Comal and Galbina.
The following is a paraphrase of one of the most beautiful and pathetic poems of Ossian, which ought to be in the houses of all who can appreciate true poetry of the noblest order. The paraphrase is original:—
Thus Carril spoke who lived in days of old:
"In sorrows strains thy mournful tale is told,
Son of the Car it bears my soul along
Were other ages round my memory throng;
Oft have I heard of Comal—he who proved
His deathful weapon on the friend be loved,
Yet victory his mighty sword illumed
And in his presence was the fight consumed!
Comal was chieftain of a hundred hills,
The son of Albion, from a thousand rills
Drank his swift deer, and when his stag hounds cried,
A thousand rocks in echoes wild replied;
One was his love—great Conloch's daughter; she
A sunbeam among women seemed to be,
Dark as the raven was her jetty hair,
In the swift chase her dogs were fleet as air,
Her bowstring sounded on the forest wind,
Round Comal's image was her heart entwined.
Oft met their eyes, replete with melting rays,
Nor in the chase far distant were their ways
page 334 Their words were happy in the secret shade,
But Ardven's chief, dark Gormal, loved the maid,
O'er the black heath beheld her lonely go,
And watched her steps—the unhappy Comal's foe.
One day fatigued and weary of the chase,
Their friends concealed within the mis's embrace
To Conloch's daughter, chance a meeting gave
With Albion's son in Roman's secret cave
'Tis Comal's haunt—its lofty sides reveal
A thousand helmets of resounding steel;
Thro' the wide cave are glittering falchions flung
And shields of thongs in wild confusion hung.
"Sweet light of Roman's cave rest here," he said,"
A deer appears on Mora's distant head;
Rest here, Galbina; I shall soon return—
Not long the pain of absence shalt thou mourn."
"I fear," she said, "dark Gormal is my foe;
The cave of Roman is his haunt, I know.
Among the armor here will I remain,
And anxious wait thy coming steps again."
He sought the deer on Mora's summit high;
And Conloch's daughter now his love would try:
With brilliant armour she invests her sides,
And from the cave, with haughty footstep, strides.
He thought it was his foe—his colour fled—
A growing darkness o'er his eye was spread.
He raised his hand—the twanging bowstring drew,
And to the mark the fatal arrow flew,
She fell in blood—his steps by wildness led,
Comal swift bounded from the mountain head;
Calling Galbina with his loudest voice
While still no answer bids his soul rejoice.
"Where art thou love, oh where?" he wildly cried
Still naught but echo to his words replied,
At length he sees Galbina's beating heart
Convulsive heaving round the feathered dart.
"Oh! Conloch's daughter—is it thou?" he cried,
page 335 And bathed his bosom in the crimsom tide,
The hapless pair the wandering hunters found,
And Comal after walked the hill around;
But full of grief, and silent did he move
Above the dwelling of his early love.
The fleet of ocean o'er the billows led
—Appeared—he fought—again the strangers fled.
Along the plain he sought with death to meet,
But who the mighty Comal could defeat?
His dark brown shield the warrior cast away,
To his brave heart an arrow found its way!
Now sleeps he by his loved Galbina's side
'Midst the loud dashing of the angry tide;
By the bold mariner their tombs of green
As bounds he o'er the northern waves—are seen.