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CALTHON AND COLMAL.
P. 236. v. 59. Altentha,] Al-teutha, or rather Balteutha, the town of Tweed, the name of Dunthalmo's seat. It is observable that all the names in this poem are derived from the Gaelic language; which is a proof that it was once the universal language of the whole island.
P. 236. v. 77. Caolmhal,] Colmal, a woman with small eyebrows; small eye-brows were a distinguishing part of beauty in Ossian's time; and he seldom fails to give them to the fine women of his poems.
P. 238. v. 92. Thainig i san oiche gu talla, &c.] That is, the hall where the arms taken from enemies were hung up as trophies. Ossian is very careful to make his stories probable; for he makes Colmal put on the arms of a youth killed in his first battle, as more proper for a young woman, who cannot be supposed strong enough to carry the armour of a full-grown warrior.
P. 246. v. 201. Ri mo thaobh ghluais Diaran nam frith,
A's Dargo, ard righ nan gorm shleagh;] Diaran, father of that Connal who was unfortunately killed by Crimora, his mistress. Dargo, the son of Collath, is celebrated in other poems by Ossian. He is said to have been killed by a boar at a hunting party. The lamentation of his mistress, or wife, Mingala, over his body, is extant; but whether it is of Ossian's composition, I cannot determine. It is generally ascribed to him, and has much of his manner; but some traditions mention it as an imitation by some later bard. As it has some poetical merit, I have subjoined it.
The spouse of Dargo comes in tears: for Dargo was no more! The heroes sigh over Lartho's chief: and what shall sad Mingala do? The dark soul vanished like morning mist, before the king of spears: but the generous glowed in his presence like the morning star.
Who was the fairest and most lovely? Who but Collath's stately son? Who sat in the midst of the wise, but Dargo of the mighty deeds?
Thy hand touched the trembling harp: Thy voice was soft as summer-winds. Ah me! what shall the heroes say? for Dargo fell before
a boar. Pale is the lovely cheek; the look of which was firm in danger! Why hast thou failed on our hills? thou fairer than the beams of the sun!
The daughter of Adonsion was lovely in the eyes of the valiant; she was lovely in their eyes, but she chose to be the spouse of Dargo.
But art thou alone, Mingala! the night is coming with its clouds; where is the bed of thy repose? Where but in the tomb of Dargo?
Why dost thou lift the stone, O bard! why dost thou shut the narrow house? Mingala's eyes are heavy, bard! She must sleep with Dargo.
Last night I heard the song of joy in Lartho's lofty hall. But silence dwells around my bed. Mingala rests with Dargo.
END OF VOL. I.