ページの画像
PDF
ePub

sat on the coast! She looked on the rolling waters, and her tears came down. But when she saw Gaul in his arms, she started, and turned her. eyes away. Her lovely cheek is bent and red; her white arm trembles by her side. Thrice she strove to fly from his presence; thrice her steps failed her as she went!

“ Daughter of Nuäth,” said the hero, “ why “ dost thou fly from Gaul? Do my eyes send “ forth the flame of death? Darkens hatred in my “ soul? Thou art to me the beam of the east, “ rising in a land unknown. But thou coverest “ thy face with sadness, daughter of car-borne « Nuäth! Is the foe of Oithoná near? My soul “ burns to meet him in fight. The sword trembles “ by the side of Gaul, and longs to glitter in his “ hand. Speak, daughter of Nuäth! Dost thou “ not behold my tears ?"

“ Young chief of Strumon," replied the maid, “ wby comest thou over the dark-blue wave, to “ Nuäth's mournful daughter? Why did I not pass « away in secret, like the flower of the rock, that “ lifts its fair head unseen, and strows its with“ ered leaves on the blast ? Why didst thou come, “ O Gaul! to hear my departing sigh? I vanish “ in my youth; my name shall not be heard. « Or it will be heard with grief; the tears of “ Nuäth must fall. Thou wilt be sad, son of “ Morni! for the departed fame of Oithona. But w she shall sleep in the narrow tomb, far from the “ voice of the mourner. Why didst thou come; “chief of Strumon; to the sea-beat rocks of “ Tromáthon?"

I came to meet thy foes, daughter of car-borne “ Nuäth! The death of Cuthal's chief darkens “ before me; or Morni's son shall fall! Oithona! “ when Gaul is low raise my tomb on that oozy “ rock. When the dark-bounding ship shall pass, “ call the sons of the sea; call them, and give “ this sword, to bear it hence to Morni's hall. “ The grey-haired chief will then cease to look “ towards the desert for the return of his son !"

“ Shall the daughter of Nuäth live?" she replied with a bursting sigh. “Shall I live in Tromáthon, and the son of Morni low? My “ heart is not of that rock; nor my soul careless ~ as that sea, which lifts its blue waves to every “ wind, and rolls beneath the storm! The blast “ which shall lay thee low, shall spread the “ branches of Oithona on earth. We shall wither “ together, son of car-borne Morni! The narrow “ house is pleasant to me, and the grey stone of “ the dead: for never more will I leave thy rocks, “O sea-surrounded Tromáthon! Night* came “ on with lier clouds, after the departure of Lath“ mon, when he went to the wars of his fathers, to “ the moss-covered rock of Duthórmoth. Night “ came on. I sat in the hall, at the beam of the “ oak! The wind was abroad in the trees. I heard

* Oithona relates how she was carried away by Dunrommatlie

« the sound of arms. Joy rose in my face. I “ thought of thy return. It was the chief of Cu« thal, the red-haired strength of Dunrommath. “ His eyes rolled in fire: the blood of my people “ was on his sword. They who defended Oitho“ na fell by the gloomy chief? What could I do? “My arm was weak. I could not lift the spear. “ He took me in my grief, amidst my tears he “ raised the sail. He feared the returning of “ Lathmon, the brother of unhappy Oithona! “ But behold he comes with his people! the dark “ wave is divided before him! Whither wilt thou “ turn thy steps, son of Morni? Many are the “ warriors of thy foe!"

“My steps never turned from battle,” Gaul said, and unsheathed his sword. “ Shall I then “ begin to fear, Oithona! when thy foes are near? “ Go to thy cave, my love, till our battle cease on “ the field. Son of Leth, bring the bows of our « fathers! the sounding quiver of Morni! Let “ our three warriors bend the yew. Ourselves “ will lift the spear. They are an host on the “ rock! our souls are strong in war!”

Oithona went to the cave. A troubled joy rose on her mind, like the red path of lightning on a stormy cloud! Her soul was resolved; the tear was dried from her wildly-looking eye. Dunrommath slowly approached. He saw the son of Morni. Contempt contracted his face, a smile is

Аа 2

on his dark brown cheek; his red eye rolled halfconcealed beneath his shaggy brows!

“Whence are the sons of the sea?” begun the gloomy chief. “Have the winds driven you on " the rocks of Tromáthon? Or came you in “ search of the white-handed maid? The sons of “ the unhappy, ye feeble men, come to the hand of Dunrommath! His eye spares not the weak; “ he delights in the blood of strangers. Oithona “ is a beam of light, and the chief of Cuthal en. “joys it in secret; wouldst thou come on its “ loveliness, like a cloud, son of the feeble band! “ Thou mayest come, but shalt thou return to the “ halls of thy fathers?

“Dost thou not know me," said Gaul, “ red“haired chief of Cuthal? Thy feet were swift on “ the heath, in the battle of car-borne Lathmon; “ when the sword of Morni's son pursued his host, “in Morven's woody land. Dunrommath! thy “ words are mighty, for thy warriors gather be“ hind thee. But do I fear them, son of pride? “ I am not of the race of the feeble!”

Gaul advanced in his arms; Dunrommatb shrunk behind his people. But the spear of Gaul pierced the gloomy chief; his sword lopped off his head, as it bended in death. The son of Morni shook it thrice by the lock; the warriors of Dunrommath fled. The arrows of Morven pursued them: ten fell on the mossy rocks. The rest lift the sounding sail, and bound on the troubled

deep. Gaul advanced towards the cave of Oithona. He beheld a youth leaning on a rock. An arrow had pierced his side; his eye rolled faintly beneath his helmet. The soul of Morni's son was sad, he came and spoke the words of peace.

“ Can the hand of Gaul heal thee, youth of “ the mournful brow? I have searched for the so herbs of the mountains; I have gathered them “ on the secret banks of their streams. My “ hand has closed the wound of the brave, their “ eyes have blessed the son of Morni. Where “ dwelt thy fathers, warrior? Were they of the “ sons of the inighty? Sadness shall come, like “ night on thy native streams. Thou art fallen “ in thy youth!"

“My fathers," replied the stranger, “ were of “ the race of the mighty; but they shall not be “ sad; for my fame is departed like morning “ mist. High walls rise on the banks of Duvran“na; and see their mossy towers in the stream; “ a rock ascends behind them with its bending "pines. Thou mayest behold it far distant. “ There my brother dwells. He is renowned in “ battle; give him this glittering helm.”

The helinet fell from the hand of Gaul. It was the wounded Oithona! She had armed herself in the cave and came in search of death. Her heavy eyes are half closed; the blood pours from her heaving side. “ Son of Morni!" she said, “ prepare the narrow tomb. Sleep grows,

« 前へ次へ »