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The following literal translation of the poem, which is printed at the conclusion of Neilson's Grammar, with the critical notes, was supplied by a young friend, who has devoted himself with much praiseworthy ardour to the study of our national literature. The Editor, in professing to give the public a reprint of Dr. Neilson's work, did not feel himself authorized to make any alteration in it, but the following translation is absolutely necessary to enable the student to understand the original poem :
Dear to me that Eastern land, *
Dear is Dunfay and Dunfin,
Oh, Cullcuan !-oh Cullcuan !
* The article is here substituted in place of the possessive pronoun; for if the pronoun be used, the leading letter of tir should be eclipsed according to rule the 4th, page 88, and will mean our country or land.
+ This line is evidently a corruption; for, as it stands at present, it is almost unintelligible. According to the edition of the Gaelic Society, in 1808, it is "gur ctigeno Adle, monuar, ( Whither, alas! Aindle would resort.”
Vale of Laith! oh, vale of Laith!
There was my first dwelling rais'd ;
See Page 10
* Translate soft coverlets instead of shady thickets, which wan ders a little too far from the text.
+ This is here translated, “Fair its paths," which seems to agree better with her description of the vale of Massan than geal 4-gasain, meaning “white its little stalks."
This is a beautiful simile, when understood, which is very difficult from the way it is written in Irish, for the literal meaning, according to the text, would be ridiculous; but if buaile, which signifies a resort, or any place of shelter, be substituted in place of bualad, the present participle of the verb buail, to strike, the meaning will be easily understood, and elegant; Deardra
compares the Vale of Eithe to a buaile, where the sun loved to linger from its rising till it set: This word, buaile, is used at present, for the place where cattle are driven for sheltoi and change of pasture.
Farewell East-to Alba from me,
He sent her a sportive doet
Having heard this news
boat on the waves
* I have put Uirneac in the genitive case, according to rule 10, page 79.
+ Cilio baot, does not mean a hind from the hill. B4oc signifies soft, effeminate, or any thing easily frightened: hence used for timorous
* Už seems to be the proper word instead of ead: they are pronounced alike; however, it is the safest way to observe the strict orthography of words. Re 4 coir, merely means beside it;
as le coir na fairge, by the sea-side. Iturik ikus u Jurjetetud
the passage u planie flatteu a iti umytle cinco.
Peautifulcuit noudd, wheatrising
or strikes frunt
Alas! did she hear this night
The day seems long without the children of Usna,
Three attachments to the daughters of Britain,
Tis mournful to be in want of you, 1 * Other editions of this beautiful poem have re n-oiltaig deórajve, that is, the entertainers of strangers or sojourners, or by whom strangers were entertained; but the above is preferable.
+ This line is not easily understood, nor translated—for rig milióe means a warlike king-and being in the singular, can be applied only to one, but the relative pronoun compounded with do, and the following words include the sons of Usna; so that nig milióe cannot be the proper reading, and on the authority of an other edition, I have adopted mic rig as the proper reading, and the easiest to be understood.
It is difficult to find words exactly corresponding to buan 4 o-oreire, for buan signifies everliving, everlasting, unceasing, and creire signifies victory, conquest, &c.
Their eyebrows were dark brown,*
* This verse and the one following, is not found in some editions ; and would appear ridiculous if translated literally.
Fuineoga,' I have translated eyelashes, though literally it means a window. The two verses, as far as I can judge of them, seem to be an addition of unmeaning versification.
+ This line and the next, are incapable of translation in the way they are, for to translate them would be, “High king of Ulster, I forsook in elopement thy love Næsa; from which it would appear, that addressing the King of Ulster, she told him that she forsook the love of Næsa, which would be contrary to the poem altogether : and as the language of this poem has evidently been changed from what it once was, this word should not have been excepted from the fate of the rest, elo is certainly the ancient orthography, but does not agree with the modern rule--caol le caol agur leatan le leatan, and as the other words have been pruned and adapted to this rule, why not this also ? Caloo is the modern method of writing this word, as is evident from the following line of the beautifu ranslation of Moore's melodies, by Dr. M‘Hale,
Calocad le mo cuilcioñi 'r ni aireóćajó me an ron,
Cho geur leis an namaid ta var n-oibiro ar djon. Here ealóiad, the first person future, means, I will elope, or escape-or rather, I will Ay in elopement; but the meaning of this line will soon appear, by adopting a manuscript reading, as, ard rió Ulad mo čeadfear, do treigear é 4 grao Waoire, the translation of which is as above.