XVII. Maol a Chliobain, pp.259-264.

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From Ann MacGilvray, Islay.

THERE was a widow ere now, and she had three daughters; and they said to her that they would go to seek their fortune. She baked three bannocks. She said to the big one, 

“Whether dost thou like best the small half and my blessing, or the big half and my curse?” 

(Cò’ca ‘s fheàrr leat, an leith bheag ‘s mo bheannachd, na’n leith mhòr ‘s do mhollachd?)

“I like best,” said she, “the big half and thy curse.” 

(‘S fheàrr leam, an leith mhòr ‘s do mhollachd.)

She said to the middle one, 

“Whether dost thou like best the big half and my curse, or the little half and my blessing?” 

(Cò’ca ‘s fheàrr leat an leith mhòr ‘s mo mhollachd na’n leith bheag ‘s mo bheannachd?)

“I like best,” said she, “the big half and thy curse.” 

(‘S fheàrr leam, an leith mhòr ‘s do mhollachd.)

She said to the little one, 

“Whether dost thou like best the big half and my curse, or the little half and my blessing? 

(Cò’ca ‘s fheàrr leat an leith mhòr ‘s mo mhollachd na’n leith bheag ‘s mo bheannachd?)

“I like best the little half and thy blessing.” 

(‘S fheàrr leam an leith bheag ‘s do bheannachd.)

This pleased her mother, and she gave her the two other halves also. They went away, but the two eldest did not want the youngest to be with them, and they tied her to a rock of stone. They went on; but her mother’s blessing came and freed her. And when they looked behind them, whom did they see but her with the rock on top of her. They let her alone a turn of a while, till they reached a peat stack, and they tied her to the peat stack. They went on a bit (but her mother’s blessing came and freed her), and they looked behind them, and whom did they see but her coming, and the peat stack on the top of her. They let her alone a turn of a while, till they reached a tree, and they tied her to the tree. They went on a bit (but her mother’s blessing came and freed her), and when they looked behind them, whom did they see but her, and the tree on top of her. 

They saw it was no good to be at her; they loosed her, and let her (come) with them. They were going till night came on them. They saw a light a long way from them; and though a long way from them, it was not long that they were in reaching it. They went in. What was this but a giant’s house! They asked to stop the night. They got that, and they were put to bed with the three daughters of the giant. (The giant came home, and he said, “The smell of the foreign girls is within.”) 

There were twists of amber knobs about the necks of the giant’s daughter, and strings of horse hair about their necks. they all slept, but Maol a Chliobain did not sleep. Through the night a thirst came on the giant. He called to his bald, rough-skinned gillie to bring him water. The rough-skinned gillie said that there was not a drop within. 

“Kill,” said he, “one of the strange girls, and bring to me her blood.” 

(Marbh, te de na nigheanan coimheach, ‘s thoir a m’ ionnsuidh a fuil.)

“How will I know them?” said the bald, rough-skinned gillie. 

(Demur a dh’ aithneachas mi eatorra?)

“There are twists of knobs of amber about the necks of my daughters, and twists of horse hair anbout the necks of the rest.” 

(Tha caran de chneapan ma mhuinealan mo nigheanansa, ‘s caran gaoisid ma mhuineil chàich.)

Maol a Chliobain heard the giant, and as quick as she could she put the strings of horse hair that were about her own neck and about the necks of her sisters about the necks of the giant’s daughters; and the knobs that were about the necks of the giant’s daughters about her own neck and about the necks of her sisters; and she laid down so quietly. The bald, rough-skinned gillie came, and he killed one of the daughters of the giant, and he took the blood to him. He asked for MORE to be brought him. He killed the next. He asked for MORE; and he killed the third one. 

Maol a Chliobain awoke her sisters, and she took them with her on top of her, and she took to going. (She took with her a golden cloth that was on the bed, and it called out.) 

The giant perceived her, and he followed her. The sparks of fire that she was putting out of the stones with her heels, they were striking the giant on the chin; and the sparks of fire that the giant was bringing out of the stones with the points of his feet, they were striking Maol a Chliobain in the back of the head. It is this was their going till they reached a river. (She plucked a hair out of her head and made a bridge of it, and she run over the river, and the giant could not follow her.) Maol a Chliobain leaped the river, but the river the giant could not leap. 

