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

poem 68

Mag nAi

  1. Good sir, if thou comest into Mag Ai,
    declare to us the lore of noble sages,
    and assure to them the designation
    whence comes in very truth the new name of the plain.
  2. 5] Ai son of Allguba, hero of the battles, —
    swift his hand at hewing trees —
    was the first man on whom the task was laid:
    he burnt the place from top to bottom.
  3. He brought with him a band of labourers, big and brawny,
    10] great was the service they gave, with kindly help,
    four times six strong champions:
    that hewing of theirs was work for an army.
  4. Four and twenty hours they wrought,
    as it seems, till their task was done:
    15] though before them there was a host that was wealthier,
    no fiercer was their vigour nor their valiance.
  5. Ai begged of them, when their labour was ended,
    to promise instantly, for his good fame's sake,
    so that his power and pride might be increased,
    20] that the place might be named after him, good sir.
  6. Let me be under thy protection, O King of Heaven,
    that I may be dear to thee without neglect:
    O King that art great in every good thing,
    in thy kingdom the lordship of any man is little worth.

  7. p.383