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and wild harmony of numbers, that they become more than an attonement for their errors, in every other fpecies of poetry. But the beauty of thefe pieces, depend fo much on a certain curiofa felicitas of expreffion in the original, that they must appear much to disadvantage in another language.
CAIRBAR, the fon of Borbar-duthul, lord of Atha in Connaught, the most potent chief of the race of the Firbolg, having murdered, at Temora the royal palace, Cormac the fon of Artho, the young king of Ireland, ufurped the throne. Cormac was lineally defcended from Conar the fon of Trenmor, the great grandfather of Fingal, king of thofe Caledonians who inhabited the western coast of Scotland. Fingal refented the behaviour of Cairbar, and refolved to pass over into Ireland, with an army, to re-establish the royal family on the Irish throne. Early intelligence of his defigns coming to Cairbar, he affembled fome of his tribes in Ulfter, and at the fame time ordered his brother Cathmor to follow him fpeedily with an army, from -Temora. Such was the fituation of affairs when the
Caledonian fleet appeared on the coast of Ulfter. THE poem opens in the morning. Cairbar is reprefented
as retired from the reft of the army, when one of his fcouts brought him news of the landing of Fingal. He affembles a council of his chiefs. Foldath the chief of Moma haughtily defpifes the enemy; and is reprimanded warmly by Malthos. Cairbar, after hearing their debate, orders a feaft to be prepared, to which, by his bard Olla, he invites Ofcar the fon of Offian; refolving to pick a quarrel with that hero, and fo have fome pretext for killing him. Ofcar came to the feaft; the quarrel happened; the followers of both fought, and Cairbar and Ofcar fell by mutual wounds. The noise of the battle reached Fingal's army. The king came on, to the relief of Ofcar, and the Irifh fell back to the army of Cathmor, who was advanced to the banks of the river Lubar, on the heath of Moilena. Fingal, after mourning over his grandfon, ordered Ullin the chief of his bards to carry his body to Morven, to be there interred. Night coming on, Althan, the fon of Conachar, relates to the king the particulars of the murder of Cormac. Fillan, the fon of Fingal, is fent to obferve the motions of Cathmor by night, which concludes the action of the firft day. The fcene of this book is a plain, near the hill of Mora, which rofe on the borders of the heath of Moilena, in Ulfter.