Codladh na bhfíréan a dhéanann mise.
Caitear anuas an phluideog
Agus is cnapán mé, balbhán, lúbaire, corpán,
Cráin mhór ar lár.
Taobh thiar de mo dhaillicín síoda,
Ní rinceann mo chaipíní súl.

Ach, corruair, i ngan fhios—fíbín oíche—
Preabaim, prapálaim chun turais
Ar fud m’fhearainn chlúmhaigh féin:
Rothlaím deiseal, deiseal, roileagán ró,
Is mar ungadh cosanta, tálaim sreang seile
Ó cholbha go colbha an tochta.

Nuair a dhúisím, báite agam féin,
Ní dhearmadaim ar fad na mairbh sin
A luíonn faram, scaití:
Maimeo thíos fúm ina srann agus í spíonta,
Uncail liom ag úscadh uisce a bhéil féin,
Deirfiúr liom ag castáil léi de réir na gréine.


Sleep

I sleep the sleep of the just:
Once covered,
I’m a stone, struck dumb, a corpse,
A lost sow.
Behind my silk blindfold,
My eyelids won’t budge.

Now and then, though,
Something takes hold:
I tour a downy world,
Clockwise, clockwise, around I go,
Dribbling a web
From south to north.

When I wake up sopping,
They’re with me still,
The dead who came along:
My grandmother, half-spent,
My uncle pumping spit from his mouth,
My sister spinning with the sun.

–Translated from the Irish by Martin Howard