Somerled’s final voyage
At that time when day turns to night.
When the sea holds its breath,
stills its voice.
The wind drops and keeps its peace.
A black-sailed burlin
slips into the sound, sails furled.
Sheets strumming their own rhythm,
to join the sailors’ lament
and the grey seals sing their eerie song.
Somerled sails his final voyage.
As the mighty keel comes to rest on the sand
The Lord of the Isles is carried home.
With the setting of the sun,
With a pounding of silver hooves,
With the ringing of many golden bells
The fairies of the west come with the mist
To welcome the great hero home.
On a road paved with tears
Somerled is borne by warriors who weep.
His fighting done, his battles won
In Oran’s chapel he lies.
A spear in hand, a sword at hip
And a battle-scarred shield to guard his heart.
For all time he will sleep with saints,
A faithful hound to guard his rest.
Jane Laskey, Iona 2007