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Ancient Irish Poetry
written by "Meyer, Kuno"
...er breast, one of the women said: Why do you tear from me my darling son, The fruit of my womb? It was I who bore him, My breast he drank. My womb carried him about, My vitals he sucked, My heart he filled. He was my life, 'Tis death to have him taken from me. My strength has ebbed, My speech is silenced, My eyes are blinded. Then another woman said: It is my son you take from me. I did not do the evil, But kill me—me! Kill not my son! My breasts are sapless, My eyes are wet, My hands shake, My poor body totters. My husband has no son, And I no strength. My life is like death. O my own son, O God! My youth without reward, My birthless sicknesses Without requital until Doom. My breasts are silent, My heart is wrung. [Pg 43] Then said another woman: Ye are seeking to kill one, Ye are killing many. Infants ye slay, The fathers ye wound, The mothers ye kill. Hell with your deed is full, Heaven is shut, Ye have spilt the blood of guiltless innocents. And yet another woman said: O Christ, come to me! With my son take my soul quickly! O great Mary, Mother of God's Son, What shall I do without my son? For Thy Son my spirit and sense are killed. I am become a crazy woman for my son. After the piteous slaughter My heart is a clot of blood From this day till Doom. [Pg 44] [Pg 45] SONGS OF NATURE [Pg 46] [Pg 47] KING AND HERMIT Marvan, brother of King Guare of Connaught in the seventh century, had renounced the life of a warrior-prince for that of a hermit. The king endeavoured to persuade his brother to return to his court, when the following colloquy took place between them. Guare Why, hermit Marvan, sleepest thou not Upon a feather quilt? Why rather sleepest thou abroad Upon a pitchpine floor? Marvan I have a shieling in the wood, None knows it save my God: An ash-tree on the hither side, a hazel-bush beyond, A huge old tree encompasses it...

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