Sunday 11 January 2015


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. 

— Translation by Frank O'Connor

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