Bean Sléibhe ag Caoineadh a Mhac

Bean Sléibhe ag Caoineadh a Mhac, English translation A Woman of The Mountain Keens Her Son, is a popular poem by Padraic Pearse.

Ireland’s 100 favourite poems

It was voted inside Ireland’s 100 favourite poems in 1999 by readers of the Irish Times.

A Woman of The Mountain Keens Her Son by Padraic Pearse. Image copyright Ireland Calling

A Woman of The Mountain Keens Her Son

Grief on the death, it has blackened my heart:
It has snatched my love and left me desolate,
Without friend or companion under the roof of my house
But this sorrow in the midst of me, and I keening.

As I walked the mountain in the evening
The birds spoke to me sorrowfully,
The sweet snipe spoke and the voiceful curlew
Relating to me that my darling was dead.

I called to you and your voice I heard not,
I called again and I got no answer,
I kissed your mouth, and O God how cold it was!
Ah, cold is your bed in the, lonely churchyard.

O green-sodded grave in which my child is,
Little narrow grave, since you are his bed,
My blessing on you, and thousands of blessings
On the green sods that are over my treasure.

Grief on the death, it cannot be denied,
It lays low, green and withered together,-
And O gentle little son, what tortures me is
That your fair body should be making clay!

A Woman of The Mountain Keens Her Son by Padraic Pearse. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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