Aogán Ó Rathaille

(1670-1728 / Killarney / Ireland)

The Drenching Night Drags On - Poem by Aogán Ó Rathaille

The drenching night drags on: no sleep or snore,
no stock, no wealth of sheep, no horned cows.
This storm on the waves nearby has harrowed my head
- I who ate no winkles or dogfish in my youth!

If that guardian King from the bank of the Leamhan lived on,
with all who shared his fate (and would pity my plight)
to rule that soft, snug region, bayed and harboured,
my people would not stay poor in Duibhne country.

Great Carthy, fierce and fine, who loathed deceit;
with Carthy of the Laoi, in yoke unyielding, faint;
and Carthy King of Ceann Toirc with his children, buried;
it is bitterness through my heart they have left no trace.

My heart has dried in my ribs, my humours soured,
that those never-niggardly lords, whose holdings ranged
from Caiseal to Cliona's Wave and out to Thomond,
are savaged by alien hordes in land and townland.

You wave down there, lifting your loudest roar,
the wits in my head are worsted by your wails.
If help ever came to lovely Ireland again
I'd wedge your ugly howling down your throat!


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, May 23, 2012


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