The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Táin Bó Cúalnge eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 487 pages of information about The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Táin Bó Cúalnge.
his shoulders.  A hundred bright-purple windings of gold-flaming red gold at his neck.  A hundred salmon-coloured (?) cords strung with carbuncles as a covering round his head.  Four spots on either of his two cheeks, even a yellow spot, and a green spot, and a blue spot, [W.2722.] and a purple spot.  Seven jewels of the eye’s brilliance was either of his kingly eyes.  Seven toes to either of his two feet.  Seven fingers to either of his two hands, with the clutch of hawk’s claw, with the grip of hedgehog’s talon in every separate one of them.

    [4-4] H. 2. 17.

He also put on him that day his fair-day dress.  To this apparel about him belonged, namely, a beautiful, well-fitting, purple, fringed, five-folded mantle.  A white brooch of [1]silvered bronze or of[1] white silver incrusted with burnished gold over his fair white breast, as if it were a full-fulgent lantern that eyes of men could not behold [] for its resplendence and crystal shining.  A [2]striped[2] chest-jacket of silk on his skin, fairly adorned with borders and braidings and trimmings of gold and silver and silvered bronze; it reached to the upper hem of his dark, brown-red warlike breeches of royal silk.  A magnificent, brown-purple buckler he bore, [3]with five wheels of gold on it,[3] with a rim of pure white silver around it.  A gold-hilted hammered sword [4]with ivory guards, raised high at his girdle[4] at his left side.  A long grey-edged spear together with a trenchant bye-spear for defence, with thongs for throwing and with rivets of whitened bronze, alongside him in the chariot.  Nine heads he bore in one of his hands and ten in the other, and these he brandished before the hosts in token of his prowess and cunning. [5]This then was a night’s attack for Cuchulain on the hosts of four of the five provinces of Erin.[5] Medb hid her face beneath a shelter of shields lest Cuchulain should cast at her that day.

    [1-1] YBL. 2040.

    [2-2] YBL. 2043.

    [3-3] LU. and YBL. 2045.

    [4-4] LU. and YBL. 2046.

    [5-5] LU. and YBL. 2050.

Then it was that the maidens [6]of Connacht[6] besought the men of Erin to lift them up on the flat of the shields above the warriors’ shoulders; [7]and the women [8]of Munster[8] clomb on the men[7] to behold the aspect of [W.2746.] Cuchulain.  For they marvelled at the beautiful, comely appearance he showed them that day compared with the low, arrogant shape of magic in which they had seen him the night before.

    [6-6] LU. and YBL. 1205.

    [7-7] LU. and YBL. 2052.

    [8-8] YBL, added later above the line.

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[Page 198]



[W.2749.] [1]And Dubthach’s wife prayed to be lifted to regard the form of Cuchulain.[1] Then it was that jealousy, ill-will and envy possessed Dubthach Doel (’the Black-tongue’)[b] of Ulster because of his wife [2]in regard to Cuchulain; for he saw his wife climb on the men to get a glimpse of Cuchulain;[2] and he counselled the hosts to act treacherously towards Cuchulain and to entrap him, even to lay up an ambush around him on all sides to the end that he might fall by them.  And he spake these words:—­

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The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Táin Bó Cúalnge from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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