Page images
PDF

THE DEATH OF CUTHULLIN.

ARGUMENT.

Cuthullin, after the arms of Fol had expelled Swaran from Ire.

land, continued to manage the affairs of that kingdom as the floo of Cormac the young king. In the third year of Cuthullin's administration, Torlath, the son of Cantela, rebelled in Connaught; and advanced to Temora to dethrone Cormac, Cuthullin marched against him, came up with him at the lake of §. and totally defeated his sorces. Torlath fell in battle by Cuthullin's hand; but as he too eagerly pressed on the enemy, he was mortally wounded. The affairs of Cormac, though, for some time supported by Nathos, as mentioned in the preceding em, fell into confusion at the death of Çuthullin. Cormac mself was slain by the rebel Cairbar; and the re-establishment of the royal family of Ireland, by Fingal, furnishes the subject of the epic poem of Temora.

Is the wind on the shield of Fingal? Or is the voice of past times in my hall ! Sing on, sweet voices for thou art pleasant. Thou carriest away my night with joy. Sing on, O Bragéla, daughter of car-borne Sorglan

“It is the white wave of the rock, and not Cuthulin’s sails. Often do the mists deceive me for the ship of my love when they rise round some ghost, and spread their gray skirts on the wind. Why dost thou delay thy coming, son of the generous Semo 2 Four times has autumn returned with its winds, and raised the seas of Togorma,” since thou hast been in the roar of battles, and Bragéla distant far ! Hills of the isle of mist ! when will ye answer to his hounds ! But ye are dark in your clouds. Sad Bragéla calls in vain Night comes rolling down. The face of ocean falls. The heath-cock's head is beneath his wing. The hind

*Togorma, i.e. “the island of blue waves,” one of the He brides.

sleeps with the hart of the desert. . They shall rise with morning's light, and feed by the mossy stream. But my tears return with the sun. My sighs come on with the night. When wilt thou come in thine arms, O chief of Erin's wars ?” Pleasant is thy voice in Ossian's ear, daughter of car-borne Sorglan' But retire to the hall of shells, to the beam of the burning oak. Attend to the murmur of the sea: it rolls at Dunscăi's walls: let sleep descend on thy blue eyes. Let the hero arise in hy dreams ? Cuthullin sits at Lego's lake, at the dark rolling of waters. Night is arou the hero. His thousands spread on the leath. A hundred oaks burn in the midst. The feast of , i.e. s is smoking wide. Carril strikes the harp beneath a tree. His gray locks glitter in the beam. The rustling blast of night is near, and lists his aged hair. His song is of the blue Togorma, and of its chief, Cuthullin's friend “Why art thou absent, Connal, in the days of the gloomy storm The chiefs of the south have convened against the car-borne Cormac. The winds detain thy sails. Thy blue waters roll around thee. But Cormac is not alone. The son of Semo fights, his wars' Semo's son his battles fights! the terror of the stranger He that is like the vapor of death, slowly borne by sultry winds. The sun reddens in its presence; the people fall around.” Such was the song of Carril, when a son of the foe appeared. He threw down his pointless spear. He spoke the words of Torlath; Torlath, chief of heroes, from Lego's sable surge ' He that led his thousands to battle, against car-borne Cormac. Cormac, who was distant far, in Temora's echoing halls: he learned to bend the bow of his fathers; and to lift the spear. Nor long didst thou lift the spear, mildly-shining

[graphic]

beam of jouth ! death stands dim behind thee, like the darkened half of the moon behind its growing light. Cuthullin rose before the bard, that came from generous Torlath. He offered him the shell of joy. He honored the son of songs. “Sweet voice of Lego P’ he said, “what are the words of Torlath Comes he to our feast or battle, the car-borne son of Cantela 2’’ “He comes to thy battle,” replied the bard, “to the sounding strife of spears. When morning is gray on Lego, Torlath will fight on the plain. Wilt thou meet him, in thine arms, king of the isle of mist Terrible is the spear of Torlath ! it is a meteor of night. He lifts it, and the people fall ! death sits in the lightning of his sword s”—“Do I fear,” replied Cuthullin, “the spear of car-borne Torlath He is brave as a thousand heroes: but my soul delights in war ! The sword rests not by the side of Cuthullin, bard of the times of old ! Morning shall meet me on the plain, and gleam on the blue arms of Semo's son. But sit thou on the heath, O bard, and let us hear thy voice. Partake of the joyful shell: and hear the songs of Temora !” “This is no time,” replied the bard, “to hear the song of joy: when the mighty are to meet in battle, like the strength of the waves of Lego. Why art thou so dark, Slimora! with all thy silent woods No star trembles on thy top. No moonbeam on thy side. But the meteors of death are there : the gray watery forms of ghosts. Why art thou dark, Slimora! why thy silent woods 7" He retired, in the sound of his song. Carril joined his voice. The music was like the mem. ory of joys that are past, pleasant and mournful to the soul. The ghosts of departed bards heard on Slimora's wide. Soft sounds spread along the wood. The silent volleys of night rejoice. So when he sits in the silence **

« PreviousContinue »