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Séarlas Ó Briain

what poem is this from? powerful stuff. I came across this blog searching for poems of Eoghan Rua and have put the poem to an air of my own making. I was just wondering are they're many more verses? I just ordered a book of Eoghan Rua's poetry today so hopefully its in that. Thanks for the inspiration!


Hello Charlie,

That anthology is actually a great place to start. It's bilingual and the translations are poetry in themselves. It's one of my favorite books of poetry.

Séarlas Ó Briain

I eventually got myself that book and quite a tome it is thanks for the recommendation, though the poem you quote is written by Donncha Dall Ó Laoghaire. Donncha was from Muscraí as far as I can ascertain, not so far from Eoghan Rua territory at all. The attribution's in the book are not so clear in the Epigram section. I'm recording a cd based on my hometown of Killarney, so I was delighted to find a poem by Eoghan Rua, sence he spent so much time here. Donnacha will have to do though ;) Muscraí is only over to road from here at anyrate. I'll post here again when the Cd is done (probably 6 months or so its a double cd!).


Charlie, how do you know it's by Donncha Dall Ó Laoghaire? I'll change the attribution if I am sure it's wrong.


I'll confirm for 100% for definite in the coming weeks but it seems clear enough that Eoghan just wrote the the verse second from the end of the second page of epigrams - is ní fearra dhúinn an t-aifreann ná suí ar an móin" - and in English on the next page "we might as well sit in turf as be going to mass". On the previous page it says - "the burdún ascribed below to Eoghan is reputed to have been spoken by him when the priest at a station dispossessed him of his comfortable place by the fire, leaving him to find seating accommodation in the turf at the back of the room". The word below of course implies the same page but it couldn't be going from the context of the poems, though different editions over the years may have created the problem, perhaps they were all on the same page once who knows!
The problem lies in the line the burdún ascribed below, it's a bit vague. The burdún below, ascribed would have been more appropriate. What they seem to mean is the subsequent burdún ascribed to Eoghan... as in not the one directly below on that page but the one that has his name below it on the next page. Well that is certainly convoluted but I think it makes sense that it couldn't be the one directly under the introductory lines, because of the poem on the next page which is directly ascribed to Eoghan. Also Donnacha's poem is 6 verses long 3 on the first page of Burdún's three on the next ending with his name Donncha Dall ó Laoghaire, the six verses tell their own story as far as I can see and are all the one. Hope that clears it up!

Sean O hAodha

May we never taste of death nor quit this vale of tears
Until we see the Saxon
Gone begging down the years
Pack on his back, trudging along to earn penny pay
In little leaking boots
As we, in our day....(i mbearla) E. R. O' Sullibhean

Charles O' Brien


I finally got around to recording the song. Below is a link to it on a blogpost from my "Ildaite" blog. The song is one of the tracks off a new album "Where Splendour Falls." Thanks for making me aware of it in the first place! I'm getting a vinyl printed of it as we speak. I'll send you a copy if you want to send me an e-mail to
[email protected]
I'm still trying to figure out who wrote the poem, no confirmation yet, I've seen it ascribed to both in different sources. Heres the link anway.. I've asked around a bit more so hopefully we'll find out one way or another!


Hello Charles,

Thank you! That's great. I still don't know who actually wrote the poem. Maybe we'll find out one day. Attributions are so hard and getting it wrong is so easy!

Sean O'hAodha

Hello to all still here, I'm searching for a poem mockingly regaling Cromwell as "More power to thee, o Cromwell, mighty Chief of Clan lobus, who hath established every rustic and left the son of the land with less than nothing..." Somebody, please name the poet and the poem. I find it not in An Duanaire.

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