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The Wanderings of Oisín

The Wanderings of Oisín by William Butler Yeats
By: (1865-1939)

This narrative poem is composed in three parts, and consists of a dialogue between the aged Irish hero Oisín and St. Patrick.

Oisín relates his three-hundred year sojourn in the immortal isles of Faerie. In the isles, Oisín married the beautiful Sidhe Niamh: together they traveled, feasted, and quested. At last Oisín succumbs to the temptation to return and visit the lands of mortal men: inadvertently slipping from his faerie horse, his body touches the ground and instantly puts on the flesh of a decrepit old man.

Oisín describes various islands and what he did there: contrasting his noble deeds with the degenerate weakness of the present generation.


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