¶1] Let us make a reckoning, Cathal, of riches and of poetry; the occasion for making it is a heart's torment, thou star from the Plain of Calry.
¶2] This is a common saying, thou kindly countenance 'affection ends with the casting up of accounts;' it is not an utterance without sorrow for me, thou capital of hospitality to men of letters.
¶3] It is time for us to balance accountsand yet, O star-soft eye and glowing cheek, O beloved of women, it was not timely for me that it should be done.
¶4] Too early for me didst thou determine to go into the reckoning, the end of my affection is a cause of grief, unhappy for me is the determination.
¶5] A bargain of gifts and of poetry I used to make with thee, O ruddy, gentle contenance, as was proper for me and for thee; sad is my share of the bargain.
¶6] There is no shape of all those which our craft has ever taken that I did not make for thy waving locks, from the poem to the weaving of a single stanza, thou noble chieftain of the host of Sligo.
¶7] There is no art, from playing the musical branches to the relating of soothing stories, and from that to extolling thy race, that thou didst not get from me.
¶8] Let us now make a reckoning anew, let me hear from thee how thou didst requite every quality in which I served thee, thou surety for foray of the Plain of Cormac.
¶9] What is this silence which is upon thee, Cathal O'Conor, that thou recountest not against me whatever was bestowed upon me?
¶10] Why, son of Tadhg, dost thou not boast of all that I obtained from thee, thou bright and noble of presence, as a balance of my great account with thee, thou soft-haired hero of Bangor?
¶11] Were everything that thou hast granted to me put in the account, thou mighty ox of this land of Bregia, it were not easy to reckon it up.
¶12] The spur-strap and the belt would be got from thee, Cathal, mantle and goblet and steeds, thou scion of Sligo.
¶13] Alas, alas, one would get mares and the precious stone from thy slender hand, and the gilded horn and the ring, thou chieftain of the great plain of Murbhach.
¶14] Cattle would be got from thee, O clinging locks, land moreover, and the shepherding of those cattle, thou defending shield of the waters of Duff.
¶15] I found a hundred times as much from thee, thou red-lipped, gently-speaking one, it is not the various wealth I received therefore that should be set against me.
¶16] Rather should thy favor be recounted, and thy prudent, kindly care, thou hostage of the fair Plain of Fál; more fitting were it to recount thy love and thy esteem.
¶17] I used to have thy confidence and thy counsel, thou branch of Leyney, thy elbow and half thy couch, an award which no gifts could excel.
¶18] It were just to give thanks for it to theefrom others, Cathal, I got plenteous gifts in consequence of being seen beside thee.
¶19] I could not recount, O bright face, one half of what I received amongst the host of the fair Dwelling of Fál, from appealing in thy honor.
¶20] Through thee I got my price from Clanwilliam to the west, and, another time, from the battalion of Breffney, thou twining stem of the host of Sligo.
¶21] I gotthough I deserved it notmy share of the wealth of Conall's race, and of the booty of the O'Neills from the east, on account of thee, O waving, parted-locks.
¶22] The Costellos, the Gaileangaigh, would be spared for rewarding me; Chlann Chúán and Carra must needs favor us.
¶23] From Erne's water to Slieve Aughty each chief, each one likely for kingship used to flatter me: it was no presage of exaltation of spirit.
¶24] Never before did poet get such honor as mine upon the soft-swarded Hill of the Fair, from any king amongst the men of Ireland.
¶25] Eochaidh the Sage had not such honor from Hundred-fighting Conn as we from thee, thou ruling staff of Conn's Banbha.
¶26] Consider even Fítheal, the soothsayer of Cormac from thy long palm, thou chief of the slender-handed host of Bregia, I have had gifts such as Fítheal did not get.
¶27] In shortin the days of Niall or Corc of Cashel, Torna, teacher of the learned poets of the men of Fál, was not wont to obtain what I have obtained.
¶28] Mac Coise's honor long ago, in the days of Tadhg Mór son of Cathal, is not comparable to mine; harder it is that thou shouldst perish from thy poet.
¶29] Mac Liag's honor in Leath Mogha, in the time of Brian of Bóromha, though good was the king of Fál's fair height, is not fit to set beside mine.
¶30] Never did the kings of Ireland give to the poets of hilly Banbha half as much as I got from thy dear countenance, or half my honor in a single house.
¶31] Since I cannot relate of thee sufficingly, Cathal O'Conor, it is grievous to me to speak of thee, alas that I did not perish by thy side.
¶32] None ever thought that I would remain after thee, it is shameful for me not to have gone with thee in requital for thy affection and thy bounty.
¶33] It is hard for the nobles of Innisfail, since I live and thou, O flower of the Gaels of Connla's Plain, art no more, to have trust in any man of art.
¶34] Oft wouldst thou implore God for me that I should have a longer life than thine; O ruling hand of Bregia's dewy plain, thy boon hath perturbed my mind.
¶35] Thy boon hath harmed us, alas; thou hast obtained from God, O gallant form, that we live after thee, thou only hope of Muireadhach's rampart.
¶36] It was no wonder, O white-handed, modest-worded, that thou shouldst obtain thy desire, who never didst refuse any under heaven, O gracious, gentle face.
¶37] Thine own boon, the wrath of the Lord, hath grieved me, thou bright and gallant form; in return for my loyalty to thee, through thee my devastation is come.