Mise Raifteirí

Mise Raifteirí an file,
Lán dóchas is grá,
Le súile gan solas,
Le ciúnas gan chrá.

'Dul siar ar m'aistear
Le solas mo chroí
Fann agus tuirseach
Go deireadh mo shlí.

Féach anois mé
Is mo chúl le balla,
Ag seinm ceoil
Do phócaí folmha.

-Antoine Ó Raifteirí (1784 - 1835)

Translation (Criostóir Ó Floinn)

The Poet Raftery

I'm the Poet Raftery,
A man of hope and love,
There's no light in these eyes,
My peace is undisturbed.

As I wander on my way
By my heart's light I go,
I'm worn out and weary
At the end of each road.

Consider me now,
With my back to the wall,
Playing music for pockets,
That hold nothing at all.

This is one of the most famous poems in the Irish language. The translation takes a little licence, but not a lot. Prior to the introduction of the Euro, the poem could be seen on the Irish five pound note. To hear how it is spoken visit:

http://www.gael-image.com/doras/ceachtanna/ceacht1-lch3.html (Real Audio)

See also: 100 favourite Irish poems