The Battle of Moytura

The Tuatha de Dannan were in the northern islands of the world, studying

occult lore and sorcery, druidic arts, witchcraft and magical skills, until

they surpasses the sages of the pagan arts.

They studied occult lore, secret knowledge and diabolic arts in four cities:

Falias, Gorias, Murias and Findias.

From Falias was brought the Stone of Fal, which was located in Tara. It used

to cry out beneath every king that would take Ireland.

From Gorias was brought the spear with Lugh had. No battle was ever sustained

against it, or against the man who held it in his hand.

From Findias was brought the Sword of Nauda. No one ever escaped from it once

it was drawn from its deadly sheath, and no one could resist it.

From Murias was brought the Dagda's cauldron. No company ever went away from

it unsatisfied.

There were four wizards in those four cities. Morfesa was in Falias, Esras

was in Gorias, Uiscias was in Findias, and Semias was in Murias. They were

the four poets from whom the Tuatha de learned occult lore and secret


The Tuatha De then made an alliance with the Formoire, and Balor the grandson

of Net gave his daughter Ethne to Cian the son of Dian Cecht. And she bore

the glorious grandchild, Lugh.

The Tuatha De came with a great fleet to Ireland to take it by force from the

Fir Bolg. Upon reaching the territory of Corcu Belgatan, they at once burned

their boats so that they would not think of fleeing them. The smoke and the

mist which came from the ships filled the land and the air which was near

them. For that reason it was thought that they arrived in clouds of mist.

The battle of Mag Tuired was fought between them and the Fir Bolg. The

Fir Bolg were defeated, and 100,000 of them were killed, including the king,

Eochaid mac Eirc.

Nauda's hand was cut off in that battle-Sreng mac Sengainn struck it from

him. So with Credne the brazier helping him, Dian Cecht the physician

put on him a silver hand that moved as well as any other hand.

Now the Tuatha de Dannan lost many men in the battle, including Edleo man

Allai, and Ernmas, and Fiacha, and Tuirill Bicero.

Then those of the Fir Bolg who escaped from the battle fled to the Fomoire,

and they settled in Arran and in Islay and in Man and in Rathlin.

There was contention regarding the sovereingty of the men in Ireland between

the Tuatha De and their wives, since Nauda was not eligible for kingship

after his hand was cut off. They said that it would be appropriate for them

to give the kingship to Bres the son of Elatha, to their own adopted son, and

that giving him the kingship would knit the Fomorian's alliance with them,

since his father Elatha mac Delbaith was king of the Formoire.

Now the conception of Bres came about in this way.

One day one of their women, Eriu the daughter of Delbaeth, was looking at

the sea and the land from the house of Maeth Sceni; and she saw the sea as

perfectly calm as if it were a level board. After that, while she was there,

she saw something: a vessel of silver appearred to her on the sea. Its size

seemed great to her, but its shape did not appear clearly to her; and the

current of the sea carried it to land.

Then she saw that it was a man in fairest appearance. He had golden-yellow

hair down to his shoulders, and a cloak with bands of thread around it.

His shirt had embroidery of gold thread. On his breast was a brooch of

gold with a lustre of a precious stone in it. Two shining silver spears and

in them two smooth riveted shafts of bronze. Five circlets of gold around his

neck. A gold-hilted sword with inlayings of silver and studs of gold.

The man said to her, "Shall I have an hour of lovemaking with you?"

"I certainly have not made a tryst with you," she said.

Come without the trysting!" said he.

Then they stretched themselves out together. The woman wept while the man

got up again.

"Why are you crying?" he asked.

"I have two things that I should lament," said the woman, "seperating from

you, however we have met. The young men of the Tuatha de Dannan have been

entreating me in vain-and you posses me the way you do."

"Your anxiety about those two things will be removed," he said. He drew his

gold ring from his middle finger and put it into her hand, and told her that

she should not part with it, either by sale or by gift, except to someone

whose finger would fit.

"Another matter troubles me," said the woman, "that I don't know who has come

for me."

"You will not remain ignorant of that," he said, "Elatha mac Delbaith, king

of the Fomoire, has come to you. You will bear a son as a result of our

meeting, and let no name be given to him but Eochu Bres, because every

beautiful thing seen in Ireland-both plain and fortress, ale and candle,

woman and man and horse-will be judged in relation to that boy, so that

people will say of it, 'It is a Bres.'"

Then the man went back again, and the woman returned to her home, and the

famuos conception was given to her.

Then she gave birth to the boy, and the name Eochu Bres was given to him as

Elatha had said. A week after the woman's lying-in was completed, the boy

had two week's growth, and he maintained that increase for seven years, until

he had reached the growth of fourteen years.

As a result of that contention which took place amongst the Tuatha de Dannan,

the sovereingty of Ireland was given to that youth, and he gave seven

guarantors from the warriors of Ireland for his restitution of the sovereingty

if his own misdeeds should give cause. Then his mother gave him land, and he

had a fortress built on this land, Dun m Brese. And it was Dagda who built

that fortress.

But after Bres had assumed the sovereignty, three Fomorian kings (Indech mac

De Domnann, Elatha mac Delbaith and Tethra) imposed their tribute upon

Ireland-and there was not a smoke from a house in Ireland which was not under

their trubite. In addition, the warriors of Ireland were reduced to serving

him: Ogma beneath a bundle of firewood and the Dadga as a rampart builder,

and he constructed the earthwork around Bres's fort.

