Although I have been mainly reading my five poets I've taken a few detours.
One of which is a 14th century Gaelic poem: Lament for Fearchar Ò Mail Chiaráin. It's in a book I have called The Triumph Tree: Scotland's earliest poetry AD 550 - 1350.
It's a father's lament for his son who it seems was a poet who went off to Ireland for a poetry tour and was killed there. It's a longish poem, 48 quartrain verses. Gripping stuff, I was in tears by the end of it. A beautiful poem with some startling images/similes -
'Ò Mail Chiaráin, my fresh fruit,
my lime-washed sun-house, my branch of nuts. '
A powerful poem -
' No one's sermons can sink in
for the sleek white-voiced branch.
'Everyone grieves for their sons',
what use for any to tell me?
It seems my sense is no use,
with me, grief-struck on his track;
like pale froth on a cold ford,
I'm a sad shade, listless, sapped.
Grief for Ò Mail Chiaráin's in my frame,
I'm sent astray by his death.
Though I've not died from it on his grave,
why should not clay cover my flesh?'