Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Song of Dermot and the Earl (Author: [unknown])


An Old French Poem

  1. [gap: text acephalous/extent: unknown]
    By his own interpreter
    Who told to me the history of him,
    Of which I here make record.
    This man was Morice Regan,
    5] Face to face he spake to him
    Who related this geste:
    The history of him he showed me.
    This Morice was interpreter
    To King Dermot, who loved him much.
    10] Here I shall leave off about the bachelor,
    About King Dermot I will tell you.
  2. In Ireland, at this day,
    There was no more worthy king:
    Very rich and powerful he was;
    15] He loved the generous, he hated the mean.


    He by his power
    Had taken and conquered
    O'Neil and Meath in his war;
    Hostages he brought to Leinster:
    20] He brought with him O'Carroll,
    The son of the king of Uriel.
  3. Now in Leath-Cuinn there was a king,
    O'Rourke he was called in Irish,
    In Tirbrun, the barren, he dwelt,
    25] A waste and woody land.
    But O'Rourke, the rich king,
    Had a beautiful wife at this time,
    The daughter of King Melaghlin
    To whom Meath was suject.
    30] Melaghlin was lord of Meath;
    Whoever would tell you the truth,
    She was of the stock
    Of the good old Melaghlin;
    He was sprung from the lineage
    35] Of Melaghlin of the bold heart,
    The son of Coleman, the rich king,
    Who was so well-bred and courteous.
    About Melaghlin I will leave off,
    About King Dermot I will tell.
  4. 40] Dermot, king of Leinster,
    Whom this lady loved so much,
    Made pretence to her of loving,


    While he did not love her at all,
    But only wished to the utmost of his power
    45] To avenge, if he could, the great shame
    Which the men of Leath-Cuinn wrought of old
    On the men of Leath-Mogha in his territory.
    King Dermot often sent word
    To the lady whom he so loved—
    50] By letter and by messenger,
    Often did the king send word
    That she was altogether, in truth,
    The thing in the world that he most loved;
    Thus he besought her very often
    55] For her true love covertly.
    And the lady sent him word
    By a secret messenger
    That she would do all his will:
    To the king who is so renowned
    60] She returns answer again,
    Both by word of mouth and by letter,
    That he should come for her in such manner
    With all the host of Leinster
    And by force and by war
    65] Should carry her away with him from the land;
    That she would let King Dermot know
    In what place he should take her
    Where she should be in concealment,
    That he might freely carry her off:


    70] In what place, in short, she should be
    Where he might freely carry her off.
  5. The king summoned speedily
    All his men throughout Leinster,
    To come to him without delay
    75] From Ossory and from Leinster;
    And he let them all know
    That he wished to go against Leath-Cuinn,
    To avenge, if he could, the shame
    Which these men wrought of yore;
    80] The shame which they had wrought of yore
    In Leath-Mogha, in his territory.
  6. Promptly they came
    At the king's command.
    When all were assembled,
    85] Against Leath-Cuinn they turned straightway;
    Night and day they marched forward
    Rich and poor, small and great.
    Why should I go on telling you more?
    Into Tirbrun came the valiant king.
    90] Now the lady had sent word
    To King Dermot where she was,
    That he should come with his men
    And promptly carry her off
    King Dermot immediately
    95] Came marching to the place
    Where the lady had sent word.
    That she would be ready.


    In this way Dermot the king
    Carried off the lady at this time.
  7. 100] O Rourke bitterly complained
    For his wife whom he had lost;
    While he offered very fierce battle
    To the men of Leinster.
    But, my lords, King Dermot
    105] Then brought the lady away with him,
    Nor ever ceased marching
    From thence to the midst of Hy Kinsellagh.
    And the lady for a good long time
    Was there, as people say:
    110] At Ferns she was placed for her abode,
    As people say, in this manner.
  8. O Rourke, much grieving,
    To Connaught went in all haste.
    To the king of Connaught he relates all;
    115] Bitterly he complains of the shame,
    How the king of Leinster
    Came upon him in such manner,
    Took his wife by force from him,
    And placed her at Ferns for her abode.
    120] To the king of Connaught of the outrage
    Bitterly he complains, and of the injury;
    Very earnestly he besought him
    To make ready for him
    Some of his household and of his men
    125] So that he could avenge his shame.

  9. p.13

  10. The king of Connaught sent word
    To the king of Ossory, in the first place,
    That he should not fail their king
    But should come to their aid.
    130] And these men fully promised him
    That they would make him king in that territory
    If they could cast out of it
    King Dermot who was so bold.
    And this man immediately revolted
    135] Against his lord, King Dermot;
    And Melaghlin, the traitor,
    Abandoned his lord;
    And Mac Torkil of Dublin
    Abandoned his lord at this moment.
    140] There joined in the treason
    Murrough O'Brien, an evil rebel,
    Whom the dogs devoured,
    As the song will tell you
    As soon as we shall complete it for you
    145] Further on in your story.
  11. When Dermot the noble king,
    Who was of so much worth,
    Saw that they had failed him
    Gossips, kinsmen, and friends,
    150] One day King Dermot took horse
    And brought with him some of his men,
    And went to seek the rebel O'Brien;


    He wished to parley with him in secret.
    O'Brien, however, kept avoiding the king:
    155] With him he would not, either much or little,
    Parley or counsel aught
    Nor assistance give his lord.
  12. When king Dermot saw this
    That he could not parley with the rebel,
    160] The king immediately turned back
    Straight to the city of Ferns.
    At Ferns the king abode
    At an abbey that was there
    Of Saint Mary the Queen,
    165] Glorious lady and Virgin.
  13. Then the king devised
    A trick that he would play;
    How he might find the rebel
    And by cunning speak to him.
    170] To the Abbot the king sent word,
    That he should lend him a cope,
    A cope for a canon
    Or for a priest or for a monk.
  14. To Knoth then the king goes
    175] This time with the cope.
    At a dun of his he found him,
    As it was related to me.
    The king put on the cope
    Which trailed down to his feet,


    180] So that one could not but take him
    For a Monk Regular.
  15. When the Palmer had come
    Before the traitor's house,
    The rebel, when he saw the king, straightway
    185] Hurried off towards the forest;
    For the wicked traitor
    Did not wish to recognise him as his lord.
    The rebel then shouts
    In a loud and strong voice:—
    190] 'Wicked king, what do you seek?
    Be off with you at my bidding;
    And if you do not do so speedily
    I shall have you strung up to the wind.'
  16. When the king heard him,
    195] He was full of grief and wrath.
    The king was in great distress
    For the saying of the traitor
    Who had so menaced him
    And would string him up to the wind.
    200] The rich king returned
    Who was so liberal and courteous,
    Since the traitor revolted
    Against his rightful lord.
    All his men failed him
    205] Both of Leinster and of Ossory.

  17. p.19

  18. When Dermot the king perceived
    That he was betrayed at this time:—
    His own men failed him
    So completely was he betrayed—
    210] And that they wished to take him
    To hand him over and sell him to O'Rourke,
    While the king of Connaught on the other hand
    Should make a great destruction of him—
    Why should I delay you
    215] From your geste at all?
  19. His people by the strong hand
    Have cast out King Dermot,
    Have wrested the whole kingdom from him
    And have driven him from Ireland.
    When the king was exiled
    220] He took ship at Corkeran;
    When the king was abandoned
    At Corkeran he took ship;
    At Corkeran he put to sea,
    225] Auliffe O'Kinad he brought with him,
    With him the rich king brought
    And more than sixty three.
  20. The rich king had the wind
    Fine and fair to his desire:
    230] His ships had a very fair breeze;
    At Bristol they take the shore.
    At the house of Robert Harding,


    Near to St Austin's,
    King Dermot abode
    235] With as many men as he had.
    According to common report,
    The queen was there also.
  21. When the king had stayed
    At Bristol as long as he pleased,
    240] He had his knights summoned,
    He resolved to go to Normandy
    To hold parley with King Henry
    Of England, the powerful.
    For the king of England
    245] Was, my lords, at that time
    In Normandy on account of his war,
    On account of the war with the French.
    So much did Dermot accomplish
    By his journeyings and so far go
    250] That he landed in Normandy,
    According to the old people.
    It is well, my lords, that I should tell you
    How Dermot goes through Normandy:
    To seek King Henry then he goes
    255] Up and down, forwards and back;
    He sent messages and made enquiries
    Until he found King Henry;
    At a city he found him
    Of which he was called lord.


    260] King Dermot, as soon as he could,
    Went indeed towards the court:
    Towards the court step by step
    He went away very quickly
    To hold parley with the English king,
    265] Who was so rich and so bold.
  22. When Dermot, the valiant king,
    Before King Henry
    Had come at this time,
    Before the English king,
    270] Very courteously he saluted him
    Fairly and finely before his men:
    'May God who dwells on high
    Guard and save you, King Henry,
    And give you also
    275] Heart and courage and will
    To avenge my shame and my misfortune
    That my own people have brought upon me!>
    Hear, noble king Henry,
    Whence I was born, of what country.
    280] Of Ireland I was born a lord,
    In Ireland acknowledged king;
    But wrongfully my own people
    Have cast me out of my kingdom.
    To you I come to make plaint, good sire,
    285] In the presence of the barons of your empire.
    Your liege-man I shall become
    Henceforth all the days of my life,


    On condition that you be my helper
    So that I do not lose at all
    290] You I shall acknowledge as sire and lord,
    In the presence of your barons and earls.'
    Then the king promised him,
    The powerful king of England,
    That willingly would he help him
    295] As soon as he should be able.
  23. King Henry said, in the first place,
    That he should set about returning home.
    He crossed the sea to England,
    And went to stay at Bristol.
    300] Then King Henry sent word
    By letter and by messenger
    To Robert Harding, as he held him dear,
    That he should provide for the king whatever he might need,
    For him and for all his men,
    305] In every respect according to his wish.
    Honourably he executed for him
    All his commands.
    At Bristol the king abode
    A fortnight or a month, I know not which.
    310] Whatever the king would order
    Robert supplied to him in plenty.
    But the king of England
    For Dermot, according to the lay,
    Did nothing in truth
    315] Beyond the promise, as people say.


    When King Dermot saw
    That he could get no aid
    From King Henry as he had promised him,
    He would not stay there any longer.
    320] King Dermot then, you must know,
    Goes everywhere seeking aid:
    Aid everywhere he seeks
    In Wales and in England.
    So far did he ask for aid
    325] Up and down in this kingdom
    That he had an interview,
    So says the geste, with Earl Richard.
    He was a brave earl,
    Courteous, generous, and lavish.
    330] Very earnestly the king.
    Besought him, very courteously,
    To give him some succour,
    Or that he himself should come
    To conquer his kingdom,
    335] From which he had been wrongfully cast out.
    To the earl he told plainly
    How he had been betrayed by his people:
    How his people had betrayed him
    And driven him out and put him to flight.
    340] His daughter he offered him to wife,
    The thing in the world that he most loved:
    That he would let him lave her to wife,
    And would give Leinster to him,
    On condition that he would aid him
    345] So that he should he able to subdue it.

  24. p.29

  25. The earl at this time was a bachelor,
    He had neither spouse nor wife.
    When he hears from King Dermot
    That he was willing to give him his daughter
    350] On condition that he would come with him
    And subdue his land for him,
    The earl replies before his men:—
    'Rich king, hearken unto me.
    Here I assure you loyally
    355] That I shall assuredly come to you;
    But I should wish in these matters
    To crave licence of the English king,
    For he is the lord
    Of my landed estate;
    360] Wherefore I cannot go from his territory
    Without obtaining licence in this way.'
    The king assured the earl
    That lie would give him his daughter
    When he should come to his aid
    365] To Ireland with his barons.
    When they had concluded this accord,
    The king turned straight towards Wales,
    And never ceased journeying there
    Until he came to St. Davids.
  26. 370] There the king abode
    Two or three days, I know not which,
    In order to equip his ships,
    for he wished to cross over to Ireland.


