Gate of Divine Mysteries (p 69)

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This is a very famous poem from early Irish literature, often referred to as the "Song of Amergin". It is attributed to Amergin Glúngel Mac Míl, the same poet who composed "I Invoke the Land of Ireland", at the beginning of these tracks. It can be found in _Lebor Gabala Erenn_, among other sources.

The language here is Old Irish, an early medieval version of the Gaelic languages and a common ancestor language to modern Irish, Manx, and Scottish Gaelic.

If you are trying to sound out the poem yourself, and you are new to trying to read and pronounce Old Irish, I encourage you to make your own notes so it is easier for you to figure it out for yourself. I encourage you to print out the approximate pronunciation guide I have written out, either here or photocopy it from _A Circle of Stones_, and then write in your own notes to make it easier for you to work with. This is the longest of all the prayers in _A Circle of Stones_, but it is also one of my favorites, and is very important to Irish poetic traditions.

If anyone is interested, there are several recordings of this song by various artists, including Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance. I recommend looking that up too.

lyrics

Am goeth i muir
am tonn trethain
am fuaim mara
am dam setir
am seg for aill
am der greine
am cain luba
am torc an gail
am eo i lindibh
am loch i maigh
am brigh dana
am gai la fodb feras feachta
am dae delbus do chind cotnu
Coiche notglen clochar siebe?
Cia du i luidh fúinedh greiniu?
Cia seacht siecht gan eccla?
Cia non dogar eassa uissci?
Cia ber a buar o tigh Teathra?
Cia buar Tethrach tibide?
Cia doen, cia dia, dealbus faebra andiond?
Indiond ailes cainte:
Dichain tothlach, diales fedha,
fodhail coblach, cachain aille,
ailiside sieas coimes cainte,
cainte gaith.

I am a wind on the sea
I am a wave of the ocean
I am the roar of the sea
I am a powerful stag
I am a hawk on a cliff
I am a dewdrop in the sunshine
I am the most delicate of herbs
I am a boar for valor
I am a salmon in a pool
I am a lake in a plain
I am the strength of art
I am a spear with spoil waging battle
I am a God who shapes fire for a head
Who clears the stony places in the mountains?
In what place lies the setting of the sun?
Who has sought peace without fear seven times?
Who names the waterfalls?
Who brings the cattle from the house of Tethra?
On whom do the cattle of Tethra smile?
What person, what God
Forms weapons in a fort?
In a fort that nourishes satirists,
Chants a petition, divides the ogham letters,
Separates a fleet, has sung praises,
Weighs chants and invocations
Sings enchantments for spears.

approximate pronunciation:
ahm goeth i mweer
ahm tohn TREH-thun
ahm FOO-um MAR-a
ahm dahv SHEH-dir
ahm shegh for all
ahm der GRAIN-ya
ahm cahn LOO-va
ahm torg an gahl
ahm yo i LIN-thiv
ahm lohkh i mahgh
ahm breegh DAH-na
ahm guy la FOH-thav FAIR-as FAY-ukh-ta
ahm day DELL-vus do khinth COD-noo
KWEE-kha NOD-ghlen KLO-khar SHAY-va
KEE-a du i LOO-ith FOO-neth GRAY-nyu
KEE-a shahkht shehkht gahn EK-la
KEE-a non DO-ghar ESS-a ISH-kee
KEE-a bayr a BOO-ar o teegh TEH-thra
KEE-a BOO-ar TEH-thrahkh TIH-vi-tha
KEE-a DO-an, KEE-a DEE-a, DEL-vus FAY-vra AHN-thee-onth
IN-thee-onth AH-less KAHN-deh
DEE-khahn TOE-thlahkh, DYAL-es FEH-tha
FOH-thal KOH-vlahkh, KAHKH-an AHL-a
AHL-shith-a SHAY-us KOH-veth KAHN-da
KAHN-da gaith

credits

from _A Circle of Stones_ audio, released December 7, 2012

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Caera Seattle, Washington

From haunting Celtic lullabies, through laments of intense grief and pain, to songs of healing and hope, Caera’s music always contains an authenticity that can be hard to find in today’s music, or even in today’s world in general. Powerful soprano vocals blend with the bell-like tones of her brass-strung Gaelic harp to create music that carries people through life, dreaming or fully awake. ... more

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