Aogán Ó Rathaille

(1670-1728 / Killarney / Ireland)

On The Death Of William Gould - Poem by Aogán Ó Rathaille

What is this mist on the fields of Ireland? what is this haze
on the land of Eibhear? what is this grief on the cries of the
birds? what is this wrath that vexes the heavens?

What has silenced the schools of poets? what makes the
Feale and Shannon tremble? what sets the mighty ocean
roaring? what is this spoilation on the slopes of Slemish?

What has caused the poets to be in chains and helpless, and
the nobles in bonds, long to be kept there? Friars in straits,
and clergy and priests, warriors, prophets and bards unfed?

The cause of their tears-a vexatious tale- is that fair
William Gould, of the blood of the nobles, the golden
candlestick and torch of heroes, has died at Nantes-what
grief to the Gael!

The giver of horses and cloaks and clothing, giver of gold
in plenty without effort, giver of silks and wines and
trinkets, giver of silver and weapons to warriors.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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