Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Why do I avoid the descendants of Aodh? (Author: Domhnall Ó Maoilchonaire)


  1. Why do I avoid the descendants of Aodh?
    A family in whom it is better to trust,
    A family whose vines bear heavy fruit
    Regal herd from the land of fair Adhar.
  2. A tribe more noble than gold,
    Descendants of Aodh of the mightiest assemblies,
    Descendants of the kings of Kincora.1
    A tribe that nurtures churches.
  3. I am not reluctant to return to them
    After my journey throughout Ireland,
    I should take a step towards them
    From the inheritance of Clann Choiléin.2
  4. I should not forget them;
    I receive from Clann Choiléin
    In times of communal drinking and feasting,
    Great honour and status.
  5. My land is still held from them,
    I am no stranger among them.
    Ardchoill — that Rome of the arts3
    An old abode that should not be violated.
  6. They took possession of Munster,4
    Goodly descendants of slender-fingered Lughaidh Meann5
    Turning their backs on fair Munster6
    In anticipation of the land of Thomond.
  7. Theirs is Waterford and Limerick of Lorc
    And Cashel of the noble branches,
    The possession of the land by the tribes of Cas,
    From former times on account of their inheritance.
  8. Theirs were the forts of Cliú and Cláire7
    And Dún Eochair by the fair Maigue,8
    It was level land about Limerick's sea [Shannon estuary],
    Until they returned to the lands of Thomond.
  9. Four goodly sons, had Mac Con:
    Síoda Cam9, Seán the excellent,
    Cú Mheadha, and Donnchadh the statuesque.
    Offspring of the sylvan vine.
  10. Descendants of Síoda Cam of Rosroe,10
    A line whose womenfolk and horsemen were plentiful,
    Generous warriors on the battlements of the tower
    The beautiful district of the Iobhar.11
  11. Descendants of Cú Mheadha — great their strength.
    Steady royalty of Rathlaheen,12
    Warriors of the peaks of Ballintlea,13
    Who paid no heed to unevenness.14
  12. Descendants of Donnchadh of the iron-grey sharp spear,
    Warriors of Ballyogan.15
    They did not receive their glory as a free gift,
    They are warriors of superior valour.

  13. p.25

  14. Descendants of Sean Mór, son of Mac Con,
    In the direct line we follow:
    Fruitful branch without a step of trespass,
    Upward in the succession list of kings.
  15. The descendants of Aodh have custody of the van
    And rearguard in every battle,
    Berry-red army of enduring vigour,
    The shoulder of knowledge of every high-king.
  16. Cas son of Conall of the fairy-swords,
    He makes a fence/hedge in Caisín's family.
    Few of his fragrant line of descendants
    Become a perverse class.
  17. The race of Blod,16
    before coming to their land,
    The father of brave Blod and Caisín.
    It is most secure to be under their protection,
    A host that did not violate their protection.17
  18. To be jealous of them cannot avail,
    The descendants of Blod and ancient line of Seán,
    I myself shall join together18
    Two poems that enumerate the kings.
  19. Mac Con Mara who never broke an oath,
    His surety on the nobility of Ireland.
    Subject to no one but Ua Bhriain,
    The most princely kings of fair Cliú.19
  20. After victory in battle
    Their own choice is what they seek.
    Until they go in quest of spoils,
    They do not ask for a firm reward.20
  21. The smiting and loving youths,21
    Tippling, supping, drinking,
    [Having] great bardic company, fruitful at home
    Given to assemblies, fond of spending, masterful.
  22. They gather around him from west and east
    The descendants of Aodh of the noble mind.
    They desire to hear no word
    Except the steady sweet voice of Seán.22
  23. A land that is plentiful in honey and forest fruit,
    A land that is full of every good thing.
    A land of many milking cows
    And bountiful wheat stacks.
  24. A district of waterfalls, islands and grass,
    A district of bright shape and beautiful castles,
    A district of gems, fine locks [of hair] and fine bloodlines.
    Fruitful, well-flocked, generous.
  25. From Tadhg the grandson of Mac Con of the campaigns,
    Descendants of the son of Tadhg of the virulent battles,
    A well-equipped group, ardent and victorious,
    Shapely, high-spirited, cavalrymen.23

  26. p.26

  27. Found among the descendants of fair Flannchadh,
    Son of Niall, the son of the renowned Aodh,24
    A praiseworthy people not lacking in pledges
    The choice of the learned classes of Ireland.
  28. Behold the seed of the heavy fruit,25
    Goodly descendants of Donnchadh son of Domhnall,26
    A progeny of clean hands that is no humble people.27
    The warlike descendants of the erenagh.28
  29. Four characteristics for which they are reputed:
    Bravery, veracity, endurance—
    Without lack of hospitality is the Prince of Leamhain,
    Good traits for a lord.
  30. From Rineanna29 of the ships,
    A district broad and long.
    To the port of Clonrush,30
    Let it not be without ye[?].
  31. From Luchaid31 of the deep hillsides,
    Have you heard the extent of your patrimony[?]
    Drawing you after travelling about it,
    To the beautiful Slieve Feilim.32