« PreviousContinue »
course? the heart of the aged beats over theo Pic
sees thy coming wars of: wars which ought to
come he sees | They are cut off from thy fame! When
shall joy dwell at Selma When shall grief depart from
Morven My sons fall by degrees: Fingal is the last
of his race. My fame begins to o away. Mine
age will be without friends. I shall sit a gray cloud
in my hall. I shall not hear the return of a son, in his
sounding arms. Weep, ye heroes of Morven never
more shall Oscar rise !”
And they did weep, O Fingals Dear was the hero
to their souls. He went out to battle, and the foes
vanished. He returned in peace, amidst their joy. No
father mourned his son slain in youth: no brother his
brother of love. They fell without tears, for the chief
of the people is low ! Bran is howling at his feet:
gloomy Luâth is sad ; for he had often led them to the
chase; to the bounding roe of the desert!
When Oscar saw his friends around, his heaving
breast arose. “The groans,” he said, “of aged chiefs;
the howling of my dogs; the sudden bursts of the song
of grief, have melted Oscar's soul. My soul, that
never melted before. It was like the steel of my sword.
Ossian, carry me to my hills Raise the stones of my
renown. Place the horn of a deer: place my sword
by my side. The torrent hereafter may raise the earth:
the hunter may find the steel, and say, ‘This has been
Oscar's sword, the pride of other years!’” “Fallest
thou, son of my fame? shall I never see thee, Oscar
When others hear of their sons, shall I not hear of
thee ? The moss is on thy four gray stones. The
mournful wind is there. The battle shall be fought
without thee. Thou shalt not pursue the dark-brown
hinds. When the warrior returns from battles, and
tells of other lands; ‘l have seen a tomb,” he will
say, ‘by the roaring stream, the dark dwelling of a
chief. He fell by car-borne Oscar, the first of mortal
men.” I, perhaps, shall hear his voice. A beam of
Joy wil. rise in my soul.”
Night would have descended in sorrow, and morn.
ing returned in the shadow of grief. Our chiefs would
have stood, like cold-dropping rocks on Moi-lena, and
have forgot the war; did not the king disperse his grief,
and raise his mighty voice. The chiefs, as new-wakened
from dreams, lift up their heads around.
“How long on Moi-lena shall we weep 2 How long
pour in Erin our tears The mighty will not return.
Oscar shall not rise in his strength. The valiant must
fall in their day, and be no more known on their hills.
Where are our fathers, O warriors the chiefs of the
times of old They have set, like stars that have
shone. We only hear the sound of their praise.
But they were renowned in their years: the terror of
other times. Thus shall we pass away, in the day of
our fall. Then let us be renowned when we may ; and
leave our fame behind us, like the last beams of the
sun, when he hides his red head in the west. The
traveller mourns his absence, thinking of the flame of
his beams. Ullin, my aged bard ' take thou the ship
of the king. Carry Oscar to Selma of harps. Let
the daughters of Morven weep. We must fight in
Erin, for the race of fallen Cormac. The days of my
years begin to fail. I feel the weakness of my arm.
My fathers bend from their clouds, to receive their
gray-haired son. But before I go hence, one beam of
same shall rise. My days shall end, as my years be-
gas, in fame. My life shall be one stream of light ‘o
bards of other times 1’’
Ullin raised his white sails. The wind of the south
came forth. He bounded on the waves towards Selma.
I remained in my grief, but my words were not heard.
