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A Dheirdre, dè an fios a bh’agad? An robhO Deirdre, what did you know? Did you
Fios agad air an fhàisneachadh ‘n Dhraoidh Cathbhadh?Know about the prophecy of the Druid Cathbad?
Dè smaoinich thu? ‘N do ghabh thu uabhas aig anWhat did you think? Did you take horror at that
Smaoin sin gum millteadh rìoghachd mhòr air do shon…?Idea that a great kingdom would be ruined on your account…?
An iarr thu an dàn a dh’fhàisnich Cathbhadh?Did you want the fate that Cathbad foretold?
Och, Eilèin nam Gàidheal, ‘s gann gun rugadh tu 'n uairAlas, O Helen of the Gaels, hardly were you born
Gun d’ dh’aithris Cathbhadh ‘n targradh: bhitheadh tusaWhen Cathbad reported the prophecy: you would be
‘Nad nighean fhèin a b’ mhaisich’ uile h-ÈireannThe very fairest daughter of all Ireland
Ach rachadh rìghrean ‘s tighearnan ri cogadhBut kings and lords would go to war
Air do shon, dhòirteadh mòran fhuil air do shon,Because of you, much blood would be spilt because of you,
Is sparrtadh an triùir ghaisgeach Ultach as fheàrrAnd the three best warriors of Ulster would be forced
A-steach do fògradh air do sgàth, air do shon…!Into exile for your sake, because of you…!
Na Laoich na Craoibhe Ruaidh' dh'iarr d’athair, ‘n fìlidhThe Red Branch Warriors who wanted your father, the storyteller
An Rìghre Conchobhar mac Neasa ‘n Ulaidh,Of the King Conchobhar mac Neasa of Ulster,
Gad mharbhadh aig breith, ach dhearg-bhrosnaich ‘n t-aithris To kill you at birth, but the report of your beauty
Do mhaise ‘n Rìgh, a thòisich ‘dhealbhadh ortsa…Aroused the King, who began planning on you
‘Nad nighneag, thug Rìgh thu ri Leabharcham chaoimh,Just a maiden-child, a King gave you to gentle Lavarcham,
Do mhuime dhìleas dh’àraicheadh tu ‘n caistealYour loyal nurse who raised you in a remote
Cèin le ban-òglaich eil’ air falbh às anCastle with other maidservants away from the
Sùil fhir eil’ gus an ruigeadh tu ‘n aois phòsaidh…Eye of other men until you reached marriageable age…
Gu dearbh, dh’fhàsadh tu chun ainnir mhaiseachIndeed, you grew into a fair albeit lonely
Ach aonaranach, bhàn ‘s nan sùilean glasaMaiden, brighthaired and of green-grey eyes
‘S nam gruaidhean luis nam ban-sìth'. Thadhail 'n Rìgh 's bhaAnd cheeks of foxglove. The King visited and was
E snog gu leòr, ach bh’ e ‘nad bhodach preasach…Nice enough, but he was a wrinkled old man…
An uair gun cunnaic thu gun d’ chasgair d’oid’ laoghWhen you saw that your foster father had slaughtered a calf
Air latha Geamhraidh, thùirling fitheach air anOn a Winter’s day, a raven descended on the
Sneachd’ ithe ‘n sneachd ùr fuilteach, ‘s leig thu osna;Snow to eat the newly bloodied snow, and you sighed;
Bu mhiann leat fear dubh snuaidh gile ‘s ruitich’…You desired a raven-haired man of white and rosy complexion.
An aisling, bha thu air an òigear bòidheachIn a dream, you had seen this handsome young man
Seo fhaicinn, fuilt an fhithich, snuaidh sneachda ghlain ghil,Of raven hair, of complexion of pure white snow,
Is gruaidhean ‘s bilean cho dearg ri fuil, ‘n tarbhAnd cheeks and lips as red as blood, that
Òg tapaidh fìnealta neo-eagalach sin…Fine, fearless, heroic young bull…
Ge b’oillt le Leabharcham, cha b’urrainn dhi casgAlthough Lavarcham was horrified, she could not stop
Fhèin, oir bha cus ghràidh aice ort gad thoirt riHerself, for she loved you too much to give you to
Rìgh chrosda aosda; thuirt i gun d’ cho-fhreagairA cross, aged King; she said that the description
An tuairisgeul ri Naoise, ‘na mhac Uisneach.Matched Naoise, a son of Uisneach.
An dealbh-chunntais Naoise, ‘na mhac Uisneach,The description of Naoise, a son of Uisneach,
Bha e ‘nad laoch a b’ gaisgeil’, a b’ fheàrr Ulaidh,He was the bravest, finest warrior of Ulster,
Bha e ‘s a dhithis bhràthair dian-dìleasHe and his two fiercely loyal brothers were
‘Nam blàthan fhèin a b’ uaisle ‘n uile Èirinn…The very finest flowers in all of Ireland…
Ged dhiùlt a’ bhanaltram do ghuidh’ air toiseachd,Although the nurse refused your begging at first,
Bha fios aig Leabharcham gun dh’fheumadh gèilleadh,Lavarcham knew that she would have to yield,
Gun bitheadh e ceàrr a thoirt rìbhinn mhaiseachThat it would be wrong to give a fair maid
Còig bliadhna deug a dh’aois do Rìgh aosda…Fifteen years of age to an aged King…
Ghabh Leabharcham thu ris gun fhiosda, chualaLavarcham took you to him secretly, you heard
Thu Naoise ‘seinn gu binn le chlàrsach, ‘suidheNaoise singing sweetly with his harp, sitting
Fo uinnseann mhòr. Fo gheas leis, mhothaich thu àghUnder a great ash tree. Enchanted by him, you felt a joy
Nach d’ mhothaich thu a-riamh, ‘s chunnaic e thu…!That you had never felt, and he saw you…!
Chuir fheusag iteach bog, mìn cuideam mòr airHis smooth, feather-soft beard emphasized greatly
A’ bhòidhche aghaidh fhearail, shùilean ghormainThe beauty of his virile face, his eyes of cornflower and
‘S chnòth’-challtainn, ‘chraiceann ruiteach geal thar fèitheanHazelnut, his rosy, bright skin over great muscles
Mòr’ cruadhach, 'bheul ròis is a chiabh fhithich… !Of steel, his rosebud mouth and raven locks…!
‘Na fhichead bliadhna, chan fhaca e beanIn his twenty years, he had not seen a woman
Do mhaise, ciabhan na meala, gruaidheanOf your beauty, tresses of honey, cheeks
An luis nam ban-sìth', d’ fhiaclan na neamhnaid,Of foxglove, teeth of pearl,
