Bricriu's Feast

Here is the story of the Festin de Bricriu de la red branch of the mythology Irish.

Bricriu's Feast

Bricriu's Feast

A. - Piece of the hero to Emain-Macha.

1. A great feast was offered to the king of Ulster Conchobar, son of Ness, and to all the Ulates [or inhabitants of Ulster], by Bricriu, said "of the poisonous tongue." Bricriu spent an entire year preparing this feast. He built a beautiful house to serve as a dining room. He had it built in the fortress of Rudraigé, in imitation of the royal palace of Conchobar in Emain-Macha [capital of Ulster], but the new building was superior to any other of that time, both in terms of the quality of the materials only by the talent of the architect, by the delicacy of the work of the pillars and the facade, by the brilliance, the price, the artistic value, the celebrity of the sculptures and the portico.

2. The dining room was arranged like that of the Supreme King in Tara, the capital of Ireland. There were nine beds from the foyer to the wall. Each of the facades was thirty-five feet high; they were covered with gilded bronze ornaments. Against one of the facades of this palace stood a royal bed intended for Conchobar, king of Ulster; this bed dominated all the others; it was decorated with precious stones, carbuncles and the like, of great value. The gold, the silver, the carbuncles, the precious stones of all sources which covered this bed were so brilliant that it was at night as brilliant as day. Twelve more beds were then put up around him, intended for the twelve principal warriors of Ulster. As much as this furnishings were remarkable, so were the materials used in the construction of the building. It had taken a wagon to bring each beam and seven of Ireland's strongest men to put each joist in place; thirty carpenters from Ireland's best carpenters supervised the work.

3. Above was built an upper room for Bricriu himself. It had the same elevation as the beds of Conchobar, King of Ulster, and the warriors. Decorated with particularly admirable ornaments, it had a glazed window on each side. Above the bed intended for Bricriu, a window was arranged so as to give Bricriu a view from his bed over the great room, for he knew that the Ulates would not let him enter this room.

4. When Bricriu had completed the construction of his large house and his upper room, when he had finished putting together what was needed for the feast, first as bed covers, striped fabrics, short-pointes, pillows, then as drink and food, when he lacked nothing more, neither furniture, nor provisions of mouth, he left and went to find in Emain-Macha Conchobar and the big ones, gathered around this king.

5. Precisely on this day there was a solemn assembly of the Ulates at Emain-Macha. Bricriu was welcomed and he sat down next to Conchobar. He spoke to Conchobar and the rest of the Ulates: "Come to my house, you will have a meal there" which I offer you. "-" I accept, "replied Conchobar," if the Ulates consent. Fergus, son of Roeg, and the other greats of Ulster replied: "We will not go, for if we were to make the meal to which we are invited, Bricriu would cause quarrels among us, and, among us, the number of dead would be greater than that of the living. "

6. “What I do to you will be worse,” said Bricriu, “if you don't come to my house. "-" What will you do then? "Asked Conchobar," if the Ulates don't come to you. "-" What I will do! »Replied Bricriu,« I will stir up quarrels between kings, chiefs, illustrious warriors, young lords; they will kill each other if they do not come to my house to drink the beer for my feast. - "We will not kill each other because of you," Conchobar replied. Bricriu resumed: “I will put the quarrel between the sons and the fathers, they will kill each other; if I do not manage to bring you to my house, I will create discord between daughters and mothers; if I do not manage to bring you to my house, I will cause dissension between the two breasts of each woman, their breasts will crush one against the other, they will rot, they will perish. - "Really," said Fergus, son of Roeg, "you better go. - "Take the matter under advisement," said [the druid] Sencha, son of Ailill, as a few of the chiefs consider whether it is good to accept the invitation. - "It would be wrong," added Conchobar, "not to study the matter in council. "

7. The noble Ulates went to discuss together. The conclusion of the discussion was to adopt Sencha's opinion. " Well! »Sencha said,« since you have to go to Bricriu, choose sureties which will guarantee you his good behavior; put with him eight men armed with swords who will surround him every time he leaves the house, but this surveillance will not begin until he has shown you the preparations for the feast. Furbaide Ferbend, son of Conchobar, took this answer to Bricriu and told him about the whole discussion that had preceded the decision. "I don't mind doing that," Bricriu said.

The Ulates therefore left Emain-Macha; each battalion surrounded its inferior king, each army corps its superior king, each company its prince. She was pretty, she was admirable the march of warriors and heroes who advanced towards the palace of Bricriu.

8. Bricriu was thinking; he wondered how he would go about preparing a quarrel between the Ulates which would break out when the warriors, guarantors of his good behavior, came to watch him. When the light was made in his mind and his reflections were successful, he went to the place where the victor was Loégairé, son of Connad, son of Ilia, surrounded by his companions. - " Well ! »Said Bricriu,« O Loégairé the victor, you who strike so strongly in the plain of Bri, you who strike so ardently in Mide, bear of the red flame, conqueror of the warriors of Ulster! why wouldn't it be you who would always have the hero's piece in Emain? "-" If it is to me that the hero's piece should come back, "Loégairé replied," of course, I will have it. "-" I will make you obtain the primacy among the warriors of Ireland, "said Bricriu," if you follow my advice. "-" I will follow him, "Loégairé replied.

9. “If you have the hero piece in my house,” Bricriu continued, “you will always have it in Emain-Macha. You will do well to get the hero piece in my house, this hero piece will not be conquered in a madman's house. There is a vat in my house that can hold three of Ulster's heroes after it has been filled with natural wine. There is a seven-year-old pig in my house; since he was a little pig, he only entered porridge, milk and soup in spring, curds and fresh milk in summer, nuts and wheat in autumn, meat and stew in winter. There is a seven-year-old cow in my house; since she was a little heifer, neither heather nor bad fodder has entered her mouth; she ate only fresh milk and little green grass. There are a hundred loaves of wheat baked in honey in my house; twenty-five bags of grain were employed in baking these hundred loaves; for four loaves a bag was needed. This will be the hero's piece in my house, ”says Bricriu. "Since you are the best Ulster warrior, you should be given this song and I wanted it for you." When the feast of the last day is ready, let your driver get up and it will be to you that the hero's piece will be brought. »-« There will be, »Loégairé replied,« there will be men killed that day, or what you make me hope will come true. Bricriu smiled, he was happy.

10. After having inspired the desire for a quarrel in Loégairé the victor, Bricriu went to where Conall the triumphant was, surrounded by his companions. “Truly, O Conall the Triumphant,” said Bricriu, “you are the warrior of victories and battles. Your battles are greater than those of all the rest of the Ulster warriors. When the Ulates go to the other provinces, you leave three days before them, and you cross the fords and the plains first. Then you are in the rear and you protect them on the return. To reach them, you would have to run over your body. Why, after that, wouldn't it be you who, still at Emain-Macha, would have the hero's piece? Bricriu had flattered Loégairé. He flattered the triumphant Conall twice as much.

11. After having succeeded, according to his desire, in arousing the quarrelsome feelings of Conall the triumphant, Bricriu goes to where the troop of Cûchulainn was. "Well," he said, "O Cûchulainn, you victorious in the battles in the plain of Bri, you who wear your cloak so elegantly on the banks of the Liffey, O beloved son of Emain, favorite of women and girls, it is not in vain that you have been nicknamed Culann's watchdog, for you are the pride of the Ulates, it is you who protect them in their great attacks and in their great exploits, you teach each Ulate what his right is. The goal which none of the Ulates achieved has been achieved by you. All the warriors of Ireland recognize the superiority of your courage, bravery and your exploits. Why would you leave the hero's piece to another of the Ulates, since no one among the men of Ireland is capable of arguing for it? "-" I swear it to you, "said Cûchulainn," I swear it by the oath taken in my nation, he will be without a head the one who comes to dispute the hero's piece with me. Then Bricriu left, he returned to the midst of his people; he was calm as if he had provoked no quarrel.

12. The Ulates entered the palace of Bricriu; each took possession of his bed there, both king and heir apparent to king, great chief as well as small chief and young man. Half of the room was occupied by Conchobar with the Ulster warriors around him, another half by the women of the Ulates, ranged around Mugain, daughter of Echaid Fedlech, wife of Conchobar.

Conchobar and those around him were in the front part of the house: Fergus, son of Roeg; Celtchar, son of Uthechar; Eogan, son of Durthacht; Fiacha and Fiachaig, both sons of the king; Fergne, son of Findchoim; Fergus, son of Lété; Cuscraid the stutterer of Macha, son of Conchobar; Sencha son of Ailill; Rous, Daré and Imchad, all three sons of Fiacha; Muinremur, son of Gerrgend; Errg on the horse's lip; Amorgéné, son of Ecet; Mend, son of Salchadé; Dubthach the lazy of Ulates, Feradach the blessed, Fedelmid with many coats, Furbaide says the summit of men, Rochad, son of Fathem; Loégairé the victor, Conall the triumphant, Cûchulainn, Connad, son of Morné; Erc, son of Fedelmid; Illand, son of Fergus; Fintan, son of Niall; Cetern, son of Fintan; Fachtné, son of Senchaid; Conlé the false, Ailill the tongue of honey, Bricriu himself and the crowd of other Ulate warriors with their sons and the tradesmen in their service.

13. The musicians played their instruments, the jugglers indulged in their exercises until the moment came to warn that the feast was about to begin. Bricriu himself announced the feast and all its magnificences, then he was ordered to leave the room to release the responsibility of his sureties. The sureties stood up, sword drawn, to bring him out. Bricriu set out with his people to reach his upper room. As he left, and as he left the room, he spoke: "Here," he said, "the hero's piece, as it has been prepared, is not the hero's piece of a house. crazy. You will give it to whoever you think is the best Ulate warrior. Then he left.

