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 The Voyage of Bran

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MessaggioOggetto: The Voyage of Bran   Mar 9 Mar 2010 - 14:11

FONTE: http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/vob/index.htm

The Voyage of Bran
by Kuno Meyer
[1895]

This is Kuno Meyer's translation of the old Irish saga, the Voyage of Bran. In this magical odyssey to the limits of reality, Bran takes a characteristically time-dilated journey to a distant isle of luxury. On return, he learns that ages have passed and he and his expedition have already passed into myth. He can never again touch the soil of his homeland and sails off again. The text references ancient Celtic gods and also contains quasi-prophetic passages added at a later date by Christian scribes.

The appendices contain extracts from other Irish texts about Mongan, who is mentioned in the Bran saga, the son of Manannan mac Lir, the Celtic sea-god. This is of interest because of the descriptions of the training of bards, and lore of human visits to the Sídhe, the fairies.

Production notes: due to the limits of current OCR technology, we had to omit critical footnotes to the Irish text, several extended Gaelic passages from the appendices, and the index section. Large lacunae of this nature are noted in green text. The edition we used also omitted a long essay by Alfred Nutt, which we will transcribe at some point in the future if we can locate a first edition. We did manage to include the entire Gaelic text of the Voyage of Bran in parallel with the English translation, as well as all footnotes relevant to the English translations. Because we were unable to spellcheck this document (MS Word's spellchecker broke down on it repeatedly), it may contain typos in both the English and Gaelic. However, we did several careful passes on each page. We welcome any notice of errors in this document from readers.



INTRODUCTION
THE old-Irish tale which is here edited and fully translated 1 for the first time, has come down to us in seven MSS. of different age and varying value. It is unfortunate that the oldest copy (U), that contained on p. 121a of the Leabhar na hUidhre, a MS. written about 1100 A.D., is a mere fragment, containing but the very end of the story from lil in chertle dia dernaind (§ 62 of my edition) to the conclusion. The other six MSS. all belong to a much later age, the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries respectively. Here follow a list and description of these MSS.:--

By R I denote a copy contained in the well-known Bodleian vellum quarto, marked Rawlinson B. 512, fo. 119a, 1-120b, 2. For a detailed description of this codex, see the Rolls edition of the Tripartite Life, vol. i. pp. xiv.-xlv. As the folios containing the copy of our text belong to that portion of the MS. which begins with the Baile in Scáil (fo. 101a), it is very probable that, like this tale, they were copied from the lost book of Dubdálethe, bishop of


p. viii

[paragraph continues] Armagh from 1049 to 1064. See Rev. Celt. xi. p. 437. The copy was made by a careful and accurate scribe of the fifteenth or possibly the fourteenth century. The spelling is but slightly modernised, the old-Irish forms are well preserved, and on the whole it must be said that, of all MSS., R supplies us with the best text. Still, it is by no means perfect, and is not seldom corrected by MSS. of far inferior value. Thus, in § 4 it has the faulty cethror for cetheoir; in § 25 dib for the dissyllabic diib; in § 61, the senseless namna instead of nammá. The scribe has also carelessly omitted two stanzas (46 and 62).

The MS. which comes next in importance I designate B. It is contained on pp. 57-61 of the vellum quarto classed Betham 145, belonging to the Royal Irish Academy. I am indebted to Mr. P. M. MacSweeney for a most accurate transcript of this MS. When I had an opportunity of comparing his copy with the original, I found hardly any discrepancies between the two. B was written in the fifteenth century, I think, by a scribe named Tornae, who, though he tells us in a marginal note 1. that he had not for a long time had any practice in writing, did his task remarkably well. He modernises a good deal in spelling, but generally leaves the old-Irish forms intact. Thus we owe to him the preservation of such original forms as the genitives fino (13), datho (8. 13), glano (3. 12), of étsecht (13), etc.


p. ix

H denotes a copy contained in the British Museum MS. Harleian 5280, fo. 43a--44b. For a description of this important MS., which was written in the sixteenth century, see Hibernica Minora (Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediæval and Modern series--Part VIII.), pp. v and vi. In this copy the spelling and forms are considerably, but by no means consistently, modernised. In a few cases H has preserved the original reading as against the corruptions of all or most of the other MSS. Thus it has cetheoir (4), muir glan (35), moitgretha (Cool, etc.

E is a copy contained on fo. 11b, 2--13a, 2 of the British Museum MS. Egerton 88, a small vellum folio, written in the sixteenth century. The text is largely modernised and swarms with mistakes and corruptions. By sheer good luck the scribe sometimes leaves the old forms intact, as when he writes órdi 14, adig 21, Ildadig 22, mrecht 24.

S is contained in the Stockholm Irish MS., p.p. 2-8. I am indebted to Mr. Whitley Stokes for a loan of his transcript of the whole MS. S is deficient at the end, breaking off with the words amhal bid atalam nobeth tresna hilcetaib bliadan (65). It is of very inferior value, being modernised almost throughout in spelling and forms, and full of corrupt readings, which I have not always thought it worth while to reproduce in ray footnotes.

L is the copy contained in the well-known MS. belonging to Trinity College, Dublin, marked H. 2. 16, and commonly called the Yellow Book of Lecan, col. 395-399 This MS. dates from the fourteenth century. It is of most unequal

p. x

value. The scribe, in his endeavour to make the original, mostly unintelligible to him, yield some sense, constantly alters in the most reckless and arbitrary manner. At other times he puts down whole lines of mere gibberish. A good instance of his method is the following rendering of the 34th quatrain:


Is ar muir nglan dochíu innoe
inata Bran bres agnæ
is mag mell dimuig a scoth
damsa i carput da roth.

As in the case of S, I have not thought it necessary to give all the variants of L. Yet in a few instances even L has by a mere chance preserved original readings abandoned by the other scribes, e.g. isa tír (6a), ind nathir (45), bledhin (62).

The six MSS. here enumerated, though frequently varying in details, offer on the whole an identical text, and have clearly sprung from one and the same source. For even the vagaries of L turn out on closer inspection to be mere variants of the same original text. Under these circumstances it was a comparatively easy task to reconstruct a critical text. In nearly every case the original reading was preserved by one MS. or another. Thus almost every form in my edition is supported by MS. authority. In the very few cases where I have thought it right to deviate from all the MSS., this has been pointed out in the notes. Still I am far from flattering myself that I have succeeded in restoring

p. xi

the text to its original purity. In some cases, fortunately not many, the readings of all the MSS. seemed hopelessly corrupt. See e.g. my remarks on dorearuasat, 48; aill erfind, 22; cach ági, at sáibsi ceni, 45. In other cases it is doubtful whether I have preferred the right reading. Thus, in to, I may have been too rash in adopting the reading of L, cen indgás instead of fri indgás of the rest. Considering the tendency of L to alter a less common expression into a familiar one, as well as the consensus of all the other MSS., I would now retain fri and translate it by 'with.' For this use of the preposition, cf. fri imḟochid, p. 85, 3. Again, I cannot claim that the text, as it now stands, represents the actual language of any particular period, containing as it does middle-Irish forms by the side of old-Irish ones. Such a mixture of linguistic forms is, however, not of my own making, but is an inherent peculiarity of most of our older texts, fully explained by the way in which they have been handed down.

But before I speak of this, I will try to determine as nearly as possible the time at which the Voyage of Bran was originally written down.

If we had any investigations into the history of the Irish language besides the excellent history of the Deponent lately published by Professor Strachan, it would probably be possible to determine with accuracy the time in which a particular text was composed. At present we must be content with much less certain and definite statements, often leaving a. margin of a century on either side.

p. xii

[paragraph continues] In the case of old-Irish, it is mainly by comparing the language of a given text with that of the continental glosses that we arrive at anything like a trustworthy conclusion, and this I propose to do in the present case.

There are a large number of forms in the Voyage of Bran as old as any to be found in the Würzburg glosses. The oldest part of these glosses, Professor Thurneysen, the most careful and cool-headed of observers, does not hesitate to ascribe to the seventh century. 1

I now subjoin a list of these oldest forms, leaving aside anything of a doubtful or unexplained nature.

First. as to sounds and their representation, the following archaic forms and spellings are noticeable:

Final e, early broadened to æ, ae, later a: sube, 8; comamre, so: móramre, 29: labre, 29: blédne (later blíadna), 55, 58.

Final i, early broadened to ai: adamri, cadli, 11; órdi, 14; crédumi, 14; also blédin (later bliadain), 62; adig (later adaig), 24; athir, 45, 57; i for infected a: Ildadig, 24.

Initial m before r: mrath, 9; mrecht, 23, 24; mruig, 9, 23, 24, 54.

ld for later ll: meld, 14, 39; inmeldag, 41.

éu for éo: céul, 9, 18, etc.

ói for later óe: cróib, 3; óin, 13 tróithad, 30.

Also, perhaps, b for f in graibnid, 23; airbitiud, 18; and oa for úa: sloag, 17 (R), cloais, 9, etc.


p. xiii

In the declension, notice the neuter nouns a rígthech, 1; a céol, 2; am-mag, 5; am-muir, 12; muir glan, without nasal infection later added by analogy with neuter o-stems, 17, 28, 30; fris’ tóibgel tonnat, 2; cusa cluchemag, 20; isa tír, 62, etc. The following genitives sing. of i-stems occur: glano, 3, 12; mora, 37; of u-stems: betho, 27; fedo, 42; fino, 13: datho, 8, 13; the datives sing. of o-stems: láur, 1; Braun, 2; the accusatives plural: rúna, 52; nime, 28: muire. 48; tedman, 21; the genitive plural: dúle, 44.

In the article the full form inna is of constant occurrence. In the poetry it is twice shortened to ’na in the gen. plur. (26, 30).

Among prepositions, notice such a form as dóu, 29, 32, 51; the use of íar with the dative. 26, 32; the careful distinction between di and do.

But it is in the verbal system that the archaic character of the language appears to greatest advantage. The distinction between conjunct and absolute as well as between dependent and independent forms is preserved throughout.

Present indicative, sg. 1: atchíu, 15--sg. 2: immerái, 37; forsn-aicci, 38; nad aicci, 19; nofethi, 49--sg. 3: mescid, 16: canid, 18; graibnid, 23; forsnig, 6, 12; dosnig, 12, 22; comérig, 17; tormaig, 18: foafeid, 22; immaréid, 33; frisbein, 16; frisseill, 59; forosna, 16; consna, 5; immustimerchel, 19; taitni (dep.), 6; tibri (dep.), 35; donaidbri; 17--pl. 3: lingit, 38; bruindit, 36; taircet (dep.), 14, 40; ní frescet, 18, 23 immataitnet, 4; taitnet (dep.), 40; taitnet

p. xiv

[paragraph continues] (independent!), 8, 36; congairet, 7; forclechtat, 5; foslongat, 4; frisferat, 21; forsngairet, 7.

Present subjunctive, sg. 3: tróithad, 30; imraad, 60 ; étsed, 29.

T-preterite, sg. 3: dorúasat, 27 ronort, 46.

Reduplicated preterite, sg. 3: ruchúala, 20.

S-future, sg. 3: silis, 55; conlee, 51; adfí, 52. Secondary s-fut., sg. 2: rista, 30.

Reduplicated future, sg. 1: fochicher, 56; arungén, 57--sg. 3: gébid, 26; adndidma, 51; timgéra, 59.

E-future, sg. 2: ricfe, 60--sg. 3: glanfad, 28; dercfid, 55; ticfa (independent!). 26, 48; rothicfa, 49; móithfe, 52; fuglóisfe, 48; ícfes, 28.

Imperative, sg. 2: tuit, 30; tinscan, 30.

Verbal nouns: étsecht, 13, 24; óol, 13; imram, 17; airbitiud, 18.

The following passive forms occur: pres. ind. pl., agtar, 54; sec. pers. sg., atchetha, 12, 39; red. fut. sg., gébthir, 57; gérthair, 51; pret. sg., adfét, 29; atfess, 29; s-fut. sg., festar, 26.

As to old syntactic usage, notice the adjective and substantive attributes placed before the noun, 4, 13, 19, 29, 43.

Lastly, I would draw attention to the use of the following words as dissyllabic, though as most of them continue to be so used as late as the tenth century, such use is not in itself proof of great antiquity.

bíi, 9; bíaid, 50, 53, 55; bías, 27. Cf. Salt. na Rann, ll. 8021, 8202; Trip. Life, pp. 70, 22; 222, 4, 6, etc. But

p. xv

their use as monosyllables is far more frequent in Salt. na Rann. See ll. 835, 1076, 1599, 1951, 1952, 2043, 2047, 3275, 3320, 3353, 5046, 6255, 6325.

cía, 'mist,' 11.

criad, gen. of cré, 'clay,' 50, as in the dat. criaid, Salt. 7683, 7769. Monosyllabic in Salt. 394 (leg. criaid), 8230.

día, 'God,' 48. Cf. l. 18 in Sanctán's hymn:


friscéra Día dúlech.

and Salt. 1905, 2013, 2685, 5359, 7157, 7969, 8074. Monosyllabic in Salt. 649, 1917, 1950, 2742, 3121, 3308, 7976.

diib, 'of them,' 25; as in Salt. 375 (sic leg.), 437. But monosyllabic in Salt. 4975, 4985, 5461, 5417, 5869, 7704.

fia, 11.

fóe, 'under her,' 6.

óol, 'drinking,' 13. Cf. oc óul in the Milan glosses (Ascoli); d’óol, Salt. 1944.

úain, 'lambs,' 38.

