Somhairle MacGill-Eain [Sorley MacLean]
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Set owre bye / Scots translation / Traduzione scozzese / Traduction...

'Time, the deer, is in Hallaig Wood'

There's a board nailed across the window
I looked through to see the west
And my love is a birch forever
By Hallaig Stream, at her tryst

Between Inver and Milk Hollow,
somewhere around Baile-chuirn,
A flickering birch, a hazel,
A trim, straight sapling rowan.

In Screapadal, where my people
Hail from, the seed and breed
Of Hector Mor and Norman
By the banks of the stream are a wood.

To-night the pine-cocks crowing
On Cnoc an Ra, there above,
And the trees standing tall in moonlight -
They are not the wood I love.

I will wait for the birches to move,
The wood to come up past the cairn
Until it has veiled the mountain
Down from Beinn na Lice in shade.

If it doesn't, I'll go to Hallaig,
To the sabbath of the dead,
Down to where each departed
Generation has gathered.

Hallaig is where they survive,
All the MacLeans and MacLeads
Who were there in the time of Mac Gille Chaluim:
The dead have been seen alive,

The men at their length on the grass
At the gable of every house,
The girls a wood of birch trees
Standing tall, with their heads bowed.

Between The Leac and Fearns
The road is plush with moss
And the girls in a noiseless procession
Going to Clachan as always

And coming back from Clachan
And Suisnish, their land of the living,
Still lightsome and unheartbroken,
Their stories only beginning.

From Fearns Burn to the raised beach
Showing clear in the shrouded hills
There are only girls congregating,
Endlessly walking along

Back through the gloaming to Hallaig
Through the vivid speechless air,
Pouring down the steep slopes,
Their laughter misting my ear

And their beauty a glaze on my heart.
Then as the kyles go dim
And the sun sets behind Dun Cana
Love's loaded gun will take aim.

It will bring down the lightheaded deer
As he sniffs the grass round the wallsteads
And his eye will freeze: while I live,
His blood won't be traced in the woods.

“The deer, time, liggs in Hallaig shaw.”
The windae’s nailt an broddit up
whaur-throu I saw the airt o the Wast
an ma luve is at the burn o Hallaig
in her bunnet o birk, an she wis aye
atween Inver an Mulkie Linn
thare or thareaboots roun Baile-Chuirn wey,
cled in a birk, in a hazel,
in a young rowan straucht an sclender.
In Screapadal whaur ma ain fowk wis ,
whaur Norman an Big Hector bade,
thair dochters an thair sons is a wid
raxin up alang the burnside.
Prood the nicht the pine cocks
craws on the heicht o Cnoc an Ra
straucht thair spaulds in the muinlicht –
no thaim the wids o ma hert.
I will byde on the birken shaw
whit time it raxes til the Cairn
whit lenth the haill rig til its scadda
owre Ben na Lice dis lour.
Gin it disna, I’m awa doun til Hallaig
til the sabbath o the deid
wi aa the fowk in thrangity
ilk generation that’s awa.
Thay’r aa aye in Hallaig
Macleans an MacLeods
aa thaim thare frae MacGille Chaluim’s day:
the deid haes been seen, leivin yit –
the menfowk lyin on the gress
ilk gavel-en o ilka hoose that’s been,
the lassies a wid o birk trees,
straucht thair spaulds, blate thair heids.
Atween the Leac an Fearns
a braird o moss saftens the hie road
an the lassies in seilent bauns thegither
gangs til Clachan as frae the first.
An comin back frae Clachan,
frae Suisnish an the land o the leivin –
ilkane young an licht o fuit
wi nae hertbrek in the story.
Burn o Fearns lenth o sea-tint cladach
Sae clair in the raivelment o the hills
the’r nocht but thon congregation o the lassies
aye haudin forrit at thair endless haik,
returnin til Hallaig come the eenin
in the dumb leivin gloamin
fuhlin the stey braes
thair lauchter in ma listenin lik a haar
thair fairheid watterin ma hert’s een
gin comes the mirk owre the kyles,
gin gangs the sun the back o Dun Cana
a buhlet frae luve’s gun will come threipin
an stote thon deer that gangs stoiterin
snowkin at the gressy larachs;
he will faa in the wid, his ee jeelin;
whyle I’m alive, ye winna finnd his bluid.

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