The Battle of Ventry
The Battle Of Ventry here below, i.e. the tragical death of Finn with the fianns of Erinn, and the death of Duire Donn, the king of the great world.
A King assumed sovereignty and possession of the whole great world entirely, namely Duire Donn (the Brown), the son of Losgenn Lomglunech (of the Bare Knees). Now, the hosts of the world gathered and assembled unto this King. There came Vulcan, the king of France, and Margaret, the king of Greece, and Fagartach, the king of India, and Lugman Lethanarmach (of the Broad Weapons), the king of the Saxons, and Fiachra Foltlebar (of the Long Hair), the king of the Gairian, and Tor the son of Breogan, the king of Spain, and Sligech the son of Sengarb, the king of the men of Cepda, and Herod the son of Dregan the son of Duille, the king of the men of Dregan, and Comur Cromgenn (of the Curved Sword), the king of the men of the Dogheads, and Caitchenn (the Cathead) the king of the men of the Catheads, and Caisel Clumach (of the Plumes), the king of Norway, and his three brothers, namely, Forne Glanger Gaiscedach (the Pure and Sharp and Valorous), and Mongach of the Sea, and Tacha, and Daire Dedsolus (of the Shining Teeth), the king of the Mediterranean, and Madan Muncas (of the Bent Neck), the son of Donn, the king of the Swamps, and three kings from the sunrise in the east, namely Dubcertan, the son of Firmas, and Muillenn, the son of Firlut, and Cuillenn the son of Faeburglas, and Now, when this weighty host had come where the high-king of the world was, they all fixed upon one plan, namely, to go and to take Erinn by fair means or foul. And this was the cause thereof. Once Finn the son of Cumall had been expelled from Erinn into the great world, and he was in the east during one year doing military service with Vulcan the king of France, and the wife and the daughter of the king of the Franks eloped with him, having both bestowed equal love upon him. And therefore those hosts and multitudes assembled to go and take revenge for it on the men of Erinn. For those brave ones did not think it honourable nor seemly that contempt and contumely should come upon them by a man of Erinn.
It was then the king of the world asked: 'Who is there that can be my guide in the harboursteads of Erinn?' he said. 'I shall guide thee true,' said Glas the son of Dreman. 'For I am myself expelled by Finn the son of Cumall, and I shall guide you about the smooth very broad harbours of Erinn,' said he.
Then came those numerous hosts and armies, and those proud henchmen to the harbour where their ships were, and their caravels; and their vessels and boats, their coracles and their beautiful ships were then made ready by them, and the trim straight oars with stiff shafts and hard blades were got out, and they made a strong eager quick powerful well-timed rowing so that the white-skinned foamy streams behind the ships from the quick rowing were like the white-plumed froth on blue rivers, or like the white chalk on high stones, so that .... those ships over the billowy main and over the big great-crested slow blue waves.
Then arose the winds, and the waves grew high, so that they heard nothing but the furious mad sporting (?) of the mermaids, and the many crazy voices of the hovering terrified birds above the pure green waters that were in uproar. There was no welcome forsooth to him who got the service and the attendance of that angry, cold and deep sea, with the force of the waves and of the tide, and of the strong blasts consuming their .... and their .... and .... against the vessels, nor was the babbling of those .... pleasant, with the creaking of the ropes that were lashed into strings, and with the buffeting of the masts by the fierce winds that shivered them severely. There was not amongst them a vessel that was not shaken in its ribs, that was not .... broken in its gearf .... in its board, shaken in its nails, rotten in its side, bruised in its . . . . , without water in its hold, ripped open in its . . . . , shattered in its . . . . , overturned in its mast, severely bent in its stays, .... in its red canvas, lacerated in its boats, stopped in its swift career by the full gust of the storm, if the people of assistance and help near them had not come to aid it.
Now, when this storm did not find weakness on the heroes, nor debility on the champions, it rose from them, and went to its high lofty aerial abode. Then the sea grew gentle unto them, and every blue wave grew tame so that the ocean was mild, smooth, friendly in harbour and recess and corner and rock. And none of them had need to work or to row, but the slanting full-sailing ships went along with the sound of the pure-cold wind, until they took harbour and port on the goodly island of the worlds, and at the green rock that is called Sgellig Michil to-day. It is he that was their guide there, namely, Glas the son of Dreman, from Sithan of Loch Lein of the cold water, and from the hidden places of Druim Droibel, and when a deer or other senseless beast was roused by the fiann there was no need for a dog or a man to run after it, but it was caught alive by Glas the son of Dreman. And he was hired by the fiann for that reason, and a short time he was with them when he was inveigled to betray Finn to Cormac the son of Art, the king of Erinn, and he had to leave Erinn for that, and to go into the great world, and it is he that was guide to the king of the world at that time.
'O soul, O Glas son of Dreman,' said the king of the world, 'not a harbour like this didst thou promise my fleet would find, but shores of white sand where my army might assemble for fairs and gatherings whenever they were not fighting.' 'I know a harbour like that in the west of Erinn,' said Glas,'namely, Ventry Harbour in Corea Duibne (Corea Guiny).' They went onward thence to Ventry, and filled the borders of the whole harbour so that the sea was not visible between them, and the great barque of the king of the world was the first to take harbour, so that thenceforward its name was Rinn na Bairci (The Point of the Barque). And they let down their many-coloured linen-white sails, and raised their purple-mouthed speckled tents, and consumed their excellent savoury viands, and their fine intoxicating drinks, and their harps were brought to them for long playing, and their poets to sing their songs and their dark conceits to them.
'O Glas son of Dreman,' said the king of the world, 'to whom belongs this land into which we have come first as a portion of the spoil when they will divide Erinn between them before they return eastward?' 'To Tor the son of Breogan, the king of Spain,' said Glas, 'belongs this land.' 'In that case, O king of Spain,' said the king of the world, 'thou art obliged to procure entertainment and good cheer for us to-night.'
Then the king of Spain rose, and four red-armed battalions in order together with him, and he went at once across the border of the country, and there were three forts to the west of this territory, namely, Dun Cais, and Dun Aeda and Dun Cerbain, and they were burnt by the king of Spain, both kings and lords, both women and children, both dogs and men, both bowls and drinking-horns and cups, and there were thrice fifty henchmen in each of these forts, and they were all of them burnt by them.
Now Finn and the fianns of Erinn knew that that heavy troop would come against Erinn, to wit, the kings of the whole world, as it had been represented and prophesied to them. And there was no landing-place in Erinn without a watchman from Finn over it, and he that was watching this harbour was Conncrithir the son of Bran, the son of Febal, from Temair Luachra. West from the Round Hill of the Fiann, that is called Cruachan Adrann, he was that night, and he asleep there; and what awoke him was the noise of the shields splitting, and the clashing of the swords, and the striking together of the spears cutting the bodies of the true warriors, and the cries of the women and children, of the dogs and horses in the flames. And Conncrithir arose at these cries, and what he said was: 'Great are the deeds that are done through my fault to-night,' he said, 'and woe to the mother that bore me, after the sleep I have made, and howbeit, Finn and the fianns of Erinn shall not see me alive after this, and I will go into the midst of the foreigners so that some of them shall fall by me or till I fall by them.'
He girded his body in his battle-array and sent the swift-pointed .... of running after the foreigners. And not far did he go when he saw three women before him on the road, each of them dressed in a warrior's armour, and he ran after them, but did not overtake them, and he put his hand under his spear to throw it. 'Stop, O warrior,' said a woman of them, 'for thou knowest that it is not right for thee to redden thy arms on us (?), and we women.' 'Who are ye yourselves?' said Conncrithir. 'Three daughters of Terg the son of Dolar, from the shore of the sea Tiberias in the east are we,' said they, 'and we have all three fallen in love with thee from afar, and none of us loves thee less than the other; and we have come to help thee, for we knew that thou wouldst be the first man of the fianns of Erinn that would make a stand against the foreigners.' 'What is your help to me to be?' said Conncrithir. 'Our help to thee will be good,' said they, 'for we shall form a druidical host around thee from the stalks of . . . . , and from the top of the watercress, and though armies and multitudes be killed around thee, they will cry to the foreigners, and beat their weapons out of their hands, and take away their strength and their sight. And the king of Spain and four hundred of his people will be killed by thee, and the battle of Ventry will be fought a day and a year, and there will be fresh fighting in it every day during that time. And be thou of good cheer, for even if thou art killed every day, thou wilt be whole again in the morning, for we shall have the well of healing for thee, and the warrior that thou lovest best of the fianns of Erinn shall obtain the same as thou.'
Now the hosts of the king of Spain were taking plunder and materials (?) and silver from Traig Moduirn in the north, which is called Murbach at this time, to Ventry in the south. It was then that Conncrithir the son of Bran the son of Febal came upon them, and the druidical host with him, and he forced their plunder from them, and the druidical host took their strength and their sight from them, and the hosts of the king of Spain came in their rout and flight to the plain where the king of Spain was, and Conncrithir killing and destroying them.
'Stay with me, O kingly warrior,' said the king of Spain, 'that I may fight with thee for my people, since no man of them turns against thee, and thou slaughtering and slaying them.' So those two attacked one another, and they placed the two banners of soft silk into the green-sided earth, and stretched out the quick-wounding hands with the blue-headed red-socketed spears, and dealt black close hard insufferable wounds to each other, until the wounding rose high, and the shafts of their spears were broken, and they clove their shields, and they ripped open completely their hauberks, and they bared their purple-flaring broad-edged sword-blades, and prepared their deaths. And they were in this fight for a long time and while of the day, until Conncrithir struck a furious counter-blow (?) against the joint of the helmet and of the beautiful hauberk of the king of Spain, so that he smote his head off his body. And Conncrithir lifted up the head and boasted of the deed, and this is what he said: 'By my word, forsooth,' he said, 'I shall not let myself be separated from this head, unless I am killed, until some few or a great number of the fianns of Erinn come to me.' The king of the world heard that, and this is what he said: 'Great is that word which the warrior speaks,' said he, 'and rise thou and see who he is, O Glas son of Dreman, whether it is Oscar of the noble deeds whom I have heard of, of the fianns of Erinn, that speaks this word.'
