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A Description of the Sid of Labraid

Misty sun over Lough Allen: (Lough Allen Outdoor Pursuits Centre.)

Paraphrased from Laerg’s poem in Serglige Con Chulainn, “The Love-Sickness of Cú Chulainn”

from “Serglige Con Chulainn“, ed. Myles Dillon from Lebor na hUidre; lines 486 – 513

Poetic rendering by Chris Thompson


Colba do lepthaib crónda,

úatne finna forórda,

is sí caindell ardustá

in lía lógmar lainerdá.

Soft crimson beds there are

Emblazoned gold and green

And brilliant precious stones shine out,

In place of candlelight


Atát arin dorus tíar,

insinn áit h-i funend grían,

graig n-gabor n-glas, brec a mong,

is araile corcordond.

There where sun goes down,

Close at the Western door,

A stud of steeds, grey dappled mares,

Another, crimson brown.


Atát arin dorus sair

tri bile do chorcor-glain,

dia n-gair in énlaith búan bláith

don macraid assin rígráith.

And at the eastern gate

Three tall and stately trees.

From which sing birds, immortal blooms,

To fill the young with joy.


Atá crand i n-dorus liss,

ní h-étig cocetul friss,

crand airgit ris tatin grían,

cosmail fri h-ór a roníam.

The roof tree of the house,

Glints silver in the sun;

Or lustrous gold, poured out in full,

Matchless in harmony


Atát and tri fichit crand,

comraic nát chomraic a m-barr,

bíatar tri cét do chach crund

do mes ilarda imlum.

Three-score of orchard trees

Grow green from tip to tip;

Enough to feed three hundred men

With ripe and ready fruit

And three-score orchard trees

All touching tip to tip;

A hall they weave to feed the hosts

With ripe and ready fruit.


Atá tipra sint shíd thréll

cona tri cóectaib breclend,

& delg óir cona lí

i n-óe checha breclenni.

A fountain in the síd

Is bright with speckled sun

The flash of trout, in pools of light,

Like cloaks pinned up with gold


Dabach and do mid medrach

oca dáil forin teglach:

maraid béos, is búan in bés,

conid bithlán do bithgrés.

A vat of merry mead

To satisfy the house

Is kept for ever foaming full;

May the custom long live on!


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