Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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CELTIC POETRY.
139
basis of ancient romance; but he has his function also, and may be something more than a mere trans­lator, as he gives his material shape in modern form and with the embellishments of his own gen­ius, while he yet preserves the ancient characteris­tics. He is like the skillful architect who restores a ruined castle to a habitable dwelling, clearing away the rubbish which has choked its portals and surrounded its walls, while preserving its ancient shape and structure, and blending his new materials with the old so that it seems a harmonious building. This is the work to which Sir Samuel Ferguson has devoted himself in his reproduction of Irish Celtic poetry, both ballad and epic, and particularly in his poem of Congal, which is a recreation of the bardic romance of the Battle of Moyra, and its introduc­tory Pre-Tale of the Banquet of Dunangay, prose versions which have been given by the eminent Celtic scholar, Dr. John O'Donovan, in the publica­tions of the Irish Archaeological Society.
The battle of Moyra was an authentic historic event, and took place A. r>. 637 between the forces of Domnal, king of Ireland, and those of Congal, sub-king of Ulster, and his allies from Scotland, Wales, England, Brittany, and Scandinavia. It is regarded by Celtic historians as the last struggle of the bardic and pagan party in Ireland against the newly established power of Christianity, for which
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III