do not as an order 
deserve, and which I will not repeat. Iain Lom kept a poetical journal of 
Dundee's route from Keppoch to Killiecrankie, of which the following is an 
imitation — a tnie imitation, in so far as the royal Celtic bard's thoughts, feelings, 
style, and spirit is concerned, but without any regard to the order of the words 
and lines even of the version I took down of it from an old Lochaber man, many 
years ago, and which is essentially different from and superior to the versions 
of it published by the common collectors. I have the less regret that T cannot 
submit this version, from having learned that my old friend and school-fellow, 
Mr James Munro, than whom no man living is better qualified, is engaged in 
preparing for publication the interesting poems of this eminent modern bard, 
with a memoir of the bard himself, which will, if possible be still more 
interesting even than his poems. 


'Tis time to march, 'tis time indeed, 
For we have ate our beeves and 
Necessity will sometimes breed 
Thoughts that touch the coldest 


But would Fionn of glorious fame 
For six weeks lie upon his oars, 
While Lochlin's plundering war-chiefs 
And poured their hordes upon his 




Would Ualan fierce, or royal Bruce, 

Find pastime among woods and wolds. 
And yield the base usurper truce 
That seized, and still their country 
holds ? 
Would great Mac-CoUa or Montrose 
Fish, hunt, and feast, and sleep, and 
While saints, mis-named, cant through 
the nose. 
And trample on the country's crest ? 

Fye, Clavers, wake ! wake leaders all ! 

Your country feels her deep disgrace, 
Her clans have answered to her call. 

And armed, as well becomes her race, 
To aid the right, subdufe the wrong, 

And earn hereditary fame, 
Begardless whether weak or strong. 

The foes who urge a wrongous claim. 

Now, now the army, true and bold. 

From their encampments march away ! 
Heavens ! how glorious to behold 

A people in their war array ! — 
From mouth tomouth the highconmiand, 

That makes the columns, halt or lead. 
Is heard, as they march, band by band, 

And earth resounds beneath their 

Nor rugged hill, nor marshy plain. 

Nor mossy moor, nor rivers deep. 
Can disarray the martial train 

That onward, onward, sternly sweep ; 
They flag not, halt not, till they gain 

The chosen camp at evening's close. 
Where watchful picquets, with a chain 

Of sentries, guard their brief repose — 

Sentries of keen and piercing eyes. 
Unmatched for vigilance and zeal, 

That foemen never might surprise, 
Unwitting of the trenchant steel 

Nor long , nor deep, their hours of rest— 
Their pipes anticipate the dawn, 

And, serried on the mountain crest, 
The clans, in marshalled lines, ar<j 

Lochlochy's camp we leave behind, 

Where high to Heaven we Ruaed 
our hands. 
And vowed our country's wounds to 

And never to dissolve our bands, 
Till vict'ry, on the battle field, 

O'er men of foreign laws and creed, 
Should to the land assurance yield, 

The king will be restored with speed. 

Then said the Graham of modest mien 

And daring heart, — " Sons of the 
Unless disunions intervene 

Among your ranks, you must prevail 
Your arms are strong, your hearts are 

Your mode of warfare unsurpassed- 
No living foeman can subdue 

Your party, should your union last. 

"If, as a leader, me you trust, 
Your confidence must be entire ; 

My life, you know, from last to firet- 
I never changed my cloak for hire: 

My country and my King I love- 
Love as I love my God and creed. 

And if you trust me, I will prove 
Worthy your trust in word and deed. 

" March, then, my heroes, for the ft* 

Has dared to cross the sacred line 
To which your fathers, long ago, 

Made every foe his raids confine. 
He gave the word, and 'gainst the hill 

Urged on hisproud andmettled steed; 
But, though in ranks, the clansmen still 

Defied its vaunted power and speed. 



Before he reached Glenturret^s crest, 

Nor strength nor speed had be tospare ; 
But stood aU foaming and distressed, 

And gasping for the mountain air. 
Then laughed the gay, the gallant 

As lightly on his feet he sprung, 
** Come, Fm a Gael in blood and name. 

Let's try who is most swift and strong." 

Glenturret we leave far behind, 

Leac-Connel's plain, and Garvamore, 
Nor halting-place we seek nor find, 

Until we gain Drumuachar's core. 
There for the night a camp we form, 

And spread our sentinels around. 
Though wind and rain— a perfect storm — 

Made hills and vales and rocks resound. 

Again we form, at break of day, 

Again in well-knit sections move, 
With dauntless tread, in proud array, 

The men of Athole's zeal to prove, 
Their zeal to prove ? It soon was proved ! 

Each mother's son, like shadows, fled, 
Leaving their women — fair and loved — 

To tell why we must lack their aid ! 

Alas, that warriors, true and brave, 

Who love their country and their king, 
Should a base feudal leader have. 

To lead them as if on a string ! 
But little do we reck or care 

For Athole and its trimming lord ; 
Our cause is just, our claymores bare, — 

Such paltry loss we can afford. 

Onward, still onward, boldly sweep 

The race unmatched yet with the sword , 
The well-knit section form they keep 

On hill or plain, through moss or ford. 
Their weapons gleam, their tartans wave. 

Their towering crests invade the skies; 
The dews of toil their foreheads lave, 

But courage flashes from their eyes. 

While breasting steep Sliavana s side, 

A horseman comes with fiery speed, 
And says the Whigs, in pomp and pride. 

Have boldly crossed the pass of 
Led by the stem and stout Mackay — 

A veteran trained to war abroad — 
From whom the Orange, gold might 

His King, his Country, and his God. 

The shout of joy our columns gave 
When their stern battle met our 
Might wake the Bomans from their 
Whom here of old our fathers slew. 
Stripped to our bonnets, brogues, and 
We cast all useless weeds away, 
Loosed our steel pistols in the belt. 
And fiercely claimed the deadly fray. 

Clavers arranged each daring clan 

In its precise and proper place. 
Took his proud station in the van, 

And onward moved with dauntless 
When, front to front, we met the foe, 

With missiles the slow work began, 
And many a shot and shaft they throw 

Away, that should have found its 

Thus did we waste a precious hour — 
That brave men's patience sorely 
Then forth we drew the stem clay- 
And rushed upon them, like the tide 
Of wild Coire Vrecken, when the 
Of the Atlantic's boundless main 
Assail the rocks, till cliffs and caves, 
And hills and glens, resound again I 



Then, oh then was felt and seen 

The potence of our dear claymores, 
When heads, legs, arms, cut ofif as clean 

As shorn grain, were strew'd in scores 
Along the field. Ere minutes two 

Could wing their flight, the trenchant 
Laid every sprawling whigling low 

Who dared the deadly charge to stand. 

Nor had they better hap who fled 

In terror, and in disarray ; 
For, in the gorge were hundreds sped, 

Who shrieked in panic and dismay. 

But, ah, the vict'ry dear was bought— 
The chiefthatcouldourcause sustain, 

When, in the hour of triumph, sought, 
Was found among a heap of slain! 

The chief whose prestige and who^e 

Were only equalled by his mmd, 
And who, alas, in danger's hour, 

Has no successor left behind ! 
His eric would not be complete, 

Though all who thrive byAlbin'swoe 
On a funereal pile were set, 

Or hung suspended from a taw. 

The Ciaran Mabach, for some cause which I have never heard explained, 
was put in ward in Edinburgh, where he met with extreme kindness and 
courtesy from the aristocracy, especially the ladies. Nevertheless, he pined for 
his native hills, and breathed his longing in verses, which I am unwilling to 
subject to a line for line translation. Indeed, I think that I shall have given 
as many translations of that kind as my object requires, and that a few, more 
free, more regardful of the style and spirit than of the words and literal sense 
of the original, may now be here and there introduced, with as much satisfaction 
to the reader as to myself. I regret the necessity of giving fewer verses of the 
original than are imitated. 

Ge socair mo leabadh 

ge Boo-ayr me leba' 

B'annsa cadal air fraoch, 

bannsa cadal ayr firaoch 

Ann an lagan beag uaigneach, 

ann an lagan beg n-ayg-neoh 

Is bad do'n luachair ri*m thaobh, 

is bad don la-a-chayr rim baov 

'S noir a dh-eirinn sa mliaduinn, 

'fl noyr a yej-rinn sa va-dnynn 

Bhi siubhal ghlacagan caol, 

yi si-val ylac-ag-an caol 

Na hi trial thun na h-Abaid, 

na bi tri-al bun na ha-bayd 

A dh-eisdeachd glagraich na saor. 

a ' yeysd-eo glag-raydi na saor 

Though soft and easy is my bed. 

Magnificent my room, 
I'd rather sleep in Uigni's glade, 

'Mong heather in full bloom ; 
Where I could rise at break of day, 

With Oscar by my side, 
To seek, 'mong glens and mountains 

The stag of dark-brown hide. 

vu»» vu ,m^wnM* v» gleysda 

'S cha'n 'eil feum agam dha, 
's cha^n ell feym agam ya 

Cha'n 'eil agam cu g*v.^««,, 

cba^n ell agam ca gleysda 

But my loved forest is afar ; 

Though here I may behold 
A forest huge, where mast and spar 

The shipwright's craft unfold ; 



Cha suidh mi air bachdan, 

cfaA say' mi ajr bac-an 

Si faire fada o chach, 

ri &7r^ fada o chadi 

. Cha leig mi mo ghaothar, 

cba lejg mi mo yaor 

Ad aghaidh no Mam, 

an a'-ay' no mam 

*S cha loisgear leam fiidar, 

's cba loysgar le-am fiidar 

An Gleann-Ruthain gu brath. 

an g^emi-ra-a7mi ga bra' 

But I encounter sights and smells, , 
That almost stop my breath : — 

Would that I were on Buthan's fells,. 
Upon my own sweet heath, 


Graigh mo ghraidhsa a ghraigh ullach, 

gray' mo yray'-aa a jray' u-allaoh 

Thogadh suae ris na h-aird, 

hoga' sa-as ria na hayrd 

Dh-itheadh biolair an fhuarain, 
yith-a' bilayr an n-ar-ayn 

'S le'm bu shuarach an cal, 

'a lem ba ha-araoh an oaU 

'S trie bba mise mu'n cuairt dhuibh, 

strio y& nis^ mun cu-ayrt ynyy 

Dh-aineon fuarachd an la, 

yap-enn fh-arao an la 

'S trie a dh-fhuilig mi cruadal, 

stric a ynyl-ig mi om-ad-al 

A tialadh chruach air ur sgath. 

a ti-a-la' chrn-aoh ayr nr sga' 

Where I could see the clean-limbed 

Of airy form and crest, 
Stretching against thy side Melard, 

By my fierce greyhounds press'd ; 
Press'd by my hounds that never faU, 

When slipped at deer or roe, 
Whether in corrie, wold, or vale, 

To lay the quarry low. 

Fear mo ghraidh a'm fear buidhe, 

far mo yra-i' am for bay' 

Nach dean suidhe aig bord, 

nach de-an say' eg bord 

Nach iarradh ri cheannach, 

nadi i-a-ra' ri ohenn-ach 

Pinnt leanna na beoir, 

pinnt le-anna na be-oyr 

Uisge-beatha math dubailt, 
^T^gey-be'-k ma' dn-baylt 
Cha'n fhiu leat ri ol, 

cha^n i-n let xi oil 

B'fhearr leat sugh glan an fhuarain, 
b'eiT let Bu' glan an n-areu 

An cluain na'm beann mor. 

an da-ayn nam benn mor 

But here I have no mettled hound 

Unmatched for strength and speed, 
No wold with rocks and woodlands 

To test their blood and speed. 
And laugh his showy pace to scorn, 

Who leads in galliards gay, 
And answer with a taunt his horn 

Who rides the gallant gray. 

^ .74 THE 

-^•ean mo ghraidh a bhean uasal, 

ben mo jraj' a ven u-a-sal 

Uha nach d'fhuaradh riamh lochd, 

jtL nach da-a-ra' ri-ay loo 

Kach iarradh mar chlaasaig, 

nach i-a-ra' mar chla-a-sajg 

Ach lom-ghuallain nan cnoc, 

ach lom-ya-alayn nan cnoo 

^S nach fuiligeadh an t-sradag, 

^8 naoh fa-il-ge' an trad-ag 

A lasadh ri corp — 
a laa-a' ri corp 

Och a Mhoire mo chruaidh-chas, 
ooh a Toyre mo ohra-ay'-obas 

Nach dh-fhuair mi u nochd. 
naoh d-n-ayr mi n noo 


The one would scarce excel in speed, 

Nor would the other ride 
Upon his proud and vaunted steed, 

Against Glenibaran's side ; 
Where, on the eve of parting day, 

Among the meadows green, 
The milky kine list to the lay 

Of maids in tartan sheen : 

Bean a b-aig antach ceile, 

ben a bayg antach oeyl^ 

'Nam eiridh fo dhriuchd, 

nam eyri' fo ymyc 

Gha'n fhaigheadh tu beud dha, 
ohan ay'-e' tn beyd ya 

'S cha bu leir leis ach u, 

'b cha ba leyr leys ach n 

Sibh an glacaibh a cheile, 

sly an glao-ayv a cheyl^ 

A fior eadeann nan stuc, 

a fi-or ed-enn nan Btno 

'S an am eiridh na greine, 

Ban am eyri' na greyne 

Bu gheur leirsinn air sul. 

ba yeyr leyrsinn ayr sol 

Aye, list, and yield with dreamy joy 
Their treasures to the hand 

Of maidens fair and kind, though coy, 
In streamlets white and bland ; 

While, clear and high, each artless 

Wakes hills and rocks around, 
And leglens* to their hearts rejoice, 

And chime with hollow sound. 

Nuair a thigeadh a foghar, 

nn-a-ir a hig-e' a fo'-ar 

Bu bhinn leom torrunn do chleibh, 
ba yinn le-ome tomm do dileyv 

Toirt dulan na comhstri, 

toyrt dolan na ooy-stri 

Air a mhointich chaoin reidh, 

ayr a voyntich chaoyn rey' 

And while they sing, their hunters gay, 

Peering through glen and grove, 
With pleasure listen to the lay 

That speaks of faithiiil love ; 
Then bounding forward, proud and tight. 

Each youth lays down his spoil 
Before his sweeUieart fond and bright, 

And feels her conscious smile. 

• Hilk-paiL 




Na dol an coinneamh do leannan, 

oa dol an ooynnev do leniiaa 

Ge bheil sneachda mar cheir, 

ge yeyl snechda mar cheyr 

Bi sin a bhana-cheilidh bhoidheach, 
bi ain a yana-cheyli' voy'eoh 

Is etrom moralach ceum. 

is e-trom mor-alaoh oeym 

Sweet is the converse of the hart 

With his unsullied mate. 
Nor would he from her side depart, 

To plunge where clubs debate ; 
To swill at porter or at ale, 

Or whisky fierce and blue, 
Where Lowland greed and craft prevail, 

And Highland hearts are true. 

No ! he would rather slake his thirst 

Ere Sol ascends the sky, 
Where virgin streams in crystal burst 

From corries wild and high ; 
Where the cold cress in clusters green 

A frugal meal supplies, 
And lichens decked in silver sheen 

Afiford a juicy prize. 

With joy he roams the mountains blue, 

And valleys fair and wide, 
'Mong heather bathed in pearly dew, 

With his fond faithful bride. 
She sees but him, him only loves, 

No other fills her eyes ; 
Him watches, moving as he moves. 

And in his bosom lies. 

Oh, how I love the free-bom race, 

Of beauteous gait and form, 
When after them, in headlong chase. 

My Oscar and my Storme 

Each nerve and sinew too. 
If, in their fearful strait, they'd gain 

Benard, thy corries blue. 

They traverse each romantic glen. 

Browse on each secret lee, 
Make love in every cozy den. 

And wander far and free : 
While here I pine in hopeless ward. 

Nor mark my herd of deer. 
Fleeting across thy brow, Melard, 

And on thy wolds career. 

Oh little do I love to trace 

Edina's streets and lanes. 
Or breathe lip-love with courtly grace 

In palaces or fanes ; 
Give me the forest wide and high, 

The mountain and the vale, 
Where dwell the herds of piercing eye. 

Whose speed outstrips the gale. 

Ah, me, 'tis hard to wither here, 

And smoke and fumes inhale 
From dusky lanes and vennels drear. 

And gutters dark and stale ; 
And bid sweet Skye of bays and dells, 

Wild glens, and mountains blue, 
Where all I love in comfort dwells, 

A long, a sad adieu. 

The fulling, like the boat songs of the Gael, had an air of extemporaneous- 
ness and simplicity, combined with a prancing caracoling peculiarity in the style 
and measure of the verses, which made them very attractive and pleasing, 
although they disclaimed all pretensions to poetry. The mode of procedure 
was thus : — Some romantic recess by the side of a bum was selected, where a 
platform of plaited wattles was erected, on the centre of which the cloth to 
be fuDed was placed. The neighbourhood being always put under requisi- 
tion on these occasions, a band of maidens, consisting usually of all the more 
free-hearted, gay, and jolly young women of the locality, assembled, giving 
their services gratuitously. So many of them, bare armed and bare legged, 



seated themselves around the cloth on the platform, and the others, forming a 
relaj of generally an equal number, took their position in attendance, supplying 
water to sock the cloth, and changing places at intervals with their Mends on 
the platform. The verse was sung in a hilarious off-hand style, by the best 
singer, the others striking in alternately with the chorus. The cloth in the 
meantime was rolled about, tossed backward and forward, and from side to side, 
in magical gyrations that would utterly confound the table-turning of our 
Yankee cousins, but all the while under regular mechanical principles of manipu- 
lation, strictly adhered to, however "fast and furious" the mirth sometimes 
grew, there being always method in the mad movementa The sight of so 
many merry girls, turning labour into mirth, was exceedingly oiUre and pic- 
turesque, and the opportunity of getting a sly peep at them was eagerly sought 
by such Highland Tam O'Shanters as **knew what was what;'* but woe to the 
luckless wight who was detected by the fair amazons unlawfully in the espial of 
their mysterious orgies ! 

The following fulling song, by the royal Celtic bard, Alexander Macdonald, 
is an allegory, in which he represents the Prince under the similitude of a 
young maiden, Morag, with flowing locks of yellow hair floating over her 
shoulders. The bard describes his attachment to her, and says that he had 
followed her faithfully in lands known and unknown to him ; and, if she would 
come again, that he and all her former friends and admirers would embark 
unhesitatingly in any enterprise calculated to vindicate her rights. My inability 
to afford space for the whole of the verses, renders this brief explanation 
necessary. I am indebted to Mrs Hulton, Glasgow, for the version of this air, 
which is submitted to the reader. 


A Mhorag cheataich a chuil dhualaich, 

a Yorag chet-ajch a obuyl ^yu-al-ajch 

Gur h-e do luaigh a th'air m'aire. 

gur he do la-aj' a bajr majre 

Fonn. — Beir mi ho Mhorag, 

beyr me ho yorag 

Ho ro na horo gheallaidh, 

ho ro na horo jell-ay' 

Beir mi ho Mhorag, 
beyr me ho vorag 

Mo dh-imich u nun thair chnain oim, 

mo yimioh n mm hajre ohn-ayn ojm 

Gu 'm bu luadh a thig u dhachaidh. 

ga m ba la-a' a big a yach-aj' 

Beir, etc. 
'S cuimnich thoir leat bannal ghruagach, 

8 cnyn-ioh hojrr let bamial jm-a-gacb 

Luaigheas an clo ruadh gu daingean. 

lu-aj'-ea an do ra-adh gu dayngen 

Beir, etc. 

Graceful Morag of the curling ringlets, 

Thy love is the cause of my solicitude. 

Chorus. — Beyr mi ho vorag, 

Ho ro na horo yellay, 
Beyr mi ho vorag. 

If thou art gone from us over the sea. 

May thy return be speedy. 

Beyr, etc. 

Remember to bring with thee a band 
of maidens. 

Who will tightly fuller the red cloth. 

Beyr, etc. 




Gur h-i Morag ghrinn mo ghuamag, 

gur hi morag yrinn mo yu-*-n**g 

Aig a bheil an cuailean barr-fhionn. 

&yg s ▼cy^ '^ oa-ayUen barr-i-oim 

Beir, etc. 
Do chul bachlagach na dhoalabh, 

de chal bach-lag-ach na ju-al-av 

Dhalladh e 'n sluagb le lannir. 

jiUa' en ala-a' le laynnir 

Beir, eta 
'S ge nach iarr mi u ri phusadh, 

sge nach i-arr mi a ri fd-aa' 

Gu 'm be mo run a bbi mar riut 

gam be aso ran a yi mar ri-nt 

Beir, etc. 
'S ma thig u rithist am lubaibh, 

gma big a ri'-iat am lab-ajr' 

Se an t-eug a ruin ni air sgarradh 

86 an teyg a niyn ni ayr agarr-a' 

Beir, etc. 
Leannaidh mi cho dluth ri d' shailean, 

lenn-ay' mi oho dlii' ri d haykn 

'S ni baimeach ri sgeir-mara. 

8 ni yaymecb ri ageyr-mara 

Beir, etc. 
Shiabhail mi cian leat air m-eolas, 

W-ny-ayl mi d-an let ayr me-o-laa 

Agus astar mor air 'm aineal. 

agos aatar mor ayr m aynel 

Beir, etc. 
Gu 'n leanainn u feadh an t-shaoghail, 

gn n lenn-aynn n fe' an t-ao'-ayl 

Na'n d' thigidh tu ghaoil ga m' f harraid. 
nan dige' tn yaoyl ga m arr-ayd 

Beir, etc. 

Mhorag nan iomadb ciatadh, 
▼orag nan i-oma' oi-a-ta' 

'S glan a fiaradh thair do mhalaidh. 

8 glan a fi-a-ra' hayr do valay 

Beir, etc. 

Moi-ag is the tidy one. 
Whose hair is a pale-yellow. 
Beyr, etc. 

Thy hair is in curly clusters. 
That dazzle with their brightness. 
Beyr, etc. 

Although I will not ask thee in mar- 
It were my delight to be near thee. 

Beyr, etc. 

And shouldst thou come again to my 

Death alone will separate us, my love. 

Beyr, etc. 

I will adhere to thee as closely 
As the limpet to the sea rock. 
Beyr, etc. 

I travelled far with thee in the land I 

And a considerable distance in a land 

unknown to me. 

Beyr, etc. 

I would follow thee to the extremity 

of the worid, 
Should thou come, my love, to invite 

Beyr, etc. 

Morag of many attractions, 

Beautiful is the inclination of thy 

Beyr, etc. 




Do shuil shiulbhir, shochdrach, mhodhar, 

do hajl buyl-vir hoo-raoh yo'-ar 

Mhireagach, chomlmard, 's i meallach. — 

▼ir-6g-ach choy-nard *b i mellach 

Beir, etc. 

Thy eye is cheerful, slow, kindly, 

Merry, well-shaped, and large.— 
Beyr, etc. 

Deud cailce shnasda na ribhinn, 

deyd oajl-oe hnasda na ri-vinn 

Mar dhisinean air an gearradh.— 

mar yisineii ayr an gerra' 

Beir, etc. 

The chalk- white teeth of the queenly 

Are like dice (skilfully) carved.— 
Beyr, etc. 

A mhaighdeann bhoidheach na'm has 
a vay'-denn Toj'-eeh nam bas 



'S iad cho maoth ri cloimh na h-eala, — 

'0 i-ad oho mao' ri dojr na hda 

Beir, etc. 
'S iomadh oigear a tha'n toir ort 

fli-o-ma' oyger a han tojr ort 

Eadar Morthir agus Mannuinn. — 

edar mor-hir agos mann-njnn 

Beir, etc. 

BeautiAil maiden of the polished 

(That are) as smooth as the down of 
the swan, — 
Beyr, etc. 

Many are the youths who are after 

Between Morir and Mannuynn.— 
Beyr, etc. 

'S iomadh gaisgeach uasal daicheil, 

'a i-o-ma' gajsgeoh n-asal day-ohejl 
Nach obadh le'm ghradhsa tarruinn. — 

nacb oba' lem yra'-aa tarmynn 

Beir, etc. 

Many are the warriors high-blooded 
and stately 

That would not hesitate to draw (Uieir 
swords) for my love. — 
Beyr, etc 

A rachadh le sgiath *s le claidheamh, 
a rach-a' le agi-a' ale day'-ev 

Air bheag sgath gu bial nan cannan.- 
ajr veg sga' ga bi-al nan cannan 

Beir, etc. 

That would advance with sword and 

Without fear, to the muzzle of the 
cannon. — 
Beyr, etc. 

Nach biodh mall a dol an ordugh 
nach bi' mall a dol an ordn' 

A thoirt a mach do choir a dh-aindeoin. — 

a hoyrt a maoh do ohoyr a yayn-de-oyn 

Beir, etc. 

That would not be slow to fall in, 

And vindicate thy right, defyingly.— 
Beyr, etc. 

'S iomadh armunn lasdail treubhach, 

'a i-o-ma' armann laa-dayl treyvach 

Ann an Duueidean, am barrail. — 

ann an don-eyden am barr-aj4 

Beir, etc. 

Many are the warriors, fiery and 

In Dunedin, who think, — 
Beyr, etc. 



Na'n d-thigeadh tu rithist le d' eiridh, 

nan dig-a' ta ri'-ist le dej-ri' 

Ga'n dubladh natrenn mn d' bhratich. — 

gnn dabla' na treyn ma d* vra-tioh 

Beir, eta 

Shouldst thou come again with thy 

That double the number of heroes 
would surround thy standard. — 
Beyr, etc. 

Thigeadh da mhile a Sleibhte, 
h^-e' da vile a eleyvte 

'S reisiamaid a Gleanne-garraidh. — 

'a reTB-i-niayd a gleanna-garr-ay' 

Beir, etc. 

Two thousand would come from Sleat, 

And a regiment from Glengarry. — 
Beyr, etc. 

'S dheanadh gu'n taise leat eiridh, 
's yena' gun tayse let eyri' 

Do chaibtein fhein, Mac-mhic-Aillean. — 

do chayb-tejn heyn mac-vic-ajll-en 
Beir, etc. 

With thee would rise, without timidity, 

Thy own captain, Mac-vic-Aillein. — 
Beyr, etc. 

Thainig e an tus roi* chach leat, 

hajnig e an toe rqy ohaoh let 
'S cha'n fhailnich e ma thig u thairis. — 

^B cha'n ayl-oioh e ma hig u hay-ns 

Beir, etc. 

He was the first to join thee before, 

And will not fail thee, shouldst thou 
come across. — 
Beir, etc. 

Le suinn Uidhist agus Mhuideart, 

le nynn ny-ist ague vny-dert 

'S Arasaig dhu-ghorm a bharraich. — 

's ara-Bayg yn-yorm a Tarr-aych 

Beir, etc. 

With the warriors of Dist and Moidart, 
And green Arisaig of leafy branches. — 
Beyr, etc. 

Ghana, Eige, is Mhorthir — 

ciuuma eyge is Tor-hir 

Do ghaisgeaich chorr do shiol-Aillein.- 

do yaysg-aych cborr do hi-ol-ayll-eyn 

Beir, etc. 

Of Cana, Eig, and Morir — 

All the surpassing heroes of the race 
of Allan. — 
Beyr, etc. 

'Nam Shir Alisdair 's Mhontros, 

nam hir alia-dayr *8 vontros 

Bq bhocain iad do na gallaibh. — 

bo Yoc-ayn i-ad do na gall-ayv 

Beir, etc, 

Dh-fhiach iad latha Inverlochaidh 
yi-ach i-ad la'-a inver-lo-chay' 

Gu'n robh iad eolach air lannaibh. — 
gon rov i-ad eK>-laoh ayr lannay? 

Beir, etc. 

In the time of Sir Alexander and 

They were the terror of the strangers. 

Beyr, etc. 

They showed on the day of Inver- 

That they knew how to wield their 

swords. — 
Beyr, eta 



Am Peairt, Cill-Soidh, is Alt-Eireann, 

am peayrt dU-aoy' h alt-eyriim 

Dh-fhag iad reubalaich gu'n anam. — 

yag i-ad reb-al-ajch gun anam 

Beir, etc. 

In Perth, Kilsyihe, and Auldearn, 

They left the rebels soulless.— 
Beyr, etc. 

Eiridh leat a Ghlinne-chomhan, 
eyri' le-at a glume-oovao 

Bratach choimheach nan geur-lannaibL 

bratach chojvech nan gOTr-lannajy 

Beir, etc. 

With thee will rise the Glencoe meD, 

The fierce standard of sharp swords.— 
Beyr, etc. 

'S eiridh leat a nail Budha 

'a eTri' le-at a nail ro'-a 

Antrim lu-chleasach nan seang-each. — 

antrim la-cfalesaoh nan seng-eoh 

Beir, etc. 

And wiU rise with thee in Badha 

Antrim of deicterous swordsmen and 
shapely steeds. — 
Beyr, etc. 

Druideadh na Gkidheil gu leir nut, 

drnjd-e' na gaj'-el ga leyr ri-nt 

Ge b*e dh-eiridh leat na dh-f hannadh.- 

go b'e yeyr-i' le-at na yanna' 

Beir, etc. 

The Gael will all close around thee, 

Let who will come or remain away.— 
Beyr, etc. 

Shuidh deich mile air cle dhiu 

hnj deyoh mile ayr de yi-n 

An cogadh righ Seumas, nach maireann. 

ooga' ri' Beym-aa naoh mayrenn 


Beir, etc. 

Ten thousand of them sat on tbe 
wattle platform 

In the days of king James, who is no 
more. — 
Beyr, etc. 

*S iomadh clo air an tug iad Caiten 

'a i-o-ma' do ayr an tng i-ad cayten 

Eadar Cat-aobh agus Anuin. — 

edar cat-aoY agns anayn 

Beir, etc. 

On many cloths did they bring a 
rufiSed surface 

Between Caithness and Anuyn.^ 
Beyr, etc. 

Ge d* dhiult cacha dol a luagh leis, 

ge d* yi-nlt oa-cha dol a In-a' lee 
Cha robh gruaman air a bhannal. — 

dia rov grn-a-man ayr a vannal 

Beir, etc. 
Bigh ! bu mhaith a luagh a chlo iad, 

n' ba yay' a In-a' a cblo i-ad 

'S ga dheannadh comhnard le'n lannan. 

'b ga yeyna' eoy-naid lea lannan 

Beir, etc. 

And although others refused to go 

with thee. 
Nor ffloom nor hesitation did they 
snow. — 
Beyr, etc. 

Bi I but they were good at fnlleriiig 

And shaping it with their blades.— 
Beyr, etc. - 



H-uile clo a luaigh iad riamh dhat 

hoyle do a In-aj i-ad ri-aY ynt 

Dh-fhag iad e na stiallan meanadh. — 

yag i-ad e na sti-all-an meira' 

Beir^ etc. 

Teann, tiugh, daingean, fite, luaighte, 
tean d-a' dajmg-en fi-te la-aj'-te 

Daite ruadh le suaicht^ fala. — 

dajte ra-a' le sn-ayoht faU 

Beir, etc. 

Every cloth they ever fullered for 

They left in (measured) webs. — 
Beyr, etc. 

Clean, thick, firmly woven, and ful- 

Dyed red, of the complexion of 
blood. — 
Beyr, eta 

The following verses by the same bard were also sung by the fullers. The 
version of this air submitted to the reader, is from my daughter, Mrs Lang, 

B'fhearr learn breacan uallach, 

bezr le-am breoan n-all-ach 


I prefer the plaid airy 

Ma m' ghnaillean 's ga chuir fo^m achlais, Bound my shoulders, or under my arm, 

mam ya-ayllen 8g;a chajr fom aehlais 

Na ged gheibhein cota 

na ged yeTv-eyn oota 

De 'n chlo is fearr a thig a Sassunn. 

den chlo is feir a hig a aatsnnn 

He an clo-dubh, ho an clo-dubh, 

he an donlaT ho an olo-day 

He an clo-dubh ; V-fhearr leam breacan ; Hey iheblack cloth; give me the plaid; 

he an do-dav berr le-am bre-ao-an 

He an clo-dubh, ho an clo-dubh, 

he an do-dav ho an do-dav 

He an clo-dubh ; b'-fhear leam breacaa Hey the black cloth; give me the plaid. 

he an do-dnv berr le-am bre-ao-an 

To a coat of the best cloth 
That ever came from England. 

Hey iheblack cloth, ho the black cloth, 

Hey the black cloth, ho the black cloth. 

Mo laochan fein am feile, 

mo lao-dian feyn am feiyM 

Nach feumadh ach crios ga ghlasadh, 

oflch feyma' adi cria ga ylas-a' 

Cuaicheanach, deis, eatrom, 

CD-ay-ohen-adi days e-trom 

'Nam euidh gu dol air astar. — 

nam eyri' ga dol ajr aatar 

He, etc. 
'S eibhinn *san dol sios u, 

's eyy-inn aan dol d-oa a 

Nob sgriobair a truail an claidheamh, 

w>yr Bgrib-ajrr a tni-ayl an day'-ev 

My little hero is the kilt. 
That requires but a belt to fasten, 
Plaited, ready, tight, 
In the time of rising to travel — 
Hey, etc. 

Thou art my joy at the time of 

When from the sheath. the blade is 



A chasgairt Dan naimhdean, 

a ohas-gayrt nan najv-den 

Fo shraDDt pbiob is stairn nam bratach.— 

fo b-rannt fi-ob is stayrn nam bratach 

He, etc. 
Bu mhath gii sealg an fheidh u, 

bn ya' ga seig an ey' u 

'Nam eiridh do'n ghrein air creachan ; 
nam ejri' don jreyn ayr creoh-an 

'S dh'fhalabhain leat gu lothar, 
's yalv-ayn let ga lo'-ar 

Di-domhnaich a dol do'n chlachan. — 
di-doF-najch a dol don ohlaohan 

He, etc. 
Laidhinn leat gu h-earbsail, 

lay'-inn let ga h-erb-sayl 
'S mar earba gu'n eiridh 'n grad leat, 

's mar erb-a gan eyri'-n grad let 

Na beallamh am armachd 
na bell-av am arm-ao 

Na dearganach 's musgaidh ghlagach. — 

na deraganaoh 'a mosga' ylagach 

He, etc. 
Air t-nachdar gur sgiamhach 

ajrr ta-aohd-ar gar agiav-ach 

A laidheas sgiath na'm ball breacadh, 

a laj'-es agi-a' nam ball brec-a' 
Glaidheamh air crios sniamhain 

day'-ev ayr cria ani-a-vayn 

A'm fiaradh oscion do phleatan. — 
am fi-a-ra' os-ci-on do flet-an 

He, etc. 
Laidhean air an fbraoch leat, 

lay'-en ayr an raooh let 

Gu gaolach mar aodach-leapa ; 
ga gaol-ach mar aod-ach-l^a 

'Sa dh-aindeoin uisge, is urchaid, 

aa yayn-de-oyn aysg^ is or-chayd 

Na tuil-bbeum gu'm biodh orm fasgadh. 
na tayl-veym gnm bi-o' orm faag-a' 

He, etc. 

'S baganta, grinn, boidheach, 
a bag-an-ta grinn boy^-eoh 

Air bannais 's air mod am breacan. 

ayr bann-ays 'a ayr mod am breo-an 

To CQDquer the enemy, 

Under the resounding war-pipes and 
rustling banners, 
Hey, etc. 

Suitable art thou for deer-stalking, 

When the sun rises over the mountain 
peaks ; 

And modest is thy appearance, 

Travelling to church on Sunday.— 
Hey, etc. 

I would sleep in thee snugly, 


And start with the quickness of the 

More ready in arms 

Than a red-coat with his clumsy 
musket — 
Hey, etc. 

On thee gracefully 

Lies the spotted target. 

The sword, on a winding belt 

Aslant across thy plaits. — 

Hey, etc. 
I would lie on the heather in thee, 
My choice of bed-clothes ; 
In spite of rain, and storm, 

And water-spouts, thou wouldst me 
shelter. — 
Hey, etc. 

Sonsiey tight, and bonny, 

At a wedding or court is the plaid. 



Suas am feile crudchean, 

811-as am fejU cn-ajchen 

'S dealg-gaalainn a cuir air &staidb ! — 

*8 delg-gn-al-aynn a cnyr ayr fiut-aj' 

He, etc. 

Up with the encircling feyle, (belted 

With the shoulder skewer to fasten it 
(on high.) — 
Hey, etc. 


S math a la 's a dh-oich n : 

^8 ma' a la Ba yojoh n 

Tha loinn ort am beinn ^s an cladach ; — 

ha loynn ort am bejmi 'san dad-aph 

'S math am feachd 's an sith u. — 

'8 ma' am feo san ai' a 

Cha righ am fear a chuir as u. — 

cfaa ri' am fer a obayr aa o 

He, etc. 

(}ood is it day and night : 

It is becoming on the mountain or 
the beach ; 

Good in peace or in war. — 

He is no king who suppressed it — 
Hey, etc. 

ShaoU leo gun do mhaolaich-so 
haojl le-o gmi do yaol-aydh-ao 

Faobhar nan Gaidheal tapaidh, 
iao7-ar nan gay' -el tap-ay' 

Ach 's ann a chuir e'n gleus iad, 

ach aann a ohayr e'n gleys i-ad 

'S an geuraidh mar fhaobhar ealtain. — 

san geyr-ay' mar aovar elt-ayn 

He, etc. 

He expected to have blunted 

The zeal of the noble Gael, 

But, instead of doing so, he put them 
on their mettle, 

And made them keen as the razor's 
edge. — 
Hey, etc. 

Gred bheireadh sibh an cridh' asainn, 
ged veyr-e' dv an ori' aa-aynn 

'S air broiUechean sios a shracadh, 

sayr brqyll-ech-en ai-oa a h-rao->a' 

Cha toir sibh asainn Tearlach 
cba toyr aiy aa-aynn ter-lach 

Fhad sa bhios an deo nar pearsa. — 
ad aa Tia an de-o nar peraa 

He, etc. 

Although they should tear open our 

And drag our hearts out of us. 

They will not extract Charles 

While the vital spark remaina — 
Hey, etc. 

Ged chuir sibh oime buarach,* 
ged ohoyr ai? oyme bn-ar-ach 

Tingh duaichnidh gur falbh a bhacadh, 

ti-n' dn-aych-ni' gar fiJv a vao-a' • 

Leannaidh sin cho luadh e 

lenn-ay' nn cho In-a' e 

'8 cho buain ri feidh air a ghlasraidh. — 
^8 cho bn-ayn ri fey' ayr a ylaa-ray' 

He, etc. 

