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THE BATTLE OF LORA.

Son of the distant land, who dwellest in the secret cell! do I hear the sound of thy grove? or is it thy voice of songs? The torrent was loud in my ear; but I heard a tuneful voice. Dost thou praise the chiefs of thy land: or the spirits* of the wind ? But, lonely dweller of rocks! look thou on that heathy plain. Thou seest green tombs, with their rank, whistling grass: with their stones of mossy beads. Thou seest them, son of the rock, but Ossian's eyes have failed.

A mountain-stream comes roaring down, and sends its waters round a green hill. Four mossy stones, in the midst of withered grass, rear their heads on the top. Two trees, which the storms have bent, spread their whistling branches around. This is thy dwelling, Erragon;* this thy narrow house: the sound of thy shells have been long forgot in Sora. Thy shield has become dark in thy ball. Erragon, king of ships! chief of distant Sora! how hast thou fallen in our mountains ? How is the mighty low? Son of the secret cell!

* Alluding to the religious hymns of the Culdees.

+ Erragon, or Ferg-thonn, signifies the rage of the waves ; probably a poetical name given him by Ossian himself; for he goes by the name of Annir in tradition.

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dost thou delight in songs Hear the battle of Lora. The sound of its steel is long since past. So thunder on the darkened hill roars and is no

The sun returns with his silent beams. The glittering rocks, and green heads of the mountains smile.

The bay of Cona received our ships* from Erin's rolling waves.

Our white sheets hung loose to the masts. The boisterous winds roared behind the groves of Morven. The horn of the king is sounded; the deer start from their rocks. Our arrows flew in the woods. The feast of the hill is spread. Our joy was great in our rocks, for the fall of the terrible Swaran. Two heroes were forgot at our feast. The rage of their bosoms burned. They rolled their red eyes in secret. The sigh bursts from their breasts. They were seen to talk together, and to throw their spears on earth. They were two dark clouds in the midst of our joy; like pillars of mist on the set

They glitter to the sun, but the mariners fear a storm.

“ Raise my white sails,” said Ma-ronnan, « raise them to the winds of the west. Let us “ rush, O Aldo! through the foam of the north

We are forgot at the feast: but our arms have been red in blood. Let us leave “ the hills of Fingal, and serve the king of Sora. “ His countenance is fierce. War darkens around

tled sea.

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* This was att Fingal's return from his war against Swaran.

" his spear. Let us be renowned, O Aldo, in the 6 battles of other lands!"

They took their swords, their shields of thongs. They rushed to Lumar's resounding bay. They came to Sora’s haughty king, the chief of bounding steeds. Erragon had returned from the chase. His spear was red in blood. He bent his dark face to the ground; and whistled as he went.

He took the strangers to his feasts: they fought and conquered in his wars.

Aldo returned with his fame towards Sora's lofty walls. From her tower looked the spouse of Erragon, the humid, rolling eyes of Lorma. Her yellow hair flies on the wind of ocean,

Her white breast heaves, like snow on heath: when the gentle winds arise, and slowly move it in the light. She saw young Aldo, like the beam of Sora's setting sim. Her soft heart sighed. Tears filled her eyes. Her white arm supported her head. Three days she sat within the hall, and covered her grief with joy. On the fourth she fled with the hero, along the troubled sea. They came to Cona's mossy towers, to Fingal king of spears.

“ Aldo of the heart of pride!” said Fingal, rising in wrath : " sball I defend thee from the

rage of Sora's injured king? who will now re* ceive my people into their halls? Who will

give the feast of strangers, since Aldo, of the “ little soul, has dishonoured my name in Sora?

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VOL. II.

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“Go to thy hills, thou feeble hand! Go: hide “ thee in thy caves.

Mournful is the battle we “must fight, with Sora's gloomy king. Spirit “ of the noble Trenmor! When will Fingal

cease to fight? I was born in the midst of bat“ tles, * and my steps must move in blood to the tomb. But my hand did not injure the weak,

my steel did not touch the feeble in arms. I “ behold thy tempests, O Merven! which will “ overturn my halls! when my children “ in battle, and none remains to dwell in Selma. “ Then will the feeble come, but they will not “ know my tomb. My renown is only in song.

My deeds shall be as a dream to future times!”

His people gathered around Erragon, as the storms round the ghosts of night; when he calls them from the top of Morven, and prepares to pour

thein on the land of the stranger. He came to the shore of Cona. He sent his bard to the king; to demand the combat of thousands; or the land of many hills! Fingal sat in bis hall with the friends of his youth around him. The young heroes were at the chase, far distant in the desert. The grey-haired chiefs talked of other times; of the actions of their youth; when the aged Nartmort came, the chief of streamy Lora.

“This is no time," said Nartmor, “ to liear the songs of other years: Erragon frowns on the

Comhal, the father of Fingal, was slain in battle, against the tribe of Morni, the very day that Fingal was born ; so that he may, propriety, be said to have been born in the midst of battle's. + Neart-mór, great strength. Lora, noisyj.

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“coast, and lifts ten thousand swords. Gloomy " is the king among his chiefs ! he is like the “ darkened moon amidst the meteors of night; « when they sail along her skirts, and give the

light that has failed o'er her orb." “ Come," said Fingal, “from thy hall, come, daughter of

my love: come from thy hall, Bosmina,* maid “ of streamy Morven! Nartmor, take the steeds “ of the strangers. Attend the daughter of Fin'gal! Let her bid the king of Sora to our feast, " to Selma's shaded wall. Offer him, O Bos. s* mina! the peace of heroes, and the wealth of

generous Aldo. Our youths are far distant. " Age is on our trembling hands!”

She came to the host of Erragon, like a beam of light to a cloud. In her right hand was seen a sparkling shell. In her left an arrow of gold. The first, the joyful mark of peace! The latter, the sign of war. Erragon brightened in her presence as a rock, before the sudden beams of the súñ; when they issue from a broken cloud, divided by the roaring wind!

* Son of the distant Sora," began the mildly blushing maid, “ come to the feast of Morven's

king, to Selma's shaded walls. Take the peace " of heroes, o warrior! Let the dark sword rest

by thy side. Choosest thou the wealth of kings? " Then hear the words of generous Aldo. He

* Bos-mhina, soft and tender hand. She was the youngest of Fixgal's children.

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