Page images
PDF
[ocr errors]

started from the fountains of Cromla; and all

the rocks shook on their hills. Like the noite of a hundred mountain - fireams , that burst, and roar, and foam ; like the clouds that gather to a tempt ft on the blue face of the sky; fo met the fons of the defaft, round the terrible voice of Fingal. For pleasant was the voice of the king of Morven to the warriors of his land : often had he led them to battle , and returned with the spoils of the foe.

[ocr errors]

Come to battle, faid the king, ye children of the ftorin. Come to the death of thousands. Comhal’s son will fee the fight. My sword, íhall wave on that hill, and be the fhield of my people. But never may you need it, warriors;. while the fon of Morni fights, the chief of mighty men. He shall lead my battle; that his fame may rife in the fong. O ye ghosts of heroes dead! ye riders of the storin of Cromla! receive my falling people with joy, and bring them to your hills.

And may the blaft of Lena carry them over my feas, that they may come to my filent dreams, and delight my foùl in reft. -

[ocr errors][merged small]

Fillan and Oscar, of the dark - brown hair! fair Ryno, with the pointed feel! advance with valour to the fight ; and behold the fon of Morni. Let your fword be like his in the strife: and behold the deeds of his hands. Protest the friends of your father: and remember the chiefs of old. My children, I shall fee you yet, though here ye should fall in Erin. Soon shall our cold, pale ghosts meet in a cloud, and fiy over the hills of Cona.

Now like a dark and formy cloud, edged round with the red lightning of heaven, and flying weftward from the morning's beam, the king of hills removed. Terrible is the light of . his armour, and two spears are in his hand. His gray hair falls on the wind. He often looks back on the war. Three bards attend the fon of fame, to carry his words to the heroes. High on Cromla’s fide he fat, waving the lightning of his fword; and as he waved, we moved.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ke to ofian. O ruler of the fight of steel! my father, hear thy fon. Retire, with Morven’s mighty chief; and give me Offian's fame And if here I fall; my king , remember that breaft of fhow, that lonely fun - beam of my love, the white - handed daughter of Tofcar. For with red cheek from the rock, and bending over the stream , her foft hair flies about her bofom, as she pours the figh for Oscar. Tell her, I am on my hills a lightly - bounding fon of the wind; that hereafter, în a cloud, I may meet the lovely maid of Tofcar.

Raife, Oscar, rather raife my tomb. I will not yield the fight to thee. For first and bloodieft in the war my arm fhall teach thee how to fight. But, remember, my fon, tọ place this fword, this bow, and the horn of my deer, within that dark and narrow houfe, whofe mark is one gray ftone. Oscar, I have no love to leave to the care of my fon; for graceful Evirallin is no more, the lovely daughter of Branno.

Such were our words, when Gaul’s loud voice came growing on the wind. He waved on high the fword of his father, and rushed to death and wounds. * |As

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

As waves white - bubbling over the deep come fweliing, roaring on; as rocks of ooze met roaring waves : fo foes attacked and fought. Man met with man , and steel with steel. Shields found; Inen fall. As a hundred hammers on the fon of the furnace, fo rose, fo rung their fwords, , ? .

Gaul rushed on like a whirlwind in Ard. ven. The destruction of heroes is on his fword. Swaran was like the fire of the defart in the eccheing heath of Gormal. How can I giveto the song the death of many spears? My fword rofe high , and flamed in the strife" of blood. And, Oscar, terrible wert thou, my beft, my greatest fon ! I rejoiced in my secret foul, when his fword flamed over the flain. They fied amain through Lena’s heath : and we pursued and flew. As ftones that bound from rock to rock; as axes in ecchoing woods; as thunder rolls from hill to hill in dismal broken peals: follow succeeded to blow , and death to death, from the hand of Oscar [5] and inine. ~

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

But Swaran closed round Morni's fon , as the strength of the tide of Inistore. The king half-rofe from his hill at the fight, and halfasfumed the spear. Go, Ullin, go. my aged bard, begun the king of Morven. Remind the mighty Gaul of battle; remind him of his fathers. Support the yielding fight with fong; for fong enlivens war. Tall Ullin went, with fteps of age, and spoke to the king of words.

Son [ 6 ] of the chief of generous steeds ! high -bounding king of spears. Strong arm in - every |- v * rent , and the warmth that becomes a young warrior. There is a propriety in dwelling here on the aĉtions of Oscar, as the beautiful Malvina, to whom the book is addressed, was in s love with that hero.

[ 6 ] The war - fong of Ullin varies from the reft of the poem in the versification. It runs down like a torrent; and confists alinoit intirely of epithets. The custon of encouraging men in battle with extempore rhymes, has been carried down almost to our own times. Ševeral of these war - fongs are exstant, but the most of then are only a group of epithets, without beauty or harmony, utterly destitute of poetical meric.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »