• Conary


" Gods ! can it be," said Conary, " that my chiefs
Desert me in this peril ! "
" King," said Cecht,
" Escape who will, we here desert thee not."
" Oh, never will I think that Conall fled,"
Said Ferflath. " He is brave and kind and true,
And promised me he would return again.
It is these wicked sprites of fairy-land
Who have beguiled the chiefs away from us."
" Alack," the Druid cried ; " he speaks the truth :
He has the seer's insight which the gods
Vouchsafe to eyes of childhood. We are lost ;
And for thy fault, oh Conary, the gods
Have given us over to the spirits who dwell
Beneath the earth."
" Deserted I may be.
Not yet disheartened, nor debased in soul,"
Said Conary " My sons are with me still,
And thou, my faithful sidesman, and you all
Companions and partakers of my days
Of glory and of power munificent,
I pray the gods forgiveness if in aught,
Weighty or trifling, I have done amiss ;
But here I stand, and will defend my life.
Let come against me power of earth or hell.
All but the gods themselves the righteous ones,
Whom I revere."

" My king," said Cecht, " the knaves
Swarm thick as gnats at every door again,
Behoves us make a circuit, for ourselves.
Around the house ; for so our fortune stands
That we have left us nothing else to choose
But, out of doors, to beat them oflF, or burn
Within doors ; for they fire the house anew."
Then uprose kingly Conary himself
And put his helmet on his sacred head,
And took his good sharp weapon in his hand,
And braced himself for battle long disused.

Druid, Childhood, Gods
Linen Hall Library, "Ferg028", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sat, 05/21/2022 - 01:08, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/ferg028