    But before King Dermot
    375] Crossed over the salt sea,
    He spake to a king in Wales
    Who was very brave and courteous.
    This man was called Rhys,
    And was acknowledged King of Wales.
    380] At this time King Rhys
    Had a knight of great renown.
    The king kept him in prison,
    Robert the son of Stephen was his name.
    In his prison he was keeping him,
    385] He wished him to submit.
    I know not how the king took him.
    In a castle in his country.
    Concerning him I will not here relate
    How he was taken nor in what way;
    390] But the rich King Dermot
    Then besought King Rhys
    As much as he could on behalf of the knight
    That he might be able to depart freely.
    Not to tell you an untruth
    395] I know not if he was liberated then:
    At the request of the rich king,
    If he was liberated at that time;
    But afterwards the knight
    To Ireland came to aid the king.
    400] Then King Dermot returns.
    To St. Davids as soon as he could.
    To Ireland then he crossed


    With as many men as he had.
    But Dermot, the noble king,
    405] Did not bring with his warriors.
    Any Englishmen on this occasion,
    According to the account of my informant,
    Except one Richard, as I have heard say,
    A knight of Pembrokeshire,
    410] Richard the son of Godibert,
    A knight he was of good parts,
    Together with knights, archers and serjeants,
    But I know not up to what number.
    For they were not long
    415] In Ireland, these men;
    For they were hardly able to do any good there
    To the king in the land,
    Because they were only a few men
    Who crossed over in haste.
  27. 420] King Dermot then sent word
    By letter and by messenger,
    He sent over Morice Regan,
    His own interpreter.
    To Wales this man crossed over—

    [gap: extent: one or more lines]

    425] The letters of King Dermot
    Which the king sent in all directions.
    To earls, barons, knights,
    Squires, serjeants, common soldiers,
    Horse-men and foot,
    430] In all directions the king sent word:—


    'Whoever shall wish for land or pence,
    Horses, armour, or chargers,
    Gold and silver, I shall give them
    Very ample pay;
    435] Whoever shall wish for soil or sod
    Richly shall I enfeoff them.'
    He would also give them sufficient
    Farm-stock and a handsome fief.
    When the letters were read,
    440] And the people understood them,
    Then Robert the son of Stephen
    Got himself ready the first;
    He wished to cross over to Ireland
    In order to aid King Dermot.
    445] Brave knights of great renown
    He brought with him, nine or ten.
    One was Meiler the son of Henry,
    Who was very powerful;
    And Miles came there also
    450] The son of the bishop of St. Davids.
    Knights came there and barons
    Whose names for the most part I do not know.
    There crossed over a baron
    With seven companions,
    455] Maurice de Prendergast was his name,
    As the song tells us.
    Hervey too, in truth, crossed over,
    He was of Mount-Maurice.
    About three hundred crossed over


    460] Knights and common folk besides.
    At Bannow they landed
    With all their men.
    When they had landed
    And had all disembarked,
    465] They made their men encamp
    On the sea-shore.
    The English folk sent word
    To King Dermot by messenger
    That at Bannow with three ships
    470] They had at that time landed,
    And that the king should speedily
    Come there without delay.
    King Dermot by the direct road
    Towards Bannow, next morning,
    475] Set out very joyfully
    To see the English folk.
    When the king had come
    To Bannow to his liegemen,
    One by one he kissed them
    480] And courteously saluted them.
    That night they tarried
    On the shore where they were;
    But the king on the morrow
    Towards Wexford directly
    485] Went immediately, i'faith,
    To attack the town.


    In full force he attacked the city.

    [gap: lacuna in MS/extent: 1 line]

    The enemy in order to protect themselves
    Defended themselves from without.
    490] At this attack the rich king
    Lost eighteen of his English;
    While the traitors at this time
    Lost of their men only three.
    All day while it was light
    495] The attack thus lasted
    Until it became late
    And the men departed.
    The men of Dermot the renowned
    To their tents returned.
  28. 500] But next day, the first thing,
    To King Dermot by messenger
    The traitors announced
    That they would give him hostages,
    Would do him homage and fealty
    505] In the presence of his baronage,
    That with him they would be night and day
    As with their lawful lord.
    The king graciously accepted
    This offer in the presence of his men.
    510] By the advice of his English,
    The noble king accepted the offer.
    Thence King Dermot set out
    Towards Ferns, as soon as he could,


    In order to heal his wounded
    515] And to rest his barons.
    Three weeks King Dermot
    Abode in the city:
    Three weeks he abode
    Close by the city of Ferns.
    520] Then the king summoned
    Robert and Maurice, first of all,
    To come at once to confer with him
    Speedily, without delay.
    When the barons were come
    525] And Dermot had greeted them
    And brought them to the council,
    He related all to them
    How the Irish of Ossory
    Greatly dreaded the English:
  29. 530] 'Lords Barons,' so said the king,
    'The Irish greatly dread you;
    Wherefore, brave Knights,
    With your advice in the first place,
    I wish to go to Ossory
    535] To defeat my enemies.'
    The barons replied to him
    That never would they be left behind,
    Nor would they in any way leave
    The traitors nor cease to seek for them
    540] Until they had found them


    And defeated them in open field.
    Before the host advanced,
    Three thousand fighting men
    Made peace with King Dermot
    545] Through dread of the English.
  30. When the barons saw this
    That so many men followed theirs,
    Against the king of Ossory
    They marched with the assembled host.
    550] Consider it not, my lords, as trivial:
    Bear with me a little while I tell you
    How the king of Leinster
    With the men whom he had so bold
    Wished to enter the country
    555] Where all his enemies were.
    His enemies are in front,
    Full five thousand fighting men,
    Whom the king of Ossory
    Had in his company.
    560] Mac Donnchadh, the traitor,
    Who was lord of Ossory,
    Had thrown up before him
    Three trenches wide and deep:
    Before hint, within a pass,
    565] Three trenches rapidly
    Had the rebel thrown up


    And erected a stockade on top.
    There he offered battle
    To King Dermot, without fail, that day.
    570] There the fight took place
    From morning until eventide
    Between the rebel king of Ossory
    And the English with great animosity.
    But the English in the end
    575] By force and by energy
    Hurled the traitors thence,
    By force and by strength.
    But many men were wounded there,
    Both killed and disabled,
    580] Ere the stockade was won
    Or forcibly wrested from them.
  31. When King Dermot saw this
    That by the might of the English
    The pass was won in this way
    585] With his men of Leinster,
    He was full of confidence.
    The rich King Dermot at that time
    Wasted the land with fire
    In order to destroy the rebel;
    590] He sought for spoil everywhere
    Up and down throughout the territory;
    As much as he could find
    Of the spoil he brought away with him.
    Then the king marched in a different way


    595] In order to seek the rebel Mac Donnchadh
    Than he did at that time
    When he put on the cope,
    When he wished to parley and advise
    With the rebel O'Brien, the evil one.
  32. 600] When the noble King Dermot
    Wished to return to his own country,
    Then the king called
    The three renowned barons:
    Robert he called by name
    605] And Maurice, the baron,
    And Hervey de Mont-Maurice
    He caused also to be called.
    These were at that time
    Chieftains of the English.
  33. 610] 'Lords,' quoth he, 'listen to me
    For the love of God and hearken:
    Draw up your men in ranks,
    For well you know how to advise them.'
    The barons thereupon carried out
    615] For the king all his command:
    Speedily they carried out
    All the king's command.
    All the men of Hy Kinsellagh
    They entrusted to Donnell Kavanagh.


    620] He was son of the King
    Of Leinster, as I trow.
    Whoever would wish to know the truth,
    He was the foremost in the van;
    While King Dermot himself
    625] Remained with the English;
    For in them King Dermot
    Trusted absolutely.
    Well armed were they, without doubt,
    And well skilled in battle.
    630] Now Donnell Kavanagh, in the first place,
    Was about to cross through a pass
    Where Dermot had formerly been
    On three occasions defeated.
    Wherefore the Irish dreaded
    635] Lest they should be for the fourth time
    Discomfited and defeated.
    They therefore turned to flight,
    So that with Donnell, the king's son,
    640] There remained but forty-three.
    Mac Donnchadh of Ossory
    Soon rallies towards him his men:
    He rallies his men speedily
    To discomfit the Englishmen.
  34. Know, Lords Barons,
    645] That the English at this time
    Had descended into a valley,
    Both horse and foot soldiers.


    For it happened that they were obliged
    To pass through the middle of this valley.
    650] Wherefore the English dreaded
    The Irishmen at this time
    Lest they should rush upon them
    Without delay, at this moment.
    For the English, as I hear,
    655] Were hardly more than three hundred
    At that time with the king,
    And of the Irish, forty-three;
    While their opponents, of a truth,
    Were one thousand seven hundred.
    660] Wherefore it is not to be wondered at
    If the brave knights
    Dreaded these people
    Who were swift as the wind.
  35. Then spake a baron:—
    665] Maurice de Prendergast was his name—
    'Lords Barons all,
    Let us pass through this valley promptly
    So that we may be on the mountain
    On the hard field, and on the open ground.
    670] For most of us are well armed,
    Bold vassals and combatants,
    While the traitors are quite naked,
    They wear neither hauberks nor breast-plates;
    Wherefore if we turn to hard ground


    675] They shall have no protection from death.
    We shall strike manfully,
    And each together
    And all united shall strike,
    Footmen and horse,
    680] Against the men of Ossory
    Who will be opposed to us.
    Because if they are overthrown
    We shall be for ever dreaded,
    And because there is no escaping
    685] Either life or death here.'
    This was the first pitched battle
    That was fought, without doubt,
    Between the English barons
    And the Irish of Ossory.
    690] And the Irish with great impetuosity
    Followed the Englishmen.
  36. Then Maurice exclaimed:—
    'Robert Smith, come forward.
    I shall tell you what to do, friend:
    695] You shall have fifty archers;
    In this thicket, of a truth,
    You shall make an ambuscade for them,
    Until you shall be passed.
    The Irish who are behind,
    700] When these men shall have passed,


    If they dash on boldly,
    You shall make an attack on them behind,
    And we shall come to your aid.'
    And Robert replies to the baron:—
    705] 'Sire, with the blessing of God!'
    Then they went into ambush,
    The forty men well armed.
  37. Lo! with great animosity
    All the pride of Ossory
    710] Came pursuing them
    And eager for the battle.
    So much did these men exert themselves
    That they passed the ambuscade
    Where the forty veterans
    715] Were concealed in the thicket.
  38. When the former had passed
    By estimation they were two thousand,
    And the forty archers
    Did not dare to show themselves;
    720] Because they were so few men
    They lay hid without stirring.
  39. Then had Dermot, the rich king,
    Great fear for the English
    Lest they should be overthrown
    725] And brought to shame by the Irish.


    And the rich King Dermot
    Called Maurice to him,
    Very courteouslyhe besought him
    To take care of these men:
    730] To take care of his friends
    Who were left behind.
    Then the baron replied:—
    'Sire, at your command.
    Willingly shall I aid them
    735] And direct all my efforts thereto.'
  40. Maurice turns aside here
    Draws the rein of Blanchard;
    And the Irish of Ossory
    Followed the English men
    740] Until they came into the plain,
    To the hard open country.
    Then they drew up their men in ranks
    And very skilfully marshalled them.
    Then Maurice shouted
    745] And invoked Saint David.
    The son of Stephen turned,
    And Meiler, the renowned,
    And Miles the son of David,
    And Hervey de Mont Maurice,
    750] And the barons, knights,
    Squires, serjeants, and youths,
    Against the Irish turned
    And invoked St David.
    And the traitors on their knees


    755] Awaited the barons
    Thus in such a way
    That there was not at that time
    A lance-length of ground
    Between Dermot and the Irish.
    760] When the English by their valour
    Had grappled with the enemy
    The Irish went away discomfited
    On that day from bad to worse.
    As I heard it, the truth can be told.
    765] One of the best was Meiler;
    In the battle that day
    There was none better than he.
  41. When the Irish saw this
    Whom King Dermot brought
    770] And who had earlier in the day
    Fled in fear to the woods,
    They returned speedily
    To their lord, these men:
    They joined in the combat
    775] At the command of their lord.
    You must not regard it as folly:
    Eleven score of heads that day
    Were brought to the king in the night,
    On the Barrow where he lay,


    780] Of his mortal enemies
    Who were slain on the battle-field,
    Besides the killed and wounded
    Who were borne away from the field.
  42. When these were discomfited
    785] On the field they were left.
    To Dermot, the rich king,
    And to the English knights
    Then spake a baron,
    Robert the son of Stephen was his name:—
    790] 'Hearken unto me, valiant king,
    What I counsel with the will of God:
    That to-night you remain in this place,
    Since God has given you the grace
    That you have, Sire, by the grace of God,
    795] Discomfited your enemies.
    As soon as day shall appear
    We shall go to seek the traitor,
    Nor shall I ever stop before
    That we go pursuing him.'
  43. 800] The king replies plainly
    That this is not at all his pleasure:
    'Rather we shall go to Leighlin
    At our ease along the direct road;
    Thus we shall carry our wounded
    805] Who lie hurt on the battle-field.'
    He turned to the city


    Which was called Leighlin.
    There they tarried for the night
    To their great joy and pleasure:
    810] By the Barrow they tarried
    And lodged for the night.
  44. On the morrow the rich king
    Departed with his liege-men:
    Towards Ferns they turned;
    815] With them they carry their wounded.
    When they came to the city,
    Then they severally went their ways.
    To their hostels to lodge
    The knights returned.
    820] They sent everywhere for physicians
    To heal the sick:
    To heal their wounded
    They sent everywhere for physicians.
  45. While the noble King Dermot
    825] Abode in the city,
    From all the country round about
    His enemies cane to him
    To crave mercy of the king
    For having before completely betrayed him.
    830] And through the dread they had
    Of the English who were with him
    They gave many hostages
    To King Dermot, who was so bold.


    And very many made peace
    835] Through dread of the English.
    The greater part of Leinster
    Made peace in this manner,
    Mac Donnchadh did not come in,
    Who was king of Ossory;
    840] Nor the traitor Mac Kelan,
    Who was king of Offelan;
    Nor Mac Torkil the traitor,
    Who was lord of Dublin;
    For they were in such dread of the king
    845] That they did not dare to make peace.
    Then the king speedily
    Summoned his men front all sides;
    Against Mac Kelan he wished to go
    To shame and disgrace him.
    850] Then the king summoned
    The three noble barons
    To come at once to speak to him,
    Speedily, without delay.
    Robert Maurice and Hervey
    855] Promptly came to him.
    The king then told them
    And by word of mouth described to them
    That he would go to Offelan
    Against the traitor Mac Kelan,
    860] And that they should equip themselves
    To guard the person of the king.
    They replied courteously:
    'Sire, at your command.'

  46. p.67

  47. When they were ready
    865] And had drawn up their men in ranks,
    As King Dermot himself was unwilling
    To separate from the English,
    Donnell Kavanagh in close array
    Led the van.
    870] So much did they exert themselves
    That they entered Offelan,
    Plundered the whole country,
    And defeated Mac Kelan;
    The spoil they carried off,
    875] And conquered and harried the people.
  48. To Ferns then they turned
    In pride and power:
    Towards Ferns the king turned
    With great pride and pomp.
    880] At Ferns the noble king
    Stayed for eight whole days,
    And the brave English barons
    Were all the time with the king.
  49. When the eighth day was passed
    885] Then the king summoned
    His men throughout Hy Kinsellagh;
    He wished to march to Glendalough,
    He would plunder O'Toole
    For having disdained to parley with him.


    890] When the host was assembled,
    Towards Glendalough they marched;
    And the king commanded
    Barons, knights and followers
    That all should be ready
    895] And equipped for battle.
    Then they exclaimed:
    'Noble king, march forward!
    Avenge yourself, puissant king,
    On your mortal enemies.
    900] Noble king, march forward!
    You shall be well avenged;
    For never shall we fail you
    So long as we shall live.'
  50. Then King Dermot marches
    905] Towards Glendalough as fast as he could.
    When the king had come
    With his friends and comrades,
    Then he had the spoil taken
    Without receiving or giving a blow.
    910] He set about returning home,
    Safe and sound, without hindrance;
    And the English also
    Returned quite safely.
    The king returned home
    915] With his men full of joy,
    To Ferns came the barons
    With all their companions.

  51. p.71

  52. At Ferns the king abode
    As long as he pleased at that time.
    920] His men he summoned from all sides
    To come to Ferns to parley with him:
    Rich and poor, in the same way,
    All to come together.
    The men of Wexford came
    925] At the king's command.
    At Ferns was the host assembled
    With arms furnished and prepared.
    Then the king summoned
    Robert and Maurice, first of all,
    930] Hervey and the baron Meiler,
    And all the other knights.
    The king took them into counsel:
    'Hear, Sir knights,
    Wherefore I summoned you here.
    935] To Ossory I wish to go
    To confound the rebel
    Who has already done me high treason,
    To protect my land from the traitor
    That lie may never reign over it,
    940] If I cannot avenge myself on him
    I shall have nothing but grief.'
    Then the barons said to him:
    'Sire, with God's blessing!'
  53. Then the king summoned
    945] Donnell Kavanagh, first of all—
    That he should place himself at the head in the van
    With five thousand fighting men,


    And then immediately afterwards
    These men of Wexford;
    While the rich king himself
    950] Remained with his English.
    Through the midst of the land in this order
    Marched the king of Leinster.
    Into Forth he came
    955] And descended to a river.
    That night they took their hostels
    Upon Mac Burtin up and down.
    The men of Wexford, you must know,
    Wrongfully hated the king.
    960] Owing to their own treachery
    Which they did of yore to their lord,
    The traitors dreaded
    The noble king night and day;
    Wherefore they lodged by themselves
    965] And night and day dreaded the king.
    In this way the noble king,
    Who was so gallant and courageous,
    Lay by the river of Mac Burtin,
    And all his host was there too.
  54. 970] A Phantasm came upon them in the night,
    Which each one took for true.
    A vast and marvellous host
    Through the midst of the huts suddenly
    Came upon then, well armed
    975] With hauberks and with banded bucklers.
    Those in the huts then sallied forth


    To defend themselves.
    A knight of the English host,
    Randolf Fitz Ralph I heard hint named—
    980] That night to keep armed watch
    Randolf the barn stood outside.
    The knight began greatly
    To wonder at this host;
    They thought that they were betrayed
    985] By their mortal enemies.
  55. This man shouted loud and clear:—
    'St. David! Barons, Knights!'
    Then he drew his brand of steel.
    First of all, one of his companions,
    990] By a blow on the helmet,
    By force, he brought him to his knees;
    For he thought quite certainly
    That he belonged to the other side.
    Most of them thought
    995] That they were the traitors
    Of the city of Wexford,
    Who were really far off.
    This phantasm then departed,
    As I tell you;
    1000] It passed by the camp
    To the men of Wexford.


    These thought that they were being entrapped
    By Dermot, the noble king.
    But on the morrow they speedily
    1005] Drew up their men in ranks,
    By the rich king's command,
    As they were the day before.
    Against the king of Ossory
    Went the king with great eagerness.
    1010] Mac Donnchadh quietly
    Summoned all his men
    To the pass of Achadh-ur
    To come without gainsaying.
    A trench he then bade them throw up
    1015] High and wide, steep and deep;
    And then at the back strengthen it with stakes,
    And in front with hurdles,
    In order to dispute the passage
    With King Dermot of the bold heart.
  56. 1020] The king marched night and day
    Until he came near to Achadh-ur.
    By a river of great vehemence
    The warriors encamped,
    And the English of great worth
    1025] Encamped round about.
    On the morrow they crossed the river
    Without a battle and without a contest:
    On the morrow they cross, beyond a doubt,
    Without a contest and without a battle.

  57. p.79

  58. 1030] These men of Wexford
    Commenced the attack:
    They began to attack the stockade.
    For three whole days, i' faith,
    Somewhat half-heartedly these men
    1035] Attacked the traitors.
    The stockade could not be carried
    By their attack in any way,
    Until the English men
    On the third day, as I hear,
    1040] Carried the stockade against them
    And put these men to flight.
    They fled as far as Tubbrid
    Through the midst of the territory of Wenenath,
    And from thence as far as 'Bertun'
    1045] Fled the rebel king.
    But Dermot, the puissant king,
    Went so far following the traitor—
    So far did he pursue the traitor
    That he sent him on this wandering,
    1050] Since he could not make a stand
    Against King Dermot.
    Then Dermot, the renowned king,
    Laid waste the rebel's land,
    And carried off a great spoil with him
    1055] To the city of Ferns.

  59. p.81

  60. Dermot, the potent king,
    Had subdued his country,
    Had defeated and discomfited
    Most of his enemies;
    1060] Through the English he was exalted
    With great pride and haughtiness.
    By the advice of his people
    He wished to retain, as I hear,
    The soldiers of Maurice, the baron,
    1065] According to the geste that we are reading.
  61. This man departed from King Dermot;
    Full two hundred he brought away with him:
    Of the English, in truth,
    Maurice brought away full two hundred.
    1070] Towards Wexford he set out,
    He wished to cross the sea to Wales.
    Then the king sent word
    To Wexford by messenger:
    All the master mariners
    1075] He made obstruct Maurice
    So that he could not cross the sea
    Nor return to his own country.
  62. When Maurice learnt the news,
    He was in great trouble.
    1080] He feared at this time
    That the traitors of Wexford
    Would fall upon him


    By the counsel of the king, wrongfully.
    But Maurice speedily
    1085] So parleyed with these men
    Of Wexford city
    That they turned against the king.
    Maurice did not delay at all:
    He sent word to the king of Ossory
    1090] That he would come to him, without deceit,
    To serve him, if he wished it;
    For he had parted on bad terms
    From King Dermot whom he had served.
    When MacDonnchadh heard
    1095] That Maurice would come to him,
    He was rejoiced at the news
    And leaped to his feet with joy.
    To the baron he straightway sent word
    That he should certainly come to him;
    1100] Pay he would give him
    Very rich and ample.
    Then the baron departed,
    He and all his companions;
    Towards the town of Timolin
    1105] They took the direct road.
    But King Dermot's son,
    Donnell Kavanagh, to the best of his power,
    Attacked the baron on that day
    With full five hundred companions.
    1110] A great conflict they had
    Maurice's men on that day;


    But by force and by valour
    They came to Timolin.
    For three days accordingly
    1115] Maurice abode there with his followers.
    Often did the king of Ossory
    Send a message to these men
    That he would come on the third day
    Without any further gainsaying.
    1120] The king came there, of a truth,
    The third day without delay:
    Thither came the king of Ossory,
    Mac Donnchadh, with his company;
    And thereupon the king
    1125] Assumed a friendly manner towards Maurice.
    Maurice and all his men
    Saluted the king courteously.
    The king and his chief men
    Made oath to the English:
    1130] To the English they swore, in short,
    On altar and on shrine,
    That they would never betray them
    As long as they should be with them.
  63. Donnchadh accordingly brought away
    1135] Maurice and all his followers:
    Into Ossory the king brought
    Maurice and his company;
    While Robert remained with Dermot
    With as many men as he had,
    1140] And Hervey just in the same way
    With his force and his men.

  64. p.87

  65. Mac Donnchadh day and night
    Harried Dermot's territory:
    With the aid of Maurice and his followers
    1145] He then laid waste the territory of the king.
    There the baron received
    The name of Maurice of Ossory:
    Thus the Irish of this country
    Always called him,
    1150] In that he had come to Ossory
    And remained with the king.
  66. About Maurice I shall here stop;
    About a baron I wish to tell,
    The son of Gerald: Maurice was his name.
    1155] The baron had landed:
    He landed at Wexford
    With a goodly force and many followers;
    In order to aid King Dermot
    He had landed at Wexford.
  67. 1160] Then the baron sent word
    To the king that he had landed.
    Dermot heard the news,
    For a long time none so good had come to him.
    The king, with prick of spur,
    1165] To meet the baron
    Set out straight to the harbour,
    To the coast of Wexford.


    When the rich king saw him,
    He straightway said to him:—
    'Be very welcome, baron,
    1170] Son of Gerald, Maurice by name.'
    The latter then replies:—
    'God bless you, valiant king!'
    To Ferns they depart joyfully
    1175] The king and Maurice as well.
  68. Now the king of Ossory
    At this time had gone to Leix
    Against the lord of that territory
    To prevent his making war on him.
    1180] O'More was the name of the lord
    Who held Leix at that day.
    Mac Donnchadh with his English
    Was about to harry all Leix,
    When O'More, its lord,
    1185] With Mac Donnchadh fixed a day:
    A day he fixed for him there,
    He would give hostages of his country.
    Not more than three or four days
    Would be delay the king there.
    1190] He would give five or six hostages
    The noblest of his territory.
    The king granted this to him,
    And abode there for three days.


    O'More speedily sent word
    1195] To King Dermot that these men
    By force and by war
    Had entered into his territory,
    And that he should come there promptly
    To give him speedy succour.
  69. 1200] Dermot, king of Leinster,
    To Robert and to Fitz Gerald
    All that O'More had announced
    Told to the two barons;
    And they then said to the king:—
    1205] 'Speedily and without any respite
    Get your men equipped.
    There is reason, Sire, for no delay.'
    The king then had it proclaimed aloud
    That all who could bear arms
    1210] Should follow him at once.
    The king then mounts horse.
    The three barons likewise
    Followed the king with their men,
    Nor did they stop from there to Leix,
    1215] Where the king of Ossory was.
    Now the king of Ossory
    Lay in a flowery moor,
    While King Dermot
    Came against him, and the son of Gerald;
    1220] But he knew not, of a truth,


    That men were coming against him.
    So while the King Mac Donnchadh
    And Maurice of Ossory
    Lay in a moor
    1225] Which was very beautiful and extensive,
    Maurice de Prendergast, at length,
    Thought one morning
    That O'More, the lord of Leix,
    Was going to betray King Mac Donnchadh,
    1230] If he could in any way
    Obtain a force out of Leinster.
  70. Then lo! there comes a scout
    To the king of Ossory;
    He told him that King Dermot
    1235] With as large a force as he could
    Was bringing the son of Stephen with him
    And Maurice the son of Gerald,
    And that full three hundred English
    Had come with him to Leix,
    1240] Besides all the other men
    Who came by tenure.
    Then commenced to speak
    Maurice de Prendergast first:—
    'Let us go, lord king.
    1245] Too many Englishmen follow us,
    And we have only a few men;
    Wherefore let us go in close array.
    If they approach us at all,
    Well shall we be able to defend ourselves.'

  71. p.95

  72. 1250] Then the king went away
    From the territory of O'More of Leix
    By the advice of his friend
    Maurice, of whom you have heard.
  73. Speedily King Dermot,
    1255] To whom Leinster belongs,
    Together with Robert and Maurice
    Followed then these men;
    But they did not come up with them;
    For they had crossed the pass,
    1260] Mac Donnchadh of Ossory
    And Maurice in whom he trusts.
    Then Dermot, the puissant king,
    To Ferns went in all haste:
    To Ferns he returned;
    1265] Hostages he brought with him:
    Hostages he brought at this time
    From O'More the lord of Leix.
  74. Mac Donnchadh with his company
    Returned to Ossory.
    1270] Then they separated
    Safe and sound in their country.
    And the men of Ossory
    Were much discontented
    That they had to hire soldiers
    1275] And to give their pay to the English.
    The traitors accordingly began to plot,
    One behind, another in front;


    They resolve to betray Maurice
    And to part his treasure among them:
    1280] For their gold and silver
    They resolved to murder these men.
    Thus they had plotted
    Treachery all in secret.
  75. Accordingly they came before the king,
    1285] Young and old, bald and hairy:
    'Hear us, king, good lord!
    Maurice we wish, at length, to put to death;
    We have a sufficiently good peace;
    Of them we have no further need.'
    1290] And the king replied:—
    'Please God and his might
    That they may never be betrayed by me,
    Murdered, killed, disgraced, or taken!'
  76. To the king came the baron,
    1295] Knowing nothing of the treachery
    Then indeed he demanded
    Of the king free licence
    That he might return home to his country.
    The king, be sure, with much regret
    1300] Gave leave to the knight
    To return to his country;
    But the king besought him much


    To remain with him still.
    Maurice replied to the king:—
    1305] 'The English wish to cross over:
    They wish to cross the high sea
    To visit their friends.'
    Then the king departed,
    According to the geste which you now hear;
    1310] To Fertakerach he went, I think,
    While the English at Kilkenny
    Remained that night
    With great joy and in great commotion;
    While all the wicked traitors
    1315] Of that territory round about
    Went to plash the passes
    Through which they had to pass.
    But as God willed it
    That Maurice should be forewarned
    1320] Of the great crime
    That these men of Ossory did,
    The baron caused to be summoned
    All his companions to him.
  77. When they were assembled,
    And Maurice told them
    How the men of Ossory
    By their great treachery
    Had contrived an ambuscade for them
    With two thousand men well armed:
    1330] How the Irish are in front of them


