From the recording Down in Yon Forest
Gartan Mother’s Lullaby (Irl)
Traditional music collected by Herbert Hughes in County Donegal in 1903
Words by Seosamh MacCathmhaoil, 1904
(Christ-Child Lullaby Melody is traditional Scots, Tàladh Chrìosda)
Sleep, O babe, for the red bee hums
The silent twilight's fall
Aoibheall from the Grey Rock comes
To wrap the world in thrall.
A leanbhan O, my child, my joy,
My love and heart's desire,
The crickets sing you lullaby
Beside the dying fire.
Dusk is drawn, and the Green Man's Thorn
Is wreathed in rings of fog:
Siabhra sails his boat till morn
Upon the Starry Bog.
A leanbhan O, the paly moon
Hath brimmed her cusp in dew,
And weeps to hear the sad sleep-tune
I sing, O love, to you.
Faintly sweet doth the chapel bell
Ring o'er the valley dim:
Tearmann's peasant-voices swell
In fragrant evening hymn.
A leanbhan O, the low bell rings
My little lamb to rest
And angel-dreams, till morning sings
Its music in your breast.
Aoibhall = Queen of the
Leanbhan = old Irish for
Siabhra = a fairy
Tearmann = A village near
Gartan in Donegal