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The Lianhan Shee

The lianhan shee is a fairy mistress of dreadful power, for she seeks the love and dominion of mortal men--if they refuse her, she is their slave and if they consent they are hers. Most men find that they cannot refuse her. Only one lianhan shee exists and she is more a force than a woman. Each fairy woman who loves ('Lianhan Shee' means the love fairy) becomes one with her; and for the mortal man who longs for her she is the one and only. She does not play with emotions; all who love her, live for her and their desire for her frequently destroys them. The more suffering she inflicts the dearer she becomes to them. The more they desire her the more she eludes them. Her absence is like a chain pulling them towards her.

An impatient mistress, the lianhan shee creates such desire in her lovers that they will overcome all obstacles to embrace her. She never yields to them in mortal lands, but insists on their meeting in Tir-na-n-Og, so that men must pass through death to enjoy her. All the great poets and musicians loved her; almost all died young. The more they sang the more their bodies withered; until they sang for her forever.

No one has ever described the lianhan shee. Perhaps each stricken man jealously guards his love and fears the worlds knowledge of her. But more likely no mortal can describe her; for she is desire itself and she wishes to elude all attempts to limit her glory. She may select her lovers from our realm, but she never allows her story to remain long on their mortal lips.

The Gonconer

The Gonconer (Ganconagh) whispers of love and is an idler. He smokes a pipe and appears making love to shepherdesses and milkmaids.

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