14. The servants responsible for making the parts get up to perform their duties. But then Sedlang, son of Riangabair, coachman of Loégairé the victor, also stands up: "Give," he said, "the hero's piece to Loégairé the victor, for he has preferential rights over all the other Ulate warriors. Id, son of Riangabair, coachman of Conall the triumphant, also stands up and claims, in the same terms, the hero's piece for his master. Loeg, son of Riangabair, driver of Cûchulainn, does the same: "Give," he said, "the hero's piece to Cûchulainn; for the Ulates there will be no shame in giving it to him, for he is their best warrior. - "That is not true," exclaim Conall the triumphant and Legairé the victor.

15. The three warriors rise, seize their shields, draw their swords, engage in combat; in one half of the palace one would have thought that the sky was on fire, so shone were the swords and the sharp points of the javelins! In the other half of the room, whitewashed shields cast reflections similar to those of a flock of white birds. The palace resounds with the noise of arms, the warriors who witnessed this struggle were trembling; King Conchobar and Fergus, son of Roeg, were seized with anger when they saw the unworthy and unjust conduct of two of the fighters who had united against one: Conall the triumphant and Legairé the victor against Cuchulainn. Among the Ulates no one dared to interfere. Finally, the Druid Sencha said to King Conchobar: “Separate the combatants. At that time Conchobar, among the Ulates, was, in a way, a god on earth.

16. Conchobar and Fergus moved to stand between the three warriors. They immediately lowered their guns: "Accept my decision," Sencha said. "We accept it," they replied. “Here is my decision,” Sencha continued: “we will divide the hero's piece tonight among all the guests, and then we will submit the question which divides you to the arbitration of Ailill, son of Maga, king of Connaught; it will be difficult to find a solution among the Ulates if a judgment is not obtained in Cruachan-Aï, capital of Connaught ”

Then the food and beer were distributed; the brandy circulated among the guests, and among them began the intoxication and mirth. Bricriu was always with the queen his wife in her upper room. From his bed he saw what was going on in the palace; he searched in his mind how he would succeed in arousing a quarrel between women similar to the one he had aroused between men.

17. While Bricriu's head was working like this, it happened that Fedelm with nine hearts, wife of the victorious Loégairé, left the palace with fifty companions to free her brain, which the beer and brandy had weighed down. . Bricriu sees her pass: "Things are going well tonight," he said, "O wife of Loégairé the victor; It is not out of derision, Fedelm, that you have been nicknamed with nine hearts, you deserve it by the distinction of your beauty, your spirit, your birth. Conchobar, king of one of the five great kingdoms of Ireland, is your father; Loégairé the winner is your husband. In my opinion, no Ulster woman should have the upper hand over you in the dining room of the Supreme King of Ireland in Tara; all the women of Ulster should be walking behind your heels. Now, if you are the first to come into my house tonight, it will be you who from now on will always be the queen in the banquet halls, and you will exalt yourself above all the women of Ulster. Then Fedelm continued his walk; she stopped three furrows from Bricriu's palace.

18. After her [with fifty companions] came Lendabair, daughter of Eogan, son of Durthacht, wife of Conall the Conqueror. " Well ! Lendabair," Bricriu told him, "we didn't give you your name to make fun of you: Lendabair comes from lendan, in Irish “favorite; and you are beloved by men all over the world, because of your famous beauty. As much as your husband surpasses all the warriors of the universe in his bravery and in the elegance of his person, so far you surpass the rest of the women of Ulster. According to me, no Ulster woman should have precedence over you in the dining room of the Supreme King of Ireland at Tara; it would be behind your heels that all the women of Ulster should walk. Now if you enter my house first tonight, you will always be queen in the banquet halls from now on, and you will rise above all the women of Ulster. »

He had addressed very exaggerated compliments to Fedelm; he gave twice as much to Lendabair,

19. Thereupon Emer, wife of Cuchulainn, came out with fifty other women: "Good luck to you, O Emer, daughter of Forgall the Cunning," said Bricriu, "O wife of the best warriors of Ireland! It is not by the effect of a bad joke that one calls you Emer with the beautiful hair; kings and royal princes have fought over your hand. As the sun prevails over the stars, so much you surpass other women in the whole world by your beauty, your distinction, your birth, your youth and the radiance of your complexion, by your illustration, your glory, your education and your eloquence. In my opinion, no Ulster woman should have the upper hand over you in the dining room of the Supreme King of Ireland in Tara; all the women of Ulster should be walking behind your heels. Now, if you are the first to come into my house tonight, it will be you who from now on will always be the queen in the banquet halls, and you will exalt yourself above all the women of Ulster. He had addressed many flatteries to Fedelm and Lendabair; he gave Emer three times as much.

20. The three women, each followed by fifty companions, stopped at the same place, three furrows from the palace. Neither of the three knew what Bricriu had said to the other two to cause a quarrel between them. They started to move to reach the palace. In the first furrow, their pretty gait was calm and slow; it was hardly if, at each step, we could see the lead that the lifted foot was taking over the other. In the second furrow, their gentle movement became faster. At the furrow closest to the palace, each wanting to overtake the other two, they lifted their dresses up to the calves, each hoping to enter as soon as possible, since Bricriu had told them each that the one who arrived first would be the queen of women of the city. 'Ulster. A great stir resulted from the efforts which each [followed by her fifty companions] made to prevail over the other; you would have thought you heard fifty wagons; the whole palace trembled; in the palace, the warriors leaped up to their arms to kill each other.

21. “Stop,” Sencha told them, “these are not enemies who have come; but Bricriu caused a quarrel between the women who came out. I swear by the oath that my nation swears: if they are not prohibited from entering the palace, there will be more dead than living here. With these words, the doormen closed the door. But Emer, daughter of Forgall the Wise, wife of Cuchulainn, went faster than the other women; with her back she knocked against the door; she made the doormen back in front of the female crowd. Then, in the palace, the husbands arose; each wanted to open passage to his wife and let her enter first. "It will go badly tonight," said King Conchobar. With the silver wand in his hand, he struck the bronze post of his bed. "Stop" said Sencha; “Here the fight will not be done with weapons, it will be with words. Each of the three women went to place themselves under the protection of her husband outside the palace, and then began what is called the fight of words between the women of Ulster.

B, - A fight of words between the women of Ulster.

22. Fedelm with nine hearts, wife of Loégairé the victor, sang the following poem:

The mother who bore me was noble, distinguished, of a race as illustrious as my father.
I am the daughter of a king and queen of remarkable beauty.
Pretty as the child of such a mother must have been,
I became, with the dignity of Irish nobility, the chaste wife
From Loégairé to the skin of a mouse, to the red hand,
Who accomplishes so many mighty feats on the prairies of Ulster.
Alone and without the assistance of any of his compatriots, he stops on the frontiers enemies equal in force to the whole of Ulster;
He protects, he defends the borders, he kills the enemies.
Loégairé is the greatest, the most famous of the warriors;
He has won more victories than any of the others.
Why shouldn't it be me, Fedelm, the most amiable, the victorious beauty, the triumphant shepherdess.
Who would have precedence over the other women, in Tara, in the palace of the supreme kings where the merry mead circulates?

23. This is what sang Lendabair, daughter of Eogan, son of Durthacht, wife of Conall the triumphant, son of Amorgein:

It is I, intelligent and skillful woman,
Who must walk, beautiful and slender like a reed.
In the palace of the Supreme King, in Tara, in front of the other women of Ulster.
For my husband is the lovable and triumphant Conall in the great chariot,
Conall whose noble and proud step
At the time of the fight exceeds all others.
He is beautiful when he comes back to me, after his victories, bringing the heads of slain enemies,
Until, for Ulster, he returns to face the blows of the harsh sword of battles.
…………………………………… ..
He defends the fords of Ulster, he drives out the enemy.
The tombstone is ready for the warrior
Who dares to speak to Conall, son of Amorgein.
Since it is Conall who, by the number of his victories,
Exceed every warrior,
Why wouldn't it be me, Lendabair
With beautiful eyes,
Who would precede all the women in the palace of the kings?

24. Emer, daughter of Forgall the Wise, wife of Cuchulainn, sang in verse the following:

When I walk, you can see intelligence and skill shine on my face;
When I advance victorious, we admire the beauty of each of my features.
Men place a high price on the nobility of my eyes and my face.
[When we looked for a wife for Cûchulainn],
Nowhere did we find what we needed: beauty, gentleness and skill,
Finesse, liberality and chastity.
Tender and intelligent wife, as long as no one comes to me.
It is me that all Ulates wanted.
It is I who own the heart of Cûchulainn.
Cûchulainn is not a husband like the others.
Cûchulainn, Culann's dog, is not a vulgar dog:
Drops of blood cover the wood of his spear;
Blood stains his sword.
Her beautiful body is black with blood;
Her beautiful skin is crisscrossed with scars.
He has injuries to the side on his hip.
His gentle eye is beautiful when he buries it in his head.
He nobly protects the serf.
He has long, red eyes.
All red is his chariot.
The cushion of his chariot is all red.
In combat, it dominates the ears of horses, the breaths of men.
He does many dexterous tricks: the warlike salmon jump,
The brown turn, the blind turn, the bird turn;
He throws water, walks around the nine men.
He crushes battalions in deadly battles.
He saves the lives of proud armies.
He triumphs over the fear of the ignorant.
He is a man who is bedridden ill;
It turns yellow…, it bends;
The cause is a woman whom all Ulates esteemed
Until she got hold of my husband.
……………………… ..
……………………… ..
……………………… ..
All the women of Ulster fought for his heart until he became my husband.

