¶1] Ah Mór, remember the affection, but in brief, thou eye with the hue of springing corn, there will be no difficulty in clearing away the charges which have sundered us.
¶2] In complaining to thee, thou soft of hair, I have what unkindnessto confess, though it is no secret, an unworthy deed.
¶3] Alas, I have committed against my trusty lord, thou fruit of the branches from Bregia's citadel, an action whereat his disposition changed.
¶4] To my lord at first, and also to those who entertained me, I gave reasons for displeasure, it was a portent of sorrow to do so.
¶5] In shorta numerous throng of mischief-makers asserted to him that I had done wrong to the noble, sweetly-speaking hero of Bregia.
¶6] People are saying to me that in a poem I addressed to O'Donnell I am said to have committed an unjustice against the stately race of Conchobhar.
¶7] Great forbearance did the lord of Sligo, lord of the host from that moated stead of Conn, show towards me at that time, considering all the mischief he heard of me.
¶8] From that time on I have been wandering from one territory to another to avoid him, through the fierce wrath of Conn's race, and because of Donnell's displeasure.
¶9] Although I have not been outlawed, O Mór, for enkindling his wrath, throughout the fair, splendid Plain of Féilim I am as good as exiled.
¶10] For a year's space, and a little more, I have not visited my homeland, as long as a hundred years it seems to me, I have been away in the wilds of Ireland.
¶11] Moreover, for a year my credit amongst the race of Nine-hostaged Niall and the seed of Conall has been failing, the weather turning against me.
¶12] The noble princes of the men of Fál, those from whom I used throughout my days receive the choicest favorexhaust their entertainment of me in one day.
¶13] In my own place, while I am in disagreement with the lord of the Suck's noble plain, I have no enjoyment save that of an exiled man.
¶14] Unless God and thou can protect me, O wavy locks, there is no might that can rescue me; such misfortune has befallen me.
¶15] If thou deliver me in the time of my distress, thou bright and soft of formthis is a decree which all have confirmed, I shall be in thy possession for ever.
¶16] According to legal decree, O soft, slender, womanly hand, it is right if thou canst succour me that I should be thine in return for my protection.
¶17] Hast thou heard, thou apple-branch from Fál's fair Dwelling, of the three birds of a strange and curious kind, which came to an emperor in Italy?
¶18] Every day they were ever in the presence of the high-king, over his head when coming in, and above the couch where he reclined.
¶19] For seven years these were with him day and night, the bird-flock did not on any day return without him.
¶20] Thus they weretrouble enoughwithout sleeping, without resting; not satisfying was the music of their discourse, wearying was their contention.
¶21] He offered his heritage, and also his daughter, to any man who knew the birds, and could tell what they were about.
¶22] Amongst the people there spake a youth, and vowed publicly forthwith, however hard it was for him, to rescue the king from his misery.
¶23] And thereupon he said: 'As for the business of the three birds with thee, whosoever may be ignorant thereof, it is not hidden from me.'
¶24] 'These three birds, O emperor,' said the youth, 'have a delicate matter to lay before thee, decide it justly.'
¶25] 'These birds have for a long time had a case for judgment, and since justice is awaited from you it is high time for them that it should be instituted.'
¶26] 'A woman-bird and two men are these three that are with thee, a matter that will cause them to be discussed forms a curious dispute between them.'
¶27] 'Relate to us, as thou art certain, O youth,' said the emperor, 'the tidings of each bird, their origin, and their adventures.'
¶28] 'Conceal not from me, tell me what has been the reason of their sojourn with me, now is the time to reveal it.'
¶29] 'There came, O king,' said he, 'some time ago, a famine that lasted for a year, it afflicted the entire world throughout the globe.'
¶30] 'The bird-flocks felt it, the salmon of the ocean, the herds of the land; curious was it when considered.'
¶31] 'To one of the two birds belonged the woman-bird at first, throughout the famine he disowned her, when her protection was hardest.'
¶32] 'From the other man-bird, during that dreadful year, she got everything of which she was in need, as he had her in that time of distress.'
¶33] 'After they had come through that hard year, the former bird, he with whom she was in the beginning, proceeded to take possession of her, wishing to claim her by right.'
¶34] 'This is what the other man-bird says: that the woman is lawfully his, since it was he that brought her through that time so that she survived to the season of of [sic] prosperity.'
¶35] 'These were the words just now, of the first bird, who rejected her in the hard year: whosoever be the woman's first mate she cannot deny him.'
¶36] 'In order that you especially, rather than any other, might pronounce judgment for them, that is their object in remaining in thy presence, O king.'
¶37] As a judicial precedent the king adjudged that when she had come through the time of hardship, the bird should belong to him who had succoured her.
¶38] That verbal decree of the emperor has been under seal ever since, it is an award by which one must abide, it cannot be changed.
¶39] O daughter of Brian, thou sleek of hair, even thus wilt thou have custody of me after dispelling my hardship, in return for rescuing me from my misery.
¶40] Never can I forsake thy gentle countenance, I would not, moreover, if I could, thou tender and white of cheek, if thou protect me in the hour of my strait.
¶41] Make of me one of thine own, O lady of noble Niall's Castle, it is necessary for me and thee that I render thee allegiance in return.
¶42] Essay my protection, O benignant countenance, if it were difficult I could teach thee how to do it with thy thick, silky locks, and thy white hand.
¶43] Do not raise to him the gentle eye until Donnell and I be reconciled, neither spend nor husband his wealth, do not say that good is to be increased.
¶44] Neither heighten the renown of O'Conor of the plain of Tara, nor defend him from calumny; remain melancholy throughout the feast, remember no man in particular.
¶45] Enter not into securities for peace, do not pacify the neighbouring territories, O prudent mind, O bright of cheek, do not settle any suit or question.
¶46] Bathe not the hand or the bosom, or the pearly-hued teeth; approach not the host of Sligo for feasting or music.
¶47] Maintain not any rule or law, hinder not the quarrels of thy assembliesuntil peace is obtained for thy poet from the wrath of Conchobhar's race.
¶48] Many a thing dost thou doif thou art attempting to protect me, thou rosy lady of Bregia's Hill, which is more difficult for thee.
¶49] Much harder is it for thee to bend the oak-trees by thy counselsubdue, even as thou dost the fruitful wood, the displeasure of the head of Conchobhar's race.
¶50] Calm the wrath of the high-king of the Duff, as thou calmest the anger of the wave, soften the fury of the man's storm even as the winter wind is silenced by thee.
¶51] As the melodious babbling streams are deprived by thee of their eloquence, easier is it to control the lord of Carbury in anything in which thou attemptest to instruct him.
¶52] Even as thou curbest the forays of all others, let some bridle be laid by thy ruddy, gently-speaking, stately figure on the vengeful wrath of Donnell.
¶53] As thou makest shallow the streams, so that they bear not the salmon, thus were it easy to abate the anger of this descendant of Fiachaidh.
¶54] As thou causest the waves of the sea to ebb, and abatest the bitter, cold, tempestuous weather, even so make to ebb all the wrath which threatens thy poet, that is the sum of what I have sung.
¶55] If thou, O Mór, join with Meadhbh while our dispute lasts, there is nothing that can oppose me, despite all the ill-feeling there is against me.