Do shùilean liath-uaine, 's dìorras shàmhach…Your eyes of the sea, and a quiet tenacity in you…
“Feuch, abair gur agh rìomhach gun tèid seachad~!”“Behold, such a fine heifer that passes by~!”
Ghoir e gu pratach. Fo fearg ‘s ùidh, dh’fhreagairHe crowed mischievously. Vexed and interested, you
Thu, “’S furast’ e airson nan aighean a bhithAnswered, “’T is easy for heifers to be
Cho rìomhach ‘s mhaiseach far nach eil ann tarbhan~!”So fine and fair where there are no bulls~!”
Is tharraing sibhse às a chèil’ gu cridheil…And you heartily teased each other…
Ged bh’ e fo gheas leat cuideachd, le do thuigseAlthough he, too, was smitten with you, with your intellect
Is d’ionracas, do ghlain' a thuilleadh d’ mhaise,And your honesty and purity as well as your fair form,
Bha fios aig Naoise gun do bhean thu dhan Rìgh.Naoise knew that you belonged to the King.
Bha fios aig Naoise gun do bhean thu dhan Rìgh,Naoise knew that you belonged to the King,
Ach dhearbh thu air do spèis, dian nach buBut you convinced him of your affection, vehement that you
Mhath leat an Rìgh sean, crosda, gun do dh’iarrDisliked the old, irritable King, that you wanted
Thu esan, ‘na laoch bòidheach òg is tapaidh…! Him, a handsome and heroic young warrior…!
A’ tarraing às gum bitheadh cluasan fhanaid’Teasing him that he would have ears of
Is nàire aigesan nam fàgadh esanMockery and shame if he would leave
Thu, rinn sibh gàire còmhl’ ann an dlùth-ghabhail,You, you both laughed together in an embrace,
Is dh’earb thu ‘n gabhail ris grad, làn a bhràithrean…!And you earned the quick, full acceptance of his brothers…!
Bha ‘n Rìgh air bhàinidh, ‘cur an airm thar Èirinn.The King was furious, sending the army across Ireland.
Cheil Naoise ‘gus a bhràithrean, Ardán ‘s Ainnle,Naoise and his brothers, Ardán and Ainnle, hid
Thu ann an dùmhlachd oidhcheil ‘s theich sibh ‘n UladhYou in a night-time throng and all of you fled Ulster
Dhan dh’Alba, far an cunnaic an rìgh d’àilleachd…To Scotland, where their king saw your fairness…
Bu mhiann leis thu ‘s thòisich e ‘thoirt obairHe desired you and he began to give tasks
Gun d’ dh’fhàs nas cunnartaich’ ri Naoise, Ardán,That grew more dangerous to Naoise, Ardán, and Ainnle
Is Ainnle mus thuig iad a dhroch-rùn; theich sibhseBefore they understood his bad intentions; all of you fled
Ri eilean fasgach ‘s pailt a’ bhìdh’, neo-bhuairte…To an island, sheltered and abundant of food, untroubled.
Bh' a' bheatha stuam’ ach sona; bha gràdh agadLife was modest but happy; you loved
Air Ardán ‘s Ainnle mar do bràithrean fhèin ‘s ghabhArdán and Ainnle like your own brothers and
Thu ‘s Naoise barrachd ghràidh air ‘chèile gach làYou and Naoise fell more in love with each other each day
Car na còig bliadhnaichean gun d’ chaith sibh ann…For the five years that you all spent there…
Ri Naoise ‘gus riut, rugadh mac is nighean,To Naoise and you, a son and a daughter were born,
Air àrach leis an Dia Manannan MacFostered by the God Manannan son of
Lir anns an Eamhain Abhlach, le d’ mhac ‘na laochLir in Emain Abhlach, with your son a warrior
‘S do nighean ‘na baintighearna na Tìr’ nan Òg…And your daughter a lady of Tír nan Óg…
Air bhàinidh gun do chaill e thu ‘s làn dhìoghaltais,Furious that he lost you and full of vengeance,
Mheall Conchobhar an Tighearn’ Fearghus mac Ròich,Conchobhar tricked the Lord Fergus mac Róich,
As urramaich', ‘s a dhith’s mhac gad ath-bhuidhinnMost honorable, and his two sons to retrieve you
Is na mic Uisneach, gèilleadh ‘n iochd gum briseadh…And the sons of Uisneach, a vow of mercy that he’d break.
Chreid Fearghus Conchobhar, gun cùmadh e ghèilleadhFergus believed Conchobhar, that he would keep his promise
Iochd. Bheireadh e sibh dhachaigh ris an dh’UladhOf clemency. He would bear you home to Ulster
Le dhith’s mhac, Illian Fionn is Buinne Ruadh Cruaidh.With his two sons, Illian the Brighthaired and Buinne the Ruthless Red.
Cuir na mic Uisneach fàilte àghach orra…!The sons of Uisneach welcomed them joyously…!
Ged bha do chèil’ ‘s a bhràithrean sulchair fhaicinnAlthough your husband and his brothers were overjoyed to see
Ur càirdean dìls’, bh’ an taibhsearachd fhèin agad;Your loyal friends, you had the Second Sight itself;
Bha fios ceart agad air na thachaireadh dhuibh;You knew exactly what would happen to all of you;
Chan earbtadh Conchobhar, leat no le d’ chèile…Conchobhar could not be trusted, with you or your husband.
Ged thagair ‘s ghuidh thu, cha tug iad feart airAlthough you pleaded and begged, they did not heed
Do rabhadh. Cha tug na fir roghainn dhut, chaidhYour warning. The men gave you no choice, you went
Gu h-aindeonach thu air an long dhan dh’Uladh,Unwillingly on the ship to Ulster,
Oir bhruidhinn dleasdanas na b’ fharamaiche…For obligation spoke more loudly…
Dh’ath-aithris thu gu h-èiginneach do thagradh;You repeated desperately your prediction;
Ged cha robh Naoise ‘dir ‘na amadan ‘s dh’fheuchAlthough Naoise was not at all a fool and he
E ‘thoirt cofhurtachd riut, phlàigh cianalasTried to comfort you, homesickness and
‘S an dleasdanas na fir. Dh’an-earb thu ur dàn…Obligation plagued the men. You despaired your shared fate…
Dh’fhàth-fèith ‘n Rìgh Fearghus le co-fhealltair uasalThe King waylaid Fergus with a noble conspirator
