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This is Standish O'Grady's translation of Teigue mac Cein's Adventure, which appears on pages 385-401 (chapter 27) of Volume 2 of his Silva Gadelica, published in 1892. The original version appears in Volume 1 (pp.342-359).
The text depicts a raid on Munster by pirates from the land of Fresen (Frisia?), who kidnap members of Taidhg or Teague's family, and his subsequent adventures in search of them. This work, to my knowledge, has not been published as a webpage elsewhere.

This that follows is the Adventure of Cian's son Teigue.


It was once upon a time when Teigue son of Olioll Olom's son Cian was on his 'next heir's circuit' into the west of Munster, and his own kindly brethren: Airnelach and Eoghan along with him. And that was the very time and hour in which came Cathmann son of Tabarn - a man that was king of the beauteous land of Fresen: a country lying over against Spain to the south-east - out of the coasts of Fresen then this same Cathmann (with a strength of nine first-rate ships' crews) came on a roving commission, scouring the sea to make discovery, until they made the land in Munster's western part where, in or about Berehaven (to be precise), they caught the country napping, and so slipped ashore, the whole fleetful of them; by whom the country was spoiled and ravaged, nor were the inhabitants ever aware of them until they had surrounded their prey, both human and of kine: Teigue's entire family being taken, and himself by sheer weapon-play coupled with resolution hardly escaping away from them. There namely were captured Líban daughter of Conor Red-brows and wife of Cian's son Teigue, with both his brethren: Airnelach and Eoghan; and among all the various denominations of captives and of booty away they were carried, in the hands of robbers and trusting to the clemency of allmarachs [a poor look-out], until they reached Spain and the coasts of Fresen. Teigue's wife, Cathmann tells off to himself for the purposes of his bed and most privy couch; his two kinsmen he relegates to servitude and hardship: Eoghan, to work a common ferry across a fjord on the coast; Airnelach, to pull firewood and to keep up fire for the people at large; while for their support was given them barley seed only, with muddy turbid water.

Teigue's concerns must be told now: whom grief and discouragement affected, for sake of his brethren and his wife ravished from him by Allmarachs. Forty warriors of his people however had likewise escaped unslain by these, having on the contrary themselves killed of them a man apiece, and one individual of the over-sea men they brought in in hand. This fellow told them the particulars of that land out of which they had been attacked; and the project which Teigue formed in consequence was to build and fit out (suitably to a long passage) a smart, strongly put together currach of five-and-twenty thwarts, in which should be forty ox-hides of hard bark-soaked red leather. Then he provided all due items of his currach's necessaries: in the way of thick tall masts, of broad-bladed oars, of pilots fully qualified, and of thwarts solidly well laid and fitted in their berths, in such fashion that in all respects this currach was as it should be, and thoroughly staunch.

With mighty effort now they ran down and bravely launched the craft: some stout hands in her, all standing by to meet the huge green billows, to deal with the lofty rising of the salmon-bearing, strong-crested sea, with the rude broken race of the spring tide. With victuals and all stores they filled their currach so that, though they kept the sea for a whole year, they had had as much as would keep them of meat and drink, and of right good raiment.

The young men then being at all points ready, Teigue said: "men! take your currach to sea, and let us be off in quest of our own that for now already some time are away from us;" and he uttered a lay: -

Out upon the high and stormy sea your currach take...


Forth on the vast illimitable abyss they drive their vessel accordingly, over the volume of the potent and tremendous deluge, till at last neither ahead of them nor astern could they see land at all, but only colossal Ocean's superficies. Farther on, they heard about them concert of multifarious unknown birds and hoarse booming of the main; salmons, irridescent, white-bellied, throwing themselves all around the currach; in their wake huge bull seals, thick and dark, that ever cleft the flashing wash of the oars as they pursued them and, following these again, great whales of the deep; so that for the prodigiousness of their fashion, motion and variety, the young men found it a festive thing to scrutinise and watch them all: for hitherto they had not used to see the diverse oceanic reptiles, the bulky marine monsters.


