Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/158

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146 The European Sky -God.

Next for The Adventures of Connla} Connla of the Red Hair, son of Conn the Hundred-fighter, king of Ireland (122-157 A.D.), was once with his father on the hill of Uisnech, when he saw coming towards him a woman clothed in wondrous attire. She told him that she came from the land of the Ever-living Ones, where there was no death, but perpetual feasting and felicity. At this Conn asked with whom his son was speaking. The woman made answer in song :

' He speaks with a damsel young, beautiful, high-born, Who dies not nor grows old. I have loved Connla of the Red Hair, — I invite him to Magh Mell

[The Pleasant Plain], Where is a king victorious, everlasting, — a king who has caused in his

country neither grievance nor sorrow Since he seized on the throne.

Come to me, Connla of the Red Hair, thou whose neck hath two colours,

thou who hast the hue of flame. It is a yellow diadem that is thy due. Above thy purple face, — 'twill be the perpetual token of the royal dignity

of thy features. If thou hearkenest, never will be seen to wither — the youth of thy form, its

beauty Attractive for aye.'

Conn then turned to Coran his druid and asked him to sing spells against the woman. Coran did so, and she

^The Irish text of this tale was published with a glossary by Windisch Kurzgefasste irische Grammatik p. Ii8 iT. There are French translations by G. Dottin in the Revue de Chistoh'e des religions xiv. 64 ff., and by H. D'Arbois Vipopie celtique en Irlande Paris 1892 p. 385 ff. ; English versions by the Rev. Father MacSwiney in the Gaelic Journal ii. 307, by Lady Gregory Gods and Fighting Men p. 124 ff., and by J. Jacobs Celtic Fairy Tales London 1892 p. i ff. O'Curry Manuscript Materials p. 318 f. holds that the story of Connla was composed before 1000 A.D. : cp. Nutt Voyage of Bratt p. 146 ff. Prof. H. Zimmer in his ' Keltische Beitrage ii.' (Zeitschrift ftir deutsches AltertJuim xxxiii. 261 ff. ) refers the tale in its present form to the seventh century. [Prof. A. L. Brown Iwain 1903 regards it as belonging to an older stratum of the Otherworld visit than that of Bran. — A.N.] And Mr. J. Jacobs op. cit. p. 244 calls it ' the earliest fairy-tale of modern Europe. '