Now the Dagda was unhappy at his work, and in the house he used to meet and

idle, blind man named Cridenbel, whose mouth grew out of his chest. Cridenbel

considered his own meal small and the Dagda's large, so he said, "Dagda, for

the sake of your honour let the three best bits of your serving be given to

me!" and the Dagda used to give them to him every night. But the satirist's

bits were large, each bit was the size of a large pig. Furthermore those

three bits were a third of the Dagda's serving. The Dagda's appearance was

the worse for that.

Then one day the Dagda was in the trench and he saw the Mac Oc coming toward


"Greetings to you, Dagda!" said the Mac Oc.

"And to you," said the Dagda.

"What makes you look so bad?" he aksed.

"I have a good cause," he said, "Every night Cridenbel the satirist demands

from me the three best bits of my serving."

"I have adivse for you," said the Mac Oc. He puts his hand into his purse,

and takes from it three coins of gold, and gives them to him.

"Put," he said, "these three gold coins into the three bits for Cridenbel in

the evening. Then these will be the best on your dish, and the gold will

stick in his belly so that he will die of it; and Bres's judgement afterwards

will not be right. Men will say to the king, 'The Dagda was killed Cridenbel

which he gave him.' Then the king will order you to be killed, and you will

say to him, 'What you say, king of the warriors of the Feni, is not a prince's

truth. For he kept impotruning me since I began my work, saying to me, 'Give

me the three best bits of your serving, Dagda. My housekeeping is bad

tonight.' Indeed, I would have died from that, had not the three golden coins

which I found today helped me. I put them into my serving. Then I gave it

to Cridenbel, because the gold was the best thing that was before me. So

the gold is now in Cridenbel, and he died of it."

"It is clear," said the king, "Let the satirist's stomach be cut out to see

whether the gold will be found in it. If it is not, you will die. If it is

found however, you shall live."

Then they cut out the satirist's stomach to find the three gold coins in his

belly, and the Dagda was saved.

Then the Dagda went to work the next morning, and the Mac Oc came to see him

and said, "Soon you will finish you work, but do not seek payment until the

cattle if Ireland are brought to you. Choose from among them the dark,

black-maned, trained, spirited heifer."

Then the Dagda brought his work to an end, and Bres asked him what he would

take as wages for his labour. The Dagda answered, "I require that you gather

the cattle of Ireland in one place." The king did as he asked, and he chose

the heifer from among them as the Mac Oc had told him. That seemed foolish

to Bres. He had thought that he would have chosen something more.

Now Nauda was being treated, and Dian Cecht put a silver hand on him that

had the movement of any other hand. But his son Miach did not like that. He

went to the hand and said, "Joint to joint of it, and sinew to sinew"; and he

healed in nine days and nights. The first three days he carried it against

his side, and it became covered with skin. The second three days he carried

it against his chest. The third three days he would cast white wisps of

black bulrushes after they had been blackened in a fire.

Dian Cecht did not like that cure. He hurled a sword at the crown of his son's

head and cut his skin to the flesh. The young man healed it by means of his

skill. He struck him again and cut his flesh until he reached the bone. The

young man healed it by the same means. He struck the third blow and reached

the membrane of his brain. The young man healed this too by the same means.

The he struck the fourth blow and cut out the brain, so that Miach died; and

Dian Cecht said that no physician could heal him that blow.

After that, Miach was buried by Dian Cecht, and three hundred and sixty-five

herbs grew through the grave, corresponding to the number of his joints and

sinews. Then Airmed spread her cloak and uprooted those herbs according

to the properties. Dian Cecht came to her and mixed the herbs, so that no one

knows their proper healing qualities unless they were taught afterwards. And

Dian Cecht said, "Though Miach no longer lives, Airmed shall remain."

At that time, Bres held the sovereingty as it had been granted to him. There

was great murmuring against him amongst his maternal kinsmen the Tuatha De,

for their knives were not greased by him. However frequently they might come,

their breaths did not smell of ale; and they did not see their poets nor their

bards nor their satirists nor their harpers nor their pipers nor their

horn-blowers nor their jugglers nor their fools entertaining them in the

household. They did not go to contests of those pre-eminent in the arts, nor

did they see their warruirs proving their kill at arms before the king,

except for one man, Ogma the son of Etain.

This was the duty which he had, to bring firewood to the fortress. He would

bring a bundle every day from the islands of Clew Bay. The sea would carry

off two-thirds of his bundle because he was weak for lack of food. He used

to bring back only one third, and he supplied the host from day to day.

But neither the service nor the payment from the tribes continued; and the

treasures of the tribe were not being given by the act of the whole tribe.

On one occasion the poet came to the house of Bres seeking hospitality. [He

is Coirpre son of Etain, the poet of the Tuatha de Dannan] He entered a

narrow, black dark little house; and there was neither fire nor furniture

nor bedding in it. Three small cakes were brought to him on a little dish -

and they were dry. The next day he arose, and he was not thankful. As he

went across the yard he said,

"Without food quickly on a dish,

Without cow's milk on which a calf grows,

Without a man's habitation after darkness remains,

Without paying a company of storytellers - let that be Bres's condition"

"Bres's prosperity no longer exists," he said, and that was true. There was

only blight on him from that hour; and that is the first satire ever made in


Now after that the Tuatha de Dannan went together to talk with their adopted

son Bres mac Elathan, and they asked him for their sureties. He gave them

restoration of the kingship, and they did not regard him as properly

qualified to rule from that time on. He asked to remain for seven years,

"You will have that," the same assembly agreed, "provided that the safeguarding

of every payment that has been assigned to you - including house and land,

gold and silver, cattle and food - is supported by the same securities, and

that we have freedom of tribute and payment until then."