“Thou art over there, Maol a Chliobain.” 

(Tha thu thall a Mhaol a chliobain.)

“I am, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Tha ma ‘s oil leat e.)

“Thou killedst my three bald brown daughters.” 

(Mharbh thu mo thri nigheanan maola, ruagha.)

“I killed them, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Mharbh ma’s oil leat e.)

“And when wilt thou come again?” 

(‘S cuin a thig thu ‘rithisd?)

“I will come when my business brings me.” 

(Thig nur1 bheir mo ghnothach mi.)

They went forward till they reached the house of a farmer. The farmer had three sons. They told of how it happened to them. Said the farmer to Maol a Chliobain, 

“I will give my eldest son to thy eldest sister, and get for me the fine comb of gold, and the coarse comb of silver that the giant has.” 

(Bheir mi mo mhac is sine do ‘d phiuthar is sine, ‘s faigh dhomh cìr mhìn òir ‘s cìr gharbh airgid a tha aig an fhamhair.)

“It will cost thee no more,” said Maol a Chliobain. 

(Cha chosd e tuillidh dhuit.)

She went away; she reached the house of the giant; she got in unknown; she took with her the combs, and out she went. The giant perceived her, and after her he was till they reached the river. She leaped the river, but the river the giant could not leap. 

“Thou art over there, Maol a Chliobain.” 

(Tha thu thall a Mhaol a chliobain.)

“I am, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Tha ma’s oil leat e.)

“Thou killedst my three bald brown daughters.” 

(Mharbh thu mo thri nigheanan maola, ruagha.)

“I killed them, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Mharbh ma’s oil leat e.)

“Thou stolest my fine comb of gold, and my coarse comb of silver.” 

(Ghoid thu mo chìr mhìn òir ‘s mo chìr gharbh airgid.)

“I stole them, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Ghoid ma’s oil leat e.)

“When wilt thou come again?” 

(Cuin a thig thu ‘rithisd?)

“I will come when my business brings me.” 

(Thig nur bheir mo ghnothach mi.)

She gave the combs to the farmer, and her big sister and the farmer’s bis son married. 

“I will give my middle son to thy middle sister, and get me the giant’s glave of light.” 

(Bheir mi mo mhac meadhonach do ‘d phiuthar mheadhonach, ‘s faigh dhomh claidheamh soluis an fhamhair.)

“It will cost thee no more,” said Maol a Chliobain. 

(Cha chosd e tuillidh dhuit.)

She went away, and she reached the giant’s house; she went up to the top of a tree that was above the giant’s well. In the night came the bald rough-skinned gillie with the sword of light to fetch water. When he bent to raise the water, Maol a Chliobain came down and she pushed him down in the well and she drowned him, and she took with her the glave of light. 

The giant followed her till she reached the river; she leaped the river, and the giant could not follow her. 

“Thou art over there, Maol a Chliobain.” 

(Tha thu thall a Mhoal a chliobain.)

“I am, if it is hard for thee.” 

(Tha ma ’s oil leat e.)

“Thou killedst my three bald brown daughters.” 

(Mharbh thu mo thri nigheanan maola, ruagha.)

“I killed, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Mharbh ma ’s oil leat e.)

“Thou stolest my fine comb of gold, and my coarse comb of silver.” 

(Ghoid thu mo chìr mhìn òir ‘s mo chìr gharbh airgid.)

“I stole, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Ghoid ma ’s oil leat e.)

“Thou killedst my bald rough-skinned gillie.” 

(Mharbh thu mo ghille maol, carrach.)

“I killed, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Mharbh ma ’s oil leat e.)

“Thou stolest my glave of light.” 

(Ghoid thu tha mo chlaidheamh soluis.)

“I stole, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Ghoid ma ’s oil leat e.)

“When wilt thou come again?” 

(Cuin a thig thu ‘rithisd?)

“I will come when by business brings me.” 

(Thig nur bheir mo ghnothach mi.)

She reached the house of the farmer with the glave of light; and her middle sister and the middle son of the farmer married. 

“I will give thyself my youngest son,” said the farmer, “and bring me a buck that the giant has.” 

(Bheir mi dhuit féin mo mhac is òige, ‘s thoir am’ ionnsuidh, boc a tha aig an fhamhair.)

