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wars. The wars which ought to come he beholds, but they are cut off from thy fame. When fhall joy dwell at Selma? When shall grief depart from Morven ? My Sons fall by degrees: Fingal shall be the last of his race. The fame which I have received fhall pass away: my age will be without friends. I fhall fit a grey cloud in my hall: nor fhall I hear the return of a Son in the midft of his founding arms. Weep, ye heroes of Morven! never more shall Oscar rife!
"And they did weep, O Fingal; dear was the hero to their fouls. He went out to battle, and the foes vanished; he returned, in peace, amidst their joy. No father mourned his fon flain in youth; no brother his brother of love. They fell, without tears, for the chief of the people was low! Bran is howling at his feet: gloomy Luath is fad, for he hath often led them to the chace; to the bounding roe of the defart.
"When Ofcar faw his friends around, his white breaft rofe with fighs.-The groans, he said, of aged chiefs; the howling of my dogs; the fudden burfts of the fongs of grief, have melted Ofcar's foul. My foul that never melted before; it was like the fteel of my fword.-Offian carry me to my hills! Raife the ftones of my renown. Place the horn of my deer, and my fword within my narrow dwelling. The torrent hereafter may raise the earth: the hunter may find the fteel and fay, "This has been Ofcar s fword."
"And falleft thou, fon of my fame! and fhall I never fee thee, Ofcar! When others hear of their Sons, I fhall not hear of thee. The mofs is on thy four grey ftones; the mournful. wind is there. The battle fhall be fought without him: he fhall not pursue the dark brown hinds. When the warrior returns from battles, and tells of other lands; I have feen a tomb he will fay, by the roaring ftream, the dark dwelling of a chief. He fell by car-borne Ofcar, the firft of mortal men.-I, perpaps, fhall hear his voice; and a beam of joy fhall rife in my foul.
"The night would have defcended in forrow, and morning returned in the fhadow of grief: our chief would have stood like cold dropping rocks on Moi-lena, and have forgot the war, did not the king difperfe his grief, and raife his mighty voice. The chiefs, as new-wakened from dreams, lift up their heads around.
"How long on Moi-lena fhall we weep; or pour our tears in Ulin? The mighty will not return. Ofcar fhall not rise in his ftrength. The valiant muft fall one day, and be no more. known on his hills. Where are our fathers, O warriors? the
But they were Thus fhall Then let us be
chiefs of the times of old? They have fet like stars that have fhone, we only hear the found of their praife. renowned in their day, the terror of other times. we pafs, O warriors, in the day of our fall. renowned when we may; and leave our fame behind us, like the laft beams of the fun when he hides his red head in the weft.
"Ullin, my aged bard, take the fhip of the King. Carry Ofcar to Selma of harps. Let the daughters of Morven weep. We fhall fight in Erin for the race of fallen Cormac. The days of my years begin to fail: I feel the weaknefs of my arm. My fathers bend from their clouds, to receive their grey-haired fon. But, before I go hence, one beam of fame fhall rife: fo fhall my days end, as my years begun, in fame: my life fhall be one ftream of light to bards of other times."
Book the fecond begins with an invocation to the ghost of Trenmor, the first king of Ireland, of whom Cormac, the murdered prince (to revenge whofe death Fingal invades that kingdom) was lineally defcended. This is an admirable exor
"Father of heroes, Trenmor! dweller of eddying winds! where the dark-red courfe of thunder marks the troubled clouds! open thou thy ftormy halls, and let the bards of old be near: let them draw near, with their fongs and their half viewless harps. No dweller of mifty valley comes: no hunter unknown at his ftreams; but the car-borne Ofcar from the folds of war. Sudden is thy change, my Son, from what thou wert on dark Moi-lena! The blaft folds thee in its fkirt, and ruftles through the fky. Doft thou not behold thy father, at the stream of night? The chiefs of Morven fleep far diftant. They have loft no Son. But ye have loft a Hero, Chiefs of ftreamy
The behaviour and attitudes of the heroes, when addreffed by Fingal in the beginning of the third book, are remarkably beautiful and characteriftical.
"The Chiefs bend towards their King: each darkly feems to claim the war. They tell, by halves, their mighty deeds and turn their eyes on Erin. But far above the reft the fon of Morni ftood; filent he ftood, for who had not heard of the battles of Gaul? They rofe within his foul. His hand, in fecret, feized the fword. The fword which he brought from Strumon, when the ftrength of Morni failed.
"On his fpear flood the Son of Clatho, in the wandering of his locks. Thrice he raif. his eyes to Fingal: his voice thrice failed him as he foke.-Fan could not bosit of battles: at once he strode away. Bent over a diftant ftream he flood: the tear hung in his eye. He ftruck, at times, the title's head, with his inverted fpear."
The fame Fillan however is afterwards reprefented, if not in more natural, at leaft, in more heroic attitudes; this gallant youth after repeated inftances of his valour putting the whole army of the Firbolg to fight.
faw, along Moi-lena, the wild tumbling of battle, the ftrife of death, in gleamy rows, disjoined and broken round. Fillan is a beam of fire; from wing to wing is his wafteful courle. The ridges of war melt before him. They are rolled, in fmoak, from the fields.Wide-fpreading over ecchoing Lubar, the flight of Bolga is rolled along. Fillan hung forward on their iteps; and ftrewed with dead, the heath."
