Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (13)

(15) next ›››

of complying with the requeil of my friends, than from any hopes
I had of anfwering their expedations. I was not unfiicefsful, con-
fidering how much the compofitions of ancient times have been
neglefted, for fome time paft, in the north of Scotland. Seve-
ral gentlemen in ihe Highlands and ifles generoufly gave me all
the alTirtance in their power ; and it was by their means I was en-
abled to compleat the epic poem. How far it comes up to the
rules of the epopjEa, is the province of criticifm to examine. It
is only my bufmefs to lay it before the reader, as I have found it.
As it is one of the chief beauties of compofition, to be well un-
derftood, I fhall here give the ftory of the poem, to prevent that
obfcurity which the introdutlion of charaders utterly unknowa
might occaiion.
Art HO, fupreme king of Ireland, dying at Temora the royal
palace of the Irifli kings, was fucceeded by Cormac, his fon, a m.inor.
Cuchullin, the fon of Semo, lord of th^ IJIe of Miji, one of the
Hebrides, being at that time in Ulfter, and very famous for his great
exploits, was, in a convention of the petty kings and heads of tribes
affembled for that purpofe at Temora, unanimoully chofen guardian
to the young king. — He had not managed the affairs of Cormac long»
when news was brought, that Swaran, the fon of Starno, king of
Lochlin, or Scandinavia, intended to invade Ireland. Cuchullin
immediately difpatched Munan, the iow of Stirmal, an Irifh chief,
to Fingal, king of thofe Caledonians who inhabited the weftern coafl:
of Scotland, to implore his aid. Fingal, as well from a principle
of generofity, as from his connexion with the royal family of Ire-
land, refolved on an expedition into that country ; but before his
'arrival, the enemy had landed in Ulfter. Cuchullin in the mean
time had gathered the flower of the Irilli tribes to Tura, a caftle of

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence