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The Hound at Bay

Yet all this while Cuchulain’s foes drew closer round him, watching their opportunity, and the land was filled with smoke and flame, and omens foretold that the Hound was at bay at last, and that the King of the Heroes of Erin was doomed to die. For though Meave entered not again into open war with Ulster, never had she forgotten the disgrace put upon her armies by Cuchulain, in that he alone had beaten and held back her troops during the whole winter’s length, slaying and destroying her chosen men. His kindness to her in her weakness she soon forgot, or if she remembered it, it was made bitter by the laugh of Fergus; she felt humiliated that she, the mighty warrior queen, and leader of her forces, had stooped to ask help from the hands of her enemy. So she awaited the moment of revenge.



at bay は「窮地にあって」という熟語です。この bay は「湾」ではなく,「吠える」です。「声高に要求する(bay for...)」という意味もあるようです。他に「月桂樹」もあります。

stoop は「前かがみになる」ということから,「品位を落とす」の意もあります。「力強い戦士の女王」らしからぬことから,逆説っぽく訳しました。


Throughout all Ireland she sent messengers to stir up strife against Cuchulain, so that he was harassed and pursued on every hand; nor did he ever sleep a night in peace. To all those men whose fathers or brothers or sons Cuchulain had slain she whispered of revenge, and glad and pleased she was when one and another fell upon him unawares or led a raid into the country of Murthemne, to burn and spoil the land. Above all, she stirred up Luga, son of Curoi, prince of Munster, and Erc, the son of Tara’s royal king; and these awaited but a chance to fall upon Cuchulain unawares.


Curoi「クー・ロイ」はウィキペディアに載っていました。「平原の猟犬」という意味らしく,クー・フーリンの「クー」と同じですね。マンスター(アイルランド南部の州)の王で,クー・フーリンに殺されたことになっています。その息子 Luga については,英語版に Lugaid mac Con Roi として載っています。Erc も英語版に Erc mac Cairpri として載っています。




But worst of all, she sent a brood of monstrous, ill-shaped sprites, half-women, half-goblins, in their forms and minds, to learn throughout the whole wide distant world some secret way to bring Cuchulain to his death. Monstrous they were, for but one single eye was in their foreheads, and their right legs and left arms were lopped off at the stump. They did not move along the earth like men, but on the broad back of the whistling winds and wrapped in magic clouds of their own making, they sped o’er land and sea.


of their own making は「自分自身で作った」という意味です。


Hideous and frightful were they to behold, and hideous were their thoughts and their designs. When they drew near, a poisonous ill-wind preceded them, and all the sky was dark with venomous clouds about them and above, so that although they saw them not, men shrank with fear and felt but ill at ease. These creatures then she sent through the wide spaces of the universe to learn all cruel magic arts that hurt and trouble men. And for five years they wandered through the earth, until they reached the fearful realm where Vulcan forged his weapons in the fire.


their designshideous だったというのを,「彼らのデザイン→外見」が「醜悪だった」と誤読してはいけません。design には「意図,企み」という意味があります。by design は「意図的に」という重要熟語です。



The secret of all poisonous herbs they learned, the use of every charm that spoils men’s lives and drives them to despair; they learned to raise a magic stormy sea upon dry land, in which men might be drowned; and out of forest twigs and fluttering leaves they learned to form a host of fighting-men and armed them with the spiked thorn of the thistle leaves or with the blackthorn’s barb.


thistle は「薊(アザミ)」です。ウィキペディアには “葉や総苞にトゲが多く、さわるととても痛いものが多い。触れれば痛い草の代表である” とあります。今初めて,『スカイリム』の「シッスル」が「薊」のことだと分かりました。


From Vulcan’s hand three cruel spears they took, their names, ‘Wind,’ ‘Good-luck,’ and ‘Cast’; three swords of magic power, too, they got, the ‘Wounder,’ and the ‘Hacker,’ and the ‘Hewer.’ “By these three spears or these three swords the splendid Hound shall die,” was Vulcan’s word; “each one of them shall kill a king of Erin, and among those kings will be the mighty king of Erin’s hero-chiefs, the triumphant, heavy-smiting, noble youth, whom men call ‘Ulster’s Hound.’”



