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

chapter 17


After this all the people of the land came on to a ridge above the bank of the loch on one side, and the clerks


on the other side. And Mac Creiche afterwards blessed the people, men, children and women; and all their stock and tributes were driven together from every quarter towards him; and the freeman who had nothing but his arms, placed himself at his (Mac Creiche's) disposal. And there were brought to him the horse and armour of their chief of counsel, that is their ruler and lord, with all the rest. ‘Leave bequests to the land,’ said Blathmac and the nobles. ‘What shall I have therefore?’ said Mac Creiche. ‘Thy tribute to be fully paid to thy monks, and to thyself, and the equipment of a lord, both horse and armour, as thou seest them now,’ said the nobles. ‘I leave pre-eminence of chief to the land,’ said Mac Creiche, ‘and renown of king, and pre-eminence of queen, and of steward, and of clerk.’


‘Leave something more,’ said the nobles. ‘What shall I have for it?’ said Mac Creiche. ‘Thou shalt receive the firstling of every flock,’ said they. ‘I leave corn and milk in your land, and mast in your woods, and increase in your soil,’ said he. ‘Leave something more,’ said the nobles. ‘What shall I have for it?’ said Mac Creiche. ‘Thou shalt have,’ said the nobles, ‘the rent of thy bell every year.’ ‘I leave,’ said he, ‘pre-eminence of valour on your heroes, and superiority over every land to yourselves. I leave, that if any pestilence of sore disease shall visit your land, the water in which my bell has been washed, and the prayer of my steward shall repel it; and if there be there any prince or tanist, he shall fail or die, unless they rise up before my bell; and any one till doom shall fade or die who passes it up across his knee with falsehood or perjury.’


‘And on the other hand I leave to you never to be fewer than the number with which ye have come to me, if ye fully pay these tributes.’ And he said:

    1. 'With thrice three hundred ye came,
      Proud men with gleaming arms;
      As long as ye fully pay my tribute,
      Ye shall be no fewer.'

‘I leave something more to you: the hearth on which there is my (tax of a) scruple, no pestilence of sore disease shall visit it for ever, and no untimely corpse shall ever be carried from


the house on which is my scruple. But whenever ye shall not fully pay my tribute, and not submit to my relics, I leave to you all the pestilences and diseases to be distributed among you for ever; and a hateful malignant demon to dwell among you continually, so that everyone of you shall be treacherous and parricidal towards his fellow; and whenever ye shall see my bell, it shall be a shame and reproach to your tribe to see it without fully paying its tribute to it. Something more too I leave: three sounds of my bell before you in battle, and ye shall be victorious on every side, if ye fully pay my tributes.’