Air alt 's nach b’urrainn e ur dìon 'san tilleadh So that he could not protect you in the return
Dhan dh’Eamhain Mhacha. Thug ur càirdean gaisgeachTo Emhain Mhacha. Your warrior friends welcomed
Am fàilte ‘s cairtealan airson na h-oidhche…You and gave you lodgings for the night…
Cha b’urrainn Fearghus diùltadh tairgse chuirmeFergus could not refuse an offer of a feast
Le triathan gun cunnart thàmailt’ mòire… By lords without the risk of great scandal…
Dh’fheuch thu ‘thoirt rabhadh ris na fir gum bitheadhYou tried to warn the men that the night
An oidhch’ na b’ sàbhailte sa’ chaisteal fhèin dhuibh…Would be safer in the castle itself to you…
An-amharasach air Naoise ‘s air do mhaise,Distrustful of Naoise and of your fairness,
Chuir Conchobhar gnù Leabharcham gad fhaicinn,Sullen Conchobhar sent Lavarcham to see you,
Fo uallach aithris dha do mhaise. ‘FeuchainnUnder orders to report to him of your fairness. Trying
Gad dhìon, thuirt i gun d’ mhill beatha chruaidh thu…To protect you, she said that hard living had ruined you…
An-amharasach air Leabharcham ‘s do mhaise,Distrustful of Lavarcham and of your fairness,
Chuir Conchobhar neach-brathaidh; chunnaic thu eConchobhar sent a spy; you saw him
‘S chuir Naoise às a shùil; leth-shùileach, dh’aithrisAnd Naoise put out his eye; one-eyed, he reported
E gun robh mhaiseach thu ‘s gum b’fhiach doilleThat you were so fair and that blindness was worth it…
An latha màireach, greasadh na Mic UisneachThe next morning, the Sons of Uisneach were hastened
Dham mheadhan chùirt-lios’ mhòir ‘s bha d’ làmhan cheangailt’To the middle of a great courtyard and your hands were tied
Fad ‘s gun d’ chàin Conchobhar am brathadh, ‘toirt dhaWhile Conchobhar denounced their betrayal, ordering
Na Laoich na Craoibh' Ruaidh' àithne ionnsaigh’ orra…The Red Branch Warriors to attack them…
Ged shabaid na Mic Uisneach gu treun ‘s dh’fheuch naAlthough the Sons of Uisneach fought valiantly and the sons
Mic Fhearghuis fhèin gan cobhradh, shluig Laoich do ghaolOf Fergus himself tried to help, Warriors engulfed your love
‘S do chàirdean. Mharbh ceannard an airm, EòghanAnd your friends. A leader of the army, Eòghan Mac
Mac Dùrthachd, Naoise, d’ chèile, le sleagh tron chùl…Dùrthachd, slew your husband Naoise with a spear through his back.
Ràn thu an cràdh ‘s oillt aig an sealladh fad ‘s gunYou screamed in anguish and horror at the sight as
Do ràinig Fearghus is arm aig an tiotaFergus and his army arrived at that
Sin, lorg e na Mic Uisneach air am mortadhMoment, he found the Sons of Uisneach murdered
Le aon mhic ‘s bh’ a mhac eil’ air chur fo tàmailt…With one of his sons and his other son disgraced…
Spreadh Fearghus ann am bàinidh ‘s dòrainn; mheall anFergus exploded in rage and anguish; the King
Rìgh e ‘s bhris e an gèilleadh gun d’rinn e dha. Deceived him and broke the promise that he’d made to him.
Mhort Fearghus is arm mòran laoich, a’ gabhailFergus and his army massacred many warriors, including
‘Steach mac de Chonchobhair, mus theich iad Uladh…A son of Conchobhar, before they fled Ulster…
Theich Fearghus is arm ris a’ Chonnacht far an Fergus and his men escaped to Connacht where
Thug Ailill ‘s Medb, an Rìgh ‘s a’ Bhan-rìgh, fàilt’ dhaibh ‘sAilill and Maebh, the King and Queen, welcomed them and
Stiùir Fearghus iad ris a’ bhlàr an aghaidh ‘nFergus led them to battle against the
Rìgh Conchobhar air sgrios, a rìoghachd mhillte…Ruined King Conchobhar, his kingdom destroyed…
Bh’ a dhuais aig Conchobhar, ach cha do mheal eConchobhar had his prize, but he never
Do chonaltradh a-riamh; dhiùlt thu e guEnjoyed your company; you always coldly
Fuar daonnan, is car bliadhn’ ‘s aon là shuidh ‘s chaoinRefused him, and for a year and a day you sat and wept,
Thu, truagh sa’ chiomachas fhir gum bu fhuath leat…Miserable in the captivity of a man you loathed…
Aon latha, dh’fhoighnich Conchobhar uat, “Dè ‘th’ anOne day, Conchobhar inquired of you, “What is it
Rud air a bheil gràin agad as mò ‘san domhan?”That you hate most in the world?”
Diùlt thu ga shealladh ‘s dh’fhreagair, “Tha gràin agamYou refused to look at him and answered, “I hate
Oirbh ‘s air a’ bheist sin Eòghan a mhort mo ghràdh…!”You and that beast Eòghan who murdered my love…!”
Air bhàinidh, shònraich Conchobhar gad chur ris,Furious, Conchobhar decided to send you to him,
Ri Eòghan, car aon bliadhna. Sa’ charbadTo Eòghan, for one year. In the chariot
Sgeig e thu, “cuiridh sinn thu eadarainneHe taunted you, “we will send you between us
Mar caora eadar dithis reithe!” Chnac thu. Like a ewe between two rams!” You snapped.
A-mach nam bàbhan Eamhain Mhacha, ràn thuOutside the ramparts of Emain Macha, you screamed
An corraich ‘s dòrainn ‘s thilg thu fhèin on charbad.In rage and anguish and you threw yourself from the chariot.
Bhuail do cheann creag, gad mharbhadh air an làrachYour head hit a rock, killing you on the site
Is dh’fhosgail ‘s ghabh an tìr do mharbhan truagh… And the land opened and accepted your poor body…
Chinn iubhar mòr à d’uaigh, a’ sgaoileadh nan geug A great yew grew from your grave, spreading its branches
Gus an do ràinig iad geugan iubhairUntil they reached branches of a yew
Gun do chinn on uaigh Naoise, ‘mach nam bàbhan,That grew from Naoise’s grave, outside the ramparts,
Na geugan fhèin nan craobhan a’ dlùth-ghabhail…The very branches of the trees embracing…