Then with a fierce and cruel glee those hideous children of the storm bade Vulcan and his crew farewell, and on the rough and whistling blast that blows keen from the east, they rose on high and made their way to Erin’s coasts, alighting on the plain before the fort of Meave. She, rising early on the morrow, looked forth out of her bower, and saw them resting, each upon one leg perched on the rampart’s top. Her five-fold crimson mantle flung about her, straightway she stepped forth and made them welcome, and with a cruel joy she heard their news. The venomed spears and hard-wrought swords she took into her hands, and waved and brandished them to try their power, but though from point to hilt she bent them back, no sign of crack or failure could she find. “Well-tempered swords are these, indeed,” she cried, “by these my deadly foe shall fall at last.”


glee は「大喜び,歓喜」という意味です。

deadly には「命に係わるほど危険な」という意味もあるのですが,ここではクー・フーリンの危険性を形容したわけではなく,「生かしてはおけない」という意味です。deadly foemortal enemy は「死すべき敵」→「不倶戴天の敵」です。


Then straight to Ulster she sent forth the brood of ill-formed goblin women. “Seek out Cuchulain where he lies,” she said, “and on him try your spells. Set right before his face your magic tide of ocean-waves that he may rush into the flood and come thus to his death; or, if that fail, tempt him with magic troops and armed battalions made out of puff-balls or of fluttering leaves and armed with sharp and prickly thistle-spikes. Thus lure him forth, for I have heard it said that Emer and her women hold him with their gentle wiles within his own strong fort, till he be healed of all his pain and wounds. Tempt you him out into the open plain, and there his foes will find and speak with him and utterly and for ever strike him down. My hosts are there, and Luga’s hosts and Erc’s. Give to each one of them your magic spears, that he may not escape. Thus shall the strength of Ulster fall at last! Thus shall our vengeance come! Within the space of three short days bring in his head to me.”


・細かいですが,if that fail if that fails となっていないことが気になりますね。広い意味での仮定法でしょうか。少し後ろに till he be というのがあるのも同構造です。未来のことであるし,仮定のことだから原形にしたのでしょうかね。

tempt,lure 共に「誘惑する」です。砦に籠っているので誘き出せということですね。allure とも言います。あっ。lure は「ルアー,疑似餌」です。これから連想して覚えられますね。

hear O Vpp「O が V されるのを聞く」に it is said that... をはめ込んだ hear it said that... は「……と言われるのを聞く」です。「……という噂を聞いた(I heard a rumor that...)」とも訳せます(Vpp は動詞の過去分詞)

 なお,hear とか heard とか時制が揺れていますが,「私は……聞いた」という意味において,I hearI heardI have heard もあります。改めて文章を見直したら I have heard になっていますね。現在・現在完了の場合は「……と聞いている」と訳すのもよいですね。

utterly and for ever は「完全に,かつ永遠に」ですが,ここは「完膚なきまでに」と訳しても近いでしょう。



So with deep wiles Meave laid her cruel plans, plotting Cuchulain’s death; Murthemne and Cuchulain’s country she filled with war-bands, marching through the land wasting and marauding, and they burned the villages and the forests of the plain, so that the whole region was a cloud of fire about them. Now the friends of Cuchulain, and Emer, his dear wife, had taken the hero away with them from his own home at Dun Dalgan to a secret glen in Ulster, that is called the Glen of the Deaf, because no sound of war or tumult reached it, where was a pleasant summer palace retired from mankind.



There they entertained him with sweet music and pleasant tales and games of chess, to hold him back from rushing to meet the foe; and they took from him his chariot and his weapons, and turned his chariot-steeds out into the fenced green, for they knew that if he should go forth at this time, he must surely fall. But the hero was restless and unhappy, and save that he had plighted his word to Emer and to all his friends he would not have entered the Glen. For Emer’s sake and theirs he went with them to the lightsome summer palace, and sat down with the poets and artists and the women-folk to listen to sweet beguiling music and tales of ancient deeds to while away the time.


turn out は「(灯り)を消す」「生産・輩出する」「追い出す・解雇する」といった意味があります。ここでは馬なので,労役から説いて放牧した(ある意味解雇した)ということです。

restless は「休みがない」→「落ち着かない」と,簡単に連想して覚えられます。

beguile は「欺く,迷わす,魅了する」。be を取った guile は「策略,狡猾さ」。wile のような意味で,かつ wile と同根です。ga と wa は随分違うように思えますが,例えばウィリアム,ヴィルヘルムに相当するフランス名はギョーム(ギヨム)ですね。日本語で主語を ga,wa で表現するのは偶然なのでしょうか?


Everywhere throughout the Province the horrid brood of mis-shaped children sought him, but they found him not, neither in Dun Dalgan nor in Emain, nor in his own country of Murthemne’s Plain; but at last one of them soared up to the very clouds of heaven and surveyed the whole wide land of Ulster, and from a hidden forest glen she heard the sound of joyous revelry and the high, shrill voice of women’s laughter, and the cheerful noise of a great company keeping festival together.




Then she transformed herself into the shape of a black raven, and swooped down and perched above the seat on which Cuchulain sat. And it seemed to Cuchulain that he heard words, inciting him to go forth.

“Dun Dalgan is burned,” they said to him, “and all the province is laid waste; the war-bands and the hosts of Meave have ravaged all the land, and everywhere but smoke and flames are seen. Arise, O Hound, arise!”



they の訳に注意です。クー・フーリンの傍まで行ったゴブリンは1匹だけです。they は「彼ら」ではなく「それら(the words)」を指します。they を見た時に取り敢えず人間と思うのには注意しましょう




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