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.
[W.4485.] “Dear the homestead, ’Horse-head’s Dun,’[a] Where our hosts were wont to go.  Dear the water, soft and sweet; Dear the isle, ’Isle of the Red!’[b]

    “Sad the care, oh, sad the care,
    Cualnge’s Cow-raid brought on me: 
    Cethern, Fintan’s son, to keen. 
    Oh that he had shunned his woe!

    “Great the doings, these, oh, great,
    And the deed that here was done: 
    I bewailing him till death,
    Him that has been smitten down!

    “Finna, Eocho’s daughter, I,
    Found a fight of circling spears. 
    Had my champion had his arms: 
    By his side a slaughtered heap!"[4]

    [4-4] Stowe, H. 1. 13 and Add. 18,748.

    [b] Reading Finna, to agree with the reading in LL., supra, page 279. 
    Inna, in Stowe, etc.

    [c] That is, unshrived of their sins (?), a Christian intrusion

    [d] Literally, ‘heifer’s.’

    [e] Literally, ‘a bull.’

    [a] In Irish, Dun cind eich.

    [b] In Irish, Innis ruaidh.

    [4-4] See note 4, page 211.

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[Page 283]



[W.4502.] Fintan, himself the son of Niall Niamglonnach (’of the brilliant Exploits’) from Dun da Benn [1]in the north,[1] was father of Cethern son of Fintan.  And he came to save the honour of Ulster and to avenge his son upon the hosts.  Thrice fifty [2]with many pointed weapons[2] was his number.  And thus it was they came, and two spear-heads on each shaft with them, a spear-head on the top and a spear-head at the butt, so that it made no difference whether they wounded the hosts with the points or with the butts.  They offered three[a] battles to the hosts.  And thrice their own number fell at their hands, and there fell also the people [] of Fintan son of Niall, all excepting Fintan’s son Crimthann alone,[3] so that there did not escape any of his people excepting himself and his son.[3] This one was saved under a canopy of shields by Ailill and Medb. [4]And the son was separated from him, his father Fintan, and was saved by Ailill out of fear of Fintan and in order that Fintan might not wreak his fury on them till he should come with Conchobar to the battle.[4] Then said the men of Erin, it would be no disgrace for Fintan son of Niall to withdraw from the camp and quarters, and that they would give up Crimthann son of Fintan to him, and then the hosts would fall back a day’s march to the north again; and that he [W.4515.] should cease from his deeds of arms against the hosts till he would come to encounter them on the day of the great battle at the place where the four grand provinces of Erin would clash at Garech and Ilgarech in the battle of the Cattle-reaving of

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