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in the cornfields and the young women like this here in all Ivebawns. On the low table in the centre hagh, nor on the islands,, nor have I were large flasks and jars of pottery heard reports of any such in O'Donoand leather, and even a small barrel van's country beyond. My brother of shining wood, cunningly hooped, bore his spears through that land, and the motley harvest of many wrecks. he brought on his return no high opinDrinking essels of glass, of horn, of ion at all of the women. And if what metal and of shells were strewn here, you sing of is what is in your mind, and on the floor beside the men. Of and nowhere else, I will have you tell these latter the meaner sort were fast
me so." locked in drunken slumber. The row- The wandering man stroked the bar ers from Teige's boat had their way of his harp with his ringed fingers, and to bemused dreamland still to make. smiled wisely into the eyes of Teige. They were stretched on their bellies, “It is not I who will be heard singing for the most part with elbows propped, of Ivehagh," he said, “or of yon paltry and bands folded over the drinking islands, much less of the O'Donovan's mugs before them, and chins upon land of misery and swinish violence. these bands. Even when they were In all these darkened parts there is no lifting the drink to their lips, their man but you that I have seen worthy eyes were fixed upon Teige in his blue to listen to a poem of politeness and mantle, and upon the stranger in the high feeling. And therefore how will chimney-corner beyond him.
their women be better than themThis new comer, a man of years, selves? But you are born out of your short and lean and dryly dark of place here, in these poor surroundaspect, wore the simple balf-gown and ings.” tunic of the humblest of his class. The Teige's wide brow narrowed itself garments were worn and faded, and in frowning lines, and he lifted his the bands wound round his thin old head. The bard put out a hand to legs were little better than rags. But restrain him, and mixed oil with his there were rings upon his fingers, as voice. they moved among the strings of the "It is no belittling of you to speak harp on his knee; and when he held thus,” he urged. “The fame of Ballyback his head, and fixed his black eyes devlin is very well known to me, as a upon the candles guttering in their castle which has needed only such a sconces on the wall above him, he had head as the saints have given it now, the face of a proud man, who might to force itself upon the fears of princes, have sung to kings.
and loom darkly in the dreams of “The song of the young woman!” kings. And I bless the exceeding good repeated Teige. He half closed his fortune which bent my steps hither.—”. eyes, the more fully to understand the “But it is of the young woman that charm of what the bard sang, and I would be hearing,” broke in the swung his head to the rhythm and chief, with sharpness. “I know my beat with his thick fingers on his own worth very well, and do not need chin.
to be told it by my guests. But about “It is a noble poem.” He spoke her merits, the warmth of your words again when the minstrel's thin voice stirs my mind, and I have to ask you was silenced. And will it be what if she is alive, and has a name and a you imagined in your own thoughts, or country, or have you eaten up my do you know that there is such a young time with visions out of your own woman? It is your word that her eyes head?” are like the planets of a harvest night, The bard sighed softly, even while and that her high bosom is whiter than he stole glances at Teige's huge arms the gull's wing, and that her walking and shoulders, and the weapon at his is to be compared with the tread of belt, and the fighting men on the floor the red deer in the glen. There are no in the shadows behind it.
“How should I dare to sing any false last. "We are the people of the Coast thing at your fireside?" he replied. “It of White Foam; we are born on the would work a great wrong to your hos- sea, and we wage war from our boats. pitality, and I am a humble man You O'Sullivans are not of the water, whose life is spent in the exercise of and you would have no comprehension gratitude. The subject of my poor of such matters." poem, though it lifts itself in my The stranger lifted his head and esteem since it has your praise-is a wagged it. “There is no kinsman of short-veiled woman of my own people. mine who is not more at home on the It is Grace O'Sullivan that I sing of- waves than in his own bed.” the unequalled daughter of a kinsman “But you yourself,” said Teige; "it of mine, the matchless jewel of a fam- is my meaning that you would not be a ily whose women shine in Tiobrad like sea-going man." gems upon a monarch's crown. And "These are my years of decay and what I sang was but a partial rumor, calm,” replied the other, "and I pass a faint, distant little echo, of the won- them best on land. But when the fire derful truth. But you will have been of youth was in me I loved the water hearing often of the women of the like a fish. With my two hands-O'Sullivan. Our very name, "eye of before they bore these rings which hosthe sun," gleams radiantly from the pitable lords bestow upon me now for sweet faces of our mothers and sisters, my small skill in entertainment-I and
have brought a boat of eight fron “But this young woman," interrupted Inverdurrus, past whirlpool and Teige,-"what will be the name of sunken crag, through tempest and her father, and his country?”
high-rushing waves, to within sight of "He is styled Hugh O'Sullivan, of this headland which owns you for its Inverdurrus. His castle is seen from lord." the sea, a lofty fortress under the
“This is very good news for me," shadow of a black mountain, beside the remarked Teige. He rose on the word leap of a grey stream. It is of these to his feet, with a resolute upward falling waters that I sang
spring of a strong man intent upon
deeds. At his gesture, and the look When the sun his rounded bow of colors
on his face, the waking men leaped Bends against the foaming sheet of mist, from the floor, and crowded forward. In thy glance a purer radiance
"To you, Flann, and you, Manus," and the rest."
Teige ordained, “I give the charge of The bard had picked some chords this guest of mine. You are to keep upon his harp, and made offer to sing drink from your lips and sleep from the lines once again, but Teige held your eyelids, till the hour after the up a hand to stop him.
dawn. He is not to be denied sleep “And this Hugh,” he pursued the if he will take it, but you will not suftheme, “is he a chieftain of much fer him to stir beyond the inner gate. valor and power? Would he have the And at that hour I will be roused, and victory over me, if we met with our with me every man in Ballydevlin, for forces in combat?"
there is a great feat which I will perThe bard smiled doubtfully. “I form.” would give no man the victory over The bard of the O'Sullivans had risen you," he made answer, with caution; as well. The harp trembled in his “without doubt you would exceed hand, and his small old knees shook Hugh in a slight measure, but he is a together. “I cling to the skirt of your great and redoubtable chieftain, the hospitality, O'Mahony!" his alarmed terror of Tiobrad.”
voice quavered. Teige gazed attentively at the little Teige smiled with broad graciousman in silence for a time. “Your judg- ness upon him. “No single grey hair ment has no large value," he said at of yours shall be stroked awry. I will
be having you bear me company, as if a spur of green-clad land spread itself you were the most favored of my own outward to the sea, and hung above men. The service you shall render me the breakers' line of foam. The vessel is very great. I am a young man, and had entered upon calm water; all about I am in the first hours of my lordship. it, save at the entrance in its wake, tall The drunken people from my father's cliffs reared themselves, the homes of burial are not yet awake, but I will not countless sea-fowl, whose screams and sleep in a naked bed until I have flutterings filled the air. It was the announced myself to other princes and hour before the setting of the sun. chieftains by an achievement worthy “But I do not see the lofty fortress of my high spirit.”
of your kinsman Hugh,” pursued “But age is heavy on me,” pleaded Teige. “And the leap of the grey the stranger, with perplexed eyes. "It stream-the ‘foaming sheet of misť is a burden and an encumbrance that that your poem celebrated-it is I would be; in any warlike adventure, nowhere visible to me.” My legs are weak underneath me; I The large sail had been suffered to cannot move along with strong men drop from the mast. Some of the men in the marching.”
held their paddles already in the water, “You shall be taking your ease, and looked inquiringly to their chief. seated on soft skins in my big vessel,” “It will be very bad for you,” Teige replied Teige calmly. “No task shall said, speaking downward over bis be laid upon you, or aught required of shoulder to the little man bent upon you save your counsel. The man who
the skins, “to be unable to find your has brought a boat of eight from Inyer kinsman's castle, even now while your durrus hither in his youth can bring a eyesight remains to you, because when boat of twelve hence to Inverdurrus in
I shall have lifted the eyes out from the seed-time of his life. He will be
your head, then it is still less likely having it all in his mind.”
