« PreviousContinue »
hast no mother to mourn thee; no maid with her tears of love. Dead is she that brought thee forth. Fallen is the daughter of Morglan.
Who on his staff is this! who is this whose head is white with age, whose eyes are red with tears, who quakes at every step! It is thy father', O Morar! the father of no son but thee. He heard of thy fame in battle ; he heard of foes dispersed. He heard of Motar's fame ; why did he not hear of his wound? Weep, thou father of Morar; weep; but thy son heareth thee not. Deep is the sleep of the dead; low their pillow of dust. No more shall he hear thy voice; no more shall he awake at thy call. When shall it be morn in the grave, to bid the slumberer awake? Farewell, thou bravest of men ! thou conqueror in the field! but the field shall see thee no more ; nor the dark wood be lightened with the splendour of thy steel. Thou hast left no son. But the song shall preserve thy name. Future times shall hear of thee; they shall hear of the fallen Morar.
The grief of all arose, but most the bursting sigh of Armin'. He remembers the death of his son, who fell in the days of his youth. Carmors was near the hero, the chief of the echoing Galmal. Why bursts the sigh of Armin ? he said; is there a cause to mourn? The song comes, with its music, to melt and please the soul. It is like soft mist, that, rising from a lake, pours on the silent vale; the green flowers are filled with dew, but the sun returns in his strength, and the mist is gone. Why art thou sad, O Armin, chief of the seasurrounded Gorma?
Sad I am indeed ; nor small my cause of woe ! Car. mor, thou hast lost no son ; thou hast lost no daughter of beauty, Colgar the valiant lives; and Annira, fair. est maid. The bows of thy family flourish, O Carmor but Armin is the last of his race. Dark is thy bed, O
Torman, the son of Carthul, lord of I-mora, one of the western isles.
Armin, a hero.' He was chief, or petty king of Gorma, i, e. the blue island; supposed to be one of the Hebrides.
Cear-pior, a tall dark-complexioned man.'
Daura! and deep thy sleep in the tomb. When shalt thou awake with thy song? with all thy voice of music!
Arise, winds of autumn, arise; blow upon the dark heath! streams of the mountains, roar! howl, ye tempests, in the top of the oak! walk through broken clouds, O moon! show by intervals thy pale face! bring to my mind that sad night, when all my children fell; when Arindal the mighty fell; when Daura the lovely failed. Daura, my daughter'! thou wert fair; fair as the moon on the hills of Fura; white as the driven snow; sweet as the breathing gale. Arindal, thy bow was strong, thy spear was swift in the field: thy look was like mist on the wave; thy shield a red cloud in a storm. Armar renowned in war, came, and sought Daura's love; he was not long denied ; fair was the hope of their friends.
Erath, son of Ogdal, repined; for his brother was slain by Armar. He came disguised like a son of the sea : fair was his skiff on the wave; white his locks of age; calm his serious brow. Fairest of women, he said, lovely daughter of Armin! A rock not distant in the sea, bears a tree on its side; red shines the fruit afar, There Armar waits for Daura. I came to carry his love along the rolling sea. She went ; and she called on Armar. Nought answered, but the soni of the rock. Armar, my love! my love! why tormentest thou me with fear? hear, son of Ardnart, hear: it is Daura who calleth thee! Erath the traitor fled laughing to the land. She lifted up her voice, and cried for her brother and her father. Arindał! Armin ! none to relieve your Daura !
Her voice came over the sea. Arindal my son des. cended from the hill; rough in the spoils of the chase. His arrows rattled by his side; his bow was in his hand: five dark-grey dogs attended his steps. He saw fierce Erath on the shore ; he seized and bound him to an
Fua-ra, cold island.' i By the son of the rock, the poet means the echoing back of the human voice from a rock.' The vulgar were of opinion, that this repetition of sound was made by a spirit within the rock; and they, on that account, called it mac-talla, the son who dwells in the rock.'
oak. Thick bend the thongs of the hide around his limbs; he loaded the wind with his groans. Arindal ascends the wave in his boat, to bring Daura to land. Armar came in his wrath, and let fly the grey-feathered shaft It sung; it sunk in thy heart. O Arindal, my son! for Erath the traitor thou diedst. The oar is stopped at once: he panted on the rock and expired. What is thy grief, o Daura, when round thy feet is poured thy brother's blood? The boat is broken n twain by the waves. Armar plunges into the sea, to rescue his Daura, or die. Sudden a blast from the hill comes over the waves. He sunk, and he rose no more,
Alone, on the sea-beat rock, my daughter was hcard to complain. Frequent and loud were her cries ; nor could her father relieve her. All night I stood on the shore. I saw her by the faint beam of the moon. All night I heard her cries. Loud was the wind; and the rain beat hard on the side of the mountain. Before morning appeared, her voice was weak. It died away, like the evening breeze among the grass of the rocks. Spent with grief she expired, and left thee, Armin, alone. Gone is my strength in the war, and fallen my pride among women. When the storms of the mouna tain come; when the north lifts the waves on high : I sit by the sounding shore, and look on the fatal rock, Often by the setting moon I see the ghosts of my chile dren. Half viewless, they walk in mournful conference together. Will none of you speak in pity? They do not regard their father. I am sad, O Carmor, nor small is my cause of woe!
Such were the words of the bards in the days of song; when the king heard the music of harps, and the tales of other times. The chiefs gathered from all their hills, and heard the lovely sound. They praised the voice! of Cona! the first among a thousand bards. But age is now on my tongue: and my soul has failed. I hear sometimes the ghosts of bards, and learn their pleasant song. But memory fails in my mind : I hear the call
The poet here only means that Erath was bound with leathern thongs.
of years. They say, as they pass along, why does Ossian sing ? Soon shall he lie in the narrow house, and no bard shall raise his fame. Roll on, ye dark-brown years, for ye bring no joy on your course. Let the tomb open to Ossian, for his strength has failed. The sons of song are gone to rest : my voice remains, like a blast, that roars, lonely, on a sea-surrounded rock, after the winds are laid. The dark moss whistles there, and the distant mariner sees the waving trees.
This piece, as many more of Ossian's compositions, is addressed to one of the first Christian missionaries. The story of the poem is handed down by tradition, thus: In the country of the Britons, between the walls, two chiefs lived in the days of Fingal, Dunthalmo, lord of Teutha, supposed to be the Tweed ; and Rathmor, who dwelt at Ciutha, well known to be the river Clyde. Rathmor was not more renown. ed for his generosity and hospitality, than Dunthalmo was infamous for his cruelty and ambition. Dunthalmo, through envy, or on account of some private feuds which subsisted between the families, murdered Rathmor at a feast ; but being afterwards touched with remorse, he educated the two sons of Rathmor. Calthon and Colmar. in his own house. They, growing up to man's estate, dropped some hints that they intended to revenge the death of their father, upon which Dunthalmo shut them up iai two caves on the banks of Teutha, intending to take them off privately. Colmal the daughter of Dunthalmo, who was secretly in love with Calthon, helped him to make bis escape from prison, and fled with him to Fingal, disguised in the habit of a young warrior, and implored his aid against Dunthalmo. Fingal sent Ossian with three hundred men, to Colmar's relief. Dunthalmo having previously murdered Col. mar. came to a battle with Ossian; but he was killed by that hero, and his army to.
tally defeated. Calthon married Colmal his deliverer ; and Ossian returned to Morven.
PLEASANT is the voice of thy song, thou lonely dweller of the rock. It comes on the sound of the stream, along the narrow vale. My soul awakes, O stranger! in the midst of my hall. I stretch my hand to the spear, as in the days of other years. I stretch my hand, but it is feeble ; and the sigh of my bosom grows. Wilt thou not listen, son of the rock, to the song of Ossian ? My soul is full of other times; the joy of my youth returns. Thus the sun appears in the west, after the steps of his brightness have moved behind a storm ; the green hills lift their dewy heads: the blue streams rejoice in the vale. the aged hero comes forth on his staff, and his grey hair glitters in the beam. Dost thou not behold, son of the rock, a shield in Ossian's hall? It is marked i with the strokes of battle; and the brightness of its bosses has failed. That shield the great Dunthalmo bore, the chief of streamy Teutha. Dunthalmo bore in bat