Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Life of Mac Creiche (Author: [unknown])

chapter 13


He bade them farewell, and took the cup of Aed son of Eochaid with him to the south, and left a blessing with them. And in the following verses is proof of the story and of the actions.This tribute is the tribute of Sil Muiredaig and Clan Taidg.

    1. After this came to them
      Aed Foirinn honourably,


      (It was a good journey that he went)
      To hold long converse with the clerks.
    2. Then spake Mac Creiche
      A word to the son of Eochaid:
      'Let us have from thee ('tis famous)
      A respite without evasion.'
    3. 'Give me a drink, O clerks,'
      Said the gifted king;
      The full of the white twisted cup
      Is a boon in Cruachan.
    4. Mac Creiche marked out
      The ground to the border;
      There burst forth a beauteous stream
      From which the cup was filled.
    5. The fountain of Mac Creiche,
      This is its name continually,
      On Magh Cruachan it is celebrated,
      It remains till the day of doom.
    6. {paragraph 42}
    7. The king of Cruachan proclaimed
      His drink, a word which was not concealed;
      He rose with a prince's might,
      He bowed to Mac Creiche.
    8. 'If thou be at my will,'
      Said pious Mac Creiche,
      'Grant diligently and fairly
      Every request which thou mayest know.'
    9. 'It shall be to thee without shame,'
      Said the good noble king;
      'Take with thee to thy pious church
      The famous boroma'.
    10. 'It shall be taken,' said Mac Creiche.
      'If it be with prophetic words,
      Provided there be remitted to me
      Thy tribute till doomsday.'

    11. p.68

    12. 'I will offer to thee
      From my children (a victorious fame)
      Every king who succeeds,
      Seven cumals from them.'
    13. 'I will give to thy children
      Unless they oppose me,
      Honour and valour
      As long as this line remains.'
    14. Mac Creiche set out
      Without love of gold or silver;
      He accepted from the good king
      Two horses for his chariot.
    15. Then was remission granted
      To the saint of the fertile kine;
      And he took the raiment
      And the cup of Aed son of Eochaid.
    16. There was remitted to Mac Creiche
      At the time when he took the cup,
      Thence to the living doom
      The tribute of Corcumruad.
    17. 'If thy children oppose
      My blameless community,
      Their land will be deserted
      And they exiles with sorry plight.'
    18. If they render as due honour (?)
      My dues without forgetting,
      They shall have their oar-plied kingship,
      As long as I am in heavenly heaven.'
    19. {paragraph 43}
    20. Then said the wise Aed
      To the lean noble drowsy one:
      'Thy will without noisy deed
      I will render till victorious doom.'
    21. Thereafter proceeded
      The famous happy jewel,
      Mac Creiche, our constant renown,
      To his mother's kin in Magh Ulad.

    22. p.68

    23. It was there he wrought
      The miracle before that people,
      He slew the Crom Chonnaill
      Which was devouring that host.
    24. He distributed a victorious word
      To his nobles (a happy honour):
      'It will remain (a sure miracle)
      Your force to the world's end.'
    25. He gave to them thereafter
      (Famous the jewel which is pledged),
      Victory of contest against valour,
      Riches and prowess.

The tribute of Ciarraige to Mac Creiche.

    1. They offered as their offering
      Which is caused by a wise title,
      Three score excellent kine
      To be paid by them every year.
    2. Or, if they preferred it
      (For there is choice of alms),
      A scruple (without violation of command)
      To him from every two (of them).
    3. {paragraph 44}
    4. There had been captured by Aed Bennain
      And by Aed Furain
      Three kinsmen of his mother
      In chains after a raid.
    5. He set out without delay,
      Mac Creiche with fair success,
      To release without injury
      His kinsmen from their chain.
    6. The clerk found welcome
      From Aed Bennain of the troops,
      Concerning the three kinsmen of his mother
      Whom they kept in durance.

    7. p.70

    8. Aed Bennain released to him
      Half of the three ...
      He turned ... of the land;
      Aed Foirinn caused the delay of it.
    9. On eminent Aed Bennain
      He pronounced a melodious blessing;
      He promised (him) without diminution
      The kingship (away) from Aed Foirinn.
    10. Then Mac Creiche conferred
      The kingdom, a fair boon,
      On the seed of Aed Bennain;
      It was a noble happy answer.
    11. The valiant king pursued
      The rapid course with swiftness,
      Aed Foirinn in the presence of the warriors
      To submit to the clerk.
    12. Mac Creiche released
      The three, a modest steadfast man,
      The iron fetters from their feet.
    13. He bowed to Mac Creiche,
      The valiant keen-sighted king;
      On Aed Furinn was lavished
      Riches and prowess.
    14. Then entreated Aed Foirinn
      In order that sighing might not befall him,
      That his race might hold
      The kingship, though with contention.
    15. They were zealous for his offering,
      The two of the proud festival;
      Three fifties, a wise proceeding,
      Every lasting year.

This is the tribute of the Eoganacht of Loch Lein.

