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PLEASANT is the voice of thy song, thou lonely dweller of the rock! It comes on the sound of the stream, along the narrow vale. My soul awakes, O stranger! in the midst of my hall. I stretch my hand to the spear, as in the days of other years. I stretch my hand, but it is feeble; and the sigh of my bosom grows. Wilt thon not listen, son of the rock! to the song of Ossian? My soul is full of other times: the joy of my youth returns. Thus the sun appears in the west, after the steps of his brightness have moved behind a storm: the green hills lift their dewy heads: the blue streams rejoice in the vale. The aged hero comes forth on his staff; his grey hair glitters in the beam. Dost thou not behold, son of the rock, a shield in Ossian's hall? It is marked with the strokes of battle; and the brightness of its bosses has failed. That shield the great Dunthalmo bore, the chief of streamy Teutha. Dunthalmo bore it in battle, before he fell by Os. sian's spear. Listen, son of the rock! to the tale of other years.
Rathmor was a chief of Clutha. The feeble dwelt in his hall. The gates of Rathmor were never shut: his feast was always spread. The sons
of the stranger came. They blessed the generous chief of Clutha. Bards raised the song, and touched the harp; joy brightened on the face of the sad! Dunthalmo came, in his pride, and rushed into the combat of Rathmor. The chief of Clutha overcame: the rage of Dunthalmo rose. He came, by night, with his warriors: the mighty Rathmor fell. He fell in his halls, where his feast was often spread for strangers.
Colmar and Calthon were young, the sons of car-borne Rathmor. They came, in the joy of youth, into their father's hall. They behold him in bis blood; their bursting tears descend. The soul of Dunthalmo melted, when lie saw the children of youth. He brought them to Alteutha’s* walls; they grew in the house of their foe. They bent the bow in his presence; and came forth to his wars. They saw the fallen walls of their fathers; they saw the green-thorn in the hall. Their tears rushed forth in secret. At times their faces were sad. Dunthalmo beheld their grief: his darkening soul designed their death. He closed them in two caves, on the echoing banks of Teutha. The sun did not come there with his beams; nor the moon of heaven by night. The sons of Rathmor remained in darkness, and foresaw their death.
The daughter of Dunthalmo wept in silence, the fair-haired, blue-eyed Colmal.* Her eye had rolled in secret on Calthon; his loveliness swelled in her soul. She trembled for her warrior; but what could Colmal do? Her arm could not lift the spear; nor was the sword formed for her side. Her white breast never rose beneath a mail. Neither was her eye the terror of heroes. What canst thou do, O Colmal! for the fallen chief? Her steps are unequal; her hair is loose: her eye looks wildly through her tears. She came, by night, to the hall.t She armed her lovely form in steel; the steel of a young warrior, who fell in the first of his battles. She came to the cave of Calthon, and loosed the thong from his hands.
* Al-teutha, or rather Balteutha, the town of Tweed, the name of Dunthalmo's scat. It is observable that all the names in this poem are derived from the Galic language; which is a proof, that it was once the universal language of the whole island.
“ Arise, son of Rathmor,” she said, “ arise, the “ night is dark! Let us fly to the king of Selma, I “ chief of fallen Clutha! I am the son of Lam“gal, who dwelt in thy father's hall. I heard “ of thy dark dwelling in the cave, and my soul “ arose. Arise, son of Rathmor, arise, the night “is dark!”—“ Blest voice!” replied the chief, “ comest thou from the clouds to Calthon? The
“ ghosts of his fathers have often descended in , * Caol-mbal, a woman with small eye-brows ; small eye-brows were a distinguishing part of beauty in Ossian's time; and he seldom fails to give them to the fine women of his poems.
+ That is, the hall where the arms taken from enemies were hung up as trophies. Ossian is very careful to make his stories probable; for he makes Colmal put on the arms of a youth killed in his first battle, as more proper for a young woman, who cannot be supposed strong enough to carry the armour of a full-grown warrior.
“ his dreams, since the sun has retired from his “ eyes, and darkness has dwelt around him. Or “ art thou the son of Lamgal, the chief I often “saw in Clutha ? But shall I fly to Fingal, and “ Colmar my brother low? Will I fly to Mor“ ven, and the bero closed in night? No; give “ me that spear son of Lamgal, Calthon will “ defend his brother!”
“A thousand warriors," replied the maid, “ stretch their spears round car-borne Colmar. “ What can Calthon do against a host so great? “ Let us fly to the king of Morven, he will come “ with war. His arm is stretched forth to the “ unhappy; the lightning of his sword is round “ the weak. Arise, thou son of Rathmor! the “ shadows will fly away. Arise, or thy steps “may be seen, and thou must fall in youth.”
The sighing hero rose; his tears descend for car-borne Colmar. He came with the maid to Selma's hall; but he knew not that it was Colmal. The helmet covered her lovely face. Her bosom heaved beneath the steel. Fingal returned from the chase, and found the lovely strangers. They were like two beams of light, in the midst of the hall of shells. The king heard the tale of grief; and turned his eyes around. A thousand beroes half-rose before him; claiming the war of Teutha. I came with my spear from the hill; the joy of battle rose in my breast; for the king spoke te Ossian in the midst of a thousand chiefs.
“Son of my strength," began the king, “take thou the spear of Fingal. Go to Teutha's rushing stream, and save the car-borne Colmar. Let thy fame return before thee like a pleasant gale; that my soul may rejoice over my son, who renews the renown of our fathers. Ossian! be thou a storm in war; but mild when the foe is low! it was thus my fame arose, O my son! be thou like Selma's chief. When the haughty come to my halls, my eyes behold them not. But my arm is stretched forth to the unhappy. My sword defends the weak. · I rejoiced in the words of the king. I took my rattling arms. Diaran* rose at my side, and Dargot king of spears. Three hundred youths followed our steps; the lovely strangers were at my side. Dunthalmo beard the sound of our approach. He gathered the strength of Teutha. He stood on a bill with his host. They were like rocks broken with thụnder, when their bent trees are singed and bare, and the streams of
* Diaran, father of that Connal who was unfortunately killed by Crimora his mistress.
+ Dargo, the son of Collath, is celebrated in other poems by Ossian. He is said to have been killed by a boar at a hunting party. The lamentation of his mistress, or wife, Mingala, over his body, is extant; but whether it is of Ossian's composition, I cannot determine. It is generally ascribed to him, and has much of his manner: but some traditions mention it as an imitation hy some later bard. As it has some poetical merit, I have subjoined it.
The spouse of Dargo comes in tears; for Dargo was no more! The heroes sigh over Lartho's chief! and what shall sad Mingala do? The dark soul vanished like morning mist, before the king of spears ; bat the generous glowed in his presence like the morning star.