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I have tidings for you . .

I have tidings for you . . .

Image size: 85mm x 205mm
Print only: £10 (plus £3 p&p within the UK)

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Attributed to the legendary Irish hero Finn MacCumhaill a.k.a Finn descendent of Baiscni. Concise and brilliantly descriptive this 9th century manuscript provides a spare bleak description of restless winter sounds, sights and senses. Celtic writers were acutely sensitive to nature and the changing seasons.

The 'stag bells' perhaps refers to the bellows issued during the rut in October as they vie for attention of the hinds and defend them from rivals. The geese become restless honking as they fly over.
The original gaelic can be translated in different ways, see here.
'I have tidings for you' could be 'Here's my story' , 'the stag bells' could be 'sad stag roars' or 'stag calls does'.
Here you can find a literal translation by Gerard Murphy from 'Early lyrics, Eigth to Twelfth Century' Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1956

'I have tidings for you
the stag bells
winter snows
summer is gone'

'Wind high and cold
the sun low
short its course
the sea running high'

'Crimson the bracken
it has lost its shape
the wild goose has raised
its familiar cry'

'Cold has seized
the birds' wings
season of ice
these are my tidings'

 
I have tidings - stag celtic design

Detail

I have tidings - geese celtic design

Detail