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.


“There I saw six men in front of the same room.  Fair yellow manes upon them:  green mantles about them:  tin brooches at the opening of their mantles.  Half-horses (centaurs) are they, like Conall Cernach.  Each of them throws his mantle round another and is as swift as a millwheel.  Thine eye can hardly follow them.  Liken thou those, O Fer rogain!”

“This is easy for me.  Those are the King of Tara’s six cupbearers, namely Uan and Broen and Banna, Delt and Drucht and Dathen.  That feat does not hinder them from their skinking, and it blunts not their intelligence thereat.  Good are the warriors that are there!  Thrice their number will fall by them.  They will share prowess with any six in the Hostel, and they will escape from their foes, for they are out of the elfmounds.  They are the best cupbearers in Erin.  Woe to him that shall wreak the Destruction were it only because of them!”

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


“There I beheld a great champion, in front of the same room, on the floor of the house.  The shame of baldness is on him.  White as mountain cotton-grass is each hair that grows through his head.  Earrings of gold around his ears.  A mantle speckled, coloured, he wore.  Nine swords in his hand, and nine silvern shields, and nine apples of gold.  He throws each of them upwards, and none of them falls on the ground, and there is only one of them on his palm; each of them rising and falling past another is just like the movement to and fro of bees on a day of beauty.  When he was swiftest, I beheld him at the feat, and as I looked, they uttered a cry about him and they were all on the house-floor.  Then the Prince who is in the house said to the juggler:  ’We have come together since thou wast a little boy, and till to-night thy juggling never failed thee.’

“’Alas, alas, fair master Conaire, good cause have I. A keen, angry eye looked at me:  a man with the third of a pupil which sees the going of the nine bands.  Not much to him is that keen, wrathful sight!  Battles are fought with it,’ saith he.  ’It should be known till doomsday that there is evil in front of the Hostel.’

“Then he took the swords in his hand, and the silvern shields and the apples of gold; and again they uttered a cry and were all on the floor of the house.  That amazed him, and he gave over his play and said: 

’O Fer caille, arise!  Do not ... its slaughter.  Sacrifice thy pig!  Find out who is in front of the house to injure the men of the Hostel.’

‘There,’ said he, ’are Fer Cualngi, Fer le, Fer gar, Fer rogel, Fer rogain.  They have announced a deed which is not feeble, the annihilation of Conaire by Donn Desa’s five sons, by Conaire’s five loving fosterbrothers.’

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