Sunday, October 18, 2015

St Manchán's poem

The Hermit's Song translated by Kuno Meyers, 

(also known as St. Manchan of Offaly's Poem: 
(Composed Circa 450-550 A.D. or 7th century, or maybe even in 12th century)

I wish, O Son of the living God, O ancient, eternal King,
For a hidden little hut in the wilderness that it may be my dwelling. An all-grey lithe little lark to be by its side,
A clear pool to wash away sins through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Quite near, a beautiful wood around it on every side,
To nurse many-voiced birds, hiding it with its shelter.
A southern aspect for warmth, a little brook across its floor,
A choice land with many gracious gifts such as be good for every plant.
A few men of sense we will tell their number
Humble and obedient. to pray to the King :
Four times three, three times four, fit for every need,
Twice six in the church, both north and south :
Six pairs besides myself
Praying for ever the King who makes the sun shine.
A pleasant church and with the linen altar-cloth, a dwelling for God from Heaven;
Then, shining candles above the pure white Scriptures.
One house for all to go to for the care of the body,
Without ribaldry, without boasting, without thought of evil.
This is the husbandry I would take, I would choose, and will not hide it:
Fragrant leek, hens, salmon, trout, bees.
Raiment and food enough for me from the King of fair fame,
And I to be sitting for a while praying God in every place.