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and tufts of grafs, which fhake and whistle to the wind, over their grey feats of froft.-So
the works of Offian. The images of it are only familiar to those who live in a cold and mountainous country. They have often seen a lake fuddenly frozen over, and ftrewed with withered grafs, and boughs torn, by winds, from the mountains, which form its banks; but, I believe, few of them would be of the mind of the ancient bard, who preferred these winter scenes to the irriguous vales of May. To me, fays he, bring back my woods, which firew their leaves on blafts: Spread the lake below, with all its frozen waves. Pleafant is the breeze on the bearded ice; when the moon is broad in heaven, and the fpirit of the mountain roars. Roll away the green vales of May; they are thoughts of maids, &c. Such are the words of this winter poet, but what he afterwards adds, gives us to underftand, that those frigid scenes were not his fole delight: for he speaks, with great tenderness, of the oak-lighted hall of the chief; and the ftrength of the shells, at night, when the courfe of winds is abroad.
If the fimile of a frozen lake aptly illuftrates the ftillnefs and filent expectation of an army, lying under arms, waiting for the coming of their king, fo the comparison of the fudden rifing of waves, around a fpirit, is also very expreffive of the tumultuous joy of Fingal's army, upon the appearance of that hero.-An ancient bard, fenfible of the beauty of this paffage, has happily imitated it, in a poem, concerning Kenneth Mac Alpin, king of Scotland. I had occafion to quote this piece, in a note in the preceding book. Kenneth had retired privately, by night, to a hill, in the neighbourhood of his army, and, upon his return, next morning, the bard fays, that he was like the form of a fpirit, returning to his fecret bay. In N 4
filent fhone to the morning the ridges of Morven's hoft, as each warrior looked up from his helmet towards the hill of the king; the cloud-covered hill of Fingal, where he ftrode, in the rolling of mift. At times is the hero feen, greatly dim in all his arms. From thought to thought rolled the war, along his mighty foul.
Now is the coming forth of the king.-Firft appeared the fword of Luno; the fpear half iffuing from a cloud, the fhield ftill dim in mift. But when the ftride of the king came abroad, with all his grey, dewy locks in the wind; then rose the fhouts of his hoft over every moving tribe. They gathered, gleaming, round, with all their echoing fhields. So rife the green feas round a fpirit, that comes down from the fqually wind. The traveller hears the found afar, and lifts his head over the rock. He looks on the troubled bay, and thinks he 'dimly fees the form. The waves fport, unwieldly, round, with all their backs of foam.
FAR-DISTANT ftood the fon of Morni, Dutho's race, and Cona's bard. We ftood fardiftant; each beneath his tree. We huned the
the skirt of a blast he ftands. The waves lift heads. Their green backs are quivering round. back their joy.
their roaring Rocks eccho
eyes of the king; we had not conquered in the field.-A little ftream rolled at my feet: I touched its light wave, with my fpear. I touched it with my fpear; nor there was the foul of Offian. It darkly rofe, from thought to thought, and fent abroad the figh.
SON of Morni, faid the king, Dermid, hunter of roes! why are ye dark, like two rocks, each with its trickling waters? No wrath gathers on the foul of Fingal, against the chiefs of men. Ye are my ftrength in battle; the kindling of my joy in peace. My early voice was a pleasant gale to your ears, when Fillan, prepared the bow. The fon of Fingal is not here, nor yet the chace of the bounding roes. But why should the breakers of fhields ftand, darkened, far away?
TALL they ftrode towards the king; they faw him turned to Mora's wind. His tears came down, for his blue-eyed fon, who flept in the cave of ftreams. But he brightened before them, and fpoke to the broad-shielded kings.
CROMMAL, with woody rocks, and misty top, the field of winds, pours forth, to the fight, blue Lubar's ftreamy roar. Behind it rolls clearwinding Lavath, in the ftill vale of deer. A cave is dark in a rock; above it ftrong-winged sagles dwell; broad-headed oaks, before it, found
found in Cluna's wind. Within in his locks of youth, is Ferad-artho*, blue-eyed king, the
Ferad-artho was the fon of Cairbar Mac-Cormac king of Ireland. He was the only one remaining of the race of Conar, the son of Trenmor, the firft Irish monarch, according to Offian. In order to make this paffage thoroughly understood, it may not be improper to racapitulate some part of what has been faid in preceding notes.-Upon the death of Conar the fon of Trenmor, his fon Cormac fucceeded on the Irish throne. Cormac reigned long. His children were, Cairbar, who fucceeded him, and Roscrana, the first wife of Fingal. Cairbar, long before the death of his father Cormac, had taken to wife Bos-gala, the daughter of Colgar, one of the most powerful chiefs in Connaught, and had, by her, Artho, afterwards king of Ireland. Soon after Artho arrived at man's eftate, his mother Bos-gala died, and Cairbar took to wife Beltanno, the daughter of Conachar of Ullin, who brought him a fon, whom he called Ferad-artho, i. e. a man in the place of Artho. The occafion of the name was this. Artho, when his brother was born, was abfent, on an expedition in the fouth of Ireland. A falfe report was brought to his father that he was killed.-Cairbar, to use the words of the poem on the fubject, darkened for his fair-haired fon. He turned to the young beam of light, the fon of Beltanno of Conashar. Thou shalt be Ferad-artho, he faid, a fire before thy race Cairbat, foon after, died, nor did Artho long furvive him. Artho was fucceeded, in the Irish throne, by his fon Cormac, who in his minority, was murdered by Cairbar, the fon of Borbar-duthul.-Ferad-artho, fays tradition, was very young, when the expedition of Fingal, to fettle him on the throne of Ireland, happened. During the short reign of young Cormac, Ferad-artho lived at the royal palace of Temora. Upon the murder of the
fon of broad-fhielded Cairbar, from Ullin of the roes. He liftens to the voice of Condan, as, grey, he bends in feeble light. He liftens, for his foes dwell in the echoing halls of Temora. He comes, at times, abroad, in the fkirts of mift, to pierce the bounding roes. When the fun looks on the field, nor by the rock, not ftream, is he! He fhuns the race of Bolga, who dwell in his father's hall. Tell him, that Fingal lifts the fpear, and that his foes, perhaps, may
LIFT up, O Gaul, the fhield before him. Stretch, Dermid, Temora's fpear. Be thy voice
king, Condan, the bard, conveyed Ferad-artho, privately, to the cave of Cluna, behind the mountain Crommal, in Ulfter, where they both lived concealed, during the ufurpation of the family of Atha. All thefe particulars, concerning Ferad-artho, may be gathered from the compofitions of Offian: A bard, lefs ancient, has delivered the whole history, in a poem juft now in my poffeffion. It has little merit, if we except the fcene between Ferad-arthỏ, and the meffengers of Fingal, upon their arrival, in the valley of Cluna. After hearing of the great actions of Fingal, the young prince propofes the following queftions concerning him, to Gaul and Dermid." Is the king tall. as the rock of my cave? Is his fpear a fir of Cluna? Is he a rough-winged blaft, on the mountain, which takes the green oak by the head, and tears it from its hill?-Glitters Lubar within his ftrides, when he fends his ftately fteps along? Nor is he tall, faid Gaul, as that rock: nor glitter ftreams within his ftrides, but his foul is a mighty flood, like the ftrength of Ullin's feas."