CELT document T303018

The Finn episode from Gilla in Chomded húa Cormaic's poem "A Rí richid, réidig dam"

Unknown author

Edited by Kuno Meyer

Whole text


    The Finn episode from Gilla in Chomded húa Cormaic's poem A Rí richid, réidig dam

  1. In Ard Caille, sinister harsh fate!
    in Muskerry of the three plains,
    his head west against the Fox Stone,
    Find with princely treasures was buried.
  2. Glasdic was his name originally, 1
    the sons of Morna named him Finn;
    seven years he was in hard plight, 2
    under Loch Ree he found fair help.
  3. Finn's first race — it was a chosen course —
    which he ever ran before the sons of Morna,
    into Loch Corrib from Loch Ree
    around Connaught of the beautiful shields.
  4. Into Mag Corainn, to Assaroe,
    along Cuallach of Brefne of lasting fame,
    by the side of the Shannon — woe that was greatest! —
    to lofty Slieve Aughty in one day.
  5. In the eighth year of his life 3
    when he was visiting Dathi's 4 Tara,
    he slew Aillén, 5 whose hand was full
    with candle, ... with timpán.
  6. “A timpán for sleep!” said all,
    the practice at each Hallowe'en,
    a customary deed; every year,
    lasting incitement, the candle was burning brightly. 6
  7. After that deed Finn slept
    with shapely Sadb, a stately diadem;
    and Sadb had for a household companion
    Finn as her husband.
  8. For fear of sword-fierce Conn
    Finn went to learn noble poetry:
    Cethern Fintan's son,
    he was his tutor in poetic composition.
  9. After a feast the fiana bring Finn
    to avenge the poet Orcbél;
    the fairy-woman from Slieve Slánga
    had achieved the fierce bold deed.
  10. When he had joined the fian with worth,
    this was his journey on that night:
    from Bri Ele, a veritable tower,
    to the mountain of Marg son of Edlicon. 7
  11.  p.49
  12. From Slieve Margue, a rare deed,
    westward to the mountain of the Two Paps of Anu,
    to Inver Colptha he ran a race
    with the deer(?) of Fiaclach, Conchenn's son.
  13. From Inver Colptha, it is remembered,
    to Slieve Slánga of the noble Ulstermen;
    thence — the pursuit was fierce —
    to Inver Colptha straightway.
  14. In revenge of the poet Orcbél
    Finn slew Ua Fidga at a feast
    in the west at the Paps, a brave achievement,
    with the spear of Fiaclach, Conchenn's son.
  15. Two staves Finn heard
    at the mound of the Paps above him:
    “Stalwarth Ua Fidga has been slain”
    was the exact beginning of the first stave.
  16. “Venom is the spear” was the powerful beginning
    of the second stave, —I know it not;
    there after the deed of valour
    on bright Allhallowe'en he heard them.
  17. Seven deer by Slieve Bloom
    was Finn's first chase, — a brave and stout exertion —
    at the end of seven years crowned with honour,
    at the famous Apple-tree of the fiana.
  18. A vessel full of gold, of glorious silver,
    the woman out of Slieve Slánga gave to him;
    we know for certain that this was the first fair treasure
    which he took to the fian for noble distribution.
  19. His glorious mother was of the Érainn of Cermna,
    Torba, the perfect 8 daughter of Ech;
    Finn mac Geoir was his mother's son,
    king of Lámraige of heroic strength.
  20. The father of Cáilte of the wiles
    was called Lethi Lethancherd;
    Cáilte, lays tell us,
    was the son of Finn's fair and beautiful sister.
  21. When the steeds of the king of Ross were aglow
    racing against a woman on foot, 9
    then worthy Cáilte was born,
    at the glorious fair of Colman. 10
  22. He is the only one of the fiana of Finn
    up to whom a pleasant pedigree is carried,
    that Cáilte, — happy event! —
    from him sprang the Cáiltraige.
  23.  p.51
  24. There were eight Cáiltes gathered around Finn:
    Corra and the Ua Daim Derg dílinn,
    Cass, Cur, Escru and Aithne,
    Oll and Nena Nuagnithe.
  25. This is the best treasure which Finn found,
    Crimthann's fidchell, I know it for certain;
    Fiachra of Fál had hidden it
    in the land of Crimthann Nia Nár.
  26. Once—a famous expedition — Finn found a stream,
    nothing but silver was its fair gravelly bottom;
    it springs past the hawthorn
    to the south-east and close to Albine.
  27. Ossín said: 'The most marvellous dainty jewel
    which Finn himself found,
    that is, without vaporous ignorance, 11
    the fair close-woven hood of Crothrainne.'
  28. Gold is its woof, silver underneath it,
    soft to the skin is its lining;
    you will be hound, man, or deer
    as you turn it, as you change it.
  29. It is worth fifty bond-maids whatever,
    it was made in the Land of Promise,
    for thirty years in Mag Mell,
    with fifty ...
  30. Thirty jewels — it is not the wisdom of an ignorant man —
    Finn took out of the jaws of the crane-bag,
    after he had slain Glonna at the vast ford
    and Liath Luachra of the swift deeds.

