Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])

poem 40

Carn Hui Neit

  1. The grave of Bress, gifted with excellences,
    master of love-spells,
    the son of comely Elatha,
    the brave ancestor of our gathering,
  2. 5] The brave son of Neit, son of Indui,
    who was son of Allda, splendid in bounty,
    son of Tat, son of Taburn, high in courage,
    high in fame,
  3. Son of Enda, son of Baa,
    10] who went rowing on his voyages,
    son of Ibad the comely,
    who was the noble son of Bethach,
  4. Son of Iarbonel the seer,
    with strife of dreadful lance.
    15] son of Nemed, armed with weapons,
    who came in swift ships.
  5. This was their alliance —
    it was no counsel of weariness —
    between the Tuatha De for certain
    20] and the powerful Cland Nemid.

  6. p.219

  7. Bress, a kindly friend was he,
    noble he was and fortunate,
    ornament of the host, with visage never woeful,
    of the Tuath De he was the flower.
  8. 25] The drink of a hundred for each roof-tree
    was brought to the chieftain without fail,
    of the milk of dun-hued kine:
    he suffered from that fare.
  9. In the reign of Nechtan bass-chain,
    30] of dear fame, of enduring purpose,
    at the cost of the King of the two Munsters,
    occurred the cause of the enduring name.
  10. The kine of every townland in Munster —
    lasting harm! — by Nechtan's orders
    35] were singed, over ferns,
    till they were black of hue.
  11. A mess of ashes was smeared
    by the noted men of cunning
    on the kine famed for fatness
  12. They fashioned stout kine of wood —
    that whole host noble and slender:
    Lug, who was dutiful on all occasions,
    chose them and brought them together.

  13. p.221

  14. 45] Pails in their forks were set
    with cheerful nimbleness;
    red stuff, with no bright shining fatness,
    that is the milk that filled them.
  15. Three hundred, that was their number
    50] on the road to that gathering:
    at this contest, through his cheating illusion,
    there was not a cow of these kine alive.
  16. Bress, hot of valour, came
    to the middle of the field to judge them:
    55] thereby, without prosperous issue,
    he perished and died.
  17. From the drove were measured
    three hundred measures, bitter-harsh,
    for the spear-attended king to drink:
    60] it was a preparation of ill-presage.
  18. Bress had a vow not to refuse
    any feat that was offered him:
    he drank it off without flinching:
    I know not what it brings.
  19. 65] At the Carn of radiant Ua Neit
    it killed the stern scion,
    when he had drunk without dread
    a draught of the dark ruddy liquor.

  20. p.223

  21. By reason of this unfair demand, without due observance
    70] since the failure of his vow,
    without rightful and seemly honour
    the grave of Bress covers him.

  22. p.225