Saturday, 2 January 2010

Midhir’s Invitation

Would you follow such sweet descriptions...

A year to the day after winning his last bet with Eochaid, Midhir returns to take away Étain. Standing in Eochaid’s great hall he sings the song to her setting out the pleasures of the Gods enchanted hills.


“O fair lady! Will you come with me
To a wonderful country which is mine,
where the peoples hair is of a golden hue,
And their bodies the colour of virgin snow?

There no grief or care is known;
White are their teeth, black their eyelashes;
Delight of the eye is the rank of our hosts,
With the hues of the fox-glove on every cheek.

Crimson are the flowers of every mead,
Gracefully speckled as the blackbirds egg;
Though beautiful to see be the plains of Inisfail
They are but commons compared to our great plains.

Though intoxicating to you the ale-drink of Inisfail,
More intoxicating the ales of the great country;
The only land to praise is the land of which I speak
Where no one ever dies of decrepit age.

Soft sweet streams traverse the land;
The choicest of mead and of wine;
Beautiful people without any blemish;
Love without sin, without wickedness.

We can see the peoples upon all sides;
But by no one can we be seen;
The cloud of Adam’s transgression it is
That prevents them from seeing us.

O lady, should you come to my brave land,
It is golden hair that will be on your head;
Fresh pork, beer, new milk and ale,
You there with me shall have, O fair lady!”

Translation by O’Curry, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish

Painting by Willy Pogany (1882-1955)

3 comments:

Fae said...

Love, love. Love.
Thanks for sharing:) Needless to say, I love it!

-Fae

Fae said...

I meant to add...
One of my guilty pleasures is Laurell K. Hamilton and the Merry Gentry series (I love the Anita Blake series too, but that's not what this post reminds me of). don't know if you've read it, but this is a great (and sexy)series, and the poem you posted reminds me *heavily* of the books. Which is probably why one of the reasons why I had such a positive reaction to your post:)

Again, thanks for sharing...

Jenandollie said...

Hello Fae,

It's nice to see you over here. I'm glad you like the post and no I've not heard of Laurell K Hamilton but am now heading off to find out about her! hope to see you again soon.

Jen