Tales of Fionn mac Cumhaill: The Daughter of King Under-Wave
pre-12th century—present. Old Irish | Modern Irish, folklore.
It is not long before Diarmuid looks and finds, not the old hag who came under his blanket but a beautiful young woman sleeping next to him.
In Lady Augusta Gregory’s 1904 re-telling of an old story set in Fionn’s ancient pagan Ireland called The Daughter of King Under-Wave, a band of Celtic warriors are encamped in a hunting lodge one night when a hideous-looking woman knocks and enters the house. She is a 'loathly lady', who made an appearance in a theatrical interlude at one of Edward I's Round Tables in 1299 and features in Medieval Irish and Welsh tales as well as in the landscape of Old French and Middle English Arthurian poetry, and in one of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
The hag asks each man in turn whether she can come under the edge of his blanket. All refuse her except for one. Having come under the edge of his blanket, she says that she has been travelling for seven years and has not encountered hospitality until now. She asks the warrior to lead her to the fire. The warrior leads her to the fire. Then she asks if she can come under his blanket properly.
It is asking too much you are, Diarmuid replies. 'First you wanted to come under the edge of my blanket, then to the fire, and now you want to come entirely under the blanket with me! But despite all this, you may come.' And it is not long before Diarmuid looks and finds a beautiful young woman sleeping next to him.
Story fragment recounted from: Gregory, Lady A., 1904. Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha de Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland, Arranged and put into English by Lady Gregory. John Murray, London. Reprinted, 1998. Irish Myths and Legends. Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia, USA. Part Two: The Fianna. Book VI: Dairmuid. Chapter 3: The Daughter of King Under-Wave, pp 301–8.