In the beginning of the laft book, we have a beautiful picture of the hoft of Morven, and the appearance of Fingal,with his
"As when the wintry winds have seized the waves of the mountain lake, have feized them, in ftormy night, and cloathed them over with ice; white, to the hunter's early eye, the billows ftill feem to roll. He turns his ear to the found of each unequal ridge. But cach is filent, gleaming, ftrewn with boughs and tufts of grafs, which fhake and whistle to the wind, over their grey feats of froft.--So filent fhone to the morning the ridges of Morven's hoft, as each warrior looked up from his helmet towards the hill of the king; the cloud-covered hill of Fingal, where he ftrode, in the folds of mift. At times is the hero feen, greatly dim in all his arms. From thought to thought rolled along his mighty foul.-Now is the coming forth of the King-Firft appeared the fword of Luno; the fpear half ifsuing from a cloud, the fhield ftill dim in mift. But when the ftride of the King came abroad, with all his grey, dewy locks in the wind; then rofe the fhouts of his hoft over every moving tribe. They gathered, gleaming, round, with all their ecchoing fhields. So rife the green feas round a fpirit, that comes down from the fqually wind. The traveller hears the found afar, and lifts his head over the rock. He looks on the troubled bay, and thinks he dimly fees the form. The waves fport, unwieldy, round, with all their backs of foam."
The ending of this book, and with it that of the poem, is peculiarly placid and beautiful.
"Sons of Morven, fpread the feaft; fend the night away in fong. Ye have fhone around me, and the dark storm is past. My people are the windy rocks, from which I fpread my eaglewings, when I rush forth to renown, and feize it on its field. -Offian, thou haft the fpear of Fingal: it is not the staff of a boy with which he ftrews the thiftle round, young wanderer of the field.-No: it is the lance of the mighty, with which they ftretch'd forth their hands to death. Look to thy fathers, my Son; they are awful beams.-With morning lead Ferad-artho forth to the ecchoing halls of Temora. Remind him of the Kings of Erin; the itately forms of old.-Let not the fallen be forgot, they were mighty in the field. Let Carril pour his fong, that the kings may rejoice in their mift.-To-morrow I fpread my fails to Selma's fhaded walls; where freamy Duthula winds through the feats of roes."
Thefe fpecimens will convince our Readers, that Temora is not wanting in that poetical imagery and fublimity of ftyle, which fo eminently diftinguifhed Fingal. We cannot close this article, however, without obferving, that as the answers Mr. Mc Pherfon hath made to fome objections, thrown out by us on a former occafion, are fupported only by mere affirmation, we think it unneceffary to enter into any juftification of our former opinion.
Five Pieces of Runic Poetry, tranflated from the Ifandic Language. 8vo. Is. 6d. Dodley.
HE great fuccefs of Mr. Macpherson's verfion of the Erfe fragments, having confeffedly given rife to the present tranflation from the Iflandic, the Editor very ingenuously acknowleges it is by no means for the intereft of this little work, to have it brought into comparison with thofe beautiful pieces; after which it must appear to the greatest difadvantage. In this, indeed, we are perfectly of his opinion, and fhould be fo, were the merit of the prefent performance much greater than it is. The Erfe fragments had, befides the advantages they might derive from the Tranflator, the great merit of novelty to recommend them; whereas every poem here produced hath been already publifhed, accompanied with a Latin or Swedish verfion: a cir cumftance which not only takes from the novelty of the work, REV. April, 1763.
at leaft with the learned, but hath alfo obliged the Tranflator to keep clofer to his original; which he could not therefore occafionally embellifh, as, it is prefumed, Mr. Macpherson may pofiibly have fometimes done. But, be this as it may, the pieces before us, tho' known to fome few of the learned, are rare and fingular enough to excite the curiofity of the English Reader, if it be not already fufficiently gratified with fpecimens of this kind of poetry. There is, however, a confiderable difference between thefe Runic productions and those of the Galic or Erfe, as there probably was between the Writers, and the ages in which they lived. With regard to the former; our Editor obferves that the antient inhabitants of the northern parts of Europe are generally known under no other character than that of a hardy and unpolifhed race, who fubdued all the southern nations by dint of courage and of numbers. Their valour, their ferocity, their contempt of death, and paffion for liberty, form the outlines of the picture we commonly draw of them: and if we fometimes revere them for that generous plan of government which they every where eftablifhed, we cannot help lamenting that they raifed the fabric upon the ruins of literature and the fine arts.
"There is yet one feature of their character of a more amiable caft, which, tho' not fo generally known, no lefs belongs to them, and that is, an amazing fondness for poetry. It will be thought a paradox, that the fame people, whofe furious ravages deftroyed the laft poor remains of expiring genius among the Romans, fhould cherifh it with all poffible care among their own countrymen: yet fo it was. At least this was the case among the antient Danes, and from the fimilarity of their religion, manners, and cuftoms, is equally credible of the other
nations of Teutonic race.
"The antient inhabitants of Sweden, Denmark and Norway retained their original manners and cuftoms longer than any other of the Gothic tribes, and brought them down nearer to our own times. The remoteness of their fituation rendered accefs to them flow and difficult; nor was it till the tenth and eleventh centuries that Christianity had gained an establishment among them. Hence it is that we are better acquainted with the peculiarities of their original compofitions handed down to us, than of any other of the northern nations.
"Of thefe compofitions a great multitude are extant, fome of them in print, others prefe.ved in manufcripts, in the libraries of the north. All of them demonftrate that poetry was once held there in the highest eftimation. The invention of it was 4