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Carmina Gadelica 

Hymns and Incantations 

With Illustrative Notes on Words ^ Rites, and Customs, 

Dying and Obsolete : Orally Collected in the Highlands 

and Islands of Scotland 

By Alexander Carmichael 




Edinburgh : Oliver and Boyd 



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CARMINA GADELICA 

ORTHA NAN GAIDHEAL 








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Carmina Gadelica 

Hymns and Incantations 

With Illustrative Notes on Words, Rites, and Customs, 

Dying and Obsolete : Orally Collected in the Highlands 

and Islands of Scotland 

By Alexander Carmichael 



Volume III 




Oliver and Boyd 

Edinburgh : Tweeddale Court 

London: 98 Great Russell Street, W.C. 

1940 




PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY 
OLIVER AND BOYD LTD., EDINBURGH 



TO 

E. C. G. W. 



EDITOR'S NOTE 

In the fifth volume I hope to explain fully how I have dealt 
with the material and to what extent I am responsible for the 
final form of the work. Every circumstance makes this 
desirable — the unprepared state of most of the original 
manuscripts, the nature of the material, and the Collector's 
unequalled knowledge and power of interpretation. But lest 
the opportunity should be withheld, I say now without 
reserve that I have made as little change as possible. To the 
Gaelic text no word has been added, and, save that a few 
broken lines or stanzas have been omitted, no word has 
been taken away. I have in general normalised the spelling, 
but I have not tampered with any spelling or form where to 
do so would have implied a change in pronunciation, inflexion, 
or the like. A few words appear in alternative spellings, 
representing the same pronunciation ; the reader need not 
be disturbed by this. He will understand, moreover, that 
deviations from ordinary spelling and grammar reflect the 
language of the reciters, a language much governed by its 
appeal to their delicate ear, and consequently in some degree 
fluid. The originals show scarcely any accents or marks of 
length ; I have added these, confining them mostly to stressed 
vowels historically long. Some vowels not so marked may 
none the less be long ; these doubtful cases I hope to note 
later. In translating I have tried to follow, as best I could, 
my grandfather's usage in the first two volumes ; but 
certain departures have been necessary and have been 
deliberately made, and I have not strained after mere verbal 
consistency. 



viii EDITOR'S NOTE 

The Rev. Dr Kenneth MacLeod, my grandfather's and 
my mother's friend and my own, has given me valuable help 
in this volume. None now living can match his understanding 
of the language of these poems and of their whole import, 
and his power to help in interpreting them has been increased 
by his close friendship with the Collector. Mr William 
Matheson has given me not less useful information and advice. 
The many new ornamental initial letters, headpieces and tail- 
pieces are the beautiful work and generous gift of Mr Robert 
Burns. The publishers have helped and encouraged me much 
by their constant and practical interest in every aspect of the 
work. 

J. C. W. 

Edinburgh 
St Michael's Day, 1 940 



BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 

2 1 7 Baisteadh Breith 

Braon beag an Athar 

2i8 Baisteadh Breith 
An aimn Athar 

219 Or an Tonnaidh 

Tonnan beag do chruth 

220 Baisteadh Ban-Ghlùin 

An ainm Dhe 

221 Braon Beag Burn 

Braon beag burn 



CONTENTS 

PAOB 

BIRTH AND BAPTISM 

7 



Birth Baptism 

The little drop of the Father 



Birth Baptism 
In name of Father 

The Prayer of Baptism 

The little wavelet for thy form 

The Baptism by the Knee- 
Woman 
In name of God 

A Small Drop of Water 
A small drop of water 



13 



17 



URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 

222 Urnaigh Cur Umainn 
Beannaich dhomh, a Dhe 



MORNING PRAYERS 

Prayer at Dressing 
Bless to me, O God 



25 



223 Achan Èirigh 

A Righ na gile 's na 


greine 


Prayer at Rising 
Thou King of moon and sun 


29 


224 Urnaigh 

Taing dhut daonnan 




Prayer 
Thanks to Thee ever 


29 


225 Toirt Taing 

Taing dhuit, a Dhe 




Thanksgiving 
Thanks to Thee, O God 


31 


226 Urnaigh Èirigh 

Beannaich dhomh, a 


Dhe 


Prayer at Rising 
Bless to me, O God 


33 



CONTENTS 



llR. 

227 Altachadh Èirigh 

Athair naoimhe na f irinn 



Petition at Rising 
Thou holy Father of verity 



PAGE 

35 



228 Urnaigh Mhadainn 

Creidim, a Dhia nan uile dhia 



Morning Prayer 
I beheve, O God of all gods 



41 



229 Ceum na Còrach 

Mo cheum an diugh le Dia 



The Path of Right 
My walk this day with God 



49 



230 Smaointean 

Toil Dhe dhianam 



Thoughts 
God's will would I do 



51 



231 Comhnadh Dhe 
Dia dha mo chaim 



God's Aid 
God to enfold me 



53 



232 Altachadh 
Thi na bi ! 



Supplication 
O Being of life ! 



55 



233 Eòlas Gonaidh 

Sùil Dhe eadar mi 



Charm against Venom 
Be the eye of God 



57 



234 Urnaigh 

Guidheam an diugh 



Prayer 
Pray I this day 



59 



235 An Tri 

An ainm Athar 



The Three 
In name of Father 



63 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 



PRAYERS FOR 
PROTECTION 



236 Achan 

Dhe naoimhe na firirm 



237 Altachadh 

O Athair na f irinn 



Petition 
O holy God of truth 

Prayer 
O Father of truth 



65 
69 



238 Urnaigh 

A Dhe, eisd ri m'urnaigh 



Prayer 
O God, hearken to my prayer 



71 



CONTENTS 



XI 



239 Òra na hAnshocair 

Crois na craoibhe ceusda 



PAOE 

Prayer of Distress 73 

May the cross of the crucifixion tree 



240 ios an Cuartaiche 

ios ! Aon-ghin Mhic Dhe 



Jesus the Encompasser 
Jesu ! Only-begotten Son 



77 



241 Achan ìosa 

Canam an achan o m' bheul 



Prayer to Jesus 
I say the prayer from my mouth 



79 



242 Leigh m'Anama 

A Leigh m'anama 

243 Fuidheall 



Thou, my Soul's Healer 85 

Thou, my soul's Healer 

Fragment 87 



An Spiorad Naomh a bhraonadh May the Holy Spirit distil on me 
orm 



244 Spiorad Naomh 

A Spioraid Naoimh 



Holy Spirit 
O Holy Spirit 



89 



245 An Teòr 

An Teòr tha os mo chionn 



The Three 

The Three Who are over me 



93 



246 Seun Sàbhalaidh 

Seun a chuir Brighid 



Charm of Protection 
The charm placed of Brigit 



95 



247 Achan 

Tha mi ag achan ri Dia 



Prayer 
I am appealing to God 



99 



248 Caim 

Caim Dhe agus a làmh dheas 



Encompassing 
The compassing of God 



[03 



249 Caim 

Caim Dhe bhith umad 



Encompassing 1 

The compassing of God be on thee 



05 



250 Caim 

Caim nan Ostal naomha 



Encompassment 

The holy Apostles' guarding 



107 



251 Òra Dìona 

A Mhicheil na mil 



Prayer of Protection 

Thou Michael of militance 



109 



Xll 

Am. 



CONTENTS 



AN NOLLAIG MHÒR 

252 Duan Nollaig 

Nochd an oidhche f hada 

253 An Òigh 

Chunnacas an Òigh a' teachd 

254 Leanabh an Àigh 

Leanabh an àigh 



THE NATIVITY 

Christmas Carol iii 

This night is the long night 

The Virgin 115 

The Virgin was beheld approaching 



The Child of Glory 
The Child of glory 



117 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 


SUPPLICATION OF 
SAINTS 


THE 


255 Achan Mhoire Mhàthar 
A Mhoire Mhaighdean 


Prayer to Mary Mother 
Mary Maiden 


"9 


256 Moladh Moire 

Gabham an urnaigh 


Praise of Mary 
I say the prayer 


127 


257 Moladh Moire 

Blàth-fhliosg na mara 


Praise of Mary 

Flower-garland of the ocean 


135 


258 Cuirim Fianais 

Cuirim fianais gu Moire 


I Send Witness 
I send witness to Mary 


137 


259 Micheil Mil 

A MhicheU Mhil 


Michael Militant 
Michael Militant 


145 


260 Micheal nan Aingeal 
A Mhicheil nan aingeal 


Michael of the Angels 
Michael of the angels 


149 


261 Aingeal Coimhideachd 

Aingil choimhidich mo làimhe 
dheise 


Angel Guardian 
Angel guardian of my 
hand 


151 

right 


262 Guidhe 

Guidhim is acham 


Prayer 
I pray and supplicate 


153 


263 Banas Brighde 

Brighde nam brat 


Womanhood of Brigit 
Brigit of the mandes 


155 



CONTENTS 



iIR. PAGE 

264 Beannachadh Brighde Blessing of Brigit 161 

Gach latha agus gach oidhche Each day and each night 



265 Rann Tobair 

Caim na Màthar Moire 



Rune of the Well 

The shelter of Mary Mother 



169 



GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 

266 Achan 

Bi 'na do ro reidh romham 

267 An Guidhe 

Tha mi guidhe agus ag achan 

268 An Comhnadh 

Gun dionadh Brighde mi 

269 Achan 

Dhe, fuasgail fèin 

270 Guidhe Turais 

Dhe, beannaich dhomh an latha 

271 Am Beannachadh Turais 

Beannaich dhomh, a Dhe 

272 Soisgeul Chriosd 

Gum beannaicheadh Dia do chrois 

273 Soisgeul Dhe nan Dùl 

Soisgeul Dhe nan dùl 

274 Soisgeul Chriosd 

Cuirim comraich Chriosd umad 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 

Petition 1 7 1 

Be Thou a smooth way before me 

The Prayer 173 

I am praying and appealing 

The Aiding 1 75 

May Brigit shield me 

Prayer i 77 

Relieve Thou, O God 

The Journey Prayer 1 79 

God, bless to me this day 

The Journey Blessing 1 8 1 

Bless to me, O God 

The Gospel of Christ 183 

May God bless thy cross 

The Gospel of the God of Life 191 

The Gospel of the God of life 

The Gospel of Christ 193 

I set the keeping of Christ about 
thee 



275 Comhnadh nan Deòr 

Dia bhith leat 

276 Sian Sàbhalaidh 

Gabhaidh tu ri Dia 



The Pilgrims' Aiding 
God be with thee 

Charm for Protection 
Thou shalt take to God 



195 

197 



XIV 
ÀIR. 



CONTENTS 



BEANNACHDAN 

277 Beannachdan 



BLESSINGS 
Blessings 201 



ÒRAGHAN BUADHA 

278 Òra Buadh 

Buadh a chuir Brighid 

279 Sian Bhuadha 

An sian a chuir Brighde 



INVOCATION OF THE 
GRACES 

Invocation of the Graces 213 
The grace placed by Brigit 

Charm of Grace 2 1 7 

The charm placed by Brigit 



280 Òra Aodann Nighinn 

Tha fell Dhe air th'aghaidh 


Charm for the Face of a 
Maiden 
The beauty of God is in thy face 


227 


281 Buadh 

Buadh rùna dhut 


Grace 
Grace of love be thine 


229 


DtJRACHDAN 


GOOD WISHES 




282 Dùrachd 

Feart fithich dhuit 


Good Wish 

Power of raven be thine 


231 


283 Guidhe 

Gach latha subhach dhuit 


Prayer 
Each day be glad to thee 


235 


284 Dùrachd 

Neart abhainn dhuit 


Good Wish 
Thine be the might of river 


237 


285 Guidhe 

Feart sùla dhuit 


Prayer 
Povk^er of eye be thine 


237 


286 Durachd 

Mathas sùla dhuit 


Good Wish 
The good of eye be thine 


239 


287 Guidhe 

Guidhim saoghal sona dhuit 


Prayer 

I pray for thee a joyous life 


239 



CONTENTS 



llR. 

288 Dùrachd 

Gliocas beithir dhuit 



Good Wish 
Wisdom of serpent be thine 



PAGE 
241 



289 Guidhe 

Gach latha sona dhuit 



Prayer 
Be each day glad for thee 



241 



290 Guidhe 

Gràdh na Muire Màthar dhuit 



Prayer 
The love of the Mary Mother be 
thine 



243 



291 Diirachd 

Gàirdean Mhuire Mhàthar dhuit 



Good Wish 245 

The arm of Mary Mother be thine 



292 Beannachd Màthar 
Beannachd Dhe dhut 



The Mother's Parting 
Blessing 
The benison of God be to thee 



247 



293 An Diiil Deòra 

lonnlaidh mise m'aodann 



The Pilgrim's Hope 
I will bathe my face 



251 



294 Beannachd Màthar 

Far an toir thu barr do chinn 



The Mother's Blessing 253 

Where thou shalt bring the crown 
of thy head 



295 Am Beannachd Màthar 
Aoibh Dhe dha t'aghaidh 



The Mother's Blessing 
The joy of God be in thy face 



255 



URNAIGH ROIMH 
ÈISDEAGHD 

296 Urnaigh roimh Èisdeachd 
ìosa, thoir dhomh mathanas 



PRAYER BEFORE 
CONFESSION 

Prayer before Confession 
Jesu, give me forgiveness 



257 



CROIS CHRlOSDA 

297 Crois Chriosda 

Crois Chriosd eadar mi 



THE CROSS OF CHRIST 

The Cross of Christ 263 

Be the cross of Christ 



CONTENTS 



SÌTH PEACE 

298 Sìth Peace 265 

Sìth Dhè dhomh, sìth dhaoine The peace of God, the peace of men 



299 Sith 

Sith eadar nàbannan 

300 Sith 

Sith nan sonas 



Peace 267 

Peace between neighbours 

Peace 269 

The peace of joys 



GUTH NA TORAINN 

301 Guth na Torainn 
A Dhe nan dùla 



THE VOICE OF THUNDER 

The Voice of Thunder 271 

O God of the elements 



302 Torann 

Guth an De mhoir 



Thunder 
The voice of the great God 



273 



GEALACH tJR 

303 Àilleagan Fionn na Feil 
Fàilt ort fein, a ghealach ùr 



NEW MOON 

Beauteous Fair One of Grace 275 
Hail to thee, thou new moon 



304 Geaslanachd na Gealaich 

Glòir dhuit fein gu bràth 

305 Gealach tJr 

Te mo ruin a' ghealach ùr 

306 A' Ghealach tJr 

Fàilte dhut, a ghealach ùr 

307 Gealach Ùr 

Ri faicinn domh na gealaich ùir 

308 A' Ghealach tJr 

Ri faicinn dhomh na gealaich ùir 



Moon Worship 279 

Glory to thee for ever 

New Moon 281 

She of my love is the new moon 

The New Moon 285 

Hail to thee, thou new moon 

New Moon 287 

When I see the new moon 

The New Moon 289 

When I see the new moon 



CONTENTS 



ÀIR. 

309 Gealach Ùr 

Ta mi togail duit mo làmh 

310 Gealach Ùr 

Siod agaibh a' ghealach ùr 

3 1 1 Gealach Clr 

Siod, siod, a' ghealach ùr ! 

312 A' Ghealach tJr 

Te mo ruin a' ghealach ùr 

313 Rìoghainn na hOidhche 

Fàilte dhuit fein 

314 Àilleagan nam Buadh 

Fàilte dhut, a ghealach ùr 

315 Gealach XJr 

Guma geal do sholas dhomh 



New Moon 
I am lifting to thee my hands 

New Moon 
There, see, the new moon 

New Moon 
There, there, the new moon ! 

The New Moon 
She of my love is the new moon 

Queen of the Night 
Hail unto thee 

Jewel of Virtues 

Hail to thee, thou new moon 

New Moon 
May thy light be fair to me ! 



PAGE 

291 



293 
297 
299 
301 

303 
305 



A' GH] 


RIAN 


THE SUN 




316 Grian 




Sun 


307 


Sùil Dhè mhòir 




The eye of the great God 




317 A' Ghrian 




The Sun 


3" 


Fàilte ort fcin, a 


ghrian 


Hail to thee, thou sun 





BUIDHEACHAS BITHIDH 



THANKS FOR FOOD 



318 An Garbhan 


The Meal 


313 


Thoir dhuinn, a Dhe 


Give us, God 




319 Beannachadh Bithidh 


Grace before Food 


315 


Bi liom, a Dhe 


Be with me, O God 




320 Buidheachas Bithidh 


Thanks after Food 


317 



Taing dhut, a Dhe 



Thanks be to Thee, O God 



XVlll 

IIR. 



CONTENTS 



DÌON OIDHCHE 

321 Eòlas Eagail Oidhche 

Dia romham, Dia dheogham 



NIGHT SHIELDING 

Charm for Fear by Night 319 
God before me, God behind me 



322 Comaraig nan Deòr 
Tha mi cur m'anama 



The Pilgrims' Safeguarding 321 
I am placing my soul 



323 Dion De 

A Thighearna agus a Dhia 



Shielding of God 
Thou Lord and God 



323 



324 Smùradh an Tula 
Smùraidh mi an tula 



Smooring the Hearth 
I will smoor the hearth 



325 



325 Smàladh an Teine 

Smàlam a nochd mo theine 



Smooring the Fire 
I smoor this night my fire 



325 



326 Smàladh an Teine 

Smàlam a nochd an teine 



Smooring the Fire 
I smoor the fire this night 



327 



327 Urnaigh Oidhche 

'Nat ainm, los 

328 Laighim sios a Nochd 

Laighim sios a nochd le Dia 

329 Achan Chadail 

Laighim sios a nochd 

330 Gabhail mu Thàmh 

Nara tigeadh thugam eucoir 

331 Beannachadh Tàimh 

Dhè, beannaich dhomh 

332 Fois 

A Thi nam feart 



Night Prayer 
In Thy name, O Jesu 


329 


I Lie down this Night 
I lie down this night with God 


333 


Sleep Invocation 

I lie down this night 


335 


Going to Rest 

May no wrong come unto me 


337 


Rest Benediction 
Bless to me, O God 


339 


Repose 


341 



Thou Being of marvels 



333 Clos Cadail 

Dhe nan diil, na dubhr dhomh 



Repose of Sleep 
O God of life, darken not to me 



343 



CONT 


ENTS 


xix 


ÀIR. 

334 Dhè Mhòir 

Dhè mhòir, thoir dhomhsa 


Thou Great God 
Thou great God, grant me 


PAGE 

345 


335 Urnaigh 

Mo Dhia agus mo Thriath 


Prayer 
My God and my Chief 


347 


336 Urnaigh 

Athair, beannaich mi 


Prayer 

Father, bless me 


349 


337 Caimeachadh Teaghlaich 
Beannaich, a Dhè, dh'an teine 


Encompassing of Family 
Bless, God, the fire 


351 


338 Beannachadh Tàimh 

Beannaich, a Dhè, an ardrach 


Rest Blessing 
Bless Thou, O God, the dwelling 


357 


339 An Teaghlach 

A Dhè, beannaich mo bhonntaigh 


The Homestead 
God, bless my homestead 


359 


340 Beannachadh Taighe 
Beannaicheadh Tì 


Blessing of the House 
May God give blessing 


361 


341 Beannachadh Taighe 
Crois Chrìosd 


Blessing of a House 
Be Christ's cross 


367 



BÀS 
342 Latha a' Bhàis 

Tha fearg dhubh Dhe nan dùi 



DEATH 

The Day of Death 369 

The black wrath of the God of life 



343 Bàs Sona 

A Dhe mhoir na slàinte 

344 Urnaigh Bhàis 



Happy Death 
Thou great God of salvation 

Death Prayer 



371 

375 



Dhe, thoir dhomh dha do ghliocas O God, give me of Thy wisdom 



345 Bàs Ola 

Bàs ola agus aithreachais 



Death of Unction 377 

Death with unction and with 
penitence 

346 Tha Mi Dol Dachaidh Leat I am Going Home with Thee 379 
Tha mi dol dachaidh leat I am going home with thee 



XX 


CONTENTS 






ini. 

347 An Tuiream Bàis 

Thu dol dachaidh a nochd 


The Death Dirge 
Thou goest home thi 


s night 


PAGE 


348 Bàs Sona 

Thoir dhuinn, a Dhe 




Joyous Death 
Give us, God 




387 


349 Bàs Sona 

Bheir dhomhs, a Dhe 




Joyous Death 

Give Thou to me, O God 


389 


350 Bàs Sona 
Bàs ola 




Joyous Death 
Death with oil 




393 


351 Achaine 

Guidhim Peadail, guidhim Pol 


Supphcation 
I pray Peter, I pray 


Paul 


395 j 




ELIZABETH CATHERINE CARMICHAEL 

By the Rev. Dr Donald Lamont 

Ella Carmichael was my friend for more than thirty years, 
my first sight of her being in the Quadrangle of Edinburgh 
University, when she came to attend Professor Mackinnon's 
Celtic class, and my last when I went to see her a few days 
before her death ; and in all these years she was one of the 
half-dozen friends that I liked best in the world. She was one 
of those people with whom it is easy to keep one's friendship 
in good repair, even though one does not see them often. 
There were fairly long periods of time within these thirty 
years when I had but few opportunities of meeting her, but 
that did not matter — the door of her heart and home always 
remained unlatched, and one could enter without formality 
or apology and take up the threads of intimate talk where 
they had been dropped years before. 

She seemed to me to have changed less between young 
womanhood and middle life than any other woman I have 
known, so that one's first impression of her never had to be 
revised even in small details. This applies even to her physical 
appearance, as well as to her mind and character. In the 
middle 'nineties Ella Carmichael was a very beautiful young 
woman, singularly gracious and dignified, with an air of 
distinction and charm. In later life her hair whitened, and 
her complexion and vitality lost something of their freshness, 
but the tranquil dignity of her movements and the distinction 
of her physical presence only increased with the years. And 
that physical dignity was only the outward expression of an 
inward grace and gravity and repose of spirit which she 



xxii ELIZABETH CATHERINE CARMICHAEL 

possessed in an abundant degree. There was nothing small 
or mean or trifling in her ; the gracious and beautiful and 
honourable qualities and interests of life were the things that 
attracted her, and she moved among them with a natural ease. 
She was fortunate in her heredity, being the daughter of 
that sàr dhuine uasal, Dr Alexander Carmichael. In many 
ways Mrs Carmichael was quite as remarkable a personality 
as her more famous husband. I was privileged to see a little 
of the home of the Carmichaels during my student days in 
Edinburgh, and the chief recollections of it that remain with 
me now are these : the hospitality of their table ; the un- 
worldly ideals of life that prevailed there ; the golden atmos- 
phere through which the Highland people and all Gaelic 
things were seen ; and the number of interesting people 
who might be seen there. The marks of her heredity were 
easily seen in Ella Carmichael ; as Mrs Watson, she carried 
with her into her own home the mental and social habits of her 
paternal home. I do not remember ever having visited 
Professor and Mrs Watson without being offered food, what- 
ever the hour of day or night might be. She was exceedingly 
hospitable ; generous in hand and heart, and as unworldly 
as she was generous. I have talked with her about the future 
of her own son, and about the future of other young people 
in whom we were both interested, and never once did I find 
her judgment influenced by worldly ideals or ambitions. Nor 
did she ever fail in her love towards the people of her race, 
nor in willingness to be of service to them. Though she had 
intellectual interests and a cultivated mind, and has made 
some original contributions to Gaelic learning, I always felt 
this about her literary work, that what was behind it was not 
anything like the Teutonic love of learning, or the pursuit of 
truth for truth's sake, but that it was undertaken out of a sense 
of loyalty to a tradition, and to her people, and from a desire 
to maintain the credit of her race and language in the sight 
of the world . 



ELIZABETH CATHERINE CARMICHAEL xxiii 

From her early days she was at the centre of what is 
vaguely known as the Gaelic movement, and it is not, I think, 
too much to say that she was the best-known and most distin- 
guished figure connected with it in Scotland. She knew 
almost everyone who was interested in the language and 
industries of the Highlands, and her editorship of the Celtic 
Review brought her into touch with many scholars and writers 
in Ireland and Wales and Brittany. 

My aim in this record is to give a personal impression of 
Mrs Watson herself rather than an account of the work which 
she did ; but it may be said that the Celtic Review was a very 
gallant venture. Among the serious and scholarly periodicals 
that have appeared at various times to promote Gaelic studies, 
it occupies the first place as regards the excellence of the 
material which it contains, as well as in length of days. It 
originally arose out of Mrs Watson's friendship with the late 
W. B. Blaikie, LL.D., one of the helpful and stimulating 
friendships of her life. In her editorial work she had the 
counsel and assistance first of Professor Mackinnon, whose 
friendly interest in her as his former pupil was warm and 
constant, and latterly of her husband, whom she married in 
igo6, and who succeeded Professor Mackinnon in his Chair 
in 1914. 

In Carmina Gadelica her father acknowledges the share 
which she had in that work. The second edition was prepared 
by her ; it was published shordy after her death, and it has 
the pathetic interest that the preface is the last thing to which 
her name is subscribed. It was her intention to publish one 
or two more volumes from her father's collections, but that 
will now fall to other hands. Mrs Watson had a very good 
knowledge of spoken Gaelic, and spoke it with an accent that 
was pleasing to the ear. Her voice was always soft and pleasing. 

In the various Highland and Gaelic societies to which for 
some years she devoted a good deal of her time and thought, 
some of which, indeed, she founded or helped to found, her 



xxiv ELIZABETH CATHERINE GARMICHAEL 

influence was very great. She was easy to do business with ; 
she never had personal ends to serve, and she was always 
courteous and helpful in counsel. 

It is not, however, any work that she did that will remain 
longest in my memory, but the aroma and flavour of her 
gracious personality ; her utter unselfishness ; her modesty 
and purity of heart ; her sympathy and kindness. She had 
an extraordinary power of detaching her mind from her own 
concerns, even from her own illness and sorrow, in order to 
help other people and to make things smooth for them. She 
had not an enquiring or restless or speculative mind, and her 
religious faith was of the simplest kind : a quiet and decorous 
observance of the ancient pieties and an instinctive love for 
the things that are honourable and pure. She was not critical 
but tolerant of other people, and of their opinions and ways ; 
and if I were overtaken in a serious and shameful fault, I 
would sooner have fallen into the hands of Mrs Watson than 
into almost any other hands, because of her infinite loving- 
kindness. 



GARMINA GADELICA 

ORTHA NAN GAIDHEAL 




BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 



BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 

Birth and death, the two events of life, had many ceremonies attached 
to them. Many are now obsolete, and those that still live are but the 
echoes of those that were current in the past. The customs connected with 
life and death were so many that only a few can be mentioned. When a 
child was born it was handed to and fro across the fire three times, some 
words being addressed in an almost inaudible murmur to the fire-god. 
It was then carried three times sun-wise round the fire, some words being 
murmured to the sun-god. These dedications to the fire- and sun-gods 
are indicative of far-away lands and far-away times ; but of what land 
and of what time ? 

An ciad uisg anns an liuthar an leanabh an deoghaidh a bhreith a 
steach dh'an t-saoghal, tha a' bhean-nighidh a' cur bonn òir no cùinneadh 
airgid anns a' chuman bhurn am bheilear a' liuthail an leinibh. Agus 
tha am boireannach dh'a dhèanamh seo air ghaol sith, air ghaol soigh, air 
ghaol seilbh, air ghaol sonais a latha agus a dh'oidhche, air bhuadh mhath, 
air bhuadh rath, air bhuadh làrach anns gach àite. 

The first water in which the child is washed after it is born into the 
world, the bathing-woman puts a gold piece or a coin of silver into the 
vessel of water in which the child is being washed. And the woman does 
this for love of peace, for love of means, for love of wealth, for love of 
joyousness by day and by night, for grace of goodness, for grace of fortune, 
for grace of victory on every field. 

Baisteadh Breith 

After the child is born it is baptised by the nurse ; this is called 
' baisteadh breith,' birth baptism, or ' baisteadh ban-ghlùin,' knee-woman's 
baptism. 

Thubhairt am beulaiche : Dar a tha cruth Dhe nan dùl 'ga bhreith 
a steach dh'an t-saoghal tha mi a' cur tri braona beaga burn air urlaigh an 
leinibh. Tha mi a' cur a' chiad bhraonan an ainm an Athar, agus tha na 
mnathan-faire a' canail Amen. Agus tha mi a' cur an dara braonan an 
ainm an Mhic, agus tha na mnathan-faire a' canail Amen. Agus tha mi 
a' cur an treas braonan an ainm an Spioraid, agus tha na mnathan-faire 
a' canail Amen. Agus tha mi a' guidhe air an Trithinn Naoimh an leanabh 
a ligheadh agus a nigheadh agus a ghleidheadh dhaibh f hein. Agus tha 
na mnathan-faire ag ràdh Amen. Tha a chuile duine staigh a' togail an 
guth ann am fianais leis na mnathan-faire gun tugadh thairis an leanabh 



BIRTH AND BAPTISM 3 

dh'an Trianaid bheannaichte. A Leabhra fhein ! cha chuala cluas 
riamh ceòl is bòidhche na ceòl nam mnathan-faire a' coisreadh gine 
mhic an duine agus 'ga thoir thairis do Dhia mor nan dùl. Cha tog na 
SÌ0I siodha, cha tog na siol sluagha, cha tog na siol saoghla an suainean 
sèimh sona dh'an dèanar òra bhuadhach a' bhaistidh ; cha laigh sùil air, 
cha laigh tnùth air, cha laigh farmad air ; tha da làimh Moire min nan 
gràs agus da làimh Chriosda chaoimh dh'a shaoradh, a' comraig agus a' 
cuartachadh agus a' comhnadh suainean sòlasach a' bhaistidh. 

The reciter said : When the image of the God of life is born into the 
world I put three little drops of water on the child's forehead. I put the 
first little drop in the name of the Father, and the watching-women say 
Amen. I put the second little drop in the name of the Son, and the 
watching-women say Amen. I put the third little drop in the name of 
the Spirit, and the watching-women say Amen. And I beseech the Holy 
Three to lave and to bathe the child and to preserve it to Themselves. 
And the watching-women say Amen. All the people in the house are 
raising their voices with the watching-women, giving witness that the 
child has been committed to the blessed Trinity. By the Book itself ! 
ear has never heard music more beautiful than the music of the watching- 
women when they are consecrating the seed of man and committing him 
to the great God of life. No seed of fairy, no seed of the hosts of the air, 
no seed of the world's people, can lift away the happy tranquil little 
sleeper for whom is made the beneficent prayer of the baptism ; eye 
cannot lie on him, envy cannot lie on him, malice cannot lie on him ; 
the two arms of the mild Mary of grace and the two arms of gentle Christ 
are to free him, shielding and surrounding and succouring the joyous 
little sleeper of the baptism. 

Peigidh Nic Cormaig, Peggy MacCormack, n^e MacDonald, is now 
an old woman, but a fine woman still, mentally and physically. She said : 
Tha mi da fhichead bliadhna agus a coig diag ri banas-ghlCiin, agus cha 
do dh'eirich riamh beud no baoghal do bhoireannach mu'n robh mo dhà 
làimh ; agus a chliù sin do Dhia nan dùl agus chan ann domhsa. Bha mise 
daonnan a' dèanamh mo dhicheall, ach bha mi daonnan a' guidhe air 
iosa Mac Moire mo dhà shùil a chumail agus mo dhà làimh a stiùradh 
anns gach càs agus anns gach ceum. Bha mise lag ach bha esan làidir — 
a' ghlòir dhà-san agus chan ann do neach eile. — I am two score and fifteen 
years a knee-woman, and never has loss or mishap befallen a woman 
about whom were my two hands ; and the praise of that be to the God 
of life and not to me. I was always doing my best, but I was always 
praying to Jesus the Son of Mary to keep my two eyes and to guide my 
two hands in every difficulty and in every step. I was weak, but He was 
strong ; and the glory be to Him and to none other. 

Were the child to die unbaptised, it would not be allowable to bury 
the body with Christian rites in consecrated ground. Stillborn or un- 
baptised infants were buried in a place by themselves, often in a very 
inaccessible place among rocks. If there were no such place available, 



4 BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 

a sunless spot outside the churchyard was used. Adjoining old places 
of burial there was often a special place for the burial of unbaptised 
infants, suicides and murderers. Such a place was called ' torran,' little 
mound. What is now the parish church of Lismore was in pre-Presbyterian 
times the chancel of the Cathedral Church of the See of Argyll and the 
Isles, and was called Eaglais Mhor Mo-Luag, the Great Church of Mo- 
Luag. Beside the church are Cill Mo-Luag and Cladh Mo-Luag, Mo- 
Luag's Cell and Burial Place. Near the latter is a place known as Cladh 
na Cloinne, the Burial Place of the Children, and Cladh na Cloinne gun 
Bhaisteadh, the Burial Place of the Unbaptised Children. The remains of 
the enclosing wall were visible some years ago. Cladh Mo-Luag itself 
formerly extended about two hundred yards further down the field than 
it does at present. While this disused part was being drained and trenched, 
some beautifully carved stones were discovered. On the farm of West 
Cralacan there is a shelf among the rocks where unbaptised infants were 
buried, and that within the memory of persons still living. In many 
districts such infants were buried between sundown and sunrise, ' gun 
ghath greine gun re gile, air oidhche dhubha dhorcha, far nach faiceadh 
sùil agus nach tùradh duine,' ' without beam of sun or ray of moon, on 
a night black and dark, where no eye could see and no man could discern.' 
It was thought that such a child had no soul ; but it had a spirit, and this 
spirit, ' taran,' entered into a rock and abode there, and became * mac 
talla,' ' son of rock,' which is the Gaelic term for ' echo.' As to the manner 
and time of burial, cf. Psalm Iviii. 8, ' like the untimely birth of a woman, 
that they may never see the sun.' What relationship these spirits had 
with the sprites known as ' fridich nan creag,' the gnomes of the rocks, 
I am not sure. 

The father of an unbaptised or stillborn child was not allowed to 
attend the funeral on pain of having no more children. Instead, he must 
go about his usual work in his usual clothes as if nothing untoward had 
occurred, leaving his friends to do their friendly work. This often 
necessitated travelling long distances, and often difficult climbing, when 
the burying-ground for these children was situated in a remote and 
rocky hill-side. 

Should a child, born alive, die in a few days without having received 
either lay or clerical baptism, the father was considered to be at fault 
and his negligence was much resented by the community. Not always is 
it so easy to obtain clerical baptism as it might seem to the dwellers in 
cities. In one of the small islands of the Long Island I have seen, on 
one of the minister's infrequent visits, children ranging up to seven years 
being baptised, and on one occasion I saw a boy of fourteen years being 
baptised, not because his parents desired adult baptism, but from lack 
of previous opportunity. That, however, was about thirty years ago. 

I have known a minister detained for seven weeks on a small island 
whither he had gone to preach for a Sunday ; and the late Father Allan 
MacDonald once went to Mingulay to hold service, meaning to return in 



BIRTH AND BAPTISM 5 

the evening and to marry a young couple in Barra next day. Over seven 
wrecks passed before he could get back. He spent the time in religious 
exercises among the people, and in collecting old lore ; and the marriage 
party spent it in dancing, singing, and composing songs on the anxious 
bride and groom. So we need not wonder that some remote islands 
might remain without visits from the clergy for several years. 

Eight days from birth the child is baptised by the clergy and received 
formally into the Christian Church. This baptism is variously called 
' baisteadh cleirich,' clerical baptism ; ' baisteadh mor,' great baptism ; 
' baisteadh eaglais,' church baptism ; ' baisteadh pears eaglais,' baptism 
of the churchman ; ' baisteadh sagairt,' baptism of the priest ; ' baisteadh 
ministeir,' baptism of the minister ; and by other names according to the 
form prevailing in the place. The clerical baptism is a social function, when 
friends and neighbours celebrate the reception of the child into the Christian 
Faith. The meeting is called ' feisd baistidh ' and ' cuirm baistidh,' feast 
of baptism. At this function and feast the child is handed from person 
to person around the company, going ' deiseU,' in a sunwise direction. 
Every person who takes the child is required to express a wish for its 
welfare. The wish may be in prose or in verse, but preferably in verse, 
and original if possible. Verse lives when prose has perished. This is why 
Gaelic sayings and proverbs are commonly in rime. Prose wishes at the 
clerical baptism are indeed rare ; rimed wishes are most usual. 



BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 



BAISTEADH BREITH 



[217] 



Beulaiche : Catriona Nic Nill, coitear, Brcubhaig, Barraidh 

Thuirt an seanchaidh, Catriona Mhurchaidh : Chuala mise an rann seo 
aig seann chailleachan bho chionn fada an t-saoghail. Dar a bheirte 
leanabh chuireadh a' bhean-ghlùin trì braona beaga burn air clàr-ung an 
leanabain an ainm Athar, an ainm Mhic, an ainm 
^/Kr^^v Spioraid, agus theireadh i mar seo : — 

RAON beag an Athar 

Dha do bhathais bhig, a luaidh, 

Braon beag a' Mhic 

Dha do bhathais bhig, a luaidh. 

Braon beag an Spioraid 

Dha do bhathais bhig, a luaidh. 




Dha do chomhnadh o'n a siodh, 
Dha do dhionadh o'n a sluagh ; 

Dha do chomhnadh o'n a frid, 
Dha do dhionadh o'n a fuath ; 

Dha do thasgadh dha na Tri, 

Dha do dhionadh, dha do chuairt ; 

Dha do ghleidheadh dha na Tri, 
Dha do lionadh le na buaidh ; 



Braon beag nan Tri 

Dha do liobhadh le na buaidh. 



BIRTH AND BAPTISM 



BIRTH BAPTISM 

Reciter : Catherine MacNeill, cottar, Breubhaig, Barra 

The reciter, Catherine daughter of Murdoch, said : I heard this rune 
from old women in the long ago of the world. When a child was born 
the midwife would put three small drops of water upon the forehead 
of the little one in name of Father, in name of Son, in name of Spirit, 
and she would say in this wise : — 

The little drop of the Father 

On thy little forehead, beloved one. 

The little drop of the Son 

On thy little forehead, beloved one. 

The little drop of the Spirit 

On thy little forehead, beloved one. 

To aid thee from the fays, 

To guard thee from the host ; 

To aid thee from the gnome, 
To shield thee from the spectre ; 

To keep thee for the Three, 

To shield thee, to surround thee ; 

To save thee for the Three, 
To fill thee with the graces ; 

The little drop of the Three 
To lave thee with the graces. 



8 BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 

Bhelreadh an sin a' bhean-ghlùin an leanabh do cliaillich chloinne chon 
a nigheadh, agus bheireadh an te chloinne boiseag bheag bhurn air an 
leanaban bheag bhrònach, agus sheinneadh i ceòl a bu bhinne chuala 
cluas riamh air thalamh, agus theireadh i mar seo : — 



ONNAN dha do chruth, 
Tonnan dha do ghuth, 

Tonnan dha do mhànrachd 

Tonnan dha do rath, 
Tonnan dha do mhath, 

Tonnan dha do shlànachd ; 



Tonnan dha do ruch, 
Tonnan dha do sguch, 

Tonnan dha do ghràsachd ; 

Naoi tonnan dha do ghràsachd. 

Bithidh an duan sin air teangaidh na caillich chloinne gus am bi i 
ullamh a liuthail an leanabain. Is iomadh dòigh neònach a bha measg 
nan seann daoine ; ach thòisich coigrich air tighinn a steach dh'an 
dùthaich, agus thòisich iad air magadh air luchd na dùthcha, agus mar 
sin leigeadh cleachdannan ceanalta na dùthcha uidh air n-uidh air chùl, 
agus cuid air chall. Cha mhor feadhainn a sheasadh ri magadh feadhainn 
is fearr ionnsachadh na iad fhein. Cha mhor idir. 




BIRTH AND BAPTISM 9 

Then the midwife would give the child to a nurse to wash it, and the 
nurse would put a small palmful of water on the poor little infant, and she 
would sing the sweetest music that ever ear heard on earth, and she would 
say in this wise : — 



A WAVELET for thy form, 
A wavelet for thy voice, 

A wavelet for thy sweet speech ; 

A wavelet for thy luck, 
A wavelet for thy good, 
A wavelet for thy health ; 

A wavelet for thy throat, 
A wavelet for thy pluck, 

A wavelet for thy graciousness ; 

Nine waves for thy graciousness. 

That rune would be upon the nurse's tongue till she was finished of 
bathing the little infant. There were many curious customs among the 
old people ; but strangers began to come into the country, and they 
began to mock the people of the country, and the beautiful customs of 
the country were allowed bit by bit to drop, and some of them to be lost. 
There are not many people who would stand to be made fun of by people 
of more learning than themselves — not many at all. 



BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 




BAISTEADH BREITH 

N ainm Athar, 

Amen 
An ainm Mic, 

Amen 
An ainm Spioraid, 
Amen 

Tri dha do ligheadh, 
Amen 

Tri dha do nigheadh, 
Amen 

Tri dha do ghUdheadh, 
Amen 



[218] 



[Teòra 



Athair agus Mac agus Spiorad, 
Amen 

Athair agus Mac agus Spiorad, 
Amen 

Athair agus Mac agus Spiorad, 
Amen. 



BIRTH AND BAPTISM 



BIRTH BAPTISM 

In name of Father, 

Amen 

In name of Son, 

Amen 

In name of Spirit, 

Amen 

Three to lave thee, 

Amen 

Three to bathe thee, 

Amen 

Three to save thee. 

Amen 

Father and Son and Spirit, 
Amen 

Father and Son and Spirit, 
Amen 

Father and Son and Spirit, 
Amen. 



12 



BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 



OR AN TONNAIDH 



[219] 



O Mhàiri Nic Neill, croitear 

Thubhairt am beulaiche : An uair a tha am boireannach a' liuthail an 
leanabain air a bhreith a staigh dh'an t-saoghal, tha i a' cur naoi tonnanan 
beaga burn air an naoidhean bheag bhòidheach a thàinig dhachaidh a 
uchd an Athar shiorraidh. Am feadh a tha i ris a seo tha i fhein agus na 
mnathan-frithealaidh a' seinn rann an tonnaidh. 



ONNAN beag do chruth, 
Tonnan beag do ghuth, 

Tonnan beag do mhànrain. 

Tonnan beag do chuid, 
Tonnan beag do bhuig, 

Tonnan beag do chàileachd. 



Tonnan beag do mhaoin, 
Tonnan beag do shaoghail, 
Tonnan beag do shlànachd. 

Naoi tonn de ghràsa dhuit, 
Tonnan Leigh do shlàinte. 




Boisileag do chruth, 
Boisileag do ghuth, 

Boisileag do mhanrain. 



Boisileag do ruch, 
Boisileag do sguile, 

Boisileag do làthrachd. 



BIRTH AND BAPTISM 13 



THE PRAYER OF BAPTISM 

From Mary MacNeill, crofter 

The reciter said : When the woman is bathing the child who has been 
born into the world, she puts nine little wavelets of water on the pretty 
little infant who has come home from the bosom of the everlasting Father. 
While she is doing this, she herself and the serving-women sing the 
baptismal verse. 

The little wavelet for thy form, 
The little wavelet for thy voice, 

The little wavelet for thy sweet speech. 

The little wavelet for thy means, 
The little wavelet for thy generosity, 
The little wavelet for thine appetite. 

The little wavelet for thy wealth. 
The little wavelet for thy life. 

The little wavelet for thine health. 

Nine waves of grace to thee, 

The waves of the Physician of thy salvation. 

The little palmful for thy form. 
The little palmful for thy voice, 

The little palmful for thy sweet speech. 

The little palmful for thine eating, 
The little palmful for thy taking, 
The little palmful for thy vigour. 



BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 

Boisileag an Athar, 
Boisileag an Mhic, 
Boisileag an Spioraid. 

Naoi boisileag do ghràsa, 
Tiùra ann an Aon. 



BIRTH AND BAPTISM 

The little palmful of the Father, 
The little palmful of the Son, 
The little palmful of the Spirit. 

Nine little palmfuls for thy grace 
(In name of) the Three in One. 



15 



BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 



BAISTEADH BAN-GHLUIN [220] 

Beulaiche : Bean Dhomhaill Eoghain, croitear, Bearnaraidh, 
Barraidh 

Thubhairt am beulaiche : Chuala mise seo aig mo mhàthair, sith 
dh'a h-anam, 'n uair a bha mi òg, 'na mo luidearaig bhig bhrònaich a 
mach agus a steach an starsach, cho aotrom gòrach ri eòin an adhair. 
A Mhoire Mhàthair, 's beag fàth a ghabh mi dhiubh anns an am, agus 
is beag a shaoil mi gun tigeadh sibhse, a luaidh, dh'an iarraidh an diugh, 
an deidh ceithir fichead bliadhna. Bha mo mhàthair ghràidh ag innse 
dòighean a' bhaile do bhean a bha sa bheinn, agus bha mise a' cumail 
cluais ri a cainnt, ged bu bheag ghòrach mi anns an am, agus seo mar a 
thuirt mo mhàthair ghaoil ris a' bhoireannach a thàinig dhachaidh. 

Dar a thig an naoidhean a steach dh'an t-saoghal tha a' bhean-ghlCiin 
a' cur tri braona burn air clàr-ung an leanabain bhig bhrònaich a thàinig 
thugainn dhachaidh bho uchd an Athar shiorraidh. Agus tha am 
boireannach 'ga dhèanamh seo ann an ainm agus ann an urram na 
Trianaide chaoimh chumhachdaich, agus ag ràdh mar seo : — 

N ainm Dhe, 

An ainm ìos, 

An ainm Spioraid, 
Triùir innich nam buadh. 

Braon beag an Athar 
Dha do bhathais bhig, a luaidh. 

Braon beag an Mhic 
Dha do bhathais bhig, a luaidh. 

Braon beag an Spioraid 
Dha do bhathais bhig, a luaidh. 

Dha do chomhnadh, dha do chaithris, 
Dha do chaimeadh, dha do chuairt. 




BIRTH AND BAPTISM 



17 



THE BAPTISM BY THE KNEE-WOMAN 

Reciter : The wife of Donald, son of Eoghan, crofter, 
Bernera (Barra Head), Barra 

The reciter said : I heard this with my mother, peace to her soul, when 
I was young, but a poor tiny little urchin out and in at the threshold, 
as lightsome and foolish as the birds of the air. O Mary Mother, little 
heed I gave these things at the time, and little did I think that you would 
come, dear one, to seek them to-day, after four score years. My dear 
miother was telling the ways of the townland to a woman who was in the 
hill-land, and though I was small and foolish at the time, I was keeping 
an ear on her talk. And this is what my dear mother said to the woman 
who came home. 

When the child comes into the world, the knee-woman puts three 
drops of water on the forehead of the poor little infant, who has come 
home to us from the bosom of the everlasting Father. And the woman 
does this in the name and in the reverence of the kind and powerful 
Trinity, and says thus : — 

In name of God, 
In name of Jesus, 
In name of Spirit, 
The perfect Three of power. 

The Httle drop of the Father 
On thy httle forehead, beloved one. 

The little drop of the Son 
On thy little forehead, beloved one. 

The little drop of the Spirit 
On thy little forehead, beloved one. 

To aid thee, to guard thee, 
To shield thee, to surround thee. 



i8 BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 

Dha do chumail o'n a siodh, 
Dha do dhionadh o'n a sluagh. 

Dha do choisrig o'n a frid, 
Dha do hbhrig o'n a fuath. 

Braon beag nan Tri 
Dha do dhionadh o'n a truaigh. 

Braon beag nan Tri 
Dha do lionadh le an suairc. 

Braon beag nan Tri 
Dha do honadh le am buaidh. 

O braon beag nan Tri 
Dha do honadh le am buaidh. 



BIRTH AND BAPTISM 19 

To keep thee from the fays, 
To shield thee from the host. 

To sain thee from the gnome, 
To dehver thee from the spectre. 

The Httle drop of the Three 
To shield thee from the sorrow. 

The little drop of the Three 
To fill thee with Their pleasantness. 

The little drop of the Three 
To fill thee with Their virtue. 

O the little drop of the Three 
To fill thee with Their virtue. 



20 



BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 



BRAON BEAG BURN 



[221] 



Thubhairt an seanchaidh : Seo seanchas na bramach-inilt, a luaidh, 
agus saoilim fein gum bu lurach a cainnt agus gum b'àlainn a cluinntinn. 
A Mhoire nan gràs, is iomadh rud àlainn a bha aig na daoine dh'fhalbh, 
ge nach mor a chnuasaichear dhiubh sin an diugh. Cha chnuasaich, a 
luaidh, chan 'eil e ann. Dh'fhalbh na Criosdnan coir a bha gabhail 
suim ann an seanchas math measail an dùthcha. Tha cuimhne agam 
fhin, ge bu bheag mi san am, dar a bhitheadh daoine Criosdail na diithcha 
cruinneachadh ann an taighean each a cheile, ag innseadh sgialachd agus 
eachdraidh, achan agus urnaigh, a' seinn laoidh agus luinneag, a' gabhail 
dhuan agus òran binn bòidheach rèidh. Is iomadh rud coir a bh'ann — 
O is iomadh rud coir a bh'ann aig na seann daoine dh'fhalbh. Cha 
b'ann air monaban gun dòigh a bha daoine coir an la ud beò — cha b'ann, 
a luaidh, cha bu diù leo smodal. Bhitheadh na seann daoine seanchas air 
cor an t-saoghail agus air caochladh nan sian, air gil agus grein, air 
reultaidh an adhair, air tràghadh agus lionadh na mara, air fas ann an 
aigeal a' chuain, agus air talamhnan teth agus fuar an t-saoghail. 
Bhitheamaid-ne 'nar suidhe air clàr lom an ùlair, gun smid a ceann, gun 
ghluasad air làimh, eagal gun cuirte mach as an taigh sinn mura 
bitheamaid modhail. A Righ ! 's ann an sin a bhitheadh an seanchas ! 
— agus seanchas fiùghail. 

Cha chluinn sibh dad deth sin an diugh, a bhean Dhomhaill, arsa mise. 
Cha chluinn, a luaidh, cha chluinn, chan 'eil e ann. Is ann tha na 
Criosdnan caomh aig an robh ùidh dheth sin taobh thall na h-aibhne, far 
an goirid gum bi mise mi fhin. O a Mhoire nan gràs, gun 
toireadh tu dhomhsa do dhà làimh ma m'anam siorraidh a' 
dol a null air abhainn dubh a' bhàis far an deachaidh mo 
ghràdhaich gu suain ! 

