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PAGE 121

Line 1. Maeth n-araig, "in an easy task," the force of which O'Curry seems to miss, translating it "as he thought."

There are several changes to make in O'Curry's rendering of the dialogue between Fergus and Cuchulain. It should run thus:

  1. O Cuchulain, manifest is the bargain, I see that rising is timely for thee; here comes to thee in anger Ferdiad, son of Daman, of the ruddy face.

  1. I am here, it is no light task valiantly delaying the men of Erin; I have not yielded a foot in retreat to shun the combat of any one man.

  1. Fierce is the man in his excited (?) rage because of his blood-red sword: a horny skin is about Ferdiad of the troops, against it prevails not battle or combat.

  1. Be silent, urge not thy story, O Fergus of the powerful weapons! on any field, on any ground, there is no unequal fight for me.

  1. Fierce is the man, a war for twenties, it is not easy to vanquish him, the strength of a hundred in his body, valiant his deed (?), spears pierce him not, swords cut him not.

  1. Should we happen to meet at a ford (i.e. a field of battle), I and Ferdiad of well-known valour, the separation shall not be without history, fierce shall be our edge-combat.

  1. Better would it be to me than reward, O Cuchulain of the blood-stained sword, that it was thou who carried eastward the spoils (coscur, not corcur) of the proud Ferdiad.

  1. I give thee my word with boasting, though I am not good at bragging, that it is I who shall gain the victory over the son of Daman, the son of Dare.

  1. It is I who gathered the forces eastwards in revenge for my dishonour by the men of Ulster; with me they have come from their lands, their champions and their battle warriors.

  1. If Conor had not been in his sickness hard would have been his nearness to thee; Medb of Magh in Scail had not made an expedition of so loud boastings.

  1. A greater deed awaits thy hand, battle with Ferdiad son of Daman, hardened bloody weapons, friendly is my speech, do thou have with thee, O Cuchulain!

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