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History of the MacIntyre Clan
Part V - Stories of MacIntyres and Scotland


These stories are all connected in some way with the MacIntyres. They are the source of our history because this is how the Scots pass on their history from generation to generation in the Gaelic and Celtic manner. As we draw nearer to the present, the stories become closer to being authenticated, and as we go back in time, they become draped in the mantle of legend or myth. Try to remember the smallest detail because all of these stories because you never know when it will come pop up in another story. So let us begin at the beginning.

The Isle of Destiny
Long ago in Pharaoh’s Egypt, a child, named Gaodhal Glas, was cured of a serpent’s bite by none other than Moses, the Hebrew Prophet. Like Moses, the child’s father was not an Egyptian, but had come to Egypt from yet another a far off land in Asia Minor called Gaedhal or Gael.1 Moses told the boy that he and his people would one day reach an Isle of Destiny that would be free of all poisonous serpents.2 Goadhal Glas went back to his homeland, but in time, his grandson, Niul, went to Egypt as a teacher or soldier. On his way, he found a large, unusual shiny stone, on the Plains of Luz, and brought it with him to Egypt. This stone, called the Stone of Destiny, was later thought to be the stone that Jacob used as a pillow when he had his dream of the ladder to heaven. Niul must have had great skill, and perhaps royal blood, because he was allowed to marry Scota, one of Pharaoh’s daughters. Their descendants became too rich and powerful, causing them to be banished from Egypt. They took with them their Stone of Destiny on which their leaders were anointed. After wandering for many years, they eventually settled on the Iberian Peninsula.3 The Gaels were successful in Iberia and around the Biblical time of Solomon, they had a famous King, named Milesius, after whom they were called Milesians. His queen was Scota, named for their first queen. Milesius died and Queen Scota decided it was time to lead her people to the Isle of Destiny prophesied in their legend. With her sons, followers, and their Stone of Destiny, they arrived on the shores of Ire-land, named after the local Queen, Eiré. The Milesians and Queen Scota were victorious over Queen Eiré, but both queens died in battle. The Island eventually became known as Scotia, after their dead Queen, and the new rulers were called Scoti. The descendants of the Scoti ruled their Isle of Destiny for almost two millennia, until the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England.

1. Others say his homeland was Greece and his father was the King. Still others say it was Scythia. These are all in the same general area.
2. This may be the source of the legend that one of the lost tribes of Israel came to Ireland.
3. The Iberian peninsula includes what is presently Spain and Portugal.

The Stone of Destiny
Someone, who didn’t give his name, called the police and told them they might find something they were looking for at the Abbey of Arbroath. This is the Abbey where in 1320, King Robert Bruce, and many Scottish nobles signed the first Declaration of Independence from England and sent to the Pope by special courier.1 Inside the Abbey, the police found what they thought they were looking for, a large plain block of gray sandstone with a saltire2 on top of it. This was reputed to be the famous Stone of Scone, the Lia Fail, the Stone of Destiny.

According to the legend, it was none other than Jacob’s pillow, the very stone on which the biblical patriarch rested his head as he dreamed he of angels climbing a ladder to heaven. Niul, the Celtic Gael, found the stone on the plains of Luz,3 and brought it to Egypt.4 The descendents of Niul took the stone with them to Iberia and much later, their Queen Scota, brought this same stone to Ireland where it was placed at Tara, the site where their High Kings were inaugurated.1 It was now called the Lia Fail. In the sixth century, it went to Iona, an island near Scotland, and then on to Dunnad, the new capitol of the Dal Riada. For safety, it was moved to the fortress, Dunstaffnage, which had become the capitol of Scotia Minor. Dunstaffnage is at the entrance to Loch Etive near the Falls of Lora. In the ninth century, Viking raids threatened Dunstaffnage and the Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny, was moved once again, to Scone, the capitol of what had become the Scottish Kingdom. The Lia Fail was kept in the Abbey of Scone for the inauguration of the Scottish kings and for this reason it became known as the Stone of Scone. In 1296, Edward I of England stole it and placed it under the throne in Westminster Abbey where the English kings were crowned. Some say the Scots knew Edward was coming, and hid their precious Stone of Scone replacing it with a plain old stone. The real stone is reputedly black marble with intricate carvings in the shape of a seat, and is kept by a secret society somewhere in Scotland. Scottish Nationalists say, with derision, that what Edward I stole was a Gaelic phrase "toilet seat." Regardless, having the real or fake stone in English hands was too much for any Scot to take, and Edward paid for it with his life in a battle at the border of Scotland. His son, Edward II also paid dearly when the outnumbered Scots at the Battle of Bannockburn defeated him. Whether real or fake, the stone is still a symbol of Scottish independence, and as long as it was under the throne in London, it was a symbol of English domination. It was all but forgotten under Edwards throne, at least by the English, until Christmas Day 1950, when a curate at Westminster Abbey discovered the throne was ajar and the Stone of Destiny was missing! It had been stolen by four Scottish nationalists, who hide themselves in Westminster Abbey the night before and had walked out with the Stone of Scone the next morning, in broad daylight, right under the noses of the English. This sounds like another farfetched Scoti legend, but it is an absolute fact. The idea was to keep the stone hidden until Scotland was once again free and then return it to the Abbey at Scone to crown a new King of Scotland. The ringleader of this rebel group was none other than Ian Hamilton, husband of the owner of the Falls of Lora Hotel on the shore of Loch Etive (See Return of the MacIntyres p__). After the Stone was moved around England for a number of days, it finally arrived in Scotland on Hogmaney, the Scottish New Year’s Day. More than four months later, on April 11, 1951, it was left like an orphaned child at Arbroath Abbey draped with St. Andrew’s cross. Some say it was Hamilton tipped off the constable. He and the three other perpetrators were held for questioning but released. Another rumor was that they only returned a sandstone replica of the sandstone - the "toilet seat" that Edward I stole in ignorance, over 600 years earlier. Only in Scotland would it make sense to steal a fake and replace it with a fake! No one really knew what the stone looked like because it had been gathering dust under the throne. Whether it was the real Stone or a fake, or a fake of a fake, will not be known until the real Stone of Destiny, the Lia Fail, the Stone of Scone surfaces one day, perhaps on Iona, or better yet, in the ruins of Dunstaffnage Castle, at the head of Loch Etive, next to the Falls of Lora, in the land of the MacIntyres. A sandstone version of the "Stone of Destiny" was returned to Scotland on November 15th, 1996 and placed in Edinburgh Castle in preparation for the 1999 re-establishment of Scottish Parliament.

1. This is perhaps the first written Declaration of Independence in human history and predates the American Declaration of Independence from English rule by more than 450 years! The last two sentences read, "For, so long as one hundred remain alive, we will never in any degree be subject to the dominion of English. Since not for glory, riches or honors do we fight, but for freedom alone, which no good man loses but with his life … ." Declaration of Arbroath, 1320.
2. An object that is in the form of a St. Andrew’s cross
3. A plain in what is now Israel or Palestine.
4. Note the similarity between Niall and Niul who married the Egyptian Princess Scota. This is the origin of the Clan O’Neill or MacNeil, who may be connected to the origin of the MacIntyres
1. This was before Christianity and the Kings were neither anointed nor crowned.

Deirdre of the Sorrows
Around the first century A.D., a daughter was born to the storyteller of Conchobar or Conor, King of Ulster. Her name was Deirdre, and a Druid priest prophesied that her beauty would bring bloodshed and death. To overcome this prophecy, the King had her raised in seclusion until she was old enough to marry him. However, she saw and fell in love with Naisi, one of three sons of Uisnech. Deirdre and Naisi, accompanied by Naisi’s two brothers, escaped to Loch Etive in Alba. The four of them lived there simply but happily. There is still a place on Lochetiveside, near Dalness that is supposed to be the site of their hut. King Conchobar sent an emissary, whom these young people new and trusted, to persuaded them to return to Ulster. He carried the King’s promise of safe conduct and forgiveness. As Deirdre left the shore of Alba, after crossing the Falls of Lora into the Irish Sea, she looked back at Loch Etive and Ben Cruachan. This sight inspired her to compose and sing her "Farewell to Alban". This song has survived almost 2000 years and below are two verses translated from the Gaelic by Angus Macintyre, in 1872:

Glen Eta (Etive), yes! Glen Eta,
garbed in radiant beams;
Where first my virgin home was proudly raised;
Thy leafy woods and Cruachan's grandeur viewing;
Flooded with sunshine rays, made glorious, my Glen Eta.

. . . .

Thou virgin glen! my beauteous green Glen-o (oigh);
To sleep serene embower'd mid'st pastures quiet;
Fish, venison, with rare salted boar our fare;
Plenteous my lot was, in grand tho' lone Glen-o.

As the title of this story suggests, the ending was not a happy one. When they arrived in Ireland, Naisi and his two brothers were murdered and Deirdre was given to the King, as his unwilling bride. Because her sorrow was so great at the loss of her beloved Naisi, she threw herself onto a rock and died.

The Thumb Carpenter
As the story goes, a MacDonald of Sleat, finding his boat about to sink because of a leak, stuck his thumb in the hole, chopped it off and hammered it firm, so saving the boat and the loss of the crew. For this heroic act, he was called the "thumb carpenter" or Saor-na-h-ordaig and, according to custom, his son was the first to be called, Mac-an-t-Saoir, Son of The Carpenter.

