A Magic Mist
|Véarsa 1||Verse 1|
|Ceo draíochta [a] sheol oíche chun fáin me||A magic mist sent me astray one night|
|‘S ar bhinn Teamhair do thánga chun suain.||And it was on top of Teamhair that I came to rest.|
|Am’ dhíbirt ar fuaid coillte gan áitreamh||I was wandering through woods with no habitation,|
|Ar frith Loch na Blárnan so shuas.||Above there in the Groves of Blarney.|
|Nó gur shíneas cois craoibh glais na blátha||I lay down beside green, flowery branches|
|Agus taoibh liom go dtáinig sí suas,||And then she came up right beside me,|
|An tsíbhíseach chaoin, mhilis dob’ áilne||The sweet and gentle, curly-haired fairy woman|
|Do shíolraigh ó Adam anuas.||Who was a descendant of Adam.|
|Véarsa 2||Verse 2|
|Dó bhíogas óm’ chroí istigh le grá di.||My heart within me stirred for love of her,|
|Dá gnaoi thugas lán-searc go luaith,||Her beauty made me give my love to her immediately:|
|Dá caoin rosc, dá mín rosc is dá gáire,||To her gentle eye, to her fine eye, to her laughter,|
|Dá séimh-leacain álainn gan gruaim.||To her smooth and beautiful face, without a frown,|
|Dá dlaoithe [a] bhí buí daite bláthmhar||To her golden-coloured, fragrant tresses|
|Dá dhá cích chruinne álainne chruadha||To her lovely breasts, round and firm,|
|Is dá síor fhaid í an oíche níor chás liom||And no matter how long the night was I didn’t care|
|Bheith i mín Teamhair áilne ar a grua.||About being on the smooth slopes of beautiful Teamhair.|
|Véarsa 3||Verse 3|
|An tú Aoine nó Aoife nó Áine?||Are you Aoine or Aoife or Áine,|
|Nó an tsí-bhean ón mbán chraig aduaidh?||Or the fairy woman from the white crag to the north?|
|Nó an fhaoilean [a] d’fhúig m’intinn ró-chráite,||Or the graceful woman who left my mind in turmoil,|
|Nó an díth leat mo cháirde-se ar buairt?||Or do you care about my kinsmen who are in trouble?|
|An tu Clíona rug Baois leat thar sáile?||Are you Clíona who took Baois with you over the sea?|
|Nó an tImpire ró-álainn rug buaidh?||Or the most handsome emperor who won victory?|
|Nó an cuí duitse insint i dtráth dhom||Or would it be right for you to tell me, in good time,|
|Cad é an tír as go dtangaois ar ruaig?||From what country you have fled?|
|Véarsa 4||Verse 4|
|Do chlanna Míleach na mín scoth dob fhearr me,||I am of the highest nobility of the clans of Míle|
|Cé gur díbríodh mo cháirde chun cuain.||Although my people have been banished across the sea.|
|Is gur síos i bí líogaibh do ghnáthainn||And it was down among the living standing stones that I used to resort|
|Cé gur shuíos anois láimh leat ar cuairt.||Although now I have sat down beside you, on my quest.|
|D’fhonn sgímle thabhairt do bhíogachaibh na Blárnan||[I have come] to bring a fairy mist to the lively ones of Blarney|
|Tá ina mín bhoic go háitithe buan,||Who are proved and established fine, dashing fellows.|
|Is a síolmhac do bhí seal go fánach||And their sons and heirs, who were wandering for a time,|
|Tá ina ríthibh ar airde go mór.||Are kings in great authority.|
|Véarsa 5||Verse 5|
|A shéimhfhir ná tréigh me ar an dtaoibh seo||O gentle sir, do not abandon me in this place|
|Agus téanam liom síos go Tír Eoghain||But come with me to Tír Eoghain|
|Mar a mbeidh céad bruinneal mhaorga fé dhraíocht ann,||Where there will be a hundred beautiful, elegant, enchanted women|
|Fé dhaor bhrataibh síoda agus sróil.||Wearing cloaks of rich silk and satin.|
|Beidh pléireacht gach lae agat is aoibhneas,||You will have sport every day, and happiness,|
|Pléisiúr, ríngce agus ceol,||Pleasure, dancing and music,|
|Céile más méin leat san oíche||A companion every night, if you wish|
|Is in éiric bheith críona, beir óg.||And instead of being old you will be young.|
