An rí nach robh le fagháil bháis

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[ 185 ]

AN RÍ NACH ROBH[1] LE FAGHÁIL BHÁIS

(donegal folk-tale.)

Bhí rí ann i bhfad ó shoin ⁊ bhí sé le bheith beó ariam go n-innseóchadh a mhac féin sean-sgéal do. Bhí sé pósta ar sheisear ban i ndiaidh a chéile, acht do mharbhuigh sé alig an tsaoghal[2] iad, ar eagla go mbeidheadh páistídhe ar bith aca. Lá amháin bhí sé ag dul thart leis an bhealach mór, agus a thiománach leis. Chonnaic sé cailín ag nigheachán i sruthán le cois an bhealaigh mhóir ⁊ chuir sé an tiománach síos ag fiafraighe di a' bpósfadh sí é. 'Sé dubhairt sí leis an tiománach​—​"Stad do chuid déanamh grinn ⁊ magaidh ormsa." Chuaidh an rí é féin[3] síos annsin ⁊ d'fhiafraigh dhi a' bpósfadh sí é. Dubhairt sí go bpósfadh; ⁊ pósadh iad ⁊ thug an rí 'na bhaile í. Bliadhain 'na dhiaidh sin, thug an rí fá deara an tromas a bhí ag éirghe innti, acht leig sise uirri gur bh'é an biadh maith a bhí sí ag fagháil a bhí ag cur an bhisigh sin uirri. Tamall 'na dhiaidh sin d'iarr sí cead ar an rígh, cuairt a thabhairt ar a máthair, ⁊ thug 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 ]Chuaidh sí abhaile annsin ⁊ ní robh sí i bhfad 'na dhiaidh sin, 'nuair a bhí mac óg aici, ⁊ cheil sí é ar an rígh, ar eagla go marbhóchadh sé é. Chuir sí an páiste ar oileamhain ⁊ chuaidh sí ar ais chum an ríogh. Nuair d'fhás an gasúr suas, chuir a mháthair ar scoil é, ⁊ bhíodh sí ag tabhairt airgid dó, gan fhios do'n rígh, le leabhairidhe ⁊ neithe cheannach dó. Ní raibh fios ar bith aige cia a athair ⁊ lá amháin bhí sé gan airgiod, ⁊ chualaidh sé iomrádh ar an rígh so go robh sé maith le tabhairt uaidh airgid. Chuaidh sé ionns' ar an rígh[4] ⁊ fuair sé é ar shuidheachán san gharrdha, ⁊ d'iarr sé airgiod air. "An bhfuil sean-sgéal ar bith agat le hinnsint damh?" ar san rí. "Ní'l," ars an bhuachaill. "Maiseadh ní thiubhra mise airgiod ar bith dhuit," 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'imthigh an t-ógánach leis mar tháinic sé. Níor shiubhal sé i bhfad go bhfacaidh sé páirc mhór ⁊ mórán eallaigh innti, ⁊ thug sé fa deara go robh na heallaigh lom, bocht, gan feoil, gidh go robh an féar suas go dtí na hadharca orra. Nuair a chuaidh sé giobhta[5] eile, chonnaic sé cuibhreann talmhan ⁊ scota mór caorach ann, ⁊ bhí siad ramhar, feolmhar, beathaiste, gidh nach robh an féar acht go han-lom. Shiubhal sé leis arís gur casadh air tobar uisge. Bhí sé bric ag dul thart san uisge, ⁊ ceann amháin i lár báire nach robh corrughadh. Shiubhal sé leis arís, gur casadh air poll mór uisge i lár a chasáin. Bhí plainc trasna ar an pholl[6] ⁊ bhí mada mór milteach dubh, ar a robh slabhra iarainn ceangailte, leath-bhealaigh ar an phlainc. Nuair do chuir an bhuachaill a chos ar an phlainc, le dul tar an pholl, lúb sí síos san uisge, ar mhodh go robh an t-ógánach ar tí bheith báithte, gur rinne sé é féin do choisreagadh, ⁊ ar an móimid d'éirigh an phlainc cómh daingean le Gaigeán,[7] ⁊ léim an máda dubh síos 'san pholl as a bhealach. D'imthigh sé leis arís, ⁊ casadh air teach-phobuil, ⁊ chuaidh sé isteach ann. Bhí sagart ar an altóir ⁊ d'fhiafruigh sé an robh an duine annsin a dhéanfadh Aifrionn a fhritheóladh. Dubhairt an t-ógánach go ndéanfadh seision é fhritheóladh ⁊ rinne sé sin. Tháinic sé colmáin gheala isteach ar an dorus, ⁊ shuidh siad ar philéir go robh an tAifrionn thart, ⁊ annsin chuaidh siad amach ar ais. D'imthigh an buachaill amach as an tigh phobuil arís, ⁊ fuair sé é féin i ngarrdha áluinn breágh [ 186 ]plúr, ⁊ bhain sé ceann do na plúra' ⁊ thug leis é. 'Ar leis féin[8] annsin "dá mbeidhinn ar ais ag an rígh anois, thiucfadh liom sgéalta iongantacha innsint dó, ⁊ gheobhainn airgiod uadh;" ⁊ mar sin de d'fhill sé ar ais ionns' ar an rígh, agus fuair sé 'na shuidhe ins an gharrdha 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 bhfuil tú ag dul anois?" ars an rí, "nach goirid ó bhí tú annseo a roimhe."

