GLUAIS, A LITIR ... HASTEN, LETTER ...
Anon. trans. Michael Smith - from Irish


Gluais, a litir, ná léig sgís
go bhfaice tú a-rís í féin;
fiafraigh dí an bhfuigheam bás,
nó an mbiam go bráth i bpéin.

Más í an phian do dheónaigh damh,
fiafraigh dí gá fad an phian;
nó más bás do-bhéara dhúinn,
fiafraigh dí gá húir i mbiam.

An sgéal fada ní hé is fearr,
nithigh leam a chur i gcéill;
mun bhfuil furtacht damh i ndán,
faghaim go luath an bás féin.

An bás féin dá dtuga dhúinn,
mo chur i n-úir do bheinn réidh,
ós mo chionn dá sgríobhadh sí:
'Ag so an tí do mharbh mé.'

I gcrich Alban ar bheith séimh
is ann thoghaim féin mo chur,
mar a luighfeadh sí ar mo leacht,
's mar a mbiadh sí ar m'fheart ag gul.

I ndóigh go dteagmhadh damh dul
's go ligeadh sí ar gcur i gcré,
deifrigh ort is beir mo sgéal;
bí ag imtheacht go géar, is gluais.


Hasten, letter, take no rest
until you see her once again;
ask if death's in store for us
or shall we always suffer pain.

If it's pain that is my lot,
ask how long the pain will last;
of if it's death that's granted us,
ask her when the hour will come.

The lengthy story's not the best,
now's the time I should explain;
unless recovery's on the way,
let death take me without delay.

If death itself is granted us,
I'm ready to be put in earth;
above my head she then could write:
'Here lies one whom I have killed.'

Scotland, that is mild on death,
I choose to have as burial place;
there she'd lie upon my tomb
and shed her tears upon my grave.

Hoping I may chance to go,
and our burial she'll allow,
hasten now and bear my tale,
be off and travel with all speed.

Trans. Copyright © Michael Smith 2007


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