The Army Of The Sidhe

A poem by Isabella Augusta

Laegaire, son of the king of Connacht, was out one day with the king his father near Loch na-n Ean, the Lake of Birds, and the men of Connacht with them, and they saw a man coming to them through the mist. Long golden-yellow hair he had, and at his belt a gold-hilted sword, and in his hand two five-barbed darts; a gold-rimmed shield on his back, a five-folded crimson cloak about his shoulders, and it is what he said:

The most beautiful of plains is the Plain of the Two Mists; it is not far from this; the men of its army in good order go out ahead of their beautiful king; they march among blue spears, white troops of fighters with curled hair.

They scatter the troops of their enemies, they destroy every country they make an attack on; they are beautiful in battle, a host with high looks, rushing, avenging.

It is no wonder they to have such strength every one of them is the son of a king and a queen; manes of hair they have of the colour of gold. Their bodies smooth and comely; their eyes blue and far-seeing; their teeth bright like crystal within their thin red lips.

White shields they have in their hands, with patterns on them of white silver; blue shining swords, red horns set with gold. They are good at killing men in battle; good at song-making, good at chess-playing.

The most beautiful of plains is the Plain of the Two Mists; it is not far from this place.

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