Here is an excerpt from the novel Séadna by Peter O'Leary. I've included a vocabulary with it. Note that O'Leary writes in Munster dialect, which has several differences froms standard Irish. I have tried to point these out in the accompanying vocabulary.
Bhí fear ann fadó agus is é ainm a bhí air ná Séadna. Gréasaí ab ea é. Bhí teach beag deas cluthar aige ag bun cnoic, ar thaobh na fothna. Bhí cathaoir shúgáin aige do dhein sé féin dó féin, agus ba ghnáth leis suí inti um thráthóna, nuair a bhíodh obair an lae críochnaithe, agus nuair a shuíodh sé inti bhíodh sé ar a shástacht. Bhí mealbhóg mine aige ar crochadh i n-aice na tine, agus anois agus arís chuireadh sé a lámh inti agus thógadh sé lán a dhoirn den mhin, agus bhíodh sé dá chogaint ar a shuaimhneas. Bhí crann úll ag fás ar an dtaobh amuigh de dhoras aige, agus nuair a bhíodh tart air ó bheith ag cogaint na mine, chuireadh sé lámh sa chrann san agus thógadh sé desna húllaibh, agus d'itheadh sé é.
Lá dá raibh sé ag déanamh bróg, thug sé fé ndeara ná raibh athuilleadh leathair aige, ná a thuilleadh snátha, ná a thuilleadh céarach. Bhí an taoibhín déanach thuas agus an greim déanach curtha, agus níorbh fholáir dó dul agus abhar do sholáthar sara bhféadfadh sé a thuilleadh bróg a dhéanamh. Do ghluais sé ar maidin, agus bhí trí scillinge ina phóca, agus ní raibh sé ach míle ón dteach nuair a bhuail duine bocht uime, a d'iarraidh déarca.
"Tabhair dhom déirc ar son an tSlánaitheora agus le hanmain do mharbh, agus thar cheann do shláinte," arsan duine bocht.
Thug Séadna scilling dó, agus ansan ní raibh aige ach dhá scilling. Dúairt sé leis féin go mb'fhéidir go ndéanfadh an dá scilling a ghnó. Ní raibh sé ach míle eile ó bhaile nuair a bhuail bean bhocht uime agus í cos-nochtaithe.
"Tabhair dhom cúnamh éigin," ar sise, "ar son an tSlánaitheora, agus le hanmain do mharbh, agus thar cheann do shláinte."
Do ghlac trua dhi é, agus thug sé scilling di, agus d'imigh sí. Do bhí aon scilling amháin ansan aige, ach do chomáin sé leis, ag brath air go mbuailfeadh seans éigen uime a chuirfeadh ar a chumas a ghnó a dhéanamh. Níorbh fhada gur casadh air leanbh agus é ag gol le fuacht agus le hocras.
"Ar son an tSlánaitheora," arsan leanbh, "tabhair dhom rud éigin le n-ithe."
Bhí teach ósta i ngar dóibh, agus do chuaigh Séadna isteach ann, agus cheannaigh sé bríc aráin agus thug sé chun an linbh é. Nuair a fuair an leanbh an t-arán d'athraigh a dhealbh. D'fhás sé suas i n-aoirde, agus do las solas iontach 'na shúilibh agus 'na cheannaithibh, i dtreo go dtáinig scanradh ar Shéadna. Chómh luath agus d'fhéad sé labhairt, dúirt sé.
"Cad é an saghas duine thusa?" Agus is é freagra a fuair sé:
"A Shéadna, tá Dia buíoch díot. Aingeal is ea mise. Is mé an tríú haingeal gur thugais déirc dó inniu ar son an tSlánaitheora. Agus anois tá trí ghuí agat le fáil ó Dhia na glóire. Iarr ar Dhia aon trí ghuí is toil leat, agus gheobhair iad. Ach tá aon chomhairle amháin agam-sa le tabhairt duit--ná dearmhad an trócaire."
"Agus an ndeirir liom go bhaighead mo ghuí?" arsa Séadna.
"Deirim, gan amhras," arsan t-aingeal.
"Tá go maith," arsa Séadna. "Tá cathaoir bheag deas shúgáin agam sa bhaile, agus an uile dhailtín a thagann isteach, ní foláir leis suí inti. An chéad duine eile a shuífidh inti, ach mé féin, go gceangla sé inti!"
"Faire, faire, a Shéadna!" arsan t-aingeal; "sin guí bhreá imithe gan tairbhe. Tá dhá cheann eile agat, agus ná dearmhad an trócaire."
