Gods and Fighting Men
Hidden House of Lugh
And after Lugh had held the kingship for a long time, the Dagda was made king
in his place.
And Lugh went away out of Ireland, and some said he died at Uisnech, the
place where the five provinces meet, and the first place there was ever a fire
kindled in Ireland. It was by Mide, son of Brath, it was kindled, for the sons
of Nemed, and it was burning through six years, and it was from that fire every
chief was kindled in Ireland.
But Lugh was seen again in Ireland at the time Conchubar and the Men of the
Red Branch went following white birds southward to the Boinn at the time of
Cuchulain's birth. And it was he came and kept watch over Cuchulain in his three
days' sleep at the time of the War for the Bull of Cuailgne.
And after that again he was seen by Conn of the Hundred Battles, and this is
the way that happened.
Conn was in Teamhair one time, and he went up in the early morning to the
Rath of the Kings at the rising of the sun, and his three Druids with him, Maol
and Bloc and Bhuice; and his three poets, Ethain and Corb and Cesarn. And the
reason he had for going up there with them every day, was to look about on every
side, the way if any men of the Sidhe would come into Ireland they would not
come unknown to him. And on this day he chanced to stand upon a stone that was
in the rath, and the stone screamed under his feet, that it was heard all over
Teamhair and as far as Bregia.
Then Conn asked his chief Druid how the stone came there, and what it
screamed for. And the Druid said he would not answer that till the end of
fifty-three days. And at the end of that time, Conn asked him again, and it is
what the Druid said: "The Lia Fail is the name of the stone; it is out of Falias
it was brought, and it is in Teamhair it was setup, and in Teamhair it will stay
forever. And as long as there is a king in Teamhair it is here will be the
gathering place for games, and if there is no king to come to the last day of
the gathering, there will be hardness in that year. And when the stone screamed
under your feet," he said, "the number of the screams it gave was a foretelling
of the number of kings of your race that would come after you. But it is not I
myself will name them for you," he said.
And while they were in the same place, there came a great mist about them and
a darkness, so that they could not know what way they were going, and they heard
the noise of a rider coming towards them. "It would be a great grief to us,"
said Conn, "to be brought away into a strange country." Then the rider threw
three spears at them, and every one came faster than the other. "It is the
wounding of a king indeed," said the Druids, "any one to cast at Conn of
The rider stopped casting his spears on that, and he came to them and bade
Conn welcome, and asked him to come to his house. They went on then till they
came to a beautiful plain, and there they saw a king's rath, and a golden tree
at its door, and inside the rath a grand house with a roof of white bronze. So
they went into the house, and the rider that had come to meet them was there
before them, in his royal seat, and there had never been seen a man like him in
Teamhair for comeliness or for beauty, or the wonder of his face.
And there was a young woman in the house, having a band of gold on her head,
and a silver vessel with hoops of gold beside her, and it full of red ale, and a
golden bowl on its edge, and a golden cup at its mouth. She said then to the
master of the house: "Who am I to serve drink to?" "Serve it to Cairn of the
Hundred Battles," he said, "for he will gain a hundred battles before he dies."
And after that he bade her to pour out the ale for Art of the Three Shouts, the
son of Conn; and after that he went through the names of all the kings of
Ireland that would come after Conn, and he told what would be the length of
their lifetime. And the young woman left the vessel with Conn, and the cup and
the bowl, and she gave him along with that the rib of an ox and of a hog;
twenty-four feet was the length of the ox-rib.
And the master of the house told them the young woman was the Kingship of
Ireland for ever. "And as for myself," he said, "I am Lugh of the Long Hand, son