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Fingal - Book V

ARGUMENT.

Cuthullin and Connal still remain on the hill. Fingal and Swaran meet: the combat is described. Swaran is overcome, bound, and delivered over as a prisoner to the care of Ossian, and Gaul, the son of Morni; Fingal, his younger sons and Oscar still pursue the enemy. The episode of Orla, a chief of Lochlin, who was mortally wounded in the battle, is introduced. Fingal, touched with the death of Orla, orders the pursuit to be discontinued; and calling his sons together, he is informed that Ryno, the youngest of them, was slain. He laments his death, hears the story of Lamderg and Gelchossa, and returns towards the place where he had left Swaran. Carril, who had been sent by Cuthullin to congratulate Fingal on his victory, comes in the mean time to Ossian. The conversation of the two poets closes the action of the fourth day.

On Cromla's resounding side Connal spoke to the chief of the noble car. Why that gloom, son of Semo? Our friends are the mighty in fight. Renowned art thou, O warrior! many were the deaths of thy steel. Often has Bragéla met, with blue-rolling eyes of joy: often has she met her hero returning in the midst of the valiant, when his sword was red with slaughter, when his foes were silent in the fields of the tomb. Pleasant to her ears were thy bards, when thy deeds, arose in song.

But behold the king of Morven! He moves, below, like a pillar of fire. His strength is like the stream of Lubar, or the wind of the echoing Cromla, when the branchy forests of night are torn from all their rocks. Happy are thy people, O Fingal! thine arm shall finish their wars. Thou art the first in their dangers: the wisest in the days of their peace. Thou speakest, and thy thousands obey: armies tremble at the sound of thy steel. Happy are thy people, O Fingal! king of resounding Selma. Who is that so dark and terrible coming in the thunder of his course? who but Starno's son, to meet the king of Morven? Behold the battle of the chiefs! it is the storm of the ocean, when two spirits meet far distant, and contend for the rolling of waves. The hunter hears the noise on his bill. He sees the high billows advancing to Ardven's shore.

Such were the words of Connal when the heroes met in fight. There was the clang of arms! there every blow, like the hundred hammers of the furnace! Terrible is the battle of the kings; dreadful the look of their eyes. Their dark-brown shields are cleft in twain. Their steel flies, broken, from their helms. They fling their weapons down. Each rushes to his hero's grasp; their sinewy arms bend round each other: they turn from side to side, and strain and stretch their large-spreading limbs below. But when the pride of their strength arose they shook the hill with their heels. Rocks tumble from their places on high; the green-headed bushes are overturned. At length the strength of Swaran fell; the king of the groves is bound. Thus have I seen on Cona; but Cona I behold no more! thus have I seen two dark hills removed from their place by the strength of their bursting stream. They turn from side to side in their fall; their tall oaks meet one another on high. Then they tumble together with all their rocks and trees. The streams are turned by their side. The red ruin is seen afar.

"Sons of distant Morven, "said Fingal, "guard the king of Lochlin. He is strong as his thousand waves. His hand is taught to war. His race is of the times of old. Gaul, thou first of my heroes; Ossian, king of songs attend. He is the friend of Agandecca; raise to joy his grief. But Oscar, Fillan, and Ryno, ye children of the race, pursue Lochlin over Lena, that no vessel may hereafter bound on the dark-rolling waves of Inistore."

They flew sudden across the heath. He slowly moved, like a cloud of thunder, when the sultry plain of summer is silent and dark. His sword is before him as a sunbeam; terrible as the streaming meteor of night. He came towards a chief of Lochlin. He spoke to the son of the wave. — "Who is that so dark and sad, at the rock of the roaring stream? He cannot bound over its course. How stately is the chief! His bossy shield is on his side; his spear like the tree f the desert. Youth of the dark-red hair, art thou of the foes of Fingal?"

"I am a son of Lochlin," he cries; "strong is my arm in war. My spouse is weeping at home. Orla shall never return!" "Or fights or yields the hero?" said Fingal of the noble deeds; "foes do not conquer in my presence: my friends are renowned in the hall. Son of the wave, follow me: partake the feast of my shells: pursue the deer of my desert: be thou the friend of Fingal." "No," said the hero: "I assist the feeble. My strength is with the weak in arms. My sword has been always unmatched, O warrior! let the king of Morven yield!" "I never yielded, Orla. Fingal never yielded to man. Draw thy sword, and choose thy foe. Many are my heroes!"

"Does then the king refuse the fight?" said Orla of the dark-brown shield. "Fingal is a match for Orla; and he alone of all his race! But, king of Morven, if I shall fall, as one time the warrior must die; raise my tomb in the midst: let it be the greatest on Lena. Send over the dark-blue wave, the sword of Orla to the spouse of his love, that she may show it to her son, with tears to kindle his soul to war." "Son of the mournful tale," said Fingal, "why dost thou awaken my tears! One day the warriors must die, and the children see their useless arms in the hall. But, Orla, thy tomb shall rise. Thy white-bosomed spouse shall weep over thy sword."

