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bled in his hand: and, bending forward, he seemed ta threaten the king.
"Shall I," said Fingal to his soul, " meet, at once, the king: shall I stop him in the midst of his course, before his fame shall arise? But the bard, hereafter, may say, when he sees the tomb of Carthon; Fingal took his thousands along with him to battle, before the noble Carthon fell. No: bard of the times to come '. thou shalt not lessen Fingal's fame. My heroes will fight the youth, and Fingal behold the battle. If he overcomes, I rush, in my strength, like the roaring stream of Cona. Who of my heroes will meet the son of the rolling sea? Many are his warriors on the coast: and strong is his ashen spear I"
Cathul' rose in his strength, the son of the mighty Lormar: three hundred youths attend the chief, the race"' of his native streams. Feeble was his arm against Carthon; he fell, and his heroes fled. Connal" resomed the battle, but he broke his heavy spear: he lay bound on the field: and Carthon pursoed his people. "Clessammor!" said the king, of Morven, "where is the spear of thy strength? Wilt thou behold Connal bound; thy friend, at the stream of Lora? Rise, in the light of thy steel, thou friend of Comhal. Let the youth of Balclutha feel the strength of Morven's race." He rose in the strength of his steel, shaking his grizzly locks. He fitted the shield to his side; and rushed, in the pride of his valour.
Carthon stood on that heathy rock, and saw the here's approach. He loved the terrible joy of his face: and his strength, in the locks of age. "Shall I lift that spear," he said, "that never strikes but once a foe? Or shall I, with the words of peace, preserve the warrior's life? Stately are his steps of age; lovely the remnant of his years. Perhaps it is the love of Moina; the father of car-borne Carthon. Often have I heard, that he dwelt at the echoing stream of Lora."
l Cath-'huil, 'the eye of battle.'
m It appears, from this passage^ that clanship was established in tbc Jays of Fingal, though not on the same footing with the present tribes in chc north of Scotland.
n Tills Connal is very moch celebrated, in ancient poetry, for his wisdom and valour: there is a small tribe still sobsisting in the North, who pretend they are descends from him.
t Fingal did not then knew that Carthon was Lbs son of CUssammer.
Such were his words, when Clessammor came, and lifted high his spear. The youth received it on his shield, and spoke the words of peace. "Warrior of the aged locks '. is there no youth to lift the spear? Hast thou no son to raise the shield before his father, and ta meet the arm of youth? Is the spouse of thy love no more? or weeps she over the tomb of thy sons? Art thou of the kings of men! What will be the fame of my sword if thou shalt fall i"
"It will be great, thou son of pride '." begun the tall Clessammor; "I have been renowned in battle: but I never told my name* to a foe. Yield to me, son of the wave, and then thou shalt know that the mark of my sword is in many a field." "I never yielded, king of spears !" replied the noble pride of Carthon: " I have also fought in battles! and I beheld my future fame. Despise me not, thou chief of men; my arm, my spear is strong. Retire among thy friends, and let young heroes fight." "Why dost thou wound my soul!" replied Clessammor with a tear. "Age does not tremble on my hand; I still can lift the sword. Shall I fly in Fingal's sight; in the sight of him I loved? Son of the sea, I never fled: exalt thy pointed spear."
They fought, like two contending winds, that strive to roll the wave. Carthon bade his spear to err; for he still thought that the foe was the spouse of Moina. He broke Clessammor's beamy spear in twain, and seized his shining sword. But as Carthon was hinding the chief, the chief drew the dagger of his fathers. He saw the foe's uncovered side; and opened, there, a wound.
Fingal saw Clessammor low: he moved in the sound of his steel. The host stood silent in his presence: they turned their eyes towards the hero. He came, like the sullen noise of a storm, before the winds arise: the hun
p To (ell one's name to an enemy was reckoneds in those days of heroisms a manifest evasion of fighting him : fors if it was once known that friendship sobsisteds o! olds between the ancestors of the combatantss the battle Immediately ceased: and the ancient amity of their forefathers was renewed. A man who tells his name to nis enemys avass of olds an ignomlniow term far a coward. ^?
ter hears it in the vale, and retires to the cave of the rock. Carthon stood in his place: the blood is rushing down his side: he saw the coming down of the king; and his hopes of fame arose4; but pale was his cheek.: his hair flew loose, his helmet shook on high: the force of Carthon failed! but his soul was strong.
Fingal beheld the hero's blood; he stopt the oplifted spear. "Yield, king of swords '." said Comhal's son; "I behold thy blood. Thou hast been mighty in battle; and thy fame shall never fade." "Art thou the king so far renowned?" replied the car-borne Carthon. "Art thou that light of death, that frightens the kings of the world? But why should Carthon ask? for he is like the stream of the desart; strong as a river in his course, swift as the eagle of the sky. O that I had fought with the king; that my fame might be great in the song! that the hunter, beholding my tomb, might say, He fought with the mighty Fingal. But Carthon dies unknown! he has poured out his force on the feeble."
