“Consolations” -herewith the text of my translation of the 15th C. Irish poem that I gave my Introduction to yesterday. Enjoy!

But first, the first line in Gaelic, so you can see what it looks like and feels like:
“Deithfridh am dhail, a leobhrain, ”

[My Translation:]

Hurry to me, O little book,
writing-speckled pages, wonderful
tales. As all others forsake me,
please don’t you leave me now.

Come, you of the clean smooth pages,
firmly stitched together,
assuage my grief at the loss of
that fair, bright-cheeked company.

Bring with you –as long as you’re up–
my pencase, clean, ready, shining,
full of sharp, dart-like pens,
limber-tipped, firm, newly-trimmed.

Bring, too, paper, and rest-cushion
for my penhand, from whence writing
flows out onto the smooth page,
well-lettered, ordered, jet-black.

and bring, too, my book of poems
in noble, classic gaelic,
that i may learn the roots of each story
–branches of bravery, purest knowledge

That I may know the real story
of my kindred geaealogy,
every man’s family tree
exploits of wonder and adventure.

Bring with you my handbook
of ordered arithmetic, that I
may enumerate the stars, and
the days since the deluge.

Forget not the musical branch,
–(harp) of red wood, dry, plaintive,
wailing, soft-voiced, sweet,
–a soothing lullaby for my mind.

Bring the gladsome lyre,
full, bright, passionate,
its wood polished, fully-seasoned,
well-strung, engraved all over.

When I see the beautifully-crafted harp
–brown-hued, large, smooth-curved–
under the swiftly-rushing passion
of my fingers, my heart swells.

So that I play sparkling tunes with
intent, rapid fingertips,
keen, close-woven notes, solemn,
quick, precisely-fingered, measured.

Place my beautiful blade
in my fair right hand,
that I might thrice-sharpen
its gleaming edges.

Bring my beautiful jewelled dagger,
blue-edged, bright, sharp-pointed,
with its finely-worked sheath,
worthy of holding it.

Often have I taken delight
in my smooth-lined, even chessboard,
pressing against the odds on it,
scattering the golden host.

Casting dice from one sun to the next,
flowing out like a rushing stream
onto the chequered, polished board,
beautiful, pleasant, light.

When these are araound me,
my spirit soars, so that
even in my small confined space
I traverse the whole wide world.

This fair and cherished company
is all the more loved by me
because it never murmurs-against,
is arrogant-with, or reproaches anyone.

I beseech them for peace,
–this blessed and beautiful band;
above all I befriend my orphan,
who has not left me all alone.

(–Anonymous)

[Colophon:
This little book was
completed 3.23.2000
for the Small Press
Bookfair in
New York City.]

[Note to the reader:
Please tell your friends about
this free service of
The Stone Street Press;
also, that they can order
a handmade copy of the
book for ten dollars –signed
and inscribed by me, if
they so wish– through
this website. Thank you.]


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