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Erin is he in the fkirts of war; he rolls ten thoufand before him, in his diftant field.
NOT unseen by Offian, I said, ruthed Cathmor from his ftreams, when he poured his ftrength on I-thorno*, ifle of many waves. In ftrife met two kings in I-thorno, Culgorm and Suran-drónlo: cach from his echoing ifle, ftern hunters of the boar!
THEY met a boar, at a foamy ftream: each pierced it with his fteel. They ftrove for the fame of the deed: and gloomy battle rofe. From ifle to ifle they fent a fpear, broken and ftained with blood, to call the friends of their fathers, in their founding arms. Cathmor came, from Bolga, to Culgorm, red-eyed king: I aided Suran-dronlo, in his land of boars.
WE rufhed on either fide of a ftream, which roared thro' a blafted heath. High broken
*I thorno, fays tradition, was an ifland of Scandinavia. In it, at a hunting party, met Culgorm and Suran-diolo, the kings of two neighbouring ifles. They differed about the honour of killing a boar; and a war was kindled between them. From this epifode we may learn, that the manners of the Scandinavians were much more favage and cruel, than thofe of Britain.It is remarkable, that the names, introduced in this ftory, are not of Galic original, which circumftance affords room to fuppofe, that it had its foundation in true history.
rocks were round, with all their bending trees. Near are two circles of Loda, with the ftone of power; where fpirits defcended, by night, in dark-red ftreams of fire.-There, mixed with the murmur of waters, rofe the voice of aged men, they called the forms of night, to aid them in their war.
* HEEDLESS I food, with my people, where fell the foamy ftream from rocks. The moon moved red from the mountain. My fong, at times, arofe. Dark on the other fide, young Cathmor heard my voice, for he lay, beneath the oak, in all his gleaming arms.Morning came; we rushed to fight: from wing to wing i the rolling of ftrife. They fell, like the thiftle head, beneath autumnal winds,
IN armour came a fately form: I mixed my Arokes with the king. By turns our fhields are pierced loud rung our freely mails. His helmet fell to the ground. In brightness fhone the foe. His eyes, two pleafant flames, rolled
From the circumftance of Offian not being present at the rites, defcribed in the preceding paragraph, we may fuppofe that he held them in contempt. This difference of fentiment, with regard to religion, is a fort of argument, that the Caledonians were not originally a colony of Scandinavians, as fome have imagined. Concerning fo remote a period, mere conjecture muft fupply the place of argument and pofitive proofs.
between his wandering locks.-I knew the king of Atha, and threw my spear on earth.-Dark, we turned, and filent paffed to mix with other foes.
NOT fo paffed the ftriving kings. They mixed in echoing fray; like the meeting of ghofts, in the dark wing of winds. Thro' either breaft rushed the spears; nor yet lay the foes on earth. A rock received their fall; and half-reclined they lay in death. Each held the lock of his foe; and grimly feemed to roll his eyes. The ftream of the rock leapt on their fhields, and mixed below with blood.
The battle ceafed in I-thorno. The ftrangers met in peace: Cathmor from Atha of ftreams, and Offian, king of harps. We placed the dead in earth. Our steps were by Rúnar's bay. With the bounding boat, afar, advanced a ridgy Dark was the rider of feas, but a beam of light was there, like the ray of the fun, in Stromlo's rolling fmoak. It was the daughter † of
*Culgorm. and Suran-dronlo. The combat of the kings and their attitude in death are highly picturesque, and expreffive of that ferocity of manners, which diftinguished the northern nations.-The wild melody of the verfification of the original, is inimitably beautiful, and very different from the reft of the works of Offian.
+ Tradition has handed down the name of this princess. The bards call her Runo forlo, which has no other fort of
of Suran-dronlo, wild in brightned looks. Her eyes were wandering flames, amidft difordered locks. Forward is her white arm, with the
title for being genuine, but its not being of Galic original; a diftinction, which the bards had not the art to preserve, when they feigned names for foreigners. The highland fenachies, who very often endeavoured to fupply the deficiency, they thought they found in the tales of Offian, have given us the continuation of the ftory of the daughter of Suran-dronlo. The catastrophe is fo unatural, and the circumftances of it fo ridiculously pompous, that for the fake of the inventors, I fhall conceal them.
The wildly beautiful appearance of Runo-forlo, made a deep impreffion on a chief, fome ages ago, who was himself no contemptible poet. The ftory is romantic, but not incredible, if we make allowances for the lively imagination of a man of genius. Our chief failing, in a ftorm, along one of the islands of Orkney, faw a woman, in a boat, near the fhore, whom he thought, as he expreffes it himself, as beautiful as a fudden ray of the fun, on the dark-heaving deep. The verfes of Offian, on the attitude of Runo-forlo, which was fo fimilar to that of the woman in the boat, wrought fo much on his fancy, that he fell defperately in love.-The winds, however, drove him from the coaft, and, after a few days, he arrived at his refidence in Scotland.-There his paffion increased to fuch a degree, that two of his friends, fearing the confequence, failed to the Orkneys, to carry to him the object of his defire. Upon enquiry they foon found the nymph, and carried her to the enamoured chief; but mark his furprize, when, instead of a ray of the fun, he faw a skinny fifher-woman, more than middle aged, appearing before him. Tradition here ends the story: but it may be cafily fuppofed that the paffion of the chief foon fubfided.
fpear; her high-heaving breast is feen, white as foamy waves that rife, by turns, amid rocks, They are beautiful, but they are terrible, and mariners call the winds.
COME, ye dwellers of Loda! Carchar, pale in the midst of clouds! Sluthmor, that ftrideft in airy halls! Corchtur, terrible in winds! Réceive, from his daughter's fpear, the foes of Suran-dronlo,
No fhadow, at his roaring ftreams; no mildly-looking form was he! When he took up his fpear, the hawks fhook their founding wings: for blood was poured around the fteps of darkeyed Suran-dronlo.
HE lighted me, no harmless beam, to glitter on his ftreams. Like meteors, I was bright, but I blafted the foes of Suran-dronlo
NOR unconcerned heard Sul-malla, the praise of Cathmor of fhields. He was within her foul, like a fire in fecret heath, which awakes at the voice of the blast, and fends its beam abroad. Amidst the fong removed the daughter of kings, like the foft found of a fummer-breeze; when it lifts the heads of flowers, and curls the lakes and ftreams.
By night came a dream to Offian; without form food the fhadow of Trenmor. He feemed