Oisin

Irish - King of the Land of Youth. Son of Finn mac Cool by Saba. Husband of Niam. Father of Oscar by Eibhir. Father of Plur na mBan by Niam. A deer run down by Finn's dogs turned out to be a beautiful maiden, Saba, who had been turned into a deer by a druid whose love she had rejected. She married Finn but when he was called away to fight the Norsemen the druid turned up again and changed her back into a deer. Her baby by Finn would, it was said, have been a deer if she had licked him in the manner of a deer - instead he became the boy Oisin who was later found by Finn and reared by him to be a great warrior and poet. He was one of the party of nine, led by Goll mac Morna, which recovered Finn's hounds, Bran and Sceolan, when they were stolen by Arthur. A beautiful girl, Niam, daughter of Manannan, arrived on a white horse. In some accounts, she had been given the head of a pig by some druidic magic. The spell was broken when Oisin married her and they lived happily on an island in the Land of Youth for some years until Oisin wanted to return to his native land. Niam lent him her white horse for the journey and warned him never to touch the ground of Ireland. When his foot slipped and touched the soil, his eternal youth vanished revealing a blind, centuries-old man. He had been away about 300 years (1,000, some say). Some say that he lived on to pass much ancient lore to St Patrick, though others say that this was done by Cailte. It is said that Patrick tried to convert Oisin to the Christian faith but he turned down the chance of heaven if he could not take his dogs and his friends. On occassion, known as Oisin, Little Fawn, Little Fawn, Oisene, Oisene, Manx Oshin, Manx Oshin, Scottish Os(s)ian or Scottish Os(s)ian.

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