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A Book of Myths

Page: 149

Conchubar, or Conor, ruled the kingdom of the Ultonians, now Ulster, when Deirdrê was born in Erin. All the most famous warriors of his time, heroes whose mighty deeds live on in legend, and whose title was “The Champions of the Red Branch,” he gathered round him, and all through Erin and Alba rang the fame of the warlike Ultonians.

There came a day when Conor and his champions, gorgeous in their gala dress of crimson tunic with brooches of inlaid gold and white-hooded shirt embroidered in red gold, went to a feast in the house of one called Felim. Felim was a bard, and because not only was his arm in war strong and swift to strike, but because, in peace, his fingers could draw the sweetest of music from his harp, he was dear to the king. As they feasted, Conor beheld a dark shadow of horror and of grief fall on the face of Cathbad, a Druid who had come in his train, and saw that his aged eyes were gazing far into the Unseen. Speedily he bade him tell him what evil thing it was that he saw, and Cathbad turned to the childless Felim and told him that to his wife there was about to be born a


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