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“Can the vanquished carry joy! Ossian, no shield is mine ! It lies broken on the field. The eagle-wing of my helmet is torn. It is when foes fly before them, that fathers delight in their sons. But their sighs burst forth, in secret, when their young warriors yield. No : Fillan shall not behold the king ! Why should the hero mourn ?” “Son of blue-eyed Clatho O Fillan, awake not my soul! Wert thou not a burning fire before him Shall he not rejoice Such fame belongs not to Ossian; yet is the king still a sun to me. He looks on my steps with joy. Shadows never rise on his face. Ascend, O Fillan, to Mora! His feast is spread in the folds of mist.” “Ossian give me that broken shield: those feath. ers that are rolled in the wind. Place them near to Fillan, that less of his fame may fall. Ossian, I begin to fail. Lay me in that hollow rock. Raise no stone above, lest one should ask about my fame. I am fallen in the first of my fields, fallen without renown. Let thy voice alone send joy to my flying soul. Why should the bard know where dwells the lost beam of Clatho o'? “Is thy spirit on the eddying winds, O Fillan, young breaker of shields. Joy pursue my hero, through his folded clouds. The forms of thy fathers, O Fillan, bend to receive their son l l behold the spreading of their fire on Mora: the blue-rolling of their wreaths. Joy meet thee, my brother! But we are dark and sad? | behold the foe round the aged. I behold the wastin away of his fame. Thou art left alone in the field, gray-haired king of Selma P’ I laid him in the hollow rock, at the roar of the nightly stream. One red star looked in on the hero. Winds lift, at times, his locks. I listen. No sound is neard. The warrior slept! As lightning on a cloud,
a nought came rushing along my soul. My eyes roll in fire : my stride was in the clang of steel. “I will find thee, king of Erin' in the gathering of thy thousands find thce. Why should that cloud escape, that quenched our early beam Kindle your meteors on your hills, my fathers. Light my daring steps. I will consume in wrath.* But should not l return ? The king is without a son, gray-haired among his foes! His arm is not as in the days of old. His fame grows dim in Erin. Let me not behold him, laid low in his latter field.—But can I return to the king Will he
not ask about his son 2 “Thou oughtest to defend
young Fillan.”—Ossian will meet the foe! Green
* Her the sentence is designedly left unfinished. The sense is, not he was resolved, like a destroying fire, to consume C.thmor, w!, had killed his brother. In the midst of this resolution, the sitt auon of Fingal suggests itself to him in a very strong light. He .e. olves to return to assist the king in prosecuting the war. ...But then his shame for not defending his brother recurs to him. He is determined again to go and find out Çathmor. We may consider him as in the act of advancing towards the eneray, when the horn of Fingal sounded on Mora, and called back people to his Wresence.
456 THE POEMS OF OSSLAn.
heard. What could I say to Fingal in this hour of
hunter slept; he lay upon his shield. No blast came
the awful memory of ghosts whose presence was ter. rible; but they blew the storm away. Now let the voices of Erin" raise the soul of the king; he that shone when war was dark, and laid the mighty low. Fonar, from that gray-browed rock pour the tale of other times: pour it on wide-skirted Erin, as it set ties round. “To me,” said Cathmor, “no song shall rise ; nor Fonar sit on the rock of Lubar. The mighty there are laid low. Disturb not their rushing ghosts. Far, Malthos, far remove the sound of Erin's song. I rejoice not over the foe, when he ceases to lift the spear. With morning we pour our strength abroad. Finga is wakened on his echoing hill.” Like waves, blown back by sudden winds, Erin retired, at the voice of the king. Deep, rolled into the field of night, they spread their humming tribes. Beneath his own tree, at intervals, each bard sat down with his harp. They raised the song, and touched the string: each to the chies he loved. Before a burning oak Sul-malla touched, at times, the harp. She touched the harp, and heard, between, the breezes in her hair. ln darkness near lay the king of Atha, beneath an aged tree. The beam of the oak was turned from bim ; he saw the maid, but was not seen. His soul poured forth, in secret, when he beheld her fearful eye. “But battle is before thee, son of Horbar-duthul.” Amidst the harp, at intervals, she listened wheth time warrior slept. Her soul was up ; she longed, i secret, to pour her own sad song. The field is silent. On their wings the blasts of night retire. The bards had ceased; and meteors came, red-winding with their ghosts. The sky grew dark : the forms of the dead were blended with the clouds. But heedless bends the
* A poetical expression for the bards of Ireland.