An tAthair Nímhe agus an Portán

11. An tAthair Nímhe agus an Portán.

Do thárla portán agus athair nímhe in aontíos. Bhí an portán macánta díreach ’na mheón agus ’na chroí. Níor mhar sin don athair nímhe. Bhí sé ’na lúbaire cham chealgach. Níor thaithn an lúbaireacht agus an camastaíol leis an bportán. Thug sé cómhairle a leasa go minic don athair nímhe ach ní raibh aon mhaith dho ann. Bhí an cam agus an cheilg san athair nímhe de réir dúchais agus ní chuirfeadh an saol ’ fhiachaibh air iad do chaitheamh uaidh. Fé dheireadh tháinig eagla ar an bportán roimis. Tháinig drochamhras aige air, agus drochiúntaoibh aige as. “Maróidh sé me oíche éigin agus me im chodladh!” ar seisean. “Tá sé chómh maith agam tosach do bheith agam air,” ar seisean. Do mhairbh sé an t-athair nímhe an oíche sin.

Nuair a bhí an t-athair nímhe marbh do bhí sé sínte amach, chómh díreach le riail, ar an úrlár, agus gan cor ná lúb anonn ná anall ann.

D’fhéach an portán air ar feadh tamaill. Fé dheire duairt sé, as a mhachnamh,—“Dá mbeadh do bheó chómh díreach led mharbh ba shia de do shaol é.”

An Múineadh

An rógaire is caime deineann an bás fear díreach de.

“Seachain gleacaí milis sleamhain.”

Ná dein coidreamh le feall nú déanfar an feall ort.

“Is mairg a bhíonn thíos ar an gcéad bheárnain.”

Foclóirín

aontíos: “cohabitation”.
beárna: “gap, hurdle”, with the dative here beárnain, where bearna would be found in the CO.
beó: normally an adjective, “living”, but here a noun, “life, living being”.
cam: “crooked”, with the comparative caime. As a noun, “bend; crookedness”.
camastaíol: “crookedness”, or camastaíl in the CO.
cealgach: “treacherous, wily”, probably with an epenthetic vowel, /kʹaləgəx/.
ceilg: “deceit, treachery”, or cealg in the CO. The historic dative has replaced the nominative in PUL’s works.
coidreamh: “intercourse, association”, or caidreamh in the CO. Spelt caidreamh in the original, but both Dinneen’s dictionary and The Irish of West Muskerry confirm the pronouncation is /kodʹirʹəv/. Coidreamh a dhéanamh le rud, “to associate with, be on intimate terms with something (or someone)”.
cor: “throw, cast”. Cor a chur díot, “to budge”. Cor agus lúb i rud, “twists and turns in something”.
díreach: “straight”, or here, “straightforward”. An rógaire is caime deineann an bás fear díreach de, “death makes an honest man even of the most crooked rogue”.
drochiúntaoibh: “distrust”, or drochiontaoibh in the CO.
fiach: cur ’ fhiachaibh, “to force or compel someone”. This would be cur d’fhiacha in the CO. PUL uses this phrase without an intervening de, but the phrase generally occurs in traditional Munster Irish as cur d’fhiachaibh ar dhuine rud a dhéanamh. Fiacha literally means “debts”, and the use of fiacha reflects some kind of confusion with the related phrase cur d’fhéachaint. PUL claimed in his Notes on Irish Words and Usages (p135) that there was a “manifest difference” between d’fhiachaibh and fhéachaint, withe the former meaning “bound” to do something, and the latter “made” to do something.
gleacaí: “trickster”. Seachain gleacaí milis sleamhain, “beware of plausible but crafty tricksters”.
lúbaire: “crafty person”.
lúbaireacht: “craftiness”.
machnamh: “reflection, contemption”. As a mhachnamh, “after thinking about it”.
mairg: “woe”. Is mairg a bhíonn…, “woe to him who…” Is mairg a bhíonn thíos ar an gcéad bheárnain, “woe to him who falls at the first hurdle”.
maraím, marú: “to kill, slay”. Note the preterite is do mhairbh sé, /vɑrʹivʹ/, where mharaigh sé would be found in the CO.
marbh: normally an adjective, “dead”, but here a noun, “death, dead person”.
meón: “mind, disposition, temperament”.
portán: “crab”.
riail: “rule”, or, as here, “ruler” (a piece of stationery). Note: the foclóirín to the 1903 edition gives rial as the nominative, but riail is attested in Mo Sgéal Féin in the nominative.
sia de: “the longer, all the longer”. Ba shia de do shaol é, “your life would have been all the longer for it”.
tosach: “beginning”. Tosach a bheith agat ar dhuine, “to get a head start over someone; to get in first”.

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