And he saw an island. He rows round
about it, and a large host was gaping and laughing. They were all
looking at Bran and his people, but would not stay to converse with them.
They continued to give forth gusts of laughter at them. Bran sent one
of his people on the island. He ranged himself with the others, and was
gaping at them like the other men of the island. He kept rowing round
about the island. Whenever his man came past Bran, his comrades would
address him. But he would not converse with them, but would only look at
them and gape at them. The name of this island is the Island of Joy.
Thereupon they left him there.
It was not long thereafter when they reached the Land of Women. They
saw the leader of the women at the port. Said the chief of the women:
'Come hither on and, O Bran son of Febal! Welcome is thy advent!' Bran
did not venture to go on shore. The woman throws a ball of thread to Bran
straight over his face. Bran put his hand on the ball, which clave to his
palm. The thread of the ball was in the woman's hand, and she pulled the
coracle towards the port. Thereupon they went into a large house, in which
was a bed for every couple, even thrice nine beds. The food that was put
on every dish vanished not from them. It seemed a year to them that they
were there,-it chanced to be many years. No savour was wanting to them.
Home-sickness seized one of them, even Nechtan the son of Collbran.
His kindred kept praying Bran that he should go to Ireland with him. The
woman said to them their going would make them rue. However, they went,
and the woman said that none of them should touch the land, and that they
should visit and take with them the man whom they had left in the Island
Then they went until they arrived at a gathering at Srub Brain. The
men asked of them who it was came over the sea. Said Bran: 'I am Bran the
son of Febal,' saith he. However, the other saith: 'We do not know such
a one, though the Voyage of Bran is in our ancient stories.'
The man leaps from them out of the coracle. As soon as he touched the
earth of Ireland, forthwith he was a heap of ashes, as though he had been
in the earth for many hundred years. 'Twas then that Bran sang this
'For Collbran's son, great was the folly
To lift his hand against age,
Without any one casting a wave of pure water
Over Nechtan, Collbran's son.'
Thereupon, to the people of the gathering Bran told all his wanderings
from the beginning until that time. And he wrote these quatrains in Ogam,
and then bade them farewell. And from that hour his wanderings are not