Is álaind cech nderg...

Is álaind cech nderg,
is gel cach núa,
is caín cech ard,
is serb cach gnáth.
Cáid cech n-écmais,
is faill cech n-aichnid
co festar cach n-éolas.

(is * beautiful * every * red one / is * bright * every * new one / is * fair * every * tall one / is * bitter * every * usual one / noble * every * absent one / is * deficient * every * familiar one / until * is known * every * knowledge)

Everything red is beautiful,
everything new is bright,
everything tall is lovely,
everything usual is bitter,
everything absent is noble,
everything familiar is insufficient
until all knowledge is known.

Emer, Cú Chulainn’s wife, is not at all happy about his dalliance with Fand. She succeeds in talking him out the affair, and she starts by explaining his infatuation to him with these words.

The line “is serb cach gnáth” (everything usual is bitter) calls to mind a modern expression:

“Dá mbeadh mil bheach rófhairsing bheadh boladh bréan aisti.”
(If bees’ honey were too abundant, it would have an evil smell.)

Topics: Maxims & Wise Counsel