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The Text of Tocmarc Étaíne Part 2

Here is the part of the text of Tocmarc Étaíne we covered in “Tocmarc Étaíne 2: The Re-Born Identity“.

Edited O. Bergin & R. I. Best,

Translated by Isolde Carmody, based on Bergin and Best’s translation.

View Bergin & Best’s edition on CELT

¶22] Alta iarum Édain óc lnbiur Chichmuine la hEdar & .l.a ingen impe di ingenaib tuiseach, & ba heiseom nodo biathad & no eidedh ar comaidecht Édaine do grés.

After that Étaín was brought up at Inber Cíchmaine by Étar, and fifty daughters of chieftains along with her, and he it was that fed and clothed them to be in attendance on Étaín always.

La n-and doib a n-ingenaib uilib isind inbiur oca fothrucadh co n-acadar in marcach isin magh chucu don usciu.

One day for them, all the girls were bathing in the estuary when they saw from the water a horseman in the plain [coming] towards them.

Ech dond tuagmar forran forlethan casmongach caschaircheach foa suidé.

A brown, arching, very splendid, very broad, curly-maned, curly-tailed horse [was] under him.

Sidhalbrat uaine i filliud immé, & lene fo deirgindledh uime, & eó oir ina brat rosaidhed a gualaind for cach leth.

A [growth-]green fairy [?] cloak in folds around him and a red-embroidered tunic, and a golden brooch [word used is the same as “salmon”] in his cloak, which reached to his shoulder on each side.

Sciath airgdidhi co n-imiul oir imme fora muin.  Sciathrach airgid and, & tul n-oir fair, & slegh coicrind co fethan oir impé o irlonn co cro ina laim.

A silver shield with a rim of gold around it on his back. There was a silver shield-strap and a boss of gold on it; and a five-pointed spear with bands of gold around it from haft to socket [was] in his hand.

Folt findbuide fair co edan. Snithi oir fria édán conna teilgeadh a fholt fo aghaidh.

Fair-yellow hair on him [down] to his forehead. Twists of gold against his forehead so that his hair would not fall over his face.

Assisithar sist forsin purt oc déigsin na hingine, & ro charsad na hingena uile.

He halted a while on the bank watching the girl, and all the girls loved him.

Conad ann asbertsom in laid seo:

While he was there he spoke this lay:

1. Etain andiu sund amné.

This is Étaín here to-day

óc Sídh Ban Find iar nAilbe.

at Síd Ban Find west of Ailbe

[Slievenamon, Co. Tipperary, West of River Siur]

eter macu beca dí.

among little boys is she

for bru Indbir Chichmaini.

on the brink of Inber Cíchmaine.

[Bangor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland]


2. Is í ro ícc suil an rígh.

It is she who healed the King’s eye

a topor Locha Dá Licc.

from the well of Loch Dá Líg:

is si asibedh sin digh.

it is she that was swallowed in a drink

la mnaí Edair a hairdigh.

by Étar’s wife from a beaker.


3. Is tria hagh dosib in ri.

Because of her the King shall chase

inna eonu di Theathbaei.

the birds from Tethba

& baidfidh a dha each.

and drown his two horses

i lind Locha Da Airbreach.

in the pool of Loch Dá Airbrech.

[Loch Derravaragh in Westmeath]


4. Biat imda coicthe ili.

Many and numerous will be the conflicts

triat agh for Echaidh Midhi

because of you on Eochaid of Meath:

beidit togla for sidhib.

there will be destruction of síd-mounds / destruction on the síd-folk

& cath for ilmilib.

and battle against many thousands.


5. Is i ro laigedh is tír.

It is she that was lauded in the land;

is si arcosnai in rígh.

it is she that seeks the King;

is i Be Fhind friss doghair.

it is she who is called Bé Find,

is i ar nEdain hí iar tain.

She is our Étaín afterwards.



Dochuaid uaidib in t-oclaech iar tain, & ni fhedadar can dodechaidh vel cid dochoidh iarum.

The warrior went from the band of youths after that, and they knew not from where he had come or where he went afterwards.


¶24] O rainic an Mac Óc do acallaim Midir ní fornic Fuamnach ara chind Midir, & asbert fris: ‘Bréc dorat an bean imond, & dia n-ecastar di Etain do bith i nEre & raghaidh do denum uilc fria.’

When the Mac Óc came to converse with Midir, he did not find Fuamnach in Midr’s company, and he [Midir] said to him [Óengus]: ‘A lie the woman has told us, and if she is told that Étaín is in Ireland, she will go to do evil to her.’

‘Ata Etain isin Bruigh ocom thighse o cíanaib isin deilb a tarfas uaitsiu & bes as chuici forobairt an bean.’

