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ters the clouds, and rides the eddying winds! It is Morni * of bounding steeds ! Be like thy father, O Gaul !”
“ Selma is opened wide. Bards take the trembling harps. Ten youths bear the oak of the feast. A distant sun-beam marks the hill. The dusky waves of the blast fly over the fields of grass. Why art thou silent, O Selma ? The king returns with all his fame. Did not the battle roar; yet peaceful is his brow? It roared, and Fingal overcame. Be like thy. father, O Fillan!”
They move beneath the song. High wave their arms, as rushy fields, beneath autumnal winds. On Mora stands the king in arms. Mist flies round his buckler abroad; as, aloft, it hung on a bough, on Cormul's mossy rock. In silence I stood by Fingal, and turned my eyes on Cromla's f wood : lest I should behold the host, and rush amid my swelling soul. My foot is forward on the heath. I glittered, tall, in steel: like the falling stream of Tromo, which nightly winds bind over with ice. The boy sees it, on high, gleaming to the early beam : toward it he turns his ear, and wonders why it is so silent! .
Nor bent over a stream is Cathmor, like a youth in a peaceful field. Wide he drew forward the war, a . * The expedition of Morni to Clutha, alluded to here, is handed down in tradition.
+ The mountain Cromla was in the neighbourhood of the scene of this poem ; which was nearly the same with that of Fingal.
dark and troubled wave. But when he beheld Fingal on Mora, his generous pride arose. “ Shall the chief of Atha fight, and no king in the field ? Foldath lead my people forth. Thou art a beam of fire.”
Forth issues Foldath of Moma, like a cloud, the robe of ghosts. He drew his sword, a flame, from his side. He bade the battle move. The tribes, like ridgy waves, dark pour their strength around. Haughty is his stride before them. His red eye rolls in wrath. He calls Cormul chief of Dunratho;* and his words were heard. : « Cormul, thou beholdest that path. It winds green behind the foe. Place thy people there; lest Selma should escape from my sword. Bards of greenvalleyed Erin, let no voice of yours arise. The sons of Morven must fall without song. They are the foes of Cairbar. Hereafter shall the traveller meet their dark, thick mist on Lena, where it wanders, with their ghosts, beside the reedy lake. Never shall they rise, without song, to the dwelling of winds." · Cormul darkened, as he went. Behind him rushed his tribe. They sunk beyond the rock. Gaul spoke to Fillan of Selma; as his eye pursued the course of the dark-eyed chief of Dun-ratho. “ Thou beholdest the steps of Cormul! Let thine arni be strong! When he is low, son of Fingal, remember Gaul in war. Here I fall forward into battle, amid the ridge of shields."
* Dun-ratho, a hill, with a plain on its top: Corm-uil, blue eye. Foldath dispatches here, Cormul to lie in ambush behind the army of the Caledonians. This speech suits with the character of Foldath, which is, throughout, haughty and presumptuous. Towards the latter end of this speech, we find the opinion of the times, concerning the unhappiness of the souls of those who were buried without the funeral song. This doctrine was inculcated by the bards, to make their order re- . spectable and necessary.
The sign of death ascends: the dreadful sound of Morni's shield. Gaul pours his voice between. Fingal rises on Mora. He saw them, from wing to wing, bending at once in strife, Gleaming, on his own dark hill, stood Cathmor of streamy Atha. The kings were like two spirits of heaven, standing each on hiş gloomy cloud; when they pour abroad the winds, and lift the roaring seas. The blue-tumbling of waves is before them, marked with the paths of whales. They themselves are calm and bright. The gale lifts slowly their locks of mist !
What beam of light hangs high in air! What beam, but Morni's dreadful sword ! Death is strewed on thy paths, O Gaul! Thou foldest them together in thy rage. Like a young oak falls Tur-lathon, * with his branches round him. His high-bosomed spouse stretches her white arms, in dreams, to the returning chief, as she sleeps by gurgling Moruth, in her dis. ordered locks. It is his ghost, Oichoma. The chief is lowly lạid. Hearken not to the winds for Turlathon's echoing shield. It is pierced, by his streams. Its sound is past away.
* Tur-lathon, broad-trunk of a tree. Móruth, great stream. Oichaoma, mild maid. Dun-lora, the hill of the noisy stream. Duth-caron, dark-brown man.
Not peaceful is the hand of Foldath. He winds his course in blood. Connal met hiin in fight. They mixed their clanging steel. Why should mine eyes behold them? Connal, thy locks are grey! Thou wert the friend of strangers, at the moss-covered rock of Dun-lora. When the skies were rolled together : then thy feast was spread. The stranger heard the winds without; and rejoiced at thy burning oak. Why, son of Duth-caron, art thou laid in blood ! The blasted tree bends above thee. Thy shield lies broken near. Thy blood mixes with the stream ; thou breaker of the shields !
Ossian took the spear, in his wrath. But Gaul rushed forward on Foldath. The feeble pass by his side : his rage is turned on Moma's chief. Now they had raised their deathful spears : unseen an arrow came. It pierced the hand of Gaul. His steel fell sounding to earth. Young Fillan came,* with Cormul's shield! He stretched it large before the chief. Foldath sent his shouts abroad, and kindled all the field : as a blast that lifts the wide-winged flame over Lumon's echoing groves.f
“ Son of blue-eyed Clatho," said Gaul, “ O Fil. lan! thou art a beam from heaven; that, coming on
* Fillan had been dispatched by Gaul to oppose Cormul, who had been sent by Foldath to lie in ambush behind the Caledonian army. It appears that Fillan had killed Çormul, otherwise, he could not be supposed to have possessed himself of the shield of that chief.
of Lumon, bending hill; a mountain in Inis-huna, or that part of South-Britain which is over-against the Irish coast.
the troubled deep, binds up the tempest's wing. Cormul is fallen before thee. Early art thou in the fame of thy fathers. Rush not too far, my hero. I cannot lift the spear to aid. I stand harmless in battle : but my voice shall be poured abroad. The sons of Selma shall hear, and remember my former deeds.”
His terrible voice rose on the wind. The host bends forward in fight. Often had they heard him, at Strumon, when he called them to the chace of the hinds. He stands tall, amid the war, as an oak in the skirts of a storm, which now is clothed on high, in mist : then shew its broad, waving head. The musing hunter lifts his eye, from his own rushy field !
My soul pursues thee, O Fillan ! through the path of thy fame. Thou rolledst the foe before thee. Now Foldath, perhaps, may fly : but night comes down with its clouds. Cathmor's horn is heard on high. The sons of Selma hear the voice of Fingal, from Mora's gathered mist. The bards pour their song, like dew, on the returning war.
“Who comes from Strumon,” they said, “ amid her wandering locks? She is mournful in her steps, and lifts her blue eyes toward Erin. Why art thou sad, Evir-choma ? * Who is like thy chief in renown? He descended dreadful to battle ; he returns,
* Evir-choama, mild and stately maid, the wife of Gaul. She was the daughter of Casdu-conglass, chief of I-dronlo, one of the Hebrides.