Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mythological Quote of the Week

For the first time since I began this blog, the Quote of the Week will not come from Ancient Egyptian literature. My recent research took me in a very different direction, North and West, to the mythology of the Emerald Isle. This might give some insight into the inspiration for my current WIP.

The following poem is from the Leabhar Buidhe Lecain or the Yellow Book of Lecan, written around 1400.

“The Tuatha Dé Danann of the precious jewels,
Where did they find learning?
They came upon perfect wisdom
In druidism (and) in deviltry.

Fair Iardanel, a prophet of excellence,
Son of Nemed, son of Agnoman,
Had as a foolish offspring the active Beothach,
Who was a hero of cleaving, full of wonders.

The children of Beothach, —-long-lived their fame-—
The host of valiant heroes came,
After sorrow and after great sadness,
To Lochlann with all of their slips.

Four cities,-—just their renown-—
They held in sway with great strength.
On this account they passionately made competition
For learning their genuine wisdom.

Failias and bright Gorias,
Findias (and) Murias of great prowess,
From whichi battles were won outside,
(Were) the names of the chief cities.

Morfis and noble Erus,
Uscias and Semiath, ever-fierce,
To name them,—-a discourse of need--
(These were) the names of the sages of nehle wisdom.

Morfis (was) the poet of Failias itself,
In Gorias (was) Esrus of keen desires),
Semiath (was) in Murias, the fortress of pinnacles,
(And) Uscias (was) the fair seer of Findias.

Four presents (were fetched) with them hither,
By the nobles of the Tuatha DO Danann:
A sword, a stone, a caldron of worth,
(And) a spear for the death of great champions.

From Failias (came) hither the Lia Fail,
Which shouted under the kings of Ireland.
The sword in the hand of the nimble Lug
From Gorias (it was procured), -— a choice of vast riches.

From far-away Findias over the sea
Was brought the deadly spear of Nuada.
From Murias (was conveyed) a huge and mighty treasure,
The caldron of the Dagda of lofty deeds.

The King of Heaven, the King of feeble men,
May he protect me, the King of royal parts,
The Being in whom is the endurance of spectres,
And the strength of the gentle race.”


  1. God bless the Irish, ancient and proud!

  2. Excellent. I love reading old literature. For me, it's like time travel and yet it speaks across the ages.


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