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

poem/story 111


¶1] Ailen Cobthaig, whence its name? Not hard to say. Dubthach dornmar, son of Eogan king of Munster, had a wife who was barren, but great in witchcraft: also she kept diligent watch over him, lest he should have dealings with some other woman. The men of Munster found fault with him for begetting no children. He sent a messenger to seek for him the fairest maid in Munster. Then there was found for him Fedelm of the yellow locks, daughter of Dinel from Cum Dinil in Ross Tuascirt in the region of Corco Duibne. The messenger returned from the west and told him of her. Then he went to sleep with the maiden. He came with all his following into the courtyard. His wife came out, and took a turn round them, withershins, so that they knew not heaven nor earth, and they were scabbed and deaf. His horse brought Dubthach to the house of his daughter, Ethne Long-flank, in the courtyard. ‘This is a sorry business’, said she; ‘I will change you all. It was from me that she learned this knowledge.’ She walks round them, and rid them of the spell, save only the deafness. ‘This was not learned of me’, says she: so she could not rid them of it. The king goes his way westward. ‘Let Dinel come to meet me to sain me’, said he. Dinel was a druid. He sained Dubthach, and rid him of the deafness. Dinel's daughter comes forth to bid the king welcome. ‘Thou dost well to bid welcome,’ said Dinel: ‘it is for thee he has come, to the welfare and joy of you both.’ ‘That shall be well indeed, Dinel,’ said the maid, ‘if issue spring therefrom.’ ‘It shall’, said Dinel. ‘What issue?’ said the maiden. Then said Dinel:

¶2] ‘O Fedelm of the yellow locks, thou shalt bear a son to Dubthach: he shall be known in all places for a just man; Cairpre Hardhead shall be his name.’

¶3] ‘He shall be born in the island beyond the glen; all
Erin shall know of it: he shall take the kingship—men shall come to him—over the line of Deda mac Sin.’


¶4] ‘A hundred years shall he reign, his great prosperity shall be famous; marvels shall arise in his time, such as have never been seen before.’

¶5] ‘Though Loch Finnai be broad, and though mighty its storms, it shall fail, there shall be no drop of water therein, in the reign of Dubthach dornmar's son.’

¶6] ‘The land by the side of Clare, from Cnamchaill to Ane, to it shall come troops in numbers such as were not there till now.’

¶7] ‘Though all Bairend be level, it shall swell and be Cloch Daire; there shall be abundance of furze therein, in the fair lands of the Erainn.’

¶8] ‘Though Femen be a fen till now, and though Raigne be bogland, the clover-flower shall overspread them in the reign of Cairpre Hardhead.’

¶9] ‘He shall be drowned at length north of Bui; there Dinel the druid foretells the death of Dubthach's son, sad disaster; the tribes of the Erainn shall keen him.’

¶10] ‘Over his body a rock shall rise, in the ocean by Tech Duinn, and the rock shall be seen floating far over the brimming sea, on every side.’

¶11] ‘It passes then eastward round the shore, visible from land and sea, coasting Erin, on a famous voyage, till it touches ground at Bentraige.’


¶12] ‘When the champion Cairpre shall have hewed bodies in the land of Bentraige, no tale shall be told thereafter of the son of Dubthach mac Eogain.’

¶13] ‘Men shall come and go between the Rock and the land, quarrying ore, with great toil: they that do the crushing shall be Sil Buinde of Bentraige.’

¶14] ‘Another mysterious king shall come, even Cobthach of thy posterity: by him shall dwellings of men be brought thither, upon the hill of Caipre Hardhead.’

¶15] ‘There shall be a time of peace, until the Tálchend come to them; a glorious kindred, praise unceasing; it shall be theirs, world without end.’