Billeder på siden


We promised, at the close of our last article, to lay before the reader, on the earliest opportunity, some native historical poems of high interest. In our present paper we shall commence the fulfilment of this promise, by presenting him with two specimens of such productions, for literal translations of which we are indebted to the celebrated Irish scholar, Mr. Eugene Curry. Of our own versions we shall say nothing, except that we believe they will be found, upon comparison with the originals, to possess the merit of fidelity—a merit, we admit, occasionally of a very questionable kind in translations.

Our first poem-the following-was originally written by Donall O'Mulconry, as an Inauguration Ode to Torlogh, the son of Teige O'Brien, who became the O'Brien, and entered into possession of the Lordship of Thomond, in the year 1468. The reader will observe that although formally addressed to this Chieftain, it opens with a rather long invocation to the palace of Kincora, and elsewhere speaks of the same palace in the third person, while the O'Brien himself is not apostrophised until towards the latter stanzas; but these irregularities of composition are by no means of rare occurrence in our native poets.

On the Enauguration of the O'Brien, A. B. 1469.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Donogh was, after the battle of Clontarf, the second son of Brian. He procured the death of his elder brother, Teige, in 1022, and, after the decease of Malachy, assumed the sovereignty of Ireland, but subsequently abdicated, and retired. The place and period of his death are not known with any degree of certainty.

†The Dalcassians and others.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

† A Scottish prince, who was killed at the battle of Clontarf. He fought under the banner of Brian.

Dunlaing O'Hartigan, a Dalcassian chief, and one of the body-guards of Morrogh, the eldest son of Brian. Dunlaing also fell at Clontarf.

The Corcobaiscinns were the inhabitants of those localities now known as the baronies of Moyarta, Clonderalaw, and Ibrickane, in the county of Clare. At the period of the battle of Clontarf, these territories were occupied by the descendants of Ailill Baskeen, son of Conaire Mor, King of Ireland, then represented by the O'Donnell family, the head of which, Donall, was killed in the engagement; and in the thirteenth century the heritage of the title devolved on the Mac Mahons, who remained in possession of it down to the time of the Cromwellian wars.


Brother of Brian, and ancestor of the O'Kennedys. He was killed at Clon


Brave Donall of the Ensanguined swords,
Conaing, and Ki-an Mac Mulloy,‡
The Valorous,-

Three of thy gallant household lords,
How would they weep, but not for joy,
To see thee thus!


But what avails it now to dwell

Upon the glories, long since fled,
Of those great men?

Nought! though their names are still a spell,
And Erin ne'er shall see, I dread,
Such hosts agen!


Still, royal Rath, wherein, long since,
King Brian reigned, the conquering son
Of Kennedy,

Another host, another Prince,

Shall win thee what may yet be won,
Shall rescue thee!


Too long, Kincora, dost thou abide
A sad sepulchral solitude-
Look cheerier now,

And cast thy weeds of woe aside;

Thy glory shall shine out renewed,
Thou Lone One, thou!


New guards, new bards, new clansmen come;
Comes hither Torlogh, son of Teague,
To hold his court:

They make thy palace-halls their home,
A brilliant Band, a mighty League,
Oh, once-proud Fort!


The wide-renowned Dalcassian camp
Shall there assemble, clan by clan,
Ten thousand strong!
Methinks I hear their clangorous tramp,
As, like the warriors of the Tain,§
They march along!

Donall Mac Eivin, a Scottish prince, of the clan Leoid of Ara, who also fell at Clontarf.

†The son of Donchuan.

Prince of Iveagh, in the county of Cork, and the husband of Brian's daughter. The O'Mahonys of Cork are at present his representatives.

§ The Tain, viz., the Tain Bo Cuailgne, or Pillage of the cows of Connaught. The allusion is to a preying which took place about the beginning of the first century, in Cuailgne, in Louth, by the forces of Connaught and their allies, headed by the celebrated Queen Meave, and which resulted in a ten years' war.


And in the van, the first, the best,
The boldest swordsmen Erin boasts,
Shall there be seen,

The well-trained Warriors of the West,
The choice and flower of Thomond's hosts,
Attired in green!


And from the East, from Ara, and
From yewy Cliach, with brow elate,
Shall come to thee

A second brave and green-clad Band,*
Luxuriant branches of the great
O'Brien Tree!


The bright Basgenian legions, too,
In glittering show and silken sheen,
Shall seek the van-
Intrepid smiters!-fierce though few-
Our warlike island hath not seen
A nobler clan !


The proud and prosperous Clan-Cullain,†
Who ne'er were known to faint or fail
In Danger's hour,

Will muster there in strength amain,
Each, panoplied in dark-blue mail,
A human tower!


And Corcomroe, as long foretold
By holy priests and prophet-seers,
Shall also yield,

To swell thy ranks, a phalanx bold,‡

And armed with blood-bedabbled spears,—
Men for thy field!


Within thy walls shall soon appear
O'Brien of the Drinking-horns-
And thou, so long

Given up to silence dead and drear,
Shall all thy nights and all thy morns
Resound with song!


Why long we so for Tara's Hall ?

The Man from whom Prince Torlogh springs
Esteemed it not;

Viz., the O'Briens of Ara, or Duharrow, in Tipperary, and their adherents. Viz., the Mac Namaras, a powerful and princely family of the Delcassians. This phalanx was composed of the O'Conors of Corcomroe, and the O'Loughlins of Burren.

[blocks in formation]
« ForrigeFortsæt »