"I beheld their chief," says Moran, "tall as a glittering rock. His spear is a blasted pine. His shield the rising moon! He sat on the shore! like a cloud of mist on the silent hill! Many, chief of heroes! I said, many are our hands of war. Well art thou named, the mighty man; but many mighty men are seen from Tura's windy walls.
"He spoke, like a wave on a rock, 'Who in this land appears like me? Heroes stand not in my presence: they fall to earth from my hand. Who can meet Swaran in fight? Who but Fingal, king of Selma of storms? Once we wrestled on Malmor; our heels overturned the woods. Rocks fell from their place; rivulets, changing their course, fled murmuring from our side. Three days we renewed the strife; heroes stood at a distance and trembled. On the fourth, Fingal says, that the king of the ocean fell! but Swaran says he stood! Let dark Cuthullin yield to him, that is strong as the storms of his land!"
If you gather together all the similes in Book 1 of Fingal they make a kind of nature poem:
like a cloud of mist on the silent hilllike a wave on a rocklike streams from the mountainslike mist that shades the hills of autumnlike the dark rolling of that wave on the coastlike reeds on the lake of Legolike a roe from Malmorlike a hart from thy echoing hillslike a star, that shoots across the desertlike two white pillars in the halls of the great Fingallike the bank of a mountain streamlike the thunder of heavenlike a whale of oceanlike the gathered flies of the evelike the flame of deathlike a wave near a rocklike a sun-streaked mist of the heathlike the sea round the boat of nightlike a stream of smoke on a ridge of rockslike wreaths of mist fly over the streamy valeslike the blast of winterlike my polished yewlike a flamelike a storm along the streamy valelike the echoing mainlike autumn's dark storms pouring from two echoing hillslike two deep streams from high rocks meeting, mixing roaring on the plainlike the circles of light, which gild the face of nightlike two hinds of the desertlike the shrill spirit of a stormlike the beam of heavenlike two cloudslike lightninglike the sullen sound of Cromla before a stormlike snowlike the calm shower of springlike the sun on our fields