Celtic Stencil Design L “Crimson Cheek That Harrows Me”

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Celtic Symbols and  Language  A Granite Bay Design Microsite

“…crimson cheek that harrows me…”

ANCIENT CELTIC POETRY*

Intertwined Horse Design from a Celtic Stencil by Co Spinhoven

A fholt lag ar lí an ómra,

a chur id bhrat bhreacórdha

a stuaigh chobhsaidh nár chealg fear,

nior chosmhail dealg don droighean.

Níor churtha a chnú mo chroidhe,

id bhrat eangach iolbhuidhe,

a ghruaidh dhearg do-ghéabhadh geall,

acht dealg do-ghéanadh Gaibhneann.

A ghruadh chorcra do char mé,

gan dealg óir acht an uair-se

ar feadh na huaire,

a ghlac ghlan, do bhrat uaine do b’annamh.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Oh, soft hair the color of amber,

oh, furrow in the dapplegold cloak,

oh, resolute arch which may never betray a man,

a brooch of blackthorn is not fitting.

You should sow, my heart’s nut,

in [your] many-yellowed checked cloak

(her red cheeks a hard-run prize)

only a hard-to-make brooch by Goibhniu.

Crimson cheek that harrows me,

without a gold pin — only this hour of mine

for the length of an hour, oh pure hand

for the green cloak of your soul.

Stencils are rendered by Dutch artist Co Sinhoven and are his modern interpretation of “The Book of Kells.” All of this artwork is in the public domain. Learn more about the artist here.