||he translation that follows is based primarily on "The Voyage of Bran son of Febal" by Kuno Meyer published in 18951. As is often the case in the older translations of Gaelic texts, scholars understood the words but not the language of the original poet or the hidden meanings. Thus, I offer my translation which reflects my own understanding. I hope a fresh look might spur others to undertake new and more exhaustive investigations into the ancient stories of our ancestors. To aid comparison with Meyer's work, I have numbered paragraphs and quatrains in identical fashion.
Imram Brain maic Febail
Fifty quatrains (of poetry) were sung by the Woman from The Mysterious2 Land among the crowd of royal youth in the courtyard to Bran son of Febail. Her speech was delightful and inspiring, calming the distress of the those present when she appeared in their midst, though the ramparts were secured.
This is the beginning of the story. One day, Bran went walking alone near his home. Hearing music behind him, he looked back often, but he saw nothing. So sweet was the music he lay down and fell asleep. When he awoke, he saw beside him a silver branch3, decorated with white blossoms4 set into it so well it was hard to tell blossom from stem. Bran picked up the wand and returned to his home. His many royal friends were gathered thickly about as he held court5, when the mysterious woman appeared in their midst. She calmed and inspired the host as she sang the 50 verses only to Bran, though all could see and hear her.
And the Mysterious Lady sang;
"I brought the branch6 of the round fruit7 from Emain8.
It is like those you know9.
It has twigs of white silver upon it
and clear fringes of flowers."
"There is a distant mysterious island
around which creatures range10,
Coursing over the white face of the sea.
It is supported by four columns11."
"There are pleasant pillars of victory
at the field for holding games,
where currach competes against chariot12,
in the southern White Silver Plain."
"There are feet of white bronze under it13
that have glittered through the ages.
It is a lovely land throughout the age of the world
where many blossoms have dropped14."
"There is an ancient tree that blossoms there.
from which the birds call in their time15.
They sing in harmony as is their want
to call together on all proper hours."
"Splendid colors gleam
throughout the peaceful plains
and joyful music is the custom
in the southern Plain of Silver."
"There is no slandering or treachery
in this skillfully fashioned, cultivated land.
There are no obstructions, nothing troublesome nor difficult,
only exceptional music which meets the ear."
"Without grief, without sorrow, without death,
without sickness, (and) without weakness,
that is the knowledge of the Other World.
I do not make up this unequaled marvel."