It will be observed that the above forms are taken almost exclusively from the poetry. The prose, though it preserves a large number of undoubtedly old-Irish forms, also contains a good deal of what is clearly of middle-Irish origin, more particularly in the verbal forms. The use of preterites without the particle ro has been recognised by Thurneysen, 1 whom I mainly follow here, as a decidedly later phenomenon. It occurs in birt, 31; asbert, 62, 63 (bis), 64, instead of old-Ir. asrubart, and in a large number of


p. xvi

s-preterites such as fóidis, 61; gabais, 63; scríbais, 66; celebrais, 66; sloindsi, 62. We find dobert 2, instead of old-Ir. dorat, and dobreth 62, instead of doratad. The late cachain occurs three times (2. 32, 65), for old-Ir. cechuin.

Such Middle-Irish forms, which all MSS. without exception contain, show that the original from which our MSS. are in the first instance derived, cannot have been written much earlier than the tenth century. Bearing this in mind, together with the occurrence of the seventh century old-Irish forms side by side with these later ones, as well as with the fact that the poetry contains none of the latter, we arrive at the following conclusions as to the history of our text.

The Voyage of Bran was originally written down in the seventh century. 1 From this original, sometime in the tenth century, a copy was made, in which the language of the poetry, protected by the laws of metre and assonance, was left almost intact, while the prose was subjected to a process of partial modernisation, which most affected the verbal forms. From this tenth century copy all our MSS. are derived.

In conclusion, I would draw attention to the loan-words occurring in our tale. These are all of Latin origin. 2 They naturally fall into two groups, an older one of words



p. xvii

borrowed at the period of the first contact of the Irish with Roman civilisation, before the introduction of Christianity; a later one of words that came into Irish with Christianity. To the first group belong aball, 'abella'? 23; arggat, 'argentum,' 23, 14, 22; drauc. 'draco.' 13; dracon, 'dracontium.' 12. 58; fín, 'vinum,' 13, 14; fine, 'ab eo quod est vinea.' Corm., 43; port, 'portus,' 62.

Of words of the second group we find: cór, 'chorus,' 18; corp, 'corpus,' 46, 50; líth, 46, through Welsh llith from Lat. lectio; mías, 'mensa,' with the meaning 'dish,' 62; peccad, 'peccatum,' 41; praind, 'prandium,' 62; oceon, 'oceanus,' 25; scríbaim, 'scribo,' 66.



It remains for me to express my gratitude to those who have taken a friendly interest in the production of this little book, and who have in various ways given me advice and assistance; above all to Mr. Whitley Stokes, to whom I am indebted for many weighty suggestions, as well as for the loan of valuable transcripts; to the Rev. Richard Henebry, Mr. Alfred Nutt, and Mr. P. M. MacSweeney, and to my kind friends and colleagues, Mr. John Sampson, and Prof. John Strachan.

KUNO MEYER.



UNIVERSITY COLLEGE,
LIVERPOOL.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Footnotes
vii:1 An abstract and partial translation of the Voyage of Bran was given by Professor Zimmer in the Zeitschrift für deutsches Alterthum, vol. xxxiii. pp. 257-261.

viii:1 This note is found at the bottom of p. 57 and runs thus: Messe Tornae 7 ni fetur ca fad o doscriuhus oenlini roime sin, i.e. I am Torre, and I do not know how long ago it is since I wrote a single line.

xii:1 'Die Vorlage der Würzburger Glossen kann unbedenklich ins 7. Jahrh. datiert werden.'--Rev. Celt. vi. p. 319.

xv:1 See Rev. Celt. vi., pp. 322 and 328.

xvi:1 Prof. Zimmer also claims our text for this century. His words are (l.c., p. 261): 'Der Text gehört zum ältesten was uns von irischer profanlitteratur erhalten ist: seine sprache ist sicher so alt wie die ältesten altirischen glosses; er kann also noch dem 7. jh. angehören.'

xvi:2 With reference to Prof. Zimmer's well-known theory as to the Norse origin of Ir. fían and its derivatives, I may mention that the word fénnid occurs in 56.
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MessaggioOggetto: Re: The Voyage of Bran   Mar 9 Mar 2010 - 14:15

The Voyage 1 of Bran son of Febal, and his Expedition 2 here below
1. ’TWAS fifty quatrains the woman from unknown lands sang on the floor of the house to Bran son of Febal, when the royal house was full of kings, who knew not whence the woman had come, since the ramparts were closed.

2. This is the beginning of the story. One day, in the neighbourhood of his stronghold, Bran went about alone, when he heard music behind him. As often as he looked back, ’twas still behind him the music was. At last he fell asleep at the music, such was its sweetness. When he awoke from his sleep, he saw close by him a branch 3 of

silver with white blossoms, nor was it easy to distinguish its bloom from that branch. Then Bran took the branch in his hand to his royal house. When the hosts were in the royal house, they saw a woman in strange raiment on the floor of the house. ’Twas then she sang the fifty 1 quatrains to Bran, while the host heard her, and all beheld the woman.

And she said:

3. 'A branch of the apple-tree 2 from Emain 3
I bring, like those one knows;
Twigs of white silver are on it,
Crystal brows with blossoms.

4. 'There is a distant isle,
Around which sea-horses 4 glisten:
A fair course against the white-swelling surge, 5--
Four feet uphold it. 6

5. 'A delight of the eyes, a glorious range,
Is the plain on which the hosts hold games:
Coracle contends against chariot
In southern Mag Findargat. 7


6. 'Feet of white bronze under it
Glittering through beautiful ages. 1
Lovely land throughout the world's age,
On which the many blossoms drop.

7. 'An ancient tree there is with blossoms,
On which birds call 2 to the Hours. 3
’Tis in harmony it is their wont
To call together every Hour.

8. 'Splendours of every colour glisten
Throughout the gentle-voiced plains.
Joy is known, ranked around music,
In southern Mag Argatnél. 4

9. 'Unknown is wailing or treachery 5
In the familiar cultivated land,
There is nothing rough or harsh, 6
But sweet music striking on the ear.

10. 'Without grief, without sorrow, without death,
Without any sickness, without debility, 7
That is the sign of Emain 8--
Uncommon is an equal marvel.

11. 'A beauty of a wondrous land,
Whose aspects are lovely,
Whose view is a fair country,
Incomparable is its haze.

12. 'Then if Aircthech 1 is seen,
On which dragonstones 2 and crystals drop
The sea washes the wave against the land,
Hair of crystal drops from its mane. 3

13. 'Wealth, treasures of every hue,
Are in Ciuin, 4 a beauty of freshness,
Listening to sweet music,
Drinking the best of wine. 5

14. 'Golden chariots in Mag Réin, 6
Rising with the tide to the sun,
Chariots of silver in Mag Mon, 7
And of bronze without blemish.

15. 'Yellow golden steeds are on the sward there,
Other steeds with crimson hue,
Others with wool upon their backs
Of the hue of heaven all-blue.


16. At sunrise there will come
A fair man illumining level lands;
He rides upon the fair sea-washed 1 plain,
He stirs the ocean till it is blood.

