Translations from the Irish.

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King Dathy's Death.

by James Clarence Mangan. ( 1803 - 1849. )

KING DATHY assembled his Druids and Sages,
And thus he spake them: "Druids and Sages!
What of King Dathy?
What is revealed in Destiny's pages
Of him or his? Hath he
Aught for the Future to dread or to dree?
Good to rejoice in, or evil to flee?
Is he a foe of the Gall --
Fitted to conquer or fated to fall? "

And Beirdra, the Druid, made answer as thus,--
A priest of a hundred years was he: --
"Dathy! thy fate is not hidden from us!
Hear it through me! --
Thou shalt work thine own will!
Thou shalt slay, thou shalt prey,
And be Conqueror still !
Thee the Earth shall not harm!
Thee we charter and charm
From all evil and ill !
Thee the laurel shall crown!
Thee the wave shall not drown!
Thee the chain shall not bind!
Thee the spear shall not find!
Thee the sword shall not slay!
Thee the shaft shall not pierce!
Thou, therefore, be fearless and fierce!
And sail with thy warriors away
To the lands of the Gall,
There to slaughter and sway,
And be Victor o'er all! "

So Dathy he sailed away, away,
Over the deep resounding sea;
Sailed with his hosts in armor gray
Over the deep resounding sea,
Many a night and many a day;
" And many an islet conquered he,
He and his hosts in armor gray.
And the billow drowned him not,
And a fetter bound him not,
And the blue spear found him not,
And the red sword slew him not,
And the swift shaft knew him not,
And the foe o'erthrew him not:
Till, one bright morn, at the base
Of the Alps, in rich Ausonia's regions,
His men stood marshaled face to face
With the mighty Roman legions.
Noble foes!
Christian and Heathen stood there amongst those,
Resolute all to overcome,
Or die for the Eagles of Ancient Rome!

When, behold! from a temple anear
Came forth an aged priestlike man,
Of a countenance meek and clear,
Who, turning to Eire's Ceann,
Spake him as thus: "King Dathy! hear!
Thee would I warn!
Retreat! retire! Repent in time
The invader's crime;
Or better for thee thou hadst never been born!"
But Dathy replied: "False Nazarene !
Dost thou then menace Dathy? thou!
And dreamest thou that he will bow
To One unknown, to One so mean,
So powerless as a priest must be?
He scorns alike thy threats and thee!
On! on, my men! to victory!"

And, with loud shouts for Eire's King,
The Irish rush to meet the foe;
And falchions clash and bucklers ring, --
When, lo!
Lo! a mighty earthquake's shock!
And the cleft plains reel and rock;
Clouds of darkness pall the skies;
Thunder crashes,
And in an instant Dathy lies
On the earth a mass of blackened ashes!
Then, mournfully and dolefully,
The Irish warriors sailed away
Over the deep resounding sea,
Till wearily and mournfully,
They anchored in Eblana's Bay. --
Thus the Seanachies and Sages
Tell this tale of long-gone ages.


WHERE is my Chief, my Master, this bleak night? mavrone!
0, cold, cold, miserably cold is this bleak night for Hugh!
Its showery, arrowy, speary sleet pierceth one through and through,
Pierceth one to the very bone.

Rolls real thunder? Or, was that red livid light
Only a meteor? I scarce know; but through the midnight dim
The pitiless ice wind streams. Except the hate that persecutes him
Nothing hath crueler venomy might.

An awful, a tremendous night is this, meseems!
The flood gates of the rivers of heaven, I think, have been burstwide;
Down from the overcharged clouds, like unto headlong ocean's tide,
Descends gray rain in roaring streams.

Though he were even a wolf ranging the round green woods,
Though he were even a pleasant salmon in the uuchainable sea,
Though he were a wild mountain eagle, he could scarce bear, he,
This sharp sore sleet, these howling floods.

0, mournful is my soul this night for Hugh Maguire!
Darkly as in a dream he strays! Before him and behind
Triumphs the tyrannous anger of the wounding wind,
The wounding wind, that burns as fire!

