The Debility of the Ulstermen

Noinden Ulad in so sis
Harleian 5280

Version II

Translate into english by Erik Stohellou
© Erik Stohellou - 2010

Why did the weakness weighed on the Ulstermen? It is not difficult.

There lived a wealthy farmer of Ulster on the heights of mountains and solitude, Crundchu Mac Agnomain by name. In his loneliness, he garnered great wealth. He had many son with him, and around him. [Then] the woman who lived with him, the mother of his children died. Long he remained without a wife. When one day he was there, alone on his bed in his house, he saw a handsome young woman come to him in the big house, her figure, her clothes and her looks were excellent. Macha was the name of this woman, ut dicunt periti. The woman sat on a chair near the fireplace and lit the fire. They were together until the end of the day without talking to each other. She grabbed a pickle and a sieve and began preparing [food] to the house. When the day was over, she took pails to milk the cows, without asking. When they (the people) were [back] in the house, she turned right around them and went into her kitchen and spoke to the people and sat on a seat next to Crundchu. Everyone went to bed, she stayed after everyone else, and extinguished the fire and then turned to the right around and went under the blanket with him (Crundchu) and put her hand on his side. They remained together until she was pregnant by him. By binding with her was his wealth [even] become still greater. His appearance and flourishing *** was pleasant. However, the Ulstermen often had large meetings and gatherings. They asked [then] all to go to the assembly, man and woman of all those who could. "I want," said Crundchu to his wife, "to go to the assembly as the others." "You should not go," said the woman, "so you would not be in danger of talking about us, for our meeting takes [only] to the point that you speak not of me at the assembly." "I will not speak," said Crundchu. The Ulstermen went to the assembly, Crundchu as well went there as the others. The assembly was impressive, both in [the] people, [that] in the horses and [regarding] the costumes. During the assembly horse-races and fighting and throwing games and running games and parades (were) organized. The ninth hour came the king's chariot on the racetrack. The king's horses snatched victory at the meeting. Then came the laudators to praise the king and the queen, and the poets and the druids and the warriors (?) and the people and the whole assembly. "Never before have come to the assembly, two horses, like the two horses of the king, for there is no faster than those two in Ireland." "My wife is faster than these two horses," said Crundchu. "Hold this man." said the king, "until his wife comes to compete!" He (Crundchu) was arrested and king's messengers were send to the woman. She welcomed the messengers, and asked what had taken them to her. "We came so that you go to free your husband, who was arrested by the king, because he said that you are faster than the horses of the king." "It [is] really unfortunate," she said, "because it was not proper to say that. It is a misfortune for me," she said, "because I'm in the pain of childbirth." "What bad luck," said the messengers, "he will be killed if you do not come." "That will not happen," she said. She went with them to the assembly. So everyone came to see her. "It is not worthy to look at my face," she said. "Why have I been brought?" she said. "To race against the horses of the king," they all said. "It's a disaster," she said, "because I am with the contractions." "Seize the swords for the man," said the king. "Wait with me a little while," she said, "until I gave birth." "No," said the king. "Really it's a shame for you not to have a little consideration for me. Because you do not, I'll bring the greatest shame on you. Bring only the horse by my side!" she said. This was done, and she reached the end of the runway before them. Then she uttered a cry of distress and pain. Soon, God made an end to her, and she gave birth in one birth to a son and a daughter, Fir and Fial. When all heard the cry of the woman, came over to them so that they all had [only] the same force as the woman who was in the weakness. "You will benefit from this hour the honor of desecration, which you clothed me, for shame. When the need is greatest for you, all those who live in this province, will have the strength of a woman at the time a woman is in childbirth, the same time it will take, namely five days and four nights, and this will affect you until the ninth man, that is to say, until the time of nine (generation of) men. "

This really happened. They hung on from the time of Crunchu until the time of Fergus mac Domnaill. But this weakness was not on women or children, or Cuchulainn, because he did not come from Ulster, or on those who [then] were outside the country.

Of these, so it is that the weakness was on the Ultern etc

© Erik Stohellou - 2010
Sources : Ernst. Windisch, Berichte der Königliche Sächsische Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften (Phil.-Hist. Klasse) 36