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


poem/story 1



  1. O thou that comest from the north, surrounded by troops in noble triumph! art thou attentive, till the hour for sleep, to the plain tale of the fierce rapids?
  2. Ess Ruaid—what Ruad owned its rapids? who visited the fair-formed haven? was it man or woman of forgotten power that gave the mound its noble name?
  3. Aed ruad, Badurn's comely son—since his day the royal rapids have lost their vehemence: on their bank ('twas a dolorous event) stands his mound and his noble monument.
  4. I have not heard, on land or lovely sea, of any of the children of Ír or Eber that could attain a third part of the beauty of generous Aed, lord even of Emain.
  5. A bitter pang aroused Aed, rich with a good father's wealth, when he plunged into the
    rapids, to his judgement and destruction.
  6. Thus came Argatmar's grandson to the doom of chill death: his name abides on his rapids, the name of the brave dead man unblamed.
  7. Then was dug on the hill the grave of Aed, covered by a single cloak: and there, above that one man's comely face, stands his honoured mound.

  8. p.5

  9. Hither chanced to come in after-days the daughter of Máine mil-scothach: a slumber lulled her in her turn: Ruad was her name, in her first husband's time.
  10. She fared her way, wandering afar, the worshipful maiden they acclaim, when she gave that great love, in vain, to Aed srónmár, son of Labraid.
  11. From Mag Móen, scene of mighty battles, the daughter of mighty Máine, the taper-fingered, came on a path of happy love, leaving on her left hand Erin of the red weapons.
  12. She crossed the waves that laughed at her in the ship of Abcán the arch-poet till that fair and modest maiden happened upon the famous bay.
  13. Ruad knew not whose was the country nor the harbour till she chanced on it, but she asked, in no uncertain wise, that the river should be her freehold.
  14. Then she fell asleep among the streams of the eddying bays; she perished lamentably in her boat of fair bronze.
  15. The maiden with the white hands, bright and good, never reached the hero her lover: she leapt overboard, not mastered by a spell, but at the doleful music from the fairy mounds.
  16. So from her, without utterance of falsehood, comes the name of Ess Ruaid, with its greatness: her death, without dear claim of kinship, have I told to thee, good sir!

  17. p.7

  18. Be my soul with thee in holy Heaven, O hospitable and loving Lord! O King of stars and wonders, that art of higher birth than any man!