|Véarsa 6||Verse 6|
|A shéimh-bhean bhreá mhaorga na mín rosc||O fine, gentle, majestic lady of the lovely eyes|
|Tabhair spás beag mí dhom, nó dhó,||Give me a little time, just a month or two,|
|Go dtéad seal ag féachaint mo mhuintir||So that I may go to see my family|
|Is go ndéanfad gach ní [a] chur i dtreó.||And make all the suitable arrangements.|
|Mo scéalta do m’ ghaoltaibh go n-inse||I will tell my news to my relations|
|Is mo chaomh beannacht choíche [a] chur leó||And will leave them with my blessing forever,|
|Is me léir [a] chur fé chaol leacaibh sínte||And may I be dead and buried under a headstone|
|Má thréigim tu choíche dhom dheoin.||If I ever abandon you of my own volition.|
|Véarsa 7||Verse 7|
|Do réidhmhar le chéile sa ní sin||We came to an understanding in that way|
|Ar aontoil ná scaoilfeadh go deó,||And agreed that we would never be parted,|
|Go raibh téarnamh an lae [ag] teacht sa taobh thoir||As the day was dawning from the east|
|Is na héanlaithe [ag] síor-seinim ceól,||And the birds [were] making music constantly.|
|Gur thug sí féachaint ró-dhiamhrach ar a croí orm||She gave me a look from her heart, full of mystery,|
|Do shéid me le saoghadaibh is meon||Which stirred me with pangs and with desire|
|Is mar bhéarsa ar scéaltaibh na hoíche||And, as a conclusion to the night’s events,|
|Dá béal milis binn thugas póg.||I kissed her sweet, eloquent mouth.|
This is one of the longest texts in the Goodman song manuscript and is an example of the romantic aisling, so popular with poets of the 18th and 19th centuries.
This song shares its name with a better-known poem by Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin (c.1748-1784) and the subject matter is similar but the two texts are different. This text is ascribed to Pádraig Ó hIarlaithe of the great poetic family of Baile Mhúirne, Co. Cork.
Muintir Iarlaithe were, for centuries, airchinnigh (erenaghs or hereditary stewards) of Teampall Ghobnatan and held large areas of land. They were dispossessed of their lands and house (Tigh na Cille) in the second half of the 17th century and settled just over the border in Co. Kerry. Dáth, who was born c.1690, had to flee from the ancestral home where they had held a Cúirt Éigse or Court of Poetry, the demise of which was lamented, not just by themselves but by other poets too. According to Pádraig Ó Tuathail in Filí an tSuláin (Cork, 1993), his son was Pádraig. This would give a tentative date of about the middle of the 18th century for the composition of this amhrán. This is contradicted by the mention in verse three of ‘the Emperor,’ presumably Napoleon, but it is possible that the poem suffered some alteration with the passage of time.
It is set in Blarney, Co. Cork and mentions the lake there, the nearby village of Teamhar (angl. Tower) and the ‘Groves of Blarney’ which were made famous by Richard Alfred Milliken (1767-1815) in his song of that name.
This song was published in Ceol ár Sinsear by an tAthair Pádraig Breathnach in 1923 having previously been collected by A.M. Freeman for the Journal of the Folk Music Society from Crothúr Ó Cochláin, Doire na Sagart, shortly before World War 1. Breathnach gives a date of composition of 1744. His verses 1, 2 and 3 correspond closely to the first three verses in Goodman’s version, above. However, Goodman has four verses more in his text which Breathnach lacks.
Freeman’s verse 1 matches Goodman’s verse 1 and Freeman’s verses 6, 7, 8 and 9 correspond to Goodman’s verses 4, 5, 6 and 7. Freeman does not give the words of his verses 2, 3, 4 and 5 but from his description of them they belong to a political aisling rather than this romantic aisling.
