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which Heaven has framed in the loom of civilized society; while the scattered threads of Fingal's days are like autumnal cobwebs, tossed by winds from thorn to thorn; whence some few of peculiar whiteness are collected by the musing bard, when solitary he roams amid the pathless wild.
True, Ossian, I delight in songs; harmony soothes my soul. It soothes it, o Ossian; but it raises it far above these grassy clouds and rocky hills : it exalts it above the vain phantoms of clouds, the wandering meteors of the night.
Listen in thy turn, thou sad son of Fingal, to the lonely dweller of the rock : let thy harp rest for a while, and thy thoughts cease to retrace the war and bloodshed of the days that are past. Sightless art thou, O Ossian, and sad is thy failing age : thine ear is to the hollow blast, and thy expectation is closed in the narrow house : thy memory is of the deeds of thy fathers-and thy fathers, where are they? What, 0 Ossian, are those deeds of other times ? they are horror, and blood, and desolation.
Harp of Ossian, be still. Why dost thou sound in the blast, and awake my sleeping fancy ? Deep and long has been its repose : solid are the walls that surround me: the idle laugh enters not here : why then should the idler tear? Yet, Ossian, I would weep for thee: I would weep for thee, Malvina.—But my days are as the flight of an arrow: shall the arrow turn aside from its mark ?
Bright was thy genius, Ossian! But darkness was in thy heart: it shrank from the light of heaven. The lonely dweller of the rock sang in vain to thy deafened ear. The Grecian was not blind like thee: on him the true sun never dawned; yet he sang, though erroneous, of all-ruling Providence, and faintly looked up to the parent of gods and men. Thy vivid fancy, O Ossian, what beheld it but a cloudy Fingal ? Vain in the pride of ancestry, thou remainest, by choice, an orphan in an orphan world. Did never the dweller of the rock point out to thy friendless age, a kindred higher than the heaven; a brotherhood wide as the world; a staff to thy failing steps; a light to thy sightless soul? And didst thou reject them, Ossian ? What then is genius, but a meteor brightness ? The humble, the mild, the simple, the uneloquent, with peaceful steps, followed their welcome pastor into fair meads of everlasting verdure; while thou sittest gloomy on the storm-beaten hill, and repeating to the angry blast the boast of human pride, the tales of devastation, of war-the deeds of other times. Far other times are these. Ah! would they were! for still destruction spreads ; still human pride rises with the tigers of the desert, and makes its horrid boast!