The Tale of Bally-mac-Buan…

*

Bally ‘sweet-speech’ the renowned story teller

secretly arranged to tryst with Elaine, daughter of king Fergus.

The one from Ulster, the other from Leinster…

Both set out to meet at Ross-na-Ree on the south side of the river Boyne.

Bally and his troupe had reached Dundalk

before fatigue overtook them and they rested awhile.

Heading towards them from the south, along the shore, came a hideous spectre.

Vehement his step and rapid his progress.

He sped over the earth as a hawk falling on prey.

“From where do you hail, and to where are you heading in so swift a manner?” called Bally to the man, if man he was.

“Why, to the mouth of the river Bann, I am heading,” said the uncanny one, “back north from Leinster Mount.”

“What news from the south?” said Bally.

“No news that is good news,” said the traveller, “Elaine, daughter of Fergus, has died by forcible detention of the Leinster-Men.”

On so saying the spectre darted away from the company like a blast of wind over green sea.

When Bally heard this he fell dead on the spot.

His company raised a ‘rath’ and through it a Yew tree grew.

Its canopy took the form and shape of Bally’s face and features…

*

*

to be continued

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