The Cauldron of Poesy
trans - Erynn Rowan Laurie 1995/1998

Moí coire coir goiriath
gor rond n-ír Día dam a dúile dnemrib;
dliucht sóir sóerna broinn
bélrae mbil brúchtas úad.
Os mé Amargen glúngel garrglas grélíath,
gním mo goriath crothaib condelgib indethar
-- dath nád inonn airlethar Día do cach dóen,
de thoíb, ís toíb, úas toíb --
nemshós, lethshós, lánshós,
do h-Ébiur Dunn dénum do uath aidbsib ilib ollmarib;
i moth, i toth, i tráeth,
i n-arnin, i forsail, i ndínin-díshail,
sliucht as-indethar altmod mo choiri.

My perfect cauldron of warming
has been taken by the Gods from the mysterious abyss of the elements;
a perfect truth that ennobles from the center of being,
that pours forth a terrifying stream of speech.

I am Amirgen White-knee,
with pale substance and grey hair,
accomplishing my poetic incubation in proper forms,
in diverse colors.

The Gods do not give the same wisdom to everyone,
tipped, inverted, right-side-up;
no knowledge, half-knowledge, full knowledge --
for Eber Donn, the making of fearful poetry,
of vast, mighty draughts death-spells, of great chanting;
in active voice, in passive silence, in the neutral balance between,
in rhythm and form and rhyme,
in this way is spoken the path and function of my cauldrons.

Ciarm i tá bunadus ind airchetail i nduiniu; in i curp fa i n-anmain? As-berat araili bid i nanmain ar ní dénai in corp ní cen anmain. As-berat araili bid i curp in tan dano fo-glen oc cundu chorpthai .i. ó athair nó shenathair, ol shodain as fíru ara-thá bunad ind airchetail & int shois i cach duiniu chorpthu, acht cach la duine adtuíthi and; alailiu atuídi.

Where is the root of poetry in a person; in the body or in the soul? Some say it is in the soul, for the body does nothing without the soul. Some say it is in the body were the arts are learned, passed through the bodies of our ancestors. It is said that this is the truth remaining over the root of poetry, and the wisdom in every person¹s ancestry does not come from the northern sky into everyone, but into every other person.

Caite didiu bunad ind archetail & cach sois olchenae? Ní ansae; gainitir tri coiri i cach duiniu .i. coire goriath & coire érmai & coire sois.

What then is the root of poetry and every other wisdom? Not hard; three cauldrons are born in every person -- the cauldron of warming, the cauldron of motion and the cauldron of wisdom.

Coire goiriath, is é-side gainethar fóen i nduiniu fo chétóir. Is as fo dálter soas do doínib i n-ógoítu.

The cauldron of warming is born upright in people from the beginning. It distributes wisdom to people in their youth.

Coire érmai, immurgu, iarmo-bí impúd moigid; is é-side gainethar do thoib i nduiniu

The cauldron of motion, however, increases after turning; that is to say it is born tipped on its side, growing within.

Coire sois, is é-side gainethar fora béolu & is as fo-dáilter soes cach dáno olchenae cenmo-thá airchetal.

The cauldron of wisdom is born on its lips and distributes wisdom in poetry and every other art.

Coire érmai dano, cach la duine is fora béolu atá and .i. n-áes dois. Lethchlóen i n-áer bairdne & rand. Is fóen atá i n-ánshruithaib sofhis & airchetail. Conid airi didiu ní dénai cach óeneret, di h-ág is fora béolu atá coire érmai and coinid n-impoí brón nó fáilte.

The cauldron of motion then, in all artless people is on its lips. It is side-slanting in people of bardcraft and small poetic talent. It is upright in the greatest of poets, who are great streams of wisdom. Not every poet has it on its back, for the cauldron of motion must be turned by sorrow or joy.

Ceist, cis lir foldai fil forsin mbrón imid-suí? Ní ansae; a cethair: éolchaire, cumae & brón éoit & ailithre ar dia & is medón ata-tairberat inna cethair-se cíasu anechtair fo-fertar.

Question: How many divisions of sorrow turn the cauldrons of sages? Not hard; four: longing and grief, the sorrows of jealousy, and the discipline of pilgrimage to holy places. These four are endured internally, turning the cauldrons, although the cause is from outside.

Atáat dano dí fhodail for fíilte ó n-impoíther i coire sofhis, .i. fáilte déodea & fáilte dóendae.

There are two divisions of joy that turn the cauldron of wisdom; divine joy and human joy.