Document details

The TEI Header

File description

Title statement

Title (uniform): The Finn episode from Gilla in Chomded húa Cormaic's poem "A Rí richid, réidig dam"

Editor: Kuno Meyer

Responsibility statement

translated by: Kuno Meyer and Beatrix Färber

Electronic edition compiled and proofed by: and Beatrix Färber

Funded by: the HEA via PRTLI 4

Edition statement

2. Second draft.

Extent: 1950 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland

Date: 2010

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: T303018

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT project for purposes of academic research and teaching.

Source description

Manuscript sources for the Irish text

  • Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS 1339 (H 2. 18, Book of Leinster), p. 144b. For details see T. K. Abbott and E. J. Gwynn (eds.) Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College Dublin (Dublin 1921) 158–161.

Editions and translations

  • Edition: Best and O'Brien, LL vol. 3 (G800011C). Earlier, Meyer had edited and translated this portion of the poem in 1910), numbering the stanzas 1–28. In the CELT edition, pp.583–586 of G800011C, they are numbered 73–100 (the printed edition has no numbering).


  1. Ernst Windisch, L'ancienne légende irlandaise et les poésies ossianiques. Trad. E. Ernault, Revue Celtique 5 (1881) 70–93.
  2. Kuno Meyer, Cath Finntrága or Battle of Ventry (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1885). [From Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson B 487).
  3. Heinrich Zimmer, Anzeige von 'Essai d'un Catalogue de la littérature epique d'Irlande', Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen (1887) 169–175; 184–193.
  4. Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville, La littérature ancienne de l'Irlande et l'Ossian de Mac-Pherson, Bibl. de l'École des Chartes 41 (1888) 475–487.
  5. Alfred Nutt, A new theory of the Ossianic Saga, Academy 39 (1891) 161–163; 235.
  6. Heinrich Zimmer, Ossin und Oskar. Ein weiteres Zeugnis für den Ursprung der irisch-gälischen Finn (-Ossian-) Sage in der Vikingerzeit, Zeitschrift für deutsches Alterthum 35 (1891) 1–176.
  7. Patrick Weston Joyce, A Social History of Ancient Ireland, 2 vols (New York, London, and Bombay: Longmans, Green, & Company, 1903).
  8. George Henderson, The Fionn Saga, Celtic Review 1–3 (1904–1906).
  9. Edmund Curtis, Age and Origin of the Fenian tales, Ivernian Society Journal 1 (1909) 159–168.
  10. Kuno Meyer, Fianaigecht [Introduction]. Todd Lecture Series 16 (Dublin 1910).
  11. F. Mezger, Finn mac Cumaill und Fingal bis zum 17. Jahrhundert, American Journal of Philology 48 (1929) 361–367.
  12. R. D. Scott, The Thumb of Knowledge in legends of Finn, Sigurd and Taliesin. Studies in Celtic and French literature (New York 1930).
  13. Roger Chauviré (tr.), Contes ossianiques (Paris 1949).
  14. Josef Weisweiler, Die Kultur der irischen Heldensage, Paideuma 4 (1950) 149–170.
  15. Gerard Murphy, Duanaire Finn. The Book of the lays of Fionn, part 3. Dublin 1953 (=ITS volume 43.)
  16. Gerard Murphy, The Ossianic lore and romantic tales of medieval Ireland (Dublin 1955; reprinted 1961; reprinted Cork, Mercier Press, 1971 with revisions.)
  17. Josef Weisweiler, Hintergrund und Herkunft der ossianischen Dichtung, Literaturwissenschaftliches Jahrbuch 4 (1963) 21–42.
  18. David Krause, The hidden Oisín, Studia Hibernica 6 (1966) 7–24.
  19. Seán Mac Giolla Riabhaigh, 'Ní bía mar do bá.' Scrúdú téamúil ar na laoithe Fiannaíochta, Irisleabhar Mhá Nuad (1970) 52–63.
  20. James MacKillop, Fionn mac Cumhaill: Celtic Myth in English Literature. Syracuse 1986. [With useful, well-structured bibliography on pp. 197–249].
  21. Daithí Ó hÓgáin, Fionn Mac Cumhaill: Images of a Gaelic Hero. Dublin 1988.
  22. Máirtín Ó Briain, Review of Ó hÓgáin, Bealoideas 57 (1989) 174–183.
  23. Donald E. Meek, Review of Ó hÓgáin, Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 22 (Winter 1991) 101–103.

