An rí nach robh le fagháil bháis

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[ 185 ]

AN RÍ NAĊ ROḂ[1] LE FAĠÁIL ḂÁIS

(donegal folk-tale.)

Ḃí rí ann i ḃfad ó ṡoin ⁊ ḃí sé le ḃeiṫ beó ariam go n‑innseóċaḋ a ṁac féin sean-sgéal do. Ḃí sé pósta ar ṡeisear ban i ndiaiḋ a ċéile, aċt do ṁarḃuiġ sé alig an tsaoġal[2] iad, ar eagla go mbeiḋeaḋ páistíḋe ar biṫ aca. Lá aṁáin ḃí sé ag dul ṫart leis an ḃealaċ mór, agus a ṫiománaċ leis. Ċonnaic sé cailín ag niġeaċán i sruṫán le cois an ḃealaiġ ṁóir ⁊ ċuir sé an tiománaċ síos ag fiafraiġe di a’ bpósfaḋ sí é. ’Sé duḃairt sí leis an tiománaċ​—​“Stad do ċuid déanaṁ grinn ⁊ magaiḋ ormsa.” Ċuaiḋ an rí é féin[3] síos annsin ⁊ d’ḟiafraiġ ḋi a’ bpósfaḋ sí é. Duḃairt sí go bpósfaḋ; ⁊ pósaḋ iad ⁊ ṫug an rí ’na ḃaile í. Bliaḋain ’na ḋiaiḋ sin, ṫug an rí fá deara an tromas a ḃí ag éirġe innti, aċt leig sise uirri gur ḃ’é an biaḋ maiṫ a ḃí sí ag faġáil a ḃí ag cur an ḃisiġ sin uirri. Tamall ’na ḋiaiḋ sin d’iarr sí cead ar an ríġ, cuairt a ṫaḃairt ar a máṫair, ⁊ ṫug sé an cead sin di.

[ 186 ]

TRANSLATION.

the king who was not to find death.

There was long ago a king who was to be alive ever till his own son should tell him an old story (a wonder or romance). He was married to six wives, one after another, but he killed all-in-the-world of them for fear they should have any children at all. One day he was going along the road, and his driver with him. He saw a girl washing in a stream by the roadside, and he sent his driver down to ask her if she would marry him. It is what she said to the driver: "Leave off your merry-making and don't be mocking me." The king himself then went down, and asked her would she marry him. She said she would; and they were married, and the king brought her to his (own) home. A year after that, the king noticed how bulky she was growing, but she pretended that it was the good treatment she was getting that was putting that improvement on her. A little while after that, she asked permission of the king to go on a visit to her mother, and the king granted it.

[ 185 ]Ċuaiḋ sí aḃaile annsin ⁊ ní roḃ sí i ḃfad ’na ḋiaiḋ sin, ’nuair a ḃí mac óg aici, ⁊ ċeil sí é ar an ríġ, ar eagla go marḃóċaḋ sé é. Ċuir sí an páiste ar oileaṁain ⁊ ċuaiḋ sí ar ais ċum an ríoġ. Nuair d’ḟás an gasúr suas, ċuir a ṁáṫair ar scoil é, ⁊ ḃíoḋ sí ag taḃairt airgid dó, gan ḟios do’n ríġ, le leaḃairiḋe ⁊ neiṫe ċeannaċ dó. Ní raiḃ fios ar biṫ aige cia a aṫair ⁊ lá aṁáin ḃí sé gan airgiod, ⁊ ċualaiḋ sé iomráḋ ar an ríġ so go roḃ sé maiṫ le taḃairt uaiḋ airgid. Ċuaiḋ sé ionns’ ar an ríġ[4] ⁊ fuair sé é ar ṡuiḋeaċán san ġarrḋa, ⁊ d’iarr sé airgiod air. “An ḃfuil sean-sgéal ar biṫ agat le hinnsint daṁ?” ar san rí. “Ní’l,” ars an ḃuaċaill. “Maiseaḋ ní ṫiuḃra mise airgiod ar biṫ ḋuit,” ars an rí.

