Albion, Art, Folk Tale, Stuart France

Bally’s Tale: Apple and Yew…


…Afterwards the same uncanny man went to the south

and accosted Elaine as she was resting from her travels in a sun-trap.

“From whence do you come and where are you heading, unknown?” said Elaine.

“From the mouth of the river Bann, in the north, to Mount Leinster in the south,”

said the uncouth man.

“What news have you from the north?” said Elaine.

“No news that is good news,” said the traveller,

“I passed an unhappy troupe of Ultonians raising a ‘rath’ for their Lord, Bally-mac-Buan.”

After dispensing this news the spectre darted out of the sun-bower.

Elaine fell dead on the spot.

Her kinsfolk raised a ‘rath’ over her and an Apple tree grew there.

The canopy of the tree assumed the form and features of Elaine’s face.

After a number of years the Yew tree of Bally and the Apple tree of Elaine were cut down

and the wood of each was made into a Poet’s Tablet.

The Ultonians wrote the Visions, Espousals,

Loves and Courtships of Ulster in the Tablet of Yew.

And likewise in the Tablet of Apple went the Visions,

Espousals, Loves and Courtships of Leinster…


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