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Lyr Req: Looking for a poem in Irish

Thompson 06 Jun 15 - 06:40 PM
GUEST 06 Jun 15 - 08:39 PM
Thompson 07 Jun 15 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 07 Jun 15 - 06:28 AM
Noreen 07 Jun 15 - 11:33 AM
Thompson 07 Jun 15 - 05:36 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Looking for a poem in Irish
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Jun 15 - 06:40 PM

I'm racking my brains for a poem (or song) in Irish that I remember, or rather don''t, from school. I thought it was Cill Cais, but it doesn't seem to be.
Whatever it was, it was, like Cill Cais, a lament for a lost lady. But what I remember was that the poet wrote about how the lady is no longer there to call her white doves, and the dovecote is empty. Anyone?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Looking for a poem in Irish
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jun 15 - 08:39 PM

The only one I know with doves is 'Tuar guil, a cholaim, do cheól!' put into English by Lord Longford as the Dove in the castle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Looking for a poem in Irish
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Jun 15 - 04:00 AM

Hm, that's a possibility. Fionnghuala was the wife of Uaithne Mac Lochlainn, whose family sound pretty interesting.
Uathne died and she had to leave her castle at Seanmhuicinis (according to the Field Day anthology). According to the same anthology, she was an O Dhomhnaill of Thomond, and was around 59 when she was ditched out of the castle near Ballyvaughan, Co Clare taking only her dowry (as the Brehon law dictated) because she had not given birth to heirs; instead, two of his kinswomen were granted the castle. She wrote a poem of mourning at his death, full of her own fears for the future, which will be familiar to all people growing old. She seems to have had a tough enough life; her first husband repudiated her and married her half-sister Onóra.

It's very possible that "Tuar guil, a cholm, do cheoil" is the poem I'm thinking about; according to the Field Day Anthology, it's anonymous, but I wonder if it might actually have been written by Fionnghuala herself in mourning for her home; it has the same charm, simplicity of construction and directness of approach as her mourning-poem for her husband, most unlike the bardic poetry of the official poets, who loved using complex constructions, endless references to genealogy, history and myth, and long words like marmalade.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Looking for a poem in Irish
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 07 Jun 15 - 06:28 AM

Are you by any chance thinking of the song which was rendered into English as Kilcash by Frank O'Connor.

Here's O'Connor's translation at any rate.

Kilcash

What shall we do for timber?
The last of the woods is down.
Kilcash and the house of its glory
And the bell of the house are gone,
The spot where that lady waited
Who shamed all women for grace
When earls came sailing to greet her
And Mass was said in the place.

My grief and my affliction
Your gates are taken away,
Your avenue needs attention,
Goats in the garden stray.
The courtyard's filled with water
And the great earls where are they?
The earls, the lady, the people
Beaten into the clay.

No sound of duck or geese there,
Hawk's cry or eagle's call,
No humming of the bees there
That brought honey and wax for all,
Nor even the song of the birds there
When the sun goes down in the west,
No cuckoo on top of the boughs there,
Singing the world to rest.

There's mist there tumbling from branches,
Unstirred by night and by day,
And darkness falling from heaven,
For our fortune has ebbed away,
There's no holly nor hazel nor ash there,
The pasture's rock and stone,
The crown of the forest has withered,
And the last of the game is gone.

I beseech of Mary and Jesus
That the great come home again
With long dances danced in the garden,
Fiddle music and mirth among men,
That Kilcash the home of our fathers
Be lifted on high again,
And from that to the deluge of waters
In bounty and peace remain.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Looking for a poem in Irish
From: Noreen
Date: 07 Jun 15 - 11:33 AM

Lovely, Fred- but no doves or dovecote.
Cuckoos, ducks and geese aren't quite as romantic :)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Looking for a poem in Irish
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Jun 15 - 05:36 PM

I thought I was thinking of Cill Cais, and indeed when I asked a friend if she remembered a poem with a missing woman and empty dovecote she immediately started reciting Cill Cais, but I can't find any dovecote verse.


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