XVIIc. The Slim Swarthy Champion, pp.297-308.

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From James Wilson, blind fiddler, Islay, 1859.

THERE was a poor man dwelling in Ard na h-Uamh, and a son was born to him, and he gave him school and learning till he was fourteen years of age. When he was fourteen years of age, he said to his father, 

“Father, it is time for me to be doing for myself, if thou wouldst give me a fishing-rod and a basket.” 

(Athair, ‘s mithidh domhsa ‘bhith deànadh air mo shon fhèin; na’n d’ thugadh thu domh slat-iasgaidh as basgaid.)

The poor man found every chance till he got the fishing-rod and the basket, he went round about Loch Aird na h-Uamh, and took down (by) Loch Thorabais; and after he had fished Loch Thorabais closely, he came to Loch Phort an Eillean;1 and after he had fished Loch Phort an Eillean before him, he took out by Loch Allalaidh. He stayed the night in Aird Eileastraidh, and every trout he had he left with a poor woman that was there. 

On the morrow he thought that he would rise out, and that he would betake himself to Eirinn. He came to the garden of Aird Inneasdail, and he plucked with him sixteen apples, and then he came to Mull of Otha.2 He threw an apple out into the sea, and he gave a step on it: he threw the next one, and he gave a step on it: he threw thus one after one, until he came to the sixteenth, and the sixteenth took him on shore in Eirinn. 

When he was on shore he shook his ears, and he thought that it was in no sorry place he would stay. 

“He moved as sea heaps from sea heaps, 

 And as playballs from playballs – 

 As a furious winter wind – 

 So swiftly, sprucely, cheerily, 

 Right proudly, 

 Through glens and high-tops, 

 And no stop made he 

 Until he came 

 To city and court of O’Domhnuill. 

 He gave a cheery, light leap 

 O’er top and turret 

 Of court and city 

 Of O’Domhnuill.”3

(Ghluais e mar mhuir-mhill o mhuir-mhill, 
 ‘S mar mhire-bhuill o mhire-bhuill; 
 Mar ghaoith ghailbheach gheambraidh, 
 Gu sitheach, sothach, sanntach, 
 Sàr-mheamnach, 
 Trìd ghleanntann as ard-mhullach; 
 ‘S cha d’ rinneadh stad leis 
 Gus an d’ thàinig e 
 Gu cuirt agus cathair O Domhnuill. 
 Thug e leum sunndach, soilleir 
 Thar bàrr agus baideil 
 Cùirt agus cathcair 
 O Domhnuill.)

O’Domhnuill took much anger and rage that such an unseemly ill strippling should come into his court, while he had a doorkeeper for his town. 

“I will not believe,” said the Champion, but “that thou art taking anger and rage, O’Domhnuill.” 

(Cha chreid mi féin, nach ‘eil thu ‘gabhail feirg agus corruich O Domhnuill?)

“Well, then, I am,” said O’Domhnuill, “if I did but know at whom I should let it out?” 

(Mata tha, na’m biodh fios agam co ris a liginn a mach e?)

“My good man,” said the Champion, “coming in was no easier for me than going out again would be.” 

(A dhuine mhath, cha b’ fhasa dhomhsa tighinn a stigh na dol e mach a ris.)

“Thou goest not out,” said O’Domhnuill, “until thou tellest me from whence thou camest.” 

(Cha d’ theid thu ;mach, gus an innis thu dhomhsa co as a thàinig thu.)

“I came from hurry-skurry, 

 From the end of endless spring. 

 From the loved swanny glen – 

 A night in Islay and a night in Man, 

 A night on cold watching cairns. 

 On the face of a mountain 

 In the Scotch king’s town 

 Was I born. 

 A soiled, sorry Champion am I, 

 Though I happened upon this town.” 