Ind fháilte dóendae, atáat cethéoir fodlai for suidi .i. luud éoit fuichechtae & fáilte sláne & nemimnedche, imbid bruit & biid co feca in duine for bairdni & fáilte fri dliged n-écse iarna dagfhrithgnum & fáilte fri tascor n-imbias do-fuaircet noí cuill cainmeso for Segais i sídaib, conda thochrathar méit motchnaí iar ndruimniu Bóinde frithroisc luaithiu euch aige i mmedón mís mithime dia secht mbliadnae beos.

There are four divisions of human joy among the wise -- sexual intimacy, the joy of health and prosperity after the difficult years of studying poetry, the joy of wisdom after the harmonious creation of poems, and the joy of ecstacy from eating the fair nuts of the nine hazels of the Well of Segais in the Sidhe realm. They cast themselves in multitudes, like a ram¹s fleece upon the ridges of the Boyne, moving upstream swifter than racehorses driven on midsummer¹s day every seven years.

Fáilte déoldae, immurugu, tórumae ind raith déodai dochum in choiri érmai conid n-impoí fóen, conid de biit fáidi déodai & dóendai & tráchtairi raith & frithgnamo imale, conid íarum labrait inna labarthu raith & do-gniat inna firthu, condat fásaige & bretha a mbríathar, condat desimrecht do cach cobrai. Acht is anechtair ata-tairberat inna hí-siu in coire cíasu medón fo-fertar.

The Gods touch people through divine and human joys so that they are able to speak prophetic poems and dispense wisdom and perform miracles, giving wise judgment with precedents, and blessings in answer to every wish. The source of these joys is outside the person and added to their cauldrons to cause them to turn, although the cause of the joy is internal.

Ara-caun coire sofhis
sernar dliged cach dáno
dia moiget moín
móras cach ceird coitchiunn
con-utaing duine dán.

I sing of the cauldron of wisdom
which bestows the nature of every art,
through which treasure increases,
which magnifies every artisan,
which builds up a person through their gift.

Ar-caun coire n-érmai
intlechtaib raith
rethaib sofhis
srethaib imbais
indber n-ecnai
ellach suíthi
srúnaim n-ordan
indocbáil dóer
domnad insce
intlecht ruirthech
rómnae roiscni
sáer comgni
cóemad felmac
fégthar ndliged
deligter cíalla
cengar sési
sílaigther sofhis
sonmigter soír
sóerthar nád shóer,
ara-utgatar anmann
ad-fíadatar moltae
modaib dliged
deligthib grád
glanmesaib soíre
soinscib suad
srúamannaib suíthi,
sóernbrud i mberthar
bunad cach sofhis
sernar iar ndligiud
drengar iar frithgnum
fo-nglúaisi imbas
inme-soí fáilte
faillsigther tri brón;
búan bríg
nád díbdai dín.
Ar-caun coire n-érmai.

I sing of the cauldron of motion
understanding grace,
accumulating wisdom
streaming ecstacy as milk from the breast,
it is the tide-water of knowledge
union of sages
stream of splendor
glory of the lowly
mastery of speech
swift intelligence
reddening satire
craftsman of histories
cherishing pupils
looking after binding principles
distinguishing meanings
moving toward music
propagation of wisdom
enriching nobility
ennobling the commonplace
refreshing souls
relating praises
through the working of law
comparing of ranks
pure weighing of nobility
with fair words of the wise
with streams of sages,
the noble brew in which is boiled
the true root of all knowledge
which bestows according to harmonious principle
which is climbed after diligence
which ecstacy sets in motion
which joy turns
which is revealed through sorrow;
it is enduring fire
undiminishing protection.
I sing of the cauldron of motion.

Coire érmai,
ernid ernair,
mrogaith mrogthair,
bíathaid bíadtair,
máraid márthair,
áilith áiltir,
ar-cain ar-canar,
fo-rig fo-regar,
con-serrn con-serrnar
fo-sernn fo-sernnar.

The cauldron of motion
bestows, is bestowed
extends, is extended
nourishes, is nourished
magnifies, is magnified
invokes, is invoked
sings, is sung
keeps, is kept,
arranges, is arranged,
supports, is supported.

Fó topar tomseo,
fó atrab n-insce,
fó comair coimseo
con-utaing firse.

Good is the well of poetry,
good is the dwelling of speech,
good is the union of power and mastery
which establishes strength.

Is mó cach ferunn,
is ferr cach orbu,
berid co h-ecnae,
echtraid fri borbu.

It is greater than every domain,
it is better than every inheritance,
it bears one to knowledge,
adventuring away from ignorance.