Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])

poem/story 14


  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!

  46. p.71