Meascadh Úrlabhra

IX.

Meascadh Úrlabhra.

Bhíodar go léir ag obair ar a ndícheall agus fuadar árd fúthu, agus fé mar a bhí an túr ag dul in aoirde bhí an fuadar ag dul i ndéine agus an fonn chun na hoibre ag dul i neartmhaire, agus tuilleadh daoine ag luí isteach san obair in aghaidh an lae. In inead aon tuirse ’ theacht orthu is amhlaidh a bhí flosc agus dásacht ag méadú orthu agus an obair féin ag cur misnigh orthu agus iad ag cur misnigh ar a chéile. Fé dheireadh, i lár an fhuadair agus an mhisnigh, do thit ní míorúilteach amach dóibh. Tháinig rud éigin ar a gcainnt i dtreó ná tuigeadh duine acu cad ’deireadh duine eile acu! Do labhradar airís agus airís eile lena chéile. Ní raibh aon mhaith ann. Nuair ’ iarradh saor rud ní fheidir an fear fritheálmha cad a bhíodh uaidh. Nuair a thugadh an fear fritheálmha freagra ní thuigeadh an saor an freagra. Do stadadar ag féachaint ar a chéile ar feadh tamaill. Dheineadar iarracht airís ar chainnt lena chéile. Bhí an tarna hiarracht níba dhona ná an chéad iarracht má b’fhéidir é. Is amhlaidh a bhí an meascán mearaí ag dul in olcas eatarthu. B’éigin dóibh éirí as an obair. “Bhí,” mar adeir an file, Seán Ó Conaill, “teanga fé leith i mbéal gach éinne.” Bhíodar ’na mbuínibh fé leith. Do thuigeadh muíntir gach buíne a chéile, ach ní thuigeadh lucht buíne acu aon fhocal ó lucht buíne eile. B’éigin do sna buínibh imeacht óna chéile. Do ghoibh gach duine leis an mbuín ’nar thuig sé a gcainnt. Níor fhéad aon bhuíon acu cómhluadar ná cómhobair a dhéanamh le haon bhuín eile. Thug buíon acu aghaidh soir agus buíon agaidh siar, buíon aghaidh ó thuaidh agus buíon aghaidh ó dheas agus ar an gcuma san do scaipeadh iad fé cheithre hárdaibh an domhain, agus d’fhan an obair mar a fágadh í.

Babel a tugadh mar ainm ar an dtúr. Ciallaíonn “Babel” meascán mearaí, nú cur thrí chéile. Ní gan fáth a tugadh an ainm. Do chuir an meascadh úrlabhra úd meascán mearaí agus cur thrí chéile i gceart ar an muíntir a bhí ag déanamh an túir, agus níor bhréag túr Bhabel a thabhairt air.

Míorúilt mhór ó Dhia ab ea an meascadh úrlabhra san. Dhá mhíle blian ’na dhiadh san, nú mar sin, do dhein Dia mírúilt mhór eile úrlabhra. Tá difríocht idir an dá mhíorúilt. Do chuir an chéad mhíorúilt daoine do thuig cainnt a chéile ó chainnt a chéile do thuiscint. Do chuir an tarna míorúilt ar chumas na nAspal agus na ndeisceabal cainnt do labhairt agus do thuiscint nár thuigeadar agus nár labhradar riamh roimis sin. Do chuir an chéad mhíorúilt scaipeadh agus fán ar dhaoine a bhí a cur a dtoile féin i gcoinnibh toile Dé agus ag déanamh oibre nár thoil le Dia a déanfí. Do chuir an tarna míorúilt ar chumas na nAspal agus na ndeisceabal, na gínte ’ bhí scaipithe ar fán ó Dhia do thabhairt chun Dé, glaoch orthu as a gcainnt féin, as an gcainnt ab fheárr a thuigfidís, agus iad do bhailiú isteach san Eaglais, isteach sa túr a chuir Críost suas chun na cine daonna do thabhairt slán ó dhíle an pheaca. Do chuir an chéad mhíorúilt cosc le túr Bhabel, an túr ná féadfadh choíche dul chómh hárd leis an spéir, pé saothar a déanfí air ná pé ealaí do himreófí air. Do chabhraigh an tarna míorúilt le túr Chríost, túr na hEagailse, do chur suas, an túr a deineadh chómh hárd, ní hamháin leis an spéir ach le ríocht na bhflaitheas féin, an túr atá ’na dhíon agus ’na chosnamh don chine daonna agus ná féadfaidh díle an pheaca é ’ leagadh go deó, marab ionann agus an túr úd Bhabel go leagfadh díle uisce é, nú luascadh talún, pé neart ná pé téagar a bheadh ann.

Is é túr Bhabel túr an éithigh, túr an uabhair, túr na heasúmhlaíochta, an túr ’na bhfuil sé de chrann agus de mhí-ádh air nách féidir dá mhuíntir aigne a chéile do thuiscint. Nuair a labhrann duine acu ní hí an chiall a bhíonn in aigne do chítear ’na chainnt ach ciall a bhíonn buin-ois-ciúnn ar fad léi. Is é túr Chríost túr na fírinne, agus tuigid a mhuíntir aigne a chéile mar ’ thuigid siad cainnt a chéile.

