« VorigeDoorgaan »
« on the hills. They have fallen like an oak of “ the desert, when it lies across a stream, and wi“thers in the wind. Oscar, chief of every youth, “ thou seest how they have fallen. Be thou like “ them on earth renowned. Like them the song “ of bards. Terrible were their forms in battle; “ but calm was Ryno in the days of peace. He “ was like the bow of the shower seen far distant “ on the stream, when the sun is setting on Mora, “ when silence dwells on the hill of deer. Rest, "youngest of my sons! rest, O Ryno, on Lena. “ We too shall be no more. Warriors one day ( must fall!”
Such was thy grief, thou king of swords, when Ryno lay on earth. What must the grief of Ossian be, for thou thyself art gone! I hear not thy distant voice on Cona. My eyes perceive thee not. Often forlorn and dark I sit at thy tomb, and feel it with my hands. When I think I bear thy voice it is but the passing blast. Fingal has long since fallen asleep, the ruler of the war!
Then Gaul and Ossian sat with Swaran, on the soft green banks of Lubar. I touched the harp to please the king. But gloomy was his brow. He rolled his red eyes towards Lena. The hero mourned his host. I raised mine eyes to Cromla's brow. I saw the son of generous Semo. Sad and slow he retired from his hill, towards the lonely cave of Tura. He saw Fingal victorious, and mixed his joy with grief. The sun is bright on his armour. Connal slowly strode behind. They sunk behind the hill, like two pillars of the fire of night, when winds pursue them over the mountain, and the flaming heath resounds! Beside a stream of roaring foam his cave is in a rock. One tree bends above it. The rushing winds echo against its sides. Here rests the chief of Erin, the son of generous Semo. His thoughts are on the battles he lost. The tear is on his cheek. He mourned the departure of his fame, that fled like the mist of Cona. O Bragela! thou art too far remote to cheer the soul of the hero. But let him see thy bright form in his mind, that his thoughts may return to the lonely sun-beam of his love ! Who comes with the locks of age? It is the songs.
Hail, Carril of other times! Thy voice is like the harp in the halls of Tura. Thy words are pleasant as the shower which “ falls on the sunny field. Carril of the times of “old, why comest thou from the son of the generous Semo ?”
“Ossian, king of swords," replied the bard, “ thou best can raise the song. Long hast thou “ been known to Carril, thou ruler of war! “ Often have I touched the harp to lovely Ever
Thou too hast often joined my voice in “ Branno's hall of generous shells. And often, " amidst our voices, was heard the mildest Ever“ allin. One day she sung of Cormac's fall, the
“ youth who died for her love. I saw the tears “ on her cheek, and on thine, thou chief of men, “ Her soul was touched for the unhappy, though “ she loved him not. How fair among a thou“sand maids was the daughter of generous
“ Bring not, Carril," I replied, “bring not “ her memory to my mind. My soul must melt “ at the remembrance. My eyes must have their “ tears. · Pale in the earth is she, the softly“ blushing fair of my love! But sit thou on the
! “ heath, O bard! and let us bear thy voice. It is “ pleasant as the gale of spring that sighs on the “ hunter's ear, when he awakens from dreams of “joy, and has heard the music of the spirits of • the hill!”
ARGUMENT.-NIGHT comes on. Fingal gives a feast to
his army, at which Swaran is present. The king commands Uílin, his bard, to give the song of peace; a custom always observed at the end of a war. Ullin relates the actions of Trenmor, great grandfather to Fingal, in Scandinavia, and his marriage with Inibaca, the daughter of a king of Lochlin, who was ancestor to Swaran ; which consideration, together with his being brother to Agandecca, with whom Fingal was in love in his youth, induced the king to release him, and permit him to return with the remains of his army into Lochlin, upon his promise of never returning to Ireland in a hostile manner. The night is spent in settling Swaran's departure, in songs of bards, and in a conversation in which the story of Grumal is introduced by Fingal Morning comes. Swaran departs. Fingal goes on a hunting party, and finding Cuthullin in the cave of Tura, comforts him, and sets sail the next day for Scotland, which concludes the poem. The clouds of night come rolling down. Darkness rests on the steeps of Cromla. The stars of the north arise over the rolling of Erin's waves : they show their heads of fire through the flying mist of heaven. A distant wind roars in the wood. Silent and dark is the plain of death! Still on the dusky Lena arose in my ears the voice of Carril. He
sung of the friends of our youth; the days of former years; when we met on the banks of Lego: when we sent round the joy of the shell. Cromla answered to his voice. The ghosts of those he sung came in their rustling winds. They were seen to bend with joy, towards the sound of their praise!
Be thy soul blest, O Carril! in the midst of thy eddying winds.
O that thou wouldst come to my hall, when I am alone by night! And thou dost come, my friend. I hear often thy light hand on my harp, when it hangs on the distant wall, and the feeble sound touches my ear. Why dost thou not speak to me in my grief, and tell when I shall behold my friends ? But thou passest away in thy murmuring blast; the wind whistles through the grey hair of Ossian!
Now, on the side of Mora, the heroes gathered to the feast. A thousand aged oaks are burning to the wind. The strength* of the shells goes round. The souls of warriors brighten with joy. But the king of Lochlin is silent. Sorrow reddens in the eyes of his pride. He often turned toward Lena. He remembered that he fell. Fingal leaned on the shield of his fathers. His
locks slowly waved on the wind, and glittered to the beam of night. He saw the grief of Swaran, and spoke to the first of bards.
“ Raise, Ullin, raise the song of peace. “ sooth my soul from war! Let mine ear forget, « in the sound, the dismal noise of arms. “ hundred harps be near to gladden the king of “ Lochlin. He must depart from us with joy.
The ancient Celtæ brewed beer, and they were no strangers to nead. Several ancient poems mention wax lights and wine as common in the balls of Fingal. The Caledonians, in their frequent incursions to the province, might become acquainted with those conveniences of life, and introduce them into their own country, amons the booty which they carried from South Britain.