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The Invaders Of Ireland

Sometime in the nineteenth century an anonymous versifier.. he was probably a hedge schoolmaster.. put into street ballad form the successive conquests and colonization, thereby giving an item of interest to the fireside while presenting the reader with a sequence of names that occur in Irish tradition and modern Irish poetry..

Should any inquire about Eirinn,
It is I who can give him the truth
Concerning the deeds of each daring
Invader, since Time was a youth.

First Cassir, Bith's venturesome daughter,
Came here o'er the Eastern Sea;
And fifty fair damsels she brought with her
To solace her warriors three.

Bith died at the foot of his mountain,
And Ladra on top of his height;
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
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.

Again, when death seized on the strangers
I roamed the land, merry and free,
Both careless and fearless of dangers,
Till blith Nemid came over the sea.

The Firbolgs and roving Firgallians
Came next like the waves in their flow;
The Firdonnans arrived in battalions,
And landed in Erris -Mayo.

Then came the wise Tuatha de Danaans,
Concealed in black clouds from their foe;
I feasted with them near the Shannon,
Though that was a long time ago.

After them came the children of Mil,
From Spain o'er the southern waves;
I lived with the tribes as their Filea
And chanted the deeds of their braves.

Time ne'er my existance could wither,
From death's grasp I always was freed,
Till Patrick the Christian came hither
To spread the Redeemer's pure creed.

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.

- Taken from a 1913 ballad sheet -