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

paragraph 43

    1. O woman who pluckest the watercress
      and takest the water,
      thou wouldst not be without something to-night
      even though thou didst not take my portion.
    2. Alas, O woman!
      thou wilt not go the way that I shall go;
      I abroad in the tree-tops,
      thou yonder in a friend's house.
    3. Alas, O woman!
      cold is the wind that has come to me;
      nor mother nor son has pity on me,
      no cloak is on my breast.
    4. If thou but knewest, O woman,
      how Suibhne here is:
      he does not get friendship from anyone,
      nor does anyone get his friendship.
    5. I go not to a gathering
      among warriors of my country,
      no safeguard is granted me,
      my thought is not on kingship.
    6. I go not as a guest
      to the house of any man's son in Erin,
      more often am I straying madly
      on the pointed mountain-peaks.
    7. None cometh to make music to me
      for a while before going to rest,
      no pity do I get
      from tribesman or kinsman.

    8. p.87

    9. When I was Suibhne indeed
      and used to go on steeds—
      when that comes to my memory
      alas that I was detained in life!
    10. I am Suibhne, noble leader (?),
      cold and joyless is my abode,
      though I be to-night on wild peaks,
      O woman who pluckest my watercress.
    11. My mead is my cold water,
      my kine are my cresses,
      my friends are my trees,
      though I am without mantle or smock.
    12. Cold is the night to-night,
      though I am poor as regards watercress,
      I have heard the cry of the wild-goose
      over bare Imlech Iobhair.
    13. I am without mantle or smock
      the evil hour has long clung to me (?),
      I flee at the cry of the heron
      as though it were a blow that struck me.
    14. I reach firm Dairbre
      in the wondrous days of Spring,
      and before night I flee
      westward to Benn Boirche.
    15. If thou art learned, O fair, crabbed one,
      my field

      there is one to whom the burden thou takest
      is a grievous matter, O hag.

    16. p.89

    17. It is cold they are
      at the brink of a clear, pebbly spring—
      a bright quaff of pure water
      and the watercress you pluck.
    18. My meal is the watercress you pluck,
      the meal of a noble, emaciated madman;
      cold wind springs around my loins
      from the peaks of each mountain.
    19. Chilly is the wind of morn,
      It comes between me and my smock,
      I am unable to speak to thee,
      O woman who pluckest the watercress.

    The woman:

    1. Leave my portion to the Lord,
      be not harsh to me;
      the more wilt thou attain supremacy,
      and take a blessing, O Suibhne.


    1. Let us make a bargain just and fitting
      though I am on the top of the yew;
      take thou my smock and my tatters,
      leave the little bunch of cress.
    2. There is scarce one by whom I am beloved,
      I have no house on earth;
      since thou takest from me my watercress
      my sins to be on thy soul!
    3. Mayest thou not reach him whom thou hast loved,
      the worse for him whom thou hast followed;
      thou hast left one in poverty
      because of the bunch thou hast plucked.

    4. p.91

    5. May a raid of the blue-coated Norsemen take thee!
      Thine has not been a fortunate meeting for me,
      mayest thou get from the Lord the blame
      for cutting my portion of watercress.
    6. O woman, if there should come to thee
      Loingseachan whose delight is sport,
      do thou give him on my behalf
      half the watercress thou pluckest.