“I think you should go to the rock where the women of the Sidhe appeared to you,” said Concobar when appealed to.
So Laeg made ready the chariot and drove to the tarn. Night came ere they reached it, but the moon showed full and brilliant. Laeg waited a little way apart, while Cuchullain sat himself in the black shadow of the rock. As the warrior gazed into the dark, star-speckled surface of the waters, a brightness and a mist gathered over them, and there, standing with her robe of green down—dropping to her feet and trailing on the wave, her pale flaxen hair blown around her head, was Liban. She smiled strangely as before, looking through him with her subtle eyes.
“I am one of the Sidhe,” she said, and her voice sounded like a murmur of the water. “You also, O warrior, though forgetful, are one of us. We did not indeed come to injure you, but to awaken remembrance. For now the wild clouds of demons gathered from the neighboring isles and we wish your aid. Your strength will come back to you exultant as of old. Come with me, warrior. You will have great companions. Labraid, who wields the rapid fires as you the sword, and Fand, who has laid aside her Druid wisdom longing for you.”
“Whither must I go with you, strange woman?” asked Cuchullain.
“I will send Laeg with you,” said Cuchullain. I do not care to go to an unknown place while I have my duties here.” He then went to Laeg, asking him to go with Liban.
“He is longing to go,” thought Laeg, “but he mistrusts his power to get away. He has forgotten all he knew and did not wish to appear nothing before a woman. However, it can do no harm if I go and see what they do.”
Oh, marvel not if in our tale
The gleaming figures come and go,
More mystic splendors shine and pale
Than in an age outworn we know.
Their ignorance to us were wise:
Their sins our virtue would outshine:
A glory passed before their eyes:
We hardly dream of the divine.
In world may come romance,
With all the lures of love and glamour;
And woesome tragedy will chance
To him whom fairy forms enamour.
There slain illusions live anew
To stay the soul with coy caresses;
But he who only loves the True
Slays them again, and onward presses.
For golden chains are yet but chains,
Enchanted dreams are yet but dreaming;
And ere the soul its freedom gains
It bursts all bonds, destroys all seeming.
IV. The Maidens of the Sidhe
“Yes, I’ll go with the maid in the green mantle,” muttered Laeg to himself; “but I’ll don the crimson mantle of five folds which it is my right to wear in the land of the Sidhe, even though my earthly occupation is only the driving of a war-chariot.”