Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- Temair noblest of hills,
under which is Erin of the furrows,
the lofty city of Cormac son of Art,
son of mighty Conn of the hundred fights.
- 5] Cormac, constant was his prosperity,
he was sage, he was poet, he was prince;
he was a true judge of the men of Fene.
he was a friend, he was a comrade.
- Cormac, who gained fifty fights,
10] disseminated the Psalter of Temair;
in this Psalter there is
all the best we have of history.
- It is this Psalter that tells of
seven warlike high kings of Erin;
15] five kings of the provinces it makes,
the king of Erin and her viceroy.
- In it is set down on every hand
what is the right of every king of a province,
what is the right of the king of Temair eastward
20] from the king of every songful province;
- The correlation, the synchronising of every man,
of each king one with another together;
the delimitation of every province marked by a stone-rick,
from the foot to the full barony.
- 25] Baronies thirty in number it finds
in the baronies of each province;
in each province of them there are
seven noble score of chief fortresses.
- Cormac knew the number being king;
30] he made the circuit of Erin thrice;
he brought away a hostage for every walled town,
and showed them in Temair.
- Duma na Giall (purity of palms),
is called from the hostages Cormac brought;
35] to Cormac was revealed in their house
every marvel that is in Temair.
- There was revealed to Fergus, as it is,
the place in which is Fergus' Cross;
the Slope of the Chariots marks the limits
40] between it and the Crooked Trenches.
- The Crooked Trenches where they slew the maidens,
The Crooked Trenches of the crooked dealings
west from Rath Grainde below,
they remain free from decay both of them.
- 45] Eastward from Rath Grainde in the glen
is the Marsh of strong Temair;
east of the Marsh there are
Rath Nessa and Rath Conchobair.
- The Measure of the Head of grim Cuchullin
50] lies north-east from Rath Conchobair;
the dimension of his Shield under its Boss
is wonderful and huge.
- The Grave of Mal and Midna
is in Temair since their slaying:
55] thence is their grave and their sepulchre,
on account of the head they boasted.
- Let us consider too the Hall of the Heroes
which is called the Palace of Vain Women;
the House of the Warriors, it was no mean hall,
60] with fourteen doors.
- The Mound of the Women after their betrayal
was hard by the upper structure;
south of it are Dall and Dorcha,
they were bowed down both alike.
- 65] Dall is south-west of sad Dorcha,
from them was called Duma Dall-Bodra;
each of them killed the other
in fighting over their alms.
- The dwarf came, to his sorrow,
70] to interpose between them,
so they killed the dwarf
under their feet, through their dimness of sight.
- Westward from the Grave of this dwarf
are Mael, Bloc, and Bluicnefoolish their wisdom!
75] over them are the three stones
that the Prince of great Macha flung.
- The secret Rampart of the three Whispers
is between the Hall and the Heroes' Well;
the Stone of the Warriors is east of the road,
80] over against the Rath of the Synod.
- The Rath of the Synods, noble excellence,
lies north of the Precinct of Temair;
eastward from the Rath beside the Stone
is the house whence Beniat escaped.
- 85] The Synod of Patrick was at the noble Rath,
The Synod of Brendan and of Ruadan,
The Synod of Adamnan thereafter,
assembled to curse Irgalach.
- Below from the Rath of the Kings (it is not false)
90] are the Grave of Cu, the Grave of Cethen, the hill of the Ox;
east of the Rath is
the grave of Maine son of Munremar.
- There remains south of the Rath of the King
the Rath of Loegaire and his Keep
95] and his Grave on the floor of his Keep;
the righteous one of the Lord overcame him.
- Behold the noble House of Mairise
chief for beauty in Erin;
it is high to the west, very high to the north,
100] level eastward of it,it was a triumph of the mason.
- It is there was situated
the house, on the margin of Nemnach;
about this house away across Meath
were scattered the houses of Temair.
- 105] Temair, whence Temair Breg is named,
Rampart of Tea wife of the son of Miled,
Nemnach is east of it, a stream through the glen
on which Cormac set the first mill.
- Ciarnait, hand-maid of upright Cormac,
110] used to feed from her quern many hundreds,
ten measures a day she had to grind,
it was no task for an idler.
- The noble king came upon her at her task
all alone in her house,
115] and got her with child privily;
presently she was unable for heavy grinding.
- Thereupon the grandson of Conn took pity on her,
he brought a mill-wright over the wide sea;
the first mill of Cormac mac Art
120] was a help to Ciarnait.
- The Caprach of Cormac is in the Rath of the Kings;
eastward from the Rath of the Kings (that is the truth of it)
is the Well of the Numbering of the Clans,
which is called by the three names:
- 125] Liaig Dail Duib Duirb, Tuath Linde,
and Tipra Bo Finne,
three names to designate it,
to make known the well of Temair.
- Another spring (mighty force),
130] which flows south-west from Temair;
Calf is its name, though it never sucked a cow;
Cormac's Kitchen is on its margin.
- There rise north of Temair
Adlaic and Diadlaic of the host;
135] two springs flow diverse thence
down to the Carn of the Boys.
- Between the two Carns of the Lads
is the Deisel of Temair south of Crinna,
a sward that brings luck before going to death,
140] where men used to make a turn right-hand-wise.
- North of the great hill
is the Rath of Colman, the brown Domnan;
the Grave of Caelchu under a like heap of stones,
lies north-east from the Hall of the Women of Temair.
- 145] Caelchu son of Loarn son of Ruad
son of Cormac Cas, who loved victory,
was the first hostage out of the men of Munster;
from him descend the princes of Ros Temrach.
- The House of Temair, round which is the rath,
150] from it was given to each his due;
honour still continues to such as them
at the courts of kings and princes.
- King and Chief of the Poets,
sage, farmer, they received their due,
155] couches that torches burn not,
the thighs and the chine-steaks.
- Leech and spencer, stout smith,
steward, portly butler,
the heads of the beasts to all of them
160] in the house of the yellow-haired king.
- Engraver, famed architect,
shield-maker, and keen soldier,
in the king's house they drank a cup;
this was their proper due ... a fist.
- 165] Jester, Chess-player, sprawling buffoon,
piper, cheating juggler,
the shank was their share of meat in truth,
when they came into the king's house.
- The shins were the share of the noble musician,
170] the flute-player and rhymester both,
the horn-blower, the piper,
both consumed the broken meats.
- A charge on the prince of Meath,
were the cobblers and comb-makers,
175] the due of the strong skilled folk
was the fat underside of the shoulder.
- The backs, the chines in every dwelling
were given to druids and doorkeepers.
the uruscla belonged without question to the maidens2
180] after serving the house of Tara.
- Colum Cille, who used to redeem captives,
broke the battle against Diarmait;
before he went away over-sea
the lords of Temair gave him obedience.
- 185] The faith of Christ who suffered in the flesh
has brought all strength to nought;
because of the sorrow of the people of God in its house
He gave not protection to Temair.