Jewel, who has roused my grief,
Beloved has thou been of me
Beloved that joyous, generous heart,
Which thou hadst until this night.
Thy death has filled me with grief,
The hand round which I lived so long,
That I hear not of its strength,
And that I saw it not depart;
That joyful mouth of softest sounds
Well was it known in every land.

Lion of Mull, with its white towers,
Hawk of Isla, with its smooth plains,
Shrewdest of all the men we knew,
Whom guest ne'er left without a gift.

Prince of good men, gentle, kind,
Whose mien was that of a king's son,
Guests came to thee from Dunanoir,*
Guests from the Boyne** for lordly gifts.
Truth it is they often came,
Not oftener than gave thee joy.

Shapely falcon of Sliabh Gael***
Protection to the bards thou gav'st,
Dragon of Lewis of sandy slopes,
Glad as the whisper of a stream;
The loss of but a single man
Has left me lonely, now he's gone.

No sport, no pleasing song,
No joy, nor pleasure in the feast;
No man whom I can now love,
Of Nial's race down from Niel og;

Among our women there's no joy,
Our men no pleasure have in sport,
Just like the winds when it is calm,
So without music is Dun Sween.

See the palace of a generous race,
Vengeance is taken on clan Neil,
The cause of many a boastful son,
And will till they lay us in the grave;

And now 'tis hard to bear, alas!
That we should lose on every side.

Didst thou, son of Adam, crush
Any cluster of three nuts,
It is to him thou lovest most
The largest third of them thou'dst give.
Thus of their husk the topmost nut,
Does to clan Neil, ungrudged, belong.

The bountiful have often poured
Their gifts on the dwelling of clan Neil.
The prince, who was the last of all,
Is he who me with gloom has filled.

In half my purpose I have failed,
Jewel, who has roused my grief.
Broken my heart is in my breast,
And so 't will be until I die;
Left by that black and noble eyelid,
Jewel, who has roused my grief.

Mary, mother, foster-mother of the king,
Protect thou me from every shaft;
And thou, her Son, who all things mad'st.
Jewel who hast roused my grief.

*Dunanoir was a castle on the island of
Cape Clear, on the SW coast of Ireland.

**The river Boyne. From Dunanoir to
the Boyne included all Ireland.

***Sliabh Ghaidheael, a range of hills in Kintyre

From the "Dean of Lismore's Book"
page 126

Loch Sween Poem Banner

Lismore Book Title Page

The Dean of Lismore's Book,
a selection of Ancient Gaelic Poetry

You can download this entire book
at Google Books!

Sween intro Page

Castle Sween History

John Sween's "Assembled Fleet"

Surname list of People
who lived at Castle Sween

About a Knapdale Clearance



Key to the Knapdale People Data Base
Mapping Knapdale
The Militia Act of Scotland Leaving Knapdale Section
The McMillans of Knapdale
The Affray in Arichonan
Castles in Knapdale
The Free Church of Scotland
Knapdale Cemeteries
Dealing with the Poor
The Hearth Tax of 1694
Gigha: a book review
Inverneill Estates
Castle Sween, a history and poetry
Celtic Knapdale
Leaving Knapdale: Donald McGilp Letters