25. In the meantime, here's what happened. Loégaire and Conall the triumphant, who were in the palace, hearing what the women were saying, shuddered and made a marvelous leap, as befits heroes; then, breaking a beam in the wall of the palace, opened a breach in that wall as high as them. They wanted to give their wives a passage into the hall; but Cuchulainn lifted an entire side of the house, opposite his bed. so that, below the wall, one could see the sky and the stars outside. His wife was able to pass there with the fifty companions of each of her rivals and with her fifty companions to herself. This solemn entry was, for Cuchulainn's wife, an act of superiority which set her apart. Then Cuchulainn let fall the wooden wall he had raised, and it sank into the earth to a depth of seven cubits, the whole building was shaken. Bricriu's upper room collapsed. Bricriu himself and the queen his wife fell on the manure in the yard, among the dogs. “Alas! "Cried Bricriu," the enemies have come into the castle. Getting up as quickly as possible, he walked around the palace and saw how this building had become lame… They let him in; no one could tell who he was; so much the manure had soiled it!

26. Finally, his way of speaking made him recognize. Without leaving the room, he addressed his guests: "Have I not prepared a feast for you, O Ulates!" and now the banquet hall is causing me more trouble than all my property. It is forbidden for you to drink, eat or sleep until you have restored my building to the condition in which you found it. With these words, all the heroes of Ulster stand up and together make an effort to straighten the edifice; but, although with a favorable wind, they could not lift it. " What to do? They wondered. - "According to me," said Sencha, "that does not concern you. Whoever made the house lame, see how to put it back on its feet. "

27. "It is up to you to straighten the house," said the Ulates to Cuchulainn. "King of the warriors of Ireland!" Cried Bricriu, "if you don't straighten my house, no one in the world will. All the Ulates begged Cuchulainn to help them out. Wanting to spare the guests the deprivation of food and drink, Cûchulainn stood up and made an effort to raise the building. It was in vain. Fury made him make frightful faces, a drop of blood shone at the roots of each of his hair; he tore out his hair, the top of his forehead appeared bald, and his curls of black hair fell as if scissors had cut them; he was burning with anger, his body lengthened so much that the foot of a warrior would have found a place between each of his ribs.

28. His servants and his worshipers approached him; so he lifted the house up, then set it back upright, as it first was. Then the guests quietly ate the feast; in one half of the hall were the kings and chiefs, around the famous and admirable Conchobar, great and wonderful king of Ulster; in the other half, the queens: Mugain Aitencaethrech, daughter of Echaid Fedlech, wife of King Conchobar, son of Ness; Fedelm, daughter of Conchobar, said to have nine shapes, because she had nine shapes, each more beautiful than the other, [and wife of Loégairé the victor]; Fedelm with the beautiful hair, daughter of Echaid, wife of Cethernn, son of Fintan; Brig the judicious, wife of Celtchar, son of Uthechar; Findige, daughter of Echaid, wife of Eogan, son of Durthacht; Findchaem, daughter of Cathba, wife of Amorgen with iron hair; Derbforcaill, wife of Lugaid with red belts, son of the three handsome Emain; Emer with the beautiful hair, daughter of Forgall the Cunning, wife of Cûchulainn, son of Sualdam; Lendabair, daughter of Eogain, son of Durthacht, wife of Conall the triumphant; Niab, daughter of Celtchar, son of Uthechar, wife of Cormac Condlongas, son of Conchobar. It would take too long to list the other women and recite their names.

29. A confused noise arose in the room: the three women had started talking again; between their husbands, as between themselves, there was a rivalry of boastfulness; the husbands: Conall, Loégairé, Cûchulainn rose to resume the fight. Sencha, son of Ailill, also got up, he waved his wand, all the Ulates fell silent to listen; Sencha to scold the women, sang a poem:

I rebuke you, oh heroines
Brilliant, illustrious, noble of the Ulates.
Stop bragging;
Do not make the faces of men turn pale
In fierce battles,
By the pride of their exploits.
It's the fault of women
Let the shields of men split open;
Let the men go to battle;
May the multitude of great warriors
Struggle, carried away by anger.
Where the power comes from
Of this madness which is usual with them:
They rise up in arms and repair no harm;
They fall and do not get up.
I rebuke you, oh brilliant, illustrious heroines!

30. Emer answered, singing in verse:

“I cannot do otherwise: I am the wife of a handsome hero who, through sustained study, has acquired a great deal of talent. It does the tour de force on breath, the turn of the apple, the turn of the grimacing demon, the turn of the worm, the turn of the cat, the red twirl of the valiant warrior, the turn of the sacked javelin, the stroke of swiftness, the muzzle fire, the hero's cry, the tricks of the wheel and the edge; he climbs up the rope and over the shoulders of the men. "

My husband has not found his equal
Neither for the age, nor for the size, the radiance of the complexion,
The voice, the delicacy of the mind, the birth,
Beauty, eloquence, the art of fighting,
The fire, the victories, the ardor,
Skill in hunting, nobility,
Lightness on the run, vigor,
The triumphs over the heroes,
The tour of the nine.
Who then looks like Cûchulainn?

31. “If what you say is true, O woman! "Said Conall the winner," let the artist come forward and we'll ask him to show us his talent. "-" No, certainly, replied Cûchulainn, I am tired, broken today; until I have eaten and slept, I will not undertake any struggle. Cûchulainn was telling the truth. That day he had tamed one of the two horses he had since harnessed to his chariot, the Gray of Macha, on the shores of Gray Lake, on the mountain of Fuat. As this horse was coming out of the lake, Cuchulainn had crept up to him; he had placed both hands on her neck, and, thus holding the horse in both hands, he had made himself master of it after a struggle. Cuchulainn, with this horse, had traversed the land of Ireland, and, the same night, he arrived with this good runner at Emain-Macha. He had [previously], in the same way, tamed the black horse of Merveilleuse-Vallée, near the lake of Merveilleuse-Vallée.

32. Then Cûchulainn said: “I have traveled today, with my gray horse, the great countries of Ireland: Breg, Midé, Muresc, Murthemné, Macha, Mag-Medbé; - Currech, Cleitech, Cerné; - Lia, Liné, Locharné; - Féa, Fémen, Fergné; - Ur-Ros-Domnand, Ros-Roïgné; - Anni, Eo. "

“Better sleep than all the feats of strength; I prefer to eat than to do anything. I swear by the god by whom my nation swears, when I am satisfied with food and sleep, a single combat will be for me a game and a pleasure. "

33. It was agreed that the right to the hero's piece would again be called into question. Conchobar and the rest of the Ulster nobles intervened, and here was the decision: "Arise," said the king, "and go find the man who will judge you; it will be Cûroi, son of Dare." And he sang the following poem:

Ask the man
Who judges each;
The tough son of Daré,
The amiable Cûroi,
Who always makes fair judgments,
Who condemns liars;
Truly fair man,
Good and very smart.
Hospitable host,
Heroes with a nimble hand.
Great and worthy king!
He will judge your quarrel fairly,
Heroic act that will be asked of him. Ask for it!

Ask the man
Who judges each.
The tough son of Daré,
The amiable Cûroi!

34. "I accept," said Cuchulainn. - "I agree to it," said Loégairé. - "Let's go," said Conall. - "Let us take horses," continued Cuchulainn, "and have your chariot harnessed, O Conall. "-" Alas! Cried Conall. - Ah! »Replied Cûchulainn,« everyone knows that your horses are clumsy, have a slow pace; how heavy your yoke is, how heavy your chariot lifts clods of earth at each of its two wheels; and a trace, recognizable for a year, is noticed, by the youth of Ulster, on the roads which your chariot follows, O Conall! "

35. “You hear his mockery, O Loégaire! Conall resumed. - "Alas," said Loégairé, "don't insult me, don't make me blush," and he sang:

I am a tireless warrior on the fords, in the plains,
And at the time of the fight in front of the warriors of Ulster.
Don't pretend to take precedence over me, old man!
I am used to driving my team
Before the heroes, before the warriors in the chariots,
In front of the best tanks of war,
Across perils, obstacles, woods, borders.
The warrior with the best team
Don't run past me.

[Episode I. The Fog and the Giant.]

36. Thereupon, Loégairé harnessed his chariot, he jumped there and set off, crossing the plain of Deux-Fourches, the sentinel hole, the ford of Fergus' chariot, the ford of the fairy Morrigu; he reached Caerthend in the meadow of the two oxen, the shelter of the forest, at the meeting of the four roads, near Dun Delga, by the scaly plain to the west, in the mountain of Breg. There a heavy, dark, obscure, inconceivable fog enveloped him, he could not continue his journey: "Let us stop here," said Loégairé to his driver, "let us wait for the fog to dissipate. Loégaire jumped down from his chariot, and his valet put the horses in a nearby meadow.

37. The horses were in the meadow when the servant saw a giant approaching him; this giant did not look handsome: his head was large, his lips enormous, his eyes the size of sacks, his short, hideous teeth, his wrinkled face, his eyebrows like bushes; he was badly built, very ugly, robust, with an obstinate gaze, and a rapid walk. He looked proud, cheerful, panting, very strong, brave to the point of madness, very tall, rude. His head was bald and black, his hair had just been cut with scissors. For his coat he wore a gray blanket; his tunic went down to the buttocks. Old torn shoes enveloped her feet. For a club he had on his back a large club the size of a millstone.

38. "Whose horses are these?" O valet! He said to the driver, giving him an irritated look. - "These are the horses of Loégaire the victor," replied the driver. - "Really," replied the giant, "the master and the horses are good. And raising his club to the driver, he gave him a blow which was felt from ear to heel. The coachman uttered a cry. Loégaire came to his aid. "Why," he asked, "are you hitting my valet?" "-" He must not degrade this meadow, "replied the giant. - "I will avenge him," replied Loégairé. The giant and Loégairé engage in combat. The giant lifts his club and gives Loégairé a blow which hits him from ear to hip; by this blow, it deprives him of the strength to hold his arms which fall. Loégairé flees, and he arrives at Emain-Macha without horses, without a valet and without weapons.

