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somed maid to Atha. Bards raised the song in her presence ; joy dwelt round the daughter of Ullin.
"The pride of Torloch rose, a youth who loved the white-handed Con-lama. He came with battle to Alnecma; to Atha of the roes. Cormul went forth to the strife, the brother of car-borne Crothar. He went fosth, but he fell, and the sigh of his people rose. Silent and tall, across the stream, came the darkening strength of Crothar: he rolled the foe from Alnecma, and retorned, midst the joy of Con-lama.
"Battle on battle comes. Blood is poured on blood. The tombs of the valiant rise. Erin's clouds are hung round with ghosts. The chiefs of the south gathered round the echoing shield of Crothar. He came with death to the paths of the foe. The virgins wept, by the streams of Ullin. They looked to the mist of the lrill, no hunter descended from its folds. Silence darkened in the land: blasts sighed lonely on grassy tombs.
"Descending like the eagle of heaven, with all his rustling wings, when he forsakes the blast with joy, the son of Trenmor came; Conar, arm of death, from Morven of the groves. He poored his might along green Erin. Death dimly strode behind his sword. The sons of Bolga fled from his coorse as from a stream, that bursting from the stormy desart, rolls the fields together with all their echoing woods. Crothar' met him in battle: but Alnecma's warriors fled. The king of Atha slowly retired, in the grief of his soul. He afterwards shone in the south; but dim as the son of automn, when he visits, in his robes of mist, Lara of dark streams. The withered grass is covered with clew: the field, though bright, is sad."
/ The delicacy of the bard, with regard to Crothar, is remarkable. As he was toe ancestor of Cathmor, to whom the episode is audressed, the banl softens bis defeat, by only mentioning that his people fled. Cathmot took the song of Fonar in an unfavosr. able Iigut. The bards, bring of the order of the druids who pretended to a foreknowledge of events, were sopposed to have sopernatural prescience of futurity. The kirte. thought, that the choice of t'onar's song prnceeded from his foreseeing the unf>rtunate issoe of the war; and that his own fate was shadowed out, itt that of his ancestor Crothar. 'I he attitude of the bard, after the reprimand of his patron, is picturesque anu aliening. We :ulmire the speech of Cataaior, but lament ihetff.ctit has on the feeling soul ol the geed old pntt.
"Why wakes the bard before me," said Cathmor, "the memory of those who fled? Has some ghosts from his dusky cloud, bent forward to thine ear; to frighten Cathmor from the field with the tales of old? Dwellers of the folds of night, your voice is but a blast to me; which takes the grey thistle's head, and strews its beard on streams. Within my bosom is a voice, others hear it not. His sou! forhids the king of Erin to shrink back from war." /
Abashed the bard sinks back in night; retired, he bends above a stream, his thoughts are on the days of Atha, when Cathmor heard his song with joy. His tears come rolling down: the winds are in his beard.
Erin sleeps around. No sleep comes down on Cathmor's eyes. Dark, in his soul, he saw the spirit of low-laid Cairbar. He saw him, without his song, rolled in a blast of night. ' He rose. His steps were round the host. He struck, at-times, his echoing shield. The sound reached Ossian's ears on Mora of the hinds.
"Fillan," I said, " the foes advance. I hear the shield of war. Stand thou in the narro* path. Ossians shall mark their course. If over my fall the host shall pour; then be thy buckler heard. -Awake the king on his heath, lest iiis fame should cease." I strode in all my rattling arms; wide-bounding over a stream that darkly winded, in the field, before the king of Atha. Green Atha's king, with lifted spear, came forward on my conrse. Now would we have mixed in horrid fray, like two contending ghosts, that bending forward, from two clouds, send forth the roaring winds; did not Ossian behold, on high, the helmet of Erin's kings. The eagle's wings spread above it, rustling in the breeze. A red star looked through the plumes. I stopt the lifted spear.
"The helmet of kings is before me ! Who art thou, son of night? Shall Ossian's spear be renowned, when thou art lowly laid?" At once he dropt the gleaming lance. Growing before me seemed the form. He stretched his hand in night; and spoke the words of tings.
"Friend of the spirit of heroes, do I meet thee thus in shades? I have wished for thy stately steps in Atha, in the days of feasts. Why should my spear now arise? The son must behold us, Ossian; when we bend, gleaming, in the strife. Future warriors shall mark the place; and shuddering think of other years. They shall mark it, like the haunt of ghosts, pleasant and dreadful to the soul."
