The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Táin Bó Cúalnge eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 368 pages of information about The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Tin B Calnge.

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.

* * * * *

[Page 273]

XXIIa

[1]CETHERN’S BLOODY WOUNDS[1]

[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; [LL.fo.90a.] 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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