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This is a very ancient pibroch belonging to Clan MacDonald,
and supposed to refer to the expedition of Donald Balloch, who, in 1431, launched from the Isles with a considerable force, invaded Lochaber, and at Inverlochy defeated and put to flight the Earls of Mar and Caithness, though at the head of an army superior to his own. The words of the set, theme, or melody, to which the pipe variations are applied, run thus in Gaelic:
Piobaireachd Dhonuil Dhuidh, piobaireachd Dhonuil ; Piobaireachd Dhonuil Dhuidh, piobaireachd Dhonuil; Piobaireachd Dhonuil Dhuidh, piobaireachd Dhonuil; Piob agus bratach air faiche Inverlochi. The pipe-summons of Donald the Black, The pipe-summons of Donald the Black, The war-pipe and the pennon are on the gathering-place at
16 The pibroch of Donald the Black.” [This song was written for Campbell's Albyn's Anthology, 1816. It may also be seen, set to music, in Thomson's Collection, 1830.]
? [Co this with the gathering-song in the third canto of the Lady of the Lake, ante.]
Come away, come away,
Hark to the summons !
Gentles and commons.
Come from deep glen, and
From mountain so rocky,
Are at Inverlochy.
True heart that wears onc,
Strong hand that bears one.
The flock without shelter ;
The bride at the altar;
Leave nets and barges;
Broadswords and targes.
Come as the winds come, when
Forests are rended;
Navies are stranded:
Faster and faster,
Tenant and master.
See how they gather!
Wide waves the eagle plume,
Blended with heather.
Forward each man set!
Knell for the onset!
AIR -“Cha teid mis a chaoidh.”I
WRITTEN FOR ALBYN'S ANTHOLOGY, (1816.) *
In the original Gaelic, the Lady makes protestations that she will
not go with the Red Earl's són, until the swan should build in the cliff, and the eagle in the lake- until one mountain should change places with another, and so forth. It is but fair to add, that there is no authority for supposing that she altered her mind — except the vehemence of her protestation.
'I will never go with him,"
III. The swan,” she said, “ the lake's clear breast May barter for the eagle's nest; The Awe's fierce stream may backward turn, Ben-Cruaichan fall, and crush Kilchurn; Our kilted clans, when blood is high, Before their foes may turn and fly; But I, were all these marvels done, Would never wed the Earlie's son.”
IV. Still in the water-lily's shade Her wonted nest the wild swan made; Ben-Cruaichan stands as fast as ever, Still downward foams the Awe's fierce river; To shun the clash of foeman's steel, No Highland brogue has turn'd the heel; But Nora's heart is lost and won,
- She's wedded to the Earlie's son!
Air—" Thain' a Grigalach"!
WRITTEN FOR ALBYNS ANTHOLOGY. [1816.)
These verses are adapted to a very wild, yet lively gathering-tune,
used by the MacGregors. The severe treatment of this Clan, their outlawry, and the proscription of their very name, are alluded to in the Ballad."
The moon 's on the lake, and the mist's on the brae,
Then gather, gather, gather Grigalach!
Our signal for fight, that from monarchs we drew,
Then haloo, Grigalach! haloo, Grigalach!
Glen Orchy's proud mountains, Coalchuirn and her
We're landless, landless, landless, Grigalach!
1“ The MacGregor is come.”
* [For the history of the clan, see Introduction to Rob Roy Waverley Novels, vol. vii.]