Macha in Dinnshenchas from Edinburgh
Ard Macha, where does this name come from?
It's not difficult (to say). Masha, wife of Nemed, son of Agnoman, died there, and it was the twelfth plain that was cleared by Nemed, and it was granted to his wife that her name would be given to her, and it was she who lived in a dream, long before that happened, all the wrong that was done in the management of Cooley's cows. In her sleep it was revealed to her all the evil that would ensue, and the difficulties and wicked quarrels: so that her heart was broken within her. Hence Ard Macha, "Height of Macha".
Masha, the very perceptive, knew
By a vision - graces we will not say -
The events of the time (?) Of Cualgne -
It was an act of pride, not boasting.
Or else, Macha, the daughter of Aed the Red, son of Badurn: it is by her that Emain Macha was limited, and there she was buried when Rechtaid Red-arm had killed her. For his lament, Oenach Macha, "the Assembly of Masha", was celebrated. Hence Magh Macha.
Aliter. Masha, then, the wife of Crunn, son of Agnoman, came there to present herself against the horses of King Conchobar. Because her husband had declared that his wife was faster than horses. However, the woman was then pregnant: so that she asked for a delay until her fruit fell, and this was not granted to her. So she took part in the race, and she was the fastest. And when she reached the end of the trail, she fathered a boy and a girl - Fir and Fial were their names - and she said the Ulates would be in childbirth debility whenever the emergency struck them. Hence the debility of the Ulates for the time of five days and four nights (at a time) from the era of Conchobar to the reign of Mál, son of Rochraide (AD 107). And it is said that she was Grian Banchure, "the Sun of Women", daughter of Midir de Bri Leith. And after that she died, and her tomb was erected on Ard Masha, and her lamentation was made, and her stone pillars were erected. From there comes Ard Macha, "Height of Macha".
Masha wife of Nemed son of Agnoman died there (in Mag Macha) and was buried, and this was the twelfth plain that was cleared by Nemed, and he granted it to his wife so that she could bear his name. Hence Mag Macha "plain of Macha".
Otherwise: Masha the daughter of Aed the Red, son of Badurn - it is by her that Emain Macha was limited - was buried there when Rechtaid with the red forearm had killed her. To mourn her, Oenach Macha, "Fair of Macha", was established. Hence Mag Macha.
Otherwise: Masha wife of Crund, son of Agnoman, went there to run against the horses of King Conchobar, because her husband had said that his wife was faster (than them). Then however the woman was pregnant with children: so much so that she asked for a delay until her fruit fell, and this was not granted to her. So the race was on, and it was the fastest. And she declared that the Ulates would be in the debility of childbirth whenever necessity fell upon them. This is why the Ulates suffered from debility for the time of a novena from the reign of Conchobar until the reign of Mál son of Rochraide "big heart". And it is said that she was Grían Banchure "the Sun of Women", daughter of Mider de Bri Leith. And after that she died, and her tomb was erected on Ard Masha, and her lament was sung, and her tombstone was planted. From there comes Ard Machae, "Height of Macha".
1. In the plain where our horsemen ride, there by the will of the Lord the righteous judge,
was buried in great solitude a beautiful woman, Macha wife of Nemed.
2. Twice six plains had cleared Nemed in front of his house, to gain fame;
it is across one of these plains, to my joy, that I walk steadily.
3. Masha, illuminated by all excellences, the noble daughter of Aed with the red-arms,
the raven of the raids, was buried here when Rechtaid Red-wrist killed her.
4. It was she who, unaided, fashioned with her brooch for the sinister sons of Dithorba
- It was no small feat - Emain, above the sloping plain.
5. To mourn her - it was a worthy start - was organized there by the entire Ulate army,
forever, the Assembly of Masha on the wide plain.
6. It is fair that I should now say (because it is a business that requires daring),
the tale of what happened to the Ulates residing in the throes of childbirth, an irremediable fate.
7. There came a day in luminous glory in the Assembly gathered for Conchobar,
from the waters eastward a man rich in flocks, Cruinn son of Agnoman, lord of hundreds.
8. Then they brought, walking proudly, two horses, as I have never seen before,
to the "warrior horse race" - don't hide it! - held in this season by the king of Ulates.
9. Although their fellows have not been found among the horses of Mag Da Gabra,
Cruind, fervent and discourteous, declared that his wife was faster, although childishly heavy.
10. “Stop the chieftain! Said Conchobar, the leader of the battles,
"Until the noble warrior's wife comes running against my steeds." "
11. A messenger was sent to fetch her by the king of the strong flat spears,
asking him to come from the waves of the ocean to support Cruinn's vain chatter.
12. The woman came without delay to the Assembly with formidable exploits:
her two names, often heard in the west, were Grian the Luminous and Masha the Pure.
13. Her father, not powerless in his household, was Midir de Bri Leith meic Celtchair;
in her roofless home to the west she was Grian, the sun of women.
14. When she arrived, eager for glory, she first asked for a delay.
to the army of undefeated clans, because the hour to give birth had come.
15. The Ulates then replied to the quick and agile lady, pregnant with children,
that she would find no favor before the race in front of the armed battalion of the famous Line.
16. Then the shining and quick lady undressed, and untied her hair around her head:
without being pressed with a fierce cry, she came to the race, to the tournament.
17. The horses were brought close to her, so that they surpassed the noble lady:
for the Ulates to maintain this courier crew at all times was a bad omen.
18. So swift that the prince's couriers were among the tribes, gathered in number,
more rapid was the woman, who did not spare her strength: the king's horses were left behind.
19. When she reached the end of the track - noble was her race, great and famous
- She gave birth to twins, without delay, in front of the people of Fort de la Branche Rouge.
20. A boy and a girl together - by his sad deed was their birth;
Fir and Fial were the names of the twins brought into the world by Grian, who did not spare his strength.
21. She made the lasting promise on the pillars of the Red Branch,
that in times of war, they would be in a situation of distress, anguish and in labor pains.
22. The promise which she then pronounced brought affliction on the seigneurial army;
she was attached to them - it was no time for bravado - until the ninth generation.
23. Since the reign of Conchobar de Cerna over the strong troops of Emain du Nord,
misfortune called by his imprecation forged their ruin until the reign of Mál son of Rochraide.
24. Then the woman died of this painful disease, it was certain,
and was buried there, in solitude in Ard Macha, rich in mead.
25. Of the life, of the death of the woman, celebrated in the lines of the seed of Adam,
whose virtues were not forgotten in this place, his name was attached to this plain.
26. Since Patrick first brought the Faith to Ard Macha, where men gather,
the generous site he chooses is a privileged burial place, the great plain itself.
27. O king who brought desolation to Emain, after it was forsaken by his brave warriors,
do not let my soul be sad in your house, after having sung the hymns of poets in the noble plain.