(O well became you, a bow/Firm sufificient strong, /And slender cutting (twanging ?) bow-string/That a merchant would bring from Flanders ;/ Like (the) moon (the) hollow of its broad head, /After its tempering in the shop ;/That, on (the) white palm of my heart (love)/ Would provide venison as I would like.)
Having some acquaintance with archery, the translation is given with confidence, though tempering is more applicable to a blade than the adjusting of the " cast " of a bow. Donald Gorm fell at the battle of Killiecrankie, 1689, and the interesting point here, of which there can be no doubt, is that he imported his bow from Flanders. About the middle of last century, when the writer first made acquaintance with bows and arrows at Archers' Hall, Edin- burgh, some of the members of the Royal Company still used shooting graith imported from Flanders. It is interesting to note that all the historic references here given of the practice of archery fall within the seventeenth century. In Waldron's Description of the Isle of Mafi, first published in 1726, he mentions that the young men of the island were "great shooters with bows and arrows. There are frequently shooting matches, parish against parish, and wagers laid which side shall have the better." (Manx Society's publications, xi. p. 50.) This refers us to the active practice of archery in a Gaelic-speaking locality during the same 17th century.
(P. 56, after line 15.)
There is an Ardrishaig variant of " Mary Matansy." The girl in the centre of the ring pretends to be weeping and the ring circling round sings —
"Oh, what is Mary weeping for, weeping for, weeping for, Oh, what is Mary weeping for, upon Ardrishaig pier?"
Mary answers —
" She is weeping for her own true love, her own true love, her own true love, She's weeping for her own true love, who has gone to the war." The ring —
' ' Oh when will he come back again, back again, back again. Oh when will he come back again to his own dear Mary ? "