    1. Fifty grey tunics,
      Fifty white and dun shirts,


      Fifty summer heifers,
      Thus may he claim it.
    2. These thrice fifty treasures
      Came without delay
      To the venerable loyal clerk,
      So that he was content.
    3. {paragraph 45}
    4. He wrought a wondrous miracle
      At Ard Braisg in Certhain,
      After the baptism with strong success
      Of Loichine, son of Nechtan.
    5. Mac Creiche forgot
      His little blameless cup,
      (Leaving it) where it had been before him
      While he performed the baptism.
    6. There he remembered
      The white shining cup,
      Which was not there, though wanted,
      When he came to Cluain Dirair.
    7. When it went ...
      The cup ...
      Sunrise had reached
      The mead of Leim Conchulainn.
    8. When he reached Cluain Dirair
      The high dignitary who was not mad,
      There was a numbering afterwards
      Of all that was in the midst.
    9. Mac Creiche performed
      Many miracles, a fair assembly,
      It is fit that he shall do them
      While the world endures.
    10. He was abstinent and believing (?),
      Religious, very modest;
      He was liberal (?), he was shining,
      Was sparkling and angelic.

    11. p.72

    12. Illustrious is the city,
      Cluain Dirair, it is fertile,
      It is law-abiding, is populous,
      Is treasurous, is wealthy.
    13. Fortunate fort with towers,
      More privileged than any man;
      It is there that the place is,
      In the centre of Ard Ruide.
    14. Conall took ...
      Mac Creiche whom we revere
      To heaven and earth.
    15. The solution of the King above us,
      Lofty is His worship,
      For ever shall it be remembered.
      May the name of God come on my lips.
    16. May the name of God come on my lips.
      It is right that it be not concealed.
      That I may make, though sinful,
      A poem for Mac Creiche.
    17. Acta Meic Creiche agia
      Adiuuent nos egregia;
      Simus post exilia
      In eterna memoria.
    18. {paragraph 46}
    19. It is right that He love me,
      My tribute and my tax;
      My own King choosing me
      And taking me from your hand.
    20. I am the victorious Mac Creiche,
      That is what men call me;
      After my going from the renowned world,
      My relic shall not be assailed.
    21. If they uphold the victorious tribute,
      All those of whom it is due,


      I will uphold them renownedly
      Throughout the lasting world.
    22. (But) I will be a mangling dragon,
      If I hear the contest;
      I will be opposed to them,
      If they destroy my increase.
    23. If they spoil my tributes,
      The Fermacaig of the tribes,
      I will attack their abode
      And will cut short their time.
    24. It is to us it belongs to honour them,
      If they are submissive towards me;
      If they are strong against me,
      Their lot will not be strong.
    25. I am the reverend Mac Creiche
      That is my name rightly;
      I recite to my King without hypocrisy,
      Fifty psalms each none.
    26. I am Ailbe's bosom child,
      He mentions me every none,
      It is a pleasure to him to tell of me
      In his just book.
    27. He was my father,
      The war-dog of Slíab Crot;
      He was son of my grandfather,
      The king who had many a harbour.
    28. {paragraph 47}
    29. Broindgel and Brig
      And Mainesc of the foam,
      Three daughters of a king,
      And Fiachra of lasting strength.
    30. Three great sons of a king,
      Roth, and glorious Eogan,
      And mighty Aengus,
      Whom wave and strand glorified.

    31. p.74

    32. The children of the three women,
      Whom in due time I glorified,
      I myself am son of Brig
      And Ailbe the protection of our host.
    33. The son of fair Mainesc
      Is Cainnech, to whom a company is due;
      The mother of noble Brendan
      Is Broingel of the pleasant calm.
    34. {paragraph 48}
    35. Brendan gave to me
      Tribute from the Ciarraige,
      The first calf of every cow,
      A great piglet (?) from (each) sow.
    36. The Fermacaig (shall be) at my will
      From now till doom shall come;
      I subdued the monster,
      To them the matter was easy.
    37. A youngling from each herd
      Of every sheep and cow,
      From every goat is the tribute
      And from every sow in sooth.
    38. Fair Brendan claims
      Justice of the Connaught men
      For his churches strenuously
      And of the head of the host.
    39. We go, five saints together,
      With him into the land northwards;
      We were near to him
      In every fort in turn.
    40. Wondrous to us then
      The fortress of the white fierce one;
      The army of rough Murchad
      Attacked us at Tulcha Taidg.
    41. Huge was the spoil,
      The herds of Clann Taidg,
      They took with them our books,
      In sooth there was much woe.

    42. p.75

    43. Fair Brendan spake:
      'O reverend bosom-child,
      Why dost thou allow our spoil
      To be snatched from our hands?'
    44. Then I rise up
      And elevate my hand,
      I humble the seed of Murchad,
      Men of the terrible shots.
    45. I make rocky stones
      Of their men diligently,
      And I turn the spoil
      Against their very faces.
    46. When the host saw
      That I had defeated the warriors,
      They offer to me their land,
      Both level (land) and heath.
    47. Clann Taidg then said,
      The answer to me was wild:
      'Though thou wert called Mac Ochta (son of the bosom),
      Thou art Mac Creiche (son of the spoil) now.'
    48. 'Take with thee from us our tribute
      O reverend fair clerk;
      To be under toll to thy relic
      We deem it good, O Saint.'
    49. Their silver and their treasure
      Their stock on every hill;
      A folk whom justice helps,
      It is gold my relic.
    50. They gave a tribute to me,
      The seed of rash Muiredach,
      Fifty ounces of gold
      From the host he claimed for me.'