Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

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

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142                       CELTIC POETRY.
ruined castle. The opening lines give a specimen of the style of the verse and the vigorous spirit of the measure: —
The Hosting here of Congal Claen. 'T was loud lark-car­oling May When Congal, as the lark elate and radiant as the day, Rode forth from steep Rath-Keltar gate.
Of the felicity with which these double descrip­tive epithets are used there are a thousand speci­mens, such as
The white-maned, proud-neck-arehing tide ;
and they give the dominant characteristic of the style as in the original, with a grace and appropri­ateness which make them a natural part of the English language. In order to show how the Cel­tic narrative has been transformed into English poetry without losing its characteristic features, the two accounts of the episode in the battle in which Sweeny becomes smitten with a frenzy of fear by supernatural visitation may be compared. This is the original: —
" Fits of giddiness came over him at the sight of the horrors, grimness, and rapidity of the Gaels; at the looks, brilliance, and irksomeness of the foreign­ers ; at the rebounding, furious shouts and bellow-ings of the various embattled tribes on both sides, rushing against and coming into collision with one
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