Blessings & Good Wishes

Rath fortsu dano 7 for fir t'inaid...

Rath fortsu dano 7 for fir t'inaid ina lóg sin, 7 nirab écen iarfaigid fir t'inaid do grés in cach airiucht i mbia.

(good fortune * on you * then * and * on * men * of your place * in its * reward * that * and * may there not be * need * of protection * of man * of your place * for * ever * in * every * assembly * in * which he will be)

Prosperity on you then and on your successors in reward for that, and may the protection of your successor be forever unnecessary in any assembly in which he is!

Lí Bán delivers this effusive blessing in exchange for the offer of a purple cloak in "Aided Echach Meic Maireda" (LU 3114-15). For other examples of the use of the "fir t(h)'inaid" in blessings and curses, see "Dolma n-aithisc for fer th'inaid do grés" and "Sonus ocus degfhéth tria bithu d'fhir th'inaid do grés" in this collection.

Sonus ocus degfhéth tria bithu d'fhir th'inaid do grés.

Sonus ocus degfhéth tria bithu d'fhir th'inaid do grés.

(prosperity * and * good healthy condition * through * ages * to men * of your position * for * ever)

Good fortune and good health throughout the ages to your successors forever!

This blessing is found in the Leabhar Breacc (p. 236 B, line 51).

A more long-winded blessing on a man's successors, in which "fer th'inaid" makes two appearances, is found in "Betha Colmáin" (§70), where the saint says:

"Búaid n-échta 7 áithesa for fer th'inaid 7 cen a marbad ind 7 ní muirfidter nech ele úait a ndigail Conaill co brath 7 gurab é fer t'inaidh goires gairm ríg Temrach co brath!"

And in "Acallam na Senórach" (4183) Saint Patrick greets a regal looking young man surrounded by horses with:

"Uaitne rig umut, a maccaeim, ocus ac fir th'inaid it degaid!" (The support of kings around you, young man, and around your successors after you!)

For still more examples of the use of the "fir th'inaid" in blessings and curses, see "Dolma n-aithisc for fer th'inaid do grés" and "Rath fortsu dano 7 for fir t'inaid..." in this collection.

Corbat cara sluaig ...

Corbat cara sluaig,
Corbat roga ríg,
Corbat cruithnecht chaem,
Corbat craebh co fín.

(may you be * friend * of multitude
may you be * choice * of king(s)
may you be * wheat * lovely
may you be * branch * with * wine)

May you be the friend of many.
May you be the choice of kings.
May you be the beautiful wheat.
May you be the branch that yields wine.

A blessing, in the form of a complete stanza in the metre known as lethrannaigecht mór, bestowed by Ailill Ólomm on his son Éogan Mór in the Middle Irish poem "A maccáin na cí".



(may me * lord * protect)

May the Lord preserve me!

We find this exclamation is written down in the "Thesaurus" (ii 290.11). The word order is archaic, involving a feature called tmesis, which allows a noun to intervene right in the middle of the verbal complex, something like "May pro-the Lord-tect me!"

Buaid lamaig ort, a meic, ocus buaid roinni ocus buaid coscair!

Buaid lamaig ort, a meic, ocus buaid roinni ocus buaid coscair!

(virtue * of dexterity * on you * o * son * and * virtue * of distribution * and * virtue * of triumph)

May you have the gift of dexterity, my lad, and the gift of generosity and the gift of winning.

Patrick's blessing on Áed, son the King of Leinster, in "Acallam na Senórach" (line 4809).

Imb i céin fa in accus beo-sa...

Imb i céin fa in accus beo-sa, nicon·chloor acht far caínscél.

(be it * in * distance * or * in * nearness * that I be * may I not hear * but * your (pl.) * good tidings)

Whether I be far or near, may I hear only good news of you all.

This lovely formula, both courtly and affectionate, is found in the Würzburg Glosses (23b41). I can imagine using as a complimentary close in a letter. Addressed to a single person, it would end with "... acht do chaínscél."

Rop sén slán!

Rop sén slán!

(may be * good omen / blessing * whole)

May it be a complete blessing!

This formula, used to welcome good news, is spoken by the king in the tale "Inghen Ríg Ghréc" (LL and "Silva Gadelica") upon hearing that his wife has given birth to a daughter.

Do maith ocus líth dúib!

Do maith ocus líth dúib!

(for * good * and * luck * to you all)

Prosperity and luck to you!

This formula of greeting is found in the tale "Inghen Ríg Ghréc" in LL, edited in "Silva Gadelica" (p. 414). Compare the structure of "Do shoínmigi sin!" in this collection.

A Brigit bennach ar sét...

A Brigit bennach ar sét
nachar·tair bét ar ar cúairt;
a chaillech a l-Lifi lán
co·rísem slán ar tech úait.

(o * Brigit * bless * our * road /
that may not come to us * calamity * on * our * trip /
o * nun * from * Liffey * full /
may we reach * safe * our * house * from you)

O Brigit, bless our road,
that calamity may not overtake us as we travel;
O veiled one from the laden Liffey
may we reach home safely by your intercession.

This verse, the first in a longer prayer, is found at LL 308a, where it is recited by St. Mo Ling. Elsewhere (Irische Texte iii.53) there is a long incantation containing a mix of pagan and christian elements that begins "Ad·muiniur secht n-ingena trethan" (I invoke the seven daughters of the sea). Two lines in it also call for a safe journey:

Ním·thí bás for fecht,
ro·fírthar mo thecht!

May death not come to me on a journey,
may my return be realized!

See also "Rop soraid in sét-sa" in this collection for another prayer for safe travel.

Ad-rae búaid ocus bennachtain!

Ad-rae búaid ocus bennachtain!

("take" * profit / victory * and * blessing)

Benefits and blessings to you!

This phrase is used repeatedly by St. Patrick and others, in "Acallam na Senórach" and other texts, as a blessing given in thanks or in greeting. In Modern Irish it takes the form "Beir bua agus beannacht" and is commonly used as a complimentary close in letters.

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