RAON beag burn 

Dha t'urlaigh, a luaidh, 
Dùth Athar agus Mic agus Spioraid, 

Tiùraidh nam buadh. 

Braon beag burn 

Ri caimeadh mo luaidh, 
Dùth Athar agus Mic agus Spioraid, 

Tiùraidh nam buadh. 




BIRTH AND BAPTISM 21 



A SMALL DROP OF WATER 

The reciter said : These, ray dear one, were the words of the womb- woman, 
and lovely, methinks, was her language, and beautiful it was to hear her. 
O Mary of grace, many a beautiful thing had the people who are gone, 
though it is not much of these that can be gleaned to-day. No, my dear 
one, they do not exist. The gentle Christian folk are gone who took an 
interest in the old things, good and venei-able, of their country. I remember 
myself, though I was little at the time, when the Christian folk crowded 
into one another's houses, telling tales and histories, invocations and 
prayers, singing hymns and songs, runes and lays, sweet, beautiful and 
soft. Many a goodly thing there was — O many a goodly thing there was 
among the old people who are gone. The good people of that day lived 
not on senseless babbling — no, my dear one, they disdained gossip and 
scandal. The old people conversed about the state of the world and 
about the changes of the weather, about the moon and the sun, about the 
stars of the sky, about the ebbing and flowing of the sea, about the life 
in the depths of the ocean, and about the hot and the cold lands of the 
earth. We children would be sitting on the bare flat of the floor, not 
uttering a syllable, nor moving a hand, lest we should be put out of the 
house were we not mannerly. O King ! 'tis there would be the talk ! — 
and noble talk. 

You can hear nothing of that to-day, good wife, said I. 

No, my dear, no, it does not exist. The dear Christian folk who gave 
heed to it are beyond the river, where I myself shall shortly be. O Mary 
of grace, mayest thou give me thy two arms around mine everlasting soul 
when going over the black river of death whither my beloved have gone 
to rest ! 



A SMALL drop of water 

To thy forehead, beloved, 
Meet for Father, Son and Spirit, 

The Triune of power. 

A small drop of water 

To encompass my beloved, 
Meet for Father, Son and Spirit, 

The Triune of power, 

B 2 



22 BREITH AGUS BAISTEADH 

Braon beag burn 

Gu do lionadh le gach buaidh, 
Dùth Athar agus Mic agus Spioraid, 

Tiùraidh nam buadh. 



BIRTH AND BAPTISM 

A small drop of water 

To fill thee with each grace, 
Meet for Father, Son and Spirit, 

The Triune of power. 



23 



24 URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 



URNAIGH CUR UMAINN [222] 

O Chatriona Nic Ghill-Fhinnein, nee Nic Dhomhnaill, 
croitear, Achadh nam Breac, Mùideart 

Thubhairt am boireannach : Bha mo mhàthair daonnan ag obair re 
an latha a' cuideachadh le m'athair air an fhearann, agus re an oidhche 
ri coin agus calanas, ri aodach laighe agus eirigh dh'an teaghlach. Bhiodh 
mo mhàthair ag achan oirnn a bhith cùramach anns a chuile, urram a chur 
air ùine agus cùl a chur ri leisg ; gun robh oidhche tighinn anns nach 
b'urrainn obair a dhèanamh. Bhiodh i ag innseadh dhuinn mu Mhac 
Shiamain, agus mar a bha e ag iarraidh a bhith ag obair. Ma bha sinn 
riamanach a' cur umainn, agus gun gabhamaid leisgeul ar n-urnaighean, 
theireadh mo mhàthair gun robh Dia a' coimhead air cridhe agus nach ann 
air cainnt, air mèinn agus nach ann air modh ; agus gum faodamaid ar 
n-anam a chomhdach le gràs an tràth bha sinn a' comhdach ar colainn le 
aodach. Dh'ionnsaich mo mhàthair dhuinn an rd bu choir dhuinn iarraidh 
anns an achan, mar a chual ise aig a màthair fèin, agus mar a chual an te 
sin aig an te bha roimpe. 

Bhiodh mo mhàthair ag iarraidh oirnn ar n-òran madainn a sheinn 
do Dhia shios anns a' chùltaigh, mar bha fosgag Mhoire shuas 'ga sheinn 
anns na neòil, agus mar smeòrach Chrìosda 'ga sheinn thall anns a' 
chraoibh, a' toir glòir do Dhia nan dùl air son fois na h-oidhche, air son 
soillse an latha, agus air son solas na beatha. Theireadh i ruinn gun 
robh gach dùil air an talamh a bhos agus anns an fhairge shios agus anns 
an adhar shuas a' toir glòir do Dhia mor nan dùl agus nan domhan, nam 
buadh agus nam beannachd, agus am bitheamaid-ne balbh ! 

Thog mo mhàthair chaomh a clann ann am biadh agus aodach, ann 
an gaol agus carthanachd. Is gaolach le mo chridhe an ùir anns a bheil 
mo mhàthair ghaoil a' tàmh. 



MORNING PRAYERS 



25 



PRAYER AT DRESSING 

From Catherine Maclennan, nee MacDonald, 
crofter, Achadh nam Breac, Moydart 

The woman said : My mother was always at work, by day helping my 
father on the croft, and by night at wool and at spinning, at night clothes 
and at day clothes for the family. My mother would be beseeching us 
to be careful in everything, to put value on time and to eschew idleness ; 
that a night was coming in which no work could be done. She would 
be telling us about Mac Shiamain, and how he sought to be at work. 
If we were dilatory in putting on our clothes, and made an excuse for 
our prayers, my mother would say that God regarded heart and not 
speech, the mind and not the manner ; and that we might clothe our 
souls with grace while clothing our bodies with raiment. My mother 
taught us what we should ask for in the prayer, as she heard it from her 
own mother, and as she again heard it from the one who was before her. 



My mother would be asking us to sing our morning song to God 
down in the back-house, as Mary's lark was singing it up in the clouds, 
and as Christ's mavis was singing it yonder in the tree, giving glory to 
the God of the creatures for the repose of the night, for the light of the 
day, and for the joy of life. She would tell us that every creature on the 
earth here below and in the ocean beneath and in the air above was 
giving glory to the great God of the creatures and the worlds, of the virtues 
and the blessings, and would we be dumb ! 

My dear mother reared her children in food and clothing, in love 
and charity. My heart loves the earth in which my beloved mother rests. 



[pp. 26-27 



26 



URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 




EANNAICH dhomh, a Dhe, 
M'anam agus mo chorp ; 

Beannaich dhomh, a Dhe, 
Mo chreud agus mo chor ; 

Beannaich dhomh, a Dhe, 
Mo chre agus mo chainnt. 

Is beannaich dhomh, a Dhe, 
Eireireachd mo làimh : 



Trèin agus traing na moich, 
Beus agus gleus na stuaim, 
Euchd agus ceill na smuain, 
'S do cheum fein, a Dhe nam buadh, 

Gon teid mi 'n suain a nochd ; 



Do cheum fein, a Dhe nam buadh, 
Gon teid mi 'n suain a nochd. 



MORNING PRAYERS 27 



Bless to me, O God, 

My soul and my body ; 
Bless to me, O God, 

My belief and my condition ; 

Bless to me, O God, 

My heart and my speech. 
And bless to me, O God, 

The handling of my hand ; 

Strength and busyness of morning, 
Habit and temper of modesty, 
Force and wisdom of thought, 
And Thine own path, O God of virtues. 

Till I go to sleep this night ; 

Thine own path, O God of virtues, 
Till I go to sleep this night. 



28 



URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 




ACHAN EIRIGH 

RÌGH na gile 's na greine, 

A Righ nan reula rùnach, 
Agad fein tha fios ar feuma, 

A Dhe mhèinnich nan dùla. 

Gach la tha sinn a' gluasad, 
Gach uair tha sinn a' dùsgadh, 

Cur smalan agus gruaman 

Air Righ nan sluagh thug run duinn. 

Bi leinn anns gach latha, 
Bi leinn anns gach oidhche ; 

Bi leinn gach oidhche 's latha, 
Bi leinn gach latha 's oidhche. 



[223] 
[cubhra 



URNAIGH 

Taing dhut daonnan, a Chriosda chaoin, 

Gun tug thu saor mi nios a duibh 
Agus a daoich na h-oidhche raoir 

Go solas caoin an latha 'n diugh. 

Cliù dhut fein, a Dhe nan dùl, 

A reir gach biù a bhruchd thu orm, 

Mo mhiann, mo bhriathar, mo chiall, mo chliù, 
Mo smuain, mo ghniomh, mo rian, mo thorm. 



[224] 



MORNING PRAYERS 



29 



PRAYER AT RISING 

Thou King of moon and sun, 

Thou King of stars beloved, [fragrant 

Thou Thyself knowest our need, 

O Thou merciful God of life. 

Each day that we move, 

Each time that we awaken. 
Causing vexation and gloom 

To the King of hosts Who loved us. 

Be with us through each day. 

Be with us through each night ; 
Be with us each night and day. 

Be with us each day and night. 



PRAYER 

Thanks to Thee ever, O gentle Christ, 

That Thou hast raised me freely from the black 

And from the darkness of last night 
To the kindly light of this day. 

Praise unto Thee, O God of all creatures, 

According to each life Thou hast poured on me, 

My desire, my word, my sense, my repute. 
My thought, my deed, my way, my fame. 



30 URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 




TOIRT TAING [225] 

AING dhuit, a Dhe, gun d'eirich mi 'n diugh 

Gu eirigh na beatha seo fein ; 
Gum b'ann gu d' ghlòir fein, a Dhe na fritheil, 

Agus gu glòir m'anama d'a reir. 

Dhe mhoir, dean comhnadh air m'anam 

Le comhnadh do thròcair fein ; 
Mar tha mis a' comhdach mo chuirp le olainn, 

Comhdaich m'anam le faileas do sgeith. 



Cuidich dhomh gach peacadh a sheachnadh, 
Is ceann adhbhair gach peacaidh a threig ; 

'S mar a sgaoileas an ceo air ceann nam beannaibh, 
Gun sgaoileadh gach sgeòthaich bharr m'anam, 
Dhe. 



MORNING PRAYERS 31 



THANKSGIVING 

Thanks to Thee, O God, that I have risen to-day. 

To the rising of this life itself ; 
May it be to Thine own glory, O God of every gift. 

And to the glory of my soul likewise. 

O great God, aid Thou my soul 

With the aiding of Thine own mercy ; 

Even as I clothe my body with wool. 

Cover Thou my soul with the shadow of Thy wing. 

Help me to avoid every sin. 

And the source of every sin to forsake ; 
And as the mist scatters on the crest of the hills. 

May each ill haze clear from my soul, O God. 



32 



URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 




URNAIGH ÈIRIGH [226] 

O Chatriona Nic Ghill-Eathain, croitear, Nàst, Gearrloch 

EANNAICH dhomh, a Dhe, 

Gach seun is leir dha m' shùil ; 
Beannaich dhomh, a Dhe, 

Gach seis a chluinn mo chluas ; 
Beannaich dhomh, a Dhe, 

Gach seid a theid dha m' shròin ; 
Beannaich dhomh, a Dhe, 

Gach feuch a theid dha m' bheòil ; 

Gach seis a theid dha m' cheòl, 

Gach leus a theid dha m' threòir, 

Gach seun dh'am bheil mo thòir, 

Gach teum dh'am bheil mo dheòin, 

An t-eud dha m'anam beò. 
An Teòir tha 'n tòir mo chridhe. 

An t-eud dha m'anam beò, 
An Teòir tha 'n tòir mo chridhe. 



MORNING PRAYERS 33 



PRAYER AT RISING 

From Catherine Maclean, crofter, Naast, Gairloch 

Bless to me, O God, 

Each thing mine eye sees ; 

Bless to me, O God, 

Each sound mine ear hears ; 

Bless to me, O God, 

Each odour that goes to my nostrils 

Bless to me, O God, 

Each taste that goes to my lips ; 
Each note that goes to my song, 
Each ray that guides my way, 
Each thing that I pursue. 
Each lure that tempts my will, 
The zeal that seeks my living soul. 

The Three that seek my heart, 

The zeal that seeks my living soul, 

The Three that seek my heart. 



34 



URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 



ALTACHADH EIRIGH 



:227] 



Thubhairt an seanchaidh : Ri linn mo latha-sa agus mun do chuireadh 
sinn as a' Bheinn Mhoir, bha moran seann seanchais agus seann chleach- 
dannan agus seann bheachdannan a measg nan seann daoine — urnan agus 
ubanan, òrain agus laoidhean, sgial agus ceòl agus dannsadh bho Luan gu 
Domhnach. Cha robh siana dhèanadh na daoine na car a chuireadh iad 
dhiùbh nach robh an crònan ciùil 'nam bial. 'N uair a dh'eireadh iad 
sa mhadainn — agus a Mhoire mhin, bu mhocheireach madainneach daoin 
an la sin ! — cha chluinnt ach fear shios agus bean shuas, gille thall agus 
nighean a bhos, agus an coireall ciùil am bial gach aon ; co dhiùbh 
bhitheadh iad ri froiseadh san àth no ri fodradh sa bhàthach, a' toir a staigh 
cuman uisge no a' toir dhachaidh cliabh mòna, bha a chrònan fèin a 
bial gach neach. Is dòcha nach faicte duine, ach chluinnte an guth shios 
agus shuas, thall agus a bhos feadh a' bhaile — caithreim ciùil am bial gach 
fir. O a Mhoire Mhàthair, bu bhriagh fhein a bhith dh'an cluinntinn 
moch madainn earraich a' cur surd air obair — an Ion shios sa bhadan, 
an smeòrach shuas sa chreagach, an fhosgag an aird an adhair, a' ghrian 
oirdheirc òrbhuidh a' dealtradh creachann nam beann agus a' failceadh 
cneasach nan tonn, an fhaoileag an deidh an t-sil, agus a' mhuc a' smùidrich 
agus a' spùtadh thall anns a' Chuan Chanach. O Mhoire 's a Mhic, bu 
bhriagh ! bu bhriagh bhith dh'am faicinn agus dh'an eisdeachd seach 
tramasgal agus leumraich sluaigh gun fheum an la 'n diugh, gun cheòl gun 
òran gun urnaigh gun obair annta, na moran do rud coir 
air bith, mur bheil smodal seanchais agus sgeodal (sgudal) 
sgiuchaireachd a bhitheas a' falbh feadh an t-saoghail. 

THAIR naoimhe na firinn, 
Athair chaoimhe na tròcair, 
Tabhair mise bho na gisnean, 
Tabhair mise bho na goisnean. 

Seun fein mi air an la an diugh, 
Agus air gach aon latha ; 
Seun fein mi air an oidhche nochd, 
Agus air gach aon oidhche. 




MORNING PRAYERS 35 



PETITION AT RISING 

The narrator said : In my own time, and before we were put out of Ben 
More, there was much of old lore and old customs and old ways of thought 
among the old people — prayers and charms, songs and hymns, tales and 
music and dancing from Monday to Sunday. Whatever the people might 
be doing, or whatever engaged in, there would be a tune of music in their 
mouth. When they would arise in the morning — and Mary mild, early- 
rising and early astir were the people of that day ! — there could always be 
heard a man here and a woman there, a lad yonder and a maiden at hand, 
with a cheerful strain of music in the mouth of each ; whether they would 
be shaking corn in the kiln or feeding cattle in the byre, fetching in a stoup 
of water or bringing home a creel of peat, from each one's mouth came 
his own croon. It might well be that no person would be seen, but their 
voices would be heard up and down, here and there throughout the town- 
land — a joyful song in the mouth of every one. O Mary Mother, sweet 
indeed it was to hear them early on a spring morning, speeding their 
labour — the thrush here in the thicket, the mavis yonder in the rock, the 
lark aloft in the sky, the radiant golden-yellow sun illumining the high 
slopes of the mountains and bathing the surface of the waves, the seagull 
seeking the seed, and the porpoise raising the spray and blowing yonder 
in the Sea of Canna. O Mary and O Son, sweet, sweet it was to be seeing 
and to be hearing them, sweeter than the trash and the gadding of useless 
folk at the present time, who have neither music nor song nor prayer nor 
work in them, nor much of any good thing whatever, but only a tittle- 
tattle of talk and rubbishy rants that run through the world. 

Thou holy Father of verity, 
Thou kindly Father of mercy, 
Deliver me from the spells, 
Deliver me from the charms. 

Do Thou Thyself sain me on this day, 
And on each single day ; 
Do Thou Thyself sain me on this night, 
And on each single night. 



36 URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 

Athair shiorraidh agus a Dhe nan dùl, 
Tabhair fein do mhathanas dhùinn, 
'Na mo smuain dhòbhaidh, 
'Na mo ghniomh ghòraich, 
'Na mo sguain ròmaich, 
'Na mo ghlòir dhìomhain. 

Athair shiorraidh agus a Dhe nan dùl, 
Tabhair fein do mhathanas dhùinn, 
'Na mo mhiann bhreige, 
'Na mo dhian eitigh, 
'Na mo rian reubaich, 
'Na mo speis gun diù. 



A Thriath agus a Dhia nan dùl, 
Seachainn ormsa bù nam ban bith. 



Athair agus a Dhe nan dùl, 

Seachainn ormsa bù nam ban baoth. 

Athair shiorraidh agus a Dhia nan dùl, 
Seachainn ormsa bù nam ban sidh. 



Athair shiorraidh agus a Dhia nan dùl, 
Seachainn ormsa bù nam ban saobh. 



Athair shiorraidh agus a Dhia nan dùl, 
Crùn mi fein le crùn do ghaoih 

Na leig sal dha m'anam, 

Na leig smal dha m' chalann, [cholann 

Na leig samh dha m'anail, 
O Athair na daondachd. 



MORNING PRAYERS 

Father everlasting and God of life, 
Do Thou grant us Thy forgiveness 

In my wild thought, 

In my foolish deed, 

In my rough talk, 

In my empty speech. 

Father everlasting and God of life, 
Do Thou grant us Thy forgiveness 

In my false desire, 

In my hateful doing, 

In my destructive courses, 

In my worthless liking. 

O Lord and God of life, 

Ward off from me the bane of the silent women. 

O Father and God of life, 

Ward off from me the bane of the wanton women. 

O Father everlasting and God of life. 

Ward off from me the bane of the fairy women. 

O Father everlasting and God of life, 

Ward off from me the bane of the false women. 

O Father everlasting and God of life. 

Crown Thou me with the crown of Thy love. 

Nor allow stain to my soul. 
Nor allow spot to my body, 
Nor allow taint to my breath, 
O Father of humanity. 

C2 



37 



38 URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 

Mar bha thusa roimhe 
Ri tùs mo bheatha, 
Bi thus a rithist 

Ri crioch mo shaoghail : 

Nist agus fhathast, 

'Na mo bhith, 'na mo bhàs, 

A Mhic agus Athair 
Agus a Spioraid gràs ! 



MORNING PRAYERS 39 

As Thou wert before 

At the beginning of my Hfe, 

Be Thou again 

At the end of my course : 

Now and henceforth, 

In my hfe, in my death, 
O Son and O Father, 

O Spirit of grace ! 



40 



URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 



URNAIGH MHADAINN 



[228] 



From Mary Gillies, crofter, 

Mary Gillies was an old woman ill and suffering. Like most of her 
kind, she was unlettered, but endowed with much natural intelligence. 
She was polite and well mannered, and most desirous to share her limited 
food and her unlimited lore with the stranger. The poor are ever hospitable 
and generous. 

She was tall, erect and stately. Her face was oval, her features fine, 
and her brown hair abundant. Notwithstanding her sufferings she was 




REIDIM, a Dhia nan uile dhia, 
Gur tu Athair siorraidh nan dùl ; 

Creidim, a Dhia nan uile dhia, 
Gur tu Athair siorraidh nan run. 

Creidim, a Dhia nan uile dhia, 

Gur tu Athair siorraidh nan naomh 

Creidim, a Dhia nan uile dhia, 
Gur tu Athair siorraidh gach aon. 



Creidim, a Dhia nan uile dhia, 

Gur tu Athair siorraidh chlann daonn ; 
Creidim, a Dhia nan uile dhia, 

Gur tu Athair siorraidh an t-saoghail. 



Creidim, a Thriath agus a Dhia nan sluagh, 
Gur tu cruthadair nan nèamhan ard, 
Gur tu cruthadair nan speuran shuas, 
Gur tu cruthadair nan cuantan shios. 



MORNING PRAYERS 41 



MORNING PRAYER 

Morar, ist September 190 — 

still beautiful in her age, and in her youth she must have been very beautiful 
and handsome. 

Mary Gillies sang this poem in a recitative voice. The effect 
was charming, but the poem was difficult to follow. The music and 
rhythm were good, but these disappear in the process of writing. 

Folklore reciters, not being accustomed to being stopped, become 
confused with the interruptions of writing. When they are allowed to 
proceed in their own way, music and poetry and pleasure flow back, 
and all rejoice. 

I BELIEVE, O God of all gods, 

That Thou art the eternal Father of life ; 

I believe, O God of all gods. 

That Thou art the eternal Father of love. 

I believe, O God of all gods. 

That Thou art the eternal Father of the saints ; 
I believe, O God of all gods, 

That Thou art the eternal Father of each one. 

I believe, O God of all gods, 

That Thou art the eternal Father of mankind ; 
I believe, O God of all gods. 

That Thou art the eternal Father of the world. 

I believe, O Lord and God of the peoples, 
That Thou art the creator of the high heavens, 
That Thou art the creator of the skies above. 
That Thou art the creator of the oceans below. 



42 URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 

Creidim, a Thriath agus a Dhia nan sluagh, 

Gur tu a chruthaich m'anam agus a shuidhich 
a dheilbh, 
Gur tu a chruthaich mo chorp a duslach agus luaith, 
Gur tu thug dha m' chorp anail agus dha m'anam 
a sheilbh. 

Athair, beannaich dhomh mo chorp, 
Athair, beannaich dhomh m'anam, 
Athair, beannaich dhomh mo bheatha, 
Athair, beannaich dhomh mo chreideamh. 

Athair shiorraidh agus a Thriath nan sluagh, 

Creidim gun do Hghich thu m'anam an Spiorad 
na h-ic, 
Gun tug thu Mac do rùine ann an cumhnant air mo 
shon, 
Gun do cheannaich thu m'anam lefuil bheannaichte 
do Mhic. 

Athair shiorraidh agus a Thriath nan diil, 

Creidim gun do dhòirt thu orm Spiorad nan gràs 

ann an dàil a' bhaistidh 
****** 



Athair shiorraidh agus a Thriath nan daonn, 
Cluthaich mo chorp agus m'anam caomh, 
Comaraig mi nochd ann an comaraig do ghaoil, 
Comhnaich mi nochd ann an comhnadh nan naomh. 

Thug thu nios mi o'n oidhche 'n raoir 
Gu solas aoibhneach an la an diugh, 
Gu solas mor a sholaradh dha m'anam, 
Agus gu feum ainneamh a dhèanamh dhomh. 



MORNING PRAYERS 43 

I believe, O Lord and God of the peoples, 

That Thou art He Who created my soul and set its warp, 

Who created my body from dust and from ashes. 

Who gave to my body breath, and to my soul its 
possession. 

Father, bless to me my body, 
Father, bless to me my soul. 
Father, bless to me my life. 
Father, bless to me my belief. 

Father eternal and Lord of the peoples, 

I believe that Thou hast remedied my soul in the Spirit 
of healing, 
That Thou gavest Thy loved Son in covenant for me. 

That Thou hast purchased my soul with the precious 
blood of Thy Son. 

Father eternal and Lord of life, 

I believe that Thou didst pour on me the Spirit of grace 
at the bestowal of baptism 

* * * :Sc * * 

4^ af^ if! ^ ^ SjC 



Father eternal and Lord of mankind, 
Enwrap Thou my body and my soul beloved. 
Safeguard me this night in the sanctuary of Thy love, 
Shelter me this night in the shelter of the saints. 

Thou hast brought me up from last night 
To the gracious light of this day. 
Great joy to provide for my soul. 
And to do excelling good to me. 



44 URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 

Buidheachas dhuit, ìosda Crìosda, 

Lìonmhor tiodhlac a dhìolaich thu arm, 

Gach la agus oidhche, gach muir agus tir, 
Gach soineann side, gach miii agus garbh. 

Tha mi toir adhraidh dhuit le m'uile bheatha, 
Tha mi toir aonta dhuit le m'uile bhuadh, 

Tha mi toir molaidh dhuit le m'uile theanga, 
Tha mi toir onair dhuit le m'uile luaidh. 

Tha mi toir urram dhuit le m'uile thuigse, 
Tha mi toir uilm dhuit le m'uile smuain, 

Tha mi toir cliù dhuit le m'uile dhùrachd, 
Tha mi toir umhlachd dhuit am fuil an Uain. 

Tha mi toir run dhuit le m'uile rùnachd, 

Tha mi toir glùnachd dhuit le m'uile mhiann, 

Tha mi toir gaoil- dhuit le m'uile chridhe, 
Tha mi toir caoimh dhuit le m'uile rian ; 

Tha mi toir m'anail dhuit le m'uile bharail, 

Tha mi toir m'anam dhuit, a Dhia nan uile dhia. 

Mo smuain, mo ghniomh. 
Mo bhriathar, mo thoil, 

Mo thuigse, mo chiall, 
Mo rian, mo chor. 

Tha mi guidh ort 
Mo chumail o olc, 
Mo chumail o lochd, 
Mo chumail o thort ; 

Mo chumail o rosd, 
Mo chumail o sprochd, 
Mo chumail a nochd 
Ann am fochair do ghraidh. 



45 



MORNING PRAYERS 

Thanks be to Thee, Jesu Christ, 

For the many gifts Thou hast bestowed on me, 
Each day and night, each sea and land, 

Each weather fair, each calm, each wild. 

I am giving Thee worship with my whole life, 
I am giving Thee assent with my whole power, 

I am giving Thee praise with my whole tongue, 
I am giving Thee honour with my whole utterance. 

I am giving Thee reverence with my whole understanding, 
I am giving Thee offering with my whole thought, 

I am giving Thee praise with my whole fervour, 

I am giving Thee humility in the blood of the Lamb. 

I am giving Thee love with my whole devotion, 
I am giving Thee kneeling with my whole desire, 

I am giving Thee love with my whole heart, 

I am giving Thee affection with my whole sense ; 

I am giving Thee my existence with my whole mind, 
I am giving Thee my soul, O God of all gods. 

My thought, my deed, 

My word, my will, 
My understanding, my intellect. 

My way, my state. 

I am beseeching Thee 
To keep me from ill, 
To keep me from hurt. 
To keep me from harm ; 

To keep me from mischance. 
To keep me from grief, 
To keep me this night 

In the nearness of Thy love. 



46 URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 

Gun dionadh Dia mi, 
Gun lionadh Dia mi, 
Gun gleidheadh Dia mi. 
Gum faiceadh Dia mi. 



Gun toireadh Dia mi 
Gu talamh na sith, 
Gu fearann an Righ, 

Gu sith na siorraidheachd. 

Cliù dh'an Athair, 
Gliù dh'an Mhac, 
CHù dh'an Spiorad, 

An Tri Aont. [Tritheann uile-naomh 



MORNING PRAYERS 47 

May God shield me, 
May God fill me, 
May God keep me, 
May God watch me. 

May God bring me 
To the land of peace. 
To the country of the King, 
To the peace of eternity. 

Praise to the Father, 
Praise to the Son, 
Praise to the Spirit, 

The Three in One. [Triune all-holv 



48 URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 



CEUM NA CORACH [229] 

When the people of the Isles come out in the morning to their tillage, 
to their fishing, to their farming, or to any of their various occupations 
anywhere, they say a short prayer called ' Ceum na Còrach,' ' The Path 
of Right,' ' The Just or True Way.' If the people feel secure from being 
overseen or overheard they croon, or sing, or intone their morning prayer 
in a pleasing musical manner. If, however, any person, and especially if 

O cheum an diugh le Dia, 

Mo cheum an diugh le Criosd, 
Mo cheum an diugh le Spiorad, 
An Trifhill uile-chaomh : [Trifhillt 

HÒ ! ho ! ho ! an Trifhill uile-chaomh. 



Mo dhion an diugh o lochd, 
Mo dhion an oidhche nochd, 
HÒ ! ho ! m'anam is mo chorp, 

Le Athair, le Mac, le Spiorad Naomh : 
Le Athair, le Mac, le Spiorad Naomh. 

Athair a bhith dha m' dhion, 
Mac a bhith dha m' dhion, 
Spiorad a bhith dha m' dhion. 

Mar Thri agus mar Aon : 

HÒ ! ho ! ho ! mar Thri agus mar Aon. 




MORNING PRAYERS 



49 



THE PATH OF RIGHT 

a stranger, is seen in the way, the people hum the prayer in an inaudible 
undertone peculiar to themselves, like the soft murmur of the ever- 
murmuring sea, or like the far-distant eerie sighing of the wind among 
trees, or like the muffled cadence of far-away waters, rising and falling 
upon the fitful autumn wind. 



My walk this day with God, 
My walk this day with Christ, 
My walk this day with Spirit, 

The Threefold all-kindly : 

HÒ ! ho ! ho ! the Threefold all-kindly. 

My shielding this day from ill. 
My shielding this night from harm, 
HÒ ! ho ! both my soul and my body. 
Be by Father, by Son, by Holy Spirit : 
By Father, by Son, by Holy Spirit. 

Be the Father shielding me. 
Be the Son shielding me. 
Be the Spirit shielding me, 

As Three and as One : 

HÒ ! ho ! ho ! as Three and as One. 



50 URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 



^^h 




SMAOINTEAN [230] 

OIL Dhe dhianam, 
Mo thoil fein srianam ; 



Dlighe Dhe thugam, 

Mo dhlighe fein thoiream ; 

Slighe Dhe siubhlam, 
Mo shlighe fein diùltam ; 

Bàs Chrìosda smaoineam, 
Mo bhàs fein cuimhneam ; 

Cràdh Chrìosda meobhram, 
Mo ghràdh Dhe teodham ; 

Crois Chriosda giùlnam, 

Mo chrois fein timheam (?) ; [timhimeam (; 

Aithreachas pheacaidh gabham, 
Aithreachas tràthail tagham ; 

Strian ri m' theangaidh cuiream, 
Strian ri m' aigne cumam ; 

Breitheanas Dhe breithneam, 
Mo bhreitheanas fein faiream ; 

Saorsa Chriosda greimeam, 
Mo shaorsa fein oibream ; 

Gaol Chriosda faiream, 
Mo ghaol fein aithneam. 



MORNING PRAYERS 51 



THOUGHTS 

God's will would I do, 
My own will bridle ; 

God's due would I give, 
My own due yield ; 

God's path would I travel, 
My own path refuse ; 

Christ's death would I ponder, 
My own death remember ; 

Christ's agony would I meditate, 
My love to God make warmer ; 

Christ's cross would I carry. 
My own cross forget (?) ; 

Repentance of sin would I make. 
Early repentance choose ; 

A bridle to my tongue I would put, 
A bridle on my thoughts I would keep 

God's judgment would I judge, 
My own judgment guard ; 

Christ's redemption would I seize, 
My own ransom work ; 

The love of Christ would I feel. 
My own love know. 



52 



URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 




COMHNADH DHE 

lA dha mo chaim, 
Dia dha mo chuairt, 

Dia dha mo chainn, 
Dia dha mo smuain. 

Dia dha mo chadal, 
Dia dha mo dhùsg, 

Dia dha mo chaithris, 
Dia dha mo dhùil. 



[231] 



Dia dha mo bheatha, 
Dia dha mo bhihbh, 

Dia dha m'anam, 
Dia dha mo chridhe. 



Dia dha mo riaradh, 
Dia dha mo shuain, 

Dia dha m'anam siorraidh, 
Dia dha m' bhioth-bhuan. 



MORNING PRAYERS 53 



GOD'S AID 

God to enfold me, 
God to surround me, 

God in my speaking, 
God in my thinking. 

God in my sleeping, 

God in my waking, 
God in my watching, 

God in my hoping. 

God in my life, 

God in my lips, 
God in my soul, 

God in my heart. 

God in my sufficing, 
God in my slumber, 

God in mine ever-living soul, 
God in mine eternity. 



54 



URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 



ALTACHADH 



[232] 



The following poem was taken down from the recitation of Dugall 
MacAulay, cottar, Creagorry, Benbecula. MacAulay is an old man, full 
of old songs and hymns, runes and incantations, fairy stories and strange 
beliefs. These he heard from his aunt and mother, who were full of song 
and story, natural and supernatural, and of old lore of the most curious 
kind. The reciter called the poem ' Altach Shomhairle/ Somhairle's or 



Hi na bi ! 
Thi na sith ! 
Thi na tid ! 

Thi na siorrachd ! 

Thi na siorrachd ! 




Gum mi an deagh chuid, 
Cum mi an deagh run, 

Cum mi an deagh bhuil, 
Nas fearr nas eòl dùinn, 
Nas fearr nas eòl dùinn ! 

Buachaillich mi an diugh, 
Fuasgail air mo chàs, 

Cuairtich mi a nochd, 
Dòrt orm do ghras, 
Dòrt orm do ghras ! 



Caim dhomh mo ghuth, 
Daing dhomh mo ghràdh, 

Coinnlich dhomh an sruth, 
Cobhair dhomh sa bhàs, 
Cobhair dhomh sa bhàs ! 



MORNING PRAYERS 55 



SUPPLICATION 

Somerled's Petition, and ' Altach Shomhairle Mhic Calmain,' The 
Supplication of Somhairle or Somerled MacCalman. He said that 
Somhairle Mac Calmain was a good man, moving about doing no harm, 
asking nothing and always getting enough. In his travels he was always 
crooning these little hymns to himself. This description might fit MacAulay 
himself, save that he seldom leaves his wind-swept moorland home. 



O Being of life ! 
O Being of peace ! 
O Being of time ! 

O Being of eternity ! 

O Being of eternity ! 

Keep me in good means, 
Keep me in good intent, 

Keep me in good estate, 
Better than I know to ask, 
Better than I know to ask ! 

Shepherd me this day, 
Relieve my distress, 

Enfold me this night. 

Pour upon me Thy grace, 
Pour upon me Thy grace ! 

Guard for me my speech. 
Strengthen for me my love. 

Illume for me the stream, 
Succour Thou me in death, 
Succour Thou me in death ! 



56 URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 




EOLAS GONAIDH [233] 

ÙIL Dhe eadar mi 's gach sùil, 
Run Dhe eadar mi 's gach run, 
Làmh Dhe eadar mi 's gach làmh, 
Càil Dhe eadar mi 's gach càil, 
Miann Dhe eadar mi 's gach miann, 
Srian Dhe eadar mi 's gach srian, 

'S chan fhaod bial mo mhollachadh. 

Cràdh Chrìosd eadar mi 's gach cràdh, 
Gràdh Chrìosd eadar mi 's gach gràdh, 
Gaol Chriosd eadar mi 's gach gaol, 
Caomh Chriosd eadar mi 's gach caomh, 

Toigh Chriosd eadar mi 's gach toigh, 

Toil Chriosd eadar mi 's gach toil, 

'S chan fhaod goimh mo ghonachadh. 

Neart Chriosd eadar mi 's gach neart, 
Ceart Chriosd eadar mi 's gach ceart, 
Sileadh Spioraid eadar mi 's gach sileadh, 
Ligheadh Spioraid eadar mi 's gach ligheadh, 
Nigheadh Spioraid eadar mi 's gach nigheadh, 
'S chan fhaod nithe beanachd dhomh. 



MORNING PRAYERS 57 



CHARM AGAINST VENOM 

Be the eye of God betwixt me and each eye, 
The purpose of God betwixt me and each purpose, 
The hand of God betwixt me and each hand, 
The shield of God betwixt me and each shield. 
The desire of God betwixt me and each desire. 
The bridle of God betwixt me and each bridle, 
And no mouth can curse me. 

Be the pain of Christ betwixt me and each pain. 
The love of Christ betwixt me and each love. 
The dearness of Christ betwixt me and each dearness, 
The kindness of Christ betwixt me and each kindness, 
The wish of Christ betwixt me and each wish. 
The will of Christ betwixt me and each will. 
And no venom can wound me. 

Be the might of Christ betwixt me and each might, 
The right of Christ betwixt me and each right. 
The flowing of Spirit betwixt me and each flowing, 
The laving of Spirit betwixt me and each laving, 
The bathing of Spirit betwixt me and each bathing, 
And no ill thing can touch me. 



58 



URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 




URNAIGH 



[234] 



UIDHEAM an diugh mo ghuidhe dhuts, a Dhe, 
Gutham an diugh mar a ghuthas guth do bheil, 
Cumam an diugh mar a chumas luchd nan nèamh, 
Caitheam an diugh mar chaitheas do mhuinntir 
fein, 

Reacham an diugh a reir do reachd, a Dhe, 
Cuiream an diugh mar chuireas naomh an nèamh. 



A Chriosda chaoimh a cheusadh air a' chrann, 

Gach latha agus gach oidhche cuimhnicheam do bhann ; 

Am laighe agus am eirigh geilleam dha do chrois, 

Am bheatha agus am bhàs mo shlàint thu agus m'fhois. 

Gach latha àirmheam fàth nan tròcair 

A bhàirig thu dhomhsa fòill agus fial, 
Gach latha bitheam nas lain ann an gràdh dhuit fein 



Gach ni a fhuair mi 's ann uat a thàineas, 
Gach ni am bheil mo dhùil 's ann o d' run a thigeas, 
Gach càil a tha mi mealtainn 's ann o d' shealbh thàthas, 
Gach sian a tha mi ag iarraidh 's ann o d' rian a thàrras. 



A Dhe naoimh, Athair chaoimh a' bheòil bhioth-bhuain, 
Deòin dhomhs an achan bheò seo fhaotainn uat : 
Soillsich mo thuigse, lasaich mo thoil, tòisich mo ghniomh, 
Brosnaich mo ghràdh, slànaich mo laigse, caimich mo mhiann. 



MORNING PRAYERS 59 



PRAYER 

Pray I this day my prayer to Thee, O God, 
Voice I this day as voices the voice of thy mouth, 
Keep I this day as keep the people of heaven, 
Spend I this day as spend Thine own household, 

Go I this day according to Thy laws, O God, 
Pass I this day as pass the saints in heaven. 

Thou loving Christ Who wast hanged upon the tree, 
Each day and each night remember I Thy covenant ; 
In my lying down and rising up I yield me to Thy cross, 
In my life and my death my health Thou art and my peace. 

Each day may I remember the source of the mercies 
Thou hast bestowed on me gently and generously ; 
Each day may I be fuller in love to Thyself 



Each thing I have received, from Thee it came, 

Each thing for which I hope, from Thy love it will come, 

Each thing I enjoy, it is of Thy bounty. 

Each thing I ask, comes of Thy disposing. 

Holy God, loving Father, of the word everlasting, 

Grant me to have of Thee this living prayer : 

Lighten my understanding, kindle my will, begin my doing. 

Incite my love, strengthen my weakness, enfold my desire. 



6o URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 

Glan mo chridhe, naomhaich m'anam, neartaich mo 

chreideamh, 
Gomaraich m'aigne agus cuartaich mo cholann ; 
Mar a labhras mise m'achan o m' bheul, 
Fairicheam fein do ghnùis 'nam chridhe. 

Agus deònaich fein, a Dhe nan dùl, 
Bhith ri m' chleibh is tu a bhith ri m' chùl, 
Thu thoir dhomh m'fheum a reir a' chrùin 
A gheall thu dhùinn san t-saoghal thall. 

Is tabhair fein dhomh, Athair ghaoil, 
O bheil gach seud ta ann a' struthadh saor, 
Gun cheangal ro dhein, gun cheangal ro dhaor 
Bhith eadar mi fein 's an saoghal a bhos. 

Cuiream mo dhòchas annad, a Dhe, 
Mo dhòchas beò ann an Athair nan nèamh, 
Mo dhòchas mòr a bhith maille riut fein 
Anns an t-saoghal chein ri teachd. 

Athair agus Mac agus Spiorad, 

Aona Phearsa nan Tri, 
Fad saoghal nan saoghal innich, 

Gun chaochladh beatha gun chrioch. 



MORNING PRAYERS 6i 

Cleanse my heart, make holy my soul, confirm my faith. 

Keep safe my mind and compass my body about ; 

As I utter my prayer from my mouth, 

In mine own heart may I feel Thy presence. 

And do Thou grant, O God of life. 
That Thou be at my breast, that Thou be at my back, 
That Thou give me my needs as may befit the crown 
Thou hast promised to us in the world beyond. 

And grant Thou to me, Father beloved, 
From Whom each thing that is freely flows. 
That no tie over-strict, no tie over-dear 

May be between myself and this world below. 

Place I in Thee my hope, O God, 
My living hope in the Father of the heavens, 
My great hope to be with Thyself 
In the distant world to come. 

Father and Son and Spirit, 

The One Person of the Three, 
Perfect, world without end, 

Changeless through life eternal. 



62 



URNAIGHEAN MAIDNE 



AN TRl 



[235] 




N ainm Athar, 
An ainm Mic, 
An ainm Spioraid, 
Tri ann an Aon : 

Caomhadh Athair mi, 
Caomhadh Mac mi, 
Caomhadh Spiorad mi, 
Tri uile-chaomh. 

Naomhadh Dia mi, 
Naomhadh Criosda mi, 
Naomhadh Spiorad mi, 
Tri uile-naomh. 



Comhnadh Tri mo dhùil, 
Comhnadh Tri mo run, 
Comhnadh Tri mo shùil, 
Agus mo ghlùn gun chlaon, 
Agus mo ghlùn gun chlaon. 



MORNING PRAYERS 



63 



THE THREE 

In name of Father, 
In name of Son, 
In name of Spirit, 
Three in One : 

Father cherish me, 
Son cherish me. 
Spirit cherish me, 
Three all-kindly. 

God make me holy, 
Christ make me holy. 
Spirit make me holy. 
Three all-holy. 

Three aid my hope, 

Three aid my love, 

Three aid mine eye, 

And my knee from stumblim 
My knee from stumbling. 



64 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 




ACHAN [236] 

HÈ naoimhe na fìrinn, 
\ Dhè chaoimhe na tròcair, 
Seun mise bho na gisne, 
Seun mise bho na goisne. 

Dhè mhèinnich nan dùl, [mhèintich 

Thoir mathanas dhomh, 

'Na mo chainnt bhaoth, 

'Na mo mhionnt bhrèig, 

'Na mo ghnìomh ghòraich, 

'Na mo ghlòir dhìomhain. 

Dhè mhèinnich nan dùl, 

Dubhr orm bù nam ban bìth ; 
Dhè mhèinnich nan dùl, 

Dubhr orm bù nam ban baoth ; 
Dhè mhèinnich nan dùl, 

Dubhr orm bù nam ban sìth ; 
Dhè mhèinnich nan dùl, 

Dubhr orm bù nam ban saobh. 

Mar bha thusa roimhe 
Ri tùs mo bheatha, 
Biodh tusa rithist 

Ri crìoch mo shaoghail. [shao'il 

Mar bha thusa cheana 
Ri deilbh m'anam, 
Bi thus, O Athair, 

Aig ceann mo shaoghail. [shao'il 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 65 



PETITION 

O HOLY God of truth, 
O loving God of mercy, 
Sign me from the spells. 
Sign me from the charms. 

Compassionate God of life. 
Forgiveness to me give. 

In my wanton talk, 

In my lying oath, 

In my foolish deed, 

In my empty speech. 

Compassionate God of life, 

Screen from me the bane of the silent women ; 
Compassionate God of life, 

Screen from me the bane of the wanton women 
Compassionate God of life. 

Screen from me the bane of the fairy women ; 
Compassionate God of life. 

Screen from me the bane of the false women. 

As Thou wast before. 
At my life's beginning. 
Be Thou so again 
At my journey's end. 

As Thou wast besides 
At my soul's shaping, 
Father, be Thou too 
At my journey's close. 



66 ÒRACHAN DlONA 

Bi liom gach ama, 
Ag èirigh 's a' laighe, 
Bi liom a' cadal 

An caidreabh luchd gaoil, 

Bi liom a' caithris 
Gach feasgar is madainn, 
Is tatan mi dhachaidh 
Gu talamh nan naomh. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 67 

Be with me at each time, 
Lying down and arising, 
Be with me in sleep 

Companioned by dear ones. 

Be with me a-watching 
Each evening and morning, 
And allure me home 

To the land of the saints. 



68 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 




ALTACHADH 

ATHAIR na fìrinn, 
A Mhic na tròcair, 
Saor sinn aig an am seo, 
Saor sinn aig gach am. 

Mhic Dhè, thoir mathanas dhomh, 
'Na mo mhionn bhrèige, 

'Na mo ghnìomh ghòraich, 

'Na mo ghlòir dhìomhain. 



[237] 



Seun mi bho bheum nam ban bìth, 
Seun mi bho bheum nam ban baoth, 

Seun mi bho bheum nam ban sith, 

Seun mi bho bheum nam ban saoghal. 



Mar bha thusa riamh ri tùs mo bheatha, 
Bi thusa rithist ri crich mo shaoghail ; 

Na leig dha m' chorp na dha m' chalann [cholann 
Aon ni is lochd dha m'anam gaolach. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 69 



PRAYER 

O Father of truth, 
O Son of mercy, 
Free us at this time. 
Free us at every time. 

Thou Son of God, grant me forgiveness 
In my false swearing. 
In my fooHsh deed, 
In my empty talk. 

Sain me from the hurt of the quiet women, 
Sain me from the hurt of the wanton women, 

Sain me from the hurt of the fairy women, 
Sain me from the hurt of the world-women. 

As Thou wert afore at my life's beginning, 
Be Thou again at my time's ending ; 

Nor let into my body nor into my being 
One thing that is harm to my soul beloved. 



E2 



70 



ÒRAGHAN DÌONA 




URNAIGH [238] 

Beulaiche : Catrìona Bheag Dhomhnallach, coitear, Borgh, Barraidh 

DHÈ, èisd ri m'urnaigh, 
Leig m'achan gheur dha t'ionnsaigh, 
Is fios am gu bheil thu 'm chluinntinn 
Cho math 's ged chithinn thu le m' shùilean. 

Tha mi cur glais air mo chridhe, 
Tha mi cur glais air mo smuain, 

Tha mi cur glais air mo bhilean, 
Is mi 'gam filleadh da uair. 

NÌ sam bith is cli dha m'anam 
Ann an cHotaraich mo bhàis, 
Thusa, Dhe, dh'a shiabadh tharam, 

'S thu dha m' dhion am fuil do ghràidh 

Na leig smuain a chon mo chridhe, 
Na leig fuaim a chon mo chluais, 
Na leig buair a chon mo shùl, 
Na leig cubhr a chon mo shròin, 

Na leig aiteal a chon m'aigne, 

Na leig caiteal a chon m'inntinn, 

Is bochd dha m' chalann truagh a nochd, [cholann 

Na 's olc dha m'anam aig uair mo bhàis ; 

Ach thusa fein, a Dhe nan dùl, 
A bhith dha m' chleibh, a bhith dha m' chùl, 
Thu dhomh mar reul, thu dhomh mar iùl, 
O m' thus bheatha gu m' dhùnadh saoghail. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 71 



PRAYER 

Reciter : ' Catriona Bheag ' (Little Catherine) MacDonald, 
cottar, Borve, Barra 

God, hearken to my prayer, 

Let my earnest petition come to Thee, 
For I know that Thou art hearing me 
As surely as though I saw Thee with mine eyes. 

1 am placing a lock upon my heart, 

I am placing a lock upon my thoughts, 
I am placing a lock upon my lips 
And double-knitting them. 

Aught that is amiss for my soul 

In the pulsing of my death, 
Mayest Thou, O God, sweep it from me. 

And mayest Thou shield me in the blood of Thy love. 

Let no thought come to my heart. 
Let no sound come to mine ear. 
Let no temptation come to mine eye. 
Let no fragrance come to my nose, 

Let no fancy come to my mind. 

Let no ruffle come to my spirit, 

That is hurtful to my poor body this night. 

Nor ill for my soul at the hour of my death ; 

But mayest Thou Thyself, O God of life, 
Be at my breast, be at my back, 
Thou to me as a star. Thou to me as a guide, 
From my life's beginning to my life's closing. 



72 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 



ORA NA H-ANSHOCAIR 



[239] 



Beulaiche : Ruairidh Domhnallach, Manal, Tiriodh 

Thubhairt an seann seanchaidh : Tha an rann seo math air muir agus 
air tir, ann an gàbhadh mara agus ann an amhghar fearainn. Is iomadh 
turas dubh agus duine dona ann an càs cuain agus ann an cunnart talamh 
dh'an tug an òra seo fuasgladh. Agus is mise a dh'fhaodadh sin a ràdh, 
agus 

A liutha cunnart is gàbhadh, 

Muir brùite agus muir bàite, 

Bho'n tug thu mi sàbhailt 
Air sgàth Òra na hAnshocair. 

Agus is ann dhomh a b'fhior, agus a liutha tonn a chaidh thar mo chinn 
re mo bheatha ! A Righ na gile 's na greine agus nan rioUacha reula 
cubhraidh, agad fein tha fios, agad fein tha fios, a Dhe mhèinnich nan 
dùla! 




ROIS na craoibhe ceusda 
Air creuchd dhruim Chriosda 

Dha m' shaoradh bho eucail, 
Bho gheige, bho ghisne. 

Crois Chriosda gun mheang 

Is i sinte rium air fad ; 
Dhe, beannaich dhomh mo chrann 

Romh m' dhol a mach. 



Cron dh'am bitheadh ann 

Nara toirinn as, 
Air sgàth Chrìosd gun fheall. 

Air sgàth Righ nam feart. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 73 



PRAYER OF DISTRESS 

Reciter : Roderick MacDonald, Manal, Tiree 

The aged reciter said : This rune is good on sea and on shore, in peril of 
sea and in distress on land. Many the black journey and many the bad 
man in extremity on sea and in danger on land to whom this prayer has 
brought relief. And it is I who can say that, considering 

From how many a danger and peril, 
Pounding sea and drowning sea, 
Thou hast delivered me safely 

For the sake of the Prayer of Distress. 

