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The Metrical Dindshenchas

Author: [unknown]

File Description

Edward Gwynn

translated by Edward Gwynn

Electronic edition compiled by Lisa Boucher , Alf Siewers , Saorla Ó Corráin

Funded by University College, Cork and
The Connacht Project, the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Political Change, NUI Galway and
the HEA via the LDT Project

2. Second draft.

Extent of text: 43050 words


CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork
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(2005) (2010)

Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T106500D

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Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


Copyright for the printed edition lies with the School of Celtic Studies (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies).


Todd Lecture Series
Text ID Number: 11


    Manuscript sources
  1. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 1229, olim 23 E 25, al. Leabhar na hUidhre.
  2. Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1339 olim H. 2. 18, al. the Book of Leinster, pp. 151–170 and 191–216 of facsimile.
  3. Rennes, Bibliothèque Municipale, The Rennes MS, ff. 90–125.
  4. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 12, The Book of Ballymote, pp. 349–410.
  5. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 P 2, al. the Book of Lecan, pp. 461–525.
  6. Trinity College Dublin, The Yellow Book of Lecan, H 2 16, pp. 438–455 of facsimile.
  7. Trinity College Dublin, MS H 3 3 (1322).
  8. Trinity College Dublin, MS H 2 15 b (1317), pp. 157–end (a copy of H).
  9. Trinity College Dublin, MS E 4 1 (1436).
  10. Trinity College Dublin, MS H 2 4, pp. 462–590 (an 18th cent copy of B).
  11. Trinity College Dublin, MS H 1 15 (1289), pp. 409–532 (an 18th cent copy of B).
  12. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, The Book of Huí Maine, Stowe, D II 1, ff. 143–169.
  13. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Stowe, D II 2.
  14. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Stowe, B II 2. A fragment.
  15. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Stowe, B III 1.
  16. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Reeves, 832, pp. 61–197.
  1. The corresponding prose versions of the poems contained in this file were published in Stokes' edition of the Rennes Dindshenchas, in RC 15 and 16.
  2. Carl Marstrander, 'Snám dá Én na eóin dia tá' [Dindshenchas from the Book of Leinster, 202b, collated with 23 L 22, , 23 L 34, and , 24 P 5 (RIA)] Ériu 5 (1911) 221-225; 248-249.
    Secondary literature: a selection
  1. Journals devoted to the study of names and place names such as BUPNS, 1st and 2nd series, and Ainm have their own webpages at
  2. James Norris Brewer, The beauties of Ireland: being original delineations, topographical, historical, and biographical of each county. 2 vols. 1823–26. [Contains only the province of Leinster and the county of Cork with general introduction. No more published.]
  3. G. H. Orpen, 'Ptolemy's map of Ireland'. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 4th series 24 (1894) 115–28.
  4. Alexander Bugge, Caithreim Chellachain Chaisil. The victorious career of Cellachan of Cashel or the Wars between the Irishmen and the Norsemen in the middle of the tenth century. With translation and notes. Christiana, 1905.
  5. H. Cameron Gillies, The place-names of Argyll, London 1906.
  6. Patrick Power, The place names of Decies, London 1907.
  7. Edmund Ignatius Hogan, Onomasticon Goedelicum, Locorum et tribuum hiberniae et scotiae. An index, with identifications, to the Gaelic names of places and tribes. Dublin and London 1910. An electronic edition which was compiled by the Locus Project, na Ranna Gaeilge, University College Cork, is available online at
  8. Patrick Power, Place-names and antiquities of South East Cork, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. 34, section C, nos. 1 and 9, 1917–18.
  9. Rudolf Thurneysen, Die irische Helden- und Königsage bis zum siebzehnten Jahrhundert (Halle a. S. 1921), reprinted Hildesheim (Olms) 1980, 36–45.
  10. Paul Walsh, 'The earliest records of Fermanagh', Irish Ecclesiastical Record, 5th series 34 (1924) 344–55.
  11. Liam Price, Place names of County Wicklow: the Irish form and meaning of parish, townland, and local names, Wexford 1935.
  12. Éamonn O'Tuathail, 'Notes on some Irish place names'. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 67:1 (1937) 77–88.
  13. C. Ó Lochlainn, 'Roadways in ancient Ireland', in: Féil-sgríbhinn Eóin Mhic Néill, ed. J. Ryan (Dublin 1940) 465–74.
  14. Liam Price, The place-names of County Wicklow. 7 pts. Dublin 1945–67.
  15. Thomas F. O'Rahilly, On Ptolemy's geography of Ireland, in: Early Irish History and Mythology, Dublin 1946 (repr. 1999) 1–42; 453–66.
  16. Edward O'Toole, Place names of County Carlow, Carlow 1947.
  17. Hugh Shearman, Ulster (The County Books series), 1950.
  18. Julius Pokorny, Die Geographie Irlands bei Ptolemaios, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 24 (1954) 94–120.
  19. Paul Walsh, The place-names of Westmeath, Dublin 1957.
  20. James J. Tierney, Ptolemy's map of Scotland, Journal of Hellenic studies 79 (1959) 132–148.
  21. Liam Ó Buachalla, 'An early 14th century placename list for Anglo-Norman Cork', Dinnseanchas 2 (1966) 1–12.
  22. K. W. Nicholls, 'Some place-names from 'The Red Book of the earls of Kildare''. Dinnseanchas 3 (1968–69) 25–37, 61–62.
  23. K. W. Nicholls, 'Some place-names from Pontificia Hibernica'. Dinnseanchas 3:4 (1969) 85–98.
  24. T. J. Hughes, 'Town and baile in Irish place-names'. In: Irish geographical studies in honour of E. Estyn Evans, eds. N. Stephens, R.E. Glasscock (Belfast 1970) 244–58.
  25. Margaret Gelling, 'The Place-Names of the Isle of Man', Journal of the Manx Museum, 7:87 (1971) 168–75.
  26. Charles Thomas, 'The Irish settlements in post-Roman western Britain: A survey of the evidence', Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, ns, 6:4 (1972) 251–74.
  27. Éamonn de Hóir, 'The anglicisation of Irish place-names', Onoma, 17 (1972) 192–204.
  28. Deirdre Flanagan, 'Settlement terms in Irish place-names', Onoma, 17 (1972) 157–72.
  29. Magne Oftedal, 'Scandinavian place-names in Ireland', in: Bo Almquist, David Greene (eds.), Proceedings of the Seventh Viking Congress, Dublin, 15–21 August 1973 (Dublin 1976) 125–33.
  30. C. Bowen, 'A historical inventory of the Dindshenchas', Studia Celtica 10 (1975–76) 113–137.
  31. Myles Dillon, 'The Irish Settlements in Wales'. Celtica, 12 (1977) 1–11.
  32. Breandán Ó Ciobháin, Toponomia Hiberniae 1, Barúntacht Dhún Thuaidh (Barony of Dunkerron North). Dublin 1978.
  33. John Field, Place-names of Great Britain and Ireland, Newton Abbot 1980.
  34. Tomás Ó Concheanainn, 'The three forms of Dinnshenchas Érenn', Journal of Celtic Studies 3 (1981) 88–131.
  35. Thomas Fanning, 'Early Christian sites in the barony of Corkaguiney', in: Donnchadh Ó Corráin, (ed.), Irish antiquity: essays and studies presented to Professor M.J. O'Kelly (Cork 1981) 241–46.
  36. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, 'The barony names of Fermanagh and Monaghan', Clogher Record: Journal of the Clogher Historical Society 9 (1984), 387–402; 11:3 (1982–5) 387–402.
  37. Deirdre Flanagan, 'The Christian impact on early Ireland: place-names evidence', in: Próinséas Ní Chatháin & Michael Richter (eds.), Irland und Europa–Ireland and Europe. Die Kirche im Frühmittelalter–the early Church (Stuttgart 1984) 25–51.
  38. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, Mayo Places: Their Names and Origins. 1985.
  39. K. W. Nicholls, 'Medieval Leinster dynasties and families: three topographical notes', Peritia 5 (1986) 409–15.
  40. Breandán S. Mac Aodha, 'The element áth/ford in Irish place-names'. Nomina 11 (1987) 115–22.
  41. Proinseas Mac Cana, Place-names and mythology in Irish tradition', in: G. W. MacLennan (ed.), Proceedings of the first North-American Congress of Celtic Studies, Ottawa 1988, 319–341.
  42. Helmut Jäger, 'Medieval landscape terms of Ireland: the evidence of Latin and English documents', in: John Bradley (ed.), Settlement and society in medieval Ireland: studies presented to F. X. Martin, OSA (Kilkenny 1988) 277–90.
  43. Liam Mac Mathúna, 'The topographical vocabulary of Irish: patterns and implications'. Ainm 4 (1989–90) 144–164.
  44. Breandán S. Mac Aodha, 'Lake-names on Mercator's map of Ireland'. Nomina, 12 (1989 for 1988/9), 11–16.
  45. Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig, 'The place-names of Rathlin Island'. Ainm 4 (1989–90) 3–89.
  46. T. S. Ó Máille, 'Irish place-names in -as, -es, -is, -os, -us'. Ainm 4 (1989–90) 125–143.
  47. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'A reconsideration of some place-names from miscellaneous Irish annals', Ainm 4 (1989–90) 180–193.
  48. Jeffrey Spittal, John Field, A reader's guide to the place-names of the United Kingdom: a bibliography of publications, 1920-1989, on the place-names of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, The Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. Stamford, 1990.
  49. A. J. Hughes, 'Irish place-names: some perspectives, pitfalls, procedures and potential'. Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, 14:2 (1991) 116–148.
  50. Cathal Dallat, 'Townlands: their origin and significance', in: Tony Canavan (ed.), Every stoney acre has a name: a celebration of the townland in Ulster (Belfast 1991) 3–10.
  51. A. S. MacShamhrain, 'Placenames as indicators of settlement', Archaeology Ireland, 5:3 (1991) 19-21.
  52. Alan Mac An Bhaird, 'Ptolemy revisited', Ainm 5 (1991–93) 1–20.
  53. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'A reconsideration of some placenames from 'The Annals of Innishfallen'', Ainm 5 (1991–93) 21–32.
  54. Place-names of Northern Ireland, general editor Gerard Stockman. 6 Vols. [v. 1. County Down I, Newry and South-West Down, eds. Gregory Toner and Mícheál B. Ó Mainnín; v. 2. County Down II, The Ards, eds. A.J. Hughes and R.J. Hannan; v. 3. County Down III, The Mournes, ed. Mícheál B. Ó Mainnín; v. 4. County Antrim I, The baronies of Toome, ed. Patrick McKay; v. 5. County Derry I, The Moyola Valley, ed. Gregory Toner; v. 6. County Down IV, North-West Down, Iveagh, ed. Kay Muhr;.] Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast, 1992–1996.
  55. Place-names of Northern Ireland, general editor Nollaig Ó Muraíle. Vol. 7: County Antrim II, Ballycastle and North-East Antrim, ed. Fiachra Mac Gabhann. Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast, 1997.
  56. Art Ó Maolfabhail, 'The role of toponymy in the Ordnance Survey of Ireland', Études celtiques 29 (1992) 319–325.
  57. Gillian Fellows Jensen, 'Scandinavian place-names of the Irish sea province', in: J. A. Graham-Campbell (ed.), Viking treasure from the north-west: the Cuerdale hoard in its context (National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside Occasional Papers 5) (Liverpool 1992) 31–42.
  58. Tomás G. Ó Canann, 'Áth Uí Chanannáin and the toponomy of medieval Mide'. Ríocht na Mídhe [Journal of the County Meath Historical Society] 8:4 (1992–93) 78–83.
  59. Michael B. Ó Mainnin, 'The mountain names of County Down'. Nomina 17 (1994) 31–53.
  60. Deirdre & Laurence Flanagan, Irish place-names. Dublin 1994.
  61. Adrian Room, A dictionary of Irish place-names. Revised edition. Belfast 1994.
  62. Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig, 'Placenames and early settlement in County Donegal', in: William Nolan, Liam Ronayne, Mairead Dunlevy (eds.), Donegal: history & society. Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county (Dublin 1995) 149–182.
  63. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, 'Recent publications relating to Irish place-names', Ainm 6 (1994–95) 115–122.
  64. Micheál Ó Braonáin, Príomhshruth Éireann. Luimneach 1994. [A poem by a Roscommon poet on the River Shannon (1794) listing 30 tributaries and over 300 place-names.]
  65. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'A reconsideration of some place-names from 'The annals of Connacht'' Ainm 6 (1994–95) 1–31.
  66. Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig, 'Early ecclesiastical settlement names of county Galway', In: Gerard Moran, (ed.) Galway: history & society: interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county (Dublin 1996) 795–815.
  67. Simon Taylor, 'Place-names and the early church in eastern Scotland', in: Barbara Elizabeth Crawford, (ed.), Scotland in dark age Britain, (Aberdeen 1996) 93–110.
  68. Brian Ó Cuív, 'Dinnshenchas: the literary exploitation of Irish place-names', Ainm 4 (1989–90) 90–106.
  69. Tomás Ua Ciarrbhaic, 'North Kerry placenames', The Kerry Magazine 7 (1996) 33–34.
  70. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'A reconsideration of some place-names from the Annals of Tigernach', Ainm 7 (1996–97) 1–27.
  71. Gregory Toner, 'A reassessment of the element Cuilleann', Ainm 7 (1996–97) 94–101.
  72. Gregory Toner, 'The backward nook: Cúil and Cúl in Irish placenames', Ainm 7 (1996–97) 113–117.
  73. Kay Muhr, 'The Northern Ireland Placename Project 1987–97', Ainm 7 (1996–97) 118–119.
  74. Conleth Manning, 'Daire Mór identified'. Peritia 11 (1997) 359–69.
  75. Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, 'Place-names as a resource for the historical linguist', in Simon Taylor, The uses of place-names (St. John's House Papers, 7) (Edinburgh: Scottish Cultural, 1998) 12–53.
  76. Seosamh Ó Dufaigh, 'Medieval Monaghan: the evidence of the placenames'. Clogher Record: Journal of the Clogher Historical Society, 16:3 (1999) 7–28.
  77. Patrick McKay, A dictionary of Ulster place-names. Belfast: Queen's University of Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, 1999.
  78. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, 'The place-names of Clare Island', in: Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh, Kevin Whelan, (eds.), New survey of Clare Island, volume I: history and cultural landscape (Dublin 1999) 99–141.
  79. Gregory Toner, 'The definite article in Irish place-names'. Nomina, 22 (1999) 5–24.
  80. Sharon Arbuthnot, Short cuts to etymology: placenames in Cóir Anmann, Ériu 50 (1999) 79–86.
  81. Patrick McKay, A dictionary of Ulster place-names, Belfast 1999.
  82. Kevin Murray, 'Fr Edmund Hogan's 'Onomasticon Goedelicum', ninety years on: reviewers and users', Ainm 8 (1998–2000) 65–75.
  83. Art Ó Maolfabhail,'Ar lorg na Breatnaise in Éirinn', Ainm 8 (1998–2000) 76–92.
  84. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'A reconsideration of some place-names from 'Fragmentary Annals of Ireland'', Ainm 8 (1998–2000) 41–51.
  85. Gregory Toner, 'Settlement and settlement terms in medieval Ireland: Ráth and Lios'. Ainm 8 (1998–2000) 1–40.
  86. Michael J. Bowman, Place names and antiquities of the Barony of Duhallow, ed. by Jean J. MacCarthy, Tralee 2000.
  87. Eoghan Ó Mórdha, 'The placenames in the Book of Cuanu', in: Alfred P. Smyth (ed.), Seanchas: studies in early and medieval Irish archaeology, history and literature in honour of Francis J. Byrne (Dublin 2000) 189–91.
  88. Kay Muhr, 'Territories, people and place names in Co. Armagh', in: A. J. Hughes, William Nolan (eds.), Armagh: history & society: interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county (Dublin: Geography Publications, 2001) 295–332.
  89. Kay Muhr, 'The early place-names of County Armagh'. Seanchas Ardmhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, 19:1 (2002) 1–54.
  90. Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames/Foclóir Stairiúil Áitainmneacha na Gaeilge, London: Irish Texts Society 2003. [Volume 1 of Hogan's revised Onomasticon.]
  91. Petra S. Hellmuth, 'The Dindshenchas and Irish literary tradition', in: John Carey, Máire Herbert and Kevin Murray (eds.), Cín Chille Chúile, Texts, Saints and Places, Essays in honour of Pádraig Ó Riain, Aberystwyth 2004.
  92. Pádraig Ó Riain, Diarmuid Ó Murchadha and Kevin Murray, Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames, Fascicle 3 [C-Ceall Fhursa] (London: Irish Texts Society 2008).
  93. Rudolf Thurneysen, Die irische Helden- und Königsage bis zum siebzehnten Jahrhundert (Halle 1921; reprinted Hildesheim: Olms 1980) passim.
  94. Whitley Stokes (ed. & tr.), 'The prose tales in the Rennes dindshenchas', Revue Celtique 15 (1894) 272–336, 418–84; 16 (1895) 31–83, 135–67, 269–312.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. The Metrical Dindshenchas. in Volume 4Edward Gwynn (ed), Second reprint [x + 474 pp.] Dublin Institute for Advanced StudiesDublin (1991) (first published 1906) (reprinted 1941)


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The present text represents odd pages 3–371 of the volume. All editorial introduction, apparatus; extensive notes and footnotes have been omitted. The Irish text is available as a separate file. Editorial addenda and corrigenda, from volume 5, pp.141-145, are integrated in the electronic edition.

Editorial Declaration


The text has been proofread twice. Text supplied by the editor is tagged sup resp="EG". Text supplied by Maurice O'Clery is tagged. Corrections are tagged corr sic resp="EG"; where the emendation is tentative, the corresponding 'cert' attribute has been allocated a value of 40 per cent.


Direct speech is tagged q.


CELT practice. Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break or line-break, this break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word.


div0=the whole text; div1=the volume; div2=the section; div3=the individual text in poetry or prose; page-breaks and line-breaks are marked. The text is based mainly on the Book of Leinster. Folio numbers of the manuscript are not indicated in the printed edition. Passages in verse are marked by poem, stanza and line.

Standard Values

Dates are standardized in the ISO form yyyy-mm-dd.


Names are not tagged. A few terms in Irish are tagged as such.

Canonical References

This text uses the DIV3 element to represent the poem/story.

Profile Description

Created: Translation by Edward Gwynn [for details of Irish text see file G106500D]. (c. 1905)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The translation is in English.
Language: [GA] Some words in Old and Middle Irish are retained.
Language: [LA] Some words are in Latin.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T106500D

The Metrical Dindshenchas: Author: [unknown]




  1. O thou that comest from the north, surrounded by troops in noble triumph! art thou attentive, till the hour for sleep, to the plain tale of the fierce rapids?
  2. Ess Ruaid—what Ruad owned its rapids? who visited the fair-formed haven? was it man or woman of forgotten power that gave the mound its noble name?
  3. Aed ruad, Badurn's comely son—since his day the royal rapids have lost their vehemence: on their bank ('twas a dolorous event) stands his mound and his noble monument.
  4. I have not heard, on land or lovely sea, of any of the children of Ír or Eber that could attain a third part of the beauty of generous Aed, lord even of Emain.
  5. A bitter pang aroused Aed, rich with a good father's wealth, when he plunged into the
    rapids, to his judgement and destruction.
  6. Thus came Argatmar's grandson to the doom of chill death: his name abides on his rapids, the name of the brave dead man unblamed.
  7. Then was dug on the hill the grave of Aed, covered by a single cloak: and there, above that one man's comely face, stands his honoured mound.

  8. p.5

  9. Hither chanced to come in after-days the daughter of Máine mil-scothach: a slumber lulled her in her turn: Ruad was her name, in her first husband's time.
  10. She fared her way, wandering afar, the worshipful maiden they acclaim, when she gave that great love, in vain, to Aed srónmár, son of Labraid.
  11. From Mag Móen, scene of mighty battles, the daughter of mighty Máine, the taper-fingered, came on a path of happy love, leaving on her left hand Erin of the red weapons.
  12. She crossed the waves that laughed at her in the ship of Abcán the arch-poet till that fair and modest maiden happened upon the famous bay.
  13. Ruad knew not whose was the country nor the harbour till she chanced on it, but she asked, in no uncertain wise, that the river should be her freehold.
  14. Then she fell asleep among the streams of the eddying bays; she perished lamentably in her boat of fair bronze.
  15. The maiden with the white hands, bright and good, never reached the hero her lover: she leapt overboard, not mastered by a spell, but at the doleful music from the fairy mounds.
  16. So from her, without utterance of falsehood, comes the name of Ess Ruaid, with its greatness: her death, without dear claim of kinship, have I told to thee, good sir!


  • Be my soul with thee in holy Heaven, O hospitable and loving Lord! O King of stars and wonders, that art of higher birth than any man!

    1. There came a soldier to Aed ruad, if any care to hear tell of him; a match for a hundred men was the goodly soldier, and the wage of a hundred men satisfied him.
    2. To have one man's portion of meat and drink, to be match for a hundred in the hour of weapons, those were the soldier's terms that came one day to Aed.
    3. Unfamiliar here is the story of the soldier of the troop-girt son of Badorn: though he did the deed openly, few there are that know of it.
    4. ‘Stay with me for a year, and thou shalt have this, fair soldier: bind on us all thine asking, and perform all thy promise.’
    5. At the year's end the blameless soldier demanded his wage: ‘I will never give’, quoth Aed, ‘aught but the like wage as any soldier gets.’
    6. While they were in quarrel thereabout, in the same way, after the year was done, the king of the strongholds and towers entered the rapids to bathe.
    7. Up rose the soldier fiercely, holding his tall spear-shafts: he roused his sureties against Aed in presence of the men of Erin.

    8. p.9

    9. ‘Though thou set the sea against me,’ said the comely high-king of Erin, ‘thou shalt never get from me aught but the same as any soldier.’
    10. He set the sea against him in presence of the men of Erin, so that Aed Ruad was drowned by the water, for the sake of the soldier's wage.
    11. The name Ess Ruaid fixed from that day upon the rapid, and shall abide for ever: Ess Duind was formerly its name from Dond son of Dubán, son of Bile.
  • The first blameless soldier to receive hire or wage was Fiachu son of Nemed, before all: of the race of the Lagin was that soldier.

    1. Here dwelt sturdy Caurnan making ready well-fitted boats: a year and a half, a noble design, Caurnan worked in secret for a raid.
    2. Caurnan black-foot, dark of hue, son of Ré Doirche, son of Dibad, a man of valour beyond all poetic praise, wrought a cunning foray.
    3. Thrice fifty boat-frames—famous muster—here in Druim Cliab of the hides, to sack Dun Barc, haunt of whales, did Caurnan assemble, that fugleman of fight.
    4. The blameless son of Leo lam-fota was Áinle the renowned, the glorious, a weakling without force for foray, prince of deadly-hurling Dun Barc.

    5. p.11

    6. Áinle, who had no grip in battle, the son that Leo the Thrower left, suffered by a grim vengeance, with his consort, in the famous dún.
    7. ‘Good is every tryst that men keep,’ said downright Caurnan: ‘Áinle is slain, he and his womankind, but we continue undivided.’
    8. Caurnan grew in pride through the sack of ever-during Dun Barc: he cleared of reproach, from west to east, the story of steadfast Druim Cliab.
    9. Hence comes the famous title, the name of Druim Cliab of the trophies: it is a lasting tale, without noisy tongue-valiance, that I have framed here for its folk.
    10. Grant me my two wishes, O King, O Creator of the lively-coloured world! bring me to thee, into thy kingdom after long and happy life in this place.
    11. Hence comes the name, Druim Cliab, on the western slope of this ridge, even from the boat-frames with their load of spears, that were built at leisure here.



    1. Bright Gile, Romra's daughter, to whom every harbour was known, the broad lake bears her name to denote its outbreak of yore.
    2. The maiden went, on an errand of pride that has hushed the noble hosts, to bathe in the spray by the clear sand-strewn spring.
    3. While the modest maiden was washing in the unruffled water of the pool, she sees on the plain tall Omra as it were an oak, lusty and rude.
    4. Seeing her lover draw near, the noble maid was stricken with shame: she plunged her head under the spring yonder: the nimble maid was drowned.
    5. Her nurse came and bent over her body and sat her down yonder in the spring: as she keened for Gile vehemently, she fell in a frenzy for the girl.
    6. As flowed the tears in sore grief for the maiden, the mighty spring rose over her, till it was a vast and stormy lake.
    7. Loch Gile is named from that encounter after Gile, daughter of Romra: there Omra got his death from stout and lusty Romra.
    8. Romra died outright of his sorrow on the fair hill-side: from him is lordly Carn Romra called, and Carn Omra from Omra, the shame-faced.

    9. p.15

    10. [gap: extent: two lines]
      Loch Gile here is named from Gile, Romra's daughter.


    1. Dreco, daughter of grim Calcmael son of slender Cartan, son of Conuath, a maiden versed in all black arts, was a wizard and eke a poetess.
    2. By her was wrought (a tale of woe)—by her fury and her jealousy—the slaughter of the sons of Fergus Lethderg, when the fight of Bregross, the robber's hold, was fought.
    3. Four and twenty—no lie! even twice twelve men, four times six—fierce their deeds! these were slain by Dreco.
    4. Conán, Canán, Maelán the chieftain, Sarán, Saerán, Saebdercán, Uinnsiu, Aillsiu, high their prowess! Tuinnsiu, Tairrsiu and Tromcheó,
    5. Cuán, Cattán, curly Caemán, Tnuán, dark-grey Taebán, Fuither, Fiacc, Failbe and Flann, these are their names.
    6. The fierce woman-fiend, devil-begotten, brought against them murder and poison, and slew them all together by the sleep-bringing spell of a bitter drink.

    7. p.17

    8. The place where they lay dumb in death, its name is called Nemthend: the feast that was spread by Dreco brought them to sorrow and shame.
    9. May my body, gentle King of Crosses, be saved from harm and peril! and my soul, unblamed for sloth, let it not be delivered up to the Dragon!


    1. Dubthir Guaire—that ye may know the cause whence springs its true story: there was a time when it was no thicket of bushes but a region brilliant and bright in beauty.
    2. Two sons did Dall Dess leave, grasping Guaire and the rightful Daire: they were not agreed in partnership as to the domain—thereof came dissension.
    3. Guaire turned—a deed unprofitable—against keen Dáire, solver of dark riddles, and the warrior Dáire fell by his hand without show of quarter or mercy.
    4. From the day that stout Dáire was slain in crime-stained Daminis, Guaire's domain for that cause has been a land of briars perpetually.

    5. p.19

    6. Woe to him that cruelly sheds kindly blood, a deed whereof he reaps no fruit! Guaire's domain, indisputably, is now a plain with thickets overgrown.
    7. Preserve me from treachery and harm O Christ, that didst fashion my fair body! O joyous King of the firmament, let me not be downcast in a dark land!


    1. Here used to stand a lofty idol, that saw many a fight, whose name was the Cromm Cruaich; it caused every tribe to live without peace.
    2. Alas for its secret power! the valiant Gaedil used to worship it: not without tribute did they ask of it to satisfy them with their share in the hard world.
    3. He was their god, the wizened Cromm, hidden by many mists: as for the folk that believed in him, the eternal Kingdom beyond every haven shall not be theirs.
    4. For him ingloriously they slew their hapless firstborn with much wailing and peril, to pour their blood round Cromm Cruaich.

