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

poem/story 124


¶1] There fell a sickness—sad the news—on the kine of wide-stretching Banba: it killed them, without exception or survivor, all but the bull of the Glen and his heifer.

¶2] The noble son of royal Rudraige, famous Bresal of the Murrain, was lord over every boat's haven and ruled the people in the cow-plague.

¶3] He had a rhyming druid, whose name was Buadach mac Birchlui: men called him, not amiss, the wry-mouthed old Crow of Bairche.

¶4] To the Crow Bresal, giver of judgement, gave his cow and his sleek wanton bull, as free largesse of the wealthy king, to stop his druid's greed.

¶5] The druid bade his fosterlings to keep the scant-yielding kine, one of them each day to guard the stock from sickness, to pasture them and watch them well.

¶6] His turn came to fair Cua cendmar, to keep [...] these kine from the raiding of starving folk, from dogs and thievish wolves.


¶7] This undutiful sluggard went with his master's beasts secretly and put them in a cooking-pit for kine on the shady red-showered mountain.

¶8] Hence comes the fair Sliab Cua—it is no brand-new specious splendour; upon it he builds a darksome pit, when he wrought the monstrous slaughter.

¶9] I have fashioned a choice truth-telling tale from the story of old Cua's Mountain, a muster of polished stanzas in my cunning work: great is the cause whereof it came.