Monday, March 28, 2011

THE THREE STORIES OF OISIN 3

Oisin many years later


When Oisin had fought his lifes battles and become the only survivor of the Battle of Gabra, Oisin M Fionn was taken over the Atlantic ocean by the Faery NIAMh to her home in the land of youth below the ocean waves.

He stayed there for 150 years* but desired to return to his home in Erinn where his youth and manhood had been spent.
Although Niamh gave her consent she wept when he mounted his white steed and warned Oisin that if his feet touched earth he would never retun to Tir na n Og again and that he would become weak and old.

But when Oisin arrived in Erinn ,the Heros of old were not remembered.

Almain lis the fortress was overgrown with thistles and weeds and moss covered the stones of the Fian Dunn.
The entrances that once shielded warriors from their foes were open and unguarded and now prayers were being said in bulidings of stone under a cross and a church spire.

At the pass of Wattles, he found St Patrick building a new church.
He was Cuma [sorry] and as he rode up the Glann a Smoll, a crowd of men were trying to raise a hugh stone on a waggon and asked his aid.
As He stooped to heave the stone to the wagon floor, the girth of his saddle snapped and Oisin fell to the ground.

The white steed of Niamh flew away and the old Hero Oisin m Fionn ,lay on the hillside, a feeble and weak old man.

They took him to the Baile a Cliath, the hill of wattles, now called Dublin city and St Patrick kept Oisin in his house.

St Patrick tried to make Oisin a christian,but Oisin remained true to his own beliefs and lamented the loss of the Heros .

St Patrick often got him to tell stories of the Fiann and their many battles and hunting chases, or of some romance or enchantments of druids.

Oisin did not like the poor food Patrick had as he had been used to great feis of venison from the deer that the Fian had baked between heated stones in an oven on the moor or hillside.

Oisin said they were bigger and better of size when the Foinn were in power and the christians did not believe him so he go a fellow, a gille to drive him out in the war chariot next day to a dallan [pillar stone] on Kildrare plain where he told the driver to dig out the earth at the south side of th pillar where was found a rusted large spear, the Dord Fionn,battle bugle of Fian and bog butter.

Oisin told the gille to sound the horn and when he did so he was terrified at the sound.
Distant thunder rumbled and a flood of furious birds ran toward them. Their wings spread and legs like those of battle steeds.

The hound shivered on his chain.

'Give him a piece of butter and untie him', says Oisin and now the hound is barking and welping and charging the birds.
The hound seized one of the bird and the rest were fast flying to the 4 winds.

The hound than came at the men with mad eyes and his jaws open like a cave.
'Hold the spear level and let him fall on it', says Oisin and so it happened.

When the battle was done, the gilli took the leg and thigh of the great bird and returned with old Oisin to Ath Claith in the war chariot.

At Glann a Smoll [glen of the thrushes] they gatheerd the berrys of the quicken [rowan]tree and at Izods Tower, an ivy leaf.
These large old items convinced the church household staff that Oisin knew what he was talking about.

* the reference to Oisin living in Tir na Og for 300 years is the time of a derbfine of 4 generations and would give the age of Fionn 300 years before St Patrick came to Eire as being about 132 BC.



These legends were told from the mouth of an old woman who had no books and had in her mind a great deal of information on legends and sacred historys and heathen mythology.

Many of the tales were told to her by a wandering peddlar who was poet and an usurer.
He had bad manners around the small farmers, tradesmen and comfortable peasant who provide him resting places throughout the country.

Dhonocha Rua was his name.

He was tried for his life by the summer azzizes at Wexford in 1775 for his poetry and pamphlets but he was acquited with the help of George Ogle and so continued his wandering life.

The four lands after death

1. From clay to Faery

2. Many Colored Land [fire]

3. Land of Wonder

4. Land of Promise



presented by
Judi Donnelly
copyright March 26 2011

sourse : Legendary Fcitions of The Irish Celts ,Patrick Kennedy, 1865, Mcmillan and Co., London

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