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day, thou shalt lead in war. From my rock, I shall see thee, Oscar, a dreadful forin ascending in fight, like the appearance of ghosts, amidst the storms they raise. Why should mine eyes return to the dim times of old, ere yet the song had bursted forth, like the sudden ris. ing of winds. But the years that are past are marked with mighty deeds. As the nightly rider of waves looks up to Ton.thena of beams : so let us turn our eyes to Treninor, the father of kings.”
Wide, in Carracha's echoing field, Carmal had pour. ed his tribes. They were a dark ridge of waves; the grey-haired bards were like moving foam on their face. They kindled the strife around, with their red-rolling eyes. Nor alone were the dwellers of rocks; a son of Loda was there; a voice in his own dark land, to call the ghosts from high. On his hill, he had dwelt, in Lochlin, in the midst of a leafless grove. Five stones lifted, near, their heads. Loud-roared his rushing stream. He often raised his voice to winds, when meteors marked their nightly wings; when the darkcrusted moon was rolled behind her hill.
Nor unheard of ghosts was he! They came with the sound of eagle-wings. They turned battle, in fields, before the kings of men.
But Trenmor they turned not from battle ; he drew forward the troubled war; in its dark skirt was Trathal, like a rising light. It was dark; and Loda's son poured forth his signs, on night. The feeble were not before thee, son of other lands!
Then i rose the strife of kings, about the hill of night; but it was soft as two summer gaies, shaking their light wings on a lake. Trenmor yielded to his son; for the fame of the king was heard. Trathal came forth before his father, and the foes failed in echoing Caracha. The years that are past, my son, are marked with mighty deeds k.
i Trenmor and Trathal. Ossian introduced this episode, as an example to his son, from ancient times.
& Those wh) deliver down this poem in tradition, lament that there is a great part of it lost. In particular, they regret the loss of an episode, which was here introduced, with the sequel of the story of Carmal and his druids. Their attachment to it,
founded on the descriptions of magical inchantments which it contained,
In clouds rose the eastern light. The foe came forth in arms. The strife is mixed at Rath-col, like the roar of streams. Behold the contending of kings! They meet beside the oak. In gleams of steel, the dark forms are lost; such is the meeting of meteors, in a vale by night: red light is scattered round, and men foresee the storm. Duth carmor is low in blood. The son of Ossian overcame. Not harmless in battle was he, Malvina, hand of harps !
Nor, in the fields, are the steps of Cathlin. The stranger stood by a secret stream, where the foam of Rathcol skirted the mossy stones. Above, bends the branchy birch, and strews its leaves on winds. The inverted spear of Cathlin touched, at times, the stream. Oscar brought Duth-carmor's mail: his helmet with its eagle-wing. He placed them before the stranger, and his words were heard. " The foes of thy father have failed. They are laid in the field of ghosts. Renown returns to Morven, like a rising wind. Why art thou dark, chief of Clutha! is there cause for grief?”
" Son of Ossian of harps, my soul is darkly sad. I behold the arms of Cathmol, which he raised in war. Take the mail of Cathlin, place it high in Selma's hall; that thou mayest remember the hapless in thy distant land.”
Froin white breasts descended the mail. It was the race of kings ; the soft-handed daughter of Cathmol at the streams of Clutha. Duth-carmor saw her bright in the hall, he came, by night, to Clutha. Cathmol met him, in battle, but the warrior feil. Three days dwelt the foe with the maid. On the fourth she fied in arms. She remembered the race of kings, and felt her bursting soul.
Why, maid of Toscar of Lutha, should I tell how Cathlin failed ? Her tomb is at rushy Lumon, in a distant land. Near it were the steps of Sul-malla, in the days of grief. She raised the song, for the daughter of strangers, and touched the mournful harp.
Come, from the watching of night, Malvina, lonely beam!
This poem, which, properly speaking, is a continuation of the last, opens with an address to Sul-malla, the daughter of the king of Inis-huna, whom Ossian met at the chase, as he returned from the battle of Rathcol. Sul-malla invites Ossian and Oscar to a feasi, at the residence of her father, who was then absent in the wars. Upon hearing their name and family, she relates an expedition of Fingal into Inis-bena She cusually mentioning Cathmor, chief of Atha, (who then assisted her father gainst his enemies,) Ossian introduces the episode of Cul.gorm and Suran-dronio, two Scandinavian kings, in whose wars Ossian himself and Cathmor were engaged on opposite sides. The story is imperfect, a part of the original being lost. Ossian, warned in a dreann, by the ghost of Trenmor, sets sail from Inis-huna,
Who a moves so stately, on Lumon, at the roar of the foamy waters? Her hair falls upon her heaving breast, White is her arm behind, as slow she bends the bow. Why dost thou wander in desarts, like a light through a cloudy field ? The young roes are panting, by their secret rocks. Return, thou daughter of kings; he cloudy night is near.
It was the young branch of Lumon, Sul-malla of blue eyes. She sent the bard from her rock, to bid us to her feast. Amidst the song we sat down, in Conmor's echoing hall. White moved the hands of Sul
a The expedition of Ossian to Inis,huna happened a short time before Fingal passed over into Ireland to dethrone Cairbar the son of Borbar-duthul. Cathmor the brother of Cairbar, was aidins Conmor, king of Inis-huna, in the wars, at the time that o sian defeated Duth-carmor, in the valley of Rath.col. The poem is more interesting, that it contains so many particulars concerning those personages who make so great a figure in Tomora.
