¶1] Drumleene is a precinct of vengeance; much evil and injustice hath been committed in contention for that hill, in the valley of conspicuous inlets.
¶2] Often have its slopes been turned into a crimson, blood-red mass, and every dip of its glowing fields filled with mangled bodies.
¶3] Many a time ere this has the lake in front of it been turned to blood, and its waves purpled with gore on the brink of the vengeful ridge.
¶4] The deathful slopes of Drumleene! Never have there been nor ever shall be such evil deeds in any other plain in Ireland as those of this fair fresh-verdured expanse.
¶5] Since the days of the Children of Nemed, the fresh, brightly-glistening surface of the smooth hill of Cruachán Lighean has been bathed in the blood of champions.
¶6] Conning, son of Faobhar, son of Flath, it was he who fought the first battle in contest for the land of Bregia, by the calm waters of Drumleene.
¶7] Nine hundred of the Children of Nemed, of their chieftains, of their soldiery, fell by Conuing's battalions on the brown surface of that field.
¶8] Then the five sons of mighty Deala, son of Lóch, gave battle on the hill to the noble warriors of Fál, by the ancient dyke of Cruachán, peak.
¶9] In the same spot, after a space, great Breas, son of Ealatha, gave battle to the warriors of Lochlann for the noble hill of graceful castles.
¶10] Of the fighting men of Banbha there fell by Breas upon the ancient, awesome slope one hundred and three worthy to reign, as well as mercenaries of the land.
¶11] Of three thousand Fir Bolg there escaped from the conflictdistress enough was the amount of the spoil but five.
¶12] When the mighty race of Míl of Spain returned to the land of Fál, (such fury as) the fury of these men upon the fair summit of the slopes of Drumleene is untold.
¶13] In days of conflict the three gallant sons of Cearmaid are slain by them, three valiant ones for whom hazels bore fruit-laden branches, pillars of fair Cathair Chröoinn.
¶14] They waged, then, three battles upon the perilous slopes of Drumleene, and they took to themselves the sovranty of Bregia, a step in the Gaelic conquest.
¶15] The Sons of Míl, moreover, and the flower of the Tuath Dé Danann, these also perished in the slaughter on the white-knolled green of Cruachán.
¶16] Never on any other hill of Úghaine's Land have there been slain half as many warriors as the number that fell on the glistening mounds of Cruachán.
¶17] Until the stars of heaven be numbered, or the great sands of the sea, it will not be possible to recount the evil deeds wrought on the brightly foliaged hill with its ancient fields.
¶18] Six royal battles ere now have been waged around the fair hill of Foyle, by the sluggish stream, without recording any petty fray.
¶19] In short, this is the seventh battle, this mighty conflict of to-morrow, that the champion of Ulster's land will wage upon this mound of which ye have heard.
¶20] It is he, moreover, who will give battle, Hugh, son of Manus, of Tara's rampart; the cheery and ruddy of countenance, that is most wont to triumph over the foe.
¶21] This great battle of the morrow is the grievous, destructive plague which has set the four elements trembling throughout the spacious Rampart of Lughaidh.
¶22] That is what has made flaming folds of the hills of the world, and sent the waves through the forest thickets in mighty masses of flame.
¶23] The spurting fires of heaven, a presage of conflict, have appeared, with the great maned star in a wondrous, warlike array.
¶24] The sepulchred dead will be struggling and contending, throughout Fál's plain the corpses are quickening, in expectancy of the extraordinary evil.
¶25] Throughout the delightful expanses of the Field of the Fair the beasts of Banbha's plain are uttering intelligent speech, simultaneously proclaiming the woes of Ireland.
¶26] Brutes are brought forth in human shape, and men in the form of brutes, many a monster has that created throughout the dyked meadow of Cobhthach.
¶27] The ravenous Fury of battle is inciting the great chief, passing over the isles of Ireland with crimson tresses about her head.
¶28] Until morn come, the phantom women of faery, the wolves and wild animals, will utter presage of the coming battle to the host of Macha.
¶29] Many this night, throughout both armies, will be the spectres, ghosts and apparitions around the spoiler of Banbha's castles.
¶30] Many a soldier in the camp of the warrior of Bregia will have had his shield on his wrist since the night before; many the long fingers looped around javelins, hands clasped about swordhilts.
¶31] In the morn betimes there will be many a meal consumed without comfort, warriors whetting (?) their keen weapons, shrieks of scaldcrows and ravens.
¶32] Most horrifying, then, will be the clang of the clashing spears, the whistle of their sharp blades with dripping points, the harsh calling of their ivory horns.
¶33] Piteous, at the same time, will be the bellowing of the gaping brutes, the voices of the wolves from the heights of Banbha, the fluttering of strange banners.
¶34] Betimes to-morrow morn the blue assembly mound of Cruachán, the woeful ridgepole of all slaughter, will be a clamorous hillock.
¶35] The battle of to-morrow morning will be gained, as is wont, by the keen-eyed host from Teach Truim and the stately race of Conall.
¶36] Does Hugh pay heed to the complaint of the creatures in human form, the moaning of the streams, the clouds in the heavens, the tidings of the soothsayers?
¶37] Or is it the complaint of Conall's kindred, that the army of the chieftain of Fál is kept parleying about battle, that afflicts his brown cheek?
¶38] Long have they been attending him, without returning to their native lands, the long-handed scion of Bregia is wearying the Children of Míl.
¶39] Long does it seem to the man from the Moy, and from the cool brink of Sríbh Broin, from the Curlews and from the lands of Oriel in Ulster, not to return home.
¶40] Whether it prove his undoing or his advantage, whether the victory be for or against Hugh, since it awaits him it is high time to face it.
¶41] Readily can he go into battle before the mighty host of the warriors of Tara, few therein that are not forest-trees of the true family of the race of Conall, towering above the wood.
¶42] Gathered about his soft locks are the heroes of the Tuatha, the warriors of Fanad, the kingly youth of Inishowen, delightful hosts from whom the sea is easy to fish.
¶43] From the other side he will be joined by the danger-braving hawks of Beanna-Boghaine and a fierce host from the glens of Bearnas, a red-speared, blue-bladed herd.
¶44] With him moreover, one after another, are his own kinsmen of the race of Conall, who have no mind to retreat one step, champions from the castle of Durlas.
¶45] Better these around the warrior of the Plain of the Fair than seven times their number of a summoned and pressed army from the other territories of Ireland.