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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Verba Scáthaige - a translation

Today I am going to offer a translation piece I did from the Ulster Cycle, a look at Scathach's words to Cu Chulainn when he left her training to return to Ireland.

Incipiunt uerba Scathaige fri Con Culainn oc scarad doib isna rannuib tair. Ro scaith do Choin Culainn lanfogluim in milti la Scaithaigh. Do aurchechain Scathach do iarum ind ni arad m-biad, con-eipirt friss tria imbass for ossna.
Imbe eir hengaile
arat-ossa ollgabud
huatha fri heit n-imlebair .i. tain bo Cuailgne
Cotat curaith ciallfaithir
fortat braigait bibsatur
bied do chailcc culbeimnech
cruoch fri srut Setanta .i. proprium nomen do Choin Culainn.
Tithis fithog foibharamnus
fethal feula fedchlessaib
fearba do Breig m-braitfiter
braighit di thuaith tithsithir
tren cithach coictigis
cichis do buar m-belata
ba hoín fri slog sirdochrae
silfis de fhuil flandtedman
fernaib ilib idlochtaib
cuan dia-lilis loscandaib
lin do-fedat ildamaib
ilar fuili firfith-
for Coin Culainn cen colainn
Ceisfe alag n-enchride
al de dalaib dedairbe
didirn brodircc brisfithir
bruthaich fri toinn trechtaide
frissin m-belend m-bandernech
belenn di chet clesamnach
cichet biet banchuire
baiti Medb sceo Aillellai
arat-osa ollgabadh otharlighi.
Ucht fri h-echtga irgairgi
at-chiu firfeith Finnbennach Aei
fri Donn Cuailngi ardburach & cetera.

Here begin the words between Scathach and Cu Culainn as they parted in the eastern area. This occured after Cu Culainn completed his military training with Scathach. Scathach foretold to him then the things to happen in his life, speaking through imbas forosna [poetic illumination].

When arises a bird-of-valor
Vast-danger awaits you
Few against a great herd, that is the Cattle Raid of Cooley
Harsh against your senses
Striking necks to breaking
Your [sling] stones will be buffeting
Gory against Setanta's stream, that is your proper name Cu Chulainn.
Swearing oaths stripping young trees
Halidom of bloody weapons-feats
Cows to Breig [Meath] will be raided away
Your people's captives will be slain
Strong blows for a fortnight
Your cattle will go on the crossroads
You alone against a marauding host
Showers of blood, deadly-blood-red
On the shields of many warriors
A band who clings like vermin
A multitude they will lead many cattle
An abundance of deep wounds
On your flesh Cu Chulainn
You will suffer a wound of heart-blemishing
Beyond the second partition of it
Therefore urging ravaging battle-breaking
Furious against a thundering wave
Against a hero of iron-blows
A hero of many weapon-feats
A women-troop will beat their breasts
Overwhelming Medb and Ailill
Healing in a sickbed awaits you.
A face against long-fierce slaughter
I see well-muscled Finnbennach Ai
Against the Donn of Cooley loud bellowing and so on.

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