And that was true for me, considering how many a wave has gone over 
my head in the course of my life ! Thou King of the moon and of the sun 
and of the fragrant stars, Thou Thyself knowest, Thou Thyself knowest, O 
compassionate God of life ! 



May the cross of the crucifixion tree 
Upon the wounded back of Christ 

DeHver me from distress, 
From death and from spells. 

The cross of Christ without fault, 
All outstretched towards me ; 

O God, bless to me my lot 
Before my going out. 

What harm soever may be therein 

May I not take thence, 
For the sake of Christ the guileless, 

For the sake of the King of power. 



74 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 

An ainm Dhè nan dùl, 
An ainm Chrìosda chùmh. 
An ainm Spioraid Nùmh, 
Trì-Ùn mo neart. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 75 

In name of the King of life, 
In name of the Christ of love, 
In name of the Holy Spirit, 
The Triune of my strength. 



76 ÒRAGHAN DÌONA 



lOS AN GUARTAICHE [240] 

O Alasdair Domhnallach, craoitear, Borgh, Barraidh 

OS ! Aon-ghin Mhic Dhè Athar agus Uan, 
Thug thu f ìonfhuil do bheatha dha m' cheannach 

o'n uaigh. 
Mo Chrìosd ! mo Chrìosd ! mo dhìon, mo chuart, 
Gach latha, gach oidhche, gach soillse, gach duar ; 
Mo Chrìosd ! mo Chrìosd ! mo dhìon, mo chuart, 
Gach latha, gach oidhche, gach soillse, gach duar. 

Bi faisg dhomh, bi 'n taic dhomh, mo thasgaidh, mo 

bhuaidh, 
Am shìneamh, am sheasamh, am chaithris, am 
shuain. 

ìos, a Mhic Mhoire ! mo chobhair, mo chuart, 
ìos, a Mhic Dhàibhidh ! mo dhaingneach bhioth-bhuan ; 
los, a Mhic Mhoire ! mo chobhair, mo chuart, 
los, a Mhic Dhàibhidh ! mo dhaingneach bhioth-bhuan. 




PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 77 



JESUS THE ENCOMPASSER 

From Alexander MacDonald, crofter, Borve, Barra 

Jesu ! Only-begotten Son and Lamb of God the Father, 
Thou didst give the wine-blood of Thy body to buy me 

from the grave. 
My Christ ! my Christ ! my shield, my encircler, 
Each day, each night, each light, each dark ; 

My Christ ! my Christ ! my shield, my encircler, 
Each day, each night, each light, each dark. 

Be near me, uphold me, my treasure, my triumph, 

In my lying, in my standing, in my watching, in my sleeping. 

Jesu, Son of Mary ! my helper, my encircler, 
Jesu, Son of David ! my strength everlasting ; 
Jesu, Son of Mary ! my helper, my encircler, 
Jesu, Son of David ! my strength everlasting. 



78 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 



ACHAN lOSA 



[241] 




ANAM an achan o m' bheul, 
Canam an achan o m' chrè, 
Canam an achan dhuit fèin, 

A Làmh Lèigh, a Mhic Dhè na slàinte : 

A Mhic Mhoire na fèil, 

Mar ri Paidir is Creud, 
Urnaigh Mhoire 'nan dèidh, 
Agus t'Urnaigh fèin, a Mhic Dhè nan gràsa ; 



A mheudachadh mòrachd nèamh, 
A mheudachadh mòrachd Dhè, 
A mheudachadh do mhòrachd fèin, 
Agus do ghlòir, a Mhic Dhè na Pàise 

A thoir cHù dhuit, ìosa, 
Alia mara 'gus tire, 
Alia grein agus gile. 

Alia nan riollachan àlainn. 

Tobar beathachaidh nam firean, 

Bràthair dìleas na cobhair, 
M' achan a chur an gniomha 

Dha m'anam agus dha m' cholainn. 



Thighearna Dhia nan aingeal, 
Sgaoil do bhrat lin tharam, 
Dion mi bho gach ainnis, 
Saor mi bho gach arrais. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 79 



PRAYER TO JESUS 

I SAY the prayer from my mouth, 
I say the prayer from my heart, 
I say the prayer to Thee Thyself, 

O Healing Hand, O Son of the God of salvation ; 

O Son of Mary the benign, 
Together with Pater and Credo, 
The Prayer of Mary thereafter. 

And Thine own Prayer, O Son of the God of grace 

To magnify the greatness of heaven. 
To magnify the greatness of God, 
To magnify Thine own greatness, 

And Thy glory, O Son of God of the Passion ; 

To give praise to Thee, Jesus, 
Lord of sea and of land. 
Lord of sun and of moon. 
Lord of the beautiful stars. 

Fountain of life to the righteous, 

Faithful Brother of helpfulness. 
Make Thou my prayer availing 

To my soul and to my body. 

Thou Lord God of the angels, 
Spread over me Thy linen robe ; 
Shield me from every famine. 
Free me from every spectral shape. 



8o ÒRAGHAN DÌONA 

Daingnich mi anns gach mathas, 

Caimich mi anns gach cadhas, 

Comraig mi anns gach olcas, 

Agus cloth mi bho gach neimiheas. [nàmhas 

Bi eadar mi agus gach nì duaichnidh, 
Bi eadar mi agus gach nì suarach, 
Bi eadar mi agus gach nì fuaiteach 

Ta tighinn an duathar dha m'ionnsaigh. [duar 

A Mhaighistir ghlòraich nan neul, [reul 

A Mhaighistir ghlòraich nan speur, 
A Mhaighistir ghlòraich nan nèamh, 

Bheannaicheadh leat gach treubh agus fine. 

Eadar-ghuidh air mo shon 
Ri Tighearna Dia nan dùl, 
Ri Athair cùmha na glòir, 
Ri Triath mòr nan cinneach. 



A Mhaighistir mhurnaich, 
A Mhaighistir chubhr-ghil, 
A Mhaighistir rùnaich, 
A Mhaighistir chùmh-ghil, 
Guidhim thu le dùrachd, 
Guidhim thu le umhlachd, 
Guidhim thu le mùisneachd, 
Guidhim thu le tùrsachd, 
Guidhim thu le glùnachd, 
Gun thu dha mo threigsinn 
Ann am peirinn mo bhàis ; 

Ach gum faighinn tàmh sìorraidh 
Ann an tàmhachd na Trianaid, 
Ann am Pàrras nan diadha, 
Ann am Fionlios do ghràidh. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 8i 

Strengthen me in every good, 

Encompass me in every strait, 

Safeguard me in every ill, 

And from every venom restrain me. [enmity 

Be Thou between me and all things grisly, 
Be Thou between me and all things mean. 
Be Thou between me and all things gruesome 
Coming darkly towards me. 

O glorious Master of the clouds, [stars 

O glorious Master of the skies, 
O glorious Master of the heavens. 

Blest by Thee has been every tribe and people. 

Intercede Thou for me 
With the Lord God of life, 
With the kind Father of glory. 

With the great Chief of the nations. 

O Master endeared, 

O Master bright, fragrant, 

O Master beloved, 

Master bright, kindly, 

1 beseech Thee with earnestness, 
I beseech Thee with humbleness, 
I beseech Thee with lowliness, 

I beseech Thee with tearfulness, 
I beseech Thee with kneeling. 
That Thou not forsake me 

In the passion of my death ; 

But that I might find rest everlasting 
In the repose of the Trinity, 
In the Paradise of the godly, 
In the Vine-garden of Thy love. 



82 ÒRAGHAN DÌONA 

Cuir do sheìle ri m' lèirsinn, 

Cuir do chèirein ri m' chreuchdan, 

Cuir do lìon-anart leth rium, 

A Làmh Lèigh, a Mhic Dhè na slàint. 

A Dhè nan dìbleach, 
A Dhè nan ìsleach, 
A Dhè nam fìrean, 

A dhìon nam fardach : 

Thu ag eubhach oirnne 
An guth na glòrach 
Le beul na tròcair 
Do Mhic ghràdhaich. 

O gu faigheam tàmh sìorraidh 
Ann am fardach do Thrianaid, 
Ann am Parras nan diadha, 
Ann an GrianHos do ghràidh. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 83 

Put Thy salve to my sight, 
Put Thy balm to my wounds, 
Put Thy linen robe to my skin, 

O Healing Hand, O Son of the God of salvation. 

O God of the weak, 
O God of the lowly, 
O God of the righteous, 
O shield of homesteads : 

Thou art calling upon us 
In the voice of glory, 
With the mouth of mercy 
Of Thy beloved Son, 

O may I find rest everlasting 
In the home of Thy Trinity, 
In the Paradise of the godly, 
In the Sun-garden of Thy love. 



84 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 




LEIGH M'ANAMA 

LÈIGH m'anama, 

Gleidh mi anmoch, 

Gleidh mi moch, 

Gleidh mi nòn, 

An còrsa garbha, 

Comhn is tearmaid 

Mo shealbh a nochd. 

Tha mi sgìth is clì is cearbach, 
Dìon mi o chealg 's o lochd. 



[242] 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 85 



THOU, MY SOUL'S HEALER 

Thou, my soul's Healer, 

Keep me at even, 

Keep me at morning, 

Keep me at noon, 

On rough course faring, 

Help and safeguard 

My means this night. 

I am tired, astray, and stumbling, 
Shield Thou me from snare and sin. 



F2 



86 



ÒRACHAN DlONA 




FUIDHEALL 



[243] 



N Spiorad Naomh a bhraonadh orm 
Nuas as na flathas, 

Dha m' chomhnadh 's dha m' mhathas, 
Chum m'urnaigh chur an ceangal 
Aig cathair Rìgh nan dùl. 



An staid iomchaidh nan gràs, 
Mar is àil leat fèin mi dhèanamh, 
A Thighearna Dhia nan dùl. 



Ann an gaol Dè, 
Ann an gràdh Dè, 
Ann an toil Dè, 
Ann an sùil Dè, 
Ann an run De, 
Ann an cùram De. 



Mar tha t'ainglibh fein, 
Mar tha do naoimh fein, 
Mar tha do mhuinntir fein 
A' toighe air nèamh, 

Toigheam fein air talamh ! 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 87 



FRAGMENT 

May the Holy Spirit distil on me 
Down from out of heaven, 
To aid me and to raise me, 
To bind my prayer firmly 

At the throne of the King of life. 

****** 
In the befitting state of grace. 
As is Thine own will that I should do, 
OLord God of life. 

In the love of God, 

In the aflfection of God, 

In the will of God, 

In the eye of God, 

In the purpose of God, 

In the charge of God. 

As Thine own angels. 
As Thine own saints. 
As Thine own household 
Desire in heaven. 

So may I desire on earth ! 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 



SPIORAD NAOMH [244] 

SPIORAID Naoimh is trèine neart, [treasa 

Thig oirnn a nuas 's cuir sinn fo d' smachd ; [reachd 
O d' thalla àghmhor anns na flath, 
Do sholas dealrach dòirt a mach. 

r Athair ionmhainn gach aon nochd, 
^^^ O bheil gach tiodhlac agus tort, [toirt 

'^jj Ar cridhe soillsich fèin le t'iochd, 
Le t'iochd dìon sinne bho gach olc. 

Gun do dhìadhachd chan 'eil nì 
Anns an duine choisneas prìs ; 
A t'iongnais fèin, a Rìgh nan rìgh, 
Gun chiont chan fhaod an duine bhìth. 

Chum cobhair is tu 's fearr a th'ann 

An aghaidh an anama 's dòbhaidh cainnt ; 

Do ghabhail is taitniche ta ann ; 

Dèan taic is treòir dhuinn anns gach am. 

An glùn tha rag dèan las, a Leigh, 
An cridh tha cruaidh dean blàth fo d' sgeith ; 
An t-anam th'air seachran o do shligh, 
Glac a stiùir 's cha teid e dhith. 

Gach ni tha truailHdh glan gun dàil, 
Gach ni tha cruadhaidh maoth ad ghràs, 
Gach creuchd tha dèanadh dhuinn cràdh, 
A Leigh nan leigh, dean fein i slàn ! 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 89 



HOLY SPIRIT 

O Holy Spirit of greatest power, 
Come down upon us and subdue us ; 
From Thy glorious mansion in the heavens, 
Thy light effulgent shed on us. 

Father beloved of every naked one, 
From Whom all gifts and goodness come. 
Our hearts illumine with Thy mercy, 
In Thy mercy shield us from all harm. 

Without Thy divinity there is nothing 
In man that can earn esteem ; 
Without Thyself, O King of kings, 
Sinless man can never be. 

In succour Thou art of all the best 
Against the soul of wildest speech ; 
Food art thou sweeter than all ; 
Sustain and guide us at every time. 

The knee that is stiff, O Healer, make pliant. 

The heart that is hard make warm beneath Thy wing ; 

The soul that is wandering from Thy path. 

Grasp Thou his helm and he shall not die. 

Each thing that is foul cleanse Thou early. 

Each thing that is hard soften Thou with Thy grace. 

Each wound that is working us pain, 

O Best of healers, make Thou whole ! 



go ÒRACHAN DlONA 

Bheir dha d' mhuinntir bhith gu dian 

Cur an earbs annad mar Dhia, 

Chum an cuideachaidh 's gach ial 

Le do sheachd tiodhlaic, a Spioraid Naoimh nam fial ! 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 

Give Thou to Thy people to be diligent 

To put their trust in Thee as God, 

That Thou mayest help them in every hour 

With thy sevenfold gift, O Holy Spirit generous ! 



91 



92 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 




AN TEOR 



[245] 



N Teòr tha os mo chionn, 
An Teòr tha os mo bhonn, 
An Teòr tha os mo bhos, 
An Teòr tha os mo thall ; 
An Teòr a tha san talamh, 
An Teòr a tha san adhar, 
An Teòr a tha sna flathas, 

An Teòr a tha sa mhuir mhoir bhòrcaich. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 93 



THE THREE 

The Three Who are over me, 
The Three Who are below me, 
The Three Who are above me here, 
The Three Who are above me yonder ; 
The Three Who are in the earth, 
The Three Who are in the air, 
The Three Who are in the heaven. 

The Three Who are in the great pouring sea. 



94 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 



SEUN SÀBHALAIDH 



[246] 



Beulaiche : Catriona Nic NìU, Ceann Tangabhall, Barraidh 

Thubhairt am beulaiche : Cha mharbhar ann am blàr agus cha bhàthar 
ann am muir an neach mu'n tèid an t-sian. Is ni beannaichte an t-sian. 
Chuir Brighid an t-sian m'a Dalta agus chuir Moire an t-sian m'a Mac. 
Is iomadh sin fear a chaomhnadh o bhaoghal ann am blàr agus o bhàthadh 
ann am muir ri linn an t-sian a chur m'a chom agus m'a cholainn. 

Tha an duine mu'n teid an t-sian agus am boireannach a tha cur an 
t-sian a' dol do ghleann diomhair, fad air falbh no faisg air làimh, far nach 
faic sùil iad ach sùil Dhè nan dùl, agus far nach cluinn cluas iad ach cluas 
Dhe na glòire, mura faic no mura cluinn bigirich nam preas no siodhaich 
nan torn no biodaich nan creag iad. Bha an duine mu'n teigheadh an 
t-sian a' gabhail Creud agus Paidir agus Urnaigh Moire Mhàthair. Bha e 
riatanach gum biodh cridhe ceart agus smuain mhath agus spiorad glan 
aig an duine mu'n teigheadh an t-sian. Mura biodh, a ghràidhein, cha 
robh bonn stàth anns an t-sian dh'an duine no tonn toraidh dh'an mhnaoi 
— cha bhiodh, a ghràidhein, O cha bhiodh, bonn stàth dhà-san anns an 
t-sian no tonn toraidh dhi-se. 



EUN a chuir Brighid m'a Dak, 

Seun a chuir Moire m'a Mac, 

Seun a chuir Micheal m'a sgeith, 

Seun a chuir Mac Dhe mu chathair neof. 

Seun romh shaighead, 
Seun romh chlaidhe, 
Seun romh shleagha, 
Seun romh bhrùdh 's romh bhàthadh. 

Seun romh athain, 
Seun romh nathair, 
Seun romh bheithir, 
Seun romh bheud air bhlàraibh. 




PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 95 



CHARM OF PROTECTION 

Reciter : Catherine MacNeill, Ceann Tangabhall, Barra 

The reciter said : The man around whom the charm shall go shall not 
be killed in battle nor drowned in sea. The charm is a blessed thing. 
Brigit set the charm about her Fosterson and Mary set the charm about 
her Son. Many a man has been preserved from peril in field of battle and 
from drowning in sea in consequence of the charm's being set around his 
person and around his body. 

The man around whom the charm shall go and the woman who sets 
the charm go to a hidden glen, far away or near at hand, where no eye 
shall see them but the eye of the God of all life, nor ear hear them but 
the ear of the God of glory, unless the little chirpers of the bushes or the 
fays of the knolls or the gnomes of the rocks see or hear them. The man 
around whom the charm should go recited Credo and Pater Noster and 
the Prayer of Mary Mother. It was necessary that the man around 
whom the charm should go should have a right heart and good thoughts 
and a clean spirit. If he had not, my dear, the charm was of no efficacy 
to the man, nor would there be wave of fruit for the woman. There would 
not, my dear, O there would not, no virtue in the charm for him nor wave 
of fruit for her. 

The charm placed of Brigit about her Fosterson, 

The charm placed of Mary about her Son, 

The charm placed of Michael militant about his shield, 

The charm placed of God's Son about the city of heaven. 

Charm against arrow, 
Charm against sword. 
Charm against spears, 
Charm against bruising and against drowning. 

Charm against firebrand. 
Charm against adder. 
Charm against levin. 
Charm against harm in fields of battle. 



96 ÒRACHAN DlONA 

Seun romh shìodhach, 
Seun romh shaoghlach, 
Seun romh bhiodhbhach, 
Seun romh bhaoghal bàsach. 

****** 

Seun romh sgrìob na reòide ruaidhe, 
Seun romh reubadh Luath na Fèinne. 

Cochall Chaluim ChiUe tharad, 

Cochall Mhìcheil mhìl umad, 
Cochall Chrìosd, a ghràidh, dha d' thearmann, 

Cochall Dhè nan gràs dha d' chumail ; 

Dha do dhìon o do chùlaibh, 

Dha do chaomhnadh o t'aghaidh, 

O mhullach do chinn agus t'urla 
Gu dubh bhonn do choise. 

Is eilean thu am muir, 

Is tulach thu air tìr, 
Is fuaran thu am fàsach, 

Is slàinte thu dh'an tinn. 

Is mòr eagal am beatha dhàibh-san 

A chì a' cholann mu'n tèid an t-sian. 

****** 



Tha cobhair Chaluim Chille mar riut, 
Agus a chochall fèin umad ; 
Tha comhnadh Mhìcheil mhìl umad, 
Agus a sgiath mhòr dha d' dhìdeann. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 97 

Charm against child of faery, 
Charm against child of earth, 
Charm against hostile one, 
Charm against deadly peril. 

****** 
****** 

Charm against ravage by red . . . , 

Charm against rending by ' Luath ' of the Fiann. [' Swift ' 

Be the cowl of Columba over thee. 

Be the cowl of Michael mihtant about thee, 

Christ's cowl, beloved, safeguard thee, 
The cowl of the God of grace shield thee ; 

To guard thee from thy back. 

To preserve thee from thy front. 
From the crown of thy head and thy forehead 

To the very sole of thy foot. 

An isle art thou in the sea, 

A hill art thou on land, 
A well art thou in wilderness, 

Health art thou to the ailing. 

Great fear have they for their lives 

Who see the person around whom shall go the charm. 
4e * * * * * 

The succour of Columba is with thee. 
And his own cowl around thee ; 
The aiding of Michael militant is about thee, 
And his great shield protects thee. 



98 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 




ACHAN [247] 

O Mhàiri Chamshroin, coitear, Borgh, Barraidh 

HA mi ag achan ri Dia, 

Agus ri Moire Màthair Chrìosd, 
Ri Pòl agus ris an dà Ostal diag, 

Mo chomhnadh agus mo dhìon. 



Tha mi ag aslach ris an Domhnach, 
Agus ri Moire bha riamh 'na hÒighe, 
Mo chobhair agus mo chomhnadh 
O dhòbhailc a.srus o dhòbheairt. 



Dia bhith dha m' chomhnadh, 
Dia bhith dha m' chobhair, 

Dia bhith dha m' chomhnadh 
An coir nam bodha. 



Dia bhith dha m' chomairc 
A measg nan lobhar, 

Dia bhith dha m' chomairc 
An còrsa comhann. 



Mac Dhe bhith dha m' dhion o lochd, 
Mac Dhe bhith dha m' dhion o olc, 
Mac Dhe bhith dha m' dhion o thort, 
Mac Dhe bhith dha m' dhion a nochd. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 99 



PRAYER 

From Mary Cameron, cottar, Borve, Barra. i6th Juiie igoi 

I AM appealing to God, 

And to Mary the Mother of Christ, 
To Paul and the Apostles twelve. 

To aid me and to shield me. 



I am beseeching the Lord, 
And Mary ever a Virgin, 

To succour me and to aid me 
From evil and evildoing. 



May God be aiding me, 

May God be succouring me. 

May God be aiding me 
When near the reefs. 



May God safeguard me 
When among the lepers. 

May God safeguard me 
When in narrow course. 



The Son of God be shielding me from harm, 
The Son of God be shielding me from ill. 
The Son of God be shielding me from mishap. 
The Son of God be shielding me this night. 



ÒRAGHAN DÌONA 

Mac Dhè bhith dha m' dhion le neart, 
Mac Dhè bhith dha m' dhìon le feart ; 
Gach neach tha dha m' leasachadh ceart, 
Gun leasaicheadh Dia dh'a anam. 

Gun saoradh Dia mi o gach aing, 
Gun saoradh Dia mi o gach faing, 
Gun saoradh Dia mi o gach staing, 
O gach caimleach, o gach slochd. 

Gum fosgladh Dia dhomh gach bealach, 
Gum fosgladh Criosda dhomh gach cadha, 
Gach naomh agus ban-naomh am flathas 
Bhith reiteachadh dhomhsa mo rathaid. 

Gun togadh Dia mi o staid a' bhàis, 
O staid nam pian gu staid nan gràs, 
O staid thalmhaidh an t-saoghail a bhàn 
Gu staid naomha nan nèamhan ard. 

Athair cubhraidh nam flathas 
Bhith gabhail curam dha m'anam, 
Le làimh chùmhaidh ma m' chalainn, [cholainn 
Gach drub agus norra dha m' shaoghal. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 

The Son of God be shielding me with might, 
The Son of God be shielding me with power • 
Each one who is deahng with me aright, 
So may God deal with his soul. 

May God free me from every wickedness, 
May God free me from every entrapment. 
May God free me from every gully 

From every tortuous road, from every slough. 

May God open to me every pass, 
Christ open to me every narrow way, 
Each soul of holy man and woman in heaven 
Be preparing for me my pathway. 

May God lift me up from the state of death, 
From the state of torments to the state of grace, 
From the earthly state of the world below 
To the holy state of the high heavens. 

May the fragrant Father of heaven 
Be taking charge of my soul. 
With His loving arm about my body. 
Through each slumber and sleep of my life. 



GJÌ 



102 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 



CAIM 



[248] 



' Caim,' encompassing, is a form of safeguarding common in the west (see 
ii. 240). The encompassing of any of the Three Persons of the Trinity, 
or of the Blessed Virgin, or of any of the Apostles or of any of the saints 
may be invoked, according to the faith of the suppliant. In making 
the ' caim ' the suppliant stretches out the right hand with the forefinger 
extended, and turns round sunwise as if on a pivot, describing a circle with 
the tip of the forefinger while invoking the desired protection. The circle 
encloses the suppliant and accompanies him as he walks onward, safe- 
guarded from all evil without or within. Protestant or Catholic, educated 
or illiterate, may make the ' caim ' in fear, danger, or distress, as when some 
untoward noise is heard or some untoward object seen during the night. 




AIM Dhe agus a làmh dheas 
Bhith dha m' chre agus dha m' chneas ; 
Caim an Ardrigh 's gràs na Trianaid 
Bhith orm a' tàmh an dàil na siorrachd, 
Bhith orm a' tamh an dàil na siorrachd. 

Caim nan Tri dha m' dhion am chuid, 
Caim nan Tri dha m' dhion an diugh, 
Caim nan Tri dha m' dhion a nochd 
O ghoimh, o ghiamh, o ghniomh, o lochd, 
O ghoimh, o ghiamh, o ghniomh, o lochd. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 



[03 



ENCOMPASSING 

The cairn is called ' caim Dhe,' ' cairn Chriosda,' ' caim an Spioraid,' 
' caim Mhoire,' ' caim na Cro Naoimhe,' ' caim na Cro Naoimhe agus nan 
naomh am flathas,' ' caim Mhicheil,' ' caim nan naodh aingeal,' ' caim 
nan naomh agus nan naodh aingeal,' ' caim Chaluim Chille,' — the 
encompassing of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, of Mary, of the Holy Rood, 
of the Holy Rood and of the saints in heaven, of Michael, of the nine angels, 
of the saints and of the nine angels, of Columba ; and to these may be 
added the customary epithets, as ' caim Dhe nan dùl,' ' caim Mhicheil mhil 
nam buadh,' ' caim Chaluim Chille chaoimh,' the encompassing of the 
God of the creatures, of Michael militant the victorious, of Columba the 
kindly. It is also called ' caim na corraig,' the encompassing of the fore- 
finger, and ' caim na còrach,' the encompassing of righteousness. 



The compassing of God and His right hand 
Be upon my form and upon my frame ; 

The compassing of the High King and the grace of the Trinity 
Be upon me abiding ever eternally, 
Be upon me abiding ever eternally. 

May the compassing of the Three shield me in my means, 
The compassing of the Three shield me this day, 
The compassing of the Three shield me this night 
From hate, from harm, from act, from ill. 
From hate, from harm, from act, from ill. 



104 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 




CAIM 

AIM Dhè bhith umad, 
Caim Dhè nan dùla. 

Gaim Chrìosd bhith umad, 
Caim Chrìosda chùmha. 

Caim Spioraid umad, 
Caim Spioraid Nùmha. 



[249] 



Caim nan Trì bhith umad, 

Caim nan Trì dha d' chùmhna, 
Caim nan Trì dha d' chùmhna. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 105 



ENCOMPASSING 

The compassing of God be on thee, 
The compassing of the God of Hfe. 

The compassing of Christ be on thee, 
The compassing of the Christ of love. 

The compassing of Spirit be on thee. 
The compassing of the Spirit of Grace. 

The compassing of the Three be on thee. 
The compassing of the Three preserve thee. 
The compassing of the Three preserve thee. 



io6 



ÒRACHAN DÌONA 




CAIM 

AIM nan Ostal naomha, 
Caim nam martair caona, 
Caim nan aingeal naodha, 
Dha m' chaomhnadh, dh 



[250] 



chomhnadh. 



Caim na Brighde bìthe, 
Caim na Muire mine, 
Caim na Mìcheil mile, 

Dha m' dhionadh, dha m' chomhnadh. 



Caim Dhe nan dùla, 
Caim Chriosda chùmha, 
Caim Spioraid Nùmha, 

Dha m' chùmhnadh, dha m' chomhnadh. 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 107 



ENCOMPASSMENT 

The holy Apostles' guarding, 
The gentle martyrs' guarding, 
The nine angels' guarding. 

Be cherishing me, be aiding me. 

The quiet Brigit's guarding, 
The gentle Mary's guarding, 
The warrior Michael's guarding. 
Be shielding me, be aiding me. 

The God of the elements' guarding, 
The loving Christ's guarding. 
The Holy Spirit's guarding, 

Be cherishing me, be aiding me. 



io8 



ÒRAGHAN DlONA 




ORA DlONA 

O Anna Nic an Leigh, croitear, Bàgh, Taigh an Uillt 

MHÌCHEIL na mil, 
A Mhicheil nan lot, 
Dion mi bho mhighean 
Luchd mioruin a nochd, 
Luchd mioruin a nochd. 

A Bhrighde nan ni, 
A Bhrighde nam brot, 

Dion mi bho dhimeas 
Siodhach nan cnoc, 
Siodhach nan cnoc. 

A Mhoire na min, 
A Mhoire na moit, 

Cobhair mi 's dion 
Le do lion-anart broit, 
Le do lion-anart broit. 

A Chriosda na cribh, 
A Chriosda na crois, 

Spion mi bho liona 
Luchd spide nan olc, 
Luchd spide nan olc. 

Athair nan anrach, 
Athair nan nochd, 

Tarr mi gu sgàth-thaigh 
Slànaighear nam bochd, 
Slànaighear nam bochd. 



[251] 



PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION 109 



PRAYER OF PROTECTION 

From Ann Livingstone, crofter, Bay, Taynuilt, Lome 

Thou Michael of militance, 
Thou Michael of wounding, 

Shield me from the grudge 
Of ill-wishers this night, 
Ill-wishers this night. 

Thou Brigit of the kine, 
Thou Brigit of the mantles, 

Shield me from the ban 
Of the fairies of the knolls, 
The fairies of the knolls. 

Thou Mary of mildness, 

Thou Mary of honour, 
Succour me and shield me 

With thy linen mantle. 

With thy linen mantle. 

Thou Christ of the tree, 
Thou Christ of the cross. 

Snatch me from the snares 
Of the spiteful ones of evil, 
The spiteful ones of evil. 

Thou Father of the waifs, 
Thou Father of the naked, 

Draw me to the shelter-house 
Of the Saviour of the poor. 
The Saviour of the poor. 



AN NOLLAIG MHÒR 



DUAN NOLLAIG 

O Rualridh Mac Neill, coltear, Miu'alaidh 



[252] 



' OiDHCHE nam Bannag,' the Night of the Cakes, is the Night of Gifts, 
Christmas Eve. On this night gifts were given and received in remembrance 
of Christ, the great Gift to mankind. Other Christmas songs have been 
already given (i. 126 ff.), and some of the customs described (ii. 226). 

Thubhairt am beulaiche : Oidhche nam Bannag bha na mnathan- 
taighe a' toir na clach bhonnaig dh'an chlainn nighean 'nan uchd mar 
shamhla air Brighid, o'n is i a' chiad bhoireannach a ghabh Criosda Mac 
Dhe 'na h-uchd. Tha laoidh ghaolach air a seo, ach cha chuimhne 
liomas i. Chain mi mo chuimhne bho chaill mi mo chuid agus bho sgapadh 
mo dhaoine — cuid diubh an 'TràHa, agus cuid diubh an Canada, agus 
cuid a' cnàmh anns an ùir. O, cor an t-saoghail mhosaich ! Is iomadh 
sin, car a chuireas e dheth, agus b'e sin e dhomhsa. Loisgeadh mo thaigh 
ùr nodha os mo chionn, agus loisg mise mo làmhan a' sàbhaladh mo 
leanaban chloinne caoimh. O, diol nan daoine ! An turas a bh'ann 
a sin ! Thugadh uainn am fearann, agus gun sgillinn fhiach oirnn, agus 
thugadh fearainn a' bhail uile dh'an tuathanach Ghallda ri'r taobh. Bha 
e daonnan 'gan iarraidh, agus cha do sguir e riamh gon d'fhuair e iad. 



OCHD an oidhche fhada, 

Hù ri bhi ho hù, 
NÌ e cur is ni e cathadh, 

HÙ ri bhi ho hù, 
NÌ e sneachda geal gu latha, 

HÙ ri bhi ho hù, 
Ni e gealach glieal gu madainn, 

HÙ ri bhi ho hù. 
Nochd oidhche na Nollaige Moire, 

HÙ ri bhi ho hù, 
Nochd rugadh Mac Moire Òighe, 

Hù ri bhi ho hù, 
Nochd rugadh ìos Mac Righ na glòire, 

Hù ri bhi ho liù, 




THE NATIVITY 



CHRISTMAS CAROL 

From Roderick MacNeill, cottar, Mingulay, Barra 

The narrator said : On the Night of the Gifts the goodwives used 
to put the bannock-stone into the laps of their girl-children as a symbol 
of Brigit, since she was the first woman who took Christ the Son of God into 
her lap. There is a dear hymn concerning this, but I do not remember it. 
I have lost my memory since I lost my means and since my people were 
scattered — some of them in Australia, and some of them in Canada, and 
some of them mouldering in the dust. Oh the turns of the hard world ! 
Many a trick does it play, and so it was with me. My fresh new house 
was burned over my head, and I burned my hands in rescuing my dear 
little children. Oh the suffering of the poor folk ! The terrible time that 
was ! The land was taken from us, though we were not a penny in debt, 
and all the lands of the townland were given to the Lowland farmer beside 
us. He had always been wishing to have them, and he never stopped 
until he got them. 



This night is the long night, 

HÙ ri VÌ ho hù, 
It will snow and it v/ill drift, 

HÙ ri VÌ ho hù. 
White snow there will be till day, 

Hù ri VÌ ho hù, 
White moon there will be till morn, 

Hù ri VÌ ho hù. 
This night is the eve of the Great Nativity, 

HÙ ri vi ho hù. 
This night is born Mary Virgin's Son, 

HÙ ri vi ho hù. 
This night is born Jesus, Son of the King of glory, 

HÙ ri vi ho hù, 



AN NOLLAIG MHÒR 

Nochd rugadh dhuinne friamh ar sòlais, 

Hù ri bhì ho hù, 
Nochd dhealraich grian nam beann mora, 

HÙ ri bhi ho hù, 
Nochd dhealraich muir is talamh comhla, 

Hù ri bhi ho hù, 
Nochd rugadh Criosd Righ na morachd, 

HÙ ri bhi ho hù. 
Mun cualas gun tain an tÀgh, 

Hù ri bhi ho hù, 
Chualas an tonn air an tràigh, 

Hù ri bhi ho hù ; 
Mun cualas gun tain a bhonn gu làr, 

Hù ri bhi ho hù, 
Chualas fonn nan aingeal àigh, [gràidh 

Hù ri bhi ho hù. 
Nochd an oidhche fhada, 

HÙ ri bhi ho hù. 

Shoillsich coill agus crann, 

Shoillsich beann agus lir, 
Shoillsich fearann, shoillsich fonn, 

Ri linn a bhonn a thighinn dh'an tir. 



THE NATIVITY 



113 



This night is born to us the root of our joy, 

HÙ ri vi ho hù, 
This night gleamed the sun of the mountains high, 

Hù ri vi ho hù, 
This night gleamed sea and shore together, 

Hù ri vi ho hù, 
This night was born Christ the King of greatness, 

Hù ri vi ho hù. 
Ere it was heard that the Glory was come, 

HÙ ri vi ho hù, 
Heard was the wave upon the strand, 

HÙ ri vi ho hù ; 
Ere 'twas heard that His foot had reached the earth, 

HÙ ri VI ho hù. 
Heard was the song of the angels glorious, [loving 

Hù ri vi ho hù. 
This night is the long night, 

HÙ ri vi ho hù. 

Glowed to Him wood and tree. 

Glowed to Him mount and sea, 
Glowed to Him land and plain, 

When that His foot was come to earth. 



114 



AN NOLLAIG MHÒR 



AN OIGH 



[253] 




HUNNACAS an Òigh a' teachd, 
Criosda gu h-òg 'na h-uchd, 
Aingle a' liibadh dhàibh umhlachd, 
Is Righ nan dùl adubhradh gur ceart. 

An Òigh is oirdheirce clearc, 
An tiosa 's ro ghile na 'n sneachd, 
Searafa ciùil a' seinn an cliù, 
Is Righ nan dùl adubhradh gur ceart. 



A Mhoire Mhàthair nam feart, 
Cobhair oirnn cobhair do neart, 
Beannaich am biadh, beannaich am bord, 
Beannaich an dias, an t-iodh, 's an Ion. 



An Oigh is oirdheirce dreach, 

An tiosa 's ro ghile na 'n sneachd, 

Ise mar ghealach am beannaibh ag eirigh, 

Eise mar ghrein air bharraibh nan sleibhtean. 



[air 
arradh 



THE NATIVITY 



THE VIRGIN 

The Virgin was beheld approaching, 

Christ so young on her breast, 

Angels bowing lowly before them. 

And the King of life was saying, 'Tis meet. 

The Virgin of locks most glorious, 
The Jesus more gleaming-white than snow, 
Seraphs melodious singing their praise, 
And the King of life was saying, 'Tis meet. 

O Mary Mother of wondrous power, 
Grant us the succour of thy strength, 
Bless the provision, bless the board, 
Bless the ear, the corn, the food. 

The Virgin of mien most glorious. 
The Jesus more gleaming- white than snow, 
She like the moon in the hills arising. 

He like the sun on the mountain-crests. [on the brink 

of the mountains 



ii6 AN NOLLAIG MHÒR 



LEANABH AN AIGH [254] 

EANABH an àigh 

An Leanabh aig Màiri, 
Rugadh san stàball 
Rìgh nan dùl, 
_. Thàinig dh'an fhàsach, 
jjA'. 'S dh'fhuilig 'nar n-àite ; 
^;Sona dh'an àireamh 
/•' Bhitheas dha dlùth. 

'N uair chunnaic e fèin 

Gun robh sinne 'nar n-èiginn, 

Dh'fhosgail speuran 

Rèidh OS ar cionn : 
Chunnaic sinn Crìosda, 
Spiorad na fìrinn, 
Tharraing siud sinn 

Fo dhìon a chrùin. 

Neartaich ar dòchas, 
Meudaich ar solas, 
Cum sinne treòrach 

Dìleas dlùth, 
Solas ar lòchrain, 
Mar ris na h-òighean, 
Seinn ann an glòir 

An òrain ùir. 



THE NATIVITY 



117 



THE CHILD OF GLORY 

The Child of glory 
The Child of Mary, 
Born in the stable 

The King of all, 
Who came to the wilderness 
And in our stead suffered ; 
Happy they are counted 

Who to Him are near. 

When He Himself saw 
That we were in travail. 
Heaven opened graciously 

Over our head : 
We beheld Christ, 
The Spirit of truth, 
The same drew us in 

'Neath the shield of His crown. 

Strengthen our hope. 
Enliven our joyance. 
Keep us valiant, 

Faithful and near, 
O light of our lantern. 
Along with the virgins, 
Singing in glory 

The anthem new. 



ii8 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 



ACHAN MHOIRE MHATHAR 



[255] 



Beulaiche : Màiri Dhomhnallach, croitear, 
Both Hionndainn Mhor, Loch Abar 

The form ' Moire,' Mary, is confined to the Blessed Virgin. It is used 
even in Protestant districts as an asseveration, as ' Moire tha,' ' Moire 
chan 'eil,' ' by Mary it is,' ' by Mary it is not.' ' Fuiribh sàmhach a chlann, 
pheacaicheadh sibh Moire mhin nan gràs ! ' ' Bithibh bith a chlann, 
pheacaicheadh sibh Moire mhin nan gràs ! ' 'Be still, children, be quiet, 
children, you would cause the mild Mary of grace to sin ! ' This was 
said by a woman in Protestant Skye to her grandchildren. 

In the Flight to Egypt Mary met a milkmaid going to the ' eadradh,' 
milking. She asked the milkmaid to hold the Child a while as her arms 



MHOIRE Mhaighdean, 
Cha chualas riamh 
Aon a chuireadh 
Fo do chùram fial. 



A dh'iarr do thròcair, 
A dh'iarr do dhion, 

A dh'iarr do chomhnadh 
Le cridhe f ior. 



Nach d'fhuair do shòlas, 
Nach d'fhuair do shith, 

Nach d'fhuair an comhnadh 
A bha dh'a dhith. 




Tha sin toir dhomhsa 
An dòchas ramhadi 

Nach diùlt thu òsdachd 
Do m' dheòir is m'achan. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 119 



PRAYER TO MARY MOTHER 

Reciter : Mary MacDonald, crofter, Greater Bohuntin, Lochabcr 

were weary. The woman rudely refused, saying that she was in a hurry 
to milk her cows. Then Mary met another milkmaid going to the 
' eadradh,' and asked her to hold the Child a while as her arms were 
weary. The woman took the Child, nursed Him and fondled Him and 
sang songs to Him till Mary was rested, and then went on her way. This 
woman had twice as many cows to milk as the other, yet she was done of 
the milking in half the time ; she had four times as much milk as the other, 
for her cows gave twice as much milk. We should show compassion to 
our fellow-creatures even though at inconvenience to ourselves. 

O Mary Maiden, 

Never was known 
One who was placed 

'Neath thy generous care, 

Who asked thy mercy, 

Who asked thy shielding. 
Who asked thy succour 

With truthful heart. 

Who found not thy solace. 

Who found not thy peace, 
Who found not the succour 

For which he sought. 

That gives unto me 

The hope excelhng 
That my tears and my prayer 

May find guest-room with thee. 



I20 ACHAN NAN NAOMH 

Is buidhe dhomhsa 
Aig stòl do chosa, 

Is buidhe dhomhsa 

Do dheòin 's do chlosa ; 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 
ÀilHneachd nan gean, 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 
ÀilHneachd nam ban ; 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 

A Rioghainn chlann daonn, 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 
A Rioghainn nan saoghal ; 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 
A bhlàth-fhhosg nan geug, 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 
A fhhosg ghil nan speur ; 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 
A Mhàthair Uain Ghrais, 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 
A Mhàthair Uain Phàis ; 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 

Abhainn na sile, 
Tighinn ann do làthair, 

Amair na sithe ; 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 
Fhuarain na slàinte, 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 
A thobair nan gràsa : 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 

My heart is content 
To kneel at thy footstool, 

My heart is content 
In thy favour and hearing ; 

To come into thy presence, 
Beauteous one of smiles, 

To come into thy presence, 
Beauteous one of women ; 

To come into thy presence, 
Queen-maiden of mankind, 

To come into thy presence. 
Queen-maiden of the worlds ; 

To come into thy presence, 
O flower-garland of branches. 

To come into thy presence. 
Bright garland of the heavens ; 

To come into thy presence, 

O Mother of the Lamb of Grace, 

To come into thy presence, 

O Mother of the Paschal Lamb ; 

To come into thy presence, 

O river of seed. 
To come into thy presence, 

O vessel of peace ; 

To come into thy presence, 

O fountain of healing, 
To come into thy presence, 

O well-spring of grace ; 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 

Àrois na mine, 
Tighinn ann do làthair, 

A dhachaidh na sithe ; 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 

Àilleagain nan neul, 
Tighinn ann do làthair, 

Àilleagain nan reul ; 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 

A Mhàthair an dubh bhròin, 
Tighinn ann do làthair, 

A Mhàthair Dhè na glòir ; 

Tighinn ann do làthair, 

Òighe nan ìsleach, 
Tighinn ann do làthair, 

A Mhàthair ìosda Crìosda ; 

Ri caoidh agus ri bròn, [bùir 

Ri òir agus ri achan, 
Ri tùrs agus ri deòir, 

Ri Ob agus ri asladh ; 

Gun seachnadh tu orm 

Nàir agus masladh, 
Gun seachnadh tu orm 

Tàir agus masgal ; 

Gun seachnadh tu orm 

Bròn agus tuireann, 
Gun seachnadh tu orm 

Dorainn shuthain ; 

Gun comhnadh tu m'anam 

Air rathad an Righ, 
Gun comhnadh tu m'anam 

Air casair na sith ; 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 123 

To come into thy presence, 

Thou dwelhng of meekness, 
To come into thy presence, 

Thou home of peace ; 

To come into thy presence, 

Thou jewel of the clouds, 
To come into thy presence, 

Thou jewel of the stars ; 

To come into thy presence, 

O Mother of black sorrow. 
To come into thy presence, 

O Mother of the God of glory ; 

To come into thy presence. 

Thou Virgin of the lowly. 
To come into thy presence. 

Thou Mother of Jesus Christ ; 

With lament and with sorrow, 

With prayer and supplication, [crying 

With grief and with weeping. 

With invoking and entreaty ; 

That thou mayest have me spared 

Shame and disgrace. 
That thou mayest have me spared 

Flattery and scorn ; 

That thou mayest have me spared 

Misery and mourning. 
That thou mayest have me spared 

Anguish eternal ; 

That thou mayest help my soul 

On the highway of the King, 
That thou mayest help my soul 

On the roadway of peace ; 



124 AGHAN NAN NAOMH 

Gun comhnadh tu m'anam 
An doras na tròcair, 

Gun comhnadh tu m'anam 
An ionad na còrach. 



O's tu reul na mara, 
Marnaich mi air muir 

O's tu reul na talamh, 
Talmaich mi air tir. 



[talmhaich 



O's tu reul na h-oidhche, 
Soillsich mi san duar ; 

O's tu grein an latha, 
Caimich mi air cluan. 



O's tu reul nan aingeal, 
Caithris mi air thalamh ; 

O's tu reul nam flathas, 
Caidrich mi gu nèamh. 



[caidi 



Gun dionadh tu mi ri oidhche, 
Gun dionadh tu mi ri latha, 

Gun dionadh tu mi ri la is oidhche, 
A Rioghainn aoibh-ghil nam flathas. 

Tabhair dhomhsa m'achan ghràidh, 
Tabhair dhomhsa m'aslach dhion, 

Tabhair dhomhsa m'urnaigh chràidh 
Ann an crà-fliuil Mhic do chich. 



Na cuir suarach mi, O mo Dhia, 
Na cuir suarach mi, O mo Chriosd, 
Na cuir suarach mi, a Spioraid fliiail, 
Is na leig an diobhail shiorraidh mi. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 125 

That thou mayest help my soul 

In the doorway of mercy, 
That thou mayest help my soul 

In the place of justice. 

Smce thou art the star of ocean, 

Pilot me at sea ; 
Since thou art the star of earth. 

Guide thou me on shore. 

Since thou art the star of night, 

Lighten me in the darkness ; 
Since thou art the sun of day. 

Encompass me on land. [meadow 

Since thou art the star of angels. 

Watch over me on earth ; 
Since thou art the star of paradise, 

Companion me to heaven. 

Mayest thou shield me by night, 

Mayest thou shield me by day, 
Mayest thou shield me by day and night, 

O bright and gracious Queen of heaven. 

Grant me my prayer of love, 

Grant me my entreaty for shielding. 
Grant me my supplication of pain 

Through the shed blood of the Son of thy breast. 

Count me not as naught, O my God, 
Count me not as naught, O my Christ, 
Count me not as naught, O kind Spirit, 
And abandon me not to eternal loss. 



126 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 



MOLADH MOIRE 

O Mhàiri Nic Ghill-Fhaolain, nà Nic Dhomhnaill, 
croitear, Beoraidh, Morar 



ABHAM an urnaigh 
Thugadh le h-ungadh 
Dh'an Mhoire Mhàthair 
An àigh ; 

Mar ri Paidir is Creud, 
Airne Moire 'nan deidh, 
Agus Urnaigh Mhic Dhe 
Na Pais : 



[256] 




A mheudachadh t'onair fein, 
A mheudachadh glòir Mhic Dhe, 
A mheudachadh morachd Dhe 
Nan gràs. 



Tagair do Mhac eibhinn 
M'urnaigh a chur an eifeachd 
Dha m'anam agus 'na dheidh 
Dha m' cholann. 



A Rioghainn nan aingeal, 
A Rioghainn nam flathas, 
A Rioghainne cathair 
Na glòire : 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 127 



PRAISE OF MARY 

From Mary Maclellan, nee MacDonald, crofter, Beoraidh, Morar 

I SAY the prayer 
That was given with anointing 
To the Mary Mother 
Of joy ; 

Along with Pater and Credo, 
The Prayer of Mary besides, 
And the Prayer of God's Son 
Of the Passion ; 



To magnify thine own honour, 
To magnify the glory of God's Son, 
To magnify the greatness of the God 
Of grace. 



Plead with thy gracious Son 
That He make my prayer avail 
My soul, and thereafter 
My body. 



Thou Queen of the angels, 
Thou Queen of the kingdom. 
Thou Queen of the city 
Of glory : 



128 ACHAN NAN NAOMH 

Suainich mi 's gach subhailc, 
Cuartaich mi bho gach dubhailc 
***** 
* * 



A Mhàthair oirdheirc na sèimh, [nan nèamh 

A Mhàthair ghlòrmhor nan reul, 
Beannaicht thu do gach treubh 
Agus cineil. 

Aon mholta ion-mholta, 
Geur-ghuidh air mo shon 
Ri Triath nan domhan, 
Dia nan dùl. 

A Mhoire mhin-ghil eibhinn, 
Guidhim gun thu dha m' threigsinn 
Ann an geur-ghuin 
Mo bhàis. 

Dion gach fardraich, dion gach sluaigh 
Tha ag eubhach cruaidh 
Air tròcair shuairce 

Do Mhic ghràdhaich : 

Is tu Rioghainn na milseachd, 
Is tu Rioghainn na dilseachd, 
Is tu Rioghainn na siodhachd 
'S nan cinneach. 

Is tu tobar na tròcair, 
Is tu friamhach nan solas, 
Is tu beò-shruth nan òighe 
'S nan gineil. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 129 

Enfold me in every virtue, 
Encompass me from every vice 
***** 
* * 



Thou shining Mother of gentleness, [of the heavens 
Thou glorious Mother of the stars, 
Blessed hast thou been of every race 
And people. 

thou, alone praised, worthy of praise, 
Make fervent prayer for me 

With the Lord of the worlds. 
The God of life. 

Thou Mary, gentle, fair, gracious, 

1 pray that thou forsake me not 
In the sharp pang 

Of my death. 

Shield of every dwelling, shield of every people 
That are sorely calling 
On the gracious mercy 

Of thy dear Son : 

Thou art the Queen-maiden of sweetness, 
Thou art the Queen-maiden of faithfulness, 
Thou art the Queen-maiden of peacefulness 
And of the peoples. 

Thou art the well of compassion, 
Thou art the root of consolations, 
Thou art the living stream of the virgins 
And of them who bear child. 



I30 AGHAN NAN NAOMH 

Is tu pàilleann Chrìosda, 
Is tu àros Chrìosda, 
Is tu àirce Chrìosda — 
'Na aonar. 



Is tu Rioghainn na mara, 
Is tu Rioghainn nam flathas, 
Is tu Rioghainn nan aingeal 
An oirdheirc. 

Is tu teampall Dhe nan dùl, 
Is tu pàilleann Dhe nan dùl, 
Is tu àros Dhe nan dùl 

Agus nan deòraidh. 

Is tu abhainn nan gràsan, 
Is tu fuaran na slàinte. 
Is tu gàrradh is pàrras 
Nan òighean. 

Is tu reula na maidne, 
Is tu reula na faire, 
Is tu reula na fairge 
Moire. 

Is tu reula na talamh, 
Is tu reula na flathas, 
Is tu reula Mhic Athair 
Na glòire. 

Is tu iodha na talamh, 
Is tu cuilidh na mara, 
Is tu tatan taighean 

An t-saoghail. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 131 

Thou art the tabernacle of Christ, 
Thou art the mansion of Christ, 
Thou art the ark of Christ — 
Of Him alone. 



Thou art the Queen-maiden of the sea. 
Thou art the Qjaeen-maiden of the kingdom, 
Thou art the Queen-maiden of the angels 
In effulgence. 

Thou art the temple of the God of life. 
Thou art the tabernacle of the God of life. 
Thou art the mansion of the God of life 
And of the forlorn. 

Thou art the river of grace. 
Thou art the well-spring of salvation, 
Thou art the garden and the paradise 
Of the virgins. 

Thou art the star of morning. 
Thou art the star of watching. 
Thou art the star of the ocean 
Great. 

Thou art the star of the earth, 
Thou art the star of the kingdom, 
Thou art the star of the Son of the Father 
Of glory. 

Thou art the corn of the land. 
Thou art the treasury of the sea. 
The wished-for visitant of the homes 
Of the world. 



132 ACHAN NAN NAOMH 

Is tu soire na sàsachd, 
Is tu copan na h-àiseachd, 
Is tu fuaran na slànachd 
Chlann daonna. 

Is tu gàrradh nan subhailc, 
Is tu àros nan subhachd, 
Is tu Màthair na dubhachd 
'S na daondachd. 

Is tu gàrradh nan ubhal, 
Is tu tàladh nan urradh, 
Is tu sàsachd na cruinne 
Air bhòichid. 

Is tu grian nan nèamha, 
Is tu gile nan speura, 
Is tu reul agus ceuma 

Nam faontrach. 

O's tu an cuan Ian, 

Marnaich mi air muir ; 
O's tu am fonn tràght', [an cluan 

Teàrnaich mi air tir. [teàrainn 

O's tu send an usgair, [leug gach usgair 

Seun mi bho theine 's bho uisge, 
Seun mi bho speurach an uilce 

'S bho chuspairean siodh. 

Nar bheil neach a chanas mo dhàn 

Na chuireas an càileachd i, 
Nach nochd Moire si fein dhà 

Tri turas roimh bhàs 's roimh chrich. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 133 

Thou art the vessel of fullness, 
Thou art the cup of wisdom. 
Thou art the well-spring of health 
Of mankind. 

Thou art the garden of virtues, 
Thou art the mansion of gladness, 
Thou art the Mother of sadness 
And of clemency. 

Thou art the garden of apples, 
Thou art the lull-song of the great folks, 
Thou art the fulfilment of the world's desire 
In loveliness. 

Thou art the sun of the heavens. 
Thou art the moon of the skies. 
Thou art the star and the path 
Of the wanderers. 

Since thou art the full ocean. 

Pilot me at sea ; 
Since thou art the dry shore, [meadow 

Save me upon|land. 

Since thou art the gem of the jewel, [of each 

Save me from fire and from water. 
Save me from sky-hosts of evil 
And from fairy shafts. 

There is none who utters my song 

Or puts it into use, 
But Mary will show herself to him 

Three times before his death and his end. 



12 



134 AGHAN NAN NAOMH 



MOLADH MOIRE [257] 

From Ann MacDonald, a native of Lochaber, lately returned from 
Australia after an absence of many years, a woman full of native wit and 



LÀTH-FHLIOSG na mara, 
Blàth-fhliosg nan ce, 

Blàth-fhliosg nam flathas, 
Moire Màthair Dhè. 



Blàth-fhliosg nan talamh, 

Blàth-fhliosg nan nèamh, 
Blàth-fhliosg nan aingeal, 
Moire Màthair Dhè. 

Blàth-fhliosg na h-àrois, 
Blàth-fhliosg nan reul, 

Blàth-fhliosg na pàrrais, 
Moire Màthair Dhè. 




SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 135 



PRAISE OF MARY 

humour. A very similar poem was obtained from Catherine MacNeill, 
cottar, Breubhaig, Barra, a woman of wit and humour, of clearness of 
head and goodness of heart. 



Flower-garland of the ocean, 
Flower-garland of the land, 

Flower-garland of the heavens, 
Mary, Mother of God. 

Flower-garland of the earth, 
Flower-garland of the skies, 

Flower-garland of the angels, 
Mary, Mother of God. 

Flower-garland of the mansion, 
Flower-garland of the stars. 

Flower-garland of paradise, 
Mary, Mother of God. 



136 ACHAN NAN NAOMH 




CUIRIM FIANAIS [258] 

(fuidheall) 

UIRIM fianais gu Moire, 

Màthair chobhair an t-sluaigh ; 

Cuirim fianais gu Brighde, 
Muime mhin-ghil an Uain ; 



Cuirim fianais gu Peadail, 

Ostal eagail is suain ; 
Cuirim fianais gu Calum, 

Ostal airin is cuain ; [airir 



Cuirim fianais gu Flathas, 
Dh'fhios na Cathair tha shuas 

Cuirim fianais gu Micheil, 
Ard-mhilidh nam buadh ; 

Cuirim fianais gu Athair, 
A dh'altaich gach ere ; 

Cuirim fianais gu Criosda, 
Fhuair miostath is pein ; 

Cuirim fianais gu Spiorad, 
A ligheas mo chreuchd, 

'S a dh'fhàgas mi gile 
Mar chanach an t-sleibh. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 



'37 



I SEND WITNESS 

(a fragment) * 

I SEND witness to Mary, [I appeal 

Mother who aids men ; 
I send witness to Brigit, 

Pure tender Nurse of the Lamb ; 

I send witness to Peter, 

Apostle of fear and of sleep ; 
I send witness to Columba, 

Apostle of shore and sea ; 

I send witness to Heaven, 

To the City on high ; 
I send witness to Michael, 

Noble warrior triumphant ; 

I send witness to Father, 

Who formed all flesh ; 
I send witness to Christ, 

Who suffered scorn and pain ; 

I send witness to Spirit, 

Who will heal my wound. 
Who will make me as white 

As the cotton-grass of the moor. 
* Cf. ii. 48. 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 



LATHA FHEILL MiCHEIL * 

Arsa boireannach ann an Uibhist o Dheas : Latha mor mor latha na 
Feill Micheil, a luaidh, latha nach faic sinn a leithid gu bràth tuilleadh. 
Bha gach beag agus mor, gach òg agus scan, gach fireann agus boireann 
san diithaich air falbh aig an Oda latha na Feill Micheil, gun neach air 
bonn taighe ach seann duine no seann bhean no leanaban beag bà gun 
chron gun cheill. O a Mhoire mhin nan gràs, is ann 'nan dàil-san bha an 
tuairneal ! 

Bha na daoine cho dùmhail mu chladh an Teampaill latha na Feill 
Micheil agus a tha na cadhain air Machair a' Mhiogadain latha mor 
na h-imiriche. Cha robh beinn no baile, bàgh no rudha, eadar Fadhal 
Ghramasdail agus Stac Èirisgeidh nach robh a' dòrtadh an daoine a 
dh'Aird Mhicheil latha na hOda. O a Mhoire Mhoire, ach an dùmhladas 
sluaigh a bhitheadh an sin, beag agus mor, ard agus iosal ! 

Bha an aon togail air na h-eich uile, òg agus aosda. Gheobhadh sibh 
an t-sùil cho beò, a' chluas cho biorach, a' chas cho luath agus an aigne 
cho aotrom. O a Leobhra fhein, shaoileadh sibh gum b'eich òga na scan 
eich aosda, agus gum b'eich aosda na h-eich òga nach robh riamh aig an 
Oda, — iad cho togarrach ris na h-eich a bha trie ann. Bha e mar gum 
bitheadh e nàdarra dhaibh mar a tha e nàdarra do chrodh na h-àirigh 
agus do dh'eòin na mara falbh air an latha suidhichte fhein, O Mhoire 
nan gràs, an gnè agus an nàdar a chuir Ti mor nan dùl anns gach creutair 
a chruthaich a làmhan beannaichte fein ! — bho mhac an duine gu eich na 
hOda, bho chrodh na h-àirigh gu coin na machaire ! 

A WOMAN in South Uist said : A great great day, the day of the Feast of 
St Michael, my dear, a day the like of which we shall never see again. 
Every little and big, every young and old, every male and female in the 
country was away at the ' Oda,' not a person in the house save an old 
man or an old woman or an innocent little child without sin or sense. 
Gentle Mary of grace, it was on them there was the whirling of mind ! 

Round the burial-ground of the Church of Michael the people were as 
thick as are the barnacle-geese on the Plain of Miogadan on the great day 
of migration. There was not a hill nor a townland, a bay nor a promontory 
between the Ford of Gramasdal and the Stack of Eriskay but was pouring 
out its people to Michael's Point on the day of the ' Oda.' O Mary, 

* See i. 198 ff. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 139 

Mary, the thick crowd of folk that would be there, small and great, high 
and low ! 

There was the same eager stir among all the horses, young and old. 
You would get the eye so lively, the ear so pointed, the foot so swift and the 
spirit so lightsome. Oh by the Book itself, you would think the old aged 
horses were young horses, and the young horses that had never been at 
the ' Oda ' were old horses, for they were as much agog as those that had 
often been there. It was as though it were natural to them, as it is natural 
to the cattle of the shieling and to the birds of the sea to migrate on their 
own appointed day. O Mary of grace, the instinct and nature that the 
great Being of life has placed in every creature created by His own blessed 
hands ! — from the son of man to the horses of the ' Oda,' from the cattle 
of the shieling to the birds of the plain ! 

STRtJBHAN 

' Strùbhan,' ' strùdhan,' ' strùthan,' the St Michael cake. When the 
word stands alone the stress is on the first syllable and the u is long. In 
the phrase 'strubhan Micheil,' the stress is on the first syllable of Micheil,' 
the other stress is reduced and the u shortened. Even when the word 
is used alone, ' Micheil ' is understood, for the word is applied to no 
other thing. 

The woman who baked it threw a bit of the dough into the ' bealaidh,' 
hot embers, saying, ' Seo dhuts, a dhonais, do chuid fhein,' ' Here to thee, 
devil, thine own share.' This bit was called ' taois an donais,' the devil's 
dough ; ' toinn (teòm) an t-sionnaich,' the fox's twist (oblation) ; and 
' mir a' mhadaidh ruaidh,' the fox's bit. What this represented the 
narrator did not know, but she thought it might be to buy off the fox 
from kiUing the sheep {cf. i. 209). 

CURRAN MÌCHEIL 

The carrot was a symbol of deep and high significance, appealing to the 
sacred instincts of the people as no other plant did. It symbolised fertility, 
offspring, children. The carrot was given by a woman to a man, rarely 
by a man to a woman. Girls and women were and are in the habit of 
gathering wild carrots on the sandy plains ; when one gets a bifurcated 
carrot she rejoices greatly, crying out in the fullness of her heart, 

Forcan ! forcan ! forcan ! 

Sonas curran corr domh ! [curral 

Forcan ! forcan ! forcan ! 

Conail curran corr domh ! 

Bheir Micheal mil domh ciobh is conail, [siol is toradh 

Bheir Brighde bith domh breòchain, 

Bheir Fite Flth domh f ion is bainne, [mil 

'S bheir Moire mhin domh comhnadh. [dòchas 



I40 ACHAN NAN NAOMH 

Little cleft one ! little cleft one ! 

Joy of carrot surpassing to me ! 
Little cleft one ! little cleft one ! 

Fruitage of carrot surpassing to me ! 

Michael militant will give me seed and fruit. 

Calm Brigit will give me passion, 
Fite Fith will give me wine and milk, [honey 

And Mary mild will give me aid. [hope 

In some districts the word is ' torcan,' a diminutive from ' tore,' a cleft, 
cut or opening, of V-shape. 

A place in North Uist is called ' Gearraidh nan Curran,' the Grassland 
of the Carrots ; immediately before the Feast of St Michael girls and 
women from all parts of North Uist would crowd thither for wild carrots 
and for enjoyment. 



LATHA FHÈILL MÌCHEIL 

The following notes from Father Allan MacDonald, taken from a letter 
dated ' Dalibrog, 2ist December 1898,' may be added to the account 
of the Feast of St Michael. 

' The implement for digging up the carrots I hear called " sleibheag " ; 
I am told that it was the same as was used for digging up the roots of the 
" cairt leamhna " [bitter vetch]. In Barra some call it " spleacan," 
the ea having the same sound as in " fead." 

' The women tied up the carrots into bunches with a thread. Each 
bunch was of such circumference as to fill up the circle made by the 
thumb and forefinger joining each other at the tips. The women had 
many such bunches prepared for the ball of St Michael's Night. They 
hid them in the neighbourhood of the dancing-house, and they went out 
from time to time during the night to fetch a bunch. On coming into 
the ballroom with a bunch each of them said, 

'S ann agam a tha na currain, 
Ge b'e 's urrainn an toirt bhuam. 

[It is I that have the carrots. 

Whoever he be that can take them from me]. 

' Even in Benbecula the going to the St Michael's races was called 
" dol a Chille Mhicheil " [" going to St Michael's church "]. I do not 
know if there was such a dedication in Benbecula ; my informant, a native 
of Benbecula, never heard of such a dedication. 

' The " strCibhan " that was made for a person away from home was 
kept carefully awaiting him even though three months were to elapse 
before his return. A woman tells me that her father and brothers were 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 141 

away sailing in a smack at St Michael's, and that her mother duly made 
the cakes and kept them carefully for them till they returned home. 

' The religious functions most commonly assigned by the people here 
to St Michael are his meeting of the souls of the elect at the moment of 
death, and his presiding at the balance where the soul's good and bad 
works are weighed.' 

FÈILLCHONNAIN AGUS FÈILL MÌGHEIL 

Ann Livingstone, nee MacCallum, of Taynuilt, was already old when 
I came to know her in 1882, but she was still full of the songs and rimes, 
the hymns and ballads and traditions, of her native Gleann Gonghlais, 
Glen Kinglass, on Loch Etive. With graphic power and pathetic interest 
she described the people of her own district and her own day, simple, noble, 
and neighbourly, the men big and powerful, the women strong and 
handsome, whom to see was to admire and to know was to love. 

She described minutely the famous ' Feill Chonnain,' St Connan's 
fair in Glen Orchy. To this the people of the surrounding districts came 
to sell their native produce, and strangers to buy cheese and butter, beef 
and mutton, clothes and tartans, linens and garters, plaidings and blankets, 
and swords in their time. From Callander, Doune, Stirling, Perth and 
other towns of the south men came with horses bearing panniers filled with 
knives, pistols and every sort of hardware. Booths were erected, and the 
' feill ' lasted several days. It created much stir among the people. 
There were games and athletics during the day and dancing and singing 
during the night. A sort of industrial exhibition was held, to which 
the neighbourhood contributed of its best, for the competition was keen. 
The arts most exemplified were wood-carving, sword-making, leather- 
tanning, wool-dyeing, garter-making, tartan-making, hose-knitting, weaving 
and wool-working in general. The judges were brought from afar to 
ensure impartiality and to avoid disputes. 

Many men of the surrounding districts were ' ann an cogadh nan 
Stiùbhartach agus ann an cogadh nam Frangach,' in the wars of the 
Stuarts and in the wars of the French. Their courage being high, their 
losses were heavy ; and those who returned found their people dead or 
driven out, their houses down, their home desolate, and themselves without 
where to lay their heads. Sheep had taken the place of people, to be in 
their turn replaced by deer, and the glens once full of innocence and 
merriment are now desolate and dimib. 

It was, however, the ' Feill Micheil,' Feast of St Michael, that evoked 
the higher and nobler instincts of the people. Ann Livingstone spoke of 
the customs of the ' Feill Micheil ' more from tradition than from observa- 
tion, for they had fallen into disuse before her time ; but as bearing on the 
customs of the Outer Isles (i. 198 fF.), those of the inner glens may be 
mentioned as related by this intelligent and educated woman. 

The ' strCibhan Micheil ' or ' bonnach Micheil,' Michael ' struan ' 



142 ACHAN NAN NAOMH 

or cake was baked on St Michael's Eve by the wife or daughter of the 
house. It was three-sided. The meal was moistened with sheep's or goat's 
milk. The cake was placed before the bright peat fire on the middle 
of the floor, and one side and then another was coated with batter of eggs 
and cream. While the ' strùbhan ' or ' bonnach ' was toasting, the 
' fallaid,' dry meal on the baking-board, was gathered and dusted over the 
flocks assembled for the purpose. In the morning the father of the family 
cut the bannock into small pieces of the form of the whole, and gave a 
piece to his wife and to each of his children, to each of his household, 
and to all his dependants about the place. 

The farmers gave a fourth of a ' strùbhan,' a fourth of a plate of butter 
and a fourth of a cheese to the poor about them ; ' agus bha am fear agus 
a' bhean a' toir seo seachad air a' mhiodh (mheidh) Mhicheil los gum 
bitheadh e romh an anam an am dol tarsainn air ial na h-aibhne,' — ' and 
the man and wife bestowed this on the Michael beam (balance) that it 
might be before their souls at the time of going over the gleam of the 
river.' If a man had no ' strùbhan ' himself he bought one to give away 
to the poor and the needy, framed in the likeness of the Father everlasting. 
The farmer's wife took a ' strùbhan ' to the house of the superior as a 
sign of friendship and protection. The sheep and the goats were milked 
till St Michael's Eve, and then were allowed to run dry. 

On St Michael's Day the people rode about singing ' rainn,' rimes, 
the women giving carrots to the men and wishing them ' ruth agus rath, 
buaidh agus piseach, agus cliù agus àgh gu la am bàis agus 'na dheidh,' 
' progeny and prosperity, triumph and increase, and fame and fortune 
to the day of their death and after it.' The men were giving presents to 
the women. There were balls and dancing on that evening, all the people 
gathering in the biggest barn, and young men crossed the hills to join the 
dancing in other straths. 

LEANABH MlCHEIL 

A child who came opportunely was called ' leanabh Micheil,' child 
of Michael ; ' conail Micheil,' procreant of Michael ; ' curral Micheil,' 
carrot of Michael, and by other terms indicative of the faith of those who 
prayed at the saint's shrine. 

Michael was besought by women, who went sunwise round his 
enclosure praying his aid and singing his hymn. Mares were led sunward 
around his burial-ground, the leader singing the hymn of Michael Militant, 
subduer of the dragon and patron saint of horses. The sunwarding was 
done under cover of darkness that none might see — 

Far nach bitheadh brionnag no breugag 
A thoir sgeula dh'an t-saoghal. 

Where was no babbler nor gaddler 
To give twaddle to the world. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 



BRIAN 



143 



Brian was the name of Michael's steed, famed for its swiftness and 
its whiteness. 

Bha Brian Micheil 

Co gile ri sneachd nan cruach, 

Co gile ri cobhar nan stuagh, 

Co gile ri cana nan cluan, 

Is faisg CO gile ri aingeal nam buadh. 

Bha Brian Micheil 

Co luath ri aigne nan tràth, [gobhlan 

Co luath ri gaoth na Màirt, 

Co luath ri dealan nan àr, 

Is faisg CO luath ri saighead a' bhàis. 

Michael's Brian was 
As white as the snow of the peaks, 
As white as the foam of the waves, 
As white as the cotton of the meads, 
And nearly as white as the angel victorious. 

Michael's Brian was 

As swift as the swift of the spring, [swallow 

As swift as the wind of March, 

As swift as the deadly levin, 

And nearly as swift as the shaft of death. 

A derivative of Brian is the feminine Brianag. ' Bilean Brianaig bial 
mo ghaoil,' ' the lips of Brian, the mouth of my love,' is a phrase alike 
in meaning to ' binneas Brianaig,' ' the melody of Brianag.' 

Bha Brianag co gile ri grein nan tràth, 
Bha Brianag co binne ri beus nam bard, 
Bha Brianag co mine ri Brighde nan tan. 
Is faisg CO mills ri bilean na màth'r. 

Brianag was as fair as the sun of the seasons, 
Brianag was as musical as the harmony of the bards, 
Brianag was as gende as Brigit of the herds. 
And nearly as sweet as the mother's lips. 



144 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 



MICHEIL MIL [259] 

O Anna Nic an Leigh, nee Nic Caluim, croitear, Taigh an Uillt 

MHÌCHEIL Mhil, 
A righ nan aingeal, 
Dion do shluagh 

Le buadh do lainne, 
Dion do shluagh 
Le buadh do lainne. 

Sgaoil do sgiath 

Air blian 's air talamh, 
An ear 's an iar 

Is dion bho'n arrais, 
An ear 's an iar 
Is dion bho'n arrais. 




Grianaich t'fheill 

Bho speur nan adhar ; 
Bi leinn sa chuart 

'S an dual na carraid ; 
Bi leinn sa chuart 
'S an dual na carraid. 



A thriath nan triath, 

A thriath nan ainnis, 
Bi leinn san triall 

'S an ial na h-abhainn ; 
Bi leinn san triall 
'S an ial na h-abhainn. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 145 



MICHAEL MILITANT 

From Ann Livingstone, nee MacCallum, crofter, Taynuilt 

O Michael Militant, 

Thou king of the angels, 
Shield thy people 

With the power of thy sword, 
Shield thy people 
With the power of thy sword. 

Spread thy wing 

Over sea and land. 
East and west, 

And shield us from the foe, 
East and west. 
And shield us from the foe. 

Brighten thy feast 

From heaven above ; 
Be with us in the pilgrimage 

And in the twistings of the fight ; 
Be with us in the pilgrimage 
And in the twistings of the fight. 

Thou chief of chiefs, 

Thou chief of the needy. 
Be with us in the journey 

And in the gleam of the river ; 
Be with us in the journey 
And in the gleam of the river. 

K 



146 AGHAN NAN NAOMH 

A thriath nan triath, 

A thriath nan aingeal, 
Sgaoil do sgiath 

Air blian 's air talamh, 
Bho's leats' an Ian, 
Bho's leats' an Ian, 

'S leat fein an Ian, 
'S leat fein an Ian. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 147 

Thou chief of chiefs, 

Thou chief of angels, 
Spread thy wing 

Over sea and land, 
For thine is their fullness. 
Thine is their fullness, 

Thine own is their fullness. 
Thine own is their fullness. 



148 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 




MICHEAL NAN AINGEAL 



MHÌGHEIL nan aingeal 
Is nam firean am flathas, 
Cuir dionadh air m'anam 

Le faileas do sgeith ; 
Cuir dionadh air m'anam 

Air thalamh 's air nèamh ; 



Bho nàimhdean air thalamh, 
Bho nàimhdean fo thalamh, 
Bho nàimhdean am falach 
Comhn agus caimir 
M'anam fo d' sgeith, 
O m'anam le faileas do sgeith ! 



[260] 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 149 



MICHAEL OF THE ANGELS 

O Michael of the angels 
And the righteous in heaven, 
Shield thou my soul 

With the shade of thy wing ; 
Shield thou my soul 

On earth and in heaven ; 

From foes upon earth, 
From foes beneath earth, 
From foes in concealment 
Protect and encircle 

My soul 'neath thy wing, 
Oh my soul with the shade of thy wing ! 



K2 



150 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 



AINGEAL COIMHIDEACHD [261] 



INGIL choimhidich mo làimhe dheise, 
Freasdail dhomh an oidhche nochd, 

Teasraig mi anns na dile treasa, 
Sgeadaich mi le d' lion 's mi nochd, 
Comhnaich mi 's mi diblidh bochd. 



Stiùir mo choit anns a' choire chaimeideil, [chaimei- 
Treòir mo cheum am beum 's an slochd, linn 

Caithris mi anns na cara caireimein, 
Is tearmaid mi o chearb nan olc, 
Is tearmaid mi o chearb a nochd. 




Fuadaich nam tuar na truailleachd, 
Cuartaich mi gu Luan o lochd ; 

O Aingil chaoimh mo làimhe dheise, 
Teasraig mi o dhaoi a nochd, 
Teasraig mi an oidhche nochd ! 



[truaillea- 
lachd 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 151 



ANGEL GUARDIAN 

O Angel guardian of my right hand, 
Attend thou me this night, 

Rescue thou me in the batthng floods, [strong 

Array me in thy Hnen, for I am naked. 
Succour me, for I am feeble and forlorn. 

Steer thou my coracle in the crooked eddies, 
Guide thou my step in gap and in pit, 

Guard thou me in the treacherous turnings. 

And save thou me from the scaith of the wicked. 
Save thou me from scaith this night. 

Drive thou from me the taint of pollution. 
Encompass thou me till Doom from evil ; 

O kindly Angel of my right hand, 

Deliver thou me from the wicked this night, 
Deliver thou me this night ! 



152 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 




GUIDHE 

UIDHIM is acham 
Air Cuibh is Calum, 

Air Màthair mo Righ, 
Air Brighde banail, 

Air Micheal mil, 
Ard-righ nan aingeal, 

Mo chobhair 's mo dhion 
O gach siodh air thalamh. 



[262] 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 



'53 



PRAYER 

I PRAY and supplicate 
Cuibh and Columba, 

The Mother of my King, 
Brigit womanly, 

Michael militant, 
High-king of the angels, 

To succour and shield me 
From each fay on earth. 



154 ACHAN NAN NAOMH 



BANAS BRIGHDE NO MOLTA 

BRIGHDE [263] 

Beulaiche : Peigidh Nic Cormaig, nee Nic Dhomhnaill, coitear agus 
bean-eiridinn, Aird Bhuidhe, Loch Baghasdail, Uibhist a' Chinn a Deas. 

Bha Ob (losab), athair Brighde, a' tarraing uisge chon a' bhaile, agus e 
faighinn pàighidh as a chuile cuman. Bha astar mor aige ri dhol a chon 
an locha a chuile latha, agus cha b'urra dha bhith air ais gu h-anamoch. 
An uair a dh'fhalbhadh Ob moch madainneach, bha e fàgail cuman burn 
aig Brighid chon a feumalachd fhein agus feumalachd an taighe gon an 
tigeadh e dhachaidh as t-oidhche. Am beul athaich agus anamoich 
thàinig dithis dhaoine chon an dorais, fear agus bean, agus dh'iarr a' 
bhean deoch uisge. ' Chan urra mi deoch a thoir dhuit gun phàigheadh 
air a son,' orsa Brighid. Dh'fhalbh an dithis dhaoine gun bhiadh gun 
deoch, gun cheòl gun aoigheachd, gun sian saoghaha a thoir dhàibh. 
Anamoch as t-oidhche thàinig Ob dhachaidh le earn uisge mar a b'àbhaist, 
agus thug Brighid dha a shuipeir, agus chaidh iad dh'an cadal mar bu 
nòs. Air meadhon oidhche chualas toirm mhor a muigh mar gum biodh 
ga aibhne. ' Èirich, a Bhrighid, agus seall a mach, agus mi cluinntinn 
toirm mar gha aibhne,' ors a h-athair ri Brighid. Dh'eirich Brighid agus 
chuir i uimpe agus sheall i mach feuch am faiceadh i ciod e bha ris an 
toirm. Ciod e bha sin ach abhainn mhor bhriagh a sios seach an taigh. 
Thill Brighid air a h-ais agus dh'innis i dh'a h-athair a staigh ciod e 
chunnaic agus a chual i a muigh. ' An robh neach air bith an sec an 
diugh ? ' ' Bha,' orsa Brighid, ' fear agus bean.' ' An d'fliuair iad dad ? ' 
' Cha d'fhuair blasad,' orsa Brighid. ' Dh'iarr am boireannach deoch 
uisge, ach cha tugainn diar di gun phàigheadh, mar a dh'iarr sibh orm, 
athair, agus dh'fhalbh iad.' ' Seall a mach uait is thugad, feuch ciod e 
tuilleadh a chi no chluinneas tu, no feuch a bheil an dailgneachd air 
tighinn air an t-saoghal.' Chaidh Brighid a mach, agus sheall i mun 
cuairt uaip agus thuice, agus thill i steach air a' chas-cheum. ' Tha solas 
anns an stàball, athair,' orsa Brighid. Leum Ob as a leabaidh a chruinn- 
leum agus ghrad chuir e uime. Chaidh Brighid sios dh'an stàball, agus 
chaidh i air a da ghlùn, agus ghabh i Righ nan dùl 'na h-uchd, agus 
chaidh i fodha an uair a thàinig e chon an t-saoghail. Agus sin an t- 
adhbhar m'a bheil ceann boireannaich 'na cheithir sgoilteanan agus ceann 
fireannaich 'na thri sgoilteanan. Chan fhaodadh Mac Dhe nan diil a 
bhith air a bhreith agus air a thighinn a steach dh'an t-saoghal mar a 
bhreithear agus mar a thigear clann dhaoine, — is e miorail a bh'ann o 
thus gu deir, losa Criosd Mac Dhe thighinn o nèamh gu talamh. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 155 



WOMANHOOD OF BRIGIT OR PRAISES 
OF BRIGIT* 

Reciter : Peggy MacCormack, nee MacDonald, crofter and nurse, 
Aird Bhuidhe, Loch Boisdale, South Uist. 

Ob (or losab), the father of Brigit, used to draw water to the town, 
getting payment for each vessel. He had a long way to go to the loch 
every day, and he could not be back until late. When Ob would set out 
early in the morning, he would leave a vessel of water with Brigit for her 
own use and the needs of the house until he should come home at night. 
In the late evening came two persons to the door, a man and a woman, 
and the woman asked for a drink of water. ' I cannot give thee a drink 
without payment for it,' said Brigit. The two went away without food or 
drink, without music or hospitality, without anything in the world being 
given to them. Late at night Ob came home with a cart of water as 
usual, and Brigit gave him his supper, and they went to their sleep as they 
were wont. In the middle of the night a great noise was heard outside, 
as it were the omen-roar of a river. ' Get up, Brigit, and look out, for 
I am hearing a noise like the omen-roar of a river,' said her father to 
Brigit. Brigit got up, and clothed herself, and looked out to see whether 
she could see what the noise meant. What was there but a great beautiful 
river flowing down past the house ! Brigit returned and told her father 
within what she had seen and heard without. ' Was there anyone here 
to-day ? ' ' There was,' said Brigit, ' a man and a woman.' ' Did they 
receive aught ? ' ' No, not a taste,' said Brigit. ' The woman asked for 
a drink of water, but I would not give her a drop without payment, as 
thou didst bid me, father, and they went away.' ' Look out, to and fro, 
and see what more thou shalt see or hear, or whether the prophecy is 
come to pass upon the world.' Brigit went out and looked about, to and 
fro, and returned within upon her track. ' There is a light in the stable, 
father,' said Brigit. Ob leaped with a standing-leap out of his bed and 
quickly clothed himseE Brigit went down to the stable, and she 
knelt on her two knees, and she took the King of the elements into her 
bosom, and she raised Him in her arms when He came unto the world. 
And that is the reason that a woman's head is in four divisions and a 
man's head in three divisions. The Son of the God of the elements might 
not be born and come into the world as the children of men are born 
and come into it, — it was a miracle from beginning to end, Jesus Christ's 
coming from heaven to earth. 

* See i. 164!?. 



156 



AGHAN NAN NAOMH 



Sin mar a chuala mise aig seann daoine na ceilidh 'n uair bha mi 
òg. Ach a Mhoire nan gràs ! is fhada fhein an ùine o'n uair sin, ged bu 
ghoirid san dol seachad i. 




Brighid nighean Dùghaill Duinn 
'Ic Aoidh 'ic Airt 'ic Guinn 'ic 
Criara 'ic Gairbre 'ic Cais 'ic 
Carmaic 'ic Cartaich 'ic Guinn. 

RIGHDE nam brat, 

Brighde na brig, 
Brighde nan cleachd, 

Brighde na frith. 



Brighde nan gealachos, 
Brighde na bith, 

Brighde nan gealabhos, 
Brighde na ni. 

Brighde bean chomainn, 
Brighde na brig, 

Brighde bean chobhair, 
Brighde bean mhin. 



Brighde ciabh Moire, 

Brighde Moime Ghriosd, — 

Gach latha agus gach oidhche 
Ni mi Sloinntearachd na Brighd, 



Cha mharbhar mi. 




Gha ghuinear mi. 


[loinnear 


Gha charachar mi, 


[chiobar 


Gha ghonar mi. 




Gha spaltar mi. 


[spealgar, spalgar, 


Gha spùillear mi. 


spallar 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 157 

That is how I heard it among the old folk of the ' ceilidh ' when I 
was young. But, O Mary of grace ! long indeed is the time since then, 
though short it has been in passing. 



Brigit daughter of Dugall the Brown 
Son of Aodh son of Art son of Conn 
Son of Criara son of Cairbre son of Cas 
Son of Cormac son of Cartach son of Conn. 

Brigit of the mantles, 

Brigit of the peat-heap, 
Brigit of the twining hair, 

Brigit of the augury. 

Brigit of the white feet, 

Brigit of calmness, 
Brigit of the white palms, 

Brigit of the kine. 

Brigit, woman-comrade, 

Brigit of the peat-heap, 
Brigit, woman-helper, 

Brigit, woman mild. 

Brigit, own tress of Mary, 

Brigit, Nurse of Christ, — 
Each day and each night 

That I say the Descent of Brigit, 

I shall not be slain, 

I shall not be wounded, [sworded 
I shall not be put in cell, 

I shall not be gashed, 
I shall not be torn in sunder, 

I shall not be despoiled, 



158 ACHAN NAN NAOMH 

Cha saltrar mi, 

Cha ruisgear mi, 
Cha reubar mi, 
Cha mho dh'fhàgas 
Crìosd an dearmad mi. 



Cha loisg grian mi, 

Cha loisg teine mi, 

Cha loisg ial mi, 

Cha loisg gile mi. [bhli 

Cha bhàth uisge mi, 
Cha bhàth sàla mi, 
Cha bhàth lighe mi, 
Cha bhàth burn mi. 

Cha laigh bruaill-bri orm, 

Cha laigh suan-dubh orm, 
Cha laigh druaill-dri orm, 

Cha laigh luaths-luis orm. 

Tha mi for chomraig 
Mo Naomh Moire ; 
'S i mo chaomh chomainn 
Brighde. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 159 

I shall not be down-trodden, 
I shall not be made naked, 
I shall not be rent, 
Nor will Christ 

Leave me forgotten. 

Nor sun shall burn me, 

Nor fire shall burn me. 

Nor beam shall burn me. 

Nor moon shall burn me. [blanch 

Nor river shall drown me. 
Nor brine shall drown me. 
Nor flood shall drown me. 
Nor water shall drown me. 

Nightmare shall not lie on me, 

Black-sleep shall not lie on me. 
Spell-sleep shall not lie on me, 

' Luaths-luis ' shall not lie on me. 

I am under the keeping 
Of my Saint Mary ; 
My companion beloved 
Is Brigit. 



i6o 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 




BEANNACHADH BRIGHDE [264] 

Brighid Nighean Dùghaill Duinn, etc. 



ACH latha agus gach oidhche 
NÌ mi Sloinntearachd na Brighde, 

Cha mharbhar mi, 

Cha loinnear mi, 
Cha charachar mi, 

Cha spollar mi, 
Cha spealgar mi, 

Cha chiùrrar mi, [chearchar 

Cha ghonar mi, 

Cha spùillear mi, 
Cha ghollar mi, 

Cha rùisgear mi, 
Cha lomar mi, 
Cha mhù dh'fhàgas 
Crìosd an dearmad mi. 

Cha loisg teine mi, 
Cha loisg grian mi, 
Cha bhhan gile mi. 

Cha bhàth uisge mi, 
Cha bhàth Ughe mi, 
Cha bhàth sàla mi. 

Cha tog siodhach mi, 
Cha tog sluaghach mi, 
Cha dith saoghlach mi 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS i6i 



BLESSING OF BRIGIT 

Brigit daughter of Dugall the Brown, etc. 

Each day and each night 

That I say the Descent of Brigit, 

I shall not be slain, 

I shall not be sworded, 
I shall not be put in cell, 

I shall not be hewn, 
I shall not be riven, 

I shall not be anguished, 
I shall not be wounded, 

I shall not be ravaged, 
I shall not be blinded, 

I shall not be made naked, 
I shall not be left bare. 
Nor will Christ 

Leave me forgotten. 

Nor fire shall burn me, 
Nor sun shall burn me, 
Nor moon shall blanch me. 

Nor water shall drown me. 
Nor flood shall drown me, 
Nor brine shall drown me. 

Nor seed of fairy host shall lift me, 
Nor seed of airy host shall lift me. 
Nor earthly being destroy me. 



1 62 ACHAN NAN NAOMH 

Ta mise for dhionadh 

Na Brighde gach latha ; 
Ta mise for dhionadh 

Na Brighde gach oidhche. 

Ta mi fo chomhnadh 

Moime na Moire, [na hÒighe 

Gach trò agus tarraing, 

Gach loch agus soillse, [dorch 

Is i Brighid mo bhan-chomainn, 

Is i Brighid mo bhan-chiùil, 
Is i Brighid mo bhan-chobhair, 

Mo bhan-rogha, mo bhan-iùil, [bhan-omha 

Gach rogha, gach togha, gach omha, gach iùl. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 163 

I am under the shielding 

Of good Brigit each day ; 
I am under the shielding 

Of good Brigit each night. 

I am under the keeping 

Of the Nurse of Mary, [of the Virgin 

Each early and late, 

Every dark, every light. 

Brigit is my comrade-woman, 

Brigit is my maker of song, 
Brigit is my helping-woman. 

My choicest of women, my woman of guidance, 
Each choicest, each dearest, each . . . , each guidance. 



i64 AGHAN NAN NAOMH 



DOMHALL DUBH AGUS PADRAIG 

From Catherine MacNeill, ' bochdag,' Breubhaig, Barra 

The reciter was poor and ailing, but full of charm, humour and wit, 
often at her own expense. She said : My father and brother and myself 
and the man who was to marry me went away for a boat-load of sea-weed. 
We over-loaded the boat and had to go by all the sheltered and shallow 
passages we could. ' Ghabh an sgoth an grunnd,' the boat took the 
ground, and my brother and my lover jumped out to lighten her. My 
father was preparing to follow them, but I could not bear to see my old 
father getting wet and I jumped out, though scolded by my father for my 
recklessness and chaffed by the young men for my bravery. I was up to 
my waist in water and remained wet until we got home at night. After 
that I became ill, and have continued more or less ill ever since. At one 
time I was like to die, and the priest was sent for in hot haste ' a chur 
na h-ola bàis orm,' to give me extreme unction. By the time he arrived 
I was well and sitting by the fire. The priest would stare at me and 
swear at me by turns, and I laughed till my sides were sore, while my 
people were shocked at my levity, — levity which I could not suppress, 
joy at my own recovery and amusement at the grotesque situation and 
the rage of the priest. ' A liù turas a ghuidh na sagartan mise dhan t- 
slochd agus a liù turas a ghuidh iad as mi ! ' — The number of times the 
priests prayed me into the grave and the number of times they prayed 
me out of it ! 

Agus cha do phòs sibh riamh, a Chatrlona ? arsa mise. 

Cha do phòs mis a riamh, a luaidh mo chridhe, cha do phòs. Chan 
e idir nach robh e deònach mo phòsadh, ach cha leigeadh mo nàire 
liomsa pòsadh 'na mo chripileach bhochd, an diugh ris a' bhàs agus a 
màireach air bharraibh nan cnoc, a sios agus a suas mar luasgan nan 
tonn. Cha robh mi air son gun cuirinn pòsadh na piseach a dhith air a' 
ghille ghasda, agus 's e sin a bh'ann, fior ghille gasda uasal eireachdail 
agus e do theaghlach coir. Agus thubhairt mi ris gun tàinig dubhradh air 
mo chridhe dha bho ghabh mi an turainn mhosach bha seo agus nach 
b'urra dhomh a dhol dh'a phòsadh. Gun toireadh Dia siorraidh nan 
dill mathanas domh air son mo bhreige ! Bha mo chridhe Ian agus an 
annar sgàinidh, ach cha robh mi air son an gille coir a mhilleadh na pòsadh 
na piseach a chur dh'a dhith. 

Thàinig e turas agus turas fiach an atharraichinn mo bheachd, ach 
thubhairt mi nach robh annamsa ach nighean agus a leth chas air bial 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 165 

na h-uagha agus a leth chas eile innte, agus nach b'fhiach dha an t- 
saothair a bhith stri rium. Dia thoir mathanas domh, agus mo chridhe 
chum sgàinidh ! 

Phòs an gille nighean taobh thall a' bheinnd, nighean uasal agus do 
theaghlach coir. B'e sin latha dubh na dunaidh, latha dubh na dorainn 
domhsa an latha phòs thu, a Dhomhaill nan tri Domhaill, a Dhomhaill 
mhic Nill ! Is mise dh'fhaodadh a ràdh agus le firinn, 

Gun robh mo chridhe caoineadh, 
Ge faoin a rimi mi gàire. 

Cha do rinn mi cadal idir seachdain roimhe na seachdain as a dheidhe. 
Cha robh fios beò air thalamh air mo chor ach aig mo mhàthair ghaoil, — 
caomhag nam ban. 

And you never married, Catherine ? I asked. 

No, my dear, I never married. Not at all because he was not eager 
to marry me, but I could not in honour marry, a poor cripple at death's 
door to-day and on the hill-tops to-morrow, down and up like the toss 
of the waves. I was not for depriving the grand lad of marriage and 
offspring, for that is what he was, a right good noble handsome lad and 
from a fine family. And I told him that since this nasty trouble took me 
a shadow had come over my heart towards him and I could not marry 
him. May the eternal God of life forgive me for my lie ! My heart was 
full and like to break, but I was not for spoiling the fine lad nor for 
depriving him of marriage and children. 

Time and time again he came to see whether I would change my 
mind ; but I said I was but a girl with one foot on the brink of the grave 
and the other foot in it and it was labour lost for him to strive with me. 
God forgive me, — my heart was like to break ! 

The lad married a girl from the far side of the hill, a noble lass and 
from a fine family. That was the black day of sorrow, the black day of 
anguish for me, the day you married, Donald of the three Donalds, Donald 
son of Neill ! 'Tis I can say, and with truth. 

My heart did sorely weep. 
Though simply I did smile. 

I had no sleep at all for a week before or for a week after it. Not a sold 
on earth knew how I was but my beloved mother, dearest of women. 



[pp. 166-167 
L2 



i66 AGHAN NAN NAOMH 



DOMHALL DUBH AGUS PÀDRAIG 

Ann an toiseach an t-saoghail bha tuathanach a seo sa Chaolas (Caolas 
Bhatarsaidh) ris an canadh Domhall Dubh. Anns an am sin bha iad a' 
cumail Latha Feill Pàdraig 'na latha feille. A' bhliadhna bh'ann bha 
an latha romh Latha Feill Pàdraig grathail le gaoith agus gaillinn, le 
sneachd agus flithneadh. Bha Domhall Dubh gàbhaidh cruaidh agus 
daolaire dòbhaidh. Thubhairt Domhall Dubh r'a ghillean, ' Bheir mi 
drama dhuibh an diugh agus cumaidh sinn Latha Feill Pàdraig an diugh 
agus theid sinn a màireach a dh'obair.' Mar a thubhairt rinneadh ; 
chum iad an latha naomh an latha romh 'n am. Chaidh iad a chadal 
an oidhche sin ; agus is e bu chiall dusgaidh dhaibh ann an glasanaich an 
latha Domhall Ruadh mac peathar Dhomhaill Dhuibh ag eibheach agus 
ag achan gun robh an saoghal 'na lasraichean tein-adhair agus tairn- 
eanaich. Thug e an èibhe cruaidh dha na gillean, ag ràdh, 

' Chualadh Pàdraig Domhall crion Dubh, 
Is mios an latha 'n diugh na 'n de ; 
Co mor 's gun chunntadh dha do ni, 
Is beag do phris an taigh Mhic De.' 

Leum Domhall Dubh a leabaidh agus chaidh e air a dha ghlùn air 
urlar a thaighe agus ghuidh e mar nach do ghuidh e riamh roimhe na 'na 
dheoghaidh agus thubhairt e, 

' A Phàdraig, chuir mi ort fearg, 
Facail chearbach thuirt mi 'n de ; 
Fiach an dian thu achan ri Dia 
Gun mo chur a phian d'a reir.' 



NAOMH BRIANAN 

La Brianain chaidh an duine a threabhadh ann an lagan beag 
bòidheach far nach faiceadh e duine agus far nach faiceadh duine e. 
Ach chunna Brianan e agus thugadh dachaidh dall an duine. Is ann bho 
sin a tha an seanfhacal, ' Chan fhaiceadh Brianan e, — chan fhaiceadh 
Brianan priobadh dheth,' le cho falaichte fad as agus a bha an t-àite. 



SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 167 



BLACK DONALD AND SAINT PATRICK* 

In the beginning of the world there was a farmer here in the Kyle (of 
Vatersay) who was called Black Donald. At that time they used to keep 
the Day of St Patrick's Feast as a feast-day. That year the day before 
St Patrick's Day was wild with wind and storm, snow and sleet. Now 
Black Donald was desperately hard and miserably mean, and he told 
his lads, ' I'll give you a dram to-day and we'll keep St Patrick's Day 
to-day and to-morrow we'll go to work.' It was done as he said ; they 
kept the holiday the day before the time. That night they went to sleep ; 
and the first thing they knew was being wakened in the grey dawn of 
day by Red Donald, Black Donald's sister's son, shouting and praying for 
that the world was in blazes of lightning and thunder. He gave the lads 
a loud roar, saying, 



' Patrick has heard Black Donald the stingy. 
To-day is worse than yesterday was ; 
However many has been the number of thy kine. 
In the house of God's Son thy worth is small.' 

Black Donald leaped from his bed and went on his two knees on the 
floor of his house and prayed as he never prayed before or since and said. 



O Patrick, I have made thee wroth. 
Sinful words were mine yesterday ; 

See can you intercede with God 

Not to send me to torment accordingly. 



SAINT BRENDAN 

On St Brendan's Day the man went to plough in a pretty little hollow 
where he would see no man and where no man would see him. But 
Brendan saw him and the man was taken home blind. Thence the 
proverb, ' Brendan would not see him, — Brendan would not see a glimpse 
of him,' the place being so hidden and well concealed. 



C/. ii. 235 ff. 



i68 



ACHAN NAN NAOMH 



RANN TOBAIR 



[265] 



When a girl goes out at night to the well, she croons a hymn variously 
called ' Rann Tobair,' Rune of the Well ; ' Cairn Moire,' Shelter of 
Mary ; * Cairn Moire Màthar,' Shelter of Mary Mother, and by other 



AIM na Màthar Moire 
An dàil mo làmh 's mo bhonna 
Dhol a mach dh'an tobar 
'S mo thoir dhachaidh slàn, 
'S mo thoir dhachaidh slàn. 

Mìcheal mil dha m' chobhair, 
Brighde bith dha m' choigill, 
Brianag binn dha m' choinnle, 
'S Moire gheal dha m' dhàil, 
'S Moire gheal dha m' dhàil. 




SUPPLICATION OF THE SAINTS 169 



RUNE OF THE WELL 

names. The maiden lilts the rune in the firm belief that the protecting 
arm of the Mary Mother is shielding her from ill and mishap, natural 
and supernatural. 

The shelter of Mary Mother 
Be nigh my hands and my feet 
To go out to the well 

And to bring me safely home, 
And to bring me safely home. 

May warrior Michael aid me, 
May Brigit calm preserve me, 
May sweet Brianag give me light, 
And Mary pure be near me. 
And Mary pure be near me. 



170 



GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 




ACHAN [266] 

I 'na do ro reidh romham, 
Bi 'na do reul iùil tharam, 
Bi 'na do gheur shùil dheogham, 
An diugh, a nochd agus suthain. 

Tha mi sgith 's mi air airsneal, 
Treòraich mi do thir nan aingeal ; 
Leam bu tim bhith dol sealan 
Do chùirt Chriosd, do shith nam flathas ; 



Ach thusa fein, a Dhe nan dùl, 
A bhith dhomh reidh, a bhith dha m' chùl, 
Bhith dhomh mar reul, bhith dhomh mar stiùir, 
O m' laighe reidh gu m'eirigh ùr. 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 171 



PETITION 

Be Thou a smooth way before me, 
Be Thou a guiding star above me, 
Be Thou a keen eye behind me, 
This day, this night, for ever. 

I am weary, and I forlorn. 

Lead Thou me to the land of the angels ; 

Methinks it were time I went for a space 

To the court of Christ, to the peace of heaven ; 

If only Thou, O God of life, 

Be at peace with me, be my support. 

Be to me as a star, be to me as a helm, 

From my lying down in peace to my rising anew. 



172 



GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 



AN GUIDHE 



[267] 




HA mi guidhe agus ag achan ri Dia, 
Ri Mac Moire agus ri Spiorad f ior, 
Mo chomhnadh an eiginn mara 'gus tir : 
An Tri dha m' chobhair, an Tri dha m' dhion, 
An Tri dha m' chaithris a la 's a dh'oidhche. 

Dia agus ìos agus Spiorad glanaidh 
Dha m' dhion, dha m' ghabhail, dha m' 

chomhnadh, 
Bhith reiteach an rathaid 's a' gabhail roimh 

m'anam 
An slochd, an cnoc, an comhnard, 

Air muir agus tir an Tri dha m' chomhnadh. 



Dia agus ìos agus Spiorad Naomh 
Dha mo dhion agus dha mo chaomhn, 
Mar Thri agus mar Aon, 
Ri m' ghlùn, ri m' chùl, ri m' thaobh, 

Gach ceum dh'an t-saoghal dhòbhaidh. [èitigh 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 173 



THE PRAYER 

I AM praying and appealing to God, 
The Son of Mary and the Spirit of truth, 
To aid me in distress of sea and of land : 
May the Three succour me, may the Three shield me, 
May the Three watch me by day and by night. 

God and Jesus and the Spirit of cleansing 
Be shielding me, be possessing me, be aiding me. 
Be clearing my path and going before my soul 
In hollow, on hill, on plain, 

On sea and land be the Three aiding me. 



God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit 

Be shielding and saving me. 

As Three and as One, 

By my knee, by my back, by my side. 

Each step of the stormy world. [fearsome 



174 



GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 




AN COMHNADH 



[268] 



UN dionadh Brighde mi, 
Gun dionadh Moire mi, 
Gun dionadh Micheil mi, 
Air muir agus air tir : 

Gu m' dhionadh o gach iargainn 
Air muir agus air tir, 

Gu m' dhionadh o gach iargainn. 

Gun comhnadh Athair mi, 
Gun comhnadh Mac mi, 
Gun comhnadh Spiorad mi. 
Air muir agus air tir : 

Ann an dion na Cathrach shiorraidh 
Air muir agus air tir, 

Ann an dion na Cathrach shiorraidh. 



Gum fòireadh Tiùra mi, 
Gun tòireadh Tiùra mi, 
Gun treòireadh Tiùra mi, 
Air muir agus air tir, 

Chon Fionlios nan diadha 
Air muir agus air tir, 

Chon Fionlios nan diadha. 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 175 



THE AIDING 

May Brigit shield me, 
May Mary shield me, 
May Michael shield me, 
On sea and on land : 

To shield me from all anguish 
On sea and on land. 

To shield me from all anguish. 

May Father aid me. 
May Son aid me. 
May Spirit aid me. 
On sea and on land : 

In the shielding of the City everlasting 
On sea and on land, 

In the shielding of the City everlasting. 

May the Three succour me, 
May the Three follow me, 
May the Three guide me. 
On sea and on land, 

To the Vine-garden of the godlike 
On sea and on land, 

To the Vine-garden of the godlike. 



176 



GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 




ACHAN [269] 

HE, fuasgail fein air gach aon 
Ann an dorainn mara no tir, 
^ Am bròn no 'n leòn no 'n caoidh, 
Agus treòraich gu treabhair do shith 
A nochd. 

Tha mi sgith anbhann agus fuar, 
Tha mi sgith taisdeal tir agus cuan, 
Tha mi sgith siubhal frith agus stuagh, 
Tabhair dhomh sith ann an ire do shuaimhneis 
A nochd. 



Athair mhuirnich mo Dhe, 
Gabh ri cùram mo dheur ; 
B'e mo mhiann bhith riut reidh, 
Ann am fianais 's an eirig 
Do Mhic ; 

Bhith tàmhaich le ìosa 
Ann an àros na sithe, 
Ann am pàrras na mine, 
Ann an siothbhrugh 
Na h-iochd. 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 177 



PRAYER 

Relieve Thou, O God, each one 
In suffering on land or sea, 
In grief or wounded or weeping, 
And lead them to the house of Thy peace 
This night. 

I am weary, weak and cold, 
I am weary of travelling land and sea, 
I am weary of traversing moorland and billow, 
Grant me peace in the nearness of Thy repose 
This night. 

Beloved Father of my God, 
Accept the caring for my tears ; 
I would wish reconcilement with Thee, 
Through the witness and the ransom 
Of Thy Son; 

To be resting with Jesus 
In the dwelling of peace, 
In the paradise of gentleness, 
In the fairy-bower 
Of mercy. 



178 



GUIDHEAGHAN TURAIS 



GUIDHE TURAIS 



[270] 



The reciter, Dugall MacAulay, said that he always crooned this little 
hymn to himself when leaving his house upon an errand of whatever 
kind, and that he always derived comfort from it. He learned it from 

HE, beannaich dhomh an latha 'n diugh, 

Dhe, beannaich dhomh an oidhche nochd ; 
Beannaich fein, a Dhe nan gràs, 

Gach la agus gach tràth dha m' thort ; 
Beannaich fein, a Dhe nan gràs, 

Gach la agus gach tràth dha m' thort. 

Dhe, beannaich dh'an cheum a bheil mi dol, 
Dhe, beannaich dh'an che atà fo m' chois ; 

Beannaich, a Dhe, 's thoir dhomh do ghràdh, 
A Dhe nan de, beannaich mo thàmh 's mo chlos ; 

Beannaich, a Dhe, 's thoir dhomh do ghràdh, 
'S a Dhe nan de, beannaich dha m' chlos. 




JOURNEY PRAYERS 179 



THE JOURNEY PRAYER 

his mother and from her sister, who lived with his mother. These two 
old women had innumerable hymns, songs, stories and fables, sayings and 
proverbs, full of wisdom and beauty, almost all of which died with them. 

God, bless to me this day, 

God, bless to me this night ; 
Bless, O bless. Thou God of grace, 

Each day and hour of my life ; 
Bless, O bless. Thou God of grace. 

Each day and hour of my life. 

God, bless the pathway on which I go, 
God, bless the earth that is beneath my sole ; 

Bless, O God, and give to me Thy love, 
O God of gods, bless my rest and my repose ; 

Bless, O God, and give to me Thy love, 
And bless, O God of gods, my repose. 



i8o 



GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 



AM BEANNACHADH TURAIS 



[271] 




The reciter, Dugall MacAulay, cottar, Hacleit, 
Benbecula, said that he always recited this little prayer 
to himself, ' fo m'anail,' ' under my breath,' when he 

EANNAICH dhomh, a Dhe, 
An ce atà fo m' chois, 
Beannaich dhomh, a Dhe, 

An ceum a bheil mi dol ; 
Beannaich dhomh, a Dhe, 
An seun a bheil mo thoil ; 

A Re nan re, 
Beannaich dhomh fein mo chlos. 



Beannaich dhomh an ni 

Air a bheil mi 'n ùidh, 
Beannaich dhomh an ni 

Air a bheil mo run ; 
Beannaich dhomh an ni 

Air a bheil mo dhùil ; 
A Righ nan righ, 

Beannaich dhomh fhin mo shùil ! 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 



THE JOURNEY BLESSING 

went upon a journey, however short the distance, however small the 
matter of his errand. 



Bless to me, O God, 

The earth beneath my foot. 
Bless to me, O God, 

The path whereon I go ; 
Bless to me, O God, 

The thing of my desire ; 

Thou Evermore of evermore. 

Bless Thou to me my rest. 

Bless to me the thing 

Whereon is set my mind, 
Bless to me the thing 

Whereon is set my love ; 
Bless to me the thing 

Whereon is set my hope ; 
O Thou King of kings, 

Bless Thou to me mine eye ! 



M2 



i82 GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 



SOISGEUL CHRIOSD [272] 

Beulaiche : Calum Mac na Cearda, iasgaire, Baile Phuill, Tiriodh 

This was the name of a charm worn upon the person to safeguard the 
wearer against drowning at sea, against disaster on land, against evil eye, 
evil wish, evil influences, against the wrongs and oppressions of man and 
the wiles and witcheries of woman, against being lifted by the hosts of the 
air, and against being waylaid by the fairies of the mound. 

Such a charm might consist of a word, a phrase, a saying, or a verse 
from one of the Gospels, and from this came the name, ' Gospel of Christ.' 
The words were written upon paper or parchment, and were often 
illuminated and ornamented in Celtic design, the script being thus rendered 
more precious by the beauty of its work and the beauty of its words. 

The script was placed in a small bag of linen and sewn into the 
waistcoat of a man and the bodice of a woman, under the left arm. In 
the case of a child the bag was suspended from the neck by a linen cord. 
Linen was sacred because the body of Christ was buried in a linen shroud, 
and there are many phrases which indicate the special esteem in which 
lint was held (see ii. 319 f.). The blue flax was used medicinally {cf. ii. 332, 
353), especially for stomachic complaints, and also as a safeguard against 
invisible dangers. 

Gorm-shùileach na mnà sìth 

Gu mo dhion is gu mo chomhnadh 
O'n a sluagh is o shith, 

O mhighean is o dhòbheairt. 

The blue-eyed one of the fairy woman 

Be to shield me and to keep me 
From the hosts (of the air) and from faery. 

From ill-will and from ill-deed. 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 183 



THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST 

Reciter : Malcolm Sinclair, fisherman, Baile Phuill, Tiree 

There were three thefts from which there was no absolution ' anns an t- 
saoghal a bhos no anns an t-saoghal thall,' in the world here or in the 
world yonder. ' Dh'fheumadh e tri sagairt tri turais a thoir mèirleach 
salainn no mèirleach frois no mèirleach Un as agallaich a' Phurgadair.' 
It would need three priests three times to bring from out of Purgatory the 
thief of salt or the thief of seed or the thief of flax. 

In giving ' Eòlas Sguchadh (Sgiucha) Feithe,' the Charm for the 
Burst Vein, an intelligent woman in Kincardine, Ross, gave me a piece 
of the linen thread which she uses in her operations. It consists of three 
threads of three ply each, with three knots upon each thread. These threads 
were wound around the injured limb. The thread is of fine linen, and it 
was applied — 

An ainm Athar, 

An ainm Mic, 

An ainm Spioraid. 

In name of Father, 
In name of Son, 
In name of Spirit. 



[ pp. 184 189 



1 84 



GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 




SOISGEUL CHRIOSD 

UM beannaicheadh Dia do chrois 

Mun teid thu thar lear ; 
Aon ghalar dh'am bi ad chois, 

Gha tobhair e thu leis. 

Gum beannaicheadh Dia do chrois cheusda 

Air druim-taighe Ghriosda, 
Romh bhàthadh, romh ghàbhadh, romh gheisne, 

Romh gheur-ghuin, romh ghrisne. [mhiorun 

Mar bha Righ nan righ sinte suas 

Gun iochd gun truas ri crann, 
Am Barr dosrach donn dual, 

Mar bhuadhaich corp Chriosd gun fheall, 

'S mar bhean nan seachdamh beannachd 

Tha dol a steach 'nan ceann, 
Gum beannaicheadh Dia na bheil romhad 

Agus thus tha triall 'nan teann. 

Buadh cruth, 

Buadh guth dhut ; 
Buadh bhochd, 

Buadh chnoc dhut ; 
Buadh àillne, 

Buadh slàinte dhut ; 
Buadh mara , 

Buadh talamh dhut ; 
Buadh ciùil, 

Buadh iùil dhut ; 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 185 



THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST 

May God bless thy cross 

Before thou go over the sea ; 
Any illness that thou mayest have, 

It shall not take thee hence. 

May God bless thy crucifying cross 

In the house-shelter of Christ, 
Against drowning, against peril, against spells. 

Against sore wounding, against grisly fright, [malice 

As the King of kings was stretched up 

Without pity, without compassion, to the tree, 

The leafy, brown, wreathed topmost Bough, 
As the body of the sinless Christ triumphed. 

And as the woman of the seven blessings. 

Who is going in at their head. 
May God bless all that are before thee 

And thee who art moving anear them. 

Grace of form, 

Grace of voice be thine ; 
Grace of charity, 

Grace of wisdom be thine ; 
Grace of beauty, 

Grace of health be thine ; 
Grace of sea, 

Grace of land be thine ; 
Grace of music, 

Grace of guidance be thine ; 



i86 GUIDHEAGHAN TURAIS 

Buadh àrach, 

Buadh làrach dhut ; 
Buadh biù, 

Buadh chù dhut ; 
Buadh annsachd, 

Buadh dannsachd dhut ; 
Buadh cruit, 

Buadh clàir dhut ; 
Buadh riain, 

Buadh ciaill dhut ; 
Buadh beil, 

Buadh sgeil dhut ; 
Buadh reidh, 

Buadh Dhe dhut. 

Guth caon cubhr urnam dhut, 
Is teanga rùnach mhìn : 

Dà nì feumail do mhurn 's do mhac, 
A dh' fliear agus a mhnì, 

Aoibh Dhè dha t'aghaidh, 
Aoibh dh'an neach a chì thu ; 

Caim Dhè dha d' chumail, 
Ainglean Dhè dha d' dhìona. 

Cha ghearr claidheamh thu, 
Cha loisg athain thu, 
Cha reub saighead thu, 
Cha bhàth maranna thu. 

Is gil thu na 'n eal air loch làthaich, 
Is gil thu na faoileag bhàn an t-sruth, 
Is gil thu na sneachd nam beann arda, 
Is gil thu na gràdh ainglean nan nimh. 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 187 

Grace of battle-triumph, 

Grace of victory be thine ; 
Grace of Hfe, 

Grace of praise be thine ; 
Grace of love, 

Grace of dancing be thine ; 
Grace of lyre, 

Grace of harp be thine ; 
Grace of sense, 

Grace of reason be thine ; 
Grace of speech, 

Grace of story be thine ; 
Grace of peace, 

Grace of God be thine. 



A voice soft and musical I pray for thee, 
And a tongue loving and mild : 

Two things good for daughter and for son, 
For husband and for wife. 

The joy of God be in thy face, 

Joy to all who see thee ; 
The circhng of God be keeping thee. 

Angels of God shielding thee. 

Nor sword shall wound thee. 
Nor brand shall burn thee. 
Nor arrow shall rend thee. 
Nor seas shall drown thee. 

Thou art whiter than the swan on miry lake. 
Thou art whiter than the white gull of the current. 
Thou art whiter than the snow of the high mountains. 
Thou art whiter than the love of the angels of heaven. 



GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 

Is tus an caorrann caon dearg 
A thraothas fraoch is fearg gach duine, 
Mar thonn mhara bho lionadh gu tràghadh, 
Mar thonn mhara bho thràghadh gu lionadh. 

Brat Chriosda dh'a chàramh umad, 

Dha do sgàth bho do mhullach gu d' bhonn ; 
Brat Dhe nan dùl dha do chumail, 

Dha do churadh agus dha do chonn. 

Chan fhàgar thu an làmh an daoi, 
Cha lùbar thu an cùirt na feall ; 
Èiridh tu buadhach os an cionn 
Mar dh'eireas buadhach stuagh nan tonn. 

Is gràdh-gheal nan neul thu, 
Is gràdh-gheal nan speur thu, 
Is gràdh-gheal nan reul thu, 
Is gràdh-gheal na re thu. 
Is gràdh-gheal na grein thu, 
Is gràdh-gheal na nèamh thu. 
Is gràdh-gheal nan aingeal thu, 
Is gràdh-gheal Chriosda fein thu. 
Is gràdh-gheal Dhe nan dùl thu. 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 189 

Thou art the gracious red rowan 

That subdues the ire and anger of all men, 

As a sea-wave from flow to ebb, 

As a sea-wave from ebb to flow. 

The mantle of Christ be placed upon thee. 
To shade thee from thy crown to thy sole ; 

The mantle of the God of life be keeping thee, 
To be thy champion and thy leader. 

Thou shalt not be left in the hand of the wicked, 
Thou shalt not be bent in the court of the false ; 
Thou shalt rise victorious above them 
As rise victorious the arches of the waves. 

Thou art the pure love of the clouds. 
Thou art the pure love of the skies. 
Thou art the pure love of the stars. 
Thou art the pure love of the moon. 
Thou art the pure love of the sun. 
Thou art the pure love of the heavens. 
Thou art the pure love of the angels. 
Thou art the pure love of Christ Himself, 
Thou art the pure love of the God of all life. 



igo GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 




SOISGEUL DHE NAN DUL [273] 

Beulaiche : Anna Nic Fhionghuin, croitear, Sorasdal, Eilean Chola 

OISGEUL Dhe nan dùl 

Dha d' chùmhnadh, dha d' chomhnadh ; 
Seadh, Soisgeul Chriosda chùmh, 
Soisgeul nùmh an Domhnaich ; 

Dha d' chumail o gach tnùth, 

Gach dubh agus dòlas ; [dùbh 

Dha d' chumail o gach gnu, 
Droch shùil agus dorainn. 

Siubhlaidh tu null, siubhlaidh tu nail, 

Siubhlaidh tu meall agus maol, 
Siubhlaidh tu sios, siubhlaidh tu suas, 

Siubhlaidh tu cuan agus caol. 

Tha Criosda fein 'na bhuachaill ort 
Dha d' chuartach air gach taobh ; 

Cha dibir e thu làmh no cos, 
'S cha leig e olc 'nad ghaoth. 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 191 



THE GOSPEL OF THE GOD OF LIFE 

Reciter : Ann Mackinnon, crofter, Sorasdal, Island of Coll 

The Gospel of the God of life 

To shelter thee, to aid thee ; 
Yea, the Gospel of beloved Christ 

The holy Gospel of the Lord ; 

To keep thee from all malice. 
From every dole and dolour ; 

To keep thee from all spite, 
From evil eye and anguish. 

Thou shalt travel thither, thou shalt travel hither, 
Thou shalt travel hill and headland. 

Thou shalt travel down, thou shalt travel up, 
Thou shalt travel ocean and narrow. 

Christ Himself is shepherd over thee. 
Enfolding thee on every side ; 

He will not forsake thee hand or foot. 
Nor let evil come anigh thee. 



192 



GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 



SOISGEUL CHRIOSD [274] 

O Mhàirì Nic Ghill-Eathain, croitear, Manal, Tiriodh 



UIRIM comraich Chriosd umad, 
Cuirim comhnadh Dhe ma riut, 
Dha do ghabhail, dha do dhion 
O bhàthadh, o ghàbhadh, o dhith, 
O bhàthadh, o ghàbhadh, o dhith. 

Soisgeul Dhe nan gràs 

O do bharr gu do bhonn ; 

Soisgeul Chriosda Righ na slàint 
'Na sgàile dha do chom, 
'Na sgàile dha do chom. 



Nara bàthar thu air muir, 
Nara tuiril thu air tir, 

Nara sàraicht thu le fir, 
Nara millear thu le mni, 
Nara millear thu le mni ! 




JOURNEY PRAYERS 193 



THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST 

From Mary Maclean, crofter, Manal, Island of Tiree 

I SET the keeping of Christ about thee, 
I send the guarding of God with thee, 
To possess thee, to protect thee 
From drowning, from danger, from loss. 
From drowning, from danger, from loss. 

The Gospel of the God of grace 
Be from thy summit to thy sole ; 

The Gospel of Christ, King of salvation, 
Be as a mantle to thy body. 
Be as a mantle to thy body. 

Nor drowned be thou at sea, 
Nor slain be thou on land, 

Nor o'erborne be thou by man, 
Nor undone be thou by woman, 
Nor undone be thou by woman ! 



194 



GUIDHEAGHAN TURAIS 




COMHNADH NAN DEOR 



[275] 



O Mhàiri Dhomhnallaich, croitear, Staoinibrig, Uibhist a Deas, 
^ bean aig an robh an da shealladh 



lA bhith leat air gach bealach, 
iosa bhith leat air gach tulach, 
Spiorad bhith leat air gach strutha, 
Rudha 's ruighe 's reidhlein ; 

Gach muir is tir, gach frith is cluan, 
Gach laighe sios, gach eirigh suas, 
An lag nan tonn, air barr nan stuagh, 

Gach ceum dh'an chuart dh'an teid thu. 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 195 



THE PILGRIMS' AIDING 

From Mary MacDonald, crofter, Staoinibrig, South Uist, 
who possessed the second sight 

God be with thee in every pass, 
Jesus be with thee on every hill, 
Spirit be with thee on every stream, 
Headland and ridge and lawn ; 

Each sea and land, each moor and meadow, 
Each lying down, each rising up. 
In the trough of the waves, on the crest of the billows. 
Each step of the journey thou goest. 



196 



GUIDHEACHAN TURAIS 




SIAN SABHALAIDH 



ABHAIDH tu ri Dia, 
Gabhaidh Dia riut, 
'G iadhadh do dhà bhonn, 
'S a dhà làimh mu d' cheann. 



[276] 



Do dhrisean crann no cuileann ; 
Is carraig thu air muir, 
Is daingneach thu air tlr. 

Tha sgiath Mhicheil umad, 
Tha sgàth Chrìosda tharad, 
Tha lùireach chaol Chaluim Ghille 
Dha do dhlon o na saigheada sith. 

Roimh na corracha-cri, 

Roimh na corracha-cnàmh, 

Roimh bhuaireadh an t-saoghail a bhos, 

Roimh olcas an t-saoghail thall. 



[rosad 



A' bhean air a glùn, 
A' bhean air a sùil, 
A' bhean air a gnu, 

A' bhean air a farmad : 



A' bhean air tànach a trèid, 
A' bhean air àlach a spreidh, 
A' bhean air àrach a greigh, 
Guna ruig i feithean a cridh. 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 197 



CHARM FOR PROTECTION 

Thou shalt take to God, 
God shall take to thee, 
Surrounding thy two feet, 
His two hands about thy head. 



To thorns of trees or hollies ; 

A rock thou art at sea, 

A fortress thou art on land. 

Michael's shield is about thee, 
Christ's shelter is over thee, 
The fine-wrought breastplate of Columba 
Preserves thee from the fairy shafts. 

Against the screeching cranes (?), 

Against the gnawing cranes (?), 

Against the troubling of the world here. 

Against the evil of the world beyond. [mischief 

The woman on her knee, 
The woman at her (evil) eye. 
The woman with her spleen. 
The woman with her envy ; 

The woman at the cattle of her herd, 
The woman at the young of her cows, 
The woman at the rearing of her flocks. 
Until it reach the fibres of her heart. 

N2 



igS GUIDHEAGHAN TURAIS 

A' bhean mhùgach bhreun, 

***** 

***** 

Gun ruig i an t-àit as an tàinig i. 

Gach bean gnùthach farmadach, 
A sgaoileas a full, a feòil, is a gaorr, 

Oirre fein bitheadh a gnu agus tearbadh, 

O'n la an diugh gu la deireannach an t-saoghail. 



JOURNEY PRAYERS 199 

The woman frowning and foul, 

***** 

***** 

Until she reach the place whence she came. 

Each woman who is full of spleen and envy, 
Who sunders her blood, her flesh and gore, 

On herself be her spleen and her severing. 
From this day to the final day of the world. 



BEANNAGHDAN 



BEANNACHDAN [277] 

Gun sàsaìcheadh an Spiorad sibh 

Le ibhimeachd nan gràs. [iobhamachd na slàint 



Beannachd Dhe agus Dhomhnaich dhuibh, 

Beannachd Spioraid foirfe dhuibh, 

Beannachd Tri bhith dòrtadh dhuibh [Thri 

Gu fòill agus gu fial, 

Gu foil! agus gu fial. 



Sith Dhe dhuibh, 
Sith Chriosda dhuibh, 
Sith Spioraid dhuibh 
Agus dha bhur cloinn, 

Dhuibh agus dha bhur cloinn. 



Sùil Dhe mhoir oirbh, 
Sùil Dhe na glòir oirbh, 
Sùil Mhic Mhoire Òigh oirbh, 
Sùil Spioraid fòill oirbh, 

Dha bhur comhnadh agus dha bhur cuallach ; [cuanach, 
O sùil chaomh na Teòr oirbh, cuanadh 

Dha bhur comhnadh agus dha bhur cuallach. 



Gun gabhadh an tAthair siorraidh sibh 
'Na ghlacaibh fialaidh fein, 
'Na ghàirdean fialaidh fein. 



BLESSINGS 



BLESSINGS 

May the Spirit satisfy you 

With the water (?) of grace. [of salvation 



The blessing of God and the Lord be yours. 
The blessing of the perfect Spirit be yours, 
The blessing of the Three be pouring for you 

Mildly and generously, 

Mildly and generously. 



The peace of God be to you. 
The peace of Christ be to you. 
The peace of Spirit be to you 
And to your children. 

To you and to your children. 



The eye of the great God be upon you. 
The eye of the God of glory be on you. 
The eye of the Son of Mary Virgin be on you. 
The eye of the Spirit mild be on you. 

To aid you and to shepherd you ; 
Oh the kindly eye of the Three be on you, 

To aid you and to shepherd you. 



May the everlasting Father Himself take you 
In His own generous clasp, 
In His own generous arm. 



BEANNACHDAN 

Gun dìonadh Dia sibh air gach bearradh, 
Gun comhnadh Criosd sibh anns gach cadha, 
Gun ligheadh Spiorad sibh anns gach bealach. 



Gun dionadh an tAthaIr siorraidh sibh 
Gach sear is siar dh'an teid sibh. 



Comraig Chriosda dh'ur dion gu bràtha. 



Gun dionadh Dia dhuibh gach bearradh, 
Gum fosgladh Dia dhuibh gach bealach. 
Gun reiticheadh Dia dhuibh gach rathad, 

Agus gun gabhadh e 'na dhà ghlacaibh fein sibh. 



O gach naomh agus ban-naomh am flathas, 
Dhe nan dùl agus nam mathas, 
Bhith gabhail cùram dhibh anns gach cadhas 
Gach taobh agus car dh'an teid sibh. 



Gach naomh ann am flathas, 
Gach ban-naomh ann am flathas, 
Gach aingeal am flathas 
Bhith sgaoileadh dhuibh lamhan, 
Bhith reiteach dhuibh rathaid, 
'N uair theid sibh null thairis 

Air abhainn do-Ieirsinn ; 
O 'n uair theid sibh null dhachaidh 

Air abhainn do-leirsinn. 



Gun glacadh an tAthaIr sibh 

'Na ghlacaibh cubhraidh gràidh, 

Dol thar na strutha tuil 
Is abhainn dubh a' bhàis. 



BLESSINGS 

May God shield you on every steep, 
May Christ keep you in every path, 
May Spirit bathe you in every pass. 



May the everlasting Father shield you 
East and west wherever you go. 



May Christ's safe-guard protect you ever. 



May God make safe to you each steep, 
May God make open to you each pass, 
May God make clear to you each road, 
And may He take you in the clasp of His own two hands. 



Oh may each saint and sainted woman in heaven, 
O God of the creatures and God of goodness. 
Be taking charge of you in every strait 
Every side and every turn you go. 



Be each saint in heaven. 
Each sainted woman in heaven. 
Each angel in heaven 
Stretching their arms for you. 
Smoothing the way for you. 
When you go thither 

Over the river hard to see ; 
Oh when you go thither home 

Over the river hard to see. 



May the Father take you 

In His fragrant clasp of love, 

When you go across the flooding streams 
And the black river of death. 



203 



204 BEANNACHDAN 

Mac Moire Òighe fèin 

Bhith 'na lòchran fèil dhuibh, 

D'ur treòrach thar cuan 

Mor breun na bioth-bhuantachd. 



Cairn nan naomh oirbh. 
Cairn nan aingeal oirbh ; 
O cairn nan uile naomh 
Agus nan naodh aingeal oirbh. 



Gràs an De mhoir oirbh, 
Gràs Mhic Mhoire Òigh oirbh, 
Gràs Spioraid foirfe oirbh, 
Gu fòill agus gu fial. 



Beannachd Dhe gu robh agaibh, 
Is guma slàn a dh'eireas dhuibh. 



Mathachd Dhe gu robh agaibh, 

'S guma math *s guma seachd math 
A chuireas sibh seachad bhur saoghal. 



Gràdh bhur cruthadair a bhith leibh. 



Brighid agus Moire agus Micheal 
Dh'ur dion air muir agus air tir, 
Gach ceum is sUghe dh'an teid sibh. 



Rosg Dhe bhith chomhnaidh leibh, 
Cos Chriosd bhith treòrach leibh, 
Fros Spioraid dòrtadh oirbh, 
Gu sòghar agus fial. 



BLESSINGS 205 



May Mary Virgin's Son Himself 

Be a generous lamp to you, 

To guide you over 

The great and awful ocean of eternity. 



The compassing of the saints be upon you, 
The compassing of the angels be upon you ; 
Oh the compassing of all the saints 
And of the nine angels be upon you. 



The grace of the great God be upon you. 
The grace of Virgin Mary's Son be upon you, 
The grace of the perfect Spirit be upon you, 
Mildly and generously. 



May God's blessing be yours. 
And well may it befall you. 



May God's goodness be yours. 
And well and seven times well 
May you spend your lives. 



The love of your creator be with you. 



May Brigit and Mary and Michael 
Shield you on sea and on land. 
Each step and each path you travel. 



Be the eye of God dwelling wdth you, 
The foot of Christ in guidance with you. 
The shower of the Spirit pouring on you. 
Richly and generously. 



2o6 BEANNACHDAN 

Slth Dhe dhuibh, 

Sith iosu dhuibh, 

Sith Spioraid dhuibh 
Agus dha bhur cloinn, 
O dhuibh agus dha bhur cloinn, 

Gach latha agus oidhche 

Dha bhur cuibhreann san t-saoghal. 



Caim Righ nan dùl dhuibh, 
Cairn Chriosda chùmh dhuibh, 
Caim Spioraid Nùmh dhuibh 
Gu crùn na beatha shiorraidh, 
Gu crùn na beatha shiorraidh. 



Mo bheannachd fein bhith agaibh, 
Beannachd Dhe bhith agaibh, 
Beannachd Spioraid bhith agaibh 
Agus aig bhur cloinn, 

Agaibh agus aig bhur cloinn. 



Mo bheannachd fein bhith agaibh, 
Beannachd Dhe bhith agaibh, 
Beannachd naomh bhith agaibh 
Is sèimh na beatha shiorraidh, 
Gu sèimh na beatha shiorraidh. 



Comairc Dhe nan diil oirbh, 
Comairc Chriosda chiimh oirbh, 
Comairc Spioraid Nùmh oirbh 

Gach oidhche dha bhur saoghal, 
Dh'ur comhnadh 's dha bhur cuibhreach 

Gach latha 's oidhche dh'ur saoghal. 



Gaol agus gràdh nan aingeal dhuibh. 

Gaol agus gràdh nan naomh dhuibh. 

Gaol agus gràdh nam flathas dhuibh, 

Dh'ur coimirc is dh'ur caomhnadh. 



BLESSINGS 207 



God's peace be to you, 
Jesus' peace be to you, 
Spirit's peace be to you 

And to your children. 

Oh to you and to your children. 
Each day and night 
Of your portion in the world. 



The compassing of the King of life be yours, 
The compassing of loving Christ be yours, 
The compassing of Holy Spirit be yours 
Unto the crown of the life eternal, 
Unto the crown of the life eternal. 



My own blessing be with you. 
The blessing of God be with you. 
The blessing of Spirit be with you 
And with your children. 

With you and with your children. 



My own blessing be with you. 
The blessing of God be with you, 
The blessing of saints be with you 
And the peace of the life eternal, 
Unto the peace of the life eternal. 



The guarding of the God of life be on you, 
The guarding of loving Christ be on you, 
The guarding of Holy Spirit be on you 

Every night of your lives, 
To aid you and enfold you 

Each day and night of your lives. 



The love and affection of the angels be to you. 
The love and affection of the saints be to you. 
The love and affection of heaven be to you, 
To guard you and to cherish you. 



2o8 BEANNACHDAN 

Gun dionadh Dia dhuibh air gach bearradh, 
Gun comhnadh Criosda dhuibh air gach cadha, 
Gun lionadh Spiorad dhuibh air gach leathad, 
Cnoc agus comhnard. 



Gun dionadh Righ sibh air na gleannaibh. 
Gun comhnadh Criosda sibh air na beannaibh, 
Gun liobhadh Spiorad sibh air na Icathaid, 

Sloe, cnoc, is comhard, [comhrad 

Beann, gleann is comhard. 



Cruth Chriosda thigim, 
Cruth Chriosda thugam, 
Cruth Chriosda romham, 
Cruth Chriosda dheogham, 
Cruth Chriosda tharam, 
Cruth Chriosda fodham, 
Cruth Chriosda chomhnam, 
Cruth Chriosda chuartam 
A Luan agus Dhomhnach ; 
Cruth Chriosda chuartam 
A Luan agus Dhomhnach. 



Gaol agus gràdh nam flathas dhuibh, 
Gaol agus gràdh nan naomh dhuibh, 
Gaol agus gràdh nan aingeal dhuibh, 
Gaol agus gràdh na greine dhuibh. 
Gaol agus gràdh na gealaich dhuibh, 
Gach latha agus oidhche dh'ur saoghal, 

O luchd spid, o luchd leòin, o luchd foirneirt. 



Slth Dhe a bhith agaibh, 
Sith Chriosda bhith agaibh, 
Sith Spioraid a bhith agaibh 

Agus aig bhur cloinn, 
O'n la 'n diugh a th'againn ann 
Gu la ceann crich bhur saoghail. 
Gun tig la ceann bhur saoghail. 



BLESSINGS 209 



May God shield you on every steep, 
May Christ aid you on every path, 
May Spirit fill you on every slope. 
On hill and on plain. 



May the King shield you in the valleys, 
May Christ aid you on the mountains, 
May Spirit bathe you on the slopes. 
In hollow, on hill, on plain. 
Mountain, valley and plain. 



The shape of Christ be towards me. 
The shape of Christ be to me. 
The shape of Christ be before me, 
The shape of Christ be behind me. 
The shape of Christ be over me. 
The shape of Christ be under me. 
The shape of Christ be with me. 
The shape of Christ be around me 
On Monday and on Sunday ; 

The shape of Christ be around me 
On Monday and on Sunday. 



The love and affection of heaven be to you, 
The love and affection of the saints be to you. 
The love and affection of the angels be to you, 
The love and affection of the sun be to you. 
The love and affection of the moon be to you. 

Each day and night of your lives, 

To keep you from haters, to keep you from harmers, 
to keep you from oppressors. 



The peace of God be with you. 
The peace of Christ be with you. 
The peace of Spirit be with you 

And with your children, 
From the day that we have here to-day 
To the day of the end of your lives. 
Until the day of the end of your lives. 



BEANNAGHDAN 



Gràs Dhè leibh, 
Gràs Chriosda leibh, 
Gràs Spioraid leibh 
Agus le bhur cloinn, 
Duthain suthain sìor. 



Gràs Dhè a shileadh oirbh, 
Gràs Chrìosda shileadh oirbh, 
Gràs Spioraid a shileadh oirbh 
Gach latha agus gach oidhche 

Dha bhur cuibhreann anns an t-saoghal 
O gach latha agus gach oidhche 

Dha bhur cuibhreann anns an t-saoghal. 



Beannachd Dhe a bhith agaibh, 

'S guma math a dh'eireas dhuibh ; 
Beannachd Chriosda bhith agaibh, 
'S guma math a chuirear ruibh ; 
Beannachd Spioraid a bhith agaibh, 

'S guma math a chuireas sibh seachad bhur saoghal, 
Gach latha dh'eireas sibh a suas, [uair 

Gach oidhche laigheas sibh a sios. 



Sùil Dhe mhoir, 
Sùil Dhe na glòir, 
Sùil Mhic na hÒigh, 
Sùil Spioraid fòill 

Dha do chomhnadh 's dha do chuallach [chuanadh 

Anns gach ial, 
Bhith dòrtadh oirbh gach uair 
Gu fòiU agus gu fial. 



BLESSINGS 

The grace of God be with you, 
The grace of Christ be with you, 

The grace of Spirit be with you 
And with your children. 

For an hour, for ever, for eternity. 



God's grace distil on you, 
Christ's grace distil on you. 
Spirit's grace distil on you 
Each day and each night 

Of your portion in the world ; 
Oh each day and each night 
Of your portion in the world. 



God's blessing be yours, 

And well may it befall you ; 
Christ's blessing be yours. 

And well be you entreated ; 
Spirit's blessing be yours. 

And well spend you your lives, 
Each day that you rise up. 
Each night that you lie down. 



May the eye of the great God, 

The eye of the God of glory, 

The eye of the Virgin's Son, 

The eye of the gentle Spirit 

Aid you and shepherd you 

In every time. 

Pour upon you every hour 

Mildly and generously. 



212 



ÒRACHAN BUADHA 




ORA BUADH [278] 

UADH a chuir Brighid, 

Rìoghainn nam buadh, 
An nighean an rìgh, 

Gile-Mhìn nan snuadh. 



Cruth Chrìosda romhad, 
Cruth Dhè a dheoghad, 
Struth Spioraid tromhad 

Dha do chobhair 's dha do chomhnadh. 



Buadh a suas tharad, 
Buadh a nuas tharad, 
Buadh nam buadh gun athradh, 
Buadh Athar agus Dhomhnaich. 



Buadh crutha, 

Buadh ratha, [rutha ? 

Buadh gutha, 

Buadh ìosa Crìosda an comhnaidh dhut, 
Buadh ìomhaigh an Domhnaich dut. 



Buadh feara, 
Buadh bheana, 
Buadh leannain, 

Buadh mhac agus nighean dhut. 



INVOCATION OF THE GRACES 213 



INVOCATION OF THE GRACES 

The grace placed by Brigit, 

Maiden of graces, 
In the daughter of the king, 

Gile-Mhin the beauteous. 



Form of Christ before thee, 
Form of God behind thee. 
Stream of Spirit through thee 
To succour and aid thee. 



Grace upwards over thee, 
Grace downwards over thee, 
Grace of graces without gainsaying, 
Grace of Father and of Lord. 



Grace of form, 

Grace of fortune, [increase ? 

Grace of voice, 

Grace of Jesus Christ be ever thine, 
Grace of the image of the Lord be thine. 



Excellence of men. 
Excellence of women, 
Excellence of lover. 

Excellence of sons and of daughters be thine. 

02 



214 ÒRACHAN BUADHA 

Buadh iodha, 
Buadh dibhe, 
Buadh ciùil, 
Buadh iùil, 

Buadh muir is tire dhut. 

Buadh suidhe, 
Buadh uidhe, 
Buadh cruidhe, 
Buadh muidhe, 

Buadh gruithim is ime dhut. 

Buadh lachain Mhoire, 
Buadh eal an tobair, 
Buadh chaor is olainn, 
Buadh mheann is ghobhar, 

Buadh bhuan là agus oidhche dhut. 

Buadh rùn nan speura dhut, 
Buadh rùn nan reula dhut, 
Buadh rùn na rèè dhut, 
Buadh rùn na grèine dhut, 

Buadh rùn agus crùn nan nèamha dhut. 



INVOCATION OF THE GRACES 215 

Excellence of corn, 
Excellence of drink, 
Excellence of music, 
Excellence of guiding, 

Excellence of sea and land be thine. 

Excellence of sitting. 
Excellence of journeying, 
Excellence of cattle, 
Excellence of churning. 

Excellence of curds and butter be thine. 

Excellence of the duck of Mary, [mallard 

Excellence of the swan of the fountain, 
Excellence of sheep and of wool. 
Excellence of kids and of goats. 

Lasting excellence by day and night be thine. 

Grace of the love of the skies be thine, 
Grace of the love of the stars be thine, 
Grace of the love of the moon be thine, 
Grace of the love of the sun be thine, 

Grace of the love and the crown of heaven be thine. 



2l6 



ÒRACHAN BUADHA 




SIAN BHUADHA [279] 

N sian a chuir Brighde, 

Rioghainn nam buadh, 
Air nighean gheal an righ, 

Gile-Mhin nan snuadh. 



Tha cruth Dhe dheoghad, 
Tha cruth Chriosda romhad, 
Tha sruth Spioraid feodhad, 

Dha do chobhair agus dha do chomhnadh. 



Tha blàth Dhe umad, 
Tha blàth Chriosda umad, 
Tha blàth Spioraid umad, 

Dha do liuthadh agus dha do bhòidhcheadh. 



Tha buadh a suas tharad, 
Tha buadh a nuas tharad, 
Tha buadh nam buadh gun athradh, 
Buadh Athar agus Dhomhnaich. 



Buadh feara, 
Buadh beana, 
Buadh seanaidh, 
Buadh leannain, 

Buadh mhac agus nighean. 



INVOCATION OF THE GRACES 217 



CHARM OF GRACE 

The charm placed by Brigit, 

Maiden of graces, 
On the white daughter of the king, 

Gile-Mhin the beauteous. 



The form of God is behind thee, 
The form of Christ is before thee, 
The stream of Spirit is through thee. 
To succour and aid thee. 



The bloom of God is upon thee. 
The bloom of Christ is upon thee. 
The bloom of Spirit is upon thee, 
To bathe thee and make thee fair. 



Grace is upwards over thee, 
Grace is downwards over thee, 
Grace of graces without gainsaying, 
Grace of Father and of Lord. 



Excellence of men, 
Excellence of women. 
Excellence of council, 
Excellence of lover. 

Excellence of sons and of daughters. 



2i8 ORACH AN BUADHA 

Buadh ghlaca, 
Buadh bhaca, 
Buadh sloca, 
Buadh chnoca, 

Buadh mharc agus mhìHdh. 



Buadh siubhail, 
Buadh turais, 
Buadh bhaile bhig, 
Buadh bhaile mhoir, 
Buadh mhara agus tire. 

Buadh maise, 
Buadh laise, 
Buadh mathais, 
Buadh flathais, 

Buadh la is oidhche. 

Buadh crutha, 
Buadh gutha, 
Buadh rudha, 
Buadh crudha, 

Buadh gruithe agus ime. 

Is tu reula gach oidhche, 
Is tu soillse gach maidne, 

Is tu sgeula gach aoighe, 

Is tu faighneachd gach fearainn. 



Falbhaidh tu garbhlach, 
'S cha dearg thu do chas : 

Tha losa dha do thearmad, 
Tha iosa ri do bhas. 



INVOCATION OF THE GRACES 219 

Excellence of dells, 
Excellence of knolls, 
Excellence of hollows, 
Excellence of hills, 
Excellence of horses and of heroes. 



Excellence of travel. 
Excellence of journey. 
Excellence of small town. 
Excellence of great town. 

Excellence of sea and of shore. 

Excellence of beauty, 
Excellence of radiance. 
Excellence of goodness. 
Excellence of heaven. 

Excellence of day and of night. 

Excellence of form, 
Excellence of voice. 
Excellence of complexion, 
Excellence of cattle. 

Excellence of curd and of butter. 

Thou art the star of each night, 

Thou art the brightness of each morn. 

Thou art the tidings of each guest. 
Thou art the enquiry of every land. 

Thou shalt travel a rough ground 
And thou shalt not redden thy foot : 

Jesus is guarding thee, 
Jesus is by thy hand. 



220 ÒRACHAN BUADHA 

Tha crùn an Rìgh ma d' cheann, 
Tha mionn a' Mhic ma d' bhathais, 

Tha lùth an Spioraid ann do chom : 
Thèid agus thig thu slàn gu baile. 

Siubhlaidh tu suas 
Agus tillidh tu nuas, 
Siubhlaidh tu cuan 
Agus tillidh tu nall ; 

Chan èirich dhut baoghal 
Am bac no am bruach, 
An glac no an cluan, 
An cruach no an gleann. 

Tha sgiath Mhicheil tharad, 
Righ nan aingeal fionn, 

Dha do dhion is dha do chaim 
O do bharr a chon do bhonn. 

Cha dean fear, 
Cha dean bean, 
Cha dean mac, 
Cha dean murn 

Dearc na dùil, 
Fuath na farmad, 

Scare na sùil, 
Tnùth na tarmadh, 

A thearbas tu, 
A laigheas ort, 
A dhiongas tu, 
A dheargas ort. 



INVOCATION OF THE GRACES 

The crown of the King is around thy head, 
The diadem of the Son is around thy brow, 

The might of the Spirit is in thy breast : 

Thou shalt go forth and come homeward safe. 

Thou shalt journey upward 
And come again down, 
Thou shalt journey over ocean 
And come again hither ; 

No peril shall befall thee 
On knoll nor on bank. 
In hollow nor in meadow. 
On mount nor in glen. 

The shield of Michael is over thee. 

King of the bright angels, 
To shield thee and to guard thee 

From thy summit to thy sole. 

Nor shall man 
Nor shall woman 
Nor shall son 

Nor shall daughter 

Make glance nor wish, 
Hate nor jealousy. 

Love nor eye. 
Envy nor durance 

That shall sunder thee. 
That shall he upon thee. 
That shall subdue thee, 
That shall wound thee. 



ÒRAGHAN BUADHA 

Cha dèan sluagh, 
Cha dèan saobh, 

Cha dèan sìodh, 
Gha dèan saoghal 

Tailm na tabhaill, 
Sleagh na saighead, 
Tuagh na tarrainn, 
Clìc na claidheamh, 

A dhrùidheas ort, 
A chuireas riut, 

A dheargas tu, 

A dh'fhoghnas dhut. 

Cha dèan gobha, 
Cha dèan ceard, 

Cha dèan clachair, 
Cha dèan saor 

Beart na ball, 
Arm na inneall, 

Uigheam na uirlis, 
Dealbh na innleachd, 

Copair na cloiche, 
Umha na iaraìnn, 

Fiodha na fionndrain, 
Òir na airgid, 

A chiallas tu, 
A dh'iadhas tu, 
A riabas tu, 
A shrianas tu. 



INVOCATION OF THE GRACES 

Host shall not make, 

False one shall not make, 

Fairy shall not make, 
World shall not make 



Shng nor catapult. 
Spear nor shaft. 
Axe nor javelin. 
Hook nor sword. 

That shall affect thee, 
That shall afflict thee. 

That shall wound thee, 
That shall overpower thee. 

No smith shall make, 

No craftsman shall make, 

No mason shall make. 
No Wright shall make 

Gear nor tool. 

Weapon nor device. 
Tackle nor instrument. 

Frame nor invention, 

Of copper nor stone, 

Of brass nor iron. 
Of wood nor bronze. 

Of gold nor silver, 

That shall check thee. 
That shall enclose thee. 
That shall rend thee. 
That shall bridle thee. 



223 



224 ÒRACHAN BUADHA 

Null na nail, 
Tur na tìr, 

Bhos na thall, 
Shìos na nìos, 

Shuas na nuas, 
Muir na tìr, 

San fhosga shuas, 
San fhailce shìos. 

A chnòi mo chridhe, 
A ghnùis mo ghrèine, 

A chroit mo chiùil, 
A chrùin mo chèille ; 

Rùn Dhè nan dùl thu, 
Rùn Chrìosda chùmh thu, 
Rùn Spioraid Nùmh thu, 
Rùn gach dùl bheò thu, 
Rùn gach dùl bheò thu. 



INVOCATION OF THE GRACES 225 

Thither nor hither. 

Earth nor land, 
Here nor yonder, 

Down nor up, 

Above nor below, 

Sea nor shore. 
In the sky aloft, 

In the deep beneath. 

Thou nut of my heart. 

Thou face of my sun. 
Thou harp of my music, 

Thou crown of my sense ; 

Thou art the love of the God of Life, 

Thou art the love of tender Christ, 

Thou art the love of Spirit Holy, 

Thou art the love of each living creature, 
Thou art the love of each living creature. 



226 ÒRAGHAN BUADHA 




ORA AODANN NIGHINN [280] 

HA fèil Dhè air th'aghaidh, 

Tha Mac Dhè dha d' chomairc 

O dhroch dhaoin an domhain, 

Tha Righ nan reul ma d' choinneimh. 

Tha fèil Mhoire an troma gràidh, 
Teanga mhodhail mhìn mhàld, 
Fionna fionn eadar do dhà mhalaigh, — 
Fionn mac Cumhaill eatorra sin. 



O's i Moire agus ìos a Mac 
A chuir an tlachd sin fèin ad ghnùis, 
Gun robh bias na meala mìn ort 
Agus air gach facal mar a their thu, 

Ri mithibh agus ri maithibh, 

Ri fearaibh agus ri beanaibh maoth, 
O'n là an diugh a th'againn ann 
Gu là ceann crìch do shaoghail, 
A uchd nan cùmh agus nan cumhachdan sìorraidh, 
A uchd Dhè nan dùl agus a uchd cluthadh a Mhic. 



INVOCATION OF THE GRACES 227 



CHARM FOR THE FACE OF A MAIDEN 

The beauty of God is in thy face, 
The Son of God is protecting thee 
From the wicked ones of the world, 
The King of the stars is before thee. 

The beauty of Mary of the deep love, 
A tongue mannerly, mild, modest, 
Fair hair between thy two eyebrows, — 
Fionn * son of Cumhall between these. 

Since it is Mary and Jesus her Son 
Who set this pleasantness in thy face, 
May the taste of mild honey be upon thee 
And upon every word thou speakest, 

To simple and to noble. 

To men and to tender women. 
From this day that we have here 
Till the day of the ending of thy life. 
In reliance on the beloved and the powers eternal, 
In reliance on the God of life and the shielding of His Son. 
* Fionn mean.. ' Fair.' 



228 ÒRACHAN BUADHA 




BUADH [281] 

UADH rùna dhut, 
Buadh urlair dhut, 
Buadh lùchairt dhut, 
Buadh cùrta dhut, 

Buadh agus uaill dùthcha dhut. 

Caim Dhè nan dùla dhut, 
Caim Chrìosda chùmha dhut, 
Caim Spioraid Nùmha dhut, 



Dha d' chaomhnadh, 
Dha d' chomhnadh, 
Dha d' chuartadh. 

An Tiùra ma do cheann, 
An Tiùra ma do chom, 
An Tiùra ma do cholann 

Gach oidhche agus latha, 
An caimleachadh nan Trì 

Am marsainneachd do shaoghail. 



INVOCATION OF THE GRACES 229 



GRACE 

Grace of love be thine, 
Grace of floor be thine, 
Grace of castle be thine, 
Grace of court be thine, 

Grace and pride of homeland be thine. 

The guard of the God of life be thine. 
The guard of the loving Christ be thine, 
The guard of the Holy Spirit be thine, 

To cherish thee. 
To aid thee. 
To enfold thee. 

The Three be about thy head, 
The Three be about thy breast, 
The Three be about thy body 

Each night and each day. 
In the encompassment of the Three 

Throughout thy life long. 



P2 



230 



DÙRACHDAN 



DURACHD 



[282] 



From Mary Mackintosh, nèe Smith, Gearraidh na Mòine, South Uist 

The reciter of this poem and of other poems in this work was a woman of 
great natural courtesy and intelligence. She was full of songs and hymns, 
runes and rimes, and of various kinds of literary lore of much interest. 
Her husband was a tailor, a man of good presence and much modesty, and 
her father was Patrick Smith, crofter, of Leth Mheadhonach, South Uist. 
Patrick Smith was rich in literary matter of great and varied interest and 
excellence. Mr Campbell of Islay, Mr Hector Maclean, and the present 
writer took down many pieces of prose and of poetry from him. He was 
equally interested in both, but especially in old heroic tales in prose or 
verse. During the winter nights his house used to be filled with young 
and old listening to stories and poems rehearsed in simple idiomatic Gaelic. 
His son, John Smith, inherited some of his father's lore but none of his 




JJ EART fithich dhuit, 
Feart fiolair dhuit, 

Feart Feinne. 

Feart gaillinn dhuit, 
Feart gealaich dhuit, 
Feart greine. 

Feart mara dhuit, 
Feart talamh dhuit, 

Feart nèimhe. 



GOOD WISHES 



23] 



GOOD WISH 



diction. I took down some stories from him, as did also Dr George 
Henderson. Some forty years after I had first visited Patrick Smith 
I visited his old home again. His grandsons and granddaughters 
were full of modern so-called education, and of self-sufficiency, and 
of unabashed disdain for their unlettered old grandfather and for his 
traditional lore. Unasked they showed their own advancement by singing 
music-hall songs and ditties and by reciting music-hall slang and vulgarities. 
The contrast between the present and the past was strongly illustrated. 
The difference between the quiet, simple dignity and repose of unlettered 
old Patrick Smith and his forward, aggressive, talkative grandchildren was 
as grievous as it was striking. Not less striking was the contrast between 
the beautiful and elevated old lore of the old man and the vulgar modern 
literature of the young people. 

Gun robh mo chridhe caoineadh, My heart did sorely weep, 

Ge faoin a rinn mi gàire. Though simply I did smile. 



Power of raven be thine, 
Power of eagle be thine, 

Power of the Fiann. 

Power of storm be thine, 
Power of moon be thine, 
Power of sun. 

Power of sea be thine, 
Power of land be thine. 

Power of heaven. 



232 DtJRACHDAN 

Mathas mara dhuit, 
Mathas talamh dhuit, 

Mathas nèimhe. 



Gach latha sona dhuit, 
Gun latha dona dhuit, 

Onair agus mèinne. [aithne 

Gràdh gach aghaidh dhuit, 
Bàs cinn-adhairt dhuit, 

Làtharachd do Shlàn'eir. 



GOOD WISHES 233 

Goodness of sea be thine, 
Goodness of earth be thine, 
Goodness of heaven. 

Each day be joyous to thee. 
No day be grievous to thee. 

Honour and compassion. 

Love of each face be tliine, 
Death on pillow be thine. 

Thy Saviour's presence. 



234 



DÙRACHDAN 



GUIDHE 



[283] 



O Mhàiri Nic GhiUe Mhaoil, croitear, Lianacuidh, Uibhist a Deas 

ACH latha subhach dhuit, 

Gun latha dubhach dhuit, 

Saoghal sultach sàsach. 




Tacar dha do shHghe, 
Macan dha do thighinn, 
Nighean dha do thàrsainn. 

Feart fòir na beithre dhuit, 
Feart fòir na teine dhuit, 
Feart fòir nan gràsan. 



Bàs gràidh na sonais dhuit, 
Bàs gràidh na Moire dhuit, 
Gàirdean gràidh do Shlàn'eir. 



GOOD WISHES 235 



PRAYER 

From Mary Macmillan, crofter, Lianacuidh, South Uist, 1872 

Each day be glad to thee, 
No day be sad to thee, 
Life rich and satisfying. 

Plenty be on thy course, 
A son be on thy coming, 

A daughter on thine arriving. 

The strong help of the serpent be thine, 
The strong help of fire be thine. 
The strong help of the graces. 

The love-death of joy be thine. 
The love-death of Mary be thine. 
The loving arm of thy Saviour. 



236 



DtJRAGHDAN 




DURACHD 

EART abhainn dhuit, 
Neart mara dhuit, 
Neart buaidh làrach. 

Neart teine dhuit, 
Neart beithre dhuit, 
Neart carraig làidir. 

Neart dùla dhuit, 
Neart cuire dhuit, 
Neart run nan arda. 



[284] 



[curra, cùrra ? 



GUIDHE 

Feart sùla dhuit, 
Feart dùla dhuit, 

Feart run mo chleibhe. 

Feart sùgha dhuit, 
Feart rùla dhuit, 

Feart sùigh mo cheille. 



[285] 



Feart righ Cù Chulainn dhuit, 
Feart righ na cruinne dhuit, 
Feart righ na Feinne. 



GOOD WISHES 



237 



GOOD WISH 

Thine be the might of river, 
Thine be the might of ocean, 
The might of victory on field. 

Thine be the might of fire, 
Thine be the might of levin. 
The might of a strong rock. 

Thine be the might of element. 
Thine be the might of troop, [fountain ? 

The might of the love on high. 



PRAYER 

Power of eye be thine, 
Power of element be thine, 
Power of my heart's desire. 

Power of surf be thine. 
Power of swell be thine, 

Power of the sap of my reason. 

Power of king Cù Chulainn be thine, 
Power of the king of the world be thine. 
Power of the king of the Fiann. 



238 



DÙRACHDAN 




DURACHD 

ATHAS sùla dhuit, 
Mathas ùidhe dhuit, 

Mathas rùn mo chlèibhe. 

Mathas maca dhuit, 
Mathas murna dhuit, 
Mathas sùigh mo chèille. 

Mathas mara dhuit, 
Mathas talamh dhuit, 
Mathas Flath na nèimhe. 



[286] 



GUIDHE 

GuiDHiM saoghal sona dhuit, 

Onair, cor, is diù, 
Gun osna bho do bhrollach, 

Gun bhoinne bho do shùil. 



[287] 



Gun ràcan dha do rathad, 
Gun sgàile dha do ghnùìs, 

Gun luigh thu bhàn sa chaisteal sin, 
An achlais Chrìosda chùmh. 



GOOD WISHES 239 



GOOD WISH 

The good of eye be thine, 
The good of Kking be thine, 
The good of my heart's desire. 

The good of sons be thine. 
The good of daughters be thine, 
The good of the sap of my sense. 

The good of sea be thine. 
The good of land be thine. 

The good of the Prince of heaven. 



PRAYER 

I PRAY for thee a joyous hfe. 

Honour, estate and good repute, 

No sigh from thy breast, 
No tear from thine eye. 

No hindrance on thy path, 

No shadow on thy face, 
Until thou lie down in that mansion. 

In the arms of Christ benign. 



240 



DÙRACHDAN 




DURACHD 

LIOCAS beithir dhuit, 
Gliocas fithich dhuit, 

Gliocas fiolair euchdaich. 

Guth na h-eala dhuit, 
Guth na meala dhuit, 
Guth mhic na reula. 



Tacar mara dhuit, 
Tacar talamh dhuit, 
Tacar Athar nèimhe. 



[288] 



GUIDHE 

Gach latha sona dhuit, 
Gun latha dona dhuit, 
Saoghal subhach sàsach. 

Àgh gach coinneimh dhuit, 
Gràs na Moire dhuit, 

Lànachd Rìgh nan gràsan. 



[289] 



GOOD WISHES 241 



GOOD WISH 

Wisdom of serpent be thine, 
Wisdom of raven be thine, 
Wisdom of vaHant eagle. 

Voice of swan be thine, 
Voice of honey be thine, 
Voice of the son of the stars. 

Bounty of sea be thine, 
Bounty of land be thine. 

Bounty of the Father of heaven. 



PRAYER 

Be each day glad for thee, 
No day ill for thee, 
A life joyful, satisfied. 

Be thine the success of every meeting, 
Be thine the grace of the Virgin Mary, 
Be thine the fullness of the King of grace. 



i242 



DtJRACHDAN 




GUIDHE 



[290] 



RÀDH na Muire Màthar dhuit, 
Gràdh na Brighde thàna dhuit, 
Gràdh Mìcheil àghmhoir dhuit, 

Le 'n làimh gach tràth 'gad chuartach. 

Mathas mòr na mara dhuit, 
Mathas mòr talamh dhuit, 
Mathas mòr flathas dhuit, 
Do shaoghal fallan fuainte. 



Gràs caoin an Athar dhuit, 
Gràs caomh a' Mhic dhuit, 
Gràs caomh an Spioraid dhuit, 
'Gad ligheadh le na buadhan. 



GOOD WISHES 243 



PRAYER 

The love of the Mary Mother be thine, 
The love of Brigit of flocks be thine, 
The love of Michael victorious be thine. 

With their arm each hour surrounding thee. 

The great bounty of the sea be thine. 
The great bounty of earth be thine, 
The great bounty of heaven be thine. 
Thy life be hale and fruitful (?) . 

The mild grace of the Father be thine, 
The loving grace of the Son be thine. 
The loving grace of the Spirit be thine. 
Laving thee with the graces. 



244 DÙRACHDAN 




DURACHD [291] 



ÀIRDEAN Mhuire Mhàthar dhuit, 
Gàirdean Brighde thàna dhuit, 
Gàirdean Mìcheil àghmhoir dhuit, 
Dha do theàrnadh bho gach truaighe. 



Gàirdean Ostal Eòin dhuit, 
Gàirdean Ostal Phòil dhuit, 
Gàirdean Ostal Pheadail dhuit, 

Dha do theasraig bho gach tuaireap. 

Gàirdean Dè nan dùla dhuit, 
Gàirdean Crìosda cùmha dhuit, 
Gàirdean Spioraid Nùmha dhuit, 

Dha do chùmhnadh 's dha do chuairteadh. 



GOOD WISHES 



245 



GOOD WISH 

The arm of Mary Mother be thine, 
The arm of Brigit of flocks be thine, 
The arm of Michael victorious be thine. 
To save thee from all sorrow. 

The arm of Apostle John be thine, 

The arm of Apostle Paul be thine, 

The arm of Apostle Peter be thine, 

To guard thee from all mischief. 

The arm of the God of life be thine, 
The arm of Christ the loving be thine, 
The arm of the Spirit Holy be thine. 
To shield thee and surround thee. 



<12 



246 



DtJRACHDAN 



BEANNACHD MÀTHAR 



[292] 



When a son or a daughter is leaving home in the Western Isles, the event 
is warmly felt, for the feelings of the people are deep and strong, if silent and 
subdued. Friends and neighbours come to say farewell to the pilgrim, and 
to pray for peace and prosperity in the adopted land. Before crossing the 
threshold of the old home, a parting hymn is sung, all joining in the pilgrim 
song. It is sung or chanted or intoned or recited in slow measured cadences, 
pleasing and peculiar, though perhaps difficult for the stranger to follow. 
The scene is striking and impressive, and the stranger who is allowed the 
privilege of being present feels indeed the depths of a mother's love and 
the strength of a father's affection. An aged woman in Uist said :— A 
Leobhr, a luaidh, chan iarradh sibh ach a bhith dh'an eisdeachd ged a 
bhiodh bhur cridhe fein Ian agus a' cur thairis agus sibh a' stri ri cumail sios 
nan deòir. A Mhoire nan gràs ! A Mhàthair an dubh bhròin ! Is iomadh 
sin sùil silteach a chunna mi ri mo latha agus ri mo linn. — ' By the Book, 




EANNACHD Dhe dhut, 
Beannachd Chriosda dhut, 
Beannachd Spioraid dhut, 
Agus dha do chloinn, 

Dhut agus dha d' chloinn. 



Sith Dhe dhut, 
Sith Chriosda dhut, 
Sith Spioraid dhut. 
Re maireann do shaoghail. 
Re laithean do shaoghail. 



Dionadh Dhe dhut anns gach bealach, 
Comhnadh Chriosda dhut anns gach cadha, 
Liobhadh Spioraid dhut anns gach abhainn, 
Gach tur is tabh dh'an teid thu. 



GOOD WISHES 247 



THE MOTHER'S PARTING BLESSING 

love, you would not seek but listen to them although your own heart were 
full and overflowing and you striving to keep down the tears. O thou 
Mary of grace ! O thou Mother of sore sorrow ! Many the tearful eye 
that I have seen in my day and in my generation.' Friends and neigh- 
bours come with bonnets, stockings, gloves, plaiding (' clò ') and the 
like, the parting gifts of the makers, who consecrated their heartfelt offerings 
with the tears of their eyes and the prayers of their hearts. These parting 
scenes are less common now than they were in the past. And yet those 
people of warmest emotion in safety are of coolest composure in danger. 
The writer observed this many times during his long residence in those 
stormy Isles of the Atlantic. Many times among those wild seas, among 
bristling rocks, roaring reefs and mountainous waves, when death appeared 
inevitable, the people have remained cool and calm, neither cry nor clamour 
from man or woman, but only the murmured prayer for the soul and the 
tear for those behind. 



The benison of God be to thee, 
The benison of Christ be to thee, 
The benison of Spirit be to thee, 
And to thy children, 

To thee and to thy children. 

The peace of God be to thee, 
The peace of Christ be to thee. 
The peace of Spirit be to thee, 
During all thy life, 

All the days of thy life. 

The keeping of God upon thee in every pass. 
The shielding of Christ upon thee in every path. 
The bathing of Spirit upon thee in every stream, 
In every land and sea thou goest. 



248 DtJRACHDAN 

Dionadh an Athar shiorraidh dhut, 
Air altair ialaidh fein ; 

Dionadh an Athar shiorraidh dhut, 
Air altair ialaidh fein. 



GOOD WISHES 249 

The keeping of the everlasting Father be thine 

Upon His own illumined altar ; 
The keeping of the everlasting Father be thine 

Upon his own illumined altar. 



250 



DÙRAGHDAN 



AN DUIL DEORA 



[293] 



From Mòr Maclellan, nèi Morrison, 

The reciter said : When a member of a family was leaving home for a 
time or for ever, the ' Dùil Deòra,' Pilgrim's Hope, was sung by the family. 
The pilgrim bathed his face in warm milk, preferably in sheep's milk, 



ONNLAIDH mise m'aodann 
Anns na naodha gatha greine, 

Mar a dh'ionnlaid Moire a Mac 
Am bainne brae na feile. 

Mèinne bhith air mo bhial, 

Scire bhith air mo ghnùis, 
Teisd bhith air mo mhiann, 

Rian bhith air mo run. 

An gaol thug Moire dh'a h-aon Mhae, 
An saoghal uile dh'a thoir dhomhsa ; 

An gaol thug ìosa dh'Eòin Baiste 

Dheòin mis a thoir dha m' ehomhlaeh. 



Mac Dhe bhith air tùs mo thurais, 

Mae Dhe bhith an urra mo ehomhnadh ; 

Mae Dhe a bhith reiteach mo shlighe, 

Mae Dhe bhith air dheireadh mo thòireaehd. 



GOOD WISHES 251 



THE PILGRIM'S HOPE 

Beoraidh Mhor, Morar 

the sheep being sacred to Christ. During the flight to Egypt, the Mary 
Mother bathed her Son in ' bainne beannaichte na brae,' the blessed 
milk of the ' brae,' a term of uncertain meaning {cf. i. 52 ff., ii. 232). 



I WILL bathe my face 

In the nine rays of the sun, 
As Mary washed her Son 

In the milk of the generous ' brae' 

May mildness be on my lips, 

May kindness be on my face, 
May chasteness be on my desire, 

May wisdom be in my purpose. 

The love that Mary gave to her one Son 

May all the world give me ; 
The love that Jesus gave to John Baptist 

Grant that I give to whoso meets me. 

May the Son of God be at the outset of my journey, 
May the Son of God be in surety to aid me ; 

May the Son of God make clear my way. 

May the Son of God be at the end of my seeking. 



252 



DtJRACHDAN 




BEANNACHD MÀTHAR [294] 

AR an toir thu barr do chinn, 

Far an toir thu clar do bhathais, 
Guma làidir dhut dh'a linn, 

Guma gràsmhor dhut dh'a bhuadh ; 
Guma làidir dhut dh'a linn, 

Guma gràsmhor dhut dh'a bhuadh. 

Guma buan dhut ad laighe, 

Guma buan dhut at eirigh, 
Guma buan dhut d'oidhche 's latha, 

'S guma ramhath flathas dha mo luaidh ; 
Guma buan dhut d'oidhche 's latha, 
'S guma ramhath flathas dha mo luaidh. 



Gnùis Dhè dha t'aodann, 
Gnùis Chrìosda chaomha, 
Gnùis Spioraid Naomha 

Dha d' chaomhnadh gach uair 
Am baoghal agus truaigh ; 

Dha d' chaomhnadh gach uair 
Am baoghal agus truaigh. 



GOOD WISHES 253 



THE MOTHER'S BLESSING 

Where thou shalt bring the crown of thy head, 

Where thou shalt bring the tablet of thy brow, 
Strength be to thee therein, 

Blest be to thee the powers therein ; 
Strength be to thee therein, 
Blest be to thee the powers therein. 

Lasting be thou in thy lying down, 
Lasting be thou in thy rising up, 
Lasting be thou by night and by day, 

And surpassing good be heaven to my dear one ; 
Lasting be thou by night and by day. 
And surpassing good be heaven to my dear one. 

The face of God be to thy countenance, 
The face of Christ the kindly, 
The face of the Spirit Holy 
Be saving thee each hour 
In danger and in sorrow ; 
Be saving thee each hour 
In danger and in sorrow. 



254 DtJRACHDAN 



AM BEANNACHD MATHAR [295] 

OIBH Dhe dha t'aghaidh, 

Aoibh dh'an neach a chi thu ; 
Cairn Dhe dha d' mhuineal, 

Ainglean Dhe dha d' dhiona, 

Ainglean Dhe dha d' dhiona. 

Aoibh oidhche 's latha dhut, 

Aoibh ghreine 's ghealaich dhut, 

Aoibh fhir is mnatha dhut, 

Gach tur 's gach tabh dh'an teid thu, 
Gach tur 's gach tabh dh'an teid thu. 

Gun robh gach sion sona dhut, 
Gun robh gach sion solais dhut. 
Gun robh gach sion solais dhut, 

Is Mac Moir Òighe rèidh riut, 

Mac Moir Oighe reidh riut. 

Cairn Dhe nan dùla dhut, 
Cairn Chriosda chùmha dhut. 
Cairn Spioraid Nùmha dhut, 

Dha do chùmhnadh 's dha do chomhnadh, 
A Dhomhnaill, 

A chaomhag chonn mo chleibh. 

(O dha do chùmhnadh 's dha do chomhnadh, 

A Mhàiri, 
O chaomhag chonn mo chridhe.) 



GOOD WISHES 255 



THE MOTHER'S BLESSING 

The joy of God be in thy face, 

Joy to all who see thee, 
The circle of God around thy neck, 

Angels of God shielding thee, 

Angels of God shielding thee. 

Joy of night and day be thine, 
Joy of sun and moon be thine, 
Joy of men and women be thine. 

Each land and sea thou goest. 

Each land and sea thou goest. 

Be every season happy for thee. 

Be every season bright for thee, 

Be every season glad for thee, 

And the Son of Mary Virgin at peace with thee, 
The Son of Mary Virgin at peace with thee. 

Be thine the compassing of the God of life. 
Be thine the compassing of the Christ of love, 
Be thine the compassing of the Spirit of Grace, 

To befriend thee and to aid thee, 
Donald, 

Thou beloved one of my breast. 

(Oh ! to befriend thee and to aid thee, 

Mary, 
Thou beloved one of my heart.) 



256 URNAIGH ROIMH ÈISDEAGHD 



URNAIGH ROIMH EISDEAGHD [296] 

From Ann MacDonald, Lochaber, who died in Leith Poorhouse 

The following prayer was said immediately before Confession. It was sung, 
chanted or intoned by the members of the family, sometimes separately, 
sometimes together. The prayer was sung slowly and solemnly, the 
father and mother pressing upon their children to confess their sins, and 
to ask forgiveness for the past and strength for the future, and to allow no 
false shame nor foolish pride to prevent them from making a 
' good ' confession. And here the reciter said : There was a 

I 1^ OSA, thoir dhomh mathanas peacanna, 
iosa, cum mo chionta 'nam chuimhne, 
iosa, thoir dhomh gràs an aithreachais, 
iosa, thoir dhomh gràs a' mhathanais, 
- -^ iosa, thoir dhomh gràs na h-umhlachd, 
iosa, thoir dhomh gràs na dùrachd, 
iosa, thoir dhomh gràs na h-irisleachd, 
Gu aideachadh saor a dhèanamh an tràth, 
Gu mi fein a dhiteadh aig cathair na faosaid, 
Mun teid mo dhiteadh aig cathair a' bhreitheanais ; 
ios, thoir dhomh neart agus misneach 
Mi fein a dhiteadh aig cathair na faosaid, 
Mun teid mo dhiteadh aig cathair a' bhreitheanais. 
Is fusa dhomh dol fo smàig tràth ùine bhig 
Na dhol gu bàs an dàil na siorraidheachd. 
iosa, thoir dhomh gun aidich mi mo chionta 
Cho liosda agus ge b'e seo mionaid mo bhàis. 

iosa, gabh truas dhiom, 
iosa, dean tròcair orm, 
Iosa, gabh thugad mi, 
iosa, fòir m'anam. 



PRAYER BEFORE CONFESSION 257 



PRAYER BEFORE CONFESSION 

woman in Lochaber, and she made special mention to the priest of her 
pride, which she said she found it difficult to subdue. The priest advised 
her. The woman listened till the priest was done, and then with an air 
of dignity said : ' Tha fios aig Dia agus aig daoine gu bheil coir agam air 
leòm a bhith orm — is Domhnallach mi ! ' — ' God and men know that I 
have a right to be proud — I am a MacDonald ! ' The good priest could 
scarcely restrain his laughter, as much at the manner as at the words of the 
woman. 

Jesu, give me forgiveness of sins, 

Jesu, keep my guilt in my memory, 

Jesu, give me the grace of repentance, 

Jesu, give me the grace of forgiveness, 

Jesu, give me the grace of submission, 

Jesu, give me the grace of earnestness, 

Jesu, give me the grace of lowhness. 

To make a free confession at this time. 

To condemn myself at the chair of confession 

Lest I be condemned at the chair of judgment ; 

Jesu, give me strength and courage 

To condemn myself at the chair of confession 

Lest I be condemned at the chair of judgment. 

It is easier for me to go under subjection for a brief while 

Than to go to death during eternity. 

Jesu, give me to confess my guilt 

As earnestly as were this the moment of my death. 

Jesu, take pity upon me, 
Jesu, have mercy upon me, 
Jesu, take me to Thee, 
Jesu, aid my soul. 



258 URNAIGH ROIMH ÈISDEAGHD 

Is adhbhar dòlais am peacadh, 
Is adhbhar dorainn am bàs, 

Is adhbhar sòlais an t-aithreachas 

Agus glanadh ann an abhainn na slàint. 



Bithidh aighear air ainglean nèamh 
Mo ligheadh ann an Hnne na faosaid. 

O m'anam, bitheadh aiteas ort, 

Tha Dia deònach rèite riut, 

Glac a làmh 's i sinte mach 

Gu reite ghràidh a ghlaodhadh dhuit. 

Na diùlt do lamh dhomh, O mo Dhia, 
Na diùlt do lamh, a Thriath nan triath, 
An sgàth mo Shlàn'eir ìosa Crìosd, 
Na leig gu bàs sìorraidh mi. 



PRAYER BEFORE CONFESSION 259 

A cause of grief is sin, 

A cause of anguish is death, 
A cause of joy is repentance 

And cleansing in the river of health. 



There will be joy among the angels of heaven 
That I am laved in the pool of confession. 

O my soul, be joyful, 

God is willing to be reconciled to thee. 

Seize His hand while it is stretched out 

To announce to thee a loving reconcilement. 

Refuse not Thy hand to me, O my God, 

Refuse not Thy hand, O Lord of lords. 

For the sake of my Saviour Jesus Christ, 

Let me not go to death everlasting. 



26o CROIS CHRÌOSDA 



AN CEUSADH 

Am BaLG SÈIDIDH 

O — Dhomhnallaich, banacheard, Baile Mhic Nill, Barraidh 

An deidh daibh Criosda chur ris a' chrois thug iad ma-near nach robh 
tairrnean aca a chuirte ris, agus nach mutha bha balg aca leis an seidte 
an teine chon an t-iarann a bhruich a chon tairrnean a dhèanamh. Cha 
robh fios fo'n ghrein ghil 'd è theirte na dhèante arms an trilleach a bh'ann. 
Ach thog a' bhanacheard a sguird agus sheid i an teine, agus bhruicheadh 
an t-iarann, agus rinn an ceard na tairrnean le'n do thairrnicheadh Criosda 
ris a' chrann cheusda. Is ann a sin a thubhairt losda Criosda Mac an De 
bheò agus bhiothbhuan shuas air a' chrois ris a' bhanacheard shios aig a' 
bhonn, ' Bithidh tus agus do sheòrsa bho hnn gu Unn, bho shaoghal gu 
saoghal, a' siubhal slighe agus a' falbh fàsaich, gun tàmh oidhche gun fois 
latha, an leas do làmh agus an sgàth do ghniomh.' 

Cha choir comhnadh le olc na toir le droch ghniomh ge do dh'iarrte 
oirnn agus ge do reachadh againn air ; cha choir idir (ars an seanchaidh). 



An Ceard 
Dar a bha Criosda 'ga chur ris a' chrann cheusaidh, leis a' chabhaig 
dhlochuimhnich na hludhaich dhubha tarraigean a chur air dòigh, 
Chaidh iad far an robh an gobha agus dh'iarr iad air tarraigean a dhèanamh 
a chum làmhan agus casan an tSlànaigheir a thairrneachadh ris a' chrann. 
Ach dhiùlt an gobha tarraigean a dhèanamh air son a leithid sin a ghnoth- 
ach. Chaidh na hludhaich an sin far an robh an ceard agus dh'iarr iad 
air a' cheard tarraigean a dhèanamh a chum làmhan agus casan an 
tSlànaigheir a thairrneachadh ris a' chrann. Rinn an ceard an obair 
mar a dh'iarr na hludhaich air, agus thairrneachadh làmhan agus casan 
Chrlosda Slànaighear nam buadh ris a' chrann cheusda. Is ann uaidh 
seo tha meas agus urram air a' ghobha agus dlmeas agus tarcais air a' 
cheard a measg dhaoine, agus is ann uaidh seo a sgaoileadh agus a sgapadh 
sliochd a' cheaird thai! agus a bhos feadh an t-saoghail mhòir. 



THE CROSS OF CHRIST 261 



THE CRUCIFIXION 

The Bellows 
From — MacDonald, a tinker woman, Castlebay, Barra 

After they had brought Christ to the cross they found that they had no 
nails to put into Him, and that neither had they bellows with which to 
blow the fire to heat the iron to make nails. There was no knowing under 
the white sun what to say or what to do in the confusion that was there. 
But the tinker woman lifted her skirt and blew the fire, and the iron was 
heated, and the tinker made the nails with which Christ was nailed to the 
tree of crucifixion. It was then that Jesus Christ the Son of the living and 
eternal God, up on the cross, said to the tinker woman down at the foot, 
* Thou and thy kind from generation to generation, from age to age, 
shall be walking the ways and travelling the wilderness, without rest of 
night, without peace of day, because of the work of thy hand and thine 
ill deed.' 

It is not right to aid evil nor to help in ill-doing even though we should 
be asked and though we could do it ; no, not at all (said the narrator). 

In consequence of the tinker woman's action, it is forbidden in the Isles 
to blow the fire with one's skirt or apron. It is also forbidden to turn the 
peat burning side upwards in the fire, for the smith who made the nails 
did so. 

The Whitesmith 
When Christ was being taken to the tree of crucifixion, in the hurry the 
black Jews forgot to provide themselves with nails. They went to the 
blacksmith and asked him to make nails to nail the hands and the feet 
of the Saviour to the cross. But the blacksmith refused to make nails for 
such a purpose. The Jews went to the whitesmith (tinsmith, tinker) and 
asked him to make nails to nail the hands and the feet of the Saviour to 
the cross. The whitesmith did the work as the Jews asked of him, and the 
hands and the feet of Christ the blessed Saviour were nailed to the tree of 
crucifixion. This is why the blacksmith is esteemed and honoured among 
men, while the whitesmith is contemned and despised, and this is why the 
race of the whitesmith is spread and scattered here and there throughout 
the great world. 



R2 



262 



CROIS CHRÌOSDA 



Cross of Prostration 

Crosses of prostration were common throughout the Highlands and 
Islands. These were called ' crois sleuchdaidh ' or ' sliachdaidh.' They 
had a special purpose. The cross stood afar from all buildings and habita- 
tions, and was a conspicuous feature in the landscape. When he reached 
the cross the pilgrim was in sight of a temple of worship or of sanctuary. 
He prostrated himself at the cross and sang his pilgrim-song or hymn ; 
thereafter he went to the church within sight and there made his offering 
and said his prayer. 

There is a ' crois sleuchdaidh ' at Cnoca Breaca, South Uist. People 
from the south end of the island prostrated themselves there, being within 
sight of the churches at Hogh Mor. There was another on Sunnamal, a 
small sandy tidal island between Benbecula and North Uist. When the 



CROIS CHRIOSDA [297] 

Beulaiche : Mor Nic Nill, coitear, Baile Mhic Nill, Barraidh 




ROIS Chriosd eadar mi 's na sith 
Ta stigeadh a mach na steach, 

Crois Chriosd eadar mi 's gach ni, 
Gach mì-rùn, gach ceach. 

Ainglean flathais dha mo dhion, 
Ainglean flathanais a nochd, 

Ainglean flathais dha mo dhion 
Eadar anam agus corp. 



[frid 



Caim Chriosda dha mo chuartadh 
O gach fuath, o gach olc, 

O gach tàir ta tighinn tuaitheal 
An duathar, ann an tort. 



Caim cumhachd Chriosda 
Dha mo dhion o gach lochd, 

Dha mo chumail o gach ditheil 

Ta tighinn an dith dhomh a nochd. 



THE CROSS OF CHRIST 263 

traveller came to Sunnamal (which was formerly not an island) he was 
within sight of Teampall na Trianaid, the Temple of the Trinity, at 
Càirinis. 

There was another ' crois sleuchdaidh ' at Dalmally. Another stood 
on the hill from Inveraray to Clàdaich, Cladich, which could be seen from 
afar by travellers from Inveraray. When the cross was reached the 
church on the island of Innis Èil could be seen. 

Innis Èil is a small low grassy island towards the northern end of Loch 
Awe. A house of nuns stood here, and there is a burial place containing 
singularly beautiful carved stones. Until the early half of last century 
there was a change-house, which was perhaps established for the con- 
venience of those attending funerals on the island after the house of nuns 
had been dissolved. 



THE CROSS OF CHRIST 

Reciter : Mor MacNeill, cottar, Castlebay, Barra 

Be the cross of Christ between me and the fays 

That move occultly out or in, 
Be the cross of Christ between me and all ill, [each 

All ill will, and ill mishap. gnome 

Be the angels of heaven shielding me, 

The angels of heaven this night. 
Be the angels of heaven keeping me 

Soul and body alike. 

Be the compassing of Christ around me 

From every spectre, from every evil, 
From every shame that is coming harmfully 

In darkness, in power to hurt. 

Be the compassing of the might of Christ 

Shielding me from every harm, 
Be keeping me from everything ruinous 

Coming destructively towards me this night. 



364 



SÌTH 




SITH [298] 

ÌTH Dhè dhomh, sìth dhaoine, 
Sìth Chaluim Chille chaomha, 
Sìth Mhoire mhìn na gaoldachd, 
Sìth Chrìosda Rìgh na daondachd, 

Sìth Ghrìosda Rìgh na daondachd, 

Air gach uinneig, air gach doras, 
Air gach toll a leigeas solas, 
Air ceithir oiseannan mo thaighe, 
Air ceithir oiseannan mo leaba. 
Air ceithir oiseannan mo leaba ; 



Air gach ni a chi mo shùil. 
Air gach sion a tha dha m' bhrù, 
Air mo chorp a tha dh'an iiir 
Is air m'anam thàin os cionn. 

Air mo chorp a tha dh'an ùir 
Is air m'anam thàin os cionn. 



PEACE 



265 



PEACE 

The peace of God, the peace of men, 
The peace of Columba kindly. 
The peace of Mary mild, the loving, 
The peace of Christ, King of tenderness, 

The peace of Christ, King of tenderness. 

Be upon each window, upon each door. 
Upon each hole that lets in light. 
Upon the four corners of my house, 
Upon the four corners of my bed. 

Upon the four corners of my bed ; 

Upon each thing my eye takes in, 

Upon each thing my mouth takes in. 

Upon my body that is of earth 

And upon my soul that came from on high. 

Upon my body that is of earth 

And upon my soul that came from on high. 



266 



SÌTH 




SITH 

O Mhàiri Nic Leòid, Nàst, Gearrloch 

ÌTH eadar nàbannan, 
Sìth eadar chardannan, 
Sìth eadar leannanan, 

An gràdh Rìgh nan dùl. 

Sìth eadar neach agus neach, 

Sìth eadar bean agus fear, 

Sìth eadar bean agus clann, 

Sith Chriosda thar gach sith a th'ann. 



Beannaich, a Chriosda, dha m' ghnùis, 
Beannaicheadh mo ghnùis gach ni ; 

Beannaich, a Chriosda, dha m' shùil, 
Beannaicheadh mo shùil na chi. 



[299] 



PEACE 267 



PEACE 

From Mary MacLeod, Naast, Gairloch 

Peace between neighbours, 
Peace between kindred. 
Peace between lovers, 

In love of the King of life. 

Peace between person and person, 
Peace between wife and husband, 
Peace between woman and children, 
The peace of Christ above all peace. 

Bless, O Christ, my face, 

Let my face bless every thing ; 

Bless, O Christ, mine eye, 
Let mine eye bless all its sees. 



268 



SÌTH 




SITH 

ÌTH nan sonas, 
Sìth nan solas, 
Sìth nan solas. 

Sìth nan anam, 
Sìth nam flathas, 
Sìth nan òighean. 

Sìth nan sìothbhrugh, 
Sìth na sìothchaint, 
Sìth na sìorraidheachd. 



[300J 



PEACE 269 



PEACE 

The peace of joys, 

The peace of lights, 

The peace of consolations. 

The peace of souls. 
The peace of heaven, 
The peace of the virgins. 

The peace of the fairy bowers. 
The peace of peacefulness, 
The peace of everlasting. 



870 



GUTH NA TORAINN 



GUTH NA TORAINN 



[301] 



Thubhairt am beulaiche : Bha orrachan aig na seann daoine dha na 
taibhsean a bha tàmh anns a' mhuir agus anns a' bheinn, anns a' ghaoith 
agus anns a' chuartaig, anns an dealan agus anns an torainn, anns a' 
ghrein agus anns a' ghealaich agus ann an reula nan nèamh. Cha robh 
mise càil ach 'nam mhàgaran (mhàgadan) muUaich san am, ach tha 
cuimhne mhath agam air dòigheannan nan seann daoine. Thàinig an sin 
bairlinn agus losgadh agus imirich, agus sgapadh agus sgaoileadh na 
daoine feadh an domhain, agus chaochail na seann dòigheannan comhla 
ris na seann daoine. Chaochail cheana, u chaochail, agus cha tàinig cho 
math 'nan àite — cha tàinig, a ghràidhein, agus gu bràth cha tig. 




DHÈ nan dùla, 
A Dhe nan rùna, 
A Dhe nan rùla, 

A Righ nan righ ! 

A Righ nan righ ! 



Do shonas an sonas, 
Do sholas an solas, 
Do chogadh an cogadh, 
Do shith an t-sith, 
Do shith an t-slth. 



[cùra 



Do chràdh an cràdh, 
Do ghràdh an gràdh, 
A mhaireas gu bràth, 

Gu crioch nan crioch, 
Gu crioch nan crioch. 



THE VOICE OF THUNDER 271 



THE VOICE OF THUNDER 

The reciter said : The old people had runes which they sang to the spirits 
dwelling in the sea and in the mountain, in the wind and in the whirlwind, 
in the lightning and in the thunder, in the sun and in the moon and in the 
stars of heaven. I was naught but a toddling child at the time, but I 
remember well the ways of the old people. Then came notice of eviction, 
and burning, and emigration, and the people were scattered and sundered 
over the world, and the old ways disappeared with the old people. Oh, 
they disappeared indeed, and nothing so good is come in their stead — 
naught so good is come, my beloved one, nor ever will come. 



O God of the elements, 
O God of the mysteries, 
O God of the stars (?), [fountains ? 

O King of kings ! 

O King of kings ! 

Thy joy the joy, 
Thy Hght the Hght, 
Thy war the war, 

Thy peace the peace, 

Thy peace the peace. 

Thy pain the pain, 
Thy love the love. 
That lasts for aye. 

To the end of ends. 

To the end of ends. 



272 GUTH NA TORAINN 



Thu sileadh nan as [àis, gràs 

Air muinntir an sàs, 
Air muinntir an càs, 

Gun tàmh gun dith, 

Gun tàmh gun dith. 

Mhic Mhoire na Pais, 
Mhic Mhoire na bàis, 
Mhic Mhoire na gràis, 
A bhitheas 's a bhàth's 

Ri tràghadh 's ri lionadh ; 
A bhitheas 's a bhàth's 

Ri tràghadh 's ri lionadh ! 



TORANN [302] 

GuTH an De mhòir, 
Agus cha mhor ach e. 



THE VOICE OF THUNDER 

Thou pourest Thy grace 

On those in distress, 

On those in straits, 

Without stop or stint. 
Without stop or stint. 

Thou Son of Mary of the Pasch, 
Thou Son of Mary of the death, 
Thou Son of Mary of the grace, 
Who wast and shalt be 

With ebb and with flow ; 
Who wast and shalt be 

With ebb and with flow ! 



273 



THUNDER 

The voice of the great God, 
And none is great but He, 



274 



GEALACH ÙR 



ÀILLEAGAN FIONN NA FEIL [303] 



The people addressed invocations to the sun, moon, and stars. Men 
and women saluted the morning sun and hailed the new moon. The 
practice prevailed over the British Isles, nor is it yet obsolete, though now 
a matter of form more than of belief. The people hailed the morning sun 
as they would a great person come back to their land ; and they hailed 
the new moon, ' lòchran mòr an àigh,' ' the great lamp of grace,' with 
joyous welcome and acclaim. The sun was to them a matter of great awe, 
but the moon was a friend of great love, guiding their course upon land and 
sea, and their path wherever they went. The reciter, Mor MacNeill of 
Barra, said : — Ri Hnn m'athar agus mo mhàthar cha robh fear am Barraidh 
nach toireadh dheth a bhoineid do ghrein ghil nam buadh, no bean am 
Barraidh nach claonadh a colann do ghealaich ghil nan tràth. Cha robh, 
a luaidh, fear no bean am Barraidh. Agus bithidh seann daoine ris a seo 
fathast, agus bithidh mi fein ris air uairibh. Bithidh clann a' magadh orm, 
ach ma bhitheas, 'd è dha sin ! Nach mor is còra dhomhsa mo cholann a 
chlaonadh dh'an ghrein agus dh'an ghealaich agus dha na reultaibh 
a chruthaich Dia mor nan diil dha mo mhath seach do mhac no do nighean 
talmhaidh mar mi fein ? — In the time of my father and of my mother 
there was no man in Barra who would not take off his bonnet to the white 
sun of power, nor a woman in Barra who would not bend her body to the 
white moon of the seasons. No, my dear, not a man nor woman in Barra. 
And old persons will be doing this still, and I will be doing it myself some- 
times. Children mock at me, but if they do, what of that ? Is it not much 
meeter for me to bend my body to the sun and to the 



ÀILT ort fein, a ghealach ùr, 
Ailleagan iùil nan speur ; 

Fàilt ort fein, a ghealach ùr, 
Ailleagan fionn na feil. 




Fàilt ort fein, a ghealach ùr, 
Ailleagan iùil nan reul ; 

Fàilt ort fein, a ghealach ùr, 
Ailleagan ruin mo chleibh. 



NEW MOON 



275 



BEAUTEOUS FAIR ONE OF GRACE 

moon and to the stars, that the great God of life made for my good, than 
to the son or daughter of earth Hke myself? 

Mor MacNeill was poor and old and alone, but she was bright of 
mind and clean of person, and she was full of old songs and hymns, of old 
runes and traditions. She was capable, too, and could give an account 
of the faith that was in her. 

In leaving the Isles, the writer went to say good-bye to the people 
who had all been so good and kind, so courteous and hospitable, to him, 
and of whom the poorest of the poor were not the least near to his heart. 
When saying good-bye to me, Mor MacNeill ceased speaking, and taking 
my hand in her two hands, kissed it and watered it with her tears, and 
curtseying low, said : — Agus tha sibh a nis a' falbh agus a' fàgail bhur 
daoine agus bhur dùthaich, a luaidh mo chridhe ! O ma ta, guma slàn 
a bhitheas sibh agus guma h-innich a dh'eireas dhuibh gach aon taobh 
dh'an teid sibh, gach aon cheum dh'an siubhail sibh. Agus mo bheannachd 
fein leibh, agus beannachd Dhe leibh, agus beannachd Mhoire Mhàthar 
leibh, gach tràth dh'eireas sibh a suas agus gach uair a laigheas sibh a 
sios, gus an laigh sibh a sios an suain ann an glacaibh losda Criosda nam 
buadh agus nam beannachd — nam buadh agus nam beannachd ! — 
And you are now going away and leaving your people and your country, 
dear one of my heart ! Well, then, whole may you be, and well may it go 
with you, every way you go and every step you travel. And my own 
blessing go with you, and the blessing of God go with you, and the blessing 
of the Mary Mother go with you, every time you rise up and every time you 
lie down, until you lie down in sleep upon the arm of Jesus Christ of the 
virtues and of the blessings — of the virtues and of the blessings ! 

Hail to thee, thou new moon, 

Beauteous guidant of the sky ; 
Hail to thee, thou new moon, 

Beauteous fair one of grace. 

Hail to thee, thou new moon. 
Beauteous guidant of the stars ; 

Hail to thee, thou new moon, 
Beauteous loved one of my heart. 



276 GEALAGH ÙR 

Fàilt ort fèin, a ghealach ùr, 
Àilleagan iùil nan neul ; 

Fàilt ort fèin, a ghealach ùr, 
ÀiUeagan cùmh nan nèamh ! 



NEW MOON 277 

Hail to thee, thou new moon, 

Beauteous guidant of the clouds ; 
Hail to thee, thou new moon, 

Beauteous dear one of the heavens ! 



278 



GEALACH tJR 



GEASLANACHD NA GEALAICH [304] 



There are many traces of moon beliefs and of moon homage still current 
in the Western Isles. An old man surnamed Robertson in Eigg said : — Cha 
mharbhadh na seann daoine muc no caora, gobhar no bo làmhaig anns an 
earra-dhubh. Tha feòil beothaich gun bhlas gun bhrlgh, gun suit gun 
saill, anns an earra-dhubh. Cha mho a bhuaineadh iad caol cuill no caol 
seilich a chon chliabh no chraoileag no craobh ghiuthais chon daraich 
ann an earra-dhubh na gealaiche. Tha brigh an fhiodha a' dol dh'an 
fhriamh agus am fiodh a' fas bruanach brisg, gun bhladh gun mhath. Bha 
na seann daoine ris a h-uile seo ri lionadh no ri airde na gealaiche. Bha 
na seannraidh beachdail anns na nithean nàdarra, mar nach bheil ògraidh 
an latha an diugh. — The men of old would not kill a pig nor sheep nor 
goat nor axe-cow at the wane of the moon. The flesh of an animal is then 
without taste, without sap, without plumpness, without fat. Neither 
would they cut withes of hazel or willow for creels or baskets, nor would 
they cut tree of pine to make a boat, in the black wane of the moon. The 
sap of the wood goes down into the root, and the wood becomes brittle 
and crumbly, without pith, without good. The old people did all these 
things at the waxing or at the full of the moon. The men of old were 
observant of the facts of nature, as the young folk of to-day are not. 

He continued : — Bha a' ghealach ùr sèiraheil gu bearradh urla agus 
gu gearradh mòine, gu buain arbhair, gu lomadh chaorach, agus gu 
iomadh rud eile de'n leithid sin. Ri faicinn na gealaich ùir tha neach ag 
cur a làmh dheas m'a chois chli agus a' dèanamh crois Chriosd air a bhois 
le smugaid a bheòil, agus ag ràdh — 

An ainm naomh an Athar, 

An ainm naomh a' Mhic, 
An ainm naomh an Spioraid, 

Teòra naomh na h-iochd. 




LOIR dhuit fein gu bràth, 
A ghealach gheal, a nochd ; 

Is tu fein gu bràth 

Lòchran àigh nam bochd. 



NEW MOON 279 



MOON WORSHIP 

The new moon was propitious for clipping hair, for cutting peats, for 
reaping corn, for shearing sheep, and for many things of that nature. Upon 
seeing the new moon a person puts the right hand round the left foot and 
makes the cross of Christ upon his palm with the spittle of his mouth, 
saying— 

In the holy name of the Father, 

In the holy name of the Son, 
In the holy name of the Spirit, 

The holy Three of mercy. 

In some districts old and young kept a coin in their pocket to hail 
' rloghainn na h-oidhche,' the queen of the night. The coin was called 
' peighinn pisich,' propitious penny, and was turned thrice in the pocket 
when the new moon was seen. 

Any journey or undertaking was hurried on or delayed in order to be 
under the influences of the moon — ' rath gealaich.' Men and women went 
to the highest hill or knoll near them to look for ' eiteag nan reul ' or 
' rloghainn na h-oidhche.' They began their scrutiny in the west, turning 
slowly sunwise upon the right heel, till the object of their search was seen. 
Then they called out — ' Fhaic ! fhaic ! fliaic ! ' ' See ! see ! see ! ' 
There was much emulation as to who should see the new moon first. 
Herdboys and herdgirls were wont to whisper softly in the ear of the 
cows — ' Sud a' ghealach ùr, a rùnag nam bà.' ' There is the new moon, 
thou beloved one among cows ! ' 

When a man comes out at night, ' feuch 'd è tha an oidhche dèanamh,' 
to see what the night is doing, he looks at the moon and at the stars, 
especially the constellations, and says : — 



Glory to thee for ever, 

Thou bright moon, this night ; 
Thyself art ever 

The glorious lamp of the poor. 



28o 



GEALACH tJR 



GEALACH UR 



[305] 



To sea-faring people like those of the Western Isles the light and guidance 
of the moon is a matter of much interest and importance, often indeed a 
matter of life or death. Sun, moon and stars are all addressed for practical 
purposes. The moon was of more concern than the sun, for by day, 
whether the sun was visible or not, the people could thread their way 
through their intricate tortuous reefs and rocks, fords and channels. But 
they could not do this on a moonless night except at the peril of their lives. 
This is one reason for the many odes and hymns addressed to the gracious 
luminary of the night. In the extremity of danger at sea an old man at 




È mo ruin a' ghealach ùr, 

Is Dia nan dùl 'ga sunnachadh ; [suidh- 

Bitheadh agamsa deagh run eachadh, 

Do gach dùil sa chruthachadh. bunachadh 

Bitheadh mo ghuidhe, a Dhe, 

A reir do naomhachaidh ; 
Bitheadh mo chridhe, a Dhe, 

A reir do chaomhachaidh. 



Bitheadh mo ghniomh air tir 
A reir do riarachaidh ; 

Bitheadh mo mhiann air Hr 
A reir do rianachaidh. 



[dhianadais 



Bitheadh mo dhùil an ard 
A reir t'iarratais ; 

Bitheadh mo run a bhàn 
A reir do riarachaidh. 



NEW MOON 281 



NEW MOON 

the helm may be heard crooning to himself : 

Glòir dhuit fein, a Dhe nan dùl, 
Air son lòchran iùil a' chuain ; 

Do làmh fein air feilm mo stiùir, 
Agus do run air chùl nan stuagh. 

Glory be to Thee, O God of life, 
For the guiding lamp of ocean ; 

Be Thine own hand on my rudder's helm. 
And Thy love behind the billows. 



She of my love is the new moon, 

The God of hfe illuming her ; [establishing 

Be mine a good purpose 

Towards each creature in the creation. 

Be my prayer, O God, 

In accord with Thy sanctifying ; 
Be my heart, O God, 

In accord with Thy loving care. 

Be my deed on land 

In accord with Thy satisfying ; 
Be my wish on sea 

In accord with Thy directing. [working 

Be my hope on high 

In accord with Thy requiring ; 
Be my purpose below 

In accord with Thy satisfying. 



GEALACH ÙR 

Bitheadh mo thoil, a Dhe, 
An deidh do shuaimhinis ; 

Bitheadh m'fhois, a Dhe, 
Le Mac do shuaimhinis. 



NEW MOON 283 

Let my desire, O God, 

Seek after Thy repose ; 
Be my rest, O God, 

With the Son of Thy tranquillity. 



284 



GEALACH tJR 




A' GHEALACH UR 

ÀILTE dhut, a ghealach ùr, 

Àilleagan iùil na bàidh ! 
Ta mi lùbadh dhut mo ghlùn, 

Ta mi curnadh dhut mo ghràidh. 

Ta mi lùbadh dhut mo ghlùn, 
Ta mi tiubhradh dhut mo làmh, 

Ta mi togail dhut mo shùil, 
A ghealach ùr nan tràth. 

Fàilte dhut, a ghealach ùr, 
A mhuirneag mo ghràidh ! 

Fàilte dhut, a ghealach iir, 
A mhuirneag nan gràs ! 



[306] 



Tha thu siubhal 'na do chùrs, 
Tha thu stiùradh nan Ian ; 

Tha thu soillseadh dhuinn do ghnùis, 
A ghealach iir nan tràth. 



A rioghainn an iùil, 
A rioghainn an àigh, 

A rioghainn mo ruin, 

A ghealach ùr nan tràth ! 



NEW MOON 285 



THE NEW MOON 

Hail to thee, thou new moon, 
Guiding jewel of gentleness ! 

I am bending to thee my knee, 
I am offering thee my love. 

I am bending to thee my knee, 
I am giving thee my hand, 

I am lifting to thee mine eye, 
O new moon of the seasons. 

Hail to thee, thou new moon, 

Joyful maiden of my love ! 
Hail to thee, thou new moon. 

Joyful maiden of the graces ! 

Thou art travelling in thy course. 
Thou art steering the full tides ; 

Thou art illuming to us thy face, 
O new moon of the seasons. 

Thou queen-maiden of guidance. 
Thou queen-maiden of good fortune, 

Thou queen-maiden my beloved, 
Thou new moon of the seasons ! 



s86 



GEALACH ÙR 



GEALAGH UR 



[307] 



Beulaiche : Iseabal Nic Nill, coitear, Ceann Tangabhall, Barraidh 

Thubhairt am beulaiche : Ri faicinn domh an t-solais ùir, ta coir agam 
mo shùil a thogail, mo cheami a chromadh, agus mo ghlùn a liibadh, a' 
toir cliù do Dhia nan dùl gum faca mi re nan re aon uair eile. Is iomadh 
neach a chaidh a null thar abhainn dubh a' bhàis o thàinig thu roimhe, 
ged tha mise an seo air m'fhàgail fathast ann an saoghal nam beò, ann an 
talamh an aithreachais ; is iomadh neach sin, a ghealach gheal nan tràth ! 

Ri linn m'athar cha robh fear am Barraidh nach toireadh dheth a 
chomhdach cinn do ghrein ghil an latha, no te am Barraidh nach claonadh 
a colann do re ghil na h-oidhche. Tha seann daoine anns an dùthaich 
fathast a bhios ris a seo. Bidh mi fein ris air uairibh, ged a bhios a' chlann 
a' fanaid orm. 

Saoilidh mi fein gura ni taingeil grian òirgheal nam buadh a' toir 
dhuinn blàthais agus solais ri la, agus gealach gheal nan tràth a' toir dhuinn 
iùil agus treòir ri oidhche. 



I faicinn domh na gealaich ùir, 
Is dùth domh mo shùil a thogail, 

Is diith domh mo ghlùn a leagail, 
Is dùth domh mo cheann a bhogadh, 

Toir chù dhuit fein, a re nan iùl, 

Gum faca mi thu a rithist, 
Gum faca mi a' ghealach ùr, 

Àilleagan iùil na slighe. 

Is iomadh neach a chaidh a null 
Eadar ùine an da ghealaich, 

Ged tha mise a' mealtainn fuinn, 
A re nan re 's nam beannachd ! 




NEW MOON 287 



NEW MOON 

Reciter : Isabel MacNeill, cottar, Ceann Tangabhall, Barra 

The reciter said : When I see the new light, I am right to raise my eyes, 
to bend my head, and to bow my knee, giving praise to the God of life 
that I have seen the moon of moons once more. Many a one has crossed over 
the black river of death since thou didst come before, though I am left 
here still in the world of the living, on the earth of repentance ; many a 
one that, O white moon of the seasons ! 

In my father's time there was not a man in Barra but would take ofìF 
his head-covering to the white sun of the day, nor a woman in Barra but 
would incline her body to the white moon of the night. Old men in this 
countryside do so still. I myself do so at times, though the children make 
fun of me. 

I think myself that it is a matter for thankfulness, the golden-bright 
sun of virtues giving us warmth and light by day, and the white moon 
of the seasons giving us guidance and leading by night. 

When I see the new moon, 

It becomes me to lift mine eye, 
It becomes me to bend my knee, 

It becomes me to bow my head, 

Giving thee praise, thou moon of guidance, 

That I have seen thee again. 
That I have seen the new moon, 

The lovely leader of the way. 

Many a one has passed beyond 

In the time between the two moons, 

Though I am still enjoying earth. 

Thou moon of moons and of blessings ! 



288 



GEALACH tJR 



A' GHEALACH tJR [308] 

O Anna Nic Ghill-Fhaolain, croitear, Meallaig Mhòr, Mòrar 



I faicinn dhomh na gealaich ùir, 
Is diith dhomh mo run a chanail ; 

Is dùth dhomh cliù thoir a Thi nan dùl. 
Air sgàth a chùmh 's a mhathais ; 

'S a Hutha fear is tè chaidh null 
Thar abhainn duibh an aibheis, 

Bho na dhealraich dhomh do ghnùis, 
A ghealach ùr nam flathas ! 




NEW MOON 289 



THE NEW MOON 

From Ann Maclellan, crofter, Meallaig Mhor, Morar 

When I see the new moon, 

It becomes me to say my rune ; 
It becomes me to praise the Being of Hfe 

For His kindness and His goodness ; 

Seeing how many a man and woman have gone hence 

Over the black river of the abyss, 
Since last thy countenance shone on me. 

Thou new moon of the heavens ! 



ago 



GEALACH tJR 




GEALACH UR 

A mi togail duit mo làmh, 

Ta mi bogadh dhuit mo chinn, 

Ta mi tabhairt duit mo ghràidh, 
Àilleagain àigh nan linn. 

Ta mi togail duit mo shùil, 

Ta mi cromadh dhuit mo chinn, 

Ta mi tiubhradh dhuit mo run, 
A ghealach ùr nan linn ! 



[309] 



NEW MOON 



291 



NEW MOON 

I AM lifting to thee my hands, 
I am bowing to thee my head, 

I am giving thee my love. 

Thou glorious jewel of all the ages. 

I am raising to thee mine eye, 
I am bending to thee my head, 

I am offering thee my love, 

Thou new moon of all the ages ! 



292 GEALACH ÙR 



GEALACH UR [310] 

From Una MacDonald, crofter, Buaile Dhubh, ìochdar, South Uist 

The following verses were addressed to the new moon when first observed. 
They were sung by the company of women, maidens, and perhaps men and 
boys, with impressive effect. At the summer shielings there might be a 
dozen or two dozen women and girls, with a sprinkling of men and boys, 
singing and dancing, carolling and prancing, upon the green grass under 
the shining light of the moon, the moonbeams shimmering upon the clear 



lOD agaibh a' ghealach ùr, 

Is Righ nan dùl 'ga beannachadh ; 
Bitheadh gach oidhche cubhr 

Air an soillsich i ! 




Bitheadh a lithe Ian 
Do gach feumanach ; 

Bitheadh a slighe slàn 
Do gach teugmhalach. 



Bitheadh a h-ial shuas 
Aig gach eigeannach : 

Bitheadh a h-iùl a nuas 
Aig gach feumanach. 



Gun robh re nan re 

Tighinn troimh neulaibh tiugh 
Orms is air gach te 

Tighinn troimh dheuraibh dubh. 



NEW MOON 293 



NEW MOON 

lake below, while the fleecy clouds moved slowly above, showing the blue, 
beautiful sky in the far-away distance, with the projecting rocks and the 
heath-clad everlasting hills at hand. The ' hooch-ing ' of the men, the 
clapping of the girls, the mouth-music of the women, and the reverberations 
in the rocks combined with the surroundings to make up a picture that 
can neither be described nor forgotten. 



There, see, the new moon, 
The King of life blessing her ; 

Fragrant be every night 
Whereon she shall shine ! 



Be her lustre full 

To each one in need 
Be her course complete 

To each one beset. 



Be her light above 

With every one in straits ; 
Be her guidance below 

With every one in need. 



May the moon of moons 
Be coming through thick clouds 

On me and on every one 
Coming through dark tears. 

T2 



294 GEALACH tJR 

Làmh Dhè bhith orms a' tàmh 
Anns gach càs an tachair mi, 

Nis agus gu uair mo bhàis, 
Agus gu la m'aiseirigh. 



NEW MOON 295 

May God's hand on me dwell 

In every strait that me befalls, 
Now and till the hour of my death, 

And till the day of my resurrection. 



296 



GEALACH tJR 




GEALACH UR [311] 

lOD, siod, a' ghealach ùr ! 

Is Righ nan dùl d'a gealadh duinn ; 
Bitheadh agamsa deagh run 

Do gach sùil a sheallas dhi. 

Bitheadh mo shùil an aird 

Ri Athair àigh nam beannachdan, 

Is bitheadh mo chridhe bhàn 

Do Chriosda ghràidh a cheannaich mi. 



Bitheadh mo ghlùn a sios 

Do rioghainn na maisealachd ; 

Bitheadh mo ghuth a nios 

Do'n Ti a rinn 's a bheannaich i. 



NEW MOON 297 



NEW MOON 

There, there, the new moon ! 

The King of hfe making her bright for us ; 
Be mine a good intent 

Towards all who look on her. 

Be mine eye upward 

To the gracious Father of blessings, 
And be my heart below 

To the dear Christ Who purchased me. 

Be my knee bent down 

To the queen of loveliness ; 
Be my voice raised up 

To Him Who made and blessed her. 



298 GEALACH ÙR 




A' GHEALACH tJR [312] 

È mo ruin a' ghealach ùr. 

Is Righ nan dùl 'ga beannachadh ; 
Bitheadh agamsa deagh run 

Dha gach dùil a' chruthachaidh. 

Bitheadh gach ni naomh 

Air an soillsich i ; 
Bitheadh gach ni caomh 

Ta i foillseachadh. 

Bitheadh a h-iùl air tir 

Aig gach teugmhalach ; 
Bitheadh a h-iùl air Hr 

Aig gach eigeannach. 

Gun robh re nan re 

Tighinn tre neulaibh tiugh 
Ormsa 's air gach ere 

Tighinn tre theannachadh. 

Gun robh òigh mo ghaoil 

Tighinn tre chaoba dubh 
Dhomhsa 's dha gach aon 

Ann an teinneachadh. 

Gun robh Righ nan gràs 

Le mo làimh a' cur 
Nis agus gu bràth 

Gu la m'aiseirigh. 



NEW MOON 299 



THE NEW MOON 

She of my love is the new moon, 

The King of all creatures blessing her ; 

Be mine a good purpose 

Towards each creature of creation. 

Holy be each thing 

Which she illumines ; 
Kindly be each deed 

Which she reveals. 

Be her guidance on land 

With all beset ones ; 
Be her guidance on the sea 

With all distressed ones. 

May the moon of moons 
Be coming through thick clouds 

On me and on every mortal 

Who is coming through affliction. 

May the virgin of my love 

Be coming through dense dark clouds 
To me and to each one 

Who is in tribulation. 

May the King of grace 

Be helping my hand 
Now and for ever 

Till my resurrection day. 



300 



GEALACH tJR 



RlOGHAINN NA H-OIDHCHE 



ÀILTE dhuit fein, 
Èiteag na h-oidhche ! 

Àilleachd nan speur, 
Èiteag na h-oidhche ! 

Màthair nan reul, 
Èiteag na h-oidhche ! 

Dalta na greine, 

Èiteag na h-oidhche ! 



[313] 




Morachd nan reul, 
Èiteag na h-oidhche ! 



NEW MOON 301 



QUEEN OF THE NIGHT 

Hail unto thee, 
Jewel of the night ! 

Beauty of the heavens, 
Jewel of the night ! 

Mother of the stars. 
Jewel of the night ! 

Fosterling of the sun, 
Jewel of the night ! 

Majesty of the stars. 
Jewel of the night ! 



302 



GEALACH tJR 



ÀILLEAGAN NAM BUADH [314] 

O Mhàiri Nic an Tòlsich, nèc Smiosach, Leth Mheadhonach, 
Uibhist a Deas 



ÀILTE dhut, a ghealach ùr, 

Àilleagan iùil na h-oidhche ! 
Fàilte dhut, a ghealach ùr, 

Àilleagan iùil nan stuagh ! 
Fàilte dhut, a ghealach ùr, 

Àilleagan iùil a' chuain ! 
Fàilte dhut, a ghealach ùr, 

Àilleagan iùil nam buadh ! 
Fàilte dhut, a ghealach ùr, 

Àilleagan iùil mo luaidh ! 
Àilleagan nan nèamh ! 




NEW MOON 303 



JEWEL OF VIRTUES 

From Mary Mackintosh, nee Smith, Leth Mheadhonach, South Uist 

Hail to thee, thou new moon, 

Jewel of guidance in the night ! 
Hail to thee, thou new moon, 

Jewel of guidance on the billows ! 
Hail to thee, thou new moon, 

Jewel of guidance on the ocean ! 
Hail to thee, thou new moon, 

Jewel of guidance of the virtues ! 
Hail to thee, thou new moon, 

Jewel of guidance of my love ! 
Thou jewel of heaven ! 



304 



GEALACH tJR 



GEALACH tJR 



[315] 



Thubhairt an seann seanchaidh : — An uair a chi neach a' ghealach ùr, 
is coir dha unahlachd a dhèanamh dhi agus crois Chriosda chur an clàr 
a chridhe agus an rann a ghabhail ann an sùil Dhè na glòire dh'an lèir 
gach nì. 

UMA geal do sholas dhomh ! 

Guma reidh do thuras dhomh ! 

Mas math do thoiseach dhomh, 

Seachd fearr do dheireadh dhomh, 
A ghealach ùr nan tràth, 
A lòchrain mhòir nan gràs ! 

Am fear a chruthaich thusa, 
Chruthaich e mise os barr ; 

Am fear thug dhutsa seagh is solas, 
Thug e dhomhsa beatha 's bàs, 
Agus sonas nan seachd sàth, 
A lòchrain mhòir nan gràs, 
A ghealach gheal nan tràth. 




NEW MOON 



305 



NEW MOON 

The aged reciter said : — When a person sees the new moon, he ought to 
make reverence to it, and to make the cross of Christ over the tablet of his 
heart, and to say the rune in the eye of the God of glory Who sees all. 



May thy light be fair to me ! 
May thy course be smooth to me ! 
If good to me is thy beginning, 
Seven times better be thine end, 

Thou fair moon of the seasons, 

Thou great lamp of grace ! 

He Who created thee 

Created me likewise ; 
He Who gave thee weight and light 

Gave to me life and death. 

And the joy of the seven satisfactions, 

Thou great lamp of grace. 

Thou fair moon of the seasons. 



3o6 



A' GHRIAN 



GRIAN 



[316] 



Old men in the Isles still uncover their heads when they first see the sun 
on coming out in the morning. They hum a hymn not easily caught up 



ÙIL Dhè mhòir, 
Sùil Dhè na glòir, 
Sùil Rìgh nan slògh, 
Sùil Rìgh nam beò, 
Dòrtadh oirnne 

Gach òil agus ial, 
Dòrtadh oirnne 

Gu fòill agus gu fial. 




Glòir dhuit fhèin, 

A ghrèin an àigh. 



Gloir dhuìt fhèin, a ghrèin, 
A ghnùis Dhè nan dùl. 



THE SUN 



307 



SUN 

and not easily got from them. The following fragments were obtained from 
a man of ninety-nine years in the south end of South Uist, and from 
another in Mingulay, one of the outer isles of Barra. 



The eye of the great God, 
The eye of the God of glory, 
The eye of the King of hosts. 
The eye of the King of the Hving, 
Pouring upon us 

At each time and season. 
Pouring upon us 

Gently and generously. 

Glory to thee. 

Thou glorious sun. 

Glory to thee, thou sun, 
Face of the God of life. 



3o8 A' GHRIAN 



AN URNAIGH GHRÈINE 

Thubhairt an seanchaidh : — Bha duine ann an Àrasaig agus bha e 
fuathasach scan, agus bhiodh e ag adhradh do'n ghrein agus do'n ghealaich 
agus do na reultaibh. Dar a dh'eireadh a' ghrian air bharr nam beann 
bheireadh e dheth a chomhdach cinn, agus chromadh e sios a cheann, 
a' toir glòir do Dhia mor nan diil air son glòir na greine agus mathas a 
solais do chlann nan daoine agus do bheathachaibh an t-saoghail. Dar 
a rachadh a' ghrian fodha sa chuan an iar, bheireadh an seann duine 
dheth a rithist a chomhdach cinn, agus chromadh e a cheann gu làr, agus 
theireadh e — 

Tha mise an dòchas 'na thràth 
Nach cuir Dia mor nan àgh 
As domhsa solas nan gràs 

Mar tha thusa dha m'fhàgail a nochd. 

Bha an seann duine ag ràdh gun d'ionnsaich e sec bho athair agus bho 
sheann daoine a' bhaile dar a bha e 'na leanabh beag. Bhiodh clann 
gun mhodh a' magadh air Iain, an dùil nach robh e uile gu leir ann, 
ach cha leir dhomh fhein gun robh Iain bochd a' dèanamh dad cearr. 



THE SUN 



309 



THE SUN PRAYER 

The reciter said : — There was a man in Arasaig, and he was extremely old, 
and he would make adoration to the sun and to the moon and to the 
stars. When the sun would rise on the tops of the peaks he would put off 
his head-covering and he would bow down his head, giving glory to the 
great God of life for the glory of the sun and for the goodness of its light 
to the children of men and to the animals of the world. When the sun 
set in the western ocean the old man would again take off his head-covering, 
and he would bow his head to the ground and say — 



I am in hope, in its proper time, 
That the great and gracious God 
Will not put out for me the light of grace 
Even as thou dost leave me this night. 

The old man said that he had learned this from his father and from the 
old men of the village when he was a small child. Mannerless children 
would be mocking Iain, thinking that he was not all there, but it is not 
clear to me that poor Iain was doing anything wrong. 



U2 



3IO 



A' GHRIAN 



A' GHRIAN [317] 

O Iain Mac Nill, coitear, Buaile nam Bodach, Barraidh 

ÀILTE ort fein, a ghrian nan tràth, 
'S tu siubhal ard nan speur ; 

Do cheumaibh treun air sgeith nan ard, 
'S tu màthair àigh nan reul. 

Thu laighe sios an cuan na dith 

Gun diobhail is gun sgàth ; 
Thu 'g eirigh suas air stuagh na sith, 

Mar rioghainn òg fo bhlàth. 




THE SUN 3„ 



THE SUN 

From John MacNeill, cottar, Buaile nam Bodach, Barra 

Hail to thee, thou sun of the seasons, 

As thou traversest the skies aloft ; 
Thy steps are strong on the wing of the heavens, 

Thou art the glorious mother of the stars. 

Thou liest down in the destructive ocean 
Without impairment and without fear ; 

Thou risest up on the peaceful wave-crest 
Like a queenly maiden in bloom. 



312 BUIDHEACHAS BITHIDH 




AN GARBHAN [318] 

HOIR dhuinn, a Dhe, dhe'n gharbhan mhadainn, 
Tairbh a' chuirp is deilbh an anama ; 

Thoir dhuinn, a Dhe, dhe'n t-seachdamh aran 
Tacar mhath an dàil an anamoich. 

Thoir dhuinn, a Dhe, dhe'n bhraonach mheala, 
Bladh is blachd nan gabhal cubhraidh, 
'S thoir dhuinn, a Dhe, an cois do chadail, 
Fois fo sgàth do Charraig chumhnant. 

Thoir dhuinn a nochd dhe'n iodh a mhaireas, 

Thoir dhuinn a nochd dhe'n dibh nach ciùrraich ; 

Thoir dhuinn a nochd an taic nam flathas 
Caihs Mhoire mhin na ciùine. 

Bi leinn a la, bi leinn a dh'oidhch, 

Bi leinn a shoillse agus dhubhradh, 
A' laighe sios 's ag eirigh suas. 

An cainnt, an gluasad agus urnaigh. 



THANKS FOR FOOD 313 



THE MEAL 

Give us, O God, of the morning meal, 
Benefit to the body, the frame of the soul ; 

Give us, O God, of the seventh bread, 
Enough for our need at evening close. 

Give us, O God, of the honey-sweet foaming milk. 
The sap and milk of the fragrant farms, 

And give us, O God, along with Thy sleep, 
Rest in the shade of Thy covenant Rock. 

Give us this night of the corn that shall last. 

Give us this night of the drink that shall hurt not 

Give us this night, anear to the heavens. 
The chalice of Mary mild, the tender. 

Be with us by day, be with us by night. 

Be with us by light and by dark. 
In our lying down and in our rising up, 

In speech, in walk, in prayer. 



314 



BUIDHEACHAS BITHIDH 



BEANNACHADH BITHIDH 



[319] 



Beulaiche : Calum Mac Ghille Mhaoil, ceannaiche, 
Baile Mhanaich, Beinne Bhadhla 

I liom, a Dhe, aig bristeadh arain, 
Bi liom, a Dhe, ri crich mo loin ; 
Na leig-sa sur a sios mo chalainn [cholainn 
A ni dùbhail dha m'anam bròin. 
O sur a sios mo chalainn 

Ni dùbhail dha m'anam bròin. 




THANKS FOR FOOD 315 



GRACE BEFORE FOOD 

Reciter : Malcolm Macmillan, merchant, Balvannich, Benbecula 

Be with me, O God, at breaking of bread, 

Be with me, O God, at the close of my meal ; 
Let no whit adown my body 

That may hurt my sorrowing soul. 
O no whit adown my body 

That may hurt my sorrowing soul. 



3i6 



BUIDHEACHAS BITHIDH 



BUIDHEACHAS BITHIDH 

Beulaiche : Calum Mac Ghille MhaoU, ceannaiche, 
Baile Mhanaich, Beinne Bhadhla 



AING dhut, a Dhe, 
Moladh dhut, a Dhe, 
Urram dhut, a Dhe, 

An deidh na thug thu dhomh. 

Mar thug thu beatha chorporra 
Chum cosnaidh dhomh mo loin, 

Thoir dhomh beatha mhaireannach 
Chum taisbeanaidh do ghlòir. 



[320] 




Thoir dhomh gràs an dàil mo bheatha, 
Thoir dhomh beatha an dàil mo bhàis ; 

Bi liom, a Dhe, an tilgealach m'anail, 
Dhe, bi le m'anam anns na strithean ard. 



O ! an tilgealach na h-anail, 

O ! le m'anam anns na strithean ard. 
Dhe, bi le m'anam a' grunnachadh nan àth, 

Dol thar nan tarrainn ard. 



THANKS FOR FOOD 317 



THANKS AFTER FOOD 

Reciter : Malcolm Macmillan, merchant, Balvannich, Benbecula 



Thanks be to Thee, O God, 
Praise be to Thee, O God, 
Reverence be to Thee, O God, 
For all Thou hast given me. 

As Thou hast given life corporeal 

To earn me my worldly food. 
So grant me life eternal 

To show forth Thy glory. 

Grant me grace throughout my life. 
Grant me life at the hour of my death ; 

Be with me, O God, in casting off my breath, 
O God, be with me in the deep currents. 

O ! in the parting of the breath, 

O ! be with my soul in the deep currents. 

O God, be with my soul in sounding the fords. 
In crossing the deep floods. 



3i8 



DÌON OIDHCHE 



EOLAS EAGAIL OIDHCHE 



[321] 



This rune is said by travellers at night. Any person saying it from the 
heart will be sained and safeguarded from harm. He will not be molested 
by the ' fuath,' the ' gruagach,' the ' peallag,' the ' ban-sith,' the ' bean- 
nighidh,' nor by ' fridich nan creag,' nor by any spirit in the air, in the 
earth, under the earth, in the sea, nor under the sea. The imprecation, 
' Guma h-anmoch dhuit ! ' ' May you be late ! ' is still reckoned as 
specially evil. 

' Am faic thu dad, a mhicein ? ' ' Chan fhaic mi dad, athair.' ' Am 
faic thu dad a nis, a mhicein ? ' ' Nim faic mi dad, athair.' ' Am faic 
thu dad idir a nis, a mhicein ? ' ' Chan fhaic mi sian, athair.' ' A Mhoire, 
chan fhaic ! Chan 'eil an uiread sin de thoinisg 'na do cheann no do shoice 
no do shùil gum faiceadh tusa bòcan no dad eile de dhroch obair na 
h-oidhche ! ' — ' Do you see anything, little son? ' ' I see nothing, father.' 
' Do you see anything now, little son ? ' * I see nothing, father.' ' Do you 
see anything at all now, little son ? ' ' I see nothing at all, father.' ' By 




lA romham, Dia dheogham, 
Dia tharam, Dia fodham ; 
;y Mise air slighe Dhia, 
Dia air mo luirg. 

Co sud air fuinn ? 
Co sud air tuinn ? 
Co sud air luinn ? 
Co sud air suinn ? 
Co tha cuide ruinn ? 
Dia agus Domhnach. 

Mis an seo an cein, 
Mis an seo an eis, 
Mis an seo am pein, 
Mis an seo an teinn, 
Mis an seo liom fein, 
Dhe, dean mo chomhnadh. 



[faram 



NIGHT SHIELDING 319 



CHARM FOR FEAR BY NIGHT 

Mary, you see nothing ! There is not so much sense in your head or in 
your snout or in your eye that you would see a bogle or anything else of the 
ill work of the night ! ' 

This conversation took place between a father and the little son on his 
back as they were passing through a spot of evil reputation. When the 
father passed the dreaded hollow he put down his boy and ran as hard 
as he could. The boy overtook and passed him. When he reached home, 
the boy fell in the door exhausted. Immediately after the father came up 
and stumbled over the motionless boy lying in the doorway. Thinking 
that this was the bogle at last, the father yelled, rousing the boy without 
and the mother within. The frightened man gave his son a cuffing and a 
severe scolding for leaving him to the mercy of the bogles. ' A phocain 
pheallaidh, dol a dh'fhàgail t'athar 'ga itheadh aig bòcain Lag Onair 
agus aig gainisg na h-oidhche ! ' — ' You little sack of hide, to go and leave 
your father to be eaten by the bogles of Lag Onair and the marsh-spirit 
of the night ! ' 

God before me, God behind me, 
God above me, God below me ; 
I on the path of God, 
God upon my track. 

Who is there on land ? 
Who is there on wave ? 
Who is there on billow ? 
Who is there by door-post ? 
Who is along with us ? 
God and Lord. 

I am here abroad, 
I am here in need, 
I am here in pain, 
I am here in straits, 
I am here alone, 
O God, aid me. 



Sao DÌON OIDHCHE 




GOMARAIG NAN DEOR [322] 

HA mi cur m'anama 's mo chorp 
Fo do chomaraig a nochd, a Bhrighid, 
A Mhoime bhith Chriosda gun lochd, 
A Mhoime bhith Chriosda nan creuchda. 

Tha mi cur m'anama 's mo chorp 
Fo do chomaraig a nochd, a Mhoire, 
A Mhàthair mhin Chriosda nam bochd, 
A Mhàthair mhin Chriosda nan deura. 

Tha mi cur m'anama 's mo chorp 
Fo do chomaraig a nochd, a Chriosda, 
A Mhic nan deur, nan creuchd 's nan lot, 
Bitheadh do chrois a nochd dha m' dhiona. 

Tha mi cur m'anama 's mo chorp 
Fo do chomaraig a nochd, a Dhe, 
Athair chobhair nan deòra dibhdh bochd, 
Gomhnadair talmhainn agus nèamha, 

Comhnadair talmhainn agus nèamha. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 331 



THE PILGRIMS' SAFEGUARDING 

I AM placing my soul and my body 

Under thy guarding this night, O Brigit, 

O calm Fostermother of the Christ without sin, 

calm Fostermother of the Christ of wounds. 

1 am placing my soul and my body 
Under thy guarding this night, O Mary, 
O tender Mother of the Christ of the poor, 

tender Mother of the Christ of tears. 

1 am placing my soul and my body 
Under Thy guarding this night, O Christ, 

Thou Son of the tears, of the wounds, of the piercings, 
May Thy cross this night be shielding me. 

1 am placing my soul and my body 
Under Thy guarding this night, O God, 

O Thou Father of help to the poor feeble pilgrims, 
Protector of earth and of heaven, 

Protector of earth and of heaven. 



322 



DlON OIDHCHE 



DION D£ 



[323] 




THIGHEARNA agus a Dhia nam feart, 
Dion agus riaraich mi a nochd, [diabhaich 
A Thighearna, a Dhia nam feart, 
A nochd agus gach oidhche. 



Seun agus saor mi bho lochd, 
Seun agus saor mi bho thort, 
Seun m'anam agus mo chorp, 

Gach dorcha agus gach soillse. 

Beannaich dhomh an tir am bheil mo dhùil, 
Beannaich dhomh an ni a chi mo shùil, 
Beannaich dhomh an ni a chi mo run, 

A Dhe nan dùl, beannaich mo chor. 



[olc 



Beannaich an turas am bheil mi dol, 
Beannaich an talamh ta fo m' chois, 

Beannaich a' chùis air am bheil mo thòir, 
A Righ na glòire, beannaich mo chor. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 323 



SHIELDING OF GOD 

Thou Lord and God of power, 
Shield and sustain me this night, 
Thou Lord, Thou God of power, 
This night and every night. 

Sain and dehver me from fault, 
Sain and deliver me from sin, 
Sain my soul and my body. 
Each dark and each light. 

Bless to me the land whither I am bound. 
Bless to me the thing mine eye shall see, 
Bless to me the thing my purpose discerns. 
Thou God of life, bless my condition. 

Bless the journey whereon I go, 
Bless the earth that is under my foot, 

Bless the matter which I seek, 
Thou King of glory, bless my condition. 



324 



DlON OIDHCHE 



SMtJRADH AN TULA 




[324] 



MtJRAIDH mi an tula 

Mar a smùradh Brighde Muime. 

Ainm naomh na Muime 

Bhith mu'n tula, bhith mu'n tan, 
Bhith mu'n ardraich uile. 



SMALADH AN TEINE 

Smàlam a nochd mo theine 

Mar smàladh Mac na Muire ; 
Caim Dhe dhomh fein 's dh'an teine, 

Cairn Dhe dhomh fein 's gach duine ; 
Caim Dhe dhomh fein 's dh'an tulaich, 

Caim Dhe dhomh fein 's dh'an làr, 

Is air gach trend is tan, 
Is air an ardraich uile. 



[325] 



NIGHT SHIELDING 325 



SMOORING THE HEARTH 

I WILL smoor the hearth 

As Brigit the Fostermother would smoor. 

The Fostermother's holy name 

Be on the hearth, be on the herd, 
Be on the household all. 



SMOORING THE FIRE 

I SMOOR this night my fire 

As Mary's Son would smoor ; 
God's compassing be to myself and the fire, 

God's compassing to myself and to all ; 
God's compassing to myself and the hearth, 

God's compassing to myself and the floor, 

And upon each herd and flock. 
And upon the household all. 



X2 



DÌON OIDHCHE 




SMÀLADH AN TEINE [326] 

MÀLAM a nochd an teine 

Mar a smàladh Mac na Muire ; 

Caim Dhè a bhith dh'an teine, 
Caim Dhè dh'an chuideachd uile. 

Caim Dhè bhith umainn fèin, 

Caim Dhè bhith umainn uile, 
Caim Dhè bhith air an trend, 

Gaim Dhè bhith air an tulaich. 

Co a tha ri faire nochd ? 
Co ach Criosda nam bochd, 
Brighde mingheal nan ni, 
Moire mingheal nan cleachd. 

Guma slàn do thaigh 's do than, 
Guma slàn do mhac 's do nighinn, 
Guma slàn do bhean, do dhuine, 
Guma slàn do mhuinntir uile. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 327 



SMOORING THE FIRE 

I SMOOR the fire this night 

As the Son of Mary would smoor it ; 
The compassing of God be on the fire, 

The compassing of God on all the household. 

Be God's compassing about ourselves, 
Be God's compassing about us all, 

Be God's compassing upon the flock, 
Be God's compassing upon the hearth. 

Who keeps the watch this night ? 
Who but the Christ of the poor, 

The bright and gentle Brigit of the kine, 
The bright and gentle Mary of the ringlets. 

Whole be house and herd. 
Whole be son and daughter, 
Whole be wife and man, 
Whole the household all. 



328 



DÌON OIDHCHE 



URNAIGH OIDHCHE 



[327] 



From Peìgidh Nic Cormaig (Peggy MacCormack), nèe MacDonald, 
Aird Bhuidhe, Loch Boisdale, Uist 
The reciter said that this and similar hymns used to be sung in her father's 
house at Àirigh nam Ban in Uist. Crofters then held the land now occupied 
by sheep. The people were strong, healthy, and happy, and enjoyed 
life to the full in their simple homely ways. They had sheep and cattle, 
corn, potatoes, and poultry, milk, cheese, butter and fish, all in sufficiency. 
They were good to the poor, kind to the stranger, and helpful to one another, 
and there was nothing amiss. There were pipers and fiddlers in almost 
every house, and the people sang and danced in summer time on the 
green grass without, and in winter time on the clay floor within. 

' How we enjoyed ourselves in those far-away days — the old as much 
as the young. I often saw three and sometimes four generations dancing 




AT ainm, ìos a chaidh a cheusadh, 

Laighim fein a sios gu tàmh ; 
^ Caithris mi anns a' chadal cheine, 
Gleidh mi fein air do leth làimh ; 
Caithris mi anns a' chadal cheine, 
Gleidh mi fein air do leth làimh. 



Beannaich dhomh, O mo Chriosda, 
Bi ad sgiath dhomh dha mo dhion, 
Fòir mo cheum anns a' chorraich chriaraich, 
Treòraich ionnsaigh na beatha shior ; 

Fòir mo cheum anns a' chorraich chriaraich, 
Treòraich ionnsaigh na beatha shior. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 329 



NIGHT PRAYER 

together on the green grass in the golden summer sunset. Men and women 
of fourscore or more — for they Hved long in those days — dancing with 
boys and girls of five on the green grass. Those were the happy days 
and the happy nights, and there was neither sin nor sorrow in the world 
for us. The thought of those young days makes my old heart both glad 
and sad even at this distance of time. But the clearances came upon us, 
destroying all, turning our small crofts into big farms for the stranger, 
and turning our joy into misery, our gladness into bitterness, our blessing 
into blasphemy, and our Christianity into mockery. — O a dhuine ghaolaich, 
thig na deòir air mo shuilean le linn smaoininn air na dh'fhuilig sinn agus 
na duirb thàinig sinn 'roimhe. — O dear man, the tears come on my eyes 
when I think of all we suffered and of the sorrows, hardships, oppressions 
we came through.' 



In Thy name, O Jesu Who wast crucified, 

I lie down to rest ; 
Watch Thou me in sleep remote. 
Hold Thou me in Thy one hand ; 
Watch Thou me in sleep remote. 
Hold Thou me in Thy one hand. 



Bless me, O my Christ, 

Be Thou my shield protecting me, 
Aid my steps in the pitful swamp. 
Lead Thou me to the life eternal ; 
Aid my steps in the pitful swamp. 
Lead Thou me to the life eternal. 



330 DlON OIDHCHE 

Cum mi fein am fianais De, 

A dheagh Mhic eibhinn na hÒigh, 
Is guidhim dein do chomhnadh treun 
Bho m' laighe ceire gu m'eirigh lò ; 
Is guidhim dein do chomhnadh treun 
Bho m' laighe ceire gu m'eirigh lò. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 331 

Keep Thou me in the presence of God, 

O good and gracious Son of the Virgin, 
And fervently I pray Thy strong protection 

From my lying down at dusk to my rising at day ; 
And fervently I pray Thy strong protection 

From my lying down at dusk to my rising at day. 



332 



DÌON OIDHGHE 




LAIGHIM SIOS A NOCHD 



AIGHIM sìos a nochd le Dia, 

Is laighidh Dia a sìos liom ; 
Laighim sìos a nochd le Crìosd, 

Is laighidh Crìosd a sìos liom ; 
Laighim sìos a nochd le Spiorad, 

Is laighidh Spiorad sios liom ; 
Dia agus Criosd agus Spiorad 

A sios a' laighe liom. 



[328] 



NIGHT SHIELDING 333 



I LIE DOWN THIS NIGHT 

I LIE down this night with God, 

And God will lie down with me ; 
I lie down this night with Christ, 

And Christ will lie down with me ; 
I lie down this night with Spirit, 

And the Spirit will lie down with me 
God and Christ and the Spirit 

Be lying down with me. 



334 DÌON OIDHCHE 




ACHAN CHADAIL [329] 

AIGHIM sìos a nochd 

Le Brighde nam brot, 
Le Muire nan sìth, 

Le ìosa nam bochd. 



Laighim sios a nochd 

Le Brighde na ciùin, 
Le Muire na toirt, 

Le Micheal mo ruin. 

Laighim sios a nochd 

Am fochair Righ nan dùl, 
Am fochair Criosd nan nochd, 

Am fochair Spioraid Nùmh. 

Laighim sios a nochd 

Le na naoi croisean fionn, [aingeil 

O bharra mo chinn 

Gu traighean mo bhonn ; 
O bharra mo chinn 

Gu traighean mo bhonn. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 335 



SLEEP INVOCATION 

I LIE down this night 

With Brigit of the mantles, 
With Mary of peace, 

With Jesus of the poor. 

I He down this night 

With Brigit of calmness, 
With Mary revered. 

With Michael of my love. 

I lie down this night 

Near the King of life. 
Near Christ of the destitute, 

Near the Holy Spirit. 

I lie down this night 

With the nine crosses holy, [angels 

From the crown of my head 
To the soles of my feet ; 

From the crown of my head 
To the soles of my feet. 



336 



DÌON OIDHCHE 



GABHAIL MU THÀMH 



[330] 



Thubhairt an seann bheulaiche, bean aosda bhochd agus i 'na h-aonar 
san t-saoghal : Tha mi dèanamh a nis mar a chunnaìc mi mo mhàthair a' 
dèanamh dar a bha mi am leanaban. Mun tèid mi a laìghe tha mi cur 
a' chroinn air comhla an dorais, agus tha mi dèanamh crois Chriosda air a' 
chrann agus air a' chomhla, agus tha mi ag achan ri Dia mor nan dùl, 
Athair nan uile bheò, dion agus comhfhurtachd a thoir dhomh a nochd. 



ARA tigeadh thugam eucoir, 
Tre chrann cheusaidh Chriosd 

Nara tigeadh thugam reubann, 
Tre fhuil euchdach ìos. 




Nara tigeadh thugam dòbheairt 
Tre chomhla na tre chrann ; 

Nara faicinn foirneart, 

Is Righ na glòir ri m' cheann. 



'Na dheoghaidh sin tha mi cur as mo sholais agus tha mi sin a' dol dha m' 
leabaidh, agus dar a bhios mi 'nam laigh air mo chluasaig tha mi a' 
dèanamh crois Chriosd air mo bhroilleach, air clàr mo chridhe cruaidh, 
agus tha mi a' guidhe ri Dia beò an domhain — 



Gun tigeadh Solas nan solas 

Dha m' chridhe doilleir o t'àite ; 

Gun tigeadh àis an Spioraid 

Air clàr mo chridhe bho m' Shlàn'ear. 



[at? 



Sith Spioraid dhomh fein a nochd, 
Sith Mic dhomh fein a nochd, 
Sith Athar dhomh fein a nochd, 
Sith nan sith dhomh fein a nochd, 
Gach moch agus anamoch dha m' shaoghal. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 



337 



GOING TO REST 

The poor, aged, and lonely reciter said ; I do now as I saw my mother 
doing when I was a child. Before going to my bed I place the bar upon the 
leaf of the door, and I make the cross of Christ on the bar and on the door, 
and I supplicate the great God of life, the Father of all living, to protect 
and comfort me this night. 



May no wrong come unto me, 

Through the crucifying-tree of Christ ; 

May no rapine come to me, 

Through the precious blood of Jesus. 

May no ill-doing come to me 

Through door-leaf nor through bar ; 

Nor may I see oppression, 

While the King of glory leads me. 

After that I put out my light, and then I go to bed, and when I lie down on 
my pillow I make the cross of Christ upon my breast, over the tablet of 
my hard heart, and I beseech the living God of the universe — 

May the Light of lights come 

To my dark heart from Thy place ; [in thy stead 
May the Spirit's wisdom come 

To my heart's tablet from my Saviour. 

Be the peace of the Spirit mine this night, 
Be the peace of the Son mine this night, 
Be the peace of the Father mine this night. 
The peace of all peace be mine this night, 
Each morning and evening of my life. 



DÌON OIDHCHE 



BEANNACHADH TÀIMH [331] 

Beulaiche : Dùghall Mac Amhlaidh, coitear, Hacleit, Beinne Bhadhla 

HÈ, beannaich dhomh 'n rè ta os mo chionn, 
Dhè, beannaich dhomh 'n cè ta fos mo bhonn, 
Beannaich dhomh fèin mo chèile 's mo chlann, 
'S beannaich, a Dhe, dhomh fein ta air an ceann ; 
Beannaich dhomh fein mo cheile 's mo chlann, 
'S beannaich, a Dhe, dhomh fein ta air an ceann. 

Dhe, beannaich dh'an ni dh'a bheil mo shùil, 

Dhe, beannaich dh'an ni dh'a bheil mo dhùil, 

Beannaich, a Dhe, dha m' cheill agus dha m' run, 

Beannaich, O beannaich fein, a Dhe nan dùl ; 

Beannaich, a Dhe, dha m' cheill agus dha m' run, 

Beannaich, O beannaich fein, a Dhe nan dùl. 

Beannaich dhomh caimhleapach mo dhàimh, 

Beannaich dhomh làimhseachadh mo làimh, 

Beannaich, O beannaich, a Dhe, dhomh caimeachadh mo 

chaim, 
'S beannaich, O beannaich dhomh aingleachadh mo thàimh ; 
Beannaich, O beannaich, a Dhe, dhomh caimeachadh 
mo chaim, 

'S beannaich, O beannaich dhomh aingleachadh mo 
thàimh. 




NIGHT SHIELDING 339 



REST BENEDICTION 

Reciter : Dugall MacAulay, cottar, Hacleit, Benbecula 

Bless to me, O God, the moon that is above me. 
Bless to me, O God, the earth that is beneath me, 
Bless to me, O God, my wife and my children, 
And bless, O God, myself who have care of them ; 
Bless to me my wife and my children, 
And bless, O God, myself who have care of them. 

Bless, O God, the thing on which mine eye doth rest. 

Bless, O God, the thing on which my hope doth rest, 

Bless, O God, my reason and my purpose. 

Bless, O bless Thou them. Thou God of life ; 
Bless, O God, my reason and my purpose, 
Bless, O bless Thou them. Thou God of life. 

Bless to me the bed-companion of my love. 

Bless to me the handling of my hands. 

Bless, O bless Thou to me, O God, the fencing of my defence. 

And bless, O bless to me the angeUng of my rest ; 

Bless, O bless Thou to me, O God, the fencing of my 
defence. 

And bless, O bless to me the angeling of my rest. 



340 



DlON OIDHGHE 




FOIS [332] 

THÌ nam feart, 
Dion mi le neart, 
A Thi nan reachd 

Agus nan roille. [troille 

Caimich mi a nochd, 
Anam agus corp, 
Caimich mi a nochd 
Agus gach oidhche. 

Caimich mi ceart 

Eadar ùir agus earc, [eachd 

Eadar run do reachd 
Agus dearc mo dhoille ; 



Eadar na chi 

Agus nach li mo shùil ; 
Eadar nas leir 

Agus nach leir dha m' run. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 341 



REPOSE 

Thou Being of marvels, 
Shield me with might, 
Thou Being of statutes 
And of stars. 

Compass me this night, 
Both soul and body, 
Compass me this night 
And on every night. 

Compass me aright 
Between earth and sky. 
Between the mystery of Thy laws 
And mine eye of blindness ; 

Both that which mine eye sees 
And that which it reads not ; 

Both that which is clear 
And is not clear to my devotion. 



Y2 



342 



DlON OIDHCHE 



CLOS CADAIL 



[333] 



Beulaiche : Màiri Nic Rath, coitear, Camas Luinge, Cinn Tàile 

Ars am beulaiche : An deidh dhomh mo chomhla a dhùnadh agus mo 
chrùisgein a smàladh agus mo dhol dha m' leabaidh, tha mi guidhe air 
Ti nan dul agus air Dia nan gràs, agus ag ràdh ris — 



HE nan dul, na dubhr dhomh do sholas, 
Dhe nan dul, na dùin dhomh do shonas, 
Dhe nan dul, na druid dhomh do dhoras, 
Dhe nan dul, na diùlt dhomh do thròcair, 
Dhè nan dùl, much dhomh do dhòlas, 
Agus a Dhe nan dul, crùn dhomh do sholas, 
Agus a Dhe nan dul, crùn dhomh do sholas. 




NIGHT SHIELDING 343 



REPOSE OF SLEEP 

Reciter : Mary MacRae, cottar, Camas Luinge, Kintail 

The reciter said : After I have closed my door and put out my cruisie 
(lamp) and gone to my bed, I beseech the Being of life and the God of 
grace, and say to Him — 



O God of life, darken not to me Thy light, 

O God of life, close not to me Thy joy, 

O God of life, shut not to me Thy door, 

O God of life, refuse not to me Thy mercy, 
O God of life, quench Thou to me Thy wrath. 
And O God of life, crown Thou to me Thy gladness, 
O God of life, crown Thou to me Thy gladness. 



344 



DÌON OIDHGHE 




DHE MHOIR 



[334] 



HÈ mhòir, thoir dhomhsa do sholas, 
Dhè mhòir, thoir dhomhsa do ghràs, 

Dhè mhòir, thoir dhomhsa do shonas, 

Agus mo thodhar ann an tobar do shlàint. 



Tog dhìom, a Dhè, mo dhòrainn, 
Tog dhìom, a Dhè, mo ghràin, 
Tog dhìom, a Dhè, gach arral, 

Agus soillsich dha m'anam an soillse do bhàidh. 



[arrais 



Mar tha mise a' cur dhìom m'fhallainn, 
Thoir dhomh fèin cur dhìom mo spàirn ; 

Mar thogas an carr thar bharr nam beannaibh, 
Tog thusa dha m'anam o anail a' bhàis. 



ìosa Chrìosd, a Mhic na Moire, 

losa Chrìosd, a Mhic na Pais, 
Dion dha m' chalann an dionadh t'fhallainn, 

Agus todhraich dha m'anam ann an todhraich do ghràis. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 



345 



THOU GREAT GOD 

Thou great God, grant me Thy light, 

Thou great God, grant me Thy grace, 
Thou great God, grant me Thy joy. 

And let me be made pure in the well of Thy health. 

Lift Thou from me, O God, my anguish. 
Lift Thou from me, O God, my abhorrence, 

Lift Thou from me, O God, all empty pride. 
And lighten my soul in the light of Thy love. 

As I put off from me my raiment, 

Grant me to put off my struggling ; 
As the haze rises from off the crest of the mountains. 

Raise Thou my soul from the vapour of death. 

Jesu Christ, O Son of Mary, 

Jesu Christ, O Paschal Son, 
Shield my body in the shielding of Thy mantle. 

And make pure my soul in the purifying of Thy grace. 



346 



DÌON OIDHCHE 



URNAIGH 



[335] 



The reciter said that she heard this hymn and many other hymns and 
songs, tunes and melodies, when a child, from her father John MacNeill 
and from her mother Mary Maclean. Her parents had innumerable 
songs and hymns, chants and melodies, which they taught to their children. 
She, however, was but a child when her parents died, and she remembers 
but fragments of what they taught to her and her brothers and sisters. The 



O Dhia agus mo Thriath, 

larram dhuit gu moch, 
Mo Dhia agus mo Thriath, 

larram dhuit a nochd. 
Tha mi tabhar dhuit mo chiall, 

Tha mi tabhar dhuit mo thort, 
Tha mi tabhar dhuit mo mhiann, 

M'anam siorraidh agus mo chorp. 




Gun robh thu ad cheannard orm, 

Gun robh thu ad mhaighistir dhomh, 
Gun robh thu ad chiobair orm, 

Gun robh thu ad chomhlaich dhomh, 
Gun robh thu ad bhuachaill orm. 

Gun robh thu ad iùlair dhomh. 
Gun robh thu liom, a Thriath nan triath, 

Athair shiorraidh agus a Dhia nan neof. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 347 



PRAYER 

woman taught all that she could remember of her childhood's prayers and 
hymns and harmonies to her own ten children, most of whom are now 
dead. The woman said that she often thought over those old songs and 
airs, hymns and tunes, that she heard in her chUdhood and never heard 
again since, and that they appear to her very peculiar and very different 
from anything that she had ever heard since then. She thinks that most of 
them must have been very old ; they were very weird and very beautiful. 

My God and my Chief, 

I seek to Thee in the morning, 
My God and my Chief, 

I seek to Thee this night. 
I am giving Thee my mind, 

I am giving Thee my will, 
I am giving Thee my wish. 

My soul everlasting and my body. 

Mayest Thou be chieftain over me, 

Mayest Thou be master unto me, 
Mayest Thou be shepherd over me, 

Mayest Thou be guardian unto me, 
Mayest Thou be herdsman over me, 

Mayest Thou be guide unto me, 
Mayest Thou be with me, O Chief of chiefs. 

Father everlasting and God of the heavens. 



348 



DÌON OIDHGHE 




URNAIGH [336] 

THAIR, beannaich mi 'nam chorp, 
Athair, beannaich mi 'nam anam ; 

Athair, beannaich mi a nochd 
'Nam chorp agus 'nam anam. 



Athair, beannaich mi 'nam bheatha, 

Athair, beannaich mi 'nam chreideamh ; 

Athair, beannaich mi 'nam cheangal 
Ri m' bheatha agus ri mo chreideamh. 

Athair, naomhaich dhomh mo chainn, 
Athair, naomhaich dhomh mo chridhe ; 

Athair, naomhaich dhomh gach eang 
'Na mo chainn agus 'na mo chridhe. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 349 



PRAYER 

Father, bless me in my body, 
Father, bless me in my soul ; 

Father, bless me this night 
In my body and in my soul. 

Father, bless me in my life, 
Father, bless me in my creed ; 

Father, bless me in my tie 
To my life and to my creed. 

Father, sanctify to me my speech. 
Father, sanctify to me my heart ; 

Father, sanctify to me every whit 
In my speech and in my heart. 



350 DÌON OIDHCHE 



CAIMEACHADH TEAGHLAICH [337] 

Thubhairt am beulaiche, Catriona Nic-a-Phì, coitear, Aird Mhòr, 
ìochdar, Uibhist : Is iomadh rud a chunnaic mi ri mo latha agus ri mo 
linn. Is iomadh rud sin, a Mhoire Mhàthair an dubh bhròin ! Chunnaic 
mi na bailtean fearainn air an sguabadh, agus na gabhalaichean mora 
dh'an dèanamh dhiubh, an tuath dh'an sgiùrsadh as an dùthaich gu 
stràidean Ghlasacho agus gu fàsaichean Chanada, a' chuid dhiubh nach 
do bhàsaich le acras agus plàigh agus banachdaich a' dol a null air a' 
chuan. Chunna mi na mnathan a' cur na cloinne anns na cairtean a bha 
dh'an cur o Bheinne Bhadhla agus o'n lochdar gu Loch Baghasdail, agus 
am fir phòsta ceangailte anns a' chrò agus a' gal ri'n taobh, gun chomas 
làmh chomhnaidh a thoir dhaibh, ged a bha iad fein ag eigheach agus an 
clann bheag a' rànaich ion dol a cochall an cridhe. Chunna mi na fir mhora 
làidir, diùlnaich na dùthcha, ceatharnaich an t-saoghail, dh'an ceangal 
air ceidhe Loch Baghasdail agus dh'an tilgeil anns an luing mar a dhèant 
air prasgan each no chruidh anns an eathar, na bàillidhean agus na maoir 
agus na constabail agus na policemen 'nan tional as an deoghaidh 'nan tòir 
OS an cionn. Aig Dia nan dùl agus aige-san a mhàin tha fios air obair 
ghràineil dhaoine an la ud. 

