The Claims of Ossian Examined and Appreciated: an Essay on the Scottish and Irish Poems Published Under that Name: In which the Question of Their Genuineness and Historical Credit is Freely Discussed: Together with Some Curious Particulars Relative to the Structure and State of Poetry in the Celtic Dialects of Scotland and Ireland

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author, 1825 - Celtic poetry - 327 pages
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"Being an essay to ascertain, whether the poems ascribed to the Caledonian Bard, are to be regarded as genuine remains of antiquity, and authentic historical documents, or merely works of modern invention."--page 1.

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Page 157 - I have seen the walls of Balclutha, but they were desolate. The fire had resounded in the halls : and the voice of the people is heard no more. The stream of Clutha was removed from its place by the fall of the walls. The thistle shook, there, its lonely head : the moss whistled to the wind. The fox looked out from the windows, the rank grass of the wall waved round his head. Desolate is the dwelling of Moina, silence is in the house of her fathers.
Page 89 - The compositions of Ossian are so strongly marked with characters of antiquity, that although there were no external proof to support that antiquity, hardly any reader of judgment and taste could hesitate in referring them to a very remote aera.
Page 100 - The bards erected their immediate patrons into heroes, and celebrated them in their songs. As the circle of their knowledge was narrow, their ideas were confined in proportion. A few happy expressions, and the manners they represent, may please those who understand the language ; their obscurity and inaccuracy would disgust in a translation.
Page 176 - Each verse was so connected with those which preceded or followed it, that if one line had been remembered in a stanza, it was almost impossible to forget the rest. The cadences followed in so natural a gradation, and the words were so adapted to the common turn of the voice, after it is raised to a certain key, that it was almost impossible, from a similarity of sound, to substitute one word for another. This excellence is peculiar to the Celtic tongue, and is perhaps to be met with in no other...
Page 178 - ... neither upon rhyme nor upon metrical feet, or quantity of syllables, but chiefly upon the number of the syllables, and the disposition of the letters. In. every stanza was an equal number of lines : in every line six syllables. In each distich, it was requisite that three words should begin with the same letter ; two of the corresponding words placed in the first line of the distich, the third, in the second line. In each line were also required two syllables, but never the final ones, formed...
Page 91 - The manner of composition bears all the marks of the greatest antiquity. No artful transitions, nor full and extended connection of parts ; such as we find among the poets of later times, when order and regularity of composition were more studied and known ; but a style always rapid and vehement ; in narration concise even to abruptness, and leaving several circumstances to be supplied by the reader's imagination. The language has all that figurative...
Page 299 - CALTHON AND COLMAL: A POEM. ARGUMENT. THIS piece, as many more of Ossian's compositions, is addressed to one of the first Christian missionaries. The story of the poem is handed down, by tradition, thus : In the country of the Britons between the walls, two chiefs lived in the days of Fingal, Dunthalmo, lord of Teutha, supposed to be the Tweed, and Rathmor, who dwelt at Clutha, well known to be the river Clyde. Rathmor was not more renowned for his generosity and hospitality, than...
Page 50 - O lay me, ye that see the light, near some rock of my hills ! let the thick hazels be around, let the rustling oak be near. Green be the place of my rest j let the sound of the distant torrent be heard.

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