"You will have what you ask," Bres said.

This is why they were asked for the delay: that he might gather the warriors

of the sid, the Formoire, to take possession of the Tuatha by force provided

he might gain an overwhelming advantage. He was unwilling to be driven

from the kingship.

Then he went to his mother and asked her where his family was, "I am certain

about that," she said, and went unto the hill from which she had seen the

silver vessel on the sea. She then went onto the shore. His mother gave him

the ring which had been left with her, and he put it around his middle

finger, and it fitted him. She had not given it up for anyone, either by

sale or gift. Until that day, there was none of them whom it would fit.

Then they went forward until they reached the land of the Formoire. They

came to a great plain with many assemblies upon it, and they reached the

finest of these assemblies. Inside, people sought information from them.

They answered that they were the men of Ireland. Then they were asked whether

they had dogs, for at that time it was the custom, when a group of men

visited another group, to challenge them to a friendly contest. "We have

dogs," said Bres. Then the dogs raced, and those of the Tuatha De were faster

then those of the Formoire. Then they were asked whether they had horses to

race. They answered, "We have," and they were faster then the horses of the


Then they were asked whether they had anyone who was good at sword-play, and

no one was found among them except Bres. But when he lifted his hand with the

sword, his father recognized the ring on his finger and asked who the

warrior was. His mother answered on his behalf and told the king that Bres

was his son. She related to him the whole story as we have recounted it.

His father was sad about him, and asked, "What force brought you out of the

land you ruled?"

Bres answered, "Nothing brought me except my own injustice and arrogance. I

deprived them of their valuables and possessions and their own food. Neither

tribute nor payment was ever taken from them until now."

"That is bad," said his father, "Better their prosperity than their kingship.

Better their requests than their curses. Why then have you come?" asked his


"I have come to ask you for warriors," he said, "I intend to take the land

by force."

"You ought not to gain it by injustice if you do not gain it by justice,"

he said.

"I have a question then: what advice do you have for me?" said Bres.

After that he sent him to the champion Balor, grandson of Net, the king of

the Hebrides, and to Indech mac De Domnann, the king of the Formoire; and

these gathered all the forces from the Lochlainn westwards to Ireland, to

impose their tribute and their rule upon them by force, and they made a

single bridge of ships from the Hebrides to Ireland.

No host ever came to Ireland which was more terrifying or dreadful than that

host of the Formoire. There was rivalry between the men from Scythia of

Loclainn and the men out of the Hebrides concerning that expedition.

As for the Tuatha De however, that is discussed here.

After Bres, Nuada was once more in kingship over the Tuatha De; and at that

time he held a great feast for the Tuatha De in Tara. Now there was a certain

warrior whose name was Samildanach on his way to Tara. At that time there

were doorkeepers at Tara named Gamal mac Figail and Camall mac Riagal. While

the latter was on duty, he saw the strange company coming toward him. A

handsome, well-built young warrior with a king's diadem was in front of

the band.

They told the doorkeeper to announce their arrival in Tara. The doorkeeper

said, "Who is there?"

"Lug Lonnansclech is here, the son of Cian son of Dian Cecht and of Ethne

daughter of Balor. He is the fosterson of Tailtiu the daughter of Magmor, the

king of Spain, and of Eochaid Garb mac Duach."

The doorkeeper then asked of Samildanach, "What art do you practice? For no

one without an art enters Tara."

"Question me," he said, "I am a builder."

The doorkeeper answered, "We have a smith already, Colum Cualeinech of the

three new techniques."

He said, "Question me: I am a champion."

The doorkeeper answered, "We do not need you. We have a champion already,

Ogma mac Ethlend."

He said again, "Question me." "I am a harper," he said.

"We do not need you. We have a harper already, Abcan mac Bicelmois, whom the

men of the three gods chose in the sid-mounds."

He said, "Question me: I am a warrior."

The doorkeeper answered, "We do not need you. we have a warrior already,

Bresal Etarlam mac Echdach Baethlaim."

Then he said, "Question me, doorkeeper. I am a poet and a historian."

"We do not need you. We already have a poet and historian, Enmac Ethamain."

He said, "Question me, I am a sorceror."

"We do not need you. We have sorcerors already. Our druids and our people of

power are numerous."

He said, "Question me, I am a physician."

"We do not need you. We have Dian Cecht as a physician."

"Question me," he said, "I am a cupbearer."

"We do not need you. We have cupbearers already: Delt and Drucht and Daithe,

Tae and Talom and Trog, Gle and Glan and Glesse."

He said, "Question me: I am a good brazier."

"We do not need you. We have a brazier already, Credne Cerd."

He said, "Ask the king whether he has one man who possesses all these arts:

if he has I will not be able to enter Tara."

Then the doorkeeper went into the royal hall and told everything to the king,

"A warrior has come before the court," he said, "named Samildanach, and all

the arts which help your people, he practices them all, so that he is the man

of each and every art."

