Abridged English translation of the Gaelic poem La Inbhir Lochaidh, detailing the Royalist victory over the Scottish Covenanters at the Battle of Inverlochy in 1645. Amongst the Royalist soldiers included a sizeable contingent of Irish soldiers, many of whom highly experienced veterans of the Spanish army in West Flanders. The poem expresses a fervent hatred in particular for Clan Campbell, sworn enemies of the McDonalds.
Heard ye not! Heard ye not! How that whirlwind, the Gael,
To Lochaber swept down from Loch Ness to Loch Eil, –
And the Campbells to meet them in battle-array.
Like the billows came on, and were broke like their spray!
Long, long shall our war song exult in that day.
‘Twas the Sabbath that rose, ‘twas the Feast of St. Bride,
When the rush of the clans shook Ben Nevis’s side;
I, the bard of their battles, ascended the height
Where dark Inverlochy o’ershadowed the fight,
And I saw the Clan-Donnell resistless in might.
Through the land of my fathers the Campbells have come,
The flames of their foray enveloped my home,
Broad Keppock in ruin is left to deplore,
And my country is waste from the hill to the shore, –
Be it so! By St. Mary, there’s comfort in store.
Though the braes of Lochaber a desert were made,
And Glen Roy should be lost to the plough and the spade,
Though the bones of my kindred, unhonour’d, unurn’d,
Marked the desolate path where the Campbells have burn’d,
Be it so! From that foray they never return’d.
Fallen race of Diarmid! Disloyal – untrue,
No harp in the Highlands will sorrow for you;
But the birds of Loch Eil are wheeling on high,
And the Badenock wolves hear the Cameron’s cry, –
“Come, feast ye! Come feast where the false-hearted lie!”