Hirlas Owain,' we come to a beautiful piece, also by Williams, The Favorite of Gwalchmai,2 which may be quoted entire.

Rise, Orb of Day! the eastern gates unfold,
And shew thy crimson mantle fring'd with gold.
Contending birds sing sweet on ev'ry spray;
The skies are bright; arise thou Orb of Day!
I, Gwalchmai, call; in song, in war renown'd,
Who Lion-like, confusion spread around.
The live-long night, the Hero and the Bard
Near Freiddin's rocks have kept a constant guard;
Where cool transparent streams in murmurs glide,
And springing grass adorns the mountain's side;
Where snow-white sea-mews in the current play,
Spread their gay plumes, and frolic through the day.

Of considerable interest as an example of the identification of the Celtic spirit with the spirit of liberty, is the poem by Sneyd Davis, also included by Pennant. The hero of the poem, Caractacus, is here praised to the skies, and then begged to inspire the modern Britons to further deeds of valor against the French.

That the poets were gradually coming to know more about Druidism is again illustrated by some lines, with an explanatory note, in Robert Holmes's Alfred (Oxford, 1778):



Page 288; by Richard Williams, from Evans's Specimens, pp. 7–

2 Here again the Welsh original is in Evans's Specimens, p. 83; a Latin translation, p. 84. Evans gives no English version.

No more th' impenetrable groves among,
With sacred spoils and idol-trophies hung,
From altars foul dark wreaths of smoke
Imbosom the religious Oak;

When rous'd by Mona's bloody-mantled Priest.*
Impatient Homicide, his Druid-crew

With eyes of madness watch the midnight spell,
And drown with deaf'ning yell

The scream of Captives stretch'd in furnace blue.

A year after the appearance of Alfred, a more noticeably Celtic piece was published in the anonymous volume, Poetical Effusions. To which is added, The War of Inis-Thona; a Poem, from Ossian, in English verse (London, 1779). The Argument of The War of Inis-Thona is as follows:

REFLECTIONS of Ossian on his youth. An apostrophe to Selma. Oscar his Son obtains leave to go to InisThona, an island of Scandinavia. The mournful story of Argon and Ruro, the two Sons of the King of InisThona. Oscar revenges their death, and returns in triumph to Selma. A Soliloquy by the Poet.

A great number of different verse-forms are employed, with, on the whole, a pleasing effect. As a sample I quote the last few lines:

* The Island of Mona, which now bears the name of Anglesey, was antiently sacred to the superstition of the Druids. Cæsar informs us, that they had a Chief or Head, to whom they gave sovereign power. They paid particular veneration to the Oak, and usually solemnized their religious rites in the deepest recesses of the forests. Their human sacrifices were forbidden by Augustus and Tiberius, and abolished by Claudius. Sueton. in Vit. Claudii. [Holmes's note.]


Yes, like him, renown'd in story,
Morven's Sons shall have their glory;
Oft the songs my bosom chear,

My youthful Friends remember'd dear.
Gentle sleep my sense decoys
With the harp's descending joys:
Dreams of pleasure now arise,
Former days enchant my eyes.
Sons of the Chace, Oh! come not near,
Reclin'd while Ossian slumbers here;
For the Bard delights to hold

Converse with the Chiefs of old:

Sons of the jocund Chace, Oh! come not near,

Nor break his happy dreams while Ossian slumbers here. In 1780 the Annual Register printed Christopher Butson's poem, On the Love of Our Country, which had won the Chancellor's Prize at Oxford. The poem is of some interest for its happy combination of patriotism and liberty with Celtic history and Druidism.1

In the same year John Smith published at Edinburgh his Galic Antiquities. Part I, The History of the Druids, is thoroughly unreliable; Part II, a dissertation attempting to support the authenticity of Macpherson's Ossian, is all wrong; Part III, a collection of thirteen English prose poems said to have been written by Ossian, is a forgery. So far

1 See the Annual Register, 1780, pp. 197-199. Seventeen years later the poem was reprinted in the Gentleman's Magazine (1797, PP. 151-152), from which, by a curious oversight, it was copied into the Annual Register for the same year.

2 See L. C. Stern, Die Ossianischen Heldenlieder, in Koch's Zeitschrift, N. F. VIII, p. 70.

as I have observed, the poems had little effect on English literature; they abound with a sickly sentimentalism, and, as Stern justly remarks, "übermacphersonieren Macpherson." After seven years Smith had composed his "originals" in Gaelic, which he published under the title of Sean Dana; le Oisian, Ullan, &c. Ancient Poems of Ossian, Ullin, c. Collected in the Western Highlands and Isles; Being the Originals of the Translations some time ago Published in the Gaelic [sic] Antiquities (Edinburgh, 1787).


CELTS, 1771-1780

Throughout these ten years there were, as in the previous decade, numerous manifestations of interest in the Celtic Revival, of just enough importance to be included in this study with the briefest possible mention.

1771. Dr. John Smith explained in great detail the Druidical rites which he believed were connected with Stonehenge, in a volume: Choir Gaur; The Grand Orrery of the Ancient Druids, Commonly called Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain, Astronomically explained, and Mathematically proved to be a Temple erected in the earliest Ages, for observing the

1 The titles are: Gaul, Duthona, Dermid, Finan and Lorma, Cathluina, Manos, Trathal, Dargo, Cuthon, The Fall of Tura, Cathlava, and The Death of Artho.

Motions of the Heavenly Bodies. . . . By Dr. John Smith, Inoculator of the Smallpox. (Salisbury, 1771.) [Valuable bibliography of works on Stonehenge.]

In Samuel Foote's Maid of Bath, Lady Catherine Coldstream calls herself "a lady lineally descended from the great Ossian himself." 1

The Gwyneddigion Society was formed, by natives of North Wales resident in London, to promote the study of Welsh literature and music. Under its auspices numerous eisteddfodau (bardic contests) were subsequently held.2

1772. In the anonymous Ode on British Freedom, printed on pages 207 ff. of The Shamrock: or Hibernian Cresses (Dublin, 1772), the third and fourth stanzas are distinctly Celtic, dealing with Druids, human sacrifice, and battles for freedom, and mentioning the hero Caractacus.

In the same volume, The Shamrock, appeared (pp. 340 ff.) a poem of eight irregular stanzas, The Hone: A Piece of Irish Mythology.

On March 7 was the first performance at the Théâtre Français, Paris, of Antoine Leblanc de Guillet's tragedy, Les Druides.3

1 The play was acted in 1771 and published in 1778.

2 See William Davies Leathart's Origin and Progress of the Gwyneddigion Society of London (London, 1831); The Transactions of the Cymmrodorion Society for 1822, pp. vii and viii; and Richard Williams in the Encyclopædia Britannica, s.v. Eisteddfod.

3 Interesting for being entirely Celtic, but hardly within the scope of the present study. The play was printed at St. Petersburg in 1783.

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