[Both] your friend and your enemy think you will never die.

Note: You are immortal to your friends because they wish it. So it is that one wishes one’s friend a common blessing in Ireland, “Go maire tú an céad.” (May you live to a hundred.)

On the other hand, every instant of your existence is anathema to your enemies. As the Romans used to say, “The body of a dead enemy smells sweet.” Even though it may seem an interminable wait, a Spanish proverb suggests patience. “El que se sienta en la puerta de su casa verá pasar el cadáver de su enemigo.” (He who sits by the door of his house will watch his enemy’s corpse go by.)

Note also: This week’s seanfhocal uses the word ‘choíche’ which means ‘ever’ or ‘never’ depending on the context. It is only used with a verb in the future tense, e.g., … nach bhfaighfidh tú bás choíche. (… that you will never die). Otherwise the synonym ‘riamh’ is used, e.g., “Níor chuala mé an ráfla sin riamh.” (I never heard that rumor.)

Daltaí na Gaeilge