Monday, August 29, 2011

446. Aughrim

Around, around, around,
Sweet Billy boy, dear Billy:
The fires come rising in the West
Na tinte ag ardú in Iarthar.
And I must sleep and go to rest,
Sweet Billy, darlin’ Billy.

The sound, the sound,
Of the pipes come sweetly calling:
Over Ballykelly and Glenmatyre
Milis thagann ardú ar an aer.
Sleep, sleep by the campfire,
Billy, O sweet Billy.

Our hopes are fading, falling,
Your father looks not well:
Your sisters keep unto their room
Bogadh ón am atá caite ar an todhchaí
A dagger will hasten on their doom
If your army fails us, Billy Boy.

The shades are falling, calling,
Down from the mountains, Billy:
No more do the wild trumpets ring
Sin le bás in Éirinn ina ghlóir … onóir!
We have lost again, lost everything,
Sweet Billy, Oh … sweet Billy!

Battle of Aughrim

Gaelic lines in the poem, by stanza:

1. The fires (come) rising in the west.
2. Sounds rise gently in the air.
3. We drift along from past to future.
4. Dying for Ireland is a glory … an honour.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

445. Natsumi Hayashi - Tokyo's Floating Girl!

This is another weird and wonderful example of what young people in this country get up to. The older generations seem to be totally out of the loop.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

444. Eumenides

Rain rain crash down on this hard old city
Where there is no love, where there is no pity.
Send down each drop like a hammer blow
To beat on the heads of the people below.
Turn over hoardings, throw down the turnstiles,
Shatter everything, all, for a hundred miles!
Send glass shards, jagged, straight in their eyes,
And laugh and laugh when they show surprise!
End up as as quickly as you’ve begun
Then swoop up swiftly to the sun.

Wait, wait, then, for another day.

The populace, the people, huddle below,
Trembling in shock, all think they know
There has to be, must be, a logical reason.
(All dissidents stand accused of treason.)
Lambs slaughtered, a wild cacophony of prayers
Lift up, skyswirling, in piteous layers.

Wait, wait, wait, for another day.

Tension subsides: there are services, dead are buried.
The life of the town picks up yet people are worried.
Can I go to the market, Dada? Get back to your room!
Step out of that door, child, you'll walk to your doom.
Nobody knows. Nobody knows. Nobody knows for sure.
If I live a good life, stop the nonsense, try to be pure?

The gods live beyond the clouds.
They live behind the sun.

They play desultory games,
Sleeping, now and then,
With one another’s wives.

Immortality, after all,
Wears you down.

Every now and then,
And just for the craic
They launch an attack.