    5. p.21

    6. Milk and corn they asked of him speedily in return for a third part of all their progeny: great was the horror and outcry about him.
    7. To him the bright Gaedil did obeisance: from his worship—many the crimes—the plain bears the name Mag Slecht.
    8. Thither came Tigernmas, prince of distant Tara, one Samain eve, with all his host: the deed was a source of sorrow to them.
    9. They stirred evil, they beat palms, they bruised bodies, wailing to the demon who held them thralls, they shed showers of tears, weeping prostrate.
    10. Dead the men, void of sound strength the hosts of Banba, with land-wasting Tigernmas in the north, through the worship of Cromm Cruaich—hard their hap!
    11. For well I know, save a fourth part of the eager Gaedil, not a man—lasting the snare—escaped alive, without death on his lips.
    12. Round Cromm Cruaich there the hosts did obeisance: though it brought them under mortal shame, the name cleaves to the mighty plain.

    13. p.23

    14. Ranged in ranks stood idols of stone four times three; to beguile the hosts grievously the figure of the Cromm was formed of gold.
    15. Since the kingship of Heremon, bounteous chief, worship was paid to stones till the coming of noble Patrick of Ard Macha.
    16. He plied upon the Cromm a sledge, from top to toe; with no paltry prowess he ousted the strengthless goblin that stood here.


    1. O folk, that are not mirthless at your meeting, if ye have visited Crechmael, say whence derives the name, extolled above Breg, of the wood whereto ye are come?
    2. When the daughter of sound-judging Bethra was with her cattle in covert nook,—fierce Sampait, who scorned dalliance, who was herdswoman and bard to boot:—
    3. There came upon her in her northern home stern Enna Cendselach's buffoon, he that, along with every noble title, had the redoubtable name of Crechmael:

    4. p.25

    5. Then the buffoon was smitten with love, and lusted to sate his sight of her: to appease his desire, he devised to ravish her among her noble kine in the north.
    6. The woman trussed him and tied him fast, in cords cunningly knotted he was destroyed: he raised not his head from the struggle; she tightened the spancel round his throat.
    7. Hence comes the subject of this song: truly the combat is not hidden: Crechmael is the name of the wood: no pointless tale I tell!
    8. Though he be even as one of the sluggish dead, his name has exalted the shining wood: faithfully have I discerned this folk's authentic story.
    9. O Christ that sufferedst on crimson cross, let me raise a strain of loud adoration to thee, eternal King of every height, after telling of each heroic folk.



    1. Here under a hard headstone lies a woman doomed to dark disastrous fate, without fame for happy fortune in return, whose name was Nothain the strong smiter.
    2. She was daughter to Conmaer, doer of deeds unlamented, that blue-clad dark-forked terror: her portion of food was provender for a hundred men, woodland fare in the forest.
    3. Conmaer fared, journeying to his goal, from Crích Berre of the combats, seeking the woman—forbidding was her fame—as far as Cruachan, home of warriors.
    4. Many a step fiercely he strode throughout the vast breadth of Erin: a year he wasted in misery, searching for his daughter.
    5. He found the woman tall and shaggy in a shrouded serried thicket: to the man who longed to see her she was a right horrid and hideous sight.
    6. They passed the length of the night, 'tis truth, the faultless man and brave woman, the two of them together, forspent at their parleying.

    7. p.29

    8. This was the first word she said, the woman who boasted not in flow of words: 'Are they alive, your folk and your own belongings noble of name?
    9. ‘My nurse, my lady mother, my sister, my brother hot of mood, and all my friends at Druim Cain, are they still with thee, O Conmaer?’
    10. ‘Of all thy friends,’ said dark Conmaer, ‘that thou sawest in thy western home, none is left in their strong habitations but myself, tall daughter mine!’
    11. Then spake the virtuous lady her quick answer, ill-boding: ‘Woe worth the cause! its issue shall be that Nothain shall not survive them.’
    12. ‘Thrice fifty years, tell it forth!—nothing short and nothing over—have I been sheltering from grove to grove, nor ever seen expanse of level land.’
    13. ‘Let me go with thee to-morrow to Mag nÁrach, variously beautiful,—my span of life lasts no longer—till thou set up my warrior-stone.’

    14. p.31

    15. Death seized her—it was no deed of glory—through the tale her father told: the woman lies, in darkness undeserved, under a hard headstone.
    16. This is the cause whereof comes the name ‘Lia Nothain’, beyond dispute: hence in our dwellings her name endures, though she is dead.
    17. Save me from sorrow and suffering, O King whitely fair, truly radiant! let me not be sorrowful in yon session hereafter, when I have praised every one that is here!


    1. Here stands the Carn of Cathbad's grandson against whom a nimble weapon was wielded; Furbaide's heath-clad grave, martial monument of a glorious soldier.
    2. Huge was Furbaide, surnamed Fer Benn, son to comely Conchobar: Ethne, whom verses extol, was his mother, the sister of Medb and Clothru.
    3. Ethne came to the pleasant province and made her home with Conchobar: when they lived together there Furbaide was begotten by him.

    4. p.33

    5. Presently Ethne journeys from the east to be delivered in Mag Cruachan: Lugaid came to meet her at the fairy plain of Bun Silenn.
    6. Lugaid committed a foul crime upon shapely Conchobar's wife: he drew her son forth from her side after drowning her in ripe pregnancy.
    7. [From her is named thenceforth the river that is called Ethne; from the woman—'tis no grudging secret—the river bears the name of Ethne.]
    8. Therefore the name Fer Bend clave to Furbaide—bright his hue: two horns grew on the head of staunch illustrious Furbaide.
    9. Seventeen years was his age, the fame of his wisdom was spread through Erin: he broke a breach of three hundred (no hidden feat!) in the battle at Ilgáirech.
    10. He planned in his proud heart to go and avenge his mother: and by his hand fell the mother of Lugaid Three-Stripes—martial the exploit.
    11. Came Lugaid, a fasting journey, in pursuit from the west; and smooth-skinned Fer Bend fell by his hand on the crest of Sliab Ullenn.

    12. p.35

    13. A stone for every man that the axe clove—so was the carn built: the king's son died in revenge for a woman: that is the origin of the Carn.
    14. The head was presently brought eastward to bear it to Conchobar's house: and there fell from Lugaid's fist the tooth of the much lamented youth.
    15. Ullenn Red-blade found it, red-cloaked Find ua Baiscne's son: he came from a far distance, bent on war, and on that mountain did expire.
    16. Heaven's King, maker of all that is, nobler is he than all high kings: King, till doomsday come with loud acclaim, high over all is He!



    1. Ath Liac Find—whence comes it? wherefore does no shanachie declare? what forgetfulness has made it dim, since Find left the stone there?
    2. When there fell—great was the fight—thirty nines and fifty fighting round the three doughty sons of Cerb, who came along the stream from the north-west:
    3. When there fell in the ford four Conalls, two Colmans, four Suibnes, two sons of Brecc, four Dubthachs, two Diarmaits:
    4. Flathgus, Find's henchman, turned his face toward the cry of one o'er-matched: there fell by his hand, where he stood at bay, four fours and two nines.
    5. When Fland son of Eochaid Red-brows assailed the ford from the north he slew fifty—famous meeting—that strong wolf-head of conflict.
    6. When he told the tale
      the loss of the son of Conna from Mag Lir, whom Find slew that morn, cast the host into a stupor of dismay:
    7. When Setna uttered thereafter his word
      that the faith of fair fight should be broken against Umall's son of the Leinstermen:

    8. p.39

    9. When Sinand came thereafter, Mongan's daughter, from the fairy dwellings, she gave a stone with a chain of gold to Find, son of long-limbed Umall.
    10. Thereupon Find put out his hand for the strong triple-edged stone and pledged the head that was on the shoulders of Guaire Goll who carried it,
    11. That he would not use aught but spear or sword or brand—fierce his onset: it was one of his gessa afterward that his side should touch the ground.
    12. Then he hurled the stone into the ford when his battle-wrath came to him: so that there perished thereby Senach, Senchán and Bran.
    13. So it found rest thereafter in the full wide grey pool, till it be cast upon the shore on a Sunday at the hour of matins.
    14. A maiden will find it then at morn, whose name is Bé Thuinne: she will set her straight leg upon the hoop of red gold.
    15. It is seven years' space from then till the brink of Judgement Day: never have I been found astray: that is the story of the ford.



    1. Ath Liac Find—from what stone comes the name? let the shanachies inquire for us! what forgetfulness has blinded us since the time when Find left his stone there?
    2. There was an encounter—famous march—between Cumall of Almu's son and a warrior of the northern region, the son of Eochaid Red-brows.
    3. Then came Sideng presently, the daughter of noble Mongan of the Áes Síde, and brought a stone with a chain of gold to Find son of Cumall son of Trénmór.
    4. Then Find laid the fierce stone, in the fight, on the shoulders of Guaire Goll, till the ammunition of his host was exhausted between day-rise and afternoon.
    5. Fland son of Eochaid Red-brows laughed loud from the northern side: he wried his shape—famous meeting—that strong wolf-head of conflict.
    6. Then Find stretched out his hand to his thrice-great three-edged stone and seized the rock that was on the shoulders of Guaire Goll
    7. There fell in the ford four Conalls, two Colmans, four Suibnes, two sons of Brecc, four Dubthachs, two Diarmaits.

    8. p.43

    9. Find hurled his stone into the ford what time his fury-fit came upon him: Bran and Senach and Sen perished by that cast.
    10. The stone fell in the pool where generous Find's honour was achieved: none finds it thereafter—is not that the precious treasure?
    11. A maiden will find it—famous chance! whose name is Be Thuinne: she will slip her shapely foot through its hoop of red gold.
    12. Quickly then she will draw it up, that stone with its chain-links, and leave it on the shore on a Sunday at the hour of matins.
    13. It is seven years thereafter—famous fulfilment—till comes the Day of Judgement; so that is the deed whence comes the story of the famous ford.


    1. Druim Criaich, meeting-place of a hundred bands, desert though it is, the name perishes not: though it be now Druim Criaich, it was called Druim Cró and chill Druim nAirthir, once on a day.
    2. War-beaten the ford, Ath Commair, whence a deadly draught was poured for the three Finns of Emain by their father, at one assault.

    3. p.45

    4. Proud was every slaying that there befell, proud the name of the noble line, proud the spoil, proud the battle that fell to the lot of Temair's King.
    5. His three sons came against him, against upright Eochaid of the forest-keep, to dethrone their good father—a deed that caused their own destruction.
    6. From Emain set forth the hosts over Loch Febail, over Ess Ruaid, over Dub, over Drobais, over Dall, over Slicech, over old Corann,
    7. Over Segais above, into Mag Luirg, into Mag nAi, that they strewed with spoils, into the plain of bloodstained Cruachain, marched the three armies in equal strength.
    8. An army with Lothur, an army with Nar, an army with Bress, on whom a wrong was wrought: thrice thirty hundred to each army with many-coloured shields.
    9. Then Clothru overtook them, the sister of Bress and Nár and Lothur, the daughter of well-graced Eochaid: though a darkling tryst, it was shamefully known.
    10. She coaxed them with her sinful kiss to seek and share her bed, that their fair cause might be foul in battle against their High King.

    11. p.47

    12. They marched from stony Cruachain left-hand-wise round Erin, over Ath Luain: they came through the breadth of pleasant Meath over Ath Féne, over Findglais,
    13. Over Gort Tarsna, over Gort Druing, over Glais Elta between two ridges; Druim Airthir, where coursed the steeds, was its name, before it was called Druim Criaich.
    14. Before they crossed Drong eastward their father asked of them an armistice for a month, without raid or battle, with hostages or with sureties.
    15. It was a chance to attack the king where he was overtaken in his own land: save just thrice thirty hundreds fair he found no support nor succour.
    16. Thirty hundred of veteran captains, thirty hundred of led soldiery, thirty hundred forth from the rampart, from the garrison of Temair.
    17. The men of Temair on his left side, the king himself in the centre, his hired troops to his right hand: he did not slight the youthful warriors.
    18. Eochaid marched to the serried battle, thence to Commar Da Glas: on the hill east of the ford dismounted the upright chief of Fobar.
    19. There the King of Erin halted, fasting, that night; it is a little way from Commar to Delt for a journey or a message.

    20. p.49

    21. They violated his fast, his three sons ill-disposed: they bade him look for battle on the morrow's morn.
    22. Said the eastward scout to the King of Erin, even to Eochaid: ‘Old man, the men draw toward you: lie not in your bed of death!’
    23. ‘Bress on the right, as he is posted to fight with the guards of Temair, Lothur makes toward thyself, and Nár toward the hirelings.’
    24. Stoutly then answered Eochaid ‘Let them be like their names! Bress shall be a lying noise, strong though he be, Lothur Half-grey shall be a spoil for me.’
    25. ‘It shall be a cloud over Nár, and not a deed of might, that he comes against me unrightfully: they shall not take me, nor go hence, this lithe swarm of grown children.’
    26. Eastward came the hosts from the west, early, when the sun was risen, and the battle-ranks encountered in presence of the High King.
    27. Eochaid set, shield to shield, his thirty hundreds of greybeards in the midmost of the ford, in the lists of deadly strife.

    28. p.51

    29. Bress fought his way across the river eastward, the guards of Temair let him come: it was to spare the king's son, so that they might not boast of an ill deed.
    30. Bravely advanced, westward across the river, Eochaid's hirelings, eager to fight, against the battalion where Nar was, and wrought red havoc among them.
    31. All the hosts turned and fled westward when the brave one arose: they left eight thousand dead between the ford and the camp beside it.
    32. Eochaid went not beyond the battle-field: enough were found to hunt them home: save for three bands of nine, guarding his sons, all the hosts were smitten as far as the Shannon.
    33. One band of nine fled across Snám dá Én into Mag Find, over Áth Fir Féne, to Dun Breiss, where Bress fell, to the south-west of Loch Corrib.
    34. Another nine fly over Áth Líac past Loch Dechet, round which they go, to the shore above the massy tower, to Tír in Náir in Umall.

    35. p.53

    36. The third nine fled over Ath Luain across chill Mag Ái: past Cera to Clíath na Cor the greybeards followed Lothor.
    37. So perished the three Finds: their three heads were struck off: each head came separately before nightfall to Druim Criaich.
    38. When he saw the three heads, the king of Erin made a solemn vow—a word that is duly fulfilled, though there be some to whom it is unfamiliar:
    39. That none, even for a little while, should possess Temair, in succession to his father, without another king reigning between them, after that encounter at Druim Criaich.
    40. One of the events, in the warfare of Druim Criaich, since the Faith came, was when all Mide was laid waste, when Domnall was banished.
    41. It happened that a herdsman of Banba, who was a king's son and a king's heir, was guarding the lands he loved after losing his two noble brothers.
    42. It was verily an assembly in a desert, it was kindling fire from a single spark, for Maelsechnaill son of Domnall to be guarding Mide, heritage of the son of Fland.
    43. His friends forsook him (all but Christ, no doubt of it) so that he sought afar the spoil of Ua Dubán, from Druim Dairbrech.

    44. p.55

    45. He came, seeking his spoil, from the west on the track of the convoy: the encounter of the Blind One and the Stammerer was an equal match, known throughout noble Erin.
    46. The Blind One of Temair with his axe and his three men, the Stammerer with his nine—shame. on them! there were three against each man of high-mettled Maelsechnaill's three.
    47. There was a man on his either flank and the Stammerer stabbing him—the foul deed! as for the Stammerer, though it was far from the wood, he fell by Maelsechnaill's hand.
    48. All the rest that were living fled; the Stammerer was left there after the tussle: till Doomsday shall endure the grave of Ua Duib on Druim Criaich.
    49. Maelsechnaill found like fair play as Eochaid Feidlech—that none should face him in stern duel, for Maelsechnaill son of Domnall is of the seed of great Eochaid.
    50. Domnall was son of keen Donnchad son of Fland son of generous Maelsechnaill son of Maelruanaid of Rath in Chraind, son of Donnchad son of Domnall.
    51. Domnall was in his day the brave son of Murchad son of Diarmait; Diarmait was son of noble Airmedach son of Conall son of Suibne son of Colman.
    52. Colman was son of lordly Diarmait son of Fergus son of Conall son of Niall son of Eochaid, lord of horses, son of Muiredach son of Fiachu,

    53. p.57

    54. Son of fierce Cairpre Lifechair son of Cormac son of Art son of Conn son of Fedlimid, who filled the stud, son of Tuathal son of Feradach.
    55. Feradach the fortunate, the horned one, whom the land of Erin served for wages: neither Gaedel nor Gall could prevail against the son of Fiachu son of Crimthand
    56. Son of Lugaid son of the three Find-Emna sons of wealthy Eochu Feidlech: Eochu Feidlech bided his time with them; he made red the gathering of Druim Criaich.
    57. South of it dwell the tribes of Temair, the Ui Fiachach, tough of skin: on the other side is Loch Lebind, a glory to Druim Criaich.
    58. There was bred a famous young libertine, Lachtna son of Tadg Ua Gadra: tenfold a glory is he to fair Druim Criaich, fortunate in war.
    59. Lonan and noble Fechin, Fechin and Lonan of the lake, to those twain, from slope to slope, God entrusted Druim Criaich.
    60. Cuán Ua Lothchan of the robes, versed in the wonders of Erin, he it is that sweetly tells the tale, the legend of Druim Criaich.



    1. Tuag Inber, lovely, grey-watered, know ye its legend? have ye heard aright the story of Tuag bright of skin?
    2. Tuag (dazzling was her colour) was daughter to Conall of Collamair: Conaire son of Eterscél reared her from her birth-bed.
    3. Dear was his sturdy nursling to the king of Erin—not haughty was he: he set a company of maidens to tend her in Tara, rich in herds.
    4. For the space of thrice five years, unharmed he reared his brother's daughter: no man, dark nor fair, had leave to approach her sun-bright bower.
    5. When the wide-ruling kings began to woo Tuag, bright of skin, comely Manannan heard of it and loved her with his first love.
    6. Manannan son of Ler despatched messengers to seek her from where mighty Manannan dwelt northeastward of Tuag Inber.
    7. The messenger's name, in his home, was Fer Fí, son of Eogabal, fosterling to Mac Lir of the blades: he was a druid of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

    8. p.61

    9. The druid, as beseemed him, turned himself into the shape of a wayfaring wench, and reached the bright bower where the girlish company abode.
    10. The druid stayed in strong Temair three nights, with Tuag of the sweet strings, in form like one of her fair handmaidens, in fit order of fellowship.
    11. At the fourth time, alas! the potent druid chanted a spell: on a Sunday night, with many an art, he bore off Tuag in heavy slumber.
    12. He laid her on his shoulders—great his feats! and played a sleep-compelling strain: from the house of Temair he bore her, unfaltering, to the point of green-topped Banba.
    13. He laid her sleeping on the shore, and went to seek a well-built skiff: the fair flood-tide came and drowned the maiden, when he was gone.

    14. p.63

    15. As for the druid quick Manannán slew him, though it was not right, when he heard his evil tidings, because the maiden came not with him.
    16. Inber Glasgamna, famed for exploits, was its name, in verity, until the loss of Mac Lir's wife, whence it is called Tuag Inbir.
    17. Upright Conaire came on the track of his mighty fosterling: he wasted both Elle and Lé, to avenge the fate of Tuag.
    18. The three waves of all Erin: the Wave of Clidna, the Wave of Rudraige, the Wave that drowned Mac Lir's mate, that visits the shore by Tuag Inbir.
    19. Small was the Banna, once on a time (if there were any that could remember): women and boys would overleap it, before the outburst of Loch Echach.
    20. Eocho, son of goodly Mairid, son of the shapely king of Cashel, on him in his strong country Eblend, his father's noble wife, cast her love.

    21. p.65

    22. Eblend, daughter of bright Guaire from the Brug of mighty Mac Ind Óc—from her, by old tradition, Sliab Eblinde has its name.
    23. Eocho and
      Eblend quitted Mairid's domain: they escaped from the soil of Cass's Caisel to the Brug of stern Mac Ind Óc.
    24. Not alone went the loving pair, but with flocks and herds: a thousand tall men, verses proclaim, loosed their horses blithely, by Boand.
    25. There met them a man glad of mien, who warned them off his lawful land, and slew all their cattle that night—sore the bane.
    26. They tarried in spite of his warning all evening till nightfall in their houses: he comes to them, he utters a call, he slew their horses all at once.
    27. Then he spoke a haughty word to Mairid's fierce son: ‘Unless ye depart from me I will slay your folk as well.’
    28. ‘Great harms hast thou done us, O warrior!’ said Mairid's prudent son: ‘we cannot carry our goodly chattels since we lost our bridle-horses.’
    29. So Oengus gave them without treachery a horse, tallest of the horses of Erin, to escort them from broad Boand bearing their chattels, as far as they should go.

    30. p.67

    31. Oengus of the many exploits bade that the wondrous horse should not be unharnessed till he should lie down forwearied in a meadow-land unvisited.
    32. He bade them send back again the great horse of magic power, before he could shed his water in rude wise, lest sudden death should befall them.
    33. They come there on a pleasant Sunday in the month of mid-harvest: the horse lay down after his journey at the hour of Sunday vespers in Liathmuine.
    34. Each lays hold of his proper possession: they stripped the horse in a moment: but none of them turned the horse's head homeward—'twas a senseless business.
    35. While the horse was halted there, harmlessly, it contrived to stray: the plaguey horse staled in spite of them so that it made a well deep in the ground.
    36. Eochu, praise of troops, comes up and builds a house round the spot: he fixed a lid, without offence, over the well, to stifle it.

    37. p.69

    38. Eochu departs to stern strife with red-stained Clann Rudraige: he divided with Muredach Menn the overkingship of the Ulaid of Erin.
    39. Eochu's chieftainship lasted thereafter nineteen years' space in Emain: he fared forth to the soldiery of Line, what time the prophecy was fulfilled for him.
    40. The well being in his house yonder, with a woman there, watching it, one day that the worthy woman left it open, up swelled the cold depths of Lindmuine.
    41. When the flooding fount had filled the brimming levels of Liathmuine, it drowned Eochu with his children all but the boy that was called Conaing.
    42. So from Conaing, glad of cheer, sprang that seemly line, noble Dal Selle—a prosperous people, and Dal Buan, rich in blessings.
    43. A blessing on the worshipful Son of God who spread abroad the sea of Liathmuine: hence comes the bright mere, the lake of Mairid's son from Mumu.
    44. The outburst of Loch Neagh of the rapids, a hundred years after the true birth of God, gave force to the strong Bann to cross all lands as far as Tuag Inbir.
    45. Long live the chieftain Niall—verses admire him—who has come to lovely Ailech! God send him strength from heaven, on the western shore of Tuag Inbir!



    1. In commemorating the homes of Tuag I take cognisance of a high place, a goal free from carnage, enduring Benn Bóguine.
    2. The cause for which it got this name for all time I will declare in my long lay—'tis no hard task, for well I remember it.
    3. Hither came, once on a time, as it were any foreign
      straying from a woman, a beast of price, one of her cows, across the Bann.
    4. Flidais was the woman's name, daughter of Garb son of Gréssach, that well-attended generous woman, wife of Ailell the Bearded.
    5. That cow dropped two calves by reason of her haste (a sore business, and a strange one), a cow and a bull, in that travel.
    6. Then for a certain season they multiplied by their
      : throughout every slope that would support them they brought fullness and increase.
    7. Before them went a brindled bull, forward to face danger for their sake against herds, against wolf-packs, against tame beasts.
    8. No milk-maid milked them, no savage assailed them; though hosts came to hunt them, they quelled not nor quenched them.

    9. p.73

    10. When the bull from that ancient hill belled forth his bellow there was no cow in that land but would wend to that herd.
    11. Thereof did die the best of Banba's kine, by hearing, not seeing him: there was no saving of their increase.
    12. There was a woman of that country, wandering from home to home, Echtgal, Uathach's daughter, Mac Baisgil's portly dame.
    13. A nursling then she had who did her pleasure without shame, the son of doughty Niall, 'tis said, Fiach of the bag-pipe and harp.
    14. He set a steer before her by his cheating charms: Erc was her name for times to come, seven blessings dropped from her.
    15. This cow fell in heat at the voice of the mighty bull, and she left disconsolate Fiachra son of Niall.
    16. Said his fosterer to him in wrath and in rage: ‘O Fiachra of the many arts, bestir thyself to the encounter!’
    17. ‘Hie thee at headlong speed! search Erin with her fords, till the cow return to her stall, busy thyself with my wonted arts.’

    18. p.75

    19. Thereupon he went his way, Fiachra, tried in bloodshed: from tribe to tribe he passed to the hill of tawny kine.
    20. There was nothing hidden from his eye, gazing from the spacious knoll, of fairy-folk or fetches, of herds, or goblins.
    21. When he reached this height, the peerless champion from afar, in his valorous career, he was untiring in slaughter.
    22. The fierce captain smote throngs of the chiefest herds; he slew them over every plough-land; stout was his sword.
    23. From the great cattle-killing that he wrought in that hour, from that bloodless butchery, is named Bend Boguine, from that herd.
    24. Fiachu, he of the feastings and of banquets among princes, harried them, invisible: here is the hill where they lie.



    1. I behold the grave of a stranger from afar, the monument of a leader, crowned with sad splendour, whose name, bright in lustre, was Bith son of Noah, vast of vigour.
    2. Forty days by tale before the doleful Deluge, to Erin came the shortlived swarm, a multitude, a numbered array.
    3. Hither came Bith, skilled in battle, marching before his noble wives: five and twenty wives, by firm bond, made up his family.
    4. As for Bith, the chieftain's time was short; shaking seized him and sore sickness: his own wives dug a grave on the mountain for his burial.
    5. From him, high above the planets' path, is named Sliab Betha, the wild bulls' home; the body of the corsair, who lived not long, lies yet under the cairn thou seest.
    6. O Christ, unshaken, above all coasts, that didst not abandon Bith eternally, be mine no sadness in thy dwelling yonder, when I have told of each thing I see!



    1. Ath Grencha shall change its name through the deed of the Hound—that fierce warrior: here is the gibbet with the four points, a puzzle for the men of Erin.
    2. On two arms, as token of battle, are the head of Fraech and the head of Fochnam: on two arms likewise are the head of Err and the head of Indell.
    3. The four chariot-drivers—glorious career! the sons of Aurard son of Anchinn, their blood escapes across the fields; they are gory, encrimsoned.
    4. The ogam that is on the shining gibbet, let the druids interpret perpetually! and tell who precisely set them thereon, and how many planted it in the ground.
    5. ‘The piercing gibbet, which cost many an effort, that I see here,’ said Fergus; ‘one man cut it, hail to him! at one flashing stroke of sword.’
    6. ‘He sharpened it and bore it on his back: in sooth, 'twas no weakling's feat; and then he pitched it in the soil for any man of you to pluck from the ground.’

    7. p.81

    8. ‘Aurard he tricked on the plain in his chariot, drawn by Cruan and Cnamrad: at Fán Cruain, by the road side, he met death and destruction.’
    9. ‘Orlam's charioteers I espy, lying mangled in a bed of gore: hail to him who fooled them!—scant honour have they among monuments and beacon-names.’
    10. ‘Here is Aurard: great is his Plain, yet the shining gibbet stirred him to grief, whereon his sons' heads were set—sad was that greeting.’
    11. ‘Ath Grencha was the ford's name till now; its memory shall endure in all men's minds: but Ath Gabla shall its name be till doomsday, from the gibbet thou seest in the ford.’


