The Song

My love has kissed me with the kisses of his lips;
His love is clearer than the best mead in the halls of chieftains.
He hath given me oils to adorn myself, so that I am called fragrant,
As he is, full of the scent of heather on the moors
Come with me, Daughters of Érin, for my love has called me to his chambers.
Do not mock me, women of the green land,
That my father’s house is small;
I am lowly and despised among the children of greatness,
Among the rushes of lilies am I laid low.
Envy me not that my love has come to me
With dripping words of honey,
Like combs full of sweet gold.
My love is great and dwelleth in golden halls,
In the palace of the Good One, King of Men.
Tell me, O fairest of my heart, where Thou layest Thy flocks down,
For why should I come to Thee among the green rushes?

If thou knowst not, O most beautiful of men, where my flocks are laid,
Then go by the rivers and gather the rushes.

I have compared Thee to a band of warriors,
Who dance in the battle with courage,
Thy shield is strong, and Thy spear is great,
And Thy chariot doest fly among the battlecrows.

My beloved is as the light of the rising sun,
As the plumage of the eagle is my beloved to me.

Thou art glorious, O my love;
Our bed is among the birches,
And our bower among the leaves.
Our house is built of vines,
Stronger than Conchobar’s band.
Thy eyes are lovely, O my fair one, as the fresh spring,
As streams of amber through fields of gold.
I am the Rose in the Bruigh,
A rose that grows among the mounds.

Like a swan among the loons, so is my beloved among men.

As the apple tree in spring, so is my love among the síd.
In his arms did I lie, and was delighted; among his roots did I find happiness,
And his fruit was the sweetness of heaven.
He brought me to his feasting, and placed my under his love.
Fill me with mead, lay my bed with lilies, for I am enchanted by him.
I lie between his arms, and he doth embrace me.
Daughters of Banba, wake him not, for he is glorious.
My love has come to me with kisses of love,
And has promised the sun for my dowry,
And the moon for my wedding-price.
He captivates me with silver words,
With tongue of moonfire does he pierce me,
With sweet scents of heather and moss.
My beloved is like the young deer,
Like the stag that bells in the forest.
He calls me away with dreams of love, saying

Come away with me, O my beloved,
For the robins have covered the trees,
And the lambs give forth their young.
The alder has spread his flowers, and the rowan her leaves
Arise, my love, my soul, and come away.

Sweet are thy kisses, my love,
Like bushes of heather, like drops of mead that fill my cup
Thy hair is golden, as the sun over the sea,
As the fires of Connacht in spring, as the flowers of fire that grow in the garden of Brighid.
Thy eyes are two lakes, rich in the peat-flood,
Amber pools of life among men.
Thy lips are as two rowan berries, and thy speech is like a salmon’s flank
Fair is thy forehead among thy locks, as the milk of thy mother it is,
And thy throat as the hart, as the horse of Niamh is it white,
Thy cheeks are altogether ruddy as the hind in heat, as the deer that prance in Meath.
They gladden my heart with the fires of Édain.
Like towers are thy arms, my heart, my love, like towers of ivory in the green land;
If I were to fall, they would bear me up on swans’ wings.
Thy chest is strong and sure, like the boar in the forest, yea like Torc Triath in the thicket.
Thy love is like apples, like the fruits of the garden.

Thou art altogether lovely, O my beloved, as the snow on Ben Cruachan.
As the juices of the apple are thy locks, like amber among the stones
Thy belly is a bowl of milk which my mother gave me.
Behold, I see thou, my beloved, and see no wrong thing;
Altogether fair are thou among the sons.
Like two pillars are thy legs, like the pillars of Uisneach.
They are towers that guard thy garden,
Thy fields are ripe, full of raspberries, currants, and juniper,
Meadowsweet and apple, balm, lavender and mint, and all good things.
Thy lips drop honey, sweet is thy tongue to me.

I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.


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