Bhiodh na mnathan a' gabhail nan rann seo an am a dhol dh'an 
cadal. Bha daoine an la ud Ian laoidhean agus achan, Ian ceòil agus 
òran, làn muirn agus mànrain agus àbhachd gun chron. A Leobhra fliein, 
chan iarradh sibh ach a bhith dh'an eisdeachd, air faidead na h-oidhche, 
air gairbhead nan sion, air sailichead na slighe, air doirche na h-oidhche 
dol dachaidh. B'i sin an sgoil againne, agus cha robh againn ach i. Cha 
robh ach aon sgoil anns a' Cheann a Deas eadar Stac Èirisgeidh agus 
Eilean Fhlodaidh, faisg air da fhichead mile dh'astar, agus tri aiseagan ri 
thadhall, tri chaoil ri thrasd. Chan ionann dha sin agus do chlann an 
latha an diugh, sgoil an doras gach taighe. 

Ach bha daoin an la ud làidir fallan, gniomhach cosanta, mar nach bheil 
daoin an la an diugh, aona chuid fir no mnài. Chan 'eil, a ghràidhein ; 
tha mi fein a' toir t'aire dha sin. Tha mCithadh mor beatha air 
tighinn a steach dh'an dùthaich — ta chuile neach a' gabhail beachd air 
a sin, Ta moran ti 'ga h-òl agus moran flùir 'ga h-itheadh an diugh. 
Cha robh dad de sin ann ri mo linn-sa fein no ri linn mo mhàthar. Cha 
robh dad ach im is càis is gruithim, bliochd agus bainne, agus beòir barr 
an fliraoich, aran coirce, eòrna, agus seagail, brochan agiis bainne, feòil 
agus sitheann, easan agus èanaraich. Nim bheil dad de sin a' dol an diugh. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 351 



ENCOMPASSING OF FAMILY 

The reciter, Catherine Macphee, cottar, Aird Mhor, lochdar, Uist, 
said : Many a thing I have seen in my own day and generation. Many 
a thing, O Mary Mother of the black sorrow ! I have seen the townships 
swept, and the big holdings being made of them, the people being driven 
out of the countryside to the streets of Glasgow and to the wilds of Canada, 
such of them as did not die of hunger and plague and smallpox while going 
across the ocean. I have seen the women putting the children in the carts 
which were being sent from Benbecula and the lochdar to Loch Boisdale, 
while their husbands lay bound in the pen and were weeping beside them, 
without power to give them a helping hand, though the women themselves 
were crying aloud and their little children wailing like to break their hearts, 
I have seen the big strong men, the champions of the countryside, the 
stalwarts of the world, being bound on Loch Boisdale quay and cast into 
the ship as would be done to a batch of horses or cattle in the boat, the 
bailiffs and the ground-officers and the constables and the policemen 
gathered behind them in pursuit of them. The God of life and He only 
knows all the loathsome work of men on that day. 

The women would be singing these verses at time of going to sleep. 
The people of that day were full of hymns and prayers, full of music and 
songs, full of joy and melody and innocent merriment. By the Book 
itself, you would not ask but to be hearing them, however long the night, 
however wild the weather, however miry the road, however dark the 
night going homeward. That was our school, and we had no other. 
There was but one school in South Uist between the Stack of Eriskay and 
the Isle of Floday, near forty miles' journey, with three ferries to make, 
three sounds to cross. That was very different from the children of to-day — 
a school at every door. 

But the people of that day were strong and healthy, active and 
industrious, in a way that those of to-day are not, whether men or women. 
They are not, my dear ; I myself draw your notice to that. A great change 
of life has come into the countryside — everyone observes that. Much tea 
is drunk and much flour is eaten nowadays. There was nothing of that 
in my own time or in my mother's time. There was nothing but butter 
and cheese and crowdie, dairy-produce and milk, and beer of heather- 
tops, oat-bread, barley-bread and rye-bread, porridge and milk, meat and 
flesh, gruel and broth. That is all changed to-day, my dear, and this has 



352 DÌON OIDHCHE 

nim bhell, a ghràidhein, agus tha a bhlàth agus a bhuil. Is ann a tha chuile 
dad an diugh 'ga chreic an adhbhar biadh Gallda gun bhladh gun bhrìgh. 
Saoil a bheil seòrsa sili am baile Ghlasacho nach faighear an diugh ann 
an Uibhìst ? Nar bheil seòrsa ! Ri mo latha-sa cha robh sili ann ach an 
seòrsa sin a dhèanadh sinn fhein air na dearca druis, air na dearca fraoich, 
agus air na dearca dubh agus dearg againn fhin. Chan 'eil fiù an ròs 
fèin aig daoin an diugh. Tha na fir air dol gu leisg, agus chan 'eil càl no 
currain aca, no fiù lios. Bho thilgeadh an sluagh a mach gu stràidean 
Ghlasacho agus gu coillichean Chanada agus gus na pollacha mòine, 
sguir na liosan. 

A Mhoire Mhàthair, tha a bhlàth agus a bhuil ! Is ann a tha clann 
nighean an la an diugh gun chnàimh gun chom, gun chinneas boireannaich. 
Ma bheir iad sgriob gu Galldachd, tillidh iad dachaidh Ian lom de leòm 
agus pròis, agus co ach iad ? Theid iad dh'an Aifreann agus a dh'eaglais 
Di-Domhnaich dh'an sealltainn fein, agus co ach iad ? Cnot air am brollach, 
paloni air an druim, guit air an ceann, agus sunshade 'nan làimh os an 
cionn, agus a Mhoire Mhàthair, co ach iadsan ? — a' coimhead a sios air 
na màthraichean a rug iad, a chionn nach robh dad de'n t-seòrsa sin aca-san 
agus nach robh e ann ri'n linn ! Gun toireadh Dia toinisg dhaibh ! 
Is iadsan a dh'fheumadh sin, agus a dh'fheumadh a dhol chon a' chnoic 
feuch an toireadh a' bhean-shith àis agus gràs na banachd dhaibh. 

Ri linn mo mhàthar agvis ri mo linn fein cha robh bròg no boineid, 
cuaran no currac, a' dol air cas no air ceann gille no nighinn san diithaich 
gon am biodh iad 'nan gugarlaich mhora agus 'nan stiallanaich ard. 
Cha d'reaghadh, no cha d'reaghadh ceannabheart no caiseart air gille 
no air nighinn an Uibhist ach latha feille no latha Domhnaich no latha 
sonraichte mar sin, Cha robh troidht aodaich no staoig leathrach a' 
tighinn dh'an dùthaich, ach a chuile teaghlach a' dèanamh aodaich agus 
anairt, leathrach agus bhròg, dhaibh fhein. A Leobhra fhein, bu bhriagh 
sin obair an làmh ! 

Bha gach gruagach san diithaich a' dol a mach latha feille agus 
Domhnaich gun churrac gun chomhdach cinn ach cir mhor 'nan cùl 
agus stiom sròil mu'n cluais, a' nochdadh do shluagh an t-saoghail gun 
robh iadsan fathast saor o phòsadh agus o bhaisteadh agus dragh teagh- 
laich. Nam biodh nighean ann a chaill a bhith 'na maighdein agus 
nach d'fhuair a bhith 'na mnaoi (ach b'ainmig sin, a luaidh), cha bhiodh 
aona chuid stiom m'a cluais no cual m'a ceann. Chan fhaodadh e bhith. 
Bhathar cruaidh cruaidh air nighean thruagh a' mhi-fhortain. 

Rachadh mnathan na dùthcha mach latha feille agus Domhnaich 
le breid lin mu'n ceann co gile ri canach an t-sleibhe, no le currac anairt 
CO gile ri sneachd an aonaich. Bhiodh gùintean mu'n com agus cleòcan 
mu'n guaillne de stuth no iomairt no tartan, obair fhasdaidh an làmhan 
fhein. Agus a Mhoire Mhàthair, b'àlainn an sealladh iad seach luideagan 
luimineach leibideach an la an diugh ! Bhiodh breacain ghuaillne no 
breacain mheadhoin de'm fine fein air gach nighinn òig, agus snath annta 



NIGHT SHIELDING 



353 



its visible effect and its result. Everything nowadays is sold for the sake 
of lowland food without worth or pith. Think you is there any kind of 
jam in the town of Glasgow that is not found to-day in Uist ? Not one ! 
In my day there was no jam except the kind that we made ourselves of 
brambles, of blaeberries, and of our own black and red currants. The 
people of to-day have not so much as a rose-bush. The men have taken to 
sloth, and they have neither kail nor carrots, nor even a garden. Since 
the folk were cast out to the streets of Glasgow and to the woods of Canada 
and to the peat-hags, the gardens have stopped. 

O Mary Mother, we see the effect and the result ! The young women of 
to-day have neither bone nor body, nor the growth proper to women. 
If they make a trip to the lowlands they come home stuffed full of airs 
and pride, and who but they ? They go to Mass and to church to show 
themselves off, and who but they ? With a knot on their breast, a ' polon- 
aise ' (fancy gown) on their back, a picture-hat on their head, and a sun- 
shade in their hand held above their head, and Mary Mother ! who but 
they ? — looking down on the mothers that bore them, because they had 
nothing of that sort and it did not exist in their time ! May God give them 
sense ! It is themselves who would need that, and who would need to go to 
the knoll to see if the fairy woman would bestow the wisdom and grace of 
womanhood upon them. 

In my mother's time and in my own time no shoe nor bonnet, no 
skin-sandal nor cap went on foot or on head of lad nor of lass in the country- 
side until they were big gawks of girls or tall striplings of lads. No, nor 
would headgear nor footgear go on lad nor on lass save on holiday or 
Sunday or special day like that. Not a rag of clothing nor a shred of 
leather was coming into the countryside, but each family making clothes 
and linen, leather and shoes, for themselves. By the Book itself, beautiful 
was that, the work of their hands ! 

Every maiden in the countryside went forth on holiday and Sunday 
without cap or head-covering save a big comb in the back of her hair 
and a satin snood from ear to ear, showing the world's people that she 
was still free of wedlock and of baptism and the cares of a family. If 
there was a young woman who had lost being a maiden without becoming 
a wife (but rare was that, my dear), there would be neither snood about 
her ears nor fillet about her head. It might not be. They were hard, 
hard, on the wretched young woman of misfortune. 

The goodwives of the countryside went forth on holiday and on Sunday 
with a coif of linen about their heads, as white as the mountain cotton, 
or with a cap of linen as white as the snow of the hill. They wore gowns 
on their persons and cloaks about their shoulders of stuff or of ' iomairt ' * 
or of tartan, the wage-work of their own hands. And Mary Mother, they 
were a beautiful sight compared with the half-clad slovenly rag-covered 
* Cloth striped lengthwise (see i. 302) • 



354 DÌON OIDHGHE 

CO caol agus fìnealt agus daithean co glan grinn agus aodach co brlagh 
snasail agus a chitheadh sibh le bhur sùil. 



A Rìgh na gile 's na grèine, is iomadh atharrachadh a thàinig air an 
dùthaich ri mo linn fèin. Is cuimhne liomsa dar a bhiodh daoine na 
dùthcha dol chon na hOda ann an Aird Mhìcheil latha na FèiU Mìcheil. 
Bha mi fhèin ann aig an Oda turas agus turas ; agus is ann an sin bha 
an sealladh sluaigh ! Daoin as gach beinnd agus baile, mòinteach agus 
machair, eilean agus rudha san dCithaich, agus an saoghal fhein a dh'eich ! 
Cha robh fhios co ast a thàinig iad no co ast a bha iad a' tighinn. Cha 
robh fo ghrein ghil nam buadh. O a Mhoire nan gràs, an latha gràdhach 
a bh'againn an sin ! le marcachd agus cuartachadh agus carraideachadh, 
le cùlagan agus currain, le fàilteachadh agus le furain dhaoine ! 

Agus oidhche na Feill Micheil ! B'i sin an oidhche shòlasach an Uibhist ! 
Bal agus dannsadh, ceòl agus òrain, beòir agus uilim an ceann gach ursann. 
Agus na falachain aig a' chlann nighean ! agus gun fhios fo'n ghrein cuin 
no càit an d'fhuair iad na currain — cha robh fios ! 



EANNAICH, a Dhe, dh'an teine, 
Mar a bheannaich dh'an Òighe ; 

Beannaich, a Dhe, dh'an teallach, 
Mar a bheannaich dh'an Domhnach. 

Beannaich, a Dhe, dh'an chuideachd, 

Mar a thubhairt ìosa ; 
Beannaich, a Dhe, dh'an bhuidhinn, 

Mar bu chubhaidh dhuinn iobradh. 

Beannaich, a Dhe, dh'an taigh, 
Beannaich, a Dhe, dh'an teine, 

Beannaich, a Dhe, dh'an tulach ; 
Bi fein 'nat urradh dhuinne. 

Beannaicheadh Ti nan dùl, 
Beannaicheadh Criosda cùmh, 
Beannaicheadh Spiorad Nùmh 

Gach ùn agus gach uile, 

Gach ùn agus gach uile. 




NIGHT SHIELDING 355 

women of the present day ! Each young girl wore a shoulder-plaid or a 
waist-plaid of her own clan, of thread as slender and fine, and of colours 
as bright and pleasing, and cloth as beautiful and tasteful as you could see 
with your eye. 

O King of the moon and the sun, many is the change that has come 
on the country in my own time. I remember when the folk of the country- 
side would be going to the ' Oda ' held at St Michael's Point on the day of 
St Michael's Feast. I myself was at the ' Oda ' time and time again ; and 
'tis there was the sight of people. Folk from every hill and township, moor 
and plain, island and headland in the countryside, and the world itself 
of horses ! There was no knowing whence they were come or from what 
places they were still coming — no knowing under the bright sun of powers. 
O Mary of grace, what a dear day we had there ! with horse-riding and 
circuiting and wrestling, with youngsters getting seats behind the rider, 
with giving of carrots, with greeting and welcome of folk ! 

And the night of St Michael's Feast ! That was the delightful night 
in Uist ! A ball and dancing, music and songs, beer and feast-fare by 
every door-post. And the young girls' hidden stores ! and no knowing 
under the sun when or where they had got the carrots — no knowing ! 



Bless, O God, the fire, 

As Thou didst bless the Virgin ; 
Bless, O God, the hearth, 

As Thou didst bless the Sabbath. 

Bless, O God, the household, 
According as Jesus said ; 

Bless, O God, the family, 
As becomes us to offer it. 



Bless, O God, the house. 

Bless, O God, the fire, 
Bless, O God, the hearth ; 

Be Thyself our stay. 

May the Being of life bless. 
May the Christ of love bless, 
May the Spirit Holy bless 

Each one and all. 

Every one and all. 



356 



DÌON OIDHCHE 




BEANNACHADH TÀIMH [338] 

EANNAICH, a Dhè, an ardrach, 
Is gach neach ta tàmh innt a nochd ; 

Beannaich, a Dhè, mo chairdean 

Anns gach àit am bheil an torch ; [clos 

Air an oidhche th'ann a nochd, 

Agus air gach aon oidhche ; 
Air an latha th'ann an diugh, 

Agus air gach aon latha. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 357 



REST BLESSING 

Bless Thou, O God, the dwelHng, 

And each who rests herein this night ; 

Bless Thou, O God, my dear ones 

In every place wherein they sleep ; [rest 

In the night that is to-night, 

And every single night ; 
In the day that is to-day, 

And every single day. 



Z2 



358 



DÌON OIDHCHE 




AN TEAGHLAGH 

DHÈ, beannaich mo bhonntaigh, 
Beannaich fèin na bheil ann. 

A Dhè, beannaich mo chuideachd, 
Beannaich fèin mo chonntadh. 

A Dhè, beannaich mo chainnt, 

Beannaich fèin mo chomhradh. 

A Dhè, beannaich mo thuras, 
Beannaich fein mo shiubhal. 



[339] 



A Dhe, lughdaich mo lochd, 
Meudaich fein mo dhòchas. 

A Dhe, seachainn dhomh tuirim, 

Seachainn fein dhomh dòbheairt. [dòlas 

A Dhe, dion mi bho chiont, 
Lion fein mi le solas. 



Agus, a Dhe, na leig send dha m' cholann 
A ni beud dha m'anam 
Tràth thèid mi an comaidh 
Mhic Mhoire na mòrachd. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 359 



THE HOMESTEAD 

O God, bless my homestead, 
Bless Thou all therein. 

O God, bless my kindred. 

Bless Thou my substance. 

O God, bless my words, 

Bless Thou my converse. 

O God, bless my errand, 
Bless Thou my journey. 

O God, lessen my sin. 

Increase Thou my trust. 

O God, ward from me distress. 

Ward Thou from me misfortune, [anguish 

O God, shield me from guilt, 
Fill Thou me with joy. 

And, O God, let naught to my body 
That shall do harm to my soul 
When I enter the fellowship 
Of the great Son of Mary. 



36o DÌON OIDHCHE 




BEANNACHADH TAIGHE [340] 

O Alasdair Mac Ghill-Eathain, Manal, Tiriodh 

EANNAICHEADH TÌ 

Dh'an teach ta ann ; 



Beannaicheadh ìosa 

Dh'an teach ta ann ; 

Beannaicheadh Spiorad 

Dh'an teach ta ann ; 

Beannaicheadh Tri 

Dh'an teach ta ann ; 

Beannaicheadh Brighde 

Dh'an teach ta ann ; 

Beannaicheadh Micheal 

Dh'an teach ta ann ; 

Beannaicheadh Moire 

Dh'an teach ta ann ; 

Beannaicheadh Colum 

Dh'an teach ta ann : 

Eadar chir agus chHabh, 

Eadar chlach agus chrann 



NIGHT SHIELDING 361 



BLESSING OF THE HOUSE 

From Alexander Maclean, Manal, Tiree 

May God give blessing 

To the house that is here ; 

May Jesus give blessing 

To the house that is here ; 

May Spirit give blessing 

To the house that is here ; 

May Three give blessing 

To the house that is here ; 

May Brigit give blessing 

To the house that is here ; 

May Michael give blessing 

To the house that is here ; 

May Mary give blessing 

To the house that is here ; 

May Columba give blessing 

To the house that is here : 

Both crest and frame, 

Both stone and beam ; 



362 DÌON OIDHGHE 

Eadar chrè agus innich, 

Eadar bharr agus bhonn 



[chreat 



Eadar sùil agus suimir, 

Eadar chas agus cheann ; 

Eadar fhear agus bhean, 

Eadar bhean agus chlann ; 

Eadar òg agus shean, 

Eadar òigh agus mann : [manng ? 

Pailteas bithidh, 
Pailteas dibhidh, 
Pailteas lighidh, 
Pailteas leann ; 

Mòran maoine, 
Mòran aoibhich, 
Mòran dhaoine, 
Mòran saoghail 
Daonnan ann : 

Eadar churaidh agus cliar, 

Eadar chrè agus chrann ; [chreat 

Eadar uidhim agus iall, 

Eadar bhac agus bhann ; 

Eadar ghin agus ghineil, 

Eadar bhean agus chlann ; 



Eadar òg agus innich, 

Eadar òigh agus mann. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 363 

Both clay and wattle, [frame 

Both summit and foundation ; 



Both window and timber, 
Both foot and head ; 

Both man and woman, 

Both wife and children ; 

Both young and old, 

Both maiden and youth ( ?) : 

Plenty of food. 
Plenty of drink, 
Plenty of beds, 
Plenty of ale ; 

Much of riches. 
Much of mirth, 
Many of people. 
Much of long life 
Be ever there : 

Both warrior and poet. 

Both clay and beam ; [frame 

Both gear and thong, 

Both crook and tie ; 

Both bairn and begetter. 

Both wife and children ; 

Both young and mature. 

Both maiden and youth (?). 



364 DÌON OIDHCHE 



Rìgh nan dùl 

A bhith dh'a chomhnadh, 
Rìgh na glòire 

Bhith 'na cheann ; [theann 

Crìosda cùmh 

Mac Moire Òighe 
Is Spiorad fòill 

Bhith dòrtadh ann ; 

Mìcheal mìl-gheal, 
Rìgh nan aingeal, 
Bhith dh'a chaithris 
Le buadh lann ; 

Is Brighde mhìn-gheal, 
'S a li mar chanach, 
Rìghinn chlannach 
Nan cuach òir ; 

Moire mhìn-gheal 
Bhith 'n cois an teallaich, 
'S Colum ceanail 
A' toir nam beannachd 
An cois gach geallaidh 

Air na th'ann, 

Air na th'ann ! 



NIGHT SHIELDING 365 

May the King of the elements 
Be its help, 
The King of glory 

Have charge of it; [be near it 

Christ the beloved, 
Son of Mary Virgin, 
And the gentle Spirit 
Be pouring therein ; 

Michael, bright warrior, 
King of the angels, 
Watch and ward it 

With the power of his sword ; 

And Brigit, the fair and tender. 
Her hue like the cotton-grass. 
Rich-tressed maiden 
Of ringlets of gold ; 

Mary, the fair and tender. 
Be nigh the hearth. 
And Columba kindly 
Giving benediction 
In fulfilment of each promise 

On those within. 

On those within ! 



366 



DÌON OIDHCHE 



BEANNACHADH TAIGHE 



[341] 




This poem was chanted over a new house, or 

ROIS Chriosd dha bhur n-ùr thulach, 

Crois Chriosd dha bhur n-ùr theallach, 
Crois Chriosd dha bhur n-ùr thuinidh, 
Dha bhur n-ùr aingeal leusach. 

Crois Chriosd dha bhur grain mullaich, 
Crois Chriosd dha bhur mnà torrach, 
Crois Chriosd dha bhur mac murrach, 
Dha bhur murn comhach. 



Crois Chriosd dha bhur cumhal mhuinntir, 
Crois Chriosd dha bhur glùn gheallaidh, 
Crois Chriosd dha bhur . , . 

Dha bhur ni seilbheach. [sleibhteach 



Crois Chriosd dha bhur cuid 's bhur cuibhreann, 
Crois Chriosd dha bhur dàimh 's bhur daoine, 

Crois Chriosd dhuibh gach suirche 's duibhre, 
Gach la 's gach oidhche dh'ur saoghal, 
Gach la agus oidhche dha bhur saoghal. 



NIGHT SHIELDING 367 



BLESSING OF A HOUSE 

over a new family in a new house. 

Be Christ's cross on your new dwelling, 
Be Christ's cross on your new hearth, 
Be Christ's cross on your new abode. 
Upon your new fire blazing. 

Be Christ's cross on your topmost grain, 

Be Christ's cross on your fi-uitful wives, 
Be Christ's cross on your virile sons. 
Upon your conceptive daughters. 

Be Christ's cross on your serving-maid. 

Be Christ's cross on your knee of promise, [coming 
Be Christ's cross on your . . . generation 

Upon your prospering cattle. [mountain- 

dwelling 
Be Christ's cross on your means and portion, 

Be Christ's cross on your kin and people. 
Be Christ's cross on you each light and darkness. 
Each day and each night of your lives. 
Each day and each night of your lives. 



368 BÀS 



LATHA A' BHAIS [342] 

Bha dèidh mhòr aig na daoine dh'fhalbh air aimsir mhath aig bàs agus 
aig tòrradh duine. Bha e 'na chomharradh math na siantan a bhith 
rèidh aig an am sin. Bha dà adhbhar air a seo. Ma bha sith air talamh 
bha e 'na chomharradh gun robh sith air nèamh agus faoilte romh anam an 
neach a dh'fhalbh agus gun robh Righ nan dùl rèidh ris agus a dhà ghàir- 
dean treubhach fein sgaoike gu glacadh an anam shiorraidh dhachaidh 
thuige fein. Agus ma bha sith air fonn agus air fearann bha e toir cothrom 
do chairdean agus do dhàimhich tighinn chon an tòrraidh agus slàn 
fhàgail aig a' chorp anns an uir nàdarra agus an uaigh nan athraichean. 

Ma bha na siantan dona bha e 'na chomharradh gun robh fearg air 
Righ nan dùl. Agus bha an droch shian a' cumail cairdean agus dàimhich 
gun tighinn chon an tòrraidh. 

Ma bha an latha fliuch no ceothach bha e 'na chomharradh gun 
robh Righ nan sian a' sileadh feirg air an talamh. Ma bha an latha dubh 
dorcha doineannach bha e sealltainn gun robh Dia dùileach nan diil a' 
dòrtadh fearg dhubh a bhròin air anam an fhir a dh'fhalbh. Ma bha 
latha sneachd ann bha seo 'na chomharradh gun robh fearg gheal Dhe 
air an anam bhrùite chaidh a null thar abhainn dubh a' bhàis. 



^^^Sj^^HA fearg dhubh Dhe nan dùl 

Air anam na mùìg a' falbh ; [nam mug 
Tha fearg gheal Righ nan reul 
Air anam nan cleite balbh. 

Tha fèith nan eun air muir 's air tir, 

Tha sith air frith 's air cluan, [air ce 

Tha fiamh a' ghàire 's fait an Righ 
Dh'an dibleach shios air chuan. 

Latha sith agus sonais 

Latha solais mo bhàis ; 
Làmh Mhìcheil dha m'iarraidh 

Latha geal grianach mo shlàint. 




DEATH 369 



THE DAY OF DEATH 

The old people had a great desire for good weather at the death and burial 
of a person. It was a good sign that the elements should be at peace at that 
time. There were two reasons for this. If there was peace on earth it was 
a sign that there was peace in heaven and a welcome for him who had gone 
and that the King of all creatures was at peace with him and His own 
two mighty arms open to take the immortal soul home to Himself. And 
if there was peace on earth this gave opportunity to friends and kindred 
to come to the burial and take farewell of the body in the natural earth 
and in the grave of the fathers. 

If the weather was bad it was a sign that God was wroth. And the 
bad weather kept friends and kindred from coming to the burial. 

If the day was wet or misty it was a sign that the King of the elements 
was pouring wrath on the earth. If the day was black, dark and stormy 
it showed that God, the Creator of all creatures, was pouring the black 
wrath of His grief on the soul of him who had gone. If it was a day of snow 
this was a sign that the white wrath of God was upon the bruised soul 
that had gone over the black river of death. 



The black wrath of the God of life 

Is upon the soul of gloom as it goes ; [of frowns 

The white wrath of the King of the stars 

Is upon the soul of the dumb concealments. 

A perfect calm is on sea and on land, 

Peace is on moor and on meadow, [on earth 

The King's joyful glance and smile 

Are to the feeble one down on ocean. 

Day of peace and of joy 

The bright day of my death ; 
May Michael's hand seek me 

On the white sunny day of my salvation. 

2 A 



370 



BÀS 



BÀS SONA [343] 

Am Purgadair 
An dèidh an saoghal seo fhàgail tha an t-anam ann am Purgadair, agus 
chan fhaigh e steach dha na Flathas. Tha ceithir staidean, ceithir àitean, 
anns a' Phurgadair, agus feumaidh an t-anam dol troimh na h-uile h-aon 
diubh sin an dèidh a chèile. Tha an t-anam 'na loirean diblidh truagh 
fliuch fuar 'ga lathadh le fuachd agus uisge, le sneachd agus deigh agus le 
flithn. Agus tha an t-anam mar sin gu bràth gun an toir an sagart as e 
agus gun an toirear dloladh air a shon. Tha a' Chreud agus a' Phaidir 
agus an Àbha Màiri 'gan gabhail dar a tha an duine dol air a ghlùn 
agus ag urnaigh air son an anama a' dol seachad. — After leaving this world 
the soul is in Purgatory, and cannot get admission to Paradise. There 
are four states, four places, in Purgatory, and the soul must pass through 
each one of these in turn. The soul is a forlorn sad little draggler, wet 
and cold, numbed with cold and rain, with snow and ice and sleet. And 
the soul is thus for ever until the priest wins it out and until a ransom is 
given for it. The Creed and the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria are 
recited when the man kneels and prays for the passing soul. 

In Barra women leave the house along with the ' giùlan,' the body as 
it is carried, and go a certain distance. When they resolve to go no further 
they go upon their knees and pray, lifting the head now and then to look 
after the departing procession, and again intensifying their supplications 
and crossing themselves. The scene is striking, impressive, and picturesque 
— a woman here and a woman there and another a little beyond, in tartan 
gown and tartan ' guailleachan,' shoulder-plaid, fastened with a silver 
or a brass brooch, sometimes a tartan shawl over the head, or a high- 
crowned mutch. 

In Tom an tSobhail, Tomintoul, the horse drawing the cart in which a 
corpse is laid is taken out of the cart three times on the journey. The 
horse is then turned round sunwise on the road, and re-yoked ' an ainm 
Athar, an ainm Mic, an ainm Spioraid,' in name of Father, in name of Son, 
in name of Spirit. The cart is then drawn forward a few yards by the 
horse. 

The people of Barra say — 

Theid an leanaban lurach 
Troimh dhoilighinn a' Phurgadoir 
Mar an calaman curanta 
Troimh dhuibhre nan speur. 



DEATH 371 



HAPPY DEATH 

The lovable little infant 

Will go through the pains of Purgatory 

As the valorous dove 

Through the darkness of the skies. 

They call Purgatory ' Ifreann nan aithreacha naomh,' ' the Hell of the 
holy fathers.' The holy fathers are detained in Purgatory but for a moment 
of time to be fanned, and fumed, and freed of all earthly contaminations. 
They are fanned by the white wings of the fair angels of heaven — 

Gum hi iad nas gile na eala nam fonn, 
Gum hi iad nas gile na faoileag nan tonn, 
Gum hi iad nas gile na sneachda nam beann, 
Agus nas gile na gràdh geal nan sonn ; 



Till they are whiter than the swan of the songs. 
Till they are whiter than the seagull of the waves. 
Till they are whiter than the snow of the peaks, 
And whiter than the white love of the heroes. 



After that the holy fathers fly through the unseen space like the lightning- 
fire through the clouds, and sit upon the right hand of the Father of Heaven 
Whom they served upon earth. ' O that you and I, beloved of my heart, 
could claim their help in freeing us of the impurities of earth ! ' 



BÀS SONA 

In the Roman Catholic communities of the west, ' bàs sona,' ' happy 
death,' is a phrase frequently heard among the people. When these words 
are used they imply that the dying person has been confessed and anointed, 
and that the death-hymn has been intoned over him. Under these con- 
ditions the consolation of the living in the loss of the loved one is touching. 
The old people speak of ' bàs sona ' with exultant satisfaction, and would 
wish above all things on earth that ' bàs sona ' may be their own portion 
when the time comes for them to go ('an uair a theid iad dhachaidh'). 
The hymn which follows is one of many which used to be sung by the 
Catholics of the Western Isles. 

[PP- 372-373 



372 




BÀS 

DHÈ mhòir na slàinte, 
Dòirt do ghràsan air m'anam 
Mar tha grian nan ardaibh 

A' dòrtadh a bàidh air mo chalann. 

Is feudar domh bàsachadh, 
Nara fios domh càit no cuin ; 

Ma bhàsaicheas mi gun do ghràsan 
Tha mi sin caillte gu tur. 

Bàs ol agus aithreachais, 
Bàs sonais agus sith ; 
Bàs gràis agus mathanais, 

Bàs Flathais agus beatha le Criosd. 



DEATH 373 

Thou great God of salvation, 

Pour Thy grace on my soul 
As the sun of the heights 

Pours its love on my body. 

I must needs die, 

Nor know I where or when ; 
If I die without Thy grace 

I am thus lost everlastingly. 

Death of oil and of repentance. 

Death of joy and of peace ; 
Death of grace and of forgiveness, 

Death of Heaven and life with Christ. 



2 A2 



374 



BÀS 




URNAIGH BHÀIS [344] 

Beulaiche : Barabal Nic-a-Phì, coitear, Drèimeasdal, Uibhist 



HÈ, thoir dhomh dha do ghliocas, 
Dhè, thoir dhomh dha do thròcair, 
Dhè, thoir dhomh dha do phailteas, 

Agus dha do threòrachadh an geall gach càs. 

Dhè, thoir dhomh dha do naomhachd, 
Dhè, thoir dhomh dha do chomhnadh, 
Dhè, thoir dhomh dha do chuartachadh, 
Agus dha do shuamhainneachd an dual mo 
bhàis. 



O dha do chuartachadh, 

O dha do shuamhainneachd aig uair 
mo bhàis ! 



DEATH 375 



DEATH PRAYER 

Reciter : Barbara MacPhee, cottar, Drimsdale, Uist 

O God, give me of Thy wisdom, 
O God, give me of Thy mercy, 
O God, give me of Thy fullness. 

And of Thy guidance in face of every strait. 

O God, give me of Thy holiness, 
O God, give me of Thy shielding, 
O God, give me of Thy surrounding, 

And of Thy peace in the knot of my death. 



Oh give me of Thy surrounding. 

And of Thy peace at the hour of my death ! 



376 BÀS 




BÀS OLA [345] 

AS ola agus aithreachais, 
Bàs sonais agus maitheanais, 

Bàs gun sgràth gun sgreatachd, 

Bàs gun sgàth gun mheatachd. 

Bàsachadh bàs nan naomh, 

Lèigh m'anama ri mo thaobh, 
Bàs na sìth agus na sìothchaint, 
'S deagh là tiodhlacaidh gum faighinn. 



Seachd ainglean an Spioraid Naoimh 
Agus dithis aingeal coimhideachd 

Dha m' dhìon, 's gum bi a nochd an oidhch 
Gun tig soills agus samhraidheachd ! 



DEATH 377 



DEATH OF UNCTION 

Death with unction and with penitence, 
Death with joy and with forgiveness, 
Death without horror or repulsion, 
Death without fear or shrinking. 

Dying the death of the saints, 
The Healer of my soul by my side, 
The death of peace and tranquillity. 
And grant Thou me a good day of burial. 

The seven angels of the Holy Spirit 

And two attendant angels 
Be shielding me, and be this night the night 

Till brightness and summer-tide shall come ! 



378 BÀS 



THA MI DOL DACHAIDH LEAT [346] 

I OBTAINED four OF fivc vcrsions of this poem in Lewis. A sacred hymn 
and a secular song, through being sung to the same air, had become 
confused. The following are some of the lines of the secular song : — 

Boineid is it agus breacan is feile, 
Boineid is it agus breacan is feile, 
Boineid is it agus breacan is feile, 
An t-earradh thig sgiobalt air Clanna nan Gàidheal. 

Chi thu ! chi thu ! chi thu fhathast e, 
Chi thu ! chi thu ! chi thu fhathast e, 
Chi thu, chi thu fhathast a bhuannachd, 
Rubainean geal agus dearg mu d' chluasan. 



HA mi dol dachaidh leat 

Go do thaigh ! go do thaigh ! 
Tha mi dol dachaidh leat 

Go do thaigh geamhraidh. 

Tha mi dol dachaidh leat 

Go do thaigh ! go do thaigh ! 
Tha mi dol dachaidh leat 

Go do thaigh foghair is earraich is samhraidh . 

Tha mi dol dachaidh leat, 

A leanaibh mo luaidh, 
Dha do leaba bhioth-mhaireann, 

Dha do chadal bhioth-bhuan. 




DEATH 379 



I AM GOING HOME WITH THEE 

Bonnet and feather and tartan and plaid, 
Bonnet and feather and tartan and plaid, 
Bonnet and feather and tartan and plaid. 
The dress that sits bravely on the Sons of the Gael. 

Yet ! yet ! yet shalt thou see it, 

Yet ! yet ! yet shalt thou see it. 

Yet shalt thou see the pride and the joy of it. 

White and red ribbons about thine ears streaming. 

The tune was played at funerals in Lewis, Harris and Skye down to 
Disruption times. I spoke to people who had heard it played at a funeral 
at Aoidh, in Lewis. They said that the scene and the tune were singularly 
impressive — the moaning of the sea, the mourning of the women, and the 
lament of the pipes over all as the body was carried to its home of winter, 
to its home of autumn, of spring and of summer ; never could they forget 
the solemnity of the occasion, where all was so natural and so beautiful, 
and nature seemed to join in the feeUngs of humanity. 

I AM going home with thee 

To thy home ! to thy home ! 
I am going home with thee 

To thy home of winter. 

I am going home with thee 

To thy home ! to thy home ! 
I am going home with thee 

To thy home of autumn, of spring and of summer. 



I am going home with thee, 
Thou child of my love, 

To thine eternal bed. 
To thy perpetual sleep. 



38o BÀS 



Tha mi dol dachaidh leat, 
A leanaibh mo luaidh. 

Go Macan nam beannachd, 
Go Athair nam buadh. 



DEATH 381 



I am going home with thee, 
Thou child of my love, 

To the dear Son of blessings, 
To the Father of grace. 



BÀS 




AN TUIREAM BÀIS [347] 

HU dol dachaidh a nochd dha do thaigh 

geamhraidh, 
Dha do thaigh foghair is earraich is samhraidh ; 
Thu dol dachaidh a nochd dha do dhachaidh 

bhioth-bhuan, 
Dha do leabaidh bhioth-mhaireann, dha do 

chadal bhioth-shuain. 



Caidil-sa, caidil, agus dhiot am bròn, 
Caidil-sa, caidil, agus dhiot am bròn, 
Caidil-sa, caidil, agus dhiot am bròn ; 
Caidil, a chagair, an Carraig na crò. 

Caidil a nochd ann an uchd do Mhàthar, 
Caidil, a luaidh, 's i fein 'ga do thàladh ; 
Caidil a nochd ann an glac na hÒighe, 
Caidil, a ghaoil, 's i fein 'ga do phògadh. 

Cadal mor losa, cadal corr ìosa, 
Cadal leòn losa, cadal bròn losa, 
Cadal òg losa, cadal Ion losa, 

Cadal pòg losa na sithe 's na glòire. 

Cadal nan seachd solas dhut, a luaidh, 

Cadal nan seachd sonas dhut, a luaidh, 

Cadal nan seachd cadal dhut, a luaidh. 

An glac losa nam beannachd, an glac Criosda nam buadh. 



DEATH 383 



THE DEATH DIRGE 

Thou goest home this night to thy home of winter, 
To thy home of autumn, of spring, and of summer ; 
Thou goest home this night to thy perpetual home, 
To thine eternal bed, to thine eternal slumber. 



Sleep thou, sleep, and away with thy sorrow, 
Sleep thou, sleep, and away with thy sorrow, 
Sleep thou, sleep, and away with thy sorrow ; 
Sleep, thou beloved, in the Rock of the fold. 

Sleep this night in the breast of thy Mother, 
Sleep, thou beloved, while she herself soothes thee ; 
Sleep thou this night on the Virgin's arm, 
Sleep, thou beloved, while she herself kisses thee. 

The great sleep of Jesus, the surpassing sleep of Jesus, 
The sleep of Jesus' wound, the sleep of Jesus' grief. 
The young sleep of Jesus, the restoring sleep of Jesus, 
The sleep of the kiss of Jesus of peace and of glory. 

The sleep of the seven lights be thine, beloved, 

The sleep of the seven joys be thine, beloved, 

The sleep of the seven slumbers be thine, beloved, 

On the arm of the Jesus of blessings, the Christ of grace. 



384 BÀS 

Tha sgàil a' bhàis, a ghràidh, air do ghnùis, 
Ach tha losa nan gràs 's a làmh mu do chùl 
An dàil na Triana slàn dha do phiana, 
Tha Crìosd am fianais agus fiath 'na ùidh. 

Caidil, O caidil ann an ciùin nan ciùin, 
Caidil, O caidil ann an iùl nan iùl, 
Caidil, O caidil ann an run nan run, 

Caidil, a chiall, ann an Triath nan dùl, 
Caidil, a chiall, ann an Dia nan dùl ! 



DEATH 385 

The shade of death Hes upon thy face, beloved, 

But the Jesus of grace has His hand round about thee ; 

In nearness to the Trinity farewell to thy pains, 
Christ stands before thee and peace is in His mind. 

Sleep, O sleep in the calm of all calm. 
Sleep, O sleep in the guidance of guidance. 
Sleep, O sleep in the love of all loves ; 

Sleep, O beloved, in the Lord of life, 

Sleep, O beloved, in the God of life ! 



2B 



BÀS 




BÀS SONA [348] 

O Chalum Mac Ghille Mhaoil, croitear, Griminis, Beinne Bhadhla 

HOIR dhuinn, a Dhè, feumalachd cuirp, 
Thoir dhuinn, a Dhè, feumalachd anama ; 

Thoir dhuinn, a Dhè, cèirein lèighe cuirp, 
Thoir dhuinn, a Dhè, cèirein lèighe anama. 

Thoir dhuinn, a Dhè, sonas an aithreachais, 
Thoir dhuinn, a Dhè, sonas a' mhathanais, 
Nigh fèin uainn druaip na truaillealachd, 
Glan fèin uainn ruaim na salchaireachd. 

A Dhè mhòir a tha sa chathair, 
Thoir dhuinn an t-aithreachas fior, 

Thoir dhuinn am mathanas peacaidh, — 
Peacaidh gin agus gnìomh. 

Thoir dhuinn, a Dhè, run làidir, 

Agus crùn àlainn an Righ ; 
Thoir dhuinn, a Dhè, dachaidh na slàinte 

An geatachaibh àilhdh do rìogh'chd. 

Bitheadh Mìcheil mìl-ghil nan aingeal 
Cumail nàimhdean an arrais a sìos ; 

Bitheadh ìosa Crìosda Mac Dhàibhidh 
Toir dhuinn aoigheachd an soillse na sìth. 



DEATH 387 



JOYOUS DEATH 

From Malcolm Macmillan, crofter, Grimnish, Benbecula 

Give us, O God, the needs of the body, 
Give us, O God, the needs of the soul ; 

Give us, O God, the heaHng balsam of the body, 
Give us, O God, the healing balsam of the soul. 

Give us, O God, the joy of repentance, 
Give us, O God, the joy of forgiveness, 

Wash Thou from us the lees of corruption. 
Cleanse Thou from us the stain of uncleanness. 

O great God, Who art on the throne. 

Give to us the true repentance. 
Give to us the forgiveness of sin, — 

Sin inborn and actual sin. 

Give to us, O God, strong love. 

And that beautiful crown of the King ; 

Give us, O God, the home of salvation 

Within the beauteous gates of Thy kingdom. 

May Michael, bright warrior of the angels. 

Be keeping the evil enemies down ; 
May Jesus Christ the Son of David 

Be giving us hospitality in the brightness of peace. 



BÀS 




BÀS SONA [349] 

O Anna Dhomhnallaich, bantrach Abrach 

HEIR dhomhs, a Dhè, 

Gach gnè tha feumail dha m' chorp ; 
Bheir dhomhs, a Dhè, 

Gach leus tha feumail dha m'inntinn ; 
Bheir dhomhs, a Dhè, 

Gach cèirein tha feumail dha m'anam. 

Bheir dhomhs, a Dhè, 

Aithreachas treidhireach ; 
Bheir dhomhs, a Dhe, 

Aithreachas treichridheach ; 
Bheir dhomhs, a Dhe, 

Aithreachas treamhaireach, 

Bheir dhomhs, a Dhe, 

Bàs na h-ola gun phris ; 
Bheir dhomhs, a Dhe, 

Leigh m'anama bhith 'm ir ; 
Bheir dhomhs, a Dhe, 

Bàs na sonais is na sith. 

Bheir dhomhs, a Dhe, 

Bàs Chrìosd aideachadh ; 
Bheir dhomhs, a Dhe, 

Cràdh Chriosd a mheobhrachadh ; 
Bheir dhomhs, a Dhe, 

Gràdh Chriosd a theodhachadh. 



DEATH 389 



JOYOUS DEATH 

From Ann MacDonald, widow, from Lochaber 

Give Thou to me, O God, 

Each food that is needful for my body ; 
Give Thou to me, O God, 

Each Hght that is needful for my mind ; 
Give Thou to me, O God, 

Each salve that is needful for my soul. 

Give Thou to me, O God, 

Sincere repentance ; 
Give Thou to me, O God, 

Whole-hearted repentance ; 
Give Thou to me, O God, 

Lasting repentance. 

Give Thou to me, O God, 
The death of the priceless oil ; 

Give Thou to me, O God, 

That the Healer of my soul be near me ; 

Give Thou to me, O God, 

The death of joy and of peace. 

Give Thou to me, O God, 

To confess the death of Christ ; 

Give Thou to me, O God, 

To meditate the agony of Christ ; 

Give Thou to me, O God, 

To make warm the love of Christ. 

2B2 



390 BÀS 

A Dhè mhòir nam Flathas, 

Tarraing m'anam riut fèin, 
Chum gun gabh mi aithreachas 

Le cridhe ceart agus treun, 
Le cridhe brist agus brùite, 

Nach mùth nach lùb nach gèill. 

A Dhè mhòir nan aingeal, 

Tabhair mise gu tàmhaich na sìth ; 
A Dhè mhòir nan aingeal, 

Teasraig mise bho arrais nan sìdh ; 
A Dhè mhòir nan aingeal, 

Lighich mis ann an ligheadh do lì. 

A Dhè mhòir nan gràs, 

Bheir dhomhsa Spiorad làidir nam buadh ; 
A Dhè mhòir nan gràs, 

Bheir dhomhsa Spiorad neo-bhàsmhor bioth-bhuan 
A Dhè mhòir nan gràs, 

Bheir dhomhsa Spiorad gràdhach an Uain. 



DEATH 391 

O great God of Heaven, 

Draw Thou my soul to Thyself, 
That I may make repentance 

With a right and a strong heart, 
With a heart broken and contrite. 

That shall not change nor bend nor yield. 

O great God of the angels, 

Bring Thou me to the dwelling of peace ; 
O great God of the angels, 

Preserve me from the evil of the fairies ; 
O great God of the angels. 

Bathe me in the bathing of Thy pool. 

O great God of grace. 

Give Thou to me the strong Spirit of powers ; 
O great God of grace. 

Give Thou to me the Spirit undying, everlasting ; 
O great God of grace, 

Give Thou to me the loving Spirit of the Lamb. 



392 



BÀS 




BÀS SONA 

ÀS ola, 
Bàs sona, 
Bàs solais, 
Bàs sòlais, 

Bàs aithreachais. 



Bàs gun chràdh, 
Bàs gun sgàth, 
Bàs gun bhàs, 
Bàs gun sgràth, 
Bàs gun dòlachas. 



[350] 



Seachd ainglean an Spioraid Naoimh 
Agus an dithis aingeal choimheadachd 

Dha m' dhìon-sa nochd agus gach oidhch 
Gun tig soills is camhanachd ; 



Dha m' dhìon-sa nochd agus gach oidhch 
Gun tig soills is camhanachd. 



DEATH 393 



JOYOUS DEATH 

Death with oil, 
Death with joy, 
Death with hght, 
Death with gladness, 
Death with penitence. 

Death without pain. 
Death without fear, 
Death without death. 
Death without horror. 
Death without grieving. 

May the seven angels of the Holy Spirit 
And the two guardian angels 

Shield me this night and every night 
Till light and dawn shall come ; 

Shield me this night and every night 
Till light and dawn shall come. 



394 



BÀS 




AGHAINE [351] 

UIDHIM Peadail, guidhim Pòl, 
Guidhim Òigh, guidhim Mac, 

Guidhim dà Ostal deug na fòill 
Gun mise dhol dòbh a nochd. 



Dar a dhealaicheas an t-anam 

Ris na colanna claona, 
'S a dh'fhalbhas e 'na ghlumagan solais 

Suas as a cholann daonna, 



Dhia naomha na sìorraidheachd, 

Thig dha m'iarraidh 's dha m'fhaotainn. 



Dia agus ìosa dha m' chomhnadh, 
Dia agus ìosa dha m' chaomhnadh ; 

Dia agus ìosa gu sìorraidh 
Dha m'iarraidh agus dha m'fhaotainn. 



DEATH 395 



SUPPLICATION 

I PRAY Peter, I pray Paul, 
I pray Virgin, I pray Son, 

I pray the twelve kindly Apostles 
That I go not to ruin this night. 

When the soul separates 

From the perverse body, 
And goes in bursts of light 

Up from out its human frame, 

* * * * 

4c « 4: * 

Thou holy God of eternity. 

Come to seek me and to find me. 



May God and Jesus aid me. 
May God and Jesus protect me ; 
May God and Jesus eternally 
Seek me and find me. 



ALEXANDER CARMICHAEL 
AND HIS WIFE MARY FRANCES MACBEAN I 
THEIR DAUGHTER ELIZABETH CATHERINE 
CARMICHAEL AND HER SON ALEXANDER 
CARMICHAEL WATSON : THE SOULS OF THE 
RIGHTEOUS ARE IN THE HAND OF GOD AND 
THERE SHALL NO TORMENT TOUCH THEM : 
IN THE SIGHT OF THE UNWISE THEY 
SEEMED TO DIE : BUT THEY ARE IN PEACE 




TRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY 

OLIVER AND BOYD LTD. 

EDINBURGH 



THE first two volumes of Carmina Gadelica, 
published in 1900, made so profound an 
impression in this and many other countries 
that they soon ran out of print, and became 
scarce and costly. Dr Carmichael's daughter, 
Mrs W. J. Watson, prepared a second edition, 
which appeared in 1928, and contains all the 
matter in the original, along with some small 
corrections and additions. 

The present volume, which is uniform with 
the new edition of Volumes I and II, is a direct 
continuation of the work. It is edited by 
Dr Carmichael's grandson, James Carmichael 
Watson, Professor of Celtic in the University of 
Edinburgh, who in his note writes : — " In the 
fifth volume I hope to explain fully how I have 
dealt with the material and to what extent I am 
responsible for the final form of the work. But 
lest the opportunity should be withheld, I say 
now without reserve that I have made as litde 
change as possible. To the Gaehc text no word 
has been added, and, save that a few broken lines 
or stanzas have been omitted, no word has been 
taken away. In translating I have tried to follow, 
as best I could, my grandfather's usage in the 
first two volumes." 

The many new ornamental initial letters, head- 
pieces and tailpieces are the beautiful work and 
generous gift of Mr Robert Burns.