Page images

streamy Lotha! I will remember them with tears, and my 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 Fin. gal 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 for. gotten! he still feared the hand of the king!




bɔld, 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

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 sunbeam 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. 66 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 mane in the wind. Blest be the soul of Clessámmor, why so long from Selma ?

Returns the chief, said Clessámmor, in the ridst 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 maid; the white. bosomed daughter of strangers, Moina, with the dark. blue eyes!

Tell, said the mighty Fingal, the tale of thy youthfi... days. Sorrow, like a cloud on the sun, shades the soul of Clessántmor. Mournful are thy thoughts, alone, on the banks of the roaring Lora. Let us hear the sor. cow 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 Reuthamir'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 unsheathed 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 Cles. sámmor is alone. But my sword trembles by my side,

and longs to glitter in my hand. Speak no mort 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 ti!!!; i thousand spears glittered around. I fought: the strangers prevailed: I plunged into the stream of Cha. 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, dis. tant 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 dark-brown 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 its 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 sunbeams 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 of the people is heard no more. The stream of Clutha was removed from its place by the fall of the walls. VThe 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. v Desolate is the dwelling of Moina, silence is in the house of her fathers. Raise the song of mourn. ing; O bards, over the land of strang. rs.

They have but fallen before us : for one day we must fall. Why dost thou build the hall, son of the winged days ? Thou lookest from thy towers to-day: yet a few years, and the blast of the dese rt comes; it howls in thy empty

« PreviousContinue »