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fiiis book opens with a speech of Fingal, who pees Cathmor descending to the assistance of his flying army. The king dispatches Ossian to the relief of Fillan. He himself retires behind the rock of Cormol, to avoid the sight of the engagement between his son and Cathmor. Ossian advances. The descent of Cathmor destri'ued. lie rallies the army, renews the battle, and, before Ossian could arrive, engages Fillan himself. Upon the approach of Ossian, the combat between the two heroes ceases. Ossian and Cathmor prepare to fight, but night coming on, prevents them. Ossian rethrns to the place where Cathmor and Fillan fought. He finds Fillan mortally wounded, and leaning against a rock. Their discourse. Fillan dies: his body is laid, by Ossian, in a neighbouring cave. The Caledonian army return to Fingal. He questions them about his son, and understanding that he was killed, retires, in silence; to the rock of Cormol. Upon the retreat of the army of Fingal, the army of the Firbolg advance. Cathmor finds Bran, one of the dugs of Fingal, lying on the shield of Fillan, before the entrance of the cave, where the body of that hero lay. Hia reflections thereupon. He returns, in a melancholy mood, to his army. Malthos endeavours to comfort him, by the example of his father, Borbar-dothul. Cathmor retires to rest. The song of 3ul-maIIa concludes the book, which ends about the middle ot the third night from the opening of the poem.
"cathmor rises on his echoing hill! Shall Fingal take the sword of. Luno? But what shall become of thy fame, son of white-bosomed Clatho i Turn not thine eyes from Fingal, daughter of Inistore. I shall not quench thy early beam; it shines along my soul. But rise, O wood-skirted Mora, rise between the war and me I Why should Fingal behold the strife, lest his darkhaired warrior should fall '. Amidst the song, O Carril, pour the sound of the trembling harp; here are the voices of rocks, and bright tumbling of waters. Father of Oscar, lift the spear; defend the young in arms. Conceal thy steps from Fillan's eyes. He must not know that I doubt his steel. No cloud of mine shall rise, my son, upon thy soul of fire!"
He sonk behind his rock, amidst the sound of Cartil's song. Brightening, in my growing soul, I took the spear of Temoraf. I saw, along Moi-lena, the wild tumbling of battle, the strife of death, in gleaming rows, disjoined and broken round. Fillan is a beam of fire. From wing to wing is his wasteful course. The ridges of war melt before him. They are rolled, in smoke from the fields.
k Thespearof Tcmorawas that which Oscar had received, in a present, from Cormac the ion of 'Artho, king of Ireland. It was of it that Cairbar made t be pretext for quarreling with Oscar, at the feast, in the first bouk.
Now is the coming forth of Cathmor, in the armour of kings! Dark-rolled the eagle's wing above his helmet of fire. Unconcerned are his steps, as if they were to the chase of Atha. He raised, at times, his dreadful voice; Erin, abashed, gathered round. Their souls returned back, like a stream; they wondered at the steps of their fear: for he rose, like the beam of the morning on a haunted heath: the traveller looks back, with bending eye, on the field of dreadful forms. Sodden, lr6m the rock of Moi-lena, are Sul-malla's trembling steps. An oak took the spear from her hand; half-bent she loosed the lance: but then are her eyes on the king, from amidst her wandering locks. "No friendly strife is before thee; no light contending of bows, as when the youth of Cluba' came forth beneath the eye of Con-mor."
As the rock of Runo, which takes the passing clouds from its robe, seems glowing in gathered darkness over the streamy heath; so seemed the chief of Atha taller, as gathered his people round. As different blasts fly over the sea, each behind its dark-blue wave, so Cathmor's words, on every side, poured his warriors forth. Nor silent on his hill is Fillan; he mixed his words with his echoing shield. An eagle he seemed, with sounding wings, calling the wind to his rock, when he .sees the coming forth of the roes, on Lutha's' rushy lieid. Now they bend forward in battle: death's hundred voices rose; for the kings on either side were like fires on the souls of the people. I bounded along: high rocks and trees rushed tall between the war and me. Bnt I hear3 the noise of steel between my clanging arms. Rising, gleaming, on the hill, I beheld the backward steps of hosts : their backward steps on either side, and wildly-looking eyes. The chiefs were met in dreadful fight; the two blue-shielded kings. Tall and dark, through gleams of steel, are seen the striving heroes. I rushed. My fears for Fillan flew, burning across my soul.
