POETRY: Irish Poems

Irish Poems

I.
A Hymn of Praise

Blessing and brightness,
Wisdom, thanksgiving,
Great power and might
To the King who rules over all.

Glory and honor and goodwill,
Praise and the sublime song of minstrels,
Exceeding love from every heart
To the King of heaven and earth.

To the chosen Trinity has been joined
Before all, after all, universal
Blessing and everlasting blessing,
Blessing everlasting and blessing.

2.
The Lord of Creation

Let us adore the Lord,
Maker of marvelous works,
Bright heaven with its angels,
And on earth the white-waved sea.

3.
The Scribe In The Woods

A hedge of trees surrounds me, a blackbird’s lay sings to me,
praise I shall not conceal,
Above my lined book the trilling of the birds sings to me.
A clear-voiced cuckoo sings to me in a gray cloak from the tops of bushes,
May the Lord save me from Judgment; well do I write under the greenwood.

4.

MY SPEECH—may it praise you without flaw:
May my heart love you, King of heaven and earth.

My speech—may it praise you without flaw:
Make it easy for me, pure Lord, to do you all service and to adore you.

My speech—may it praise you without flaw:
Father of all affection, hear my poems and my speech.

5.

ALL ALONE IN MY LITTLE CELL, without the company of anyone; precious has been the pilgrimage before going to meet death.

A hidden secluded little hut, for the forgiveness of my sins; an upright, untroubled conscience toward holy heaven.

Sanctifying the body by good habits, trampling like a man upon it: with weak and tearful eyes for the forgiveness of my passions.

Passions weak and withered, renouncing this wretched world; pure and eager thoughts; let this be a prayer to God.

Heartfelt lament toward cloudy heaven, sincere and truly devout confessions, swift showers of tears.

A cold and anxious bed, like the lying down of a doomed man: a brief, apprehensive sleep as in danger, invocations frequent and early.

My food as befits my station, precious has been the captivity: My dinner, without doubt, would not make me full-blooded.

Dry bread weighed out, well we bow the head; water of the many colored hillside, that is the drink I would take.

A bitter meager dinner; diligently feeding the sick; keeping off strife and visits; a calm, serene conscience.

It would be desirable, a pure and holy blemish: cheeks withered and sunken, a shriveled leathery skin.

Treading the paths of the gospel; singing Psalms at ever hour; an end of talking and long stories; constant bending of the knees.

May my Creator visit me, my Lord, my King; may my spirit seek him in the everlasting kingdom where he dwells.

Let this be the end of vice in the enclosures of churches; a lovely little cell among the graves, and I there alone.

All alone in my little cell, all alone thus; alone I came into the world, alone I shall go from it.

If by myself I have sinned through pride of this world, hear me lament for it all alone, O God!

6.

GRANT ME TEARS, O LORD, to blot out my sins; may I not cease from them, O God, until I have been purified.

May my heart be burned by the fire of redemption; grant me pure tears for Mary and Ite.

When I contemplate my sins, grant me tears always, for great are the claims of tears on cheeks.

Grant me tears when rising, grant me tears when resting, beyond your every gift altogether for love of you, Mary’s son.

Grant me tears in bed to moisten my pillow, so that his dear ones may help to cure the soul.

Grant me contrition of heart so that I may not be in disgrace; O Lord, protect me and grant me tears.

For the dalliance I had with women, who did not reject me, grant me tears, O Creator, flowing in streams from my eyes.

For my anger, my jealousy, and my pride, a foolish deed, in pools from my inmost parts bring forth tears.

My falsehoods, my lying, and my greed, grievous the three, to banish them all from me, O Mary, grant me tears.

7.
On The Flightiness Of Thought

Shame on my thoughts, how they stray from me!  I fear great danger from this on the Day of eternal Judgment.

During the Psalms, they wander on a path that is not right: they run, they distract, they misbehave before the eyes of the great God.

Through eager assemblies, through companies of lewd women, through woods, through cities—swifter they are than the wind.

One moment they follow ways of loveliness, and the next ways of riotous shame—no lie!

Without a ferry or a false step they cross every sea: Swiftly they leap in one bound from earth to heaven.

They run—not a course of great wisdom—near, far: Following paths of great foolishness they reach their home.

Though one should try to bind them or put shackles on their feet, they are neither constant nor inclined to rest a while.

Neither the edge of a sword nor the stripe of lash will subdue them; as slippery as an eel’s tail they elude my grasp.

Neither lock nor well-constructed dungeon, nor any fetter on earth, neither stronghold nor sea nor bleak fastness restrains them from their course.

O beloved, truly chaste Christ, to whom every eye is clear, may the grace of the sevenfold Spirit come to keep them, to hold them in check!

Rule this heart of mine, O swift God of the elements, that you may be my love, and that I may do your will!

That I may reach Christ with his chosen companions, that we may be together: They are neither fickle nor inconstant—they are not as I am.

8.

THREE WISHES I ask of the King when I part from my body: May I have nothing to confess, may I have no enemy, may I own nothing!

Three wishes I ask this day of the King, ruler of suns: may I have no dignity or honors that may lead me into torment!

May I not work without reward before the Christ of this world!  May God take my soul when it is most pure!  Finally, may I not be guilty when my three wishes have been spoken!

9.
The Saint’s Calendar of Adamnán

The saints of the four seasons,
I long to pray to them,
May they save me from torments,
The saints of the whole year!

The saints of the glorious springtime,
May they be with me
By the will
Of God’s fosterling.

The saints of the dry summer,
About them is my poetic frenzy,
That I may come from this land
To Jesus, son of Mary.

The saints of the beautiful autumn,
I call upon a company not unharmonious,
That they may draw near to me,
With Mary and Michael.

The saints of the winter I pray to,
May they be with me against the throng of demons,
Around Jesus of the mansions,
The Spirit holy, heavenly.

The other calendar,
Which noble saints will have,
Though it has more verses,
It does not have more saints.

I beseech the saints of the earth,
I beseech all the angels,
I beseech God himself, both when rising and lying down,
Whatever I do or say, that I may dwell in the heavenly land.

10.
A Prayer To The Archangels For Every Day Of The Week

May Gabriel be with me on Sundays, and the power of the King of heaven.
May Gabriel be with me always that evil may not come to me nor injury.

Michael on Monday I speak of, my mind is set on him,
Nor with anyone do I compare him but with Jesus, Mary’s son.

If it be Tuesday, Raphael I mention, until the end comes, for my help,
One of the seven whom I beseech, as long as I am on the field of the world.

May Uriel be with me on Wednesdays, the abbot with high nobility,
Against wound and against danger, against the sea of rough wind.

Sariel on Thursday I speak of, against the swift waves of the sea,
Against every evil that comes to us, against every disease that seizes us.

On the day of the second fast, Rumiel—a clear blessing—I have loved,
I say only the truth, good the friend I have taken.

May Panchel be with me on Saturdays, as long as I am in this yellow-colored world.
May sweet Mary, with her friend, deliver me from strangers.

May the Trinity protect me! May the Trinity defend me!
May the Trinity save me from every hurt, from every danger.

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