The Celtic Literature Collective

Banshenchus: The Lore of Women
Books of Leinster, Lecan, Ui Maine, Ballymote; TCD H 3.17; Nr VII Kilbride Coll.; Brussels MS 2542

Adam, sole father of mankind, a being whom the God of hosts fashioned after creating the elements, was made king. A mystery was seen. He was propagated complete. After the creation of stately noble Adam a rib was taken from his side. Hence was made generous wise Eve. She was full of vivid merit without meanness.

I will recount exactly the women folk of the seed of Adam and fair Eve by teaching them clearly in lengthy verses to their descendants correctly. I will recite from them to the womenfolk (That will be a barbic work in which poetry will be diversified) relating their children and husbands in easy quatrains with elegance.

It has never fitted in poetic letters or in voluminous orations that the list of women of the populous world should be poured forth in streams of poetry. As none ever did before me quatrains shall be recited to the free-born throng. Valour in adventure has been commenorated. It will begin at Adam the sole father.

Adam, Seth, pious Sili and Cain were the four first men who propagated multitudes. Eve, Olla, Pib and Pithib (women of power in the eternal world) bore the beautiful race: prosperous before the Flood and mesirable afterwards. Eve was the only wife of mighty Adam. Olla was spouse of blameless Seth. Pib was the name of the wife of guilty Cain. She did not avoid evil. Pithib was wife of Sili of the profits. Whiter than foam was her body.

I know Catafolofia the fair wife also of Cain Crook-head. She was a cause of jealousy. Bright was the paramour; transient was the torment of the couch. Noeua cut from the ancient green-topped tree and wove the thread without deceit.

Ambia was daughter of wicked Cain from whom was yonder monstrous brood. Percoba was wife of shame-faced Noah. She was poor without murmer or complaint. Though she was mild she had power with her gentle husband. Her children were weary with lamenting her.

Olla was the blooming womanly spouse of Shem. Ham's wife was Olivan from Asia. Jafeth's consor was Olivane who did not conquer death. Her own husband slew her at the wells: a worthless woman who was quick of wit.

Belait was the brilliant daughter of Latin and wife of fair Fenias Farsaid. Nel of the infants was their son. He was father of pleasant Gaedel. The death of Belait from the sun's heat in the glen is known in poetry.

Scotta, daughter of famous Pharaoh, was wife of Nel and mother of Gaedel Glas from whom sprang the race of pure Gaels, guests from over the shapely crest of the sea, and the Scots from lovely Scotta. She was not timid or weak before her overthrow.

Cesair the blooming daughter of Beth was wife of long-lived Fintan son of Bochra, Bith and Ladru (who were no scholars) came into the heart of Ireland once with fifty women, a miserable company, before the tempestuous transparent Flood.

The gentle womenfolk of memorable Partholon were Cichbun, Cermnat, modest Nerbgind, Iafa and Edgnat the wealthy multitude. They were not poor without a portion. The yellow-haired band, their children and their company died of plague. Cemeteries were formed from the sleeping sickness and from their tombs in the midst.

Eva, Cera, laudable Medar, gentle Macha, a lovable company like to assured peaceful rest, were the womenkind of Nemed the strong. Cera was in Connaught of the covenant and Eva in righteous Tir Caipre.

Liber, Libist, discreet Cnuha, fair Etar, Fuat (a prompt band) were five queens of the populous FIr Bolg. Their order was long remembered. From Cnucha is named the cairn (an appropriate name) on the strong mound. Fuat was the daring and acute spouse of Slane. Etar of enduring energy was with Gand. Libist (who followed not) was with Sengand, and Cnucha was consort of bright Genand. Liber, a bright champion of feasts, was wife of huge and ruddy Rudraige. The giant got possession of a third of the perfect surface by his own exploits.

I may not forget the fair women of the Tuatha De Danand: Eriu, Fotla and ardent Banba, (a famous throng. Clear voice of achievement). Three fair daughters of Fiachra, bright women of spirited speech. Fierce Eriu was Cetar's consort. Fotla's Huband, Detar, was no slacker. Etar's wife by his profitable proclamation was also named sweet Banba. [They loved Grian and Coll and Cecht because of the cairn they set above the pool]. Cermat's race were destroyed (a victorious deed) by the Milesian kings.

Nemain, Danand, Bodb and Macha, Morrigu who brings victory, impetuous and swift Etain, Be Chuilli of the north country, were the sorceresses of the Tuatha De. It is I who of them with severity.

Etgen was the good wife of defenceless Dui, father-in-law of stately Magmoir. The wife of Eochu (loud was his shout) was Tailtiu who cut down the wood, [From her is named greed-sloped Tailtiu of the prosperous united assemblies] in Caille Cuan. She cut over a hundred axes: a road for armies.

[Feada was the real name of] noble Ethne who was wife of strong stout Cain, and mother of Lug the impetuous superman, and daughter of swift smiting Balor son of Dod son of mighty Net a greater man than pleasant Hector. [From him is famed the cairn at Ath Feindead because he fought a duel].

