The Tain Bo Culaigne
Here Now The Deer-Stalking of Amargin in Taltiu
This Amargin was the son of Cass who was son of Bacc who was son of Ross Ruad
('the Red') who was son of Rudraige. He came upon the warriors going over Taltiu
westward, and he made them turn before him over Taltiu northwards. And he put
his left elbow under him in Taltiu. And his people furnished him with rocks and
boulders and great clumps of earth, and he began to pelt the men of Erin till
the end of three days and three nights.
The adventures of Curoi son of Darè follow now.
He was told that a single man was checking and stopping four of the five
grand provinces of Erin from Monday at Summer's end till the beginning of
Spring. And he felt it unworthy of himself and he deemed it too long that his
people were without him. And it was then he set out to the host to fight and
contend with Cuchulain. And when he was come to the place where Cuchulain was,
he saw Cuchulain there moaning, full of wounds and pierced through with holes,
and he felt it would not be honourable nor fair to fight and contend with him
after the combat with Ferdiad. Because it would be said it was not that
Cuchulain died of the sores and wounds which he would give him so much as of the
wounds which Ferdiad had inflicted on him in the conflict before. Be that as it
might, Cuchulain offered to engage with him in battle and combat.
Thereupon Curoi set forth for to seek the men of Erin and, when he was near
at hand, he espied Amargin there and his left elbow under him to the west of
Taltiu. Curoi reached the men of Erin from the north. His people equipped him
with rocks and boulders and great clumps, and he began to hurl them right over
against Amargin, so that Badb's battle-stones collided in the clouds and in the
air high above them, and every rock of them was shivered into an hundred stones.
"By the truth of thy valour, O Curoi," cried Medb, "desist from thy throwing,
for no real succour nor help comes to us therefrom, but ill is the succour and
help that thence come to us." "I pledge my word," cried Curoi, "I will not cease
till the very day of doom and of life, till first Amargin cease!" "I will
cease," said Amargin; "and do thou engage that thou wilt no more come to succour
or give aid to the men of Erin." Curoi consented to that and went his way to
return to his land and people.
About this time the hosts went past Taltiu westwards. "It is not this was
enjoined upon me," quoth Amargin: "never again to cast at the hosts." And he
went to the west of them and he turned them before him north-eastwards past
Taltiu. And he began to pelt them for a long while and time.
Then it was also that the men of Erin said it would be no disgrace for
Amargin to leave the camp and quarters, and that the hosts would retire a day's
march back to the north again, there to stop and stay, and for him to quit his
feats of arms upon the hosts until such time as he would meet them on the day of
the great battle when the four grand provinces of Erin would encounter at Garech
and Ilgarech in the battle of the Raid for the Kine of Cualnge. Amargin accepted
that offer, and the hosts proceeded a day's march back to the northwards again.
Wherefore the 'Deer-stalking' of Amargin in Taltiu the name of this tale.