q Clu-bas ' winding bay;' an arm of the sea in lnis-houas or the western coast a! South Britain. It was in this bay that Cathmor was wind-bourd who:: UlLo.alia cawe in the disgoise of a yours: warriors to accompany him in his voyacc ... Ireland. Conmots the iatliet of t}Ul-icallasas we learn from her soliloquys at the eluse of the foarta books was dead before tl.e departure of his daughter.
I Lutha was the name of a valley in Miu vons in the days of Ossian. There dwelt Toscar the sou of L'unlochs the father of Malvinas whos upvo thats accounts is oltra sllul the nuili yf f^UbVl. (krUtf lignj&va l swift strum.'
I came.; nor Cathmor fled, nor yet advanced: he side-long stalked along. An icy rock, colds tall he seemed. I called forth all my steel. Silent awhile we strode, on either side of a rushing stream: then, sudden tnrning, all at once, we raised our pointed spears. We raised our spears, but night came down. It is dark and silent around: but where the distant steps of hosts are sounding over the heath.
I came to the place -where Fillan fought. Nor voice nor sound is there. A broken helmet lay on earth; a buckler cleft in twa'm. "Where, Fillans where art thou, young chief of echoing Morven?" He heard me leaning against a rock, which bent its grey head over the stream. He heard; but sollen, dark he stood. At length I saw the chief.
"Why standest thou, robed in darkness, son of woody Selma? Bright is thy path, my brother, in this dark-brown field. Long has been thy strife in battle. Now the horn of Fingal is heard. Ascend to the cloud of thy father, to his hill of feasts. In the evening mist he sits, and hears the voice of Carril's harp. Carry joy to the aged, young breaker of the shields."
"Can the vanqnished carry joy? Ossian, no shield is mine. It lies broken on the field. The eagle wing of my helmet is torn. It is when foes fly before them that fathers delight in their sons. But their sighs burst forth, in secret, when their young warriors vield. No: Fillan will not behold the king. Why should the hero mourn?"
"Son of blue-eyed Clatho, why dost thou awake my soul? Wert thou not a burning fire before him; and shall he not rejoice? Such fame belonged not to Ossian -y yet was the king still a son to me. He looked on my steps with joy; shadows never rose on his face. Ascend, O Filian, to Mora: his feast is spread in the folds o^ mist."
"Ossian, give me that broken shield; these feathers that are rolled in the wind. Place them near to Filian, that less of his fame may fall. Ossian I begin to fail. Lay me in that hollow rock. Raise no stone above: lest one should ask about my fame. I am fallen in the first of my fields: fallen without renown.' Let thy voice alone send joy to my flying soul. Why should the feeble know where dwells the lost beam of Clatho V
"Is thy spirit on the eddying winds, blue-eyed king of shields? Joy pursue my hero, through his folded clouds. The forms of thy fathers, O Filian, bend to receive their son. I behold the spreading of their fire on Mora! the blue-rolling of their misty wreaths. Joy meet thee, my brother. But we are dark and sad. I behold the foe round the aged, and the wasting away of his fame. Thou art left alone in the field, greyhaired king of Selma."
I laid him in the hollow rock, at the roar of the nightly stream. One red star looked in on the hero: winds lift, at times, his locks. I listened: no sound was heard: for the warrior slept. As lightning on a clond, a thought came rushing over ray soul. My eyes rolled in fire: my Stride was in the clang of steel. "I will find thee, chief of Atha, in the gathering of thy thousands. Why should that cloud escape, that quenched our early beam? Kindle your meteors, rnv fathers, to light my daring steps. I will consome in wrath". Should I not return! the king is without a son, grey-haired amidst his foes. His arm is not as in the days of old: his fame grows dim in Erin. Let me not behold him from high, laid low in his latter field. But can I return to the king? Will he not ask about his son?" Thou oughtest to defend young i'illan." 1 will meet the foe. Green Inisfail, thy sounding tread is pleasant to my ear: I rush on the ridgy hosts to shun the eyes of Fingal. I hear the voice of the king, on Mora's misty top ! he calls his two sons; I comes my father, in my grief. I come like an eagle, which the flame of night met in the desart, and spoiled of half his wings."
t A dialugue between Clatho, the mother, and Bosmina, the sister of that hero.
