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"Sons of Morven spread the feast; send the night away on song. Ye have shone around me, and the dark storm is past. My people are the windy rocks, from which I spread my eagle's wings, when I rush foith to renown, and seize it on its field. Ossian, thou hast the spear of Fingal: it is not the staff of a boy with which he strews the thistle round, young wanderer of the field. No: it is the lance of the mighty, with which they stretched forth their hands to death. Look to thy fathers, my ion; they are awful beams. With morning lead Fentd-artho forth to the echoing halls of Temora. Remind him of the kings of Erin : the stately forms of old. Let not the fallen be forgot; they were mighty in the field. Let Carril pour his song, that the kings mav rejoice in their mist. To-morrow I spread my sails to Selma's shaded walls; where streamy Duthula winds through the seats of roes."
Tradition relates, that Fingal was hut eighteen years old at the lirth of his son Ossian: and that Ossian was moch about the same age, when Oscar his sou was born. Oscar, perhaps, might be about twenty, when he was killed, in the battle of Gabhra, (Hook I. so the age of Fingal, when the decisive battle was fought between him and Cathmor, was just fifty-six years. In those times of activity and health, the natmal strength and vigour of a man was little abated, at soch an age; so that there is nothinginmrobaile in the actions of Fingal, as related in this book.
An address to Malvinas the daughter of Toscor. The port relates the arrival of Cathlin in belmas to soiicit aid ag-.iiiis: Duth-carmor of Clubas who hud killed Cathmols for toe sak-: of kis d*aTMhr.er Lanol. Fragal declining to make a choice among his herotss Mici were all cl-iming tiie command of the expedition • they retired each ts his hill of ghosts ; tout' tit". .rnnined iiy dream'. The spirit of Trenmor appears to Ossian and Oscar: they sail from the toy of Carmonas ands on the fourth difs ippear off the valley of Riith-eol, in Inis-hunas where Duth.ciirmor had fixed his residence. Ossian d;.ipat'jK.es a bait! to Duth-carmor to demand buttle. Night comes c«. The distress of Cath'in of Out ha. Ossian devolves the command on Oscars whos according to the costom of the kiiigs of Mervcas before battles retired to a cuignbouring hilt. Upon the coming on of days the battle loins. Oscar and Duth-oinnor meet. The latter falls. Os"ir carries the mail and helmet of Duth-carmor t-*Ctth. lins who had retired from the £i_M. Cat him is discovered to hi- Che daughter of Catamols in disgoises who had been carried oil' by force bys and made her escape froms Doth-carnior.
Come", thou beam that art lonely, from watching in the night! The squally winds are around thee, from all their echoing hills. Red, over my hundred streams, are the light-covered paths of the dead. They rejoice, on the eddying winds, in the still season of night. Dwells there no joy in song, white hand of the harps of Lutha? Awake the voice of the string, and roll my soul to me. It is a stream that has failed. Malvina, pour the song.
a The traditionss which accompany this poems ioform uss that both its and the socceeding pieces wents of olds under the name of Laui-Oi-Uitha; i. e. i the hymns of tf* inaid of Lotha.' Tlvy pretend also to fix the time of its composition to the third year after the death of Flngal; that iss during the expedition of Fergus the son of Frugals to the banks of I;iscaduthon. In sopport of this opinion- the Highlandsenachk-i have prefixed to this poems an nddres-Sof Osslans to Conga I the yonog son of Ferguis which I have relecteds as having no rfiimner of connexion with the rest of the piece. It has poeiii-til merit; ands probably it was the opemng of one of Ossian's other poemrs though the bards inludiciously transferred it to the piece now Ufore es.
