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ter of Inis-thona to Annir's echoing halls. The face of age was bright with joy; he blest the king of swords.;
How great was the joy of Ossian, when he beheld the distant sail of his son! it was like a cloud of light that rises in the east, when the traveller is sad in a land unknown, and dismal night with her ghosts is sitting around him. We brought him, with songs, to Selma's halls. Fingal ordered the feast of shells to be spread. A thousand bards raised the name of Oscar: and Moryen answered to the noise. The daughter of Foscar was there, and her voice was like the harp: when the distant sound comes, in the evening, on the soft-rustling breeze of the vale.
O lay me, ye that see the light, near some rock of my hills ; let the thick hazels be around, let the rustling oak be near. Green be the place of my rest ; and let the sound of the distant torrent be heard. Daughter of Toscar, take the harp, and raise the lovely song of Selma; that sleep may overtake my soul in the midst of joy; that the dreams of my youth may return, and the days of the mighty Fingal. Selma! I behold thy towers, thy trees, and shaded walls. I see the heroes of Morven : and hear the song of bards. Oscar lifts the sword of Cormalo, and a thousand youths admire its studded thongs. They look with wonder on my son ! and admire the strength of his arm. They mark the joy of his father's eyes; they long for an equal fame. And ye shall have your fame, O ye sons of streamy Morven. My soul is often brightened with the song; and I remember the companions of my youth. But sleep descends with the sound of the harp; and pleasant dreams begin to rise. Ye sons of the chase stand far distant, nor disturb my rest. The bard of other times converses now with his fathers, the chiefs of the days of oid, Sons of the chase stand far distant; disturb not the dreams of Ossian,
Fingal, on his return from Ireland, after he had expelled Swaran from that kingdom,
made a feast to all his heroes; he forgot to invite Ma-ronnan and Aldo, two chie's, who had not been along with him on his expedition. They resented his neglect: and went over to Erragon king of Sora, a country of Scandinavia, the declared enemy of Fingal. The valour of Aldo soon gained him a great reputation in Sora; and Lorma, the beautiful wife of Erragon fell in love with him. He found means to ese cape with her, and to come to Fingal, who resided then in Selma, on the western coast. Erragon invaded Scotland, and was slain in battle by Gaul the son of Morni, after he had rejected terms of peace offered him by Fingal. In this war Aldo fell in a single combat, by the hands of his rival Erragon; and the unfortunate Lorma afterwards died of grief.
Son of the distant land, who dwellest in the secret cell! do I hear the sound of thy grove? or is it the voice of thy songs? The torrent was loud in my ear, but I heard a tuneful voice ; dost thou praise the chiefs of thy land; or the spirits of the wind? But, lonely dweller of the rocks! look over that heathy plain : thcu seest green tombs, with their rank whistling grass; with their stones of mossy heads; thou seest them, son of the rock ; but Ossian's eyes have failed.
A mountain stream comes roaring down and sends its waters round a green hill : four mossy stones, in the midst of withered grass, rear their heads on the top: two trees, which the storms have bent, spread their whistling branches around. This is thy dwelling, Erragonb; this thy narrow house; the sound of thy shells has been long forgot in Sora : and thy shield is become dark in thy hall. Erragon, king of ships! chief of distant Sora! how hast thou fallen on our mountains? How is the mighty low ? Son of the secret cell! dost thou delight in songs? Hear the battle of Lora: the
a The poet alludes to the religious hymns of the Culdees. h Erragon, or Ferg-thonn, signifies the rage of the waves : probably a poetical care Devou bia by Ossian himself; for he goes by the name of Annir in tradition.
sound of its steel is long since past. So thunder on the darkened hills roars and is no more. The sun returns with his silent beams: the glittering rocks and green heads of the mountains smile.
The bay of Cona received our ships, from Ullin's rolling waves : our wbite sheets hung loose to the masts: and the boisterous winds roared through the groves of Morven. The horn of the king is sounded, and the deer start from their rocks. Our arrows flew in the woods : the feast of the hill was spread. Our joy was great on our rocks, for the fall of the terrible Swaran. Two heroes were forgot at our feast; and the rage of their bosoms burned. They rolled their red eyes in secret : the sigh bursts from their breasts. They are seen to talk together, and to throw their spears on earth. They were two dark clouds in the midst of our joy ; like pillars of mist on the settled sea: it glitters to the sun, but the mariners fear a storm.
“ Raise my white sails,” said Ma-ronnan, “ raise them to the winds of the west ; let us rush, O Aldo, through the foam of the northern wave. We are forgot at the feast: but our arms have been red in blood. Let us leave the hills of Fingal, and serve the king of Sora. His countenance is fierce, and the war darkens round his spear. Let us be renowned, 0 Aldo, in the battles of echoing Sora."
