August 27, 2018

An Mhaighdean Óg

Dá mbeidh’ áitreabh agam féin
No gabháltas a’s réim,
Caoirigh breágh’ bána
Ar árd-chnoc no sléibh,
Sláinte agus méin
Agus grádh ceart d’á réir,
Bheidhinn-se ’s mo ghrádh geal
Go sáimh ann san tsaéghal.

Tá maighdean óg ’san tír
’S is réaltan eólais í,
Grian bhreágh ar bórd í
A’s togha de na mnáibh,
A cum fada breágh
’S a cúilín crathach bán
’S gach alt léi ar lúth-chrith
Ó búcla go brághaid.

Dá mbeidhinn-se ’s mo rún
Ar choill ag buain cnó
No ar thaoibh lisín aoibhinn
’S gan dídionn orrainn acht ceó,
Bheidheadh mo chroidhe-se d’á bhreóghadh
Le díogras d’á póig
’S gur b’é grádh ceart do chlaoidh mé
’S do fhíor-sgair mo shnódh.

Dá mbéidhinn-se ’s mo ghrádh
Ar thaoibh chnuic no báin
’S gan feóirling ann ár bpóca
Ná lón chum na slighe,
Bheidh’ mo shúil-se le Críost
Le ár ndóthaint gan mhoill
A’s go dtógfadh mo stór geal
An brón so de m’ chroidhe.

Dá mbéidhinn-se ’s mo ghrádh
Cois taoide no tráigh
’S gan aon neach beó ’nn ár dtimchioll
An oidhche fhada, ’s lá,
Do bhéidhinn-se ag cómhrádh
Le Neilidh an chúil bháin
Is liom-sa ’budh h-aoibhinn
Bheith ag coímhdeacht mo ghrádh.

 

If I had a home of my own
Or a holding and position,
Fine white sheep
On a high hill or mountain,
Health in body and mind
And love in turn,
Myself and my bright love
Would live there peacefully.

There is a young maiden in the land
And she is a star of knowledge,
A splendid sun at table
And a pick among women,
Her long lovely form
And her waving fair hair
And her every joint aquiver with life
From buckles to breast.

If myself and my sweetheart
Were gathering nuts in the wood
Or beside a pleasant little rath
And nothing sheltering us but mist,
My heart would be sick
With passion for her kiss,
Such love would destroy me
And scatter my composure.

If myself and my love
Were beside hill or moor,
No farthing in our pocket,
No food for the way,
My hope would be with Christ
For our provision soon
And that my bright treasure
Would take this sorrow from my heart.

If myself and my love
Were beside tide or strand
With no one alive around,
The long night and a day
I would be talking
With Nelly of the fair hair,
My own pleasure won
To be with my love.

from Abhráin Grádh Chúige Connacht, Douglas Hyde (1893);
revised translation by Eric Rosenbloom (2018)

Tune by Eric Rosenbloom:

Dá dTéidhinn-se Siar

Dá dtéidhinn-se siar is aniar ni thiucfainn,
Air an g-cnoc do b’áirde is air a sheasfainn,
’S í an chraobh chúmhartha is túisge bhainfinn
’Gus ’s é mo ghrádh féin ar luaithe leanfainn.

Tá mo chroidhe chomh dubh le áirne,
Ná le gual dubh dhoighfidhe i g-ceartaidh,
Le bonn bróige air hállaidhibh bána,
’S tá lionndubh mór os cionn mo gháire.

Tá mo chroidhe-se brúighte briste,
Mar leac-oidhre air uachtar uisge,
Mar bheidh’ cnuasach cnó léist a mbriste,
Ná maighdean óg léis a pósta.

Tá mo ghhrádh-s’ air dhath na sméara,
’S air dhath na súgh-craobh, lá breágh gréine,
Air dhath na bhfraochóg budh duibhe an tsléibhe,
’Gus is minic bhí ceann dubh air chollainn glégil.

Is mithid damh-s’ an baile seó fhágbháil,
Is geur an chloch ’gus is fuar an láib ann,
Is ann a fuaireas guth gan éadáil,
Agus focal trom ó lucht an bhiodáin.

Fuagraim an grádh, is mairg do thug é
Do mhac na mná úd, ariamh nár thuig é,
Mo chroidhe ann mo lár gur fhágbhuidh sé dubh é,
’S ni fheicim air an tsráid ná i n-áit air bith é.

 

Were it me going west, from the west I’d not return—
On the highest hill, there I’d stand,
And the first fragrant branch I’d pick,
My own love that I’d quickly follow.

