the lion and fox (SÉadnadh MÓr)

A bard in the service of the Breifne chieftain, Brian Maguire, Tadgh Dall Ó Huiggín was a poet of exquisite skill. His 1588 poem in praise of his patron, “the Lion and Fox,” uses the device of an old fable to comment on the treacherous political landscape leading up to the nine-years' war.

Within 20 years of the writing of this poem the Gaelic world which had existed, unchanged for over 2000 years, had completely collapsed.

The last Gaelic chieftains had fled after the disaster of Kinsale and the signing of the treatty of Mellifont -"the Flight of the Earls,"- and the place of the File and the Gaelic tribal world in general had been eradicated forever.

In this poem Ó Huiggín sticks fastidiously to the 8 and 7 syllable pattern of Seadnadh Mór.