Curreach Life: Filling out the Díana

My posts a while back on the díana meters began with the quatrain Currech life cona lí. The full poem can be found in Edward Gwynn’s Metrical DindshenchasFor those of you looking for it at University College Cork’s Corpus of Electronic Texts, keep in mind that the translations are in one section and the original edited texts in another.

I thought that it might be good to offer the full poem here, but in keeping with my desire to give practical examples of the meters, I am also offering a recording of my own reading (available here: Currech Life) of the text as well. In order to make everything as regular as possible, I have altered some of Gwynn’s text in order to have the spelling accord with the rules of Classical Gaelic pronunciation. This is kind of like changing Chaucer’s yow to our modern you. The spelling changes a bit but the pronunciation stays the same. I list a translation below it that is mostly Gwynn’s except for the first line of quatrain 4.

  1. Currech Life cona lí,
    is terc rí dia bhfodammair:
    rucadh a chenn úadh i gcían
    cosin slíabh ós Bodammair.
  2. Currech Life, línaibh slógh,
    rotimsaigh brón bán-bidhbhad:
    óen-fher do thamhnadh in troch
    matan moch — ba lán-ingnadh.
  3. “Is mé Find, am féith fromtha,
    co cléith brogtha bróen-uilligh:
    tobacht co Bodammair mbuirr
    a chenn co muing móel-Chuirrigh.” C.
  4. Roselt for Fothud in feidhm,
    is dó ba deilm dóer-buillech:
    ba h-inund brú rothochair
    Fothad ocus cóel-Chuirrech. C.
  5. Ingen maic Niadh co méite,
    Téite, notharcitis tuir,
    ben maic Regamhna co rinn,
    do láimh Find feradh a bhfuil.
  6. Din dáil-sin torchair Téite,
    dar cach féice fóen-buillech,
    is mac Eegamhna robthaig,
    ocus torchair cóel-Chuirrech. C.
  1. Currech of Life, with his splendour,
    few kings there are to whom he submitted:
    his head was taken from him afar to
    the mountain above Bodamair.
  2. Currech of Life, with numbers of hosts,
    whom the grief for a fair enemy gathered:
    a single hero to cut off the doomed man
    in early morning — it was full wondrous!
  3. “I am Find, I am a withe well-proved,
    with a powerful battalion of dripping edges:
    I cut off and brought to proud Bodamair
    the head of shaven Currech with his hair.”
  4. The import fell upon Fothad;
    to him it was the sound of a dishonouring blow
    it was the same womb that bore
    Fothad and slender Currech.
  5. The daughter of Mac Niad the mighty,
    Teite, whom chieftains used to guard,
    wife of the son of Regamain, spear-armed,
    by the hand of Finn her blood was spilt.
  6. By this encounter fell Teite,
    who excelled every slant-smiting stay of battle,
    and the son of violent Regamain
    and slender Currech fell.

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