Nam Faighte Long Dhomh

Another nephew of William Mackenzie was Alexander MacKenzie, known as Sandy a’ Phoileat. He, like the bard, emigrated to Canada. The verses here describe his wish to take the bard home after his death so he could lie next to his beloved Màiri. 
Na faighte long dhomh gun cuirinn a-null thu

Far bheil do mhuintirr an Eilean Leòdhais

Is chuirinn fhèin ann an Cladh na h-Aoidh thu,

Mus caidlinn oidhch’ far an robh mi eòlach

 

Is thus air bòrd innt bu luath a sheòlainn

Is ruiginn Leòdhas gu sgiobalt’ gleusd

‘S chuirinn Canada a-mach à fàire

Na seasadh spàr air a sail na deidh

‘N ear san ear-thuath is mi ga stiùireadh

‘S e sin an cùrsa gu Rònaidh tuath

Dheidh car na cuibhle gu ceann an Tiumpan

Gu Tigh a’ Bhìbear ri roinn na Stòr

Ri dol mu Shiadair gur mi bhiodh cianail,

Ged tha seachd bliadhna bhon dh’ fhàg mi e

‘S mi faicinn saothar do chuirp ‘s do làmhan

Gun cheò no blàths’ ann nad fhàrdach fhèin

Ged bhithinn tùrsach gun cumainn suas i

Cha rachainn tuath ri Sguir Iomhair leth

Ach stiùirinn  fhèin i air cùrsa dhìreach

Is gabhainn air tir leatha aig Ceann a’ Bhràigh

Thigeadh do chàirdean thoirt urram bàis dhut,

‘S iad gad ghiulan gu teach na cnamh

‘S nach biodh m’ athairsa dhomhsa sealltainn

An àit’ bu mhiann leat aig àm do bhàis

Chuirinn sìos thu sa chadal iarrain

Far na dh’ fhàg thu d’ fhiacaill, ‘s do bhean ‘s do phàisd

An àit bu mhiann leat nuair dheidh an ùir ort

Ri taobh na triùir ud gu bhith nad thàmh

Ach tha mi ‘n dòchas gu bheil thu sàbhailt

‘S gun coinnich mi fhìn riut ‘s ri mo bhràthair

Far an tèid na h-oidhean a-steach le aoibhneas

‘S cha sguir an t-seinn ann a dh’ oidhch no latha

If I could get a boat I would take you over

To where you people are in the Isle of Lewis

And I would take you to the Eye Cemetery

Before I would spend a night in the place I know so well

 

With you on board I'd sail swiftly

And I'd reach Lewis in good time

Putting Canada out of sight

Sitting high above the sea in our wake

 

North and North-West as I'm at the wheel 

That's the course for North Rona

After that a turn in the wheel to Tiumpan

To the house of 'Bìbear' towards Stòrr 

 

Going passed Shader my heart would be heavy

Even though there is seven years since I left

Seeing the work and efforts of your hands and body

Without smoke from the chimney or warmth in your home

 

Though I would be sad I would keep on my journey 

I wouldn't stray to the North to Ivor's rock

I would keep her on a steady course

And come ashore at the head of the Braighe

 

Your family would come to pay their respects,

As they'd carry you to your final resting place

And my father would be there to show you

Where you would want to lie at the time of your passing

 

We'd lay you down in your eternal sleep

Where you left a tooth, your wife and your child

The place you would desire when time called upon you

To be beside those three at the time of your death.

 

It is my hope that you are safe

And that one I'll meet you and my brother

Where the maidens enter full of joy

And the singing would not stop, day or night.

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© 2017 Calum Alex Macmillan