Uch a lám...

Uch a lám,
ar scribis de memrum bán!
Béra in memrum fá buaidh,
is bethair-si id benn lom cuail cnám.

(och * o * hand/
all that * you wrote * of * parchment * white/
you will carry * the * parchment * under * fame/
and * you will be * in-your * tip * naked * of heap * of bones)

Alas, hand,
so much white parchment you've written!
You will make the parchment famous,
and you will be the naked tip of a heap of bones.

The comment left by a scribe in the margin of a manuscript he was copying, edited by Kuno Meyer in ZCP 2.225. Such comments are common in Irish manuscripts, a kind of graffiti recording the passing thoughts, feelings and opinions of the scribes. In "Dánfhocail", O'Rahilly gives a later version of this quatrain, as well as another one in the same vein:

Och, a lámh, ón och, a lámh,
ar sgríobhais do mheamram bhán;
mairfidh an meamram fá bhuaidh,
's beir-se san uaigh id chuail chnámh!

Truagh sin, a leabhair bhig bháin,
tiocfaidh an lá, is budh fíor,
déarfaidh neach os cionn do chláir:
"Ní mhaireann an lámh do sgríobh."