Then Glas went on shore and went near Conncrithir. 'O warrior,' said he, 'great is that word thou hast spoken, and what is thy name and thy family?' 'I am Conncrithir the son of Bran, the son of Febal, from Temair Luachra,' he said. 'If it is thou,' said Glas, 'thy blood and thy family are nearly related to me, for I am Glas the son of Dreman, from Temair Luachra,' he said. 'The less does it behove thee to come to fight against me from those foreigners,' said Conncrithir. 'It is sad,' said Glas, 'for the treasures of the whole world, if Finn and the fianns of Erinn had been true to me, I should not fight against any man of Erinn nor against thee above all.' 'Do not say so,' said Conncrithir, 'for there are fifteen sons with Finn beside his own children, and I swear by my weapons and by my valour, that if thou hadst killed all these, thou wouldst not have to dread Finn, provided thou earnest under his honour and protection.' Thereupon Glas said: 'The day of fighting together with thee has come for me, and I will go and tell the king of the world.'And he went where the king was. 'O soul, O Glas,' said the king, 'is it Oscar that is there?' 'It is not he at all, O high king,' said Glas, 'and if it had been he that has come, it is not for thy people that he comes. It is an acquaintance and brother of mine that is there, and I am sick at heart that he is alone, and I desire to go and help him.' 'If thou goest,' said the king of the world, 'I demand of thee, to come and tell me the number that will fall by me of the fianns of Erinn every day, and if some few of my host fall by them, to come and tell me by whom they shall fall.' 'I ask of thee,' said Glas, 'not to let any one of thy host ashore, but as I say, nor till the fianns of Erinn come to us, and as there are no other restrictions for us to-day, let single combat be granted to us.'
And two foreigners were sent against them that day. And Conncrithir seized his long-sided sling, and put a straight even stone in it, and gave a straight well-directed cast, so that it went into the forehead of his adversary, and took the brain as a lump of blood out through the back of his head. So those two found their deaths by them, and they asked for two foreigners for either of them. This request was granted readily. Conncrithir lifted the thick spear of battle, and made a sharp quick determined (?) cast at the man next to him on their side, and hit him in the front of his breast, so that the spear went through him; and when the other man saw this, he fled behind the back of him that had been hit, so that the spear went through them both, and they found their death from it. And thereupon his own two fell through Glas. Three times nine fell through them before night, and Conncrithir was covered with wounds from that day, and he said to Glas: 'Three women have come to me from the shore of the sea of Tiberias in the east, and have promised me, though 1 should be killed every day in the battle of Ventry, I should be alive on the morrow, and that he whom I loved most of the fianns of Erinn should obtain the same. And watch thou the harbour to-night, that I may go to seek them.' And he went to seek them, and they put him under the healing spring, and he came out whole.
As to Glas the son of Dreman, he went to the harbour. 'O king of the world,' said he, 'there is a friend of mine with the fleet, called Madan of the Bent Neck, the son of Donn, the king of the Swamps, and this is what he said in the great world in the east, that he himself would be sufficient for thee to take Erinn, and that he would bring it to do homage to thee by fair means or foul, and I ask thee to let him meet me alone tonight, that we may see which of us will better fight for Erinn.'
Then those two attacked each other and made a furious brave powerful fight, but as it was not in the destiny of Glas to find his death there, the king of the Swamps found his death by him. And shortly after that, Conncrithir came to him, and began to extol the deed which Glas had done, and to praise him highly. Then they saw a champion of the fianns of Erinn coming towards them, to wit, the champion Taistellach. 'O youths,' said he, 'whose heads are those with you over the slaughter?' 'The head of the king of Spain is one of them,' said Conncrithir, 'and it is by me he has fallen. The head of the king of the Swamps is the other head, and by Glas the son of Dreman has he fallen. Hast thou got tidings of Finn and the fianns of Erinn for us?' said they. 'I left them at Snam Da En in the north,' said Taistellach. 'Arise and seek them,' said they, 'and let them come to us, if they would preserve our lives.' 'That would be a shameful thing for me,' said the champion, 'that two kings of the kings of the world should both have fallen by you, whilst my hands remain unreddened, before I go from the harbour.' And he went to the harbour. 'O king of the world,' said he, 'here is a champion of the fianns of Erinn seeking fight.' 'It is I whom it behoves to answer that champion,' said Coimlethan the son of Toithem, to wit, the champion of the king of the world, and he came on shore forthwith.
Thus was this man, ten times twenty fists of a man in height and the same number in breadth, and moreover, he had bathed in the blood of dragons and lions and toads and venomous adders, and a broad girdle of strong leather was round his body. And the fierce heroes attacked each other in their firm-sided, rough-skinned, broad-footed, strong-tailed .... that were stout below, and let flash the great grey blunt eyes with their shaggy eyebrows, and they gnashed the grey-branched, strong-boned, chewing, wide-jawed board-like teeth, and they turned up the broad-caved, horrid, thin-branched, crooked noses, and those two warriors attacked each other, and closed the black and strong, never-sprained, firm-clenching, indissoluble hands across their backs, and gave each other mighty unequal (?) twists. Then the champion of the king of the world gave Taistellach a powerful right-valiant squeezing, so that he drew a drop of very red blood from the top of each of his fingers and a stream of dark blood over his lip, and he put him as a high wonderful load on his shoulder and carried him running to where the king of the world was, and Taistellach said: 'O soul, O Coimlethan, whatwouldst thou do to me?' 'To carry thee to the king of the world,' said he, 'and to tear thy head off thy body, and to put it on a stake in the presence of the men of the world.' 'That is a bad plan,' said Taistellach, 'for it is better for thee to let me down, that I may kneel before thee in the presence of the hosts of the world, and all the champions of Erinn have knelt before me, and will do so before thee, and moreover, it is pleasant for thee to be able to say in the great world in the east, that thou thyself didst sooner obtain the homage of the champions of Erinn than the king of the world obtained their homage.' 'I pledge my faith,' said Coimlethan, 'that I will do so to thee,' and he let him down on the ground. Taistellach bent his head before him. He thought this was bowing to him. Taistellach stretched (his arms) around him and squeezed him mightily, angrily, strongly, till he reached the height of his shoulder, and the stone that was near him, he made a cast at him with it, so that he made bloody lumps of marrow of his body forsooth, to wit, of his skin, and he put his strong, broad-soled foot against his shoulder, and tore his head off his body, and boasted of his deed.
'May victory and blessing attend thee,' said Conncrithir, 'and go now to-night to the house of my father to Tcmair Luachra, namely, to Bran the son of Febal, and tell Bran to assemble all the Tuatha De Danand to help us, and thence betake thyself on the morrow to the fianns of Erinn.' And Taistellach went his way after that combat to the fort of Bran the son of Febal, and related all his tidings to them completely.
Then Bran the son of Febal went to gather and muster the Tuatha De Danand, and he went to Dun Sesnain Sengabra in Conaill Gabra, and there was a feast being held there, and a great number of the youths of the Tuatha De Danand were there, and there were three noble sons of the Tuatha De Danand, namely, Ilbrech the son of Manannan, and Nemannach (the Pearly) the son of Oengus, and Sigmall the grandson of Midir, and they made Bran the son of Febal welcome, and desired him to stay. 'O youths,' said Bran, 'there is greater need than that for you,' and he began to tell them his story and to relate to them the strait that his son Conncrithir was in. 'Stay with me to-night,'said Sesnan, 'and my son Dolb the son of Sesnan will go to Bodb Derg (the Red), the son of the Dagda (the good god), and gather the Tuatha De Danand to us.'
And so they did, and Dolb the son of Sesnan went to Sid Ban Finn (the Sid of the White Women) above Mag Fernen, and there was Bodb Derg the son of the Dagda at that time, and Dolb related those stories to him. 'O youth,' said Bodb Derg, 'not we are bound to help the men of Erinn out of that strait.' 'Do not say so,' said Dolb, 'for there is not the son of a king or a prince or a leader of the fianns of Erinn, whose wife, or whose mother or fostcrmother, or whose lemán is not from the Tuatha De Danand, and great help have they given you whenever you were in need.' 'We pledge our faith forsooth,' said Bodb Derg, 'that it is proper to respond to thee from the excellence of thy messengership,'and theysent off messengers to the Tiiathn De Danandto where they were, and they came all to where Bodb Derg was, and they came to Dun Sesnain and stayed there that night, and they rose early on the morrow, and put on their costly silk shirts and their curling much-embroidered jubilee tunics, and their stout long-sided glittering coats of mail, and their ornamented helmets of gems and gold, and their sheltering green shields, and their heavy broad-sided strong swords, and their sharp-pointed tile-broad spears. And these were their kings and princes at that time, namely, the three Garbs of Sliab Mis, and the three Liaths of Luachra, and the three Muredachs of Maide, and the three Sichaires of the Suir, and the three Eochaids of Aine, and the three Loegaires of the Red Stones, and the three Conalls of Clomraige, and the three Finns of Findabair, and the three Seals of the Brug an Scail, and the three Rodanachs of Raigne, and the three Discertachs of Druim Fornachta, and the three sons of Aedan from Eas Ruaid mic Boduirn (the Salmon-Leap at Ballyshannon),andTathbuillech of Sliab Cairn, and Sochern of Mag Sainb, and the Segsa from Segáis, and Ferdron from Laigis (Leix), and the Glas from Bruinne Breg, and Airgetlam (Silver-hand) from the Shannon, and Ograide from Maenmag, and the Suirgech from Lemain, and the Sencha from the Shannon, and Midir from Brig Leith, and Feilim Nuacrothach, the son of Nochedal, and Donn from Sid Bec-Uisci (the Sid of the Little Water,) and Dregan Dronuallach (the Strong and Proud), and Fer an Berla Bhinn (the man of the Sweet Speech) from the Boyne, and Cathal Crithchosach (of the Trembling Feet) the king of Bernan Eile, and Donn Fritgrine, and Donn Duma, and Donn Teimech, and Donn Senchnuic, and Donn Chnuic an Dois, and Brat Riabhach (the Swarthy), and Dolb Dedsolus (the Bright-toothed) from the Sids, and the five sons of Finn from Sid Cairn Chain, and Finnbarr of Mega Siul, and Sigmall, the grandson of Midir, and Ilberach, the son of Manannan, and Nemannach, the son of Aengus, and Lir of Sid Finnachaid, and Abartach the son of Ildathach (the Many-coloured), and a great many other nobles of the Tuatha De Danand who are not enumerated here.