Tlachtga, daughter of fat Mog Ruith was the mighty wife of the son of Simon of the jewels. From her, because of the martyr she slew, is named the hill of the flocks. Midir slew Fuamnach with violence. Her jealousy was cruel to herself and Etain.

Englec was the renowned daughter of Elemar. Ogniad was daughter of good Midir. Bri Bruachbrec was his other daughter who did not prepare open treachery. Pleasant Englec who did not spoil eloquence, was mother of the swift son of the Dagda.

Echtgi the loathsome (it was a spiteful story) was daughter of the noble Dagda. Boand, whose wounds spouted forht in the lands of Conn, was wife of Nechtan. [Rivers are seen in famous mag Breg in the wise and wonderful and vast land]. Nechtain was son of busy Labrad Lesbric, a strong man, quick in battle heroic and fierce.

Da Chaech was daugther of crooked Ceochuir the cunning, of the white knee of the withes. The daughter of Genand son of Trian T. was gentle Clidna of the rough painful strand. Her name is on the roaring wave called boldly after her agony.

Honour destroyed the good and great wives of the Milesians of the chequered world, for it was a perfect action which was heard reported. It is right to enumerate them quickly: [sing first the chaste spirit without which the ingenious deeds were not performed] Scotta, Scéna, hard gloony Fas, Delsairi, Tea who was no weakling, Fial wife of Lugaid the great son of Ith; all are long remembered in the land. Odba and Dil, two daughters of Mil are numbered among his seed first of all.

Herimon, Eber, noble Ir, Amargin, Colptha, stern Dond, Lugaid son of Ith son of Bregon: their honor is without reproach of diminution. From them (no deformity and bend) are the race of the heroes however remote. [from every country their complement settled down, from them descend the Gaels of the hostages].

Mighty Erimon had two spouses: Odba and Tea of Tara who was liberal [Tara was the faultless eminence, the bright fort of the rath of divisions]. Tea was mother of cold Irial the wise one of yonder numerous strong host: Irial the prophet who loathed Eber, most generous prince, a noble who was not weak. Erimon had three sons by Odba: one was Mummi, greatly respected, and two who agreed without dispute, Lugni and Lagni of the lis. The white-surfaced hillock to the south bears the name of perfect harmonious Odba.

Macha Red-mane, daughter of Aed, was nurse of Ugane of the combats, and wife of urbane Cimbaith son of Fintan: until death he never avoided a fight. It was for Emain and Ard Macha her perilous battlcs were fought, a rough exploit. She ruled uprightly for seven years. Noble Rechtaid overthrew her cleverly.

Cesair the shapely daughter of the Frankish king was consort of Ugaine of the arts, the father of daughters; Ani and Pasi and hard Muresc, a goodly treasure. Etline the Dumb of moulded body, was mother of Lorc and Cobthach Caol.

The wife of wealthy Labraid Loingsech (the champion who burnt Cobthach - a black crime - ) was the king of Fer Morca's daughter, Moriath, whose father was Scoriath of the paddocks. She is of Leinster race from a Leinster champion. Her honour was great in the place.

The children of Fergus Gnai were Maer and Medair, wives of Etar (shameless woe). Bethech was daughter of Cremthand of Cuala who well deserved a great and high lament. [Maer was mother of Eochu mac Luchta, Medair was the nurse, judge of poets]. Fergus was the great son of Ugaine himself, of rude character and impetuosity.

Margo was the great wife of Ais son of Etar. Ais was father of Dond of the poems. Ais was father (with abundant land) of Elta of the level and eternal plain. Whence was said "Plain of Elta" when the plague slew the host.

Etain was wife of Eochu Aireman. Esa was her daughter, evil were her rites. Her name is given to a lofty spot, allied by her crimes to pollution. Mes Buachalla was Esa's daughter. By her methods mariners were coarsened.

The mother of Conaire the Great is praised: Mes Buachulla, a goodly diadem; her father's grandchild, her mother's sister, descendant of mighty and most fair Etain. [She was wife of great Concobar, son of Cathbad: gold—twisted rim of an expert blade.] Lifi, daughter of Canand Curcach; her land was raided to the pool.

Lifi was wife of dusky Deltband the steward of guileless Conaire, son of Drucht the brutish foreigner, vomited forth of the red cauldron. From Lifi is named Liffey of Leinster. Twenty weaklings incurred her wrath.

Dili, daughter of strong Lugmanrech, was the brave wife of Telchonn the stern druid. She shall be certified the daughter of the king of the men of Falga, quick to promise, brilliant in satire. The druid's rath (no grief to him to grow grey) was at the Ford of wicker-work hurdles of fair appearance.

Tuag, daughter of Connal Collomrach, was reared by Conaire in innocent wise. Fer [Hi] took her out of Tara. She was pure and of chaste behaviour. Though powerful be the roar of Tuag estuary it took it's name from the maiden who suffered.