17. 'A host will come across the clear sea,
To the land they show their rowing;
Then they row to the conspicuous stone,
From which arise a hundred strains.

18. 'It sings a strain unto the host
Through long ages, it is not sad,
Its music swells 2 with choruses of hundreds--
They look for neither decay nor death.

19. 'Many-shaped Emne 3 by the sea,
Whether it be near, whether it be far,
In which are many thousands of motley 4 women,
Which the clear sea encircles.

20. 'If he has heard the voice of the music,
The chorus of the little birds from Imchiuin, 5
A small band of women will come from a height
To the plain of sport in which he is.


21. 'There will come happiness with health
To the land against which laughter peals,
Into Imchiuin at every season
Will come everlasting joy.

22. 'It is a day of lasting weather
That showers silver on the lands, 1
A pure-white cliff on the range of the sea,
Which from the sun receives its heat

23. 'The host race along Mag Mon, 2
A beautiful game, not feeble,
In the variegated land over a mass of beauty
They look for neither decay nor death.

24. 'Listening to music at night,
And going into Ildathach, 3
A variegated land. splendour on a diadem of beauty,
Whence the white cloud glistens.

25. 'There are thrice fifty distant isles
In the ocean to the west of us;
Larger than Erin twice
Is each of them, or thrice. 4



26. 'A great birth 1 will come after ages,
That will not be in a lofty place, 2
The son of a woman whose mate will not be known,
He will seize the rule of the many thousands.

27. 'A rule without beginning, without end, 3
He has created the world so that it is perfect,
Whose are earth and sea,
Woe to him that shall be under His unwill! 4

28. '’Tis He that made the heavens,
Happy he that has a white heart,
He will purify hosts under pure water, 5
’Tis He that will heal your sicknesses.

29. 'Not to all of you is my speech,
Though its great marvel has been made known:
Let Bran hear from the crowd of the world
What of wisdom has been told to him.

30. 'Do not fall on a bed of sloth,
Let not thy intoxication overcome thee,
Begin a voyage across the clear sea,
If perchance thou mayst reach the land of women.'


31. Thereupon the woman went from them, while they knew not whither she went. 1 And she took her branch with her. The branch sprang from Bran's hand into the hand of the woman, nor was there strength in Bran's hand to hold the branch.

32. Then on the morrow Bran went upon the sea. The number of his men was three companies of nine. One of his foster-brothers and mates 2 was set over each of the three companies of nine. When he had been at sea two days and two nights, he saw a man in a chariot coming towards him over the sea. That man also sang thirty 3 other quatrains to him, and made himself known to him, 4 and said that he was Manannan the son of Ler, and said that it was upon him to go to Ireland after long ages, and that a son would be born to him, even Mongan son of Fiachna--that was the name which would be upon him.

So he sang these thirty quatrains to him:

33. 'Bran deems it a marvellous beauty
In his coracle across the clear sea:
While to me in my chariot from afar
It is a flowery plain on which he rides about.



34. 'What is a clear sea
For the prowed skiff in which Bran is,
That is a happy plain 1 with profusion of flowers
To me from the chariot of two wheels.

15. 'Bran sees
The number of waves beating 2 across the clear sea:
I myself see in Mag Mon 3
Red-headed flowers without fault.

36. 'Sea-horses glisten in summer
As far as Bran has stretched his glance:
Rivers pour forth a stream of honey
In the land of Manannan son of Ler.

37. 'The sheen of the main, on which thou art,
The white hue of the sea on which thou rowest about,
Yellow and azure are spread out,
It is land, and is not rough. 4

38. 'Speckled salmon leap from the womb
Of the white sea, on which thou lookest:
They are calves, they are coloured lambs
With friendliness, without mutual slaughter. 5


39. 'Though (but) one chariot-rider is seen
In Mag Mell 1 of many flowers,
There are many steeds on its surface, 2
Though them thou seest not.

40. 'The size of the plain, the number of the host,
Colours glisten with pure glory,
A fair stream of silver, cloths 3 of gold,
Afford a welcome with all abundance.

41. 'A beautiful game, most delightful,
They play (sitting) at the luxurious 4 wine,
Men and gentle women under a bush,
Without sin, without crime.

42. 'Along the top of a wood has swum
Thy coracle across ridges,
There is a wood of beautiful fruit 5
Under the prow of thy little skiff.

43. 'A wood with blossom and fruit,
On which is the vine's veritable fragrance,
A wood without decay, without defect,
On which are leaves of golden hue.



44. 'We are from the beginning of creation
Without old age, without consummation 1 of earth, 2
Hence we expect not that 3 there should be frailty,
The sin has not come to us.

45. 'An evil day when the Serpent went
To the father to his city! 4
She has perverted the times 5 in this world,
So that there came decay which was not original.

46. 'By greed and lust he 6 has slain us,
Through which he has ruined his noble race:
The withered body has gone to the fold of torment,
And everlasting abode of torture. 7

47. 'It is a law of pride in this world
To believe in the creatures, to forget God, 8
Overthrow by diseases, and old age,
Destruction of the soul through deception.

48. 'A noble salvation 9 will come
From the King who has created,us,
A white law will come over seas,
Besides being God, He will be man.


49. 'This shape, he on whom thou lookest,
Will come to thy parts; 1
’Tis mine to journey to her house, 2
To the woman in Line-mag. 3

50. 'For it is Moninnan, the son of Ler,
From the chariot in the shape of a man,
Of his progeny will be a very short while
A fair man in a body of white clay. 4

51. 'Monann, the descendant of Ler, will be
A vigorous bed-fellow 5 to Caintigern: 6
He shall be called to his son in the beautiful world,
Fiachna will aclmowledge him as his son.

52. 'He will delight 7 the company of every fairy-knoll,
He will be the darling of every goodly land,
He will make known secrets--a course of wisdom--
In the world, without being feared.

53. 'He will be in the shape of every beast,
Both on the azure sea and on land,
He will be a dragon before hosts at the onset, 8
He will be a wolf of every great forest.
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MessaggioOggetto: Re: The Voyage of Bran   Mar 9 Mar 2010 - 14:21

54. 'He will be a stag with horns of silver
In the land where chariots are driven,
He will be a speckled salmon in a full pool,
He will be a seal, he will be a fair-white swan.

55. 'He will be throughout long ages 1
An hundred years in fair kingship, 2
He will cut down battalions, 3--a lasting grave--
He will redden fields, a wheel around the track.

56. 'It 4 will be about kings with a champion
That he will be known as a valiant hero,
Into the strongholds of a land on a height
I shall send an appointed end 5 from Islay. 6

57. 'High shall I place him with princes,
He will be overcome by a son of error; 7
Moninnan, the son of Ler,
Will be his father, his tutor.


58. 'He will be--his time will be short-- 1
Fifty years in this world:
A dragonstone from the sea will kill him 2
In the fight at Senlabor. 3

59. 'He will ask a drink from Loch Ló, 4
While he looks at the stream of blood,
The white host 5 will take him under a wheel 6 of clouds
To the gathering where there is no sorrow.