    With two thousand fighting men
    'In a strong place in order to obstruct us
    That we cannot pass that way.
    Take counsel, Sir barons,
    1335] Concerning this affair how we shall act.'
    They all replied:—
    'Let the counsel rest with you.'
    To their hostels they returned
    Where they were before lodged.
    1340] Very quietly they kept themselves,
    As though they knew nothing about it.
    Then Maurice of Ossory
    To the Seneschal of Mac Donnchadh—
    To the Seneschal sent word
    1345] That for half a year or a quarter
    He was willing to remain with the king,
    As they had previously been.
    Speedily the king sent word
    That he would come to parley with the English.
    1350] When was spread and published
    The news throughout the country,
    That Maurice had remained
    With the king of that country,
    The traitors returned home
    1355] From the pass where they were in ambush.
  78. In the night when they were asleep
    Maurice then sent word
    By a private page
    That all the barons should take horse,


    1360] Archers, squires, and sergeants,
    Both small and great.
    Those who wished to cross over
    Soon equipped themselves:
    They got themselves ready
    1365] Nor would they delay any longer.
    Towards the sea they turned
    To cross to their own countries.
    To the city of Waterford,
    As fate led them,
    1370] The knights came
    Safe and sound and none missing.
    There the barons stayed
    With all their companions.
    But there they were hindered
    1375] Through a man who was wounded:—
    For a foot-soldier
    Had wounded a citizen,
    Who afterwards died of the wound.
    Nor did they consider it as sport
    1380] The citizens of the city
    Of Waterford, as I have mentioned.
    There they were arrested
    All the illustrious barons;
    But by the counsel of their lord
    1385] Maurice, who was their pleader,
    And by his good sense and tact,
    Maurice enabled them all to cross over.
    In Wales they all landed
    Safe and sound, joyous and glad.


    1390] About these men we shall here leave off,
    About King Dermot we shall tell you.
  79. I wish to tell of King Dermot
    How he delivered Wexford
    To a noble baron,
    1395] The son of Stephen, Robert the baron.
    And Maurice the son of Gerald
    Fortified himself at Carrick,
    By the permission and by the desire
    Of Dermot, the potent king.
    1400] Then soon afterwards
    Earl Richard sent over
    Some of his men to Ireland,
    With nine or ten of his barons.
    The first was Raymond le Gros,
    1405] A bold and daring knight.
    At Dundonuil they landed
    Where they then constructed a fort
    By the permission of the rich king
    Dermot, who was so courteous.
    1410] There Raymond le Gros remained
    With his knights and barons.
    Then he plundered the territory,
    Took and killed the cows.
    But the men of Waterford
    1415] And of Ossory likewise
    Assembled their hosts;


    Against Dundonuil they resolved to go
    In order to attack the fort.
    They think surely to shame the English.
    1420] Donnell O'Phelan of the Decies,
    And O'Ryan of Odrone,
    And all the Irish of the country
    Surrounded the fort.
    By estimation the Irish were
    1425] As many as three or four thousand;
    Raymond and his men
    Were not more than a hundred.
    They drove the cows into the fort
    By the counsel of Raymond.
    1430] The men of Waterford
    Came very fiercely
    To demolish the fort;
    They think to disgrace the English.
  80. Raymond speaks to his men:—
    1435] 'Sir barons, hearken to me.
    You see your enemies coming
    Who have resolved to attack you.
    It is more honourable for you here
    Than within to be killed or taken.
    1440] Come now, do you all arm yourselves,
    Knights, sergeants, and archers;
    Thus shall we place ourselves in open field
    In the name of the Almighty Father.'
    The knights and the barons,


    1445] By the advice of Raymond le Gros,
    Resolved to sally from the gates
    In order to charge the Irish.
    The cows were scared
    At the men who were armed;
    1450] And owing to the tumult that they made
    The cows all in front
    By force and by strength
    Sallied forth at the gate.
    This was the first company
    1455] That sallied from the fort, I trow.
    Upon the Irish they rushed
    In a short space, in a few moments.
    The Irish could not stand against them:
    They were forced to separate;
    1460] And Raymond with his English
    Threw himself amid the Irish.
    Wherefore they were divided,
    The Irish were discomfited,
    So that the last company
    1465] Fled away through this fright.
    There they were discomfited
    All the Irish of this district.
    On the field a thousand were left
    Vanquished, killed, wounded, or taken.
    1470] By the force and by the strength
    That the good Jesus created against them
    And through dread and through fear
    They were enfeebled that day.


    Of the Irish there were taken
    1475] Quite as many as seventy.
    But the noble knights
    Had them beheaded.
    To a wench they gave
    An axe of tempered steel,
    1480] And she beheaded them all
    And then threw their bodies over the cliff,
    Because she had that day
    Lost her lover in the combat.
    1485] Alice of Abervenny was her name
    Who served the Irish thus.
    In order to disgrace the Irish
    The knights did this.
    And the Irish of the district
    1490] Were discomfited in this way.
    To their country they returned
    Outdone and discomfited:
    To their country they returned
    Discomfited and outdone.
  81. At Dundonuil remained Raymond
    1495] He and all his companions,
    And Hervey de Mont Maurice
    And Walter Bluet likewise.
    They kept very much to themselves,
    As against these lrishmen.

  82. p.113

  83. 1500] According to the statement of the old people,
    Very soon afterwards Earl Richard
    Landed at Waterford.
    Full fifteen hundred men he brought with him.
    On the eve of St. Bartholomew
    1505] Did the earl land.
    The most powerful persons in the city
    Were called Ragnald and Sidroc.
    On St. Bartholomew's day,
    Earl Richard, the prudent,
    1510] Took by assault and won
    The city of Waterford.
    But there were many killed there
    Of the citizens of Waterford
    Before that it was won
    1515] Or taken by assault against them.
  84. When the earl by his power
    Had taken the city,
    The earl immediately sent word
    To King Dermot by messenger
    1520] That he had come to Waterford
    And had won the city,
    That the rich king should come to him
    And should bring his English.
    King Dermot speedily
    1525] Came there, be sure, right royally.
    The king in his company
    Brought there many of his barons,
    And his daughter he brought there;


    To the noble earl he gave her.
    1530] The earl honourably
    Wedded her in the presence of the people.
    King Dermot then gave
    To the earl, who was so renowned—
    Leinster he gave to him
    1535] With his daughter, whom he so much loved,
    Provided only that he should have the lordship
    Of Leinster during his life.
    And the earl granted
    To the king all his desire.
    1540] Then they turned aside
    The king and Earl Richard.
    Raymond le Gros joined them.
    A bold and daring knight,
    And Maurice de Prendergast
    1545] Likewise, as I hear;
    For with the earl, of a truth,
    He had returned, as people say.
    By the advice of the earl
    The warrior had returned.
    1550] At this council in sooth
    Was Meiler the son of Henry,
    And many a brave knight
    Whose names I cannot mention.
    There all the brave knights
    1555] Proceeded to advise
    That they should go straight to Dublin
    And should assault the city.
    Then the king departed


    Towards Ferns with his English.
    1560] He caused his men to be summoned
    Everywhere and in great force.
    When they were all assembled,
    Towards Waterford they set out directly.
    Earl Richard then gave
    1565] The city in charge of his men:
    In Waterford he then left
    A portion of his followers.
    Then they turned towards Dublin
    The king and the renowned earl.
  85. 1570] Now all the pride of Ireland
    Was at Clondalkin in a moor,
    And the king of Connaught
    Was at Clondalkin at this time.
    In order to attack the English
    1575] He divided his troops.
    They plashed the passes everywhere
    In order to obstruct the English,
    So that in fact they should not come
    To Dublin without hostility.
    1580] And king Dermot was warned
    By a scout whom he had sent
    That the Irish were in front
    About 30,000 strong.
    King Dermot sent to ask
    1585] The earl to come to parley with him.
    The earl speedily
    Came promptly to the king.

  86. p.119

  87. 'Sir Earl,' thus spake the king,
    'Hearken to me at this time:
    1590] Draw up your men in ranks
    And marshal your sergeants.
    We shall now go by the mountain
    On the hard field and on the open ground;
    For the woods are plashed
    1595] And the roads trenched across,
    And all our enemies of Ireland
    Are before us in a moor.'
  88. The earl then summoned
    All the brave knights.
    1600] Miles came to him, first of all,
    A noble and brave warrior:
    Miles had the name de Cogan
    And his body was bold and burly.
    He was at the head in front
    1605] With seven hundred English soldiers;
    And Donnell Kavanagh likewise
    Remained with these men.
    And then afterwards Raymond le Gros
    With about eight hundred companions.
    1610] In the third company the rich king
    With about a thousand Irish.
    And Richard, the courteous earl,
    Had with him three thousand English.
    In this company there were about
    1615] Four thousand vassals, I trow.


    In the rear-guard the king
    Had the Irish drawn up in ranks.
    They were all well armed,
    The renowned English barons.
    1620] By the mountain did the king
    Guide the English host that day.
    Without a battle and without a contest
    They arrived at the city.
    Moreover the city was that day
    1625] Taken beyond gainsaying:
    The day of St. Matthew the Apostle
    The city of Dublin was burning.
  89. When the Irish saw this
    That King Dermot was come
    1630] And the earl also
    With all his English troops,
    And that the illustrious liege barons
    Had surrounded the city,
    The king of Connaught went away
    1635] Without a word at this time,
    And the Irish from this district
    To their country departed.
    Hasculf MacTorkil, the deceiver,
    Remained in the city that day,
    1640] In order to defend the city
    Of which he was acknowledged
    Sire, lord, and defender,
    Through all the country.


    Outside the walls of the city
    1645] Was the king encamped;
    While Richard, the good earl,
    Who was lord of the English,
    Remained with his English
    And with King Dermot himself.
    1650] Nearest to the city
    Was Miles encamped,
    The good Miles de Cogan
    Who was afterwards lord of Mount Brandon,
    Which is the wildest spot,
    1655] Mountain or plain, in the world.
    Now Dermot, the noble king,
    Despatched Morice Regan,
    And by Morice proclaimed
    To the citizens of the city
    1660] That without delay, without any respite,
    They should surrender without gainsaying:
    Without any further gainsaying
    They should surrender themselves to their lord.
    Thirty hostages demanded
    1665] King Dermot of the city.
    But those within, i'faith,
    Could not separate among themselves
    The hostages of the city
    Who should be delivered to the king.
    1670] Hasculf accordingly made answer
    To Dermot, the renowned king,
    That on the morrow speedily
    He would perform all his command.

  90. p.125

  91. It greatly vexed the baron,
    1675] The good Miles de Cogan,
    That the parley lasted so long
    Between the king and all his people.
    Miles shouted all at once
    'Barons, knights, A Cogan!'
    1680] Without the king's command
    And without the earl's either,
    He attacked the city.
    The baron Miles with his followers
    With audacity and with great fury
    1685] Then set upon the city.
    The baron Miles, the renowned,
    By main force took the city.
    Before that Dermot knew it that day
    Or Richard the good earl,
    1690] Had Miles, the strong-limbed baron,
    Actually entered into Dublin,
    Had already conquered the city,
    And put MacTorkil to flight.
    And the men of Dublin
    1695] Fled away by the sea;
    But many remained there
    Who were killed in the city.
    Much renown acquired that day
    Miles who was of such worth;
    1700] And the renowned barons
    Found much wealth:
    In the city they found


    Much treasure and other wealth.
    Thereupon there came
    1705] The king and the earl riding quickly:
    To the city they came
    The king and the earl together.
    And Miles, the renowned baron,
    To the earl gave up the city:
    1710] The city Miles gave up,
    And the earl thereupon received it.
    Much provision they found
    And good victuals in great plenty.
    The earl then abode
    1715] While he pleased in the city;
    And the king returned
    To Ferns in his own country.
    But on the festival of St. Remy,
    When August was over,
    1720] Soon after Michaelmas,
    Richard, the noble earl,
    To Miles delivered, you must know,
    The wardship of the city.
    To Waterford he set out
    1725] The earl and his ample suite.
    There the earl abode
    So long as it pleased him.
    At Ferns then tarried
    King Dermot during this winter.
    1730] The king, who was so noble,
    Lies buried at Ferns.

