Among those secret doctrines about the "nature of things" which, as Caesar tells us, the Druids never would commit to writing, was there anything like a cosmogony, any account of the origin of the World and man? There surely was. It would be strange indeed if, alone among the races of the World, the Celts had no world-myth. The spectacle of the universe with all its vast and mysterious phenomena in heaven and on earth has aroused the imagination, afterward the speculative reason, in every people capable of either. The Celts had both in abundance, yet, except for that one phrase about the "indestructibility" of the World handed down to us by Strabo, we know nothing of their early imaginings or their reasonings on this subject. Ireland possesses copious legendary literature. All of this, no doubt, assumed its present form in Christian times.
Nevertheless, so much essential paganism has been allowed to remain in it that it would be strange if Christian influences had led to the excision of everything in these ancient texts that pointed to a non-Christian conception of the origin of things—if Christian editors and transmitters had never given us even the least glimmer of the existence of such a conception. Nevertheless, the fact is that they do not give it; there is nothing in the most ancient legendary literature of the Irish Gaels, which is the oldest Celtic literature in existence, corresponding to the Babylonian conquest of Chaos, or the wild Norse myth of the making of Midgard out of the corpse of Ymir, or the Egyptian creation of the universe out of the primeval Water by Thoth, the Word of God, or even to the primitive folklore conceptions found in almost every savage tribe.