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

poem/story 22


  1. Behold Ailech of Imchell before you, the enduring home of the host of Niall's race, known among Banba's fair folk as the grave of noble Aed, son of the mighty Dagda.
  2. The swift Dagda was deadly as a poison draught, a just-dealing lord over the feast till even; his mound remains, long may it remain! over him was it made in the Brugh.
  3. He was king of Erin with hosts of hostages; he was a prince, noble, slender; he was a warrior: good sons were attendant at his side, Cermait the comely, Oengus, and Aed.

  4. p.95

  5. Aed was slain on Benn Bain Baith, by the fury of the hero swift of hand, with a keen weapon, we aver: Corrgend of Cruach was every man's foe.
  6. Corrgend lay under blame for the crime: in wood nor fields nor sea found he never refuge under the white sun, nor riddance from the man's body on his back.
  7. Around their king came the chiefs of Erin strong and lithe from every land to the shore; they were no marauders pursuing him from the fort of the son of Fatheman of Fál.
  8. Corrgend was found stained with heart's blood; he was a wild-whirling mill-stone in his lifetime: he gained him honour through his jealousy, in the spot where Ailech stands to-day.
  9. A goodly shining grave was built in the town wherein it is seen of all; it hides a sorrow for the kindly Dagda in the good meadow-land of Banba for ever.
  10. There was no peace for him nor healing of the harm to be had from the Dagda for the loss of his son, save by torture of his body strong in fight, and a grave-stone laid on the tomb.
  11. He found a stone of the sea beside the lough; in pangs of suffering suddenly he died: his fame was broken and his rage; he uttered a cry, it was ‘ail’ with an ‘ach’!
  12. Ailech, that bright home of horses, would not be strong in fame without storm-beaten Corrgend; there was a subtle man on his track who was king over the Tuatha de Danann.

  13. p.97

  14. Ailech Imchell was above every place a right sharp-crested stronghold, all-envied, among the Folk of Danu wild and grim, the precinct where dwelt Nemain and Neit.
  15. Imchell was the castle-builder of the stern Dagda, of the fair great vast and noble wall; Gablan, grandson of Garb, from a high-born kin, reared it round the tomb of faultless Aed.
  16. Corrcend died with travail of body (height of evil is his whom his love degrades;) bearing the stone he marked out with toil and dug the young prince's grave.
  17. Wherefore does every scholar set forth three periods in all, not falsely, from the strong ones who dwell in silence to the birth of the son of God?
  18. Ailech Frigrenn, whence was it called? when poetry adorns it, noble its splendour. Frigriu was a wright of Cé in Pictland in the time of Fubthaire from Iona.
  19. Fubthaire then from the whole of Scotland led the pursuit from the Pictish land till he met a prince venom-handed, keen, illustrious Fiachu Sroptine, the king.
  20. A house was built round the noble maiden by Frigriu of Fál, better than any guard; swiftly he planted it, conspicuous across two waters, in the midst of Ailech of the kings.
  21. Mighty Eochu Domlén carried off a pale cloud of hostages (white their cheek); Fubthaire did not overtake the fugitive across the sea: a famous flight his daughter had from him.

  22. p.99

  23. Ailech, daughter of fair-haired Fubthaire, crossed the water of Luchraide without ship; the long-haired mother (greatest of gifts) of the three Collas from the race of Conn.
  24. Though that mighty pregnancy was plain to see, thro' keen fierce strength an end was made of the king's mighty host, a-rowing and thereafter a-swimming in the cold night.
  25. That is the tale every elder tells (no passing jest) of the fair scion, the comely youth, valiant lord of horses, from whom Ailech Frigrenn gets its name.
  26. Patrick, that theme of song men leave with every company, came long after from his home, and came, with limbs unapt for war, to meet the sons of Niall.
  27. Eogan of their famous men whom he cleansed both soul and body, gained possession by force of sanctity; the Briton blessed the abode.
  28. Patrick (not weary his strength), whom men shall obey in all times, blessed by the will of God the home of Eogan, above all oppression.
  29. There is a chief of clerics with pure orders, on the brow of Ailech—high his honour! a prince honoured in poetry receives respect: my brother is without sin, without stain.
  30. Colum Cille of the race of Niall, a surety all-sufficient, bright in beauty, is both a shelter for all Scotland and a golden diadem of fair Daire Calgach.

  31. p.101

  32. The seer Colum with the array of Conall and Eogan together the grandson of the king of Codal, he who keeps Iona, may he come to my help from the house of God!