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of Swarau's shield rushed the blade* of Luno. The shield fell rolling on earth. Cleft the helmet | fell down. Fingal stopt the lifted steel. Wrathful stood Swaran, unarmed. He rolled his silent eyes; he threw his sword on earth. Then slowly stalking over the stream, he whistled as he went.
Nor unseen of his father is Swaran. Starno turns away in wrath. His shaggy brows wave dark above his gathered rage. He strikes Loda's tree with his spear. He raises the hum of songs. They come to the host of Lochlin, each in his own dark path; like two foam-covered streains from two rainy vales!
To Turthor's plain Fingal returned. Fair rose the beam of the east. It shone on the spoils of Lochlin in the hand of the king. From her cave came forth, in her beauty, the daughter of Torcultorno. She gathered her hair from wind. She wildly raised her song. The song of Lulan of shells, where once her father dwelt. She saw Starno's bloody shield. Gladness rose a light on her face. She saw the cleft helmet of Swarant.
* The sword of Fingal, so called from its maker, Luno of Lochlin.
+ The helmet of Swaran. The behaviour of Fingal is always consistent with that generosity of spirit which belongs to a hero. He takes no advantage of a foe disarmed.
Conban-carglas, firom seeing the helmet of Swaran bloody in the hands of Fingal, conjectured that that hero was killed. A part of the original is lost. It appears, however, from the sequel of the poem, that the daughter of Torcul-torno did not long survive her surprise, occasioned by the supposed death of her lover. The description of the airy hall of Loda (which is supposed to be the same VOL, I.
She shrunk, darkened, from Fingal. “ Art thou “ fallen by thy hundred streams, o love of the “ mournful maid !"
U-thorno, that risest in waters! on whose side are the meteors of night! I behold the dark moon descending behind thy resounding woods. On thy top dwells the misty Loda: the house of the spirits of men! In the end of his cloudy hall bends forward Cruth-loda of swords. His form is dimly seen amid his wavy mist. His right-hand is on his shield. In his left is the half-viewless shell. The roof of his dreadful hall is marked with nightly fires!
The race of Cruth-loda advance, a ridge of formless shades. He reaches the sounding shell to those who shone in war. But, between him and the feeble, his shield rises a darkened orb. He is á setting meteor to the weak in arms. Bright as a rainbow on streams came Lulan's white-bosomed maid.
with that of Odin, the deity of Scandinavia) is more picturesque and descriptive than any in the Edda, or other works of the northern Sealders.
ARGUMENT._FINGAL, returning with day, devolves
the command on Duth-maruno, who engages the enemy, and drives them over the stream of Turthor. Having recalled his people, he congratulates Duth-maruno on his success, but discovers that that hero had been mortally wounded in the action. ---Duth-maruno dies. Ulin. the bard, in honour of the dead, introduces the episode of Colgorm and Strina-dona, which concludes this duän. "
“WHERE art thou, son of the king ?" said darkhaired Duth-naruno. “ Where hast thou failed, “ young beam of Selma? He returns not from « the bosom of night! Morning is spread on U“ thorno. In his mist is the sun on his hill. “ Warriors lift the shields in my presence. He “ must not fall, like a fire from heaven, whose “place is not marked on the ground. He comes, “ like an eagle, from the skirt of his squally wind! “ In his hand are the spoils of foes. King of Sel“ma, our souls were sad !"
“Near us are the foes, Duth-maruno. They “ come forward, like waves in mist, when their “ foamy tops are seen, at times, above the low“ sailing vapour. The traveller shrinks on his "journey; he knows not whither to fly. No “ trembling travellers are we! Sons of heroes call « forth the steel. Shall the sword of Fingal arise, « or shall a warrior lead ?"
* The deeds of old, said Duth-maruno, are like paths to our eyes, O Fingal! Broad-shielded Trenmor is still seen amidst his own dim years. Nor feeble was the soul of the king. There no dark deed wandered in secret. From their hundred streams came the tribes to grassy Colglancrona. Their chiefs were before them. Each strove to lead the war. Their swords were often halfunsheathed. Red rolled their eyes of rage. Separate they stood, and hummed their surly songs. “ Why should they yield to each other? their fa“thers were equal in war.” Trenmor was there, with his people, stately in youthful locks. He saw the advancing foe. The grief of his soul arose. He bade the chiefs to lead by turns: they led, but they were rolled away. From his own mossy hill blue-shielded Trenmor came down. He led wide-skirted battle, and the strangers failed. Around him the dark-browed warriors came : they struck the shield of joy. Like a pleasant gale the words of power rnshed forth from Selma of kings. But the chiefs led by turns, in war, till mighty danger rose : then was the hour of the king to conquer in the field.
* In this short episode we have a very probable account given us of the origin of monarchy in Caledonia. The Cael, or Gauls, who possessed the countries to the north of the Frith of Edinburgh, were, originally, a number of distinct tribes, or clans, each subject to its own chief, who was free and independent of any other power. When the Romans invaded them, the common danger might, perhaps, have induced those reguli to join together; but, as they were unwilling to yield to the command of one of their own number, their battles were ill conducted, and, consequently, unsuccessful. Trenmor was the first who represented to the chiefs the bad consequences of carrying on their wars in this irregular manner, and advised that they themselves should alternately lead in battle. They did so, but they were unsuccessful. When it came to Trenmor's turn he totally defeated the enemy by his superior valour and conduct, which gained him such an interest among the tribes, that he and his family after him were regarded as kings; or to use the poet's expression, the words of power rushed forth from Selma of kings. The regal authority, however, except in time of war, was but inconsiderable ; for every chief within his own district, was absolute and independent. From the scene of the battle in this episode (which was in the valley of Crona, a little to the north of Agricola's wall,) I should suppose that the enemies of the Caledonians were the Romans, or provincial Britaitis,
“Not unknown,” said Cromma-glass* of shields " are the deeds of our fathers. But who shall “ now lead the war before the race of kings? “ Mist settles on these four dark hills: within it « let each warrior strike his shield. Spirits may “ descend in darkness, and mark us for the war."
* In tradition this Cromma-glass makes a great figure in that battle which Comhal lost, together with his life, to the tribe of Morni. I have just now in my hands an Irish composition of a very modern date, as appears from the language, in which all the traditions concerning that decisive engagement are jumbled together. In justice to the merit of the poem, I should have here presented to the reader a translation of it, did not the bard mention some circumstances very ridiculous, and others altogether indecent. Morna, the wife of Comhal, had a principal hand in all the transactions previous to the defeat and death of her husband; she, to use the words of the bard, who was the guiding star of the women of Erin. The bard, it is to be hoped, misrepresented the ladies of his country, for Morna's behaviour was, according to him, so void of all decency and virtue, that it cannot be supposed they had chosen her for their guiding star. The poem consists of many stanzas. The language is figurative, and the numbers barmonious; but the piece is so full of anachronisms, and so unequal in its composition, that the author, most undoubtedly, was either mad or drunk when he wrote it. It is worthy of being remarked, that Com. hal is, in this poem, very often called, Comhal na h’ Albin, or Comhal of Albion, which sufficiently demonstrates that the allegations of Keating and O'Flaherty, concerning Fion Mac Comnal, are but of late invention.