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Lewsiana
Or Life in the Outer Hebrides by W. Anderson Smith (1875)



Extracts from a 60 minute DVD I have made of a visit to the Isle of Lewis in March 2009 called Blackhouse Weekend, containing video taken around the restored thatched blackhouse village of Gearannan, where we stayed - ancient relics like the pictish broch at Dun Carloway, and the Standing Stones at Callanish and a visit to the town of Stornoway and its castle grounds

PREFACE

A FEW of these descriptive papers appeared originally in the Glasgow Herald. We have added an historical chapter from the best sources within our reach, but we claim no occult knowledge of the early ages.

If we have said aught to wound the susceptibilities of the “kindly Lews folk” it was far from our intention, as we have nothing but pleasant memories of the people and the land. May they all live to receive as much consideration as the deer and the grouse!

Nov., 1874.

The Hebridean Exile's Lament in Canada.

Trees! Trees! Trees!
Sycamore, ash, and beech!
Oh! for the wild sea-breeze
That sweeps o’er the sandy reach.

Brushwood, tangled and green,
Scrambles ’neath monarchs of oak;
Far dearer to me the savage scene
Where the sea-waves roll’d and broke.

Growth is heavy and rank:
The earth is hard to reach:
Oh! for the rocks where the blue-dove flocks
O’er the wild sea-bitten beach.

Now snow lies deep around,
And wolves are howling by ;
But I hear the surge that drown’d
The low of the homely kye.

I hear the Barvas waves
Thunder across the waste;
I hear the wind that raves
O’er the hut on the hillside placed.

Now the panting sun doth stand!
And flowers rush up to heaven;
Can I live in a choking land!
My struggling heart seems riven!

Ye ships! bear, bear me back!
Ye winds! beat ’gainst my brow!
Till Bernera’s sunsets sink to black
O’er the land I worship now.

CONTENTS

How we lived in the Lews
The Lews
The Sea
Food and Clothes
Farming and Fishing
A Wedding in the West
A Funeral in the West
Lobster-Fishing
The East Coast
Ness
Uige
Carloway
The Lews Antiquities
The Lews Fauna
Fishes
Historical Sketches
The Fife Adventurers
The Last of the MacLeods


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