For the space of twenty days with twenty nights thus they continued rowing on the sea, and then sighted bold land having a fair and favourable coast. They hold a straight course for the same till they reach it, then all hands land and there they beach their currach; they light fires, their provisions are passed out to them, and these the warriors despatch redoubtably. On the beautiful green grass they make themselves beds, and from that moment to the bright hour of sunrise on the morrow enjoy themselves in sleep. Next day, Teigue being early risen prepares to perambulate and to search out the land, to make a circuit and find out whether in the island were any inhabiting of either men or beasts. He takes on him his armature of battle therefore, and thirty warriors of his people fully weaponed start with him; they go right ahead and explore the whole island, but signs of human habitation find not any whatsoever nor, save only all flocks of sheep, aught else. The size of these creatures was unutterable: they were not less than horses of the largest, the entire island too being full of their wool. One parlous great flock in particular they found there, of gigantic rams which a single special one exceeded all: nine horns bedecked him and on our heroes he charged, violently butting. In irritation Teigue's people turn on him and between them and him a fight comes off, in which the ram at this first burst staves in some five of their shields; but then Teigue poises that throwing javelin of his that might not be eluded, and at the ram delivers a lucky cast, so killing him. Now the full burthen of those nine-and-twenty others that were present, that is what he was to carry. They brought him to the currach, prepared him deftly, and brandered him till he was meat fit for the young men to consume. For its beauty, its extraordinary nature and the richness of it, they gather great store of the wool and put it into the currach. For three nights they were in the island, and a wether it was that nightly provided our fine fellows. Human bones too of enormous size they found there, but what death had carried off the owners was unknown to them: whether it were men that had slain, plague or pestilence exterminated, or in fact the rams that had killed them.


They leave the island and pull ahead, upon which course that they held they light on a pair of most peculiar islands, containing a multitude of very special birds of the blackbird sort: some of them possessing the bulk of eagles or of cranes, and they red (but with green heads on them) while eggs they had that were pied of blue and of pure crimson. Of which eggs certain from among the navigators ate somewhat, and on the instant an integument of feathers would sprout out all over every one that so fed; but when they bathed, such plumage would as quickly drop from them. Now the Allmarach that they had with them, he it was that had given them this course, for on some former occasion he as he cruised had followed this same track of theirs.


Again they pull away, for six weeks (during which spell they never made a landfall), until the Allmarach said: "we are all adrift, and carried into the deep illimitable ocean of the great abyss!"

Then the blast with its coarse utterance rose; great uproar was wrought in the sea, so that it was turned into heaving hills, into great mountains ill to climb; and at encounter of all this dirty weather, of these heavy squalls: things which hitherto they had not practised to endure, much fear occupied the people of Cian's son Teigue. But he fell to stir up and to incite them, telling them to meet the sea like men, and he said: -

Young men of Munster, rise...

"And, men," he went on, "do valiantly - fight for your lives against the ocean's heavy seas that rise at you along the currach's sides!"

He by himself took the craft's one side, all his people manned the other, and Teigue prevailed against the whole of them: he alone sufficing to pull the currach round on the other twenty-nine, while he contrived to bale and keep it dry besides. After this they got a turn of fair wind and hoisted their sail, whereby the currach shipped less water on them; then the sea moderated, abating its hubbub till finally it lay fair flat calm, and until on every hand about them there was chorus of birds unknown and multiform.


They now descry land with a good coast, of a pleasing aspect, and at the sight become joyful and of good courage. They close in with it, and find a fine green-bosomed estuary with spring-well-like sandy bottom having silver's pure-white refulgence; with salmons variegated and gaudy, decked in choice shades of crimson red; delicate woods with empurpled tree-tops fringing the delightful streams of this country into which they were come.

"A beauteous land is this, young men," said Teigue: "and I could give him joy whose natural lot in life it were to dwell on in the same!" then he vented a lay: -

A lovely land is that into which I am entered...

