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In spite, however, of the wide-spread popularity of the ballads that took the form of dialogues between Ossian and Patrick, certain traditions say that the saint succeeded in converting the hero. Caoilté, the other great surviving Fenian, was also represented as having gladly exchanged his pagan lore for the faith and salvation offered him. We may see the same influence on foot in the later legends concerning the Red Branch Champions. It was the policy of the first Christianizers of Ireland to describe the loved heroes of their still half-heathen flocks as having handed in their submission to the new creed. The tales about Conchobar and Cuchulainn were amended, to prove that those very pagan personages had been miraculously brought to accept the gospel at the last. An entirely new story told how the latter hero was raised from the dead by Saint Patrick that he might bear witness of the truth of Christianity to Laogaire the Second, King of Ireland, which he did with such fervour and eloquence that the sceptical monarch was convinced. 1

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Daring attempts were also made to change the Tuatha Dé Danann from pagan gods into Christian saints, but these were by no means so profitable as the policy pursued towards the more human-seeming heroes. With one of them alone, was success immediate and brilliant. Brigit, the goddess of fire, poetry, and the hearth, is famous to-day as Saint Bridget, or Bride. Most popular of all the Irish saints, she can still be easily recognized as the daughter of the Dagda. Her Christian attributes, almost all connected with fire, attest her pagan origin. 1 She was born at sunrise; a house in which she dwelt blazed into a flame which reached to heaven; a pillar of fire rose from her head when she took the veil; and her breath gave new life to the dead. As with the British goddess Sul, worshipped at Bath, who--the first century Latin writer Solinus 2 tells us--"ruled over the boiling springs, and at her altar there flamed a perpetual fire which never whitened into ashes, but hardened into a stony mass", the sacred flame on her shrine at Kildare was never allowed to go out. It was extinguished once, in the thirteenth century, but was relighted, and burnt with undying glow until the suppression of the monasteries by Henry the Eighth. This sacred fire might not be breathed on by the impure human breath. For nineteen nights it was tended by her nuns, but on the twentieth night it was left untouched, and kept itself alight miraculously. With so little of her essential character

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and ritual changed, it is small wonder that the half-pagan, half-Christian Irish gladly accepted the new saint in the stead of the old goddess.

Doubtless a careful examination of Irish hagiology would result in the discovery of many other saints whose names and attributes might render them suspect of previous careers as pagan gods. But their acceptation was not sufficiently general to do away with the need of other means of counter-acting the still living influence of the Gaelic Pantheon. Therefore a fresh school of euhemerists arose to prove that the gods were never even saints, but merely worldly men who had once lived and ruled in Erin. Learned monks worked hard to construct a history of Ireland from the Flood downwards. Mr. Eugene O’Curry has compiled from the various pedigrees they elaborated, and inserted into the books of Ballymote, Lecan, and Leinster an amazing genealogy which shows how, not merely the Tuatha Dé Danann, but also the Fir Bolgs, the Fomors, the Milesians, and the races of Partholon and Nemed were descended from Noah. Japhet, the patriarch's son, was the father of Magog, from whom came two lines, the first being the Milesians, while the second branched out into all the other races. 1

Having once worked the gods, first into universal history, and then into the history of Ireland, it was an easy matter to supply them with dates of birth and death, local habitations, and places of burial.

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[paragraph continues] We are told with precision exactly how long Nuada, the Dagda, Lugh, and the others reigned at Tara. The barrows by the Boyne provided them with comfortable tombs. Their enemies, the Fomors, became real invaders who were beaten in real battles. Thus it was thought to make plain prose of their divinities.