‘Étaín is in the Brug at my house for some time in the shape in which she appeared [i.e. was transformed?] from you, and perhaps it is towards her that the woman is plotting.’


¶25] Dothaet an Mac Óc dia thigh fora chulu co fairnic a grianan glainidhi cen Édain and. Imsosoi an Mac Óc for slicht Fuamnaigi, co tarraidh for Aenach Bodbgnai og tigh Breasail Edarlaim in druadh.

The Mac Óc goes back to his house and finds the crystal sun-bower without Étaín in it. The Mac Óc turned onto Fuamnach’s track, until he came to Aenech Bodbgna, at the house of Bresal Eterlám, after her.

Fosnopair an Mac Óg & benaid a cenn dí, & dobert lais an ceand sin co raibi for brú an Brogha.

The Mac Óc attacked her and cut her head from her, and he brought that head with him until he was on the brink of the Brug.


¶26] Acht cena is ed islicht a n-inud aili conadh la Manandán ro marbsat a ndís .i. Fuamnach & Midir, a mBrig Leith, dia nd-ebradh:

However, this is the version elsewhere, that they were both slain by Manannán, i.e. Fuamnach and Midir, in Brí Léith, as it was said:

     1. Fuamnach baeth bá bean Midir.

     1. Incompetent Fuamnach was Midir’s wife

     Sigmall is brig co mbilib .

     Sigmall [“Significant”?], a hill with sacred trees

     a mBrig Leith, ba lathar lán.

     in Brí Léith, a full interpretation,

     ro loiscet la Manannán.

     they were burned by Manannán.




Tochmarc Edaine and seo beos

This here is the Wooing of Étaín

¶1] Gabais Eochaidh Airium rigi nErenn. Airgiallsat coic coicidh Erenn do & ri cach coicidh.

Eochaid Airem took the kingship of Ireland. The five provinces of Ireland pledged [allegiance] to him, the king of each province.

Batar hé a righ an tan sin .i. Concobar mac Nesa & Mes Geghra & Tigernach Tédbandach & Cu Rui & Ailill mac Mata Muirisci.

These were their kings at that time: Conchobar son of Nesa and Mess Gegra and Tigernach Tétbannach and Cú Roí and Ailill son of Máta of Murisc.

Batar eat duine Echdach .i. Dun Fremand a Midiu & Dun Fremand a Teathbai. Fremand Thethbai ba hinmaine lais do duinib Erenn.

These were Eochaid’s forts i.e. Dún Frémainn in Meath and Dún Frémainn in Tethba. Frémainn in Tethba was the one most dear to him of the forts of Ireland.


¶2] Airfoccarar o Eochaid for firu Ereenn feis Temra do denum an bliadain iar ngabail righi fri comus a mbesa & a císa doib co ceann .u. mbliadna.

Eochaid commanded the men of Ireland to hold the Festival of Tara the year after he became king, in order to assess their tributes and taxes for the next five years.

Ba hinand aithesc la firu Erenn fri hEochaid. Ni theclomdais feis Temra do rig cen rigain lais, ar ni raibi rigan i fail Echach an tan do gab flaithius.

The same request had the men of Ireland for Eochaid: they would not convene the Festival of Tara for a king without a queen with him; for there was not a queen accompanying Eochaid when he took the kingship.

Faidis Eochaid techta cach coicidh uadh fa Erinn do chuindchid mna vel ingine bad aildeam no beith a nEre do.

Eochaid sent messengers to every province throughout Ireland to seek the fairest woman or girl in Ireland for him.

Al asbert ní biad ina fharradh acht bean nad fesad fer do feraib Erenn riam.

For he said that none would be in his company but a woman that none of the men of Ireland had slept with before.

Fofrith dó oc Inbir Chichmaine .i. Édain ingen Edair, & dosbert Eochaid iarom, ar ba comadhais dó ar cruth & deilb & cenel, áine & oitidh & aerdarcus.

There was found for him at Inber Cíchmaine, Étaín daughter of Étar, and Eochaid was given to her then, for she was equally suitable to him in shape and form and lineage, in splendour and education and reknown.


It é tri meic Find meic Findlogha meic na rigna .i. Eochaid Feidlech & Eochaid Airem & Ailill Anguba.

The three sons of Find son of Findlug, the queen’s sons, were Eochaid Feidlech [Yoked] and Eochaid Airem [Ploughman] and Ailill Ánguba [Splendid Smith].

Carais Ailill Anguba iarom Etain ic feis Temrach iar feis dí la hEochaid. Fo dhaig dognith apairt dia sirshilliudh, uair is deascaidh seirci sirshillidh.

