صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Its storm for us shall howl no more,

Our time on gloomy Moyle is ended.
Three hundred sunless summers past,

We leave at length this loveless billow;
Where oft we felt the icy blast,

And made the shelving crag our pillow.
Still on our lingering night of pain,

Far distant beams the dawn of gladness;
Light ease beside the western main

Awaits our long accustomed sadness.
Long must we haunt that billowy shore,

Ere breaks for us the day beam splendid,
But here our numbered years are o'er,

Our time on gloomy Moyle is ended. After that time the children of Lir left the Sea of Moyle, and flew until they came to the most westerly part of the ocean. They were there for a long time, suffering all kinds of hardship, until they happened to see a man, a tiller of the ground, who used often to watch them when they came near the shore, and took great pleasure in listening to their music. He told the people on the coast of what he had seen, and spread the tidings of the prodigy far and near. However, the same tale remains to be repeated, for the children of Lir never suffered so much before or after as they did on that very night, after the husbandman had seen them; the frost was so keen, and the snow coming so thick upon the wind. The waters all congealed into ice, so that the woods and the sea were of one color. Their feet stuck to the ground, leaving them unable to move, and they began to utter the most lamentable cries, while Fingula

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AFTER the battle of Tailltean, the Tuatha Dana

ans assembled together from the remotest cors ners of the five provinces of Ireland, in order to make arrangements for the future government of the isle. All agreed that it was better the whole country should be united under one monarch, chosen by common consent, than to continue subject to the interminable dissensions and oppressive imposts, arising from the rivalry of a number of petty covereigns. Six candidates aspired to this supreme power, namely, Bogh Dearg, or Red Bow, of the tribe of the Deasies; Ibbreac, or the Many Colored, from the Red Stream ; Lir; Fiuvar the Royal; Mioyar of the Great Burthen, so surnamed from his prodigious strength; and Aongusa Og, or young Oneas. All the rest of the Tuatha Danaans, except the six candidates, then went into council, and the determination was, to give the kingdom to Bogh Dearg, for three reasons. The first reason was, that his father had been a good man in his time; the second, that he was a good man himself; and the third, that he came of the best blood in the nation.

When Lir heard that the crown was to be given to Bogh Dearg, indignant at the choice, he returned to his own home, without waiting to see the new king inaugurated, or letting any of the assembly know that he was going, for he was convinced that the choice of the people would have fallen upon himself. Bogh Dearg, however, was proclaimed in due form, by the unanimous consent of the assembly, none of the five rejected candidates opposing his election, except Lir alone.

The ceremonies being concluded, the assembled tribes called on the new monarch to lead them in pursuit of Lir.

“Let us burn and spoil his territory," said they. “Why dares he, who never had a king in his family, presume to slight the sovereign we have chosen ?"

“We will follow no such counsel,” replied Bogh Dearg. “His ancestors and himself have always kept the province in which he lives in peace, and it will take nothing from my sovereignty over the Tuatha Danaans, to allow him still to hold his own possessions there."

The assembly, not fully satisfied with this reply, debated much on the course they had best take; but after much discussion, the question was allowed to rest for a time. Meanwhile an incident occurred which pressed heavily on the mind of Lir. His wife, whom he tenderly loved, fell ill and died in three nights. The report of her death, which was looked upon as a grievous loss in her own country, soon spread all over Ireland. It reached at length the ears of Bogh Dearg, and of the princes and nobles who were at his palace.

“Now,” said the monarch, “if Lir were willing to

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accede to it, I could proposé a mode of redoubling the present friendship which I entertain for Lir. You all know that I have three daughters, the fairest in the kingdom, and I would praise them further, but that I am their father. I mean Aov, Aoife, and Alve, of whom Lir might choose which he pleased, to supply the place of his dead wife.”

The speech of the king circulated amongst the Tuatha Danaans, and all agreed that a messenger ought to be sent to Lir in order to propose the connection, with a suitable dowry for the bride. When the ambassador arrived at the palace of Lir, he found the latter willing to accept the proposal, and, accordingly, both returned together to the royal residence of Bogh Dearg, on the shores of Lough Derg, where they were received on the part of the Tuatha Danaans with all the acclamations that even a more popular prince could expect. All parties seemed to take an interest in promoting the union.

The three daughters were sitting on chairs richly ornamented, in a hall of their father's palace. Near them sat the queen, wife of Bogh Dearg. When Lir and the monarch entered, the latter directed his attention to the three princesses, and bade him choose which he would.

"I do not know which of the three to choose,” said Lir, “but the eldest is the most royal, and besides it is just that she should have precedence of the rest.”

“Then,” said the monarch, “ that is Aov." “Aov, then, I choose,” replied Lir.

The marriage was celebrated with the magnificence becoming the rank of the parties. They remained a fortnight in the palace of the monarch, after which they went to the residence of Lir, who gave a splendid banquet on his arrival. In the progress of time Aov had twins, a son and a daughter, who were named, the one Fingula, and the other Aodh, or Eugene. In her next confinement, she gave birth to two sons, to whom were given the names of Fiacra and Cornu, but died herself, in a few days after. Lir was exceedingly grieved at her death, and, only for the love he bore his children, would almost have wished to die along with her. The tidings reached the monarch, who, together with all his household, made great lamentations for his eldest daughter, grieving more especially for the affliction which it caused to Lir.

“Nevertheless," said the monarch, “what has occurred need not dissolve the connection between Lir and us, for he can, if he please, take my second daughter, Aoife, to supply her place.”

This speech, as was intended, soon found its way to Lir, who set out immediately for the palace of Bogh Dearg. The marriage was celebrated with the same splendor as on the former occasion, and Lir, after spending some time at the monarch's palace, returned to his house with Aoife, where he received her with all the love and honor which she could expect. For some time Aoife returned the same to him and to his children ; and indeed any person who once saw those children could not avoid giving them all the love which any creature could receive. Frequently the old monarch came to see them to Lir's

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