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ARGUMENT. REFLECTIONS on the poet's youth. An apostrophe to Selma. Oscar obtains leave to go to Inis-thona, an island of Scandinavia. The mournful story of Argon and Ruro, the two sons of the king of Inis-thona. Oscar revenges their death, and returns in triumph to Selma. A soliloquy by the poet himself.
WAR OF INIS-THONA.
OUR youth is like the dream of the hunter on the bill of heath. He sleeps in the mild beams of the sun; he awakes amidst a storm; the red lightning flies around: trees shake their heads to the wind! He looks back with joy, on the day of the sun; and the pleasant dreams of his rest! When shall Ossian's youth return? When his ear delight in the sound of arms? When shall I, like Oscar, travel in the light of my steel? Come, with your streams, ye hills of Cona! listen to the voice of Ossian. The song rises, like the sun, in my soul. I feel the joys of other times.
I behold thy towers, O Selma! the oaks of thy shaded wall: thy streams sound in my ear; thy heroes gather around. Fingal sits in the midst. He leans on the shield of Trenmor: his spear stands against the wall; he listens to the songs of his bards. The deeds of his arm are heard; the actions of the king in his youth! Oscar had returned from the chase, and heard the hero's praise. He took the shield of Branno* from the wall; his eyes were
* This is Branno, the father of Everallin, and grandfather to Oscar; he was of Irish extraction, and lord of the country round the lake of Lego. His great actions are handed down by tradition, and his bospitality has passed into a proverb.
THE WAR OF INIS-THONA:
filled with tears. Red was the cheek of youth. His voice was trembling low. My spear shook its bright head in his hand; he spoke to Morven's king.
“ Fingal! thou king of heroes! Ossian, next to « him in war! ye have fought in your youth; your
names are renowned in song. Oscar is like " the mist of Cona; I appear and vanish away. “ The bard will not know my name.
The hunter “ will not search in the heath for
tomb. Let me fight, O heroes, in the battles of Inis-thona. “ Distant is the land of
shall not hear “ of Oscar's fall: some bard may find me there; some bard
may give my name to song. The daughter of the stranger shall see my tomb, and
weep over the youth, that came from afar. “ The bard shall say, at the feast, hear the song “ of Oscar from the distant land!”
“ Oscar,” replied the king of Morven; “ thou “shalt fight, son of my fame! Prepare my dark“ bosomed ship to carry my hero to Inis-thona. “ Son of my son, regard our fame; thou art of the
of renown! Let not the children of strangers say, feeble are the sons of Morven! Be thou, “ in battle, a roaring storm: mild as the evening
sun in peace! Tell, Oscar, to Inis-thona's king, “ that Fingal remembers his youth; when we “strove in the combat together, in the days of “ Agandecca."
They lifted up the sounding sail; the wind