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spouse. Lorma shall roll her bright eyes in thy halls ; though Fingal loves the generous Aldo : Fingal ! who never injured a hero, though his arm is strong.”
“ Soft voice of Cona!" replied the king, " tell him, that he spreads his feast in vain. Let Fingal pour his spoils around me; and bend beneath my power. Let him give me the swords of his fathers, and the shields of other times : that my children inay behold them in my halls, and say, these are the arms of Fingal."
“ Never shall they behold them in thy halls,” said the rising pride of the maid. “ They are in the mighty hands of heroes, who never yielded in war. King of the echoing Sora! the storm is gathering on our hills. Dost thou not foresee the fall of thy people, son of the distant land ?”
She came to Selma's silent halls; the king beheld her down-cast eyes. He rose from his place in his strength, and shook his aged locks. He took the sounding mail of Trenmor, and the dark brown shield of his fathers. Darkness filled Selma's hall, when he stretched his hand to his spear: the ghosts of thousands were near, and foresaw the death of the people. Terrible joy rose in the face of the aged heroes; they rushed to meet the foe; their thoughts are on the actions of other years, and on the fame of the tomb.
Now the dogs of the chase appear at Trathal's tomb: Fingal knew that his young heroes followed them, and he stopt in the midst of his course. Oscar appeared the first ; then Morni's son, and Nemi's race: Fercuth showed his gloomy form: Dermid spread his dark hair on the wind. Ossian came the last. I hummed the song of other times : my spear supported my steps over the little streams, and my thoughts were of mighty men. Fingal struck his bossy shield, and gave the dismal sign of war; a thousand swords, at once unsheathed, gleam on the waving heath. Three grey-haired sons of song raise the tuneful, mournful voice. Deep and dark, with sounding steps, we rush, a gloomy ridge, along: like the shower of a storm, when it pours on the narrow vale.
The king of Morven sat on his hill: the sun-beam of battle flew on the wind : the companions of his youth are near, with all their waving locks of age. Joy rose in the hero's eyes when he beheld his sons in war; when he saw them amidst the lightning of swords, and mindful of the deeds of their fathers. Erragon came on, in his strength, like the roar of a winter-stream; the battle falls in his course, and death is at nis side.
" Who comes," said Fingal, “ like the bounding roe, like the hart of echoing Cona? His shield glitters on his side; and the clang of his armour is mournful. He meets with Erragon in the strife ! Behold the battle of the chiefs ! it is like the contending of ghosts in a gloomy storm. But fallest thou, son of the hill, and is thy white bosom stained with blood? Weep, unhappy Lorma, Aldo is no more.”
The king took the spear of his strength; for he was sad for the fall of Aldo : he bent his deathful eyes on the foe: but Gaul met the king of Sora. Who can relate the fight of the chiefs ? The mighty stranger fell.
« Sons of Cona !” Fingal cried aloud, “ stop the hand of death. Mighty is he that is now so low! and much is he mourned in Sora! The stranger will come towards his hall, and wonder why it is silent. The king is fallen, O stranger, and the joy of his house is ceased. Listen to the sound of his woods : perhaps his ghost is there ; but he is far distant, on Morven, beneath the sword of a foreign foe.” Such were the words of Fingal, when the bard raised the song of peace; we stopped our uplifted swords, and spared the feeble foc. We laid Erragon in that tomb; and I raised the voice of grief: the clouds of night came rolling down, and the ghost of Erragon appeared to some. His face was cloudy and dark; and an half formed sign is in his breast. Blest be thy soul, 0 king of Sora ! thine arm was terrible in war!
Lorma sat, in Aldo's hall, at the light of a flaming oak: the night came, but he did not return, and the soul of Lorma is sad. " What detains thee, hunter of Cona? for thou didst promise to return? Has the dee: been distant far; and do the dark winds sigh round ttee on the heath? I am in the land of strangers; where is my friend? But Aldo, come from thy echoing hills, O my best beloved !”
Hér eyes are turned toward the gate, and she listens to tie rustling blast. She thinks it is Aldo's tread, and joy rises in her face ; but sorrow returns again, like a thin cloud on the moon. " And wilt thou not return, my love? Let me behold the face of the hill. The mcon is in the east. Calm and bright is the breast of the lake! When shall I behold his dogs returning from the chase? When shall I hear his voice, loud and dis. tant on the wind ? Come from thy echoing hills, hunter of woody Cona!"
His thin ghust appeared, on a rock, like the watry beam of the moon, when it rushes from between two clouds, and the midnight shower is on the field. She followed the empty form over the heath, for she knew that her hero fell. I heard her approaching cries on the wind, like the mournful voice of the breeze, when it sighs on the grass of the cave.
She came, she found her hero: her voice was heard no more; silent she rolled her sad eyes; she was pale as a watry cloud, that rises from the lake to the beam of the moon. Few were her days on Cona: she sunk into the tomb: Fingal commanded his bards; and they sung over the death of Lorma. The daughters of Morven mourned for her one day in the year, when the dark winds of autumn returned.
