Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- The Well of Sen-Garman, with its chip of wood,
what is the old tale to tell of it?
and whence comes another name,
the bloodstained Field of Criblach?
- 5] Whence this Field is named,
and the Well of Sen-Garman,
I shall declare to you excellent feat!
the cause whence the names arise.
- Sen-Garman of the Mount of Mac Sin,
10] from Loch Lein out of Irluachair,
many roads the beldame traversed;
since she was not young she was skilled in many feats.
- She made a foray southward by the wave,
wherein she wrought the heaped slaughter of Crochdond:
15] a noble aftermath she reaped thereto,
the sack of Cathair Comfossaid.
- Thereafter she went onward to the north,
the fierce woman, furious, right grim:
she smote the lusty shielded man,
20] Gannan, in his home in Caisle.
- Onward she went joyous exploit!
to Mongfind, Find's fostermother,
and burnt the children, whereby she won fame,
at enduring Noid Dromma Bertach.
- 25] Onward she came without disguise;
she reached the mound of the men of Femen,
and slew Dub Roit of the rout
in his own home at Formael.
- Sen-Garman and her fortunate son
30] joined in ravage15:
there they made fair alliance
with gentle Criblach from Cruachan.
- Son to Criblach was Crimthann Cass:
he was no shirker in the mêlée:
35] as for his compeer, he was strong
in wisdom, was the son of Sen-Garman.
- The force of nine was in Criblach
where she mingled in the strife;
and the force of nine likewise,
40] with martial renown, in Sen-Garman.
- The two of them had the force of twice nine men,
(doings without concealment, without respite:)
the terror of four nines likewise,
this their united force possessed.
- 45] A surprise for Find was the declaration
of the bold four complete,
that in his time reaving undismayed
should be wrought by them in Erin.
- Thereupon Find himself pursues them
50] till they went from the land;
and they found no place of refuge
on plain, on sea, nor on firm land.
- Till on a day they found there
a spring of water, a cool stream,
55] just issuing from the earth,
though unfamiliar to Sen-Garman.
- Garman lays down her son
after fatigue and after fighting;
Slechtaire of the forays turns
60] toward the well for a space.
- He sets to cleansing the dwelling
stoutly, right boldly;
he flings from him out from its wall
the clay thereof and high-piled gravel.
- 65] Thereafter he came out again
and hid not his secret:
he found a shelter against the assault of the army of Find,
a great house under the dry earth.
- The bold four came
70] toward the ancient dwelling;
secretly they brought to their shelter
plenty of game and wild stock.
- They went on a day upon Luachair
though it was an infringement of utter seclusion:
75] they see coming down a road I know not
a young warrior whom they did not recognize.
- Ossin, he it was;
alas for the meeting, that it was not tardy!
they come to blows without parley:
80] they carry him with them to their chief abode.
- One day Ossin was in the house yonder;
in rigid bondage:
Crimthand Coel son of Criblach
gave him a noble spear-shaft to plane.
- 85] Ossin planed his shaft for him
shamefacedly and reluctantly;
he fitted the bright spear without difficulty
as Crimthand directed.
- Ossin made covertly
90] a ball of the shavings of the spear-shaft:
he cast it from him from his finger-tips
out on the water of the spring.
- On a time Find was at the ford
at close of day in the twilight;
95] and he saw the shavings coming towards him
down the bosom of pure, bright Fele.
- He caught it in his hand famous act!
his spirit was strengthened within him:
"Ossin is the maker!" saith each man,
100] "whatever the spot whence it was thrown."
- All the warriors went forth
up the river, to its source:
they see a silent hole in the ground,
the place where was Sen-Garman's home.
- 105] They take their spears to them;
they cast aside their cloaks;
they set to digging up the earth,
till Sen-Garman saw them.
- Criblach got away from them
110] in spite of the hundred armed warriors:
the noble Find slew her apart
in the west at Airer Criblaige.
- Slechtaire fled a short way
by another road wandering through the land:
115] he went from them as the wind might go,
the vigorous lion, wise and proud.
- Find went (it was a famous exploit)
after the son of Sen-Garman:
the king of the Fianna far famed held him in pledge
120] in the west, at Berre of the blows.
- Crimthand advanced through the warriors
and hard was his path:
Find caught him treacherously apart,
Crimthand Coel son of Criblach.
- 125] Sen-Garman he fetched from underground,
(it was no sure path) after fresh toil:
he set her head in the noose of a gad;
her body is put in the well.
- Currech left not, it is heard,
130] a son who should increase the strong brood,
except the messenger unprosperous,
Slechtaire son of Sen-Garman.
- This is the authentic legend
and these were the doings
of the crew who fared on the foray,
135] who bound Ossin under the spring.