Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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144                     CELTIC POETRY.
his brain in the cavities of his head was destroyed by the clamors of the conflict; his heart shrunk within him with the panic of dismay; his speech became faltering from the giddiness of imbecility; his very soul fluttered with hallucination, and with many and various phantoms, for that was the root and true basis of fear itself. He might be com­pared on this occasion to a salmon in a weir, or to a bird after being caught in the strait prison of a crib."
The following is the way in which this is ren­dered in Congal, Sweeny's offense having con­sisted in drowning the hermit Ere in the Boyne: —
To Sweeny as the hosts drew near, ere yet the fight should
join, Seemed still, as if between them rolled the foam-strewed,
tawny Boyne. And as the swiftly nearing hosts consumed the narrowing
space, And arrow flights and javelin casts, and sword strokes came
in place, Through all the rout of high-raised hands, and wrathful,
glaring eyes, Erc's look of wrath, and lifted hand before him seemed to
rise, Through all the hard-rebounding din from breasts of Gaels
and Gauls, That jarred against the vault of heaven, when clashed the
brazen walls, Through all the clangorous battle-calls, and death shouts
hoarse and high,
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III