Air ghoid air falbh à do theaghlach ‘nad phàist’,Stolen away from your family as an infant,
Air àrach ann an dìomhaireachd cho uaigneachRaised in a secrecy so lonesome
A bhith air phòsadh do rìgh gum robh suarachTo be married to a king who cared not
Mu ‘n fàisneachd uabhasaich air d’ cheann cho soineant’…About the dire prophecy on your head so innocent…
‘Nad nighneag, chaill thu ‘n conaltradh le d’ theaghlach,As a little daughter, you lost contact with your family,
‘Nad mhàthair òig, chaill thu ‘n conaltradh le do chlann,As a young mother, you lost contact with your children,
‘Nad òg-bhean, chaill thu d’ chèile ‘gus a bhràithrean,As a young wife, you lost your husband and his brothers,
Is uil’ airson an rìghre drùisich ghroid shin…And all because of the lecherous, corrupt old king…
Ghabh rìgh thu à do theaghlach, air bheò-ghlacadhA king took you from your family, obsessed
Le maise dh’iarr e a shealbhachadh ‘n sannt,With a beauty that he wanted to possess in greed,
Cha tug e roghainn dhut an suidheachadh gunHe gave you no choice in a situation that
Robh thar do smachd, chan ach aon nighean ‘bh’innte…Was beyond your control, you were but one young woman…

