Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- Loch Erne high its leap!
was a turbulent pool, without bright tranquillity,
when first it showed its troubled waters in the north,
on a radiant evening in harvest.
- 5] Fiachu Labraind, with numerous hosts
extolled beyond every armed squadron,
unerring hand in use of spears,
was son to Smirgoll son of Smertha.
- Smertha, famed for bloody prowess,
10] was son to ever-combative Senboth,
warrior proved in seething carnage,
son of strong-armed Tigernmas.
- The chieftain arrayed the battle of Carmun,
even Fiachu Labraind it was a warlike arbitrament-
15] wherein Eochu Faebuir son of Conmael
fell ingloriously by treacherous chance.
- Fiachu right radiant, he that found Labraind,
was made king thereafter without division,
and reigned four and twenty years, 'tis sooth,
20] till Echaid Mumo slew him.
- Four outburstings reckon ye
in the reign of right-adventurous Fiachu
strong drink hath not confounded them together
the bursting of the Flesc, the bursting of the Mand,
- 25] The outbreaking of the Labraind from Liathmag
whence we draw a like name for noble Fiachu:
the bursting of blameless Loch Erne,
an imperishable name hath exalted it.
- Four battles were won by Fiachu
30] over high chieftains (a prosperous career);
the king of Berre set them in array,
down to the battle of Sliab Belgadain.
- The battle of Fairge enduring the name
the battle of radiant Sliab Femin:
35] loftily he tamed the strife,
the fierce battle of Gatlach, scene of conflict.
- A fourth battle he arrayed thereafter
against the Erainn, victory was granted before him:
he well-nigh obliterated them by his valour,
40] strong Fiachu, lord of Fobar.
- Then the lake burst forth
under the array, till it quaked with cold,
in the country, with its pure bright portion,
where dwelt the red-armed Erainn.
- 45] Hence comes the valiant title,
the name of vast Loch Erne;
though afterwards there was drowned there
the gentle comely Erne.
- The chaste Erne, who knew no art of wounding,
50] the daughter of loud-shouting Borg Bán
(the warrior was an overmatch for a powerful third)
the white-skinned son of Mainchin son of Mochu.
- The noble Erne, devoid of martial spirit,24
was chief among the maidens
in Rath Cruachan, home of lightsome sports:
women not a few obeyed her will.
- To her belonged, to judge of them,
the trinkets of Medb, famed for combats,
her comb, her casket unsurpassed,
60] with her fillet of red gold.
- There came to thick-wooded Cruachu
Olcai with grim and dreadful fame,
and he shook his beard at the host,
the sullen and fiery savage.
- 65] The young women and maidens
scattered throughout Cruach Cera
at the apparition of his grisly shape
and the roughness of his brawling voice.
- Erne fled, with a troop of women,
70] under Loch Erne, that is never dull,
and over them poured its flood northward
and drowned them all together.
- Though it may be from them 'tis a sure judgment
in presence of the hosts, and no dubious right,
75] it is an imperishable title that it has achieved,
even the name of noble Loch Erne.
- O King, may I have, safe and certain,
a sure welcome to comfort me!
may I find it in glorious Heaven,
80] O thou that didst raise up Loch Erne!