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Full text of "Ultonian hero-ballads collected in the highlands and western isles of Scotland : from the year 1516, and at successive periods till 1870"

•a[aTOJ<[IW WEKO-BRIakHDg, 



xnitonian Ibero^^Ballabs 



Collected m tbe DfgblanDs anO Western 5elC6 
of Scotland. 



3Fvom tbe ^csiv X5\6, an& at succesetvc periol)S till 1870. 



Arranged; Corrected Metrically ana Ortliogi^afliuaUy 
and Translated info English 



HECTOR MACLEAN, M.A.I. 



( Under the Auspices of the Islay Association.) 



(3 I a G w : 

ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR, Printer 6- Publisher, 

lo BoTHWELL Street. 



MDCCCXCII. 



TO MY 

Esteemed and Honoueed Friend 

3obn Crawfurb (Brabam, leequire, 

LAGAVULIN, IS LAY ; 

A GENTLEMAN CONNECTED WITH IS LAY 

BY 

BIRTH AND ANCESTRY ; 

A WARM FRIEND OF THE LATE 

Sobn ff» Campbell, ot Jsla^, 

AND THE 

TRUSTED PATRON OF IS LAYMEN EVERYWHERE: 

THIS WORK IS DEDICATED 

WITH THE AUTHOR^ S PROFOUND RESPECTS. 



571209 



PREFACE. 



Professor Zimmer tells us that early Irish history 
falls into three periods, the first reaching from pre- 
historic times, to about the year 350, A.D., the second 
to the end of the 7th century. No external activity on 
the part of the Irish is recorded, during the first period; 
the second, on the contrary, witnesses the harrying of 
the coasts of Britain, the establishment of the kingdom 
of Dalriada and the settlements in North and South 
Wales; whilst the third period is filled by the wars of 
the Northmen invaders. These historical periods are 
reflected in the heroic sagas, the oldest of which are 
concerned solely with intertribal conflicts, the heroes of 
which do not leave Ireland, the topography of which is 
coherent and accurate. The bulk of the sagas took 
shape, however, in the second, — the Irish viking period 
as it may be called. The heroes sally forth out of 
Ireland, especially to the western seaboard of Scotland, 
■colonised as we know by the same Ulster tribes to whom 



II. PREFACE. 

we owe the oldest heroic tales. The third, or Norse 
period, has also left its mark on the sagas ; allusion is 
made to Norway, Norse warriors appear as foes or allies 
of the Irish chieftains. Nay more, a close examination 
of the sagas shows that they are in part corrupted by 
an admixture of elements derived from the Teutonic 
hero-tales. — Archceological Review^ Vol, it. No. 2, 

What relations Ireland had with foreign countries or 
how it was peopled we have nothing but fictitious and 
fabulous accounts. Ethnological research has succeed- 
ed in ascertaining that the Iberian race constituted its 
population as well as that of Britain before the Celts 
arrived. 

The inhabitants of Donegal county and Kerry, who 
are of smaller stature than the other Irish, and swarthy 
in complexion are considered to be descendants of those 
old Iberians; and for similar reasons, the southern 
Welsh. The Spanish Basques from their stature and 
other physical characteristics are identified with them. 
The same race extended at one time from the north of 
Britain. Another tall race fair or red-haired and 
white-skinned, extended from Africa, through Spain 
and France westwards to the British Isles. Professor 
Sayce speaks of this race in his book on the Hittites, 
pp. 15-17, "The Hittites and Amorites were therefore 



PREFACE. iiu 

mingled together in the mountains of Palestine like 
the two races which ethnologists tells us, go to form the 
modern Kelt. But the Egyptian monuments teach us 
that they were of very different origin and character. 
The Hittites were a people with yellow skins and 
'Mongoloid 'features, whose receding foreheads, oblique 
eyes, and protruding upper jaws, are represented as 
faithfully on their own monuments as they are on those 
of Egypt, so that we cannot accuse the Egyptian artists 
_of caricaturing their enemies. If the Egyptians have 
made the Hittites ugly, it was because they were so in 
reality. The Amorites, on the contrary, were a tall and 
handsome people. They are depicted with white skins 
blue eyes, and reddish hair, all the characteristics, in 
fact, of the white race. Mr. Petrie points out their 
resemblance to the Dardanians of Asia Minor, who 
form an intermediate link between the white-skinned 
tribes of the Greek seas and the fair complexioned 
Libyans of Northern Africa. The latter are still found 
in large numbers in the mountainous regions which 
stretch eastward from Morocco, and are usually known 
among the French under the name of Kabyles. The 
traveller who first meets with them in Algeria cannot 
fail to be struck by their likeness to a certain part of 
the population in the British Isles. Their clear-white 
freckled skins, their blue eyes, their golden-red hair 



IV. PREFACE, 

and tall stature, remind us of the fair Kelts of an Irish 
village ; and when we find that their skulls, which are 
of the so-called dolichocephalic, or 'long-headed' type, 
are the same as the skulls discovered in the pre-historic 
cromlechs of the country they still inhabit, we may 
conclude that they represent the modern descend- 
ants of the white-skinned Libyans of the Egyptian 
monuments. 

"In Palestine also we still come across representa- 
tives of a fair-complexioned blue-eyed race, in whom 
we may see the descendants of the ancient Amorites, 
just as we see in the Kabyles the descendants of the 
ancient Libyans. We know that the Amorite type 
continued to exist in Judah long after the Israelitish 
conquest of Canaan. The captives taken from the 
southern cities of Judah by Shishak in the time of 
Rehoboam, and depicted by him upon the walls of the 
great temple of Karnak, are people of Amorite origin. 
Their regular profile of sub-acquiline cast, as Mr. 
Tomkins describes it, their high cheek-bones and mar- 
tial expression are the features of the Amorites, and not 
of the Jews. 

" Tallness of stature has always been a distinguishing 
characteristic of the white race. Hence it was that the 
Anakim, the Amorite inhabitants of Hebron, seemed 
to the Hebrew spies to be as giants, while they them- 



PREFACE. V. 

selves were but ' as grasshoppers ' by the side of them 
(Numbers xiii. 33). After the Israehtish invasion rem- 
nants of the Anakim were left in Gaza and Gath and 
Ashkelon (Joshua xi. 22), and in the time of David 
Goliath of Gath and his gigantic family were objects 
of dread to their neighbours (2 Samuel xxi. 15-22). 

"It is clear, then, that the Amorites of Canaan 
belonged to the same white race as the Libyans of 
Northern Africa, and like them preferred the mountains 
■to the hot plains and valleys below. The Lybians 
themselves belonged to a race which can be traced 
through the peninsula of Spain and the western side 
of France into the British Isles. Now it is curious 
that wherever this particular branch of the white race 
has extended it has been accompanied by a particular 
form of cromlech, or sepulchral chamber built of large 
uncut stones. The stones are placed upright in the 
ground and covered over with other large slabs, the 
whole chamber being subsequently concealed under a 
tumulus of small stones or earth. Not unfrequently 
the entrance to the cromlech is approached by a sort of 
corridor. These cromlechs are found in Britain, in 
France, in Spain, in Northern Africa, and in Palestine, 
more especially on the eastern side of the Jordan, and 
the skulls that have been exhumed from them are the 
skulls of men of the dolichocephalic or long-headed 
type." 



VI. PREFACE. 

This race seems to be represented in early Irish 
romantic history by the Fomorians; for we find it men- 
tioned that Partholon drove them out of Ireland. 
Madan Muinreamhar's four sons, Bog, Robhag, Ruibh- 
ne, and Rodan, were employed by Neimhidh to build 
a palace, and after having finished it he put them to 
death next morning. Rodan is both an Irish and a 
Scotch surname found in Galloway, Gean and Geanann 
were Fomorian chiefs who fell in battle with the sons 
of Neimhidh. Long thereafter Gean and Geanann 
were the names of two kings of the Firbolgs. Starn 
the son of Neimhidh fell by Conoing son of Faobhar. 
a Fomorian chief. More the son of Deiliodh was 
another chief among them. They latterly greatly 
oppressed the children of Neimhidh, and imposed heavy 
tributes on them. They had a female steward named 
Liagh who exacted the tribute. Feathra a king of the 
Fomorians w^as uncle to Emer the wife of Cuchullin. 
Balar of the blows, was also a king of the Fomorians 
and his wife Cethlenn was of the same race from whom 
Enniskillingf/;^/^ Chethlenn) is named. Kathleendi mod- 
ification of her name is a favourite Irish name. In Nott 
and Gliddon's " Types of Mankind " Mr. Gliddon com- 
pares the types of the Lybians and a kindred race that 
he saw on the monuments of Egypt with a type that 
abounds in the Highlands of Scotland. There is 
doubtless a type of tall, large bodied men found in the 



PREFACE. vn. 

Scottish Highlands, and in Ireland, not traceable to the 
Scandinavian or the Celt which would seem to have 
come from the South. 

Professor Zimmer tells us that the second period of 
Irish history reaches from about the year 350, A.D. to 
the end of the 7th century; that the second period 
witnesses the harrying of the coasts of Britain, the 
establishment of the kingdom of Dalriada, and the 
settlements in North and South Wales. 

When these Irish encountered the Romans first they 
were designated by the latter Scoti. How, therefore, did 
he Romans so name them? The Romans were gener- 
ally desirous to know by what name any people they 
came in contact w4th called themselves, and as they 
more frequently made inquiry among the warriors of a 
tribe, so we generally find that the most of the names 
they gave to tribes both in Gaul and Britain, signify 
warriors in the various dialects of the different tribes 
In O'Davoren's Glossary, as published in Stokes' "Three 
Irish Glossaries," we find Scath no Scoth = laoch^ Scath 
or Scoth^ that is warrior. The th in Scoih^ in the 4th 
century was probably a mute aspirate, and its plural 
was likely Scothi pronounced Scot-hi; so from this 
name the Romans would form Scoti, to suit their own 
tongue. The Irish at a later period, forgot and mis- 
understood the origin of the name Scoti, whence Scotia 



VIII. PREFACE. 

a name for Ireland, was formed. The names Scuit 
(Scots), Scot-dheulra, (the Irish or Gaelic language,) 
were formed, and ultimately, the name Scotia was trans- 
ferred to North Britain, because the Dalriadic colony 
in the Scottish Highlands, became the principal people 
there, and the Scottish colony in Galloway, and the 
neighbouring districts of Ayrshire, and Dumfriesshire, 
co-operated with the Dalriads of the North to form 
the modern Scottish nation. 

The foremost among the oldest Irish manuscripts, 
are the two great vellums, the Leabhar na h- Uidhrey 
' (L.U.) written down at the end of the nth century, 
and Book of Leinster, (L.L.) written down in the mid- 
dle of the 1 2th century. All these MSS. are described 
in themselves as compilations from older MSS. The 
second cycle of heroic tradition is found nearly entire 
in L.U. and L.L. The annalistic work of Ireland can 
be traced back with certainty to the nth century, 
gives, generally, both the pre-Christian and the Ulton- 
ian cycles as real history. Tighernach the greatest of 
the early Irish annalists died in 1088, who alone raises 
doubts as to the nature of the record previous to the 
year 289 B.C. The foundation of Emania by Cim- 
baoth is assigned by him to this year. Modern scholars 
have followed him and have looked upon the earlier 
annals as fictitious. The progress of the euhemerising 



PREFACE. IX. 

process in the poems of Eocbaid hua Flainn, who 
died in 984, and in those of Flainn Manistrech and 
Gilla Coemain, Irish translator of Nennius; the form- 
er died in 1056 and the latter in 1072, is to be 
observed. It attains its culmination in the Leabhar 
Gabhala, or book of Invasions, which is known to have 
been chiefly the work of Flainn Manistrech who was 
reputed in his day to be the most learned of native his- 
torical and antiquarian scholars. Chronology greatly 
took up his attention, and the complicated synchronism 
of the Irish annals, as regards the events of sacred and 
profane history, is to be traced to him more than to 
any other man. The non-historic character of these 
annals is sufficiently clear. It is different with the 
Ultonian cycle. The record is here so full, so marked 
with precision, and so detailed. It hangs together so 
coherent that at first considering it, it would seem im- 
possible to take it for anything else than what it 
assumes to be, an account of men and women that 
have really lived and of events that really happened. 
The acceptance of this part of the native annals by 
Tighernech, who gave proof of his independent and 
critical spirit by rejecting the earlier portion, has also 
spoken in its favour. At all events four of the scholars 
best qualified to give an opinion, Professors Windisch, 
Zimmer, Kuno Meyer, and Mr. Hennessy, have 



X. PREFACE. 

declared without hesitation in favour of the material 
correctness of these sagas. It is held by these learned 
and talented men that a real High-King of Ireland, 
Connaire Mor, a contemporary of Julius Caesar, was 
slain by over-sea pirates as is related in the tale of 
Bruden da Derga ; that Conchobar did disposses his 
uncle Fergus of the chieftainship of Ulster, deceitfully 
killed the sons of Uisnach, and had to contend with 
the whole of Ireland in war, headed by Aillil and 
Medbh of Connaught who were aided by Fergus and 
other Ulster exiles. In this war CuchuUin took a con- 
spicuous part, as is related in the tales of the Fate of 
the Sons of Uisnach and in the " Tain bb Cuailgne,^' or 
the Raid for the Kine of Cooley ; and the numerous 
other tales respecting Cuchullin and his compeers 
which have been transmitted to us include a reflex of 
real fact. In reply to which it may be pointed out 
that Tighernach's testimony goes no further than that 
the euhemerising process was applied to the god-tales 
of the race at a much later date than to the hero-tales, 
a fact which could be paralleled with facility from other 
racial mythologies. The present annals proceed with- 
out interruption, so that it is not possible to lay the 
finger upon any set of events previous to the fourth 
century A.D. and assert " here fiction stops, here 
history commences." The partizans of the historic 



PREFACE. XI. 

credibility of the Ultonian cycle look, as a rule, with a 
less favourable eye upon the Ossianic sagas. The 
greater portion of these are found in MSS. later by far 
than those in which the Ultonian cycle is obtained, 
and it is maintained that they are principally the pro- 
duct of late romantic fancy operating often upon 
themes and situations borrowed from the older heroic 
tales. 

The large amount of Irish saga literature belonging 
to the Ultonian cycle dates, in its form, back to the 
tenth century, and there is MS. tradition of part of it 
extending back to the seventh century, different forms 
of the same saga can be discriminated as far back as 
there are means of research and these Sagas have under- 
gone the same harmonising process but not the same 
euhemerising process as the earlier annals, the same 
medieval scholar was conspicuous in the one case as 
in the other. In writing the preceding part of this 
preface I have been guided by that able article by Mr. 
Alfred Nutt, ** Celtic Myth and Saga." in No. 2 of the 
ArchcBological Review. 

Some variants of the following ballads have been 
collected in the Highlands. Two of the variants 
here submitted are taken from Dean Macgregor of 
Lismore's Book ; the Lay of the Heads and the 
Lay of Freich; the Lay of Conlach is taken partly 



XII. PREFA CE. 

from the Dean's Book and partly from Gillies^ 
Collection of Gaelic Songs and Poems. The 
transliteration of Dr. Mac Lauchlan is not accurately 
executed as he has reduced the Gaelic to one dialect 
of the language whereas the Gaelic of the Dean 
consists of several subdialects belonging to various 
districts of the Highlands, from natives of those districts. 
There are also some expressions which Dr. Mac Lauchlan 
did not know, translated erroneously, but it was a 
difficult task to perform when he undertook it; even 
the knowledge of the language has since immensely 
extended, and great credit is unquestionably due to 
him for what he did; which makes a very difficult book 
easier for other students to throw light upon. From his 
transcript I have transliterated and translated these 
ballads. An Garbh Mac Stairn is a fusion of two 
variants, the one in Mac Nicol's collection and the 
other in Fletcher's collection, both collections in the 
Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. We have both names 
Garbh and Starn in early Irish history. Garbh the 
son of Uthmhoir is mentioned at pp. 70 and 71 of 
Joyce's Part I., Book I. of Keating's History of 
Ireland, and Starn son of Neimhidh is mentioned at 
pp. 88 and 89, ibid. 

These ballads have been for many centuries sung and 
rehearsed in the Highlands. There have been many 



PREFACE. xin. 

who could sing Fraoch till very lately in Islay. A 
few years ago Angus Mac Eachern often sang and 
rehearsed Conlach and many old Gaelic poems, but 
there are few left now in Islay who can sing old Gaelic 
ballads or rehearse old Gaelic poems. I give these 
ballads to the public with English translations expect- 
ing that in the rising young generation some will arise 
to do much better work than I have done, especially 
in the line of poetic translation. 

HECTOR MACLEAN. 

Ballygrant, 

ISLAT, 1892. 



"X^?5^K5)^ 




AN CLAR-INNSIDH, 



DuAN a' Ghairbh Mhic Stairn, . . . 17 
Na Cinn, 25 

CUCHULAINN 'na ChARBAD, . . . . 3 1 

Deirdri, 34 

Caoidh Dheirdri, 48 

Fraoch Mac Fithich, . . . . .58 
conlaoch, . . . . . , . 65 
Contractions used in Glossary, ... 74 
Glossary to Gaelic Ballads, . . . -75 



CONTENTS. 

Ballad of the Garve Son of Starn, . . 91 
Lay of the Heads, 99 

CUCHULLIN IN HIS ChARIOT, . , . • I05 

Deirdri, ' . . io8 

Lament of Deirdri, 121 

Freich Son of Feich, . . . . .131 

Conlach, 138 

Annotations, 147 




DUAIN ULTACH. 



2)uan a' (Bbalrbb /iRbic Stairn. 

DORSAIR. 

" Eirich a Chil na Teamhra, — 
Chi mi loingeas tha do-labhradh ; — 
Lom-lan, nan cuan clannach 
Do loinG;eas m6r nan allmharach ! " 



CONALL. 

"Breugach thu dhorsair gu muadh: — 
Breugach thu'n diugh 'sgach aon uair! 
'S e th' ann loingeas m6r nam magh, 
'S e teachd chu2;ainne g' ar cobhair." 



18 DUAIN ULTACII. 

DORSAIR. 

3. "Tha aon laoch an dorus Teamhra, 
Am port an righ gu ro-mheamnach ; 
Ag radh gun gabhar leis gun ealla, 
'Sgu gabh geall air fearaibh Eireann.'^ 

4. "Chuige niise," arsa Cu-riodh, 
Araon agus O' Conchair, 
Fear-dian taoibh ghil, 

'S Fraoch fial Mac Fiiighaidh, 
Aodh Mac Garadh a' ghluin ghil, 
'S Caoilte ro-gheal Mac R6nain. 

PORTER. 

5. "Na tig air sin a Chu-riodh — 
Na cantair comhradh gun chli ; 
Cha chomhraigear ris gun fhail 
Air ard rioghachd na h-Eireann. 

6. "Chonnairc mise c6ig catha deug 
Do dh' f hamhairibh as ni 'm breug ; 
Breth air a' Gharbh as Tir shoir, 
Am Maoigh Gallan nan comhrag." 

7. 'N sin nar thubhairt Conall Cearnach, 
Sonn catha na Claoin Teamhrach ; 



DUAIN ULTACIT. 19 

Cha teid mi fein ris a' m' ghuin, 

'S cha mh6 's eolach mi mu chleasaibh." 

8. An sin nar thuirt Maobh thall a staigh, 
Inghean Ochaidh, flath na Feinne ; 
"Na leigibh oglach nan cath 

Staigh do thaigh Teamhra nan righ-fhlath." 

9. 'N sin nar thuirt Conall gu coir, 
Deagh mhac aluinn Eidirsgeoil ; 
"Cha bhi ri radh, a bhean, 
Gun diiilt sinne ri aon fhear." 

10. Leigeadh a staigh, an sin, am fear m6r, 
Gu prap, am fianuis an t-sl6igh : 
'S ionad tri cheud a staigh, 
Chaidh a reiteachadh dha 's an trath sin. 

IT. Thog Cuchulainn an sin a sgiath. 
Air a mhaoidhhn bharra-hath ; 
Sheall Naois air a dha shleagh, 
'S ghlac Conall a chlaidheamh. 

12. Thug iad a staigh an sin dronnadh, — 

Cheud do bhiadh agus do dhibh gun uirich, 
G'a chaitheadh gus an fhear mhdr, 
A thainig as an Esraidh. 



20 DVAIN ULTACH. 

13. Nuair bu shathach am fear m6r, 
Agus a thug e treis air 61 : 
Thug e sealltainn air a null, 

Air caogad mac righ mu thimchioll. 

14. An sin nar thuirt Brichdean gu muadh — 
Mac Mhic Cairbri fa 'n Chraoibh Ruaidh ; 
Fearas 's faoilte dhuit gun fheall, 

Am fianuis fearaibh Eireann ! 

CONALL. 

15. "Macanachd Eireann uile dhuit 'san am-so^ 
A Bhrichdean Bharr-bhuidhe ; 

Fad 's a bhios mise a' m' righ gu teann 
Air ard rioghachd na h-Eireann." 

BRICHDEAN. 

16. "Bhrathainn-se dhuit na Braighdean, 
Leis am faigheadh thu na taintean, 
Bu leat Lugha Mac Cu-riodh 

'S Fiabhaidh Mac Ghoraidh. 

17. "Fear-dian taoibh ghil, 

'S Fraoch fial Mac Fidghaidh, 
Aodh Mac Gharadh a' ghlilin ghil, 
'SCaoilte ro-gheal Mac R6nan. 



DVAIN ULTACII. 21 

18. "Luagha, sgiath argumaid am blagh, 
Deagh mhac Righ Laighean Liibaidh, 
Cormaig an luingis, gu muadh, 

Mac Mhic Cairbri fa 'n Chraoibh Ruaidh. 

19. "Buinne borburra, nach borb a steach, 
Buin leat, gu luath, o Fhearghuth." 

20. Ghabhadh an sin na mic righ, 
Ann an taigh Teamhra, gu fior ; 
Agus chuireadh iad a muigh, 
Do 'n Treun-fhear — na f hianuis. 

AN GARBH. 

2 1. " Bheiream-sa briathar righ ann, 
Fhearaibh aille na h-Eireann ; 
Nach teid mi fein ann am luing, 
'S mi gun gheill o Chuchulainn." 

CUCHULAINN. 

22. " Bheiream-sa briathar righ eile, 
'S e labhair an t-ard chu armach ; 
Nach toir thu mo gheills' air muir, 
'S mi fein ann a' m' bheatha. 

23. '"S bodach thu bhidheann lidlaidh, 
'S olc thu fein, 's olc do mhuinntir. 



22 DUAIN ULTACII. 

'S ro-olc bean do thaighe ; 
'S chan fhearr a' bean-mhuinntir ; 
'S cha toir thu mo Gheills' air sail, 
'S chan 'eil annad fein ach allbharach 

24. An sin, 'nuair dh 'eirich an da thriath, 
Le neart chlaidheamh agus sgiath ; 
Togadar an talamh tath, 

Le'n troidhibh anns an uair sin. 

25. B' iomadach buille fo bhile sgiath, 
'S fuaim clisniche ri cliar ; 
Fuaim lann aig gaoith nan gleann, 
Fo sgle6 nan curaidh cho teann. 

26. Seachd oidhchean agus seachd 16, 
Thug iad anns an iomad sgle6 ; — 
An ceann an t-seachdamh 16 

Cha b' airde an Garbh air a' mhaoigh, 
Na Cuchulainn, a' ghaisge. 

27. An ceann an t-seachdamh 16, 
Thug Cuchulainn beum dh6 ; — 
'Sgoilt e, o bhruan gu bran. 

An sgiath eangach, 6rruidh. 



