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1 Echtrae Chonnlai

2 Transcribed from Kim McCone, trans. (2000)


3 by Joanna Huckins (13 March 2007)
4
5This is the expedition of Connlae son of Conn of the Hundred Battles.
6
7[1] Connlae the Ruddy, son of [lit. to] Conn of the Hundred Battles, when he was at his
8father’s side [lit. on his father’s hand] on [lit. in] the summit of Uisnech, he saw the
9woman in unfamiliar clothing.
10
11[2] Connlae said: “Whence have you come, O woman?”
12
13[3] The woman replied:
14 “I have come from (the) lands of (the) living, in which there is neither death nor
15 sin nor transgression (/original sin).
16 We consume (ever)lasting feasts without service (/exertion).
17 (There is) harmony with us without strife.
18 (It is) great peace in which we are so that it is from these we are called people of
19 peace.”
20
21[4] “Who are you talking to?” said Conn of the Hundred Battles. No one saw the woman
22but Connlae alone.
23
24[5] The woman replied:
25 “He is talking to a young, beautiful woman of good family who does not expect
26 death or old age.
27 I have loved Connlae the Ruddy. I summon him to the Plain of Delights in which
28 Bóadag the everlasting is king
29 without grief, without woe in his land since he assumed sovereignty.
30 Come with me, O speckled-necked, candle-red Connlae the Ruddy.
31 The yellow head of hair which is upon you above a purplish face, it will be a
32 distinction of your kingly appearance (/form).
33 If you come with me the youth (and) beauty of your appearance (/form) will not
34 perish until dream-laden judgement.”
35
36[6] Conn said to his druid, whose name was Coran(n) [lit. Coran(n) his name], when all
37heard what the woman had said and they did/could not see her:
38 “I beseech you, O Corann of great song (and) of great art
39 An excessive demand has come upon me that is beyond my counsel, that is beyond
40 my power, a struggle that has not come upon me since I assumed sovereignty.
41 (It is) a deceitful contest of unseen forms (that) compels me with a view to
42 stealing my exceedingly fair son through evil moves.
43 He is carried (away) from my kingly hand (=side) by women’s spells.”
44
45[7] Then he intoned over the seat/location of the woman so that no one heard the
46woman’s voice and so that Connlae did not see the woman at that time. When the woman
47went away [lit. out of it] in response to [lit. before] the druid’s chanting she threw an
48apple to Connlae.
49
50[8] Thereafter Connlae was without drink (and) without food until the end of a month and
51he did not deem any sustenance worth eating [lit. any sustenance was not worthwhile
52with him for consuming] save his apple. Nothing that he ate took anything away from the
53apple but it remained [lit. was still] whole. Longing then seized Connlae for the
54appearance of the woman that he had seen.
55
56[9] The day their month was up [lit. full] the aforesaid Connlae was at his father’s side
57[lit. on his father’s hand] in the plain of Arcommin. He saw the same woman (coming)
58up to him, when she said to him:
59 “Grandly does Connlae sit amidst the short-lived dead awaiting terrible death.
60 The everliving living invite you.
61 You are a champion to the people of the sea, who behold you every day in the
62 assemblies of your fatherland amidst your beloved near ones.”
63
64[10] As Conn Cétchathach heard the woman’s voice, he said to his people: “Call the
65druid to me. I see (that) his tongue has been cast off from her today.”
66
67[11] Thereupon the woman said:
68 “O Conn of the Hundred Battles, do not love druidry.
69 It is in a little while that the Great High King’s righteous (and) decent one will
70 reach your judgements with many wondrous followers.
71 His law will soon come to you. He will destroy the spells of the druids of base
72 teaching in front of the black, bewitching Devil.
73
74[12] Conn thought it strange [lit. it was strange with Conn] (that) Connlae would not give
75answer to anyone except when [lit. that] the woman should come [i.e. be present]. “Has
76what the woman said penetrated [lit. gone/got under] your mind, O Connlae?” said
77Conn.
78
79[13] Connlae said: “It is not easy for me and besides I love my people. Yet longing for the
80woman has seized me.”
81
82[14] The woman said:
83 “You have – let me free us from requests – your longing towards the sea (and
84 away) from them
85 In my ship of crystal may we encounter it, if we should reach the peace of
86 Bóadag.
87
88 There is another land that may not be the nearest to seek.
89 I see (that) the sun is setting. Thought it be far, we shall reach (it) before night.
90
91 It is the land which gladdens the mind of everyone whom it encompasses [lit.
92 The land which gladdens the mind of everyone whom it encompasses is it].
93 There is no race there save only women and maidens.”
94
95[15] Thereupon Connlae took a leap from them so that there was escape (to safety) in the
96pure ship. They saw them (going) from them as far as their vision reached it [i.e. as far
97as their vision could follow it, namely the flight]. (It is) a voyage of the sea [imram] that
98they did and they were not seen thereafter. The end [finit].
99
100[Coda, found in Y2, L and NE(g)]
101
102Conn then said on seeing Art, “Art is alone today,” said Conn “because there is (he
103has?) no brother.”
104
105“What you have said is an utterance of consequence” said Corann. “The name that shall
106be upon him forever is Art the Solitary.” So that it is thence that the name stuck to him
107ever thereafter.
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