“’Tis harder for me,” says Ingcel: “’tis my destruction that has been ... there.”
“Truly then,” says Ingcel, “maybe I shall be the corpse that is frailest there,” etc.
“And afterwards whom sawest thou there?”
“There I beheld a room with a trio in it, to wit, three tender striplings, wearing three silken mantles. In their mantles were three golden brooches. Three golden-yellow manes were on them. When they undergo head-cleansing their golden-yellow mane reaches the edge of their haunches. When they raise their eye it raises the hair so that it is not lower than the tips of their ears, and it is as curly as a ram’s head. A ... of gold and a palace-flambeau above each of them. Every one who is in the house spares them, voice and deed and word. Liken thou that, O Fer rogain,” says Ingcel.
Fer rogain wept, so that his mantle in front of him became moist. And no voice was gotten out of his head till a third of the night had passed.
“O little ones,” says Fer rogain, “I have good reason for what I do! Those are three sons of the king of Erin: Oball and Obline and Corpre Findmor.”
“It grieves us if the tale be true,” say the sons of Donn Desa. “Good is the trio in that room. Manners of ripe maidens have they, and hearts of brothers, and valours of bears, and furies of lions. Whosoever is in their company and in their couch, and parts from them, he sleeps not and eats not at ease till the end of nine days, from lack of their companionship. Good are the youths for their age! Thrice ten will fall by each of them in their first encounter, and a man for each weapon, and three men for themselves. And one of the three will fall there. Because of that trio, woe to him that shall wreak the Destruction!”
“Ye cannot,” says Ingcel: “clouds of weakness are coming to you, etc. And whom sawest thou afterwards?”
I beheld there a room with a trio in it, to wit, a trio horrible, unheard-of, a triad of champions, etc.
* * * * *
Liken thou that, O Fer rogain?
“’Tis hard for me to liken that trio. Neither of the men of Erin nor of the men of the world do I know it, unless it be the trio that Mac cecht brought out of the land of the Fomorians by dint of duels. Not one of the Fomorians was found to fight him, so he brought away those three, and they are in Conaire’s house as sureties that, while Conaire is reigning, the Fomorians destroy neither corn nor milk in Erin beyond their fair tribute. Well may their aspect be loathy! Three rows of teeth in their heads from one ear to another. An ox with a bacon-pig, this is the ration of each of them, and that ration which they put into their