The next day Gilveen came to where Morag sat on the stone outside the woodman's hut to watch her stitch the garment she had cut out. The thread went into the needle of itself. "What a wonderful ball of thread," said Gilveen, taking it up. "I cannot give it back to you. Ask me for a favor in place of it." "Since you would have me ask a favor," said Morag, "I ask that you let me sit at the supper-table alone with the youth you are going to marry." "That will do me no harm," said Gilveen. She took the ball of thread and went away smiling.
That night Morag went into the Castle and came to the supper-table where Flann was seated alone. But Gilveen again had put a sleeping-draught into his cup, and Flann did not see or know Morag. "Do you not remember, Flann," said she, "the story of Morag that I told you across the supper-board in the House of Crom Duv?" But Flann gave no sign of knowing her, and then Morag had to go away.
The next day Gilveen came to watch Morag make the red embroideries upon the white garment. When she put the needle into the cloth it worked out the pattern of itself. "This is the most wonderful thing of all," said Gilveen. She stooped down and took the needle in her hand. "I cannot give this back to you," she said, "and you will have to ask for a favor that will recompense you."
"If I must ask for a favor," said Morag, "the only favor I would ask is that you let me sit at the supper-table to-night alone with the youth you are to marry." "That will do me no harm," said Gilveen, and she took the needle and went away smiling. Morag went to the Castle again that night, but this time she took the Little Red Hen with her. She scattered grains on the table and the Little Red Hen picked them up. "Little Hen, Little Red Hen," said Morag, "he slept too when I gave the seven drops of my heart's blood for his mother's sake." The Little Red Hen flew into Flann's face. "Seven drops of heart's blood, seven drops of heart's blood," said the Little Red Hen, and Flann heard the words.
He opened his eyes and saw the Little Red Hen on the table and knew that she belonged to one that he had known. Morag, at the other side of the table, looked strange and shadowy to him. But he threw crumbs on the table and fed the Little Red Hen, and as he watched her picking up the crumbs the memory of Morag came back to him. Then he saw her. He knew her for his sweetheart and his promised wife and he went to her and asked her how it came that she had not been in his mind for so long. "I will tell you how you came to forget me," said she, "it was because of the kiss you gave Gilveen, and the enchantment she was able to put on you because of that kiss."
There was sorrow on Morag's face when she said that, but the sorrow went as the thin clouds go from before the face of the high-hung moon, and Flann saw her as his kind comrade of Crom Duv's and as his beautiful friend of the Spae-Woman's house. They kissed each other then, and every enchantment went but the lasting enchantment of love, and they sat with hands joined until the log in the fire beside them had burnt itself down into a brand and the brand had burnt itself into ashes, and all the time that passed was, as they thought, only while the watching-gilly outside walked from one side of the Castle Gate to the other.
Gilveen had come into the room and she saw Flann and Morag give each other a true-lover's kiss. She went away. But the next day she came to the King's Steward, Art, who at one time wanted to marry her, and whom she had refused because Aefa, her sister, had married one of a higher degree--she came to Art and she told him that she would not marry Flann because she had found out that he had a low-born sweetheart. "And I am ready to marry you, Art," she said. And Art was well pleased, and he and Gilveen left the Castle to be married.
Then the day came when Fedelma and the King of Ireland's Son, and Morag and Flann were married. They were plighted to each other in the Circle of Stones by the Druids who invoked upon them the powers of the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, and the Air. They were married at the height of the day and they feasted at night when the wax candles were lighted round the tables. They had Greek honey and Lochlinn beer; ducks from Achill, apples from Emain and venison from the Hunting Hill; they had trout and grouse and plovers' eggs and a boar's head for every King in the company. And these were the Kings who sat down to table with the King of Eirinn: the King of Sorcha, the King of Hispania, the King of Lochlinn and the King of the Green Island who had Sunbeam for his daughter. And they had there the best heroes of Lochlinn, the best story-tellers of Alba, the best bards of Eirinn. They laid sorrow and they raised music, and the harpers played until the great champion Split-the-Shields told a tale of the realm of Greece and how he slew the three lions that guarded the daughter of the King. They feasted for six days and the last day was better than the first, and the laugh they laughed when Witless, the Saxon fool, told how Split-the-Shield's story should have ended, shook the young jackdaws out of every chimney in the Castle and brought them down fluttering on the floors.
The King of Ireland lived long, but he died while his sons were in their strong manhood, and after he passed away the Island of Destiny came under the equal rule of the two. And one had rule over the courts and cities, the harbors and the military encampments. And the other had rule over the waste places and the villages and the roads where masterless men walked. And the deeds of one are in the histories the shanachies have written in the language of the learned, and the deeds of the other are in the stories the people tell to you and to me.
When I crossed the Ford
They were turning the Mountain Pass;
When I stood on the Stepping-stones
They were travelling the Road of Glass.