Columba of the Graves and Tombs


DHE beannaich fein mo bhuain,
Gach imir, cluan, agus raon,
Gach corran cama, cuimir, cruaidh,
Gach dias is dual a theid ’s an raoid,
Gach dias is dual a theid ’s an raoid.

Beannaich gach murn agus mac,
Gach mnaoi agus miuchainn maoth,
Tiuir iad fo sgiath do neairt,
Is tearmaid ann an teach nan naomh,
Tearmaid ann an teach nan naomh.

Cuimrich gach mins, ciob, is uan,
Gach ni, agus mearc, is maon,
Cuartaich fein an treuid ’s am buar,
Is cuallaich a chon buailidh chaon,
Cuallaich a chon buailidh chaon.

Air sgath Mhicheil mhil nam feachd,
Mhoire chneas-ghil leac nam buadh,
Bhride mhin-ghil ciabh nan cleachd,
Chaluim-chille nam feart ’s nan tuam,
Chaluim-chille nam feart ’s nan team.


GOD, bless Thou Thyself my reaping,
Each ridge, and plain, and field,
Each sickle curved, shapely, hard,
Each ear and handful in the sheaf,
Each ear and handful in the sheaf.

Bless each maiden and youth,
Each woman and tender youngling,
Safeguard them beneath Thy shield of strength,
And guard them in the house of the saints,
Guard them in the house of the saints.

Encompass each goat, sheep and lamb,
Each cow and horse, and store,
Surround Thou the rocks and herds,
And tend them to a kindly fold,
Tend them to a kindly fold.

For the sake of Michael head of hosts,
Of Mary fair-skinned branch of grace,
Of Bride smooth-white of ringleted locks,
Of Columba of the graves and tombs,
Columba of the graves and tombs.

Carmina Gadelica, 89.

* * *

Calum-cille nam feart ’s nan tuam. Columba of the graves and tombs.
(Carmina Gadelica, vol. i. p. 249.)

In the Celtic Review of April Mr. J. M. Mackinlay asks the meaning of this phrase. Like many other passages in the work, this was translated tentatively. I am under the impression that the phrase refers to the many churches, with burying-grounds attached, named after St. Columba.

Feart is a grave, a graveyard; tuam is a tomb, a place of tombs, a chambered place of burial.

Tung is also applied to a chambered place of burial, and sometimes to an underground house.

Alexander Carmichael.

— Carmichael, Alexander, ‘Replies’, The Celtic Review, vol. 4, no. 13 (July, 1907), p. 96.

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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