Oina-morul: A Poem.
As flies the unconstant sun, over Larmon's grassy hill; so pass the tales of old, along my soul, by night. When bards are removed to their place; when harps are hung in Selma's hall; then comes a voice to Ossian, and awakes his soul. It is the voice of years that are gone: they roll before me, with all their deeds. I seize the tales, as they pass, and pour them forth in song. Nor a troubled stream is the song of the king, it is like the rising of music from Lutha of the strings.—Lutha of many strings, not silent are thy streamy rocks, when the white hands of Malvina move upon the harp.—Light of the shadowy thoughts, that fly across my soul, daughter of Toscar of helmets, wilt thou not hear the song! We call back, maid of Lutha, the years that have rolled away.
It was in the days of the king, while yet my locks were young, that I marked Con-cathlinDisplay note, on high, from ocean's nightly wave. [ 212 ] View Page Image My course was towards the isle of Fuärfed, woody dweller of seas. Fingal had sent me to the aid of Mal-orchol, king of Fuärfed wild: for war was around him, and our fathers had met, at the feast.
In Col-coiled, I bound my sails, and sent my sword to Mal-orchol of shells. He knew the signal of Albion, and his joy arose. He came from his own high hall, and seized my hand in grief. “Why comes the race of heroes to a falling king? Ton-thormod of many spears is the chief of wavy Sar-dronlo. He saw and loved my daughter, white-bosomed Oina-morul. He sought; I denied the maid; for our fathers had been foes.—He came, with battle, to Fuärfed; my people are rolled away.—Why comes the race of heroes to a falling king?”
I come not, I said, to look, like a boy, on the strife. Fingal remembers Mal-orchol, and his hall for strangers. From his waves, the warrior descended, on thy woody isle. Thou wert no cloud before him. Thy feast was spread with songs. For this my sword shall rise; and thy foes perhaps may fail.—Our friends are not forgot in their danger, tho' distant is our land.
Son of the daring Trenmor, thy words are like the voice of Cruth-loda, when he speaks, from his parting cloud, strong dweller [ 213 ] View Page Image of the sky! Many have rejoiced at my feast; but they all have forgot Mal-orchol. I have looked towards all the winds; but no white sails were seen.—But steelDisplay note resounds in my hall; and not the joyful shells.—Come to my dwelling, race of heroes; dark-skirted night is near. Hear the voice of songs, from the maid of Fuärfed wild.
We went. On the harp arose the white hands of Oina-morul. She waked her own sad tale, from every trembling string. I stood in silence; for bright in her locks was the daughter of many isles. Her eyes were like two stars, looking forward thro' a rushing shower. The mariner marks them on high, and blesses the lovely beams.—With morning we rushed to battle, to Tormul's resounding stream: the foe moved to the sound of Ton-thormod's bossy shield. From wing to wing the strife was mixed. I met the chief of Sar-dronlo. Wide flew his broken steel. I seized the king in fight. I gave his hand, bound fast with thongs, to Mal-orchol, the giver of shells. Joy rose at the feast of Fuärfed, for the foe had failed.——Ton-thormod turned his face away, from Oina-morul of isles.[ 214 ] View Page Image
Son of Fingal, begun Mal-orchol, not forgot shalt thou pass from me. A light shall dwell in thy ship, Oina-morul of slow-rolling eyes. She shall kindle gladness, along thy mighty soul. Nor unheeded shall the maid move in Selma, thro' the dwelling of kings.
In the hall I lay in night. Mine eyes were half-closed in sleep. Soft music came to mine ear: it was like the rising breeze, that whirls, at first, the thistle's beard; then flies, dark-shadowy, over the grass. It was the maid of Fuärfed wild: she raised the nightly song; for she knew that my soul was a stream, that flowed at pleasant sounds.
Who looks, she said, from his rock, on ocean's closing mist? His long locks, like the raven's wing, are wandering on the blast. Stately are his steps in grief. The tears are in his eyes. His manly breast is heaving over his bursting soul.—Retire, I am distant far; a wanderer in lands unknown. Tho' the race of kings are around me, yet my soul is dark.—Why have our fathers been foes, Ton-thormod love of maids!
Soft voice of the streamy isle, why dost thou mourn by night? The race of daring Trenmor are not the dark in soul. Thou shalt not wander, by streams unknown, blue-eyed Oina-morul.—Within this bosom is a voice; it comes not to other ears: it bids Ossian hear the hapless, in their hour of woe.——Retire, soft singer by night; Ton-thormod shall not mourn on his rock.
With morning I loosed the king. I gave the long-haired maid. Mal-orchol heard my words, in the midst of his echoing halls.——"King of Fuärfed wild, why should Ton-thormod [ 215 ] View Page Image mourn? He is of the race of heroes, and a flame in war. Your fathers have been foes, but now their dim ghosts rejoice in death. They stretch their arms of mist to the same shell in Loda. Forget their rage, ye warriors, it was the cloud of other years.”——
Such were the deeds of Ossian, while yet his locks were young: tho' loveliness, with a robe of beams, clothed the daughter of many isles.—We call back, maid of Lutha, the years that have rolled away!