DUAIN ULTACII. 23 

GARBH. 

28. "A Choinchulainn, aithnich triath ; — 
Agamsa, cha mhair mo sgiath ; 

Ach aon cheum teichiiih, 'n oir na 'n iar, 
Cha tug mi riamh 's mi'm bheathi." 

CUCHULAINX. 

29. " Bheiream-sa briathar righ eile, 

'Se labhair e — 'n t-ard Chu iorghuil ; — 
" 'N t-aon cheum teichidh, siar na soir, 
Chan 'eil fuidh d' roghainn a dheanadh." 

30. Thilg Cuchulainn uaidli a sgiath, 
Air an fhaiche, oir as iar; — 

Ga b' eineach siod, b' olc an f haoil, 
Le maithibh uaisle na h-Eireann. 

31. Ach thug Cuchulainn beam eile, 

Le mdid a mheamnaidh 's a sgeinidh ; 
Togadar an lamh leis an lainn, 
'S sgarar ceann o 'n cholainn. 

CONALL. 

32. " Macanachd Eireann uile 
Dhuitse uamsa," arsa Conall ; 
" 'S a' cheud chorn gun f heall 
Ann am fianuis fearaibh Eireann." 



24 DUAIN ULTACH. 

CUCHULAINN. 

33 " Rinn mise gniomh air Giolla nan Cuan,— 
Creideadh an ligh mar is dual ; — 
Tha leaba aon laoich 'n so, a bh' air Cuan, 
Tha 'n diugh gun aiseag le iomairt sluaigh, 
A thriall gu taigh Teamhra nan righ-fhlath 
Ghabhail geill air fearaibh Eireann." 




DUAIN ULTACH. 25 

ma Clinu 

Ughdar so Con all Cearnach Mac Eddirschol. 

tIMHIR. 

1. "A Chonaill, cha sealbh na cinn — 
Deimhin learn gu r' dheargas t' airm ;— 
Na cinn do chitheam air a' ghad, 
Sloinntear leat na fir fo 'm faoibh." 

CONALL. 

2. " A nighean Fhorgaill nan each — 
A Eimhir 6ig nam brigh binn ; 

'S ann an eirig chon nan cleas, 
Thugas leom a nfos na cinn." 

EIMHIK. 

3. " Co an ceann mollach, dubh, m6r — 
Deirge na 'n r6s a ghruaidh ghlan ; 
Is e is goire do 'n leth chli — 

An cemn diubh nach d' atharraich dath." 

CONALL. 

4. " Ceann righ Midhe nan each luath," 
Arsa Mac Cairbre nan goith cam ; 

" An eirig mo dhaltain fein, 
Ihugas learn an cein a cheann." 



26 DUAIN ULTACH. . 

EIMHIR. 

5. *•' Co 'n cennn ud air m' aghaidh thall, 
Go folt fann gii mall, sliom ; 

Rosg mar eire, deud mar bhiath \ 
Ailde no gach cruth a cheann." 

CON ALL. 

6. " Manadh, b' e fear nan each, — 
Macamh Aoife do chreachadh gach cuan ; 
D' f hagas a cholann gun cheann, 

Is do thuit uile learn a shluagh." 

EIMHIR. 

7. "Co an ceann so ghabhas tu a'd' laimh, 
A Chonaill mh6ir na baigh linn; 

O nach maireann Cu nan cleas, 
Ciod bheireadh thii air leas a chinn?" 

CONALL. 

8. "Ceann Mhic Fhearghuis nan each, — 
Bheireadh e cith gach gurt; 

Mac mo pheathar an tilir sheang, 
Do sgaras a cheann r' a chorp." 

EIMHIR. 

9. "Co an ceann ud shear, an fhuilt fhinn, 
Da ghreadadh na cinn go laimh ; 



DUAIN ULTACIL 27 

Fhuaireas aithne air a ghuth, — 
Gun robhadar seal d' a reir." 

CONALL. 

10. " Sios an sud do thuit an cii — 
Do rad a chorp fa chruth deas ; — 
Cii Mac Coin, righ nan rann, 
Thugas leam a cheann tar eis." 

EIMHIR. 

11. " Co an da cheann so is faide mach, 
A Chonaill mhdir a bhrath bu bhinn ; 
Air ghraidh t' aithne na ceil oirnn, 
Ainm nam fear a ghuin na h-airm ?" 

CONALL. 

12. "Ceann Laoghaire is clar Chuilt, 
An da cheann do thuit le m' ghuin ; 
Do ghuin sud Cuchulainn chearn, — 
Suinn dheargas m' airm 'n am fuil." 

EIMHIR. 

1 3. " Co an da cheann so is faide soir, 

A Chonaill mhoir gach geal gniomh ? 
lonnan dath air folt nam fear, — 
Deirge an gruaidh na fuil laoigh." 

CONALL. 

14. " Cullain breagh is Cunnlaid cruaidh — 
Dithis do bheireadh buaidh le feirg ; — 



28 DUAIN ULTACII. 

A Eimhir : siod soir an cinn — 

D' fhagas an cuirp fa linne dheirg." 

EIMHIR. 

15. "Co na se cinn so is olc mein, 

Do chitheam fein air m' aghaidh thuath ; 

Germ an aghaidli, dubh am folt, 

O thilleadh rosg Chonaill chruaidh ?" 

CONALL. 

16. "Seisear eascairdean a chii, — 

Clann Chatleidin nam buadh gnath ; — 

Is iad sud an seisear laoch 

A thuit learn, 's an airm a' m' laimh." 

EIMHIR. 

17. "A Chonaill mh6ir, athair righ, 

Co 'n ceann ud do 'n geilleadh cath ? 

Our 6rbhuidhe trillis o cheann — 

Con comhdach sliom dh' airde bheart." 

CONALL. 

18. "Ceann Mhic Finn, Mhic Rois ruaidh, 
Mhic Nic Cni, fhuair bas le m' neart; 
A Eimhir ! is e so a cheud — 

Ard risfh Lais^hean nan lann breac ! " 



DUAII^ ULTACH. 29 

EIMHIR. 

19. "A Chonaill mh6ir, mugh an sgeul,— 
Creud a thuit, le d' laiinh, gun lochd, 
Do'n t-sluagh eagnuidhthe a bheil 'n sin, 
An dioghaltas cinn a' chon ? " 

CONALL. 

20. " Deichnear is seachd fichead ceud — 
Deiream pein is aireamh sl6igh — 
Do thuit leamsa druim air dhruim, 
Do nimh mo chuilg cunnla, rag." 

EIMHIR. 

21. "A Chonaill, cionnas ta iad — 
Mnai Inse-fail deisne a' choin ; 
Cumha a mhic shamhailt tha, 
Na bheil aca fein, air 'foir?" 

CONALL. 

22. "A Eimhir, ciod a dheanadh mi, 
Gun mo chii am' reir 'san socht. 
Gun mo dhaltan fa mhaith cruth, 

A' dol bhuam am mugha an nochd." 

EIMHIR. 

23. "A Chonaill, tog mi 'san fheart, — 
Tosf mo leachd os leachd a' chon, 



30 DUAIN' ULTACII. 

Os d' a chumhadh rachaim eug, — 
Cuir mo bheul ri beul a' chon." 

24. " Is mi Eimhir a 's caoine dealbh — 
Ni faighinn searbh dhioltadh dhomh 
Do dheur nochan 'eil mo speis, — 
Trua^h m' fhuireach air eis a Chon." 




DUAIN ULTACH. 31 



Cucbulalnn 'n a CbarbaD. 

" Cia fath do thurais, no do sgeul ? " 
" Fath mo thurais is mo sgeul, 
'Feara 'Eireann sud mar chimear, 
Air teachd chugaibh air a' mhagh, 

An carbad air am bheil an dual fioghiordha fionda, 
Air a dheanadh gu luthmhor, lamhach, taiceil, 
Far am bu lughmhor, 's far am bu laidir, 
'S far am bu lan-ghlic am pobull iir, 
'S a' chathair fhrasanta randa : — 
Caol, cruaidh, clocharra, colbhuidh ; — 
Ceithir eich chliabh-mhor 's a' chaomh charbad sin. 

Ciod a chimear 's a' charbad sin ? 
Na h-eich bhailg-fhionn, chailg-fhionn chluas-bheag, 
Slios-tana, bas-tana, eachmhor, steudmhor, 
Le sreunaibh chaol, lainnire, liomharra, 
Mar leig, no mar chaoir-theine dheirg; 
Mar ghluasad laoigh chreuchta maoislich ; 
Mar fharum ghaoithe, chruaidhe, gheamhraidh, 
Teachd chugaibh anns a' charbad sin : 

Ciod a chimear 's a' charbad sin ? 

Chimear 's a' charbad sin, 
Na h-eich hatha, lughmhor, stuadhmhor, laidir, 
Threismhor, stuadhmhor, luathmhor, taghmhor 



32 DUAIN ULTACir. 

A bheireadh sparradh sgeiribh na fairge as an 

carraigibh — 
Na h-eich mhearganta, thargaidtach, threiseadach ; 
Gu struthmhor, lughmhor, dearsa fhionn ; 
Mar spuir iolaire ri gndis ana-bheathaich ; 
D'an goirear an Liathmhor mhaiseach, 
Mheachtroigh mh6r mhuirneach. 

Ciod a chimear 's a' charbad sin ? 

Chimear 's a' charbad sin 
Na h-eich chinn-fhionn, chroidh-f hionn, chaolchasach, 
Ghrinn-ghruagacb, stobbradach, cheannardach, 
Shr61-bbreideach, chliabh-fharsuinn ; 
Bheag-aosda, bheag-ghaoisdneach, bheagchluasach, 
Mh6r-chridheach mhdr-chruthacb, mh6r- 

chuinneanach, 
Seanga, seudaidh, is iad searrachail ; 
Breagha, beadarra, boilsgeanta, baolh-leumnach, 
D'an goireadh iad an Dubh-seimhlinn. 

Ciod a bhiodh 'na shuidhe 's a' charbad sin ? 

Bhiodh 'na shuidhe 's a' charbad sin, 
An laoch cumaiseach, cumhachdach, deagh-fhoclach, 
Llobharra, loinnearra, deagh-mhaiseach, 
Tha seachd scallaidh air a rosg ; 
'S air leinn gur maith am fradharc dha ; 
Tha se meoir chnamhach, reamhar 
Air gach laimh iha teachd o ghualainn ; 



DUAIN ULTACH. 33 

Tha seachd fuilteana fionn air a cheann ; 
Folt donn ri tointe a chinn, 
'3 folt sleamhuinn, dearg, air uachdar, — 
'S folt fionn-bhuidhe air dhath an 6ir, 
'S na faireill air a bharr 'ga chumail ; 
D'an ainrn, Cuchulainn mac Seimh-suailti, 
Mhic Aoidh, mhic Aigh, mhic Aoidh eile. 
Tha eudann mar dhrithleana dearga : — 
Liighmhor air Itirg, mar luath-cheathach sleibhe, 
■ No mar luathas eilde faonaich, — 
No mar mhaigheach air machair-mail, 
Gum bu cheum trie — ceum liiath — ceum muirneach, — 
Na h-eacha a teachd chugainn, — 
Mar shneachd ri snoigheadh, nan sliosaibh ; — 
Ospartaich agus unaghartaich 
Nan eachaibh gu t' ionnsuidh. 




34 DUAIN ULTACH. 

2) c f r D r !♦ 

Fletcher's variant from his Collection in the 
Advocates' Library. This poem was taken down in 
1750 from the dictation of a man who could neither 
read nor write. 

Air bhith do righ Eireann, Conchar, a' dol a 
ph6sadh ban-righ d' am b' ainm Deirdri, agus ag 
ullachadh air son na bainnse, mharbh iad laogh 6g. 
Bha sneachd air lir-chur 'na luidhe air a ghrunnd 'san 
am. Dhdirt iad fuil an laoigh a muigh air an t-sneachda 
agus luidh fitheach air an fhuil. Bha Deirdri a' 
sealltuinn a mach air uinneig aig an am. Chunnairc 
i 'm fitheach ag ol na fola, agus thuirt i lis an righ ; — 
" Nach bu mhaiseach an duine aig am bitheadh a 
chneas cho geal ris an t-sneachda, a ghruaidh co dearg 
ris an fnuil, agus fholt co dubh ris an fhitheach." Fhreag- 
air an righ, ag radh gun robh clann peathar aige-san, 
agus gun robh h-aon diubh air an robh gach buaidh a 
dh 'ainmich i. Thubhairt Deirdri ris an righ a rist 
nach cuireadh i cos 'na leabaidh gus am faiceadh i an 
duine sin. Air an aobhar sin chuir an righ fios air. 
Thainig e f^in agus a dha bhrathair. Agus do b'e 
an ainmeannan Naois, Aille, agus Ardan. 



DUAIN ULTACIL 35 

Air do Dheirdri Naois fhaicinn lionadh i le gaol 
dha, ionnas gun d' fhalbh i leis, agus dh' fhag i an righ. 
Dh' fhalbh Naois agus a dha bhrathair air long, agus 
sheol iad gus an deachaidh iad air tir aig Beinn Aird 
Agus bha giolla beag 'nan cuideachd d' am b 'ainm an 
Gille Dubh, a bha na chomhdhalta dhaibh, agus a' feith- 
eamh orra. 

2)uan DbeirDrt 

1. Tur gun deachaidh iad air tuinn, 
Clann Uisneachan, a Dubh-Lochlann ; 
Dh' fhag iad Deirdri 'san Gille Dubh 
Am Beinn Aird 'nan aonarain. 

2. C aite an cualas dan b'u duileadh, 
Na 'n Giolla Dubh ri diir shuiridh, 
Air Deirdri Chruinneagach gheal. 

AN GIOLLA DUBH. 

" Bu chuibhte orm as ort bhith cuideachd." 

DEIRDRL 

3. " Cha bu chuibhte mi as tu, 
Ghiollan Duibh nam mioriln ; 
Ach gus an tig' dhachaidh slan, — 
Clann Uisneachan a Dubh-Lochlann." 



36 nUAlN ULTACIL 

AN GIOLLA DUBH. 

4. *' Ge b'eug a rachadh tu dheth, 

'S ge d' fhaigheadh thu bas gun chumhadh ; 
Bithidh tu as Iain dubh an aon leabaidh, 
Gus an teid ilir air do leachdainn. 

5. " Gheibheadh thusn, Dheirdri ghuanach, 
Bhuamsa air mhadainn a maireacb ; — 
Gheibheadh tu bainne 'chruidh chraobhaich 
Agus maorach a Inis-aonaich. 

6. " Gheibheadh tu muinealan mhuc, 
Mar sin, agus sruthaga sheann-tuirc ; 
Gheibheadh tu braoideach as b6, — 
'S a laoigh mhin na fuilinn an so." 

DEIRDRI. 

7. " Ged gheibhinn uait caolaich fhiadha, 
Agus bradain bhroinne gheala ; 

B' annsa learn bior-chul-chas 

A laimh Naois Mhic Uisneachan. 

8. " B 'e Naois a ph6gadh mo bheul, — 
Mo cheud fhear 's mo cheud leannan ; 
B' e Aille leigeadh mo dheoch, 

'S b' e Ardan a chaireadh m' adhart." 



DUAIN ULTACH. 37 

9. Ach siiil gun tug Deirdri ghuanacli, 
Mach air barr a' bhaile bhraonaich ; — 

DEIRDRI. 

" 'S aluinn an triuir bhraithre chi mi, — 
'Snamhaidh iad na cuantan thairis. 

10. " Tha Ard as Aille air an stiilir 

A' se61adh gu h-ard-ramhach, ciilin ; 
Mo ghradh an geal-lamhach, geal ! 
Tha m' fhear fein 'ga stiiiradh siod. 

11. " Ach smid na tigeadh air do bheul, 
Ghiollain Duibh nam braon ?geul ; 
Mu marbhar thu gun chionta dheth, 
As nior m6 a chreidear mise. 

12. " O ! Chlainn Uisneachan nan each, 
A thainig a tir nam fear fuileach ; 
An d' fhuiling sibh tair bho neach ? . 
No ciod e so bha 'gur cumail? " 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. 

13. " Bha 'gar cumailne mach uaitse ; — 

'S ann duinne gum b' fhuileach an ruaig — 
Righ Mac Rosnaich, ceann fear Fail, 
Air ar glacadh 's air ar diongmhail." 



38 DUAIS ULTACII. 

DEIRDRI. 

14. " C aite an robh ur n-airm ghaisge, 
'S 'ur lamhan tapaidh fuileach ; 

Nuair a dh' fhiiiling sibh — sibh fdin s^dn — 
Do Mhac Rosaich bhith 'gur diongmhail ?" 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. 

15. " Cadal gun d' rinn sinn 'nar luing, — 
An triuir bhraiihre druim ri druim ; 
M' an d' fhairich sinn beud na feall, 
Dh' ialh na se-longa-deug umainn." 

DEIRDRI. 

16. " Cha bu mhise nach d' innis dhuibhse, 

A Chloinn Uisneachan bho b' ionmhuinn ; 
Nach bu lamh air bhlonaga ban, — 
'S nach bu shurd air cogadh, cadal." 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. 

1 7. *' 'S ged nach biodh cogadh fo 'n ghrein, 
Ach duine fada a thi'r fein ; 

Cadal fada 's beag a thlachd 
Do dhuine, is e air de6rachd. 

18. " Dedrachd, 's mairg d' am biodh an dan,— 
Gur gnathach leatha cuid sheachrain ; — 

'S beag a h-urram, is m6r a smachd, — 
Is mairg duine d' an dan de6rachd. 



DUAIN ULTACH. 39 

19. " Ach chuir iadsan ann sin sinn, 
An uamha shalaich fui thalmhainn ; 
Far an tigeadh fodhainn an saile, 
Tri naoi uairean gach aon la. 

20. " Ach aon inghean mhaith bh' aig an righ, — 
Ghabh i dhinne m6ran truaghais ; 
Seicheachan a h-athar gu leir — 

Bu lionmhor ann bian eilde is aidhe — 

Chuir i eadar sinn 's am fuar uisg' ; — 

An righinn lir, o 's i b' fhearr tuigse ; 

Ach do bhiodh a h-athair 's a' Chraoibh Ruaidh, 

'Sa chairdean gu leir mu thimchioll." 

AN RIGH. 

21. " Teachd mo chagair a Thiormhail, 
Chan 'eil ruine nam ban maith — 
Innsidh 's a' chiiil na chluinn iad." 

TIORMHAIL. 

2 2. " Ciod an ruine a bhiodh ann 

Nach innseadh tu do t' aon inghin ? 
'S an riiine a gheibhinnse uait, 
Gun gleidhinn bliadhna, gu dil, 
Fui bhile mo chiche deise ; 
'S an riiine gheibhinn bho chach, 
Athair ghraidh ! gun innsinn duitse.' 



40 DUAIN VLTACIL 



AN RIGH. 



23. " Chuir ri'gh Eireann fios, air sail, 
Dh' ionnsuidh uaislean Bharr-Fdil, 
Gum faiginn-sa Ian mo luinge 

Do dh' 6r 's do db' innsridh, 's do dh' ionmhas, 
Chionn na ciomdch chur, gun fheall, 
Air chuan na h-Eireann am maireach." 

24. Ach leig an inghean osna throm 
As a cridhe gu ro mh6r ; 
Fhreagair aisnichean an taighe 
Leis an osann leig an inghean. 

AN RIGH. 

25. " Co so leig an osann throm ? — 
Gur duilich leo na ciomaich." 

TIORMHAIL. 

" 'S mise leig an osann throm — 
Do chiomaich gur coma leam. 

26. "Tha earrann mh6r ann a' m' thaobh elf 
'S gum marbhadh i caogad righ ; 

'S tha luain mh6r air mo chridhe, 

'S an taobh eile, ma choinneamh na h-earrainn." 



DUAIN ULTACII. 41 

27. Ach thainig i chugainn d' ar fios, 
An Tiormhail bu ghile cneas. 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. 

"An robh thu anns an diln ud thall"? 
No ciod an aithris a th' ann oirnne ? " 

TIORMHAIL. 

28. " Bha mise anns an diin ud thall, 

'S is truagh an aithris a th' ann oirbhse ; — 
Gum faigh m' athair Ian a luinge 
. Do dh' 6r, do dh' innsridh, 's do dh' ionmhas; 
Chionn na ciomaich chur, gun fheall, 
Air chuan na h-Eireann am maireach." 

29. " Ach sinibh chugamsa bhur casan, 
As gun tomhais mi na glasan ; 

Nach fhag mi bonn diubh air dearmad 
Air fad, air leud, na air doimhnead." 

30. Rainig ise an ceard Cluanach, — 
Fhuaras 6rd gobha 'na laimh, 

As e 'ga shior bhualadh air innein. 

AN CEARD CLUANACH. 

31. "Is nednach leam thu nighean righ, 
Bhith falbh oidhche 'n am chadail." 



42 DUAIN ULTACII. 

TIORMHAIL. 

*' S e bheireadh dhomhsa bhith falbh oidhche, 
C(5ir m' fhoighneachd a bhith agad." 

AN CEARD CLUANACH. 

32. " 'S nearachd mise bhith be6, 

'S coir a fhoighneachd a bhith agam : — 
'S an ceann dubh so th' air mo bhraghad, 
Gur tu rinn dhomhsa ghleidheadh. 

2,Z' " Bha mi la a' pronnadh 6ir, 

An ceardach t' athar an Cluanaidh ; 
Choinnicheadh ormsa 'n t-6r a ghoideadh, 
'S gum bu sgeul siod air namhaid." 

TIORMHAIL. 

34. " 'S i 'n fhail 6ir, thug mise dhuit, 
Chum an ceann air do bhraighe. 

35. " Mire gun d' rinneas a' m' luing, 
Air onfhadh na mara thruim ; 

Thuit iuchraichean m' athar thar b6rd, — 
'S truagh gun mise 'nan sruth-lorg ! " 

2f6. Ach dh' ^irich e suas, an ceard Cluaineach, — 
Mac an t-saoir as a' Chraoibh Ruaidh ; 



DUAIN ULTACH. 43 

Is rinn e na tri iuchraiche buadhach, 
Ri aiteal na h-aon leth-iiaire. 

AN CEARD CLUANACH. 

37. " Na tigeadh smid as do bheul — 
Moch, no anmoch, no ma fheasgar ; 
Nach gun labhair an teintein dubh sin, 
Na 'n t-innein air an deach an deanamb." 

38. Ach thainig i ris d' ar fios — 

An Tiormhail nan ciabha cleachdach. 

TIORMHAIL. 

39. " Sinibh chugamsa bhur casan, 
As gum fuasgail mi na glasan ; 

Mur dh' fhag mi bonn diubh air dearraad, 
Air fad, air lead, no air doimhnead." 

40. Ach thog Naois a chos ri eallachain, 
Ard is Aille co-fhearr-luath. 

TIORMHAIL. 

41. "An triuir bhraithrean bu mhaith diongmhail ;- 
Bheil sibh nise air 'ur cois ? 

No bheil a bhos na ni 'ur diongmhail ? " 



44 DUAIN ULTACH. 

CLANN UISMEACHAN. 

42. " No 'm bitheadh againn ar tri chlaidhmhean, 
Agus 16n chiiig oidhchean ; 

Solus ceire leth mar leth, 

'S gum bu leir dhuinn aghaidh a cheile." 

43. Chaidh i dh' iarraidh nan tri chlaidhmhean ;— 
Cha b' e faoidh a b' fluisa dheanamh; 
Rdinig i Gille an t-se6mair — 

An righinn iir m' an iadh an t-6mar. 