"But thou shalt not die unknown," replied the king of woody Morven: " my bards are many, O Carthon '. and their songs descend to future times. The children of the years to come shall hear the fame of Carthon; when they sit round the burning oak% and the night is spent in songs of old. The hunter, sitting in the heath, shall hear the rustling blast; and, raising his eyes, behold the rock where Carthon fell. He shall turn to his son, and shew the place where the mighty fought; 'There the king of Balclutha fought, like the strength of a thousand streams."
Joy rose in Carthon's face: he lifted his heavy eyes. He gave his sword to Fingal, to lie within his hall, that the memorv of Balclutha's king might remain on Morven. The battle ceased along the field, for the bard had song the song of peace. The chiefs gathered round the falling Carthon, and heard his words with sighs. Silent they leaned on their spears, while Baiclutha's hero spoke. His hair sighed on the wind, and his words were feeble.
1 This expression admits of a double meanings either that Carthon hoped to acqoire glurv by killing Fingals or to be rendered famous by falling by his hand; the biit is the most probables as Carthon is already wounded.
r ln the north of Scotlands till very latelys they burnt a larqe trunk of an oak at thenfestivals; it was called the trunk of the feast. Time hacrso rnuth con.ecrated the enstorns that toe vulgar thought it a kind of sacrilege to disose it.
"King of Morven," Carthon said, " I fall in the midst of my course. A foreign tomb receives, in youth, the last of Reuthamir's race. Darkness dwells in Balclutha: and the shadows of grief in Crathmo. But raise my remembrance on the banks of Lora, where my fathers dwelt. Perhaps the husband of Moina will mourn over his fallen Carthon." His words reached the heart of Clessammor: he fell, in silence, on his son. The host stood darkened around: no voice is heard on the plains of Lora. Night came, and the moon, from the east, looked on the mournful field: but still they stood, like a silent grove that lifts its head on Gormal, when the loud winds are laid, and dark autumn is on the plain.
Three days they mourned over Carthon: on the fourth, his father died. In the narrow plain of the rock they lie; and a dim ghost defends their tomb. There lovely Moina is often seen; when the son-beam darts on the rock, and all around is dark. There she is seen, Malvina, but not like the daughters of the hill. Her robes are from the strangers' land; and she is still alone.
Fingal was sad for Carthon; he desired his bards to mark the day, when shadowy autumn returned. And often did they mark the day, and sing the hero's praise. "Who comes so dark from ocean's roar, like autumn's shadowy cloud? Death is trembling in his hand! his eyes are flames of fireI Who roars along dark Lora's heath? Who but Carthon, king of swords? The people fall! see '. how he strides, like the sollen ghost of Morven! But there he lies, a goodly oak, which sodden blasts overtorned! When shalt thou rise, Ba!clutha\, joy! lovely car-borne Carthon ! Who comes so dark fr.q^i ocean's roar, like autumn's shadowy cloud?" Such were the words of the bards in the day of their moorning: 1 have accompanied their voice; and added to their son?. My soul has been mournful for Carthon, he felt in the days of his valour: and thou, O Clessammor '. where is thy dwelling in the air? Has the youth forgot his wound? And flies he on the clouds, with thee? I feel the son, O Malvina; leave me to my rest. Perhaps they may come to my dreams; I think I hear a feeble voice. The beam of heaven delights to shine on the grave of Catthon: I feel it warm around. O thou that rollest above, round as the shield of my fathers! Whence are thy beams, O son '. thy everlasting light? Thou comest forth, in thy awful beauty, and the stars hide themselves in the sky; the moon, cold and pale, sinks in the western wave. But thou thyself movest alone: who can be a companion of thy coorse? The oaks of the mountains fall: the mountains themselves decay with years; the ocean shrinks and grows again: the moon herself is lost in heaven; but thou art for ever the same; rejoicing in the brightness of thy course. When the world is dark with tempests; when thunder rolls, and lightning flies; thou lookest in thy beauty, from the clouds, and laughest af the storm. But to Ossian thou lookest in vam; for he beholds thy beams no more; whether thy yellow hair flows on the eastern clouds, or thou tremblest at the gates of the west. But thou art perhaps like me, for a season, and thy years will have an end. Thou shalt sleep in thy clouds, careless of the voice of the morning. Exult then, O son, in the strength of thy youth ' . Age is dark and unlovely; it is like the glimmering light of the moon, when it shines through broken clouds, and the mist is on the hills; the blast of the north is on the plain, the traveller shrinks in the midst of his journey.