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Amhráin as an Linn Dubh. Songs From the Black Pool

Word count: 531

Song Cycle by Joseph Eidson

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1. To an isle in the water [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE IRI

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Vers une île au milieu de l'eau", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Shy one, shy one, 
  Shy one of my heart,
She moves in the firelight
  Pensively apart.

She carries in the dishes,
  And lays them in a row.
To an isle in the water
  With her would I go.

She carries in the candles,
  And lights the curtained room,
Shy in the doorway
  And shy in the gloom;

And shy as a rabbit,
  Helpful and shy. 
To an isle in the water,
  With her [would I]1 fly.


View original text (without footnotes)
Confirmed with Yeats, William Butler. The Wanderings of Oisin: Dramatic Sketches, Ballads & Lyrics, T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1892, page 135.

1 Clarke: "I would"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. A drinking song [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE IRI

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. The heart of the woman [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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O what to me the little room
That was brimmed up with prayer and rest;
He bade me out into the gloom,
And my breast lies upon his breast.
O what to me my mother's care,
The house where I was safe and warm;
The shadowy blossom of my hair
Will hide us from the bitter storm.
O hiding hair and dewy eyes,
I am no more with life and death,
My heart upon his warm heart lies,
My breath is mixed into his breath.


First published in Speaker, July 1894

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. The scholars [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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Bald heads forgetful of their sins,
Old, learned, respectable bald heads
Edit and annotate the lines
That young men, tossing on their beds,
Rhymed out in love's despair
To flatter beauty's ignorant ear.

All shuffle there; all cough in ink;
All wear the carpet with their shoes;
All think what other people think;
All know the man their neighbour knows.
Lord, what would they say --
Did their Catullus walk that way?


Second (and later) of two versions.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Sixteen dead men [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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O but we talked at large before
The sixteen men were shot,
But who can talk of give and take,
What should be and what not?
While those dead men are loitering there
To stir the boiling pot.

You say that we should still the land
Till Germany's overcome;
But who is there to argue that
Now Pearse is deaf and dumb?
And is their logic to outweigh
MacDonagh's bony thumb?

How could you dream they'd listen
That have an ear alone
For those new comrades they have found
Lord Edward and Wolfe Tone,
Or meddle with our give and take
That converse bone to bone.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. These are the clouds [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

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These are the clouds about the fallen sun,
The majesty that shuts his burning eye;
The weak lay hand on what the strong has done,
Till that be tumbled that was lifted high
And discord follow upon unison,
And all things at one common level lie.
And therefore, friend, if your great race were run
And these things came, so much the more thereby
Have you made greatness your companion,
Although it be for children that you sigh:
These are the clouds about the fallen sun,
The majesty that shuts his burning eye.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

7. Aedh wishes for the cloths of heaven [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English

Translation(s): FRE GER HUN

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HUN Hungarian (Magyar) (Tamás Rédey) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Had I the [heavens']1 embroidered cloths
Enwrought with golden and silver light
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


View original text (without footnotes)
Original title is "Aedh wishes for the cloths of heaven"; revised 1906; re-titled "He wishes for the cloths of heaven".

Confirmed with W. B. Yeats, Later Poems, Macmillan and Co., London, 1926, page 45.

1 Gurney: "Heaven's"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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