Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge/Imleabhar 1/Uimhir 1/Brian Boroimhe before his Last Battle

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Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge, Imleabhar I, Uimh. 1 by John James O'Carroll
Brian Boroimhe before his Last Battle
[ 6 ]


No. I.

Brian Boroimhe before his Last Battle.

By Rev. J. J. O'Carroll, S.J.


Brian.—Great is the power my hand doth
wield to-day;
Great is my glory in our Irish land;—
Yet greater is the pain that gnaws my heart
Than power, or praise of men I have
brought low
The race that held the sceptre over Erin
From age to age till I arose. Nor did I
Subdue on battle-fields alone their clans:—
They are become my followers! On this
Before the haughty city of the Danes,
Stand the Ui-Neill in array beside me.
And at my right hand, Malachy himself,
The man from whom I tore the crown of
Is ready to do battle at my call.
As bravely as when, leading on the hosts,
His strong sword won the early victory
Over the golden-collared Danish king.
No longer can the Danes withstand my
My victory is certain now. It will
Be great. It will be famed and glorious too.
For with the courage of despair the Danes
will fight.
There shall be glory round this battle-day
Such as was never known for war in Erin;
And in the ages that are yet to come
Its name and story shall be sweet to hear,
Till even men that cannot speak our tongue
Shall sing of and shall bless Clontarf’s
bright day.
Fair, hopeful day, Erin shall call her own!
Most glorious day, when falls for evermore
The pirate empire over land and seas!
Yet in this hour of honour full and might,
My heart can find no peace. One great
dread fear
Pursues me, that I did what was not just
In raising up my power to this high state.
Perhaps this strong right hand seems
stained with guilt
To the clear eyes of God, and therefore now.
Perhaps in very hour of victory,
His vengeance will descend upon my head.