Now, these hosts and armies came into Ciarraige Luachra (Kerry) and to red-maned Slieve Mis, and thence to Ventry Harbour. 'O Tuatha De Danand,'said Abartach, 'let a high spirit and courage arise within you in the face of the battle of Ventry. For it will last for a day and a year, and the deed of every single man of you will be related to the end of the world, and fulfil now the big words ye have uttered in the drinking- houses.' 'Arise,O Glas, son of Dreman,'saidBodbDergthesonof the Dagda,'to announce combat for me to the king of the world.' Glas went where the king of the world was. 'O soul, O Glas,' said the king of the world, 'are those yonder the fianns of Erinn?' 'Not they,' said Glas, 'but another lot of the men of Erinn, that dare not to be on the surface of the earth, but live in sid-brugs (fairy mansions) under the ground, called the Tuatha De Danand, and to announce battle from them have I come.' 'Who will answer the Tuatha De Danand for me?' said the king of the world. 'We will go against them,' said two of the kings of the world, namely, Comur Cromgenn, the king of the men of the Dogheads, and Caitchenn, the king of the men of the Catheads, and they had five red-armed battalions in order, and they went on shore forthwith in their great red waves.
'Who is there to match the king of the men of the Dogheads for me?' said Bodb Derg. 'I will go against him,'said Lir of Sid Finnachaid,'though I have heard that there is not in the great world a man of stronger arm than he.' 'Who of you will match the king of the men of the Catheads?' said Bodb Derg. 'I will match him,' said Abartach, the son of Ildathach, and he put on his heavy bright glittering coat of mail, and his crested, four-brimmed helmet of battle, and his sword...
Oscar of the great routs through the army of the foreigners, and like the wild, noisy, rough- streamed,terrible waterfall that pours through a narrow thin rock, or like a fierce red blaze of fire with high-peaked flames through the wide roof of a king's palace, or like the roar of a white-crested, green-skinned, wailing, white-foaming, full-watered wave of the great sea around it, so was the overthrowing and the scattering and the beating and the tearing into pieces and wild hacking which Oscar inflicted on the foreigners in that onslaught.
Then Vulcan the king of France and Oisin met each other, and they stuck their two banners of soft silk into the green-sided hill, and raised their two beautiful shields of many virtues against each other, and bared their terrible swords of smooth bronze, and made a ready, quick, successful onslaught. And the combat was going against one of them, for Oisin was being oppressed in it. And Oisin the son of Oisin saw this, and came towards them, and struck the king of France a blow, and the king returned the stroke and answered the ñghting of Oisin. And the two other sons of Oisin saw this, to wit, Echtach and Ulad, and they wounded the king of France, and he wounded either of them in exchange for his wound, and he elicited a sigh of oppression from Oisin over them all. And Mac Lugach saw this and wounded the king of France by a shot, and the king struck him a blow and answered the fighting of Oisin. Then came three times fifty warriors of the children of Baiscne to him, and every man of them wounded him, and he wounded every man of them, and he made Oisin utter a sigh of oppression over them all.
Now, this heard the pillar that was never put down, and the quickly-roused lion, and the venomous adder, and the wolf of combat, and the wave of overwhelming, and the (man of) destruction over the border, and the battle-gap of a hundred, and the hand which nobody dared to touch, and the heart that was never confounded, and the foot that never took one step backward before a few or many, to wit, Oscar of the noble deeds. And he was wondering who dared to bring his father into such a strait, and he came upon them in his angry, right terrible rush, and the terror that he struck into them was like (that of) fifty horses at a thunderstroke and at the shaking of the strand. And the king of France saw him coming towards himself, and his beauty and comeliness went from him, and his valour and his prowess left him, and he thought there was no shelter on earth for him, except if he went into the air or into the firmament, and he looked up into the clouds and thought that there was shelter for him between them. And there came lightness of mind and of nature upon him, and he gave his body a stretching from the ground, so that he went with the wind and with madness before the eyes of the hosts of the world, and did not stop in his mad flight till he came to Glenn Bolcain in the east of that territory. And wondrous great cries were raised by the hosts of the world in wailing him, and by the fianns of Erinn in exultation.
Now, the fianns of Erinn were thus till night came, and Finn said: 'Sad and sorrowful is the king of the world to-night,'said he, 'and he will make an attack of the harbour against you, and who is there of you that will take upon him the watch of the harbour to-night?' he said. 'I will,' said Oisin, 'with the same number that has been fighting together with me to-day, for it is not too much for us to fight for the fianns of Erinn a day and a night.' And they went to the harbour. And that was the hour and the time that the king of the world said: 'It seems to us, O men of the world, our luck of battle was not good to-day,'said he, 'and let some of you arise to make an attack of the harbour on the fianns of Erinn.'
Then arose the nine sons of Garb (the Fierce) the son of Tachar, namely, Donn Mara the son of Garb, and Lonnmar the son of Garb, and Lodra the son of Garb, and Iuchra the son of Garb, and Troiglethan (the Broad-footed) the son of Garb, and Tarraing Tren (the Strong) the son of Garb, and Tomna the son of Garb, and Dolar Durba the son of Garb, the king of the Sea of Wight. And sixteen hundred was their number, and they went all on shore except the eldest of those children of Garb, namely, Dolur Durba, and the children of Baiscne answered them readily and with fighting. And they began to beat each other severely, so that hands were hacked off there, and sides cut, and bodies mangled, and they continued in that fight until the morning came with its early light. And not one of them was alive on the morrow, that was able to wield his weapons on either side, but three of the children of Garb, and Oisin, and Oscar, and they did not let go of each other, but they made rushes at each other, and two of them attacked Oscar, and the third man and Oisin attacked each other, and hard, equally strong, and equally waged was that combat, and his own two found their death by Oscar, and the weakness and trance of death fell upon him, and that was enough to Oisin.
Then Oisin and the foreigner threw their weapons out of their hands, and closed their stout kingly graceful arms across the slender part of each other's bodies, and gave each other a manly right brave pull, so that it was worth coming from the east of the world to the lands of the men of the west to behold the fight of those two. Then the foreigner gave a sudden valiant pull to Oisin towards the sea. For he was a good swimmer and
Then Oisin gave him a pull, for he deemed it unmeet to refuse him his place of fighting. So they went into the sea together and were trying to drown each other, till they came upon the sand and gravel of the clear sea. Now, it was a heart's torment to the fiann, that Oisin was in that strait. 'Arise, O Fergus Finnbel,' said Finn, 'to praise my son for me and to urge him on.' Fergus went to the harbour-stead of the white-shining foam. 'O soul, O Oisin,' said Fergus, 'good is the fight which thou doest, and many are those that witness it, for the hosts of the whole great world and the fianns of Erinn are watching thee. And be thou courageous, and remember the good fights that have been accomplished by thee before this.' Then Oisin remembered his many great victories at the encouragement that he got from Fergus, and his courage rose high and his prowess grew great, and he closed the never-sprained fists about the slender part of the foreigner's back, and took him with him to the sand of the clear sea, and put his back to the sand and his face upward, and did not allow him to get up, until his soul had departed from his body. And he took him on shore and severed his head from his body, and came himself to the fianns of Erinn triumphantly, vauntingly.
Then arose the eldest of those children of Garb the son of Tachar, namely Dolar Durba, the king of the Sea of Wight. 'O king of the world,' said he, 'it was a sad thing for thee, not to have let me together with my brothers against the fianns of Erinn, for if I had been with them, the fianns of Erinn would not have been able to kill us, and I will avenge them well, for I will kill one hundred armed men of them every day until I have done with them all, and I pledge my word,' said he, 'that if I find any of the hosts of the world reddening their weapons on any of them, I shall put him to death.' And he went on shore, and challenged one hundred of the fiann to fight, and there was uttered by them a shout of contempt and derision at him, and one hundred were put against him on that day. However, his attack on them was the rush of a fierce barbarous lion, and they fell by him without his receiving a wound or getting bloody, and he made a cairn of their heads, and a mound of their trunks, and a cairn of byrnies of their accoutrements.