My heart is as black as sloe,
As black coal burned in a forge,
As bootsoles dirtying white floors,
And a deep melancholy over my smile.

My heart indeed is bruised and broken,
Like an ice-sheet on water,
Like gathered nuts are after cracking,
As a young maid after marrying.

My love the color of blackberries,
The color of raspberries a fine sunny day,
The color of black mountain heath-berries—
There was often a black head on a pure body.

It’s time for myself to leave this town,
Where the stone is hard and the mud is cold,
Where there is song without profit,
And a heavy word from the chattering mob.

I warn of love, and woe to who gave it
To yon woman’s son, who never understood it,
My heart in my stomach, where he left it black,
And I don’t see him on the street or anyplace at all.

from Abhráin Grádh Chúige Connacht, Douglas Hyde (1893);
revised translation by Eric Rosenbloom (2018)

can be sung to the tune of “Scarborough Fair”

August 17, 2018

“Much of the news media is indeed the enemy of the people.”

Comments to The Commons (Brattleboro, Vt.) editorial, August 15, 2018:

Ruby Bode comments...

Yet what press operations have been “reined in and silenced”? Facebook increasingly closes down TeleSur and Venezuela Analysis, and Alex Jones and InfoWars have been shut down in a concerted action by Itunes, Youtube, Spotify, and Facebook. Many other conservative broadcasters have been removed from or “shadow-banned” by Twitter and demonetized by Youtube. It is not the President’s critics being silenced, but his supporters, along with critics of American “liberal” imperialism.

Yet this editorial ignores all that and continues to wallow in the demonization of Trump that has appeared to be the mission of most of the press since election day 2016, not in the interest of “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable” (where was that rabid sense of mission during Obama’s administration and Clinton’s campaign? where will it be when Trump’s terms are done?), but in what can only be called a naked antagonism to the results of an election. …

Ruby Bode continues...

… The advice to “think about and read your news critically” in fact provides good reason to distrust much of the press. The criticism of Trump “blaming the messenger” applies just as aptly to this editorial. Indeed, it closes in neo–John Birch Society fashion, “without the slightest hint of shame”, by evoking “a foreign hand”. The same brand of “incendiary rhetoric” – even the prurient obsession with prostitutes – was prominent against President Kennedy in 1963.

Jane Palmer replies...

Trump is not consistent in his criticism of the press. He only attacks the ones that don’t agree with him.

Ruby Bode replies...

And the only outlets that have been “reined in and silenced” are those who support the President (Infowars has been shut down in a coordinated move at Youtube, Facebook, Itunes, and Spotify, and many “conservative” Twitter users are repeatedly banned or “shadowbanned”), along with critics of “liberal” imperialism (Telesur and Venezuela Analysis have been repeatedly shut down on Facebook).

Ruby Bode further replies...

Also, Jane Palmer’s comment belies the premise behind this editorial. Trump is in fact consistent: He attacks those who unfairly attack him. His use of the broad terms “press” and “people” are the rhetorical exaggerations he is known for. Some press outlets are against some of the people, against those who voted for Trump and the increasing numbers who think he should be given a chance. And by agitating for his removal with John Birch Society–inspired hysteria, they are against our democracy itself.

TB Smith says...

The divisiveness brought on by this shamefully poor excuse for a president has been once again, borne out by this article, and the responses to it .. his most devoted followers are the most gullible and easily swayed sheeple since the “Kool-Aid party in Jonestown” ... those who stand up the most fervently to this dictator “wannabe”, will , in the end, see him and the fellow purveyors of his garbage rhetoric like FOX News, Alex Jones, Breitbart, etc., crumble and be dumped like stale crackers (pardon the pun) .. we must impeach this tyrant before too much damage is done, either from within or outside our borders.

Ruby Bode replies...

So it’s OK that access to outlets that simply recognize Trump as President is indeed being shut down? But isn’t that exactly what this editorial is against? Should outlets that cheered on Obama’s wars and love of Wall St have likewise been shut down? Only John Birch Society–inspired screeds against Trump indicate the “legitimate” press?

Ruby Bode replies again...

TB Smith’s comment in apparent support of the us-vs-them tone of this editorial illustrates why so many people distrust so much of the press (although, again, it appears to be only pro-Trump and anti-imperialist outlets that are actually being shut down): They are promulgating hysterical claims about fascism, Russians, and “crackers” not in the interest of the people, but wholly on behalf of the neoliberal/neoconservative program of Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to deny Trump the Presidency and even remove him from office – not democratically, but by coup if necessary. That makes the press rather anti-democratic and, indeed, against the people.

banar Singleton says...