  92. p.129

  93. All the Irish of the country
    1735] Revolted against the earl.
    Of the Irish at this time
    There remained with him only three:
    Donnell Kavanagh, in the first place,
    Who was brother to his wife,
    1740] O'Reilly of Tirbrun,
    And thirdly Auliffe O'Garvy;
    While the Irish of Hy Kinsellagh,
    Who were with King Murtough,
    They then stirred up a great war
    1745] Against the earl of Leinster.
    And the rich king of Connaught
    Summoned to him
    The Irish of all Ireland
    In order to lay siege to Dublin.
    1750] They came on the day
    That their lord had appointed for them.
    When they were assembled
    They were sixty thousand strong.
    At Castleknock, at this time,
    1755] Was the rich king of Connaught;
    And MacDunlevy of Ulster
    Planted his standard at Clontarf;
    And O'Brien of Munster
    Was at Kilmainham with his brave men;


    1760] And Murtough, as I hear,
    Was near Dalkey with his men.
  94. The earl, you must know, at this time
    Was within the city, of a truth.
    The son of Stephen promptly sent
    1765] Some of his men to the earl:
    In order to aid and succour him
    He sent men to him at this crisis.
  95. When Robert had sent
    About thirty-six of his men
    1770] To aid the earl Richard,
    Who was the subject of such anxiety,
    The traitors without any delay
    Fell upon Robert.
    In the town of Wexford
    1775] They wrongfully slew his men:
    His men they utterly betrayed,
    Killed, cut to pieces, and brought to shame.
    Within a castle on the Slaney,
    According to what the geste here tells,
    1780] The traitors took Robert
    And put him in prison at Begerin:
    Five knights, in short,
    They imprisoned in Begerin.
    And there came Donnell Kavanagh
    1785] And the Irish of Hy Kinsellagh:
    To Dublin he came


    To the noble earl at this juncture.
    With him came O'Reilly,
    And Auliffe also.
    1790] To the earl they told all,
    How Robert was imprisoned,
    And how his men were slain,
    Discomfited, and treacherously killed.
    The earl thereupon replies:—
    1795] 'Donnell, let it not appear,
    Let it not appear, my friend,
    That our men are brought to shame.'
  96. The earl then summoned
    The the lord councillors
    1800] To come to him at once to advise
    Speedily, without delaying.
    There came Robert de Quency,

    [gap: lacuna in MS/extent: 1-2 lines]

    And Walter de Riddlesford came,
    A brave and noble warrior;
    1805] Maurice de Prendergast also
    Came, as I hear;
    And there came the good Miles,
    Under heaven there was no better baron;
    And Meiler the son of Henry,
    1810] And Miles the son of David,
    And Richard de Marreis came there,
    Noble and courteous knights;
    And Walter Bluet came there;


    Knights barons as many as twenty:
    1815] All the barons of great worth
    Came to their lord.
    When the renowned barons
    Were assembled in council,
    The earl sought counsel
    1820] Of all his kinsfolk and friends.
  97. 'My lords,' thus spake the valiant earl,
    'May God of Heaven protect us!
    You see, my lords, your enemies
    Who have now besieged you here.
    1825] We shall have hardly anything to eat
    Before the fortnight is out:
    (For the measure of corn
    Was sold for a silver mark,
    And for a measure of barley
    1830] One got at that time half a mark:)
    Wherefore, Sir Knights,
    Let us send a message to the king.'
    Then the renowned earl
    Sent a message to the king
    1835] That he would become his man
    And would hold Leinster of him.
  98. 'Come now, free-born lords,
    To the king of Connaught two vassals
    By your counsel we shall despatch,
    1840] And we shall send the archbishop,


    That I shall be willing to do fealty to him,
    And will hold Leinster of him.'
    An archbishop they sent,
    Who was afterwards called St. Laurence.
    1845] The archbishop they then sent
    And Maurice de Prendergast with him.
    To the king they accordingly announced
    The message of the earl.
  99. Thereupon the king said to them
    1850] Without taking time or respite:
    He answered to the messenger
    That he would by no means do this;
    No more than Waterford
    Dublin and Wexford alone
    1855] Would he leave to Earl Richard
    Of all Ireland as his share;
    Not a whit more would he give
    To the earl or to his followers.
    The messengers turned back
    1860] To the city of Dublin:
    The messengers returned
    Speedily without delaying.
    Aloud they tell their message
    In the hearing of all the barons:
    1865] To the earl they told completely
    The reply of the haughty king:—
    That he would not give him more land
    In the whole of Leinster,


    Except only the three cities
    1870] Which I have already named to you;
    And if this did not meet his pleasure
    They would attack the city;
    If he would not accept this offer
    The king would hear no more,
    1875] For on the morrow, so said the king,
    The English would be attacked.
  100. When the earl had heard
    What the archbishop related,
    Then the earl caused to be summoned
    1880] Miles de Cogan the light of limb:
    'Make all your men arm, barons,
    Sally forth in the foremost van;
    In the name of the Almighty Father
    In the foremost van sally forth.'
    1885] About forty horsemen
    Are with Miles before in the front,
    Sixty archers and one hundred sergeants
    Had Miles under his orders.
    And then next, Raymond le Gros
    1890] With forty companions,
    And he had one hundred fighting-men
    And three-score archers.
    And then next, the good earl
    With forty fighting-men
    1895] With one hundred hardy sergeants
    And three-score archers.
    Very well armed they were


    Horsemen, sergeants, and hired soldiers.
    When the earl had sallied forth
    1900] With his friends and his comrades,
    Miles placed himself at the head in the van
    With two hundred fighting vassals;
    And then next Raymond le Gros
    With about two hundred companions;
    1905] In the third company the noble earl
    With two hundred hardy vassals.
    Donnell Kavanagh, of a truth,
    Auliffe O'Garvy likewise,
    And O'Reilly of Tirbrun,
    1910] Of whom you have already heard,
    Were in the van with Miles,
    As the Song tells us.
    But the Irish of the district
    Knew nought of this affair:
    1915] Of the barons thus armed,
    And equipped for battle.
  101. Miles de Cogan very quickly
    By the direct road towards Finglas
    Towards their stockades thereupon
    1920] Set out at a rapid pace.
    When Miles had drawn near
    To where the Irish were encamped,
    'A Cogan!' he shouted aloud,
    'Strike, in the name of the Cross!
    1925] Strike, barons, nor delay at all,


    In the name of Jesus the son of Mary!
    Strike, noble knights,
    At your mortal enemies!'
    The renowned liege barons
    1930] At their huts and cabins
    Attacked the Irish
    And fell upon their tents;
    And the Irish unarmed
    Fled through the moors:
    1935] Throughout the country they fled away
    Like scattered cattle.
  102. Raymond le Gros also
    Oft invoked St. David,
    And went pursuing the Irish
    1940] To work his will upon them;
    And Richard the good earl
    Did so well that day,
    So well did the earl do,
    That all were astonished;
    1945] And Meiler the son of Henry,
    Who was of such renown,
    Bore himself so bravely
    That men wondered.
    A hundred and more were slain
    1950] While bathing where they were beset,
    And more than one thousand five hundred
    Of these men were slain,
    While of the English there was wounded
    Only one foot-sergeant.


    1955] The field remained that day
    With Richard, the good earl,
    And the Irish departed
    Discomfited and outdone:
    As God willed, at that time,
    1960] The field remained with our English.
    So much provision did they find,
    Corn, meal, and bacon,
    That for a year in the city
    They had victuals in abundance,
    1965] To the city with his men
    The earl went very joyfully.
  103. Earl Richard, light of limb,
    Makes preparations for his journey.
    To Wexford he resolved to go
    1970] To set free the baron.
    The baron the son of Stephen
    The traitors hold in prison:
    The traitors of Wexford hold him, in short,
    Imprisoned in Begerin.
    1975] The wardship of Dublin he gave
    To the good Miles the warrior.
    Then the earl proceeded
    Towards Wexford night and day.
    So much did the earl accomplish


    1980] By his day's marches, and so far go,
    For so many nights and so many days
    That he tame to Odrone.
    Now the Irish of the district
    Were assembled at the pass:
    1985] To meet the earl Richard
    At one side they were assembled:
    To attack the English
    Were the Irish assembled.
    The earl Richard with his men
    1990] Through the midst of the pass in safety
    Thought surely to advance,
    When an obstacle met him.
    The rebel king of Odrone,
    O'Ryan was his name,
    1995] Shouted out loudly:
    'To your destruction, Englishmen, have you come!'
    He rallied his men to him,
    And attacked the English sharply;
    And the English, of a truth,
    2000] Manfully defended themselves.
    But Meiler, the son of Henry
    Carried the prize that day:
    In the battle, knew in sooth,
    There was no better than the son of Henry.
    2005] And much renowned that day
    Was Nichol, a cowled monk;
    For with an arrow he slew that day
    The lord of Odrone:
    By an arrow, as I tell you,
    2010] Was O'Ryan slain that day.


    And Meiler, the strong-limbed baron,
    Was stunned by a blow
    Of a stone in this fight,
    So that he reeled to the ground.
    2015] But when O'Ryan was slain
    The Irish separated.
    This wood was afterwards named
    And called the earl's pass,
    Because the earl was attacked there
    2020] By his enemies.
  104. Thence the earl turned
    Towards Wexford city
    To liberate the imprisoned Robert,
    Of whom I have before told you.
    2025] But the perfidious traitors
    Would not deliver him up to the earl.
    To Begerin they fled
    And Wexford they set on fire.
    For the sea ran entirely
    2030] All around Begerin;
    Werefore the noble earl,
    Could not, i' faith, get at them.
  105. Then the earl set out
    Towards Waterford with his followers.
    2035] To the king of Limerick he sent word
    By his sealed letters


    That he should come to Ossory
    With all his baronage
    Against MacDonnchadh the king
    2040] Who held sway in Ossory.
    For the king of Limerick had
    A daughter of the rich king Dermot;
    A daughter of Dermot on the other hand
    Earl Richard had to wife;
    2045] So that they had to wife two sisters
    King O'Brien and the earl.
    He came in great force
    Into Ossory with his men.
    Earl Richard, the good earl,
    2050] Went to meet O'Brien that day
    To Idough with his brave men,
    To meet the king of Munster,
    Where there were about two thousand men
    Of the noble earl and King O'Brien.
    2055] MacDonnchadh sent a messenger
    To the earl to tell him
    That he would of his own accord come
    To the earl, to whom he would redress
    The outrage and the wrong
    2060] With which the barons had upraided him.
    To the earl he would come, in short, to parley,
    On condition that he could freely return,
    Provided that Maurice the baron
    Of Prendergast, as we tell in our song,
    2065] Should take him by the hand upon his faith.


    To safe-conduct the rich king,
    And Maurice at once
    To the earl speedily
    Went; the noble baron
    2070] Obtained from the earl peace for the king.
    The earl replied to him:—
    'Maurice, you do wrong to fear;
    Make the king come to me;
    When it shall please him he can depart.'
    2075] And Maurice, as I trow,
    From each baron individually
    Exacted an oath
    That he might bring him securely,
    And that in safety he could depart
    2080] Whenever it should please him.
    And Maurice, the vassal,
    Then mounted his horse,
    And straightway departed
    To meet the king with all speed.
    2085] To the court he then brought him
    Before the earl in safety.
  106. The earl then accused him—
    As did all the renowned barons,—
    MacDonnchadh of Ossory,
    2090] Of his great treachery:
    In what manner he had betrayed
    The good Dermot, the noble king.
    King O'Brien counsels
    The noble earl, the warrior,


    2095] That he should have the traitor seized
    And should have him consigned to infamy;
    And the barons, i'faith,
    Were all willing to consent thereto.
    And King O'Brien of Munster
    2100] Sent his men through the land:
    Made his men go everywhere
    To plunder the land,
    While MacDonnchadh was
    Before the earl and was pleading.
  107. 2105] When Maurice, the baron,
    Was warned of this treachery,
    He sent word to his men everywhere
    That they should arm themselves quickly.
    Then Maurice exclaimed:
    2110] 'Barons, what are you meditating?
    Ye have broken your oaths,
    Towards me ye are forsworn.'
    To his followers Maurice said:
    'To horse, illustrious cavaliers!'
    2115] Maurice by his sword sware
    That there was no vassal so bold
    As on the king that day
    Should lay a hand to his dishonour
    But, right or wrong,
    2120] Should have his head struck in two.
    And Richard, the valiant earl,
    To the baron Maurice thereupon


    Gave up MacDonnchadh,
    And delivered him by the hand.
    2125] Then the baron mounts horse,
    He and all his companions;
    The king they brought at length
    To the woods in safety.
    They met O'Brien's men
    2130] Who had spoiled the land,
    And Maurice then slew
    Nine or ten of these men;
    And by force and by valour
    From his lord's court
    2135] Did Maurice and his followers
    Bring the king to the wood that day.
    And Maurice de Prendergast lay
    With MacDonnchadh that night,
    But next day in the morning
    2140] Maurice returned
    To the court of his lord
    Who was of so great worth.
    The barons blamed Maurice
    For having brought the king to the wood,
    2145] In that he was the mortal enemy
    Of Richard the good and lawful earl;
    For this king by his war
    Cast out Dermot from Leinster.
    And Maurice folded his glove
    2150] And gave it to his lord as a pledge


    That he would redress in his court
    Whatever transgression he had committed.
    And the renowned English vassals
    Went sufficient security for him.
  108. 2155] When they had finished this pleading
    King O'Brien goes to Limerick.
    The earl then set out
    Straight to the city of Ferns.
    Eight days he abode there,
    2160] The noble earl and his baronage.
    Then the earl sent in all directions
    Squires, sergeants, and attendants;
    Murtough O'Brien they go to seek
    Up and down throughout the land.
    2165] So well did they seek him through the country
    That they found him, in truth, and took him.
    Straight to the city of Ferns
    They then led the rebel O'Brien
    To the earl they then delivered him,
    2170] O'Brien the convicted traitor.
    Because the rebel had betrayed
    Dermot his rightful lord,
    The earl had him beheaded
    And his body then thrown to the hounds.
    2175] The dogs wholly devoured him
    And ate up his flesh.
    And one of his sons Donnell Kavanagh


    Had taken and brought to the earl.
    At Ferns they were both put to death
    2180] In the presence of the people of that district.
    The Irish king of Hy Kinsellagh
    Then made peace with the earl;
    This was the rebel Murtough
    Who was then king of Hy Kinsellagh.
    2185] The earl then granted to him
    The kingdom of Hy Kinsellagh;
    The pleas of Leinster he entrusted
    To Donnell Kavanagh, the son of Dermot.
    These two were called kings
    2190] Of the Irish of the country.
    In Ireland there were several kings,
    As elsewhere there were earls;
    But whoever holds Meath and Leinster
    And Desmond and Munster
    2195] And Connaught and Ulster,
    Which the six brothers formerly held,
    Those who hold these are head-kings
    Of Ireland, according to the Irish.
  109. When the earl had appeased
    2200] The Irish of the country,
    Then the English king sent
    To the earl to announce
    That, without delay, without gainsaying,
    Without taking time or respite,
    2205] The earl should come speedily
    To speak to him at once.
    And the earl at this juncture


    To Miles gave the custody of Dublin:
    A city much renowned,
    2210] Which was formerly called Ath-Cliath.
    And the custody of the city of Waterford,
    Which was called Port-Lairge,
    The noble Earl Richard gave :
    To Gilbert de Boisrohard.
    2215] The earl then got ready,
    He resolved to cross over to England;
    The noble earl resolved to cross over
    To speak to King Henry:
    To King Henry Curt-Mantel,
    2220] Who was his rightful lord,
    His ships he then equipped
    To traverse the waves.
    He resolved to cross the high seas,
    He will go to speak to the English king.
    2225] So much did the earl hasten
    That he soon crossed the sea.
    In Wales he landed,
    The earl who was so much dreaded.
  110. Earl Richard at this time
    2230] At Pembroke found the rich king.
    The noble earl of great worth
    Into the presence of his lord,
    With his friends and his comrades
    Into the presence of his lord came.


