Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Legend of Oisin in Irish Mythology

Tatskool aka Mother of all Tatting Leprechauns, asked me to tell you about the legend of Oisin. Remember her Leprechaun's name was Fionn before her daughter decided to name the grandson Fionn. So Fionn had to change his name to Fergal. Thus, before he had to change his name, Fergal was Fionn and therefore the father of my Oisin. Below is one rendition of the story. I hope you will enjoy it.

Niamh crossed the Western Sea on a magical horse, Embarr, and asked Fionn mac Cumhail if his son Oisín would come with her to Tir na nÓg (the Land of Youth). Oisín agreed and went with her, promising his father he would return to visit soon. In Irish mythology, Embarr (imagination) is Niamhs horse. ... Fionn mac Cumhail (earlier Finn or Find mac Cumail or mac Umaill, pronounced roughly Finn mac Cool) was a legendary hunter-warrior of Irish mythology, also known in Scotland and the Isle of Man. ... Ossian, by François Pascal Simon Gérard Ossians dream, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1813 Oisín (Old Irish, pronounced , or roughly uh-sheen), son of Fionn mac Cumhail, is a poet and warrior of the fianna in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. ... Tír na nÓg, called in English the Land of Eternal Young, was the most popular of the Otherworlds in Irish mythology, perhaps best known from the myth of Oisín and Niamh of the Golden Hair. ...

Oisín was a member of the Fianna and, though he fell in love with Niamh during their time together in Tir na nÓg, he became homesick after what he thought was three years. Niamh let him borrow Embarr, who could run above ground, and made him promise not to get off of the horse or touch Irish soil. In Irish mythology, the Fianna were Irish warrior-hunters who served the High King of Ireland in the 3rd century AD. Their adventures were recorded in the Fenian Cycle. ...

The three years he spent in Tir na nÓg turned out to be 300 Irish years. When Oisín returned to Ireland, he asked where he could find Fionn mac Cumhail and the Fianna, only to find that they had been dead for hundreds of years and were now only remembered as legends. Whilst travelling through Ireland, Oisín was asked by some men to help them move a standing stone. He reached down to help them, but fell off his horse. Upon touching the ground he instantly became an old man. He is then said to have dictated his story to Saint Patrick, who cared for and nursed him until he died. Meanwhile, Niamh had given birth to his daughter, Plor na mBan. Niamh returned to Ireland to search for him, but he had died.

Now you have had a lesson in Irish Mythology!

1 comment:

  1. You told that so well, a lovely story, Oisin will be proud of you.