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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Táin Bó Regamna


    This is my first attempt at translating an entire story. I chose the TBR both because it is one of my favorites and because it is fairly short. I will give the full Irish text^ first then follow with my translation of it; normally I'd go with a rather literal version but I'm going to try to find a balance between staying true to the language and staying true to the intent of the phrasing. Unlike the previously translated versions I could find I did tackle the Morrigan's satire poem but I will say upfront that the wording is obscure and it was given in the Irish text I have as a single block which I had to break down into lines at my own discretion; the translation should be taken as a suggestion rather than definitive. It does however include what appear to be intriguing  references to the Tain Bo Cuilgne and I think it deserves inclusion even if it is difficult. Also it explains why Cu Chulain's reaction to hearing it is to leap back....


Táin Bó Regamna

A mbuí Cú Chuluinn i nDún Imrid gu gcúala ní an géim. Co ndíuchrustar triana chotlad conid corustar asa imda go riacht ind aridin ina suidiu for lár. Íar sin immach do suidiu ar les. Cu mbu hí a ben bertho a étach ocus a armb ina diaig. Co n-facco ní Láeg aro chinn ina charpat inneltai oc Ferta Læig intúaig.
‘Cid dot-ugai?’ ol Cú Chuluinn fri Lóeg.
‘Géim ro-chúalai issin maigh’, ol Lóeg.
‘Cid leth?’ ol Cú Chuluinn.
 ‘Aníarthúaig amne’, ol Lóeg.
‘Ina ndiaig’, ol Cú Chuluinn.
Tíaguit ass íarum gu hÁth da Ferta. In tan mbátar ann íarum gu gcúalatar culguiri in charpuit hi toíb Grellchui Culguiri. Tíaguit fóe co n-faccatar ní in carpat ara cinn no reimib. Óenech derg foa ocus óenchoss fo suidiu ocus síthbe in charpuit sethnu ind eich co ndechuid geinn trít fri fosad a étain anair. Bean derg hissin charpat ocus bratt derg impi ocus di braí dergai lé ocus a brat eter di feirt in charpuit síar co sliged lár ina diaig ocus fer mór hi comuir in charpuit. Fúan forbbthai imme ocus gaballorg finnchuill fria aiss og immáin na bó.
 ‘Ní fóelid in bó lib oga himmuáin’, ol Cú Chuluinn.
‘Ní dír duit éim a hetercert na bó so’, ol in ben. ‘Ní bó charat na choigcéliu duit.’
‘Is dír dam-so éim baí hUlad huili’, ol Cú Chuluinn.
‘Eter-certar so in ba, a Chú’, ol in ben.
‘Ced arndid i in ben atum-gládathar?’ ol Cú Chuluinn. ‘Cid nach é in fer atom-gládathar?’
‘In fer sin at-gládaigther-su’, ol in ben.
‘Ia’, ol Cú Chuluinn, ‘ol is tusso ara-labrathar.’
‘hÚargóeth sceo lúachuir sgeo. . .ainm in fir sin’, olsí.
 ‘Amae, is amru fot in anmu’, ol Cú Chului nn. ‘Ba tusa trá atom glátathar in fecht so ol nim acalladar in fer. Cía do chomainm-siu féin?’ ol Cú Chuluinn.
‘Ní ansa. In ben sin at-gládaither-su’, ol in fer, ‘fóebar beo béoil, coim diúir, foltt sgeanb, gairitt sgeo úath hí a hainm’, olse.
‘Meraigi do-gníth-siu dim-so’, ol Cú Chuluinn, ‘fon innus sin.’
Lingid Cú Chuluinn la soduin issin charpat ocus fo-rrumai a da chois fora dib glúinib-siu ocus a chleitíni fora mullach.
‘Na himbir imrinniu éim formb’, ol Cú Chuluinn.
‘Scuith dim didiu’, olsi. ‘Am bancháinti-siu ém’, olsí, ‘ocus is ó  Dáiriu mac Fiachno a cCúailgniu tuccus in mbuin si a ndúais n-airchetail.'
‘Cluinium th'airchetal didiu’, ol Cú Chuluinn.
‘Scuith dim nammá’, ol in ben. ‘Ní ferdo duitt amin na chrothai húas mo chinn’, olsí.
Tét didiu Cú Chuluinn íarum co mbuí eter di feirt in charpuit.
Gaibid-se in laíd si: Doermais nomgaib gaib eti eblatar tairichta muirtemniu morochrat romlec dianedim fiach amainsi nachach toarbair adomling airddhe oenmairb maige sainb croí chengach cocbith mestin- glinne let leiss finn frithoiss dobeoib brectith reth tuasailg osdum arai airdd cechlastair cuailngne achuchuluinn... ...arindlindsi arsoegaul de antuaith .i. cluas indairmgretha. 

