[ocr errors]

“I am revenged. I was not peaceful in the “ field. Raise the tombs of those I have slain, “ around my narrow house. Often shall I for“ sake the blast, to rejoice above their graves; s when I behold them spread around, with their long-whistling grass.”

His soul rushed to the vale of Moma, to Darda-lena's dreams, where she slept, by Dalrutho's stream, returning from the chase of the hinds. Her bow is near the maid, unstrung. The breezes fold her long hair on her breasts. Clothed in the beauty of youth, the love of heroes lay. Dark-bending from the skirts of the wood, her wounded father seemed to come. He appeared, at times, then hid himself in mist. Bursting into tears she arose. She knew that the chief was low. To her came a beam from his soul, when folded in its storms. Thou wert the last of his race O blue-eyed Dardu-lena.

Wide spreading over echoing Lubar, the flight of Bolgar is rolled along. Fillan hangs forward on their steps. He strews, with dead, the heath. Fingal rejoices over his son. Blue shielded Cathmor rose. *

* Tbe suspense, in which the mind of the reader is left here corveys the idea of Fillan's danger more forcibly home, than any description that could be introduced. There is a sort of eloquence, in silence with propriety. A minute detail of the circumstances of an impor tant scene is generally cold and insipid. The buman mind, free and fond of thinking for itself, is disgusted to find every thing done by the poet. It is, therefore, his business only to mark the most striking outlines, and to allow the inaginations of his readers to finish the figure for themselves. VOL. II.


[ocr errors]


Son of Alpin, bring the harp. Give Fillan's praise to the wind. Raise high his praise, in mine ear, while yet he shines in war.

Leave, blue-eyed Clatho, leave thy hall! “Behold that early beam of thine ! The host is “ withered in its course. No further look, it is “ dark. Light-trembling from the harp, strike,

virgins, strike the sound. No hunter he de“ scends, from the dewy haunt of the bounding

He bends not his bow on the wind; nor * sends his

grey arrow abroad. “Deep-folded in red war! See battle roll “ against his side. Striding amid the ridgy strife, “ he pours the death of thousands forth. Fillan “ is like a spirit of heaven, that descends from the “ skirt of winds. The troubled ocean feels his

steps, as he strides from wave to wave. His “path kindles behind him. Islands shake their “ heads on the heaving seas! Leave, blue-eyed

Clatho, leave thy hall !”

[ocr errors]

The book ends in the afternoon of the third day, from the opening of the poen.



roes ceases.

ARGUMENT. This book opens with a speech of Fin

gal, who sees Cathmor descending to the assistance of his flying army. The king dispatches Ossian to the relief of Fillan. He himself retires behind the rock of Cormul, to avoid the sight of the engagement between his son and Cathmor. Ossian advances. The descent of Cathmor described. He rallies the army, renews the battle, and before Ossian could arrive, engages Fillan himself. Upon the approach of Ossian, the combat between the two he

Ossian and Cathmor prepare to fight, but night coming on, prevents them. Ossian returns to the place where Cathmor and Fillan fought. He finds Fillan mortally wounded, and leaning against a rock. Their discourse. Fillan dies: his body is laid, by Ossian, in a neighbouring cave. The Caledonian army return to Fingal. He questions them about his son, and understanding that he was killed, retires, in silence, to the rock of Cor. mul. Upon the retreat of the army of Fingal, the Firbolg advance. Cathmor' finds Brań, one of the dogs of Fingal, lying on the shield of Fillan, before the entrance of the cave, where the body of that hero lay. His reflections thereupon. He returns, in a melancholy mood to

Malthos endeavours to comfort him, by the example of his father Borbar-duthul. Cathmor retires to rest. The song of Sul-malla concludes the book, which ends about the middle of the third night, from the opening

his army.

of the poem.

“ CATHMOR* rises on his hill! Shall Fingal “ take the sword of Luno? But what should be

come of thy fame, son of white bosomed Clatho? “ Turn not thine eyes from Fingal, fair daughter of Inistore. I shall not quench thy early beam. " It shines along my soul. Rise, wood-skirted “ Mora, rise between the war and me! Why

• Fingal speaks.

Carril's song.

“ should Fingal behold the strife, lest his dark“ haired warrior should fall! Amidst the


0 “Carril, pour the sound of the trembling harp! “ Here are the voices of rocks! and there the bright

tumbling of waters. Father of Oscar, lift the “spear! Defend the

in arnis.

Conceal thy steps from Fillan. He must not know " that I doubt his steel. No cloud of mine shall rise, my son, upon thy soul of fire! He sunk behind his rock, amid the sound of

Brightening in my growing soul, I took the spear of Temora.* I saw, along Moilena, the wild tumbling of battle; the strife of death, in gleaming rows, disjoined and broken round. Fillan is a beam of fire. From wing to wing is his wasteful course. The ridges of war melt before him. They are rolled, in smoke, from the fields!

Now is the coming forth of Cathmor, in the armour of kings! Dark waves the eagle's wing, above his helmet of fire. Unconcerned are his steps, as if they were to the chase of Erin. He raises at times his terrible voice. Erin, abashed, gathers round. Their souls return back, like a stream, They wonder at the steps of their fear. He rose, like the beam of the morning, on a haunted heath; the traveller looks back, with

* The spear of Temora was that which Oscar had received, in a present, from Cormac, the son of Artho, king of Ireland. It was of it that Cairbar made the pretext for quarrelling with Oscar ,at the feast, in the first book.

bending eye, on the field of dreadful forms! Sudden, from the rock of Moi-lena, are Sul-malla's trembling steps. An oak takes the spear from her hand. Half bent she looses the lance. But then are her eyes on the king, from amid her wandering locks! No friendly strife is before thee! No light contending of bows, as when the youth of* Inis-huna, came forth beneath the eye of Conmor!

As the rock of Runo, which takes the passing clouds as they fly, seems growing, in gathered darkness, over the streamy heath; so seems the chief of Atla taller, as gather his people around. As different blasts fly over the sea, each behind its dark-blue wave; so Cathmor's words, on every side, pour his warriors forth. Nor silent on his hill is Fillan. He mixes his words with his echoing shield. An eagle he seened, with sounding wings, calling the wind to his rock, when he sees the coming forth of the roes, on Lutha’st rushy field!

Now they bend forward in battle. Death's hundred voices arise. The kings, on either side, were like fires on the souls of the hosts. Ossian

Cluba, winding bay; an arm of the sea in Inis-huna, or the western coast of South-Britain. It was in this bay that Cathmor was wind-bound when Sul-malla came, in the disguise of a young warrior, to accompany him in his voyage to Ireland. Conmor, the father of Sul-malla, as is insinuated at the close of the fourth book, was dead before the departure of his daughter.

+ Lutha was the name of a valley in Morven. There dwelt Toscar the son of Conloch, the father of Malvina, who, upon that account, is often called the maid of Lutha. Lutha signifies swift stream.

« 前へ次へ »