Translation by Maureen S. O'Brien, 1/12/00

Praise of people, and you, is celebrating
The Holy Spirit for their creating.
No one living upon the earth
Will fail to praise its marvels' worth.

Song may turn history into lie, 
But lies that last, and aren't fast gone by.
Everything's fake, even cattle shares, 
Even a man, however well he fares.

Neither gold nor horses breed better for
A man who does harm like a boor
And gives no poem on earth heed 
If it doesn't make his cattle breed.

People, if you reject the Art,
If history and old songs depart, 
Then the father of all on raids could go
And nobody would ever know.

You deny your heirs your land
With your great smooth militant stand.
You do no little damage, hiding the tale --
The root's knowledge of the seed will fail.

Hiding war and the battle lines,
Man of Alire, is an act unkind.
Even were I one who had no use
For noblemen and the men with roots.

Though he's dead, Guaire's alive.
Cu Chulainn of the Royal Branch survives.
In tradition, west and east,
Brian's life has not yet ceased.

Revived and kept alive in praise
Are Conall and Conor of ancient days.
Living in the well-worn sound,
Fergus himself is still around.

Lugh, though cut down by Mac Cuill, 
His bones destroyed by geas fulfilled,
And after from Earth he had gone,
Custom saved Lugh. He lives on.

The lays have been saved for us here
By their performance, year on year.
Woven in your being's cloak 
Are Niall and Conn and Cormac, folk.

Cruacha and Cork Caiseal's kings we sow 
As roots in the herb garden poets grow.
Stems of the Three Castles' household fall --
Dathi of Tara, and Tuathal.

If it weren't for us, there would be no Art 
On the lute or the tunefully strung harp,
No knowledge of how nobles met their ends,
Of generous deeds, or war-skilled hands.

History's lore doesn't make us lords; 
Serving the noble brings few rewards.
Neglecting sleep, art for you we phrase,
Or even health, to sing you lays.

If denied the history of the O'Connells, 
Or poems about you, o Donnell,
Your dogkeeper's children and your own
Have equal claim to take your throne.

Men of Alire, till we escape
From this banishment of late,
Every Gael will lack beauty 
And every noble be unfree.