Go Back   Scotland Discussion Forum > Open Board > Poet's Corner

Notices


The Death of Evan Dhu

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 30th June 2005, 19:19
SherbrookeJacobite SherbrookeJacobite is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,045
The Death of Evan Dhu
by Alexander McLachlan

In memory of Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, 1629 -1719


They place the Chieftain in his chair
Beneath the aged yew;
And is this all that now remains
Of mighty Evan Dhu?
The plaided clansmen gather round,
And gaze upon his face;
They fear that Death will soon lay low
The hero of their race.

Vainly they tend and talk to him
In friendship's soothing tone;
The old man sits, with drooping head,
Unconscious as a stone.

"Go bring the minstrel of our tribe
To sing the mountain strain -
The strain he lov'd- 'twill bring him back
To consciousness again."

And, leaning on his staff, at length
The aged bard appears,
But, gazing on him while he sings,
He scarce can sing for tears.

"A cloud hangs o'er Lochaber's wilds,
Her vales are fill'd with woe,
The shaft has started from the string
To lay her hero low.

"Behold the mountain warrior,
The chief of sounding fame,
Whose claymore in battle flash'd
Like a consuming flame.

"But where, ah! where's the princely air,
The step so firm and true,
The eagle eye, the lordly brow,
Of mighty Evan Dhu?

"Are these the very hands which laid
The Sassenach giant low,
Who dared invade Lochaber's wilds
Full fifty years ago?"

He heeds him not, he hears him not;
The weeping clansmen seem
Like floating shadows hov'ring round,
Or phantoms in a dream.

Anon he sings the mournful song
Some exiled heart of yore
Sang when he thought that he would see
Lochaber's hills no more.

Anon he wakes the battle-cry,
The Cameron's gath'ring strain:
The light of battle flashes in
The old man's eye again.

He clutches by his side, as if
To draw his ancient brand,
And, starting from his couch, aloft
He waves his wither'd hand,

And shouts, "Advance, Sons of Lochiel!"
With all the fire of yore,
And seems, as waving in his hand
The terrible claymore.

Great Chieftain of the mountain race!
It was thy last adieu;
For clansmen clasp the lifeless form
Of mighty Evan Dhu.


Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11th September 2005, 23:30
Raingeanach Raingeanach is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by SherbrookeJacobite
The Death of Evan Dhu
by Alexander McLachlan

In memory of Sir Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, 1629 -1719

They place the Chieftain in his chair
Beneath the aged yew;
And is this all that now remains
Of mighty Evan Dhu?
The plaided clansmen gather round,
And gaze upon his face;
They fear that Death will soon lay low
The hero of their race.
Vainly they tend and talk to him
In friendship's soothing tone;
The old man sits, with drooping head,
Unconscious as a stone.
"Go bring the minstrel of our tribe
To sing the mountain strain -
The strain he lov'd- 'twill bring him back
To consciousness again."
And, leaning on his staff, at length
The aged bard appears,
But, gazing on him while he sings,
He scarce can sing for tears.
"A cloud hangs o'er Lochaber's wilds,
Her vales are fill'd with woe,
The shaft has started from the string
To lay her hero low.
"Behold the mountain warrior,
The chief of sounding fame,
Whose claymore in battle flash'd
Like a consuming flame.
"But where, ah! where's the princely air,
The step so firm and true,
The eagle eye, the lordly brow,
Of mighty Evan Dhu?
"Are these the very hands which laid
The Sassenach giant low,
Who dared invade Lochaber's wilds
Full fifty years ago?"
He heeds him not, he hears him not;
The weeping clansmen seem
Like floating shadows hov'ring round,
Or phantoms in a dream.
Anon he sings the mournful song
Some exiled heart of yore
Sang when he thought that he would see
Lochaber's hills no more.
Anon he wakes the battle-cry,
The Cameron's gath'ring strain:
The light of battle flashes in
The old man's eye again.
He clutches by his side, as if
To draw his ancient brand,
And, starting from his couch, aloft
He waves his wither'd hand,
And shouts, "Advance, Sons of Lochiel!"
With all the fire of yore,
And seems, as waving in his hand
The terrible claymore.
Great Chieftain of the mountain race!
It was thy last adieu;
For clansmen clasp the lifeless form
Of mighty Evan Dhu.


To better understand the mindset of the Gaidhlig speaking Celtic people of Scotland, ignore the likes of mocking anglicized chancers such as S.J.. What, for instance, does "Dhu" mean?

Instead, try to purchase "Highland Songs of the Forty-Five" edited by the excellent Gaidhlig learner, John Lorne Campbell (1933, 1984), the latter published by Scottish Academic Press Ltd.

It is well worth the effort.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12th September 2005, 18:05
SherbrookeJacobite SherbrookeJacobite is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,045
For those who are interested Dhu is an English attempt at Dubh, which means "black" and refers to someone with black hair or dark complected/swarthy. Also Lochiel's name was Ewan, again the "Evan" is an attempt in English to capture what Sir Ewan's Clansmen called him.

I find the poem very moving, regardless of the language.

Rainy, cha sheas a'bhreug ach air leth-chois. Chan eil annad ach amadan!

Am freagair thu sin?

De an rud?
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12th September 2005, 20:42
Polwarth Polwarth is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,110
Tsk, tsk, SJ..... haven't you understood ANYTHING about Rainy. He can't READ the Gaelic..... (shaking her head in despair at the efforts of the Canadian to teach our one true language to the 'Scotsman' ....)
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 14th September 2005, 05:56
SherbrookeJacobite SherbrookeJacobite is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,045
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwarth
Tsk, tsk, SJ..... haven't you understood ANYTHING about Rainy. He can't READ the Gaelic..... (shaking her head in despair at the efforts of the Canadian to teach our one true language to the 'Scotsman' ....)
Never fear my brammer friend - I have given up trying to teach the dunderheid - I was merely insulting him.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 17:15.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.0.0 RC4 © 2006, Crawlability, Inc.