An d’ dh’iarr thu dàn air chur ort aig do bhreith…?Did you want a destiny that was placed on you at your birth…?
Gabh fois, oir tha thu ‘s Naoise còmhla gu brath…Rest, for you and Naoise are together forever…
I just wanted so much to write the narrative to this old Irish tale in Gaelic. It's such a fascinating story because it illustrates the danger of ignoring prophecy (or, more appropriately, common sense). And I just wonder what Deirdre herself thought of her lot; did she know of the prophecy about her that was told when she was just a newborn? She had the Second Sight, a type of Extrasensory Perception, thus she could have suspected at least. If she did, what did she think? What must have gone through her mind as she tried to avert disaster? And King Conchobhar himself... his own foolish lust created his own ruin.

I'm sure that women the world over have a rough time, although especially attractive women have some particular cruelties that they face... I'm sure that plenty of women think, "Will you boys stop fighting, start thinking with your brains, and act your age??!!"

Oh, and Fergus Mac Roich, I was surprised to learn that he was the king of Ulster before Conchobhar's mother, Neasa, manipulated him into giving her son the crown. And that Naoise and his brothers were Conchobhar's own nephews...! Nice family...! That and Queen Maebh was originally married to Conchobhar and had a son by him, but she hated her husband and left him for Ailill, with whom she would rule Connacht and have seven sons.

It's a theme that runs through the stories of Helen of Sparta and Princess Cassandra of Troy, although Deirdre seems to be more like Cassandra in that she is trying to avert disaster and is more sympathetic than Helen.
The Klickitat Nation in Oregon and Washington tells of how the volcanoes known to most as "Mt Hood", "Mt Adams", and "Mt St Helens" were once the actors in an unfortunate love triangle between the Creator God's sons, Wy'East (Mt Hood) and Pahto/Klickitat (Mt Adams), and a young woman Loowit (Mt St Helens) who could not choose between the brothers; the neighboring nations of the Klickitat all tell variations of the same theme, which may well be describing metaphorically a geological disaster (earthquake and volcanic eruption) and part of the cultural history of the Nations in question.

I tried to be as accurate as historically and culturally possible, including the ages of the heroine and hero; according to Brehon Law in Gaelic Ireland, the legal minimum marriageable ages were 15 years for women and 18 years for men. Deirdre is supposedly just at marriageable age when she meets Naoise and he's roughly 20 since he has two younger brothers and already one of the most decorated warriors of Ulster. 

In comparison, my guess is that King Conchobhar is at least in his late thirties or early forties, compared to Deirdre's 15 years and Naoise's 20; 50 years was generally the beginning of old age for most of human history. He was probably was closer to 40 years, middle-aged, but a woman of Deirdre's age would still see him as "old".

I learned here books.google.com/books?id=VStL…
that Deirdre and Naoise might have had children, Gaiar and Aebgreine, while in exile.
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:iconmaster-of-the-boot:
Master-of-the-Boot Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
This was I think one of your better works. Not knocking your earlier stuff but this one really just clicked. At the moment I'm going through a nasty divorce and i think I must have read this at least five times last night. I saw something in this, tragedy, pain but also friendship between a man and a woman, friendship between brothers and the fences that people keep trying to box you into. 

This was beautiful economy of words, poetry as story and story as artwork. 

It really sat well with me, and I just really love this work. I loved reading about the fair lady become best buds with her knight in shining armor. I could relate to having a crazy old controlling father, maybe he dind't try to kill me or send mercenaries after me but he was more like this mad king than he'd ever admit. 