Ruad, the royal daughter of Mane Milscoith son of Dond Desa, (her complexion was beautiful) was wife of Aed son of Labrad Lesbrecc. She was no spiteful stupid woman.

Tethba, daughter of Eochu Aireman, was the steadfast wife of Noisi [son of] noble Nechtan, [her nariie was given to the strong land of Teathfa] one who did not repudiate her. Ettech was the name of her great nurse. From her is named Cend Ettig and the church of the holy faith.

Croind child of Eochu Broad-chest was the wanton consort of Eochu Feidlech and mother of valiant Medb of Cruachan, (glorious, perverse, extravagant and liberal) and the great mother of the Find Emna who trod the fence of marriage underfoot, [and of Clothra their sister. She was wanton.............]

There were six daughters of Eochu Feidlech. Their names are found together: Mugain, Medb the hazel—kernel, and Lothra, Derbriu, Ethni and beauteous Clothru. Their names....

The seven Mane were Medb's great sons, the sons of Ailill who was not jealous. Three others (by whom good poetry was framed) were by Fergus, possessor of wealth. Their names were Ciar, Corc and Conmac. They were three mighty chiefs in truth. There was Mane Mingor, Mane Morgor, Mane Mathremail who was not slow, Mane Athrernail of the lies, Mane Mo Epert, Mane Mor who kept all and Mane Andoe lord of the district.

I know the only son of Eithni herself: Furbaide Fer Mend of the leaps. The child of Clothru and of the sharp—weaponed Find is, methinks, Lugaid Riabnderg. The sons of active Eochu at the disastrous encounter were Bres, Nar and Lothur of the hill—side.

The daughter of Burg Buredach was Erni from whom is named the oceanlike lake. Cruachu is named from bloodred Cruachan (a great onset with sudden fury). She was handmaid of great Etain who was no senseless wanderer (?) on the solid earth.

Flidais was consort of Ailill Find. Fergus was the too active lover. Though slender she destroyed young men. She decreed hard close fighting (?).

The noble daughter of Eochu Salbuide of bridles was venonmous Nes, mother of Concobar son of Cathbad, the noble offspring, gracious and brilliant. He was not the son of Fachtna Fathach though he used sharp javelins.

Mugain was wife of valiant Concobar. Bitter Lennabair daughter of Eogan was with Conall. Her children were of no mean aspect. Long-haired Feidelm and Phasi were the fair wives of wealthy Loegaire. Yon Fásí who went not to battle was child of great Ailill son of Mata.

Deictir, the sensible daughter of Cathbad, was the fair mother of stern Cu Culaind. Derdriu of the disastrous folly was daughter of Feidlimid and wife of Noise. Fedlimid was a romancer and harmonious musician of the enduring stock.

Niab the daughter of Celtchar was with Cormac Condlonn over seas. The wife of Setanta (a man who was a white spear of extravagance) was the daughter of fair Forgall. Emer and skilled Cu Chulain famed for ability on the mount of Delga.

Doruama and comely Findabair were the fair wives of Celtchar, expert in valour. His third blooming wife was Brig Brethach who is known in the record of disgrace. Dundalethglas was the peaceful fort of Celtchar, the fort of the three immaculate and faultless ones.

The wife of bleeding Cethern son of Fintan was Findbec, daughter of drunken Eochu. Indel was with Uslend son of Durthacht of the strong true pulse. Noisi and Andle and Ardán were her children. They were treacherously and cruelly slaughtered.

Now Findigi, daughter of Eochu, was with Eogan son of dark Durrthacht. Findchaem the comely daughter of Cathbad was wife of fresh—coloured round—backed Amargen. The father of crooked Conall Cernaig encountered (?) a great difficulty.

Londchad was child of Eochu Horse—mouth. Irial was her strong—kneed vigourous son. Buan was wife of swarthy and short—lived Mes Gegra of the third noble lofty eminence (?), and daughter of the cruel king of Ossory who took Brosnach on die pine-wooded glen.

Fedelm Noichruthach (heroic strength) was with Cairpri Nia Fer for evil. She, with a heroine's disposition, the strength of her race, was mother of Erc and Acall; and child of Concobar the match of heroes, combat of every bodily struggle.

Achall, daughter of worthy Cairpri, was consort of handsome Glan son of Carbad, or of Eochu son of Carbad, a dastard to the corpses of the poor. Her name is on a hillock in Tara and her poem in books is harmonious.

The two wives of Caegmen Horn—skin son of Dedad, Mes and Nem, (a loving marriage bond) shall be praised, also Mairech a brilliant hardy man. [From Mes is Slieve Mis in Munster; the woman's origin was never low]. From Nem of the enmity is named Ferta Nimi. Her resting place is marked by a flag-store.

