By the Lake of Beer

I’d like to give a lake of beer to God. I’d love the heavenly Host to be tippling there For all eternity. I’d love the men of Heaven to live with me, To dance and sing. If they wanted, I’d put at their disposal Vats of suffering. White cups of love I’d give them With a […]

An Oft-Quoted Scribal Note

A reader has written to ask for the Latin of three concluding scribal notes to the Táin Bó Cúailnge as found in the Book of Leinster to which I referred in a previous post. Here it is: Sed ego qui scripsi hanc historiam aut verius fabulam quibusdam fidem in hac historia aut fabula non accommodo. […]

He Scourgeth Every Son Whom He Receiveth

Ideoque et nos tantam habentes impositam nubem testium, deponentes omne pondus, et circumstans nos peccatum, per patientiam curramus ad propositum nobis certamen: aspicientes in auctorem fidei, et consummatorem Jesum, qui proposito sibi gaudio sustinuit crucem, confusione contempta, atque in dextera sedis Dei sedet. Recogitate enim eum qui talem sustinuit a peccatoribus adversum semetipsum contradictionem: ut […]

Fàilte Sorcha!

Polydactyly is a congenital abnormality, genetically inherited as an autosomal dominant trait of the Pd gene with incomplete penetrance. Normal cats have a total of eighteen toes, with five toes on each front paw and four toes on each hind paw; polydactyl cats may have as many as eight digits on their front and/or hind paws. Tiger, a Canadian polydactyl cat with twenty-seven […]

Annales Cambriae

447 ‡ Days as dark as night.‡ 453 Easter altered on the Lord’s Day by Pope Leo, Bishop of Rome. 454 St. Brigid is born. 457 St. Patrick goes to the Lord. 458 St. David is born in the thirtieth year after Patrick left Menevia. 468 The death of Bishop Benignus. 501 Bishop Ebur rests […]

Táin Bó Cúailnge

But I who have written this story, or rather this fable, give no credence to the various incidents related in it. For some things in it are the deceptions of demons, other poetic figments; some are probable, others improbable; while still others are intended for the delectation of foolish men. — Colophon (Latin) at the […]

For All Seasons

More is a man of an angel’s wit and singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons. — Robert Whittington of Thomas More, 1520.

An Order of Malediction

Adomnán has also set down an order of malediction for them, to wit, a psalm for every day up to twenty days and an apostle or a noble saint for every day to be invoked with it, to wit, “Quare” and Peter, “Domine quid multiplicati” and John, “Verba mea” and Philip, “Domine Deus meus” and Bartholomew, “Dixit insipiens” and Thomas, “Deus, […]

Adomnán Obtained This Law of God

After fourteen years Adomnán obtained this Law of God, and this is the cause. On Pentecost Eve, a holy angel of the Lord came to him, and again at Pentecost after a year, and seized a staff, and struck his side and said to him, “Go forth into Ireland, and make a law in it that […]

The Voice of the Irish

And after a few years I was again in Britain with my parents [kinsfolk], and they welcomed me as a son, and asked me, in faith, that after the great tribulations I had endured I should not go anywhere else away from them. And, of course, there, in a vision of the night, I saw […]