Two Brothers And One Prize
There were two brothers - one the ancestor of the MacDonalds and the other, ancestor of the MacIntyres, who sailed in their galleys from one of the northern islands of Skye. When in sight of the mainland they agreed the country should be named and owned by the one who should first touch it. They were pretty well matched sailing side by side. When about to get to shore first, Donald's boat was sprung a leak. In order to win he stuck his finger in the hole and cut it off with his dirk. Upon seeing that he was about to lose, the other brother, the Soar or Wright, cut off his left hand and threw it on the land, thereby claiming first possession.

A Viking’s Magic Stone
Tradition has it that while in Sleat, a distant ancestor of the MacIntyre chiefs was given a stone by a wounded Viking raider. Normally, no prisoners were taken, but this person (probably not known yet as MacIntyre) was injured and had a kind heart. So, he spared this Norseman the normal coup de grâce and instead nursed him back to health. As thanks for this most unexpected act of mercy, the Viking gave our ancestor the only thing he had of value and the thing he gave credit for his good fortune. It was just a little stone, you might find on any shoreline, even on Loch Etive, but it had a speckled or brindled surface with a dark line across it. According to the Viking, this stone had healing properties and the dark vein could foretell success or failure before a foray. (Was it right or wrong in this case, where he lost the battle but was saved from death?) The normal practice was to drop it over your left shoulder and the augury was made according to the position of the vein as it landed on the ground. It is known as the Clach Nodha or speckled stone. It was brought to the mainland and Glen Noe with the first MacIntyres and is now in the possession of Alexander Bell MacIntyre of Inveraray and Dunoon, as part of his inheritance as the eldest son of the late Alexander James MacIntyre of Inveraray.1

A Viking Raid and the White Cow
The MacIntyres, or their ancestors, lived in Sleat and had been ravaged by frequent Viking raids with the loss of their homes and cattle. After one such raid, there was snow on the ground so the Norseman overlooked one of MacIntyre’s white cows. In desperation, MacIntyre sought the advice of an old lady gifted with second-sight.2 She told him that he would find peace and happiness if he left Sleat and settled his family where the cow would first lie down to rest after landing. MacIntyre, his wife, two sons, and the white cow, which fortunately was in calf, left Sleat in a galley, and landed on the mainland. It may be noted that the MacIntyre coat of arms has a galley, which may represent the one that was involved in starting the clan (Somerled and Ragnhild) or the one that brought them to the mainland from Sleat with their white cow, or both.

Maurice MacNeil and Somerled
Somerled, Thane of Argyll and a descendent of the early Scoti colonists, wanted to wrest possession of the Western Isles, including the Isle of Skye, from his Norse overruler, Olav the Red, King of Man. Somerled was not strong enough to do this by force so he had to resort to cunning. At first, he offered to support Olav in a raid on the English coast in return for marriage to his Olav’s daughter, Ragnhild. Olav refused and Somerled had to agreed to go anyway. As was common among those who didn’t trust each other, men from each group were assigned to the other groups boat as a sign of goodwill. Somerled’s nephew (sister’s son) called Maurice O’Neill was assigned to Olav’s galley and he had a plan. The night before they sailed, he secretly bored holes near the waterline, plugged them with tallow, and prepared wooden plugs to fit the holes. The galleys set sail in the morning and, as expected, they encountered rough seas past the point of Ardnamurchan. The waves dislodged the tallow plugs and Olav’s ship began to leak. Faced with certain death, Olav gave Somerled his solemn pledge of his daughter’s hand in marriage. Once Olav was safely on Somerled’s galley, Maurice plugged the leaks. For this heroic act, Maurice was called "The Wright or Soar" and his descendants were called, MacIntyres, children of The Wright.

1. An article by Seton Gordon in 1959, describes the magic stone as small, light brown, egg-shaped, with a crack or vein on one side. See photograph on pate ___. Bibliography 8.
2. Traditionally Scots have been believers in spirits, fairy lore, and second-sight.

The Mountain Spirits and Glen Noe
The MacIntyres came ashore at `Cown-na-Gara'. They stayed there for quite a few years until their white cattle became so numerous that they had to find a place with more pasture. Arriving at the side of Ben Cruachan on Lochetiveside, they tried to drive their cattle through several passes and each time they were prevented by the Mountain Spirit. They persevered until the spirit finally let them pass through an opening to Glen Noe, a beautiful rich grazing valley at the base of Ben Cruachan on the south shore of Loch Etive. The Spirit told them to stop and build their house where the cow should first lay down. This they did.

In another version, the MacIntyres first landed on the Scottish mainland at Bagh-na-Torrach or `castle bay' near Dunollie (the Fort of Olav) and then followed the shores of Loch Etive until they came to Ben Cruachan. The Mountain Spirit, after repulsing them, let it be made known that it was from no ill will that he did this, and that if they went to the other side of the mountain they would find a habitation where they could settle down under his guardianship.

The First MacIntyres At Glen Noe1
This is the beginning of a historical novel by Alexander James MacIntyre of Inveraray, one of Clan MacIntyre’s twentieth century storytellers. It appears to combine facts from over a number of centuries into one moment of time, which is the novelist’s prerogative. In truth, the landscape and living conditions probably didn’t change very much for many centuries.

"An Clach Nodha"
Or
The Tale of the Brindled Stone

Being a collection of stories connected
with the mystic stone of the MacIntyres of
Glenoe

By Alexander James MacIntyre

Inveraray, Scotland 1936

An Apology

Long and earnestly have I considered this matter, as to whether I should attempt to commit this tale to paper. Well knowing my own limited abilities as a storywriter I hesitated, but always bearing in mind that I may be the last of my race to take any interest in these tales I feel it is my duty. I may never be able to complete the task I have set myself, but will, at least, leave a record of a well-meant intention.

As generation succeeds generation, each bringing its own changes, all writing their history in the world’s pages, so do I write of long forgotten days, when the Highland Clans of Scotland were each paving the way towards the glorious position Scotland holds in the world today. I have tried to collect the scattered stories regarding this mystic stone into a sequence, which, when they were told to me as a boy, I have always 

1. There is no evidence of any kind that MacIntyres or even their ancestors were present in Glen Noe in the 600s which might be inferred from references in the Alexander’s story. Having said that the description of the living conditions, lifestyle and fortifications in this abbreviated romantic tale didn’t change substantially for the next 1000 years!

thought they should have; with what success, if any, I have met, I leave my readers to judge.

Part I
How the stone came to
Glenoe

Chapter I
Introduces the reader to three of the principal characters
.

On a gloomy mid-winter evening when the mist had settled low on the surrounding hills of Loch Etive, hiding their snow-capped peaks in an impenetrable blanket, a man and a young boy wandered seeming aimlessly along the seashore. Not another soul was in sight and only the screaming of the hungry sea birds disturbed the sombre silence. A piercing nor-east wind was blowing from the Appin hills sending the loch into sheets of white foam and as the wanderers moved about they held their plaids closely around them to obtain the maximum amount of warmth possible. They were a curiously assorted pair. The man tall broad shouldered and with a spring in his step which gave him the appearance of a real athlete, but what attracted attention most was his great shaggy head crowned by a mop of fiery red hair while his beard of the same colour reached almost to his waist. As he walked along at each step his head moved from side to side a peculiarity which gave him the name amongst his friends of "The Watcher" because this peculiarity in his walk was supposed to give him the ability to see all around him. His companion was a complete contrast. He appeared to be about seven years old, but when you caught a glimpse of his squat little face he might be any age. He had raven black hair which came down in a frill over his forehead, a small turned up nose set between two eyes with a horrible, almost evil squint, while a great protruding under lip made him unable to close his mouth properly. His body was equally misshapen. His arms were unusually long reaching almost to the ground; his back bent almost double supported by legs so slender and bent that they appeared almost too fragile to support his poor twisted body.

Alert and eagerly this man and boy continued to search the rock-strewn shore near high water mark. Now at the water’s edge, each followed his own path, never uttering a word. They both carried long cromacks in their hands, which they used with a peculiar twist to turn over large stones or to search below the sea tangle. It was evident that a very diligent search was being made for something which they knew was there but was seemingly very difficult to find. Behind them right to the shore stretched the impenetrable Caledonian Forest, tall firs, birches, and ancient oaks mingling together in a confused mass. Complete solitude and utter desolation were it not that in the distance, rising above the trees, could be seen a slight wisp of blue wood smoke almost obscured by the mist proclaiming that even in the midst of this wilderness of forest, mountain and sea, cosy fires burned to welcome the wanderers home. The short winter’s day was fast drawing to a close; the note of the sea birds’ cry had changed. No longer was the search for food possible; their cry was the roosting cry as they settled to rest in sheltered corners of the shore. Down the steep sides of Cruachan echoed the sharp bark of the she-wolf gathering the pack before setting out to their nightly hunting ground. The searchers continued on their quest until it seemed almost impossible to see what they sought when suddenly a shout from the boy brought his companion running to his side. He was on his hands and knees pulling furiously at a length of copper chain, which was wedged tightly beneath a large stone. By their combined efforts assisted by their cromacks, the stone was moved and the boy seizing the chain sprang to his feet dancing in a paroxysm of delight shouted,

"Amadan was right; Amadan is always right."

The man watched him until the boy tired and obtaining possession of the chain examined it carefully. Turning to the lad, he laid his hand on his shoulder saying,

"Amadan is truly right. They were here last night in their curved birlinn (small galley) and this chain was forged in the fires of Crin. What the Crinach seek on the bleak shores of Etive I know not."

The boy, or Amadan as we shall call him in future, resumed his queer dancing capers with an excited look on his face yelling as he danced about.

"Amadan was right; Amadan is always right."

He continued this until from sheer exhaustion he sank on the shore where he lay with his head cupped in his hands and his legs drawn up below him. The Watcher stood by for some time looking down at the boy and then looking up at the sky and noting the fast approaching night, turned on his heels saying,

"Amadan, its time we were on the road home."

