Here are two translations of Máire Ní Eidhin, the first is from Lady Gregory's 'Kiltartan Poetry,'
the second is from Douglas Hyde's 'Songs ascribed to Raftery.'
Raftery's Praise of Mary Hynes'
1. Going to Mass by the will of God,
the day came wet and the wind rose;
I met Mary Hynes at the cross of Kiltartan,
and I fell in love with her there and then.
I spoke to her kind and mannerly,
as by report was her own way; and
she said "Raftery my mind is easy;
you may come to-day to Ballylee."
2. When I heard her offer I did not linger;
when her talk went to my heart my heart rose.
We had only to go across the three fields;
we had daylight with us to Ballylee.
The table was laid with glasses and a quart measure;
she had fair hair and she sitting beside me;
and she said, "Drink, Raftery, and a hundred welcomes;
there is a strong cellar in Ballylee."
3. There is sweet air on the side of the hill,
when you are looking down upon Ballylee;
when you are walking in the valley picking nuts and blackberries,
there is music of the birds in it and music of the Sidhe.
What is the worth of greatness till you have the light of the flower
of the branch that is by your side?
There is no good to deny it or to try and hide it;
she is the sun in the heavens who wounded my heart.
4. There was no part in Ireland I did not travel,
from the rivers to the tops of the mountains;
to the edge of Lough Greine whose mouth is hidden,
and I saw no beauty but was behind hers.
Her hair was shining and her brows were shining too;
her face was like herself, her mouth pleasant and sweet;
She is the pride and I give her the branch;
she is the shining flower of Ballylee.
5. It is Mary Hynes, the calm and easy woman,
has beauty in her mind and in her face.
If a hundred clerks were gathered together,
they could not write down a half of her ways.
6. O star of light and O sun in harvest;
O amber hair, O my share of the world!
Will you come with me on the Sunday,
till we agree together before all the people?
I would not begrudge you a song every Sunday evening;
punch on the table or wine if you would drink it.
But O King of Glory, dry the roads before me
Till I find the way to Ballylee.
Mary Hynes, or The Posy Bright.
1. Going to Mass of me, God was gracious,
The day came rainy and the wind did blow,
And near Kiltartan I met a maiden
Whose love enslaved me and left me low.
I spoke to her gently, the courteous maiden,
And gently and gaily she answered so:
"Come, Raftery, with me, and let me take you
To Ballylee, where I have to go."
2. When I got the offer, I did not put off (its acceptance),
I laughed, and my heart bounded ;
We had only to go across the field,
And we only brought the day to the back of the house.
There was laid for us a table on which was a glass and quart,
And the ringletted coolun beside me sittmg,
'Twas what she said, "Raftery be drinking, and, a hundred welcomes,
The cellar is strong in Ballylee."
3. It is lovely and airy on the side of the mountain
Looking down upon Ballylee,
Walking in the grass, picking nuts and blackberries,
The warbling of birds there is all as one as fairy music.
What is the good of all that, till you would get a sight
Of the blossom of the branches who is by its side;
There is no use in denying it, and I conceal it from no one,
She is the sky of the sun and the love of my heart.
4. I travelled England and France together,
Spain and Greece and back again,
From the brink of Loch Greine to the Mouth of the Quay,
And I nover saw a faireen at all like her.
If I were wed to the Blossom of Youth,
Through Loch an Toraic I would follow her,
Harbours and coasts I would walk, and roads,
After the jewel-woman who is in Ballylee.
5. It is Mary Hynes is the courteous, stately woman,
Of nicest mien and most lovely appearance;
Two hundred clerks, and to put them together,
One-third of her accomplishments they could not write.
She beat Deidre for fineness, and Venus,
And if I were to mention Helen by whom Troy was destroyed,
But she is the flower of Ireland on account of all that,
The Posy Bright who is in Ballylee.
6. O Star of Light, O Sun of Harvest,
O Amber Coolun, (my) share of the world,
Would you proceed with me, against Sunday,
Until we take counsel where shall our sitting be.
I would not think it much for you, music every Sunday night,
Punch upon the table, and, if you would drink it, wine,
And, O King of Glory, may the road dry,
Until I find the way to Ballylee.