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Deirdre's Lament for the Sons of Usnagh

The lions of the hill are gone,
And I am left alone -- alone --
Dig the grave both wide and deep,
For I am sick and fain would sleep!

The falcons of the wood are flown,
And I am left alone -- alone --
Dig the grave both deep and wide,
And let us slumber side by side.

The dragons of the rock are sleeping,
Sleep that wakes not for our weeping,
Dig the grave and make it ready;
Lay me on my true love's body.

Lay their spears and bucklers bright
By the warrior's sides aright;
Many a day the three before me
On their linked bucklers bore me.

Lay upon the low grave floor,
'Neath each head, the blue claymore;
Many a time the noble three
Reddened those blue blades for me.

Lay the collars, as is meet,
Of their greyhounds at their feet;
Many a time for me have they
Brought the tall red deer to bay.

In the falcon's jesses throw
Hook and arrow, line and bow;
Never again by stream or plain
Shall the gentle woodsmen go.

Sweet companions ye were ever --
Harsh to me, your sister, never;
Woods and wilds and misty valleys
Were, with you, as good's a palace.

Oh! to hear my true love singing,
Sweet as sound of trumpets ringing:
Like the sway of ocean swelling
Rolled his deep voice round our dwelling.

Oh! to hear the echoes pealing
Round our green and fairy sheeling,
When the three, with roaring chorus,
Passed the silent skylark o'er us.

Echo, now sleep, morn and even --
Lark alone enchant the heaven! --
Ardan's lips are scant of breath,
Neesa's tongue is cold in death.

Stag, exult on glen and mountain --
Salmon, leap from loch to fountain --
Heron, in the free air warm ye --
Usnagh's sons no more will harm ye!

Erin's stay no more you are,
Rulers of the ridge of war;
Never more 'twill be your fate
To keep the beam of battle straight.

Woe is me! by fraud and wrong --
Traitors false and tyrants strong --
Fell Clan Usnagh, bought and sold,
For Barach's feast and Conor's gold!

Woe to Eman, roof and wall! --
Woe to Red Branch, hearth and hall! --
Tenfold woe and black dishonor
To the foul and false Clan Conor!

Dig the grave both wide and deep,
Sick I am, and fain would sleep!
Dig the grave and make it ready,
Lay me on my true love's body!

translated by
- Samuel Ferguson -