“And his wild harp slung behind him”: lyric poems of Thomas Moore for St. Patrick’s Day

Eileen Thompson the "Colleen"_Belfast, 1944

Eileen Thompson the “Colleen”_Belfast, 1944

Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
The Minstrel Boy (song composed around 1800)
The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you’ll find him;
His father’s sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
“Land of Song!” said the warrior bard,
“Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!”
The Minstrel fell! But the foeman’s chain
Could not bring his proud soul under;
The harp he loved ne’er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said “No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery!”
. . .
Moore set his patriotic poem, The Minstrel Boy”, to the melody known as The Moreen, an old Irish air. It is believed that the poet composed the song in remembrance of friends he’d known while studying at Trinity College, Dublin, and who had taken part in / were killed during, the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
. . .
Thomas Moore
The Last Rose of Summer (written in 1805)
‘Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.
I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter,
Thy leaves o’er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.
So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love’s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?
. . .
Moore’s poem, The Last Rose of Summer, was composed in 1805 while he was visiting Jenkinstown Park in County Kilkenny.  It was later set to a traditional tune called “Aislean an Oigfear” or “The Young Man’s Dream”, which had been transcribed by Edward Bunting in 1792 based on a performance by harper Donnchadh Ó hÁmsaigh (Denis Hempson) at the Belfast Harp Festival.  The poem and the tune together were published in December 1813 in volume 5 of a collection of Moore’s work called A Section of Irish Melodies.
The Brian Boru Harp_a 15th century cláirseach

The Brian Boru Harp_a 15th century cláirseach

Thomas Moore
The Harp that once through Tara’s Halls…
The harp that once through Tara’s halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls,
As if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory’s thrill is o’er,
And hearts, that once beat high for praise,
Now feel that pulse no more.
No more to chiefs and ladies bright
The harp of Tara swells;
The chord alone, that breaks at night,
Its tale of ruin tells.
Thus Freedom now so seldom wakes,
The only throb she gives,
Is when some heart indignant breaks,
To show that still she lives.
. . .
Zócalo Poets’ editor’s note:
The poems featured here were chosen by my mother, who was born Eileen Thompson, of Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Her remarks:
When I was about fourteen I went with a choir to Ulster Hall, a Victorian concert hall in the centre of Belfast. The occasion was a choral concert. I wore the “costume” of an Irish colleen. My cloak was green and my skirt had a satin horizontal stripe. My shoes I clearly remember: black oxfords – well polished. I stood alone, stage left, with a spotlight shining on me, and I sang The Rose of Tralee, not one by Thomas Moore, yet a popular old ballad just the same. And that was my singing début!  The Last Rose of Summer I learned several years earlier, at Mullaghdubh Primary School, when we were evacuated to Islandmagee after the first air raid on Belfast in April of 1941.
. . . . .

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh: Habla la “Voz” irlandesa / The Irish “Voice” Speaks

ZP_Kerry Way walking path between Sneem and Kenmare_Ireland


Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

(nace 1984, Tralee, condado de Kerry, Irlanda

/ born 1984, Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland)

“Cuando Uno Se Desespera”


 Hay algunos días cuando

– admitámoslo –

me canso de

unirme por su defensa

Me agoto de estar arraigado

aquí junto a su cabecera

Esta lengua

que ha sido violada,

estoy esperando que se recupere,

cuidando de ella, diligentemente,

deseándole que la Vida entre en ella de nuevo

Y cuando veo

sus huesos pudriéndose


Sé que

algún día

no quedará nada

sólo el polvo, mudo…

como yo – si pensamos en esto.




“Laethanta Lagmhisnigh”


Admhaím corrlá

bím traochta

dá cosaint os comhair an tsaoil

Bím bréan de bheith fréamhaithe

cois leapan

na teangan éignithe


ag guí biseach uirthi

á faire go cúramach

ag impí beatha inti arís

Is nuair a chím

a cnámha lofa

ag cailciú


ná beidh fágtha

lá éigin

ach smúit bhalbh . . .

ach an oiread liom féin.




“When One Despairs”


Some days, let’s admit it,

I tire

of rallying to her defence

I weary of being rooted

here by her bedside

this language

that has been violated

hoping she’ll come around

watching her assiduously

wishing the life back into her again

And when I see

her rotting bones


I know that

one day

there will be nothing left

nothing but dust, mute . . .

like myself, come to think of it.




