Th reconciliation of the contending heroes, the consolation of Cuthullin, and the general felicity that crowns the action, soothe the mind in a very agreeable manner, and form that passage from agitation and trouble, to perfect quiet and repose, which critics require as the proper termination of the epic work. The columns of smoke pleased mine eye, when they arose above my walls: But conceal thy steps from Fillan’s eyes. But mankind never bear such resembling features as they do in the beginnings of society. The judgment and art discovered in conducting works of such length as Fingal and Temora, distinguish them from the other poems in this collection.

We know how much Virgil has failed in this particular. Throughout the whole of Fingal, there reigns that grandeur of sentiment, style, and imagery, which ought ever to distinguish this high species of poetry. But when we open the works of Ossian, a very different scene presents itself. Such as Oscar of the future fights, Fingal of the mildest look, Carril of other times, the mildly blushing Evir-allin: Dark is the wound of his breast. He had sketched this in the description of his own son Oscar; but as he has extended it more fully in Fillan, and as the character is so consonant to the epic strain, though, as far as I remember, not placed in such a conspicuous light by any other epic poet, it may be worth while to attend a little to Ossian’s management of it in this instance. This I esteem honorable, that the youth should advance to the combat fairly matched one against another; nor man retreat from man.

They form the poetical history of the age, of Fingal, The.

A critical dissertation on the poems of Ossian, the son of Fingal.

Homer’s genius was more comprehensive than Ossian’s. My soul is full of other times; the joy of my youth returns. A second-rate writer discerns nothing new or peculiar in the object he means to describe.

We know how much Virgil has failed in this particular. It is that in which five bards are represented as passing the evening in the house of a chief, and each of them separately giving his description of the night. Spirits of a superior nature to ghosts are sometimes alluded to, which have power to embroil the deep; to call forth winds and storms, and pour them on the land of the stranger; to overturn forests, and to send death among the dissertztion.


a critical dissertation on the poems of ossian the son of fingal

Their conformity with the Celtic nations in language, manners, and religion, proves fongal to a full demonstration. One keynote is struck at the beginning, and supported to the end; nor is any ornament introduced, but what is perfectly concordant with the general tone of melody.

Account Options Sign in. He beheld him with bursting joy.

a critical dissertation on the poems of ossian the son of fingal

From all this, the Celtic tribes clearly appear to have been addicted in so high a degree to poetry, and to have made it so much their study from the earliest times, as may remove our wonder at meeting with a vein of higher poetical refinement among them, than was at first to have been expected among nations whom we are dissrrtation to call barbarous.

The ghosts of departed bards continue to sing. His conceptions of it are vague and loose; his expressions feeble; and of course the object is presented to us indistinctly, and as through a cloud. For various, almost numberless, are the analogies formed among objects, by a sprightly imagination.

I am light as the blast of Cromla; fingall I move like the shadow of mist. She is therefore introduced in person; “she has heard a voice in her dream; She s the fluttering of her soul: Her robes are from the strangers’ land; and she is still alone.

a critical dissertation on the poems of ossian the son of fingal

No amplification is needed to give us the most full idea of a hardy veteran, after the few following words: To do justice to the poet’s merit, in supporting such a character as this, I must observe, what is not commonly attended to, that there is no part of poetical execution more difficult, than to draw a perfect character in such a manner as to render it distinct, and affecting to the mind.

But as it lay without the compass of the present action, it could be regularly introduced nowhere except in xon episode.

The Poems of Ossian: A Critical Dissertation

Throughout the whole of Fingal, there reigns that grandeur of sentiment, style, and imagery, which ought ever to distinguish this high species of poetry. Loud roared the swords in the plains of Lano.


He is surrounded with his family; he instructs his children in the principles of virtue; he is narrative of his past exploits he is venerable with the gray locks of age; he is frequently disposed to moralize, ths an old man, on human vanity, and the prospect of death. Then the host threw away. The description may be weakened by being diffuse, yet, notwithstanding, may be beautiful still; whereas, with respect to grand, solemn, and pathetic subjects, which are Ossian’s chief field, the case is very different.

These present to us what is much more valuable than the history of such transactions as a rude age can afford–the history of human imagination and passion. A critical dissertation on the poems of Ossian [by Spn.

Hugh Blair, A Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian

The time of my fading is near, and the blast that shall scatter my leaves. No cities appear to have been built in the territories of Fingal. An epic poem is, by its nature, one of the most moral of all poetical compositions: But though Homer’s and Ossian’s ideas concerning ghosts were of the same poms, we cannot but observe, that Ossian’s ghosts are drawn with much stronger and livelier colors than those of Homer.

It was happy; because it did not interfere in the least with the o display of human characters and actions; because it had less of the incredible than most other kinds of poetical machinery; and because it served to diversify the scene, and to heighten the subject. His face is like the beam of the setting moon.

There resounded the hard steel upon the lofty helmets of men. Observe how this critical event is wrought up by the poet.