"Tá," arsa Séadna, "mealbhóigín mine agam sa bhaile, agus an uile dhailtín a thagann isteach, ní foláir leis a dhorn a shá inti. An chéad duine eile a chuirfidh lámh sa mhealbhóig sin, ach mé féin, go gceangla sé inti, féach!"
"O, a Shéadna, a Shéadna, níl fasc agat!" arsan t-aingeal. "Níl agat anois ach aon ghuí amháin eile. Iarr trócaire Dé dot' anam."
"O, is fíor dhuit," arsa Séadna, "ba dhóbair dom é dearmhad. Tá crann beag úll agam i leataoibh mo dhorais, agus an uile dhailtín a thagann an treo, ní foláir leis a lámh do chur i n-airde agus úll do stathadh agus do bhreith leis. An chéad duine eile, ach mé féin, a chuirfidh lámh sa chrann san, go gceangla sé ann!--O! a dhaoine," ar seisean, ag sceartadh ar gháirí, "nach agam a bheidh an spórt orthu!"
Nuair a tháinig sé as na trithíbh, d'fhéach sé suas agus bhí an t-aingeal imithe. Dhein sé a mhachnamh air féin ar feadh tamaill mhaith. Fé dheireadh thiar thall, dubhairt sé leis féin: "Féach anois, níl aon amadán i n-Éirinn is mó ná mé! Dá mbeadh triúr ceangailte agam um an dtaca so, duine sa chathaoir, duine sa mhealbhóig, agus duine sa chrann, cad é an mhaith a dhéanfadh san domh-sa agus mé i bhfad ó bhaile, gan bhia, gan deoch, gan airgead?"
Ní túisce a bhí an méid sin cainte ráite aige ná thug sé fé ndeara os a chomhair amach, san áit ina raibh an t-aingeal, fear fada caol dubh, agus é ag glinniúint air, agus tine chreasa ag teacht as a dhá shúil ina spréachaibh nimhe. Bhí dhá adhairc air mar a bheadh ar phocán gabhair, agus meigeall fada liath-ghorm garbh air; eireaball mar a bheadh ar mhada rua, agus crúb ar chois leis mar chrúb thairbh. Do leath a bhéal agus a dhá shúil ar Shéadna, agus do stad a chaint. I gcionn tamaill do labhair an Fear Dubh.
"A Shéadna," ar seisean, "ní gá dhuit aon eagla do bheith ort romhamsa. Nílim ar tí do dhíobhála. Ba mhian liom tairbhe éigin a dhéanamh duit, dá nglacthá mo chomhairle. Do chloiseas thú, anois beag, dá rá go rabhais gan bhia, gan deoch, gan airgead. Thabharfainn-se airgead do dhóthain duit ar aon choinníoll bheag amháin."
"Agus greadadh trí lár do scart!" arsa Séadna, agus tháinig a chaint dó; "ná féadfá an méid sin do rá gan duine do mhilleadh led' chuid glinniúna, pé hé thú féin?"
"Is cuma dhuit cé hé mé, ach bhéarfad an oiread airgid duit anois agus cheannóidh an oiread leathair agus choimheádfaidh ag obair thú go ceann trí mblian ndéag, ar an gcoinníoll so--go dtiocfair liom an uair sin."
"Agus má réitighim leat, cá rachaimíd an uair sin?"
"Cá beag duit an cheist sin do chur nuair a bheidh an leathar ídithe agus bheimíd ag gluaiseacht?"
"Bíodh ina mhargadh!" arsa Séadna.
"Gan teip?" arsan Fear Dubh.
"Gan teip," arsa Séadna.
"Dar bhrí na mionn?" arsan Fear Dubh.
"Dar bhrí na mionn," arsa Séadna.
Vocabulary for Séadna
There was a man long ago and his name was Séadna. He was a cobbler. He had a nice small comfortable house at the bottom of a hill on the sheltered side. He had a straw-rope chair which he made for himself, and it was customary with him to sit in it in the evening, when the work of the day was finished, and when he used to sit in it he was quite contented. He had a bag of meal and he used to take a hand-full of meal, and he would chew it while he was resting. (1) He had an apple tree growing outside near the door, and when he would get thirsty from chewing on the meal, he would put his hand in that tree and he would take (one) of the apples, and he would eat it. (2)
One day when he was making shoes, (3) he noticed that he didn't have any more leather, nor any more thread, nor any more wax. The last patch above and the last stitch was done, and he had (4) to go and procure material before he could do the rest of the shoes. He set out in the morning, and there were three shillings in his pocket, and he was only a mile from the house when he met a poor man, who asked him for alms.
"Give me alms on behalf of the Savior and for the souls of the dead, and for the sake of your health," said the poor man.
