17. An Luch Tuatha agus Luch an Bhaile Mhóir.

Thug luch na tuatha cuireadh chun féasta do luch an bhaile mhóir oíche. Bhí seanaithne acu ar a chéile. Chuir luch na tuatha os cómhair a charaid sólaistí móra, dar leis. Bhí blúire de bhrioscóid aige a deineadh den phlúr ba mhíne agus ba ghile; blúire de sheanabhagún; gráinne mine coirce a bhí go cúmhartha agus go dei-bhlasta; blúire nuacháise; agus smut d’úll dheas, aibidh, mhilis. Níor ith sé féin aon phioc den bhia le heagla ná beadh a ndóthain araon ann. Ach chun a leogaint air go raibh sé ag ithe d’aimsigh sé dias cruithneachtan agus bhí sé dhá piocadh.

Ní raibh i luch na tuatha ach cábóigín. Duine uasal dob ea luch na cathrach. Agus do labhair sé. “Féach!” ar seisean, “a dhuine mhuínteartha, ná tóg orm é má dheinim dánaíocht ort. Measaim gur mór go léir an díth céille dhuit bheith ag caitheamh do shaeil san áit seo, gan t’inead cónaithe agat ach poillín cúng uaigneach, gan id thímpall ach móinteáin agus cnuic agus srutháin, gan de chómhluadar agat ach bheith ag éisteacht le guth na n-éan. Ba dhó’ liom gurbh fheárr tigh breá mór sa chathair mar a mbeifá ag éisteacht le cómhrá uasal, agus mar a bhfeicfá uaisleacht agus órnáid agus breáthacht an tsaeil. Téanam ort, a dhuine, láithreach bonn! M’fhocal duit ná beidh cathú ’na thaobh ort. Cad é an tairbhe do dhuine a shaol muna mbeidh sult nú sásamh nú aoibhneas éigin aige as! Ní foláir do bheirt againn a admháil go bhfuil stráice maith dár saol caite againn. Táimíd anso inniu. Ní fios cá mbeimíd amáireach. Bíodh pléisiúr an tsaeil againn an fhaid atá an chaoi againn air. Téanam ort!”

D’imíodar. D’éalaíodar isteach sa chathair le doircheacht na hoíche. Bhí eólas na slí go maith ag luch na cathrach. Chuadar isteach i dtigh mhór bhreá chumasach. Thárla go raibh dínnéar mór agus cuideachta uasal sa tigh i dtosach na hoíche. Bhí bia briste ar an úrlár, oiread agus ná híosfadh fiche luch. Do cuireadh an luch tuatha ar lár an úrláir, ar bhrat úrláir gur dhó’ le duine gur mhór an peaca seasamh air. Do cuireadh os a chómhair sólaistí nár shólaistí go dtí iad, bia uasal buacach nár bhlais sé a leithéid riamh agus nách lú ná ’ mheas sé go raibh a leithéid déanta. Is é a bhí ar a shástacht. “Nách trua,” ar seisean in’ aigne féin, “ná tánag anso fad ó!”

Is ar éigin a bhí an machnamh san déanta aige nuair a hoscladh an doras agus tháinig daoine isteach. Do sciúrd na luchaigh anonn ’s anall fén dtrioscán. Bhí in éineacht leis na daoine piarda de ghadhar mhór mhíchuíosach, maistín gránna colgach agus é ag léimrigh ar fuaid an úrláir, agus go gcrithidís fallaí an tí le gach ollbhúirth de ghlam dá gcuireadh sé as. Bhí an lucht bocht iasachta i dteannta. Do stadadh a anál, agus ba bheag ná go dtiteadh an t-anam as, in aghaidh gach uallfairte dá gcuireadh an gadhar mór as.

I gcionn tamaill d’imigh na daoine amach agus d’imigh an gadhar mór in éineacht leó, agus do dúnadh an doras.

Ansan do labhair luch na tuatha lena charaid. “Más é seo saol atá agatsa anso,” ar seisean, “ní beag liomsa dhe!” D’éalaigh sé amach agus d’éalaigh sé abhaile, agus ba mhaith an té ’ fhéadfadh é ’ mhealladh i dtreó na cathrach arís. Nuair ’ bhuailidís na luchaidh a bhí sa chómharsanacht uime ó am go ham agus nuair ’ fhiafraídís de cad é an saghas áite an baile mór ní fhéadaidis a fháil as choíche ach—“Ní cathair mar a thuairisc é!”

An Múineadh.

Seachain aer an tsaeil. Seachain an uaisleacht nár thaithís. “Ní cathair mar a tuairisc í!”
“Is buan fear ’na dhúthaigh”.

