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Ossian turned sudden on the spear. lle raised the flame of an oak on high. I spread it large, on Mora’s wind. Cathmor stopt in his course. Gleaming he stood, like a rock, on whose sides are the wandering of blasts ; which seize its echoing streams and clothe them over with ice". So stood the friend of strangers ! The winds lift his heavy locks. Thou art the tallest of the race of Erin, king of streamy Atha !
“ First of bards,” said Cathmor, “Fonar",
lied Erin shakes its mountains from sea to sea.” i. n. 14. The translator forgot that these exaggerated effects of an earthquake were unknown to Ossian, though introduced with propriety inta his own poem upon Death.
Earth dreads and shivers from her inmost womb:
Domes throw their stately towers to earth, &c. " Gleaming-like a rock in whose sides are the wandering of blasts, which seize its echoing streams, and clothe them over with ice.) A selection of images from a paragraph in Thomson's Winter.
An icy gale, oft shifting, o'er the pool
-'till seized from shore to shore
A livid track, cold-gleaming on the morn. 1. Fónar, the man of song. Before the introduction of Chris
call the chiefs of Erin. Call red-haired Cormar: dark-browed Malthos : the side-long-looking gloom of Maronan.
Let the pride of Foldath appear. The red-rolling eye of Turlutho. Nor let Hidalla be forgot; his voice, in danger, is the sound of a shower, when it falls in the blast
tianity, a name was not imposed upon any person, till he had distinguished himself by some remarkable action, from which his name should be derived. Hence it is that the names in the poems of Ossian suit so well with the characters of the
persons who bear them. MACPHERSON, 1st edit.
At that rate Fonar must have gone without a name till he became a bard; and the greater part of the Celtic heroes, unless distinguished by some remarkable exploit, must have been nameless till their death. Characteristical names, like those of modern comedics, are a sufficient proof that such fictitious personages as Fonar, the man of song, (from fon, delight, pleasure, fun, inclination, a song,) Cathmore, great in battle; Mor-annel, strong breath, a very proper name for a scout; Morlath, great in the day of battle; Foldath, generous, &c. are all the produce of the author's invention. Ossian, Oscar, Cairbar, Fingal, and the few historical names introduced into the poems, are not susceptible of such characteristical etymologies; and Homer, whose personages are all real, might have taught his Highland competitor, that even before the introduction of Christianity, no man, whether distinguished or not by some remarkable action, could remain without a name from his birth. Odys. viii. 552.
Ου μεν γαρ τις πάμπαν ΑΝΩΝΥΜΟΣ ές ανθρώπων,
ed vale, near Atha's falling stream. Pleasant is its sound on the plain, whilst broken thunder travels over the sky'3.”
They came, in their clanging arms. They bent forward to his voice, as if a spirit of their fathers spoke from a cloud of night'4. Dreadful shone they to the light; like the fall of the stream of Brumo, when the meteor lights it, before the nightly stranger. Shuddering, he stops in his journey, and looks up for the beam of the morn!
Why delights Foldath,” said the king, “to pour the blood of foes, by night? Fails his arm in battle, in the beams of day ? Few are the foes before us, why should we clothe us in shades? The valiant delight to shine in the battles of their land! Thy counsel was in vain, chief of Moma ! The eyes of Morven do not sleep. They
13 Whilst broken thunder travels over the sky.] A sentence added in the improved edition. From the Temple of Fame.
Like broken thunders that at distance roar.
In such a place as this, at such an hour,
are watchful, as eagles, on their mossy rocks's. Let each collect, beneath his cloud, the strength of his roaring tribe. To-morrow I move, in light, to meet the foes of Bolga! Mighty was he, that is low, the race of Borbar-Duthul!"
“ Not unmarked !” said Foldath, “were my steps before thy race. In light, I met the foes of Cairbar. The warrior praised my deeds. But his stone was raised without a tear! No bard sung over Erin's king. Shall his foes rejoice along their mossy hills ? No: they must not rejoice! He was the friend of Foldath! Our words were mixed, in secret, in Moma's silent cave; whilst thou, a boy in the field, pursuedst the thistle's beard'. With Moma's sons I shall rush
15 The eyes of Morven do not sleep. They are watchful as eagles on their mossy rocks.) Par. Lost, xi. 127.
The cohort bright
Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drouse.
Not so the boy.
abroad, and find the foe, on his dusky hills. Fingal shall lie, without his
the grey-haired king of Selma.”
“Dost thou think, thou feeble man,” replied Cathmor, half-enraged: “Dost thou think Fingal can fall, without his fame, in Erin ? Could the bards be silent, at the tomb of Selma's king? The song would burst in secret! the spirit of the king would rejoice! It is when thou shalt fall, , that the bard shall forget the song. Thou art dark, chief of Moma, though thine arm is a tempest in war. Do I forget the king of Erin, in his narrow house? My soul is not lost to Cairbar, the brother of my love! I marked the bright beams of joy, which travelled over his cloudy mind, when I returned, with fame, to Atha of the streams."
Tall they removed, beneath the words of the king. Each to his own dark tribe; where, humming, they rolled on the heath '?, faint-glitter
To catch the falling glory; but amazed
Beholds th' amusive arch before him fly. 17 Each to his own dark tribe; where, humming, they rolled on the heath.) Infra, vi. 16. from DRYDEN's Virgil, vi. 959.
About the boughs an airy nation flew,