t h e  g r e a t  b o o k  o f  g a e l i c

a n  l e a b h a r  m r

 


Donald Urquhart: detail

Neach-ealain / Artist: Donald Urquhart
Snas-sgrobhadair / Calligrapher: Louise Donaldson
Eadar-theangaichte aig / Translator: The Author
Roghainn / Nominator: Hamish Henderson, Louis de Paor




 

Tha bird is tirnean air an uinneig
trom faca mi an Aird an Iar
s tha mo ghaol aig Allt Hallaig
na craoibh bheithe, s bha i riamh

eadar an t-Inbhir s Poll a Bhainne,
thall s a-bhos mu Bhaile Chirn:
tha i na beithe, na calltainn,
na caorann dhreach sheang r.

Ann an Sgreapadal mo chinnidh,
far robh Tarmad s Eachann Mr,
tha n nigheanan s am mic nan coille
a gabhail suas ri taobh an lin.

Uaibhreach a-nochd na coilich ghiuthais
a gairm air mullach Cnoc an R,
dreach an druim ris a ghealaich
chan iadsan coille mo ghridh.

Fuirichidh mi ris a bheithe
gus an tig i mach an Crn,
gus am bi am bearradh uile
o Bheinn na Lice fa sgil.

Mura tig s ann thernas mi a Hallaig,
a dhionnsaigh sbaid nam marbh,
far a bheil an sluagh a tathaich,
gach aon ghinealach a dhfhalbh.

Tha iad fhathast ann a Hallaig,
Clann Ghill-Eain s Clann MhicLeid,
na bh ann ri linn Mhic Ghille Chaluim:
chunnacas na mairbh be

na fir nan laighe air an lanaig
aig ceann gach taighe a bh ann,
na h-igheanan nan coille bheithe,
dreach an druim, crom an ceann.

Eadar an Leac is na Fernaibh
tha n rathad mr fo chinnich chiin,
s na h-igheanan nam badan smhach
a dol a Chlachan mar o thus.

Agus a tilleadh s a Chlachan,
Suidhisnis s tr nam be;
a chuile t g uallach,
gun bhristeadh cridhe an sgeil.

O Allt na Fernaibh gus an fhaoilinn
tha soilleir an domhaireachd nam beann
chan eil ach coimhthional nan nighean
a cumail na coiseachd gun cheann.

a tilleadh a Hallaig anns an fheasgar,
anns a chamhanaich bhalbh bhe,
a lonadh nan leathadan casa,
an gireachdaich nam chluais na ce,

s am bidhche na sgle air mo chridhe
mun tig an ciaradh air na caoil,
s nuair thernas grian air cl Dhn Cana
thig peileir dian gunna Ghaoil;

s buailear am fiadh a tha na thuaineal
a sntach nan lraichean feir;
thig reothadh air a shl sa choille:
chan fhaighear lorg air fhuil rim bhe.

 

 

 

The window is nailed and boarded
through which I saw the West
and my love is at the Burn of Hallaig,
a birch tree, and she has always been

between Inver and Milk Hollow,
here and there about Baile-chuirn:
she is a birch, a hazel,
a straight slender young rowan.

In Screapadal of my people,
where Norman and Big Hector were,
their daughters and their sons are a wood
going up beside the stream.

Proud tonight the pine cocks
crowing on the top of Cnoc an Ra,
straight their backs in the moonlight
they are not the wood I love.

I will wait for the birch wood
until it comes up by the Cairn,
until the whole ridge from Beinn na Lice
will be under its shade.

If it does not, I will go down to Hallaig,
to the sabbath of the dead,
where the people are frequenting,
every single generation gone.

They are still in Hallaig,
Macleans and Macleods,
All who were there in the time of Mac Gille Chaluim:
the dead have been seen alive

the men lying on the green
at the end of every house that was,
the girls a wood of birches,
straight their backs, bent their heads.

Between the Leac and Fearns
the road is under mild moss
and the girls in silent bands
go to Clachan as in the beginning.

And return from Clachan,
from Suisnish and the land of the living;
Each one young and light stepping,
without the heartbreak of the tale.

From the Burn of Fearns to the raised beach
that is clear in the mystery of the hills,
there is only the congregation of the girls
keeping up the endless walk,

coming back to Hallaig in the evening,
in the dumb living twilight,
filling the steep slopes,
their laughter in my ears a mist,

and their beauty a film on my heart
before the dimness comes on the kyles,
and when the sun goes down behind Dun Cana
a vehement bullet will come from the gun of Love;

and will strike the deer that goes dizzily,
sniffing at the grass-grown ruined homes;
his eye will freeze in the wood;
his blood will not be traced while I live.

 

 

 

 

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