Inmael and Inecen

Author: Kuno Meyer

An electronic edition

view the header | view the Irish text

p. 69.

When Cormac Mac Airt, the son of Conn
of the Hundred Battles, was in Tara, after
the setting of the sun, he saw two women,
the most beautiful and shapeliest, the
fairest of bosom and form that he had ever
seen. Cormac asked them: ‘Whence have
ye come?’ ‘Not hard to tell,’ said they.
‘Across the sea from the lands of Alba,

p. 70.

and from the people of Glastonbury, and
of the race of the Flyers of the Glen are
we, and fairy-hosts are no match for us;
and we work mischief in every spot on
which we seize. We have destroyed thirty
of the chief houses in Alba.’ ‘Why have
ye come hither?’ said Cormac. ‘Not hard
to tell. To persecute thee and Tara,’ said
they. ‘What are your names?’ said
Cormac. ‘Not hard,’ said the woman
that was nearest to him. ‘Inmael is my
name.’ ‘Inécen is my name,’ said the
other. ‘I am forbidden by a geis,’ said
Cormac, ‘to allow anyone after sunset to
come to the feast of Tara.’ ‘This is
why we have come now,’ said they, ‘to
violate the geis of Tara.’ Then they
went into Tara, and everyone whom they
met, Inmael would cut off his toes, and
his fingers, and his eye-brows, and the
upper lashes of his eyes, and his ears.
Whomsoever Inécen met, she would tear
off his skin, so that he died. Now, when
everyone would ask the other what caused
this, they said: ‘Inmael and Inécen.’
However, they were seven years working
that mischief; and they said to Cormac
that they would put the same brand on
him, unless he would worship them, and
believe in the seven demons that were
around either of them. ‘In the safeguard
of the true God, who created heaven for
me,’ said Cormac, ‘before you; for it is
He who rules heaven and earth.’ ‘Thou
art not wrong in that,’ said they; ‘for
we should have given one time (?) to thee,
so that there would have been nothing but
worshipping of images and of idols in Ireland
henceforth till Doom, if thou hadst not
put thyself under that safeguard, O my
venerable Cormac.’

© 2007 Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae

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