60 . 'Steadily then Iet Bran row,
Not far to the Land of Women,
Emne 7 with many hues 8 of hospitality
Thou wilt reach before the setting of the sun.'

61. Thereupon Bran went from him. And he saw an island. He rows round about it, and a large host was gaping and laughing. They were all looking at Bran and his people, but would not stay to converse with them. They continued to give forth gusts 9 of laughter at them. Bran sent one of his people on the island. He ranged himself with the others, and was gaping at them like the other men of the island. He 10 kept rowing round


about the island. Whenever his man came past Bran, his comrades would address him. But he would not converse with them, but would only look at them 1 and gape at them. The name of this island is the Island of Joy. Thereupon they left him there.

62. It was not long thereafter when they reached the Land of Women. They saw the leader of the women at the port. Said the chief of the women: 'Come hither on land; O Bran son of Febal! Welcome is thy advent!' Bran did not venture to go on shore. The woman throws a ball of thread to Bran straight over his face. Bran put his hand on the ball, which clave to his palm. The thread of the ball was in the woman's hand, and she pulled the coracle towards the port. Thereupon they went into a large house, in which was a bed for every couple, 2 even thrice nine beds. The food that was put on every dish vanished not from them. It seemed a year to them that they were there,--it chanced 3 to be many years. No savour was wanting to them. 4


63. Home-sickness seized one of them, even Nechtan the son of Collbran. 1 His kindred kept praying Bran that he should go to Ireland with him. The woman said to them their going would make them rue. However, they went, and the woman said that none of them should touch the land, and that they should visit and take with them the man whom they had left in the Island of Joy.

64. Then they went until they arrived at a gathering at Srub Brain. 2 The men asked of them who it was came over the sea. Said Bran: 'I am Bran the son of Febal,' saith he. However, the other saith: 'We do not know such a one. though the Voyage of Bran is in our ancient stories.'

65. The man 3 leaps from them out of the coracle. As soon as he touched the earth of Ireland, forthwith he was a heap of ashes, as though he had been in the earth for many hundred years. ’Twas then that Bran sang this quatrain:



'For Collbran's son great was the folly
To lift his hand against age,
Without any one casting a wave of pure water 1
Over Nechtan, Collbran's son.'

66. Thereupon, to the people of the gathering Bran told all his wanderings from the beginning until that time. And he wrote these quatrains in Ogam, and then bade them farewell. And from that hour his wanderings are not known.



THE END



Footnotes
2:1 Imram, lit. 'rowing about,' denotes a voyage voluntarily undertaken, as distinguished from longes, 'a voyage of exile.'

2:2 Echtre, f. (a derivative of echtar = Lat. extra), lit. 'outing,' specially denotes expeditions and sojourns in Fairy-land, as in Echtra Bresail Bricc maic Briuin (LL. p. 170 b, 25), who stayed fifty years under Loch Láeg; Echtra Cormaic i Tír Tairngiri, Ir. Texte iii. p. 202; Echtra Nerai (Rev. Celt. x. p. 212), Echtra Nectain maic Alfroinn (LL. p. 189 b, 59) = Nechtán mac Collbrain, infra § 63, etc.

2:3 That it was the branch that produced the music, when shaken, appears from a similar incident in Echtra Cormaic, Ir. Texte iii. p. 212.

4:1 All the MSS. contain only twenty-eight quatrains.

4:2 aball, f., which glosses Lat. malus in Sg. 61 b, has come to denote any fruit-tree, as in fic-abull mór arsata, 'a large ancient fig-tree,' LBr. 158 a, 55. CL Stokes, Rev. Celt. x. p. 71, n. 3.

4:3 i.e. nomen regionis (gloss).

4:4 A kenning for 'crested sea-waves.' Cf. groig maic Lir, 'the Son of Ler's horses,' Rev. Celt. p. 104. Zimmer misrenders: 'um welche die rosse des meeres spielend auftauchen.'

4:5 Lit. 'white-sided wave-swelling.'

4:6 Zimmer, following the corrupt reading of R (cethror instead of cetheoir), renders: 'dem wohnsitz auf fussen von vier mann'!

4:7 i.e. nomen regionis (gloss), 'White-Silver Plain.'

6:1 i.e. here below (gloss).

6:2 gairim is often used of the notes of birds, e.g.: int én gaires isint ṡail, 'the bird that sings in the willow,' Ir. Texte iii. p. 19.

6:3 trátha, the canonical hours, an allusion to church music. Zimmer, wrongly, 'zu den zeiten.'

6:4 i.e. nomen regionis (gloss), 'Silver-Cloud Plain.'

6:5 Zimmer, wrongly, 'vor den gerichten.'

6:6 Lit. 'with harshness.' Zimmer, 'fur die kehle'?

6:7 Cf. i lobrai ocus i n-ingás, Sergl. Conc. 10.

6:8 i.e. nomen regionis (gloss).

8:1 i.e. regio (gloss), 'Bountiful Land.'

8:2 dracoin = Lai. dracontiae.

8:3 'Mane' and 'hair' are frequent kennings in Irish poetry for the crest and spray of a wave, e.g.: in n-ed maras mong for muir, 'while a 'ested wave remains on the sea,' Ir. Texte iii. p. 16. Cf. also the adj. tibrech, 'hairy' (from tibre .i. finda na grúaide flacbas in altan dia hése, Harl. 5280, fo. 41 a) in úas tuind tibrig, LL. 17 b, 2 = fri tuinn tibhrigh, wrongly explained by O'Clery, s.v. tibhrigh.

8:4 i.e. insola (gloss), i.e. nomen regionis (gloss), 'Gentle Land.'

8:5 Cf. Sg. 122 b, where céitegrinne fíno glosses 'nectar.'

8:6 'Plain of the Sea.'

8:7 i.e. regio (gloss), 'Plain of Sports.'

10:1 Lit. 'against which the sea beats.'

10:2 Lit. 'it increases music.'

10:3 Here and in § 60 the nominative Emne is used instead of Emain (§§ 3, 10).

10:4 Ir. brec, 'variegated,' probably referring to their dress. Cf. cóíca ingen ildathach, Sergl. Conc. 45.

10:5 i.e. nomen regionis (gloss), 'Very Gentle Land.'

12:1 Or, perhaps, if we read la suthaini síne, 'It is through lasting weather (lit. lastingness of weather) that silver drops on the lands.'

12:2 i.e. mare, 'Plain of Sports.'

12:3 i.e. nomen regions, 'Many-coloured Land.'

12:4 This quatrain reappears in a somewhat modified form in a poem (Laud 615, p. 18) addressed to Colum Cille by Mongan, who had come from the Land of Promise (Tír Tairngiri) to meet the saint at Carraic Eolairg on Lough Foyle. See Appendix, p. 88.

14:1 i.e. Christ (gloss).

