Oisin and Niamh
Oisin dwelt in the land of men. He ran with the hounds, and the deer fell; great was their slaughter. Merry was the feasting of the Fian and their Fionn. Wild and exultant the revelry. Yet, sometimes, in their cups, was comrade transformed into foe over the champion’s portion of meat, and head flew from shoulders.
Such was their life, between the merriment of the feast, the excitement of the chase and the fear and thrill of combat, war and death. Yet they had not been formed, this body of men, from mere folly; rather the lords and learned men of the Gael had farsightedly seen the very terrible threat from Roman legions poised on their borders and had formed the Fianna to face them. They had seen a great centralised empire sustained by ruthless military might, driven by the engine of usury to devour ever more lands and peoples. No freedom loving people would submit to that, without a fight. Thus the bodies of the Fianna had formed, the best of the youth of the Gael flocking to join under their banner
Brave these Fian and Fionn MacCumail, their chief, and Oisin the warrior-poet. In their lives too, dalliance with glorious women; in them too marriage and children.
Till Niamh came from the land of Tir na n-Og, the Land of Eternal Youth, beneath the Western Ocean.