The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Táin Bó Cúalnge eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 368 pages of information about The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Tin B Calnge.

    [1-1] The superscription is taken from Stowe.

    [2-2] LU. and YBL. 837.

    [3-3] LU. and YBL. 841.

    [4-4] LU. and YBL. 841.

    [5-5] H. 2. 17.

    [6-6] LU. and YBL. 839 and Stowe.

Then came [7]unto them[7] the Crutti Cainbili (’the Tuneful Harpers’), from Ess Ruaid in the north to amuse them, [8]out of friendship for Ailill and Medb.[8] They opined it was to spy upon them [9]they were come[9] from Ulster. [10]When they came within sight of the camp of the men of Erin, fear, terror, and dread possessed them,[10] and the hosts pursued [W.1450.] them as never men pursued, far and wide, till they escaped them in the shapes of deer near the standing stones at Lia Mor (’Great Stone’) [1]in the north.[1] For though they were known as the ‘Mellifluous Harpers’ they were [2]druids,[2] men of great cunning and great power of augury and magic.

    [7-7] H. 2. 17.

    [8-8] H. 2. 17.

    [9-9] Stowe.

    [10-10] H. 2. 17.

    [1-1] LU. and YBL. 835.

    [2-2] LU. and YBL. 835.

* * * * *

[Page 88]

VIIIc

[1]THE KILLING OF THE SQUIRREL AND OF THE TAME BIRD[1]

[W.1456.] Then Cuchulain made a threat [2]in Methe[2] that wherever he saw Medb he would cast a stone at her and that it would not go far from the side of her head.  That he also fulfilled.  In the place where he saw Medb west of the ford he cast a stone from his sling at her, so that it killed the pet bird that was on her shoulder.  Medb passed over the ford eastwards, and again he cast a stone from his sling at her east of the ford, so that it killed the tame squirrel that was on her shoulder.  Hence the names of those places are still, Meide in Togmail (’Squirrel’s Neck’) and Meide ind Eoin (’Bird’s Neck’).  And Ath Srethe (’Ford of the Throw’) is the name of the ford over which Cuchulain cast the stone from his sling.

    [1-1] The superscription is taken from LU. fo. 64a, in the margin.

    [2-2] LU. and YBL. 813.

[3]Then Reuin was drowned in his lake.  Hence is Loch Reuin.  “Your companion is not afar off from you,” cried Ailill to the Mane.  They stood up and looked around.  When they sat down again, Cuchulain struck one of them so that his head was split.  “It is well it was thou hast essayed that; thy[a] mirth was not seemly,” quoth Mane the fool; “it is I would have taken his head off.”  Cuchulain flung a stone at him, so that his head was split.  Thus these people were slain:  Orlam, first of all, on his hill; the three sons of Arach[a] on their ford; Fertidil in his ... (?); Maenan on his hill.  “I swear by the god by whom my people swear,” cried Ailill; “the man that scoffs at Cuchulain here I will make two halves of.  But above all let us hasten our way by day and by night,” Ailill continued, “till we come to Cualnge.  That man will slay two-thirds of your host in this fashion."[3]

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