God, listen to my prayer,
let my earnest petition come to you,
for I know that you hear me
as surely as if I saw you with mine eyes.
I am placing a lock on my heart,
I am placing a lock on my thoughts,
I am placing a lock on my lips
and double-knitting them.
Whatever is amiss for my soul
in the pulsing of my death,
may you, O God, sweep it from me,
and may you shield me in the blood of your love.
Let no thought come to my heart,
let no sound come to mine ear,
let no temptation come to mine eye,
let no fragrance come to my nose,
Let no fancy come to my mind,
let no ruffle come to my spirit,
that is hurtful to my poor body this night,
nor ill for my soul at the hour of my death;
But may you yourself, O God of life,
be at my breast, be at my back,
you to me as a star, you to me as a guide,
from my life’s beginning to my life’s closing.
Source: ‘Catriona Bheag ‘ (Little Catherine) MacDonald, cottar, Borve, Barra in Carmina Gadelica, Hymns and Incantations…, Vol. III, p. 71. English translation modified.
Graphic is from Carmina Gadelica, Hymns and Incantations…, Vol. III, p.70