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THE SONG OF THE SWORD OF CARROLL, by                    
First Line: "bright battle-joy of the gael, war's great woof sharply"
Last Line: "'proudest prize of the gael!' shall glorious naas repute thee, / finn of the feasts shall salute th
Subject(s): War

[Addressed about A.D. 909 to Dallan mac Mor,
Chief Bard to King Carroll mac Muiregan, by an unknown poet.]

Bright battle-joy of the Gael, War's great woof sharply unthreading,
Chieftain on chieftain beheading, Sword of Carroll, all hail!
Oft on a foeman's soil with Kings of Counsel forth raiding,
Ever a Worthy One aiding, hast thou divided the spoil.

Still in a strong white hand pursuing thy dread, red reaping;
Till night's shadows were sweeping o'er the Lagenian Land.
Many a man of might thy ravening radiance wielded;
Where was the shield but yielded pierced by its venomous bite.

Enna of noble bands for forty years without sorrow
Brandished thee, morrow by morrow, safe in his strenuous hands.
Enna, no mean heir-loom, to Dunling his son did bequeath thee;
Still his foemen beneath thee fell till thou broughtest him doom.

Many a Prince, proud-mounted, possessed thee ere Dermot the Fierce,
With thee to how and to pierce, sixteen summers had counted.
Then when his powers decreased, and a mightier master was owed thee,
On Muiregan Dermot bestowed thee, even at Allen's Feast.

Forty the years of thy sway with Muiregan, High King of Allen,
"Never a one," sang Dallan, "passed without warfare away."
Muiregan, Viking-girth, at Wexford gave thee to Carroll.
Thou wert his partner in peril, long as he paced yellow earth.

Red was thy rallying point, at Odba, the Field of the Strangers,
Scorner of valorous dangers, breaker of body and joint!
Crimson thy edge in its stain--at Belach Moon wast thou proven;
Fierce that fight as an oven angered all Alvy's plain.

Round thee a goodly host at Dunochter melted asunder;
Through thee Aed, War's wonder, at Leafin yielded the ghost.
Through thee an army grew thin when thy lightning struck into slumber
Flannagan's Son and his number, high-walled Tara within.

From thee southward they fled out of Boyne of the rough
feats of valour;
When, at thy stroke catching pallor, Cnogva the Noble dropped dead.
Furious too was thy force, as the bolt from a black cloud's rattle,
When, in the front of the battle, Ailill of Fal fell a corse.

Never an hour of defeat hadst thou with the fair-meadowed Carroll;
Just was he ever in quarrel, faithful in every feat.
Gladly danced by each day, thy gleesome nights were unreckoned;
Monarchs at sun-dawn beckoned thee into combat away.

Whom henceforth shalt thou curse or to Victory's goal be starting?
With whom, since Carroll's departing be bedded for better or worse?
Weapon of Hero on Hero, fear not thou shalt ever lie rusted,
Still for a champion trusted forth on his foes thou shalt spring.

"Proudest Prize of the Gael!" shall glorious Naas repute thee,
Finn of the Feasts shall salute thee; "Sword of Carroll, all hail!"

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