Cath-loda; A Poem.
Duan Second.[ 192 ] View Page Image
Fingal returning, with day, devolves the command of the army on Duth-maruno, who engages the enemy, and drives them over the stream of Turthor. Fingal, after recalling his people, congratulates Duth-maruno on his success, but discovers, that that hero was mortally wounded in the engagement.—Duth-maruno dies. Ullin, the bard, in honour of the dead, introduces the episode of Colgorm and Strina-dona, with which the duän concludes.[ 193 ] View Page Image
Cath-loda: A Poem.
Where art thou, son of the king, said dark-haired Duth-maruno? Where hast thou failed, young beam of Selma?—He returns not from the bosom of night! Morning is spread U-thorno: in his mist is the sun, on his hill.—Warriors, lift the shields, in my presence. He must not fall, like a fire from heaven, whose place is not marked on the ground.——He comes, like an eagle, from the skirt of his squally wind! In his hand are the spoils of foes.—King of Selma, our souls were sad.
Near us are the foes, Duth-maruno. They come forward, like waves in mist, when their foamy tops are seen, at times, above the low-sailing vapour.—The traveller shrinks on his journey, and knows not whither to fly.—No trembling travellers are we!—Sons [ 194 ] View Page Image of heroes call forth the steel.—Shall the sword of Fingal arise, or shall a warrior lead?
Display noteThe deeds of old, said Duth-maruno, are like paths to our eyes, O Fingal. Broad-shielded Trenmor, is still seen, amidst his own dim years. Nor feeble was the soul of the king. There, no dark deed wandered in secret.——From their hundred streams came the tribes, to grassy Colglan-crona. Their chiefs were before them. Each strove to lead the war. Their swords were often half-un-sheathed. Red rolled their eyes of rage. Separate they stood, and hummed their surly songs.——"Why should they yield to each other? their fathers were equal in war."
Trenmor was there, with his people, stately in youthful locks. He saw the advancing foe. The grief of his soul arose. He bade [ 195 ] View Page Image the chiefs to lead, by turns: they led, but they were rolled away.—From his own mossy hill, blue-shielded Trenmor came down. He led wide-skirted battle, and the strangers failed.—Around him the dark-browed warriors came: they struck the shield of joy. Like a pleasant gale, the words of power rushed forth from Selma of kings. But the chiefs led, by turns, in war, till mighty danger rose: then was the hour of the king to conquer in the field.
"Not unknown, said Cromma-glasDisplay note of shields, are the deeds of our fathers.—But who shall now lead the war, before the race of kings? Mist settles on these four dark hills: within it let each warrior strike his shield. Spirits may descend in darkness, and mark us for the war."——They went, each to his hill of mist. Bards marked the sounds of the shields. Loudest rung thy boss, Duth-maruno. Thou must lead in war.[ 196 ] View Page Image
Like the murmur of waters, the race of U-thorno came down. Starno led the battle, and Swaran of stormy isles. They looked forward from iron shields, like Cruth-loda fiery-eyed, when he looks from behind the darkened moon, and strews his signs on night.
The foes met by Turthor’s stream. They heaved like ridgy waves. Their echoing strokes are mixed. Shadowy death flies over the hosts. They were clouds of hail, with squally winds in their skirts. Their showers are roaring together. Below them swells the dark-rolling deep.
Strife of gloomy U-thorno, why should I mark thy wounds? Thou art with the years that are gone; thou fadest on my soul. Starno brought forward his skirt of war, and Swaran his own dark wing. Nor a harmless fire is Duth-maruno’s word.—Lochlin is rolled over her streams. The wrathful kings are folded in thoughts. They roll their silent eyes, over the flight of their land.—The horn of Fingal was heard; the sons of woody Albion returned. But many lay, by Turthor’s stream, silent in their blood.
Chief of Crom-charn, said the king, Duth-maruno, hunter of boars! not harmless returns my eagle, from the field of foes. For this white-bosomed Lanul shall brighten, at her streams; Candona shall rejoice, at rocky Crathmo-craulo.
ColgormDisplay note, replied the chief, was the first of my race in Albion; Colgorm, the rider of ocean, thro’ its watry vales. He slew [ 197 ] View Page Imagehis brother in I-thorno: he left the land of his fathers. He chose his place, in silence, by rocky Crathmo-craulo. His race came forth, in their years; they came forth to war, but they always fell. The wound of my fathers is mine, king of echoing isles!
He drew an arrow from his side. He fell pale, in a land unknown. His soul came forth to his fathers, to their stormy isle. There they pursued boars of mist, along the skirts of winds.——The chiefs stood silent around, as the stones of Loda, on their hill. The traveller sees them, thro’ the twilight, from his lonely path. He thinks them the ghosts of the aged, forming future wars.
Night came down, on U-thorno. Still stood the chiefs in their grief. The blast hissed, by turns, thro’ every warrior's hair.—Fingal, at length, bursted forth from the thoughts of his soul. He called Ullin of harps, and bade the song to rise.—No falling fire, that is only seen, and then retires in night; no departing meteor was Crathmo-craulo’s chief. He was like the strong-beaming sun, long rejoicing on his hill. Call the names of his fathers, from their dwellings old.
I-thornoDisplay note, said the bard, that risest midst ridgy seas! Why is thy head so gloomy, in the ocean’s mist? From thy vales came [ 198 ] View Page Imageforth a race, fearless as thy strong-winged eagles; the race of Colgorm of iron shields, dwellers of Loda’s hall.
In Tormoth’s resounding isle, arose Lurthan, streamy hill. It bent its woody head above a silent vale. There, at foamy Cruruth’s source, dwelt Rurmar, hunter of boars. His daughter was fair as a sun-beam, white-bosomed Strina-dona!
Many a king of heroes, and hero of iron shields; many a youth of heavy locks came to Rurmar’s echoing hall. They came to woo the maid, the stately huntress of Tormoth wild.—But thou lookest careless from thy steps, high-bosomed Strina-dona!
If on the heath she moved, her breast was whiter than the down of CanaDisplay note; if on the sea-beat shore, than the foam of the rolling ocean. Her eyes were two stars of light; her face was heaven’s bow in showers; her dark hair flowed round it, like the streaming clouds.—Thou wert the dweller of souls, white-handed Strina-dona![ 199 ] View Page Image
Colgorm came, in his ship, and Corcul-Suran, king of shells. The brothers came, from I-thorno, to woo the sun-beam of Tormoth’s isle. She saw them in their echoing steel. Her soul was fixed on blue-eyed Colgorm.—Ul-lochlin’sDisplay note nightly eye looked in, and saw the tossing arms of Strina-dona.
Wrathful the brothers frowned. Their flaming eyes, in silence, met. They turned away. They struck their shields. Their hands were trembling on their swords. They rushed into the strife of heroes, for long-haired Strina-dona.
Corcul-suran fell in blood. On his isle, raged the strength of his father. He turned Colgorm, from I-thorno, to wander on all the winds.—In Crathmo-craulo’s rocky field, he dwelt, by a foreign stream. Nor darkened the king alone, that beam of light was near, the daughter of echoing Tormoth, white-armed Strina-donaDisplay note[ 200 ] View Page Image