Amadan silently obeyed and followed The Watcher who set the pace heading for a tall fir tree which stood on the shore edge. As they approached the tree they were greeted by a low growl and immediately a huge deerhound arose from a clump of bracken and advanced to them wagging his tail. The Watcher patted his back murmuring,

"Lead on Dealas, my boy."

And the dog acting as guide led his companions into the forest. Here we must leave them meantime to find their way home.

Chapter 2
The Clachan of
Invernodha

In order to more understand, as near as possible, the time in which my tale opens it is necessary for me to make a slight historical reference. Argyll had for many years been divided between the Dalriadic Scots and Picts of Ancient Caledonia. The MacIntyres, who had settled in Glenodha came from the Isle of Sleat as the ancient legend tells us and had thrown in their lot with Lorna, who was King or Chieftain of the district now know as Lorne. This district under the wise rule of Lorna had long enjoyed peace except for a few tribal fights. Protected from invasion by the lonely glens, wild corries and impassable mountains, the people of Argyll were able to pursue their native occupations without help or hindrance. The Picts, who were in strong occupation of Lochaber, were the only troublesome element and the men of Glenodha had often been called to assist their neighbours and blood brothers, the McIans of Glencoe, in keeping them in check. For some time past, as soon as spring came, melting the snows and transforming the bogs and marshes into glorious pastureland, strange rumours had been carried into the glens by wandering minstrels. These rumours came from every quarter. A minstrel, who had been entertaining for many weeks in the north castle of Beregonium, told how men were kept continually under arms there; the same was said of Dunstaffnage where the King ordered constant watch to be kept. The cause of these rumours and continual alertness was the always-present fear of invasion from the sea, the only side for which their land had not been provided by nature. Shangi ships had been seen on the locks and firths, so these stories went. Parties had been seen coming ashore and exploring the land where it was possible. It was said that some were heavily armed while others, who came in small ships, carried no armour and tried to make friends with people whom they met. It was also said that these unarmed men were clad in robes like Druids and had travelled unto the far north to where the great King Bude of the Picts lived and that the great King had welcomed them because of the wondrous stories they told of a god above all other gods. He had given them the Isle of Ey to settle on. Other tales were told of warlike men who landed from huge ships with many oars destroying all they found, killing the people, and carrying off their sheep, goats, and cattle. Loch Etive might attract these people, protected as it was by its fierce rapids at Connel.

On the next day in peaceful Glenodha, the yellow or dappled glen, shouldered by Mighty Cruachan but exposed to the sea except for its forest and bog, the whole clachan of Invernodha was agog with excitement. On the evening before, Dhol Alister known as the Amadan because of his peculiar ways and deformity accompanied by The Watcher whose real name was Donald MacIntyre or ‘Dhol Fiach’, rushed home to the village with an alarming story about how, when they had been in pursuit of a badger which had been annoying some of the penned sheep during the night before, they had chased it to the sea shore and on arriving there, they had sighted a mighty ship approaching the shore near the huge rock know as Clach a Bhat and that many Shangi men had come ashore from her, headed by an old grey-bearded man who wore long flowing robes carrying a cross before him which glittered in the moonlight as if it were on fire. A gale of Nor’West wind had been raging and during the time the party were ashore their boat was in danger of being smashed. Seeing this, the old man shouted an order and half the party remained beside the boat to watch it while the remainder proceeded along the shore, the veteran leader in front singing a queer chanting song as they went. Dealas, Amadan’s faithful friend and constant companion, alarmed by this queer sight, broke away from his master and rushed after them giving vent to the deep-throated bray which his kind do when prepared for battle. The strangers, thinking perhaps they were being attacked by wolves and being apparently unarmed, hastily returned to their ship, which even during the short time they were ashore had become almost unmanageable because of the increasing storm and huge waves. They had put ashore an anchor chain which had become entangled in the rocks and before they could get away one of the party had to break it with a hammer. As they left the shore battling against the storm, the old man stood in the bow with the cross uplifted encouraging his men to keep singing their mournful song while they strained at the oars. As soon as they were out of sight, Amadan and Watcher had searched the seashore until they found the remains of the chain and now brought it with them as evidence.

In modern times a story recited by a half-wit such as Amadan would have been treated as a joke, even though it was corroborated by The Watcher, but it has always been different in the Highlands. Those deformed either in brain or body being treated with great respect; and it was often believed that their infirmities were the mark of some fairy, which had been present at their birth. When the then Chief of the MacIntyres, Patrick Ruadh by name, heard their story he gave orders calling together the chief men of the clan early the following morning.

The Clachan of Invernodha was centred on a rising piece of ground in the middle of a huge clearing in the forest. All around it was hidden by the dense forest except on the side of the river Oe which during the rainy season was accustomed to overflow its banks forming a vast bog. From the point of view of defence no better position could have been chosen; but even these defences were not considered sufficient and a palisade of rough logs had been erected completely around the houses. In the distance, Mighty Cruachan looked down on this scene of solitary grandeur, silent guardian of her sons. The clachan consisted of about forty stone built houses. They were all thatched and had a central chimney. On the highest part of the mound stood an ancient oak tree under whose spreading branches lay a huge flat-topped stone. This was the centre of the community and the gathering point of the clan. It was round this tree that early next morning the clan gathered to discuss the report, which had come in the night before. I must leave it to my readers to picture this scene: many a time had these same people gathered here to discuss local gossip or hear the tales of some wandering bard, but as they gathered this morning there was an atmosphere of anxiety everywhere. They collected into small groups and among them moved Amadan looking very important. Talk went on until the chief was seen approaching. There was then a general rush to see who could get nearest the central stone. They made way to allow the chief to gain the vantage point on the stone and on a word from him all was silent. He looked an imposing figure in his rough tartan kilt over six feet in height; he stood and gazed over his people. Placing his hands on the hilt of his drawn sword he spoke to them in a clear audible voice.

"My friends, the tale that has been told by Amadan is now known to you all. Strange things are happening in our land and whether those visitors from across the wide waters be friend or foe I know not. As in the past we must defend our lands, wives and children. Just as our ancestors sailed from the distant Isles to settle in our lovely glen, so may these strangers be seeking settlement and it is our duty to ourselves, and our fathers, to protect our lands. I know every son of an Saoir can be depended on."

He raised his heavy sword and kissed it; every man following his example; and afterwards lifting their swords on high shouted, "We will."

The shouts of approval having died down the chief signalled to someone at the back of the gathering and immediately a very aged man with a long grey beard started to push his way forward. He was almost bent double with age and helped himself along with a stout stick. It was easily seen that he had the respect of all the clan. As they moved aside to let him pass they made a slight bow, which he acknowledged by a friendly smile. He was too crippled to mount unaided the stone where the chief stood and had to be assisted. He took up his position beside the Chief, who on seeing him safely at his side with sword still upraised spoke again to his followers saying,

"My men, in times of stress it has always been our custom to seek the advice of those made wise by long experience. None were ever more fitted to advise than Aoidan Mac Ian and we now seek his never-failing guidance."

He placed his hand reverently on the old man’s shoulder taking a pace back as he did so. The old man looked around and spoke in the attitude of a father speaking to his children.

"I can say little as yet. My advice is as heretofore; avoid conflict where possible. Nothing as yet can be done but watch. Watch by day, watch by night, watch even when you sleep. No harm can befall the constant watcher. Choose he who can watch behind him even when he looks in front like the Red Fose (Face) of Ben Glass."

He raised his hand to his head with a tired expression, but a few seconds later raised his eyes to mighty Cruachan gazing intently at the distant snow-covered peaks lost in thought. He remained this way for some time and no one in the gathered throng attempted to disturb his reverie. Still with eyes on the snow-covered ben his demeanour seemed to change. He appeared as if trying to straighten out his twisted body raising his stick he pointed to the distant hills, and as if gasping for breath shouted,

"All is clear. I have seen on the distant corries a vision of he who shall guard our homes. He comes pursued by wolves, but none dare draw near because he watches their coming pursuit while he unerringly treads the rough mountain paths. I see the Sionnag Ruadh, the red fose of Glenoe; he is your ‘Watcher.’ He has already seen the strangers and will watch for their coming. I call on Alister Mac Dhol, already known as the Watcher, to guard us."

There was a stir in the gathering after this long speech and a lot of shouting of approval as a man, whom we could easily recognise as the one whom we had previously heard about when searching the seashore, moved forward. He climbed to where the chief stood, drew his sword, kissed it, and spoke as follows,

"My Chief and my clansmen. The onerous duties you have given me I will do my best to fulfil. I shall watch while watching can be done, but this I ask (crave) of you, that my friend and companion, Mac Aonas and his faithful Dealas, may also watch with me. They have seen and they know just as I have."

"It shall be." they unanimously shouted and, everything being apparently settled to their satisfaction, started to wend their way back to their daily tasks, while Amadan M’Aonas with his huge deerhound moved with the Watcher slowly towards the forest.

Chapter 3
Preparation

The night cry of the MacIntyres from very ancient times was the screech of the female owl and it was part of every boys training to be able to imitate the cry of the bird faithfully, and to such an exactitude were they able to reproduce this call, only those who knew the peculiar note could distinguish the imitator from the real. The habit of the bird was carefully studied. They noted the peculiar resting cry, also the long drawn out cry of alarm and used these cries to their own use. The danger call at night could be used to guide parties through the forest and bog. If danger was imminent, the call was repeated often so that the clan could judge when haste was necessary. The call was often timed by counting the beat of the heart: twenty beats between each call. This method of night calls was adopted by many other Highland clans, though each kept its own peculiar code a secret and as it was seldom necessary to use this signalling system except in cases of peril, the night cry of an owl was always looked on as an ill omen. In later days, this was used by the Christian missionaries to further their teaching. They said that when the owls screech it was the friendly St. Peter giving a warning of approaching death. By this, St. Peter had become a real live patron to the Highlanders.

