Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/76

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66 The European Sky -God.

drowning of Conaing, son of Aidan, is thus commemorated by Bimudine, a poet apparently resident at Bili Tortan —

  • The resplendent billows of the sea.

The sun that raised them, My grief, the pale storms Against Conang with his army ; The woman of the fair locks Was in the curach with Conang : Lamentation for mirth with us This day at Bili Tortan.'^

The remaining bile of the Dinnsenchus is in some respects the most interesting of the series. Like the oak of Mugna and the ashes of Dathe and Tortu, it was first seen in the time of the sons of Ugaine.^ We read of it : ' The Tree of Ross is a yew. North-east as far as Druim Bairr it fell, as Druim Suithe (a poet named ' The Ridge of Science ') sang —

Tree of Ross, beauty's honour,

a king's wheel, a mind's lord,

a prince's right, 20 diadem of angels, a wave's noise, shout of the world,

5 best of creatures, Banba's renown,

a straight firm tree, might of victory,

a firm-strong god, judgment of origin,

door (?) of heaven, 25 judicial doom, strength of a building, faggot^?) of sages,

10 the good of a crew, noblest of trees,

a word-pure man, gloi^y of Leinster,

full-great bounty, dearest of bushes,

the Trinity's mighty one, 30 a bear's (?) defence, a measure's house (?), vigour of life,

15 a mother's good, spell of knowledge,

Mary's Son, Tree of Ross ! '

a fruitful sea.

Dr. Stokes says that this remarkable rhapsody ' seems a string of kennings, which in Irish, as in Scandinavian, poetry, took the place of similes. It once perhaps had

' Skene Chronicles of the Picts and Scots p. 69.

2 Whitley Stokes ' The Rennes Dindsenchas ' in the J^evue celtiqtie xv. 445.