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.

    [a] Following Windisch’s emendation of the text.

    [1-1] Stowe.

Menn son of Salcholga agreed to that, to leave the camp and halting-place.  And the hosts fell back a day’s march for to rest and wait, [2]and Menn went his way to his own land.[2]

    [2-2] Stowe.

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[Page 287]



[W.4551.] Then came the charioteers of the Ulstermen to them.  Thrice fifty was their number.  They offered three battles to the hosts.  Thrice their number fell at their hands, and the charioteers themselves fell on the field whereon they stood.  Hence this here is the ’Accoutrement of the Charioteers.’ [1]It is for this cause it is called the ’Accoutrement of the Charioteers,’ because it is with rocks and with boulders and with clumps of earth they accomplished the defeat of the men of Erin.[1]

    [1-1] Stowe.

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[Page 288]



[W.4556.] [2]Cuchulain despatched his charioteer to[2] Rochad [3]Rigderg (’Red-king’)[3] son of Fathemon, [4]from Rigdorn in the north,[4] [5]that he should come to his aid.[5] He was of Ulster. [6]The gilla comes up to Rochad and tells him, if he has come out of his weakness, to go to the help of Cuchulain, that they should employ a ruse to reach the host to seize some of them and slay them.  Rochad set out from the north.[6] Thrice fifty[a] warriors was his number, and he took possession of a hill fronting the hosts. [7]"Scan the plain for us to-day,” said Ailill.  “I see a company crossing the plain,” the watchman answered, “and a tender youth comes in their midst; the other warriors reach but up to his shoulder.”  “Who is that warrior, O Fergus?” asked Ailill.  “Rochad son of Fathemon,” he answered; “and it is to bring help to Cuchulain he comes.  I know what ye had best do with him,” Fergus continued.  “Let a hundred warriors go from ye with the maiden yonder to the middle of the plain and let the maid go before them, and let a horseman go tell Rochad to come alone to hold converse with the maid and let hands be laid on him, and thus shall be removed all fear of his people from us.[7] Finnabair, [W.4558.] daughter of Ailill and Medb, perceived that and she went to speak to her mother thereof, even to Medb. [1]Now it happened that Finnabair loved Rochad.  It is he was the fairest young warrior in Ulster at that time.[1] [2]And Finnabair disclosed her secret and her love[a] to her mother.[2] “Truly have I loved yonder warrior for a long time,” said she; “and it is he is my sweetheart, [3]my first love[3] and mine own choice one in wooing [4]of the men of Erin."[4] “An thou hast [5]so[5] loved him, daughter,” [6]quoth Ailill and Medb,[6] “sleep with him this night and crave for us a truce of him for the hosts, until [7]with Conchobar[7] he encounters us on the day of the great battle when four of the grand provinces of Erin will meet at Garech and Ilgarech in the battle of the Foray of Cualnge.”

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