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Book IV. . sand; the sons of the sword were despised; for gracefui in her eyes was Ossian.
I went, in suit of the maid, to Lego's sable surge : twelve of my people were there, the sons of the streamy Morven. We came to Branno, friend of strangers; Branno of the sounding mail. « From whence," he said, “ are the arms of steel? Not easy to win is the maid that has denied the blue-eyed sons of Erin. But blest be thou, O) son of Fingal. Happy is the maid that waits thee. Though twelve daughters of beauty were mine, thine were the choice, thou son of fame !" Then he opened the hall of the maid, the dark-haired Everallin. Joy kindled in our breasts of steel ; we blest the maid of Branno
Above us on the hall appeared the people of stately Cormac. Eight were the heroes of the chief; and the heath flamed with their arms. There Colla, Durra of the wounds, there mighty Toscar, and Tago, there Frestal the victorious stood; Dairo of the happy deeds, and Dala the battle's bulwark in the narrow way. The stvord flamed in the hand of Cormac, and graceful was the look of the hero.
Eight were the heroes of Ossian; Ullin, stormy son of war; Mullo of the generous deeds; the noble, the graceful Scelacha; Oglan, and Cerdal the wrathful, and Dumarican's brows of death. And why should Ogar be the last; so wide renowned on the hills of Ardven?
Ogar met Dala the strong, face to face on the field of heroes. The battle of the chiefs was like the wind on ocean's foamy waves. The dagger is remembered by Ogar; the weapon which he loved ; nine times be drowned it in Dala's side. The stormy battle turned. Three times I pierced Cormac's shield : three times he broke his spear. But, unhappy youth of love! I cut his head away. Five times I shook it by the lock. The friends of Cormac fled.
Whoever would have told me, lovely maid , when then I strove in battle, that blind, forsaken, and for
% The poet addresses himself to slal vina the daughter of Toscar.
lorn I now should pass the night; firm ought his mail to have been, and unmatched his arm in battle.
Now on Lena's gloomy heath the voice of music died away. The unconstant blast blew hard, and the high oak shook its leaves around me; of Everallin were my thoughts, when she, in all the light of beauty, and her blue eyes rolling in tears, stood on a cloud be. fore my sight, and spoke with feeble voice.
“ O Ossian, rise and save my son; save Oscar chief of men. Near the red oak of Lubar's stream, he fights with Lochlin's sons.” She sunk into her cloud again. I clothed me with my steel. My spear supported my steps, and my rattling armour rung. I hummed, as I was wont in danger, the songs of heroes of old. Like distant thunder - Lochlin heard ; they fed; my son pursued.
I called him like a distant stream. “ My son, return over Lena. No further pursue the foe,” I said, “ though Ossian is behind thee.” He came; and lovely in my car was Oscar's sounding steel. 6 Why didst thou stop my hand," he said, “till death had covered all? For dark and dreadful by the stream they met thy son and Fillan. They watched the terrors of the night. Our swords have conquered some. But as the winds of night pour the ocean over the white sands of Mora, so dark advance the sons of Lochlin over Lena's rustling heath. The ghosts of night shriek afar, and I have seen the meteors of death. Let me awake the king of Morven, he that smiles in danger; for he is like the sun of heaven that rises in a storm."
Fingal had started from a dream, and leaned on Trenmor's shield; the dark brown shield of his fathers, which they had listed of old in the battles of their race. Fulan a
a The poet returns to his subject. If one could fix the time of the year in which the action of the poen happened, from the scene described here, I should be tempted to place it in autumn. The trees shed their leaves, and the winds are variable, both which circumstances agree with that season of the year.
o Ossian gives the reader a nigh idea of himself. His very song frightens the enemy. This passage resembles one is the eighteenth Iliad, where the voice of Achilles nicht, ens the Trojans from the body of Patroclus.
Forth march'd the chief, and distant from the crowd
The hero had seen in his rest the mournful form of chief oi Agandecca; she came from the way of the ocean, and is fan slowly, lonely, moved over Lena. Her face was pales dead like the mist of Cromia ; and dark were the tears of her failing o check. She often raised her dim hand from her robe; * And her robe which was of the clouds of the desart; she is that th raised her dim hand over Fingal, and turned away her my so silent eyes.
" Why weeps the daughter of Starno?" said Fingal, the poi with a sigh. “Why is thy face so pale, thou daughter i behold of the clouds ?” She departed on the wind of Lena; this in t and left him in the midst of the night. She mourned the sons of her people that were to fall by Fingal's 2's of olc hand.
fire slic The hero started from rest, and still beheld her in meer his soul. The sound of Oscar's steps approached. The king saw the grey shield on his side. For the the re faint beam of the morning came over the waters of a them Ullin.
