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how Basket looking through
Thine for ever! thou answerest softly. The tears
that were trickling sparkle and vanish, as though dried by a breath
from the gods. Straightway approaches the cry of Alexis! The boy
who was seeking after me, peeps through the door, How he the
basket took up! how he drove me away! how I covered thy hands
with my kisses! how I arrived at the ship! Surely I seemed to be
drunk. So too my comrades deemed me, regarding my sick
ness with pity. Shortly the dimness of sad distance envelopt the town. Thine for ever! O such was thy whisper! it sounds
in my ears still, mixt with the thunder of Jove! yea, and she stood
by his throne, she, his daughter, the Goddess of Love! the sisterly
Graces stood by her side! our vow chimed with the will of
the gods! Hasten then, hasten my vessel, with all fair .winds
to befriend thee; put forth thy strength thou keel; cleave through the
flood till it foams. Bear me with speed to thy goal in a far land : so
shall the skilful goldsmith begin forthwith working the pledge of our
loves. Dora, thy chain shall grow far beyond what thy mo
desty askt for; nine times shall it be wound loosely encircling thy
neck. Jewels besides will I buy thee, the fairest and cost
liest: golden bracelets shall fashion a rich girdle to compass thine arms.
W. WHEWELL from Göthe
U of thy face is pleasant. Thou comest forth in loveliness: the stars attend thy blue steps in the east. The clouds rejoice in thy presence, O moon, and brighten their dark-brown sides. Who is like thee in heaven, daughter of the night? The stars are ashamed in thy presence and turn aside their green, sparkling eyes. Whither dost thou retire from thy course, when the darkness of thy countenance grows? Hast thou thy hall like Ossian? Dwellest thou in the shadow of grief? Have thy sisters fallen from heaven? Are they who rejoiced with thee at night no more? Yes! they have fallen, fair light! and thou dost retire to mourn. But thou thyself shalt fail, one night; and leave thy blue path in heaven. The stars will then lift their green heads : they who were ashamed in thy presence will rejoice. Thou art now clothed with thy brightness; look from thy gates in the sky. Burst the cloud, O wind, that the daughter of night may look forth, that the shaggy mountains may brighten, and the ocean roll its blue waves in light.
1305 Nathos is on the deep, and Althos that beam of youth; Ardan is near his brothers; they move in the gleam of their course. The sons of Usnoth move in the darkness, from the wrath of Cairbar. Who is that dim, by their side? the night has covered her beauty. Her hair sighs on ocean's wind; her robe streams in dusky wreaths. She is like the fair spirit of heaven, in the midst of his shadowy mist. Who is it but Dar-thula, the first of Erin's maids? She has fled from the love of Cairbar, with the car-borne Nathos. But the winds deceive thee, O Dar-thula ; and deny the woody Etha to thy sails. These are not thy mountains, Nathos, nor is that the roar of thy climbing waves. The halls of Cairbar are near, and the towers of the foe lift their heads. Where have ye been, ye southern winds! when the sons of my love were deceived? But ye have been sporting on plains, and pursuing the thistle's beard. O that ye had been rustling in the sails of Nathos, till the hills of Etha rase! till they rose in the clouds, and saw their coming chief! Long hast thou been absent, Nathos, and the day of thy return is past.
1306 "Are these the rocks of Nathos,' cried Dar-thula, and the roar of his mountain streams ? Comes that beam
of light from Usnoth's mighty hall? Son of the generous Usnoth, why that broken sigh? Are we not in the land of strangers, chief of echoing Etha ?
'These are not the rocks of Nathos,' he replied, 'nor the roar of his streams. No light comes from Etha's halls, for they are distant far. We are in the land of strangers, in the land of car-borne Cairbar. The winds have deceived us, Dar-thula. Ullin lifts here her green hills. Go towards the north, Althos; be thy steps, Arden, along the coast; that the foe may not come in darkness, and our hopes of Etha fail. I will go towards that mossy tower and see who dwells about the beam. Rest, Dar-thula, on the shore; rest in peace, thou beam of light! the sword of Nathos is around thee, like the lightning of heaven.'
1307 He went. She sat alone, and heard the rolling of the wave. The big tear is in her eye; and she looks for the car-borne Nathos. Her soul trembles at the blast. And she turns her ear towards the tread of his feet. The tread of his feet is not heard. Where art thou, son of my love? The roar of the blast is around me. Dark is the cloudy night. But Nathos does not return. What detains thee, chief of Etha ? Have the foes met the hero in the strife of the night?
He returned, but his face was dark: he had seen his departed friend. It was the wall of Tura, and the ghost of Cuchullin stalked there. The sighing of his breast was frequent; and the decayed flame of his eyes terrible. His spear was a column of mist. The soul of Nathos was sad, like the sun in the day of mist, when his face is watery and dim.
