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6 Wide-skirted comes down the foe! Sons of woody Selma, arise. Be ye like the rocks of our land, on whose brown sides are the rolling of streams. A beam of joy comes on my soul. I see the foe mighty before me. It is when he is feeble, that the sighs of Fingal are heard : lest death should come, without renown, and darkness dwell on his tomb. Who shall lead the war against the host of Alnecma ? It is only when danger grows that my sword shall shine. Such was the custom, heretofore, of Trenmor, the ruler of winds! and thus descended to battle the blue-shielded Trathal !"

The chiefs bend toward the king. Each darkly seems to claim the war. They tell, by halves, their mighty deeds. They turn their eyes on Erin. But far before the rest the son of Morni stands. Silent he stands ; for who had not heard of the battles of Gaul? They rose within his soul. His hand, in secret, seized the sword.

Down it comes
From the rude mountain, and the mossy wild,
Tumbling through rocks abrupt, and sounding far;
Then o'er the sanded valley floating, spreads,
Calm, sluggish, silent; till again constrained
Between two meeting hills, it bursts away.

The sword which he brought from Strumon, when the strength of Morni failed".

* Strumon, stream of the hill, the name of the seat of the family of Gaul, in the neighbourhood of Selma. During Gaul's expedition to Tromathon, mentioned in the poem of Oithona, Morni his father died. Morni ordered the sword of Strumon (which had been preserved in the family as a relic, from the days of Colgach, the most renowned of his ancestors) to be laid by his side in the tomb: at the same time, leaving it in charge to his son, not to take it from thence till he was reduced to the last extremity. Not long after, two of his brothers being slain, in battle, by Coldaronnan chief of Clutha, Gaul went to his father's tomb to take the sword. His address to the spirit of the deceased hero, is the only part now remaining, of a poem of Ossian on the subject. I shall here lay it before the reader. First Edition.

GAUL.

BREAKER of echoing shields, whose head is deep in shades, hear me from the darkness of Clora, O son of Colgach, hear !

No rustling, like the eagle's wing, comes over the course of my streams. Deep bosomed in the midst of the desert, O king of Strumon, hear!

Dwellest thou in the shadowy breeze, that pours its dark wave over the grass ? Cease to strew the beard of the thistle; O chief of Clora, hear!

Or ridest thou on a beam, amidst the dark trouble of clouds ? Pourest thou the loud wind on seas, to roll their blue waves over isles ? hear me, father of Gaul; amidst thy terrors, hear !

The rustling of eagles is heard, the murmuring oaks shake their heads on the hills : dreadful and pleasant is thy approach, friend of the dwelling of heroes.

On his spear leans Fillan of Selma?, in the wandering of his locks. Thrice he raised his eyes

MORNI.

Who awakes me, in the midst of my cloud, where my locks of mist spread on the winds ? Mixed with the noise of streams, why rises the voice of Gaul ?

GAUL.

My foes are around me, Morni : their dark ships descend from their waves. Give the sword of Strumon, that beam which thou hidest in thy night.

MORNI. Take the sword of resounding Strumon; I look on thy war, my son; I look, a dim meteor, from my cloud: blue-shielded Gaul, destroy. MACPHERSON.

The etymology is fictitious, as usual : There is no such Earse word as Strumon, a mere alteration of stream; and the sword of Strumon, left by Colgach, or Galgacus, as a relic to his posterity, had not occurred when Fingal was written. Five Pieces of Runic poetry, translated from the Icelandic language, were published in 1763, by Dr Percy the present Bishop of Dromore, in the interval between the first appearance of Fingal, and of the Temora, which was then in the press. The first of these Runic pieces is the Incantation of Hervor, who compels her father Angantyr, to deliver his sword from the tomb. The sword of Strumon, which Gaul invokes his father to deliver from the tomb, is a plain imitation of the sword of Angantyr, transferred from Runic to Celtic poetry, and appropriated, as usual, to the Highlands of Scotland. “ As it came too late,” I presume, the translator's hands,” to be introduced into the text, it was inserted in a note, as the only part, now remaining, of a poem of Ossian, on the same subject with the sword of Angantyr. The sword which Angantyr hides in his tomb from his warlike daugh

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to Fingal : his voice thrice fails him as he speaks. My brother could not boast of battles : at once he strides away. Bent over a distant stream he stands: the tear hangs in his eye. He strikes, at times, the thistle's head, with his inverted spear *. Nor is he unseen of Fingal. Sidelong he beholds

ter, was made by the dwarfs ; its edges were poisoned, and no mail or shield could resist its temper. But the translator forgot, that the sword preserved in the family as a relic, from the days of Colgach, possessed no magical property whatsoever, to induce Morni to hide it in his mist, or Gaul to apply for it in his last extremity.

3 Clatho was the daughter of Cathulla, king of Inistore. Fingal, in one of his expeditions to that island, fell in love with Clatho, and took her to wife, after the death of Ros-crána, the daughter of Cormac, king of Ireland. Clatho was the mother of Ryno, Fillan, and Bosmina, mentioned in the Battle of Lora. Fillan is often called the son of Clatho, to distinguish him from those sons which Fingal had by Ros-crána. MACPHERSON.

“ On his spear stood the son of Clatho,” in the first editions : But the note remained, while the text was altered.

4 He strikes, at times, the thistle's head with his inverted spear.] A strange imitation of as strange bombast. Young's Night Thoughts, Night iv.

He writes
My name in heaven with that incerted spear,
(A spear deep-dipt in blood) which pierced his side,

And opened there a font for all mankind. In Carthon, “ He saw the foe's uncovered side, and opened there e wound.Vol. i. p. 337. See Temora, viii.

See Temora, viii. 4. Cathlin of Clutha, 7.

his son. He beholds him with bursting joy; and turns, amid his crowded soul. In silence turns the king towards Mora of woods. He hides the big tear with his locks.

At length his voice is heard.

“ First of the sons of Morni! Thou rock that defiest the storm ! lead thou my battle, for the race of low-laid Cormac. No boy's staff is thy spear : no harmless beam of light thy sword 5. Son of Morni of steeds, behold the foe! Destroy! Fillan, observe the chief! He is not calm in strife; nor burns he, heedless, in battle. My son, observe the chief! He is strong as Lubar's streams; but never foams and roars. High on cloudy Mora, Fingal shall behold the war. Stand, Ossian, near thy father, by the falling stream. Raise the voice, O bards ! Selma, move beneath the sound. It is my latter field. Clothe it over with light.”

As the sudden rising of winds, or distant rolling of troubled seas, when some dark ghost, in wrath, heaves the billows over an isle: an isle,

s No boy's staff is thy spear; no harmless beam of light thy sword.] The staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam. 1 Sam. xvii. 7.

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