Page images
PDF

Thubar spoke, “Who comes, like the stag of the deser. with all his herd behind him Frothal, it is a foe 1 see his forward spear. Perhaps it is the king of Mor. ven, Fingal the first of men. His deeds are well known in Lochlin the blood of his foes is in Sarno's halls. Shall I ask the peace of kings Iłis sword is the bolt of heaven s” Son of the feeble hand, said Frothal, shall my days begin in a cloud! Shall I yield before I have conquered, chief of streamy Tora! The people would say in Sora, Frothal flew forth like a meteor; but a darkness has met him, and his fame is no more. No, Thubar, I will never yield; my fame shall surround me like light. No: I will never yield, chief of streamy Tora! He went forth with the stream of his people, but they met a rock; Fingal stood unmoved, broken they rolled back from his side. Nor did they safely fly; the spear of the king pursued their steps. The field is covemed with heroes. A rising hill preserved the foe. Frothal saw their flight. The rage of his bosom rose. He bent his eyes to the ground, and called the noble Thubar. Thubar! my people are fled. My fame has ceased to rise. I will fight the king; I feel my burning soul! Send a bard to demand the combat. Speak not against Frothal’s words! But, Thubar! I love a maid; she dwells by Thano's stream, the white. bosomed daughter of Herman, Utha, with soft-rolling eyes. She feared the low-laid Comala; her secret sighs rose when I spread the sail. Tell to Utha of harps that my soul delighted in her. Such were his words, resolved to fight. The soft sigh of Utha was near! She had followed her hero in the armor of a man. She rolled her eye on the youth, in secret, from beneath her steel. She saw the bard as he went; the spear fell thrice from her hand! Her loose hair flew on the wind. Her white breast rose

[ocr errors][graphic]
[ocr errors]

with sighs. She raised her eyes to the king. She would speak, but thrice she failed. Fingal heard the words of the bard; he came in the trength of his steel. They mixed their deathful spearn: hey raised the gleam of their arms. But the sword of ringal descended and cut Frothal's shield in twain. this fair side is exposed; half-bent, he foresees iss death. Darkness gathered on Utha's soul. The ear rolled down her cheek. She rushed to cover the cnief with her shield: but a fallen oak met her steps. She fell on her arm of snow ; her shield, her helmet flew wide. Her white bosom heaved to the sigh; her darkbrown hair is spread on earth. Fingal pitied the white-armed maid! he stayed the uplifted sword. The tear was in the eye of the king, as, bending forward, he spoke, “King of streamy Sora! fear not the sword of Fingal. It was never stained with the blood of the vanquished; it never pierced a fallen foe. Let thy people rejoice by their native streams. Let the maid of thy love be glad. Why shouldst thou fall in thy youth, king of streamy Sora!” Frothal heard the words of Fingal, and saw the rising maid: they* stood in silence, in their beauty, like twc young trees of the plain, when the shower of spring is on their leaves, and the loud winds are laid. Daughter of Herman, said Frothal, didst thou come from Tora's streams? didst thou come in thy beauty to behold thy warrior low But he was low before the mighty, maid of the slow-rolling eye | The feeble did not overcome the son of car-borne Annirl Terrible art thou, O king of Morven! in battles of the spear. But, in peace, thou art like the sun when he looks through a silent shower: the flowers lift their fair heads before him; the gales shake their rustling wings. Othat thou

* Frothal and Utha. AQ

wert in Sora! that my feast were spread: The future kings of Sora would see thy arms and rejoice. They would rejoice at the same of their fathers, who behela the mighty Fingal' Son of Annir, replied the king, the same of Sora's race shall be heard ' When chiefs are strong in war, then does the song arise! But if their swords are stretched over the feeble ; if the blood of the weak has stained their arms; the bard shall forget them in the song, and their tombs shall not be known. The stran. ger shall come and build there, and remove the heaped. up earth. An half-worn sword shall rise before him; bending above it, he will say, “These are the arms of the chiefs of old, but their names are not in song.” Come thou, O Frothal' to the feast of Inistore: let the maid of thy love be there; let our faces brighten with iov' J Fingal took his spear, moving in the steps of his might. The gates of Carric-thura are opened wide. The feast of shells is spread. The soft sound of music arose. Gladness brightened in the hall. The voice of Ullin was heard; the harp of Selma was strung. Utha rejoiced in his presence, and demanded the o of grief; the big tear hung in her eye when the so Crimora spoke. Crimora, the daughter of Rinval, who dwelt at Lotha's roaring stream! The tale was long, but lovely; and pleased the blushing Utha. Crimora. Who cometh from the hill, like a cloud tinged with the beam of the west ? Whose voice is that, loud as the wind, but pleasant as the harp of Carril It is my love in the light of steel; but sad is his darkened brow! Live the mighty race of Fingai" or what darkens Connal’s soul ? Connal. They live. They return from the chase like a stream of light. The sun is on their shields. Like a ridge of fire they descend the hill. Loud is the

« PreviousContinue »