Page images

fire in the firs of a hundred hills; fo loud, fo ruinous and vaft the ranks of men are hewn down. Cuchullin cut off heroes like thistles, and Swaran wafted Erin. : Curach fell by his hand, and Cairbar of the bosty shield, Morgian lies in lafting rest; and Ca- olt quivers as he dies. His white breaft is ftained with his blood; and his yellow hair ftretched in the duft of his native land. He often had spread the feaft where he fell; and often raised the voice of the harp: when his dogs leapt around for joy; and the youths of the chace prepared the bow.

Still Swaran advanced, as a stream that

burfts from the defart. - The little hills are rolled in its course; and the rocks half-funk by its fide. But Cuchullin ftood before hiin like a, hill [ 11 ] , that catches the clouds of hea

· Vell,

[II] Virgil and Milton have made ufe of a compari.

* fon finilar to this; I fhall lay both before the

reader, and let hin judge for himself, which of thefe two great poets have best fucceeded.

-Quantus Athos, aut quantus Eryx, aut ipse coruscis Cum freinit ilicibus, quantus gaudetque nivali Kertice fe attollens pater Appeninus ad auras.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

ven. – The winds contend on its head of pines; and the hail rattles on its rocks. But, firm in its ftrength, it ftands and fhades the filent vale of Cona.

[ocr errors]

So Cuchullin fhaded the fons of Erin, and food in the midft of thousands. Blood rifes like the fount of a rock, from panting heroes around him. But Erin falls on either wing, like snow in the day of the fun.

O fons of Innis - fail, faid Grumal, Loch. lin conquers on the field. Why strive we as reeds against the wind? Fly to the hill of darkbrown hinds. He fled like the stag of Morven, and his fpear is a trembling beam of light behind him. Few fled with Grumal, the chief of

Like Eryx or like Athos great he fhews,
Or farher Appenine when white with snows;
His head divine obscure in clouds he hides,
And fhakes the founding foreft on his fides.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of the little foul: they fell in the battle of heroes on Lena's echoing heath. |- * High on his car, of many gens, the chief of Erin ftood; he flew a mighty fon of Lochlin, and fpoke, in hafte, to Connal. O Connal, first of mortal men, thou haft taught this arm of death! Though Erin’s fons have fled, fhall we not fight the foe ? O Carril, fon of other times, carry ny living friends to that bushy hill. – Here, Connal, let us stand like rocks, and fave our flying friends.

Connal mounts the car of light. They ftretch their fhields , like the darkened moon , the daughter of the starry fkies, when she moves, a dun circle, through heaven. Sithfadda panted up the hill , and Dusronnel haughty steed. Like waves behind a whale, behind them rushed the foe. *

Now on the rifing fide of Cromla stood Erin's few fad fons; like a grove, through which the flame had rushed, hurried on by the winds , of the formy night. Cuchullin stood befide an oak. He rolled his red eye in filence, and heard the wind in his bushy hair; when - - - the

- - A N E P I C P O EM. 47 : t the fcout of ocean came, Moran the fon of Fithil. – The ships, he cried, the ships of the lonely ifle ! There Fingal comes, the first of * men, the breaker of the fhields. The waves

foam before his black prows. His mafts with
fails are like groves in clouds.

[ocr errors]

The winds came down on the woods. The torrents rushed from the rocks. Rain gathered round the head of Cromla. And the red stars trembled between the flying clouds. Sad, by the fide of a stream, whofe found was echoed by a tree, fad by the fide of a stream the


the chief of Erin fat. Connal fon of Colgar was there, and Carril of other times.

Unhappy is the hand of Cuchullin, faid the fon of Semo, unhappy is the hand of Cuchullin, since he flew his friend. Ferda, thou fon of Damman, I loved thee as myfelf.

How, Cuchullin, fon of Semo, fell the breaker of the fhields? Well I remember, faid Connal , the noble fon of Damman. Tall and fair he was like the rain - bow of the hill.

Ferda from Albin came, the chief of a hundred hills. In Muri's [12] hall he learned the fword, and won the friendship of Cuchul- lin

[12] Muri , fay the Irish bards, was an academy in Ulster for teaching the ufe of arms. The fignification of the word is a cluster of people; which renders the opinion probable. Cnchullin is faid to have been the first who introduced into Ireland complete arınour of steel. He is famous, ainong

/ the Senachies, for teaching horfemanfhip to the Irish, and for being the first who-ufed a chariot in that kingdom; which laft circumstance was the occasion of Offian's being fo circunstantial in his description of Cuchullin's car, in the first book.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »