ÚNA BHÁN / FAIR UNA
Leagan Lasairfhíona de
Na cheithre Úna, na cheithre Áine, na cheithre Máire ‘s na cheithre Nóra, na cheithre mná a ba cheithre breátha, I gceithre cearda na Fódhla, na cheithre tairní ‘a chuaigh sna cheithre clára, na cheithre clárachaí cónra, ach na cheithre gráin ar na cheithre mná, nach dtugann na cheithre grá do na ceithre póga.
A Úna Bhán, ba rós i ngáirdín thú, ba choinnleoir óir ar bhord na banríona thú. Ba cheiliúr is ba cheolmar ag gabháil an bhealaigh seo romham thú. Ach sé mo chreach mhaidne bhrónach nár pósadh liom thú.
‘Sé mo leán géar gan mé mo phréachán dubh go dtugainn an léim úd suas ar leataobh na chnoic. Mo gha ghréine mar fhréamh mé ag casadh faoi shruth ‘s mo ghrá féin ar gach taobh díom ag castáil dhom.
Tá an sneachta ar lár agus barr air chomh dearg le fuil. Samhail mo ghrá ní théann i mbealach ar bith ach féach í, a mhná. “Cén t-óchón sin ort?” Ach an t-aon ghlaoch amháin ag Áth na Donóige.
A Úna Bhán nach gránna an luí atá ort, do cheann le fána i measc na mílte corp. Ach mar a dtuga tú fóir orm a phlandóg a bhí riamh gan locht. Ní thiocfaidh mise ‘un d’áras go brách ach an oíche anocht.
Mar a mhínigh Seosamh O hÉanaí an t-amhrán in agallamh:
Well, Úna Bhán, her real name was Úna Mac Diarmada or McDermott. She was a well-to-do rich man’s daughter and she fell in love with a man called Thomas Costello and he was otherwise known as Strong Thomas Costello, and she lived in Mayo and he lived about eight miles away from her. But this time she fell sick for the love of Thomas Costello and her father would have nothing to do with him, but she was so ill that they sent for him to come to her bedside. And while he was there, she got better and better, and as she got better, her father saw no more reason to keep him in the house, so he sent him away, still refusing to let him marry her. And he swore if he would cross a certain river called the Donouge river, that he would never come back to the house no matter how ill or anything she got after he left.
Well, he left the house and he crossed – he went into the river and he put the horse he was riding back and forth in the river for a couple of hours and still there was no call from the house for him to come back. So eventually, he crossed over to the other bank and the minute he was on the other bank the father ran after him calling him back, but he had given his oath that he wouldn’t come after he had crossed the river. So he went on his way home, and two days after she died, and he came to the graveyard where she was buried and he sang the lament over her grave every night for a week. Eventually they found him dead on top of the grave.
That happened about – I couldn’t tell you the exact date – in the eighteenth century it happened. Seventeen hundred and something – I couldn’t tell you the exact date now. But he was called Strong Thomas and she was called Úna McDermott, and this is the lament he sang over her grave.
A Úna Bhán, a bhláth na ndlaoi ómra,
Tar éis do bháis de bharr droch-chomhairle,
Féach, a ghrá, cé acu a b’fhearr den dá chomhairle-
An aon ghlaoch amháin ‘s mé in Áth na Donóige.
Fair Úna, flower with amber locks
Who has died from bad advice.
Look love! which was the better of the two advices-
One call and I in the ford of Donogue
A Úna Bhán, ba rós i ngairdín thú;
Ba choinnleoir óir ar bhord na banríona thú;
Ba chéiliúir ‘s ba cheolmhar a’dhul an bhealaigh seo romham thú.
‘Sé mo chreach mhaidhne b(h)rónach nár posadh liom thú.
Fair Úna, you were a rose in a garden
You were a golden candelabrum on the queen’s table
Melodious and musical were you going on this road before me
It is my utter ruin that you were not married to me.
A Úna Bhán, is tú a mhearaigh mo chiall:
A Úna, is tú a chuaigh go dlúth idir mé ‘s Dia.
A Úna, a chraobh chumhra, a lúibín chasta na gciabh,
B’fhearr liomsa gan súile ná thú a fheiceáil riamh.
Fair Úna, you have deranged my senses
Oh Úna that went hard between me and God
Úna, fragrant branch, twisted curl of tresses,
Better for me if I never had eyes than ever to have seen you.
A Úna Bhán, nach gránna an luí atá ort
I do leaba chláir i measc na ndáinte corp
Mar a dtige le fóir orm, a ghrá a bhí ariamh gan locht
Ní thiocfaidh mé chun t’árais go brách ach anocht.
Fair Úna, ugly do you lie there
In your bed of planks among a host of corpses
If you don’t come and give me succour, oh love that was ever without fault
I will not come to your residence again save tonight
Leagan Douglas Hyde ó Love Songs of Connacht, 1895 le litriú an lae inniu
A Úna bhán, is gránna an luí sin ort
O fair Una, ’tis ugly, that way you lie
Ar leaba caol ard i measc na mílte corp;
On a high, narrow bed among a thousand corpses;
Muna dtagann d’eagna orm, a stáidbhean ‘bhí riamh gan locht,
If your wisdom does not come to me, oh stately, ever faultless woman,
Ní thiocfaidh mé chun na h-áite seo go brách ach aréir ‘s anocht.
