The wan, cold moon rose, in the east
Language: English 
The wan, cold moon rose, in the east.
Sleep descended on the youths!
Their blue helmets glitter to the beam;
the fading fire decays. 
But sleep did not rest on the king:
he rose in the midst of his arms,
and slowly ascended the hill
to behold the flame of Sarno's tower.

The flame was dim and distant; 
the moon hid her red face in the east.
A blast came from the mountain, 
on its wings was the spirit of Loda. 
He came to his place in his terrors,
and shook his dusky spear. 
His eyes appear like flames in his dark face; 
his voice is like distant thunder. 
Fingal advanced his spear in night,
and raised his voice on high.

Son of night, retire:
call thy winds and fly! 
Why dost thou come to my presence, 
with thy shadowy arms? 
Do I fear thy gloomy form, 
spirit of dismal Loda? 
Weak is thy shield of clouds:
feeble is that meteor, thy sword.
The blast rolls them together;
and thou thyself art lost. 
Fly from my presence son of night! 
call thy winds and fly!

Dost thou force me from my place,
replied the hollow voice?
The people bend before me.
I turn the battle in the field of the brave. 
I look on the nations and they vanish:
my nostrils pour the blast of death. 
I come abroad on the winds: 
the tempests are before my face. 
But my dwelling is calm, above the clouds; 
the fields of my rest are pleasant.

Dwell in thy pleasant fields, said the king: 
Let Comhal's son be forgot.  
Do my steps ascend, from my hills, 
into thy peaceful plains? 
Do I meet thee, with a spear, 
on thy cloud, spirit of dismal Loda? 
Why then dost thou frown on me?
why shake thine airy spear? 
Thou frownest in vain. 
I never fled from the mighty in war. 
And shall the sons of the wind 
frighten the king of Morven? 
No; he knows the weakness of their arms!

Fly to thy land, replied the form: 
receive the wind and fly! 
The blasts are in the hollow of my hand: 
the course of the storm is mine.
The king of Sora is my son, 
he bends at the stone of my power. 
His battle is around Carric-thura; 
and he will prevail! 
Fly to thy land, son of Comhal, 
or feel my flaming wrath!

He lifted high his shadowy spear! 
He bent forward his dreadful height.
Fingal, advancing, drew his sword;
the blade of dark-brown Luno.
The gleaming path of the steel winds thro' the gloomy ghost. 
The form fell shapeless into air, 
like a column of smoke, 
which the staff of the boy disturbs, 
as it rises from the half-extinguished furnace.

The spirit of Loda shrieked, 
as, rolled into himself, he rose on the wind. 
Inistore shook at the sound. 
The waves heard it on the deep. 
They stopped in their course, with fear:
the friends of Fingal started, at once;
and took their heavy spears. 
They missed the king: 
they rose in rage; 
all their arms resound!

The moon came forth in the east. 
Fingal returned in the gleam of his arms. 
The joy of his youth was great, 
their souls settled, as a sea from a storm. 
Ullin raised the song of gladness. 
The hills of Inistore rejoiced. 
The flame of the oak arose; 
and the tales of heroes are told.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with The Poems of Ossian. Translated by James Macpherson, Esq; Vol.I. A new edition, carefully corrected, and greatly improved. London, MDCCLXXIII, pages 60-63.


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Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-05
Line count: 90
Word count: 569