No high-born heroes
No hounds in chase
No shields arrayed…
No silvered soft goblets
No light cavalcades
No youthful assemblies
No beetle-browed maids…
To brighten our desolate halls.
…When their three hundred years were ended the swans left the Sea of Moyle and flew westward until they reached Erris Domnan and the sea around the Isle of Glora.
Here they remained, suffering much from storm and cold.
One night a frost so hard came that the whole of the sea was frozen into a thick floor of ice and the snow was driven by a north-west wind.
It seemed to the three swan brothers then that they could bear their suffering no longer and they began to utter loud and pitiful complaints.
Unable to console them, Finnola herself lamented with her brothers but at the end of the cold snap the swans flew to a small lake where they alighted and there began to sing so sweetly that all the birds of the district gathered in flocks around them on the lake and its shore.
The area became famous, now being known, as the Lake of Bird-Flocks.
During the day the swans flew to points on the coast to feed…
To Inis Kea with its lonely crane, to Achill, and on, to the The Houses of Donn and the many islets along the headlands which look out over the shore of the western sea and beyond.
But at night they always made a dismal return to Glora.
So it happened that the swans came to the attention of a man named Elric who owned a tract of land which lay along the western shore.
Elric took great delight in listening to the plaintive singing of the swans and often walked down to the shore to see them and eventually came to converse with them.
He told his neighbours about the talking swans and their existence became mooted abroad.
He it was who took down their story and arranged its present form…
to be continued…