I’ll not come to this place ever again, except for last night & tonight.
2. A Úna bhán, a bhláth na gcataíl ómra,
O fair Una, o blossom of the amber locks,
Tar éis do bháis de bharr droch-chomhairle;
After your death because of bad advice;
Féach, a ghrá, cá acu b’ fhearr den dhá chomhairle?
Look, my love, which of the two counsels was better,
A éin i gcliabhán, is mé in Áth na Donóige.
O bird in a cage, when I was in the Ford of the Donogue?
3. A Úna bhán, d’fhág tú mé i mbrón casta,
O fair Una, you left me twisted up in grief,
Agus cé b’áil leat bheith trácht air go deo feasta,
And why would there be in you a desire to make much of it forevermore,
Cailín fáinneach ar a d’fhás suas an t-ór leatha?
O girl with pretty, ringleted hair, on which the molten gold grew?
Is go mb’fhearr liom ‘ar lámh leat ná i nglóir na bhflaitheas.
I would prefer being with you to the glory of the Kingdom [of Heaven].
4. A Úna bhán, ar seisean, na gcurachán cam,
O fair Una, said he of the small crooked currachs,
‘S an dhá shúil agat ba chiúine dá ndeachaigh i gceann,
Your two eyes were the gentlest that were ever put in a head,
A bhéilín an tsiúcra, mar leamhnacht, mar fhíon ‘s mar bheoir,
O little mouth of sugar, like new milk, like wine and like beer,
Agus a chos dheas lúfar is tú a shiúlfadh gan phian i mbróg.
O lovely, nimble foot, you would walk without pain in a shoe.
5. A Úna bhán, mar rós i ngáirdín thú,
O fair Una, you were like a rose in a garden,
‘S ba choinnleoir óir ar bhórd na banríona thú;
And you were a golden candlestick on the queen’s table;
Ba cheiliúr ‘s ba cheolmhar ag gabháil an bhealaigh seo romham thú,
You were a celebration, musical, when you walked the road before me,
‘S é mo chreach maidne bhrónach nár pósadh liom thú.
‘Tis my sorrowful loss of the morning that you were not married to me.
6. A Úna bhán, is tú do mhearaigh mo chiall;
O fair Una, it is you who deranged my senses;
A Úna, is tú a chuaigh go dlúth idir mé ‘gus Dia;
O Una, it is you who came firmly between me and God;
A Úna, a chraobh churtha, a lúibín casta na gciabh,
O Una, o fragrant bough, o curly ringlet of hair,
Nárbh fhearr domsa bheith gan súile ná d’fheiceáil ariamh?
Wouldn’t it have been better for me to be without eyes, never seeing you?
7. Is fliuch agus fuar mo chuairtse chun an bhaile aréir,
My visit to the town last night was wet and cold,
Agus mé ‘mo shuí suas ar bhruach na leapan liom féin,
And I was sitting up on the edge of the bed by myself;
A ghile gan gruaim ag nár luaith an ionadaíacht ach mé,
O brightness without gloom, I alone was mentioned as in the running
Cad as nach bhfógraíonn tú fuacht na maidne dhom féin?
Why do you not announce to me the coldness of the morning?
8. Tá daoine ann san saol seo ‘chaitheas dímheas ar dhúiche folamh
There are people in this world who hurl contempt on an empty estate,
Alán de mhaoin shaolta, agus ní buan í acu;
Full of worldly wealth themselves, although it does not last forever;
Ceasacht maoine ní dhéanfainn ná trua fearainn,
I would not complain of lack of wealth nor lament lack of land,
Ach b’fhearr liom ná dhá chaora dá mbeadh Úna agam.
But I would rather have Una than two sheep.
9. Seasfaidh agus dearcfaidh, ‘bhfuil mo fíorghrá ag teacht?
Stand and look, is my great love coming?
Is mar chnap sneachta í is mar mhil bheacha do reoigh an ghrian;
She is like a snowball and bees’ honey which would freeze the sun;
Mar chnap-sneachta ‘s mar mhil bheacha do reoigh an ghrian,
Like a snowball and bees’ honey which would freeze the sun,
Agus a chuid ‘s a chara, is fada mé beo id’ dhiaidh.
My treasure and my darling, ’tis a long time I’ve lived without you.
10. A Úna, a ainnir, a chara, ‘s a dhéid órga,
O Una, maiden, darling, and golden teeth,
A bhéilín mealltha nár chan riamh éagóra,
O little honeyed mouth which never uttered an injustice,
B’fhearr liomsa bheith ar leaba léi ‘dhá síorphógadh
I would have preferred to be in bed with her, kissing her continually,
‘Ná mo shuí i bhflaitheas i gcathaoir na Trionóide.
Than to sit in the Kingdom of Heaven on the throne of the Trinity.
11. Ghluais mé trí bhaile mo chara aréir,
I passed through my friends’ town last night,
Is ní bhfuair mé féin fuadradh ná fliuchadh mo bhéil;
Yet I found nothing with which to cool or wet my mouth;
‘Sé ‘dúirt an stuachailín gruama is madar as a méar,
The graceful girl, glum and with madder on her fingers, said,
“Mo thrí trua ní an uaigneas do chasadh liom thú féin.”
“Thrice woe is me, that I did not meet you in solitude.”