It is only fair, however, to these early euhemerists to say that they have their modern disciples. There are many writers, of recognized authority upon their subjects, who, in dealing with the history of Ireland or the composition of the British race, claim to find real peoples in the tribes mentioned in Gaelic myth. Unfortunately, the only point they agree upon is the accepted one--that the "Milesians" were Aryan Celts. They are divided upon the question of the "Fir Bolgs", in whom some see the pre-Aryan tribes, while others, led astray by the name, regard them as Belgic Gauls; and over the really mythological races they run wild. In the Tuatha Dé Danann are variously found Gaels, Picts, Danes, Scandinavians, Ligurians, and Finns, while the Fomors rest under the suspicion of having been Iberians, Moors, Romans, Finns, Goths, or Teutons. As for the people of Partholon and Nemed, they have even been explained as men of the Palæolithic Age. This chaos of opinion was fortunately avoided by the native annalists, who had no particular views upon the question of race, except that everybody came from "Spain".

Of course there were dissenters from this prevailing mania for euhemerization. As late as the

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tenth century, a poet called Eochaid O’Flynn, writing of the Tuatha Dé Danann, at first seems to hesitate whether to ascribe humanity or divinity to them, and at last frankly avows their godhead. In his poem, preserved in the Book of Ballymote, 1 he says:

"Though they came to learned Erinn
Without buoyant, adventurous ships,
No man in creation knew
Whether they were of the earth or of the sky.

"If they were diabolical demons,
They came from that woeful expulsion; 2
If they were of a race of tribes and nations,
If they were human, they were of the race of Beothach."

[paragraph continues] Then he enumerates them in due succession, and ends by declaring:--

"Though I have treated of these deities in their order,
Yet I have not adored them".

One may surmise with probability that the common people agreed rather with the poet than with the monk. Pious men in monasteries might write what they liked, but mere laymen would not be easily persuaded that their cherished gods had never been anything more than men like themselves. Probably they said little, but acted in secret according to their inherited ideas. Let it be granted, for the sake of peace, that Goibniu was only a man; none the less, his name was known to be uncommonly effective in an incantation. This

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applied equally to Diancecht, and invocations to both of them are contained in some verses which an eighth-century Irish monk wrote on the margin of a manuscript still preserved at St. Gall, in Switzerland. Some prescriptions of Diancecht's have come down to us, but it must be admitted that they hardly differ from those current among ordinary mediæval physicians. Perhaps, after that unfortunate spilling of the herbs that grew out of Miach's body, he had to fall back upon empirical research. He invented a porridge for "the relief of ailments of the body, as cold, phlegm, throat cats, and the presence of living things in the body, as worms"; it was compounded of hazel buds, dandelion, chick-weed, sorrel, and oatmeal; and was to be taken every morning and evening. He also prescribed against the effects of witchcraft and the fourteen diseases of the stomach.

Goibniu, in addition to his original character as the divine smith and sorcerer, gained a third reputation among the Irish as a great builder and bridge-maker. As such he is known as the Gobhan Saer, that is, Goibniu the Architect, and marvellous tales, current all over Ireland attest his prowess.

"Men call’d him Gobhan Saer, and many a tale
  Yet lingers in the by-ways of the land
Of how he cleft the rock, or down the vale
  Led the bright river, child-like, in his hand:
Of how on giant ships he spread great sail,
  And many marvels else by him first plann’d ",

writes a poet of modern Ireland. 1 Especially were

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the "round towers" attributed to him, and the Christian clerics appropriated his popularity by describing him as having been the designer of their churches. He used, according to legend, to wander over the country, clad, like the Greek Hephaestus, whom he resembles, in working dress, seeking commissions and adventures. His works remain in the cathedrals and churches of Ireland; and, with regard to his adventures, many strange legends are still, or were until very recently, current upon the lips of old people in remote parts of Ireland.

Some of these are, as might have been expected, nothing more than half-understood recollections of the ancient mythology. In them appear as characters others of the old, yet not quite forgotten gods--Lugh, Manannán, and Balor--names still remembered as those of long-past druids, heroes, and kings of Ireland in the misty olden time.