Spot on...thank you for challenging those who would blanketly dismiss your opinion/facts to do their own “facts checking”. Unfortunately I fear many if not most of these sheep will be lead to slaughter thinking that they are going to the trough.
a day ago

Ruby Bode replies...

Since when does the press get a free pass? Remember the Maine? The mainstream press has always been promoting the agendas of the powerful, the parties of war and Wall St. Not questioning the criticism of President Trump (particularly as it is rarely about actual policy and is so often in apocalyptic tones) is no more responsible than not questioning the voices of support.

Bev Matias says...

Thank you for your efforts to disseminate the news of the day and resist the hate-filled and deceitful rhetoric of this administration. I cannot believe, still, in this country that it is necessary for the press and regular citizens to defend themselves. Only one quarter or less of the citizens believe a word he says yet you are forced to defend yourselves because his speech is so incendiary. The press is now officially our last line of defense.

Ruby Bode replies...

Last line of defense against what, exactly? Having to live with the results of a democratic election?

Judith Skillman says...

Excellent and informative writing about the media and about the state of our nation. We must support the press speak truth to power, now more than ever before.

Ruby Bode replies...

We are also obliged to criticize the press when they merely echo the lies of the powerful. In this case, much of the press has taken a side, not just against the policies of the President, but against the election itself on behalf of the parties of war and Wall St. Just as the US has in the past agitated in other countries for coups against democratic outcomes they don’t like, much of the press, including this editorial, is now agitating for a coup here at home.

See: “Press and editorial wallow in demonization of Donald Trump”, September 12.

June 9, 2018

FEAR etc.

Fear, m., a man

Féar, m., grass

Fear, v. tr., pour out, rain, give forth, send, grant, bestow

Fearthainn, f., rain; tá sé ag cur fearthainne, it is raining

Fearb, f. a welt, a stripe; a blotch caused by a satire, etc.; a groove, a notch; the notch-end, scroll or peg-box of a violin; al. “beaded edge or caiseal of a fiddle” (Car.); al. a dish or trencher; d’fhéach mé ar a feirb, I looked at the peg-box; bhí poll ar a feirb, the scroll was perforated; al. a word (Lat. verbum); al. fearb, feirbh.

Fearb, f., a doe or dear

Fearg, f., anger, wrath, fury

Fearn, f., the alder tree; alder timber; ... the letter F; al. a shield.

Fearr, a., comp. of maith; better, best ...

Fearsa, m., a verse

Fearsach, -saighe, a., full of small ridges as a strand (O’R.).

Fearsaid, f., a shaft; a spindle; the ulna of the arm (f. na láimhe), the fibula of the leg (f. na coise), a club

Feart, m., virtue, power, force, strength, efficacy, desert, merit, expedient; heed; a miracle, a prodigy

Feart, m., a grave, a tomb, a vault; a trench.

May 31, 2018

Bean/Beann/Binn/Beannacht

[Dinneen, 1927]

bean, … a woman, a wife; …

beanaim, I cut, etc.; … I strike; … See bainim and cf. buainim.

[Ó Donáill, 1977]

bainim, I dig out.

beann, f. (gs. binne, npl.~a, gpl. ~). 1. Horn, antler. 2. Drinking-horn. 3. ~ buabhaill, bugle-horn. 4. Prong. [Ó Donáill]

beann, f. (gs. binne). Regard; dependence. [Ó Donáill]

beann. 1. gpl. of binn. 2. f = binn.

binn, f. (gs. ~e, npl. beanna, gpl. beann). 1. Peak. 2. Gable. 3. Cliff. 4. Corner; edge, margin. 5. (Of garment) Lap. 6. ~ sleáin, wind, flange, of turf-spade. ~ siosúir, blade of scissors. 7. Side, portion. 8. = beann.

binn, a1. 1. (Of sound) Sweet, melodious.

binn, f = beann.