14:2 Lit. 'upon its ridge-poles or roof-trees,' alluding probably to the lowly birth of Christ.

14:3 Cf. ar attú cen tosach cen forcenn gl. qui ante creaturæ exordia idem esse non desinas, Ml. 110 d, is.

14:4 Cf. Stokes, Goid. p. 182: beith fo étoil mac Maire, 'to he under the unwill of Mary's Son.'

14:5 An allusion to baptism.

16:1 Zimmer renders 'ob sin gegangen.' But cía here means 'whither' (=Doric πεῖ, Strachan). Cf. noconḟess cía deochatar, LL. 290 a, 27. ni fetatar cia deochaid nó can donluid, Sergl. Conc. 12, etc. In the sense of 'whether,' cía occurs only in the phrase cía . . . cenco, 'whether . . . or not,' e.g.: fó leiss cía nothiasta ass, fó leiss cenco tiasta, LL. 109a, 30; cía fogabad cenco fagbad, rabeindse ar a chind, LL. 51 b, 17.

16:2 Lit. 'men of the same age.'

16:3 The MSS. again contain only twenty-eight quatrains.

16:4 Ir. slonnud means to make known one's name, or patronymic, as in Rawl. B. 502, fo. 73 a, 2: Buchet a ainm, mac hui Inblæ a slonnud, or one's native place, as in LU. 15 b, 5: ro íarfaig Finnan a slonniud de. Asbert friu: de Ultaib dam-sa.

18:1 Or Mag Mell may here be a place-name. Cf. § 39. It is the most frequent designation of the Irish elysium.

18:2 This seems to be the meaning of the verb tibrim, another example of which occurs in Rev. Celt. xi. p. 130: ni ḟuil tráich nach tiprai tonn, which I ought to have rendered 'there is no strand that a wave does not beat'

18:3 'Plain of Sports,' glossed by 'mare' above, § 23.

18:4 This I take to be the meaning of écomras, the negative of comras, 'smooth,' which occurs in cornaib sruachaib comrasaib (LL. 276 a, 6), 'with hooped smooth horns.' Stokes conjectures -ras to be cognate with W. rhathu, 'to file.'

18:5 i.e. The salmon which Bran sees are calves and are lambs (gloss).

20:1 'Pleasant, or Happy Plain.' See note on § 34.

20:2 i.e. There were many hosts near him, and Bran did not see them (gloss).

20:3 This rendering rests on the very doubtful connection of drepa with Lat. drappus, from which it might be a loan. Should we compare the obscure line drengaitir (sic legendem?) dreppa daena, Goid. p. 176?

20:4 A mere guess at the meaning of imrborbach.

20:5 Lit. 'a wood under mast (acorns) in which is beauty.'

22:1 I take foirbthe to be the neuter form of the passive participle of forbenim used as a substantive.

22:2 i.e. of the grave.

22:3 I take mbeth to be the 3rd sing. injunctive of biu, with the relative n prefixed.

22:4 i.e. to Adam in Paradise.

22:5 This rendering of saibse (saibsi) ceni is not much better than a guess. Perhaps sáibse is a noun derived from sáib, 'false.'

22:6 viz. Adam.

22:7 Cf. LU. 17 b; 26: do bithaitreb péne ocus rége cen nach crích etir = LL. 281 a, 38: do bithaittreb péne ocus régc cen nach n-díl etir.

22:8 i.e. worshipping idols (gloss).

22:9 i.e. Christ (gloss).

24:1 i.e. to Ireland.

24:2 i.e. to the wife of Fiachna, king of the Ulster Dalriada, whose royal seat was Rathmore, in Moylinny (Linemag), co. Antrim.

24:3 i.e. 'the Conception of Mongan' (gloss).

24:4 i.e. Mangan son of Fiachna (gloss).

24:5 Lit. 'will lie a vigorous lying.'

24:6 'Fair Lady,' the name of Fiachne's wife. Gilla Modutn, in his poem Senchas Ban (LL. 140 a, 37), written in 1147 A.D., makes her the daughter of Demmán Dublacha's son.

24:7 This is a guess at the meaning of moithfe. I take it to stand for móithfe, from móithaim, mod. maothaim, 'I soften.'

24:8 i froiss may mean 'in a shower'; but fross is also used metaphorically in the sense of 'attack, onset.' Cf.

26:1 i.e. post mortem (gloss).

26:2 i.e. famous, without end (anforcnedach? cf. LU. 26 b, 27), i.e. in futuro corpore (gloss).

26:3 Cf nosilis rói, LU. 66 b, 26.

26:4 The translation of this quatrain is very uncertain, as the Irish text is hopelessly corrupt in several places.

26:5 As to this meaning of airchend see Windisch, Bea. d. sächs. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, 19.7. 1890.

26:6 i.e. proprinm iloch (gloss). Here iloch is obscure to me. One expects a word for 'island.' Islay is also referred to in Boirche's poem on the death of Mongan (Four Masters, A.D. 620). According to Cinaed ua Hartacaín (+975), Mongan was killed by a host from Cantire (la féin Cindtíre, LL. 31 b, 42).

26:7 This refers to Mongan's death at the hands of Artur mac Bicoir.

28:1 i.e. in corpora (gloss).

28:2 i.e. this is the 'Death of Mongan,' a stone from a sling was thrown at him (gloss); i.e. a stone at the fight in Mongan's stronghold (gloss).

28:3 i.e. a stronghold (gloss). Senlabor has not been identified.

28:4 Not identified.

28:5 i.e. the angels.

28:6 i.e. in a chariot

28:7 Cf. note on § 19.

28:8 The Irish dath, 'colour,' is often used in the sense of 'kind, sort.'

28:9 treftech, a derivative from trefet, 'blowing.' Cf. trefet i. séitedh, ut est: for trefet a tóna H. 3, 18, p. 51, and see O’Dav. p. 122, s.v. treifet. In Laws i. p. 126, 5 (cf. p. 144, 1) it means 'bellows.'

28:10 viz. Bran.

30:1 Zimmer, adopting the corrupt reading of R (na mná instead of nammá) renders: 'sondern blickte die frauen an.' No women have been mentioned.

30:2 Zimmer renders 'ehepaar.' But there is no reason for being so particular.

30:3 For this use of écmaing = 'it really was,' cf. Ir. Texte iii. p. 17:


'Andarlium ba slúaiged fer,
Góidil co ler iar n-gail gairg:
eccmuing ba rí. Midi máir
doluid do dáim óenaig aird.'

'Methought it was a hosting of men,
Gaels in numbers after fierce prowess;
But it was the king of great Meath,
Going to the company of a noble gathering.'



30:4 i.e. every man found in his food and drink the taste that he especially desired, a common incident in Irish story-telling.

32:1 He was the hero of a tale, the title of which figures in the list of sagas in LL. p. 170 b as Echtra Nectain maic Alfroinn. This tale is not now known to exist; it probably contained the incidents here narrated.

