Praise God, Poet

Praise God, poet,
And Heaven will be given to whoever
Ponders your praise when you’re gone,
If it’s real praise.

And let you yourself consider that praise
Which the Blind Forkyle solemnly gave
To Colmcille in Ulster,
And you will obtain God’s paradise.

You think it strange, poet,
You think it would be a bold soul
Who would promise Heaven to anyone
Who ponders your verses when you’re gone.

But understand that it was not you, poet,
Who hastened lines from the sky,
Nor put your speech on fire
And the music of angels with it:

But that you happened on the thinking
That was going through the mind of God
And you were, poet, and He,
Unexpectedly on the same road.

Translated from the poem, ’Mol Dia’, (Seán Ó Riordáin, 1916 – 1977) by Barry Tobin.

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