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" He spreads them, Oscar," replied the bard, but it is behind his gathered heap . He looks over his stones with fear, and beholds thee, terrible as the ghost of night that rolls the waves to his ship.”
“Go, thou first of my bards," says Oscar, " and take the spear of Fingal. Fix a flame on its point, and shake it to the winds of heaven. Bid him in songs to advance, and leave the rolling of his wave. Tell to – Caros that I long for battle ; and that my bow is weary
of the chase of Cona. Tell him the mighty is not here; and that my arm is young."
He went with the murmur of his song. Oscar reared his voice on high. It reached his heroes on Ard- ven, like the noise of a cave, when the sea of Tongor.
ma rolls before it, and its trees meet the roaring winds. They gather round my son like the streams of the hill, when, after rain, they roll in the pride of their course.
Ryno came to the mighty Caros, and struck his flaming spear. 6 Come to the battle of Oscar, O thou that sittest on the rolling of waters. Fingal is distant far; he heařs the songs of his bards on Morven : and the wind of his hall is in his hair. His terrible spear is at his side; and his shield that is like the darkened moon. Come to the battle of Oscar; the hero is a.
He came not over the streamy Carune; the bard returned with his song. Gréy night grows dim on Croma. The feast of shells is spread. A hundred oaks burn to the wind, and faint light gleams over the heath. The ghosts of Ardven pass through the beam, and show their dim and distant forms. Comala , is half unseen on her meteor; and Hidallan is sullen and dim, like the darkened moon behind the mist of night.
“ Why art thou sad?” said Ryno; for he alone bez held the chief. “Why art thou sad, Hidallan, hast
d Agricola's wall, which Carausius repaired. e The river Carron. f This is the scene of Comala's death, which is the subject of th dramatic poem The poet mentions her in this place, in order to introduce the sequel of Hidallan's sto *T, who, un account of her death, had been expelled froin the wars of Fingal,
thou not received thy fame? The songs of Ossian have been heard, and thy ghost has brightened in the wind, when thou didst bend from thy cloud to hear the song of Morven's bard."
“ And do thine eyes behold the hero," said Oscar, “ like the dim meteor of night? Say, Ryno, say, how fell the chief that was so renowned in the days of our fathers ? His name remains on the rocks of Cona; and I have often seen the streams of his hills.”
Fingal, replied the bard, had driven Hidallan from his wars. The king's soul was sad for Comala, and his eyes could not behold Hidallan. Lonely, sad, 2long the heath, he slowly moved with silent steps. His arms hang disordered on his side. His hair flies loose from his helmet. The tear is in his down-cast eyes; and the sigh half silent in his breast, Three days be strayed unseen, alone, before he came to Lamor's halls; the mossy halls of his fathers, at the stream of Balva, There Lamor sat alone beneath a tree; for he had sent his people with Hidallan to war. The stream ran at his feet, and his grey head rested on his staff. Sightless are his aged eyes. He hums the song of other times, The noise of Hidallan's feet came to his ear; he knew the tread of his son.
6 Is the son of Lamor returned; or is it the sound of his ghost? Hast thou fallen on the banks of Carun, son of the aged Lamor? Or, if I hear the sound of Hidala lan's feet, where are the mighty in war? Where are my people, Hidallan, that were wont to return with their echoing shields ? Have they fallen on the banks of Carun?"
“ No:" replied the sighing youth, " the people of Lamor live. They are renowned in battle, my father; but Hidallan is renowned no more. I must sit alone or the banks of Balva, when the roar of the battle grows."
• But thy fathers never sat alone,” replied the rising pride of Lamor. “ They never sat alone on the banks
This is perhaps that small stream still retaining the name of Balva, which is hrough the romantic valley of Glentivar in Stirlingshire. Balra signifies asics tream: and Gleptirer, the secuestered vale.
of Balva, when the roar of battle rose. Dost thou not behold that tomb! Mine cyes discern it not; there rests the noble Garmallon who never fed in war. Come, thou renowned in battle, he says, come to thy father's tomb. How am I renowned Garmallon? my son has fied from war !"
“ King of the streamy Balva !” said Hidallan with a sigh, “ why dost thou torment my soul? Lamor, I never feared. Fingal was sad for Comala, and denied his wars Hidallan: Go to the grey streams of thy land, he said, and moulder like a leafless oak, which the winds have bent over Balva, never more to grow!"
“ And must I hear," Lamor replied, “ the lonely tread of Hidallan's feet? When thousands are renowned in battle, shall he bend over my grey streams? Spirit of the noble Garmallon! carry Lamor to his place : his! eyes are dark; his soul is sad : and his son has lost his fame!”
