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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.
shalt not avoid it.”  “I will not avoid it except on high,” said Cuchulain.  Nathcrantail makes a cast at him.  Cuchulain springs on high before it. “’Tis ill of thee to avoid the cast,” cried Nathcrantail.  “Avoid then my cast on high!” quoth Cuchulain.  Cuchulain lets the spear fly at him and it went on high, so that from above it alighted on Nathcrantail’s crown and through him it went to the ground.  “Alas,” said he, “the best warrior in Erin art thou,” spake Nathcrantail.  “Four and twenty sons have I in the camp.  I will go and tell them what hidden treasure I have and then return for thee to behead me, for I shall die if the spear be taken out of my head.”  “It is well,” quoth Cuchulain; “thou shalt come back.”  Then Nathcrantail returns to the camp.  They all come to meet him.  “Where is the madman’s head with thee?” [1]every one asks.[1] “Wait, ye warriors, till I tell my tale to my sons and return to do battle with Cuchulain."[2]

    [3-3] Stowe.

    [4-4] Egerton 93 begins here.

    [5-5] LU. and YBL. 1276.

    [6-6] LU. and YBL. 1277.

    [7-7] LU. and YBL. 1277-1278.

    [8-8] LU. and YBL. 1279.

    [1-1] Stowe.

    [2-2] LU. and YBL. 1281-1305.

    [1-1] LU. 1303.

[W.1992.] Soon came Nathcrantail [3]to seek Cuchulain[3] and he made a wide sweep with his sword at Cuchulain. [4]Cuchulain leaps on high,[4] so that the sword encountered the pillar of stone that was between Cuchulain and his cloak, and the sword broke [5]atwain[5] on the pillar-stone. [6]Then Cuchulain became filled with rage, as he had been with the boys in Emain, and[6] he sprang from the ground and alighted on the top of the boss of Nathcrantail’s shield and dealt him a side stroke over the upper edge of the shield, so that he struck off his head from his trunk.  He raised his hand quickly again and gave him another blow on the top of the trunk so that he cleft him in twain down to the ground. [7]His four severed parts fell to the ground.[7] Thus fell Nathcrantail slain by Cuchulain.  Whereupon Cuchulain spoke [8]the verse:—­[8]

“Now that Nathcrantail has fallen, [9]There will be increase of strife![9] Would that Medb had battle [10]now,[10] And the third part of the host!”

    [3-3] LU. and YBL. 1305.

    [4-4] LU. and YBL. 1306.

    [5-5] LU. and YBL. 1307.

    [6-6] LU. and YBL. 1307-1308.

    [7-7] LU. and YBL. 1310.

    [8-8] Stowe.

    [9-9] Stowe, and LU. and YBL. 1313.

    [10-10] Stowe, and YBL. and LU. 1313.

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[Page 132]

XII

[1]THE FINDING OF THE BULL[1]

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