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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 167 pages of information about The Latin & Irish Lives of Ciaran.

VIII.  HOW CIARAN SPOILED HIS MOTHER’S DYE

8.  A certain day the mother of Ciaran was making blue dye, and she had reached the point of putting the garments therein.  Then said his mother to him, “Get thee out, Ciaran.”  For they thought it unbecoming that males should be in the house when garments were being dyed.  “May there be a dun stripe upon them!” said Ciaran.  Of all the garments that were put into the dye, there was not one that had not a dun stripe upon it.  The dye is prepared again, and his mother said, “Go out, Ciaran, this time, and now, Ciaran, let there be no dun stripe.”  Then he said—­

  Alleluia Domine! 
  White my mother’s dye let be! 
    When in my hand it’s gone,
    Be it white as bone! 
    When boiling it is stirred,
    Be it white as curd!

Accordingly every garment that was placed therein was of a uniform whiteness.  For the third time is the dye made.  “Ciaran,” said his mother, “hurt me not the dye now, but let it receive a blessing from thee.”  When Ciaran blessed the dye, never was dye made so good, before or since; for though all the garments of Cenel Fiachrach (sic) were placed in its iarcain, it would turn them blue; and at the last it turned blue the dogs and the cats and the trees that came in contact with it.

IX.  HOW CIARAN RESTORED A CALF WHICH A WOLF HAD DEVOURED

9.  Once he was tending kine.  A miserable wolf came to him.  Now this was a habitual expression with him, “Mercy on us.” [He said to the wolf in compassion][13] “Rise and devour the calf and break or eat not its bones.”  The wolf went and did so.  When the cow lowed a-seeking the calf, his mother spake thus to him:  “Tell me, Ciaran, where is the calf of this cow?  Let the calf be restored by thee, whatsoever death it has died.”  Ciaran went to the place where the wolf had devoured the calf, and collected the bones of the calf, and brought them before the cow, and the calf arose and stood up. Ut dixit—­

  One day when, assiduously
    Ciaran the kine was havening,
  He a calf for charity
    Gave to a wolf ravening.[14]

X. HOW CIARAN WAS DELIVERED FROM ROBBERS

10.  A certain day there came robbers from Ui Failge to slay people [in the land][15] of Cenel Fiachach, and they found Saint Ciaran a-reading with his herds; and they went forward to slay him.  But they were smitten with blindness, and could stir neither foot nor hand, till they wrought repentance, and were loosed by the word of God and of Ciaran.

XIV.  HOW CIARAN GAVE THE KING’S CAULDRON TO BEGGARS AND WAS ENSLAVED

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