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chief of Strumon! to the sea-beat rocks of Tromáthon !

• I came to meet thy foes, daughter of car. borne Nuäth! The death of Cuthal's chief dar. kens before me; or Morni's son shall fall ! Oithona! when Gaul is low, raise my tomb on that oozy rock. When the dark bounding ship shall pass, call the sons of the sea ; call them, and give this sword, to bear it hence to Morni's hall. The gray-haired chief will then cease to look towards the desert for the return of his son !"

Shall the daughter of Nuäth live ?' she replied with a bursting sigh. Shall I live in Trométhon, and the son of Morni low ? My heart is not of that rock; nor my soul carless as that sea, which lifts its blue waves to every wind, and rolls, beneath the storm! The blast which shall lay thee low, shall spread the branches of Oithona on earth. We shall wither together, son of car-borne Morni! The narrow house is pleasant to me, and the gray stone of the dead : for never more will I leave thy rocks, O sea surrounded Tromáthon! Night came on with her clouds after the departure of Lathmon, when he went to the wars of his fathers, to the moss. covered rock of Duthórmoth. Night came on. I sat in the hall, at the beam of the oak! The wind was abroad in the trees. I heard the sound of arms. Joy rose in my face. I thought of thy return. It was the chief of Cuthal, the red-haired strength of Dunrommath. His eyes rolled in fire: the blood of my people was on his sword. They who defended Oithona fell by the gloomy chief! What could I do ? My arm was weak. I could not lift the spear. He took me in my grief; amidst my tears he raised the sail. He feared the returning Lathmon, the brother of unhappy Oithona ! But behold be comes with his people ! the dark wave is divided before him! Whither wilt thou turn thy steps, son of Morni? Many are the warriors of thy foe!

• My steps never turned from battle, Gaul said, and unsheathed his sword : shall I then begin to fear, Oithona! when thy foes are near ? Go to thy cave, my love, till our battle cease on the field. Son of Leth, bring the bows of our fathers ! the sounding quiver of Morni!

Let our three warriors bend the yew. Ourselves will lift the spear. They are an host on the rock! our souls are strong in war !

Oithona went to the cave. A troubled joy rose on her mind, like the red path of lightning on a stormy cloud! Her soul was resolved; the tear was dried from her wildly looking eye. Dunrommath slowly approached. He saw the son of Morni. Contempt contracted his face, a smile is on his dark brown cheek; his red eye rolled half concealed, beneath his shaggy brows !

• Whence are the sons of the sea ?' begun the gloomy chief. Have the winds driven you on the rocks of Tromáthon? or come you in search of the white-handed maid ? the sons of the unhappy, ye feeble men, come to the hand of Dunrommath! His eye spares not the weak; he delights in the blood of strangers. Oithona is a beam of light, and the chief of Cutbal enjoys it in secret ;

wouldst thou come on its loveliness like a cloud, son of the feeble hand ? Thou mayest come, but shalt thou return to the halls of thy fathers ?

• Dost thou not know me,' said Gaul, 'red. haired chief of Cuthal ? Thy feet were swift on the heath, in the battle of car-borne Lathmon , when the sword of Morni's son pursued his host, in Morven's woody land. Dunrommath ! thy words are mighty, for thy warriors gather behind thee. But do I fear them, son of pride ? I am not of the race of the feeble !'

Gaul advanced in his arms; Dunrommath shrunk behind his people. But the spear of Gaul pierced the gloomy chief: his sword lopped off his head, as it bended in death. The sun of Morni shook it thrice by the lock; the warriors of Dunrommath fled. The arrows of Morven pursued them : ten fell on the mossy rocks. The rest lift the sounding sail, and bound on the troubled deep. Gaul advanced towards the cave. of Oithona. He beheld a youth leaning on a rock. An arrow had pierced his side ; his eye rolled faintly beneath his helmet. The soul of Morni's son was sad; he came, and spoke the words of peace.

• Can the band of Gaul heal thee, youth of the mournful brow? I have searched for the herbs of the mountains ; I have gathered them on the secret banks of their streams. My hand has closed the wound of the brave, their eyes have blessed the son of Morni. Where dwelt thy father's warrior ? Were they of the sons of the mighty! Sadness shall come, like night, on thy native streams. Thou art fallen in thy youth! My fathers,' replied the stranger,

were of the race of the mighty; but they shall not be sad ; for my fame is departed like morning mist. High walls rise on the banks of Duvranna ; and see their mossy towers in the stream ; a rock ascends behind them with its bending pines. Thou mayest behold it far distant. There my brother dwells. He is renowned in battle : give him this glittering helmet.'

The helmet fell from the hand of Gaul. It was the wounded Oithona ! She had armed berself in the cave, and came in search of death. Her heavy eyes are half closed ; the blood pours from her heaving side. Son of Morni!' she said, prepare the narrow tomb. Sleep grows, like darkness, on my soul. The eyes of

Oithona are dim! O had I dwelt at Duvranna, in the bright beam of my fame! then had my years come on with joy; the virgins would then bless my steps. But I fall in youth, son of Morni ! my father shall blush in his hall!'

She fell pale on the rock of Tromáthon. The mournful warrior raised her tomb. He came to Morven ; we saw the darkness of his soul. Os. sian took the harp in the praise of Oithona. The brightness of the face of Gaul returned. But his sigh rose, at times, in the midst of his friends ; like blasts that shake their unfrequent wings, after the stormy winds are laid !

260

CROMA.

ARGUMENT.

Malvina, the daughter of Toscar, is overheard by Ossian

Jamenting the death of Oscar her lover. Ossian, to divert her grief, relates his own actions in an expedition which he undertook, at Fingal's command, to aid Crothar the petty king of Croma, a country in Ireland, against Rothmar, who invaded his dominions. The story is delivered down thus in tradition. Crothar, king of Croma, being blind with age, and his son too young for the field, Rothmar, the chief of Tromo, resolved to avail himself of the opportunity offered of annexivg the dominions of Crothar to his own. He accordingly marched into the country subject to Crothar, but which he held of Arth or

Artho, who was, at the time, supreme king of Ireland. Crothar being, on account of his age and blindness, unfit

for action, sent for aid to Fingal, king of Scotland; who ordered his son Ossian to the relief of Crothar. But before his arrival Fovar-gormo, the son of Crothar, attacking Rothmar, was slain himself, and his forces totally

defeated Ossian renewed the war ; came to battle, killed Rothmar, and routed his army. Croma being thus delivered of its enemies, Ossian returned to Scotland.

near.

• It was the voice of my love ! seldom art thou in the dreams of Malvina! Open your airy halls, O father, of Toscar of shields! Unfold the gates of your clouds : the steps of Malvina are

I have heard a voice in my dream. 1 feel the fluttering of my soul. Why didst thou come, O blast! from the dark-rolling face of the lake ? Thy rustling wing was in the tree; the dream of Malvina fled. But she beheld her love when his robe of mist flew on the wind. A sun beam was on his skirts, they glittered like the gold of the stranger. It was the voice of my love ! seldom comes he to my dreams !

• But thou dwellest in the soul of Malvina, son of mighty Ossian ! My sighs arise with the beam of the east ; my tears descend with the drops of night. I was a lovely tree, in thy presence, Oscar, with all my branches round me;

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