In times of danger the news was sent from clachan to clachan, which left each little settlement responsible for its own safety. Vantage points were manned by day and night and at night the chief could tell whether his watchers were alert by using the high pitched breeding call of the owl, which demanded a response from each sentry. When all had replied, the Chief could rally his whole clan in a very short time by repeating the call twice over to the beat of twenty. The huge oak in the centre of Invernodha was the clan's gathering point and very often when calling the clan by day, a fire letting out a huge volume of smoke was used. On the sea shore the main feature was the tall fir tree, which I have already mentioned. On the topmost branches of this tree there had been built a platform with a small hut on it. It was screened by the thick branches; so that it was invisible from below but had a full view of the seashore for several miles. This was one of the clan's most important vantage points as it guarded the easiest road from Lochaber to Lorne along the coast. It was from this direction that the MacIntyres always expected danger to come. The platform was known as Ligh-cure or the watch house and the tree as Croabh an Ligh aire. It was to this tree that the Watcher made his way accompanied by his friends. Silently they moved along apparently thinking of the arduous and responsible duties they had before them. They had only gone a short distance when they were met by the Chief, who had hurried after them. He was rather out of breath when he joined them and asked them to sit down on a nearby heap of stones while he spoke to them.

"Never," he said, "in the history of my people has greater trust and responsibility been placed on two men, than is now placed on you both. I have sent word through the glen that all watch mounds are to be manned. I have sent word to the M’Ians and the Appin Stewarts so they will watch and guard their own. I trust you both as I would trust my own son had the fate granted me one."

"We know our work. The watch will be well kept, but tell us Chief, who shall be the oak tree watcher? Will the Chief himself watch out homes in Invernoe?"

"That, my men," replied the Chief, "is why I have hurried after you, because Shuna (Sheena), my daughter, knowing how I miss a son’s help wishes to be daughter and son to me and has taken a vow that no one but she will watch by the oak tree. She is a true daughter of the clan and I have no doubt that she will do a man’s work well, but the weather is wild and the heavy winter snows are coming and the task is too great even for a brave woman. I ask you to watch by the oak tree and leave ‘Ligh-aire’ to some other clansman."

"I mark your words, Chief," said the Watcher, "I would obey you were times more peaceful. You are filled with anxiety because of your daughter's vow but if it is the will of Shuna to watch, Clan an Saoir can rest in peace; she will not tire or feel the cold blast of winter storms. Her true heart will bear her up through all storm and stress."

The Chief looked up at The Watcher and seemed about to speak when Amadan, who up till now had not joined in the conversation, suddenly exclaimed,

"Chief, our Shuna need not be alone. My Dealas will guard her. He follows no one except Shuna and me. He will be her constant companion should I tell him."

"Thank you, my boy," said the chief, "I am content. I leave all in your hands."

He arose and moved away. When he had gone some distance towards the clachan he was joined by a tall slim young girl who seeing The Watcher and Amadan still sitting on the cairn, waved her hand to them with a free and easy grace. She took the chief’s arm and escorted him toward the largest house in the village. The Watcher returned her wave and remained gazing at her until she had disappeared. Then turning to Amadan he said, "There she goes, the finest maiden in Glenoe. I would that she might look kindly on me."

"Never fear," said Amadan. "Never fear, my friend. Little you know how kindly she thinks of you because there’s not another man in the clan like you."

"Aye Aye", said the Watcher, "that may be. We’ll see, we’ll see, but its time we got to work. You had better go to the chief and see about food and coverings for Ligh-aire. Tell him we’ll report each day and that we just want enough food for one day. I’ll off to the shore and will see you there when you have everything ready."

Chapter 4
Introduces the ladies

In a central position of the village of Invernodha, stood the Chief’s house, easily distinguished from the others by its size and by the fact that it was the only house surrounded by a dry, stone wall. All the other houses, of which there were about forty, looked alike, built of dry stone with turfs of earth used as mortar and thatched with rushes. One thing was noticeable, that the doors of all the houses looked towards the centre of the village and rough stone walls connected the outer ones this providing a second line of defence should the defenders be unable to hold the outside palisades. Rough pathways of flat stones were laid between the houses, which gave the place an appearance of cleanliness. Yet a third line of defence consisted of a number of rough stone pens, which occupied the centre of the clachan. These were used to pen up the cattle during winter or when danger threatened. Since their arrival in Glennodha, the MacIntyres had become famous for their splendid herd of white cattle, descendants from the animal, which had led them to this glen. They had therefore devised this very secure system of protecting their herd. Wild winter weather had flooded most of the lower part of the glen and a number of cattle strayed amongst the houses unwilling to go further a field in search of fodder.

Amadan left his friend and made straight for the Chief’s house where he was always a welcome visitor and without ceremony pushed aside a rough curtain which gave entrance to the main room where he found the chief warming his hands in front of the central fire.

"Come away in, my boy," he said, "it’s you should be a proud lad today, to have been chosen by The Watcher."

"I am," was the boy’s reply. "I’ll learn many a thing and hear many a story while I’m out with him."

"Aye, that your will," said the Chief, "and take heed because The Watcher knows his task. But what might you be seeking?"

"I seek a word with Shuna," answered Amadan. "Where might she be?"

There came an immediate reply from a corner of the room, which was in some darkness,

"And what might you be seeking from me; surely you and your great Watcher do not need my help."

Pulling her plaid over her shoulder, Shuna joined them round the fire and gave Amadan a friendly pat on the shoulders. In the semi-darkness of the room one was immediately struck by her handsome appearance. She had a magnificent head of golden hair, which looked like gold as the light of the burning log fire glinted on it. It fell in a luxuriant mass over her shapely shoulders reaching far below her waist. Her skin was fair and her eyes blue and she had an easy engaging manner. At the time of my story, she was just seventeen years old and was considered the belle of the clachan and was known to all as the Golden Sunbeam. Amadan, who worshiped her, called her Greine. The Watcher and she were never separated in their younger days, although he was about ten years her senior. She had looked on him as her big brother and protector, but as she grew up into womanhood, the Watcher’s affection had gradually grown into a stronger passion. He never allowed this to be known by word or look, though to Amadan, the fact was well known. He who knew no fear in the face of his foes was a coward in this direction. He would have given his all to know if his love was even in the smallest degree returned. He who was considered the sharpest-witted warrior in the village; he who knew the hidden tracks through the hills and could track the bear and the wolf to their secret lairs, but he could not mashie up enough courage in love. His great fear was that by word or action he might destroy the life-long companionship, which had existed between Shuna and himself. As time went by and he was no nearer the solution of his dilemma, he began more and more to confide in Amadan. He began to withdraw from her company depending on his friend for all news of her doings.1 N.B.

1. N.B. Unfortunately, this is the end of the manuscript that is in my possession. I can’t tell if this is all there is, just all that was in my father’s possession, or it was as far as Aleck had progressed when he sent it to my father. It was written in long hand and was at the end of the materials which constituted Aleck’s history of Clan MacIntyre. I will try to locate the rest because I want to know what happened. Even for those of us who have been to Glenoe, this story brings Glen Noe to life in a way that seeing it or simple history cannot). MLM

The Two Sons of Chief Duncan
In the 1400s or earlier, Duncan, Chief of the MacIntyres at Glen Noe, had two sons who were in some way implicated in the death of a Campbell in Glenorchy. The two sons were Duncan Og (heir apparent) and Donald Fiach (next in line). Much to the Chief’s sorrow, their punishment was exiled with their families to Glenorchy, on the other side of Ben Cruachan. The Chief was permitted to visit his sons and grandchildren but they could not visit him at Glenoe. Upon the death of Old Duncan, his eldest son, Duncan Og, was allowed to return to Glenoe claim his place as Chief. Much to his dismay, his wife, and five children had to remain behind in Glenorchy as hostages against his good behavior. This so angered Duncan Og that he devised a scheme to return his wife and children to Glen Noe where they belonged. The plan required the complete confidence of his wife, his brother, his brother’s wife, and every MacIntyre clansmen in Glen Noe and Glenorchy. Over the years, they conspired to fake the death of each of their five children, by substituting a child who had recently died in Glen Noe. It was an unhappy, but normal, circumstance in those days, when children of all ages could die suddenly after a brief illness. The death of a MacIntyre child in Glen Noe would be unknown to Campbells living in Glenorchy on the other side of Cruachan because there were no Campbells living in Glenoe. Prior to each faked death, late in the evening, Duncan Og would cross over the pass at Lairg Noe, near the top of Ben Cruachan for his usual visit his family in Glenorchy. Under his plaid was concealed the corpse of a child! The next day was the funeral and that night, in the darkness, Duncan Og returned to Glen Noe with the child, who the Campbells thought he had buried that morning! Five times Donald Og’s wife reacted with great sorrow, as any mother would, at the new grave of one of her children, and five times Donald Og carried his human cargo both ways over the pass. When the last child died, Lord Glenorchy felt pity for Donald Og’s wife and allowed her to return to Glen Noe to console her husband, who had no heir and was unable to father another. Little did Glenorchy know that their five children were alive and well, being fostered by families in Glen Noe where the secret was well kept.