(Thàinig mi o ghriobhaill o ghrabhaill, 
 O bhun an tobair dhìlinn, 
 O ghleann àluinn ealaich; 
 Oidhch’ an Ile ‘s oidhch’ am Manainn; 
 Oidhch’ air charna fuara faire; 
 An aodann monaidh 
 Am baile righ Alba 
 Rugadh mi; 
 Ceàrnach suarrach, salach mi, 
 Gad thàrladh air a’ bhaile seo mi.)

“What,” said O’Domhnuill, “canst thou do, oh Champion? Surely, with all the distance thou hast travelled, thou canst do something.” 

(Dé, a cheathairnich a dhèanadh thusa? ‘s cinnteach, ‘s na ‘shiubhail thu ‘dh’ aastar gu’n deanadh thu rudeigin.)

“I was once,” said he, “that I could play a harp.” 

(Bha mi uair, agus sheinninn cruit.)

“Well, then,” said O’Domhnuill, “it is I myself that have got the best harpers in the five-fifths of Eirinn, or in the bridge of the first of the people, such as – Ruairidh O’Cridheagan, Tormaid O’Giollagan, and Thaog O’Chuthag.” 

(Mata, ‘s ann agam féin a tha na cruitearan a’s fheàrr ann an còig chòigeamh ne h-Eireann, na’n Drochaid-cheudan na Mìth; mar a tha Ruairidh O Cridheagan, Tormaid O Giollogan, agus Taog O Chuthag.)

“Let’s hear them playing,” said the Champion. 

(Cluinneam a’ seinn eud.)

“They could play tunes and “UIRT” and “ORGAIN,” 

 Trampling things, tightened strings, 

 Warriors, heroes, and ghosts on their feet. 

 Ghosts and spectres, illness and fever, 

 They’d set in sound lasting sleep 

 The whole great world, 

 With the sweetness of the calming tunes 

 That the harpers could play.” 

(Sheinneadh eud puirt, agus uirt, agus orgain, 
 Nitheanna tearmad, teudan tairteil; 
Curaidhean, laoich, as aoig air an casan; 
 Aoig, as àinn, as galair, as fiabhrais; 
 Chuireadh eud ‘nan sìon sioram suain 
 An saoghal mòr gu léir, 
 Le binnead nam port shìogaidh 
 A sheinneadh na clàrsairean.)

The music did not please the Champion. He caught the harps, and he crushed them under his feet, and he set them on the fire, and made himself a warming, and a sound warming at them. 

O’Dhomnuill took much lofty rage that a man had come into his court who should do the like of this to the harps. 

“My good man, I will not believe that thou art not taking anger,” said the Champion. 

(Cha chreid mi fhéin a dhuine mhath nach ‘eil thu’ ghabhail corruich.)

“Well, then, I am, if I did but know at whom I should let it out.” 

(Mata tha, nam biodh fhios’am co ris a liginn a mach e.)

“Back, my good man; it was no easier for me to break thy harps than to make them whole again,” said the Champion. 

(Air ‘ur n-ais a dhuine mhath! Cha b’ fhasa dhomhsa do clàrsaichean a brisdeadh na’n slànachadh a rìs!)

“I will give anything to have them made whole again,” said O’Domhnuill. 

(Bheir mi ni sam bith seachad airson an slànachadh a rìs.)

“For two times five marks I will make thy harps as good as they were before,” said the Champion. 

(Air chòig mhairg da uair, ni mise do clàrsaichean cho math sa bha eud roimhid.)

“Thou shalt get that,” said O’ Domhnuill. 

(Gheibh thu sin.)

O’Domhnuill gave him the marks, and he seized on the fill of his two palms of the ashes, and he made a harp for Ruairidh O’Crridheagan; and one for Tormaid O’Giollagan; and one for Thaog O’Chuthag; and a great choral harp for himself. 

“Let’s hear thy music,” said O’Domhnuill. 

(Cluinneam do cheòl.)

“Thou shalt hear that, my good man,” said the Champion. 

(Cluinnidh tu sin a dhuine mhath.)

The Champion began to play, and och! but he was the boy behind the harp. 

“He could play tunes, and UIRT and ORGAIN, 

 Trampling things, tightened strings, 

 Warriors, heroes, and ghosts on their feet, 

 Ghosts and souls, and sickness and fever, 

 That would set in sound lasting sleep 

 The whole great world 

 With the sweetness of the calming tunes 

 That the champion could play.” 

(Sheinneadh e puirt, agus uirt, agus orgain, 
 Nitheanna tearmad; teudan tairteil; 
 Curaidhean, laoich, as aoig air an casan; 
 Aoig, as àinn, as galair, as fiabhrais. 
 ‘S gun cuirte ‘nan sìon sioram suain, 
 An saoghal mòr gu léir, 
 Le binnead a’ phuirt shìogaidh, 
 A sheinneadh an Ceathairneach.)

“Thou art melodious, oh Champion!” said O’Domhnuill. 

(‘S binn thus’ a Cheathairnich!)

When the harpers heard the Champion playing, they betook themselves to another chamber, and though he had fallowed on, still they had not come to the fore. 

O’Domhnuill went away, and he sent a bidding to meat to the Champion. 

“Tell the good man that he will not have that much to gloom on me when I go at mid-day to-morrow,” said the Champion. 

(Abraibh ris an duine mhath nach bi ‘n uibhir sin aige r’a mhùigheadh ormsa nur a dh’ fholbhas mi ar a’ mheadhon lath’ am máireach.)

O’Domhnuill took much proud rage that such a man should come into his court, and that he would not take meat from him. He sent up a fringed shirt, and a storm mantle. 

“Where is this going?” said the Champion. 

(Cà’ ‘bheil seo a’ dol?)

“To thee, oh Champion,” said they. 

(A t’ ionnsuidh-sa, Cheathairneach.)

“Say you to the good man that he will not have so much as that to gloom on me when I go at mid-day to-morrow,” said the Champion. 

(Abraibh-se ris an duine mhath nach bi ‘n uibhir sin aige r’a mhùigheadh ormsa nur a dh’ fholbhas mi air a’ meadhan lath’ an la’r na màireach.)

O’Domhnuill took much anger and rage that such a man had come into his court and would not wither take meat or dress from him. He sent up five hundred Galloglachs to watch the Champion, so that O’Domhnuill might not be affronted by his going out by any way but by the door. 

“Where are you going?” said the Champion. 

(Cà’ ‘bheil sibhse ‘dol?)

“To watch thee, Champion, so that thou shouldst not go to affront O’Domhnuill, and not to let thee out but as thou shouldst,” said they. 

(A t’ fhaire-sa ‘Cheathairnich, air alt ‘s nach fhalbh thu, ‘thoirt masladh do dh’ O Domhnuill, gun do ligeil a mach ach mar is còir duit.)

“Lie down there,” said the Champion, “and I will let you know when I am going.” 

(Laidhibh sios ann an sin, ‘s nur a bhios mise ‘g imeachd bheir mi fios duibh.)

They took his advice, and they lay down beside him, and when the dawn broke, the Champion went into his garments. 

“Where are my watchers, for I am going?” said the Champion. 

(Càite ‘bheil mo luchd faire-sa, tha mi ‘g imeachd?)

“If thou shouldst stir,” said the great Galloglach, “I would make a sharp sour shrinking for thee with this plough-board in my hand.” 

(Na ‘n carachadh thu, dhèanainn crupan geur, goirt dhiot leis a’ bhòrd-urchair so a’m’ làimh.)

The Champion leaped on the point of his pins, and he went over top and turret of court and city of O’Domhnuill. 

The Galloglach threw the plough-board that was in his hand, and he slew four and twenty persons of the very people of O’Domhnuill. 

