Saturday, April 06, 2019


Ever Lovely

Kuno Meyer, Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, 1911), p. 59:
Arran of the many stags,
The sea strikes against its shoulder,
Isle in which companies are fed,
Ridge on which blue spears are reddened.

Skittish deer are on her peaks,
Delicious berries on her manes,
Cool water in her rivers,
Mast upon her dun oaks.

Greyhounds are in it and beagles,
Blackberries and sloes of the dark blackthorn,
Her dwellings close against the woods,
Deer scattered about her oak-woods.

Gleaning of purple upon her rocks,
Faultless grass upon her slopes,
Over her fair shapely crags
Noise of dappled fawns a-skipping.

Smooth is her level land, fat are her swine,
Bright are her fields,
Her nuts upon the tops of her hazel-wood,
Long galleys sailing past her.

Delightful it is when the fair season comes,
Trout under the brinks of her rivers,
Seagulls answer each other round her white cliff,
Delightful at all times is Arran!
The same, from Ann Dooley and Henry Roe, Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Acallam Na SenĂ³rach) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 13:
Arran blessed with stags, encircled by the sea,
Island that fed hosts, where black spears turn crimson.

Carefree deer on its peaks, branches of tender berries,
Streams of icy water, dark oaks decked with mast.

Greyhounds here and beagles, blackberries, fruit of sloe,
Trees thick with blackthorns, deer spread about the oaks.

Rocks with purple lichen, meadows rich with grass,
A fine fortress of crags, the leaping of fawns and trout.

Gentle meadows and plump swine, gardens pleasant beyond belief,
Nuts on the boughs of hazel, and longships sailing by.

Lovely in fair weather, trout beneath its banks,
Gulls scream from the cliffs, Arran ever lovely.

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