AN GILLE SEOMAIR. 

44. " S ne6nach leara, a nighean ri'gh, — 
Bhith falbh oidhche 'n am chadail ; " — 

TIORMHAIL. 

" 'S e bheireadh dhomh bhith falbh oidhche, 
C6ir m' fhoighneachd a bhith agad." 

45. " Na deanamsa ceartas dionaidh — 
Nighean an righ o Dhun Meara ; 

Tha mi 'g iarraidh nan tri claidhmhean, 

Agus 16n chiiig oidlichean ; 

Solus ceire leth mar leth, 

'S gum bu leir dhuinn aghaidh a chdile." 

AN GILLE SEOMAIR. 

46. " Ciod a dheanadh tu do chlaidheamh, 
A nighean righ ard-fhlathail ; 



DUAIN ULTACII. 45 

'S nach b' urrainn thu chur leis catha, 
No thoirt leis latha seirbhis ? " 

TIORMHAIL. 

47. "Bheirinn claidheamh dhiubh mar ghit, 
Do mhac a fhuair righ ri righinnj — 
Bheirinn daidheamli eile dhiubh 

Do cheud rnarcach nan each ciuin. 

48. " Bheirinn claidheamh eile dhiubh, 
Do ard mharascail mo luinge." 
I.eag i na naoi piosan 6ir 

Air a' bhord air son nan tri claidhmhean. 

CLANN UlSNEACHAN. 

49. " Thug i chugainn ar tri chlaidhmhean, 
Agus 16n chiiig oidhchean, 

Seorsa ceire leth mar leth, 

'S gum bu leir dhuinn aghaidh a cheile." 

50. Sin gur thainig g' ar fios — 

An Tiormhail bu gile cneas ; — 

TIORMHAIL. 

" Tha long aig m' aihair-se air sal, 
Roimhe thall air Chluan Ciaran. 

51. '' Ciiigear a' gleidheadh na luinge, — 



46 DUAIN ULTACll. 

Aon fhear m6r os gach duine, 

'S gun diongadh e ceud an comhrag. 

52. " Ach ma theid sibhse 'na dhdil, 
Gun eagal na gun fheall-sgath ; 
Biiailibh gu cothromach, ceart, 
Bhur tri chlaidhmhean 'na aon alt." 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. 

53. " Ge bu dorcha dubh an oidhche, 
Bu neo-bhorb a rinn sinn iomramh ; 
Bhuail sinn gu cothromach, ceart, 
Ar tri chlaidhmhean 'na aon alt. 



54. " Thig thusa steach a' d' luing, 

A Thiormhail, a' s ionmhuinne leinne ; 
As aon bhean cha teid os do cheann, 
Ach aon bhean 's an tir a'n t^id thu." 

TIORMHAIL. 

55. " Ciod an aon bhean a bhiodh ann, 

'S gur mi choisiun dhuibh na h-anam::im 1 
B'uaibhreach dhomhsa sin a dheanamh, — 
'S a liuthad mac righ tha 'ga m' iarraidh ; — 
Na 'n triallainn air cheumannan cas, 
Air sgath buidhne coimhiche." 



DUAIN ULTACn. 47 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. 

56. " Leubhaidh iad ort, A Gheal Shoilleir, — 
Mu as fior gu bheil thu torrach ; — 

Ma 's mac na inghean a bhios ann, 
Luaidhear air fearaibh na h-Eireann e." 

TIORMHAIL. 

57. " 'S aon nighean mi do 'n rigb, — 
'S mothaid dheth sud mo phris ; — 
Ach 's olc an saothraiche, re seal, 
Nach tugadh aon eun an caladh. 

58. " Ach fanaidh mi bliadhna air do gbaol, 
Agus bliadhna eile chion t' iomraidh ; — 

'N ceann na cuigeamh na seathamh bliadhna, 
Thig 'ga m' iarraidh 'n sin air m' athair, 
'S gleidhidh raise do shith dhuit 
Bho righ an domhain 's bho Chonchobhair." 




48 DUAIN ULTACn. 



PAIRT II. 



Caoldb Bbeir^rl.* 

Agus air innseadh na nitheadh dhoibh, bha Deirdri ro- 
dhiomach dhiubh, chionn gun d' fhag iad Tiormhail 
'n an deigh, agus air son a feabhas dhoibhsan nach 
iarradh ise os a cionn gu brath. An sin ghabh 
Deirdri agus iadsan an turas a ris g' a iarraidh, agus 
chunnairc ise aisling. 

DEIRDRI. 

1. *' Aiiling a chunnaic mi 'n raoir, 
Air triuir mhac rigli Barrachaoil ; 

Bhith 'g an cuibhreachadh 's'gan cuir 's an uaigh; 
Le Conchobhar as a' Chraoibh Ruaidh." 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. ■ 

2. *' Ach leag thusa t' aisling, a Dh^irdri, 
Air aonach nam bruthaichean arda, 
Air maraichean na fairge muigh, 

'S air na clochaibh garbha, glasa ; — 

'S gum faigh sinne sith, 's gun tabhair, 

Bho righ an Domhain 's bho Chonchobhair." 

*Caoidh DMirdri here is from Stewart's Collection of Gaelic 
Songs and Poems, being a part of Aoidheadh Chlainn 
Ulsnich in that work. 



DUAIN ULTACH. 4^ 

3. " Ach CO moch 's a thain' an 16, 
'S a sgaoileadh bho 'r ciil an ce6 ; 
C aite an do ghabh ar loingeas tir, 
Ach fui dhorus an ard-righ." 

4. Thainig Conchar fein a mach, 
'S naoi ceud deug sluaigh leis ; 

'S dh' fhe6raich e gu breagha, bras, 
Co iad na sldigh so th' air an loingeas ? 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. 

5. " S iad clann do pheathar fein a t' ann, 
Is iad 'nan suidhe 'n cathair aingis." 

CONCHAR. 

6. " Cha chlann peathar dhomhsa sibh, 
'S chan e gniomh a rinn sibh orm ; 
Ach mo narachadh le feall, 

Ann am fiadhnais fir na h-Eireann." 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. 

7. " Ciod ged thug sinn uait do bhean — 
Deirdri chruinneagach, chfuinn-lamh, gheal ; 
Rinn sinn riut baigh bheag eile, 

'S b' e 'n traths' am a cuimhneachaidh. 

8. " 'N latha sgain do long air saile, 

'S i Ian do dh' 6r is do dh' airgiod ; 



50 DUAIN ULTACH. 

Thug sinne dhuits' ar long fh^in, 

'S shnamh smnfhein cuan mu d' thimchioU." 

CONCHAR. 

9. " Ge d' dheanadh sibh rium caogad baigh, 
Air mo bhuidheachas gu fior ; 
Bhur sfth, chan fhaigheadh sibh an teinn, 
Ach gach aon di'th bu mh6 gum faodainn." 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. 

10. " Rinn sinn baigh bheag eile riut, 

'S b' e 'n traths' am a cuimhneachaidh ; 
'N latha mheatli an t-each breac ort, 
Air faiche Dhun-Dealgain ; 
Nois, thug sinne dhuit an t-each glas, 
Bheireadh gu bras thu 'n t-slighe." 

CONCHAR. 

1 1. " Ge d' dheanadh sibh rium caogad baigh, 
Air mo bhuidheachas gu fior ; 

Bhur si'th chan fhaigheadh sibh ah teinn, 
Ach gaefh aon dith bu mh6 gum faodainn." 

CLANN UISNEACHAN. 

12. " Do rinneamar dhuit baigh bheag eile, 

O 's e nis an t' am d' a cuimhneachaidh ; — 



BUAIX ULTACH. 51 

Chuir sinn thu 'n comainean lionmhor, — 
'S dileas ar c6ir air do chomraich ! 

13. " An t' am do chuir Murchadh Mac Brian, 
Na seachd cathaibh am Binn Eadair, 
Thug sinn chugad, gun easbhuidh, 

Cinn mhac righ na h-Earradheise." 

COXCHAR. 

14. " Ge d' dheanadh sibh rium caogad baigh, 
Air mo bhuidheacbas gu fior ; 

Bhur sith chan fhaigheadh sibh an teinn, 
Ach gach aon diih bu mho gum faodainn." 

DEIRDRI. 

15. " Eirich a Naois is glac do chlaidheamh, 

A dheagh mhic an righ a' s glan coimhead ; 
Creud fa 'm faigheadh an cholann shuairc, 
Ach a mhain aon chuairt do 'n anam." 

16. Chuir Naois a shalta ri clar, 

Is ghlac e chlaidheamh 'na dhorn ; 
'S bu gharg deannal nan laoch 
'Tuiteam air gach taobh do bhord. 

17. Thorchair mic Uisnich 'sa' ghreis, 
Mar thri gallain a' fas co dheas, 



62 DUAIN ULTACil. 

Air an sgrios le doinionn ^itidh — 

Ni 'n d' fhag meangan, meur, na geug dhiubh. 

1 8. " Cha bhds learn a nis 'ur has, 
A Chloinn Uisneachan gun aois ; 
O na thuit e leibh, gun fheall, 
Treas marcaich uasal na h-Eireann." 



CONCHAR. 

19. "Gluais a Dhearduil as do luing, — 
A Gheug lir an abhra dhuinn ; 

As chan eagal do d' ghnuis ghlain, 
Fuath, na eud, na achasan." 

DEIRDRI. 

20. " Cha teid mise mach as mo luing, 
Gus am faigh mi mo rogha athchuinge ; 
Cha tir, cha talamh, as cha tuar, 

Cha triuir bhraithre bu ghloine snuadh ; 
Chan 6r, 's chan airgiod, 's chan eich — 
Ni m6 as bean uaibhreach raise — 
Ach mo chead a dhol do 'n traigh, 
Far am bheil Clann Uisnich 'nin tamh' 
As gun tugainn na tri p6ga rseala. 
Do 'n tri chorpaibh caomha, geala." 



DUAIN ULTACH. 53 

2 1. Dh' fhuasgail iad a folt donna-bhuidhe tlath 
M' an cuairt do 'n righinn coimh-reidh, — 
A h-eudach gu barraibh a cos, 
M' an tugadh i leatha 'm braid, 
Cothrom cr6 na snathaide ; — 
Ach aon fhail oir a 'bha mu 'meur — 
'S ann a chuir i sud 'na beul, — 
As dh' imich i leis do 'n traigh, 
Far an robh Clann Uisneachan, — 
As fhuair saor a' snoigheadh ramh — 
A sgian aige 'na lealh laimh, 
'S a thuadh aige 's an laimh eile. 

DEIRDRI. 

2 2. " A shaoir a' s fearr d' am facas riamh, 
Creud air an tiubhradh tu an sgian ? 
Is e a bheirear dhuit, d' a ceann, 
Aon fhaine buadhach, na h-Eireann." 

23. Shanntaich an saor am fain?, — 
Air a dheisead as air 'aillead ; — 
Thiubhradh do Dhearduil an sgian, 
Agus rainig i ionad a miann. 

24. Dh' iinich i an sin do 'n traigh ; 
Far an robh Clann Uisneachan ; 



64 DUAIN ULTACII. 

'S fhuair i 'n sin gun agadh. 
An tri chuirp sinte si'os co fada. 

DEIRDRI. 

25. " Cha ghdirdeachas gun Chlann Uisnich 
O ! is tiirsach gun bhith 'n 'ur cuallach ;- 
Tri mic righ le 'n dioltadh dedraich, 
Tha gun chomhradh re n-uchd uaighe. 

26. " Tri mathghamhna Inse Breatain, — 
Triuir sheabhac o Shliabh a' Chuilinn ; 
An triuir dh' an geilleadh na gaisgich, 
As dh' an tidbhradh na h-amhais urram. 

27. " Na tri eoin a b' aillidh snuadh, 
A tbdinig thar chuan nam bare ; 

Triuir mhac Uisnich o 'n Charra ehruinn, 
Tri laehaibh air tuinn a' snamh. 

28. " Threigeas gu h-eibhneaeh Uladh, 
Fa 'n triuir churaioh a' b' annsadh ; 
Mo shaoghal 'nan deigh chan fhada — 
Na h-eagar fear ath bliuailt dhomhsa. 

29. " Tri ialla nan tri chon sin, 

Do bhuin osnadh m' chridhe ; 



DUAIN ULTACIL ' 55 

'S ann agamsa bhiodh an tasgaidh, — 
Am faicsinn is aobhar cumhadh. 

30. " A Chlann Uisnich tha an sud thall — 
'N 'ur luidhe bonn re bonn ; 

Da' n siimhlaicheadh mairbh roimh bheo eile, 
Shiimhlaicheadh sibhse romham-sa. 

31. "A thriuir threun o Dhun-monaidh, — 
A thriuir ghiollan nam feart buadha ; — 
Tar eis an triair ni maireann mise, — 
Triuir le 'm briseadh mo luchd fuatha. 

32. " Air fosgladh am feartan, 

Na deanaibh an uaigh gu docair ; — 
Eitheam am fochair na h-uaighe, 
Far nach deanar truaigh na ochain. 

33. " An tri sgiathan 's an tri sleaghan, 
Anns an leabaidh chumhainn cuiribh ; — 
Cairibh an tri chlaidhmhean cruadhach, 
Sinte OS cionn uaigh nam min-fhear. 

34. " An tri conaibh 's an tri seabhaic ; — 
Biotar am feasd gun luchd seilge — 
Cuiribh an gar nan triath chatha — 
Triar dhalta Chonaill Chearnaich. 



56 DUAIN ULTACH. 

35. " Och is truagh mo shealladh orra, — 
Fath mo dhocair as mo ihiirsaidh ; — 
Nach do chuireadh mi 's an talamh, 
Sul mharbhadh geala mhac Uisnich. 

36. " Is mise Dearduil gun eibhneas, 
Nis a' criochnachadh mo bheatha ; 
Bronnam, le m' chridhe, mo thri p6ga, 
As duineam am br6n mo laithean." 

37. Shin i 'n sin a taobh r' a thaobh, 
Agus chuir i 'beul r' a bheul, 

As ghabh i 'n sgian roimh a cridhe, 
'S fhuair i 'm bas gun aithreachas ; 
Ach thilg i 'n sgian dubh 's a' chuan, 
Mu 'm faigheadh an saor achmliasan. 

38. Rainig Conchar an traigh, 

Is cilig ceud an coinneamh a mhnaoi ; — 

'S e fhuair e 'n sin, gun agadh, 

Na ceithir cuirp sinte sios cho fhada. 

CONCHAR. 

39. " Mile mallachd mile mairg, 

Air a' cheill ata gam' chumail ; — 

Air a' cheill a thug ormsa 

Deagh chlann mo pheathar fein a mharbhadh. 



DUAIN ULTACH. 57 

40. " Tha iadsan gun anam dheth — 
Tha mise gun Dheardra agam ; — 
Ach tiolaicidh mi 'n aon uaigh, 
Naois as Deirdri 'n aon leabaidh ; — 

'S an lus beag a thig roimh 'n uaigh, — 
Ge b' e chuireas snaim air a bharr — 
Gum bu leis aon rogha leannain. 

41. " Na 'm bithinnsa 'N lubhar nam buaih, 
A nocht fein ga fuar an t-sian ; — 

Gun cuirinnsa snaim air a bharr — 
Ge do bhiodh an crann gu criona." 




J8 DUAIN ULTACH. 

Jfraocb /llbac ^Fttblcb. 
Auctor Hujus in Ketch O Cloan. 

1. H-osna charaid a Cluain Fraoich — 
H-osna laoich a caiseal chr6, — 
H-osna dheanadh tursach fear, 
Agus d' an guilionn bean 6g. 

2. Aig so shear an earn fa' n bheil 
Fraoch Mac Fithich an fhuilt mhaoith ;- 
Fear a rinn buidheaclias do Mhaoibh 

Is bho shlointear Cam Fraoich. 

3. Gul aon mhna an Cruachan Soir, — 
Trungh an sgeul fa bheil a' bhean ; 
Is e bheir a h-osna gu trom, 
F'raoch Mac Fithich nan colg sean. 

4. Is i an aon bhean do ni an gul, 

A' dul d' a eis gu Cluain Fraoich ; — 

Ainnir an fholt chas, ail — 

Inghean Mhaoibh g' a bitheadh laoich. 

5. Inghean Orla is ordha folt 

Is Fraoch an nocht taobh air thaobh ; 
Ga m6r fear do ghradhaich i, — 
Nior ghradhaich si fear ach Fraoch. 



DUAIN VLTACIL 59 

6. Faigheas Maoibh mu fuath, 
Cairdeas Fraoich fa fear a gleoidh ; — 
A chilis fa chreuchtadh a chorp, 

Tre gun locht a dheanamh dhith. 

7. Do chiiir i e gus a' bba^;, 

Taobh re mnathnibh ni tug o 'n olc ; 
M6r am piidhar a thuit le Maoibh — 
Innisead gun cheilg a nois. 

8. Caorthainn do bhi air Loch Maidh,— 
Do chimid an traigh dha dheas ; — 
Gach raidhe — gach mi — 

Toradh abaidh do bhi air. 

9. Sasa bhi an caorthainn sin, — 
Fa milse na mil a bhlath ; — 
Do chongfagh a caoran dearg 

Fear gun bhiadh gu ceann naoi tratha. 

10. Bhadhna air shaoghal gach fir, 

Do chuireadh sin fa sgeul dheaibh ; — 
Gum b' fhdirinn do lucht chneidh 
Frith a mheas is e dearg. 

11. Do bhi ainseun 'na dhiaigh, 

Ga bith e, leigh a chobhradh an t-sl6igh ; — 



60 DUAIN ULTACH. 

P(^ist nimh dho bhith 'na bhun, 
Bh' aca dho chath dhol d' a bhuain. 

12. Bhi an easlainte thrv)m — throm, — 
Inghean Athaich nan corn saor ; — 

Do chuireadh leatha fios air Fraoch ; — 
Fiosraich ciod thain' rith'. 

13. A dubhairt Maoibh nach biodh slan, 
Mar faigheadh Ian a boise maoith, 
Do chaoraibh an locha fhuair, 

Gun duine dh' a bhuain ach Fraoch. 

14. Cnuasachd riamh ni dhearn mi, 
Ars' Mac Fithich nan gruaidh dearg 
Ge geur dhearnas e air Fraoch, 
Racham do bhuain chaor do Mhaoibh. 

15. Gluaiseas Fraoch, fa fear an ai^h, 
Bhuain dho shnamh air an loch ; 
Fhuair e pheist, is i 'na suain, 

Is a ceann suas ris an dos. 

16. Fraoch Mac Fithich, an airm gheir, 
Thainig o 'n pheist gun fhios dith ; — 
Thug e ultach chaora dearg. 

Far an robh Maoibh dh' a ti. 



DUAIN ULTACH. 61 

MAOIBH. 

17. " Ach ge maiih na thugas leat," 
A dubhairt Maoibh is geal cruth, 
" Ni fh6ir mise, a laoich luinn, 
Ach slat a bhuain as a bun." 

18. Togras Fraoch — is nior ghille tiom — 
A shnamh a ris air an linn bhuig ; — 
Is nior fheud, ach ga m6r 'agh, 
Theachd o 'n bbas an robh chuid. 

19. Gabhas an caorthainn air bharr — 
Tarruingidh an crann as a flireun:ih ; — 
Toirt d6 a chos dho an tir, 
Mothaigheas dho ris a' pheist. 

20. Beireas air agus e air snamb, 
Is gabhas a lamb 'na craos ; — 
Do ghabh esan ise air ghial, — 
Truagh gun a sgian aig Fraoch ! 

2 1. Ainnir, an fholt chais ^il, 

Do rain' chuige le sgian do 'n 6r ; 
Leadair a' pheist a chneas ban 
Is teasgadh a lamh air luath. 

22. Do thuiteadar bonn ri bonn. 

Air traigh nan clach ccrr fa dheas ; 



62 DUAIN ULTACH. 

Fraoch Mac Fithich is a' ph^ist — 
Truagh a T)\\€ mar thug an treis. 

23. 'Ga comhrag — ni comhrag gearr, — 
Do rug leis a ceann 'na laimh ; 
Mar chonnaic an nighean e, 

Do chuaidh 'na neul air an traigh. 

24. Eireas an nighean o 'n tamh, — 
Gabhas an lamb — bu lamh bhog ; 

AINNIR. 

" Ga ta so 'na chuid nan eun, 
Is m6r an t-euchd a rinn a bhos." 

25. Bho 'n bhas sean do fhuair am fear, 
Loch Mai go lean do 'n loch ; — 

A ta an t-arm sean dith, gu luain, 
'G a ghairm a niias gus a nois. 

26; Beirear, an sean, gu Cluan Fraoich, 
Corp an laoich go Caiseal chr6igh ;- 
Air a' ghleann thugadh, a ainm, 
Is mairg a mhaireas d' a luaidh. 

27. Carn laimh an earn so ri m' thaobh,- 
A laimh ris do bhitheas sonn ; 
Fear nior iompoigheadh an treise,— 
Fear bu dhasaiche neart an trod. 



DUAIN ULTACII. 63 

28. lonmhuinn am beul nior ob dhaimh, — 
A 'm bitheadh mnathan a tobhairt ph6^ ; 
lonmhuinn tighearn nan sluagh, — 
lonmhuinn gruaidh nior dheirge 'n r6s. 

29. Duibhe no fitheach barr a fholt, 
Deirge a ghruaidh no fuil laoigh ; 
Fa mine na cobhar sruth, 

Gile na an sneacht, cneas Fraoich. 

30. Caise na an caisein fholt, — 
Gairme a rosg na oidbre-leac ; — 
Deirge na partainn''^ a bheul, — 
Gile a dheud na blath feith. 

31. Airde a shleagh na crann siuil, — 
Binne no teud chiuil a ghuth ; — 
Snamhaiche do b' fhearr no Fraoch, 
Cha do shin a thaobh ri sruth. 

32. Fa leithne na c6mhla a sgiath, — 
lonmhuinn trath bhith ri druim ; — 
Co fada 'lamh is a lann, — 
Leithne a cholg na clar dhe long. 

*Partaimi-dearg : — Roioan berries 



64 



DUAIN ULTACH. 



33. Truagh nach ann an c6mhrag ri laoch, 
Do ihuit Fraoch a bhronnadh 6r ; — 
Tursa sin a thuiteam le pdist — 
Truagh, a dh^ na mairlonn f6s. 




I) VAIN ULTACH. 65 

C n I a c b. 

Gille-cahwi Mac an Ollaimh an t-iirsgeul so sios 



Transliterated from Dr. Mac Lauchlafi' s Tran- 
script of Dean Mac Gregof^s Book. 

Quatrains 24, 25, 26, 27, jo, and 31, are from 
Gillies' Collection of Gaelic Songs and Poejns. 



1. Do chuala mi fad o shean, 
Sgeul do bhoineas ri cumha ; 
Is trath dh' a h-aithris gu trom, 
Ga ta e mar ainnis oirnn. 

2. Clanna Rughraidh nam brath mall 
Fa Chonchobhair is fa Chonaill ; 
Do b' \irlaimh 6igfhir air mhagh, 
Air h-urlar Choigeimh Uladh. 

3. G' a thigh, ni thainig, le gean, 
Fa uile laochraidh Bhanbha ; 
Cath ag faghail aon uair eile, 

Dar dh' iomain Clanna Rughraidh. 



66 DUAIN ULTACII. 

4- Thainig chugainn — borb a fhraoch — 
An curaidh crodha Conlaoch ; 
A dh' fhiosnadh m' ar claraibh grinn, 
O Dhun-Sgathaich gu h-Eifinn. 

