SKYE BOAT SONG I, RATIS, I, VELUT ALES AVIS ...
Sir Henry Boulton trans. Timothy Adès

Speed bonny boat, like a bird on the wing,
.....Onward! the sailors cry:
Carry the lad thatís born to be king
.....Over the sea to Skye.

Loud the winds howl, loud the waves roar,
.....Thunderclaps rend the air,
Baffled our foes stand on the shore,
.....Follow they will not dare.

Manyís the lad fought on that day
.....Well the claymore could wield,
When the night came, silently lay
.....Dead on Cullodenís field.

Though the waves leap, soft shall you sleep,
.....Oceanís a royal bed:
Rocked in the deep, Flora will keep
.....Watch by your weary head.

Burned are their homes, exile and death
.....Scatter the loyal men:
Yet ere the sword cool in the sheath,
.....Charlie will come again!

i, ratis, i, velut ales avis,
.....porro cient nautae:
per mare fer, qui rex iuvenis
.....spes Caledoniae.

saevit hiems, unda stridet,
.....fulmine flent caeli:
hostis haerens litus habet,
.....pavidus insequi.

plurimus vir, Marte sollers,
.....nisus erat ferro:
venerat nox, iacet iners
.....mortuus in solo.

spuma salit, lassus dormit,
.....cubat in gurgite:
una sedet, fida manet
.....vigil pro capite.

igni suos, exilio,
.....morte sparsos queror:
ense tamen non tepido
.....reveniet victor!

Trans. Copyright © Timothy Adès 2010


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