Sunday, May 20, 2018

I Sacsaiḃ na Séad

I Sacsaiḃ na Séad is an 18th century poem of Eoġan Ruaḋ Ó Súilleaḃáin. The title translates as "In England of the Treasures." The poem is a beautiful example of the Aisling form. The version below was taken from "Na hAislingí, Vision Poems," a compilation of Eoġan Ruaḋ's verses published by The Aubane Historical Society in 2002. I took to doing a rough translation of the poem into Spanish and it seems to suit the language, there is a natural bounce to it that doesn't come across easily in English, for example. I've included the literal English translation first from Na hAislingí, the Irish text is below that, and the Spanish, is at the end of the post. The carving below (from the 16th century) is of Sily Nig Donogh MacCarthy Reagh, wife of Donogh O' Sullivan More.


In England of the treasures far from my homeland
In the shadow of the masts by the quays of the tall ships,
And I pondering on the passing of the nobles and the heroes
Done to death in the land of Céin,
By savages in a whirlwind of conquest,
Helpless, valiant though I am in ventures,
Shedding my tears copiously in sorrow,
Without delight, powerless, without pleasure.

I beheld a lady, Grecian, elegant, 
Bright, clever she was of fair appearance,
Feminine, well bred, soft lipped, elegant,
Dignified, modest, well-shaped,
Beautiful, of fair mien, majestic, estimable,
Lively, mature, courteous, 
Coming in haste, light of gait,
She descended next to me a while.

Her thick hair was twisting, 
From the crown of her head to the grass,
Flowing in swift tremors,
Her eyebrows were slender, her eyes were inviting,
Her face and appearance were lustrous,
The ember was red on the fresh lily,
In her cheek seeking supremacy,
And more elegant was every verse her voice uttered,
Than the plucking of fingers on a gentle harp.

Her teeth were of the likeness of a swan's appearance
on the foam wet fury of the sea,
her keen breasts were undefiled 
by the wanton tricks of Cupid;
Her ready slender hand inscribed very clearly 
Bears and tall ships, 
the battles of hundreds, savage wolves,
Fishes and feathered flocks.

Her fine, graceful body doubled my pangs,
From the crown of her head to the grass in correct proportions,
From which my appearance crumbled and I was struck dumb;
My vigorous limbs were enfeebled,
I was blinded after all these events, 
Though I spoke to her timidly,
And I enquired of the lady her name and her story,
Her tribe and her company to tell me.

I took heart after her words, 
I was silent awhile I deferred to her, 
I desired her beauty, her mein and her person,
A circumstance that was no disgrace to me;
Every organ of my limbs was active, strong,
I was not long faint and at a loss,
Whenever I supposed that the woman was one who was devoted to
The forms and sins of lust.

Answer me, are you the illustrious lady 
who brought about the fury war of the guiltless Troy?
Or the maiden who wrought the grief and overthrow of the Irish
In the lands of Céin and Iughgoin,
That left the nobles and bards of those lands
In weakness under the yoke of churls?
Or the lady who leaped afar over the sea,
From Eamhain, with a knight in his strong ship?

I am none of those you tell of in your lying stories
And I shall not relate a story to a savage such as you,
A scion of the clan of Luther,
A savage in mien, in outlook and in treachery,
A rake and a coxcomb from London,
Who are in arms and armour arrayed, lacerating
The limbs and shelter of my prince.

Do not insult me, O bright countenanced lady of fair hair,
By this book in my hand, I am not one their blood,
But I am a feeble traveller who goes over the raging ocean,
Who was torn far away by the hair of my head, 
Aiding the person I was not of a mind to,
In the gunships on the foaming ocean,
And my tribe is of the strain of the bloodstream of the Irish
In Caiseal of the provincial kingships.

As it is true that you are one of the Royal blood of Caiseal
Then for a while I was united with you,
I shall myself relate to you the exploits of my travels,
And I will tell you my true name;
Poets call me deceitful Éire,
A hussey of treacherous ways,
Who gave insult and injury,
Through deceit with the foreigners,
To the company of my native homesteads.

