certain day Grainne spoke to Diarmuid and what she said was, that it was a shame
for them, seeing the number of their people and the greatness of their household,
and that their expenditure was untold, that the two best men in Erin had never
been in their house, that is, Cormac the High-King of Erin and Finn mac Cumail.
"Wherefore sayest thou so, O Graine, " said Diarmuid, "when they
are enemies to me?"
would fain," said Grainne, "give them a feast, that so thou mightiest
win their love."
permit that," said Diarmuid.
said Grainne, "send word and messengers to thy daughter to bid her to
prepare another feast, so that we may take the king of Erin and Finn mac Cumaill
to her house; and how do we
she might get a fitting husband?" Thereupon two great feasts were prepared
by Grainne and by her daughter or the length of a year, and at the end of that
space and season word and messengers were sent for the king of Erin, and for
Finn mac Cumaill, and for the seven battalions of the standing fian, and for the
chiefs of Erin likewise, and they were for a year and a day enjoying that feast.
Now on the
last day of the year Diarmuid was in Rath Grainne asleep; and Diarmuid heard the
voice of a hound in his sleep in the night, and that caused Diarmuid to stir out
of his sleep, so that Grainne caught him and threw her two arms about him and
asked him what he had seen. "It is the voice of a hound I have heard,"
said Diarmuid, "and I marvel to hear it in the night."
thou be kept safely," said Grainne, "for it is the Tuatha De Danann
that are doing that to thee to spite Angus of the Brug, and lay thee down on thy
bed again. " Nevertheless no slumber or sleep fell upon Diarmuid then, but
again the voice of the hound roused him, and he was fain to go to seek the hound.
Grainne caught him and laid him down the second time , and told him it was not
meet for him to go look for a hound because of hearing its voice in the night.
Diarmuid laid him upon his couch, and a heaviness of slumber and of sweet sleep
fell upon him, and the third time the voice of the hound awoke him.
The day came
then with its full light, and he said, "I will go to seek the hound whose
voice I have heard, since it is day."
then," said Grainne, "take with thee the Moraltach, that is the sword
of Manannan, and the Gae Derg."
not, " said Diarmuid, "but I will take the Begalthach and the Gae
Buide with me in my hand, and my hound Mac an Cuil by a chain in my other
Diarmuid went forth from Rath Grainne, and made no halt nor stopping until he
reached the summit of Benn Gulban, and he found Finn before him there without
anyone with him or in his company. Diarmuid gave him no greetings, but asked him
whether it was he that was holding that chase. Finn said that it was not he, but
that a company of the fian had risen out after midnight, " and one of our
hounds, being loose by our side, came across the track of a wild pig, but they
have not hitherto been able to overtake him. Now it is the wild boar of Benn
Gulban that the hound has met, and the fian do but foolishly in following him;
for oftentimes ere now he has escaped them, and thirty warriors of the fian were
slain by him this morning. He is even now coming up against the mountain towards
us, with the fian fleeing before him, and let us leave this hill to him."
Diarmuid said that he would not leave the hill through fear of him.
' It is not
meet for thee to do thus, " said Finn, " for thou art under taboos
never to hunt a pig."
were those taboos laid upon me? " said Diarmuid. "That I will tell
thee," said Finn.
" on a
certain day I chanced to be in Almu in Leinster , with the seven battalions of
the standing fian about me, Bran Beg O'Buideain came in and asked me whether I
remembered not that it was one of my taboos not to be ten nights one after the
other in Almu without being out of it for a single night; now those taboos had
not been laid upon any man of the fian but upon myself alone. The fian went into
the great hall that night, and no man staid by me but thy father and a small
number of the bards and learned men of the fian, with our staghounds and our
other dogs. Then I asked of them that were with me where we should go to be
entertained that night. Thy father, that is , Donn O'Donncuda, said that he
would give me entertainment for that night, for if thou remember, O Finn, said
Donn, "when I was outlawed and banished by thee and from the fian, Croenuit
the daughter of Currac of Liffe became pregnant by me, and bore a smooth
beautiful man-child of that heavy pregnancy , and Angus of the Brug took that
son from me to foster him. Croenuit bore another son after that to Roc mac
Dicain, and Roc asked me to take that son to foster him, seeing that Angus had
my son, and he said that he would provide a sufficient meal for nine men at the
house of Angus every evening. I said that I thought it not fitting to take the
commoner's son and I sent to Angus praying him to receive that son to foster him.
