I quite perceive that I have not always succeeded in reproducing the precise shade of meaning of words certain of which had become antiquated and even unintelligible to the native scholars of the later Middle Irish period themselves. This is especially true of the passages in rosc, which are fortunately not numerous and which were probably intentionally made as obscure and allusive as possible, the object being, perhaps, as much the music of the words as the sense. Indeed, in some cases, I have considered myself fortunate if I have succeeded in getting their mere drift. No one takes to heart more than the present writer the truth of Zimmer’s remark, that “it needs no great courage to affirm that not one of the living Celtic scholars, with all the aids at their disposal, possesses such a ready understanding of the contents of, for example, the most important Old Irish saga-text, “The Cualnge Cattle-raid,” as was required thirty or more years ago in Germany of a good Gymnasium graduate in the matter of the Homeric poems and without aids of any kind." However, in spite of its defects, I trust I have not incurred the censure of Don Quijote by doing what he accuses bad translators of and shown the wrong side of the tapestry, thereby obscuring the beauty and exactness of the work, and I venture to hope that my translation may prove of service in leading students to take an interest in the language and literature of Ireland.
WORKS ON THE TAIN BO CUALNGE
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