Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/454

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43^ The European Sky -God.

quicken-tree baited with a holly berry, and how he encountered and bound three Green Champions from Muir n-Iocht,^ whom Finn had sent to arrest him — we need not speak in detail. But when he reached the cantred of Ui Fhiachrach, i.e. the ' Hy Fiachrach ' of the Moy, who were in the counties of Sligo and Mayo, he went to the SearbJian Lochlannach, the ' Surly one of Loch- lann,' and got from him license to hunt, provided that he abstained from his berries.

Meantime Finn had fallen in with two men, whose fathers had been at the slaying of Finn's father Cumhal. These men now wished to join the Fianna. Finn allowed them to do so, but demanded as an eric, or compensation for his father's death, either the head of a warrior or a fist-ful of the berries of the quicken-tree of Dubhros. Oisin explained to them that the warrior in question was Diarmuid, and further told them all about the said quicken-tree.

A certain dispute had once arisen between two daugh- ters of Manannan, Aoife who loved the son of Lughaidh, i.e. sister's son to Finn, and Aine who loved Lir of Sith Fhionnchaidh. Each of them said that her own man was the better hurler. This led to a great hurling- match between the Fianna and the Tuatha De Danann on a plain by Loch Lein. For three days and three nights they played without either side scoring a goal ; and then the Tuatha De Danann took their departure. Now the Tuatha De Danann had brought with them from the Land of Promise crimson nuts, catkin apples, and fragrant berries. And, as they passed through the Hy Fiachrach, one of these berries fell from them, and grew into a quicken-tree of marvellous virtue : no sickness

^ S. H. O'Grady in Transactions of the Ossianic Society for i8^S "i- ^2 n. I understands ' the Iccian Sea, so called probably from the Roman town in Gaul called Portus Iccius.' Lady Gregory, however, prints Muir- na-locht ; and the followers of the Green Champions are called ' the men of Lochlann ' (O'Grady op. cit. p. 93).