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NOTE: Yes, Roumanian is the correct spelling. This was the way it was spelt in 1881

 

Happy to have received such a handsome remuneration, the gardener with much trouble and pains made the garden in as good a state as it was before the folly of Dimitri. The marriage of the second daughter took place in a short space of time, and her father and his suite accompanied them also, to the frontier; Didine only remaining at home under the plea of indisposition. Dimitri repeated the same folly as on the marriage of the oldest sister, the only difference being that this time he wore the second suit belonging to the fairies. All was repeated as before, and to prevent his being beaten, Didine sent two handfuls of gold to the gardener in return for his flowers. Again he worked until the garden had once more got into good condition.

 

Shortly after this the Governor organised a great chase, and while hunting he narrowly escaped being torn to pieces by a wild boar; to celebrate his good fortune he raised a temporary kiosque in the wood, and bade all his friends come and make merry.

 

Didine only was not there, still on the plea of indisposition. Dimitri for the third time alone, recommenced his folly, and put on the third dress of the fairies which was embroidered with the sun on the chest, the moon on the back, and the morning and evening star on the sleeves.

 

This time he committed such havoc that it was impossible to re-arrange the garden.

 

The gardener’s rage knew no bounds and he was on the point of giving Dimitri a beating when Didine tapped at the window and asked for flowers.

 

With difficulty were two or three flowers found which had escaped the hoofs of the horse, but she gave him three handfuls of gold and begged him not to lay hands on Dimitri. In five weeks the garden was restored and Dimitri made to promise that he would never more commit such mischief.

 

The Governor began to be anxious about his daughter Didine for she kept to the house and seemed always sad, he proposed that she should marry the son of a neighbouring Boyard but she would not entertain the idea, so he called his council and asked their advice. “Governor!” said they “you must build a great tower with a gateway, and all the pretenders to the hand of Didine must pass under it, give to her a golden apple which she must throw to the one whom she desires for her husband.”

 

No sooner said than done, the tower was built, and it was soon spread abroad that all who wished to marry Didine must pass under this Archway. Many came, of both high and low degree, but still she did not throw the apple, and they began to believe that she had no wish to marry, until one of the councillors said, “Let all those who are in your court, all those who are employed on your estate, pass under also.” So they were called, and last of all came Dimitri who with great difficulty was persuaded to pass under. Didine at once flung the apple at him. The Governor seeing this exclaimed, “it is a mistake, she has hit the wrong man, let all pass through again.” This was done, and again Didine threw the apple to Dimitri. All agreed that there was no mistake this time, and so the father unwillingly consented to her choice.

 

They were married without any rejoicings and suffered to live in the Governor’s court, Dimitri earning their living as a water carrier. They were laughed at by all, the servants even throw dust and sweepings in the direction of their room. Inside it was very different, the horse had brought there all the wonders of the world, not even in King’s palaces were to be found such lovely things as in their wretched dwelling.

 

The other pretenders to the hand of Didine were so indignant at their rejection, that they united together to make war on the Governor. This caused him much pain, but he had no other alternative than to prepare for the struggle.

 

His two sons-in-law brought their retainers and Dimitri asked his wife to beg of the Governor to let him go to the battle. “Go from out of my sight,” said the father, “you have broken my peace for ever.” After much entreaty he was prevailed on to allow Dimitri to be there, if only as a water carrier for the soldiers.

 

So in a shabby working dress, astride a wretched horse, blind and lame, he set off in front. When the army caught him up, they found that his horse had sunk into a bog, and he was trying with all his might to extricate it. With laughs and jeers they passed on, leaving him alone to do the best he could. When they were out of sight, Dimitri swiftly donned the clothes of the fairies, and mounting his winged horse, sped to a commanding height, where he had a good view of the troops. Seeing that the enemy was eight times greater in number, he dashed into their midst, and slashing right and left, put them to rout in the greatest disorder. In the effort Dimitri cut his wrist, and the Governor gave him his handkerchief with which to bind it up.

 

When the Governor’s army returned victorious, they again came upon Dimitri, still trying to extricate the miserable mare from the bog; and being in good humour with their success, the Governor ordered his soldiers to come to his aid.

 

Shortly after this, the Governor fell ill and became totally blind. All the doctors, all the wise men, all the astrologers were called, but none could think of any remedy.