    1. Breccan's Cauldron, where it lies, without
      , without contention, may I never come till I die, drunkenly, to the Cauldron of a hundred measures.
    2. Four seas, wrapt in gloom, ever in flood, unvexed, range hither from every quarter; they gather at the whirlpool.
    3. From east and west—no passing gust—the sea of Orkney and the sea of the cold Britons meet for fierce eager fame betwixt Alba and Erin.

    4. p.83

    5. Where meet after their journeying the waters of divers seas, darkly they coil, howe'er it be, each of them about his fellow.
    6. Wide spreads the circle, meet home for one doomed to wretched fate: a small thing to fill it, all told, were the entire host of old Adam's seed.
    7. There lives not the man that would cover at speed—long the space!—the Cauldron's circuit, from edge to edge, within a month, a tireless task.
    8. No generous chieftain that reached it ever returned hither again from its white-paven floor, since Breccán of Bérre went his way.
    9. Breccán son of Partholan, that seer of old, drank no wholesome draught: he was drowned here with his fifty ships by the crowding waves of the whirlpool.
    10. I know the tale sages tell of the mighty whirlpool's home, whence comes, to denote it perpetually, the familiar name and its clear reason.
    11. I have heard of famous Breccán, whose is the loud-roaring grave—him that enriched every hearth of Uí Néill, busily plying in his vessel a brisk trade.
    12. Breccán son of Maine, rich in graces, the Cauldron drowned with its red spray, and he lies under the heavy high-piled strand with his ship and his valiant following.

    13. p.85

    14. Though it has buried unforgotten Breccán, his name endures in story with his bark and its burthen that lie beneath the whirlpool's stormy water.
    15. The hosts of the three parts of the world, were they set there, side by side with all people that have yet been born, it were too little to fill the Cauldron.
    16. There came hither a stranger from afar, a holy man of bright Niall's line: empty-handed he departed thence from the Cauldron, even holy Columcille.
    17. When eager Columcille came westward to holy Cluain, with Ciaran's hymn, neither kine, nor dun horses, nor chased gold did he accept in recompense:
    18. But three handfuls of red potent clay, a secret power mysterious in a far land—this he sought, for his loved spot inviolate, from the bed of clay where Ciaran lies.
    19. When Colum obtained from the fair church a boon that seduced not his spirit, he came away back from the west to Mag Ura—no long journey.
    20. There he met a busy winged crowd of demons in pitiful plight, a cowering reprobate host, a treacherous brood, dismally wailing.

    21. p.87

    22. When holy Colum saw the raging host, barred from covenanted grace, he cast among them, to disperse them, a handful of clay, here among their swarms.
    23. The second handful ('twas a holy deed) he cast into Breccán's Cauldron: he made feeble and faint its fury, so that it is now a pool right peaceful.
    24. The third handful, no causer of sickness, (hail to him whose harbourage is this ground!) my Saint scattered quietly in the burial-place of Odrán of high Iona.
    25. Thus was Mag Ura delivered by the unerring spells, the Cauldron, with its roaring wall of water, and Mag Odráin, by one and the same clay.
    26. I choose a boon, O holy Christ, by favour of Colum and of Ciarán—to have my place, after earth of the warm flocks, with the radiant Chief of a hundred companies.


    1. Well I know, in pleasure and prosperity, the peak of Foibne son of Taircheltar, and the cause whence comes its name and its lore, a title undisputed.
    2. Foibne, fierce of feature, was a champion who would harry a host: he was a spencer and a cup-bearer, serving noble Eochaid alt-lethan.

    3. p.89

    4. He wrought a deed sudden and fell: he hatched in his heart an evil purpose: he was no weakling, when in Temair eastward he slew Illand son of Erclam.
    5. Henchman to the king of Temair eastward was Illand, Erclam's famous son: Erclam son of keen blue-clad Dothre was chief of hospitality in Sliab Moduirn.
    6. He went his way, the breadth of strong Brega: they followed, one and all, in pursuit: on every peak he found a watch set: unavailing was his active flight.
    7. Fergna, wielder of a broad and weighty blade, leader of the ranks, proud in prowess, followed, not faltering through any fatigue, and won his spoil in front of all.
    8. Ruthlessly he seized his vantage at vast Bend Foibne: and the wretched spencer fell by the hand of bloodthirsty barbarous Fergna.
    9. His name remains, without sorrow for a warrior, on much-renowned Benn Foibne, from the deed I have published in my tale; though I boast of it, 'tis great knowledge.
    10. O Jesu, that allayest every storm, let not dishonour nor disgrace reach me: O strong and noble Ruler of the rainclouds, bestow on me charm and knowledge!



    1. Ard Fothaid—know ye the chieftain whose land it was? the gentle Fothaid Airgthech long possessed it—we hide it not.
    2. Many a horror, many a hidden snare wherewith the generous hero contended did Fothaid meet, we know,—Fothaid son of Lugaid, son of Macnia.
    3. A month and a half on his soldier's bed he lay here, without deed of blood, under an infliction that robbed his senses, unvisited of kings and princes.
    4. He fell asleep at the song of the hen of Boirche, lord of champions; bright Fothaid, the host-leader, returned not to his home.
    5. May the radiant Ruler of the seven tranquil spheres, the glorious King of the spear-men, the high noble and puissant King, not cast me into the slumber of an endless trance!


    1. The plain where we are met in silence, high Mag Itha of the chilly banks, was called Mag Bolg mighty in battle till the death of illustrious Ith.
    2. Ith son of Breogan, numerous in exploits, came leading the bands of his noble kin: till he found Erin, abounding in hidden peril, he rested not in his resolute career

    3. p.93

    4. He reached Ailech of the Rock, that ancient land of nobles with its kings of broad Fótla and the three sons of Cermait.
    5. Then said he, in fluent speech: ‘Dwell ye together in kinship and unity! goodly is the island where ye are—no paltry renown!— plentiful its fish and its various fruitage!’
    6. ‘Temperate its heat and cold: happy the kings that own it of right! never found I land nor territory to match its mingled colours.’
    7. He journeyed from thence (it was no mean array) till he reached Mag Bolg of the cow-pastures: a glittering host came without warning to slay and to destroy him.
    8. Ith son of Breogan—lasting his fame—was killed and conquered there, even in Mag Bolg of the cattle-lord, whoe'er he be: he ranked as chief of many a plain.


    1. Behold Ailech of Imchell before you, the enduring home of the host of Niall's race, known among Banba's fair folk as the grave of noble Aed, son of the mighty Dagda.
    2. The swift Dagda was deadly as a poison draught, a just-dealing lord over the feast till even; his mound remains, long may it remain! over him was it made in the Brugh.
    3. He was king of Erin with hosts of hostages; he was a prince, noble, slender; he was a warrior: good sons were attendant at his side, Cermait the comely, Oengus, and Aed.

    4. p.95

    5. Aed was slain on Benn Bain Baith, by the fury of the hero swift of hand, with a keen weapon, we aver: Corrgend of Cruach was every man's foe.
    6. Corrgend lay under blame for the crime: in wood nor fields nor sea found he never refuge under the white sun, nor riddance from the man's body on his back.
    7. Around their king came the chiefs of Erin strong and lithe from every land to the shore; they were no marauders pursuing him from the fort of the son of Fatheman of Fál.
    8. Corrgend was found stained with heart's blood; he was a wild-whirling mill-stone in his lifetime: he gained him honour through his jealousy, in the spot where Ailech stands to-day.
    9. A goodly shining grave was built in the town wherein it is seen of all; it hides a sorrow for the kindly Dagda in the good meadow-land of Banba for ever.
    10. There was no peace for him nor healing of the harm to be had from the Dagda for the loss of his son, save by torture of his body strong in fight, and a grave-stone laid on the tomb.
    11. He found a stone of the sea beside the lough; in pangs of suffering suddenly he died: his fame was broken and his rage; he uttered a cry, it was ‘ail’ with an ‘ach’!
    12. Ailech, that bright home of horses, would not be strong in fame without storm-beaten Corrgend; there was a subtle man on his track who was king over the Tuatha de Danann.

    13. p.97

    14. Ailech Imchell was above every place a right sharp-crested stronghold, all-envied, among the Folk of Danu wild and grim, the precinct where dwelt Nemain and Neit.
    15. Imchell was the castle-builder of the stern Dagda, of the fair great vast and noble wall; Gablan, grandson of Garb, from a high-born kin, reared it round the tomb of faultless Aed.
    16. Corrcend died with travail of body (height of evil is his whom his love degrades;) bearing the stone he marked out with toil and dug the young prince's grave.
    17. Wherefore does every scholar set forth three periods in all, not falsely, from the strong ones who dwell in silence to the birth of the son of God?
    18. Ailech Frigrenn, whence was it called? when poetry adorns it, noble its splendour. Frigriu was a wright of Cé in Pictland in the time of Fubthaire from Iona.
    19. Fubthaire then from the whole of Scotland led the pursuit from the Pictish land till he met a prince venom-handed, keen, illustrious Fiachu Sroptine, the king.
    20. A house was built round the noble maiden by Frigriu of Fál, better than any guard; swiftly he planted it, conspicuous across two waters, in the midst of Ailech of the kings.
    21. Mighty Eochu Domlén carried off a pale cloud of hostages (white their cheek); Fubthaire did not overtake the fugitive across the sea: a famous flight his daughter had from him.

    22. p.99

    23. Ailech, daughter of fair-haired Fubthaire, crossed the water of Luchraide without ship; the long-haired mother (greatest of gifts) of the three Collas from the race of Conn.
    24. Though that mighty pregnancy was plain to see, thro' keen fierce strength an end was made of the king's mighty host, a-rowing and thereafter a-swimming in the cold night.
    25. That is the tale every elder tells (no passing jest) of the fair scion, the comely youth, valiant lord of horses, from whom Ailech Frigrenn gets its name.
    26. Patrick, that theme of song men leave with every company, came long after from his home, and came, with limbs unapt for war, to meet the sons of Niall.
    27. Eogan of their famous men whom he cleansed both soul and body, gained possession by force of sanctity; the Briton blessed the abode.
    28. Patrick (not weary his strength), whom men shall obey in all times, blessed by the will of God the home of Eogan, above all oppression.
    29. There is a chief of clerics with pure orders, on the brow of Ailech—high his honour! a prince honoured in poetry receives respect: my brother is without sin, without stain.
    30. Colum Cille of the race of Niall, a surety all-sufficient, bright in beauty, is both a shelter for all Scotland and a golden diadem of fair Daire Calgach.

    31. p.101

    32. The seer Colum with the array of Conall and Eogan together the grandson of the king of Codal, he who keeps Iona, may he come to my help from the house of God!


    1. Whoever attempts the telling of the story of Ailech of the herds after the noble Eochaid, it is robbing the sword from the hand of Hercules.
    2. The more part of all that O'Maelcholuim demanded Eochaid heretofore expounded intelligibly for the men of the Doball.
    3. Surely, when he asked, what mason built Ailech? Eochaid the arm-proof noble did not conceal that it was Garban of the horses.
    4. Who was present at the building? His tribesman Imchell and Garban the mason, grandson of Garb, from a warlike kin, who built it.
    5. Look, who was he by whom was wrought thereafter the shining work? The man by whom was brought its makings, as requital for the Dagda's scion.
    6. If it be asked, what was the cause why it was made? Round his son's seemly grave he raised the tomb nobly-bright.
    7. Let it be seen wherefore Ailech the illustrious is called so at all? From the stone lifted up by Corrgend
      who waged battle.
    8. Corrgend, son of Flatheman, from Cruach (hearken!) smote Aed, high-born, famous, who was son to the hard Dagda,

    9. p.103

    10. Because Aed came to Corrgend's wife into her bed; ill was the deed, since her partner allowed it not.
    11. Corrgend strode forth, after murdering him in the midst of his house: so he slew Aed, though he was under oath; it was a foolish crime.
    12. The youth of Erin were seeking him—famous that folk! but they found him not at that time after that crime.
    13. ‘Let him be slain,’ cried each man, ‘let him not be spared for what he has done.’ ‘He shall not die,’ said the Dagda, ‘for Tara's sake,’
    14. ‘But lift ye up on his back the dead man he has destroyed; 'tis better for us to take a spell of his service than to smite him,’
    15. ‘And he shall be under the shameful burden of the dead man, without mercy, till he find a stone that shall be a trophy over Aed's grave.’
    16. He marked a stone above loch Foyle (it was a soldier's task), and raised it up with a champion's strength; noble was the hero.
    17. This is what he said as he bore the burden over road after road, ‘Ach! ach! the stone! 'tis by it my heart is bursting!’
    18. ‘Tis right that Ail-ach should cleave to it,’ said the Dagda; so that was the name of the height, in the spot where this befell.
    19. Neit, son of Indui, his mother's brother, possessed Ailech, with Nemain, his law-giver wife, of the wounds of war,

    20. p.105

    21. That it may be called by all men Ailech Neit, the bright neck of land; to him the whole island belonged.
    22. Some one might ask then, what race held the island, when this mighty work was reared above this lough?
    23. Well I remember, it was the Tuatha De Danann in their hosts, with their darts, with their shields, with their war-harness.
    24. Who was king over all Erin, sweet-sounding, radiant? Who but the skilful Dagda? You hear of none other so famous.
    25. The time when the fortress was built, a spacious abode, was the third lamentable epoch of the world, a sorrowful certainty.
    26. There arrived at Ailech, where Imchell was, many generations, before the famous Frigriu came to the far-seen rock.
    27. Frigriu, son of fierce valiant Rude, proud and skilful, brought with gold from arm-clad Scotland, his implements complete.
    28. Cunning was the craftsman whose wife was Ailech the white, though she was daughter to Fubthaire of the white soles.
    29. In flight across the sea the son of prosperous Rude bore her over the surface of a causeway: it was a temptation unknown to her father.
    30. Fubthaire arose to seek him, though it was a hard task (cunning was this deed), and he came unto this height.

    31. p.107

    32. Thereupon she was carried into the keep, full of horses, clamorous; when battle was joined, Ailech was borne from him to Ailech.
    33. Then Frigriu of the Fotharta was afraid before Fubthaire; Fiachu Sroptine protected him till he reached Ailech.
    34. A house was built about his wife by the robber Frigriu; he was noted above the field of exercise for his great renown.
    35. It was built of red yew tooled and arched, overlaid with pure unwrought silver, and gold, and bronze;
    36. It was decked with bright gems, a work that held fast in it; alike were day and night in the midst of it.
    37. Although the name Ailech Frigrenn clave to it thenceforth (behold the bright church!) Ailech Néit loses not through oblivion the name Ailech Imchill.
    38. There is none alive that would know everything, but God only: He knoweth the ordering of times from of old, what it shall be.


    1. Ailech Frigrenn, green-sward of the world's royal kings, fortress to which led roads horse-trodden, through five ramparts:
    2. Hill where the Dagda slept, red are its flowers, many its houses, few its plunderings, plumb its stones.

    3. p.109

    4. A lofty keep is Ailech Frigrenn, the hero's rath, a fort that fosters schools, lime-white house of granite.
    5. A lovely spot is Ailech Gabráin, green are its boughs, on its sod the Dagda, famed in song, found a dwelling for Aed.
    6. I tell to you the legend of Ailech's treasures: one of its houses would feed half the world.
    7. The reason why the name was found for Ailech with its stalls, if that is what ye seek, I know one with whom ye may find it.
    8. Eochaid Ollathair marched through all Erin: broader was his countenance than half a plain.
    9. The hero Eochaid's three sons, who knew no hour of jealousy, were Oengus, and Aed and Cermat of the battle squadrons.
    10. Corrgend son of Faitheman, a warrior among mankind, was Eochaid's soldier, that knit the ranks and knew no fear,
    11. A tall sprig of a lad from Mag Cruachan, with locks bright as gold, with agile grace, with a champion's temper, with the strength of nine.
    12. When the king of Erin addressed him with inveigling words Corrgenn came from Crúach Aigle to Túath Tuirbe.
    13. Tethra, whitely fair, was wife of Corrgenn slender of shape; there was none lovelier since the Flood in all Erin.
    14. When Tethra came to the banquet-hall at Tara, she bestowed the charm of her regard on Aed, though he was not present.

    15. p.111

    16. Corrgend went to visit his land—not sorry was Tethra: she gave her love in his absence, in a gust of desire, to Aed.
    17. Aed went in to Corrgenn's wife, on an errand unblest: woe for the reproach to Tethra's mate, leader of lucky troops.
    18. Then did Corrgenn, blood-stained chieftain, as requital, slay forthwith the boy that smirched his honour.
    19. After the deed Corrgenn went his way to western Connacht, though he found no shelter for his guilt when Aed was slain.
    20. Eochaid went seeking Corrgenn to Crích Umaill and with relentless pressure hemmed him in a narrow corner.
    21. Corrgenn is taken in his guilt, for all his bravery: the strong man in a fit of anguish became the Dagda's bondman.
    22. Then all cried ‘Let us hang Corrgenn, chief of warriors, if his clear bright cheek has shown haughtiness or pride.’
    23. ‘I will not do as ye say’, said the Dagda: ‘that which is not right and lawful may not be done by me.’
    24. ‘Life and honour are not due as the price of a life: this shall not turn aside the Dagda's face from the divine decree.’
    25. ‘Only he shall bear on his back the boy he killed till he find a stone of size to match him.’
    26. ‘Let the boy be laid on the back of Corrgenn of Cnoc na Taiden to signify hereafter his punishment at the hands of the stern king of the Gaels.’
    27. Aed was borne by Eochaid mighty in battle: no king before him bore to Tara such a load.

    28. p.113

    29. On Tara's hill the dead man was lifted on the warrior's back: he bore with him to the house of noble Nét the bright-faced stripling.
    30. Corrgenn took his way through the midst of Mag Senaig, and the brave wight reached at point of dawn the bright lough of Febal,
    31. (Febal mac Lotain, white of hand, soft of shoulder: a stone was cast up by the lough of length to cover the child.)
    32. When Corrgenn saw the stone of Febal, which he spied before him, he bore it with him by uttermost effort, an added burden.
    33. He declared verily to the Dagda, not gloomy of mien, ‘Here is the stone fetched forth, O warrior! ah stone of pride!’
    34. Said the Dagda himself, pure of countenance: ‘From the stone shall be the place's name’ (a saying in its homes).
    35. ‘Ailech shall this place be called throughout Banba, honoured above hills like the silent hill of Tara,’ said the Dagda's druid.
    36. Corrgenn fell under the rude stone's weight, his heart broke: the quicker was he laid in grave at foot of a tree.
    37. Hence is named Ailech, after Aed of the wind-swift horses, and after rough strong mangled Corrgenn of Crúach Aigle.
    38. Thereafter were brought two men of subtle art, Garbán and Imchell, to sorrowing fair-headed Eochaid.
    39. He bade them build a rath round the smooth slender folk to be a rath of goodly devices, the best in Erin.

    40. p.115

    41. Néit son of Indui, surly of temper, told them that the world's brave host would not build the better part of Ailech.
    42. Diligent Garbán was busy with masonry and carving, Imchell was busy keeping guard about the house.
    43. The building of Ailech's keep was ended, though a toilsome work; a single stone closed the apex of the house of perilous hostages.
    44. Néit son of Indui, the stranger, he of the long weapon, came and brought with him the winsome woman who dwelt in Brega: one like Nemain was never brought to the house of Ailech.
    45. Ailech Néit, from Neit son of Indui, was the name of the place, before another name was given to it; it was guarded by weapons.
    46. Ailech Frigrenn was a further name that it received afterward: no stronghold save Tara may be matched with Ailech.
    47. Frigriu came to the king of Scotland, the bright-haired: no craftsman so perfect as he poured red gold in the balance.
    48. Ubthaire of the unruly steed was the name of the high king of Scotland, whose long arm turned in wounds the deadly spear-shaft.
    49. The king had a daughter surpassing queens and ladies: Frigriu by sweet looks overbold won the favour of her converse.
    50. Ailech was the name of Ubthaire's daughter—she was wife of a noble, honourable and fresh of colour, till the Gael's love bewildered her.
    51. She went with him from the midst of Cantire to the Ulaid's land—a feat of noble women, for whom a contest of warriors was fought.

    52. p.117

    53. Ubthaire demanded his daughter by manly means or he would burn the house of Tara with half Banba to boot.
    54. Eochaid Doimlén, bright of face, replied that never till the day of doom should he carry off the girl by such means.
    55. The craftsman claimed protection from the king, even the king of Tara: he asked of him the Dagda's fort, or Medb's rampart.
    56. ‘Guard, O king’, said the princes to the king of Femen, ‘thine honour and thy face, and give Ailech to Ailech.’
    57. Then was Ailech rather than any home given to Ailech, to the curled pure-bright girl, bright-cheeked, passing proud.
    58. Hence the name Ailech Frigrenn (its origin is found) is given by every right to Ailech of the Dagda, dwelling of the Ulaid.
    59. The kingship of Erin, we tell in books, deserted Tara after it came to Ailech of dangerous Néit.
    60. The king of Fál found Ailech in a secret hour, and she was mother of stout-hearted Colla, of Druim in Domain.
    61. Oldest of the labours of Erin is Ailech Frigrenn: we will give it no greater praise than it deserves.
    62. Forty years but one, closely reckoned, the work of nimble hands belonged to the seed of the sons of Míl.
    63. Néit son of Indui, king of the north country, lord of horse-breeding peoples, was the first heathen by whom Obach was deserted for Ailech.
    64. Nine kings of one name, of Adam's race, sprang from Ailech, and Eochaid was the name of each, famed in dangers:

    65. p.119

    66. Eochaid Ollathair, first, who checked calamity; Eochaid Etgothach who met affliction—he was grim in combat;
    67. Eochaid Opthach, Eochaid Feidlech, man of sword-blades, and the king who gained his life outright, Eochaid Airem;
    68. Eochaid Buadach, Eochaid Mór, slayer of cattle, Eochaid Doimlén, noble temper well-proven, rallier of battle,
    69. Eochaid Muigmedón, son of the high king of Inis Senaig, a sea for offspring, undefeated in battle.
    70. Son to this man was Níall, who conquered the divided world: his fair slender loving mother was Cairenn the Pict.
    71. Great Níall's progeny are the princes of Ailech, of martial weapons, tall youths, white-fingered lads, a line of warriors.
    72. Eogan son of Níall, gifted from childhood with a soldier's strength, from whose countenance came increase of honour, fortunate lord of Febal:
    73. Fair-haired Indecht, daughter of the king of Monach, was mother of Eogan—Eogan with kingly nature, with a hero's will, with a lion's spirit.
    74. Cinel Eogain, nobler than the kindred of Tara, with fingers decked with many rings, with the beauty of their hair,
    75. They are the noblest array in Erin, the assembly of Ailech; they are the best that a retinue surrounds in their homes in the west.
    76. Seventeen High Kings from them, of the line of Eogan, ruled over Erin: their foreign levies would contend for their rights in the world.

    77. p.121

    78. By them are hostages taken from every land I traverse; through them all men are thriving in Erin.
    79. Cú Arad the learned has related to every auditor the legend difficult and dark of proud Ailech.
    80. Dercilus—a face alert in battle, masterful in his halls—was king of the world, followed by troops of horses, when by mighty Loch Febail was found the occasion of Ailech's name,
    81. Six hundred years and seventy, by ancient report, before the birth of Christ in a city of Juda, bright of hue, divine.
    82. Five thousand one hundred and forty years above the plains, with six years added thereto, passed in their houses yonder, till the golden poem of Ailech was recited by the host of Monach.
    83. Jesus Christ, Lord of every land and every sea, is the king to whom our song shall rise in his palace, an ornament of beauty.


    1. Lethderg, whom our princes used to dream of, lovely daughter of Conchobar, bestowed her love—true the tale—in a dream, on Fothad.
    2. These are the names of the men (their deeds counted by scores) that were in company with Fothad (the fierceness of the cunning leader surpassed all prowess) and bore Lethderg to the Rock:

    3. p.123

    4. Fethlenn son of Fidrui, man of wrath, Lurgu son of flame-red Luath, a man whose spear missed not its mark, Irnisech son of Inmasech.
    5. Corr Derce, brave chief in battle, did Fothad notable service: he gave him guidance (thick came his captains) to the home of Tromda son of Calatrom.
    6. Tromda was doomed at that hour: no cock crowed, no dog barked, when Fothad came in wrath and bore off Lethderg, with the warrior's head.
    7. Briccem son of Tond—bright his name—right prudently manned a skiff for Fothad, with a crew of braves, to the Rock where Lethderg dwelt.


    1. Famous the plain men ride over where dwelt Coba, captain in battle: Coba, foremost in forays, was a tool-wright and a trapper.
    2. Erimon himself, with scores of spearmen, brought from far brisk bold Coba: for trapping of beasts, 'twas known, and for bird-flocks, he was a very snare.
    3. He fashions a pitfall, an imprisoning pen, to catch himself—for he was doomed to die: he put his foot in his own engine, to try whether he had set it ready in trim.

    4. p.125

    5. He caught his hand and ankle, his foot and slender neck: so comely Coba perished in his fine far-famed pitfall.


    1. In the plain where our horsemen ride, there, by the will of the right-judging Lord, was buried in fair seclusion a lovely woman, Macha wife of Nemed.
    2. Twice six plains did Nemed clear before his home, to win renown; of these was this plain, to my joy, across which I shall wend my steady way.
    3. Macha, who diffused all excellences, the noble daughter of red-weaponed Aed, the raven of the raids, was buried here when Rechtaid Red-Wrist slew her.
    4. She it was that, seeking no help, shaped with her brooch for grim Dithorba's sons—it was no mean feat—Emain, above the sloping plain.
    5. To bewail her—it was a worthy beginning—was held by the Ulaid's host in full numbers yonder, to all time, the Assembly of Macha on the wide plain.
    6. It is right that I should now tell (for it is a business needing boldness) the tale whereof it came that the Ulaid lay in pangs of general sickness—a spell past cure.

    7. p.127

    8. There came one day in bright glory to Conchobar's appointed Assembly, from the waters eastward, a man rich in herds, Cruinn son of Agnoman, lord of hundreds.
    9. Then they bring, pacing proudly, two horses, whose like I see not, to the warriors' horse-race—hide it not!—held at that season by the king of Ulaid.
    10. Though their like was not found among the horses of Mag Da Gabra, Cruind, eager and shaggy, said that his wife was swifter, though heavy with child.
    11. ‘Arrest ye the chieftain!’ said Conchobar, leader in battle, ‘till the warrior's fair wife come to a noble race against my steeds.’
    12. A messenger was sent to fetch her by the king of the stout levelled spears, to bid her come from the ocean waves to contend on behalf of idle-speaking Cruinn.
    13. The woman came without delay to the assembly of perilous exploits: her two names, not seldom heard in the west, were bright Grian and pure Macha.
    14. Her father, not without might in his home, was Midir of Brí Léith meic Celtchair; in her roofless dwelling in the west she was Grian, the sun of womankind.

