A sweet singer, an ardent lover of nature; an earnest christian teacher; a most lovable man.
"An excellent present for a learner or Gaelic-speaking friend"
New Edition in paperback, or download, with biographical notes
John "Iain" Campbell, The Ledaig Bard, (1823 - 1897) born in Oban, Argyll, raised in Benderloch.
Poet and Songwriter
An enthusiastic Bard of Clan Campbell, he co-founded An Comunn Gaidhealach and the Mod.
A prolific writer of Gaelic poems and songs, the Bard had a typical Celtic spirit with a genial, hospitable personality that won him a countrywide circle of friends. He received many honours, including Fellowships of Celtic, Scientific and Literary Societies.
He spent some time in Glasgow where he developed a profoundly Christian character, before returning to his roots. Opening a small store, running the Post Office and acting as sub-inspector of the poor kept him busy and involved with the community. An Associate of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, his general love of nature found expression in growing flowers, fruit and vegetables to send to Oban. Campbell Munro, his great grandson still runs the local shop.
Sunday School Teacher
His image endures as the beloved Sunday School teacher and poet with the flowing, white beard who taught the children in a rocky grotto by the seashore. A tree trunk associated with Robert the Bruce's parliament at Ardchattan Priory served as his table. The Campbell Memorial Hall was built in his honour.
The Bard was a man for all people, from the poorest and humblest to the educated and aristocratic, treating them all with a patriarchal, Christian, Celtic equanimity.
On the installation of a new organ in a Taymouth church, Lady Breadalbane sought mottoes from all the leading Gaelic bards. She chose The Ledaig Bard's contribution:
"Thig crioch air
an t-saoghal, ach mairidh gaol is ceol"
Gaelic Poems was originally published in 1884. The author's royalties from this edition will go to Mod funds, continuing Iain's life's work of supporting his native language.
Example of John Campbell's verse
AN GAIDHEAL AN TIR CHEIN A' MOLADH TIR A DHUTHCHAIS.
air fonn -" Guidheam slainte do'n ribhinn mhalda ".
Is tric mi cuimhneach air tìr mo dhùthchais,
Air struthain chaisleach nan caran lùbach,
An eidheann dhuallach mar sgàil-bhrat uaine,
An tonn ri crònan air cladach còmhnard,
Sud tìr a' chàirdeis 's an d' fhuair mi m' àrach,
Is tric a thionndaidh mi air mo chul'aobh,
Is ged a shealladh na Goill a' sios oirnn,
'S i sud an dùthaich a thog na fiùrain,
Tha 'n gaisgeadh ainmeil, is tric a dhearbht' e,
'S i'n fhìor fhuil uasal o thir n'an fuar-bheann,
'S a chaoidh cha chaochail an tlus tha'm thaobhsa
A's ged a ruiginn-sa cùl nan Innsean,
'S mo chead 's an uair so do thir nam buagh ud
TRANSLATION BY PROFESSOR BLACKIE.
THE GAEL IN A FOREIGN LAND.
Dear land of my fathers, my home in the Highlands,
Thy wild-sweeping torrents, with bound and with bicker
Thy close-clinging ivy, with fresh shining leafage,
The sweet-sounding plash of thy light-rippling billows,
The land I was born in, the land I was bred in,
'Twas oft I looked backward, and wistfully turned me,
What though from the hills, when we first know the Lowlands,
O this is the country that bore the brave fellows,
O these were the stout ones whose mettle was tested
O these are true gentlemen, breed of the mountains,
Seasons may roll, but no Time shall divorce me
And though I should wander far west to the Indies,
My blessing be with you, brave land and brave people !
John S. Blackie.
Oban, 25th September, 1880
CONTENTS of Gaelic Poems.
TO PROFESSOR BLACKIE. 9
AN GAIDHEAL RA DHUTHAICH 'S RA DHAOINE. 9
TRANSLATION BY PROFESSOR BLACKIE. 11
THE GAEL TO HIS COUNTRY AND HIS COUNTRYMEN : 11
BRUTHAICHEAN NA LEDAIG. 13
AN GAIDHEAL A FAGAIL A DHUTHCHA. 14
AN GAIDHEAL AN TIR CHEIN A' MOLADH TIR A DHUTHCHAIS. 16
TRANSLATION BY PROFESSOR BLACKIE.