"And shall it be forgot," I said, "where we meet in peace? Is the remembrance of battles always pleasant to the soul? Do not we behold, with joy, the place where our fathers feasted? But our eyes are full of tears, on the field of their wars. The stone shall rise, with all its moss, and speak to other years. Here Cathinor and Ossian met! the warriors met in peace! When thou, O stones shalt fail: and Lubar's stream roll quite away! then shall the traveller come, and bend here, perhaps, in rest. When the darkened moon is rolled over his head, our shadowy forms may come, and, mixing with his dreams, remind him of this place. But Why turnest thou so dark away, son of Borbar-duthuis?"
"Not forgot, Son of Fingal, shall we ascend these winds. Our deeds are streams of lights before the eyes of bards. But darkness is rolled on Atha; the king is low, without his song: still there was a beam towards Cathmor from his stormy soul; like the moon, in a cloud, amidst the dark-red course of thunder."
"Son of Erin," I replied, " my wrath dwells not in his housee. My hatred Bies, on eagle wing, from the foe that is low. He shall hear the song of bards; Cairbar shall rejoice on his uinds."
Cathmor's swelling soul arose: he took the daeger from his side; and placed it gleaming in my hand. He placed it, in my hand, with sighs, and, silent, strode away. Mine eyes followed his departure. He dimly gleamed, like the form of a ghost, which meets a traveller by night, on the dark-skirted heath. His words are dark like songs of old: with morning strides the unfinished shade away.
g Borbar-duthuls l the sorly warrior of the dark-brown eyes.' That his name soited wrll with Lis characters we may easily conceives from the story delivered concerning him by MaWhoss toward the end of the sivth book. tie was the brother of liiit C«collas who is mentioned in the episode which begins the foorth book.
r- The graves often poetically called a house. This reply of Ossian abounds with toe most exalted sentiment!. of a noMe mind. Though of all men living he was the molt inlured by C'airbars yet he laid aside his rages as the foe was low. How different is this Jrodi the behaviour of the heroes of other ancient poems! i Cynthioi aurnm vellifc'
Who' comes from Lubar's vale? From the folds of the morning mist? The drops of heaven are on his head. His steps are in the paths of the sad. It is Carril of other times. He comes from Tura's silent csve. I behold it dark in the rock, through the thin folds of mist. There, perhaps, Cuthullin sits on the blast which bends its trees. Pleasant is the song of the morning from the bard of Erin!
"The waves crowd away for fear: they hear the sound of thy coming forth, O son! Terrible is thy beauty, son'of heaven, when death is folded in thy locks; when thou rollest thy vapours before thee, over the Masted host. But pleasant is thy beam to the hunter, sitting fey the rock in a storm, when thou lookest from thy parted cloud, and btightenest his dewy locks; he looks down on the streamy vale, and beholds the descent of roes. How long shalt thou rise on war, and roll, a bloody shields through heaven? I see the deaths of heroes dark-wandering over thy face!"
"Why wander the words of Carril? Does the son of heaven mourn? He is unstained in his course, ever rejoicing in his fire. Roll on, thou careless light; thou too, perhapss must fall. Thy dun robe* may seize thees struggling, in thy sky.
"Pleasant is the voice of the song, O Carril, to Ossian's soul'. It is like the shower of the morning, when it comes through the rustling vale, on which the sun looks through mist, just rising from his rocks. But this is no time, O bard'. to sit down at the strife of song. I
1 The morning of the second days from the npepinpof the pc-ems crimes on. AOei hedeathof Cothullin. Carril the son of Kiofenas his bard- if tired to the cave of Tus-t. wliich was in the neighbourhood of Moi-lena. the scene of the p lem of Temcra. His cr.urdappcarai.ee here enables Osslan to folfil imrneotatelv the promise he had made l" Cathmors of causing the funeral song to be pronounced over the toinbof Caltbar. 'J his book only lakes op the space of a tew hoors. a Jlr the liun rube withe sou.is probably meant an eclipse.
Fingal is in arms on the vale. Thou seest the flaming shield of the king. His face darkens between his locks. He beholds the wide rolling of Erin.
"Does not Carril behold that tomb, beside the roaring stream? Three stones lift their grey heads beneath a bending oak. A king is lowly laid; give thou his soul to the wind. He is the brother of Cathmor! Open his airy hall! Let thy song be a stream of joy to Cairkar's darkened ghost."