• Conary


There, choice of highway waits us, north or south."
Northward they rode. " What be these moving brakes
Before us ? Nay, 'tis but a running drove
Of antler' d stags. Whence come they ? and whence
These darkening flights of fowl above our heads ? "
" These the wild brood of Clane-Milcarna's dens : "
Replied the druid. "It is another gaysh
For Tara's King to see them leave their lairs
After mid-day ; and ill will come of it,"
" Omens of evil gather round my path,
Though thought of evil in my breast is none,"
Said Conary, and heaved a heavy sigh ;
" Yet, since I reign by law, and holy men
Charged with the keeping of the law, declare
Thou shalt not so-and-so, at such a time
Do or leave undone, it beseems not me
To question for what end the law is so :
Though, were it but a human ordinance,
'Twere, haply, counted childish : but, go to,
I own another violated gaysh ;
I pray forgiveness of offended Heaven ;
And, since some fierce invading enemy —
Misguided brothers, that it be not you ! —
Bars our approach to Tara, let us choose
Cualann highroad ; for Cualann-ward there dwells
One whom I once befriended ; and I know
His home will give me shelter for to-night,
Knew I aright the way that leads to it."
" Name of the man, oh King ? " demanded Cecht
(Fly ye, foes all, fly ye before the face
Of Cecht, the battle-sidesman of the King ! )

Highway, Evil, Undone
Linen Hall Library, "Ferg004", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sat, 04/20/2024 - 07:12, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/ferg004