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A POEM.

The Argument.

This poem is complete, and the subjectof it, as of most of Ossian's compositions, tragical.

In the time of Comhal the son of Trathal, and father of the celebrated Fingal, Clessammor the son of Thaddu and brother of Morna, Fingal's mother, was driven by a

storm into the river Clyde, on the banks of which stood Balclutha, a town belonging to the Britons between the walls. He was hospitably received by Reuthamir, the principal man in the place, who gave him Moina his only daughter in marriage. Reuda, the son of Cormo, a Briton who was in love with Moina, came to Reuthamir's house and behaved haughtily towards Clessammor. A quarrel ensued, in which Reuda was killed; the Britons who attended him, pressed so hard on Clessainmor, that he was obliged to throw himself into the Clyde, and swim to his ship. He hoisted sail, and the wind being favourable, bore him out to sea. He often endeavoured to return, and carry off his beloved Moina by night; but the wind continuing contrary he was forced to

desist. Moina, who had been left with child by her husband, brought forth

a son, and died soon after. Reuthamir named the child Carthon, i. e.? the murmur of waves,' from the storm which caried off Clessammor his father, who was supposed to have been cast away. When Carthon was three years old, Comhal the father of Fingal, in one of his expeditions against the Britons, took and burnt Balclutha. Reuthamir was killed in the attack; and Carthon was carried away by his nurse, who fled farther into the country of the Britons. Carthon coming to man's estate, was resolved to revenge the fall of Balclutha on Comhal's posterity. He set sail, from the Clyde, and falling on the coast of Morven, defeated two of Fingal's heroes who came to oppose his progress. He was at last unwittingly killed by his father Clessammor, in a single combat. This story is the foundation of the present poem, which opens on the night preceding the the death of Carthon ; so that what passed before is introduced by way of episode. The poem is addressed to Malvina the daughter of Toscar.

A TALE of the times of old! The deeds of days of other years!

The murmur of thy streams, O Lora, brings back the memory of the past. The sound of thy woods, Garmallar, is lovely in mine ear. Dost thou not be. hold, Malvina, a rock with its head of heath? Three aged firs bend from its face ; green is the narrow plain at its feet; there the flower of the mountain grows, and shakes its white head in the breeze. The thistle is there alone, and sheds its aged beard. Two stones, half

of sunk in the ground, show their heads OSS. The deer of the mountain avoids the place, VOL. II.

for he beholds the grey ghost that guards it, for the mighty lie, O Malvina, in the narrow plain of the rock,

A tale of the times of old! the deeds of days of other years!

Who comes from the land of strangers, with his thousands around him? the sun-beam pours its bright stream before him; and his hair meets the wind of the hills. His face is settled from war. He is calm as the evening beam, that looks from the cloud of the west, on Cona's silent vale. Who is it but Comhal's son", the king of mighty deeds! He beholds his hills with joy, and bids a thousand voices rise. Ye have fled over your fields, ye sons of the distant land! The king of the world sits in his hall, and hears of his people's flight. He lifts his red eye of pride, and takes his father's sword. 6 Ye have fled over your fields, şons of the distant land!"

Such were the words of the bards, when they came to Selma's halls. A thousand lights from the stranger's land rose in the midst of the people. The feast is spread around; and the night passed away in joy. " Where is the noble Clessammor à?” said the fair-hair. ed Fingal. Where is the companion of my father, in the days of my joy? Sullen and dark he passes his days in the vale of echoing Lora : but, behold he comes from the hill, like a steed in his strength, who finds his companions in the breeze, and tosses his bright mane in the wind. Blest be the soul of Clessammor; why so long from Selma?"

" Returns the chief,” said Clessammor, “ in the midst of his fame? Such was the renown of Comhal in the battles of his youth. Often did we pass over Carun to the land of the strangers ; our swords returned not unstained with blood ; nor did the kings of the world re

a It was the opinion of the times, that deer saw the ghosts of the dead. To this day, when beasts suddenly start, without any apparent cause, the vulgar think they see

6 Fingal returns here, from an expedition against the Romans, which was celebrated 'c Probably wax lights : which are often mentioned as carried, among other booty,

Clessamb-mor,' mighty deeds.'

the spirits of the deceased.

by Ossian in a particular poem.

from the Roman province.

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