And he went on: "a lovely land and a fruitful, I say, is this into which we are come; land we then, haul ye up your currach and dry it out!" which done, a score of stalwart warriors set out on their rambles, leaving other twenty to mind the currach.

Now, for all they had had of cold, of strain on their endurance, of foul weather and of tempest, yet neither for meat nor for fire did they, after reaching the coast on which they thus were landed, feel any craving at all: the perfume of that region's fragrant crimsoned branches being by way of meat and satisfying aliment all-sufficient for them. Through the nearest part of the forest they take their way, and come by-and-by upon an orchard full of red-laden apple-trees, with leafy oaks too in it, and hazels yellow with nuts in their clusters.

"I marvel, men," quoth Teigue, "at that which I perceive: in our own land at this present instant we have winter, and here, in this country, summer!"


Extraordinary was the amenity of that spot to which they had attained now; but they quit it, and happen on a wood: great was the excellence of its scent and perfume, round purple berries hung on it, and every one of them was bigger than a man's head. Birds beautiful and brilliant feasted on these grapes; fowls they were of unwonted kind: white, with scarlet heads and with golden beaks. As they fed, they warbled music and minstrelsy that was melodious and superlative, to which patients of every kind and the repeatedly wounded would have fallen asleep; with reference to which it was that Teigue chanted this lay following: -

Sweet to my fancy, as I consider them, the strains of this melody to which I listen are...


Still they advance, and so to a wide smooth plain clad in flowering clover all bedewed with honey: a perfectly flat and even plain it was, without either rise of fall of surface except three prominent hills that it bore, each one of these having on its side an impregnable place of strength.

Said plain they traverse so far as the nearest hill, and there find a white bodied lady, fairest of the whole world's women, who said: "I hail thine advent and, Teigue son of Cian, thou shalt have victual and constant supply!"

"The same to thee, if that be lawful for me; but, gentle and sweet-worded woman, what is thy name?"

"I am Gothnia's daughter, wife of Sláinghe son of Dela son of Loth," she answered.

"Queen," said Teigue, "that thou sayest there is good: set me now forth, I pray thee, every colony that ever settled Ireland, and the tongues that served them all, from Cesair's time to her plantation by Milesius' sons."

"I am expert to tell it," she answered and, between them, they sang a lay: -

Well thou speakest, lady: Gothnia's daughter blithe and bright...

Then he said: "woman, that is well; knowledge thou hast and genuine instruction; tell me therefore what is this regal and great fortalice upon the high hill's face, with round about it a bulwark of white marble?"

"That," she answered, "is the fort of the royal line."

"What line is that?"

"Of Ireland's kings: from Heremon son of Milesius to Conn of the Hundred Battles, who was the last to pass into it."

Teigue asked: "what is this country's name?"

"Inis locha or 'loch island' this is," she said: "over which they are two kings that reign, as Ruadrach and Dergcroiche sons of Bodhb."

"And who dwells in yon middle fort that has a colour of gold?"

"It is not I that will tell it thee; but to that same intermediate fort betake thyself, and there thou shalt learn it;" with which the lady departed from them to the fort of white marble.


Teigue with his people moved on till they gained the middle hold, where again they found a queen of gracious form and she draped in vesture of a golden fabric.

"All hail, Teigue!" said she, and: "lady, I thank thee for the same," he returned.

"Long time it is since 'twas foretold for thee to come on this journey, Teigue."

"Thy name, lady?"

"Cesair, daughter of Noah's son Bethra, people call me; I am the first woman that reached Ireland before the Flood, and with me three men: Bith, Fintan, Ladra; but ever since we came out of that dark unquiet land, in this one here we bide in everlasting life."

"Thou art a knowledgeable expert woman so," said Teigue.

"Proficient I am indeed," she answered, "in every people and generation that ever, down to this very day, took Ireland."

"This island's name, what is it?"

"Thou askest that thou knowest already [lit. 'quæstio post notitiam isthæc']."

"But," said Teigue, "I know not whether it be the same tale with thee and with her whom previously we have addressed."