32:2 O’Curry, MS. Mat. p. 477, note 15, says that there are two places of this name--one in the west of Kerry, the other, now called Staoove or Shruve Brin, at the entrance to Lough Foyle, a little to the south of Inishowen Head. As the ancient Irish imagined Mag Mell to be in the south or south-west of Ireland (see Stokes, Rev. Celt. xv. p. 438), it seems natural that Bran coming from there should arrive at a place in Kerry. Otherwise, from Bran's connection with Lough Foyle, so called from his father Febal, the latter place might seem to be meant. See its dindsenches in Rev. Celt xv. p. 450, where Srub Brain is said to mean 'Raven's Stream.' Stokes thinks that this Srub Brain is the place in Donegal; but, considering that numbers 50 to 53 of the Rennes Dindsenchas all refer to places in Kerry, I believe the West Kerry place is meant.

32:3 viz. Nechtan mac Collbrain.

34:1 i.e. holy water.
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MessaggioOggetto: Re: The Voyage of Bran   Mar 9 Mar 2010 - 14:21

NOTES
1. a tirib ingnath. This curious use of what is, apparently, the undeclined adjective after the noun is also found in the phrase tré bithu sír, iS. See Windiseh, s.v. sír.

ib., for láur. The old dative form láur is found in H alone, while all the other MSS. have the later form lár. Similarly, in § 2 R, and in F 62, B alone have preserved the dative form Braun.

ib., robátar ind liss dúntai. The plural of the word less, which generally means either the space enclosed by earthen ramparts, or the buildings in the centre of the enclosure, seems here to be used of the ramparts themselves. That this may have been the original meaning, the analog of Ir. ráith and Teutonic tún seems to show.

a. ar a bindi. I do not know what to make of the form bindem or bindim which most of the MSS. have.

ib., ísin. Most of the MSS. leave out this Old Irish form.

ib., cachaín. None of the MSS. have preserved the Old Irish form cechuin.

3. This quatrain is composed in the metre called rannaigecht cetharchubaid recomarcach (Thumeysen, Mittelir. Verslehren, p. 143). There is internal assonance in Emain: semail, fora: glano.

ib., abaill. It is possible that abaild is the older form; at least this may be concluded from abailt, the spelling of E, and apuillt, that of H. An Old Ir. abald would agree well with the A.S. apuldr.

ib., dofed. This I take to be the 1st sing. of the present indicative of dofedim, 'I bring,' ex to-ved-ó.

ib., glano. Here and in 12 (trilsi glano) B alone preserves this old form, the genitive sing. of the i-stem glain. Other MSS. write glana as if it were the nom. plur. of glan, 'pure.'

4. This and all the following quatrains are composed in various kinds of debidc. There are two examples of debide garit in 34, 35; 36

p. 37

but the stricter laws of poetical composition, as formulated in the córus bard cana bardni (Thumeysen, Mittelir. Versl.) and by O’Molloy, are not consistently observed in this old poetry. The rule, e.g., that the final words of the second and fourth lines should exceed those of the first and third by one syllable, is not carried through. A hiatus is allowed to stand where, according to O'Molloy's rule (Thumeysen, l.c., p. 127), synizesis should take place, e.g., asa taitni | in nél find, 24, os mé | im’ charput di chéin, 33, etc. Again, there are many lines in which alliteration is entirely wanting. This rudimentary character of the poetry seems to speak for its age.

ib., gabra réin. The 'kenning' groig mic Lir referred to on p. 4, note 5, also occurs in a quatrain quoted in H. 3. 18, p, 6½: cuthal .i. tlaith, ut dixit in file:


'Dia m-[bad] cuthal craidi tlaith,
rombuthad for mortuind muaith,
matain mir dochoid, ba moch,
groidh [leg. groig] mic Lir iar loch fot[h]uaid.'

ib., tóibgel tondat. The adjective attribute is put before the noun, as in ilmíli m-brecc m-ban, 19.

ib., cetheóir cossa. The old feminine form cetheóir being no longer used or understood, the MSS., with two exceptions (HB), have either misread or altered it. As to the four feet on which the island rests, cf. 'The Voyage of Mael Duin,' Rev. Celt. x. p. 63, as translated by Stokes: 'Then they see another island (standing) on a single pedestal, to wit, one foot supporting it. And they rowed round it to seek a way into it, and they found no way thereinto; but they saw down in the base of the pedestal a closed door under lock. They understood that that was the way by which the island was entered.'

5. Findarggat. The use of the undeclined form is curious. In 8, Arggatnéul stands in apposition to the dative maig.

6. findrune. It is possible that findbruine (B) is the older form.

7. In the description of Mag Meld in Serglige Conculaind (Ir. Texte, p. 218) a similar quatrain occurs without reference to the Hours.


'Atát ar in dorus sair
tri bile do chorcorglain,
dia n-gair in énlaith búan bláith
don macraid assin rigráith.'

p. 38

8. datho. Here, and in 13, B alone preserves this old form of the gen. sg. of the u-stem dath.

ib., móithgretho. Most of the MSS. have moiter gretha--a blunder, having arisen from confusing the mark of aspiration over the first t with the horizontal stroke used as a compendium for er. B and S have preserved the final o.

9. écóiniud. Perhaps écóine (B, H) is the right reading.

ib., etargnath rhyming with mrath shows that through loss of stress gnáth has become short. Compare such rhymes as tan: crithlam, Salt, 1456.

ib., ní bíi nach garg fri crúais. I have no doubt that crois, croais of the MSS. stands for crúais, just as clois, cloais in the next line is for clúais; oa evidently was the spelling of the archetypus for the more usual úa; cf. oas, daroasat, oad, load, etc., infra. L, reading bíi as a monosyllable, inserts guth to make up the seven syllables.

11. fía. My rendering is taken from O’Reilly fia (for fiadh?), and is very doubtful. Perhaps fía is cognate with W. gwy, and means 'water.'

ib., ní fríthid bíd a cía. The same phrase occurs in LU. 64 a, 23: ní fríthid bid essine em .i. ní inund ocus én dogabáil, 'This is not the same as carrying (lit. taking) birds,' says Medb, referring to the way in which Láeg carries the head of an enemy on his back. As to cía= céo, meaning 'haze' or perhaps 'hue,' cf. O’Cl. deann céidheamhain .i. lí nó do amhail chéo bealtaine.

12. trilsi glano. Cf. the note on glano, 3.

13. étatho, if I read rightly, seems the gen. of é-tath, the opposite of tath .i. searg, 'dryness, decay, consumption,' O’Cl. and P. O’C.

ib., fíno óingrindi. The genitive attribute is put before the noun, as in de betho bróu, 29, fíne fírbolud, 43. See Rev. Celt. v. 350-51.

