Frae the Gaelic o George Campbell Hay
“Thonder they ligg on the grund o the sea,
nae the hyne whaur they wald be.”
Siccan a thing has happenit me
sin my son’s been gane. When he was wee
I dannlit the bairn like a whelpikie
and he leuch i ma airms richt cantilie.
It’s the auld weird nou I maun dree.
The luft grows derk, the sun gangs laigh,
atour the skerries the sea-maws skreigh,
the rowtan kye come schauchlan doun,
the laddies rant out-throu the toun;
but here I rock at the fire ma lane,
mindan o him I had that’s gane.
I see your jacket on the heuk,
but the hous is lown in ilka neuk,
never a sound or a word i the room,
nae sclaffan o buits on the threshart-stane,
the bed cauld and the chalmer toom.
Gin it’s the sych that traivels far
ye’ll hear my sychan whaur ye are,
sleepan i the wrack, jundied aye,
wi ugsome ferlies sooman by,
the ghaistlie monsters o the sea.
“Wheesht, woman, wheesht, and deavena me.
My wae’s the mair to see ye greet.
The ship brak doun under our feet,
life gaed aff, and memorie wi ’t.
London slew me, weary faa ’t,
connacht the een that never saw it.
Aiblins I was acquent wi you,
the saut has reingeit my memorie nou.
Here I stravaig i the merchless faem,
yestreen Donald was my name.
The wecht o your wae liggs sair on me.
Woman, wheesht, whae’er ye be.”
Sair the price maun be dounpitten
by the island-fowk for the greatness o Britain.