By Lester I. Conner
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Additional info for A Yeats dictionary: persons and places in the poetry of William Butler Yeats
A traditional legend related to Arthur concerns the hunting of the white stag. Whoever could slay it had the right to kiss the fairest maiden. In Celtic lore, the stag often typifies the soul. The white stag, particularly with a cross between its antlers, is in medieval Christian Ireland a symbol of Christ. See especially "Towards Break of Day" and also the reference in The Shadowy Waters. Artisson, Robert. ]. In the notes given at the end of his Collected Poems, Yeats says that Artisson was an evil spirit much run after in Kilkenny at the start of the fourteenth century.
Visitors to Alt confirm that there is an echo there. " Page 8 Amrita. In Yeats's poem, the name of a woman; but in Hindu mythology, it is a name meaning the beverage of immortality or the water of life. " Anashuya. A Hindu name meaning charity. Various Hindu mythologies associate the name with a very pious woman given to austere devotion, given also to miraculous powers. " Antaeus. In classical mythology, Antaeus was a giant, son of Poseidon, the god of the sea, and Ge, goddess of the earth. As long as Antaeus touched earth, he drew new strength from his mother and was invincible.
Such figures turning from fish into human and then disappearing are popular in Irish folklore. Yeats tells of a woman he knew in Galway who told him of many such, an account to be found in early editions of his Wind Page 5 Among the Reeds and reprinted in Allt and Alspach, 805. ]. In the poem "The Old Age of Queen Maeve," however, Aengus seeks the love of Caer, another girl of the Tuatha de Danaan, and he enlists the aid of Maeve. A full account of this episode is given in Lady Gregory's Cuchulain of Muirthemne, 14347.