CELT document T402579B

Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Teach Molaga

Seághan Ó Coileáin

Machtnadh an Duine Dhoilghiosaich

Whole text


    Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Teach Molaga

  1. I wandered forth at night alone
    Along the dreary, shingly, billow-beaten shore;
    Sadness that night was in my bosom's core,
    My soul and strength lay prone.
  2. The thin wan moon, half overveiled
    By clouds, shed her funereal beams upon the scene;
    While in low tones, with many a pause between,
    The mournful night-wind wailed.
  3. Musing of Life, and Death, and Fate,
    I slowly paced along, heedless of aught around,
    Till on the hill, now, alas! ruin-crowned,
    Lo! the old Abbey-gate!
  4. Dim in the pallid moonlight stood,
    Crumbling to slow decay, the remnant of that pile
    Within which dwelt so many saints erewhile
    In loving brotherhood!
  5. The memory of the men who slept
    Under those desolate walls— the solitude— the hour—
    Mine own lorn mood of mind— all joined to o'erpower
    My spirit— and I wept!
  6. In yonder Goshen once— I thought—
    Reigned Piety and Peace: Virtue and Truth were there;
    With Charity and the blessed spirit of Prayer
    Was each fleet moment fraught!
  7. There, unity of Work and Will
    Blent hundreds into one: no jealousies or jars
    Troubled their placid lives: their fortunate stars
    Had triumphed o'er all Ill!
  8. There, knolled each morn and even
    The Bell for Matin and Vesper: Mass was said or sung.—
    From the bright silver censer as it swung
    Rose balsamy clouds to Heaven.
  9. Through the round cloistered corridors
    A many a midnight hour, bareheaded and unshod,
    Walked the Grey Friars, beseeching from their God
    Peace for these western shores!
  10. The weary pilgrim bowed by Age
    Oft found asylum there— found welcome, and found wine.
    Oft rested in its halls the Paladine,
    The Poet and the Sage!
  11. Alas! alas! how dark the change!
    Now round its mouldering walls, over its pillars low,
    The grass grows rank, the yellow gowans blow,
    Looking so sad and strange!
  12. Unsightly stones choke up its wells;
    The owl hoots all night long under the altar-stairs;
    The fox and badger make their darksome lairs
    In its deserted cells!
  13. Tempest and Time— the drifting sands—
    The lightnings and the rains— the seas that sweep around
    These hills in winter-nights, have awfully crowned
    The work of impious hands!
  14. The sheltering, smooth-stoned massive wall—
    The noble figured roof— the glossy marble piers—
    The monumental shapes of elder years—
    Where are they? Vanished all!
  15. Rite, incense, chant, prayer, mass, have ceased—
    All, all have ceased! Only the whitening bones half sunk
    In the earth now tell that ever here dwelt monk,
    Friar, acolyte, or priest.
  16. Oh! woe, that Wrong should triumph thus!
    Woe that the olden right, the rule and the renown
    Of the Pure-souled and Meek should thus go down
    Before the Tyrannous!
  17. Where wert thou, Justice, in that hour?
    Where was thy smiting sword? What had those good men done,
    That thou shouldst tamely see them trampled on
    By brutal England's Power?
  18. Alas! I rave! ... If Change is here,
    Is it not o'er the land? Is it not too in me?
    Yes! I am changed even more than what I see.
    Now is my last goal near!
  19. My worn limbs fail— my blood moves cold—
    Dimness is on mine eyes— I have seen my children die;
    They lie where I too in brief space shall lie—
    Under the grassy mould!
  20. I turned away, as toward my grave,
    And, all my dark way homeward by the Atlantic's verge,
    Resounded in mine ears like to a dirge
    The roaring of the wave.

