THE HIGH DEEDS OF FINN AND OTHER BARDIC ROMANCES OF IRELAND
THE HIGH DEEDS OF FINN AND OTHER BARDIC ROMANCES OF IRELAND
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A GREAT READ FOR YOUNG PEOPLE INTERESTED IN MYTHOLOGY AND ADVENTURE!
Herein you will find 20 tales, from the Emerald Isle. There are seven bardic romances like, THE CHILDREN OF LIR, THE SECRET OF LABRA, THE VENGEANCE OF MESGEDRA and five more besides. Also contained herein are thirteen chapters, each a tale in itself, tracing the life of Finn mac Cumhal from boyhood through adulthood including the THE BIRTH OF OISÍN and his VISIT TO THE LAND OF YOUTH only to return to find that his father, Finn, had fallen at the battle of Brea three hundred years before.
The two most conspicuous figures in ancient Irish legend are Cuchulain, who lived in the reign of Conor mac Nessa immediately before the Christian era, and Finn son of Cumhal, who appears in literature as the captain of a military order devoted to the service of the High King of Ireland during the 3rd century. As such, this volume is mainly concerned with the exploits of Fin mac Cumhal and the Fianna of Erinn.
The 16 Georgian style, color plates by Stephen Reid (1873 1948) portray scenes from these tales and are exquisite and sumptuous in their color and detail.
The romantic tales retold here belong neither to the category of folk-lore nor of myth, although most contain elements of both. They belong to the bardic literature of ancient Ireland, a literature written with an artistic purpose by men who possessed in the highest degree the native culture of their land and time.
Once again, youre invited to curl up with a unique piece of ancient Irish folklore and let the Gift of the Irish enchant and captivate you. This volume has not been seen in print for over one hundred yearsdont miss this golden opportunity.
Excerpt from THE HIGH DEEDS OF FINN AND OTHER BARDIC ROMANCES OF IRELAND
CHAPTER III - THE SECRET OF LABRA
In very ancient days there was a King in Ireland named Labra, who was called Labra the Sailor for a certain voyage that he made. Now Labra was never seen save by one man, once a year, without a hood that covered his head and ears. But once a year it was his habit to let his hair be cropped, and the person to do this was chosen by lot, for the King was accustomed to put to death instantly the man who had cropped him. And so it happened that on a certain year the lot fell on a young man who was the only son of a poor widow, who dwelt near by the palace of the King. When she heard that her son had been chosen she fell on her knees before the King and besought him, with tears, that her son, who was her only support and all she had in the world, might not suffer death as was customary. The King was moved by her grief and her entreaties, and at last he consented that the young man should not be slain provided that he vowed to keep secret to the day of his death what he should see. The youth agreed to this and he vowed by the Sun and the Wind that he would never, so long as he lived, reveal to man what he should learn when he cropped the King's hair.
So he did what was appointed for him and went home. But when he did so he had no peace for the wonder of the secret that he had learned preyed upon his mind so that he could not rest for thinking of it and longing to reveal it, and at last he fell into a wasting sickness from it, and was near to die. Then there was brought to see him a wise druid, who was skilled in all maladies of the mind and body, and after he had talked with the youth he said to his mother,
"Thy son is dying of the burden of a secret which he may not reveal to any man, but until he reveals it he will have no ease. Let him, therefore, walk along the high way till he comes to a place where four roads meet. Let him then turn to the right, and the first tree that he shall meet on the roadside let him tell the secret to it, and so it may be he shall be relieved, and his vow will not be broken."
The mother told her son of the druid's advice, and next day he went upon his way till he came to four cross roads, and he took the road upon the right, and the first tree he found was a great willow-tree. So the young man laid his cheek against the bark, and he whispered the secret to the tree, and as he turned back homeward he felt lightened of his burden, and he leaped and sang, and ere many days were past he was as well and light hearted as ever he had been in his life.
Some while after that it happened that the King's harper, namely Craftiny, broke the straining-post of his harp and went out to seek for a piece of wood wherewith to mend it. And the first timber he found that would fit the purpose was the willow-tree by the cross roads. He cut it down, therefore, and took as much as would give him a new straining-post, and he bore it home with him and mended his harp with it. That night he played after meat before the King and his lords as he was wont, but whatever he played and sang the folk that listened to him seemed to hear only one thing, "Two horse's ears hath Labra the Sailor."
Then the King plucked off his hood, and after that he made no secret of his ears and none suffered on account of them thenceforward.
Table of Contents for THE HIGH DEEDS OF FINN AND OTHER BARDIC ROMANCES OF IRELAND
|Cois Na Teineadh (By The Fireside.)|
|Chapter I The Story Of The Children Of Lir|
|Chapter II The Quest Of The Sons Of Turenn|
|Chapter III The Secret Of Labra|
|Chapter IV King Iubdan And King Fergus|
|Chapter V The Carving Of Mac Datho's Boar|
|Chapter VI The Vengeance Of Mesgedra|
|Chapter VII The Story Of Etain And Midir|
|Chapter VIII How Ethne Quitted Fairyland|
|The High Deeds Of Finn|
|Chapter IX The Boyhood Of Finn Mac Cumhal|
|Chapter X The Coming Of Finn|
|Chapter XI Finn's Chief Men|
|Chapter XII The Tale Of Vivionn The Giantess|
|Chapter XIII The Chase Of The Gilla Dacar|
|Chapter XIV The Birth Of Oisín|
|Chapter XV Oisín In The Land Of Youth|
|Chapter XVI The History Of King Cormac|
|I The Birth Of Cormac|
|II The Judgement Of Cormac|
|III The Marriage Of King Cormac|
|IV The Instructions Of The King|
|V Cormac Sets Up The First Mill In Erinn|
|VI A Pleasant Story Of Cormac's Brehon|
|VII The Judgement Concerning Cormac's Sword|
|VIII The Disappearance Of Cormac|
|IX Description Of Cormac|
|X The Death And Burial Of Cormac|
|Notes On The Sources|
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