Naisrín Elsafty sings Máire Ní Eidhin in the sean-nós tradition.

Máire Ní Eidhin

Ar mo dhul chuig an Aifreann le toil na nGrásta,
Bhí ‘n lá ‘cur báistí is d’ardaigh gaoth
Casadh an ainnir liom le taobh Chill Tártain
Is thit mé láithreach i ngrá le mnaoi
Do labhair mé léithe go múinte mánla
‘S de réir a cáilíocht’ do fhreagair sí
Sé dúirt sí – “Raft’rí, tá m’intinn sásta
‘Gus gluais go lá liom go Baile Uí Laí”

Nuair a fuair mé an tairiscint níor lig mé ar cairde é
ach rinne mé gáire ‘gus ghet mo chroí,
Ní raibh le gabháil againn ach trasna páirce
Níor thug muid an lá ann go tóin an tí
Leag sí anuas bord a raibh gloine is cárt air
Is cúilín fáinneach le m’ais ina suí
‘Séard dúirt sí: ‘Raiftaraí, bí ag ól is céad fáilte
Tá an siléar láidir a’ainn i mBaile Uí Lí.

Sí Máire Ní Eidhin an stáidbhean bhéasach
Ba dheise méin agus b’áille gnaoi
Dhá chéad cléireach ‘s a gcur le chéile
Agus trian a tréithre ní fhéadfadh scríobh
Buail sí Déirdre le breáthacht is Véineas
Is dá n-abrainn Hélen le’r scriosadh an Traoi —
Ach scoth ban Éireann as ucht an mhéid sin
An pósae gléigeal ‘tá i mBaile Uí Laí.

Nach aoibhinn aerach ar thaobh an tsléibhe
Is tú ag féachaint síos uait ar Baile Uí Lí
A’ siúl na ngleannta a’ baint cnó is sméara
‘Gus ceiliúr éan ann mar na ceolta sí
Níl brí sa méid sin dá bhfaigheá léargas
Ar bláth na gcraobh ‘tá lena thaobh
Níl maith dá shéanadh níos fada ar aon neach,
A spéir na gréine, is tú grá mo chroí

Dá Siúilfeá Sasana ‘s an Fhrainc le chéile
An Spáinn, an Ghréig ‘s ar ais arís
Ó bhruach Loch Gréine go Béal Loch Éirne
‘S ní fheicfeá féirín ar bith mar í
A grua thrí lasadh is a mailí caola
A haighaidh dá réir is a béal tais mín
Scoth ban Éireann, is as ucht an scéil sin
A thug mé an chraogh dhuit i mBaile Lí

A réalt tsolais, is a ghrian bhreá an Fhomhair,
A chúilín ómra a mheall mo chroí
Siúil ar uaigneas liom go ndeanfaidh ár gcomhairle
Fá choinne an Domhnaigh cá mbeidh ár suí
Níor mhór liom ceol dhuit gach aon tráthnóna
Puins ar bord is dá n-ólta fíon
Ach Rí na Glóire, go dtriomaí an bóthar
Is go bhfaighe mé an t-eolas ar ais aríst

Mary Hynes, or The Posy Bright

Going to Mass of me, God was gracious,
The day came rainy and the wind did blow,
And near Kiltartan I met a maiden
Whose love enslaved me and left me low.
I spoke to her gently, the courteous maiden,
And gently and gaily she answered so:
“Come, Raftery, with me, and let me take you
To Ballylee, where I have to go.”

When I got the offer, I did not put off (its acceptance),
I laughed, and my heart bounded ;
We had only to go across the field,
And we only brought the day to the back of the house.
There was laid for us a table on which was a glass and quart,
And the ringletted coolun beside me sittmg,
‘Twas what she said, “Raftery be drinking, and, a hundred welcomes,
The cellar is strong in Ballylee.”

It is lovely and airy on the side of the mountain
Looking down upon Ballylee,
Walking in the grass, picking nuts and blackberries,
The warbling of birds there is all as one as fairy music.
What is the good of all that, till you would get a sight
Of the blossom of the branches who is by its side;
There is no use in denying it, and I conceal it from no one,
She is the sky of the sun and the love of my heart.

I travelled England and France together,
Spain and Greece and back again,
From the brink of Loch Greine to the Mouth of the Quay,
And I nover saw a faireen at all like her.
If I were wed to the Blossom of Youth,
Through Loch an Toraic I would follow her,
Harbours and coasts I would walk, and roads,
After the jewel-woman who is in Ballylee.

It is Mary Hynes is the courteous, stately woman,
Of nicest mien and most lovely appearance;
Two hundred clerks, and to put them together,
One-third of her accomplishments they could not write.
She beat Deidre for fineness, and Venus,
And if I were to mention Helen by whom Troy was destroyed,
But she is the flower of Ireland on account of all that,
The Posy Bright who is in Ballylee.

O Star of Light, O Sun of Harvest,
O Amber Coolun, (my) share of the world,
Would you proceed with me, against Sunday,
Until we take counsel where shall our sitting be.
I would not think it much for you, music every Sunday night,
Punch upon the table, and, if you would drink it, wine,
And, O King of Glory, may the road dry,
Until I find the way to Ballylee.

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Máire Ní Eidhin

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