boy put his foot on the plank to cross the pool, it bent down into the water, so that the youth was on the point of being drowned, till he crossed himself; and in a moment it became as firm as Gaigean, and the black dog jumped down into the pool out of his way. He again went his ways, and met a church, into which he went. There was a priest on the altar, and he asked if there was anybody there to serve Mass. The youth said that himself would serve it, and he did. Six white doves came into the door, and they sat upon a pillar till Mass was over, and then they went out. The youth went out of the church again, and found himself in a lovely, fine garden of flowers, and he pulled one of the flowers and brought it with him. He then thought to himself: "If I were back now again with the king, I could tell him wonderful stories, and I'd get money from him." He returned to the king, and found him sitting in the garden.
"Where are you going now?" says the king. "Is it not short since you were here before?"
"I can tell you stories now," says the youth.
"Well, then, proceed with them," says the king. The youth told him about the field of cattle which he saw, and they very poor, considering the amount of grass they had.
"I will tell you what that means," says the king. "That signifies people who used to be fighting and at enmity with each other, and they will be in that miserable condition till the day of judgment."
The youth told him concerning the fat sheep in the bare field. "They are good people who were kind and friendly towards each other in this world, and they will be in that happy state till the day of judgment."
The youth told him about the well of water in which there were six trout moving about, and one in the middle at rest.
"That is the six week-days passing away, and the Sunday at a stand-still."
He told him about the great pool of water and the little pathway through it, and the black dog guarding it.
"That's hell," says the king, "and it is the devil who was on the path, and if you had not crossed yourself that minute, you were lost."
The youth told him about the church and the Mass, and the six doves that came hearing it.
"That's the six wives I had, and I killed them all for fear they should have any children."
The youth told him about the garden of flowers, which he saw, "and," says he, "lest you might not believe me, I plucked one and brought it with me, and here it is."
"I am afraid I am lost," said the king, "for it ought to be that this flower is a son of mine."
He called to his wife, and asked her if she ever bore him a son.
"Yes," says she, "and there he is, right before your face."
When the king heard this, he grew pale and fell dead upon the ground.
The queen brought the youth into her own palace, and he had the kingdom and riches of the old king, and himself and his mother were happy and prosperous from that forth, and like them may we too be.
Roḃ = raiḃ, was.
Alig an tsaoġal = uile de’n tsaoġal? = all in the world.
An rí é féin, better an rí féin.
Ionns’ ar an ríġ = d’ionnsuiḋe ar an ríġ, (he went) to approach the king, i.e., to the king.
Gioḃta, in the South giota, a piece.
Gaigean, a mountain in Co. Donegal.
’Ar leis féin = dar leis féin, it seemed to him.
Mur = muna.
Alig = uile.
Note that the Ulster usage after preposition and article singular is aspiration generally, not eclipsis: ar an ṗoll, not bpoll; fá ’n ṗáirc, not bpáirc. In Connaught only do and de, in Munster do, de, and i (ins) aspirate when singular article follows, but do’n, de’n are often followed by eclipsis in Munster.
ANECDOTA FROM IRISH MSS.
Leaḃar Breac, p. 261a.
Incipit regula Moċuta Raṫin do ḟorcetul deiċ timmna for ceċ óen duine.
1. It é ascnam na Flaṫa
serc Dé on uli anmain,
ó ċride, ó gním.
2. A ṡerc ó uilib nertaib
ní ba líaċ, cid léir,
serc do ċoimneasaim la sein
amail do ṡerc féin.
3. Ní adrai do hídlaċtaib,
dáig in Ċoimded móir,
ní aile do Dúilemain
imm úabar nát cóir.
4. Airmitiu do ṫustide
timarna in rí,
ocus ceċ óen is sruṫiu
as siniu ol m-bí.
5. Tabair anoir don Abbaid
Maic Muire cen meṫ:
ní gata, ní fuiligṫer,
is ní oirce neċ.
6. Nír bat santaċ forsin biṫ
naċ for in nem clóen,
ní tóis i forgiull for neċ,
ní ċráide naċ óen.
7. A n-adcobrai-siu ó ċáċ
deit féin da ceċ maiṫ,
déna-su sin da ceċ óen
ar cu róis in Flaiṫ.
8. Ní ná dúṫairser deit féin
do erċoit bís olc,
do duine ní accobra
céin not-bé i corp.
- reglum MS.