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The Fisherman's Prayer

Calm an’ favour, aye, an’ fortune;

rowth o appearance in ilka bay;

a crannreuch o scales on daick an’ gunnel

an’ a muckle mercat at dawn o day.



And here's Hay’s Gaelic version of the same poem


Guidhe an Iasgair


Fèath is fàbhar agus fortan,

Pailteas coltais anns gach bàgh,

Reòtach air clàr ‘s air cliathaich

‘s margadh fial air teachd an là.



And here’s an English translation of the Gaelic poem


Calm and favour and good fortune,

Plenty appearances in every bay,

A frost of fishscales on deck and gunnel,

And a bountiful market at the dawning of day.




RW 16_4_15

Roderick Watson is a Scottish poet and Professor Emeritus at Stirling University. He is co-editor, with David Goldie, of  From the Line: Scottish War Poetry 1914-1945

"I originally selected The Smoky Smirr o Rain as my favourite but heard that this had already been chosen by Dr MacDonald! My next choice is The Fisherman’s Prayer. This is Campbell Hay’s own Scots version of his poem in Gaelic and I thought this recognised Tarbert’s history, too."

The Fisherman Speaks