Angus received the commoner's son, and there was not a time thenceforth that Roc
did not send a nine men's meal to the house of Angus for me. Howbeit, I have not
seen him for a year, and we shall, as many as there are here of us get
entertainment for this night there."
Donnn went our way after that," said Finn, "to the house of Angus of
the Brug, and thou wast there that night O Diarmuid, and Angus showed thee great
fondness. The son of the steward was thy companion that night, and not greater
was the fondness that Angus showed the son of the steward, and thy father
suffered great derision of that. It was no long time after that that there arose
a quarrel between tow of my stag hounds about some broken meat that was thrown
them, and the women and the lesser people of the place fled before them and the
others rose to separate them. The son of the steward went between thy father's
knees, flying before the stag hounds, and he gave the child a mighty, powerful,
strong squeeze of his two knees, so hat he slew him upon the spot, and he cast
him under the feet of the stag hounds. The steward came and found his son dead,
and he uttered a long very pitiful cry. Then he came before me, and what he said
was:" there is not in this house tonight a man that hath got out of this
uproar worse than myself, for I had no children but one son only, and he has
been slain; and how shall I get a recompense from thee, O Finn?" I told him
to examine his son, and if he found the trace of a stagehand's tooth or nail
upon him that I would myself give him a fine for him. The child was examined,
and no trace of a stag hound's tooth or nail was found on him. Then the steward
laid me under the fearful perilous taboos of Drum Fruidecta that I should show
him who had slain his son. I asked for a chessboard and water to be brought to
me, and I washed my hands and put my thumb under my tooth of divination, so that
true and exact divination was shown me, namely, that thy father had slain the
son of the steward between his two knees. I offered a fin myself when that was
shown to me, but the steward refused that; so that I was forced to tell him that
it was thy father that had slain his son. The steward said that the was not in
the house a man for whom it was more easy to give a fine than thy father, for
that he himself had a son therein, and that he would not take any fine whatever
except that thou shouldst be placed between his tow legs and his two knees, and
that the would forgive the death of his son if he let thee from him safe. Angus
became angry with the steward at that speech, and thy father thought to take off
his head, until I separated them. Then came the steward again with a magic wand
of sorcery, and struck his son with that wand so that he made of him a cropped
green pig, having neither ears nor tail, and he said, "I conjure thee that
thou have the same length of life as Diarmuid O' Duibne, and that it be by thee
that he shall fall at last. " Then the wild boar rose and stood, and rushed
out by the open door. When Angus heard those spells laid upon thee, he conjured
thee never to hunt a swine; and that wild boar is the wild boar of Benn Gulban,
and it is not beet for thee to await him upon this hill.."
knew not of those conjuration's hitherto, " said Diarmuid, "nor will I
leave this hill through fear of him before he comes to me, and do thou leave me
thy hound Bran beside Mac an Cuil."
not," said Finn, "for oftentimes this wild boar has escaped him before."
Finn went his way after that, and left Diarmuid alone and solitary upon the
summit of the hill.
word," said Diarmuid, "it is to slay me that thou hast made this hunt,
O Finn; and if it be here I am fated to die I have no power now to shun it."
boar then came up the face of he mountain with the fian after him. Diarmuid
slipped Mac an Cuill from his leash against him, and that profited him nothing
for he did not await the wild boar but fled before him. Diarmuid said, "
Woe to him that heeds not the counsel of a good wife, for Grainne bade me at
early morn today take with me the Moralltach and the Gae Derg." Then
Diarmuid put his small white colored ruddy nailed finger into the silken string
of the Gae Buide, and made a careful cast at the pig, so that he smote him in
the fair middle of his face and his forehead' nevertheless he cut not a single
bristle upon him, nor did he give him wound or scratch. Diarmuid's courage was
lessened at that, and thereupon he drew the Begalltach from the sheath in which
it was kept, and struck a heavy stroke thereof upon the wild boar's back stoutly
and bravely, yet he cut not a single bristle upon him, but made two pieces of
his sword. Then the wild boar made a fearless spring upon Diarmuid, so that he
tripped him and made him fall headlong, and when he rose up again it happened
that one of his legs was on either side of the wild boar, and his face looking
backward toward the hinder part of the wild boar. The wild boar fled down the
fall of the hill and was unable to put off Diarmuid during that space. After
that he fled away until he reached Es Ruad (the Red Waterfall) of Mac Badairn,
and having reached the red stream he gave three nimble leaps across the fall
hither and thither, yet he could not put off Diarmuid during hat space; and he
came back by the same path until he reached up the height of the mountain again.And
when he had reached the top of the hill he put Diarmuid from his back; and when
he was fallen to the earth the wild boar made an eager exceeding mighty spring
upon him, and ripped out his bowels and his entrails so that they fell about his
legs. Howbeit, as the boar was leaving the hill, Diarmuid made a triumphant cast
of the hilt of the sword that chanced to be still in his hand, so that he dashed
out the boar's brains and left him dead without life. Therefore Rath n h-Amrann
(Rath of the Marvel) is the name of he place that is on the top of the mountain
from that time to this.
It was no
long time after that when Finn and the fian of Erin came up, and the agonies of
death and of instant dissolution were then coming upon Diarmuid. " It likes
me well to see thee in that plight, O Diarmuid," said Finn; "and I
grieve that all the women of Erin are not now gazing upon thee: for thy
excellent beauty is turned to ugliness, and thy choice form to deformity."
it is in thy power to heal me , O Finn," said Diarmuid, "if it were
thy pleasure to do so."
should I heal thee?" said Finn.
said Diarmuid; " for when though didst get the noble precious gift of
divining at the Boyne, it was granted thee that to whomsoever thou should give a
drink from the palms of thy hands he should after that be young, fresh, and
sound from any sickness he might have at that time."
hast not deserved it of me that I should give thee that drink" said Finn
is not true, " said Diarmuid, "well have I deserved it of thee; for
when thou wentest to the house of Derc the son of Donnartad, and the chiefs and
great nobles of Erin with thee, to enjoy a banquet and feast, Cairbre Liffecair
son of Cormac son of Art, and the men of Mag Breg, and of Mide, and of Cerna,
and the stout mighty pillars of Tara came around the stronghold against thee,
and uttered three shouts loudly about thee, and threw fire and firebrands into
it. Thereupon thou didst rise and stand, and wouldst fain have gone out; but I
bade thee stay within enjoying drinking and pleasure, and that I would myself go
out to avenge it upon them Then I went out and quenched the flames ,ad mad three
deadly courses about the stronghold, so that I slew fifty at each course, and
came in having no cut nor wound after them. And thou wast cheerful, joyous, and
of good courage before me that night, O Finn," said Diarmuid; " and
had it been that night that I asked thee for a drink, thou wouldst have given it
to me, and thou wouldst not have done so more justly that night than now."
is not true," said Finn; "thou hast ill deserved of me that I should
give thee a d rink or do the any good thing; for the night that thou wentest
with me to Tara thou didst bear away Grainne from me in the presence of all the
men of Erin when thou wast thyself my guard over her in Tara that night."
guilt of that was not mine, O Finn.." said Diarmuid, "but Grainne put
a taboo upon me, and I would not have failed to keep my bonds for the gold of
the world, and nothing, O Finn is true of all that thou sayest, for thou wouldst
own that I have well deserved of thee that thou shouldst give me a drink, if
thou didst remember the night that Midach son of Colgan made the feast of
Bruiden Chaorthalnn (the Hostel of the Quicken Tree). He had a stronghold upon
land ,and a stronghold upon wave (upon an island) and he brought the king of the
world and the three kings of Innis Tuile to the stronghold hat he had upon the
wave, with intent to take thy head from thee. The feast was being given in the
stronghold that he had on land, and he sent and bade thee and the seven
battalions of the standing fian to go and enjoy the feast in Bruiden Chaorthainn.
Now thou wentist and certain o the chiefs of the fian together with thee, to
enjoy that banquet in Bruiden Chaorthainn, and Midach caused some of the mould
of Innis Tuyile to be placed under the, so that thy feet and thy hands clove to
the ground; and when the king of the world heard that thou wast thus bound down,
he sent a chief of an hundred to seek thy head. Then thou didst put they thumb
under thy tooth of divination, and knowledge and enlightenment was shewn thee.
