As I arrived at Loch an Eilein the sun was setting and my thoughts turned to the eventide of life.
Loch an Eilein is a small loch on the Rothiemurchus estate about 5 km south of Aviemore. The name Loch an Eilein comes from the gaelic 'loch of the island'.
In the late 18th century and early 19th century, the loch was used mainly for two things. On the banks of the loch there is a limestone kiln where the lime stone was collected from a rockface looking over the loch. Also loggers used the connecting river to float logs down to the wood treating factories down stream. Rob Roy and other cattle rustlers used the loch and one side of the loch is called 'Robbers Way'. There are only three remaining houses on the loch side and they are used by forestry officers now.
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Perhaps these words will be sung tonight at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen.
Indeed they were!