• Conary


When strife fell out in Tara Luachra's hall
Around Cuchullin and the butchering bands
Of treacherous Maeve and Ailill, they were there."

" To-night their pipes shall play us to our ships
With strains of triumph ; or their fingers' ends
Shall never close the stops of music more,"
So Ingcel ; but again said Ferragon,

" Men of the Sidhs they are : to strike at them
Is striking at a shadow. If 'tis they,
Shun this assault ; for I have also heard
At the first tuning of these elvish pipes
Nor crow nor cormorant round all the coasts
But hastens to partake the flesh of men."

" Flesh ye shall have, of Ingcel's enemies,
All fowl that hither flap the wing to-night 1
And music too at table, as it seems.
What further sawest thou ? "

" On a broader bench
Three vast-proportioned warriors, by whose side
The slender pipers showed as small as wrens.
In their first greyness they ; grey-dark their robes,
Grey-dark their swords enormous, of an edge

To slice the hair on water. He who sits
The midmost of the three grasps with both hands

A spear of fifty rivets, and so sways

Ailill, Shadow, Flesh
Linen Hall Library, "Ferg014", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Wed, 10/27/2021 - 07:14, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/ferg014