Laoiseach Mac an Bhaird
On the Cutting Down of an Ancient Tree
Hail to thee, O hill yonder: at thy fall I am not joyous; thy brown thorn is
a cause of woe, the smooth stem that was wont to be seen above thee.
The thorn of acclamation, a torment to all, I used to see as a place of
assembly: the cutting of the branch, my day of sorrow! the state of the land is
My heart in my breast is sad for thy ancient tree, 0 hill yonder; the stem
from which I was wont to see each tract, thy smooth thorn I see not there.
That bough was wont to guide my way--it was a transient possession!--far back
from this land in the north I could see in the distance the branch behind
The wind has ravaged its root, that branch so long unshattered; many was the
man it sheltered; a woeful plague was the destruction of the thorn.
Shapely bough of ruddy hue, I am sad it has gone under a wisp; woe to him who
has not thought of the sufferings of Christ, since I have found occasion to weep
for this branch.
It has been cut away, our utter ruin! the comely thorn that was a storehouse
for the bird; a thorn like it never grew from the soil; to me until death it
will be a cause of tears.
My gnawing pain to the brink of my death, alas that it rises no more! Never
do I see the hill of the fruitful stems but that the ruin of the thorn stirs my
The hill of the shoutings, torment of the schools, in the possession of
enemies to-dayl After its slopes sad to me is the fair hill that hath pierced my
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