Document details

The TEI Header

File description

Title statement

Title (): Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Teach Molaga

Title (firstline): I wandered forth at night alone

Title (original): Machtnadh an Duine Dhoilghiosaich

Author: Seághan Ó Coileáin

Responsibility statement

translated by: James Clarence Mangan

Electronic edition compiled by: Beatrix Färber

Funded by: School of History, University College Cork

Edition statement

1. First draft.

Extent: 2850 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College Cork.

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland.—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2014

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: T402579B

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Notes statement

First published in the Nation, 8 February 1846.

Source description

Manuscript sources for the Irish poem

  1. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 659 (formerly 24 A 22), "written by Mícheál Ó Horgáin, 1824" (O'Rahilly 213).
  2. Maynooth, Mur[phy] 48, p. 66; "this part possibly in the hand of Bishop Murphy; dated 1818 on title-page" (O'Rahilly 213).
  3. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 24 C 13, p. 81, "written by Rev. Matthew Horgan" (O'Rahilly 213).

Editions and Translations

  1. Thomas Furlong, 'The Mourner's Soliloquy in the Ruined Abbey of Timoleague', in James Hardiman, Irish Minstrelsy, 235-43. [An English translation in six-line verses.]
  2. J. C. Mangan, 'Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Teach Molaga', The Nation, 8 August 1846. [Reproduced online at https://manganpaper.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/lament-over-the-ruins-of-the-abbey-of-teach-molaga/] Reprinted in John O'Daly, 'The Irish Language Miscellany' (Dublin 1876).
  3. Sir Samuel Ferguson, prose [?] translation, Dublin University Magazine III. 465-6, 1834). Ser., 1860 [p. 71-3].
  4. Sir Samuel Ferguson, Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Timoleague, in: Specimens of the early native poetry of Ireland in English metrical translations, ed. Henry Montgomery Riddell. New and enlarged edition (Dublin 1892), 283–286. Reprinted in: A Book of Irish Verse: selected from modern writers with an Introduction and notes by W.B. Yeats. Revised edition (London 1900).
  5. T. F. O'Rahilly, Measgra Dánta, poem 59, p. 158–61, which contains an Irish version with modernized spelling (online at CELT in file G402568) and notes p. 213–17.