THE GAEL IN A FOREIGN LAND. 18
AN' GAIDHEAL A TILLEADH GA DHUTHAICH A TIR CHEIN. 19
TAOBH MO THEINE FEIN. 21
CUIMHNEACHADH AIR NA LAITHEAN 'S AN ROBH Ml ANN AN SGOIL NA LEDAIG. 21
TO MRS. HOSACK. 23
MAIGHDEAN LOCH-N'AN-EALA. 25
SAIGHDEAR GAIDHEALACH. 27
A MOTHER BEWAILING THE LOSS OF HER DAUGHTER, 29
who perished in the wreck of the 'Royal charter'
LINES ON THE DEATH OF AN ONLY SON. 31
WRITTEN ON THE DEATH OF A SISTER AND HER TWO CHILDREN, as if by her husband. 32
A MHAIRI GHAOIL 33
NA COMPANAICH 34
DO 'M DHACHAIDH. 35
MO ROGHUINN COMPANAICH. 36
AN CARAID BU MHAITH LEAM. 37
RANN AIR SON CLACH-CHINN. 37
LINES WRITTEN IN A YOUNG LADY'S ALBUM. 38
TO AN OBAN FRIEND 39
LINES TO DR. R. B. MACKELVIE ON HIS LEAVING APPIN. 40
LINES TO J. O. MACNIVEN, esq., MANCHESTER. 41
GILLE MO LUAIDH. 42
FAILTE A GHAIDHAIL DO 'N BHANN PRIUNNSA.
(THE HIGHLANDERS' WELCOME TO THE PRINCESS.) 43
LORD COLIN CAMPBELL, ON HIS ELECTION AS MEMBER FOR ARGYLLSHIRE. 44
RANNAN AN LEITHSGÈUL NA BARDACHD. 45
FEAR THA TOILICHTE LE STÁID. 46
CAILLEACHAN NA 'N CUIRM 'S NA CÉILLIDH. 47
BEAN RA FEAR A THA 'S AN TIGH OSDA. 49
ORAN GAOIL 52
DO MHAIREARAD, 53
ORAN GAOIL 54
DO DHUIN' OG A MHEALL NIGHINN 55
AN GILLE RUADH. 56
THEID MI GA D' AMHARC. 57
ORAN GAOIL. 58
ORAN GAOIL. 59
DEALLACHADH RI CÀIRDEAN. 60
TUIREADH SEANN FHLEASGACH 61
COR SEANN FHLEASGAICH EILE- A CHOM-PANACH GA FHREAGAIRT. 62
TUIREADH SEANN MHAIGHDEAN 64
A BAN-CHOMPANACH GA FREAGAIRT. 65
RANNAN AIR CLUINNTINN MU PHÒSADH CARAID. 66
DO'N GHAOL. 67
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE OBAN MUTUAL
IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY. 68
TO THE OBAN MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY, 1881. 69
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE OBAN FREE
CHURCH MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY.
Thoughts on the new year at the close of the old. 70
RANNAN DHOIBHSAN D' AM FREGAIR IAD. 71
RANNAN AIR NOTE PUND SASSANNACH 72
NA LAITHEAN A DH' FHALBH. 74
AM POST 76
THE POSTBOY. TRANSLATED BY PROFESSOR BLACKIE. 77
DO NEOINEAN A BHA A CINNTINN GU DOSRACH URAR FO BHLATH AIR AN RATHAD MHOR AIR MADUINN NA BLIADHNA UIRE, 1868. 79
BARDIC SALUTATIONS. 80
FAREWELL TO LOCHABER. (Traslation) 82
"ILKA BLADE O' GRASS ..." TRANSLATION 83
"STARLESS CROWN.." TRANSLATION 84
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