DOṀNALL UA LAOĠAIRE AGUS NA MNÁ SÍḊE.
Le Tomás Ua h-Aoḋa.
[ 105 ][Do’n Léiġṫeoir:—Is minic do ċualas an sgeul so ṡíos ’nuair do ḃí mise am’ ġarsún ag baile i “Sráid-na-Caṫraċ”—sé sin Miltown Malbay má’s é do ṫoil é—i gContae an Ċláir, agus do ċuala mé é i mBeurla agus i nGaeḋilig. Do ḃí sé an-ḃreaġ ag sean-ḟear dar ḃ’ainm Roibeard Cuimín—solus na ḃFlaiṫeas d’a anam anoċt—agus is ó Roibeard d’ḟoġluim mise é. Duḃairt sé liomsa go raiḃ aiṫint ṁaiṫ ag an ḃfear d’innis an sgeul do fein ar Ḋoṁnall Ua Laoġaire agus a ṁáṫair; aċt pé’r b’ann é, so ḋíḃ an sgeul mar do fuair mise é deiċ mbliaḋna ó ṡoin.]
[ 107 ]
[ 105 ]Timċioll le trí fiċid bliaḋain ó ṡoin, nó mar sin, do ḃí baintreaḃaċ ’na coṁnuiḋe le hais Leaċt Uí Ċonċuḃair i gContae an Ċláir, agus ní raiḃ aici aċt aon ṁac aṁáin [ 106 ]d’ar ḃ’ainm Ḋoṁnall Ua Laoġaire. Buḋ buaċaill breaġ láidir é, agus do ḃí na daoine go léir ar fúd na háite an-ḃuiḋeaċ do agus an-ċeanaṁail air, mar ba coṁarsa ṁaiṫ é, agus leis sin, do ḃí sé croiḋeaṁail, fearaṁail, séiṫṁéalta. Ní raiḃ loċt ar biṫ ag a ṁáṫair air aċt aon loċt aṁáin, agus go deiṁin agus go dearḃṫa níor ḃ’fiú tráċt air sin. Do ḃí dúil ṁór aige ’sa ḃeiṫ amuiġ ’san oiḋċe ag láṁaċ coiníniḋe le solus na gealaiġe ’san daḃaċ mór atá ar ḃruac na fairge ag síneaḋ siar ó’n “Leaċt” ċu’ Droiċid Uí Ḃriain, agus do ḃíḋeaḋ a ṁáṫair maidin agus tráṫnóna ag gearán agns ag cannrán mar ġeall air sin, mar do ḃí eagla a croiḋe uirre go gcasfaḋ na daoine maiṫe nó an “Cóiste Boḋar” ar Ḋoṁnall oiḋċe icínt ’san daḃaċ. Aċt ní raiḃ toraḋ an ṁadraiḋ ag Doṁnall ar a cuid ċainte agus ní ḃíḋeaḋ sé aċt ag deanaḋ magaiḋ fúiṫe, mar ní ċuirfeaḋ “an deaṁan nó Doċtúr Fostar” eagla air. Deireaḋ sí annsan, “lean díot, a ḃiṫeaṁnaiġ; tá tú ag deanaḋ magaiḋ fúm-sa anois, aċt b’ḟéidir sul do ḃeiḋeaḋ an ḃliaḋain so caiṫte naċ mbeiḋ tú ċoṁ suairc sin. Mo ḋíoṫċair! is deacair na sean-ḟocail do ṡárúġaḋ—‘biḋeann ceann caol ar an aos óg’—agus tá ceann caol ort-sa a Ḋoṁnaill.”
[ 107 ]About sixty years ago, or that way, there was a widow living near Lahinch, in the County of Clare, and she had only one son, whose name was Daniel O’Leary. He was a fine, strong boy, and all the people around the place were very thankful to him—i.e., had a regard for him—and were were very fond of him, for he was a good neighbour; and, along with that, he was hearty, manly and civil.
His mother had not a fault in the world with him but one fault alone, and indeed, and indeed, that was not worth talking about. He had a great desire to be out in the night shooting rabbits with the light of the moon, in the great sand-hills which are on the brink of the sea, stretching over from Lahinch to O’Brien's Bridge; and his mother used to be, morning and evening, complaining and grumbling on account of this, for the fear of her heart was on her that the Good People or the Death Coach would come across Daniel some night in the sand-hills. But he had not the heed of a dog on her talk, and he used be only making fun of her, for “the demon nor Doctor Foster” would not make him afraid. She used say then: “Follow on, you rogue. You are making fun of me now; but maybe before this year is spent you will not be so pleasant. My sorrow! it is hard to put down the old words, ‘Young people have slender heads,’ and you have a slender head, Daniel.”
