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to which must be imputed some Inverstons In
the Style, that otherwise would not have been
Of the poetical Merit of these Fragments nothing shall here be said. Let the Public judge, and pronounce. It is believed, that, by a careful Inquiry, many more Remains of ancient Genius, no less valuable than those now given to the World, might be found in the same Country where these have been collected. In particular there is Reason to hope that one Work of considerable Length, and which deserves to be styled an heroic Poem, might be recovered and tranQated, if Encouragement were given to such an Undertaking. The Subject is, an Invasion of Ireland by Swartban King of Lochlyn; which is the Name of Denmark in the Erse Language. Cucbulaid, the General or Chief of the Irish Tribes, upon Intelligence of the Invasion, assembles his Forces; Councils are held; and Battles fought. But after several unsuccessful Engagements, the Irish are forced to submit. At length, Fingal King of Scotland, called in this Poem, " The Desert of the Hills," arrives with his Ships to assist Cucbulaid. He expels the Danes from the Country; and returns
home home victorious. This Poem is held to be of greater Antiquity than any of the rest that are preserved: And the Author speaks of himself as present in the Expedition of Fingal. The three last Poems in the Collection are Fragments which the Translator obtained of this Epic Poem; and though very Imperfect, they were judged not unworthy of being inserted. If the Whole were recovered, it might serve to throw considerable Light upon the Scottish and Irish Antiquities.
MY Love is a,Son of the Hill. He pursues the flying Deer. His gray Dogs are panting around him; his Bow-string sounds in the Wind. Whether by the Fount of the Rock, or by the Stream of the Mountain thou liest; when the Rushes are nodding with the Wind, and the Mist is flying over thee, let me approach my Love unperceived, and fee him from the Rock. Lovely I saw thee first by the aged Oak of Branno; thou wert returning tall from the Chacej the fairest among thy Friends.
What Voice is that I hear? That Voice like the Summer-wind.—— I sit not by the nodding Rushes; I hear not the Fount of the Rock. Afar, Finvela, afar I go to the Wars of Fingal. My Dogs attend me no more. No more I tread the Mill. No more from on high I fee thee, fair-moving by the Stream 5 rf of the Plain j bright as the Bow of Heaven j as the
Moon on the western Wave.
Then thott art gone, O Sbilric! and-1 am" aloft ft on the Hill. The Deer are seen ort the Brow; \o ffl of Fear they graze along. No more they dread the Wind; no more the rustling Tree. The Hunter is far removed; he is in the Field of Graves. Strangers! Sons of the Waves! spare my lovely Sbilric.
If fall I must in the Field, raise high my Grave, Vinvela. Grey Stones, and heaped-up Earth, shall mark me to future Times. When the Hunter shall sit by the Mound, and produce his Food at Noon, «* Some Warior rests here," he will fay; and my Fame shall live in his Praise. Remember me, Vinvela, when low on Earth I lie!
Yes!—I will remember thee—indeed my Shilric will fall. What shall I do, my Love! when thou art gone for ever! Through these Hills I will go at Noon: I will go through the silent Heath. There I will fee the Place of thy Rest, returning from the Chace. Indeed, my Sbilric will fall j but I will remember him.