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

poem 15

Bend Etair II

  1. Though it be dark to me in my bed,
    though it be a tale of testing and difficult indeed,
    yet clear to see with profit of laudation
    is every famous plain, every famous fortress.
  2. 5] There is many a peak alongside the most famous monuments,
    ranked not unjustly above every domain,
    the achievement of every host was set in order due,
    so that all are illuminated.
  3. I see five eponyms of strong heights
    10] of renown and splendour,
    no weak array among their peers,
    chief in honour and mighty for ever.
  4. The Hill of Etar, forehead to wave,
    The Dun of Brea son of Senboth Saeroll,
    15] The Stone of Cualu against assault of pillage,
    The Ridge of Ing
    son of Dorbglas,
  5. Mount Lecga, the next spot
    prepared against ruses and pillage,
    is the fifth bright "knot of testing,"
    20] though it be very high it is not very dark.

  6. p.113

  7. I will tell you in pleasant converse,
    without lamentation or sorrowful song,
    the history, free from secret of soft lust,
    of noble fort and noble hill alike.
  8. 25] Partholon detached in the East;
    that he might be over far-famed Elg,
    Brea son of Senboth of abiding valour,
    for exploits and armed vengeance.
  9. The duel (not good the custom)
    30] was instituted by the noble gracious son of Senboth,
    the roofed hunting-booths of osier,
    and the all-black iron vessels.
  10. Brea son of Senboth of the spears got
    a dun and a river-harbour and a noble sea;
    35] 'tis he truly (he was not wanton-foolish)
    who was the first man to inhabit them.
  11. There died Brea, assuredly,
    and his whole family along with him;
    their graves, with deed of war and rapine,
    40] have I seen in the territory of Cualu.
  12. Five wives they brought hither,
    — the five sons of Dela without stain —
    one of the five women was
    Etar the splendid and stately.

  13. p.115

  14. 45] 'Twas she died here, first of all
    before the wife of any king ('tis well known),
    of grief for long-limbed radiant Gand,
    in Bend Etar, suddenly.
  15. In Etar (which found sadness from this cause
    50] without compare, without equal)
    she died, the softly-bright active
    wife of the steadfast king of Fremu.
  16. Hence is named noble Etar
    the royal harbour, hundred-strong, complete;
    55] though there possessed it, in wealth and plenty,
    Etar the famous, son of Etgaeth.
  17. Etar, murderous of mood in every strife,
    was allied to Manannan;
    he died here apart across the sea
    60] for love of radiant Aine.
  18. Crimthand Shield-mouth, goodly in battle,
    by whom fell Cualu the hundred-strong,
    put his head, leader of the host, in this wise
    on Oe Cualand of the vast plundering.
  19. 65] The unblemished stone whereon that head was set, —
    the red mangled head of the kingly man, —
    thence comes the name, above the abiding road,
    of the renowned, the ancient Oe.
  20. In the same well-matched battle of shields
    70] fell the son of heavy-handed Dorb-glas,
    and was buried without litter
    at Druim Ing without contention.

  21. p.117

  22. From them is called, without clear error,
    Druim Ing and lofty Oe;
    75] from their destruction is the name mentioned among hosts;
    from their graves, from their deaths.
  23. When there went forth for an evil exploit
    the three sons of Conmand, son of Conmac,
    and the three grandsons of Dond Desa lord of troops,
    80] who was leader in a life of peril.
  24. It was on the very night of Samain,
    an occasion for foray and fighting,
    up to Derg's oaken house, full of doors,
    when they over-mastered Conaire,
  25. 85] This was their road from Long Laga,
    along shallow Tond Uairbeoil,
    to Glenn da Gruad across Gabar
    across Suan and across Senchora,
  26. 90] To the point of outlook clear
    at Oe Cualann under like rule,
    to dark Cuilend, over Crecca,
    over Sruthar, over Sliab Lecga.
  27. The 'Mountain of Sobail' son of old Sengand,
    by every certain lawful division,
    95] till the time of Ingcel noble and splendid
    was the original name of the ancient mountain.
  28. Then said Lomna the buffoon,
    without gloom or dejection,
    "Leave ye here for a lucky goal
    100] a hand-stone for every hero."

  29. p.119

  30. "Everyone of this loving lucky host
    that is left after the slaughter and havoc
    let them come hither in due order
    to fetch each man his stone.
  31. 105] "Thence shall ye all know
    the losses of your brave band;
    there will not be present at the roll-call
    aught but a stone for every dead man slain."
  32. From those stones till now
    110] clear above the occurrences of the land
    is Sliab Lecga to my searching gaze;
    even without sight of eyes it is not wholly dark.

  33. p.121