Legends: Oisín And The Land Of Eternal Youth

Legends: Oisín And The Land Of Eternal Youth

A Celtic Warrior and His Beloved
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I feel that people these days know a least a little mythology. People have heard of Zeus and Thor, but beyond that don't know global myths. I feel that Celtic myths are especially rare, so I decided to tell one. This is the story of Oisín and the land of eternal youth.

Oisín was the son of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, another legendary Celtic figure. Oisín was also the leader of the Fianna who guarded the king of Ireland as well as going out on adventures. One day, while out hunting, Oisín and his companions find a beautiful princess. Sitting atop a white horse wearing a dress that looked as if it was made from the stars themselves. Oisín instantly fell in love with this gorgeous woman and asked who she was. She told him her name was Niamh.

The two were so head over heels for each other that they wanted to be together forever. Niamh took Oisín back to her home. The two rode across the sea to Niamh's home, the kingdom of Tír Na nÓg, the land of eternal youth. immediately on their arrival, Oisín 's every need was met. He and Niamh were married in an extravagant ceremony.

This land was strange to Oisín. Whenever Oisín hungered golden plates filled with delicious food would appear. Every day he would go hunting and explore as he had in Ireland. The land wasn't without entertainment for an adventurer. Every night he would fall asleep in Niamh's arms and his injuries would magically heal. Tír Na nÓg was perfect.

Three years passed and Oisín became restless. He missed Ireland, his family, and the Fianna. The day finally came and Oisín couldn't take it anymore and began packing for the trip back. Niamh didn't stop him but warned him to not let his feet touch the earth of the mortal realm and to stay on his horse.

Oisín rode back to his homeland. When he arrived, he found the sky dark and a powerful shadow cast upon the land. He rode through the woods calling out for his father and the Fianna but only the wind would reply. As he rode he came upon a group of people trying to remove a stone from the road.

Completely forgetting Niamh's warning, he dismounted his horse and easily moved the stone. The crowd was in awe of this man's strength, but their awe turned to horror. In an instant, the hero who had stood before them turned into a weak old man with a massive grey beard. Again, Oisín called for his father and the Fianna. The people recognized the names he shouted, but they were from history. The people said that Fionn and the Fianna hadn't roamed Ireland in 300 years. Oisín died soon after hearing this.

It is said that Tír Na nÓg can be seen at the edge of the horizon or in some caves around Ireland. Some see Tír Na nÓg, but others see a beautiful princess atop a white horse, awaiting the return of her beloved.



Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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