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Thy soul was generous and mild, like the hour of the setting son. Thy words were the gale of the reeds, or the gliding stream of Lora. Eut when the rage of battle rose, thou wast like a sea in a storm; the clang of arms was terrible: the host vanished at the sound of thy course. It was then Dar-thula beheld thee from the top of her mossy tower : from the tower of Selama', where her fathers dwelt.
"Lovejy art thou, O stranger!" she said, for her trembling soul arose. "Fair art thou in thy battles^ friend of the fallen Cormac* '. Why dost thou rush on, in thy valour, youth of the ruddy look? Few are thy hands in battle, against the car-borne Cairbarl Othat I raight be freed of his love e ! that I may rejoice in the presence of Nathos ! Elest are the rocks of Etha; they will behold his steps at the chase! they will see his white bosom, when the winds lift his raven hair!"
Snch were thy words, Dar-thula, in Selama's mossy towers. But, now, the night is round thee: and the winds have deceived thy sails. The winds have deceived thy sailSs Dar-thula: their blustering sound is high. Cease a little while, O north winds and let me hear the voice of the lovely. Thy voice is lovely, Darthula, between the rustling blasts.
"Are these the rocks of Nathos, and the roar cf his mountain streams? Comes that beam of light from Usnoth's nightly hall? The mist rolls around, and the beam is feeble, but the light of Dar-thula's soul is the car.borne chief of Etha! Son of the generous Usnoth, why that broken sigh? Are we not in the land of strangers, chief of echoing Etha '."
"These are not the rocks of Nathos," he replieds "nor the roar of his streams. No light comes from Etha's halls, for they are distant fir. We are in the land of strangers, in the land of car-borne Cairbar. The
/ The poet does not mean that gelama which is mentioned As tlie seat tif T Oscar in ITrters in the poemof Conhth anrt Cuthima The word in the oriKinal ilgoiSci either le-autiful to beholds or a pUue with pleasant or-wide prospect. In those times they linilt their houses opon emlncnteis to command a view of the conotrys and to prevent their leinlt sorprised: many of thems on that accounts were called Selama. Tlx famous Itima of FinOKl is derived from the tiime root
I Cormac the voune kingol Irelands wilt wns ruordere.1 try C^irbar.
* Tka iss of the live c'Colour. i
winds have deceived us, Dar-thula. Ullin here lifts he* green hills. Go towards the north, Althos; be thy steps, Ardan, along the coast; that the foe may not come in darkness, and our hopes of Etha fail. I will go towards that mossy tower, and see who dwells about the beam. Rest, Dar-thula, on the shore! rest in peace, thou beam of light! the sword of Nathos is around thee, like the lightning of heaven."
He went. She sat alone, and heard the rolling of the wave. The hig tear is in her eye; and she looks for the car-borne Nathos. Her soul trembles at the blast. And she turns her ear towards the tread of his feet. The tread of his feet is not heard. "Where art thon, son of my love? the roar of the blast is around me. Dark is the cloudy night. But Nathos does not return. What detains thee, chief of Etha? Have the foes met the hero in the strife of the night?"
He returned, but his face was dark: he had seen his departed friend. It was the wall of Tura, and the ghost of Cuthullin stalked there. The sighing of his breast was frequent; and the decayed flame of his eyes terrible. His spear was a column of mist: the stars looked dim through his form. His voice was like hollow wind in a cave: and he told the tale of grief. The soul of Nathos was sad, like the son in the day of mist, when his face is watery and dim.
"Why art thou sads O Nathos?" said the lovely daughter of Colla. "Thou art a pillar of light to Darthula: The joy of her eyes is in Etha's chief. Where is my friends but Nathos? My father rests in the tomb. Silence dwells on Selama: Sadness spreads on the blne streams of my land. My friends have fallen with Cormac. The mighty were slain in the battle of Ullin.
"Evening darkened on the plain. The blue streams failed before mine eyes. The unfrequent blast came rustling in the tops of Selama's groves. My seat was beneath a tree on the walls of my fathers. Truthil past before my soul; the brother of my love; he that was absent' in battle against the car-borne Cairbar. Bend
i The family of Colla preieivcd their loyalty to Cormac long tfter the death of Cae 'ollois
ing on his spear, the grey-haired Colla came : his downcast face is dark, and sorrow dwells in his soul. His sword is on the side of the hero: the helmet of his fathers on his head. The battle grows in his breast. He strives to hide the tear.
"Dar-thula," he sighing said, "thou art the last of Colla's race. Truthil is fallen in battle. The king* of Selama is no more. Cairbar comes, with his thousands, toward Selama's walls. Colla will meet his pride, and revenge his son. But where shall I find thy safety, Dar-thula with the dark-brown hair? thou art lovely as the sun-beam of heaven, and thy friends are low." "And is the son of battle fallen?" I said with a bursting sigh. "Ceased the generous soul of Truthil to lighten through the field? My safety, Colla, is in that bow; I have learned to pierce the deer. Is not Cairbar like the hart of the desart, father of fallen Tiuthil?"