Whom should the Champion meet, but the tracking lad of O’Domhnuill, and he said to him – 

“Here’s for thee a little sour grey weed, and go in and rub it to the mouths of whose whom it killed and bring them alive again, and earn for thyself twenty calving cows, and look behind thee when thou partest from me, whom thou shalt see coming.” 

(Seo dhuit luigh bheag, bhiorach, ghlas, ‘s theirig a staigh, ‘s rub ri bilean na fheadhnach a mharbhadh i, ‘s thoir beò eud, ‘s coisinn duit fhéin fichead mart laoigh, ‘s amhairc as do dhéigh, nur a dhealachas tu riumsa, co ‘chi thu teachd.)

When the tracking lad did this he saw no being coming, but he saw the Champion thirteen miles on the other side of Luimineach (Limerick). 

“He moved as sea-heaps o’ sea-heaps, 

 And as playballs o’ playballs. 

 As a furious winter wind – 

 So swiftly, sprucely, cheerily, 

 Right proudly, 

 Through glens and high tops, 

 And he made no stop 

 Until he reached 

 MacSeathain,4 the Southern Earl.” 

(Ghluais e mar mhuir-mhill o mhuir-mhill, 
 ‘S mar mhire-bhuill o mhire-bhuill; 
 Mar ghaoith ghailbheach gheamhraidh, 
 Gu sitheach, sothach, sanntach, 
 Sàr-mheamnach, 
 Trìd ghleanntan as ard-mhullach; 
 ‘S cha d’ rinneadh stad leis, 
 Gus an d’ ràinig e 
 Mac Seathain, an t-Iarl deas.)

He struck in the door. Said MacSeathain, the southern Earl, 

“Who’s that in the door?” 

(Co siod ‘san dorsud?)

“I am Duradan o’ Duradan, Dust of Dust,” said the Champion. 

(Tha mise, Dùradan O Dùradan.)

“Let in Dust of Dust,” said MacSeathain, the south Earl; “no being must be in my door without getting in.” 

(Ligibh a staigh Dùradan O Dùradan; cha ‘n fhaod neach a bhith a’m’ dhorusd-sa ‘bualadh gun faotainn a staigh.)

They let him in. 

“What couldst thou do, Duradan o’ Duradan?” said the southern Earl. 

(Dé ‘dhèanadh thusa’ Dhuradain O Dùradan?)

“I was on a time, and I could play a juggle,” said he. 

(Bha mi uair ‘s dhèanainn cleas.)

“Well, then, it is myself that have the best juggler in the five-fifths of Eirinn, or the bridge of the first of the people, as is Taog Bratach Mac a Cheallaich, rascally Toag, the son of Concealment.” 

(Mata ‘s ann agam fhéin a tha ‘n aona chleasaiche ‘s fheàrr ann an còig chòigeamh na h-eireann, na ‘n Drochaid cheudan nam Mìth, mar a tha Taog pratach Mac a Cheallaich.)

They got up the juggler. 

“What,” said the southern Earl, “is the trick that thou canst do, Dust of Dust?” 

(Dé, an cleas a dhèanadh thusa, Dhuradain O Dùradan.)

“Well, I was on a time that I could bob my ear off my cheek,” said he. 

(Mata, bha mi uair ‘s bhogainn a’ chluas bhàr mo leithcheinn.)

The Champion went and he takes the ear off the cheek. 

Said rascally Taog, the son of Concealment: “I could do that myself.” 

(Dhèanainn fhéin sin.)

He went and he took down his ear, and up he could not bring it! but the Champion put up his own ear as it was before. 

The Earl took much anger and rage that the ear should be off his juggler. 

“For five merks twice over,” said the Champion, “I would set the ear as it was before.” 

(Air chòig mhairg da uair, chuirinn-sa ‘chluas mar a bha i riomhid.)

“I see,” said the Earl, “that the juggling of this night is with thee.” 

