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court, and whiftles round thy half-worn fhield. And let the blaft of the defert come! we fhall be renowned in our day. The mark of my arm shall be in the battle, and my name in the fong of bards. Raife the fong; fend round the shell: and let joy be heard in my hall. When thou, fun of heaven, fhalt fail! if thou fhalt fail, thou mighty light! if thy brightness is for a season, like Fingal; our fame fhall furvive thy beams."
Such was the fong of Fingal, in the day of his joy. His thousand bards leaned forward from their feats, to hear the voice of the king. It was like the music of the harp on the gale of the fpring. Lovely were thy thoughts, O Fingal! why had not Offian the ftrength of thy foul? But thou ftandeft alone, my father; and who can equal the king of Morven ?
The night paffed away in fong, and morning returned in joy; the mountains fhewed their gray heads; and the blue face of ocean fmiled. The white wave is feen tumbling round the diftant rock; the gray mist rifes, flowly, from the lake. It came, in the figure of an aged man, along the filent plain. Its large limbs did not move in fteps; for a ghoft fupported it in mid air. It came towards Selma's hall, and diffolved in a fhower of blood.
The king alone beheld the terrible fight, and he forefaw the death of the people. He came, in filence, to his hall; and took his father's fpear. The mail rattled on his breaft. The heroes rofe around. They looked in filence on each other, marking the eyes of Fingal. They faw the battle in his face: the death of armies on his fpear. A thousand fhields, at once, are placed on their arms: and they drew a thoufànd fwords. The hall of Selma brightened around. The clang of arms afcends. The gray dogs howl in their place. No word is among the mighty chiefs. Each marked the eyes of the king; and half-affumed his fpear.
"Sons of Morven," begun the king, this is no
time to fill the fhell. The battle darkens near us; and death hovers over the land. Some ghoft, the friend of
Fingal, has forewarned us of the foe. The fons of the franger come from the darkly rolling fea. For, from the water, came the fign of Morven's gloomy danger. Let each affume his heavy spear, and gird on his father's fword. Let the dark helmet rife on every head; and the mail pour its lightning from every fide. The battle gathers like a tempeft, and foon fhall ye hear the roar of death."
The hero moved on before his hoft, like a cloud before a ridge of heaven's fire; when it pours on the fky of night, and mariners forefee a ftorm. On Cona's rifing heath they flood: the white-bofomed maids beheld them above like a grove; they forefaw the death of their youths, and looked towards the fea with fear. The white wave deceived them for distant fails, and the tear is on their cheek. The fun rofe on the fea, and we beheld a diftant fleet. Like the mift of ocean they came: and poured their youth upon the coaft. The chief was among them, like the ftag in the midft of the herd. His fhield is ftudded with gold, and flately firode the king of fpears. He moved towards Selma; his thoufands moved behind.
"Go, with thy fong of peace," faid Fingal; " go, Ullin, to the king of fwords. Tell him that we are mighty in battle; and that the ghofts of our foes are many. But renowned are they who have feafted in my halls! they fhew the arms of my fathers in a foreign land: the fons of the ftrangers wonder, and bless the friends of Morven's race; for our names have been heard afar; the kings of the world fhook in the midst of their people."
Ullin went with his fong. Fingal refted on his fpear: he faw the mighty foe in his armour: and he bleft the ftranger's fon. How ftately art thou, fon of the fea!" faid the king of woody Morven. "Thy fword is a beam of might by thy fide: thy fpear is a fir that defies
It was a cuftom among the ancient Scots, to exchange arms with their guefis, and thofe arms were preferved long in the different families, as monuments of the friendship which fubfifted between their ancestors.
the ftorm. The varied face of the moon is not broader than thy fhield. Ruddy is thy face of youth! foft the ringlets of thy hair! But this tree may fall; and his memory be forgot! The daughter of the stranger will be fad, and look to the rolling fea: the children will fay, We fee a ship; perhaps it is the king of Balclutha. The tear ftarts from their mother's eye. Her thoughts are of him that fleeps in Morven."
Such were the words of the king, when Ullin came to the mighty Carthon: he threw down the fpear before him; and raised the fong of peace. "Come to the feaft of Fingal, Carthon, from the rolling fea! partake the feaft of the king, or lift the fpear of war. The ghofts of our foes are many: but renowned are the friends of Morven! Behold that field, O Carthon ; many a green hill rifes there with moffy ftones and rufiling grafs: these are the tombs of Fingal's foes, the fons of the rolling fea."