" What do the foes in their fear!” said the rising shan king of Morven. “ Or fly they through ocean's foam, 100ksh or wait they the battle of steel! But why should Fin. oi fam gal ask? I hear their voice on the early wind. Fly On Ciomla ver Lena's heath, O Oscar, and awake our friends to battle.”
The king stood by the stone of Lubar ; and thrice raised his terrible voice. The deer started from the mountains of Cromla ; and all the rocks shook on their hills. Like the noise of a hundred mountain-streams, that burst and roar, and foam; like the clouds that ga. ther to a tempest on the blue face of the sky; so met ist of the sons of the desart, round the terrible voice of Fine gal. For pleasant was the voice of the king of Morven to the warriors of the land; often had he led them to battle, and returned with the spoils of the foe.
" Come to battle, said the king, 6 ye children of the storm. Come to the death of thousands. Comhals Litte son shall see the fight. My sword shall wave on that hill, and be the shield of my people. But never may you need it, warriors, while the son of Morni fignis,
"R Fieldt was
the chief of mighty men. He shall lead my battle ; that his fame may rise in the song. O ye ghosts of heroes dead! ye riders of the storm of Cromla: receive my talling people with joy, and bring them to your hills. And may the blast of Lena carry them over my seas, that they may come to my silent dreams, and delight my soul in rest.
" Fillan and Oscar of the dark-brown hair, fair Ryno, with the pointed steel! advance with valour to the fight; and behold the son of Morni. Let your swords be like his in the strife ; and behold the deeds of his hands. Protect the friends of your father : and remember the chiefs of old. My children, I shall see you yet though here ye should fall in Erin. Soon shall our cold, pale ghosts meet in a cloud, and fly over the hills of Cona."
Now like a dark and stormy cloud, edged round with the red lightning of heaven, and flying westward from the morning's beam, the king of hills removed. Terrible is the light of his armour, and two spears are in his hand. His grey hair falls on the wind. He often looks back on the war. Three bards attend the sou of fame, to carry his words to the heroes. High on Cromla's side he sat, waving the lightning of his sword, and as he waved we moved.
Joy rose in Oscar's face. His cheek is red. His eye sheds tears. The sword is a beam of fire in his hand. He came, and smiling, spoke to Ossian. “O ruler of the fight of steel! my father, hear thy son. Retire with Morven's mighty chief; and give me Ossian's fame. And if here I fall, my king, remember that breast of snow, that lonely sun-beam of my love, the white-handed daughter of Toscar. For, with red cheek from the rock, and bending over the streain, her soft hair flies about her bosom, as she pours the sigh for Oscar. Tell her I am on my hills a lightly bounding son of the wind ; that hereafter in a cloud, I may meet the lovely maid of Toscar."
“ Raise, Oscar, rather raise my tomb. I will not yield the fight to thee. For first and bloodiest in the war my arm shall teach thee how to fight. But, re
member, my son, to place this sword, this bow, and the horn of my deer, within that dark and narrow house, whose mark is one grey stone. Oscar I have no love to leave to the care of my son ; for graceful Everallin is no more, the lovely daughter of Bran
Such were our words, when Gaul's soud voice came growing on the wind. He waved on high the sword of his father, and rushed to death and wounds.
As waves white bubbling over the deep come swel. ling, roaring on; as rocks of ooze meet roaring waves: so foes attacked and fought. Man met with man, and steel with steel. Shields sound; men fall. As a hundred hammers on the son of the furnace, so rose, so rung their swords.
Gaul rushed on like a whirlwind in Ardven. The destruction of heroes is on his sword. Swaran was like the fire of the desart on the echoing heath of Gormal. How can I give to the song the death of many spears? My sword rose high, and flamed in the strife of blood. And Uscar, terrible wert thou, my best, my greatest son! I rejoiced in my secret soul, when his sword Aamed over the slain. They fled amain through Lena's heath : and we pursued and slew. As stones that bound from rock to rock; as axes in echoing woods; as thunder rolls from hill to hill in dismal broken peals; so blow succeeded to blow, and death to death, from the hand of Oscar and mine.
But Swaran closed round Morni's son, as the strength of the tide of Inistore. The king half rose from his hill at the sight, and half assumed the spear, “ Go, Ullin, go, my aged bard," begun the king of Morven. “ Remind the mighty Gaul of battle; remind him of his fathers. Support the yielding fight with song; for song enlivens war.” Tall Ullin went, with steps of age, and spoke to the king of swords. c Ossian never fails to give a fine character to his beloved son. His speech to bis fa
ther is that of a hero ; it contains the submission due to a parent, and the warinth this becomes a young warrior. There is a propriety in dwelling here on the actions of 0. scar, as the beautiful Malpina, to whom the book is addressed, was in love with the