A Culloden Lament

Inscription on memorial cairn at the field of Culloden.
Inscription on memorial cairn at the field of Culloden.

Fhir a shiùbhlas na frìthe
Tha thu sìor thighinn fainear dhomh
Tha mi ‘g innse le fìrinn
An nì rinn mo sgaradh
Chan e ghearradh a luaidh
A rinn am bualadh fo’m neimheil
Ach an dh’fhuirich dhe’m chàirdean
Anns a’bhlàr a bha ‘s t-earrach

Tha mo chiabhag air glasadh
Tha mo leth-cheann air muthadh
Tha mo shùilean a’sileadh
Tha mo chridhe bochd, brùite
Le’n a dh’fhuirich dhe’m chàirdean
‘S an làr ‘n deach a rùsgadh
‘S e mheudaich mo chràdh
Gun fhios co chàraich an ùr orr’

Chan eil diùc ann an Albainn
No gu dearbh ann a Sasuinn
Nach iarradh an òigear deas òg
Bhi na mhac dha
Ann an toiseach do thìmeghlac
Thu inntinn bha beachdail
Bha thu foghainteach, rìoghail
Bha thu dìleas bha’n aidmheil

Ach sguiridh mise gar’n iomradh
Neo idir gar’n àireamh
Bho’n a chaill mi na gibhtean
Nach tig gu latha bràth
‘S ged a thigeadh Rígh Seamas
‘S a dh’eidir gach sraid e
Ann an deireadh gach cùmailt
Bidh mo chùis-sa mar tha e

— Fhir a Shiùbhlas na Frìthe; traditional; arranged by Arthur Cormack.

You who travel the mountains
Are forever coming into my thoughts
I am telling in truth
What has torn me
It wasn’t the cutting lead
That made the blow so bitter
But the many of my friends
Who fell in the battle in springtime

My hair has gone gray
And my visage changed
My eyes are weeping
And my heart is sick and wounded
For the number of my friends
Who remained to be stripped on the battlefield
What has increased my pain is
Not knowing who spread the earth over them

There is not a duke in Scotland
Or indeed in England
Who wouldn’t wish the young and handsome youth
To be his son
In the beginning of your career
You captivated discerning minds
You were stalwart and kingly
And you were steadfast in the faith

But I will cease talking of you
Or indeed counting you
Since I lost the gifts
Which will not return ’til Judgement Day
And although King James would come
And be proclaimed on every street
At the end of each situation
My state would be as it is

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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