   Fo-ceird Cú Chuluinn bedg ina charpat feissin íarum. Naicc ní i nneoch íarum in mnaí nach in carpat nach in n-ech nach in fer nach in mbuin ocus co n-faco-sium íarum ba hén-si dub forsin chroíb ina farrud.
‘Doltach ben atat-chomnaic’, ol Cú Chuluinn.
‘Is Dollud dono bias forsinn greallaig si co bráth’, ol in ben. Grellach Dolluid íarum a hainm ó hoin ille.
 ‘Ochti ro-feisind bed tú ní samluid no-scarfamais’, ol Cú Chuluinn.
‘Cid donrignis’, olsí, ‘bieith olec de.’
‘Ni chumgai olc dam’, ol Cú Chuluinn.
‘Cumgaim écin’, olsin ben. ‘Is oc do ditin do báis-siu atáu-so ocus bia’, ollsí. ‘Do-ucus-sa in mboin si éim’, olsí, ‘a síd Crúachan condo rodart in Donn Cúailgni lem .i. tarb Dáre maic Fiachnui ocus is é aret bia-so i mbetho gu rab dartaid in lóeg fil ina bruinn ina bó so ocus is hé consaídfe Táin Bé Cúailgni.’
‘Bíam airdirciu-sa di din Táin hí sin’, ol Cú Chuluinn.
‘‘Géna a n-ánrado. 

 Brisfe a mérchatho.
Bia tigba na Táno.’’
‘Cinnus con-igfa-sa anní sin’, ol in ben. ‘Ar in tain no-mbia-sa oc comrac fri fer comthrén comchroda comchliss comfobaith coméscaith comchiníuil comgaiscid comméti friut .i. bam esccung-so ocus fo-chichiur curu immot chossa issinn áth gu mba héccomlunn mór.’
‘For-tonga do día tuingthe Ulaid’, ol Cú Chuluinn, ‘fortat-naesab­ su fri glaisslecta ind átho ocus nicot bia ícc húaim-siu de gu bráth manim derguis-so.’
‘Bia sod-sa dono glass duit-si’, olsí, ‘ocus géba bréit dot dóidind deiss conicci do rigid clí.’
‘Tongu-sa do día tuingti hUlaid’, ol Cú Chuluinn, ‘not-benabsi secham gom chletíne gu mbeba do súil it chinn ocus nocot bia ícc húaim-siu de go bráth manim dergais-si.’
‘Biam samuiscc-siu finn áuoderg dono’, olsissiu, ‘ocus do-rag issinn linn hi fail inn áthu in n-atan ro-mbia-so oc comrucc fri fer buss choimchliss duitt ocus cét noud finn n-óbrecc imm diaig ocus membuis inn ét huili im diaig-siu issin n-áth ocus con-bibustar fír fer fort-so a llaa sin ocus géttair do chenn ditt issinn áth sin.’
‘Tungu et reliqua, fo-chichiur-sa hurchur asmo thábaill fortt­ sa co memba do gerr gara foat ocus nico mbia ícc húaim-si de co bráth manim dergais-si ocus nicom géntar-so a llá sin etir’, ol Cú Chuluinn.
Scarsait íar sin ocus luid Cú Chuluinn for cúlo dorithisiu do Dún Imrith ocus luithi in Morrígan cona buin hi síd Crúachan la Connachta.
 - Irische Texte mit Übersetzugen und Wörterbuch by Stokes
These cows are Christmas and Tricia. They belong to my sister, and have never been involved in a tain...that I know of.


   When Cu Chulain was in Dun Imrid he heard something; it was the roaring of cattle. So that he woke up and was thrown out of bed and reached the bench that was sitting on the floor. After that he went outside into the yard. And it was his wife, following behind him, who brought his clothing and his armor. And he saw something in front of him, Laeg in his chariot, harnessed at Ferta Laeg in the north. 
  "What brings you?" said Cu Chulain to Laeg.
   "The roaring of cattle that I heard in the field," said Laeg.
    "What direction?" said Cu Chulain.
  "In the north-west, thus," said Laeg. 
   "Follow on them," said Cu Chulain.
 After this they went out to Ath de Ferta. After, while they were there, they heard a noise of the chariot in the side of Grellach Culgairi. They went down and saw a chariot before them. One red horse with a single leg was pulling it, and the shaft of the chariot went through the horse to the front of it's forehead. A red-haired woman with red eyebrows was in the chariot with a red cloak around her shoulders; the cloak hung down at the back of the chariot and dragged on the ground behind her. There was a big man in front of the chariot wearing a tunic carrying a forked white hazel stick that he used to drive the cow.
  "The cow is not pleased with her driving," said Cu Chulain. 
  "Indeed it is not necessary to you to judge this cow," said the woman. "It is not a friend's nor a companion's cow to you."
  "Indeed, the cows of all the Ulstermen are necessary to me," said Cu Chulain
  "You decide much, oh, Cu Chulain," said the woman.
   "Why is it that the woman speaks to me?" said Cu Chulain. "Why not him, the man, who speaks to me?"
  "It's not the man that you shouted to", said the woman.
   "Ha!", said Cu Chulain, "Speak and you speak in his voice."
   "Cold wind-conflict-brightness-strife is his name" she said
    "Indeed, that name is wonderful throughout", said Cu Chulain. "Then you are bound to speaking the course of this conversation for the man. What do you name yourself?" said Cu Chulain.
     "Not difficult. The woman who you are speaking to," said the man, "is Keen edged-small lipped-plain cloaked-hair-sharp shouting-fierceness-a phantom."
   "You give me an idiot's counsel"*, said Cu Chulain, "based in this."
Cu Chulain jumped beside her in the chariot and set his two feet on her knees and his dart** against the crown of her head.
  "Who puts this point indeed?", said Cu Chulain.
   "A small something then", said she. "I am a woman satirist indeed", said she, "and it is from  Dáire mac Fiachnai of Cuilgne that I bring the cow; she is a poet's reward for a poem"'
   "I'll hear the poem then", said Cu Chulain.
   "A small something only", said the woman. "Not manly to you thus while brandishing over my head", said she.
  Then after that Cu Chulain went so that he was between the two poles of the chariot. 
 She gave this poem: "Low-born-foundation you grab,
 Take a herd driven,
 Eastward-blown Muirrthemne,
 Great misery, chief stone, hurrier,
 Raven fierce but not
 Bringing great floods
 Peak of fame unique death
 Plain of Sainb heart, every head
 World-warring judgment
 Half a glen severed
 Bright wild place, your life
 Deceitful arrival runs
 Over poet's-demands
 Over mound's messenger
 Your direction, every burning
 Cuailigne, oh Cu Chulainn.." 