"The same verily," she said: "inis derglocha or 'red loch island' is this one's name; because of a red loch that is in it, containing an island surrounded with a palisade of gold, its name being inis Patmos, in which are all saints and righteous that have served God. These latter, men's eyes never have beheld, for between radiance of the Divinity and the constant discourse which God and the Angels hold with them, our vision may not dwell nor even but impinge on them." Then she sang a lay: -

Red loch island...

"Let us now learn from thee, woman," said Teigue, "who dwells in this dún that we see with a golden rampart."

"Soon said," was her answer: "all kings, and rulers, and noble men of ordained rank that from our own time back to that of Milesius' sons have held Ireland's supreme power - they 'tis that are in yonder dún: both Partholan and Nemid, both Firbolgs and tuatha dé Danann."

"Woman, that is well," Teigue said: "knowledge thou hast, and right instruction."

"Truly," said Cesair, "I am well versed in the World's history: for this precisely is the Earth's fourth paradise; the others being inis Daleb in the world's southern, and inis Escandra in its boreal part (to the northward of 'the black watery isle'), Adam's paradise, and this island in which ye are now: the fourth land, I say, in which Adam's seed dwell - such of them as are righteous."

"And in that notable dun we see encircled with a silver rampart, who inhabits?"

"It is not that I know not," she replied, "but I will not tell you; go to yonder hill however, there shall ye learn all."


They proceeded to the third hill on the summit of which was a seat of great beauty and, on its very apex, a gentle and youthful couple clad in outward semblance that was fresh and recent. Smooth heads of hair they had, with sheen of gold; equal vestments of green wrapped them both; and all might deem it to have been from but the one father and the one mother that they sprang, seeing that dissimilarity of form or fashion between them there was none. Round the lower part of their necks chains of red gold were wound and, above these, golden torques clasped their throats.

Then Teigue said: -

A pleasant place is this in which your chief resides...

And they chanted: -

Teigue is good: a mighty hero, a man with luck...

"What, gentle queen," he enquired, "is thy cognomen; whence thy race?"

"Soon told," she answered: "my name is Veniusa, and daughter I am to Adam - for four daughters we are in the four mysterious magic countries which the upper [i.e. former] woman declared to thee: Veniusa, Letiusa, Aliusa and Eliusa our names are, whom though the guilt of our mother's transgression suffers not to abide together in one place, yet for our virginity and for our purity that we have dedicated to God we are conveyed into these separate joyful domiciles."

"Who is that so comely stripling by thy side?"

"Him let himself proclaim to thee," said she, "for he has both speech and eloquence."

Now the youth was so, that in his hand he held a fragrant apple having the hue of gold; a third part of it he would eat, and still, for all he consumed, never a whit would it be diminished. This fruit it was that supported the pair of them and, when once they had partaken of it, nor age nor dimness could affect them.

The young fellow answered Teigue, saying: "I am son to Conn of the Hundred Battles."

"Art thou then Connla?"

"I am indeed: and this young woman of the many charms it was that hither brought me."

"That," said Teigue, "is both likely and as it should be."

"I had bestowed on him [i.e. felt for him] true affection's love," the girl explained, "and therefore wrought to have him come to me in this land; where our delight, both of us, is to continue in looking at and in perpetual contemplation of one another: above and beyond which we pass not, to commit impurity or fleshly sin whatsoever."

"That," quoth Teigue again, "is a beautiful, and at the same a comical thing! and who occupies yon grand dún that we see, girt with a silver rampart?"

"In that one," she replied, "there is not any one."

"Why, what means that?" Teigue asked.

"For behoof of the righteous kings that after acceptance of the Faith shall rule Ireland it is that yonder dún stands ready; and we are they who, until such those virtuous princes shall enter into it, keep the same: in the which, Teigue my soul, thou too shalt have an appointed place."

"And how may that be contrived?"

"Believe thou in the Omnipotent Lord," she said, "and even to the uttermost Judgment's time thou shalt win that mansion, with God's Kingdom afterwards."

"I confess, I adore, I supplicate him!" responded Teigue.