    2235] The noble earl saluted him
    In the name of the Son of the King of Majesty
    And the king graciously
    Made answer to Earl Richard.
    The king thereupon replied:
    2240] 'May God Almighty bless you!'
  111. Now, as it was told to me,
    The earl was somewhat embroiled:
    The noble earl of great worth
    Was embroiled with his lord.
    2245] Through the lies of people
    And through evil instigation
    Was Richard, the noble earl,
    Somewhat embroilled with King Henry.
    Nevertheless the rich king
    2250] Towards the earl assumed a friendly manner.
    The rich king at this time
    Made no show of anger;
    But King Henry, who was the empress' son,
    Honoured him much.
    2255] Then while the warrior
    Remained with his lord,
    Lo! a rebel thereupon
    To Dublin came sailing.
    Below Dublin he landed,
    2260] Hasculf MacTorkil with a hundred ships.
    He brought many men with him:
    About twenty thousand he got ready.


    From the Isles they came and from Man;
    And from Norway came John.
    2265] A brave man, John the Wode,
    MacTorkil brought with him.
    He was nephew of the rich king
    Of Norway, according to the Irish.
    At the Steine they landed,
    2270] Hasculf and John the Wode.
    Outside Dublin city
    Were these men encamped.
    In order to attack the city
    They disembarked their men.
    2275] The good Miles armed himself,
    He and all his companions.
    The noble man resolved to defend himself
    So long as he could have defence:
    With the aid of Almighty God
    2280] He resolved to defend himself against these men.
    Then behold! a king
    Of this country, an Irishman,
    Gilmoholmock was his name,
    He was at peace with the good Miles;
    2285] With Miles he came to parley,
    To ask counsel of the baron.
    For Miles of the bold heart
    Held hostages of this king,
    That he would hold with the earl
    2290] Loyally night and day.
    The good Miles said to the king:


    'Hearken, Sire, a moment.
    I shall deliver up your hostages to you
    Safe and sound and all complete:
    2295] You shall have your hostages on condition
    That you do what I tell you,
    On condition that you aid
    Neither us nor them at all,
    But that you stand to one side of us
    2300] And watch the battle
    From the side with your men,
    So that you may see clearly
    The contest and the battle
    Between us and them, without fail.
    2305] And if God grants it to us
    That these men be discomfited,
    Then that you aid us with your force
    To overthrow them;
    And if we be recreant
    2310] That you aid their men in all things
    To cut us to pieces and slay us
    And hand our men over to destruction.'
    The king granted this to him,
    Pledged his faith and sware
    2315] That all that Miles said to him
    The king would do without any delay.
  112. Gilmoholmock thereupon
    Outside the city instantly
    Posted himself, in truth, the king


    2320] With the men of his district.
    On the summit of the Howe over the Stein,
    In a plain, outside the city,
    To watch the contest
    They were assembled:
    2325] To watch the combat
    Gilmoholmock posted himself that day;
    In an open place, of a truth,
    He posted himself with his followers.
  113. Lo! John the Wode
    2330] Towards Dublin with serrid ranks,
    Towards the city with his men,
    Against the eastern gate,
    Towards St. Mary's gate,
    They then attacked the city.
    2335] Now Miles, with the undaunted mien,
    Had a brother, a brave baron.
    Richard was his name,
    Brother he was to good Miles.
    He armed himself well,
    2340] With him about thirty horsemen.
    Through the western entrance
    They issued quite secretly,
    So that none knew of it,
    Not a single one except his brother.
    2345] And Miles marshalled his men,
    He wished to defend the city,
    The sergeants he made go in front


    To hurl their lances and shoot their arrows.
    These men close to the walls
    2350] In order to defend the battlements
    Thereupon turned,
    Both archers and sergeants.
    And Miles, who was so daring,
    With all his knights of worth
    2355] Were mounted on their horses
    With arms furnished and prepared.
    John's men with great fury
    Then fell upon the city,
    And the English of great worth
    2360] Defended themselves well that day.
    And Richard came
    Before that they were perceived,
    Upon the guard that was behind;
    Loudly he shouted.
    2365] Richard thereupon shouts:
    'Strike, valiant knights!'
    And the barons with great force
    Threw themselves into the throng.
    Very great was the contest
    2370] And the hue and cry.
    And John then scented
    The noise of those behind and the shouting;
    From the city he departed,
    He wished to succour his friends
    2375] Who were left behind,


    Nine or ten thousand, I know not which.
    They departed from the city,
    This John and his followers,
    To succour their men behind
    2380] That they should not be outdone.
    And Miles, the renowned,
    Made a sortie from the city:
    Made a sortie with his men,
    With about three hundred armed vassals
    2385] Besides all his other followers,
    Archers, sergeants and foot-soldiers.
    Before Miles made his sortie
    Five hundred were laid low;
    And these five hundred were wounded
    2390] So that they shall never be healed.
  114. When Miles came up
    And the strong-limbed English vassals,
    Miles then shouted out:
    'Strike, renowned barons!
    2395] Strike, vassals, speedily,
    Spare not these men!'
  115. When Miles was on the field,
    He and all his companions,
    Very much emboldened were
    2400] The hardy English vassals:
    As God Almighty willed it,
    By his power which is so great,
    According to the statement of the history,


    To the English he gave the victory.
    2405] But of the English on that day
    Was Richard the flower of all.
    A very severe punishment there was
    Of these men near the sea.
    Thereupon they fled,
    2410] Both small and great,
    From this great hue that they had brought on,
    Hasculf and John the Wode.
  116. When Gilmoholmock, you must know, the king
    Saw the Northmen take to flight,
    2415] Both those from the Isles and those from Man,
    The followers of Hasculf and of John,
    And the king perceived for certain
    That they were discomfited,
    To his feet the king leaped,
    2420] And with a loud voice shouted:
    'Up now, brave sirs!
    Let us aid the free-born English
    Up now, quickly! we shall aid
    Good Richard and Miles.'
    2425] And the Irish thereupon
    Went in all directions slaying:
    Slaying they went in all directions
    With their javelins and their darts
    These men who had come
    2430] With Hasculf, the old hoary-head.
    And these went away discomfited


    To the woods and moors and wastes.
    Why should I say more?
    Fifteen hundred to their destruction
    2435] Were left on that day,
    Dead and miserably hacked.
    Indeed, some people say
    Two thousand brave warriors
    Were, in truth, left that day
    2440] Who were previously slain on the battle-field.
  117. Now this John the Wode
    Was a very renowned warrior;
    For this John in the contest
    With a well-tempered axe
    2445] Struck a knight that day
    Whose thigh he chopped off:
    With his axe of hard iron
    He chopped the thigh off to the ground.
    He slew that day about
    2450] Nine or ten of our English.
    But the good Miles de Cogan
    Killed the aforesaid John.
    And Richard that day, without fail,
    Took Hasculf prisoner in the battle.
    2455] And the fields and the wastes
    Were covered with the slain.
    Know all for certain, without fail,
    There was in the battle that day


    Great destruction, in short,
    2460] And ruin at the hands of the English.
  118. A goodly treasure the English gained
    Of silver and gold;
    And Miles and his followers
    Returned to Dublin.
    2465] When they came to the city
    They then beheaded Hasculf;
    On account of his outrageous conduct
    They rightfully beheaded him:
    On account of his insolence and mad sayings,
    2470] After Richard had taken him prisoner,
    They speedily beheaded him,
    In the presence of the sea-folk.
    The Northmen fled away
    Over mountain and plain;
    2475] To the ships they turned their skiffs,
    They fully thought to cross the sea;
    But the English are behind them
    To dispute their ships with them.
    If you had been there on that day,
    2480] Of the men of Hasculf the traitor
    You would have seen five hundred plunge
    Into the depths of the sea.
    Thus, of a truth, were
    The sea-folk discomfited.
    2485] The English by the aid of God
    Had that day won the field.
    Their enemies were scattered,


    Killed, wounded, and discomfited.
    To their country, of a truth,
    2490] Of these Northmen
    There returned only two thousand
    To claim their rights.
    Here we shall leave the story
    Of the good Richard and of Miles;
    2495] Of the English king we shall tell you,
    Of Henry with the stern aspect.
  119. As soon as the king came to the sea
    At Pembrokeshire, in order to cross over,
    Lo! then at the harbour
    2500] Twelve traitors from Wexford
    Came to land in a boat
    At Pembroke close under the castle.
    As soon as they had landed,
    Towards the castle they turned;
    2505] The caitiffs wanted to speak
    To king Henry Curt-Mantel.
    So far did the traitors go
    That they entered the palace
    Into the presence of King Henry,
    2510] Who was the son of the empress,
    And they saluted him aloud
    In the name of God the Father Almighty.
    The rich king straightway
    Replied to them graciously,
    2515] That they were welcome,
    His well wishers and his friends.

  120. p.185

  121. 'Hold it not, lord, as folly,'
    Thus spake the traitors unto him,
    'If we shall say to you—be it known to you all—
    2520] Why we have come to you.
    We have taken your rebellious vassal,
    Robert Fitz Stephen is his name,
    Who was guilty of perfidy towards you of yore,
    Often of great evil and treachery;
    2525] Many times has he waged war against you.
    In Wales and in England;
    To Ireland he came with a ship,
    He wished to hand us over to destruction,
    He wished to destroy our country,
    2530] Often did he put us from bad to worse.
    In a castle we took him,
    In a strong prison we have placed him;
    To thee we shall give him up, noble king,
    Who art lord of the English,
    2535] And do you, noble renowned king,
    Do your pleasure in this matter.'
    The king replied to them:
    'On this condition be ye welcome,
    That you hand over this man to me
    2540] And then ye will see what I shall do with him.'
    And they assured the king
    And promised truly and swore
    That, as soon as they had crossed the sea,
    To king Henry, who was so stern,


    2545] They would at length hand over Robert
    And all the other knights
    As many as they had in prison
    And in their possession.
  122. Now, my lords, I will tell you
    2550] Why the king, who was so well-bred,
    Showed such great wrath
    Against the renowned baron Robert;
    For, of a truth, the king,
    To whom England belongs,
    2555] Loved the baron much
    Whom these men held in prison;
    Wherefore the king feared
    That the perfidious traitors
    Would murder the good Robert
    2560] Or bring him to shame and dishonour;
    Wherefore the king made pretence
    Of anger and of great wrath
    That he had for the baron,
    For fear of the treachery
    2565] Which these knaves might do
    Against Robert, the warrior.
  123. The king accordingly thanked
    The traitors for their loyalty,
    In that they had taken his enemy
    2570] And put him in gyves and fetters,


    And in that they had promised him
    To deliver up Robert to him.
    Then the traitors took
    Their leave of King Henry
    2575] And went away to their hostel
    The chief one in the city.
    There they waited for the wind,
    The king and they in the same way.
  124. Hear, my lords, concerning King Henry,
    2580] Who was the son of the empress,
    How he resolved to cross the sea
    And to conquer Ireland
    Entirely through the recommendation
    Of the noble earl, according to the people.
    2585] King Henry then crossed over
    To Ireland with his ships.
    The king then brought with him
    Four hundred armed knights.
    King Henry when he took ship
    2590] Put to sea at the Cross:
    At Pembrokeshire at this time
    The rich king put to sea.
    With him the noble earl crossed over,
    According to the statement of the old people.
    2595] At Waterford the noble king
    Landed with four thousand English,
    On All Hallows' Day, of a truth,
    If the geste does not deceive us;


    Before the feast of St. Martin
    2600] The king at length came to Ireland.
    With the king there crossed over
    Vassals of good kindred.
    William the son of Audeline
    Came with him on this occasion,
  125. 2605] Also Humphrey de Bohun,
    And the baron Hugh de Lacy.
    With the king himself there came
    The son of Bernard, Robert, I trow;
    A renowned baron came,
    2610] Bertram de Verdun he was called;
    Earls and barons of great worth
    Came in numbers with Henry.
  126. The earl of his own free will
    Surrendered the city to the king:
    2615] To the king he surrendered Waterford
    Of his own will and agreement.
    Homage for Leinster
    He did to the king of England:
    The earl of great worth
    2620] Did homage to his lord.
    The rich king granted to him
    Leinster in fee.
    King Henry, the gallant,
    To the Baron Robert the son of Bernard—
    2625] The custody of the city of Waterford
    He then gave to the son of Bernard.

