• Deirdre


Mount, daughter Deirdre. Fill the cup again,
And fair farewells and healths to all of you.

Fergus, thou wilt not pass a brother's door ?
We wait thee at Dunseverick. Let thy wards
Take the protection of thy own good sons.
They'll see them safe. To that end Buino Borb
Is this same morning from Emania come,
And here finds Ulan by a lucky chance
Journeying thither with his company.
Thy honor shall not suffer in their hands.

Fergus, thou'rt pledged to us. Say nay to him.

He shall not say me nay. My board is spread ;
The choicest Brethren of the Branch are there,
And much would marvel should his place be void.
His sons are well-sufficient in his room.
What though ye journeyed to the Branch alone,
None dare molest you, such a sheltering shield
Is the pledged word of Fergus ; and they know,
From post to post, 'tis on his guarantee
And pass-word that ye travel ; since the king
On his assurances has pardoned you.

Fergus, I put thee under bond and vow,
Pledged but to-day, that thou desert us not.

Fergus, I put thee under bond and vow.
Pledged when we made thee Brother of the Branch,
Thou pass not further till thou sup with me.

I pray thee, Barach, to forbear thy suit.

No : neither will I that forbear, nor bear
This public scorn that Deirdre puts on me.

Naisi, what answer wouldst thou I should make .''
I cannot halve myself : but these, my sons,
Are part of me and will not shame the rest.
They cannot fill my place at Barach's board,
But, at your side for convoy, well they can.

Where vow conflicts with vow, first-vow'd, prevails,
Therefore, though Barach's be a churlish choice.
Made against woman and way-faring men,
I judge him best entitled. Sup with him.
Buino, I have not known thee until now,
But deem thy father's son must needs be true,
Courteous, and valiant. Ulan I have known
Since childhood, and in saying that, say all
That commendation vouches in a man.
What then, young nobles, are ye ready, say,
To be our convoy in your father's room,
From hence to Eman gate, and thenceforward
Till Fergus do rejoin us .''

Ready, sir.

I ask no oaths. I read in eyes of both
Bright honor's pledge ; and so commit myself
My wife, my brethren, and my serving train
Into your keeping. Mount, and let us ride.

Sons, play the part of men, and show me well
In your presentment of me at the court.
Thou, Buino, have my spear : and, Illan, thou

Childhood, Eman, Brethren
Linen Hall Library, "Ferg049", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sat, 05/21/2022 - 01:46, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/ferg049