Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Background details and bibliographic information
Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Timoleague
Author: Seághan Ó Coileáin
translated by Sir Samuel Ferguson
Electronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber
Funded by School of History, University College Cork
1. First draft.
Extent of text: 1540 words
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork.
College Road, Cork, Ireland.http://www.ucc.ie/celt (2014)
Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T402579C
Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.
Manuscript sources for the Irish poem
- Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 659 (formerly 24 A 22), "written by Mícheál Ó Horgáin, 1824" (O'Rahilly 213).
- Maynooth, Mur[phy] 48, p. 66; "this part possibly in the hand of Bishop Murphy; dated 1818 on title-page" (O'Rahilly 213).
- Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 24 C 13, p. 81, "written by Rev. Matthew Horgan" (O'Rahilly 213).
Editions and Translations
- Thomas Furlong, 'The Mourner's Soliloquy in the Ruined Abbey of Timoleague', in James Hardiman, Irish Minstrelsy, 23543. [An English translation in six-line verses.]
- J. C. Mangan, 'Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Teach Molaga', The Nation, 8 August 1846. [Reproduced online at https://manganpaper.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/lament-over-the-ruins-of-the-abbey-of-teach-molaga/] Reprinted in John O'Daly, 'The Irish Language Miscellany' [with translation by J. C. Mangan]. Dublin, 1876.
- John O'Daly, 'The Irish Language Miscellany' [with translation by J. C. Mangan]. (Dublin 1876).
- Prose and verse translation, the latter by Sir Samuel Ferguson, 'Hardiman's Irish Minstrelsy. No III 'IV (the last part of a review article, which has an appendix with literal prose and verse translations of some of the poems edited by Hardiman), pp. 514-542, Dublin University Magazine, November 1834.
- Verse translation by Sir Samuel Ferguson, Specimens of the early native poetry of Ireland in English metrical translations, ed. Henry Montgomery Riddell. New and enlarged edition (Dublin 1892), 283286. Reprinted in: A Book of Irish Verse: selected from modern writers with an Introduction and notes by W.B. Yeats. Revised edition (London 1900).
- T. F. O'Rahilly, Measgra Dánta, poem 59, p. 15861, which contains an Irish version with modernized spelling (online at CELT in file G402568) and notes p. 21317.
- Mary Catherine Guinness Ferguson, Sir Samuel Ferguson in the Ireland of his Day (Edinburgh/London 1896).
- Arthur Deering, Sir Samuel Ferguson, Poet and Antiquarian (Philadelphia 1931).
- Malcolm Brown, Sir Samuel Ferguson (Lewisburg) 1973 (esp. 4360)
- Robert O'Driscoll, An ascendancy of the heart: Ferguson and the beginnings of modern Irish literature in English (Dublin 1976).
- Terence Brown and Barbara Hayley, Samuel Ferguson: a centenary tribute (Dublin:Royal Irish Academy 1987).
- Maurice Harmon, The Enigma of Samuel Ferguson, in: O. Komesu, M. Sekine (eds), Irish writers and politics (Irish Literary Studies 36) (Gerrards Cross 1989) 6279.
- Peter Denman, Samuel Ferguson: the literary achievement (Gerrards Cross 1990).
- Gréagóir Ó Dúill, Samuel Ferguson: Beatha agus Saothar (Baile Átha Cliath [=Dublin] 1993.
- Gréagóir Ó Dúill, Sir Samuel Ferguson (1810-1886), in: Eamon Phoenix (ed), A century of northern life: The Irish News and 100 years of Ulster history, 1890s1990s (Belfast 1995) 182186.
- Peter Denman, William Carleton and Samuel Ferguson: lives and contacts, in: Gordon Brand (ed), William Carleton, the authentic voice (Gerard's Cross 2006) 360377.
- Eve Patten, Samuel Ferguson and the culture of nineteenth-century Ireland (Dublin 2004).