Although they have put a shackle* 
on us. 

Dark, ugly, to trammel our motions, 

We will follow and stick to him as 

And enduringly as the deer to his 
mountains. — 
Hey, etc. 

* A hair thackle put on the hind legs of restiff cows when being milked in the open fieldi. 


Tha sinn san tHsheann nadar, 

ha sum san tenn nadar 

Saa trfhas sinn ro am an ActUy 

san tas sinn ro am an aoa 

Nar pearsanan nar 'd inntinn, 

nar persanan nam inn-tinn 

'S nar rioghalachd cha teid taise. — 

*s nar ri'yal-ao cha teyd tayse 

He, etc. 


We are of the hereditary natare, 

In which we grew before the Act was 

In our persons and minds, 

And in oar loyalty there is no softness. 
Hey, etc. 

The blood in the pulse of our anceston, 

And the instinct of their minds, 

Si an fhuil bha'n cuisle air sinnsir, 

si an uyl va'n oayal^ ayr sinn-sir 

'S an innsginn bha nan aigne, 

san inn-sgin Ta nan aygne 

A dh-f hagadh dhuinn mar dhileab, — Left us as a bequest, — 

a yag-a' ynynn mar yil-eb 

Bhi rioghail — sin air paidir I — 

ri-yayl o sin ayr pay-dir 

Loyalty— oh, that is our creed !— 


He, etc. 

Ge d' f huair sibh lamh an uachdar, 

ged hn-ayr sit lay an n-ao-ar 

Aon uair oirn le seorsa tapaig, 

aon Q-ayr oyn le se-or-sa tap-ayg 

Blar eile fhad sa *s beo e 

blar eyle ad sas be-o e 

Cha choisin feoladair do Shassuun. — 

cha ohoysin fe-ol-a-dayr do hass-nnn 

He, etc 

Hey, etc. 

Although they got the upper hand 
for once, 

By a mixture of treachery and chance. 
Never, while he lives, will the Butcher 

Over us gain another 
Hey, etc. 

battle for 

When substituting the feudal for the patriarchal system, the kings of 
Scotland and their feudal creatures, as the last resort, used the most subtle 
means for drawing such clans as proved obstinately determined on holding their 
lands by the free hereditary Oleachda, into a quarrel with some powerful feudal 
neighbour, who could, either by his own strength or by means of alliances witb 
other feudal magnates, defeat them in battle, and thus reduce them into the 
condition described in feudal statutes as ^* broken clans.*' To be denounced 
as a broken clan was tantamount to being outlawed, and left to the mercy of 
all and sundry who were able and willing to take their lives and estates. The 
Clan-Gregor was drawn into a quarrel of this kind ; but being a high-minded 
and a powerful clan, of royal lineage, and of the most illustrious charactei, 
unusual pains were taken to make the Country believe that they had provoked 
their doom, by acting wifh great treachery and cruelty toward their oppcmeuts. 
It was alleged, that during the battle of Glenfruin, from a diabolical spirit of re- 
venge, they had set fire to a school-house or college over the heads of the children 
of the opposing clan ; and, to confirm the statement, a procession was formed of \ 
women, to wait on the king at Stirling, and expose before him the bloody shirts 
of their slain husbands. The so called wives were loose women, hired for 


payment in Glasgow, &c. ; and the bloody shirts were shirts dipped in the blood 
of sheep or cattle. But the solemn farce afforded the just and tender-hearted 
king a glorious opportunity of displaying his great generosity and inflexible 
justice, and at the same time of putting a very large part of the lawless 
Highlands under the feudal yoke. The whole clan Gregor, of whom only a 
small minority were in the engagement, were accordingly outlawed and pros- 
cribed, and their very name, — one of the oldest and noblest in Scotland, — ^put 
down by law. They were hunted with blood-hounds, and all but exterminated, 
and their extensive clan districts divided among their powerful feudal neighbours. 
The crime which brought on them this cruel treatment was simply their 
conservatism. They obstinately refused to consent to such a change in the 
free land-tenures of their fathers as would put their lives and estates under 
the despotic will and pleasure of their kings. 

This cruel persecution, and the unflinching endurance of the Macgregors 
in adversity, occupy a great space in the poetry and traditions of the Highlands. 
** Macgreagair o Buadhro*' seems to have been a favourite air with those who 
wrote songs on the subject, for there are several elegiacs composed to that air, 
all of them sweet and beautiful, and little calculated to countenance belief in 
the vengeful spirit ascribed to the Macgregors; but even the generous and 
kindly Sir Walter Scott, from his perverted feudal education and ignorance of 
Graelic poetry, believed these slanders, and, in consequence was incapable of 
doing justice to the Macgregors. We have from twenty to thirty volumes 
containing specimens of Gaelic poetry from the days of Fingal to the present 
day, and no one will find in the whole mass a single verse breathing the ferocious 
spirit of vengeance inspired into the " Macgregor's Gathering" by the amiable 
Sir Walter Scott; so much more humane and magnanimous were the old 
Highlanders for the last two thousand years than the best representative-speci- 
men of feudalism even in the nineteenth century. The words and melody of 
'* Macgreagair o Rudhro" breathe a very different spirit, though not less heroic. 
The fact is, that there never were a people less addicted to revenge than the 
Highland clans. We have, in Gaelic, names descriptive and distinct for every 
passion, excepting revenge. But revenge was as alien to the genius of our clans 
and country as feudalism. We have therefore no words in Gki.elic whereby 
to express either revenge or feudal titles. Even our prolific dictionary-makers 
have failed to find in Gaelic a word descriptive of or distinct for revenge. For 
it is shown in many of our hilarious drinking songs, that *^ dioF^ (which is their 
only word for revenge) means," to pay the lawing : " Ge be dh-olas 's tu dhtolasj^ 
(whoever drinks, yon pay) '^ge be brandai, beoir, na fion e, dian an stopsa dhomhsa 
liona ; 's mis am fear nae sor' a Mioladh ge 'd chosta fhiach an dhomh suim," 
(let it be brandy, beer, or wine, fill me this stoup ; I am the man that will not 
grudge to pay, though its price would cost a sum.) Now, let the reader 
consult the Bev. Drs Macleod and Dewar's Dictionary, and he will find that the 
only word available to these eminent Gaelic scholars to describe this (according 
to feudal writers) deadly and inflexible trait in the native Highland character, 
revenge, is dial/ — a word BoJlexibU as to be thus translated by the Beverend 




Doctors : — " Diol^ avenge, revenge ; pay ; render ; fill ; satisfy ; reason. Did, 
recompence, satisfiswtion, retribution ; reward, hire ; satiety ; an object, an end 
proposed ; fate, destiny ; the act of weaning as of a child." I have shown in 
my Lecture on the Caledonians and Scots, that the very language of the Gael 
thus furnishes the means of refuting all the ignorant and ill-natured misstatements 
as to the social condition and character of the Highland clans ; and, when to 
these is added the evidence of refined tastes and generous feelings and 
sentiments furnished by their poetry and music, it must, indeed, indicate utter 
degeneracy on the part of modem Highlanders, imless they vindicate that 
character against the cruel and unjust charge of lawless barbarity. Even 
assuming, in accordance with the vulgar (but most erroneous) impressioD, that 
the people of the Britisli Empire are of two different races, surely each of these 
races, if honesty will feel it a duty to do justice to ita fellow race. 

Two lines of every verse in the following measure, and all similar songs, were 
sung as a chorus by the audience, which had a most pleasing and pathetic effect; 
hence their repetition in the succeeding verse of two lines of the former verse. 


Tha mulad, tha mulad, 
ha mnlad ha mulad 

Tha mulad am lionadh ; 

ha mnlad am li-o-na' 

Lion mulad bochd truagh mi, 

li-on mnlad boo tra-a' mi 

'S cha dual dhomh dheth direadh ; 

'a cha du-al 707 jt' dir-e' 

Oh sorrow, oh sorrow. 

Deep sorrow has seized me; 

My soul is filled with a sorrow 

From which I am not destined to 
find relief; 

Lion mulad bochd truagh mi, 

li-oQ mnlad boo tra-a' mi 

Cha dual dhomh dheth direadh, 
oha dn-al yov ye' dir-e' 

Mu Mhac-Greagair o Buadhro, 

mn vac-gre-gayr rn-a-io 

Ga'm bu dual bhi 'n Gleannlion ; 

gam ba dn-al Ti^n glenn-li-oa 

My soul is filled with a sorrow 

From which I am not destined to 
find relief. 

About Macgregor of Buadhro, 
Whose right is Glenlyon ; 

Mu Mhac-Gieagair o Buadhro, 

mn vao-gre-gajrr ra-a-ro 

Ga'm bu dual bhi *n Gleannlion ; 

gam bn dn-al yi^n glenn-H-on 

Macgreogair na'n gaisgeach, 

mao-gre-gayr nan gays-geoh 

Na*m bratach, 's na'm piobain ; 
nam brat-aoh 's nam pt-ob-ayn 

About Macgregor of Buadhro, 
Whose right is Glenlyon ; 
Macgregor of the warriors. 
The banners, and war-pipes ; 


Macgreagair na'n gaisgeach, 

mao-gre-gSTr nan gays-gech 

K'a'm bratach, 's na'm piobain, 

nam brat-acb 's nam pi-ob-ajn 

Oa'm bu shuadhcheantas giubhas, 

gam ba ba-a-chen-taa gi-n-yas 
Ri bmdhach ga dbireadh ; 

bru'-ach ga yir-e' 



Macgregor of the warriors, 
The banners, and war-pipes, 
Whose badge was the fir, 
When ascending the mountains ; 

G^a'm bu shuadhcheanteas giubhas, 

ba ha-a-chentas gi-a-vas 

brudhach ga dbireadh ; 
n brn'-aob ga yir-e' 

Saighdean caol air an deagh lochdradh, 
say-den caol ajr an de-a' looh-xa' 

Is itean dosrach an f hirean ; 

is it-en dos-rach an ir-en 

Whose badge was the fir, 

When ascending the mountains ; 

Who loved the slender arrows, well 

Tipped with the feathers of the eagle ; 

Saighdean caol air an deagh lochradh, 

aaj-den caol ajr an de-a' loch-ra' 

^S itean dosrach an fhirean ; 

^8 it-en do8-raob an ir-en 

Saighdean caol air an deagh shnaigheadh 

flfty-den caol ajr an de-a' naj-e' 

'B-ann do dh-aigher mhic righ e. 

b*ann do yeyer vie ri' e 


Who loved the slender arrows, well 

Tipped with the feathers of the eagle ; 

Slender arrows well polished (waxed) 

Was part of the delight of the 
descendant of kings. 


Ged a bhuaileadh mi 'm balach 
ged a Toajl-e' mim bal-ach 

Gra ghearran cha bhi mi ; 

ga ye-airan cha vi mi 

'S luchd a ghabhail mo leith-sgeulf 

's loo a ya-Tayl mo le'-sgeyl 

Ann san t-cheapal nan sineadh ; 

ann san tep-al nan sin-e' 

Though a boor should strike me 
I will not complain ; 
(For) those that would take my partf 
Are stretched in the chapel ; 

Luchd a ghabhail mo leithsgeul 
lac a ya-Tayl mo le'-sgeyl 

Ann san t-cheapal nan sineadh ; 

ann san tep-al nan sin-e' 

Those that would take my part 
Are stretched in the chapel ; 

* The above stars do not mean that the verses are lost. The ballad has three parts, but I can afford 
space only for a few of the first verses of each. They bear me out, however, in showing that, although 
on the subject of the persecution, they breathe anything but a ferocious and vengeful spirit. 

t LdthHBgeul, literally, ez parti statement. That is, they would take her own word for the truth of her 
grievance, and address themselves, off-^iand, to doing her justice. Queiy : Were the people so truthful 
as to leave no doubt on the minds of their friends as to the truth of their statements ? Or were the clans 
so regardless of truth and justice as to be equally ready to take the part of their own members, right or 
wrong ? The above mode of expression, which means espousing ones cause on their ex parti statement, 
implies either the one or the other, if the idiom of a language is capable of throwing light on the mode 
of thinking and character of a people. 



Luchd a sheasaibh mo chorach, 

loo a hes-ajy mo ohor-ach 
'S mor mo leon iad bhi dhith orm ; 

*8 mor mo le-on i-ad yi yV orm 

Luchd a sheasaibh mo chorach, 

luo a hes-ayr mo chor-aoh 

'S mor mo leon iad bhi dhith orm ; 

*fl mor mo le-on i-ad vi yi' orm 

Qed a nitear orm eacoir, 

ged a ni-ter orm e-ooyr 

Co ni m' eiric a dhioladh ? 

00 ni meyrio a yi-ol-a' 

Dean do leabadh 's na creagan, 

den do leba' 's na creg-an 
'S na caidil ach eatrom ; 

's na cayd-il ach e-trom 

Gred is ainmic an f heorag 

ged 18 ayn-mic an e-o-rag 

Gheabhar seol air a faotain ; 

yevar se-ol ayr a faotayn 

Ged is ainmic an fheorag 

ged 18 ayn-mic an e-o-rag 

Gheabhar seol air a faotain ; 

yeyar se-ol ayr a faotayn 

'S ged is naibhreach an seobhag, 

'8 ged is Q-ay-yrech an se-o-yag 

'S trie a ghlacar le foil e, &c. 

*8 trio a ylac-ar le foyl e 

Those that would stand by my righte, 
Great is my wound deprived of them ; 

Those that would stand by my rights, 

Great is my wound deprived of them ; 

Though evil be done to me, 

Who will exact my erid* (compensa- 


Make thy bed in the rocks, 
And sleep but lightly ; 
Though the squirrel is rare 
There is a way to find her ; 

Though the squirrel is rare 

There is a way to find her ; 

Though proud is the hawk, 

He has been often taken treacherouslr, 

William Boss, whose romantic love, disappointment, and early death, 
attaches more interest to his poetry than it of itself is capable of inspiriog, 
wrote one of his love songs to &e air of *' Lochaber no more,'* which has been 
changed in the Lowlands into various versions, none of them to be compared 
to the original melody, excepting the version called " Lord Ronald my Soa" 
I have only the first two lines of the original words, which, however, are well 
known in Benderloch. The verses begin :— 

Mu'n cuairt do Lochcrearain cha teid mi Around Lochcrerain I will go neyer, 

gu brath, 

Gu'n bhogadh gu'n saighead gu'n Without a bow, an arrow, and a two- 

chlaidheamh da laimh. handed sword. 

* I have Btaftd elsewheie that there was no oapital pcmiahmenti among the polxiaicfaAl choi, 
exceptiiig for crimes tteaoheroiis or infamons, which placed the criminal beyond the power of the Brditt 
oonit, and ander the exolnriye jnrisdictian of the Dmids. How coold revenge be a ohaiacteiutic of i 
people who were trained and brought np for thousands of yean under a law and a religioa utterly 
incompatible with such a spirit ? 



The only verses of this song I can find room for is sung to the air of 
" Mu'n cuairt do Lochcrearain." 

a graceful tree, 



Our gille mo leannan nan eaV air an Whiter is my love than a swan when 

gor giUe mo len-an nan el ayr an swimming 

t-shnamh, *' 


Gut binne i nan smeorach 'm barraibh Sweeter is her voice than a thrush on 

gor biiin i nan sme-or-ach 'm ban-ajT 
ro-chrann sa mhaigh, 

ro-chrann sa vay' 

Tha i pailt ann an ceutddh, an ceil, is She is rich in beauty, in wisdom, in 

ha i paylt ann an oey-tay^ an oeyl is 
an uaill; 

an nayl 

'Se chuir iuadach air m' eibhneas, 
86 ohnjr fn-a-dadi ajr meymes 

Bhi a t-eugmhais 'san uair. 

▼i a teyg-vays san n-ayr 

dignity ; 

It has banished my happiness 
To be without her at this time. 

Fatm: — 
Seinn eibhinn, seinn eibhinn, seinn 

seynn eyvinn seynn eyrinn seynn 
eibhinn gu'n dail ; 

eyrinn gun dayl 

Seinn eibhinn, seinn eibhinn, seinn 

aeynn eyrinn s^nn eyvinn seynn 

eibhinn gach la ; 
eyvinn gach hi 

Seinn eibhinn, binn eibhinn, seinn 

aeynn eyvinn binn eyvinn seynn 

eibhinn a ghnath ; 
eyvinn a yna' 

Seinn eibhinn, binn eibhinn, a chuir 

seynn eyvinn binn eyvinn a chnyr 

m' eislein gu lar. 

meylenn gn hur 

Chorus: — 

Sing joyously, sing joyously, sing 
joyously without delay ; 

Sing joyously, sing joyously, sing 
joyously every day ; 

Sing joyously, sweetly-joyously, sing 
joyously cJways ; 

Sing joyously, sweetly-joyously, to 
banidi my grief 

Se do mhanran bu mhian leam 's e gun Thy endearments, without fitful ex- 
86 do vanran bo vi-an le-am 'se gon citements or gloom, are my delight; 

fhiaras gu'n ghruaim ; 

i-a-zas gnn yrn-aym 

'S noir a sheinneas tu oran, 's tu binne And when singing thine is the sweetest 

's noyr a beynnes tn oran 'stn Innne melody ; 

cheolaireadh fiiaim ; 
ehe-o-Uyre' fn-aym 



Dh-eireadh m' inntinn ga abhachd, aig 

yeyra' mmntinn gn av-ao ayg 

aireamh gach buidh, 

ayrer gaoh bn-aj' 

A tha coilionte am leaDnan, baindith, 

a ha ooyli-ODt^ am lennan bajndi' 

farasda suairc. 
faraada su-aTro 

'S binn cnach agus smeorach an ogain 

'fl binn ca-ach ague Boie-o-raoh an og-ayn 

nan gleann, 

nan glenn 

Noir bhios ceo tiamhaidh doiler air doire 

nojrr vis oe-o ti-av-aj dojier ayr doyre 

na mang ; 
na numg 

Acb 's binne mo leannan, coimhneal, 

acha binne mo lennan ooynel 

farasda, ciuin, 

fanuda oi-nyn 

A lasadh eibhneis le h-orain, le comhradh, 

a lasa' eyy-uis le hor-ayn le oovra' 
's le m' muirn. 

ale mnyrn 

Ge do bhithinn an eugail, '8 an leigh a 

ge do Ti'-inn an ejgail 'ean ley' a 
toirt duail 

toyrt dn-ayl 

Nach bith comhair an dan dhomb acb 

nach bi' oovayr an dan yov ach 

bas an gearr uinn, 

bas an gerr nyn 

Chuireadh sealladh dbe m' ribhinn mo 

choyre' aella' ye m' ri-vinn mo 

mhigean air cbul, 

vi-gen ayr chnl 

Ghlacbain binneas na smeoraich 

ylao-ayn binnee na sme-o-raych 

gheibbinn solas as ur. 

yeyy-inn solas as nr 


My mind rises Yrith joy when nninber- 
ing every virtue 

Combined in my love, who bae 
easiness, delicacy, and modesty. 

Sweet is the cushet and the thmsh on 
the saplings in the glens, 

When mist silent and shadowy winds 
aromid the grove of roes ; 

But sweeter is my love, kind, afibble, 

Kindling joy with her songs, her con- 
verse, her cheerfulnesa 

Thouffh prostrated in sickness, and 
the doctor should say 

That relief was not possible, and 
death suddenly would be mine, 

A sight of my queenly maiden would 
banish my ailments. 

I would catch the sweetness of the 
thrush, and receive new joy and 

Mr A Carmichael of the Inland Bevenue sent me the following verse 
melody, ascribed to " a leannan sith," or fairy sweetheart, whose human lover 
seems to have given her more of his work than of his company. There are 
many sweet fragments of the same class in my possession, for which I cannot 
make room ; l^ut I insert '* Buain na Rainich," (cutting the ferns,) because it 
affords me an opportunity of acknowledging my obligations to this enthusiastic 
Highlander, who has sent me an immense number of songs and melodies, for 



none of which, excepting the present fragment, can I find nse at present ; but 
that does not lessen my sense of his kindness and attention ; and I beg his 
aeceptance of my sincere thanks. 


Tha mi sgith 's mi leam f bin, 

ha mi 8gi' *0im le-am hia 

H-nille latha a buain na rainaich ; 
hajUe la'-a a bu-ajn na rajn-aych 

Tha mi sgith 's mi leam f bin, 

ha mi sgi' 'nni le-am bin 

H-uiUe latha m' onar; 

hnylle la'-a monar 
Cul an tomain, braigh an tomain, 

col an tom-ajn braj' an tom-ayn 


Cul an tomain bhoidhich ; 

cnl an tom-ayn voy-ich 

Cul an tomain, braigh an tomain, 

cnl an tom-ayn bray' an tom-ayn 

H-nille latha m' onar. 

hnyUe la'-a monar 

I am tired, all by myself, 

Every day cutting ferns ; 

I am tired, all by myself, 

Every day so lonely ; 

On the back of the knoll, the top of 
the knoll. 

On the back of the bonny knoll ; 

On the back of the knoll, the top of 
the knoll. 

Every day so lonely. 

The following song is by Donnach Ban nan Oran, the Glenorchy bard ; but 
I have not succeeded in getting a good set of the air. It is addressed, in 
gratitude, to the foxes, because they killed the sheep. 


Mo bheannachd aig na balgairean 

mo Tonnao ayg na balg-ajr-en 

A chionn bhi sealg nan caoraclu 

a chi-onn tl sealag nan oaorach 

Ho hu, ho ho, na balgairean, 
ho hn ho ho na balg-ayr-en 

O's ainmig iad ri f haotain ; 

08 aynimig i-ad ri ao-tayn 

Ho hu, ho ho, na balagairean. 

ho ha ho ho na balg-ayr-en 

My blessing on the foxes 
That hunt (and kill) the sheep. 
Ho hu, ho ho, the foxes, 
they are (too) rare to be found ; 
Ho hu, ho ho, the foxes. 

It is the grey-faced sheep 

'S iad na caoraich cheann-riach 

^8 i-ad na caor-ayoh chenn-ri-ach 

Binn aineart feadh an t-shaoghail. — That have oppressed the wold.— 

rinn ayn-ert fe' an tao'-ayl 

Ho, etc. 

Am fearann chuir iad fas oirn, 

am fer-ann chnyr i-ad fiu oym 

'Sa mal chuir iad an daoraid. — 
sa mal ohnyr i-ad an daor-ayd 

Ho, etc. 

Ho, etc. 

They have made a desert of the 

And made the rents dearer. — 

Ho, etc. 



Cha *n 'eil ait ga thuanachadh, 

cha neji ayt ga hn-an-aoh-a' 

Tha chair sa bhaain air claonadh. — 

ha chnjr sa Tu-ajn ayr daoo-a' 

Ho, etc. 

There is not sach a thing as culti?a- 

Sowing and reaping have ceased.— 
Hoy etc. 

'S eigin dhuinn bhi fagail 

's eyg-ia juyn yi ia-gayl 

Na tir aillidh an robh air daoine. — 

na tir ajli' an iot ayr daoyoe 

Ho, eta 

We most of necessity leave 

The beantifnl country in which om 
people were reared. — 
Ho, eta 

'S na sraithean is na h^^airidhean, 

na sray'-ea is na hay'ri-en 

Am faighte blath 's is fitoileachd,- 
am fiiyte Ua' 'sis fiu>yl-6c 

Ho, etc. 

The strath and shieling, 

In which were found a warm hospi- 
Ho, etc. 

Cha 'n 'eil a nis ach laraichean 

cha neyl a nis ach hir-aych-en 

*N ait* nan taighean aoidheil.— 

nayt nan tay'-en aoy'-eyl 

Ho, etc. 

Contain only crumbling ruins 

Instead of social dwelling-hous^— 
Ho, etc. 

Cha 'n 'eil sunnd air aiteachadh 

cha neyl sonnd ayr ayt-coh-a' 
Aig traigh na air na raointean. — 

ayg tray na ayr na raoyn-ten 

Ho, eta 

There is no vigorous cultivation 

On shore or wold. — 
Ho, eta 

Tha h-uile seol a b' abhaist 

ha hnyle se-ol a bav-ayst 

Ann sa Ohaidheallachd air caochladh. 
ann sa yay'-d-tao ayr caoch-hi' 

Ho, etc. 

Every custom that was 

In the Highlands is changed.- 
Ho, etc. 

Air cinntinn cho mi-nadurra 

ayr dnn-tinn cho mi-na-dorra 

*S na h-aiteau a bha aoidheal. — 

*s na hayt-enn a va aoy'-d 

Ho, etc. 

The people have become unnatural 
In places that were so hospitable.— 
Ho, etc. 

Cha 'n 'eil capul tacarach, 

cha neyl capnl taoara' 

Is serrach aig a taobh ann, — 

is serrach ayg a taov ann 

Ho, etc. 

There is no fruitful brood-mare 

Seen with a foal by her side, — 
Ho, etc. 



Cha 'n 'eO boin 's aigheaD aillidh, 

cha neyl hoja *8 «j'-en ayll-i' 

'G arach an cuid laogh aDD. — 

gar-ach an cayd lao' ann 

Ho, etc. 

Nor cows nor beautiful queys, 

Rearing their calves there. — 
Ho, etc. 

Cba 'n 'eil feum air gruagaichean, 

cha neyl feym ayr gra-ag-ayoh-en 

Tha h-uile buail air sgaoileadL — 

ha hayle ba-ayl ayr sgaoyle' 

Ho, etc. 

There is no demand for young women, 

For every fold is dispersed. — 
Ho, etc. 

Cha'n fhaigh gille tuarasdal 

eha'n ay' gfll4 to-ar-as-dal 

Ach buachaille nan caorach. — 

ach ha-a-ohaylle nan oaoraeh 

Ho, etc. 

No lad will get employment 

Excepting to herd sheep. — 
Ho, eta 

Dh-f halbh na gabhair riomhach 

yaly na gav-ayr ri-o-yaoh 

'S bu pherseil is bu shaor iad. — 

'a bo fii-aeyl is bn baor i-ad 

Ho, etc. 

The pretty goats are banished, 

That were bo valuable and cheap. — 
Ho, etc. 

Earba bheag nan duslain 

eiaba veg nan dns-layn 

Cha duisgear i le bla(^han. — 

oha dnyag-er i le blao'-an 

Ho, etc. 

The little roe of dark coverts 

Will not be waked by the fawn-cry. — 
Ho, etc. 

Cha *n 'eil fiadh air fuaran, 

cha neyl fi-a' ajrr fa-a-ian 

O'n thagh na h-uislean caoirich.- 
on ha' na hoys-len caoyrich 

Ho, etc. 

No deer are to be found among the 

Since gentlemen have given the 
preference to sheep. — 
Ho, eta 

Tha gach frith' ear fuasgailte, 

ha gaoh M er fti-as-gaylt 
Gu'n duals air son a shaothreach.- 

gim dn-aysayr son a haoy'-rech 

Ho, etc. 

Every forester is dismissed. 

Receiving no reward for his trouble. — 
Ho, etc. 

'S diombach air an duine mi 

*8 di-om-bftoh ayr an dayne mi 

Ni na sionnaich aoireadh, — 

ni na si-oon-ayoh aoyr-e' 

Ho, eta 

My displeasure to the man 

That would cry down the foxes, — 

Ho, etc. 




Chuii'eas cu ga*n ruagadh, 

chnyr-ea ca gan ru-a-ga' 

Na thilgeas luaidhe chaol orr\- 

bilg-es la-ay' chaol orr 

Ho, etc*. 


Who would send a dog to chase them, 

Or would fire at them with small shot 
Ho, etc. 

Gu^m bu slan na cuileanan 

gam bu slan na cayl- en-en 

Tha fuireach an san tnshaobhaidh. — 
ha fuyr-ech an san taov-ay' 

Ho, etc. 

Health be to the cubs 

That dwell in their rocky nursery — 
Ho, etc. 

Na'm faigheadh iad mo dhurachd, 

nam foy'-e' i-ad mo yar-ao 

Cha churam dhoibh cion saoghail. — 

oha oharam yoyv cm sao'-ayl 

Ho, etc. 

If they receive my desire, 

There is no danger but they will long 
live. — 

Ho, etc. 

They will have good luck, 

Bhiodh piseach air an oigridh, 

▼i-o' pia-eoh ayr an oyg-ri' 

Is bhiodh beo gus a marbh aois iad. — And live till age kills theuL — 
is Ti-o' be-o gas a marv aoys i-ad 

Ho, etc. 

Ho, etc. 

Having been unable to get a good set of the air of the above duanag^ I 
give a verse or two of another oran luaidh^ by the same gifted baid, a pretty 
good set of which I can submit 



Though arms have been put dowD, 

Ged tha bacadh air na h-armaibh, 

ged ha baca' ayr na har-mayy 

Ghleidh mi Spainteach thun na seilge ; 

yley' mi spayn-teoh ban na seylg^ 

Ge do rinn i orm cho cearbach, 

ge do rinn i onn cho oerb-ach 

*S nach do mharbh i mac na h-eilde. 
's naoh do Tarv i mao na heyl-dd 

I have retained a Spanish piece for 
stalking ; 

But it has used me shabbily, * 
In not killing the son of the hind. 

Chunnaic mi *n damh donn *s na h-eilden, 

chann-ayo mi'n dav donn 'sna heyl-den 

A direadh a bhealaich le cheile ; 

a dir-e' a vel-ayoh le cheyld 

Chunnaic mi 'n damh donn's na h-eilden. 
ohonn-ayo mi'n dav donn ^sna heyl-den 

I saw the brown stag and the hinds 

Together ascending the defile ; 

I saw the brown stag and the hinds. 



'Nuair a dh-eirich mi sa mhaduin, 

na-ajr a yeyr-ich mi sa vad-nyn 

Chair mi innte fudar Ghlascho, 

chnjr mi inn-te fudar ylas-oho 

Peiller tenn, is tri puist Shass'nach, 

peyU-er tenn is tri pnjst hass-naoh 

'S cuifein asgairt air a dheidh sin. — 

's cayf-en as-gayrt &yr a yey' sin 

Chunnaic, etc. 

When I got up in the morning, 

I put in her a charge of Glasgow 

A tight bullet, three Sassanach slugs, 

And a colfin of tow after them. — 
I saw, etc. 

Bha'n spor ur an deigh a breacadh, 

van spor or an dey' a brec-a' 
Ghuir mi uille ris an acuin, 

cbnyr mi ujll^ ris an ac-ayn 

'S eagal driuchd bha mudan craicin 

's eg-al dri-acbd ya mu-dan crayc-in 

Oumail fasgaidh air mo cheile. — 

com-ayl fas-gay' ayr mo ohey-1^ 

Chunnaic, etc. 

The new flint was chipped, 

There was oil applied to the lock, 

And, to ward off dew, a skin mantle 

Afforded shelter to my spouse. — 
I saw, etc. 

Laidh an eillid air an fhuaran ; 

lay' an eyll-id ayr an a-a-ran 
Chosd mi rithe mo chuid luaidhe ; 

ohoed mi ri'-i' mo chayd In-ay'-d 

'S noir a shaoil mi i bhi buailte, 

^8 noyr a haoyl mi i vi bu-aylt^ 

Sin an uair a b-aird' a leum i. — 

an an n-ayr a bayrd a leym i 

Chunnaic, etc. 

The hind lay on the meadow ; 

I expended my shot on her ; 

But when I thought she was struck. 

That was the time at which her 
bounds were highest. — 
I saw, etc. 

Bi dnn beo an dochas ro-mhath 

bi dnn be-o an do-ohas ro-va' 

Gu'm bi chuis ni 's fhear a t-ath la ; 

gam bi ohnys ni's er a ta' bi 

Gu'm bi gaoth is grian is talamh, 
gam bi gao' is gri-an is talav 

Mar is maith linn air na sleibhtein. — 

bar is ma/ linn ayr na siyv-teyn 

Chunnaic, etc. 
Bitbidh an luaidh ghlas na deannaibh, 

bi'-i' an In-ay' ylas na denn-ayv 

Siubhal reith aig gaothair sheangadh, 

8i-ttval rey' ayg gao'-ayr beng-a' 
Na daimh dhonn a sile faladh, 

na dayy yonn a sii-^ fa-la' 

'S abhachd aig na fearaibh gleusda. — 
*8 av-ac ayg na fer-ayv gleys-da 

I saw, etc. 

But we must live in the good hope 

That the case next day will be better ; 

That the lay of the ground, the wund 
and the sun. 

Will be as we would have them on 
the wolds. — 
I saw, etc. 

The grey lead will then speed (on its 

The hounds have a free course. 

The brown stags bleeding. 

And the hunters merry. — 
Chunnaic, etc. 




Vain is my hope of sleep, 

Gar faoin mo laaidh air cadal, 

gnr ftoyn mo lu-a/ ajr cadal 

'S mi sior acain na bheil bh-uam, — 

'i mi si-or ao-ajn na yejl m-am 

Comunn is deo-choimhneas 

oo-mmm la de-o-chojT-nes 

Na te dh-fhag mi*n raoir fo ghmaim : 
oa te yag min royr fo jni-aym 

Tha mi ami an aisling leat, 

ha mi ami an ayaliog let 

Gach uair a ni mi suain, 

gach n-ayr a ni mi sa-ayn 

'S trom m' osnadh noir a dhuisgeas mi, 

itrom mos-na' nojr a jnjsg-es mi 

Air bhi dhomh d' iondrain uam. 
ajr ?i jov d' i-on-drayn n-am 

While continually yearning for that 
which is afar, — 

The ccHnpanionship and bUst kindoesB 
Of herwhom I left yesterday in soirow: 
I am in dreams with thee, 
Whenever slumber takes me, 
And deep are my sighs when I wake 
On missing thy presence. 

Ach coim* mo luaidh air osnadh, 
aoh 007m mo la-ay' ayr oa*na' 

0* na choisinn mi do dheoin, 

o na ofaoysinn mi do ye-oyn 

'S an gaol a thug sin aontachail, 

san gaol a bog suk aontacb-ayl 

Nach caochail e ri'r beo ? 

naoh caoch-ayl e ri'r be-o 

'S ioma latha aonarach 

ri-oma la'-a aonar-ach 

A shaor u mi 0* bhron, 

a haor a mi yron 

Lead mhanran baigheal maighdeannael,- 
led Yannmn bay'-el maydennel 

Mo roghainn thair gach ceol. 

mo ro'-inn hayr gach oe-oi 

But why do I mention sighs, 

Since I have gained thy consent, 

And the Ioyo we have mutually con- 

Will not die while we live ? 

Many a lonely day 

Hast thou freed me from sorrow, 

With thy minstrelsy tender (and) 
maidenly, — 

My choice above all music. 

Thug mise gaol da riridh dhut, 

hog mi-8e gaol da ri-ri' yat 

Noir bha u d* nionaig og, 

noyr Ta u d' ni-on-ayg og 

'B air mo laimh cha dhibrinn e, 
'aayr mo lav cha yib-rimi e 

Air ionmhas na Roinn-Eorp' ; 

ayr i-on-vaa na royn-e-orp 

Ged a dhiante a chuntas dhomh, 

ged a yi-an-le a ohnntaa yoy 

Gu dubailt air a bhord, 
ga dn-bayU ayr a vord 

I have given thee my love truly, 

When thou wert a young lasde. 

And, on my hand, I would not re- 
nounce it, 
For the treasures of Europe ; 

Although they should be counted down 

Doubled upon the table, 



Cha thieiginn gaol na ribhinue 
cha trejg-inn gaol na ri-Tiime 

Tha'n He ghlas an f heoir. 

han i-le ybs an e-ojr 

I woold not forsake the love of the 
queenly maiden 

Of gray and grassy Iday. 

I have not been able to procure a copy of the beautiful verses I have 
beard sung to the air of '' Oich mar tha mi." The fragment here patched up is 
submitted merely for the melody. We have none to do for Gaelic vrhat the 
immortal Bums did for the Lowland Scotch poetry, otherwise many a highly 
interesting volume might soon be made up. 


Oich, mar tha mi fo phramh 's fo eislein ; Alas I I am ailing and sorrowful ; 

rch mar ha mi fo firav '0 fo e/Bleyn 

rnuair mi sgeuladh a leir 's a leon mi, — 
ha-ajr mi agojla' a leyr 'a a le-on mi 

Mo chreach *s mo dhiobhail nach ro* 
mo chraoh 'amo yiyayl naeh ro 

mi*n He, 

mi^n i-]^ 

'S mo chruinneag dhileas adol a phosadh. 

amo ohrnynneg yi-les a dol a foaa' 

I have news that has me pained and 
wounded, — 

'Tis my ruin irremediable that I am 
not in Islay, 

And my beloved maiden going to be 

Mar aiteal ceitein an doire geugach, 
mar aytel ceyteyn an doyie gey-gaoh 

Tha eibhneas diomhair a t-aite comh- 
ha eyy-nw di-o-vayr a tayt^ oot- 

nuidh : 


An dieach, an aillidh, an cliu, 's an 

an drech an aylfi' an di-a 'a an 

ceutabh : 

Cha d'fhuair mi leirsin air te thug corr ort. 

cha do-ajr mi leyr-sin ayr te hog corr ort 

As the breath of May in a leafy grove, 

Thy presence breathes a secret joy 
tnrough thy dwelling : 

Thou art symmetrical, beautiful, of 
fair repute, and fascinating : 

My eyes have not seen one who sur- 
passed thee. 

Tha i aoigheal, cridheil, baigheil ; 

ha i ao/-el ori'-el bay'-el 

'S h-inntinn saibheir le tur 's le foghlum ; 

sa hinn-tinn fiayveyr le tnr 'de fo'-lam 

A caint mar cheol tigh'n inneal 

a caynt mar die-ol ti'n innel 


Ni*n cridhe a thalladh 's mulad fhogradh. 

ni'n cri'-e a halla' 'a mulad ogra' 

Thou art comely, merry, compassion- 

Thy mind rich with good sense and 
accomplishments ; 

Thy words like music from a heavenly 

Warming the heart, and banishiug 



'8 truagh a' d' dheigh mi le bh)n 's le 

fitru-a' ad yef mi le bron de 

eislein ; 

Mo shuilean deurach, 's mo chridhe 

mo hayl-en dej-rach 'smo chri'-e 

leointe ; 

Cha*n fhiugh learn ionmhas, cha*n fhiugh 

chan i-tt' lem i-oa-vas ohan i-a' 

learn eibhneas, 

lem eyy-nee 

A tha fo'n ghrein ach u fein a d' onar. 

a ha foa yrejoi ach a feyn ad onar 

Miserable am I after thee, with sorrow 
and pain; 

Mine eyes tearful, my heart woonded ; 

I value no wealth, no joy 

Under the sun, but thyself alone. 

The following verses were written by a namesake of my own, who was in 
the humble capacity of a church-officer with Lord Macauley's grandfather. L^ 
it bear testimony of the rudeness and barbarity which gave his truthful and 
philosophic lordship such a detestation of the revengeful and filthy Highlanders! 


Happy may I see thee, 

6u ma slan'a chi mi, 

ga ma slaxi a obi mi 

Mo chailin dhilis dhonn, — 

mo ohayllin yilia jonn 

Ben a chuailein reidh, 

ben a dm-ayllin rej' 
Air a deise a dh-eireas fonn ; 

ayr a deyae a yeyres fonn 

Se caint do bhoil is binn leam ; 

ee oajnt do voyl is binn lem 

Nair bhios m* inntinn trom, 
nayr vis minn-tinn trom 

'S tu thogadh suas mo chridh\ 

8ta hoga' sn-aa mo ohri' 

Noir a bhiodh tu bruidhinn rium. 

noyr a yi' tn bray' -inn ri-om 

Gur muladach a tha mi 

gnr mnladach a ha mi 

'S mi nochd air aird a chuain ; 

'a mi noc ayr ayrd a ohn-ayn 

'S neo-shunndach mo chadal 

*8 ne-o-hnndach mo chadal 

Is do chaidribh fada nam ; 

ia do chayd-riv fada n-am 

'S trie mi ort a smaointeach, — 

strio mi ort a smaoynteoh 

As t-aogais tha mi truagh ; — 
as taogays ha mi tru-a' 

My faithful brown-haired maid,— 
Maid of the flowing ringlets, 

Who is most easily excited to merri- 

Thy words to me are the sweetest 
music ; 

When depressed in mind, 

Thou dost exalt my heart, 
When in converse with me. 

Sorrowful am I 

This night on the height of the sea ; 

Unsound is my sleep 

Away from thy companionship ; 

Often do I think of thee, — 

Without thee I am miserable ;— 



'S roar dean mi t-fhaotainn, 

'b mar di-an mi taotayn 

Cha bhi mo sgaoghal baain. 

cha vi mo hao'-al ba-ayn 

Do.sbuil mar an dearcag, 

do hnyl mar an dero-ag 

Fo'n rosg a dh-iadhas dlu, 
fon rosg a ji-a'-as dlu 

Do gfaruaidhean mar chaoran, 

do jm-ay'-en mar chaoran 

Fo'n aodan bhoidheach chiuiD. 

fon aodan Toj'-ech obi-Dj^n 

Aidicheam le eibhneas 

ajd-ech-em le eyr-nes 
Gu'n d-thug mi fein dhmt run, 

gon dog mi fejn ynji ran 

'S gur bliadhna leam gach la 

agar bli-a'-na le-am gach la 

0*n uair a dh-fhag mi u. 

on Q-ayr a yag mi a 

Tacan mu'n do sheol sinn, 

tac-an man do he-ol ainn 

^S ann tboisich lachd mi-gbraidh, 

aann hoysich lao mi-yray' 

Bi innseadh do'm chruineighsa, 

ri inn-ae' dom ohrayn-eyg-sa 

Nach tillinsa ga brach ; 

nach tillinaa ga brach 

Na cnireadh sid ort groaman ; 

na oayre' aid ort gro-a-man 

A luaidb ; ma bbios mi elan, 

a In-ay' ma via mi elan 

Cha chum dad idir uat mi 

dia chnm dad idir n-at mi 

Ach saighead chruaidh a bhais. 
aoh aay'-ed dura-a/ a vaya 

Unless thou art mine, 
My life will not be long. 

Thy blue eye is like a berry, 

*Neath lashes that wind closely, 

Thy cheeks like the ripe fruit of the 
mountain ash, 

Under a face comely and mild. 
Confess I do with joy 
That I have given thee my love, 
And that every day is a year to me 
Since the hour we parted. 

Shortly before we sailed. 

Ill-disposed persons began 

Telling to my maiden 

That I would never return ; 

But let not that sadden thee, my love ; 

If I remain alive, 

Nothing shall detain me from thee 

But the relentless arrow of deatL 

I have remarked elsewhere, that the general character of the songs sung 
to cheer labour, (and every kind of labour had its appropriate song) was the 
absence of every thing calculated to work on the feehngs and passions. The 
chorus usually consisted of sounds accordant with the employment, and rendered 
significant and connected by a meaning line or catch-word ; and the verses, 
though frequently arrayed in pleasing imagery, aimed only at calling up in the 
minds of the singers thoughts and scenes associated with the tender, attractive, 
or lofty and pleasing clan traditiona But although such was the general 
character of these " songs of labour," there were exceptions ; and the boat song 
of DornhnuU Buadh Gaolach, as I have heard it snog by an old seaman when 



I was a boy, was one of these. Uofortunately, however, although I remember 
the subject of the song,— (an expedition of loyal Highlandeis on their way 
from the Isle of Skye to join the army of Montrose,) — ^I have forgot the verses, 
and have been unable after much exertion, to meet with a single individual 
that could even sing the melody, much less remember the words, in a manner 
at all to realise the impression the song made on my feelings in youth. When 
sung by the old seaman, the listener could not help fancying that he heard a voice 
slowly rising from behind a sea, until it attained the crest of a mountain billow, 
and burst on his ear in a regular bravura of seamanlike exultation ; it then gra- 
dually receded and sunk, until he felt apprehensive that the singer was struggling 
among the capricious waves ; then, after a seeming silence, and to his great 
relief, it began to grow perceptibly on his ear, until the exulting chorus burst 
upon him afresh, in a gush of melody that made his heart swell in sympathy 
with the triumphant pluck and stamina of the strong armed rowers. It was 
intended to be sung in the same style with Macgreagair o Ruadhro, the whole 
crew joining in singing the choms. 

A Dhomhnuil ruaidh ghaolaich, 
a yovnayl ra-ay yaol-ayoh 

Horin ova, ro huvo, 
horin ova ro hnvo 

Sheases dur ri stiuir dharaich, 

heses dor ri sti-nyr yar-aych 

Horin eile, ova hi, 
horin eyl^ ora hi 

Hi ri oiri, nan hi ri u. 
hi ri oyri nao hi ri n 


Donald red-haiied and beloved. 

Horin ova, ro huvo. 
Who standest firmly by an oak helm, 
Horin eyle, ova hi^ 
Hi ri oyri, nan hi ri u. 

Sheasas dur ri stiuir dharaich, 

hesefl dor ri sti-ayr yar-ayoh 

Horin ova, ro huvo, 
'S uaibhreach astar do bhata, 

's a-ayy-reoh astar do vata 

Horin eile, ova hi. 
Hi ri oiri, nan hi ri u. 

Who standest firmly by an oak helm, 

Horin ova, ro huvo, 
Wild is the course of thy boat, 

Horin eyl6, ova hi, 
Hi ri oyri, nan hi ri u. 

'S uaibhreach astar do bhata, 

'a Q-ayy-rech astar do vata 

Horin ova, ro huvo, 
Ni mhuir ghairreach a sgarradh, 

ni ynyr yayreoh a sgar-ra' 

Horin eile, ova hi. 
Hi ri oiri, nan hi ri u. 

Wild is the course of thy boat, 

Horin ova, ro huvo. 
Cleaving the roaring sea, 

Horin eyle, ova hi, 
Hi ri oyri, nan hi ri u. 




Ni mhair ghairreach a sgarradh, 

ni Yujr jayiech a sgar-ra' 

Horin ova, ro huvo, 

Com suil gheur air sgeir Bharu, 
cum mj\ jejr ayr sgeyr va-iu 

Horin eile, ova hi, 

Hi ri oiri, nan hi ri u. 

Gam suil gheur air sgeir Bharu, 

com sayl jeyr ayr sgeyr ya-ni 

Horin ova, ro huvo, 
Seol air aird nan tonn lannair, 

8e-ol ayr ayrd oan tonn lann-ajr 

Horin, eile, ova hi, 

Hi ri oiri, nan hi ri u, &c. 

Cleaving the roaring sea, 

Horin ova, ru huvo. 
Keep a sharp eye on the sea-rock Baru, 

Horin eyl6, ova hi. 
Hi ri oyri, nan hi ri u. 

Keep a sharp eye on the sea-rock Baru, 

Horin ova, ro huvo. 

Sail on the crest of the phosphoric 

Horin eyle, ova hi, 

Hi ri oyri, nan hi ri u, &c. 

The following song hy Alexander Macdonald, the royal Celtic hard of 
Prince Charles, is also an '' oran iomraidh," or rowing song, the air of which 
is equally spirit-stirring ; but I have not been able to get such a version of it 
as I should like. As this song is published and accessible, I quote only two or 
three verses of it here. 


Early as I awaited in the morning, 

Moch sa mhadainn 's mi dusgadh, 

moch fla vadaynn '0 sii diuga' 

'S mor mo shunnd 's mo cheol gaire, 

*8 mor mo hiumda mo clie-ol gayr^ 
O'n na chualadh mi'n Prionnsa 

on na oha-a-la' min pri-onsa 

Thighinn do dhuthaich Chlann-Ba*ill. 

fai'-inn do yn'-ayoh ohlann ra'-31 

Elated I was and full of hilarity. 

On hearing that the Prince 

Had landed in the country of Clan- 


Hug ho layll ho. 
Hug ho ro nayU liv ; 
Hug ho layll ho, 
Seymi ho ro nayll liv. 

Noir a chairair an crun ort, 
noyr a ohayrer an cnm ort 

Bi muim air do chairdean, 

bi mnym ayr do chayr-den 

'S Lochiel mar bu choir dha, 
's loch-i-al mar ba ohoyr ya 

Cuir an ordugh nan Gael. — 
eayr an or-da' nan ga-el 

Hug, etc. 

When thou art crowned. 

Joyful will thy friends be, 

With Lochiel, as is right, 

Marshalling the Highlanders- 
Hug, etc. 




Thig Clandomhnuill a chruadail, 

hig dan-dov-nayll a chra-a-dayl 

Choisinn buaidh ann *s na blaraibh, 

choy-sinn ba-ay' ann sna blar-ayr 

A chumail cruaidh cho'-strigh 

a ohum-ajl cru-aj' cho-stri' 

Ri luchd chotaichean madair. — 

Ino cho-tajohen madajr 

Hug, etc. 


Come will Olandonell the hardy, 

Who gained victory in battles, 

To meet in conflict 

The race of the red coats. — 
Hug, etc. 

Sud a chuideachd bhios foirmeil, 

sad a chuyd-e(/ vis foTr-meyl 

Boineid ghorm is coc ard or, 

boyned yorm is ooo ard or 

Le'm breacanan maiseach, 

lem brec-aoan maysech 

*S le'n gartanan scarlaid. — 

's lea gartaoaa scarlayd 

Hug, etc. 

They are the sprightly clan, 

Of blue bonnets and cockades. 

With showy plaids, 

And scarlet garters. — 
Hug, etc. 



Noir a shuidh sinn san tigh-osda, 

noyr a hay' sina saa ti'-osda 

Chaidh na stoip thair cuntas, 

obay' na stoyp hayr cantas 

Gu trie a tighinn, cha bu ruighinn, 

ga trio a ti'-inn oha ba ri'-inn 

lad nan ruith am ionnsuidh. 

i-ad nan roy' am i-on-say' 

Gun irraidh dalach, a sior phaigheadh, 

gan i-a-ray' dalach a ai-or fey-e' 

'G ol deoch-slainte a Phrionnsa, 

gol de-och-alayntd a fri-on-sa 

'S mo chridhe learn le aites ard, 
*8 mo ofari'-e lem le aytes ard 

Chion Raonull bhi toirt cliu dhomh. 

cbi-oa raonoll vi toyrt oli-u yov 

When we sat in the public-house. 

The stoups went beyond counting, 

Quickly, not lingeringly coming. 

They raced towards us. 

No thought had I of (asking) delay, 
but constantly paying. 

And drinking the health of the Prince, 

My heart with pleasure leaping high. 
Because Ronald was giving me praise. 

Ach noir ghluais mi gu dol dhachaidh, 

ach noyr yla-ays mi ga dol ya-ohay' 

Lagaich mu na gluinn mi, 

lag-aych ma na gluynn mi 

Nunn 's an nail gun leirsinn cheart, 

nann san nail gan leyr-sinn chert 

Le iomadh beachd am shuillean. 
le i*oma' bee am hayllen 

But when I arose to go home, 

I became weak at the knees, 

I tacked thither and hither, without 
seeing rightly, 

From the numerous conceits that were 
in my eyes. 



Feadh na h-oidhche *s mi gun soilsearm, 

fe' na hoj'-ohe *a mi gan aojlaen 

Air mo shloic a dubladh, 

ayr mo loyo a dabla' 

'S ea^all leom gun droin mi arrusg, 

'aeg-aU le-om gun droynn mi arr-OBg 

Bha mo chardain diumbacL 

▼a mo char-dayn di-umbach 

Pushing along through the night, 
with scarcely a blink of light, 

I made prostrations which doubled me 

And, I fear, indecent exposures, 
For my friends were much dissatisfied. 

Noir a dh-eirich mi sa mhadainn, 

nojr a yey-rich mi sa va-dajnn 

Cha robh m' aigneadh sundach, 

cha roy majg-oe' sundach 

Mo cheann gun sgoin, ma chom na lasair, 

mo chenn gun sgojn ma chom na laa-ayr 

Truaillidh dearg mo shuillean. 

trn-ai-li' de-arg mo huyilen 

Se mac-na-brachadh rinn mo leagadh 

86 mao-na-brach-a'' rinn mo leg-a' 

Ann an leabaidh dhiombaidh — 
ann an leb-ay' yi-om-baj' 

Sud an ghleachdair thug fo smachd mi, 

snd an glec-ayr hng fo smac mi 

'Sa dh-fhag mi lag is bruite. 

sa yag mi lag is brajt^ 

When I arose next morning, 

My mind was little disposed to merri- 

My head was without efiicacy, my 
bosom on fire. 

My eyes polluted and red. 

The son of the malt it was that put 
me down 

In a bed uncomfortable — 

That wrestler subdued, 

And left me bruised and weak. 

'S olc an ealaidh rainn is caithream, 

sole an el-aj' rajnn is cay' -rem 

'S amaideach an turn, a bhi 

samaj-dech an turn a vi 

Suidh' aig bord a glaodhaich ol, 
my' a^g bord a glao'-aych oyl 

'S mo phocannan ga'n tiondadh, 

smo foc-annan gan ti-onda' 

A Bgapadh storais le meadmhoir, 

a sgapa' stor-ays le me-ad-voyr 

*Sa 'g iarraidh phog 's na cuiltean ; 

sa gi-air-ay' fog sna cnyl-ten 

'S f had sa mhaireadh mo chuid oir, 

sad sa Tayre' mo chnyd oyr 

Cha chuireadh osdair cul rium. 

cha ohnyr-e' osd-ayr oul ri-nm 

Bad trades are rhyming and blethering, 
(idle talking) ; 

A foolish affair it is 

To be sitting at a table calling for 

And turning pockets inside out. 

Scattering money vain-gloriously. 

And stealing kisses in sly neulcs 
(recesses ;) 

But while the money lasted, 

No landlord turned his back on me. 

'S coir dhomh nis a thoirt fos near, 

's coyr yoY nis a hoyrt fos ner 

An t-aithreachas a dhubladh, 
an tayr'-e-chas a yub-la' 

But time it is to reflect. 
And doubly to repent. 


Mo bhoid gu gramail thoirt do'a eala,* And vow by the swan,* 

mo Toyd ga gramayl hojrt don ella 

Dh-f heuch an lean mo chlia rium, So as my reputation may adhere to me, 

jeyoh an leo mo chli-a ri-nm 

Cha teid deur a stigh fo m' dhendaich. That not a drop shall pass my teeth. 

oha tejd deyr a sti' fom jejd-ayoh 

'S f hendar tighinn as iunais, Of necessity I must eschew drink, 

'b ey-dar ti'-inn sa i-a-nays 

Cha'n fhaigh fear falamh seol air aran For a moneyless man can only make 

ohan ay fer falav se-ol ayr aran his bread 

Ach le fallas gnuise. By the sweat of his brow. 

ach le fidlas gnnyse 

The following song was written by Captain Duncan Campbell, better known 
as " Fear Marg-na-ha,'* when from home doing duty with the Black- Watch or 
" Freiceadan-dubh" of which he was pay-master, before they enlisted into the 
army, when he retired, being a thorough Jacobin. It is beyond my space and 
object to notice all the writers of the poems quoted in this treatise ; but I 
make this an exception, Marg-na-ha being my father's father, and because Mr 
Mackenzie in his Beauties of Gaelic Poetry, has, with his usual carelessness, 
given the credit of the song to Aillean MacthearlaicL The song itself, 
fortunately contradicts this statement, for it says in the opening verse, '* Na 
faighinn cead," (if I could get leave of absence ;) and in another verse, " Ge M 
air chuairt mi," (though long on my rounds) — ^visiting and paying the 
companies at their dififerent detached station: — words entirely military, and 
which could not be used by a country proprietor, who was his own master, 
like Aillean MacthearlaicL The disinherited Duncan, Lord Ormalie, was 
the great-great-grandfather of Margnaha, whose sloineadh or pedigree was 
Donnachadh Mac Phadruic, mhic Iain, mhic Iain oig, mhic Dhonnachaidh, 
mhic Iain ghlais, Bhraidhealaban. He and his son Iain Og were both at the 
battle of Sheriff-muir with the clan; in consequence of which they were 
disinherited by the Earl, who was at home, bed-ridden from age, and favourable 
to the Hanoverian succession. Although Lord Ormalie was above sixty years 
of age at the time of the battle, he so led his clan as to make them one of the 
most distinguished in the engagement. They are referred to in the following 
extract of one of the many merry little ditties called forth by a battle which 
was looked on as a burlesque by the Highland bards, although many brave 
men lost their lives there : — 

* NoTer haTing before met ^th this expreision in GaeKe Poetiy, to far m I can recollect, I 
begged of my iriend Mr Patorson, whose vobiminouB worki ahow so much intimacy with the poetiy, 
history, and antiquities of the Lowlands, to favour me with some explanation on the subject ; and I nor 
submit his Tery interesting 

** Note. — The tow was made orer a roasted swan. Dunbar refers to it in his verses to the king caUed 
' Johan Tamson's man.' — 

' I wad gif all that ever I have. That ye had vowit on the swan. 

To that condition, so God me save, Ane year to be Johan Tamson*s num.* 

' Johan Tamson*s man* seems to be a hen-pecked husband ; and Dunbar stood in such favour with the 
queen, that, if she had her way, he could be certain of his long promised benefice." 


Thogain fonn, thogain fonn, I will raise a tune, 

hog-ajn fonn hog-ayn fonn 

Thogain fonn gu foirmeil, I wiD raise a tune, 

hog-ajn fonn gn fojr-meyl 

Thogain fonn gu faramach, I will raise a tune merrily, 

hog-ayn fonn gn faram-ach 

Air lasgairean Bhraidealbain. I will raise a rattling tune to the fiery 

ayr laa-gayren vray-dcU-ban warriors of Breadalbane. 

Dh-inns' latha Sliabh-an-t-Shiorram, The day of Sheriflf-muir told 

yinna la'-a ali-av-an-ti-ornun 

Nach robh sibh sian iomairt cearbach — That you were not awkward in the 

nach roY jnv aan i-om-ayrt oerabach conflict — 

6u'n do theich na bleiderean, The mannikins fled, 

gnn do heych na bleyd-eren 

Ach sheas iad fir Bhraidealbain. But ilie men of Breadalbane stood. 

aoh hes i-ad fir vray-delaban 

An officer was sent to arrest the Earl of Breadalbane after the battle, on 
the suspicion that he had been privy to, or abetted his son and grandson's 
rebellion. The Earl was in that kind of slumber common to persons dying 
merely of old age ; and the officer roused him by touching him on the 
shoulder, and exclaiming **You are my prisoner.*' The old man slowly 
raised himself to his elbow, and regarding the officer with a mingled look of 
pity and contempt, replied, ^^Your prisoner! I am the prisoner of God 
Almighty, and eighty-eight years of age ! Duncan," (he said to an attendant) 
^' take that poor man out of the country before the clan discover the insult he 
has offered to me : I have plenty of blood on my hands already." The fear of 
the forfeiture of the estate made the clan keep very silent on the presence of 
Lord Ormalie in the battle ; but his father, either in the belief that he and his 
son had irretrievably committed themselves with the government, or in real 
displeasure at their joining Mar*s army without his knowledge, disinherited 
Lord Ormalie, in favour of his younger brother. Margnaha, though his ancestor 
Lord Ormalie had thus been disinherited, had great influence with the clan, 
and, the Earl of Breadalbane being abroad as ambassador, was drilling them 
for the purpose of joining Prince Charles. Being apprised of this fact at Perth, 
when on his way North in the pursuit of the Highlanders, the Duke of 
Cumberland sent Colonel Campbell of Mammor with a party of dragoons to 
prevent this junction ; and that able officer took Duncan by surprise, in his own 
house at night, and so well arranged his plans as to carry him away privately 
by the south side of Lochtay, without a man of the clan knowing anything 
about the matter. He was put in jail in Stirling, where he was kept secure 
until after the battle of CuUoden, when he was mysteriously released without 
any question being asked. This and many other episodes of the so-called 
rebellion, which have not found their way into history, but are well-known to 
tradition, show that it was Colonel Campbell and President Forbes that put 



down the rebellion, and not the '' red coats/' who were so wretchedly armed, 
comparatively, as to be quite unfit to stand before the clans in battle, excepting 
under the management illustrated in the retreat from England, the murderous 
march the night before the battle of Culloden, and the field chosen for that 
battle, &c. &c. The mysterious disappearance of Margnaha prevented the clan 
from joining the Prince, as they had no confidence in his brother " Iain Borb," 
or Johh the fierce ; but he joined, and was the warrior who fought and killed 
the dragoon at Inverness, in the manner told by Mr Chambers in his history of 
the rebellion. 


Moch sa mhadainn 's mi Ian airteal, 

moch sa Ta-dajn 'b mi Ian ayrtel 

Cian 'o chaidreamh m' ionndrainn, 

oi-an chayd-rev mi-on-drajnn 

Gu'm bu bheg mo luaidh air leabaidh, 

gam ba Teg mo la-ay' ayr leb-ay 

Carachadh sa tiondath. 

eara-oha' sa ti-on-da' 

Na faighinn cead gu'n rachainn grad, 

oa &y'-inn oed gon raoh-ayn grad 

Na m* still gun stad gun aon-tamh, 

nam still gon stad gun aon-tav 

A dh-ios an ait sa bheil mo ghradh, 

a yi-OB an ayt sa veyl mo yra' 

Og mhaighdean ailidh Gheambail. 

og yay'-den ayli' yem-bayl 

Ge fad air chuairt mi tamuU bhuat, 

ge fad ayr oha-ayrt mi tamol va-at 

Si*n aisling uail a dhuisg mi 

a'n aysling a-ayl a yosg mi 

Thu bhi agam ann am ghlacaibh, 

a yi agam ann am ylac-ayy 

Lan do thiachd 's do shugradh. 

Ian do h-lac 's do bag-ra' 

Dh-aindeon buinig's cianael m' fhuireach 

yayn-en bnynig 'a d-an-el mnyreoh 

Ann an iomal duchaidL — 

ann an i-omal da-cha' 

Ochoin, a chiall gu'm be mo mhian, 

och-oyn a chi-all gam be mo vi-an 

Bhi 'n diugh a triall a t-ionnsaidh. 

yi*n di-a' a tri-all a t-onn-say' 

Early in the morning, under much 

Far away from the companionship for 
which I crave. 

Little was my desire to remain in the 

Tossing and turning. 

Could I obtain leave, I would go 

Like a spate (descending the hill,) 

To the place where dwells my love. 

The young beautiful maiden of Gem- 

Though long on my circuit, and away 
from thee. 

The proud dream that awaked me 

Was having thee in my arms. 

Full of delight and sportivenesa 

Despite advantages, pensive is my 

On the border of the country. 

>0h, my love, it is my desire. 

To travel quickly this day where thou 

At-ionnsaidhtheidminuairadh-eireasmi, To thee will I go so soon as permitted, 

a ti-onn-say' heyd mi na-ayr a yeyree mi 

Gu h-eatrom sunndach. Lightly and cheerfully. 

gu he-trom ennndach 



Gach ceum do'n t-shlighe, dol ga d* 

gaoh ceym don tli'-e dol gad 



Bi'dh mo chridhe sugach. 

bF mo ohri'-e sngach 

Mo mhiaim 's mi'n cearter air bheg cadail, 

mo Ti-ann 's min certer ayr veg cadajl 

A bhi na d' chaidridh ghreannair, 

a vi na d' chajd-ri' jre-anajr 

Mo dhuil gn'n chleith, le durachd mhath, 

mo ynjl gon chlej^ le dar-ao 

Giir h-6 mo bheatha teann ort 

gar he mo ye'-a teim ort 


At every step of the journey 

My heart will be leaping joyously. 

My desire this moment is not for sleep, 

But to be in thy charming company, 

In the unconcealed hope, with wishes 

That I am welcome near thea 

Oigh na maise is orbhuidh fait, 

oy' na mayse is onmy' iaXt 

'S do ghruaidh air dhreach an neoinein ; 

ado yru-ay' ayr yrech an ne-oyn-eyn 

T-uchd corrach min, do dhead-gheal 

tnc oorraoh min do yed-yel 


'S do bheul o'm binn thig oran, 

's do yeyl om binn big oran 

Suil mheallach chaoin fo d' mhalaidh 

any] vellacb chaoyn fod yal-ay' 


Boisg fhada mhaodh ga'n comhdach, 

roysg ada vao' gan oov-dach 

An t-sheirc tha d'eadainn bheir do'n 

an teyro ha de-dayn veyr don 

eug mi, 

eyg mi 

Mar faigh mi cheud-ghraidh coir ort 

mar &y' mi cbeyd-yray' ooyr ort 

Maiden young and beautiful of the 
golden hair, 

Thy cheeks are of the complexion of 
the daisy ; 

Thy bosom smooth and high, thy teeth 
white and neat, 

And thine eye large and mild. 
Covered with long soft eyelashes. 

Sweet comes the song from thy lips, 

And the charms of thy face will be 
my death. 

Unless, my first love, I shall obtain a 
right to thee. 

Gn'n choir air t-fheutainn oigh na feile, 

gon choyr ayr teytaynn oy' na %j\i 

Is uaisle beus is giulan, 

is n-aysle beys is gi-n-lan 

A fhuair os-iosal scire bho Dhiarmad,* 
a hn-ayr os-i-osal sero vo yi-ar-mad 

A chuir clad an geall ort. 

a chnyr d-ad an gell ort 

A right to thee, generous maiden. 

Of gentle manners and bearing, 

Who has received, in secret, a charm 
from Diarmid,* 

That has made hundreds thy captives. 

*. There is much in the Ursgenls about the Feinn, to lead to the conclusion that they were the inven- 
tion of the monks ; and that the object of them was so to seduce or bewilder the minds of the people as 
to make them believe any thing. By mixing the deeds and adventures of their traditional heroes with 
legends about saints, necromancers, dwarfii, and giants, they inspired and nourished a loye of fiction. 



Oiochan geala air uchd meallai^h, 

ci-och-an gela ajr uc meH-ay' 

Lan de stuaim 's de choimhneas, 

Ian de stu-ajm 's de oboyy-nes 

Bhi ga d' aireamh 's gu'n thn lathair, 

vi ga dajrr-ey 's gun n la'-ayr 

Thug bh-uam cail is oibhneas. 
hng Tu-am cayl is ojv-neB 

Beautifiil are thy white breasts on a 
captivating bosom, 

Full of modesty and kindness. 

To be (thus) recounting thy charms, 
and thou absent, 

Has deprived me of elasticity and 

Tha miann na fear fo d' ghun a falach, — 
ha mi-ann na fer fod 71m a fUach 

Seang-chorp fallain sundach ; 

aeng-cfaorp fell-ayn anndach 

Slios mar eala, cneas mar chana, 
ali-oa mar ela cnes mar chana 

Eadainn banail muimeach. 
ed-ayn ban-ajl mnymech 

Noir theid coisir-chiuil an loinn, 

noyr hejd ooTsir-chi-nyl an loynn 

*S tu snamh san danns* air urlar, 

8ta snay san danns ayr urlar 

Gu'm bidh gach cridhe leam air aird', 
gam bi' gach cri'-^ lem ayr ayid 

'S gach suil a dealradh an iongnadh. 

'8 gaoh 807! a delra' an i-ona' 

The delight of man is hid beneath thy 
robes, — 

A form slender, healthy, lively ; 

Thy side is as the swan, thy throat 
as the down of cana ; 

Thy face womanly, cheerful. 

When the musical choir is in harmony, 

And thou art swimming in the mazes 
of the dance, 

Every heart beats high, 

And every eye beams with admiratioa 

'S tearc ri aireamh trian de'n ailleachd, 

stero ri ayrey tri-an den aylleo 

Dha 'm bu dhan dhamh geilleadh, 

yam bu yan yay geyle' 

Difficult it is to name a third of the 

That, as fate, made me yield 

and fubBtitated for the oral lore, oontainlng the histoiy of paat ages, a eystem of tnition as cormptiiig to 
good taste, and mmatoral as the musical education of the present day. In the superstitions thus iiib- 
stitnted, they laid the foundation of the spiritual despotism that rode like a nightmare oyer the soals of 
men during the dark ages. The proneness to superstition resulting from these Ursgeuls continneB to in- 
fluenoe and mentally enslaye the more ignorant and unintelligont among the Irish and the Higfalanden 
eyen till the present day. 

The Ursgeuls also contain many charming little gossiping episodes, like the aboye about Diaimid, to 
extenuate or excuse the loying frailties of the fair sex. Diazmid was obliged to wear a mask, to hide the 
*' ball-eeirc" or beauty spot that was in his face from the eyes of the susceptible Fingalian ladies, as so 
w<»nan could behold it without falling in loye with him, and showing the frailty of her nature. Onine 
is not at all inexcusably dealt with by the monkish author of the Ursgeul about Diarmid for deserting 
her aged spouse, and running away with her youthful hero. How could she help it ? To see (he ** baO- 
seiro** was fate 1 Nor is the hero himself less leniently treated. He is represented, throughout his many 
romantic wanderings with the enamoured frail one, to escape the pursuit of her husband, as maintaining 
immaculate chastity with a firmness worthy eyen of Joseph himself, until Graine*s impuMye exclamation 
about " Spiorad an lobain," put him in such a position as would haye made it a reproach to his manhood 
to hold out any longer. In short, the Ursgeuls famish so many fascinating excuses for these amoronf 
peccadilloes as to leaye no doubt that they brought a good monitor to ayery indulgent confessional. We 
need feel no wonder, therefore, that the test applied to the yirtue of the Fingalian ladies, according to the 
Ursgeuls recently published in Edinburgh, proyed that there was only one fiedthful wife among the 
married Fingalian ladies 1 To be " a light o' loye" was eyidently no great reproach in the eyes of the 
monkish authors of the Ursgeuls. 



Do'n mhaighdean chiuin, is beusach, 

don TKy'-dea ohi-nyn is be-saoh 



'S cend fear nr an deigh oir. 

'fl oejd fer ur an dej' ojr 

Bidh cridhe ciurt' aig pairt de'n chuntes, 

bi' ori'-e oi-ort ajg pajrt den chontes 

Bhios air chul gu'n f haighneachd ; 
Tis ayr ohol gon ay'-neo 

Ach oibhneas thig mar cho-sheirm chiuil, 

ach oyy-neB hig mar oho-heyrm chi-njl 

O^n f hear ga*n lub i an coimhneas. 

on er gan lab i an ooy-nes 

To the maiden mild, virtuous, in- 

After whom a hundred youths are 

Some of them will be sorely distressed 

When left unasked in the background ; 

And joy, like a burst of music from 
the orchestra, 

Will break from his heart to whom 
thou inclinest in kindness. 

I haye remarked elsewhere, that by comparing the Gaelic melodies to 
those of the Lowlands, we have some data on which to form a comparison 
between Highland and Lowland taste and refinement. Their songs, especially 
those Graelic and Scottish songs written on similar subjects and occasions, afford 
a still better criterion for such a comparison. The following verses, for instance, 
were written by a Highland lady, under the impression that she was deserted 
by her lover from mercenary motives. By comparing her feelings and sentiments 
to those of a Lowland lady similarly situated, as described even by Bums, the 
difference for dignity, delicacy, and generosity, between the one and the other, 
will be duly illustrated to such as can appreciate the originals of both songs. 


Three events come unsought, 

Thig tri nithean gu*n iarraidh, 

big tri ni'-en gon i-arr-ay' 

An t-eagal, an t-iadach 's an gaol ; 
an legal an ti-ad-aoh lan gaol 

'S gnr lugha chuis mhaslaidh, 

flgnr la'-a ohnja vas-lay' 

Gred* a ghlachadh leo mis' air a h-aon ; 

ged a ylac-a' le-o nua ayr a ha-on 

'Sa liughad bean-uasail 

aa fi-n'-ad ben-u-a-sal 

A fhuaradh sa'n kigse a bheil mi, 

a bn-ar-a' san laygse a yeyl mi 

A thug a gaol fuadainn, 

a bng a gaol fa-a-daynn 

Air ro bheagan duaise ga chionn. 
ayr ro yegan dn-ayae ga ohi-onn 

Fonn: — 
Air faillerinn illerinn, 

ayr &yllermn illermn 

Uillerinn o ho ro loi' ; 
nyUerinn o ho ro loy 

Fear, jealousy, and love ; 

The less reproachful is it 

That they have caught me ; 

For in many ladies 

Has been found a weakness like mine, 

Letting their love wander unrewarded. 

Chorus: — 
Ayr fiayllerinn illerinn, 

Uyllerinn o ho ro loy ; 




Cruaidb ortan gun f hioe 

Cray' ortan gun is 

A dh-fhag mise fo chuing a ghaoil. 

yag mise fo choyng a yaoyl 

A hard and stealthy chance 
Has made me the captive of love. 


Fhir na'n gorm-Bhuillen meallach, 

ir nan gorm-hnyUen mellach 

O'n ghleannan am bi an smuid, 

on ylennaQ am bi an smnyd 

Far an siubhlach ghraigh eagach, 

far an si-uylaoh gra/ eng-aoh 

Aig ionnaltradh shleibh fo dhrinchd, 

ayg i-onnailtradh h-Uyv fo ym-ao 

Noir theid u air t-uillinn, 
noyr heyd n ayr tnylAn 

Bitfa fail air mac luadh na fear stnc ; 

bi' ihyl i^ mso In-i^' na fb-ar sMt 

Na'm bi tu ghaoil mar rium, 

nam bi tn yaoyl mar ri-nm 

Cha V an-air an ceile leom u. 

cha ban-ayr an oeyle le-om u 

Youth of the fall Uue eyes, 

Of the glen of mist, 

Where airy are the herd nimble, 

Orasing on the dewy wolds, 

When thou leanest on thy elbow, 

Blood will be on the swift son of the 
cold diffs ; 

Wert thon with me, my love, 

An unmeet husband I would not deem 

Fhir a dhireas am bealach, 
ir a yires am belaoh 

Sa thearnas an gleann ma thuadh, 
sa henea an den ma bo-a' 

Thoir sormidh gu'm leannan, 

hoyr soirny' gam knnan 

Is innis mar thachair 's an nair. 

IB innia mar baob-ayr san n-ayr 

Fear eile cha ghabh mi, 

fer ^1^ oha yav mi 

'S cha*n fhuillig mi leom a hiaidh. 

'a oban nyllig mi le-om a la-ay' 

Gus an dean e fein m' aicheadh, 

gas an den e feyn ma-ehe' 

Cha chreid mi o chaeh gar fbadh. 

dis obieyd mi o chaob gnr fii-a' 

Toir, who ascendest the defile 

And goest down the glen to the norths 

Bear my salate to my love, 

And tell him how it stands with me 
at this hour. 

Another I will not have, 

Nor suffer to be named to me. 

Until he himself denies me, 

I will not believe from others that he 

Ach ma nith e orm tailceas, 
ach ma ni e orm taylo-ea 

Gur taitneach a tha mo chliu ; 

gar taytneeh a ba mo obli-a 

Cha d' roinn mi nut coinneamh, 
oba droinn mi ri-nt ooynnev 

Cha do thachair sinn riamh ann an cuil. 
oba do baob-ayr ainn ri-ay ann an coyl 

But if he will slight me, 

My reputation remains unstained ; 

I never made an appointment with 

We never met in a nentk (recess.) 


Cha gbabhain riainh maslacUi I would receive an indigDity 

O fhear a ctuiir boinneid ^r crun ; From no maa that ever covered bis 

o er a chayr boyiii;ieyd ayr crun head with a bonnet ; 

Bha m' inntinn cho beacbdail^ My mind was sufficiently self-sustained 

va nunntinn cho beo-ayl 
^Sga*n smacbdaicbjin gaol nacb b-f hiudh. To rebuke (subdue) an unworthy love. 

sgiui Bmao-ajchin gaol naoh bi-u' 

I have, I think, submitted historical reasons elsewhere for coming to the 
conclusion, that every difference in dialect, character, manners, and customs, 
between the Celtic and Qothic clans, (under which name I include Scots, Belgs, 
Firbolg, Saxons, &c.) can be accounted for by their institutions, education, and 
circumstances. The writers who make the Gothic a different and a superior 
race, ought to have shown that they were the subject of a different act of 
creative power, to justify their statements ; but, instead of that, those of them 
who were historians furnished no evidence of their assumptions, and their fol- 
lowejrs seem to think that reiteration is the only thing necessary to satisfy their 
readers as to the truth of any assertion, however unphilosophic or improbable 
in itself At the same time, CsBsar, Tacitus, Ptolemy, Orasius, &c. show that 
they fon;ned separate families, and were known under separate names, in both 
of the British Isles, at a very early period of our history. The learned and 
talented Mr Skene,"*" who is not a beaten-track historian, but a man of deep 
research and discrimination, in his Introduction to the Dean of Lismore's book, 
^tis&ctorily proves that Ireland was occupied for ages subsequently to the days 
of Ptolemy and Orasius, by two distinct families, the Milesians, or Firbolg, or 
Scots, ,(for he also classes them as identical,) and the Cruithne ; the former 
occupying the south and west, and the latter the north and east of the island ; 
and I contend that, in personal appearance, dialect, poetry, and music, these two 
famflies may be distinguished from one another in Ireland until this day. 

