Verse > Padraic Colum > Anthology of Irish Verse
Padraic Colum (1881–1972).  Anthology of Irish Verse.  1922.
41. A Complete Account of the Various Colonizations of Ireland as Delivered by the Sage Fintan
By Anonymous
SHOULD any enquire about Eirinn,
It is I who can tell him the truth,
Concerning the deeds of each daring
Invader, since Time was a youth.
First Cassir, Bith’s venturesome daughter,        5
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 Ladra on top of his height;        10
And Cassir by Boyle’s limpid fountain,
Ere rushed down the Flood in its might.
For a year, while the waters encumber
The Earth, at Tul-Tunna of strength,
I slept, none enjoyed such sweet slumber        15
As that which I woke from at length.
When Partholan came to the island,
From Greece, in the Eastern land,
I welcomed him gaily to my land,
And feasted the whole of his band.        20
Again, when Death seized on the strangers,
I roamed the land, merry and free,
Both careless and fearless of dangers,
Till blithe Nemid came o’er the sea.
The Firbolgs and roving Fir-Gallians,        25
Came next like the waves in their flow;
The Fir-Dennans arrived in battalions,
And landed in Erris—Mayo.
Then came the wise Tuatha-de-Danann,
Concealed in black clouds from their foe;        30
I feasted with them near the Shannon,
Though that was a long time ago.
After them came the Children of Milé,
From Spain, o’er the Southern waves:
I lived with the tribes as their Filea        35
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.        40
My name it is Fintan, the Fair-man,
Of Bochra, the son, you must know it;
I lived through the Flood in my lair, man,
I am now an illustrious poet.


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