Blathnat the honest daughter of Concobar was the bloonming wife of Cu Roi. Or she was the daughter of Fidachi Fathach, a noble woman who did not use deceit. She was combing the dotards skin after she was taker to the stone fort.

Great Morand the stately Manx woman was mother of brilliant royal Cu Roi, daughter of the son of the champion Gunsige the crusher of the strong flax—hackler, and sister of Eochu whose wife was active Tear; keen, grasping, musical as long as alive. (?)

Oengus Ossory son of Cremthand, his mother was blameless Cindnit daughter of Daire Dord son of Dedad. There was a king of bloody struggles.

Darera and Ruamail king of Leinster, a royal prosperous couple, brought up Lugaid Riab nDerg. His wrath in battle was lasting. Or he was brought up in Ulster territory under shields undarkened by colour.

Crifang Montriduir and Derforgaill, a pair from Scotland and from fierce Norway, were two wives of Lugaid the brisk son of Eochu from whom sprang the famous race of Clettach.

Nar Thuathech, of the Pictish folk, of the family of Loth son of stern Daire, was mother of Cremthand (an experienced brain) and of generous Feradach the righteous. Or Clothra was Cremthand's mother. She swelled (?) ponderously, enormous and bright.

Ethne was wife of Fiachach Findolaid; whitest Ethne of vigourous strife, the mother of Tuathal of violent deeds, was daughter of the warlike king of Scotland. Bani, the princess, was daughter of Scal Balb and wife of Tuathal Techtmar of the tower, the fair mother of healthy Feidlimid of the hill: it was no snare of misfortune.

The sister of royal Feidlimid Rechtad, a queenly queen entirely, was Feidlem the Red who swore shrewdly, the mother of the three sons of Fiachnia the Fair. Fiachna was guardian to Tuathal Techtmar who rounded words sweetly.

Pleasant Fithir and Darini were two fine daughters of that Tuathal, wives of Eochu son of terrible Eochu judging Leinster of the blades. The Boromna from Leinster arose from them: a service of the family tribute.

Ethne Sithbac, daughter of Oengus Musc, was wife of Cu Corb arch rniother of Messen Cuirb and Cairpri: it was no hammer—chisel prepared their rank.

Mor was mother of Tiprait Tirech when Cond of the hundred battles fell, and wife of Bresal son of Cerb of the muster without standard or squad or banner. The son of Mál by whom fell Tuathal, prosperous Tuathial Techtmar.

There were three sons of valiant Cond of a hundred battles: Crinna, Condla and solitary Art. There were three daughters (no feeble fiction): Sadb and Sarnait and Moen. From them came the title, "Gobnind cen brinna" the name of a church, and delightful Crinna.

Ailill's race are reported to spring from Sadb; the Cairpres in the West from Sarait; the sons of Imchad (the manly ) the lively Fergus', from Main. [Dubdetach and Foltlebor, I bind them for burning, I mention in my poem]. By his own original vigour Lugaid son of Mog (a fistful of wounds) overthrew then.

The children of noble Ailill Olum and Mac Niad's only son, Mac Con, are the seed of free-born Sadb of the fair and faultless covenant. I find the daughter of Eogabal was Ani wife of stainless Ailill.

Faicha Mullethan was son of Eogan son of Ailill of the heights. Moncha was his mother, daughter of Tretan U Gregga, a poet from his judgements. Or it was the daughter of the druid, Dil Nardorcha, who is called gentle Moncha of the boats.

Sarnait wife of Conaire the striker was the fair mother of the remote Cairbres. She took openly as I testify Nemed son, of Srabcind of the bridles. Though I would guard Conn's son-in—law, brilliant Nemed is not hid from the hand of violence.

Eocho Cairpri had a mighty kingdom: royal Oengus was the name of Cairpri Musc: Aihill was famous Cairpri Bascain. Lofty ambition stirred the company. The children of Conaire son of Moga, their great luck would be a choice subject for rhetoric.

Ethni Ollamda child of Cathair was consort of Cormac son of Art. Echtan was the namine of his joyous mother who yielded in strong Tara, daughter of Orc Acha of the yew-wood: her travail though difficult brought forth princes.

He is in truth Ethne's progeny, or the womb of Feidel the Leinster handmaid (an ungrudging testimony) mothered Cairpre. Her reputation is grievous and questionable. Or it was Ciarnait's womb overflowing with sorrow. Her belly was uneasy with power.

Murni Munchaem (good was her work) was mother of valiant Find the prince. She was of the race of powerful Tadc son of Nuadat, daughter of the righteous king the gracious one, till violence was done to her. Bodball was his good nurse.

Smirnat, Mongfhind, Albi Gruadbrec, Badamair of undamaged fame: these are the wives of Find of the woods who fainted not from wounds. Ani, Find's daughter, was wife of Eochu. Her career with him was small pleasure.

