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Why sigh the woods, why roar the waves! They have no cause to mourn.
But thou hast cause, O Diorma ! thou maid of the breast of snow! Spread thou thy hair to the wind ; send thy sighs on the blasts of the hills.
They vanished like two beams of light, which fly from the heath in a storm : They sunk like two stars in a cloud when the winds of north arise.
For thee weep the maids, Fear-comhraic, along the echoing hills. For thee the women weep, O Muirnin! chief of the wars of Erin. I see thee not, Fear-comhraic, on the hill; I see not Muirnin in the storms of ocean. Raise, raise the song, relate the tale. Descend ye years of other times.
Diorma was the daughter of Connaid, the chief of a thousand shields.
Diorma was among the maids, as the white flower among the heath.
Her breast was like a white cloud in heaven. Her bosom like the top of a wave in a storm. Her hair was like smoke in the sun : her eye like the star of morn. Not fairer looks the moon from between two clouds, than the face of Diorma from between her locks.
A thousand heroes loved the maid ; the maid loved none but Fear-comhraic. He loved the maid; and well he might; fair among women was the daughter of Connaid. She was the light of his soul in danger; the strength of his arm in battle.
Who shall deny me the maid, said Fear-comhraic, who, the fairest of women, Diorma ? Hard must be his helm of steel, and strong his shield of iron.
I deny her, said Muirnin, son of the chief of generous shells. My sword is keen, my spear is strong; the valiant yield to Muirnin.
Come, then, thou son of Cormac, O mighty Muirnin, come! leave the hill of Erin, come on the foamy wave.
Let thy ship, like a cloud, come over the storms of ocean.
He came along the sea : his sails were like grey mist on the heath : long was his spear of ash ; his shield like the bloody moon.-Aodan, son of Armclach, came; the youth of the gloomy brow.
Rise, Fear-comhraic, rise thou love of the soft Diorma ! fight, or yield the maid, son of the great Comhfeadan!
He rose like a cloud on the hill, when the winds of autumn blow.
Tall art thou, said Fear-comhraic, son of mighty Cormac; fair are thy cheeks of youth, and strong thy arm of war. Prepare the feast, and slay the deer; send round the shell of joy : Three days we feast together; we fight on the fourth, son of Cormac.
Why should I sheath my sword, son of the noble Comhfeadan ? Yield to me, son of battle, and raise my fame in Erin.
Raise thou my tomb, O Muirnin! If Fear-comhraic fall by thy steel, place my bright sword by my side, in the tomb of the lonely hill.
We fight by the noise of the stream, Muirnin! wield thy steel.
Swords soưnd on helmets, sound on shields ; brass clashes, clatters, rings. Sparkles buzz ; shivers fly; death bounds from mail to mail. As leaps a stone from rock to rock ; so blow succeeds to blow. Their eyes dart fire; their nostrils blow : they leap, they thrust, they wound.
Slowly, slowly falls the blade of Muirnin, son of war. Не sinks; his armour rings ; he cries, Fear-comhraic, I die !
And falls the bravest of men, the chief of Innisf hallin ! Stretch wide the sail ; ascend the wave, and bring the youth to Erin. Deep on the hills of Erin is the sigh of maids. For thee, my foe, I mourn : thou art the grief of Fear-comhraic.
Rise ye winds of the sounding hill; sigh over the fall of Muirnin! Weep, Diorma, for the hero ; weep, maid of the arms of snow; appear like the sun in rain ; move in tears along the shore !
Aodan saw the fall of Muirnin, and drew the sounding bow : The grey-winged arrow flew, and pierced the breast of Fearcomhraic. Aodan, said Fear-comhraic, where was the sword of war ? where was the spear of thy strength, when thus thou hast slain Fear-comhraic? Raise, gloomy youth, raise thou our tombs! I will rest with the chief of Innisf hallin.
