Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- Daily I celebrate this lake,
swiftly I weave the lore of legend:
a lake not shrunk and scanty at summer-tide,
whose name is Dergderc strong and vast.
- 5] I have heard of a king of pure strength
ruling here over the land of Tuath-Mumu;
a prop of his people, notable for goodly shape,
Eochaid son of opulent Luchta.
- Luchta son of Lugair of the lake
10] son of bright Lugaid Lamfind,
son of tall
son of heroic Leo Lamfata,
- Son of Smirdub, son of gentle Molach,
son of Gaeth Golach, son of Ingaeth,
15] son of Cormac Corach (thou hearest),
son of Ailill Laebchuire,
- Son of Ruad, son of eager Marthene,
son of Find, son of wealthy Sithchend,
son of Galach, whose wrath I provoke not,
20] son of noble Riagall, who was a ruler,
- Son of Eoin Brec, lord over territories (hearken!),
son of Ith and son of Breogan,
son of doughty Brath (good renown),
of the race of Gaedel ever fair.
- 25] The history of Eochaid, no sordid giver,
has been spread abroad far and wide:
for his illustrious pedigree
is no sordid preface.
- A king more generous with his splendid treasures
30] never held Clare of the hundreds:
in every conflict he was a "beetle of havoc"
till he was found laid low at Findchora.
- There came a poet of Ulster (sordid greed
without reason) on his continual questing,
because he had heard (choice his exploits!)
there was none in Erin to whom Eochaid would say nay.
- A single eye had the King of Druim Derg
he was the kindly one-eyed man of the red sword:
terrible the treacherous business that brought from home
40] the son of Athglo, to demand it.
- "Give me thine eye grey and bright,"
said the surly malignant druid:
"thou among all men art specially distinguished
by fame for generosity among the Gaels."
- 45] "Thou shalt have, without reproach for deceit,
what thou seekest, O Ferchertne!"
said the warrior of wounding weapons,
"though that is the hard request."
- The King of Clare and Codal put
50] (it was a deed of dread and of horror)
his finger under his grey ball-like eye,
so that it lay on the palm of mac Athglo.
- He said, upbraiding him as he went,
(he had extinguished all vast generosity)
55] "of all men it is I that have checked thee:
thy one remaining eye hath satisfied my importunity."
- As to Eochaid, however, he was not unguided;
he went thence on a right fortunate road
to seek water cold and pure,
60] till he found a lonely unfrequented spot.
- One blameless man alone takes charge
of the high-born man brig-lit and splendid:
there was but one in a hundred that would receive
the high king with peaceful welcome.
- 65] The sagacious man who was his guide
sought out every rush-bed in turn:
he deemed, by rule of harmless sorcery,
that there would be help in pure water.
- "Long life to thee, O king far-ruling,
70] free from danger and treacherous crime!
there is not to be had here for precious treasure
the means to wash thy face, noble sir."
- Eochaid approached the rush-bed;
he was not awkward, he was not indiscreet:
75] following his hand, as he plucked up the rushes without violence,
came the spring, the water of a fountain.
- To stanch the blood (this is true),
the gracious king's eye is bathed
from the spring of the secret waters,
80] round which hung a threat of mortal import.
- Eochaid put his head without offence
firmly under the spring thrice:
so that the deep hole was red and gory
with the king's blood, champion of famous compacts.
- 85] Eochaid, marvellous in hospitality, received
through the might of the King of the high sun
(a happy mystery best of all abundance)
two bright clear-shining eyes.
- As Eochaid of Assal looked
90] on the pool with its shower of drops,
he said, by a sudden impulse, the mighty man,
"Dergderc (Red-pool) is thy proper name."
- Hence comes it was an appropriate title
the name of the pleasant lake,
95] when meet with a murmur mark!
the spring and the broad lake.
- Hence was fought, without quarter,
the battle at the fence of Findchora:
shock of battle of the fierce spearmen
100] a sad subject is that final hour.
- To the King who suffered, better than any prince,
let not my earnest supplication be scanty!
that I may reign with the King of the bright winds,
whom the hero of the lake-waters assails not.20
- 105] Here is the legend, with series of exploits,
of Loch Dergderc of the conquests,
even as we found in books
the precious knowledge of the noble lake.