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

poem/story 15


  1. In commemorating the homes of Tuag I take cognisance of a high place, a goal free from carnage, enduring Benn Bóguine.
  2. The cause for which it got this name for all time I will declare in my long lay—'tis no hard task, for well I remember it.
  3. Hither came, once on a time, as it were any foreign
    straying from a woman, a beast of price, one of her cows, across the Bann.
  4. Flidais was the woman's name, daughter of Garb son of Gréssach, that well-attended generous woman, wife of Ailell the Bearded.
  5. That cow dropped two calves by reason of her haste (a sore business, and a strange one), a cow and a bull, in that travel.
  6. Then for a certain season they multiplied by their
    : throughout every slope that would support them they brought fullness and increase.
  7. Before them went a brindled bull, forward to face danger for their sake against herds, against wolf-packs, against tame beasts.
  8. No milk-maid milked them, no savage assailed them; though hosts came to hunt them, they quelled not nor quenched them.

  9. p.73

  10. When the bull from that ancient hill belled forth his bellow there was no cow in that land but would wend to that herd.
  11. Thereof did die the best of Banba's kine, by hearing, not seeing him: there was no saving of their increase.
  12. There was a woman of that country, wandering from home to home, Echtgal, Uathach's daughter, Mac Baisgil's portly dame.
  13. A nursling then she had who did her pleasure without shame, the son of doughty Niall, 'tis said, Fiach of the bag-pipe and harp.
  14. He set a steer before her by his cheating charms: Erc was her name for times to come, seven blessings dropped from her.
  15. This cow fell in heat at the voice of the mighty bull, and she left disconsolate Fiachra son of Niall.
  16. Said his fosterer to him in wrath and in rage: ‘O Fiachra of the many arts, bestir thyself to the encounter!’
  17. ‘Hie thee at headlong speed! search Erin with her fords, till the cow return to her stall, busy thyself with my wonted arts.’

  18. p.75

  19. Thereupon he went his way, Fiachra, tried in bloodshed: from tribe to tribe he passed to the hill of tawny kine.
  20. There was nothing hidden from his eye, gazing from the spacious knoll, of fairy-folk or fetches, of herds, or goblins.
  21. When he reached this height, the peerless champion from afar, in his valorous career, he was untiring in slaughter.
  22. The fierce captain smote throngs of the chiefest herds; he slew them over every plough-land; stout was his sword.
  23. From the great cattle-killing that he wrought in that hour, from that bloodless butchery, is named Bend Boguine, from that herd.
  24. Fiachu, he of the feastings and of banquets among princes, harried them, invisible: here is the hill where they lie.

  25. p.77