The Coming of Angus and Bride

"Today is the day of Bride,
the serpent shall come from its hole,
I will not molest the serpent,
and the serpent will not molest me!"

All winter long Berea had kept captive the beautiful young princess, named Bride. She was jealous of Brides beauty and gave her ragged clothing to wear, and put her to work in the kitchen of her mountain Castle, where the girl had to perform the meanest of tasks. Berea scolded the girl, continually finding fault with everything she did, and Brides life was very wrechted.

One day Berea gave the princess a brown fleece and said, "You must wash this in a running stream until it is pure white," bride took the fleece and went outside the castle and began to wash it in a pool below a waterfall. All day long she laboured at the work, but to no purpose. She found it impossible to wash the brown color out of the wool. When evening came on, Berea scolded the girl and said, "You are a useless hussy, the fleece is as brown as when I gave it to you!"

Said Bride, "all day long I have washed the evil tidings you bring me!"

Berea cried out - "Begone from my sight!"

Bride turned away - but not in sorrow, for a new joy had entered her heart. She knew that the wild winter season was going past, and that the reign of 'Queen Berea' would soon come to an end.

Meanwhile Berea summoned her eight hag servants and spoke to them each, saying - "Ride to north, ride to south, ride to east, ride to west, and I will ride forth also and smite the world with frost and tempest, so that no flower may bloom and no grass blade survive, for I am waging war against all that grows!"

Whence spoken thus, the eight hags mounted on the backs of their beasts, and rode forth to do her bidding, Berea went forth also grasping in her right hand her black magic hammer. On the night of that very day a great tempest lashed the ocean to a fury and brought terror to ever corner of the land.

Now the reason why Berea kept Bride a prisoner was because her fairest and dearest son 'Angus the ever Young' wold ha fallen in love with her. He was called the ever young because age never came near him and all winter long he lived on the island of the West which is also known as the 'Isle of Youth!'

One day when Angus first awoke he spoke to the King of the green Isle saying, "Last nite I dreamed a dream and saw a beautiful princess whom I love, tears fell from her eyes and I spoke to an old man who stood near Her and said, 'she weeps why?' He said, 'She weeps because she is held captive by Berea who treats Her with much Cruelty.' I looked again at the princess and said, 'Fain would set her free' - Then I awoke!" Tell Me O King, "Who is the princess and where shall I find her?"

The King answered Angus saying, "the Fair Princess whom you saw is Bride, and in the days when you will be King of Summer she will be your Queen," of this your mother, Queen Berea has full knowledge and it is her wish to keep you away from Bride so that her own Reign will be prolonged, "Tarry here O Angus until the followers begins to grow and then you shall set free the beautiful Bride."

Said Angus,
"Fain would I go forth at once to search for Her."

"The wolf-month (February) has now come," the king said. "Uncertain is the temper of the wolf,"

Said Angus,
"I shall cast a spell on the sea and a spell on the land and borrow for February three days from August." He did as he said he would, he borrowed three days from August, and the ocean slumbered peacefully while the sun shone brightly over mountain and glen. Then Angus mounted his white steed and rode east ward to Scotland over the isles over The Minch and reached the Grapains when dawn was breaking. He was clad in raiment of shining gold and from his shoulders hung his royal robe of Crimson. An Aged bard looked eastward, and when he beheld fair Angus, he lifted up his Harp and sang a song of welcome and the birds of the forest sang with him.

Angus the young hath come,
the fair blue eyed god with golden hair
The god who to the world doth bring
This morn the promise of Spring:
Who moves the birds to song ere yet
he hath awaked the violet,
or the soft primrose on the steep,
While buds are laid in Litton sleep,
and white snows wrap the hill serene,
Ere glows the larches vivd green
Though the brown woods and bare.
All hail Angus and may thy prevail
He comes ....he goes...and far and wide
He Searches for the Princess Bride

Up and down the land Angus went, but he could not find Bride anywhere! However the Fair princess beheld him in a dream, and knew that he longed to set her free. When she awoke she shed tears of joy, and on the place where Her tears fell sprang violets blue as her eyes!

Berea was angry when she came to know that Angus was searching for Bride, and on the third evening of his visit she raised a great 'Tempest,' which drove him back to the Green Isle. But he returned again and again and at length he discovered the castle in which the Princess was kept a prisoner.

Then Came the day when Angus met Bride, in a forest near the castle. The violet were in bloom and soft yellow primroses opened their eyes of wonder, to gaze on the prince and princess. When they spoke one to another the birds raised their sweet voices in song an the Sun shone big and bright.

Said Angus, "Beautiful princess, I beheald you in a Dream weeping with tears of sorrow?"
Then Bride said,
"Mighty Prince I Beheld you in a Dream riding over bend and through Glens and Beauty and power!"
Said Angus:
"I have come to rescue you from Queen Berea, who has kept you captive all winter long."
Bride said, "To me this is a day of Great joy."
Said Angus:
"It will be a day of Great joy to all man ever after this."

That is why the first day of Spring, the day on which Angus found the Princess - it is called Brides day. Through the forest came a fair company of Fairy ladies who hailed Bride as 'Queen' and bade welcome to Angus, then 'The Fairy Queen' waved her hand and Bride was transformed - As swiftly as the bright sun springs out from behind a dark cloud, shedding Beauty all round an so swiftly clothing her, that Bride appear in new splendor. Instead of ragged clothing she wore a white robe adorned with spangles of shinning silver, an over her heart gleamed a Star that gleamed as bright a the joy, that Angus had brought Her. This Gem is called the Gidding star of Bride! Her Golden hair hung around to her waist in gleaming curls, decked with fair spring flowers-snowdrops and daises and prim roses and violets, blue were her eyes, and her face had the redness and the whiteness of the wild rose of peerless beauty and tender grace. In her right hand she carried a white wand entwined with golden corn stocks and in her left a golden horn, which is called a 'Horn of Plenty.' The linnet was the first forest bird that hailed Bride in her Beauty, and the Fairy queen said, Ever after this you shall be called the Bird of Bride! On the Sea shore the first bird that chirped with joy was the oyster catcher, and he was made the page of Bride!

Then the Fairy Queen led Angus and Bride to her Green roofed underground palace in the midst of the forest, as they went forward they came to a river of ice. Bride put her fingers on the ice and the ice hag shrieked and fled! A great feast was held in the place of the Fairy queen, and it was the Marriage feast of Bride, for Angus and she were wed! The Fairies Danced and sang with joys, and all the world moved and danced with them, this was how the first Festival of Bride came to be! Spring has come the shepherds cried, and they drove their flocks on the moor, where they counted and blessed. "Spring as come cried the Raven" and flew off to find moss for her nest, The rook heard and followed her, And the wild duck rose from amidst the reeds crying, "Spring has come!"

Bride came forth from the Fairy palace with Angus and waved her hand while Angus repeated magic spells. Then Greater Growth was given to the grass, and all the world hailed Angus and Bride as King and Queen! Although they were not beheld by mankind, yet their presence was everywhere felt throughout Scotland.

Berea was wroth with anger, when she found out that Angus had found Bride. She Seized her Hammer and smote the ground unceasingly, until it was frozen hard as Iron, as so no herb or blade of Grass could grow....Terrible was her wrath, when she beheld the grass growing again. She knew well that Angus and Bride were married! Her Authority would pass away, an great was her desire to keep the throne as long as possible.

'Bride is married, hail to Bride sang the birds!'
'Angus is Married, hail to Angus!'
they sang also.

Berea heard the songs and called to her Hags, "Ride North, and ride South, ride East, ride West, and wage war on Angus, I will ride also." Her Hags mounted their beasts and rode forth to do her bidding. Berea mounted a black steed and set forth out. She rode fast, she rode hard, Black clouds swept over the sky as she rode on until at length she came to the Forest which the fairy queen had her dwelling. All the Sidhe fled in terror into their green mound, as the doors were shut Angus looked up and beheld Berea drawing nigh, he leapt up on the back of his white steed and lifted his young bride into the saddle in front of him and fled. Angus rode westward over the ravine on the island Tiree, and Berea's black steed jumped across while pursuing the steed of Angus. The hoofs of the black Steed made a gash on the rocks, an to this day the ravine is called "The horses leep," Angus escaped to the Green isle of the West and there passed happy days with Bride! But, He longed to return to Scotland and reign again as King of Summer. So, again and again he crossed the sea and each time he reached the land of glens and bens, the sun broke forth in brightness, and the birds sang to welcome him.

Berea raised storm after storm to drive him away, first she called on the wind named "the Whistle," which blew high and shrill and brought down rapid showers of cold hailstones. It lasted for three days, and brought down bitterness throughout the length and breadth of Scotland. Sheep and lambs were killed on the moors, and horse and cows perished also, Angus fled but to return soon again. The next wind that Berea raised to prolong her winter reign was the sharp billed wind which is called "Gobaga," it lasted nine days and all the land was pierced by it! Angus returned, and She raised the eddy wind which is called "The Sweeper!" Its whirling gusts tore branches from trees an bright flowers from stalks, an all the time it be, Berea beating the ground with her hammer to keep the grass from growing, but her efforts were in vain! Berea turned awe wearied by her efforts, the sun sprang forth in splendor, an the small modest primroses opened their petals in the sunshine, looking forth from cozy nooks that the wind called "The Sweeper" was unable to reach. Angus fled, but to return again.

