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Lathmon, a British prince, taking advantage of Fingal’s abseuce on an expedition to Ireland, made a descent on Morven, and advanced within sight of Selma, the royal residence. Fingal ar. rived in the mean time, and Lathmon retreated to a hill, where his army was surprised by ". and himself taken prisoner by Ossian and Gaul the son of Morni. The poem opens with the first appearance of Fingal on the coast of Morven, and ends, it may be supposed, about noon the next day.

SELMA, thy halls are silent. There is no sound in the woods of Morven. The wave tumbles along on the coast. The silent beam of the sun is on the field. The daughters of Morven come forth, like the bow of the shower; they look towards green Erin for the white sails of the king. He had promised to return, but the winds of the north arose !

Who pours from the eastern hill, like a stream of darkness It is the host of Lathmon. He has heard of the absence of Fingal. He trusts in the winds of the north. His soul brightens with joy. Why dost thou come, O Lathmon? The mighty are not in Sel. ma. Why comest thou with thy forward spear ! Will the daughters of Moven fight? But stop, O mighty stream, in thy course ! Does not Lathmon behold these sails? Why dost thou vanish, Lathmon, like the mist of the lake But the squally storm is behind thee; Fingal pursues thy steps'

The king of Morven had started from sleep, as we rolled on the dark-blue wave. He stretched his hand to his spear, his heroes rose around. We knew that he bad seen his fathers, for they often descended to his dreams, when the sword of the foe rose over the land" and the battle darkened before us. “Whither hast thou fled, O windo’ said the king of Morven. “Dost thou rustle in the chambers of the south o pursuest thou the shower in other lands ! Why dost thou not come to my sails? to the blue face of my seas The foe is in the land of Morven, and the king is absent far. But let each bind on his mail, and each assume his shield. Stretch every spear over the wave; let every sword be unsheathed. Lathmon is before us with his host; he that fled from Fingal on the plains of Lona. But he returns like a collected stream, and his roar is between our hills.” Such were the words of Fingal. We rushed into Carmon's bay. Ossian ascended the hill! he thrice struck his bossy shield. The rock of Morven replied: the bounding roes came forth. The foe was troubled in my presence: he collected his darkened host. I stood like a cloud on the hill, rejoicing in the arms of my youth. Morni sat beneath a tree. on the roaring waters of Strumon: his locks of age are gray: he leans forward on his staff; young Gaul is near the hero, hearing the battles of his father. Often did he rise in the fire of his soul, at the mighty deeds of Morni. The aged heard the sound of Ossian's shield; he knew the sign of war. He started at once from his place. His gray hair parted on his back. He remembered the deeds of other years. “My son,” he said, to fair-haired Gaul, “I hear the sound of war. The king of Morven is returned; his signals are spread on the wind. Go to the halls of Strumon; bring his arms to Morni. Bring the shield of my father's latter years, for my arm begins to faii. Take thou thy armor, O Gauls and rush to the first of thy battles. Let thine arm reach to the renown of *hy fathers. Be thy course in the field like the eagle's wing. Why shouldst thou fear death, my son thu valiant fall with famg; their shields turn the dark stream of danger away; renown dwells on their aged hairs. Dost thou not see, O Gaull how the steps of - my age are honored Morni moves forth, and the young men meet him, with silent joy, on his course. But I never fled from danger, my son' my sword lightened through the darkness of war. The stranger melted before me; the mighty were blasted in my presence.” Gaul brought the arms to Morni: the aged warrior is covered with steel. He took the spear in his hand, which was stained with the blood of the valiant. He came towards Fingal; his son attended his steps. The son of Comhal arose before him with joy, when he came in his locks of age. “Chief of the roaring Strumon s” said the rising soul of Fingal; “do I behold thce in arms, after thy strength has failed ! Often has Morni shone in fight, like the beam of the ascending sun; when he disperses the storms of the hill, and brings peace to the glittering fields. But why didst thou not rest in thine age 2 Thy renown is in the song. The people behold thee, and bless the departure of mighty Morni. Why didst thou not rest in thine age The foe will vanish before Fingals” “Son of Comhal,” replied the chief, “the strength of Morni's arm has failed. I attempt to draw the sword of my youth, but it remains in its place. I throw the spear, but it falls short of the mark. I feel the weight of my shield. We decay like the grass of the hill; our strength returns no more. I have a son, O Fingal' his soul has delighted in Morni's deeds; but his sword has not been lifted against a foe, neither has his fame begun. I come with him to the war; to direct his arm in fight. His renown will be a light to my scul. in the dark hour of my departure. O that the name of Morni were forgot among the people! that the heroes would only say, ‘Behold the father of Gaull’.” “King of Strumon,” Fingal replied, “Gaul shall list the sword in fight. But he shall lift it before Fingal; my arm shall defend his youth. But rest thou in the halls of Selma, and hear of our renown. Bid the harp to be strung, and the voice of the bard to arise, that those who fall may rejoice in their fame, and the soul of Morni brighten with joy. Ossian, thou hast fought in battles: the blood of strangers is on thy spear: thy course be with Gaul in the strife; but depart not from the side of Fingal, lest the foe should find you alone, and your fame fail in my presence.” “* I saw Gaul in his arms; my soul was mixed with his. The fire of the battle was in his eyes! he looked to the foe with joy. We spoke the words of friendship in secret; the lightning of our swords poured together; for we drew them behind the wood, and tried the strength of our arms on the empty air!” Night came down on Morven. Fingal sat at the beam of the oak. Morni sat by his side with all his gray-waving locks. Their words were of other times, of the mighty deeds of their fathers. Three bards, at times, touched the harp: Ullin was near with his song: He sung of the mighty Comhal; but darkness gathered on Morni’s brow. He rolled his red eye on Ullin: at once ceased the song of the bard. Fingal observed the aged hero, and he mildly spoke: “Chief of Struin n, why that darkness? Let the days of other years be forgot. Our fathers contended in war; but we meet together at the feast. Our swords are turned on the foe of our land: he melts before us on the field.

