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O Oscar, of the future fights! Connal, son of the blue shields of Sora! Dermid of the dark-brown hair! Ossian king of many songs, be near your father's arm!" We reared the sun-beam* of battle; the standard of the king! Each hero exulted with joy, as, waving, it flew on the wind. It was studded with gold above, as the blue wide shell of the nightly sky. Each hero had his standard too; and each his gloomy men!
"Behold," said the king of generous shells, "how Lochlin divides on Lena! They stand like broken clouds on a hill; or an half-consumed grove of oaks; when we see the sky through its branches, and the meteor passing behind! Let every chief among the friends of Fingal take a dark troop of those that frown so high: Nor let a son of the echoing groves, bound on the waves of Inistore!"
"Mine," said Gaul, "be the seven chiefs, that came from Lano's lake." "Let Inistore's dark king," said Oscar, "come to the sword of Ossian's son." "To mine the king of Iniscon," said Connal, "heart of steel!" "Or Mudan's chief or I," said brownhaired Dermid, "shall sleep on clay-cold earth." "My choice, though now so weak and dark, was Terman's battling king; I promised with my hand to win the hero's dark-brown shield." "Blest and vic- * Fingal's standard was distinguished by the name of simlearn; probably on account of its bright colour, and its being studded with gold. To begin a battle is expressed, in old composition, by lifting of the sun-beam.
VOL. II. I
torious be my chiefs," said Fingal of the mildest look. "Swaran, king of roaring waves, thou art the choice of Fingal!"
Now, like an hundred different winds, that pour through many vales; divided, dark the sons of Selma advanced. Cromla echoed around!" How can I relate the deaths, when we closed in the strife of arms! O daughter of Toscar! bloody were our hands! The gloomy ranks of Lochlin fell, like the banks of the roaring Cona! Our arms were victorious on Lena: each chief fulfilled his promise! Beside the murmur of Branno thou didst often sit, O maid! thy white bosom rose frequent, like the down of the swan when slow she swims on the lake, and sidelong winds blow on her ruffled wing. Thou hast seen the sun retire, red and slow behind his cloud: night gathering round on the mountain, while the unfrequent blast roared in the narrow vales. At length the rain beats hard: thunder rolls in peals. Lightning glances on the rocks! Spirits ride on beams of fire ! The strength of the mountain-streams comes roaring down the hills. Such was the noise of battle, maid of the arms of snow! Why, daughter of Toscar, why that tear? The maids of Lochlin have cause to weep! The people of their country fell. Bloody were the blue swords of the race of my heroes! But I am sad, forlorn, and blind: no more the companion of heroes. Give, lovely maid, to me thy tears. I have seen the tombs of all my friends!"
It was then, by Fingal's hand, a hero fell, to his grief! Grey-haired he rolled in the dust. He lifted his faint eyes to the king: "And is it by me thou hast fallen?" said the son of Comhal, "thou friend of Agandecca! I have seen thy tears for the maid of my love in the halls of the bloody Starno! Thou hast been the foe of the foes of my love, and hast thou fallen by my hand? Raise, Ullin, raise the grave of Mathon; and give his name to Agandecca's song. Dear to my soul hast thou been, thou darkly-dwelling maid of Ardven!"
Cuthullin, from the cave of Cromla, heard the noise of the troubled war. He called to Connal chief of swords; to Carril of other times. The greyhaired heroes heard his voice. They took their pointed spears. They came, and saw the tide of battle, like ocean's crowded waves: when the dark wind blows from the deep, and rolls the billows through the sandy vale! Cuthullin kindled at the sight. Darkness gathered on his brow. His hand is on the sword of his fathers: his red-rolling eyes on the foe. He thrice attempted to rush to battle. He thrice was stopt by Connal. "Chief of the isle of mist," he said, "Fingal subdues the foe. Seek not a part of the fame of the king; himself is like the storm!"
"Then, Carril, go," replied the chief, "go, greet the king of Morven. When Lochlin falls away like a stream after rain: when the noise of the battle is past. Then be thy voice sweet in his ear to praise the king of Selma! Give him the sword of Caithbat. Cuthullin is not worthy to lift the arms of his fathers! Come, O ye ghosts of the lonely Cromla; ye souls of chiefs that are no more! be near the steps of Cuthullin; talk to him in the cave of his grief. Never more shall I be renowned, among the mighty in the land. I am a beam that has shone; a mist that has fled away: when the blast of the morning came, and brightened the shaggy side of the hill: Connal! talk of arms no more: departed is my fame. My sighs shall be on Cromla's wind; till my footsteps cease to be seen. And thou, white-bosom'd Bragela, mourn over the fall of my fame: vanquished, I will never return to thee, thou sun-beam of my soul!"
ANCIENT EPIC POEM.
IN SIX BOOKS.
ARGUMENT TO BOOK V.
Cuthullin and Connal still remain on the hill. Fingal and Swaran meet; the combat is described. Swaran is overcome, bound and delivered over as a prisoner to the care of Ossian and Gaul the son of Morni; Fingal, his younger sons, and Oscar, still pursue the enemy. The episode of Orla a chief of Lochlin, who was mortally wounded in the' battle, is introduced. Fingal, touched with the death of Orla, orders the pursuit to be discontinued; and calling his sons together, he is informed that Ryno, the youngest of them, was slain. He laments his death, hears the story of Lamdarg and Gelchossa, and returns towards the place where he had left Swaran. Carril, who had been sent by Cuthullin to congratulate Fingal on his victory, comes in the mean time to Ossian. The conversation of the two poets closes the action of the fourth day.
On Cromla's resounding side, Connal spoke to the chief of the noble car. Why that gloom, son of Semo? Our friends are the mighty in fight. Renowned art thou, O warrior! many were the deaths of thy steel. Often has Bragela met, with blue