[ 186 ]She then went home, and not long after she gave birth to a young son, whom she hid from the king lest he might kill him. She put the child to be nursed, and went back to the king. When the lad grew up, his mother sent him to school, and she used to give him money unknown to the king, to buy books, &c. He had no knowing who his father was; and one day, being penniless, he heard that this king was good at giving money away. He went unto him, and found him seated in the garden, and he asked him for some money. "Have you any story to tell me?" says the king. "No," says the boy. "Well then I'll give you no money," says the king.

[ 185 ]D’imṫiġ an t‑ógánaċ leis mar ṫáinic sé. Níor ṡiuḃal sé i ḃfad go ḃfacaiḋ sé páirc ṁór ⁊ mórán eallaiġ innti, ⁊ ṫug sé fa deara go roḃ na heallaiġ lom, boċt, gan feoil, giḋ go roḃ an féar suas go dtí na haḋarca orra. Nuair a ċuaiḋ sé gioḃta[5] eile, ċonnaic sé cuiḃreann talṁan ⁊ scota mór caoraċ ann, ⁊ ḃí siad raṁar, feolṁar, beaṫaiste, giḋ naċ roḃ an féar aċt go han-lom. Ṡiuḃal sé leis arís gur casaḋ air tobar uisge. Ḃí sé bric ag dul ṫart san uisge, ⁊ ceann aṁáin i lár báire naċ roḃ corruġaḋ. Ṡiuḃal sé leis arís, gur casaḋ air poll mór uisge i lár a ċasáin. Ḃí plainc trasna ar an ṗoll[6] ⁊ ḃí mada mór milteaċ duḃ, ar a roḃ slaḃra iarainn ceangailte, leaṫ-ḃealaiġ ar an ṗlainc. Nuair do ċuir an ḃuaċaill a ċos ar an ṗlainc, le dul tar an ṗoll, lúb sí síos san uisge, ar ṁoḋ go roḃ an t‑ógánaċ ar tí ḃeiṫ báiṫte, gur rinne sé é féin do ċoisreagaḋ, ⁊ ar an móimid d’éiriġ an ṗlainc cóṁ daingean le Gaigeán,[7] ⁊ léim an máda duḃ síos ’san ṗoll as a ḃealaċ. D’imṫiġ sé leis arís, ⁊ casaḋ air teaċ-ṗobuil, ⁊ ċuaiḋ sé isteaċ ann. Ḃí sagart ar an altóir ⁊ d’ḟiafruiġ sé an roḃ an duine annsin a ḋéanfaḋ Aifrionn a ḟriṫeólaḋ. Duḃairt an t‑ógánaċ go ndéanfaḋ seision é ḟriṫeólaḋ ⁊ rinne sé sin. Ṫáinic sé colmáin ġeala isteaċ ar an dorus, ⁊ ṡuiḋ siad ar ṗiléir go roḃ an tAifrionn ṫart, ⁊ annsin ċuaiḋ siad amaċ ar ais. D’imṫiġ an buaċaill amaċ as an tiġ ṗobuil arís, ⁊ fuair sé é féin i ngarrḋa áluinn breáġ [ 186 ]plúr, ⁊ ḃain sé ceann do na plúra’ ⁊ ṫug leis é. ’Ar leis féin[8] annsin “dá mbeiḋinn ar ais ag an ríġ anois, ṫiucfaḋ liom sgéalta iongantaċa innsint dó, ⁊ ġeoḃainn airgiod uaḋ;” ⁊ mar sin de d’ḟill sé ar ais ionns’ ar an ríġ, agus fuair sé ’na ṡuiḋe ins an ġarrḋa é.