that you will ever be able to come The O'Sullivan man gazed hard about upon it in your wanderings.” him, and bit his lip, seeking for words. The bard gave a shivering groan. "But is such great haste becoming to “We are close upon it,” he murmured you?” he ventured at last to ask.
hoarsely. “Bid the rowers push across "I cannot tarry,” said Teige with to the north. It is on the other side." decision. "In two days more I should Obedient to the signal, the vessel be having the new moon upon my back, veered, and crept slowly across the and that would be evil fortune for gloomy face of lovar. The low-lying me-without doubt for you also.”
greenland waxed in size as the invad
ers began to round it. Then its slope III.
unfolded to their vision—a shepherd's "It is indeed a higher mountain than field inset upon the crags, stretching any in my country, or within the sight gently forward to the strand. A narof our people. You have not deceived row vertical riband of moisture on the me at least upon this matter.”
black rocks behind caught the glimmer Teige, leaning upon his axe, stood of the sinking sun. upright in the prow of his large boat. "In the great heat and dryness the The stranger the O'Sullivans, stream has failed,” sighed the bard, crouched upon the skins at his feet, in a low, husky voice. seemed shrunken and smaller for the Teige, gazing intently upon the prosvoyage of two days. He held his head pect, saw now on the upper part of the above the side of the vessel, and stared slope, built in part against the rocks, before him with glassy eyes.
a kind of small house, piled loosely of The mountain of lovar rose grimly stones without any binding of lime. from the dark water, black and
It was of the height of two floors, and straight, three arrow-flights away. its walls showed only slits of an arm's At its' base, On the farther side, breadth instead of windows.
“And will that be the castle—the shallows, and then rested upon the stronghold of the great and redoubt- sands underneath. able chieftain, the terror of Tiobrad?” "Tarther to the north there is an demanded Teige, with a curling lip. open channel,” called out the old man. "Is it my eyes that are in fault?-for "You cannot come to dry land there." they reveal to me merely a shepherd's “It is the great chieftain, Hugh hut. I will be just to you; I will ask O'Sullivan of Inverdurrus, that do my men what it is they behold.” be seeking,” cried Teige, “and if I can
The man of the O'Sullivans bent his come to the sight of him, it is not head, and struck it despairingly upon water to the armpit that will keep us the boat's side. Then, upon a thought, apart.” he lifted it.
"I am of that name," shouted back “Oh, woe! woe!” he moaned. “The the other; "but I am no chieftain, but fierce O'Moriartys will have been at simply a small man of the fishing and their bloody work again. In
my sundry sheep. It will not be worth father's father's time 'tis known that any armed man's while to wet himself they descended upon us, and wrought for me, much less the commander of great havoc in all this country. And a host. You are very welcome to come now it is plain they have come once dry, and to please yourself with all I more, and put Inverdurrus to the sack, have." and levelled the noble fortress, and The men with the paddles had pulled without doubt slain many of the peo- the boat off, and now by the old man's ple of my blood. Ob then, the valiant guiding hand they made another Hugh, the courageous and magnani- course, and came up at the side of a mous chieftain, is he indeed no more? large stone. And Grace, the light of our eyes, the Teige, lifting his foot over the prosblossom of the beautiful spring upon trate, huddled form of the bard, leaped our ancient stem, is she also gone from on to the land. Then, turning, he us? Oh, heaven's blight on those foul stooped and seized the crouching minsavages, the O’Moriartys! May the strel by the collar of his shirt, and by forked lightning of the black sky the force of his arm lifted him out of descend on them! May the saints' the boat. The little man, choking and loathliest murrain devour them!” abashed, hung his head upon his
He had raised his thin voice high in breast. sudden imprecation, and made it shake "You are kindly welcome,” the shepwith the fervor of his wrath; but now, herd of Inverdurrus repeated, with a at a wave of Teige's hand and a glance courteous inclination, drawing nearer. into his face, silence fell upon him. He Teige looked upon him with surprise. dropped back on the skins and grov- Although his garments were those of a elled among them,
slave, he bore himself with dignity. “Even the O'Moriarty is not with- “I am greatly beholden to you," out mercy in his bosom,” said Teige, Teige made answer. “If it is not a with tightened lines about his mouth. rudeness in me, you have a speech and “He has left some one alive upon the a behavior which do not fit your rock."
