Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

I heard Cormac in silence. My tears began to flow. I hid them with my aged locks. The king perceived my grief. “Son of Conachar !” he said, " is the son of Semo low 35? Why bursts the sigh in secret! Why descends the tear? Comes the car-borne Torlath? Comes the sound

of red-haired Cairbar? They come! for I behold thy grief. Mossy Tura's chief is low! Shall I not rush to battle? But I cannot lift the spear ! O had mine arm the strength of Cuthullin, soon would Cairbar fly; the fame of my fathers would be renewed ; and the deeds of other times !"

He took his bow. The tears flow down from both his sparkling eyes. Grief saddens round. The bards bend forward from their hundred harps. The lone blast touched their trembling strings. The sound is sad and low! A voice is heard at a distance, as of one in grief. It was Carril, of other times, who came from dark Sli

31 Is the son of Semo low ?] Cuthullin is called the king of Tura, from a castle of that name on the coast of Ulster, where he dwelt, before he undertook the management of the affairs of Ireland, in the minority of Cormac. MACPHERSON.

. In the first edition, Is the hing of Tura low?” But the alteration of phraseology, in the improved edition, has introduced perpetual contradiction between the text and the notes.

mora. He told of the fall of Cuthullin. He told of his mighty deeds. The people were scattered round bis tomb. Their arms lay on the ground. They had forgot the war; for he, their sire, was seen no more!

“But who,” said the soft-voiced Carril, “who come like bounding roes? Their stature is like young trees in the valley, growing in a shower! Soft and ruddy are their cheeks! Fearless souls look forth from their eyes 3*! Who but the sons of Usnoth, chief of streamy Etha ? The people rise on every side, like the strength of an halfextinguished fire, when the winds come sudden from the desert, on their rustling wings 33. Sud

32 Fearless souls look forth from their eyes.] This, and the former description of Mor-annel, the scout, “his eyes hang forward from his face,” are unfortunate specimens of what Blair terms, an unaffected simplicity of thought and style. The introduction of the sons of Usnoth into the episode, was a branch of the original plan, of representing' old Usmoth as an actor in the poem, listening to the episode, and ready to revenge the death of his son.

33 Like the strength of an half-extinguished flame, when the winds come, sudden, from the desert on their rustling wings.] Æneid, x. 405.

Ac velut optato, ventis æstate coortis,
Dispersa inmittit silvis incendia pastor:
Conreptis subito mediis, extenditur una

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

den glows the dark brow of the hill; the passing
mariner lags, on his winds. The sound of Caith-
bat's shield was heard. The warriors saw Cu-
thullin in Nathos. So rolled his sparkling eyes !
his steps were such on heath! Battles are fought
at Lego. The sword of Nathos prevails. Soon
shalt thou behold him in thy halls, king of Te-
mora of groves !"

“Soon may 'I behold the chief !” replied the
blue-eyed king. “But my soul is sad for Cuthul-
lin. His voice was pleasant in mine ear. Often
have we moved, on Dora, to the chace of the
dark brown hinds. His bow was unerring on

[ocr errors]

Horrida

per

latos acies Volcania campos :
Non aliter socium virtus coit omnis in unum:
Or, “ The people rise on every side,” &c. But the addition in
Italics, is from another well known simile in the Iliad, xix.
375.

Ως και όταν εκ πόντοιο σέλας ΝΑΥΤΗΣι φανείη
Καιoμένοιο πυρός, το δε ΚΑΙΕΤΑΙ ΥΨΟΘ' ΟΡΕΣΦΙ,
Σταθμω εν οίοπόλω" τους δ' οΥΚ ΕΘΕΛΟΝΤΑΣ άελλα:

Πόντον επ' ιχθυόεντα φίλων απάνευθε φέρουσιν.
“ Sudden glows the dark brow of the hill; the passing mari-
ner Tags on his winds ;Το δε ΚΑΙΕΤΑΙ υψοθ’ ΟΡΕΣΦΙ---τες δ'
ΟΥΚ ΕΘΕΛΟΝΤΑΣ AEΛΛAI---Φερυσιν. Or, according to Mac-
pherson's Homer, ii. 260. “ To mariners by night appears the
awful flame of a distant fire. Wide rising in a lonely place, it
wraps aloft the mountain brow. But them, unwilling, the dusky
blast bears o'er the broad back of the main."

the hills. He spoke of mighty men. He told of the deeds of my fathers. I felt my rising joy. But sit thou at the feast, O Carril, I have often heard thy voice. Sing in praise of Cuthullin. Sing of Nathos of Etha !

Day rose on Temora, with all the beams of the east. Crathin came to the hall, the son of old Gelláma. “I behold,” he said, “a cloud in the desert, king of Erin ! a cloud it seemed at first, but now a crowd of men 34 ! One strides before them in his strength. His red hair flies in wind. His shield glitters to the beam of the east. His

spear

is in his hand.” « Call him to the feast of Temora,” replied the brightening king My hall is the house of strangers, son of generous Gelláma! It is perhaps the chief of Etha, coming in all his renown. Hail, mighty stranger ! art thou of the friends of Cormac ? But Carril, he is dark, and unlovely. He draws his sword. Is that the son of Usnoth, bard of the times of old ?"

[ocr errors]

34 I behold, he said, a dark cloud in the desert.---a cloud it seemed at first, but now a crowd of men,] He said, Behold there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. 1 Kings, xviii. 44.

[merged small][ocr errors]

war.

“ It is not the son of Usnoth !” said Carril. “ It is Cairbar thy foe. Why comest thou in thy arms to Temora ? chief of the gloomy brow. Let not thy sword rise against Cormac! Whither dost thou turn thy speed ?” He passed on in darkness. He seized the hand of the king. Cormac foresaw his death; the rage

of his

eyes arose. “Retire, thou chief of Atha! Nathos comes with

Thou art bold in Cormac's hall, for his arm is weak." The sword entered the side of the king. He fell in the halls of his fathers. His fair hair is in the dust. His blood is smoking round.

Art thou fallen in thy halls !” said Carril. “O son of noble Artho. The shield of Cuthullin was not near. Nor the spear of thy father. Mournful are the inountains of Erin, for the chief of the people is low! Blest be thy soul, O Cormac ! Thou art darkened in thy youth.”

His words came to the ear of Cairbar. He closed us in the midst of darkness. He feared to stretch his sword to the bards, though his soul was dark. Long we pined alone! At length the noble Cathmor came. He heard our voice

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »