MAIRG DARA GALAR GRÁDH BAOTH FOOLISH LOVE'S A WOEFUL ILL
Anon. trans. Michael Smith - from Irish


Mairg dara galar grádh baoth,
mairg, fa-raor, do bheith mar táim;
ní hiomdha neach ar mo nós
dá bhfuil fós i nInis Fáil.

Colladh ní fhéadaim ná suan,
i n-éinní ní buan mo spéis;
mairg duine do bheith mar tám
do ghrádh mná an chuirp mar ghéis.

Inghean tséaghainn an fhuilt tslim,
isí sin do mhill mo ghné
innisim fós, gibé fáth,
go gcuirfe a grádh mise i gcré.

Smólach bheag agus lon dubh,
agus naoi gcoill 'na gcruth féin, -
ainm na mná dá dtugas grádh,
tré bhfuilim do ghnáth i bpéin.

Uaithi sin atáim gan bhrígh,
is tá mo chlí fós dá chailg,
an uair smuainim a beith dá luadh;
damhsa féin is buan an mhairg.


Foolish love's a woeful ill,
sore oppressed is my condition;
there are not many more like me
in this land of Ireland still.

I cannot sleep, my rest is gone,
my interest is held by naught;
a curse on him who loves like me
a woman's body like a swan.

A comely girl of silky hair
devastated all my looks;
I still maintain, right or wrong,
her love will put me in the clay.

A blackbird and a little thrush,
and the letter of the ivy bush,
encipher the belovéd's name
who causes me my wonted pain.

Thanks to her my strength is nil,
and my heart deceived is still
now I think to mention it;
for me my plight is permanent.

Trans. Copyright © Michael Smith 2007


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