Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Life of Mac Creiche (Author: [unknown])

chapter 3


One day, as the clerk was reciting his psalms in the hermitage, he saw a youth looking at the holy man. He started, but did not speak. The clerk asked who he was. ‘My name is Becedán,’ said he. ‘I am looking at my land; and I bind my covenant on thee.’ ‘Do not cleave to me however,’ said the clerk, ‘but take my blessing, and do not make me known to anyone else.’ And he recited gospels and prayers.


The young man turned away, and as he was there, he saw a robber-band coming towards him, seven and twenty in number. And he asked them whence they came. ‘We are come,’ said they, ‘from Glenn Geimin, and we are called the Glasanaig.’ The youth named Becedán fell into their hands, and they were hacking and hewing him for a long time. And after that they had all hacked at him, they fancied that they had cut off his head. But God and the prayer of the holy clerk delivered him; and it was (really) a wisp of sedge instead of the head of the youth that they held. And he escaped from them safe and sound.


The robbers asked: ‘Who saved thee, O youth?’, ‘A servant of God saved me,’ said he, ‘who put gospels round me a while ago, before I met with you.’ ‘Where is that holy clerk?’ said the robbers. ‘What would ye of him?’ said Becedán. ‘We would submit to him,’ said they ‘and learn the will of God at his hands, henceforth and for ever, because of the wonderful deliverance which he hath wrought on thee.’


They make peace together, to wit, the robbers and Becedán. ‘Well has it turned out for you,’ said the youth. ‘Ye shall receive the peace of God for ever owing to this affair.’ The youth went to the chamber where the chaste angelic clerk was chanting his psalms. The youth and the robbers saluted him, and all knelt to him. ‘Thine own will to thee, O clerk,’ said they. ‘I accept it of you,’ said Mac Creiche. They all lay aside their arms, and offer themselves, body and soul, to God and to Mac Creiche. Becedán then offers his land and estate to Mac Creiche, that is Cell Meic Creiche of the woods; and it is on the estate of this youth was founded the church still called Cell Senbotha.