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Deirdìre

A black-and-white painting of a young, sad-looking dark-haired woman.

Chapter Two

II

II

Bha Deirdìre agus a muime altruim a' tàmh anns a' bhothan am measg nam beann, gun fios, gun fàth aig duine beò mu 'n deighinn no mu dheighinn sian a thachair, gus an robh Deirdìre ceithir-bliadhna-diag a dh' aois. Bha Deirdìre a' fàs mar am fiùran fionn, agus i dìreach, deas, mar an luachran mòintich. Bha i os cionn coimeas sluagh an t-saoghail, dealbhach na pearsa, sgiamhach na maise, agus a lìth agus a lùth mar eala nan tonn agus eilid nam beann. Is i boinne-fala bu chaoine cruth, a b'aillidhe snuadh agus a bu shuairce mein eadar ùir agus adhar an Eirinn; agus ge b' e air bith dath no dreach a bhiodh oirre roimhe sin, cha robh sùil a shealladh na h-aodann nach rachadh ise na caoire dearga fala r' a linn. Deirdire and her nurse-mother were dwelling in the low little bothy among the great high hills, without the knowledge, without the suspicion of any living one about them, or of anything that happened, till Deirdìre was fourteen years of age. Deirdìre was growing as lithe and fair as the stately sapling, and as straight and symmetrical as the young moorland rush. She was above comparison of the people of the world, shapely in her person, lovely in her beauty, while her skin and her gait were like those of the swan of the lake and the hind of the hill. She was the blood-drop of finest form, of loveliest complexion, and of gentlest mien between earth and sky in Eirin. And whatever other colour or complexion she should have on before, no eye looked in her face but she instantly went into blushes like glowing fire on the occasion.
A painting of a dark-haired young woman with a cloak pulled up over her hair.
Is i boinne-fala bu chaoine cruth, a b'aillidhe snuadh agus a bu shuairce mein eadar ùir agus adhar an Eirinn.
Bha am boirionnach a bha na bun a' toirt a h-uile fiosrachaidh agus eòlais do Dheirdire air an robh fios agus eòlas aice fhèin. Cha robh fiar a' fàs a friamh, no ian a' sèinn a coill, no reul a' soilise à nèamh air nach robh ainm aig Deirdìre. Ach aon rud, cha robh i airson gu'm biodh cuid no còmhradh aice ri neach beò do shluagh coitcheann an t-saoghail. The nurse-mother was teaching Deirdìre all the intelligence and knowledge of which she herself had intelligence and knowledge. There was no plant springing from root, nor bird singing from grove, nor star gleaming from heaven, for which Deirdìre had not a name. But one thing, the woman did not wish that Deirdìre should have communion or converse with any living one of the general people of the earth.
Ach oidhche dhùdarra gheamhraidh agus na neoil dhubha fo ghruaim, agus sealgair sìthne siubhail a bha sgìth ri siubhal bheann, dè ach a thàinig seachran-seilg air an duine, agus chaill e a chùrsa agus a chompanaich. Thuit tromaltan cadail air an duine, agus e sgìth ri siubhal shliabh, agus laigh e sìos ri taobh an tolmain bhoidhich ghuirm an robh Deirdìre a' tamh agus chaidil e. Bha an duine fann le acras agus allaban, agus ga lathadh le fuachd, agus thàinig suain chadail air. An uair a laigh e sìos ri taobh a' ghrianain ghuirm an robh Deirdìre tàmh, thàinig bruaillean air an duine agus bha dùil aige gu'n robh e ann am blàths brùgh nan sìthichean agus na sìthichean a stigh ri ceòl. Dh' èubh an sealgair na bhruaillean ma bha duine anns a' bhrùgh iad ga leigeadh a stigh air sgàth Nì-maith. But on a wild, wintry night and the dark clouds surly, a hunter of wandering game was tired with travelling hills, and what but hunt-wandering came on the man, and he lost his course and his companions. Drowsiness came down on the man from wandering the hills, and he laid himself down beside the beautiful green knoll in which Deirdìre dwelt, and he fell asleep. The man was weak from hunger and fatigue, and benumbed with cold, and deep sleep came on him. When he lay down beside the green bower in which Deirdìre abode, sleep-wandering came upon the man, and he thought that he was in the warmth of the mound of the fairies, and the fairies making music within. The hunter called in his dreams, if there was any one in the mound that they would let him in for the sake of the Good Being
Chuala Deirdìre an guth agus thuirt i r'a muime, "A mhuime, gu dè tha sud?"

