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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/218

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178
HOURS OF IDLENESS.

In Morven dwelt the Chief; a beam of war to Fingal. His steps in the field were marked in blood. Lochlin's sons had fled before his angry spear;[1] but mild was the eye of Calmar; soft was the flow of his yellow locks: they streamed like the meteor of the night. No maid was the sigh of his soul: his thoughts were given to friendship,—to dark-haired Orla, destroyer of heroes! Equal were their swords in battle; but fierce was the pride of Orla:—gentle alone to Calmar. Together they dwelt in the cave of Oithona.

From Lochlin, Swaran bounded o'er the blue waves. Erin's sons fell beneath his might. Fingal roused his chiefs to combat."[2] Their ships cover the ocean! Their hosts throng on the green hills. They come to the aid of Erin.

Night rose in clouds. Darkness veils the armies. But the blazing oaks gleam through the valley.[3] The sons of Lochlin slept: their dreams were of blood. They lift the spear in thought, and Fingal flies. Not so the Host of Morven. To watch was the post of Orla. Calmar stood by his side. Their spears were in their hands. Fingal called his chiefs: they stood around. The king was in the midst. Grey were his locks, but strong was the arm of the king. Age withered not his powers. "Sons of Morven," said the hero, "to-morrow we meet the foe. But where is Cuthullin, the shield of

  1. Erin's sons ——.—[MS. Newstead.]
  2. The horn of Fingal ——.—[MS. Newstead.]
  3. —— the fires gleam ——.—[MS. Newstead.]