“Un Tema de Cierto Pesar”


No, no estoy tan deprimido que

me quedo

debajo del edredón

todo el día

– eso sería una exageración.

Sólo es que

mi ojo

me hizo feliz verle a usted,


a quien dejé ahí


Y esta mañana

en mi boca

hay un sabor de cerveza negra

– y el pesar.






Nílim chomh duairc

go bhfanfainn

fén duvet

ar feadh an lae

sin áibhéil.

Níl ann ach gur

thug mo shúil

taithneamh éigin duit,

a stróinséir

is gur fhágas

im dhiaidh tú

oíche aréir

agus go bhfuil

blas pórtair

is áiféala

im’ bhéal

ar maidin.




“A Matter of Some Regret”


No, I’m not so depressed

as to stay

under the duvet

all day

That would be an exaggeration.

It’s just that

my eye

gladdened at the sight of you,


left behind

last night.

And this morning

there’s a taste of stout

and regret

in my mouth.



© Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

Translation from Irish into English:

© Gabriel Rosenstock



“Barrio Chino”


Barrio chino

bullicio sin final

un sonido resaltó

entre los enredados sonidos

jalándome hacia

su súplica…

era un pescado

en una vasija poco profunda


con mucha urgencia.

Una mujer que lo miraba

con ojos saltados

como los ojos del pescado,

alcanzando la orilla

sin esperanzas.






El Corrib* se desbordó


una poza debajo del Arco

el cielo amenaza esta mañana

y a mi casi me aplastan

en la luz roja del semáforo

un hombre de nariz aguileña

sentado en un pequeño muro,

dolor en sus ojos.

un cisne en sus brazos,

una bolsa negra la cobijaba,

una herida brillante es su blanco cuello.



*Corrib – un río en el condado de Galway, Irlanda






rírá síoraí Chinatown

éiríonn torann amháin

os cionn an chlampair

is meallann mé chuige

lena impí…

iasc a bhí ann

in árthach íseal

ag slup slaparnach

le hoiread práinne.

Bean á fhaire

a súile ar bolgadh

amhail súil an éisc

ag cur thar maoil

le neart gan feidhm.






bhris an Choirib a bruacha


bhí tuile fén bPóirse

bhagair an spéir ar maidin,

is ba dhóbair gur deineadh leircín díom

ag solas tráchta dearg

bhí fear cromógach suite

ar bhalla íseal,

goin ina shúile.

ina bhaclainn, bhí eala,

sac dubh uimpi

is cneá dearg ar a muineál bán.







the racket’s neverending

one sound rose

above the jingle jangle

drawing me towards

its plea…

it was a fish

in a shallow vessel

slup-slopping about

with much urgency.

A woman watching it

her eyes bulging

like the eyes of the fish

bulging to the brim




Translation from the Irish: Gabriel Rosenstock






the Corrib* broke its banks

last night

a pool under the Arch

the sky threatened this morning

and I was almost flattened

at a red traffic light

a hook-nosed man sat

on a low wall,

hurt in his eyes.

in his arms was a swan,

a black sack around her,

a bright red wound on her white neck.



*Corrib – a river in County Galway, Ireland

Translation from the Irish:  by the poet herself.



About the Poet:

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh’s first collection of poetry, Péacadh, was published in 2008.  She has read poetry in Montréal, New York, Paris and Baile an Fheirtéaraigh.  She was raised speaking Irish and English, but writes in Irish only as she thinks it’s a more exciting language.


Traducciones del inglés en español /

Translations from English into Spanish:

Alexander Best  (“Cuando Uno se Desespera” y “Un Tema de Cierto Pesar”)

Lidia García Garay  (“Barrio Chino” y “Herida”/ “Chinatown” and “Wound”)


Caitríona Ní Chléirchín: La nueva poetisa lírica irlandesa / The new love lyricist of Irish poetry

Two scythes.

Caitríona Ní Chléirchín

(nace/born 1978, Gortmoney, Emyvale,

condado de Monaghan, Irlanda/Ireland)

“Segando con Guadaña”


Érase una vez, la guadaña

era afilada

con la piedra de guadaña


debajo del tocador

por miedo de que

un niño hiciera pedazos de ella.


Hoy día, no quedan ni guadaña ni piedra de guadaña

sólo los pedazos de recuerdo.





