Father Bradley, go ndéana Dia a mhaith air,
léadh sé Aifreann gasta i gcónaí
is ligeadh sé dúinn na ceisteanna a chur,
níor ceileadh a dhath faoi éadaí eaglasta.

Dá mbeimis le hiomann úr a cheol,
ní chun Dia a adhradh ach chun é a cheistiú
chun é a dhíthógáil is a scrúdú
chun é a chur ar a thriail os comhair an phobail,

déarfadh sé go dtig an fuath
i gcuideachta an fháis,
go gcaithfear carn mór aoiligh a thógáil
sula dtig na préataí i gceart.

‘When a gardener sings to the stinking mud
he cares little for melody or pitch,
his grace notes fall on filth and slime
his cadence is that of the muck.
The day may be when a bluebell
comes to sing along in time, but sometimes,’
ar sé go bog ag smaointiú,
‘bluebells never chime!’

Father Bradley, go ndéana Dia a mhaith air
tá sagairt mar é ag éirí gann,
bhíodh an t-Aifreann gasta
ach mhair an tseanmóir i bhfad.


Father Bradley, God be good to him,
read a speedy mass,
begged our questions,
kept no secrets in his cassock pockets.

When he had us sing hymns,
it was to harmonise our doubts,
dissect God’s polyphony;
trial every note and word.

He’d say hatred and growth
were fertile bedfellows,
and the biggest dung heap
grew the best spuds.

‘When a gardener sings to the stinking mud
he cares little for melody or pitch,
his grace notes fall on filth and slime
his cadence is that of the muck.
The day may be when a bluebell
comes to sing along in time, but sometimes,’
he would reflect,
‘bluebells never chime!’

Father Bradley, God bless him,
his like are growing scarce—
the mass was always quick,
but the sermons lingered.

 

— Jessica Traynor a d’aistrigh