Who is that on the hill, like a sun-beam in a storm? Who is that with the heaving breasts, which are like two wreaths of snow? Thy blue eyes roll in tears, thou daughter of mighty Connaid! Thy hair flies round thy temples, as the mist on the rocks of Ardven. Thy robe flows on the heath, daughter of grief, Diorma! He is fallen on the hill like a stream of light in a cloud. No more shall he hear thy voice like the sound of the string of music. The strength of the war is gone; the cheek of youth is pale.
CUCHULAID sat by the wall; by the tree of the rustling leaf1o. His spear leaned against the mossy rock. His shield lay by him on the grass. Whilst he thought on the mighty Carbre, whom he slew in battle, the scout of the ocean came, Moran, the son of Fithil,
Rise, Cuchulaid, rise! I see the ships of Garve. Many are the foe, Cuchulaid ; many the sons of Lochlyn.
Moran! thou ever tremblest ; thy fears increase the foe.
ro This is the opening of the epic poem mentioned in the Preface. The two following fragments are parts of some episodes of the same work. MACPHERSON. See Fingal, vol. i. p. 7.
" The aspen, or poplar tree. MACPHERSON.
They are the ships of the desert of hills arrived to assist Cuchulaid.
I saw their chief, says Moran, tall as a rock of ice. His spear is like that fir; his shield like the rising moon. He sat upon a rock on the shore, as a
the hill. Many, mighty man! I said, many are our heroes ; Garve, well art thou named ', many are the sons of our king.
He answered like a wave on the rock; who is like me here? The valiant live not with me; they go to the earth from my hand. The king of the desert of hills alone can fight with Garve. Once we wrestled on the hill. Our heels overturned the wood. Rocks fell from their place, and rivulets changed their course. Three days we strove together; heroes stood at a distance, and feared. On the fourth, the king saith that I fell; but Garve saith, he stood. Let Cuchulaid yield to him that is strong as a storm. No. I will never yield to man.
Cuchulaid will conquer or die. Go, Moran, take my spear; strike the shield of Caithbait which hangs before the gate. It never rings in peace. My heroes shall hear on the hill.
DucHOMMAR. Morna 13 thou fairest of women, daughter of Cormac-Carbre ! why in the circle of stones, in the cave of the rock, alone ! The
12 Garve signifies a man of great size. MACPHERSON.
stream murmureth hoarsely. The blast groaneth in the aged tree. The lake is troubled before thee. Dark are the clouds of the sky. But thou art like snow on the heath. Thy hair like a thin cloud of gold on the top of Cromleach. Thy breasts like two smooth rocks on the hill, which is seen from the stream of Brannuin. Thy arms, as two white pillars in the hall of Fingal.
MORNA. Whence the son of Mugruch, Duchommar, the most gloomy of men? Dark are thy brows of terror.
Red thy rolling eyes. Does Garve appear on the sea? What of the foe, Duchommar?
DUCHOMMAR. From the hill I return, O Morna, from the hill of the flying deer. Three have I slain with my bow; three with my panting dogs. Daughter of Cormac-Carbre, I love thee as my soul. I have slain a deer for thee. High was his branchy head ; and Aeet his feet of wind.
Morna. Gloomy son of Mugruch, Duchommar! I love thee not: hard is thy heart of rock; dark thy terrible brow. But Cadmor, the son of Tarman, thou art the sun of Morna! thou art like a sun-beam on the hill, in the day of the gloomy storm. Sawest thou the son of Tarman, lovely on the hill of the chace? Here the daughter of Cormac-Carbre waiteth the coming of Cadmor.
DUCHOMMAR. And long shall Morna wait. His blood is on this sword. I met him by the mossy stone, by the oak of the noisy stream. He fought; but I slew him; his blood is on my sword. High
black well-shaped man; Murne, or Morna, a wonian beloved by all; Cormac-Carbre, an unequalled and rough warrior ; Cromleach, a crooked hill; Mugruch, a surly gloony nian ; Tarman, thander : Moinie, soft in temper and person. MACPHERSON. See Fingal, vol. i. p. 25.