Tràighean

Tràighean
Nan robh sinn an Talasgar air an tràigh
far a bheil am beul mòr bàn
a’ fosgladh eadar dà ghiall chruaidh,
Rubha nan Clach `s am Bioda Ruadh,
sheasainn-sa ri taobhn na mara
ag ùrachadh gaoil ‘nam anam
fhad ‘s a bhiodh an cuan a’lìonadh
camas Thalasgair gu sìorraidh:
sheasainn an siud air lom na tràghad
gu `n cromadh Priseal a cheann àigich.

Agus nan robh sinn ciudeachd
air tràigh Chalgaraidh am Muile,
eadar Alba is Tiriodh,
eadar an saoghal `s a’bhiothbhuan,
dh’fhuirichinn an siud gu luan
a’ tomhas gainmhich bruan air bhruan.
Agus an Uibhist air tràigh Hòmhstadh
fa chomhair farsaingeachd na h-ònrachd,
dh’fheithinn-sa an siud gu sìorraidh
braon air bhraon an cuan a’ sìoladh.

Agus nan robh mi air tràigh Mhùideart
còmhla riut, a nodhachd ùidhe,
chuirinn suas an co-chur gaoil dhut
an cuan ’s a’ ghaineamh, bruan air bhraon dhiubh.
’S nan robh sinn air Mol Steinnseil Stamhain
’s an fhairge neo-aoibhneach a’ tarraing
nan ulbhag is gan tilgeil tharainn,
thogainn-sa am balla daingeann
ro shìorraidheachd choimhich ’s i framhach.
Sorley MacLean

'Dàin do Eimhir', XLII

from Caoir Gheal Leumraich / White Leaping Flame: collected poems, edited by Christopher Whyte and Emma Dymock (Birlinn/Carcanet, 2011)

Reproduced by kind permission of Carcanet Press
Shores
If we were in Talisker on the shore
where the great white mouth
opens between two hard jaws,
Rubha nan Clach and the Bioda Ruadh,
I would stand beside the sea
renewing love in my spirit
while the ocean was filling
Talisker bay forever:
I would stand there on the bareness of the shore
until Prishal bowed his stallion head.

And if we were together
on Calgary shore in Mull,
between Scotland and Tiree,
between the world and eternity,
I would stay there till doom
measuring sand, grain by grain,
and in Uist, on the shore of Homhsta
in presence of that wide solitude,
I would wait there forever
for the sea draining drop by drop. 

And if I were on the shore of Moidart
with you, for whom my care is new,
I would put up in a synthesis of love for you
the ocean and the sand, drop and grain.
And if we were on Mol Stenscholl Staffin
when the unhappy surging sea dragged
the boulders and threw them over us,
I would build the rampart wall
against an alien eternity grinding (its teeth).
'Poems to Eimhir', XLII
translated by Sorley MacLean
Sorley MacLean

Sorley MacLean's mastery of his chosen medium and his engagement with the European poetic tradition and European politics make him one of the major Scottish poets of the modern era.

Read more about this poet