Máire Ní hEidhin - Mary Hynes


The Shining Flower of Ballylea

This poem is sometimes called The Shining Flower of Ballylea (Pabhsae Gléigeal Bhaile Uí Lí). Mary Hynes was said to be the most beautiful girl born in the west of Ireland in the course of a hundred years. Although she lived with her peasant parents in a cottage near Gort, she always dressed in brilliant white. When Mary Hynes appeared at any sporting event, people rushed to see her. She was also said to have refused eleven offers of marriage in one day. Her end was the sad but not unusual one of such peasant beauties - she was seduced and abandoned by one of the so-called aristocracy, and died in poverty some years before the Famine... Críostóir Ó Floinn.

le Antaine Ó Reachtabhra (1784-1835)

1. 'S ag tríall chun aifrinn dom le toil na ngrása,
bhí an lá ag baistigh 'gus d'ardaigh an ghaoth
casadh an bhruinneall dhom le hais Chill Tartan
agus thit mé laithreach í ngrá le mnaoí.

d'umhlaios síos go muinte manla
's do réir a calach do fhreagair sí;
's dúirt an ainnir liom," Béidh m'intinn sásta
agus gluais go lá liom go Baile Uí Lí."

2. Nior mheas mé an tairscint a ligean ar cairde,
b'ait liom trácht air's do ghéit mo chroí;
ní raibh le dhul againn ach trasna páirce
agus thug an lain go tóin an tí.

Do shocraigh solas chugham, gloine's cárta
agus cúil;in fainneach lem ais ' na suí;
's e dúirt sí, A Rafteirí, bi ag ól, is céad fáilte,
ta soileir láidir í mBaile Uí Lí."

3. Dá siúlfá Sasana's an Fhráinc le chéile,
an Spáinn, an Gréig is ar d'ais arís,
ó bhruach Loch Gréine go béal Loch Éirne
's ní fheicfea feirin ar bith mar í;

a grua trí lasadh's a mailí caola,
a haghaidh da réir sin's a beal deas faoí,
scoth ban éireann, 's ar ucht an scéil sin
thug mé an sway dhuit í mBaile Uí Lí.

4. Dé mhullach sléibhe nach aoibinn aerach
an ní bhéith ag feachaint ar Bhaile Uí Lí,
ag siúl trí choillte ag baint cnó 'gus sméara,
's gur geall glór éan ann le ceolta sí ?

cén bhrí an méid sin go bhfaighfea leargas
ar bhlath na gcraobh 'tá léna thaoibh?
's níl gar dha sheanadh níos faide ar aon neach,
a spéir na gréine, 's to grá mo chroí.

5. A realt an tsolais 'sa a ghrian an fhomhair,
a chuilin omra 's a chuid den tsaol,
siuil in uaigneas liom do ndeanam comhairle
fa choinne an Domhnaigh ca mbeam 'nar sui;

nior mhor liom ceol duit gach aon trathnona,
punch ar bord is da nolfa, fion;
ach Ri na gloire go dtriomai an bothar
go bhfaighe me an t-eolas go Baile Ui Li !

by Frank O'Connor

1. Going to mass by the heavenly mercy,
The day was rainy, the wind was wild;
I met a lady beside Kiltartan
And fell in love with the lovely child.

My conversation was free and easy
And graciously she answered me
"Raftery dear, 'tis yourself that's welcome,
So step beside me to Ballylee'.

2. This invitation there was no denying,
I laughed with joy and my poor heart beat;
We had but to walk across a meadow
And in her dwelling I took my seat.

There was laid table with a jug and glasses,
And that sweet maiden sat down by me -
"Raftery drink and don't spare the liquor;
There's a lengthy cellar in Ballylee."

3. If I should travel France and England,
and Spain and Greece and return once more
from Loch Greine to the mouth of Loch Erne
You would find no prize like her.

Her glowing cheeks and her slender breasts
her face accordingly and her lovely mouth beneath
the pick of the women of Ireland by that account
I gave you that title in Ballylee.

4. 'Tis fine and bright on the mountainside,
Looking down on Ballylee,
You can walk the woods, picking nuts and berries,
And hear the birds sing merrily;

But where's the good if you got no tidings
Of the flowering branch that resides below -
O summer sky, there's no denying
It is for you that I ramble so.

5. My star of beauty, my sun of autumn,
My golden hair, O my share of life!
Will you come with me this coming Sunday
And tell the priest you will be my wife ?

I'd not grudge you music, nor feast at evening,
Nor punch nor wine, if you'd have it be,
And King of Glory, dry up the roadway
Til I find my posy at Ballylee !

The MacMillan Dictionary of Irish Literature ed. Robert Hogan, 1979 p 718: Refs: "The tower, Thoor Ballylee (Irish: Túr Bail' i Liagh)... with its thatched cottages, is beautifully located beside a stream, a bridge at its foot...Yeats himself was comfortably settled there on an upper floor... In an 1899 essay: 'Dust Hath Clothed Helen's Eye' Yeats told of visiting the tower and hearing of the death there sixty years before of the beautiful Mary Hynes, subject of a romantic poem by the blind Raftery..."
Antaine Ó Reachtabhra (Raifteirí) (1784-1835)
Courtesy of Jack & Vivian, IrishPage.com October 2008
For phonetics consult the pocket dictionary Fóclóir Póca.
(English Version taken from Taisc Duan (A Treasury of Irish Poems
with Translations in English) Edited by Sean McMahon & Jo O'Donoghue.
Pub. 1992 by Poolbeg Press, Co Dublin ISBN 1 85371 118 7.)
Music for this poem is unavailable
Replay background music: Bonniwood, a substition.


Filleadh go liosta
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