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Niamh

A goddess of great beauty who appeared to the Fenians when they were hunting near Lake Killamey. She told them she was the daughter of the Son of the Sea. The following eighteenth century poem,reveals the ancient story of her beauty.

A royal crown was on her head,
And a brown mantle of precious silk,
Spangled with stars of real gold,
Covering her shoes down to the grass,
A gold ring was hanging down
From each yellow curl of her golden hair,
Her eyes, blue, clear, and cloudless,
Like a dew-drop on top of the grass,
Redder were her cheeks than the rose,
Fairer was her visage
Than the swan upon the wave,
And more sweet
Was the taste of her balsam lips,
Than honey mingled thro' red wine.
A gaarment, wide, long, and smooth,
Covered the white steed,
There was a comely saddle of red gold,
And her right hand
Held a bridle with a golden bit,
Four shoes well shaped were under him,
A silver wreath was on the back of his head,
And there was not in the world a steed better.

Such was Niamh of the Golden Hair, Lir's daughter, and it is small wonder that when she chose Ossian from among the sons of men to be her lover, all Finn's suppplications coiuld not keep him. He mounted behind her on her faery-horse, and they rode across the land to the seeashore, and then over the tops of the waves. As they went, she described the country of the gods to him in just the same terms as Ler himself had pictured it to Bran, son of Febal, as Mider had painted to Etain, and as everyone that went there limned it to those that stayed at home on earth.

It is the most delightful country to be found,
Of greatest repute under the sun,
Trees drooping with fruit and blossoms,
And foliage growing on the tops of boughs
.Abundant, there, are honey and wine,
And everything that eye has beheld,
There will not come decline
On thee with lapse of time,
Death or decay though wilt not see.

- Mighael Comyn -