The face of age brightened with joy: and the crowded tears of his eyes poured down. The lips of Colla trembled. His grey beard whistled in the blast. "Thou art the sister of Truthil," he said; " thou burnest in the fire of his soul. Take, Dar-thula, take that spear, that brazen shield, that burnished helmet: they are the spoils of a warrior! a son' of early youth. When the light rises on Seiama, we go to meet the car-borne Cairbar. But keep thou near the arm of Colla ; beneath the shadow of my shield. Thy father, Dar-thula, could once defend thee, but age is trembling on his hand. The strength of his arm has failed, and his soul is darkened with grief."
We passed the night in sorrow. The light of morning rose. I shone in the arms of battle. The grey. haired hero moved before. The sons of Selama convened around the sounding shield of Colla. But few were they in the plain, and their locks were grey. The youths had fallen with Truthil, in the battle of car-borne Cormac. .
1 It is very common, in Ossan'i poetry, to give the title of king to every chief that
"Companions of my youth !" said Colla, " it was not thus you have seen me in arms. It was not thus I strode to battle, when the great Confadan fell. But ye are laden with grief. The darkness of age comes like the mist of the desart. My shield is worn with years; my sword is fixedTM in its place. I said to my soul, thy evening shall be calm, and thy departure like a fading light. But the storm has returned ; I bend like an aged oak. My boughs are fallen on Selama, and I tremble in my place. Where art thou, with thy fallen heroes, O my beloved Truthil? Thou answeredst not from thy rushing blast: and the soul of thy father is sad. But I will be sad no more, Cairbar or Colla must fall. I feel the returning strength of my arm. My heart leaps at the sound of battle."
The hero drew his sword. The gleaming blades of his people rose. They moved along the plain. Their grev hair streamed in the wind. Cairbar sat at the feast, in the silent plain of Lona". lie saw the coming of heroess and he called his chiefs to battle. Why' should I tell to Nathos, how the strife of battle grew? I have seen thee in the midst of thousands, like the beam of heaven's fire: it is beautiful, but terrible; the people fall in its ied course. The spear of Colla slew, for he remembered the battles of his youth. An arrow came with its sound, and pierced the hero's side. He feli oa his echoing shield. My soul started with fear, 1 stretched my buckler over him; but my heaving breast wss seen. Cairbar came, with his spear, and he beheld Selama's maid : joy rose on his dark-brown face: he staved the lifted steel. He raised the tomb of Colla; and brought me weeping to Sclama. He spoke the words of love, but my soul was sad. I saw the shields of my fathers, and the sword of car-borne Truthil. I saw the arms of the dead, and the tear was on my cheek.
m Itaai the costom of those timess that everv warrior at a certain ages or when hr became unfit for the fields fixed his arms in the great halls w here the tril* feasteds upTM -f'iyfu.1 occ:tsions. lie v ris afterwards never to appear in cattle; and this stage cihit was called • the time of fixing of arms.'
n Lonas ' a marshy plain.' It was the costoms in the days of Ossians to feast after a victory. Cairbar had iost provided an entertainment for his army opon the defeat cf 'I ruthils the son of Colla. anil the rest of the party of Cormacs when Colla and his afecJ w arriors arrived to give hint battle.
o the poet avoids the description of the battle of Lonas es it would be improper in the mouth of a womans and could have nothing news after the nomerous descriptionss in his other poems. Hes at the same times gives ;JJ on ul.unity to t-i-thoia to yasi aliisl eomp!..iicct co kvi luii'r.
Then thou didst come, O Nathos: and gloomy Cairbar fled. He fled like the ghost of the desart before the morning's beam. His hosts were not near: and feeble was his arm against thy steel. "Why » art thou sad, O "Nathos?" said the lovely maid of Colla.
"I have met," replied the hero, "the battle in rny vouth. My arm could not lift the spear, when first the danger rose; but my soul brightened before the war, as the green narrow vale, when the son pours his streamy beams, before he hides his head in a storm. My soul brightened in danger before I saw Selama's fair; before I saw thee like a star that shines on the hill at night; the cloud slowly comes, and threatens the lovely light. We are in the land of the foe, and the winds have deceived us, Dar-thula! the strength of our friends is not near, nor the mountains of Etha. Where shall I find thy peaces daughter of Colla? The brothers of Nathos are brave: and his own sword has shone in war. But what are the sons of Usnoth to the host of car borne Cairbar! O that the winds had brought thy sails, Oscar ', king of men! thou didst promise to come to the battles of fallen Cormac. Then would my hand be strong p.s the flaming arm of death. Cairbar would tremble in his hallss and peace dwell round the lovely Dar-thula. But why dost thou fall, my soul ? The sons of Usnoth may prevail."
"And they will prevail, O Nathos," said the rising soul of the maid: "never shall Dar-thula behold the halls of gloomy Cairbar. Give me those arms of brass, that glitter to that passing meteor; I see them in the rlark bosomed ship. Darthula will enter the battle cf steel. Ghost of the noble Colla! do I behold thee on that cloud? who is that dim beside thee? It is the car
s It is usoal with Ossians to repeat, at the end of the episodess the sentence which introduces them. lthriti;:"bark.the mind ot the reader to the main story of the poem.
a Osears the son of Os lans had long resoived on the expedition into Irelands against Cairbars who hiid assassinated his friend Cathols aa Irishman of noble extractions and ia the interest of the family of Cormac.