'The early 9th century poem was found scribbled on a manuscript in Austria and became justly famous. The whole of the scholar's life is reflected in its gentle, meditative humor, and many scores of literary cats have since answered to the name of Pangur. It is strongly reminiscent of the poetry of Sedulius, who was on the Continent at the time, and if, as has been supposed, Sedulius spent some time in Wales on his way to Gaul, it would explain why an Irish scholar's cat had a Welsh name, for Pangur in Old Welsh means "fuller", so that the adjective bán, "white", is superfluous.'
While Turgesius thus held oppressive sway, and while the Gaels were submissive to him in unwilling obedience, he built a fortified residence for himself near the duinlios of Maoilseachlainn, son of Maoilruanaidh, king of Meath; and on a certain day when he came to the house of Maoilseachlainn he cast eyes on Maoilseachlainn's daughter, a beautiful marriageable maiden; and aged and self-indulgent as he was, he requested her father to give the maiden to him as his mistress.
‘My lord,’ replied Maoilseachlainn, ‘I am certain that thou wouldst not be content with my daughter as thy wedded wife, but wouldst deem it sufficient to have her for a time. I therefore beseech thee not to ask for her publicly lest she may be baulked of a husband; and as thy fortress happens to be near this lios in which I reside, I will send my daughter privately to meet thee, together with the fifteen most beautiful and loveable maidens in all Meath; and I am certain that when thou shalt see these ladies thou wilt pay neither heed nor attention to my own daughter, so far do they excel her in beauty.’
Turgesius approved of this, and they fixed a certain night on which the maiden with her attendant ladies was to be sent to meet Turgesius to his fortress. About this time there was a gathering and assembly of all the Lochlonnach chiefs in Ireland to meet Turgesius at Ath Cliath, with the view to take counsel as to maintaining and preserving their sway in the country; and while they were there Turgesius made known to some of the chiefs the agreement he had come to with Maoilseachlainn, and promised women to those of them who would go with him; and fifteen of the most daring and lustful of these chiefs went with him, and they did not rest or tarry till they reached the fortress of Turgesius together with their lord.
As to Maoilseachlainn he sent privately for fifteen of the most daring beardless youths that were in Meath, and directed that they be dressed in women's clothes, and wear a short sword each at the waist, and that they be thus sent disguised as women to accompany his daughter.
And when the night came on which she was to be sent to meet Turgesius according to promise, the maiden set out, attended by her ladies, and went close up to the fortress, and sent a private message to Turgesius to inform him that herself and her ladies were near the house for the purpose of paying him a visit; and when he heard this, he directed the chiefs who were with him to go to their rooms, saying that he would send them women as he had promised. Thereupon they piled their arms into one heap on the table which was in the hall, and went to their rooms, each of them occupying a separate bed, waiting for these ladies to be distributed among them.
Now at this time Maoilseachlainn with a body of soldiers was with his daughter, and he directed a number of those youths who were with her disguised as women, the moment Turgesius should lay hands on his daughter for the purpose of detaining her with him, to seize him by force and take him captive, and another party to take possession of the arms that were in the house, and to spring upon the chiefs who were within; and he said that he himself with his body of soldiers would be near the house, and that he would rush into the house at the first cry to help them slay the Lochlannaigh.
Thereupon the maiden with her ladies went in by a back door of the house and reached the room of Turgesius; and when they had come into his presence, he glanced at the maiden and her ladies and none of them pleased him but herself, and then he laid hands on her to detain her with him. When the youths who were with her saw this, a party of them seized Turgesius by force and made him captive; the remaining party seized the arms and held them in their possession, and then Maoilseachlainn with his party of soldiers came in, and they sprang on the party of Lochlonnaigh that were in the fortress, and slew them all, both chiefs and underlings except Turgesius alone; and when they had stripped the fortress bare they led Turgesius to the duinlios of Maoilseachlainn where they kept him for a time in captivity.
The author, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, was one of the early pioneers of the weird tale. He influenced his fellow Irishman, Bram Stoker, and his Dr. Hesselius is considered to be possibly the very first "occult detective". A le Fanu story was even reprinted in Weird Tales itself:
Beyond the subject matter and the author, I also find the novel interesting in the name of the protagonist. "Torlogh" is just a variant of "Turlogh" or "Turlough", and "Turlogh (sometimes Turlough) O'Brien" is, of course, the name of Robert E. Howard's Dalcassian reiver.
We know that REH was interested in that period. He declared in one letter that, when it came to Ireland, he considered himself a "Jacobite". We also know he highly admired Patrick Sarsfield, who fought in the Williamite War.