Foclóirín

aer: “air”. Aer an tsaeil, “the vanities and pleasures of the world”.
aibidh: “ripe”, or aibí in the CO. Pronounced /abʹigʹ/.
amáireach: amárach in the CO, “tomorrow”. Pronounced /ə’mɑ:rʹəx/.
beag: “little”. Ní beag liomsa dhe, “I’ve had enough of it”.
brat: “garment, cloth”. Brat úrláir, “carpet”.
buan: “lasting, durable”. Is buan fear ’na dhúthaigh (féin), “a man lives long in his native place, i.e. it’s hard to beat a man on his native turf”.
cara: “friend”, with the genitive carad and the dative caraid.
cnuc: “hill”, or cnoc in the CO. Pronounced /knuk/, with /knikʹ/ in the plural.
cuireadh: “an invitation”, pronounced /kirʹi/.
cúmhartha: “fragrant, appetising”, or cumhra in the CO. Pronounced /ku:rhə/.
dánaíocht: “boldness, audacity”. Dánaíocht a dhéanamh ar dhuine, “to be forward with someone”, especially in the context of making a rude statement.
dei-bhlasta: “palatable, savoury”, or dea-bhlasta in the CO. PUL’s original spelling was deighbhlasta, and Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne shows there are a number of adjectives, such as blasta, that take dei- and not dea-; these generally have stress on the prefix. Pronounced /’dʹəi-vlɑstə/.
dias: “ear of corn”. IWM shows this was often léas in Cork Irish, one of several words where d gave way to l. Cnósach Focal ó Bhaile Bhúirne also shows the pronunciation to be /lʹias/. However, PUL consistently spells this word with a d, and this is left as is, as it is impossible to know now what pronunciation PUL used.
dínnéar: “dinner”. Dinnéar in the CO. Pronounced /dʹi:’ŋʹe:r/.
falla: “wall”, or balla in the CO.
fuaid, fuid:ar fuaid, ar fuid, /erʹ fuədʹ, erʹ fidʹ/, “throughout”, ar fud in the CO. PUL wrote in his Notes on Irish Words and Usages (p54) that ar fuaid should be used for broad areas (ar fuaid na paróiste) and ar fuid for small areas (ar fuid an tí), but it seems this nuance is often not observed.
glam: “howl, yell”.
léimreach: “jumping”, or léimneach in the CO. Pronounced /lʹe:mʹirʹəx/. “Jumping” can also be léim. Léimreach is a feminine verbal noun that is declined in the dative as ag léimrigh, /i lʹe:mʹirʹigʹ/; this distinction is not observed in the CO.
luch: “mouse”, with the plural luchaidh, where the CO has lucha. Pronounced /lux, luxigʹ/.
maistín: “mastiff”.
míchuíosach: “extreme, monstrous”, or míchuibheasach in the CO. Pronounced /mʹi:-xi:səx/.
móinteán: “moor, stretch of bogland”.
muna: “if not, unless”. PUL uses the form adopted in the CO here, but mara or mura are more common in WM Irish.
nú: “or”, or in the CO. Pronounced /nu:/.
ollbhúirth: “a terrific bellow or roar”, or ollbhúir in the CO. PUL uses the spelling olbhúir in the original, but búirth is pronounced /bu:rʹh/ in WM Irish. Possibly pronounced with an epenthetic vowel, /olə-vu:rʹh/.
os cómhair: “in front of”. Pronounced /ɑs ko:rʹ/.
piarda: “a huge person or thing”.
poillín: “little hole, nook”.
saol: “life, world”. The original spelling was saoghal, and the spelling change has introduced inconsistencies: the genitive is spelt saoil in the Standard, which would give the wrong WM pronunciation. The genitive is edited as saeil here.
sólaistí: “delicacies”.
stráice: “strip, bandage”. Ní foláir do bheirt againn a admháil go bhfuil stráice maith dár saol caite againn, “we must both of us admit we are well along in years”.
tairbhe: “benefit”, pronounced /tɑrʹifʹi/.
trioscán: “furniture”, or troscán in the CO.
tuairisc: “account”. Ní cathair mar a thuairisc é, “it’s not all it’s cracked up to be!”
tuaith: “the countryside; rural district”. Note the genitive here is given as tuatha, where the CO has tuaithe. Either spelling would yield the pronunciation /tuəhə/, but Dinneen’s dictionary shows that PUL’s spelling was accepted.
uallfairt: “howl, yell, grunt”. PUL spelt this word ulfairt. The pronunciation of this word is currently unclear to me (particularly whether the first vowel is a diphthong and whether the f is pronounced as h).

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One thought on “17. An Luch Tuatha agus Luch an Bhaile Mhóir.

  1. re: uallfair
    O Duirinne and O Dalaigh give their phonetic rendering with the “ua” as a diphthong and the “f”
    pronounced as an “h”. Mac Cluin in “Reilthini Oir” gives the entry “ulfairt” with no fada, but notes “ulthairt(with fada) a deirtear”. He spells “ualach” regularly. He seems to be treating the first syllable as a pure vowel. Perhaps the division of syllables influences the choice between a pure vowel and diphthong.

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