An Diugh 's Mi Fagail na Rioghachd
Le Alasdair Mac Iain Bhain.
(From Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, Volume 10, 1881-83). Translation by Iain MacLeod, courtesy of Murdo Grant of Fortrose and Lewiston.
|An Diugh 's Mi Fagail na Rioghachd||Today As I Am Leaving The Country|
|An diugh 's mi fagail na Rioghachd
'S mor mo mhulad 's mo mhi-ghean nach gann,
'S mi bhi seoladh thair chuaintean
'Dol na h-Innseachan Shuas air an àm,
Cha robh 'n soirbheas ud buadhmhor,
Dh'eirich gailleann 'us fuathar ro theann,
'S nuair a thainig a' sguala
Thug i leatha 'bho ruadh o'n a' ghleann!
|Today as I am leaving the country
great is my sorrow and my unhappiness,
as I sail overseas going
over to the Indies at this time;
that breeze was not favourable
A storm with contrary winds blew up
and when the squall came
it took away the reddish coloured cow from the glen!
|Mios an deigh na Samhna,
'S goirt an sgapadh's an call a bh' air cuan,
Dh'inntrig toiseach a' gheamhraidh
Ann an gaillinn 's an campar ro chruaidh -
Chunnaic mise le mi shuilean,
Daoine dol anns a' ghrunnd, 's gu'm bu truagh!
'S cha b'e sin bha mi 'g acain
Ach an tonn 'thighinn 's mo leabaidh thoirt uam
|A month after All Saints’ Day
sore was the scattering and loss at sea;
winter came in at its start
with tempest and great grief—
I saw with my own eyes,
people going to the bottom and it was a pitiful sight!
but what was paining me
was that wave came over and swept away my bed.
|Sud an oidhche 'bha eitidh -
Bha muir dhu-ghorm ag eirigh gu h-ard,
Chaidh a' fleet as a cheile,
'S dh'fhagar sinne na 'r n-eiginn 's na'r cas:
Chaill sinn buaile na spreidhe,
'S dhiobair stopan a cleith as a tarr,
'S cha dean mulad bonn feum duinn
Ged nach faiceadh sinn feudail gu brath!
That was a dreadful night—
a dark sea was rising high;
the fleet was widely scattered,
and we were left in distress and in a bad way:
we lost a fold-full of cattle
and the frame posts disappeared from the stern,
and moaning about it wouldn’t do any good
although we should never see another beast!
|Dh' fhalbh a' cheardach a dh' urchair,
Eadar innean 'us bhuilg agus uird,
'S thug i bold nach bu tamh dhi
Gus am faiceadh i c' ait an robh 'n grunnd;
Ma bha teas anns na h-iarruinn
A bha 's an teallaich 'cur rian orr' as ur,
Chaidh e asd', tha mi 'n dian daibh,
Greis mu'n d' rainig iad iochdar a' bhuirn!
The smithy suddenly disappeared,
anvil, bellows, hammers and all,
and it made a vow that it would not stop
till it would find out where the bottom was;
if there was any heat in the irons
which were being refurbished in the forge,
I 'm very sure that that they cooled down,
a while before they reached the bottom of the sea!
|Tha rud eil' air mo smaointean -
Thugaibh barail am faod e bhi ceart -
Dh' fhalbh an cu le na caoraich,
'S cha robh 'n ratha ach faoin, tha mi 'm beachd;
Cha 'n urrainn mi innseadh
Co dhiu chaidh iad gu tir no nach deach,
Ach na m' b' aithne dhaibh iomradh,
Thug iad bta fo' n' imrich a mach.
|I have been thinking something else—
You may give your opinion as to whether i am right—
The dog and the sheep disappeared,
and I am of the opinion that their raft was pretty flimsy;
I cannot say
whether they made it to shore or not,
but if they could row,
they must have reached a boat.
|Thainig sgrios air an Ebus*
Bhrist' a croinn agus reub a cuid seol,
Leig an t- Admiral taod rithe,
Dh' fheuch an tearuinnt na daoine dhi beo,
Ach 'nuair a dhealaicht 'm bata
Chuir iad a mach gu'n toir sabhailte leo,
Cha luaith 'thuainichd a' hawser
Na chaidh i' fodha mar smaladh an leòis!
|The Abas was wrecked.
Her masts broke and her sails were ripped,
the Admiral passed her a line,
so that the people aboard her could be saved,
but when the boat left
that was sent to rescue the crew,
no sooner was the "hawser” wound
than she went down like a light being extinguished!
|Na 'm biodh fios aig mo mhathair
Mar tha mis air mo charamh, 's mi beo -
Gu bheil sruth o mo ghuaillean
Tighinn le farum tromh fhuaghal nan cord -
Cha b' fhois 's cha bu tamh dhi,
Bhiodh a leabuidh air snamh le na deoir,
'S bhiodh a h-urnuigh ri 'Slanuighear,
Righ nan Dul mo thoir sabhailt gu shore.
|If my mother knew
of the state in which I am living—
that there is a stream of water from my shoulders
coming with a rush through the fabric of my uniform—
she would have no peace or rest;
her bed would be swimming with tears,
and she would pray to her Saviour,
that the King of the Elements would bring me safe to shore.
|Feumar innse dhuibh nise
Brigh mo sgeoil, tha mi fiosrach gu leor,
O' na dh'ardaicheadh Criosda,
'S o'n a shoillsich a' Ghrian ud 's na neoil,
Seachd ceud deug 's a' ceithir fichead
Coig deug tha mi meas do 'na chorr,
'S ma gheibh sinn uine gu faicinn,
'S i bhliadhn' ur a' cheud mhaduinn thig oirnn.*
|I must tell you now
the substance of my tale, I am educated sufficiently well (to do it);
since Christ was exalted (among the human race?)
since that Sun shone amidst the clouds,
(it is) seventeen hundred and four score (years)
and I reckon the rest at fifteen (1795),
and if we live to see it,
the first morning that we see will be the start of the New Year.
* According to this verse, the tempest which the bard describes in this and in "Is Cianail an Rathad" occurred in December, 1795. This agrees with the date of the destruction of Admiral Christian's fleet in the English Channel, on its way to the West Indies. See General Stewart's Sketches, vol. i, p. 411.
* Abas (?)