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David Hume: Dalriada

David Hume: Dalriada

A poem by David Hume
Translation by Rev. Roddy MacLeod

Thog an tìr bhagarrach seo dhuinn beatha
chuir i a-mach sinn o chaolas gu caolas
Anns na seann linntean le cladaichean ceòthach
Cinntìre gar fàilteachadh; gorm air aimsir

This brooding land gave us birth;
sent us out from firth to firth
In ancient times and misty shores
Kintyre beckoned; in distant blue
That offered the promise of the new,
Fergus placing his foot on soil
That would nurture them through blood and toil

Dalriada is a name from both these shores
Linking kinsmen and days of ancient yore;
The child grew up and forged ahead
Till all the early souls were dead
- perhaps some tales remained of times long gone?
Altered, crafted, still told in yarns,
The distant strains of an ancient tune;
Soft echoes of a lilting song

Again they came, but from the sun this time
Journeying back across the foam
Restless folk, bent on travelling on
To build new homes and settle farms
An ancient calling brought them home
A legacy of olden times held dear;
The bridge that Fergus built in bygone years

Thog an tìr bhagarrach seo dhuinn beatha
chuir i a-mach sinn o chaolas gu caolas


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