39. Shortly afterwards, Conall the triumphant, following the same route, arrived in the plain where the magic cloud had appeared to Loégairé. Conall saw the same cloud rise, black, gloomy, gloomy. He could no longer distinguish heaven from earth. He jumped out of his chariot. His coachman unhitched the horses and put them in the meadow; after a short time he saw the giant coming towards him. The giant asked him whose servant he was. “I am,” he replied, “servant of Conall the triumphant. "He is a good master," replied the giant, and raising his club, he gave the driver a blow which reached him from ear to heel. The coachman uttered a cry. Conall came running up. A fight began between him and the giant. The strongest in the game of war was the latter. Conall fled like Loégaire, abandoning his weapons, his coachman and his horses, and he arrived alone at Emain-Macha.

40. Cuchulainn took the same route, arrived at the same place, was surprised by the black fog that his two rivals had encountered. He jumped out of his chariot; Loeg, his coachman, led the horses into the meadow; soon the giant appeared and asked Loeg whose servant he was. "I am Cuchulainn's servant," Loeg replied. - "You have a 'good master," replied the giant, hitting him with his club. Loeg gave a cry. On that. Cuchulainn ran up, and there was a fight between him and the giant; they hit each other; the giant is defeated, loses his horses and his coachman, Cûchulainn seizes them and takes them away with his adversary's arms; he made a triumphal entry into Emain-Macha, the horses the coachman and the arms of the giant were all testimonies which attested Cûchulainn's victory.

41. "The hero's piece is yours," Bricriu said to Cûchulainn, and, addressing his two rivals: "After what you have done," he added, "it is clear that you cannot pretend to be his equals. "-" Your judgment is unjust, "they replied:" it is, we know, the friends of the fairies who humiliated and defeated us to take away the piece of the hero, that will not make us give up our rights. They refused to accept the arbitration of the Ulates, Conchobar and Fergus. They wanted to go and ask for the judgment of Cûroi, son of Daré, or that of Ailill and Medb in Cruachan-Aï.

C. - Marche des Ulates to go from Emain-Macha to Cruachan-Aï

42. The Ulates, united, entered into deliberation. The three heroes, each having the same pride and the same arrogance, the many Ulates who surrounded Conchobar were of the opinion that the solution of the question should be sought from Ailill, son of Maga, and from Medb, king and queen of Connaught, to Cruachan-Ai, who would tell who to give the hero piece to, and how to end the women's quarrel.

It was a pretty, beautiful, magnificent spectacle, when the Ulates came to Cruachan. However, Cuchulainn stayed behind to amuse the women of the Ulates. In front of them he circled the nine apples, the nine javelins, and the nine daggers, without mixing the apples, the javelins or the daggers together.

43. Loeg, driver of Cuchulainn, came to fetch him when he was thus occupied: "Unhappy," he said to him, "what has become of your valor and your bravery?" you lost the hero's piece. The Ulates arrived in Cruachan a long time ago. "-" Really, "replied Cuchulainn," we didn't think about it anymore. Harness the horses to the chariot. Loeg obeyed, and they left. The Ulate troop had already reached the plain of Breg. But Cûchulainn's race was very fast. From Dun-Rudraigé, his two horses, the Gray of Macha and the Black of Merveilleuse-Vallée, excited by the coachman, and dragging the chariot, cross the kingdom of Conchobar, the mount of Fuat, the plain of Breg, so that Cûchulainn's chariot was the third to arrive at Cruachan.

44. A furious race therefore carried to Cruachan-Ai Conchobar, the inferior kings and the brave warriors of Ulster. At their approach, one heard at Cruachan such a great noise of arms, that the walls shook and the arms which were suspended there fell. The inhabitants of the fortress were so frightened that every warrior in the courtyard of the castle trembled like a reed on the edge of a stream. “Since I own the fortress of Cruachan,” said Queen Medb, “I haven't heard the cloudless thunder there [and lo, it roars]. Findabair, daughter of Ailill and Medb, went up to the upper room above the castle gate: "Little mother," she said, "I see a man coming in a chariot across the plain." "-" Paint him for me, "replied Medb," tell me his features, his face, his fit; say what the man's look, the horse's color, the chariot's gait. "

45. “Well! "Said Findabair," I see the two horses harnessed to the chariot: two horses full of fire, speckled with yellow, both of the same color, of the same conformation, of the same value, of the same strength when running; they advance with the same rapidity, the same gallop. Their ears look like horns; they have high heads, savage gaiety, pointed and slender mouths, wavy hair, developed foreheads, variegated, slender, broad bodies; they are bold; their mane is curled, their tail curled.

The chariot is made of strips of wood lined with wicker, the two wheels are black and firm, the reins beautiful and supple, the drawbars stiff and straight as swords; the body of the chariot is shiny and polished, the yoke bent and very silver, the two reins intertwined and very yellow.

“In the chariot, I see a warrior with very curly and long hair; her hair is wavy, of three colors, brown on the skin, red as blood in the middle, similar from above to a golden yellow crown: it makes like three circles, each one tightly fitted next to the other, around his head. He wears a beautiful purple tunic adorned with five bands of gold and silver. I see on his variegated shield numerous marks of blows and a border of white brass, on his chariot a flag of plumage of local birds. "

46. "By this description I recognized this man," said Medb, and she sang verses:

Champion of kings! - Old legislator of victories!
Bobd's Hurricane! - Flame of judgment!
Fire of revenge! - Face of a hero!
Face of a warrior! - Dragon heart!
Cutting edge with increasing victories that will kill us!
Loégairé with the skin of a mouse, with a red hand!
Your sword slash lives like the knife that slices onion skin against the ground!

"I swear it by the oath that my nation takes: If it is with anger and to fight that the victor comes to us Loégairé, our fate to all of us who are in Cruachan will be that of an onion that a sharp razor cuts at ground level, so skilfully will the battle he waged against us be directed. May we avoid the effects of his discontent, his strength, his fury by doing his will and appeasing his anger! "

47. "I see another chariot in the plain, O little" mother! Said the young girl. “This one is not worth less. - "Depict it," replied Medb; "Tell me his features, his look, his fit. Say what the man's look, the horse's color, the chariot's pace. " - " Well ! Said Findabair, "I see one of the horses harnessed to the chariot, bold steed, red as copper, strong, swift, furious, rearing up, wide hoof, broad chest; he strikes the ground with strong and triumphant blows across fords, river mouths, buildings, roads, plains, valleys, only to stop after victory; its course is as fast as the aerial flight of birds ... The other horse is red, with a broad, well-curled forehead, curly hair, a full back; he is slender, wild, long, very strong; he traverses the countryside, as much the plains as the closed ones, the climbs as the descents; even in a forest of oaks, its course does not find any obstacles.

The chariot is made of strips of wood interwoven with wicker, the two wheels are white and trimmed with copper, the drawbar white trimmed with silver, the hull very high - I hear it crack; - the rounded yoke has an air of strength and pride; the two reins are wavy and very yellow.

In the chariot sits a man with long curly hair; his face half red, half white, the white side clean and well washed; his blue coat and red as copper, his shield brown and of a beautiful yellow with the chiseled edge of brass. Brilliant, red and proud is the color of his hand, which seems to be fiery. A flag in plumage of the country's birds surmounts the copper body of his chariot. "

48. "I recognized the man by his description," said Medb, and she sang verses:

Lion roar!
Savage ardor of fire!
As sharp as a beautiful sharp stone!
He triumphs in the midst of the chariots of war;
He puts mercilessly
Head on Head,
Exploits after exploits,
Combat after combat.
We can see it clearly: what it will hit will not be the spotted fish on the red sand,
If the anger of the son of Findchoem is carried away against us. "

"I swear it as my nation swear: as the spotted fish is crushed on the red sand with rods of iron, so we will be torn to small pieces by Conall the triumphant if he is angry with us. "

49. "I see," said the young girl, "another chariot" in the plain. - "Depict him for us," replied Medb; “Tell us his features, his look, his fit; say what the man's look, the horse's color, the chariot's gait. " - " Well! »Replied the young girl,« I see one of the horses harnessed to the chariot, gray horse, with a wide thigh, furious, at a rapid and savage gallop, going in small jumps, with a long mane, loud as thunder, the arched mane, high head, broad, fiery chest…, hard and solid hooves; the four of them beat the birds on the run. This horse, running on the path ..., throws sparks of fire which redden while he advances vigorously; the ends of the bridles in its mouth are on fire. "

50. “The other horse is dark black, its hard head is round, its thin foot, its wide hoof, its victorious strength, its very fast gait, its curly coat, its wide back… Both cheerful and furious, he with a powerful gait, strongly strikes the ground with his feet; his mane is long, his mane is wavy; his long, elegant tail sweeps the ground around him after the race where he fought against the horses in the meadow, then quickly he traverses, jumping the valleys and the plains ...

The chariot is made of interwoven wicker; its two wheels are very yellow and shod. The drawbar is lined with brass; the body of the chariot tinned, rounded, solid; the arched yoke, well gilded; the two wavy reins, very yellow.

