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Where, o'er the stream the knarred oak reclin'd,
On Mora's stream-worn side, dost thou not see,
And now I strike my harp, and strike again;
Forc'd by the northern blast, heav'n's gates unfold, Their cloudy valves, and I aloft behold Fingal in arms, dim gleaming to the sight, That mighty form once terrible in fight! But now the chief, a phantom light as air, Is like a mist, through which dew-bath'd appear The twinkling stars—his shield a moon decay'd— A half-extinguish'd fire his dreaded blade— An unsubstantial shadow, thin and wan, With but th' external figure of a man,— A fleeting vapour, wanders through the sky, The ghost of him, who once made armies fly.
But though the valiant dread no more his form, In darkness clad, he rides the desart storm; The winds are in his hand; the sun he rolls In gloomy mists, and veils in night the poles; His lightnings fly, the skies descend in show'rs And trembling mortals own superior pow'rs. Yet when in mildness, issuing from his bow'r, He fans with balmy gales the morning hour; The clouds disperse; in majesty serene Looks forth the sun, and laughing gilds the scene: Each blooming shrub, each dew-bespangled spray, Wave to the breeze, in vernal florets gay; Bright down the vales meand'ring glide the rills, . t < .' And roes swift bounding seek the desart hills.
Again the winds abate, their distant breath, In fainter murmurs, dies along the heath. Delusion mocks, or great Fingal I hear, (His voice hath long been absent from my ear) He calls his son.—" Come Ossian, come away! "Thou must at length the debt of nature pay! "Then join those friends, whose never-dying praise "Shall in thy songs descend to future days. "Though short, our lives were bright: like flames that cast "A temporary blaze, we shone—then past. "But though extinct, and silent are the plains "That echo'd once; we live still in thy strains! "The harp in Selma was not idly strung, "And long shall last the themes our poet sung! "Then come my son! no more delay, but join "Aloft on clouds, the heroes of thy line."
Unconquer'd king of men, I come, I come.' The life of Ossian verges to the tomb. In Selma's hall no more his voice is heard, His steps on Cona's hills have disappear'd; Age summons to repose, the blast may shake These hoary locks, but not from sleep awake! Night closes round.—Depart, O winds! your breath Cannot remove the lethargy of death. When enter'd once the dreary tomb's domain, To rescue thence all human force is vain! Why then this qualm, this unavailing fear, Now that the doom allotted man draws near?
What must befal, the bravest cannot shun!
J. M'Creery, Printer, Houghton-Street, Liverpool.