Their dinner was served them in a separate room, into which three magic beasts, in the shape of monstrous cats, were sent by the king. When they saw them Laegire and Conall rose from their meal, climbed among the rafters, and stayed there all night. Cuchulain waited until one cat attacked him, and then, drawing his sword, struck the monster.

In turn they stood watch outside Curoi's castle, where Laegire and Conall were overcome by a huge giant, who hurled spears of mighty oak trees, and ended by throwing them over the wall into the courtyard. Cuchulain alone withstood the giant, whereupon he was attacked by other magic foes.

Thereupon Curoi vanished, and the warriors gathered around Cuchulain, and all with one voice acclaimed him the Champion of the Heroes of all Ireland a title which has clung to him until this day. This is one of many stories told of the Irish champion, whose deeds of bravery would fill many pages.

However, he stretched out his neck as ordered, and the stranger raised his axe till it crashed upwards through the rafters of the hall, like the crash of trees falling in a storm. When the axe came down with a terrific sound all men looked fearfully at Cuchulain. The descending axe had not even touched him; it had come down with the blunt side on the ground, and the youth knelt there unharmed.

The hero of Ulster laid his head on the block; but the giant was not satisfied. "Stretch out your neck better," said he. "You are playing with me, to torment me," said Cuchulain. "Slay me now speedily, for I did not keep you waiting last night."

In his vision a thousand years were no more than the watch of some spellbound chivalry, waiting for the voice that should say, "It is the time." Cuchulain and Robert Emmet were his inspirations, but the champion of the legendary Red Branch cycle and the young revolutionary of Napoleon's days were near to him one as the other, in equally accessible communion.

Cuchulain was brought up by King Conor himself, and even while he was still a boy his fame spread all over Ireland. His warlike deeds were those of a proved warrior, not of a child of nursery age; and by the time Cuchulain was seventeen he was without peer among the champions of Ulster.

Cuchulain, the Achilles of Irish epic, was famous from the day in boyhood when he got his name by killing, bare-handed, the smith's fierce watchdog that would have torn him. The ransom for the killing was laid on by the boy himself, and it was that he should watch Culann's house for a year and a day till a pup should be grown to take the place of the slain dog.

Douglas Hyde's translations of The Five Songs of Connacht and The Religious Songs of Connacht are valuable works and have greatly influenced the Irish writers. Lady Augusta Gregory. Lady Gregory, born in 1852, in Roxborough, County Galway, has made some of the best of these translations in her works, Cuchulain of Muirthemma, and Gods and Fighting Men.

I am glad, I am glad, Cuchulain of Muirthemne, I never brought red shame on your face, for any unfaithfulness against you. Happy are they, happy are they, who will never hear the cuckoo again for ever, now that the Hound has died from us. I am carried away like a branch on the stream; I will not bind up my hair to-day. From this day I have nothing to say that is better than Ochone!