Séadna gave him a shilling, and then he only had two shillings. He said to himself that the two shillings would probably be enough for his business. (5) He was only another mile from the village when he met a poor woman who was bare-footed. (6)
"Give me some help," she said, "on behalf of the Savior, and for the souls of the dead, and for the sake of your health."
He felt sorry for her, (7) and gave her a shilling, and she went away. Then he had only one shilling, but he pressed on, trusting that he would meet with some chance which would put it within his ability to take care of his business. It wasn't long before he met a child who (8) was weeping because of cold and hunger.
"On behalf of the Savior," said the child, "give me something to eat." There was an inn near them, and Séadna went inside, and he bought a loaf of bread and gave it to the child. When the child took the bread, he changed his shape. He grew up in height, and a strange light shone in his eyes (9) and in his countenance, so that Séadna was frightened. As soon as he could speak, he said.
"What kind of man are you?" And this is the answer he got: "Séadna, God is grateful to you. I am an angel. I am the third angel that you have given alms to today on behalf of the Savior. And now, you have three wishes to receive from the God of glory. Ask of God three wishes you desire, and you will get them. But I have one bit of advice to give you--don't forget mercy."
"And you are telling me that I will get my wish?" said Séadna. "(That's what) I am saying, without a doubt," said the angel. "That's good," said Séadna. "I have a nice little straw-rope chair at home, and whatever bum that comes in just has to sit in it. The first person to sit in it, except for me, may he stick to it!"
"For shame, for shame, Séadna," said the angel; "that's a good wish gone without profit."
"I have," said Séadna, "a bag of meal at home, and whatever bum comes in just has to stick his hand in it. The first person who puts his hand in that bag, except for me, may he stick in it, see!"
"Oh, Séadna, Séadna, you haven't a lick of sense!" said the angel. "Now you only have one more wish. Ask God's mercy for your soul." "Oh, you're right," said Séadna, "I almost forgot it. I have a small apple tree on one side of my door, and whatever bum who comes that way just has to put his hand up and pick (an apple) and take it with him. The first person, except for me, who put his hand in that tree, may he stick to it!-- Oh man!" he said, breaking out into laughter, "Won't I have some sport with them!"
When he got over the fit of laughter, he looked up and the angel was gone. He got to thinking for a good while. At long last, he said to himself: "Look now, there is no greater fool in Ireland than me! If I should have three people by this time, one in the chair, one in the bag, and one in the tree, what good does that do me when I am far from home, without food, without drink, and without money?"
No sooner had he said that many words, (10) than he noticed in front of him, where the angel had been, a tall, dark, slender man who was gazing at him, and flashing fire was coming out of his eyes in venomous sparks. He had two horns like a he-goat, and he had a long rough steel-grey goatee; a tail like on a fox, and also (leis) hooves on his feet like a bull's hooves. He opened his mouth with his eyes on Séadna, and he (Séadna) stopped speaking. After a while, the Dark Man spoke.
"Séadna," he said, "you don't have any need to be afraid of me. I am not about to hurt you. I want to do you a favor, if you will take my advice. I heard you, just now, saying that you were without food, without drink, without money. I will give your fill of money on one small condition." "And may there be torture through your guts!" said Séadna, and he began to speak, "Will you not be able to say that much without someone being destroyed by your gaze, whoever you are?"
"It doesn't matter to you who I am, but I will give you so much money now and I will buy so much much leather and I will watch you working for thirteen years, on this condition--that you will come with me for this hour." "And if I agree with you, where will we go that hour?"
"Isn't it of little consequence for you to ask this question when the leather is used up and we will be setting out?"
"It's a deal!" said Séadna.
"Without fail?" said the Dark Man.
"Without fail," said Séadna.
"By the power of the oath?" said the Dark Man.
"By the power of the oath," said Séadna.
(1) Literally "on his resting."
(2) Note that here, as often in English, the habitual past can be translated with "would".
(3) Lá dá raibh sé ... - literally "A day from which he was...". Note also that bróg is the genitive plural. The object of a verbal noun is in the genitive.
(4) ní foláir dom - a common idiom for "I must."
(5) Literally "that it was possible that the tow shillings would do his business."
(6) Literally "and she bare-footed." Agus used to describe attendent circumstances.
(7) Literally "sorrow for her siezed him."
(8) Another example of agus describing attendent circumstances.
(9) súilibh: -ibh is the old dative plural ending, which is still sometimes used in the Munster dialect. Standard Irish would have "súile" here.
(10) Literally: "No sooner was that much talking with him than..." Here the passive participle "ráite" is used with the preposition "ag" to give the past perfect tense.
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