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In the Heather 's my Bed
by Dugald Roy Cameron (MacGillonie/MacOllonie) of Tarbert, Ardnamurchan
circa 1747


In the heather 's my bed
'Neath the dew-laden trees,
And though I'm in the green-wood
I deserved not the ropes.

My bed's on the ground
And uncovered's my plaid,
Sleep has not come upon me
Since I murdered Culchairn.

My hope rests in God,
Though Lochiel has gone,
I'll yet see him a colonel
In Inverlochy down here.

Thou wast true to the Prince
And his race, from the first,
Though thou hadst never promised
Thou didst give him true aid.

Not so did MacLeod,
Who is now for King George,
A manifest outcast
'Neath the shade of two cloaks.

O MacDonald thou coward
Thou indeed shelteredst guile,
Though thou swore to be faithful
Thou didst weaken their strength

There's a blemish to thy nose,
For thy life thou are loathed,
No better than a beggar
With his staff in hand.

Not so the warrior brave
From Keppoch of the trees,
Who charged down with his heroes,
Unafraid on the field.

The men hard, well-equipped,
From Spean and Glen Roy,
Charged down 'neath their chieftain
Best of all in the North.

'Twas not clashing of swords
That would break down their ranks,
But the bullets in showers
From the foreigners' fire.

But when comes the young Prince
With the Frenchmen to aid,
Unthanked will be scattered
The camp of King George.

Duke William from the court
On a dunghill will be flung,
And ne'er shall his name be
But that of cur.

And though I'm in a den,
There's a glass in my hand,
And I'll drink, and refuse not,
A health to Prince Charles.


Ha mo leabaidh 'san fhraoch
Fo shileadh nan croabh,
'S ged a th mi 'sa choille
Cha do thoill mi na taoid.

Tha mo leab' air an lr
'S tha mo bhreacan gun sgil,
'S cha d'fhuair mi lochd cadail
O'n a spad mi Cl Chirn.

Tha mo dhil ann an Dia
Ged a dhobradh Loch Iall,
'Fhaicinn fhathast 'na chirneal
An Inbhir Lchaidh so shos.

Bha thu dleas do'n Phrionns'
Us d'a shinnsreadh o ths,
'S ged nach tug thu dh t'fhacal
Bha thu ceart air a chl.

Cha b'ionann 's Mac Leid
A tha 'n drsd' aig Righ Ders',
'Na fhgarach soilleir
Fo choibhreadh 'n d chlec.

A Mhic Dhomhnuill gun sgoinn
'S ann a chomhdaich thu 'n fhoill,
Ged a gheall thu bhith dleas
'S ann a dhobair thu 'n groim.

Tha ball-dubh ort 'san t-srin
Is misd' th ri d' bhe,
'S cha n-fhearr th na 'm baigeir
'S a bhata 'na dhrn.

Cha b'ionann 's an laoch
O Cheapaich nan craobh,
Chaidh e sos le 'chuid ghaisgeach,
'S nach robh tais air an raon.

Na fir acfhuinneach, chruaidh,
O Spiathain us o Ruaidh
Chaidh sos fo 'n ceann-feachda
B'fhearr a bh' ac' 'san Taobh Tuath.

'S cha b' caigneachadh lann
Chuireadh bristeadh 'nan ranc,
Ach frasan nam peileir
Tighinn o theine nan Gall.

Ach 'n uair thig am Prionns' g
Us na Frangaich 'ga chir,
Thid sgapadh gun taing
Ann an campa Rgh Ders'.

Thid Dic Uilleam a cirt
Thid a thilgeadh air dn,
'S cha n-ighear gu brth air
Na's airde na 'n c.

'S ged tha mis' ann am frig
Tha am botul am dhrn,
'S gun l mi 's cha n-icheadh
Deoch-slint' a' Phrionns' ig.

Editor's Notes:  Dougal Roy Cameron (MacGillonie/MacOllonie) (also known as Dughall Ruadh Camaran) was a soldier with Lochiel's Regiment.  He and his father, Donald Roy (also a soldier in Lochiel's Regiment) were taken prisoner in 1746 by Hanoverian forces in Lochaber.  They were both liberated on July 15, 1747.   Before his capture Dougal Roy learned of his brother's death, who was executed by a party of Grant's Independent Company near Muich, after he had surrendered to them.  Some Camerons who observed the shooting from nearby stated that it was ordered by an officer on a white horse, wearing a long blue cloak (Grant of Knockando).  Dugald Roy went looking for that man.  He found his target near Loch Arkaig on August 31, 1746, but it wasn't Grant, rather Munro of Culcairn, who had borrowed the cloak.  Interestingly enough, it was Culcairn who had ordered his men to burn Achnacarry on May 28, 1746.  The approximate date of this poem, 1747, is after his release from prison but before the death of Lochiel.

As for Dougal's speculation that he might possibly see Lochiel a (Hanoverian) colonel at Inverlochy (Fort William), this never occurred - Lochiel died in France while commanding Le régiment d'Albanie, a Scottish regiment under King Louis of France, all the while attempting to revive the Jacobite cause in Scotland.