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.

Not long was Laeg there when he witnessed something:  the men of Erin all arising at one time, taking their shields and their spears and their swords and their helmets, and urging the men-of-war before them to the battle.  The men of Erin, every single man of them, fell to smite and to batter, to cut and to hew, to slay and to destroy the others [W.5859.] for a long space and while.  Thereupon Cuchulain asked of his charioteer, of Laeg son of Riangabair, at the time that a bright cloud came over the sun:  [1]"Look for us![1] How fight [2]the Ulstermen[2] the battle now, O my master Laeg?” “Like men they fight,” Laeg answered.  “Should I mount my chariot, and En, Conall [3]Cernach’s (’the Victorious’)[3] charioteer, his chariot, and should we go in two chariots from one wing to the other on the points of the weapons, neither hoof nor wheel nor axle-tree nor chariot-pole would touch [4]the ground[4] for the denseness and closeness and firmness with which their arms are held in the hands of the men-at-arms at this time.”

    [1-1] YBL. 51a, 45.

    [2-2] YBL. 51a, 45.

    [3-3] Stowe, H. 1. 13, Add. and YBL. 51a, 47.

    [4-4] Stowe and Add.

“Alas, that I am not yet strong enough to be amongst them [5]now!"[5] cried Cuchulain; “for, were I able, my breach would be manifest there to-day like that of another,” spake Cuchulain.  “But this avow, O Cucuc,” said Laeg:  “’tis no reproach to thy valour; ’tis no disgrace to thine honour.  Thou hast wrought great deeds before now and thou wilt work great deeds hereafter.”

    [5-5] Stowe, H. 1. 13 and Add.

Then began the men of Erin to smite and to batter, to cut and to hew, to slay and to destroy the others for a long space and while.  Next came to them the nine chariot-fighters of the champions from Norseland, and the three foot-warriors along with them, and no swifter were the nine chariot-men than the three men on foot.

Then came to them also [6]on the ford of hosting[6] the governors of the men of Erin.  And this was their sole office [7]with Medb[7] in the battle:  to smite to death Conchobar if it were he that suffered defeat, and to rescue Ailill and Medb if it should be they were defeated.  And these are the names of the governors: 

    [6-6] YBL. 51b, 6.

    [7-7] Stowe, H. 1. 13 and Add.

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[W.5883.] The three Conare from Sliab Mis, the three Lussen from Luachair, the three Niadchorb from Tilach Loiscthe, the three Doelfer from Deill, the three Damaltach from Dergderc, the three Buder from the Buas, the three Baeth from Buagnige, the three Buageltach from Mag Breg, the three Suibne from the Siuir, the three Eochaid from Ane, the three Malleth from Loch Erne, the three Abatruad from Loch Ri, the three macAmra

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