The black chief seated in the chariot is the most handsome of men in Ireland. He wears a beautiful, well-fitting purple tunic. A gold guilloche brooch, above a figure with a woman's breast, closes the opening of this tunic, where the warrior's blow strikes very quickly. I seem to see, at the bottom of his two pupils, eight of those red gems that one draws from the heads of dragons. Her two cheeks, at the same time blue, white and red as blood, throw sparks of fire. He does the warlike salmon leap. From the top of his incomparable war chariot he makes the bellicose tour of the nine men ”

52. “It is the drops of rain that announce the storm. By his description I recognized this man, ”said Medb, and she sang verses:

Rumbling of the irritated sea!
Wrath of a sea monster!,
Fire red brand!
Loud wave! Bear as magnificent as a Roman!
Rage of a proud beast!
Noble killing of great combat!
Who crushes the enemy in unequal struggle.
Angry bear who kills (?) A hundred warriors in their chariots,
Who piles up exploits after exploits, head to head!
Sing heartily a triumphal song
In honor of Cûchulainn,
Until he eats the flour from our mill. "

"I swear it as my nation swear," said Medb; "If Cûchulainn comes to us angry, like a mill crushes ten shovelfuls of very hard barley, like this man, by himself, will crush us on the ground and in the sun, all the same all the warriors of the province of Connaught would surround us to defend us in Cruachan. But let us calm his fury and reconcile his strength. "

53. “And, this time, how do they come? Medb asked Findabair. She answered by singing verses:

Hand to hand,
Elbow to elbow,
Side against side.
Shoulder to shoulder,
Edge to edge.
Stretcher against stretcher,
Axle against axle,
Tank to tank:
This is how they all are, oh tender mother!
The equal speed of victorious horses
Is such that the lightning that shatters pierces the roofs.
The earth is shaking.
Their hooves hit her so heavily.

Medb resumed, also singing verses:

Let us put beautiful naked women in front of them,
With protruding, uncovered, white udders,
With many young girls ready to welcome them.

Open courtyard!
Defenseless castle!
Fresh water tanks!
Beds prepared!
Pure food, abundant!
Good beer, noble, intoxicating!
Part of a warrior!
Hello to the coming fighters!
Sure, they won't kill you. "

54. Thereupon, Medb, coming out by the outer gate of the castle, came into the lawn, with her a hundred and fifty young girls bringing three vats of fresh water for the three heroes who preceded the troop of the Ulates; they were invited to bathe there to calm their ardor, then they were given the choice to either lodge each in a separate house or to meet all three in the same. “Separate house for everyone,” Cûchulainn said. Then they were taken to their houses; they found magnificent beds there, and the most beautiful of the hundred and fifty young girls; Findabair, daughter of Ailill and Medb, was assigned to Cuchulainn and came to her room.

Then came the rest of the Ulates. Ailill and Medb, surrounded by their people, came to welcome them. "Thank you for your warm welcome," replied Sencha, son of Ailill.

55. Then the Ulates enter the castle, the palace is delivered to them as it has been described: seven circles and seven bedrooms from the hearth to the wall; bronze facade with red yew sculptures; three bands of bronze on the paneling; oak walls, tiled roof; twelve windows with glazed leaves. In the middle of the palace stood the bedroom of Ailill and Medb, surrounded by facades of silver and bands of bronze; beside the bed and in front of Ailill could be seen the silver wand with which Ailill struck the central post of the palace to scold the people. The Ulster warriors circled the palace from door to door. The musicians played as long as the preparations lasted. The palace was so vast that all the brave warriors of Ulster who came with Conchobar found a place there. In Ailill's bedroom settled Conchobar, Fergus, son of Roeg, and nine other brave warriors of Ulster. Then a great feast was served to them: it lasted three days and three nights.

56. After this Ailill asked Conchobar and the Ulates his companions the purpose of their journey. Sencha exposed the affair which had brought them, he told them about the rival claims of the three heroes who were fighting over the hero's piece, the jealous vanity of women who 'wanted precedence in the feasts. “Having found nowhere anyone bold enough to dare to judge these differences,” Sencha said in closing, “we turn to you. - "To take me to judge these heroes," replied Ailill, "is to make a very ill-advised choice, if it is not dictated by hatred. "-" Nobody, "replied Sencha," is more than you capable of clearing up these questions. - "It will take me some time to examine them," resumed Ailill. - "[Take it and judge,]" replied Sencha, "we need to conserve the lives of our heroes; their price is great in comparison to what cowards are worth. "Three days and three nights will be enough for me," said Ailill. "-" This deadline is not excessive, it is agreed, "said Sencha.

After that, the Ulates bade farewell; they showed their gratitude to Ailill and Medb by wishing them every kind of prosperity, but they cursed Bricriu, who was the cause of their quarrels; then they returned to Ulster, leaving Cruachan Loégaire, Conall and Cûchulainn awaiting Ailill's judgment. Each night, each of these three warriors was served the same meal.

[Episode II. The three enchanted cats.]

57. As their bet was brought to them the first night, three little cats from Cruachan's cave were released to find them. They were three druidic beasts [or, if you like, witches]. Conall and Loégairé gave up their food to these animals and took refuge on the beams of the roof, where they slept until morning. Cuchulainn did not flee from the cat which came to attack him; but, when this beast rose to his throat to bite him, he struck him with a sword on the head ... The cat fell to the ground. But Cuchulainn neither ate nor slept until the Evil One. Only then did the three cats leave and they were seen to leave. “This fight is not, for our judgment, a sufficient basis,” said Ailill. - "No, of course," replied Conall and Loégairé, "it is not against" the beats that we are fighting, it is against men. "

[Episode III. Judgment of Medb between the three heroes.]

58. So Ailill went to his room; he hit his back against the wall; his mind was uneasy and sadly preoccupied with the decision to be made. For three days and three nights he neither ate nor slept: “Coward that you are,” Medb told him, “if you don't judge them, I will judge them. "-" It is for me to judge them, "replied Ailill," and what a pity for me to have this charge! "-" Yet it is not difficult to fill, "replied Medb; “There is the same difference between Loégairé and Conall as between bronze and brass; between Conall the triumphant and Cuchulainn, there is the difference which is between brass and red gold. "

59. Then, after careful consideration, Medb sent for Loégairé: "Hello," she said to him, "Loégairé the victor; it is to you that we must give the piece of the hero; you are, according to us, the king of the warriors of Ireland; you are going to have a bronze cup with a brass bird on the foot. The possession of this precious vase will assure you the piece of the hero; it will be the sign of my judgment; but do not let anyone see my present until, in King Conchobar's banqueting hall, the last day of the solemn meal takes place. So when we give the hero piece, you'll show your cup to the assembled Ulster greats and get the hero piece. Among the warriors illustrated by their exploits, none will dispute it, because this jewel which you will carry with you is a sign known to all the inhabitants of Ulster. Then Medb gives Loégairé the winner the cup full of natural wine. Before leaving the palace, Loégairé drinks the beverage contained in the cup. "So the hero's feast is yours," Medb told him; "May you eat it for a hundred years every year in the Ulster warrior assembly!" "

60. After that, Loégairé bids farewell to Medb. She summons Conall the Triumphant to the palace in the same way: "Hail, O Conall the Triumphant!" She said to him; “The hero's piece should be given to you; you are, according to us, the king of the warriors of Ireland; you are going to have a brass cup with a golden bird on the foot. Possession of this precious vessel will secure him the hero's piece; it will be the sign of my judgment; but do not let anyone see my present until, in King Conchobar's banqueting hall, the last day of the solemn meal takes place. So when we give the hero piece, you'll show your cup to the assembled Ulster greats and get the hero piece. Among the warriors illustrated by their exploits, none will dispute it, because this jewel which you will carry with you is a sign known to all the inhabitants of Ulster. Then she gave Conall the brass cup full of natural wine. Conall drank this wine immediately, and, before dismissing him, Medb made the same wish to him as to Loégairé. "So the hero's feast is yours," Medb told him; "May you eat it for a hundred years every year in the Ulster warrior assembly!" "

61. “After that, Conall said goodbye to Medb. Then Ailill and Medb sent for Cuchulainn. “Come talk to the king and the queen,” said the messenger. However, Cûchulainn was then engaged in a game of chess with Loeg, son of Riangabair, his coachman. "You call me to make fun of me," he replied; "You'll see if it's a simpleton that you tell your lie to." With that, he tossed one of the pawns from his chess game to the messenger. The messenger's brain spilled over the floor. The unfortunate [took a few more steps] and fell dead on the pavement, between Ailill and Medb. “Woe to me! Said Medb. “Ordinarily, Cuchulainn kills when seized with his demonic fury. She got up, went to find Cûchulainn and put both hands around his neck: "Talk your lies to another," Cûchulainn said. - “O admirable son of the Ulates! Resumed Medb, "O torch of the Ulster warriors!" we don't like lying when it comes to you. Even if the crowd of Irish warriors would come here entirely, it is to you first of all that we would give the primacy which is contested among you; for all the Irish recognize the superiority of glory, bravery, your exploits, your brilliance, your youth, your illustration. "

62. Thereupon, Cûchulainn gets up and goes with Medb to the palace. Ailill welcomes him. He is given a cup of red gold full of a rare wine; there was, on the foot, a bird of precious stone, the two eyes were made of those marvelous stones which one draws from the heads of dragons. Alone he received such a beautiful present. "You will have the hero's feast," said Medb; "May you eat it every year, for a hundred years, in the presence of all the warriors of Ulster!" - "To that decision, we add a second," Ailill and Medb added together, "Since you are winning out over all the other warriors in Ulster, it wouldn't be fair for your wife to be the equal of theirs. In our opinion, therefore, it is by right that she should always have precedence over the other women in the room where you meet to drink. Then Cuchulainn, after having drunk the precious wine with which the cup was full, bids farewell to the king, to the queen and to all their people, and he goes to join Loeg. "I have a plan," said Medb to Ailill, "to keep the three heroes here again the next night," and to put them to new tests. - "Do as you wish," replied Ailill. We recall the warriors [who were leaving], they are brought back to Cruachan and their horses are unhitched.

63. They are given the choice of food that is suitable for their horses. Conall and Loégairé ask for two-year-old oats for their horses. Cûchulainn chooses barley grain for his family. The three warriors slept in Cruachan that night. The women were divided among the three of them: Findabair and fifty girls with her in the house of Cuchulainn; The eloquent Sadb, another daughter of Ailill and Medb, and fifty young women with her kept company to Conall the triumphant; Conchen, daughter of Cet, son of Maga, and fifty young women with her were left to Loégairé the victor. Medb herself made many visits to the house where Cûchulainn was,

The three heroes thus spent the night in Cruachan.