The edition used in the digital edition
- W.B. Yeats, Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Timoleague in A Book of Irish Verse: selected from modern writers with an Introduction and notes, Ed. W.B. Yeats. , London, Methuen and Co. (1900) page 104107
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts
The whole text.
Text has been checked and proof-read twice.
The electronic text represents the edited text; capitalisation at the start of each non-initial line was removed.
There are no quotations.
Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, the page-break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.
div0=the whole poem. Metrical lines and quatrains are marked and numbered; page-breaks are marked.
Names of persons (given names), and places are not tagged. Terms for cultural and social roles are not tagged.
The n attribute of each text in this corpus carries a unique identifying number for the whole text.
The title of the text is held as the first head
element within each text.
div0 is reserved for the text (whether in one volume or many).
The numbered quatrains provide a canonical reference.
Created: Translation by Sir Samuel Ferguson (18101886). Irish original by Seághan Ó Coileáin, (John Collins or John O'Cullane), of Myross (17541817)
Use of language
Language: [EN] The text is in English.
Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T402579C
Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Timoleague: Author: Seághan Ó Coileáin
- 1] Lone and weary as I wander'd
2] by the bleak shore of the sea,
3] Meditating and reflecting
4] on the world's hard destiny,
- 5] Forth the moon and stars 'gan glimmer,
6] in the quiet tide beneath,
7] For on slumbering spring and blossom
8] breathed not out of heaven a breath.
- 9] On I went in sad dejection,
10] careless where my footsteps bore,
11] Till a ruined church before me
12] opened wide its ancient door,
- 13] Till I stood before the portals,
14] where of old were wont to be,
15] For the blind, the halt, and leper,
16] alms and hospitality.
- 17] Still the ancient seat was standing,
18] built against the buttress grey,
19] Where the clergy used to welcome
20] weary trav'llers on their way;
- 21] There I sat me down in sadness,
22] neath my cheek I placed my hand,
23] Till the tears fell hot and briny
24] down upon the grassy land.
- 25] There, I said in woful sorrow,
26] weeping bitterly the while,
27] Was a time when joy and gladness
28] reigned within this ruined pile;
- 29] Was a time when bells were tinkling,
30] clergy preaching peace abroad,
31] Psalms a-singing, music ringing
32] praises to the mighty God.
- 33] Empty aisle, deserted chancel,
34] tower tottering to your fall,
35] Many a storm since then has beaten
36] on the grey head of your wall!
- 37] Many a bitter storm and tempest
38] has your roof-tree turned away,
39] Since you first were formed a temple
40] to the Lord of night and day.
- 41] Holy house of ivied gables,
42] that were once the country's boast,
43] Houseless now in weary wandering
44] are you scattered, saintly host;
- 45] Lone you are to-day, and dismal,
46] joyful psalms no more are heard,
47] Where, within your choir, her vesper
48] screeches the cat-headed bird.
- 49] Ivy from your eaves is growing,
50] nettles round your green hearth-stone,
51] Foxes howl, where, in your corners,
52] dropping waters make their moan.
- 53] Where the lark to early matins
54] used your clergy forth to call,
55] There, alas! no tongue is stirring,
56] save the daw's upon the wall.
- 57] Refectory cold and empty,
58] dormitory bleak and bare,
59] Where are now your pious uses,
60] simple bed and frugal fare?
- 61] Gone your abbot, rule and order,
62] broken down your altar stones;
63] Nought see I beneath your shelter,
64] save a heap of clayey bones.
- 65] O! the hardship, O! the hatred,
66] tyranny, and cruel war,
67] Persecution and oppression,
68] that have left you as you are!
- 69] I myself once also prosper'd;
70] mine is, too, an alter'd plight;
71] Trouble, care, and age have left me
72] good for nought but grief to-night.
- 73] Gone my motion and my vigour
74] gone the use of eye and ear,
75] At my feet lie friends and children,
76] powerless and corrupting here;
- 77] Woe is written on my visage,
78] in a nut my heart could lie
79] Death's deliverance were welcome
80] Father, let the old man die.