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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Translating the Untranslated part 5 - Firgol's Prophecy


There are multiple passages in the Cath Maige Tuired which are not translated in the popular English version we have to work with, that is those by Stokes and Gray. One such passage is the prophecy given by Firgol mac Mámais, a druid of the Tuatha Dé Danann, before the battle. Stokes omits the passage entirely. Gray includes only the opening of: "Then Firgol mac Mámois, the druid, was prophesying the battle and strengthening the Tuatha Dé, saying, 'Battle will be waged..." The ellipses after the passage indicate the omission of the rest of the original Irish text and Gray picks up at the following section, excluding the paragraph of the prophecy itself. as part of my effort to publicly offer the sections of the CMT that have not often been translated before I am including Firgol's prophecy here.
The original text is:
Boí Figol mac Mámais an drai og taircetal an catha ocus oc nertodh Túath nDéa, gonad and atbert, "Firfidhir nith na boto tria agh tithris muir ninglas nemnadbeo brogoll brofidh airideu doifid Lug Lamfhadae. Brisfid bemionna uathmara Ogmae orruderc dó iar-beo rig. Soifider cisai, nófither bethai, ticfithir airim ethae, maigfithir blicht túatha. Bithsaer cach ina flaithmaigh. Cenmair tairgebai bith bioas bithsaer cách niba daer nech; a núadha focichart-de rind nith, ocus firfider nith."
- Cath Maige Tuired, Gray edition

A fairly literal translation could be:
Firgol mac Mámais the young druid was there prophesying the battle and strengthening the Tuatha Dé, so that there he said: "Battle will be realized the fire wave of battle the sea ebbs green-waved not to be revived a great amount guarding a dense forest Lug Lamfhadae will avenge. The great hero Ogma is eager to break the phantom sea to him after a living king. Engaged in exacting tribute, Celebrating lives, Coming an enclosure is obtained, a plain of forts, a milk territory. Freemen with territory each in sovereignty a plain. Long lasting offering they are gathering territory freemen with territory each without anyone being a serf; from núadha fierce-eyed surpassing the point of battle, and battle will be realized."

A slightly smoother English translation might be:
Firgol mac Mámais the young druid was there prophesying the battle and strengthening the Tuatha Dé, so that there he said: "Battle will be realized, the fire-waves of the battle will ebb with the green-waved sea, not to be revived, a huge amount guarding a dense forest will be avenged by Lugh of the long-arm. Ogma, the mighty hero, is eager to break the phantom sea. Afterwards he will be a king in life. Engaged in exacting tribute, celebrating lives, arriving to obtain an enclosure of land, a plain of forts, a territory of milk, freemen with land, each with sovereignty of a plain, a long lasting offering they are gathering territory, freemen each with land, without anyone being a slave; from Nuada fierce-eyed warrior surpassing the point of battle, battle will be realized."

1 comment:

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