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.4973.] “A wonder of a morning, A wondrous [1]time![1] When hosts will be confused, [2]Kings[2] turned back in flight! [3]Necks will be broken, The sand[a] made red,[3] When forth breaks the battle, The seven chieftains before, Of Ulster’s host round Conchobar!  Their women will they defend, For their herds will they fight At Garech and Ilgarech, On the morning after the morrow! [4]Heroes will be slaughtered then, Hounds cut to pieces, Steeds overwhelmed!"[4]

    [1-1] YBL. 45b, 7.

    [2-2] Reading with YBL. 45b, 8; LL. has ‘hosts’.

    [3-3] YBL. 45b, 8-9.

    [a] Or, ‘the sun.’

    [4-4] YBL. 45b, 11-14.

On that same night, Dubthach Doel (’the Scorpion’)[b] of Ulster [5]saw the dream wherein were the hosts at Garech and Ilgarech.  Then it was[5] he uttered these words [6]in his sleep[6] among the men of Erin at Slemain Mide that night:—­

    “Great be the morn,
    The morn of Meath! 
    Great be the truce
    The [7]truce[7] of Culenn!

    “Great be the fight,
    The fight of [8]Clartha![8]
    Great, too, the steeds,
    The steeds of Assal!

    “Great be the plague,
    The plague of Tuath-Bressi![c]
    Great be the storm,
    Ulster’s battle-storm round Conchobar!

    “Their women will they defend,
    For their herds will they fight
    At Garech and Ilgarech,
    On the morning after the morrow!”

    [5-5] YBL. 45b, 4-5.

    [6-6] YBL. 45b, 5-6.

    [7-7] YBL. 45b, 19.

    [8-8] Reading with Stowe.

    [b] See note, page 198.

    [c] Probably Connacht.

[W.5003.] Then [1]when the hosts were assembled at Garech and Ilgarech,[1] Dubthach was awakened from his sleep, so that Nemain brought confusion on the host and they fell trembling in their arms under the points of their spears and weapons, so that an hundred warriors of them fell dead [] in the midst of their camp and quarters at the fearfulness of the shout they raised on high.  Be that as it would, that night was not the calmest for the men of Erin that they passed before or since, because of the forebodings and predictions and because of the spectres and visions that were revealed to them.

    [1-1] YBL. 45b, 4-5.

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[Page 309]



[2]While these things were being done, the Connachtmen by the counsel of Ailill, Medb, and Fergus, resolved to send messengers from thence to spy out the men of Ulster, to make certain if they had taken possession of the plain.[2] [W.5011.] Said Ailill:  “Truly have I succeeded,” said he, “in laying waste Ulster and the land of the Picts [3]and Cualnge[3] from Monday at Summer’s end till Spring’s

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