"Come we now away," the girl said, "till we view the disposition of yonder abode."

"Were it permitted us, I would go," said Teigue, and she assented: "so it is."

Then Teigue with his people (said pair accompanying them) drew near to the dun where the girdle of marble was, and it was but hardly if the beautiful green grass's heads were bowed beneath that couple's smooth soft-white footsoles. They pass under the arched doorway with its wide valves and portal-capitals of burnished gold; they step on to a shining well-laid pavement, tesselated of pure white, of blue, of crimson marble, and so on till they gain the vast lordly edifice in which was to be the happy and splendid company of kings. A jocund house was that, and one to be desired: there was a silver floor, with four choice doors of bright gold; gems of crystal and of carbuncle in patterns were set in the wall of finndruine, in such wise that with flashing of those precious stones day and night alike shone.

The girl takes in hand to deliver them the plan and whole description of the dwelling, saying: "here we are stationed, to await all monarchs, provincial kings, and tribal chiefs in Ireland"; and she made a lay: -

Ireland that was partitioned into five...

Obliquely across the most capacious palace Teigue looked away, and marked a thickly furnished wide-spreading apple-tree that bore blossom and ripe fruit both.

"What is that apple-tree beyond?" he asked, and she made answer: "that apple-tree's fruit it is that for meat shall serve the congregation which is to be in this mansion, and a single apple of the same it was that brought [coaxed away] Connla to me."

Then she uttered a lay: -

A wine-producing apple-tree in the midst of it...

She continued to Teigue: "here make we a halt, here let us pause; for not mine it is to declare to thee the manner of thy life's ending, but one that will do so thou shalt have."

Thereupon the two part from them; howbeit the exhilarating properties of the house were such that, after their leaving them, Teigue and his people experienced neither melancholy nor sorrow.


Soon they marked towards them a whole array of feminine beauty, and among them a lovely damsel of refined form: the noblest and most desire-inspiring of the whole world's women to survey, who when she was come on the ground said: "I welcome thee, Teigue!"

"I thank thee for it," he returned: "and, maiden, who art thou?"

"Cleena Fairhead, daughter of Genann mac Treon of the tuatha dé Danann, sweetheart of Eochaid Redweapon's son Ciabhan of the curling locks; for now some time I am in this island, and from me 'Cleena's Wave' in the borders of Munster is denominated. Also, that which for meat and sustenance serves us all is the fruit of the same apple-tree which but a while ago thou sawest."

To Teigue and party it was a pleasant thing, and a pastime, to listen to her parlance; then he said: "it is time for us to set about going in quest of our people."

"The longer ye bide and tarry with us," the young woman said, "the better shall we be pleased."

Even as they exchanged these words they saw enter to them, through the side of the house [i.e. by a window] three birds: a blue one, with crimson head; a crimson, with head of green; a pied one having on his head a colour of gold, and they perched upon the apple-tree that stood before them. They eat an apple apiece, and warble melody sweet and harmonized, such that the sick would sleep to it.

"Those birds," Cleena said, "will go with you; they will give you guidance, will make you symphony and minstrelsy and, until again ye reach Ireland, neither by land nor by sea shall sadness or grief afflict you.

"Take with thee," she continued, "this fair cup of emerald hue, in which are inherent many virtues: for [among other things] though it were but water poured into it, incontinently it would be wine."

"Where was it fashioned?" he enquired. "Soon said: a whale it was which in this haven where ye landed the sea cast ashore; we cut him up, and in his heart's core was found that goblet, the name of which is an biasdain, i.e. 'product of the biast or bestia.' From that, let not thine hand part; but have it for a token: when it shall escape from thee, then in a short time after shalt thou die; and I where thou shalt meet thy death is in the glen that is on Boyne's side: there the earth shall grow into a great hill, and the name that it shall bear will be croidhe eisse; there too (when thou shalt first have been wounded by a roving wild hart, after which Allmarachs will slay thee) I will bury thy body; but thy soul shall come with me hither, where till the Judgment's Day thou shalt assume a body light and ethereal. This armature as well take thou about thee and, how many soever the battles and the single combats thou shalt fight, though thy body be hurt yet shall thy soul be whole."

