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Niamh

by Pomona
Niamh is the daughter of Manannan Mac Lir, the sea god. She was the queen of Tir na n-Og, the Land of Eternal Youth. She fall in love with the great bard Oisin (Ossian) and she went to Ireland across the sea on her magic horse, to take Oisin with her. The horse, named Embarr ("imagination"), could run on the waves, so soon the young lady arrived on the west coast of Ireland.

There she found the Fianna, the warrior group to which Oisin belonged. Young Oisin fall in love with her in the fist moment he saw her, and in the second he was up in the saddle behind her. They returned together to Tir na n-Og, where Oisin spent 3 years (as he thought). Then he became homesick and wished to return to Ireland. Niamh lent him Embarr and Oisin promised her that he would return soon. She told him not to touch the soil of Ireland.

When Oisin arrived home, he found that the 3 years he spent in Tir na n-Og, were in fact 300 years in Ireland. In order to help so people he met, he tried to lift a rock from the road, but fell off the horse and touched the ground. In that moment the horse disappeared and Oisin became an old man. He could never return to the Land of Eternal Youth. Niamh waited for him for a long time, and had a daughter after the young bard had left: a beautiful daughter called Plur na mBan, The Flower of the Lady. Niamh was sad and longed for Oisin, so she decided to go to ireland and find him. But it was too late: Oisin had died and disappeared forever.

While she was on land the faeries of Brittany invited her, but she sent just a magic, moving picture of herself. The faeries became very angry at this, and placed her in a deep wood. She wandered around for a long time with a light on her forehead, but finally found the way out. She was disappointed and angry, and returned to Tir na n-Og, but with a magic spell she took all the faeries' children with herself in revenge.


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