A Fragment of Old Irish
Author: Osborn J. Bergin
An electronic edition
... et dixit illi: What Finnia says to thee is indeed not
fitting for thee. Great is the evil thou hast committed, and a
pater does not certify its cleansing to thee, and the ... that
Finnia gives to thee is no great favour. This is what is good for
thee - go to Comgell, that he may pass judgement on thee. He
went therefore, et confessus est illi, et dixit Comgell: Thy
coming is welcome indeed; that will be of no consequence. It
was Satan who sent thee thither to detain thee among the laity,
and to bring thee into the house of pain. However, it will be
no help to him, &c., et Comgellus dixit eadem uerba omnia quae
dixit Finnia. When the Abbot of Bangor came past the land,
it was then Columcille’s curach came ashore, et Satanas suasit
illi ut iret ad Columbam.
Thou shalt not be saved through Finnia and Comgell,
said he. This is what is good for thee, perge ad Columbam.
He went therefore ... it was he who confessed to him first.
Et dixit illi Columba: quater crucifixisti Christum, per temet
ipsum peccando, secundo in Finnio, since thou hast not ... and
hast not believed quod illi per Spiritum Sanctum [...], tertio in
Comgello, quarto in me. I say to thee now, said Columcille,
fifteen years of penance for that unfaithfulness, and the contempt
thou hast shown to a true member of Christ.
A garment which is taken from the laity, a demon ... it till
it has been washed; and it serves not to shake it or beat it, but
to wash it.
There was a certain anchorite in Clonmacnois named Laisran,
quite bare and free [from sin] (?) with nought upon his conscience,
but enfeebled by disease. Then each of the clerical students
would take him home in turn. One night a certain clerical
student took him to his house. He put a mantle under him.
Laisran slept on his mantle. He sees a carnal vision, and
he had not seen it from his birth till that night. He rises then.
He began to weep and lament (?). Woe to me ..., said he.
Then he began to pray, and recited the three fifties [i.e. the
Psalter] in prayer. Then a numbness came upon his lips.
Then came an angel to him, et dixit illi: Be not sorrowful,
said he; quod in hac nocte sensiste iterum in uita tua non
senties; and what caused even this is because the mantle on
which thou hast slept (?) is a mantle which has not been washed
since the married couple had it. A demon has ... it then
because it has not been washed, for every garment that is taken
from ... folk, a demon accompanies it as long as it is not
He does not praise fasting; he prefers moderate eating
always. There is no rule in which is found fasting ...
Of fasting in the rule of Comgell, i.e. the Wednesday before
A prayer here for the students; and it is a hard little story,
and do not reproach me concerning the letters, and the ink is
bad, and the parchment scanty, and the day is dark.
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