It came to pass that Duncan Og died, without issue, or so it seemed. To maintain the deceit, his brother, Donald Fiach, took over the chiefship. Donald Fiach was now allowed to return to Glen Noe but, as happened to Duncan Og before him, his wife and family had to remain in Glenorchy as hostages.

The secret was safe until the death of Donald Fiach. Remember, he had become chief only because his brother, Duncan Og, apparently had no living heirs. Thus, the heir to the chiefship was the eldest son of Donald Fiach, who by now, was an adult. But Duncan Og’s widow had kept alive the hope that by the time Donald Fiach died, there would be a new Lord Glenorchy who would have forgotten or forgiven the past indiscretions and would permit her first born son to inherit his rightful place as "Glenoe." However, the widow of Donald Fiach, having spent years of exile in Glenorchy without her husband and keeping her brother-in-law’s secret, was not about to have her son give up the chiefship. Duncan Og’s widow was just as adamant.

It is not known if anyone told Lord Glenorchy or if they merely threatened to tell, but what is known is that soon after the death of Donald Fiach, many MacIntyre families left Glen Noe and resettled in Badenoch, or perhaps Lochaber. It has been said that the old name for Tyndrum was "place of sorrow" for it was there that the MacIntyres lost all hope of becoming a major clan.

The Snowball and the Fatted Calf
Before recorded history, there was a time when the MacIntyre Chiefs were required to give a payment to the Campbells of Glenorchy, in return for being left alone at Glenoe. The payment was given at a ceremony each Midsummer’s Day, which is June 24th, close to the summer solstice, which is June 21st, or 22nd. Midsummer’s Day was one of the days when people traditionally would pay their rent or other obligations. The payment was a snowball and a fatted white calf. There is a possibility that this was actually a death duty since a calf is the normal payment for a serious offense. Perhaps it was related to the incident at Tyndrum mentioned earlier in the story of about Chief Duncan and his two sons.

The snowball was obtained from the corries1 on the side of Ben Cruachan that never saw the sun and where even in late June, snow can still be found. The white fatted calf came from the MacIntyres prized herd. These tokens were delivered to the Campbells at a stone, just below the majestic peaks of Ben Cruachan at the top of the pass leading from Glenoe to Glenorchy. To this day, this stone is called Clach-an-Loaigh Bhiata, the Stone of the Fatted Calf. The stone is quite remarkable. Not only is it large, but it also appears to have been brought there by men and then carved into its present shape. It has broken into three parts, which, it put back together would form a rectangular box shape. It may have been one large stone but just as likely it was three large stones placed together as one large object. Two parts are at a lower level and tilted after what appears to have been erosion or sinking of the ground beneath them. The largest section appears to be in two parts, both perfectly flat, one on top of the other. It is possible that this was an altar, erected by Stone Age people in the far distant past. It could have even been used for sacrificial offerings to the gods, who they probably felt resided in Ben Cruachan. It is hard to imagine how so large a stone or stones, arrived at the very top of the pass and the effort involved in carving them with other stones. It has been said that the MacIntyres continued to bring the calf and snowball to this place every year until 1737 or was it 1656? Well that story will have to wait its turn.

The Piper’s Warning
James Graham, fifth Earl and first Marquis of Montrose, was a brilliant military tactician who in 1644 defeated Campbell of Argyll and his Covenanting Army at Inverlochay after ravaging his territory. When Glen Noe was spared because of the relationship between the MacIntyres and the MacDonalds, the MacIntyre Chief's favorite piper was permitted to go with Montrose' celebrated commander, Alexander MacDonald, better known as Coll Ciotach or Coll Kitto. He was known by the nickname Col Kitto, which means left-handed, even though he wasn’t left-handed. It was his father's nickname and he was called that in honor of his father.

In 1645, The Earl of Argyll commissioned Campbell of Calder to expel the MacDonalds from Islay, where Colkitto had retreated with his depleted army. Calder levied troops from all of the branches of Clan Campbell and assisted by the MacDougalls of Lorn expelled Coll's smaller forces from the Castle of Dunadd, which was then razed to the ground. Coll Kitto retreated again to the Castle of Dunyveg, where he was again attacked.

Under the cover of night, Coll escaped by boat to seek assistance in Kintyre and Ireland, leaving Dunyveg in charge of his mother. Discovering this, Calder likewise left for reinforcements. There is a tradition that a woman commander should be opposed by another woman, so Calder left his troops under the command of the Lady of Dunstaffnage. While both male commanders were away, the Lady of Dunstaffnage discovered that a wooden pipe that supplied the Castle with water and forced a surrender by cutting off the supply of water. With no outward sign of the change in command, a perfect trap was laid for Coll's return.

In those days, piping was a greatly respected profession and so, while others were kept as prisoners below in the Castle of Dunyveg, the MacIntyre piper was granted freedom within the castle. Recognizing a galley in the distance as belonging to his master Coll, he asked permission to play a piece of music, which he had composed on the misfortune of his party. The request being granted, he stood on the battlements of the castle and played a Piobaireachd just as Coll was entering the bay. Coll, hearing the tune and recognizing what had happened, at once put about and escaped. This tune, now high, now low, and full of menace, is known as Piobaireachd dhun Naomhaig or `The Piper's Warning to his Master'. MacIntyre was a master piper and his deliberate mutilation of a known tune was sufficient warning to Coll Kitto MacDonald that something was wrong -- in fact that Dunyveg Castle had been captured.

1. Deep clefts in the mountain side.

It did not take the lady commander long to discover what had happened and that with Coll's escape the trap had failed. On the following day she made the MacIntyre piper play tunes of the merriest kind as he walked before her on the top of a nearby hill, and then she ordered his fingers to be cut off so that never again might he give a similar warning. It is said that this hill, which is the highest in Islay, has from that day been known as `The Hill of the Bloody Hand'.

A similar story has been told about the capture of the Castle of Dunaverty by General Leslie of the Covenanting Army at about this period with the consequent massacre of all of those taken prisoner.

Coll Kitto’s father, the elder Coll Kitto was captured at Dunyveg and in 1647 was hanged at Dunstaffnage from the mast of his own galley, Montrose's initial successes had not won permanent victory, and by 1647 the superior forces of the Campbells had gained the upper hand.

Hate and Love Between the MacIntyres and Campbells
The MacIntyres and the Campbells have a long history of mistrust and marriage. One might think these make strange bedfellows but in the Highlands, they were like two peas in a pod. If one clan mistrusted their neighboring clan, there were three choices – constant fighting or keeping hostages. The latter was in the form of fostering each other’s children, and intermarriage. The Campbells also used marriage as a way of inheriting land. Of the next four stories told by Alexander James MacIntyre of Inveraray , three are about mistrust and one about marriage.

Never Again. Chief Donald Fiach of Glenoe, from a previous story had the onerous duty of personally delivering to the Campbells, the tribute of a snowball and calf. On one such occasion, ". . . when driving the calf to the appointed place, it got very badly stuck in the peat bog. In rescuing it (temporarily1), Donald himself, got as badly covered with peat as the calf. When they arrived at Clach an Larigh Bhiata they were in such a mess that the Campbells who were waiting to receive the tribute, laughingly said that they had come to receive a white calf from a MacIntyre, not a black one from a son of the Devil. Donald looked at the Campbells with a scowl on his face, tore open his tunic, shouting as he exposed his chest, "Black MacIntyre is as white beneath as snow covered Cruachan is black beneath. Turning on his heels he never again delivered the tribute to the Campbells."

A Party with a Purpose. Although the MacIntyres had free access to Glenorchy, they didn’t give the same access to Glenoe to the Campbells of Glenorchy. So the Campbells, probably with good reason, assumed that the MacIntyres might be hiding something from them ,and they also seemed to cozy up to the Stewarts of Appin, a Campbell enemy, who lived across Loch Etive. For this reason, Lord Glenorchy was accustomed at times to sending a spy on some pretense or other into Glenoe, a fact that was well known to the MacIntyres. Once he chosen spy was a Campbell, who was smitten with a Glenoe lassie. In order to ingratiate himself with his sweetheart, the young man told Glenoe the real reason for his visit. Of course, Glenoe already knew this and Glenorchy’s fear that the MacIntyres were too chummy with the Stewarts. To use this situation to his advantage, he invited as many Stewarts as he could to Glenoe for a ceilidh2 that night. He took the opportunity to lavish praise on Glenorchy. Of course, the Stewarts had been well appraised beforehand that the MacIntyre chief would do this. The spy dutifully went back to Glenorchy and honestly gave a glowing report that temporarily set his fears at rest.

Music as Insult. The Campbells were naturally suspicious of any visits between groups of MacIntyres. As told by Alexander James MacIntyre, "On a certain evening, several of the Glenorchy MacIntyres made up their minds to visit their friends in Cladich. They had not long started when Glenorchy (Campbell) was informed that several members of Clan MacIntyre were on the move. He sent several of his men to stop them, with the result that a free fight ensued, but the MacIntyres kept to the highway and had a jolly evening with their clansmen in Cladich. On their way home, they were headed by a piper who hurled defiance at the Campbells by playing Gabhaidh Sinn an Rathad Mor (MacIntyre March)."

1. The rescue was temporary because the butchered the calf on the Stone and had a barbecue.
2. A Scottish party with song, dance and storytelling
.

Marriage Keeps the Boar at Bay.1 Despite these stories of mistrust and dislike, the facts show that, at times the relationship between MacIntyres and Campbells was based on marriage. The MacIntyres of Glenoe and the Campbells of Barcaldine both attended church at Ardchattan Priory. One might assume that before, after, and perhaps even during church services, their children played hide and seek in the beautiful gardens and, heaven forbid, in the grave yard of their ancestors. In this way, the children would naturally become friends, perhaps later on lovers, and, if the circumstances were right, they might be suitable marriage partners. The last did occur on more than one occasion, specifically, the marriage of Duncan (I) of Glenoe to Mary Campbell, younger daughter of the 1st Lord Barcaldine and two generations later, the marriage of married James (III) of Glenoe to Ann Campbell, the daughter of a younger son of the 4th Lord Barcaldine. Both of these marriages can be considered as partially due to a desire to maintain peaceful relations between Clan MacIntyre and a branch of Clan Campbell. James III was also connected to the Campbells of Glenorchy by the Earl of Breadalbane sponsorship of his education. This may have played a part in his not fighting for Price Charles against the Campbells and King George. Finally, James (V) of Glenoe married Ann Campbell, a relative of the Barcaldine Campbells although it was not done to cement clan relations.

Clach Nodha and the Glen Coe Massacre
The story of the massacre of Glencoe has been told and retold but it deserves telling again because of the aftermath connection with the MacIntyres, which involves the Clach Nodha, the magical stone given to a MacIntyre by a grateful Viking prisoner.

In August of the year 1691, when Duncan I was the MacIntyre Chief, a Campbell Chief, the Earl of Breadalbane was given the task of bribing the important Highland chiefs with English gold so they would recognize King William as ruler of Scotland, instead of James II, the Stuart King. James II had fled the country to take refuge at the court of Louis XIV of France. All the chiefs had until January first to make their submission of loyalty to the crown. Apparently, Glenoe made his submission on time. However, Alexander MacIan, the Chief of the MacDonalds of Glencoe, had territory which bordered with the Campbells and there was naturally was a long-standing feud between them and perhaps some cattle rustling. The old MacDonald Chief was determined to wait until the last minute before making a submission.

The weather was unusually severe and it took him some time before he got to Ft. William. However, the official there said that he had no power to receive his submission because Glencoe was not in his jurisdiction. So the Chief, called MacIan, had to go back through the snow in the dead of winter to try to reach Inveraray, the county seat of Argyllshire, before the deadline.

On his return he was delayed again at Barcaldine Castle, a Campbell stronghold and he didn't even stop at his home in Glencoe, where the MacIan MacDonald’s numbered 200, at the most. Glencoe is formed by the River Coe, which falls into Loch Leven. Starting at the top of the same mountain but going in the southerly direction is Glen Etive down which flows the River Etive that empties at the head of Loch Etive.

The first of January had already passed by the time McIan reached Inveraray but the Sheriff there, seeing that he was trying to comply with the spirit of the statute, accepted his oath of submission and asked the military parties not to annoy him. So, MacIan returned home confident that the government to which he had sworn allegiance would now protect him. He even called the Clan together and told them they should not give cause for offense. This was quite important because it was his next-door neighbor, the Earl of Breadalbane, who bore him ill will, because of MacIan’s cattle raids.

1. The Campbells crest is a boar’s head. Almost everything the Campbell had was inherited from another Clan and their crest is no exception. They came to Argyll by marrying an heiress of the O’Duines or O’Duibhne, Lords of Loch Awe. They took her name and called themselves, Clan O’Duine but changed it to Clan Diarmid, after Diarmid O’Duibhne, the most handsome of all the warriors of ancient Alba. The myth itself mirrors the Campbells modus operandi. Diarmid spirited away Grainne, the beautiful wife of Fionn and took her to his love in Glen Lonan, near Loch Etive. In a feat of strength and courage, Diarmid killed a giant boar with poisonous bristles. In turn, the vengeful Fionn used the bristles to kill Diarmid.

What the old Chief did not know was the extent of the Earl's vindictiveness. In the preceding fall, Breadalbane hoped that by holding out, MacDonald of Glencoe would give a legal excuse for the Campbells to ravage his land. Breadalbane, was particularly incensed because he suspected that the McIan and the other Highland chiefs, had accepted King Williams's gold but still owed allegiance in their hearts to James II, and he was probably right. So he was looking for an example that would be so severe as to terrify the others, and the little band of MacDonalds of Glen Coe seems to be the best choice.

The Secretary of State of Scotland, the Master of Stair, Sir John Dalrymple, sharing the feelings of the Earl of Breadalbane, deleted from the records the oath that MacIan had taken and put in the record these words: "As for MacIan of Glencoe, and that tribe, if they can be well-distinguished from the rest of the Highlanders, it will be proper, for the vindication of public justice, to extirpate that set of thieves". Later the Secretary of State, in letters to military officers, took such a personal interest in the execution plans that he indicated that the winter was the proper time to maul them ‘in the long dark nights’ which was the only season when the Highlanders could not carry off their wives, children and cattle to the mountains, and no constitution could stand the freezing weather. His instructions continued, "to plunder their lands, or drive off their cattle, would be only to render them desperate; they must be all slaughtered and the manner of execution must be sure, secret, and effectual".

So, before the end of January 1692 a party of the Earl of Argyll's regiment, commanded by Captain Campbell of Glenlyon, came to take up quarters in Glencoe under the pretext of relieving the garrison at Ft. William where the quarters were overcrowded. They were received with hospitality as of friendly disposition, since Alister MacDonald, one of the sons of the Chief of MacDonalds of Glencoe was married to a niece of Glenlyon, who was in command of the party of soldiers. The Clan members were defenseless, having assumed that the soldiers might have a commission to disarm them, they hid their weapons out at a distance.

After enjoying the hospitality of the Clan for some 14 or 15 days, Glenlyon received his instructions, which were to put to the sword all persons under 70 and not to be troubled with prisoners. Major Robert Duncanson asked that they fall upon the rebels (men of Glencoe) at 4 o'clock in the morning of February 13, at which time he would be at the eastern passes out of Glencoe with 400 men prepared to intercept any who had escaped the fire and the sword, the gun and the dirk.

The murders were carried out on schedule. The aged Chief was killed in his bed and others, fleeing their burning huts, half-naked in the winter morning of darkness, in a storm, the worst the Highlands had known in many years, had to make their way through mountain passes for 12 miles before they could reach any kind of help and protection. Fortunately, the heavy snowfall delayed Major Duncanson and he did not arrive with his 400 men at the eastern passes of Glencoe until 11 o'clock, when the major portion of the people had already escaped. The men found only one MacDonald left in Glencoe - an old man of 80 - whom they killed.

Even after the passage of almost 300 years this foul deed is still execrated as murder under trust by government order. The penalty under Scot's Law for murder under trust carried the cumulative penalties of hanging, beheading, disemboweling, and quartering. But after a three-year inquiry, none was brought to justice. The Wax Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland, has a tableau of MacIan of Glencoe shot as he arose from bed.

From the Unpublished Manuscript of Alexander James MacIntyre1 we hear that the refugees from the massacre were trying to escape through the worst blizzard in many years. The MacIntyres of Appin and Loch Etive opened their doors and gave hospitality and shelter to those who had escaped. They sheltered all the stronger men in a cave near Dalness and shared their homes, as small as they were, with the women, children, and older folks. Lady Glencoe, as the wife of the Chief was known, had been brutally mistreated by a Campbell soldier who tore her rings from her fingers with his teeth. Although not strong, she escaped across the hill passes, through snow-wreaths and swirling drift eventually arriving in Dalness, at the head of Loch Etive.

A rescue party made up of about 20 MacIntyres, Stewarts and MacDonalds was sent out to the head of Glen leac nan bhuidhe and were able to help about 30 to safety including Lady Glencoe and an infant who was found on a big stone near the burnside on the only part free from snow.

1. Bibliography 8

The Clach Nodha was used successfully to heal Lady Glencoe's septic fingers. The baby boy found on the stone was adopted by Lady Glencoe and was called Donald MacIntyre MacDonald. One in the rescue party was captured in the glen where they were on watch and he was taken to Inveraray, where everything was done to him to make him divulge the aid the people of Appin had given the MacDonalds of Glencoe. He refused. It is said that he was hung, on what charges nobody knows.

The Fairy Dart of Glen Noe1
There may be something to the mystical nature of Glen Noe, Ben Cruachan, and Loch Etive. After all, wasn’t this where Deirdre of the Sorrows and the three sons of Uisnech lived happily until, by a tragic ruse, they were lured back to their death in their native Scotia? Wasn’t this where the "Stone of Destiny", the Lia Fail, was first brought to Scotland? Wasn’t this were the spirit first kept the MacIntyres from entering Glen Noe and then led the white cow to where she should lie down? And then there was the Clach Nodha. But there was yet another magical stone to grace Glen Noe.

A man by the name of Dr. Stewart was directed to find an unnamed gentleman in Oban who possessed a relic with an interesting story attached to it. When Dr. Stewart saw it, the relic was in a small iron casket the size of a snuffbox with a carved lid. The box was opened by pressing a spring. Inside was a flint arrow lying on a bed of frayed and faded brown silk. It was creamy grey in color like Ballachulish stone but of the tangless variety with a nosserated head. He carefully took it out. The base of the dart had a hole in it with a small silver ring attached. Through the ring was a faded dirty orange ribbon that must have been bright scarlet when it was new. The relic was carefully replace, the lid closed, and the owner commenced to tell this story.

About the year 1700, in the time of Ian Splagach (splay-footed John) second Earl of Breadalbane, there lived at the head of Glenoe a Patrick MacIntyre who was one of the Earl’s foresters. One fine summer’s day, Patrick’s wife, who was a MacGregor, was in a lonely corrie on the back of Ben Cruachan milking her goats. Because her pails were full and the heat was oppressive, she sat down to rest and fell asleep. After a considerable time, she was awakened by something cold on her bosom. She was afraid that it might be a poisonous serpent or dease (newt or elf) and started to pluck it away when lo! it proved to be no living creature but a very splendid "saighead or sìthiche" or Fairy Dart, the same one you have just examined.