[Dinneen]

beann, gs. beinne, binne, beanna; ds. beinn, binn; pl. beanna; f old neut., a point, a peak; a mountain peak; a headland; a cliff; a pinnacle; a crest; a top; tip, peak or skirt of a garment; b. a gúna ar bhaitheas a cinn, her dress drawn over her head; a lap; im’ bheinn, on my lap; a corner; ceithre beanna an tighe, the four corners of the house; a gable, al. a spire, a steeple; ní saor go binn, the test of a mason is the gable; clár binne, bargeboard; a mast-peak, a wing, a branch, an arm, a bracket; gach b. de’n chrann, every arm of the tree; b. croise, arm of cross; b. dá chabhlach, a wing of his fleet; b. chluig, clock hand; a prong; píce dhá mb. (trí mb.), a two- (three-) pronged fork; a goblet, a horn, fig. a long ear; péire beann, a pair of long ears; b. buabhaill (al. buadhalach), a bugle-horn; beanna chinn, his horns (of jealousy, poet.); a couplet, a stanza; leath-bheann, a line; the full complement of cattle to stock a farm, agistment; bárr binne, a privileged beast over and above the agistment, fig. bí b. b. ar Éirinn sinne, we are not privleged persons in Ireland; báirr-bh., excess stock; care, regard, respect; ní’l aon bh. agam ort, I care not about, ignore, disklke or am independent of you; is suarach mo bhinn ort, I care little about you, I am not dependent at all on you; is mise beag-bheann ort, id.; common in place names; B. Gulban, Bengulbin; Beanna Beola, the Twelve Pins; B. Éadair, Howth; al. binn, beinn, béinn (cliff, Antr.); Corrán Béinne, Horn Head.

beannach, beannaighe, a., horned, forked; cornered; gabled; peaked (as mountains); an t-Oileán Trí-Bheanach = Trinacria (Sicily); skipping, prancing, nimble; capall b., a prancing horse; standing out to the vision, distinct; fiadh b., a deer, a stag; tigheanna b. buacach, a gay flounting lord (Car.).

beannacht, … a blessing; …

beann mhear, f., henbane; …

beannóg, -óige, -óga, f., a coif, a cap, a corner of a woman’s cloak; al. beannán.

beannóg, -óige, -a, f., a step, a bounce; …

May 1, 2018

Renewable energy undermine

Jeff Rice @EvolvingCaveman asked on Twitter: Hi @windwatchorg, Haven't you guys got anything better to do than try to undermine clean, green #RenewableEnergy? Enlighten us - what would you like to see make up our energy mix? Expensive nuclear? #ClimateChange causing #FossilFuels? @GeorgeMonbiot

National Wind Watch @windwatchorg answered:

The unfortunate fact is that renewable energy does not meaningfully replace fossil and nuclear fuels.

And such diffuse (low-density) sources as wind and solar require massive plants to capture even enough to make selling virtue-signaling green tags profitable.

That means wind and solar on an industrial scale necessarily have adverse effects of their own, particularly as they need huge tracts of previously undeveloped rural and wild land, including mountain ridge lines.

And being intermittent and, in the case of wind, highly variable, they still require backup, which is forced to run much less efficiently (ie, with more carbon emissions) than it could without having to contend with wind's erratic generation.

So for such utter lack of actual benefit coupled with substantial harm, no, we do not support wind and work to protect the environment from its depredations.

We advocate conservation, which reduces fossil and nuclear fuel use much more than wind and solar do.

Jeff Rice replied: I notice that you haven't answered my question...

National Wind Watch answered: That's a separate issue from National Wind Watch's mission to educate people about wind's shortcomings and harm. We do not take a position for any over any other except to note that wind is not a solution.

Jeff Rice: Campaign organisations have long recognised the need to promote solutions to the problems they campaign against. Your anti #WindPower campaign lacks substance and comes across as NIMBYism. It also looks like you are apologists for the #FossilFuels industry. #NIMBY

National Wind Watch:

That is of course a risk we take. On the other hand, there are plenty of groups already proposing solutions, and those who question wind power represent people of very different views, from off-grid deep green to pronuclear free marketers.

Our role is to provide a resource for all of them on the issue of industrial-scale wind power. If people see that as being apologists for fossil fuels or giving comfort to climate skeptics or NIMBYism, that is a failure of imagination on their part.

It is a failure of environmentalists, driven by the "need to promote solutions", that they have forgot their role is to challenge and question solutions, especially those promoted by government and industry and banking in collusion.

Jeff Rice: Various forms of #RenewableEnergy are the solution! Although, do you think that we don't need to tackle #ClimateChange or air pollution? And as for renewables being supported by the establishment - what utter nonsense. Governments are very much wedded to #FossilsFuels!

National Wind Watch:

Wind and solar would be great if their benefits far outweighed their harm, but, as already noted, on a large scale their harm far outweighs their benefits, because they do very little to alleviate carbon emissions, pollution or fossil fuel dependency.

