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in his ear, O Carril, with the deeds of his fathers. Lead him to green Moilena, to the dusky field of ghofts; for there I fall forward, in battle, in the folds of war. Before dun night descends, come to high Dunmora's top. Look, from the grey rolling of mift, on Lena of the ftreams. If there my ftandard fhall float on wind, over Lubar's gleaming courfe, then has not Fingal failed in the laft of his fields.
SUCH were his words: nor aught replied the filent, ftriding kings. They looked fide-long, on Erin's hoft, and darkened, as they went.Never before had they left the king, in the midft of the ftormy field.- Behind them, touching at times his harp, the grey-haired Carril moved. He forefaw the fall of the people, and mournful was the found!-It was like a breeze that comes, by fits, over Lego's reedy lake; when fleep half-defcends on the hunter, within his moffy cave.
WHY bends the bard of Cona, faid Fingal, over his fecret ftream?-Is this a time for forrow, father of low-laid Ofcar? Be the warriors *
* Ofcar and Fillan are here, emphatically called the warriors. Offian was not forgetful of them, when, to ufe his own expreffion, peace returned to the land. His plaintive poems, concerning the death of these young heroes, were very numerous. I had occafion, in a pre
remembered in peace; when echoing fhields are heard no more. Bend, then, in grief, over the
ceding note, to give a tranflation of one of them, (a dialogue between Clatho and Bos-mina) in this I fhall lay before the reader a fragment of another. The greatest, and, perhaps, the most interefting part of the poem, is loft. What remains, is a foliloquy of Malvina, the daughter of Tofcar, so often mentioned in Offian's compofitions. She fitting alone, in the vale of Moi-lutha, is represented as defcrying, at a diftance, the ship which carried the body of Olcar to Morven.
"Malvina is like the bow of the fhower, in the fecret valley of streams; it is bright, but the drops of heaven roll on its blended light. They fay, that 1 am fair within my locks, but, on my brightnefs, is the wandering of tears. Darkness flies over my foul, as the dufky wave of the breeze, along the grafs of Lutha.-Yet have not the roes failed me, when I moved between the hills. Pleafant, beneath my white hand, arofe the found of harps. What then, daughter of Lutha, travels over thy foul, like the dreary path of a ghoft, along the nightly beam?-Should the young warrior fall, in the roar of his troubled fields!Young virgins of Lutha arise, call back the wandering Awake the voice of the harp, thoughts of Malvina. along my echoing vale. Then shall my foul come forth, like a light from the gates of the morn, when clouds are rolled around them, with their broken fides.
Dweller of my thoughts, by night, whofe form afcends in troubled fields, why doft thou ftir up my foul, thou far-diftant fon of the king?-Is that the fhip of my love, its dark courfe tho' the ridges of ocean? How art thou fo fudden, Ofcar, from the heath of fhields ?”.
The reft of this poem, it is faid, confifted, of a diaJogue between Ullin and Malvina, wherein the distress of the latter is carried to the highest pitch.
flood, where blows the mountain breeze. Let them pafs on thy foul, the blue-eyed dwellers of Lena. But Erin rolls to war, wide-tumbling, rough, and dark. Lift, Offian, lift the fhield. -I am alone, my fon!
As comes the fudden. voice of winds to the becalmed fhip of Inis-huna, and drives it large, along the deep, dark rider of the wave: fo the voice of Fingal fent Offian, tall, along the heath. He lifted high his fhining fhield, in the dusky wing of war: like the broad, blank moon, in the fkirt of a cloud, before the ftorms arife: it
Loup, from mofs-covered Mora, poured down, at once, the broad-winged war. Fingal led his people forth, king of Morven of streams. -On high spreads the eagle's wing. His grey hair is poured on his fhoulders broad. In thunder are his mighty ftrides. He often food, and faw behind, the wide-gleaming rolling of armour. A rock he feemed, grey over with ice, whose woods are high in wind. Bright ftreams leap from its head, and fpread their foam on blafts.
Now he came to Lubar's cave, where Fillan darkly flept. Bran ftill lay on the broken shield: the eagle-wing is ftrewed on winds. Bright, from withered furze, looked forth the hero's fpear. Then grief ftirred the foul of the king,
like whirlwinds blackening on a lake. He turned his fudden step, and leaned on his bending fpear.
WHITE-BREASTED Bran came bounding with joy to the known path of Fingal. He came, and looked towards the cave, where the blueeyed hunter lay, for he was wont to ftride, with morning to the dewy bed of the roe.-It was then the tears of the king came down, and all his foul was dark.-But as the rifing wind rolls away the form of rain, and leaves the white ftreams to the fun, and high hills with their heads of grafs; fo the returning war brightened the mind of Fingal. He bounded He bounded *, on his fpear,
The poetical hyperboles of Offian were, afterwards, taken in the literal fenfe, by the ignorant vulgar; and they firmly believed, that Fingal, and his heroes, were of a gigantic ftature. There are many extravagant fictions founded upon the circumftance of Fingal leaping at once over the river Lubar. Many of them are handed down in tradition. The Irith compofitions concerning Fingal invariably speak of him as a giant. Of thefe Hibernian poems there are now many in my hands. From the language, and allufions to the times in which they were writ, I fhould fix the date of their compofition in the fifteenth and fixteenth centuries. In fome paffages, the poetry is far from wanting merit, but the fable is unnatural, and the whole conduct of the pieces injudicious. I fhall give one, inftance of the extravagant fictions of the Irish bards, in a poem which they, moft unjustly, afcribe to Offian. The
fpear, over Lubar, and ftruck his echoing fhield. His ridgy hoft bend forward, at once, with all their pointed steel.
NOR Erin heard, with fear, the found : wide they came rolling along. Dark Malthos, in the wing of war, looks forward from fhaggy brows. Next rofe that beam of light Hidalla then the fide-long-looking gloom of Maronnan. Blue-fhielded Clonar lifts the fpear; Cormar hakes his bufhy locks on the wind.-Slowly,
ftory of it is this-Ireland being threatened with an invafion from fome part of Scandinavia, Fingal fent Offian, Ofcar and Ca-olt, to watch the bay, in which it was expected, the enemy was to land, Ofcar, unluckily, fell asleep, before the Scandinavians appeared; and, great as he was, fays the Irish bard, he had one bad property, that no lefs could waken him, before his time, than cutting off one of his fingers, or throwing a great stone against his head; and it was dangerous to come near him on those occafions, till he had recovered himself, and was fully awake. Ca-olt, who was employed by Offian to waken his fon, made choice of throwing the ftone againft his head, as the leaft dangerous expedient. The ftone, rebounding from the hero's head, fhook, as it rolled along, the hill for three miles round. Ófcar rofe in rage, fought bravely, and, fingly, vanquished a wing of the enemy's army.-Thus the bard goes on till Fingal put an end to the war, by the total rout of the Scandinavians, Puerile, and even defpicable, as these fictions are, yet Keating and O'Flaherty have no better authority than the poems with contain them, for all that they write concerning Fion Mac-comnal, and the pretended militia of Ireland.