• Conary


" Nay then," said Cecht, " it never shall be said
My royal master craved a drink in vain.
And water in a well, and life in me.
Swear ye to stand around him while ye live
And I with but the goblet in one hand.
And this good weapon in the other, will forth
And fetch him drink ;— alone, or say, with whom ? "

None answered but the little Ferflath ; he
Cried, " Take me with thee, papa Cecht, take me ! "
Then Cecht took up the boy and set him high
On his left shoulder with the golden cup
Of Conary in his hand ; he raised his shield
High up for the protection of the child.
And forth the great door, as a loosened rock
(Fly ye, foes all, fly ye before the face
Of Cecht, the battle-sidesman of the king !)
That from a hill side shoots into a brake,
Went through and through them with a hunter's bound ;
And with another, and another, reached
The outer rim of darkness, past their ken.
Then down he set the lad, and hand in hand,
They ran together till they reached the well
And 'filled the cup.
" My little son, stay here,"
Said Cecht, " and I will carry, if I may.
His drink to Conary."

" Oh, papa Cecht,
Leave me not here," said Ferflath ; "I shall run
Beside thee, and shall follow in the lane,
Thou'lt make me through them."
" Come then," answered Cecht,
" Bear thou the cup, and see it spill not : come ! "
But ere they ran a spear-throw, Ferflath cried,
" Ah me, I've stumbled, and the water's spilt."

Goblet, Darkness, Ferflath
Linen Hall Library, "Ferg030", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Thu, 05/06/2021 - 14:16, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/ferg030