Fair Funchi, daughter of noble Nar son of Urmora of Arber Cliach, was mother of the three wordy Fathad, of Munster wealth in bushels. Or Funchi was daughter of Benne Brett, the wild wolf—cub always quick and wise.

Long—lived Callech Berri of a melodious race was wife of Fathad Canand the centurion. Tea, daughter of Mac Niad of the grove, was sister of the Fathad they say and the wife of Find son of Regaman of the ferns. Valuable and costly were her treasures.

Sciath is known, the daughter of enormous Lugaidh son of fair Oengus. He was son of Fergus Dubdetach who exposed his skin to wounds. She was the happy wife, of. . . disposition, of Tadg son of Cian of cheerftnl Cashel.

Ailech was daughter of fair Fubdaire king of Scotland, no false race, and wife of Eochu trained in martial deeds, mother of the three handsome Collas. The final names of the party were Muredach, Cairell arch Aed.

Uathi daughter of stately Findchan was mother of noble Fraech Fer Fortren. Fergus Foga was his son. In nobility he was the decisive choice. In his time Emain was overthrown by a ferocious band.

The wives of Eochu of the splendid hair were: Mongfind of the Ernai (a cunning offshoot) sister of Cremthand. She was inured to painful child—bearing. She gave her brother poison with a lie. And Cairend Casdub of purest vigour daughter of the wealthy English king.

Great Eochu had three sons by Mongfind daughter of generous Fidach: Fiachra, Ailill and Brian of Burren. He had Niall by Cairend as a mate. Sidach was a son of Mongfind afterwards: a common report in our land from of old.

The two Conalls, pleasant Cairpri, Enna, noble Eogan, heroic Loegaire honourable Maine were born to Niall (no reproach to him) by Rignach the gracious one. She was child of Meda son of mighty Ros son of Trechem, prompt with poems.

Conall's consort was daughter of Eochu the sea—born — (good was his disposition), Corpre of the elopements. She was a fierce woman, mother of Lugaid of the stern folk.

Inniu and Innecht were a shapely pair, the two daughters of Lugaid the Dumb. Inniu was wife of Niall of the good brownhaired race. Innecht was wife of Crund who was shrewd and coarse - the mother of Níall Noigiallach's son, Fiacha himself, was handsome and generous of practice. The dread son of Crund, Caelbod, after seizing... Banba was his ard her borders. Innecht was his gentle mother from whom Glen Arad* in the Route is named.

Noble Ethni, daughter of Corra, was Da Thi's consort full of honour. Ailill Molt the soldier, was their son. He was a king over his lands yonder. Angas, the upright daughter of Cairpri Dam Argait, was truly the wife of Nadfraich. Eocho's daughter, Fial of Bri Ele, was wife of Da Thi of sword—sharp deeds.

Oengus son of Nadfraech, a vainglorious man, his mother was languid stately Angas: or Fochand daughter of the king of the Britons of Man. Her visitation yonder is true. Ethni Uathach was daughter of Cremthand, Enna was her blameless grandfather. She was wife of Oengus son of fierce Nadfraech chief of all perfect heroes.

Feradachi, Feidlimid, Cathair, Cond, Art, Cairpri of the fierce Liffey, Fiachra, stout Muredach of Tara, Crimthand chief of dishes ard quilts: there is no record of their wives of the true breed without carnal guilt.

Four hundred and fifty seven pagans do I indeed enumerate of mates and of children accurately in stately quatrains. Let us select from the records the notable children of serene Christian ladies for we take from family matter all that is right ard proper to say.

Angias, daughter of clever Tassach son of blameless Liathan, was the guiding light of Loegaire. He was famous: the shepherd of wealthy Banba. [Or Angas was daughter of Bresal Brec, the nimble woman of fierce conflicts.

Lasair was the fierce daughter of Loegaire. Resplendent Lugaid was her pleasant mate - the mother of Corc of the flying apples was Bolga of Man, a big fragmnent. Corc was of the family of Loegaire and Lugaid, fequenting crowded fairs of savours. (?)

Marb, the eloquent daughter, of the Saxon king, was the affable wife of Niall's handsome hard-headed son and mother of Muredach son of Eogan a column—like strong firm man. The great son of Muredach (son of Eogan son of Niall of the steadfast North) Was Murchertach, the mighty weapon, son of Erc of the loved race of swift Loarn.

Cumman Muni was mother of Tuathal Maelgarb of the keen exploits, son of Cormac Caach son of Cairpri, a proudh ard wanton scion of the melodious bardic art. Cumman of the fair plaits was daughter of Dallbronach and sister of Brigit.

Fergus Cerrbeoil's wife was Corbach, child of Mane of Leinster of the spades. Dermot was her great son undoubtedly (it was a sad delivery), son of pleasant Cerball and grandson of raiding Conall Cremthaind son of Niall son of radiant Eochu.

