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

section 11

So then when Ternoc saw these weighty miracles, and Naile furiously punishing him, the patron saint proceeded on his knees from the sunny fountain where he was, to the hill where Naile was with his clerks, and thus addressed him: 'O divine loving tree of fair behaviour, O steadfast pious blazing candle, O royal gracious saint, do not deprive me of heaven through thy great miracles.' Naile answered without bitterness in these words and said: 'I do not deprive thee of heaven, O holy clerk; but I will deprive thee of this place, where thou didst obstinately refuse to us patron-saints (a drink of) cold water. And I leave to thee that to whatever district thou shalt move, and in whatever place thou shalt occupy a church, where its priest shall be preaching, and its good clerks continually praying to God, wolves will be burrowing in thy cemetery, and foxes routing in it with their snouts.'


And Ternoc answered these heavy sayings, and spake thus: 'I leave (to thee) to have no sheep in thy fair church.' Naile replied and said: 'I leave thee jealousy of the keepers of the sheep for their fair fleeces.' 'I leave,' said Ternoc, 'fleas to plague you afresh, and mice to ravage you speedily.' Naile answered and said: 'I relegate the fleas to the dense fens, and the mice to the wide woods.' And Ternoc spake and said: 'I leave the bloom of (only) one night on your rushes.' And Naile said: 'I leave rushes up to the door-posts in the high place; and I leave excellences in the smoothe church, to wit, to be one of the three hearths of most hospitable service in the land of mild miracles, Breifne; to wit, the hearth of my holy church, the great wonder-working hearth of Maedoc, and the ever grace-endowed hearth of Bricin.'

And the saints spoke these stanzas:

    1. Naile: 'O Ternoc, arise and go,
      Leave the place rightfully to me;
      Depart from the pure-hued church,
      Its riches shall not be for thee.'
    2. Ternoc: 'O Naile of the melodious speech,
      No saint is thy peer;
      Unjustly am I being driven eastwards
      From my own proper church.'
    3. Naile: O Ternoc, who art at the cross,
      No piety was it that thou didst,
      To refuse a man in respect of a drink,
      Of the produce of the earth with its flocks.'
    4. 'I leave,' said contentious Ternoc,
      'Defect of sheep here in the south.'
      'You may', said Naile, 'from heaven
      Excellence of clothing and hospitality (will be mine).'
    5. 'Abundance of fleas there, and mice,'
      Said Ternoc then maliciously.
      Said Naile: 'I will destroy them
      In bogs and woods.'

    6. p.135

    7. 'I leave there,' said fair Ternoc,
      'Bloom of a night on its rushes.',
      There shall be,' said Naile, 'and this is sure,
      Rushes in it up to the door-posts.
    8. I will christen thy smoothe place,
      Cluain Caem was the fort's first name,
      Disert Topair, an easy road,
      Was its name in the time of Ternoc.
    9. Cell Naile, true the cause,
      Shall be its name till doom shall come;
      To me the fair place shall belong,
      For devotion and reciting of canonical hours.
    10. It shall be one of the three fair hearths
      That are most pure in service,
      The fair-turfed hearth of Naile,
      The hearths of Bricin and Maedoc.
    11. Illustrious shall be my melodious place,
      Numerous the clerks in my church,
      Numerous the companies (entertained) in my fair fort,
      And severe will be its devotion.
    12. Woe to anyone who assails my liberty,
      Woe to anyone who brings me into bondage,
      Woe to him who judges me, sharp my spear,
      Woe on whom my resentment shall rest.
    13. Woe to the neighbour who trespasses on my bank,
      Woe to him who injures my grass and my enclosure,
      Hell both for old and young,
      And shortness of life, O Ternoc.'

      O Ternoc.