Cuirt an Mhean Oiche (Brian Merriman)

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"This is a racy, word-rich, bawdy poem; full of uncompromising language and attitudes which have earned it increasing admiration and popularity since it was first composed by Brian Merriman in 1780. The bachelor uninterested in marriage and the aged bone-cold married man, the spouse-hunting lady and the dissatisfied spinster: the celebration of a woman's right to sex and marriage; disapproval of clerical celibacy--all these elements form part of the subject-matter of 'The Midnight Court'. Years ago, few speakers of Irish were without some knowledge of this full-blooded piece of literature, while very many people could recite the entire thousand and more lines of 'The Midnight Court' in the version popular in their own area. It is one of the most interesting as well as entertaining survivals of the literature of Gaelic Ireland in the Penal times where humour, irony, literary tradition and sense of proportion had not fallen victims to oppression and humiliation. The translation supplied with this edition of Merriman's poem is an endeavour to come as near as possible to the rural expression and attitudes which are part and parcel of the style of the original. Although actual use of dialect is avoided, the translator has used words and modes of exprsession occasionally which are found in English as spoken in the Irish countryside"--Publisher's description