It is my bitter grief - it cuts me to the heart --
That in the country of Clan Darry this should be his fate!
0, woe is me! where is he? Wandering houseless, desolate,
Alone, without or guide or chart!

Medreams I see just now his face, the strawberry-bright,
Uplifted to the blackened heavens, while the tempestuous winds
Blow fiercely over and round him, and the smiting sleet shower ,blinds
The hero of Galang to-night!

Large, large affiiction unto me and mine it is,
That one of his majestic bearing, his fair stately form,
Should thus be tortured and o'erborne; that this unsparing storm
Should wreak its wrath on head like his!

That his great hand, so oft the avenger of the oppressed,
Should this chill, churlish night, perchance, be paralyzed by frost;
While through some icicle-hung thicket, as One lorn and lost,
He walks and wanders without rest.

The tempest-driven torrent deluges the mead,
It overflows the low banks of the rivulets and ponds;
The lawns and pasture grounds lie locked in icy bonds,
So that the cattle cannot feed.

The pale bright margins of the streams are seen by none;
Rushes and sweeps along the untamable flood on every side;
It penetrates and fills the cottagers' dwellings far and wide;
Water and land are blent in one.

Through some dark woods, 'mid bones of monsters, Hugh now strays;
As he confronts the storm with anguished heart, but manly brow, --
O! what a sword wound to that tender heart of his were now
A backward glance at peaceful days!

But other thoughts are his, -- thoughts that can still inspire
With joy and an onward-bounding hope the bosom of MacNee, --
Thoughts of his warriors charging like bright billows of the sea,
Borne on the wind's wings, flashing fire!

And though frost glaze to-night the clear dew of his eyes,
And white ice gauntlets glove his noble fine fair fingers o'er,
A warm dress is to him that lightning garb he ever wore, --
The lightning of the soul, not skies.

Hugh marched forth to the fight -- I grieved to see him so depart;
And lo! to-night he wanders frozen, rain-drenched, sad, betrayed:
But the memory of the lime-white mansions his right hand hath laid
In ashes warms the hero's heart!


By JANE BARLOW ( c1857 - 1917 )

(From "Bogland Studies.")

In throth I've no call to be laid on the shelf yet, as ould as I be.
There's Thady O'Neill up above, that's a year or so senior to me,
An' passin' his meadow just now, I seen it was mowin', and bedad,
There's himself in it stoopin' away as limber an' soople as a lad.
An' the Widdy Maclean, that was married afore I was three fut high,
She'll thramp her three mile to the town every market day that comes by.
'Twas the fever, last Lent was a twelvemonth, disthroyed me; I'm fit for naught since.
The way of it was: Our ould cow had sthrayed off thro' the gap in the fence,
An' Long Daly he met me an' tould me. Sez he: "An' ye'll need to make haste,
If it's dhry-fut ye'd find her this night." For away o'er the hills to the aist
The hail showers were slantin' in sthrakes; an' thin wanst clane across wid a swipe
Wint the lightnin'. An':" Look-a," sez he, "there's Saint Pether a kindlin' his pipe;
That 'ill take a good sup to put out." An', thrue for him, he'd scarce turned his back,
Whin it settled to polther an' pour, an' the sky overhead grew as black
As the botthomless pit; not a stim could I see, nor a sight o' the baste,
But, sthravadin' about in the bog, I slipped into a hole to me waist,
An' was never so nigh dhrownin' dead, forby bein' dhrenched to the skin;
So I groped me way home thro' the dark in the teeth of a freezin' win'.
An' next mornin' I couldn't move finger nor fut, all me limbs were that sore,
And I lay there a ravin' like wild in me bed for a month an' more;
For me head was on fire, an' the pains was like gimlits an' knives in me bones,
Till the neighbors a goin' the road 'ud be hearin' me groans an' me moans.
An' thin, whin I'd over'd the worst, as the Docther'd not looked for at all,
Sure, the strenth was gone out 0' me clane, an' I scarcely was able to crawl,
An' that stooped, any rapin' hook's sthraighter than me, an' the jints o' me stift,
An' me fingers as crookt as the claws of a kite, wid no use in thim lift;
An' whin first I got on me ould brogues, I stuck fast like a wheel in a rut,
I seemed raisin' the weight o' the world every time that I lifted me fut.

