Grinie's Flight With Diarmid.

A poem by John Campbell

(From The Gaelic)

The Hern at early morning cries,
Where at Sleve-gail the meadow lies.

Say, DĂșin's son, whom I love well,
Canst thou thereof the reason tell?

O! Gormla's daughter, thou whose sire
Was named from tireless steeds of fire;

Thou evil-working one! thy feet
Tread treacherous ways of ice and sleet.

Grinie! of lovelier hue than Spring
To flower, or bloom on bough can bring,

More fleeting far your love that flies
Like the cold clouds of dawning skies.

Because of thine ill-chosen part
My fortune's firm set rivets start.

Yes, thine the deed, brought low to pain,
My grievous woe thine only gain.

From palaces of kings beguiled,
For ever outcast and exiled:

Like night-owl mourning, as she strays,
Her joy through dark and distant ways.

Like timid hind or hunted deer,
Through secret glens I tread in fear.

Shunning the loving friends who hold
The house of hosts so loved of old.

Their forms shone glorious as the lights
On the deep snows of frosted heights.

All these I left--mine own--whose love
Was generous as the Sun above.

But they are now hate-filled as though
Hate's sea would never ebb ward flow.

Yes, since beguiled by you I fled,
Misfortune follows where I tread.

Lost now my white sailed fleet's array,
Through you my band is lost for aye.

Gone all my wealth, my gems, my gold,
All for the tale of love you told!

To me my friends are lost, to me
No more my country mine shall be.

Lost are my men whom none e'er found
Weak behind shield on battle ground.

Lost is their kindness evermore
The love for me the Feinne once bore.

Lost to mine honour mine own right,
Lost music's joy and lost delight;

Erin and all I there have known,
For your ill-omened love alone.

Return I dare not,--may not,--never
Know their great friendship, gone for ever.

More than the beast of sharpest beard
My deed in hate by Fionn is feared.

Yes, fairest Grinie, thou hast done
Ill to thyself in love thus won.

Thou, winning hatred, wentst with me,
And kingly joys were spurned by thee.


O Diarmid! O Diarmid! of face far more fair
Than the new-fallen snow, or the hill flowret rare,
The sound of thy voice was more dear to my breast
Than all the bright satin the Fianti possessed.

More beloved to me is the hue of thine eyes,
Those eyes like the morning's bright dew of the skies,
Ay, dearer to me than all strength or all gold
The great hall of the king of the Feinne shall e'er hold.

Love's mark is more sweet on thy beautiful brow
Than honey that drops where the green grasses bow;
Ah, when I beheld it above me, how pale
Seemed the glory and power of the Monarch of Fail.

My heart seemed to fall as I looked at thy face,
Adoring thy might ever blended with grace,
And wert thou not mine, to be gained to my side,
Not one day in this world would my spirit abide.

Oh! white-handed hero, so handsome, so strong,
Although it is I who have wrought all thy wrong,
Yet stay, stay again with me, wife would I be,
Vowing never on earth to be faithless to thee.


Why love a woman mild in speech,
And yet a traitoress to each?


'Twas misery sundered my life from the king's,
I left thee awhile, for love, torturing, stings;
Never more will I leave thee-my tender love round
Like fresh boughs for thy life, would have sheltered
and crowned thee.


Fulfil then thy word, though so faithless, how fair!
Thy love, oh my Grinie, no giant shall share.

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