Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Acallam na Senórach)

By Ann Dooley; Harry Roe | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII

THEY went to the fortress and the boy lodged Patrick and his people in Coscrach's splendid dwelling where they were well attended to. Meanwhile Cailte went along the south side of the fortress to the Rock of the Weapons, the great stone on which the Fian used to sharpen their weapons every year. Standing there on top of the rock he wept flowing tears of great sadness, remembering the great people that often stood on that rock with him in earlier times. Before long he saw a warrior approaching wearing a purple cloak with a pin of gold in it. He had the appearance of a noble man and the bearing of a lord. His hair was pleasant and curly, with two clusters of purple- topped nuts of the forest stuck to the ridges and furrows of his lightly waved golden hair. Quite unexpectedly the warrior sat at the end of the rock near him. 'What is your name, warrior?' asked Caílte. 'Coscrach na Cét is my name,' he said, 'and I think I know who you are.''Who do you think me to be?' asked Caílte. 'It seems to me,' said Coscrach, 'that you are Caílte, son of Rónán.''Truly I am,' said Caílte. 'I am happy to meet with you,' said Coscrach. 'Why is that?' asked Caílte. 'I have twenty-nine ploughlands,' said Coscrach, 'and whenever it is time to reap the crop a very fierce and wild stag comes, and destroys and devastates everything so that we have no benefit of it. Dear Caílte, by the truth of your valour and prowess,' said Coscrach na Cét, 'give help and assistance to me in warding off that stag.''Once,' said Caílte, 'when I had dexterity and vigour, I would have warded it off from you.'

They saw a swift band of valour and battle approaching them, with a sacred grove of fresh, tall spears on their shoulders and a wall of dark, separated shields about them. 'Who comes there, dear Coscrach?' asked Caílte. 'Túathal, son of Finnachta, the king of this land,' said Coscrach and he sat down on the lawn where they were. Caílte asked Coscrach whether messengers might be found to travel to the fair Meadow of the Parish in the province of Munster and to the Oakgrove of the Kin-Slaying. 'My seven hunting-nets are in that place, and they cover seven cantreds of cliff and cataract, of river and level plain.'

The messengers went after the nets and brought them back to

-124-

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Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Acallam na Senórach)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Content v
  • Introduction vii
  • Note on the Text and Translation xxxi
  • Guide to the Pronunciation of Irish Names xxxiv
  • Select Bibliography xxxviii
  • A Chronology of Fenian Tales in Ireland and Scotland xli
  • Prologue 3
  • Chapter I 5
  • Chapter II 33
  • Chapter III 47
  • Chapter IV 70
  • Chapter V 83
  • Chapter VI 105
  • Chapter VII 124
  • Chapter VIII 127
  • Chapter IX 151
  • Chapter X 179
  • Chapter XI 192
  • Chapter XII 215
  • Epilogue 220
  • Explanatory Notes 224
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