Bhí Peadar óg ag féachaint ar aghaidh Pheadair mhóir
A bhí ag féachaint amach ó scáth diamhair
a mhala creagaí ar an mbeirt scológ

Seasta ag cúinne an teampaill,
Ag caitheamh Woodbines is ag ciorrú ama
Ag feitheamh le folús a líonadh.

Cuireadh ualach dubhcharraige eile lena mhala
Nuair a chonac duine díobh ag casadh chun falla
Agus scairdeán múin buí á scaoileadh.

Crónán sagairt thart is rince mall de chroitheadh láimhe,
Chas Peadar mór ón uaigh mar chompás tarraingthe
I dtreo lanna iarainn sluaistí na beirte.

Chonac a mhac an righneas ina dhroim dubhchulaithe
Is smaoinigh ‘Anois a leadanna, chughaibh a’ púca!’
Ar theacht i ngiorracht fhad láimhe tharraing Peadar mór

dorn tiargáilte iata óna phóca is scaoil dhá leathchoróin
—ceann an duine—i mbasa oscailte an aosa rómhair:
‘Seo libh, a fheara, bíodh deoch agaibh.’

 


 

The Funeral

Peter was watching his father Peter
Watching, from the shadows
Sunk in a rocky brow,

Two grave-diggers standing at the church corner
Smoking Woodbines, killing time,
Waiting to fill a hole.

His cliff face darkened
When one man turned inward
And let a yellow streak against the wall.

The priest’s drone and formal handshakes over
Old Peter spun like a compass needle
And fixed on the men’s iron shovels.

His son saw that stern black back
And thought ‘Now lads, ye’re for it!’
Once in arm’s reach, the father pulled

A bunched fist from his pocket, and delivered:
Two half-crowns—one each—into the diggers’ palms,
‘Here ye are, men, you’ll have yourselves a drink.’

– Translated from the Irish by Fintan O’Higgins