Here Teigue began to take his leave of the lady, and between them they made a lay: -

Time it is for us to humbly go...

Subsequently they depart out of the bright radiant mansion, the girl going with them to convey them to the landing-place where they had left their comrades and currach.

To these latter she gave very courteous greeting, for which they thanked her in kind; (she asked them then how long they had been in the country, and: "in our estimation," they replied, "we are in it but one single day."

She however said: "for an entire twelvemonth ye are in it; during which time ye have had neither meat nor drink nor, how long soever ye should be here, would cold or thirst or hunger assail you."

"Happy he that should for ever live on in that life!" Teigue's people cried, but he said: "ungrateful and irksome to us though it be to depart, yet were it time that in earnest we went to work to leave the bright land in which we are."

Then the young woman uttered: -

Be ye gone, but with you take an everlasting evercheery benison...

Their sharp fast currach now they drive ahead over the great deep's convexity; and the birds struck up their chorus for them, whereat, for all they were so grieved and sad at renouncing that fruitful country out of which they were thus come, these modulations gladdened and soothed them that they became merry and of good courage all. But when they looked astern they saw not the land from which they came, for incontinently an obscuring magic veil was drawn over it.


For the space of a day and a half now they carry on and sail the sea, they being all the time sunk in slumber of deepest sleep, till they reached the land of Fresen; then they perceive that they are come into port and have taken the ground, and the birds desist and are silent The young men rose and in all haste landed; which done, they took counsel how they should proceed in the quest for Teigue's wife and kinsfolk, and he said: "will go alone to search out and to explore the country."

His arms and armature were brought to him; the fearless hero set out and stoutly walked the land until he came to an arm of the sea [fjord] that was betwixt them and [as he now discovered] the king's hold. Then to the shore's very edge he went down to examine it; there he saw a currach lying off all ready for him, and asked to have the craft put across for him. The young man in charge of the ferry rose, came to meet him, and fell to curiously consider him; whose form of speech when he heard, his heart warmed to the hero's whole guise and to his manner of address. Strenuously he pulled in the currach to him, and as quickly stepped ashore; but Teigue had recognised him when as yet he was afloat. Yet, though Teigue it was [i.e. even for Teigue] it had been no easy matter for him to discern his own brother: for that good warrior's form and fashion were all changed with this drudgery of the sea, he not having from his youth up had experience of such service. For all which, the heroes' hearts however had acknowledged each other; earnestly now and passionately they kissed, and side by side upon the sandy beach sat down. Of Eoghan [for he it was] Teigue sought tidings concerning Airnelach and the woman [his own wife], and between them they made a lay: -

Tidings thou hast, Eoghan! wanderer, quickly tell...

This ended, a second time Teigue began to question Eoghan: ["]how was the keep, as regards both strength and power to hold out; or had the king any that were moved by ill-will or irritation at him: one that disputed his realm with him, or had in hand to contrive the monarch's detriment?"

"Surely he has, warrior," said Eoghan: "and a propitious hour is this in which ye are come, seeing that 'tis not long since it was mooted to assault this hold."

"Who would execute this enterprise?"

