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fathers, they say,* call away the souls of their race, while they behold them lonely in the midst
Call me, my father, away! When “ Cathmor is low on earth; then shall Sul-malla “ be lonely in the midst of wo!”
“ of wo.
* Con-mor, the father of Sul-malla, was killed in that war, from which Cathmor delivered Inis-huna. Lormar his son succeeded Conmor. It was the opinion of the times, when a person was reduced to a pitch of misery, which could aclmit of no alleviation, that the ghost of his ancestors called his soul away. This supernatural kind of death was called the voice of the dead; and is believed by the superstitious vulgar to this day.
There is no people in the world, perhaps, who give more universal credit to apparitions, and the visits of the ghosts of the deceased to their friends, than the ancient Scots. This is to be attributed as much, at least, to the situation of the country they possess, as to that eredulous disposition which distinguishes an unenlightened people. As their business was feeding of cattle, in dark and extensive deserts, so their journeys lay over wide and unfrequented heaths, where, often, they were obliged to sleep in the open air, amidst the whistling of winds, and roar of water-falls. The gloominess of the scenes around them was apt to beget that melancholy disposition of mind, which must readily receives impressions of the extraordinary and supernatuval kind. Falling asleep in this gloomy mood, and their dreams be ing disturbed by the noise of the elements around, it is no matter of wonder, that they thought they heard the voice of the deal. This voice of the dead, however, was, perhaps, no more than a shriller whistle of the winds in an old tree, or in the chinks of a neighbouring rock. It is to this cause I ascribe those many and improbable tales of ghosts which we meet with in the Highlands ; for, in other respects, we do not find that the inbabitants are more credulous than their neighbours.
ARGUMENT.-The poet, after a short address to the
harp of Cona, describes the arrangement of both armies on either side of the river Lubar. Fingal gives the command to Fillan; but, at the same time, orders Gaul, the son of Morni, who had been wounded in the hand in the preceding battle, to assist him with his council. The army of the Fir-bolg is commanded by Foldath. The general onset is described. The great actions of Fillan. He kills Rothmar and Culmin. But when Fillan conquers in one wing, Foldath presses hard on the other. He wounds Dermid, the son of Duthno, and puts the whole wing to flight. Dermid deliberates with himself, and at last resolves to put a stop to the progress of Foldath, by engaging him in single combat. When the two chiefs were approaching towards one another, Fillan came suddenly to the relief of Dermid; engaged Foldath, and killed him. The behaviour of Malthos towards the fallen Foldath. Fillan puts the whole army of the Fir-bolg to flight. The book closes with an address to Clatho, the mother of that hero.
THOU dweller between the shields, that hang, on high, in 'Ossian's hall! Descend froin thy place, O harp, and let me bear thy voice! Son of Alpin, strike the string. Thou must awake the soul of the bard. The murmur of Lora's* stream has rolled the tale away.
I stand in the cloud of years. Few are its openings toward the past;
Lora is often mentioned; it was a small and rapid stream in the neighbourhood of Selma. There is no vestige of this name now remaining; though it appears from a very old song, wbich the translator has seen, that one of the small rivers on the north-west coast was called Lora some centuries ago. VOL. II.
and when the vision comes, it is but dim and dark. I hear thee, harp of Selma! soul returns, like a breeze, which the sun brings back to the vale, where dwelt the lazy mist!
Lubar * is bright before me in the windings of its vale. On either side, on their hills, rise the tall forms of the kings. Their people are poured around them, bending forward to their words: as if their fathers spoke descending from the winds. But they themselves are like two rocks in the midst; each with its dark head of pines, when they are seen in the desert, above low-sailing mist. High on their face are
reams, which spread their foam on blasts of wind!
Beneath the voice of Cathmor pours Erin, like the sound of flame. Wide they come down to Lubar. Before them is the stride of Foldath. But Cathmor retires to his hill, beneath his bending oak.
The tumbling of a stream is near the
* From several passages in the poem we may form a distinct idea of the scene of the action of Temora. At a small distance from one another rose the hills of Mora and Lora; the first possessed by Fingal, the second by the army of Crithmor. Through the intermediate plain ran the small river Lubar, on the banks of which all the battles were fought, excepting that between Cairbar and Oscar, related in the first book. This last mentioned engagement happened to the north of the hill of Mora, of which Fingal took possession, after the army of Cairbar fell back to that of Cath mor. At some distance, but within sight of Mora, towards the west, Lubar issued from the mountain of Crommal, and, after a short course through the plain of Moi-lena, discharged itself into the sea near the field of battle. Behind the mountain of Crommal ran the small stream of Lavath, on the banks of which Ferad-artho, the son of Cairbre, the only person remaining of the race of Cona, lived concealed in a cave, during the usurpation of Cairbar, the son of Borbar-duthul.
king. He lifts, at times, his gleaming spear. It is a flame to his people, in the midst of war. Near him stands the daughter of Con-mor, leaning on a rock. She did not rejoice at the strife. a
. Her soul delighted not in blood.
A *valley spreads green behind the hill, with its three blue streams. The sun is there in silence. The dun mountain roes come down. On these are turned the eyes of Sul-malla in her thoughtful mood.
Fingal beholds Cathmor, on high, the son of Borbar-duthul! he beholds the deep rolling of Erin, on the darkened plain. He strikes that warning boss, which bids the people to obey, when he sends his chiefs before them, to the field of renown. Wide rise their spears to the sun. Their echoing shields reply around. Fear, like a vapour, winds not aniong the host: for he, the king, is near, the strength of streamy Selma. Gladness brightens the hero. We hear his words with joy.
“ Like the coming forth of winds, is the sound “ of Selma's sons! They are mountain waters, • determined in their course. Hence is Fingal s renowned. Hence is his name in other lands. “ He was not a lonely beam in danger; for your “ steps were always near! But never was Fingal
a dreadful form, in your presence, darkened “ into wrath. My voice was no thunder to your
* It was to this valley Sul-malla retired, during the last and decisive battle between Fingal and Cathmor. It is described in the seventh book, where it is called the vale of Lona, and the residence of a Druid* It is necessary to remember, that Gaul was wounded; which oc. casions his requiring bere the assistance of Ossian to bind his shield on his side.
Mine eyes sent forth no death. When “ the haughty appeared, I beheld them not.
They were forgot at my feasts. Like mists “they melted away. A young beam is before “ you! Few are his paths to war! They are few, “ but he is valiant. Defend
dark-haired son. Bring Fillan back with joy. Hereafter he may “ stand alone. His form is like his fathers. His “ soul is a flame of their fire. Son of car-borne “ Morni, move behind the youth. Let thy voice “ reach his ear, from the skirts of war. Not un“ observed rolls battle, before thee, breaker of “ the shields."
The king strode, at once, away to Cormul's lofty rock. Intermitting, darts the light, from his shield, as slow the king of heroes moves. Sidelong rolls his eye o'er the heath, as forming advance the lines. Graceful fly his half-grey locks round his kingly features, now lightened with dreadful joy. Wholly mighty is the chief ! Behind him dark and slow I moved. Straight caine forward the strength of Gaul. His shield hung loose on its thong. He spoke, in baste, to Ossian. Bind," son of Fingal, this shield ! “ Bind it high to the side of Gaul. The foe
may behold it, and think I lift the spear. If I “should fall, let my tomb be hid in the field;