|J. R. Allen, Early Christian Symbolism in Gt Britain and Ireland (1887)|
An Irish poem on the Wise Men of the East who were led by the star to Bethlehem, consisting of eleven quatrains....The poem is as follows, and the accompanying translation is from the accurate pen of Mr. Eugene Curry.
Auirilius, Humilis, the noble,
Malgalad, Nuntius, of fierce strength,
Melcho the grey-haired, without guile,
With his grey and very long beard.
A senior with a graceful yellow cloak.
With a grey frock of ample size,
Speckled and grey sandals without fault,
He approached not the King without royal gold.
Arenus, Fidelis, the munificent,
Galgalad the devout and fervent;
A red man was Caspar in his vesture
A fair, blooming, beardless youth.
A crimson cloak round the comely champion,
A yellow frock without variety,
Grey and close-fitting sandals:
Frankincense unto God he freely presented.
Damascus was the third man of them,
Misericors, without dejection,
Sincera gratia without restraint,
Patifarsat the truly-grand.
A grizzled man with a crimson, white-spotted cloak:
Crimsoned stood he, above all without competition,
With soft and yellow sandals,
Who presented myrrh to the Great Man.
These are the names of the Druids
In Hebrew, in Greek to be quickly spoken,
In Latin which runs not rapidly.
In the noble language of Arabia.
The colour of their clothes hear ye.
As spoken in each of their countries:
Selva, for the performers of heroic deeds,
Debdae, Aesae, Escidae.
Three were the Druids without gloom;
Triple were their gifts in noble fashion;
Three garments were upon each man of them;
From three worlds they came without debility.
Mary, Joseph, and noble Simeon,
Of the tribe of Judah of the noble kings,
Are in the house in which every hand is a lighted torch.
All together with the Trinity.
May we do thy will, O King,
And desire it with all our heart:
Thou art gracious to relieve us in our distress,
Since the day thou wast adored by Aurelius.
Rev W. Reeves, 'On an Irish MS. of the Four Gospels in the British Museum', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. V., (1853), 47-50.
Dr Reeves goes on to discuss the possible sources for the descriptive information relating to the Magi in his footnotes but as these are all cited in Latin I won't reproduce them here. He also later discusses the dating evidence for the Manuscript and concludes that it was written in the twelfth century. This poem is but one aspect of the cult of the Magi in medieval Ireland and is a theme I hope to be able to return to in future posts.