Then he said that they should bring him the fidchellboards of Tara, and he

won all the stakes, so that he was made the cro of Lug.

Then that was related to Nuada. "Let him come into the court," said Nuada,

"for a man like that has never before come into this fortress."

Then the doorkeeper let him past, and he went into the fortress, and he sat

in the seat of the sage, because he was a sage in every art.

Then Ogma threw the flagstone, which required fourscore yoke of oxen to move

it, through the side of the hall so that it lay outside against Tara. That

was to challenge Lug, who tossed the stone back so that it lay in the centre

of the royal hall; and he threw the peice which it had carried away back into

the side of the royal hall so that it was whole again.

"Let a harp be played for us," said the hosts. Then the warrior played sleep

music for the hosts and for the king on the first night, putting them to sleep

from that hour to the same time the next day. He played sorrowful music so

that they were crying and lamenting. He played joyful music so that they were

merry and rejoicing.

Then Nuada, when he had seen the warrior's many powers, considered whether he

he could release them from the bondage they suffered at the hands of the

Formoire. So they held a council concerning the warrior, and the descision

which Nuada reached was to exchange seats with the warrior. So Samildanach

went to the king's seat, and the king arose before him until thirteen days

had passed.

The next day he and the two brothers, Dagda and Ogma, concersed together on

Grellach Dollaid; and his two kinsmen Goibnui and Dian Cecht were summoned to


They spent a full year in the secret conference, so that Crellach Dollaid is

called the Amrun of the Men of the Goddess.

The the druids of Ireland were summoned to them, together with their physicians

and their charioteers and their smiths and their wealthy landowners and their

lawyers. They conversed together secretly.

Then he asked the sorceror, whose name was Mathgen, what power he weilded. He

answered that he would shake the mountains of Ireland beneath the Formoire

so that their summits would fall to the ground. And it would seem to them

that the twelve chief mountains of the Tuatha De Dannan; Slieve League, and

Denda Ulad, and the Mourne Mountains, and Bri Erigi and Slieve Bloom and

Slieve Snaght, Slemish and Blaisliab and Nephin Mountain and Sliab Maccu

Belgodon and the Curlieu hills and Croagh Patrick.

Then he asked the cupbearer what power he weilded. He answered that he would

bring the twelve chief lochs of Ireland into the presence of the Formoire and

they would not find water from them, however thirsty they were. These are the

lochs: Lough Derg, Lough Liumnig, Lough Corrib, Lough Ree, Lough Mask, Lough

Strangford, Lough Belfast, Lough Neagh, Lough Foyle, Lough Gara, Loughrea,

Marloch. They would proceed to the twelve chief rivers of Ireland - the Bush,

the Boyne, the Bann, the Blackwater, the Lee, the Shannon, the Moy, the Sligo,

the Erne, the Finn, the Liffey, the Suir - and they would all be hidden from

the Formoire so they would not find a drop in them. But drink will be provided

for the men of Ireland even if they remain in battle for seven years.

Then Figol mac Mamois, their druid, said, "Three showers of fire will be

rained upon the faces of the Formorian host, and I will take out of them

two-thirds of their courage and their skill at arms and their strength, and

I will bind their urine in their own bodies and in the bodies of their

horses. Every breath that the men of Ireland will exhale will increase their

courage and skill at arms and strength. Even if they remain in battle for

seven years, they will not be weary at all."

The Dagda said, "The power which you boast, I will weild it all myself."

"You are the Dagda!" said everyone; and Dagda stuck to him from that time on.

Then they disbanded the council to meet that day three years later.

Then after the preparation for battle had been settled, Lug and the Dagda

and Ogma went to the three gods of Danu, and they gave Lug equipment for the

battle; and for seven years they had been preparing for them and making their


Then she said to him, "Undertake a battle of overthrowing." The Morrigan

said to Lug, "Awake..."

Then Figol mac Mamois, the druid, was prophesying the battle and strengthening

the Tuatha De, saying, "Battle will be waged..."

The Dagda had a house in Glen Edin in the north, and he had arranged to meet

a woman in Glen Edin a year from that day, near the All Hallows of the

battle. The Unshin of Connacht roars to the south of it.

He saw the woman at the Unshin of Corann, washing, with one of her feet at

Allod Echae south of the water and the other at Lisconny north of the water.

There were nine loosened tresses on her head. The Dagda spoke with her, and

they united. "The Bed of the Couple" was the name of that place from that

time on.

Then she told the Dagda that the Formoire would land at Mag Ceidne, and that

he should summon the aes dana of Ireland to meet her at the ford of Unshin,

and she would go into Scetne to destroy Indech mac De Domnann, the king of

the Formoire, and would take from him the blood of his heart and the kidneys

of his valour. Later she gave two handfuls of that blood to the hosts that

were waiting for her at the Ford of the Unshin. Its name became

"The Ford of Destruction" because of that destruction of the king.

So the aes dana did that, and they chanted spells against the Formorian host.

This was a week before All Hallows, and they all dispersed until all the men

of Ireland came together the day before All Hallows. Their number was six

times thirty hundred, that is, each third consisted of twice thirty hundred.

Then Lug sent the Dagda to spy on the Formoire and to delay them until the

men of Ireland came to the battle.

Then the Dagda went to the Formorian camp and asked them for a truce of battle.