Mangan's Works

  1. James Clarence Mangan, Ballad-Poetry of Ireland (Dublin: Duffy 1845).
  2. James Clarence Mangan, Specimens of the early native poetry of Ireland: in English metrical translations by Miss Brooke, Dr. Drummond, Samuel Ferguson, J. C. Mangan, T. Furlong, H. Grattan Curran, E. Walsh, J. D'Alton and J. Anster, with historical and biographical notices by Henry R. Montgomery (Dublin: James McGlashan; London: W.S. Orr and Co. 1846).
  3. James Clarence Mangan, The Book of Irish Ballads, ed. Denis Florence McCarthy (Dublin: J. Duffy 1846).
  4. James Clarence Mangan, Miscellany (Dublin: Celtic Society 1849).
  5. James Clarence Mangan, The poets and poetry of Munster: A selection of Irish songs by poets of the last century, with poetical translations by the late James Clarence Mangan, now for the first time published with the original music and biographical sketches of the authors 1st ed. (Dublin:John O'Daly 1849; Poole, England: Woodstock Books 1997).
  6. James Clarence Mangan, Romances and Ballads of Ireland, ed. Hercules Ellis (Dublin: J. Duffy 1850).
  7. James Clarence Mangan, The tribes of Ireland: a satire by Aenghus O'Daly; with poetical translation by the late James Clarence Mangan; together with an historical account of the family of O'Daly; and an introduction to the history of satire in Ireland by John O'Donovan (Dublin: John O'Daly 1852; Reprint Cork: Tower Books 1976).
  8. James Clarence Mangan, Poems by James Clarence Mangan, with biographical introduction by John Mitchel (New York: Haverty 1859).
  9. James Clarence Mangan, Anthologia Germanica; or a garland from the German poets and miscellaneous poems, 2 vols (Dublin: Duffy 1884).
  10. James Clarence Mangan, Essays in prose and verse by J. Clarence Mangan, ed. Charles P. Meehan. (Dublin: Duffy 1884).
  11. James Clarence Mangan, Irish and Other Poems: With a selection from his translations [The O'Connell Press Popular Library] (Dublin: O'Connell Press 1886).
  12. James Clarence Mangan, James Clarence Mangan, his selected poems; with a study by the editor, ed. Louise Imogen Guiney (London: Lamson, Wolffe & Co. 1897; Montana: Kessinger Publishing Co. 2007).
  13. James Clarence Mangan, Poems of James Clarence Mangan (many hitherto uncollected), ed. with preface and notes by D.J. O'Donoghue; introduction by John Mitchel (Dublin: O'Donoghue, 1903; Reprint New York: Johnson 1972).
  14. James Clarence Mangan, The prose writing of James Clarence Mangan, ed. D.J. O'Donoghue. (Dublin: O'Donoghue 1904).
  15. James Clarence Mangan, Autobiography edited from the manuscript by James Kilroy [Chapel Books Series] (Dublin: Dolmen Press 1968).
  16. James Clarence Mangan, Selected Poems of James Clarence Mangan, ed. Michael Smith with a foreword by Anthony Cronin (Dublin: Gallery Press 1973).
  17. James Clarence Mangan, The collected works of James Clarence Mangan: Poems Vol. 1 1818–1837, ed. Jacques Chuto et al. (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 1996).
  18. James Clarence Mangan, The collected works of James Clarence Mangan: Poems Vol. 2 1838–1844, ed. Jacques Chuto et al. (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 1996).
  19. James Clarence Mangan, The collected works of James Clarence Mangan: Poems Vol. 3 1845–1847, ed. Jacques Chuto et al. (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 1997).
  20. James Clarence Mangan, The collected works of James Clarence Mangan: Poems Vol. 4 1848–1912, ed. Jacques Chuto et al. (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 1997).
  21. James Clarence Mangan, Anthologia Germanica: Selection on a German Theme from the Verse of the Poet of Young Ireland (Ireland & Germany), ed. with an introduction by Brendan Clifford (London: Athol Books 2001).
  22. James Clarence Mangan, The collected works of James Clarence Mangan: Prose Vol. 1 1832–1839, ed. Jacques Chuto et al. (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 2002).
  23. James Clarence Mangan, The collected works of James Clarence Mangan: Prose Vol. 2 1840–1882: correspondence, ed. Jacques Chuto et al. (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 2002).
  24. James Clarence Mangan, Selected Poems of James Clarence Mangan, foreword by Terence Brown, ed. Jacques Chuto et al. (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, bicentenary ed. 2003).
  25. James Clarence Mangan, Poems, ed. with an introduction by David Wheatley (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 2003).
  26. James Clarence Mangan, Selected Prose of James Clarence Mangan. ed. Jacques Chuto, Peter van de Kamp (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, vicentenary ed. 2004).
  27. James Clarence Mangan, James Clarence Mangan: Selected writings, ed. with an introduction by Sean Ryder (Dublin: University College 2004).

