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PAGE 78

The literal translation of Liban's rhetoric in welcome to Cuchulain seems to be, "Hail to Cuchulain! King who brings help, great prince of Murthemne! great his mind; pomp of heroes; battle-triumphing; heart of a hero; strong rock of skill; blood-redness of wrath; ready for true foes of the hero who has the valour of Ulster (?); bright his splendour; splendour of the eyes of maidens; Hail to Cuchulain!"

Torc in the second line is glossed in the MS. by "that is, a king."

Cuchulain's account of his own battle is omitted by Thurneysen, possibly because the account that he gives differs from that in the text, as is pointed out by Windisch, Ir. Text., vol. i. p. 201). But it is quite in keeping with the hero's character that he should try to lessen his own glory; and the omission of this account destroys one of the features of the tale.

The literal rendering is:


I threw a cast with my light spear
into the host of Eogan the Stream;
not at all do I know, though renowned the price, the victory that I have done, or the deed.

Whether he was better or inferior to my strength hitherto I chanced not on for my decision, a throw, ignorance of the man in the mist, certainly he came not away a living man.

A white army, very red for multitudes of horses, they followed after me on every side (?), people of Manannan Mac Lir,
Eogan the Stream called them.

I set out in each manner
when my full strength had come to me; one man to their thirty, hundreds,
until I brought them to death.

I heard the groan of Echaid Juil,
lips speak in friendship,
if it is really true, certainly it was not a fight (?), that cast, if it was thrown.


The idea of a battle with the waves of the sea underlies the third verse of this description.



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