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Janet's Song for Lochiel - Who Was Her Mother's First Cousin
to Donald Bane Mac Donnel -- Dubh of Lochiel
by Mrs. Cameron, the Good Wife of Clunes
circa 1746

Bear my Blessing, and from my inmost heart,
To the country whence you are now exiled,
And to the High Chief of Lochaber,
That he may yet return to his people and home in safety,
Since thou hast gone far away, O Chief,
Across the seas to France,
It is my prayer that I may have good tidings of thee,
As to high character and blameless life even as it ever was with thee!

Donald Bane of Lochaber!
Very wide is thy kinship,
Strong and numerous are thy clansmen,
Wherever they have settled in homesteads,
If thou did'st at all need their aid,
And thou were in jeopardy or any hardship,
It is they that would respond to thy summons,
Marching to the music of the quickly-fingered, loud-sounding bagpipes!

It was in the very beginning of autumn,
That thou, choice and chief of the Gaels, did'st leave us,
It was thou that would'st go forward in the cause of Right,
And never at all with hesitating or halting steps!
But at the head of the Warriors to be depended upon,
And never in any case would fail thee,
And that would not be looking backwards,
When it was come to close quarters with their foemen!

It is I myself that am very sad,
And continually under a load of sorrow,
Lamenting my handsome and brave brothers-in-law,
That they are no longer near me,
Givers of heavy strokes in combat!
And that would not endure insult,
Valiant were they in the heart of battle,
When victory was to be won!

The gentlemen of thy race and name,
Have suffered much in this turmoil,
For who equaled them in their support of the Good Cause?
And who of all engaged equaled them in the race for renown!
In the hour of the drawing of broadswords,
It was thou and thy people that never indulged in hesitation,
But that would go first and foremost into battle,
Even through the thickest of the powder-engendered smoke!

In the day of the counting of the trees in the garden,
Thou wert the Apple tree of fairest flower and fruit!
Thou, o Chief, of a warrior race,
That could sustain the combat, steadfast, loyal!
And although you have failed in this effort in support of your King,
You have failed not at all with dishonour:
And my trust is in thy Heavenly Father,
That things may yet come round even as we desire them.

Then Duke William (of Cumberland) was foolishly of opinion,
That he could get thee into his net,
And make thee reconciled to the House of Hanover,
By writing out for thee a "Protection" forsooth!
Thou wert the one that would'st not brook such dishonour;
Thy word was otherwise pledged
To the rightfull heir of the crown of these realms;
For thou, my Chief, art hereditarily loyal!

Although they have burned thy country and homestead,
And have looted thy cattle, and all thy goods and gear,
(Oh King of High Heaven!
It is thou that can'st loosen from the bonds of affliction)
Thou art now, dear Chief, in France
In spite of all thy Saxon foemen,
And thou wilt yet lift up thy head, a victor
over every danger that can beset thee.

When our own true King came over,
And delivered into thy hand the Royal Standard,
He found thee loyal and true,
And that thou had'st not forgot thy promise
But Mackenzie refused to join him, as did also Macleod;
Macdonald of Sleat refused him, as did also Clanranald;
My malediction upon them all
That they rose not in your support!

But thou did'st take courage; it is, indeed, hereditary
For thee to be hardy and brave;
The warriors of Albyn held thee in supreme regard,
Although they rise to pre-eminence amongst them seemed sudden,
But thou had'st determined on this thing, and had'st pledged thy word,
And nothing could tempt thee to draw back,
No! not if thou wert offered the wealth of the kingdom,
Would'st thou withdraw thy spoken word!

Thou art but as it were a child in support of the cause
Compared to thy grandfather!
He was the man that was strong of the body,
And was terrible when moved to anger!
It was he that scattered his enemies like chaff,
And could win battles;
His every battle day was like Killiecrankie,
He never was otherwise than victorious in conflict.

As to yonder day of Culloden
Let us not refrain from speaking of it,
Neither let us at all be ashamed of it;
It was not our conduct there that was in fault,
But that of our men many were away
Scattered over the country;
And that the Marquis George (Lord George Murray)
Did not issue the orders best suited for the occasion.

It was a day of sad misfortune,
That sent all this evil into our kingdom;
Many an one is in evil case because of it,
And sadly dispirited in mind;
It has left me under such melancholy
As I cannot describe,
That your birthright, property, and lands
Should be forfeited to him who now calls himself king.

But if thou art blessed with the long lengths of days,
That was common to the race from whom thou art descended,
Thou wilt yet put the men of England
Under thy heel even as thou desirest,
Thou art the Lion, The Hero!
A tree above all other trees art thou!
And where on the face of the wide earth
Any other equal to thee in beauty and manliness of face and form.