The Celtic Literature Collective

Liadan Tells of Her Love for Cuirithir
TCD MS 1337, 759f. (olim H. 3. 18)
BM Harleian 5280, 26f. (B).

He, however, went on pilgrimage and settled in Cell Letrech in the land of the Déisi. She came to seek him and said:

that deed which I have done:
what I loved I have vexed.

Were it not for fear of the King of Heaven,
it had been madness for one
who would not do what Cuirithic wished.

Not profitless to him
was that which he desired,
to reach Heaven and avoid pain.

A trifle vexed Cuirithir
in regard to me;
my gentleness towards him was great.

I am Liadan;
I loved Cuirithir;
this is as true as any­thing told.

For a short time I was
in the company of Cuirithir;
to be with me was profitable to him.

Forest music used to sing
to me beside Cuirithir,
together with the sound of the fierce sea.

I should have thought that no arrangement
I might make would have
vexed Cuirithir in regard to me.

Conceal it not:
he was my heart’s love,
even though I should love all others besides.

A roar of fire
has split my heart;
without him for certain it will not live.

Now, the way she had vexed him was her haste in taking the veil.

Liadan and Cuirithir. ed. Kuny Meyer, London, 1902. In Sean O'Faolain's The Silver Branch.

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