[ 186 ]The youth departed as he had come. He proceeded not far when he saw a large field and many cattle in it, and he remarked that they were poor, lean, and fleshless, although the grass reached to their horns. When he went a little farther, he saw a piece of ground with a flock of sheep in it, and they were fat, fleshy, and in prime condition, though the grass was very bare. He walked on again till he came to a well of water. Six trout were moving about in the water, and one in the middle at rest. He walked on again till he met with a large pool of water in the middle of his path. There was a plank across the pool, and a large, fierce black dog, to which a chain was fastened, half-ways on the plank. When the [ 187 ]boy put his foot on the plank to cross the pool, it bent down into the water, so that the youth was on the point of being drowned, till he crossed himself; and in a moment it became as firm as Gaigean, and the black dog jumped down into the pool out of his way. He again went his ways, and met a church, into which he went. There was a priest on the altar, and he asked if there was anybody there to serve Mass. The youth said that himself would serve it, and he did. Six white doves came into the door, and they sat upon a pillar till Mass was over, and then they went out. The youth went out of the church again, and found himself in a lovely, fine garden of flowers, and he pulled one of the flowers and brought it with him. He then thought to himself: "If I were back now again with the king, I could tell him wonderful stories, and I'd get money from him." He returned to the king, and found him sitting in the garden.

[ 186 ]“Cá ḃfuil tú ag dul anois?” ars an rí, “naċ goirid ó ḃí tú annseo a roiṁe.”

[ 187 ]"Where are you going now?" says the king. "Is it not short since you were here before?"

[ 186 ]“Tig liom sgéalta innsint duit anois,” ars an gasúr.

[ 187 ]"I can tell you stories now," says the youth.

[ 186 ]“Maiseaḋ innis leat,” laḃair an rí. D’innis an gasúr dó fá’n ṗáirc eallaiġ a ċonnaic sé a ḃí cóṁ boċt sin ⁊ an méad féir a ḃí aca.

[ 187 ]"Well, then, proceed with them," says the king. The youth told him about the field of cattle which he saw, and they very poor, considering the amount of grass they had.

[ 186 ]“Innseóċaiḋ mise ḋuit cad é buḋ ċiall dó sin,” ars an rí; “sé sin daoine a ḃí ag troid ar an tsaoġal seo, ⁊ droċ-ṫeaċt-le-ċéile aca, agus beiḋ siad ins an ċruaḋ-ċás sin go dtí lá an ḃreiṫeaṁnais.”

[ 187 ]"I will tell you what that means," says the king. "That signifies people who used to be fighting and at enmity with each other, and they will be in that miserable condition till the day of judgment."

[ 186 ]D’innis an t‑ógánaċ dó fá na caoraiḃ reaṁra ins an ṗáirc lom. “Sé sin deaġ-ḋaoine a ḃí maiṫ, carṫanaċ le ċéile ar an tsaoġal so, ⁊ beiḋ an gléas maiṫ sin orra go lá an ḃreiṫeaṁnais.”

[ 187 ]The youth told him concerning the fat sheep in the bare field. "They are good people who were kind and friendly towards each other in this world, and they will be in that happy state till the day of judgment."

[ 186 ]D’innis an gasúr dó fá’n tobar uisge i n‑a roḃ sé bric ag dul ṫart agus ceann aṁáin a lár báire naċ roḃ corruġaḋ.

[ 187 ]The youth told him about the well of water in which there were six trout moving about, and one in the middle at rest.

[ 186 ]“Sin sé lá na seaċtmaine a ḃí ag dul ṫart, ⁊ an Doṁnaċ ar socar.”

[ 187 ]"That is the six week-days passing away, and the Sunday at a stand-still."

[ 186 ]D’innis dó fá’n ṗoll mór uisge ⁊ an casán caol ṫairis, ⁊ an mada duḃ ag a ċoiṁead.

[ 187 ]He told him about the great pool of water and the little pathway through it, and the black dog guarding it.