 

On awaking one morning, the Governor related that he had dreamt that if he washed his eyes with the milk of a wild red goat, he would regain his sight. Hearing this, his two sons-in-law set off in search of such a goat, without taking notice of Dimitri, or asking him to accompany them. He, on his side, went out alone, on his faithful steed, to the mountains where the red goats browsed.

 

Finding quickly both sheep and goats, Dimitri milked the sheep, disguised himself as a goat-herd, and was on the look out for his brothers-in-law. When they came up they asked him if he had milk to sell? He answered, yes, but that having heard of the Governor’s dream, he was going to take this reel goat’s milk to him. Enquiring if he would sell the milk to them, he said he would take no money for it, but that if they wished for the milk he would give them some, if they would allow him to mark them with his brand on their backs.

 

The sons-in-law taking council together, thought it would not do them much harm, so they consented to being branded, and taking the milk, set off quickly to the Governor. He took of the milk and drank it, he bathed his eyes with it, but it had no effect.

 

Sometime after came Didine with a wooden pail, saying, “Father, take this milk and use it, it is brought by my husband-drink it, and bathe your eyes with it, I entreat you.” The Governor answered, “What good has your stupid husband ever done to me? Is it likely he can be of any use now? Even your brothers-in-law who aided me in battle, are no good to me. Have I not forbade you my presence? How dare you intrude?” “I will submit to any punishment you may think fit, father, if you will but wash your eyes with this milk, which your loving daughter brings you.” The Governor seeing that she was so importunate, bathed his eyes with the milk again and again, until he began to see dimly; continuing this, in a few days his sight was quite restored to him.

 

On the Governor’s recovery he gave a great banquet, and Didine with her husband, Dimitri, were allowed to sit at the lower end of the table. While the festivity was at its height, Dimitri arose, and demanding pardon for the interruption, enquired of the Governor if it were right for slaves to sit at the same table as their masters. “Certainly not,” said the Governor. “If that be the case, and as all the world knows you to be a just man, give me justice, and bid your right hand and your left hand guest, arise, for they are my slaves, for proof of which you will find them both branded with my mark.”

 

When the sons-in-law heard this, they began to tremble, and were forced to confess the truth. They were bade to rise, and place themselves behind Dimitri’s chair.

 

Later on Dimitri drew from his pocket, the handkerchief which the Governor gave him to bind his wrist after the battle. “How did you come by this handkerchief?” said the Governor, “for I gave it to the powerful man. sent from God to aid me in the battle.” “Not at all,” said Dimitri, “for you gave it to me.” “Is it so? Could it have been you who stood us in such good stead.”

 

“I alone,” said Dimitri.

 

“It is impossible that I can believe this,” said the Governor, “unless you stand before me precisely as you were when I gave you the handkerchief.” Dimitri rose from the table, and going out quickly, returned clad in a suit of the fairies’ clothes, and with his golden hair let down, to the astonishment of the Governor and his guests. All rose and saluted him on his entrance, the Governor complimented Didine on her choice, and feeling that he was growing old, said he wished to relinquish the Governorship in favour of Dimitri. This done, Dimitri’s power and renown became world-wide talk. He pardoned his brothers-in-law, and gave them good posts in the country.

 

His winged horse returned to fairyland, bearing the three suits of charmed clothing, which he no longer needed. All that remained to him was his hair which was like threads of gold, from his having bathed in the magic bath.

 

His sons and daughters inherited his beautiful hair, and the old women to this day, believe that all true Dimitris ought to have hair as bright and golden as the ripe maize in their cornfields.

 

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From Roumanian Fairy Tales and Legends (1881)

ISBN: 978-0-9560584-9-2

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_rft.html

 

Romanian Fairy Tales and Legends

IT was on the First of May that the Milesians came into Ireland. They came with their wives and their children and all their treasures. There were many of them. They came in ships, and it is said by some that they came from a land beyond the utmost blueness of the sky and that their ships left the track among the stars that can still be seen on winter nights.

When they were come to Ireland they drew up their ships. They put the fastening of a year and a day on them and set foot on the Sacred Land. Amergin was the first to set foot on the Land, and he made this rann in honour of it. He chanted the rann because he was the chief poet and druid among the Milesians.

 

THE RANN.

I am The Wind That Blows Over The Sea,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Wave 0f The Sea,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Sound The Sea Makes,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Ox Of The Seven Combats,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Vulture Upon The Rock,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Ray Of The Sun,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Fairest Of Plants,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Wild Boar,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Salmon in The Water,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Lake In The Plain,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Word 0f Knowledge,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The Spear-Point Of Battle,
Ah-ro-he!
I am The God Who Kindles Fire In The Head,
Ah-ro-he!
Who makes wise the company on the mountain?
Who makes known the ages of the moon?
Who knows the secret resting-place of the sun?
Ah-ro-he!

 

The Milesians gave a victory-shout at the end of the rann, and Amergin said:

“We will go forward now, and when we reach the place where it seems good to rest we will light a fire and put Three Names of Power on the Land so that it may belong to us forever.”

 

They went forward then and they saw no one till Brigit took the shape of a woman that has known hardship, and came to try them. She wrapped herself in the cloak of Sorrow and sat by the roadside. She made a great keening.

 

“O woman,” said Amergin, “why is there such heavy sorrow on you, and why do you make such a shrill keening?”

 

“I am keening lost possessions, and lost queen-ship, and a name cried down the wind of change and forgotten.”

 

“Whose name is cried down the wind?”

 

“The name of Banba that was queen of this land.”

 

“Her name shall not be whirled into forgetfulness. I will put it on this land: it shall be called Banba.”

 

“My blessing on you, Stag with Golden Horns, and may the name-giving bring you luck!”

 

So Amergin gave away the First Name. They went on from that place, and Brigit took the shape of a fierce beautiful queen that has lost a battle, and came again to try them.

 

“O Queen,” said Amergin, “may all the roads of the world be pleasant to you!”

 

“O King,” said Brigit, “all the roads of the world are hard when those who were wont to go in chariots walk barefoot on them.”

 

“O Queen,” said Amergin, “I would fain better your fortune.”

 

“Grant me then a queen’s asking.”

 

“Name your asking.”

 

“I am Eriu, wife of Mac Grian, Son of the Sun, and I would have my name fastened on this land forever.”

 

“I will put your name on this land: it shall be called Eriu.”

 

“My blessing on you, Sun-Crested Eagle, and may the name-giving bring you luck!”

 

So Amergin gave away the Second Name. They went on from that place, and Brigit took the form of an old wrinkled crone bent double with age, and came again to try them. She was gathering sticks, and the bundle was heavy.

 

“O woman,” said Amergin, “it is hard to see you lifting a bundle when age has bent you so low already. I would fain better your fortune.”

 

Brigit raised herself, and said:–

 

“Though I am an old crone now, bent and withered, yet I was once a great queen, and I will take nothing less than a queen’s asking from you.”

 

“What is your asking? ”

 

“Let my name be on this land: I am Fiola.”

 

“I will put your name on this land: it shall be called Fiola.”

 

“My blessing on you, Silver-Spotted Salmon of Knowledge, and may the name-giving bring you luck!”

 

So Amergin gave away the Third Name. It was after that they made a fire for themselves, and when the smoke of it rose against the sky, Ogma, Nuada, and the Dagda, came to try them.

 

“What people are you? ” asked Nuada, “and from what country have you come?”

 

“We are the sons of Milesius,” they answered; “he himself is the son of a god–even of Beltu, the Haughty Father. We are come from Moy More, the Great Plain that is beyond the horizon of the world.”

 

“How got you knowledge of Ireland?” asked Ogma.

 

“O Champion,” answered Amergin, “from the centre of the Great Plain there rises a tower of crystal. Its top pierces the heavens, and from the ramparts of it the wisest one among us got sight of this land. When he saw it his heart was filled with longing, and when he told us of it our hearts too were filled with longing. Therefore we set out to seek that land, and behold we have come to it. We have come to Inisfail, the Island of Destiny.”

 

“And ye have come to it,” said the Dagda, “like thieves in the night; without proclamation; without weapon-challenge. Ye have lighted a fire here, as if this were a no-man’s land. Judge ye if this be hero conduct.”

 

“Your words have the bitterness of truth in them,” said Amergin. “Say now what you would have us do.”

 

“You are a druid and a leader among your people,” said Nuada. “Give judgment, therefore, between yourselves and us.”

 

“I will give judgment,” said Amergin “I judge it right that we should return to our ships and go out the distance of nine waves from the land. Use all your power against us, and we will use all our power against you. We will take the Island of Destiny by the strength of our hands, or die fighting for it!”

