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Finn and Grainne

Author: Unknown

File Description

Kuno Meyer

translated by Kuno MeyerElectronic edition compiled by Ruth Murphy

Funded by University College, Cork

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 1070 words


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Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: T303008

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    Manuscript of the Irish text
  1. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy MS 535, olim 23 P 2 olim Book of Lecan, ff. 181a, 2. This vellum MS was complied for Giolla Iosa Mór Mhic Fhir Bhisigh before his death in A.D. 1418. Digital images of the Book of Lecan can be viewed on the website of the ISOS Project (
    Related subject matter
  1. Sir W. Wilde, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. 7, pp. 184–191. [An Irish poem on the same subject.]
  2. Reliquiae Celticae I, pp. 72–75. [A Gaelic poem on the same subject.]
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Kuno Meyer, Finn and Grainne in Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie. volume 1, Halle/Saale, Max Niemeyer (1897) page 460–461


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CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The present electronic text covers Kuno Meyer's translation on pp. 460–61.

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Text has been proof-read twice.


The electronic text represents the edited text.


Direct speech is marked q.


Soft hyphens are silently removed. When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, this break is marked after completion of the hyphenated word.


div0=the whole text. Paragraphs are marked p.


Names are not tagged, nor are terms for cultural and social roles.

Profile Description

Created: By Kuno Meyer (c.1896)

Use of language

Language: [EN] The translation is in English.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: T303008

Finn and Grainne: Author: Unknown


Finn, the descendant of Baiscne, went to woo Grainne, the daughter of Cormac, the grandson of Conn. But she said that she would not sleep with Finn, unless the bridal gift were brought to her which she would demand of him; for an impossible(?) condition she wished to demand of him, that she might not be united with him. But Finn said that he would bring what she would ask of him, whether it were near or far. Said the maiden, she would not take any other gift from him, but a couple of every wild animal that was in Ireland to be brought in one drove, until they were on the rampart of Tara, and she vowed that he and she would not unite, unless that drove were brought. ‘I shall go and bring it’, said Finn. ‘I shall go’, said Cailte the swift-footed, the son of Oisgen or Conscen, the son of the Smith of Muscraige Dobrut; a son he of Cumall's daughter. So Cailte went, and caught a couple of every wild animal, and brought the straggling drove until they were on the green of Tara. He went where Cormac was, and told him that his daughter's bridal gift was on the rampart of Tara. ‘What was hardest for thee to bring?’ Cormac asked. ‘Not hard to tell. It took me ... to come up with the fox’, said Cailte. Then in an unlucky hour Grainne was given to Finn; for they never lived in peace until they separated. Finn was hateful in the eyes of the maiden, and such was her hatred, that she sickened of it. The feast of Tara was held by Cormac, and from every side the men of Ireland assembled for it. And they were enjoying the feast of Tara. Then the men of Ireland were around Cormac in the royal house and Finn also with his fians like everybody else. As Grainne went past Cormac, he noticed her sorry looks. ‘What ails thee, woman?’ asked Cormac. Then she said in a very low voice to Cormac, so that the chief should not hear it: ‘Truly, my dear boy Cormac, it is but natural. There is a lump of gore beneath my heart of the size ... hatred of my husband, so that the sinews of my body are all swollen’. Then said Cormac: ‘'Tis a black pity’ &c. Finn heard that and knew that he was hated by the girl, and he said this: ‘'Tis time for us to separate’ &c.