Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Buile Suibhne (Author: [unknown])

paragraph 70

One day it happened that he went to Druim Iarainn in Connacht where he ate green-topped watercress of the church by the brink of the green-flecked well and he drank some of its water after. A cleric came out of the church and he was indignant and resentful towards the madman for eating the food which he himself used to eat, and he said that it was happy and contented Suibhne was in the yew-tree after taking his meal from himself. ‘Sad in sooth is that (saying), o cleric,’ said Suibhne, ‘for I am the most discontented and unhappy creature in the world, for neither rest nor slumber cornes on my eyes for fear of my being slain. That is natural, because I would equally go into madness at seeing the united hosts of the universe threatening me as at the flight of a single wren; and, O God of Heaven! cleric,’ said Suibhne, ‘that you are not in my place and I in the state of devotion in which you are, so that your mind and understanding might recognise that it is not usual for the like of me or for my counterpart to be happy as you say’; whereupon the cleric recited the beginning of the poem and Suibhne responded (by reciting) the end, as follows: