The Celtic Twilight eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 120 pages of information about The Celtic Twilight.
would come to him as if it was written in a book”; and an old pensioner at Kiltartan says, “He was standing under a bush one time, and he talked to it, and it answered him back in Irish.  Some say it was the bush that spoke, but it must have been an enchanted voice in it, and it gave him the knowledge of all the things of the world.  The bush withered up afterwards, and it is to be seen on the roadside now between this and Rahasine.”  There is a poem of his about a bush, which I have never seen, and it may have come out of the cauldron of fable in this shape.

A friend of mine met a man once who had been with him when he died, but the people say that he died alone, and one Maurteen Gillane told Dr. Hyde that all night long a light was seen streaming up to heaven from the roof of the house where he lay, and “that was the angels who were with him”; and all night long there was a great light in the hovel, “and that was the angels who were waking him.  They gave that honour to him because he was so good a poet, and sang such religious songs.”  It may be that in a few years Fable, who changes mortalities to immortalities in her cauldron, will have changed Mary Hynes and Raftery to perfect symbols of the sorrow of beauty and of the magnificence and penury of dreams.

1900.

II

When I was in a northern town awhile ago, I had a long talk with a man who had lived in a neighbouring country district when he was a boy.  He told me that when a very beautiful girl was born in a family that had not been noted for good looks, her beauty was thought to have come from the Sidhe, and to bring misfortune with it.  He went over the names of several beautiful girls that he had known, and said that beauty had never brought happiness to anybody.  It was a thing, he said, to be proud of and afraid of.  I wish I had written out his words at the time, for they were more picturesque than my memory of them.

1902.

A KNIGHT OF THE SHEEP

Away to the north of Ben Bulben and Cope’s mountain lives “a strong farmer,” a knight of the sheep they would have called him in the Gaelic days.  Proud of his descent from one of the most fighting clans of the Middle Ages, he is a man of force alike in his words and in his deeds.  There is but one man that swears like him, and this man lives far away upon the mountain.  “Father in Heaven, what have I done to deserve this?” he says when he has lost his pipe; and no man but he who lives on the mountain can rival his language on a fair day over a bargain.  He is passionate and abrupt in his movements, and when angry tosses his white beard about with his left hand.

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The Celtic Twilight from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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