The Story of Oshin
Beautiful is the land of Tir Na Nog, beautiful the land of the ever young. Those who tell the old tales know its beauty well, but there was one man who knew that beauty more than most and his name was Oshin. He was the son of Finn McCool the greatest warrior of Erin, not only a warrior, but he was also a poet.
One day found him riding beside the waters of Erin and there appeared to him a woman of the Tuatha De Danann the faerie folk. Beautiful she was beautiful beyond telling. Beautiful beyond all beauty, and when she saw Oshin, she called to him.
Oshin…. Oshin…. Ride with me and be my lover come with me to my faerie land. Stay and I will need no other. I will never need another man Oshin…. Oshin….Oshin.
So enchanted was Oshin by the beauty of the woman that he rode to where she waited on the hillside, and he mounted up behind her. They rode away together to the faerie land. And they rode fast across the land. Oshin lived with his lady in Faerie land for years without number, yet there grew ion him a longing, a longing to see again the beauty of Erin. The green fields, the blue mountains, the soft rains and the wild waters and to hear its song.
But his Lady warned him that if he ever set foot again in Erin then he would lose his youth and cease to be immortal. He said with his feet in his stirrups when he reached his homeland he would stay above ground and never set foot in Erin. And so, he rode…and he rode…for a long time.
And when he reached Erin, he saw the raising of a great Dolman. A man was trapped beneath a pillar, and all were trying to lift it, so he called to them saying.
“Are you such weaklings lacking a man’s strength to help,” and they shook their fist at him saying. “Only the son of Finn McCool could lift a stone like this. Who do you think you are, Oshin?
And Oshin laughed and said, “That’s exactly who I am, and he leant from his saddle and lifted the stone with one hand and as he raised the stone he thought of his lady of Faerie, and he blessed the day that she lured him to the land of the ever young. He raised the stone higher and higher until it stood upright in its place once more. But as he raised the stone upright the girth on his saddle broke and he tumbled from his horse. He hit the ground and as he touched the ground, he grew older and soon he was as old as though he had never Erin.
They bore him to a hermit’s cell where he swooned away and died, and they buried him on his faerie lady’s hill. Yet time has no meaning in the magic land of faerie, so his love still waits to meet him on their hill and if you listen to the waves that wash the shore of Erin you can sometimes hear her calling for him still.
Oshin…. Oshin…. Oshin