[Episode IV. The tour de force of the wheel.]

64. The next morning they get up early and go to play in the house where the young men were. Loégairé takes the wheel and throws it in the air, so that it reaches the joist halfway up the house. The young people laugh and cheer him. They wanted to make fun of him. Loégaire believed that they proclaimed him the winner. So Conall takes the wheel off the ground, and he throws it to the highest point of the palace. The young people cheer him on. Conall thought it was a cry of admiration that attested to his victory, but it was a mockery. Cuchulainn seizes the wheel before it has fallen to the ground, and throws it so vigorously that it comes out [through the opening in the roof which served as a passage for the smoke] and is going to fall back out. in the courtyard, where it sinks to the depth of a cubit. The young people laugh and! utter a cry of admiration which proclaims the victory of Cûchulainn. But he thought that the young people laughed at him and found his game ridiculous.

[Episode V. The tour de force of the needles.]

65. Cûchulainn goes to find the assembly of one hundred and fifty women, is given by each of them a needle, and throws these needles on the ground successively one behind the other so adroitly that the point of each needle enters the hole. of the previous one, and that the one hundred and fifty needles form only one line; then he takes the needles back and returns each to the woman who gave it to him. The warriors congratulated Cuchulainn on his skill. Then the three heroes bid farewell to the king, queen and their people.

[Episode, VI. Judgment of Samera].

66. “Go,” said Medb, “to Ercoil and Garmna, my guardian and nurse, and ask them for hospitality next night. They left, but after taking part in a horse race that took place that day, every year, in Cruachan; Cûchulainn was a three-time winner in this race.

When they arrived at Ercoil and Garmna's, they welcomed them: “Why are you coming? Ercoil asked. - "To make us judge," they replied. - "Go find Samera," Ercoil replied, "he's the one who will judge you. So they set off again to go to Samera's house, and they met him at his house. Samera welcomed them. Buan, daughter of Samera, fell in love with Cûchulainn. The three heroes told Samera that they were coming to ask her for judgment. Samera sent them to the fairies of the valley.

67. Loégairé went to the fairies the first night, he came back without weapons or clothes. Conall left the following night; they took away his javelins, and left him only his main weapon, his sword. Cuchulainn went there the third night. At his sight, the fairies cry out, and the battle begins: Cûchulainn's javelin is broken, his shield is shattered, his clothes are torn all around, the fairies have defeated him. “So, O Cûchulainn! Cried Loeg, "oh coward! O wretched man! O one-eyed savage! what has become of your bravery and your valor for fairies to put you in such a pitiful state? Then demonic fury seized Cuchulainn, he turned against the fairies, cutting and shattering everything; the valley was full of their blood. He takes their leader's war mantle and returns victorious to Samera's house where his people were.

68. Samera welcomed him and sang:

No one can dispute the hero's piece to him;
Fat bivouac cows,
Magnificent pigs,
Breads of flour and milk,
Enough to satisfy fifty pleasant guests,
Will be the lot of the famous and admirable Cûchulainn.

Cuchulainn is a mastiff with a split shield,
It is a raven that tears flesh in combat;
He is a powerful and protective boar.
He triumphs over the strong and evil fairies of the lake.
He is fiery as fire.
He is the working mastiff of the noble Emain.
He is the favorite of proud women.
He is red from the blood spilled in deadly combat.
He gives peace to castles.
He refuses the enemy the tribute.
He drives the buffoons out of the camp;
He blows up his chariot over the crevasses.
It is the victorious raven of the battle.
It is the sword of the sunny family.
How would it be even
In Loégairé, the lion of the rampart.
Or to Conall in the illustrious chariot?
Emer with shining hair,
Emer who displeased the king's violence so much,
Emer, in front of the young women of the noble Ulates,
Will walk almighty
In the happy palace where beer circulates in Tara.
I think so
That no one can deny Cûchulainn his share.

Nobody can dispute the hero's piece to him: Fat bivouac cows,
Magnificent pigs,
Breads of flour and milk,
Something to satiate - fifty pleasant guests,
Will be the lot of the famous and admirable Cûchulainn.

"So here is my judgment," said Samera. "To Cûchulainn the hero's piece, to his wife the precedence over the other women of Ulster." Cûchulainn's weapons will be hung on the wall, in the hall, above the weapons of all other warriors except Conchobar. "

[Episode VII. Fight against Ercoil.]

69. The three warriors then returned to Ercoil. Ercoil welcomed them. They slept at his house that night. Ercoil offered them each a single combat; each warrior was to have only one horse. Loégairé fought the first fight, and advanced with a horse against Ercoil. Ercoil's horse killed Loégairé's horse, and Loégairé fled; passing through Ess-Ruaid, he reached Emain, where he told that his companions had been killed by Ercoil. Conall did as he did and ran away after having his horse killed by Ercoil's horse. To get to Emain, he passed through the place called Rathand's Swim. Rathand, Conall's servant, drowned there in the river, and that is why this place is still called Rathand Swimming.

70. But Macha's Gray, Cûchulainn's horse, killed Ercoil's horse. Cûchulainn tied Ercoil behind his chariot and thus brought him to Emain-Macha.

Buan, daughter of Samera, went to see the trace of the chariot of Loégairé, Conall and Cûchulainn. She recognized the trace of Cuchulainn's, because wherever the path narrowed, this chariot had pierced walls, widened gaps or jumped over them. With a terrible leap she rushed to the rear of this chariot; but she fell with her forehead against a rock and was killed in the place called from Buan's Tomb.

When Conall and Cûchulainn arrived at Emain, they were mourned, their death was believed to be certain; Loégairé had brought the news. They told their adventures and their stories to Conchobar and the rest of the Ulster greats. The other warriors, the other braves of Ulster rebuked Loégairé for the tragic tale he had made about his companions.

71. Then Cathba the druid sang the following poem:

A story of defeat had caused Cuchulainn to die abroad,
In the castle of black champions.

I gave unfairly
The price of warlike valor among the great Ulates
To Loégairé, who, without rights,
Raised claim to the hero's piece
After the battle her tragic story told.
It is Cûchulainn who deserves the hero's song:
He fought a good and victorious fight against Ercoil.
Ercoil is bound, the strong and jealous warrior,
Behind a tank that has no equal.
We are not unaware of the great actions of Cûchulainn,
They tell of his glorious murders.
Mounted in his chariot, he is a strong and magnificent warrior;
He is a handsome and victorious hero in combat;
His exploits in battles
Killed many battalions.
When he leaves his castle in a chariot,
He is a strong king whose anger doubles his worth.
Loégairé thought Getting the Hero's Piece
By a tale of defeat.

A story of defeat had caused Cûchulainn to die abroad, In the castle of black champions.

[Episode VIII. The judgment pronounced by Medb has no effect.]

72. Then ended the reflections and confused words of the warriors. They then went to the feast and prepared to eat. Sualdam, Cûchulainn's father, was in charge of the meal service that night. Conchobar's large vat is filled with beer. Then we took care of the sharing of food, and the people in charge of this operation began their work. First they put the hero piece aside. "Why don't you give anyone the hero's piece?" Dubthach said with a lazy tongue. “The three suitors did not leave the King of Cruachan without reporting a sure sign that tells us who the hero's piece should be given to. "

73. Thereupon Loégairé the victor stood up and showed his bronze cup with a silver bird on the foot. "It's mine," he said, "that the hero's piece belongs to - no one arguing for it!" - "He is not yours," replied Conall the triumphant, "we have brought a similar sign! You have a bronze cup, mine is brass: the difference between them clearly shows that the hero piece belongs to me. "-" He belongs to neither of you, "resumed Cuchulainn, and rising he continued:" you have not brought any sign which attributes to you the hero's piece, unless the king and the queen towards whom you did not want to increase the hatred between you and me, and lead us from murder to murder. They couldn't do you a greater insult than giving you these presents. It will be I who will have the piece of the hero; I alone brought the well-known sign. "

74. . All the great Ulster men who surrounded Conchobar, son of Ness, saw this cup. "So it is I," he said, "who is entitled to the hero's piece, unless some injustice is done to me." - "We all award it to you," said Conchobar, Fergus and the rest of the Ulster greats, "the hero's piece is yours by the judgment of Ailill and Medb." "-" We swear it by the oath which our nation takes, "replied Loégairé and Conall the triumphant," it is a cup which you bought, this cup which you bring. You paid for it in valuables and treasures that belonged to you and which you gave to Ailill and Medb to get it from them. You had in mind to satisfy your pride and prevent the hero's piece from being given to anyone but yourself. - "I swear by the oath of my nation," continued Conall the triumphant, "the so-called judgment that would have been passed is not a true judgment, and the hero's piece is not yours. Thereupon the two warriors rise, sword drawn, to attack Cûchulainn. Conchobar and Fergus stand between them. Loégairé and Conall lower their hands and put the sword back in the scabbard. “Stop,” Sencha said, “and do my will. - "We will do it," they replied.

[Episode IX. Leblond, son of Leblanc [Bude mac Bain], refuses to pronounce a sentence.]

75. "Go," said Sencha, "find Leblond, son of Leblanc, at his ford, he will judge you." The three heroes went to Leblond's, explained their desire to him and the object of the quarrel which brought them about. "Has there not been," said Leblond, "a decision rendered concerning you in the castle of Cruachan-Ai?" "-" Certainly, "continued Cuchulainn," a decision has been rendered, but these men do not want to submit to it. "-" No, certainly, "continued Loégairé and Conall," we will not submit to this decision, because this decision taken against us is not a judgment. "" It will not be easy for anyone to judge you, "replied Leblond," since you refuse to carry out the sentence of Medb and Ailill. However, I have someone who will dare to judge you, it is Terrible, son of Great-Fear; he is in his lake. Go find him, he will be your arbiter. Terrible, son of Great-Fear, was a man who had a marvelous faculty: he took all the forms that pleased him, he practiced Druidism and artifices which produced this change. Terrible, son of Great Fear, is the wild giant who gave his name to Belach-Muni said of the Wild Giant, and he was called wild giant because of his large size in the various forms he took.

