Song of the Highland Clans

Oran Nam Fineachan Gaidhealach.
Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair

A chomuinn rìoghail rùnaich
Sàr-ùmhlachd thugaibh uaibh,
Biodh ur roisg gun smùirnein,
‘S gach cridh’ gun treas gin lùib ann;
Deoch-slàinte Sheumais Stiùbhairt
Gu mùirneach cuir mu’n cuairt!
Ach ma ta giamh air bith ‘nur stamaig,
A’ chailis naomh na truaill.
Lìon deoch-slàinte Theàrlaich,
A mheirlich! stràic a’ chuach!
B’ì siod an ìocshlàint’ àluinn
Dh’ath-bheòthaicheadh mo chàileachd,
Ged a bhiodh am bàs orm,
Gun neart, gun àgh, gun tuar —
Rìgh nan dùl a chur do chàbhlaich
Oirnn thar sàl ri luas!

O, tog do bhaideil arda,
Chaol, dhìonach, shàr-gheal, nuadh,
Ri d’ chrainnghridh bìgh-dhearg, làidir,
Gu taisdeal nan tonn gàireach;
Tha Æolus ag ràitinn
Gun sèid e ràp-ghaoth chruaidh
O’n àird anear, ‘s tha Neptun dìleas
Gu mìneachadh a’ chuain.
Is bochd atà do chàirdean
Aig ro-mheud t’fhardail uainn,
Mar àlach maoth gun mhàthair,
No beachainn bhreac a’ ghàraidh
Aig sionnach ‘n d’èis am fàsaichth’
Air fàillinn feadh nam bruach;
Aisig cabhagach le do chàbhlach,
Us leighis plàigh do shluaigh.

Tha na dèe ann an deagh-rùn duit,
Greas ort le sùrd neo-mharbh
Thar dhronnag nan tonn dubh-ghorm,
Dhriom-robach, bhàrr-chas, shiùbhlach,
Ghleann-chladhach, cheann-gheal, shùgh-dhlùth,
Nam mòthar cùl-ghlas, garbh;
Na cuan-choirean greannach, stuadh-thorrach,
‘S crom-bhileach, molach, falbh.
Tha muir us tìr cho rèidh dhuit
Mur dean thu fèin an searg’;
Dòirtidh iad ‘nan ceudaibh,
‘Nan laomaibh tiugha, treuna,
A Breatuinn us a h-Eirinn
Mu d’ standard brèid-gheal, dearg;
A’ ghaisreadh sgaiteach, ghuineach, rìoghail,
Chreuchdach, fhìor-luath, gharg.

Thig do chinneadh fèin ort,
Na treun-fhir laomsgair, gharbh,
‘Nam beathraichibh gu reubadh,
‘Nan leòmhannaibh gu creuchdadh,
‘Nan nathraichibh grad-leumnach,
A lotas geur le ‘n calg;
Le ‘n gathaibh faobharach, rinn-bheurra
Nì mòr-euchd le ‘n arm’.
‘Nam brataichibh làn-èidicht’
Le dealas geur gun chealg,
Thig Domhnullaich ‘nan dèidh sin,
Cho dìleas duit ri d’ lèine,
Mar choin air fasdadh èille
Air chath chrith geur gu sealg;
‘S mairg nàimhde do ‘n nochd iad fraoch,
Long, leòmhann, craobh, ‘s làmh dhearg.

Gun neartaich iad do champa
Na Caimbeulaich gu dearbh,
An Diùc Earraghàidhealach mar cheann orr’,
Gu mòralach, mear, prionnsail,
Ge b’è sid an tionnsgnadh searbh,
B’è sid an tionnsgnadh searbh,
Le lannaibh lotach, dubh-ghorm, toirteil,
Sgoltadh chorp gu’m balg.
Gu tairbeartach, glan, caismeachdach,
Fìor-thartarach ‘nan ranc,
Thig Cluainidh le ‘chuid Phearsanach,
Gu cuanna, gleusda, grad-bheirteach,
Le spàinnichibh teann-bheirticht’
‘S cruaidh fead ri sgailceadh cheann;
Bidh fuil da dòrtadh, smùis da spealtadh,
Le sgealpaireachd ur lann.

Druididh suas ri d’ mheirghe,
Nach meirbh an am an àir,
Clann Ghill’ Eathain nach meirgich
Airm ri h-uchd do sheirbhis,
Le ‘m brataichean ‘s snuadh feirg’ orr’,
‘San leirg mar thairbh gun sgàth;
Am foirne fearail, nimheil, arrail,
As builleach, ealamh làmh.
Gun tig na fiùrain Leòdach ort
Mar sheochdain ‘s eòin fo ‘n spàig;
‘Nan tùiribh lann-ghorm, tinnisneach,
Air chorra-ghleus gun tiomachas,
An rèisimeid fhìor-innealta,
‘S fàth giorraig dol ‘na dàil;
Am bi iomadh bòcan fuilteach, foirmeil,
Thèid le stoirm gu bàs.

