Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Táin Bó Cúalnge from the Book of Leinster (Author: [unknown])

section 6

The four great provinces of Ireland came on the morrow and began to ravage Mag m-Breg and Mag Muirtheimne. And there came to Fergus, Cú Chulainn's fosterfather, a keen premonition of the arrival of Cú Chulainn, and he told the men of Ireland to be on their guard that night for Cú Chulainn would come upon them. And he praised him here again, as we have written above, and chanted a lay:


Cú Chulainn of Cúailnge will come upon you in advance of the heroes of Cráebrúad. Men will be bloodily wounded because of the harrying of Mag Muirtheimne.


{line 1289-1333}

For Cú Chulainn went a longer journey than this, as far as the mountains of Armenia. He waged combat beyond his wont. He slaughtered the Amazons.

More difficult was it for him to drive the sons of Nechta from their couches and to slay with one hand the hound of the smith—valorous deed!

I have no more to say concerning Deichtere's son. I swear that, in truth, though you reach him not, he will come to you.

After that lay: On the same day, the Donn Cúailnge came to Crích Mairgín and with him fifty heifers, and he pawed up the earth, that is, he cast the turf over him with his heels. On the same day the Morrígu daughter of Ernmas came from the fairy-mounds and sat on the pillar-stone in Temair Cúailnge, warning the Donn Cúailnge against the men of Ireland. She began to speak to him and she said: ‘Good now, O pitiful one, Donn Cúailnge, be on your guard, for the men of Ireland will come upon you and will carry you off to their encampment unless you take heed’. And she began to warn him thus and spoke these words aloud: ‘Nach fitir’ etc.[gap: untranslated rhetoric/extent: 6 lines]

Then Donn Cúailnge came and advanced into Glenn na Samaisce in Slíab Culind with fifty of his heifers.

Here are some of the virtues of the Donn Cúailnge: He would bull fifty heifers every day. These would calve before the same hour on the following day, and those of them that did not calve would burst with the calves because they could not endure the begetting of the Donn Cúailnge. It was one of the virtues of the Donn Cúailnge that fifty youths used to play games every evening on his back. Another of his virtues was that he used to protect a hundred warriors from heat and cold in his shadow and shelter. It was one of his virtues that no spectre or sprite or spirit of the glen dared to come into one and the same canton as he. It was one of his virtues that each evening as he came to his byre and his shed and his haggard, he used to make a musical lowing which was enough melody and delight for a man in the north and in the south and in the middle of the district of Cúailnge. Those are some of the virtues of Donn Cúailnge.