No Mortal Destiny Requites

I think our people have most truly loved their land, and their country, and their songs, and their ancient traditions, and that the word of bitterest savour is that sad word exile. But it is also true that in that love we love vaguely another land, a rainbow-land, and that our most desired country is not the real Ireland, the real […]

Conflation: Gàidhealtachd & Jacobitism

The simple question “who were the Gaidheil (Gaels)”? Might seem like a surprising point of departure. When the Comunn Oiseanach (Ossianic Society) started meeting at the University of Glasgow some eighty years later, from 1831, one of their primary functions was as a debating society. They discussed, in Gaelic, a wide range of topics but […]

Red and Strong Is the Blood

THE HARP OF THE GAEL. GAELIC MOD PRIZE POEM. BY REV. DUGALD MACECHERN, B. D. (Translated by Author.) HARP of my own dear country, Trembling against my bosom, Sweeter to me are thy strains Than all of the wide world’s music, Shapely thy curving neck Like the wild swan afloat on the ocean, Gleaming thy sun-bright strings, Like […]

Towards Alba of the Ravens

This is a poem of Columkille’s, or at least ascribed to him. It is in very irregular metre, or rather changes its metre several times. The literal translation of the first few verses is as follows:– Delightful to be on Ben Edar (the Hill of Howth) before going over the sea, white, white; the dashing […]

Columcille’s Three Pets

There were three pets that Columcille had; a cat, and a wren, and a fly. And he understood the speech of each of those creatures. And the Lord sent messages to him by them, and he understood all from them as he would understand an angel or human folk that might be sent with a […]

Highland Clearances in Das Kapital

The Highland Celts were organised in clans, each of which was the owner of the land on which it was settled. The representative of the clan, its chief or “great man,” was only the titular owner of this property, just as the Queen of England is the titular owner of all the national soil. When […]