Tuesday, April 26, 2011

430. The Conversion to Islam of Conor MacArt (Part 3)

An Comhshó a Ioslam de Conchubhair Mac Airt

Saol agus an chiall atá deacair.
Níl an Bás.

September, 1563

I took all the necessary vows
with my tongue held firmly in cheek
and thus became a bashibazouk.
I could see no other way.

From slavery and from chains removed
I became again a proud young warrior
with a devilish assortment of weapons
and, I fear, outlandish clothing.

I must confess I looked rather fine.
I would stop then and again by a mirror
and stroke my fierce moustachios
while striking a fearsome pose.

Restored to my natural position
it did not take me long to visit the docks
and search out that Cockney turncoat
who fell to his knees before me.

I was an officer, he was nothing, I had
a crowd of murderous troops around me
and he fell to whining: Omagawdsofackinsorrysir!
A laugh came unbidden: turns of fate are sweet.

Tell me your name, you frightful English cur!
Muggins, sir, Albert Muggins, sir, Bert for short.
Very well, Muggins, gather your kit,
you are now my valet and personal slave.

I must say he took it rather well. In the weeks
and many months to come he showed rather willing,
with a conscientious tradesman’s air about him,
until the time of his ultimate fatal decision.

One cannot really trust the English, of whatever class,
they bear the canker of the Germans from whom they descend:
in triumph they will murder your wife and children,
in defeat they will sob and groan and hug your knees.

They are dull doughty defenders but not real warriors.
We have seen this time and time again. They win and lose
their many wars, not from audacity, but from simply hanging on,
and this has proved to be wonderfully successful.

The world despises and dislikes them, as if it matters,
for they will never rise above their narrow island confines
nor mount any form of empire, the thought is entirely
ludicrous, beginning with a forthcoming defeat in Ireland.

Shane, if I know him, will bash their bloody brains out,
just as I fear, presently, he would treat my brains as well.
In the meantime I look upon this creature Albert Muggins,
give him a kick up the arse, enforcing our change in fortunes.

He is a weaselly, grovelling, dungbeetle of a creature,
often found in the environs of a London district called Ealing
where ailing grandmothers with coins under their mattresses
need iron bars on the windows to keep their grandsons out.

The Gibbard family of the area are well known for marauding
on the poor and the helpless and orphans and widows,
a greedy ferocious clan of depradations and occasional poetry,
handed down, it would seem, from generation to generation.

Albert Muggins – Bert – took a shine to his duties, crookedly-toothing
his smiles, saying, Tankgawdyewcymealongsirbloodywytingsooiwoz!
Then along before long came the delicate problem of Yasmin Nur:
almond-eyed young second concubine to the Captain of the Guard …

The decipherment process is going on steadily but slowly under the direction of Professor Uchiyama and his team, scraping and dissolving away the cowshit of centuries, but there is a real and catastrophic possibility of a reduction in funds and possible termination of the project owing to the March 11 massive earthquake in Japan. We can only hope the project will continue.