Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The bardic poems of Tadhg Dall Ó Huiginn (1550–1591) (Author: Tadhg Dall Ó Huiginn)

section 5


¶1] A beloved dwelling is the castle of Lifford, homestead of a wealth-abounding encampment; forge of hospitality for the men of Ulster, a dwelling it is hard to leave.

¶2] Beloved are the two who keep that house without excess, without lack; the ward of the stout, even-surfaced tower are the supporting pillars of the province.

¶3] Short is the day, no matter what its length, in the company of the royal warrior of Conchobhar's Plain; fleet are the long days from the lady of bright-walled Tara.

¶4] The daughter of noble Shane O'Neill, and the son of O'Donnell of Dún Iomgháin—they are in the ancient, comely dwelling as entertainers of guests.

¶5] Dear the hostel in which these are wont to be, dear the folk -who dwell in the hostel; the people of the house and the house of that people—happy is any who shall get honor such as theirs.

¶6] Beloved the delightful, lofty building, its tables, its coverlets, its cupboards; its wondrous, handsome, firm walls, its smooth marble arches.

¶7] Beloved is the castle in which we used to spend a while at chess-playing, a while with the daughters of the men of Bregia, a while with the fair books of the poets.

¶8] The fortress of smooth-lawned Lifford—no one in the world can leave it once it is found; that dwelling is the Durlas of the north.


¶9] Or else it is Eamhain which used to vary in form, or Croghan of the children of Mágha, or Tara of the race of Cobhthach—this bright castle, rich in trees and horses.

¶10] Or it is Naas, the fortress of Leinster, as it was first fashioned; or the fertile, ancient abode of the children of Corc, green, conspicuous Cashel.

¶11] Or it is fair Lifford itself—hardly is any of these castles better—which hath of yore assumed those shapes ye are wont to hold dear.