 

“It is a good judgment,” said Ogma, “Get back to your ships! We will gather our battle-chiefs for the fight.”

 

Ogma, Nuada, and the Dagda, went away then from the Milesians.

 

The Milesians began to put out the fire they. had kindled, and as they were quenching the embers, Brigit threw her mantle of power about her and came to the Milesians in her own shape. When Amergin saw her he knew that she was the Mighty Mother, and he cried out:

 

“O Ashless Flame, put a blessing on us now, that our luck may not be extinguished with these embers.”

 

“O Druid,” said Brigit, “if you had wisdom you would know that before the First Fire is extinguished the name-blessing should be pronounced over it.”

 

“O Mother of All Wisdom, I know it, but the name-blessing is gone from me. I met three queens as I came hither, and each one asked the name-gift of me. They were queens discrowned: I could not put refusal on them.”

 

Brigit began to laugh then, and she cried:

 

“O Amergin, you are not counted a fool, yet it seems to me that if you had much wit you would know the eyes of Brigit under any cloak in the world. It was I, myself, who asked the name-gift from you three times, and got it Do not ask a fourth blessing from me now, for I have blessed you three times already.”

 

She stooped and lifted a half-quenched ember from the fire. She blew on it till it became a golden flame–till it became a star. She tossed it from one hand to the other as a child tosses a ball. She went away laughing.

 

The Milesians went back to their ships. They put the distance of nine waves between themselves and the land. The Tuatha De Danaan loosed the Fomor on them, and a mighty tempest broke about their ships. Great waves leaped over them and huge abysses of water engulped them. The utmost power of the Milesians could not bring the ships a hair’s breadth nearer to the shore. A terrible wind beat on them. Ireland disappeared. Then Amergin cried out:

 

“O Land, that has drawn us hither, help us! Show us the noble fellowship of thy trees: we will be comrades to them. Show us the shining companies of thy rivers: we will put a blessing on every fish that swims in them. Show us thy hero-hearted mountains: we will light fires of rejoicing for them. O Land, help us! help us! help us!”

 

Ireland heard him, and sent help. The darkness cleared away and the wind was stilled.

 

Then Amergin said:

 

“O Sea, help us! O mighty fruitful Sea! I call on every wave that ever touched the land. O Sea, help us!”

 

The sea heard him, and the three waves that go round Ireland–the wave of Thoth, the wave of Rury and the long slow white foaming wave of Cleena. The three waves came and lifted the ships to the shore. The Milesians landed. The Tuatha De Danaan came down to make trial of their battle-strength. Hard was the contest between them. The Milesians held their own against the gods. When they saw that the Milesians could hold their own, the Tuatha De Danaan drew themselves out of the fight. They laughed and cried to the Milesians:

 

“Good heroes are ye, and worthy to win the earth: we put our blessing on you.”

 

Nuada shook the bell-branch, and the glory that the Tuatha De Danaan had in Tir-na-Moe before they ever set themselves to the shaping of the earth–that glory–came back to them. They had such splendour that the Milesians veiled their eyes before them.

 

“Do not veil your eyes!” said Nuada, “we will draw the Cloak of invisibility, the Faed Feea, about us. We give you Ireland: but, since our hands have fashioned it, we will not utterly leave the country. We will be in the white mist that clings to the mountains; we will be the quiet that broods on the lakes; we will be the joy-shout of the rivers; we will be the secret wisdom of the woods. Long after your descendants have forgotten us, they will hear our music on sunny raths and see our great white horses lift their heads from the mountain-tarns and shake the night-dew from their crested manes: in the end they will know that all the beauty in the world comes back to us, and their battles are only echoes of ours. Lift up your faces, Children of Milesius, Children of Beltu the Haughty Father, and greet the land that belongs to you!”

 

The Milesians lifted up their heads. No glory blinded them, for the Tuatha De Danaan had drawn the Faed Feea about themselves. They saw the sunlight on the grass like emerald fire; they saw the blueness of the sky and the solemn darkness of the pine trees; they heard the myriad sound of shaken branches and running water, and behind it echoed the laughter of Brigit.

 

———————–

From Celtic Wonder Tales collated by Ella Young

ISBN: 978-1-907256-36-3

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_cwt.html