Thereupon the foreigner doffed his battle-dress, and donned a splendid elegant dress, and took a club and a ball, and beat the ball from the west of the strand to the east, and he caught it in his right hand before it descended, and he put it on his foot the second time, and he sprang in his rushing from the west of the strand to the east, and he threw the ball from one foot on to the other, without touching it with the hand, and without its touching the ground, and he put it on his knee the third time, and ran to the other end of the strand, and then put it from one knee on to the other, without throwing it on the ground. Then he threw it on his shoulder and made a rush like the March wind from one end of the strand to the other, and then sent the ball from one shoulder to the other, without touching it with the hand, and without throwing it on the ground, and he challenged all the fiann to perform that trick. Now Oscar and Mac Lugach were ready to go and to perform that trick. 'Stay, O youths,' said Finn, 'for no man of Erinn ever performed or will perform that trick but three only, namely Lug the son of Eithle in the battle of Mag Tured (Moytura), and Cuchulaind performed it at Tailltin (Teltown), and there will come another youth from Connaught who will perform it.'
After that the foreigner went into his ship, and he came on the morrow and sought the conflict of a hundred. There was not found anybody to accept it, so that the fiann cast lots, and of the hundred that went against him on that day, there escaped not a man of them to tell the tidings, and they fell by him forthwith. And he went into his ship for that night. He came to them on the morrow, and never did the fiann let a man challenge them to fight for a longer time without answering, than him, and it was a hard thing for them to cast lots when no answer had come forth. And the hundred who had to go against him on that day, did leave wishes for life and health with the fianns of Erinn, for they knew that they would not come back again. The foreigner came towards them, and such was his fury, that he took no weapons with him on that day, but he made a rush through them, and the man that was next to him, he seized at the slender part of his foot, and aimed a mighty shot with him at the head of the next man. And those hundred fell by him, and he let forth his warrior's voice from the top of his head, boasting of the slaughter. And he went into his ship for that night.
Now, the story of this foreigner and the destruction he had brought on the fiann was heard throughout the four corners of Erinn. Then Fiachra Foltlebar (of the Long Hair), the king of Ulster, heard this and said: 'I am sad,' said he, 'on account of the greatness of the calamity in which the men of Erinn are, and that I am not myself able to fight along with them.' And he had no issue but one son only, thirteen years old, and he was a prince the fairest of figure and face that was in Erinn. 'Well mightest thou do this,' said the boy, 'namely, to send all the youths of Ulster with me to them, as thou art not able to fight thyself.' 'Do not say so,' said the king, 'for a child of thirteen years is not fit for fighting, and if such a one were, thou wouldst be so.' And the king perceived that the boy did not wish to live without going to the fianns of Erinn. Therefore he was seized by them and put into a chamber under lock, and twelve sons of the kings and chieftains of Ulster that were his foster-brothers together with him. 'O youths,' said the boy, 'you would do well, if you went with me to the fianns of Erinn; for though your fame goes along with the kingship of Ulster, it would be good for you, if you had a good name of your own. For though Conall Cernach the son of Amargin, or Cuchulaind the son of Sualtam, or the noble prosperous sons of Usnech have not possessed the kingship of Ulster, yet Conchobur with whom was the kingship of Ulster was scarcely more illustrious than they through their own brave deeds, and I pledge my word moreover,' said he, 'that food or eating shall not pass over my lips ever for the wrongs (done) to you, so that I shall find death, and a foreign king will take the kingship of Ulster after my father and pass wrong judgments upon you.'
Now, this speech went round among the youths, and when the king was asleep, they went into the armoury, and every boy took a shield, and a sword, and a helmet, and two battle-spears, and two whelps of a greyhound out with him. And they went across Ess Ruaid mic Baduirn in the north, and straight through the fertile lands of Cairbre, and through the province of Connaught of numerous clans, and through Caille an Chosnuma (the Woods of Defence) which are called Roga Cacha Rigi and Fironoir Cacha Filed (Choice of every Kingship and True Honour of every Poet), and across the river Anaige, and into Kerry, and by Cathair na Claenrath (the Town of the Sloping Forts) in the west, and thence to Ventry Harbour.
That was the hour and time, that the foreigner, namely Dolar Durba, came upon the strand to incite and to revile the fiann, and great shame seized Oisin on account of this. 'Ye fianns of Erinn,' said he, 'a great number of our men have fallen by Dolar Durba, and I do not think that many of us will return alive from the battle of Ventry, and if it is my fate to find death in it, I will rather find it through Dolar Durba, and fight a brave combat against him, than witness the destruction he will bring upon the fiann every day.' And a sad woeful heavy passionate cry was raised by the warriors of the fiann, and by their minstrels, and gleemen, and wise men, at those words of Oisin.
That was the hour and the time, that they saw the young varied troop coming straight towards them from the east to the harbour. 'Stay with me, O son,' said Finn, 'that I may know whose is this young varied troop which I behold, the fairest of appearance that I have ever seen in the world.' And thereupon they approached them, and the son of the king of Ulster let down his right knee before the king of the fiann, and greeted him modestly and sensibly. And he was answered in the same way, and Finn asked tidings of him who they were and where their home was. 'Emain Macha is our home,' said the boy, 'and I myself am called Goll the son of the king of Ulster, and those other youths whom ye see are my foster-brothers.' 'What have ye set out for at this time?' said Finn. 'We heard that the army of the whole great world was fighting against you every day, and we were desirous to learn feats of valour and bravery from you, and if there were young noble boys like us accompanying the king of the world, we should like, O king of the fiann, to ward off from thee an equal number of them, as we are not of a proper age for the combat of choice heroes.' 'Welcome is your coming and your arrival,' said Finn. 'Howbeit, it would be a great thing to let the only son of thy father go against the foreigners, there being no royal heir for the men of Ulster but he.' Just then the foreigner let forth his warrior's voice at the top of his head to defy the fiann. 'What is yon warrior that I see,' said the son of the king of Ulster. 'That is a warrior challenging one hundred to fight,' said Conan the son of Morna. 'What causes it that he does not obtain single combat?' said the boy. 'That is a sad thing,' said Conan, 'for five hundred warriors of the fiann have fallen by him during five days one after the other, and now there are not found a few or many to answer his challenge.' 'Wonderful is the fame that is on you,' said the youth, 'whilst a single warrior in the world is refused combat by you. And I will encounter him,' said the son of the king of Ulster. 'Do not say that again,' said Conan, 'for, by our word, the five hundred that fell by him, every one of them would be a match for thee.' 'I did not know the fiann till now,' said the youth,' and I think that thou, O son of Morna, art the man of bad manners and bad language among the fiann.' 'It is of me that is said,' said Conan. 'I pledge my word,' said the son of the king of Ulster, 'that if thou and yon warrior and those five hundred were on one side, I should not move back one step before you all.' And the boy rose to meet the foreigner.
'Ye children of Ronan,' said Finn, 'I charge you by your pledge and honour, not to let the son of the king of Ulster go against the foreigner.' Cailte and all the children of Roñan arose, and it was heavy work for them all to bind him, and fetters and bonds were put on him. And while they were holding him, his twelve foster-brothers went to fight with the foreigner, and the fiann did not notice them, till they had fallen by him, and till he had struck off their twelve heads. And he sent forth his warrior's voice at the top of his head, boasting of that deed. 'What does the foreigner do this for?' said the son of the king of Ulster. 'Sad for thee is the reason,' said Conan the son of Morna, 'for he is boasting of thy twelve foster-brothers.' 'Sad is that story, O man,' said the son of the king of Ulster, 'and O ye fianns of Erinn, long will be the blame for this on you, to keep me like this, for I shall die of anger and shame, and it is upon you that the blame will be,' said he, 'and ye and the men of Ulster will be foes after this for ever, and small would have been the loss for you, if I had fallen by yon foreigner, before ye bound me like this."
Now, this speech went round among the fianns of Erinn, and he was loosened by them on account of it. Then that boy took the weapons of his elders and of his seniors, and put on a shirt of silk and a great grey long blue coat of mail, and a golden shield with purple borders, and an ornamented slender-wrinkled white-edged collar, and two blue-pointed broad-headed stout-socketed spears, and an ornamented sword with a golden cross-hilt. And he made a rush against the foreigner in that wise. And the foreigner smiled when he saw him approaching, and the whole army of the great world raised cries of derision and jeering at him, and the courage of the boy was all the greater, and he inflicted six wounds on the foreigner, before he was wounded himself. And they fought a combat sharp, bloody, masterly (?), evenly matched, valiant, courageous, powerful, proud, murderous, dashing, red-sided, sudden-wounding, terrible, wonderful, unheard-of, howling, quick, groanful, red-handed, brave, quick-wounding, eager, close, mad, furious, wound-giving, red-speared, courageous was the combat of those two. For if search were made from the eastern borders of the island of Cirbam, to wit, of the Red Sea to the land of the western people, there would not be found between them a braver combat of two than that combat. And the hosts of the whole great world and the fíanns of Erinn were urging them on.
And when now the night had come, and when their weapons were broken, and their shields split, they did not leave off from each other, as it is customary to put off combat if night should come on, but they made a strong angry awful rush at each other, and closed their nimble strong hands across each other, and gave each other quick dexterous pulls, so that they made the white sandy shore seethe. And they continued in that embrace, until the tide of the sea came and spread between them and the land, and such was the fury of those two, that they did not give up their place of combat, till the tide of the sea came over them, so that they were both drowned before the eyes of the hosts of the world and of the fianns of Erinn. And an exceeding great cry was raised by the hosts of the world and the fianns of Erinn, bewailing those two. And it is there they were found on the morrow upon the beach, and their hands locked hard across one another's graceful backs, and their feet were tightly locked through each other, and the nose of the son of the king of Ulster was in the mouth of the foreigner, and his chin was in the mouth of the youth, and it was necessary to cut the foreigner in disentangling them. And the son of the king of Ulster was buried, and his grave was dug, and a flagstone was raised over his tomb, and his funeral games were held by the fianns of Erinn. And never before there fell through a hero's weapons a youth for whom the sorrow was more general than for him.
