The School Bag




Lay Your Arms Aside

Pierce Ferriter
 
Gentlest of women, put your weapons by,
Unless you want to ruin all mankind;
Leave the assault or I must make reply,
Proclaiming that you’re murderlously inclined.
Put by your armour, lay your darts to rest,
Hide your soft hair and all its devious ways:
To see it lie in coils upon your breast
poisons all hope and mercilessly slays.

Protest you never murdered in your life;
You lie: your hand’s smooth touch, your well-shaped knee
Destroy as easily as axe or knife.
Your breasts like new spring flowers, your naked side
 — I cry for aid to heaven — conceal from me;
Let shame for the destruction you have made
Hide your bright eyes, your shining teeth, away;
If all our sighs and trembling and dismay
Can touch your heart or satisfy your pride,
Gentlest of women, lay your arms aside. 

Irish 17th century - translated by Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin)