The Exile of the Sons of Dóel Dermait

This is the story of the Exile of the sons of Doel Dermait, of the red branch of the mythology Irish.

Exile of the sons of Doel Dermait

Exile of the sons of Doel Dermait

1. There was a famous king who ruled over Ulster, it was Conchobar, son of Ness. At his accession, he made a law: each hero will feed the Ulates one night in the year and the king will treat them seven nights plus four nights, - namely the first night of each of the four seasons, - four young lords each time. The women of the Ulates, to begin with, received from the wife of the warrior who gave the feast: seven oxen and seven pigs, seven barrels, seven barrels; seven cans, seven pots, seven cups and seven glasses of beer, seven sets of fish, birds and various vegetables.

2. One night came the turn of Bricriu with the poisoned tongue: it was his turn to give the party. They brought in the whole banquet apparatus, filled Conchobar's big ladder barrel - it had a ladder on the outside and one on the inside, which were used to go there to draw. - The Conchobar cutters get up to serve the food, and the butlers to pour the beer. Bricriu with the poisoned tongue sees them from his bed, in the wooden house, circulate to his left in the room. “They will be famous in the future,” he said, “the feats we are going to do in the hope of a laughing beer and a laughing meal. The young warriors stand still, then run in their place and everyone remains silent. Conchobar, with the silver rod in his hand, struck the bronze column which rose by his shoulder, and which could be heard echoing in the four corners of the palace of the Red Bough. He asks Bricriu what happened: “What is the matter, O Bricriu,” said Conchobar, “to cause difficulty when the Ulates desire to start the meal. "-" my dear "and venerated Conchobar," replied Bricriu, "I lack nothing of what it takes to eat and drink, but it is not right that the Ulates enjoy my banquet without having done, to deserve it, some brilliant action. "

3. At these words rise the twelve heroes of Ulster: Fergus, son of Roeg; Conall the Triumphant, son of Amergin; Loégairé the Winner; Cûchulainn, son of Sualdam; Eogan, son of Durrthacht; Celtchar, son of Uthechar; Blai the Host; Dubthach Bad-Tongue Ulster; Honey Tongue Garlic; Conall Anglonnach; Munremar, son of Gerrgend; Cethern, son of Fintan. Each of these brave heroes rushed forward to search for the death of a man in each of the five provinces. Cûchulainn went with fifty fighters in the province of Olnecmacht, on the Duff and the Drowes to the black water, in the territory of Ciarraige. They then split into two troops: twenty-five went along the river to the east, and twenty-five along the river to the west. Those who walked alongside Cûchulainn were Lugaid with the red belts, and Loeg his coachman, son of Riangabair. They went on like this until they came across the ford of Ferthan, north of Gorra-sur-Achad.

4. There were before them Mane the son of Cet, the son of Maga, and three hundred companions who were playing around the black water of the ford of Ferthan. With them was Findchoem, daughter of Eocho Rond; this one in the east. Those who met her were Lugaid with the red belts, and Loeg, son of Riangabair. The young girls who accompanied her gathered around her on the hillock of Duma Tétach. " Grace ! "[She cried.] -" Why do we have to be grateful to you? Lugaid asked. - "It's because I'm someone's wife," she replied. - "We are going to help her," said the young companions of Mané. - "Who is this someone you are looking for?" Lugaid asked. "-" Cuchulainn, son of Sualdam, "she replied; “I liked him because of the great things I was told about him. "-" It is, "continued Lugaid," which has earned you the benevolence of Cuchulainn, who is there at sunset. " - " Grace! She cried. So Cûchulainn stops and takes Mané's young companions under his protection, then makes a hero's leap by heading towards her on the east side. She gets up to meet him, throws both hands around his neck and gives him a kiss. " And now? Lugaid and Loeg asked. - " Now? Said Cûchulainn. "We have enough great deeds: we have three hundred young people to protect and the daughter of the king of O'Mane to take with us to Emain-Macha. "

5. Thereupon Cuchulainn, Lugaid, and Loeg, taking Findchoem with them, rushed north through the dark night, until they reached Manach Wood, where they saw three fires ahead of them in the valley. forest and nine warriors around each fire. Cuchulainn attacked these warriors; he killed three men near each fire and the three leaders. Then he crossed the ford of Mog and headed for the castle of Cruachan through the plain of Ae. There they uttered their cries of victory, so that they could be heard as far as the castle of Cruachan. Then Cruachan's watcher went up to examine them. He described the stature, appearance and manner of being of each one. “I do not recognize them,” said Medb, “unless it is here Cuchulainn, son of Sualdam, with his pupil Lugaid with the red belts, and with Loeg, son of Riangabair; there Findchoem, daughter of Eocho Rond, king of the O'Mane. Happy is he who possesses it, if it is with the consent of his father and mother; woe to him if he took it in spite of themselves! "

6. Thereupon, Cûchulainn and his companions go to the gate of the fortress and utter a cry of victory. “Someone come out,” said Medb, “to find out who these young warriors killed! So they came, from Ailill and Medb, asking for the heads to recognize them. The heads were carried inside the fortress. "Do you recognize them? Ailill and Medb asked. - "We don't recognize them," replied the servants. - "I recognize them," said Medb; “These are the heads of the three brigands who were constantly looting us. Carry them outside on the fence. We go outside to tell Cûchulainn about it. "I swear it by the oath that my nation swears: I will make the palisade dance over their heads, if they do not bring me my heads. So they brought him his heads, and Cuchulainn and his companions were brought into the guest house.

7. In the morning, Cûchulainn gets up first, takes all his weapons with him and goes to lean against a high stone. The lookout, being at his post that morning, heard in the countryside, towards the south, a dull noise, like the rolling thunder. He informed Medb. "What is that noise?" Medb asked. - "Say it yourself," replied the young men; "You know it better than anyone. "-" I don't understand what it can be, "said Medb," unless it is the O'Mane who come over there, at noon, in their daughter's footsteps. Look one more time. The lookout looks again. “Indeed,” he said, “I perceive on the plain, in the south, such a cloud, that the men do not see each other. "-" I recognize that, "said Medb; it is the breath of the horses and the men of the 0'Mané who come in search of their daughter. Look again! Said Medb. - "I see," replied the lookout, "gleams of fire from the ford of Mog to the mountain of Badgne. It's up to you to explain it, O Medb! "-" It is not difficult, "said Medb; "It is the brilliance of the arms and the eyes of the O'Mané on the tracks of their daughter. "

8. At this moment they saw a troop in the plain, and, at the head, a hero: on his breast a purple mantle, adorned with four gold fringes and which surrounded it four times; on his back a shield with eight brass circles; around him a tunic with silver embroidery, from the knees to the heels; from his head a hair, the color of brass, descended to the sides of his horse; in her hair a gold chain, weighing six ounces, hence its name of Eocho Rond; under him a horse with yellow spots, with a golden brake; in his hand two javelins decorated with brass nails; at his belt a sword with a gold hilt; finally, at his side, an enchanted spear.

9. No sooner has he seen Cuchulainn than he throws his spear. against him. Cûchulainn places a charm in front of the spear: the spear turns against Eocho and crosses his horse's neck. The horse rears up and throws its rider down. Cuchulainn comes to him, grabs him in his arms and carries him into the square. It was a disgrace for the O'Mane. Medb and Ailill did not let Eocho and Cuchulainn go until they had made peace between them. But when Cuchulainn was about to go, Eocho said to him: "May you have no rest, neither sitting nor lying, O Cuchulainn, until you know what cause brought them out of their country. three sons of Doel the forgotten! "

10. Thereupon Cûchulainn goes to Emain Macha, carrying with him the heads of the warriors he has killed, and his companions recount his adventures. Then he goes back to his bench and starts to drink. It seemed to him that his clothes were burning on his body, that the house was burning around him, that the ground was burning under his feet. Addressing those around him: “I do believe,” he said, “young people, that I am feeling an effect of the curse pronounced on me by Eocho Rond. I'm gonna die if I don't get out of here. "

11. Cûchulainn gains the outside, after having taken his weapons. Loeg and Lugaid in the red belts follow him. At the gate to the square he found himself in front of a band of nine bronze workmen. They had not received their portion of meat and beer, we did not know they were outside. When they saw Cûchulainn approaching them, they said: "It is very fitting that they come to bring us food and drink on behalf of the king. "-" Do you take me for a steward? Cried Cuchulainn. He rushes at them and cuts off their nine heads.

12. It moves away from Emain Macha towards the south-east and advances to the place where rises today the mountain of the horseman, that is to say Armagh: it was then a forest. The blacksmiths of Conchobar were there engaged in a work which they carried out for the king. They expected to spend the night without eating or drinking. When they saw the three warriors advancing towards them, “It is very fitting,” they said, “that they come and bring us food and drink from the king. "-" Do you take me for a steward? Cried Cuchulainn. He rushes at them and cuts off their nine heads. Then he walks away and, heading east towards the shore, arrives in front of Dun Delca.

13. The King's SonScotland had just arrived there with a troop of sailors bringing satin, silk, and drinking horns for Conchobar. The latter sent his people to meet them, but they did not go to the ship. When the sailors saw Cú Chulainn advancing towards them: “It is very opportune,” they said, “that someone come to meet us. The waves and the pitfalls have tired us so much!” "Do you take me for a steward?" replied Cuchulainn. He rushes on them in the vessel and cuts off all the heads, until he comes to the king's son. “It's because we didn't recognize you. — "Do you know what caused the three sons of the forgotten Doel to leave their country?" asked Cuchulainn—. "I don't know," replied the young warrior; “but I have a seafaring charm; I will give it to you, you will have my ship, and you will no longer find yourself in ignorance. Cuchulainn gave him his spear, engraved an inscription in ogamic characters on it, and said to him: "Leave and go to my bench, to Emain Macha." The son of the king of Scotland took his luggage and advanced through the country, until they came to meet him.

14. Cuchulainn settled himself on the ship, unfurled the sails and set off. He sailed one day and one night and dropped anchor near a large island. This island was very beautiful and of an imposing aspect: all around, a silver rampart and above a brazen palisade; inside, houses whose roofs were supported by brass beams. Cûchulainn advances into the island and enters the fortress. He sees there a house with brass columns and a hundred and fifty beds in this house; a chessboard, a checkerboard and a harp near each bed. He further sees in this abode a white-haired [royal] couple [Riangabair and Finnabair] dressed in purple coats with dark red gold pins on these coats; finally three young women, all three of the same age, of the same beauty, and gold lace with a brass weft in front of each of them.

15. The king cordially received Cûchulainn and his companions: “Welcome to us, O Cûchulainn, for the sake of Lugaid; welcome, O Loeg, on account of your father and mother! The women made the same greeting. "We are delighted," replied Cuchulainn; “Never, until now, had we found a warm welcome. "-" You will find him today, "said the king. - "Do you know," asked Cûchulainn, "what cause brought the sons of Doel the Forgotten out of their country? "-" I will know, "said the king," their sister and their brother-in-law are on the island which is over there to the south. There were three pieces of iron in front of the fire; they were thrown in, they turned red, then the three young women got up and each of them put one in the tub. Cuchulainn, Lugaid and Loeg all went into the tub and bathed there, then they brought them three drinking horns full of mead, they were given a bed, on the bed a blanket and a variegated plaid.

16. They were hardly there when they heard the sound of arms, the sound of the horn and the tumult of jugglers. Then they saw fifty warriors advancing towards the house, bringing twenty-five pigs and twenty-five oxen, each carrying a cup of hazelnut mead. So they looked at those fifty warriors outside. They then saw that there was another man with them and that each carried a load of firewood on their backs, except only this man who was at their head. He wore a purple cloak going around his chest five times and held back by a gold pin, a hooded tunic of dazzling white and embroidered in red; he had a spear and a javelin, in his hand he held a sword with a gold handle. He entered the house in front of his people and welcomed Cûchulainn: “Welcome to us, O Cûchulainn, for the sake of Lugaid; welcome among us, O Loeg, for the sake of your father and mother! "

17. The fifty brave warriors made the same wish to Cûchulainn, Lugaid and Loeg. Then they brought the pigs and the oxen and put them in the pails until they were done. A meal of one hundred people was served to Cuchulainn and his two companions, and the rest was distributed to the other warriors. Beer was brought to them until they were drunk. A desire came to them: "How will Cûchulainn sleep?" [He said]. - "Do I have a choice? Said Cûchulainn. - "You have it," replied the hero; “Here are Riangabair's three daughters: Eithne, Etan and Etain. Also here are their three brothers: Eochaid, Aed and Oengus; their father Riangabair and their mother Finnabair, storyteller from Riangabair. The brothers are better known as Loeg, Id and Sedlang.

18 Cuchulainn sang two lines;

"I don't know who Etan will sleep with,
But I know very well that the white Etan will not sleep alone. "

She slept beside him, and in the morning he gave her a gold ring that weighed half an ounce. Then we went with him until he saw in the distance the island where Condla the Thin lived, says Corrbacc, and Achtland [his wife], daughter of the Forgotten Doel. He rows towards the Island, and with each movement that he impresses on his boat, it rises to the height of the summit of the island.

19. Condla the Thin was on the island with his head resting against a high stone in the west of the island, his feet against another high stone in the east of the island, and Achtland was cleaning his head. . When he heard the sound of the ship coming ashore, he stood up and blew before him so violently that a wave rose over the sea. His breath returned against him. Thereupon Cuchulainn spoke to him, and Condla the Thin replied: “Great as your anger may be, hero who comes over there, we do not fear you; the diviners did not announce that this island was to be ravaged by you. So come to the island, and you will be welcome. "

20. Then Cuchulainn landed on the island. Achtland greeted him and nodded. “Do you know,” Cuchulainn asked, “what cause brought the forgotten sons of Doel out of their country? "-" I know, "said Achtland," and I will go with you, that you find them, for it has been announced that salvation will come from you. Achtland got up and went into the ship, next to them.

21 Her husband sang verses:

“What does this senseless journey mean, O woman!
What are you going to do on the seas?
Because [he is not sure]
May the ship carrying you lead you pleasantly to the port. "

22. Achtland answered singing:

"Condla the Thin,
My goal is beyond the seas;
A burning desire sets my heart ablaze:
I want to save [my nephews] sons of the forgotten Doel;
Their memory was so quickly lost! "

23. So Achtland entered the ship, nodded, then briefed Cuchulainn and his companions on what it was important for them to know. “Look at that white rampart over there,” she said, “that's where Coirpré le Beau is. "-" Doel's brother forgot him, "they replied. They then saw the white rampart, and found two women who were there cutting rushes. Cûchulainn addresses these women and asks them: "What is the name of this country where I am arriving?" One of the women stood up and sang the following:

24. "The country which you have just approached in these places,
Troops of couriers graze there in the plain;
Seven kings are at ease there, occupying their domain;
Seven victories are there hovering over each of them.

Seven rulers around dominate the shore.
You think this is where our greatness ends.
To each sovereign seven women obey,
At the feet of each woman a king pays homage to her.

To our kings, seven herds of couriers, seven armies,
Seven victories near them watching over their states;
In front of our sovereigns speaks the right of combat
Seven defeats fleeing to the sea pushed back.

For each of our kings, a great fight in the plain;
For each sovereign, seven fights. A thief
Can't get out of here; when such is the greatness
From a country, to come there, it is vain pretension.

The country that you have just approached in these places,
Troops of couriers graze there in the plain;
Seven kings are at ease there, occupying their domain;
Seven victories are there hovering over each of them.

25. At these words, Cuchulainn rushed at her and punched her so hard on the head that the brains shot out above her ears. “It was a bad deed you just did,” the other woman told him, “but it was predicted that you would come here to do some harm. Woe to me not to have been the one to whom you spoke. "-" I will address it to you now, "said Cûchulainn. What is the name of the men who are here? "-" It's easy to say: Dian, son of Lugaid; Leo, son of Iachtan; Eogan at Blanc-Coursier, Fiachna Fuath, Coirpré le Beau, Cond Sidi, Senach Salderc. "

They are looking for the red fight;
They fight bloody battles,
With twenty flank wounds,
With troops of heroes,
With countless assaults. "

26. Thereupon they went to the fortress, and Loeg took the woman's cloak over his back until they came to the wall. The woman then leaves them, enters the fortress and tells what has been done to them. "They didn't do bad things," said Coirpré le Beau; "That's exactly what they would do to a madman's people." He rushes outside. Cuchulainn attacked it, and they fought from morning until the end of the day, and neither got the slightest advantage over the other. One after another their swords prevailed; one after another, their shields shattered. “It's true,” Cûchulainn said. And he took his Gai bulge. “Grace, O Cûchulainn! »Said Coirpré le Beau. And he throws his weapons away from him; he takes Cûchulainn in his arms, whom he takes into the city, to whom he prepares a bath, and near whom the king's daughter slept that night. Cûchulainn asked him: "What is the cause which brought out of their country [your nephews], the children of Doel forgotten him?" Coirpré le Beau told him the whole story, from beginning to end.

27. The next day, Coirpré le Beau is notified that Eocho Glass is coming to fight him. Coirpré and Cûchulainn go towards the valley to meet Eocho Glass, the strong warrior. “Has anyone come to the valley? O poor warriors, ”said Eocho Glass. - "Someone came there," Cûchulainn replied. - "It's not a pleasant voice," said Eocho Glass, "than the voice of the grimacing hero of Ireland. They come to blows in the valley. Cûchulainn leaps up and stands on the edge of his opponent's shield. His opponent, with his powerful breath, pushes him back into the sea. Cûchulainn leaps again and is on the hump of Eocho's shield. Eocho's breath throws him back into the sea. Cûchulainn leaps up and is on Eocho's body. Eocho's breath pushes him back, and Cuchulainn falls into the sea. "Woe to me! Cried Cuchulainn. He then throws his Gai Bulge upwards, which falls on Eocho's mesh helmet, crosses his head and crashes into the ground. Eocho spins around and falls flat on his side.

28. Cûchulainn comes to him, takes off the chain-mailed helmet which came down to his shoulders, and cuts off his head with his sword. From the east and the west rushed out into the valley the sides which Eocho had insulted, they bathed in his blood, and all there washed their outrage. Then the sons of Doel the forgotten leave for their country. Cûchulainn goes with Coirpré to the fortress. He spent the night there and left in the morning, taking great and magnificent gifts that Coirpré had given him. He returns to the island, where Condla and his wife were, and tells them about his adventures. Then he headed north, until he reached the island where Riangabair was; he slept there with Riangabair's wife, and told his story to her and her husband. He left in the morning to land in the land of the Ulates. He went to Emain-Macha. He had been saved his share of beer and food. So he recounted his adventures and his travels to Conchobar and the heroes of Ulster bravery in the Red Bough Palace.

29. Then he came to the castle of Cruachan, to Ailill, Medb, and Fergus, and told them what had happened to him. Eocho Rond was then called in, and Cûchulainn sang:

“Prince Eocho Rond, Findchoem your daughter here.
It was she who caused my hazardous trip.
With Eocho said Glas, I had a tough fight.
Well ! I repent, I long for marriage!

I see nine artisans, I see nine blacksmiths;
Their only fault was that we met them.
Then I see nine merchants - sad worried mood!
Driven by fury, I cut off their heads.

I reach the island of Doel at daybreak.
From the fierce Coirpré I approach the stay.
We come to blows; - it's a dark cloud,
And my sharp sword strikes countless blows.

My fight with Coirpré is a fight to the death
On the seashore, the vast gray plain.
His sword, then mine, seems to decide the fate;
Then it's his shield, then mine that breaks.

After that, my fight with the beautiful Coirpré,
Without shields, only a moment to last.
Then peace, sleep; it was a short while.
In the morning, Eocho Glass in combat awaits us.

He struck a hundred blows on my bloody sword.
Everywhere I triumphed over senseless perils.
Then I came back to this shining star,
Who guided me everywhere in the midst of dangers.

What you were asking, now I know;
The children of the forgotten taught me well,
And the wicked Coirpré whom I had spared.
But, thinking of Findchoem, I felt regrets. "

Prince Eocho Rond, Findchoem your daughter here,
It was she who caused my hazardous trip.
With Eocho said Glas, I had a tough fight.
Well ! I repent, I long for marriage!

Thereupon Cûchulainn made peace with Eocho Rond, and Findchoem, daughter of Eocho, remained with Cûchulainn, who went to Emain-Macha with a large triumphal escort.

The reader understands why this story is called: “Bricriu's Feast. "It is also given the title:" Exile of the sons of Doel, the forgotten. "