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Poetry in Translation (CLXIX): Emily LAWLESS (1845 – 1913), IRELAND – “In Spain”, “În Spania”

February 17th, 2013 · No Comments · Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation (CLXIX): Emily LAWLESS (1845 – 1913), IRELAND – “In Spain”, “În Spania”


In Spain

(1845 –1913)

Your sky is a hard and a dazzling blue,
Your earth and sands are a dazzling gold,
And gold or blue is the proper hue,
You say for a swordsman bold.

In the land I have left the skies are cold,
The earth is green, the rocks are bare,
yet the devil may hold all your blue and your gold
Were I only once back there!

În Spania

(1845 –1913)

Cerul vostru de fier e-un albastru de-azur
Iar pământul de aur sclipind
Amintind de strămoşii din vremi de demult
Dârji in luptă, cu pieptul flămând.

Dar in ţara bătrânilor mei. ceru-i aspru,
Munţii sterpi, iar moşia uitată.
Şi la naiba cu galbenii şi cu cerul albastru
Doar la vatra din sat să ne-ntoarcem odată.

(Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2013 Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

Lyon's House Lawless Kildare

Short Biographical Note:
Emily Lawless (1845 –1913) was an Anglo-Irish novelist and poet.
She was born at Lyons House below Lyons Hill, in County Kildare, Ireland, the daughter of Edward Lawless, 3rd Baron Cloncurry (d. 1896). Through her maternal family she was a cousin of the Kirwan and Plunkett families and therefore related to almost all of the Irish aristocracy. Sir Horace Curzon Plunkett (1854-1932) was a cousin, later to become a Senator of the Irish Free State.

It is widely believed that Emily Lawless was a lesbian and that Lady Sarah Spencer, dedicatee of A Garden Diary (1901) was her lover.
She spent part of her childhood with the Kirwans of Castlehackett, County Galway, her mother’s family, and drew on West of Ireland themes for many of her works. She also wrote under the pen name of ‘Edith Lytton’.

Castle Hacket is a 13th-century tower house located at the base of Knockma hill six miles southeast of Tuam, County Galway, Ireland and was built by the Hacketts, a Norman family. The Kirwans, one of the tribes of Galway, settled there in the 15th century. The Castle Hackett branch of the family was established in the mid-17th century by Sir John Kirwan. The castle was abandoned in the 18th century and the Kirwans built a new three-story house called Castlehacket which was burned in 1923 during the Civil War but rebuilt and still stands today.
In the introduction to his Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888), William Butler Yeats mentions the family and castle Hackett; he writes, “Each county has usually some family, or personage, supposed to have been favoured or plagued [with fairy-seeing abilities], especially by the phantoms, as the Hackets of Castle Hacket, Galway, who had for their ancestor a fairy…” (p. xix)

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