[ 186 ]“Sin Ifrionn,” ars an rí, “⁊ ’sé an Diaḃal a ḃí ’san ċasán, ⁊ mur[9] gcoisrigfeá ṫú féin ’san ṁóimid sin, ḃeiṫeá caillte.”

[ 187 ]"That's hell," says the king, "and it is the devil who was on the path, and if you had not crossed yourself that minute, you were lost."

[ 186 ]D’innis an buaċaill dó fá’n tiġ-ṗobuil ⁊ fá’n Aifrionn ⁊ na sé colmáin a ṫáinic ag éisteaċt leis.

[ 187 ]The youth told him about the church and the Mass, and the six doves that came hearing it.

[ 186 ]“Sé sin sé mná a ḃí agamsa, ⁊ ṁarḃ mé alig[10] go léir iad, ar eagla go mbeiḋeaḋ páistiḋe ar biṫ aca.”

[ 187 ]"That's the six wives I had, and I killed them all for fear they should have any children."

[ 186 ]D’innis an gasúr dó fá’n ġarrḋa plúr do ċonnaic sé, “agus,” ar seision, “ar eagla naċ gcreidfiḋe mé, ḃain mé ceann de na plúir, ⁊ ṫug liom é ⁊ sin ċugat é.”

[ 187 ]The youth told him about the garden of flowers, which he saw, "and," says he, "lest you might not believe me, I plucked one and brought it with me, and here it is."

[ 186 ]“T’eagla orm,” duḃairt an rí, “go ḃfuil mé caillte, óir buḋ ċóir gur ṁac daṁ atá ’san ṗlúr seo.”

[ 187 ]"I am afraid I am lost," said the king, "for it ought to be that this flower is a son of mine."

[ 186 ]Scairt sé ar a ḃean, ⁊ d’ḟiafruiġ di an roḃ ariaṁ mac aici ḋó-san.

[ 187 ]He called to his wife, and asked her if she ever bore him a son.

[ 186 ]“Ḃí,” ar sí, “⁊ sin é os do ċoinne annsin.”

[ 187 ]"Yes," says she, "and there he is, right before your face."

[ 186 ]Nuair a ċualaiḋ an rí seo, ġlac sé táṁ ⁊ ṫuit sé marḃ ar an talaṁ.

[ 187 ]When the king heard this, he grew pale and fell dead upon the ground.

[ 186 ]Ṫug an ḃanríoġan an t‑ógánaċ isteaċ ’san ṗálás, ⁊ ḃí riġeaċt ⁊ saiḋḃreas an tsean-ríoġ alig aige; ⁊ ḃí sé féin ⁊ a ṁáṫair go sona, seunṁar ó ṡin amaċ: ⁊ mar roḃ siad-san go mbeiḋ sinne.

Peadar MacFionnlaoiġ.

[ 187 ]The queen brought the youth into her own palace, and he had the kingdom and riches of the old king, and himself and his mother were happy and prosperous from that forth, and like them may we too be.

  1. [ 187 ]

    NOTES.

    Roḃ = raiḃ, was.

  2. [ 187 ]Alig an tsaoġal = uile de’n tsaoġal? = all in the world.

  3. [ 187 ]An rí é féin, better an rí féin.

  4. [ 187 ]Ionns’ ar an ríġ = d’ionnsuiḋe ar an ríġ, (he went) to approach the king, i.e., to the king.

  5. [ 187 ]Gioḃta, in the South giota, a piece.

  6. [ 187 ]Note that the Ulster usage after preposition and article singular is aspiration generally, not eclipsis: ar an ṗoll, not bpoll; fá ’n ṗáirc, not bpáirc. In Connaught only do and de, in Munster do, de, and i (ins) aspirate when singular article follows, but do’n, de’n are often followed by eclipsis in Munster.

  7. [ 187 ]Gaigean, a mountain in Co. Donegal.

  8. [ 187 ]’Ar leis féin = dar leis féin, it seemed to him.

  9. [ 187 ]Mur = muna.

  10. [ 187 ]Alig = uile.