"Two most noble sons of kings that are in this land, being of the monarch's own blood and kinship: Eochaid Redweapon namely, and Tuire called tortbhuilleach or 'of the ponderous blows,' two sons of Cathmann the king's brother, who for a year past vex this land with marauding and with acts of outlawry. But yesterday they were on this coast; I was summoned to confer with them, and in respect of this strong place they examined me. They solicited me instantly, reminding me of my cause of enmity against the king, of my dishonour at the hands of him that held me in bondage and in hardship. Nor did I for my part deny but that I would perform that of which they spoke: to deliver the monarch to his enemies. I went therefore to report the matter to Airnelach, and said young men we trysted for this night and in this spot, in order to carry the fastness and overpower the king. This secret design we imparted to the queen also, and for the same her spirit was rejoiced: for the gentle lady loved not Cathmann, neither had renounced her first loving love for thee. When therefore we found her mind and our own inclinations 'to be in the one place' [i.e. to coincide] with [those of] the gallant company of depredators (the king's near kinsmen I mean), accompanied as they were with a strong force, the resolve to which we came was to attack the monarch this very night. Since then the lady's wedding-feast is all ready, and the end of that respite which she craved of Cathmann now at hand, thus it is that thou must do: go amongst thy people to hurry them up. For myself, I will repair to yonder wood, in which are the king of Fresen's two sons: Eochaid and Tuire as before, and to them will impart all thy description, and how that to take vengeance for thy wife and kindred [ravished from thee] thou art come into this land, as well as to take us out of this bondage and misery in which we are. Also, to those braves I will promise this country's royal rule; and will tell them to come at this night's first beginning to meet thee, and so on to the fastness to deliver a combined assault."

Here Teigue bade Eoghan wind up this conversation, confer again with both Airnelach and the lady, and return to him with the result; but first he related to his brother somewhat of his passage, of his perilous things and of his wonders. Then they, being thus in perfect agreement, parted.

Touching Teigue now: he being jocund and of good cheer sought his people, and the young men were gladdened when they saw him draw near the strand, because in consideration of the length of time that he had been away from them apprehension had possessed them and they wearied for him. They questioned him of the land; pleasantly he fell to tell them all about it, and from first to last rehearsed to them his whole adventure. With this recital they were invigorated hugely, and their spirits rose when they heard that in the region Eoghan and Airnelach still lived before them; whereupon Teigue uttered a lay: -

A good one your passage athwart the stammering sea hath been, young men of Erin's island...

And he continued: "rise ye now, my good people, and let us go to meet them that have trysted us."

Round about Teigue then, to keep him well, that tough band rose and in one course reached the hard at which Eoghan plied the ferry. The very first of night it was with them then; and at the one instant Teigue arrived at the strand, Eochaid and Tuire on the other shore opposite them. In familiar wise they discoursed each other across the fjord, and to Teigue with his strong men the Fresenachs accorded welcome. They [the Gaels] being busy with these speeches saw Eoghan in his boat heading for them; he came where Teigue was, and imparted the news of the fort: that he had had speech of Airnelach and the woman, the whole community meanwhile being seated in order to the enjoying of that great feast; that the monarch's banqueting-hall was ordered, the nobles of the land of Fresen tranquilly in act of battening there and, the bulk of [liquid] provision being now served out, that they were well drunken and made hilarious uproar. He told Teigue that now was the time to storm the citadel, and by his means the [farther] heroes were ferried across to their allies so that all together they were on the fort's side of the arm. Which royal youths when they had joined Teigue entered into conditions and fellowship with him, and upon a tulach struck their hands in his; he on his side giving them guarantees that might not be transgressed, to the effect that, supposing them to come victorious off from this operation, the kingdom should be handed over to them. Now the warriors' number upon the ground, they being drawn up together, was seven hundred, and (for the present) so much for them.

Concerning the Allmarach that accompanied Teigue on this expedition - the same that in the matter of the original contention had by our heroes been captured in the Irish countries - he it was that on this cruise gave Teigue his course, and piloted him. He now had been present at Teigue and the king's sons' making of their compact together, nor took they any heed at all either to watch or to ward him. When therefore he heard a project for the monarch's violent death put into working order, natural fondness and affection filled his heart, and away round the rear of that noble party he stole off in hot haste to the fort with intent to warn the king in advance of the others, and so arrived. But just as he won to the door of the king's own mansion, he saw towards him a man: Airnelach son of Cian, and the same questioned him what haste or hurry ailed him.

"Great cause indeed there is for it, seeing that Cian's son Teigue with his merry men out of Ireland's lands comes at you to take vengeance on you for his wife and kin. Tuire and Eochaid too are with him, wherefore suffer me to pass on to the king with a warning."

