Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Irish Language (Author: James Clarence Mangan)
- The language of Erin is brilliant as gold;
It shines with a lustre unrivalled of old.
Even glanced at by strangers to whom 'tis unknown
It dazzles their eyes with a light all its own!
- It is music, the sweetest of music, to hear;
No lyre ever like it enchanted your ear.
Not the lute, or the flute, or the quaint clarionet,
For deep richness of tone could compete with it yet!
- It is fire to the mindit is wine to the heart
It is melting and boldit is Nature and Art!
Name one other language, renowned though it be,
That so wakes up the soul, as the storm the deep sea!
- For its bardsthere are none in cell, cottage, or hall,
In the climes of the haughty Iberian and Gaul,
Who despair not to match themtheir marvelful tones
Might have won down the gods of old Greece from their thrones!
- Then it bears back your spirit on History's wings
To the glories of Erin's high heroes and kings,
When the proud name of Gael swelled from ocean to shore,
Ere the days of the Saxon and Northman of yore.
- Is the heart of the land of this tongue undecayed?
Shall the Sceptre and Sword sway again as they swayed?
Shall our Kings ride in triumph o'er war-fields again,
Till the sun veils his face from the hosts of the slain?
- O, then shall our halls with the Gaelic resound,
In the notes of the harp and the claoirseach2 half-drowned,
And the banquet be spread, and the chess-board all night
Test the skill of our Chiefs, and their power for the fight.
- Then our silken-robed minstrels, a silver-haired band,
Shall rewake the young slumbering blood of the land,
And our bards no more plaintive on Banba's dark wrongs,
Shall then fill two worlds3 with the fame of their songs.
- And the gates of our Brughaidhs4 again shall stand wide,
And their céad míle fáilte woo all withinside,
And the travel-tired wayfarer find by the hearth
Cheery Plenty where now, alas! all is Black Dearth.
- The down-trodden Poor shall meet kindness and care,
And the Rich be as happy to spare and to share!
And the Mighty shall rule unassailed in their might,
And all voices be blent in one choir of delight!
- The bright Golden Era that poets have sung
Shall revive, and be chaunted anew in our tongue;
The skies shall rain Love on the land's breadth and length,
And the grain rise like armies battalioned in strength.
- The priest and the noble, the serf and his lord,
Shall sustain one another with word and with sword
The Learned shall gain more than gold by their lore,
And all Fate took away she shall trebly restore.
- Like rays round a centre, like stars round the moon,
Like Ocean round Earth, when it heaves in the noon,
Shall our chiefs, a resplendent and panoplied ring,
In invincible valour encircle their King.
- And thou, O Grand Language, please Heaven, shalt win
Proud release from the tomb thou art sepulchred in.
In palace, in shieling, on highway, on hill,
Shalt thou roll as a river, or glide as a rill!
- The story of Éire shall shine forth in thee;
Thou shall sound as a horn from the lips of the Free;
And our priests in their forefathers' temples once more
Shall through Thee call on men to rejoice and adore!