Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The bardic poems of Tadhg Dall Ó Huiginn (1550–1591) (Author: Tadhg Dall Ó Huiginn)

section 44


This is the satire Tadhg Dall Ó Huiginn composed on the people of the O'Hara family, for which they cut out his tongue etc.

¶1] A troop of six that came to my house, I shall give a description of them; scarce of milk was I the next morning, from the thirst of the six vagabonds.

¶2] It was a long time, seemingly, since a bit of cow's produce had entered their bodies, the twice three whom I have mentioned.

¶3] I was able—'tis a pity—to bring them from death to life; must needs they drink my milk, so great was the thirst from the dry bread.

¶4] I in want, and they in necessity—I am in a strait between the two; it is hard for me to repress these verses, yet is it sinful for me to make them.

¶5] It is best not to conceal the satire if any deserve censure; as I satirized the troop of six it is unfitting not to tell it.

¶6] The first that I saw, he was the best equipped of the band, a youth whose vest was not worth more than a groat; one whom feasting or gaming never impoverished.

¶7] The second man, as I found, coming in front of the company, was a miserable fellow whose marrow had gone from him, I shall not leave him out of the reckoning.

¶8] The munition of the third wretch was an old javelin and an untempered, gapped ax; he and his makings of an ax in an encounter, I pity such a battle-equipment.


¶9] The equipment of the fourth fellow who flux-smitten marched with them, four shafts, that never knocked a splinter out of target, slung across his rump.

¶10] At the heels of the four others comes the fifth rogue, in a short smock not worth a groat, I do not think his mantle was any better.

¶11] The likeness of a fellow not worth a fleshworm was along with the five; a gaunt (?), transparent sort of fellow, he was a poor commodity on inspection.

¶12] I beseech God who shed His blood, since it is but decay for them to be alive—it is scarcely to be called living—that none may slay the troop of six.