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faw him, amidft his arms, that gleamed to keaven's fire. She faw him dim in his locks, that rofe to nightly wind.-Away, for fear, the turned her fteps." Why fhould the king of Erin awake? Thou art not a dream to his reft, daughter of Inis-huna."
MORE dreadful rung the fhield. Sul-malla ftarts. Her helmet falls. Loud-echoed Lubar's rock, as over it rolled the steel.-Bursting from the dreams of night, Cathmor half-rose, beneath his tree. He faw the form of the maid, above him, on the rock. A red ftar, with twinkling beam, looked down thro' her floating hair.
*WHO comes thro' night to Cathmor, in the dark feafon of his dreams? Bring'ft thou ought of war? Who art thou, fon of night?-Stand'ft thou before me, a form of the times of old? A voice from the fold of a cloud, to warn me of Erin's danger?
* The rapid manner of Offian does not often allow him to mark the speeches with the names of the perfons who speak them. To prevent the obfcurity, which this might occafion, I have, fometimes, ufed the freedom to do it in the tranflation. In the prefent dialogue between Cathmor and Sul-malla, the fpeeches are fo much marked with the characters of the fpeakers, that no interpolation is neceffary to diftinguish them from one another.
NOR traveller of night am I, nor voice from folded cloud: but I warn thee of the danger of Erin. Doft thou hear that found? It is not the feeble, king of Atha, that rolls his figns on night.
LET the warrior roll his figns; to Cathmor they are the found of harps. My joy is great, voice of night, and burns over all my thoughts. This is the mufic of kings, on lonely hills, by night; when they light their daring fouls, the fons of mighty deeds! The feeble dwell alone, in the valley of the breeze; where mifts lift their morning fkirts, from the blue-winding ftreams.
NOT feeble, thou leader of heroes, were they, the fathers of my race. They dwelt in the darknefs of battle; in their
diftant lands. Yet de
lights not my foul, in the figns of death !-He*, who never yields, comes forth: Awake the bard of peace!
*Fingal is faid to have never been overcome in battle. From this proceeded that title of honour which is always bestowed on him in tradition, Fiön ghal na buai', FINGAL OF VICTORIES. In a poem, juft now in my hands, which celebrates fome of the great actions of Arthur the famous. British hero, that appellation is often beftowed on him.The poem, from the phrafcology, appears to be ancient ; and is, perhaps, tho' that is not mentioned, a translation from the Welsh language.
LIKE a rock with its trickling waters, flood Cathmor in his tears. Her voice came, a breeze, on his foul, and waked the memory of her land; where the dwelt by her peaceful ftreams, before he came to the war of Conmor.
DAUGHTER of ftrangers, he faid; (fhe trembling turned away) long have I marked in her armour, the young pine of Inis-huna.But my foul, I faid, is folded in a ftorm. Why fhould that beam arife, till my fteps return in peace? Have I been pale in thy presence, when thou bidft me to fear the king? The time of danger, O maid, is the feason of my foul; for then it fwells, a mighty ftream, and rolls me on the foe.
BRNEATH the mofs-covered rock of Lona, near his own winding ftream; grey in his locks of age, dwells Clonmal * king of harps. Above him is his echoing oak, and the dun bounding of roes. The noiset of our frife reaches his
* Claon-mal, crooked eye-brow. From the retired life of this perfon, it appears, that he was of the order of the Druids; which fuppofition is not, at all, invalidated by the appellation of king of harps, here beftowed on him; for all agree that the bards were of the number of the Druids originally.
By this circumftance, the poet infinuates, that the valley of Lona was very near the field of battle. In this indirect
as he bends in the thoughts of years. There let thy reft be, Sul-malla, until our battle ceafe. Until I return, in my arms, from the fkirts of the evening mist that rifes, on Lona, round the dwelling of my love.
A LIGHT fell on the foul of the maid; it rofe kindled before the king. She turned her face to Cathmor; her locks are ftruggling with winds. Sooner* fhall the eagle of heaven be torn, from
indirect manner of narration, confifts the great difference between poetical and historical narration.
*In after ages, the allufions of the bards, to particular paffages of the works of Offian, were very numerous, I have met with a poem, which was writ three centuries ago, in which the bard recommends, to a lady of his own times, the behaviour of Sul-malla, in this place. The poem has little to recommend it, excepting the paffage, of which I am to give a tranflation here. The bards, when they alluded to the works of Offian, feem to have caught fome portion of his fire: upon other occafions, their compofitions are little more than a group of epithets reduced into measure, Only their poems, upon martial fubjects, fall under this cenfure. Their love fonnets, and paftoral verfes, are far from wanting their beauties; but a great deal of thefe depend upon a certain curiofa felicitas of expreffion in the original; fo that they would appear greatly to their disadvantage in another language. What the modern bards are moft infupportable in, are their naufeous panegyrics upon their patrons. We fee, in them, a petty tyrant, whofe name was never heard, beyond the contracted limits of his own valley, ftalking forth in all the trappings of a finifhed hero. From their frequent al
the ftream of his roaring wind, when he fees the dun prey, before him, the young fons of the
Jufions, however, to the entertainments which he gave, and the ftrength of his cups, we may eafily guefs from whence proceeded the praife of an indolent and effeminate race of men: for the bards, from the great court paid, originally, to their order, became, at laft, the most flagitious and difpirited of all mortals. Their compofitions, therefore, on this fide of a certain period, are dull and trivial to the highest degree. By lavishing their praises upon unworthy objects, their panegyricks became common and little regarded; they were thruft out of the houses of the chiefs, and wandered about, from tribe to tribe, in the double capacity of poet and harper. Galled with his ufage, they betook themselves to fatire and lampoon, fo that the compofitions of the bards, for more than a century back, are almost altogether of the farcaftical kind. In this they fucceeded well; for as there is no language more copious than the Galic, fo there is fcarcely any equally adapted to thofe quaint turns of expreffion which belong to fatireTho' the chiefs difregarded the lampoons of the bards, the vulgar, out of mere fear, received them into their habitations, entertained them, as well as their circumstances would allow, and kept exifting, for fome years, an order, which, by their own mifmanagement, had defervedly fallen into contempt.
To return to the old poem, which gave occafion to this note, It is an address to the wife of a chief, upon the departure of her husband to war. The paffage, which alJudes to Sul-malla, is this:
"Why art thou mournful on rocks; or lifting thine eyes on waves? His ship has bounded towards battle. is in the murmur of fields. the virgins of Offian of harps. eagle, from the field of blood. eagle, from the founding courfe of renown." M 4
Look to the beams of old, to
Sul-malla keeps not her