Ailill Ánguba came to love Étaín at the Festival of Tara, after she had slept with Eochaid.  Because he performed long-looking at her, and long-looking is a symptom / the very depths of love.

Cairigis a menma Ailill don gnim sin dogéne & niba cabair dó. Ba treisi tol aicnidh.

Ailill’s intellect blamed him for this action that he had done, but it was no help to him. Desire was stronger than character.

Focheird Ailill a sirg dé fo dhaigh nara thubaidhi fri nech & nach erbart frisin mnaí fodeisin.

Ailill fell into a wasting sickness from this, so that he could be reproached by no one, nor had he spoken of it to the woman herself.


¶4] Dobreth Fachtna liaig Echach dia imchaisiu an tan ro gab céill for écaib.

Fachtna, Eochaid’s physician, was brought to examine him, once he sensed death.

Asbert fris in liaig: ‘Acht nechtar na da idhan marbtha duine nath ícad legho .i. ida sheirce & idu eoid, it é fil indudsu.’

The physician said to him, ‘But one of the two pains that kill a person, which cannot be cured by a doctor, i.e. the pain of love and the pain of jealousy; that is what is within you’

Ní árdamar Ailill do, ar ba mebal lais. Foracbad iarom Ailill a Fremaind Teathbai fri bás, & luid Eochaid for cuaird nErenn,

Ailill did not admit [it] to him, because it was a disgrace for him. Then Ailill was left in Frémainn Tethba near death, and Eochaid went on a circuit of Ireland.

& foracbadh Édain hi fail Ailella co nderndais a thiugmaine lé .i. cora clasta a fert, coro hagtha a guba, coro hortha a chethrai.

And Étaín was left with Ailill that his last rites [lit. last gifts, last benefits] might be done by her  i.e., so that his grave might be dug, so that his lament might be performed, so that his cattle might be slain / sent out [?].


¶5] An tech a mbith Ailill a ngalar dotheigead Etain cach dia dia athreos, & ba lugaide a galarsom ón do suidiu, & cein no bith Édain isin maigin sin no bithsom oca deicsin.

The house where Ailill lay sick, Étaín would come every day to visit him, and his sickness was lessened from this; and as long as Étaín was in that place, he would be gazing at her.

Rathaighis Edain anni sin & focheird a menmain aire. Asbert Edain frissom la n-and a mbatar ina tigh dib línaib, cid día mbai fochonn a galair do Ailill.

Étaín noticed this, and put her mind to it. Étaín asked him one day when they were together in her house, what was the cause of his sickness.

‘Ata dit seircsiu,’ ol Ailill.

‘It is from loving you,’ said Ailill.

‘Dirsan a fhad co n-erbort,’ or sisi. ‘Ropsat slan o chianaib dia fesmais.’

‘Pity the length [of time] before you spoke,’ she said. ‘You would have been whole long ago if we had known.’

‘Cid andib badam slansa mad ail duitsiu,’ ol Ailill.

‘Even today I will be whole if you are willing.’

‘Bid ail ecin,’ or si.

‘I am willing indeed,’ she said.


¶6] Doteged iar sin cach dia do folcad a chind & do tinbi a chodach dho & do urgabail usce fora lamaib.

She would come after that every day to bathe his head and to carve his portion for him and to pour water on his hands.

Día teóra nomad iarom ba slan Oilill. Adbertsom fri hEdain: ‘Ocus a testo dom iccsa cuin rom bia? ’

After thrice nine days Ailill was healed. He said to Étaín: ‘And that which is still lacking to cure me, when shall I have it?’

‘Rod bia amarach,’ ol si, ‘acht niba isin tsosudh na firflatha dogentar an col. Dotuisiu ambarach am dailseo cusan tulaigh uasin liss.’

‘You shall have it tomorrow,’ she said; ‘but not in the nobleman’s dwelling shall the crime be done. Come tomorrow to meet me on the hill above the court.’


¶7] Bai Ailill ac frithaire na haidche. Contuili trath a dab. Ni dersaig co trath teirt ara barach.

Ailill was watching through the night. He slept through the time of his tryst. He did not wake until the third hour on the morrow.

Luid Etain ina dailseam, co n-acai in fer ara cind co cosmailis crotha Ailella, & caínis inlobrai a galair.

Étaín went to meet him, and saw a man waiting for her, like Ailill in shape, and he lamented his weakness due to his sickness.

A n-aithesc rop ail do Ailill iss ed ro raidseom. Dofusce Ailill trath teirti.

The speech that Ailill would have wished, that is what he spoke. Ailill awoke at the time of tierce [i.e c 9am].

