Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- Carn Fraich what is the reason of the name?
let it be asked of the learned:
the Fraech from whom the goodly cairn is named,
his weapon was not feeble in the fray.
- 5] I ask of you no petty matter,
ye learned that dwell round the spot,
what was the former name of the pointed cairn?
- I will name to you 'tis true lore
10] without contention or wrangling
the Fraech from whom the strong cairn is called
in the plain yonder, excellent in might.
- Cnoc na Dala was its name aforetime,
in the days of Medb great and glorious:
15] it endured to old age thereafter
with every man that dwelt there, past counting.
- Though many names belonged to the Hill in succession
until the coming of Conn, who provoked envy,
they all departed from it,
20] and likewise every man to whom the Hill belonged.
- The foster-father of great Conn mac Felim
was Conall of terraced Cruachu;
though he dwelt in stone-built Cruachu,
he was king over the tribes of Temair.
- 25] Four boys, the rampart of a household, (?)
had Conall in sloping Temair,
they were reared in pointed Cruachu
and among the tribes of Airer Umaill.
- Corc and Connla and gentle Cetgen
30] and Fraech, vigorous youth;
they were a kindred that was doughty in every battle,
the vigorous spirited quartet.
- There grew a war betwixt Conn
and Eogan of the proud exploits:
35] Erin is divided share and share
between the two lusty arrays.
- Before each defined his territory there
arose variance between them,
and each harried the other's kine:
40] no hour was safe from raiding.
- Mighty Eogan Taidlech came
to Cruachu of the dun ramparts,
along with the captain of his stout household
who severs the spear-point from the shaft (?).
- 45] The youth of Munster, long-haired,
commit ravage in Cruachu,
even Eogan and manly Fraech,
two flaming lion-like heroes.
- Conall and his strong clan,
50] and the lusty arrays of his horsemen,
overtook the spoilers of Cruachu, field of wounds,
with the relay horses of the warriors.
- Fraech son of curly-haired Conall
wounded Eogan mild of nature:
55] there was Eogan robbed of his kine
by reason of the forays of the noble clans.
- Fraech, lordly of nature,
the King of Spain's son, famed for horses,
defended his shield at the spear's point,
60] by the might of his right hand, as is fitting.
- The son of Conall, dealer of wounds, answered him,
Fraech of the even-balanced nature:
the two Fraechs from Europe's plains
were the two champions of the chiefs of the mighty ridings.
- 65] The armies sit down by their spears
to behold the young warriors,
and to watch the pair of untried heroes
contending in doughty deeds.
- This was the end of the fierce conflict
70] the son of red-speared Conall is slain:
there followed a slaughter of the Munstermen of the plains:
the spoils left by the nobles decked the victors.
- The children of Conall, sore wounded,
part from each other in the battle,
75] and it is a chilly reward alas!
to be without the great hero at Medraige.
- They raise on the shafts of their spears
the vigorous sons of great chieftains:
they bear away from stone-built Cruachu
80] the Salmon of the tribes of Temair.
- "Let him be laid in this cairn by my side,"
said Conall, the highborn chief:
"his name shall be on the fair cairn
to designate it there among men of lore."
- 85] Carn Fraich it is ever since, from that Fraech
(whoever it be that inquires thereof),
even the son of Conall, never hard about cattle:
I praise its people joyously.
- Some tell another tale
90] concerning Carn Fraich of the princely house:
how it was called from glorious Fidach's son,
the stripling who crushed a mighty band.
- They have settled that the round cairn is named
from Fraech, buoyant of soul,
95] and that it was in the time of Medb long since,
who stirred his spirit against the foemen.
- By the hand of Cuchulainn, famed for goodly feats,
the slender youth surely perished,
in a river-fight (though it be a reproach)
100] he fell by the hand of the strong Hound.
- By the edge of festive Sliab Fuait
at the Ford of Omna, great at mead
was drowned the son of the champion Fidach,
whose hand made no senseless havoc.
- 105] After his drowning in the brimming stream
his head was severed and his war-cry silenced:
the army leaned on their spears,
while the great king (Ailill?) judged the fight.
- All that army make a pause
110] round the head awhile;
they utter round the head a cry of mourning;
it had been better for them to avenge it.
- Before Medb quitted the field,
she saw a strange sight drawing nigh,
115] women-folk, sweet-voiced, famous long after,
their beauty reflected in the stream's shining waters.
- The blooming women-folk bear
the body away with them to the peaceful elf-mound:
they utter wailing and vehement grief;
120] immoderate was their general woe.
- Sid Fraich is so christened by men
from Fidach's son of the gilded spear:
at his Sid 'twas a goodly brood
befell the warrior's destruction, 'tis right pitiful.
- 125] In such wise came his death yonder of yore,
to Fraech son of Fidach from Umall
at the Tain Bo Cualnge, with its forays:
heavy the sorrow of it for his household.