Mugain wife of pleasant Diarmait was the excellent daughter of Concrad son of Dui. Colman and honest Aed were her children, a perfect branch which strengthens a country. Of them were the Clan Colmain of the royal line, the race of Aed Slane of the hosts. Or the true mother of Colmain was the child of blind Brenand, the holy one of the Cross, Erc of the Conmaicne of Cul, as is heard say to the satisfaction of flatterers.

Brea, the fair and famous daughter of Colman son of venomous Neman, was mother of inconstant Colman Bec: a clever woman from mild Dun Suani. Aedammair Delgnach a strong capable woman of the Tratraige (renowned and swift), the only woman who craved the muzzles of whelps, was mother of generous Guaire Aidhne.

The wife of Mael Dun, mother of Congal, child of Nechtan was shining Lassar. I certify that yonder wife of Dui of Irluachair was curly—haired Land, daughter of Cerball's son. The two sons of Muircertach mac Erca were Eochu Find and tall Domnall. Duasach daughter of Dui was their mother.

The harsh one was not avaricious. Dui Tengai Umai chief of Connacht strengthened...

Wealthy Setna was father of Ainmire's son. Aed was blameless Ainmire's son. His mother was fervent Brigit daughter of faultless Cobtuch who was son of Ailill of Ard Ladrand, the castle of the two competitors in valour.

Brigit, the fair daughter of Fianamail, forsook the child of the strong grace. Aedan and Brandub were Eochu's children in very truth, one brood as heretofore. Or it was Feidlem daughter of Feidlimid Findleith was their cheerful mother: Feidlimid son of Cobthach (a violent king) son of Da Thi son of tall Fiachra.

Ethni daughter of blind Brenand, was wife of Aed Slane of the spears. Diarmait, Dunchad, Conall, Congal, Mael Odar who held feasts; these were her united family and the chief of the bands of Breg.

Ronait, daughter of Aed Slane, was the noble wife of stainless Colman, mother of Mael Dun and Aelind; a handsome ploughman who never marked out a castle.

Suithchern, daughter of Aed bennan, as wife of fair Lonan son of Indnech. Cuanach son of Cailchen took her from him by means of his axe-like spearhead. He was no coward. He had two blood-brown spears. Lonan fell by their points, an evil fate.

The generous daughter of comely Fedlimid, the fair son of unyielding Tigernach, was Damnat, the perfection of sunshine, wife of gentle Aed Bennan.

The children of Aed and good Damnat are praised: Mael Dun, Congal, pleasant Cumman, Mael Canaig a most brilliant man, and Mor of Munster wife of fair Fingin Tolnat, daugther of Mael Tuili, was wife of Mael Dun the proud melodious scion.

Ronsech was the famous queen of [the king of] Airgiall whose name was Mael Odar who was no sluggard. Their daughter was the elect Mael Teglaich wife of Fergus Coba of the clans. He was son of Aed, the great son of Mongan, who inflicted heavy slaughter on yon army. Eriu was daughter of Mael Teglaig and of the champion, brilliant Fergus. Her husband was tall Ailill from Connacht. He caused grievous torment.

Brig daughter of Archa son of Carthend, consort of Domnall, was a womanly woman. Her son was Aed Uairdnach rich in cattle. Often was he raiding men. Damnat, the good and great daughter of Murchad Lorc, is, we think, praised: a woman who practised ordained poverty, the mother of fair Mael Fithrig.

Garb, daughter of Ellen of the Eoganacht, the bright mother of Fiachna is known: generous Fiachna, the intelligent king of Ulster of heroic form. His bravery was seen. The daughter of Furudran son of Bec, wife of stern Fiachna son of Demman, was Cuman Derb of enduring memory, of the reckoned family of the king of Ui Turtri.

Cuman's daughter was Dubhlacha, Morgan's sweetheart. Her children were good. Colgo and Conall were men of energy. Caintigern was his stately mother. Dublacha of the promises without stint was daughter of Deman's son.

Land wife of Ated, the tall son of Ainmire, was daughter of Aed Guaire of the torc. Her children were Domnall (divided choice) Mael Coba and Conall Cloc. Or the stately mother of the strong trio was her sister, Land, an unmusical obstacle. (?)

Duansech was wife of straight forward Domnall. Dathnat was Cellach's wife for a long while. Ornath was wife of Guaire son of Colman son of Cobtach (Colman of the clergy). It was she, Deoch, was [wife] of Laidgnain Lingil, the acute daughter of generous Fingin.

The wife of royal mighty Diarmait was gracious Temair, (a dissolver of wealth). She was daughter of Aed Bolg son of Fingen. Bodily beauty had the bright one, chief of slaughter. The mother of noble Cernach Sotal guaranteed and took posession of wealth.

Buach, the wife of Cano the great son of Gartnan, was the bright—smiling daughter of generous Illand. The harmonious love of Cano and Cred was a torment to her and was long remembered. Gelges daughter of Guaire, was wife of Cu Congelt. Her pure true love changed suddenly.

