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

poem 70

Duma Selga

  1. Here stands Duma Selga in the plain
    where the sons of Muredach used to dwell:
    now they are gone the royal barrow endures,
    although it was here before their day.
  2. 5] The grave of Fer Fota is on Ard Cain:
    many there be to whom his death brought poverty:
    Duma Selga is its name here to this day,
    since the chase of Drebriu's six swine.
  3. The swine under the protection of Drebriu
    10] daughter of Eochu Feidlech,
    who caused them to be brought to her?
    how did she come by the wild swine?
  4. Mac ind Oc's own darling was Drebriu,
    she was given many a kiss:
    15] and the swine, when they were men,
    were likewise her own housemates.
  5. I hold naught too hard,
    if only the High King have willed it so:
    Moses' rod — great was his grace —
    20] was turned into the shape of a serpent.
  6. The Son of God showed them mercy
    when they were here in this life,
    in that he took not away their understanding,
    their reason, nor their power of speech.

  7. p.389

  8. 25] The mother-in-law of the tender women
    was Garbdalb, gloomy and ungentle:
    she cast on them a spell from her bosom,
    and turned them into the form of red swine.
  9. Conn, Find, and Fland
    30] were the men, — those were their names:
    Mel, Treg, and Treis
    were the names recorded of the women.
  10. From the day that their hue was darkened
    after eating the fruit of the nutgrove of Caill Achad
    35] these were the names of the faultless warriors,
    Fraechan, Banban, Brogarban.
  11. The shape to which each of the women was turned
    caused grief to the Brug of Brega:
    Crainchrin, Coelcheis, strong Treilech
    40] were the names of the sister-swine.
  12. They spent a year with Buichet;
    the King Oengus concealed them,
    when the chieftain's wife was seized with longing
    for a steak off Brogarban's belly.
  13. 45] It was a grief to Brogarban of Brega
    when the woman's husband told him of it:
    "Let us slay the white woman,"
    said Buichet to Brogarban.
  14. "No evil hath thy wife deserved of me,"
    50] said then the white-flanked swine:
    "if she desire a steak of my tender flesh,
    she shall have it for thy sake, brave warrior!"

  15. p.391

  16. She mustered — foolish was the woman —
    a hundred warriors, a hundred dogs followed them,
    55] a hundred spears, a hundred shields
    sharp-edged, it was for the eating of Brogarban.
  17. Brogarban of Borg Brain destroyed them
    by his unaided prowess,
    and he spared the woman
    60] for the sake of Buichet, whose wife she was.
  18. To Brug maic ind Oc thereafter
    Brogarban carried his household:
    And there Oengus sang them a chant all day
    "Dear were the faces!"
  19. 65] They asked for his help;
    though many were their wrongs,
    "For a year's space, O warriors, O chieftain!,"
    said Mac ind Oc, "it may not be,
  20. "Till ye have shaken the tree's bole
    70] that stands on the bank of massive Tarbga,
    and till ye have eaten a meal
    of the fish of Inber Umall's waters."
  21. Thereupon they pursued their way in dumb grief
    to the parts where stands Glascharn:
    75] the six trenches thou seest on the hill,
    they are the beds of the warrior-swine.
  22. They went their way to Drebriu, who was a shelter to them,
    for she was known to Oengus,
    and they spent a year in hiding
    80] with Eochu Feidlech's daughter.

  23. p.393

  24. At the end of a year apart
    they shook the fair tree's bole:
    it was the day for Medb to hold her state
    on Mur Muccaisse.
  25. 85] Thereafter they fared westward through the wood,
    till they reached Crich Umaill,
    and that was the day
    on which this barrow was raised.
  26. From this hill Medb went
    90] to Port Dubinse in sooth,
    and she took red Dubinis
    against the swine in her fury.
  27. Mighty Medb gathered
    all the men of Connacht in one day,
    95] from Luimnech to Ess Ruaid
    from Usnech to Inis Bo.
  28. In an evil hour the host marched westward,
    though they were long upon the road:
    the event that killed each of the dumb swine
    100] was full evil for the men of Erin.
  29. Thereupon the swine came forth
    against them perforce, as for a pitched battle:
    and so they perished, all of them
    save yellow-crowned Brogarban.
  30. 105] One of the swine fell at soft Muccelta,
    and another at Ceis Choraind:
    one swine at Mag Trega — it was doomed,
    and one at Cuallacht, amid the blood of dogs.

  31. p.395

  32. The fifth swine died at Mag Find
    110] in Crich Maine, — the spot was ennobled:
    their five heads were brought to this barrow
    in the territory where it stands.

  33. p.397