Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 59 > Page 63 - Praise & Dispraise of the Rear & the Shore: Two Gaelic Poems from the Margarees

Page 63 - Praise & Dispraise of the Rear & the Shore: Two Gaelic Poems from the Margarees

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/1/1 (357 reads)

7 An t-aite as aille tha fo 'n ghrein, 'S e sud an sgeula firinneach; Ach ma shaoileas sibh gur breug sin, Ruigibh fhein e 's chi sibh e; Nuas o mhullach nam beann arda, Bhraigheachan, is islichean, Ag cur thairis fo throm bhlath De 'n bharr as fhearr 'san rioghachd so. 8 B' fhearr gu 'n d' fhuirich mise thall Gu 'n tighinn nail do 'n iosal so, Far a bheil gach solas gann, 'S na daoine th' ann 'g an ciosnachadh; 'S ged a bhiodh iad ann cho trang Ri clann nan Gall le 'n innleachdan, Cha toir iad as de bharr no taing Na chumas ach gann ti riutha! 9 'S ann an so tha 'n t-aite truagh, 'S e 's suaraich' tha 'san rioghachd so, E cho deiseil ris an fhuachd, 'S an aird a tuath cho direach air; H-uile latha soirbheas fuar A' lomadh suas nan clirichean, 'S na bailtean tha ri taobh a' chuain Lan sgriodain ruadh is ghriogagan. Translation: Praise of tlie Rear and Dispraise of the Siiore by Donald (Norman) MacDonald, Rear Margaree River The bard's home was on a hilltop. One year, he went to work for a farmer who lived on a fine, level farm by the shore. He noticed the comfort of the plain dwellers which is not enjoyed by hill people, but, despite all that, he would like to inform people that the Back of the Mountain is not a place without pleasure. 1 Altho' I am here just now, living in these bounds beside the shore, close to the sea among a rabble of fishermen • this is not where I was brought up in my youth: instead, it was behind those grand, high mountains where lark and sparrow sing on golden sunny mornings. 2 It is the Rear to which I gave my affection and there I'd al? ways like to be: where the forest grows dense with bending branches and limbs: iris dark-green, soft-shooted, full of sap when fresh foliage clothes it: a sweet fragrance rises from eve? ry flower which grows among its winding hummocks. 3 That is the gracious, friendly place of sunny, well-loved meadows: it is snug, sheltered and warm, grassy, fertile and well watered: it is fruitful, sweet and mellow, many's the bless? ing associated with it. The birds of the air sing smooth and clear from the branches along its banks. 4 O that's the sweetest tuned array, of neatest design of songs. Did I ever love to listen to them on a fine dusky evening, as they fluttered among the trees, white-girthed, high breasted, ex? uberant, bent-beaked, small winged and darting as they sang their untroubled songs. 5 That gentle breed which inhabits (the Rear) greatly enhances its fame: sensible people marvel at the crooning music they de? liver, when the sweetness of their whistles causes the very rocks to hearken until they finally begin to echo them exactly. 6 It is in your own secret dells that these pure precious treas? ures grew: Nature's essence is unlimited, making implements unnecessary. Food is to be found on the tips of branches, what delicious sweetmeat it is. One can shelter under the shade of the peaks even tho' rain showers might fall. 7 It is the most beautiful place under the sun and that's the true tale. But if you consider that a lie, go there and see for your? selves. Descending from the summits of high mountains, on slopes and valleys heavy crops abound, the finest harvest in the land. 8 It were better if I had remained over yonder and had not come to this low lying place, where every pleasure is in scant supply and the inhabitants are hard pressed. Altho' they be as industri? ous as the English (others) with their implements (machinery) they can hardly harvest enough crop to keep them in tea. 9 This is indeed a poor place, the meanest in this land. It is open to the cold, in direct line with the North. Every day a chill wind blows which strips the clearings, while the seaside farms are full of red scree and pebbles. Moladh a' Chladaich agus Di-Moladh a' Chuil (Praise of the Shore and Dispraise of the Rear) Freagairt do Dhomhnall Mac Dhomhnaill le Donnchadh Mac Ghil-Fhaolain 1 'S ann an so tha 'n sluagh a' tamh, Ged thuirt thu "graisg de dh' iasgairean," As aille cruth bho cheann gu sail, Gur fearail, laidir, easgaidh iad; F5ghluimte air muir 's air tir, Gur modhail, rioghail, rianail iad; Ma fhuair thu coire dhaibh 'nad dhan, Cha robh do chail 'g a iarraidh ort. 2 Ma thug thu 'n riin sin do an Chul, 'S ann tha mi 'n dull nach b' fhiach se e; Nuair a thig an geamhradh diiint', Ged 's math na flurain, crionaidh iad. 'S mor gu 'm b' fhearr bhith 'n taic an t-sail'. Far 'm faicte traigh is lionadh leat Na cumail siiil air duilleach dliith Air feadh nan liib 's nan leanagan. 3 Is ma tha 'n t-aite sin gu h-ard Cho fiarail, fasmhor, fuaranach, Gu 'm b' olc e bhith gun fhios do chach Am barr bhith fas cho buadhmhor ann; Ach 's e chunnaic mise fas A' chuid a b' fhearr de 'n luachair ann, Suibheagan nach abuich trathail, Dithean ban, is ruadh-ghucag. Gas Tank Replacements & Repairs For Personal Efficient Service: Call 564-6699 Sydney Radiator 20 Years a Family Business 2 Years Warranty on All Parts * We Accept VISA & MASTERCARD New Heaters & Radiators or Repairs We Service and Ship 121 Prince Street, Sydney Anywhere on cape Breton Island - 40 YEARS OF SERVICE TO CAPE BRETON ~ ?ijE ([II|iliren*0 Aii 'otietQ of Olajtc Breton S INTAKE HOME STUDIES PROTECTION FOSTER HOIVIES ADOPTIOn"'' probiem identification; referral support services; crisis intervention all ages, in permanent homes CHILDREN IN CARE I Suite 7, Provincial Building, 360 Prince Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia B1P 5L1 (562-5506) I SINGLE MOTHERS counselling; support I THE COMMUNITY'S RESPONSIBn.ITY IS TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN I counselling; support 9 "A UNITED WAY SERVICE AGENCY"
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download