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TEM OR A:
EPIC POE M*.
HE blue waves of Ullin roll in light. The green hills are covered with day. Trees fhake their dusky heads in the breeze. Grey torrents pour their noify ftreams.---Two
* The first book of Temora made its appearance in the collection of leffer pieces, which were fubjoined to the epic poem of Fingal. When that collection was printed, little more than the opening of the prefent poem came, in a regular connection, to my hands. The fecond book, in particular, was very imperfect and confufed. By means of my friends, I collected fince all the broken fragments of Temora, that I formerly wanted; and the ftory of the poem, which was accurately preferved by many, enabled me to reduce it into that order in which it now appears. The title of Epic was impofed on the poem by myself. The technical terms of criticism were totally unknown to Offian. Born in a distant age, and in a country remote B 2 from
green hills, with aged oaks, furround a narrow plain. The blue courfe of a ftream is there;
from the feats of learning, his knowledge did not extend
Tho' this poem of Offian has not perhaps all the minutia, which Ariftotle, from Homer, lays down as neceffary to the conduct of an epic poem, yet, it is prefumed, it has all the grand effentials of the epopœa. Unity of time, place, and action is preferved throughout. The poem opens in the midft of things; what is neceffary of preceding tranfactions to be known, is introduced by epifodes afterwards; not formally brought in, but feemingly
on its banks food Cairbar of Atha.-His
rifing immediately from the fituation of affairs. The cir-
The reader will find fome alterations in the diction of
* Cairbar, the fon of Borbar-duthul, was defcended lineally from Larthon the chief of the Firbolg, the first colony who fettled in the fouth of Ireland. The Caël were in poffeffion of the northern coaft of that kingdom, and the first monarchs of Ireland were of their race. Hence arofe thofe differences between the two nations, which terminated, at laft, in the murder of Cormac, and the ufurpation of Cairbar, lord of Atha, who is mentioned in this place.
THE king, at length, refumed his foul, and took his pointed fpear. He turned his eyes to Moi-lena. The fcouts of blue ocean came. They came with fteps of fear, and often looked behind. Cairbar knew that the mighty were near, and called his gloomy chiefs.
THE founding fteps of his warriors came. They drew, at once, their fwords. There Morlath food with darkened face. Hidalla's long hair fighs in wind. Red-haired Cormar bends on his fpear, and rolls his fide-longlooking eyes. Wild is the look of Malthos from beneath two fhaggy brows. --- Foldath ftands like an oozy rock, that covers its dark fides with foam. His fpear is like Slimora's fir, that meets the wind of heaven. His thield is marked with the ftrokes of battle; and his red eye defpifes danger. Thefe and a thousand other chiefs furrounded car-borne Cairbar, when the
* Mór-lath, great in the day of battle. Hidalla', mildly loaking hero. Cor-mar, expert at fea. Málth-os, flow to Speak. Foldath, generous.
Foldath, who is here ftrongly marked, makes a great figure in the fequel of the poem. His fierce, uncomplying character is fuftained throughout. He feems, from a paffage in the fecond book, to have been Cairbar's greatest confident, and to have had a principal hand in the confpiracy against Cormac king of Ireland. His tribe was one of the most confiderable of the race of the Fir-bolg.
fcout of ocean came, Mor-annal, from streamy Moi-léna.---His eyes hang forward from his face, his lips are trembling, pale.
Do the chiefs of Erin ftand, he faid, filent as the grove of evening? Stand they; like a filent wood, and Fingal on the coaft? Fingal, the terrible in battle, the king of ftreamy Morven, --Haft thou feen the warrior? faid Cairbar with a figh. Are his heroes many on the coaft? Lifts he the fpear of battle? Or comes the king in peace
IN peace he comes not, Cairbar. I have feen his forward fpear. It is a meteor of death: the blood of thoufands is on its fteel.He came first to the fhore, ftrong in the grey hair of age. Full rofe his finewy limbs, as he ftrode in his might. That fword is by his fide which gives no fecond † wound. His fhield is terrible, like the bloody moon afcending thro' a ftorm.
*Mor-annal here alludes to the particular appearance of Fingal's fpear.—If a man, upon his firft landing in a ftrange country, kept the point of his fpear forward, it denoted in those days that he came in a hoftile manner, and accordingly he was treated as an enemy; if he kept the point behind him, it was a token of friendship, and he was immediately invited to the feaft, according to the hofpitality of the times.
This was the famous fword of Fingal, made by Luno, a fmith of Lochlin, and after him poetically called the n