« PreviousContinue »
Chualas guth Uillin nan duan,
Is cruit Shelma mu 'n cromadh an cuan.
Carraigthura, p. 132, v. 509, &c.
The voice of Ullin of songs was heard,
And the harp of Selma round which the ocean bends.
Co 'n nial a cheil anns an t sliabh
Og dhearrsa o Shelma nan tonn?
Cath Loduin, Duan II. p. 28, v. 3, &c.
What cloud has concealed in the hill
A Shniobhain as glaise ciabh
Fingal, Duan III. p. 104, v. 41, &c.
O Snivan of the greyest locks,
Go to Ardven of hills,
To Selma surrounded by the the wave.
Fingal, sitting beneath an oak, at the rock of Selma, and having discovered Connal just landing from Ireland, spoke the following lines:
"Fo dharaig," so labhair an righ,
"Nuair dh'eirich Connal thall o 'n chuan
"Beneath an oak," thus spoke the king,
"I sat down by the rock of streams, or waves,
"With the spear of Carthon of the dark locks."
Thainig mi gu talla an righ,
Gu Selma nan làn bhroilleach oigh.
Supposing Selma to be situate as above described, Connal must have landed somewhere about Dunstaffanage; and that the place was then called Dunlora is highly probable, as will appear hereafter.
That Selma was situate on some eminence such as the hill already mentioned, and commanded a prospect of the sea, and of some of the islands, will appear evident from the following quotations.
I came to the hall of the king,
Bha ghaisgich threin an deigh an righ;
Carraigthura, p. 98, v. 27, &c.
His brave heros followed the king; [high place.
Mar so mhosgail guth nam bard
N'uair thainig gu talla Shelma nan stuadh
Dealadh dealan am meadhon an t sluaigh.
Thus did the voice of the bards awake,
When they came to the hall of Selma of waves;
A thousand lights were burning around the high place,
Chaidh 'n oiche thairis am fonn;
Dh' eirich maduinn le sòlas còrr;
Chunnacas monadh thar liath cheann nan tonn;
An gorm chuan fo aoibhneas mòr;
Na stuaidh fo chobhar ag aomadh thall
Carthon, p. 160, v. 201, &c.
The night passed away in song;
Mountains were seen over the grey tops of the waves;
The blue ocean moved in great gladness;
It was thought proper to say something here respecting Taura, being so often mentioned in the Poems of Ossian, as one of Fingal's places of residence. The descriptions given of it in these poeins, place it in Cona, on a green hill impending over the sea, where it had a view of the hills of Cona, of the sea and islands. It is not improbable, therefore, that Taura was but another name of Selma; for what Ossian says of the one place, is equally applicable to the other. He had seen it when the generous shell went round, and the voice of the bard sounded in its halls; and had also witnessed its fall, which he imputes to fire.
The following passages are descriptive of Taura,
and also of Selma:
Thaineas o Arda le buaidh,
Gu h uallach air steuda nan coigreach,
'S ar gean mar ghathaibh na greine
'S i luidhe siar air sleibhte Thaura.
Mar bhogh na fraois air sleibhte,
Dr. Smith's Ancient Poems. Fall of Taura, v. 43, &c.
We came from Arda with victory,
Lofty on the steeds of the strangers,
And our joy was like the beams of the sun
At the smoke of Taura below.
Like the rainbow on the hills
Our joyful virgins came forth to meet us,
The above mentioned Arda, from which the Fingalians returned victorious, is probably Ardach, a place well known at this day, which lies about half way between Stirling and Crief, and where are vestiges of one of the greatest Roman camps to be seen in Scotland. That the Romans were the enemies, whom the Fingalians completely defeated and dispersed at Arda, appears evident from part of the same poem, being the song of triumph, which the maids of Morven sang when they came forth to congratulate their heroes on their return.
Co so liomhaidh na eide
Le mharc uaibhreach, ard-cheumach,