"Cha'n 'eil ach rud gun diù -- eòin na h-ealtainn air seachran agus iad a' sireadh a chèile; ach siubhladh iad seachad gu doire nan geug." Thàinig an sin bruaillean eile air an t-sealgair agus dh' èubh e a-rithist ma bha duine steach anus a' bhrùgh, air sgàth Tì-nan-dùl iad ga leigeadh a stigh.

"Dè tha sud?" orsa Deirdìre.

"Cha'n 'eil ach rud gun dòigh," ors' a muime-- "eòin na coille air chall air a chèile; ach siubhladh iad seachad gu doire nan geug." Thàinig an sin bruaillean eile air an t-sealgair, agus dh' eubh e mach an treasa turas ma bha duine anns a' bhrùgh, air sgàth Dia-nan-dùl a leigeadh a stigh, gu'n robh e ga lathadh le fuachd agus ga chlaoidh le acras.

"O, gu dè tha sud, a mhuime?" orsa Deirdìre.

"Cha ruig thusa leas dùil a bhith agad gu bheil dad an sud gu toileachadh a thoirt duit, a bhuinneag; am bheil an sud ach eòin na h-ealtainn agus iad air call a chèile; ach siubhladh iad seach ad gu doire nan geug. Cha'n 'eil fasgath no fardach an seo daibh a-nochd."

"O, mhuime, dh' iarr an t-ian a stigh air sgàth Dia-nan-dùl, agus their thu fhein riumsa nì air bith a dh' iarrar oirnn na ainm-san gur coir dhuinn a dhèanadh. Mur leig thu leam an t-ian a tha ga lathadh le fuachd agus ga chlaoidh le acras a leigeil a stigh cha mhòr is diù leam fhèin do chainnt no do chreideamh. Ach o 'n a tha mise toirt cèill do d' chainnt agus do d' chreideamh a dh' ionnsaich thu dhomh, leigidh mi fhèin a stigh an t-ian."
Deirdìre heard the voice, and she said to the nurse-mother, "Nurse-mother, what is that?"

"Only a thing of little worth, the birds of the air astray from each other, and seeking one another; but let them hie them away past to the forest of branches." Another sleep-wandering came upon the hunter, and he called again, if there was any one in the knoll for the sake of the Being of the Elements to let him in.

"What is that?" said Deirdìre.

"Only a thing without sense, the birds of the woods astray from each other, and seeking one an other; but let them hie them away past to the forest of branches." Then another sleep-wandering came upon the hunter, and he called out the third time, if there was any one in the knoll for the sake of the God of the Elements to let him in, for he was benumbed with cold and sore with hunger.

"Oh! what is that, nurse - mother?" said Deirdìre.

"Thou needst not think there is aught there to give thee gladness, maiden," said the nurse-mother, "there is there but the birds of the air and they having lost one another; but let them hie them away past to the forest of branches. There is neither shelter nor home for them here this night."

"Oh! nurse-mother, the bird asked in the name of the God of the Elements, and thou thyself sayest to me that whatever is asked of us in His name that it should be done. If thou wilt not allow me to let in the bird benumbed with cold and sore with hunger, I myself will doubt thy speech and thy faith. But, as I believe in thy speech and in thy faith that thou didst teach me, I myself will let in the bird."
Agus dh' eirich Deirdìre agus thug i an cleite bhar comhla an doruis, agus leig i stigh an sealgair. Chuir i suidheachan an àite suidhe, biadh an àite ithidh, agus deoch an àit' òil, dha 'n duine thainig dhachaidh. And Deirdìre arose, took the bar off the leaf of the door, and she let in the hunter. She placed a seat in a place of sitting, food in a place of eating, and drink in a place of drinking, for the man who came home.
"Siuthad agus ith biadh agus tu riatanach air," orsa Deirdìre.

