I came across this poem in the Bains of Dochcarty Booklet by Hugh Urquhart, 1913.
The poem was originally written in Gaelic by John MacKenzie and is dedicated to Donald Bain of Applecross.
The English translation and Gaelic versions are shown below. It is an excellent insight into the character of Donald Bain of Applecross.
Gaelic Poem, by John Mackenzie, Poet, Dedicated to
Donald Bain, late Manager, Applecross –
English Translation “Ab Origine” – By H.U.
T’was one evening in first of Spring,
Whilst I was passing by the Ford,
I thought I would compose a song
Of praise to him we all adored.
We admire, admire, admire him.
O! I admired our Mr Bain.
He was a hero “par excellent.”
By nature he was of gentle strain.
Since he came to our country
He was a considerate friend:
To the orphans, in sad distress,
Many times, he did his hand extend.
He was comely in his travail,
And bore the genius of his race,
Let us pray a long life to him,
And all comfort whilst in this place.
O! we’ll not let his memory pass,
His charge he tended with good-will,
And when he doth depart from us
‘Tis no sincure, his place to fill.
We now our judgment here record,
May he our wish each day attain.
O! He was true, just, and sincere,
Manly, kind, modest and humane.
When hardship is severe on us
Our Highland “Bey” is aye within.
His manner reminds me always,
Joseph’s kindness to his bretheren.
When there was no seed for our land,
Or wood, our fishing boats to mend.
When we were without other stores,
We got a mandate from our friend.
I now close the song of my heart;
I’ll publish every line, and greet
Our hero, whose fame I impart;
That dwells beyond our western street.
LE IAN MACCOINNICH, “BARD NA COMRAICH”
‘Sann air feasgair toiseach earraich
‘Smi d-ol seachaid ceann na h-atha
Smuainich mi gun deanan oran
Chur an ordugh d’an na Bhanach.
Chorus or Seisil
O’s toil leum,’stoil leum, ‘stoil leum,
O gur toil leum fhein am Banach
‘Stoil leum fhein an sar dhuin ‘uasal
Bha e suairce riamh na nadur.
O’n latha thainig e d’on duthaich
Bha e riamh na duine baigheil
Ris na dilleachdain bu truasaich
‘Siomadh uair a shine laimh dhoibh.
Tha e eireachdail na ghluasad,
‘S tha e suairce gun droch nadur
is ghuidheadh sinne saoghal buan dha
‘S cothrom gluasad feadh a-n-aite.
Oir cha leig sinn as ar cuimhne
An aoibh ‘bitheadh an tigh a mhail air
N uair a thachres dha bhi trialb uainn
Chaoidh cha tig na lionas aite.
Cuiridh sinn a nis a ceill dha,
Meud ar speis dha uile laithean
O’n tha e na fhior dhuin’ nasal,
Fearail, suairce, stuaime, baigheil.
Nuair a thig a chuis ro chruaidh oirnn
Fermaidh sinn’ dhol suas do’n Bhanach
Bheir e na mo chuimhn’ an comhnaidh
Caomhnais Joseph ri na braithrean.
Ged be siol theid ‘san talamh,
Ged be maide theid am bata,
Ged a bhitheadh sinn gann do storas,
Gheibh sin iad le ordugh Bhanaich.
Bithidn mi ‘nis ‘tighinn gu ceann leis,
Theid gach rann dheth ‘chuir ‘sa phaiphier
Gus an cluinn iad clu dhuin’ uasail
Bha taobh shuas do cheann na Sraide.