(Tha mi ‘faicinn, gur leat fhéin cleasachd na h-oidhche ‘nochd.)

Rascally Taog went away; and though they should have staid there the length of the night, he would not have come near them. 

Then the Champion went and he set a great ladder up against the moon, and in one place of it he put a hound and a hare, and in another place of it he put a carl and a girl. A while after that he opened first where he had put the hound and the hare, and the hound was eating the hare; he struck him a stroke of the edge of his palm, and cast his head off. Then he opened again where were the carl and the girl, and the carl was kissing the girl. he struck him a stroke of the edge of his palm, and he cast his head off. 

“I would not for much,” said the Earl, “that a hound and a carl should be killed at my court.” 

(Cha bu gheamha leam, air mòran, cù agus bodach a bhith air am marbhadh ann a’ m’ chùirt.)

“Give five merks twice over for each one of them, and I will put the heads on them,” said the Champion. 

(Thoir còig mhairg da uair airson gach aon diu ‘s cuiridh mise na cinn orra ‘rìs.)

“Thou shalt get that,” said the southern Earl. 

(Gheibh thu sin.)

He got the five merks twice over, and he put the head on the hound and the carl as they were before; and though thy should be alive till now, the hound would not have touched a hare, nor the carl a girl, for fear their heads should be taken off. 

On the morrow, after their meat in the morning, he went hunting with the Earl. When they were amongst the wood, they heard a loud voice in a knoll (or a bush). 

“Be this from me,” said Dust of Dust, “I must go to see the foot of the carl MacCeochd.” 

(Bhuam seo, feumaidh mi dol a dh’ amharc cas a’ Bhodaich ‘Ic Ceochd.)

He went out – 

“And moved as sea-heaps o’ sea-heaps, 

 And as playballs o playballs; 

 As a furious winter wind – 

 So swiftly, sprucely, cheerily, 

 Right proudly, 

 Through glens and high tops, 

 And no stop made he 

 Until he reached 

 The house of the Carl McCeochd.” 

(Ghabh e ‘mach, 
 ‘S ghluais e mar mhuir-mhill o mhuir-mhill, 
 ‘S mar mhire-bhuill o mhire-bhuill; 
 Mar ghaoith ghailbheach gheamhraidh, 
 Gu sitheach, sothach, sanntach, 
 Sàr-mheamnach, 
 Trìd ghleanntan as ard-mhullach; 
 Agus stad cha d’ rinneadh leis, 
 Gus an d’ ràinig e, 
 Taigh a’ Bhodaich ‘Ic Ceochd.)

He struck at the door. 

“Who’s that?” said the carl MacCeochd. 

(Co siod?)

“I,” said he, “am the leech’s lad.” 

(Mis? Gill’ an Leigh.)

“Well,” said the carl, “many a bad black leech is coming, and they are not doing a bit of good to me.” 

(Mata, ‘s iomadh léigh dugh, dona ‘tighinn, ‘s cha ‘n ‘eil eud a’ dèanadh mir feum domhsa.)

“Give word to the carl that unless he will not let me in, I will be going,” said the Champion. 

(Thugaibh fios do ‘n bhodach, mar an lig e ‘staigh mi, gu’m bi mi ‘g imeachd.)

“Let in the leech’s lad; perhaps he is the one in whom is my help,” said the carl MacCeochd. 

(Ligibh a staigh Gill’ an Léigh, cha lughaide gur h-ann ann a tha mo chobhair.)

They let him in. 

“Rise up, carl MacCeochd, thou art free from thy sores,” said the Champion. 

(Eirich suas a Bhodaich ‘Ic Ceochd, tha thu saor o chreuchdan.)

Carl MacCeochd arose up, and there was not a man in Eirinn swifter or stranger than he. 

“Lie down, carl MacCeochd, thou art full of sores,” said the Champion. 

(Laidh sìos a Bhodaich ‘Ic Ceochd tha thu làn chreuchdan.)

The carl MacCeochd lay down, and he was worse than he ever was. 

“Thou didst ill,” said the carl MacCeochd, “to heal me and spoil me again.” 

(‘S olc a rinn thu, mo leigheas agus mo mhilleadh a rìs.)

“Thou man here,” said the Champion, “I was but shewing thee that I could heal thee.” 

(A dhuine seo, cha robh mi ach a’ ligeil fhaicinn duit gum b’urrainn mi do leighas.)

“I have,” said the carl MacCeochd, “but the one daughter in the world, and thou shalt get her and half of all I have, and all my share when I go way, and heal my leg.” 

(Cha ‘n eil agam, ach an aon nighean rìs an t-saoghal, ‘s geobh thu i, ‘s leith ‘s na th’agam, ‘s mo chuid air fad nur a shiubhlas mi, agus leighis mo chas.)

“It shall not be so, but send word for every leech that thou hast had, that I might get talking with them,” said the leech’s lad. 

(Cha’n e sin mar a bhitheas, ach cùir fios air a’ h-uile léigh a bh’agad, ‘s gum faighinn-sa ‘bhith bruidhinn riutha.)

They sent word by running lads through the five-fifths of Eirinn for the leeches that were waiting on the carl, and they came, all thinking that they would get pay, and when they came riding to the house of the carl, the Champion went out and he said to them, 

“What made you spoil the leg of the carl MacCeochd, and set himself thus?” 

(Dé thug dhuibhse cas a’ Bhodaich ‘Ic Ceochd a mhilleadh, ‘s e fhéin  chur fo ainbheach mur seo?)

“Well then,” said they, “if we were to raise the worth of our drugs, without coming to the worth of our trouble, we would not leave him the worth of his shoe in the world.” 

(Mata, na’n togamaide luach ar cungan, gun tighinn air luach ar saoithreach, cha ‘n fhàgamaid luach a bhròg aige ris an t-saoghal.)

Said the leech’s lad,  

“I will lay you a wager, and that is the full of my cap of gold, to be set at the end of yonder dale, and that there are none in Eirinn that will be at it sooner than the carl MacCeochd.” 

(Cuiridh mi geall ruibh; agus ‘s e sin làn mo churraichd do dh’ òr a chur aig ceann na dalach ud shuas, ‘s nach ‘eil gin an Eirinn a bhios aige na ‘s luaithe na’m Bodach Mac Ceochd.)

He set the cap full of gold at the end of the dale, and the leeches laid the wager that they could never be. 

He went in where the carl MacCeochd was, and he said to him. 

“Arise, carl MacCeochd, thou are whole of sores, I have laid a wager on thee.” 

(Eirich a bhodaich ‘Ic Ceochd, tha thu slàn ‘o chreuchdan. Chuir mi geasll as do leith.)

The carol got up whole and healthy, and he went out, and he was at three springs at the cap of gold, and he left the leeches far behind. 

Then the leeches only asked that they might get their lives. Promise of that they got not (but) the leech’s lad got in order. 

He snatched his holly in his fist, and he seized the grey hand plane that was on the after side of his haunch, and he took under them, over them, through and amongst them; and left no man to tell a tale, or earn bad tidings, that he did not kill.5

When the carl was healed he sent word for the nobles and for the great gentles of Eirinn to the wedding of his daughter and the Champion, and they were gathering out of each quarter. 

“What company is there?” said the leech’s lad. 

(De ‘chuideachd a tha ‘n siod?) 

“There is the company of thine own wedding, and they are gathering from each half and each side,” said the carl MacCeochd. 

(Tha ‘n siod cuideachd na bàinns’ agad fhein, ‘s eud a cruinneachadh as gach leith agus as gach taobh.)

“Be this from me!” said he; “O’Conachar the Shelly (or of Sligo) has a year’s service against me,” 

(Bhuam seo! tha fasdadh bliadhn’ aig O Conachar an Sligeach orm.)

and he put a year’s delay on the wedding. 

