Nom·geib ferg...

Nom·geib ferg
fri cach n-indmas acht mo delg:
mo delg cia théis triam’ dernainn,
ferg fri suide ní dernaim.

(takes-me * anger /
against * every * possession * but * my * brooch /
my * brooch * although * you might go * through my * palm /
anger * against * that * not * I would do)

I get angry
at everything I own except my brooch:
my brooch, even though you went through my palm,
I could not get angry at that.

In medieval Ireland people wore brooches at the shoulder to hold their “bratt” or mantle in place. Some of these functional pieces of jewelry were ostentatiously large, elaborately wrought, and equiped with long stout pins that could inflict real damage on the unwary. But they were costly adornments that signaled the status of the wearer, so they were cherished despite their dangerous points! This stanza comes from Meyer’s Primer.

Topics: Verse