Is éicen do neoch a thecht...

Is éicen do neoch a thecht
cosin fót forsa mbí a thiglecht.

(is * necessity * for * one * his * going /
to the * place * on which * is always * his * last-grave)

Everyone must go at last
to the place of his death.

This half-stanza was spoken in the LL Táin (lines 10633-4) by Fer Diad as he and Cú Chulainn prepare for their fight to the death. The word “fót” means specifically a sod or clod or earth, or a definite patch of ground. The phrase “fód an bháis” (the sod of death) is still used to mean the place where one is fated to die. An early stanza, quoted in “A Miscellany” (p. 87), says there are three locations that cannot be avoided: the place of birth, the place of death, and the place of burial:

Trí fótáin nach sechainter,
cia toiscet na habrochtair,
fót in gene, fót in báis,
ocus fót ind adnacuil.

Congal in FDG (p. 172) states that there are three times that cannot be avoided: the time of death, the time of birth, and the time of conception (“tri h-uaire nach imgaibther .i. uair éca, uair gene, uair choimperta”).

Topics: Verse The Characters Speak