Anonymous Celtic Illumination
Anon. Celtic Illumination of St. Luke.


"A noble and illustrious king assumed the sovranty and rule of Erinn, namely Cormac, grandson of Conn of the Hundred Battles. The world was full of all goodness in his time; there were fruit and fatness of the land, and abundant produce of the sea, with peace and ease and happiness. There were no killings or plunderings in his time, but everyone occupied his land in happiness.

"The nobles of Ireland assembled to drink the Banquet of Tara with Cormac at a certain time.... Magnificently did Cormac come to this great Assembly; for no man, his equal in beauty, had preceded him, excepting Conary Mór or Conor son of Caffa, or Angus Óg son of the Dagda. Splendid, indeed, was Cormac's appearance in that Assembly. His hair was slightly curled, and of golden colour; a scarlet shield he had, with engraved devices, and golden bosses and ridges of silver. A wide-folding purple cloak was on him with a gem-set gold brooch over his breast; a golden torque round his neck; a white-collared shirt embroidered with gold was on him; a girdle with golden buckles and studded with precious stones was around him; two golden net-work sandals with golden buckles upon his feet; two spears with golden sockets and many red bronze rivets in his hand; while he stood in the full glow of beauty, without defect or blemish. You would think it was a shower of pearls that was set in his mouth, his lips were rubies, his symmetrical body was as white as snow, his cheek was ruddy as the berry of the mountain-ash, his eyes were like the sloe, his brows and eye-lashes were like the sheen of a blue-black lance."

Text Source:
The High Deeds of Finn and other Bardic Romances of Ancient Ireland.
T. W. Rolleston, ed. Illustrations by Stephen Reid.
London: G. G. Harrap & Co., 1910. 200-201.

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