Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- 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.
- War-beaten the ford, Ath Commair, whence a deadly draught was poured for the three Finns of Emain by their father, at one assault.
- 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.
- His three sons came against him, against upright Eochaid of the forest-keep, to dethrone their good fathera deed that caused their own destruction.
- From Emain set forth the hosts over Loch Febail, over Ess Ruaid, over Dub, over Drobais, over Dall, over Slicech, over old Corann,
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
- 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.
- Before they crossed Drong eastward their father asked of them an armistice for a month, without raid or battle, with hostages or with sureties.
- 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.
- Thirty hundred of veteran captains, thirty hundred of led soldiery, thirty hundred forth from the rampart, from the garrison of Temair.
- 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.
- Eochaid marched to the serried battle, thence to Commar Da Glas: on the hill east of the ford dismounted the upright chief of Fobar.
- There the King of Erin halted, fasting, that night; it is a little way from Commar to Delt for a journey or a message.
- They violated his fast, his three sons ill-disposed: they bade him look for battle on the morrow's morn.
- 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!
- Bress on the right, as he is posted to fight with the guards of Temair, Lothur makes toward thyself, and Nár toward the hirelings.
- 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.
- 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.
- Eastward came the hosts from the west, early, when the sun was risen, and the battle-ranks encountered in presence of the High King.
- Eochaid set, shield to shield, his thirty hundreds of greybeards in the midmost of the ford, in the lists of deadly strife.
- 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.
- Bravely advanced, westward across the river, Eochaid's hirelings, eager to fight, against the battalion where Nar was, and wrought red havoc among them.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The third nine fled over Ath Luain across chill Mag Ái: past Cera to Clíath na Cor the greybeards followed Lothor.
- So perished the three Finds: their three heads were struck off: each head came separately before nightfall to Druim Criaich.
- When he saw the three heads, the king of Erin made a solemn vowa word that is duly fulfilled, though there be some to whom it is unfamiliar:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- His friends forsook him (all but Christ, no doubt of it) so that he sought afar the spoil of Ua Dubán, from Druim Dairbrech.
- 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.
- The Blind One of Temair with his axe and his three men, the Stammerer with his nineshame. on them! there were three against each man of high-mettled Maelsechnaill's three.
- There was a man on his either flank and the Stammerer stabbing himthe foul deed! as for the Stammerer, though it was far from the wood, he fell by Maelsechnaill's hand.
- 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.
- Maelsechnaill found like fair play as Eochaid Feidlechthat none should face him in stern duel, for Maelsechnaill son of Domnall is of the seed of great Eochaid.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lonan and noble Fechin, Fechin and Lonan of the lake, to those twain, from slope to slope, God entrusted Druim Criaich.
- 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.