At that very time I came after thee to Bruiden Chaorthainn, and thou didst know
me as I came to the stronghold, and didst make known to me that the king of the
world and the three kings of Innis Tuile were in the stronghold of the island
upon the Shannon, and that it would not be long ere some one would come from
them to seek thy head and take it to the king of the world. When I heard that, I
took the protection of thy body and of thy life upon me till the dawning of the
day on the morrow, and I went to the ford which was by the stronghold to defend
not been long by the ford before there came a chief of an hundred to me of the
people of the king of the world, and we fought together; and I took his head
from him, and made slaughter of his people, and brought the head even to the
stronghold of the island where the king of the world was enjoying drinking and
pleasure with the three kings of Innis Tuile by him. I took their heads from
them, and put them in the hollow of my shield, and brought in my left hand the
jeweled golden-chased goblet, full of old mead, pleasant to drink, which was
before the king. Then I wrought sharply with my sword around me, and came by
virtue of my fortune and of my valor to Bruiden Chaorthainn, and brought those
heads with me. I gave thee the goblet in token of victory, and rubbed the blood
of those three kings on thee and on the fian, as many of them as were bound, so
that I restored to thee thy power over thy hands and the motion of thy feet; and
hid I asked a drink of thee that night, O Finn, I would have got it! Many is the
straight, moreover, that hath overtaken thee and the fian of Erin from the first
day that I came among, you, in which I have periled my body and my life for thy
sake; and therefore thou shouldst not do me this foul treachery. Moreover, many
a brave warrior and valiant hero of great prowess hath fallen by thee, nor is
there an end of them yet; and shortly there will come a dire disaster upon the
fian which will not leave them many descendants. Nor is it for thee that I
grieve, O Finn; but for Oisin, and for Oscar, and for the rest of my faithful,
fond comrades. And as for thee, O Oisin, thou shat be left to lament after the
fian, and thou shalt sorely lack me yet, O Finn."
Oscar, "O Finn, though I am more nearly akin to thee than to Diarmuid O'
Duibne, I will not allow thee to withhold the drink from Diarmuid; and I swear,
moreover, that were any other prince in the world to do Diarmuid O' Duibne such
treachery, there should only escape whichever of us should have the strongest
hand, and bring him a drink without delay."
no well whatever upon this mountain," said Finn
is not true," said Diarmuid; "for but nine paces from thee is the best
well of pure water in the world."
(editors note: the special powers of mountains, springs and special places is a special dimension of celtic reality they relate well to the dimension of the hunt when stories such as these would help the listener to master the environment)
Finn went to the well, and raised the full of his two hands of the water; but he
had not reached more than half way to Diarmuid when he let the water run down
through his hands and he said he could not bring the water. "I swear,"said
Diarmuid, "That of thine own will thou didst let it from thee." Finn
went for the water the second time, and he had not come more than the same
distance when he let it through his hands, having thought upon Grainne. Then
Diarmuid hove a piteous sigh of anguish when he saw that. "I swear upon my
arms," said Oscar, "that if thou bring not the water speedily, O Finn,
there shall not leave this hill but either thou or I." Finn returned to the
well the third time because of that speech which Oscar had made to him, and
brought the water to Diarmuid, and as he came up the life parted from the body
company of the fian of Erin that were present raised three great exceeding loud
shouts, wailing for Diarmuid, and Oscar looked fiercely and wrathfully upon Finn
and said, "that it was a great pity that Diarmuid should be dead than it
would have been had Finn perished, and that the fian had lost their mainstay in
battle by means of him."
said, "Let us leave this hill, for fear that Angus of the Brug and the
Tuatha De Danann might catch us; and though we have no part in the slaying of
Diarmuid, he would none the more readily believe us."
swear," said Oscar, "had I known that it was with intent to kill
Diarmuid that thou madest the hunt of Benn Gulban, that thou wouldst never have
made it. " Then Finn and the fian of Erin went their way from the hill,
Finn holding Diarmuid's stag hound that is Mac an Cuill, but Oisin, and Oscar,
and Cailte, and the son of Lugaid returned, and threw their four mantles about
Diarmuid, and after that they went their way after Finn.
It is not
told how they fared until they reached Rath Grainne. Grainne was before them out
upon the ramparts of the stronghold, and she saw Finn and the fian of Erin
coming to her. Then said Grainne, "that if Diarmuid were alive it was not
by Finn that Mac an Cuill would be held coming to this place." Now Grainne
was at that time heavy and pregnant, and she fell out over the ramparts of the
stronghold, and brought forth three dead sons upon the spot. When Oisin saw
Grainne in that plight he sent away Finn and the Fian of Erin; and as Finn and
the fian of Erin were leaving the place Grainne lifted up her head and asked
Finn to leave her Mac an Cuill. He said that he would not give him to her, and
that he thought it not too much he himself should inherit so much of Diarmuid;
but when Oisin heard that he took the stag hound from the hand of Finn, gave him
to Grainne, and then followed his people.
felt sure of the death of Diarmuid and she uttered a long exceedingly piteous
cry, so that it was heard in the distant parts of the stronghold; and her women
and the rest of her people came to her, and asked her what had thrown her into
that excessive grief. Grainne told them how Diarmuid had perished by the wild
boar of Benn Gulban, by means of the hunt that Finn mac Cumaill had made.
