A Celtic Miscellany: Selected and Translated by Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson (Penguin Classics)
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Including works from Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic, Cornish, Breton and Manx, this Celtic Miscellany offers a rich blend of poetry and prose from the eighth to the nineteenth century, and provides a unique insight into the minds and literature of the Celtic people. It is a literature dominated by a deep sense of wonder, wild inventiveness and a profound sense of the uncanny, in which the natural world and the power of the individual spirit are celebrated with astonishing imaginative force. Skifully arranged by theme, from the hero-tales of Cu Chulainn, Bardic poetry and elegies, to the sensitive and intimate writings of early Celtic Christianity, this anthology provides a fascinating insight into a deeply creative literary tradition.
she came. A white cloak round her, and a circlet of gold round her hair. Her hair was golden. Two silver shoes on her pink and white feet. A silver brooch with golden filigree in her cloak, and a filmy robe of silk next to her white body. ‘Welcome, Mael Dúin,’ she said, and she called every man in turn by his own proper name. ‘For a long time your coming here has been known and accepted,’ she said. Then she took them with her into a great house which was close to the sea, and had their boat
think it to be bereaved of the brotherhood. They did not stint their gifts of clothing to poets, their horses nor their golden cups; now that they have gone under the clay and are hidden, to be left after them is a shock of sorrow. Since the earth has covered them, there is no hope of increase among herds, the woods are barren-crested so, and fruits do not bend down the branching boughs. Through their death no strand bears jetsam, the noise of the storm has a bitter sound; little profit is
flesh in the black coffin, Cynddylan the leader of a hundred hosts. The hall of Cynddylan is dark tonight, without fire, without bed; I shall weep a while, I shall be silent after. The hall of Cynddylan is dark tonight, without fire, without candle; but for God, who will give me sanity? The hall of Cynddylan is dark tonight, without fire, without light; longing for you comes over me. The hall of Cynddylan, its vault is dark after the bright company; alas for him who does not do the good which
smell of the clay on me, the tan of the sun and the wind. There’s a lock on my heart, which is filled with love for you, and melancholy beneath it as black as the sloes. If anything happens to me, and death overthrows me, I shall become a fairy wind-gust down on the meadows before you. When my family thinks that I am in my bed, it is on your grave I am stretched from night till morning, telling my distress and lamenting bitterly for my quiet lovely girl who was betrothed to me as a child. Do
like this until the Flood ebbed; and that is the best and worst nail that was in the Ark. Irish; author unknown; sixteenth century? 243. A Prayer to the Virgin The Virgin was seen coming, the young Christ at Her breast, angels bowing in submission before Them, and the King of the Universe saying it was fitting. The Virgin of ringlets most excellent, Jesus more surpassing white than snow, melodious Seraphs singing Their praise, and the King of the Universe saying it was fitting. Mary Mother