Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/356

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342 The European Sky -God.

story beside an important Irish parallel, existing in two versions. The older and simpler version occurs in the Coir Anmann, and is translated by Dr. Whitley Stokes.^ It may be summarised as follows. It had been foretold that one of the sons of Daire Doimthech would obtain the kingship of Ireland, and that his name would be Lugaid. Hence his five sons were all called Lugaid. Now the Assembly of Teltown was held by Daire, and his sons raced their horses there. When Daire enquired of the druid, which son would obtain the kingship after himself, the answer was : ' A fawn with golden sheen will come into the assembly, and the son who shall take the fawn will take the kingship after thee.' In due course the golden fawn appeared and was pursued by D^ire's sons, till a magical mist separated them from the men of Erin. It was Lugaid Laigde, otherwise known as Macniad, who actually caught the fawn. The brothers were now overtaken by a snow-storm ; but one of them found a great house with fire and food in abundance. It was kept by a horrible hag, who bade him share her couch. When he refused to do so, she declared : * Thou hast severed from thee sovranty and kingship.' After this the other brothers arrived in turn and were severally greeted by the hag. Last of all came Lugaid Laigde, who had caught and devoured the fawn. ' Then,' says the chronicler, ' Lugaid of the Fawn goes with her into the house for sake of food and ale. Howbeit the hag went into the couch of white bronze and Macniad followed her ; and it seemed to him that the radiance of her face was the sun rising in the month of May, and her frag- rance was likened by him to an odorous herb-garden. And after that he mingled in love with her, and she said to him : " Good is thy journey, for / am the Sovranty, and thou shalt obtain the sovranty of Erin." ' On the morrow the brothers found themselves alone on a plain,

1 lb. April 23, 1892, p. 399.