5. Do labhair Conchobhar ri each, 
Co gheibheamar chon an 6glaich, 
Do bhreith beacht nan sgeula dhetb, 
Gun teachta le h-euradh bhuaidh ? 

6. Gluaiseas Conall, nior lag lamb, 
Do bhreith sgeula de *n mhacan ; 
Air dearbh tarruinn do 'n laoch, 
Ceanghailear Conall le Conlaoch. 

7. Nior ghobh an laoch le lamhach 
Chonaill fraoich forranaich ; 

Ceud d* ar sluagh do cheanghladh leis- 
loghnadh a 's buan ri aithris ! 

8. Chuireadh teachtair gu ceann nan con, 
Bho h-ard-righ eagnaidh Uladh, 

Gu Dun-dealgain ghrianach, ghloin — 
Seann diln ceillidh nan Gaidheal. 

9. (Bho 'n diln sin do luadhar leinn) 
Do dh' eangnamh nii^hean Fhorgain ; 



DUAIN ULTACH. 67 



Thigeas gniomhaidhe nan saoradh seang 
Gu rio;h faoilteach nam fearann. 



10. Dh' fhiosraichtadh sluagh Uladh uaine, — 
Thigeas Cii na Craoibhe Ruaidhe ; — 
Mac deud-fhionn — a ghruaidh mar shugh- 
Nior eitich teacht d' ar cobhair. 

CONCHOBHAR. 

1 1. " Fada," ars' Concliobhar ris a' Chil, 
" Bhathas gun teacht d' ar cobhair ; 
As Conall, suireach nan steud meara, 
An ciiibhreach as ceuda d' ar sluagh." 

CONALL. 

12. " Deacair dhomhsa bhith am bruid, 
A fhir a chobhradh air caraid ! " 

CUCHULAINN. 

" Ni 'n reidh dol an eangnamh a lainne,— 
Eise le r' cheanghladh Conall." 

CONALL. 

13. " Na smaoinich gun dol 'na aghaidh, 
A righ nan gorm-lann graineil ! 

A lamh chruaidh gun laige ri neach, 
Smuainich air t' oide, a's e 'n cuibhreich. 



68 DUAIN ULTACIL 

14. Cuchulainn nan scan lann sliom, 
Nuair a chual e tuireadh Chonaill ; 
Do ghluais e, le trdine a lamh, 

Do bhreith sgeula de 'n mhacamh." 

CUCHULAINN. 

15. " Innis dhuinn, air teachd a' d' dhail, 
A Raic ! an tu nior ob teugbhail ? 

A shlios reidh an abhraidh dhuibh — 
Fios t' airm ? Co do dhuthchas ? " 

CONLAOCH. 

16. " Do m' gheasaibh air teacht bho m' thigh, 
Gun sgeula dh' innseadh a dh' aoidhe ; 
Da 'n innsinn do neach eile, — 
A'd'dreachsa dh* innsinn, gu h-draid." 

CUCHULAINN. 

17. "Comhrag riumsa is eigin duit, 
Na sgeul a innseadh mar charaid ; 
Gabhsa do rogha, a chiabh lag ; — 
Ni cdillidh tigeil a' m' chomhrag." 

CONLAOCH. 

18. " Ach na bhitheadh gun tigeadh 'n ar ceann ! 
A h-Onnchu aidh na h-Eireann ! 



DUAIN ULTACH. 

A lamh ghaisge an tiis troid! 

Mo chlid bhith an nasgaidh agad." 

19. lomaineadar chon a cheile, — 
Ni ta 'n comhrag banamhail; 

Am macan gun d' fhuair a ghuin — 
An daltan cmaidh, lamhach. 

20. Cuchulainn as comhrag cruaidb, 
Do bha 'n la sin fo dhiombuaidh ; 
A ! aon mhac do mharbhadh leis — 
An t-saor-shlat chalma, chaomh ghlas! 

CUCHULAINN. 

21. " Innis duinn," arsa Cii nan cleas, 
O, ta am feasta fo 'r n-ailleas, 

T' arm as do shloinne^idh gu lorn: — 
Na teirig a dh' fholcbainn oirnn." 

CONLAOCH. 

22. " Is mi Conlaoch mac a' Choin, 
Oighre dligheach Dhun-dealgain: — 
Is mi 'n riia dh' f hagas am broinn, 
As tu aig Sgathaich ga t'fhoghlum. 

23. "Seachd bUadhna do bha mi shoir, 
A foghlum ghaisge bho m' mhathair ; 



70 DUAIN ULTACII. 

Na cleasa le 'n do thorchair mi. 

Bha dh' easbhuidh an fhoghluim orm. 

24. " Thoir thusa leat mo shleagh, 
Agus buain an f giath so dhiomsa ; 

'S thoir leat mo chlaidheamh cruadhach — 
Lann fliuair mi air a liomhadh. 

25. " Thoir mo mhallachd gu m' mhathair, 
O 's i chairich mi fo gheasaibh ; 

'S a chuir an lathair m' f huluing, — 

A Chuchulainn — b' ann le d' chleasaibli. 

26. A Chuchulainn chaoimh, chrios-ghil, 
Leis am brisear gach beam ghabhaidh ; 
Nach amhairc thu — as mi gun aithne — 
Cia meur mu 'm bheil am faine. 

27. " Is olc a thuigeadh tusa uamsa, 
Athair uasail, ana-m^inich ; 

Gur 7tii thilgeadh, gu fann, fiar — 

An t-sleagh an coinneamh a h-earlainn !" 

28. Smaoineas Cuchulainn nuair a dh' eug, 
A mhac an dreach do chumhadh ; 

Gur smaoin, nar bhreig, faoilte an fhir, — 
Do threio; a chuimhne 's a cheudfadh. 



DUAIN ULTACH. 71 

29. A airmidh, ri corp a' Choin, 

A chumha 's beag nach do sgar, 
Ri faicinn, an culthaobh a' ghlinne, 
Gaisgeach Dhuine-dealgain. 

CUCHULAINN. 

30. " Na mairinns' as Conlaoch slan, 
Ag iomairt air chleasa an comhlan ; 
Chuireamaid cath formadach, treun, 
Air fearaibh Alba agus Eireann. 

31. ** Dh' iath umam ceud cumha, 

Mi bhith dubhach ni h-ioghnadh ; 
O m' chomhrag ri m' aon mhac, 
Mo chreuchdan a nochd is iomadh." 




GLOSSARY 



TO THE PRECEDING 



(3aeUc Ballabs, 



Contractions useb in Glossary* 



Adj. Adjective; adv. Adverb; s. Substantive; sg. 
Singular; //. Plural; s. 771. Substantive masculine; s.f. 
Substantive feminine; srj. gen. Singular genitive; sg. 
dat. Singular dative; pi. no7n. Plural nominative; // 
dat. Plural dative; pi gen. Plural genitive; asp. Asp- 
irated. The acute accent is placed over long vowels. 



clXsX glossary. KqXs> 



Abaidh, adj, ripe. Adhart, s. m. a bolster^ a pillow. 
Aidhe, sg. gen. of Adh, s. f. a heifer. Ailde, adj. more 
or most handsome^ or comely. Aille, s. f. beauty^ hand- 
someness., comeliness. Aille, adj. more or most beautiful., 
handsotne., or comely. Aingeis, s.f malice. Ainseun, 
s.f misfortune., mischance., mishap. Ail, adj. modesty 
beautiful, noble. Aillead, s. f beauty, handsomeness. 
Aiteal, s. m. a short portion of time. Aisnichean, s.f. 
pi. ribs. Aisling, s.f. a dreain. Aithris, s.f. recital, 
rehearsal, report, narration. Aluinn, adj. fair, beautiful, 
handsome, comely. Amhas, s. m. an ungovernable man; 
a soldier. Allmharach, s. m. a foreigner; a barbarian. 
Aonach, s. m. a hill, a steep height, heath, height, desert 
place. Aonaran, s. m. a recluse, a hermit, one who 
lives alone. Athchuinge, s. f a prayer, a request. 



76 GLOSSARY. 

B 

Birr, s. ?n. top or extremity. B. as-tan a, adj. thin-hoofed. 
Beag-ghaoisdneach, adj. small-haired. Binn, adj. 7nelod- 
ious, stveet, true. Bian, s.m. a skin or a hide. Beireas, 
imp. verb., catches. Boise, sg.gen. of hos or bas, the ope?i 
hand. Bonn, s. m. a sole; a foundation; a bottom or base; 
a coin; a bit, the smallest part. Bior-chul-chas, s. m. a pin 
holding together the hind legs of a cow or bullock killed, 
and hung up to dry. Bladh, s. m. refiown, fame. 
Beum, s. a blow, a hurt. Bailg-fhionn, adj. white- 
bellied. Braonach, adj. rainy ; sorrowful. Braon-sgeul, 
s. m. a sorrowful story. Breagh, adj. comely, hatidsome. 
Brigh or bri, s. a ivord. Braigh, s. ;;/. a hostage, a 
captive, a prisoner; pi. Braighde and braighdean. 
Brath, s. m. information. Brath, s. ?n. judgment. 
Bruan, s. m. a splinter. Beart, s. a manner of doing a 
thing; dress, clothing; s.f an action, a deed. Blath, s. 
m. afloiver, a blossom. Buidhne, sg. gen. of Buidh- 
eann s. f, a band. Baighe, s. a fight, a combat, a 
battle. Bronnadh, s. giving, bestowing, a gift. Bronn- 
aim, V. I give, bestow. Braghad, s. m. tin neck, throat, 
windpipe. Bradan, s. m. a salmon. Bhroinne, asp.pl. 
gen. of Brd, s.f. a belly. Bruthaichean, pi. nom. of s. 
7n. bruthach, an acclivity or a declivity ; a brae. Buid- 
eachas, s. thanks, gratitude; kindness. Buadha, sg. 



GLOSiiARY. 77 

gen. of buaidh, s. f. victory, conquest; virtue, power. 
Buadhach, adj. victorious; estimable, valuable, precious. 
Bhuainn, /r^;« us. Briseadh, s. a breaking, a battle, 
a conquest. 



Caogad, adj. fifty. Caladh, s. m. a harbour, a haven, 
a port. Caol, adj. slender, fine, small. Caolchasach, 
adj. slender-legged. Cathair, s. f. a fort, a city. Cear- 
nach, adj. victorious. Cearn, s. m. a victory. Ceathach, 
s. m. 77iist,fog, vapour. Cein, adj. far, remote. Clisniche, 
sg. gen. ^clisneach, s. m. the human body ; a carcase.} 
Cli, s. the body. Cliar, s. m. a troop. Chinnf hionn, asp. 
form of adj. ceann-fhionn, white-headed. Caomh, adj. 
handsome, cofuely. Ceannardach, adj. proud, imperious. 
Ceard, s. m. a smith, a tinker. Carraig, s. f a rock. 
Cailg-f hionn, adj. white haired or white-bristled. Chon- 
airc, V. saw. Cobhair, s.f help, aid, succour. Cath, 
s. m. a battle; a battalion. Comhradh, s. m. talk, 
conversation, discourse. Comhrag, s. ?n. a combat, a 
conflict. Cleas, s. m. a feat, a dexterous deed. Cliabh- 
fharsuinn, adj. wide-chested. Craobhach, adj. arboreous. 
Cluanach, adj. belonging to a meadow or plain. Cnamh- 
ach, adj. bony. Cleachdach, adj. having clustering 
ringlets or tresses. Cleachd, s. f a ringlet of hair. 
Cluas-bheag, adj. sfuall eared. Ceire, sg. gen. of ceir 



78 GLOSSARY. 

s.f. ivax. Cagar, s. m. a whisper, a secret. Coimhiche, 
sg. gen. of s. m. cohnheach, a stranger. Colann, s. f. 
the body. Claoin, for cluain, s. f. a plain, a lawn; a 
retired situation. Chitheam, v. I see. Cruinneagach, 
adj. low and round with respect to a woman. Ciomach, 
s. 7n. a captive or a prisoner. Coinneamh, s.f. a meet- 
ifig. Cuibhreachadh, s. m. a bindi?ig, a fettering. 
Cumha, s. m. lamentation, sorroiv. Corn, s. m. a 
drinking horn or cup. Clocharra, adj. set with stones. 
Qo-i, s.f. foot and leg., pi. gen cos. Conchar, contr. of 
Conchobhar or Conchobhor. Clochaibh, //. dat. of 
cloch, s.f. a stone. Cruaidh, adj. hard. Colg, s. m. a 
sword ; rage, ivrath. C\\\m\d,v.wesee. Caoir-theine, i-./ 
afire brand; sparkling flatne. Creuchta, adj. wounded. 
Cumaiseach,/^ra^*. cumasach strong, powerful. Croidh- 
fhionn, adj. white-hoofed. Cuirp, sg. gen. and pi. nom. 
of corp, s. m. a body. Cii, s. m. a king, a champion. 
Cuan, s. m. a bay, a haven; an ocea?i. Cumhachdach, 
adj. mighty, powerful. Coimh-reidh, adj. even, level. 
Conaibh, //. dat. of Cii, s. m. a hound or dog; used 
for the pi. nom. Cothrom, s. m. equity, justice; an ad- 
vantage. Cuallach, s.f. co7npany. Curaidh, s. m. a 
champion. Caorthainn, s. mountain ash, roivan tree. 
Alb. Caorrunn. s. m. mountain ash or rowa?t tree. 
Craos, s. m. a wide mouth. Corr, adj. roimd. [This 
word forms part of three place-names in Islay : — Corra- 



GLOSSARY. 79 

bheinn, round-mountain. Loch Corr, round lake., and 
Cnocan corr, round knoll.^ Cnuasachd, s. f. wild fruit 
gathering. 

D 

Daimh, s. m. and f. relationship., friendship. Dalta, 
s. m. a foster child; dim. daltan. Dail, s. f a meeting. 
Dan, s. m. fate., destiny. Deagh-mhaiseach, adj. ex- 
cellently, beautiful. Dearg, adj. red. Deimhin, adj. 
certain., sure., true. Dearsa-fhionn, adj. bright-shining. 
Dearmad, s. m. omission. Dasach, adj. fierce., bold. 
Deiream, / say. De6rachd, s. f. banishment., exile. 
Dil, adj. foftd, faithful. Di'onadh, s. m. a defending. 
Diongmhail for Diongadh, s. m. act of matching., over- 
coming., conquering. Deud, s. m. a tooth; the jaw ; set 
of teeth. Doinionn, s. f. inclement weather; storm, 
tempest. Domhain, sg. gen. ^Domhan, s. m. the world. 
Dorsair, s. m. a porter, a doorkeeper. Do dh', contraction 
of do dho, a reduplication. Dii, fit, proper, (i. dual. 
O' Clery.) Dubhairt, v. said. Duileadh, adj. sadder. 
Ddn, s. m. a fort. Dual, s. m. a loop, a fold, a plait. Dual, 
for Dualadh, s. m. the act of carving, a piece of carved 
work. Drithleann, s. m. a sparkle. 

E 

Ealla, adv. nothing ado. Eangach, adj. nailed, 
hooked. Eachmhor, adj. horse — large. Eagnuidhe, adj. 



80 GLOSSARY. 

expert, judicious. Earrann, s. f. a sharp pain in the 
side; a stitch. Ealchainn, s. f. a stand for arms. 
Eidhre, s. f. ice. Eilde, sg. gen. of Eilid, s.f a hind. 
Eineacb, s. m. courtesy; generosity. Eis, s.f delay, deten- 
tion, hindrance. Eirig, s.f. a ransom, a forfeit, a fine; 
reparation, amercement. Eitidh, adi. boisterous, fierce, 
dreadful, ugly. 



Faiche, s.f afield, a plain. Famhair, s. m. a giant. 
Fann, adj. weak. Faonachy^/- Aonach, s. 7n. a hill, a 
steep; height, heath, desert place. Faoibh, s.f. a relic; 
dead men^s clothes. Faoil, s. f hospitality, generosity. 
Faoil, s. m. patience, forbearance. Faoil, adj. wild, un- 
tameable. Faol, Fulang, patience. Farum, s. m. 
rustling noise. Fath, s. m. cause, reason; opportunity. 
Faircill, s. pi. instru77ients for holding the hair properly. 
Feall-sgath, s. m. false fear, cowardice. Feall, s. m. 
treachery, falsehood, deceit. Fearaibh, dat. pi. of Fesiv. 
Fear, s. m. a man, a male. Fairich, v. to perceive. Feart, 
s. m. a virtue; a grave. Flath, s. m. a lord, a hero. Fail, 
s.f a ring. Faine, s.f. and m. a ring. Fial, adj. good. 
Fianuis, s.f a ivitness ; evidence, testimony. Faoidh. s. 
departing ;a voice, a sound; sleep. Fionda, adj. cerulean, 
sky-coloured. Fionn, adj. white, fair. Fioghurdha, 
decorated with emblefnatical figures. Fionn-bhuidhe, 



GLOSSARY. 81 

adj. light yellow. F6ir, s.f. help, relief. Foighneachd, 
s. f. an inquiring, an asking, a questioning. Fdirinn, s. 
f. aid, help, remedy. Frith, s. f. profit, gain, advantage, 
benefit. Fhuilt, asp. sg. gen. ofYoXx, s. m. the hair of the 
head. Fuath, s. ni. hatred, aversion, abhorrence. 



Gall, s. in. a pillar stone, or boundary stone ; dim, 
Gallan, means the same. Gall, s. m., now denotes, in 
the Scottish Highlands, the Scottish Lowlanders, and in 
Ireland, the Irish who do not speak Gaelic. It would 
seem to be the word Gall, a boundary stone with the 
extended meaning of one outside the boundary of the 
Gael. Gallan, dim, ^Gall, also a boundary stone, or 
standing stone. These words enter into place-names in 
Ireland. Cangallia is the name of a place near Castle- 
island in the county of Kerry, which is, in Gaelic, 
Ceann-gaille, head of standing stone. Several places 
named Gallagh, derived from gallach, abounding in 
standing stones, or large stones or rocks, are found in 
all the provinces of Ireland, excepting Munster. A 
parish in Meath is called Gallow, a name, also, derived 
from Gallach. Gallan, s. 7n. a branch, a sapling; a 
youth. Gabhas, v. takes. Geal, white, clear. Geall, 
s. m. a pledge, ?nortgage. Geill, s.f. yielding, submission. 
Giollan, //. nom. <?/"Giolla, s. m. a lad, a youth. Giollan, 



82 GLOSSARY, 

dim. of Giolla ; a young lad. Goith, //. gen. of 
Goth, s. in. a spear. Gniiis, s. f the face^ countenance. 
Gorm, adj. blue; red. Geug, s. f. a branch. Gial, s.f 
ajaiv, a cheek. Gle6idh, sg. gen. of Gle6dh, s. m. a sigh, 
a groan. Grinn, adj. fine, elegent, beautiful. Grinn- 
ghruagach, adj. fine-haired. Guin, s. m. pain) a wound, 
a dart, a sharp point ; fierceness. Guin, v. wound, pierce, 
sting. G\irX.,s.7n. pain, fierceness. Goire, adj. contiguous. 
Gul, s. m. weeping, lamentation. Guilionn, v. would 
lament or weep. 

I 

lath or ladh, v. to surround or encompass. lath, s. 
land, country. lomad, adj. many. lomarbhaidh, s. m. 
strife, contention. lomarsgal, s. wrestling. Inghean, 
s.f. a daughter, a maiden, a virgin. Innisead, v. let 
me tell. lalla, s. thongs. lolaire, sg. gen. of lolar, s. 
m. an eagle. lonmhas, s. m. treasure. 

L 

Laidir, adj. strong. Lainnire for Lainnreach, adj. 
effulgent, radiant, glossy. Lachaibh, //. dat. of Lacha, 
s. a duck or drake. Laoigh, sg. gen. and pi. nom. 
of Laogh, s. m. a calf. Leachdainn, sg. dat. of Leach- 
dann, s.f. the side of a hill; steep, shelving ground; used 
for Leaca, s.f. the cheek, Leug, s.f. a gem. Leadair, 
V. tran. inangled. Lan-ghlic, adj. thoroughly wise. 



GLOSSARY. 83 

Learg, s. 771. a little e77iifie7ice, a platTi, a beaie7i path, a 
sea coast, a beach. Liath, adj. grey, hoary. Liobharra, 
adj. polished. Liomharra, adj. polished, bur7tished. 
Loinnearra, adj. bright, shi7ti7ig. Luathmhor, adj. most 
swift, TTiost fleet. Linn, s. f. a lake. Lilghmhor, adj. 
vigorous, very stroTig. Laoch, a warrior. Leachd, s. 
f. a bed. Loingeas or Luingeas, s. f. shipping, a fleet. 
Luinn, sg. voc. of adj, Lonn, stroTig, brave. Litthmhor, 
adj, agile, 7ii7nble. 

M 

Magh, s. 771. a7idf. a plain, a field. Macanachd, s. 
ordering, directing. Maigheach, s. f a hare. Maith, 
s. m. a chief, a noble. Maoigh for Miligh, sg. dat. of 
Magh. Mac-samhailt, s. 7n. e7nble7n or resemblance. 
Maireann, adj. living. Maoisleach, s. f a hind. 
Maorach, s. 7n. all kinds of shellfish. Marascal, s. m. 
a 77iaster. Mall, adj. slow. Mathghamhna, sg. gen., 
■ and no77i. pi. of Mathghamhainn, a bear. Mnath- 
aibh, //. dat. of bean, a woman. Mnathan, //. no7?i. of 
bean. Mhna, asp. sg. gen. of b ean. Mearganta, adj. 
brisk, lively, sportive. Meangan, s. m. a branch, a twig, 
a bough. Meur, s. m. and f a finger; a branch or a 
bough. Mothaid, adj. greater. Mi'orun, s. m. malice, 
spite, malevolence. Miann, s. m. andf. desire, will, wish, 
inclination. Muadh, adj. noble, good. Gu muadh, adv. 



84 GLOSSARY. 

well. Meamnach, cheerful^ high-spirited^ courageous, 
magnanimous. Mugh, v. to change. M6r-chuinnein- 
each, adj. large-?iostriled. Meoir, sg. gen. and nom. pi 
^meur, a finger. Mi, s. f. a jnonth. Muineal, s. m. 
the neck. Milirneach, adj. cheerful, joyful, affectionate. 

N 

Na cantair/^r Na can, v. speak not. Ni faighim, v. 
I am not able to obtain. Nearachd, s. a happy or lucky 
person, Nimh, sg. dat. of s.fNeimh,poison. Ne6nach, 
adj. strange, curious, wonderful. Nior, a compound of 
the negative, adverb ni, and ro, a particle like do, pre- 
ceding the past tense of verbs. Nunn, adv. over Null, 
adv. over. Nior ob, v. did not refuse. Nois, adv. now. 



Omar, s. 7n. amber. Oglach, s. m. a youth, a servant, 
a vassal, a soldier, a kern. Orbhuidhe, adj. gold 
yellow. Oidhre, s.f ice. Oir, adj. east. Orruidh, adj. 
golden-coloured. Ordha, gold-coloured. Os, above. 
Osna, s.f. a sigh. Ospartaich, s. panting. 

P 

Peist, s. f a worm, a beast, a monster; a serpent. 
Port, s. m. a fort, a stronghold; a port., a harbour. 
Prap, adj. quick. Pronnadh, s. pounding, bruising, or 
mincing. Pddhar, s. m. hurt, harm, damage. 



GLOSSARY, 85 

R 

Rachainn, v. I go. Rag, adj. stiff, rigid, pertinacious, 
inflexible. Rosg, s. m. an eye. Radharc or Fradharc, 
s. m. sight, sense of seeing. Randa, adj. true, sincere, 
faithful. Reamhar, adj. fat. Raoir, adv. last night. 
Rogha, s. m. choice. Raidhe, s. m. a quarter of the 
year. Rain, contr. of v. Rainig, reached. 

s 

Saile, s. m. salt-water. Salta, //. nofn. of s.f sal, a 
heel. Sealbh, s. f a herd; possession, inheritance. 
Seang, adj. sle?tder, slender-waisted ; stately. Sal, s. m. 
salt-water. Seabhac, s. m. a hawk, a falcon. Saoth- 
raiche, s. m. a persistent worker. Seudaidh, adj. 
jewelled. Sealladh, s. ?n. sight, eyesight, power of vision, 
Sean, Seann, adj. old, ancient. Salach, adj. dirty. 
Seiche, s.f. a hide or skin. Sgain, v. to burst. Searbh, 
adj. bitter. Sgeir, s. f a skerry. Speis, s. f regard, 
attachment, fo?idness. Searrachail, adj. foal-like. 
Sliom, adj. slim, sleek. Sean, adj. that. An sean. 
adv. there. Slan, adj. whole, healthy. Saoghal, s. m. 
theivorld; life; a?t age, a generation. Sgar, z/. to 
scatter or separate. Sear, adj. east. Shear, asp. form 
of sear. Sreunaibhy^?^ Srianaibh, //. dat. of s. f srian, 
a bridle. Sin, v. to stretch. Sochd, s. silence. Socht, 



86 GLOSSARY. 

s. m. silence^ quiet. Soir, adj. east. Suain, sg. dat. of 
Suan, s. 7n. sleep, deep sleep. Sleamhuinn, adj. smooth. 
Sr61-bhreideach, adj. satin-bannered. Sr611, s. m. satin. 
Shlointear, v. is named. Slointear leat, v. they shall be 
named by thee. Slios-tana, adj. thin flanked. Sluagh, 
s. 171. a host, an army, a multitude; people. Sparradh, 
s. m. act of driving or thrusting. Sonn, s. ?n. a prince., 
a hero, sg. gen. and pi. nom. Suinn. Sgle6 for gle6, 
s. m. a fight, an uproar, a tuinult, a disturbance. 
Sruth, s. m. a stream, a current. Stuthmhor, adj. 
mettlesome. Steudmhor, adj. steed — large. Sgrios, s. f 
ruin, destruction, devastation, wreck. Suiridh, s. f 
courting, wooing. Slios, s. m. a side; a long sloping 
declivity. Stuadhmhor, adj. as applied to horses, large- 
chested. Steudmhor, adj. steed — large. Snoigheadh, s. 
chipping, hewing. Suairc, adj. pleasant, facetious, 
agreeable. Snuadh, s. colour, hue, appearance. Sleagh, 
s.f a spear, a pike, a lance. Surd, s. m. alacrity, eager, 
exertion, iiidustry, speed. 

T 

Tamh, s. m. a swoon. Taintean, //. nom. of s. f 
Tain; herds; spoils; mental endowments. Tath, adj. 
firm, co7npact. Teinn, s. f distress. Ti, s. design, 
intention. Teamhra, sg. gen. ofTe2imh2i\x,aplacefrom 
which a prospect is com77ianded. Teamhair, s.f, Tara, 



GLOSSARY. 87 

in Meath, the seat of the ancient Irish monarchs. 
Teamhair, s.f. a covered or shaded walk upon a hill for 
a convenient prospect. Teamhair, adj. pleasafit, agree- 
able. Targaideach, adj. shielded. Tlath, adj. smooth, 
soft. Tiiibhradh, v. would give. Teud chiiiil, s. f a 
music string. Tighearn, s. m. a lord. Togadar, v. 
raised or lifted. Toradh, s. m. fruit. Taghmhor, 
adj. most choice. Tointe, pi. nom. ^Tonn, s. m. a skin. 
Tlachd, s.f. pleasure, delight^ gratification. Trath, s. 
m. time, hour; a meal. Treun, adj. strong, brave. 
Triar, s. three persons. Triall, s. m. journeying, going, 
departing. Triath, s. m. a king, a lord. Trilis or 
Trillis. s.f. bushy hair. Thorchair, v. they fell or were 
killed. Trod, s. m. strife, fight. Truaghas, s. m. com- 
passion. Tuar, s. m. a house. Tdr, s. m. a tower. 
Tilrsach, adj. mournful, sorrowful. Tuinn, sg. dat. of 
tonn, s. m. a wave, 

u 

Uamha, sg. gen. of Uamh, a cave. Uaibhreach, adj. 
haughty, proud. Udlaidh, adj. morose, boorish; dark, 
gloomy. Ur, adj. perfect, faultless, comely, beautiful, 
fresh. Ultach, s. m. a burdeti; an armful, a lapful. 



"X^K^X' 



mitonian Ballabs. 




ULTONIAN BALLADS. 



^BallaD of tbc (Barve Son of Starn, 

PORTER. 

" Arise O Chief of Tara !— 
I see a fleet hard to tell of! — 
The bays brimful and crowded, 
With the large fleet of the foreigners." 



CONNELL. 

2. " Thou liest, porter, greatly, — 
Thou liest to-day and always; — 
It is the great fleet of the plains,- 
And coming to us, to aid us." 



92 ULTONIA N BA LLA DS. 

PORTER. 

3. '' There is a warrior at the gate of Tara — 
At the King's door, much elated ; 

Says he can take wiihout trouble, 

And force a pledge from the men of Erin.' 

4. " Let me to him," said Cu-roi, — 
Also, and O' Conachar, 
Fear-dian of white side, 

And good Fraoch Son of Fiu-haidh, 
Aodh Son of Garadh of the white knee, 
And very white Cailty, Son of Ronan. 

PORTER. 

5. " Talk not of that, O Cu-roi.— 

Utter not discourse without strength ; — 
He shall not be fought without a ring 
Round the High Kingdom of Erin." 

6. I have seen fifteen battles 
Of giants — and it's not a lie ; 
Seizing the Garve in East-land, 
In Moy-gallan of combats." 

7. Then, when said Victorious Connel, — 
The lawn of Tara's battle hero ; 



ULTOyiAN BALLADS. 9 

" I'll not engage him to my hurt ; 
For in feats 1 am not skilful." 

8. Then when Mave said, over, within, — 
Daughter of Ochy, lord of the Faynians ; — 
" Let not the youth of battles in, 

Into Tara house of royal heroes." 

9. Then when Connel justly said, — 
The noble, comely son of Ederskol ; 
O woman ! it shall not be said, 
That we will refuse one man. 

10. Then was let in the big man. 
Quickly, in presence of the host ; 
And the place of three hundred within, 
Was prepared for him that hour. 

11. Cuchullin then raised his shield, 
Over the grey-topped hill ; 
Nais looked on his two spears, 
And Connel seized his sword. 

12. They brought in, then, the portion 

Of a hundred, of food and drink, unstintedr 
To be eaten, to the big man. 
Who had come from the Esraidh. 



d4 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

13. When satiated was the big man, 
And spent a space at drink ; 
He glanced, over from him, 
On fifty kings' sons round him. 

14. Then, when Bricten said, so well, — 

Son of Son of Cairbri from the Red Branch ; 
*' Manhood and welcome to thee, without guile, 
In presence of the men of Erin." 

CONN EL. 

15. " The directing of all Erin to thee, at this time, 
O Yellow-haired Bricten ; 

So long as I shall be strongly king 
Of the High Kingdom of Erin." 

BRICTEN. 

16. "I would inform thee of the captives, 
With whom thou shouldst get plunder ; — 
Thine ! were Lugha Son of Cu-ree 
And Fiavy Son of Gorry. 

17. Fear-dian of while side, 

And good Fraoch Son of Fewy ; 
Aodh Son of Garra of the white knee, 
And very white Cailty, Son of Ronan. 



ULTONIAN BALLADS, 95 

i8. " Luagha, shield of argument in renown, — 
Noble son of King of Laighean Luby ; 
Cormac of the fleet, so good, 
Son of Son of Cairbri of the Red Branch. 

19. "Fierce Bunny, who is not fierce within. 
Take with thee fast from Fergu." 

20. Then were taken the kings' sons, 
In Tara house, in truth ; 

And they were put outside. 

To the brave man — in his presence. 

GARVE. 

21. " I do give a king's word, 
Comely men of Erin ; 

That I myself won't go into my ship 
Without Cuchullin's submission." 

CUCHULLIN. 

22. **I do give the word of another king, — 
'Tis what spoke the armed High Chief ; — 
That thou shalt not take my submission on sea, 
And I myself in life. 

2T,. " Thou art a churl that wouldst be gloomy, — 
Thou art bad thyself, and bad, thy people, — 



96 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

Very bad is thy housewife, 

And not better her kinsfolk ; 

And my submission, thou shalt not take on 

And thou thyself art but a savage ! " [brine,— 

24. Then when arose the two kings, 
With strength of swords and shields ; 
The compact earth was raised, 

By their feet, in that hour. 

25. Many were the blows beneath rims of shields,. 
And the sounds of bodies with troops ; 

The sound of swords in the glen wind, — 
Under the heroes' fight so tight. 

26. Seven nights and seven days, 
They passed, in many fights ; — 
At the end of the seventh day 

The Garve was not higher on the plain 
Than CuchuUin in valour. 

27. At the end of the seventh day, 
Cuchullin gave him a blow ; — 
He cleft, from splinters to chaff. 
The nailed, gold-yellow shield. 



ULTON IAN BALLADS. 97 

GARVE. 

28. O, Cuchullin, know a king ; — 
My shield does not remain to me ; 
But one step of flight, east or west, 
I never took, and living. 

CUCHULLIN. 

29. "I do give another king's word," — 

'Tis what spoke tlie High Chief of contest ; 
" One Step of flight, west or east, 
Is not in thy choice to take." 

30. Cuchullin threw, from him, his shield, 
On the field, east and west, — 

Though such was generous, bad was it's aid. 
Thought the high nobles of Erin. 

31. But Cuchullin gave another blow, 

With the greatness of his prowess and quickness; 
He raised the hand with the sword, 
And severed the head from the body. 

CONN EL. ' 

32. " The directing of all Erin, 

To thee from me ", said Connel ; 
" And the first cup, without guile, 
In 1 resence of the men of Erin." 



1 ULTONIAy BALLADS. 

CUCHULLIN. 

$:^. "I have done a deed on the Lad of the Seas! — 
Let the king believe, as is due ; — 
There is the bed of one warrior, here, who was 

on sea, 
Whose host cannot now take him away." 
Who went to Tara's house of princes, 
To force submission from the men of Erin." 




ULTONIAN BALLADS. 99 

3Las of tbe IbcaDs. 

The author of this is Connel, the victorious, 
Son of Eddirschol. 

EMER. 

1. " O, Connel ! — the heads are not wealth ; — 
For certain, reddened are thy arms ; — 
The heads that I see on the withe, — 
Name the men, as clad when slain." 

CONNEL. 

2. " Daughter of Forgall of the steeds — 

! young Emer of the sweet words ; 
'Tis in vengeance of Cii of feats, 
That I took with me, here, the heads." 

EMER. 

3. " Which is the shaggy, black, large head ? 
Redder than the rose his clear cheek ; 

It is nearest to the left side — 

That one head which has not changed hue." 

CONNEL. 

4. " The king of Meath's head of fleet steeds," 
Said the son of Cairbre of bent spears ; 

*' In vengeance for my own dear^foster son, 

1 took with me, from afar, his head." 



100 ULTONIA N BALLA DS. 

EMER. 

5. " Which is yon head, over, to my face, 
With weak, soft, and sleek hair ; 

Eye like ice, teeth like bloom, — 
Finer than all forms, his head ? " 

CONNEL. 

6. " Manna — he was the man of steeds, — 

The young son of Aifa who would sack every 
I left his body without head, [bay ; 

And by me, fell all his host." 

EMER. 

7. " Which is this head thou takst in thy hand, 

! great Connel, of love to us ; 
Since Ctl of the feats does not live, 

What wouldst thou give for his head's sake?'' 

CONNEL. 

3. " The head of Fergus' Son, of the horses, — 
Ardent in every fighting field ; — 
My sister's son of the slender tower, 

1 have severed from his body, his head." 

EMER. 

^. " Which is yon head, east, of the fair hair, 
That whips the heads to hand % 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. , , UV^ii 

Acquaintance I have got of his voice, — 
I was, for a while, his friend." 

CONNEL. 

10. " Down, yonder, the Cii fell — 

His body gave way with a fine form ; — 
Cii son of Cd king of the Lays, — 
I, after, took with me his head." 

EMER. 

11. " Which are these two heads, further out ? 
O ! Great Connel of judgment sweet ; — 

In love of thy friendship, from us don't conceal, 
The names of the men wounded by thy arms." 

CONNEL. 

1 2. " The head of Leary and Clar Guilt— 
The two heads that fell by my wounds ; 
Those wounded Guchullin of victories, — 
Heroes, in whose blood, I reddened my weapons." 

EMER, 

13. " Which are these two heads, furthest east ? 
O ! Great Connel of bright deeds ! 

Alike, the hair's colour of the men, — 
Redder their cheeks than calf's blood." 

CONNEL. 

14. " Good-looking Cullain and hardy Cunnlaid, 
Two who were wont to prevail with wrath ; 



102 , , , , ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

! Emer — yonder cast — their heads, — 

1 've left their bodies in a red pool." 

EMER. 

15. " Which are these six heads, of bad mien. 
That I do see, to my face, north ; — 
Blue their faces — black their hair, 

From which hardy Connel's eye turns ? " 

CONNEL. 

16. " Six enemies of the Cii, — 

Sons of Catlidin — wonted victors ! — 

Those are the six warriors 

Who fell by me — their arms in my hand." 

EMER. 

17. " O great Connel — king's father ! 

Which is yon head to which fight would yield ; 
Gold-yellow is bushy hair from the head, 
With a smooth covering, highly wrought ? " 

CONNEL. 

18. "Head of Son of Finn, Son of Red-haired Ros, 
Son of Nic Cnee, who died by my strength ; 

O ! Emer — he was the Prime ! — 
Leinsters's high king of speckled swords ! " 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 103 

EMER. 

19. " O, great Connel, change the tale, — 
How many fell by thy faultless hand, 
Of the lamented host who are there, 
In vengeance of the Cii's head ? " 

CONNEL. 

20. " Ten and seven scores of hundreds — 
I do say is the number of men ; 
Who fell by me, back on back. 

By the venom of my stiff modest sword." 

EMER. 

21. " O, Connel, — how are they — 

The women of the Inis-fail after the Cd ? 
A similar grief have they, — 
Or have they no relief? " 

CONNEL. 

2 2. " O, Emer, what shall I do, 

Without my Cii's assent in the silence ? 
Without my dear foster son of good form, 
Going from me to destruction to-night. ? " 

EMER. 

23. " O, Connel lift me to the grave, — 

Raise my grave over the grave of the Cu ; — 



104 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

In grief for him I go to death,— 
Put my lips to the lips of the Cil. 

24. " I am Emer of finest form,— 

Bitter vengeance I could not find ;- 
To shed a tear I do not esteem, — 
Woful is my stay after the Cil." 




ULTONIAN BALLADS. 105 

CucbuUin in bis Cbariot. 

" What is the cause of thy journey or thy story ? " 
" The cause of my journey and my story 
The men of Erin, yonder, as we see them, 
Coming towards you on the plain. 

The Chariot on which is the fold, figured and cerulean, 
Which is made strongly, handy, solid ; 
Where were active, and where were vigorous ; 
And where were full-wise, the noble hearted folk ; 
In the prolific, faithful city ; — 
Fine, hard, stone-bedecked, well-shafted ; — 
Four large-chested horses in that splendid chariot ; 
Comely, frolicsome. 

What do we see in that chariot ? 
The white-bellied, white-haired, small-eared, 
Thin-sided, thin-hoofed, horse-large, steed-large horses; 
With fine, shining, polished bridles ; 
Like a gem ; or like red sparkling fire ; — 
Like the motion of a fawn, wounded ; 
Like the rustling of a loud wind in winter ; — 
Coming to you in that chariot. — 

What do we see in that chariot ? 

We see in that chariot, 
The strong, broad-chested, nimble, gray horses, — 
So mighty, so broad-chested, so fleet, so choice ; — 



106 ULTONIA N BA LLA DS. 

Which would wrench the sea skerries from their rocks. — 

The Hvely, shielded, powerful horses ; — 

So melt'esome, so active, so clear-shining ; — 

Like the talon of an eagle 'gainst a fierce beast ; 

Which are called the beautiful Large-gray — 

The fond, large Meactroigh. 

What do we see in that chariot ? — 

We see, in that chariot. 
The horses ; which are white-headed, white hoofed, 
Fine-haired, sturdy, imperious ; [slender-legged. 

Satin-bannered, wide-chested ; 
Small-aged, small-haired small-eared ; 
Large-hearted, large-shaped, large-nostriled ; 
Slender-waisted, long-bodied, — and they are foal-like ; 
Handsome, playful, brilliant, wild-leaping ; 
Which are called the Dubh-seimhlinn. — 

Who sits in that chariot ? 

He who sits in that chariot. 
Is the warrior, able, powerful, well-worded, 
Polished, brilliant, very graceful. — 
There are seven sights on his eye ; 
And we think that that is good vision to him ; 
There are six bony, fat fingers, 
On each hand which comes from his shoulder ; 
There are seven kinds of fair hair on his head ; — 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 107 

Brown hair next his head's skin, 

And smooth red hair over that ; 

And fair-yellow hair, of the colour of gold ; 

And clasps on the top, holding it fast ; — 

Whose name is CuchuUin, son Seimh-suailte^ 

Son of Aodh, son of Agh, son of other Aodh. — 

His face is like red sparkles ; — 

Fast-moving on the plain like mountain fleet mist ; 

Or like the speed of a hill hind ; 

Or like a hare on rented level ground. — 

It was a frequent step — a fast step — a joyful step ; — 

The horses coming towards us ; — 

Like snow hewing the slopes ; — 

The panting and the snorting, 

Of the horses coming towards thee." 




108 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 



2) e i r D r 1. 



1. A time that they went on the wave, — 

The Children of Uisneachan to Black Lochlann; 
They left Deirdri and the Black Lad, 
In Beinn Aird, solitary. 

2. Where was heard a sadder story, 
Than the Black Lad strongly courting, 
Fair, well-shaped Deirdri ? 

BLACK LAD. 

" It were becoming to us, to be united." 

DEIRDRL 

3. " Not becoming was it to me or thee," — 
Black Lad of wicked thoughts 

But till they come home hale — 

The Children of Uisneachan from Black Lochlann." 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 109 

BLACK LAD. 

4. " Though death were to take thee off, 
And wert thou to die without lament ; 
Thou and Black John shall be in one bed, 
Till earth go over thy cheek. 

5. " Thou shouldst get brisk Deirdri, 
From me, to-morrow morning, — 

Thou shouldst get the milk of the horned cattle, 
And shellfish from Inis-aonaich. 

6. " Thou shouldst get necks of swine, 
And, also, sruthaga of old boar ; 

Thou shouldst get hraoideach and cow, — 
And O fine calf, do not suffer here." 

DEIRDRL 

7. " Were I to get, from thee, the fine parts of deer, 
And white-bellied salmon ; 

I would like better an ox heel pin, 

From the hand of Nais son of Uisneachan. — 

3 " It was Nais that would kiss my lips, — 
My first man and my first sweetheart, — 
It was Ailly that would pour out my drink, — 
And it was Ardan that would lay my pillow." 



110 ULTONIAN BALLADS, 

9. But airy Deirdri looked from her, 

Out, over the top of the mournful dwelling ; — 

DEIRDRI. 

" Comely, the three brothers I see, — 
They will swim the seas, across. 

10. " Ard and Ailly at the helm, — 
SaiUng, at ease, with high oars ; 

My love the white — white-handed ! — 
My own man is steering you. 

11. " But let no word escape thy mouth. 
Black Lad of mournful tales ; 

Lest thou be slain without guilt, — 
And neither shall I be believed. 

12. " Oh, Children of Uisneachan of horses. 

Who have come from the land of bloody men ; 
Have you borne contempt from any ? 
Or what was this which detained you ? " 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

13. *' There was keeping us out from thee, — 
To us, bloody was the rout — 

The king Mac Rosnaich, Chief of the men^of Fail^ 
Having taken and overcome us." 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. Ill 

DEIRDRI. 

14 " Where were your heroic weapons, 
And your hands — smart and bloody ; 
When you allowed — yourselves hale — 
To Mac Rosaich to defeat you ? " 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

15. *' Sleep we did in our ship — 
The three brothers, back to back ; 
Before we perceived ill or guile, — 
The sixteen ships surrounded us." 

DEIRDRI. 

1 6. "Did I not tell you — loved Uisneachan Children, 
That hands on the bosoms of women — 

And giving way to sleep ; 

Did not advance winning in war." 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

1 7. '• And though there were no war beneath the sun. 
But a man far from his own land ; — 

A long sleep — little its delight, 
To a man who is in exile. 

18. " Exile — woe to him whose fate it is ; — 

Its w^ont is to have a share of wandering ; — 
Little its honour — great its control ; — 
Woe to the man whose fate is exile ! 



1 ] 2 UL TON I A N BA LLA DS. 

19. " However, there they put us, — 
In a dirty cave under the ground ; 
Where the salt water would come below us, 
Three nine times every day. 

20. " But one good daughter that the king had, — 
She had much compassion on us ; 

The whole of her father's hides — 
Numerous were their hinds and heifers' skins ; 
She put between us and the cold water ; — 
The fair maiden of best sense ; — 
But her father was wont to be in the Red Branch, 
And all his friends about him." 

THE KING. 

2 1. "Attend to my whisper, O Tierval, — 

The secrecy of women is not good; — 
They will tell in a nook what they hear." 

TIERVAL. 

22. "What secret should it be, 

That thou wouldst not tell to thy one daughter, — 
And the secret that I should get from thee, — 
That I would keep, for a year fondly. 
Under the border of my right breast ; 
And the secrets that I should get from others ; 
Dear father, that I would tell to thee." 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 113 

THE KING. 

23. " The king of Erin has sent word, by sea, 
To the nobles of Barr-Fail, 

That I should receive the full of my ship, 
Of gold, and of wares, and of treasure. 
For sending the captives, in good faith, 
On the Irish Sea, to-morrow." 

24. But the maiden heavily sighed, 
Very greatly, from her heart ; — 
The rafters of the house responded. 
To the sighing of the maiden. • 

THE KING. 

25. " Who have so heavily sighed ? — 
They are sorry for the captives." 

TIERVAL. 

" 'Twas I that so heavily sighed, — 
Thy captives I do dislike. 

26. " There is a piercing stitch in my left side,-- 
And it would kill fifty kings ; — 

And there is great beating of my heart. 
In the other side opposite the stitch." 



114 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

27. But she came to us with intelligence — 
The Tierval of whitest skin — 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

" Wert thou over in yon Dun ? — 
Or what is said there about us ?" 

TIERVAL. 

28. " I was over in yon Dun, 

And woful is what is said there of you ;— 
That my father shall obtain the full of his ship, 
Of gold, of wares, and of treasure, 
For putting the captives, without guile, 
On the Irish sea to-morrow. 

29. " But your legs stretch towards me, 
So that the locks I can measure ; — 
That I leave not a bit of them neglected, 
In length, in breadth, and in deepness." 

30. She went to the smith of the meadow, — 

A smith's hammer was found in his hand, — 
Ever striking it on an anvil. 

SMITH. 

31. " It is strange to me, king's daughter, 
To travel at night, in time of sleeping ? " 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 115 

TIERVAL. 