One or two of them are worth retelling. Mr. William Larminie, collecting folk-tales in Achill Island, took one from the lips of an aged peasant which tells in its confused way what might almost be called the central incident of Gaelic mythology, the mysterious birth of the sun-god from demoniac parentage, and his eventual slaying of his grandfather when he came to full age. 1

Gobhan the Architect and his son, young Gobhan, runs the tale, were sent for by Balor of the Blows to build him a palace. They built it so well that Balor decided never to let them leave his kingdom alive, for fear they should build another one

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equally good for someone else. He therefore had all the scaffolding removed from round the palace while they were still on the top, with the intention of leaving them up there to die of hunger. But, when they discovered this, they began to destroy the roof, so that Balor was obliged to let them come down.

He, none the less, refused to allow them to return to Ireland. The crafty Gobhan, however, had his plan ready. He told Balor that the injury that had been done to the palace roof could not be repaired without special tools, which he had left behind him at home. Balor declined to let either old Gobhan or young Gobhan go back to fetch them; but he offered to send his own son. Gobhan gave Balor's son directions for the journey. He was to travel until he came to a house with a stack of corn at the door. Entering it, he would find a woman with one hand and a child with one eye.

Balor's son found the house, and asked the woman for the tools. She expected him; for it had been arranged between Gobhan and his wife what should be done, if Balor refused to let him return. She took Balor's son to a huge chest, and told him that the tools were at the bottom of it, so far down that she could not reach them, and that he must get into the chest, and pick them up himself. But, as soon as he was safely inside, she shut the lid on him, telling him that he would have to stay there until his father allowed old Gobhan and young Gobhan to come home with their pay. And she sent the same message to Balor himself.

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There was an exchange of prisoners, Balor giving the two Gobhans their pay and a ship to take them home, and Gobhan's wife releasing Balor's son. But, before the two builders went, Balor asked them whom he should now employ to repair his palace. Old Gobhan told him that, next to himself, there was no workman in Ireland better than one Gavidjeen Go.

When Gobhan got back to Ireland, he sent Gavidjeen Go to Balor. But he gave him a piece of advice--to accept as pay only one thing: Balor's gray cow, which would fill twenty barrels at one milking. Balor agreed to this, but, when he gave the cow to Gavidjeen Go to take back with him to Ireland, he omitted to include her byre-rope, which was the only thing that would keep her from returning to her original owner.

The gray cow gave so much trouble to Gavidjeen Go by her straying, that he was obliged to hire military champions to watch her during the day and bring her safely home at night. The bargain made was that Gavidjeen Go should forge the champion a sword for his pay, but that, if he lost the cow, his life was to be forfeited.

At last, a certain warrior called Cian was unlucky enough to let the cow escape. He followed her tracks down to the sea-shore and right to the edge of the waves, and there he lost them altogether. He was tearing his hair in his perplexity, when he saw a man rowing a coracle. The man, who was no other than Manannán son of Lêr, came in close to the shore, and asked what was the matter.

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Cian told him.

"What would you give to anyone who would take you to the place where the gray cow is?" asked Manannán.

"I have nothing to give," replied Cian.

"All I ask," said Manannán, "is half of whatever you gain before you come back."

Cian agreed to that willingly enough, and Manannán told him to get into the coracle. In the wink of an eye, he had landed him in Balor's kingdom, the realm of the cold, where they roast no meat, but eat their food raw. Cian was not used to this diet, so he lit himself a fire, and began to cook some food. Balor saw the fire, and came down to it, and he was so pleased that he appointed Cian to be his fire-maker and cook.

Now Balor had a daughter, of whom a druid had prophesied that she would, some day, bear a son who would kill his grandfather. Therefore, like Acrisius, in Greek legend, he shut her up in a tower, guarded by women, and allowed her to see no man but himself. One day, Cian saw Balor go to the tower. He waited until he had come back, and then went to explore. He had the gift of opening locked doors and shutting them again after him. When he got inside, he lit a fire, and this novelty so delighted Balor's daughter that she invited him to visit her again. After this--in the Achill islander's quaint phrase--"he was ever coming there, until a child happened to her." Balor's daughter gave the baby to Cian to take away. She also gave him the byre-rope which belonged to the gray cow.


