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“ fall of the haughty. The light of my steel “pours on the proud in arms. The battle comes ! 66 and the tombs of the valiant rise; the tombs of
my people rise, O my fathers! I at last must “ remain alone! But I will remain renowned ; “ the departure of my soul shall be a stream of “ light. Lathmon! retire to thy place! Turn
thy battles to other lands! The race of Mor
ven are renowned; their foes are the sons of “ the unhappy!"
ARGUMENT.It may not be improper here to give the story, which is the foundation of this poem, as it is handed down by tradition. Usnoth, lord of Etha, which is probably that part of Argyleshire which is near Loch Eta, an arm of the sea in Lorn, had three sons, Nathos, Althos, and Ardan, by Slissáma, the daughter of Semo, and sister to the celebrated Cuthullin. The three brothers, when very young, were sent over to Ireland by their father, to learn the use of arms under their uncle Cuthullin, who made a great figure in that kingdom. They were just landed in Ulster
when the news of Cuthullin's death arrived. Nathos, though very young, took the command of Cuthullin's army, made head against Cairbar the usurper, and defeated him in several battles. Cairbar at last having found means to murder Cormac the lawful king, the army of Nathos shifted sides, and he himself was obliged to return into Ulster, in order to pass over into
in love, resided at that time in Seláma, a castle in Ulster. She saw, fell in love, and Aed with Nathos; but a storm rising at sea they were unfortunately driven back on that part of the coast of Ulster where Cairbar was encamped with his army. The three brothers, after having defend. ed themselves for some time with great bravery, were overpowered and slain, and the unfortunate Dar-thula killed herself upon the body of her beloved Nathos. The poem opens on the night preceding the death of the
sons of Usnoth, and brings in by way of episode what passed before. It relates the death of Dar-thula differently from the common tradition. This account is the most probable, as suicide seems to have been unknown in those early times, for no traces of it are found in the old poetry.
DAUGHTER of heaven, fair art thou! the silence of thy face is pleasant! Thou comest forth in loveliness. The stars attend thy blue course in the east. The clouds rejoice in thy presence, O muon! They brighten their dark-brown sides. Who is like thee in heaven, light of the silent night? The stars are ashamed in thy presence. They turn away their sparkling eyes. Whither dost thou retire from thy course, when the darkness of thy countenance grows ? Hast thou thy hall, like Ossian? Dwellest thou in the shadow of grief? Have thy sisters fallen from heaven? Are they who rejoiced with thee, at night, no more? Yes they have fallen, fair light! and thou dost often retire to mourn. But thou thyself shalt fail one night, and leave thy blue path in heaven. The stars will then lift their heads: they, who are ashamed in thy presence, will rejoice. Thou art now clothed with thy brightness. Look from thy gates in the sky. Burst the cloud, O wind! that the daughter of night may look forth! that the shaggy mountains may brighten, and the ocean roll its white waves in liglit.
Nathos* is on the deep, and Althos, that beam * Nathos signifies youthful; Althos exquisite beauty ; Ardan pridc.