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sun, and shakes its lonely head. The hum of the mountain-bee is near it; the hunter sees it, with joy, from the blasted heath.
Young Fillan at a distance stood. His helmet lay glittering on the ground. His dark hair is loose to the blast: a beam of light is Clatho's son. He heard the words of the king with joy; and leaned forward on his spear.
"My son," said car-borne Fingal; " I saw thy deeds, and my soul was glad. The fame of our fathers, I saids bursts from its gathered cloud. Thou art brave, son of Clatha; but headlong in the strife. So did not Fingal advance, though he never feared a foe. Let thy people be a ridge behind; they are thy strength in the field. Then shalt thou be long renowned, and behold the tombs of thy fathers. The memory of the past returns, my deeds in other years: when first I descended from ocean on the green-valleyed isle." We bend towards the voice of the king. Themoon looks abroad from her cloud. The greyskirted mist is near the dwelling of the ghosts.
The second night continoes. Fingal relatess at the feasts his own first expedition into Irelands and his marriage with Kos-eranas the daughter of Cormacs king of that island. The Irish chiefs convene in the presence of Cathmor. The situation of the king described. The story of Sul-malla} the daughter of Con-snors king of Inis-hums whos in the disgoise of a young warriors had foilowed Cathmor to the wax. The sollen behavioor of Foldaths who had commanded in the battle of the preceding davs renews the difference between him and Malthas; but Cathmor interposings ends it. The chiefs feasts and hear the song of Fonar the bard. Cathmor retires to rests at i distance from the army. The ghost of his brother Cairbar appears to him in a dream; and obscorely forctels the issoe of the war. The soliloquy of the king. He discovers Sul-matla. Morning comes. Her soliloquy closes the book.
V Bbneath * an oak," said the king, " I sat on Selma's streamy rock, when Connal rose, from the sea, with the broken spear of Duth-caron. Far distant stood the youth, and turned away his eyes; for he remembered the steps of his father, on his own green hills. I darkened in my place: dusky thoughts rolled over my soul. The kings of Erin rose before me. I halfunsheathed my sword. Slowly approached the chiefs; they lifted op their silent eyes. Like a ridge of clouds, they wait for the bursting forth of my voice : it was to them a wind from heaven to roll the mist away.
"I bad my white sails to rise, before the roar of Cona's wind. Three hundred youths looked, from their waves, on Fingal's bossy shield. High on the mast it hung, and marked the dark-blue sea. But when the night came down, I struck, at times, the warning boss: I struck, and looked on high, for fiery-haired Ul-erin '. Nor wanting was the star of heaven: it travelled red between the clouds : I porsoed the lovely beam, on the faint-gleaming deep. With morning, Erin rose m mist. We came into the bay of Moi-lena, where its blue Waters tombled, in the bosom of echoing woods. Here Cormac, in his secret hall, avoided the strength of Colculla. Nor he alone avoids the foe: the blue eye of Ros-crana is there : Ros-crana-^ white-handed maid, the daughter of the king.
d This episode has an immediate connection with the story of Connal and Duth-carons in the latter end of the third book. Fingals sitting beneath an oaks near the palace of Sclmas discovers Connal jost landing from Ireland. The danger which threatened Cormacs king of Irelands induces him to sail immediately to that island. The story 'a i ntroduccds by the kings as a pattern for the future behavioor of Fillans whose rashness in the preceding battle is reprimanded.
e Ul-erin, *the goide to Irelands' a star known by that name in the days of Fines!s ind very useful to those wlio saileds by nights tiuoi the Hebridess or CaI"J"'''
n coast of Ulster.
"Grey, on his pointless spear, came forth the aged steps of Cormac. He smiled, from his waving locks, but grief was in his soul. He saw us few before him, and his sigh arose. "I see the arms of Trenmor," he said; "and these are the steps of the king! Fingal! thou art a beam of light to Cormac's darkened soul. Early is thy fame, my son: but strong are the foes of Erin. They are like the roar of streams in the land, son of car-borne Comhal."
