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ARGUMENT to Boox 1.
Cairbar, the son of Borbar-duthul, lord of Atha in Connaught, the most potent chief of the race of the Firbolg, having murdered, at Temora the royal palace, Cormac the fon of Artho, the young king of Ireland, ufurped the throne. Cormac was lineally defcended from Conar the son of Trenmor, the great grandfather of Fingal, king of those Caledonians who inhabited the western coaft of Scotland. Fingal refented the behaviour of Cairbar, and resolved to pass over into Ireland, with an army, to re-establish the royal fa mily on the Irish throne. Early intelligence of his defigns coming to Cairbar, he affembled fome of his tribes in Ulfter, and at the fame time ordered his brother Cathmor to follow him fpeedily with an army, from Temora. Such was the fituation of affairs when the Caledonian invaders appeared on the coast of Ulfter.
The poem opens in the morning. Cairbar isreprefented as retired from the rest of the army, when one of his scouts brought him news of the landing of Fingal. He affembles a council of his chiefs. Foldath the chief of Moma haughtily defpifes the enemy; and is reprimanded warmly by Malthos. Cairbar, after hearing their debate, orders a feaft to be prepared, to which, by his hard Olla, he invites Ofcar the fon of Offian; refolving to pick a quarrel with that hero, and fo have some pretext for killing him. Ofcar came to the feaft; the quarrel happened; the followers of both fought, and Cairbar and Ofcar fell by mutual wounds. The noise of the battle reached Fingal's army. The king came on, to the relief of Ofcar, and the Irish fell back to the army of Cathmor, who was advanced to the banks of the river Lu-, bar, on the heath of Moilena. Fingal, after mourning over his grandfon, ordered Ullin the chief of his bards to carry his body to Morven, to be there interred. Night coming on, Althan, the fon of Conachar, relates to the king the particulars of the murder of Cormac. Fillan, the fon of Fingal, is fent to obferve the motions of Cathmor by night, which concludes the action of the first day. The fcene of this book is a plain, near the hill of Mora, which rofe on the borders of the heath of Moilena, in Ulfter.