CIAN FINDS BALOR'S DAUGHTER<br> From the Drawing by H. R. Millar
Click to enlarge

From the Drawing by H. R. Millar


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Cian was in great danger now, for Balor had found out about the child. He led the gray cow away with the rope to the sea-shore, and waited for Manannán. The Son of Lêr had told Cian that, when he was in any difficulty, he was to think of him, and he would at once appear. Cian thought of him now, and, in a moment, Manannán appeared with his coracle. Cian got into the boat, with the baby and the gray cow, just as Balor, in hot pursuit, came down to the beach.

Balor, by his incantations, raised a great storm to drown them; but Manannán, whose druidism was greater, stilled it. Then Balor turned the sea into fire, to burn them; but Manannán put it out with a stone.

When they were safe back in Ireland, Manannán asked Cian for his promised reward.

"I have gained nothing but the boy, and I cannot cut him in two, so I will give him to you whole," he replied.

"That is what I was wanting all the time," said Manannán; "when he grows up, there will be no champion equal to him."

So Manannán baptized the boy, calling him "the Dul-Dauna". This name, meaning "Blind-Stubborn", is certainly a curious corruption of the original Ioldanach 1 "Master of all Knowledge". When the boy had grown up, he went one day to the sea-shore. A ship came past, in which was a man. The traditions of Donnybrook Fair are evidently prehistoric, for the boy, without troubling to ask who

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the stranger was, took a dart "out of his pocket", hurled it, and hit him. The man in the boat happened to be Balor. Thus, in accordance with the prophecy, he was slain by his grandson, who, though the folk-tale does not name him, was obviously Lugh.

Another version of the same legend, collected by the Irish scholar O’Donovan on the coast of Donegal, opposite Balor's favourite haunt, Tory Island, is interesting as completing the one just narrated. 1 In this folk-tale, Goibniu is called Gavida, and is made one of three brothers, the other two being called Mac Kineely and Mac Samthainn. They were chiefs of Donegal, smiths and farmers, while Balor was a robber who harassed the mainland from his strong-hold on Tory Island. The gray cow belonged to Mac Kineely, and Balor stole it. Its owner determined to be revenged, and, knowing the prediction concerning Balor's death at the hands of an as yet unborn grandson, he persuaded a kindly fairy to spirit him in female disguise to Tor Mor, where Balor's daughter, who was called Ethnea, was kept imprisoned. The result of this expedition was not merely the one son necessary to fulfil the prophecy, but three. This apparent superfluity was fortunate; for Balor drowned two of them, the other being picked out of the sea by the same fairy who had been incidentally responsible for his birth, and handed over to his father, Mac Kineely, to be brought up. Shortly after this, Balor managed to capture Mac Kineely, and, in retaliation for the wrong done him, chopped off his head upon a large white

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stone, still known locally as the "Stone of Kineely". Satisfied with this, and quite unaware that one of his daughter's children had been saved from death, and was now being brought up as a smith by Gavida, Balor went on with his career of robbery, varying it by visits to the forge to purchase arms. One day, being there during Gavida's absence, he began boasting to the young assistant of how he had compassed Mac Kineely's death. He never finished the story, for Lugh--which was the boy's name--snatched a red-hot iron from the fire, and thrust it into Balor's eye, and through his head.

Thus, in these two folk-tales, 1 gathered in different parts of Ireland, at different times, by different persons, survives quite a mass of mythological detail only to be found otherwise in ancient manuscripts containing still more ancient matter. Crystallized in them may be found the names of six members of the old Gaelic Pantheon, each filling the same part as of old. Goibniu has not lost his mastery of smithcraft; Balor is still the Fomorian king of the cold regions of the sea; his daughter Ethniu becomes, by Cian, the mother of the sun-god; Lugh, who still bears his old title of Ioldanach, though it is strangely corrupted into a name meaning almost the exact opposite, is still fostered by Manannán, Son of the Sea, and in the end grows up to destroy his grandfather by a blow in the one vulnerable place, his death-dealing eye. Perhaps, too, we may claim to see a genuine, though

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jumbled tradition, in the Fomor-like deformities of Gobhan's wife and child, and in the story of the gray cow and her byre-rope, which recalls that of the Dagda's black-maned heifer, Ocean.

