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« His head now freed, he tosses to the skies,
“ He snuffs the females on the distant plain,
“ Hast thou given the horse strength?-He paweth in “ the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength."
Job, xxxix. 19. 21. - Arrectisque fremit cervicibus alte “ Luxurians, luduntque jubæ per colla per armos."
But the description of Moina's ghost, suggested professedly by Virgil's Dido, is unexpectedly improved.
"Agnovitque per umbram,
Fingal', 1. snow, and th
« She was like the new moon seen through the gathered “mist, when the sky pours down its flaky snow, and the · « world is silent and dark.” Fingal's description of the
fallen Balclutha is truly poetical. “I have seen the walls w of Balclutha, but they were desolate. The stream of “ Clutha was removed from its place by the fall of the “ walls. The thistle shook there its lonely head; the moss “ whistled to the winds. The fox looked out from the “ windows; the rank grass of the walls waved around its “ head." i. 82. Here, however, we discover the imitations of scattered passages happily improved. “ The thorn 6 and the thistle shall come up on their altars.” Hosea, X. 18. ~ Because of the mountain of Zion, which is deso“ late; the foxes walk on it.” Lam. v. 18. “ The cor“ morant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of “ it; their voice shall sing in the windows :" Zeph. ii. 14. combined with an image from Pope:
: “ The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires,
WINDSOR FOREST. But when he proceeds, “why dost thou build thy hall, * son of the winged days; thou lookest from thy towers “ to day, yet a few years, and the blast of the desert “ comes ;” the morality of the divine, afraid to allude directly to a future state, is imperfectly concealed ; and Fingal is recalled, from the sublime reflections of Job on our present short existence, to a convivial sentiment of absurd bombast; to rejoice in the shell, that when the blast of the desert should come, his fame would survive the sun. To me it appears that here, and in the address to the sun, the author has inserted some favourite ideas from his college exercises at the Divinity hall. The beginning is derived from Satan's address to the sun in Milton. “O thou that “ rollest above, round as the shield of my fathers, whence u are thy beams, o sun! thy everlasting light? Thou “ comest forth in thy awful beauty! the stars hide them“ selves in the sky; the moon, cold and pale, sinks in the “ western wave ; but thou thyself movest alone, who can be “ the companion of thy course !"
“ O thou, that with surpassing glory crowned,
O" Two broad sụns, their shields
« The moon which rose last night, round as my shield.”
The broad sun compared inversely to a round shield; the stars that hide themselves (their diminished heads) at his approach ; in his awful beauty moving alone, or with surpassing glory crowned, in sole dominion ; his everlasting light, like the God of this new world; are obvious imitations, which it is impossible to mistake. “ Whence are thy “ beams, O sun ! thy everlasting light,” though a natural transition of the divine to its eternal source, is preposterous in Ossian, who, believing its light everlasting, could have no conception of its creation, nor a suspicion from whence it proceeded. “ The oaks of the mountains fall; the “ mountains themselves decay with years,” is a philosophical or scriptural allusion, as remote from Ossian's sphere of observation, as the earthquakes that shake green Erin “ from side to side."-" The ocean shrinks and grows “ again ; the moon herself is lost in heaven ; but thou art for “ever the same; rejoicing in the strength of thy courses “ But to Ossian thou lookest in vain, for he beholds thy beams o no more.”
“ But thou
Samson AGONISTES. “ He rejoiceth in his strength.” JOB.
Not satisfied with creating a third blind, epic bard, like Homer and Milton, the translator has appropriated the same passages to Ossian: he is placed, like Sarıson, where the sun delights to shine; and Malvina, like Milton's Urania, visits his slumber nightly with her song. In the concluding paragraph, the divine recurs. “ But thou art perhaps like “ me, for a season; thy years will have an end ;" a favourite idea already repeated in the same poem ; “When thou! “ sun of heaven shalt fail, if thou shalt fuil thou mighty “light! if thy brightness is for a season like Fingal, our “ fame shall survive thy beams;" is derived from a source · that would little be suspected.
“ When those fair suns shall set, as set they must,
RAPE OF THE Lock,
An intimation that the sun is only for a season, and may be extinguished like the life of man, must suggest the idea
of its author, if not of a future state, to the most untu· tored mind. But as that would encroach on the province of the Druids, or in other words, would betray a dangerous glimpse of the divine, the sun is desired to “ exult in the “strength of his youth, for age is dark and unlovely. It “ is like the glimmering light of the moon, when it shines “ through broken clouds and the mist is on the hills; the blast “ of the north is on the plain, and the traveller shrinks in $ midst of his journey ;” a professed imitation of Virgil's,
« Quale per incertam funam sub luce maligna
“ Jupiter, et rebus nox abstulit atra colorem.”
"? By the moon's doubtful and malignant light;
" When Jove in dusky clouds involves the skies; .
» “ And the feint crescent shoots by fits before their eyes."
5. Of the lesser poems, Oithona opens with the conclu- The lesser sion of Hardiknute; “ There is no sound in the hall, no poems. “ long streaming beam of light comes trembling through “ the gloom.”
“ There's nae light in my ladie's bower,
and contains some curious imitations, one of which the
“ Why did I not pass away in secret, like the flower of “the rock that lifts its fair head unseen, and strews its “ withered leaves on the blast;" at once an imitation of Catullus and Gray.
“ Ut flos in septis, secretus nascitur hortis." . “ Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
“ And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”
In the Five Bards, produced in a note, as a poem a thousand years later than Ossian, “ The wind is up; the 56 shower descends; the spirit of the mountains shrieks; “ windows flap; the growing river roars; the traveller at“ tempts the ford: Hark that shriek! he dies;” į. 133. a part is taken from Blair's Grave.