As to government support for wind, it is hardly a secret that subsidies, regulatory favoritism and special market structures are necessary for wind development.

Jeff Rice: Why do you think wind and solar DON'T reduce carbon emissions? A gross inaccuracy on your part.

National Wind Watch: How much have carbon emissions decreased with the massive industrialization of rural and wild places with wind turbines around the world since the 1990s? It's madness to continue.

Jeff Rice: Why you are wrong: It's a myth that wind turbines don't reduce carbon emissions

National Wind Watch: Goodall and Lynas point to a passing reduction of electricity generation from CCGT plants, not to any actual reduction of fuel use or carbon emissions.

April 9, 2018

Prayse and disprayese

‘The disfiguring of names is a serious business, though it is often very comical in Joyce’s work and in other places where the Irish penchant for theatricality manifests and amuses itself; yet it is traditionally an office reserved for the Irish bard who was both feared and admired for his ability to “nail a name” on a friend of foe. Terrence Des Pres explains the historical link between naming, satire, and bardic disfigurement in a discussion of Yeats and the ancient, bardic rat-rhymers, suggesting that “the blemish of a nickname” was one of the Gaelic bards’ best defenses against an enemy:

As late as the seventeenth century a famous bard (Teig, son of Daire) challenged his own patrons (the O’Briens) by threatening to “nail a name” on them with his “blister-raising ranns”. ... To “nail a name on a man” could ruin his tribal standing, destroy his reputation and the honor on which his personal worth depended. (Terrence Des Pres, Praises and Dispraises: Poetry and Politics, the Twentieth Century (1988), p. 42)
‘Des Pres explains that “mockery, invective and magical injury” were often involved in cursing of this sort (42), and that the potency or believed potency of the relevant rhymes, verses, and incantations endowed the rat-rhymers with a certain fame: “Irish bards were often more famous for their cursing than for their more constructive powers, their duties and privileges as ministers to the tribe” (38).’

—Claire A. Culleton, Names and Naming in Joyce (1994)

‘Irenius: There is amongest the Irishe, a certen kinde of people called the bardes, which are to them insteade of Poetts, whose profession is to sett forth the prayses and disprayese of men in theire Poems or rymes; the which are had in soe high regarde and estimacon amongest them, that none dare displease them for feare to runne into reproach through theire offence, and to be made infamous in the mouthes of all men. For theire verses are taken up with a generall applause, and usuallye sonnge att all feaste meetings, by certen other persons whose proper function that is, which also receave for this same, great rewardes, and reputacon besides.

‘Eudoxus: Doe you blame this in them, which I would otherwise have thought to have ben worthie of good accompte, and rather to have ben mayntayned and augmented amongest them, then to have ben disliked? for I have reade that in all ages Poetts have bene had in specyall reputacon, and that me seemes not without greate cause; for besides theire sweete invencons, and most wyttie layes, they are alwayes used to sett forth the praises of the good and vertuous, and to beate downe and disgrace the bad and vicyous. Soe that many brave younge mindes have oftentymes, through the hearinge the prayses and famous Eulogies of worthie men songe and reported unto them, benn stirred up to affecte the like commendacons, and soe to stryve unto the like desertes. ...

‘Irenius: It is most true that such Poettes, as in theire wrytinge doe labor to better the Manners of men, and through the sweete bayte of theire nombers, to steale into the younge spirittes a desire of honor and vertue, are worthy to be had in greate respecte. But these Irish bardes are for the most parte of another mynde, and soe far from instructinge younge men in Morrall discipline, that they themselves doe more deserve to be sharplie decyplined; for they seldome use to chuse unto themselves the doinges of good men, for the ornamentes of theire poems, but whomesoever they finde to bee most lycentious of lief, most bolde and lawles in his doinges, most daungerous and desperate in all partes of disobedience and rebellious disposicon, him they sett up and glorifie in their rymes, him they prayse to the people, and to younge men make an example to followe.

‘Eudoxus: I mervayle what kinde of speaches they cann finde, or what face they cann put on, to prayse such lewde persons as lyve so lawleslie and licensiouslie upon stealthes and spoiles, as most of them doe; or howe can they thincke that any good mynde will applaude the same?