Maybe it's me but I read a bit of myself in this yarn. 

Good on you
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 2, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much!!! I know that you're not knocking my other works, it's just on a rather different subject.
I'm so sorry about the divorce! I hate when things like that happen.

"economy of words"? :) any passages that you especially like?

Granted, the message of this ancient Irish/Scottish legend is much more about a young woman determined to live her life and be happy with the young man she's chosen over an aging suitor who has other plans for her (and he's one of many men who are fighting over her)... Deirdre is Ireland's answer to Helen of Sparta, except with Princess Cassandra's more sympathetic character and her underappreciated gifts of prophesy.

I'm so glad that you like my work! It's essentially a love-triangle: girl meets boy, boy and girl fall in love, the girl's powerful older guardian who also seeks to take her as his own wife throws a massive temper tantrum and orders the boy (his own nephew) killed.
Yes, King Conor (Conchobhar) of Ulster had his merits, but I will forever remember him for his violent, ruthless, fruitless efforts to marry a young woman who clearly did not like him... not unlike this control-freak, tyrant of a father that you describe.

You're perfectly at liberty to draw pieces of yourself from this. That's what art does.
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:iconmaster-of-the-boot:
Master-of-the-Boot Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
You know, I credit your work with giving me an interest in Irish history and the poetry. It's just a whole chapter of history that was hiding right in front of my eyes. And I am a big history fan. 

This really just did resonate. I loved descriptions of her rosy cheeked beauty and you applied that same flourish of physical descriptions to the characters of the poem as you did to your Honeyed Man poem. It was a similar style, an author trademark but it still worked so well and rather than make me laugh it just made me grin instead. It felt so celebratory. 

I think I needed to read this. 
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 3, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
:D I'm delighted to know that I sparked your interest in a segment of art and history from a different part of the world! I'm also a history buff! 

Thank you so much! I like to know that my word strikes a chord with people!
And these are not the only poems where I pontificate about somebody's physique (although I could have dwelled a bit more on Naoise, with his feather-soft beard and alabaster muscles); I've done several other poems in a similar vein:
www.deviantart.com/art/Does-My…
diddles25.deviantart.com/art/T…
diddles25.deviantart.com/art/I…

Why would it make you laugh?
Regarding my style, I prefer romantic poetry to be evocative and sensuous rather than crass; describing somebody's skin as cinnamon, his eyes as bourbon, and his hair as obsidian sounds more evocative than "he was tan, with brown eyes and black hair".

I'm so glad that I could give you what you needed! :) Anything that helps...!
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:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Edited Jun 29, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
50-15 = 35 Omg that is a large age gap between the King and Deirdre.
No wonder she didn't want to marry him!

By the way, this poem is so good I cannot stop reading it. In fact, this poem gave me an idea of a comic I should write. :)
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Edited Jun 30, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I know...! Even at his roughly 40 years of age to her 15, she'd still see him as an old man. That's a serious May-December dynamic between them! Not unlike Henry VIII and his fifth wife, Katherine Howard (his 50 years to her 17 when they married).
Even if Naoise is at least 18, and certainly roughly 20 years of age, he's much closer to Deirdre's age than Conchobhar is.

Thank you so much! I keep tampering with it just to make sure that it's just right. And that it gave you an idea for a comic…! I would say that you should go for it! Maybe even base it on the original narrative.
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:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, Conchobar is old enough to be her dad, so uhh... *cringe* yeah.  Kinda gross that way, yeah.
Naoise is close to Deirdre in age, so it makes a little sense.

And yeah, it gave me an idea for a comic. I also really wanted to explore the characters of Gaiar and his sister Aiebgraine (is that how you spell it?) So I may make a comic about them when I can. It's basically a "what-if" scenario.

And basically, I am working with the idea of : "What if Conchobar knew about these two, and was seriously dumb enough to go attempt to go through Mannanan Mac Lir to kill them?"

And if you know the term "character bashing", then yeah, I am going to continously bash Conchobar throughout the entire comic. XDD

I'll work on the idea, and I'll let you know when it's up. :)
I'm going to post it here on Deviantart, and oh, this will be fun to write. :)
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Edited Jun 29, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I have to reconsider; Conchobhar is probably at least 35, certainly about 40. I say this since Fergus Mac Róich is incidentally Conchobhar's stepfather and former king of Ulster; Fergus was so taken by the charms of Conchobhar's mother, Neasa, who wanted her son to become king and did not care how. Neasa, who was in her early twenties when she met Fergus, promised Fergus that she would marry him if he recognized Conchobhar (who was then about 6-7 years of age and precociously intelligent) as his son and allowed him to reign as king for a year. The besotted youth that Fergus was, he hastily agreed. He realized too late that it was a coup of sorts, but he came to forgive... until this set of events.
And Conchobhar was probably still young enough as a king when Deirdre was born that he could still have an idealistic worldview, since the tale says that he wanted to be a merciful ruler... but who knows?