"An ta, bha mise sin, riatanach air biadh, agus air deoch agus air blàths, an trath thainig mi dachaidh dha 'n tulaich so; ach nar a meal mi mo shlàinte mur d' fhalbh iad diom co loma luath agus a chunna mi thu."

"O bhith 's aodaich, a dhuine thainig dhachaidh nach ann air do theang' tha an ruiteis!" ors' a' chailleach, "Cha mhòr an nì dhuit do bhial a chumail dùinte, agus do theang a chumail balbh ri linn duit tighinn dachaidh agus fasgath na fardaich fhaighinn air oidhche dhùdarra gheamhraidh."

"An ta," ors' an sealgair, "faodaidh mise sin a dhèanamh, mo bhial a chumail dùinte agus mo theang a chumail balbh ri linn domh tighinn dachaidh agus aoidheachd fhaighinn uait; ach air làimh d' athar agus do sheanar, agus air do dhà làimh fhèin ga 'n saoradh sin, na 'm faiceadh cuid eile shluagh an t-saoghail am boinne fala ta agad gu falachaidh an seo cha b' fhada sin fhèin, a Rìgh nan dùl 's nan domhan, a dh' fhàgadh iad agadsa i."

"Dè na daoine tha sin, no cò iad?" orsa Deirdìre.

"An ta, innsidh mise sin dhuits, a nighean," ors' an sealgair, "tha Naoise mac Uisne, agus Aillean agus Ardan, a dhà bhràthair."

"Agus dè e coltas nam feadhnach sin ri linn am faicinn, na'm faiceadhmaid iad?" orsa Deirdìre.

"An ta, sud agad an ainm agus an sloinneadh, na chunna agus na chuala mise orra," ors' an sealgair, "agus is e dreach agus dealbh nan daoine ri linn am faicinn, lìth an fhithich air an gruag, an cneas mar eala nan tonn, an leac mar fhuil an laoigh bhric dheirg, agus an lùth agus an leum mar bhradan a' bhoinne-bhrais agus mar fhiadh a bhearraidh bhric, agus tha na bheil os cionn cromadh an dà shlinnein a bharrachd aig Naois air sluagh eile na h-Eirinn."
"Go on and eat food, and thou needful of it," said Deirdìre.

"Well, I was that, needful of food, and of drink and of warmth, when I came home to this knoll," said the hunter; "but may I never enjoy my health if these are not gone from me as soon as ever I beheld thee, maiden."

"Oh, food and clothing! thou man who camest home, is it not upon thy tongue the talk is." said the woman. "It is not a great thing for thee to keep thy mouth shut and thy tongue dumb on coming home here and obtaining the shelter of the dwelling on a cold wintry night."

"Well," said the hunter, "I may do that, keep my mouth closed and keep my tongue dumb, on my coming home and receiving hospitality from thee; but, by thy father's hand, and thy grandfather's, and by thine own two hands to free these, were some others of the world's people to see this blood-drop whom thou hast in hiding here, it is not long, O King of the elements and of the world, that they would leave her with thee."

"What people are these or who are they?" said Deirdìre.

"Well, I will tell thee that, maiden," said the hunter. "They are Naoise, the son of Uisne, and Aillean and Ardan, his two brothers."

"And what is the likeness of these on being seen, should we see them?" said Deirdìre.