    15. p.129

    16. When she arrived, fierce for glory, she prayed at once for respite to the host of undefeated clans, because her hour of travail was come.
    17. The Ulaid made answer thereupon to the quick brisk dame, big with child, that she should find no grace before the contest from the sworded battalion of famous Line.
    18. Then the nimble bright lady bared herself, and loosened the hair about her head: without fierce cry to urge her she came to the race, to the tourney.
    19. The horses were brought close beside her, to drive them in this wise past the noble lady: for the Ulaid of that keep continually that array of steeds was an evil omen.
    20. Swift though the prince's steeds were among the tribes, met in might, swifter was the woman, unsparing of effort: the king's horses were over-slow.
    21. When she reached the end of the green—noble was her stake, great and famous—she bore twin babes, without respite, before the folk of the Red Branch fort.
    22. A boy and a girl together—through her glorious deed sorrow was their nurse; Fir and Fial were the names of the twins that Grian bore, unsparing of effort.

    23. p.131

    24. She leaves a word enduringly upon the pillars of the Red Branch, that in time of war they should be in distress, in anguish and labour-pangs.
    25. The word she uttered then brought distress to the lordly host; it clave to them—it was no occasion for valour—till the ninth of nine lives.
    26. From the reign of Conchobar of Cerna over the strong troops of northern Emain, the ill deed by her imprecation wrought their ruin until the reign of Mal son of Rochraide.
    27. Then the woman died of that sore sickness, 'twas certain, and was buried yonder in solitude in Ard Macha, rich in mead.
    28. From the life, from the death of the woman, famous among the lines of Adam's seed, whose virtues were not left unsung over the spot, her name clave to this plain.
    29. Since Patrick first brought the Faith to Ard Macha where men gather, the plenteous stead he chose is a favoured burial-place, even the great plain.
    30. O King that broughtest Emain to desolation, after it was deserted by its brave host, let not my soul be sad in thine house, after singing psalms of poets in the noble plain.



    1. Here is the grave of ‘Aife's only man’, son of a right-wanton couple; never did earth throw her mantle over a boy bolder of nature.
    2. The little lad was not afraid, when he crossed the bright sea-water, to sit by the lonely bank of Dall, and to encounter Cuchulaind.
    3. His mother sent him from the east and his father slew him: ill for them both alike was their son's death through their misdeeds.
    4. Senseless it was for his sire to be wroth with a boy of bare nine years; there was nothing that should make him furious, since he knew the lad was but a child.
    5. Had it been his match in age who opposed him, if they came together and joined combat his visitor would not have won unscathed the spoil of the warrior whose grave is here.
    6. Sad the lament that was raised by fierce Cuchulaind—it grew a custom: the Ulaid came in muster to bewail his only son.
    7. Thereafter Cuchulaind bore him to the meeting-place of Airbe Rofir: Airbe Rofir—whence comes the name, but from the hewing of this grave-stone?

    8. p.135

    9. Many a slaying has been wrought in the great world by his fury, and numerous in bright Banba are the graves and tombstones of those he slew.


    1. Pleasant is the theme that falls to my care, the lore not of one spot only, while my spirit sheds light eastward on the secret places of the world.
    2. How is it that none of you demands, if he seek to weave the web of knowledge, whence came at any time the name of Carn Mail in the eastern Plain of Ulaid?
    3. Lugaid Mal, great ruin he wrought, was exiled from Erin: with seven ship-loads sailed the prince from Erin to the land of Alba.
    4. He contended for the eastern lands, in combat and conflict, from Brittany to teeming Norway, from the Orkney isles to Spain.
    5. When he gained the right of proud kingship, he brought with him the hosts of his array till the harbours of Ulaid were filled with the grim warriors' barques.
    6. A challenge comes from Lugaid to the men of Fal demanding battle or tribute, to carry them into battle with him who was to be their overlord.

    7. p.137

    8. Then down he comes with speed to offer battle, even-matched; a stone for each fighter he brought to battle, with these was built Lugaid's Cairn.
    9. There stood Lugaid Mal, on the massy white-sided cairn, till he brake the great and famous fight against the goodly men of Erin.
    10. Lugaid received at Less Breg hostages from Gall and Gael: he was the king that reared the round cairn which stands above fair Mag Ulad.
    11. Seven sons had comely Daire, Lugaid was the honoured name of each: because of the prophecy—better so! one name served for all.
    12. Daire, fiery warrior, owned an enchanted fawn, shaped like a wild deer: four of them loosed their hounds after it, from old Tara north-westward.
    13. Swift fled the fawn before them as far as the stream by Sinann: the fawn fell a prey to the four noble striplings.
    14. The sons of Daire from Dun na n-Eicess cast lots gleefully, that each might know his share of the enchanted fawn, without quarrel.

    15. p.139

    16. To Lugaid Corb there fell the carving of the fawn, rough though he was; so from him is named the clan Dal Mess Corb in the region of Cualu.
    17. While each was busy with his share, Lugaid Cal fell asleep; so his offspring unsubdued are the Calraige of Connacht.
    18. Lugaid [Orc] brought a draught of water; fair he was yet not forspent: so his seed thenceforth is Corco Oirche in the confines of Cashel.
    19. Lugaid, Mac Con's great father, all Erin belonged to him alone: so from Lugaid Loeg onwards the clan of Corco Laigde has its name.
    20. When the men were in the house sitting over by the fireside, there entered a hag, a loathly offence; she was hideous, unsightly.
    21. Taller was she than a mast upright, bigger than a sleeping-hut her ear, blacker than any visage her form, a weight on every heart was the hag.
    22. Broader her row of teeth—what portends it?—than a board set with draughtsmen; her nose stood out far before her, it was longer than a ploughshare.
    23. Bigger than a basket full of sheaves was each fist of the misnatured woman: bigger than rough-hewn stone in rampart each of her black bony knees.

    24. p.141

    25. A paunchy belly she bore, I trow, without rib to the armpits: a scabby black crown with a crop of wens, like a furzy hillside, upon her.
    26. She set upon them in the strong house where sat the King of Erin's sons; dire the dazzlement she cast upon them from her eyes—alas the deed!
    27. A change fell on the nature of the tender youths before that obese lustful horror: sooner than look upon her they had chosen to be buried under earth alive.
    28. Their spirit and senses turned, with a throb sorer than stark combat: the sons of Daire gave themselves over to a death of shame.
    29. She addressed them with an evil saying: ‘One of you must sleep with me to-night, or I will devour you all, unaided, hound and strong man alike.’
    30. When he saw the danger plain, Lugaid Laigde spoke: ‘I will sleep with her—unwelcome task: enough for you to lose me only.’
    31. As the firelight fell dim, she changed to another wondrous shape: she took on a radiant form, beyond praise; rosy she grew, round-bosomed.

    32. p.143

    33. Such were her eyes (they were no tricks of cheating craft)—three shafts of sunlight in each of them: where her glance fell all was bright.
    34. Down slid the crimson mantle fair from her breasts untouched by age, till the flesh-worm might be crushed in the room by the light of her lovely body.
    35. Then the young man asked her, ‘Fair maiden, whence comest thou? name thy race, tell it now, speak to me, hide it not from me!’
    36. ‘I will tell thee, gentle youth; with me sleep the High Kings: I, the tall slender maiden, am the Kingship of Alba and Erin.’
    37. ‘To thee have I revealed myself this night, yet nothing more shall come of our meeting: the son thou shalt have, he it is that I shall sleep with—happier fate.’
    38. ‘I will tell thee thy son's name, lucky his lot; Lugaid shall his name be and Mac Con thereto: of him therefore I pronounce thus much: he shall be seer and prophet and poet.’
    39. Daire uttered a prophecy to them concerning Mac Con unreproached: ‘Mac Con shall win the ringing Hill of Brega, with Erin and pleasant Alba.’



    1. Rath Rogein was formerly its name in the reign of Bresal of the white shoulder, till presently Mor came there, the daughter of Rithir, son of Derlam.
    2. Fifty years she lived in the Rath after parting with eager Bresal of the keen spear, when Bresal disappeared under Loch Laig, and his warriors raised a cry.
    3. When a woman said (so runs the tale) that Bresal would never come home, Mor fell dead before the eyes of all: hence the name clave to the Rath.


    1. Victorious Boirche, the man of might, son of Ross Ruad, well-attended king, the staunch loud-voiced herdsman, used to call the horned kine.
    2. From harsh Inber Colptha to Dun Sobairche north-eastward they came at his call, seeking him from every quarter.
    3. In the spot where he met his dappled kine, for fear of wolf-packs and worryings, their master and great guardian would sleep with them nightly.



    1. Know ye the ancient story of the sea that goodly Boirche confronts? eastward lies the seals' green plain, one of the Three great Moans of Mac Lir.
    2. Spotted Bennán, not mild of mood, wrought a wanton's deeds: a buck was he to gore the son of Mac Lir, the wise white maiden's paramour.
    3. Therefore, in anguish of heart, did Manannán let loose—it was a wanton crime—Loch Ruide, Loch Cuan of the curraghs, and the third rapid water, Loch Da Chaech.
    4. Ibel, that loved music, died above the teeming sea, of the wound he took in the combat: at the Leap that the great plain felt, the noble maiden has her home.


    1. O nobles of the land of comely Conn, hearken a while for a blessing, till I tell you the legend of the elders of the ordering of Taltiu's Fair!
    2. Three hundred years and three it covers, from the first Fair at Taltiu to the birth of Christ, hearken!
    3. Taltiu, daughter of gentle Magmor, wife of Eochu Garb son of Dui Dall, came hither leading the Fir Bolg host to Caill Chuan, after high battle.

    4. p.149

    5. Caill Chuan, it was a thicket of trees from Escir to Ath Drommann, from the Great Bog, a long journey, from the Sele to Ard Assuide.
    6. Assuide, the seat of the hunt, whither gathered the red-coated deer; often was the bugle first sounded east of the wood, the second time on the edge of Clochar.
    7. Commur, Currech, Crích Linde, Ard Manai where the spears used to be; the hounds of Cairpre killed their quarry on the land of Tipra Mungairde.
    8. Great that deed that was done with the axe's help by Taltiu, the reclaiming of meadowland from the even wood by Taltiu daughter of Magmor.
    9. When the fair wood was cut down by her, roots and all, out of the ground, before the year's end it became Bregmag, it became a plain blossoming with clover.
    10. Her heart burst in her body from the strain beneath her royal vest; not wholesome, truly, is a face like the coal, for the sake of woods or pride of timber.
    11. Long was the sorrow, long the weariness of Tailtiu, in sickness after heavy toil; the men of the island of Erin to whom she was in bondage came to receive her last behest.

    12. p.151

    13. She told them in her sickness (feeble she was but not speechless) that they should hold funeral games to lament her—zealous the deed.
    14. About the Calends of August she died, on a Monday, on the Lugnasad of Lug; round her grave from that Monday forth is held the chief Fair of noble Erin.
    15. White-sided Tailtiu uttered in her land a true prophecy, that so long as every prince should accept her, Erin should not be without perfect song.
    16. A fair with gold, with silver, with games, with music of chariots, with adornment of body and of soul by means of knowledge and eloquence.
    17. A fair without wounding or robbing of any man, without trouble, without dispute, without reaving, without challenge of property, without suing, without law-sessions, without evasion, without arrest.
    18. A fair without sin, without fraud, without reproach, without insult, without contention, without seizure, without theft, without redemption:
    19. No man going into the seats of the women, nor woman into the seats of the men, shining fair, but each in due order by rank in his place in the high Fair.

    20. p.153

    21. Unbroken truce of the fair the while through Erin and Alba alike, while men went in and came out without any rude hostility.
    22. Corn and milk in every stead, peace and fair weather for its sake, were granted to the heathen tribes of the Greeks for maintaining of justice.
    23. From the lamentation for Tailtiu of the Sele to the reign of Loegaire mac Neill was held by the fairy host a fair every single year,
    24. By the Fir Bolg, who were there, and by the Tuatha De Danann, by the Children of Mil thereafter down to Patrick after the first coming of the Faith.
    25. Said Patrick, ‘Victorious was the proud law of nature; though it was not made in obedience to God, the Lord was magnifying it.’
    26. Till Patrick came after Christ was held the fair of Tailtiu that subdues curses; many a dead man his mate bewailed in the graveyard of the wealthy Féni.
    27. A tomb with one door for a man of art; a tomb with two doors for a woman; graves without doors
      over lads and maidens.
    28. Records from pillars over graves decked with arms, bearing of candles to watch the dead, mounds over noble foreigners, and walls built over the dead of great plagues.

    29. p.155

    30. For ever endures the wall of Tailtiu, where numbers of women were buried, and the wall that hides many dead, where Eochu Garb was buried.
    31. On the wall of Eochu, compact of stones, twenty seats of the kings of Tara; and on the smooth wall of his wife twenty seats of their queens.
    32. A royal chamber for mighty Munster to the left of the kings of Tara; the three parts of Connacht, not straitened, upon the seats of the men of Olnecmacht.
    33. The warriors of Leinster, land of renown, between them and the province of Ulster; let us name them, from the right hand side: Erin, that belonged to her king in fee,
    34. The Ulstermen, before the faith of the Cross, who came with their chariots to the first games, the Leinstermen before the men of Munster, and Connacht in well-remembered order.
    35. The Stone of Grop, the Stone of Gar, the Stone of the Sick Men, the Leper's Stone beside the seats: the Rocks of Counting, the Wheel of Fal Fland, the Pillar of Colman, the Cairn of Conall.
    36. Forbidden for Tailtiu is a cast at random; forbidden, to ride through it without alighting; forbidden, when leaving it for a meal, to look at it over the left shoulder.

    37. p.157

    38. A fair green with three marvels it possessed: a man without a head walking about it, the son of a boy of seven years, held on a finger, the fall of the priest from the air.
    39. The three heinous spoils Patrick forbade in it; stealing of oxen in the yoke, slaughter of milch cows, burning of empty byres—no pristine tradition [he taught].
    40. Patrick preached —so it is a judgement-—that none who did such things should find peace, so long as Tailtiu shall stand, for ever, so long as its royal raths endure.
    41. The Eastern Rath, the Rath of the evil West, the Rath of Lugaid, the Rath of Lort, the Rath of Lorc, the Rath of Cú, the Rath of Canu—hail! the Rath of the Seed of Tadg, the triple rampart of Tailtiu.
    42. The triple rampart of Tailtiu, famed beyond all lands, the spot where the kings used to fast, with laymen, with clerics, with hundreds of headmen, that no disease might visit the land of Erin.
    43. In the triple rampart of Tailtiu, about tierce, Jesus granted to Mac Eirc to take away the three plagues from Erin—it is not unknown.
    44. That the custom of gall-cherd should be put away, the sinking of the ships off Bregmag, and the pestilence of the sons of Aed Slaine: to Mac Eirc it was no disgrace.

    45. p.159

    46. Though Tailtiu was a sanctuary for the flock, God gave friends to guard it, Patrick, Brigit, white Becan, Mac Eirc, Eithne, Adamnan.
    47. Let us speak of what came next after the establishment of the faith in the Trinity; the triple bands of Tailtiu, the companies who go to make trial of the warriors' fair-green.
    48. Men on the dun, first, to visit it; men between two duns, after them; men behind the dun, to ratify the truce; those are the three chief beginnings.
    49. Patrick whom every king invokes after traversing Tailtiu thrice; Mac Eirc, Ciaran of Carn from Mag Ái, these are its three guarantors.
    50. Five hundred fairs, turn about, that is, certain with uncertain, from the Fair of Patrick of Macha to the Black Fair of Donchad.
    51. Two score of kings held the fair, by four kings it was dedicated: all the noble line of kings was sprung from Niall except Ailill alone.
    52. One king from Loegaire descended, one king of the race of Cairpre, nine princes of the seed of noble Aed, seven princes of the family of Colman.
    53. Sixteen kings out of Meath sprung from Eogan were at the Fair, and ten kings—these came from the territory of Conall, O nobles!

    54. p.161

    55. Four score years (this is true) all but one year, Tailtiu lay deserted, alas how long! and the green of Cormac without a chariot.
    56. Until there came in his serried array the king's comely-bearded grandson, and the son, who drinks the heady mead, of the daughter of the king who thwarted the Fair.
    57. The King of Temair, chosen thence, Maelsechlainn of secure Slemun,—like the River Euphrates rises on high the one champion of Europe.
    58. The glory of the noble West of the world to my aid! a new Cormac ua Cuinn, offspring of Domnall son of Donchad, comes hither to the princely seat.
    59. He brought the cornfield of the Gaels out of danger, he brought Erin out of shipwreck, he raised the Fair of Tailtiu from the sod; though of ancestral use, it was unknown.
    60. Too little he counts it, what he has given us of good; little, what he has given us of corn, of milk, of malt; what of treasure, of victual, of vestment; what of gold, of silver.
    61. Too little he thinks it, all that he contrives for our profit; too little all the fish, the honey, the mast; too little, that we hold, when the corn-rick is roofed, a fair to every tribe.
    62. Too little, he thinks, we enjoy of the enduring world; too little he thinks it, to make each of us a king; too little, each full throng that follows him, till he has brought us to the Fair of Tailtiu.

    63. p.163

    64. He desires, though our life here should be long before going other-where, that he should bring us into the house of God after achieving his design.
    65. Christ be with Maelsechlainn of the sages! Christ with him against misfortune, against tribulation! Christ with him to protect and prosper him against war, against battle!
    66. Kings that have not attended our meeting ought not to shun us: Maelruanaid, Flaithbertach, Fland, Aed, Cathal, Donnchad, Domnall.
    67. Ua Lothchain's full good wishes to you, O youths of the noble Fair! thus I greet you after a lucky strain, so long as there be observance of the Fair, O nobles!


    1. Plain for me to see with bright glance from Ard Asse round about is the Grave of Nemed's wife, valiant in war, the Balance of the son of Balar's daughter.
    2. The port where the Lugair brought their ship in Descert Maige Oendruind, the strong Boar's Crossing, after the hour of tierce, it is near and plain to see.
    3. Loch Echtra, noble Loch Neagh, Sliab Breg, Sliab Bairche ever-white, the stone Seat of Congal, taker of heads, the tall stately Sliab Ullenn,

    4. p.165

    5. Sliab Slanga, fair Sliab Cuilinn, Sliab Moduirn in Mugdorna, Sliab Cairthin, by noble Aine, smooth Sliab Fota, of the glorious battle.
    6. The hills of the Ulaid, to the northward, in red Crich Araide, spacious Sliab Miss—rude work! smooth Sliab Callann, scene of combats.
    7. Next the hills of Connacht—Sliab Tua, Sliab Cairn, Sliab Betha, ever-fresh, Sliab Carthind, peaked Sliab Bethech, the rugged heights of the hills of Galenga.
    8. Cenel Eogain, the confines of Ulaid, the men of Brega, a goodly native stock, the confines of the Three Collas, no rightful boundary, on every side they are plain to see.
    9. Learn ye from me, in clear and stately verse, the reason why Sliab Fuait is so named, since it chances that I sojourn here, so that ye may know its story.
    10. Fuat son of Bregon, brave were his deeds, his fame was spread over earth's extent: a warrior was he, not solitary in his ship, a leader of Bregon's victorious sons.
    11. He turned aside, all alone, on his journey to the land of Erin; his steps bore him, stately and steadfast, to the Isle of Truth.
    12. He brought with him, of the island's soil, a sod, over the strong-maned sea, and laid it—fair voyage!—here on the soil of Sliab Fuait.

    13. p.167

    14. Whenever a king was truthful the sod was bright with fair hues: but if ever he uttered falsehood, it would turn its roots upward.
    15. It was upon it—an unwearied journey—that, to preserve its truth, Patrick's glorious gelding lay down long after—strength was in his gait.
    16. Here it remains, a shining treasure, the little sod from the Land of Promise, in honoured Nemed, martial and mighty: to yourselves it is clear and plain to see.


    1. Learn ye from me in clear stately verse the cause why Sliab Fuait is so named, that ye may know its story, since I find myself snugly here.
    2. Fuat son of Bile—brisk was he—brought with him from the Maidens' Isles through all roads on his glorious roaming a sod from Spain to Erin.
    3. Fuat, Bregon's grandson, doughty his deeds, strong was he beyond earth's utmost might, a young warrior not single in his ship, a victorious leader of the sons of Bregon.
    4. Fuat, Bregon's grandson, doughty his deeds, strong was he beyond earth's utmost might: his steps bore him without danger of spear-heads to the Isle of Truth.

    5. p.169

    6. He brought with him, of the soil of the Island, a sod over the strong sweet waves and planted it—fair the voyage—here on the soil of Sliab Fuait.
    7. If any man were to utter pallid falsehood over the smooth surface of the green-rimmed sod, it would not endure the lie without turning over—the gift was fame for the sod.
    8. When a king was upright the sod would bear a bright hue: but if ever he spake falsehood it would turn its roots upward.
    9. The sod remains on the north side of the mountain: it gained virtues of all kinds on the way: a sod that would not endure crooked misdealing, a guileless man brought it, noble Fuat.
    10. Upon it, with step unshrinking, for guarding of the truth, came long after, not by wrong, the chief apostle, Patrick.
    11. Here abides the shining sod, the little sod of the Promised Land, in the Plain of Nár (martial his might): I will make it clear and plain to see.
    12. Ua Duinn of dark speech told the tale of the sod of blooming Cenn Berraide when he firmly wove for you for your instruction the true story of Sliab Fuait—and learn ye it!



    1. Well I know the origin of the name of stalwart Callann's mountain: the hound that Buide owned was called by the name of Callann, unalterably.
    2. Buide mac Báin was a man of mark: in his fair house he reared the fell hound, greater of size than an oak tree, to guard his goodly flock.
    3. Daelchú, the hound of Celtchar—hard his cast—was the hound's northern sire: in the hollow skull of Conganchness was Dael found—no puny beast.
    4. Three hounds there were in the head of Conganchness, a fair sight among all strongholds: dappled, black, and dun—warm was their coat: the pack mangled many a fell.
    5. The hound of Mac Dá Thó, breeder of strife, the hound of the Smith, equally noted, and the hound that fair Celtchar owned; a law-keeper was noble Dael.
    6. The hound that belonged to steadfast Buide, a whelp of Dael from the high-bred litter, was a guardian of kine and gear till the day of the dark Dun Bull's battle.
    7. The dark Dun Bull of Cualnge, too hard a match for him, crushed Callann in fresh gore: so here on this hill lies his carcass: a rite has been held from of old.

    8. p.173

    9. From this tale—truth I tell—comes the name, Sliab Callann of the triumphs: well I know Callann's grave in the sod under the sward by the road-side.


    1. Sruthar Matha, praise it among yourselves, O joyous people, that love it well! if ye know in full the story of the death of Matha son of Roiriu.
    2. From Leinster of the bloody conflicts to his death in a neighbour land Matha's errand brought him, to the stream's outlet: the occasion thereof is known to us.
    3. A wood rich in nut-clusters have I heard of in the western part of Mag Macha; there was no forest to match it for fame and for fragrance.
    4. Such an odour rose from the wood, on the side where it moved with the wind, that no hiding-place from its fragrance was found in Banba.
    5. Every swine that snuffed up the odour of the vast forest, their hearts would break forthwith if they could not reach the forest.
    6. The herd of Catháir Mór, lord of horsemen, fares forth after the goodly odour: it was no prosperous enterprise for the tall slow-foot man, Matha, to be sent to master them perforce.

    7. p.175

    8. Neither swerve nor turn in their road could Matha get from the mighty herd: in such plight he reached Commar: promptly came his doom.
    9. His head split, a doomed man's stroke, with the pursuit and burning heat: sadly he sinks beneath the smooth stream—small blame to him—to seek coolness.
    10. The son of Roiriu son of fierce Rogan, chief herdsman of Cathair of Conluan, perished by his violent effort and was drowned in the river.
    11. Therefore said every one truthfully, ‘The stream has gone over Matha—a dreadful deed!’ his name shall remain for ever to call the stream by, that it be Matha's River: it shall be a deed of note.
    12. Before the days of Roiriu's son, cunning in casts, Sruth Nencha (though the school mention it not) was of old the river's name: I have found the great tale, above all lore.


    1. Here was buried proud Odba, one that loved wisdom, an oak for strength: the grandson of wanton Ballethan frequented the hill with his docile yoke of foreign horses.
    2. Odba, son of Blai Ballethan from Brí, won great victories in his lifetime, when he served Conn of the Hundred Fights: no sluggard was he, dark wielder of the famed ivory hilt.

    3. p.177

    4. A swine-herd deemed high of spirit was he, a frowning fortress, a fervent champion; a man quick of hand, a keeper of serried ranks, Odba, the lamb-head wether that leads the flock.
    5. The spot where his grave was built was the noble pleasance of many a host: 'tis right that he lies in the midst of the untroubled hosts from whom he sprang.
    6. So his name, higher than any cliff, clave to the strong land yonder; hence Odba of the many exploits is called: no staff unstained was broken here.
    7. Odba, wife of Eremon, is there, in the midst of her portion yonder: he that was chief in yonder land cherished her here, the well-born indolent lady, the mother of his sons.


    1. At Inber Cichmaine, though it be narrow, was slain (a mighty onslaught) far-famed Maine, son of Medb and Ailell, exulting in fury of warlike combats.
    2. Him Fergna, generous son of widowed Findchoem, smote, in his flower, and his grave is in the ground, where the tall stripling murdered him.

    3. p.179

    4. Dreadful the deed unworthy that Findchoem's son committed, the killing of Maine Andoe, lord of steeds, known over every bright blue-watered plain.
    5. Around the curragh—famous meeting! it was ruin, it was great pity,—befell the loss of mighty Maine, that was not witless, whereby the inlet got its name.
    6. There was he slain (harsh the tidings), Ailill Find's ill-omened son, Cichmaine, stout champion against death, when he leapt into the inlet in the north.
    7. Or else, this is the true story of the stranger's death by no kindly deed, even the killing of him with the fierce heavy eyes as he hauled the fish out of the inlets.


    1. Shameful, I ween, is the origin of the legend of the Moor of mighty Nar: Nar caused his tribe to increase until he met his death at the hand of Etsine.
    2. Etsine, valiant warrior-woman, slew Nar the venomous poet: poet though he was, and venomous, that woman brought him to pale death.
    3. Two birds had the woman, whose names were Cel and Celetir: in revenge for them (it was ‘a white page for a blot’) Nar was brought to ruin and shame.



    1. Buan, Samaer's daughter, a woman not white of hue, gave her lasting love to Cuchulaind of the firm barb, when she followed his chariot's track,
    2. When the warlike three of ardent valour held their course to Ess Ruaid, Loegaire, a flame on the roaring battle's edge, Conall Cross-eye and the Hound of the Smith.
    3. The contest for the coveted portion brought westward the rivals bright of tint: toward Samaer they loosened rein, for they had taken him for umpire.
    4. Samaer, whom no equal lays low, gave the Portion to the battle-boasting Hound; the northern Hound, whose fame was firm-rooted, gained the Champion's Portion without dispute.
    5. Then the bright-cheeked maiden loved him, she whose name was famous Buan, and came after him to meet him to Fich Nemain of the anguish-cry.
    6. I have heard how she perished there upon the rock at Fich Buana of the oxen: a luckless way she went afar; she dealt a blow to one that felt it not.



