Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/163

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The Etiropean Sky -God. 151

points that I should like to emphasize are the follow- ing :

(i) The Elysian palace has growing beside it a silver apple-tree {Bran), or a silver tree glittering in the sunlight like gold and surrounded by trees that drop 'rindless food' {Cuchulain).

(2) A silver branch from the Elysian tree is brought

to a king or a king's son {Bran) ; or at least an apple from the same tree is given to him iConnlci)}

(3) The hero mates with the Queen of Elysium and

so becomes its king {Bran, Connla, Oisin, Ctichiilain)?'

Bearing in mind these points, let us next pass in review sundry other tales in which the apple-tree and the silver branch reappear, though the actual mating of the hero with the Elysian queen is toned down into a matter of mere entertainment.

First among this later group will be the Adventures of Cormac? Cormac mac Airt, king of Ireland, was one May morning on the Mound of Tea in Tara, when a grey-haired warrior drew near, dressed in a shirt of gold

^ Cp. the golden apple seen by Oisin {supra p. 148), if not also the apple given by Eochu to Cuchulain which he was bidden to follow across the Plain of lU-Luck (Lady Gregory Cuchulain of Muirthemne p. 34, D'Arbois L4popie celtique p. 43).

■■^Cp. the marriage of Laegaire and Deorgreine {supra p. 150 n. l).

^A text and translation by Whitley Stokes were published in Stokes and Windisch Irische Texte iii. 183 ff. There is a French version by D'Arbois Cycle mythologique p. 326 ff., and an English version by Lady Gregory Gods and Fighting Men p. 115 ff. See also A. Nutt Voyage of Bran p. 189 ff., who regards the tale as due to some twelfth- or thirteenth-century story-teller embodying in his didactic narrative a genuinely archaic conception of Manannan's realm. Text and translation of a later version are given by S. H. O'Grady in the Transactions of the Ossianic Society for 1855 Dublin 1857 iii. 212 ff. This translation was abridged by Mr. Nutt for J. Jacobs More Celtic Fairy Tales London 1894 p. 204 ff.