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An address to Malvina, the daughter of Tofcar. - The relates the arrival of Cathlin in Selma, to folicit aid against Duth-carmor of Cluba, who had killed Cathmol, for the fake of his daughter Lanŭl.-Fingal declining to make a choice among his heroes, who were all claiming the command of the expedition; they retired each to his hill of ghofts; to be determined by dreams. The fpirit of Trenmor appears to Offian and Oscar: they fail, from the bay of Carmona, and, on the fourth day, appear off the valley of Rath-col, in Inis-huna, where Duth-carmor had fixed his refidence.Offian dispatches a bard to Duth-carmor to demand battle.Night comes on.-The diftrefs of Cathlin of Clutha.Offian devolves the command on Ofcar, who, according to the custom of the kings of Morven, before battle, retired to a neighbouring hill.-Upon the coming on of day, the battle joins.-Oscar and Duth-carmor meet. The latter falls.-Ofcar carries the mail and helmet of Duth-carmor to Cathlin, who had retired from the field. Cathlin is discovered to be the daughter of Cathmol, in difguife, who had been carried off, by force, by, and had made her escape from, Duth-carmor.
CATHLIN OF CLUTHA:
OME, thou beam that art Ionely, from watching in the night! The fqually winds are around thee, from all their echoing hills. Red, over my hundred ftreams, are the light
*The traditions, which accompany this poem, inform us, that both it, and the fucceeding piece, went, of old, under the name of Laci-Oi-lutha; i. e. the hymns of the maid of Lutha. They pretend alfo to fix the time of its compofition to the third year after the death of Fingal; that is, during the expedition of Fergus the son of Fingal, to the banks of Uifca duthon. In fupport of this opinion, the Highland fenachies have prefixed to this poem, an addrefs of Offian, to Congal the young fon of Fergus, which I have rejected, as having no manner of connection with the rest of the piece.It has poetical merit; and, probably, it was the opening of one of Offian's other poems, tho' the bards injudicioufly transferred it to the piece now before us.
"Congal fon of Fergus of Durath, thou light between thy locks, afcend to the rock of Selma, to the oak of the Ꮲ breaker
light-covered paths of the dead. They rejoice, on the eddying winds, in the ftill feafon of night.-Dwells there no joy in fong, white hand of the harps of Lutha? Awake the voice of the ftring, and roll my foul to me. It is a fream that has failed.-Malvina pour the fong.
I HEAR thee, from thy darkness, in Selma, thou that watcheft, lonely, by night! Why didft thou with-hold the fong, from Offian's failing foul?As the falling brook to the ear of the hunter, defcending from his ftorm-covered hill; in a fun-beam rolls thee choing stream; he hears, and fhakes his dewy locks: fuch is the voice of Lutha, to the friend of the fpirits of heroes. My fwelling bofom beats high. I look back on the days that are paft.-Come, thou beam that art lonely, from the watching of night.
In the echoing bay of Carmona * we faw, one day
breaker of fhields. Look over the bofom of night, it is ftreaked with the red paths of the dead: look on the night of ghosts, and kindle, O Congal, thy foul. Be not, like the moon on a ftream, lonely in the midst of clouds: darknefs clofes around it; and the beam departs.-Depart not, fon of Fergus, ere thou markeft the field with thy fword. Afcend to the rock of Selma; to the oak of the breaker of fhields."
Car-mona, bay of the dark brown hills, an arm of the fea, in the neighbourhood of Selma.-In this paragraph
day, the bounding ship. On high, hung a broken fhield; it was marked with wandering blood. Forward came a youth, in armour, and ftretched his pointless spear. Long, over his tearful eyes, hung loofe his difordered locks. Fingal gave the fhell of kings. The words of the ftranger arofe.
IN his hall lies Cathmol of Clutha, by the winding of his own dark ftreams. Duth-carmor
are mentioned the fignals prefented to Fingal, by those who came to demand his aid. The fuppliants held, in one hand, a fhield covered with blood, and, in the other, a broken spear; the first a symbol of the death of their friends, the last an emblem of their own helpless fituation. If the king chose to grant fuccours, which generally was the cafe, he reached to them the hell of feafts, as a token of his hofpitality and friendly intentions towards them.
It may not be disagreeable to the reader to lay here before him the ceremony of the Cran-tara, which was of a fimilar nature, and, till very lately, ufed in the Highlands.
When the news of an enemy came to the refidence of the chief, he immediately killed a goat with his own fword, dipped the end of an half-burnt piece of wood in the blood, and gave it to one of his fervants, to be carried to the next hamlet. From hamlet to hamlet this teffera was carried with the utmost expedition, and, in the space of a few hours, the whole clan were in arms, and convened in an appointed place; the name of which was the only word that accompained the delivery of the Cran-tara. This fymbol was the manifefto of the chief, by which he threatened fire and fword to thofe of his clan, that did not immediately appear at his ftandard.
faw white-bofomed Lánul *, and pierced her father's fide. In the rufhy defart were my fteps. He fled in the feafon of night. Give thine aid to Cathlin to revenge his father.-I fought thee not as a beam, in a land of clouds. Thou, like that fun, art known, king of echoing Selma.
SELMA's king looked around. In his prefence, we rofe in arms. But who should lift the fhield? for all had claimed the war. The night came down; we firode, in filence; each to his hill of ghofts: that fpirits might descend, in our dreams, to mark us for the field.
WE ftruck the fhield of the dead, and raised the hum of fongs. We thrice called the ghofts
of our fathers. We laid us down in dreams. --Trenmor came, before mine eyes, the tall form of other years. His blue hofts were behind him in half-diftinguished rows. Scarce feen is their ftrife in mift, or their firetching forward to deaths. I liftened; but no found was there. The forms were empty wind.
* Lánul, full-eyed, a furname which, according to tradition, was bestowed on the daughter of Cathmol, on account of her beauty; this tradition, however, may have been founded on that partiality, which the bards have fhewn to Cathlin of Clutha; for according to them, no falfhod could dwell in the foul of the lovely.