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ARGUMENT to Book III.
MORNING Coming on, Fingal, after a speech to his people, devolves the command on Gaul, the son of Morni; it being the custom of the times, that the king fhould not engage, till the neceffity of affairs required his fuperior valour and conduct.-The king and Offian retire to the rock of Cormul, which overlooked the field of battle. The bards fing the war-fong. The general conflict is defcribed. Gaul, the fon of Morni, diftinguishe's himself; kills Tur-lathon, chief of Moruth, and other chiefs of leffer name.-On the other hand, Foldath, who commanded the Irish army (for Cathmor, after the example of Fingal, kept himself from battle) fights gallantly; kills Connal, chief of Dun lora, and advances to engage Gaul himself, Gaul, in the mean time, being wounded in the hand, by a random arrow, is covered by Fillan, the fon of Fingal, who performs prodigies of valour. Night comes on. The horn of Fingal recalls his army. The bards meet them, with a congratulatory fong, in which the praifes of Gaul and Fillan are particularly celebrated. The chiefs fit down at a feast; Fingal miffes Connal. The episode of Connal and Duthcaron is introduced; which throws further light on the ancient hiftory of Ireland. Carril is dispatched to raise the tomb of Connal.-The action of this book takes up the fecond day, from the opening of the poem.
BOOK THIR D.
HO is that, at blue-ftreaming Lubar; by the bending hill of the roes? Tall, he leans on an oak torn from high, by nightly winds.---Who but Comhal's fon, brighten
* This fudden apoftrophe, concerning Fingal, the attitude of the king, and the fcenery in which he is placed, tend to elevate the mind to a juft conception of the fucceeding battle. The fpeech of Fingal is full of that magnanimous generofity which diftinguishes his character throughout. The groupe of figures, which the poet places around his father, are picturefque, and defcribed with great propriety. The filence of Gaul, the behaviour of Fillan, and the effect which both have on the mind of Fingal, are well imagined.-His fpeech upon the occa
brightening in the laft of his fields? His grey hair is on the breeze: he half unfsheaths the fword of Luno. His eyes are turned to Moilena, to the dark rolling of foes.---Doft thou hear the voice of the king? It is like the bursting of a ftream, in the defart, when it comes between its echoing rocks, to the blafted field of the fun.
WIDE-SKIRTED comes down the foe! Sons of woody Morven, arife. Be ye like the rocks of my land, on whose brown fides are the rolling of waters. A beam of joy comes on my foul; I fee them mighty before me. It is when the foe is feeble, that the fighs of Fingal are heard; left death thould come, without renown, and darknefs dwell on his tomb.---Who
fhall lead the war, against the host of Alnecma?
It is; only when danger grows, that my fword fhall fhine.---Such was the custom, heretofore, of Trenmor the ruler of winds: and thus defcended to battle the blue-fhielded Trathal.
THE chiefs bend towards the king each darkly feems to claim the war. They tell, by
fion is very beautiful in the original. Broken and unequal, the numbers reprefent the agitation of his mind, divided between the admiration excited by the filence of Gaul, (when others boafted of their own actions) and his natural affection for Fillan, which the behaviour of that valiant youth had raised to the highest pitch.