The Ulster Women’s War of Words 1: Fedelm
In “Fled Bricrenn 1: The Feasting Hall“, we discussed the so-called Ulster Women’s War of Words. This is where the partners of the three contending heroes take turns to boast of their own greatness as well as that of their men-folk.
Here is the first of these poetic weapons, here weilded by Fedelm Nóicride, partner to Lóegaire Búadach.
The text is taken from the Codex Vossianius version of Fled Bricrenn. You can read George Henderson’s translation (based on the Lebor na hUidre version) here. It is marked as Section 22 in both versions.
You can listen to Isolde reading the Old Irish and her translation here:
§22 Isbert Fedilm Nocridi, ben Laegairi Buadaigh:
Fedelm of the Noble Heart [Henderson renders this “Fresh Heart”, which seems an awkward epithet], the wife of Lóegaire the Triumphant, said:
“Roscad” – marks a passage of non-syllabic alliterative poetry
Codumbert-sa bru soer sruith
I was born of a womb of noble descent
dim cloinn comcineoil
offspring from my great people
cin-siu do curp rigna sceo rig
I am born from the body of a queen with a king
richt forcaine costud
manifestation of arrangement of graciousness
conid cruth buidech bertar uaim
so that I am called “satisfying shape”
noithim crut cain.
I am celebrated for fair form.
Consert la febha feniu
Strewn with the qualities of the People [Féni]
fogart gen-siu genuss
Generously, I was conceived in purity
luchdonn laimdercc Loecairi
The captaincy [?] of Loegaire’s red hand
lin bemand mbalc mbuada
full of striking glorious victories
berus ar iath n-Ulad
it gives to the land of the Ulaid
arslig cricha comnamat.
On the way [to?] the territories of mutual enemies.
Imusdich immusdecrathar imgoin airri
From him, defence and protection from wounding
airdercai laechaib Laegairi
famous warriors of Loegaire
lin a bhuadhai bias os cech laech.
The compliment of his victories is greater than every hero.
Cid na budsi in Feidilmmsi Findcoemh
Why should not Fedelm Fair-Lovely
gifted of form, a guardian,
cichsed ria cech mnai
step before every woman
hi tech medrach Midcuarta?
Into the intoxicating Mead-circling hall?