‘Irenius: There is none soe bad, Eudoxus, but that shall finde some to fauor his doinges; but such licentious partes as these, tendinge for the most parte to the hurte of the English, or mayntenance of theire owne lewd libertye, they themselves, beinge most desirous therto, doe most allowe. Besides these evill thinges beinge deckt and suborned with the gay attyre of goodlie wordes, may easilie deceave and carry awaye the affeccon of a younge mynde, that is not well stayed, but desirous by some bolde adventure to make profe of himselfe; for beinge (as they all bee) brought up idlelie, without awe of parents, without precepts of masters, without feare of offence, not beinge directed, nor imployed in anye coorse of lief, which may carry them to vertue, will easilie be drawen to followe such as any shall sett before them: for a younge mynde cannot but rest; yf he bee not still busied in some goodnes, he will finde himselfe such busines as shall soone busye all about him. In which yf he shall finde any to prayse him, and to geve hym encorragement, as those Bardes and rymers doe for little rewarde, or a share of a stollen cowe, then waxeth he moste insolent and halfe mad with the love of himselfe, and his owne lewde deedes. And as for wordes to sett forth such lewdenes, yt is not hard for them to geve a goodlie glose and paynted showe thereunto, borrowed even from the prayses which are proper unto vertue yt selfe. As of a most notorius theife and wicked outlawe, which had lyved all his tyme of spoiles and robberies, one of theire Bardes in his praise findes, That he was none of those idle mylkesoppes that was brought up by the fyer side, but that most of his dayes he spent in armes and valiant enterprises; that he never did eate his meate before he had wonne yt with his sworde; that he laye not slugginge all night in a cabben under his mantle, but used commonly to kepe others wakinge to defend theire lyves, and did light his Candle at the flame of their howses to leade him in the darknes; that the day was his night, and the night his daye; that he loved not to lye woinge of wenches to yealde to him, but where he came he toke by force the spoile of other mens love, and left but lamentacon to theire lovers; that his musicke was not the harpe, nor layes of love, but the Cryes of people, and clashinge of armor, and that fynally, he died not wayled of manye, but [made] many wayle when he died, that dearlye bought his death. Doe you not thinke, Eudoxus, that many of these prayses might be applied to men of best desert? yet are they all yeilded to moste notable traytors, and amongest some of the Irish not smallye accompted of. For the same, when yt was first made and soung vnto a person of high degree, they were bought as their manner is, for fortie crownes.

‘Eudoxus: And well worth sure. But tell me I pray you, have they any arte in their composicons? or bee they any thinge wyttye or well favored, as poems shoulde bee?

‘Irenius: Yea truly; I haue caused diuers of them to be translated unto me that I might understande them; and surelye they savored of sweete witt and good invencon, but skilled not of the goodly ornamentes of Poetrie: yet were they sprinckled with some prettye flowers of theire owne naturall devise, which gave good grace and comlines unto them, the which yt is greate pittye to see soe good an ornament abused, to the gracinge of wickednes and vice, which woulde with good usage serve to bewtifie and adorne vertue. This evill custome therefore needeth reformacon.’

—Edmund Spenser, A vewe of the present state of Ireland: discoursed by waie of a dialogue betwene Eudoxus & Irenius (1596) (via Corpus of Electronic Texts, University College, Cork)

“’Tis not war we want to wage
With Thomond thinned by outrage.
Slight not poets' poignant spur—
Of right ye owe it honor.

“Can there cope a man with me
In burning hearts bitterly?
At my blows men blush I wis,
Bright flush their furious faces.

“Store of blister-raising ranns
These are my weighty weapons,
Poisoned, striking strong through men,
They live not long so stricken.

“Shelter from my shafts or rest
Is not in furthest forest—
Far they fall, words soft as snow,
No wall can ward my arrow.

“To quench in quarrels good deeds,
To raise up wrongs in hundreds,
To nail a name on a man,
I fail not—fame my weapon.”

—Douglas Hyde, from a poem by Teige Mac Daire (The Golden Treasury of Irish Songs and Lyrics (1907), edited by Charles Welsh)


(‘At the commencement of the seventeenth century, most of the senachies in the kingdom were engaged in a poetical controversy respecting the claims to superiority between the great northern family of O'Neal and the great southern one of O'Brien, a subject on which several thousand verses were employed. These have been collected, and are termed by Irish scholars, ‘the Contention of the Bards;’ the contest arose out of a composition of Teige Mac Daire's, who was retained as poet by Donogh O'Brien, the fourth Earl of Thomond, and was answered by Louis O'Clery, poet to O'Neal. Rejoinder and reply almost innumerable ensued, and the majority of the bards of that period became involved in the dispute.’ —Thomas Crofton Croker, Researches in the South of Ireland (1969) (via Corpus of Electronic Texts))