'Who will keep the watch of the harbour to-night?' said Finn. 'We will go thither,' said the nine Garbs of the fiann, to wit, Garb of Slieve Mis, and Garb of Slieve Cua, and Garb of Slieve Glair, and Garb of Slieve Crot, and Garb of Slieve Muicce, and Garb of Slieve Fuait, and Garb of Slieve Atha Moir and Garb of Dundalk, and Garb of Dun Sobairchi, and their own fianns together with them. They were there but a short time, when they saw Herod the son of Dregan, the son of Duille, the king of the men of Dregan, coming towards them, and they attacked each other, and were slaughtering and destroying each other. But it is impossible to relate and to describe their whole combat, nor can one give their description, for at the end of the day there were not standing of them, but three Garbs, and the king of the men of Dregan. And not weakness nor fear did the greatness of the slaughter round about them cause them, but they bent their heads, and nimbly moved their hands, and every one of them lost the sense out of his soul, for they thrust the spears into the bodies, so that they took out clotted particles of red-frothing blood through the backs of the good heroes. And those four fell together, sole against sole, and lip against lip, on that battlefield.
Thereafter Fergus Finnbel (of the Fair Lips) the son of Finn beheld the great number of the fianns of Erinn that had fallen, and he went without leave, without counsel of them to Temair na Rig (Tara of the Kings), where Cormac the son of Art, the high king of Erinn, was, and he told him of the strait in which Finn and the fianns of Erinn were. 'I am pleased,' said Cormac, 'that Finn is in that strait, for not one of the husbandmen that we (shall) have dares to touch a pig, or an animal, or a trout, or salmon, or a roebuck, when he finds it dead at the head of any road, he dares not to take it up from the ground on account of the charge, and no husbandman dares to go from his country place to the old town without paying a screpal to Finn, and none of their women dares be given to a man until she be asked, whether she has a man or a lemán of the fianns of Erinn, and if she has none, a screpal must be paid to Finn before she may marry. And many are the wrong judgments that Finn has passed on us, and for us victory with the foreigners would be better than with him.'
Then Fergus went on the green where Cairbre Lifechair the son of Cormac was at a game of loop and ball. 'O Cairbre Lifechair,' said Fergus Finnbel, 'badly art thou defending Erinn in playing an idle game without lasting gain, while she (Erinn) is being taken from you by foreigners.' And he kept urging him on and rebuking him, and great shame seized Cairbre Lifechair on account of this, and he threw his club from him, and went among the people of Tara, and brought together all the youths, so that they were one thousand and twenty on the place. And they march off without leave, without counsel from Comrac the son of Art, until they reached Ventry Harbour. And Fergus went before them into the tent of Finn, and Finn asked tidings of him, and Fergus told him that Cairbre Lifechair had come with him. And all the fianns of Erinn rose before Cairbre, and bade him welcome. Said Finn: 'O Cairbre,' said he, 'we should have liked thy coming to us better at a time when minstrels and gleemen and poets and ladies and gentlewomen might have made thee merry, than when the need of battle is upon us as it is now.' 'Not to attend thee have I come," said Cairbre, 'but to offer thee my service in battle.' 'I have never taken an inexperienced youth to the bosom of battle,' said Finn, 'for it often happens that he who comes like that, goes where he finds his death, and I do not wish that an inexperienced youth should fall through me.' 'I pledge my faith,' said Cairbri, 'that I will give them battle on my own account, if thou doest not do it on thine.' And Fergus Finnbel went to announce combat from Cairbre Lifechair to the king of the world.
'Who will answer the son of the king of Erinn for me?' said the king of the world. 'I will go against him,' said Sligech the son of Sengarb, the king of the men of Cepda, and he went on shore, and his three great red battalions. And Cairbre encountered them, and all the youths that accompanied them (?) were near Cairbre there. 'O Cairbre,' said a man of his people to him, 'take to thee a bold heart for this fight; for the fiann will not be better pleased with thy good luck in it than with that of the foreigners. For it is thy grandfather that killed Cumall the son of Trenmor, the father of Finn, and they do remember that, though thou doest not remember it.' When Cairbre heard that, he made a rush through the battalion of the foreigners, and began slaying them and prostrating them, so that the sides of the strong warriors were cut by his onslaught, and the nobles were destroyed by his great fight. Then an angry destructive man met him, to wit, Sligech the son of Sengarb, and though it was ready death and sudden destruction and certain ruin to meet him in combat, they both struck out at each other, and they took hold of their two beautiful shields of many victories, and they bent down their high renowned countenances from the borders of the variegated and lofty shields with the elegant rims, and they wielded the burnished blades, so that the sides were holed, hewn hurdles, cut open from that powerful conflict .... with these weapons to Finn towards the hour of battle to-day.'
Then Mac Eimin went his way with the swiftness of a swallow or a hare (?) or a fawn, or like the gusts of a pure-cold wind coming over the top of a plain or of a field-road, until, at the hour of rising in the day, he reached Ventry Harbour. That was the hour and the time that Fergus Finnbel was urging on the fiann towards the great fight, and this is what he said: 'Ye fianns of Erinn,' he said, 'if there were seven equal days in one day, here is their work for you to-day; for there never was, or ever will be done in Erinn work of one day like (the work of) to-day.'
Then the fianns of Erinn arose, and as they were there, they beheld Mac Eimin in his rush of quick running coming towards them, and Finn asked tidings of him, and asked him whence he did come. 'From the brug of Tadg the son of Nuadu have I come,' said Mac Eimin, 'and to thee have I been sent, to ask thee, how it comes that ye go against the king of the world and do not redden your arms or many weapons upon him.' 'I pledge my faith,' said Finn, 'that if my weapons do not get reddened on him, his body shall be crushed by me in the midst of his coat of mail.' 'O king of the fianns,' said Mac Eimin, 'I have here with me the venomous weapons through which he is fated to find death, and Labraid Lamfhada (L. of the Long Hand), the brother of thy own mother, has sent them to thee through druidical sorcery.' And he placed them into the hand of Finn, and he took their coverings off them, and there arose from them fiery flashes of lightning, and most venomous bubbles, and the warriors could not endure looking at those weapons, and one third of prowess and valour and courage and high spirits came into every man of the fianns of Erinn as he beheld those weapons with Finn. For the balls of fire they sent forth, no dress or garment could resist them, but they went through the bodies of the men next to them like most venomous arrows. And Finn said: 'Go, O Fergus Finnbel,' said he, 'and see how many of the fiann remain for the great fight to-day.' Then Fergus Finnbel counted them, and said to Finn: 'One battalion in order alone remains of the fiann,' said he, 'and many are the men in it, that are able to fight three, and those that are able to fight nine, and thirty, and a hundred.' 'Arise, if it be so,' said Finn, 'to where the king of the world is, and tell him to betake himself forthwith to the place of the great fight.'
Fergus went to the king of the world, and the king was just on his couch, and music of harps and of flutes was being played to him. 'O king of the world,' said Fergus Finnbel, 'long is that sleep in which thou art, and no shame for thee, for this will be thy last sleep. And the fianns have gone to their places of fight, and do thou answer them.' 'It seems to me,' said the king of the world, 'there cannot be a youth of them capable of fighting against me, and how many remain of the fianns of Erinn?' he said. 'One battalion in order only,' said Fergus, 'and how many of the hosts of the world do remain?' 'With thirty battalions have I come to Erinn,'said he,'and twenty battalions of them have fallen by the fianns of Erinn, and this is what remains of them, ten red-weaponed battalions in order. And howbeit, there are eight of them, and if the men of the whole world were against me, they would be overcome by them, to wit, (by) myself and Conmael, my son of great deeds, and Ogarmach, the daughter of the king of Greece, the best hand in the world after myself, and Finnachta Fiaclach (of the Teeth), the leader of my henchmen, and the king of Norway, and his three brothers, to wit, Caisel Clumach and Forne danger Gaiscedach, and Tocha, and Mongach of the sea.'
'I pledge my word, forsooth,' said the king of Norway with his brothers, 'if any man of the hosts of the world go against them before us, we shall not go, for it would not be an occasion of reddening our weapons on them, and we should not give them our old (accustomed) satisfaction, for it is a thing forbidden to us to redden our weapons unless they get their fill of blood and of gore.'
'I will encounter them alone,' said the youngest of that family, to wit, Forne the son of the king of Norway, and he put on his grey-venomous frightful blue dress, and he went among the fianns of Erinn, with a red-edged sword in either hand, and he dealt destructive blows in turn among them, and he destroyed what was sent against him of their youths. And he made the strand narrow with their champions, and he filled the plain with their warriors. And Finn saw this, and the destruction that the foreigner dealt among the fiann was torment of heart, and danger of death, and loss of mind to him, and he kept urging the fianns on against him, and Fergus Finnbel arose, and this is what he said: 'Ye fianns of Erinn,' said he, 'it is a sad thing that ye have got into such a strait and oppression which ye have suffered in defending Erinn, and one warrior taking her from you to-day, and not otherwise are ye but like flocks of small birds in some bush seeking shelter when a hawk is pursuing them, so are ye going into the shelter of Finn and Oisin and Oscar, and none of you is better than the other, and none of you gives his face against the foreigner.' 'By my faith,' said Oisin, 'all that speech is true, and none of us tries to excel the other in warding him off.' 'There is none of you that is better than the other,' said Fergus. 'Do now,' said Oisin, 'let forth a vehement thundering noise against the foreigner. Stay with me, O warrior,' said Oisin, 'that I may fight with thee for the fiann.' 'I pledge my word that this respite will be short,' said the son of the king of Norway.