    1. Loch Da Gabar—the reason of the name ye shall learn from me, in sooth, O princes from strong Bregros! 'tis a story of steeds of old.
    2. Here were drowned (inglorious might!) the horses of Eochu, king of Munster: wanton the wild thing that chased them thither: Gaeth and Grian were their names.
    3. They were brought with homage at the feast of Tara from the bull-king, Eochaid Marc-cend, ruler of chieftains, to the King, mighty Enna, noble and bounteous.
    4. A slender foal drove them once in panic, issuing from the glen where Glasgen dwelt: they fled before him, a fatal course, till they leapt their leap into the warriors' lake.


    1. Know ye the reason for the name of Lusmag with its bright splendour? before the battle of Mag Tuired yonder it was called Mag Muired Moncaide.
    2. From the battle of Mag Tuired in the north its name was Lusmag of warlike prowess: there blameless Diancecht applied a herb to every wound to heal it.

    3. p.185

    4. He brayed each herb, clever device, here by the spring of Slange: at bloody Achad Abla he succoured grateful kings.
    5. Every warrior he laid under the water would rise up sleek and sound, without blemish, spot, or hurt on visage or noble body.
    6. Thus arose of yore the name Lusmag of the voluble physicians; of the skill of Diancecht lord of spells under guidance it hath well learned a tale.


    1. Bear me in mind the story of Codal, honoured here beyond hosts famed for prowess: why is it known to the death-dealing array—the unsullied name of round-breasted Codal?
    2. Codal the round-breasted reared the virgin Erin, rich in steeds; here, on the swelling hill, thou seest him with a lasting vesture covering his breast.
    3. Growing as grew the woman, warlike Erin, born among arms, so gloriously grew the hill above earth's bright surface:
    4. Till she said to her fosterer in her vigour unabated: ‘The wind hath pierced us, the cheering sun hath scorched us, the mountain is rising above Erin!’
    5. Had not the woman noticed the hill growing and gaining, the far-seen peak of yellow-sided Codal would stand above all Erin.

    6. p.187

    7. In the day that the High King of Brena and Boand shall eat the food thereof, Codal's fosterling shall be a guard for the King of Temair in every conflict he has chosen.
    8. Codal of the chariots and the stout sword was buried there afterwards in the blue hill of green boughs: so the story runs.


    1. Tlachtga, proud and princely hill, has seen the passing of many a stern king, since long ago seemly Tlachtga possessed it, daughter of the famous slave of kingly Roth.
    2. Mug Roith was son of Fergus Fáil, son of royal and worshipful Ross; Cacht daughter of Cathmann skilled in feats was his own mother, fresh of hue.
    3. Roth son of Rigoll fostered him, therefore was he Roth's chosen Slave: his two sons were Buan and Corb, whose noble chant brought the people luck.
    4. The mother of those goodly sons was Derdraigen, strong, fierce, and fell: she was mother too of Cairpre, as my gentle bardic art certifies.
    5. Daughter of Mug, master of thousands, was choice Tlachtga—not chill was her bosom: with her giant father dear went she to noble Simon sechtmisid.

    6. p.189

    7. Three sons had Simon, who dwelt at ease; gigantic was their league of hell: Nero, Carpent, and Uetir, they were a mighty race, mortal in conflict.
    8. All the sons together gave their love to Tlachtga secretly, and quickened her womb, in truth, with offspring like in build and bulk.
    9. Tlachtga—no weakling was she—was one of three, with the beloved giant Slave and with Simon sechtmisid, who made the red well-finished Wheel.
    10. She carried with her the fragment, I wis, that the cunningly-made Wheel left behind it, the perfect Stone at feeble Forcarthain and the Pillar at Cnamchaill.
    11. Blind is each that once sees it, deaf is each that hears it: dead is he that aught touches of the rough-jagged dreadful Wheel.
    12. When the woman came westward she bore three sons of great beauty: she died at their birth, the bright brisk lady: a strange tale—let us hear it and hide it not!
    13. The names of her sons (no meagre utterance) were Muach and Cumma and darling Doirb: 'tis for the men of Torach, that claimed them for its own, to hear their names—and mark ye them!

    14. p.191

    15. As long as the names of her sons shall be held in honour throughout Banba (this is a true saying to spread abroad) there comes no ruin to her men.
    16. The hill where a grave was built for the lady of the chilly lands, above every title given by lucky poet it bears the style of silent Tlachtga.


    1. The seven sons of Bregon, a strength unsaddened, Brega, Blad, Cualu great in battle, Cualnge, Fuat, good Murthemne, and noble Ith, high chieftain,
    2. That active right-goodly band cleared a good plough-land for their children, so by them is it tilled in after times and from them is it named.
    3. Brega cleared—a boast not to be hidden—this plain our horses drive round, so that his name, as each of the seven's, endures a while for an illustrious title of the land he seized.
    4. There has come down, with a tale not trivial, along the line of the learned, luckily, the name of Brega, free from repute of crime, the ox of bright-brooched Dil.

    5. p.193

    6. Therefore did Dil love—was it not natural?—the ox that was leader of a great herd, because she was born in the same hour as the ox bright of colour.
    7. Tulchinde the druid, as poets affirm, bore off the young and modest maiden, along with the renowned excelling steer, to Mag Bolgaide rich in cattle.
    8. The name of the ox unmanaged clave to Mag Breg, with its many troops; that oxen-home is called without doubt ‘Brega's strip’: the appellation of the seven sons departed from it.


    1. Dear is the monument, visited by scores of crowds, and dear the grave of martial memory; dear is the corpse, now spiritless, to which the swine gave lasting sepulture.
    2. Thorny the tale that was bruited there, of a fighter that never needed urging, who speaks no more: the sudden fate of Lena, that fades not, has caused dread and dire dismay.
    3. Lena, son of wealthy Mess Roida, reared a swine, worst of plagues: this was that fatal boar whereby Lena, martial foe, was slain.
    4. From him shall fierce Mag Lena of martial fame answer to its name in the north, from the noble scion who faced the fray: he departed thence, a death undesired,

    5. p.195

    6. When the five fair provinces of Erin came, on a time, in full array, at Samain-tide, to seek the swine in the east where it had its loved abode.
    7. The noble prop of constant combats bred Ailbe sleek and dappled, smooth of poll: many a host he laid under earth in the east, that perfect hound, fell and dear.


    1. The swine of Mac Dá Thó, that chieftain richly clad, was no bare-boned starveling: for seven years' space, without deceit, sixty strippers were milked to feed it.
    2. Famous was the goodly belauded beast, as is sounded forth in story, without hiding the treachery that destroyed it: forty oxen toiled to nourish it.
    3. Its mighty tail alone on the cart-frame was nine men's load, strangest of bloody sights! Conall Cernach devoured it, while he was making the brave bountiful division.
    4. Though Ailbe of the bright cheeks escaped—that hound whose pleasure was in combat: though he repelled attacks from the place, it was none the poorer for the great pig also.

    5. p.197

    6. Mess Gegra and noble Mess Roida were two sons of Da Tho, host of the mighty troops; Mess Roida's son, he it was—alas! that fed the great swine to fatness.
    7. The five noble fifths of Erin came to him once in full array; their rivalry brought them to him: great was that following of a single swine!


    1. Odras, noble the lady for whom we furbish the lay that we indite, the daughter of Odornatan
      son of Laidne son of Luaidir.
    2. A lady of land was she, and mighty, deedful, radiant, danger-loving, the fair and shapely spouse of stout Buchat, lord of cattle.
    3. Keeper of kine to worshipful Cormac was Buchat, man of might: he roused the lusty herd betimes each morning.
    4. His trim alert wife Odras, fierce and tall, followed him one day to watch the sweet-fleshed cattle.
    5. As busy dark-wrinkled Odras was sleeping in the early morning the Dagda's wife found her: in this wise came the shape-shifting goddess:

    6. p.199

    7. The envious queen fierce of mood, the cunning raven-caller, brought off with her the bull that lived in miry Liathmuine.
    8. The bull covered a cow, the paddock bull in our herd: he hied him in haste from Temair to the levels of the Moor of Oiriu.
    9. Slemon was that bull's name: wild was that brown savage, a mettlesome unmastered beast: his name clave to that lowland.
    10. There came to blood-stained Cruachu, according to the weird and terrible tale, the mighty Morrigan, whose pleasure was in mustered hosts.
    11. Odras came to despoil her by arms, to an issue that was not lawful, with her stark ill-fated henchman, who fell at Cuil Cada.
    12. Cada was her gillie's name—many a fight he knew; Odras brought him, in a bitter hour, on the track of her herd of heifers.
    13. Afterward, when her henchman was gone, the lady came, in shining trim, to Sid Cruachan likewise, and a weird event befell yonder.
    14. Imprudently the dark-wrinkled one let sleep come over her in cold Daire Falgud, where she met mortal outrage.

    15. p.201

    16. The horrid Morrigan out of the cave of Cruachu, her fit abode, came upon her slumbering: alas, the combat on the hill!
    17. The owner of kine chanted over her, with fierceness unabating, toward huge Sliab Bodbgna every spell of power: she was full of guile.
    18. The forceful woman melted away toward Segais in a sleepy stream, like a pool void of lustre: she lost her victorious powers.
    19. Odras is the sweet-sounding noble name of the sluggish pallid streamlet: it passed from the lady—luckless visitant—to the river Odras.


    1. Cleitech the druid, faithful and ready, was a great chief—a word not lightly spoken; here was the seer buried, from whom comes the revered name of Cleitech.
    2. Perchance 'twas the house that then was reared, according to the record of copious authors, which was called abidingly yonder ‘the top of all houses’ in Erin.
    3. Or else, the untimely slaying of Mac Erca was the ‘top of boundless groans’; at grim Cleitech undevout he met wounds, burning and drowning.

    4. p.203

    5. The ‘top of groans’ in wide Erin was the loss of worshipful Cormac, grandson of noble Conn in the house of Cleitech, after a contest of wits, when the salmon-bone stuck in his gullet.
    6. I have heard of a son of Dega, son of Sen, son of Ross, skilled in feats: there in the north he built his house, the stern man whose name was Cleitech.
    7. When the Lord of every man hath spoken, may I receive his exceeding reward! the King that is holier than any hath parted Cleitech from its loved ones.


    1. Though here we sit a while on the hill of Cerna, where troops find quarters, yonder in stern Cerna lie a multitude whose heart was set on pride.
    2. There is nimble Cerna, a lad that bore off victory across the battle-breach, whose true father was Cairpre that won many a match in smooth poesy.
    3. There is Femen the fair, and Gemen from the dark Glen, and Artan, that lofty chieftain, and Marcan son of Donngaile.
    4. There is Fingen—attend! one that shaped aright each keen judgement; and Guaire, pure-handed, skilful and polished, and Baesach son of Tollchend.

    5. p.205

    6. There till the final doom rest a pair free from stain, free from word of blame, Find that scattered gifts in famous wise, unflinching, and Derg, his brother.
    7. There is the champion Neide, and Geide and Garb and Gartnia: there till now is the host-attended warrior Aldui Lamb-head, son of Iarlaithe.
    8. There is Cian, the unwearied, and broad-backed Casan, Dub Da Chonn, that walked not blindly, and Bresal of the land of Brega.
    9. There are the three Aeds, Aed ua Temna, no tender minion, Aed ua Huaine, beloved staff, and Aed donn, the hard-travailing.
    10. There is sweet-spoken Bennan, and bright Loingthe of the merry-lays, and the traveller Berr son of Erc, and wry Conan the hundred-slayer.
    11. There is Detla next and Cetna, proud in battle, Aldui that dealt no man a second stroke, and Cathgen, battle-enriched.
    12. There are the four Garbs, Garb of the Glen and Garb son of Scarb, Garb rige of the bold raids, and crooked Garb from old Sliab Crot.

    13. p.207

    14. There is Guala the white-skinned, and Goll son of Da Gemned, and Fiach—a shield guarding Falga—and Slanga son of Dubthach.
    15. There is Tuathal from of old, and Tipraite Broad-foot, and Bruach of Brega—sweet name—and Trena son of Loiscend.
    16. There is the seer Fuatach and Sithchend, fortune's favourite, and Faidech head of the family, and worthy Laidech, accomplished poet.
    17. Loingsech son of Oengus is there with Eochaid of Lemain, wielder of blades, and comely Niall, Cernach's son, who caused sore grief in the plain of Brega.
    18. There is noble Aed Slaine and Conall, slim-flanked Calf of Brega, and young Oengus of Odba and worshipful Congal, fair pillar.
    19. There is splendid Ailill, Diarmait, Blathmac that never paled, Sechnasach, ever affable, and Conaing son of Congaile.
    20. There is Irgalach—set on! and the two Amalgaids and sweet-spoken Cendfaelad of Brega and Finnachta fledach, lavish and merry.
    21. Cinaed son of Irgalach is there, and Flaithbertach of the shoutings, and Cernach, continually, and shapely Dunchad of the Dael.

    22. p.209

    23. Too many to number in full are the joyous yellow-haired host that lie beneath Cerna, stooping home of hundreds, men of Conn's line that made it great by war.
    24. His wife lies under the cloak of each man of the host I have enumerated thus far, on Cerna's hill, hundred-strong, in splendour and in beauty.
    25. I pledge a word that is no small boast, that for every goodly man we name, in sooth, there are a hundred as good in Cerna—were there any one that could call them to mind.
    26. Cerna, famous foeman, 'tis he is first among them in his home; his right appellation, by noble conjunction, is Cerniam.
    27. From him comes for utterance in the north the appellation of Cerua, with its hundred gifts, best of all pledges for fulfilment of prayer, though here we sit continually.
    28. O King of unfailing loving-kindness, by thy holiness and mighty power may we reach Heaven of the clear promises, though here a while we sit.



    1. Hither came to his death Cloen son of Ingor, a scorpion that was never crushed, the king of Ail Cluaide's grandson (hearken!), who crossed the high seas many a time.
    2. Cloen son of Ingor, who spent fame, whose home was Alba, rich in horses, was the first man, cheerful of countenance, that came with wealth to Erin.
    3. Cloen of the hard curved swords, though he ransacked many a chilly coast, his fatal faintness came not on him till he reached Cloenloch.
    4. Hence men speak everywhere of ‘Cloenloch’—let not its name be hidden! a prince that was hacked by spear-play met his death finally here.


    1. Know ye with certainty the brisk veracious tale that pertains to noble Irarus from its fruitage—preserve it !
    2. Once when Cairpre, king of the sprightly bards, who was named radiant Lifechair, the man of gleaming clashing blades,
    3. Was in Rath Cairpre, as I have heard—that prince of martial bards, that fair-haired host-girt easeful lord, to chase the inviolate birds,

    4. p.213

    5. They sang, the strange inviolate birds, a sad mournful strain for radiant Cairpre of Lorc, over his comely form.
    6. These were their names, 'Tortha' and 'Tortha', a goodly pair of comrades, thou hearest: not short was their journey.
    7. The other birds thereafter of that lovely spectral terror were 'Tiagu, Tiagu', in that hour, the tender womanly pair.
    8. They cast the wealthy generous king into a tedious long disease, full seven times fifty nights, as long as the union that brought them to him lasted.
    9. Cairpre of the troops called for his rhyming
      druid, Bicne by name, a cheerful man, loved of all.
    10. He said to this strict druid: ‘Now shall I never thrive unless thou rid me of the bird-flock that holds my strength in thrall.’
    11. ‘From what quarter do they call, the fierce birds that beset thee, my fair friend Cairpre? in what wise do they assail thee?’
    12. ‘Westward they assail’, said Cairpre; ‘from the east they approach, from the bright sunrise; exceeding fiercely they call.’

    13. p.215

    14. ‘Then let there be brought to me this muster, complete: a tree from each well-grown wood, a limb prolific for propagation.’
    15. The dauntless druid chanted against them many a spell, as is told here at all times, but found no tree to avail.
    16. ‘The wood of Frosmuine, look ye, with its palisade of shrub, hew it down and search it!’ said the druid with his rhymes.
    17. So they found him a spindle-tree from the fruit-laden brake, without long waiting for the worthy man who gets it.
    18. The mighty druid, well pleased, chanted over it without delay, and straightway healed his trouble and his honour.
    19. That tree was borne aloft, diffusing patriarchal perfume, and it checked the birds and their singing, be sure!
    20. ‘Since every rite hath prevailed,’ said the druid gift-enriched, ‘from our wonted good day's work comes the name of noble Érerus.’
    21. Hence shall men utter the riddling appellation (be it seen!) Irarus of the onset, from the healing of Cairpre, 'tis certain.

    22. p.217

    23. To its lord was bequeathed (a word that oblivion wastes not) that he should understand clearness of judgements when he ate of its fruit.
    24. So runs profitably the legend unimpaired, from the tale of the tangled thickets: know ye its certainty?


    1. Were I to find myself in the east on the plain where ye ride, ere departing I would relate the story of its women, I would not hide it.
    2. Findabair, daughter of Lugaid, died here in the hour of her distress, when she came hither from the west, commanding clouds of warriors.
    3. Lugaid Laigde, unerring marksman, came hither with Cormac, and the stainless stripling fell in the mighty battle of Crinna.
    4. The three Ferguses, with shoutings manifold, were hewn by the hand of Lugaid: Lugaid, that slew them at Rath Cró, was left all imbrued in gore.
    5. It was the death of her proud beloved father that brought the maiden eastward: of a truth, she never left him till the breath left her lips.

    6. p.219

    7. 1After Findabair, her nursling died of grief for loss of his mistress: 'tis right to set his name in her lay: from him Bréch-mag is called.
    8. I was familiar there afterward with the plain ye ride about: 'tis right that I should find myself in the spot where stands her grave imperishable.


    1. Well I know the reason of the name of haughty Lindgadan's Stone: Lindgadan, whom we speak of, I trow, used to keep order in the host of the men of Erin.
    2. In the reign of proud Find son of Findtan he was a steward right severe: though he was the spencer of Ossory, he was crier of the ale-house.
    3. Once when he heard a clear voice, the echo answering him from the hollow rock yonder, he made towards it to take vengeance.
    4. The wave's crest overtook him, its bitter fury laid him low; so the music-deserted rock shattered the cunning man of the weariful crags.



    1. The place where the lads of Emain, met together, raised a cry (truth I tell), round the grave that betrayed them, each in turn—its rightful name is Gairech.
    2. The Hound of the Smith was in bloody durance: this it was that set them wailing sorely, when horses and weapons and stones, no longer dumb, joined in keening.
    3. The marsh of the ford, where he tarried, was a-bubbling and a-seething: the death of the Hound, whose charge it was to guard us, was harsh tidings for every home of men.


    1. Here was the Cetach made a spoil: beautiful was the goodly garment, Crimthann's mantle, a hundred cumals' worth, a gaudy treasure of fine tassels.
    2. Thrice fifty tassels, I trow, round its border, it is recorded: none of them scanted in esteem, each with its several apple of red gold.
    3. The Ulaid brought it from far when they bore their way—wild was the mad career!—from Dun Da Benn, with war cries and pillage, to Cend Febrat—it was a long step.
    4. They did to death the King of Munster's son, they ravished the treasure of long tassels, the bright well-fashioned Cetach here in verity was it made a spoil.



    1. Lecc Thollchind, name of import, stands over the margin of the rough mid-sea; well known to me, appropriate, unconcealed, is the story of its true origin—attend!
    2. Tollchend, with his rock, was fool to Eochaid son of stern Enna Cendselach: then was the quick fool struck down, when warrior Niall was shorn of strength.
    3. At the spot where Tollchend also fell, who was no Gael, by the hand of Niall's following, his head and helm were there struck off perforce.
    4. Fast clave the stout helm to the dark head proud in battle, while round it came the alert troops, to break it and finally dissever.
    5. They availed not, with all their might, against head or helm, to loose its circling clasp (hide not this!) by blows or force of fire.
    6. ‘Cast we the head with its covering in the sea southward,’ said they all in order due: ‘for it concerns the weal of our host: this we counsel, one and all.’
    7. Thereupon the dark head in its helm was cast into the sluggish sea, and it was borne by the chilly waves to the bare Stone we sing of.

    8. p.225

    9. Nine holes were in the head (it was an ill deed): the holes of its ears, the holes of its cheeks, the holes of its nostrils and its keen grey eyes, the hole under the mill of its mighty mouth.
    10. When the chilly waves brought the fierce head, as of a swift sea-monster, its name clave to the lofty Stone, the rock whereon its fame settled suddenly.


    1. The love that caused the death of Bicne, worshipful Conall Cernach's gillie: Bicne was doughty and famous, the illustrious brave son of Loegaire.
    2. As he drove his kine to harbour, there vanished his proud form under the dragging quicksand, without a word, till he was smothered and slain untimely.
    3. There the kine cast their fine horns, all at once; though it was a heavy reproach in every home, their death was the ‘horn-casting’ of Ulaid.


    1. Here was sunk that ancient treasure, the diadem of Loegaire Lorc of the Leinstermen, when maidens put it there, the daughters of spruce Faindle.

    2. p.227

    3. Dub-Da-Roth's son, bold warrior, met his death in payment for it: treasure and werewolf man, here alike they lie.
    4. Moncha, Dina, Dalb, dumb Echen and Biblu, as was meet, he encountered them all five, together with their father, here.


    1. Tuirbe's Strand, exalt its name, to bind it fast, as authors tell: Tuirbe trágmar, famed above all shores, was the loving father of bold Gobban.
    2. When work was over he would hurl his axe, that rusty grimy henchman, from yellow Tulach Bela against all the flood-tide of the bay.
    3. As far as he cast his axe, the flood would not rise beyond it; as for Tuirbe of the mighty axes, in the south, none knew whence came his breed or race:
    4. Unless it were of the nimble swarthy seed that went from Tara, fleeing before warrior Lug: none that met him then knew whence he came, the man of skill from Tuirbe's Strand.



    1. I call to mind the origin of the tale of Brí Léith meic Celtchair, and the woful issue of exploits of tireless hosts against Liath, from Cualu of the gatherings.
    2. Liath, son of upright Celtchar of Cualu, loved great Midir's daughter, Brí brúach-brecc, famous for excellencies, but Celtchar's son could not attain her.
    3. There was none fairer in her time, none nobler, none more winsome, and the sweetheart who was no sluggard loved the daughter of Midir mac Indui.
    4. The lady Brí journeyed for his sake, attended by her maidens, to meet him, and came to Temair of the chieftains eastward to greet Liath mac Celtchair.
    5. Midir, lord of Mide, would not suffer Liath to approach his house, but the prince dissevered till death Liath and the valiant lady.
    6. The daughter of doughty Midir departed then in her battle-harness, and she died afterward an easy death at Brí Léith meic Celtchair northward.
    7. ‘Though we mate not, thou and I, O Brí, cause of combat, fame unforbidden! the place yonder shall bear thy gentle name, Brí of Liath mac Celtchair from Cualu.’
    8. Such was the lofty speech of Liath, whom the martial bards extol, to Brí brúach-brecc, ere they parted, a swift shrewd saying, right memorable.



    1. Tethba, daughter of Eochu Airem, gave to the northern land that she loved her secret name—let there be no slighting of her excellence!
    2. When she came thence with Noisiu son of white-shouldered Nechtan—Tethba, who made populous its houses, and her nurse, tall Eitech,
    3. Eitech, daughter of Lennglass son of Luan, parted with lasting beauty of visage: her journey's end was Eitech, the spot where darkness veiled her face.
    4. Their names endure after them, the names of the women mighty and strong, and we find them to tell their story: each chose the land to which she gave her name.


    1. Loch Aindind, famed above vast Meath, is here on the track of the noble hosts: Aindind son of Umor settled there on reaching the land of Erin.
    2. And Loch Uair—what Uar claims the lake? which of them was the Uar who stirred its cold waters? in presence of all gatherings it is said that he was brother to Oengus son of Umor.

    3. p.233

    4. The same father, famed above every stronghold, begat Uar and Aindind, and the same womb gave them birth: it was meet for them to share equal rights.
    5. The same woman bred up together the two boys huge of stature: the same were their fair skin and their looks, the same their bulk and mighty build.
    6. In the same hour were born those twain, Aindind and Uar, without a second labour, but the womb first brought forth Aindind, whose full fame spread afar.
    7. And the royal seed of bright Umor—have ye heard whence their father came, unless their exalted line is carried back to the renowned Fir Bolg?
    8. Two sons had Point: Danaus and Grecus strong of grip, from whom come the Greeks by no obscure lineage, and the Fir Bolg of the rude curraghs.
    9. Grecus with his bright strength seized the rule over his brother's children, and they submitted to a prosperous sway, unhonoured, unbefriended.
    10. Hauling of clay over slabs of stone, to make ploughlands and pastures, did the children of loved Danaus perform: it was a rough service to their illustrious brethren.

    11. p.235

    12. The Fir Bolg, by law of brothers of their blood, durst not drink cold water, save from the mighty rude-voiced sea, though it was a shrewd inequitable ordinance.
    13. Thereafter Uar and keen-eared Aindind, men of fair substance, as was just, fare forth after Oengus son of Umor.
    14. After leaving their long boats they settled by our broad lakes; in the reign of Cairpre Nia Fer they came to white-flanked Tara.
    15. Aindind went to his shining lake: Uar departed from him, portionless, till he reached another cold lake; whereof comes mention of his martial renown.
    16. From that time forth it is called Loch Uair, where Uar gained his breathing-space: and since the time of Aindind, fierce in spear-play, his name has clung to this lake.


    1. It is Druim Suamaig that ye are crossing, with its hosts and its fairy people: under the hill of songs, in darkness, lies Suamach son of Samguba.
    2. He was a soothsayer and a poet—truth I tell: he was a scholar and a ready shanachie: Suamach, exempt from the toils of war, was once a fosterer of kings' sons.

    3. p.237

    4. The daughter pure and bright of Gaimgelta son of Rodba son of Tuag Tuile, even Caindlech (none blamed her beauty), was spouse to Suamach.
    5. They twain between them reared Cormac, chief of these outlaws, dread-shouting son of the king of Ulaid, in the country of fair Cruachan's warriors.
    6. When Cormac, that lusty sapling in bloom of beauty, advanced out of the west from Cruachan, that no fame outshines, to seize the kingship of Ulaid:
    7. When Cormac, dangerous foeman, reached Da Choca's Hall of Judgements, undimmed by faintness, he met death in fatal fire.
    8. Suamach hastened across the rivers, he and his proud stern mate, as far as the massy Hill of Tears, to stop him and stay his steps.
    9. (The Dagda's tears—for the Hill is his—the warrior king of Colt let fall in mourning for Aed of Ath No, over his pyre on the mighty hill.)
    10. When the brave boy's foster parents reached the spot, without faltering, they see the flames of ruin fringing the blazing Hall.
    11. ‘I see the smoke of the slaying of Cormac where he lies on a bitter bed’, said Suamach: ‘the nursling that was my pride till now: let me live no longer after him!’

    12. p.239

    13. Caindlech bewailed him, even as she loved, and loosened her fair bright locks: she found her death-bed and her dirge at forlorn Ard Caindlech.
    14. The name of the hills—it is not hidden—is called from the death of that pair: far-seen with no faint lustre over the plain is the legend of Druim Suamaig.


    1. Here on his hillside is the grave of Suamach son of Samguba, skilled in liberal arts: he died of a sudden on his hill, not by battle, but of grief for Cormac.
    2. When valiant Suamach came, following his brave nursling, he died on his hillside, without feat of arms, when he beheld the Hall.
    3. The Hill of Tears was its name at the first (I will tell you its noble secret) when the comely Dagda was there, mourning for Cermait.
    4. This was its name yonder in the time of the Tuatha Dé Danann: but Druim Suamach, from that first grave, shall be its name in all men's mouths till the very Doomsday.



