Glossary entry for
Tir na nOg

The literal translation of Tir na nOg (from Irish Gaelic) is "Land of the Young", and is used to refer to the afterlife.

David Chance sends on the following excerpt from a fictional work called Oisin in Tir na nOg by Eric Ferguson (1996):

Oisin in Tir na nOg is a tragedy based on ancient and medieval Irish legends about the mythical hero Oisin who went to Tir na nOg, which is sort of like an Irish Olympus or Valhalla. He meets with St. Patrick after Oisin has just turned into an old man. He proceeds to tell Patrick how he came into such a condition and where he has been the last few centuries, and his journey to Tir na nOg is then acted out. Oisin was part of a band of warriors guarding Ireland's shores, and when the group was dwindling he was offered a chance to go to paradise, but at the price of never being able to return. The offer was a marriage with the daughter of the king of Tir na nOg. On the journey he still has danger to face. While in Tir na nOg he can't help thinking of home. He resolves to go against his wife's pleadings. He finds that the home he knew is gone. Despite a warning that he must stay on his horse and never touch Irish ground, he tumbles off his horse and instantly the years catch up to him.

In Van's "Tir Na Nog" the phrase "kissed my eyes" turns up again (as it does also in "Astral Weeks") - providing a link between OIsin/Tir na nOg and another Van influence: William Butler Yeats, via this excerpt from book II of "The Wanderings Of Oisin":

NOW, man of croziers, shadows called our names
And then away, away, like whirling flames;
And now fled by, mist-covered, without sound,
The youth and lady and the deer and hound;
"Gaze no more on the phantoms,' Niamh said,
AND KISSED MY EYES, and, swaying her bright head
And her bright body, sang of faery and man
Before God was or my old line began;
Wars shadowy, vast, exultant; faeries of old
Who wedded men with rings of Druid gold;
And how those lovers never turn their eyes
Upon the life that fades and flickers and dies,
Yet love and kiss on dim shores far away
Rolled round with music of the sighing spray:
Yet sang no more as when, like a brown bee
That has drunk full, she crossed the misty sea
With me in her white arms a hundred years
Before this day; for now the fall of tears
Troubled her song.

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