An Craoibhin Complains Because He Is A Poet

A poem by Isabella Augusta

It's my grief that I am not a little white duck,
And I'd swim over the sea to France or to Spain;
I would not stay in Ireland for one week only,
To be without eating, without drinking, without a full jug.

Without a full jug, without eating, without drinking,
Without a feast to get, without wine, without meat,
Without high dances, without a big name, without music;
There is hunger on me, and I astray this long time.

It's my grief that I am not an old crow,
I would sit for awhile up on the old branch,
I could satisfy my hunger, and I not as I am
With a grain of oats or a white potato

It's my grief that I am not a red fox,
Leaping strong and swift on the mountains,
Eating cocks and hens without pity,
Taking ducks and geese as a conquerer.

It's my grief that I am not a bright salmon,
Going through the strong full water,
Catching the mayflies by my craft,
Swimming at my choice, and swimming with the stream

It's my grief that I am of the race of the poets;
It would be better for me to be a high rock,
Or a stone or a tree or an herb or a flower
Or anything at all but the thing that I am!

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