[ 106 ]Ḃí go maiṫ agus ní raiḃ go holc, agus aon Oiḋċe Ṡaṁna aṁáin do ḃí Ḋoṁnall amuiġ, mar buḋ ġnáṫaċ leis, ag tóruiġeaċt ar na coiníniḋiḃ. Ba oiḋċe ḃreaġ ġealaiġe í agus ní raiḃ gal gaoiṫe ná torann ar biṫ eile amuiġ aċt aṁáin crónán na fairge ar an tráig, nó anois agus arís fead géur na ḃfeadóg ós a ċionn. Do ṡiuḃail sé suas agus anuas agus ṫart timċioll an Daḃaig, aċt ní raiḃ an t-áḋ ar a ċuid saoṫair an oiḋċe sin. Ní ḟaca sé coinín ar biṫ nó aon niḋ eile, agus do ḃí sé ag teaċt aḃaile, sáruiġṫe agus tuirseaċ go leór, ag deanaḋ ar an mbuille ’ċlog, agus cad do ċonnaic sé amaċ roiṁe ar an mbóṫar aċt beirt ṁná agus iad “ag siuċam-seaċam” le ċéile. Do ṫáinig iongantas air ’nuair do ċonnaic sé na mná gan aon ḟear ’n-a ḃfoċair ag deanaḋ cuideaċta leo, agus duḃairt sé leis féin, “Naċ déiḋeanaċ atá síad amuiġ. Ní ḟeadar ’ḃfuil aon duine marḃ ’san gcoṁarsanaċd anoċt! B’ḟéidir gurab as an tóraṁ atá siad ag teaċt; aċt beiḋ ’ḟios agam-sa lom láiṫreaċ, agus má tá, raċaiḋ mise tamall beag ’san tóraṁ.”
[ 107 ]It was good, and it wasn’t bad, and one Hallowe’en Daniel was abroad, as was usual with him, in pursuit of the rabbits. It was a fine moonlight night, and there was not a puff of wind nor any other sound abroad, but only the murmur of the sea on the strand, or now and then the sharp whistle of the plover over his head. He walked up and down and round about the sand-hills; but the luck was not on his labour that night. He did not see a rabbit in the world, or any other thing; and he was coming home, tired and weary enough, making towards one o’clock, and what did he see out before him on the road but two women, and they chatting away together. Wonder came on him when he saw the women, without any man along with them making company with them, and he said to himself: “Isn’t it late they are abroad? I wonder is there anyone dead in the neighbourhood tonight! Maybe it is out of the wake they are coming. But I’ll know presently, and, if there is, I’ll go for a little while in the wake.”
[ 106 ]Do ḃí siad breis agus míle go leiṫ ó’n “Leaċt” an t-am so, agus do ṡaoil Doṁnall go mbeiḋeaḋ se suas leo sul do ḃeiḋeaḋ ceaṫraṁa ṁíle eile siuḃailte aca. Do ċorraig sé suas annsan, agus do ḋein sé a ḋíċioll ċun teaċt suas leo, aċt ċiḋ gur ċuir sé deaḃaḋ mór air féin, níor ḃuaiḋ sé coiscéim ar na mnáiḃ. Do riṫ sé annsan, mar níor ḃ’ait leis ḃeiṫ buailte ar fad, act buḋ mar a ċéadna é—ḃí na mná ċoṁ fada uaiḋ a’s do ḃí síad ar dtús. Annsan do ṡeas sé suas ar an mbóṫar, agus do ċuiṁnig sé air féin. D’ḟeuċ sé go géar ar na mnáiḃ arís, agus do ṫúg sé faoi ndeara naċ ag siuḃal do ḃí siad, aċt ag imṫeaċt ós ceann an ḃóṫair mar scáile lá Márta. “Am’ ḃaisteaḋ,” ar Doṁnall, “tá mé cínnte naċ leis an saoġal so na mná úd i n-aon ċor; is leis na daoine maiṫe iad, agus atá gnó icínt ceapuiġṫe amaċ aca anoċt, mar is Oiḋċe Ṡaṁna í so. Tá siad ag deanaḋ ar an Leaċt anois, aċt beiḋ mise láiṫreaċ nó ní Doṁnall m’ainm. Tá siad so ag dul ṫimċioll aċt raċaiḋ mire trasna, agus beiḋ mise ann níos luaiṫe ’ná iad.” Leis sin do léim sé ṫar an gcloiḋe do ḃí ar ṫaoḃ an ḃóṫair, agus síos leis ċun an tráig, agus annsan do riṫ sé mar an gearrḟiaḋ, agus níor stad sé go dtáinig sé go dtí an “Leaċt.” Do ċuaiḋ sé i ḃfolaċ taoḃ ṡiar de ċrompán mór giuḃaise do ḃí ag seasaṁ suas le cruaċ ṁóna, i