    1. Necht of Inber Scéne, mother of the sons right beautiful, made known among our tribes yonder their names, Tuachail, Foil, and Fannall.
    2. Their father (tall was his steed) was Fer Uillne, worthy son of Lugaid; just in the bloom of youth, the Hound of Feats slew them all together at a ford.



    1. Fallen is the Tree of Tortu, whose skirts conquered many a storm:
      even so would they disperse.


    1. The Tree of Tortu looks down on strife: name ye among the wise him who writes of it! here it stands from the time that it was green till the season of its decay.


    1. Sad are all the men of Tortu, mourning for that single tree; dearer to them is the thing they see than all things that are gone from us.

    Croin Galma

    1. When the men of Tortu used to meet together round the huge conspicuous tree, the pelting of the storms did not reach them, until the day when it was decayed.


    Colum Cille

    1. Though it is withered now, it had not an early end: long has it been on earth: the King who created its form has brought it low again.

    Ultan of Tech Túa

    1. Fifty cubits is the thickness of the tree that overpeered the array of the forest: three hundred cubits, famous count was the full height of its timber.


    1. Three landmarks of Erin, thou seest, are shorn of their strength, the Tree of Ross, the mighty Tree of Mugna, and the red-sided Tree of Tortu.


    1. Deep was the sound of the Tree of Tortu in the storm's fierce torment: the moaning of the wind on winter nights has torn from it here many a swarm of leaves.


    1. It found an abode over strong Tortu from the time of the sons of mighty Míl, until its colour faded and it fell, in the time of the sons of Aed Slane.

    Croin Galma

    1. A wind laid the Tree low—none that is not hard of heart can bear the loss—and it crushed thrice fifty victims of the Conaille, at their fair.


    1. Beldame, though thou breakest faggots from its bole on thy hearth, there was many a fair youth that has slept under its bright branches.


    Ultan of Tech Tua

    1. The woman who loosed their fair locks, many a trim sandal hath she loosed: gleefully she laughed at the felling of Tortu's Tree.

    Croin Galma

    1. All that meet the eye must fall: they joined in stubborn conflict: the wind withdrew not its hand until it brought down the Tree's pride.


    1. To all things comes decay: all men in the world go toward death: they are but red earth and lifeless clay, all folk that gathered round the Tree.


    1. The plain of Tortu is a plain without a ruler since it lost its noble tree: two parts of its prosperity are gone since the Tree fell.


    1. Adam's transgression of old hath undone the children of the free people: such is the lot in store for us since their mighty Tree withered.

    Colum Cille

    1. Deserted is Ochann, and noble Tlachtga, since Ailill, son of Nathí, is gone, the chief of strong troops, that rode through Meath: a death not like that of any other Tree.


    1. I am Mochua: I bid Croin not to grieve excessively: from the roots of the illustrious Tree many a tree might spring.


    Colum Cille

    1. On a certain summer's day I was in the wood of tufted leafage, having an errand to perform: the crown of Tortu's Tree gave me shelter.


    1. No comfort have I, though the winds stir the treetops of the wood to laughter: to-day a solitary housewife breaks faggots from the Tree of Tortu.


    1. Though the wind made rough sport with it, it could not break the Tree while it was young; but it brings to the ground all that is old: this I know by the Tree of Tortu.2


    1. The legend of Lége, a name of peculiar import in ballads and in books, is clear as ye expound it, according as the reader reads it.
    2. Liag was daughter of stout Trescat, son of long-lived Troscach, son of Belach, son of Booz, son of highborn Agall, son of Malarn, son of Licorb,
    3. son of Siabart, son of
      Clarach, son of Coltach, son of Smirdub, son of Mercell, son of fierce Lecdub, son of Iachdub, son of Liburn,

    4. p.249

    5. son of Latharn, by whom evil deeds were set afoot, son of Soalt, son of Sibort, son of Succat, son of Stairn long-tooth, son of hard-groaning flat-faced Salt,
    6. son of Carr, son of Fot, son of Ifit, son of Filist, with the vigour of thirty men, son of Ham, that bore spears without shield, son of Noah, son of Lamech.
    7. This is the pedigree of Liag (enough for me) from Trescat to mighty Noah, according to the kindly keen men of learning: no misleading guide is the legend.
    8. Liag was the name of that eager woman, sister to Morc, great son of Dele; Conand, high-mettled son of Faebur, was brother to the woman whose praise we noise abroad.
    9. In full measure, ye may believe, did Liag receive tribute from her friends: there was laid on Erin for a time an impost of thrice fifty measures from every hearth.
    10. They that brought the proper tribute to the imperious woman, huge of build, were Conand son of Faebur, the feast-maker, and Morc, great son of Dele.
    11. From these was the tribute brought: from Clann Nemid, in their sore need, from Semion, from tall Fergus, from generous right-fierce Erglan.

    12. p.251

    13. That tribute that was then devised was thrice fifty measures—no sparing levy: two full thirds of corn and butter, the third third of milk.
    14. On Clann Nemid that tribute lay heavy; it was ground for strife, and they proclaimed war without surrender against Morc and Conand Big-head.
    15. Those men came to give battle, and their march prospered; they came upon proud Liag, and she was struck down by her enemies.
    16. It was Fergus Red-side that spoiled her and left her lifeless—an exploit that freed his home from want—before joining battle with her friends.
    17. She demanded of fair-haired Fergus, as there should be no head over his head, that her name might be on the land to call it by—it was her glory.
    18. Thereupon battle was joined, to the rout of the Fomoire: very fierce was the challenge on that account, because of the woman's murder.
    19. Side to side was the battle fought, a melee of swords and spears, wherein fell Morc (great his fame), and Conand of the trophies.

    20. p.253

    21. When Conand was slain in the fight, and Morc too—the greater the triumph! when they were cut down in the carnage, the Fomoire were routed.
    22. Here was found the tale, as it is to-day, whence Lége has its name: hide it not perversely from any man, for the story of the place is true.


    1. Whence derives the name of Brefne? seek it of scholars: for what cause was the name given to that land of abundant increase?
    2. Whence derives the name of Sliab Fraech? ye seek of me the learned labour: tell me the famous cause whence Tuaim Regain is named.
    3. Wherefore was the name Mag Slecht given to Mag Senaig of doughty deeds? tell on with toil and effort the legend of Mag Indusa.
    4. Brefne, daughter of Beoan mac Bethaig, a brave soldier-woman, fell in conflict for that land with the Children of Ham, with their evil power.
    5. Regan of the Children of impious Ham, from the army of strong-smiting Balar, was a warrior of prowess and exploits, whom none could face in equal battle.

    6. p.255

    7. Regan it was, dangerous beyond dispute, that engaged the combat; he was leader of the retinue of red-armed Oengus mac ind Oc, with all his army.
    8. The warrior went his way in good sooth, when he had slain the soldier-woman, to demand an unjust tribute from the hosts of the Gael, though an unrighteous claim.
    9. There met him, face to face, unaided, the king's son of the Gael; they fought a stern fight, hard by the rock of Asual's son.
    10. The spot where the Fomoir's head was struck off—it was a doughty deed—is called after him Tuaim Regain: I hide not from thee the cause of the name.
    11. Fraechnat of Cesair's following came to the mountain, witness of noble deeds: she rests under a bright windy grave-mound, and from her is named Sliab Fraech.
    12. Indusa, daughter of long-lived Bress, of the Tuatha Dé Danann kind of face, perished by a deed of manly might at dreadful Mag Indusa.
    13. Three thousand and ten hundred—this is the true complete account, a famous number—perished of their toil at the Plain of Prostrations.
    14. Therefore was the name Mag Slecht given to Mag Senaig of doughty deeds, as verses reveal to the aged, since the time of Odbgen son of Sengann.

    15. p.257

    16. I am Fintan son of eager Lamech: I was a stark fighter in equal battle: I am versed in my time in the legend of Betha and of Brefne.


    1. Loch Laiglinde, lake of waves, through what unequal conflict did it get its name? Though this was its name, it was not so aforetime, until Laiglinde was drowned there.
    2. Laiglinde, the well-attended warrior, came with fifty fighting men in ships; the chieftain perished in the glen, beside a spring of water from the Deluge.
    3. A wave burst forth from the brimming well over the plain far and wide, and turned it into a shoreless lake, and drowned Laiglinde.
    4. The Well of Dera mac Scera was also its name: it was called Dera's Well until Laiglinde was drowned.
    5. Delgnat daughter of fierce Lochtach, wife of Partholon after the primal Flood, was mother of famous Laiglinde, on whom the wave wrought dire vengeance.
    6. Fifty women (great was the deed) attended Delgnat, the high king's wife: she went into the grave-mound, when all were dead, and died of mourning for the tidings.
    7. I am Fintan, here alive, in penitence: I know (yet am not therefore honoured) the legend of Loch Laiglinde.



    1. Loch Cenn—what are the heads whence its name comes? let its traditions be recounted, since Colman mór son of Diarmait fell by the hand of Cairpre.
    2. Colman son of comely Diarmait, who ruled Erin without annoyance, put his grave (no cheating treasure) in Mag Femin, at his dying day.
    3. Cairpre son of Crimthann, with a sage's help, vanquished that battle-branch, Conn's progeny: the grandson of Eochaid mac Aengussa filled Loch Cenn with his blood.
    4. Nine hundred heads—no meagre share—with the head of Colman, wielder of pointed blades, did Cairpre of Cashel, stalwart prince, cast upon the waters of Loch Cenn.
    5. Loch Silenn!—its earlier name ennobled and glorified it above bounds: the swan shall wave its white plumes over the waters of Loch Silenn.
    6. Loch Cenn! woe to him that rows along its shore! Cairpre filled it with heads, till it is all blood beneath and above.
    7. Loch Silenn from that time forth (since we tell the tale to numerous companies) did Cairpre fill, the warrior of the Cairn, so that hence comes the name of Loch Cenn.



    1. The land of Ui Failge, the warriors' soil, the highway once trodden by an illustrious concourse, a region of brave men, makers of songs, home of one of the two peoples of populous Leinster,
    2. Life, Lege, prosperous Lechet, Reire, Rechet, level Ross Mor, Geisille, known for brightness of sore battle-fields, and level Mur Da Maige,
    3. Plain and moorland, moorland and wood, wood and moorland, moorland and plain: fork and blue spear swift-wounding: blue swift-wounding spear and shining fork.
    4. Eremon and proud Eber were stirred by hasty valour, ready in arms, concerning the division the kings had made: it endures with their children after them.
    5. They essayed together the division of Erin, by measure of spear-shafts, including three ridges, shining treasures, with a cantred to each of the three:
    6. Druim Cresaig, the fief of mighty Maine; Druim Bethach, dowered with excellence; Druim Fingin in great Munster, root-cause of sorrow for that reason:
    7. Because it was not just, said Eber,—he deemed it too little to have but one of the hills, with all their rash resplendent exploits, while two went with the northern land.
    8. Said Eremon, undaunted, in the midst of his trusty Gaels, that, as it was no case of an inferior line, he would never yield a new division.

    9. p.263

    10. Said Eber, for he was not backward: ‘I will brook no denial, for I am no craven: unless division be made to my advantage, battle shall be waged instead.’
    11. ‘Battle shalt thou have within a month from now,’ quoth Eremon, ‘by tax of blood, as far as Tochar eter Dá Mag, and the skirts of Bri Dam—no idle errand.’
    12. Eber mustered his men from the south, with his force of fighters at his back, with the hosts of the fierce southern land, from Ath Cliath to Loch Lein.
    13. Eremon arose in his wrath in the midst of the shining Gaels, from Srub Brain to Bri Molt, right early, from Cruach Aigle to Loch Cuan.
    14. So the two kings met in the land where the hosts assembled: the battle was broken southward, for the northern force was stronger.
    15. The great Causeway between Two Plains, with its dyke east of the road, did Eber son of Mil betray: of his grave the tale is told.
    16. The crowded highway of King Lugaid, Mag Dumach of the bands that own it by right: after slaughter of armies, many are the stony grave-mounds therein, now turned to ramparts.
    17. The spot where the noble king was slain, before it was known as stony Mag Dumach, bore the name Mag Tendais, place of groans, with much noise of voices and shouting.

    18. p.265

    19. In the strife fell Palap son of Eremon, the noble in all lands, by the hand of Conmael son of mighty Eber, after coming from water to land.


    1. Cnucha, whence was it named? Not hard to say. When the five sons of Dela mac Loith came to Erin, Gann and Genann, Rudraige and Sengann and Slaine, they brought five queens with them: Fuat wife of Slaine, from whom is named Sliab Fuait and Inis Fuata; Etar wife of Gann—she died in Etar and from her Etar is named; Anust wife of Sengann, Liber wife of Rudraige, and Cnucha wife of Genann—she died on that hill and was buried therein, and from her the hill is named Cnucha. Whereof it was said:
    2. Five wives did Dela's five sons bring hither with hardship: two of them were famous Cnucha and bright radiant Etar.
    3. Now Cnucha died here on the hill that is called Cnucha; Etar, wife of renowned Gann, died in the same hour on Benn Etair.
    4. Hence is named noble Etar, and Cnucha, populous with hundreds, and blameless Inis Fuata, and Sliab Fuait great in fame.


    1. Cnucha, whence is it named? Not hard to say. Cnucha daughter of Connad from the meadow-land of Luimnech, and nurse of Conn the Hundred-Fighter, deceased there of a sickness in her own house, and was buried by Connad in the hill of Cnucha yonder. Hence it is called Cnucha.

    2. p.267

    3. Cnucha, a hill above Life's stream, was once a seat of honour: it was a harbourage for guests once on a time, when Tuathal techtmar owned it.
    4. Fert in Druad was its name of old, in the ancient days of Ugaine till the days of Conn at the Raven's Hill, till the coming of Connad's daughter.
    5. Nurse to Conn, who loved strife, was Cnucha of the lovely head: she dwelt in the painted keep in the days of Conn of the hundred fights.
    6. Cnucha, daughter of Connad the curly-haired from Luimnech's broad green meadow-land, died there of a sickness in her home; it was a loss to the Gaels.
    7. The woman was buried, sorrow though it was, right in the middle of the hill, so that Cnucha is its name thenceforth till the day of judgement.
    8. Such, ye open-handed folk, is the true account of it from that time, the story of this hill here, that is rightly called Cnucha.

    9. p.269



      ¶1] Codal, whence its name? Not hard to say. A high-king held sway over Erin; Eochaid Ollathair was his name, and his other name was The Dagda. He divided Erin among the Tuatha Dé Danann. He gave Mag Fliuchross to his son Aed. Now Aed had a soldier, set over that land, Codal Round-breast; and he had a very fair wife, Eachrad, daughter of Garann Big-knee. Aed, the Dagda's son, fell in love with her, and sent his druid to solicit her favours. The woman replied that she would not leave her husband for the high-king of Erin. Aed learns that the woman has refused him. He went to talk with the Dagda, and told him how he had been rejected by Garann's daughter, and declared that he should never be well until he mated with her. ‘Let her be taken from him by force’, said the Dagda. ‘I fear lest the Tuatha Dé should rise at such a deed, and turn upon thee, and a great evil come thereof.’ ‘Let come of it what may,’ said the Dagda; ‘better so, than that thou shouldst pine for her love, and never possess her. Take Codal prisoner,’ said he, ‘and then sleep with his wife.’ So was it done. Codal is made prisoner by Aed, and his wife brought to him, and he slept with her. They carry off Codal with thrice nine men to guard him. There came word of this to Garann and Danainn and Gorm, daughter of Danainn, and Sen son of Sengann, as they were feasting at Garann's house. They left their feasting and pursued after Aed, and took his house over his head, and his household were slaughtered, but he himself escaped. They carry the woman with them to Garann and his son Gruad. The Dagda musters his household and his sons, Aed, Cermait caem and Aengus, with Aengus's fosterer, Midir, and Bodb Derg. The kin of Eogan of Inber rise to help Garann and Codal, and battle is imminent. Thereafter they make peace at the bidding of Elcmaire the judge. This was his award; that the land where Codal was wronged should be assigned to him in satisfaction of his honour, and in quittance of the wrong done to him; and that he should not seek vengeance on Aed on that score for ever. Securities are given to him to that effect, as to ownership of the land, and they part on these terms. Hence it was that Codal's name clove to the


      hill, by reason of his ownership over it. But from Codlín, son of Codal and Echrad, the other hill gets its name. Whereof was said as follows:
        1. The giant Dagda's son gave his love unprofitably, without shame, to the wife of his friend Codal, Echrad of the wanton glance.
        2. The stronghold where that was done fell to Codal, skilled in secrets of spear-craft; Aed's mortal danger and Codal's wounding were encountered face to face.
        3. ‘Let me lay the vast dwelling in the dust, O king of the circling stars! and let my name rest on the hill, even on well-named wound-dealing Codal.’


      ¶1] Slaine, whence the name? Not hard to say. Slaine, king of the Fir Bolg, and their judge, by him was its wood cleared from the Brugh. Afterwards, he died at Druim Fuar, which is called Dumha Slaine, and was buried there: and from him the hill is named Slaine. Hence it was said:

      ¶2] Here died Slaine, lord of troops: over him the mighty mound is reared: so the name of Slaine was given to the hill, where he met his death in that chief abode.


      ¶1] Dubad, whence the name? Not hard to say. A king held sway over Erin, Bressal bó-dibad by name. In his time a murrain came upon the kine of Erin, until there were left in it but seven cows and a bull. All the men of Erin were gathered from every quarter to Bressal, to build them a tower after the likeness of the


      tower of Nimrod, that they might go by it to Heaven. His sister came to him, and told him that she would stay the sun's course in the vault of heaven, so that they might have an endless day to accomplish their task. The maiden went apart to work her magic. Bressal followed her and had union with her: so that place is called Ferta Cuile from the incest that was committed there. Night came upon them then, for the maiden's magic was spoilt. ‘Let us go hence,’ say the men of Erin, ‘for we only pledged ourselves to spend one day a-making this hill, and since darkness has fallen upon our work, and night has come on and the day is done, let each depart to his place.’ ‘Dubad (darkness) shall be the name of this place for ever’, said the maiden. So hence are Dubad and Cnoc Dubada named.


      ¶1] Rath Crinna, whence the name? Not hard to say: from Crinna son of Conn the hundred-fighter, who was slain there by Eochaid find Fuathnairt, it was named. Eochaid brought his head with him to the House of Tara and set it on a stake of rowan, to spite Art son of Conn, for that was a thing forbidden to him. For that cause Eochaid was banished into Leinster, and hence come the Fotharta in Leinster to-day.

      ¶2] Crinna son of Conn, stout his spear: Dun Crinna was his stronghold: though it is called by his name, short was his span of life therein.


      ¶1] Umall, whence the name? Not hard to say. Umall, the servant of Fintan mac Bochra perished there at the hands of the Tuatha De Danann, when the first battle of Mag Tuired was fought between them and the Fir Bolg. Afterwards he was buried in Mag Reid, for that was its name before it was called. Umall. Hence it was said: ‘Umall, servant of noble Fintan, was buried in Mag Reid: hide not from assemblies of the clans the reason of the name Umall.’


      ¶2] Or again: Umall, that is to say, the brazen cliff that Manannan Mac Lir put round it there for a long season by his magic: and from that brazen cliff, perchance, men called the place Umall.


      ¶1] Mag Lethluachra, whence the name? Not hard to say. Lethluachair and Furudran, two favourite soldiers of Finn mac Cumaill, lived in this spot. They had two strongholds in Mag Lethluachra, Dun Furudran and Dun Lethluachra. In a stronghold between the two dwelt Furudran's wife, Anand the fair, from whom it was called Dun Anainne Finne. Anand gave her love to Lethluachair, and they met, and their crime became known. So Furudran slew Lethluachair for his wrongdoing, and he was buried in that plain, and it was called after him Mag Lethluachra, ut dicitur: ‘Lethluachair, Finn's tall soldier, the proudest lad in Erin, dwelt here once on a time: from him the plain derives its name.’


      ¶1] Conachail, whence the name? Not hard to tell. Corann, daughter of Dael, held a chase of wild swine there, and the swine killed nine of her dogs, and she buried them, and a mound was raised over them. Hence the name Conachail, whereof was said:

      ¶2] Corann, daughter of Dael, who was a woman of understanding—'tis cause of [...], held a chase on the plain, and hence comes the name of Conachail.

      ¶3] The great swine kill nine of her brave dogs: their grave was dug without fault; so hence comes the name of Conachail.

      ¶4] Though Corann is the name to-day of the wood—mountain and wood alike—among the youths of the true North, this was once its name, before it was called Corann.



      ¶1] Ath Crocha, whence the name? Not hard to say. Croch mór son of Daire dornmar of the Clanna Dedad fell there by the hand of Cuchulainn son of Sualtam at the battle of Finnchora, a quo Ath Crocha nominatur. Or from Crocha cenn-derg, whom the Sons of Morna slew there, whereof it was said:

      ¶2] ‘There fell by them their own sister, Maginis, in her island; there fell there Croch of the ambuscades, and his daughter Crocha cenn-derg.’

      ¶3] And Maginis daughter of Garaid glún-mar was slain at Maginis, so it got its name from her; there were slain also Croch cenn-derg and his daughter Crocha, at the ford yonder, so Ath Crocha had its name from them.

      MAG N-ÚRA

      ¶1] Mag Ura, whence the name? Not hard to say. Colum Cille made a hymn in praise of Ciaran mac an tShaír after his death. Enna maccu Laigse received Colum Cille. Berchan was in Colum Cille's company, for he was his tutor, and from him he got the more part of his prophecies. The hymn was sold where Colum Cille's Cross stands on the green. Colum Cille was offered the monks' stock of kine, or two thousand ounces of silver; but he would accept nothing but three handfuls of Ciaran's earth. This was granted him, and he carried it with him to Mag Uatha. He sprinkled his three handfuls on this plain, and drove out the demons: for till then it was full of demons. So the name Mag Ura remained in memory of Ciaran's earth. The first name of the plain was Mag Derg, from Derg mac Dolair, who perished there. Afterwards, its name was Mag Uatha from Uath échtach, son of Feradach, who fell there in the battle of Mag Derg, in which the men of Connaught fought with Cormac Condloinges, the day before the sack of Bruiden Da Choca. In later times its name was Mag Ura, from the sprinkling of Ciaran's earth over it.



      ¶1] Mag Mandachta, whence the name? Not hard to say. Mand of Muiresc son of Daire, brother of Damán son of Daire, fell there by the hand of Cuchulainn son of Sualtam, at the Cattle-Raid of Cualnge, and hence it is called Mag Mandachta, that is, Mand-echta, from the killing of Mand there. Or it may have been from the women whom Cuchulainn slew there, in revenge for Derb Forgaill, wife of Lugaid sriabnderg, whom they killed out of jealousy, that the plain was named Mag Mandachta, that is, the plain of the slaughter of women: and the ford may have been called Ath Banlechta, that is, from the graves of the women of the Ulaid who were buried there.


      ¶1] Loch Lugborta, whence the name? Not hard to say. A great meeting was held at Caendruim (which is called Usnech) between the three sons of Cermait, the Dagda's son, and Lug son of Ethne, to make peace with him in regard to their father Cermait, whom he had slain through jealousy about his wife. Now the sons of Cermait, namely, Mac Cuill, Mac Cecht, and Mac Greine, had laid a plot to kill Lug. Mac Cuill thrust a spear into his foot. Then Lug escaped from them by his prowess to yonder lake. There he was killed and drowned; and they say that the cairn which stands on the shore, called the Sidan, was raised over his body: so that cairn is Lug's Grave, and hence come the names Loch Lugborta and Carn Lugdach.

      ¶2] Or else the lake was named after Lugaid mac Táil, who was called Delbaeth. For that territory was the place that Delbaeth mac Táil took possession of, when he came northwards out of Munster with his five sons, after being warned by his own daughter to give up his land to her and her husband, Trad mac Tassaig. Then Delbaeth lit a magic fire, and five streams burst forth from it; and he set one of his sons to watch each of the streams, namely, two of his sons to the west of Loch Oirbsen, Gno beg and Gno mór: Baetan at


      Bethra, Andiled at Delbna Mór, Anlenn at Delbna Nuadat. He himself stayed at that spot, and it may be from him that the lake and the place had their name, Loch Lugborta, for till then his name was Lugaid, but thenceforth Delbaeth, that is Dolb-aed, from the enchanted fire. 3


      ¶1] Cruachan Aigle, whence the name? Not hard to tell. Aigle son of Derg, son of Connra, fell there by the hand of Cromderg son of Connra, because Cliara cétach whom Aigle slew while under the protection of Cromderg [...] Cruachan Garbrois was previously its name: but thenceforth it was Cruachan Aigle, ut dicitur in sequenti.

      ¶2] Aigle son of Derg (red his face); him Cromderg son of Connra slew: from that deed of savage force the name Aigle is given to Garbros.

      ¶3] Cruachán Garbrois the learned of this land used to call it: thenceforth its name is Cruachan Aigle, till the day of judgement.

      ¶4] Whence comes the name Cliara Cetach? let the shanachies of Connaught inquire: there was slain the Scal's daughter, and her attendants from Spain.

      ¶5] And Druimne, whence the name? There Luat was, the son of the Scal Balb: there his wife Bairend was killed, when sore disease broke her back.

      ¶6] Ecaill, that stands above the water—know ye whence the stronghold is called? Ecaill was killed there, daughter of Aed derg son of Lethderg.



      ¶1] Sliab Badbgna, whence the name? Not hard to say. When the Fomorians came to the hosting of the battle of Mag Tured, there came thither the four kingly warriors, Goll and Irgoll, Omna and Badbgna, the four sons of Innech son of Tuire the stark smiter. When the battle broke thereafter against the Fomorians each fighter pursued his man out of the battle. Goll and Irgoll fell each on his mountain, and from them Sliab Guill and Sliab Irguill are called. Omna fell at his ford, and from him comes Ath Omna on the Buill. Badbgna was slain on his mountain, on the eastern side, and from him Sliab Badbgna is called. Also Fer Da Laarc fell by the Buill, and from him Ath Da Laarc on the Buill has its name. These fell by the hand of Lug lám-fota. Clarach fell at Corann, and from him Clarach is called. Cnama fell at Cul Cnama.


      ¶1] Tulach Eogain in Offaly, whence its name? Not hard to say. Eogan of Bruiden Da Choca was buried there. Now he was called Eogan of the Bruiden because it was in Bruiden Da Choca that he was born and bred, namely, Eogan of the Bruiden, son of Nathi son of Ross Failge son of Cathair mór; and from him Tulach Eogain has its name. Whereof was said: ‘Here is the grave of Eogan of the Bruiden, no grave of a stranger unused to hardship, but a man without reproach in his eastern land, the grandson of Cathair son of Fedlimid.’

      ¶2] It was Cormac ua Cuinn that bred up Eogan: Rechet also reared him, Dian's daughter. He it was who gave her in fee the plain that is called Mag Rechet, and it would be from her that it got its appellation. In that hill too were buried Cathair mór and


      Ross Failge and Nathi and Eogan of the Bruiden, whereof was said:

      ¶3] I have matter of grief for a burden to lay on the tombs of warriors over the bare grave: there is none that can tell aright of the passing of the high kings in death.