So I sat in the door not long afther, whin Judy O'Neill comes by,
An': "Bedad, Mick Flynn, ye're an ould man grown," sez she; an': " Git out! " sez I.
But as soon as she'd passed I stepped round to the field that the lads were in,
For I thought I'd been idlin' enough, an' 'twas time I set to it agin.
They were diggin' the first of the praties; I smelt thim 'fore ever I came,
An' I dunno a pleasanter scent in the world than the smell o' thim same,
Whin ye thrust down your spade or your fork, an' ye turn thim up hangin' in clumps,
Wid the skins o' thim yeller, an' smooth, an' the clay shakin' off thim in lumps.
They'd a creel on the bank be the gate, an' Pat called from his end o' the dhrill
To be bringin' it up where he was, for he wanted another to fill ;
And I thought to ha' lifted it light, but I'd betther ha' let it alone,
Tho' 'twas hardly three parts full, an' 'ud hould but a couple o' stone;
For I hadn't the strenth to hoist it, and over it wint wid a pitch,
An' there like a sthookaun I stood, an' the praties rowled in the ditch.
But Pat, whin he seen I was vexed, up he come an' laid hould o' me arm,
An' he bid me never to mind, for there wasn't a ha'porth o' harm.
An' sez I: "I'm not able for aught." An' sez he: "Dad, ye've worked in your day
Like a Trojin, an' now ye've a right to your rest, while we'll wrastle away.
Sure it's many a creel ye've loaded afore I'd the strenth or the wit;
And ye needn't be throublin' your head, for there's plinty of help I'll git;
Here's Larry an' Tim grown sizable lads, an' Joe'll soon be lendin' a hand
So ye'll just sit quite in your corner, an' see that we'll git on grand."
And he said it as kind as could be, yet me heart felt as heavy as lead,
And I wint to the door, and I sat in the sun, but I wished I was dead.

He's been always a good son, Pat, an' the wife, there's no fau't in his wife,
Sure she's doin' her best to keep house sin' me ould woman lost her life;
But the throuble she's had'- och! the crathur, small blame to her now if she'd think
It was time they were quit of a wan fit for naught save to ait an' to dhrink.
For whiles, whin she's washin' the praties, or cuttin' the childher's bread,
I know be the look of her face she's rememb'rin' the child that's dead;
The littlest, that died in last winther, and often afore it died
Did be askin' its mammy for bread, an' thin, 'cause she'd none, it cried;
An' the Docther he said 'twas the hunger had kilt it; an' that was the case:
Ye could see thro' its wee bits of hands, an' its eyes were as big as its face.
An' whiles whin I'm aitin' me crust, I'll be thinkin' to hear it cry
But she, that's the mother who bore it - who'd blame her? In throth not I.
Och! but that was the terrible winther, an' like to ha' starved us outright;
N e'er a hungrier saison I mind since the first o' the pratie blight;
An' whine'er wan's no call to be hungry, it's three times as hungry wan feels,
An' so I that worked never a sthroke, I did always be great at me meals.
Yet I spared thim the most that I could, for o' nights whin I noticed our heap'
0' praties looked small in the pot, I'd let on I was fast asleep;
So Molly she'd spake to the childher, an' bid thim to whisht an' be quite,
For if gran' daddy sted on asleep, he'd be wantin' no supper that night;
Thin, the crathurs, as cautious an' cute as the mice they'd all keep whin they heard,
An' to think that the little childher'd sit watchin', not darin' a word,
But hush-hushin' wan to the other, for fear I might happin to wake
And ait up their morsel o' food -- sure me heart 'ud be ready to break.

Thin I'd think: "There's the House; ay, an' thin they'd be fewer to starve an' to stint; "
Yet I hated the thought, an' kep' hopin' I'd maybe be dead ere I wint.
But I'm just afther hearin' 'this day what has settled me plans in me mind,
Like as if I had turned round me face; and I won't go a lookin' behind.
I'd been sthreelin' about in the slip at the back, whin I thought I'd creep down
An' see what was up at M'Gurk's, for it's weeks since I've been in the town;
So round to the front I was come, an' the first thing that ever I seen
Was two gintlemen close to our door, an' a car standin' down the boreen.
And the wan o' the two was a sthranger, a stout little man, wid each square
0' the checks on his coateen the size of our own bit o' field over there;
Divil much to be lookin' at aither, tho' here the lads tould me as how
'Twas no less than our Landlord himself, that we'd never set eyes on till now.
For away off in England he lives, where they say he's an iligant place
Wid big walls round it sevin mile long, and owns dozens of horses to race,
That costs him a fortin to keep; so whin all of his money is spint,
He sends word over here to the Agint; an' bids him make haste wid the rint.
An' the other's the Agint, I know him; worse luck, I've known many a wan,
An' it's sorra much good o' thim all. I remember the carryin's on
We'd have in the ould times at home, whin we heard he was comin' his round:
For, suppose we'd a calf or a heifer, we'd dhrive her off into the pound,
Or if we'd a firkin of butther, we'd hide it away in the thatch.
Ay, bedad, if we'd even so much as an old hin a sittin' to hatch,
We'd clap her in under the bed, out o' sight, for, mind you, we knew right well
He'd be raisin' the rint on us sthraight, if he spied that we'd aught to sell.
I've heard tell there's a change in the law, an' the rint takes three Judges to fix,
So it isn't as aisy these times for an Agint to play thim bad thricks;
I dunno the rights of it clear, but all's wan, for he would if he could;
And as soon as I seen him this day, I was sure he'd come afther no good.
But I slipped the wrong side o' the bank ere they heard me, an' there I sat still,
An' they came an' stood nigh it to wait, while their car crep' along up the hilI.

And Turner, the Agint, looked back to the house: "Well, yer Lordship," he sez,
"That's a case for eviction; we'll scarce see a pinny while wan o' thim stez.
Why, they haven't a goose or a hin, let alone e'er a baste on the land,
So where we're to look for our money is more nor I understand.
But in coorse the man's axin' for time." An' sez t'other, "Confound him! in coorse --
'Tis their thrade to be axin' for that, if ye're axin' a pound for your purse.
They may have their damned time, sure, an' welcome, as long as they plase, on'y first
They'll pay up or clear out." An' the Agint he laughed till ye'd think he'd ha' burst.
An' sez he, "Thin' clear out' 'ill be the word, and my notion's we'll find that it pays,
If we pull down thim ould sticks o' cabins, an' put in the cattle to graze;
Faith, I'd liefer see sheep on the land than the likes o' that breed any day,"
Sez he, pointin' his hand to the dike, where the childher, poor sowls, were at play.
An' the Lord sez, "It's on'y a pity we can't git the lap of a wave
Just for wanst, o'er the whole o' the counthry; no end to the throuble 'twould save,
And lave the the place clane." An' the Agint laughed hearty; sez he: "Our best start,
Since we can't git thim under the wather is sendin' thim over it smart.
An' these Flynns here we'd imigraph aisy; they've several lads nearly grown;
The on'y dhrawback's the ould father, we'll just have to let him alone,
For the son sez he's sheer past his work, an' that niver 'ud do in the States;
It's a burthen he's been on their hands for this great while -- he'll go on the rates.
Sure, the Union's the place for the likes of him, so long as he bides above."
But be this time their car had come by, an' up wid thim, an' off they dhruv.