Chtho. "Daughter of Fingal, arise: thou light between thy locks. I lift thy fair head it ow rest, soft-gliding son-beam of Selma! I beheld thy arms, on thybreul, w hilt-tossed amidst thy wandering locks: when the rustling breeze of the manual came from the desart of streams. llast thou seen thy fathers, Bos-mina, descending In thy dreams? Arise, daughter of Clatho, dwells there aught of grief In thy soul?"
Bos-mina. "A thin form passed before ine, fading as it flew: like the darkening wave of A breeze, along a field of grass. Descend, from thy wall, O harp, and all ruck the soul of Hos-mina, it has rolled away like a stream. I hear thy pleasant sousA I An-ar Hue, O harp, and my voice shall rise.
How often shall ye ru'h to war, ye dwellers of my soul. Tour patbs are distant, kii.^s of men, in Ertn of blue streams. Lift thy wing, thou southern breeze, m» Co no's darkening heath, spread the sails of Fingal towards the bays of his land.
Brt who is that in his strength, darkening in the presence of war. His arm stretcUi to the foe, like the beam of the sickly son; when his side is crusted with darkneu; ;.od he rolls hU dismal course through the sky. Who is it but the father of Bos-mica' Shell lie return till danger is past
Filian, thou art a beam by his side i beautiful but terrible is thy light. Thy ivord" befoie thee a blue tire of night. When shalt (hou return to thy roes; to the streamitf thy rtisey fields , when shall i behold thee from M0,a, while winds strew my lock. on moss i But shall a young eagle return from the field where the heroes fall'
Clatho. Soft, as the song of Loda, u the voice of Selma's maid. Pleasant to tK ear of Clatbo is the name of the breaker of shields. Behold the king comes fioir; .ci-an, the shield of Morven is borue by hards. The foe has fled before him like lb, departure of mist. I hear not the sounding wings of my eagle; the ruiaing fada 'l the son of Clatho. Thou art dark, O Fingal; shall he am. return '_
Distant *, round the king, on Mora, the broken ridges of Morven are rolled. They turned their eyes; each darkly bends, on his own ashen spear. Silent stood the king in the midst. Thought on thought rolled over his soul. As waves on a secret mountainlake, each with its back of foam. He looked; no son appeared, with his long-beaming spear. The sighs rose, crowding from his soul: but he concealed his
v Here the sentence is designedly left nofinished by the poet. The sense iss that he was resolved, like a destroying fires to consome Cathmor, who had kilted his brother. in the rcidst of this resolutions the situation of fingal sorests itself to hims in a very strong light. Heresolves to return to essist the king in prosecoting the war. rdii then his shame for not defending his brothers recors to him. He' is' determined agains to go and find out Cathmor. We may consider him as in the act of advancing towards the enemys when the horn of Fingal sounded on Moras and called back his people to his presence. The soliloqin is natural: the resolutions wnich so soddenly follow one anothers are expressive of a "mind extremely agitated with sorrow and conscious shami: yet the behavioor of Ossians in the execotion of the command of Fingals is so irreprchensihies that it is not easy to determine where he failed in his duty. Tile truth ii-s that when men fail in designs which they ardently wish to accomplishs they naturally blame themselvess as the chief cause of their disappiuntment.
xi This scene is solemn. The poet always places his chief character amidst obiects which favour the soblime. The face of the countrys the nights the broken remains of a defeated armys ands above alls the attitude and silence of Fingal himself arc circomstances calcolated to impress an awfui idea on the mind. Ossian is most soccessful i n liis night descriptions. Dark images soited the melancholy temper of his mind. His poems were all composed after the active part of his life was overs when lie was blinds and had sorvived all the companions of his yooth; we there/ere find a veil of melanchoiy thrown otcrthewliole's