" Where,” said the youth, 5 shall I search for fame to gladden the soul of Lamor? From whence shall I return with renown, that the sound of my arms may be pleasant in his ear? If I go to the chase of hinds, my name will not be heard. Lamor will not feel my dogs with his hands, glad at my arrival from the hill. He will not enquire of his mountains, or of the dark brown deer of his desarts.”
“ I must fall," said Lamor, “ like a leafless oak: it grew on a rock, but the winds have overturned it. My ghost will he seen on my hills, mournful for my young Hidallan. Will not ye, ye mists, as ye rise, hide him from my sight? My son! go to Lamor's hall: there the arms of our fathers hang. Bring the sword of Garmallon; he took it from a foe.”
He went and brought the sword with all its studded thongs. He gave it to his father. The grey-haired hero felt the point with his hand.
“ My son lead me to Garmallon's tomb: it rises beside that rustling tree. The long grass is withered heard the breeze whistling there. A little fountain m
murs near, and sends its waters to Belva. There let me rest; it is noon : and the sun is on our fields.” . He led him to Garmallon's tomb. Lamor pierced the side of his son. They sleep together; and their ancient halls moulder on Balva's banks. Ghosts are seen there at noon: the valley is silent, and the people shun the place of Lamor.
“ Mournful is thy tale,” said Oscar, “ son of the times of old! My soul sighs for Hidallan; he fell in the days of his youth. He flies on the blast of the desart, and his wandering is in a foreign land. Sons of the echoing Morven! draw near to the foes of Fingal. Send the night away in songs; and watch the strength of Caros. Oscar goes to the people of other times; to the shades of silent Ardven; where his fathers sit dim in their clouds, and behold the future war. And art thou there, Hidallan, like a half-extinguished meteor? Come to my sight, in thy sorrow, chief of the roaring Balva!"
The heroes move with their songs. Oscar slowly ascends the hill. The meteors of night are setting on the heath before him. A distant torrent faintly roars. Unfrequent blasts rush through aged oaks. The halfenlightened moon sinks dim and red behind her hill. Feeble voices are heard on the heath. Oscar drew his sword,
66 Come,'' said the hero, " o ye ghosts of my fa. thers ! ye that fought against the kings of the world! Tell me the deeds of future times ; and your converse in your cavęs: when you talk together and behold your sons in the fields of the valiant..?
Trenmor came from his hill, at the voice of his mighty son. À cloud, like the steed of the stranger, support. ed his airy limbs. His robe is of the mist of Lano, that brings death to the people. His sword is a meteor half-extinguished. His face is without form, and dark. He sighed thrice over the hero: and thrice the winds of the night roared around. Many were his words to Oscar: but they only came by halves to our ears : they were dark as the tales of other times, before the light of the song arose. He slowly vanished, like a mist that melts on the sunny hill. It was then, o daughter of Toscar, my son begun first to be sad. He foresaw the fall of his race; and, at times, he was thoughtful and dark : like the sun when he carries a cloud on his face; but he looks afterwards on the hills of Cona.
Oscar passed the night among his fathers; grey morning met him on the banks of Carun. A green vale surrounded a tomb which arose in the times of old. Little hills lift their heads at a distance; and stretch their old trees to the wind. The warriors of Caros sat there, for they had passed the stream by night. They appeared like the trunks of aged pines, to the pale light of the morning. Oscar stood at the tomb, and raised thrice his terrible voice. The rocking hills echoed around: the starting roes bounded away. And the trembling ghosts of the dead Aed, shrieking on their clouds. So terrible was the voice of my son, when he called his friends.
A thousand spears rose around; the people of Caros rose. Why, daughter of Toscar, why that tear? My son, though alone, is brave. Oscar is like a beam of the sky; he turns around, and the people fall. His hand is like the arm of a ghost, when he stretches it from a cloud ; the rest of his thin form is unseen : but the people die in the vale ! My son beheld the approach of the foe; and he stood in the silent darkness of his strength. “Am I alone,” said Oscar, “ in the midst of a thousand foes? Many a spear is there! many a dark. ly rolling eye! Shall I fiy to Ardven? But did my fa. thers ever äly! The mark of their arm is in a thousand battles. Oscar too will be renowned. Come, ye dim ghosts of my fathers, and behold my deeds in war! I may fall; but I will be renowned like the race of the echoing Morven.” He stood dilated in his place, like a flood swelling in a narrow vale. The battle came, but they fell: bloody was the sword of Oscar.
'The noise reached his people at Crona ; they care like a hundred streams. The warriors of Caros fe and Oscar remained like a rock left by the ebb