Gartan Mother's Lullaby
Written by Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil (Joseph Campbell) to a traditional Donegal melody,
first published in Songs of Ulster in 1904. Recorded on Grapevine.
Aoibheall of Carraig Leath, is the queen of the Northern Fairies.
The Green Man: it is said if you see him in the morning, "no ill follows"; but if at night, terrible misfortune will surely overtake you.
Siabhra is a fairy of any kind.
Tearmann, Irish for Termon, a village near Gartan in Donegal.
Sleep, O babe, for the red-bee hums
The silent twilight's fall:
Aibheall from the Grey Rock comes
To wrap the world in thrall.
My baby O, my child, my joy,
My love and heart's-desire,
The crickets sing you lullaby
Beside the dying fire.
Dusk is drawn, and the Green Man's Thorn
Is wreathed in rings of fog:
Siabhra sails his boat till morn
Upon the Starry Bog.
My baby O, the paley moon
Hath brimmed her cusp in dew,
And weeps to hear the sad sleep-tune
I sing, O love, to you.
Faintly sweet doth the chapel bell
Ring o'er the valley dim:
Tearmann's peasant voices swell
In fragrant evening hymn.
My baby O, the low bell rings
My little lamb to rest
And angel-dreams, till morning sings
Its music in your breast.