Son of the distant land!! thou dwellest in the field of fame : 0 let thy song rise, at times, in the praise of those that fell : that their chin ghosts may rejoice around thee; and the soul of Lorma come on a moonbeam", when thou liest down to rest, and the moon looks into thy caves. Then shalt thou see her lovely; but the tear is still on her cheek.
I The poet addresses himself to the Culdee. m ( Be thou on a moon-beam, O Morna, near the window of my est; whes thoughts are of peace, and the din of arms is over."
Conlath was the youngest of Morni's sons, and brother to the celebrated Gaul, who is
so often mentioned in Ossian's poems. He was in love with Cuthona the daughter of Rumar, when Toscar the son of Kintena, accompanied by Fercuth his friend, arrived, from Ireland, at Mora, where Conlath dwelt. He was hospitably received, and according to the custom of the times, feasted three days with Conlath. On the fourth, he set sail, and coasting the island of waves, probably one of the Hebrides, he saw Cuthona hunting, fell in love with her, and carried her away, by force, in his ship. He was forced, by stress of wather, into I-thona, a desut isle. In the mean time, Conlath, hearing of the raje, saile 1 after him, and found him on the point of sailing for the coast of Ireland. They fought; and they, and their followers, fell by mutual wounds. Cuthona did not long survive ; for she died of grief the third day after. Fingal, hearing of their unfortunate death, sent Storial the son of Moran to bury them, but forgot to send a bard, to sing the funeral song over their tombs. The ghost of Coniath came, long after, tó Ossian, to entreat him to transmit to posterity his and Cuthona's fame. For it was the opinion of the times, that the souls of the de. ceased were not happy till their eiegies were composed by a bard.
Did not Ossian hear a voice? or is it the sound of days that are no more? Often does the memory of former times come, like the evening sun, on my soul. The noise of the chase is renewed ; and, in thought, I lift the spear. But Ossian did hear a voice : who art thou, son of the night? The sons of little men are asleep, and the midnight wind is in my hall. Perhaps it is the shield of Fingal that echoes to the blast; it hangs in Ossian's hall, and he feels it sometimes with his hands. Yes! I hear thee, my friend : long has thy voice been absent from my ear! What brings thee, on thy cloud, to Ossian, son of the generous Morni! Are the friends of the aged near thee? Where is Oscar, son of fame? He was often near thee, O Conlath, when the din of battle rose.
Ghost OF CONLATH. Sleeps the sweet voice of Cona, in the midst of his rustling hall ? Sleeps Ossian in his hall; and his friends without their fame? The sea rolls round the dark I-thona ", and our tombs are not seen by the stranger. How long shall our fame be unheard, son of The echoing Morven?
a I-thunng' is tund of waves,' one of the uninhabited western isles.
Ossian. O that mine eyes could behold thee, as thou sittest, dim, on thy cloud! Art thou like the mist of Lano; or an half-extinguished meteor? Of what are the skirts of thy robe? Of what is thine airy bow? But he is gone on his blast like the shadow of mist, Comc from thy wall, my harp, and let me hear thy sound. Let the light of memory rise on I-thona; that I may behold my friends. And Ossian does behold his friends, on the dark-blue isle. The cave of Thona appears, with its mossy rocks and bending trees. A stream roars at its mouth, and Toscar bends over its course. Fer. cuth is sad by his side : and the maid of his love sits at a distance and weeps. Does the wind of the waves deceive me? Or do I hear them speak?
TOSCAR. The night was stormy. From their hills the groaning oaks came down. The sea darkly tumbled beneath the blast, and the roaring waves were climbing against our rocks. The lightning came often, and show. ed the blasted fern. Fercuth! I saw the ghost of nights Silent he stood, on that bank ; his robe of mist flew on the wind. I could behold his tears; an aged man he seemed, and full of thought.
FERCUTH. It was thy father, 0 Toscar; and he foresees some death among his race. Such was his appearance on Cromla, before the great Ma-ronnan fell. Ul. line! with thy hills of grass, how pleasant are thy vales! Silence is near thy blue, streams, and the sun is on thy fields. Soft is the sound of the harp in Selama', and the lonely cry of the hunter on Cromla. But we are in the dark I-thona, surrounded by the storm. The billows lift their white heads above our rocks ; and we tremble amidst the night.
Toscar. Whether is the soul of battle fled, Fercuth with the locks of age? I have seen thee undaunted in dan. ger, and thine eyes burning with joy in the fight. Whether
Cuthona the daughter of Rumar, whom Toscar had carried away by force.
c It was long thought, in the north of Stotland, that storms were raised by the ghosts of the deceased. This notion is still entertained by the vulgar; for they think that whirlwinds, and sudden squalls of wind, are occasioned by spirits, who transport themselves in that manner, from one place to another.
d Ma-ronnan was the brother of Toscar. e Ulster in Ireland.
f Selamath, beautiful to behold,' the name of Toscar's palace on the coast of Ulster, xear the mountain Cromla, the scene of the epic poein,