44^ The European Sky -God.
Woods, like the pigeons of the Golden Bough, were essentially connected with the sacred tree, perhaps as embodying the souls of previous Kings of the Wood.^
The bed of Diarmuid and Grainne is nowadays usually identified by the Irish peasantry with a rude stone monu- ment of some sort. Cromlechs often bear the name Leaba Diarmada agus Graitmk, ' the Bed of Diarmuid and Grainne,' and are associated with run-away couples and illicit unions. A girl who goes there with a stranger will be certain to grant him all that he asks; and it is believed that, if a woman be barren, a visit with her husband to ' Darby and Grania's Bed ' will cure her.^ But our myth in mentioning the Oak-grove of the two huts and the quicken-tree of Dubhros hints rather at a connexion with trees. So too an Irish poem by Dalian Forgaill ^ states that —
' Tolgne was the Druidic priest of Crann Greine ' —
i.e. ' of the Tree dedicated to Grian.' This, if I am not in error, implies an organised cult of the celestial tree.* A folk-tale printed by Dr. Hyde^ connects Granya Oi,
^ Folk-lore xvii. i68 f.
'^ W. C. Borlase The Dolmens of Ireland London 1897 iii. 841 ff. (citing Dutton Siirv. of Clare p. 78), cp. index p. 1210, W. G. Wood-Martin Ti-aces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland London 1902 i. 348 f.
^ Transactions of the Ossianic Society for iS^j Dublin i860 v. 153.
■* See Folk-lore xvii. 69.
^ D. Hyde Beside the Fire London 1890 p. 167 ft. ' William of the Tree.' An Irish queen falls sick and dies, but first puts the king under gassa not to marry again till the grass is a foot high over her grave. Her daughter keeps it clipped. The king discovers her and vows to marry the first woman that he meets. This is an old hag, who on becoming queen falsely accuses her step-daughter of killing the king's hound. The king takes his daughter to a great wood, hangs her on a tree, and cuts off her hands and feet. As he departs, a thorn runs into his foot, and his daughter prays that he may never get better till she recovers hands and feet. Out of the king's foot grows a tree, which makes him open the window to let the top of it out. A gentleman passing by has heard the king's daughter screeching, taken her home, and married her. She bears him three sons at a birth. Granya