Text: Tairnig éigse fhuinn Gaoidheal

The following was translated by Michael Newton based on the edition and translation done by Wilson McLeod and Roibeart Ó Maolalaigh in a coursereader at the University of Edinburgh.


§ 1. The learned poets of Gaeldom have been wiped out – the “raw material” for sages and noble druids is extinct – a cause for grief — nor is there anyone worthy of the title of ollamh.

§ 2. They have been wiped out everywhere: the Ulster academy, the scholars of Leinster; not even a tenth of the Munster poets survives: theirs is a total annihilation.

§ 3. In the land of Connacht, the forge of the academies, not an ollamh nor a person capable of becoming one survives: this encrusts my heart in a shroud of grief as long as no learned poet lives.

§ 4. The murder of Blind Tadhg, the weaver of poems, the death of Eochaidh [Ó hEódhasa], son of Maol Eachlainn: these have brought ill-luck upon the druids of Ireland, and wrought a spell of sadness upon the spirit.

§ 5. It is sad news that the scholars of the Ó Dálaighs, and of the blood of Ó hUiginn, are no longer heard of, intending to lie in the beds of the schools – they are two flocks of learned kin-groups.

§ 6. Alas! No mate or friend lives of Eochaidh’s artful family; a company of pure hearts were they, but all of their people have gone.

§ 7. The Clan Craith to whom schools paid homage – the pure-stanza descendants of Ruanaidh – woe that that band of poets does not live! They were the very roots of friendship and companionship.

§ 8. In the territory of Uisneach of the pure soil the best of poets — blood of Cobhthach — it is a sad tale that the schools no longer survive, their destruction is the very cause of insanity.

§ 9. The Mac an Bhaird’s and the Mac Con Midhe’s: few there are of their visionaries and prophet-poets who survive as remnants of the ollamhs: I am blinded in a fog of lamentation.

§ 10. With learned artistry suffering disdain, the poets of the rest of the world make their pronouncements: ignoble ancestry is revered while high, noble ancestry is demoted.

§ 11. O teller of the ancient tales, who guards the historical lore of the descendants of Míl, this is no time for tales to be told, now that the valour of the Gael has been wiped out.

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