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.

    [6-6] Stowe.

    [7-7] Stowe and YBL. 45a, 24.

    [1-1] YBL. 45a, 26.

    [2-2] YBL. 45a, 27.

    [3-3] Stowe.

    [4-4] YBL. 45a, 29.

Thereupon Conchobar and Celtchar proceeded with thirty hundred spear-bristling chariot-fighters to Ath Irmidi (’the Ford of Spear-points’).  And there met them there eight-score huge men of the body-guard of Ailill and Medb, with eight-score women [5]of the Ulstermen’s women[5] as their spoils.  Thus was their portion of the plunder of Ulster:  A woman-captive in the hand of each man of them.  Conchobar and Celtchar struck off their eight-score heads and released their eight-score captive-women.  Ath Irmidi (’the Ford of Spear-points’) was the name of the place till that time; Ath Fene is its name ever since.  It is for this it is called Ath Fene, because the warriors of the Fene from the east and the warriors of the Fene from the west encountered one another in battle and contest man for man on the brink of the ford.

[6]Touching the four grand provinces of Erin, they encamped at Slemain Mide (’Slane of Meath’) that night, and[6] Conchobar and Celtchar returned that night to the green in Iraird Cuillinn hard by the men of Ulster.  Thereupon Celtchar aroused the men of Ulster.

    [5-5] Stowe.
    [6-6] Stowe and H. 1. 13.

* * * * *

[Page 306]



[W.4954.] It was then that Celtchar [2]in his sleep[2] uttered these words [3]to Conchobar[3] in the midst of the men of Ulster in Iraird Cuillinn that night:[a]—­

    “Thirty hundred chariot-men;
    An hundred horse-companions stout;
    An hundred with an hundred druids! 
    To lead us will not fail
    The hero of the land,
    Conchobar with hosts around him! 
    Let the battle line be formed! 
    Gather now, ye warriors! 
    Battle shall be fought
    At Garech and Ilgarech
    On aftermorrow’s morn!”

    [1-1] This title is supplied by the present writer.

    [2-2] Stowe and H. 1. 13.

    [3-3] YBL. 45a, 38.

    [a] I can make nothing of the first four lines of the following poem,
    and they are consequently omitted from the translation.  The translation
    of the remainder of the rosc is largely conjectural.

[4]Or it was Cuscraid Menn (’the Stammerer’) of Macha, Conchobar’s son, who sang this lay on the night before the battle ...,[b] after the lay ’Arise ye Kings of Macha’ which Loegaire Buadach (’the Victorious ’) sang.[4]

    [4-4] YBL. 45a, 45-45b, 2.

    [b] There is a small gap in the MS.

On that same night Cormac Conlongas, Conchobar’s son, spake these words to the men of Erin at Slemain Mide that night:—­

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