Tráth, cuireadh

faobhar ar speal

le cloch faobhair

a cuireadh faoi cheilt

faoin drisiúr

ar eagla go ndéanfadh

leanbh conamar de.


Inniu, níl speal, ná cloch faobhair,

ná drisiúr a thuilleadh,

níl ach conamar na gcuimhní againn.






Once, a scythe

would be sharpened

with the scything stone


under the dresser

for fear

a child would make fragments of it.


Today, no scythe or scything stone remains

only the fragments of memory.






Como una abeja casi en mi corazón,

apareciste floreando por mis pechos,

y todos tus besos eran las picaduras más dulces,

atrayéndome con besos-picaduras.

Hiciste la miel en mi ombligo,

pero la picadura la más grande fue entre mis piernas.

Me pinchaste

con palabras tan suaves.

Revoloteó el corazón

y debajo de ti

como un azahar o un tallo, me doblé.

Me abriste como una puerta de miel

y todo mi dulzura bebiste.

Está moteado ahora el cuerpo con picaduras azules-rojas,

con salpicadura de gema morada,

y pintada por todo con mordiscos de amor y odio.

Clavaste en mí tu aguijón,

y llena mi cabeza tu zángano.

Una abeja salvaje, un abejorro zumbando

dentro de mí para siempre,

nunca mostrándome ninguna clemencia.





Ba gheall le beach i mo chroí thú.

Tháinig tú amach ag bláthú trí mo chíocha

is ba chealg mhilis iad na póga

cealgphógadh do mo chealgadh.

Rinne tú mil i m’imleacán,

ach chuaigh an chealg ba mhó idir an dá chos.

Phrioc tú mé

le briathra míne.

Tháinig eitilt ar mo chroí

is lúb mé fút mar bhláth, mar ghas.

D’oscail tú mé mar dhoras meala

is d’ól tú uaim

achan mhilseacht.

Anois tá mo cholainn breactha le cealga gormdhearga,

buailte le seodchealga corcra

clúdaithe le baill seirce is fuatha ó bhun go barr.

Sháigh tú ionam do chealg bheiche

is níor stad do dhordán riamh i m’inchinn.

Beach fhiáin ab ea thú, bumbóg ag crónán go síoraí ionam

is ní raibh trócaire ar bith agat dom.






Like a bee almost in my heart,

you emerged flowering though my breasts,

and your every kiss was the sweetest sting,

enticing me with sting-kissing.

You made honey in my navel,

but the greatest sting went between my legs.

You pricked me

with words so gentle.

My heart fluttered

and beneath you

like a blossom or a stem, I bent.

You opened me like a honey door

and all my sweetness you drank.

My body is speckled now with blue-red stings,

with purple gem-sting stippling,

and dappled all over with love and hate bites.

You thrust your bee-sting into me,

and your drone still fills my brain.

A wild bee, a bumbling humming bee

forever inside me,

never showing any mercy.




The poet  tells us:

“The ‘musics’ of Irish and English are different…In Irish you can hear the sea, the mountains,you can hear echoes of loss.  I’m not saying you can’t hear these in English – just that Irish is more musical, less clinical. English has been described by some Irish speakers as the language to sell pigs in – I think that’s too harsh.  I think in the way we speak English in Ireland you can hear the longing for Irish.  Irish is more elemental, earthy, more natural in a way – a language greatly wounded and for that reason maybe closer to the body and emotion – for me as a poet.”


©  Caitríona Ní Chléirchín

Translations from Irish to English:

by the poet herself.


Translations from English into Spanish /

Traducciones del inglés al español:

Alexander Best (“Bee”)

Lidia García Garay (“Scything”)


Moyra Donaldson: “I will grow a new tongue…”

Moyra Donaldson

(born 1956, Newtownards, Northern Ireland)




What ground is mine

if I would govern myself?

Where is my country

if neither bogs nor gantries

speak of me?

Where can I stand

if I am not one thing,

or the other?


My grandfather knew where he stood.

Ancestors planted his feet

in fertile soil, green futures were

named in his name, possessed.

He preached their flinty faith

in mission tents, visions of eternal life

on soft Ulster evenings,


But there was no redemption.

Not in the land, or through the Blood.

Not in the hard lessons of duty, obedience,

with which he marked his children.


He is stripped of virtue,

his legacy a stone

of no magic, no transcendence.

