This Castle Kelly was situated in Gallach or Castle Blakeney, Co. Galway, where Carolan was on a visit. ÓMáille refers of this as the best of Carolan's poems and as a well known one. The poem was published and translated by Miss Brooke in her Reliques of Irish poetry (1789), pp. 316, 250. Another version by Dr. Douglas Hyde on good authority is that Mabel Kelly was one of three handsome daughters of Kelly of Cargins near Tulskm Co, Roscommon, at whose house Carolan used to stay on his rounds. "Mabel Kelly" was one of the airs played at the assembly of Irish harpers in Belfast in 1772 ... Bunting, pg. 64.
le Toirdhealbhach ÓCearbhalláin|
1. Ciabí a mbeith sé (i) snán dó
A lámh dheas fháil faoi n-a ceann,
Is deimhin liom nárbh eagal bás dó,
Choidhche go bráth ná ina bheo bheith tinn.
le cara dhil|
Whomever is he that is deserving,
To place his right hand under her head,
I am certain he will not fear death,
Forever and ever in life he will not be ill.
2. A chúl deas na mbachall fáinneach, fionn,|
A chum mar an 'ala is gile (a') snámh air a' tuinn:
Grádh agus spéis gach gasraidh Máible Shéimh Ní Cheallaigh,
Déad is deise leagadh i n-árus a cinn.
Fairhaired one of the blond ringlets,|
With figure like the brightest swan on the wave:
Love and interest of all young men sweet Mable Kelly,
The finest set of teeth being in her mouth.
3. Níl ceol dá bhinne fós dár sinnéadh|
Nach dual dí (a) thuigse is a rádh in gach céin,
Tá (a) gruaidh mar rós a' drithle, is buan' na comhursa an lile,
A rosg is mine glaise ná bláth na gcraobh,
No sweeter music has yet been composed,|
Than that whose meaning desires her, and is sung everywhere,
Her hair is like the rose sparkling, the lily is blessed in her company,
Her fine eyes are greener than the blooming branch.
4. Is gurb é deir ollamh molta Chlár shíol Néill|
Go gcuirfeadh na corra a chodladh le sár-guth a béil;
Níl amhrus liom ann, a fhúil bhreágh loinneach,
Acht óltar linn go grinnioll do shláinte mhaith shéimh.
And what the wise promoter of Clare, offspring of O'Neill said was,|
She could put the troubled to sleep with the sound of her voice;
I have no doubt of it, her fine radiant eyes,
But we drink ourselves to death to your fine good health.
5. Ó d'éagadar na mná mánla|
Air a dtráchdaidis an domhan go léir,
Measaim nach bhfuil 'na n-áit againn
Acht Máible (a) seasamh a gcliú ins gach céim.
Since the passing of the gracious women,|
Of which the whole world speaks,
I think we have naught in their place,
But Mable matching their fame in every degree.
6. Annsacht gach duine i gcáiligheacht a's i gcéill|
Is áthamhuil don fhilidh a fáil ón déis,
Cúl na gcraobh is finne, lúb na dteád is binne,
Snuadh na géise gile a bráigh sa taobh.
Love of everyone in fame and good sense,|
It is fortuitous for the poet to receive from the gods,
A flowing fairhaired one, sweetest curving teeth,
Complexion of the bright swan her breast and flank.
7. Níl aon dá bhfeiceann an tsaoi-bhean mhaiseach,|
Nach n-éirigheann mar na geilte i mbárr na gcraobh,
A's an té nach léar dó (a)n choinneall lán de spéis an leinbh,
Sí is fearr tréithre a's tuigse do náisiun Gaedheal.
There is no one who sees the decorous sage woman,|
Who doesn't become like the madman in the tree-top,
And to him who is not aware of the torch full of a child's curiosity,
She best presents the traits and sense of the nation of the Gael.
8. Sí is deise bos, cor, lamh agus béul,|
'S a péire rosg agus a folt (a') fás léith go féar,
Tá 'n báire so linn ó Árainn go Glinn
'Nois ó fuair mé an fhaill is átamhuil dam é.
She is finest of palm, foot, hand and mouth,|
And pair of eyes, and tresses growing down to the earth,
This matchless one is ours from Aran to Glinn,
Now since I got the chance it is lucky for me.
9. Nach mór an dí náire don sdáid-mhnaoi|
Is breáchda air bith guth,
Le mhéad a's 'ní sí gáire
Fá'n ádhbhar d'fhágaibh mo chroidhe-sa dubh.
Is it not a great shameful drink for the stately one,|
With the finest voice on earth,
With the way she laughs,
At the things which leave my heart dark.
10. A bhruinneall mhaiseach ins gach cathair,|
Na bhfolt casta air dhath a n-óir,
Is tú réalta an tsoluis i mbéul gach pobal,
Réab thusa agus euluigh liom.
O comely fair maiden in any city,|
Of the curly tresses the color of gold,
You are the star of light in the mouth of all people,
Whom you devastated and eloped with me.
Notations from Carolan, the Life and Times of an Irish Harper by Dónal O'Sullivan vol 1 Celtic Music Edition 1983
Source: The poems of Carolan, Amhráin Cearbhalláin le Tomás ÓMáille,
pg. 109 no.1, notes pg 271
Cuidiú ó Frank Osborne.
Courtesy of Vivian and Jack Hennessey, IrishPage.com July 2008