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 the Fomorians
 
 
  I beheld there a room with a trio in it, to wit, a trio horrible, unheard-of, a triad of champions, etc.  1
 
  Liken thou that, O Fer rogain?  2
  “’Tis hard for me to liken that trio. Neither of the men of Erin nor of the men of the world do I know it, unless it be the trio that Mac cecht brought out of the land of the Fomorians by dint of duels. Not one of the Fomorians was found to fight him, so he brought away those three, and they are in Conaire’s house as sureties that, while Conaire is reigning, the Fomorians destroy neither corn nor milk in Erin beyond their fair tribute. Well may their aspect be loathy! Three rows of teeth in their heads from one ear to another. An ox with a bacon-pig, this is the ration of each of them, and that ration which they put into their mouths is visible till it comes down past their navels. Bodies of bone (i. e. without a joint in them) all those three have. I swear what my tribe swears, more will be killed by them at the Destruction than those they leave alive. Six hundred warriors will fall by them in their first conflict, and a man for each of their weapons, and one for each of the three themselves. And they will boast a triumph over a king or chief of the reavers. It will not be more than with a bite or a blow or a kick that each of those men will kill, for no arms are allowed them in the house, since they are in ‘hostageship at the wall’ lest they do a misdeed therein. I swear what my tribe swears, if they had armour on them, they would slay us all but a third. Woe to him that shall wreak the Destruction, because it is not a combat against sluggards.”  3
  “Ye cannot,” says Ingcél, etc. “And whom sawest thou there after that?”  4
 

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