Anonymous (12th century) The anonymous poem now called "A Grave Marked with ogam" was originally untitled. It has seven four-line stanzas, with the second and fourth line of each stanza rhyming. As oGHAM stones so often mark graves, the stone in the poem is no exception. Scholars attribute the poem to Oisin. It focuses on the deaths of Oscar, son of the author, and Cairbre, or Caipre, who kill each other at the battle of Gabhra. Finn MacCool (Irish war leader) and the Fenian clan, of which oscar and his father are members, demand tribute from Cairbre when the latter announces the marriage of his daughter. Cairbre refuses, and a battle ensues. The poet Oisin fought in the battle and claims to have killed twice 50 warriors. The power of Finn and the Fenians was broken following their defeat in battle and the death of oscar. The poem ends with the claim that the ogham stone would be remembered better if Finn had lived. While the poem comes from the 12th century in Irish, it remains one of our best insights into ogham stones and their use in early Irish culture. See also early Irish verse.
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