I have stated in my Lecture on the Caledonian and Scottish Clans, that 
the ancient boundary between the Scots and the Caledonians was Lochlinne 

* In a note to hi* intiodnctioii to tbe Dean of Liflnuve^B book, this Ie«niQd and able writer xuanly 
Agreee with me as, to )^e boundary bo^tween tbe CWtpnitu^e and jlibe Scota ; be xnakiiig it by laijid, and to 
tbe notth of I^ochlinne, wMcb is certainly leas natural and satisfactory. His word3 are, " In the Island of 
Ckdoneay tbere is a cairn caUed Gajm-cul-ri-£rin. In Blean's Atlas, tiie map of the Island of Mull marks, 
on the Ugb moantain wbiok aeparaibes the north frop the somth of the island, tmo caiyns caUed Clain-cnl- 
ri-£rin and Oam-oul-i^-AUabyn. These aoem to ma>rk some ancient boundary, but they are exactly on a 
line wi^ lonat which seems to have lain so nearly on tiie boundary as to be claimed by both races, and also 
with the Ibie which separates the aaotent parishes of KiUintach and KillchoHumkill in Morvem ; and 
KilMntach^s said, in an tAd document, ,to be in Qaivomoyeian, a distxict which extended as far north a3 
Loeh Houm, while KillchoHumkill is said to be in Kinelbadon, which belong^ to the ancient kingdom of 
Lorn, — ^there seems much reason to conclude that this may have been the line of the boundary between 
die Dftlriad Soots fixim Brin and the Gmilhne of Alban/' There is no doubt that cairns were ancient iand- 
mnki between different districts belonging to the sane dauB or people, bui I think they xx>uld not have 
been at any time a boundary between two separate and distinct kingdoms, not always at peace with one 
another. Indeed, it is extremely improbable that, with such a boundary as Lochlinne, the Scots could 
have even wished to divide their strength by occupying a narrow stripe of hill and shore at such a distance 
fixnn the main body, at the opposite side of that loch. 


and Lochetive, and that from Lochetive the boundary ran by a line, less dis- 
tinctly marked, between the sources of the waters that ran in different directions, 
(thus " sheering wind and water," as Dandie Dinmont would have described it,) 
to Penvahl ; from Penvahl to Galashiels ; from Galashiels, by the Catrail or war- 
path, to Berwick. This differs slightly from the boundary laid down by Mr 
Skene ; but I am convinced, even at this day, there is so clearly perceptible a 
difference in personal appearance, dialect, or pronunciation, (which in effect is 
much the same thing, a different pronunciation being the original cause of 
different dialects,) poetiy, and music, between the people on either side of that 
line, as really to justify my adhering to my own opinion on this subject; for 
although the people of the plains or lowlands of Caledonia had so much inter- 
course, by inter-marriages, &c. with the Gothic families both of England and 
Lochlin, they differ from them decidedly until this day, especially in their 
appearance. I mention elsewhere that the colony of Ulster Cruithne, who 
eettied in GhiUoway, were also divided from their neighbours by a catrail or 
war-path, drawn from the head of Lochryan, by Eempshill, Sanquhar, and 
Carlisle ; and I have been assured, on good authority, that tiiere was a marked 
difference in appearance, dialect, poetry, and music, between the people on 
either side of that March when the " Highland host*' were quartered in Ayr- 
shire ; for, strange, as it may appear, I was intimately acquamted with a clergy- 
man, Mr Inglis of Eirkoswold, who when a boy was tutor to the family of 
Maclean of Drimmin, and knew a gentleman (the great-grandfather of that 
family,) who had been captain of a company in the Highland host From this 
Venerable old man, Mr Inglis received much information in reference to the 
conduct and character of the Loyalists and Covenanters of that day, which had 
the effect of giving him more modified views of both parties than was usually 
expressed by Presbyteriam clergymen of the old school In short, all party- 
writers allow their feelings to point them, and therefore deal in exaggerations. 
This intelligent old gentlemen told Mr Inglis that in the small clachan in 
Galloway they spoke the same Gaelic at that time that was spoken in 

In personal appearance, dialect, poetry, and music, there is a striking 
affinity between the people of the north of Ireland and the Caledonians ; and I 
believe that a simUar resemblance, especially in personal appearance, is perfectly 
visible between the Scottish Lowlanders and tiie people of the south and west 
of Ireland. There is in topographical names and ancient poetiy sufficient 
evidence that the ancient Caledonians and Britons spoke the same dialect; 
and as William M. Moxon, Esq., chief Accountant of Inland Revenue, has 
kindly sent me some Welsh poetry and melodies, with phonetic spelling, I 
will now submit these to the reader, and which, on a careful comparison, prove 
without doubt that the poetiy and music of Caledonia and Wales have at this 
day a clear affinity the one to the other. ' 




Cwyd, cwyd, ehedydd lion, 

oooid oodd ajhedhh thlon 

O'th ddedwydd nyth ar ael y fron, 
olh thedwith neeth ar ael a Txon 

I gann yn y nen : 

e gaoj im u nen 

Mwyn, mwyn, y tonati mfil, 

iDooin moom n tonay mel 

O'th beraidd big a'th galon ddel, 
o'th beraith beeg ath galon thel 

I ByntiV byd uwch ben : 

e Binmir beed yueh ben 

Pawb a hofiant sw]p dy gsln, 

pawb a bofimt aooin dn gan 

Sy*n nifo'n ffirwd o fiwsig flfri : 

ae^rn tUivon frood a yewrig free 

Nwyfiis fawl dy galon Ian, 

noohna yawl da galon laan 

Enjma dan fy awen i : 

ennna daan ya awen e 

An wylaf wyt o*r adar m&n, 

an wQay ooit or adar maan 

Boed bendith Dduw i ti ! 
boed bendith Thew e te 

Lion, lion, yw'r ddaear lawr, 

thlon thlon ner thayar laoor 

Mae'r haul yn gwenu ar y wawr 

mier hayl nn gwene ar n waoor 
Yn ngwrid y dwyrain der ; 

nn ngwreed n dooyrine dair 

Dring, dring, ehedydd mwyn, 

dring dring ayhedith mooin 

Dyhidla odlau llawn o swyn 

dnhidla odlai thlaoon o aooin 

O groesaw i dy Nfer : 

o groisaoo e da nair 

Can yn Eden yn dy gryd 

caao nn Eden on da greed 

A roist i*r greadigaeth hardd ; 

a loist ir greadigaith harth 

Iddi'n awr, o bryd i bryd, 
ithin noor o br^ e breed. 

Alawaidd dfin o'th big a dardd ; 
alawith doan oth beeg a darth 

Else, rise, merry lark, 

From thy happy nest on the brow of 

the slope of a hill. 
To sing in the heavens : 

Gentle, gentle, the honied notes. 

From thy sweet beak and heart wDl 

To surprise the world above : 

All will delight in the charm of thy 

That flows like a stream of free music: 

The^lively praise of ihy heart clean 

Shall kindle the fire of my muse : 

Dearest art thou of the small birds, 

Be the blessing of QoA to thee ! 

Pleasant, pleasant, is the earth below, 
The sun smiles on the dawn (of day) 
In the blush of the transparent east ; 
Mount, mount, gentle lark, 
Distil thy charming song 
Of welcome to thy Maker : 
A song in Eden in thy nest (cradle) 
Thou gavest to the beautiful creation ; 
To it now from time to time, 

Harmonious tones proceed from thy 


A chanu wnei o hyd o hyd 
a ohan-e oond o heed o hSoA 

Tra haul a byd a bardd 
Ira hajl a beed 9 barth 


And sing thou wilt through all time, 

While BUD, and world, and bard (ex- 


Mi sydd fachgen ieuangc ffol, 

me sith yaohgen yeyanc fall 

Tn caru'n ol fy flFansi ; 

im carina ole vn Uaacj 

Mi yn bugeilio'r gwenith gwyn, 
me on begylior gwenith gwjn 

Ac eraill ynei fedi; 
ao erailth nnd vedee 

Pam na ddeui ar fy ol 

pam na thy-e ar yu ole 

Byw ddydd ar ol el gilydd ? 

reew theeih ar o) ei gilith 
Gwaith r'wy'n dy weVd y feinir fach, 

gwaith t'ooVn da welM a T^nir vaoh 

1 glanach, lanach beunydd ! 

ol glanaoh lanach bynith 

I am a young foolish hoy. 

Making love according to my &ncy ; 

I watching the white wheat, 

And others reaping it : 

Why do you not come after me 

Some day or i^nQther ? 

Because I see the^, beautiAil darling, 

Oh I lovelier and lovelier daily ! 

Tra & dwr yn y mor hallt, 

tra TO dwr on n more haltht 

A thra fo ngwallt yn tyfii, 

a thra vo ngooaltht un iavj 

A thra fo calon yn fy mron, 

a thia ^0 calon nn yu mron 

Mi fydda'n fiyddlon itti: 
m vatha'n futhlon Hte 

Dywed imi'r gwir dan gel, 
dawed immeV gweer dan gale 

A rho dan sel attebion ; 
a rho dan sale attebyon 

Fun ai myfi nen arall, Gwen, 

p'an ajmuyee nj aralth gwen 

Sydd orau gandy galon ! 
leeth oral gandii galon 

While there is watier iii the briny sea, 

And while my hair does grow, 

And while th^re is a heart in my breast, 

I will be faithful to thee : 

Tell me the truth in secret, 

And give under seal (in confidence) 
answers ; 

Whether myself or another, Gwen, 
Is best within thine heart ! 


Goreu pleser ar nos galan, — Fa, la, &c. 

gorei pieaaer ar nos galan 

Ty a th&n a theulu diddan, — Fa, &c. 

tn a thaan a thilej dithan 

The best pleasure on new year's eve, 
— Fa, la, &c. 

Is house and fire and a pleasant family, 
— Fa, la, &c. 



Calon Ian a chwrw melyn, — Fa, &o. 

oaloo Uum a ohooroo meUn 

A pure heart and brown* ale, — ^Pa, la, 

PenniU mwyn a Itaie y delm— Pa, &c. A gentle som and the voice of the 

pemith mooin a thlaia u de&n harp. — Fa, la, &C. 

Hyfryd gweled ar yr aelwyd, — Fa, &c. It is pleasant to see round the hearth, 

hurrid gweled ar nr a^lodd — Ya^ la, &C. 

Hen ac ieuangc mown ded wyddyd, — Old and young m happiness ;- — Fa, la, 

hain ao yeyangc meoon dedwithid £c. 


Pawb ddymunant o lawenydd, — ^Fa, &c, AH wish from joy, — ^Fa, la, &c. 

pawb thomiiiant o la-wenith 

Groesaw llawn i'r flwyddyn newydd. — A fall welcome to the new year. — Fa, 

groiaaoo thiaoon ir Tlooithin newith ]a, &c. 



Tsblenydd yw'r haul wrth euro y 

neUeniih ioor hayl oorth eiro u 



A glandeg yw gwliih ar felUion a rhds ; 
a glaandeg loo gooleeth ar veilUiioii a riioee 

TryloeW y w rhiih y Boer mewn albnydd, 

treeloioo ioo rbeeth n Ithoer mewn ayooyth 

A disglaer yw'r ser yn nyfitider y noa 

a dlqglair ioor eair on nuTnder ii nos 

Disgleirfwyn ]rwV hafddydd ei geinion 

&g)airvooiii ioor hayethith i gdnion 

nn biriaii 

A dicfglaer y w llewyrch yr awvr aV lU ; 
- ^— i-s- ioo Idieooaroli nr awir a'rlflie 

IKsgleiriach i'm serch yw Morvvdd 
^flglauriaoh I'm attth leo nomifc 

merch Megan. 
neroli meuen 

Anwylach ei phryd na roywyd i mi. 
aawuadi i fieed na mowid e me 

Beautifal » the mm in gilding the 
day dawn. 

And comely fair ike dew oa clover 
and rose; 

Transparent is the dialdow of the 
moon in riy^s, 

And bright are the stars in ike depth 
of the night 

Clear and mild is the sommet day 
its rays pure amd dean. 

And bright is the light of the air and 
the flood; 

Brighter to my afifbction is Morvydd, 
Megan's daughter, 

Dearer is her countenance than life 
unto me. 

Mae Morvvdd yn l&n a'l gwSn fel yr Morvydd is handscxne, and her smile 

mai morvith on laan a'i gooen vel ur Uke tibe sunshine, 



Ei chalon yn bur, a dedwydd ei bion ; Her heart is pure and happy in her 

i dudon nn boir a dedwith i bron breast; 

* literally,* yellow ale," bnt the idea fa aiabore. 



Mae miwsig ei Ilais yn fy wyd i Tawen, 

mae mndg i Ithais an vowid e v*aweQ 

Mae cariad yn by w'n ei Uygaid gwi w lion ; 

mae cariad un bioon i Ithugaid gweew Ithon 

Mae mwynder a rhinwedd yn pnro ei 

mae mooinder a rhinwath on peero i 



A glendid a gwylder yn gloywi ei phryd; 
a glendeed a gwilder on gloiwee i freed 

Mi garaf ei llun tra cura fy nghalon, 

me gaiav i Ithin tra cheera Ydi ngalon 

Mi garaf fy mun tra bwyf yn y byi 

me garav veh mnn tra booiv un u beed 

The music of her voice is life to my 

Love lives in her worthy merry eye ; 

Meekness and virtue purify her 

And purity and modesty brighten her 
countenance ; 

m love her image -while my heart 
shall beat, 

I'll love my hands full while I remain 
in the world. 


Harlechy raise thy banners ; 

Harlech, cyfod dy faneri ; 

harieoh cavod da vaneri 

Gwel y gelyn. Ennyn ynni 

gwafl n geun emran nnni 

Y Meirionwys oil i waeddi, 
n myrionwis dthe waethe 

Cymru fo am byth I 
omnri YO am byth 

Aed y waedd, ac aed y weddi, 

ajd u wailh ac ayd n wethe 

I bob cwrr o'n gwlad uchelfri, 

e bob ooor on goolaad echdvie 

Nes ad seinia yr Eiyri, 

DOB ad flinea nr emre 

Cymru fo am byth ! 
comri YO am bytU 

Arwyr, sawdwyr, sydyn 

arwyr aaoodwyr sndien 

Ehuthrwn ar y gelyn ; 

ibythroon ar a gdin 

Gyrrwn ef i flFoi o nant 

gonooa ev e foi nant 

A bryn, a phant, a dvfiryn. 
a biyn a fimt a dofreen 

Chw3rfiwn faner goruchafiaeth ; 
ohwyvioon Taner gomohayiaeih 

Qorfoleddwn yn ei alaeth ; 
goTYolethoon nn i alayth 

Clywir lief ein buddugoliaeth, 

dawir lihev ine bithigoliaeth 

Cymru fo am byth I 

comii vo am byth 

See the enemy. Kindle the vigour 

Of the Merioneth men, aU to cry, 

Wales be for ever ! 

Gk> the cry, and go the prayer, 

To each comer of our highly honoured 

^Till Snowden re-echoes, 

Wales be for ever I 

Peasants, soldiers, suddenly 
Let us rush on the enemy ; 
Let us drive him, flying from brook, 
And hill, and glen, and vale. 
Let us wave the banner of victory ; 
Let us rejoice in his wailing ; 
The cry of our victory shall be heard, 
Wales be for ever I 



Gwaed sy'n gwrido y cleddyfau ; 

gwayd sa'n goorido o dethuvai 

Twrw mawr a thingcian arfan ; 
tooroo maoor a thinkian arvai 

Uwch na'r twrw ceir bonllefau, 

eoooh naa'r tooroo kier bonlthevai 

Cymra fo am byth ! 

omnri TO am byth 

Saethau a phicellau wibiant, 

saythai a phekelthai wibeant 

Cym Hdganant, meirch weryrant, 

kiera idganant myerch werurant 

Mflwyr ruthranty rhengau floeddiant, 

TOitwjT rnthrant rhengai ybytbyant 

Cymru fo am byth I 

cumii TO am byth 

Blood reddens (causes to blush) the 
swords ; 

Great tumult and clashing of arms ; 

But higher than the tumult is the 

Wales be for ever I 
Arrows and darts fly, 
Horns sound loudly, horses neigh, 
Soldiers rush, ranks shout, 

Wales be for ever ! 

Tanbaid y w calonnau, 
ianbayd ya oalonai 

Giymiis ydyw breichiaa 

gmmia ncuw bieiohiai 

Gwyr yn ymladd dros eu gwlad, — 

gweer oo nmlath dros d goolad 

Orenwog wlad eu tadau. 

orenwog oolad i tadai 

Gwyllt a flFymig yw'r ymladdfa, 

gwfltht a firnig eoor unlaihya 

Gwangcus yw y cleddwrth wledda ; 
gwangcos yn a dethoorth wletha 

Duwies buddugoliaeth floeddia, 

denyci bithigoliaith vloithea 

Cymru fo am byth ! 

comri TO am byth 

Fervent are the hearts, 

Strong are the arms 

Of men fighting for their land, — 

The renowned land of their fathers. 

Savage and fierce is the fight, 

Ravenous is the sword in feasting ; 

The goddess of victory shouts. 

Wales be for ever ! 


CwmypoddCaradog,dyryswyd eifyddin, 
oo(nmpoth caradog durnaooid ei vnthin 

Cwympodd blaenoriaid a dewrion y gad ; 
oooimpoth blaynoryayd a dewryoa a gaad 

Gwynedd lesmeiriodd pan gollodd ei 

gwyneth lesmyrioth pan gothloth ei 



Cwmol dristwch a huliodd y wlad : 
ooomool dristoooh a hiUoth a oolaad 

Fallen is Caradog, his army is con- 

Fallen are the leaders and heroes of 
the battle ; 

North Wales fainted when it lost its 

A cloud of sorrow has covered the 
country : 




Bhely w anffodus y rhengau wrth gilio 

rhelu anfodns u rhengan oorth gOyo 

'Sgubwyd gan angau i grombil y don ; 

Bgibnid gan anghi e grombil u don 

Duodd y cwmwl a thorodd i wylo, 

deoth n ooomool a thoroth e weelo 

Congcwest y gelyn a ysodd pob bron. 

oonqaest a gelin a agsoth pobe bron 

The remnant unfortunate of tbe ranks 
while retreating 

Were swept by death to the midst of 
the wave ; 

Darkened the cloud and broke into 

The victory of the enemy consumed 
every breast 

Gwae i mi weled y gelyn budduffol, 

gwaj e me weled a gelin yithigol 
Ehwysg a gorfoledd yn Uoni ei bryd ; 

rhooiflg a gorvoleth • nn Ithone i breed 

Llethir fy monwes gan loesau angeuol, 

Itbetheer yj monooes gan loisai angeyol 

Gwell i mi farw na byw yn y byd : 

gwelth e me varoo na beoo on n beed 

Eilia fy nhelyn leddf don iV gyfla&n, 
ile-ja yn nhelm leibv doan ei'r gnvlayan 

Collwyd ein breintiau, ein rhyddid, a'n 

oolthooid ine brineliai ine rhnthid a'n 


Todded fy nghalon i gwyn "Morva 

tothed va ngalon e gooin monra 



Cuddier fy ngofid yn nyfhder y bedd. 

CQthyer yu ngOTid mi navnder n beth 

Woe me! to see the victorious enemy, 

Pomp and joy cheering his counten- 

My breast is crushed by deathly pangs, 

Better I should die than live in the 
world : 

My harp is in unison with the wail of 
the massacre, 

Lost are our rights, our liberty, oar 
peace ; 

Let my heart melt to the wail of 
" Morva Rhuddlan," 

Let my grief be hidden in the depths 
of the grave. 


Ein gwydrau gorlenwn mwyn yfwn 

ine gooidrai gorlenoon mooin nvoon 

mewn hedd, 
mewn heath 

gwrw a gwirod, gwin, neithdar, a 
o gooroo a gweerod gween nylhdar a 


Nes bo ein calonau dan e£faith y 

nee bo ine calonai dan efiuth u 


Tn wresog gan gariad a 

un ooreaog gan gariad a 

medd'dod mwyn." 
meath'dod moom 

** glan 

Our glasses let us overfill, drink 
kindly in peace, 

Of ale and liquor, wine, nectar, aud 

Until our hearts, vuider the effect of 
the charm. 

Are fervent with love and pure kind 




Ckarua: — 

Anwylaf hen Walia, mwyn noddfa 

aDooilaye baoe walia mooin nothva 

i ni, 
e nee 

Yw ceinwlad y dewrion henFry thon 

100 kine-oolad a dewrioo haae yrithoa 

o Tree 

Byth bythoedd yn ddedwydd a 

bith bathoeih on thedwith a 

hylwydd bo hi. 

bnlooitb bo he 

Chorus: — 

Dearest old Wales, kind refage 
to us, 

Is the fair country of the valiant 
old Britons of fame, 

For ever and ever happy and 
prosperous may she be. 

Ceir iechyd i*r galon a cheinion a chan, 

kyre yediid eir galon a chainion a ohaan 

Wrtb rodio'i dyflFrynoedd a'i glynoedd 
oorth rodio*-i dofrinoeth a'-i gUnoeth 

mwyn glan, 

mooin glan 

Gain flodau awenydd ar gynydd a gawn, 

kain ylodai awenith ar gonith a gaoon 

A diliau y delyn yn dilyn ei dawn. 

a diliai a deUn on dilin i daoon 

Anwylaf hen Walia, &c. 

Health to the heart is to be heard the 
best of cheer and song 

Is got by walking her dales and val- 
leys, mild, fair ; 

Beautiful flowers, poetic genius, in- 
creasingly we shall have. 

And the honied notes of the harp to 
follow its gift. 

Dearest old Wales, &c. &c. 



The two following specimens of the poetry and muac of Erin are taken 
from a little gem of a book, with which I have been favoured by Mr Moxon. 
It was published by Mr O'Daly of Dublin, and contains literally a treasure of 
the genuine Celtic strains of Erin, with English imitations by James Clarence 
Magan. I have not selected these specimens for the superior character of the 
music or the poetry, but on account of the subject, for the victims of loyal faith 
must ever be objects of sympathy to the generous and the brave. When will 
kings and statesmen look on political offences, especially those which spring 
from intensely loyal and patriotic feelings, as the offences of the noble and high 
minded, and deal with them in an accordant spirit ? 


AiB.— ** The Hnmonn of Olyn/* 

As a maighdion as baintreabhach rin A virgin — a widow — I mourn lone 

Dia go h-ogdhiom. 

and lowly. 

Ni binn liom an chreidhill-si gabhail This mom saw me wedded in God's 

tiomchioU mo nuanchain ; 

temple holy ; 

Ba bhean-phosda as maidean me, o*n And noontide beholds me a lone wi- 

eaglais chomhachtach, 

dow weeping, 

'S as bain-treabhach niainim ar theachd For my spouse in the dark tomb for 

de'm trath-nona 

Ta smuaintean mo chridhe-ei na egaoil- 

feadh go h-eagde, 
Feadh bheidheadh druchd or na gleann- 

tadh na ceo ar na sleibhte ; 
La coimhnadh da sniomh dhuit go caoin 

deas de'n chaoldain, 
Is e la broin an chruidhill-si* da innsint 

gun egair ! 

Is deas do thiocfadh cloidheam dhuit an 

maneaigheacht an choil-each. 
No ag reide na h-adhine 's do ghadhain- 

binne air raothan, 
Thogfadh an ceo dhe m* intinn 's tu ar 

bheinn-mhaoil an t-steibhe, 
Agus aireochamoid uainn tu la buailte 

Bigh Seumas. 

ever lies sleeping. 

On my heart Ues a cloud, and will he 

there for ever. 
Hark, hark to the death-knell that 

dooms us to sever I 
Oh, well may my eyes pour forth 

tears as a fountain, 
While dew gems the valley, and mist 

dims the mountain. 

King James mourns a hero, as brave 

as e'er breathed. 
! to see him when mounted, with 

bright blade unsheathed. 
Or high on the hill-side with bugle 

and beagles, 
Where his foot was > the deer's, and 

his eye was the eagle's. 

Is mor mor e m' eagladh go bh-fuil do I shrieked and I cried when his blood 
mhuinntir a bh-fuarain liom, gush'd like water ; 

Mar nan lighas 's nar sgreadas nuair But treach'ry and baseness had 
chonarc an fhuil uasal, doom'd him to slaughter ; 

• CTeidliill,~-death.ben, kneU. 



D' fheach ta tar ais orm a dhiaiiHsradh 
le truagh dhaiu, 

Achd d' smrigheag an feall an mo ann- 
rachd an naim ud. 

He glanced at me fondly, to comfort 
and cheer me, 

But his friends love me not, and they 
never come near me. 

Mo mhallachd bhearfainn d*aoin-bhean 
na m-l)idheach hurt f hear da h-ionnadh ; 

Na dian fach a dithchiol gan aon aca 

Mar is ^illean fir cailec chaill me mo 
chial leis, 

'S fear briaga-deas na grana ni ghaidh- 
fead ad dhiaig-si ! 

Accursed be the maid who can smile 
on two lovers ; 

Around me the shade of my last 
husband hovers, 

And, oh, never more can I think of 

Or feel for a lover, save as for a 
brother ! 

The following song from the same work is called 


*• Cia h-e sin a muith, 
'17a bh-fuil faobhair ar guith, 
Ag raobadh mo dhoruis duntadh ?" 

^* 'S mise Eamonn an'chnoic, 

Ta baidhte, fiiar, fliuch, 

fhior-shiubhal sleibhite 's ghleann- 

'' A laoigh ghil 's a chuid ? 

dread a dhianfainn dhuit ? 
Mur cuirfinn ort beinn da'm ghunadh. 

*S go bh-fuil pughdar go tuigh ; 

Da shior-feide riot, 
'S go m-beadhmaois a raon muchda !" 

* * You with the voice shrill and sharp, 

Like the high tones of a harp. 

Why knock you at my door like a 
warning ?" 

" I am Ned of the hill, 

I am wet, cold, and chill, 

Toiling o'er hill and vale since 
morning ?" 

" Ah, my love, is it you? 

What on earth can I do ? 
My gown cannot yield you a comer. 

Ah, they'll soon find you out ; 

They'll shoot you, never doubt. 
And it's I that will then be a mourner I" 

'* 'S fada mise a muich, 

Faoi shneachda gus faoi shioc, 
'S gan danacht agam ar aon neach ; 

Mo sheisreach gan sgur. 

Mo bhranar gan cur, 
A's gan iad agam ar aon chor. 

Nil caraid agam, 

Is danaid liom san. 
Do ghlacfach me moch na deanach ; 

'8 go g-caith feadh me dul, 

Tan £Eiinge soin, — 
Os aon nach bh-fuil mo ghaothaltadh !" 

" Long I'm wandering in woe, 

In frost and in snow. 
No house can I enter boldly ; 

My ploughs lie unyoked. 

My fields weeds have choked. 
And my friends they look on me coldly. 

Forsaken of all, 

My heart is in thrall. 
All withered lies my life's garland ; 

I must look afar 

For a brighter star, — 
Must seek my home in a far-land t" 



*' A chuisl alninn deas; 

Na bh-faingidh cas, 
Is breagha 'gas as glas do fuile, 

Go bh-fiiil chreidhe da shlad, 

Man do shniomthaoi gad, 
Le bliaghin mor fhada ag tnuth leat. 

Da bh-faghainD-si le ceart, — 

Cead sine sios leat, 
Is eadtrom *s as dear do shiubhal fainn, 

Gk) bh-fuil mo smoaiDte a bhean, 

Air ealoghadh leat, 
Faoi choilltibh ag spealadh an druchtadh !" 

" thou of nect fair. 

And curling hair, 
With blue eyes flashing and sparkling, 

For a year and more 

Has my heart been sore^ 
And my soul for thee been darkling. 

could we but both, — 

Tou nothing loth, 
Escape to the wood and forest, 

What light and calm, 

What healing balm, 
Should I have for my sorrow's sorest !" 

*' A chumainn 's a shearc, 

Bachamaoid-ne seal, 

Foi choilltibh ag spealadh and druch- 

Mar bh-faghanaoid an breac, 

'S an Ion air a nead, 

An siad 'gus am poc a buistre ; 

Na h-eiginidhe seinneadh, 

'S an chuaichin ar bhann an un-ghlais ; 

Go brath brath ni thiocfad 

An bas air an n-goineadh, 
A lann na coille cubhantha I" 

" My fond one and dear, 

The greenwood is near, 

And the lake where the trout is 
springing ; 

You will see the doe. 

The deer and the roe. 
And will hear the sweet birds singing ; 

The blackbird and thrush 

In the hawthorn bush, 
And the lone cuckoo from her high nest ; 

And you never need fear 

That death would be near, 
In this bright scenery, dearest !*' 

The following song from Mr O'Daly's book, with the phonetic spelling and 
translation by Mr John Murdoch, the patriotic and spirited writer on the 
Highland and other Clearances, under the name of *' Finlagan," sufficiently 
exemplifies the relationship between the northern Irish and the Highlanders. 


A bh-facadh til an chuil-fhionn 's i ag 
a yaoa' too an chooleen see a 

siubhal ar na boithre, 

ahoo-nll ayr na boh-re 

Maidion gheal druchta 's gan smtit ar a 
maijin gall drooohta s gan smooit ayr a 



Is iomdha oganach siil-ghlas ag tnuth 
18 imo oganaoh sooil-ghlas ag tnooch 

le i phosadh, 
lay ee fosa 

Saw you the fair-bair'd a-travelling 
the wolds 

A bright dewy morning, without dust 
on her shoes ? 

Many a blue-eyed youth desires her 
in marriage. 



Achd ni bh-fagbadh siad mo run-sa ar 
ach nee toj sbeead mo rooiue ajr 

an g-cuntas is doith led 

an goontaa is do lo 

But they sba'nH have my own love on 
their calculation. 

A bh-facadh tu mo bhaban la bre%h Saw you my darling, a fine dav bv 

u Taca to mo vawbawn law biyaw herself 

's i na h-aonar, 

see na h-ajrnar 

A cul dualach, dris-leanach, go slinnean Her twining hair shimmering down to 
n oooll dooallaoh droeah-laynach gu ableenawn l^^j. shoulders ? 

BIOS leithe ? 
ahees le-ha 

Mil ar an oig-bhean, 's ros breagh na Sweet is the maiden, a fine eye in her 

medajr nn og-yan 's roa brja na face 



'S as doith le gach spriosan gur leanan And every brat fancies that she is his 

aaa do lay gach apreesawn gurlyannaum own love! 

leas fein i I 
layah fiiynee 

A bh-facadh tu mo speirbhean 's i taobh 

u Yaca too mo spajrrvan see tajy 
leis an toinn, 

lays an tayn 

Fainnidhe oir ar a mearaibh'si reidhtiach 
£uenye oirayra mayriy see raytyaoh 

a cinn ? 

n keen 

Is 4 dubhairt an Paorach bhidh 'na 
ia e doort an pa-raoh vee na 

mhaor ar an loing, 

▼n-r ayr an layng 

Go m' fhearr leis aige fein i na Eire gan 
ga m'ar laysb ayge fityn ee na ayre gun 

roinn ! 


Saw you my splendid woman, by the 
side of the waves, 

Gold rings on her fingers, and she 
smoothing her hair ? 

Said Power, who was captain of the 

He would rather possess her than 
undivided Erin ! 

The dance as well as words to the ancient tune of '' Gillidh Galium'' are 
assumed by a witty bard to have been danced and sung by Father Noah, when 
first hilarious under the inspiring efiects of his successful distillation from the 
fruits of his newly planted vineyard. Gillidh Galium was the name of Noah's 
piper, and the tune has, with great propriety, continued to be called after him. 
The dance seems originally to have been over two crossed vine plants; 
but, swords being of old more abundant plants in Scotland than vines, the 
Highlanders considered the former good substitutes for the latter; and, indeed, 
the object of the dance being, as the verses imply, to furnish a method whereby 



a gentleman in his cups may be distinguished firom a boor dead drunk, the 
swords seem to be, if not the more appropriate, at least the sharpest test of 
the two. 


Binn mi fion a brigh ghallain, 

rinn mi fi-on a bri' ghallain 

Dh-fhas an lios nan dossain fhallain. 

yas an lifl nan do88-ayn all-ajn 

C'aite a bheil u GhiUidh Challum ? 

oayt^ a bhejl n illi ohallam 

Nuas da chlaidheamh 's seid a phiob I 
nn-aa da cblaj-ev' *s seyd a fi-ob 

Oed a mhoidheadh Dile eile, 

ged a Yoy-e' dil eyle 

Co ach leabadan a theireadh, 

00 aoh lebadan a heyre' 

Nach dian fion is ceol gach eagal 

oach den fi-on is oe-ol gac eg-al 

Bron, is teagabh, chuir do*n chill ! 

bron ifl teg-ay choyr don chill 


I have made wine from the juice of 

That grew in the orchard of wholesome 

Where art thou, Gillie Galium ? 

Down with two swords, and blow up 
the pipe ! 

Though another Deluge should threat- 

Who but a poltroon would assert 
That wine and music cannot send 
Sorrow, fear, and doubt to the cell. 

Fhad sa mhaireas dossain mhearradh, While the mirth-making clusters last^ 

ad «a yayres doss-ayn Terra' 

Oladh mid deoch-slaint air leannain ; Let us drink healths to our sweet- 

ola' mid de-och-slaynt ayr lenn-ayn hearta 

Nuasdachlaidheamhcruaidhledeannaibh, Down quickly with two sharp swords, 

nn-aada ohlay^-ev om-ay' le den-ayy 

Is seid gu smiorail-suas i phiob. And, with spirit, blow up the pipe ! 

18 seyd ga smir-ayl-Bua i fi-ob 

Gleus an fhidhle, sliob am boghadh, 
gleys an i'-'el sleeb am bo'-a' 

Bron is tuireadh cuirem fodhadh ; 

bron is tayre' cayr-em fo'-a' 

na rinn mi fion a bhleadhan, 

o na rinn mi fi-on a yle-o'-an 

Damhsa is meadhail *8 iad mo mhiann ! 
davsa ia me-ayl 'a iad mo yi-ann 

Bhuain an diblidh, spideil, aineamh, 
vn-ayn an dib-li' spid-eyl ayn-ev 

Bhitheas air sloic measg oil is aighear ; 

▼i'-s ayr doyo mesg oyl in ay'-er 
Am fear a dhamhsas Gillidh Callam, 

am fer a yav-sas gillie callum 

Se mhain is airidh air an fhion. 
^ae rayn Lb ayri' ayr an i-on 

Tune the fiddle, rosin the bow, 

We'll put down grief and wailing ; 

Since I have distilled wine. 

Dancing and stirring joys are my de- 

Hence thou helpless and contemptible 

That sprawlest 'mid drink and mer- 
riment ; 

He who (when in his cups) can dance 
Gillie Callum, 

Is alone worthy of the wine. 


AchlannnanGaidhealjfior-shliochdNoah, Clans of the Gael, true descendauts 

a ofalana nao ga-el fior lio no-ah of Noah 

Bithibh dileas, cairdeil, comh'rail, Be faithful, friendly, social, 

bi-ev diles oayrd-eyl oov-rayl 

Coimhneil, cridheil, dligheach, ceolar, — Kind, hearty, natural, musical, — 

ooy'-neyl cri'-eyl dli'-ech ce-o-lar 

Seinnibh orain 's olaibh fion. Singing songs and drinking wine. 

Bejnmy or-ajm b ol-ayv fi-on 


This Caledonian March, believed to be of great antiquity, was a great favourite 
with Duncan Macdonald of Dalnes, Colonel of the 57th Begiment, or " Die- 
hards." He made it so much the march of that regiment as to be the sure sign 
of its presence or signal of its approach, wherever it was heard in the Peninsula 
or the South of France. A more spirited or a braver officer than Colonel Duncan 
Macdonald never drew his sword in the service of his country ; yet his end was 
very melancholy. He was severely wounded in the battle of the Nivelle, but 
having, like his intimate friends, Sir Thomas t^icton and the Honourable Sir 
William Stewart, a passion for battles, he could not be prevailed on to remain 
in the rear. He followed the regiment in its daily march, keeping sufficiently 
close to make sure of seeing or of joining it in every battle ; but, from his state 
of health, he never found himself in a condition to resume the command. One 
of the companies of the 57th and its captain, who temporarily commanded 
the regiment, being quartered in a deserted chateau at Ayres, on the night after 
the brilliant affair of the second division at that place, some of the men dis- 
covered the plate-room, and carried away the more portable parts of it in their 
knapsacks on the following day. An old and faithful servant, who had been 
left to watch over the chateau, wisely kept sight of these men until they fell 
into the ranks, when she reported the circumstance to the general. The captain 
of the company was called before the Duke of Wellington, and, finding himself 
in a serious scrape, threw the whole blame on the colonel ; stating that, by 
keeping continually in the vicinity of the regiment, and lodging always in the 
same place with them at night, without either taking the command himself, or 
leaving it effectually to him, the discipline had become relaxed, and the regiment 
demoralized. Unfortunately for himself, Colonel Macdonald was a high-minded, 
warm-hearted, generous Highlander, who considered the military as the most 
illnstrious of all professions, and regarded flogging as not only barbarous and 
inhuman, but as destructive of the pride and dignity that ought to be iticulcated 
in the soldier. As rewards for good conduct had not then been introduced into 
the service, he did everything in his power by kindness, encouragement, 
and praise, and (in extreme cases) severe rebukes and fatigue duties, to 
maintain discipline without the lasL This made him obnoxious to all the 
scourge-advocates ; and they took care that a mere delinquency by a private of 
the 57th was made more of than a crime in regiments traitied by the martinet 
and the lash. The coloneFs abhorrence of the lash being known to the great, 



but, in questions of discipline, too inflexible Duke, he the more readily believed in 
the demoralized condition of the regiment, — for the cunning captain stndiously 
concealed from him the fact, that the whole regiment, excepting a few men of his 
own company, were innocent Macdonald was dismissed the service, withont 
having been allowed the benefit of a court of inquiry or a court-martial I His 
friends the Hon. General Sir William Stewart, General Byng, (afterwards Lord 
Strafford) and others, prevailed on Colonel Macdonald to return to England, to re- 
cover his health, before he knew that he was regarded by the Duke otherwise 
than as one of his most distinguished officers ; but, on his return home, seeing his 
name in the Gazette, along with that of another officer of the same rank dis- 
missed for cowardice, his reason was upset : he flung himself out of the window, 
and was killed on the spot I The Duke discovered that the report on which he 
unfortunately proceeded in this case was substantially false ; and the ColoneFs 
surviving brother was conciliated and compensated by the price of Colonel 
Macdonald's commission ; but such was the sad fate of one of the most humane 
and gallant officers of the Peninsular army. 

The desperate soubriquet of the 57th Begunent arose from the following 
circumstance. It occupied the, key of the position in the unscientific battle of 
Albuera, under the command of Colonel Inglis, a noble Border man. It being 
of importance that they should firmly keep their grotmd, the only words uttered 
by the colonel during the whole day was, " Steady men, keep your places." 
Strange to say, he sat in their front on horseback from the beginning untfl 
nearly the close of the fierce conflict, without getting a single scratch, although 
every other officer in the regiment, excepting one, was killed or wounded, and 
although, so striking was the line formed by the bodies of the dead, as to cause 
every man to be buried where he fell ! The position occupied by the regiment 
was thus marked by a long green mound, which was the object of pOgrimages to 
all the British officers joining the army of the Peninsula for years afterwards. The 
colonel was at length struck down, just as a strong and fresh column was com- 
ing up to drive the small remnant of his men from their position. But, instead 
of waiting to receive the charge, the brave fellows, freed from restraint by the 
fall of their colonel, gave three exulting cheers, and rushing past him at the 
charge, scattered the advancing column to the winds ! The colonel feebly waved 
his hat as they passed him, and exclaimed, '* Well done, my lads, you'll die hard 
at any rate.'' Hence the soubriquet 

The author of the following poem on the battle of Killiecrankie, Ronald, 
son of Allan of Achatriachaden, was the father of DomhnuU Mac Baonuill, my 
maternal grandfather. He was a distinguished warrior in the wars of Montro^ 
and Dundee, and is known in the traditions relative to these wars as *' Baonall 
na Sgeidh," that is, " Bonald of the Shield," a soubriquet arising from a cir- 
cumstance which is thus related by tradition : — 

An English dragoon who had been taken prisoner, on discovering that the 
Highlanders had not been tramed to use the sword without the target, despised 
their swordmanship. He said in Ronald's presence, that, if he bad not been a 


prisoner, he would fight the b6st Highlander in Montrose's army with the sword 
alone, against sword and target '^ Man/' exclaimed Bonald, indignantly, ^' do 
you think any Highlander would take sach an advantage in fighting you? I 
have not been taught to use the sword without a target, but I will fight you dirh 
and target against your sword, which puts the advantage on your side. Your 
being a prisoner need not deter you, for I pledge my honour, if you beat me, 
that you will not only be held scaithless, but set at liberty." " Gkt me a promise 
to that effect from the General," said the dragoon, joyously, " and our wager 
of battle is complete." '* Montrose is a disciplinariaD," said Ronald; ''but if 
you beat me, there is not a Macdonald now present, or in the royal army, who 
will not feel himself bound in honour to. make my pledge good." The English* 
man knew the oneness of clan faith and feeling, and was satisfied. But the 
instant the men stood ready for action, they were interrupted by the sudden 
appearance of Aillein dvbh na fiadh^ the celebrated Dalnes deer-stalker, who 
hearing of the duel, hastened to take the place of Bonald, and fight the English- 
man on equal terms. The deer-stalker was, next to Alisdair Mac CoUa, 
reputed to be the best swordsman in Montrose's army. Bonald refused to 
allow any man to take his wager of battle out of his own hands ; on which 
Allan said to him, in Gaelic, '* 'S fhear an claidheamh, gu mor na bhiodag 's 
an targaid. Gabh mo chomhairle, oir cha 'n 'eil fios a dh-eires dhuit;" — (the 
sword is much better than the dirk and target. Take my advice, or there is 
no knowing what may happen to you.) " Cha n-eil," replied Ronald, sternly, 
'* fios de a dh-eires dhomhsadh, ach eiridh an diol f hein dhasadh ;" — (no, there 
is no knowing what may happen to me, but the very devil will happen to him.) 
The dragoon did not gain his liberty, but Ronald gained his traditionally 
celebrated soubriquet, RaonuU na Sgeidh. 

The extraordinary feats of valour ascribed by Mr Napier, in the life of 
Montrose, to a Ronald Maclean of Mull, are ascribed in Glencoe tradition to 
RaonuU na Sgeidh. It is not uncommon, however, in tradition to find the deeds 
done by one man, and in one locality, ascribed to another man, and in another 
locality. Hence, although the facts stated in tradition may be depended on, 
persons, localities, and dates are often confounded. I would be very sorry, 
therefore, on merely traditional evidence, to claim credit for my ancestor for 
the warlike deeds ascribed to any of his brave companions in arms ; but I firmly 
believe that the history is wrong and the tradition right, in this case, — ^for I 
heard every one of the feats ascribed by the historian to Ronald Maclean, 
ascribed to RaonuU na Sgeidh, or Ronald of the Shield, by tradition at least, 
fifty years before Mr Napier's history of Montrose was written. With me the 
name of the hero also goes far to prove the tradition to be more reUable, in this 
case, than history, — ^for Ronald is a very common Macdonald name, but a very 
uncommon one for a Maclean. 

I I'egret giving broken extracts of this poem, but cannot afford space for 
the whole. 




Se lathadh Baonruaridb, 


Be la' -a 

Dh-fbag laaimbneach mo dhasgadh, 

jag la-ajrv-neoh mo jvutg-af 

Mo na thuit do chlann Dbomhauilly 

mo na hayt do chlann yov-nnjli 

'8 cha b-ann le leonadh nan cul-thaobb, 

8 cha bann le le-on-a' nan col-haoT 

Thug Sinn macb an ratreuta, 

hng sinn mach an ra-trejta 

Choisin ceitibh le diubhail, 
ohoysin oejt-iy le di-n-yayl 

'S ged a tbearnadh gu leir einn, 
8 ged a be-ar-na' gn leyr sinn 

Bha bas Chleibhir ri chunnta& 

ya bas cfaleyy-ir ri chnntaa 

An leogban urramach rioghail, 

an le-o'-an urram-aoh ri-yayl 

Nach d* roinn f hirin a mhuthadh, 

nach droynn ir-inn a ya'-a' 

Chum daingean a dhilseachd, 

chnm dayng-en a yil-aeo- 
Ga righ is ga dhuthaich ; 

ga ri' 18 ga yn'-ayoh 

Oha d* thug or air na eagal, 

oha d ng or ayr na egal 

Gun seasaibh ri chumhnant, 
gnn see-ayv ri ehuynant 

'S ged a thuit e le onair, 
8 ged a huyt e le on-ayr 

Qe mi-shonas na cuis e ! 

be mi-honas na cays e 

Gaisgeach garg an am cruadail, 

gayag-eoh garg an am om-a-dayl 

Ceannard sluaigh ann an teugbhail 

cennard sln-ay' ann an teyg-yayl 

Ge b-f huileach bu bhaigheal e, 

ge buyl-ech bn yay-yel e 

Toirt tlas. dhoibh is reidhlein ; 
toyrt ilas yoyy is re^-leyD 

^Se nach cuireadh ri balP iad, 
•6 naioh ooyr-e' ri biaU i-ad 

Toirt tacar a' 'n eiginn, 

toyrt taoar a 'n eyg-inn 
Dh-innis latha Dhun-chaillean, 

yinnis la'-a' ynn-ohayllen 

Nach ro anamsa an creubhaig. 

nach ro anam-sa an crey-yayg 

Cha b-ann leis na claidhean, 

cha bann leys na day'-en 

Fhuir air h-armuin an leonadh, 

hnyr ayr harm-oyn aa le-on-a' 

Ach gun dVoinne an cumail, 
aoh gon droynne aa oom-ayl 

Gun dol dainneal so choimhraig ; 

gun dol daynneL so ohoy-rayg 

^S mairg a chunnaic na suighean, 

8 mayrg a chnnayc na sny'-en 

An iorgail na doirin, 
an i-or-gayl na doy-rin 

Ga 'n spada le luaithe, 

gan spada le lu-ay' 

'S gun titigeadh buachaille bho i ! 

8 gnn til-ge' bn-aoh-ayll^ yo i 

Gur e mheudaich mo champar, 
gnr e yeyd-ayoh mo ob«m*par 

A liuthad banntiach tha 'm dhnthich, 
a li-a'-ad ban-trach ha m ya'-kh 

Agns oganach treubhach, 

agns oganaoh trey-yaoh 

Nach teid oibhach am pusadh, 
nach teyd eyr-ach am pnsa' 

Thuit le luaithe san am ad, 

hnyt le la-a/ san am ad 

Bualadh lann mar bn da dhaibh, 
bn-al-a' lann mar bu da yayy 

Bud an cluicheadh bha cailteach, 

sod an duyohe' ya oayltech 

'S iad aig radh gu*m bu bhuaidh e ! 

8 i-ad ayg ra' gu*m bn yn-a/ e 

A thigheam oig Ghlinne-gairidb, 

a hi' -era oyg ylinne-gayri' 

Luidh smal air do shuigradhy 

lay' smal ayr do hng-ra' 

'S mor do chall le righ Seumas, 
8 mor do chall le ri' seymaa 

'S goirt a leireadh na chuis u ; 
8 goyrt a leyre' na ohnyi n 

Bha Domhnull gorm gaolach, 

ya doynnl gorm gad-aoh 

'S fhuil chraobhach a brachdadh, 

8 nyl chraoy-aoh a bnioa' 
'S eigin fhulang na thainig, 

8 eygin nlang na haynig 

Dh-fhalbh do bhrathair na ur-fhas. 

ydy do yra'-ayr na nr-M 



Bha e curranta seolta, 

▼a e ourranta ae-olta 

Bu chiaobh-chomhraig tbair cend e, 

bu chraoY-chov-rajg hajv ceyd e 
Do fheaivmor ba mbath cuma, 

do yer-mor ba va' cuma 

Bh-aig gach duke mar spenclair. 

▼ayg gaoh dajne mar speje-layr 

GMi thug ro mhiad ua h-aireamh, 

ged hag ro yi-ad na hajrev 

Brais is Arden le cbeile, 

brajB ifl arden le cheyle 

Ort gun bhi sgatbach mud phearsa, 
ort gan ti sga'ach mad fersa 

Oig gbasta na feile. 
oyg yasta na fejle. 

Instead of a literal translation, in lines parallel with the original, I submit 
as faithful an imitation of the few verses from this poem as I can accomplish, 
heading them with a short extract from the '' Memoirs of Dundee/' printed for 
James Brown, at the Black Swan, without Temple-Bar, 1714 

'' The cbms earnest^ «iitreated Dimdee not to engage in pertoa, and told bis lordship 
that their method of fi^^ttng was quite difiSsrent from th^ of regular troops. Again, they 
desired him to consider, that should he be killed, King James s interest would be lost in 
Scotland. But no argument would prewi with him, nothing could dissuade him from 
engaging at the b«id of his troops. General Mackay's army outwioged Dundee's nearly & 

Suarter of a mile, which obfiged the clans to leaye large interrals between each clan, and, by 
edinine towards the wings, they wanted troops to charge the centre, where a detachment oif 
the Les^y and Hastings English regiments were. The Highlanders threw away their plaids, 
haversacks, and all other ineumbrances, and marched resolutely and deliberately, in their 
shirts and kilts, with their fusils, swoxds, pistols, and tai;gets ready, down the lull on the 
enemy, and received Mackay*s ihird fire before they pierced his line, in which many of the 
Highland army fell, particularly Lord Viscount Dundee, their genend, the terror of the 
Whiga, the supporter of King Janes, and the glory of his countnr. Then the Highlanders 
fired, threw down their fusils, rushed on, dischai^d and threw their pistols in the fitces of 
their opponents, drew their swords, and fell on t The enemy did not maintam their ground 
two minutes after the Highlandera were amongst them, and 1 dare be bold to say, there were 
scarce ever such strokes given in Europe as were given that day by the Highlanders. 
Many of General Mackay's officers and soldiers were eut down through the skull and neck 
to the very breast, others had their sculls cut off above their ears Uke nightcaps ; some 
soldiers had both their bodies and cross-belts cut through at one blow, fikes and small 
swords were cut like willow wands. Whoever doubts this, may consult many witnesses of 
the tragedy still living.** 

The above account of the battle, by an eye-witness, clearly shows that 
Dimdee did not understand or appreciate Uie mode of attack of the Highlanders^ 
any more than it has been understood by the feudal historians or the modem 
officials of the British army; who, if they judge by results, instead of by 
prejudiced statements and opinions, need have no doubt of its superiority to any 
other mode of fighting hitherto known. That Claverfaouse did not understand 
their practice, is seen by the fact, that the Highlanders received threa volleys 
" befiyre they pierced Mackay's lines ;" that they did not draw their swords until 
Dundee fell, and that the battle did not last two minutes after they were left to 
fight it out, in their own way, sword in hand. If the reader will keep in view 
the above description of the battle, and peruse the following imitation of the 
annexed poem by Ronald of the Shield, he will see- that Claveriiouse did not 
lead his army into the field in accordance with their accustomed tactics. 

Baonruari's day has chased away my rest, Full well their trenchant swords, with 
And roles the mixed emotions of my. breast, cleaving blows, 

For there, alas, my high aud noble race, Avenged the iron hail-showers of their 
Have met a loss the age will not replace. foes ; 



But, ah, though all had 'scaped, since 

ClaveiB fell, 
Our much-WTonged kiog may bid his 

throne farewell. 

Well may we sing his deeds, his pun 

For, when he fell, alas, his oonntiy fell ! 

Courteous though fierce, inflexible though 

The chief and friend in him were well 

No tremors shook his soul, yet he essayed 
To storm no ramparts simply with the 

And since his fall, we see that e'en the Gael, 
By tyros led, may fight without avaiL 
Alas I while standing at the hero's tomh, 
I feel the cause he loved must share hisdoom. 

In glory's path, with faith unstain'd he 

He spurn'd ambition — love of gold he 

Beneath his thoughts. [Jndaunted, though 

He faced rebellion, and sustained the 

In manhood's calmness, as in fervid youth. 
One path was his — ^the path of loyal truth. 

The foregoing verses bear sufficient evidence of Bonald Mac Ailean's 
devotion to, and admiration of Claverhouse ; but, while condemning the absurd 
attack on the fortified position of the Cameronians, at Dankeld, by Gleneral 
Gannin, without either artiUery or scaling ladders, (referred to in the above 
verse,) he remarks clearly enough on the injudicious conduct of Claverhouse, 
in marching the clans at a funeral pace, instead of in their usual way, to attack 
the Whigs at Eilliecrankie, by him called Baonruari. He then details the 
heavy loss sustained by the clans in consequence of this mistake, but I overlook 
these verses, as no longer interesting to the general reader. 

'Twas not the gallant play of keen-edged Will boldly aim at him, who, standing 

That spread destruction through the loyal 

From lines outflanked what have the 

clans to fear ? 
Show them the foe, and give them full 

career ! 
To right, to left, like lightning's flash, 

they turn. 
Bushing through volleyed flames, with 

scaithless scorn I — 
Their flashing blades 'mong serried ranks 

they wield. 
Till every foe is slain or fled the field. 

Presents a stolid mark against the hill ; 

But when the warrior draws his falchion 

And rushes on him like a flash of light, 
Terror the caitiff's coward heart o'er- 

His arm relaxes, and his spirit cowers ! 

Why should their leaders men like these 

While iron showers come scouring o'er the 

The gaping hind who drives his team afield, 
Although the warlike sword he dare not 


♦ ♦ « 4! 4c * 

Young chieftain of Glengarry, clouds 

Deep o'er thy land. Thou scarce art 

left one friend I — 
Thy Donald gorm is slain — ^the kind— 

the good — 
And thy great brother welters in his blood. 
Like a tall oak, uprooted by the storm, 
The field he graces with his warlike form. 
He fell not unavenged among the dead— 
But who will fight the battle in his 





Prudent, yet fervid ; cautious, yet bold, 
He fired his clansmen, yet their fire 

controlled ; 
But, ah, the danger that has caused their 

He never saw — ^the danger of their chief I 
Mild as a maid, fierce as a beacon's 

Well has he earned, and well sustained 

his fame. 
And must we mourn that thus his bright 

Too soon was closed — ^because he knew 

not fear ? 

Chief of the Gamerons, clothed with 

early fame. 
Who can thy deeds record,thy lossesname ? 
When others changed their fealty, thou, 


The battles of three kings have seen thy 

But who for royal favours saw thee kneel? 
Thy country's weal, thy clansmen's proud 

Were all thou sought'st of glory or 

reward 1 

Alas, the tumult, and the closing night. 

Concealed the o'er-matched hero from 
the sight 

Of many clansmen, swift and strong and 

That would oppose their hearts his life 
to save! — 

Ciirsed be the wars that clothe them- 
selves in shades I — 

Clans of my love, let daylight see your 

When to your country's battles you 

descend ; 

Night is the hero's foe, the coward's 

Alas I the Stuart chieftains have been 

The curse of leaders destitute of thought ; 
For, at Dunkeld, 'gainst foes that lurked 

Behind stone walls, what 'vailed their 

broadnswords keen ? 
Long stood they, dauntless, 'mid the 

iron blast. 
While round them fell their clansmen 

thick and fast. 
Who will the tale of woe in Appin tell. 
And name the heroes that so vainly 


On rushed the clans, who ne'er to foeman 

The Whiglings chasing o'er the dark- 
ening field. 
What shrieks of terror, war-cries shouted 

Startled the hills as through the pass 

they toil'd ! 
Winged on pale fear, they fled, they fled 

And carnage gloated o'er her thousands 

slain I 
But, ah, will carnage quench the widow's 

Or wipe the tear from the pale orphan's 


And you, my clansmen of the Abrian 

Sons of the sword, rehearsers of wild 

lays — 
You, too, alas, so long in battle tried. 
Stood boldly forward by your kinsman's 

And fell in ranks. No more the voice 

of joy 
Shall wake the glens of Spean and of Boy, 
To meet your steps : no more the chaste 

and fair 
The feast and song, to welcome you, 

prepare : 
For,at Dunkeld,now slumber in the grave. 
The kind, the true,the noble, and the brave. 



These two last verses, and the verse previously mentioQed, refer to the 
mad attack of General Oannin on the fortified position of the Cameronians at 
Dunkeld, without artillery or scaling-ladders. The failure of this ridiculous 
attack of the imbecile Cannin, is largely boasted of by the whigs — which shows 
how hard-up they were for a triumph over the Highlanders. 

I regret that I cannot quote a few more verses of the oripnal of this very 
spirited yet exceedingly clannish and feeling poem, as the imitation does not 
take it connectedly even verse for verse ; but as Ronald of the Shield, then 
an old man, was one of the victims of the Massacre of Glencoe,* I think the 
reader may feel more interested in the following imitation of the Isle of Muck 
bard's lament on that subject ? It is a true imitation, and corroborates what has 
elsewhere been stated as to the absence of a vindictive or revengeful spirit from 
all poetry that does anything like justice to the deep feeling, but calm dignity 
of the ancient Gael, in his hours of sorrow and indignation. We have here no 
flaming roofe or eagles screaming over the hearts of the atrocious perpetrators 
of the Massacre even of Glencoe. But the very noblest and most generous 
feudalist could not even imagine anything so magnanimous as the Highland 
clans when most deeply suffering under the treachery and cruelty of their 
enemies. The original will be found in every collection of Gaelic poetry. 


Gpd, whose gospel revealeth, 

As thy children may daily behold, 
Truth, benevolence, mercy, 

In lessons affectingly told ; 
In their strait, be Thou aiding 

To the good and the brave of the 
Brought to grief and despairing. 

By a treachery rare among men. 

On their orphans look kindly, 

Who have ever been kindly and true. 
Who could not, in baseness, 

E'en traitors and rebels pursue : 
Though unyielding and deadly, 

When their country demanded their 
To humanity faithful, 

For the foes they had slain they could 

Had they known, when the stranger 

They welcomed, and hailed as a friend, 
That their homes were in danger — 

That among them he came to this end ; 
Had they armed and been watchful, 

Fierce and stern as the conflict might be, 
Their defeat I would question, 

Though their foesmen were twenty to 

'Twas not by genius and valour 

The band of my heart have been slain, 
But by boors, in aught mental 

More than matched by the team in their 
But to bloodshed apprenticed, 

And to treach'ry and cruelty trained, 
They stole on their victims 

When by sleep all their senses were 

* Among the smgolar escapea from the massacre, was that of the two little boys of Bonald of the 
Shield, Donald and Alexander, who had stolen away a few days previously, after a servant from Glenlochy, 
to visit their amt, who was manied to CampbeB of AcHariaefa. Donald, on his retmn, foond his fa&er 
murdered, and his home bumed down and desolate. The succeeding pages wiU show that he was both 
spirited and poetic ; yet where did he leave behind a line or verse breathing hatred or revenge againrt 
the English, or even against the perpetrators of this treacherous and inhuman massacre ? But such will 
be found by tiie rsader of CN^tic poetry to have been the uniformly dignified and fiorbearing dutmcter of 
the ancient Gael. 



From the chosen apartmeats, 
Amigned for their nightly repose 

By their hosts, in their kindness, 
In the silence of night they arose 

And stole on the sleepers, 
Who dreamed not of treachery or strife, 

And deliyered, in safety, 

The volley that robhed them of life. 

How beauteous and shapely 

The forms that have thus been laid low. 
Or left, wounded and bleeding. 

Inhuming themselves in the snow ; 
Men whose joy 'twas to listen 

At eve to the harp and the lay, 
Singing praises of heroes 

Who were courteous, and kindly, and 

Woe, woe to the country 

Whose government cruel and blind, 
To her best and bravest 

A sentence like this hae assigned. 
And calls to her service^ 

And makes her support and her stay 
Of the countryless soldier. 

Whose soul has no thought but his pay I 

While by these, next to Heaven, 

Their country and king were adored ; 
For their freedom and glory 

They would lay down their lives at a 
Now Albyn, dear Albyn, 

Thy freedom, thy glory are gone, 
ForeigD armies coeiee theO'— 

A foragner sits on thy throne. 

Woe, woe to the pastors, 

Whatever their object may be, 

Whose preachings and treasons 

Have produced the dark changes we see. 

Now men who loved mercy, 
In murder Grod's glory behold, 

And rejoice at the horrors 
War over their country has rolled. 

My heart sinks and sickens 

To see, as they hang on their walls. 
Their trophies and weapons. 

Whose dear presence I miss from their 
Whose voices were music, 

Attuned to their mind's varied tone ; 
Who in mirth and broad humour, 

And in repartee pleasingly shone. 

The dirge'*' of their greyhounds 

Is solemnly heard through the glen. 
The deer browse and wander. 

The gaunt wolves rejoice in their den ; 
Their fishing gear rusteth. 

While, rivers and lakelets between. 
The salmon are sporting 

With joy in their radient sheen. 

Not vain or conceited 

Were the men who repose in the isle, 
Shunning danger, and boasting 

Their valiant achievements the while. 
No. Modest as daring, 

Their deeds spoke their greatness of 
So they served their dear country, 

All, all to their worth might be blind ! 

Now our clansmen are gathered 

In the Dun, to consult and devise ; 
But, alas t he is absent who was 

Eloquent, daring, and wise. 
The main plume in our pinion, 

In our birlin the helm and the oar. 
In Saint Mun's Isle is sleeping, 

And will shine in our council no more. 

* The old Highland g^yhcnmd wm equaUy remarkable for hii tagaoity and the itrength o( his 
attachment to hit master. His howl is the most solemn and melancholy imaginable. Hence, perhaps, 
tlie reason why it has long been regarded as ominons and predictive of death or some other calamity in 
the Highlands. He laments his master's death by wandering over his old hannts, slon^ing at regular 
itttervak, and settiBg np his dirge-^like howl, than which it Is difficult to conceive anything more touching. 



By the gifts of the hero, 

And gentleman early en4owed, 
He, for wisdom and eloquence. 

Shone 'mong his race like a god ; 
Caustic wit he thought paltry, 

Common sense was his f(yrU and his 
And with that for his country 

He enlisted the brave and the free. 

He was tall, and unequalled 

For fulness and beauty of form, 
And when battle closed round him, 

Seemed growing in height midst its 
There his^eat soul exulted — 

There his arm extended the ring, 
Proudly deeming his broad swords 

Gould right all the wrongs of his 

On homeward returning, 

The doors were thrown open and wide ; 
In that mansion of plenty 

'Twas his joy o'er the feast to preside ; 

There the stranger found welcome, 
There the soul-stirring minstrels were 

There the tunslatn* would gather ; 
There none but the base were deepiged. 

On the chess-board and tailisg, 

Mimic warfare they playfully tried, 
The chieftains kind hearted, 

Who in dexterous moyements took 
Not with views of aggression. 

To subjugate, rule, and enthral, 
But to fit them for action 

When their king and their coontiy 
should call. 

God, who reignest and rulest 

From Thy throne of pure wisdom aboTe. 
Deign to look on our people 

In the spirit of mercy and loye, 
To compose their dire factions, 

And grant that our children may see 
Their sovereign restored. 

And his government native and free. 

Ronald of the Shield was with that Highland army who defended Worcester 
against ten times their number ; so gallantly as to make even their enemies, 
according to the Memoirs of Dundee already quoted, regret their sufferiogs, and 
the king himself at length to order them to retreat Ronald was confined to 
the house, suffering from a severe wound, when the news of the king's execution 
was iMTOUght to him by a friend. On this occasion, he wrote what is called 
" Cumhadh Righ Tearlach," — Lament for King Charles, — which I heard often 
fiung when I was a boy ; but I remember only a few words of it It was in 
the form of a dialogue between Donald, who brought the new^ and Ronald, 
whose responses, to the best of my recollection, more resembled bursts of 
patriotic regret and passionate denunciation of '' the merciless Whigs," than 
lamentations for the decapitated king. It was sung to an air known in tlie 
Lowlands under the name of **Wha's at the window, wha, wha." The 
repetition of the last line of each verse indicates its pedigree, however, and is 
a pen£cle of the evidence on which I lay claim to it as a Highland melody,— 
as such repetitions, in verses of three or four lines, are almost invariable in 

* DoBcent from the founder of the clan was the only mazk of aristocimcy amang the HigUaaden. 
AU clansmen, whoee pedigree was genuine, were caUed '* naislain,** or gentiemen, and when off doty. 
associated with their oUefs and chieftains on eqnal texms. The distance between them now is of arti- 
ficial feudal descent, the patriarchal being the natural aad God-approving system of goyemment 



HigUand (the repeated line or lines being snng by the audience,) but not in 
Lowland poetry. The following verses to the same air are unworthy of their 
august subject ; but' I have seen no demonstration by the Gaelic muse on a death 
which has been universally felt as a national calamity. I unfeignedly repeat, 
that the following verses are unworthy of the subject ; but, to some they may 
perhaps appear at least curious, as written by the great-grandson of Ronald 
of the Shield, thus showing how thoroughly the loyalty of the adherents of the 
House of Stuart has been not only transferred, but, if possible, intensified into 
ardent devotion to the present dynasty. For although I am myself descended 
both maternally and paternally from Campbells and Macdonalds, who adhered 
to the Stuart family to the very last extremity, one of my father's brothers, and 
three of my mother's, as well as myself, served in the army of the present 

AiB.— ** Cumhadh Bigh Tearlach a b-Aon ;"-~or. Lament for Charles the First 

An cualadh sibh sgeula an leiridh sa 
an oB-al-a' nv ^fgV^ ^ lejr-i' sa 


Chuir an rioghachd fo bhron o scuir 

ehnyr an ri'-ao fo tioq o soajr 
mhor-bheann gu traigh? 

Tor-ven ga tray' 

Dh-fhalbh Prionnsa bha saibhir an ealain 

jalav pri-onn-fla ya saTY-ir an d-ajn 

*8 an iuil, 

san i'Ujl 

'S tha Bhan-righ a cumhadh 's an deur 

'b ha van-ri' a oa-yaf san deyr 

na suil. — *S tha, etc. 
na 8117I 

Dh-aom nial air an sugradh, le dubhradh 

yaom ni-al ayr an sa-gra' le dnv-ra' 

gu'n bhaidh, 

gon ▼ay' 

An talla mor diomhair teaghlach rioghail 

an taJla mor di-yayr te-laoh ri-yayl 

air ghraidh ; 
ayr gray' 

A smal an t-athair, an ceile, *m flath 
a anal an ta'-ayr an oeyl-^ 'm fla' ' 

feile, 's an soidh, 

fyjU aan soy' 

Dh-f hag do'n Bhan-righ suil-dheuradh, 

yag don yan-ri' snyl-yeyra' 

cridhe leireadhjis coidh.— Dh-fhag,etc. 
cri'-^ kyr-e' is coy' 

Heard ye the news of grief and pain, 

That has put the country in mourning 
from the peaks of the mountains 
to the shores ? 

Gone is a Prince that was rich in 
science and various knowledge ; 

And the Queen is lamenting with the 
tear in her eye. — 
And, etc 

A cloud descended on their happiness, 
with merciless darkness. 

In the sacred mansion of our beloved 
Boyal Family ; 

It has put out the light of the father, 
the husband, the generous chief, 
the worthy, 

And left to the Queen a tearftd eye, 
a sore heart, and lamentation. — 

And, etc. 



Bba BbaO'righ 'b am Prionnsa 'eaa 

Ta ynn-tV 'sam prioon-ta san 

duthaich mar aigh^ 
dn'-ayoh mar ay' 

Nan buaidhean, nan comhradh, nan 

oaD bn-ay'-ea xiaa oor-ra' nan 

OFcheas, nam baigh, — 

or-obea nam bay' 

Bha sith, gaol, is eibhueas, le'n ceumaibh 

va mf gaol 10 eyr-nes leu oeym-ayr 
's gach trath, — 

'sgach tra' 

Bu rioghail nan ^ulain paidbir ionraic 

ba ri'-yayl nan gi-n-layn pay'^ir i'^n-nyo 

air graidh 1 — Bu, etc, 

ayr gray' 

Tbe Qneen and the Prioee wen to- 
tekiy (spirits) in their coantry, 

In their virtues, their converse, their 
bountifuhiess, their compassion ; 

Peace, love, and happiness, aocom- 
panied their st^s ; 

Bight royal in their bearing was the 
blameless and beloved pair !— 
Bight, etc. 

Gabh dochas a'd' eislean, a Bhan-righ 

gay do-ohas ad eyslen a ya'^rinn 
air graidh, 

ayr gray' 

Dean dheth d' rioghachdan speiseil an 
den ye' dri'-ao-an epeys-eyl an 

t-eibhneas nach traigh. 

leyv-nes naoh tray' 

'S iomadh prionnsa ard treubhach a 

ai-o-ma' pri-onn-sa ard treyr-aoh a 

dh-eireas d'afl, 

yeyres o dayl 

Bhios nan Albaert am beusan, an ceil, 

Tis nan albert am beysan an oeyl 

is an caiL — ^Bfaios, etc. 

is an oayl 

Take hope in thy bereavment, oar 
Queen beloved. 

And make thy never-to-be-diminiiBhed 

Many a prince lofty and poweiM will 
arise of thy posterity, 

That will be an Albert in virtue, in 
wisdom, in dispositioa — 
That, etc. 

The effect of humourous Gaelic poetry depends so much on idiom as to 
make me feel very reluctant to subject it to so severe a test as what I misDame 
a literal translation ; but I must submit some verses in the nearest equivalent 
English words I can find, at any hazard, as I cannot give the English reader a 
general idea of Quelic poetry, without quoting as faithfully as possible one or 
two specimens of each kind. 

The act suppressing the Highland dress and arms without any distinction 
between those of the clans who fought for or against Prince Charles, (and the 
latter were more numerous than tbe former J was supposed to have been the 
work of some poIitiG and di^uised friend of the Stuart family, who found bis 
way into the Hanoverian camp. It had the effect of prodadng universal 
indignation against the new dynasty, and a renewal of sympathies and lies 
among the Highland clans, which leave little doubt, had the Prince knded a 
second time, as was periodically predicted and reported, that they would have 
risen almofst unanimously in his favour ; althoiugh their confidence in his heioism 


and ooDStancy had been sadly shaken by his obstinate refusal to continae at 
their head (m the day after the battle of Cnlloden^ when the fioe clans who 
were absent from that engagement, on leave, had joined, and they mustered, at 
Buthven nearly 4000 strong. He was urged to remain with them, even sup- 
posing he should give up the object of the Bising, that they might conquer 
terms of peace, as they did in the reign of William and Maiy ;* but he left 
them to their fate. DomhnuU Mac Baonuil, son of Bonald of the Shield, 
who commanded the Glencoe-men in the " forty-five," and whose gay wit and 
broad humour kept the men of the glens in continual amusement, on the 
occasion of one of these rumours, called, with his firiend Acha Triachaden, on an 
honest weaver yclept Iain Mac-a-Ghibbidh (layn Mac-a-Tippi), whose foppery 
and pretensions presented a somewhat ludicrous contrast to his shabby figure 
and very doubtful reputation for bravery, and gravely asked how they happened 
to find him at home, when, the Prince having arrived, the whole people of the 
glen were gone to church in the Isle of Mun, fully dressed and armed. *' How 
is that," replied John, suspiciously, '^ and you ab»9nt ?" '' Our arms and dress 
are hid in a cave in the hill, and we are on our way to get them," replied 
Donald. '' Good morning, John ; I thought your loyalty was more zealous and 
less hesitating." No sooner did they disappear than John started on his feet in 
a firenzy of delight, and, arraying his scraggy person in his showy Highland 
dress and arms^ broke in upon the quiet worshippers in the little island, full of 
his news, and glowing with excitement Next day the glen rung with the 
burlesque of '* Claidheamh air Iain san t-shearmain," (the sword on John at 
the sermon,) written by Domhnull Mac Baonuil. 


Noir chualadh an gaisgeach. When the hero heard 

nojr oha-al-a' an gajs-gaoh 

Am prionn's bi fo airsneal, That the Prince was disheartened, 

am pri-onDB H fo ayrs-nel 

Chuir e litier, gun taise, a taiigsinn. He sent a letter, not timid, saying, 

ehoTT 6 litir gon ti^ae a tajreg-sum 

Na 'n deuntaedh, le reachd e. That if he were made 

nan den-te' le reo e 

Na dhiuc is na dheachdair, ' A duke and dictator 

na yi-no is na yec-ayr 

Gu'n togadh e Sassunn is Albin. He would raise England and Scotland 

gon toga' e Bafls«>nnn la ala-bin (in his favour.) 

Fonn. Chorus. 

Bha claidheamh air Iain, air Iain, air Iain, There was a sword, a sword, a sword, 

va day-ev' ayr i-ayn i^ i-ayn ayr i-iyrn 

Bha claidheamh air Iain, san t-shear- There was a sword on John at the 

▼a day'-ev ayr i-ayn san t-ahera- sermon, 


* Trmtj of Aefaakder between tbe loytJ cdani and King William, negotiated bj the Earl of Breadal- 
bane. This treaty was ratified by King William, with what faith is illustrated by the massacre of 
Glencoe. — See Memoirs of Lochiel. 



Bha claidheamh air Iain air deas-Iamh 

TA cU/-ey ajr i-ayn bjt dm-lxf 
mo chridhe, 

mo ohii'-^ 

Se deanadh an fhighe neo-chearbach. 

M yen-a' an i'-e no-o-oherabaoh 

There was a sword on John, righW 
handed man of my hearty 

He that can make the weaving not 

Bha Iain gun teagaibh 

▼a i-ayn gim teg-ay 

Gu faidheadh a freagairt 

ga &7'-e' a fregayrt 

Mu'n deach e do'n eaglais na armaibh, 

moo decb e do'n egUys na arm-ayv 

Is mhosgail na mnathan le iollach 's le 

18 voBg-ajl na mna'-an le illach s le 


Noir dhealraich a chlaidheamh san 

noyr yel-rajoh a chlay*ev 

tHshearmain ! 


Bha, etc. 

John neyer doubted 

That his offer had been accepted, 

So he went to the church in arms. 

How the women opened their eyes, 
and shouted with joy. 

When his sword glittered at the 


There was, etc. 

Chaidh lit^ richean falaich, 

chaj' lit*-iioben fid-ayoh 
A nun do Lochaber, 

a non do lodiaber 

A dh-innseadh gu*n dech* e na armaibh, 

a yinn-se' gon dech e na arm-ayv 

Ghabh an govaemer curam, 

yay an go-Ter-ner oonun 

Bha gach geard air an duUadh, 

▼a gaoh gerd ajr an da-Ua' 

Ag eagal gu'n duisgeadh e Albin. 
ag egal gon dnysg-a' e alabyn 

Bha, etc. 

Letters went privately 

Over to Lochaber, 

Telling of this demonstraticm dan- 

The governor took the alarm. 

Every guard was doubled, 

Lest he should come with all Albin at 
his back. 

There was, etc. 

Leis na db-eirich na phorabh, 
kji na yeyrioh na fimv 

De dh-ardan Chlann-Domhnuil, 

te yaidan chlann-tOT-nytt 

Na ^m bitheadh a phoca Ian argaid, 
nam bi'-e' a foc-a Ian aragayd 

Gu'n tugadh e dhachaidh dhuinn, 

gu'n daga' e yaob-ay ynynn 

Bigh f hear na h-Appun, 

ri' for na happwi 

From the quantity he inherited 

Of the haughty daring of the Mac- 

Had his pockets only been full of 

He would have brought us home 
The king of the men of Appin, 



A dh-aindeon fir h-Shassunn — ^mar In defiance of the men of England — 

« yiyn'-en fir haaMinii mu 

marbh't e, anless killed. 

manr't e 

Bha, etc. There was, etc. 

^S iomadh oganach nllamh, 

ai-oma' ogan-aoh nllay 

Nach eisdeadh an cumasg, 

naoh fijsd-a' an oamaag 

Bba gu'n chlaidheamh, gu'n ghnnna, 

va gun ohlay'-ey gun jmiiia 

ga*n targaid, 
gun tara-gajd 

Gu'n nrad na biodaig, 

gon, aiad na bi-dajg 

'M falacfa fo cfarioslaieh, 
am iUaoli fo chris-layoh 

6e d' bba mac a Ghiobaich 'n Ian armachd. 

ged ra mao a yikM/-aj *n Ian armao 

. Bba, etc. 

Many are tbe ready yontbs 

That would not hesitate to respond to 
the gathering call, 

That were without swords, guns, or 

Without so much as a dirk 

Concealed beneath their belts, 

When the i^n of Gibbie went under 
full arms. 

