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For past delights are all our store,
Though fostered once in regal splendor.
Let custom dull the edge of anguish,
By doom unrighteous, bound to languish. Leaving the Rock of the Seals, they alighted again on the waters of Moyle, where the sharp brine pierced them keenly, although they strove to keep their feet under their wings as closely as they could. They continued to suffer thus, until their feathers grew, and the wounds of their feet were healed. They used frequently to go as near the shore as they could, on that part of the Irish coast which looks towards Scotland, and every night they came together to Moyle, which was their constant place of rest. One day as they drew nigh the shore of Bama, to the north, they saw a number of chariots and horsemen, splendidly arrayed, with horses richly caparisoned, approaching from the west.
“Do you observe that brilliant company, you sons of Lir?” said Fingula.
“We know not who they are,” replied her brethren, “but they seem to be Irish; whether of the Sons of Mile, or the Tuatha Danaans, it is impossible for us to conjecture.”
They drew close to the shore, in order to observe more accurately. When the horsemen saw them coming, they hastened towards them, until they came within speaking distance. The persons of note who were amongst them were Aodh Aithiosatch, or Merry Hugh, and Feargus Fithcall (of the Complete Armor), the two sons of Bogh
Dearg the Monarch, and the third part of his body. guard. The children of Lir inquired how the Tuatha Danaans were, and especially Lir and Bogh Dearg, with their friends and dependants.
“They are all well in their respective homes,” replied the horsemen. “At present, it is true, they are in your father's palace, partaking of a splendid banquet, in health and joy, knowing no other want than that of your absence, and their ignorance of your place of abode, since you left the Lake of the Speckled Oak.” .
“Evil has been our life since then,” said Fingula, “for neither we nor any other creature, that we have heard of, ever suffered so much as we have done, since we came to the waters of Moyle"; and she uttered the following words :
We four are well,
Happy are they
Rich food and wine
While far away
We, who of yore
Now all our fare,
Our softest bed,
Oft have we laid
Now must we lie,
A pageant rare
Ah, mournful change!
O’er Moyle's dark tide,
Sharing no more
The welcome mild,
Lir's counsel meet,
The horsemen returned soon after to the house of Lir, and told the principal men of the Tuatha Danaans where they had seen the birds, and the dialogue they had held together.
“We cannot assist them,” they replied, “but we are well pleased to hear that they live, for they will be restored to their former shape, after a long time has elapsed.”
The children of Lir, meantime, reiurned northwards to the Sea of Moyle, where they remained until their time in that place had expired. Then Fingula spoke to her brothers, and said :
“It is time for us to depart from hence, for the period appointed for us to remain here is at an end”; and she added these verses :
At length we leave this cheerless shore,
Unblest by summer's sunshine splendid;
Its storm for us shall howl no more,
Our time on gloomy Moyle is ended.
We leave at length this loveless billow;
And made the shelving crag our pillow.
Far distant beams the dawn of gladness;
Awaits our long accustomed sadness.
Ere breaks for us the day beam splendid,
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 comforted, and strove to persuade them not to grieve, but in vain; and she repeated these lines :
Sad are my suffering brethren’s piercing cries,
This dreary night!
With ceaseless flight!
. Nor on the wintry shore Fresh water laves their plumes, nor bubbling fount is springing.
O thou dread Monarch, who to sea and coast
Their being gave,
Through the deep wave!
In thy great might arise,
“Brothers,” said Fingula, “confide in Him who made heaven, and the elements, the earth with all its fruit, and the sea with all its wonders, and you will find comfort and relief.”
“We do confide in him,” they answered.
“And I confide with you,” said Fingula, " in the only being who is full of knowledge and of pity." They remained on the Oraas Domhnan (Deep Seas) until their time was fulfilled, when Fingula said :
“It is time for us to go to Fioncha, where Lir and his people dwell, and our people also.”
“We are well content to do so,” replied they; and