At Hallan Cemetery

by Angus Peter Campbell
( Aonghas Phàdraig Caimbeul )

At Hallan Cemetery       English Version

I call by to see my mother and father
and they welcome me in,
though they weren’t expecting me
and nothing’s ready.

She’s wearing an apron and is baking,
the flour covering her arms,
and he’s standing at the workbench
planing a piece of wood: a window.

The door is wide open and through it
I hear music: piping coming
down hill, and isn’t that someone
singing Fear a’ Chòta Ruaidh ?

I’d like to be silent,
but my father says this is not
the time. This is the time, he says,
to honour everything that is alive.

Like that little bird over on the wall.
It flies, and the higher it ascends,
the clearer the song. The dead shall
awaken when the living arise.

We lose ourselves talking.
They want me to stay, for
the tea is about ready, and the bed
all made, with new warm covers

but I tell them I must go away,
and will call back some other day.
They stand at the door, waving,
as I close the gate behind me.

by Aonghas Phàdraig Caimbeul       Scottish Gaelic
( Angus Peter Campbell )

Aig Cladh Hallain        Scottish Gaelic

Tha mi tadhal air m’ athair ‘s mo mhàthair,
‘s tha iad a cuir fàilt’ orm,
ged nach robh dùil aca rium
‘s ged nach eil sìon deiseil.

Tha aparan oirrese ‘s i fuinne
‘s a’ mhin a’ còmhdachadh a gàirdein,
‘s tha e fhèin na sheasamh aig a’ bheinge
a’ lcradh pìos fiodh: uinneag.

Tha an doras fosgailte agus troimhe
cluinnidh mi an ceòl: pìobaireachd
a’ tighinn anuas an cnoc, agus saoil
nach e siud Fear a’ Chòta Ruaidh?

Bu mhath leam a bhith sàmhach,
ach tha m’ athair ag ràdh nach e seo
an tàm. Seo an tam, tha e ag ràdh,
urram a thoirt dha gach ni tha beò.

Mar an teun beag ud thall air a’ bhalla.
Tha e falbh, ‘s mar as aìrde dh’èireas
e ‘s ann is soilleir an ceòl. Dùisgidh
na mairbh nuair a dh’èireas na beò.

Tha sinn gar call fhèin a’ còmhradh.
Tha iad ag iarraidh orm fuireach, oir
tha an tì gu bhith dèanta, ‘s an leabaidh
uile deiseil, le cuibhrigean ùra blàth

ach tha mi ag ràdh gum feum mi falbh
is gun tadhail mi latha eile. Tha iad
a’ seasamh aig an doras ‘s a’ smèideadh,
fhad ’s tha mi dùnadh a’ gheat’ as mo dhèidh.