GÁIR BHÁINNSI SAN TIGH ... LAUGHTER ACROSS THE WAY ...
Irish trad. tr. Trevor Joyce

Gáir bháinnsi san tigh si amuigh,
gi bé dā ttabhair meanmuin,
atā neach dā ttabhair brón,
acc ēisdeacht ris gach roghlór.

Gi[dh] maith risin mnáoi si amuigh
amhuil mur snadhmar a cuir,
maircc dā ttabhair an bith bréicc –
fúair misi seal a leithéid.

Do dhlighis achmusán úaim,
a Ardruire an bheatha bhúain;
créud far m[h]arbhuis mac Aodha?
óir nirb anflaith anaobhdha.

Gidh a ccimedhacht do bheith,
robadh cimidh óir is each,
is dā bfuasccláoidís dáoine,
robadh dúais do chionn choáaoine.

Mōr a chomáoin oram féain,
cóir do fuaisccéoluinn ō Néill:
do-rad da fichiod déag bó
damhsa d’áoinchreich a n-áonló.

A c[h]oilcidh sa a ccodladh Niall,
cco a tticdís fir Oirghiall,
galar leam do bheith a bhán,
a leaba gan do leannán.

A !éine as leascc leam húaim
tar éis mo d[h]eaighfir d[h]iombúain,
`san té darbá maisi mas
do bheith marbh a cCenanndas.

Comhrādh do chan riomsa Niall
acc dul ó Ard Macha síar:
gi bé uainn do rachadh ar tús,
a G[h]ormlaith, caithe a iomtús?

Do-bhearuinn chomhairle chain
duit a rīgh Chinél n-Eoghain,
ar mbreth go húir Oiligh fúair
`sar n-adhnacal a n-áonúaigh.

Damadh tusa, a Ghormlaith g[h]lan,
do rachadh ar tús a ttalamh,
ni fear do-bhéaradh mnáoi mē
acht bheith ag cáoi gan gháire.
..................................... Gair.

Laughter across the way marks out
the marriage-house;
such loud excess
intrudes a desolation here.

Though happily that bride
may get what she contracted for
some are short-changed
as I hereby lay charge.

You, ruler of the lasting world,
I now denounce,
for killing of my kind, my gentle
loving and most innocent king.

As hostage he’d be worth
thoroughbred herds, goldhoards;
who brought him here would learn
my further kindnesses.

Proper to ransom such a man
could to me show him so kind
delivering me from a one-day’s raid
some twelve score head of beef.

Delicate linens, ah! you break
my heart, you, where Niall could sleep sound,
and you, white one, little bed,
you miss him too.

How then should I bear myself
happening upon a shirt
when he it dressed
lies dead in Kells?

Travelling westward from Armagh
Niall put me this:
whichever goes in front,
my love, where should we head?

Straight answer, this, my king,
together in the cool clay
of Ailech, let them lay us
in a single grave.

If you, my love, go first,
in front of me into the earth,
I’ll take myself no other queen
but long grieving without
........................ laughter.

Trans. copyright © Trevor Joyce 2008 - publ. Shearsman Books


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