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ARGUMENT.-ADDRESS to the evening star. Apos
trophe to Fingal and his times. Minona sings before the king the song of the unfortunate Colma; and the bards exhibit other specimens of their poetical talents; accor. ding to an annual custom established by the monarchs of the ancient Caledonians.
THE SONGS OF SELMA.
STAR of descending night! fair is thy light in the west! thou liftest thy unshorn head from thy cloud: thy steps are stately on thy hill. What dost thou behold in the plain; the stormy winds are laid. The murmur of the torrent comes front afar. Roaring waves climb the distant rock. The flies of evening are on their feeble wings; the hum of their course is on the field. What dost thou behold, fair light? But thou dost smile and depart. The waves come with joy around thee: they bathe thy lovely hair. Farewell, thou silent beam! Let the light of Ossian's soul arise!
And it does arise in its strength! I behold my departed friends. Their gathering is on Lora, as in the days of other years. Fingal comes like a watry column of mist! his heroes are around: and see the bards of song, grey-haired Ullin! stately Ryno! Alpin,* with the tuneful voice! the soft complaint of Minona! How are ye changed, my friends, since the days of Selma's feast? when we contended, like gales of spring, as they fly along the hill, and bend by turns the feebly. whistling grass.
* Alpin is from the same root with Albion, or rather Albin, the ancient name of Britain; Alp, high island, or country. The present name of our island has its origin in the Celtic tongue; so that those who derived it from any other betrayed their ignorance of the ancient language of our country. Brait or Braid, extensive; and in, land.
Minona* came forth in her beauty; with downcast look and tearful eye. Her hair flew slowly on the blast, that rushed unfrequent from the hill. The souls of the heroes were sad when she raised the tuneful voice. Often had they seen the grave of Salgar,t the dark dwelling of white-bosomed Colma. Colma left alone on the hill, with all her voice of song! Salgar promised to come; but the night descended around. Hear the voice of Colma, when she sat alone on the hill!
Colma. It is night, I am alone, forlorn on the hill of storms. The wind is heard on the moun
ain. The torrent pours down the rock. No hut receives me from the rain; forlorn on the hill of winds!
'Rise, moon! from behind thy clouds. Stars of the night, arise! Lead me, some light, to the place, where my love rests from the chase alone! his bow near him, unstrung: his dogs panting around him. But here I must sit alone, by the rock of the mossy stream. The stream and the wind roar aloud. I hear not the voice of my love! Why delays my Salgar, why the chief of the hill, his promise? Here is the rock, and here the tree! here is thy roaring stream! Thou didst promise with night to be here. Ab! whither is my Salgar gone? With thee I would fly from my
* Ossian introduces Minona, not in the ideal scene in his own mind, which he had described; but at the annual feast of Selma, where the bards repeated their works before Fingal. + Sealg-'er, a $ Culmath, a woman with fine hair.