Seaġán Mac Ḃáitéir Ḃreaṫnaiġ cct. (1604)

Tá ceo duḃaċ ar gaċ sliaḃ,
Ceo naċ dtáinig roiṁe riaṁ;
Tá ciúineas duairc ann um nóin
Aċt aṁáin trom-ġuṫ an ḃróin.

Tá cling na marḃ leis an ngaoiṫ,
Monuar, is teaċta bróin dúinn í!
Tá an fiaċ duḃ le glór garḃ
Ag fógraḋ uaire an duine ṁairḃ.

An duit, a uasail óig mo ċroiḋe,
Do sgread go duḃaċ an ḃean siḋe?
I meoḋan ciúin-uaigneaċ oiḋċe
Is cuṁaċ do ḃí sí ag éagcaoineaḋ.

D’ḟreagair í gaċ múr is balla
Go duḃaċ duairc le mac alla;
Níor ġlaoiḋ coileaċ mar ba ġnáṫ,
‘S níor ḟógair dúinn am ná tráṫ.

Uċ, a ‘Liféir óig mo ċroiḋe,
Is é do ḃás atá sí ‘ċaoinḋeaḋ,
Is é do-ḃeir an lá ‘na oiḋċe,
Is é do-ḃeir an ċuṁaiḋ ar ḋaoiniḃ.

Níl againn anois, mo ḃrón!
I n-áit an tsaoi aċt caoiḋ is deor’,
Sileaḋ deor is gol is caoiḋ
Feasta ḋúinn is briseaḋ croiḋe.

Uċ, a ḃáis, do leag tú ċoiḋċe
Bláṫ ‘s sgéiṁ ar ngéige is aoirde,
Monuar, níor ṡásaṁ air de ḃuaiḋ
Gan ceap ar ndaoine ‘ḋul san uaiġ.

I spéirling lann ba teann a láṁ,
Ag cosaint ceirt a ġaoil ‘s a ḋáiṁ,
Fá ṁeirge a aṫar uasail féin
Is Urṁuṁan do fuair clú i gcéin.

Ní ḃíoḋ baile na Cúirte ar aon ċor
Fá ċráḋ bróin nárḃ féidir ‘réiḋteaċ,
A ṡealḃṫóir dílis ‘s a ċroiḋe céasta
Tré ḃar an óig-ḟir ba ṁór i dtréiṫiḃ

Oiġre ceart a ainme, a ġradam ‘s a réime,
Is oiġre a stáite in gaċ áird d’Éirinn,
Mar ċrann na daire ba maiseaċ a ḟéaċain,
Do ġeall go leaṫfaḋ go leaṫan a ġéaga.

Ní mar so do ḃí i ndán do’n tréiṁ-ḟear
Aċt dul san uaiġ go huaigneaċ ‘na aonar,
Uċ! is creaċ ḟada é le n-a ló,
Is brón croiḋe dá ċéile go deoiḋ.

Is máṫair í is trom fá ċuṁaiḋ
Ar ndul go luaṫ dá ċéile i n-úir,
Aṫair a clainne ‘s a céad ġráḋ,
Uċ! is í do fuair a cráḋ.

Ní leanfaiḋ sé an fiaḋ go deoiḋ
Fá ġleanntaiḃ duḃa ná sléiḃtiḃ ceoiḋ,
Ní ċluinfear a aḋarc go binn ag séideaḋ
Ná guṫ a ġaḋar ar ḃeinn an tsléiḃe.

Ní ḟeicfear é ar luaiṫ-eaċ óg
Tar claiḋe is fál ag déanaṁ róid,
Tá claoċlóḋ ar a ṁaise go deoiḋ,
Ar a ṁórḋaċt do ṫuit trom-ċeo.

A láṁ ḃronntaċ go fann ‘na luiġe,
A ċroiḋe meanmnaċ marḃ gan ḃríġ,
Síol na gcuraḋ agus cara na mbárd,
Searc na gceolraḋ ċanas go hárd.

Solus an dáin ní práinn dod’ ċlú,
Aċt coṁréilfiḋ go hárd mo ċuṁaiḋ,
Ag sileaḋ ḋúinn deor fá ḋeireaḋ gaċ laoi
Ar ṫuamba an ċuraiḋ do ċráḋ mo ċroiḋe.

By Seaghan Mac Walter Walsh (1604)

A dusky mist is on every hill,
A mist that hath never come before;
There is a mournful silence in the noontide
Broken by the heavy voice of sorrow.

The death knell sounds upon the wind,
To us, alas, a messenger of grief!
The black raven with hoarse note
Proclaims the hour of the dead.

Is it for thee, young noble one of my heart,
The bean sidhe hath sorrowfully wailed?
In the lonely quiet midnight
Full pitifully she lamented.

Every wall and rampart answered her
Mournfully, sadly, with its echo;
The cock hath not crowed according to his wont,
Nor proclaimed to us time or season.

Alas, young Oliver of my heart,
‘Tis thy death that she keeneth;
‘Tis it that turneth day to night,
‘Tis it that bringeth sorrow to men.

Now, my grief! we have nought
In the place of the good man but weeping and tears,
Shedding of tears, and crying, and weeping,
Is our portion henceforth, and break of heart.

Alas, O death, thou hast struck down forever
The blossom and beauty of our highest branch,—
My grief, no victory would satisfy death
But the going to the grave of our people’s leader.

In clash of swords his hand was stout
To guard the right of his kin and kith,
Under the banner of his own noble father
And Ormond’s banner that found fame afar.

Baile na Cúirte was not wont to be
Under cloud of sorrow that could not be lifted,
Its faithful lord with his heart in anguish
For the young man’s death that was gracious in accomplishments.

His name’s true heir, its pride and ornament,
Heir of his house in every airt of Ireland,
Lik the oaken tree comely to be seen
He promised to fling far his branches.

Yet that was not in destiny for the kindly man,
But to go to the grave alone, all lonesome,
Alas, ‘tis a long woe in his day
And a heart’s grief to his spouse forever.

She is a mother heavy in affliction
Whose mate hath gone full early into the clay,
Her children’s father, her first beloved,
Alas, ‘tis she hath tasted sorrow!

Never again will he follow the deer
In dusky glens or on misty hills,
His horn will not be heard sweetly blowing
Or the voice of his hounds on the mountain ben.

He will not be seen on a swift young horse
Clearing a road over fosse and fence,—
His comeliness is forever changed,
On his majesty hath fallen a mist.

His gift-giving hand lieth still,
His gallant heart is dead and lifeless,—
Seed of soldiers, friend of poets,
Love of the loud-chanting music-makers!

The light of poesy thy fame needeth not,
Yet it will emblazon on high my grief,
As I shed tears at each day’s end
On the soldier’s tomb for whom my heart is heavy.


This dirge for an Irish soldier may well find a place here, although it does not quite come within the scope indicated by the title ‘Dánta Gríosuighthe Gaedheal.’ Oliver Grace, heir of the old baronial house of Courtstown (Baile na Cúirte), County Kilkenny, died in 1604. Seaghán Mac Walter Walsh was son of Walter Walsh who was chief of his clan, ‘Walsh of the Mountains.’ In 1831 Hardiman (who published the poem) made an appeal for the collection of Walsh’s poems up to then preserved on the lips of the people of the Walsh mountains; but Irish has ebbed from the Walsh mountains and Seaghán Mac Walter’s poems are doubtless lost. The dirge has the simplicity and the sincerity which so many later dirges want.