n-áit ’n-a raiḃ cor ’san mbóṫar, ar nós go mbeiḋeaḋ raḋarc suas agus anuas aige. D’ḟan sé annsan go ciuin socair, gan cor as, ag feiṫeaṁ ar na [ 107 ]mnáiḃ, agus níor ḃ’fada ḋo ann go ḃfaca sé iad ag tarruingt air, agus an “siuċam-seaċam” céadna d’airiġ se ar dtús ag dul ar n-aġaiḋ aca fós. Do ċuir sé cluas air féin, ag feuċaint a’ ḃfaiġeaḋ sé amaċ cad do ḃí siad a ráḋ, aċt níor ṫuig sé aon ḟocal aṁáin. Do spalp an ġealaċ amaċ ’nuair do ḃí siad ag dul ṫairis, agus do ḃí raḋarc ṁaiṫ aige ar na mnáiḃ, mar b’ḟéidir leis bárr an ġunna do leagaint orṫa, beag-naċ, ó’n áit ’n-a raiḃ sé i ḃfolaċ, do ḃí sé ċoṁ goirid sin dóiḃ.
[ 107 ]They were more than a mile and a half from Lahinch at this time, and Daniel thought that he would be up to them before there wonld be another quarter of a mile walked with them. He stirred up then and he did his best to come up with them, but though he put great haste on himself he did not gain a footstep on the women. He ran then, for he did not like to be beaten entirely, but it was all the same—the women were just as far away as they were at first. Then he stood up on the road and he thought of himself. He looked sharply on the women again, and he took notice that it wasn't walking they were at all but going above the road like a shadow on a March day. “By my baptism!” says Daniel, “I am [ 108 ]certain it is not belonging to this world these women are at any rate. It is to the good people they belong, and they have some work laid out for themselves to-night for this is Hallowe’en. They are making on Lahinch now, but I’ll be present, or my name is not Daniel. They are going around, but I’ll go across, and I’ll be there sooner than they.” With that he leaped over the wall that was on the side of the road and down with him to the strand, and then he ran like the hare and he didn’t stop till he got into Lahinch. He went a hiding behind a big stump of bogwood that was standing up against a rick of turf in a place in which there was a bend in the road, in a way that he would have a view up and down. He stayed there quiet and easy, without a stir out of him, waiting on the women, and it wasn’t long for him to be there till he saw them drawing on (towards) him, and the same “chit-chat” he heard in the beginning going ahead with them yet. He put an ear on himself trying would he find out what they were saying, but he did not understand one single word. The moon brightened out when they were going past him and he had a good view of them, for he was able to leave the top of the gun on them from the place he was in hiding, he was that close to them.
[ 107 ]Ba sean-ċailleaċa iad, agus ní ḟaca sé riaṁ roiṁe sin duine no beiṫiḋeaċ leaṫ ċoṁ gránna leo. Do ḃí a ngruaig ċoṁ liaṫ le broc agus a gcroicionn ċoṁ buiḋe leis an ór agus ċoṁ cropuiġṫe le leaṫair ṡean-ḃróige. Annsan do ḃí a súile ag cur teine asta mar smeaċada dearg; agus ċun an sgeul do ḋeanaḋ níos measa, do ḃí ċeiṫre stair-ḟiacail cam fada ag fás as beul gaċ duine aca. Do ṫug Doṁnall rud eile faoi ndeara. Do ḃí ceann aca ag iomċur ualaiġ icínt faoi n-a clóca, agus ’nuair do ċonnaic sé é sin, duḃairt sé leis féin, “Dar mo láiṁ, ní’l ceann caol ar Ḋoṁnall anoċt. Do ḃí ’ḟios agam-sa go maiṫ cad do ḃí siad ag dul ċun deanaḋ. Is é Dia do ċuir mise amaċ anoċt gan doḃta ar doṁan.”
