Paying the rents to Manannán

28 Jan

Here is an excerpt of a sixteenth century Manx poem, which mentions the custom of paying the rents to Manannán at Midsummer:

Dy neaishtagh shin agh rish my skeayll, If you would listen to my story,
As dy ving lhieu ayns Chant; I will pronounce my chant;
Myr share dy voddyms lesh my Veeal, As best I can; I will, with my mouth
Yinnin diu geill dán ellan Sheeant. Give you notice of the enchanted Island.
Quoi yn chied er ee row rieau ee, Who he was that had it first,
Ny kys eisht myr haghyr da; And then what happened to him;
Ny kys hug Parick ayn Creestiaght, And now St. Patrick brought in Christianity,
Ny kys myr haink ee gys Stanlaa. And how it came to Stanley.
Mannanan beg va mac y Leirr, Little Mannanan was son of Leirr,
Shen yn chied er ec row rieau ee; He was the first that ever had it;
Agh myr share oddym’s cur-my-ner, But as I can best conceive
Cea row eh hene agh an-chreestee. He himself was a heathen.
Cha nee lesh e Chliwe ren eh ee reayll It was not with his sword he kept it,
Cha nee lesh e Hideyn, ny lesh e vhow; Neither with arrows or bow;
Agh tra aikagh eh lhuingys troailt But when he would see ships sailing,
Oallagh eh ee my geayrt lesh kay. He would cover it round with fog.
Yinnagh eh doinney ny hassoo er brooghe, He would set a man, standing on a hill,
Er-lhieu shen hene dy beagh ayn keead; Appear as if he were a hundred;
As shen myr dreill Mannanan keole, And thus did wild Mannanan protect
Yn Ellan shoh’n-ayn lesh Cosney bwoid. That island with all its booty.
Yn mayll deeck dagh unnane ass e cheer, The rent each landholder paid to him was
Va bart dy leaogher ghlass dagh bleiu; A bundle of coarse meadow grass yearly;
As eisht shen orroo d’eeck myr keesh, And that, as their yearly tax,
Trooid magh ny cheery dagh oie-lhoine. They paid to him each midsummer eve.
Paart ragh lesh y leaogher seose, Some would carry the grass up
Gyn yn slieau mooar ta heose Barool; To the great mountain up at Barool;
Paart elley aagagh yn leoagher wass, Others would leave the grass below,
Ec Mannanan erskyn Keamool. With Mannanan’s self above Keamool.
Myr shen eisht ren adsyn beaghey, Thus then did they live;
O er-lhiam pene dy by-veg nyn Geesh; O, I think their tribute very small,
Gyn kiarail as gyn imnea, Without care and without anxiety,
Ny doggyr dy lhiggey er nyn skeeys. Or hard labour to cause weariness.
Eisht haink ayn Parick nyn meayn, Then came Patrick into the midst of them;
She dooinney-noo, véh lane dy artue, He was a saint, and full of virtue;
Dimman eh Mannanan er y tonn He banished Mannanan on the wave,
As e grogh vooinjer dy lieh-chiart. And his evil servants all dispersed.

The original poem can be found in William Harrison’ Mona Miscellany, 1863, pp26-46, although I’ve followed Charles MacQuarrie’s capitalisations of certain words in Manx – see Macquarrie’s The Waves of Manannán, 1997, pp292-293.

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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


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