No children ever turned to swans,

wafer remains wafer on the tongue,

and flesh is always flesh.


My two white birds will bring me

water from the mountains,

beakfuls of sweet sips.

I will grow a new tongue,

paint my body with circles

and symbols of strength, mark myself

as one who belongs in the desert.




“I Do Not”



I do not confess to anything – so when I speak

of the small dark spidery creature

skittling across the periphery of my vision –

it proves nothing.

Meaning is just an accident,

soon mopped up – those letters

were written by somebody else,

and that suitcase under the bed

does not contain my heart.


I do not regret anything – so when the black dog

digs up the bones I have buried

beneath the brambles, deep in the wild woods –

I am not worried.

I have allowed no prophets

to enter my house, so bones can not

stand up, grow flesh and walk.

They cast no shadows

and I have nothing to look in the face.


I do not promise anything – so when I lie

down with you, close as a child,

intimate as a lover, tender as a mother –

it means nothing.

Love is just a trick of the light,

a misunderstanding.

No matter who you think I am,

when it matters most,

I will not be who you want.





First published in 2006 in the anthology

“Magnetic North” (edited by John Brown),

Moyra Donaldson’s poems

are here reprinted by permission of

The Lagan Press, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Serious Humour north of 54 degrees latitude: Dan Eggs


“Spin Dryer and Washing Machine”



The spin dryer’s moved in with the washing machine,

they’re living together, you know what I mean, I believe the spin dryer’s

the clothes bin’s mum, he came out of her rotating aerated drum,

she takes the day off when the weather’s fine, then he does a line

with the clothes line, they live in an outhouse without any fuss, are

these household appliances quite like us?  (The washing machine once

spilt his load because he was in fast coloureds mode).




“Sunday Morning”



The cow in the field chews the grass, she never thinks about going to

Mass, the little bird sitting high on the birch, he and his friends don’t

think about church, the wasps in the dustbin devouring the apple, what

do they know about going to chapel, the elderly lady sits in her pew,

while her young son watches Kung Fu.



Dan Eggs’ poems first appeared in the

2006 anthology, “Magnetic North” (edited by John Brown).

There are reprinted here by permission of

The Lagan Press, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Poems for Saint Patrick’s Day: Love and The Poet / Poemas para el Día de San Patricio: Amor y El Poeta

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

“Memoria” (1919)

Una tenía la cara linda,

Y dos o tres eran encantadoras,

Pero cara y encanto fueron en vano

Porque la hierba de la sierra

Siempre conserva la forma

Donde se ha tendido la liebre del monte.


“Canción de Muchacha” (1933)

Salí sola

Para cantar una canción o dos,

Se me antoja un hombre

Y usted sabe quien es.


Otro se apareció

que dependía de un bastón

Para estar de pié;

Me senté y lloré.


Y ésta fue toda mi canción

– cuando todo ha sido dicho

¿Vi a un anciano joven,

O a un joven anciano?


 “Canción para beber” (1910)

El vino entra vía la boca

Y el amor entra vía el ojo;

Es toda la verdad que sabremos

Antes de envejecer y morir.

Levanto el vaso a mi boca,

Te miro, y suspiro.


“La Espuela” (1936)

Tu piensas que es horrible que lujuria y furia

Me adoran en la vejez…

No eran una peste cuando yo era joven;

¿Tengo algo más para espolearme cantar?


“Un Voto Jurado en lo Más Profundo” (1919)

Habían otros – porque no cumpliste

Ese voto jurado en lo más profundo – que han sido amigos míos;

Pero siempre cuando miro a la muerte en la cara,

Cuando trepo a las cumbres de sueño,

O cuando me estremezco con el vino,

De súbito me encuentro con tu cara.


William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

“Memory” (1919)

One had a lovely face,

And two or three had charm,

But charm and face were in vain

Because the mountain grass

Cannot but keep the form

Where the mountain hare has lain.


“Girl’s Song” (1933)

I went out alone

To sing a song or two,

My fancy on a man,

And you know who.


Another came in sight

That on a stick relied

To hold himself upright;

I sat and cried.


And that was all my song

–  when everything is told,

Saw I an old man young

Or young man old?


“Drinking Song” (1910)

Wine comes in at the mouth

And love comes in at the eye;

That’s all we shall know for truth

Before we grow old and die.

