THE PURSUIT OF DIARMID 245
mortally ; but Diarmid swung his broken sword about his head as he lay, and hit the boar such a blow on his head that where he stood there he fell dead.
Not long after that Fionn and his Fenians came up and watched Diarmid, who was dying fast. ' It pleases me well to see you in that plight, 0 Diarmid,' said Fionn, ' and I grieve that all the fair women of Erin cannot see you also.'
' If you wished you could still heal me, 0 Fionn,' answered Diarmid.
c How could I heal you, 0 Diarmid ?'
'Easily,' answered Diarmid. 'Was it not given to you that whoever should drink from the palms of your hands should become young and whole again ? '
'You have not deserved that I should give you that drink,' said Fionn.
' That is not true, 0 Fionn, well have I deserved it of you. Was it not I who avenged you and slew fifty of your enemies who tried to set on fire the house wherein you were holding your great feast? Had I asked you for such a drink then, you would have given it to me, and now I deserve it no less.'
'Not so,' answered Fionn; 'you have deserved ill at my hands since that time, and little reason have I to give you drinks or any good thing. For did you not bear away Grania from me before all the men of Erin the night you were set as guard over her in Tara ?'
' The guilt of that was not mine, 0 Fionn, but Grania besought me, else I would not have failed to keep my charge for all the bonds in the world. And well do I deserve you should give me a drink, for many is the day since I came among the Fenians in which I have perilled my life for your sake. Therefore you should not do me this foul treachery. And soon a dire defeat will come upon the Fenians, and few children will be left to them to carry on the race. It is not for you that I grieve, 0 Fionn, but for Ossian and for Oscar, and for the rest