220 THE PURSUIT OF DIARMID
'Then you will not listen to word of marriage from me ? ' asked Grania.
' I will not,' answered Ossian, ' for I must not lay my hand on what Fionn has looked on.'
Then Grania turned her face to Diarmid Dowd and what she said was, ' Will you receive courtship from me, 0 Son of Dowd, since Ossian will not receive it ?'
' I will not,' answered Diarmid, ' for whatever woman is betrothed to Fionn, I may not take her.'
'I will put you under bonds of destruction, 0 Diarmid,' said Grania, ' if you take me not out of this house to-night.'
' Those are indeed evil bonds,' answered Diarmid, ' and wherefore have you laid them on me, seeing there is no man less worthy to be loved by you than myself ?'
' Not so, 0 son of Dowd,' said Grania, ' and I will tell you wherefore.
'One day the King of Erin held a muster on the great plain of Tara, and Fionn and his seven battalions were there. And a goaling match was played, and all took part, save only the King, and Fionn, and myself and you, 0 Diarmid. We watched till the game was going against the men of the kingdom of Erin, then you rose, and, taking the pole of the man who was standing by, threw him to the ground, and, joining the others, did thrice win the goal from the warriors of Tara. And I turned the light of my eyes upon you that day, and I never gave that love to any other from that time to this, and will not for ever. So to-night we will pass through my wicket-gate, and take heed you follow me.'
After she had spoken, Diarmid turned to Ossian and his companions. ' What shall I do, 0 Ossian, with the bonds that have been laid on me ?'
'Follow Grania,' said Ossian, 'and keep away from the wiles of Fionn.'
' Is that the counsel of you all to me ?' asked Diarmid.