LEBOR GABALA ERENN
THE BOOK OF THE TAKING OF IRELAND

First Redaction
Book of Leinster & Book of Formoy
[ ] = glossarial matter in text



SECTION VI
FIR BOLG



278. Now as for the Fir Bolg, they brought five chieftains with them, ut dixi supra, to wit, Gann, Genann, Rudraige, Sengann, Slanga: those were the five sons of Dela. Their five wives next, Anust, Liber, Cnucha, Fuat, Etar: [unde dicitur]

1. Fuat wife of Slanga, you do not think it crooked,
Etar wife to Gann with valour,
Anust wife of Sengann of the spears,
Cnucha who was wife of pure Genann.

2. Liber wife of Rudraige of the Road,
a people sweet, that was not narrow :
Rudraige, master of wiles,
I suppose, Fuat was his wife.


 

F

279. The Fir Bolg separated into three. With Slanga s. Dela s. Loth his third [landed] in Inber Slaine: his Fifth is from Inber Colptha to Comar Tri nUisce; a thousand men his tally. The second third landed in Inber Dubglaisi with Gann and Sengann: two thousand were their tally, Gann from Comar Tri nUisce to Belach Conglais, Sengann from Belach Conglais to Luimneach - that is, over the two Fifths of Mumu. Genann and Rudraige with a third of the host, they landed in Inber Domnann: [whence they are called Fir Domnann}. Genann it is who was king over the Fifth of Medb and Ailell; Rudraige over the Fifth of Conchobor - other two thousand were his tally. Those are the Fir Bolg, the Fir Domnann, and the Gailioin.

As to the Fir Domnann, the creek takes its name from them. The Fir Bolg - they were named from their bags. The Gailioin, from the multitude of their javelins were they named.

They made one Taking and one princedom, for they were five brethren, the five sons of Dela s. Loth. And in one week they took Ireland, [though the days were different]. On Saturday, the kalends of August, Slanga landed in Inber Slaine. On Tuesday Gann and Sengann landed. On Friday Genann and Rudraige landed: and thus is it one Taking, though they were differently styled. The Gaileoin, from Slanga were they named. From Gann and Sengann were the Fir Bolg named. The Fir Domnann were named from deepening the earth: they were Genann and Rudraige with their followers. For they are all called Fir Bolg, and thirty-seven years was the length of their Lordship over Ireland. The five sons of Dela were the five kings of the Fir Bolg, i.e., Gann, Genann, Rudraige, Sengann, Slaine.

280. [Now these men, the Fir Bolg, were the progeny of Dela.] Slanga was the eldest, s. Dela s. Loth s. Oirthet, s. Tribuat s. Gothorb s. Gosten s. Fortech s. Semeon s. Erglan s. Beoan s. Starn s. Nemed s. Agnomain. No king took, who was called "of Ireland," till the Fir Bolg came.

Nine kings of them took Ireland. Slanga, one year - it is he who died of the Fir Bolg in Ireland at the first. Rudraige, two years, till he died in Brug Bratruad. Gann and Genann, four years, till they died of plague in Fremaind. Sengann, five years, till he fell at the hands of Rindail s. Genann s. Dela. Rindail, six years, till he fell at the hands of Fodbgenid s. Sengann s. Dela in Eba Coirpre. Fodbgen, four years, till he fell in Mag Muirthemne at the hands of Eochu s. Rindail s. Genann s. Dela. Eochu son of Erc, ten years. There was no wetting in his time, save only dew: there was no year without harvest. Falsehoods were expelled from Ireland in his time. By him was executed the law of justice in Ireland for the fist time. Eochu son of Erc fell at the hands of three sons of Nemed s. Badra: he is the first king of Ireland who received his death-wound in Ireland. [Unde Colum Cille cecinit "Dena moresnis a mic,"etc.] (* This in L only. It was probably a gloss written by someone who did not notice that the poem is given later on $283 *)


 

