Marbhrann do’n t-Ailpineach

Lament to Sir Gregor MacGregor of MacGregor, 23rd Chief of Clan Gregor

by Le Paraig MacNeil, Clan Gregor Society Bard

The Marbhrann is a lament but also a celebration of the life of the late clan chief, Sir Gregor MacGregor.

1. B’ann san t-eilean chraobhach
fheurach, ghaothach,
chreagach, ghaoireach,
chleiteach, Laomaineach
a’ thuit mo smaointean trom.
It was in the island woody
grassy, windy,
rocky, eerie,
cliffy, of  Lomond
that my thoughts fell heavy.
2. Nuair bha bualadh,
a’chluig fhuaimeil,
a’ruighinn mo chluasan,
fhuair mi ‘n nuaidheachd,
gum bheil thu uaigh fo’n fhòid.
When the striking
of the resounding bell,
was reaching my ears,
I got the news,
that you were interred under the ground.
3. Ghabh mi caoineadh
nach b’ aotrom,
ach mar an taomadh,
thar a’chaolais
le guth mar chaoidh fo bhròn
I took a keening,
that was not light,
but like the pouring gust,
over the narrows,
with a voice like a cry under sorrow.
4. Do’n ghaisgeach ar gaoil
gu saighdear nach faoin,
bàrraibh nan craobh,
na laigh’ air a thaobh
S’e giuthas na raoin nach bheò.
To our beloved warrior
to a soldier not vain
Uppermost of the trees
on his side
The pine of the up-field lying lifeless.
5. Bu Tu deagh Ghriogarach,
air ceum do shinnsirean,
a-measg ceann-cinneachean,
o’ fhreumh shìol Ailpin
bu dualach’ s fhìor do chòir.
You were a goodly MacGregor
on the path your ancestors
in the midst of the chiefs
of the root of the seed of Alpin
as would be your hereditary and pure right.
6. Is na h-uile fuaran
luath gun truailleadh
ruith mu d’ghuaillibh
dhen fhuil uaibhreach
Bu Tu as uaisle pòr.
Every spring
impetuous, unsullied,
streamed about your shoulders
of proud blood
you of most noble progeny.
7. B’e do chàirdean a’bh’ann:
Mac an Aba nan gleann,
‘s Granndach nan sonn,
‘s laoich a Tìr nam Beann,
‘s MacDhùghaill is Clann Domhnaill.
Your kindred of old were:
Macnab of the glens,
Grant of the champions
and heroes from Mull (and Ulva) (poetically)*
and MacDougal and Clan Donald.
8. ‘S Rìoghail do threumh,
‘s Linntichean Féinn’
‘s Finnichean treun’
a dhìlse fo’n grein
Nuair bhual iad ‘beum ‘sa cheò.
Royal is Your family!
and generations of the Fingalians
and brave clans
most loyal under the sun
When they would strike a blow in the mist.
9. Ceannard giobach
deas gun ghiorrag
Fear nach tilleadh
‘s tèoiraiche spioradailt
nuair ghluais thu ri d’ fhir sa ghleòis.
High commander; active;
ready, without panic
a man who would not retreat
and a spirited leader
when you advanced with your men in the action.
10. Leòmhann arm-eineach!
teòma; nàimhideach
nuair a bheòthaich d’ fhearg
mar neòdean nam beathraichean
bha luchd droch-bheart fo leòn.
War-like lion!
Skillful, hostile
when your anger kindled
like the wounds of the thunderbolts,
the evildoers were dealt damage.
11. Sealgair nan sian
seabhag nan righean
nan earb’s nam fiadh
Bu Tu cealgair nan iasg
air bruaich dubh-chiar’ fo sgleò.
Hunter of the elements
falcon of the sheiling slopes
of the roe and of the deer
you were the outwitter of the fish
on the black/brown embankment under vapour mist.
12. ‘S breacan an fhéile
air deagh fhear na féile
nuair bheir thu an céilidh
s’ an fheasgair an déigh sin
‘s ‘ ur pìob aig meud a ceòl.
The tartan of the kilt (plaid)
on the excellent host of hospitality
when you upheld the ceilidh
in the eve after that (the hunt)
and your pipes at the height of its music.
13. S’oil leam càradh
do chéile mnatha
nad dhéigh; làn amhghair;
bean an Ailpinich àillidh
bean-uais’s bàrr do ghlòir.
I am concerned for the situation
of your spouse
after you; full of sorrow
resplendent wife of MacGregor of MacGregor
noble lady; and the apex of your glory.
14. ‘Se Sir Calum; treun-fhear;
s’ mac na éiridh,
nad’àite làn bheusan
mar ‘m bratach beirte le
Clann Mhuirich fhéin, nan sròl.
And Sir Malcolm: valiant one;
the son who will rise,
to your place, full of virtue
like the banner borne by
Clan Vurrich themselves of the silken ensigns.
15. Beirinn mu’n cuairt,
an treas uair
do’ n eilean uain’
far sgeulachd mo bhruadair
gu saor na shiubhail o’n tòs.
Let us bear round,
the third time,
to the green isle
from whence the story, of my dream
wondered freely, in the beginning.

 * ie: the MacKinnons and the MacQuarries.

© Copyright – Marbhrann do’n t-Ailpeineach – Lament to Sir Gregor MacGregor of MacGregor 23rd Chief of Clan Gregor 2003
by Paraig MacNeil, 8 Charles Street, Dunblane, Perthshire. FK15 9BY.
e mail: mail@paraigmacneil.co.uk  Tel: 01786 824563, www.paraigmacneil.co.uk.

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