Secondary Literature

  1. W. B. Yeats, 'Clarence Mangan, 1803–1849' [Irish Authors and Poets series]. In: Irish Fireside 12 March 1877; reprinted in John Frayne, Uncollected Prose of W. B Yeats, Vol. 1 (London: Macmillan 1970).
  2. W. B. Yeats, 'Clarence Mangan's Love Affair'. In: United Ireland 22 August 1891.
  3. D. J. O'Donoghue, Life and Writings of James Clarence Mangan (Edinburgh: Geddis; Dublin: M. H. Gill 1897).
  4. Ellen Shannon-Mangan, James Clarence Mangan: a biography (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 1996).
  5. Henry Edward Cain, James Clarence Mangan and the Poe-Mangan question, A dissertation (Washington: Catholic University Press 1929).
  6. James Joyce, James Clarence Mangan: from St. Stephen's, Dublin, May, 1902 (Dublin: Ulysses Bookshop 1930).
  7. John D. Sheridan, Famous Irish lives: James Clarence Mangan (Dublin: Phoenix Publishing 1937).
  8. P. S. O'Hegarty, 'A bibliography of James Clarence Mangan'. In: Dublin Magazine 16 (1941) 56–61.
  9. Séamus Ó Casaide, 'James Clarence Mangan and his Meath relatives: new light on the poet's circumstances'. In: Father Matthew Record 35:6 (1941) 4–5.
  10. Roibeárd Ó Faracháin, 'James Clarence Mangan'. In: Thomas Davis and Young Ireland, ed. M. J. MacManus (Dublin: The Stationery Office 1945), 61–67.
  11. Marvin Magalaner, 'James Mangan and Joyce's Dedalus family'. In: Philological Quarterly (1952).
  12. Patrick Diskin, 'The poetry of James Clarence Mangan'. In: University Review: A Journal of Irish Studies 2:1 (1960) 21–30.
  13. Rudolf Patrick Holzapfel, James Clarence Mangan: A Check-List Of Printed And Other Sources (Dublin: Scepter Publishing 1969).
  14. Jacques Chuto, 'Mangan's "Antique Deposit" in TCD Library'. In: Long Room 2 (1970) 38–39.
  15. James Kilroy, James Clarence Mangan (Lewisburg, N.J.: Bucknell University Press 1970).
  16. Jacques Chuto, 'Mangan and the "Irus Herfner" articles in the Dublin University Magazine'. In: Hermathena 106 (1971) 55–57.
  17. Henry J. Donaghy, James Clarence Mangan. [English Authors Series] (Macmillan Library Reference, 1974). James Liddy, 'An Introduction to the Poetry of James Mangan'. In: Lace Curtain 5 (1974) 55–56.
  18. John McCall, The life of James Clarence Mangan. (Dublin; T. D. Sullivan 1887; Blackrock: Carraig Books 1975).
  19. Jacques Chuto, 'Mangan, Petrie, O'Donovan and a few others: the poet and the scholars'. In: Irish University Review 6:2 (1976) 169–187.
  20. James Kilroy, 'Bibliography of Mangan'. In: Anglo-Irish Literature: A Review of Research, ed. Richard J. Finneran (New York: Modern Language Association 1976) 43–44.
  21. Robert Welch, ''In wreathed swell': James Clarence Mangan, translator from the Irish'. In: Éire-Ireland 11:2 (1976) 36–56.
  22. Peter MacMahon, 'James Clarence Mangan: the Irish language and the strange case of the tribes of Ireland'. In: Irish University Review 8:2 (1978) 209–222.
  23. Anthony Cronin, 'James Clarence Mangan: The Necessary Maudit'. In: Heritage Now: Irish Literature in the English Language (Dingle: Brandon 1982), 47–50.
  24. David Lloyd, 'Great gaps in Irish song: James Clarence Mangan and the ideology of the nationalist ballad'. In: Irish University Review 14 (1984) 178–190.
  25. Patrick Smith, James Clarence Mangan: the conscious victim. [Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Dept. of English, UCC, 1986].
  26. David Lloyd, Nationalism and minor literature: James Clarence Mangan and the emergence of Irish cultural nationalism [The new historicism: studies in cultural poetics, 3]. (Berkeley: California University Press 1987).
  27. Brendan Clifford, The Dubliner: the lives, times and writings of James Clarence Mangan (Belfast: Athol Books 1988).
  28. Ellen Shannon-Mangan, 'New letters from James Clarence Mangan to John O'Donovan'. In: Irish University Review 18 (1988) 207–214.
  29. Sean Ryder, 'Male autobiography and Irish cultural nationalism: John Mitchel and James Clarence Mangan'. In: The Irish Review 13 (1992-93) 70–77.
  30. Jacques Chuto, 'James Clarence Mangan and the Beauty of Hate'. In: Éire-Ireland 30: 2 (1995) 173–81.
  31. Heyward Ehrlich, 'Inventing patrimony: Joyce, Mangan, and the self-inventing self'. In: Joyce through the ages: a nonlinear view, ed. Michael Patrick Gillespie (Gainesville: University Press of Florida 1999).
  32. Jacques Chuto, James Clarence Mangan: a bibliography (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 1999).
  33. Anne MacCarthy, James Clarence Mangan, Edward Walsh and Nineteenth-century Irish literature in English [Studies in Irish Literature] (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2000).
  34. David Lloyd, 'James Clarence Mangan's Oriental Translations and the Question of Origins'. In: Comparative Literature 38:1 (1986), 20–55.
  35. Dr. Elie Bouhereau, 'Mangan and the worst of woes'. In: Borderlands: essays on literature and medicine in honour of J.B. Lyons, ed. Davis Coakley and Mary O'Doherty (Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 2002).
  36. Peter van de Kamp, 'Hands off! Joyce and the Mangan in the Mac'. In: Costerus 147 (2003) 183–214.
  37. Ciara Hogan, ''Lost Hero of the Past': Ruin, Wound, and the Failure of Idealism in the Poetry of James Clarence Mangan', Études Irlandaises 35/1 (2010) 131–146.