They took their swords and shields of thongs : and rushed to Lumar's sounding bay. They came to Sora's haughty king, the chief of bounding steeds. Erragon had returned from the chase : his spear was red in blood. He bent his dark face to the ground; and whistled as he went. He took the strangers to his feasts: and they fought and conquered in his wars.
Aldo returned with his fame towards Sora's lofty walls. From her tower looked the spouse of Erragon, the humid, rolling eyes of Lorma. Her dark-brown hair flies on the wind of ocean : her white breast heaves like snow on the heath; when the gentle winds arise. and slowly move it in the light. She saw young Aldo, like the beam of Sora's setting sun. Her'soft heart sighed! tears filled her eyes; and her white arm supported her head. Three days she sat within the hall, and covered grief with joy. On the fourth she ded with the hero, along the rolling sea. They came to Cona's mossy towers, to Fingal, king of spears.
c This was at Fingal's return from his war against Swaran.
“ Aldo of the heart of pride!” said the rising king of Morven, “ Shall I defend thee from the wrath of Sora's injured king? Who will now receive my people into their halls, or give the feast of strangers, since Aldo of the little soul has carried away the fair of Sora ? Go to thy hills, thou feeble hand, and hide thee in thy caves; mournful is the battle we must fight with Sora's gloomy king. Spirit of the noble Trenmor! when will Fingal cease to fight? I was born in the midst of battlesa; and my steps must move in blood to my tomb. But my hand did not injure the weak, my steel did not touch the feeble in arms. I behold thy tempests, 0 Morven, which will overturn my halls; when my children are dead in battle, and none remains to dwell in Selma. Then will the feeble come, but they will not know my tomb: my renown is in the song : and my actions shall be as a dream to future times.”
His people gathered round Erragon, as the storms around the ghost of night; when he calls them from the top of Morven, and prepares to pour them on the land of the stranger. He came to the shore of Cona, and sent his bard to the king; to demand the combat of thousands, or the land of many hills. Fingal sat in his hall, with the companions of his youth around him. The young heroes were at the chase, and far distant in the desart. The grey-haired chiefs talked of other times, and of the actions of their youth ; when the aged Narthmore came, the king of streamy Lora.
“ This is no time,” begun the chief, “ to hear the songs of other years : Erragon frowns on the coast, and
d Comhal the father of Fingal was slain in battle against the tribe of lor! pry day that Fingal was born ; so that he may, with propriety, be sud to DI
Toid to have in the midst of battles.”
lifts ten thousand swords, Gloomy is the king among his chiefs ! he is like the darkened moon, amidst the the meteors of night.”
" Come,” said Fingal, “ from thy hall, thou daughter of my love ; come from thy hall, Bosminat, maid of streamy Morven! Narthmor, take the steeds 8 of the strangers, and attend the daughter of Fingal : let her bid the king of Sora to our feast, to Selma's shaded wall. Offer him, o Bosmina, the peace of heroes, and the wealth of generous Aldo: our youths are far distant, and age is on our trembling hands.”
She came to the host of Erragon, like a beam of light to a cloud. In her right hand shone an arrow of gold; and in her left, a sparkling shell, the sign of Morven's peace. Erragon brightened in her presence as a rock before the sudden beams of the sun, when they issue from a broken cloud, divided by the roaring wind.
“Son of the distant Sora,” begun the mildly-blushing maid, “ come to the feast of Morven's king, to Selma's shaded walls. Take the peace of heroes, 0 warrior, and let the dark sword rest by thy side. And if thou chusest the wealth of kings, hear the words of the generous Aldo. He gives to Erragon an hundred steeds, the children of the rein; an hundred maids from distant lands; an hundred hawks with fluttering wing, that fiy across the sky. An hundred girdles" shall al. so be thine, to bind high-bosomed women ; the friends of the birth of heroes, and the cure of the sons of toil. Ten shells studded with gems shall shine in Sora's towers ; the blue water trembles on their stars, and seems to be sparkling wine. They gladdened once the kings of the world, in the midst of their echoing halls. These, o hero, shall be thine ; or thy white-bosomed
f Bos-mhina, soft and tender hand.' She was the youngest of Fingel's children.
& These were probably horses taken in the incursions of the Caledonians into the Roman province, which seems to be intimated in the phrase of the steeds of the strangers."
b Sanctified girdles, till very lately, were kept in many families in the nortb of Scotland: they were bound about wonen in labour, and were supposed to alleviate their pains, and to accelerate the birth. They were impressed with several mysticiul figures, and the ceremony of binding them about the woman's waist, was accompanied wh words and gestures, which showed the custom to have come originally from the art
1 The Roman Emperors. These shells were some of the spoils of the province,