"What should make me travel nightly, 
Gives thee the right of asking." 

SMITH. 

32. " It is a blessing that I live, 
When I have the right of asking : 
When this black head upon my neck, 
Was by thee preserved to me. 

33. " I was, a day, pounding gold, 
In thy father's smithy, in Cluny ; 

I was accused of the gold that was stolen, — 
And such was a story on an enemy." 

TIERVAL. 

34. " It was the gold ring that I gave thee 
That kept thy head over thy shoulders. 

35. "To mirth I gave way in my ship. 
On a heavy, stormy sea, — 

My father's keys fell overboard — 
Pity I was not in their stream-pursuit." 

36. But he rose up, the smith of Cluny, 

The son of the wright from the Red Branch ; 



116 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

And he made the three victorious keys, 
In the short time of one half hour. 



TIERVAL 

37. " Let not a word escape thy lips — 
Early or late, or about evening ; 
Unless that black hearth speak it, 

Or the anvil on which thou madest them." 

38. But she came again to inform us— 
The Tierval of the curly locks. 

TIERVAL. 

39. '' Stretch towards me your legs, 
That I may loosen them ; 

In case, I may have forgot the part of them, 
In length, in breadth, or in deepness." 

40. Then Nais raised his foot on a hacking-stick — 
Ard and Ailly equally soon. 

TIERVAL. 

41. " The three very worthy brothers ; — 
Are you now on your feet ? — 

Or are there below who can overcome you ? — 



ULTONIAX BALLADS. 117 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

42. " If we had our three swords, 
And provisions for five nights ; 
Wax light, half as half, 

So as to see each other's faces." 

43. She went to seek the three swords, — 
To find them was not easier to (io; 

She went to the servant man of the chamber, — 
The fresh maiden, encompassed with amber. 

CHAMBER MAN. 

44. *' 'Tis strange, O king's daughter, 

To travel, at niglit, in time of sleeping.? " 

TIERVAL. 

"What makes me travel nightly, 
Gives thee the right of asking. 

45. " Let me not do the justice of defending — 
Daughter of the king from Dun-Meara; — 
I seek the three swords, 

And five nights' provision 

Wax light, half as half; 

So that we might see each other's faces." 

CHAMBER MAN. 

46. " What shouldst thou do with a sword, 
Thou highly noble king's daughter ? 



118 VLTONIAN BALLADS. 

When thoi couldst not, with it, fight a battle, 
Or give, with it, a day's service." 

TIERVAL. 

47. " I would give a sword of them, as gift, 

To a son that a king had by a fair young woman ; 
I would give another sword of them, 
To the best rider of the mild horses: 

48. " I would give another sword of them. 
To the chief captain of my ship." 
She laid nine pieces of gold 

On the table, for the three swords. 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

49. " She, our three swords, brought us, 
And, for five nights, provision; 

A kind of wax, half as half, 

That we might see each other's faces." 

50. Then, she came to tell us — 
The Tierval of whitest skin : — 

TIERVAL. 

" My father has a ship on sea, 
Before him, over, at Cluan Ciaran. 

51. " Five men keeping the ship, — 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 119 

One tall man above every man, 

And he would overcome a hundred in battle. 

52. " But if you encounter him, 
Without fear or false dismay ; 
Strike properly and well, 

Your three swords in one joint." 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

53. " Though dark and black the night was, 
We did not row roughly ; — 

We struck properly and well, 
Our three sv/ords in his one joint. 

54. " Come thou in into thy ship, 
O Tierval, who art dear to us ; 

And not one woman shall go above thee, 

But one woman, in the land to which thou goest." 

TIERVAL. 

55. " What one woman should it be ? — 
When 'tis I who have won you the souls ; — 
It would be reckless in me to do that, — 
When so many king's sons seek me ; 
Were I to depart with hasty steps 

For the sake of a foreign company." 



120 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

CHILDREN OF U1SNEA.CHAN. 

56 " They will read of thee, O Clear-white 
If true, that thou art pregnant ; — 
If it be a son or a daughter, 
It will be named to the men of Erin." 

TIERVAL. 

57. "I am one daughter to the king, — 
Greater, on that account, is my esteem ; 
But bad is the labourer, who, for a while, 
Should not bring one bird to a haven. 

58. " But I shall stay a year on thy love. 
And another year without tidings of thee ; 
At the end of the fifth or sixth year. 
Come then to seek me from my father. 
And I w'ill keep thy peace for thee, 

From the King of the World and from Conchovar. 




ULTONIAN BALLADS. 121 

PART II. 

Xanient ot BetrDrl. 

And after informing Deirdri of these matters, she 
was much displeased with tliem, on account of leaving 
Tierval behind them, considering that she showed them 
so much kindness; that in consequence of her goodness 
to them, she should never seek to be above her. Then 
Deirdri and they took their departure to seek her; and 
Deirdri had a dream. 

DEIRDRI. 

1. A dream I had last night, 

Of the three sons of the king of Barrachaoil ; 
To be fettered and put in the grave. 
By Conchovar from the Red Branch. 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

2. "But lay thy dream O Deirdri, 

On the steeps of the high eminences, — 

On the mariners of the sea, outside, — 

And on the rough grayish stones ; 

But we will get peace, and give it. 

From the King of the World and from Conchovar. 



122 ULTONIA N BALL A DS. 

3. " But as early as the day had come, 

And that the mist was dispelled behind us ; 
Where did our fleet come to land? — 
But under the door of the high king." 

4. Conchovar himself came out, 

And nineteen hundred men with him ; 
And he asked boldly and hastily, — 
Who are these hosts on the fleet ? 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

5. " They are the children of thy own sister, 
And they are sitting on a seat of trouble." 

CONCHOVAR. 

6. " You are not sister's children of mine, — 
It is not such a deed you have done me ; — 
But having affronted me, with guile, 

In presence of the men of Erin." 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

7. " What ! although we took from thee thy wife, 
Well-shaped, round-handed, white Deirdri ; 
We did to thee another little kindness, 

And this is the time for its remembrance. 

8. " The day that thy ship burst, at sea. 
Full of gold and of silver ; 



ULTONIA N BALL A DS. 123 

We gave thee our own ship, 

And we swam ourselves, on sea, around thee." 

CONCHOVAR. 

9. " Had you done me fifty kind deeds, 
Truly, upon my thanks ; 

Your peace you should not receive in distress, — 
But every one great want I could inflict." 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

10. "We did another little kindness to thee, — 
And this were the time for its remembrance; 
The day the speckled horse failed thee, 

On the green of Dun-Dealgan ; — 
Now, we gave thee the gray horse, 
Which would bring thee fast to the road." 

CONCHOVAR. 

11. " Had you done me fifty kind deeds, 
Truly, upon my thanks; 

Your peace you should not receive in distress. 
But every one great want that I could inflict." 

CHILDREN OF UISNEACHAN. 

12. " We did thee another kind deed, — 

And this is the time for its remembrance; — 



124 VLTOXTAN BALLADS. 



You owe us numerous obligations, 
Strong is our right to ihy succour. 



T 3. '* The time when Murrough Mac Brian, 
Fought the seven baitles in Biiin Eadair; 
We brought thee, without faiUng, 
The heads of the sons of the king of the South-east." 

CONCHOVAR. 

14. "Had you done me fifty kind deeds, — 
Truly, upon my thanks ; 

Your peace you should not get in distress, — 
But every one great want that I could inflict." 

DEIRDRI. 

15. ''Arise O Nais, and seize thy sword, — 
Good son of the king, of thorough guard; 
Why should his fine body get, 

But one turn of the soul." 

16. Nais fixed his heels firmly, 
And seized his sword in his fist ; 

And fierce was the conflict of the heroes, 
Falling on each side of a board. 



17. The Sons of Uisneach fell in the contest 
Like three branches growing so finely, 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 125 

Destroyed by a dreadful tempest, 
Which left neither bud nor spray of them. 



CONCHOVAR. 

1 8. "Your death is not, now to me a death, 
Children of Uisneachan — unaged ; 
Since he fell by you, without guile, 
The third noble horseman of Erin. 

19. " Move Deirdri out of thy ship, — 
Fresh branch of the brown eyelashes; 
And thy bright face need not fear, 
Hatred, jealousy, or rebuke." 

DEIRDRI. 

20. " I will not go out of my ship, 
Till I obtain my choice of request ; 
'Tis no land, or earth, or food ; 

It is not three brothers of clearest hue ; 

It is not gold, or silver, or horses"; — 

Neither am I a proud v/oman ; 

But leave to go to the strand, 

Where the Children of Uisneach"are at rest. 

That I might give them the three honey kisses. 

To their white, beautiful bodies." 



126 VL TON I A N BA LLA DS. 

2 1. They loosed her soft brown-yellow hair, 
Around the maiden so well-formed, 
And her clothes, to the tips of her toes, 
Least she should take away, in stealth. 
As much as the eye of a needle; — 
But one gold ring which was on her finger- 
That she put in her mouth, — 
And she went off with it to the strand. 
Where the Children of Uisneachan were,— 
And she found a wright making oars — 
His knife in the one hand, - 
And his axe in the other. 

DEIRDRI. 

22. "O wright, the best I've ever seen, 
For what wouldst thou give the knife ? 
What I should give you for it. 

Is the one victorious ring of Erin." 

23. The wright desired the ring. 

On account of its fineness and beauty ; 

The knife was given to Deirdri, 

And she reached the place of her wish. 

24. She then walked to the strand, 
Where were the Children of Uisneach ; 



ULTONJAN BALLADS. 127 

And what she found there doubtless, 
Their three corpses stretched so long. 

DEIRDRI. 

25. " No joy without the Children of Uisneach, — 
O mournful it is to be without you ; — 
Three king's sons who would avenge exiles 
Who are speechless at the grave's breast. — 

26. *' The three bears of the Isle of Britain, — 
The three hawks of Slieve Gullion ; 

The three to whom would yield, heroes, 
And whom fierce men would honour. 

27. "The three birds of finest hue. 

That came over the sea of storms ; [pillar-stone; 
The three sons of Uisneach from the round 
Three ducks swimming on a wave. 

28. "I forsook, joyfully, Ulster, 

With the three champions that I liked best ; — 
My life after them, shall not be long, — 
Another man shall not be mine. 

J29. "The three thongs of those hounds, 
Drew a sigh from my heart; — 



128 ULTOyiAN BALLADS. 

'Tis I that should have the treasure,— 
Seeing them is cause for sorrow. 

30 " O Children of Uisneachan, over yonder — 
Lying sole to sole ; 

Were the dead to shrink from another living, 
You would shrink from me. 

31. " O three brave men from Dun-monny ! — 
O three youths of victorious virtues ! — 
Afier the three, live I v^^ill not; — 

Three by whom my haters should be vanquished. 

32. " When their graves you open, 
Do not make them uneasy ; — 
Let me be close to the grave, 
Where no woe or wail is uttered. 

33. " Their three shields and their three lances, 
In their narrow bed, place them ; 

Their three steel swords, lay them 
Stretched above the grave of the tender men. 

34. " Their three hounds and their three falcons, — 
Hunters shall be for ever wanting — 

Lay near the chiefs of battle, — 

The three foster sons of victorious Connel. 



ULTONIAN BALLADS, 129 

35. " Oh, woful is my looking on them, — 
Cause of ray distress and sorrow, — 
That I was not put beneath the earth, 
Before the white sons of Uisneach were slain. 

36. " I am Deirdri without joy, 

Now bringing to an end, my life ; — 
I give, with my heart, my three kisses, 
And I close, in grief, my days." 

37. She then stretched her side to his side, 
And put her lips to his Hps, 

And she put the black knife through her heart. 
And she died without regret ; — 
But she threw the black knife in the sea, 
Lest the wright should be blamed. 

38. Conchovar reached the strand, 

Along with five hundred, to meet his wife ; 
What he found there, without doubt, was, 
The four bodies stretched down at their length. 

CONCHOVAR. 

39. " A thousand curses — a thousand woes, — 
On the sense that holds me ; — 

On the sense which made me, 

Slay the fine children of my own sister. 



130 ULTOSIAN BALLADS. 

40. "They are without life, 

And I am without having Deirdri ; — 

But I will bury in one grave, 

Nais and Deirdri in one bed ; — 

And the little weed that will come through the 

Whoever puts a knot on its top, — [grave, 

His shall be the choice of a sweetheart. 

41. " Were I to be in Newry of victories. 
This night, though cold be the weather ; 
I would put a knot on its top, 
Although the tree were to wither." 




ULTONIAN BALLADS. 131. 

5reicb Sow of 3Fcicb. 

Auctor Hujus in Ketch O Cloaji. 

A friend's si^h from Freich's retreat, — 

A warrior's sigh from Castle of death; 

A sigh that would grieve a man, 

And that would make a young woman weep. 

Here, east, is the cairn under which, 
Is Freich son of Feich of soft hair ; 
He who did kindness to Mave, 
And from whom Cairn Freich is named. 

Lament of one woman on Cruachan East, — 
About the woman — sad the tale ; — 
'Tis he that heavily, makes her sigh, — 
Freich son of Feich of old strifes. 

That one woman who wails, 

Going after him to Freich's retreat; — 

Is the maiden of the noble curling locks — 

Daughter of Mave, by heroes sought. 

Daughter of Orla of golden hair, 
And Freich, to-night, side by side ; 
Although loved by many men, — 
None did she love but Freich. 



132 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

6. Mave finds, in her hate, 

The friendship of Freich — man of her sighs ;- 
The cause of his body's wound, — 
Without committing with her, guilt. 

7. She urged him on to his death, 
As women prone to evil do; 

Great was the harm done by Mave,— - 
I tell it, without guile, just now. 

8. There was a rowan tree on Loch May, — 
We see the strand to its south; 

Every quarter — every month. 
There was on it, ripe fruit. 

9. Satisfying was that rowan tree, — 
Sweeter than honey was its bloom ; 
Its red berries would sustain, 

A man without food for nine hours. 

10. It would add a year to a man's life — 
That is proved a true tale ; 

It was relief to the diseased. 
The benefit of the fruit when red. 

11. After it there was bad luck, — 
Whatever leech would succour men ; 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 133 

A venomous beast was at its root, 
Which, going to pluck it, they had to fight. 

12. She was in very ill health, 

The daughter of Athach of free horns ; 

She sent a message for Freich; 

Who inquired of her what was wrong ? 

13. Mave said she could not be whole, 
Unless she got the full of her soft palm, 
Of the berries of the cold lake, — 

And no one to pluck them, but Freich. 

14. Fruit-gathering I never handled. 
Said son of Feich of red cheeks, 
Though sharply it will handle Freich, 
Go I to pluck berries for Mave. 

15. Freich moves — the man of fight, 
From us, to swim on the lake ; 

He found the monster sound asleep, 
And its head up to the bush. 

16. Freich son of Feich, of weapon sharp, 
Cam.e off from the beast unknown 
Of red berrres, he, a burden, brought, 
Where Mave was, for her relief. 



134 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

1 7. "What thou hast brought with thee — so far good,"- 
Averred Mave of white form ; — 
" 'T will not relieve me, O strong champion, — 
But to pluck a sprig from the root." 

18. Freich agreed — not a timid youth — 

To swim again on the soft lake ; 

And he might not though great his valour, 

Escape death, which was his fate. 

19. He takes the rowan tree by the top, 
Pulls the tree from its root ; 
Taking his feet to the land, — 
Again, he was by the beast perceived. 

20. Seizes him while he swims, 

And takes his hand into its wide mouth ; 

He takes her by the jaw, — 

Woe 'tis that Freich had not his knife. 

21. The maiden of the noble curling hair, 
Reached him with a golden knife ; 
The monster mangled his white skin, 
And his hand was soon lopped off. 

22. They fell, sole to sole, 

On the strand of the round stones, by south 



ULTONIAN BHLLADS. 135 

Freich son of Feich and the beast, — 
Woe! O God, what that short space did ! 

23. Fighting her — was not a short fight ; — 
He took with him her head in his hand ; 
When he was by the maiden seen, 

She fainted upon the strand. 

24. The maiden rises from the swoon, — 
Takes the hand — 'twas a soft hand ; — 

MAIDEN. 

" Though this is a share for the birds, — 
Great was the deed it did below " 

25. From that death which the man had got. 
Loch May continued the name of the lake ; 
That is its name ever since, — 

So called down to this time. 

26. Then was carried to Freich's retreat, 

The corpse of the hero with a DeatKs Castle; 
The glen was called by his name, — 
Pity ! those who live to tell it. 

27. The cairn at hand — this cairn to my side, — 
Near to it a hero lived ; — 

A man who was not overcome in strength, — 
A man whose vigour was fiercest in fight. 



136 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

28. Beloved the lips that scorned not friends,- 
To which women kisses gave ; 

Beloved the chief of hosts 
Beloved the cheek redder than rose. 

29. Blacker than the raven, the top of his hair, 
Redder his cheek than calf's blood ; — 
Softer than the foam of a stream, — 
Whiter than snow, the skin of Freicb. 

30. More curled than dewlap his locks, — 
Bluer his eye than ice sheet ; — 
Redder than rowan berries his lips, — ' 
Whiter his teeth than woodbine bloom. 

31. Higher his spear than a mast, — 
Sweeter than a music-string his voice ; — 
A better swimmer than Freich, 
Streatched not his side to a stream. 



32. Broader than a door was his shield, — 
Beloved the chief to whose back it was ; 
As long as his blade was his arm, — 
Broader was his sword than a ship's board. 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 



137 



2,z- Pity, it was not in warrior's fight, 
That Freich, the giver of gold, fell ; 
Mournful that — to fall by a beast, — 
Pity, O God, he's not still alive. 



€t^SS^^i^ 




138 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 



C n I a c b, 
Gille-calum Mac an Ollaimh wrote down this tale. 



Transliterated from Dr. Mac Lauchlan^s Tran- 
script of Dean Mac Gregorys Book. 

Quatrains 24.^ 2^, 26, 27, jo, and ji, are from 
Gillies' Collection of Gaelic Songs and Poems. 



1. I've heard, from very old times, 
A tale which belongs to sorrow ; 
To relate it sadly it's time, 

As of us, it is required. 

2. The Clanna Rury, of mature judgements. 
Under Conchovar and Connel ; 
Gallant were their youths, in the field. 
On the plains of Ulster province. 

3. None, joyfully, had come home, 
Of all the warriors of Banva ; 

In a baltle, fought, another time, 
The Clanna Rury were victorious. 



UL TON I A N BALL A DS. 139 

4. There came to us — haughty in his rage — 
The valiant champion, Conlach, 

To reconnoitre our beautiful plains 
From Dun-Scathaigh to Erin. 

5. Concho var spoke to the rest — 

" Whom have we got for the youth, 
To obtain knowledge of his news, 
And not to be refused ? " 

6. Connel moves, whose hand was not weak. 
To get his tale from the stripUng ; 

By the sure pull of the warrior, 
Connel was bound by Conlach ! 

7. The warrior did not halt with the handling 
Of Connel of furious wrath ; 

A hundred of our host were bound by him — 
A marvel to recount which is listing. 

8. A messenger vvas sent to the Chief of the Con, 
From the wise over-king of Ulster, 

To Dundalgin, sunny and fair — 
The prudent dun of the Gaels. 

9. From that dun of which we speak 

Of the prudence of the daughter of Forgall, 



140 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

Comes the subtle doer of relief, 
To the generous king of the lands. 

10. The men of green Ulster were asked — 
The Cu of the Red Branch comes ; — 
White-toothed son, his cheeks like red berries, 
Refused not to come to our succour. 

11. "Long", said Conchovar to the Cii; 
"Wert thou in coming to our succour. 
And Connel of brisk chargers, 

In bonds, and a hundred of our host ! " 

CONNEL. 

12. " Hard is it for me to be a captive 
O ! man, who would aid a friend ! " 

CUCHULLIN. 

'•' Easy it's not to meet his feat sword, — 
He who has bound Connel !" 

CONNEL. 

13. " Don't think of not going against him 
O ! king of detested blue blades ! 

O ! firm hand, not weak 'gainst anyone. 
Think of thy foster-father fettered 1 " 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 141 

14. CuchuUin of the charmed smooth blades, 
When he heird the wail of Connel, 
Went, with his strength of hands, 

To obtain his news from the youth. 

CUCHULLIN. 

15. " Tell us, come to thy encounter, 

! Prince, wouldst thou shun conflict ? 
Smooth form of the black eye-lashes, — 
Knowledge of the place? Who are thy kindred?" 

CONLACH. 

16. " Of my spells coming from home, — 
Not to tell a tale to a stranger ; 
Were I to tell it to another, 

1 would to thy appearance." 

CUCHULLIN. 

17. " Fight with me thou must needs. 
Or, as a friend, must tell thy story ; 
Take thy choice, O ! weak youth ; 
To encounter me is imprudent." 

CONLACH. 

18. " But let it not be thought of, 
O ! valiant Leopard of Erin ! 



142 UL TON I AN BA L LA DS. 

heroic arm in attack ! 

That my fame were thine for nothing." 

19. They rushed towards each other, — 
The fight is unwomanly ; — 

The striph'ng received his deaih-wound— 
The foster-son, hardy and active. 

20. Cuchulhn and strenuous fight 
Were that day without success ; 

Ah ! his one son was by him slain — 
The noble, brave, fine, green sprig ! 

CUCHULLIN. 

21. " Tell us," said Cu of the feats, 

" Since thou art ever, in our power. 
Thy place and thy name precisely; — 
Do not conceal them from us." 

CONLACH. 

22. "I am Conlach, son of the Cu, 
Lawful heir of Dundalgin ; — 

1 am the secret left in the womb. 
Whilst thou wert with Scathach learning. 

23. " Seven years was I, in the East, 
Learning war feats from my mother ; 



ULTONIAN BALLADS. 143 

The feats wherewitli I've been slain, 
Were wanting in my training." 

CONLACH. 

24. " Take thou with thee my spear, 
And pull this shield oif me, 

And take with thee my steel sword, — 
A blade which I received polished, 

25. "To my mother bear my curse, 

As 'twas she who laid me under spells 
And who brought on my suffering ; — 
O ! Cuchullin, jtwas by thy doing. 

26. "O ! comely white-belted Cuchullin, 
Who break'st every knot of danger, 
Look, as I have lost my vision, 

On which finger the ring is. 

27. *'I11 wouldst thou understand from me, 
Noble, stubborn father; 

How I did throw, weakly aslant, 
The spear directly endwise." 

28. Cuchullin thought, when died 
His son, in the hue of sorrow ; 
Reflection, truly was the hero's joy; — 
His memory and sense forsook him. 



144 ULTONIAN BALLADS. 

29. His honour from the body of the Cu, 
By his grief was nearly disjoined. 
On seeing at the back of the glen, 
The warrior of Dundalgin. 



30- 



CUCHULLIN. 

'• Were I and Conlach living and sound. 
Playing at feats of battle ; 
We should win a strong enviable fight 
Over the men of Alba and Erin. 



31. "A hundred griefs have environed me, 
My being sad, is, no wonder; 
From my fighting with my one son. 
My wounds to-night are many." 




^•Ennotations.-^ 



ANN OTATI O N S 

TO THE 

PRECEDING BALLADS. 



=5^-^ 



An Garbh Mac Stairn — The Rough, Son of 
Noise. Although it is related in traditional story that 
he was a Norseman, the name is purely Gaelic. 

The lines and stanzas which are wanting in Mac- 
Nicol's variant, assuming it to be the better, are supplied 
from Fletcher's variant, without, however, making any 
alteration on the lines or stanzas except such as were 
required by correct orthography. None of these 
variants can be properly divided into quatrains; so the 
fused ballad is divided into stanzas of such a number 
of lines as the sense requires. 

