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brows were gathered into wrath. His eyes like two caves in a rock. Bright rose their swords on each side ; loud was the clang of their steel.

The daughter of Rinval was near ; Crimora bright in the armour of man ; her yellow hair is loose behind, her bow is in her hand. She followed the youth to the war, Connal her muchbeloved. She drew the string on Dargo ; but, erring, she pierced her Connal. He falls like an oak on the plain ; like a rock from the shaggy hill. What shall she do, hapless maid ! He bleeds; her Connal dies ! All the night long she cries, and all the day, ‘0 Connal, my love, and my friend! With grief the sad mourner dies ! Earth here incloses the loveliest pair on the hill. The grass grows between the stones of the tomb: I often sit in the mournful shade. The wind sighs through the grass; their memory rushes or my mind. Undisturbed you now sleep together; in the tomb of the mountain you rest alone !

And soft.be their rest, said Utha, hapless children of streamy Lotha! I will remember them with tears, and m secret song shall rise ; when the wind is in the groves of Tora, when the stream is roaring near. Then shall they come on my soul, with all their lovely grief !

Three days feasted the kings : on the fourth their white sails arose. The winds of the north drove Fingal to Morven's woody land. But the spirit of Loda sat in his cloud behind the ships of Frothal. He hung forward with all his blasts, and spread the white bosomed sails. The wounds of his form were not forgotten! he still feared the hand of the king !

232

CARTHON.

ARGUMENT.

This

poem is complete, and the subject of it, as of most of Ossian's compositions, tragical. In the time of Comhal, the son of Trathal, and fither of the celebrated Fingal, Clessammor, the son of Thaddu, and brother of Morna, Fingal's mother, was driven by a storm into the river Clyde, on the banks of which stood Balclutha, a town be longing to the Britons, between the walls. He was hospi. tably received by Reuthámit, the principal man in the place, who gave him Moina, his only daughter, in mar. riage. Reudo, the son of Cormo, a Briton, who was in love with Moina, came to Reuthámir's house, and be haved haughtily towards Clessámmor. A quarrel ensued, in which Reudo was kiled; the Britons who at. tended him, pressed so hard on Ciessámmor, that he was obliged to throw himself into the Clyde and swim to his ship. He hoi sted sail, and the wind being favourable, bore him out to sea. He often endeavoured to return, and carry off his beloved Moina by night; but the wind continuing contrary, he was forced to desist. Moina, who had been left with child by her husband,

brought Iforth a son, and died soon after. Reuthamit named the child Carthon, i.e. the murmur of waves, from the storm which carried off Clessämmor his father, who was supposed to have been cast away: When Care thon was three years old, Comhal, the father of Fingal, in one of his expeditions against the Britons, took and burnt Balclutha. Reuthamir was killed in the attack ; and Carthon was carried safe away by his nurse, who fled farther into the country of the Britons. Carthon, coming to man's estate, was resolved to revenge the fall of Balclutha on Comhal's posterity. He set sail from the Clyde, and falling on the coast of Morven, defeated two of Fingal's heroes, who came to oppose his progress. He was, at last, unwittingly killed by his father Clessámmor, in a single combat. This story is the foundation of the present poem, which opens on the night preceding the death of Carthon, so that what passed before is introduced by way of episode. The poem is addressed to Malvina, the daughter of Toscar.

A Tale of the times of old ! The deeds of days of other years.

The murmur of thy streams, O Lora ! brings back the memory of the past. The sound of thy woods, Garmallar, is lovely in mine ear. Dost thou not behold, Malvina, a rock with its head of heath! Three aged pines bend from its face,

; green is the narrow plain at its feet; there the flower of the mountain grows, and shakes its white head in the breeze. The thistle is there alone, shedding its aged beard. Two stones, half sunk in the ground, show their heads of moss. The deer of the mountain avoids the place, for he beholds a dim ghost standing there. The mighty lie, O Malvina! in the narrow plain of the rock,

A tale of the times of old! The deeds of days of other years !

Who comes from the land of strangers, with his thousands around him ? The sun-beam pours its bright stream before him ; his hair meets the wind of his hills. His face is settled from war. He is calm as the evening beam that looks from the cloud of the west, on Cona's silent vale. Who is it but Comhal's son, the king of mighty deeds! He beholds the hills with joy, he bids a thousand voices rise. "Ye have fled over your fields, ye sons of the distant land ! The king of the world sits in his hall, and hears of his people's flight. He lifts his red eye of pride; he takes his father's sword. Ye have fled over your fields, sons of the distant land !

Such were the words of the bards, when they came to Selma's halls. A thousand lights from the stranger's land rose in the midst of his people. The feast is spread around; the night passed away in joy. Where is the noble Clessámmor ? said the fair haired-Fingal. Where is the brother of Morna, in the hour of my joy? Sullen and dark, he passes his days in the vale of echoing Lora : but, behold, he comes from the hill, like a steed in his strength, who finds his companions in the breeze, and tosses his bright main in the wind. Blest be the soul of Clessámraor, why so long from Selma ?

Returns the chief, said Clessámmor, in the midst of his fame? Such was the renown of Comhal in the battles of his youth. Often did we pass over Carun to the land of the strangers : our swords returned, not unstained with blood: nor did the kings of the world rejoice. Why do I remember the times of our war? My hair is mixed with gray. My hand forgets to bend the bow : I lift a lighter spear. O that my joy would return, as when I first beheld the naid; the white bosomed daughter of strangers, Moina, with the dark blue eyes !

Tell, said the mighty Fingal, the tale of thy youthful days. Sorrow, like a cloud on the sun, shades the soul of Clessámmor. Mournful are thy thoughts, alone, on the banks of the roaring Lora. Let us hear the sorrow of thy youth and the darkness of thy days !

• It was in the days of peace,' replied the great Clessámmor,' I came in my bounding ship to Balclutha's walls of towers. The winds had roared behind my sails, and Clutha's streams received

my

dark-bosomed ship. Three days I remained in Reuthúmir's halls, and saw his daughter, that beam of light. The joy of the shell went round, and the aged hero gave the fair. Her breasts were like foam on the waves, and her eyes like stars of light; her hair was dark as the raven's wing : her soul was generous and mild. My love for Moina was great; my heart poured forth in joy.

• The son of a stranger came; a chief who loved the white-bosomed Moina. His words were mighty in the hall; he often half-unsheath. ed his sword. " Where, said he, “is the mighty Comhal, the restless wanderer of the heath? Comes he, with his host, to Balclutha, since Clessámmor is so bold ?” My soul I replied, O warrior! burns in a light of its own.

I stand without fear in the midst of thousands, though the valiant are distant far. Stranger ! thy words are mighty, for Clessámmor is alone. But my sword trembles by my side, and longs to glitter in my hand. Speak no more of Comhal, son of the winding Clutha !

• The strength of his pride arose. We fought; he fell beneath my sword. The banks of Clutha heard his fall; a thousand spears glittered around. I fought: the strangers prevailed : I plunged into the stream of Clutha. My white sails rose over the waves, and I bounded on the dark-blue sea. Moina came to the shore, and rolled the red eye of her tears ; her loose hair flew on the wind ; and I heard her mournful, distant cries. Often did I turn my ship; but the winds of the east prevailed. Nor Clutha ever since have I seen, nor Moina of the darkbrown hair. She fell in Balclutha, for I have seen her ghost. I knew her as she came through the dusky night, along the murmur of Lora : she was like the new moon, seen through the gathered mist : when the sky pours down ito flaky snow, and the world is silent and dark.'

Raise, ye bards, said the mighty Fingal, the praise of unhappy Moina. Call her ghost, with your songs, to our hills, that she may rest with the fair of Morven, the sun-beams of other days, the delight of heroes of old. I have seen the walls of Balclutha, but they were desolate. The fire had resounded in the halls : and the voice o. the people is heard no more. The stream of Clutha was removed from its place by the fall of the walls. The thistle shook there its lonely head: the moss whistled to the wind. The fox looked out from the windows, the rank grass of the wall waved round its head. Desolate is the dwelling of Moina, silence is in the house of her fathers. Raise the song of mourning, () bards ;

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