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.
[] “Valour none nor generous deed Comes from Lugaid’s craven son; Nor will kings see lances red, If this ‘Black-tongue’ Dubthach be!”

    [a] The reference is to the maidens of Emain Macha slain by Dubthach in
    punishment for the death of the sons of Usnech.

    [b] That is, Dubthach.

    [c] That is, Cuchulain.

    [1-1] LU. and YBL. 2077.

    [2-2] Reading:  Betit buind fri brannfossaib.

    [3-3] This quatrain is almost identical with the one translated on page

Thus far ’The Scythed Chariot.’[a]

[a] A very obscure and fragmentary passage in LU. and YBL. (lines 2083-2106, edition of Strachan and O’Keeffe, lacking in Eg. 93, Revue Celtique, tome xv, page 204), consisting of a series of short strains in rosc spoken in turn by Ailill, Medb, Gabran the poet, and Fergus, is omitted in the translation.

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[Page 201]



[W.2814.] Then it was that a very bold young warrior of the Ulstermen came nigh the hosts; his bye-name was Oengus son of Oenlam Gabe (’the One-handed Smith’).  And he drove the hosts before him from Moda Loga, which at that time was called Lugmud, to Ath da Fert (’the Ford of the Two Gravemounds’) in Sliab Fuait. [2]And he suffered them not to go by, but he showered them with stones.[2] What scholars say is:  If Oengus son of Oenlam Gabe had fought them in single combat, [3]two-thirds of[3] the host would have fallen before that by him in single battle [4]at Emain Macha.[4] Howbeit it was by no means so that they acted, but they attacked him from ambush on every side, till he fell at their hands [5]in unequal fight[5] at Ath da Fert in Sliab Fuait.

    [1-1] LU. fo. 82a, in the margin.

    [2-2] LU. and YBL. 2135-2136.

    [3-3] Stowe.

    [4-4] LU. and YBL. 2137.

    [5-5] LU. and YBL. 2139.

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[Page 202]



[W.2823.] Then came to them Fiacha Fialdana (’the Generous and Intrepid’) of the Ulstermen to speak with the son of his mother’s sister, namely with Mane Andoe (’the Unslow’) of the Connachtmen.  And thus he came, and Dubthach Doel (’the Black Tongue’) of Ulster with him.  It was in this wise that Mane Andoe came, and Doche son of Maga along with him.  When now Doche macMagach espied Fiacha Fialdana, he straightway hurled a spear at him, but so that it went through his own friend, through Dubthach Doel of Ulster.  Then Fiacha Fialdana hurled a spear at Doche macMagach, so that it went through his own friend, through Mane Andoe of Connacht.  Thereupon said the men of Erin:  “A mishap in throwing,” they said, “is what hath happened to the men, for each of them to kill his friend and nearest relation.”  Hence this is entitled Imroll Belaig Eoin (’the Misthrow at Bird-pass’).  And ’the Other Misthrow at Bird-pass’ is another name for it.

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