"Doft thou fpeak to the feeble in arms," faid Carthon, "bard of the woody Morven? Is my face pale for fear, fon of the peaceful fong? Why, then, doft thou think to darken my foul with the tales of those who fell? My arm has fought in the battle; my renown is known afar. Go to the feeble in arms, and bid them yield to Fingal. Have not I feen the fallen Balclutha? and fhall I feaft with Comhal's fon? Comhal! who threw his fire in the midst of my father's hall! I was young, and knew not the caufe why the virgins wept. The columns of fmoke pleafed mine eye, when they rofe above my walls; I often looked back, with gladnefs, when my friends fled along the hill. But when the years of my youth came on, I beheld the mofs of my fallen walls: my figh arofe with the morning, and my tears defcended with night. Shall I not fight, I faid to my foul, against the children of my foes? And I will fight, O bard; I feel the firength of my foul."
His people gathered around the hero, and drew, at once, their fhining fwords. He ftands, in the midit,
like a pillar of fire: the tear-half-ftarting from his eye, for he thought of the fallen Balclutha, and the crowded pride of his foul arofe. Sidelong he looked up to the hill, where our heroes fhone in arms; the fpear trembled in his hand: and, bending forward, he feemed to threaten the king.
"Shall I," faid Fingal to his foul," meet, at once, the king: Shall I ftop him, in the midst of his course, before his fame fhall arife? But the bard, hereafter, may fay, when he fees the tomb of Carthon, Fingal took his thousands, along with him, to battle, before the noble Carthon fell. No: bard of the times to come! thou shalt not leffen Fingal's fame. My heroes will fight the youth, and Fingal behold the battle. If he overcomes, I rush, in my ftrength, like the roaring ftream of Cona. Who, of my heroes, will meet the fon of the rolling fea? Many are his warriors on the coast: and ftrong is his afhen fpear!"
Cathult rofe, in his ftrength, the son of the mighty Lormar: three hundred youths attend the chief, the race of his native ftreams. Feeble was his arm against Carthon; he fell, and his heroes fled. Connal¶ refumed the battle, but he broke his heavy fpear: he lay bound on the field: and Carthon purfued his people. "Clefsámmor!" faid the king* of Morven, "where is the fpear of thy ftrength? Wilt thou behold Connal bound; thy friend, at the stream of Lora? Rife, in the light of thy fteel, thou friend of Comhal. Let the youth of Balclutha feel the ftrength of Morven's race.' He rofe in the ftrength of his fteel, fhaking his grifly locks. He fitted the shield to his fide; and rushed, in the pride of valour.
Carthon flood, on that heathy rock, and saw the he
Cath-'huil, 'the eye of battle.'
It appears, from this paffage, that clanfhip was established in the days of Fingal, though not on the fame footing with the prefent tribes in the north of Scotland.
This Connal is very much celebrated, in ancient poetry, for his wifdom and valour: there is a fmall tribe ftill fubfifting, in the North, who pretend they are defcended from him.
*Fingal did not then know that Carthon was the fon of Clefsammor.
ro's approach. He loved the terrible joy of his face: "Shall I lift and his ftrength, in the locks of age. that fpear," he said, "that never ftrikes, but once, a foe? Or fhall I, with the words of peace, preferve the warrior's life? Stately are his fteps of age? lovely the remnant of his years. Perhaps it is the love of Moina; the father of car-borne Carthon. Often have I heard, that he dwelt at the echoing ftream of Lora."
Such were his words, when Clefsámmor came, and lifted high his fpear. The youth received it on his "Warrior of fhield, and spoke the words of peace. the aged locks! Is there no youth to lift the fpear? Haft thou no fon, to raise the fhield before his father, and to meet the arm of youth? Is the spouse of thy love no more? or weeps the over the tombs of thy fons? Art thou of the kings of men? What will be the fame my fword if thou shalt fall?"
"It will be great, thou fon of pride!" begun the tall Clefsammor, I have been renowned in battle: but I never told my name † to a foe. Yield to me, fon of the wave, and then thou fhalt know, that the mark of my fword is in many a field." "I never yielded, king of fpears!" replied the noble pride of Carthon: "I have alfo fought in battles! and I beheld my future farne. Defpife me not, thou chief of men; my arm, my spear young is ftrong. Retire among thy friends, and let roes fight." " Why doft thou wound my foul!" re"Age does not tremplied Clefsámmor with a tear. ble on my hand; I ftill can lift the fword. Shall I fly in Fingal's fight; in the fight of him I loved? Son of the fea? I never fled: exalt thy pointed fpear."
They fought, like two contending winds, that strive to roll the wave. Carthon bade his fpear to err; for he ftill thought that the foe was the spouse of Moina.
To tell one's name to an enemy was reckoned in thofe days of heroifm, a manifeft evasion of fighting him: for, if it was once known, that friendship fub. fifted, of old, between the ancestors of the combatants, the battle immediately cenf. A man who tells ed: and the ancient anity of their forefathers was renewed. his name to his enemy, was of old, an ignominious term for a coward,