This was granted to him as he asked. The Formoire made porridge for him to

mock him, because his love of porridge was great. The filled for him the

king's cauldron, which was five fists deep, and poured four score gallons of

new milk and the same quantity of meal and fat into it. They put goats

and sheep and swine into it, and boiled them all together with the porridge.

Then they poured it into a hole in the ground, and Indech said to him that

he would be killed unless he consumed it all; he should eat his fill so that

he might not satirize the Formoire.

Then the Dagda took his ladle, and it was big enough for a man and a woman

to lie in the middle of it. These are the bits that were in it: halves of

salted wine and a quarter of lard.

Then the Dagda said, "That is good food if its broth is equal to its taste."

But when he would put the full ladle of to his mouth he said, "'Its poor

bits do not spoil it' says the wise old man."

Then at the end he scraped his bent finger over the bottom of the hole among

mould and gravel. He fell asleep after eating his porridge. His belly was

as big as a house cauldron, and the Formoire laughed at it.

Then he went away from them Traigh Eabha. It was not easy for the warrior to move along on

account of the size of his belly. His appearance was unsightly: he had a cape to the hollow of his

elbows, and a graybrown tunic around him as far as the sweeling of his rump. He trailed behind

him a wheeled fork which was the work of eight men to move, and its track was enough for

boundary ditch of a province. It is called "The Track of the Dagda's Club" for that reason. His

long penis was uncovered. He had on two shoes of horse-hide with the hair outside.

As he went along he saw a girl in front of him, a good-looking young woman with an excellent

figure, her hair in beautiful tresses. The Dagda desired her, but he was impotent on account of

his belly. The girl began to mock him, then she began wrestling with him. She hurled him so that

he sank to the hollow of his rump on the ground. He looked at her angrily and asked, "What

business do you have, girl, heaving me out of my right way?"

"The business: to get you to carry me on your back to my father's house."

"Who is your father?" he asked.

"I am the daughter of Indech, son of De Domnann," she said.

She fell upon him again and beat him hard, so that the furrow around him filled with the

excrement from his belly; and she satirized him three times so that he would carry her upon his


He said that it was a ges for him to carry anyone who would not call him by his name.

"What is your name?" she asked.

"Fer Benn," he said.

"That name is too much!" she said, "Get up, carry me on your back, Fer Benn."

"That is indeed no my name," he said.

"What is?" she asked.

"Fer Benn Bruach," he answered.

"Get up, carry me on your back, Fer Benn Bruach," she said.

"That is not my name," he said.

"What is?" she asked. Then he told her the whole thing. She replied immediately and said, "Get

up, carry me on your back, Fer Benn Bruach Brogaill Broumide Cerbad Caic Rolaig Builc Labair

Cerrce Di Brig Oldathair Boith Athgen mBethai Brigtere Tri Carboid Roth Rimaire Riog Scotbe

Obthe Olaithbe. Get up, carry me away from here!"

"Do not mock me any moe, girl," he said

"It will certainly be hard," she said.

Then he moved out of the hole, after letting go the contents of his belly, and the girl had waited

for that for a long time. He got up then, and took the girl on his back; and he put three stones on

his belt. Each stone fell from it in turn - and it has beensaid that they were his testicles which fell

from it. The girl jumped on him and struck him across the rump, and her curly pubic hair was

revealed. Then the Dagda gained a mistress, and they made love. The mark remains at Beltraw

Strand where they came together.

Then the girl said to him, "You will not go to the battle by any means."

"Certainly I will go," said the Dagda.

"You will not go," said the woman, "because I will be a stone at the mouth of every ford you will


"That will be true," said the Daga, "but you will not keep me from it. i will tread heavily on every

stone, and the trace of my heel will remain on every stone forever."

"That will be true, but they will be turned over so that you will not see them. You will not go past

me until I summon the sons of Tethra from the sid-mounds, because I will be a giant oak in

every ford and in every pass you cross."

"I will indeed go past," said the Dagda, "and the mark of my axe will remain in every oak

forever." (And the people have remarked upon the mark of the Dagda's axe)

Then however she said, "Allow the Formoire to enter the land, because the men of Ireland have

all come together in one place." She said that she would hinder the Formoire, and she would sing

spells against them, and she would practise the deadly art of the wand against them - and she

alone would take on a ninth part of the host.

The Formoire advanced until their tenths were in Scetne. The men of Ireland were in Mag

Aurfolaig. At this point these two hosts were threatening battle.

"Do the men of Ireland undertake to give battle to us?" said Bres mac Elathan to Indech mac De


"I will give the same," said Indech, "so that their bodies will be small if they do not pay their


In order to protect him, the men of Ireland had agreed to keep Lug from battle His nine foster-

fathers came to gaurd him: Tollusdam and Echdamn and Eru, Rechtaid Finn and Fosad and

Feidlimid, Ibar and Scibar and Minn. They feared an early death for the warrior because of the

great number of his arts. For that reason they did not let him go into battle.

Then the men of rank among the Tuatha De were assembled around Lug. He asked his smith,

Goibniu, what power he weilded for them.

"Not hard to say," he said, "Even if the men of Ireland continue the battle for seven years, for

every spear that seperates from its shaft or sword that will break in battle, I will provide a new

weapon in its place. No spearpoint which my hand forges will make a missing cast. No skin

which it peirces will taste life afterwards. Dolb, the Fomorian smith, cannot do that. I am now

concerned with my preparation for the battle of Mag Tuired."

