Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
Bend Etair II
- Though it be dark to me in my bed,
though it be a tale of testing and difficult indeed,
yet clear to see with profit of laudation
is every famous plain, every famous fortress.
- 5] There is many a peak alongside the most famous monuments,
ranked not unjustly above every domain,
the achievement of every host was set in order due,
so that all are illuminated.
- I see five eponyms of strong heights
10] of renown and splendour,
no weak array among their peers,
chief in honour and mighty for ever.
- The Hill of Etar, forehead to wave,
The Dun of Brea son of Senboth Saeroll,
15] The Stone of Cualu against assault of pillage,
The Ridge of Ing
son of Dorbglas,
- Mount Lecga, the next spot
prepared against ruses and pillage,
is the fifth bright "knot of testing,"
20] though it be very high it is not very dark.
- I will tell you in pleasant converse,
without lamentation or sorrowful song,
the history, free from secret of soft lust,
of noble fort and noble hill alike.
- 25] Partholon detached in the East;
that he might be over far-famed Elg,
Brea son of Senboth of abiding valour,
for exploits and armed vengeance.
- The duel (not good the custom)
30] was instituted by the noble gracious son of Senboth,
the roofed hunting-booths of osier,
and the all-black iron vessels.
- Brea son of Senboth of the spears got
a dun and a river-harbour and a noble sea;
35] 'tis he truly (he was not wanton-foolish)
who was the first man to inhabit them.
- There died Brea, assuredly,
and his whole family along with him;
their graves, with deed of war and rapine,
40] have I seen in the territory of Cualu.
- Five wives they brought hither,
the five sons of Dela without stain
one of the five women was
Etar the splendid and stately.
- 45] 'Twas she died here, first of all
before the wife of any king ('tis well known),
of grief for long-limbed radiant Gand,
in Bend Etar, suddenly.
- In Etar (which found sadness from this cause
50] without compare, without equal)
she died, the softly-bright active
wife of the steadfast king of Fremu.
- Hence is named noble Etar
the royal harbour, hundred-strong, complete;
55] though there possessed it, in wealth and plenty,
Etar the famous, son of Etgaeth.
- Etar, murderous of mood in every strife,
was allied to Manannan;
he died here apart across the sea
60] for love of radiant Aine.
- Crimthand Shield-mouth, goodly in battle,
by whom fell Cualu the hundred-strong,
put his head, leader of the host, in this wise
on Oe Cualand of the vast plundering.
- 65] The unblemished stone whereon that head was set,
the red mangled head of the kingly man,
thence comes the name, above the abiding road,
of the renowned, the ancient Oe.
- In the same well-matched battle of shields
70] fell the son of heavy-handed Dorb-glas,
and was buried without litter
at Druim Ing without contention.
- From them is called, without clear error,
Druim Ing and lofty Oe;
75] from their destruction is the name mentioned among hosts;
from their graves, from their deaths.
- When there went forth for an evil exploit
the three sons of Conmand, son of Conmac,
and the three grandsons of Dond Desa lord of troops,
80] who was leader in a life of peril.
- It was on the very night of Samain,
an occasion for foray and fighting,
up to Derg's oaken house, full of doors,
when they over-mastered Conaire,
- 85] This was their road from Long Laga,
along shallow Tond Uairbeoil,
to Glenn da Gruad across Gabar
across Suan and across Senchora,
- 90] To the point of outlook clear
at Oe Cualann under like rule,
to dark Cuilend, over Crecca,
over Sruthar, over Sliab Lecga.
- The 'Mountain of Sobail' son of old Sengand,
by every certain lawful division,
95] till the time of Ingcel noble and splendid
was the original name of the ancient mountain.
- Then said Lomna the buffoon,
without gloom or dejection,
"Leave ye here for a lucky goal
100] a hand-stone for every hero."
- "Everyone of this loving lucky host
that is left after the slaughter and havoc
let them come hither in due order
to fetch each man his stone.
- 105] "Thence shall ye all know
the losses of your brave band;
there will not be present at the roll-call
aught but a stone for every dead man slain."
- From those stones till now
110] clear above the occurrences of the land
is Sliab Lecga to my searching gaze;
even without sight of eyes it is not wholly dark.