Fingal - Book Iii Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis

Rhyme Scheme: A B C A D A A A E A

ARGUMENTA
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Cuthullin pleased with the story of Carril insists with that bard for more of his songs He relates the actions of Fingal in Lochlin and death of Agandecca the beautiful sister of Swaran He had scarce finished when Calmar the son of Matha who had advised the first battle came wounded from the field and told them of Swaran's design to surprise the remains of the Irish army He himself proposes to withstand singly the whole force of the enemy in a narrow pass till the Irish should make good their retreat Cuthullin touched with the gallant proposal of Calmar resolves to accompany him and orders Carril to carry off the few that remained of the Irish Morning comes Calmar dies of his wounds and the ships of the Caledonians appearing Swaran gives over the pursuit of the Irish and returns to oppose Fingal's landing Cuthullin ashamed after his defeat to appear before Fingal re tires to the cave of Tura Fingal engages the enemy puts them to flight but the coming on of night makes the victory not decisive The king who had observed the gallant behavior of his grandson Oscar gives him advice concerning his conduct in peace and war He recommends to him to place the example of his fathers before his eyes as the best model for his conduct which introduces the episode concerning Fainas llis the daughter of the king of Craca whom Fingal had taken under his protection in his youth Fillan and Oscar are despatched to observe the motions of the enemy by night Gaul the son of Morni desires the command of the army in the next battle which Fingal promises to give him Some general reflections of the poet close the third dayB
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quot PLEASANT are the words of the song quot said Cuthullin quot lovely the tales of other times They are like the calm dew of the morning on the hill of roes when the sun is faint on its side and the lake is settled and blue on the vale O Carril raise again thy voice let me hear the song of Selma which was sung in my halls of joy when Fingal king of shields was there and glowed at the deeds of his fathersC
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quot Fingal thou dweller of battle quot said Carril quot early were thy deeds in arms Lochlin was consumed in thy wrath when thy youth strove in the beauty of maids They smiled at the fair blooming face of the hero but death was in his hands He was strong as the waters of Lora His followers were the roar of a thousand streams They took the king of Lochlin in war they restored him to his ship His big heart swelled with pride the death of the youth was dark in his soul For none ever but Fingal had overcome the strength of the mighty Starno He sat in the hall of his shells in Lochlin's woody land He called the gray haired Snivan that often sung round the circle of Loda when the stone of power heard his voice and battle turned in the field of the valiantA
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quot 'Go gray haired Snivan ' Starno said 'go to Ardven's sea surrounded rocks Tell to the king of Selma he the fairest among his thousands tell him I give to him my daughter the loveliest maid that ever heaved a breast of snow Her arms are white as the foam of my waves Her soul is generous and mild Let him come with his bravest heroes to the daughter of the secret hall ' Snivan came to Selma's hall fair haired Fingal attended his steps His kindled soul flew to the maid as he bounded on the waves of the north 'Welcome ' said the dark brown Starno 'welcome king of rocky Morven welcome his heroes of might sons of the distant isle Three days within thy halls shall we feast three days pursue my boars that your fame may reach the maid who dwells in the secret hall '-
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quot Starno designed their death He gave the feast of shells Fingal who doubted the foe kept on his arms of steel The sons of death were afraid they fled from the eyes of the king The voice of sprightly mirth arose The trembling harps of joy were strung Bards sung the battles of heroes they sung the heaving breast of love Ullin Fingal's bard was there the sweet voice of resounding Cona He praised the daughter of Lochlin and Morven's high descended chief The daughter of Lochlin overheard She left the hall of her secret sigh She came in all her beauty like the moon from the cloud of the east Loveliness was round her as light Her steps were the music of songs She saw the youth and loved him He was the stolen sigh of her soul Her blue eyes rolled on him in secret she blessed the chief of resounding MorvenD
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quot The third day with all its beams shone bright on the wood of boars Forth moved the dark browed Starno and Fingal king of shields Half the day they spent in the chase the spear of Selma was red in blood It was then the daughter of Starno with blue eyes rolling in tears it was then she came with her voice of love and spoke to the king of Morven 'Fingal high descended chief trust not Starno's heart of pride Within that wood he has placed his chiefs Beware of the wood of death But remember son of the isle remember Agandecca save me from the wrath of my father king of the windy Morven '-
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quot The youth with unconcern went on his heroes by his side The sons of death fell by his hand and Germal echoed around Before the halls of Starno the sons of the chase convened The king's dark brows were like clouds his eyes like meteors of night 'Bring hither ' he said 'Agandecca to her lovely king of Morven His hand is stained with the blood of my people her words have not been in vain ' She came with the red eye of tears She came with loosely flowing locks Her white breast heaved with broken sighs like the foam of the streamy Lubar Starno pierced her side with steel She fell like a wreath of snow which slides from the rocks of Ronan when the woods are still and echo deepens in the vale Then Fingal eyed his valiant chiefs his valiant chiefs took arms The gloom of battle roared Lochlin fled or died Pale in his bounding ship he closed the maid of the softest soul Her tomb ascends on Ardven the sea roars round her narrow dwelling quotA
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quot Blessed be her soul quot said Cuthullin quot blessed be the mouth of the song Strong was the youth of Fingal strong is his arm of age Lochlin shall fall again before the king of echoing Morven Show thy face from a cloud O moon light his white sails on the wave and if any strong spirit of heaven sits on that low hung cloud turn his dark ships from the rock thou rider of the storm quotA
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Such were the words of Cuthullin at the sound of the mountain stream when Calmar ascended the hill the wounded son of Matha From the field he came in his blood He leaned on his bending spear Feeble is the arm of battle but strong the soul of the hero quot Welcome O son of Matha quot said Connal quot welcome art thou to thy friends Why bursts that broken sigh from the breast of him who never feared before quot quot And never Connal will he fear chief of the pointed steel My soul brightens in danger in the noise of arms I am of the race of battle My fathers never fearedA
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quot Cormar was the first of my race He sported through the storms of waves His black skiff bounded on ocean he travelled on the wings of the wind A spirit once embroiled the night Seas swell and rocks resound Winds drive along the clouds The lightning flies on wings of fire He feared and came to land then blushed that he feared at all He rushed again among the waves to find the son of the wind Three youths guide the bounding bark he stood with sword unsheathed When the low hung vapor passed he took it by the curling head He searched its dark womb with his steel The son of the wind forsook the air The moon and the stars returned Such was the boldness of my race Calmar is like his fathers Danger flies from the lifted sword They best succeed who dareE
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quot But now ye sons of green Erin retire from Lena's bloodyA

James Macpherson



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