"Congals son of Fergus of Duraths thou light between the lockss ascend lO tke rock of Selmas to the oak of the breaker of shields. Look over the Nwom oi narto. it is streaked with the reds path of the dead- look on the night ot ghostss andkisa^. OCongals thy stun. He nots like the moon on a streams lonely in the midst ol ihaxir: darkness closes around it; and the beam departs. Depart nots son of Ferguss ew Ui ir.orkeit the field wiili thy sword. Ascend to the rock of Selais; to the oak of ia:
'reaker of shields.'s
I hear thee, from thy darkness, in Selrm, thou that watchest, lonely, by night! Why didst thou with-hold the song, from Ossian's failing soul? As the falling brook to the ear of the hunter, descending from his storm-covered hill; a sun-beam rolls the echoing stream; he hears, and shakes his dewy locks: such is the voice of Lutha, to the friend of the spirits of heroes. My swelling bosom beats high. I look ba:k on the days that are past. Come, thou beam that art lonely from the watching of night.
In the echoing bay of Carmona' we saw, one day, the bounding ship. On high, hung a broken shield; it was marked with wandering blood. Forward came a youth, in armour, and stretched his pointless spear. Longs over his tearful evess hung loose his disordered locks. Fingal gave the shell of kings. The words of the stranger arose.
"In his hall lies Cathmol ef Clutha, by the winding of his own dark streams. Duth-carmor saw whitebosomed Lanul', and pierced her father's side. In the roshy desart were mv steps. He fled in the season of night. Give thine aid to Cathlin to revenge his father. I sought thee not as a beam in a land of clouds. Thou, like the son, art known, king of echoing Selma."
Selma's king looked around. In his presence, we rose in arms. But who should lift the shield? for all had claimed the war. The night came down; we
& Carmonas i bay of the dark-brown hills's an arm of the sea in the neighboorhood !e Selma. In this paragraph are mentioned the signals presented to Pineals by those "-ho came todemrmi his aid. The soppliants he'ds in one hand. a shi 'Id covered with llivads ands in the othrrs a broken spear; the first a symbol of the death of their oi.ndss the last an cmMcm of their own helpless sitoa'ion. If the king cho..e 'o grant iiccourss which geneially was the cases h: readied to there the shell of feastsi as. a : ken of his bospitaVtys liurt friendly intentions towards them
It may not be dis-iereeiMo ta the reader to lay here before him the ceremony of the Cran-taras which was of a similar natures ands till very latelys used in the Highlands. When the news of an enemy came to the residence of the dnefs he immediately kill. rd a goat with his own swords dipped the end of an half-burnt piece of wood in the iloods and gave it to one of his servantss to be carried to the next ht-mlct. From ham''. to hamlet this tessera was carried with the utmost expeditions and in the seace ot a le.v noun the whoie clan were in armss and convened in an appointed place : the name if which was the onh word which accompanied the delivery of the Cran-iira. This ymholwasthe manifesto of the chiefs by which he threatened fire and sword to those .! his clans that did not immediately appear at his standard.
t l.anols ' full eyeds' a sorname whichs according to traditions was bestowed on the laughter of Cathmols on account of her heauty: this traditions howevers may have i-eii fonoded on that partiality which the bards have shown to Cathlin of Clutha; fors v curding to thems no falsehood could dwell in the soul of the lovely.
strode, in silence; each to his hill of ghosts: that spirits might descend in our dreams, to mark us for the field.
We struck the shield of the dead, and raised the hum of songs. We thrice called the ghosts of our fathers. We laid us down in dreams. Trenmor came, before mine eyes, the tall form of other years. His blue hosts were behind him in half-distinguished rows. Scarce seen is their strife in mist, or their stretching forward to deaths. I listened; but no sound was there. The forms were empty wind.
I started from the dreams of ghosts. On a sodden blast fiew my whistling hair. Low-sounding, in the oak, is the departure of the dead. I took my shield from its bough. Onward came the rattling of steel. It was Oscar * of Lego. He had seen his fathers.
"As rushes forth the blast, on the bosom of whitening waves; so careless shall my course be through ocean, to the dwelling of foes. I have seen the dead, my father. My beating soul is high. My fame is bright before me, like the streak of light on a cloud, when the broad son comes forth, red traveller of the sky."