The exact correspondence in the manners and customs of Inis-luna, os bore describe ed, to those of Caledonia, Icaves no room to doubt, that the inhabitants of both were originally the same people. Some may allege, that Ossian might transfer, in his poc tical descriptions, the manners of his own nation to foreigners. The objection is eget ly answered; for had Ossian used that freedom in this passage, there is no reason why he should paint the manners of the Scandinavians so different from those of the Cale donians. We find, however, the former very different in their customs and supersti. tions from the nations of Britain and Ireland The Scandinaviaa manners are rem . ably barbarous and fierce, and seem to mark out a nation much less advanced In dy society, than the inhabitants of Britain were in the times of Ossian.
maila, on the trembling strings. Half-heard, amidst the sound, was the name of Atha's king: he that was absent in battle for her own green land. Nor absent from her soul was he: he came midst her thoughts by night : Ton-thena looked in, from the sky, and saw her tossing arms.
The sound of the shell had ceased. Amidst long locks, Sul-malla rose. She spoke, with bended eyes, and asked of our course through seas, " for of the kings of men are ye, tall riders of the wave b." “ Not unknown,” I said, “ at his streams is he, the father of our race. Fingal has been heard of at Cluba, blue-eyed daughter of kings. Nor only, at Cona's stream, is Os. sian and Oscar known. Foes trembled at our voice, and shrunk in other lands."
“ Not unmarked,” said the maid, “ by Sul-malla, is the shield of Morven's king. It hangs high, in Conmor's hall, in memory of the past; when Fingal came to Cluba, in the days of other years. Loud roared the boar of Culdarnu, in the midst of his rocks-and woods. Inis-huna sent her youths, but they failed; and virgins wept over tombs. Careless went the king to Culdarnu. On his spear rolled the strength of the woods. He was bright, they said, in his locks, the first of mortal men. Nor at the feast were heard his words. His deeds passed from his soul of fire, like the rolling of vapours from the face of the wandering sun. Not careless looked the blue-eyes of Cluba on his stately steps. In white bosoms rose the king of Selma, in midst of their thoughts by night. But the winds bore the stranger to the echoing vales of his roes. Nor lost to other lands was he, like a meteor that sinks in
b Sul-malla here discovers the quality of Ossian and Oscar from their stature and stately gait. Among nations not far advanced in civilization, a superior beauty and stateliness of person' were inseparable from nobility of blood. It was from these qualities, that those of family were known by strangers, not from lawery trappings of state'injudiciously thrown round them. The cause of this distinguishing property, must, in some measure, be ascribed to their uninixed blood. They had no indument to intermarry with the vulgar: and no low notions of interest made them deviate from their choice, in their own sphere. In states where luxury bas been long established, I am told, that beauty of person is by no means the characteristic of antiquity of family. This must be attributed to those enervating vices, which are inseparable from luxury and wealth. A great family, (to alter a little the words of the historian, it is true, like a river, becoines considerable from the length of its course, but, as it roils on, he reditary distempers, as well as property, flow successively into it!
a coud. He came forth, at times, in his brightness, to the distant dwelling of foes. His fame came, like the sound of winds, to Cluba's woody vales. .
" Darkness dwells in Cluba of harps : the race of kings is distant far; in battle is Con-mor of spears; and Lormor d king of streams. Nor darkened alone are they; a beam, from other lands, is nigh: the friends of strangers in Atha, the troubler of the field. High, fro'n their mistv hill look forth the blue eves of Erin, for he is far away, young dweller of their souls, Nor, harmless, white hands of Erin! is he in the skirts of war; he rolls ten thousand before him, in his distant field."
“ Not unseen by Ossian," I said, “ rushed Cathmor from his streams, when he poured his strength on Ithornof, isle of many waves. In strife met two kings in l.thorno, Culgorm and Suran-dronlo : each from his echoing isle, stern hunters of the boar!
“ Thev met a boar, at a foamy stream: each pierced it with his steel. They strove for the fame of the deed: and gloomy battle rose. From isle to isle they sent a spear, broken, and stained with blood, to call
( Too partial to our own times, we are ready to mark our remote antiquity, as the region of imorance and harbarism. This, perhaps, is extending our prejudices too far. It has been long remarked, that knowledge, in a great measure, is founded on a free intercourse with mankind : and that the mind is enlarged in proportion to the observations it has made upon the manners of different men and nations. If we lock, with at. tention, into the history of Final, as delivered by Ossian, we shall find, that he was not altogether a poor ignorant hunter, confined to the narrow corner of an island. His expeditions to all parts of Scandinavia, to the north of Germany, and the different states of Creat Britain and Ireland, were very numerous, and performed under such a character, and at such times, as gave him an opportunity to mark the undisguised minners of mankind. War, and an active life, as they call forth, by turns, all the powers of the soul, present to us the different characters of men; in times of peace and quiet. for want of objects to exert them, the powers of the mind lie concealed, in 2 grey measure, and we see only artificial passions and manners. It is from this con. sideration I conclude, that a traveller of penetiation could gather more genuine know ledge from a tour of ancient Gaul, than from the minutest observation of all the arti. fcial manners, and elegant refinements of inodern France.
a Loranor was the son of Con-mor, and the brother of Sul-malla. After the death of Con-mor, Lorinor succeeded him in the throne.
pCallinor, the son of Borbar-duthul. It would appear, from the partiality wit which 'ul-malla speaks of that hero, that she had seen him previous to his joining be father's army; thourh tradition positively asserts, that it was after his return that she fell in love with him.
!.thorno, says tradition, was an island of Scandinavia. In it, at a hunting parts, met Culgorm and tran-drunlo, the kings of two neighbouring isles. They differed about the honour of killing a boar; and a war was kindled between them. From this episode we may learn, that the mariners of the Scandinavians were much more savage and cruel than those of Pritain. It is remarkable, that the names, introduced in this story, are not of Gaelic original, which circumstance affords room to suppose, this
d its foundation in true history.