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.

Thereafter Cethern son of Fintan asked another leech of Cuchulain to heal and to cure him [1]forasmuch as the leeches of the men of Erin had failed him.[1] “Come, master Laeg,” quoth Cuchulain, “go for me to Fingin the seer-leech, at ‘Fingin’s Grave-mound’ at Leccan (’the Brow’) of Sliab Fuait, [2]him that is[2] leech to Conchobar.  Bid him come to heal Cethern son of Fintan.”

    [1-1] Stowe.

    [2-2] YBL. 40a, 40.

Laeg hastened to Fingin the seer-leech at ‘Fingin’s Grave-mound’ at Leccan of Sliab Fuait, to the leech of Conchobar.  And he told him to go cure Cethern son of Fintan.  Thereupon Fingin the prophet-leech came [3]with him to where Cuchulain and Cethern were.[3] As soon as he was come, Cethern son of Fintan showed him his stabs and his cuts, his sores and his bloody wounds.

    [3-3] Stowe.

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[Page 273]



[W.4299.] [2]"Look at this bloody wound for me, O Fingin,” said Cethern.[2] Fingin looked at the bloody wound.  “Why, it is a slight, unwillingly given wound we behold here,” said the leech; [3]"even a wound that some one of thine own blood hath given thee, and no desire or wish had he therefor,[3] and it will not carry thee off at once.”  “That, now, is true,” exclaimed Cethern.  “A lone man came upon me there; bushy hair on him; a blue mantle wrapped around him; a silver brooch in the mantle over his breast; an oval shield with plaited rim he bore; a five-pointed spear in his hand; a pronged spare spear at his side.  He gave this bloody wound.  He bore away a slight wound from me too.”  “Why, we know that man!” cried Cuchulain; “’twas Illann Ilarchless (’Illann of many feats’) son of Fergus [4]macRoig.[4] And he would not wish that thou shouldst fall by his hand, but he gave thee this mock-blow that the men of Erin might not have it to say it was to betray them or to forsake them if he gave it not.”

    [1-1] The heading is taken from LL.

    [2-2] Stowe.

    [3-3] Stowe.

    [4-4] YBL. 41b, 19.

“Now look at this bloody wound for me, O Fingin my master,” said Cethern.  Fingin looked closely into the bloody wound.  “Why, ’tis a woman’s wanton deed of arms we behold here,” said the leech; [5]"namely the wound which a warrior-woman inflicted on thee,” said he.[5] “Aye, that is true then,” quoth Cethern; “a woman [W.4314.] came upon me there by herself.  A woman, beautiful, fair-faced, long-cheeked, tall; a golden-yellow head of hair [1]down to the top of her two shoulder-blades she wore; a smock of royal sammet next to her white skin;[1] [2]two birds of gold on her shoulders;[2] a purple cloak without other colour she had around her; [] a brooch of gold in the cloak over her bosom; a straight, ridged spear, red-flaming in her hand.  She it was that gave me this bloody wound.  She bore away a slight wound from me too.”  “Ah, but we know that woman,” cried Cuchulain; “Medb daughter of Eocho Fedlech, daughter of the High King of Erin; it is she that came unto us in that dress.  A victory and triumph and trophy she had considered it hadst thou fallen at her hands.”

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