F

281. The Fir Bolg gave them [the Tuatha De Danann] battle upon Mag Tuired; they were a long time fighting that battle. At last it broke against the Fir Bolg, and the slaughter pressed northward, and a hundred thousand of them were slain westward to the strand of Eochaill. There was the king Eochu overtaken, and he fell at the hands of the three sons of Nemed. Yet the Tuatha De Danann suffered great loss in the battle, and they left the king on the field, with his arm cut from him; the leeches were seven years healing him. The Fir Bolg fell in that battle all but a few, and they went out of Ireland in flight from the Tuatha De Danann, into Ara, and Ile, and Rachra and other islands besides. [it was they who led the Fomoraig to the second battle of Mag Tuired]. And they were in [those islands] till the time of the Provincials over Ireland, till the Cruithne drove them out. They came to Cairbre Nia Fer, and he gave them lands; but they were unable to remain with him for the heaviness of the impost which he put upon them. Thereafter they came in flight before Cairbre under the protection of Medb and Ailill, and these gave them lands. This is the wandering of the sons of Umor. [Oengus son of Umor was king over them in the east], and from them are named those territories, Loch Cime from Cime Four-Heads son of Umor, the Point of Taman in Medraige from Taman son of Umor, the Fort of Oengus in Ara from Oengus, the Stone-heap of Conall in Aidne from Conall, Mag Adair from Adar, Mag Asail from Asal in Mumu also. Menn son of Umor was the poet. They were in fortresses and in islands of the sea around Ireland in that wise, till Cu Chulaind overwhelmed them.

282. No forts or entrenchments are reckoned as having been dug, nor lakes to have burst forth, nor plains to have been cleared, in the time of the Fir Bolg. Of their seed are the three communities who are in Ireland not of Goidelic stock; to wit the Gabraide of the Suc in Connachta, the Ui Thairsig, and the Gaileoin in Laigen. Those are the adventures of the Fir Bolg.

L

283. Those are the kings of the Fir Bolg and their deaths : unde poeta cecinit

F

Thereof the historian sang the song,

1. The Fir Bolg were here for a season
in the great island of the sons of Mil;
the five chiefs which they brought with them from over yonder,
I know their names.

2. A year had Slanga, this is true,
till he died in his fine mound;
the first man of the Fir Bolg of the peaks
who died in the island of Ireland.

3. Two years of Rudraige the Red,
till he died in Brug Brat-ruaid.
four of Genann and of Gann,
till plague slew them in Fremaind.

4. Five years of Sengann - they were reposeful -
till Fiachu son of Starn slew him;
five others - it was through battle -
Fiachu Cendfindan was king.

5. Fiachu Cendfhindan before all,
his name endures for ever;
whiteheaded all, without reproach,
were the kine of Ireland in his presence.

6. Till he fell at the hands of red Rindail,
he got six [years] with his free host;
The grandson of Dela fell then
in Eba, at the hands of Odbgen.

7. Four to noble Odbgen
till the battle of Murthemne of the nobles :
Odbgen died without reproach
at the hands of the son of Erc, of lofty Eochu.

8. Ten years to Eochu son of Erc,
he found not the border-line of weakness :
till they slew him on the battlefield,
the three sons of Nemed son of Badra.

9. Till Rinnal grew, there was no point
at all upon a weapon in Ireland;
upon harsh javelins there was no fair covering,
but their being rushing-sticks.

11. The pleasant Tuatha De Danann brought
spears with them in their hands :
with them Eochu was slain,
by the seed of Nemed of strong judgement.

12. The names of the three excellent sons of Nemed
were Cessarb, Luam, and Luachra :
it is they who slew the first king with a point,
Eochu son of Erc, in Ireland.

13. Thereafter the Tuatha De fought
for the Fir Bolg, it was a rough appearance.
They took away their goods
and their lordship from the Men.


L

Colum Cille cecinit

F

Colum Cille cecinit

1. Make thou my confutation, my son,
tell me tidings with strength ;
it is long since every evil was spread abroad
after the body of Eochaid son of Erc was wounded.

2. Eochu son of Erc, who was sufficient in virtue -
better than every king save stainless Christ -
that man is the first king of Ireland,
who was wounded in white Inis Fail.

3. The three sons of Nemed of battles slew him :
of the progeny of Nemed do they name warriors :
they planted stakes of anguish through him,
So that they put him under squalid heaps.

4. Within her (Ireland) there was no peace nor ease,
on the assembly there was a madness of sorrow,
From Eochaid, who was peaceful and free
till the time of the son of great Mil.

5. Great the seafarers about the season of sunrise -
the loss of the son of Erc, it was a danger in a citadel :
Men in Bags, who were great in strength,
they divided the lofty island of pure Art.

6. The plain of Eriu to Slanga, a slice
from pearly Nith southward
to the Meeting, a secret involved,
of the three waters, of the three rapids.

7. To Gann without fighting, without gloom,
He had to Belach Conglais :
Sengand from the Pass of the Hound
honour for him extended to Luimnech.

8. Memorable Genand bound his secret
from Luimnech to Ess Ruaid :
that of the very noble king Rudraige stretched
from thence to the strand of Baile [son] of Buan.

9. Hard is the group that tormented them,
The Tuatha De Danann from far away :
They landed - it was a rough bright gang -
upon the hard mountain of Conmaicne Rein.