The feast is spread on Moi-lena. A hundred heroes
reared the tomb of Cairbar. No song is raised over the chief. His soul has been dark and bloody. The bards remembered the fall of Cormac' what could they say in Cairbar's praise Night came rolling down. The light of a hundred oaks arose. Fingal sat beneath a tree. Old Althan stood in the midst. He told the tale of fallen Cormac. Althan the son of Conachar, the friend of car-borne Cuthullin. He dwelt with Cormac in windy Temora, when Semo's son fell at Lego's stream. The tale of Althan was mournful. The tear was in his eye when he spoke. “The setting sun was yellow on Dora. Gray even ing began to descend. Temora’s woods shook with the blast of the inconstant wind. A cloud gathered in the west. A red star looked from behind its edge. I stood in the wood alone. I saw a ghost on the darkening air! His stride extended from hill to hill. His shield was dim on his side. It was the son of Semo I knew the warrior's face. But he passed away in his blast; and all was dark around ! M; soul was sad. I went to the hall of shells. A thousand lights arose. The hundred bards had strung the harp. Cormac stood in the midst, like the morning star, when it rejoices on the eastern hill, and its young beams are bathed in showers. Bright and silent is its progress aloft, but the cloud that shall hide it is near ! The sword of Artho was in the hand of the king. He looked with joy on its polished studs; thrice he attempted to draw it, and thrice he failed; his yellow locks are spread on his shoulders! his cheeks of youth are red. I mourned over the beam of youth, for he was soon to set ! “‘Althan l’ he said with a smile, “ didst thou behold my father ? Heavy is the sword of the king; surely his arm was strong. O that I were like him in battle,
wher. the rage of his wrath arose! then would I have met, with Cuthullin, the car-borne son of Cantéla' But years may come on, O Althan 1 and my arm be strong. Hast thou heard of Semo's son, the ruler of high Te mora ! He might have returned with his fame. He promised to return to-night. My bards wait him with songs. My feast is spread in the hall of kings.” “I heard Cormac in silence. My tears began to slow. I hid them with my aged locks. The king perceived my grief. “Son of Conachar!” he said, “is the son of Semo low Why bursts the sigh in secret? ..Why descends the tear? Comes the car-borne Torlath 2 Comes the sounds of red-haired Cairbar They come! for I behold thy grief. Mossy Tura's chief is low ! Shall I not rush to battle 7 But I cannot lift the spear ! O had mine arm the strength of Cuthullin, soon would Cairbar fly; the fame of my fathers would be renewed ; and the deeds of other times s” “He took his bow. The tears flow down from both his sparkling eyes. Grief saddens round. The bards bend forward, from their hundred harps. The lone blast touched their trembling strings. The sound” is sad and low ! a voice is heard at a distance, as of one in grief. It was Carril of other times, who came from dark Slimora. He told of the fall of Cuthullin. He told of his mighty deeds. The people were scattered round his tomb. Their arms lay on the ground. They had forgot the war, for he their sire, was seen no more “But who,” said the soft-voiced Carril, ‘who come like bounding roes Their stature is like young trees in the valley, growing in a shower! Soft and ruddy ale their cheeks Fearless souls look forth from their
eyes | Who but the sons of Usnoth, chief of streamy Etha The people rise on every side, like the strength of an hi.if extinguished fire, when the winds come, sud. den, from the desert, on their rustling wings. Sudden glows the dark brow of the hill; the passing mariner lags, on his winds. The sound of Caithbat's shield was heard. The warriors saw Cuthullin in Nathos. So rolled his sparkling eyes! his steps were such on the heath. Battles are fought at Lego. The sword of Nathos prevails. Soon shalt thou behold him in thy oalls, king of Temora of groves'
eyed king. “But my soul is sad for Cuthullin His
voice was pleasant in mine ear. Often have we noved,
on Dora, to the chase of the dark-brown hinds. His
bow was unerring on the hills. He spoke of mighty
men. He told of the deeds of my fathers. I felt my
rising joy. But sit thou at thy feast, O Carril' I have
often heard thy voice. Sing in praise of Cuthullin.
Sing of Nathos of Etha!”
“Day rose on Temora, with all the beams of the east.
Crathin came to the ball, the son of old Gelláma. “I
bchold,” he said, ‘a cloud in the desert, king of Erin'
a cloud it seemed at first, but now a crowd of men :
One strides before them in his strength. His red hair
flies in the wind. His shield glitters to the beam of
the east. His spear is in his hand.’——“Call him to
the feast of Temora,” replied the brightening king.
‘My hall is in the house of strangers, son of generous
Gelláma' It is perhaps the chief of Etha, coming in
all his renown. Hail, mighty strangers art thou of
the friends of Cormac But, Carril, he is dark and un-
lovely. He draws his sword. Is that the son of Us.
Loth, bard of the times of old 2’
“‘It is not the son of Usnoth!” said Carril. • It is
Chirbar, thy foe.” “Why comest thou in thy arms to