[Episode X. Judgment of Terrible, son of Great Fear [Uath mac Immomain]. .]

76. The three warriors arrived at Terrible, at its lake; envoys from Leblond accompanied them and introduced them. They tell Terrible why they come to find him. Terrible told them that he would undertake to judge them, if they first agreed to submit to his sentence. "We will submit to it" they replied. He made them make a solemn pledge with him, "There is," he said next, "a deal that I offer to you, and whoever of you accepts it will have the hero's piece." "-" What is this market? Asked the three warriors. - "I have an ax," he said, "that one of you take it in your hand and cut off my head today, I'll cut off his head tomorrow." "

77. Conall and Loegairé said they would not make that deal; they had not, they said, the power to remain alive after having had their heads cut off; to him alone belonged this faculty. Conall and Loegairé therefore refused the deal. However, there are books where it is said that they accepted the deal, that Loegairé cut off the giant's head the first day, but did not return the next day to have it cut off, and that Conall does the same. Cúchulainn said he accepted the deal if he were to be given the hero's piece. Conall and Loegairé declared that they would let him have the hero's piece if he made the deal with Terrible. Cuchulainn obtained from them the solemn commitment to give up contesting the hero's piece if he made the deal with Terrible in question. The deal is made between Cu Chulainn and Terrible. Terrible, after making an incantation on the edge of his ax, lays his head on the stone before Cuchulainn; Cuchulainn, taking the giant's ax, strikes him and cuts off his head. Then Terrible left and dove into the lake, holding his ax in one hand, his head on his chest in the other.

78. Cûchulainn returns the next day to the rendezvous, and stretches out in front of Terrible on the stone. The latter lowers the ax three times over the brave's neck and back. “Arise, Cuchulainn,” he said, “yours the warrior kingship of Ireland and the hero's piece, no one can dispute that. After that, the three warriors returned to Emain, but neither Conall nor Loégairé submitted to the judgment rendered in favor of Cuchulainn. They continued to dispute the hero's piece with him. The Ulates, after deliberation, decided to go find Cûroi to ask him for a judgment on the matter. The three warriors agreed.

[Episode XI The trials at Cûroi castle, their consequences.]

79. The next morning, the three heroes, Cûchulainn, Conall and Loégairé, arrived at the castle of Cûroi. They unhitch their chariots at the castle gate, and after that enter the palace. Blathnath, daughter of Lebègue and wife of Cûroi, son of Daré, welcomed them. Cûroi was not at home to receive them that night; he knew the three warriors would come; he had left, recommending his wife to do what the three visitors would like until his return: he was going to the east, in the land of Scythia, because. from the day Cûroi first took up arms until the day of his death, he never reddened his sword with blood in Ireland, he never brought to his lips anything that came from Ireland, as long as he lived from the day he was completed seven years old; nothing in Ireland seemed to him worthy of his pride, his glory, his superiority, his anger, his strength, his bravery. In accordance with his orders, his wife had baths, intoxicating drinks, and superb beds prepared for the three warriors, so that they would be content.

80. When it was time to go to bed, Blathnath warned them that they should each take turns guarding the castle at night, until Cûroi's return. “And,” she added, “Cûroi said you would do custody in order of age. In whatever part of the world Cûroi was, the thought of his castle preoccupied him at the entrance of each night, and made him moan until after sunset the darkness, which had become blacker than a millstone, would have made the castle gate impossible to find.

81. Loégairé the victor went to keep watch the first night, for he was the oldest of the three warriors. He was sitting at his post towards the end of the night when he saw in the sea, as far as his sight could reach, a shadow advancing towards him. This shadow was big, hideous, frightening. She was as high as the sky, and he seemed to see the whole sea between her legs. She walked over to him. She had both hands full of oak branches, each as heavy as a cart yoke. She threw a branch at Loégaire, and she missed it. She started again a second and a third time without reaching either the skin or the shield of Loégairé. Loégairé threw his javelin at her - and missed her too.

82. Then the shadow stretched out its hand as far as Loégairé. Her hand was so long that she passed over the three ramparts which separated the two combatants during the exchange of projectiles, then she seized Loégairé; however great and illustrious Loégairé was, he held in one of his adversary's hand as a one-year-old child might have held. Then the shadow, bringing both hands together, squeezed it so as to crush it, like a chess pawn between two millstones. When, by the effect of this treatment, he was half-dead, the shadows threw him out of the castle, onto the dung, at the door of the palace. The castle was not open from that side. The other two warriors and the people of the house thought that Loégairé had jumped out of the castle to abandon it while fleeing from the enemies.

83. When, at the end of the second day, the hour of duty came, Conall the triumphant went and sat down at his post, for he was older than Cuchulainn. He had the same adventures as Loégairé the night before. It was the third night that Cûchulainn's turn came. This night is the one when, to take and sack the castle, the three Pales of the Cold Moon Marsh, the three Pastors of Breg and the three sons of Music with the Big Fist met. It is the night in which the monster of the lake, in the vicinity of the castle, promised to swallow the fortress with all its contents, both animals and people.

84. Cûchulainn was therefore on duty that night, when many unpleasant adventures happened to him. Towards midnight, he heard a great noise which was going to approach: "Ah! ah! He cried, "if they" are friends, let them not move forward! If they are enemies, let them approach! His attackers together utter a threatening cry. Cuchulainn rushes on them and kills them; all nine remain on the floor. He brings the heads to his post one after the other and sits down beside the heap. Nine other warriors utter the war cry against him; he is the second time victor, and the struggle begins again a third time with the same result, so that he creates a heap of heads and arms.

85. When then came the end of the night, he was overcome with weariness, boredom and exhaustion; but he heard the lake rise with the same noise as the sea agitated by the storm. However great his fatigue, his bellicose ardor could not bear the uncertainty, and he went to see the cause of the terrible growl he heard. He saw, erected above the lake, the monster, the height of which seemed to him to be thirty cubits above the level of the water. The monster soared into the air, leaped towards the castle, and opened a mouth large enough to swallow the entire palace.

86. Cûchulainn remembered his tour de force in the hunting game; he leapt into the air, and in an instant found himself behind the monster. He grabs him by the neck, puts a hand in his throat, tears his heart out and throws it to the ground, and the monster falls to the ground like a burden which a man lets fall from his shoulder. Cûchulainn strikes him with his sword, cuts him into small pieces, takes the head with him to his post and puts it on the heap with the three times nine other heads.

87. He was there, and after these struggles he was exceedingly exhausted when, at twilight, he saw coming to him, from the sea to the west, the shadow which had so mistreated Loégaire and Conall. She was as high as the sky; he seemed to see the whole sea between his legs. She walked over to him. She had both hands full of oak branches, each as heavy as a wagon yoke: "Your night will be bad," said the shadow. - "Yours will be worse, rascal," replied Cuchulainn. Thereupon the shadow throws an oak branch at him. Cûchulainn avoids the blow. The shadow begins again two or three times without reaching either the skin or the shield of Cûchulainn. The latter retaliates by throwing his javelin in the shade, and misses it. Then the shadow extends its hand towards Cûchulainn to seize him like Loégairé and Conall. But Cûchulainn makes the warlike leap of the salmon; he remembers his tour de force in the game of hunting; in an instant he has the sword drawn on the shadow's head. Faster than a fox, he has circled around her in the air: it is the tour de force of the wheel. “Grace, O Cûchulainn! Cried the shadow. - "Give me the three things I want," Cûchulainn replied. - "You will have them," replied the shadow; "They'll come to you as fast as your breathing." "-" I want, "continued Cuchulainn," to have for me the royalty of the warriors of Ireland and the hero's piece without dispute; finally, for my wife, precedence always over the women of Ulster. "-" You will have that immediately, "said the shadow; and as soon as she had spoken thus, she disappeared without anyone knowing where she had gone.

88. Cuchulainn began to think. [The leap he had taken to fight the shadow had thrown him out of the castle]; he thought of the jump that Loégaire and Conall had had to take to get out of it before him. This jump, he thought, had been great in length and height; he believed, in fact, that it was by a leap that the two heroes had gained the countryside. Twice he tried to perform the same jump [in reverse]; he could not come to the end: “Alas! He said, "The fatigue I have had to endure so far from the hero's piece has broken me; what my competitors have done is beyond my strength. These reflections, in Cûchulainn, were foolishness. He would leap away from the castle with a leap as long as a javelin throw, then a leap in the opposite direction brought him back to his starting point, and with his forehead he would strike the rampart of the castle. [Then he started again.] Once he climbed so high that he saw the whole interior of the castle. A second time, by falling, his legs entered the ground up to the knee, so much his ardor and his strength had made him heavy! A third time, his natural impatience, the ardor of his mind, the greatness of his courage, made him acquire such a marvelous lightness that when he reached land his feet left intact even the dew on the tops of the grass. In this exercise, his demonic fury grew, and finally a leap took him over the rampart. He found himself in the middle of the castle, at the palace gate. The imprint of his feet remains engraved on a stone, in the courtyard, where the porch of the palace was. So he came in and sighed.

