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

poem 7


  1. The notable places of Leinster — wealth of valour!
    do the historians declare them?
    the notable places, and next the raths,
    many the causes whence they are named.
  2. 5] Myself will declare the cause whence are named
    nine of their notable places;
    till doomsday it shall be a fame unfading,
    So that no one be left in doubt!
  3. Liamuin, Forcarthain of the sods,
    10] Miannach, Trustiu of the broad roads;
    are notable places known by various designations
    with their four fair names.
  4. Miannach, Fercarthain of the feasts
    Liamuin, and white-sided Trustiu
    15] were maidens, a precious possession,
    of the family of the good king of Dubthair.
  5. It was Dubthach of Dubthair fierce of face,
    king of the Desi of Bregia of the undying bards,
    (his was all as far as the horse-rearing region of the estuaries,)
    20] whose four fair daughters they were.

  6. p.69

  7. The month over the bargain that all observe, —
    at the present time it is no novelty, —
    Dubthach was the first to add it,
    the rule is well known to the Ui Chuinn.
  8. 25] A year's wage (it was a judgment of the wise)
    from every king to every warrior,
    only Dubthach would not give it
    without additional work, that was excessive.
  9. Dubthach was son of Fergna noble and fair
    30] son of Muredach son of Sinell
    son of Bregon the famous for victory,
    son of Oengus, son of Eogan.
  10. Eogan Brec is still spoken of,
    the son of well-born Fiachu Suidige,
    35] son of noble Fedlimid Rechtmar,
    son of Tuathal Techtmar great and strong.
  11. That is the pedigree till now
    of Dubthach good king of the Desi,
    for my art-prompted tale to set forth
    40] among all the noted places of Leinster.
  12. The gentle sons of Acher Cerr from the harbour,
    sprung of the Erainn of Munster of the cavaliers
    met their death, it was no mild decease,
    it blasted their growth all at once.

  13. p.71

  14. 45] An injunction of stern force was laid
    on the fair and lofty four;
    it was no pleasant tryst in the dark,
    it was an injunction in virtue of their love,
  15. That they should not wed, in the land of the living,
    50] the four beloved sisters,
    or that they should meet their death; —
    the keeping of the injunction was no easy task for them.
  16. Fomu and renowned Roimper,
    Fernocht, Ferdub the sagacious;
    55] the mention of their names together
    has gained from us, as was due, a noble stanza.
  17. These youths from the Erainn of our line
    were darlings of free peoples,
    the sons of Acher Cerr of the province
    60] son of Eochu Find the handless,
  18. Son of Mug Lama the stainless
    son of fierce Lugaid of the encampments
    (and of Olldoitech, choice of fair women)
    son of shapely Cairpre Cromchend.
  19. 65] They came, — hard the toil —
    to earn their guerdon,
    the four thanes, winning a name for valour,
    at the house of Dubthach of Dubthair.

  20. p.73

  21. The four dear daughters of Dubthach
    70] four youths they had, for certain;
    as is the prosperous custom till now,
    each loved his mate.
  22. Dubthach had gone to a fortunate battle
    in the mighty province of Leinster,
    75] with the four they loved therein
    the youths remained behind him.
  23. After waiting behind the king,
    they made off untroubled,
    despite the hardships of every path,
    80] the company who had feigned sickness.
  24. Dubthach slew the comely company,
    after they had met, side to side:
    the barrows of their dear sod-built raths remain,
    for youth and maid alike.
  25. 85] Miannach is followed across every plain
    to Miannach where she was killed;
    the woman with martial array is killed,
    so that her name clave to the hill.
  26. Fercarthain of the feasts is killed;
    90] in Forcarthain was she smitten,
    slow-eyed, long-haired, short-lived,
    she met destruction at Forcarthain.

  27. p.75

  28. Liamuin is slain, perfect of temper,
    thick-haired, skilful in defence;
    95] she met death through her peculiar prowess,
    wherefore Liamuin is full famous.
  29. Trustiu is slain in Trustiu southward;
    the gentle woman suffered for her alliance;
    the hill of Cairn in Bile is called
    100] by that maiden's name.
  30. Fomu is slain at Fomain,
    he thick-haired warrior with fair locks;
    many a lean host comes frequently
    over the two fair cheeks of Fomain.
  31. 105] Roimper was pursued
    across the waters to Glass Rompair;
    so hot Roimper fell,
    it is not a
    to tell of it.
  32. Fernocht in Fornocht of the feasts,
    110] cruelly was his flesh mangled;
    the youth met ill treatment
    among the spears in Fornocht.
  33. Ferdub, fierce of face, of doughty deeds,
    at the Black Fords of red Maistiu, —
    115] at the hill, outwearied by bloody forays,
    his face was found after keen combat.

  34. p.77

  35. The famous Luachair of Boirend
    was the sad mother of the four;
    the fair woman came to her death
    120] among the plains of the strong places.
  36. Fomu, husband of Liamuin, rests with her;
    the spouses were of like age,
    the white-handed soldier-pair,
    alike are the lovers twain.
  37. 125] Fercarthain, lovely was her face,
    (her love, I reckon him without delay,)
    through their converse is assured
    her great love to Roimper.
  38. Fernocht belongs to unwrinkled Miannach:
    130] he helped her not by his cruel cunning;
    the warrior of the proved troops destroyed her,
    his cunning was no helpful cunning.
  39. Ferdub belongs to white-sided Trustiu,
    their equal date was lamented;
    135] in naming them here not misleading are
    my pleasant harmonious verses.
  40. These places that I number presently
    the learned of Erin shall praise;
    at their ease shall sages name them
    140] from their assemblies and their noted places.

  41. p.79