Daltai na Gaeilge
Proverbs

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Is cum leis an óige cá leagann sí a cos.

Youth does not care where it sets its foot.

Note: Shakespeare had Hamlet argue the inexorable compulsion of youth:

To flaming youth let virtue be as wax,
And melt in her own fire; proclaim no shame
When the compulsive ardor gives the charge,
Since frost itself as actively doth burn,
And reason panders will.

There is an American proverb that compares this youthful impetuosity to the prudence of the aged, "Old age considers; youth ventures." Similarly, Henry Estienne said, "Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait." (If youth but knew, if old age but could do.) Compare this to an earlier seanfhocal. Henry James wrote, "... I think I don't regret a single 'excess' of my responsive youth -- I regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn't embrace."

Note also: Irish grammar is full of exceptions, and this seanfhocal exhibits one of them. The word 'oige' is feminine gender. Therefore, for gender agreement, all pronouns referring to 'youth' must also be feminine. However, the prepositional pronoun 'leis' (with him/it) is masculine. This is because whenever the preposition 'le' is followed by the definite article 'an,' the preposition must always take the masculine form of the prepositional pronoun 'leis an.' It is translated as simply, 'with the' or 'to the.' So, literally, this seanfhocal is translated as '[It] is [all] the same to youth where she sets her foot.'