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chere my standard shall float on wind over Lubar's gleaming stream, then has not Fingal failed in the last of his fields.” Here is a beautiful harmony of consistency, tending in the most convincing manner to bear out my conjectures of the relative scites of most of the prominent objects alluded to by Ossian.
Fingal is on the eve of an engagement on green Moi-Lena, and desires the band to go to the top of Dunmora (i. e. hill of Mora) the highest, excepting Cromla (Cave-hill) of all the ridge of Lena. Whence he is desired to look, before night comes down, on Lena of the streams, (the caves lay pent I presume) and see if he could observe the signal of Fingal's victory—the hero's standard floating on wind over Lubar's gleaming stream. Dunmora is about eight miles south-west of the Cave-hill, and overlooks Loughneagh, and consequently Moi-Lena and Lubar.
I have yet to add, that Moi-Lena, or the plain country, verging from the hill and heath of Lena towards Loughneagh, is known at this day by the same appellation, which the poet gave it sixteen hundred years ago.
The descendants of the Aborigines who were under the chieftain of Cromla (the highest part of Lena) appear to have given the name of Cromlin to a neighbouring village, where they were settled so lately as the time of Elizabeth. It is about seven miles south from Connor ; Te.mora.
« In other days,” said Carril the bard, “ came the sons of Ocean to Erin. A thousand ships bounded over the waves to Ullin's (Ulster's) lovely plains ! The sons of Inisfail (Ireland,) arose to meet the race of dark brown shields. On Lubar's grassy banks they fought, and Grudar, like a sun-beam fell by the hand of the fierce Cairbar. Cairbar came to the vale of the echoing Tura (Carrickfergus,) where Brassolis (white breast,) fairest of his sisters, all alone raised the song of grief. She sung of the actions of Grudar, the youth of her secret soul. She mourned him in the field of blood, but still she hoped for his return.
« Her white bosom is seen from her robe, as the moon from the clouds of the night. Her voice was softer than the harp to raise the song of grief. Her soul was fixed on Grudar: the secret sigh of her soul was his. When shalt thou come in thine arms, thou mighty of the war? • Take, Brassolis,' said Cairbar, • this shield of blood. Fix it on high within my hall, the armour of my foe!' Her soft heart beat high against her side. Distracted, pale she flew; she found her youth in all his blood! She died on Cromla's heath!” Over this heath the unfortunate maiden had necessarily to pass on her way from (Carrickfergus) Tura to the Lubar Six Mile Water which' bounds the heath to the west towards the foot of the range of Mora hills. . The termination of this melancholy episode, when compared with its commencement, “ On Lubar's grassy banks they fought," &c. cells us that the Lubar alluded to, is no other than the Six Mile Water which rises in the northern end of ridgy Cromla, and after running through the beautiful vallies between Mora and Lena, and passing Templepatrick, (the elegant seat of Lord Templetown) falls into Lochneagh, near Antrim. Brassolis could not have found her lover on any other
grassy stream than the Six Mile Water, in the neighbourhood of Tura (Carrickfergus) and of Mora.
In the fourth book of Fingal, Ossian farther tells Malvina, « Now on Lena's heath the voice of music died away, the inconstand blast blew hard, and the high oak shook its leaves around me. Of Everallin were my thoughts, when she, in all the light of beauty, and her blue eyes streaming in tears, stood before my sight, and spoke with feeble voice, 0, Ossian, rise, and save my son! Save Oscar, chief of men ! Near the red oak of Lubar's stream, he fights with Lochlin's sons!' I called him like a distant stream, • My son return, no longer pursue the foe over Lena !”
When Starno ironically orders the beautiful Agandecca to be brought to her lovely king of Morven,« she came with the red eye of tears.
She came with the loose raven locks. Her white breast heaved with sighs, like the foam of the streamy Lubar.”
These descriptions clearly affirm the Six Mile Water to have been the Lubar of Ossian-while the coupling of Lena and Lubar portrays in the clearest manner the scite of both objects !