Berea was not yet, however, without hope. Her efforts had brought disaster to man, "weeks of leanness" came an food became scarcer, the fisherman were unable to venture to the sea on account of the tempests, and could get no fish. In the night time, Berea and her hags entered the dwellings of man, and stole away their stores of food. It was indeed, a sorrowful time.

Angus was moved with pity for man, and tried to fight the Hags of Berea. But the Fierce Queen, raised the "Gales of Complaint" to keep him away, and they raged in fury until the first week of March. Horse and cattle died for want of food, because the wind blew down stacks of fodder and scattered them over locks and the ocean. Angus however, waged a fierce struggle against the hags until at length he drove them away to the North.

Berea was greatly alarmed, an made her last great effort to subdue the forces of spring, she waved her magic hammer and smote the clouds with it. Northward she rode and gathered her servants together saying, "May all of you ride southward and Scatter our enemies before us!"

Out of the bleak dark north they rode in a single pack, with them came the great black Tempest. It seemed then as if winter had returned in full strength, but even Berea an hags would have to rest. On a dusky eve they crouched on the side of a bare mountain, and when they did, a sudden calm fell over the land and the sea. 'Ha! ha! laughed the wild duck who hated the hags, "ha! ha! I am still alive, and so are my six ducklings!" "Have patience," answered the hag, "I am not done yet!" That naught she borrowed three days from winter, three days which had not been used, for Angus had borrowed for Winter three days from August. Three sprits of the borrowed days were tempest sprits and came towards Berea mounted on Black wild hogs. She spoke to them saying, "Long have you been bound, now I set you at free."

One after another on each of the three days, the sprits went forth riding the black hogs, they brought snow, hail, and fierce blasts of wind. Snow whitened moors filled the furrows of plowed land, rivers rose in flood, and great trees were shattered and uprooted. The duck was killed and so were her ducklings, sheep an cattle perished, and many Humans were killed on land and drowned at sea. The days on which these things happened are called the "Three Hog Days!" Berea's reign was now drawing to a close, she found herself unable to combat any longer against the power of the new life that was rising in every vein of the land. The weakness of extreme old age crept up on her, and she longed once again to drink, of the waters of the 'Well of Youth.'

When on a bright March morning she beheld Angus - riding over the hills on his steed an scattering her Hag servants before him! She fled away in despair, Ere she went and threw her magic hammer beneath a holly tree, and that the reason why no grass grows under holly trees. Berea's Black Steed went northward, as it lept over loch Etive it left the marks of its hoofs on the rocky side of the mountain and they are called "the horse shoes!" She did not reign up her steed until she reached the island of Skye, where she found the rest on the summit of the "Old Wives Ben" (Ben-e-Cailich) at Broadford. There she sat gazing steadfastly across the sea, waiting until day and night are equal length. She wept tears of sorrow for her lost power and when night came she went westward over the sea to the green island, an at dawn of that day she drank the waters of youth.

On that day, which is equal length with the night, Angus came to Scotland with Bride and they were hailed as King and Queen of the unseen beings, they rode from south to north in the morning, and the forenoon, and east and west in the afternoon and evening. A gentle wind went with them blowing towards the North from the dawn till midday, and towards the South from midday till sunset.

It was on that day that Bride dipped her fair white hands in the high river and lochs, which still retained ice. When she did the ice hag fell into a deep sleep, which she could not awaken from until summer was over and past. The grass grew quickly after Angus began to reign as King, seeds were sown, and the people called on Bride to grant them good Harvest. Ere long, the whole land was beautiful with spring flowers of every hue. Angus had a harp of gold with silver strings, and when he played on it youths and maidens followed the sound of the music throughout the woods. Bards sang his Praises, and told that he kissed lovers, and that he hovered round their heads, and sang sweet songs of love, and whispered memories dear. It was thus that one Bard sang of him;

'When softly blew the south wind o'er the sea,
lisping of spring time hope and summer pride,
and the rough reign of Berea ceased to be,
Angus the ever young!
The Beauteous god of love,
the golden haired,
Shone like the Star of morning
high among the stars that shrank afraid
When dawn proclaimed the triumph that he shared
With Bride the peerless maid.
Then the winds of violet sweetness rose and sighed,
No coquets is compared,
to love's transcendent joys that never fade!'

The coming of Angus and Bride from: Scottish Tales - Wonder Tales From Myth and Legend, 1916 isbn 0486-296-29677-6

The article found was rewritten and had been translated! I had to retranslate to keep the essence of the writings as true as possible.

                               Elkin Vanaeon


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