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ed his might along green Erin. Death dimly strode behind his sword. The sons of Bolga fled, from his course, as from a stream, that bursting from the stormy desert, rolls the fields together, with all their echoing woods”. Crothar met him in battle: but Alnecma's warriors fled. The king of Atha slowly retired, in the grief of his soul. He afterwards shone in the south ; but dim as the sun of autumn; when he visits, in his robes of mist, Lara of dark streams 22.
* As from a stream, that bursting from the stormy desert, rolls the fields together, with all their echoing woods.] Præcipitesque trahit silvas. Æneid, ii. 307. Pope's Iliad, v. 116.
Thus from high hills, the torrents, swift and strong,
O’erwhelms the bridge, and bursts the lofty bounds.
22 He shone in the south; but dim as the sun of autumn, when he visits, in his robes of mist, Lara of dark streams.7 Tuomson's Autumn.
The dim-seen river seems,
Sheds, weak and blunt, his wide refracted ray..
thered grass is covered with dew: the field, though bright, is sad !”
Why wakes the bard before me,” said Cathmor, “the memory of those who fled ? Has some ghost, from his dusky cloud, bent forward to thine ear; to frighten Cathmor from the field, with the tales of old ? Dwellers of the skirts of night, your voice is but a blast to me; which takes the
thistle's head, and strews its beard on streams. Within my bosom is a voice. Others hear it not *3. His soul forbids the king of Erin to shrink back from war."
Abashed the bard sinks back in night: retired he bends above a stream. His thoughts are on the days of Atha, when Cathmor heard his song with joy. His tears came rolling down. The winds are in his beard. Erin sleeps around. No sleep comes down on Cathmor's eyes. Dark, in his soul, he saw the spirit of low-laid Cairbar. , He saw him, without his song, rolled in a blast of night. He rose. His steps were round the
23 Within my bosom is a voice. Others hear it not.] POPE' I. Epist. Hor. lib. i.
A voice there is that whispers in my ear,
host. He struck, at times, his echoing shield. The sound reached Ossian's ear, on Mora's mossy brow.
“ Fillan,” I said, “the foes advance. I hear the shield of war. Stand thou in the narrow path. Ossian shall mark their course.
fall the host should pour, then be thy buckler heard. Awake the king on his heath, lest his fame should fly away." I strode in all my rattling arms; wide-bounding over a stream that darkly-winded, in the field, before the king of Atha. Green Atha's king, with lifted spear, came forward on my course.
Now would we have mixed in horrid fray, like two contending ghosts, that bending forth, from two clouds, send forth the roaring winds; did not Ossian behold, on high, the helmet of Erin's kings. The eagle's wing spread above it, rustling in the breeze *4. A red star looked through the plumes. I stopt the lifted
spear. “ The helmet of kings is before me! Who art
24 The eagle's wing spreads above it, rustling in the breeze.) Infra, iii. 25. DRYDEN's Æneid, xii. 550.
His crest of horses' hair is blown behind
thou, son of night? Shall Ossian's spear be renowned, when thou art lowly-laid?" At once he dropt the gleaming lance. Growing before me seemed the form “5. He stretched his hand in night. He spoke the words of kings.
“Friend of the spirits of heroes, do I meet thee thus in shades? I have wished for thy stately steps in Atha, in the days of joy. Why should my spear now arise ? The sun must behold us, Ossian ; when we bend, gleaming, in the strife*6. Future warriors shall mark the place: and, shuddering, think of other years. They shall mark it, like the haunt of ghosts", pleasant and dreadful to the soul."
25 Growing before me seemed the form.] Highlander, i. 221.
Silent the spectre tow'rs before the sight,
And shines an awful image through the night. 26 The sun must behold us, Ossian ; when we bend gleaming in the strife.] Id. i. 255.
The Dane resumes, with the sun's rising beam
We may in fields of death contend for fame. 27 Future warriors shall mark the place ;---shuddering.---They shall mark it like the haunt of ghosts.] Shewing their palc forms from the chinhy rocks.” Supra,. From Mason's Elfrida.
Away, ye goblins all,
Beside some lonely wall,
“Shall it then be forgot,” I said, “ where we meet in peace? Is the remembrance of battles always pleasant to the soul ? Do not we behold, with joy, the place where our fathers feasted ? But our eyes are full of tears, on the fields of their war. This stone shall rise, with all its moss, and speak to other years. “Here Cathmor and Ossian met! the warriors met in peace !” When thou, O stone, shalt fail: When Lubar's stream shall roll away! then shall the traveller come, and bend here, perhaps, in rest. When the dark.' ened moon is rolled over his head, our shadowy forms may come, and, mixing with his dreams, remind him of this place *8. But why turnest thou so dark away, son of Borbar-duthul ?”
Or shatter'd ruin of a moss-grown tower,
Away! ye elves away ! &c. 28 When the darkened moon is rolled over his head, our shadowy forms may come, and, mixing with his dreams, remind him of this place.] As the last was an imitation of Mason's, so is the present of Milton's fairy elves, or shadowy forms, seen by the belated peasant, or bewildered traveller. Par. Lost, i. 781.
Or fairy elves,