The Celtic Literature Collective

The Four Jewels of the Tuatha Dé Danann
The Yellow Book of Lecan

There were four cities in which the Tuatha Dé Danann learnt wisdom and magic, for wisdom and magic and deviltry were of service to them. These are the names of the cities: Failias and Findias, Goirias and Murias. From Failias was brought the Lia Fail, which is at Tara, and which used to cry out under each king who assumed the sovereignty of Ireland. From Gorias was brought the sword which belonged to Nuada. From Findias was brought the spear of Lug. And from Murias was brought the caldron of the Dagda.

Four wizards were in these cities. Fessus was in Faihias, Esrus was in Gorias, Uscias was in Findias, and Semias was in Murias. From them the Tuatha Dé Danann learnt wisdom and knowledge. No battle was niaintained against the spear of Lug or against him who had it in his hand. No-one escaped from the sword of Nuada after lie had been wounded by it, and when it was drawn from its warlike scabbard, no-one could resist against him who had it in his hand. Never went an assembly of guests away unsatisfied from the caldron of the Dagda. And the Lia Fail, which is at Tara, never spoke except under a king of Ireland.

Some of the historians, indeed, say that the Tuatha Dé Danann came to Ireland in a cloud of mist. But this is not so; for they came in a great fleet of ships, and after arriving in Ireland, they burnt all of their vessels. And from the cloud of mist that arose from them, some said that they came in a cloud of mist. This, however, is not true; for these are the two reasons why they burnt their boats: that the race of the Fomorians might not find them in order to prey upon them, and that Lug might not come in order to contend against Nuada for the sovereignty. Concerning them, the antiquary composed this lay:

“The Tuatha Dé Danann of the precious jewels, 
Where did they find learning?
They came upon perfect wisdom
In druidism (and) in deviltry.

Fair Iardanel, a prophet of excellence,
Son of Nemed, son of Agnoman,
Had as a foolish offspring the active Beothach,
Who was a hero of cleaving, full of wonders.

The children of Beothach, —-long-lived their fame-— 
The host of valiant heroes came,
After sorrow and after great sadness,
To Lochlann with all of their slips.

Four cities,-—just their renown-—
They held in sway with great strength.
On this account they passionately made competition
For learning their genuine wisdom.

Failias and bright Gorias,
Findias (and) Murias of great prowess,
From whichi battles were won outside,
(Were) the names of the chief cities.

Morfis and noble Erus,
Uscias and Semiath, ever-fierce,
To name them,—-a discourse of need--
(These were) the names of the sages of nehle wisdom.

Morfis (was) the poet of Failias itself,
In Gorias (was) Esrus of keen desires),
Semiath (was) in Murias, the fortress of pinnacles,
(And) Uscias (was) the fair seer of Findias.

Four presents (were fetched) with them hither,
By the nobles of the Tuatha DO Danann:
A sword, a stone, a caldron of worth,
(And) a spear for the death of great champions.

From Failias (came) hither the Lia Fail,
Which shouted under the kings of Ireland.
The sword in the hand of the nimble Lug
From Gorias (it was procured), -— a choice of vast riches.

From far-away Findias over the sea
Was brought the deadly spear of Nuada.
From Murias (was conveyed) a huge and mighty treasure,
The caldron of the Dagda of lofty deeds.

The King of Heaven, the King of feeble men,
May he protect me, the King of royal parts,
The Being in whom is the endurance of spectres,
And the strength of the gentle race.”

Tuatha Dé Danann.

The End. Amen.

Vernam Hull. "The Four Jeweles of the Tuatha Dé Danann." ZCP. vol. XVIII. NY: G.E. Stechert Co. 1930.

Back to Irish Texts