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that joy may return to my darkened soul, as I lean on the mossy rock. But if thou shouldst fall, I am in the land of strangers; O send thy voice, from thy cloud, to the midst of Inis-huna!"
"Young branch of green-headed Lumon, why dost thou shake in the storm? Often has Cathmor returned, from darkly-rolling wars. The darts of death are but hail to me; they have often rattled along my shield. 1 have risen brightened from battle, like a meteor from a stormy cloud. Return not, fair beam, from thy vale, when the roar of battle grows. Then might the foe escape, as from my fathers of old.
'They told to Son-mor, of Clunar, who was slain by Cormac in fight. Three days darkened Son-mor, over his brother's fall. His spouse beheld the silent king and foresaw his steps in war. She prepared the bow, in secret, to attend her blue-shielded hero. To her dwelt darkness at Atha, when he was not there. From their hundred streams, by night, poured down the sons of Alnecma. They had heard the shield of the king, and their rage arose. In clanging arms, they moved along towards Ullin of the groves. Son-mor struck his shield, at times the leader of the war.
"Far behind followed Sul-allin, over the streamy hills. She was a light on the mountain, when they crossed the vale below. Her steps were stately on the vale, when they rose on the mossy hill. She feared to approach the king, who left her in echoing Atha. But when the roar of battle rose; when host was rolled on host, when Son-mor burnt, like the fire of heaven in clouds, with her spreading hair came Sul-allin, for she trembled for her king. He stopt the rushing strife to save the love of heroes. The foe fled by night; Clunar slept without his blood; the blood which ought to be poured upon the warrior's tomb.
'Nor rose the rage of Son-mor, but his days were sifcnt and dark. Sul-allin wandered by her gray stream, with her tearful eyes. Often did she look on the hero, when he was folded in his thoughts. But she shrunk from his eyes, and turned her lone steps away. Battles rose, like a tempest, and drove the mist from his soul. He beheld with joy, her steps in the hall, and the white rising of her hands on the harp.'
In his arms strode the chief of Atha, to where his shield hung, high, in night: high on a mossy bough over Lubar's streamy roar. Seven bosses rose on the shield; the seven voices of the king, which his warriors received, from the wind, and marked over all the tribes.
On each boss is placed a star of night: Canmathon with beams unshorn; Col-derna rising from a cloud; U-loicho robed in mist; and the soft beam of Cathlin glittering on a rock. Smiling, on its own blue wave, Rel-durath half sinks its western light. The red eye of Berthin looks, through a grove, on the hunter, as he returns, by night, with the spoils of the bounding roe. Wide, in the midst, rose the cloudless beams of Tonthena, that star, which looked by night on the course of the sea-tossed Larthon: Larthon, the first of Bolga's race, who travelled on the winds. White-bosomed spread the sails of the king, towards streamy Inis-fail; dun night was rolled before him, with its skirts of mist. Unconstant blew the winds, and rolled him from wave to wave. Then rose the fiery-haired Ton-thena, and smiled from her parted cloud. Larthon blessed the well-known beam, as it faint gleamed on the deep.
Beneath the spear of Cathmor, rose that voice which awakes the bards. They came, dark winding from every side: each with the sound of his harp. Before him rejoiced the king, as the traveller, in the day of the sun; when he hears, far rolling around, the murmur of mossy streams: streams that burst in the desert, from the rock of roes.
"Why," said Fonar, 'hear we the voice of the king, in the season of his rest? Were the dim forms of thy fathers bending in thy dreams? Perhaps they stand on that cloud, and wait for Fonar's song; often they come to the fields where their sons are to lift the spear. Or shall our voice arise for him who lifts the spear no more; ht that consumed the field, from Momaof the groves V
'' Not forgot is that cloud in war, bard of other times. High shall his tomb rise, on Moi-lena, the dwelling of renown. But, now, roll back my soul to the times of my fathers: to the years when first they rose, on Inishuna's waves. Nor alone pleasant to Cathmor is the remembrance of wood-covered Lumon. Lumon of the streams, the dwelling of white-bosomed maids."
"Lumon* of the streams, thou risest on Fonar's soul! Thy sun is on thy side, on the rocks of thy bending trees. The dun roe is seen from thy furze; the deer lifts its branchy head; for he sees, at times, the hound on the half-covered heath. Slow, on the vale, are the steps of maids; the white-armed daughters of the bow: they lift their blue eyes to the hill, from amidst their wandering locks. Not there is the stride of Larthon, chief of Inis-huna. He mounts the wave on his own dark oak, in Cluba's ridgy bay. That oak which he cut from Lumon, to bound along the sea. The maids turn their eyes away, lest the king should be lowly laid; for never had they seen a ship, dark rider of the wave!
"Now he dares to call the winds, and to mix with the mist of ocean. Blue Inis-fail rose, in smoke; but dark-skirted night came down. The sons of Bolga feared. The fiery-haired Ton-thena rose. Culhin's bay received the ship, in the bosom of its echoing woods. There issued a stream from Duthuma's horrid Cave; where spirits gleamed, at times, with their half-finished forms.
* A hill, in lms-huna, near the residence of Sul-maUe.
"Dreams descended on Larthon: he saw seven spirits of his fathers. He heard their half-formed words, and dimly beheld the times to come. He beheld the kings of Atha, the sons of future days. They led their hosts along the field, like ridges of mist, which winds pour in autumn, over Atha of the groves.
'Larthon raised the hall of Semla, to the music of the harp. He went forth to the roes of Erin, to their wonted streams. Nor did he forget grcen-hcaded Lu-mon; he often bounded over his seas, to where white-handed Flathal looked from the hill of roes. Lumon of the foamy streams, thou risest on Fonar's soul!"
Mourning pours from the east. The misty heads of the mountains rise. Valleys show, on every side, the gray winding of the streams. His host heard the shield of Cathmor: at once they rose around; like a crowded sea, when first it feels the wings of the wind. The waves know not whither to roll; they lift their troubled heads.
Sad and slow retired Sul-malla toLona of the streams. She went, and often turned; her blue eyes rolled in tears. But when she came to the rock, that darkly covered Lona's vale, she looked, from her bursting soul, on the king; and sunk, at once, behind.
Son of Alpin, strike the string. Is there aught of joy in the harp? Pour it then on the soul of Ossian: it is folded in mist. I hear thee, O bard! in my night. But cease the lightly-trembling sound. The joy of grief belongs to Ossian, amidst his dark-brown )ears.
Green thorn of the hill of ghosts, that shakest thy head to nightly winds! I hear no sound in thee; is there no spirit's windy skirt now rustling in thy leaves? Often are the steps of the dead, in the dark-eddying blasts; when the moon, a dun shield, from the east, is rolled along the sky.
Ullin, Carril, and Ryno, voices of the days of old! Let me hear you, while yet it is dark, to please and awake my soul. I hear you not, ye sons of song; ia what hall of the clouds is your rest? Do you touch the shadowy harp, robed with morning mist, where the rustling sun comes forth from his green-headed waves 1