When Airnelach heard that, round the Allmarach's shoulders he locked both his long strong arms, ejected him through the fortress' gate, took him out on the green, and speedily beheaded the riever; this done, Teigue and his reached the same green; Airnelach went to meet them, and to them all administered friendship's kisses. Headlong then they made for the fastness and (for at this season never a guard was mounted at the gate) got in. In this one rush they penetrated right up to [but not into] the main building [the king's own], round about which they emitted whoops such as would make the inmates to jump smartly and to its sides they applied firebrands and torches.

As concerning them of the mansion: when they heard those diverse loud unfriendly shouts, promptly they rose and took to them their arms, their manifold weapons of edge and point; but the manner of them that were in the fort at large was this: that they were in a condition of drunkenness and bewilderment. Now the noblest and most excellent that at this instant kept the king company were Illann called áithesach or 'the exultant' (the monarch's only son) and Conan called codaitchenn or 'hardhead' (chief of his household), having along with them twelve hundred of the land of Fresen's champions. These came then, and thus they found the king: in his own privy chamber, with his fighting harness on him. Through the bruiden's doors they burst out, and by them the fires were quenched, slaughter and losses wrought on the assailants. By no manner of means might this punishment and these losses be endured by the Eirennachs from the Allmarachs: again they assailed the bruiden to its peril, and were as rudely met by the Allmarachs. At this point Teigue enjoined his people to show hardihood and valiance, and in the bicker to outdo all the rest [their allies]; dourly, grimly the Eirennachs answered, and went to work cutting off the Allmarachs. Then it was that Cian's son Eoghan coscarach and Conan Hardhead, chief of the monarch's household, encountered in the press and fought an unintermittent, brave, and bitter fight; but upon Eoghan's other side there came nine warriors of Conan's poll-guard to destroy him, yet the end of the tussle was that by Eoghan's hand Conan and his nine fell expeditiously. As for Eoghan himself however, he had but taken Conan's head and uttered his triumph-cry when he too fell in the same blood-litter. When Illann saw these deaths his anger rose, and his soul grew high as he beheld his people slain and brought to naught, and he made his way to range through the whole battle. Tuire Hardhitter made for him, and presently they closed on the field: the set-to was an even one, for in the mêlée both champions together fell Teigue and Eochaid Redweapon seeing these deaths, and their own next-of-kin in dire straits, discharged themselves upon the Allmarachs and with terrible carnage punished them to such pitch that in this onset two hundred fell by them. Here then the Allmarachs failed to make a stand against our young men; so that a chance at the bruiden was had, and Teigue with his Eirennachs about him made his way to the king's chamber, in which he was. Eochaid and Airnelach pu rsued the Allmarachs whom, so long as ever they stuck up to the young men to bandy blows with them, they kept on thinning out and violently slaughtering. Upon their return they found Teigue and Cathmann laying on each other in the fair midst of the bruiden: in which bout Cathmann gave Teigue thirty wounds, but Teigue 'brought the upper earth to bear on him' [i.e. manoeuvred to get the advantage of higher ground], which is so much as to say that his body's president, his head to wit, he made to part company with his carcase; whereupon, and after Cathmann's head duly taken, he 'gave the cry.'

When the queen, Liban daughter of Conor Redbrow, heard the triumph-shouts and learned these killings, without delay or dilly-dally she came to her spouse, and for her dear love rejoiced and was glad exceedingly; that she saw her hero was to the gentle lady matter of thankfulness indeed. To the far end of a fortnight they abode in that fort, and in the result of it all Eochaid Redweapon was made king over the fair realms of Fresen. To Teigue they yielded pledges and hostages. Then he constrained his people that they should depart, telling them to face the sea cheerily; out of the strong place he carried away precious things, treasures, other good booty, forby Liban his wedded wife and his two brethren: Eoghan and Airnelach. He reached Ireland bringing with him victory and spoils and, to wind up the story, Teigue made a lay: -

Time it is for us to seek our home, comely and dear people mine.

[cætera desiderantur]

Sir Graham