“It will cost thee no more,” said Maol a Chliobain. 

(Cha chosd e tuillidh dhuit.)

She went away, and she reached the house of the giant; but when she had hold of the buck, the giant caught her. 

“What,” said the giant, “wouldst thou do to me: if I had done as much harm to thee as thou hast done to me?” 

(De, a dheànadh tus’ ormsa na’n deànainn uibhir coir’ ort ‘s a rinn thus’ ormsa.)

“I would make thee burst thyself with milk porridge; I would then out thee in a pock! I would hang thee to the roof-tree; I would set fire under thee; and I would seton thee with clubs till thou shouldst fall as a faggot of withered sticks on the floor.” 

(Bheirinn ort gu ‘sgàineadh thu thu féin le brochan bainne; chuirinn an sin ann am poc’ thu; chrochainn thu ri drìom an tighe; chuirinn teine fodhad; ‘s ghabhainn duit le cabair gus an tuiteadh thu ‘d chual chrìonaich air an urlar.)

The giant made milk porridge, and he made her drink it. She put the milk porridge about her mouth and face, and she laid over as if she were dead. The giant put her in a pock, and he hung her to the roof-tree; and he went away, himself and his men, to get wood to the forest. The giant’s mother was within. When the giant was gone, Maol a Chliobain began – 

“’Tis I am in the light! ‘Tis I am in the city of gold!” 

(‘S mise a tha ann ‘san t-sòlas ‘s mise a tha ann ‘s a’ chathair òir.)

“Wilt thou let me in?” said the carlin. 

(An leig thu mis’ ann?)

“I will not let thee in.” 

(Cha leig gu dearbh.)

At last she let down the pock. She put in the carlin, cat, and calf, and cream-dish. She took with her the buck and she went away. When the giant came with his men, himself and his men began at the bag with the clubs. The carlin was calling, 

“’Tis myself that’s in it.” 

(‘S mi féin a th’ ann.)

“I know that thyself is in it,” 

(Tha fios agam gur to féin a th’ ann.)

would the giant say, as he laid on to the pock. The pock came down as a faggot of sticks, and what was in it but his mother. When the giant saw how it was, he took after Maol a Chliobain; he followed her till she reached the river. Maol a Chliobain leaped the river, and the giant could not leap it. 

“Thou art over there, Maol a Chliobain.” 

(Tha thu thall a Mhoal a chliobain.)

“I am, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Tha ma ’s oil leat e.)

“Thou killedst my three bald brown daughters.” 

(Mharbh thu mo thri nigheanan maola, ruagha.)

“I killed, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Mharbh ma ’s oil leat e.)

“Thou stolest my golden comb, and my silver comb.” 

(Ghoid thu mo chìr mhìn òir ‘s mo chìr gharbh airgid.)

“I stole, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Ghoid ma ’s oil leat e.)

“Thou killedst my bald rough-skinned gillie.” 

(Mharbh thu mo ghille maol, carrach.)

“I killed, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Mharbh ma ’s oil leat e.)

“Thou stolest my glave of light.” 

(Ghoid thu mo chlaidheamh soluis.)

“I stole, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Ghoid ma ’s oil leat e.)

“Thou killedst my mother.” 

(Mharbh thu mo mhàthair.)

“I killed, though it is hard for thee,” 

(Mharbh ma ‘s oil leat e.)

“Thou stolest my buck.” 

(Ghoid thu mo bhoc.)

“I stole, though it is hard for thee.” 

(Ghoid ma ‘s oil leat e.)

“When wilt thou come again?” 

(Cuin a thig thu rithisd?)

“I will come when my business brings me.” 

(Thig nur bheir mo ghnothach mi.)

“If thou wert over here, and I yonder,” said the giant, “what wouldst thou do to follow me?” 

(Na’m biodh thusa bhos ‘s mise thall, de ‘dheànadh thu airson mo leantainn?)

“I would stick myself down, and I would drink till I should dry the river.” 

(Stopainn mi féin, ‘s dh’ òlainn gus an traoighinn an obhainn.)

The giant stuck himself down, and he drank till he burst. Maol a Chliobain and the farmer’s youngest son married.

1  NUR, from an trath, or an uair, the time. 

2 thoughts on “XVII. Maol a Chliobain, pp.259-264.

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