There is also a version published by John O’Daly in Poets and Poetry of Munster (Dublin 1860, pp.6-11) although he calls the poet ‘Pádraig Mac Gearóit.’ This is also very close to Godman’s version. Verses 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 are almost identical but verses 4 and 5 have references to ‘the Stuart,’ King Louis, ‘the Spaniard,’ and the ‘Viscount.’ It is worth noting that John O’Daly and James Goodman worked together in the Ossianic Society. Indeed, Goodman prepared Cath Fionntrá for publication by the Society but this did not come to pass. We know that Goodman was one of O’Daly’s correspondents and that he searched for songs for O’Daly. A charming item in the Song MS of 1857 is a short verse which Goodman sent to O’Daly as a postscript to a letter in 1870:
Ní bladaireacht faoi ndeara dham
an méid seo do scríobh
Ach carthanacht go dearfa
Is creid mé gur fíor
Mar dob fhearra liom ná a n-abrann
Go mbeifeá-sa go deo
ag sealbhú na maitheasa
pé acu marbh tú nó beo!!!
[It is not flattery which causes me/ to write this down/ but most definitely friendliness/ and believe me it’s true/ Because I would like more than I can say/ that you would always/ possess goodness/ whether dead or alive!!!]
 Do thánga = tháinig mé.
 The MS has ‘fríth’ but I think this is an error and should be ‘frith,’ meaning ‘grove.’ John O’Daly in The Poets and Poetry of Munster (Dublin, 1860) has ‘draoi-loch na Blárnann,’ the magic lake of Blarney.
 A compound word, made up of ‘sí’ (fairy) and ‘bíseach’ (tightly curled).
 Lit. ‘cheek.’
 One would expect the singular, ‘álainn,’ here but ‘áilne ar’ is easier to sing in this particular vocal line.
 Goddesses from the native tradition.
 The goddess Aoibheall is referred to here, she is sometimes called ‘Aoibheall na Creaga Léithe,’ Aoibheall of the Grey Rock. According to Daithí Ó hÓgáin in The Lore of Ireland she is an “Otherworld lady and protectress of the Dál gCais sept (later known as the O’Briens) in Co. Clare. Her name meant ‘sparkling’ or ‘bright’ … She was associated particularly with the rock called Craig Liath near Killaloe, Co. Clare … and all indications are that she was originally the patroness of the general area of east Clare and north-west Tipperary.” She is mentioned elsewhere in the song tradition too, for example in The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby.
 ‘An díth leat’ lit. ‘are they a loss to you, do you feel their loss?’
 Clíona is a famous, Munster fairy woman, associated with Carraig Chlíona in Glandore harbour. The reference here may be to her sea-journeys in medieval legends. See Dáithí Ó hÓgáin, The Lore of Ireland, pp. 85-7. In the later oral tradition in Co. Cork she was said to be the sister of Aoibheall.
 Míl was the fictional ancestor of the Irish people. The account of Míl and his sons is given in the Lebor Gabála, the Book of Invasions which is an early medieval text. Although fabricated, the account of how Míl’s sons conquered Ireland was accepted as history by poets and scholars down to the 19th century.
 The MS text is unclear here so I have relied on the Freeman version for the word líogaibh.
 I believe that ‘bí’ in the MS may be a form of ‘beo,’ = living, alive. The fairy woman is saying that there is a community which lives among the ancient stones.
 ‘sgím draíochta’ is ‘a fairy film, a magic mist’ over the land, denoting prosperity. This links with the song’s title and first line.
 Another compound word, ‘síol’= seed and ‘mac’= son.
 Dative plural of ‘rí.’
 The double N in ‘rinnce’ is written ‘ng’ in the MS to reflect a nasalised pronunciation. This is a feature of the dialect of Múscraí.
 That I may go.
 This may be a scribal error, ‘ón a croí’ would make more sense.
 See Amhráin Eoghain Rua Uí Shúilleabháin, ed. Ua Duinnín, 1901 and Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin ed. Breandán Ó Conchúir, 2009.