The March Roll of the Men of Leinster
Author: Kuno Meyer
An electronic edition
1. If you recite the ‘alphabet’ of the men of Leinster, set it
studiously forth to them! Let them strengthen the fair province
at the bidding of the chief, let them set it right!
2. Let them take to their never-failing weapons that they may
be ready for every attack, for a battle-rout against united Connaught,
against Munster, against the noble race of Niall.
3. If it be Munster that comes upon them from Clidna’s wave
to Cliu, it behoves the descendants of hundreded Censelach to
confront them fiercely.
4. If it be Thomond that assails them, . . . . ., know that it
concerns the men of Ossory with the mighty onset of Bresal Brecc.
5. If it be the men of Connaught that assail them, they must not
be suffered to depart alive: Leix, Comainn, Offaly, Bairche,
’tis they that shall go in their bands against them.
6. When we fear wrong from the fair-shaped race of Colmán
Mór, the Brétach of Liffey’s plain arises so that he sees them
nose to nose.
7. As for the children of Conall and Eogan from Ailech Néit — no
weariness holds them, — let the fortúatha of Leinster, the men of
Cualu, raise a red-weaponed fight against them.
8. I must not caution the great province of blessed Brandub
against the men of Ulster. So long as the Lord rules over Heaven
they shall not come to fight against my communities.
9. I do not ignore the gentiles across the currents of the great
sea: if they come to ford or coast, let each one make for his sword.
10. If an overwhelming force of foreigners comes, let them divide
their forces into three: one-third around the children of the warlike
Conla — they never refused anything.
11. Two-thirds around the children of Lugaid, from Gabran
their hosts come eastward: if they turn to righteous princeship,
let them overthrow the battalions fiercely.
12. Let them march to the battle-rout without grumbling,
let them all rise up for the fight, to defend the warlike province
which their father left them.
13. If you recite the alphabet of the men of Leinster over the
land of Banva, a flame of grace, — they shall not be without battle
or without trouble from the end of the seven years onward.
14. The men of Leinster from Etar to Inneoin, to Femen of the
abode of the two oxen, to the pillar-stone which is in Usnech — it
is no dispensation of misfortune that has befallen them.
© 2007 Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae