Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/465

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The European Sky -God. 449

' Granya the Virgin,' with an Irish king and a tree. But a better parallel to the myth of Diarmuid and Grainne occurs in another tale edited by the same scholar, viz. The Adventures of the Children of the King of Norway : ^

Cod, eldest son of loruaidh king of Norway, who was great-grandson of Daire Red-green, once entered a cave leading to wonder-land. Here he found a lake out of which bright-white birds kept rising. Puzzled at the sight. Cod dived down into the lake and saw a beautiful girl resplendent with satin and gold and gems : she was whittling a white rod, the chips of which flew off and away in the form of birds. She gave her name as Grian Gmiis- sholais, ' Bright-faced Sun,' daughter of the King of the Forest of Wonders, and presented Cod with her own rod, bidding him whittle it for a while himself. As he did so, evil and feebleness of every kind ceased to affect him. He learnt from her that the King of the Forest possessed another such rod, but would not part with it for love or hatred or fear. Next morning, when the sun shone full, Grian showed Cod the way towards the Forest. On the outskirts of it he encountered three ugly black giants clad in the skins of wild-deer and roebuck. They told him that in the middle of it was a Tree of Virtue {Bile Buadhach) adorned with every colour and all the fruits of life : so marvellous was it that he who set eyes on it could hardly part from it for ever, and no man entering the Forest had ever come out again. Cod pressed on till he saw the Tree of Virtues {Bile na mBuadh) in the distance. But now there met him a band of thirteen headless men including a king- warrior, who told Cod that he was loUan, son of the King of Almain, and that his twelve comrades were his foster-brothers, children of the King of the Land-of-Snow.^ Love for the daughter of King Under- Wave had induced

Oi comes and puts hands and feet on her, bidding her take the boys at a year old to the king, tell her story before them, rub her hand on the stump of the tree, and so cure the king. She does so, and the tree falls off the king's foot. Next day he hangs the hag, and gives his estate to his daughter and her husband.

Mr. A. Nutt ib. p. 195 shrewdly suggests that there is here a cotitaminatio of the Virgin Mary and Grainne, the wife of Finn.

^ D. Hyde in Irish Texts Society London 1899 i. 50 ff.

^ A poem inserted in the text names the son of the King of Almaine ; Breasal the lively, of the rough words, the good son of the King of the Land- of-Snow ; Fiachadh and the furious Fionn, to whom women used to come on adventures ; Core and Cairbre the shouting ; Uaithne and the mighty Arthur, who gave not submission to heroes ; Laighne the Red and Tuireann ; Feachtna the White and Beinne. The princes are here twelve in number, and

2 F