There was, etc 

Great diGqparagement to thy person 
Was thy excess of harness, 

^S mor an diobhail do d' phersa 

mor an di-yayl do d' fena 

Na bh-agad de dh-acuinn, 

na yag-ad de yao-aynn 

Noircbaidheuchospailpeilnatarmaibh-^ When thou went mi^ificently under 
D<^ ehi^' n oho spaylpeyl na tannajry arms — 

Do shlinngean, do bheirtean. Thy reeds, thy looms, 

do hlinng-en do yeyrten 

Do spalamn, do cfaear'slean. Thy shuttles, thy clews, 

do ipal-a^ do ohen-len 

Do bhuilg do chraicean 's do mharachunn.* And thy skin-bags full of fnarachunn.* 

do ynylig do orayo-en ^a do yarachnnn 



Bhaclaidheamh air Iain, air Iain, air Tain, A sword was on John, on John, on 



day'-ey ayri-ayn ayri-ayn ayri-ayn 

Bhaclaidheamhairlainsa'nt-shearmain; A sword was on John at the sermon; 

ya olay'-ey ayri-ayn san tera-mayn 

Bba claidheamh air Iain, air deas-lamh A sword was on John, the right-handed 
ya eiaZ-ey ayr i-ayn ayr das-lay man of my heart, 

mo chridhe, 
mo ehri'-^ 

'S e dheanadh an fhighe-neo-chearbach. Who makes the weaving not awk- 

86 yena^ aa i'-e ne-OH)hefbach 


* This word baa no repreaentatiye in Engliah. It meana ihe wool of aheep that died and were left 
to rot or be oonamaed with birda and beaaia of proy on the hiD, after haying been gathered and hoarded 


The Gaelic scholar will agree with me when I say that my translation has 
taken the soul out of *' Claidheamh air Iain " which is aQ but unequalled, as a 
burlesque, in the original, but it is reduced to the common place ui the 
translation, if I must call that a translation in which the words used are 
anything but equivalent to those of the original But though I am regretfufly 
sensible of the injustice to which I am subjecting my grandfather Domhnnll 
Mac Raonuil, by rendering his humourous poetry into English with such 
severity, I cannot help quoting a few verses of one or two more of his 
humourous burlesques or satires The subject of the following verses was also 
a Glencoe-man, who had learned the tailoring trade in Glasgow. On re- 
turning home after an absence of several years, the first person the tutor met 
with, at some distance from the clachan, was an old simple-minded aunt of his 
own. The tailor, like many of his trade, was a gay and humourous wag, and 
being *' spike and span new" in his outlandish Lowland dress, and totally changed 
in his appearance since his aunt had seen him, he thought it a good joke to pass 
himself o£f on the old woman as a great foreign gentlemaa He told her many 
curious stories, and asked many curious questions, by which her simplicity and 
credulity were drawn forth in a very ludicrous manner. Being an excellent 
mimic, the graceless fellow narrated the interview at a merry-meeting of his 
friends in the evening, with a humour which produced roars of laughter at the 
expense of the aunt Domhnull Mac Baonuil was not pleased with the 
** Saxonized" tailor for this irreverent exhibition of his aged relative ; deter- 
mined to turn the tables on him, he caused his ''inexpresmbW* to be abstracted 
after he went to bed, and fixing them like a banner, on a hay fork, sent them, 
with three verses of poetry, to his friend Callart^ requesting that he would pass 
them in like manner to his next neighbour, as " lame dyvors'* used to be passed 
from house to house of old in the EQghlands. Callart sent them to Lundavia, 
Lundavra to Glenevis, Glenevis to Letterfinlay, and so on. In dhort, the unlucky 
" breeks" travelled from chieftain to chieftain, and clan to clan, through evety 
strath, glen, and shieling in the whole north Highlands, on their poetic mission, 
and the result was hundreds of verses, many of them exceedingly satirical 
and picturesque, for almost all Highlanders of the olden time could clothe 
their thoughts in rhyme, and they never hesitated to satirize one another 
without restraint, according to the humour of the passing moment I can only 
make room for the three introductory verses and chorus, by Domhnull Mac 
Baonuil, but can assure any one who has leisure and taste for the collection of 
Gaelic poetry, that the medley of verses on '* Brigis Mhic Ruaridb,'' (to be 
found in all parts of the country) are well worthy of his attention. 


A bhrigis a bh-agad an am dol a chadal. The ^' breeks" he had when he went 

a Yiigis a Tagad an am dol a chad-al tO sleep, 

Noir dhuisg usa mhaduinn cha d'fhuair u i, When he awoke in the morning he did 

noyr jnyBg u aa Ta-doTzm ofaa d n-ajr a i not find * 


'S cha d' f hag iad na h-aite ach seorsa They left in its place but a sort of 

B oha dag i-ad na hayt^ acfa se-or-sa magan* 

do mhagan,* 

do yagan 

Sa fjEkighte fear spagach a shuaineadh- In which a splay-shaped man might 

sa feyte fer epag-aoh a hu-ayne'- be swathed. 


Fonn : — Chorus : — 

Ob bo, oh ho, oh be, oh he, Oh ho, ob ho, oh he, oh he, 

Ant-fhisrich,ant-fharaid,nancaaladhsibb, Searched ye, asked ye, or beard ye, 

an tia-rich an tar-ayd nan oa-al-a' siv 

Ob bo, oh ho, ob he, ob he, Oh ho, oh ho, ob be, ob be, 

Co idir thug brigis mbic Buaraidh leis ? For the wandering breeks of Borison ? 

€o i-dir bug bri-gis vie ra-a-ray' leys 

'S ioma bracbdiacht 's cuil ghabhadh 'n Many were the lairs and queer recesses 
d-oma brac-lach 'b ouyl ya-vay' 'n that were visited by the breeks 

robb brigis an taileir of the tailor 

lov bri-gb an tayl-eyr 

Mu'n d' thainig i 'n Charnaich ga fiiar- Before they came to cool themselves 

mim dayn-ig in char-naych ga fu-ar- at Camach * 


Nan innsinn a h-eachraidh, a slainneadh, Were I to tell their history, their 

nan inn-ann a beo-ray' a ilaynna' lineage, their habits, 

*s a cleacbda, 

BugbradchuirteaSbassunairfuadachi! Quickly would they be bamshed to 

bu yiad chnyrt a baasonn ayr fii-a-daofa i England. 

Ob bo, etc. Ob bo, etc. 

ThoirannHnantrius-balcacbdoCballart Carry the splay-sfaaped trews to 

hoyr an son an traa-bale-aoh do ohallart bountiftll Callart, 

a phailteis, 
a fayl-^ys 

Is abir ri'm charraid, le suairceadas, And say to my friend modestly, 

18 abtr rim charr-ayd la su-ayro-ed-aB 

Ga bbeil i mar bbalcach o stairsnich gu That it is on a foraying expedition 

ga veyl i mar valoach o Btayi8-nicb ga from door-step to door-step, 


A solar rainn tharsuinn 's na tuadh- To gather oblique rhymes in the 
a lolar laynn bar-saynn ana ta-a' nortb country. — 

chriocbamL-— Ob, bo, etc. Ob, bo, etc. 


* The AraweiB,— 4mt meuing anytfaing toad-ibaped, or ugly. 

f Bracbdlacb was anoient]^ the name of a wolf e lair ; it now means tiie caimi in which foxes breed. 




I regret that I cannot repair the injury done to my worthy grandfather in 
these translations, by quoting some of his war and hunting songs; but the quantity 
of matter agreed upon by the publisher is already exceeded. I must, howeyer) 
before parting with DomhnuU Mac Raonuill, submit the chorus and a single veiBe 
of his poem on the battle of Sheriffmuir, which is reputed his best Indeed, it 
is perhaps the happiest combination of the humourous and satirical to be found 
in the language, though my translation reduces it to a lifeless skeleton. I must, 
therefore, in justice to the author, entreat of those of my readers who understand 
the original, to explain this to such of their. friends as do not What, for 
instance, can be less like the original, in the estimation of the Gaelic scholar, 
than the following translation of the chorus ? The first line of the chorus, with the 
exception of two unconnected words, consists of mere sounds ; yet these empty 
sounds and isolated words, by their solemn gravity, and the sounding dignity of 
the air and measure, give such a ludicrous efiect to the chorus as involuntarily 
provokes a burst of laughter. Indeed, this chorus is a whole satire in itself! 

Fonn: — 
Ho ro agus ho ! ho ro an teagal ! 
Mile mallachd nar deigh, 
6u leir o'n theich sibh ! 

Fir^, fair6, Lochial I 
'S clisg thair sliabh do bhratach ! 
*M bu chleachda dhith riamh 
Sealtain fiatadh 's sgapadh? 

Ob, ob, na " fir-mhor" 
O Shrath-lochaidh bhradain ! 
Dhoch-an-assaidh chruidh-mhin, 
Luib is ghlinn Lochaircaig ! 

Chorus: — 
Ho ro and ho ! ho ro the panic! 
(May) a thousand curses pursue. 
Since all of you have fled ! 

Fi-re, fai-re,* Lochiel ! 

How swiftly thy banner (clan) 

Has cleared the heath ! 

Is it always their wont 

Thus to shy and scatter ? 

Ob, ob,* the " big warriors" 

Of Strathlochy of the salmon! 

Of Doch-an-assay of milky kine, 

And the holms and glens of Lochaircaig! 

This verse is a parody on the corresponding verse of a song then recent, 
in which a Cameron, rather fiilsomely, perhaps, praises the '* fir-mhor" of these 
parts of the clan district The poem on Sheriffinufr has never been published, 
but stray verses of it are to be found in the districts of the clans who distingoished 
themselves by running away, as well as in those of the clans who behaved as 
usual : for, so far from being rude and barbarous was the Highland warrior of 
past ages, as to enable me to state it as a well known trait in his character, that 
he never took offence at anything humourous or satirical, of which he himself or 
his friends or clan were the subject When Lochaber was occupied by native 
Highlanders, fifty years ago, I was present at many social meetings, in which 
such songs were sung with the utmost good humour and heartiness, by parties 
whose friends and clans (and, in a few instances, who even personally) figured 
in them ; and I am very sure that there are many still living who can corroborate 
my statement that this was a feature of the Highland character. But I may 

* MookiBg and lareMtic exckunatioDi which have no equivalent! in Engliih. 


also remark that this humouroas satire was the less calcalated to give offence, 
because the retrograde movemeDt of the left wing of the Highlanders was 
palpably caused by mismanagement, — ludicrously accelerated by the conduct of 
a noblemau, who, in the novel position in which he found himself, lost his 
presence of mind, and made " confusion worse confounded," and, especially, 
because the clans that '' ran away" were kept in countenance by the running 
away of at least an equal number on the other side. Hence this singular battle 
was literally regarded as a burlesque by both parties. However, nobody doubted 
or could doubt the patriotism or heroism either of an Erskine, a Gordon, a 
Cameron, or a Mackenzie. The clans could, therefore, afford to laugh, and did 
laugh heartily, at DomhnuU Mac BaonuilPs humourous description of the blunders 
of '^ Latha Sliabh an t-8hirradh.*' Bonald of the Shield, Donald's father, speaks 
of Sir Ewen of Lochiel, in his verses on Killiecrankie, with great admiration, 
and both he and his son had many connexions and relatives among the Camerons. 
The wives of Lundavra and Meoble were the aunts of Domhnull Mac Baonuill's 
wife, and their sons were present in the battle, along with their fathers. It is 
said that the song above mentioned, written by a Cameron, in which he rather 
violated good taste by a too exaggerated praise of his clan, was the cause of 
Donald's severity. The. conduct of the Camerons under their illustrious chief 
in " the battles of three kings" really justified the family bard in speaking of 
them with enthusiasm ; but nothing was more distasteful to the plain, honest. 
Highland warrior than self-laudation. In this he was not singular. Brave men 
of all ages and countries abominated self-glorification and gasconade. Than 
that of their Spanish Mends, nothing could be more nauseous to Wellington's 
army, who were themselves perfectly contented with the stinted measure of 
praise conceded by their leader, knowing that their deeds spoke for them. I 
have it on good authority, that Donald thought the Camerons made too much of 
their laurels, and hence that he willingly availed himself of their escapade at 
Sherifimuir to rebuke their egotism. Be that as it may, he was more severe on 
the Camerons than on any of the other clans that had been bungled on the 
occasion. Hence Sir Ewen, who was confined to bed from age and infirmity, 
on hearing the song, thought that the Camerons were the first to run away ; 
and, ascribing their supposed degradation to the leading of the young chief, his 
son, he was so indignant as to have determined on putting him to death with 
his own hand. He desked his henchman to send in the young chief, '' as he 
wanted to question him on the above subject." The faithful clansman did as 
he was bid ; but having seen the old man feeling the edge of the sword (which 
usually lay by his bedside) with his hand, before sending him for his son, he 
took the alarm, and cautioned him to keep away from his father's couch. In a 
conversation in reference to this tradition with one of Sir Ewen's gallant 
descendants, General Boss of Glenmoidart, he corroborated this part of it with an 
expression of face which left the impression that he strongly sympathised with 
his illustrious ancestor's feelings on the subject of the flight at Sheriffmuir. 
. Domhnull Mac Baonuill and Donnacha-ban-nan-oran were great firiends, 
although the former was a much older man, and they fought on different sides 


in " the forty-five." They had a meeting with eoine AthdenoieD at Altoafe, 
in which the wairior-hards played-off some hamoaroas practical jokes on the 
)ionest Oisgeanj whidi they made the salgect of two graphic and spirited je^ 
<r esprit^ but I cannot repeat them. On this occasion^ they had a bet, which 
resulted in two of the best deecriptire poems in the language, the subject being 
their favourite forests — Coirreachan, Ghlinne-Comhan and Beindoraia The 
former will be found in the first editicm of Ailkin DaU's works, and the latter 
in every Gaelic song book. 

I had told my son, William D. Campbell, author of the " Eaid of Albyn," 
since deceased, and a young and talented relative, D. B. Macdonald, that the 
single and double emphatic notes, (see page 144) fcHined, very generally, a dis- 
tinction between Highland and Lowland melodies, and that in the Highland 
melodies converted into Lowland melodies, the single note is usually lengthened 
into a drawl, and the double note into a long sliding note. I crooned to them 
an air to \diich I had written some verses in Tait's Magazine, in 1849, ^' Begone, 
hope," as showing that English words could be adapted veiy happily to these 
emphatic notes, and expressed my regret, that by overlooking this diaracterietio 
of Highland melodies in his Scottish songs, even Bums had totally failed to 
make songs to Highland airs popular. I begged of them (for both had a taste 
for writing songs to Highland melodies) never to forget to adapt their words to 
these notes when composing songs to such Gaelic airs. I received the Mow- 
ing verses from my son in a few days afterwards, as the resnlt of my adricei 
They are not an imitaticm of the Gaelic words sung to the same air ; but th^ 
folly illustrate this subject, and may perhaps interest the reader, though on a 
subject already abundantiy celebrated by some of our sweetest and most tender 
lyrical writers. I may remark, as showing that the poetic taste may be 
inherited, that both of tiie young gentiemen are descended from Ronald of the 
Shield, through a son and daughter of Domhnuin Mae-RaonuilL 


The battie is lost, the clansmen are Foremost, where wildest raged warfare 

scattered, and danger. 

The shield of our country by treachery Fierce rush*d the QwH through the 

shattered, ranks of the stranger ; 

Our mirth turned to mourning, our But dark, deadly treason made might 

hopes to bewailing, unavailing. 

For lowly in death sleep the valiant And gory Culloden has left us bewailing- 

and daring. Illerinn, etc. 

Chorus.'^ — 

Illerinn o na ho ro, Tiie daughters of Albyn, distracted 
Illeriim o na ho hi, with sorrow, wail, 

Illerinn o na ho ro, Coranachs echo from Etive to Bono- 
I-uro-vi-o na ho hi. dale ; 



Glenooe, and Glenmoidart, and distant The red deer lies safe by the lone 


moonlit fountain ; 

Bepeat the sad wail, for their bravest But though tempests should rave as 

are lUlen. — 
lUerinn, etc. 

The eagle finds rest in his eyre on the 

the night round him gathers, 
Our Prince finds no home in the land 
of his fathers. — 
nierinn, eta 

The verses to the following tune are commemorative of the surprise of a 
party of English soldiers firom the castle of Lochandorb, by the Macdonalds. 
King Edward having in one of his Scottish Baids, placed a garrison in that 
castle, they were necessitated to make an excursion into the surrounding country 
for supplies. One of these parties, which had committed cruel excesses in a 
foraging expedition, were overtaken when at their Icahj {Angled^ dinner,) and 
their conduct in the plundered clachans having been infamous, the pursuers 
determined to make an example of them. They took the ears of all the men, 
and the taQs of all the horses, and sent them in this state to join the main army, 
then in ftdl retreat. The tradition is thus adverted to in a Macdonald parody 
on the Gaelic verses to ^^ The Campbells are coming." — 

'SiadClan-^onnuillthami'gaireamh, — It is the Macdonalds I am com- 
memorating, — 
Buidhean ga'n ordugh sroil isarmaibh, — The party to whom has been decreed 

banners and arms — 
Buidhean dheas ullamh fhuir uiram an The ready, active party that are famed 

AUabin, in Albyn, 

Dh-fhag an trup shallach air cumachd Who left the infamous troop trimmed 
na h-earb& like roes, (without taOa) 

''Call aDhollaidh" is known in the Lowlands as ''The Haughs of Cromdale," 
and the comparison of the two sets illustrates, so far, the above characteristics 
of Highland and Lowland tunea I will also submit, in farther corroboration, 
Captain Carrick's strathspey, which has been tamed down into '' Dinna think, 
bonnie lassie," to accord with the Scottish taste. I could furnish scores of 
examples, but consider that unnecessary, my object being simply to point out 
what I believe to constitute a general distinction between Caledonian and 
Scottish mufflc. 


Sud mar chaidh an cal a dholaidh, 

nd mar ohay' an cal a yol-a/' 

Bad mar chaidh an cal a dholaidh, 
nd mar fAasf an Ml a yol-aj' 

That was the way that the kale was 

That was the way that the kale was 


Sud mar cbaidh an cal a dholaidh, 

Bad mar chay' an cal a jol-aj' 

Air na bodaich ghalda. 
ajrr na bo-daych yalda 


That was the way that the kale wai 

On the boorish strangers. 

The gallant seaman has a somewhat light reputation in Gttelic poetry, more 
perhaps from his wandering life than any inconsistency peculiar to his profession. 
It is impossible to conceive that an open, honest, sterling character, like the 
British seaman, could be inconstant in love ; but if a heartless fickleness is 
really his character, it is not to be wondered at that a simple, honest-heaited 
lassie will not believe so. Be that as it may, however, he has ever been the object 
of ardent love and enduring constancy with the warm-hearted Highland maiden. 
The following is of the duanag class of songs, which are never sung as solm^ 
the^^n or chorus being always sung by the audience. Although the duanagan 
or lilts are therefore generally of a light, hilarious character, they are not 
necessarily so, and many of them, like '^ Fear a Bhata," (literally boatman, the 
usual title of a man saUing his own ship in the Highlands) are strikingly pathetic 
and beautiAil, both for sentiment and imagery. 


'S trie mi sealtinn *o'n chnoic is airde, 

strio mi seldim on ODoyo b ayrde 

Dh-f hiach a faic mi fear a bhata ; 

yi-aoh a fayo mi for a vata 

Ach 's ann a tha gach aon ag raitean 

ach Mum a ha gaoh aoa ag rayten 

Our mi bha gorach noir thug mi gradh 

gnr mi va gorach noyr hug mi gra' 

Often do I look from the highest 
For the man of the boat ; 
But everybody tells me 

That I was foolish in giving him my 

Fonn : — 
Fhear a bhata, na horo eile, 

er a vata na horo ejM 

Fhear a bhata, na horo eile ; 

er a vata na horo eyl^ 

Fhear a bhata, na horo eile, 

er a vata na horo eyl^ 
A ruin 's luaidh gur a truagh na 

a myn 'a In-ay' gnr a tm-a' na 

d* dheidh ml 
d' yey' mi 

Chorus: — 
Man of the boat, horo eyie, 

Man of the boat, horo eyle ; 

Man of the boat, horo eyle, 

My love, my treasure, sad am I 
after thee. 

Tha mo chairdean gu trie ag innseadh My friends often tell me 

ha mo chayr-den ga trio ag inn-se' 

Gufeum mit-aogaisachuirair di-chuinn' ; That I must give thy image to forget- 

ga feym mi taog-ays a chayr ayr di-ohayn fulness ; 



Ach tha'n comhairle dhomhchodiamhain. But their advice to me is unayaOiDg 

ach ban oo'-ayrie joy oho di-a-yayn 

^8 tilleadli mara *8 i toirt a lionaidh. — As attempting to turn the tide when 

atille' mara d toyrt a K-o-na/ flowing. — 

Fhear, etc. Man, etc. 

Thug mi gaol dhut 's cha'n fhoad mi 
hog mi gaol jut 'a chan aod mi 

aicheadh ; 

Cha ghaol bliadhnadh, 's cha ghaol raidh, 
cha yaol bli-a'-na *8 oha yaol ray' 

Ach gaol a thoiseich noir bha mi am 

acfa gaol a hoy-sicb noyr va mi am 


*S nach searg a choidh gus an cloidh 

snach serag a ohoy' gos an doy' 

am has mL — ^Fhear, etc. 

am baa mi 

I have given thee my love, and cannot 
recal it; 

It was not love for a year, nor love 
for a quarter, 

But love which began when I was a 

And which will not fade until death 
has conquered. — 
Man, etc. 

Tha mo chridhe briste, bruite, 

ha mo chri'-e briste brayte 

'8 trie na deoir a ruidh o'm shuilean, 

Btric na de-oyr a my' om hoy-len 

An tig u nochd nam hi mo dhuil riut ? 

an tig a noo nam hi mo yayl ri-nt 

Na'n duin mfn dorus le osnadh thursaich? 

nan doyn min dorna la oana' har-aaych 

Fhear, etc. 
Qe do their iad gu bheil u eatrom, 

ge do heyr i-ad ga yeyl a e-trom 

Cha do lughdaich sin mo ghaolsa ; 
cha do lu'-daych tan mo yaol-aa 

Bithidh tu *m aisling ann 's an oiche, 

bi'-i tu^m ayslmg ann san oy-che 

'8 ann sa mhaduinn bith mi ga d'fhoi- 

aann sa va-daynn bi' mi ga d oy- 

neachd. — ^Fhear, etc. 


Bidhidh mi tuille gu tursach, deurach, 

M'-i' mi tnylle ga tnr-saoh der-ach 

Mar eala bhain an deigh a reubadh, 

mar dUa vayn an dey' a reyba' 

Guilleag bais aic air lochan feurach, 

gayll-ag bays ayo ayr loohan &yr-aoh 

Is each uille an deigh a treigeidh. — 

is oaoh nylle an dep a treyg-ey' 

Fhear, etc. 

My heart is bruised, broken, 

My tears fall continually, 

Wilt thou come to-night, or need I 
expect thee ? 

Or shall I shut the door with a sob of 
grief? — 
Man, etc. 

Though they say thou art flighty, 

That has not lessened my love to thee ; 

Thou art in my dreams at night. 

And in the morning my inquiries are 
after thee. — 
Man, etc. 

I am henceforth sorrowful, tearful. 
Like a wounded swan. 

Singing her death song on the grassy 

Forsaken by all her companions. — 

Man, etc. 



The following verses are of considerable antjqdtj, and have been always 


A Mhari bhoidheach, gur mor mo Bonny Mary, great is my love to thee; 

a van voyeoh gar mor mo 

ghaol ort, 
yaol ort 

'S trie mi cuimhneachadh ort 's mi Often do I think of thee when alone ; 

strio mi cajBecha' ort ami 



Ge do shiubhlainn gach ceum de'n Although I should wander the world 

ge do hi-a-Iaymi gaoh oeym den over 


Bi t-iomhaigh bhoidheach tigh'n beo Thy beautiful image would come alive 
bi tiv-ay' voyech ti'o be^ on every side. 

gach taobh dhiom. 

gaoh taoT yi-om 

Fann : — CkoruM : — 

A Mhari bhoidheach, 's Mhari ghaolach, Maiy beautiful, Mary lovely, 

a yaii Toj'-ech *• yari yaol-aoh 

A Mhari bhoidheach, gur mor mo Mary beautiful, grei^ is my love to 

a yari yoj'-eoh gnr mor mo thee * 

ghaol ort ; 
yaol ort 

A Mhari bhoidheach, gur tu chloidh mi, Mary beautiful, thou afflictest 

a yari yojr'-eoh gar ta chloj' mi 

'S dh-fhag mi bronach gun doigh air And makest me sonowful, Binoe I 

'a jag mi bron-ach gan doy' ajr kuow not how to WOn thee. 



'S mor a b'anns* bhi le Mari bhoidheach. Much more would I desire to be with 

mor a banns yi le mari yoy'-ecb bonny Mary, 

Ambothanairidhfo^ath,namorbheann, In a bothy under the shadow of the 
am bo^-an ayri' fo Bga' na mor-yenn great mountains, 

Na bhith 'm ri^h ann 's an Boinn-Eorpa, Than to be a king in Europe, 
na yi'm n' ann san royn-e-inpa 

Gun choir air Mari mo ghraidh am Without a i^t to my beloved Maiy. 

gnn ofaojr ajr mari mo yra/ am Maiy, &C. 

poeadk-A Mhari, etc. 


Chithear feidh air sgeith *8 na speuran, Deer will be seen on their wings in 
ohi'-er ft/ ayr 9gdf oka «pejrni the sky, 

Chithear iasg a falbh nan sleibhtean, Fish wfll be seen walkiiig cm the 

ofai'-er i-aag a fiJy nan al^yyten wolds. 



Chithear sneachda dabh air gheagan, 

ohi'-er sneac-a day bjt jejgan 

Mu faicer caochladh air mo speis dbuit. — 

ma &70-er caoch-la' ajr mo spe/s ynyi 

A Mhari, etc. 

Snow will be seen black on the trees, 

Before a change is seen in my love to 
Mary, &c. 

6ur it flur is boidhche an garadh, 

gar ta flar is boj'-che an gara' 

'A faillean ailail nach lub le faillinn ; — 

a fikjUeo allajl naoh lab le fayllin 

Mar shoilse greine air sleibhtean arda, 
mar hojlfle grejn^ ajr slejTten arda 

Tha coltas, ceutadh is beosan, Mari. — 

ha Goltas oejta' is bejsan mari 

A Mhari, etc. 

Thou art the flower most beautiful in 
the garden. 

The noble sapling that will not bend 
with a flaw, — 

Like sunshme on the highest wolds, 

In appearance, purity and virtue is 
Mary. — 
Mary, &a 

Bo shuil ghorm mheallach fo d' mhalaidh 

do hajl jorm yellaoh fo d* val-ay' 


Do bheulan tana air dhath nan rosain, 
do veylan tana ayr ja' nan roe-ayn 

Do shlios mar chana an gleamian 

do lis mar chana an glennap 


'S do ghruaidh mar chaoran fo sgiadfa 
^8 do Tm-aj' mar ehaoran fo sgey 

na morbheanou^-A Mhari, eta 
na mor-veon 

Thy eye blue and large, beneath a 
graceful eyebrow. 

Thy lips slender and of the colour of 
tne rose. 

Thy bosom like cana in a sequestered 

Thy cheeks like the rowan-berry under 
the wing of the high mountain. — 
Mai7> &c 

Cha dean eala air slios na mor-thonn, 

dia den eHa ayr slis na mor-hoon 

Cha dean smeoil ann an doire ceothar ; 

cha den sme-oyl ann an doyrd ce^o'-ar 

Cha dean cruit nan theud bion ach 

eha den orayt am teyd binn aoh 


Noir a sheinneas mo Mhari bhoidheach. 

noyr a heynnes mo van Toy'-eoh 

A Mhari, etc. 

The swan makes not over the majestic 

The thrush in a mist envel(^d grove, 

The harp of sweetest chords, but a 

When sings my beautiful Mary — 

Mary, &c. 

A ohoisir bhega nan oran cianael, 

a choyair vega nan oran 4a-an>>el 

Ambar nangeagannan airdnah-iarmailt, 

am bar nan gegan nan ayrd na hi-ar-maylt 

Little choir of the pensive minstrelsy, 

Whether in the tops of the boughs 
or in the height of the skies, 



Na biodh lathadh ann sa bhlianadh, Let no day pass during the year, 

na bi' la' -a' ann sa vli-a-na' 

Nacb seinn sibh ceol do mo Mbari In which you do not sing to comely 

nacb sejnn siv oe-ol do mo yari Mary. 

chiataich. — ^A Mbari, etc. 


Noir abbidbis mi gu tursach, tiamhaidh, When I am heavy, melancholy, 

noyr a vi'-is mi gu tursacb ti-a-vay' 

Mo chridh* fo iomagain 's le curam , My heart anxious and full of care, 

mo cbri' fo i-o-ma-gajn ale coram 




Ni do ghnuis a tha mar gbrian dhomb, Thy face, which is as the sun to me, 

ni do yna-is-sa ha mar yri-an yov 

M' eibbneas coimbliont' noir tbig u 'm Completes my joy when in my 

meyy-nes ooyv-lont noyr big n'm presence. — 

fbianuis. — ^A Mbari, etc. Mary, etc. 


I happened, .many years ago, to be asked by a friend, the editor of a 
provincial newspaper, to attend a concert which be could not attend himself, 
and supply the necessary notipe of an opera singer of some eminence from 
London, who was to delight (and assuredly did delight) the natives on the 
occasion. It struck me that the vocalist, by bis voice and attitude, in singing the 
" Death of Nelson," exceedingly resembled an ambitious young clergyman of my 
acquaintance, who was very fond of exhibiting all the attitudes, intonations, and 
graces of elocution from his pulpit, but who was too apt to forget to suit them 
to bis subject. Thus, when tlie subject was a supplication, the voice and 
attitudes were not unfrequently those suited to a remonstrance ; and when the 
subject was remonstrative, the voice and attitudes were oflben those of supplica- 
tion ; and so on. The opera singer reminded me forcibly of the preacher when 
singing the '' Death of Nelson," and it is possible that my feeling of the 
ridiculous, from the association of the two charlatans, when writing, gave a 
sharper point to my criticism, for the one was preaching and the other singing 
with a view to effect, not from feeling. He made Nelson mewl and cry like a 
whipt wean^ hecause he was dying '' for England, home, and beauty," when there 
is little doubt that the last throb of the hero's heart was a throb of joyful exulta- 
tion at the realization of the dream of his heroic life, that he vyouJtdSi^ "for 
England, home, and beauty." My paragraph met the eye of Mr John Wilson, 
the delightful illustrator and singer of the songs of Scotland : he was intro- 
duced and dined with me, and the subject having turned on the songs of the 
Highlands, I introduced some Highland songs, with the traditions connected 
with them, and, my voice being at that time good, sung them in a style with 
which be was much pleased. As I expressed my regret that we had no Highlander 
to illustrate the songs of the Grael, he begged of me to imitate two or three in 
English, and to send them to him, with copies of the music, and promised to bring 
them out at bis concerts in London. I got the music copied by a precentor, fiom 



my own voice ; and, although I was anything bnt pleased with the melodies 
when played from the copies, I hoped that Mr Wilson's superior voice and 
memory would enable him to make something like the originals out of them. 
Mr Wilson wrote to me expressing Juimself pleased with the traditions and 
verses, but declared that ** the soul was taken out of the melodies." He was 
preparing for his visit to Canada, and said that he would come to see me on 
his return, and learn them '* by heart" from my own voice ; but he never 
returned. These are the traditions and verses which I published in Tait's 
Magazine in May 1849. I beg leave to submit the imitation of one of these 
songs here, rather than a literal translation of the original. The last English 
verse was added by myself. 


Mo chailinn donn og 's mo nighean dubh 

mo cbaytin donn og 8 mo ni'-en duy 


Thogainn ort fonn 's neo throm gu'n 

hog-ayn ort fonn 8 ne-o hrom gnn 



Mo nighean dubh gu'n fhiaraidh mo 

mo ni'-en duv gon i-ar-aj' mo 

bhriadhar gu'n togainn, 

vri'-ar gnn tog-aynn 

'S gun innsinn an taobhar nach ealaer 

8 gnn inn-ainn an ta-o-var nach der 

gad thogradh, 
gad hog-ra' 

Mo chailinn donn og. 

mo cbaylin donn og 

My auburn-haired maid, so fair and 

So sprightly and gay, so kind and 

Of thee I would sing, the cause re- 

Why thou art not wooed, when others 
are mating. 

My auburn-haired maid. 

6a bheil u gu boidheach baindidh 
gn veyl n gu boy'-ech bayn-di' 



Gun chron ort fo'n ghrein gu'n bheum 

gnn chron ort fon yreyn gun veym 

gu'n sgainnir, 

gnn sgaynnir 

Gur gili u fo*d leine na eiteag na mara, 

gur gQ' n fo'd leyn^ na ey-teg na mara 

'8 tha choir agam fein gu'n cheile bhi 
's ha cboyr agam feyn gnn cheyle vi 

mar riut, 
mar ri-nt 

Mo chailinn donn og. 

mo chaylin donn og 

Thou art pure as the snow on the hill- 
crest swelling. 

In beauty arrayed, in mind excelling. 

But, ah me, thy sire in the shell 

And thou, my young tocherless daugh- 
ter, art slighted, 

My auburn-haired maid. 



Noir bhios mi air feil *s na ceudnan 

ooyr ▼» mi ayr feyl $ na oey-dan 
mar rium, 

mar ri-um 

Do chuideachadh choir a db-olas drama, 

do ohujd-ac-a' ehojr a jolas drama 
Gu'n suidh mi mu'n bhord 's gun traigh 

gmi Buy' mi man yord b gmi tray' 

mi mo eherreag, 

mi mo herrag 

'S cha d' thuirt mo bhen riamh rium 

s cha d hayrt mo yen ri-av ri-nm 

ach " Dia leat a Challum !" 

ach di-a let a challum 

Mo chailinn donn og. 

mo chaylin donn og 

Ged tha mi gu'n or le ol 's le iomairt, 

ged ha mi gun or le ol b le iomayrt 

'S air bheagan do ni le pris na mine, 

8 ayr vegan do ni le pris na min^ 

Tha 'm ortan aig dia 's e fialaidh uime, 

ha mortan ayg di-a 8 e fi-a-lay' uym^ 

'S ma gheibh mi mo shlainte gu'm paidh 

8 mo yeyy mi mo olaynt^ gum pay 

mi na shir mi, 

mi na hir mi 

Mo chailinn donn og. 

mo chaylin donn og 

*S ioma bodachan gnu nach duirig 

8 i-oma bo-dach-an gnu naoh duyrig 


Le thional air spreidh 's iad ga threigsin 
le lii-oD-al ayr sprey' Bi-ad ga fa-reyg-sin 

san earracb, 
Ban errach 

Nach ol ann sa bhliadhna trian aghallain, 
nach ol ann aa yli-a'-na tri-an a yaU-ayn 

'S cha toir e fo'n uir nas mu nabheir Galium, 

8 cha toyr e fo'n nyr nas mu na beyr callnm 

Mo chailinn donn og. 

mo chaylin donn og 

When I meet at the fair with set of 
good fellows, 

My heart it expands, my feelings it 

I drink, laugh, and sing with the glee 
of a ccMan^ 

Yet my wife's harshest phrase is but 
" God sam thee, Allan!" 

My auburn-haired maid. 

My social profusion, the darg of my 

Have lessened my folds, and scattered 
my monies ; 

But none values Allan at less than 
he's owing. 

And Fortune, still friendly, her gifts is 

My auburn-haired maid. 

Ton sour-hearted boor who scorns my 

Who gruis and who mails, though his 
means are ample, 

Who spends in the year scarce tbe 

price of a gaUan, 
Will bring 'neath the mooh no more 

than Allan, 

My auburn-haired maid. 

I still for my friends have a cellar and pantry, 
I still have an arm and a sword for my country, 
For the needy and poor I've a netiJe yont my haUan, 
And I've scorn for the knave who deems slightly of Allan,* 
My auburn-haired maid. 

* Thii line was luggeited by the tradition introductory to this song in Tait*a Maganne of May 18^9- 




Dh-iadh ceo nan stuc mu aodan Chuilinn, 
yi-a' oe-o nao fttno ma aodan obajlizm 

Is sheinn a bhean shith a torgan mulaid ; 

18 beynn a yen hi' a torogan mnlayd 

Tha soil ghorm chiain san dun a sile, 

ha Buyl yonn chi-ayn san dan a sil^ 

Bhon thriall e bh-uain sadbiult e tilleadL 
▼on h-ri-ali e vn-ayn sa ynylt e Ulle' 

Fonn : — 
C3ia mieadh, cba tilleadh, cha tilleadh 

cha tille' oha tille' cha tiUe' 

Mac-Cruimen ! 

mao oroymen 

O cbogadh is iomaul cba tilleadh an 

o ohoga' 18 im-ayrt oha tQle' an 

cniridb I 


Cba tilleadb, cba tilleadb, cba tilleadb 
cha tille' cha tille' cha tille' 

Mac-Cmimen ! 

mac oniymen 

Cha till e gu brath, gn la na cruinneadh ! 
cha till 6 ga bra' ga la na craynne' 

Tha osag an t-sbleibh misg gheug a 

ha osag an tieyv misg yeyg a 


Gach srutban is alt a bron air brntbaich, 

gach sni'-an is alt a bron ayr brn'-ayoh 


ba filli'-en nan geyg a aeynn ga daTSch 

O^n dh-fhalbh ebb-uain'snacb till e tuille. 
on yal? e To-ayn ^snach till e toyll6 

Cba till, etc. 
Tha^n oiche fo neoil, Ian broin is mulaid, 

ban o-i-chefo ne-oyl Lm broyn ia ma-layd 

A bhirlinn fo sbeol, 's cba*n fbeorich 
a Tir-linn fo he-ol 'b chan e-o-rich 

siubhal ; 


Tha gair nan tonn ri fonn neo-sbubbach, 
ha gayr nan tonn ri fonn ne-o-bnyaoh 

A coidh gun t-albh 's nach till e tuille. 
a coy' gon talav 'anach till e tayll^ 

Cba till, etc. 

