The Airgialla are bound only to a hosting of three fortnights with the high-king of Ireland every third year, and they do not go in Spring or in Autumn, and seven cumals are paid for each man lost on that hosting, and only one seventh of every restitution from them and they do not pay for a theft they commit, but they swear the robber's oath, and their surety is not held in fetter or chain, but he swears under the king's hand, and if he absconds thereafter, he does not inherit on earth or in heaven.
They are entitled moreover to a third of every levy from the king of Ailech, and a third of that third belongs to the line of Colla Mend. And the seat of the king of Airgialla is beside the seat of the king of Tailtiu, and the distance of it is so that the sword of the king of Airgialla may reach the tip of the cup-bearer's hand. And it is his privilege to receive every third horn that comes to the king of Tara. His queen is entitled to the same privilege. And for them Benén sang this:
- Listen to a law that ye shall hear,
the tradition which we relate,
the high covenant of the Airgialla
with the kings of Ireland.
- There is due from the Airgialla
according to rule
three fort-nights hosting
every three years.
- They do not go in Spring,
as I have heard,
nor at the beginning of Autumn
at the approach of the harvest.
- Seven hundred is their muster
on going forth from their tribes;
seven hundred séts are given them
in return for the hosting.
- A hosting across the Airgialla
without giving sureties,
seven cumals to them
for it on the morrow.
- If they kill cattle
during a hosting,
only the seventh part of restitution
is given by them.
- If a charge be made of crimes
for which a prisoner is fettered,
there is due from them only
the robber's oath.
- A hostage of the Airgialla,
though he go, it is likewise,
only the oath of a hostage
without lock or chain.
- If the hostage abscond
as a churl absconds,
he will not be chosen on earth
nor blessed in heaven.
- There is due to the king of Airgialla
throughout sea-girt Ireland
from lawful (?)
kings a third of every levy.
- A third of that thirdtruly...
belongs to Colla Menn,
the young prince of the Collas.
- When the men of Ireland assemble
to the brilliant gathering,
the seat of the king of Airgialla
is at the right hand of the king of Tailtiu.
- The distance of that seat
truly it is no errorsis so that
his hardy sword shall reach
the spencer of the goodly fort.
- The king of Airgialla
beyond every tribal chieftain
is entitled to every third horn of ale
at the right hand of the king of Tara.
- His queen without falsehood or illusion
is entitled to the same allowance from the other queen.
- We pray the Creator of all living things,
the wonderful supreme King. Listen.
Here are the stipend of the king of Airgialla from the king of Ireland, and the stipend of the tribes of the Airgialla from the king of Airgialla himself.
The king of Airgialla, first of all, is entitled to the status of free hostages for his hostages and to entrust them to the king of Tara,
and to their clothing and food, and that they be in the counsels ] of the king; and it is failure for them, if they abscond from hostageship.
The king of Uí Nialláin first is entitled to three shields, three swords, three horns, and three horses from the king of Ireland. Five purple cloaks, five swords, and five horses to the king of Uí Bresail. Six cloaks, six shields, six swords, six horns, and six horses to the king of Uí Echach. Four horns, four swords, four shields, and four cloaks to the king of Uí Méith. Three cloaks, three shields, three swords, and three coats of mail to the king of Uí Dorthain. Six horses, six slaves, and six women to the king of Uí Briúin Ar Choill. Eight cloaks, eight horses, eight shields, eight swords, eight horns, and eight slaves to the king of Lemain and Uí Chremthaind and Síl nDuibthíre. Three horses, three shields, three swords, three cloaks, and three coats of mail to the king of Léithriu. Four horses, four slaves, four swords, and four shields to the king of Dartraige. Six horns, six shields, six swords, six women, and six sets of chess to the king of Fernmag. Five cloaks, five shields, five swords, five ships, and five coats of mail to the king of Fir Manach. Six slaves, six shields, six swords, six horns, and twelve cloaks to the king of Mugdorn and Ros. And it is to preserve that law and those benefits that Benén composed this:
- This difficulty rests upon the descendants of the Collas,
the bright host of Liathdruim,
that they do not know the amount of their stipend
from the king of bright Fuaid.
- Here is the traditionI shall relate it for you
of the descen-dants of gentle Cairpre:
learn, people of Fál of the fiana,
the handsome stipends of the Airgialla.
- The gracious king of Airgialla is entitled
to freedom for his hostagesa noble compact
and to stipend and bestowal of gifts
from the serene king of Ireland.
- Nine hostages to the king of Ireland on his circuit
by consent of the king of Airgialla all together;
they should be entrusted to the king of Tlachtga in the east
without prison-cells or fetters.
- They should receive fitting raiment,
a horse, a sword with guards of gold,
proper rights of council and splendour in their surroundings (?)
for the comely hostages of Airgialla.
- It is failure for them if they abscond;
worse for the king who uses a fetter.
Save that, no one has a claim
upon the honoured king of Airgialla.
- Three shields, three swords, three horns,
three horses, and three merry women
to the king of Uí Nialláin of brilliant fame
from the king of Ireland of cool lakes.
- The stipend of the king of Uí Bresail
is five purple cloaks and a fine brooch (?),
five shields, five fighting swords,
and five swift horses of goodly colour.
- The king of noble Uí Echach
is entitled to six purple fringed cloaks,
six shields, six swords, six horns,
and six grey horses with dark legs.
- The noble king of Uí Méith
is entitled to four swords,
four horns, four horses, and four blue cloaks
from the king of Macha of the meetings.
- The stipend of the king of Uí Dorthain
is three purple cloaks with fringe, three shields,
three fighting swords, three mantles,
and three coats of mail.
- The king of Uí Briúin ar Choill
is entitled to six horses for keen pursuit,
six stout slaves in payment,
and six slave women to match them.
- The king of three tuaths in the country
is entitled to another stipend from the king,
Fir Lemna, Uí Chremthainn,
and Síl nDuibthíre.
- Eight brown horses are due to him,
eight purple fleecy cloaks, eight shields,
eight swords, eight horns,
and eight strong-fisted slaves.
- The king of Léithriu of the warriors
is entitled to three fine horses,
a prudent pledge, three shields, three fighting swords,
three mantles, and three coats of mail.
- The king of Dartraige, a flame of valour,
is entitled to four hardworking slaves,
four swords hard in battle, four horses,
and four golden shields.
- The king of fair Fernmag is entitled
to six polished horns for ale, six shields,
six curved swords, six fair women,
and six sets of chess.
- The great king of Fir Manach is entitled
to five cloaks with gold fringe,
five shields, five fighting swords,
five ships, and five coats of mail.
- The king of Mugdorn and Ros is entitled
to six willing slaves, six swords,
six shields, six horns, six purple cloaks,
and six blue cloaks.
- Here is the tradition of the hosts
whom Benén always loved:
it is a great difficulty to all the learned,
save him who is expert in testimony.