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

section 10

Now when Maedoc heard of the many and various miracles of this saint, Naile, and that he was a proper worthy saint in the place of Molaise, he sent messengers to him to confirm the close compact, and to establish the fair faith which had been between Molaise and Maedoc. And this was the definite special place agreed on by the pure patron saints, to wit, the rich bright-gleaming Disert na Topar (Hermitage of the Springs), which is now called Cell Naile (Naile's Church) of the noble judgements, and which had assuredly a further name, Cluain Caem (the Fair Mead) till Dathernoc (Ternoc) occupied the princely place.

So then Naile came with his numerous clergy, and Maedoc with his monks to keep this tryst to the fair church with its wonder-working bell. And Naile took his seat with his numerous clergy on the summit of the high hill, with his back against a pillar-stone above the place. And a mighty thirst seized him on the spot; and he called Flannan, son of Fiachna, son of Fergus, to him, and bade him to go without long delay to ask speedily for a drink. And Flannan went on this errand, and asked a drink of Ternoc for his lord. And Ternoc refused and denied the request, and spoke to this effect: 'As I have produced water by my miracles and mighty works, so the head of the faith and devotion of Leth Cuinn shall do the like.'

And Flannan departed in great perturbation at this answer, and made his report to his master. And Naile was furiously angry at this response, and this is how he was, with


his ever-wonder-working staff erect in his right hand; and he hurled the finely carved staff across three full ploughlands (?), so that it went speedily under the fixed stones of the land. And Naile said furiously: 'Follow my staff, O Flannan, and take with thee my stone-red cup of polished form, and wherever the staff shall enter the ground seek there for water for our patron saints.'

And Flannan set out on this commission, and unhesitatingly took the cup; and this is how he found the staff, stuck in a huge infrangible rock, and a pure-cold stream of blue water burst forth instantly and spontaneously after it. And he dipped the cup into the fair water, and lifted the staff out of the solid earth, and proceeded untiringly to Naile, and related the miracles to the clerks and gave a drink of the good water to Naile. And then Flannan said:

    1. 'O Naile, pleasant is the treasure
      When thou didst find, it is no lie,
      A sunny fountain, as I am sure,
      (Bursting) through a hidden great rock.
    2. Thou didst throw thy fair staff
      From the foot of the pillar stone without anguish
      Across the three full ploughlands beside us;
      Into the earth it went, and remained fixed.
    3. There it raised its head
      From the hidden great rock,
      And the pure sunny water arose
      In its place speedily.'
    4. Naile: 'I leave excellences on my fountain,
      Let each one relate it to the people.
      (It is) equally good for washing and for drinking,
      My fountain with its fair whiteness.
    5. Other excellences I leave on it,'
      Said Naile, 'twas a smoothe story,
      'Fell diseases shall be healed
      By its water irresistibly.

    6. p.133

    7. Let him wash early at my fountain,
      My erenagh who is affluent of riches;
      A sufficiency of food for hospitality in his time
      He shall receive in his guest-house.
    8. After speedily washing
      Recite a 'Pater' no less speedily.
      My far-famed service will free
      From devils and heinous sins.
    9. Woe to him who outrages my venerable church,
      Woe to any against whom they cry out,
      Woe to him against whom my bells are rung
      Every morning and every evening.
    10. Woe to the man who trespasses on my asylum,
      Woe to him who outrages my temple;
      He shall receive here for a time
      Shortness of life, and hell (hereafter).
    11. I am the fire fiercely burning,
      I am the serpent cruelly restraining;
      Sharper than wounding spear would be
      My clerks and my relics.'

      O Naile.