* Ossian speaks.

Let the days of our fathers be forgot, hero of mossy
Strumon ''' -
* King of Morven,” replied the chief, “I remember
thy father with joy. He was terrible in battle, the rage
of the chief was deadly. My eyes were full of tears
when the king of heroes fell. The valiant fall, O Fin-
gall the feeble remain on the hills! How many heroes
have passed away in the days of Morni! Yet I did not
shun the battle; neither did I fly from the strife of the
valiant. Now let the friends of Fingal rest, for the
night is around, that they may rise with strength to
battle against car-borne Lathmon. I hear the sound
of his host, like thunder moving on the hills. Ossian!
and fair-haired Gaull ye are young and swift in the
race. Observe the foes of Fingal from that woody
hill. But approach them not: your fathers are near
to shield you. Let not your fame fall at once. The
valor of youth may fail s”
We heard the words of the chief with joy. We
moved in the clang of our arms. Our steps are on
the woody hill. Heaven burns with all its stars. The
meteors of death fly over the field. The distant noise
of the foe reached our ears. It was then Gaul spoke,
in his valor: his hand half unsheathed his sword.
“Son of Fingals” he said, “why burns the soul of
Gaul ? my heart beats high. My steps are disordered;
my hand trembles on my sword. When I look to.
wards the foe, my soul lightens before me. I see their
sleeping host. Tremble thus the souls of the valiant
in battles of the spear ! How would the soul of Morni
wise if we should rush on the foe Our renown would
grow in song: our steps would be stately in the eyes
of the brave.”
“Son of Morni,” I replied, “my soul delights in war.
I delight to shine in battle alone, to give my name to
the bards. But wha. is the foe should prevail can I


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