Iomthúsa Dhál gCais triallaid rompa as sin go h-Áth Í ar brú Bearbha, is cromaid ar uisce d'ól ann. Do bhí Donnchadh mac Giolla Phádraig rí Osruighe ar a gcionn ann sin go líon a shluagh is a thionóil .i. Laighin is Osruighe ar Maigh Chloinne Ceallaigh is coimhéad uaidh ar Dhál gCais gá slighe a ngéabhdaois ar mhéad a fhala riú. Óir is é Brian do cheangail is do chuibhrigh athair Dhonnchaidh, agus do bhí bliadhain i gcuibhreach aige, agus do creachadh is do fásuigheadh Osruighe uile is do marbhadh iomad da ndaoinibh leis. Uime sin do chuimhnigh Mac Giolla Phádraig an fhala do Dhál gCais, is do chuir teachta uaidh go h-Áth Í da n-ionnsaighe 'ga iarraidh orra braighde do chur chuige tré n-a léigean as an áit sin tairis. Gidheadh fá hé freagra Dhonnchadha mic Briain ar na teachtaibh nach tiubhradh braighde dhóibh.
‘Maseadh,’ ar na teachta, ‘caithfidhe cath do fhreagra do Mhac Giolla Phádraig.’
‘Do-ghéabhaidh sé cath,’ ar Donnchadh, ‘agus is truagh nach é an bás fuair ar n-athair fuaramar-ne sul ráinig do léan orainn iad-san d'iarraidh giall orainn.’
Adubhradar na teachta ris gan fearg do bheith air, agus nach raibhe líon catha do thabairt do Mhac Giolla Phádraig.
‘Acht dá madh gnáth aithbhear a dteachtaireachta do thabairt ar theachtaibh ar bith,’ ar Donnchadh, ‘do beanfaidhe bhar dteanga as bhar gceannaibh agam-sa; óir gion go mbeinn-se acht aoin ghiolla amháin do shochraide ní thiubhrainn obadh comhraic do Mhac Giolla Phádraig is d'Osruighibh.’
As to the Dal gCais they marched on thence to Ath I on the brink of the Bearbha and began to drink water there. Donnchadh Mac Giolla Phadraig, king of Osruighe, was there to meet them with his full host and reserves, to wit, the Leinstermen and the Ossorians, on Magh Cloinne Ceallaigh, and he had set a watch on the Dal gCais to find what way they would take, by reason of his great enmity against them. For Brian had tied and bound Donnchadh's father and kept him a year in bondage, and had spoiled and wasted all Osruighe and slain many of its people. Hence Mac Giolla Phadraig kept up the enmity against the Dal gCais, and he sent envoys to them to Ath I, to ask them to send him hostages as a condition of his allowing them to pass from that place unmolested. But Donnchadh son of Brian's answer to the envoys was that he would not give hostages.
‘Then,’ said the envoys, ‘Mac Giolla Phadraig would have to be met in battle.’
‘He will get battle,’ said Donnchadh, ‘and it is a pity that I did not meet the death my father met, before I was overtaken by the misfortune of these people demanding hostages from me.’
The envoys told him not to get angry, seeing that he was not strong enough to fight Mac Giolla Phadraig.
‘Now if it were the custom to give affront to any envoys whatever on account of their message,’ said Donnchadh, ‘I would have your tongues plucked out of your heads, for if I had but a single page as a following I would not refuse battle to Mac Giolla Phadraig and to the Ossorians.’
Post by trescuinge on Nov 27, 2016 22:42:56 GMT -5
After Clontarf 2:
Is ann sin do chuir Donnchadh mac Briain trian an tsluaigh do choimhéad a n-othar agus an dá dtrian oile do fhreastal an chatha. Ód chualadar na hothair sin do éirgheadar go hobann, gur briseadh ar a gcneadhaibh is ar a gcréachtaibh, gur líonsad do chaonnach iad, is do ghabhsad a sleagha is a gcloidhmhe, is tángadar i measc cháich amhlaidh sin,
agus adubhradar ré mac Briain daoine do chur fá choill is cuailleadha coimhneartamhra do thabairt leo agus a sáthadh san talmhain, ‘agus ceangailtear sinn ré a n-ais,’ ar siad, ‘agus tugthar ar n-airm i n-ar lámhaibh is cuirthear ar mic is ar mbráithre mar aon rinn .i. dís d'fhearaibh slána timcheall an fhir ghonta againn, ionnus gurab díochraide ar bhfeidhm lé chéile sin. Óir ní léigfe an náire don fhior shlán gluasacht nó go ngluaise an fear gonta ceangailte againn.’
Do rónadh amhlaidh leo, agus ba machtnadh meanman is ba hiongantas adhbhalmhór an t-ordughadh soin do chuireadar Dál gCais orra féin.
Then Donnchadh son of Brian set the third of the host in charge of their wounded and the remaining two-thirds to give the battle. When the wounded heard this, they sprang up suddenly, and their wounds and gashes burst open, and they filled them with moss, and they seized their lances and their swords and came in this guise into the midst of their comrades,
and they besought the son of Brian to send men into the wood to fetch strong stakes which were to be stuck in the ground, ‘and let us be tied to these,’ said they, ‘and let our arms be given into our hands and let our sons and kinsmen be placed beside us, to wit, two unwounded men around each of us wounded, so that we may act together with the greater earnestness. For the unwounded man will be ashamed to leave his post until the wounded man of our company who is bound leaves it.’
They were arrayed in that way; and that array into which the Dal gCais put themselves was a surprise for the mind, and a very great wonder.