From the lands of Céin and the worthy Éibhear,
Over the ocean of ropes I fled easily,
With a message of news from the clans of the Irish, 
That soon they would make a conquest,
That they would scatter every bear of the company
Of mercaneries of the root-stock of London,
Here's to the life of the heroes, and he shall return in power
My champion, as king, to Dún Luirc.

Bards of verse and knowledge prophesy,
His coming in battle ranks and troops,
Strong, valiant, chivalrous, thrashing
Fat bucks of foreign manners,
From the examining of every story their time is spent,
By which they must submit,
And adopt different manners, though it is bitter for them to accept it
And yield authority to authors.

I fear, oh illustrious maiden!
That this tale you devise is a lying pastime
The savages are too strong in their ships that have no care
For King Charles, your prince,
Every measure of assistance is wanting,
And the Irish people are cowed,
Without freehold lands as their clerics were accustomed
who waxed strong in noble Ireland.

I must keep silent, perforce
In the land of the beast-like foreigners,
Since I happen to be a while in bondage, 
A circumstance that left me truly downcast;
Tell my story to the poets at home,
And they will send a verse to me,
That will scatter my grief, though full of streams
Of tears so that I am blinded senseless.

By the river of the moor is the worthy phoenix,
Manly, festive, feasting, generous, 
A support in clearly analysing texts,
And wise, learned, subtle,
Who would compose every verse without stupidity,
Do not forget to call in his house
And he will protect you kindly in his company while he reads
In verses every step of your adventures.

Of the true-stock of the Irish is the keen, pure scion,
A true pearl of his native land,
who is descended from the blood of the bards and knights who were not cowardly
In conflicts of hard-fought battles,
Noble, sturdy Séan of the root-stock of Eachaidh,
It is he who will take you in his affection
And grant you to himself, above any of my relatives,
My lady without protection for her treasures.





En la Inglaterra de los tesoros, lejos de mi patria
A la sombra de los mástiles, en los muelles de veleros
Pensando en los nobles y héroes ya desaparecidos, 
Muertos en la tierra de Céin,
Por salvajes en un torbellino de conquista.
Indefenso, aunque soy valiente y aventurero 
Llorando abundantes lágrimas de tristeza,
Sin felicidad, sin poder, sin placer.

Vi una doncella, Griega, elegante,
Deslumbrante, lúcida y de gran belleza,
Femenina y de estirpe, suaves labios, noble.
Distinguida, modesta, bien formada, 
Hermosa, de bello aspecto, majestuosa, respetable,
Animada, madura, amistosa, 
Vino rápida, con paso ligero,
Descendió un momento a mi lado.

Su cabello poblado ondulaba,
en remolinos de la cabeza a los pies,
Flotando en temblores ligeros.
Sus finas cejas, su mirada invitaba,
Su aspecto y su rostro brillante,
Un ascua ardiente en el lirio fresco,
Sus mejillas sonrosadas me estaban conquistando,
Y era más dulce cada palabra suya
Que la mano volando en las cuerdas el arpa suave.

Sus dientes blancos como la nieve del cisne
En la húmeda espuma del furor marino.
La pureza de sus pechos ardientes, 
En los trucos lascivos de Cupido;
Sus finas manos inscribiendo claramente
Osos, veleros,
Combates de cientos de lobos feroces,
Peces y bandadas de aves emplumadas.

El corazón duele ante su bello cuerpo, esbelto,
Sus finas formas desde la coronilla hasta los pies.
Me deja sin habla, destruído,
Frágiles mis miembros vigorosos.
Ciego quedé ante tanta maravilla,
Aunque le hablé tímidamente,
Y pregunté a la dama su nombre, su pasado,
Le rogué me dijera su clan y sus compañeros.

Ardió mi corazón ante sus palabras,
Quedé mudo mientras la escuchaba.
Deseaba su belleza, su persona, su presencia,
Lo que no me robaba la gracia;
Cada parte de mi cuerpo estaba activa, firme.
Ya no desfallecía, ya no me hundía
Cuando imaginaba a la dama devota
A toda forma de pecado y lujuria.

Respóndeme: ¿Eres tú la dama ilustre 
que trajo furia y guerra a la Troya inocente?
¿O bien la que causó la miseria y destrucción de los irlandeses
en las tierras de Céin y Lughgoin?
¿La que a los nobles y bardos de esas tierras
Unció bajo el yugo de los mezquinos?
¿O la heroína que saltaba a través de las aguas del mar,
desde Eamhain con un caballero en su nave maciza?

No soy ninguno de los que mencionas en tus falsas historias,
Y compartiré mis narraciones con una salvaje como tú, 
Heredera del clan de Lutero,
Con tu feroz aspecto, tu mirada traicionera,
Bárbaro en rostro, infamia y felonía,
Vagabunda y gomosa de Londres,
Que en armadura de guerra estás cortando
Los miembros y el refugio de mi príncipe.

No me insultes, inescrutable dama de fulgurantes cabellos,
Te juro con este libro en mi mano, no soy de la misma estirpe,
Soy un débil viajero que navega en océanos furiosos,
Arrancado por mi pelo hacia tierras lejanas, 
Socorriendo al que no quería ayudar,
En los barcos guerreros del océano espumoso,
Y los míos llevan la fuerza de la sangre irlandesa,
En Caise de los cinco reyes.

Como eres de la estirpe de los reyes de Caiseal
Nos uniremos por un instante
Te contaré las hazañas de mis viajes 
Y pronunciaré mi verdadero nombre.
Los poetas me llaman Éire la eñganadora,
Una dama de arteras maniobras,
Denuesto e injuria declamaba,
Engañando a través de extranjeros
La multitud de mis tribus.

Desde las tierras de Céin y de la valiente Éibhear
Por el océano de cuerdas huí fácilmente,
Portando las nuevas de los clanes irlandeses,
Que pronto lograrían una conquista,
Desperdigando al coloso enemigo,
Mercenarios de los residentes de Londres.
Aquí les canto a las vidas de los héroes, volverá al poder
Como rey, mi líder, a Dún Luirc.

Los bardos profetizan con sus versos y conocimientos,
El regreso al combate y a las tropas.
Fuerte, valiente, recto, castigando
La molicie de las costumbres extranjeras.
Pasan el tiempo estudiando cada historia,
Por la que deben someterse,
Y adoptar otras costumbres, aunque sea difícil aceptar
Y rendirse a la autoridad de los doctos.

Temo, ¡oh, dama ilustre!
Que esta historia que engendras es un falso pasatiempo
Los salvajes en sus naves son demasiado poderosos, no se preocupan
Por el Rey Carlos, tu príncipe.
Todo tipo de ayuda es necesaria,
Y el pueblo irlandés amenazado,
Sin tierras libres como sus sacerdotes estaban acostumbrados,
Los que vivían libres en la noble Irlanda.

Ineludiblemente debo permanecer en silencio,
En la tierra de los extranjeros con aspecto de monstruos,
Ya que fui esclavo durante un tiempo,
Lo que me dejó realmente  descorazonado;
Cuenta mi historia a los poetas de la isla,
Y ellos me enviarán unos versos,
Para quebrar mi tristeza a través de anchos ríos
De lágrimas para cegar mi sinsentido.

Por el río en el páramo llega el ave fénix poderoso,
Masculino, festivo, alegre, generoso,
Un ayuda para revisar los textos.
Sabio, educado, sutil,
Escribe cada verso con profundidad.
No olvides pasar por su casa,
Y él te protegerá consideradamente mientras lee
En versos cada paso de tus aventuras.

De los autenticos irlandeses él es el heredero, 
verdadera perla de su patria,
Sangre de poetas y héroes que no se amedrentaban
En combates arduos, 
Noble y valiente Séan, del linaje de Eachaidh.
Es él quien te tomará en sus brazos,
Y servirte más que cualquier otro,
Mi dama, sin refugio son sus joyas.






















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