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Mora ; at whose western foot was the royal residence, Te-mora!' From many local allusions, I am disposed to think that there cannot be a doubt as to the hill of Tardree, and Cairn-ærie, having been the Mora of the ancients.

Indeed there is no other hill of any note in the neighbourhood! Hence, on proceeding to the foot of Cairn-ærie, and Tardree, I discovered the mossy ruins of a time-worn castle of extensive dimensions, at the ancient city of Connor ; which, your map will show you, is nearly in the centre of the county of Antrim. Here the beautiful lines of the classical Irishmen, Messrs. Moore and Phillips, have their full sway over the imagination.

« Ah! dark are the halls where your ancestors revelld,

And mute is the harp that enliven'd the day:
The tow'rs that they dwelt in are awfully levell’d-

The signs of their greatness are sunk in decay!

Oh, Tara! but 'twas fair to see
Thy court's assembled majesty!
All that man deems great or grand,

All that God made fair ;
The holy seers, the minstrel band,
Heroes bright, and ladies bland,
Around the monarchs of the land,

Were mingled there!

Art thou the festal hall of state,
Where once the lovely and the great,

The stars of peace, the swords of honour,
Cheer'd by the ever gracious eye

Of Erin's native majesty

Glitter'd a golden galaxy,
Around thee, great O'Connor !
And did these sacred ivy walls

Once glare with gorgeous tapestry?
And did these mute and grass-grown halls

Once ring with regal minstrelsy?
Chill is the court where the chief of the hills

Feasted the lord and the vassal,
And winter fills with its thousand rills

The pride of O'Connor's castle.?

The house of the great King. 2 Vide the “ Emerald Isle."

The

many remains of antiquity in this neighbourhood, such as ruins, caves, stones, &c. render Connor almost beyond a doubt, the Temorah, Teamrah, or Tara, of the ancients. It is situate about twelve miles west of Carrickfergus, and nearly in the an. gle formed by Lochneagh and the river Bann to the east, and a short distance from Kellswater, a tributary of the Bann. There is a tradition extant, that this was the residence of a King Connor, who left it his name : hence, I am bold to assert, that the whole scenery agrees as perfectly in every point with the description of Ossian, as the scenery around Loch Catrine does to the elegant description of Mr. Scott.

Many are the allusions which the poet makes to Connor (Temora), to cite all of which would be loss of time, but I shall here remark, from what I have discovered, that the poet and his father appear to have never penetrated into Ireland, and that their progress seems to have been no farther than the fields of battle ; which, during Fingal's life, were generally in the vicinity of Connor-in consequence of the enemy, whether of the Belgae, or of Lochlin, wishing, nay, attempting, to dethrone his young friend, the minor king, Cormac, whose wants required and occasioned the frequent descents of Fingal on Ireland; and, I infer from the poems, that immediately after he had defeated the enemies of the young king, or restored peace by treaty, he found it necessary, from his wars with the Romans, Scandinavians, &c. to return to Morven.'

I have farther to remark with respect to Connor, that when Edward Bruce assumed the sovereignty of Ireland, in 1916, he found it necessary to reduce that city, which is reported to have been very strong at the time of his invasion, and a place where he found as powerful, though not so fatal, a resistance as he did at Dundalk !

-The castle of the kings was even then in ruins, a proof of their antiquity. I have often visited them, and the walls appear to be coeval with Carrickfergus castle, but only a few feet above the surface. Should any doubts be entertained as to the certainty of this castle having been the residence of some of the early potentates of this country, might we not also doubt the ruins shown at Dunscaith in the Isle of Sky, and the stone to which Cuchullin is said to have fastened his dog Luath, which few have ventured to deny ?-If one has the least foundation in truth, the other is more than equally founded. Connor was a place of such note in the days of St. Patrick, that the apostle ordered an abbey, (whose ruins are still standing) and several

1

This

goes far to annul the generally received opinion, in Ireland, thal Fingal was a native of that country.

other religious houses to be erected there. It has ever since been a conspicuous place in the church history of Ireland; and is, I believe, both a Catholic and Protestant bishop's see : at least, it is reported to have been the former, in the reign of the eighth Henry; and is now joined to Down, as a Protestant see, though there is but one family of the church of England resident in the parish-For so effectual were the plans of Cromwell for exterminating the Catholics, that this parish, formerly the capital seat of Catholicism in the north of Ireland, contains only a few Catholic families, and they, I understand, returned to it at the restoration; the majority being Presbyterians of the established kirk of Scotland.

Having thus briefly noted Connor, and ascertained it to be the celebrated Te-mora, I venture to quote a few passages from the poems, that tend to elucidate and confirm the other places, which I have mentioned, the identical ones that I hold them out to be.

As we proceed in the first book of Fingal, we find many beautiful allusions made to Cromla, as being in the immediate neighbourhood of Lena, the scene of action of that poem. And from the striking appearance of its romantic scenery, and the frequency of mists on its summit, (mentioned by Ossian,) at particular seasons of the year, we may safely conjecture that it held a conspicuous place in the mind of the illustrious poet, which we find to have been fondly stored with all that is grand in nature, and sublime in thought.

To know that Cromla is on the range of hills called Lena, and make one part ascertain the other, we have only to look at the Poet's own description : « Unequal bursts the song of battle. Rocky Cromla echoes round. On Lena's dusky heath they stand like mist that shades the hills of autumn, when broken and dark it settles high and lifts its head to heaven.' Here the most incredulous of my system will see that the warriors on Lena's dusky heath shouted so loud in battle, that Cromla echoed around; a proof at least of its vicinity to the heath of Lena.