   Cuchulain sprang onto his own chariot after that. Then nothing was there of all of them not the woman, not the chariot, not the horse, not the man, not the cow and he saw that she was a black bird on a branch near him.
"A hurtful woman you are," said Cuchulain.
"It is Dollud [distress] then that will be on this bog until Doomsday," said the woman. Bog of Distress was its name from that time afterwards.
"If only I had known it was you," said Cuchulain, "not this way would we have separated."
"Whatever you would have done," said she, "misfortune would result from it."
"You cannot bring misfortune to me," said Cuchulain.
"I am able indeed," said the woman; "It is bring about your death I am and shall be," said she.

 "I brought this cow then," she said, "from the fairy mound of Cruachan so that she was mounted by the Brown Bull of Cuilgne by me, that is the bull of Daire mac Fiachnai. And it is that interval you be in life, until the calf in the womb of this cow is a young bull, and it is this that stirs up the cattle raid of Cuilgne." 
  "I will be renowned through this aforementioned cattle raid," said Cu Chulain. "I will kill their champions. Defeat their big battles. I will survive the cattle raid."
  "How will you do this aforementioned?" said the woman. "For at the time of your combat with a man of similar strength, similar form, similar skill, similar quickness, similar alertness, similar tribe, similar weapons, similar greatness, against you I will be an eel throwing twists about your feet in the ford until it will be greatly unfair odds."
  "I swear to a God Ulstermen swear to," said Cu Chulain, "I will kick you against blue-grey** stones of the ford and there will be no cure for you from me for it until Doomsday if you don't ask my forgiveness."
  "I will be a blue-grey** wolf-bitch then against you," she said. "and I will take a strip from your wrist on the right up to your forearm on the left."
   "I swear to a God Ulstermen swear to," said Cu Chulain,"I will wound you myself with my dart until your eye bursts in your head and there will be no cure for you from me for it until Doomsday if you don't ask my forgiveness."
  "I will be a red-eared white heifer then," said she, "and I will come in the water in a place of the ford another time you will be at combat with a man as skilled as you and a hundred red-eared white cows after me; all the cows behind me will burst into the ford and violate fair combat**** against you. And your head will be taken away off you in that very ford."
   "I will swear by others, I will throw a cast out of my sling at you­ and with it break the lower part of your leg shortly and by no means will there be a cure for you from me for it until Doomsday if you don't ask my forgiveness and that will not be done any day at all’, said Cu Chulain.
   They separated and Cu Chulain went back along his course to Dún Imrith and the Morrigan went with the cow to the fairy hill of Cruachan in Connacht.


^ The majority of the Irish material here is from the Yellow Book of Lecan version, however the Morrigan's satire poem is the von Egerton version, both found in Windisch's Irische Texte mit Ubersetzugen and Worterbuchen

* this may be better relayed in English as "You must think I'm an idiot to tell me this" ie he thinks they are intentionally playing with him.

** literally cleittíne a small dart or javelin which was one of Cu Chulain's particular weapons.

*** for those who are interested in the use of color in Irish material its given here as glas, or literally green, but green which can be anything from a light green or blue to a blue grey.


**** in Old Irish "fír fer" literally "men's truth". This concept is the bases of honorable combat in Irish warfare and hinges on the idea of one-on-one fighting of equal opponents. It is fír fer that allows Cu Chulain to hold the ford and hold back Connacht's army during the Tain Bo Cuilgne.

Copyright Morgan Daimler

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