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.
Cualnge, as was foretold by the druids of the men of Erin.  Fintan son of Niall consented to that, and they gave over his son to him. [1]He made friendship with them then when his son had been restored to him.[1] He withdrew from the camp and station, and the hosts marched a day’s journey back to the north again, to stop and cease their advance. [2]Thereafter Fintan went to his own land.[2] In this manner they found each man of the people of Fintan son of Niall and each man of the men of Erin, with the lips and the nose [3]and the ear[3] of each of them in the teeth and tusks of the other [4]after they had used up their arms.[4] The men of Erin gave thought to that:  “This is a tooth-fight for us,” said they; “the tooth-fight of Fintan’s people and of Fintan himself.”  So this is the ‘Tooth-fight’ of Fintan.

    [1-1] Stowe.

    [2-2] YBL. 42b, 36.

    [a] ‘Seven,’ YBL. 42b, 38.

    [3-3] YBL. 42b, 38-39.

    [4-4] YBL. 42b, 39-43.

    [1-1] YBL. 42b, 43-44.

    [2-2] Stowe.

    [3-3] Stowe.

    [4-4] Stowe.

* * * * *

[Page 285]



[W.4529.] [1]It was then came [2]to them[2] great[1] Menn son of Salcholga, he from Renna (’the Waterways’) of the Boyne [3]in the north.[3] Twelve[a] men [4]with many-pointed weapons,[4] that was his number.  It was thus 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 attacks upon the hosts.  Three times their own number fell at their hands and there fell twelve men of the people of Menn, [5]so that there remained alive of them but Menn alone.[5] But Menn himself was [6]sorely[6] wounded in the strait, so that blood ran crimson on him [7]and his followers too were crimsoned.[7] Then said the men of Erin:  “Red is this shame,” said they, “for Menn son of Salcholga, that his people, [8]twelve men,[8] should be slain and destroyed and he himself wounded till blood ran crimson red upon him.”  Hence here is the ‘Reddening Shame of Menn,’ [9]the name of this tale on the Spoil of the Kine of Cualnge.[9]

    [1-1] Stowe.

    [2-2] YBL. 42b, 45.

    [3-3] Stowe.

    [a] ‘Thirty,’ YBL. 42b, 45.

    [4-4] YBL. 42b, 46.

    [5-5] Stowe.

    [6-6] Stowe.

    [7-7] YBL. 42b, 49.

    [8-8] Stowe.

    [9-9] Stowe.

Then said the men of Erin, it would be no dishonour for Menn son of Salcholga to leave the camp and quarters, and that the hosts would go a day’s journey back to the [W.4542.] north again, and that Menn should cease his weapon-feats[a] on the hosts till Conchobar arose out of his ‘Pains’ and battle would be offered them at Garech and Ilgarech [1]on the day of the great battle when the men of Erin and of Ulster would meet together in combat in the great battle of the Cualnge Cow-spoil,[1] as the druids and soothsayers and the knowers of the men of Erin had foretold it.

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