Thig curaidhnean Chlann-Chamshroin ort,
Thèid meanmnach sìos ‘nad spàirn;
An fhoireann ghuineach, chaithreamach,
‘S neo-fhiamhach an am tarruinge,
An lainn ghlas mar lasair dealanaich
Gu gearradh cheann us làmh;
‘S mar luas na dreige, ‘s cruas na creige,
Chluinnte sgread nan cnàmh.
Thig mìlidhean Chlann-Iain ort,
Thèid fritheilteach gu d’ champ,
Mar fhaloisg ris na sliabh-chnuic
Us gaoth a’ Mhàirt ‘ga biathadh,
No marcaich’ air each srianach
A rachadh sìos gun chàird –
Cho ealamh ris an fhùdar ullamh,
An t-srad ‘n uair bhuineadh dhà.

Gur cinnteach dhuibh d’ur coinneachadh
Mac Coinnich mòr Cheann-t-sàil’,
Fir làidir, dhàna, cho innealta
Do’n fhìor-chruaidh air a foinneachadh,
Nach ghabh fiamh no somaltachd
No sgreamh roimh theine bhlàr;
‘S iad gu nàrach, fuileach, foinnidh,
Air bhoil’ gu dol ‘nad chàs.
Gur foirmeil, pròiseil, ordail,
Thig Tòisichean ‘nan ranc,
A’ màrsal stàtail, comhnard,
Gu pìobach, bratach, sròl-bhuidh’;
Tha rìoghaltachd us mòrchuis
Gun sòradh anns an dream,
Daoine làidir, neartmhor, cròdha,
‘S iad gun ghò, gun mheang.

Thig Granndaich gu ro-thartarach,
Neo-fhad-bheirteach do d’ champ,
Air phriob-losgadh gu cruadal,
Gu snaidh’ cheann us chluas diubh,
Cho nimheil ris na tigiribh,
Le feachdraidh dian-mhear, dàn’,
Chuireas iomadh fear le sgreadail
‘S a’ breabadaich gu làr.
Thig a rìs na Frisealaich
Gu sgibidh le neart garbh,
‘Nan seochdaibh fìor-ghlan, togarrach,
Le fuathas bhlàr nach bogaichear,
An comhlan feardha, cosgarrach,
‘S mairg neach do ‘n nochd iad fearg;
An spuir ghlas aig dlùths an dèirich
Bidh ‘nan èibhlibh dearg.

‘Nan gaisreadh ghaisgeil, losgarra,
Thig Lachlunnaich gun chàird,
‘Nan soighdibh dearga, puinnseanta,
Gu claidhmheach, sgiathach, cuinnsearach,
Gu gunnach, dagach, ionnsaichte,
Gun chunntas ac’ air àr;
Dol ‘nan deannaibh ‘n aodainn pheileir
Tiochd o theine chàich.
Gabhaidh pàirt de t’ iorghaill-sa
Clann-Fhionghain ‘s sìor-bhualadh,
Mar thuinn ri tìr a’ sìor-bhualadh,
No bile lasrach dian-losgadh,
‘Nan treudaibh luatha, sìor-chonfach,
Thoirt grìosaich air an nàmh’;
An dream chathach, Mhuileach, Shrathach,
‘S maith gu sgathadh chnàmh!

‘S mòr a bhios ri corp-rùsgadh
Nan closaichean ‘sa bhlàr,
Fithich ann, a’ rocadaich,
Ag itealaich, ‘s a’ cnocaireachd,
Cìocras air na cosgarraich
Ag òl ‘s ag ith’ an sàth;
Och, ‘s tùrsach, fann, a chluinntear mochthrath,
Ochanaich nan àr.
Bidh fuil us gaorr dam fùidreadh ann
Le lùth-chleasan ur làmh,
Meangar cinn us dùirn diubh,
Gearrar uilt le smùisreadh,
Cìosnaichear ur biùthaidh,
Dan dubh-losgadh, ‘s dan cnàmh’;
Crùnar le poimp Tearlach Stiùbhart,
Us Frederic Prionns’ fo shàil.

* * *

Translated by John Lorne Campbell, Highland Songs of the Forty-Five (1979).

Beloved loyal people
Now your true homage give,
Let your eyes be moteless,
Your hearts be true and fearless;
The health of King James Stewart,
Full gladly pass it round!
But if within you fault is hidden
Soil not the holy cup.
Fill a toast for Charlie
Thou rascal! fill it full!
‘Twere an elixir splendid
Reviving my whole nature,
Though I were at death’s door,
And strengthless, cheerless, pale —
The God of Elements speed thy navy
To us o’er the seas!

O, raise aloft thy sail tops
Secure, fine, snow-white, new,
To thy mighty mast of pine-wood
To cross the murmuring ocean;
Æolus does promise
A steady breeze from eastward
To blow, and loyal Neptune
Will sooth the foaming seas.
Unhappy are thy friends here
Since thou’rt so long away;
Like tender brood unmothered,
Or speckled garden hivebees,
Which the fox has ravaged,
Exhausted o’er the braes;
Cross thou quickly with thy fleet
And heal thy people’s plague.

