Yeats' FAIRY AND FOLK TALES OF THE IRISH PEASANTRY

CONVERSION OF KING LAOGHAIR'S DAUGHTERS

   Once when Patrick and his clericks were sitting beside a well in the Rath of Croghan, with books open on their knees, they saw coming towards them the two young daughters of the King of Connaught. 'Twas early morning, and they were going to the well to bathe.
   The young girls said to Patrick, "Whence are ye, and whence come ye?" and Patrick answered, "It were better for you to confess to the true God than to inquire concerning our race."
   "Who is God?" said the young girls, "and where is God, and of what nature is God, and where is His dwelling-place? Has your God sons and daughters, gold and silver? Is he everlasting? Is he beautiful? Did Mary foster her son? Are His daughters dear and beauteous to men of the world? Is He in heaven, or on earth, in the sea, in rivers, in mountainous places, in valleys?"
   Patrick answered them, and made known who God was, and they believed and were baptised, and a white garment put upon their heads; and Patrick asked them would they live on or would they die and behold the face of Christ? They chose death, and died immediately, and were buried near the well Clebach.

 

Aran Islanders, J. Synge [1898] (public domain photograph)