Monday, May 28, 2012

Deidre of the Sorrows

This is a painting by J.T. Waterhouse, "The Lady of Shallot". I like it as it also depicts a woman of great beauty and great sorrow, like Deidre of Irish Myth.

 While editing my time travel novel for a June release date, I re-discovered a lovely old legend about an Irish lass and her noble and brave lover who flee a cruel king so that they can be together.  It's a timeless tragedy of Irish legend that has been around much longer than Romeo and Juliet.

Deidre is abducted by a King as a child, held as his 'ward' because she is so lovely he wants to wait for her to mature until he can have her for himself. But don't worry, Deidre encounters a hero who will take her away from the evil King.  Here is the story, and it is wrapped in an excerpt from my upcoming book, "Some Enchanted Waltz" that is to be released on Amazon for Kindle in June.  In this excerpt, Tara, my time traveling heroine from the future, is traveling with her husband and father to Dublin by coach (circa 1798), and she is reading a book of Irish Legends, or rather trying to . . .

Some Enchanted Waltz, copyright Lily Silver, 2012: 
         Tara hadn’t been able to read the book she brought for diversion, because each time she opened it and gave it her attention, Adrian would start talking to her or her father's snoring would destroy her concentration. She was beginning to believe she would never find out what happened to the fair Deidre of legend. The poor girl's future had been foretold by a druid before she was born. The prophecy said she would be the most beautiful woman in the land and thus would suffer greatly and be marked for death. When Deidre was only a child, she was abducted by King Conchobar of Ulster because of her great beauty. King Conchobar wanted to keep her hidden until she was of a marriageable age when he would have her for himself, so he placed her in a great Castle in the wilderness, isolated and guarded by his most trusted servants. 

         Deidre grew into a lovely young girl, and time was running out for her before the King would demand she become his bride. Each day, Deidre was allowed to walk about the grounds for a time with the guards watching her. Each day she wandered a little bit further into the woods. There she met a handsome warrior, Naoise, who was as dark and handsome as Deidre was fair and beautiful. He met her in the woods each day, and together they planned their escape. When Naoise made arrangements and secured passage for them on a ship, he sent word to her. They met as usual in the forest surrounding the castle where Deidre was being held. They ran away together with Naoise's two brothers, Ainle and Ardan, the sons of Uisnech, to land that was called Alba, but today is known as Scotland.

         The King of Alba learned of Deidre’s legendary beauty, and upon discovering that she was in his land, he, too determined to have her for himself. The lovers were again forced to flee. Back in Ulster, Ireland, the nobles felt sorry for the lovers and begged King Conchobar to swallow his pride and let them return, he agreed. King Conchobar told them they could return to Ulster and all would be forgiven. The lovers were about to board a ship and return to their homeland but at the end of their journey, King Conchobar awaited them with an evil plan in his heart . . .

         “Why is it that women in your land regard men with contempt?” Adrian intruded on Tara's reading for the hundredth time with another random question.
         “I don’t know.” Tara murmured, re-reading the paragraph he had interrupted regarding Conchobar’s evil scheme.
         “Are all the men rakes and reprobates where you come from, completely without honor?”
          Tara closed the book. “Yes.” She replied with more annoyance than she intended.
        “Your father seems an honorable man.” The pair of them gazed at the snoring man across from them.
        “He’s from an older generation, one that still put a great stock in principles and morality.”
         “And men of your generation do not hold such ideals?”
        “Some do, it’s not that simple.” Tara sighed, remembering the many dates she'd been on that led no where, except to bed, and that was the end of it. Most men of her era didn't believe in marriage. They believed in free sex without any strings attached. She glanced at Adrian, her 18th century lord.  “I had to come here to find a noble and worthy mate. If you don’t mind, I’d like to find out what happens to Deidre and Naoise.”
        “The King kills him and she throws herself on his sword as Conchobar is about to run Naoise through a second time. At least that’s one version of the legend. The other version is that the King kills Naoise and his companions and locks Deidre up in a tower where she grieved for her lover for the remainder of her days.”
             “The lions of the hill are gone, and I am left, alone--alone---" Adrian  quoted.
              "Dig the grave both wide and deep, for I am sick and fain would sleep.
              The falcons of the wood are flown, and I am left, alone--alone,
              So dig the grave both deep and wide, and let us slumber side by side,
              The dragons of the rock are sleeping, Sleep that wakes not for our weeping;
              Dig the grave and make it ready; lay me on my true love’s body .”
Copyright Lily Silver, 2012.

As Tara and Adrian hurry to Dublin so Adrian can fulfill his destiny with the 
United Irishman will their love story also end in tragedy? Available on


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