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by night, with the spoils of the bounding roe. Wide, in the mist, arose the cloudless beanis of Ton-théna, that star which looked, by night, on the course of the sea-tossed Larthon: Larthon, the first of Bolga's race, who travelled on the winds. White-bosomed spread the sails of the king, towards streamy Inis-fail ; dun night was rolled before him, with its skirts of mist. Unconstant blew the winds, and rolled him from
Then rose the fiery-haired Tonthéna, and smiled from her parted cloud. Larthon "4 blessed the well-known beam, as it faintgleamed on the deep.
wave to wave.
intermixture of images from a different source. Infra, viii. I need not add, that those etymological names of stars, in the preceding note (as Berthin, fire of the hill, a mere transposition of Beithir, a bear), are altogether fictitious ; with the exception, perhaps, of Cean-mathon, the head of the bear; a constellation known, as it seems, to Homer, Pope, and Ossian, by the same names of the Bear, and the starry plough of the north, or the northern team. See Six Bards, 29.
14 Larthon is compounded of Lear, sea, and thon, wave. This name was given to the chief of the first colony of the Firbolg, who settled in Ireland, on account of his knowledge in navigation. A part of an old poem is still extant concerning this he
It abounds with those romantic fables of giants and magicians, which distinguished the compositions of the less ancient bards. The descriptions contained in it are ingenious, and pro
Beneath the spear of Cathmor, rose that voice which awakes the bards. They came, darkwinding, from every side; each with the sound · of his harp. Before them rejoiced the king, as
portionable to the magnitude of the persons introduced; but, being unnatural, they are insipid and tedious. Had the bard kept within the bounds of probability, his genius was far from being contemptible. The exordium of his poem is not destitute of merit; but it is the only part of it that I think worthy of being presented to the reader.
“ Who first sent the black ship, through ocean, like a whale through the bursting of foam? Look, from thy darkness, on Cronath, Ossian of the harps of old! Send thy light on the blue-rolling waters, that I may behold the king. I see him dark in his own shell of oak! sea-tossed Larthon, thy soul is strong. It is careless as the wind of thy sails ; as the wave that rolls by thy side. But the silent green isle is before thee, with its sons, who are tall as woody Lumon; Lumon, which sends, from its top, a thousand streams, white-wandering down its sides."
It may, perhaps, be for the credit of this bard, to translate no more of this poem; for the continuation of his description of the Irish giants betrays his want of judgment. MACPHERSON.
The name, and the etymology, of Lear-thon (sea-ware, on account of his knou ledge of navigation), are both taken from Toland's Druids. “Man-annon, the great hero and legislator of the island (of Man) reported to have been the son of Lear, or the God of the sea, from his extraordinary skill in narigation and commerce; from his instructions by the Druids, was reputed a consummate magician, and was indeed most happy in
the traveller, in the day of the sun; when he hears, far-rolling around, the murmur of mossy streams; streams that burst, in the desert, from the rock of roes.
Why,” said Fonar, “hear we the voice of the king, in the season of his rest? Were the dim forms of thy fathers bending in thy dreams? Perhaps they stand on that cloud, and wait for Fonar's song; often they come to the fields where their sons are to lift the spear. Or shall our voice arise for him who lifts the spear no more; he that consumed the field, from Moma of the groves?"
“Not forgot is that cloud in war, bard of other times. High shall his tomb rise, on Moilena, the dwelling of renown. But now, roll back my soul to the times of my fathers; to the years when first they rose, on Inis-huna's waves. Nor alone pleasant to Cathmor is the remembrance of wood-covered Lumon. Lumon of the streams, the dwelling of white-bosomed maids.
stratagems of war both by sea and land.” P. 66. Inishuna, or the
green island (supra, iv.7.), from which Larthon sailed, must have been meant, therefore, for the Isle of Man, of which his reputed son, Man-annon, was the great hero and legislator,
“ Lumon's of the streams, thou risest on Fonar's soul! Thy sun is on thy side, on the rocks of thy bending trees. The dun roe is seen from thy furze; the deer lifts his branchy head; for he sees, at times, the hound on the half-covered heath. Slow, on the vale, are the steps of maids; the white-armed daughters of the bow: they lift their blue eyes to the hill, from amidst their wandering locks. Not there is the stride of Larthon, chief of Inis-huna. He mounts the wave on his own dark oak, in Cluba's ridgy bay. That oak which he cut from Lumon, to bound along the sea'. The maids turn their eyes away, lest
15 Lumon was a hill in Inis-huna, near the residence of Sulmalla. This episode has an immediate connection with what is said of Larthon, in the description of Cathmor's shield. We have there hinted to us only Larthon's first voyage to Ireland; here his story is related at large, and a curious description of his invention of ship-building. MACPHERSON, 1st edit.
16 That oak which he cut from Lumon, to bound along the sea.] The invention of ship-building, and the first voyage of Larthon to Ireland, are introduced in imitation of the Argonautic expedition. “Who first sent the black ship through ocean, like a whale through the bursting of foam ?" (Supra, '4.) From Pope's St Cecilia.
So when the first bold vessel dared the seas. “ Now he dares to call the winds, and to mix with the mist of ocean.” But the maids turning their eyes away when they beheld the ship, is a modern improvement upon an image much
the king should be lowly-laid; for never had they seen a ship, dark rider of the wave!
“Now he dares to call the winds, and to mix with the mist of ocean. Blue Inis-fail rose, in smoke; but dark-skirted night came down. The sons of Bolga feared. The fiery-haired Ton-the
Culbin's bay received the ship, in the bosom of its echoing woods. There, issued a stream, from Duthuma's horrid cave; where spirits gleamed, at times, with their half-finished forms.
“ Dreams descended on Larthon: he saw se
admired in Apollonius Rhodius, of the Pelian Nymphs gazing with wonder on the parting Argo; of which our translator caught a glimpse in Glover's Leonidas. Argonaut. i. 549.
'Επ' ακροτάτησι δε ΝΥΜΦΑΙ
So parted Argo from th' Iolchian strand,
GLOVER. * Slow in the vale are the steps of maids.—They lift their blue eyes to the hill. Not there is the stride of Larthon.--He mounts the waves on his own dark oak— The maids turn their eyes away, lest the king should be lowly laid; for never had they seen a ship, dark rider of the wave!"