Oíche Nollag / Christmas Eve

The candles of the angels sprinkle in the sky outside,
The teeth of the frost come with the wind from the hill;
Let ye all rake up the fire now and get into bed:
And God's Son will go to sleep in this house tonight.

And let ye leave the door wide open for her too,
The Virgin who is coming with her Baby on her breast;
Come on in, sure, and have a rest for yourself now, Mary,
And let God's Son go to sleep in this house tonight.

The lamps were all lighting up in that hospitable inn,
Without stint was the food, without stint was the drink,
For the traders in wool, for the traders in silk,
But isn't God's Son going to go to sleep in this house tonight...

Original poem in Irish: Máire Mhac an tSaoi.

Translation: Barry Tobin, 27 November 2007.

Today, sometimes using the kind of English spoken by my parents sixty years ago, I made this version of one of my very favourite Christmas poems, one in which the Irish language is at its very best.

The belief that the Holy Family, still homeless, walk the roads of Ireland on Christmas Eve, is one of our most charming traditions. People put lighted candles in one or more windows to guide the Mother and Child to the welcome of door and hearth and hand.

Sa Ghaeilge / In Irish / Yn y Wyddeleg

A Box of Christmas Readings

Hafan / Home / Baile.