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With equal hand: in these explored the fate
Of Greece and Troy, and poised the mighty weight
Press'd with its load, the Grecian balance lies
Low sunk on earth, the Trojan strikes the skies.
Then Jove from Ida's top his horror spreads;
The clouds burst dreadful o'er the Grecian heads :
Thick lightnings flash; the muttering thunder rolls,
Their strength he withers, and unmans their souls.
Before his wrath the trembling hosts retire ;
The gods in terror, and the skies on fire.

In the eighth book of the Odyssey, Homer alludes o his condition, if not to himself, in the person of Demodocus. The picture is by no means a sad one, nor is the immortal bard made to feel his blindness a disgrace, or to regret his loss of sight, by the neglect of his friends. The most distinguishing honors are paid him by the king and his courtiers.

Be there Demodocus the bard of fame,
Taught by the gods to please, when high he sings

The vocal lay, responsive to the strings. In entertaining Ulysses, the royal guest of Alcinoüis, the blind bard is deemed indispensable :

The herald now arrives, and guides along
The sacred master of celestial song :
Dear to the muse! who gave his days to flow
With mighty blessings, mixed with mighty wo;
With clouds of darkness quench'd his visual ray,
But gave him skill to raise the lofty lay.
High on a radiant throne sublime in state,
Encircled by huge multitudes, he sate :
With silver shone the throne: his lyre well strung
To rapturous sounds, at hand Pontinus hung:
Before his seat a polish'd table shines,
And a full goblet foams with generous wines ,

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His food a herald bore: and now they fed ;
And now the rage of craving hunger fled.
Then fired by all the muse, aloud he sings
The mighty deeds of demigods and kings.

Again :

The bard a herald guides: the gazing throng
Pay low obeisance as he moves along :
Beneath a sculptured arch he sits enthroned,
Then peers encircling form an awful round.

Then from the chine, Ulysses carves with everyone
Delicious food, an honorary part:

“This let the master of the lyre receive,
A pledge of love! 't is all a wretch can give.
Lives there a man beneath the spacious skies
Who sacred honors to the bard denies ?
The muse the bard inspires, exalts his mind :
The muse indulgent loves th' harmonious kind.

The herald to his hand the charge conveys,
Not fond of flattery, nor unpleased with praise.

When now the rage of hunger was allay'd,
Thus to the lyrist wise Ulysses said :
“Oh, more than man! thy soul the muse inspire
Or Phoebus animates with all his fires :
For who by Phoebus uninform’d, could know
The woe of Greece, and sing so well the woe
Just to the tale, as present at the fray,
Or taught the labors of the dreadful day :
The song recalls past horrors to my eyes,
And bids proud Ilion from her ashes rise.
Once moro harmonious strike the sounding string,
The Epæn fabric framed by Pallas, sing :
How stern Ulysses, furious to destroy,
With latent heroes back'd imperial Troy.
If faithful thou record the tale of fame,
The god himself inspires thy breast with flame ;
And mine shall be the task henceforth to raise
In every land thy monument of praise."


It is to us a source of no small satisfaction, as it must be to every blind person who has a philanthropic zeal for the honor and elevation of his order, to find so many characters laboring under the same privation, in every period of man's history, who have walked triumphantly the path of fame. Of all the antique literature that has withstood the ravages of time, and at the present day enriches the commonwealth of letters, there is none more justly claiming our admiration, than the poems of this illustrious

ltic bard. As the meteor shoots through blackest night, and pours its glaring light over torrents wild, rocky cliff, and ocean surge, so do the works of this, and the Grecian poet, shine forth with transcendent luster through all succeeding ages.

But as the venerable Ossian flourished in an age when traditional songs supplied the place of written history, we can learn nothing of his long and eventful life, save the few particulars we gather from his poems. So little do we know of him, that even the era of his life has long been a subject of dispute. But from the incidents which the poet mentions, identical in Roman and other anthentic histories, we think it


may be decided without doubt to have been in tne latter part of the third century. In this we agree with McPherson, the translator, and Rev. Dr. Blair, the reviewer, of these sublime poems. Ossian was the last of a line of kings renowned in their time for magnanimity and heroism in war, and clemency and magnificence in peace, who held dominion over Morven, a kingdom comprising that mountainous section of country lying along the north-west coast of Scotland. Fingal, his father, is represented to us as a true hero; though terrible in battle, he displayed many of those ennobling graces found in civilized life. His ancestors, Trathal and Trenmor, are also portrayed in song, possessing such manly virtues as make us forget that they lived in a period when humanity was disgraced at Rome, and heathen darkness, like the dusky curtains of night, spread over the earth.

The following advice of Fingal to his grandson, Oscar, (son of Ossian,) concerning his conduct in peace and war, is an example of true generosity, worthy of the most refined age: “O Oscar, pride of youth. I saw the shining of the sword. I gloried in my race. Pursue the fame of our fathers; be thou what they have been, when Trenmor lived, the first of men, and Trathal, the father of heroes! They fought the battle in their youth. They are the song of bards. O Oscar! bend the strong in arm; but spare the feeble hand. Be thou a stream of many tides against the foes of thy people; but like the gale that moves the grass, to those who ask thine aid. So Trenmor lived ; such Trathal was; and such has Fingal been.”

While the fire of youth inspired the heroic heart of Fingal, his military aid was solicited by Cormac, king of Ireland, to quell the insurrection and usurpation of Colculla, chief of Atha, where he fell in love with and took to wife Rosecanna, daughter of Cormac, who became the mother of our poet. If the long-established maxim is true, that the first striking event and impressions in one's existence, give the leading impulse to character, it was but natural that Ossian should become a great poet and musician. The wild, animating, and heroic songs of the thousand bards that crowded the halls of Selma, during the life and triumphant career of his father, were perhaps the first sounds that greeted his ear, and formed the lul. laby of his early years. It has been the well-founded opinion of our ablest modern literary persons, that an age of uncivilization, when the passions and feelings of men are in unrestrained exercise, is more favorable to poetry than one of nice refinement, when the intellect bows to the deity of arbitrary rules. So prevalent has this opinion become among the literati of our day, that we not unfrequently hear the period known in ancient history as "the dark ages," classically termed the age of poetry. .

The method of transmitting history and heroic fame to future times, through poems or traditional songs, which nearly all the nations of antiquity adopted be

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