[ 108 ]They were old hags, and he did not see ever before a person or a beast half as ugly as they. Their hair was as gray as a badger and their skin as yellow as gold, and wrinkled like the leather of an old shoe. Then their eyes were putting fire out of them like a red coal; and to make the story worse, there were four crooked long tusks growing out of the mouth of each person of them. Daniel brought another thing under notice. There was one of them carrying some load under her cloak, and when he saw that he said to himself, “By my hand, there is not a slender head on Daniel to-night! I had its knowledge well what they were going to do. It was God that put me out to-night without a doubt in the world.”
[ 107 ]Suas an sráid leo, agus do ċuinnig Doṁnall a ṡúile orṫa, agus níor ḃ’fada gur ṡeas siad taoḃ amuiġ de ṫiġ beag deas cómpórdaċ do ḃí ar ṫaoiḃ na sráide. Do léim Doṁnall ’n-a ṡeasaṁ ’nuair do ċonnaic sé na cailleaċa ag deanaḋ ar an tiġ beag, agus is iongantaċ nár ṗreab a ċroiḋe amaċ ar an mbóṫar le faitċios agus le heagla, aċt ní mar ġeall air féin. Ba duine muintire leis féin do ḃí ’n-a ċoṁnuiḋe ’san tiġ beag, dar ḃ’ainm Miċeál Ua Conċuḃair, agus ní raiḃ sé pósta aċt cúpla bliaḋain. Is fa ḋéin leanaiḃ an ḟir so do ḃí na cailleaċa ag teaċt, agus is é sin do ċuir an eagla ar Ḋoṁnall boċt.
[ 108 ]Up the street with them, and Daniel kept his eyes on them; and it wasn’t long until they stood outside a small, nice, comfortable house, that was on the side of the street. Daniel jumped to his standing when he saw the hags making on the little house, and it is a wonder that his heart didn’t jump out on the road with terror and fear; but not on account of himself. It was a friend of his own who was living in the little house, whose name was Michael O’Connor, and he wasn’t married but a couple of years. It was for the child of this man the hags were coming; and it was this put the fear on poor Daniel.
[ 107 ]Ḋruid na cailleaċa isteaċ, agus do ṫóg ceann aca an ḟuinneog, agus isteaċ léiṫe gan ṁoill. ’Nuair do ḃí sí istiġ do ċrom an ceann eile síos, mar do ḃí an ḟuinneog íseal, agus do ṫug sí an t-ualaċ do ḃí faoi n-a clóca do’n ċailliġ istig.
[ 108 ]The hags moved in, and one of them raised the window, and in with her without delay. When she was inside, the other one bent down—for the window was low—and she gave the load that was under her cloak to the hag inside.
[ 107 ]
(le ḃeiṫ ar leanaṁuin.)
[ 108 ]
(To be continued.)
“Leaċt Uí Ċonċuḃair, now Lahinch, in the County Clare. It derived the old name from a leacht or monument which was erected there in memory of one of the O’Connor kings.
an-ḃuiḋeaċ do, here means, they had a great regard for him.
séiṫṁéalta, civil or obliging.
daḃaċ, a collection of sand-hills on the brink of the sea. There are, at least, three such collections on the coast of Clare, two of them being of considerable extent.
Cóiste Boḋar, the “death-coach,” usually drawn by headless horses. I know several persons who aver they have heard it.
toraḋ an ṁadraiḋ, the regard of a dog.
mo ḋíoṫċair, my pity, or alas! a very common expression in West Clare.
siuċam-seaċam le ċéile, chatting rapidly together. siuċam-seaċam is a common expression for a rapid, noisy conversation to which there is neither “head nor tail.”
deaḃaḋ, haste, speed.
ċuaiḋ sé i ḃfolaċ, he went a-hiding.
crompán, applied principally to twisted, knotty beams of bogwood. This word is given in O’Donovan’s Supplement as being peculiar to Mayo, but it is in common use in Clare to-day.
do ċuir sé cluas air féin, he put an ear on himself, i.e., he listened intently.
do spalp an ġealaċ amaċ, the moon burst forth. When the weather is clearing up after rain, the expression ta sé ag spalpaḋ suas is often heard.
gan ṁoill, without delay, quickly.
giuḃais, fir or pinewood; applied principally to bogwood in West Clare.
tarruingt air, drawing on him, approaching him.
an mbuille ’ċlog, the usual expression for one o'clock.
meaċada dearg, a live coal.