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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 5761 times)
Crissy Herrell
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« Reply #255 on: February 22, 2009, 12:51:35 am »

northern people, which were sent on to Professor Hugh Blair. Macpherson was requested to translate some of them, and these were published by Blair in 1760. Search was then made for similar traditions by Macpherson himself, who found in Lord Bute a patron for the publishing of Fingal in 1762. Dr. Johnson, the hater of all that was Scotch, furiously attacked the book.

In 1849, Dr. Lounrost published 22,793 verses rescued from memory. The 1862 edition of the Dean of Lismore's book gives, in the appendix, a long poem taken down from the mouth of an old woman as late as 1856. Sir Walter Scott collected many Scotch ballads in the same way. The story of Grainne and Diarmuid has been long known in the cabins of Ireland. Fenian poems have been circulating for ages among the peasantry of Ireland and Scotland. In 1785, Ford Hill published an ancient Erse poem, collected among the Scottish Highlands, to illustrate Macpherson's Ossian.

In Gillies's History of Greece, we are told that "the scattered fragments of Grecian History were preserved during thirteen centuries by oral tradition." Bards did the same service for Roman history till the second century be lore Christ. "The Dschungariade of the Calmucks," the learned Heeren writes, "is said to surpass the poems of Homer in length, as much as it stands beneath them in merit; and yet it exists only in the memory of a people which is not unacquainted with writing. But the songs of a nation are probably the last things which are committed to writing, for the very reason that they are remembered."

Dr. Garnett, in his Tour in Scotland, 1798, says, "It seems to me wonderful that any person who has travelled in the Highlands should doubt the authenticity of the Celtic poetry, which has been given to the English reader

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