Selections from the Carmina Gadelica
translated and “reheathened”*
by John Opsopaus
Hymn for the Nascent Moon
Whene’er I see the Nascent Moon,
With upturned eyes I sing this Rune,
And bend my knee upon the ground,
And bow my head in thanks profound.
For Thee my praises, Guiding Light,
That Thee I’ve seen this very night,
That Thee, the Nascent Moon, I’ve seen,
Thou glorious Guide on whom I lean.
I think on those who’ve left us, too,
‘Tween now and last the Moon was new,
While in the earthly realm I’ve stayed,
Thou Moon of Moons and Holy Aid.
Thou ever wert and art
[Prayer for the Trine]
And evermore shall be
With us, Goddess Trine!
All that ebb, all that flow,
Bless them, Goddess Trine!
And as they ebb and flow,
Bless us, Goddess Trine!
Obi ri Droch Shuil
Here beeth Morrhigan’s Spell for the Eye,
[Spell for the Evil Eye]
Given to Beautiful Brighid.
Use it for Earth and for Sea,
And for Fire and Wind.
Use it for Talon and Wing,
And for Tooth of the Wolf.
Let he who laid the Eye on thee,
By selfsame Eye have Curses three:
His Flock decreased, his House destroyed,
His ev’ry Wile for nought deployed!
By Awesome Strength destroy the Eye!
Deflect from thee the Burning Dart,
The Triple Doleful Tongues of Death,
Descending to the Bowels,
The Naval, and the Breast!
From Brighid’s Heart,
From Cailleach’s Heart,
From Danu’s Heart!
So be it!
Now I pick the Sacred Mothan,
[The Mothan (a magical herb)]
As did Mapon macc Matrona,
In the Holy Name of Dagda,
And of Brigit, Lugh and Danu.
Though in Field of Furious Fighting,
Where no Bounds are known to Anger,
Be Thou Happiness and Comfort,
Mighty Morrighan’s Protection!
Righinn nam Buadh
With gentle Hand,
[Queen of Grace]
And Visage grand,
She walks with Grace,
And fair her Face.
With singing Voice,
Her Eyes rejoice.
With shining Hair,
And Shape so fair.
With loving Eyes,
How sweet she Sighs!
Her swelling Bosom lifts her milk-white Breasts,
As Gulls are born on gentle ocean Swells.
The Holy Mother, golden Hair awry,
In mountain Valley hides the helpless Babe,
No Food in sight beneath the boundless Sky,
No Shelter safe from Storm or Knave.
But Mabon’s Word is Food enough for her,
For Mabon is his Mother’s Steadfast Shield,
And Mabon guides her Thoughts and shows the Way,
Along the Path by shining Star revealed.
For her the darkest Nights are bright as Days,
And shining Days bring Gladness to her Heart,
For Mother Danu dwells in ev’ry place,
And Seven Blessings shine about her Head,
Seven Blessings shine about her Head.