The edition used in the digital edition

‘The Finn episode from Gilla in Chomded húa Cormaic’s poem ”A Rí richid, réidig dam”’ (1993). In: Fianaigecht‍. Ed. by Kuno Meyer. Dublin: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, pp. 47–51.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {Kuno Meyer},
  title 	 = {The Finn episode from Gilla in Chomded húa Cormaic's 
poem "A Rí richid, réidig dam"},
  booktitle 	 = {Fianaigecht},
  address 	 = {Dublin},
  publisher 	 = {School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies},
  date 	 = {1910},
  date 	 = {1937},
  date 	 = {1993},
  pages 	 = {47–51}


Encoding description

Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling declarations

The electronic text covers odd pages 47–51. The Irish original is available in a separate file, G303018.

Editorial declarations

Correction: Text has been proof-read twice.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text. The editor's annotations are integrated into the markup and numbered sequentially.

Quotation: Direct speech is tagged q where there are no overlapping hierarchies; otherwise it is rendered '.

Hyphenation: When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, the page-break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word (and punctuation).

Segmentation: div0=the poem; page-breaks are marked pb n=""/.

Interpretation: Names are not tagged.

Profile description

Creation: The translation is by Kuno Meyer. For details about the Irish text, see files G303018 and G800011C.

Date: c.1910

Language usage

  • The text is in English. (en)
  • There are some Irish words in the translation. (ga)

Keywords: saga; poetry; medieval; Finn Cycle; Gilla in Chomded húa Cormaic; A Rí richid, réidig dam; translation

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2014-05-04: Additions made to bibliographic detail. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2010-02-01: File proof-read (2); SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2010-01-29: Header created including bibliographic details; file proof-read (2); file parsed. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2010-01-28: File proof-read (1); XML structural and content encoding applied. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  5. 2010-01-27: Text captured. (data capture Beatrix Färber)

Index to all documents

CELT Project Contacts



For details of the markup, see the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)

page of the print edition

folio of the manuscript

numbered division

 999 line number of the print edition (in grey: interpolated)

underlining: text supplied, added, or expanded editorially

italics: foreign words; corrections (hover to view); document titles

bold: lemmata (hover for readings)

wavy underlining: scribal additions in another hand; hand shifts flagged with (hover to view)

TEI markup for which a representation has not yet been decided is shown in red: comments and suggestions are welcome.

Other languages

G303018: The Finn episode from Gilla in Chomded húa Cormaic's poem "A Rí richid, réidig dam" (in Irish)

Source document


Search CELT

  1. Literally, “at the hard (=very) beginning.” 🢀

  2. Literally, “shape” or “manner.” 🢀

  3. Literally, “in the eighth live year.” 🢀

  4. For a different rendering of dathí as an epithet of Tara, see L. C. Stern, <title type="periodical" TEIform="title">Zeitschrift</title> ii, p. 335 note. The name Dathí was accented on the last syllable. 🢀

  5. Something is omitted in the original. 🢀

  6. For a full account of the incidents here alluded to see <title type="tale" TEIform="title">Agallamh na Senórach</title> ed. Whitley Stokes, line 1662 ff. 🢀

  7. nom. Edliuc?  🢀

  8. Or, “maiden.” 🢀

  9. As to this episode see my edition of <title type="tale" TEIform="title">Cath Finntrága</title>, p. x. 🢀

  10. This fair was held in Leinster. See Joyce, <title type="book" TEIform="title">A Social History of Ancient Ireland</title>, vol. ii, p. 464. 🢀

  11. Literally, “without the vile smoke of blindness.” 🢀


2 Carrigside, College Road, Cork