Woe

Fir gontair, mná bertair, baí aegtair!

Fir gontair, mná bertair, baí aegtair!

(men * are slain * women * are abducted * cattle * are driven)

Men are killed, women are carried off, cattle are driven away!

This is the dire warning that Súaltaim repeated again and again to the Ulstermen at the behest of his son, Cú Chulainn, when he was unable to resist the invading army, in the LL version of "Táin Bó Cúailnge".

Mairg dam-sa ría cách, mairg íar cách!

Mairg dam-sa ría cách, mairg íar cách!

(woe * to me - emphatic * before * everyone * woe * after * everyone)

Woe to me before everyone, woe after everyone!

The anguished exclamation of Lomnae Drúth in "Togail Bruidne Da Derga".

Fé amae!

Fé amae!
(alas * indeed)

Woe is me!

A formulaic expression, spoken by Cú Chulainn in "Serglige Con Culainn", and by others elsewhere. The druid Ollgáeth in "Tochmarc Ferbe" exclaims "All amae" when he sees a bad omen.

Céin mair molthiar, mairg áerthiar.

Céin mair molthiar, mairg áerthiar.
(long * live * (who) is praised * woe * (who) is satirized)

Happy the one who is praised, woe to the one who is mocked.

This maxim stands as a verse in a poem in LU, in the commentary on "Amrae Choluim Cille". It refers to the two powers that the Early Irish poet wielded, with which he could make or break a man: praise and satire.

Is bethu i mmudu ocus is trebad i mmaig!

Is bethu i mmudu ocus is trebad i mmaig!

(is * a life * in * vain * and * is * husbandry * in * field)

It's a life gone to waste and a livelihood lost...!

So exclaims Culann, the smith, after his valuable hound has been killed by the young Sétanta in self defense. The boy volunteers to take over the guard duties of the hound until a pup can be reared to replace him, and thus he acquires the name by which he will become famous: Cú Chulainn, "the Hound of Culann".

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