Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- Know ye with certainty the brisk veracious tale that pertains to noble Irarus from its fruitagepreserve it !
- Once when Cairpre, king of the sprightly bards, who was named radiant Lifechair, the man of gleaming clashing blades,
- Was in Rath Cairpre, as I have heardthat prince of martial bards, that fair-haired host-girt easeful lord, to chase the inviolate birds,
- They sang, the strange inviolate birds, a sad mournful strain for radiant Cairpre of Lorc, over his comely form.
- These were their names, 'Tortha' and 'Tortha', a goodly pair of comrades, thou hearest: not short was their journey.
- The other birds thereafter of that lovely spectral terror were 'Tiagu, Tiagu', in that hour, the tender womanly pair.
- 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.
- Cairpre of the troops called for his rhyming
druid, Bicne by name, a cheerful man, loved of all.
- 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.
- From what quarter do they call, the fierce birds that beset thee, my fair friend Cairpre? in what wise do they assail thee?
- Westward they assail, said Cairpre; from the east they approach, from the bright sunrise; exceeding fiercely they call.
- Then let there be brought to me this muster, complete: a tree from each well-grown wood, a limb prolific for propagation.
- The dauntless druid chanted against them many a spell, as is told here at all times, but found no tree to avail.
- The wood of Frosmuine, look ye, with its palisade of shrub, hew it down and search it! said the druid with his rhymes.
- So they found him a spindle-tree from the fruit-laden brake, without long waiting for the worthy man who gets it.
- The mighty druid, well pleased, chanted over it without delay, and straightway healed his trouble and his honour.
- That tree was borne aloft, diffusing patriarchal perfume, and it checked the birds and their singing, be sure!
- Since every rite hath prevailed, said the druid gift-enriched, from our wonted good day's work comes the name of noble Érerus.
- Hence shall men utter the riddling appellation (be it seen!) Irarus of the onset, from the healing of Cairpre, 'tis certain.
- To its lord was bequeathed (a word that oblivion wastes not) that he should understand clearness of judgements when he ate of its fruit.
- So runs profitably the legend unimpaired, from the tale of the tangled thickets: know ye its certainty?