Foclóirín

aghaidh: “face”, pronounced /əigʹ/. Aghaidh a thabhairt (ar), “to make for, head for”.
áird: “direction”. Fé cheithre hárdaibh an domhain, “to the four winds, in all directions”. I’m not sure precisely why it is ; if anyone has a view on this, I would like to know it!
aspal: “apostle”.
buin-ois-ciúnn: “upside down, awry”, or bunoscionn in the CO. Buin-ois-ciúnn le, “at variance with, contrary to”. Pronounced /binʹiʃ kʹu:n/.
cómhluadar: “company, society”. Cómhluadar a dhéanamh le duine, “to associate with someone”.
cómhobair: “cooperation, work in common”. Note that cómh- usually prefixes an n to a vowel in Cork Irish, but I don’t have any direct evidence as yet of the pronunciation of this word.
crann: “tree”, but also “lot, fate”, especially a bad lot or fate. Bhí sé de chrann orthu, “they had the misfortune to (whatever)”.
cuirim, cur: “to put”. Rud a chur ar dhuine, “to force someone to do something”. Duine a chur ó rud a dhéanamh, “to put someone off of doing something, or prevent him from doing it”.
cur thrí chéile: “confusion”, or cur trí chéile in the CO, pronounced /kur hrʹi: xʹe:lʹi/.
dásacht: “daring, audacity”.
déine: “vehemence, intensity”. Ag dul i ndéine, “becoming more intense”.
deisceabal: “disciple”.
díon: “roof”, or, by extension, “shelter”.
dona: “wretched, unfortunate”.
eaglais: “church”. The genitive is traditionally eagailse where the CO has eaglaise. Shán Ó Cuív’s transcription in leitiriú shímplí indicate a pronuncation /ɑgilʹʃi/, but I suspect an epenthetic vowel is possible after the l.
ealaí: “art, skill”, or ealaín in the CO, where the historic dative has replaced the nominative.
easúmhlaíocht: “disobedience”.
éitheach: “falsehood”.
fán: “wandering, vagrancy”. Ar fán ó Dhia, “going astray from God”.
feadar: “know, wonder”, usually used in the negative. While this verb is spelt ní fheadair sé in both the present  and past tense meanings in the CO, there was traditionally a distinction between ní fheadair sé, present tense, and ní fheidir sé, past tense, pronounced /nʹi: edʹirʹ ʃe:/.
fé leith: “separate”, or faoi leith in the CO.
flosc: “eagerness, zest”.
fonn: “desire, inclination, urge”.
fuadar: “rush, activity”. Fuadar a bheith fé dhuine, “to be in a rush, busily engaged in something”.
gabhaim, gabháil: “to go” (and many other meaning). The preterite, spelt ghabh in the CO, is edited as ghoibh here, pronounced /ɣovʹ/.
gínte: “heathens, pagan peoples”. This word is the plural of gin, “birth, foetus”, but is found in the plural in the meaning of “heathens”.
imrim, imirt: “to play”, or imrím, imirt in the CO. Rud a dh’imirt air, “to bring something to bear on it, to apply something to it”. I have found attestion of the first conjugation for this verb in PUL’s works in the present (imreann) and preterite (d’imreas), but the future and conditional forms have the second conjugational endings (imreód, imreóinn, and, as here, imreófí). Also note the epenthetic vowel between the m and the r: /imʹirʹimʹ, imʹirtʹ/.
leagaim, leagadh: “to fell or bring down”, or leagaim, leagan in the CO.
luascadh talún: “earthquake”.
mara: “if not”, or muna in the CO. Both mara and mura are found in PUL’s works. Mara becomes marab in copular usage before a vowel. Marab ionann agus, “unlike”.
mearaí: “bewilderment”.
meascaim, meascadh: “to mix”. Meascadh úrlabhra, “confusion of tongues”.
meascán: “muddle”. Meascán mearaí, “bewilderment”.
míorúilt: “miracle”, pronounced /mʹi:’ru:hlʹ/.
mí ádh: “bad luck”, pronounced /mʹi:’ɑ:/. Bhí sé de mhí-ádh orthu, “they had the bad luck to (whatever)”.
míorúilteach: “miraculous”.
misneach: “courage”. Misneach a chur ar dhuine, “to encourage someone”.
neartmhaire: “strength”. Ag dul i neartmhaire, “getting stronger”.
níos: “more”. Note the past tense form níba, which is not used in the CO.
nú mar sin: “or thereabouts”.
olcas: “badness”. Ag dul in olcas, “getting worse”.
pé: “whatever”. Pé téagar a bheadh ann, “however strong or substantial it might be”.
saor: “craftsman”.
scaipim, scaipeadh: “to scatter”.
Seán Ó Conaill: the seventeenth-century bishop of Kerry and poet of this name, who wrote Tuireamh na hÉireann (“the Dirge of Ireland”). The reference here is to stanza 15, although the quotation is not exact. The original was bhí caint fo leith a m-béal gach aen-ne.
tarna: “second”, or dara in the CO.
téagar: “bulk, substance, strength”.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Contents, Scéalaíochta as an mBíobla Naofa. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Meascadh Úrlabhra

  1. bill flynn says:

    “faoi m’foidin duthaigh” in “Mothuighim boladh an Eireannaigh bhinn bhreugaigh faoi m’fhoidin” would seem to mean “about my native piece of ground” or “round about”. The use of this preposition in “fe cheithre hardaibh an domhain” could serve likewise to emphasize the randomness of their scattering away from each other.

  2. admin says:

    Thank you Bill for that explanation. It makes sense!

  3. bill flynn says:

    I found what is perhaps a better example of the use of “fe” with a verb of motion to express movement without a definite destination in mind. It’s from the song “Eamonn
    an Chnuic”. “Rachaimid-ne (sic) seal fe choiltibh na measa gcumhra.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s