place.” The figure of an old man, meanly "It is the place of my own choosing," clad but erect, could be seen moving Hugh replied, “and I have pleasure in down the slope to the strand. He it. No lord molests me here, and I am halted at a little distance from the a free man to live my life. I am so water, and shaded his eyes with his lacking in manly qualities that bloodhand, against the glare of the western shed is hateful to me. It was my missky.
chance to be born without the desire The rowers pushed forward, watch- to put my foot on any man's neck, or ing him curiously. The boat's bottom to drive his cattle away, or to make crushed its way over the reeds of the him suffer in any fashion. Yet a stub
bornness was in my blood, so that I The flush still crimsoned Teige's could not delight in calling another my face, but his voice was softened and master, and cringing to him and doing low. “You could not in politeness ask his bidding, whether he were prince of me my name, but I will offer it to in his fortress or abbot in his cloister. you. I am Teige, son of Diarmaid, These are the misfortunes of my char- son of Conogher Fionn, of the People acter. They bring me to what you of the Bridge, and in my own right behold. Yet I am not without food Lord of Ballydevlin.
And if you to offer you and your people, both speak the harsh word, I will go peacewhite meats and flesh, and witbal fully now in my boat, and take my men strong drink to uphold the stomach. and return to my own place, and come Spanish wines I have none, for I am near you no more. But if you have so strange and outlandish a person another word for me, I will stay, and that I procure no ships to be wrecked I will ask you now for the gift of your on my rocks. And so I crave that you daughter in marriage.” and your company will follow me.” The father observed his guest nar
Teige pulled at his soft beard in med- rowly, with doubt in his glance. "You itation. “I have with me a kinsman have not seen the colleen," he said. of yours," he said thoughtfully. “It “You know of her only by the report was in my mind that he had done me a of Tiarnan here,-and he is not to be mischief, but now my thoughts turn believed in by any prudent man.” a little toward another opinion.".
"Beyond doubt he is a strong liar," The bard shamefacedly lifted his Teige admitted, and they both looked head. His hands he hid under the at the bard. “Yet I have my own folds of his short cloak.
belief in this matter," the young man "I know him and his rings of base went on. “I know that it is good for metal very well,” remarked Hugh, me to wish for your daughter." gravely surveying the minstrel. “It is As he spoke he pointed upward to the Tiarnan Bladair (the flatterer), that pale, vague, fleecy crescent in the you have in your train. He also is ashen sky, above the glow of sunset. welcome here. His falsehoods and his "When my eyes came upon that new vanities do not win him friendships moon, and I beholding it face to face, as he grows in years, but they are in there was nothing in my mind but his nature, and I am not his judge. If thoughts of your daughter. It is plain he has wrought you evil, I as his kins- enough, then, that I must ask for her, man will intercede for him. It will and desire her above all things." not be for the first time."
"You have the thoughts of a young Teige's eye roved over the thin trick- man,” said the father, still gravely ling line of ooze upon the cliff in the regarding him. “Yet it may be that distance, and the poor house reared it is as well to be ruled by a woman against the rocks. His ruddy big face as by a moon. Perhaps, indeed, it is fushed a deeper red under the impulse the same thing. For Grania governs of some thought which tugged upon me, and draws me whither she will, bis tongue. From the land his gaze even as the tide is led forward, and wandered to the sky, and he started held, and sent away. But if I would at what he saw.
not be choosing to part with my daugh"You have a daughter?” he asked ter? It would be very black and suddenly, with abrupt boldness.
empty for me here, alone with the The venerable man looked at him, sheep and the shellfish and the gulls. and at the boat behind him, in turn.
And, moreover, if when she beheld you Then he bent a prolonged, searching she laughed in your face? I cannot gaze upon the averted face of his
tell what a girl's thoughts would be, loose-tongued kinsman.
to look at you.” “How is it possible that I should
Teige pulled upon his beard, and deny it?” he made answer finally. smiled ruefully, and glanced upward