From the recording ANIAR

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Ar Eirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí

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A Érinn ní neosfainn cé hí ( for all of Ireland I will note reveal her name )


The Irish poet and professor of Irish literature "Seán O’ Tuama explained the story like this: a young man fell secretly in love with a girl. Too poor to support her and too shy to propose, he went abroad to seek his fortune. However, when he returned to claim his beloved, he was shattered to find her married to his poorer brother. Still in love, he composed this song to her but, for obvious reasons, refused to reveal her name. The identity of the poet who wrote it has been lost in time.

Lyrics

Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfinn Cé Hí

Aréir is mé téarnamh um' neoin
Ar an dtaobh thall den teóra 'na mbím,
Do théarnaig an spéir-bhean im' chómhair
D'fhág taomanach breóite lag sinn.
Do ghéilleas dá méin is dá cló,
Dá béal tanaí beó mhilis binn,
Do léimeas fé dhéin dul 'na cómhair,
Is ar éirinn ní n-eósainn cé h-í.

Last night as I strolled abroad
On the far side of my farm
I was approached by a comely maiden
Who left me[? 'sinn' = 'us'] distraught and weak.
I was captivated by her demeanour and shapeliness
By her sensitive and delicate mouth,
I hastened to approach her
But for Ireland I'd not tell her name.

Dá ngéilleadh an spéir-bhean dom' ghlór,
Siad ráidhte mo bheól a bheadh fíor;
Go deimhin duit go ndéanfainn a gnó
Do léirchur i gcóir is i gcrich.
Dó léighfinn go léir stair dom' stór,
'S ba mhéinn liom í thógaint dom chroí,
'S do bhearfainn an chraobh dhi ina dóid,
Is ar éirinn ní n-eósainn cé h-í.

If only this maiden heeded my words,
What I'd tell her would be true.
Indeed I'd devote myself to her
And see to her welfare.
I would regale her with my story
And I longed to take her to my heart
Where I'd grant her pride of place
But for Ireland I'd not tell her name.

Tá spéir-bhruinneal mhaordha dheas óg
Ar an taobh thall de'n teóra 'na mbím.
Tá féile 'gus daonnacht is meóin
Is deise ró mhór ins an mhnaoi,
Tá folt lei a' tuitim go feóir,
Go cocánach ómarach buí.
Tá lasadh 'na leacain mar rós,
Is ar éirinn ní n-eósainn cé h-í.

There is a beautiful young maiden
On the far side of my farm
Generosity and kindness shine in her face
With the exceeding beauty of her countenance.
Her hair reaches to the ground
Sparkling like yellow gold;
Her cheeks blush like the rose
But for Ireland I'd not tell her name.

Verses and translation as given in Mary O'Hara A Song for Ireland.