The advice which Connel gives Cuchullin after his affecting interview with the ghost of Crugal, brings forth a beautiful allusion to the Cave-hill (Cromla,) which is the highest all round Connor, Te-mora! After Cuchullin tells Connel to strike the shield of Caithbat, and assemble the warriors of Erin to battle, the poet sings:
High Cromla's head of clouds is grey. The morning trembles on the half enlightened ocean. The blue grey mist swims slowly by, and hides the sons of Inisfail (Ireland.)" Here Ossian almost distinctly tells us, that the camp of Cuchullin was at, or near, the scite of Carmona Hence the poet's assertion—“ We rushed into Carmona's Bay" (to embark for Scotland) equally applicable, I think, to disembark from that country; as the rushing of men and the rushing of ships or boats into a bay, though not strictly correct, has some affinity, being the nearest sea-port to the camp on Lena, and the capital Connor, another proof of my former assertion, that Cromla is on the ridge of Lena! and here I cannot avoid expressing surprise at the astonishing regularity and consistency throughout the poems, and the additional credit due to their authenticity from every lover of literature when he reflects on the justness and elegance, the uniformity and sublimity they possess after passing through the memories of uncultivated men for the space of sixteen hundred years !—But of Carmona
From this position the poet, on hearing the reveillé of the army, at the dawn of day, naturally cast his eyes towards the sea, in hopes of observing the enemy advancing. Thence turning from the half enlightened ocean to the right, his eyes were instantly cheered with the head of his favorite Cromla, covered with the grey clouds of the morning. I have risen at the dawn several mornings in the month of June, and have invariably observed the head of Cromla covered with a grey mist a considerable time after all the other hills were clear of the remains of night, so truly and elegantly described by Ossian. Again, “ morning is grey on Cromla; the sons of the sea ascend.” Their feet might have been anchored on any part of the shore of Belfast Loch, or Car. mona's bay, and yet the army would have to ascend Cromla's ridge, to approach the capital Connor, or its defenders, the Irish army under the gallant Cuchullin. It appears here beyond a doubt that the general and his forces were encamped on the hill of Lena in the neighbourhood of Carmona, for the purpose of protecting the capital Connor, where was the minor king, whose right in Ireland appears to have been productive of hereditary quarrels and dissensions, alike with Norwegians and native Irish princes. It may not be unworthy of remark that Connor lies beyond a second ridge of hills from the bay of Carrickfergus: between the former, and the one on which Ćuchullin was encamped, runs the river Lubar. This goes far to establish the preceding conjectures.
After the battle is over, in which the Irish tribes under Cuchullin were defeated by Swaran, who with the defeated warriors beheld the fleet of Fingal entering the bay, Carrickfergus, no doubt, the conquered hero drags his long spear behind him, mourns his fallen friends, and bending sad and slow sinks into Cromla's wood; for he feared the face of Fingal, which was wont to meet him with „smiles from the fields of renown.
Again, when Fingal landed in Tura's bay, his noble son makes him exclaim: “ The battle is over! Sad is the heath of Lena, and mournful the oaks on Cromla!” A most convincing proof that my conjectures founded on analogy are strictly correct; for the proximity of Cromla and Lena to Tura at once enabled Fingal to judge of the fate of his defeated friends. Indeed in all the poems in which the royal bard speaks of Ireland, we observe that Cromla, Lena, Lego, and Lubar, supply similes, shelter, battle fields and hunting to Fingal, and a haven for his shipping! This is partly accounted for, by the extent of the ridge of hills, Cromla and Lena lying between Carrickfergus Bay and the capital Connor. On the coast of that arm of the sea, friends and foes from Lochlin and Morven, invariably made good their landing. And, as the part of Lena, towards Carrickfergus, was a commanding martial situation, so it was but natural for the allies of the house of Connor, to seize hold of it, to better keep the royal residence inviolate. Hence, if I might be allowed to offer my humble opinion of martial positions, , it was for that purpose one of the most judicious situations that could have been chosen in the neighbourhood of the capital, then threatened by such a powerful and dangerous enemy, as the Scandinavians had repeatedly proved themselves to our early islanders.
After the battle in which Fingal conquered and bound Swaran, king of Lochlin, Gaul and Ossian were left in charge of the royal prisoner, and sat with him on the soft green banks of Lubar. Ossian touched the harp to please the king; but gloomy was his brow. He rolled his red eye towards Lena. The hero mourned his host. Ossian raised his eyes to Cromla's brow. He saw the son of generous Semo; sad and slow he retired from his hill towards the lonely cave of Tura.
From this description we gather şufficiently descriptive and explanatory evidence to convince a world of opposition, and realise and place beyond doubt what I was once disposed to consider as only probable.
The passage to me, thus explains itself :-Swaran on the banks of the Six Mile Water, in all the distress of mind natural to a person defeated, rolled his red eye towards Lena; to that the range, no doubt, between Carmona and Carrickfergus: and it occurs to me that he looked in that direction, from the following causes : First, he was there defeated. His home and friends lay beyond it, as did his fleet now possessed by Fingal. These, with his captivity, were sufficient to excite those melancholy ideas which Ossian has introduced in the happiest manner; for the description appears to me to be wound up to a climax of harmony and poetical beauty; while the delicacy on the part of the bard is so conspicuously feeling, that I cannot avoid observing, that to better enable Swaran to shed the tear unobserved, from his red eye, he turned towards Cromla (that was sideways from the king) and while looking upon that favorite object, his active mind experienced a rapid transition by the delicacy and generous feelings for the defeated Swaran, to an amiable regret and sympathy for his unfortunate friend Cuchullin, who he saw retiring sad and slow from his hill! Such conduct was every way compatible with the first of British bards.
To assist my conjecture of the strength of Lena as a judicious
position, we read that, when the King of the Belgæ meditated an attack on Connor, for the purpose of dethroning the young prince, he found it necessary to approach that city by the valley of Ulster, through which flows the Legon (reedy Lego); for had he attempted to go to it by the western side of Lochneagh, he would have found it impossible for his army to have crossed the river Bann, (the outlet of Lochneagh) a beautiful, rapid and nagivable river, larger and deeper than the Thames at London; and I believe at no place fordable from the lake of Roes (Lochneagh), to the Leap of Coleraine. This conjecture is fully confirmed by the march of Torlath (a chieftain of Connaught) to dethrone the young king. The attack on the young kinsman of Fingal may be seen in the poem, " The Death of Cuchullin." That hero, commanding the forces of the young Cormac, gallantly marched against the invading, ambitious prince, and came up with him at the lake of Legon, which I take to be that part of the Legon river that spread out a little above where Belfast now stands—a place which, there can be no doubt, was covered with water at no very remote period. This gallant advance of Cuchullin from the neighbourhood of Connor, and the young king, his ward, was judiciously turning the battle to a distance from the royal residence, and putting the king out of the power of being annoyed, or dethroned in consequence of any casual advantage the enemy might acquire over his general, Cuchullin, in the absence of Fingal—who, we are to understand, was then hourly expected to his assistance. And, in my opinion, this manceuvre proved Cuchullin to be not only a brave man, but an excellent commander, and well deserving of the friendship of the renowned Fingal.
“ As a hundred winds on Morven, as the streams of an hundred hills, as clouds fly successive over heaven, or as the dark ocean assaults the shore of the desart; so roaring, so vast, so terrible the armies mix on Lena's echoing heath!” After the battle is over, and Ossian in a father's pride relates the caressing interview of Fingal, and his promising grandson Oscar, the youthful warrior is told " that often did the hills of Cromla reply to the sighs of love for the unhappy Fainassolis.” In my grounded opinion, this is another proof of the range of hills before alluded to being the Lena of Ossian ; else why did the poet use the plural number?
On my way to the southward, along the banks of the Legon, I had several reasons to believe that the hospitable Branno, the father of Everallin, wife of Ossian, and mother of Oscar, lived at, or near where now stands the town of Lisburn. An almost unquestionable proof of that we find in the description which Ossian gives Malvina of his courtship with Everallin.