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Carmina Gadelica, Volume 2, by Alexander Carmicheal, [1900], at


p. 104

p. 105




THE people of Uist say 'gu bheil an crithionn crion air a chroiseadh tri turais'--that the hateful aspen is banned three times. The aspen is banned the first time because it haughtily held up its head while all the other trees of the forest bowed their heads lowly down as the King of all created things was being led to Calvary. And the aspen is banned the second time because it was chosen by the enemies of Christ for the cross upon which to crucify the Saviour of mankind. And the aspen is banned the third time because [here the reciter's memory failed p. 105 him]. Hence the ever-tremulous, ever-quivering, ever-quaking motion of the guilty hateful aspen even in the stillest air.

Clods and stones and other missiles, as well as curses, are hurled at the aspen by the people. The reciter, a man of much natural intelligence, said that he always took of his bonnet and cursed the hateful aspen in all sincerity wherever he saw it. No crofter in Uist would use aspen about his plough or about his harrows, or about his farming implements of any kind. Nor would a fisherman use aspen about his boat or about his creels or about any fishing-gear whatsoever.



p. 104


p. 105


MALLACHD ort, a chrithinn chrann!
  Ort a chrochtadh nigh nam beann,
’S na bhualtadh tarrann gun lann,
  ’S bha ’n sparradh cheusda sin gle theann--
  Bha ’n sparradh cheusda sin gle theann.

Mallachd ort, a chrithinn chruaidh!
  Ort a chrochtadh Righ nam buadh,
Iobairt Firinn, Uan gun truaill,
  Is fhuil na taosg a taom’ a nuas--
  Fhuil na taosg a taom’ a nuas.

Mallachd ort, a chrithinn chrin!
  Ort a chrochtadh Righ nan righ,
Is mallaichte gach suil a chi,
  Mar mallaich i thu, a chrithinn chrin--
  Mar mallaich i thu, a chrithinn chrin!


MALISON be on thee, O aspen tree!
  On thee was crucified the King of the mountains,
In whom were driven the nails without clench,
  And that driving crucifying was exceeding sore--
  That driving crucifying was exceeding sore.

Malison be on thee, O aspen hard!
  On thee was crucified the King of glory,
Sacrifice of Truth, Lamb without blemish,
  His blood in streams down pouring--
  His blood in streams down pouring.

Malison be on thee, O aspen cursed!
  On thee was crucified the King of kings,
And malison be on the eye that seeth thee,
  If it maledict thee not, thou aspen cursed--
  If it maledict thee not, thou aspen cursed!


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