Fota fécais for toirrsi trath dodeochaid Etain isa teach. ‘Cid dodgni toirrsich?’ or si.

He was depressed for a long time when Étaín came into the house. ‘Why are you depressed?’ she said.

‘Do faidiud duitsiu, am dailsi, & ni ranac ar do cind, & dorochair codlad form, conam earracht anos. Is suachnid ni rodchadh mo iccsa.’

‘Because I sent you to a meeting with me, and I was not there to meet you; and sleep fell upon me, so that I have only just got up. It is clear that I have not yet got my cure.’

‘Ni ba son,’ ol Etain, ‘ata la i ndegaid aloili.’

‘It will not be so,’ said Étaín, ‘one day follows another.’

Gaibthi frithaire na haidche le sin & teine mór ara belaib & usce na fharrad da tabairt fora shuilib.

He watched that night with a great fire in front of him and water with him to put onto his eyes.


¶8] Trath a dala dotaet Etain ana dhail co n-acai an fer cedna amal Ailill. Luid Etain dia tigh.

At the hour of her meeting Étaín comes to meet him and saw the same man [looking] like Ailill. Étaín went to her house.

Fecais Ailill oc cai. Doluid Etain co fo tri & ní fairnicc Ailill a dail.

Ailill began to cry. Étaín came three times and Ailill did not come to the meeting.

Co fornecsi an fear cedna. ‘Ni fritsu,’ ar si, ‘ro dalasa. Ciasu tu dodeachaid im dail?

She always saw the same man. “It is not with you,” she said, “that I am to meet. Who are you that has come to meet me?”

An fer frisro dalusa ni ar chul vel aimleas tiacht ara chind, acht as ar cúis tesairgne domnai rig Erenn don galar fotrubai.’

The man with whom I am to meet, it is not for crime or blemish that I come to meet him, but in order to save one fit to be king of Ireland from the sickness that has fallen upon him.’

‘Ba tocha duid toidheacht cucamsa, ol an tan rupsa Etain Echraidhe ingen Ailella ar ba misi do cetmuindter & ba iar do sharlugaib do primmuigib Erenn & uiscib & or & airget co tici do chutruma do facbail dar th’eis.’

‘It were more natural for you to come to me, for once you were Étaín Echraide, daughter of Ailill, and I was your chief husband [same word as for “chief wife”]; and I paid your exceeding value in great plains and rivers of Ireland, and I left your weight of gold and silver in your place.’

‘Ceist,’ ol sisi, ‘cia h’ainmsiú?’

‘Question,’ she said, ‘what is your name?’

‘Ni hannsa, Midir Brig Leith,’ ol se.

‘Not hard, Midir of Brí Léith,’ he said.

‘Ceist,’ ol sisi, ‘cid rodn édarscar?’

‘Question,’ she said, ‘why did we separate?’

‘Ni hannsa, fithnaisi Fuamnaige & brechtai Breasail Edarlaim.’ Asbert Midir fri hEdain: ‘An ragasu liumsa?’

‘Not hard, the sorcery of Fuamnach and the spells of Bresal Étarlam.’ Midir said to Étaín, ‘Will you go with me?’

‘Nitó,’ ol si. ‘Noco ririub rig nErenn ar fer na fedar clainn na cenel dó.’

‘No,’ she said, ‘I will not exchange the king of Ireland for a man whose family or people I don’t know.’

‘Is misi em,’ ol Midir, ‘dorat for menmain Ailella do sheircsiu co torchair a fuil & a feoil dé,

‘It was I moreover,’ said Midir, ‘that put into Ailill’s mind your love, so that his flesh and blood fell away from him.

& is mesi thall cach n-ocobar collaidhi n-aire, na beith milliud einich duitsiu and. Acht teisiu liumsu dom chrich dí n-apra Eochaid fritt.’

And it was I that took from him all physical ability, so that your honour might not suffer from that. But come with me to my territory, if Eochaid tells you to.’

‘Maith lium,’ ol Édain.

‘I would like that,’ said Étaín.


¶9] Tig iarom dia tig. ‘Is maith ar comrac’ or Ailill; ‘sech rom ícadsa in fechtsa, ní fil immlot n-einig duitsiú and.’

Then she comes to her house. ‘Good is our meeting,’ said Ailill. ‘since I have been healed; your honour has not suffered from it.’

‘Is amra amlaidh,’ ol Édain. Tainic Eochaid día chuaird iar tain, & atlaigestar beathaid a brathar & buidighthe fri hEdaín co mór a ndórigné co tainicsom.

‘It is wonderous likewise,’ said Étaín. Eochaid returned from his circuit after that, and celebrated that his brother was alive, and Étaín received thanks for what she had done before his return.

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