"And you, Dian Cecht," said Lug, "what power do you weild?"

"Not hard to say," he said, "Any man who will be wounded there, unless his head is cut off, or the

membrane of his brain or his spinal cord is severed. i will make him perfectly whole in the battle

on the next day."

"And you, Credne," Lug said to his brazier, "what is your power in the battle?"

"Not hard to answer," Credne said, "i will supply them all wth rivets for their spears and hilts for

their swords and bosses and rims of their shields."

"And you, Luchta," Lug said to his carpenter, "what power would you attain inthe battle?"

"Not hard to answer," said Luchta, "I will supply them all with whatever shields and spearshafts

they need."

"And you, Ogma," said Lug to his champion, "what is your power in the battle?"

"Not hard to say," he said, "Being a match for the king and holding my own against twenty-seven

of his friends, while winning a third of the battle for the men of Ireland."

"And you, Morrigan," said Lug, "what power?"

"Not hard to say," she said, "I have stood fast; I shall pursue what was watched; I will be able to

kill; I will be able to destroy those who might be subdued."

"And you, sorcerers," said Lug, "what power?"

"Not hard to say," said the sorcerers, "Their white soles will be visible after they have been

overthrown by our craft, so that they can easily be killed; and we will take two-thirds of their

strength from them, and prevent them from urinating."

"And you, cupbearers," said Lug, "what power?"

"Not hard to say," said the cupbearers, "We will bring a great thirst upon them, and they will not

find drink to quench it."

"And you, Druids," said Lug, "what power?"

'Not hard to say," said the Druids, "We will bring showers of fire upon the faces of the Formoire

so that they cannot look up, and the warriors conteding with them will use their force to kill them."

"And you, Coirpre mac Etaine," said Lug to his poet, "what can you do in the battle?"

"Not hard to say," said Coirpre, "I will make a glam dicenn against them, and I will satirize them

and shame them so that through the spell of my art they will offer no resistance to warriors."

"And you, Be Chuille and Diannan," said Lug to his two witches, "what can you do in the battle?"

"Not hard to say," they said, "We will enchant the trees and the stones and the sods of the earth

so that they will be a host under arms against them; and they will scatter in flight terrified and


"And you, Dagda," said Lug, "what power can you wield against the Formorian host in battle?"

"Not hard to say," said the Dagda, "I will fight for the men of Ireland with mutual smiting and

destruction and wizardry. Their bones under my club will soon be as many as hailstones under

the feet of herds of horses where the double enemy meets on the battlefield of Mag Tuired."

Then in this way Lug addressed each of them in turn concerning their arts, strengthening them

and addressing them in such a way that every man had the courage of a king or great lord.

Now every day the battle was drawn up between the race of the Formoire and the Tuatha de

Dannan, but there were no kings or princes waging it, only feirce and arrogant men.

One thing that became evident to the Formoire in the battle seemed remarkable to them. Their

weapons, their spears and their swords, were blunted; and those of ther men who were killed did

not come back the next day. That was not the case with the Tuatha de Dannan: although their

weapons were blunted one day, they were restored the next because Goibniu the smith was in

the smithy making swords and spears and javelins. He would make those weapons with three

strokes. Then Luchta the carpenter would make the spearshafts in three chippings, and the third

chipping was a finish and would set them in the socket of the spear. After the spearheads were in

the side of the forge he would throw the sockets with the shafts, and it was not necessary to set

them again. Then Credne the brazier would make the rivets with three strokes, and he would

throw the sockets of the spears at them, and it was not necessary to drill holes for them; and they

stayed together this way.

Now this is what used to kindle the warriors who were wounded there so they were more fiery the

next day: Dian Cecht, his two sons Octriuil and Miach, and his daughter Airmed were chanting

spells over the well named Slaine. They would cast their mortally-wounded men into it as they

were struck down; and they were alive when they came out. Their mortally-wounded were healed

through the power of the incantation made by the four physicians who were around the well.

Now that was damaging to the Formoire, and they picked a man to reconnoitre the battle, and

the practices of the Tuatha de Dannan - Ruadan, the son of Bres and of Brig, the daughter of the

Dagda - because he was a son and a grandson of the Tuatha De. Then he described to the

Formoire the work of the smith and the carpenter and the brazier and the four physicians who

were around the well. They sendhim back to kill one of the aes dana, Goibniu. He requested a

spearpoint from him, its rivets from the brazier, and its shaft from the carpenter; and everything

was given to him as he asked. Now there was a woman there grinding weapons, Cron the mother

of Fianlach, and she ground Ruandan's spear. So the spear was given to Ruadan by his

maternal kin, and for that reason a weaver's beam is still called 'the spear of the maternal kin' in


But after the spear had been given to him, Ruadan turned and wounded Goibniu. He pulled out

the spear and hurled it at Ruadan so that it went through him; and he died in his father's

peresence in the Fomorian assembly. Brig came and keened for her son. At first she shreiked, in

the end she wept. Then for the first time weeping and shreiking were heard in Irelan.

