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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,

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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
Elin, thy sounding tread is pleasant to my ear. I rush
on thy ridgy host, to shun the eyes of Fingal. I hear
the voice of the king, on Mora's misty top ! He calls
his two sons ! I come, my father, in my grief. I
come like an eagle, which the flame of night met in
the desert, and spoiled of half his wings
Distant, round the king, on Mora, the broken ridges
of Morven are rolled. They turned their eyes: each
darkly bends, on his own ashen spear. Silent stood
the king in the midst. Thought on thought rolled over
his soul: as waves on a secret mountain lake, each
with its back of foam. He looked; no son appeared,
with his long-beaming spear. The sighs rose, crowd-
ing, from his soul; but he concealed his grief. At
length l stood beneath an oak. No voice of mine was

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* 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.

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456 THE POEMS OF OSSLAn.

heard. What could I say to Fingal in this hour of
wo? His words rose, at length, in the midst: tho
people shrunk backward as he spoke.
“Where is the son of Selma; he who led in war 7
I behold not his steps, among my people, returning
from the field. Fell the young bounding roe, who was
so stately on my hills He fe'll for ye are silent.
The shield of war is cleft in twain. Let his armor
be near to Fingal; and the sword of dark-brown Luno.
I am waked on my hills; with morning I descend to
war !”
High on Cormul’s rock, an oak is flaming to the
wind. The gray skirts of mist are rolled around;
thither strode the king in his wrath. Distant from the
host he always lay, when battle burnt within his soul.
On two spears hung his shield on high; the gleaming
sign of death! that shield, which he was wont to strike,
by night, before he rushed to war. It was then his
warriors knew when the king was to lead in strife;
for never was his buckler heard, till the wrath of Fin-
gal arose. Unequal were his steps on high, as he
shone on the beam of the oak ; he was dreadful as the
form of the spirit of night, when he clothes, on hills,
his wild gestures with mist, and, issuing forth, on the
troubled ocean, mounts the car of winds.
Nor settled, from the storm, is Erin's sea of war !
they glitter, beneath the moon, and, low humming, still
roll on the field. Alone are the steps of Cathmor, be.
fore them on the heath: he hangs forward, with all
his arms, on Morven's flying host. Now had he come
to the mossy cave, where Fillan lay in night. One
tree was bent above the stream, which glittered over
the rock. There shone to the moon the broken shield
of Clatho's son; and near it, on grass, lay hairy-footed
Bran. He had missed the chief on Mora, and searched
him along the wind. He thought that the blue-eyed

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hunter slept; he lay upon his shield. No blast came
over the heath unknown to bounding Bran.
Cathmor saw the white-breasted dog; he saw the
broken shield. Darkness is blown back on his soul ;
ae remembers the falling away of the people. They
came, a stream; are rolled away; another race suc-
ceeds. But some mark the fields, as they pass, with
their own mighty names. The heath, through dark-
orown years, is theirs; some blue stream winds to
their fame. Of these be the chief of Atha, when he
lays him down on earth. Often may the voice of future
"imes meet Cathmor in the air ; when he strides from
wind to wind, or folds himself in the wing of a storm.
Green Erin gathered round the king to hear the
soice of his power. Their joyful faces bend unequal,
forward, in the light of the oak. They who were ter-
rible, were removed; Lubar winds again in their host.
Cathmol was that beam from heaven, which shone
when his people were dark. He was honored in the
midst. Their souls arose with ardor around. The
king alone no gladness showed; no stranger he to
wors
“Why is the king so sad?” said Malthos, eagle-
eyed. “Remains there a foe at Lubar? Lives there
among them who can lift the spear ! Not so peaceful
was thy father, Borbar-duthul, king of spears. His
rage was a fire that always burned : his joy over fallen
#. was great. Three days feasted the gray-haired
ero, when he heard that Calmar fell : Calmar who
aided the race of Ullin, from Lara of the streams.
Often did he feel, with his hands, the steel which they
said had pierced his foe. He felt it with his hands,
for Borbar-duthul's eyes had failed. Yet was the king
a sun to his friends; a gale to lift their branches
round. Joy was around him in his halls: he loved
the sons of Bolga. His name remains in Atha, like

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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.

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