• Conary


Roll outward ; and the clash and clamour heard
Of falling foes before ; and, over it,
The yelling pibroch ; but, anon, the din
Grew distant and more distant ; and they heard
Instead, at every door new onset loud,
And cry of " Fire ! " " Bring fire ! "

" Behoves us make
A champion-circuit of the house at large,"
Said Conary. " Thou, Duftach, who, I see,
Can'st hardly keep the weapon in thy hand
From flying on these caitiffs of itself.
Lead thou, and take two cohorts of the guard,
And let another piper play you on."
" I fear them, these red pipers," said the boy.
" Peace, little Ferflath, thou art but a child,"
Said Duftach. " Come, companions ( — patience,
spear ! — )
Blow up the pibroch ; warriors, follow me ! "
And forth they went, and with them rushed amain
Senchad and Govnan and the thick-hair'd three
Of Pictland with a shout ; and all who heard
Deemed that the spear of Keltar shouted too
The loudest and the fiercest of them all.
So issued Duftach's band : the hosts within
Heard the commotion and the hurtling rout
Half round the house, and heard the mingling scream
Of pipes and death-cries far into the night ;
But distant and more distant grew the din.
And Duftach came not back : but thronging back
Came the assailants, and at every door
Joined simultaneous battle once again.

Duftach, Ferflath, Govnan
Linen Hall Library, "Ferg026", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Mon, 07/15/2024 - 09:21, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/ferg026