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Subject: Man Octipartite (Whitley Stokes)
From: Jerry Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jerry Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Feb 1995 12:32:59 -0500

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An bhfuil aon duine co/ip den da/n seo as Gaeilge?
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=46rom the Middle Irish
      (trans:  Whitley Stokes)
Thus sang the sages of the Gael
Athousand years ago well-nigh
Hearken how the Lord on high
Wrought man, to breathe and laugh and wail,
To hunt and war, to plow and sail,
To love and teach, to pray and die!
Then said the sages of the Gael:
Of parcels eight was Adam built.
The first was earth, the second sea,
The third and fourth were sun and cloud,
The fifth was wind, the sixth was stone,
The seventh was the Holy Ghost,=20
The last, the Light which lighteth God.
Then sang the sages of the Gael:
Mans body, first, was built of earth,
to lodge a living soul from birth,
and earthward home again to go
when time and death have spoken so.
Then of the sea his blood was dight
to bound in love and flow in fight.
Next, of the sun, to see the skies,
his face was framed with shining eyes.
from hurrying hosts of cloud was wrought
his roaming, rapid-changeful thought.
then of the wind was made his breath
to come and go from birth to death.
and then of earth-sustaining stone
was built his flesh-upholding bone.
the Holy Ghost, like cloven flame,
the substance of his soul became;
of light which lighteth God was made
man's conscience, so that unafraid
his soul thgrough haunts of night  and sin
may pass and keep all clean within.
Now, if the earthiness redound,
he lags through life a slothful hound.
But, if it be the sea that sways,
in wild unrest he wastes his days.
whene'er the sun is sovran, there
the heart is light, the face is fair.
if clouds prevail, he lives in dreams
a deedless life of gloom and gleams.
If stone bear rule, he masters men,
and ruthless is their ransom then.
But when the wind has won command
his word is harder than his hand.
the Holy Ghost, if He prevail,
Man lives exempt from lasting bale,
and, gazing with the eyes of God,
of all he sees at home, abroad,
discerns the inmost heart, and then
reveals it to his fellow-men,
and they are truer, gentler, more
heroic than they were before.
But he on whom the Light Divine
is lavished bears the sacred sign,
and men draw nigh in field or mart
to hear the wisdom of his heart.
for he is calm and clear of face,
and unperplexed he runs his race,
because his mind is always bent
on Right, regardless of event.
Of each of those eight things decreed
to make and mold the human breed,
let more or less in man and man
be set as God has framed his plan.
But still there is a ninth in store
(Oh grant it now and evermore!)
our freedom, wanting which, we read,
the bulk of earth, the strength of stone,
the bounding life o' the sea, the speed
of clouds, the splendor of the sun,
the never-flagging flight of wind,
the fervor of the Holy Ghost,
the Light before the angels' host,
though all be in our frame combined,
grow tainted, yea, of no avail.
So sang the sages of the Gael.
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Jerry Smith                  "Dia libh, a laochradh ghaoidheal!"
Sewickley Academy
315 Academy Avenue
Sewickley, Pa., 15143        E-Mail:  [log in to unmask]

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