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to be two beams of light near the steps of his departure.”
“Son of Fingal,” replied the youth, “it is not long since I raised the spear.
Few are the marks of my sword in war. But Fillan's soul is fire! The chiefs of Bolgas crowd around the
ed in one of the lesser poems. He, according to some traditions, was the ancestor of Fergus the son of Erc or Arcath, commonly called Fergus the second in the Scotch histories. The beginning of the reign of Fergus over the Scots, is placed, by the most approved annals of Scotland, in the fourth year of the fifth age; a full century after the death of Ossian. The genealogy of his family is recorded thus by the Highland Senachies; Fergus Mac-Arcath Mac-Chongael, Mac-Fergus, MacFion-gäel na buai'; i. e. Fergus the son of Arcath, the son of Congal, the son of Fergus, the son of Fingal the victorious. MacPHERSON.
Destroy his fib, or sophistry, in vain;
The creature's at his dirty work again. No sooner was one fiction destroyed by Innes, than another was created by our Celtic bards. Fergus, the son of Fingal, who is now employed on an expedition mentioned in one of the lesser poems never published, is thus converted into the fabulous Fergus I. of Scotland; and instead of the forty kings of the Milesian race, the translator, in a dissertation annexed to the former editions of Ossian, gives us six generations of kings never known before; namely, Trenmor, Trathal, Comhal, Fingal of victories, Fergus I. Congal, Arcath, and Fergus II. If we ask what authority there is for this unheard of dynasty of new kings, the answer is, that they depend upon the same authentic, and never-failing traditions with the rest of Ossian.
5 The southern parts of Ireland went, for some time, under
shield of generous Cathmor. Their gathering is on that heath. Shall my steps approach their host? I yielded to Oscar alone, in the strife of the race, on Cona!"
Fillan, thou shalt not approach their host; nor fall before thy fame is known. My name is heard in song: when needful I advance. From the skirts of night I shall view them over all their gleaming tribes.. Why, Fillan, didst thou speak of Oscar ? Why awake my sigh! I must forget the warrior, till the storm is rolled
away. Sadness ought not to dwell in danger, nor the tear in the eye of war. Our fathers forgot their fallen sons, till the noise of arms was past. Then sorrow returned to the tomb, and the song
of bards arose.” The memory of those, who fell, quickly followed the departure of war: When the tumult of battle is past, the soul, in silence, melts away,
for the dead.
the name of Bolga, from the Fir-bolg or Belgæ of Britain, who settled a colony there. Bolg signifies a quiver, from which proceeds Fir-bolg, i. e. bowmen ; so called from their using bows, more than any of the neighbouring nations. MACPHERSON.
The Fir-bolg, or Belgæ, are frequently mentioned in Irish history. But in this fictitious etymology, bolg signifies merely a bag or budget, the belly, or a pair of bellows, and bolg-saighit, (sagitta,) is a quiver, or bag for arrows.
Conar was the brother of Trathal, first of mortal men. His battles were on every coast. A thousand streams rolled down the blood of his foes. His fame filled green Erin, like a pleasant gale?. The nations gathered in Ullin, and they blessed the king; the king of the race of their fathers, from the land of Selma.
The chiefs of the south were gathered, in the darkness of their pride. In the horrid cave of Muma, they mixed their secret words. Thither often, they said, the spirits of their fathers came; shewing their pale forms from the chinky rocks 8:
Conar, the first king of Ireland, was the son of Trenmor the great-grand-father of Fingal. It was on account of this family-connection, that Fingal was engaged in so many wars in the cause of the race of Conar. MACPHERSON.
7 A thousand streams rolled down the blood of his foes. His fame filled green Erin like a pleasant gale.] Pope's Essay on Man.
Oh! while along the stream of time thy name
little bark attendant sail, Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale ? Shewing their pale forms from the chinky rocks.] through the chinky hut the beam.” MACPHERSON's Cave. From Mason's Elfrida, infra, 28.
Where at pale midnight's stillest hour,
reminding them of the honour of Bolga. “Why should Conar reign,” they said, “ the son of resounding Morven ?”
They came forth, like the streams of the desert, with the roar of their hundred tribes. Conar was a rock before them: broken they rolled on every side. But often they returned, and the sons of Selma fell. The king stood, among
the tombs of his warriors. He darkly bent his mournful face. His soul was rolled into itself; and he had marked the place, where he was to fall; when Trathal came, in his strength, his brother from cloudy Morven. Nor did he come alone. Colgar was at his side; Colgar the son of the king and of white-bosomed Solin-corma.
As Trenmor, clothed with meteors, descends from the halls of thunder", pouring the dark . storm before him over the troubled sea : so Colgar descended to battle, and wasted the echoing
9 As Trenmor, clothed with meteors, descends from the halls of thunder.] An expansion of Job. “ Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder ?” The simile itself is a repetition of the Angel in Addison's Campaign; and the sole purport of an episode, “ arising immediately from the situation of affairs,” is to inform Fillan, that “ the tear should not dwell in the eye of war."
field. His father rejoiced over the hero : but an arrow came! His tomb was raised, without a tear. The king was to revenge his son. He lightened forward in battle, till Bolga yielded at her streams!
When peace returned to the land: When his blue waves bore the king to Morven : then he remembered his son, and poured the silent tear. Thrice did the hards, at the cave of Furmono, call the soul of Colgar. They called him to the hills of his land. He heard them in his mist. Trathal placed his sword in the cave, that the spirit of his son might rejoice.
Colgar, son of Trathal,” said Fillan, “thou wert renowned in youth ! But the king hath not marked my sword, bright-srreaming on the field. I go forth with the crowd. I return, without my fame. But the foe approaches, Ossian! I hear their murmur on the heath. The sound of their steps is like thunder, in the bosom of the ground, when the rocking hills shake their groves, and not a blast pours from the darkened sky''!"
10 Like thunder in the bosom of the ground, when the rocking Hills shake their groves.] Repeated above, “ When green-val