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.

    [5-5] LU. and YBL. 793-799.

    [6-6] H. 2. 17.

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[Page 85]



[W.1425.] Then came the three macArach on to the ford at Ard Ciannacht to encounter Cuchulain:  Lon (’Ousel’), Uala (’Pride’), and Diliu (’Deluge’);—­Meslir (’Lir’s Fosterling’), and Meslaoc (’Hero’s Fosterling’), and Meslethain (’Lethan’s Fosterling’) were the names of their charioteers.  This is why they came to engage with Cuchulain, for the deed he had done the day before they deemed past bearing, when the two sons of Nera son of Nuatar, son of Tacan, were slain at Ath Gabla (’Fork-ford’), and Orlam, Ailill’s son and Medb’s, was slain withal and his head displayed to the men of Erin, so that [2]their desire was[2] to kill Cuchulain in the same manner [3]in revenge for him,[3] [4]and that they should be the ones to rid the host of that pest[4] and bring his head with them to set it aloft.  They went into the wood and cut off three [5]great[5] white-hazel wood-strips (and put them) into the hands of their charioteers, so that the six of them might engage in battle at one and the same time with Cuchulain.  Cuchulain turned on them and smote their six heads from them.  Thus fell the macArach at the hands of Cuchulain, [6]because they observed not fair fight with him.  At that same time Orlam’s charioteer was between Ailill and Medb.  Cuchulain slung a stone at him, so that it broke his head and his brains came out over his ears.  Fertedil was his name.  Hence it is not true that Cuchulain slew no charioteers.  Albeit he slew them not without fault.[6]

    [1-1] H. 2. 17, and, similarly, LU. fo. 64a, in the margin.  LU. reads

    [2-2] Stowe.

    [3-3] LU. and YBL. 806.

    [4-4] LU. and YBL. 806-807.

    [5-5] H. 2. 17.

    [6-6] LU. and YBL. 808-812.

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[Page 86]



[W.1439.] There came also Lethan (’the Broad’) to his ford on the Nith in the land of Conalle Murthemni, to fight with Cuchulain. [2]He was angered at what Cuchulain had wrought.[2] He came upon him at the ford.  Ath Carpait (’Chariot-ford’) is the name of the ford where they fought, for their chariots were broken in the combat on the ford.  It is there that Mulcha, [3]Lethan’s charioteer,[3] fell on the [4]shoulder of the[4] hill between the two fords, [5]for he had offered battle and combat to Laeg son of Riangabair.[5] Hence it is called Guala Mulchi (’Mulcha’s Shoulder’) ever since.  It is there, too, that Cuchulain and Lethan met, and Lethan fell at Cuchulain’s hands and he smote his head from his neck on the ford and left it therewith, that is, he left the head with the trunk.  Wherefore the name of the ford [6]of the Nith[6] was called Ath Lethain (’Lethain’s Ford’) ever since in the district of Conalle Murthemni.

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