      ¶4] Here above their beds I stand with loving dirge and endless lamentation, while they suffer sorrow for this world, without pleasure or happiness.

      ¶5] Here rest a brave quartet in one place, in one abode: a hard thing, a thing intolerable it is, to stand over the bed of the fiery warriors.

      ¶6] Four there were, as is well known, that did red deeds of valour; proud Nathi, Eogan's father, Eogan, Nathi's son, Ross giver of gifts, and the fourth, just Cathair.

      ¶7] There were six sons of generous Ross Failge, to whom Leinster gave full obedience; men untamed on all battle-fields until the death-sleep fell upon them:

      ¶8] Oengus the Fair, fierce Oengus the Black, Brenainn, Dalan, that flame across the moor, Eochaid, chief of the field, and Nathi, till the sleep of death.

      ¶9] Maclocc, Fergus, stern Cetach, Currech, Furudran shining white, the two Ailills, modest pair, Oengus, Coelan, Conamail,

      ¶10] Those are the ten sons of stern Cathair, and his six grandsons, in one tomb: a band of lions undaunted were they, here round Eogan [...]


      ¶11] They are the sons and the grandsons of the high king Cathair of the new spear: at Carmun of the kings, where I shall go, a mighty matter is their sleep.

      ¶12] Eber son of Míl, doer of brave deeds, Lugna leth-liath of the floating mane, on the Road between Two Plains they lie, on the causeway, sleeping sound.

      ¶13] Seven men, seven score, seven hundred—seven kingly men, with sheen of ivory: Mac Heiris, after violation of his compacts, lies here heavily asleep.

      ¶14] The name of the hill, good in all regards, under which each prince lies hidden, did that lion, Lug's rival, win for himself: under it lies Eogan sleeping.

      ¶15] Many a warrior has there been, many a tomb, many a grave, many a kindred, many a gathering, whereof inquiry and [...] makes mention: the sleep of the kings is no secret.

      ¶16] Cormac ua Cuinn nurtured here assiduously Eogan of the Hostel: his nurse's name, without question, was Rechet, who slept among kings.

      ¶17] 4This Eogan, Rechet it was who nursed him, daughter of Dian, captain of troops; he gave his good nurse a portion with no yoke upon it save the high king's.

      ¶18] I would asseverate without glib falsehood that Eogan the fair of colour gave her an estate; bright well-liking land was granted her, so that it is called smooth Mag Rechet.


      ¶19] From the day that her nursling set apart for Rechet this level plain, it belonged to the woman, without a burden respecting the plain, till came her time to sleep.


      ¶1] Glaisse Bulga, whence the name? Not hard to say. Glass, daughter of Derg mac Dedad, reared Oscar, son of Oisin, son of Finn. Cairpre son of Cormac ua Cuinn slew Oscar in the battle of Gabair: and Glass came from Luachair Dedad in the west to keen over her nursling at his father's house. When she saw the house at a distance with Oscar's family and foster-brothers round him, she fell backward and expired, so that all said: ‘Glass lies here prone like a sack, and it is her name that shall cleave to this land till doomsday.’

      ¶2] Hence it was said: ‘Glass-ben, daughter of Derg son of Deda reared Oscar—a notable honour: her heart broke, in sooth, on the slope at Glaisse Bulga.’


      ¶1] Loch Semtide, whence the name? Not hard to say. Semtell son of Saibche, the strong man of Art son of Conn the hundred-fighter, was drowned there, after slaying Becloinges mac Eiris in a wrestling-bout. Now Becloinges came from Spain to Ireland, and demanded single combat of Art mac Cuinn, or else that Art's wife, Aenmaiche, daughter of Aed mac Aiche, king of Connaught, should be given to him. Semtell undertook the combat on Art's behalf, and Becloinges fell by him. And he went to his house and bathed in the lake and so was drowned therein. So from him it is named Loch Semtille.


      ¶1] Inis Samer, whence the name? Not hard to say. When Partholon lived in that island with his wife, Delgnat, and his servant, Toba, and his dog, Samer, Partholon went off alone to explore the land. Now in his absence his wife and his servant came together,


      and they both drank out of a cup that Partholon had. Then Partholon came home and asked for a drink, and his cup was brought to him, and he drank a draught through the golden pipe that projected from it. And he noticed thereby that the pair had drunk from it, and divined that they had behaved amiss. Then his dog comes up to him, and he gives it a blow with his open hand and kills it. So that was the first jealousy in Erin: and from this dog the island was called Inis Samer, and the river was called the Samer: so this was the first jealousy and the first lust in Erin. Thereafter the servant escaped, fleeing at random, and was eaten by dogs and birds. It was sixteen years from that time to the death of Partholon.


      ¶1] Dun Ruissarach, whence the name? Not hard to say. It was built by Garach son of Fomoir of the Fir Domnainn, and there he had his home. It was his three sons that were slain at the Tain by Cuchulainn: Lon and Diliu and Uala were their names.

      ¶2] Or again: Sarach the mason put a finish on the building for Patrick. There is a door to it and a bar on the door; from the time of Patrick till to-day they do not become rotten, and none knows what sort of wood they are made of. Also there is a prophecy about that dun, that it shall be borne to the Promised Land, with all the men and cattle therein, even seven times the content of the dun's close; and in the close there is a belvedere. Moreover it is one of Patrick's sayings, that whenever there shall be need, however many kine shall be brought thither, there shall be room for them, until the housewife's son says ‘There is no room’; and whenever that shall be said there, Dun Ruissarach shall vanish.

      ¶3] The full of the dun in hornless dun kine was given to the mason for building it, but one cow was wanting: and in lieu of her this price was given to the mason, that the dun should bear his name, even Dun Rois Sarach: but its name from of yore was Dun Tri Liac.



      ¶1] Dun Cluana Ithair, whence the name? Not hard to say. Ithar son of Etgaeth the warrior, was drowned there in the pool over against it, on the Shannon. His four horn-blowers were likewise drowned there: hence the name Lind na Cornaire.

      ¶2] The death of Dubthach donn befell in his house, the death of Lugaid at Maigen-mag; Cormac died at the Bruden, a warrior's death, Ithar mac Etgaeth was drowned.

      SÍD DUMA

      ¶1] Sid Duma, whence the name? Not hard to say. Duma, daughter of the king of Sid Fer Femin, came to meet Labraid lennánach of the Fir Bolg. A sleep fell on her, and a mist rose around her, and she lost her way in the Sid, and there she still remains. Hence comes the name, Sid Duma.


      ¶1] Mag Corainn, whence the name? Not hard to say. Corann, harper to Dian Cecht the Dagda's son, called with his harp Caelcheis, one of Drebriu's swine. And Caelcheis ran northward as fast as his legs would carry him; and the hounds of Connaught and their soldiery pursued him as far as Ceis Chorainn. Hence come the names of Ceis Chorainn and Mag Corainn.


      ¶1] Traig Eba, whence the name? Not hard to say. When Cesair daughter of Bith son of Noah came with a boat's crew to Erin, Eba the leech-woman came with her. She fell asleep on the strand, and the waves drowned her. Hence these places were called Rind Eba and Traig Eba from that time forth.



      ¶1] Uaig Buana, whence the name? Not hard to say. Buan, daughter of Samer, came following Cuchulainn, when the three heroes, Loegaire, Conall, and Cuchulainn, went to contend for the Champion's Share. They could not get a verdict at Emain Macha, so they came to Cruachan for judgement. This also failed them, but the case was referred to Samer of Ess Ruaid. He then gave them a decision, and they departed in peace. One of them, Loegaire, went over Ess Ruaid; another, Conall, crossed Snam Rathainn, and there his charioteer Rathann died at Lia Rathainn. Samer's daughter came on the spoor of the three chariots. She knew the trace of Cuchulainn's wheels, for it was no narrow track that he left. He would uproot walls and lay them flat, and leap from hill to hill. Buan leapt a dreadful leap after him, and struck her forehead against the rock that stopped the chariot. And hence Uaig Buana has its name.


      ¶1] Mag Muirthemne, whence the name? Not hard to say. The sea covered it thirty years after the Flood, and hence it is called Muirthemne, that is, ‘darkness of the sea’, or ‘it is under the sea's roof’. Or there was a magic sea over it, and an octopus therein, having a property of suction. It would suck in a man in armour till he lay at the bottom of its treasure-bag. The Dagda came with his 'mace of wrath' in his hand, and plunged it down upon the octopus, and chanted these words: ‘Turn thy hollow head! Turn thy ravening body! Turn thy resorbent forehead! Avaunt! Begone!’ Then the magic sea retired with the octopus; and hence, may be, the place was called Mag Muirthemne.



      ¶1] Lind Feic, whence the name? Not hard to say. Fiac, son of Follamain, son of Conchobair, fell there at the battle of Ross na Rig: that is, he was drowned there, et cetera.


      ¶1] Druim Tairleime, whence the name? Not hard to say. There was a talking stone there, since the time of the Tuatha De Danann, and a demon used to give answers from it. He used to tell every one to halt at it, to worship him. So that every one who passed by dismounted at it, and they used to worship him. Hence grew up the custom that none from that time onward approaches the hill without dismounting, as if they were under a ban not to pass by without stopping there. So from this usage grew up the habit of calling the hill Druim Tairleime from that time forth.


      ¶1] Brí Graige, whence the name? Not hard to say. When Loegaire mac Neill, king of Ireland, went to Ferta Fer Fecce to meet Patrick, when he came to plant the Faith in Erin, there came, through the miraculous power of Patrick, great thunderings and lightnings, so that all the studs of Erin were thrown into a panic. And thus they were found there by the mountain. So hence it is called Brí Graige, that is, the Hill or Height of the Horses: for brí signifies ‘height’ or ‘hill’.


      ¶1] Slemain Mide, whence the name? Not hard to say. When all were bidden by the king of Ireland to the feast of Tara, a feast used to be celebrated by the king of Meath likewise on this hill. For the king of Meath was under a gess to keep the feast of Samain on


      the hill yonder, when the feast of Tara was held by the king of Ireland. It was violation of a gess for the king of Ireland if the feast of Slemain were not celebrated by the king of Meath, when he himself held the feast of Tara. Hence the place is called Slemain, that is, ‘mountain of wealth’; for it was great wealth for the king of Meath, alone among the kings of Erin, not to contribute to the feast of Tara, 5et cetera.

      ¶2] Slemain, that is, ‘the mountain of Maen’, that is, Maen, the fosterer of Morann son of Cairpre Cend Cait, dwelt there when the Peasant Tribes held sway over Erin.


      ¶1] Athais Mide, whence the name? Not hard to say. A great famine came on all Erin, so that all on whom it fell made themselves strong cellars to save and hoard their victuals. The king of Meath had a strong house built at Tulach in Chomluind. A certain fellow came and broke through the wall of the house and pushed his hand through the breach, seeking food. Those who were in the house espied it, and his hand was cut off inside the wall. He pushed his sound hand also through the same breach. Those within seized it, and they came upon him, and he was caught. ‘Why’, said they, ‘did you put your hand in after your other hand, to have it cut off?’ ‘I felt such hunger’, said he, ‘and such craving for food, that I did not mind if all my limbs were cut off one after another, if only I could get food.’ ‘'Tis a sore disgrace to the men of Erin, what you say’, said they all. ‘Therefore also shall Athais (disgrace) be the name of the hill where this happened, for ever’, quoth the druid. So hence the name has cleaved to the hill from that day, namely, Athais Mide.

      ¶2] I am Maurice O'Clery, and I am weary this day.


      ¶1] Sliab Slanga, whence the name? Not hard to say. A chase was held by Rudraige; the number of the hunters was thrice fifty warriors. They rouse a wild boar. He kills fifty of the host, and


      ¶2] breaks Rudraige's two spears. Rudraige's son, Rossa, comes to his father's assistance and turns the boar aside, and gets clear with his spears whole. ‘Long life to thee!’ quoth the king: ‘whole-speared thou comest from the boar.’ So the name Sliab Slan-ga is given to the hill.

      ¶3] Or, Slanga son of Partholan, one of the four princes of Erin, was buried there by Partholan, whence Sliab Slanga is so named. He was the first leech of Erin, as is said in this verse:

      ¶4] ‘Slanga, son of comely Partholan, wrought healing in Erin for Laiglind, who was wounded in his place at the great battle of Mag Itha.’


      ¶1] Mag Etrige, whence the name? Not hard to say. When this plain was being cleared and ploughed by Partholan, one of the four oxen that were ploughing it for him died there through the greatness of its exertions. Its name was Etrige, and from it the plain is called Mag Etrige, as the poet has said:

      ¶2] ‘Liag and Lecmag with his sheen, Imaire and Etrige, were the team of four oxen, with the right of companies, who ploughed Partholan's land.’


      ¶1] Tipra Brothlaige, whence the name? Not hard to say. When the Sons of Morna slew Dornmar and Indascland and Imgan of Finn ua Baiscne's household, they cast their three heads into this well: and from that cooking-pit it is called Tipra Brothlaige.

      ¶2] ‘They brought the head of Dornmar, the fosterer, and of imperious Indascland, and of Imgan, and cast them afterwards on the bottom of Tipra Brothlaige.’



      ¶1] Grellach Dolluid, whence the name? Not hard to say. Dollud son of Cairpre Nia Fer fell thereat by Cuchulainn's hand. Amrun Fer Dea was its name of yore, because there the muster of the battle of Mag Tuired was first planned by the Dea Danann.

      OIN AUB

      ¶1] Oin Aub, whence the name? Not hard to say. There was a famous warrior reigning over the Gaedil. He reared two horses with the fairy folk of Sid Ercmon, among the droves of Aba Cenindain. The king's name was Nemed mac Nama. The two horses were loosed for him from the Sid. A stream broke forth after them out of the Sid, and there was much foam on that stream, following them, and the foam spread over the land exceedingly, and so it remained a year's length. Therefore that water was called Uanob (Foam-river): and of it Cuchulainn said, ‘Over the foam of the two horses of Emain am I come’ (that is, when he came to woo Emer). Hence men say Oinub.


      ¶1] Glenn Breogain, whence the name? Not hard to say. From Breogan, ancestor of the sons of Mil, is named Mag Breg and Glenn Breogain, and it is also called Glenn in Mor-Daim, ‘the glen of the great stag’, that is, the stag of Smirgoll, son of Tethra, who was king over Erin. Now this stag was killed by the troop of the wife of Fuat, scouring Mag Breg westward to the entrance of the dun. And this plain is likewise called Druim na Mor-muicce, ‘the ridge of the great swine’: for the shape of a swine appeared to the sons of Mil on every hill and on every high place in Erin, when they rowed round it and desired to take possession of the land.



      ¶1] Ailen Cobthaig, whence its name? Not hard to say. Dubthach dornmar, son of Eogan king of Munster, had a wife who was barren, but great in witchcraft: also she kept diligent watch over him, lest he should have dealings with some other woman. The men of Munster found fault with him for begetting no children. He sent a messenger to seek for him the fairest maid in Munster. Then there was found for him Fedelm of the yellow locks, daughter of Dinel from Cum Dinil in Ross Tuascirt in the region of Corco Duibne. The messenger returned from the west and told him of her. Then he went to sleep with the maiden. He came with all his following into the courtyard. His wife came out, and took a turn round them, withershins, so that they knew not heaven nor earth, and they were scabbed and deaf. His horse brought Dubthach to the house of his daughter, Ethne Long-flank, in the courtyard. ‘This is a sorry business’, said she; ‘I will change you all. It was from me that she learned this knowledge.’ She walks round them, and rid them of the spell, save only the deafness. ‘This was not learned of me’, says she: so she could not rid them of it. The king goes his way westward. ‘Let Dinel come to meet me to sain me’, said he. Dinel was a druid. He sained Dubthach, and rid him of the deafness. Dinel's daughter comes forth to bid the king welcome. ‘Thou dost well to bid welcome,’ said Dinel: ‘it is for thee he has come, to the welfare and joy of you both.’ ‘That shall be well indeed, Dinel,’ said the maid, ‘if issue spring therefrom.’ ‘It shall’, said Dinel. ‘What issue?’ said the maiden. Then said Dinel:

      ¶2] ‘O Fedelm of the yellow locks, thou shalt bear a son to Dubthach: he shall be known in all places for a just man; Cairpre Hardhead shall be his name.’

      ¶3] ‘He shall be born in the island beyond the glen; all
      Erin shall know of it: he shall take the kingship—men shall come to him—over the line of Deda mac Sin.’


      ¶4] ‘A hundred years shall he reign, his great prosperity shall be famous; marvels shall arise in his time, such as have never been seen before.’

      ¶5] ‘Though Loch Finnai be broad, and though mighty its storms, it shall fail, there shall be no drop of water therein, in the reign of Dubthach dornmar's son.’

      ¶6] ‘The land by the side of Clare, from Cnamchaill to Ane, to it shall come troops in numbers such as were not there till now.’

      ¶7] ‘Though all Bairend be level, it shall swell and be Cloch Daire; there shall be abundance of furze therein, in the fair lands of the Erainn.’

      ¶8] ‘Though Femen be a fen till now, and though Raigne be bogland, the clover-flower shall overspread them in the reign of Cairpre Hardhead.’

      ¶9] ‘He shall be drowned at length north of Bui; there Dinel the druid foretells the death of Dubthach's son, sad disaster; the tribes of the Erainn shall keen him.’

      ¶10] ‘Over his body a rock shall rise, in the ocean by Tech Duinn, and the rock shall be seen floating far over the brimming sea, on every side.’

      ¶11] ‘It passes then eastward round the shore, visible from land and sea, coasting Erin, on a famous voyage, till it touches ground at Bentraige.’


      ¶12] ‘When the champion Cairpre shall have hewed bodies in the land of Bentraige, no tale shall be told thereafter of the son of Dubthach mac Eogain.’

      ¶13] ‘Men shall come and go between the Rock and the land, quarrying ore, with great toil: they that do the crushing shall be Sil Buinde of Bentraige.’

      ¶14] ‘Another mysterious king shall come, even Cobthach of thy posterity: by him shall dwellings of men be brought thither, upon the hill of Caipre Hardhead.’

      ¶15] ‘There shall be a time of peace, until the Tálchend come to them; a glorious kindred, praise unceasing; it shall be theirs, world without end.’


      ¶1] Emain Macha, whence the name? Not hard to say. Macha Redmane, daughter of Aed ruad son of Badurn, laid on the sons of Dithorba the task of trenching the rath. When they were in outlawry in the wilds of Boirenn, she came to them disguised as a leper, while they were roasting a wild boar in the wood. Each of them in turn carried her off to mate with her, and then she bound each fast. After that, she carried the five sons of Dithorba with her in this plight to Emain; Baeth, Brass, Betach, Uallach and Borbchass were their names. Also she ordered them to trench the rath, for she preferred to make slaves of them rather than kill them. She traced afterwards for them the rath round about her with her brooch-pin, and they trenched it. Whence men say ‘Emain’, that is eó-muin, that is ‘the brooch at Macha's throat’, that is, ‘the pin at her throat’. But see further the Succession of Kings, if thou desirest to learn the full story, which for brevity's sake I here omit.

      ¶2] Or again, Emain Macha is named from this event: Macha daughter of Sainrith mac Inboith came to race the two steeds of king Conchobar at the Fair, after Crunnchu had declared that his wife was swifter than the king's horses. The king told Crunnchu


      that he should die unless his wife came to the race. Then Macha came to save her husband, though pregnant, and raced the horses to the end of the green, and proved swifter than they. Then she was delivered of a boy and a girl at a birth, and the infants screamed, and the sound cast the Ulaid into their sickness, till each man was no stronger than a woman in childbed. And the sickness clave to them thenceforth. From this Macha and from the twins (emon) she bore come the names of Mag Macha and Emain Macha.


      ¶1] Tech Duinn, whence the name? Not hard to say. When the sons of Mil came from the west to Erin, their druid said to them, ‘If one of you climbs the mast’, said he, ‘and chants incantations against the Tuatha De, before they can do so, the battle will be broken against them, and their land will be ours; and he that casts the spell will die.’ They cast lots among themselves, and the lot falls on Donn to climb the mast. So was it done: Donn climbed the mast, and chanted incantations against the Tuatha De, and then came down. And he said: ‘I swear by the gods’, quoth he, ‘that now ye will not be granted right nor justice.’ The Tuatha De also chanted incantations against the sons of Mil in answer from the land. Then after they had cursed Donn, there came forthwith an ague into the ship. Said Amairgen: ‘Donn will die’, said he, ‘and it were not lucky for us to keep his body, lest we catch the disease. For if Donn be brought ashore, the disease will remain in Erin for ever.’ Said Donn: ‘Let my body be carried to one of the islands’, said he, ‘and my people will lay a blessing on me for ever.’ Then through the incantations of the druids a storm came upon them, and the ship wherein Donn was foundered. ‘Let his body be carried to yonder high rock’, says Amairgen: ‘his folk shall come to this spot.’ So hence it is called Tech Duinn: and for this cause, according to the heathen, the souls of sinners visit Tech Duinn before they go to hell, and give their blessing, ere they go, to the soul of Donn. But as for the righteous soul of a penitent, it beholds the place from afar, and is not borne astray. Such, at least, is the belief of the heathen. Hence Tech Duinn is so called.




      DÚN MÁSC

      ¶1] Ask of me if ye desire to learn knowledge—happy meeting! unwearied is he that offers it, between Liamain and martial Mairg.

      ¶2] Four sons had slender Setna: of them was Nuadu Necht, noble and strong, Mess Delmond, Oengus Ochach, and Ugen aurgnaid of manifold beauty.

      ¶3] Six sons had blameless Ugen, who was eager-willed for every exploit; they bathed their blades abundantly, they built raths and great fortresses.

      ¶4] Ladru, Noe, Finteng of the feats, Luad cúar, and Alb skilled in devices: and Masc, the sixth and eldest, won fame from every family.

      ¶5] Ladru of the blades found rest at Ard Ladrann of the dangerous waters, Finteng slept above Muadall of the combats in Crich Cualann.

      ¶6] Noe in the west of Rechet unbetrayed found a covering of good soil: Masc, mightiest with spear, in his impregnable stronghold dwelled undespoiled.

      ¶7] I have heard of an habitation in the eastern country held by Noe, son of Ugen aurgnaid, Rath Nui in the lands of Ui Garrchon: evil was its origin, brutish the deed of lust.

      ¶8] Childless were his offspring, vigorous of limb: they were deedful over the faces of foemen: the king that ruled over chieftains destroyed them all four, save Ucha.


      ¶9] Luad dwelled at Dun Cuar, note it well! with retinue and royal state: Alb gained no light regard for the legend he left to Albine.

      ¶10] The offspring of Ugen, rich in martial heroes, were trusty men of the prosperous plain: no seed of strangers are our champions! I am learned in what ye ask.


      ¶1] Egone, Oena, and Ilia were three sons of Ross, who rode over Brega, from whom the two cairns are called—round which spears are levelled, hide it not, thou!

      ¶2] Famous the ford of mighty floods, with largesse of hospitality at all times, whence every mortal has obtained [...] till comes the hour for [...]


      ¶1] Ye famous poets of Banba, do ye find or do ye know why it was that Eber and Eremon fought a crimson battle?

      ¶2] I will tell it you pleasantly, the reason why they shed kindly blood; it was for three hills, with their people, the best that were in Erin.

      ¶3] Druim Fingin, fair Druim Classaig, Druim Bethaig in Connaught, for these was their carnage wrought—no wholesome deed, O poets!



      ¶1] Cailte's father—famous conjunction!—was Goscen the craftsman of the Corpraige: the name of his mother, whom verses praised, was Finnigu, daughter of Umall.

      ¶2] As reward for his workmanship, wrought in heat, Goscen, known everywhere for clean handiwork, chose out a home with a goodly seat, land that was no mean holding for a craftsman.

      ¶3] Wood and water and turbary they demanded in common, as a just claim; so that hence the place is called Descerd—a saying that is not hidden, since it is no lie.

      ¶4] Find granted to Finnigu, Umall's daughter, her choice of a portion; here was found a welcome without pinching for Cailte and his good father.

      ¶5] Every tenant that has yet been found leaves an enduring title to his holding: the true story of its origin cleaves to it, though it be not his in right of a well-born father.


      ¶1] Cend Finichair, whence its name? Not hard to say. Finichair, son of Gollan son of Gainmedach, was judge and physician and [bard] to Find mac Cumaill, and grandson of Eochaid Fuath nAirt, and Find mac Cumaill [was his foster-father]. He gave his love to the wife of Cathnia congnaid, and Cathnia caught them in the deed of lust, and they slew each other, and Cathnia laid Finichair's head on yonder mountain, and hence the mountain has its name. Murenn mór-ainech, daughter of Eochaid Find Fuath nAirt, was his mother, and Tuirenn of Tamnaige his wife, and they died of grief for him. Fifty years was his age, and fifty feet his stature, and


      fifty lads he taught, and there were fifty warriors in his keep, and fifty women and fifty hounds at his fireside. Hence Find chanted Inmain in fáid, etc.
      1. Dear was the prophet Finichair: he was the advocate revered and beloved of him. that shone bright, that cried not in panic, the swift one of Lifechair.
      2. Liegeman to heroic Cormac was that lusty sapling, ever fearless, a judge clear-tongued, well-grounded, Find's wise physician, practised in poetry.
      3. In Cabra was his abode; in earth his last bed: fifty feet of earth, affliction without love.
      4. Cathnia, upholder of battle, slew him (his
        was made of yew) in jealousy for his yellow-haired wife, and lust unloved.
      5. Destruction fell on those twain through their lust; its might summoned them: it was an ill deed that brought sorrow on Mag Breg; death took them without love.
      6. My friend was an upholder of battle, his wrath was implacable: Finichair
        prophet, a man of much fame, well-loved.
      7. I am Find, the high prince, no soft-hearted coward; to no man on earth have I given such affection nor such love.

      8. p.323

      9. Gollan's son, free from dishonour, met onslaught in
        : he was the stainless forest-tree of Bregmag, heart of poets in love.
      10. Finichair, the oaken bough, dealt out death without pause, to the brave man who slew him an alms-gift unloved.
      11. One that is not in my sight I am powerless to call back: a loveless summons hath borne away the seer-judge of Almu,
      12. The son of Muirenn of Clann Morna, husband of faint-hearted Tuirenn, the high judge unperplexed, the bard of Almu well-loved,
      13. The son of Gollan son of Gainmedach, bright of mirth, lord of much wealth: alas for the sickness that laid him low; an enviable blessing is his love.
      14. Find Fuath nAirt was his ancestor; he gained many treasures of knowledge; till this day I have not published nor boasted of his love.
      15. Fifty soldiers yellow-maned stood round the king, not unhonoured; fifty women continually, fifty hounds beloved,
      16. Fifty lads he trained for hunting and for racing, fifty pure of woman's longing, well-loved in his life-time.

      17. p.325

      18. Two hundred warriors he defied and daunted their despite; he laid them under oaken bonds of death, in a dwelling unloved.


      ¶1] The stone that I used to hurl continually across Mag Da Ges, as far as Druim Suain—long was my cast with that stone: but to-day it reaches not the mark from my hand.

      ¶2] There come no more hither to meet me two tender maidens, Iuchdelb and Lecco Donn—a contest of noble ladies: were they living, great were the prize.

