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

poem 3

Temair III

  1. Temair noblest of hills,
    under which is Erin of the furrows,
    the lofty city of Cormac son of Art,
    son of mighty Conn of the hundred fights.
  2. 5] Cormac, constant was his prosperity,
    he was sage, he was poet, he was prince;
    he was a true judge of the men of Fene.
    he was a friend, he was a comrade.
  3. Cormac, who gained fifty fights,
    10] disseminated the Psalter of Temair;
    in this Psalter there is
    all the best we have of history.
  4. It is this Psalter that tells of
    seven warlike high kings of Erin;
    15] five kings of the provinces it makes,
    the king of Erin and her viceroy.
  5. In it is set down on every hand
    what is the right of every king of a province,
    what is the right of the king of Temair eastward
    20] from the king of every songful province;
  6. The correlation, the synchronising of every man,
    of each king one with another together;
    the delimitation of every province marked by a stone-rick,
    from the foot to the full barony.

  7. p.17

  8. 25] Baronies thirty in number it finds
    in the baronies of each province;
    in each province of them there are
    seven noble score of chief fortresses.
  9. Cormac knew the number being king;
    30] he made the circuit of Erin thrice;
    he brought away a hostage for every walled town,
    and showed them in Temair.
  10. Duma na Giall (purity of palms),
    is called from the hostages Cormac brought;
    35] to Cormac was revealed in their house
    every marvel that is in Temair.
  11. There was revealed to Fergus, as it is,
    the place in which is Fergus' Cross;
    the Slope of the Chariots marks the limits
    40] between it and the Crooked Trenches.
  12. The Crooked Trenches where they slew the maidens,
    The Crooked Trenches of the crooked dealings
    west from Rath Grainde below,
    they remain free from decay both of them.
  13. 45] Eastward from Rath Grainde in the glen
    is the Marsh of strong Temair;
    east of the Marsh there are
    Rath Nessa and Rath Conchobair.
  14. The Measure of the Head of grim Cuchullin
    50] lies north-east from Rath Conchobair;
    the dimension of his Shield under its Boss
    is wonderful and huge.

  15. p.19

  16. The Grave of Mal and Midna
    is in Temair since their slaying:
    55] thence is their grave and their sepulchre,
    on account of the head they boasted.
  17. Let us consider too the Hall of the Heroes
    which is called the Palace of Vain Women;
    the House of the Warriors, it was no mean hall,
    60] with fourteen doors.
  18. The Mound of the Women after their betrayal
    was hard by the upper structure;
    south of it are Dall and Dorcha,
    they were bowed down both alike.
  19. 65] Dall is south-west of sad Dorcha,
    from them was called Duma Dall-Bodra;
    each of them killed the other
    in fighting over their alms.
  20. The dwarf came, to his sorrow,
    70] to interpose between them,
    so they killed the dwarf
    under their feet, through their dimness of sight.
  21. Westward from the Grave of this dwarf
    are Mael, Bloc, and Bluicne—foolish their wisdom!
    75] over them are the three stones
    that the Prince of great Macha flung.
  22. The secret Rampart of the three Whispers
    is between the Hall and the Heroes' Well;
    the Stone of the Warriors is east of the road,
    80] over against the Rath of the Synod.

  23. p.21

  24. The Rath of the Synods, noble excellence,
    lies north of the Precinct of Temair;
    eastward from the Rath beside the Stone
    is the house whence Beniat escaped.
  25. 85] The Synod of Patrick was at the noble Rath,
    The Synod of Brendan and of Ruadan,
    The Synod of Adamnan thereafter,
    assembled to curse Irgalach.
  26. Below from the Rath of the Kings (it is not false)

