The Daughter of Maeve


Queen Maeve, jealous of the love of Fraoch for her daughter, sends him on a deadly quest for rowan berries that grow above the dragon’s mouth. Maeve’s daughter, guided by love, delivers a golden blade to Fraoch that helps him slay the beast; sadly, he himself is killed in the fray.

Am béud chuir an Righinn Maibh nan còrn fial
Air Fraoch mac an Fhithich leis an iadach gheur.

Thainig easlainte throm, throm,
Air inghean Odhaich nan còrn fial,

Agus chuir i fios gu Fraoch
‘S dh’ fhidir an laoch ciod e a miann.

Labhair i nach biodh i slàn
Mur faigheadh i làn a bas mhaoth
De chaorann an lochain fhuair
O, ‘s gun a bhi ‘gam buain ach Fraoch.

Ghluais Froach, le ceum ‘aigh
Is chaidh e shnàmh air an loch,
Fhuair e bhéist ‘na sior-throm suain
‘S a ceann a suas ris an dos.

Rug a’ bhéist air anns an tràigh
Ghlac i a làmh ann a craos,
Ghlac an laoch i air a dà ghial —
Is truagh, a Righ! nach maireann Fraoch.

Thainig inghean ùr nan geal làmh,
Ainnir a’ chuailein chais àill.

Ta osna caraid an cluain Fhraoich,
Gul nam mna air Cruachan fuar

An gaol a thug inghean Maibh nan còrn fial
Do Fraoch mac an Fhithich nan arm géur.

The tale of the jealousy of Queen Maeve,
For Fraoch MacFithich, of the sharp blades.

She fell ill, and her sickness lay heavily
Upon the queen of the overflowing horns.

She told Fraoch of her malady;
He asked what he could do for remedy.

She said that she would not heal
Unless her tender hands were full
Of rowan berries from the frozen lake,
Oh, and only if they are plucked by Fraoch.

Fraoch proceeded, struggling step by step,
As he swam through the lake,
Where the beast lay sleeping,
Her head resting among the rowan berries.

The beast caught him on the beach.
She grabbed his hand,
She seized the hero between her two jaws —
And, miserable fate! Too late for Fraoch.

Maeve’s white-handed daughter came,
A fresh maid with golden hair.

The sigh of a friend by the burial cairn,
The woman wept cold tears, by Cruachan.

The tale of the love of the daughter of Maeve,
For Fraoch MacFithich, of the sharp blades.