"Well, those for you are their names and descent, all that I saw and heard of them," said the hunter; "and the appearance and form of the men on being seen is the colour of the raven on their hair, their skin like the swan of the waves, and their cheeks like the blood of the speckled-red fawn, while their strength and their stateliness are those of the salmon of the rapid stream and the stag of the brindled hill; and Naoise has all above the slope of the two shoulders over the other people of Eirin."
"Dè air bith mar tha iad," ors' a' bhan-altruim, "bi thusa a' falbh às a seo, agus a' gabhail rathaid eile, agus a Rìgh na gile 's na grèine, gu dearbh agus gu deimhin is beag mo chomain no mo chiatadh fhèin dhiot fhèin no dhe 'n tè thug a stigh thu." "However they are," said the foster mother, "be thou going out of here, and taking another road, and oh! King of the moon, and of the sun, truly and verily small are my own obligations or delight for thyself or for her who let thee in."
Dh' fhalbh an sealgair. Beagan an deigh dha falbh smaointich an duine aige fhèin gu'n robh Conachar, rìgh Ulla, a' laighe agus ag èirigh leis fhèin, gun chagar comhraidh, gun chèile conaltraidh ; agus na 'm faiceadh e am boinne-fala bha so gur dòcha gu'n tugadh e dachaidh i d' a ionnsaidh fhèin, agus gu'n dèanadh e gean-math ris-san fhèin ri linn innseadh da gu'n robh a leithid do rìghinn air bith-braonach an t-saoghail. The hunter went his way. Shortly after he left, the man thought to himself that Conachar, the king of Ulster, was lying down and rising up alone without a confidential love, without a conversational mate beside him, and that were he to see this blood-drop that was here, he might possibly bring her home to himself, and perhaps do a good deed to him himself for telling him that there was such a damsel on the surface of the living dewy world.
Falbhar an sealgair, lom agus direach gu pàilios Rìgh Conachar. Chuir e fios a stigh thun an rìgh gu'm bu toigh leis a bhith a' seanchas ris, na 'm b' e chead e. Fhreagair an rìgh an teachdaireachd agus thàinig e a mach a sheanchas ris an duine. "Gu dè e fath do thuruis riums'?" ors' an rìgh ris an t-sealgair.

"Is e fath mo thuruis fhèin ruibh, a Rìgh," ors' an sealgair, "gu'm faca mi an aona bhoinne-fala is àillidhe a rugadh riamh an Èirinn, agus thàinig mi ga innseadh dhuibh."

"Cò i am boinne-fala tha sin, no c' àit am bheil i ri fhaicinn, an uair nach facas riamh roimhe i gus am fac thusa i, ma chunnaic thu i ?"

"An ta, chunnaic mise i," ors' an sealgair, "ach ma chunnaic cha'n fhaic fear eile i gu'm faigh e seòladh air an àite am bheil i a' tàmh."

"Agus an seòl thu dhomhsa far am bheil i' tàmh, agus bidh duais do sheòlaidh cho math ri duais do theachdaireachd?" ors' an rìgh.

"An ta, seòlaidh, a Rìgh, ga dòcha nach bithear air a shon," ors' an sealgair.

"Fuirichidh tu anns an teaghlaich seo fhèin an nochd," orsa Conachar, "agus falbhaidh mise agus mo dhaoine leat moch maduinn am màireach."

"Fuirichidh," ors' an sealgair. Fuirichear an sealgair an oidhche sin an teaghlaich Rìgh Conachair.
The hunter went straight and direct to the palace of King Conachar. He sent a message in to the king that he would like to be talking to him were it his pleasure. The king answered the message and came out to speak to the man. "What is the purport of thy errand with me?" said the king to the hunter.

"The cause of my own business with you, King," said the hunter, "is that I have seen the loveliest blood-drop that ever was born in Eirin, and I have come to tell you."

"Who is she that blood-drop, and where is she to be seen, when she had not been seen ever before till thou didst see her, if seen her thou hast?" said the king.

"Well, I have seen her," said the hunter; "but if I have, no one else can see her till he gets guidance to the place where she dwells."

"And wilt thou guide me to the place where she dwells, and the reward for thy guidance will be as good as the reward for thy messaging," said the king.

"Well, I will, O King," said the hunter, "though probably my doing so may not be wished."

"Thou shalt remain in this household itself tonight, and I and my men will go with thee at early morning to-morrow," said Conachar.

"I will stay," said the hunter. The hunter remained that night in the household of King Conachar.
Chuir Conachar, rìgh Ulla, fios air na daoine bu dìlse dha mar bha triùir mhac Fhearachair 'ic Ro, clann bhràthar athar fhèin, agus leig e a rùn riù. Ge bu mhìn mochaireach ceileireachd ian nan còs agus ceòl ian nan doire, bu mhoiche na sin moch-èirigh Chonachair, rìgh Ulla, le a chòmhlan chaomh chairdean an caoin chamhanaich a' Chèitein chiùin, ùir, agus bruchd dhe 'n dealt air bharraibh gach dois, luis agus freumh, a' falbh a thoirt a-mach a ghrianain ghuirm an robh Deirdìre tàmh. Bha iomadh og ghaisgeach aig an robh ceum lùthmhor, leumnaidh, luaineach aig am falbh, aig an robh ceum fann, fàilneach, fiaraidh a' ruighinn, aig faidead an astair agus gairbhead na slighe. Conachar, the king of Ulster, sent word to the men who were nearest of kin to himself, such as the three Sons of Fearachar, the son of Ro, the children of his own father's brother, and he told them his secret intent. Though soft and early was the carolling of the birds of the bush, and the song of the birds of the grove, yet earlier still was the early rising of Conachar, the king of Ulster, and his band of trusted friends in the mild morning dawn of the gentle, fresh May, with an outpouring of dew on the points of sapling, bush, and plant, going in search of the green sunny sheiling in which Deirdìre dwelt. There was many a gay gallant of lithe, lively, lightsome step at leaving, who was of weak, wounded, waddled step on reaching there, from the greatness of the distance and the roughness of the way.
A painting of a high mountain pass, late on in the day, with some riders -- dwarfed by the landscape but just visible -- coming towards the viewer.
A' falbh a thoirt a-mach a ghrianain ghuirm an robh Deirdìre tàmh.
"Siud e a nis shìos air ùrlar a' ghlinne, am brùgh am bheil am boirionnach a' tàmh; ach cha tèid mise na 's faisge na seo air a' chaillich," ors' an sealgair. Chaidh Conachar le choisir chairdean a sìos thun an tolmain an robh Deirdìre tàmh, agus ghnog e ann an dorus a' bhoth. Thuirt a' bhan-altruim nach tugteadh freagar no fosgladh do neach air bith, agus nach robh i air son neach air bith a chur dragh oirre fhèin no air a bothan. "Fosgail thus'," orsa Conachar, "agus gheibh thu talla is feàrr na seo ri linn duinn a dhol dachaidh."

"Cha'n 'eil mise," ors' a' bhean bhochd, "a' sireadh talla no tuam is feàrr na mo bhothan fèin na 'm fàgt' ann mi, agus cead mo laighe 's m' èirigh fhàgail agam fhèin. Cha lugha na facal rìgh agus feachd rìoghachd a chuireas mis as mo bhothan fhèin an nochd."

"Fosgail thus, agus mur fosgail thu dhe do dheoin fosglaidh tu dhe d' aindeoin," ors' an rìgh, agus e fàs feargach.

"An ta bhithinn na 'r comain," ors' am boirionnach, "na 'n tugadh sibh brath dhomh cò tha sireadh orm dorus mo bhothain fhosgladh."

"Tha mise, Conachar, rìgh Ulla, agus na biodh a' chùis an dalla-chrannachd ort na 's fhaide." An uair a chuala bhean bhochd cò bha 's an dorus, dh' èirich i le cabhaig, agus leig i stigh an rìgh agus na thoilleadh a stigh d' a choisir.
"There it is now, down on the floor of the glen, the sheiling in which the woman abides, but I will go no nearer than this to the carlin," said the hunter. Conachar and his band of trusted friends went down to the knoll wherein Deirdìre dwelt, and they knocked at the door of the hut. The foster-mother said that no answer or opening would be given to any one, and that she was not for any person to be molesting herself or her home.

"Open thou," said Conachar, "and thou shalt get a better hall than this when we get home."

"I am not wanting a better hall or house than my own little bothy were I left in it," said the poor woman, "and permission for my lying down and my rising up left to myself. It is not less than the word of a king and the army of a kingdom that shall drive me from my own little hut this night."

