The Invaders of Ireland
An anonymous poem by a travelling Irish versifier recorded at the beginning of the 18th century.
Should any inquire about Erin,
It is I who can give him the truth,
Concerning the deeds of each daring
Invader, since time was a youth.
First Cassir, Bith’s venturesome daughter,
Came here o’er the eastern sea;
And fifty fair damsels she brought her
To solace her warriors three.
Bith died at the foot of his mountain
And Ladr on top of his height;
And Cassir by Boyle’s limpid fountain,
Ere rushed down the flood in its might.
For a year, while the waters encumber
The Earthm at Tul-Tunna of strength.
I slept, none enjoyed such sweet slumber,
As that which I woke from at length.
When Partholon came to the Island
From Greece, in the Eastern land,
I welcomed him gaily to my land,
And feasted the whole of his band.
Again, when death seized on the strangers,
I roamed the land merry and free,
Both careless and fearless of dangers,
Till blithe Nemed came over the sea.
The Firbolgs and roving Firgallions
Came next like the waves in their flour:
The Firdonnians arrived in Battlion
And landed in Erris –Mayo.
Then came the wise Tuatha de Danaans.
Concealed in black clouds from their foe:
I feasted with them near the Shannon,
Though that was a long time ago.
After them came the children of Mile
From Spain, o’er the Southern waves;
I lived with the tribes as their file (poet)
And chanted the deeds of their braves.
Time ne’er my existence could wither,
From death’s grasp I always was freed,
Till Patrick the Christian came hither
To spread the Redeemer’s pure creed.
From Eoin Neeson’s “The First Book of Irish Myths and Legends”, Mercier Press 1965.