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bard of his exalted talents, were he born in Ireland on
*See Macklin's Love A-la-mode.
# “Selma is not at all known in Scotland. When I asked, and particularly those who were possessed of any poetry, songs, or tales, who Fion was" (for he is not known by the name of Fingai É. any ;) I was answered, that he was an Irishman, if a man; #. t o sometimes thought him a giant, and that he lived in Ireland, and sometimes came over to hunt in the Highlands.
“Like a true Scotchman, in order to make his composition more acceptable to his countrymen, Mr. Macpherson changes, the name of Fion Mac Cumhal, the Irishman, into Fingal; which, indeed sounds much better, and sets him up a Scotch king over the ide kingdom of Morven in the west of Scotland. It had been a better argument for the authenticity, if he had allowed him to be an Irishman, and made. Morven an Irish kingdom, as well as Ireland the scene of his battles, but as he must -eed make the hero of an epic poem a great character, it was too great honor for any other country but Scotland to have given birth to so considerable a personage. , All the authentic histories of Ireland give a full account of Fingal or Fion Mac Cumhal's actions, and any one who will take the trouble, to look at Dr. Keating's, or any other history of that country, will find the matter related as above, whereas, in the Chronicon Scotorum, from which the list of the Scotch kings is *aken, and the pretended MSS. they so much boast of to be seen un the Hebrides, there is not one syllable said of such a name as |Fingal.”—An Enquiry into the Authenticity of the Pooms of Oa.
fergus, and people all Scotland with his own hands,”
dian, by W. Shaw, A.M., F.S.A., author of the Gaelic Dictionary und Grammar. London, 1781. --- - - Mr. Shaw crowns his want of faith in Macpherson's Ossian witn his piece of information. “A gentleman promised to ornament a scalloped shell with silver, if #. bring him one from the Highlands, and to swear that it was the identical shell out of which Eiugal used to drink.”—A gentleman'
We refer the reader to the opening of the fourth book of Fingal, which treats of Ossian's courtship of Evir-allen. The Evir-allen of Baron de Harold is in these words:
Thou fairest of the maids of Morven, young beam of streamy Lutha, come to the help of the aged, come to the help of the distressed. Thy soul is open to pity. Friendship glows in thy tender breast. Ah come and sooth away my wo. Thy words are music to my soul. Bring me my once-loved harp. It hangs long neglected in my hall. The stream of years has borne me away in its course, and rolled away all my bliss. Dim and faded are my eyes; thin-strewed with hairs my head. Weak is that nervous arm, once the terror of foes. Scarce can I grasp my staff, the prop of my trembling limbs. Lead me to yonder craggy steep. The murmur of the falling streams; the whistling winds rushing through the woods of my hills; the welcome rays of the bounteous sun, will soon awake the voice of song in my breast. The thoughts of former year glide over my soul like swift-shooting meteors o'er A.dven's gloomy vales. Come, ye friends of my youth, ye soft-sounding voices of Cona, bend from your gold-tinged clouds, and join me in my song. A mighty blaze is kindled in my soul. I hear a powerful voice. It says, “Seize thy beam of glory, O bard' for thou shalt soon depart. Soon shall the light of song be faded. Soon thy tuneful
voice forgotten.”—“Yes, I obey, O powerful voice, for ‘hou art pleasing to mine ear.” Q Evir-allen! thou boast of Erin's maids, thy thoughts come streaming on my soul. Hear, O Malvina | a tale of my youth, the actions of my former days. Peace reigned over Morven's hills. The shell of joy resounded in our halls. Round the blaze of the oak sported in festive dance the maids of Morven. They shone like the radiant bow of heaven, when the fiery rays of the setting sun brightens its varied sides. They wooed me to their love, but my heart was silent, cold Indifference, like a brazen shield, covered my frozen heart. Fingal saw, he smiled, and mildly spoke: My son, the down of youth grows on thy cheek. Thy arm has wielded the spear of war. Foes have felt thy force Morven's maids are fair, but fairer are the daughters of Erin. Go to that happy isle; to Branno's grass covered fields. The daughter of my friend deserves thy love. Majestic beauty flows around her as a robe, and innocence, as a precious veil, heightens her youth. ful charms. Go, take thy arms, and win the lovely fair. Straight I obeyed. A chosen band followed my steps. We mounted the dark-bosomed ship of the king, spread its white sails to the winds, and ploughed through the foam of ocean. Pleasant shone the fineeyed Ull-Erin.” With joyal songs we cut the liquid way. The moon, regent of the silent night, gleamed majestic in the blue vault of heaven, and seemed pleased to bathe her side in the trembling wave. My soul was full of my father’s words. A thousand thoughts divided my wavering mind. Soon as the early beam of morn appeared we saw
* The guiding jar to Ireland. 3
the green-skirted sides of Erin advancing in the bosom