"Open thou, and if thou wilt not open it with thy will thou shalt open it against thy will," said the king, and he growing angry.

"Indeed I would be obliged to you," said the woman, "were you to tell me who is seeking me to open my bothy door?"

"It is I, Conachar, the king of Ulster, and let not the matter be in darkness to thee longer." When the poor woman heard who was at the door she arose with haste and she let in the king and all who could hold within of his band.
An uair a chunnaic an rìgh am boirionnach a bha air a chionn, agus air an robh e an toir, bha leis nach fac e riamh ann an cùrs' an là no ann an aislig na h-oidhche boinne-fala cho àillidh ri Deirdìre, agus thug e cudrom a chridhe de ghaol di. Cha robh manear d'a fhèin agus d'a dhaoine, bho thoiseach gu crìch na cùise, ach Deirdìre a spìonadh leo air fras-mhullach an guailne, biodh nar-a biodh i deònach. Is e so a rinneadh, thogadh Deirdìre air fras-mhullach ghuala nan laoch, agus thugadh i fhèin, agus a muim-altruim air falbh gu pàilios Righ Conachar, Ulla. When the king saw the damsel who was before him and of whom he was in search, he thought to himself that never in the course of the day nor in a dream of the night saw he a blood-drop so lovely as Deirdìre; and he gave her the weight of his heart of love. There was nothing in his own mind, or in the minds of his men, from the beginning to the end of the matter, but to snatch Deirdìre away on the summit of their shoulders be she willing or not. This was what was done, and Deirdìre was raised on the summit of the shoulders of the heroes, and she herself and her foster mother were taken away to the palace of King Conachar of Ulster.
Leis an dèigh a bha aig Conachar air Deirdìre bha e deònach a posadh air làrach nam bonn, biodh nar-a biodh ise deònach es' a phòsadh. An uair a chuireadh a' chùis na cead-se, cha dèanadh i idir, idir e, a muigh no mach, agus nach fac i cruitheachd creutair riamh thuige so. Cha robh fios aice air deanadas mna no air gnathachadh maighdinn, agus nach do shuidh i riamh ann an cuideachd no an còmhlan thuige so. Cha b' urra dhi urrad agus suidhe air séur le cion nach fac i daoine riamh thuige so. Leis mar bha Conachar a' sparadh pòsaidh air Deirdìre thuirt i ris na 'n leigeadh e leatha dàil là agus bliadhna gu'm biodh i na chomain. Thuirt e rithe gu'n tugadh e siud di ge bu chruaidh e, na'n tugadh ise gealladh cinnteach dasan gu'm posadh i e air ceann na bliadhna. Thug i so. With the fondness that Conachar had for Deirdìre he wished to marry her immediately (lit, on the track of their soles) whether or not she was willing to marry him. When the matter was placed before her she would not do it at all, at all, and that she never saw the features of living man till now. She had no knowledge of the duties of wife, nor of the manners of maiden, and that she had never sat in gathering or in company before. She could not so much as sit on a chair, because she never saw people till now. From the way that Conachar was thrusting marriage upon Deirdìre she said, if he would give her a delay of a year and a day she would be obliged to him. He said he would give her that, though it would be hard, if she would give him a sure promise that she would marry him at the end of the year. She gave this.
Fhuair an rìgh bean-ionnsachaidh do Dheirdire, agus màighdeanan cridheil, grinn, modhail, mìn, mèinneach a bhiodh a' laighe agus ag èirigh, a' cluich agus a' còmhradh leatha. The king got a teaching woman for Deirdìre, and merry, elegant, mannerly, gentle, modest maidens who would be lying down and rising up, and playing and conversing with her.
Bha Deirdìre deanadach ann an gnìomh màighdinn agus ann an tuigse mna ; agus bha le Conachar nach fac e fhèin le shùilean corpora riamh boinne fala cho taitneach rithe. Deirdìre was eident in maidenly acquirements and in womanly knowledge, and Conachar bethought him that he never himself with his bodily eyes saw a blood-drop so pleasing as she.
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