15. In the description of Mag Meld quoted above from Serglige Conculaind a similar quatrain occurs:


'Atát ar in dorus tíar
isind áit hi funend grían
graig n-gabor n-glas, brec a mong,
is araile carcordond.'

ib., ualann. I have taken this to be a sister-form of oland, 'wool' Cf. uamun and ŏmun, 'fear.' But it might be a word cognate with ualach, 'burden.'

16. dofeith. This seems cognate with dofaith, 'ivit' (Wind. s.v.),

p. 39

dufaid (dofoid), 'venit,' Trip. Life, p. 72, 16, and táidim, 'I come,' Fél. Index. L changes to dofaeth, 'will fall.'

17. dond licc leur. Another such musical stone is mentioned in the following lines from Togail Bruidne Dá Chocæ (H. 3. 18, p. 711):


'do thimpán créda is fiu máin,
binnithir lic Locha Láig.'
'thy timpani of bronze, it is worth a treasure,
more melodious than the stone of Loch Láig.'

19. bésu. This form occurs twice in the Würzburg glosses, 6 b, 23: bésu dagduine, 'who may be a good man,' ib. 24: bésu maith. It should be compared with césu, 'although it be,' and seems to be made up of the 3rd pers. sing. injunctive of bíu, with an unexplained pronominal suffix -su.

20. esnach, if I read rightly, may be cognate with esnad, 'music, song,' which is sometimes used of the notes or cries of animals, as, e.g., esnad daim, 'the bellowing of the stag.'

21. cach ági. Though this is the reading of none of the MSS., R alone coming near it, yet it seems to me highly probable. áge, 'period,' seems a masc. io-stem; cf. LU. 134 b, 13: tánic de int áge hísin.

22. erfind. This is a very doubtful reading, based upon the ailler find of L.

24. i n-adig. This old spelling of adaig, preserved by R and E, caused L to alter into ina tig = mod. ina dtigh.

25. diìb. Though none of the MSS. offers it, this old dissyllabic form is demanded by the metre, just as in Salt. 375: samlaim cech dí[i]b fo feib. Cf. Salt. 437.

28. findchride. The spelling of the archetypus was no doubt finchride, which most of the MSS. retain.

29. de betho bróu. The only one among the many meanings of bró that seems to fit here is one given by O’Clery, .i. iomad.

32. isin charput iarsin muir. Thus in Serglige Conculaind (Ir. Texte, p. 225) Manannán comes in a chariot across the sea:


'Atchíu dar in muir ille--
nínacend nach meraige--
marcach in mara mongaig,
ni lenand do sithlongaib.'

ib., nogigned mac úad. See Compert Mongáín, printed infra, p. 42.

p. 40

35. cennderga. L reads cen terca, a good example of the wilful alterations of this version.

41. óimin. Cf. the spelling áimin, Goid. p. 20, 11.

43. duilli co n-órdath. Cf. the following quatrain in the description of Mag Meld quoted above:


'Atá crand i n-dorus liss,
ní hétig cocetul friss,
crand airgit ristatin grian,
cosmail fri hór a roníam.'

48. dorearúasat seems corrupt. It does not rhyme with húasai. I have translated it as if it were dorúasat with the pronoun of the 1st pers. plural (-r-) infixed.

49. In delb hé. Cf. combad hé Find Mac Cumaill Mongán, LU. 133 a, 25. This construction reminds one of a similar one in Anglo-Saxon.

50. Moninnán. A hypocoristic form of Manannán, also found in LU. 133 a, 24. Cf. Monann, 51.

ib., i curp criad gil. Cf. LU. 18, 22: Héle 7 Énóc ina corpaid críad etir ainglib nimc = LL. 280 a, 51.--B, reading criad as a monosyllable, alters gil into ad-gil to make up the seven syllables.

51. coniec. This old form, the 3rd sing. of the s-future of con-ligim, was no longer understood by the glossator. From our passage the word with the gloss got into Cormac's GIossary (Transl. p. 49).

ib., maccu. None of the MSS. have preserved this Old Ir. word, which seems to have become obsolete very early.

ib., Lirn. The n is here a merely graphic addition to have complete assonance for the eye.

ib., adndidma, 3rd sg. of the red. future of ad-damim, with infixed pronoun. CL alumdidmæ, 'Thou wilt acknowledge me,' Fél. Epil. 494.

52. adfii, 3rd sg. of the s-future of adfiadaim. CE adfias-[s]a, 'I shall relate,' Salt. 1785.

55. suis ???, 3rd sg. Of the s-future of sligim.

56. I have not been able to restore this quatrain, which has been handed down in a very corrupt form in all MSS. Most of them leave out bid in the first line, which may be right.

ib., fochischer airchend a Íli. Stokes thinks that airchend here= W. arbenn, 'a chieftain.' The translation would then be, 'I shall send a chieftain out of Islay,' which would refer to Artur Mac Bicoir.

p. 41

57. arungén. This I take to be the 1st sg. of the red. future of argníu, with infixed pron. of the 3rd person.

58. bes n-guirit. As to bes with following relative n, cf. ML 54 a, 4: bes n-duthrachtach .i. duarngir-som beta n-duthrachtaig a gnímai-som do dia.

ib., oircthi. This seems the 3rd sg. pres. ind. of vircim with affixed personal pronoun.

59. Loch Láu. In the glossed copy of Cinaed húa hArtacáin's poem beginning Fianna bátar i n-Emain (Eg. 1752, fo. 53 a, 2) I find the following gloss on the line mentioning Mongin's death (see above, p. 26, note 5): .i. fian Chind-Tíri romarb Mongan ar brú Locha Lo nó Locha Inncil (Mencii?). A Loch Ló is also repeatedly mentioned in Togail Bruidne Dá Chocæ.

ib., gébtha. This looks like the 3rd sg. of the red. future of gabim (gébid) with an affixed personal pronoun.

61. oc ginig. Most of the MSS. have gignig, which is obscure to me. Gínig seems the dat. fem. of a word ginach, a derivative of gin, 'mouth.'

ib., reris. This seems the 3rd sg. of the s-pref. of a verb rerim, the 3rd sg. rel. of the pres. ind: of which occurs in LU. 133 a, 10: intan reras in cath díaraiiu, 'When one army is drawn up (ranged) against the other.'

63. éulchairc. Though this word sometimes has the general sense of 'longing,' as in Echtra Condla, 4 (gabais eólchaire íarom inní Condla immon mnái atchonnairc) it seems originally to have denoted 'longing for home, home-sickness'; from éol, 'home,' and -caire=W. -caredd. As to this meaning of éol, cf. the following gloss from Harl. 5280, fo. 49 b, 2: eol .i. gnáth, ut est:


'Ránic coa euol fén an fer
tar gach ler co n-ilur glond,'

and see Rev. C. xiii. p. 2. In LL 170 b, 30, for coa ṡeol read cos eol, 'to his home,' as in BB. 402, 47. dia eol, ib. 403 a, 2.

65. cen nech dobir toind usci glain. The line has one syllable in excess. Perhaps dorat, 'who gave,' is a better reading than dobir, 'who gives.'
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