Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Metrical Dindshenchas (Author: [unknown])
- Here stands Duma Selga in the plain
where the sons of Muredach used to dwell:
now they are gone the royal barrow endures,
although it was here before their day.
- 5] The grave of Fer Fota is on Ard Cain:
many there be to whom his death brought poverty:
Duma Selga is its name here to this day,
since the chase of Drebriu's six swine.
- The swine under the protection of Drebriu
10] daughter of Eochu Feidlech,
who caused them to be brought to her?
how did she come by the wild swine?
- Mac ind Oc's own darling was Drebriu,
she was given many a kiss:
15] and the swine, when they were men,
were likewise her own housemates.
- I hold naught too hard,
if only the High King have willed it so:
Moses' rod great was his grace
20] was turned into the shape of a serpent.
- The Son of God showed them mercy
when they were here in this life,
in that he took not away their understanding,
their reason, nor their power of speech.
- 25] The mother-in-law of the tender women
was Garbdalb, gloomy and ungentle:
she cast on them a spell from her bosom,
and turned them into the form of red swine.
- Conn, Find, and Fland
30] were the men, those were their names:
Mel, Treg, and Treis
were the names recorded of the women.
- From the day that their hue was darkened
after eating the fruit of the nutgrove of Caill Achad
35] these were the names of the faultless warriors,
Fraechan, Banban, Brogarban.
- The shape to which each of the women was turned
caused grief to the Brug of Brega:
Crainchrin, Coelcheis, strong Treilech
40] were the names of the sister-swine.
- They spent a year with Buichet;
the King Oengus concealed them,
when the chieftain's wife was seized with longing
for a steak off Brogarban's belly.
- 45] It was a grief to Brogarban of Brega
when the woman's husband told him of it:
"Let us slay the white woman,"
said Buichet to Brogarban.
- "No evil hath thy wife deserved of me,"
50] said then the white-flanked swine:
"if she desire a steak of my tender flesh,
she shall have it for thy sake, brave warrior!"
- She mustered foolish was the woman
a hundred warriors, a hundred dogs followed them,
55] a hundred spears, a hundred shields
sharp-edged, it was for the eating of Brogarban.
- Brogarban of Borg Brain destroyed them
by his unaided prowess,
and he spared the woman
60] for the sake of Buichet, whose wife she was.
- To Brug maic ind Oc thereafter
Brogarban carried his household:
And there Oengus sang them a chant all day
"Dear were the faces!"
- 65] They asked for his help;
though many were their wrongs,
"For a year's space, O warriors, O chieftain!,"
said Mac ind Oc, "it may not be,
- "Till ye have shaken the tree's bole
70] that stands on the bank of massive Tarbga,
and till ye have eaten a meal
of the fish of Inber Umall's waters."
- Thereupon they pursued their way in dumb grief
to the parts where stands Glascharn:
75] the six trenches thou seest on the hill,
they are the beds of the warrior-swine.
- They went their way to Drebriu, who was a shelter to them,
for she was known to Oengus,
and they spent a year in hiding
80] with Eochu Feidlech's daughter.
- At the end of a year apart
they shook the fair tree's bole:
it was the day for Medb to hold her state
on Mur Muccaisse.
- 85] Thereafter they fared westward through the wood,
till they reached Crich Umaill,
and that was the day
on which this barrow was raised.
- From this hill Medb went
90] to Port Dubinse in sooth,
and she took red Dubinis
against the swine in her fury.
- Mighty Medb gathered
all the men of Connacht in one day,
95] from Luimnech to Ess Ruaid
from Usnech to Inis Bo.
- In an evil hour the host marched westward,
though they were long upon the road:
the event that killed each of the dumb swine
100] was full evil for the men of Erin.
- Thereupon the swine came forth
against them perforce, as for a pitched battle:
and so they perished, all of them
save yellow-crowned Brogarban.
- 105] One of the swine fell at soft Muccelta,
and another at Ceis Choraind:
one swine at Mag Trega it was doomed,
and one at Cuallacht, amid the blood of dogs.
- The fifth swine died at Mag Find
110] in Crich Maine, the spot was ennobled:
their five heads were brought to this barrow
in the territory where it stands.