Nathos, nephew of Cuchullin, tells his Darthula, “ I remember thy words on Etha when my sails began to rise; when I spread them towards Ullin (Ulster ;) towards the mossy wall of Tura, (Carrickfergus).” Again he says, “ I came to Tura's bay ; but the halls of Turá were silent !”

The many allusions made to Tura only tend to place beyond doubts, the natural conjecture that one is apt to conceive on looking at the corresponding positions of Morven and of Tura, and prove to us that it is the very spot known as Carrickfergus. Duchomar' the sky.

'Black-well-made man.

Irish army.

came to Tura’s cave, and spoke to the lovely Morna : “ Morna," fairest among women, lovely daughter of Cormac-Cairbar, why in the circle of stones ? in the cave of the rock alone? The stream murmurs hoarsely: the old trees groan in the wind. The lake (Belfast loch) is troubled before thee; and dark are the clouds of

But thou art like snow on the heath, and thy hair is like the mist of Cromla ; thy breasts are like two smooth rocks seen from Branno of the streams ! Thy arms like two white pillars in the hall of the mighty Fingal.”

In the second book of Fingal we find Carril the Bard animating the troops of Cuchullin to courage, as follows, in the coming battle, in which the ghost of Crugal had foretold the defeat of the

“ Where, said Carril, is the fallen Crugal ? He lies forgot on earth; the hall of shells is silent. Sad is the spouse of Crugal! She is a stranger in the hall of her grief. But who is she that flies before the ranks of the foe? It is Degrena, (sunbeam) lovely fairy, the spouse of fallen Crugal! Her hair is on the wind behind. Her eye is red; her voice is shrill. Pale, empty is thy Crugal now. His form is in the cave of the hill.” Here the poet most happily incites the army to revenge, by conjuring up the appearance of a lovely woman in distress the unprotected widow of one of their chieftains, who had fallen in the preceding battle, on the heath of Lena--whose ghost, he told them in conclusion, was then in the cave of the hill-Cromla, no doubt near which they were then engaged. I might farther strengthen my conjecture, and give it to the world in reality! While Fingal and his gallant sons were arranging the order of the coming battle with Swaran, “Cuchullin from the cave of Cromla heard the noise of the troubled war.”—It is unnecessary to go

farther : he must indeed be hard of belief who would require any more proofs of the Cave-hill being the Cromleach of Ossian. The landscape from the second cave is decidedly one of the finest in nature.

The Branno of the streams, I infer, was an allusion to the seat of the chieftain of that name on the banks of the Legon, whose daughter, Everallin, became wife of Ossian, and mother of Oscar. Could the poet here allude to the charms of his amiable consort, whom he bore from Branno of the streams? Her goodness, I infer from his songs, retained the most affectionate hold of his memory, long after she and her valiant son had mouldered into dust. The elegant compliment which the feeling poet puts in the mouth of the young aspiring warrior, Nathos, resembles one in the Canticles --but I am not criticising.

'A woman beloved by all.

The principal battles which Fingal fought with the Norwegians, native Irish, &c. were all in the neighbourhood of Connor! Between Lochneagh (Lake of Roes,) and ridgy Cromla, and all round the intermediate space, by Connor, Mora, and on to Carmona; it is almost impossible to walk twenty minutes without observing some rude marks of the warfare of those times. I have penetrated a large and beautiful cave in the neighbourhood of Connor, which is capable of holding two or three hundred persons. It is divided into two apartments, and covered over head with long flat stones of granite.

Innumerable are the four grey stones, (the graves of the illustrious dead) which one discovers while travelling among these hills. There are also several moats or forths around Connor: one of the former, is in as great a state of preservation as the one at Carnwath in Lanarkshire ! These moats and forths I take to have been thrown up to answer the purpose of hills, for watch stations in a level country, and to kindle fires on, when the approach of an enemy renders such signals necessary. Some antiquaries, however, have observed, that they were seats of justice, where the chieftain exercised his judicial power; but, in Ireland, particularly the level parts of Ulster, there are more forths than there could have been chief. tains, allowing at the rate of two or three forths for each extent of country equal to a modern sized estate.

And I

may

farther observe, that I have traced a chain of these artificial eminences through a level part of country, and generally found them at signal distances from each other, and their termination at the foot of a commanding hill. A proof that their origin was in the want of natural signal stations for the early inhabitants of the country,

The Moi-Lena mentioned so frequently by Ossian, is the lowlying country or plain between Lena and Mora, and through it runs the Lubar, or Six Mile Water, into Lochneagh. This river rises in one of the hills attached to the chain of Mora, and may

have been the one called by the bard Crommal. The little river Lavath, as in the days of Ossian, “ rolls behind it in the still vale of Deer;" and near its banks the Marquis of Donegal has lately erected a beautiful villa called Fisherwic.

In one of the last battles fought by Fingal in Ireland he is poetically madeto animate his sons to battle in the following noble, just, and energetic manner. • Lift up Gaul, the shield before him. Stretch, Dermid Lemora's spear. Be thy voice in his ear, O Carril, with the deeds of his fathers. Lead him to green Moi-Lena, to the dusky fields of ghosts : for there I fall forward in battle, in the folds of war. Before dun night descends, come to lrigh Dunmora's top. Look from the grey skirts of mist on Lena of the streams. If

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