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MORNING coming on, Fingal, after a speech to his people, de
volves the command on Gaul, the son of Morni; it being the custom of the times, that the king should not engage till the necessity of affairs required his superior valour and conduct. The king and Ossian retire to the rock of Cormul, which overlooked the field of battle. The bards sing the war-song. The general conflict is described. Gaul, the son of Morni, distinguishes himself; kills Tur-lathon, chief of Moruth, and other chiefs of lesser 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 son of Fingal, who performs prodigies of valour. Night comes on. The horn of Fingal recalls his army. The bards meet them, with a congratulatory song, in which the praises of Gaul and Fillan are particularly celebrated. The chiefs sit down at a feast; Fingal misses Connal. The episode of Connal and Duth-caron is introduced; which throws further light on the ancient history of Ireland. Carril is dispatched to raise the tomb of Connal. The action of this book takes up the second day, from the opening of the poem. MacPHERSON.
AN EPIC POEM.
Who is that at blue-streaming Lubar? Who, by the bending hill of roes? Tall, he leans on an oak torn from high, by nightly winds. Who but Comhal's son, brightening in the last of his fields ? His grey hair is on the breeze. He half unsheaths the sword of Luno. His eyes are turned to Moi-lena, to the dark moving of foes. Dost thou hear the voice of the king ? It is like the bursting of a stream in the desert, when it comes, between its echoing rocks, to the blasted field of the sun'!
"Like the bursting of a stream in the desert, when it comes between its echoing rocks, to the blasted field of the sun.] A simile frequently repeated : From Thomson's Winter.