89. "It is not a sigh of mourning," said Blathnath, daughter of Lebègue, wife of Cûroi; “It is a sigh of victory and triumph. The daughter of the king of Falga's warrior island knows what difficulties Cûchulainn encountered that night. Shortly afterwards, Cûroi was seen entering his palace; he brought back the war coats of the three times nine warriors killed by Cûchulainn, their heads, the head of the monster. He held the heads on his chest; he laid them on the palace floor: “This young man,” he said, “will always be able to guard a king's fortress. Here are his trophies, all from one night. The object of the dispute which brought you here, the hero's piece, belongs by right to Cuchulainn, in preference to all the other warriors in Ireland. Even though there might be someone braver here, no one has won as many victories as he. Here is the judgment which Cûroi then passed: "To Cûchulainn the song of the hero, the supremacy of bravery among the Irish; to his wife, precedence over other women in the house where the Ulates meet to drink. And Cûroi gave Cûchulainn, in gold and silver, the value of seven female slaves to reward the exploits which the hero had accomplished in one night.

90. After this decision, the three warriors bade farewell to Cûroi; they left and arrived at Emain-Macha before the end of the day. When, later, at the feast, the portions were made and it was a question of distributing them, those who served set aside the hero's piece with the portion of beer that went with him. “It is clear to us,” said to the three lazy-tongued Dubthach warriors, “that there is no dispute between you tonight about the hero's piece. Cûroi, to whom you went, had the courage to pass judgment between you. Loégaire and Conall replied that they did not want the hero's piece to be, to their prejudice, attributed to Cuchulainn. "So you don't want, since your return to Emain-Macha," Doel continued, "to submit to the judgment rendered by Cûroi in favor of Cûchulainn." Cuchulainn said he didn't feel like claiming the hero's piece; his claims had hitherto caused him much greater damage than the profit to be hoped for. Since then, the song of the hero was not attributed to anyone until the time when the acquisition of warrior primacy took place in Emain-Macha.

D. - Acquisition of the warrior primacy at Emain-Macha.

91. The Ulates were once gathered at Emain-Macha, when, after the fatigue of the town hall and of the games, Conchobar, Fergus, son of Roeg, and the great men of Ulster came out of the field of games and came to their homes. sit at Conchobar Palace. Neither Cuchulainn, nor Conall the triumphant, nor Loégairé the victor were present that night. However, many brave Ulster warriors were present at this assembly. It was about three in the afternoon, and the end of the day was approaching. They saw a tall, ugly rascal come to them in the house. It seemed to them that among the Ulates there was not a warrior who reached half his height. The scoundrel looked creepy and hideous. His clothes consisted of a tunic of old skin and a dark gray coat; it carried huge tree branches as long as a stable for thirty calves. Two greedy, yellow eyes, as large as cauldrons, seemed to pop out of his head; each of his fingers was bigger than the hand of an ordinary man; in his left hand he held a beam as heavy as twenty ox yokes, in his right hand an ax into which a hundred and fifty castings had entered, and the handle of which was as heavy as a yoke of a chariot. This ax had such a sharp edge that if it struck in the direction of the wind, it would have cut a hair.

92. So he arrived with that look, and he went and sat down at the foot of the wooden fork from which the rack hung, next to the hearth. "Does the house seem too narrow for you?" "Asked the rusty Dubthach with the lazy tongue," you can find no place other than at the foot of the fork which carries the rack; would you pretend to claim the function of lighting the house, or would you rather set fire to the house than to give us light? " - "No matter my talent," replied the rascal, "you will understand that with my size I could hold the light high enough to illuminate all those who are here, and I would not set the house on fire for that.

But lighting houses is not my job. I have other professions without this one. This is what I came to ask you. So far I have searched in vain in Ireland, in Great Britain, in Europe, in Africa, in Asia, until Greece, in Scythia, in the Orkney Islands, as far as the Pillars of Hercules, the Tower of Braganza and the island of Cadiz; nowhere have I found a man worthy of the name and capable of fighting against me. Since you prevail, you, O Ulates, over all the other men of this earth by the terror that you inspire, by the bravery, the consideration, the pride, the dignity, the justice, the honor, the distinction , there must be among you a man capable of sustaining the combat against me. »

94. "It is not fair," said Fergus, son of Roeg, "that our province should lose its honor for lack of a man to defend it against you, and it is not sure that our champion is any more danger of death than you. "-" It is not to avoid death that I have come, "replied the scoundrel. - "So let's find out what you ask of us," replied Fergus, son of Roeg. - "I have only one claim," insisted the rustic, "and that is that they give me a real man as an adversary. "-" It is right that you oppose a real man, "replied Sencha, son of Ailill; “And a real man, chosen from the tall and polite troop of Ulster warriors, will not shrink from a single fighter who to them is a stranger; if you haven't met an opponent so far capable of defeating you, you have found him here today. "-" I am leaving Conchobar aside because he is a king, "resumed the scoundrel; "I leave out Fergus, son of Roeg, because he is the equal of Conchobar, but, except these two, that any of the others come, and that very night he will lose his head of which I am 'seize ...'

95. "Except these two, let him come who dares, so that I cut off his head tonight, and he mine next night." "

“Sure then, there's no other warrior here,” Dubtach said, “apart from these two. "

"By my faith, there will be one soon," cried Munremur mac Gerrcind, leaping into the room. Munremur's strength was the strength of a hundred warriors, each of his arms having the power of a hundred "centaurs." “Bend over, bachlach,” said Munremur, “that I can cut off your head tonight, and you will cut off mine tomorrow. "

"If this had been the object of my quest, I would have completed it anywhere." Said the bachlach; "Let's do what was established in our convention: I'll cut off your head tonight, and you take your revenge next night. "

“By the gods of my people,” said Dubtach Viper's Tongue, “death is not a pleasant prospect for you, then, if the man slain that night can attack you the next day. If you have that power, being slain night after night, to get revenge the next day, it's all up to you. "

"Really I will do what you all agree to do after discussion, strange as that sounds to you," said the bachlach. He then made the other swear to keep his promise in the commitment to come to the meeting the next day.

96. With this Munremur took the ax from the hand of the bachlach. Its two points were seven feet apart. Then the bachlach put his neck across the block. Munremur struck through with the ax until it sank into the block below, severing its head so that it rolled to the foot of the fork that carries the rack, the house being filled with blood.

Immediately the bachlach stood up, pulled himself together, hugged his head, the block and the ax to his chest, and left the room with the blood flowing from his neck. He bathed the Red Branch on all sides. Great was the horror of the people, marveling at the wonder that had appeared to them. "By the gods of my people," said Dubtach, "if the bachlach, who has just been killed tonight, returns tomorrow, he will not leave a man alive in Ulster." "

The next night he returned, and Munremur avoided him. So the bachlach began to invoke his pact with Munremur. "Really, it is not fair for Munremur not to fulfill his commitment to me."

97. That night, however, Loégairé the Triumphant was present. "Who of the warriors fighting for the Ulster Hero Piece will make a pact with me tonight?" Where is Loégairé le Triomphant? He said.

"Here," said Loégairé. He also made a pact with him, however Loégairé did not keep his promise. The bachlach returned the next day and similarly made a pact with Conall Cernach, which did not come as he had promised.

98. The fourth night the bachlach returned, fierce and furious. All the ladies of Ulster had come that night to see the strange wonder that had come to the Red Branch. That night Cûchulainn was also present. So the bachlach began to reproach them. “You men of Ulster, your courage and prowess are gone. Your warriors greatly covet the Hero's Piece, yet they are unable to compete for it. Where's the crazy boy called Cûchulainn? I would like to know if his word is better than that of others. "

“I don't want any pact with you,” Cûchulainn said.

“No doubt, miserable fly, you are greatly afraid of dying. So Cuchulainn rushed towards him and struck him a blow with the ax, throwing his head up to the rafter at the top of the Red Branch so that the hall shook. Then again, Cuchulainn grabbed the head and slashed it with an ax and smashed it. Then the bachlach rose to his feet.

99. The next day, the Ulates looked at Cuchulainn to see if he would evade the bachlach like the other champions had done. As Cuchulainn was waiting for the bachlach, they saw that a great depression seized him. It was as if they had sung his death song. They were certain that his life would last only until the bachlach came. Then, with shame, Cuchulainn said to Conchobar, “You will not go until my pact with the bachlach is fulfilled; because a contract awaits me and I would prefer to die in honor. "

They were there as day was falling and they saw the bachlach approaching. "Where is Cûchulainn?" he said.

"Here I am," he replied.

“Your word is sad tonight, unhappy one; you are very afraid of dying. Yet, although your fear is great, you did not escape death. ”

Then Cuchulainn stretched his neck across the block which was so large that his neck was only halfway up. "Stretch your neck, miserable one," cried the bachlach.

"You keep me in torment," Cûchulainn said, "hurry me over." Last night, by my faith, I didn't torture you. Truly I swear that if you torture me I will make myself as tall as a crane above you. "

“I can't kill you,” said the bachlach, “because of your neck too short and your size and size of the block. "

101. Then Cuchulainn stretched out his neck so much that a warrior's foot would have gone between any of his ribs; he stretched his neck until his head reached the other side of the block. The bachlach raised his ax until he reached the top of the house. The creaking of the old skin on him and the crash of the ax - both arms raised high with all its might - was like the thud of a storm-smashed wood on a stormy night. He then descended on her neck, blunt side below, under the gaze of all the nobles of Ulster.

102. “O Cûchulainn, stand up! warriors of Ulster and Ireland, no matter how brave they are, none can compare to you for valor, bravery, and truth. The sovereignty of the heroes of Ireland is for you now and the Undisputed Hero's Piece, and for your wife the priority over the Ladies of Ulster forever in the feast room. And whoever will deny it to you from now on, I swear as my clan swears that all their life they will be in danger. Then the bachlach disappeared. It was Cûroi, son of Daré, who, in this form, had come to fulfill the promise he had made to Cûchulainn.

And so far it's the Hero's Piece in Emain
and the Fight of words between the women of Ulster
and the Heroes' Dispute at Emain
and the March of Ulates to Cruachan.