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I will raise the hearth-fire
As Mary would.
The encirclement of Bride and of Mary
On the fire, and on the floor,
And on the household all.

Who are they on the bare floor ?
John and Peter and Paul.
Who are they by my bed ?
The lovely Bride and her Fosterling.
Who are those watching over my sleep ?
The fair loving Mary and her Lamb.
Who is that anear me ?
The King of the sun, He himself it is.
Who is that at the back of my head ?
The Son of Life without beginning, without time.


Togaidh mis an tula
Mar a thogadh Muire.
Caim Bhride's Mhuire
Air an tula's air an lar,
'S air an fhardaich uile.

Co iad ri luim an lair ?
Eoin, Peadail agus Pail.
Co iad ri bruaich mo leap ?
Bride bhuidheach's a Dalt.
Co iad ri lath mo shuain ?
Muire ghraidh-gheal's a h-Uan.
Co slud a tha 'n am theann ?
Righ na grein e fein a th' ann,
Co siud ri cul mo chinn ?
Mac nan dul gun tus, gun linn.

Notes from the translator: The kindling of the fire is a work full of interest to the housewife. When 'lifting' the fire in the morning the woman prays, in an undertone, that the fire may be blessed to her and to her household, and to the glory of God who gave it. The people look upon fire as a miracle of Divine power provided for their good - to warm their bodies when they are cold, to cook their food when they are hungry, and to remind them that they too, like the fire, need constant renewal mentally and physically.

Collected in the Highlands of Scotland and

Translated by Alexander Carmichael from the Gaelic

'Feuch air fear coimhead Israil
       Cadal chan aom no suain.'

   (The Shepherd that keeps Israel
     He slumbers not nor sleeps.)

We hope you enjoyed this and go to the site whereyou can sample many of these ancient prayers and incantations. Very special thanks to A' Chiste Ghaidhlig for this material.