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

poem 42

Cend Febrat

  1. Cend Febrat, a beautiful mountain it is,
    enduring home of the royal men;
    I see it is a home right hospitable
    since the days of the royal warriors, noble of form.
  2. 5] I came on a day in early morning
    over Cend Febrat of the cool flowers,
    (no occasion to cause forgetfulness of song)
    over Cend Febrat of the verdant tresses.
  3. The sound of the wind plunged me into slumber,
    10] sleeping with vacant mind,
    amid the hands of warriors;
    it was a meeting with clarity of wisdom.
  4. As I slept (pleasant the manner)
    therein I met with the theme of my song:
    15] there was shown me truly and in full
    every fairy-mound that is at Cend Febrat.
  5. I saw thereafter the strong keep,
    wherein is battle-force unfailing:
    on hazel-set Mullach Cuillen,
    20] wherein abides the stern-smiting thickset hero.

  6. p.229

  7. I met one that described to me
    the situation of the graves in full
    in the well-remembered stronghold,
    set in due order on Cend Febrat.
  8. 25] The grave of Cain son of Derg, long-haired
    and strong, from whom is named Sliab Cain of the victory,
    appeared to be on my right hand;
    it was a martial theme neglected by poets.
  9. There I saw a lonely grave,
    30] the mound of Erc from Irluachair;
    on the northern side of the slope
    he abides in a bed full hard.
  10. The grave of Garban son of keen Dedad,
    the spot where he was buried on the hill-side;
    35] duly placed is its splendour where it is, to the east,
    not far from the tomb of Dubthach's wife.
  11. The grave of Dubthach himself was known
    on the southern side of the slope:
    on the hill, this side of the tomb,
    40] is the grave where lies Lugaid Laigde.
  12. The tombs of the three women
    — to wit, the wife of Daire, well-remembered,
    and Eithne, and Maer, and Mugain —
    are side by side on the great hill.
  13. 45] East of them comes on the mount
    the grave of Dodera in his brown
    cloak, after he was foully slain for ever:
    it is not far from Cend Febrat.

  14. p.231

  15. The yew famed for beauty,
    50] made without hollow, without withering,
    is above the bed of the warrior Lugaid
    by Dubthach's keep to the north-east.
  16. The well to which the name clave,
    at twice famous Cend Febrat,
    55] on it, as I have heard,
    rest virtues and solemn spells.
  17. Whoever gets it on his right hand
    shall remain free from disease, free from spell,
    the Son of God has drawn him close to Himself,
    60] so that he dwells with Him forever.
  18. Whoever gets it on his left hand,
    the King of the World of Life hath ordained —
    this is his sudden doom before his departure,
    quick decay, or shortening of his days.
  19. 65] Since the Tuatha De seized
    the soil of Fotla, noble in beauty,
    above the ranks of the noble druids by far
    is the branch at Cend Febrat.
  20. The Head of Febrat, the Head of Currech,
    70] and the Head of stern-smiting Claire,
    and the Head of Aife his wife
    which ancient speech of sages touches upon.

  21. p.233

  22. By the son of Fland of Loch Slemain
    their doings are not unremembered:
    75] there remain here for a while, before departing,
    four memorials of the ancient heads.

  23. p.235