"Yet they may be rolled s away," I said, in my rising soul. "We are not of the race of the feeble, king of blue-shielded hosts. Why should fear come amongst us, like' a ghost of night? The soul of the valiant grows, as foes increase in the field. Roll no darkness, king of Erin, on the young in war."
"The bursting tears of the king came down. He seized my hand in silence. "Race of the daring Trenmor, I roll no eloud before thee. Thou burnest in the fire of thy fathers. I behold thy fame. It marks thy course in battles, like a stream of light. But wait the coming of Cairbar e: my son must join thy sword. He calls the sons of Ullin, from all their distant streams."
f Ros-cranas' the beam of the rising son ;' she was the mother of Ossian. The Irish isrds relate strange fictions of this princess. Their storiess howevers concerning Finfsls if they mean by him Pion Mac-comhals are so inconsistents and notoriously fabiilouss that they do not deserve to be mentioned; for they evidently bear along with them the marks of late invention.
I Cormac had said that his foes were " like the roar of streamss" and Fingal continues the metaphor. The speech of the young hero is spiriteds and consistent with tost sedate intrepiditys whiclueminently distingoishes his character throughout.
b Cairbars the son of Cormacs was afterwards ki ng of Ireland. His reign was short. He was socceeded by his son Arthos the father of that Cormac who was mordered by Cairbars the son of Borbar-duthul. Cairbars the son of Cormacs long after his son Artho was grown to man's estates hads by his wife Beltannos another sons whose same was Perard-arlho. He was the only one remaining of the race of Conar the eirst king of Irelands when Pingal's expedition against Cairbar the sgn of Horbar-dtlhoi happened. See more of Feritrd-aitho ia the eighth book.
v„. r r M
We came to the hall of the king, where it rose in the midst of rocks: rocks, on whose dark sides were the mark of streams ot old. Broad oaks bend around with their moss: the thick hirch waves its green head. Half-hid, in her shady grove, Ros-crano raised the song. Her white hands rose on the harp. I beheld her bluerolling eyes. She was like a spirit' of heaven half-folded in the skirt of a cloud.
"Three days we feasted at Moi-lena ; she rose bright amidst my troubled soul. Cormac beheld me dark. He gave the white-bosomed maid. She came with bending eye, amidst the wandering of her heavy locks. She came. Straight the battle roared. Colc-nlla rushed; I seized my spear. My sword rose, with my people, against the ridgy foe. AInecma fled. Colc-ulla fell. Fingal returned with fame.
*' He is renowned, O Fillan, who fights, in the strength of his people, The bard porsoes his steps, through the land of the foe. But he who fights alones few are his deeds to other times. He shines to-day a mighty light. To-moirow, he is low. One song contains his fame. His name is on one dark field. He is forgot, but where his tomb sends forth the tufts of grass."
Such were the words of Fingals on Mora of the roes. Three bards, from the rock of Cormul, poured down the pleasant song. Sleep descended, in the sound, on be broad-skirted host. Carril returned* with the bards, rorathe tomb of Dun-lora's king. The voice of mornno; shall not come, to the dnsky bed.of the hero. No nore shalt thou hear the tread of roes, around thy larrow house.
f The attitude of Ros-crana is aptly illustrated by this simile ; for the ideas of thaw fimes concerning the spints of the deceaseds were not re gloomy and dlstrreesisVae those of socceedingarces. The spirits of womens it was sopposeds rerained that berv" ty which they possessed while livings and transported themselvess from place to pbers with that gliding motions which Homer ascribes to the guds. Thy descriptions which poetss less ancient than Ussians have left os of those beautiful figoress that appeared sometimes on the hillss are elegant and picturesque. They compare them to the • rainbow on streams:' 0i the * gliding of son-beams on the hills s
A chief who lived three centuries agos returning from the wars understood that U'« wife or mistress was dead. The hard introdo es him speaking the following solilwpes when he tairre within sight of the place where he had lelt hers at his departore.
"My soul darkens in sorrow. 1 behold not the smoke of my hall. No ptjtXbounds at my streams. Silence dwells in the valley of trees.
