The Wasting Sickness of Cu Chulaind

Cu Chulaind, sick as you are,

There’s no use to wait.

If they were your kin they’d aid you,

Those daughters of Aed Abrat.


In husky tones Li Ban spoke,

With Labraid Luathlam at his right:

“The daughter Fand desires one thing:

To sleep with Cu Chulaind this night.


“’A Joyous day it would be

Were Cu Chulaind to come to my land.

He’s sit on rich embroidered cushions,

A golden goblet in his hand.


“’Were he my friend now,

Cu Chulaind, son of Sualtaim,

Perhaps he could tell me what he saw,

What vision there was in his dream.


“’There, in the south, at Mag Muirthemni,

No ill will befall you this Samuin.

I will send Li Ban to you, my friend,

Sick as you are, Cu Chulaind’”.



A version by Christopher McAteer, after Jeffrey Gantz’s translation of The Wasting Sickness of Cu Chulaind (Penguin, 1981).