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Eoghan Ruadh Mac an Bhaird
Looking Towards Spain

Happy be thy journey, Aodh Ruadhl The Lord who seeth our distress, He taketh upon Him thy care, may He prepare thy way before thee.

May it not hurt thee, O King of the Suca, to travel in wintry weather, outside that Haven of Cliodhna, over the gloomy raging sea.

God protect thee at this time from the motion of contrary winds, and from the cruel wound of every man, and from all stormy seas.

May the gods who blow blustering winds forsake their warlike apparel, may the windy sea change its uproar, that the nature of the air be not perverted.

O Prince of Galway, may fortune debate each counsel for thee; may not the root of our misdeeds assail thee, may thy exile be to thee a blessing.

May each man's face be cheerful before thee, O King of the Fortress of Sligo; the lines on the surface of thy bright cheeks--may the sight of them be a presage of love.

O King of Conall's race, whoever be in doubt of thy speech, may his heart be sifting it, with loving purpose to understand thee.

May healing be nigh unto our hurt; may tales that will bring us new life be told us of thee, may every hardship be easy to thee.

The single ship with which thou didst go, may that ship come over the sea as a forest of barks with splendid sails to the sorrowful land of Tailtiu.

In short thy journey is a pledge of health or a presage of sickness; whatever comes of thy venture, O Aodh, it wrings our hearts.

Warriors, by reason of their love, women, clerics, the children of our nobles, the sons of our serfs, they are all united in fear for thee, Aodh.

Since thou hast gone over the sea to succour the race of Gaoidheal Glas, there are hearts here straining under the weight of each prince's burden.

There are others like me; I myself especially, O Aodh, am torn because of thy venture in the boiling wave of my mind.

The sea does not stir without bewildering me, the wind rises not but that my mind starts, the tempest does not alter the note of the stream without bringing anguish upon me, now thou art gone.

It is not complaint of thy own troubles, it is not thy constraint by the rude welkin, that would seem to me at hand, but ruin from the ills of Ireland.

Conn's Isle that hath been practised in suffering, it is she, in short, that would feel the blow, if thou shouldst be opposed in thy journey over the raging perilous sea.

The conquest of her disease has been put from thee into the lap of fate--thou hast cared for this land of Connel--if thou fail, O'Donnell.

Many others of her lovers has this fair isle, spouse of Art, sent to a place of doom for helping her necessity.

Many a care on her account found Tuathal Teachtmhar, leader of Ireland, when he had come over the surface of the sea in hope of righting her wrongs.

A circuit whereby he defended her honour was made by Conghal Cláireineach, so that he fought amid the wave-valleys a battle than which none about her was hotter.

Eoghan Mór, son of Mugh Néid, once went on such a venture to that land whither thou hast journeyed, from Uisneach's land of ancient quarrels.

The warlike kingdom of the Plain of the Nialls--Maicnia's son Mac Con scaled the edge of the blue sea because of her wrongs, a campaign of lasting consequence.

Thou, O King of Eochaidh's line, art going at the mercy of one vessel (though we trust thou wilt come with power) by reason of Ireland's wrongs.

There are in that ship beyond the sea the sovranty of the Island of the Gaels, her peace, her perilous exploits, her glory, the defence of her nobility, her honour.

Mayest thou return to the race of Gaoidheal Glas, O son of Aodh, O grandson of Maghnus! may every wave that flows be weak, may every anxiety here be happy!

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