[ 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 ]"Maiseadh innis leat," labhair an rí. D'innis an gasúr dó fá'n pháirc eallaigh a chonnaic sé a bhí cómh bocht sin ⁊ an méad féir a bhí 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 ]"Innseóchaidh mise dhuit cad é budh chiall dó sin," ars an rí; "sé sin daoine a bhí ag troid ar an tsaoghal seo, ⁊ droch-theacht-le-chéile aca, agus beidh siad ins an chruadh-chás sin go dtí lá an bhreitheamhnais."

[ 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-ógánach dó fá na caoraibh reamhra ins an pháirc lom. "Sé sin deagh-dhaoine a bhí maith, carthanach le chéile ar an tsaoghal so, ⁊ beidh an gléas maith sin orra go lá an bhreitheamhnais."

[ 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 robh sé bric ag dul thart agus ceann amháin a lár báire nach robh corrughadh.

[ 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 seachtmaine a bhí ag dul thart, ⁊ an Domhnach ar socar."

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

[ 186 ]D'innis dó fá'n pholl mór uisge ⁊ an casán caol thairis, ⁊ an mada dubh ag a choimhead.

[ 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 Diabhal a bhí 'san chasán, ⁊ mur[9] gcoisrigfeá thú féin 'san mhóimid sin, bheitheá 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 buachaill dó fá'n tigh-phobuil ⁊ fá'n Aifrionn ⁊ na sé colmáin a tháinic ag éisteacht 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 bhí agamsa, ⁊ mharbh mé alig[10] go léir iad, ar eagla go mbeidheadh páistidhe ar bith 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 gharrdha plúr do chonnaic sé, "agus," ar seision, "ar eagla nach gcreidfidhe mé, bhain mé ceann de na plúir, ⁊ thug liom é ⁊ sin chugat 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," dubhairt an rí, "go bhfuil mé caillte, óir budh chóir gur mhac damh atá 'san phlúr 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 bhean, ⁊ d'fhiafruigh di an robh ariamh mac aici dhó-san.

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

[ 186 ]"Bhí," ar sí, "⁊ sin é os do choinne annsin."

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

[ 186 ]Nuair a chualaidh an rí seo, ghlac sé támh ⁊ thuit sé marbh ar an talamh.

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

[ 186 ]Thug an bhanríoghan an t-ógánach isteach 'san phálás, ⁊ bhí righeacht ⁊ saidhbhreas an tsean-ríogh alig aige; ⁊ bhí sé féin ⁊ a mháthair go sona, seunmhar ó shin amach: ⁊ mar robh siad-san go mbeidh sinne.

     Peadar MacFionnlaoigh.

[ 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.

    Robh = raibh, was.

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

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

  4. [ 187 ]Ionns' ar an rígh = d'ionnsuidhe ar an rígh, (he went) to approach the king, i.e., to the king.

  5. [ 187 ]Giobhta, 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 pholl, not bpoll; fá 'n pháirc, 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.