And yes, Gaiar and Aebgreine certainly deserve their own story! I don't know how successful that Conchobhar would be if he tried to go through the God of the sea and the weather to harm Deirdre and Naoise's children! He'd be lucky to escape without injuries!
I can totally get behind you on the character bashing that you intend to give Conchobhar, although I think that he would still need some degree of intellect and cunning to be a believable character.

Yes, by all means go for this comic! :)
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:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, like you mentioned earlier, Mannanan would not have tolerated Conchobar's antics.

But as for Conchobar's intelligence, I will have to work on that because it will be difficult to make him intelligent when it is so tempting to make him a foolish stupid man.
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I'm sure he wouldn't!

I sure don't blame you! It is tempting to make Conchobhar a fool. My guess is that he's intelligent enough but selfishly delusional, typical of a narcissist; he's the king, he's been treated like the best thing ever, he hasn't been refused what he wants for long, let alone beautiful women, so how dare this ungrateful girl refuse him!
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:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, yes, I agree, Conchobar is intelligent, and those other traits do make a flaw in his character.

But I am not very good at putting that together, so I will have to think about it for a while.
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Edited Jun 30, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Well, these are just my suggestions. You're free to write him as you want.
I see him more as evil and self-absorbed than as foolish.

And it doesn't help that his court Druid, Cathbad, was most likely his father; Conchobhar's mother Neasa was just barely of age and Cathbad, a warrior as well as a Druid, took advantage of her. This might be partly why Cathbad's punishment of Conchobhar was comparatively lenient.
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(1 Reply)
:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Edited Dec 27, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wait...Deirdre had kids??
I don't remember that part...
Is that in the myth?
And if so, what happened to them...?
Please don't tell me that they died... :(
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Edited Dec 27, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
In some versions of the story, Deirdre and Naoise have a son and a daughter in the time that they lived in exile. It makes sense to me; they're a young couple who is passionately in love. Their children were fostered by the sea god, Manannan Mac Lìr. He fostered a great many children from many different parents in Irish legend.

I don't remember the names of her children, but her son later became a warrior and her daughter a lady of Tír na nÓg. I don't know if they ever learned what happened to their parents. I wonder still why Deirdre gave up so easily when she still had her kids.
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:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah, I see.
Well, better the children were fostered by a sea God then.
Dear lord, I cannot imagine the terror if Lord Conchobar found out that they had kids. Great nightmares abound.
But even if Conchobar found out, I don't think anyone would want to piss off a sea god, much less any other god.
But still, I wish violent justice was done onto Conchobar instead of just a Druid cursing his line to never rule again.
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Yes, King Conchobhar would have been even more pissed if he found that Deirdre and Naoise had children! Who knows what he would have done to them!
I realize now that Deirdre and Naoise could well have entrusted their children to Manannan to protect them in case anything went wrong.