“Out he went as Voorveel o Voorveel 

 And as Veerevuil o Veerevuill, 

 As a furious winter wind, 

 So swiftly, sprucely, cheerily, 

 Right proudly, 

 Through glens and high tops. 

 And no stop did he make 

 Till he struck in the door 

 Of Conachar of Sligo.” 

(Ghabh e ‘mach mar mhuir-mhill o mhuir-mhill, 
 ‘S mar mhire-bhuill o mhire-bhuill; Mar ghaoith ghilbheach gheamhraidh; 
 Gu sitheach, sothach, sanntach, 
 Sàr-mheamnach, 
 Trìd ghleanntan as ard-mhullach; 
 ‘S cha d’ rinneadh stad leis, 
 Gus an do bhuail e ann an dorusd 
 O Conachar Sligeach.)

“Who’s that?” said O’Conachar of Sligo. 

(Co siod?)

“I,” said he, “Goodherd.” 

(Mis, Buachaille Math.)

“Let in Goodherd,” said O’Conachar of Sligo, “for great is my need of him here.” 

(Ligibh a staigh Buachaille Math, chionn tha feum mòr agams’ air anns an am seo.)

They let him in. 

“What couldst thou do here?” said O’Conachar. 

(Dé ‘dheanadh thusa ‘Bhuachaill?)

“I am hearing,” said he, to O’Conachar of Sligo, “that the chase is upon thee. If thou wilt keep out the chase, I will keep in the spoil,” said Goodherd. 

(Tha mi ‘cluinntinn, gu ‘bheil an toir ort.Ma chumas tusa mash an tòir; cumaidh mise staigh a’ chreach?)

“What wages wilt thou take?” said O’Conachar of Sligo. 

(Dé ‘n tuarasdal a ghabhas tu?)

“The wages I will take is that thou shouldst not make half cups with me till the end of a day and year,” said Goodherd. 

(Se ‘n tuarasdal a ghabhas mi, nach dèan thu leath-chomaith orm gu ceann lath’ as bliadhna.)

O’Conachar made this covenant with him, and the herdsman went to herd. 

The chase broke in on O’Conachar of Sligo, and they betook themselves to where the herdsman was, to lift the spoil. When the herdsman saw that they had broken in, he took the holly in his fist, and seized the grey hand-plane that was on the after side of his haunch, and left no man to tell a tale, or earn bad tidings, that he did not kill. He went into a herd’s bothy, and he (was) hot, and he saw O’Conachar Sligheach just done drinking a boyne of milk and water. 

“Witness, gods and men, that thou hast broken thy promise,” said Goodherd. 

(Fhiannis air Dia ‘s air daoine gu ‘n do bhrisd thu do ghealladh!)

“That fill is no better than another fill,” said O’Conachar Sligheach. 

(Cha ‘n fheàrr an làn ‘ud na làn eile.)

“That selfsame fill thou didst promise to me,” said Goodherd. 

(An làn ud fhéin gheall thu dhomhsa.)

He took anger at O’Conachar Slligheach, and he went away, and he reached the house of the carl MacCeochd. the daughter of the carl made him a drink of green apples and warm milk, and he was choked. 

And I have left them, and they gave me butter on a cinder, porridge kail in a creel, and paper shoes; and they sent me away with a big gun bullet, on a road of glass, till they left me sitting here within.

1  The lake in which is the island where the Lords of the Isles had their dwelling. 
2  The nearest point to Ireland. 
3  The only authority for writing this as poetry is the rhythm and alliteration of the original. 
4  Seathain is supposed to be John, therefore Johnson. 
5  This seems like mock heroics, an imitation of such tales as the Knight of the red Shield and Murachadh MacBrian. 

3 thoughts on “XVIIc. The Slim Swarthy Champion, pp.297-308.

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