• Deirdre


Do love him better, were that possible
Where love was always best, than e'er before.

My pet, my precious one, we know not yet
But that the king may treat us honestly.
If to the Red Branch lodging we be sent,
Mistrust him : but, elsewhere, set face to face,
And other champions of the province by,
He durst not venture such a villany
As thy dark-omening spirit shudders at.
But, see, we near the town. The sun sets red.
And turns the low-hung awning of the clouds
Into a lowering, crimson canopy.

Blood-red it hangs. I know the augury
But knowledge and forewarning now come late.

We near the palace. See, a steward comes
To lead us to our lodging. Sir, precede :
We follow. 'Tis the Red Branch, as I see,
We are assigned to. Often in this hall
Have I been merry, and will be again.
Here's supper laid. Beseech you sit ye down
And let's refresh ourselves,

I cannot eat.

Nor I, in truth. I have been somewhat chafed.
Give me some wine ; and set the chess-tables.
Ardan will play with me, to pass the time,
Till haply Conor send us his commands.
And, Ainle, thou be umpire of the game.

Red Branch, Spirit, Supper
Linen Hall Library, "Ferg059", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sun, 05/09/2021 - 13:58, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/ferg059