Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- Behold the grave of martial Niall
over the hill-side keen, ..., strong
here, by the side of the track of the hosts
he found a cold couch in the soil.
- 5] Niall, son of Eochu, whose is the grave,
went seven times swiftly across the main;
he extended the heritage of Conn
till he was slain above the surf of the Ictian sea.
- When the grim folk said from the rampart,
10] "We desire to look on the king that owns us,"
uprose thereupon the prince erect,
the being that was proudest under heaven.
- Eochu, that was the name of the man
of the numerous Leinstermen, a hand of venom;
15] in the side of Niall, the white-shouldered,
he lodged his spear, in presence of the hosts.
- Though the Leinsterman achieved yonder,
in concert with the violent grasping Saxons,
the slaying of the king after his great voyage,
20] strange the wonder that was wrought there.
- Whenas trouble or danger came upon them
he would be raised aloft (potent the treasure):
it was a true king's act after doom of death,
the breaking of seven battles before his face.
- 25] A just word spake Niall,
when he was slain on the sea by stealth,
in the spot where Niall's tomb was built,
that their hostages should be dismissed homeward.
- Thereafter they were sent free
30] over the green stormy sea (wild its warfare)
hostages of the Saxons (they were a great and comely company)
hostages of the Franks, hostages of the Romans from the south.
- Westward from Tara came
the warrior band of his warlike powerful retinue:
35] thence was called, after grief and beating of breasts,
great Ochan of the following of Niall.
- There parted in high Ochan
one from another the noblest in rank,
Leinstermen, Munstermen, (he caused them grief)
40] men of Connaught, men of Ulster, the Fir Lí and Fir Luirg.
- A hero united them, who was king;
not weak was his frame in this world:
it was a short space from Niall assembly of waves
till came the blessed Faith of God.
- 45] His sons thereafter divided
the island of Art, who was a wonder of a man,
it is to them their hostages shall be brought
so long as clouds shall be round the white sun.
- The two Conalls, Eogan in the north,
50] Fiachu, Cairpre, Mane the gentle,
Enna, who was the rallying-point of the host,
it got Loegaire for king.
- The King that brought them under the silence of earth,
woe to him that worships him not in his lifetime!
55] he divided the Red Sea in two parts,
it was through fear of the Lord's folk.
- The children of the son of Cairenn, who stride through the battlefield,
to whom men were obedient altogether,
against the multitude of young men and horses
60] none could succour them save the Son of God.
- After them came to the East a weapon-loving champion,
Dathi who was headstrong in his day;
not weak was his muster at the meeting-place;
he divided the world in two.
- 65] The descendant that is best above the bright-hued soil6
of all that sprang from Niall (splendid assembly),
is Colum Cille, who possessed Iona,
the noblest living man that is in the house of God.