The daughter of Mael Dun son of Aed (king of Muster of prosperous swathes) was Guas wife of Cuan son of Conall. Their lamentation was not harsh or sullen. The keen adventurous prince of the Ui Fidgenti followed the noble one through her spells.

Cathal son of hairy Finguine was the fair king of Munster. Lofty was his standard. His wife (a profitable bargain...) was Cellach daughter of red Dunchad: Dunchad of the Ards grandson of musical Conall. His hunting was rough and smooth sailing.

Murgel, Mugain, sensible Be Bail, Caintigern (a frank quartett) were the wives of Cellach of Cualu who feasted under the horns of oxen. Finachta Fledach son fo Dunchad was husband of Derforgaill (cause of knowledge) and of the daughter of Congal, Conaind of the golden treasure (it was lovely) which failed not. Congal Cendfota was an Ulsterman. His skin had a stringy structure.

It was the same daughter of Congal, Conchand, who was a chaste consort and wife of Blathmac's son the flourishing king of Ulster. She did not forsake her race in her contest. Cacht, daughter of Mael Coba's son Cellach, was a prudent consort. She was wife of Mael Dun son of Fergal son of wise and generous Mael Dun.

The wife of Irgalach son of Cinraed (a valiant warrior who fed ravens) was Murend daughter of Cellach of Cualu among the white-shouldered throng.

Ornath the lovely was daughter of fierce Cuan son of Amalgad. She was wife of a man Sechinasach son of mighty Fingen. The daughter of Ernan of Crich Conaill was wife of Fergal who was a generous prince. Fergal was a vinebranch, beauty without violence. And Allan was ever his true son. Aed, Niall Frosach, Fergal, Feid[l]im were kings of Ireland after Niall.

Domnall son of Murchad of Meath was son of Alpin who played with gold. The stately mother of shapely Domnall was child of Comgall of Delbna Mor. Niall Frossach of silver showers was the noble son of Fergal a valiant raider. Athechda the mother of powerful Niall was daughter of Cian pure and candid.

Albini was wife of pleasant Domnall. Donnchad was her son, a great prince. Shine was daughter of Ailill of the Ards and of Oiriu. I do not conceal the kindly fair one. Dunlaith the good daughter of the son of Longsech son of Flathbertach was wife of splendid Niall. Her son was wise Aed Ordinte; a golden—haired beauty, manly ard generous.

Powerful Be Bail, daughter of Cathal, was wife of Dondchad son of stern Domnall. Mael Ruanaid and prompt Oengus with the troops of beautiful trumpets were her children. Cathal was the name of the famous king of Ulster the Strength and the foundation of Banba from of old.

Fair Fogartach prince of the Ui Fiachrach (the generous son of loyal Mael Bresail) and fleshly Cumascach (son of Cathal the king of Airgiall brave in battle): their mother was the spotless daughter of Aed Orchan who prospered prosperity.

Fland prince of Breg and clerical Niall Caille were the sons of Medb (without an exact contract) daughter of capable Inrechtach son of Muredach of grim Durlus.

I heard that Cathal the veritable son of Fiachra was prince of the Fer Cul. The name of his daughter was golden Aroc. Though very young her achievements was remarkable. She was mother of Mael Sechlaind of the armies, of the main line of king Mael Ruanaid.

The mother of calm Aed Findleith was fair Gormlaith of the dazzling white complexion; daughter of Dondchadh. Embroideries were no difficulty for her.

Land daughter of Dungal son of Fergal, king of Ossory of the steeds, was called the mother (no mistaken delay) of Fland son of Mael Sechlaind of the swathes.

Good Mael Muire was daughter of Cinaed son of Alpin, a Scotch noble, and mother of Domnall son of daring Fland and of white-toothed active Niall Glundubh.

The daughter of Muredach son of Eochu, sole king of Ulster, was harsh Gormlaith. I do not conceal her child, Cumascach, son of tall Ailill, [the noble prior of Armagh was generous. There never was a condemation of poets] and Domnall son of generous Aed Findleith. His rank did not give a king's protection.

Derbail, the good grand-daughter of Aed Ordnidi, was the youthful wife of placid Lannacan. She was certainly daughter of Mael Dun who ruled servile Cul Dremni of the multitudes. Her children were Cellach and Mael Findna. It was a family of adventurous lads. The husbands of Eithne daughter of Aed Findleith were Flannacan and Fland. Her sons were Mael Mithig of the mead-feasts and Mael Ruanaid of yon assembly.

The mother of Eochacan son of Aed was Ablach, daughter of wise Domnall son of inviolate Bec, ruler of the fair of Line of the champions. Fierce Eochacan, co—king of Ulster, had the visage of the family who were no fools. Muredach, noble Amalgaid, Aed, disagreable Eochacan were sons of Mael Dun's daughter, sons of experienced Aed.

The child of the daughter of Ated son of Laigne was the hero Aed, son of bright Longsech. Dunlaith, born of Domnall son of Aed, was mother of Niall son of Aed Ordan of Ulster. He was full of heroic rude courage

The mother of Matudan son of Aed, and daughter of bhameless Lethlobar, was the feminine spirited woman, Barrdub, of pure conduct, without evil cause.

Murchertach son of Niall, chief of Cashel, and Cellach son of cheerful Bec were sons of the daughter of Anbeith son of Aed who ruled the smooth plain of glorious Moen.

The mother of Diarmait son of Cerball, hero of the brilliant Ossorians, and of Tadg son of perfect Concobar (noble, wealthy, destructive and impetuous) was the daughter in of brown poetical Mael Sechlaind of the main-line of famous Mael Ruanaid.

Gormlaith, pure-born of Fland son of Conanid, was wife of the prince of the active Gael. Her children were: Dondchad, son of wealthy Fland, and Gormlaid full of cunning deeds. Ligach, daughter of Land and Mael Muire, was a good woman in her time. Her children were: handsome perfect Congalach and Aed son of Mael Mithig the stutterer.

The child of Eithne daughter of Fergal (son of Domnall of the oxen) was Murchertach as worthy as any son of Niall. He did not let his kingdom decay, he was son of a man, (since whom were kings without dispute), Congalach the pillar of battles. Deichtner, mother of Donmall, Congalach's son, was child of Beollan son of Ciamac, a battle—chief and king of South Breg of treacherous foreigners.

Cacht, child of Dondchad the great son of Cellach (the fair king of Ossory of the pastures), ws mother of a distinguished haughty man, brown Dondchad U Congalaig. Congalach's grandson Murchertach (great and dazzling strife) had a good mother, Ragnailt, daughter of fierce Amlaib. Her countenance was unruffled by danger of reproach (?).

The child of Congalach son of Mael Mithig (whose son here after was Congalach) was Derbail who faithfully practised poverty, mother of the fair king of Ui Failge.

The mother of warlike Domnall U Neill was shining Gormlaith of affectionate ways, the progeny of Culenan son of Mael Brigte, (till then the most certain stream of all) child of the king of the Conaille of embroideries. Their anger and their contests are terrible.

Echrad, daughter of Matudan son of Aed, had a lovely colour. She bore Murchertach the impetuous son of Domnall Ua Neill, the fighter in the battle.

Cres, handmaid of the good (?) Ui Maine was mother of Flathbertach of the thighs, [son of] venomous Murchertach ua Neill of the hostages who are seen in his fetters.

Murgel was mother of the king of Ailech named Glunralar, (he was a hero) and of Murchad Ua Lathbertaig who was full of ale, strongly fortified, wealthy and powerful. She was child of Tadg son of Concobar a plundering overbearing dictatorial and crafty man.

The daughter of tall Aed U Cellaig chief of great Ui Marie (he was nc-mt roach) was the child of Tadg, son of Cathal of the beautiful poem, was little Derbail of the delicious drinks, mother of Aed Ua Neill the raven. Fair were his hostages in grey fetters.

The noble mother of Glun-iairn and rich Mach Sechlaind was steadfast Dunlaith. Murchertach son of Niall was her father. He carried out a march with battalions.

The daughter of Erchad, a blooming woman, Be Bind, was mother of Brian of the verdicts. Erchad son of steady Murchad was king of South Connacht of the raids.

The child of Murchad son of Find was Gormlaid, the clever offspring of the king of all Leinster. Her sons were Brian's son wealthy Dondchad, and Sitric son of generous Amlaip. Callech daughter of poetical Dunlaing was the true mother of Bran of the poets. Bran king of Leinster, son of Mael Morda, was the beauty of the boasting violent nobles.

The two Baetans, Mael Coba, Conall, Colman, Congal, gentle Blaithmach, Suibni, Sechnasach, Mael Fithrig, Longsech, Flaithbertach; Aed mightiest of all, Conchobar, Cinaed, Cend Faelad, Fagartach who received with alacrity: history by reason of disturbances does not mention the wives of the royal kings for a space.

Guairi, Crimthand, Cuanu, Comgan, Cummain, Breccan: few were their words without cause, a brave family of defensive heroism of beauteous colours from Naas.

Eleven hundred and forty seven years exactly of pure deeds from the most harmonious birth of Christ till I enumerated the band of women. I was twenty-six Wednesdays at the sport. The space of time was no weariness.

Gilla Mo Dutu composed this poem — it is no false arrangement — [It came from vigourous Ard Brecan through Bechan.

This is no false yarn], in Devenish of gracious words and pure holy songs. [He settled for living folk by hard wisdom a fine problem]. The Women's History, which is not folly to be suppressed, gives half the race from Adam the one man.

(A suivre) Maighreád ni C. Dobbs

ni C. Dobbs, Maighreád "The Ban-shenchus". Revue Celtique. vol. 47-49.

Special thanks goes to Cat for tracking down and photocopying the articles for me.