Old Irish Poetry

Reply Sat 19 Oct, 2002 03:05 pm
The literature of Ireland from the earliest times until the l9th Century is predominantly in the Irish Language. Their Poetry can be Loving,

Sacreligious, Amusing, Satirical but always readable. Can I offer you a couple of ancient Irish Epigrams?

"Gold priests, wooden chalices
in Ireland in Patrick's time.

Golden Chalices, wooden priests
As the wretched world stands now.


Broad and ample he warms himself,
a son in his father's house.

A Father's warmth in his son's house:
His own two knees to his chest.


Although the fox at times
runs rings round those who see him

with due respect to his cunning
You can often buy his pelt.
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Reply Sat 19 Oct, 2002 07:23 pm
My Uncle Tommy is

still in Ireland.....hmmmmmm.....

(My favorite uncle, too.....)
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Reply Sun 3 Nov, 2002 04:41 pm
Where would that be Rae? General not specific
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Reply Thu 14 Nov, 2002 10:01 pm
I'd like to add one of my favorite older Irish poems. It is so sweet and poignant. I've loved it a while. This is my favorite translation...

I & Pangur Ban my cat
'Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

'Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit & find
Entertainment to our mind.

'Gainst the wall he sets his eye,
Full & fierce & sharp & sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

So in peace our task we ply
Pangur Ban my cat & I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine & he has his.

It isn't a perfect translation, doesn't mention that Pangur Ban is a white cat, for example, but the rhythm seems right.
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New Haven
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2002 08:29 pm
Ancient Irish poetry:


Mr. Green
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Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2002 10:04 pm
Was there a time

Was there a time when dancers with their fiddles
In children's circuses could stay their troubles?
There was a time they could cry over books,
But time has sent its maggot on their track.
Under the arc of the sky they are unsafe.
What's never known is safest in this life.
Under the skysigns they who have no arms
have cleanest hands, and, as the heartless ghost
Alone's unhurt, so the blind man sees best.
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Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2002 10:06 pm
Ooops Embarrassed Lost my head there and posted Dylan Thomas, sorry.
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