  127. p.193

  128. When the king had landed
    At Waterford in safety,
    Lo! the traitors,
    2630] Who were lords of Wexford,
    Brought the son of Stephen
    Into his presence in chains.
    In the city of Waterford
    To the king himself they delivered him up.
    2635] The king received the body
    In the presence of his barons and earls.
    There the noble king accused him
    Of whatever transgression he had done
    Towards him, who was his lord,
    2640] In the presence of the traitors.
    The son of Stephen folded his glove,
    And straightway offered it to the king:
    For whatever he should be able to accuse him of
    Robert would be willing to give redress
    2645] In his court very willingly
    On the guaranty of all his peers.
    French, Flemmings and Normans
    Went sufficient bail for him at once.
    From Waterford King Henry
    2650] Set out with his marquises,
    To Dublin with his men
    He went without delay.
    Richard, the noble and valiant earl,
    Straightway surrendered the city to him.


    2655] Dublin King Henry gave
    To the custody of Hugh de Lacy,
    And he afterwards guarded the city
    By the command of the king.
    And the king of England
    2660] Thence turned towards Munster,
    To the city of Cashel
    Went the king with his splendid following,
    Where at that time was the seat
    Of the archbishopric of Munster.
    2665] From Cashel the puissant king
    Went on to Lismore.
    King Henry Curt Mantel
    At Lismore wished to fortify
    A castle: so wished King Henry,
    2670] Who was the empress' son.
    I know not why, but nevertheless
    At this time he put it off.
  129. Towards Leinster the English king
    Set out at this time:
    2675] Towards Leinster, the rich,
    He went with his chivalry.
    Eighteen weeks, nor more nor less,
    According to what the old people say,
    The duke of Normandy remained
    2680] In Ireland with his baronage.


    Of Normandy at this time
    The rich king was duke;
    Of Gascony and of Brittany
    Of Poitou, of Anjou, and of Maine,
    2685] Was King Henry called
    Lord, according to the old people.
    In Ireland was the king
    About a fortnight and four months.
    In the land up and down
    2690] Marched the noble king.
    Victuals were very dear
    Throughout all Leinster,
    For no provisions came to them
    From any other region.
    2695] At Dublin was King Henry,
    And at Kildare the noble earl.
    There the earl abode
    With as many men as he had.
    While the renowned king
    2700] Was in the city of Dublin,
    Lo! a messenger in haste
    Came in haste from England.
    Lo! a messenger
    Came to announce to the king
    2705] That Henry, his eldest son,
    Had in truth revolted against him,
    And that he sought to deprive him wholly
    Of the lordship of Normandy.

  130. p.199

  131. Then the king summoned
    2710] Hugh de Lacy, first of all,
    And his earls and his vassals
    And his free-born barons.
    The rich king then gave
    The custody of the city of Dublin
    2715] And of the castle and the keep
    To the baron Hugh de Lacy,
    And Waterford, on the other hand,
    To the baron Robert the son of Bernard.
    The son of Stephen at this juncture
    2720] Was left at Dublin,
    And Meiler the son of Henry
    And Miles the son of David;
    With Hugh these were left
    By the command of King Henry.
  132. 2725] Before that, at this juncture,
    The king left Dublin,
    To Hugh de Lacy he granted
    All Meath in fee
    Meath the warrior granted
    2730] For fifty knights
    Whose service the baron should let him have
    Whenever he should have need of it.
    To one John he granted Ulster,
    If he could conquer it by force;
    2735] John de Courcy was his name,
    Who afterwards suffered many a trouble there.
    Then the king went away to the port,


    Towards the city of Wexford;
    He made all the master mariners
    2740] Get ready his ships.
    But Richard the renowned earl
    Went to the city of Ferns.
    There he married his daughter;
    To Robert de Quency he gave her.
    2745] There the marriage took place
    In the presence of all the baronage.
    To Robert de Quency he gave her,
    And all the Duffry also,
    The constableship of Leinster,
    2750] And the standard and the banner.
    Here I shall leave off about the earl
    And return to my subject;
    I would wish, my lords,—know in sooth—
    To speak of the rich King Henry.
  133. 2755] The king tarried by the sea
    At Wexford in order to cross over.
    The noble king then crossed over
    And landed at Porth'stinian.
    With him crossed over the good Milo
    2760] And many a vassal and many a baron.
    At half a league from St. Davids
    King Henry landed;
    And the king towards Normandy
    Went with his great nobles
    2765] In order to make war against a son of his


    Who wished to despoil him.
    War had the rich king
    With the French in Normandy.
    In Ireland remained
    2270] The noble earl with his friends.
    At Kildare he stayed
    With all the forces he had.
    Often he entered Offaly
    2775] In order to plunder O'Dempsey.
    O'Dempsey was then called
    Lord and defender of Offaly.
  134. The earl entered Offaly
    With all his chivalry
    In order to spoil and plunder
    2780] O'Dempsey, who was so bold,
    In that he did not deign to parley with the earl,
    Nor would deliver hostages to him.
    O'Dempsey then, i'faith,
    Would not make peace with the earl.
    2785] O'Dempsey with his men
    Very bravely, of a truth,
    Contended against the earl,
    To whom Leinster belongs.
  135. When the earl with his followers
    2790] Had entered Offaly,
    He then plundered the territory
    And sought for cattle in wood and plain.


    When he had collected
    The spoil from all the district,
    2795] To Kildare returned
    The renowned English barons.
    The earl was ahead in front
    With a thousand fighting men;
    The constable remained behind
    2800] With the rear-guard.
    Right at the exit from the pass
    He fell upon them very quickly,
    O'Dempsey fell upon them,
    And the Irish of Offaly.
    2805] All the Irish of the district
    Attacked the rear-guard.
    That day, in short, was slain
    The noble Robert de Quency,
    Who held the standard and the pennon
    2810] Of the region of Leinster,
    And to whom the earl had given
    The constableship in heritage.
    Greatly was he regretted, know in sooth,
    The baron Robert de Quency,
    2815] And in very great grief
    For his death was his good lord.
  136. When this Robert was slain
    They buried him honourably.
    Robert, who was so noble,
    2820] Had indeed a daughter


    By his wife, of a truth,
    According to the old people;
    And she was afterwards given to a baron,
    Philip de Prendergast was his name,
    2825] The son of Maurice of Ossory,
    Who afterwards lived in Hy Kinsellagh.
    Concerning this Philip I shall leave off,
    Of the noble earl I wish to speak,
    And of a brave knight,
    2830] Raymond le Gros I heard him called,—
    How this baron of great worth
    Besought the earl for his sister,
    That he should give her to him to wife
    And as his friend and consort
    2835] With all the constableship
    Of Leinster, the rich,
    Until the infant should be of an age
    To be able to hold her inheritance,
    The daughter of Robert de Quency,
    2840] Of whom you have already heard,
    Or until she should be given
    And married to some man
    Who could direct the banner
    And the standard of Leinster.
  137. 2845] The noble earl replied
    That he was not advised
    To grant the petition
    Which the baron had made of him.


    Then Raymond departed
    2850] He and all his companions;
    He took leave of the earl
    Very suddenly in evil humour;
    To Wales, in short, he then crossed over
    Through the anger that he felt
    2855] For the earl, in that he had refused
    The request he had made.
    Thus in such manner
    Raymond departed from the country.
    He crossed over the sea to Wales,
    2860] To Carew Castle he went to dwell.
    Concerning Raymond le Gros I shall here leave off
    About the English king I shall tell you,
    How he sent by messenger—

    [gap: extent: probably one line]

    He announced to the earl
    2865] In Ireland by messenger
    That he should come to his aid
    Speedily in Normandy,
    For he was in great perplexity
    To govern his territory
    2870] And to protect his country
    Against the young king his son.
    And the earl of great worth,
    In order to aid his lord
    Crossed the sea to Normandy
    2875] And brought a number of knights.


    In Ireland he left
    Knights serjeants and foot soldiers
    In order to conquer the land,
    So that the light-footed people of that country,
    2880] Who were all his enemies,
    Should not be able to annoy him.
  138. When the noble earl
    Had come into the presence
    Of King Henry Curt-Mantel
    2885] Very joyful was the king.
    Then the king delivered to him
    The city of Gisors in custody;
    And the earl with great courtesy
    Replied to his lord
    2890] That willingly, i'faith,
    As long as it should be his pleasure—
    He would, in fact, guard the city
    As long as the noble king should please.
    Such good service did the earl perform
    2895] For his lord, King Henry,
    That the king, without pretence,
    Was well pleased with his service.
  139. The rich king, at his request
    To return to Ireland,
    2900] Gave leave to the warrior
    To return to Ireland.


    The king, quit-claimed Wexford
    To the earl at this time;
    He gave him the custody of the coast
    2905] Both Waterford and Dublin.
    Then the king caused to be summoned
    All the noble knights,
    As many as he had at Waterford,
    At Dublin and at Wexford,
    2910] To come to him
    Speedily at his command.
    The noble earl, know in sooth,
    In such manner departed;
    Then he put to sea
    2915] And towards Ireland sails:
    The noble earl, the warrior,
    Sails over the high sea.
    By sea he ran
    Until he came to Dublin.
    2920] Then earl Richard sent word
    To the baron Robert the son of Bernard,
    And to all the liege barons
    Who acknowledged themselves the king's men
    Of the city of Waterford,
    2925] To knights, barons, and followers,
    And to each baron separately,
    That by the king's command
    All should cross the sea
    To aid the king in Normandy.
    2930] And the earl again
    Sent to Wexford by letter,


    Sent word to the barons similarly
    On the part of the king Curt-Mantel,
    That they should cross over without delay
    2935] To succour the king in Normandy.
    The son of Stephen also
    Crossed the sea to King Henry,
    And Maurice of Ossory,
    Who afterwards lived in Hy Kinsellagh.
    2940] And Hugh de Lacy, who was so bold,
    In order to plant his lands,
    Set out to Meath
    With many a renowned vassal.
    Of this Hugh I will say no more,
    2945] Of the liege barons I will give you an account.
  140. When the barons had crossed over
    Straight to Druidston Chins,
    Towards London they turned direct
    With all their men.
    2950] At this time there was, you must know, a great war
    Throughout all England;
    For the rich king of Scotland
    Was at war with the English king,
    And the earl of Leicester then,
    2955] According to the statement of the old people,
    Had revolted against his lord
    And had brought over Flemings.


    He thought by their war
    To ravage all England,
    2960] While the son of the Empress
    Warred against his son in Normandy.
    Now the vassals and barons
    Of the region of England
    Encountered the Flemings
    2965] At the city of St. Edmunds.
    There they were discomfited
    And the earl of Leicester taken.
    They were discomfited in this manner
    By the aid of Leinster,
    2970] And by the might of the Irish
    The field remained with the English.
    And in his turn within that month
    The king was taken and conquered.
    And the barons of Ireland,
    2975] Who were in this brawl,
    All passed over to Normandy
    And told the news to the king,
    How the Flemings were slain
    And the king of Scotland taken.
  141. 2980] 'Ha!' said the king, 'Praise thee, God,
    Who art Father and Creator,
    For having done me this favour
    That my traitors are taken!'
  142. Hear, my lords, valiant barons,
    2985] May God of Heaven protect you!
    Concerning the English king I shall leave off,


    Who was so very noble and brave,
    Of the noble earl I will speak
    And of his reverses treat:
    2990] How the noble earl
    Throughout Ireland up and down
    Marched, you must know, with his bold men,
    Throughout all Leinster.

    [gap: lacuna in MS/extent: unknown]

    Then the earl dispatched
    2995] A certain interpreter of his,
    To Raymond le Gros he sent word
    That he should come at once to parley with him,
    That the noble earl
    Would give him his sister to wife.
    3000] Then Raymond equipped himself,
    With many a brave vassal.
    At Wexford they landed,
    According to the history, with three ships.
  143. Then Raymond to Gros sent
    3005] To the earl by a lad,
    Who told him all the facts:
    How Raymond had landed,
    And that the earl should speedily
    Declare his will to the baron.
    3010] The noble earl at this time


    Was at the city of Waterford;
    To Raymond he sent word
    That he would do all his will;
    He sent back word also
    3015] That to the Isle of Inis-Teimhne
    To meet him in parley
    Raymond should come with his men.
    Accordingly Raymond got ready,
    He and all his companions,
    3020] To the isle he went
    As the earl had directed;
    And the earl also
    Came there with a very fine suite.
  144. The noble earl of great worth
    3025] Brought there his sister then.
    There they held a parley,
    The earl and the strong-limbed baron,
    About marrying his sister;
    To Raymond le Gros he will give her.
    3030] Thence they set out straightway
    To Wexford fighting their way.
    There the earl brought his sister,
    To Raymond le Gros he then gave her,
    Together with the standard and the banner
    3035] Of all Leinster,
    Until the infant should be of age
    To be able to hold her inheritance,
    The daughter of Robert de Quency
    Of whom you have already heard.