I lift the glass to my mouth,

I look at you, and I sigh.

Poteen Drinkers by Brian Whelan_2011

“The Spur” (1936)

You think it horrible that lust and rage

Should dance attention upon my old age;

They were not such a plague when I was young;

What else have I to spur me into song?


“A deep-sworn vow” (1919)

Others because you did not keep

That deep-sworn vow have been friends of mine;

Yet always when I look death in the face,

When I clamber to the heights of sleep,

Or when I grow excited with wine,

Suddenly I meet your face.


Translation into Spanish /

Traducción en español:  Alexander Best

Cronin, Sirr y Donnelly: Tres poetas irlandeses / Cronin, Sirr and Donnelly: Three Irish poets


Traducciónes del inglés al español /

Translations from English into Spanish:

© Jorge Fonderbrider y Gerardo Romano


Anthony Cronin

(nace/born 1928, Enniscorthy, condado de Wexford, Irlanda /

Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland)




Cuando volvieron los rumores a aquel pequeño caserío blanco,

rumores extraños sobre sus hábitos y su discurso,

los vecinos sacudieron la cabeza sin asombro,

su madre estaba perpleja más que orgullosa.

Y entrando al anochecer a ciudades alumbradas por lámparas,

viendo la cálida penumbra roja detrás de los postigos,

permaneciendo despierto en cuartos extraños sobre ríos,

pensaba que sería como ellos si pudiera.

Y cuando al fin el poder cortesano prestó atención

y lo clavó más tarde en ese horrible sitio, supo que

lo que intentaba decir sería olvidado

salvo por algunos tan solos como él.







When word came back to that small whitewashed village,

Strange rumours of his ways and of his talk,

The neighbours shook their heads and didn’t wonder,

His mother was bewildered more than proud.

And coming into lamplit towns at evening,

Seeing the warm red gloom behind the blinds,

Lying awake in strange rooms above rivers,

He thought he would be like them if he could.

And when at last the courteous powers took notice,

And nailed him to that awful point in time,

He knew that what he meant would be forgotten

Except by some as lonely as himself.




Peter Sirr

(nace/born 1960, Waterford, Irlanda/Ireland)

“Cuerpo y Alma”



Cordero desgrasado, mermelada de damasco, pan mojado en leche

mientras cebollas, ajo y jenjibre se suavizan

sin haber olvidado las bananas,

las hojas de laurel

ni dos huevos batidos en la leche sobrante

y todo para ser horneado, y servido

sobre una base de arroz azafranado

cosas que se consiguen

en la mayoría de los buenos kioskos, el único

todavía abierto, el triste negocio

que también vende zoquetes en pilas de a seis

grises, azul marino, negros, puestos en una canasta

como un altar cerca de las góndolas frías

donde manteca, leche, fiambres, queso

se ubican detrás de velos de plástico,

todo el negocio un altar para mantener la desolación

oh compradores de sombríos zoquetes y manteca

los insomnes que se levantan

y llegan corriendo al lugar, descalzos, sin aliento

señalándole cosas a la mujer sentada detrás del mostrador

delante de los cigarrillos, al lado de la máquina de la Lotería, cerca

de los bastoncitos de chocolate; y él que vuelve a casa caminando, cansado

desde la fiesta lejana, el cordero desgrasado, el fuego lento

debajo de la pesada sartén, el ajo, las cebollas, la luz

damasco, el pasto lechoso, los corderos danzantes

en los cráteres del planeta, las mujeres durmiendo sobre camas de jenjibre

entrando en un sueño para comprar

brazaletes, sedas, mermelada de damascos.




“Body and Soul”



Minced lamb, apricot jam, milky bread

while onions, garlic, ginger soften

not having forgotten bananas, bay leaves

nor neglected

two eggs beaten into the remaining milk

the whole to be baked, and served

on a bed of saffron rice

details available

in most good newsagents, the one

still open, the sad small place

selling also socks in piles of six

grey, navy, black, set down in a basket

shrine-like near the cold shelves

where butter, milk, rashers, cheese

sit behind plastic veils,

the whole shop a shrine to the sustenance of desolation

oh purchasers of sombre socks and butter

the restless having woken

and hurried to the place, barefoot, breathless

pointing things out to the woman who sits behind the counter

in front of the cigarettes, beside the Lotto machine, near

the chocolate fingers: and exhausted walker home

from the faraway party, the minced lamb, the low flame

under the heavy pan, the garlic, the onions, the apricot

light, the milky grass, the lambs dancing

in the planet’s craters, the women sleeping on beds of ginger

entering in a dream to buy

bangles, silks, apricot jam.