I'd ne'er ha' thought Patsy'd say that; an' he didn't belike -- l dunno --
But it's on'y the truth if he did. A burthen? Bedad, I'm so.
An' Pat, that's a rale good son, and has been all the days of his life,
It's the quare thanks I'm givin' him now, to be starvin' the childher and wife.
For I often considher a sayin' we have: "Whin it's little ye've got,
It's the hunger ye'll find at the botthom, if many dip spoons in your pot."
But if wanst they were shut o' meself, an' the Agint 'ud wait for a bit,
They might weather the worst o' the throuble, an' keep the ould roof o'er thim yit.
But suppose they're put out afther all, an' packed off to the divil knows where,
An' I up away in the House, I might never so happin to hear;
An' I'd liefer not know it for certin. Och! to think the ould place was a roon,
Wid naught left save the rims o' four walls, that the weeds 'ud be coverin' soon;
An' the bastes o' the field walkin' in; an' the hole where the hearth was filled
Wid the briers; an' no thrace o' the shed that I helped me poor father to build,
An' I but a slip of a lad, an' that plased to be handlin' the tools,
I 'most hammered the head off each nail that I dhruv. Och, it's boys that are fools.

'Tis sevin mile good into Westport; I never could thramp it so far,
But Tim Daly dhrives there of a Friday; he'll loan me a sate on his car.
An' Friday's to-morra, ochone! so I'm near now to seein' me last
O' Barney, an' Pat, an' the childher, an' all the ould times seem past.
I remimber the House gain' by it. It stands on a bit of a rise.
Stone-black, lookin' over the lan', wid its windows all starin' like eyes;
And it's lonesome an' sthrange I'll be feelin', wid ne'er a frind's face to behould;
An' the days 'ill go dhreary an' slow. But I'm ould, plase God, I'm ould.


By WILLIAM WATSON (1858 - 1925 )

(From "The Purple East.")

NEVER, 0 craven England, nevermore
Prate thou of generous effort, righteous aim!
Betrayer of a People, know thy shame!
Summer hath passed, and Autumn's threshing floor
Been winnowed; Winter at Armenia's door
Snarls like a wolf; and still the sword and flame
Sleep not; thou only sleepest; and the same
Cry unto heaven ascends as heretofore;
And the red stream thou mightst have stanched yet runs;
And o'er the earth there sounds no trumpet's tone
To shake the ignoble torpor of thy sons;
But with indifferent eyes they watch, and see
Hell's regent sitting yonder, propped by thee,
Abdul the Damned, on his infernal throne.

You in high places; you that drive the steeds
Of empire; you that say unto our hosts
" Go thither," and they go; and from our coasts
Bid sail the squadrons, and they sail, their deeds
Shaking the world: lo! from the land that pleads
For mercy where no mercy is, the ghosts
Look in upon you faltering at your posts
Upbraid you parleying while a People bleeds
To death. What stays the thunder in your hand?
A fear for England? Can her pillared fame
Only on faith forsworn securely stand?

On faith forsworn that murders babes and men?
Are such the terms of glory's tenure? Then
Fall her accursed greatness, in God's name!
Heaped in their ghastly graves they lie, the breeze
Sickening o'er fields where others vainly wait
For burial; and the butchers keep high state
In silken palaces of perfumed ease.
The panther of the desert, matched with these,
Is pitiful; beside their lust and hate,
Fire and plague wind are compassionate,
And soft the deadliest fangs of ravening seas.
How long shall they be borne? Is not the cup
Of crime yet full? Doth devildom still lack
Some consummating crown, that we hold back
The scourge, and in Christ's borders give them room?
How long shall they be borne, 0 England? Up,
Tempest of God, and sweep them to their doom!



( In the London Times, at the end of the Queen's Jubilee, 1897. )

GOD of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle line,
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget --lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart:
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

Far called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our, pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not thee in awe,
Such boasting as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law,
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget -- lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard, --
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on thy people, Lord!


By CELlA THAXTER (1835-1894.)

Celia Thaxter

ACROSS the narrow beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I.

Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud black and swift across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white lighthouses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit along the beach,
One little sandpiper and I.

I watch him as he skims along
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry.
He starts not at my fitful song,
Or flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong;
He scans me with a fearless eye.
Stanch friends are we, well tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.

Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky:
For are we not God's children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I ?

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