"Is that a rain-bow on Crunath' It flies: and the sky is dark. Againsthou mcr.ss, bright on the heaths thou son-Vain domed in a shower! Ha! is it shes icy low: ■a gliding course on the bosom of winds?"
In socceeding times the beioity of Ros-crana passed intoa proverbs and the higli<s; compliment that could be paid to a womans was to compare her person UitL the tbwi*lerofCcrmac.
iS tu fein an Ros-crana.
Slol Churmatc Ba h'loma Ian.
As roll the troubled- clouds, round a meteor of night, vhen they brighten their sides with its light, along the leaving sea: so gathered Erin, around the gleaming orm of Atha's king. He, tall in the midst, careless ifts, at times, his spear: as swells or falls the sound of Sonar's distant harp. Near*him leaned, against a rock, itil-malla' of blue eyes, the white-bosomed daughter if Con-mor, king of Inis-huna. To his aid came ilue-shielded Cathmor, and rolled his foes away. Suloalla beheld him stately in the hall of feasts; nor areless rolled the eyes of Cathmor on the long-haired naid.
The third day arose, and FithilMcame from Erin of he streams, tie told of the lifting up of the shield*
* In order to illustrate this passage, I shall give, here, the history on which, it U wa^ei, as T have gathered it from other poems. The nation of the Firbclg, who in. stated tie South of Ireland, being originally descended from the Belga:, who posses. i.l the south i.nd south-west coast of Britain, kei.t up, for many ages, an. amicable corbpondeace with their mother country; and sent aid to the British Beiga:, when they '«e jessed iy the Romans or other new comers from tlie continent. Con-mor king f InmUnma, (that part of South Britain which is over against the Irish coastI being atvked, by what enemy is not mentioned, sent for aid to Cairbar, lord of Atha, the wrt potent chief of the Firbolg. Cairbar dispatched his brother Cathmor to the assist
ive of Con-mor. Cathmor, after, various vicissitudes of fortune, put an end to the 'ar, by the total defeat of the enemies of Inis-huna, and returned in triomph to the
iidenct of Con-mor. There, at a feast? Sul-malla, the daughter of Con-mor, fell destritelyin love with Cathmor, who, before her passion was disclosed, was recalled to :cland, by his brother Cairbar, upon the'news of the intended expedition of Fingal, n re-establish the family of Conar on the Irish throne. The wind being contrary, -athmor remained, for three days, in a neighbouring bay, doring which time, Sul-malla uguisCJ herself in the hablt of a young warrior, and came to offer him her service ia ,ewar. Cathmor accepted of the proposal, sailed to Ireland, and arrived in Ulster* -'* days before the death of Cairbar.
I Sul-malla, ' slowly rolling eyes.' Caun-mor, e mild and tall.' Inis-huna, . grcen
m Fithil, . an inferior bard.' It may either be taken here for the pruper name of a ^t or in the literal sense, as the bards were the herzdds and messengers of those! imes. Cathmor, it is probable, was absent, when the rebellion of his brother Cairbar, nn the assassination of Cormac king of Ireland happened. The traditions, which are' andeddow.i with the poem, say that Cathmor and his followers had only arrived from i s-huna, three days before the death of Cairbar, which sofficiently clears his charactr froii any impotation of being concerned in the conspiracy with his brother.
"'j.e ceremony which was used by Fingal, when he prepared for an expedition, is mted by Ossian in one of his lesser poems. A bard, at midnight, went to the halL
-"it; th^ tribes fei.stcd upon solemr. occasions, raised the war song, and thrice called, "e spirits of their deceased ancestors, to come, on their clouds, and behold the actions "tbe,r children. He then fixed the shield of Trenmor, on a tree on the rock of SeU na, striking it, at times, with the blunt end of a spear, and singing the war song beween. Thus he did, for three soccessive nights, and m the mean time, messengers ^'rt dispatched to convene the tribes; or, as Ossian expresses it, ' to call them from"Uieir streams.' This phrase alludes to the situation of the residence of theclans,