"And truly my very heart is grieved,"said Grainne, "that I am not
myself able to fight with Finn, for were I so I would not have suffered him to
leave this place in safety." Having heard of the death of Diarmuid, they
too uttered three loud fearful, vehement cries together with Grainne, so that
those loud shouts were heard in the clouds of heaven, and in the wastes of the
firmament; and then Grainne bade the five hundred that she had for her household
to go to Benn Gulban,and bring her the body of Diarmuid.
At that very
time and season it was shown to Angus that Diarmuid was dead upon Benn Gulban,
for he had had no watch over him the night before, and he proceeded, on the
wings of the pure-cold wind, so that he reached Benn Gulban at the same time
with the people of Grainne; and when Grainne's household recognized Angus they
held out the rough side of their shields in token of peace, and Angus knew them.
Then when they were met together upon Benn Gulban, they and the people of Angus
raised three exceeding great terrible cries over the body of Diarmuid, so that
they were heard in the clouds of heaven, and in the wastes of the firmament of
the air, and in the provinces of Erin likewise.
spoke and what he said was:" I have never been for one night, since I took
thee with me to the Brug of the Boyne, at the age of nine months, that I did not
watch thee and carefully keep thee against thy foes, until last night, O
Diarmuid! And alas for the treachery that Finn hath done thee, for all that thou
wast at peace with him." And he sang the following lay:
O Diarmuid O'Duibne,
O thou of
the white teeth, thou bright and fair one;
thine own blood upon thy spear,
The blood of
thy body hath been shed.
Alas for the
deadly flashing tusk of the boar,
been sharply, sorely, violently lopped off;
malicious, fickle, treacherous one.
venom hath entered his wounds,
At rath Finn
he met his death;
The Boar of
Benn Gulban with fierceness,
low Diarmuid the bright-faced.
fairy shouts without gainsaying,
of the bright weapons be lifted by you;
smooth Brug of the everlasting rocks-
Surely it is
we that feel great pity.
After that lay Angus asked the household of Grainne wherefore they were come to that spot. They said Grainne hath sent them for the body of Diarmuid to bring it to her to Rath Grainne. Angus said that he would not let them take Diarmuid's body but that he would himself bear it to the Brug upon the Boyne; "and since I cannot restore him to life I will send a soul into him, so that he may talk to me each day." After that Angus caused the body to be borne upon a gilded bier, with his (Diarmuid's) javelins over him pointed upwards, and he went to the Brug of the Boyne.
Grainne's household, they returned back to Rath Grainne, and they told how Angus
would not let them bring the body of Diarmuid, but that he himself had taken it
to the Brug upon the Boyne; and Grainne said that she had no power over him.
After wards Grainne sent word and messengers for her children to the district of
Corca O'Duibne, where they were being reared and protected; now those children
of Diarmuid had sons of warriors and of wealthy chieftains serving them, and
each son of them owned a district. Now Donnchad the son of Diarmuid O'Duibne was
the eldest son of them, and to him the other sons were subject; that is,
Eochaid, Connla, Selbsercach, and Ollann the long-bearded, the son of Diarmuid,
that is, the son of he daughter of the king of Leinster; and Grainne bore great
love and affection to none of her own children than to Ollann. Those messengers
thereupon went to the place where those youths were, and they told them the
cause of their journey and of their coming from first to last; and as the youths
were setting out with the full number of their household and of their gathering,
their people of trust asked them what they should do since their lords were now
going to encounter war and perilous adventure against Finn mac Cumaill and the
fian of Erin. Donnchad the son of Diarmuid bade them abide in their own places,
and that if they made peace with Finn their people need fear nothing; and if
not, to choose which lord they would have, that is, to ride with Finn or to
adhere to their own chiefs as they pleased.