  145. p.223

  146. 3040] But afterwards a vassal took her,
    Philip, a free-born baron,
    De Prendergast he was called,
    An illustrious liege baron.
    This man was such, know ye all,
    3045] That in the morning he was peevish and irritable,
    But after eating, generous and good tempered,
    Courteous and liberal to all.
    As soon as he had put on his cloak
    He was every day swoln with anger;
    3050] But once he had dined in the morning
    Then was not a merrier soul under heaven.
    This man for a long time
    Held the constableship, according to the people,
    Very renowned he was,
    3055] And loved by everybody,
    Very courageous too he was,
    And of very great prowess.
    Concerning him I will not here relate,
    To my subject I will return.
    3060] I will tell you my lords of a noble baron,
    Of Raymond le Gros I wish to speak,
    How the warrior earl
    Gave him his sister to wife,
    The Forth the earl gave him
    3065] In marriage with his sister;
    Afterwards he gave him, you must know,
    All Odrone in fee,


    And Glascarrig also
    On the sea towards the east.
    3070] He gave Obarthy on the sea,
    To Hervey de Mont Maurice.
    To Maurice de Prendergast
    The valiant earl Richard
    Had already given Fernegenal
    3075] And in his council confirmed it
    Before the renowned earl
    Had landed in Ireland;
    Ten fiefs he gave him on this condition
    For the service of ten knights.
    3080] In Fernegenal he dwelt altogether
    So that Maurice had him for next neighbour.
    I know not how but Robert Fitz Godibert
    Held it afterwards, you must know.
    Carbury he gave to the good Meiler
    3085] Who was such a noble lord.
    The earl Richard next gave
    To Maurice the son of Gerald—
    The Naas the good earl gave
    To the son of Gerald with all the honour:
    3090] This is the land of Offelan
    Which belonged to the traitor MacKelan.
    He gave him too Wicklow,
    Between Bray and Arklow:
    This was the land of Killmantain
    3095] Between Ath-cliath and Loch Garman
    Twenty fiefs in Omurethy
    The noble earl in the same way


    Gave to the warrior
    Walter de Riddlesford;
    3100] To John de Clahull the marshalship
    Of Leinster, the rich,
    With all the land, know in sooth,
    Between Oboy and Leighlin;
    To Robert de Birmingham
    3105] Offaly to the west of Offelan.
    To Adam de Hereford likewise
    He gave a rich fief.
    And to Miles the son of David,
    Who was so intimate with him,
    3110] Owerk in Ossory
    He gave him as his share.
    To Thomas the Fleming he gave
    Ardrie, in the presence of his baronage.
    Offelimy on the sea
    3115] The earl gave to a knight:
    To Gilbert de Boisrohard
    The earl gave it as his share.
    The noble earl, who was so bold,
    Gave fifteen fiefs on the sea
    3120] To a brave knight,
    Reinaud I heard him called.
    The Earl Richard the son of Gilbert
    Gave Narragh to one Robert.
    Who was afterwards indeed killed
    3125] In Connaught by his enemies.
    In such manner the renowned earl


    Divided and gave his land.
    Concerning the noble earl I shall here leave off,
    Of Hugh de Lacy I shall tell you,
    3130] How he enfeoffed his barons,
    Knights, serjeants, and retainers.
  147. Castle Knock, in the first place, he gave
    To Hugh Tyrrell, whom he loved so much;
    And Castle Brack, according to the writing,
    3135] To baron William le Petit,
    Magheradernon likewise
    And the land of Rathkenny;
    The cantred of Ardnorcher then
    To Meiler, who was of great worth,
    3140] Gave Hugh de Lacy—
    To the good Meiler Fitz Henry;
    To Gilbert de Nangle, moreover,
    He gave the whole of Morgallion;
    To Jocelin he gave the Navan,
    3145] And the land of Ardbraccan,
    (The one was son, the other father,
    According to the statement of the mother);
    To Richard Tuite likewise
    He gave a rich fief;
    3150] Rathwire he gave moreover
    To the baron Robert de Lacy;
    To Richard de la Chapelle
    He gave good and fine land;
    To Geoffrey de Constantine Kilbixi (?)


    3155] Near to Rathconarty;
    And Skreen he then gave by charter:
    To Adam de Phepoe he gave it;
    To Gilbert de Nugent,
    And likewise to William de Musset,
    3160] He gave lands and honours,
    In the presence of barons and vavassours;
    And to the baron Hugh de Hussey
    He then gave fair lands;
    To Adam Dullard likewise
    3165] The land of 'Rathenuarthi'.
    To one Thomas de Craville
    He gave in heritage
    Emlagh Beccon in quiet enjoyment,
    At the north east of Kells,
    3170] Laraghcalyn likewise,
    And Shanonagh, according to the people,
    Gave Hugh de Lacy,
    Know in sooth, to this Thomas.
    Crandone (?) then to a baron,
    3175] Richard the Fleming was his name—
    Twenty fiefs he gave him of a truth,
    If the geste does not deceive you.
    A fortress this man erected
    In order to harass his enemies,
    3180] Knights and a goodly force he kept there
    Archers, serjeants, likewise.
    In order to destroy his enemies;
    Often he brought them from bad to worse.
    But afterwards there came against him O'Carroll,


    3185] Who was king of Uriel,
    And the rebel MacDunlevy
    Of the region of Ulster;
    O'Rourke was there, also,
    And the king Melaghlin.
    3190] Full twenty thousand at this time
    Of the Irish came upon them.
    Very fiercely they attacked them,
    And the barons defended themselves
    So long as they could have
    3195] Defence in the fortress;
    But the Irish from all sides
    Hurled their javelins and their darts.
    The fortress indeed they destroyed
    And slew the garrison within;
    3200] But many were previously slain
    Of the Irish of the northern districts.
    In such manner, know ye all,
    Was the country planted
    With castles and with cities,
    3205] With keeps and with strongholds.
    Thus well rooted were
    The noble renowned vassals.
    And the earl had already conquered
    His enemies of Leinster:
    3210] For he had with him Murtough,
    And next Donnell Kavanagh,
    Mac Donachadh and Mac Dalwy,


    O'More and O'Dempsey,
    O'Duvegan the hoary old man,
    3215] Likewise O'Brien of the Duffry,
    Gilmoholmock and MacKelan,
    And O'Lorcan of Obarthy;
    And all the hostages of renown,
    The noblest of Leinster,
    3220] The earl, you must know, had with him,
    According to the ancient custom.
    Then Hugh de Lacy
    Fortified a house at Trim,
    And threw a trench around it,
    3225] And then enclosed it with a stockade.
    Within the house he then placed
    Brave knights of great worth;
    Then he entrusted the castle
    To the wardenship of Hugh Tyrrel;
    3230] To the harbour he went in order to cross
    The high seas to England.
    But when the king of Connaught heard it—
    He who was king at this epoch—
    That Hugh had fortified a castle,
    3235] He was enraged at the tidings;
    His host he summoned to him,
    He will go to attack the castle.
  148. All at once O'Connor,
    The proud king of Connaught,
    3240] Led with him O'Flaherty,


    Mac Dermot and Mac Geraghty,
    O'Kelly, king of Hy Many,
    O'Hart (?) and O'Finaghty,(?)
    O'Carbery and O'Flannagan,
    3245] And then next O'Monaghan,
    O'Dowd and O'Monaghan,
    O'Shaughnessy of 'Poltilethban';
    King Melaghlin went also,
    And his neighbour king O'Rourke,
    3250] O'Malory (?) of the Kinel O'Neill,
    And likewise Mac Dunlevy;
    King O'Carroll went also,
    And Mac Tierney(?), who was so base,
    Mac Scelling and Mac Artan,
    3255] And the rebel Mac Garaghan;
    Mackelan likewise
    Went with all his men;
    O'Neill, the king of the Kinel Owen,
    Brought with him three thousand Irish.
    3260] The Northerners were assembled,
    And all the kings of Leath-Cuinn,
    Towards Trim they set out marching
    To demolish the castle.
    And the baron Hugh Tyrrell
    3265] Sent to the earl
    A page at full speed
    On a very swift horse,
    And he told the earl
    All the tidings by word of mouth:


    3270] How the Northerners were assembled
    And all the kings of Leath-Cuinn
    To throw down the keep
    The castle and the stockade.
    'Through me the baron sends you word—
    3275] Old Hugh Tyrrell of Trim—
    That you aid him in every way,
    And succour him with your force.'
    And the earl promised him
    By word of mouth that he would aid him.
  149. 3280] He caused all his men to be summoned
    Throughout Leinster speedily.
    When they were all assembled,
    Old and young, ruddy and fair,
    Towards Trim they resolved to march
    3285] To encounter the Northerners.
    But before the noble earl
    Arrived with his men,
    Hugh had of a truth
    Utterly abandoned his charge,
    3290] Because he was not in sufficient force
    Within the castle nor without
    To offer fight or combat
    Without the help of the earl.
    When the English were gone
    3295] And had abandoned their house,
    The Irish arrived at Trim.
    Their numbers I shall by no means tell,
    How many they were nor what thousands,


    For I should be thought to be lying.
    3300] The rampart they threw completely down
    And levelled it even with the ground,
    But first of all they put
    The house to flames.
  150. When they had accomplished their work
    3305] They retreated altogether:
    They made a show of returning
    To their country, the wicked tyrants.
    And the earl, who was so bold,
    To Trim resolved to hasten
    3310] To protect the house,
    If he could arrive in time.
    To Trim the earl went with all speed
    And with him many a valiant vassal.
    But when the earl had arrived,
    3315] By the river he then alighted;
    For he found there standing
    Neither house nor cabin, big or little,
    Within which he could take his ease
    And lodge for that night.
  151. 3320] Then the earl made proclamation
    And commanded throughout the host,
    That all should straightway mount.
    Then he threw himself on his horse
    And set off on the straight road
    3325] Pursuing at a great pace.


    So much did the earl exert himself
    That he came up with the rear;
    He charged them speedily
    Without any pause;
    3330] And the Irish who had no armour
    Then scattered themselves
    By sevens and eights, by threes and fours,
    So that they did not hold together.
    And the earl then slew
    3335] Of these men seven score and ten.
    Then, you must know, he made a retreat
    To Dublin with great confidence,
    And Hugh Tyrrell went to Trim
    And re-fortified his fortress;
    3340] After that he guarded it with great honour
    Until the arrival of his lord.
    And the earl throughout Leinster
    Went marching back and forwards,
    Until he resolved
    3345] That he would at length march
    Against King Donnell O'Brien
    With the advice of his English.
    His host he summons, all at once,
    The strongest of Leinster,
    3350] That all should be in attendance,
    Old and young, small and great.
    At the banner and the pennon
    Of the constable Raymond le Gros.

  152. p.245

  153. My lords, may God befriend you!
    3355] Knights, serjeants, and attendants,
    I will tell you of a knight,
    Raymond le Gros I heard him called,
    A valiant baron he was,
    A vassal daring and victorious,
    3360] Very rich and powerful he was,
    And the most puissant of his peers.
    Constable is Raymond
    Of the province of Leinster.
    Knights he retained and a goodly force
    3365] By the earl's command,
    Knights he had and common soldiers,
    Archers, serjeants, and fighting-men,
    To put to shame and outlawry
    The Irish enemies of the king.
  154. 3370] Hearken, my lords and worthy folk,
    If ye would hear now plainly:
    Of a knight I will tell you,
    A baron, a noble warrior,
    Of the constable Raymond le Gros,
    3375] How he summons his host from all quarters
    Up and down throughout the land,
    Through Meath and through Leinster,
    All the esquirehood
    Well armed and well equipped,
    3380] Knights, serjeants, and common soldiers,
    With army equipped and ready;


    To meet Raymond in Ossory
    The baronage should come,
    And he will have them guided forward
    3385] Against King O'Brien, who was so bold.
    The Irish king of Ossory
    Will go in their company,
    And he will truly lead the host, so he said,
    And guide it against King O'Brien,
    3390] As far as the city of Limerick
    He will guide it in safety.
    Why should I go on telling you more,
    Either more or less, little or much?
    When the host had assembled,
    3395] Towards Munster they then turned;
    And the king of Ossory
    Guides them forward in the van:
    Towards Munster he guided them,
    Against King O'Brien he brought this host.
  155. 3400] But Raymond, according to the people,
    Did not trust him entirely
    Before that he had assured him,
    Pledged his faith and sworn,
    That he would never commit any deceit
    3405] Nor treason nor treachery of any kind
    Against him or his men henceforward.
    And the king at once
    Said to him then in the presence of all:


    'You will be wrong to doubt it;
    3410] Nay, I will guide you quite right,
    And I shall pledge you my word.'
  156. When the king had said this,
    They march forward, without gainsaying,
    They march all night and the next day,
    3415] Now in woods, now in the open,
    Until they came to a renowned city
    Which was named Limerick.
    This city was surrounded
    By a river, a wall, and a dyke,
    3420] So that no man could pass over
    Without a ship or a bridge,
    Neither in winter nor in summer,
    Except by a difficult ford.
    There passed over first that day
    3425] The baron Meiler the son of Henry.
    Wherefore it was well said:
    'We shall call it Meiler's ford';
    For when the host of Leinster
    Came to Limerick in this way,
    3430] To the river they came
    So that they were going to return without more;
    When a knight of St. David's
    Who was brought up in this land,
    Meiler the son of Henry was his name,
    3435] With a loud voice raises a cry:
    The son of Henry, the baron Meiler,
    Began to call aloud:


    To the front he went shouting,
    'Pass over, knights: why do ye tarry?'
    3440] Into the river he straightway threw himself,
    And his white horse bears him across.
    When the knight had crossed over
    'St. David!' he shouted loud and clear.
    For he was his lord
    3445] Under the Lord God the Creator.
    And the knight with great affection
    Invoked St. David night and day,
    That he might aid him
    In doing deeds of valour;
    3450] That he should give him strength, and praise, and renown
    Against all his enemies.
    Often he invoked St. David,
    That he should not leave him in forgetfulness,
    But give him might and vigour
    3455] In the midst of his enemies that day.
  157. After him there crossed over
    Many barons and knights well armed.
    Before they had all crossed over
    Many were drowned that day.

    [gap: text breaks off imperfect/extent: unknown]