The memories of the peasantry still hold many stories of Lugh, as well as of Angus, and others of the old gods. But, next to the Gobhan Saer, the one whose fame is still greatest is that ever-potent and ever-popular figure, the great Manannán.

The last, perhaps, to receive open adoration, he is represented by kindly tradition as having been still content to help and watch over the people who had rejected and ceased to worship him. Up to the time of St. Columba, he was the special guardian of Irishmen in foreign parts, assisting them in their dangers and bringing them home safe. For the peasantry, too, he caused favourable weather and good crops. His fairy subjects tilled the ground while men slept. But this is said to have come to an end at last. Saint Columba, having broken his golden chalice, gave it to a servant to get repaired. On his way, the servant was met by a stranger, who asked him where he was going. The man told him, and showed him the chalice. The stranger breathed upon it, and, at once, the broken parts reunited. Then he begged him to return to his master, give him the chalice, and tell him that Manannán son of Lêr, who had mended it, desired to know in very truth whether he would ever attain paradise "Alas," said the ungrateful saint, "there is no forgiveness for a man who does such works as this!" The servant went back with the answer, and Manannán,

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when he heard it, broke out into indignant lament. "Woe is me, Manannán mac Lêr! for years I've helped the Catholics of Ireland, but I'll do it no more, till they're as weak as water. I'll go to the gray waves in the Highlands of Scotland." 1

And there he remained. For, unless the charming stories of Miss Fiona Macleod are mere beautiful imaginings and nothing more, he is not unknown even to-day among the solitary shepherds and fishers of "the farthest Hebrides". In the Contemporary Review for October, 1902, 2 she tells how an old man of four-score years would often be visited in his shieling by a tall, beautiful stranger, with a crest on his head, "like white canna blowing in the wind, but with a blueness in it", and "a bright, cold, curling flame under the soles of his feet". The man told him many things, and prophesied to him the time of his death. Generally, the stranger's hands were hidden in the folds of the white cloak he wore, but, once, he moved to touch the shepherd, who saw then that his flesh was like water, with sea-weed floating among the bones. So that Murdo MacIan knew that he could be speaking with none other than the Son of the Sea.

Nor is he yet quite forgotten in his own Island of Man, of which local tradition says he was the. first inhabitant. He is also described as its king, who kept it from invasion by his magic. He would cause mists to rise at any moment and conceal the island,

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and by the same glamour he could make one man seem like a hundred, and little chips of wood which he threw into the water to appear like ships of war. It is no wonder that he held his kingdom against all-comers, until his sway was ended, like that of the other Gaelic gods, by the arrival of Saint Patrick. After this, he seems to have declined into a traditionary giant who used to leap from Peel Castle to Contrary Head for exercise, or hurl huge rocks, upon which the mark of his hand can still be seen. It is said that he took no tribute from his subjects, or worshippers except bundles of green rushes, which were placed every Midsummer Eve upon two mountain peaks, one called Warrefield in olden days, but now South Barrule, and the other called Man, and not now to be identified. His grave, which is thirty yards long, is pointed out, close to Peel Castle. The most curious legend connected with him, however, tells us that he had three legs, on which he used to travel at a great pace. How this was done may be seen from the arms of the island, on which are pictured his three limbs, joined together, and spread out like the spokes of a wheel. 1

An Irish tradition tells us that, when Manannán left Ireland for Scotland, the vacant kingship of the gods or fairies was taken by one Mac Moineanta; to the great grief of those who had known Manannán. 2 Perhaps this great grief led to Mac Moineanta's being deposed, for the present king of the

