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left thee, Armin, alone. Gone is my strength in war! fallen my pride among women! When the storms aloft arise; when the north lifts the wave on high; I sit by the sounding shore, and look on the fatal rock. Often by the setting moon, I see the ghosts of my children. Half-viewless, they walk in mournful conference together. Will none of you speak in pity! They do not regard their father. I am sad, O Carmor, nor small is my cause of wo.
Such were the words of the bards in the days of song ; when the king heard the music of harps, the tales of other times! The chiefs gathered from all their hills, and heard the lovely sound. They praised the voice* of Cona: the first among a thousand bards! but age is now. on my tongue; my soul has failed: I hear, at times, the ghosts of bards, and learn their pleasant song. But memory fails on my mind. I hear the call of years: They say, as they pass along, why does Ossian sing? Soon shall he lie in the narrow house, and no bard shall raise his fame! Roll on, ye dark-brown years; ye bring no joy on your course! Let the tomb open to Ossian, for his strength has failed. The sons of song are gone to rest. My voice remains, like a blast, that roars, lonely, on a sea-surrounded rock, after the winds are laid. The dark moss whistles there; the distant mariner sees the waying trees!
Ossian is some times poetically called the voice of Cond.
ARGUMENT.CUTHULLIN (general of the Irish tribes, in the minority of Cormac, king
of Ireland) sitting alone beneath a tree, at the gate of Tura, a castle of Ulster, (the other chiefs having gone on a hunting party to Cromla, a neighbouring hill), is informed of the landing of Swaran, king of Lochlin, by Moran, the son of Fithil, one of his scouts. He convenes the chiefs; a council is held, and disputes run high about giving battle to the enemy. Connal, the petty king of Togorma, and an intimate friend of Cuthullin, was for retreating, till Fingal, king of those Caledonians who inhabited the north-west coast of Scotland, whose aid had been previously solicit. ed, should arrive; but Calmar, the son of Matha, lord of Lara, a country in Connaught, was for engaging the enemy immediately. Cuthullin, of himself willing to fight, went into the opinion of Calmar. Marching towards the enemy, he missed three of his bravest heroes, Fergus, Duchomar, and Cathba. Fergus arriving, tells Cuthullin of the death of the two other chiefs; which introduces the affecting episode of Morna, the daughter of Cormac. The army of Cuthullin is descried at a distance by Swaran, who sent the son of Arno to observe the motions of the enemy, while he himself ranged his forces in order of battle. The son of Arno returning to Swaran, describes to him Cuthullin's chariot, and the terrible appearance of that hero. The armies engage, but night coming on, leaves the victory undecided. Cuthullin, according to the hospitality of the times, sends to Swaran a formal invitation to a feast, by his bard Carril, the son of Kinfena, Swaran refuses to come. Carril relates to Cuthullin the story of Grudar and Brassolis. A party, by Connal's advice, is sent to observe the enemy; which closes the ac.
tion of the first day. CUTHULLIN* sat by Tura's wall: by the tree of the rustling sound. His spear leaned against
* Cuthullin, the son of Semo and grandson to Caithbat, a druid celebrated in tradition for his wisdom and valour. Cuthullin when very young, married Bragela the daughter of Sorglan, and passing over in to Ireland, lived some time with Connal, grandson by a daughter to
the rock. His shield lay on grass, by his side. Amid his thoughts of mighty Carbar,* a hero slain by the chief in war; the scoutt of ocean comes, Morant the son of Fithil ! “ Arise," says the youth, “Cuthullin, arise. I
the ships of the north! Many, chief of men, are the foe. Many the heroes of the sea-borne “ Swaran!"_“ Moran!" replied the blue-eyed chief, 'thou ever tremblest, son of Fithil! Thy “ fears have increased the foe. It is Fingal, kings “ of deserts, with aid to green Erin of streams."
Congal the petty king of Ulster. His wisdom and valour in a short time gained him such reputation, that in the minority of Cormas, the supreme king of Ireland, he was chosen guardian to the young king, and sole manager of the war against Swaran king of Lochlin. After a series of great actions he was killed in battle somewhere in Connaught, in the twenty-seventh year of his age. He was so remarkable for his strength, that to describe a strong man it has passed into a proverb, “ He has the strength of Cuthullin.” They show the remains of his palace at Dunscaich in the isle of Skye ; and a stone to which he bound his dog Luath, goes still by his name.
* Cairbar or Cairbre, sigņifies a strong man.
+ Cuthullin having previous intelligence of the invasion intended by Swaran, sent scouts all over the coast of Ullin or Ulster, to give early notice of the first appearance of the enemy, at the same time that he sent Munan the son of Stirmal to implore the assistance of Fingal. He himself collected the flower of the Irish youth to Tura, a castle on the coast, to stop the progress of the enemy till Fingal should arrive from Scotland. We may conclude from Cuthullin's applying so early for foreign ajd, that the Irish were not then so numerous as they have since been; which is great presumption against the high antiquities of that people. We have the testimony of Tacitus, that one legion only was thought sufficient, in the time of Agricola, to reduce the whole island under the Roman yoke ; which could not probably have been the case had the island been inhabited for any number of centuries before.
| Moran signifies many; and Fithil, or rather Fili, an inferior bard.
& Fingal, the son of Comhal and Morna the daughter of Thaddu. His grandfather was Trathal, and great grandfather Trenmor, both of whom are often mentioned in the poem.