The wood so softly singing
In a language strange to hear
And the song it sings will find you
As the twilight draws you near



In The Colloquy with the Ancients, as St. Patrick and Caoilte are talking with one another, a lone woman robed in mantle of green, a smock of soft silk being next her skin, and on her forehead a glittering plate of yellow gold, came to them; and when Patrick asked from whence she came, she replied: “Out of uaimh Chruachna, or ‘the cave of Cruachan’.”

Caoilte then asked: “Woman, my soul, who art thou?” 

“I am Scothniamh or ‘Flower-lustre’, daughter of the Daghda's son Bodhb derg.”
Caoilte proceeded: “And what brought thee here?”

 “To require of thee my marriage-gift, because once upon a time thou promised me such.”
And as they spoke Patrick broke in with: “It is a wonder to us how we see you two: the girl young and invested with all comeliness; but thou Caoilte, a withered ancient, bent in the back and dingily grown grey.”

 “Which is no wonder at all,” said Caoilte, “for no people of one generation or of one time are we: she is of the Tuatha Dé Danann, who are unfading and whose duration is perennial I am of the sons of Milesius, that are perishable and fade away.”

 The exact distinction is between Caoilte, a withered old ancient - in most ways to be regarded as a ghost called up that Patrick may question him about the past history of Ireland - and a fairy-woman who is one of the Sidhe or Tuatha Dé Danann.

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