10. They slew the enduring Fir Bolg,
and thence there were graves of champions
then there was a swelling like to anger
in lofty Nuadu Silver-hand.

11. The son of Ethliu of the combats bound,
Lug the complete, who was a man smoothly-pleasant and generous;
A great warrior, to him it was bloody and fatal (??)
In the battle of Mag Tuired westward.

12. To Ireland they reached the promontories :
The sons of stately Mil came ;
In a foundation-land, a headland southward,
It was seen from the Tower of great Breogan.

13. The first man of the seed of tuneful Bregon
belonging to them, who died in great Ireland,
was Dond son of Mil, setting aside Ir,
From whom is the name of Tech Duinn of retainers.

14. The first man who was buried without a green point
in Ireland, who was pleasant in adornment,
Ladra, rough in achievement was his strength,
From whom is named Ard Ladrann in the south.

15. The first man who was drowned, of the numbers who avenged
of the seed of the sons of Mil of multitudes of ships,
Ith son of Bregon, who was great of deeds,
The wave accounted for him upon the strand.

16. The first woman who went into cold earth
Of the company from the Tower of white Bregon,
Tea of Breg, wife of the king,
of whom is the name of Temair of the man of Fal.

17. Daughter of Mag Mor, it is no difficult dispute,
Wife of Eochu son of Dui the rough,
Taltiu, of the brink of the noble assembly,
foster-mother of Lug son of Scal Balb.

18. There is done in Brefne the enduring
a deed which shall cause much sorrow,
a sorrow ... at last
the destruction of the pilgrim from Rome.

19. The powerful son of Domnall works
destruction to the crown of his ridge - it shall be sinister -
there shall not be in Ireland, without reproach
woman or family or house or smoke.

20. I am Colum of Druim Dean
not long to him did the story bring sorrow ( ?)
The slaying of the son of Erc by the sea,
It is a cause of weeping and tears.


 

F

284. Now the Fir Bolg divided Ireland into five parts, as we have said. The Fifth of Gann it is, over which was Coirpre Nia Fer. The Fifth of Sengann it is, over which was Eochu mac Luchta. The Fifth of Slaine it is, over which was Dedad son of Sin. The Fifth of Genann it is, over which was Ailell son of Mata. The Fifth of Rudraige it is, over which was Concobor son of Ness. And that is the division of the provinces of Ireland which shall endure for ever, as the Fir Bolg divided them.

L

285. Fintan cecinit of the division of the Provinces -

1. The five parts of Ireland
between sea and land,
I entreat the fair candles
of every province among them.

2. From Drobais swift and fierce,
is the holy first division
to the Boyne white and vast
south from white Bairche.

3. From the Boyne, tuneful and whitely-glowing
with hundreds of harbours,
To the Meeting with sound of assembled waves
of the cold Three Waters.

4. From that same Meeting
with nimble ....
From the Bel of the brave Cu
who is called 'glas.'

5. From Lumnech of huge ships -
broad its surface -
To Drobais of armed multitudes,
pure, on which a sea laugheth.

6. Knowledgeable prostration,
pathways are related,
perfection in the matter of correction
towards a road into five.

7. The points of those provinces
to Uisnech did they lead,
Each of them out of its ... .
****** till it was five.

F

So to memorize that, the historian sang as follows

1. The Five Fifths of noble Ireland,
they received very handsome kings :
there shall remain with you by songs from me
the stockades about which they came in contact.

2. The Fifth of Medb which deeds [of valour] ennoble
so that every capacity should be manly :
from Luimnech, a leap without death,
reaching to Dub and Drobais.

3. From Drobais eastward, pleasant the recital,
the Fifth of brown-fisted Conchobor;
to Inber Colptha of the battles
the Fifth of the very boastful Ulaid.

4. From the strand of Inber Colptha thence
to the Meeting of the Three Waters,
— be a full-generous enclosure of lands named by you,
the fifth of the helmeted Gaileoin.

5. From the Meeting of the cold Waters,
the Fifth of Eochu Abrat-ruad :
to the mound over the wave,
to the Pass of roughly-wild Cuglas.

6. From Belach Conglais of horror
the Fifth of Curoi mac Daire :
a homestead upon the fruitful heavy land
to Luimnech of the long ships.

7. About the stone in cold Uisnech
in the plain of Mide of the horseman-bands,
on its top — it is a fair co-division —
is the co-division of every province


The progeny of Semeon were all the Gaileoin and Fir Domnann. Thirty years after Genann and Rudraige, the Tuatha De Danann came into Ireland.



création : 30/08/2009


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