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Hill of Lochiel
by a Cameron of Clunes
circa 1776


Hill of the roe and deer;
Hill of the sturdy steer;
Hill of the corrie sheer;
Hill of Lochiel.

Once, when in boyhood's prime,
O'er towering heights sublime,
From crag to crag to climb
Was my delight.

Scaling the rocky crest -
Harrying the eagle's nest -
Wounding the raven's breast,
Joyous and free.

Then came a nobler game -
Last of the Stuarts came -
Cameron, that loyal name,
Foremost should be.

Oft in a foreign land -
Stretched on the burning sand -
Thoughts of my native land
Would come to me.

Hill of the rowan tree -
Hill of the crumbling scree...
Now, may I kneel on thee,
Hill of Lochiel!


Long have I pin'd for thee,
Land of my infancy;
Now will I kneel on thee,
Hill of Lochiel.
Hill of the sturdy steer,
Hill of the roe and deer,
Hill of the streamlet clear,
I love thee well.

When in my youthful prime,
Correi and crag to climb,
Or towering cliff sublime,
Was my delight;
Scaling the eagle's nest,
Wounding the raven's breast,
Skimming the mountain's crest,
Gladsome and light.

When, at the break of morn,
Proud o'er thy temples borne,
Kythed the red-deer's horn,
How my heart beat!
Then, when with stunned leap
Roll'd he adown the steep,
Never did hero reap
Conquest so great.

Then rose a bolder game.
Young Charlie Stuart came;
Cameron, that loyal name,
Foremost must be.
Hard then our warrior meed,
Glorious our warrior deed,
Till we were doom'd to bleed
By treachery.

Then did the red blood stream;
The was the broad sword's gleam
Quench'd, in fair freedom's beam
No more to shine;
Then was the morning's brow
Red with the fiery glow;
Fell hall and hamlet low,
All that were mine.

Then was our maiden young,
First aye in battle strong,
Fir'd at her prince's wrong,
Forc'd to give way:
Broke was the golden cup,
Gone Caledonia's hope;
Faithful and true men drop
Fast in the clay.

Far in a hostile land,
Stretch'd on a foreign strand,
Oft has the tear-drop bland
Scorch'd as it fell.
Once was I spurn'd from thee,
Long have I mourn'd for thee,
Now I'm return'd to thee,
Hill of Lochiel.

Editor's Notes:  These two translations from the original Gaelic are similar in content, yet differ considerably in length.  The shorter version ("A") comes from the book "Camerons of Clunes," by Frank & Muriel Cameron; the long version ("B") is from Hogg's "Jacobite Relics of Scotland."  It is thought Version B is more accurate, since the Cameron of Clunes book states: "The writer has never heard the air except sung by an old cousin during his childhood, nor has he ever seen the poem in print, but has known it all his life; and, in places where memory failed, has substituted suitable words, in place of those forgotten."

As for the Hill of Lochiel, it is said to be Torre Cluaine (also said to have been Achnasaul).  Either way, as the story goes, Charles Cameron of Lochiel, XXI Chief of Clan Cameron knew the hill from his childhood.  According to the writer of the verses Lochiel was so moved by the sight of his childhood play place, upon his return to Scotland, that he knelt awhile there.  Donald Cameron of Clunes is said to have spontaneously given the hill to Lochiel, sometime in early/mid 1776.