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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 5750 times)
Crissy Herrell
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Posts: 3407

« Reply #270 on: February 22, 2009, 12:56:18 am »

Beyond. In Dr. Maiden's Ossian and the Clyde we read, "When the warrior, who was also a hunter, reposed, his dog was laid beside him on the left, as if waiting his summons to attend his master on fields of air beyond the verge of earth--like Oscar's at Glenree, and like Cuthullin's by Lake Lego." And, yet, in the Songs of Selma, one mourns forth--"No more shall he hear thy voice, no more awake at thy call. When shall it be morn in the grave to bid the slumberer awake?" In the Chapter on "Superstitions" are references to the ghost belief of other days.

In the account of the Land of Youth, given by the heathen Fenian Oisin to St. Patrick--when the hero was carried off from the field of battle by the golden-haired fairy Niamh--the region was divided into states under sovereigns, as in the Land of the Living. It lay beneath the waves in the West, in a lovely climate.

How easy it was in so blessed a place to lose ideas of time! When Oisin obtained leave from his beautiful captor to revisit earth, he alluded to the rapidity of time passed in this retreat by his three months' imprisonment--

"'Three months!' replied the Fair, 'three months alone;
Know that three hundred years have roll'd away
Since at my feet my lovely phœnix lay."

In Dodsley's fairy collection, one King Porsuma was carried off by a Zephyr--the princess taking him for a phœnix, and conveying him, as in the case of Oisin, to Thierna-na-Oge, the paradise of eternal youth.

Oisin had a fanciful description of his happy home--

"You shall obtain the diadem of the King of the Land of Youth,
Which he never gave to any person beneath the sun;
It shall shield you both by night and day,
In battle, conflict, and hard struggle.
You shall get one hundred satin shirts,
One hundred cows, one hundred calves;
One hundred sheep with fleeces of gold,
And one hundred precious stones not found in the world. p. 292
You shall have one hundred merry young maidens,
Bright and shining like the sun;
Who excel in shape, form, and features,
And whose voices are sweeter than the melody of birds," &c.

Then there was Flath-innis, the Island of the Good, which word is still the Irish for Heaven. An old Gaelic poem had this description of it--

"The Isle spread large before him like a pleasing dream of the soul, where distance fades not on the sight, where nearness fatigues not the eye. It had its gently sloping hills of green, nor did they wholly want their clouds. But the clouds were bright and transparent, and each involved in its bosom the source of a stream; a beauteous stream, which, wandering down the steep, was like the faint notes of the half-touched harp to the distant ears. The valleys were open and free to the ocean; trees, laden with leaves, which scarcely waved to the slight breeze, were scattered on the green declivities and rising ground. The rude winds walked not on the mountains; no storm took its course through the sky. All was calm and bright. The pure sun of autumn shone from his blue sky on the fields. He hastened not to the West for repose, nor was he seen to rise from the East. He sits in his middle height, and looks obliquely on the noble Isle. In each valley is its slow, moving stream. The pure waters swell over the banks, yet abstain from the fields. The showers disturb them not, nor are they lessened by the heats of the sun. On the rising hills are the halls of the departed--the high-roofed dwellings of the heroes of old."

In the tale of the Voyage of Condle the Hunchback, a wise woman sings thus to him, as translated from Irish a French author--

"Tu éprouves, a cause de moi, du plaisir.
Sur les vagues, ton chagrin serait oublié,
Si, sur la barque de verre, nous arrivions;
Si nous avions atteint la cité divine de victorieux."


p. 293

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