The Harvard Classics, Volume 49, Epic and Saga eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 228 pages of information about The Harvard Classics, Volume 49, Epic and Saga.
mouths is visible till it comes down past their navels.  Bodies of bone (i.e. without a joint in them) all those three have.  I swear what my tribe swears, more will be killed by them at the Destruction than those they leave alive.  Six hundred warriors will fall by them in their first conflict, and a man for each of their weapons, and one for each of the three themselves.  And they will boast a triumph over a king or chief of the reavers.  It will not be more than with a bite or a blow or a kick that each of those men will kill, for no arms are allowed them in the house, since they are in ‘hostageship at the wall’ lest they do a misdeed therein.  I swear what my tribe swears, if they had armour on them, they would slay us all but a third.  Woe to him that shall wreak the Destruction, because it is not a combat against sluggards.”

“Ye cannot,” says Ingcel, etc.  “And whom sawest thou there after that?”


“I beheld a room there, with a trio in it.  Three brown, big men, with three brown heads of short hair.  Thick calf-bottoms (ankles?) they had.  As thick as a man’s waist was each of their limbs.  Three brown and curled masses of hair upon them, with a thick head:  three cloaks, red and speckled, they wore:  three black shields with clasps of gold, and three five-barbed javelins; and each had in hand an ivory-hilted sword.  This is the feat they perform with their swords:  they throw them high up, and they throw the scabbards after them, and the swords, before reaching the ground, place themselves in the scabbards.  Then they throw the scabbards first, and the swords after them, and the scabbards meet the swords and place themselves round them before they reach the ground.  Liken thou that, O Fer rogain!”

“Easy for me to liken them!  Mal son of Telband, and Munremar son of Gerrchenn, and Birderg son of Ruan.  Three crown-princes, three champions of valour, three heroes the best behind weapons in Erin!  A hundred heroes will fall by them in their first conflict, and they will share prowess with every man in the Hostel, and they will boast of the victory over a king or chief of the reavers, and afterwards they will chance to escape.  The Destruction should not be wrought even because of those three.”

“Woe to him that shall wreak the Destruction!” says Lomna.  “Better were the victory of saving them than the victory of slaying them!  Happy he who should save them!  Woe to him that shall slay them!”

“It is not feasible,” says Ingcel, etc.  “And afterwards whom sawest thou?”


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The Harvard Classics, Volume 49, Epic and Saga from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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