Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- This lake that shallops stir,
though it be now a lake under a stormy flood,
was once a plain blooming with whitethorn,
till it was inundated by the waters of a lake.
- 5] Its name was Mag Airbthen, laden with blackberries,
free from storm and gloomy skies,
until Ri, reddener of the young shoot, settled
on its green-topped harvest-bearing hill.
- Once on a time there came out of the west
10] the sons of Mairid, with thousands of hostages,
lordly were the prolific chieftains
with galleys full of wealth.
- To Belach Liac of the bright warriors
each of them followed his fellow:
15] Eochaid of the slender spears pressed on
till he reached the Brug in Brega of the blows.
- Eochaid we leave on one side
because his story has spread far and wide:
how the furious outburst of Loch Lindmuine
20] wrought the ruin of his shapely form.
- Ri came, with a spear across his back,
to the midst of green Mag Find;
upon it Ri of the raths, fierce in onset,
brought his cavalcade in loose order.
- 25] The plain was called in turn Tir Oenaig Midir
and Mag Find, with triumphs of rich winnings;
it is now a land guarded by saints
since the destruction of Oenach Oengusso.
- Ill-pleased was Midir at that host
30] grazing their kine on that spot,
so he brought upon them every plague that he threatened
for three hours he slept not sound.
- He afflicted them with continual wailing
their kine and oxen he killed in the first hour,
35] their horses no sudden destruction
he slew in the second hour.
- Midir came to them, in the next place,
from Donncholg in the south:
the noble righteous prince of Feine warned them
40] to be gone with all speed;
- Or that he would dispense a mess of death
among the seemly orderly host,
if they should tarry pleasure without flaw
near his Sid, and his noble field.
- 45] "There remains not alive
one of our horses in our dwelling,"
said Ri of Fuat with his men,
"to carry our chattels from thy presence."
- "I have a horse for you hard by,"
50] said Midir, right sternly,
"to carry your substance, great amount,
persons and property alike."
- "In the spot where ye shall let loose on the plain
the beautiful robust pack-horse,
55] on the
of the plain he must not shed
his water, far from the herdsman."
- "He must not stir, with your numbers of chieftains,
to roam or to stray:
he must not lie down, west or east,
60] under your charge, till far on your journey."
- "Send him from you speedily,
after loosing his heavy load:
let his bridle be left on his head
that he may come home without fraud or neglect."
- 65] "If so be he should stale under your charge,
the fiery horse with the heavy load,
I will not pardon it great the punishment,
ye shall rue loan and lending."
- "He will destroy thy children, he will throw them from him,
70] he will drown thy portion, thy kingdom:
it shall be a stormy lake after a number of days,
that shall bury in violent wise the mighty throng."
- As to what Mider said, well for thee, Rí,
if it turn out as we say:
75] but everything that Midir forbade
happened to him, and no good report came of it.
- The horse staled without delay after the journey,
and contrived to stray:
it came home in the west,
80] and left its bridle behind.
- The stale of the ruthless intractable horse
found bottom under the damp earth,
so that a sluice was needed over its bed
to confine it and to dam it wholly.
- 85] Rí the mighty well,
he builds his house about it,
the generous man sets up in truth, look you,
his bed to the west over the spring.
- Thirty years he lived over it
90] in his bed no hard couch,
till it burst with noise from its bonds
on the eve of a Monday at Lugnasad.
- Then it drowns Rí completely
and destroys his fair children:
95] it brought them under the silent ebb-tide in his house,
it drowned his wife and his household.
- It spread abroad without pause,
it was a rolling sea at violent war,
it poured forth all its stormy waters
100] over yellow-brown Mag Airbthen.
- Hence is named in every place
Loch Ri let not its name be hid!
since Ri with keen endeavour perished
beneath stormy wave and heavy waters.
- 105] Years a hundred and eleven after the birth of Christ,
not false the reckoning, was the bursting forth of Loch Rí,
higher than every summit:
it was a fitting appellation, it was a heavy water.