Volume II of the Annals of Senait (Continued)
1207 A.D. "Mael-Petair Ua Calmain, successor of [St.] Cainneach, tower
of piety and hospitality of the North of Ireland, rested in peace."
Then come five verses, of which the third and fifth are as follows:
He was a master scribe of beautiful execution,
Well used he kept the Fair Rule,
He gave useful responses on every occasion.
He was a sage, distinguished, eminent.
The successor of Cainneach of the churches,
It is injury to every one in general,
It is grief to every wretched person,
It is a great evil,--his loss.
1343 A.D. A jump of 134 years without verse in the Annals. On this occasion
it is the death of a regional king.
"Concubar Mac Diarmata, king of Magh-Luirg and Airteach and Tir-Oilella
and Tir-Tuathail and the Renna and the seven towns of Clann-Cathail and a
man with whom a contest was not entered upon without his wresting superiority
from everyone that engaged with him--for the authors of this time certified
that he was the choicest of sub-kings of Ireland for shape and for sense,
for renown and for substantial bestowal, for generosity and for prowess, for
disposition and for true nobleness, so that no one was to be vaunted of beside
him of the Gaidhilic stock in his own time. Hence, to certify that, the poet
said this poem in his own art":
If I had made a vaunt of him,
Mac Diarmata, and I made [it] not,
Headship of Tara and of the Clann of Con
To the chief of Berbha I should give.
I see not in Inis-Fail
A man to be compared to him;
There is not as far as the house of Cenn-choradh
One whom Concobar surpassed not.
Vaunting shall not be done by me
Before the men of Ireland out of that,--
Without vaunting he obtained the pledge
Of the host of the fair surface of Ireland.--
"The death of that sub-king [took place] in the great house of the Rock
after gaining victory from world and from demon, a week before November, Saturday
precisely, and he was buried in the Monastery of Buill. And Fergal Mac Diarmata,
his own brother, was made king in his stead."
N.B. Translations can be flawed, and the absence of punctuation reflects the
emphasis on oral declamation. A bard of the time would have had no trouble reconstructing
what has been lost.
1357 A.D. "Fergal Ua Duibhgennain, ollamh of the Brefni, died."
O'Duibhgennain, strong his prowess,
To grant [this] is not a false decision;
Abode of ollamhs and of learned.
Fergal [was] a poet that was not bitter,
A historian impartial and a bounteous person,
Every comfort supplied in his house,
A perfect ollamh and herenagh.
1365 A.D. "Brian, son of Matthew Mag Tigernain, the son of a chief of
greatest facility and pre-eminence, general patron respecting food and cattle,
died about the feast of Saint James [July 25] that year."
Brian Mag Tigernain of the contests,
With his hospitality comparison were not just;
He practised hospitality without reward,
Heaven was the end of his battle-career.
1371 A.D. No poetry, but in passing some examples of descriptive language.
In that year died "Joan the stooped, daughter of Mac Carthaigh and wife
of Mac Conmara"; the Archbishop of Tuam "head of the hospitality of
Ireland"; Amlaim Mac Senaigh "accomplished emperor of melody";
and Eachmarcach, son of Maghnus, son of Ruaidhri, son of Donn Mor, etc., "a
general entertainer to the Men of Ireland".
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