Cha thionael lucbd ciuil san dun mu 
cha hi-on-ayl Incfad d*ayl san don ma 




The mountain mist flows deep on 

The fay sings her elegy sorrowful ; 

Mild blue eyes in the dun are in tears, 

Since he departed, and refused to 

ChoTtia: — 

He returns not, returns not, returns 
not Mac-Cruimen ! 

From war and conflict the warrior 
refuses to return ! 

He returns not, returns not, Mac- 
Cruimen would not return ! 

He will return no more, until the day 
of the last gathering I 

The wind of the wold among the 
boughs is wailing. 

Each streamlet and bum is sad on 
the hills. 

The minstrels of the boughs are sing^ 
ing mournfully. 

Since he departed, and will never 
return. — 
Betum, etc. 

The night is clouded, sorrowful, and 


The birlin under sail but reluctant 
to depart ; 

The waves of the sea have a sound 
not happy. 

Lamenting that he departed, and will 
never return. — 
Betumy etc. 

Gather will not the tuneful race of 
the dun in the evening, 



'Smacta11a,foBhu]xl,lemuirngafreagairt; While Echo, with alacrity and joy, 

answers them ; 

The youths and maidens are without 
music, lamenting 

*fliiuiO-talla fo hard le majni ga freg-ajrt 

Gach fleasgach 's gach oigh, gun cheol, 
gach flesg-adi 's gaoh oj' gun che-ol 

a tuireadh 

a tuyr-e' 

Gun d' f halbh e bh>uain, *8 nach till e tuille. 

gnn dalav e vn-ajn 'snaoh till e taj\\6 

Cha tilleadh, cha tilleadh, cha tilleadh, 

cha tille' oha itille' oha tille' 

mao oraymeii 

O chogadh is iomairt cha tilleadh an 
choga' ia im-ayrt cha tille' an 



Cha tilleadh, cha tilleadh, cha tilleadh 
oha tille' oha tiUe' oha till' 

Mac-Cruimen ! 

mao omjmeii 

Cha till e gu brath, gu la na cruinneadh! 

oha till e ga bra' ga la na crujnne' 

That he departed from us, and will 
never return. — 

He returns not, returns not, returns 
not Mac-Cruimen !* 

From war and conflict the warrior 
refuses to return I 

He returns not, returns not, Mac- 
Cruimen would not return! 

He will return no more, until the day 
of the last gathering ! 

The late Archibald Leckie, Esq., Dyer, Paisley, an antiquary of some 
local distinction, informed me that Shakespere was very fond of Highland lore 
and Highland melody, and that a grand-aunt of his, a Dumbartonshire lady, 
who was a very old woman when he was a boy, used to sing several of the 
ballads he composed to Highland airs. He recollected perfectly well her sioging 
his ballad beginning " come with me, and be my love," to the air of Mail 
Bhan. I heaxd this Gaelic song when I was a boy, and my impression is that 
it was very beautiful, but I forget all excepting one verse and the choni& 
These, and the melody, I quote merely for the sake of the above tradition. 
The air was taken down from the voice of a noble and generous enthusiast m 
every thing honourable to the Gael, Colin Campbell, Esq., Collector of Inland 
Revenue, who entered with spirit into the Volunteer Movement, and is now 
captain of one of the Highland Companies in Sir Michael Shaw Stewart's 
regiment of Benfrewshire Volunteers. 


A mhaighdean mhodhar is boidh'che 
a vay'-den vo'-ar is boy'-ohe 


Tha do ghruaigh mar an caoran dearg, 

ha do yni-ay' mar an oaoran derag 

Maiden tender of the most beautiful 
(symmetrical) figure. 

Thy cheeks are as rowan red. 

Thy eyes like (blae) berries in morn- 
ing dew, 

Do shuil mar dhearcaig fo dhriuchd so 

do hnyl mar yero-ayg fo yri-ac so 


Doshliosmareala,marshneachddolaimh. Thy bosom like the swan, thy hands 

do h-lis mar ella mar neohd do lajv snow. 

* The laat of this noble race of minetrek ii a blind and renerable old gentleman liTiDg at Goarock. 


^onn :— Chorus :— 

Paillill oh ro, air Mari bhain, FayllUl oh ro, ayr Man bhain, 

fayllill oh ro ajr mari vajn 

Faillill oh ro, gur tu mo ghradh ; Fayllill oh ro, gur tu mo yra' ; 

fiijilill oh ro gar ta mo jn! 

Faillill oh ro, na hu-ill o ro, Fayllill oh ro, na h-uill o ro, 

fiijUill oh ro na hn-ill o ro 

Gu'n togain fonn, air mo Mhari bhain. Gun togain fonn, air mo Mari 

gan tog-ayn fonn ayr mo yari yayn bhain. 


Noir chuireas an Ceiten na geugan fo When May clothes the boughs with 

noyr chnj-res an cejten na geyg-an fo bloom 


Biodh na h-eoin a seinn a la 's dh-oiche And the birds sing in them night and 

hi' na he-oyn a seynn a la*8 yoy-ohe day 

sa la, 
sa la 

Bidh gobhair, bidh caoirich is crodh- There will be goats, sheep, milk cows, 

W govayr bi' caoyrich is cro'- 

loigh le'n a1, 

loy' len al 

Aig Mari oig ga^Q saodachadh ri aodan And young Mary driving them a^inst 

ayg mari oyg gan saod-a-cha ri aodan the breast of the hills. 


Fonn : — Chorus : — 

Ho, mo Mhari laghach, 's tu mo Mhari Ho, my bonny Mary, ho, my Mary 

ho mo yari la'-aoh 'etn mo yari trim, 



Ho, mo Mhari laghach, 's tu, mo Mhari Ho, my bonny Maiy, ho, my Mary 

ho mo yari la'-ach 'stn mo yari melodious ; 

bhinn ; 


Ho, mo Mhari laghach, 's tu, mo Mhari Ho, mjr bonny Mary, ho, my Mary 

ho mo yari la'-ach 'atu mo yari trim, 



Mari lurach bhoidheach ga'n comhnuidh My Marv bonny, lively, who dwells 

man Inr-ach yoy-ech gan ooy-nny' intheglens. 

na glinn. 

na glinn 

Cha'n *eil inneal ciuil a thuirling riamh No instrument has ever sounded under 

cha-noyl inn-d d-nyl a hnrlmg ri-av the SUn 

fo'n ghrein, 

fon yreyn 



A dh-airisis air choir gach ceol bbios That can adequately imitate eyeiy 

a yajfia-is ayr choyr gach ce-ol via kind of music we have, — 

again fein, — 
agayn feyn 

Uiseag air gach lonan, smeorach air A lark on every meadow, a thrush on 

nj-Beg ayr gach lo-nan sme-o-raoh ayr 

gach geig, 

gach geyg 

*S cuag seinn le muim a loidh do'n chiuin- And the cnckoo sin^ng joyously her 

'flcu-ag seynn le mnym a loy' don ohi-nyn- 

mhios cheit — Ho, etc. 

vi-os cheyt 

every branch, 

hymn to the mild month of May. 
Ho, &c. 

Tha do eheang shlios fallain mar eala 

ha do heng hlis &Uayn mar ella 

air snamh ; 
ayr snay 

Muineal mar an canach, beul o*m banail 

maynel mar an oanach beyl om ban-ayl 


Gruaidh air dhath an t-shiris, suil-ghorm 

gm-ay' ayr ya' an tir-is sayl-yorm 

mhilis thiath, 
Tills hla' 

Mala-chaol gu'n ghruaman, gnnis ghlan, 

mala-chaol gan ym-a-man gonys ylan 

'b cuach-fhalt ban. — Ho, etc. 

'b ca-ach-alt ban 

Thy sound taper waist is graceful as 
a swan when swimming ; 

Thy throat like cana, sweet is a 
welcome from thee, 

Cheeks like cherries, eyes bine, sweet, 

A slender eye-brow, without a frowD, a 
white forehead, hair curly and fair. 
Ho, &c. 

Oed bu leamsa Albaiun, a h-airgead sa 

ged bu le-am-sa alabin a hayr-ged sa 


Cia mar bhithinn sonadh gun do chomunn 

ce mar yi'-mn sona' gon do cho-mnnn 


B* annsa Mari bhoidheach le deo choir 

bannsa mari voy'-eoh le 4e-o choyr 

dhomh fein, 

yov feyn 

Na ged gheibhinn storas na Boin-Eorp 

na ged yeyv-inn storas na royn-eorp 

gu leir. — ^Ho, etc. 

ga leyr 

Although mine were Albin, and her 
wealth and power, 

How could I be happy, without thy 
loved companionship ? 

Bather would I have bonny Mary, 
witii a good right, to myself, 

Than a title to Europe with all her 
wealtL — 
Ho, etc. 

The following verses were written by William Boss, to the original of the 
ah: known in the Lowlands as " O'er the muir amang the heather." Both seta 
are very beautiful; but the Highland set has certainly more tendemess, 
simplicity, and dignity, at least to my taste. 





Pensive is my residence in Duneidin, 

Keeping company with English-speak- 
ing men; 

'S cianel m' fhuireach an Duneidin, 

'ad-and majreoh an diin-e7diii 

Cumail comnnn ri luchd Beurladh ; 

cumajl oommm ri Inc bejrla' 

Thoir mo shoraidh bhiath gun treigsin, Bear my unchanged salute 

hojr mo horay' via' gan trqrgun 

Dh-ionnsaidh 'm eibhneis anns 's na To my joy, among the glens. 
yi-im-wy' meTv-neys anns 


Fann : — 
E ho ro, mo run a chailinn, 

e ho ro mo nm a ohajlin 

E ho ro, mo nm a chailinn ; 
e ho ro mo ran a ohajlin 

Bun a chailinn, suairce manran, 
ran a obajlio sa-ayro^ man-ran 

Db-oich 's la tha tigh'n fo m' aire. 

joych *sla ha ti'-n fo mayre 

Chorus : — 
E ho ro, my love the maiden, 

E ho ro, my love the maiden ; 

My love, the maiden of the 
animated converse. 

Who is in my thoughts night 
and day. 

Tha mo cridhe dubhach, ciurte, 

ha mo ohri'-e dn-yach d-nrte 

'S trie na deoir a midh o'm huillean ; 

strio na de-oyr a ray' om hayllen 

An tig a an diugh na 'm bith mo dhuil riut, 

an tig a an di-u' nam bi' mo ynyl ri-nt 

Na'n dian mi an t-iul tbair na beannaibh? 

nan di-an mi an ti-nl hayr na bennayv 

E ho ro, etc. 

My heart is sad, wounded. 

Tears run frequently from my eyes ; 

Wilt thou come to-day, or may I ex- 
pect thee, 

Or shall I make my way over the 
mountains ? — 
E ho ro, etc. 

Tha mo chridhe mar na cuainten, 

ha mo ohri'-e mar na cn-aynten 

Na duilleach nan crann fo luasgain ; 

na dnyUeoh nan crann fo la-asgayn 

Na mar fhiadh fo thart an fhuaraen, 

na mar i-a' fo hart an n-a-ren 

'S mo shuillean ruaimleach le faire. — 
■mo hoyll-en ra-aym-lach le &yre 

E ho ro, etc. 

My heart is like the sea. 

Or the leaves of the wood in motion ; 

Or like the deer athirst for the spring, 

And my eyes dim for the want of 
sleep. — 
E ho ro, eta 

Gur binne na smeorach ceiten, 
I me na Bina-or-acb o^yten 

C obheoil*stac(Hnhradhreidbrium, 

6 ve-oyl 8tm oov-ra' rey' ri-nm 

Sweeter than the thrush in May 

Are the words of thy mouth in kindly 
converse with me, 




*S mo chliabh a lasadh le eibhneas, 

smo ohli-aT a laaa' le eyy-nes 

Tabhairt eisdeachd dha d' bbeul tains, 
tav-ajrt eye-dec ya d* veyl tayria 

E ho ro, etc. 
'S ta mo Ion, mo cheol, mo chlarsach, 

eta mo Ion mo che-ol mo chlar-sach 

Mo leng phrieseil, rimheach, aghmhor, 
mo leng fri-aejl rivech agh-vor 

Bi an t-sheun a chumadh o*n bbas mi, 
bi an tejn a ohnma' on Tas mi 

Maigbdeami mo ghraidh bhi mar rium. 

may^-den mo jny* yi mar ri-nm 

E ho ro, etc. 
Gar h-etrom mo ghlens is m' iompaidh, 

gnr hetrom mo yleys is mi-ompay' 

'S neo lodail mo cheum o*n fhonnsay 

*8 ne-o lo-dayl mo oheym on onnsa 

Gu tir ard nan sar fhear sundach, 

gn tir ard nan ear er enndaoh 

'S mi treigsin na galltachd nam dheann- 

emi treyg-rin na galltao nam yenn- 

aibh. — ^E ho ro, etc. 


My bosom kindling with joy, 

While listening to thy lips eloquent— 
E ho ro, etc. 

Thou art my food, my music, my harp, 

My gem priceless, brilliant, blessed ; 

It were a charm to save me from death 

To have thee always with me.— 
E ho ro, etc. 

Light will be my mind and my action, 

Not clumsy my step from this land, 

To the high country of heroes gay, 

Forsaking the country of strangers 
with speed. — 
E ho ro, etc. 

Diridh mi ri tulach Armuin, 

diri' mi ri tnlach armnyn 

Air leth-taobh strath min na Lang, 

ayr le'-taov era' min na larig 

'S teamaidh mi gu Innis-bhla-choil, 

flteniay' mi ga innie-vla-ohoyl 

*S ghibh mi Sine bhan gun sma11an« — 
'e yey mi sine van gun emallan 

E ho ro, mo ruin a chailinn, 

e ho ro mo nm a ohaylin 

E ho ro, mo ruin a chailmn ; 

e ho ro mo ran a ohaylin 

Buin a chailinn, suairce manran, 

nm a chaylin sn-ayroe man-ran 

Dh-oich 's la tha tigh'n fo m' aire, 
yoyoh 'sla ha ti'-n fo mayre 

I will ascend the hill of Armoin, 
On one side of the vale of Larig, 
Then go down to Innis-vla-choil, 
And find fair Jean in her brightness.— 
E ho ro, my love the maiden, 
E ho ro, my love the maiden ; 

My love, the maiden of the 
animated converse, 

Who is in my thoughts night 
and day. 

Bums wrote a song to the same air with the following verses also ; but, like 
the rest of his songs to Highland airs, (excepting '^ Auld Langsyne," '' A man's 
a man for a' that," '* The Lea-riggs," " Green grow the rashes, o," and a few 
others, the airs of which had scarcely been altered,) the airs were so tamed 
down as to carry the words even of Bums into the land of Nod aloog with 



them. The following Gaelic air and verses are so peculiar as to make me feel 
myself justified in assigning the composition of the melody, as well as the verses, 
to a fair lady, who was afterwards married to Cameron of Glenevis, — ^her '^ gillidh 
dubh ciar dubh," or, black-haiml swarthy youth. I heard it sung in the true spirit 
by one of her descendants, MissMacdonald of Drimnantorran, who inherits the taste 
of heV ancestress, and is so unfashionable as to sing the songs and play the melodies 
of her native mountains in a manner worthy of them, when other young ladies 
consider it quite vulgar to sing or play anything either sweet or natural. 


I ascend not a hill, 

Cha dhirich mi brudhach, 

eha dirich mi bra'-aoh 

Cha shiubhail mi mointeach, 

cha hi-nyayl mi moyntech 

Dh' fhalbh mo ghuth binn, 

yaly mo 7a' biui 

Cha sheinn mi oran, 

oha heyn mi oran 

Cha chaideal mi uair, 

cha ohaydel mi u-xyr 

luain gu domhnach, 
lu-ajn ga dovnaoh 

I cross not a heath, 
I tune not my voice, 
I sing not a song, 
I sleep not an hour, 
From Monday till Sunday, 

Gu*n an gillidh dubh ciar dubh thighinn Without being conscious (in my heart) 
— -.« ^11:1 ;!.,-, ^... A^^ u:>^:.- of the black-haired swarthy youth. 

Without, etc. 

gnn an gilli' duv oiar dav hi -inn 

fo'm uidh. — Gu'n an gillidh, etc. 

fo*m nj' 

Briodal beoil u, gradh bhan og u, 

bridal be-oyl n gra' van og u 

Cruaidh-bhuilleach, fearra-bhuilleach, 

cra-ay'-vajUach ferra-vayllach 

Sealgaer air mointich, 

selager ajr mo-in-tioh 

Lamh a leagadh nan damh cabarach, 

lay a lega' nan tay oabaraoh 

*S na'm bradan leis a mhorbhadh, 

'0 nam bradan leys a yonra 

An gillidh dubh ciar tha tighinn fo'm 

an gilli' dny d-ar ha ti'-inn fom 

uidh. — ^An pllidh, etc. 


B-eibhinn leom coir air a ghillidh dhubh 

beyyinn le-om oojrr ayr a yilli' yuy 



Fhaotain ri phasadh na'n deonaichidh 
aotayn ri fiwa' nan de-on-ioh-e' 

dia e. 
di-a 6 

Tender are thy words, love of young 

Hardy are thy strokes, and manly : 

A sportsman on the heath, 

A hand for prostrating the branchy 

And the salmon with the spear, 

Is the black-haired swarthy youth, of 
whom I am conscious. 

Is the, etc. 

'T were joy to have a right to the 
black-haired swarthy youth. 

To get him in marriage, should God 
ordain it. 



Bachain leat do'n t-Holaint, 

rach-ayn let don t-ol-aynt 

Mo dheo ! be mo mhian e ; 

mo je-o be mo vi-aa e 

'S cha ghabhain fear liadh 's tu tighinn 

8 oha jay-ajn fer li-a' s ta ti'-um 

fo'm uidh. — 'S cha, etc. 

fom ny* 

I would go with thee to HoUand, 

Indeed, it were my delight to do so ; 

And I will not haye a grey-headed 
man, while conscious of thee. 
And I, eta 

The air to which the following verses are sung I received from my daughter, 
Mrs Lang. Logan, in the " Scottish Oael," gives a different set of evidently the 
same melody, under the touching name of '' Ossian's lament for his father." The 
following verses, like the song, " Oich mar tha mi," at page 197, are re-arranged 
firom fragments, excepting the first verse of each, which begin with the same words. 


Oich mar tha mi 's mi na *m aonar, 

oyoh mar ba mi 8 mi na m aonar 

Cha chadal aobhach a gheabhain ann, 

oha chada aov-aoh a yev-ayn ann 

Aig boidhchead t-aodainn, is miad mo 

ayg boy-obed t-aod-ajnn is mi-ad mo 

ghaoil ort ; 
yaoyl ort 

Gu'm b-ait leam fhaotainn dhiot guth 
gnm bayt le-am aot-aynn ji-ot ga' 

an chaint. 

an cbaynt 

Farm: — 
na bith guidhe an gaol a threigsin, 

o na bi' gnj'-e an gaol a breyg-sinn 

Bha chein dhuinn na eibhneas aigh ; 

Ta cheyn ynyn na eyv-nes ay' 

Qei scar air cairdeann gun iochd o 
ged soar ayr cayrd-enn gan i-oo o 

cheir sinn, 

cheyl Binn 

Na fag gu leir mi gun speis gun bhaigh. 

na (ag galeyr mi gan speys gan vay 

Alas for me, all alone, 

Not sound is the sleep which comes 
to me 

From the beauty of thy face and my 
great love ; 

'Twere joy to get a single word of 
converse with thee. 

Chorus: — 
Oh do not say we must the love 

That has been so long to us a joy 
blameless ; 

Although friends merciless have 
rent us asunder, 

Leave me not for ever, without es- 
teem or pity. 

Noir chuireas Ceitean gach doire geugach, 
noyr obnyr-eB oeyt-en gaoh doyre geyg-ach 

A sheinn le eibhneas fo ceumaibh graidh. 

a beynn le eyv-nes fo oeym-ayv gray' 

'S ann bhios mi 'm aonar, gu tursach, 

B ann yiB mi m aonar ga tursaob 



A strith ri eislean nach geil 's nach traidh. 

a Btri' ri eyslen nach geyl 8 naob tray' 

na, etc. 

When Spring makes every leafy grove 

Breathe joyous songs under her steps 

of love, 
I will be alone, in sorrow and tears, 

Struggling against a calamity that will 
never yield or diminish. — 
Oh, etc. 


Airt-iomhaidhdhteachairachoidhadearca, On thy beautiful image for ever 

ayr ti-o-yay' yreoh-ajr a choy' a deroa dwelling, 

Cha 'n fhiudh leam bearteas na staid an Worthless (in my estimation) is the 

cha'n i-n' lem bertes na aUyd an wealth and state of kings ; 



Guth fuar a ghliocais, suil uaibhreach The cold voice of wisdom, the lofty 

ga' fti-ar a yli-oo-ays suyl n-ayr-reoh eye of the SCOmful, 



Cha chluinn, cha 'n fhaic is cha bhith I hear not, I mark not ; there is no- 
cfaa ohlaynn cha'n aye b cha tI' thing real to me save thee ! — 

'm bheachd ach i I — na, etc. Oh, etc. 

m yeo aoh i 


Domhnull Donn mac fear Bhoshuintainn, (Dovnul donn mac fer Yo-hi-un- 
taynn,) was the most distinguished Conservative of his day ; and was, of course, 
regarded and represented as a robber and a thief by the grantees of feudal 
charters, who considered the king and themselves the lawfid spoilers of the people, 
and looked on the black-mail-men as interlopers. He was a great warrior, a 
splendid looking man, and there was poetry not only in his character, but also in his 
romantic and adventurous life. A poetic warfare, such as was carried on in the 
Lowlands between their contemporaries Dunbar and Kennedy, was carried on 
in the Highlands between Donald Donn and the great bard Iain Lom, who was 
royal Oeltic bard to three of the Stuart kings. I have shown elsewhere that 
the feudal kings persecuted the bards ; but when they got into difficulties with the 
feudal nobility, they revived the office of royal bard, and found its value. Iain Lom 
was a convert to feudalism, and wanted the chiefs to take feudal charters^ until 
be found that the nobility had become revolutionists, which the bard (with an 
acuteness that has never been attained by any of Our historians) ascribed to 
these feudal charters, which made them anxious so to limit the power of the 
sovereign as to enable them to give the same effect to feudal ch€ai;erB in Scotland 
which they had already received in England, and thus to become each the 
despot and the proprietor, instead of merely the limited superior, of his district 
The chiefs who had accepted charters, such as Argyle, Breadalbane, &c., never 
presumed to alter the fixed tenures of their clans down to that date ; but except 
tional cases of usurpation then began to appear, and the bard took the alarm, 
and thus sounded his tocsin : — 

Tha Alb' ga cuir fo chis-chain, Albin is beingplaced under catn-exactions, 

Le ur-reachd cuigs' gu 'n f hirinn, By the new laws of the truthless whigs, 

An ait a chalpa* dhirich — Instead of the straight calpa* — 

Se cuid de 'm dhiobail ghoirt. This is part of my painful regret. 

* Galpa was the old name of th« young stook in which the fixed rests of the dans were paid. The 
clans were in the first ages of feudalism, allowed to pay their calpa (" caupe'* in feudal enactments) either t<o 
the chief or feudal giantee. When the feudal system took root in the Lowlands, however, the payment 
of the calpa to the native chief was suppressed, and the feudal grantee usurped the power, not only 
of exacting payment, but of changing the fixed tenures of the people into a tenantcy, with a limited 


Donald held that the tenants of the grantees of feudal charters were boond to 
pay to the native chief the calpa paid by the eyicted clansmen ; and he was, 
accordingly, a leading man among those who exacted the calpa from feudal 
tenants. Differences of opinion on the subject of feudal charters and forcibly 
exacting calpa {Anglici, black-mail) from feudal tenants, introduced personalities 
into the *^ flytings" of Domhnull Donn and Iain Lom ; but they did not, like 
the Lowland bards, descend to scurrility. This remark does not apply to Kennedy: 
indeed it is worthy of observation, as showing the superior refinement of the 
Caledonian over the Scot, that Kennedy,* a Gallowegian Cruithne, preserves 
more dignity than the court bard Dunbar, in their curious *' flytings." Gaelic was 
the language of the Gallowegians at the above period, and Kennedy is often taunted 
with his Gaelic— called " Earse" by Dunbar, who was probably the first man of 
letters to condemn what he did not understand, but who has found many 
followers in the same direction since then. One line of Domhnull Donn's retort 
gave deadly offence to the royal bard Iain Lom, namely, ^'Donnal a choin-bhathail 
sin, bhodhair mo dha chluais ;" — ^the howling of that vagrant cur has deaved both 
my ears. In answering this taunt, the ro/al bard almost descends to scurrility. 
Domhnull Donn was in love with a daughter of the chief of the Granta 
The chiefs of this old and powerful clan long refused, but ultimately accepted a 
feudal charter of the clan district. This introduced feudal ideas into the family, 
so that they could no longer regard the high-blooded, but pennyless chieftain as 
an equal matcL The hero and his lady-love, were, however, determined not to 
allow new and conventional ideas, foreign alike to their country and their clans, 
to intervene between them, and had concerted a plan of elopement The family 
were living at their seat at Glenurquhart, — so Donald, to be at hand, hid him- 
self in a cave (or rather under a ledge of a rock) on the north-side of Lochness, 
near Rileag Ghorraidh, a little distance below that part of the ravine over which 
his celebrated namesake, Allein Mac Baonuill,t leaped on finding his enemies 
before him at the head of the ravine, in his headlong race from Cill-a-chriosd. 
Donald's secret and retreat were betrayed to the brother of his love, and he 
was decoyed into a house in the neighbourhood of the castle, by a pretended 
message from Miss Grant. Here he was to remain until the young lady should 
be able to escape the vigilance of those who were watching her, and join him. 
Donald, thrown off his guard by the kindness and hospitality of the lady's pre- 
tended confident, was prevailed on, not only to drink " pottle deep," but also to 
sleep in the bam. No sooner was he asleep, however, than his sword and target 
were removed by his treacherous host ; hence, when his foes came upon him in 
the morning, he had no weapon but his gun, which snapped, so that he was 

* From W^igton to the tonn o* Air, 
And all be-doun the Unka o' Gree, 
No man need think to tarry there, 
Union he oouit Saint Kennedy.— Old Aphobism. 

f See the New Monthly Magazine of, I think, 1829, for the article " Gm-«-Ghiio«i;' 



literally unarmed. The following are a few of the verses he wrote on the 
occasion of his capture : — 

Mile mallachd gu bragh 

mile mallao ga bra 
Air a ghunna mar arm, 

ayr a jnnna mar arm 

'N deigh a mheallaidh 's an tair a 

'n dey' a yellaj' Ban tayr a 

f huair mi. — Mile, etc. 

ku-ayr mi 

6ed a gheabhain dhomh fein 

ged a jev-ayn jot feyn 
Lan buaile de spreidh, 

Ian ba-ayle de sprey' 

B* annsa claidheamh le sgeidh 's an 

bannsa day'-ev le age' aan 

uair ad. — Gte, etc. 

n-ayr ad 

Bha tri fiched is triuir 

ya tii fich-ed is tri-nyr 

6a 'm ruidh feadh nan lub, 

gam my' fe' nan lab 

Gus 'n do bhuin iad mo lus le luathas nam. 

giu 'n do ynyn i-ad mo Ina le la' -as n-am 

Bha, etc. 

Bigh I gar mise a bha nar 

n gar mise a ya nar 

Noir a ghlachd iad mi slan 

noyr a ylac i-ad mi slan 

*S nach tug mi fear ban na ruadh dhiu. 

snach tog mi for ban na ra-a' yi-u 

Righ, etc. 
Na *m biodh fios mi bhi 'n laimh, 

na m bi-o' Bb mi yi*n layy 

'S iomadh Domhnalach ard, 

si-oma' doynalaoh ard 

A ghabha mo phairt *s an uairsa. 

a yaya mo fayrt s an n-ayrsa 
Na, etc. 

AguB maighdhean dheas ur, 

agos mayden yes or 

Is ard beachd 's as caoin gnuis, 
is aid beo s as caoyn gnnys 

A thousand curses for ever 

On the gun as a weapon. 

After the deception and degradation 
I have met with. — 
A thousand, etc. 

Had I been oflfered 

A fold of cattle, 

I would have preferred a sword and 
target at that moment. — 
Had, etc. 

There were three-score and three 

Chasing me along the windings of the 

Until they won my strength from me 
by speed. — 
There, etc. 

Bigh I but I was ashamed 

When they caught me alive 

Without losing a man, fair or red. — 
Bigh, etc. 

Were it known that I am imprisoned| 
Many is the lofty Macdonald 
That would take my part in this strait 
Were, etc. 

And many a maiden fresh and symmet- 

Of a lofty mind and a mild fisu^e. 



A chuireadh na cruin* ga 'm fhusgladh. 

a dtmyn' na orajn gam u-as-gla' 

Agus, etc. 

Would give crowns* to release me. 
And, etc. 

Iain duibh tog a mach, 

i-ajn dn^v tog a mach 

'S thoir na fhaodas tu leat — 

• hoyr na yaodas tu le-at 

Cum cuimhneadh air a bheart bu dual 

cam cuTv-ne' ajr a veyrt ba da-al 

dhut — Iain, etc. 

Black-haired John, arise, and come 

With as many as you can gatheiv- 

Remember the wont of your ancestors. 
Black, etc. 

Na'm biodh tusa fo ghlais, 

nam bi-o' tofla fo ylajs 

Agus mise a bhi as, 

agns miM a bhi as 

Naile chumain mo chas gle luaineach. 

nayU ohamayn mo ohaa gle la-ayneoh 

Na'm, etc. 

Had you been under a lock, 
And me at liberty, 
Faith! I would keep my foot in action. 
Had, etc. 

Bhiodh an t-osan gle ghearr, 

▼i-o' an tHMan gle jerr 

'S a feile gle ard, 
8 a feyl^ gle aid 

'S balgan peallach oscean na cruachain, 

8 balagan pellaoh os-oen na eni-a-chaTn 

&C. — ^Bhiodh, etc. 

The hose would be very short, 

The kilt very high. 

And the shaggy haversack above the 
haunch, &c 
The, etc. 

Domhnull Donn naturally expected that his great clan would interfere on 
his behalf and pay his eric ; but he was not on friendly terms with his chieftain, 
Mac-mhic Baonuill, nor with the great clan bard Iain Lom, whose only sod he 
had the misfortune to have killed in a duel There was thus no person interested 
in his fate who was sufficiently influential to organize the necessary movement 
to save him. The apparent neglect seems to have deeply afflicted, and even 
shaken his hercHO spirit ; for the following verses, composed by him in prison 
the night before he was beheaded, are scarcely worthy of him. I can easily 
account for the absence of the tender and pathetic in these verses, since breath- 
ing sorrow or regret might be construed, under the circumstances, into timidity 
or a want of firmness. His pride and high spirit, therefore, made him guard 
against the expression of feelings that might countenance such an interpretation; 
but the lofty and bold sentiments which used to characterize his poems are 

* AH excepting capital crimes, rach as treachery to one's clan or oonntry, mnzdeis, or inAanoai 
crimes, could be compensated by an eric under the oleachda, or use and wont — which was tiie only law 
recogn|aed or Tallied by the palsdaMhal dans. The eric of this warrior could not have beea refused 
if offered by the clan. The chief of the Grants had demanded and receiTed eric Cram the OameroD* 
not many centuries before then. 




awanting here. This seems to show that the apparent neglect of his friends 
and his clan had shaken his confidence, and lowered the tone of his mind, 
althongfa it could not siibdne his conrage. '' Bidh mi maireach" he says bitterly, 
" air cnoc gu'n cheann, 's cha bhi mo chairdean fiiireachail ;^* I will be to-mor- 
row on a hillock withont my head, and my friends wOl not be watchful. An- 
other couplet is equally expresdve of his agitation and conscious power to do 
something very dangerous — ^probably to his guards, for efiecting his escape, — 
something which his heart did not approve, but to which he might be tempted 
in his desperation. '' Ochoin a Dhia T* he exclaims, " cum leom mo chiol, cha 
robh mi riabh cho cunnartach ;" Oh God I keep with me my wisdom ; I never 
was so dangeroua These lines are sufficiently expressive of his agitation, and 
give a lively idea of the stem pride that made him suppress anything sufficiently 
touching to be represented as complaining of neglect, or implying timidity. He 
suppressed anything resembling either, as unworthy of his warlike character 
and lofty pride. But the air to which he composed the verses is sufficiently 
tender and melancholy to betray what he would not express in words. It 
breathes the tender feelings and regrets natural to the lover and the hero, on the 
night before he was to die. This is one of the Macgreagair o Buarodh measures, 
so much admired, and so touching in the style of singing, — the two last lines of 
every verse being repeated in the next by the whole audience. 


'8 truagh, a ri^h I mo ni^hean donn, Would, a ri I my brown-hcured maid, 

stnt-a' a n' mo m'-e-ao doDo 

Nach robh mi thall a Muile leat ; 

naoh lOY mi ball a muyl^ let 

Far am faighein iasg is sithean fhiadh, 

fiur am fay'-ejrn i-aag ia n'-e-an i-a' 

'Sa chial cha bhiodh oim uireasaibh. 

aa ofai-al oba ti-o' oyrn ayr-es-ayv 

Far am faighein iasg is sithean fhiadh, 
ftr am hf^ejn i«aag ia Bi'-e-ao i-a' 

'Sa chial cha bhiodh oim uireasaibh ; 

aa ohi-al ofaa vi-o' 07111 nyr-aa-ayv 

Mharbhidn breac air boinne cas, 
varv-ayn brae ayr boymie cat 

Far nach deanadh casan grunnaehadh. 
fiff nach den-a' oaaan gnmiiaHsha' 

Hharbhain breac air boinne cas, 

▼arv-ayn brec ayr boynne cas 

Far nach deanadh casan grunnachadh ; 

(kr naoh den-a' easan granna-oha' 

'S an coileach dubh air luth a sgeidh, 

aan ooyleoh doT ayr la' a ascy' 

Mu*n d' theid na eidith ioma fear. 

mm deyd • na eyd-i' i-oma fer 

That I was over in Mull with thee ; 

Where I would get fish and deer 

And, my love, we should not want 

Where I would get fish and deer 

And, my love, we should not want ; 
I would spear the salmon in the rapid, 
Where feet would not sound. 

I would spear the salmon in the rapid, 

Where feet would not sound ; 

And the black-cock on the speed of 
his wing, 

Before many could dreas themselves. 




'S an coileach dubh air Inth a sgeidh, 

san ooyleoh day ayr la' a agey' 

Mu'n d' theid na eidith ioma fear ; 

man dejd na ejd-i' i-oma fer 

'S an earba bheag am ban na*m preas, 

Ban er-ba yeg am ban nam pres 

6e deas a chi sa chluinneas i. 
ge des a chi sa chlajnn-e-as i 

'S an earba bheag am bun na'm preas, 

san er-ba yeg am ban nam pros 

Ge deas a chi sa chluinneas i. 

ge des a chi sa chlaynnee i 

Ochoin, a Dhia I cum learn mo chial, 

och-ojn a yi-a cam le-am mo chi-al 

Cha robh mi riamh cho cunnartach. 

cha roy mi ri-ay cho conn-art-ach 

And the black-cock on the speed of 
his wing, 

Before many could dress themselyes; 
And the little roe in the coppice, 
Though quick her sight and hearing. 

And the little roe in the coppice, 
Though quick her sight and hearing. 
0, God I keep my wisdom with me, 
I never was so dangerous. 

Ochoin, a Dhia ! cum leam mo chial, 

ooh-oyn a yi-a com le-am mo cbi-al 

Cha robh mi riamh cho cunnartacL 

dia roy mi ri-ay oho cann-art-aoh 

Bidh mi maireach air cnoc gu'n cheann, 

In' mi mayr-eoh ayr onoo gon chenn 

'S cha bhith mo chairdean fuireachail. 

'a cha yi' mo obayrd-e-an fityr-aok-ayl 
* * * 4c 4k 

0, God I keep my wisdom with me, 

I never was so dangerous. 

I will be to-morrow on a knoll with- 
out my head, 

And my friends will not be watchful ! 

'S truagh, a righ ! mo nigheann donn, Would, a ri ! my brown-haired maid, 

8tra-a' a rr mo ni'-e-an donn 

Nach robh mi thall a Muile leat ; 

nach roy mi hall a mnyl^ let 

Far am faighinn iasg is sithean fhiadh, 
fiur am fky'-inn i-asg ia si'-e-an i-a' 

'Sa chial cha bhiodh oim uireasaibh. 
ea chi-al oha yi-o' oym nyr-ee-ayy 

That I was over in MuU with thee; 

Where I would get fish and deer 

And, my love, we should not want 

According to the tradition, Donald's sister was present at the execution, 
and the head articulated, after being struck ofif, the words, *^ a Cheit, tog an 
ceann," Eate, lift the head. It may be doubted whether the tongue, though 
put in motion as the axe fell, could articulate the words that hung upon it; bat 
it cannot be doubted, that, ascribing to DomhnuU Donn the anxiety lest his 
body should meet with neglect or indignity after death, which the tradition 
implies, proves that he preserved the demecmour of a gentleman while under- 
going a sentence resulting from his opposition to the usurpation by which the 
people were, as he foresaw, ultimately deprived of their immemorial right of 
property in the soil of their respective clan districts. A plain, simple memorial 
stone in his native clachan, Bohutin, with an inscription to the above effect, is 
well deserved by the memory of Domhnull Donn. 



The following fragment has been dressed np like the two beginning '* Oich 
mar tha mi," already mentioned. The melody is called '^ Oran sith,*' by Mrs 
MacdoneU, but the subject of the verses usually sung to it is the very common, 
though ever touching one in ballad poetry, — ^unhappy love : the melody itself, 
however, is of the class called ceol-sM, or fairy music, and few even of this 
class are more wUd and pathetic, as played by Mrs Macdonell ; but the following 
verses are not worthy of the melody. Though I have not made a connected 
ballad to suit the air, from anxiety to preserve all I could find of the original, 
the verses tell theii: own touching story : — The fair authoress was betrayed by 
her sister, and the lover slain by her three brothers, but at the expense of two 
of their own lives. They returned horn the adventure covered with '' their own 
blood" but this seems to have increased, instead of diminishing the grief of the 
loving sister, — ^so little did a spirit of revenge accord with die feeling of the 
bereaved Highland maiden. 



