Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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140                       CELTIC POETRY.
a pretext rather than a cause was found in an al­leged slight of Domnal to Congal. The history, which is in prose interspersed with speeches and ex­hortations in verse in the usual manner of the bar­dic chronicles, was apparently written in its pres­ent form in the latter part of the eleventh century, and from earlier traditionary chronicles, which are now lost. Its style has a good deal of vigor and force, but is marked with the faults of confu­sion, and the redundance of "descriptive epithets characteristic of the writers of the time. Its story is that Congal, having been invited by Domnal to a banquet at the royal house at Dunangay, was served with a hen's egg upon a wooden platter, in­stead of with a goose egg upon a silver dish, as were the remainder of the company, and, denoun­cing it as an unforgivable insult, departed to seek assistance from his relatives and allies in Great Britain and the Continent. Returning with these a great battle was fought on the plains of Moyra, which lasted for six days, and in which the foreign invaders were routed and Congal was killed. The principal heroes of the chronicle were historical personages, but. there were others of which there is no definite knowledge, and who probably owed their origin to the imagination of the bards, as in the Iliad and the Nibelungen Lied. Sir Samuel Ferguson's poem of Congal follows the main
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