Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/161

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The European Sky -God. 149

foregoing tales. Fand, the wife of Manannan, when deserted by her husband, set her heart on Cuchulain. She sent Liban, wife of Labraid the Swift, to summon him to Magh Mell. Liban told Cuchulain that Labraid would agree to the union, if Cuchulain would help him in battle against Senach the Unearthly and Eochaid Juil and Yeogan the Stream. Cuchulain thereupon bade Laegh his charioteer go with Liban to discover what manner of place Magh Mell might be. Laegh found that he needed Liban's protection on the journey : indeed, we read that ' she set him upon her shoulder.' At last they came over against an island, to which they crossed in a boat of bronze. There they saw Fand in the palace of Labraid. On his return to Cuchulain Laegh described the palace thus :

' On its east side are standing

Three bright purple trees ^ {bile) Whence the birds' songs, oft ringing The king's children please.

From a tree in the fore-court

Sweet harmony streams ; It stands silver, yet sunlit

With gold's glitter gleams.

Sixty trees' swaying summits

Now meet, now swing wide; Rindless food for thrice hundred

Each drops at its side.

Near a well by that palace

Gay cloaks spread out lie, Each with splendid gold fastening

Well hooked through its eye.

They who dwell there, find flowing

A vat of good ale : 'Tis ordained that for ever

That vat shall not fail.

^ Mr. Leahy, whose metrical rendering I quote, would emend the MS. tri bile do chorcor glain, ' three trees of purple glass,' into tri bile do chorcor glan, 'three trees of bright purple.' But cp. the crystal tree of Lough Erne {infra p. 169).