MÓR MO GHALAR ... A WOMAN'S LOVE'S ...
Anon. trans. Michael Smith - from Irish


Mór mo ghalar do ghrádh mná,
a grádh dom ghoin gach aonlá
an ghéag bhonnbhán bhinn gan locht;
is lomlán inn dá hannsacht.

A béal dearg 's a gruadh ghairthe,
mo thoil dáibh is deaghaithne,
dá corp ghlan mar chlár cubhair
hár chan acht glár geanamhail.

Ní teinn galar acht an grádh,
innis do ghéig na ngeallámh,
stuagh fhannlámhach go gcorp chaomh,
na bhfolt ngabhlánach ngéagchlaon.

Ní lór linn do reic mo rúin
acht finnbhean don phréimh rechtiúil,
lúb thaoibhgheal nár thréig mo thoil
's nár léig aoinfhear 'na hiomdhaidh.

Ocht gcoill nách d'fhiodhbhaidh na cruinne
tarla idir thrí consaine, -
ainm na mná do mhear mo chéill:
mo ghean mar tá gan toibhéim.


A woman's love's my great distress,
a love that wounds me every day;
singing, white-boled, flawless limb;
we are brimful of her love.

Her crimson mouth, her blushing cheek
are my desire, and intimacy
with her fair body, foamy plain,
that never spoke but modestly.

No illness but the ache of love
inform the bright-limbed branch of that,
the arching grace of her fair form
with branching hair of flowing curls.

My love can only be described
as fair of form and of high birth;
curled-tressed of my unfailing love,
who has refused all men her couch.

Eight woods not of natural growth
the white thorn - and three consonants;
there's her name who roused my mind,
my love who is beyond reproach.

Trans. Copyright © Michael Smith 2007


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