They were all superstitions then and many still are, although they would not admit it. She had no doubt that the Fairy Dart was a gift to her from a benevolent fairy and she was so convinced that she completely recovered from an ailment that had troubled her for years. I should tell you that soon after the Dart came into her possession she had sewn it up in a square red cloth and suspended from a ribbon or string worn constantly around her neck. It was covered by her neckerchief or dress so that only members of her family and a few intimate friends knew of it. It was however under the following circumstances that the already widely known, "Dart of Glenoe" reached its pinnacle of fame.

One day while hunting in the forest, Lord Breadalbane took occasion to tell MacIntyre that he was in a state of great anxiety about Lady Breadalbane’s health. She had for some time been out of sorts suffering from an insidious disease which the doctors did not seem to understand. MacIntyre was of course very sorry to hear of her ladyship’s illness (she was the Earl’s second wife) and took leave to suggest that perhaps his very own wife might be of some use because many years before she had suffered an illness with similar symptoms. His lordship very readily arranged for an immediate visit of the forester’s wife to the ailing Countess at the Castle of Bealach (Taymouth). What else she did, the tradition sayeth not, but it is certain that she got the Countess to wear the Fairy Dart around her neck. In a few weeks the Countess was fully recovered and much of the credit for her cure, if not all, was attributed to the mysterious virtue of the Fairy Dart talisman of Glenoe.

1. Bibliography 8

Soon after this, the Countess left for London still wearing the Dart, the virtue of which she fully believed. While in the south she took it to a jeweller and had the silver ring attached to it with the scarlet ribbon. She also had the casket specially made to keep it safe. In due time the Countess sent the talisman back to its proper home in Glenoe with an accompanying present to the forester’s wife of a white faced dun cow of superior size and excellence as a milker. As nearly as I can make out this was about 1710 and well down into the present century the white faced dun cows "Strainal a mhairt on hair Phlar" were in high repute and brought the highest prices whether for grazing or dairying purposes. The repute of the Fairy Dart spread all over Breadalbane and was in constant demand. On such occasions as it was used, it was always returned with some accompanying gift and it became a very valuable possession to its owner. It was a granddaughter to the wife of Glenoe, an aged and childless widow, who on her deathbed bequeathed the talisman and casket to my mother, who always looked on it with respect and preserved it with care although the popular faith in its efficacy had long been on the wane. Only twice, I think, was it called into use whilst in my mother’s possession and never since it came into mine. We don’t know the present whereabouts of the fairy dart. Perhaps it has been returned to the fairies.

The ‘Loss’ of Glenoe
It has been said that at one time the MacIntyre Chief’s owned Glenoe but lost it by being tricked or simply by being foolish. The truth of this story will be thoroughly discussed under the Section on the Tenure of Glenoe. Regardless, this story has a life of its own and has been a central part of the latter day Clan mythology. This story impressed and angered me so much as a little boy that I insisted on my father telling it over and over. It wasn’t right; it wasn’t fair; and we were tricked. I don’t know what I thought I would do to make it right, but I didn’t want to forget the wrong that was done. My father felt the story was based in fact, but I now have my doubts so will tell it only as the story I was told so often, and still motivates me to find the truth.

The MacIntyre chiefs kept Glenoe by paying to the Campbells at Midsummer’s Day, a snowball and a fatted calf. The payment was delivered on the stone of the fatted calf at the top of the pass between Glenoe to Glenorchy, just below the twin peaks of Ben Cruachan. Sometime in the early 1700s, as Midsummer’s Day was approaching, the Earl of Breadalbane made a seemingly harmless and even helpful suggestion to the chief of the MacIntyres. "Wouldn’t it be better to replace the snowball and calf with a few hay pennies?" After all, this old fashion tradition was no longer necessary, and the Chief could lose Glenoe, if by chance, a snowball could not be produced on the appointed day.1 Foolishly, the Chief agreed, and year after year, the Earl increased the number of pennies (something he couldn't do with the snowball and calf). Eventually, there came a time when the Chief’s descendants could not pay the rent. They had to leave their beloved Glenoe and Scotland forever. They came to America.2

1 The Earl never saw the calf, because it was butchered on the Stone of the Fatted Calf and eaten by the emissaries of the Campbell and MacIntyre chiefs, perhaps as a belated celebration of an even longer tradition, the Summer Solstice.
2 Perhaps, this is why I have an aversion to the name, Campbell, even though it is prominent in the family of our Chiefs. Of course, this is how feuds are perpetuated from generation to generation, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Return of the MacIntyres: The Movie
In 1976, Glen Noe was part of the West Highland Estates of Lady Wyfold. So that the members of Clan MacIntyre the world over might feel they still have a bit of Glen Noe they could call home, an offer was made to purchase a plot three meters square for that symbolic use. There was no answer, but Lady Wyfold's brother, Lord Wyfold, stated to the press that it would be too difficult to sell a bit from a sheepfold.1

1. In 1965, Glenoe was purchased by Mr. Heriot-Maitland. 

On April 16, 1976, a family of MacIntyres from the United States1 and one MacIntyre from Great Britain raised a cairn in memory of past Chiefs on the shore of Loch Etive at Glen Noe. It is so distinctive that it now appears on the Year 2000 Ordnance Survey Map. For the last twenty-five years, the cairn has been increased in size by MacIntyres who visit Glen Noe, and it is always pointed out as a tourist attraction on the boat tour of Loch Etive. There are local people who still remember hearing about this adventure and seeing the boat as it went by the Taynuilt jetty towards Glen Noe. Rosemary and Martin MacIntyre described the trip in an article in the travel section of the Washington Post newspaper. This trip gave impetuous to L. D. MacIntyre to complete the first edition of this book, and the publication of the book gave rise to the renewal of the Clan MacIntyre Association.

(Article from the Washington Post)

A Very Special Delivery
When writing the first edition of this book, my father discovered that the magic stone was real and still existed. It was in the possession of Alexander Bell MacIntyre of Dunoon, son of Alexander James MacIntyre of Inveraray. L.D. wanted a photograph of the stone to put in the book, so he wrote to Alexander Bell and then forgot about it. As preparation of the book progressed, the place for the photo of the stone remained empty.

The day for the book to be complete was August 8th, 1977, my father’s eightieth birthday. The last day that photo could be place in the book was one week before, August the 1st. As the end of July approached and there was no photograph, wee finally had to call Scotland to see if it was going to arrive in time. Alexander told us that it had been sent many months ago!2 We thought he meant the photo. There wasn't much else to say or do. If it hadn’t arrived by now, it never would, and it was too late to mail another one.

On July 31st a package arrived with Alexander Bell’s return address in Dunoon, Scotland. We were overjoyed when we saw it, although it was battered and torn as if it had been through Hell. You couldn’t miss the message on the front in handwritten, big, bold letters, S A M P L E. It was then that we noticed that the first of a number of unexplained events; the stamps on the package weren’t from the United Kingdom, they were from the United States! We carefully opened the parcel hoping almost sure that the photo was inside and it needed to be, because this was the last day we could send it to the printer. We hadn’t even thought about was we would put in its place. Inside there was a lot of crumpled up paper but so far, no photo. We kept removing the paper and at the bottom was a MIRACLE. Alexander hadn’t sent a photo of the magic stone, he had sent The MAGIC STONE, as a sample and it arrived at the last possible moment.

We couldn’t believe it. We immediately rubbed it on everything we could, because it was known to have magical healing powers and who knew what else? In fact, we knew it had magical powers, because how else could that box have survived the journey of many months without the proper stamps, without being registered, and, instead of being insured for how many dollars or pounds as a priceless, irreplaceable relic, it was sent as a sample? Were the United States custom officials suspicious and opened it? Were they embarrassed or dumbfounded by what they found? If this were a sample, was the sender planning to send more stones to the United States? What possible commercial value could there be for a simple stone? Did the Customs officials have meetings about what to do with it? The could send it back, but what reason could they give - contraband, 

1. The family included L.D. and Alice MacIntyre of Bannockburn, Maryland; Martin, Rosemary, Laurie and Sarah MacIntyre of Inverness, Maryland and Ian Stuart MacIntyre, from England.
2. In 1977, making an international long distance call was not only expensive but was usually limited to life and death emergencies. You contacted a special operator who performed miracles, and finally, if you were lucky, a faint voice was heard on the other end of the world amidst the static.

an illegal weapon (like David might have used against Goliath)? What happened to the UK stamps? Perhaps Alex used some U.S. stamps and put them on the package and then put the package inside another package that he was sending to a customer in the U. S., with a request to forward it to us? Maybe it was that other package that was opened by Customs officers, and inside they found this package with U.S. stamps? Our minds were racing with questions and our hearts were delirious. Imagine, the real thing, at the last possible moment, a magic stone that came from Norway via Sleat on the Isle of Sky to Glenoe and now to the United States. We immediately took the picture that you can see on page ___ with the ancient mystical stone in L. D. MacIntyre’s hand. We sent it back first class, special delivery, and registered, because we didn’t have as much faith in its miraculous power as Alexander Bell MacIntyre. We never asked him how he sent it, and why it came with U.S. stamps and his return address. In hindsight, we should have saved the package. Anyway, it was too good a story to spoil with the truth, although maybe the truth is even more miraculous. When Alex reads this story he can decide whether to spoil the fun or top it with the magical truth.