Thadhriuchdfeinairbhargachmeangain, Its own dew is on every bough, 

ha jri-uo feyn ayr var gach meDgayn 

Tha gach gleannan a dol an guirmead, 

ha gaoh glennan a dol an gajnned 

Tha 'n ceo ag iadhadh mu na bealaich, 

han oe-o ag i'-a' mu na bel-ajoh 

'S tha mo leannan a tighinn a shuireadh. 

'0 ha mo lenoan a ti'-inn a hny-re' 

Every glen is becoming more green ; 
The mist is winding around the defiles. 
And my lover is coming awooing. 

Fonn: — 

Huvo i na horin ova, 

Hurin i na horin ; 

Huvo i na horin ova. 

Thug mi comneamh dha sa choil. 


nu coynn-ev ya aa 


Chorus: — 

Huvo i na horin ova, 

Hurin i na horin o ; 

Huvo i na horin ova, 

I gave him a meeting in the wood. 

A phiuthar f healsach a rinn mo mhealladh, False sister, who betrayed me, 
a fi-n'-ar eLnch a riim mo yella' 

Noir a leig mi riut mo run. When I disclosed to thee my love, 

noyr a leyg mi ri-nt mo nm 

Shaoil leam nach bu luaidhaidh 'n I thought my secret would as fast 

haoyl lem naoh ba In-ay'n 


Tre do bheul na tre do ghlun. — 

ire do Y^l na tre do ylon 

Huvo, etc. 


Through thy knee as through thy lips. 
Huvo, etc. 



'8 iomadh cluichidh, mireadh is aighear, 

u^mnti' eh-ich-e' mine' is a/-er 

*SaD robh aim tairis measg ghleann is 

MO rov nim ta7r-it mesg jleon is 


Noir cheangail gaol sinn an laith air 

uoyt obea-gftji gaol aim aa lay' ayr 

bojg-4 . 

MaT dha roa air aon mheangaip aoairce. — 

mar ja jxm ajr aon Tengan ao-ayr-o^ 

HuYOy eta 

Many ware the sports, much the mirth 
and happinesSy 

In which we lovingly sympathized 
with one another, in green re- 
cesses among the glens, 

When affection tied us together in 
our youth, 

Like two roses rooted in one modest 
stem. — 

Huvo, etd 

'S trie a thuit ann an doiie diamhair 

•trio a huyt ann an doyr^ di-a-vayr 

An earbag mheaghail le saighead fnadain ; 
an efbag vi«a-yayl le la'-ed fo-a-dayn 

Ach CO a sheaoileadh gu'n tuiteadh 

ach 00 a haoyle' gnn tnyte' 



Le foil na peathaer a roinn mo cluasag? 

le foyl na pe'-er a roynn mo 6hln-a-fag 
HuT0> etc; 

Often has iallen in its secret grove 

The innocent roe by a wandering 
arrow ; 

But who could think that my loTcr 
should fall 

By the treachery of the sister who 
shared my pillow ? 

Huvo, etc. 

Chaidh a seachad mo thriuir bhraidhrean, 
ohay a aeofa-ad mo ri-uyr vray'-ren 

Air an steudaibh loma luadhadh, 
ayr an ateyd-ayy loma In'-a-a' 

Biodag paisgtedh ris gaoh nittin,* 

bi-d^^ payag-te' ria gaoh nyllin 

*8 am fail fein a taomadh bh-uapa. 
a am fuyl ftyn a iaoma' vn-apa 

Huvo, etc. 
Ghail mi Domhnull 's chail mi Aillein, 

obayl mi doTnnl a ohayl mi ailleki 

Mo dha brathair bha reachd mhor nasal, 
mo ya Tsa-ayr Ta leo ver n-a-ial 

'8 cha do lughdaich e mo leireadh 
a oha do In'-daych e mo leyr-a' 

Ou'm be mo Seumas a roin am bualadh. 

gum be mo h^mas a royn am bn-a-la' 
Huvo, etc. 

Past went my three brothers 

On their steeds sleek and swift^ 

Their dirks folded against eachelbow,* 

And their own blood pouring from 

Huvo, etc. 
I have lost Donald, I have lost AUao, 
My two brothers haughty (but) noble, 
Nor has it lessened my distress 
That my James it was who slew them. 
Huvo, etc. 

* When the dirk ie need in fencing by a ikilfiil person, the hilt is grasped in tuch a eray as t0 fnm 
the point towards the elbow. The expression aboTe describes it aa folded back along the sleere, so ss (b« 
point may touch the elbow-joint. 



'8 coma leom ged threig an ktha, 

8 ooma le-om ged h-reyg an U'-a 

'S ged chuireadh Dilin a ohe fo cbu- 

8 ged ohnyre' di-lin a che fo cha 

amtean — 


'S coma learn gaeh Di fo'n athar, 

8 ooma le-am gach ni fon a'-ar 

'S mo chead leannaen fo reachd na hu- 

8 mo obed lemian fo reo na hn- 

aighidh. — Huvo, etc. 

A chraobh chaoiain din do'n doruSi 

a ehraoY chaor-ayn dlu don doroa 

Theid mo ghiukn leat air guaillibb, * 

hejd mo yi-n-lan let ayr ohill' 

Btud mo cbasain ri Dan-dealgain, 

bonn mo ohae-an ri dun-de-la-gayn 

Sinte an carbad dealbbach nallacL 

ainnta an caraktad del'-vaoh yoaUa 

Hqyo i, na borin ova, 

Hnrin i, na borin o ; 

Hnvo i, na borin ova, 

Tbng mi coinneamb dba sa cboiL 

I care not tboagb tbe day sbould for^ 

Or a deluge sbould put tbe world 
under tbe sea ; — 

I ca^ for nothing under the sky, 

Since my first love is in tbe power of 
tbe grave. 
Huvo, etc. 

Bowan-tree near tbe doori 

On thee I will be carried on shoulders, 

Tbe soles of my feet toward Dun-^ 

Stretched in a bier, shapely and light 

Huvo i, na borin ova, 

Hurin i, na borin o ; 

Huvo i, na borin ova^ 

I gave him a meeting in tbe wood. 

Iain Garbb Mac Gille-Cballum, of Bathsay, who was lost on Hesgair, was a 
bold and adventurous seaman, and, being veiy popular, his death was much re^ 
gretted. It is the subject of many a ** cumbadh,'' one of them even by Man 
Nigbean Alastair Buaidh ; but, unfortunately, I have not been able to procure 
the air to which her verses were sung. This melody is from Mrs Macdonell, 
and it is the peculiarity of the air which makes me submit the fidloWBig verses 
to the reader. 


Och nan och, mo leir chradh 

och nan ooh mo leyr ohra' 

Mar dh-eirich do'n ghaisgeach ! 
mar jcgrrioh do^n jayigech 

Cha'n eil sealgaer na sinne, 

cha'n eyl selager na sinne 

'N diugh a frith na 'm beann casa. 

n ti-n' a fri' nam benn oasa 

Fonn: — 

Hu-a ho, io bo, bug orin o, 
Hu-a ho, io ho, iu ri o, 
Ho ro, io ho, bug orin o. 

Och nan och, my painful sorrow 

At the fate of the warrior ! 

Tbe hunter of the deer 

Is not to-day in the forest of tbe steep 


Hu-a bo, io bo, hug orin o, 
Hu-a bo, io bo, in ri o, 
Ho ro, io bp, hug orin o. 


Bha mi aair nach do Bhaoil mi, 

ya mi n-ayr nach do haoyl mi 

Qed is faoia bhe ga agradh, 

god 18 fiu>7n vi ga agra' 

Gn'n rachadh do bhathadh, 
gon lacha' do ya'-a' 

Ou brath air cuan farBainn. 

ga bra' ayr oa-an fanayn 

Hu-a ho, etc. 
Fhad sa sheasadh a stiuir dhi, 

ad sa heaa' a ati-uyr yi 

'S tu air cul a bull bhearte, 

sta ajr onl a boyl verte 

Dh-amdeon am'adh nan duilleaB, 

jayn-eo an-ra' nan 4ayUcu 

Agas nbraid na mara. — 

agoB nb-rayd na mara 

Hu-a ho, etc. 


^e day has been that I did not think, 
Althoagh it is vun to repeat it, 
Thoa ever couldst have been drowned 
In an open sea. — 
Hu-a ho, etc. 

While the hehn should endure, 

And thou shouldst be in the com- 

Despite the fierce war of the elemeDts, 
And the angry tumult of the ocean.— 
Hu-a ho, eta 

Fhad sa fhanadh ri cheile 

ad aa yan-a' ri cbeyl^ 

A dealean 's a h-achuiim, 

a ddea aa haoh-nynn 

'S b-urrainn di geilleadh 

'fl bnrxayn di geylle' 

Do d' laimh threin air an aigeal, &c. — 

do dlayr hreyn ayr an aygel 

Hu-a ho, etc. 

So long as should remain together 
The planks and the glaring, 
And she could obey 
Thy strong arm on the deep, &c.— 
Hu-a ho, etc. 

I submit a few verses of '' GiUidh Guanach" for the same reason, namely, ^ 
more for the sake of the air than the versea In Tait's Magazine of June 1^» 
I gave an imitation of verses supposed to have been written by the hero of this 
song, after an accidental interview he had with the authoress of the following 
verses, when both were married. 


'S ann di-donaich a dol do'n chlachan. 
Ban di-dooaych a ^dol don ohlaohan 

Aghabh mi beachd ort a measg nan ceud ; 

a yay mi beobd ort a mesg nan oeyd 

Ge be goraich e na faoineachd, 

ge be gorayoh e na fiumecfad 

'N sin cheangail gaol sinn an snaim nach 

*n sin cbengayl ga-ol sinn an anaym nach 

When going to the clachan on Sunday) 

I admired thee among hundreds ; 

And, whether from folly or vanity, 

Love (then) tied us to one another 
with a tie that will never relax. 



Farm: — 
Mo ghillidh guanach, thng iri oro, 

mo yilli' ga-an-ach hog iri oio 

Mo ghillidh guanach, ho robha hi ; 
mo yilli' ga-an*aoh ho rova hi 

Fhleasgaich uasail an leadean dhuallaich, 

les-gajch a-as-ajlaii ledea yn-aU-aych 

Tha mi fo ghruaim bho 'na dh-f hag ti*n tir. 
ha mi fo jru-aym vo na jag a*a tir 

Tha do bhilibh ga milis blath'or, 

ha do yiliy ga miliB bla'-or 

Mar ro8 an garadh do dha ghniaidh ; 

mar ros an gar-a' do ya ymj' 

Mar choillean cheire measg coillean creise, 

mar ohoyllea cheyrd mesg. ooyllen oreys^ 

Ha coltaa Sheumais a measg an t-sluaigL 

ha coltaa heymaya a mesg an tlay' 
Mo, etc. 

Tha do challapanan foinneidh dealbhach, 

ha do ohalla-pan-an foynoey' delayaoh 
Gun bhi garbh is gun bhi caol ; 

gm vi gary is gan yi caol 

Gur a boidheach glan a dh-fhas u, 

gar a boy'-eoh glan a yaa a 

"S gur h-iomadh ailleachd a h-air mo 
'a gnr i-oma' ayll-ec a bayr mo 

ghaol. — ^Mo, etc. 

Thuirt iad rium gu bheil u baigheal, 

hnyrt i-ad ri>am ga veyl n bay'-el 

Gu bheil do ghradh air a h-uile te ; 

gn veyl do yra' ayr a hnyl^ te 

Gus a faic mi e na d' abhaist, 

go8 a fayo mi e na davayst 

Mise a ghraidh cha chreid an sgeul. 
misd a yray' cha ohreyd an sgeyl 

Mo, etc. 
Noir a theid u do Dhuneidin, 

Doyr a heyd n do yun-cydin 

Fear do cheum cha'n fhalbh an t-shraid; 

fer do obeym chan alv an trayd 

Bidh na baintiemean nile an deigh ort, 

bi' na bayn-tir-nen ayl^ an dey' ort 

'S bidhidh mi fhein mar the do chach. 

'a bi'-i' mi feyn mar he do chach 

Chorus: — 
My volatile youth, hug iri oro. 

My volatile youth, ho rova hi ; 

My gentlemanly youth, with the flow- 
ing ringlets, 

I am in sorrow since you left our land. 

Sweet and blooming are thy lips, 

Thy cheeks like garden roses ; 

Like wax among tallow-candles, 

Is James among the people. 

Mo, etc. 

Thy legs are polished and symmetri- 

Neither (too) thick nor (too) small ; 

Clean and beautiful is thy form, 
Many are the charms of my love. 
Mo, eta 

They said to me that thou art sush 

And lovest every lady ; 
Buty until I see it in thy conduct, 
I, my love, will not believe the tale. 
Mo, etc. 

When thou goest to Duneidin, 

Another man of thy carriage walks 
not the street; 

The ladies will follow thee in admira- 

And I myself will be like one of the 


Mo ghillidh guanach, thug iri oro. My volatile youth, hug in oro, 

mo yW ga-aa-aoh hog iri oro 

Mo ghillidh guanach, ho robha hi ; My volatile youth, ho rova hi ; 

mo yflli' gn-aa-aoh ho rova bi 

Fhleasgaich uasail an leadean dhuallaich. My gentletnauly youth, with the flow- 
lesgayoh a-as-ayl an le-dea ya-all-ajoh iQg nngletfi, 

Tha mi fo ghruaim bho *na dh-fhag u'n tir. I am in sorrow since you left our land, 
ha mi fo Tm-aym vo na jag ii*a tir 

Mrs Macdouell sent me specimens of the airs sung by the milk-maids 
when milking the cows on the romantic stances selected for the open folds, on 
which they used to be gathered for that purpose, among the glens ai)d shielings of 
the Highlands ; but she did not favour me with the verses. There was, however, 
usually little or nothing in the verses of the mUking and other labour songs 
calculated to interest strangers to the associations they were intended to call Tip. 

The object of the milking song was to soothe and beguile the cows while 
being milked, and I have seen them listening to such sopgs with a dreamy 
placidity which realized Pope's idea of " gentle dullness listening to a joke," 
while yielding the milk so freely as to sound responsively in the foaming paiL 
It is rare to see such scenes now in the Highlands, if, indeed, they are ever 
seen at all ; but I remember them as the most peculiar and pleasing feature in 
the landscape, and cannot help wondering how any proprietor having a spark of 
soul in him could have substituted screeching shepherds, yelping curs, and grey- 
faced sheep, for such farming, even supposing it to be the most profitable of the 
two ; but that I deny. To form a proper judgement on this subject, the reader 
must remember that the community system of the patriarchal clans was done 
away with hefi)re the country entered on the agricultural, manu&cturing, and 
mercantile career, to which our present state of society and wealth are to be 
ascribed. The small Highland tenantry, who had the arable lands in allot- 
ments, and the pastures in common, were evicted and reduced to the oonditioD 
of unemployed labourers, or, in other words, to paupers, by the effect given to 
feudal charters and the introduction of sheep. Those who ascribe indolence to 
the Highlanders forget that industry is an acquired habit, and that sheep fann- 
ing deprived two generations of Highlanders of all farming employment, before 
it was discovered that they are by nature filthy and indolent The fact is, 
that there are no reasonable grounds for assuming, had their native rights been 
preserved, that they would not have entered into the improved system as well 
as any other class, and have developed the agricultural resources of their 
country to a much greater extent than has been done, or ever will be done, by 
the sheep farmer. In Switzerland, where the lands in like manner belonged to 
the people, and their ancient rights were conserved, farms are well cultivated, and 
the people comfortable and happy. There are no statistics whereby to form an 
estimate of the present value of the calpa, or young stock, which was paid by the 
Highlanders to their chiefs and chieftains as their fixed rents ; but considering 
the constant uniform and yearly increase in the value of stock from the above 
date, it would probably exceed rather than fall short of the rental paid at this 



day by the sheep farmers of the Highlands to their landlords. Macintosh, 
Ai^gonr, and Glenmoriston, preserved some farms under the old commmiity 
system, but on money (not the old calpa) rents, and these small fanners have not 
in the management of their farms &llen behind their neighbours. Indeed, the 
extensive traces of cultivation on lands now lying waste under the management 
of the sheep-farmer, corroborate Duncan Ban Macintyre, and Allan Dall Mac- 
dougal, who, in their poems show that there was great industry applied to culti- 
vation, not only on the '^ shores" but also on the ^' wolds^' of the Highlands, 
when the sheep farming was introduced, which has extirpated the population, 
and made the country a desert 

The nursery and dairy songs were so much of the same character as to 
render it unnecessary to make any distinction between them. Maolruainidh 
Ohlinnichen, the melody of which was sent me by Mrs MacdoneU, had, in 
tradition, the very rare distinction of having been " a light o' love,'' and a good 
fairy was seen rocking the cradle of her neglected child in the mother's absence, 
and singing this favourite nursery lullaby, which accordingly belongs to the 
class called '^ fairy melodies." 


Ho ro, Maobruainidh Ghlinnichen, Ho ro, Maokuaini of the glens, 

ho 10 maol-ra-aym' jlimie-dieQ 

Ho ro, Maolruainidh, Ho ro, Maolniaini, 

bo ro maol-ni-ayiii' 

Dh-f halbh do mhaithir, 's thug i am Thy mother is awav ; she has taken 

yahr do vay'-ir 'a hng i am her course to lie hill, 

firich oir, 

fir-ioh oyr 

Ho ro, Maolruainidh. Ho ro, Maolruaini. * 

lio 10 maol-ra-ajni' 

Thug i 'm balg an robh do chuid mine le, She has taken the skin-bag in which 

hog Vm balg an rov do ohnjd min^ le thy meal was kept. 

Ho ro, Maobuainidh, Ho ro, Maokuaim, 

bo 10 maol-ra-ayni' 

'S thug i an curasan san robh do chuid And she has taken the curoMn (a 

'a hng i an carasan san rov do ohnyd wooden dish) in which thy butter 

imedh le, was kept, 

ime' le 

Ho ro, Maolruainidh, etc. Ho ro, Maolruaini, etc. 

ho ro mad-m-ayni' 

There are two or three more verses extant, in the last of which the good fairy 
indulges her indignation against Maolruainidh, for the neglect of her child, in 
some thing extremely like malediction. 

The following is another specimen of the milking song, the air of which I 
also recdved from Mrs MacdonelL It gave its cognomen to a club of which. 
Bums became a member when in Edinburgh. 




Gu'n d' thugadh crodh Cbaillean 

gun dnga' cro' ohayilen 

Dhomh bainne air an f hraoch, 

yov bayDne ayr an raoch 

Gu'n chuman, gu'n bhuarach,* 
gun chamaQ gnn vn-ar-aoh 

Gu'n laircean,t gu'n laogh. 

gun layroea gun lao' 

Fann :— 
Orodh Ghaillean mo chridfae, 

oro' ohajrtten mo ohri'-e 

Crodh Ghaillean mo ghaoil ; 
oro' chajllen mo yaoyl 

Ga'n d* thugadh crodh Ghaillean 

gm dnga' oro' chajUen 

Dhomh bainne air an fhraoch. 

JOT bajnn^ ajr an raooh 

(Probably because the owner need to nng the lilt) 

The milk-cows of Golin 

Would give me milk on the heather, 
Without a pail or a shackle, 
A layrcen or a calf. 

Chartu: — 
The cows of Golin of my heart, 

The cows of Golin of my love : 

The cows of Colin 

Would give me milk on the heather. 

The following is another specimen of the milking song, the air of which 1 
have received from Mrs Lang. 


Till an crodh, Dhonnachaidh, 

till an oro' jonna-ohay' 

Till an crodh, Dhonnachaidh, 

tin an cro' yonna-chay' 

Till an crodh, Dhonnachaidh, 

till an oro' yonna-ohay' 

'S gheibh u bean bhoideach. 

'a jvyy a ben yoy'-eoh 

Fann: — 
Till an crodh drimean dubh, 

till an oro' diimen day 

Odhar dubh ceannean dubh, 
o'-ar duv oennen dnv 

Till an crodh drimean dubh, 

till an oro' drimen dnv 

'S gheibh u bean bhoidheach, &c. 

*s yeyv a ben voy'-eoh 

* ** Bnarach,** a hair ihackie for tying the hind legi of iwtiTe or fierce tempered oowi whfle 

t " Laircean" or ** tnlachan/' a wicker basket shaped like a calf, and covered with a oalf-skin, pb^^ 
before a cow to soothe her with the well recognised scent of her calf, after it is kiUed. 

Turn the kine, Duncan, 
Turn the kine, Duncan, 
Turn the kine, Duncan, 
And you will get a bonny wife. 

Chortu: — 
Turn the white-ridged black co\^, 

Dark-dun white-£skced cows, 

Turn the white-ridged black cows, 

And yon will get a bonny wife, etc. 



The next class of the labour songs which remain for illustration are the 
reaping or shearing songs. The verse of these was short, and sung by the 
leading reaper, and the chorus by the whole band. Like the rowing songs, 
they avoided anything like the excitement of feeling or passions, and merely 
wandered over the lakes, rivers, glens, and hills, in accordance with the pleasing 
attachments and associations of the singers. No sight could be more delightful 
than to see a great band of reapers extended over a fine field, amid an agreeable 
landscape, cutting down the golden sheafs, and singing, lightly and joyously, in 
full choru& The late Mr Chapman, Gorstorphine, near Edinburgh, one of the 
clerks of the Court of Session, but a spirited farmer, being married to a High- 
land lady, used to hire large bands of Highland shearers ; and told me that 
nothing gave Lord AUoway, and his other eminent legal acquaintances, greater 
pleasure than to visit him at harvest time, and listen to the merry harvest 
duanagan or lilts of his Highland shearers. These songs were very discursive 
and irregular (verses suggested by passing events being extemporaneously 
composed and introduced into them occasionally by .any of the singers that 
could do so) and of interminable length. I would in concluding this illustrative 
treatise, beg of those, who notwithstanding a careful perusal of the preceding 
pages, may stUl have a lingering leaning to the belief that the common High- 
landers were a rude, ignorant, unpolished people, to consider whether English 
and Lowland navies could enter sympathetically into the spirit of songs like 
those of which the foregoing and the following verses are descriptive specimens? 
Yet they must admit, that, unless Highland labourers could sympathize with the 
feelings and sentiments which characterize those songs, the universal custom of 
singing them for amusement, or to cheer them at their daily work, never could 
have become a characteristic of the people, or been carried down among them 
to the days of Lord AUoway and Mr Chapman, I have quoted as many verses 
of each of these labour songs as will enable the reader to form an opinion as to 
their peculiar character^ so as he may judge whether I am justified in these 


Failt' ort fein a Mhorthir bboidheach, 

faylt ort feyn a vore-liir voy'-eoh 

Anns an og-mhios bhealltainn. 
anns an og-vi-00 vel-tayDn 

Fonn : — 
Heiter-inn arinn, i-uirinn, oh ho ro, 
Heiter-inn arinn, ho ro. 

Griann-thir orbhuidh 's uaine cota, 

^-an-hir or-vny' 's n-ayne cota 

Is froinidh ros ri h-altaibh. — 

is froyn-i' roe r halt-ayv 

Heiter-inn, etc. • 

All hail to thee, lovely Morar, 
In the young month of May. 

Chorus : — 
Heyter-inn arinn, i-uyrinn, oh-ho ro, 
Heyter-inn arinn, ho ro. 

Sunny land of the greenest mantle. 

With forests of flowers on the banks 
of thy streamlets. — 

Heiter-inn, etc. 



'S alninn a beinnean 's a sraithean, 

Bal-ayim a bejnneii 'aa sny'-ea 

'S eibhein dath a gleanntain. — 

's eyreyn da' a glenn-tajm 

Heit, etc. 
Barr gach tolmain fo bhrat gorm-dhearc, 

barr gacb tolo-mayn fo vrat gorm-yero 

Air gach borrochainn attain. 

ayr gaoh Yorra-ohaTii al-tajn 

Heit, etc. 
Lusain churaidh mach a bracbdadh, 

luBajn ohnr-ay' mach a bmo-a' 

'S cuid dhiubh cul-ghorm bain-dhearg. 

• oayd yi-ay cnl-jonn bajn-jerag 

Heity etc. 

Beautifal are thy mountains and 

JoyouB the aspect of thy glens.— 
Heyt, etc. 

The brow of every hillock has a cover- 
let of blae-berries, 

Winding down to the hollows of thy 

Heyt, etc. 

Fragrant shrubs, bursting forth, 

Many of them blue-leaved and red- 

Heyt, etc. 

Crodh ga'n strachadh air bar fasaich, 

oro' gan Btrao-a' ayr bar fa-saych 

Am fiar nach d-f has gu crainntidh. 
am fi-ar nach das go crayn-ti' 

Heit, etc. 

Milk cows browsing in the desert, 
Among grass of growth luxmiaDt 
Heyt, etc. 

lad air theas a ruidh le 'm buaraich, 

i-ad ayr bes a my' le^m ba-ar-ioh 

'S te le cuaich ga'n teann-ruith. 

8 te le ca-aych gan tenn-my' 

Heit, etc. 
A choill gu h-uile fo Ian ula, 

a choyll ga hnylle fo Ian nla 

'S i na culaidh bhainnse. — 
d na ool-ay' yaynn-se 

Heit, etc. 

'S ceolar eibhein barr nan geigean 
*8 oe-d-ar eyyeyn bair nan geygen 

*Sa h-eoin fein a damhs orra. — 

sa he-oyn feyn a davB orra 

Heit, etc. 
lad air bhoile seinn le coilleig, 

i-ad ayr yoylle seynn le ooylleyg 

Ann san doire chranntail. 

ann san doyre chrann-tayl 

Heit, etc. 

In heats racing off with their shackles, 

And women with their milk*pail8 run- 
mg after them. 

Heyt, etc. 

The woods are wholly arrayed 
In their marriage garments.-^ 
Heyt, etc. 

Musical and joyous are all the boaghs, 
With their own birds dancing in them. 
Heyt, etc. 

Rapturously and lustily sing^, 
In the grove of mast-like copeewood. 
Heyt, etc. 



Morthir bbeg na'm bradan tarra-gheal, 

mor-hir yeg nam bradan tana-yel 

^S airgead a cuir lann orra. 

8 ajrged a cajr lann orra 

Heyt, etc. 
Brie le salas learn a buinne, 

brio le solas lem a bnynne 

IS deigh oan cuilleag greannar. 

an dey' nan eaylleg grennar 

Heyt, etc. 
'S lionach, slatach, cligeach, beirteacb, 

8 li-on-aoh slat-aeh dig-eoh beyrteoh 
*S eile ghlas nan Sambnan. 

s ejll^ jlas nan say-nan 

Heyt, etc. 
Greidhean dbearg a tamb mu'*m fireach, 

grey^-en jerag a tay mn*m fir-soh 

Eiltean, daimb is mangaibb. 

eylten dajnr is mangajnr 

Heyt, etc. 
Guaineacb, carracb feadb an daraicb, 

gn-ajn-ach carraoh fe' an dar-aych 

'S brisg na leannain cbeann-deirg. 

8 brisg na lennayn chenn-deyrag 

Heyt, etc. 
*S na mein-bbeagadb cuir ri beadradb, 

8 na minn-yeg-a' onyr ri bsd-ra' 

Anns na creagan teann orra. 

na oregan 

Heyt, etc. 

tenn orra 

Orian ag eiridb air na sleibbtean, 

gri-ao ag eyri' ayr na slejy-ten 

San tir cbeutaicb sbeannsail. 

san tir ohey-taych henn-sayl 

Heiter-inn arinn, i-nirinn, bo bo ro, 
Heyter-inn arinn, bo ro. 

Morar sweet, of tbe wbite-bosomed 

SilverHScaled sabnon. 

Heyt, eta 

Witb trout sportively springing among 
tby currents, 

After tbe merry flies. 

Heyt, etc. 
With nets, gaffis, (fisbing) rods, pirns, 
Ricb is tbe gay dwelling of Savnan. 

Heyt, etc. 

Bed berds (of deer) dwell in thy 

Roes, stags, and binds. 

Heyt, etc. 
Sprightly, warily among the oaks. 

Sport tbe smart red-beaded wooers. 

Heyt, etc. 

Tbe little kids lovingly playing, 

Among tbe rocks near them. 

Heyt, etc. 
The sun rises on the wolds, 

Of the countiy pleasant and fortunate. 

Heyter-inn arinn, i-urinn, oh bo ro, 
Heyter-inn arinn, ho ro. 

I think my traditional, as well as Gaelic and English education, has been 
such as to justify my giving an opinion on the subject, and my conviction is, 
that the institutions and local governments of tbe patriarchal clans were the 
best of all human institutions for cultivating tbe hearts of the people, and rear- 
ing and ruling them in honesty and virtue. Hence they were a civilized^ a 
generous, and a noble people ; and tbe calpa with which they supported their 


officials, was not only on an adequate, but a liberal scale, as is proved by the 
hospitality for whicb the Highland chiefis and chieftains have been proverbially 
characterized. The curse that banished population, comfort, and happine^ 
from the Highlands, is the curse of FEUDALISM. And where is the advantage 
even to the feudal magnates themselves ? We had, of old, as many patriarchal 
chiefs and chieftains as we have now of lairds ; and, although my space will 
not permit me to enter into details, I am convinced that by doing so, I eould 
show that the chiefs and chieftians, (although they had no power under the 
brehon law, or cleachda, or any other law made or sanctioned by the kings or 
people of Scotland, to increase the rents of the clans, or to oppress or evict them) 
had more influence and more happiness — ^more true wealth, so to speak — ^than 
the Court of Session-made lairds of the present day. They got all the cattle 
the country could produce, excepting those required to support the people, of 
whom they were, both in effect and in feeling, the fathers ; and a reciprocal love 
and devotion existed between them, which could only spring from the habitual 
cultivation of virtuous principles, and warm and generous feelings. The writers 
who ascribe that love and devotion to the despotism of the chiefs, and the seifish 
spirit of the clans, have, in thus writing, Ubelled the human character, and 
shown their ignorance of the institutions and character of the Highland chiefs 
and clans. 

The curse of feudalism, which never was felt universally in the Highlands 
until after the battle of CuUoden, brought in its train the — ^if possible — still worse 
curse of the Lowland sheep-farmers. The reader cannot judge this question by 
the present condition and character of the sheep-farmers either of the Lowlands or 
the Highlands, than whom a more respectable class is not to be found among 
her Majesty's subjects: I speak of the *' pilgrim-fathers" of the Lowland 
sheep-farmers, — of those introduced into the Highlands, when the lands were 
restored by the Crown and Parliament of England to the chiefs, instead of the 
clana It was after that, and not till then, that the chiefs and chieftains became 
lairds, and found it their interest to evict the clans. This was done at first 
quietly and gradually, but ultimately, as the strength of the executive increased, 
by wholesale evictions and expatriations. Sad for the warlike power and dignity of 
Scotland has been the change that substituted the Lowland shepherd for the High- 
land warrior and husbandman; but it is to be borne in mind that I speak of the first 
batch, who, with a few exceptions, were the very lowest grade of the Lowland 
peasantry, — ^persons who were as coarse and greedy in their habits as they 
were low and mean in their character and birth. A thousand graphic anecdotes, 
still preserved in the Highlands, but utterly unfit for publication, testify to the 
truth of the above statement, and the impression it made on the minds of a 
people whom a recent writer justly characterised as " Gtentlemen of Nature's 
own making.*' Types of the class I refer to, if I am not misinformed, are still 
to be found in isolated localities in the Lowlands, notwithstanding the great 
change in the condition and in the manners and customs of the Lowland 
peasantry since the above date. Some proprietors consider these drudges, who 
toil hard and live cheap, the most profitable farmers ; but, alas for the country 



that allowed them to expatriate her noble Highland clans I Lest the reader 
should doubt the correctness of the above sketch of the original sheep-farmers 
of the Highlands, I beg to refer him to "Oran nan Ciobairean/* by Allan 
Macdougall, the blind bard of Glengarry, who knew them well, and graphically 
describes both their character and lives. He corroborates his contemporary, 
Duncan Ban Macintyre, in ascribing to them the suppression of the great agri- 
cultural enterprise of the Gktel, *' on shores and wolds,"' and converting the 
country into a desert; but I can make room only for one verse, for I have 
exceeded the limits of my contract by nearly 100 pages. This poem was 
written more than sixty years since, by a man who witnessed and could well 
appreciate the change he describes. I wish Mr Macnaughton, the gentleman 
mentioned in the preface, would publish it in his phonetic spelling, with such a 
translation as that published in his '' Lectures on the Authenticity of Ossian/' 
I feel certain that it would gratify thousands of the English reading public. 


Thainig orin do dh-Alabin crois ! 
Tha doine bochd nochdte nis. 
Gun bhiadh gun aodach gun chluain ; 
Tha'n airde taath an deis a sgrios ! 
Cha'n fhaiceir crodh laoigh an gleann, 

Na gerran laider dol an eil ; 
Cha'n fhaicer ach caorich is uain, 
'S goil mu'n cuairt le sgreidil bhrein. 

Tha'n duthaich gu leir air dol fas, 

San Gaedhel gu'n tathaich fo'n ghrein ! 

A curse has come upon Albin ! 

Men are now poor and naked, 

Without food, raiment, or shelter ; 

The north country is ruined ! 

No milk kine are to be seen in the 

No strong work-horses in harness ; 

Nothing is seen but ewes and lambs, 

With Lowlanders round them, harshly 

The country has been converted into a 

The Gael has no home under the sun ! 





1. A Cbolla mo Buin, — Coll of my Love, - referred to at page 125 

2. An Sealgair 's a Chomhachag, — The Hunter and the Owl, - - 135 
" A Mhaighdean Shith 's an Sealgair, — The Faiiy Maiden and the Hunter, 137 
^' Nighean Donn na Buaile, — The Brown-haired Liaiden of the Fold, - 149 
" An Cronan, — The Croon, -.--.. 155 

3. Fuaim an t-Shaimh, — The Voice of Silence, - - - - 156 
" Gur Muladach Tha Mi,— Sorrowful Am I, - - - - 158 
" A Mhorag Chiatach, — Morag Beautiful, - - - - 176 
« Ho an Clodh Dubh,— Hey the Black Cloth, - - - - 181 

4. Mao-greagair Buadhro, — Macgregor Bu-a-ro, - - - 186 
" Cumhadh Baird,— The Bard's Lament, - - - - 189 
6. Buain na Bainich, — Cutting the Ferns, - - - - 191 
« Gur Faoin mo Luaidh air Cadal, — Vain are my Thoughts of Sleep, - 196 
" Oich mar tha Mi,— Alas for Me, ----- 197 

6. Gu'm bu Slan a chi mi, — Happy may I see, .... 198 
" Moch 'sa Mhaduinn, — Early in the Morning, .... 206 
« Air FaiUerin Hlerinn, 209 

7. Gillidh Galium, .224 

" The Die-hards, — a Caledonian March, ----- 225 

<< Cumhadh Prionns' Albaert, — Lament for Prince Albert, - - 235 

8. Lament for Prince Charles, ...... 244 

'< Sud mar chaidh an Cal a Dhollaidh, — How the Kail was spoilt, - 245 

" Caibtein Carraig, — Captain Carrick, ..... 245 

9. Fear a Bhata,— Man of the Boat, ..... 246 
" Mari Bhoidheach, — ^Bonny Maiy, . . . . . 248 
" Callum a Ghlinne, — Malcolm of the Glen, - - - * 251 

10. Cumhadh Mhic Cruimen, — M^Cruimen's Lament, ... 253 

'' ,A Mhaighdean Mhodhar, — Maiden Gentle, .... 254 

" Duanag Ceiten, — A Idfij Carol, . . . . . 255 

'' 'S Cianal 'm Fhuireach an Dun-eidin,— Pensive is my Besidence in 

Edinburgh, ....... 267 

11. An GnUdh Dubh Ciar Dubh,— The Black-haired Swarthy Youth, - 259 
" Oich mar tha mi 's mi na'm aonar, — ^Alas my Fate, - . - 260 


11. Gred a Gheabhain, — Though I Bhould get, &c. referred to at page 263 

12. 'S Truagh a Righ I— Would, a ri ! - - - - - 265 
" Tha Dhriuchd Fein, — Its own Dew, &c. - - - - 267 
" Och nan Och, mo Leir Chradh, — Alas, alas, my Painful Sorrow, - 269 
" An Qillidh Quanach,— The Volatile Youth, - - - - 270 

13. Maolruainidh Qhlinnichen, — Maol-ru-ayni of the Olens, - - 273 
*' Ciodh Chaillean,— The Milk-kine of Colin, - - - - 274 
" Till an Crodh a Dhonnachaidh, — Turn the Eine, Duncan, - < 274 
" Failte na Morthir Bhoidheach, — Hail to Thee, Bonnie Morar, - - 275 


14. Codiad yr Hedydd,— The Song of the Lark, - - - 213 
16. Bugeilior Owenith Gwyn, — Watching the Wheat, - - - 214 
" Nos Galan,— New Year's Eve, .... - 214 

16. Merch Megan, — Megan's Daughter, ..... 215 
« Bhyfelgyrch Gwyr Harlech,— War Song of the Men of Harlech, - 216 

17. Morva Bhuddlan,— The Marsh of Buthkn, - - - - 217 

18. Glan Meddwdod Mwyn,— The Joy of the Mead Cup, - - - 218 


18. A Maighdeon, a Bhean, 's a Bhantraech, — The Maid, Wife, and Widow, 220 
" An Chuil-fhionn,— The Cooleen, - - ... 222 

19. Graisgich Chluain Tharhh, — Heroes of Clontarf, - - (Celtic) 
" Guisgich Chluain Tharhh, — Heroes of Clontarf, - - (Irish)* 

20. Eamonn a Chnoic,— Edmund of the Hill, - - - (Irish) 221 
" Tha mi 'm shuidhe air an Tulaich, — ^I am sitting on the Height, (Celtic) 153 

• Dr White oUigingly Mat me, thnragh Mr M nrdodi, thii iMt ** renion of the Battle of Clontarf;*' 
but it if eyidently not » different yerrion, but altogether a different tune from the aboye. The 
peofde of Ireland, like the people of the Lowlands and Higfalanda of Scotland, differed in dialeet, in 
musio, and dandng, aa weU aa in their institutions. Although I have not Dr White's authority for saying 
so, I haTe no doubt that it !■ the March of the Gothic Olans of Ireland to Clontarf, and that tiie first 
is the March of the Celtic Clans to the same battle. The two specimens contrast with one another as 
strikingly as Caledonian and Scottish melodies: indeed, the first and the Welsh and Caledoniaa 
Marches breathe a kindred spirit, and differ widely from Dr White's ** Battle of ClontarC* 



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