5 X 1773
21 VII 2013


We passed by a place where there is a very large stone, I may call it a ROCK;—'a vast weight for Ajax'. The tradition is, that a giant threw such another stone at his mistress, up to the top of a hill, at a small distance; and that she in return, threw this mass down to him. It was all in sport. Malo me petit lasciva puella.

Boswell, 5 October

Boswell is decribing two glacial erratics, one near the top, the other on the lower slopes of Ben Hogh; the higher one is named Clach na Ban-righ, Stone of the Queen, a huge stone perched on three very much smaller ones. He (slightly mis-) quotes Virgil; the full text reads

Malo me petit Galatea, lasciva puella
Et fugit ad salices, et se cupit ante videri

Virgil, Eclogues, iii, ll.64-5

That wanton girl Galatea
throws apples at me and runs
to hide in the willow bushes,
hoping I’ve seen her first.

translated by Barriss Mills

Clach na Ban-righ, after Virgil

for Tim & Jane


On Coll
the hungry wind

seeks apple and sallow
in vain


Galatea’s apple
ripens in the sun


placed like an apple
on a shelf of rock

stone, you have the bal-
ance of our attention


bless the day
Galatea chucks

her golden delicious
my way


Mills, Barriss (trans.); The Eclogues of Virgil (1980)
Grandsen, K.W. (ed.); Virgil in English (1996)