In O' Reilly's Irish Dictionary the definition of Cu 
is, " s.m. a moth, an insect that gnaws clothes ; s.m. 



148 ANNOTA TIOXS. 

and f. a dog, a gray-hound; s.m. a champion, a hero, 
a warrior." Here are three words different in meaning 
and gender — in fact, homonyms. Tlie second word 
Cu, a hound or dog, is cognate with Latin, Greek, 
Sanskrit, and other Aryan names for the same animal; 
the third word O/, a champion, a hero, a warrior, is, 
probably, of pre-Aryan origin, and it borrowed the 
Aryan declension of O/, a hound. In Gaelic, the 
names of beasts are given to men, such as Siomiach, 
Fox; Faolan, young Wolf, Onnchu^ Leopard, &c. ; but 
these names are not localised, as in such names as 
Cii-Uladh^ Cu of Ulster; Cii-Connacht^ Cu of Con- 
naught ; Cu-Midhe^ Cu of Meath ; Cu-fiiara, Cu of Sea,. 
&c. Among a hundred which Major Condor gives of 
Hittite or Kheta words, Ku is given as denoting king. 
" Hittite Ku, king; Akkadian uk and ku, king; Susian 
Ku, king; Manchu chu, lord." ('^Oft the early races of 
Western Asia" by Major C. i?. Condor, R. E. Journal 
of the Ajithropological Institute, August, i88g.) 

In this ballad Cuchullin calls himself king in reply 
to Garbh. 

GARBH. 

" I give a king's oath on it, 
Handsome men of Erin, 
That I will not go into my ship 
Without homa2:e from Cuchullin." 



ANNOTATIONS. 149 

CUCHULLIN. 

" I give another king's oath," 

It is what the high armed Cd spoke 

"That thou shalt not take my homage on sea, 

While I am myself in life." 

Here, be it observed, CuchuUin, as Cti calls himself 
king. 

Cu-CHULAiNN. Traditional Irish History informs 
us that Cuchullin had several names. First he was 
named Setanta, and the cause of his getting the name 
of CuchuUin is the source of a strange legend, related 
in several very old Irish books, among which is Lebor 
na h-Uidhre, The Book of the Dun Cow; so named 
because bound in the skin of a dun cow. At one time 
Culand, an extraordinary artificer in metals, who 
resided and had his forge near Slieve GuUion in 
Armagh, came to the palace of Emania to bid king 
Conor MacNessa and the Red Branch Knights to a 
feast. Setanta, then a small boy was bidden, as it 
occurred that he was on a visit at the palace at this 
very time ; howbeit, when the company set off he 
continued behind to finish a game of ball with his 
companions, and said he would follow quickly. He 
went off in the evening, and came late to Culand's 
house ; but when he tried to enter the house, he found 



150 ANNOTATIONS. 

the way obstructed by a huge dog which the artificer 
kept to protect his premises at night. The fierce beast 
instantaneously attacked him; but the valiant httle fellow, 
without feeling the slightest terror, gallantly defended 
himself. When the terrific uproar outside, was heard 
by Culand and his guests ; the smith, ia great alarm, 
started up and inquired whether any of the company 
had stayed behind ; for he said, none had ever come 
near the house at night without being torn to pieces by 
the dog. Then the king instantly remembered how 
Setanta had promised to follow him, and Fergus Mac 
Roigh and several other of the guest«, hurried out to 
save him, notwithstanding, when they came to the 
place, they found the large dog lying dead, and the 
juvenile champion standing over him. Fergus, highly 
dehghted snatched up the boy triumphantly on his 
shoulders, carried him into the house, and placed him 
on the floor in presence of the king and all the 
assembly, who received him with enthusiastic joy. 

Culand, subsequently to his having at first given 
vent to his gratification at the boy's escape, forthwith 
fell to grieving for his dog, without which he complained 
that his house and flocks would now be unprotected. 
Young Setanta, however, said that he would provide 
him with a puppy of the same breed, were it possible 
to find one in all Erin, from Tonn Tuaih in the north 



ANNOTATIONS, 151 

to the Wave of Cleena in the south ; and he offered, 
besides, to take charge of protecting the house at 
night until the young dog should be grown enough to 
supply his place. • Then the king's druid, Cathbad, 
who was present, proposed that the boy's name should 
be altered to Cu-Chiilai7id (Culand's hound) ; and he 
predicted that he should be known by this name to all 
generations to come, and that his fame and celebrity 
would live to ihe end of the world among the men of 
Erin and Alba. In this story it is said that Culand's 
house and forge were near Slieve GuUion in Armagh, 
which is in Irish Sliabh g-Cuillinn Mountain, the same 
name is in Albanic GaeHc Sliabh Ctiilinn. O' ReiUy's 
Irish Dictionary gives cuileann which is the same as 
the Albanic name. The two 1-sounds, 1 as in Culdnd 
and 1 as in Cuileann are, sometimes, met with in two 
forms of the same word. In O' Reilly's Irish Diction- 
ary we have Fulangaim, I suffer and Fuileamhuin^ 
suffering ; the 1 sounding in the former as in Culmidy 
and in the latter as in Cuilea7in. In MacLeod and 
Dewar's Gaelic Dictionary occur Fuiling, suffer, 
bear, endure, and Fulaing^ suffer, bear, endure. 
These two words, identical in meaning, were, 
no doubt, originally, one of these two forms, or 
a form from which they have been derived, and which 
is now obsolete. The same may be said of the fabulous 



152 4-^NOTATIONS. 

nime Culand and of the Gaelic names for holly, 
cuileann and cidlUon. So it is very likely that Cu- 
chulainn is identical with Cu-chuilinn, that is Cii of the 
holly or holly-wood of Slieve Gullion. 

MacNicors variant begins with : — 

Erich a Chu 'n Teridh. 
Arise O Cu of Tara. 

Fletcher's begins with : — 

Eirich a Righ na Teimhre, 
Arise O King of Tara. 

Teridh and Teimhre are two genitives differing from 
the correct genitive Teamhrach whereof the nominative 
is Teamhair, which signifies, as an adjective, pleasant, 
and as a substantive, a covered or shaded walk on a 
hill for a convenient prospect. Dr. Joyce tells us that 
the pronunciation of teamhrach is taragh or towragh ; 
but I have heard old rehearsers of old Gaelic poems in 
Islay and in the Long Island pronounce it tevrach, the v 
nasal, which would seem to be nearest the ancient 
pronunciation. The Tara of this ballad is Tara in 
Meath, the seat of the ancient over kings of Ireland. 
There is a place named Tara in the parish of Witter, 
Down. It has a fine fort commanding a wide view. 
There is another in the parish of Durrow, King's 
County ; and a conspicuous hill near Gorey in Wexford, 



AXNOTATIOSS. 153 

1 aving a cairn on its top, is called Tara. Teamhair- 
Luachra was a famous royal seat in Munster; so named 
from the district of Sliabh Luachra (Rushy mountain), 
or Slieve-leugher. Its exict situation is not known 
now. 

Several parts of both variants of this ballad are very 
confused and incoherent. An Garbh demands entrance 
to Tara and seeks submission from Cuchullin which 
is refused, and the consequence is a fight in which An 
Garbh Mac Stairn^ (The Rough, Son of Noise), was 
slain. 

'■'•An Maoidh Gallan nan Corag,^^ is the last line in 
stanza 8 of MacNicol's variant, and the corresponding 
line in Fletcher's is the last line of stanza 14. "^' 
maogh, Ga?naim nan goirean^ Magh Gallan may mean 
the plain of branches, or the plain of youths ; and 
Magh Gallan nan comhrag may signify in Albania 
Gaelic, plain of the youths of the combats ; in Irish 
Magh gallan may denote plain of branches or of pillar- 
stones. Gallan^ a pillar-stone, gives name to many 
places in Ireland, such as Gallan near Ardstraw in 
Tyrone ; Gallans and Gallanes in Cork. In Ulster, 
there are some low hills, which, on account of a pillar- 
stone standing on the top, were designated Drumgallan 
(hill-ridge of pillar-stones), and some of these have 
given names to townlands. The name of a townland 



164 ANNOTATIONS. 

in Tyrone and of a parish in Antrim is Aghagallon, 
field of the pillar-stone. 

Magh Gdmain nan Goirean, 'Plain of the long step 
of the caves.' Gdman, a long step. Goire, a cave. 
^^Mac mhic Cairbre o'n Chraoibh Ruaidh." 
Son of son of Cairbre from the Red Branch. 
A Chraobh Huadh, The Red Branch. 
Craobh s. f. a tree or branch in modern Irish and in 
Albanic Gaelic, a tree. In old Irish it is craebh, a 
branch. 

Craebh-ruadh, Red Branch was the name of one 
of the houses in the palace of Emania. The Red 
Brarch Knights of Ulster, {Curaidhean na Craoibhe 
Ruaidhe, literally the Champions of the Red Branch), 
so extolled in eaily Irish romances and poems, and 
whose renown has come down to the present day, 
flourished in the first century and achieved their 
greatest glory in the reign of Conchover Mac Nessa. 
In the said house they were trained to heroism and 
feats of arms. The name of this military college is 
commemorated in Creeveroe, the name of the adjacent 
townland, 

The foundation of the renowned palace of Eamhum 
took place about 300 years before the christian era, and 
forms an important epoch. The annalist Tighernach 
assigns it as the limit to authentic Irish history, and 



ANNOTATIONS. 155 

asserts that all accounts of events previous to this, are 
unreliable. Here follow the circumstances of its origin as 
recorded in the Book of Leinster. Three Kings Aedh- 
Yuadh{Ayrooe, Red-haired Aedh), Dihorba,Ciombaeth 
agreed to reign each for seven years in alternate 
succession, and ihey each enjoyed the sovereignty for 
three periods, or twenty one years, when Aedh-ruadh 
ditd. The famous Macha of ihe golden hair, his 
daughter, claimed the right of reigning when her 
father's turn came. She was opposed by Dihorba 
and his sons, but she defeated them in several battles. 
In one of them Dihorba was slain, and she then took 
to herself the royal sway. 

She married, subsequently, the suiviving king 
Kimbay, and made prisoners of the five sons of 
Dihorba. It was proposed by the Ultonians that 
they should be put to death: — "Not so," said she, 
" because it would be the defilement of the righteous- 
ness of a sovereign in me; but they shall be condemned 
to slavery, and shall raise a rath around me, and it 
shall be the chief city of Ulster for ever." An 
imaginary derivation of the name of the palace is given 
in the account. "And she maiked for them the cun 
with her brooch of gold from her neck," so that the 
palace was named Eomuin or Eamhuiti, from eo, a 
brooch and mum^ the neck. The same explanation of 



156 ANNOTATIONS. 

the name is given in Cormac's Glossary. (Stokers 
" Three Irish Glossaries,'' p. ly.) 

The ruins of this spacious palace are situated about 
a mile and a half west of Armagh, and consist of a 
circular rath or rampart of earth with a deep fosse 
which enclose about eleven acres. There are two 
smaller circular forts within. The name is probably 
derived from the number of these smaller forts, which 
is two, equivalent to a couple or a pair ; for Ea77ihain 
'■ is an old Gaelic word which signifies two or double ; 
Da ni eamhnadh, i.e. Dubladh, Doubled " Eamh- 
arita, Idem." (Llwyd's Irish-English Dictionary.) Eam- 
huin, the name of the palace, and Emnhain, two or 
double, do no differ but extremely little in pronunciation. 
The large rath is yet known by the name of the Navan 
Fort. The correct Gaelic form is Eamhuin, and is 
pronounced avert; for Emania is merely a Latinised 
form. The Gaelic article an contracted as it frequently 
is to 'n makes it 'ti Eamhuin which Navan exactly 
represents in pronunciation. 

In the year 332 this ancient palace was destroyed. 
It flourished as the principal royal residence of Ulster 
for upwards of 600 years ; and it would perhaps not be 
an easy matter to identify its site with complete 
certainty, were it not for the remarkable tenacity with 
which it has kept its name through all the wars, 



ANNOTATIONS. 157 

changes, and social revolutions of sixteen hundred 
years. 

Macha of the golden hair is commemorated by the 
place-name, Ardmacha^ height of Macha, anglicised 
Armagh. 

The city of Ardmagh is mentioned in a great number 
of Irish documents. Some of these are very ancient, 
such as the Book of Leinster, &c., and at all times, in 
the form of Ard-Macha, except when this name is 
Latinised. The most ancient of these is the Book of 
Armagh. It is known that this book was transcribed 
about the year 807, and in it the name is translated 
Altitudo Machae, that is Macha's height. The place is 
spoken of in connection with St. Patrick in this same 
Book of Armagh, and in several other old auihorities. 
It is recorded that St. Patrick founded the cathedral 
about the year 457, the site of which was granted to 
him by Daire, who was the chief of the environing 
district. The history of St. Patrick and of this 
foundation is fully accepted as authentic, there is, 
therefore, reliable evidence for the existence of the 
name in the fifth century, albeit no document of that 
age in which it is written is known to exist ; and even 
without further evidence, it follows, as a consequence, 
that it is older, as it was in use before St. Patrick's 
arrival; so St. Patrick accepted the name as he found 



158 ANNOTATIONS. 

it. It is on record that Macha of the golden hair was 
buried at Armagh. It was she that founded Emania, 
and for her, with hardly any doubt, the place was 
named Ard-Macha. It may, consequently, be inferred 
as obviously certain that the name is more than 2000 
years old. 

As has been already remarked, the name, An Garbh 
Mac Stairn, is purely Gaelic, and there is no reference 
to Lochlann or any Scandinavian territories or Scandina- 
vian names, mentioned in old Gaelic tales and poems, 
in the two variants of this ballad. It is said of the hero, 
in Fletcher's variant, that he came from the East to the 
door of Tara. It is said in the text of MacNicol's 
variant that he came from the Esraidh, and in a prose 
paragraph at the end that he cime from the Esra. 
In Fletcher's variant it is averred that he came from ^n 
Ghreig uamharaidh ro ghairg^ (the very rough horrible 
Greece), and in another stanza it is recounted that he 
came from the Eassa-Roimh^ which would seem to 
denote the Waterfalls of Rome The main part of the 
story of the ballad would seem to be much older than 
the period of the Norse invasions of Ireland and 
Scotland, and it is probably entirely mythical. 

Na Cinn — The Heads. The variant in Dean Mac 
Gregor of Lismore's Book. Other variants of this 
ballad have been collected at different times in different 



ANNOTATIONS. 159 

parts of the Highlands. It vvas in the Ardchonaill MS. 
collected in 1690. It is ia Kennedy's Second 
Collection, a MS. in the Advocates' Library ; it is in 
Hugh and John MacCallum's Collection of Gaelic 
Poems and Songs, a book published in 1816. I 
heard it myself narrated by one Donald Maclntyre 
in Benbecula, but I do not just now recollect 
whether it was in the summer of 1859 or of i860. 

This ballad is ascribed by Dean Mac Gregor to 
Conall Cearnach Mac Eadarscoil^ Connell the Victorious 
son of Eiderscheal. Connell was the foster father of 
Cuchullin. He was one of the knights of the Red 
Branch, (Curaidhean na Craoibhe Ruaidhe)^ and when 
Cuchullin was slain, he took revenge upon his enemies 
by putting all of them to death. Eiderscheal is a very 
ancient Gaelic personal name. It was the name of 
the king of Ireland according to Irish Legendary 
History in the year a.c. 5. and his son Conaire 
ascended the throne in a.d. i, who reigned 70 years. 
The Clan O' h-Edersceoil, anglicised O' Driscoll, are 
said to be descendants from Aeneas son of Lughach 
Maccon, the 1 13th king of Ireland. Edersceal was the 
name of the Grandson of this Aeneas. The O' 
Falveys and O' Driscolls were hereditary admirals of 
Desmond. (Desmond in Gaelic, Deas-f?ihumhan, that is 
South Munster. 



160 ANNOTATIONS. 

In this ballad Cuchullin is said to be the foster son 
of Conall Cearnach (Conn el the Victorious) and the 
latter his foster father; but in "The Wooing of Emer," 
whereof a translation by Kuno Meyer is found in 
Numbers i, 2, 3, 4 of "The Archgeological Review," 
Conall Cearnach (Connell the Victorious) is said to be 
the foster brother of Cuchullin. Of this tale the trans- 
lator, Kuno Meyer tells us, that it "belongs to the oldest, 
or heroic, cycle of early Irish literature. Its central 
figures were the Ulster King Conchobor and Cuch- 
ulaind, the hero of this war band, and of the people. 
Several versions have come down to us, on which see 
Jubainville, Catalogue de la Litterature Epique de V 
Irlande^ p. 22'/. My translation is based on the frag- 
ment in the Lebor na h-Uidhre^ (compiled about 1050 
A.D.), and on a complete version in the Stowe MS. 
992, (compiled in 1300)." (The Archaeological Review, 
March 1888, p. 68.) 

Eimhir^ the old form of which is Emer, the wife of 
Cuchullin, was the daughter of Forgall the Wily. 
Forgall was much opposed to her being married to 
Cuchullin ; so he used all his wiles to prevail on 
Cuchullin to undertake such adventures as would lead 
him to ruin. Cuchullin was finally successful, after 
severe trials and much wandering from one region to 
another, to secure Eimhir for his wife; but before this 



ANNOTATIONS, 161 

was accomplished, he killed her brothers, her father^ 
and her paternal aunt. Forgall was a maternal nephew 
of Teatkra, the king of the Fomorians. 

Th's ballad I have directly transliterated from Dean 
Mac Gregor's orthography. Rosk inir erre is trans- 
literated by Dr. Mac Lauchlan, ^'jRosg mar/keur,^' but 
erre is correctly transliterated ei'dJzre, ice ; wrow trans- 
literated dkru makes no sense, it is clearly an error for 
chrow — chrtith, form. The Dean's orthography seems 
to point to a variety of Highland sub-dialects of Gaelic 
and to show that he collected the Gaelic poems in his 
collection in various districts in the Highlands, or from 
persons who belonged to various districts. 

CucHULAiNN 'na Charbad. — CuchuUin in his 
Chariot. The variant of this ballad taken is that in 
MacCallum's Collection made in 1 8 1 3. CuchuUin's gen- 
ealogy is given as Cuchullainn son of Seimh-suailti son 
Aodhjsonof Agh, son of other Aodh. In "The Wooing 
of Emer," it is said, " The chariot-chiefs of Ulster were 
performing on ropes stretched across from door to door 
in the house at Emain. Fifteen feet and nine score 
was the size of that house. The chariot-chiefs were 
performing three feats, viz : — the spear-feat, and the 
apple-feat, and the sword edge-feat. These are the 
chariot-chiefs who performed those feats — Connall the 
Victorious son of Amorgen ; Fergus, son of Roich 

L 



162 ANNOTATIONS. 

the Overbold; Loagaire the Victorious, son of Connad; 
Celtchar, son of Uthider; Dubhthach, son of Lugaid ; 
Cuchulaind, son of Sualdam ; Seel, son of Barnene, 
(from whom the pass of Barnene is named), the warder 
of Emain Macha. From him is tlie saying "A story 
of Scel's," for he was a mighty story teller. Cuchulaind 
surpassed all of them at those feats for quickness, 
and deftness. The women of Ulster loved Cuchulaind 
greatly for his quickness at the feats, for the nimbleness 
of his leap, for the excellency of his wisdom, for the 
sweetness of his speech, for the loveliness of his look." 
(The Archaeological Review, March 1888, pp. 69, 70.) 
The name in this variant of the ballad — the second 
part of it — siiailte seems to be allied to Sualdam the 
name given to CuchuUin's father in *' The Wooing of 
Emer," as given above. Suailte is very likely a 
corruption of Sualdam. 

DuAN Dheirdri. — Lay of Deirdri. The first part 
is from Fletcher's Collection made in 1755, and 
published in J. F. Campbell's Leabhar na Feinne, 
and from Dr. Irvine's MS. collected in 1801. Both 
MSS. are deposited in the Advocates' Library, and 
the variants for J. F. Campb ell were copied for him 
by Malcolm Macphail. Here what is wanting in 
Fletcher's variant is supplied from Dr. Irvine's. The 
second part is partly from Fletcher's and from Dr. 



ANNOTATIONS. 163 

Irvine's. Her grief over the bodies of the heroes is 
from Stewart's Aoidheadh Chlainn Uisnich, being the 
concluding stanzas in Stewart's variant. After giving 
utterance to these sad words she assassinated herself, 
and threw the knife she got from the carpenter into 
the sea least he should be found fault with. The last 
portion altogeiher is Conchovar's lament for his 
nephews the sons of Uisneachan, a name always found 
in the genitive form. The forms of which vary — these 
are Usnech, Usnach, Usnachan, Usnech, Usnech, in the 
wooing of Emer. In some Island in Alba, (Scotland 
now),Scathach a warrior woman had her dun, where she 
taught feats of war to young heroes. Some versions 
relate that a crowd of the warriors of Erinn were in 
that dun learning feats from Scathach, and among 
them Noise son of Usnech. "But it is not told in 
tlu's version that they were there at that time." ("The 
Wooing, of Emer," Archaeological Review, June i888, 
p. 299.) 

In the beginning of Fletcher's variant it is said that 
the sons of Uisneachan went to Dubh-Lochlann, and 
left Deirdri in Alba with a youth to attend her named 
An Gille dubh, The Black Lad. O'Reilly defines 
Dubhlochlanach a Dane. Scandinavia is translated at 
the end of Spurrell's English-Welsh Dictionary 
Dulychlyn In Gaelic Lochlann is the name for Norway 



164 ANNOTATIONS. 

and Denmark, and extended at one time to Northern 
Germany. Loch signifies black or dark, and probably 
Lochlann signifies black or dark land; land in which 
there is but little sunliglit. 

"It is well-known that Scadinavia (agreeing with the 
O.E. Icedining), is the true form of the name which 
appears in the current text of Pliny as Scandinavia. 
The etymology of this name or rather of the first 
element, has been sought by MuUenhoff in Lappish, 
but the evidence on which he relied was regarded by 
Dr. Wilhelm Thomson as insecure. I would suggest 
that the name may be explained plausibly from 
Germanic sources. Skadino is the exact phonological 
equivalent of skoreinoz^ (c. f shade); so that skadina a 
(h) w ja may possibly have meant "the dark Island." 
The alternative form Skadnya — apparently implied in 
the Scandia, Scandza of Ptolemy and Jordanes, and 
in the O.N. Skani — may be a parallel derivative from 
the same root. There seems to be some reason for 
thinking that Skadinavia was originally the name of an 
imaginary island in the extreme north, the mythical 
primitive seat of the Germanic race. The notion that 
the regions of the far north were wrapt in perpetual 
darkness prevailed widely in antiquity and is easily 
accounted for. Reports of the long nights of northern 
lands would naturally give rise to the inference that in 



ANNOTATIONS. 165. 

countries more remote from the sun, the night would 
be perpetual. The hypothesis of an original mythical 
reference in the name is not however absolutely 
necessary to justify the derivation which I have 
proposed, the Scandinavia of historical geography 
might very naturally have been called "the isle of 
darkness" by those who dwelt further south." — {The 
Academy, June 28, 1870. Henry Bradley.) 

Sorch^ clear, bright. Sorcha, light. Sorchir-Sorcha- 
thir, land of light, the southwest of Europe, and the 
south in general, contrasts with Lochlann. 

High Bharrachoil. The father of Clann Usnech is so 
designated in Fletcher's variant of the ballad Barr d 
chaoil, the top of the sound or strait, or perhaps his 
kingdom was a narrow strip of land. The name suits 
either explanation. Naois is noise in 'The Wooing of 
Emer,' and Naisi in older writings. At p. ^2> of the 
Journal of the Anthr. Institute, August i88g, Major 
Condcr in his paper on the "Early Races of Western 
Asia," says 'Nazi is a Susian and Akkadian word which 
is spelt syllabically, and signifies a prince.' This word 
closely resembles the Old Gaelic Naisi who according 
to the st jry of the Sons of Usnach was a prince, and 
there is reason to believe that numerous Gaelic words 
and names are of pre-Keltic orii^in and Turanian. 
Major Conder tells us — " My comparisons have been 



166 ANNOTATIONS. 

carried from China to Etruria, and from Finland to 
Chaldea; from the earliest days, 3000 B.C. down to 
the present day; and the net result is that the Turko- 
Tartar languages serve best to explain both the geo- 
graphical and the personal names of the Hittites." 

The name Atnle has been changed in more modern 
variants to Aille, and Naisi has become Snaois and 
Snais in some cases. Deirdri is sometimes Deirdir 
and Deardra. A' Chraobh Ruadh, The Red Branch is 
frequently mentioned. The smith who supplied the 
knife to Deirdri is said to have been son to the 
carpenter of the Red Branch. 

Dundealgan. The great fortress now called the 
moat of Castletown is the Dundealgan of ancient Irish 
Legendary history and of folklore; the residence of 
Cuchullin chief of the knights of the Red Branch in 
the first century. It is called Diin-Delca in some of the 
X2\Q%oii)ie Leabhar na h-Uidhre, (Book of the Dun 
Cow); but in less ancient authorities Dun-Dealgan, 
that is to say Dealga's fort; and according to O'Cuiry 
it received its name from Delga, a Firbolg who built it. 
The same personal name occurs in Kildalkey in 
Meath. In one of tb-e Irish charters in the Book of 
Kells is written Cill Delga, Delga's church. This great 
fortress is a mile inland from the modern Dundalk. 

^^ Latha catha beinn Eudaifin''' The day of the 



ANNOTATIONS. 167 

battle of the peak of Eudainn. Beinn Eadatnn is the 
form yNh\ch.BenEadatri2i^tsm Highland versions of tales 
and poems common for many centuries or perhaps to 
upwards of a thousand years both to Ireland and 
Scotland. This small Island appears as Edri Deserta 
on Ptolemy's map, and as Edrou Heremos in his Greek 
text i.e. the desert of Edros. After the Greek inflection 
is removed and allowing for the wonted contraction, 
the original form Edar is restored. This is exactly 
the GaeHc name of Howth used in all ancients Irish 
authorities, either as it stands, or with the addition of 
Ben, {Ben-Edair, the peak of Edar) ; yet well-known 
throughout the whole of Ireland by speakers of Gaelic. 
In accordance with some Irish authorities the place 
obtained the name of Ben-Edair from a Tuatha De 
Danann chieftain, Edar, the son of Edgaeth, who was 
buried there ; it is affirmed by others that it was from 
Edar the wife of Gann, one of the five Firbolg brothers 
who divided Ireland between them. Howth is a Danish 
name. It is written in old letters Hofda, Houete, 
and Howeth. These are all varied forms of the 
Norse word hoved, a head. 

The Irish names originally collected for the 
ancient Phoenician atlas used by Ptolemy, were learned 
from natives of Ireland by sailors speaking a totally 
different language. These latter delivered them from 



168 ANNOTATIONS. 

memory to the compiler, who had to represent them 
by Phoenician letters, and they were afterwards 
transferred by Ptolemy into the Greek language. In 
such manner were all other ancient names of places in 
the British Isles collected as well as in other parts of 
the World by Phoenicians and copied by Ptolemy into 
his work on Geography, from an old Phoenician atlas. 
The country where the sons of Usnach were 
captured does not seem to have been Scandinavia; for 
in one variant of the ballad, he is called Niall Mac 
Frasgain, chief of the men oifail. 7^^/ signifies a king 
and fail is the genitive. Inis-fail means Island of 
king, or King's island, one of the old names of Ireland. 
Mac Rosaich is also called chief of the men of fail^ 
which might signify men of the king. " Uaislean Bharr- 
Fhail" are spoken of, and here Bharr Phail may stand 
for Bharr-Fdilj for Upland of King or King's Upland. 
The father of Tiervail is said to have been often at the 
Red Branch, and would seem to have been a king in 
Alban not far from Ireland, for the Irish sea (Cuan na 
h-Eireann) is mentioned, across which the king of 
Ireland promised to send to Tierval's father a ship load 
of gold, silver, and valuable goods for the captives 
whom he wished to obtain. Tiervail rendered her 
father's plans futile, and enabled the captives to 
escape. Many things are referred to in the different 
variants of the ballad. 



ANNOTATIONS. 169 

Beinn Aird ox Beinn Ardre ; the first named means 
peak of height and second peak of high plain. 

^^Righ an Domhain'^ and Conchobhar are mentioned 
together. Tiervail is addressed in one variant the 
•daughter of the king from Dun Meara. Murcha Mac 
Brian is mentioned in connection with the seven 
battles of Beinn Eadair, as is also Murcha Mac Lir. 
These are two different persons and seem to belong to 
other tales. 

" Cinn mhic righ na h-Earra-dheise^'' Heads of 
the sons qf the king of the South-west. The South- 
west here may mean the South-west of Ireland, or the 
South-west of Europe, Spain or Portugal, &c. The 
name Ailne has been changed in many variants of the 
ballad to Ailde, Aillbheach, and Aille^ while Naisi 
has been changed to Noise, Naois, and Snaois, &c. 

'■^ Cinn seachd mic Righ Mbrfhairge'^ Heads of the 
seven sons of King of Great Sea. Here, probably, the 
Mediterranean is meant, and has likely reference to 
the Fomorians. Dun-7nonaidh was at one time the 
capital town of the Dalriadic Scots. It is situated in 
Knapdale, and the ruins have called forth the attention 
of distinguished antiquarians. 

A great many of the variants of Deirdri's Lament- 
have been translated into English. One of these is by 
Dr. Whitley Stokes, Leipzic, 1887. 



170 ANNOTATIONS. 

(IN) main tir an ti'r iit thoir 
Alba con (a) hingantaibh ; 
nocha ticfuinn eisdi ille, 
omana tisainn le Noise. 

IN main Dun fidhgha is Diin-finn 
inmain in dun osa cinn, 
inmain Inis Draigen de, 
is inmain Dun Suibnei. 

Caill Cuan, 

gair tiged Ainnle, mo ndar ! 
fa gair lim dobi (in) tan, 
is Naise an oirear Alban. 

Glend Laid ! 

docollainn fan mboirinn caoimh ; 

iasg is sieng is saill bmic 

fa hi mo chuid an Glend Laigh. 

Glenn Masain! 
ard a crimh geal a gasain; 
donimais collud corrach 
OS inbir mungaich Masain. 

Glenn Eitci ! 

ann dotogbhus mo cettig; 



ANNOTATIONS. 171 

alaind a fidh iar neirghe, 
cuaile grene Glenn Eitchi. 

Glenn Urchan ! 

bahi inglenn diriug dromchain; 
nochor uallcha fer a aoisi, 
na Noise an Glenn Urchain. 

Glenn Da Ruadb, 

mochen gach fer dana diial; 

is binn guth ciiach ar craib cruim, 

ar in mbinn 6s Glinn Da Riiadh. 

IN main Draigen is tren traigh, 
inmain a uisce ingainimh glain ; 
nocha ticfuinn eisde anoir, 
mana tisuinn lem inmain. 



translation ot tbe preceding. 

A loveable land (is) yon land in the east. 
Alba with its marvels; 
1 would not come hithtr out of it, 
Had I not come with Naisi. 



172 ANNOTATIONS. 

Loveable are Diin-fidge and Ddn-finn, 
Loveable the fortress over them; 
Loveable Inis Draigende, 
And loveable Diln Suibni. 

Caill Cuan ! 

Unto which Ainnle would wend, at last; 
It was short I thought the time, 
And Naisi in the region of Alba. 

Glenn Laid ! 

I need to sleep under a fair rock; 
Fish and venison and badger's fat. 
This was my portion in Glenn Laid. 

Glenn Masdin! 

Tall its garlic, white its branches ; 
We used to have an unsteady sleep, 
Over the grassy estuary of Masan. 

Glenn Etive! 

There I raised my first house, 

Delightful its wood after rising, 

A cattlefold of the sun is Glenn Etive. 

Glenn Urchain! 

It was the straight, fair-ridged glen, 



ANNOTATIONS. 173 

Not prouder was (any) man of his age, 
Than Naisi in Glenn Urchain. 

Glenn Da-Rilad! 

My love to every man who hath it as an heritage ! 
Sweet is cuckoo's voice on bending branch, 
On the peak over Glenn da Riiad. 

Beloved is Draigen over a strong beach ; 
Dear its waters in pure sand; 
I would not have come from it, from the east. 
Had I not come with my beloved. 

The best explanation given of the place-names in 
Deirdri's Valedictory address to Scotland (Alba), of 
which so many variants exist, is so far as I know, that 
from p. 337, to p. 345 of Brown's "Memorials of Argyle- 
shire." Mr. Brown is a native of Cowal himself, and is 
intimately acquainted with the topography of the 
district, and he seems to me to show clearly that the 
place-names mentioned in Deirdri's Valedictory 
Address to Alba, are Cowal place-names. 

Windisch the eminent German-Irish scholar tells us 
that there are twenty three variants and copies of the 
tale of Deirdri in Ireland. The Book of Leinster, 
which was compiled about 1 150 contains the earliest 
complete variant of the tale. 



174 ANNOTATIONS. 

Mr. Brown gives a transcript of the valedictory poems 
of Deirdri from the Glen Masan Manuscript, at p. 307, 
as he thinks it is the first variant given of this poem, 
and follows it by the other variants copied from it. 

Dean Mac Gregor heads his variant of this ballad, 
"Auctor hujus in KeichO Cloan," which transliterated 
is, Author of this An Caoch O' Cluain. According to 
what the editor of the Dean's Book says in a foot note 
to the Enghsh translation of this ballad, "Some of 
the readers of the MS. have made it out to be the 
nnme of a woman." This could not be ; for no woman's 
surname can begin with O, anymore than with Mac in 
Gaelic. It must always be Ni or Nic contractions for 
daughter ; O' means grandson, and Mac, son. 

Lao ID H Fhraoich or Bas Fhraoich. This ballad 
was at one time very popular everywhere throughout 
the Highlands. It is found in Mac Nicol's Collection 
made about 1755; in Gillies, published at Perth in 
1786 ; and in Campbell's West Highland Tales, vol. 3. 
It is found also in some other collections. I have con- 
fined myself in this collection of old Gaelic ballads to the 
variant of Fraoch in the Dean of Lismore's Book. 
Caiseal-chro, denotes Castle of blood literally, the editor 
of the Dean's Book thinks that it signifies a stone coffin. 
It may have meant a litter for carrying a mortally 
wounded hero to a burial place. Bho is not often used 



ANNOTATIONS 175 

in old compositions, o being more frequent. Bho has 
now, in the greater number of districts almost supplanted 
o, unfavourably often to euphony. Fithich the genitive 
oi Fitheach, Raven, which seems to have been in old 
times a man's name; so was also its diminutive 
Fitheachan, for we have a surname Mac Fhitheachan, 
which denotes Son of Little Raven. 

'''Do chongfadh a caoran dearg. 
Fear gun bhiadh gu ceann IX traa^ 

Naoi trdtha, Nine hours, not nine meals. 

Froth in the Dean's variant is a mistake for frith, 
which signifies, "profit, gain or advantage" — O' 
Reilly. Foirinn contraction of foirighthin^ relief, 
succour — O' Reilly. 

The berries of this rowan tree would add a year 
to a man's life; but a venomous monster was at the 
root of it, that attacked any person who ventured to 
pluck the berries; in the Pursuit of ^^Diarmuid and 
Gramne,'' part II., page it. "What berries are those 
that Fionn required " asked Grainne, that they cannot 
be got for him. "They are these," said Diarmuid; the 
Tuatha De Danaan left a quicken tree in the cantred 
Ui Fhiachrach, and in all berries that grow upon that 
tree there are many virtues, there is in every berry of 
them, the exhilaration of wine, and the satisfying of 
old mead; and whoever should eat three berries of 



176 ANNOTATIONS. 

them, had he completed a hundred years, he would 
return to the age of thirty years. Nevertheless, there 
is a giant, hideous and foul to behold, keeping that 
quicken tree, [he is wont to be] every day at the 
foot of it, and to sleep every night at the top. More- 
over he has made a desert of that cantred round about 
him, and he cannot be slain until three terrible strokes 
be struck upon him of an iron club that he has, and 
that club is thus; it has a thick ring of iron through its 
end, and the ring around his, [i.e. the giant't^] body;, 
he moreover has taken as a covenant from Fionn and 
from the Fenians of Erin not to hunt that cantred, and 
when Fionn outlawed me and became my enemy, I 
got of him leave to hunt, but that I should never 
meddle with the berries. "And O Children of 
Moirne," quoth Diarmuid, "choose ye between combat 
with me for my head, and going to seek the berries 
from the giant." "I swear by the rank of my tribe 
among the Fenians," said [each of] the children of 
Moirne, " that I will do battle with thee first." 

Thereupon these good warriors, that is the children 
of Moirne and Diarmuid, harnessed their comely bodies 
in their array of weapons of valour and battle, and the 
combat that they resolved on was to fight by the 
strength of their hands. 

Howbeit Diarmuid bound them both upon the spot. 



ANNOTATIONS. 177 

^'Tiiou hast fought that strife well," said Grainne, "and 
I vow that [even] if the children of Moirne, go not to 
seek those berries, I will never lie in thy bed unless I 
get a portion of them, although that is no fit thing for 
a woman to do ; and I shall not live if I taste not 
those berries." 

" Force me not to break peace with the Searbhan 
Lochlannach," said Diarmuid, " for he would none the 
more readily let me take them." " Loose these bonds 
from us," said the children of Moirne, "and we will go 
with thee, and we will give ourselves for thy sake." 

" Ye shall not come with me," said' Diarmuid, " for 
were ye to see one glimpse of the giant, ye would more 
likely die than live after it." "Then do us the grace," 
said they "to slacken the bonds on us, and to let us 
go with thee privately that we may see thy battle with 
the giant before thou hew our heads from our bodies;" 
and Diarmuid did so. 

Then Diarmuid went his ways to the Searbhan 
Lochlannach, and the giant chanced to be asleep 
before him. He dealt him a stroke of his foot, so 
that the giant raised his head and gazed up at 
Diarmuid, and what he said was, "Is it that wouldst 
fain break peace, O son of O' Duibhne?" "It is not 
that," said Diarmuid, " but that Grainne the daughter 
of Cormac has conceived a desire for those berries 



178 ANNOTATIONS. 

which thou hast, and it is to ask the full of a fist of 
those berries from thee that I am now come." "I 
swear," quoth the giant, "were it even, that thou 
shouldst have no children, but the birth now in her 
womb, and were there but Grainne of the race of 
Cormac the son of Art, and were I sure that she 
should perish in bearing that child, that she should 
never taste one berry of those berries." " I may not 
do thee treachery," said Diarmuid, *' therefore, I now 
tell thee, it is to seek them by fair means or foul that 
I am come'upon this visit." 

The giant having heard that, rose up and stood, and 
put his club over his shoulder, and dealt Diarmuid 
three mighty strokes, so that he wrought him some 
little hurt in spite of the shelter of his shield. And 
when Diarmuid marked the giant off his guard he cast 
his weapons upon the ground, and made an eager, 
exceeding strong spring upon the giant, so that he was 
able with his two hands to grasp the club. Then he 
hove the giant from the earth and hurled him round 
him, and he stretched the iron ring that was about the 
giant's head and through the end of the club ; and 
when the club reached him [Diarmuid] he struck three 
mighty strokes upon the giant, so that he dashed his 
brains out through the openings of his head and of 
his ears, and left him dead without life; and two of 



ANNOTATIONS. 179 

the Clanna Moirne were looking at Diarmuid as he 
fought that strife. 

When they saw the giant fall they too came forth, 
and Diarmuid sat him down weary and spent after 
that combat, and bade the children of Moirne bury 
the giant under the brushwood of the forest, so that 
Grainne might not see him, "and after that go ye to 
seek her, also, and bring her with you." The children 
of Moirne drew the giant forth into the wood, and put 
him underground and went for Grainne, and brought 
her to Diarmuid. " There, 0! Grainne," said Diarmuid, 
"are the berries thou didst ask for, and do thou thy- 
self pluck of them whatever pleases thee. " I swear," 
said Grainne, "that I will not pluck a single berry of 
them, but the berry that thy hand shall pluck, O,. 
Diarmuid ! " Thereupon, Diarmuid rose and stood, and 
plucked the berries for Grainne and for the children of 
Moirne, so that they ate their fill of them. 

In this story, the place of the venomous beast is sup- 
plied by the giant Searbhan Lochlannach ; the rowan 
berries correspond to the golden apples ofthe garden of 
the Hesperides, to take which, was one of the labours 
of Hercules. Fraoch killed the venomous animal, and 
was killed himself in the strife. Diarmuid killed the 
giant Searbhan Lochlannach, and procured the rowan- 
berries for Grainne. Hercules killed the dragon that 



180 ANNOTATIONS. 

guarded the golden apples in the garden of the 
Hesperides. Such stories have been widely spread in 
primitive stages of human developement and retain a 
strong hold of the human mind in ages of more 
advanced civilisation. Searhhan s.m. dandelion; 
derived from searbh^ bitter. The giant was evidently 
called Searbhan Lochlannach from his fierceness. 

A ta in farm sen dee giloan. A ta an t-arm sean dith 
gu luan. That is its name for ever. No ful leight — no 
full laoigh. Full laoigh, calf's blood, is pointed to in 
the tale of Deirdri as being very red. 

Gil a zaidna blai-feith. — Gile a dheud na blath feith, 
Whiter his teeth than honeysuckle flower. 

Gilcallum m yunollaig in turskail so seiss. Gille- 
callum Mac an Ollaimh an t-ursgeul so sios. Gilcallum, 
Son of the Doctor tells this tale. Di voneis. 
Bhoineasiox. bhuineas\n\%\2i^. Dundealgan^ Dundalk 
was originally applied not to the modern town in 
ancient times, but to the great fortress, now called the 
moat of Castletown, a mile inland. There can be no 
doubt that this is the Dun-dealgan of the ancient 
histories and romances, the residence of Cuchullin, 
Chief of the Red Branch knights in the first century. 
In some of the tales of the ^' Leabhar na h-Uidhre,'' it 
is called JDun-Deka, but in later authorities Dun- 
Dealgan, i. e. Dealga's fort; and according to O' Curry 



ANNOTATIONS. 181 

it received its name from Dealga, a Firbolg chief, uho 
built it." — ('Joyce's Irish Names of Places,' first series, 
p. 278.) 

Uladh^ genitive plural of Ulaidh. Ultonians or 
Ulster men. It is a people's name, not a territorial 
one, and according to Dr. Whitley Stokes, signifies 
bearded men, from ula beard. Ulster is formed by 
adding ster^ a contraction of the Norse stadhr, a place, 
to the Gaelic naiiie. Forra?iach, fierce; Forranach, 
an oppressor, a destroyer. — O' Reilly. 

In the " Wooing of Emer," translated by Professor 
Kuno Meyer, (ArchcEological Review, p. 73,) it is said 
of Forgall: — "Forgall himself, too, hard is it to tell 
his many powers. He is stronger than any labourer, 
more learned than any druid, sharper than any poet. 
It will be more than all your games to fight against 
Forgall himself. For many powers of his have been 
recounted of manly deeds," said Emer to Cuchullin. 
In the Dean's variant Fhorgaill is corrupted into 
Orginn. 

Gniomhaidhe an actor, an agent, a doer.^ — -O' Reilly. 
Saoradhj deliverance. Seang, prudent, courteous, 
stately; subtle, subtile. — O' Reilly. San which in 
O' Reilly denotes holy, is the nearest word to the word 
in the original sann which is to be found in dictionarie?. 
RaCf a king, a prince. — O' Reilly. In Llwyd's Com- 



182 ANNOTATIONS. 

parative Vocabulary of the Original Languages of 
Britain, we find at p. 140, Rex Ir. Rtgh^ breas, rake 
F. stands for O' Flaherty, raig m the original stands 
for raic^ the vocative of rac; a prince or king. Aoidhe, a 
stranger; Onnchu a leopird. Tarm=Do air??i, thy 
place occurs twice in the original, one is not a mistake 
for /' atmn, thy name. Airm, denoting place, occurs 
both in O' Reilly and in Llwyd. Tne quatrains 24, 
25, 26, 27, 30 and 31, are from Gillies' variant of the 
ballad. 

Airmidh, honour is found both in Llwyd and in O' 
Reilly. So arriwi in the original is nearer to airmidk 
than to urram. 

Emer the daughter of Forgall, after many advenmres 
became the wife of CnchuUin. The ring mentioned in 
Gillies' variant, is explained in the "Wooing of Emer.'* 
(Archaeological Review, June 1 889,p. 301.) — "Cuchulaind 
and Aife went on the path of feats, and began combat 
there. Then Aife shattered Cuchulaind's weapon, so that 
his sword was no longer than his fist. Then Cuchulaind 
said — "Ah," cried he, " the charioteer of Aife, and her 
two horses and her chariot have fallen down in the glen 
and have all perished." At that Aife looked up. Then 
Cuchulaind approached her, seized her at her two 
breasts, took her on his back like a shoulder, and 
carried her with him to his own host. Then he threw 



ANNOTATIONS. 183 

her from him to the ground, and placed his bare sword 
over her. And Aife saici, "Life for Hfe, Oh Cuchulaind," 
"My three wishes to me," said he. "Thou shalt have 
them as they come from thy breath," said she. 
"These are my three wishes," said he, "thou to give 
hostage to Scathach, without ever opposing her ; thou 
to be with me to-night before thy dun; and to bear me 
a son." "I promise it thus," said she. It was done 
in that wise. Cuchulaind then M^ent with Aife and 
slept with her that night. Then Aife said that she 
was with child, and that she would bear a boy. " I 
shall send him this day seven year to Erinn," said she, 
"and do thou leave a name for him." Cuchulaind gave 
a golden finger ring for him, and said to her that he 
should go and seek him in Erinn when the ring would 
fit his finger; and that Conla was the name to be 
given to him, and told her that he should not make him- 
self known to anyone; that he should not go out of the 
way of any man, nor refuse combat to any man There- 
upon Cuchulaind returned back again to his own 
people and came along the same road. 

Banbha^ an ancient name of Ireland. 

"The Red Branch Knights of Ulster, so celebrated in 
our early romances, and whose renown has descended 
to the present day, flourished in the first century, and 
attained their greatest glory in the reign of Conor Mac 



184 ANNOTATIONS, 

Nessa. They were a kind of militia in the service of 
the monarch, and received their name from residing in 
one of the houses of the palace of Emania called 
Craebh-ruadh (Creeveroe), or the Red Branch, where 
they were trained in valour and feats of arms. The 
name of this ancient military college is still preserved 
in that of the adjacent townland of Creeveroe; and 
thus has descended through another medium, to our 
own time, the echo of these old heroic times." — ('Joyce's 
Irish Names of Places,' first series, p. 90.) 




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M'Rury Rev. John, (Snizort)— Eachdraidh Beatha 

Chriosd : Life of Christ, crown 8vo, 3 






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O^A^en (Rev. J.) — Air Diomhaireachd Ghlormholr Pearsa 

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