’Nam shuidh’ anns a’ chafe,
is dithis chaileag air taobh eile a’ bhùird,
dh’fhairich mi teas nan deur
air chùl mo rasgan;
cha b ’e na failbheagan beaga
a bha ’nan cluasan,
no ’n fhàinne shaor a bh’ air an dara tè,
’s cha b’ e buileach an t-aodach
ged a bha e mar a bhà e:
’s ann a bha eagal orm ron an àm ri teachd
ann am meadhan Ghlaschu,
nach cumadh gràdh no gaisgeached
na cridheachan sin gun seargadh.
Bha sin ann ’s tha mi creidsinn
Translations of this Poem
Sat in the café
Translator: W. N. Herbert
Sat in the café opposite
Eh felt the daft heat o tears
catch meh lashes.
It wisnae thir sma wee earrings nor
the cheapie ring ane wore,
and it wisnae jist because thir claes
were nithin special.
Eh wis feart at hoo the future comes
and gets you — it hurt
i thi hert o Glescae
that luve nor courage
wad stey thi wither fae
these twa herts.
That, and certain ither maitters,
bathirt meh heid.
About this poem
This poem and the translation or ‘response’ were published in Dreuchd An Fhigheadair / The Weaver’s Task: a Gaelic Sampler, edited by Christopher Whyte, and published by the Scottish Poetry Library in 2007. Seven Scottish poets with no knowledge of Gaelic were offered literal versions of contemporary Gaelic poems. Their responses were published alongside the Gaelic originals in the book, and can also be read on the website collected under the tag: The Weaver’s Task.