The Goibniu went into the well and he became whole. The Formoire had a warrior named

Ochtriallach, the son of the Formorian king, Indech mac de Domnann. He suggested that every

single man they had should bring a stone from the stones of the River Drowes to cast into the

well Slaine in Achad Abla to the west of Mag Tuired, to the east of Lough Arrow. They wesnt, and

every man put a stone into the well. For that reason the cairn is called Ochtriallach's Cairn. But

another name for that well is Loch Luibe, because Dian Cecht put into it every hearb that grew in


Now when the time came for the great battle, the Formoire had marched out of their encampent

and armed themselves into strong indestructible battallions. There was not a chief nor a skilled

warrior among them without armour against his skin, a helmet on his head, a broad spear in his

right hand, a heavy sharp sword on his belt, a strong shield on his shoulder. To attack the

Formorian host that day was 'striking a head againt a cliff' was 'a hand in a serpent's nest' was 'a

face brought close to fire.'

These were the kings and leaders who where encouraging the Formorian host: Balor son of Dot

son of Net, Bres mac Elathan, Tuire Tortbullech mac Lebois, Goll and Irgoll, Locennlomm mac

Lommgluinigh, Indech mac De Dommann, king of the Formoire, Ochtriallach mac Indich, Omna

and Bagna, Elatha mac Delbaith.

On the other side, the Tuatha De Dannan arose and left the nine companions guarding Lug, and

went to join the battle. But when the battle ensued, Lug escaped from the guard set over him, as

a chariotfighter , and it was he who was in the front of the battalion of the Tuatha De. Then a

keen and cruel battle was fought between the race of the Formoire and the men of Ireland.

Lug was urging the men of Ireland to fight the battle fiercely so they should not be in bondage

any longer, because it was better for them to find death while protecting their fatherland than to

be in bondage and under the tribute as they had been. Then Lug chanted the spell which follows,

going around the men of Ireland on one foot and with one eye closed.

The hosts gave a great shout as they went into battle. Then they came together, and each of

them began to strike the other.

Many beautiful men fell there in the stall of death. Great was the slaughter and the grave-lying

which took place there. Pride and shame were there side by side. There was anger and

indignation. Abundant was the stream of blood over the white skin of young warriors mangled by

the hands of bold men while rushing into danger for shame. Harsh was the noise made by the

multitude of the warriors and champions protecting their swords and shields and bodies while

others were striking them with spears and swords. Harsh too the tumult all over the battlefield -

the shouting of the warriors and the clashing of the bright shields, the swish of swords and ivory-

hilted blades, the clatter and rattling of the quivers, the hum and whirr of spears and javelins, the

crashing strokes of weapons.

As they hacked at each other their fingertips and their feet almost met; and because of the

slipperiness of the blood under the warrior's feet, they kept falling down, and their heads were cut

off them while they sat. A gory, wound-inflicting, sharp, bloody battle was upheaved, and

spearshafts were reddened in the hands of foes.

The Nuada Silverhand and Macha the daughter of Ernmas fell at the hands of Balor grandson of

Net. Casmael fell at the hands of Ochtriallach son of Indech. Lug and Balor of the peircing eye

met in the battle. The latter had a destructive eye which was never opened except on a

battlefield. Four men would raise the lid of the eye by a polished ring in its lid. The host which

looked at the eye, even if they were many thousands in numbers, would offer no resistance to

warriors. It had that poisonous power for this reason: once his father's Druids were brewing

magic. He cam and looked over the windows, and the fumes of the concoction affected the eye

and the venomous power of the brew settled in it. Then he and Lug met.

"Lift my eyelid up lad," said Balor, "so I may see the talkative fellow who is conversing with me."

The lid was raised from Balor's eye. Then Lug cast a sling stone at him which carried the eye

through his head, and it was his own host that looked at it. He fell on top of the Formorian host

so that twenty-seven of them died under his side; and the crown of his head struck against the

breast of Indech mac De Domnann so that gush of blood spouted over his lips.

"Let Loch Lethglas my poet, be summoned to me," said Indech. He came to him. "Find out for

me," said Indech, "who hurled this cast at me."

Then Loch Lethglas said, "Declare, who is this man...?"

The Lug said these words in answer to him, "A man who does not fear you..."

Then the Morrigan the daughter if Ernmas came, and she was strengthening the Tuatha de

Danna to fight the battle resolutely and feircely. She then chanted the following poem, "Kings

arise to the battle..."

Immiediately afterwards the battle broke, and the Formoire were driven to the sea. The

champion Ogma son of Elatha and Indech mac De Domnann fell together in single combat.

Loch Lethglas asked Lug for quarter. "Grant me three requests," said Lug.

"You will have them," said Loch, "I will remove the need to guard against the Formoire from

Ireland forever; and whatever judgement your tongue will deliver in this difficult case, it will

resolve the matter until the end of life."

So Loch was spared. Then he chanted, "The Decree of Fastening" to the Gaels.

Then Loch said that he would give names to Lug's nine chariots because he had been spared.

So Lug said that he should name them. Loch answered and said, "Luachta, Anagat, Achad,

Feochair, Fer, Golla, Fosad, Craeb, Carpat."

"A question then: what are the name of the charioteers who were in them?"

"Medol, Medon, Moth, Mothach, Foimtinne, Tenda, Tres, Morb."

"What are the name of the goads which were in their hands?"

"Fes, Res, Roches, Anagar, Ilach, Canna, Riadha, Buaid."

"What are the names of the horses?"

"Can, Doriadha, Romuir, Laisad, Fer Forsaid, Sroban, Airchedal, Ruagar, Ilann, Allriadha,


"A question: what is the number of the slain?" Lug said to Loch.

