Vailintín Brún - Valentine Brown
<bgsound src="../midi/carrig.mid" loop="1">
Family Crest
Browne Family Crest

"With the breaking of the Treaty of Limerick by the English in 1691 the Irish Catholics descended into a slavery worse than anything experienced by Negroes in the Southern States. (When the Irish came to America, the Negroes called thm "White Niggers".) This period is best represented in the few authentic poems of Egan O'Rahilly, a Kerry poet who lived between 1670 and 1726. In this fine poem he approaches, not one of the masters he would have approached fifty years before - the MacCarthys - but Lord Kenmare, one of the new Anglo-Irish gentry. Hence the bitter repetition of the fellow's name. O'Rahilly himself would have considered "Valentine" a ridiculous name for anyone calling himself a gentleman, and as for "Brown" he would as soon have addressed a "Jones" or a "Robinson". O'Rahilly is a snob, but one of the great snobs of literature."

'A Grey Eye Weeping', p.102 ibid.

Valentine Browne, (1720-1726) by poet Aogán O'Rathaille. Several poems by O'Rathaille personified Ireland as a beautiful maiden waiting for her male rescuer.

le Aogán Ó Rathaile
Do leathnaigh an ciach diachraach fám sheana-du'r
ar thaisteal na ndiabhal n-iasacha i bhfearann Choinn chughainn;
scamall ar ghriain iaarthair dár cheartas riócht Mumhan
fá deara dhom triall riamh ort, a Vailintín Brún.

version by Brendan Kennely
Because all night my mind inclines to wander and to rave,
Because the English dogs have made Ireland a green grave,
Because all of Munster's glory is daily trampled down,
I have traveled far to meet you, Valentine Brown.

Caiseal gan cliar, fiailteach ná macraí ar dtús
Is beanna-bhruig Bhriain ciarthuilte, 'mhadraíbh uísc,
Ealla gan triar triaithe de mhacaibh rí Mumhan
fá deara dhom triall riamh ort, a Vailintín Brún.

Because the might of Cashel is withered all away,
And the badger skulks in Brian's house, seeking out his prey,
And the laughing kings are all deprived of scepter and of crown,
I have traveled far to meet you, Valentine Brown.

Dáistrigh fia an fialchruth do chleachtadh sí ar dtús
ó neadaigh an fiach iasachts i ndaingeanchoill Ruís
seachnaid iaisc griantsruth is caise caoin ckuín
fá deara dhom triall riamh ort, a Vailintín Brún.

Because the deer in Ross's wood run no longer free,
And the crows of death are croaking now on top of every tree,
And never a fish is seen to leap where mountain streams come down,
I have traveled far to meet you, Valentine Brown.

Dairinis thiar, iarla níl aici én chlainn uír,
i Hambury, mo chiach iaaaarla na seachach sioch subhach-
seana-rosc liath ag dianghol fá cheachtar dípbh súd
fá deara dhom triall riamh ort, a Vailintín Brún.

Demish ravaged in the west, her good lord gone as well,
Some foreign city has become our refuge and our hell.
Wounds that hurt a poet's soul can rob him of renown:
I have traveled far to meet you, Valentine Brown.

Taisce Duan edited by Sean McMahon & Jo O'Donohue, 1992 Poolbeg Press, Dublin Pg. 36. Copy at Forked River Library, NJ 891.621
Courtesy of Vivian and Jack Hennessey, 2009.
Replay tune: carrig fergus

<á>
Filleadh go liosta
Click icon above to go back to poemlist