Selected by Dan Clendenin

Supplication

Originally from the Carmina Gadelica III, 55
Taken from Esther de Waal, editor, The Celtic Vision (Liguori, MO: Liguori/Triumph, 1988, 2001), p. 17

O Being of life!
O Being of peace!
O Being of time!
O being of eternity!
O being of eternity!

Keep me in good means.
Keep me in good intent,
Keep me in good estate,
Better than I know to ask,
Better than I know to ask!

Shepherd me this day,
Relieve my distress,
Enfold me this night,
Pour upon me Thy grace,
Pour upon me Thy grace!

Guard for me my speech,
Strengthen for me my love,
Illume for me the stream,
Succor Thou me in death,
Succor Thou me in death!

NOTE: For sixty years the folklorist Alexander Carmichael (1832–1912) traversed Scotland’s Outer Hebrides isles collecting and translating the traditions of its Gaelic-Catholic people. His eventual trove contained a little of everything — their ballads, prayers, proverbs, hymns, charms, incantations, runes, poems, tales and songs. Carmichael’s labor of love was published in six volumes across seventy years as Carmina Gadelica (“Hymns of the Gael”) Hymns and Incantations, With Illustrative Notes on Words, Rites, and Customs, Dying and Obsolete: Orally Collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Carmichael published the first two volumes in 1900. His daughter Ella continued the project. Volumes 3 and 4 were published by his grandson, James Watson, in 1940–1941. Volumes 5 and 6 were published by Angus Matheson in 1954 and 1971.

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