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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,keberoxu Lent: the herring (35) RE: Lent: the herring 29 Feb 20


If you want to see my source for this next, you need a link
through the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
Let's see if this will work:

To a Herring in Lent {M. O'Brien]

That said, it's difficult to read. So, my apologies to
"M. O/Brien," whoever this may be, but I am taking the liberty
of re-printing some of this
in my post to this thread, to make it easier on the eye.

"During Lent, [...]the poet has good reason to praise fish.
But the poet goes farther, choosing herring
above the mighty (and poet-praised) salmon and pike,
and comparing his heroic and virtuous herring
to everything beloved by the Irish --
"foster children, friends, heroes and even Jesus."



To a Herring in Lent

All my love for coming, herring!
Come with me, noble foster-son,
For a hundred blessings and for health!
[You have] earned [this] welcome.

By my father's soul, herring,
The salmon of the Boyne was good,
But, for laurel, yours [is this] poem,
For you are noble and pure.

(O men, [who] are pure flesh,
Do not make false community)
A friend like you is not cold,
Nor is mean to [a] companion.

[Should] noble Banbha consider:
Who is my bull from [your] three?
A fish noble as the herring,
[From] between the salmon and the pike.

[Should] one be watching every coast
To that which borders the oceans of Greece,
A fish noble as the herring
Conal of Slea Head did not find.

Gentle, merry herring,
head keeping Lent,
Beloved boy, my friend,
With you it is long till [thinness?]

Great was it, last year, to reveal
By my dish, the stock of your kinfolk,
Not remembering feud or grudge
Because of you, friend of clerics.

Salty, flashing-eyed herring,
You have not been desired by people.
When coming with me, we do not wait;
My eye is an eye in friendship.

In you, the crucifixion of Lent,
Drink together with fellow men.
For this, till the coming of Easter,
Great and very great is my own love.




... I presume this to be a courageous effort
to render into English
the closest thing possible to the original Gaelic.


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