Page images
PDF
EPUB

Oscur stood forth to meet him; smy son would meet the foe. But Fingal came in his strength, and smiled at the vaunter's boast. They threw their arms round each other; they struggled on the plain. The earth is ploughed with theirheels. Their bones crack as the boat on the ocean, when it leaps from wave to wave. Long did they toil; with night, they fell on the sounding plain; as two oaks, with their branches mingled, fall crashing from the hill. The tall son of Morny is bound; the aged overcame.

Fair with her locks of gold, her smooth neck, and her breasts of snow; fair, as the spirits of the hill when at silent noon they glide along the heath; fair, as the rain-bow of heaven; came Minvane the maid. Fingal! she softly saith, loose me my brother Gaul. Loose me the hope of my race, the terror ror of all but Fingal. Can I, replies the King, can I deny the lovely daughter of the hill? take thy brother, O Minvane, thou fairer than the snow of the north!

Such, Fingal! were thy words; but thy words I hear no more. Sightless I fit by thy tomb. I hear the wind in the wood; but no more I hear my friends. The cry of the hunter is over. The voice of war is ceased.

HTVHou alkest, fair daughter of the

IX.

-Tr\ Tt iflr&sr

ifle§! whose memory is preserved in these tombs? The memory of Ronjian the bold, and Connan the ctiief of men; and of her, the fairest of maids, Rivine the lovely and the good. The wing of time is laden with care. Every moment hath woes of its own. Why .seek we our grief from afar? or give our tears to those of other times? But thou commandest, and I obey, O fair daughter of the isles!

Con Ar was mighty in war. Caul was the friend of strangers. His gates were open to all; midnight darkened not on his barred door. Both lived upon the sons of the mountains. Their bow .was the support of the poor.

F Connan

Conn An was the image of Conar's foul. Caul was renewed in Ronnan his son. Rivine the daughter of Conar was the love of Ronnan; her brother Con.nan was his friend. She was fair as the harvest-moon setting in the seas of Molochasquir. 'Her soul was settled on Ronnan; the youth was the dream of her nights.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Rivi^e, my love! fays Ronnan, I go to my king in Norway *. A year and j a day shall brthg me back. Wilt thou be true to Ronnan?

Ronnan! a year and a day I will spend in sorrow. Ronnan, behave'like a man,. and my soul shall exult in thy .valour. Connan my friend, says Ronnan, wilt thou preserve Rivine thy si- 1 ster? Durstan is in love with the maid;

* Supposed to be Fergus II. This fragment is reckoned not altogether so ancient as most of the rest.

and

and soon shall the sea bring the stranger to our coast.

Ronnan, I will defend: Do thou securely go. He went. He returned on his day.. But Durstan returned before him.

Give me thy daughter, Conar, fays Durstan ; or fear and feel my power.

He who dares attempt my sister, says> Connan, must meet this'edge of steel. Unerring in battle is my arm: my sword, as the lightning of heaven.

Ronnan the warriour came; and much he threatened Durstan.

But, faith Euran the servant of gold, Ronnan! by the gate of the north shall Durstan this night carry thy fairone away. Accursed, answers RonF 2 nan,

« PreviousContinue »