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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Credhe’s Lament
Ossian and Ossianic Poetry
 
THE HAVEN roars, and O the haven roars, over the rushing race of Rinn-dá-bharc! The drowning of the warrior of loch dá chonn—that is what the wave impinging on the strand laments. Melodious is the crane, and O melodious is the crane, in the marshlands of Druim-dá-thrén! ’Tis she that may not save her brood alive: the wild dog of two colors is intent upon her nestlings. A woeful note, and O a woeful note, is that which the thrush in Drumqueen emits! but not more cheerful is the wail that the blackbird makes in Letterlee. A woeful sound, and O a woeful sound, is that the deer utters in Drumdaleish! Dead lies the doe of Druim Silenn: the mighty stag bells after her. Sore suffering to me, and O suffering sore, is the hero’s death—his death, that used to lie with me!… Sore suffering to me is Cael, and O Cael is a suffering sore, that by my side he is in dead man’s form! That the wave should have swept over his white body,—that is what hath distracted me, so great was his delightfulness. A dismal roar, and O a dismal roar, is that the shore-surf makes upon the strand! seeing that the same hath drowned the comely noble man; to me it is an affliction that Cael ever sought to encounter it. A woeful booming, and O a boom of woe, is that which the wave makes upon the northward beach! beating as it does against the polished rock, lamenting for Cael, now that he is gone. A woeful fight, and O a fight of woe, is that the wave wages against the southern shore! As for me, my span is determined!… A woeful melody, and O a melody of woe, is that which the heavy surge of Tullachleish emits! As for me, the calamity that is fallen upon me having shattered me, for me prosperity exists no more. Since now Crimthann’s son is drowned, one that I may love after him there is not in being. Many a chief is fallen by his hand, and in the battle his shield never uttered outcry!  1
 
          There are some who prefer these old Celtic productions literally translated, while others can take no pleasure in them unless they are rendered anew in prose narrative or in rhymed verse. ‘Credhe’s Lament’ exemplifies one kind; the following Ossianic ballad the other. It is an extended and less simple but otherwise faithful version of the lament of Deirdrê (Macpherson’s Darthula—for the Irish Deirdrê is in the Highlands Dearduil, which is pronounced Darthool), the Helen of Gaeldom.
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