Fiction > Harvard Classics > The Destruction of Dá Derga’s Hostel
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  The Destruction of Dá Derga’s Hostel.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
The Room of Munremar son of Gerrchenn and Birderg son of Ruan and Mál son of Telband
 
 
  “I beheld a room there, with a trio in it. Three brown, big men, with three brown heads of short hair. Thick calf-bottoms (ankles?) they had. As thick as a man’s waist was each of their limbs. Three brown and curled masses of hair upon them, with a thick head: three cloaks, red and speckled, they wore: three black shields with clasps of gold, and three five-barbed javelins; and each had in hand an ivory-hilted sword. This is the feat they perform with their swords: they throw them high up, and they throw the scabbards after them, and the swords, before reaching the ground, place themselves in the scabbards. Then they throw the scabbards first, and the swords after them, and the scabbards meet the swords and place themselves round them before they reach the ground. Liken thou that, O Fer rogain!”  1
  “Easy for me to liken them! Mál son of Telband, and Munremar son of Gerrchenn, and Birderg son of Rúan. Three crown-princes, three champions of valour, three heroes the best behind weapons in Erin! A hundred heroes will fall by them in their first conflict, and they will share prowess with every man in the Hostel, and they will boast of the victory over a king or chief of the reavers, and afterwards they will chance to escape. The Destruction should not be wrought even because of those three.”  2
  “Woe to him that shall wreak the Destruction!” says Lomna. “Better were the victory of saving them than the victory of slaying them! Happy he who should save them! Woe to him that shall slay them!”  3
  “It is not feasible,” says Ingcél, etc. “And afterwards whom sawest thou?”  4
 

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