tidings are told of them until they reached Rath Grainne, where Grainne gave
them a a gentle welcome, and gave a kiss and a welcome to the son of the
daughter of the king of Leinster; and they entered together into Rath Grainne,
and sat at the sides of the royal stronghold according to their rank, and their
patrimony, and according to the age of each one of them. There were given them
mead mild and pleasant to drink, and well-prepared sweet ale, and strong
fermented draughts in fair chased drinking horns, so that they became
exhilarated and mirthful. And then Grainne spoke with an exceeding loud and
clear voice, and what she said was: "O dear children, your father has been
slain by Finn mac Cumaill against his bonds and covenants of peace with him; now
you are bound to avenge that upon him well; and there is your portion of the
inheritance of your father," said she, "that is, his arms, and his
armor, and his various sharp weapons, and his feats of valor and bravery
likewise. I will myself portion them out among you and may the getting of them
bring you success in battle. And I myself will have the goblets and the drinking
horns, and the beautiful golden -chased cups, and the kine and the cattle-herds
undivided." And she sang this lay as follows:
Arise ye, O
children of Diarmuid
Go forth and
learn that I may see;
adventures be prosperous to you;
of a good man have come to you
The best son
that Diarmuid had;
Eochaid have the Gae Derg;
They lead to
armor from me to Ollann,
body upon which it may be put;
shield to Connla,
To him that
keeps the battalions firm.
and the drinking horns,
The cups and
They are a
woman's treasure without thanks;
shall have them all.
woman and children,
hatred to your foes;
Do no guile
After that lay Grainne bade them depart, and learn carefully all practice of bravery and of valor till
have reached their full strength. And they were to spend a portion of their time
with Bolcan, the smith of hell.
good youths betook them to their journey, and they took farewell of Grainne and
of her household, and left them wishes of life and health, and Grainne and her
people sent the same with them: and they left not a warrior, a hero, nor a
woman-warrior in the distant regions of the world, which whom they spent not a
portion of their time, learning from hem until they attained fullness of
strength; and they were three years with Bolcan.
was informed that those children of Diarmuid had departed upon that journey, he
was filled with hatred and great fear of them; and forthwith called a muster of
the seven battalions of the standing fian from every quarter where they were,
and when they were come to one place Finn told them in a loud, clear voice the
story of that journey, of the children of Diarmuid from first to last, and asked
what he should do. "For it is with intent to rebel against me," said
he, "that they are gone upon that journey."
and what he said was: "The guilt of that is no man's but thine, and we will
not go to make up for the deed that we have not done. Foul is the treachery that
thou didst show towards Diarmuid, though at peace with him, when Cormac also
would have given thee his other daughter, in order that thou mightiest bear
Diarmuid no enmity nor malice. According as thou hast planted the oak so bend it
thyself." Finn was grieved at those words of Oisin, nevertheless he could
do nothing against him.
saw that Oisin, and Oscar, and all the Clan Baoiscne had abandoned him he
considered within his own mind that he would be unable to crush that danger if
he did not win over Grainne: and he went therefore to Rath Grainne without the
knowledge of he fian of Erin and without bidding them farewell, and greeted her
craftily, and cunningly, and with sweet words. Grainne neither heeded nor
hardened to him, but told him to leave her sight, and straightway assailed him
with her keen, sharp pointed tongue. However, Finn left not plying her with
sweet words and with gentle loving discourse, until he brought her to his own
will; and he had the desire of his heart and soul of her. After that Finn and
Grainne went their ways, and no tidings are told of them until they reached the
fian of Erin; and when the fian saw Finn and Grainne coming towards them in that
manner, they gave one shout of derision and mockery at her, so that Grainne
bowed her head through shame. "We trow, O Finn," said Oisin "that
thou wilt keep Grainne well from henceforth."
As for the
children of Diarmuid, after having spent seven years in learning all that
beseems a warrior, they came out of the far regions of the great world, and it
is not told how they fared until they reached Rath Grainne. When they had heard
how Grainne had fled with Finn mac Cumaill without taking leave of them or of
the king of Erin , they said hat they could do nothing. After that they went to
Almu of Leinster to seek Finn and the fian, and they proclaimed battle against
Finn. "Rise, O Diorruing and ask them how many they require," said
Finn. Diorruing went and asked them "We require a hundred men against each
of us, or single combat," said they . Finn sent a hundred to fight with
them, and when they had reached the battle field those youths rushed under them,
through them, and over them and made three heaps of them, namely, a heap of
their heads, a heap of their bodies, and a heap of heir arms and armor.
"Our hosts will not last," said Finn, "if a hundred be slain each
day. What shall we do concerning those youths, O Grainne?"
go to them," said Grainne, " to try whether I may be able to make
peace between you. "
should be well pleased at that," said Finn, "and I would give them and
their posterity freedom for ever, and their father's place among the fian, and
bonds and securities for the fulfillment thereof to them for ever and