    90] are the Grave of Cu, the Grave of Cethen, the hill of the Ox;
    east of the Rath is
    the grave of Maine son of Munremar.
  27. There remains south of the Rath of the King
    the Rath of Loegaire and his Keep
    95] and his Grave on the floor of his Keep;
    the righteous one of the Lord overcame him.
  28. Behold the noble House of Mairise
    chief for beauty in Erin;
    it is high to the west, very high to the north,
    100] level eastward of it,—it was a triumph of the mason.
  29. It is there was situated
    the house, on the margin of Nemnach;
    about this house away across Meath
    were scattered the houses of Temair.
  30. 105] Temair, whence Temair Breg is named,
    Rampart of Tea wife of the son of Miled,
    Nemnach is east of it, a stream through the glen
    on which Cormac set the first mill.

  31. p.23

  32. Ciarnait, hand-maid of upright Cormac,
    110] used to feed from her quern many hundreds,
    ten measures a day she had to grind,
    it was no task for an idler.
  33. The noble king came upon her at her task
    all alone in her house,
    115] and got her with child privily;
    presently she was unable for heavy grinding.
  34. Thereupon the grandson of Conn took pity on her,
    he brought a mill-wright over the wide sea;
    the first mill of Cormac mac Art
    120] was a help to Ciarnait.
  35. The Caprach of Cormac is in the Rath of the Kings;
    eastward from the Rath of the Kings (that is the truth of it)
    is the Well of the Numbering of the Clans,
    which is called by the three names:
  36. 125] Liaig Dail Duib Duirb, Tuath Linde,
    and Tipra Bo Finne,
    three names to designate it,
    to make known the well of Temair.
  37. Another spring (mighty force),
    130] which flows south-west from Temair;
    Calf is its name, though it never sucked a cow;
    Cormac's Kitchen is on its margin.
  38. There rise north of Temair
    Adlaic and Diadlaic of the host;
    135] two springs flow diverse thence
    down to the Carn of the Boys.

  39. p.25

  40. Between the two Carns of the Lads
    is the Deisel of Temair south of Crinna,
    a sward that brings luck before going to death,
    140] where men used to make a turn right-hand-wise.
  41. North of the great hill
    is the Rath of Colman, the brown Domnan;
    the Grave of Caelchu under a like heap of stones,
    lies north-east from the Hall of the Women of Temair.
  42. 145] Caelchu son of Loarn son of Ruad
    son of Cormac Cas, who loved victory,
    was the first hostage out of the men of Munster;
    from him descend the princes of Ros Temrach.
  43. The House of Temair, round which is the rath,
    150] from it was given to each his due;
    honour still continues to such as them
    at the courts of kings and princes.
  44. King and Chief of the Poets,
    sage, farmer, they received their due,
    155] couches that torches burn not,
    the thighs and the chine-steaks.
  45. Leech and spencer, stout smith,
    steward, portly butler,
    the heads of the beasts to all of them
    160] in the house of the yellow-haired king.
  46. Engraver, famed architect,
    shield-maker, and keen soldier,
    in the king's house they drank a cup;
    this was their proper due ... a fist.

  47. p.27

  48. 165] Jester, Chess-player, sprawling buffoon,
    piper, cheating juggler,
    the shank was their share of meat in truth,
    when they came into the king's house.
  49. The shins were the share of the noble musician,
    170] the flute-player and rhymester both,
    the horn-blower, the piper,
    both consumed the broken meats.
  50. A charge on the prince of Meath,
    were the cobblers and comb-makers,
    175] the due of the strong skilled folk
    was the fat underside of the shoulder.
  51. The backs, the chines in every dwelling
    were given to druids and doorkeepers.
    the uruscla belonged without question to the maidens2
    180] after serving the house of Tara.
  52. Colum Cille, who used to redeem captives,
    broke the battle against Diarmait;
    before he went away over-sea
    the lords of Temair gave him obedience.
  53. 185] The faith of Christ who suffered in the flesh
    has brought all strength to nought;
    because of the sorrow of the people of God in its house
    He gave not protection to Temair.

  54. p.29