The gods are in thy favour,
Make haste with lovely speed
O’er th’ dark-blue, surging waters
Rough-ridgèd, curling, restless,
Deep-valleyed, white-topped, close-run,
Of the rough, clear-backed sea-waves;
The deep, dark, gloomy se-glens
On their curving, stormy way.
Both land and sea are friendly,
If you mar not their hope;
Hundreds will pour forward
Round thy white and crimson banner
From Britain and from Ireland
In valiant, sturdy bands;
A regal, wounding, active, wrathful,
Dang’rous, reckless band.

Thy own clan will join thee,
The warriors bold and fierce,
Who are like bears for rending,
Like lions too for wounding,
Like serpents swiftly striking
With fangs that keenly pierce;
With sharp-edged, cleaving darts of steel
Great feats of arms they’ll do.
Then with their flowing banners,
With unaffected zeal,
Clan Donald quickly follows,
As faithful as thy raiment,
Like hounds their leashes straining,
A-tremble for the hunt;
Pity the foes they show the ling
Ship, lion, tree, red hand.

The Campbell clan will surely
Bring strength into thy camp;
Their chief, Argyll, will lead them,
Majestic, princely, joyous,
Whoever dares meet them
Will start a bitter fray,
With keen dark-blue destroying swords
That bodies hew in twain.
Abundantly, with war-cries loud,
And clam’rous in their ranks,
Will Cluny and Clan Vurich come,
Handsome, skilled and ready they,
With tightly-girt Toledo blades
Which whirr loud spitting skulls;
Their quick sword-play will soon shed blood
And smash their foemen’s bones.

The Clan MacLean will closely draw
Unyielding ‘neath thy flag;
Whose arms are ne’er allowed to rust
When they are needed in thy cause,
With banners high, and looks of rage,
In war like fearless bulls;
A manly, vengeful, ready, smiting,
Valiant, proud brigade.
The heroes of MacLeod will come
Like hawks that grip their prey;
Like mighty pillars, with their swords,
Unhesitating, well prepared,
A regiment of training rare,
Which dreadful ’tis to meet;
With many a mighty hero cruel,
Who’ll stormlike go to death.

The warriors of Clan Cameron
Will gladly join the fray,
The wounding, shouting company,
Who fearless are when swords are drawn,
Whose blue blades flash like lightning-flame
To sever heads and hands;
As granite hard, and meteor swift,
The crunch of bones is heard.
The heroes of Clan Iain will come
Obedient to thy camp,
Like forest fires on mountain-side
Which winds of March are sweeping wide
Or men who bridled horses ride
Down-charging undelayed;
As quickly as gunpowder fires
When to it spark is placed.

And certainly will join with thee
MacKenzie of Kintail,
Men mighty, daring, elegant
As true steel after tempering,
Who ne’er showed fear of negligence
Nor flinched ‘neath gunfire’s hail;
A modest, handsome, valiant band
Who burn thy cause to aid.
Proudly, fine, well ordered,
Clan Mackintosh will come,
Who march both smooth and stately,
With pipes and yellow banners;
On whom is regal glory
Ungrudgingly bestowed;
Mighty, sturdy, reckless men
With neither fault nor guile.

Noisily the Grants will come,
And quickly to thy camp,
A-fire with passion for the fray
To cleave foes’ heads and ears away,
As deadly as the tiger they,
In keen and daring bands,
Who many a man will smite to earth
Screaming and kicking there.
Then will come the Frasers, trim
And filled with mighty strength;
As falcons bright and ready they,
Unmoved by dread in battle’s height,
A manly, warlike regiment,
Pity whom meets their wrath;
Their gunflints, from their fire so close
Will be like glowing coals.

A valiant, active company
Clan Lachlan quickly comes
Like red and fiery poisoned darts,
With swords and shields and daggers armed,
With gun and pistol well practised,
No count take they of war;
Charging on against the showers
Of their foemen’s lead.
Clan Kinnon will join in thy fight,
Superb in quality,
Like waves e’er beating on the shore,
Or lambent flames that keenly scorch,
In ever-charging, speeding bands
Burning their foes to ash;
The warriors from Mull and Strath
Well can they sever limbs.

Many will the spoilers be
Of corpses on the field,
Ravens will be cawing there,
Fluttering, and sauntering,
Kites a-feeding rav’nously
To eat and drink their fill;
O, sad and faint at morn will rise
The cries of those who fell.
Blood and gore will mingled be
By your dext’rous hands,
Heads and fists will be lopped off,
Bones broken, and joints hacked apart,
Your foemen will be overwhelmed,
Fire-blackened, and consumed;
Charles Stewart with glory will be crowned,
Prince Frederick trampled down.

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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