“There was a time when I thought sweeter than the quiet converse of monks, the cooing of the ringdove flitting about the pool.
There was a time when I thought sweeter than the sound of a little bell beside me, the warbling of the blackbird from the gable and the belling of the stag in the storm.
There was a time when I thought sweeter than the voice of a lovely woman beside me, to hear at matins the cry of the heathhen of the moor.
There was a time when I thought sweeter the howling of wolves, than the voice of a priest indoors, baa-ing and bleating.
Though you like your ale with ceremony in the drinking-halls, I like better to snatch a drink of water in my palm from a spring.
Though you think sweet, yonder in your church, the gentle talk of your students, sweeter I think the splendid talking the wolves make in Glenn mBolcain.
Though you like the fat and meat which are eaten in the drinking-halls, I like better to eat a head of clean water-cress in a place without sorrow..."
Irish, author unknown; 12th century