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[paragraph continues] Irish fairies is Finvarra, the same Fionnbharr to whom the Dagda allotted the sídhe of Meadha after the conquest of the Tuatha Dé Danann by the Milesians, and who takes a prominent part in the Fenian stories. So great is the persistence of tradition in Ireland that this hill of Meadha, now spelt Knockma, is still considered to be the abode of him and his queen, Onagh. Numberless stories are told about Finvarra, including, of course, that very favourite Celtic tale of the stolen bride, and her recapture from the fairies by the siege and digging up of the sídh in which she was held prisoner. Finvarra, like Mider of Bri Leith, carried away a human Etain--the wife, not of a high king, but of an Irish lord. The modern Eochaid Airem, having heard an invisible voice tell him where he was to look for his lost bride, gathered all his workmen and labourers and proceeded to demolish Knockma. Every day they almost dug it up, but every night the breach was found to have been repaired by fairy workmen of Finvarra's. This went on for three days, when the Irish lord thought of the well-known device of sanctifying the work of excavation by sprinkling the turned-up earth with salt. Needless to say, it succeeded. Finvarra gave back the bride, still in the trance into which he had thrown her; and the deep cut into the fairy hill still remains to furnish proof to the incredulous. 1

Finvarra does not always appear, however, in

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such unfriendly guise. He was popularly reputed to have under his special care the family of the Kirwans of Castle Hacket, on the northern slope of Knockma. Owing to his benevolent influence, the castle cellars never went dry, nor did the quality of the wine deteriorate. Besides the wine-cellar, Finvarra looked after the stables, and it was owing to the exercise that he and his fairy followers gave the horses by night that Mr. John Kirwan's racers were so often successful on the Curragh. That such stories could have passed current as fact, which they undoubtedly did, is excellent proof of how late and how completely a mythology may survive among the uncultured. 1

Finvarra rules to-day over a wide realm of fairy folk. Many of these, again, have their own vassal chieftains, forming a tribal hierarchy such as must have existed in the Celtic days of Ireland. Finvarra and Onagh are high king and queen, but, under them, Cliodna 2 is tributary queen of Munster, and rules from a sídh near Mallow in County Cork, while, under her again, are Aoibhinn 3, queen of the fairies of North Munster, and Ainé, queen of the fairies of South Munster. These names form but a single instance. A map of fairy Ireland could without much difficulty be drawn, showing, with almost political exactness, the various kingdoms of the Sídhe.

Far less easy, however, would be the task of ascertaining the origin and lineage of these fabled

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beings. Some of them can still be traced as older gods and goddesses. In the eastern parts of Ireland, Badb and her sisters have become "banshees" who wail over deaths not necessarily found in battle. Aynia, deemed the most powerful fairy in Ulster, and Ainé, queen of South Munster, are perhaps the same person, the mysterious and awful goddess once adored as Anu, or Danu. Of the two, it is Ainé who especially seems to carry on the traditions of the older Anu, worshipped, according to the "Choice of Names", in Munster as a goddess of prosperity and abundance. Within living memory, she was propitiated by a magical ritual upon every Saint John's Eve, to ensure fertility during the coming year. The villagers round her sídh of Cnoc Ainé (Knockainy) carried burning bunches of hay or straw upon poles to the top of the hill, and thence dispersed among the fields, waving these torches over the crops and cattle. This fairy, or goddess was held to be friendly, and, indeed, more than friendly, to men. Whether or not she were the mother of the gods, she is claimed as first ancestress by half a dozen famous Irish families.

Among her children was the famous Earl Gerald, offspring of her alliance with the fourth Earl of Desmond, known as "The Magician". As in the well-known story of the Swan-maidens, the magician-earl is said to have stolen Ainé's cloak while she was bathing, and refused to return it unless she became his bride. But, in the end, he lost her. Ainé had warned her husband never to show surprise at anything done by their son; but a wonderful

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feat which he performed made the earl break this condition, and Ainé was obliged, by fairy law, to leave him. But, though she had lost her husband, she was not separated from her son, who was received into the fairy world after his death, and now lives under the surface of Lough Gur, in County Limerick, waiting, like the British Arthur, for the hour to strike in which he shall lead forth his warriors to drive the foreigners from Ireland. But this will not be until, by riding round the lake once in every seventh year, he shall have worn his horse's silver shoes as thin as a cat's ear. 1