Another MacIntyre Miracle --The "Wright" Man at the Right Time
In 1984, at the Stone Mountain Highland Games in Georgia, a young man appeared at the Clan MacIntyre tent out of nowhere. Politely, almost timidly, he asked if he could be our champion to compete for the Clan Trophy or what everyone called, the Battle of the Clans. At many Highland Games the clans compete in a tug o’ war, but at Stone Mountain, individual Clan champions are pitted against each other. The competition was only open to amateurs and was the last and most important prize to be awarded in the closing ceremony of the games.

This "boy" didn’t look particularly well suited for Highland sports but at least we would have someone representing the MacIntyres. But . . . wait a minute. He has to be a member of Clan MacIntyre and I think he said he had come a long way just to compete for Clan Gunn and they didn’t have a tent this year. To avoid an unwanted feud, we felt obliged to query him about his ancestry. Much to our relief, he was a Gunn on his father’s side but his mother was a Wright . . one of us!

The site of the contest was near to our tent and as we gathered to watch, it was clear that our champion wasn’t the tallest or the heaviest by far and he certainly looked inexperienced. In fact, while the others warmed up and practiced, our man ... boy, just watched . . . as if he were on the sidelines getting the gist of it before trying for the first time. And then the contest began.

In total disbelief, our boy won the hay toss. What he lacked in size he replaced with grace. The next contest was the weight throw. He hadn’t a chance

Wait . . . could it be? Was that OUR MAN who hurled the weight for a record distance? It couldn’t be!

IT IS ! ! ! ! ! !

What’s next? He’s won again!! He’s won everything so far. He seems to have grown in the process, much bigger and stronger than before. Why isn’t everyone here to see this?

Only the dreaded caber toss remained. Oh, it’s too heavy and too long. During the practice session, most of the champions had trouble even picking it up, let alone turning it over. Our champion hadn’t even practiced!

Each clan champion took his turn and each failed miserably. But then it was the turn of Montgomery’s champion. He was 6 feet tall but looked much shorter because he had short legs and he was four feet wide. This man looked like he was created for the caber toss. Now our champion looked small again. Three times Montgomery, in his purple kilt with black and red stripes, tried and three times, he failed. After the last attempt the disgusted Montgomery had turned away, the caber fell back, and it hit him in the head. He certainly had a hard head because it didn’t seem to faze him. However, to those of us watching it was a bad omen. If Montgomery couldn’t even turn it over, how could our boy have a chance? We hoped he hadn’t seen what happened.

Now it was our Champion’s turn. Without evidence of mental or physical preparation . . . without a shiver, shake or even a step . . . our champion picked up the caber and in one fluid motion tossed it like a toothpick, end over end, straight at 12 o’clock. The judge raised both hands high over his head . . . a perfect toss! Just to rub it in he did it again and again . . . three perfect tosses of the caber -- a m i r a c l e.

I swear it’s the truth. Ask Jerry, he was there. It was almost too much to take. I was screaming with joy . . . close to delirium, rolling in the grass, laughing and crying, like a little boy.

We held an ad hoc derhbfine (council meeting) and awarded this mighty Wright . . . this MacIntyre (I don’t think we ever got his proper name) an honorary membership and book, signed by the author. After huddling to agree on a dinner invitation, we turned around only to discover that our guest-of-honor had gone, as mysteriously as he had come.

At the closing ceremony, the massed bands came in, led by the Air Force pipe band dressed in handsome, hand-me-down Ancient MacIntyre hunting tartan kilts! With the clans assembled and the dignitaries from Scotland in their places on the podium, our very own L. D. MacIntyre, now over 80 years old, was asked to come forward and accept, on behalf of Clan MacIntyres and their champion, the final and most coveted prize of the games, the Clan Trophy. We had had the "Wright" man at the right time, truly another modern MacIntyre miracle.

Poetry

This is a collection of poetry by, or about, MacIntyres and their homeland. For so small a clan, with such a mysterious and elusive history, we can be justly proud of our wealth of poets and poetry.

VERSES ON ARMS1

By Duncan MacIntyre of Glenorchy, Gaelic Poet known as
`Fair Duncan of the Songs.'

(These verses were composed in commemoration of a visit to James MacIntyre of Glenoe, 3rd Chief of Clan MacIntyre, 1727-1799, and are a tribute to his Armorial Bearings)

I

I saw today the stone of might,
The jewel splendid,
Settings of gold around its light
In cirque defended;
The blazon strong upon the banner
Of my kindred,
Who firmly clung to their old manner,
As use inbred.

II

A device to traverse danger through
By host untiring
Men who never dread or panic knew
At sound of firing;
A clan who often moved amain
Where foes did yield,
And no return sought save with gain,
Or stricken field.

III

You were once serenely sailing
On salt billow,
From a stave there sprang a nail in
The boat's hollow,
With all haste he thrust his thumb
Down the cleft,
With a hammer struck it home,
Its end he left.

IV

What the Sleat wright won of meed,
With all prestige thence arising,
Has been still kept for his seed,
All foes' injustice despising;
The coat of arms correct and handsome
Which the King for his use settled,
Good as man has of that stout stem,
Coll, the Spaniard, hundred-battled.

V

A gentle hand, a hand on blade,
With cross of fire,
Eagles with swift wings displayed
For danger dire,
Ship on back of billows moving
With sails furled,
The arms of MacIntyre of Cruachan,
Summit of the Argyll world.

VI

Your men often are seafaring,
Captains brave that fear no harm, they
Have a graceful, handsome bearing,
Part of them in many an army;
Ah! they loved to tread hill country,
Early and late to hunt wilds swarming;
Numbers more of them are gentry,
Yeomen some of them at farming.

VII

A kingly story all yet heard
About thy party,
A numerous stay, those that are spared,
Did fortune thwart thee:
Every suchlike virtue claims
Abode within Glenoe, the famous;
Bagpipe, flag, and strength has James,
The chief who never will disclaim us.

1. Metrical translation by George Calder, pages 309-13, `Songs of Duncan MacIntyre', 1912. Other translations are those by Angus Macintyre found on pages 64-66 of `Cruachan' Vistas and by Angus MacLeod, pages 235-37 in `The Songs of Duncan Ban MacIntyre, 1952'.

A free metrical description of the Armorial Bearings in `Verses on Arms' by Rev. James M. Joass, L.L.D., Blarour in Lochaber from `The Celtic Monthly', 1905, page 168.

The Crest - a hand and dagger bright,
Borne in many a bloody fight
To fame and fortune pierced a way,
As motto saith `Per Ardua.'
Beneath the Crest, on ground of `or'
The Shield the brave devices bore,
Two eagles bold of plumage red,
With crests erect and wings outspread,
Above with fluttering pinions see,
A galley on a silver sea;
Below, behold on field of same
A gentle hand with cross of flame
Summoned the clan from cot and hall
To stand by their chief Troimh chruadal.
Such are the Motto, the Crest, and the Shield
Which oft fought and won by flood and field,
Have handed down from sire to son,
'Mong the MacIntyres of Cruachan Ben,
And still reflect the untarnished glow
The fame of thine ancient house Glenoe.

CRUACHAN BEANN1
(Cruachan Ben)

Gaelic words by Patrick MacIntyre (1782-1855)
Translation by Malcolm MacFarlane

1. Noblest hill e'er I saw!
It is grander a handle
Than ought Europe can show,
When it wears its snowy mantle.

CHORUS
Cruachan ben,
Cruachan ben,
King o' mountains,
To the lift towers its head,
Down its shoulders pour the fountains.

2.Macintyres were the clan
That its precincts frequentit;
Now there's nane o' them there,
And fu' sair I lament it.

3.'Twas in days o'langsyne
Bonnie Cruachan they claimit,
And as lang as water flows,
Still on it they'll be namit.

4.I was reared at Letter-ben,
Far the grandest of onie;
Deers and roes bounded free
Owre its knowes green and bonnie.

5......

6.I nae mair shall behold
Spot on earth half sae takin';
But they've put it under deer,
And my heart's nigh a-breakin!

7......

8.Fare thee well, Cruachan ben!
Every scaur, glen and fountain!
Lang may Macintyres be found
Round their ain glorious mountain.

1. Bibliography 17, pages 124, 125

Nostalgia By Angus Macintyre of TayNiult

The honey-scented, dew-wet flowers,
That made the air so sweet;
The stillness of the gloaming hours
And the burnie at my feet,
The corncrake’s rasp in the meadow grass
And the witching Highland moon;
Why did such joy so swiftly pass,
Oh why did it go so soon?

The peat-flame flickers and fades and dies,
Grotesque on the bothy wall;
The dusk is filled with seabirds’ cries
And the curlew’s fluted call;
But I heed them not, for my memory strays
Far back to the time lang syne;
To the golden, fleeting summer days,
When the world was fair and fine,
And the simple joys were all our need,
In the happy, Highland glen,
When friends, long-made, were friends indeed,
Steadfast as Cruachan Ben.
This way my land, my bonny land,
Beloved, dear to me;
Each rocky shore, each silver strand,
Laved by the sunlit sea.
Each corry on the snowy Ben,
The Gorse in yellow blaze,
The Burnie chuckling in the glen,
Enchanted boyhood days.
I cannot see, my eyes are old,
The brae is steep and sore,
But richer far than miser’s gold,
The memories that I store.
Within my heart I hold an keep,
For now and evermore,
Sweet mem’ries of the friends who sleep
Far, far on Etive’s shore;
And the Awe keeps purling in my ears,
As its limpid waters run
Down, Down the valley of my years
To Loch Etive in the sun.
Oh, Blessed me, Oh, happy man,
Of heaven’s favoured band,
To pass my joyous mortal span
In that sweet bonnie land.


 

 


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