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

poem 34

Port Lairge

  1. There is here a limb from the body of a king:
    over the streaming currents the sea bore him
    towards the noble love, long-limbed, winsome,
    of hundred-wounding Cithang's only son.
  2. 5] From Inis Aine of the heroes
    Rot ever-fierce, won his goal,
    the chieftain renowned in every land:
    he was a gentle border-champion.
  3. By land and massive sea
    10] fared the faultless prince's son;
    his left hand to the pure Ictian Sea
    his right to the country of enduring Britons.
  4. And there he heard the sound,
    it was a lure of baleful might,
    15] the chant of the mermaids of the sea
    over the pure-sided waves.
  5. The loveliness of the sea-maids equalled any wealth
    fairer than any human shape were
    their bodies above the waves of the tide,
    20] with their tresses yellow as gold.
  6. The hosts of the world would fall asleep
    listening to their voice and their clear notes;
    Rot would not give up for woman's troth
    union with their bodies, with their pleasant bosoms.

  7. p.193

  8. 25] As much of them as was under water —
    it was a secret with no kindly power —
    was big as a broad bright hill
    of shell-fish and heaps of weed.
  9. The son of Cithaing gave strong fervent love:
    30] no love was got in return;
    Rot found, without persistence in beseeching them,
    the evil fate that was the custom of the women-folk.
  10. Choked and killed was Rot
    and his noble body overcome,
    35] until he would have been thankful, as ye may guess,
    to be dead and torn piecemeal.
  11. There came from the east across the narrow sea,
    till it found a level shore of Erin,
    a thigh-bone, from the sole upward, as thou mayest guess,
    40] so that here rests his noble limb.
  12. Therefore to be told of in every land
    is Port Lairge of the broad shields;
    men that are swift in the field if there be strife,
    it is likely that they are generous folk.

  13. p.195