Not only the tribe of Danu, but heroes of the other mythical cycles swell the fairy host to-day. Donn, son of Milé, who was drowned before ever he set foot on Irish soil, lives at "Donn's House", a line of sand-hills in the Dingle Peninsula of Kerry, and, as late as the eighteenth century, we find him invoked by a local poet, half in jest, no doubt, but still, perhaps also a little in earnest. 2 The heroes of Ulster have no part in fairyland; but their enemy, Medb, is credited with queenly rule among the Sídhe, and is held by some to have been the original of "Queen Mab". Caoilté, last of the Fenians, was, in spite of his leanings towards Christianity, enrolled among the Tuatha Dé Danann, but none of his kin are known there, neither Ossian, nor Oscar, nor even Finn himself. Yet not even to merely historical mortals are the gates of the gods necessarily closed. The Barry, chief of the barony

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of Barrymore, is said to inhabit an enchanted palace in Knockthierna, one of the Nagles Hills. The not less traditionally famous O’Donaghue, whose domain was near Killarney, now dwells beneath the waters of that lake, and may still be seen, it is said, upon May Day. 1

But besides these figures, which can be traced in mythology or history, and others who, though all written record of them has perished, are obviously of the same character, there are numerous beings who suggest a different origin from that of the Aryan-seeming fairies. They correspond to the elves and trolls of Scandinavian, or the silenoi and satyrs of Greek myth. Such is the Leprechaun, who makes shoes for the fairies, and knows where hidden treasures are; the Gan Ceanach, or "love-talker", who fills the ears of idle girls with pleasant fancies when, to merely mortal ideas, they should be busy with their work; the Pooka, who leads travellers astray, or, taking the shape of an ass or mule, beguiles them to mount upon his back to their discomfiture; the Dulachan, who rides without a head; and other friendly or malicious sprites. Whence come they? A possible answer suggests itself. Preceding the Aryans, and surviving the Aryan conquest all over Europe, was a large non-Aryan population, which must have had its own gods, who would retain their worship, be revered by successive generations, and remain rooted to the soil. May not these uncouth and half-developed

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[paragraph continues] Irish Leprechauns, Pookas, and Dulachans, together with the Scotch Cluricanes, Brownies, and their kin, be no "creations of popular fancy", but the dwindling figures of those darker gods of "the dark Iberians"?


227:1 The story, contained in the Book of the Dun Cow, is called The Phantom Chariot. It has been translated by Mr. O’Beirne Crowe, and is included in Miss Hull's Cuchulinn Saga.

228:1 See Elton, Origins of English History, pp. 269-271.

228:2 Caius Julius Solinus, known as Polyhistor, chap. XXIV.

229:1 It is appended to his translation of the tale of the Exile of the Children of Usnach in Atlantis, Vol. III.

231:1 See Cusack's History of Ireland, pp. 160-16a.

231:2 I.e. from Heaven.

232:1 Thomas D'Arcy M’Gee: Poems, p. 78, "The Gobhan Saer".

233:1 Larminie: West Irish Folk-Tales, pp. 1-9.

237:1 Pronounced Ildāna.

238:1 It is told in Rhys's Hibbert Lectures, pp. 314-317.

239:1 For still other folk-tale versions of this same myth see Curtin's Hero Tales of Ireland.

241:1 A Donegal story, collected by Mr. David Fitzgerald and published in the Revue Celtique, Vol. IV, p. 177.

241:2 The paper is called "Sea-Magic and Running Water".

242:1 Moore: Folklore of the Isle of Man.

242:2 See an article in the Dublin University Magazine for June, 1864.

243:1 The story is among those told by Lady Wilde in her Ancient Legends of Ireland, Vol. I, pp. 77-82.

244:1 Dublin University Magazine, June, 1864.

244:2 Pronounced Cleena.

244:3 Pronounced Evin.

246:1 See Fitzgerald, Popular Tales of Ireland, in Vol. IV of the Revue Celtique.

246:2 Dublin University Magazine, June, 1864.

247:1 For stories of these two Norman-Irish heroes, see Crofton Croker's Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland.

Next: Chapter XVI. The Gods of the Britons