The Sullane, River of Wrath

le John Joe de Búrca

I am the Sullane, male my gender,
Fear ye me, if your hearts are tender,
Like woman lying on valley floor,
Though all are higher I lord them o’er.

I fall and fall off the mountain wall,
And there are many who fear my call,
And those who in my arms recline
Come mainly from the male line.

My essence comes from springs of wrath,
From rock and glen, land sorely bought
From they who walk the muddy tracks
Of hillocks bare, raw mountain backs.

I am the Sullane out of the west,
Where men were nursed on Danu’s brest,
They have drunk deep in a land of stone,
But still I claim them as my own.

My giggling streams run the highland’s spell,
From Mweelin’s walls to Mushera’s well,
Rocks retreating, I am beating,
And many a stream that is competing.

My glens are loud with Gobnait’s bees,
The echoes of rocks and ancient trees,
I am a knoll of mighty bowers,
Of cabins low and mighty towers.

My children are the sons of wrath,
In the vales by famine sorely sought,
The hand of man it made the legend,
The hand of nature has upheld it.

My spirit is dark as the darkest clay,
That surrounds me in every way,
Are my springs guilty of a murky past,
To raise my rage in the storm’s blast?

Many in my arms have died,
Many more my grasp have tried,
I lie like a dame, male my tide,
When my legs are cast, you are destroyed.

In green of summer or winter dead,
One year in seven I yield my dead,
Silent my waters on the lowland plain,
Though my voice is muted I strike again.

Ye who stand like huddled cattle,
Your blood in the breeze for to rattle,
In my cascades is Donn’s death rattle,
If you sleep with me I win in battle.

My greenwood grows, they ill die,
And so will you, and not I.
I am the Sullane, fear the storm,
Rain or sun, I bring you harm.

I am the black robber from peat,
Stand no man between my feet,
My heart is malignant, my heart is old.
I fear not famine, I fear not gold.



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