Peace

Ba h-álgen curmthigi is ba dúr debtha.

Ba h-álgen curmthigi is ba dúr debtha.

((he) was * gentle * of ale-house * and * (he) was * hard * of * strife)

He was a gentle man in the ale house and a tough one in battle.

This description of the ideal prince, which has the feel of a cliché, is found in "Tochmarc Ferbae" (LL 33716-7).

Doberar béimm n-etargaire ina chinn.

Doberar béimm n-etargaire ina chinn.

(is given * blow * of mediator * in his * head)

The mediator gets a blow on the head.

Triad # 135 in "Trecheng Breth Féne" lists three unlucky undertakings: ráthaiges (acting as a "paying surety" -- something like co-signing a loan), etargaire (acting as a mediator or peace-maker), and fíadnaise (giving evidence as a witness). The above statement explains just why getting between two quarreling parties is not such a good idea!

A much later proverb from "A Miscellany" makes the same point in these words: "Bé théid as nó ná téid, ní théid fear na h-eadaragála. = No matter who comes off well, the peace maker is sure to come off ill." A Scottish version from the same collection say "Is minig a fhuair fear h-eadraiginn buille."

Immgaib ág ocus not·imgéba.

Immgaib ág ocus not·imgéba.

(avoid * battle * and * it will avoid you)

Avoid a fight and it will avoid you.

Given in "Passions and Homilies" as the Irish equivalent of "Devitabis periculum et devitabit te." An almost identical version of the maxim is used as the first line of a poem in FDG (p. 172): "Imgaib ágh 's rod imgéba." Compare both "Is cian ó ghuasacht cech faitech" and "Ná hinguib, ná hindsaig ág" in this collection.

Síd co nem...

Síd co nem,
nem co domun,
domun fo nim,
nert i cách.

(peace * to * heaven / heaven * to * earth / earth * under * heaven / strength * in * each one)

Peace to heaven,
heaven to earth,
earth under heaven,
strength in each.

Spoken by the Morrígan in "Cath Maige Tuired" after the great battle.

Ferr síd sochocad.

Ferr síd sochocad.

(better * peace * (than) a successful war)

Peace is better than a successful war.

This three word maxim is found in "Bríathra Flainn Fína maic Ossu".

In the poem "An tSí Mhór agus an tSí Bheag", edited by Douglas Hyde in _Amhráin Chúige Chonnacht_, the penultimate stanza makes the argument, in Modern Irish, that peace, even an onerous peace, is preferable to war:

Tá sé anois is ariamh á rá
An cogadh is lú go milleann a lán,
Gur fearr an tsíth is measa dlí
Ná bailte is tíortha a bhánú.

Is maith cech dál dia ticc síd.

Is maith cech dál dia ticc síd.

(is * good * every * meeting * of which * comes * peace)

Any meeting that produces peace is good.

A maxim from the gnomic poem "Diambad messe bad rí réil".

Syndicate content