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.                          147
ings of a race not yet emancipated from the terrors of the supernatural in the forces and forms of na­ture. These figures of ancient Irish poetry, the Herdsman Borcha, who swept down Finn's fortress with his staff, and counts the kine in the uncon-quered lands, the Giant Walker, who strides angrily around the hostile camp at night, and the Washer at the Ford, who dabbles with slain men's heads, live again in Ferguson's verse with their original reality and terror, and amid the setting of natural scenery from which their phantoms were created. This is the picture of the Giant Walker, whose apparition presaged doom to Cougal at his first night's camp: —
Around the Mound of Sighs They filled the woody-sided vale ; but no sweet sleep their
eyes Refreshed that night ; for all the night, around their echo­ing camp, Was heard continuous from the hills a sound as of a tramp Of giant footsteps ; but so thick the white mist lay around None saw the Walker save the King. He, starting at the
sound, Called to his foot his fierce red hound ; athwart his shoulders
cast A shaggy mantle, grasped his spear, and through the moon­light passed Alone up dark Ben-Boli's heights, towards which, above the
woods, With sound as when at close of eve the noise of falling floods Is borne to shepherd's ear remote on stilly upland lawn,
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