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.

    [2-2] LU. and YBL. 916-1197, omitting 1079-1091.

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[Page 104]



[W.1603.] The four grand provinces of Erin proceeded till they pitched camp and took quarters in Druim En (’Birds’ Ridge’) in the land of Conalle Murthemni, [1]and they slept there[1] that night, [2]as we said before,[2] and Cuchulain held himself at Ferta Illergaib (’the Burial-mound on the Slopes’) hard by them that night, and he, Cuchulain, shook, brandished and flourished his weapons that night. [3]Every night of the three nights they were there he made casts from his sling at them, from Ochaine nearby,[3] so that one hundred warriors of the host perished of fright and fear and dread of Cuchulain. [4]"Not long will our host endure in this way with Cuchulain,” quoth Ailill.[4] Medb called upon Fiachu son of Ferfebe of the Ulstermen to go parley with Cuchulain, to come to some terms with him.  “What terms shall be given him?” asked Fiachu son of Ferfebe.  “Not hard to answer,” Medb replied:  “He shall be recompensed [5]for the loss of his lands and estates,[5] for whosoever has been slain of the Ulstermen, so that it be paid to him as the men of Erin adjudge [6]according to the will of the Ulstermen and of Fergus and of the nobles of the men of Erin who are in this camp and encampment.[6] Entertainment shall be his at all times in Cruachan; wine and [W.1614.] mead shall be poured [] out for him. [1]He shall have from the plain of Ai the equal of the plain of Murthemne and the best chariot that is in Ai and the equipment of twelve men.  Offer, if it please him more, the plain wherein he was reared and thrice seven bondmaids.[1] And he shall come into my service and Ailill’s, for that is more seemly for him than to be in the service of the lordling with whom he is, [2]even of Conchobar son of Fachtna Fathatch.[2]

    [1-1] LU. and YBL. 1097.

    [2-2] LU. and YBL. 1098.

    [3-3] LU. and YBL. 1100-1101.

    [4-4] LU. and YBL. 1100-1102.

    [5-5] H. 2. 17.

    [6-6] H. 2. 17.

    [1-1] LU. and YBL. 1103-1105.

    [2-2] H. 2. 17.

Accordingly this was the greatest word of scorn and insult spoken on the Cow-Raid of Cualnge, to make a lordling of the best king of a province in Erin, even of Conchobar.

Then came Fiachu son of Ferfebe to converse with Cuchulain.  Cuchulain bade him welcome. “[3]Welcome thy coming and thine arrival, O Fiachu,” said Cuchulain.[3] “I regard that welcome as truly meant,” [4]said Fiachu.[4] “It is truly meant for thee” [5]replied Cuchulain[5]; “[6]and thou shalt have a night of hospitality this night.”  “Victory and a blessing attend thee, O fosterling,” replied Fiachu.  “Not for hospitality am I come, but[6] to parley with thee am I come from Medb, [7]and to bring thee terms."[7] “What

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