Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (18)

(20) next ›››

Jong of peace; a cuftom always obferved at the end of a war. Ullin
relates the actions of Trenmor, great grandfather to Fingal, in Scan-
dinavia, and his marriage with Inibaca, the daughter of a king of
Lochlin who was anceftor to Swaran ; which confideration, toge-
ther with his being brother to Agandecca, with whom Fingal was
in love in his youth, induced the king to releafe him, and permit
him to return, with the remains of his army, into Lochlin, upon
his promife of never returning to Ireland, in a hoftile manner. The
night is fpent in fettling Swaran's departure, in fongs of bards, and
in a converfiition in which the ftory of Grumal is introduced by
Fingal. Morning comes. Swaran departs ; Fingal goes on a hunt-
ing party, and finding CuchuUin in the cave of Tura, comforts him,
and fets fail, the next day, for Scotland ; which concludes the poem.
The ftory of this poem is fo little interlarded with fable, that
one cannot help thinking it the genuine hiftory of Fingal's expedi-
tion, embellifhed by poetry. In that cafe, the compofitions of Of-
fian are not iefs valuable for the light they throw on the ancient
ftate of Scotland and Ireland than they are for their poetical merit.
Succeeding generations founded on them all their traditions con-
cerning that period ; and they magnified or varied them, in propor-
tion as they were fwayed by credulity or defign. The bards of
Ireland, by afcribing to Oflian compofitions which are evidently
their own, have occafioned a general belief, in that country, that
Fingal was of Irilh extradiion, and not of the ancient Caledonians,
as is faid in the genuine poems ofOfi^an. The inconfiltencies be-
tween thofe fpurious pieces prove the ignorance of their authors \\\
one of them Oflian is made to mention himfelf as baptiled by St.
Patrick, in another he fpeaks of the famous crufade, which was not
begun in Europe for many centuries after.

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