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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 7873 times)
Crissy Herrell
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« Reply #270 on: February 22, 2009, 12:56:33 am »

Many Celtic legends relate to a voyage in a glass ship. As Sophocles tells us, Orithyia was carried off by Boreas to the ancient garden of Apollo. A spirited translation of The Battle of Gabhra, by N. O'Kearney, affords English readers another picture of the Land of the Blessed.

"Tiro na n-Og is the most beautiful country that can be found,
The most productive now beneath the sun;
The trees are bending under fruit and bloom,
While foliage grows to the top of every bramble.
Wine and honey is abundant in it,
Consumption shall not waste you during life,
Neither shall you see death nor dissolution."

The distinguished historian, Lecky, has this allusion to another ancient fancy; saying, "Among the many half pagan legends that were connected with Ireland, during the Middle Ages, one of the most beautiful is that of the Islands of Life and of Death. In a certain lake in Munster, it is said there were two islands; into the first, Death could not enter, but age and sickness, and the weariness of life, and the paroxysms of fearful suffering were all known there, and they did their work, till the inhabitants, tired of their immortality, learned to look upon the opposite island as upon a haven of repose. They launched their barks upon the gloomy waters; they touched its shore, and they were at rest."

In Joyce's translation of Connla of the Golden Hair, the hero is tempted by the fairy in these words--

"I have come from the Land of the Living,--a land where there is neither death nor old age, nor any breach of law. The inhabitants of earth call us Aes-shee, for we have our dwellings within large, pleasant green hills. We pass our time very pleasantly in feasting and harmless amusements, never growing old; and we have no quarrels or contentions"

p. 294

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