The Recovery of the Tain

Do fallsigud Tána bó Cualnge
Book of Leinster

English trans. : Erik Stohellou © 2011

There, however, the poets of Ireland were summoned by Senchán Torpeist to see if they had the Tain Bo Cualnge in its entirety in their memory. And they said they knew only parts of it. Senchán then asked who among his students would go with his blessing to the land of Letha to learn the Táin which the sage had taken away to the east instead of the Culmen1. This suited Emine hua Ninene and Muirgein son of Senchán to go to the east.

They traveled to the grave of Fergus mac Roig and to his stone at Énloch in Connacht. Murgein sat alone against the stone of Fergus, and the others left to seek, in the meantime, a home for them. However Murgein sang a poem to the stone, as if it were to Fergus himself that he was addressing, in which (?) then he said this: "If this is not a stone *** o Fergus! "

Then a great mist rose around him, so that its people did not find him until the end of three days and three nights. So Fergus went to him, in very nice clothe, viz, a green garment, a coat with a hood decorated with red (threads), a gold-hilted sword, bronze shoes, his brown hair round him. Fergus told him all the Táin as it took place from the beginning to the end.

But others say it was proclaimed to Senchán after he fasted against the race of Fergus, and it would not be surprising that this is true.

Then all returned to Senchán and told him their trip, and he was then very pleased with them for that.

Here is the enumeration of the tales which precede the Tain Bo Cualnge, namely, all twelve: the Taking of the Sid, the Dream of Oengus, the Quarrel of the two Pig Keepers, the Cattle-Raid of Regamna, the Adventures of Nera, the Birth of Conchobar, the Courtship of Ferb, the Birth of Cuchulain, the Driving of the Cattle of Flidais, The Courtship of Emer. They also say that there would be in the preliminary tales: the march of Cuchulainn to the house of Culann the smith ; how Cuchulainn took his weapons and how he went with the chariot ; how Cuchulainn went to join the boys in Emain Macha. But these last three stories are told in the course of the Táin.

Notes :

1. Culmen means Origines, Isidore of Séville's book.

Copyright 2011 Erik Stohellou

Sources : Ernst Windisch, Die altirische Heldensage Táin Bó Cúalnge nach dem Buch von Leinster - Leipzig 1905