The lament of the old woman of Beare
verse beg. Aithbe dam-sa bés mora

  • Old Irish
  • verse
  • Early Irish poetry, Early Irish lyrics
First words (verse)
  • Aithbe dam-sa bés mora
Ascribed to: Old woman of Beare
Caillech Bérri
Also Sentainne Bérri.

See more
Old woman of Beare (Sentainne Bérri or Caillech Bérri).
  • Old Irish
"c. A.D. 800" (Murphy)
verse (primary)


Early Irish poetryEarly Irish poetry

Early Irish lyricsEarly Irish lyrics


Bérre ... Beare Peninsula
County Cork
No short description available

See more


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Greene, David, and Frank OʼConnor, “9: The nun of Beare”, in: David Greene, and Frank OʼConnor [Michael O'Donovan], A golden treasury of Irish poetry, A.D. 600 to 1200, London: Macmillan, 1967. 48–55.
[ed.] [tr.] Murphy, Gerard [ed. and tr.], “Anonymous: The lament of the old woman of Beare”, in: Gerard Murphy [ed. and tr.], Early Irish lyrics: eighth to twelfth century, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956. 74–83, 206–208.
CELT – edition: <link>
"a revised version of the normalized text of the main edition" by Murphy in PRIA 55 C
[ed.] Murphy, Gerard [ed.], “The lament of the old Woman of Beare”, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 55 C 4 (1953): 83–109.
[ed.] [tr.] Meyer, Kuno, Selections from early Irish poetry, Dublin: Unpublished, 1909.
88–91 Reprint from the edition and translation below.
[ed.] [tr.] Meyer, Kuno [ed. and tr.], “Stories and songs from Irish manuscripts: II. The song of the old woman of Beare”, Otia Merseiana 1 (1899): 119–129.
Internet Archive: <link>
[tr.] Hull, Eleanor, The poem-boek of the Gael: translations from Irish Gaelic poetry into English prose and verse, Chicago, 1913.
Internet Archive: <link>
147–149 Reprint from Meyer’s translation.

Secondary sources (select)

Carey, John, “Transmutations and immortality in the lament of the old woman of Beare”, Celtica 23 — Essays in honour of James Patrick Carney (1999): 30–37.
Celtica: <link>
Hull, Vernam, “The old Woman or Nun of Beare”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 19 (1933): 174–176.
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
November 2011, last updated: January 2024