Charles Donnelly

(1914-1937, nació en Killybrackey, condado de Tyrone, Irlanda del Norte,

y se murió en España (en La Guerra Civil).  Born in Killybrackey,

County Tyrone, Northern Ireland – died in Spain, fighting in The Spanish

Civil War.)

 “La Tolerancia de los Cuervos”



La muerte llega en gran número por problemas

resueltos en los mapas, disposiciones bien ordenadas,

ángulos de elevación y dirección;

llega inocente a manos de instrumentos que podrían gustarle a los niños,

guardándolos debajo de las almohadas,

inocentemente clavados en toda carne.

Y con la carne se desmorona la mente

que arrastra al pensamiento de la mente

que despoja con claridad al pensamiento de un propósito esperando.

El avance del veneno en los nervios y

el colapso de la disciplina se detiene.

El cuerpo espera la tolerancia de los cuervos.




“The Tolerance of Crows”



Death comes in quantity from solved

Problems on maps, well-ordered dispostions,

Angles of elevation and direction:

Comes innocent from tools children might

Love, retaining under pillows,

Innocently impales on any flesh.

And with flesh falls apart the mind

That trails thought from the mind that cuts

Thought clearly from a waiting purpose.

Progress of poison in the nerves and

Discipline’s collapse is halted.

Body awaits the tolerance of crows.


Saint Dallán Forgaill: “Be Thou my Vision” / “Rop tú mo baile”

“Rop tú mo baile”

(Saint Dallán Forgaill, c.530-598)

Rop tú mo baile, a Choimdiu cride:

ní ní nech aile acht Rí secht nime.

Rop tú mo scrútain i l-ló ‘s i n-aidche;

rop tú ad-chëar im chotlud caidche.

Rop tú mo labra, rop tú mo thuicsiu;

rop tussu dam-sa, rob misse duit-siu.

Rop tussu m’athair, rob mé do mac-su;

rop tussu lem-sa, rob misse lat-su.

Rop tú mo chathscíath, rop tú mo chlaideb;

rop tussu m’ordan, rop tussu m’airer.

Rop tú mo dítiu, rop tú mo daingen;

rop tú nom-thocba i n-áentaid n-aingel.

Rop tú cech maithius dom churp, dom anmain;

rop tú mo flaithius i n-nim ‘s i talmain.

Rop tussu t’ áenur sainserc mo chride;

ní rop nech aile acht Airdrí nime.

Co talla forum, ré n-dul it láma,

mo chuit, mo chotlud, ar méit do gráda.

Rop tussu t’ áenur m’ urrann úais amra:

ní chuinngim daíne ná maíne marba.

Rop amlaid dínsiur cech sel, cech sáegul,

mar marb oc brénad, ar t’ fégad t’ áenur.

Do serc im anmain, do grád im chride,

tabair dam amlaid, a Rí secht nime.

Tabair dam amlaid, a Rí secht nime,

do serc im anmain, do grád im chride.

Go Ríg na n-uile rís íar m-búaid léire;

ro béo i flaith nime i n-gile gréine

A Athair inmain, cluinte mo núall-sa:

mithig (mo-núarán!) lasin trúagán trúag-sa.

A Chríst mo chride, cip ed dom-aire,

a Flaith na n-uile, rop tú mo baile.


“Be thou my vision”

Hymn verses

set to the Irish folktune ‘Slane’, English lyrics by

Eleanor Hull (1912), based on Saint Dállan’s poem,

“Rop tú mo baile”

* * *

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,

naught be all else to me, save that thou art;

Thou my best thought by day or by night,

Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.


Be thou my wisdom, thou my true word,

I ever with thee and thou with me Lord;

Thou my great Father, I thy true son;

Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.


Be thou my breastplate, sword for the fight;

Be thou my dignity, thou my delight;

Thou my soul’s shelter, thou my high tower:

Raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.


Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise:

Thou mine inheritance now and always;

Thou and thou only –  first in my heart;

High King of Heaven, my treasure thou art.


High King of Heaven, my victory won,

May I reach Heaven’s joys, O Bright Heaven’s sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

* * *