210. Cumha Toirdhealbhach Mac Donnchadha
Lament for Terence MacDonough

Mac Donough Family Crest

This fine elegy was composed by Carolan on the death of Terence MacDonough of Sligo. MacDonough was one of the most distinguished and versatile Irishmen of his day -- a soldier, lawyer, man of affairs, poet and patron of poets. He married Elinor, the daughter of Owen Og O'Rourke of Breffni. MacDonough had no children of his own and his niece Dolly MacDonough lived with him in Creevagh, Co. Sligo. The amusing story of her elopement is told in no. 88. MacDonough was a counselor at law and represented the borough of Sligo in King James Irish Paliament of 1689. He was commonly known as caech or blind MacDonough as he was blind in one eye. MacDonough was the only Catholic Counsel that was admitted to the Irish bar. He received the priviledge though the influence of Lord Kingsland and Lord Taafee. He was called "the great Counselor MacDonough".

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le Carolan
1. Táim dubh-choidheach go leór is níl súgaighe in mo ghlóir,
Is níl sians in mo cháire fá do bhás, 'Thorlaigh Óig!
Árd-fhlaith na seód, a bhfuair sár-chlú ins gach ród,
Is ó chuala mé do thásg-sa nil sgáile dhíom beó!

My heart is sorely saddened, and there's no joy in my voice,
And there is no passion in my love because of your death, young Terence!
High prince of jewels, whose excellence is known in all quarters,
And since I heard of your death there's no champion of mine living!

2. A chrann seasta gach cúige chuiredh spraic ar gach cúirt,
Chuireadh gach action a bhfuil meangach cúirt,
Dá mba feas son rígh úr teastas do chliú,
Bheadh go brúighte tinn deacrach dod' easbhuidh faoi smúid.

O upright pillar of every province who commanded each court,
Every action of legal sophistry disposed,
If the new king knew of the testimony of your fame,
The crushing sick difficulty of your absence would him becloud.

3. Tá Tighearna Mhuigh eó 's gach Tighearna eile faoi bhrón;
Agus Tighearna loch Glinne a'sile na ndeór,
Tá Tir Chonaill ni sa mó 'gus Siól nDálaigh go deó
Fad'bheul binn, frasach, faobhrach a bheit dúinte faoi fód.

The Lord of Mayo and all the other lords are sorrowful;
And the Lord of Loch Glinn is shedding the tears,
Tir Conaill is greater and the Seed of Daly is forever
About your eloquent, fluent, keen mouth closed under ground.

4. Sé do shaogh al nár bhuan d'fagh siansa faoi ghruaim,
I bhfad ó na daoine i gCraobhaigh bu dual,
Ó (a) Mhúire nach í an truagh a's a liachta dilleachtaidh i ngúais
Ó d'imthigh sé, an ard-flaiyh tá sinte i mbaile an dúin.

Tis your life for our good left the harmonious in gloom,
Far from the people in Craobhaigh who are his kind,
O Mary is it not a shame and the multitudes orphaned in danger
Since he departed, the high prince who is laid out in Castle town.

Song Notations

Notations are courtesy of Carolan, the Life and Times of an Irish Harper by Dónal O'Sullivan vol 1 pg. 284 Celtic Music Edition 1983.

Lyrics: 1,2 v 2 p 130 O'Carolan; 3,4, p 188 Ó Máille.
Replay background music: Terrence MacDonough
Courtesy of Vivian and Jack IrishPage.com, September 2022.
Cuidiu ó Proinsias Osborne

Filleadh go liosta
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