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

poem/story 126


¶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.