'i do not know the number of peasants and rabble. As to the number of Formorian lords and

nobles and champions and over-kings, I do know: 3 + 3 * 20 + 50 * 100 + 20 * 100 + 3 * 50 + 9 *

5 + 4 * 20 * 1000 + 8 + 8 * 20 + 7 + 4 * 20 + 6 + 4 * 20 + 5 + 8 * 20 + 2 + 40, including the

grandson of Net with 90 men. That is the number of the slain of the Formorian over-kings and

high nobles who fell in the battle.

"But regarding the number of peasants and common people of rabble and people of every art

who came in company with the great host - for eevry warrior and every high noble and every

over-king of the Formoire came to the battle with his personal followers, so that all fell there,

both their free men and their unfree servants. This then is the number of those I counted as I

watched: 7 + 7 * 20 * 20 * 100 * 100 + 90 including Sab Uanchennach son of Coirpre Colc, the

son of a servant of Indech mac De Domnann."

"As for the men who fought in pairs and the spearmen, warriors who did not reach the heart of

the battle who also fell there - until the stars of heaven can be counted, and the sands of the sea,

and flakes of snow, and dew on a lawn, and hailstones, and grass beneath the feet of horses,

and the horses of the son of Lir in a sea storm - they will not be counted at all!"

Immediately afterward they found an oppurtuniy to kill Bres mac Elathan. He said, "It is better to

spare me then kill me."

"What then will follow from that?" said Lug.

"The cows of Ireland will always be in milk," said Bres, "if I am spared."

"I will tell that to our wise men," said Lug.

So Lug went to Mealtne Morbethach and said to him, "Shall Bres be spared for giving constant

milk to the cows of Ireland?"

"He shall not be spared," said Maeltne, "Has has no power over their age or their calving, even if

you control their milk."

Bres said, "Maeltne has given bitter arms!"

"Is there anything else which will save you, Bres?" said Lug

"There is indeed. Tell your lawyer they will reap a harvest every quarter in return for sparing me."

Lug said to Maeltne, "Shall Bres be spared for giving the men of Ireland a harvest of grain every


"This has suited us," said Maeltne. "Spring for plowing and sowing, and the beginning of summer

for maturing the strength of the grain, and the beginning of autumn for the full ripeness of the

grain, and for reaping it. Winter for consuming it."

"That does not save you," said Lug to Bres.

"Maeltne has given bitter alarms," said he.

"Less rescues you," said Lug

'"What?" asked Bres

"How shall the men of Ireland plow? How shall they sow? How shall they reap? If you make

known these things, you will be saved."

"Say to them, on Tuesday thier plowing, on Tuesday their sowing seed in the feild, on Tuesday

their reaping."

So through that device Bres was released.

Now in that battle Ogma the champion found Orna, the sword of Tethra, king of the Formoire.

Ogma unsheathed the sword and cleaned it. Then the sword told what had been done by it,

because it was the habit of swords at that time to recount the deeds that had been done by them

whenever they were unsheathed. And for that reason swords are entitled to the tribute of

cleaning after they had been unsheathed. Moreover spells have been kept in swords from that

time on. Now the reason why demons used to speak from weapons then is that weapons used to

be worshipped by men and were among the sureties of that time. Loch Lethglas chanted the

following poem about that sword...

Then Lug and the Dagda and Ogma went after the Formoire, because they had taken the

Dagda's haper, Uaithne. Eventually they reached the banqueting hall where Bres mac Elathan

and Elatha mac Deilbaith were. There was the harp on the wall. That is the harp in which the

Dagda had bound the melodies so that they did not make a sound until he summoned them,


"Come Daur Da Blao,

Come Coir Cetharchair,

Come summer, come winter,

Mouths of harps and bags and pipes!"

Then the harp came away from the wall, and it killed nine men and came to the Dagda; and he

played for them the three things by which a harper is known; sleep music, joyful music and

sorrowful music. He played sorrowful music for them so that their tearful women wept. He played

joyful music for them so that their women and boys laughed. He played sleep music for them so

that the hosts slept. So the three of them escaped from them unharmed - although they wanted

to kill them.

The Dagda brought with him the cattle taken by the Formoire through the lowing of the heifer

which had been given him for his work; because she called her calf, all the cattle of Ireland which

the Formoire had taken as their tribute began to graze.

Then after the battle was won and the slaughter had been cleared away, the Morrigan, the

daughter of Enmas, proceeded to announce the battle and the great victory which had occurred

there so the royal heights of Ireland and to its sid-hosts, to its chief waters and to its river

mouths. And that is the reason Babd still relates great deeds. "Have you any news?" everyone

asked her then.

"Peace up to heaven.

Heaven down to earth.

Earth beneath heaven,

Strength in each,

A cup very full,

Full of honey;

Mead in abundance.

Summer in winter...

Peace up in heaven..."

She also prophesied the end of the world, foretelling every evil that would occur then, and every

disease and every vengeance; and she chanted the following poem:

I shall not see a world

Which will be dear to me;

Summer without blossoms,

Cattle will be without milk,

Women without modesty,

Men without valour.

Conquests without a king...

Woods without mast.

Sea without produce....

False judgements of old men.

False precedents of lawyers,

Every man a betrayer.

Every son a reaver.

The son will go to the bed of his father,

The father will go to the bed of his son.

Each his brother's brother-in-law.

He will not seek any woman outside his house...

An evil time,

Son will deceive his father,

Daughter will deceive...