1308 “Why art thou sad, O Nathos ?' said the lovely daughter of Colla. “I have met,' replied the hero, 'the battle in my youth. My arm could not lift the spear, when first the danger rose: but my soul brightened before the war, as the green narrow vale, when the sun pours his streamy beams, before he hides his head in a storm. My soul brightened in danger before I saw Selama's fair; before I saw thee, like a star, that shines on the hill at night; the cloud slowly comes, and threatens the lovely light. We are in the land of the foe, and the winds have deceived us, Dar-thula! the strength of our friends is not near, nor the mountains of Etha. Where shall I find thy peace, daughter of mighty Colla? The brothers of Nathos are brave; and his own sword has shone in war. But what are the sons of Usnoth to the host of car-borne Cairbar! O that the winds had brought thy sails, Oscar, king of men! thou didst promise to come to the battles of fallen Cormac. Then would my hand be strong as the flaming arm of death. Cairbar would tremble in his halls, and peace dwell round the lovely Darthula. But why dost thou fall, my soul? The sons of Usnoth may prevail.'
"And they will prevail, O Nathos,' said the rising soul of the maid: 'never shall Dar-thula behold the halls of gloomy Cairbar. Give me those arms of brass that glitter to that passing meteor; I see them in the dark-bosomed ship. Dar-thula will enter the battle of steel. Ghost of the noble Colla! do I behold thee on that cloud ? who is that dim beside thee? It is the car-borne Truthil. Shall I behold the halls of him that slew Selama's chief ? No: I will not behold them, spirits of my love!'
1309 ‘Yes! the foe is near,' said the rustling strength of Althos. 'I heard their clanging arms on the coast, and saw the dark wreaths of Erin's standard. Distinct is the voice of Cairbar, and loud as Cromla's falling stream. He had seen the dark ship on the sea before the dusky night came down. His people watch on Lena's plain, and lift ten thousand swords. “And let them lift ten thousand swords, said Nathos with a smile. "The sons of car-borne Usnoth will never tremble in danger. Why dost thou roll with all thy foam, thou rolling sea of Ullin? Why do ye rustle on your dark wings, ye whistling tempests of the sky? Do ye think, ye storms, that ye keep Nathos on the coast? No: his soul detains him, children of the night! Althos! bring my father's arms: thou seest them beaming to the stars. Bring the spear of Semo, it stands in the dark-bosomed ship.'
1310 He brought the arms. Nathos clothed his limbs in all their shining steel. The stride of the chief is lovely: the joy of his eyes terrible. He looks towards the coming of Cairbar. The wind is rustling in his hair. Dar-thula is silent at his side: her look is fixed on the chief. She strives to hide the rising sigh, and two tears swell in her eyes.
Althos!' said the chief of Etha, 'I see a cave in that rock. Place Dar-thula there: and let thy arm be strong. Ardan! we meet the foe, and call to battle gloomy Cairbar. O that he came in his sounding steel, to meet the son of Usnoth! Dar-thula! if thou shalt escape, look not on the falling Nathos. Lift thy sails, O Althos, towards the echoing groves of Etha.
'Tell to the chief that his son fell with fame; that my sword did not shun the battle. Tell him I fell in the midst of thousands, and let the joy of his grief be great. Daughter of Colla! call the maids to Etha's echoing hall. Let their songs arise for Nathos, when shadowy autumn returns. O that the voice of Cona might be heard in my praise! then would my spirit rejoice in the midst of my mountain winds.'
1311 And my voice shall praise thee, Nathos, chief of the woody Etha! The voice of Ossian shall rise in thy praise, son of the generous Usnoth! Why was I not on Lena, when the battle rose? Then would the sword of Ossian have defended thee, or himself have fallen low.
We sat, that night, in Selma, round the strength of the shell. The wind was abroad, in the oaks; the spirit of the mountain shrieked. The blast came rustling through the hall, and gently touched my harp. The sound was mournful and low, like the song of the tomb. Fingal heard it first, and the crowded sighs of his bosom rose. Some of my heroes are low,' said the gray-haired king of Morven. 'I hear the sound of death on the harp of my son. Ossian, touch the sounding string; bid the sorrow rise; that their spirits may fly with joy to Morven's woody hills.' I touched the harp before the king, the sound was mournful and low.
1312 But Nathos was on Ullin's shore, and Althos and dark-haired Ardan, nor could Dar-thula stay behind. She came with the hero, lifting her shining spear.
‘Come,' said Nathos, 'come! chief of the high Temora! Let our battle be on the coast for the white-bosomed maid ! His people are not with Nathos! they are behind that rolling sea. Why dost thou bring thy thousands against the chief of Etha? Thou didst fly from him, in battle, when his friends were around him. Youth of the heart of pride, shall Erin's king fight with thee? Thy fathers were not among the renowned, nor of the kings of men. Are the arms of foes in their halls? or the shields of other times? Cairbar is renowned in Temora, nor does he fight with little men.'
The tear starts from car-borne Nathos; he turned his eyes to his brothers. Their spears flew, at once, and three heroes lay on earth. Then the light of their swords gleamed on high; the ranks of Erin yield; as a ridge of dark clouds before a blast of wind. Then Cairbar ordered his people;