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First Anniversary

Like the vain curlings of the watery maze,
Which in smooth streams a sinking weight does raise,
So Man, declining always, disappears
In the weak circles of increasing years;
And his short tumults of themselves compose,
While flowing Time above his head does close.

Cromwell alone with greater vigour runs,
(Sun-like) the stages of succeeding suns:
And still the day which he doth next restore,
Is the just wonder of the day before.
Cromwell alone doth with new lustre spring,
And shines the jewel of the yearly ring.

'Tis he the force of scattered time contracts,
And in one year the work of ages acts:
While heavy monarchs make a wide return,
Longer, and more malignant than Saturn:
And though they all Platonic years should reign,
In the same posture would be found again.

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Byron

Canto the Fourth

I.

I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand:
I saw from out the wave her structures rise
As from the stroke of the enchanter’s wand:
A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying glory smiles
O’er the far times when many a subject land
Looked to the wingèd Lion’s marble piles,
Where Venice sate in state, throned on her hundred isles!

II.

She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,
Rising with her tiara of proud towers
At airy distance, with majestic motion,
A ruler of the waters and their powers:
And such she was; her daughters had their dowers
From spoils of nations, and the exhaustless East

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Loss

She mourned
her
unborn
children

both,
the planned
and unplanned

no one could
console her.

Especially me.

she mourned
her
lost son

cancer reaches
beyond age

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Miniver Cheevy

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.

Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of the warrior bold
Would set him dancing.

Miniver sighed for what was not,
And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
And Priam's neighbors.

Miniver mourned the ripe renown
That made so many a name so fragrant;
He mourned Romance, now on the town,
And Art, a vagrant.

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Jesus Or Barabbas?

Barabbas stood before the crowd,
Then Pontius Pilate spoke,
'One freed prisoner I'm allowed! '
And yet it was no joke.
The King rejected was Jesus,
Still crowned with bloodied thorns.
Then they selected Barabbas,
From whom all hatred spawns.

The Nazarene was led away,
To climb Golgotha's hill...
Barabbas didn't choose to stay
To watch another kill.
He'd seen enough of Roman death
And vowed revenge and more
And yet Jesus of Nazareth
Was so hard to ignore...

A trail of blood led to the Cross...
And there God's Son was nailed...

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A Fairytale

Once upon a time, there was a prince
Groomed, grand, and great than the younger prince
Like a fairy tale, a lovely maid!
A pariah! On mats with rats she laid

Like a fairy tale the prince and maid met
Surely, their hearts thundered aloud; I bet
But the young envied the elder so much
He snitched to the king the prince with no match

Wretched was the young, the king abstained him!
So, the younger raised his wit with grim
To an apple! The young thawed a bane,
For through it, the maiden he will gain!

The prince took the fruit and was ill and died!
King, queen, and maid mourned the prince side by side
Nearby, the younger was laughing so loud1
Flaunting his lunacy behind the crowd

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Armistice Day 1933

This we have said: 'We shall remember them.'
And deep our sorrow while the deed was young.
Even as David mourned for Absolem
Mourned we, with aching heart and grievous tongue.
Yet, what man grieves for long? Time hastens by
And ageing memory, clutching at its hem,
Harks back, as silence falls, to gaze and sigh;
For we have said, 'We shall remember them.'

'Age shall not wither...' So the world runs on.
We grieve, and sleep, and wake to laugh again;
And babes, untouched by pain of days long gone,
Untaught by sacrifice, grow into men.
What should these know of darkness and despair,
Of glory, now seen dimly, like a gem
Glowing thro' dust, that we let gather there?-
We who have said, 'We shall remember them.'

Grey men go marching down this street today:
Grave men, whose ranks grow pitifully spare.

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Beyond Limits

Wind was hot and lonely was day,
walking patiently on my way,
I came by a Patli tree,
staring on me smilingly said he.

"Listen the words which i will tell,
not an epic but a great tale,
it is the story of a bird,
whose will could tremble your heart."

"he is the bird of limitless sky,
to all heads passing by,
his story i will narrate,
the story of vanquishing his fate."

"He was ready to start the flight,
convulsive was weather and formidable was the plight,
hindrances were tough and bold,
still his wings remained unfold."

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A Year of Anniversaries

This year is a year of anniversaries,
and I remember where I was,
and what I was doing on each of them,
when the news came through.
The death of two famous people
who had an effect on our lives
and a diabolical act of terrorism
one could never forget.
That stunned nations around the world.

Thirty years ago,
the world was stunned by the passing of a king.
The king of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.
Although his voice was silenced
on a bathroom floor,
he left with us all a legacy
of his music that will live eternally.

Ten years ago the world lost a Princess
in a car crash in Paris.

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