The edition used in the digital edition

‘Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Timoleague’ (1876). In: The Irish Language Miscellany‍. Ed. by John O’Daly. ///. Dublin: M.H. Gill.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  title 	 = {Lament over the Ruins of the Abbey of Timoleague},
  booktitle 	 = {The Irish Language Miscellany},
  editor 	 = {John O'Daly},
  address 	 = { Dublin},
  publisher 	 = {M.H. Gill},
  date 	 = {1876},
  note 	 = {///}


Encoding description

Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling declarations

The whole text.

Editorial declarations

Correction: Text has been checked and proof-read twice.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text; capitalisation at the start of each non-initial line was removed.

Quotation: There are no quotations.

Hyphenation: Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, the page-break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.

Segmentation: div0=the whole poem. Metrical lines and quatrains are marked and numbered; page-breaks are marked.

Interpretation: Names of persons (given names), and places are not tagged. Terms for cultural and social roles are not tagged.

Reference declaration

The n attribute of each text in this corpus carries a unique identifying number for the whole text.

The title of the text is held as the first head element within each text.

div0 is reserved for the text (whether in one volume or many).

The numbered quatrains provide a canonical reference.

Profile description

Creation: Translation by James Clarence Mangan (1803–1849). Irish original by Seághan Ó Coileáin, (John Collins or John O'Cullane), of Myross (1754–1817)

Date: August 1846

Language usage

  • The text is in English. (en)

Keywords: romantic; poetry; 19c; Timoleague Abbey; translation

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2014-02-24: SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2014-02-21: Lines numbered, bibliographical details (created by Ruth Murphy in 2008) inserted; file proofed (2); file parsed and validated. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2014-02-21: TEI header created. TEI-conformant XML markup applied to file; file proofed (1). (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2014-02-20: Text scanned in. (file captured Beatrix Färber)

Index to all documents

CELT Project Contacts



For details of the markup, see the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)

page of the print edition

folio of the manuscript

numbered division

 999 line number of the print edition (in grey: interpolated)

underlining: text supplied, added, or expanded editorially

italics: foreign words; corrections (hover to view); document titles

bold: lemmata (hover for readings)

wavy underlining: scribal additions in another hand; hand shifts flagged with (hover to view)

TEI markup for which a representation has not yet been decided is shown in red: comments and suggestions are welcome.

Source document


Search CELT


    2 Carrigside, College Road, Cork