      ¶3] If my life has reached its term, there has come upon me every danger, every deed of violence; therefore let them not come to meet me, unless they desire to keep me from death.

      ¶4] The place shall be called at all times, till the day of doom, the Plain of Two Swans, sad though it be, after they are gone: it shall be a plain without parting, without end, in memory of the seed that slew and slept.

      ¶5] Many a warrior has been slain, day by day, in the goodly plain, wrapt in mists, in every spot over Mag Da Ges, from the place where I used to hurl the stone continually.



      ¶1] I know the occasion from which Lecht Heile is truly named; the princess among princesses met a captive's death, through the words of Raitte, suddenly,

      ¶2] When Fergal, loyal and honourable chieftain, fared forth on soldier-service to stern Cruachan, to Ailill red-sworded king of Connacht.

      ¶3] Two sisters had they both for wives, Heile and Medb, mighty in deeds, daughters of the High King of Erin, serene despite the rude violence that made prize of them.

      ¶4] Herc, son of Eochu, lord of harbours, came southward out of the land of Brega, following Fergal of the spears, without conflict in deadly battle.

      ¶5] He tasted neither food nor victual, neither refreshment nor repast, with any man of the land or soil, among the raisers of mighty oxen.

      ¶6] His sister was summoned to join him, not for battle, nor for harm, nor of purpose to eat the woodland venison: he longed for sight of her.

      ¶7] They found their living manfully, sharing hardships in the thickets, eating the venison from the woods and the oak groves in hiding.

      ¶8] Raitte sent word to right glorious Fergal—a harsh errand!—that Heile, mistress of gold and of horses, had found a shapely neighbour for mate.


      ¶9] ‘Let them prepare for her a hill-fire,’ said Fergal, unjustly: ‘let her be cast into it to her death, that her punishment maybe sore.’

      ¶10] So was it done in full, by the ruffian soldiery: woe for the violent fate that was then contrived for the High King of Erin's daughter.

      ¶11] Thereof perished Fergal, with his numberless feats of valour, of grief for her, when he came eastward thence to noble Caillin Fergaile.

      ¶12] Doel was their mother's name, who bore to Eochu both Herc and Heile: there is one here that knows well what death removed them from the knowledge of all.


      ¶1] Lumman of Tech Srafain, whence is it so named? Not hard to say. Lumman is a name for any shield, that is, ‘lion’, for there was no shield without the image of a lion on it, so that the horror and dread thereof might be magnified; for the lion is fierce and cruel, given to battle and fighting; and these images were made by means of spells and magic lore.

      ¶2] Now Corbb mac Cinain had a shield, such that seven of the kings of Ireland dared not face battle or duel with him. There was at that time a warrior, who was also a seer and a poet, namely Fer Bern mac Regamna, brother of Find mac Regamna, who had to wife Teite daughter of Mac Nia, from whom Oenach Teite has its name. (Currech mac Cathair, Fothad Cananne and Teite wife of Find mac Regamna were children of the same mother, Fainche tré-chichech, daughter of Airmora of Arada Cliach; and Fer Bern and Find mac Regamna were sons of the same father.)

      ¶3] So Fer Bern went, taking with him a poem, to demand the shield from Corbb mac Cinain: and the name Corbb gave the shield was Dubgilla. So the shield was given to Fer Bern, and Fer Bern was glad thereat. This was the time when the battle of


      Cerna was brewing between Art mac Cuinn and the men of the Islands, with the Picts of Dal Araide. So, to prove his shield, Fer Bern fares forth from Bres Bre to Cerna in Brega. He made play with it then in the battle, and it bore the dint of thrice fifty blows: and all said that Fer Bern alone was half the battle on the side of Conn (that is, of Art mac Cuinn). He turns back homeward to seek healing, and reached Tech Strafain: and there succumbs to his wounds. His sharp spear in his hand, his shield slung from his neck, his sword and his scabbard of bronze at his belt, he fell, and told his gillie to dig his grave. Tur was the gillie's name. The grave was dug: his spear at one side of him, his sword on the other, his shield (lumman) across him: and he said, ‘The name of this spot shall be Lumman till doomsday: And at the end of three hundred years from to-night two men shall arrive here and shall be buried over me; and I shall find welcome from God along with them, however great the slaughter I have wrought.’ Hence Lumman of Tech Strafain.

      ¶4] Dubgilla, dark armour of the back! Red yew, vanquisher of polished spears! I will name it, a thing that filches our colour, to demand a mantle of grey.

      ¶5] God's counsel for my guidance, in whatever hour or season I approach! though there be cloaks with Cinan's son, it is not to gather them that I shall seek,

      ¶6] But a mantle I seek that endures not folding, that neither spike of holly nor branch of tree may catch; that guards, as a brooch guards a cloak; a seemly vestment of the beetle's hue.

      ¶7] It is worth a request at the assembly, after play of blades—it was not arrogant: it is a cloak that children cannot rend [...] of a warrior in itself:

      ¶8] The wonted vesture of a king's body, that needle or thread runs not through; a martyr's cloak, a frontlet of the temples, a cloak such as has not been cast over seers.


      ¶9] It guards the brain-pan at all times: it hides the rows of scars beneath: though no nap clings to it, the thread-bare shall last as well as the new cloth.

      ¶10] Not feeble has it proved in the tale of encounters, the stuff whereon has fallen no print of weaver's slay: on the outside it has been found not soft with nap, while it was seen bare of warp or woof,

      ¶11] Without beam of loom for broidery, without rods or implements of weaving, without handiwork of true-born dame, without stretching-pin to strain the web.

      ¶12] Shapely Dubgilla shall clear the way, the guardian of my brows, the [...] diadem; the cloak that Fer Berna demands [...]

      ¶13] It is not white, nor grey, nor dun; it is not red, nor blue, nor purple; it is no tartan, striped nor checkered; it is no beribboned garment of ease.

      ¶14] It is lodging for the night, a dry couch, a shelter against woful winds, a cover for the breast, a crown of wealth, through all the blind dark night.

      ¶15] Not dark is my song, no riddle: a theme for the host whom I shall seek out is the mark of my hands—they were not smooth: I am Fer Berna from Brius.

      ¶16] I and my naked shield, here were we wounded—a load of sickness; after deeds done in the conflict of spears Fer Berna shall lie beneath it.


      ¶17] Hither shall come a noble pair, without charm or spell—it shall be a lucky track: they shall lie above me—-a happy omen: this spur of land is a prosperous choice: they shall decay in God's glorious keeping; they shall drive far from me the devils of darkness.

      ¶18] It will be just three hundred years till the Son of the God of Heaven brings me into a form of brightness without darkness: the way that he establishes is not the way of evil spirits.

      ¶19] Lasting is the judgement after it is promulgated: ‘tis a dismal house without a roof: the omen is no protection, it guards not: it is cause of tears and gloom.’

      ¶20] Thou shalt name without blame this land, though thou goest to meet a flood of woe: the thing that frets my spirit brings me to [...] of darkness.

      ¶21] My straight spear, mine by right—no host dared affront it: this was the name I won in the fight of Cerna: ‘our hope, Fer Berna of the black brows.’

      ¶22] Hard, passing hard is the treasure here, even my sword in its sheath of bronze, and the dark shield that was never reproached: the three have made tryst with darkness.

      ¶23] Together did we whelm the front ranks, and make havoc of every host: together likewise do we lie in the grave, we four stout fighters, in darkness and gnashing of teeth.

      ¶24] Have a care, O Tuir! cover us all with the clay! preserve my lay, when I lie low! beetles are sucking my blood in darkness!



      ¶1] Dun Cuirc:—how many of you are there that know, when the seething cauldron was filled to the brim, what was the meal in its midst for the residence of Corc?

      ¶2] It was filled—no lie!—by Laithriu daughter of Da Tho: she it was who prepared the mess, three hundred swine and three hundred kine.

      ¶3] She it was who disposed it duly before the king's son, with art: she it was who poured the liquor for them, when the brave man dwelt in the dun.


      ¶1] This hill was known as great Druim Elga, until the days of ireful heather-brown Fingen: here came Rothniam from the populous Sidhe to meet Fingen, tall and fair.

      ¶2] Every Samhain-tide would the queen and the princely youth come hither; they would part from their attendants till daylight and chant an ever-doleful song.

      ¶3] Thenceforth the son of Luchta was assured, as omens portended, that she would tell him by word of mouth that he should rule over the fair surface of Banba.

      ¶4] The dazzling Rothniam used to say that he should make tryst with Fotla of Fal: she set forth to him severally the wonders of Banba's bright surface.


      ¶5] This was the smooth alliance of which comes the appropriate name Druim Fingin, famed for wild weather, in the time that Fingen lived.

      ¶6] Here was held the famous parley, the vigil to which Fingen came: here is the story whence was named Druim Elga, free of noted crime.


      ¶1] There fell a sickness—sad the news—on the kine of wide-stretching Banba: it killed them, without exception or survivor, all but the bull of the Glen and his heifer.

      ¶2] The noble son of royal Rudraige, famous Bresal of the Murrain, was lord over every boat's haven and ruled the people in the cow-plague.

      ¶3] He had a rhyming druid, whose name was Buadach mac Birchlui: men called him, not amiss, the wry-mouthed old Crow of Bairche.

      ¶4] To the Crow Bresal, giver of judgement, gave his cow and his sleek wanton bull, as free largesse of the wealthy king, to stop his druid's greed.

      ¶5] The druid bade his fosterlings to keep the scant-yielding kine, one of them each day to guard the stock from sickness, to pasture them and watch them well.

      ¶6] His turn came to fair Cua cendmar, to keep [...] these kine from the raiding of starving folk, from dogs and thievish wolves.


      ¶7] This undutiful sluggard went with his master's beasts secretly and put them in a cooking-pit for kine on the shady red-showered mountain.

      ¶8] Hence comes the fair Sliab Cua—it is no brand-new specious splendour; upon it he builds a darksome pit, when he wrought the monstrous slaughter.

      ¶9] I have fashioned a choice truth-telling tale from the story of old Cua's Mountain, a muster of polished stanzas in my cunning work: great is the cause whereof it came.


      ¶1] Cell Chorbbáin, a plain whose fame decays not, visited by companies and crowds; to Patrick of Armagh belong its broad confines, an allotment neither scanty nor sterile.

      ¶2] There are saints, a famous company, nine of them, allies against Mag Breg: so long as their privileges rest on palaces, count ye the host [...] as secure fame.

      ¶3] When Moling came from Brega's conclave, he settled in the holy perfect church: Srafan, Lucan, and Lugnaid, Muadan, Cerbban, and Conlaid;

      ¶4] Corbban, surpassing in piety, rests under branches in the church; Baetan, not melancholy of humour, is the ninth of its saints.

      ¶5] There are nine kings, a martial line, shining in splendour at Cell Nais; Murican moen, unerring of aim, Cerball and wise Cellach,


      ¶6] Colman, Broen, and the lusty Bran, Find, Faelan, bold Dunchad; at Cell Chorbbain, as I have heard, their soldier-graves were dug.

      ¶7] There are nine women, fair to see; yonder beside the Cross rest their remains: Sadb and Etain, not meek of mood, Medb and Deccair Der Choisse;

      ¶8] Aillend and Aine in one tomb, Ailbe and full-modest Aife, Uasal óen-gel, wife of Faelan—many a noble desired her!

      ¶9] Nine kings, nine queens brought long renown to their meeting-place, with nine saints, the saintliest and the comeliest of Adam's line.

      ¶10] Many are the kings and the queens and hawklike favourite squires, the clerics and the musicians in array, beside those three bold nines.

      ¶11] Dear is the city and the sheltered churchyard, where nobles came at early morn; comely is that slender synod, that fair-faced assembly beyond the causeway.

      ¶12] Every spring, punctual to the hour, came the hosts swiftly, we trow, to brisk unsullen Cerball: good was their church's Lent!

      ¶13] Gormlaith, ready of speech, open of hand, queen of the king of shining Fomuin, daughter of the king of Traig Tinne, wrought dreadful deeds; Aillend and Cellach of Carman she laid in the church-ground.


      ¶14] There was no man poor, neither raiding nor mob nor riot, there was no band of poets left portionless, in the reign of bright-haired Cerball.

      ¶15] Cerball, though prompt of hand, was no boor when he vanquished Cormac, maker of songs; three score hundreds and five fell before the young lord of Etar.

      ¶16] Five and thirty kings of unfading fame from Leinster of the hundredfold battalions ruled over beautiful Erin, from Etar as far as Arran.

      ¶17] Fifteen kings, no band of beggars, grasped the helm of red Raigne, from Faelan's day—no beggars' conclave—till the carnage at cold Albe.

      ¶18] Compare none to Cerball, so long as Brega's land endures; there was none to match him in battle, none to match him in foray nor in fight.

      ¶19] None was ever so generous, none like him to feed the ravens; before him lived none so fair as he; alas that he is laid untimely under the bending grass!

      ¶20] After drinking at his feasts, he was stronger than all, three score measures was his share of mead: three score kings, an array hard to vanquish, attended Cerball bedward.

      ¶21] He was an adept in the tongue of the Féni, a student diligent of memory, a seer and an accomplished poet, a ready scholar in music.


      ¶22] He was a man of prowess unstinting, a king that roved unafraid, a cavalier mounted on splendid steeds, a champion disseminating the Church's Law.

      ¶23] When he joined in stubborn strife he would hurl a biting dart; after Mass, it was his wont to show his skill in chess.

      ¶24] Thrice seven years, without poverty, the rule of Cerball [...] of Carman possessed our Leinster among us, till he came to the church's soil.

      ¶25] There are three names current throughout vocal Banba: the sage of Liamain, a right pleasant saying; Caemgen, the high-born, who disciplines them; Brigit of Leinster, from her great church.


      ¶1] They ask me why the bright-faced hill is called Druim Assail? It was from one who settled there in his home, whose name was Assal, Umor's son.

      ¶2] And the Sons of Umor generally (they ask me next), what means their appellation? Whence springs their pedigree, unless they be a family of the Fomoraig?

      ¶3] Tall Assal was one of them, who settled upon the hill, high and strong, in mid-Munster, bright in renown, above Cliu, Mal mac Ugaine's domain.

      ¶4] Fergus mac Roig came one night to the house of Assal mac Umoir: Assal gave him greeting, ‘Welcome to thee—were it mine to give!’


      ¶5] ‘Why so?’ said Fergus, ‘what ails thee? what weighs upon thy mind?’ ‘To-night’, said Assal, ‘comes my betrayal: my death is fore-ordained.’

      ¶6] ‘I will not enter,’ quoth Fergus: ‘it is not good that a guest be careless. Forward, boy, over the ridge eastward; then unyoke the chariot.’

      ¶7] The Ford of Fergus' Chariot lies southward from the hillside: there he camped, a little way off the road, setting a man to keep guard.

      ¶8] At midnight comes a band from the land called Spain: before he could rise ('tis a true report) there were thirty spears in Fergus.

      ¶9] Fergus hurls himself in wrath upon the ensanguined points: thirty foes he slew, and left them weltering in their gore.

      ¶10] Then the enemy withdraw and encompass Assal's house yonder, and they carried off noble Assal's head from Erin to Spain.

      ¶11] Fergus of the many deeds lay sick at the house of Conchenn mac Dedad: Cu Rui came in his might from the land of the Franks, seeking news of him.

      ¶12] Fergus made complaint of his pains to the lord of Mag Miss, and they went together on a far journey to avenge him.


      ¶13] The two mighty men came unawares to the stronghold of the king who bore off Assal's head: they smothered and slew the king with his numberless unmatchable host around him.

      ¶14] They brought with them from Spain to Erin the two heads, the head of the mighty king from the east and the head of Assal, to Druim Assail.

      SNÁM DÁ ÉN

      ¶1] Snam Da En, whence comes the name? Not hard to tell. Nar son of Fiac son of Imchad son of Conall cernach lived in the province of Connaught. Estiu the woman-warrior was his mate. Buide son of Derg from Cruachan Dubthire was her lover. He and his foster-brother, Luan son of Lugair son of Lugaid, used to visit Estiu in the shape of two birds, and sing a plaintive song to the host till it put them to sleep. Then while they slept the two would take their own shapes, and Buide would sleep with Estiu. Nar asked his druid whence came those birds to Estiu. The druid told him that they were Buide and Luan, in the shape of birds. The next day they came and swam upon the Shannon, and Estiu came to meet them. Nar came behind them and made a cast at the birds, and slew them both at one shot. So Snam Da En gets its name from the swimming of the birds thereon. But a little life was left in Luan, and he went along the river and died at Ath Luain, so that ‘Luan's Ford’ is named after him. And Estiu went to Mag Esten and died there, and from her it is called Estiu's Plain. Nar too died of grief for his wife at Moin Tire Nair. Wherefore the shanachie said: ‘Hence comes the name of Ath Luain, and Snam Da En therewith, and Moin Tire Nair—glorious the meeting-place! and Mag Esten, for men to mention.’

      ¶2] Or again, this is why it is called Snam Da En: because Conan Honey-mouth, the Dagda's son, and Ferdoman son of Ronan,


      whose other name is Aed Rind, fought in combat there for the sake of Celg, Ferdoman's daughter, whom Conan sought to wed, and Ferdoman gave him a refusal. For it had been foretold him that he should die when his daughter slept with her husband; therefore he would not give his daughter to any man. So Conan challenged Ferdoman to combat, because he denied him the girl. Then his two foster-brethren came to Conan in the shape of two birds from the Sid of Fair Women to bear him aid: their names were Remur and Cael. They swam the water before his eyes, and it would be from that swimming that it is called Snam Da En. They came from the Sid-mounds in the shape of two hounds. Then the combat was fought, and all four fell there together. Hence the names Snam Da En and Ailen an Chomraic and Inber Cail.
      1. I will tell you truthfully the names of the birds from whom Snam Da En is called: a tale of wrongs that confronts this concourse, the origin of the ever-glorious Crossing.
      2. Nár son of Fiacc son of curled Conall, whose words were not the words of ignorance, had to wife the lovely woman Estiu, the woman-warrior ever-white.
      3. Buide son of Derg, by full right, from the hilly ground of Dubthir, was famous Estiu's lover—Buide son of Derg, bold of hue.
      4. Buide son of Derg, ready in hospitality, and Luan his foster-brother visited bright Estiu in the shape of two birds, a lovely sight.
      5. Then they chanted to the host a song, shrill, wistful, unceasing, till all the host fell asleep at the song of the fairy-folk.

      6. p.355

      7. While all thus slept a long sleep, they came in their proper shape, and Buide (small wonder) shared Estiu's bed.
      8. Then Nár inquires of them from his druid (earnest was their converse), from what part come the birds to beautiful stately Estiu.
      9. Then said the druid: ‘We shall not hide it from thee, O King! the birds that come hither are Buide and Luan—no sluggard is he.’
      10. Then the birds come, as they were wont, upon the ford: in an evil hour they came to the tryst, and Estiu came to meet them.
      11. Conall Cernach's son's son came on them from behind, heavy was the harm! and hurled his spear—strong was his cast—and slew them at one shot.
      12. A little life remained in Luan, so that he reached the cool ford, and above by the ford died Luan son of Lugair son of Lugaid.
      13. Estiu went along the riverside, and no short race she ran: from her is named the plain where she died in Mag Esten.
      14. Nár went to Moin Tire Nair, after their tryst failed, and died of sorrow for his wife—Nár son of Fiac, one that never fled.

      15. p.357

      16. Hence comes the name Ath Luain, and Snam Da En therewith, and Moin Tire Nair—glorious the meeting!—and Mag Esten, by Shannon with its crossings.
      17. The place has another legend: though I say so, 'tis no lie; and each of the legends is true, whoever has the telling.
      18. Aed son of Ronan, rich in wealth, whose brave father Find slew, was thenceforth at feud with the Fianna—Aed Rind, son of fierce Ronan,
      19. Aed son of Ronan son of Aed son of Imchad, fair to see, son of Laigsech, kindly of mood, son of Conall son of Amairgen.
      20. A hundred comely valiant warriors, with three fierce kings, was the number that fell by his hand, his share so far, until the furious battle of Maistiu.
      21. When the tide of battle turned against Aed from Maistiu onwards, he sends to the Fianna a challenge to single combat—right staunch was his gallantry.
      22. Aed and Fiachu and Cu Laigen did he slay by deeds of valour, yet Aed son of Ronan, the terrible, stayed not his hand.
      23. Kingly of form was Aed Rind: if he were till Doomsday on the hill, he had never found a man to stand against him—Aed son of Ronan, the man of many feats.

      24. p.359

      25. Uprose then Find himself, when the Fianna shirked the fight; he grasped all his weapons, he, Find mac Cumaill of Almu.
      26. Then spoke honoured Cailte: ‘Stay thy loud shouting, Find! single combat, with peril of battle, shall not fall to thee while I live.’
      27. Then Find answered Cailte, where he stood at his side: ‘Rather than see thee dead I will die myself by his fell blade.’
      28. Said Cailte, stout of limb: ‘Be it not thy task, O King, to win Aed's head from him suddenly, while I am there to take it.’
      29. Said Aedan son of swift Derg, and said Aed cúl-dub, the witless, that they would rid them of Aed Rind; their right it was to encounter him.
      30. ‘Good though Aedan be, and good though Aed, dear though they both be to thee, better am I in the hour of danger, at facing the fray.’
      31. ‘Seest thou not the three champions? great slaughter has he wrought, meseems; there have not joined my Fianna till now other three more warlike.’
      32. ‘Say not so, O King! dear to thee though thy grandsons were, I am better, when I range the ranks, than those beardless boys.’

      33. p.361

      34. ‘Knewest thou not the noble Nechtain? knewest thou not the swiftness of his hands? at lopping limbs he could match a hundred, yet Aed overcame him.’
      35. ‘By thy hand, O Find, with thy might of captains—by my spear, by my sword, by my shield! he takes not yet his weapons for fight, the warrior that shall bring me to my grave at last.’
      36. Cailte steps forth with vigorous stride, bent like a bow, strong and fiery, till on the plain he met with the radiant son of Ronan.
      37. Then Cailte said: ‘What thou hast done thou shalt not boast: thyself shall fall even now, though thou hast done bloody deeds.’
      38. Then said Aed Rind: ‘A battle without firm conditions is not good: I will accept peace and stay of battle, if thou wouldst get them for me, Cailte.’
      39. Honoured Cailte answered him: ‘Lay down thy weapons, come and meet me; come, if thou wilt, under my surety, till we parley with the host.’
      40. Then they met together, victorious Cailte and Aed; Find's Fianna wondered to see Aed yield to any man in Erin.
      41. Then said Find of Fal: ‘I bid you welcome without fear: long have ye been afoot: a restless spirit is not good.’

      42. p.363

      43. ‘I will not sit,’ quoth fair Cailte, ‘and Aed shall not sit, till thou give him his land, and till he get somewhat more to boot.’
      44. He struck his hand in Find's hand, and methinks it was no hardship for him; and the prince Aed mac Ronain obtained his land in full.
      45. A while he spent in the Sid that bred him, a while in attendance upon Find, so that he was a ‘man between two worlds’, and Ferdomon was his name.
      46. Masc, daughter of honourable Maigne, was Aed's wife among the Fianna; fair was the woman, and her children were Enan and fair white Celg.
      47. Every one that sought the hand of lovely Celg, it was himself that was the loser thereby: by the force of a fearless warrior would he fall, by the hand of Ferdomon.
      48. Ossin, Find's son, loved Celg, Aed's beautiful daughter, yet dared not speak of his love; he feared Aed of the red weapons.
      49. Ossin himself spoke with Conan son of the mighty Dagda: ‘Ask for Celg, since thou art a friend, that thou live not always unwedded.’
      50. Then Conan Honey-mouth, glorious above all, hied him to the drinking-hall, and stoutly demanded Celg's hand from Aed, in presence of the general people.

      51. p.365

      52. ‘I will give thee,’ said Aed Rind,—‘single combat, I mean; and thou shalt not get the woman, Conan, son of the Dagda.’
      53. Find, that was noblest among the host, restrained them, that they should not dare to speak of it; so that neither of them remembered the matter, since words spoken in liquor are but folly.
      54. Ossin spent a year at Formael of the Fianna, going neither east nor west; this it was that kept him there, a pleasant quest, the love of Aed Rind's daughter.
      55. Ardently did Ossin reprove the hero Conan till his anger was strongly stirred in Conan Honey-mouth the songster.
      56. Said Ossin son of Find to him: ‘Fitter it were for thee to be angry with Aed Rind: he challenged thee in his house and denied thee the maiden.’
      57. Conan went (hard was the errand) and found Aed Rind in his dwelling, and demanded of him right of duel, or his daughter by sure promise.
      58. They came to where the Fianna were with Find himself at Garg-diad: Find gave them leave, as was custom, to fight a duel at the ford.
      59. Remur and Cael, who was not bent with age, the two sons of Medb and Ailill, were reared without blemish by the same woman as the valiant hero Conan.

      60. p.367

      61. They came from the Sid of Fair Women, in the shape of two birds, from place to place; they swam the river—a merry meeting! from their swimming Snam Da En is named.
      62. Against Aed, in shape of two hounds, came Remur and Cael, and sought to perplex him, while Conan was hewing hard at him.
      63. It was no single combat for Aed, against Remur and Cael and Conan: they fell, all four—that was the lively conflict.
      64. Conan and Aed Rind of the races were buried at Gargdiad, by Ath Cind Gargden, free from danger, westward between the ford and Snam Da En.


      ¶1] Behold the grave of Medb, the fair-haired wolf-queen, assured of port: there was a day when horses would not be loosed against the daughter of Eochaid feidlech.

      ¶2] Such was the glory of Medb, and such the excellence of her form, that two-thirds of his valour was quelled in every man on beholding her.

      ¶3] Gone is Medb, gone is her army; tall is her gravestone, far away her grave: tell ye the thing that comes thereof: speak truth, and behold!



      ¶1] (Eochaid mór son of Lugaid son of Laisre son of Troitha son of Dergthene, with his brothers: to them belongs the chief headship in Ard Ruide. Whereof Find said:)

      1. Three affluences are there in the dun of Ard Ruide; affluence of young men, affluence of horses, affluence of greyhounds of the son of Lugaid.
      2. Three kinds of music hath its king—a glory this! music of harps, music of lutes—attend! deep tones of Fer Tuinne, son of Trogan.
      3. Three cries are in it unfailingly: cry of the lamb from its lawn, cry of races, and cry of kine:
      4. Three cries: cry of its broad-chined beetle-black swine, cry of its assembly upon the hall's green, cry of them that shout and them that drink mead.
      5. Three crops of fruit there were upon the boughs in due course; a crop just falling, a crop flowering, and a crop ripening.
      6. Three sons did Lugaid leave; whither are gone their riches?—Ruide son of broad-built Lugaid, Eochaid and manly Fiachu.

      7. p.371

      8. I will bear witness of Ruide, to whom come those three affluences: never did Ruide refuse any one a boon; never did he ask a boon of any one.
      9. I will bear witness of Eochaid that he never took a step in flight, that he never said a word untrue, that there was none higher than he in fame.
      10. I will bear witness of Fiachu—whither are gone his riches?—that it was never his wont to lack music, that he was never long without drinking of ale.
      11. Thirty nobles, thirty champions, thirty captains—a king's muster: thrice thirty hundreds was the number of his flocking host.