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Soon will thy tomb be hid, and the grass grow rank on thy grave. The sons of the feeble shall pass over it, and shall not know that the mighty lie there.
" Ossian and Fillan, sons of my strength, and Gaul king of the blue swords of war, let us ascend the hill to the cave of Tura, and find the chief of the battles of Erin. Are these the walls of Tura? grey and lonely they rise on the heath. The king of shells is sad, and the halls are desolate. Come, let us find the king of swords, and give him all our joy. But is that Cuthullin, O Fillan, or a pillar of smoke on the heath? The wind of Cromla is on my eyes, and I distinguish liot my friend.”
" Fingal!” replied the youth,“ it is the son of Semo. Glooiny and sad is the hero; his hand is on his sword. Hail to the son of battle, breaker of the shields !"
“ Haii to thee!” replied Cuthullin, “ hail to all the sons of Morven! Delightful is thy presence, O Fingal ; it is like the sun on Cromla, when the hunter mourns his absence for a season, and sees him between the clouds. Thy sons are like stars that attend thy course, and give light in the night. It is not thus thou hast seen me, O Fingal, returning from the wars of the desart, when the king of the world w had fled, and joy returned to the hill of hinds."
“ Many are thy words, Cuthullin,” said Connan* of small renown. " Thy words are many, son of Semo, but where are thy deeds in arms? Why did we come over the ocean to aid thy feeble sword? Thou fyest to the cave of sorrow, and Connan fights thy battles : resign to me these arms of light; yield them, thou son of Erin."
“ No hero," replied the chief, “ ever sought the arms of Cuthullin; and had a thousand heroes sought them, it were in vain, thou gloomy youth. I fled not to the cavę of sorrow, as long as Erin's warriors lived."
w This is the only passage in the poem, wherein the wars of Fingal against the Romans are alluded to: the Roman Emperor is distinguished in old compositions by the title of the king of the world.
* Connan was of the family of Moini. He is mentioned in several poems, and always appears with the same character. The poet passed him oyer in silence till now and wis bobaviour here deserves no better usage.
" Youth of the feeble arm,” said Fingal, “ Connan, say no more. Cuthullin is renowned in battle, and terrible over the desart. Often have I heard thy fame, thou stormy chief of Inisfail. Spread now thy white sails for the isle of mist, and see Bragela leaning on her rock, Her tender eye is in tears, and the winds lift her long hair from her heaving breast. She listens to the winds of night to hear the voice of thy rowerss; to hear the song of the sea, and the sound of thy distant harp."
" And long shall she listen in vain ; Cuthullin shall never return. How can I behold Bragela to raise the sigh of her breast? Fingal, I was always victorious in the battles of other spears!”
" And hereafter thou shalt be victorious,” said Fin. gal king of shells. "The fame of Cuthullin shall grow like the branchy tree of Cromla. Many battles await thee, O chief, and many shall be the wounds of thy hand. Bring hither, Oscar, the deer, and prepare the feast of shells; that our souls may rejoice after danger, and our friends delight in our presence."
We sat, we feasted, and we sung. The soul of Cuthullin rose. The strength of his arms returned, and gladness brightened on his face. Ullin gave the song, and Carril raised the voice. I often joined the bards, and sung of battles of the spear. Battles! where I often fought: but now I fight no more. The fame of my former actions is ceased; and I sit forlorn at the tombs of my friends,
Thus they passed the night in the song; and brought back the morning with joy. Fingal arcse on the heath, and shook his glittering spear. He moved first toward the plains of Lena, and we followed like a ridge of fire. “ Spread the sail,” said the king of Morven, “ and catch the winds that pour from Lena." We rose on the wave with songs, and rushed, with joy, through the foam of the ocean.
y The practice of singing when they row is universal among the inhabitants of the north-west coast of Scotland and the isles. It deceives time, and inspirits the row .
This poem is valuable on account of the light it throws on the antiquity of Ossian's
compositions. The Caracul inentioned here, is the same with Caracalla, the son of Severus, who in the year 211 coinmanded an expedition against the Caledonians. The variety of the mcasure shows that the poem was originally set to music, and perhaps was presented before the chiefs upon solemn occasions. Tradition has hand. od down the story more complete than it is in the poem. “Comala, the daughter of Starno, king of Inistore or Orkney islands, fell in love with Fingal the son of Comhal at a feast, to which her father had invited him, (Fingal, B. III.) upon his return from Lochlin, after the death of Agandecca. Her passion was so violent, that she followed him, disguised like a youth, who wanted to be employed in his wars. She was soon discovered by Hidalian the son of Lamor, one of Fingal's heroes, whose love she had slighted some time before. Her romantic passion and beauty recommended her so much to the king, that he was resolved to make her his wife; when news was brought hin of Caracul's expedition. He marched to stop the progress of the enemy, and Comala attended him. He left her on a hill, within sight of Caracul's army, when he himself went to the battle, having previously promised, if he survived, to return that night." The sequel of the story may be zathered from the poem itself.
FINGAL. HIDALLAN. COMALA.
DERSAGRENA. The chase is over. No noise on Ardven but the torrent's roar! Daughter of Morni,' come from Crona's banks, Lay down the bow and take the harp. Let the night come on with songs, and our joy be great on Ardven.
MELIL. And night comes on, thou blue-eyed maid. Grey night grows dim along the plain. I saw a deer at Crona's stream; a mossy bank he seemed through the