Finn ua Báiscne was seeking his son Oisin throughout Ireland. Oisin had been a year without anyone knowing his whereabouts. He was angry with his father. Then Finn found him in a great wilderness. Oisin was cooking a pig. Finn turns upon him and deals him a blow. Oisin seized his weapons and his accoutrements. He did not at once recognize him. Then Finn said it was foolish for a young warrior to fight against a grey-headed man. Thereupon they sing a lampoon.
- 'Tis plain to me,
though the grey-head attacks (?) me,
the points of his spear are no sharper,
his shield is no broader.
- Though the points of his spear be no sharper,
though his shield be no broader,
at the hour of wielding (them) in combat
the grey-head will prevail.
- 'Tis clear, though his wrist is stronger
and though the rim of his shield is broader,
he cannot ...
- I am not like
the ... stirk;
the grey-head knows how to deal wounds and to receive them,5
... so that he is riddled.
- When he has been wounded three times
in battle where far-reaching strokes are dealt,
his scream of doom sounds ill
as he faces young warriors.
- I am well acquainted with young men
who carry ...6
when they are ...
streams of blood run upon ...
- That is not what they do
when they are7 in the heat of the fight8
the youth (sings?) a paean,
the old warrior is struck to the ground.
- The man who ... with his spear
to encounter the young man,
I know what will come of it:
the young man's nose will be split.
- When palsy has consumed every bone,
the spear from his hand is not bitter.
The young man is in the heyday of his strength,9
the old man's spring-time is past.10
- When they are together
upon the stone-dyke of fierce slaughter,
he does not love to meet sword-edges,11
sips of milk ...
- It is one of the habits of the grey-head
to talk from under the cover of his shield;
showers of sword-edges ...
his old legs cannot stir.
- I have not ... from a royal host
a maniac upon trees in a wilderness;
in the battle ...
young men are wont to be upon the point of a branch.
- The maniac who is running here westward
is not a young man, it is a grey-head;
the ... which is upon such a one,
'tis that which is upon the old man.
- Verily, my son,12
what you utter is not good;
though you deceive me it does not hurt;
'tis time that we should be more trustful.
- Oh ancient hero,
you are not wont to be among youths;
I had no desire to harm you
if you had not been boastful against warriors.
- Taking all these things together,
none is any the worse for it,13
if we are on the same level,
since we have settled our dispute.14
Then their own people came to Finn and Oisin.