« PreviousContinue »
And inou, king of roaring Urlor, let the battle cease, till Aanir receive the shell from fiery-eyed Cruth-loda.'
Bursting into tears, she rose, and tore a lock from her hair ; a lock, which wandered in the blast, along her heaving breast. Corman-trunar gave the she. I, and bade me rejoice before him. I rested in the shade of night, and hid my face in my helmet deep. Sleep descended on the foe. I rose, like a stalking ghost. I pierced the side of Corman-trunar. Nor did Foinabragal escape. She rolled her white bosom in blood.
Why, then, daughter of heroes, didst thou wake my
Morning rose. The foe were fled, like the depart. ure of mist. Annir struck his bossy shield. He called his dark-haired son. I came, streaked with wandering blood : thrice rose the shout of the king, like the bursting forth of a squall of wind from a cloud by night. We rejoiced three days above the dead, and called the hawks of heaven. They came from all their winds to feast on Annir's foes. Swaran, Fingal is alone in his will of night. Let thy spear pierce the king in secret ; like Annir, my soul shall rejoice.
“Son of Annir,” said Swaran, “I shall not slay in shades: I move forth in light : the hawks rush from all their winds. They are wont to trace my course : it is not harmless through war.”
Burning rose the rage of the king. He thrice raised his gleaming spear. But, starting, he spared his son, , and rushed into the night. By Turthor's stream, a cave is dark, the dwelling of Conban-carglas. There he laid the helmet of kings, and called the maid of Lulan; but she was distant far in Loda's resounding hall.
Swelling in his rage, he strode to where Fingal lay alone. The king was laid on his shield, on his own secret hill.
Stern hunter of shaggy boars ! no feeble maid is lais before thee. No boy on his ferny bed, by Turthor's murmuring stream. Here is spread the couch of the mighty, from which they rise to deeds of death! Hunt. er of shaggy boars, awaken not the terrible!
Starno came murmuring on. Fingal arose in arms, “Who art thou, son of night!” Silent he threw the spear. They mixed their gloomy strife. The shield of Starno fell, cleft in twain. He is bound to an oak. The early beam arose. It was then Fingal beheld the king. He rolled awhile his silent eyes. He thought of other days, when white-bosomed Agandecca moved like the music of songs. He loosed the thong from his hands. Son of Annir, he said, retire. Retire to Gor. mal of shells; a beam that was set returns. I remember thy white-bosomed daughter; dreadful king, away! Go to thy troubled dwelling, cloudy foe of the lovely Let the stranger shun thee, thou gloomy in the hall!
A tale of the times of old'
A DRAMATIC POEM.
ARGUMENT. Chis poen, is valuable on account of the light it throws on the antiquity of Ossian's compositions. The Caracul mentioned here is the same with Caracalla, the son of Severus, who, in the year 211, commanded an expedition against the Caledonians The variety of the measure shows that the poem was originally set to music, and perhaps presented before the chiefs upon solemn occasions. Tradition has handed down the story more complete than it is in the poem. “Comala, the daughter of Sarno, king of Inistere, or Orkney Islands, fell in love with Fingal, the son of Comhal, at a feast, to which her father
had invited him (Fingal, B. III.) upon his return from Lochlin, after the death of
Ägandecca. Her passion was so violent, that she followed him, * disguised like a youth, who wanted to be employed in his wars.
She was soon discovered by Hidallan, the son of Lamor, one of Fingal's heroes, whose love she had slighted some time before. Her romantic passion and beauty recommended her so much to the king, that he had resolved to make her his wife; when news was brought him of Caracul's expedition. He marched to stop the progress of the enemy, and Comala attended him. He left her on a hill, within sight of Caracul's army, when he himself went to battle, having previously promised, if he survived, to return that night.”. The sequel of the story may be gathered from the poem itself.
Dersagrena. The chase is over. No noise on Erdven but the torrent's roar! Daughter of Morni, come from Crona's banks. Lay down the bow and take the harp. Let the night come on with songs; let our joy be great on Ardven.
Melilcoma. Night comes on apace, thou blue-eyed maid ! gray night grows dim along the plain, I saw a
deer at Crona's stream; a mossy bank he seemed through the gloom, but soon he bounded away. A meteor played round his branching horns; the awfu, faces of other times looked from the clouds of Crona.
Dersagrena. These are the signs of Fingal's death. The king of shields is fallen ! and Caracul prevails. Rise, Comala, from thy rock ; daughter of Sarno, rise in tears! the youth of thy love is low; his ghost is on our hills.
Melilcoma. There Comala sits forlorn! two gray dogs near shake their rough ears, and catch the flying breeze. Her red cheek rests upon
the tain wind is in her hair. She turns her blue eyes towards the fields of his promise. Where art thou, O Fingal ? The night is gathering around.
ComalaO Carun of the streams! why do I behold thy waters rolling in blood ? Has the noise of the battle been heard ; and sleeps the king of Morven ? Rise, moon, thou daughter of the sky! look from between thy clouds; rise, that I may behold the gleam of his steel on the field of his promise. Or rather let the meteor, that lights our fathers through the night, come with its red beam, to show me the way to my fallen hero. Who will defend me from sorrow? Who from the love of Hidallan ? Long shall Comala look before she can behold Fingal in the midst of his host; bright as the coming forth of the morning in the cloud of an early shower.
Hidallan. Dwell, thou mist of gloomy Crona, dwell on the path of the king! Hide his steps from mi je eyes, let me remember my friend no more. The bands of battle are scattered, no crowding tread is round the noise of his steel. O Caron! roll thy streams of blood, the chief of the people is low.
Comala. Who fell on Carun's sounding banks, son of the cloudy night ? Was he white as the snow of rdven ? Blooming as the bow of the shower ? Was his hair like the mist of the hill, soft and curling in the day of the sun ? Was he like the thunder of heaven in battle ? Fleet as the roe of the desert ?
Hidallan. O that I might behold his love, fair. leaning from her rock! Her red eye dim in tears, her blushing cheek half hid in her locks! Blow, O gentle breeze! lift thou the heavy locks of the maid, that I may behold her white arm, her lovely cheek in her grief.
Comala. And is the son of Comhal fallen, chief of the mournful tale! The thunder rolls on the hill. The lightning flies on wings of fire! They frighten not Comala ; for Fingal is low. Say, chief of the mournful tale, fell the breaker of the shields ?
Hidallan. The nations are scattered on their hills ! they shall hear the voice of the king no more.
Conala. Confusion pursue thee over thy plains ! Ruin overtake thee, thou king of the world ! Few be thy steps to thy grave ; and let one virgin mourn thee ! Let her be like Comala, tearful in the days of her youth! Why hast thou told me, Hidallan, that my hero fell? I might have hoped a little while his return; I might have thought I saw him on the distant rock: a tree might have deceived me with his appear. ance; the wind of the hill might have been the sound of his horn in mine ear. O that I were on the banks of Carun; that my tears might be warm on his cheek.
Hidallan. He lies not on the banks of Carun : on Ardven heroes raise his tonib. Look on them, O moon! from thy clouds; be thy beam bright on his breast, that Comala may behold him in the light of his armor.
Comala. Stop, ye sons of the grave, till I behold iny love! He left me at the chase alone. I knew not that he went to war. He said he would return with