"Grandson of Branno," I said; "not Oscar alone shall meet the foe, I rush forward, through ocean, to the woody dwelling of heroes. Let us contend, mr Sob, like eagles, from one rock; when they lift their broad wings, against the stream of winds." We raised our sails in Carmona. From three ships, they marked my shield on the wave, as I looked on nightlv Tonth^na ' red wanderer between the clouds. Four davs came the breeze abroad. Lumon came forward in mist. In winds were its hundred groves. Sun-beams marked, at times, its brown side. White, leapt the foamy streams from all its echoing rocks.
d Osraris here called Oscar of Lerto, from his mother being the daughter of Brap.r -. a powerful chief, on the Links of that lake. It is remarkable that Ossk0t addresses r\ poem to Malvina, in which her lover Oscar was not one of the principal actors. l.s attention to her, after the death of his son, shows that delicacy of sentiment is n,t conlioot, as some fondle imagine, to our own polished times.
t Toa-thena, s fire of the wave,: was that remarkable star, which, as has tea mentioned in the seventh book of Temora, directed the course of Larthen to 'TMliac It seems to have been well known to those who sailed on that sea which divides trelfroin South Britain. As the course of Ossian was along the const of Inis huna" mentions with pruprietr, that star which directed the voyage of Uie cokiav from tr oeontryto Ireland.'
A green field, in the bosom of hills, winds silent with its own blue stream. Here, midst the waving of oaks, were the dwellings of kings of old. But silence, for many dark-brown years, had settled in grassy Rathcol's for the race of heroes had failed, along the pleasant vale. Duth-carmor was here with his people, dark nder of the wave. Ton-thena had hid her head in the sky. He bound his white-bosomed sails. His course is on the hills of Rath-col, to the seats of roes.
We came. I sent the bard, with songs, to call the foe to fight. Duth-carmor heard him with joy. The king's soul was a beam of fire: a beam of fire, marked with smoke, rushing, varied, through the bosom of night. The deeds of Duth-carmor were dark, though his arm was strong.
Night came, with the gathering of clouds; by the beam of the oak we sat down. At a distance stood Cathlm of Clutha. I saw the changing soul of the stranger*. As shadows fly over the fields of grass, so various is Cathlin's cheek. It was fair, within locks, that rose on Rathcol's wind. I did not rush, amidst his soul, with my words. I bade the song to rise.
"Oscar of Lego," I said, " be thine the secret hille, to-night strike the shield, like Morven's kings. With
/ Rath-col, ' woody fields' does not appear to have been the residence of Duth-carmor; he seems rather to have been forced thither by a storm: at least 1 should think t;.sl to be ibe meaning of the ports from his expression, that Ton-the«a had hid her heads and that he bound his v/hite-bosomed sails; which is as much as to says that the weather was stormys and that Duth-carmor pet into the bay of Kathcol for shelter.
if From this circomstances socceeding baros feigned that Cathlins who is here in the I'sKoise of a yovfng warriors had fallen in love with Dutti-carmor at a feasts to which he had been invited by her father. Her love was converted into detestaiion for hims after he had mordered her father. Bot as those rainbows of heaven are changefuls say ''/ authorss speaking of womens she felt the return of her former passions opon the '.Pproachof Duth-i aimer's c!:;'i!;;r. I myselfs who think more favourabl) of the sexs must attribute the agitation of CutMir.'s mind to her extreme sensihility of the inluries Cone her by Duth-carmor; and this i.pinion is f:rv Hired by Hi.' sequel of the store.
1' This passage allures to the well-known cos'iioi emoes: rhe an.'lent kines ol Scotlands to retire from their army on the night pit ceiling a lei"lc. The story w ldch Ossi.m introduces in the next paragraphs concerns the fall of Hie droiilss irf which i have Riven some account in the Dissertation. It is said in many oid poeniis that the droiilss in the extremity of their affairss had soliciteds and obtaineds a:.i from Scandinavia. Amensthe auxiliaries there came many pretended magiciansswhich circomstance Ossian alludes tos in his description of the son of l.oda. ivIaaic ami incantation could nots huwevers prevail: for Trenmors assisted by the valour of his sou Trathals entirely •wit the power of tnt tliouts.