Then they raised their two beautifully-bordered shields with speckled points against each other, and poised the frightfully-wounding fearful spears, and the iron-bladed gold- ornamented swords, and made a quick vehement attack for a long time. Now, the combat was going against one of them there, for Oisin was being overthrown, and he sent forth a sigh of unequal combat; and it was back towards life, and bereavement of intention of help to the fiann, that Oisin was in that strait. And a woeful cry was raised aloud for him.
'I pledge my word, O man of poetry,' said Finn to Fergus, 'that the urging thou hast given to my son against the foreigner was sorry. For I would rather that I myself and all the fianns of Erinn should find death, than that I should behold him in the strait in which he is. And rise thou to praise my son for me, so that his courage may be the higher, and his fighting the more valiant.'
Fergus went to the place where the heroes were fighting. 'O soul, O Oisin,' said Fergus, 'the fiann are greatly ashamed of the lowness of thy place in this combat, and there is many a foot-messenger and horseman .... from daughters of kings and princes of Erinn watching thy fighting.' A high spirit came over Oisin at that incitement which Fergus gave him, and his courage rose, and his spirit grew high at his praising, and he gave a stretching to his body, so that a child of one month would find room between every two ribs of his, and all the fiann heard the creaking of his bones being pressed from each other, and he made a cast with his red-socketed battle-spear that he had, so that the spear went into the breast of the hauberk, and the length of a man's hand of the hard four-edged shaft followed the blue iron through his back out behind, so that he found death of it. And he himself came back to the fianns of Erinn.
Then an enormous great cry was raised by the hosts of the world wailing him, and another cry by the fianns of Erinn extolling him. But the loss of this hero did not cause weakness or fear with his brothers, for they deemed it not good or seemly that he should have fallen by a warrior of the fiann. Then arose the fierce impetuous true warrior that was called Tocha, the son of the king of Norway, and he went on shore to avenge his brother. And thus was that man: a round of iron boards like a shower of venom about him from his sole to his crown. It was change of countenance for a man to look at him even though he did not attack him, and the face of brave soldiers grew black, and true warriors lost their power, and heroes lost their mind in looking at him. And he staid not in their flank, but went right into the midst of the fiann, and gave his burnished elegant blade a feeding on the bodies of heroes, and on the shoulders of true warriors, and on the shoulders of champions, and on the breasts of kingly soldiers, and they all turned their back to the foreigner, and went in the rush of rout and flight before him. Now, though that strait was a great shame, yet nobody took it upon him to ward off the son of the king of Norway, until Mac Lugach turned round against him.
'Stay with me, O kingly soldier,' said Mac Lugach, 'that I may fight with thee for the fiann, since they all do not undertake to meet thee.' Now it was with the son of the king of Norway, to turn from the red slaughter in which he was engaged, and though it was, he did not deem it seemly that his honour should be to wit, to refuse combat to any body.
Then those two fought a terrible many-wounding unheard-of high combat without interruption, without quarter, without a thought of weakness, or fear, or flight on either of them, so that their spears crumbled in the fight, and the blades bent with their continual striking, and their shields were shattered by the edges of the sharp-pointed heroes' swords, and they lost their golden shields. It was then the great combat grew keen, and they gave at the same time two proud terrible quick successful counterstrokes, so that the swords struck each other in their thin edges, in such wise that the sword of Mac Lugach went through the sword of the foreigner, and he gave another stroke to him, so that he broke the helmet, and quickly clove the firm hauberk, and split the shield, and cut the heart equally in two by that subtle stroke. And he came himself proudly high-spiritedly to the fianns of Erinn.
Then arose the other foolish inconsiderate courageous son of the sons of the king of Lochlann, whose name was Mongach of the sea, and all the hosts of the world rose together with him. 'Stay, ye men of the world,' said he, 'for it is not ye have to demand body-eric for my brothers, and as it is not ye, I must myself go and demand the first eric from the fianns of Erinn.' And he went on shore. And it is thus he was, with a strong iron flail in his hand, with seven balls of refined iron, and fifty iron chains from it, and fifty apples on each chain, and fifty venomous thorns on each apple. And he made a rush through them in that shape to utterly smash them, and to tear them into strings, and to destroy them, so that the dispersing and flight he caused among the fiann round about him was like (that of) a flock of small birds fleeing before a hawk. And great shame seized upon a warrior of the fianns of Erinn on account of this, to wit, Fidach, the son of the king of the Bretons, and he said: 'Come and praise me, O Fergus Finnbel,' said he, 'that I may go and fight the foreigner, and that my courage and my spirits may be greater and my fighting braver when thou art praising me.' 'Easy is it to praise thee, O son,' said Fergus, and he kept praising him for a long time.
Then those two contemplated each other with their looks, with fierce words, barbarously, arrogantly. And then Mongach of the sea raised the strong iron flail, and dealt a blow against the son of the king of the Bretons firmly, vehemently, and the son of the king of the Bretons made a quick leap on high to the left side of the foreigner, and gave him a blow of his sword, so that it went across the joint of his two hands, in such wise, that he cut off the two hands together. And the renowned sharp-shining hero did not stop at them, but he divided the warrior in two right in his midst. And as he fell, an iron apple of the flail with its venomous thorns went into the fair mouth of the son of the king of the Bretons, and took the tongue, and the teeth, and the white bloody clod of the brain out through his backhead behind, so that those two fell together sole against sole, and lip against lip, on that spot.
Then arose the eldest of the children of the king of Norway, and he was intolerable destruction and the spilling of a black deluge, and the filling up of a breach of a hundred, and destruction over the borders, and the wave of overwhelming, and the man that never took a step backward before one or many, to wit, Caisel Clumach, the high-king of Norway himself. For there never came destruction of men, or diminution of people like that into Erinn before, and he had a venomous shield with red flames, which the smith of hell had wrought for him, and if it was put under sea, not one flame of its blaze would be quenched, and he himself was not hotter from it. But when he had taken it upon him, friend or foe did not venture to come near it for the length of his own cast. And he went among the fianns of Erinn like that, and he did not take any weapon with him, but a sword to defend himself, for not to ply weapons against them did he come, but to let the venom of his shield among them. For the balls of fire that he sent among them, weapon, or dress, or accoutrement could not resist them, but they went through the bodies of the warriors like venomous arrows, so that each man of them would be in a red blaze in the midst of his weapons and his dress, and when somebody else touched him, that blaze seized him; for a splinter of an antediluvial oak-tree, that has been a year in the smoke, would not blaze better than every one of them, as well weapons as dress as accoutrement, and small was every great evil, that ever came into Erinn, compared with that evil.
So then it was Finn said: 'Lift your hands, ye fianns of Erinn,' said he, 'and give three shouts of blessing to him that will put some delay on the foreigner, so that some of us may escape from him by dint of running.' And the fianns of Erinn forthwith gave those shouts. A smile then broke upon the foreigner, when he heard those shouts. It was then that Druimderg, the son of Dolar, the son of Dorchaide, the king of the fianns of Ulster, was near the foreigner, and he had with him a venomous spear, that was in the possession of the Clanna Rudraige one after the other, and the Croderg (the Red-socketed) was its name. And he looked upon the king of Norway, and saw nothing of him without some armour except his mouth, and that wide open as he laughed at the fiann. Then Druimderg made a cast with the Croderg at him and hit him in his mouth, so that his hideousness was more awful from behind than from before. Then his shield fell down, and its blaze went out as its master fell. And Druimderg went up to him, and separated his head from his body, and boasted of his great deed. And that was the best help the fiann ever got through the valour of one of the fiann.
Thereafter those two equally eager and keen armies poured forth against each other, like dense woods, and with their proud noisy strokes, and spilling a black deluge, actively, fiercely, perilously, angrily, furiously, destructively, boldly, vehemently, hastily, and great was there the grating of swords against bones, and the cracking of bones that were crushed, and bodies that were mangled, and eyes that were blinded, and arms that were shortened to the back, and mother without son, and fair wife without mate. Then the beings of the upper regions responded to the battle, telling the evil and the woe that was destined to be done on that day, and the sea chattered telling the losses, and the waves raised a heavy woeful great moan in wailing them, and the beasts howled telling of them in their bestial way, and the rough hills creaked with the danger ofthat attack, and the woods trembled in wailing the heroes, and the grey stones cried from the deeds of the heroes, and the winds sighed telling the high deeds, and the earth trembled in prophesying the heavy slaughter, and the sun was covered with a blue mantle by the cries of the grey hosts, and the clouds were shining black at the time of that hour, and the hounds and whelps, and crows, and the demoniac women of the glenn, and the spectres of the air, and the wolves of the forest howled together from every quarter and every corner round about them, and a demoniacal devilish section of the tempters to evil and wrong kept urging them on against each other.
It was then a hero of the fianns of Erinn bethought himself that he himself and his family and his kindred had done great evil and wrong to the Clanna Baiscne, and he was desirous to do them good service on that account, and that was Conan the son of Morna. And he quickly moved his hands with his broadsword, and he pierced sides with his dense woundings without quarter, and he cut oft' hands that had been full-valiant, and he destroyed with his good sword people that were fair of face. And to relate his deeds in that encounter were awful.
Now Finn was above the battle there urging on the fiann, and urging on Conan before all, and the king of the world on the other side urging on the foreigners. Said Finn to Fergus Finnbel: 'Arise to praise Conan for me, so that his courage may be the greater, for good is the slaughter which he deals on my foes.' And Fergus went up to him. Then heat seized Conan there from the enormity of the fight, and he went outside to let the wind under him. 'That is right, O Conan,' said Fergus Finnbel, 'well doest thou remember the old enmity of the Clanna Morna against the Clanna Baiscne, and thou wouldst fain find death here thyself, if that was ruin to the Clanna Baiscne.' 'For the love of thine honour, O poet, do not revile me without cause, and I will do good work on the foreigners, only let me reach the battle.' 'By my faith, truly,' said Fergus, 'that would be a brave act for thee to do that,' and then he sang a fit of praise for Conan. Conan then went to the battle again, and not worse were his deeds on this occasion. And Fergus Finnbel went where Finn was.
'Who is foremost in the battle now?' said Finn to Fergus. 'Duban, the son of Cas, the son of Cannan,' said Fergus, 'to wit, the son of a warrior of thy people. For he never gives a stroke to any but one stroke only, and none escape alive from that stroke, and three times nine and eighty warriors haven fallen by him until now.' Now, Duban Donn, the son of Nuadu, the son of the king of Cairrge Lethi, the king of Thomond, was on that spot, and this is what he said: 'By our faith, truly, O Fergus,' said he, 'all that witness is true, for there is not in the battle the son of a king, or of a lord, that excels Duban the son of Gas, the son of Cannan, and I will find death there myself, or I will excel him.' And he rushed through the battle with a vehement thundering noise, like the fierce-red blaze of motley flames under a large hill rough with furze, or like a proud wave of overwhelming that beats a sandy white strand. Such was the slaughter and destruction and great carnage he executed among the foreigners, and he made nine rounds through the battle, and killed nine times nine in every round of them. And Finn asked of Fergus:
'Who is foremost in the battle now?' said he. 'Duban Donn, the son of Nuadu, the son of the king of Cairrgi Leithe, the king of Thomond,' said Fergus, 'for nobody has excelled him ever since his seventh year, and nobody excels him now.' 'Rise to praise him,' said Finn to Fergus, 'that his courage may be the greater.' 'Just is it to praise him,'said Fergus, 'for you would think a host was fleeing from or before a heavy drenching of the sea, (the way) the foreigners are running before him on every side.' And Fergus went where Duban Donn was, and began to extol his strength, and his valour and prowess, and to extol his vigour and his arms, and his deeds besides. And he went again where Finn was, and Finn said:
'Who is foremost in the battle now, O Fergus?' said Finn. 'Oscar of the many victories,' said Fergus, 'and he is fighting alone against everybody, for four hundred are standing against him separately, to wit, two hundred Franks, and two hundred of the men of Gairian, and Fiachra Foltlebar, the king of the men of Gairian himself, and all these are beating the shield of Oscar, and no warrior of them has inflicted a wound on him for which he did not give him a wound in return.' 'What is the progress and advance thou seest on Cailte, the son of Ronan?' said Finn. 'He is there without great need after the red slaughter he has made,' said Fergus. 'Go thou to him,' said Finn, 'and tell him to ward off some of the foreigners from Oscar.' Fergus went to him. 'O Cailte,' said he, 'great is the strait yonder in which thou seest thy friend Oscar, under the strokes of the foreigners, and do thou rise to give him some help.'
Cailte went to the place where Oscar and the foreigners were, and he gave a blow of his sword straight in front without sparing to him that was next to him, so that he made two equal portions of him. Oscar raised his head and looked upon him. 'O Cailte,' said he, 'it seems to me, thou hast not ventured to redden thy sword on any one else before overcoming one of those that are opposite my sword. Shame to thee, moreover, all the men of the great world and the fianns of Erinn in one fight, and thou not able to find combat in it, before thou meddlest in my share of the fight. And I pledge my faith,' said he, 'that I should like thee to be laid low on thy bed of blood on that account.' That altered Cailte's mind and intention, and he set his face again towards the army of the foreigners, with the redness of anger in his countenance, and in his white face, and eighty warriors fell from that onslaught.
Then Oscar went on his slaughterings of very swift course round his own (share of the) fight, and began to close in and to urge and to press the foreigners hard against each other, and he went himself among them after that as a noble roaring river goes over low-stoned, crooked dikes, or like a flock of sheep on a great plain, and a wolf right in their midst driving them together, and not greater is his power over the flock than (that of) Oscar over the foreigners, and not thicker was the sowing of the strand from the men lying low. For whoso came out whole of this battle, he was not one of Oscar's portion, and those four hundred fell by him, and he set his face against the great army again, and went among them like a quickly-roused lion, and began to let loose his anger upon them.
'Who is foremost in the battle now?' said Finn to Fergus. 'Thine own great-spirited son,' said Fergus, 'to wit, Oisin of the many victories, and he is in the thick midst of the foreigners killing them quickly.' 'What aspect is on the fight now?' said Finn to Fergus. 'Woeful is this,' said Fergus, 'for there never came and there never will come any one capable of telling and relating it as it stands now. For I pledge my faith,' said he, 'not closer and not thicker are the dense bush-topped inseparable forests that are densest and most impassable in the west of Europe than they are now. For the bosses (?) of their shields, and the breasts of their hauberks are in each other's hands. And again I pledge my faith,' said Fergus, 'if every second or every third man of those that are in the battle had firebrands in their hands as they strike each other, not more terrible would be the blaze of fire from them on high than the fire that comes out of the rims of their helmets and their battle-hats and their battle-hauberks, from the thin edges of the firm axes and of the sharp-pointed heroes' swords. And again I pledge my faith,' said Fergus, 'it never rained a shower-pouring on a harvest day-heavier than the rain of blood that rains down on the hosts, for the wind, and the stormy groans of the weapons, and the lamenting cries of the hosts threw it upward into the air and the firmament. Again I pledge my faith,'said Fergus, 'no wind that ever came from the elements, tore the like number of leaves from a great forest, that the wind has now torn into the clouds and into the air of long fair-curled golden hair, and of curly jet-black locks, and of long beautiful hairs, that have been cut off by broad, sharp-edged axes. For that blood and locks that rain down on the armies side by side, have smothered them, so that there would not be found in the world anybody who would distinguish any one of them from the other, unless he recognised them by their voices. And many are the warriors striking the shield of Oisin and Oscar, and the warrior whose strait is smallest of the fianns of Erinn, nine foreigners are striking his shield, and many warriors of them moreover there are, on whom are fifty warriors, or sixty, or eighty, and there are five hundred striking the shield of Oisin and Oscar and Cailte, and great is the strait in which they are above all.'
'Go thou to them, O Fergus,' said Finn, 'and sing a fit of praise to each of them separately, so that their courage and their spirits may be the greater.' Then Fergus went to where Oisin and Oscar and the nobles of the Clann Baiscne were in the very midst of the fight, wounding the heroes and killing and destroying the soldiers, and Fergus began to praise the heroes, and to conjure the warriors, and to urge on the brave, and to extol the champions, and to praise the soldiers, and to exhort the companies, and to command the staying, and to strengthen the resistance, and to urge on the attack, so that he imparted increase of courage and spirit to every man of the fianns of Erinn, though before that they were of themselves eager and desirous to do bravely. And Fergus went again where Finn was.
'Who is foremost in the battle now ?' said Finn to Fergus. 'By my faith, no friend of thine is he who is foremost in it,' said Fergus, 'to wit, the king of the world, to wit, Daire Donn, the son of Loiscenn Lomglunech, and he has come with the swiftness of a swallow or of a hare (?) or of a fawn, or like the gusts of a sharp pure-cold wind coming across the head of a field or the side of a mountain, to seek thee and to find thee out throughout the battle, and he has not left a corner or recess or quarter or flank or front of the battle unsearched for thee. And three times fifty of his henchmen have come with him into the battle as a rear-guard, and two warriors of thy fiann have seen them, to wit, Cairell Gathbuillech (the Battle-striker) and Aelchinn of Cruachan, and they have encountered the king of the world. For they were not willing to let him to thee, without wounding him, and the rear-guard of the king have fallen by them, but they have not reddened their weapons on him, and they have fallen through him together. And great is the battle-striking of war at him in the midst of the fight coming towards thee.'
Then the king of the world came towards him, and nobody was there near Finn but Daelgus, the son of the king of Greece, and he was called Arcallach of the Black Axe, to wit, he was the first man that brought a broad axe into Erinn, and that was his weapon there. 'I have given my word,' said he, 'that I would never let Finn into the battle or fight before me.' Arcallach rose, and a barbarous blow of the broad axe, that was in his hand, hit the king, so that it cut through the royal diadem and reached the hair, but did not take a drop of blood out of his skin. For the lip of the axe turned, and there went balls of fire over the plain from that blow. And the king of the world gave him a blow and made two equal portions of him.
Then came the illustrious high-king of the world, of noble deeds, strong, robust, proud, powerful, venomous, destructive, nimble, disdainful, full of black crafty thoughts, and the helpful warrior of many clanns, whose is the birthright, the princely, truly-wise Finn, and those two oaks of valour, and the two bears without fear, and the two bears of great deeds, and the two quickly-roused lions went to the place of combat. And the king of the world beheld the venomous sword unsheathed in the hand of Finn, and perceived the venomous battle-strong spear and the knife, and recognised the venomous weapons, by which he was fated to find death. And fear and dread filled him completely, and his comeliness and fair shape left him, and his fingers grew unsteady, and his feet trembled, and his eye and his sight began to squint, when he saw those weapons in the hand of Finn.
Then the two battle-soldiers bared their blue-jointed, iron-smooth, gold-ornamented swords, and attacked each other vehemently, fiercely, closely, madly, and with great blows, with slow feet, actively, strongly, and powerfully, hardily, fiercely, and vehemently, and the high-kings fought a wonderful combat. For they would strike the hearts and heavy clods out of the sides and out of the heart-ribs of each other, and not small was that with which the thunder-feats of those two may be compared, as if it was the rough- breezed gust of a winter-night's wind which, having separated itself equally, would come from east and west against each other, or as if it was the Red Sea fully and equally divided into two sides, striking against each other, or as if it were two days of judgment of fierce deeds, each fighting vehemently for the possession of the earth against the other.
Then he that was never wont to be wounded before that, was greatly weakened in the combat, to wit, the king of the world. For weapons had never been reddened upon him until then. Now, those two battle-soldiers lifted up at the same time their two fearful terrible hands with the blows, and the sword of the king of the world hit the shield of Finn, and took the upper third out of it, and ripped open the hauberk from its girdle downward, and took the breadth of a soldier's hand of flesh and of white skin of his thigh with it to the earth. But the sword of Finn hit the upper shoulder of the shield of the king of the world, so that it split the shield, and broke the sword of the battle-soldier, and the same blow struck the left foot of the king, so that it went into the earth through it. And he gave him the counter-stroke, so that he separated the head and the fair breast from each other. And Finn himself fell in a trance and swoon, and a great number of wounds and cuts and blood-roads of death were on him.
Then Finnachta Fiaclach, to wit, the chief-henchman of the king of the world, seized the diadem of the king, and ran with it to where Conmael, the son of the king of the world, was, and he put the diadem of his father on his head. 'May this be to thee luck of battle and many triumphs, O son,' said Finnachta. And the weapons of the king of the world were given to him, and he went through the midst of the battle to seek Finn. And one hundred and fifty warriors of the fiann fell by him from that onslaught. Then Goll Garb (the Fierce), the son of the king of Scotland, saw him and attacked him, and they fought a combat, furious, angry, powerful, close, bold, insupportable, yelling, ready, groanful, sighing, shaft-red, courageous was that combat. Then a blow from the son of the king of Scotland hit that son of the king of the world under the shelter of his shield in his left side, so that it made two equal portions of him.
Finnachta Fiaclach saw that, and again made a rush at the royal diadem, and took it with him to where Ogarmach, the daughter of the king of Greece, was. 'Put on the royal diadem,' said he, 'O Ogarmach, as it is the destiny of the world to be got by a woman, and no nobler woman could get it than thou.' And the king's cry was raised for her on high. 'How am I the better for it?' said Ogarmach,'as there remain not of the fianns of Erinn any on which I might avenge the death of the king of the world.' And she went to seek Finn in the battle, and Fergus Finnbel saw her and went where Finn was. 'O king of the fiann,' said he, 'remember the good fighting thou didst against the king of the world just now, and remember thy great and many victories before till this, and great is the need that is coming to thee now, to wit, Ogarmach the daughter of the king of Greece.'
At that the warrior woman came towards him. 'O Finn,' said she,'thou art a bad compensation to me for the kings and lords that have fallen by thee and by thy people, and though that is so,' said she, 'thou hast no better compensation for it than thine own self and what remains of thy sons.' 'That is not true,' said Finn, 'and I will lay thine head in its bed of blood like every one's else.' And those two encountered each other like two angry lions, or as if there had arisen to smother each other the bank-overflowing white-foaming curled waves of Clidna, and the long-sided steady wave of Tuaige, and the great right-courageous wave of Rugraide. Such like was the cutting and the striking which those two inflicted on each other, and that was the progress of the combat, though the foolish fighting of the warrior-woman was long, a blow from Finn reached her, and cut through the royal diadem, so that the breast of the hauberk withstood the sword. And he gave a second blow and separated her head and the body from each other. And he fell himself in his bed of blood, and was dead thereafter, but that he rose again.
Now, the hosts of the world and the ñanns of Erinn had fallen side by side there, and none were standing of both armies but the son of Crimthann of the Harbours, to wit, a foster-son of Finn's, and the chief-henchman of the king of the world, to wit, Finnachta Fiaclach. And Finnachta Fiaclach went among the slaughter and lifted up the body of the king of the world with him to his ship, and said: 'Ye fianns of Erinn,' said he, 'though this battle was bad for the hosts of the great world, it was worse for you; for I shall take possession of the great world in the east and . .. whereas ye have fallen side by side.' Now, Finn heard this, as he lay in his bed of blood, and the nobles of the Clann Baiscne round about him, and he said: 'I am sad that I did not find death, ere I heard the foreigner saying these words, while going back into the great world alive to tell tidings. And nothing avails any deed or feat or victory that I myself or any of the fianns of Erinn have accomplished, since a man to tell tidings escapes alive of the foreigners. And is there any man alive near me?' 'I am,'said Fergus Finnbel. 'What is the state or slaughter of the battle now?' said Finn. 'Woeful is that, O Finn,' said Fergus, 'I pledge my word that since the armies have mixed in the rout to-day with each other, no foreigner or man of Erinn has taken a step backward before the other, until they have all fallen sole against sole. And I pledge my faith,' said Fergus, 'not visible for the length of sight are the grains of sand or grass on this strand below, owing to the bodies of the heroes and of the battle-soldiers lying low there. And again I pledge my word,' said he, 'there is nobody of the armies that is not on that bloody bed except the chief-henchman of the king of the world and thine own foster-son, to wit, Gael the son of Crimthann of the Ports.' 'Rise to seek him, O Fergus,' said Finn.
Fergus went where Gael was, and asked him how he was. 'Sad is that, O Fergus,' said Gael. 'I pledge my word, that if my hauberk and my helmet were taken off me and all my armour, there would not be a particle of me that would not fall from the other, and I swear, that I am more grieved that yon warrior whom I see should escape alive of the foreigners, than that I myself am as I am. And I leave my blessing with thee, O Fergus,' said Gael, 'and take me on thy back towards the sea, that I may swim after the foreigner, and he will not know the truth, that I am not one of his own people, and .... has reached my life even thus, and I would rejoice if the foreigner fell by me before my soul should depart from my body.'
Fergus lifted him up and took him with him to the sea, and set him swimming after the foreigner. The foreigner waited for him that he might reach the ship, for he thought that he was of his own people. Then Cael raised himself as he swam alongside the ship. The foreigner stretched out his hand towards him. Cael grasped it at the slender wrist, and clasped the firm-clenching inseparable fingers round it, and gave a manly truly-valiant pull at him, so that he drew him out overboard. Then they locked their elegant heroes' hands across one another's bodies and went together to the sand and gravel of the pure sea, and neither of them was ever seen from that time forth.
Then came the ladies and gentlewomen, and the minstrels and gleemen and skilled men of the fianns of Erinn to search for and to bury the kings and princes of the fiann, and every one of them that was curable was carried where he might be healed. And Gelges, the daughter of Mac Lugach, to wit, the wife of Gael, the son of Crimthann of the Ports, came, and the weak .... and the truly-woeful sobs that she uttered aloud in seeking her fair mate among the slaughter, were heard over the border of all the land. And as she was there, she saw the crane of the meadow and her two birds, and the wily beast that is called the fox, a-watching of her birds, and when she covered one of the birds to save him, he made a rush at the other bird, so that the crane had to stretch itself out between them both, and so that she would rather have found and suffered death by the wild beast, than that her birds should be killed by him. And Gelges mused on this greatly, and said: 'I wonder not,' said she, 'that I so love my fair lemán, since the little bird is in that distress about his birds.' Then she heard a stag on Druim Ruiglenn above the harbour, and it was bewailing the hind vehemently from one pass to the other. For they had been nine years together and had dwelt in the wood, that was at the foot of the harbour, to wit, Fid Leis, and the hind had been killed by Finn, and the stag was nineteen days without tasting grass, or water, mourning the hind. 'It is no shame for me,' said Gelges, 'to find death from grief for Gael, as the stag is shortening his life for grief of the hind.'
Fergus met her in the midst of the slaughter. 'Hast thou tidings of Gael for me, O Fergus?' said she. 'I have,' said Fergus, 'for he and the chief-henchman of the king of the world, to wit, Finnachta Fiaclach, have drowned each other.' 'Small is the want for me,' said she, 'to bewail Gael and the Clanna Baiscne, for the birds and the waves bewail them strongly.' And then she made the song:
'The high-waved harbour
Of Ruad-Rinn Da Bare sounds:
The drowning of the hero of Loch Da Chonn,
That is what the wave wails against the shore.
.... the crane
In the bog of Druim Da Tren,
She was in great anxiety:
A fox . . . was lying in wait for her birds.
Woeful the tune
Which the stag of Druim Leis makes:
Dead is the hind of Druim Silenn,
The stag . . . moans after her.
Woeful the song
Which the thrush makes in Druim Chain,
And not less sad the cry
Which the blackbird makes in Leitir Laig.
Sad for me is
The death of the hero that used to lie with me,
The son of the wife from Toire Da Dos
To be . . . , round his head.
Woeful the tune
Which the wave of the strand makes against the strand.
Since the stately noble man has died.
Sad for me that Gael did go to meet him.
Sad the strain
Which the wave makes on the strand . . .
As for me, my time is at an end,
Worse is my shape . . .
Heavy the showers
Which the waves make for him:
As for me, there is no joy for me
Since the . . . broke.'
[Dead is the swan,
Sorrowful are his birds after him;
Great sorrow gives to me
The grief which has seized the swan.
Gael, the son of Crimthann, is drowned,
There is no treasure for me after him.
Many the lords that fell by his hand,
His shield has sounded.]
Then Gelges' soul departed from her body for grief (at the loss) of Gael, the son of Crimthann. And her grave was dug above Ventry, and a stone was raised over her tomb, and her funeral game was celebrated there.
So this is the Battle of Ventry to here, without addition, without omission. Finit.
Cath Finntrága ed. Kuno Meyer. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1885