Yes! Violent justice should have been done unto Conchobhar instead of Cathbad the Druid simply cursing his line to lose their hold on Ulster forever. Conchobhar was the one who ignored the prophesy, for his own selfish reasons, he should have been held responsible. Not Deirdre, who simply wanted to live her life while men actively chose to fight over her.
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:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
By the way, I haven't been able to find any version of the story that mentions that Naiose and Deirdre had kids. I seriously googled it. Do you know which version of the tale mentions it? But yeah, who knows what he would have done to the poor children if they weren't given to Manannan for protection.
Seriously though, Conchobar is much much older than Deirdre, did he seriously think she was going to love him like that? He is old enough to be her father. And blatantly ignoring the prophecy just so he could claim her as if she was some sort of Trophy wife. I blame that on the fact that he let his lust make that choice for him.
And I don't think the king truly loved Deirdre, I think he just wanted her as a trophy wife. If I were to compare it to modern times, it would be like the popular jock gets a hot cheerleader to parade around as a trophy, get what I'm saying?
Anyways, I wish Conchobar was violently killed or something to that effect. He did not deserve to live after what he did. Seriously, in one version of the story I heard, a few soldiers sympathetic to their cause took their bodies and buried them beside each other, but oh no, the King, being the ass that he is, drove sticks through their bodies to try and keep them apart.
But then the sticks sprouted into trees, and the Druid was all like" Cease your persecution of the dead."
Why didn't anyone just violently kill the King? And maybe toss his corpse in a river.
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I somehow came across a version where Deirdre and Naoise have a daughter, Aigrene, although I am having trouble finding the source that names their son as well.
And yes, Conchobhar was clearly a narcissist for thinking that a woman as young as Deirdre would be enamored of a man who could almost be her grandfather. And I totally agree that there is no way that he could have truly loved her if he was willing to ignore a serious prophesy and thus endanger so many people (including Deirdre); he was thinking with his "second brain" (as my mother and aunt would put it), thinking with his hormones instead of his brain. He totally wanted a trophy wife! That is lust, sheer selfishly delusional narcissistic lust, not love.
And yes, Conchobhar should have faced mob justice as punishment for what his crimes against not just a young couple but also against his entire kingdom. And I remember that version of the story where sympathizes of Deirdre and Naoise (and his brothers) buried the couple together and, despite Conchobhar's petulant persecution of the dead, they remained together. 
I gather that some people still thought that regicide was going too far, even if Conchobhar deserves it. His lingering punishment of seeing his kingdom and lineage crumble and his reputation permanently tattered is not good enough for me. But tossing his corpse into a river, that would be pollution of the river~!
I was surprised at first to learn that Queen Maedhbh of Connacht was originally married to him and had a son by him. But I'm glad to learn that she left Conchobhar because she hated him and became became a co-ruler of Connacht with her lover, Ailill. She even changed the names of all seven of her sons with Ailill when a prophet said that "your son by this name will kill Conchobhar" and none of her sons bore the name.
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:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, if you do find that version of the tale where they have kids, can you please link me the source? Because I could google it for ages and nothing will come up.
And yeah, he was thinking with his "second brain." Although I think that it was located in his "second head", which is not the one on top of his shoulders. But the one "down there." If you catch my drift. XD But hormones work too. Yeah.
Okay, in all seriousness, if they cannot toss Conchobar into the river, then they should just burn his corpse because burying him would pollute the earth.
Well, I do know that Conchobar had a son, but I never knew who the mother was. Well, I guess I do now, and good for her for leaving Conchobar, and ruling Connacht with her lover, who probably treated her much better.
And thank goodness she had the sense to follow a druid's prophecy and rename all her sons so they don't bear that name.
Also, I think regicide is not even close to the punishment that Conchobar deserves.
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
If you type in "Deirdre Aigrene" or "Deirdre Naoise Aigrene", you'll probably find this version of the story. 
Here's where I learned that they might have had a son, Gaiar, and a daughter, Aebgreine (ayv-GREY-nya) books.google.com/books?id=VStL…
I know exactly what "second brain" means when applied to males. And that includes the hormones; I know from my own experience that testosterone is a powerful chemical. It really drowns out common sense and plenty of men and boys I'm sure ask themselves after the fact, "how could I ever have done something so stupid?"
I'm torn between burning Conchobhar's executed carcass and leaving it to the wolves (which could be cruelty to animals). 
I know that Conchobhar had at least one son, but I don't know that Medb (Maeve) was his mother. 
And "Medb and Ailill had seven sons, all called Maine. They originally all had other names, but when Medb asked a druid which of her sons would kill Conchobar, he replied, 'Maine'. She did not have a son called Maine, so she renamed all her sons as follows:
  • Fedlimid became Maine Athramail ("like his father")
  • Cairbre became Maine Máthramail ("like his mother")
  • Eochaid became Maine Andoe ("the swift")
  • Fergus became Maine Taí ("the silent")
  • Cet became Maine Mórgor ("of great duty")
  • Sin became Maine Mílscothach ("honey-speech")
  • Dáire became Maine Móepirt ("beyond description")"
Medb clearly resented Conchobhar and who can blame her!
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(1 Reply)
:iconleopold002:
Leopold002 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Captured and held my attention from beginning to end. Always a good thing.
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I should hope so! Thank you so much!

What do you think of this narrative?
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:iconleopold002:
Leopold002 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I loved it!
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:iconwhite-feather:
White-Feather Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2015
A lovely interpretation on the old tale, I especially like the text side by side with the Gaelic.:)
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much! I write most of my poetry in Gaelic, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to write about this legend.
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:icongothicsage:
Gothicsage Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2015
I hate Conchobhar so much! The druid should have foreseen that he'd be the one to cause chaos and ruin. should have seen that he will be destined to destroy Deirdre's life. Deirdre is not to blame. She didn't want anyone to decide her marriage. She chose someone else whom she fell in love with. I feel very bad for both Deirdre and Naoise. I know that they were still together again in spirit. But Conchobhar should have been punished terribly.Rage 
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I agree! It's always "blame the woman", but it's truly Conchobhar's fault, although I can't understand how Cathbad didn't foresee Conchobhar's role in it... But then again, this poem doesn't tell you that after Naoise and his brothers were killed Cathbad cursed Conchobhar that his family would never again rule in Ulster and indeed Conchobhar's kingdom collapsed.
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:icongothicsage:
Gothicsage Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2015
At least he got some punishment though I think he deserved so much worse. He caused nothing but agony.  
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Edited Jun 23, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I'll say that he deserved it! He let his stupid hormones take control of his judgement. I agree that he should have been duly punished.
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:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have read the story of Deirdre before, and I have to say, this is quite an amazing rendition of the myth.
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much! How do you mean?
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:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well,I like the fact that you still retain the original mythology but written it as a poem.
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:icondiddles25:
diddles25 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much! :)
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:iconfyrose:
FyRose Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome.^^
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