From The Shan Van Vocht, 3rd May, 1897.
In the Miscellany of the Celtic Society, published in 1849, there is given a dirge, written by a bard called Tadhg Ui Dhálaigh on the occasion of the death of Finghin O h’Eidirsceoil, last chief of Corcalaidhe mor, known to the English as Sir Florence O’Driscoll, who died some time between 1620-30, succeeded in the chieftaincy, as his son, Connor, had been absent in the service of the King of Spain for over twenty years. Finghin O h’Eidirsceoil was allied to the neighbouring chieftains, his mother being Seevan, daughter of Conchobhar Fin O’Mahony, and his wife, Eibhilin, daughter of McCarthy Reagh, and with these kindred tribes and O’Sullivan Beare he took part in the last struggle of Hugh O’Neill and Hugh O’Donnell, and when the Spaniards landed to assist these chieftains they were allowed to garrison O’Driscoll’s castle at Baltimore, at the time they took possession of Dunboy and Kinsale. Fineen, however, does not seem to have been a great hater of the English, for up to this time he had not broken the peace against the crown, and, after the battle of Kinsale, he was pardoned and allowed to hold his territory. His son Connor, however, went abroad and entered the service of the King of Spain, doing good service in Flanders, “Allemaine,” and on sea against the Turks. In the dirge for Fineen the bard thinks less of the dead father than of the valiant son, whose fame has travelled home to his own country. O’Daly bitterly laments O’Driscoll’s remaining abroad whilst the chieftaincy of the clan expires and his lands are leased to an Englishman called William Crook. We give an extract from the dirge and a translation: –
Trom an easbaidh d’iath Lughaidh
Sódh meanman mhic Chonchobhair,
A oighre a n-easbaidh an fhuinn
Ní doilghe easbaidh oruinn.
Fiche bliadhain is bárr re chois
Atá a chúl re chrích dúthchois,
MacFhinghin ag fághail reann
Nár thomhail fin-fhleidh Eireann.
Dá roiseadh a rinn Mumhan,
Dearbh go-g-cuirfeadh Conchubhar
Gleo na n-each ar airm-thriall creach
Ar gharbh-thrian leathan Lúighdeach.
Innradh a fhearainn cairte,
Cosnamh críche a chlann-mhaicne,
Ar an eachtra do nídh anuigh,
Ní budh deacra do dhéanamh.
An mhoing fhraechda an mhara mhir,
Tarraidh mac feithmheach Finghin,
Anbhuain ba teo’s an Turcaidh,
A n-gleo an arm-shluagh ingantaigh,
Teora long ‘ga leacain ghlain,
Caegad long a lucht cogaidh,
Faicsin mharcaigh mhuighe Chéin,
Nír altaigh duine dibh séin.
A d-Turcaigh na g-craebh g-ciníl,
Long mhilla mhic Eibhilín,
Ba hé-rian a thocht chlár thoir
Triall tré chorp-lár an chobhluigh.
Loingeas chomhlán an chalaidh,
Ní ‘r smuain croidhe Chonchobhair,
A bhreac long d’á seachna soin,
Leathtrom deabhtha do’n deoruidh.
Do dhírigh an long leabhair,
Ar an n-gasra n-gráineamhail,
Gleo a lonn-chon is na loingsibh,
Fromhthar leo don láthair sin.
Do láim feinnidh fhóidh Uisnigh,
Do thuit ceann on chobhlaigh sin,
Cath tar bhreis a saerfhear soin
Do sraeineadh leis an lá soin.
Maith linn, a leabhraibh na sgol,
Nach neach do rígheacht Saxon,
Fuair an ghairm ‘na gairm taibhsigh,
Do thuair ainm s’na h-éachtaibh sin.
Mairg tír ó d-teasda a chabhair
Lámh dhearg chosgrach Conchabhair,
Mairg sealbh-fhonn fhuil na h-easbaidh,
Troigh nab h-feadhmann bh-fuileach sin.
Nír fhuathaidh a fholt doireach,
Sibhal chalaidh chomhaightheach
Dóigh asa ucht d’foghluidh sinn
Ní samhlaidh ucht ar Eirinn.
- Heavy the loss to Lughaidh’s land is the extinction of the mind of Connor’s son (i.e., Old Sir Fineen). His heir (i.e., Young Connor) is far from the land, no greater cause of grief could we have.
- Twenty years and more besides, his back is turned to his native territory; the son of Finghin standing the brunt of spears without having partaken of the wine feasts of Eire.
- Should he but reach the extremity of Munster it is certain that Conchobar would press the battle of armed steeds for the raising of prey in the broad rough third of Lughaidh.
- To plunder his chartered land, to contend for the territory of his sons; in the expedition he would make this day, and which would be a deed difficult to be performed.
- On the stormy surface of the furious ocean, the vigilant son of Finghin has met hotter trouble in Turkey in the fight of the wonderfully armed hosts.
- Three ships had this fair-cheeked chieftain, fifty ships had the opposing warriors, behold the horseman of the plain of Cian, not one of those returned thanks.
- In Turkey of the branching tribes, the beautiful ship of Eibhilin’s son had the track of its breast-plank in the east, through the middle of the fleet.
- The entire fleet of the harbour, the heart of Conchobar did not meditate that his speckled ship should shun them, though it was an unequal fight to the stranger.
- The large ship he directly steered against the fierce, hateful horde; the bravery of his valiant heroes in the ships was proved by them on that occasion.
- By the hand of the hero of the land of Uisneach the commander of that fleet fell, and a battle disproportioned to his few noble men was by him gained on that day.
- It pleases us that in the books of the schools, it is not any of the kingdom of the Saxons who obtained the title as a title of fame, who spread a name by these achievements.
- Alas for the country wanting the aid of the victorious red hand of Conchobar. Alas for the native land that is deprived of the man of these warlike achievements.
- The chief of the clustering locks disliked not to scan the coasts of foreign lands, although on his account we have been plundered, yet still shall he not make a descent upon Eire.